Dissident republicans launch new political party

Saoradh is opposed to the power-sharing government and will hold demonstrations to support republican prisoners

At Saoradh’s first Ard Fheis newly elected chairman David Jordan (photographed) was highly critical of Sinn Féin. Photograph: Facebook

At Saoradh’s first Ard Fheis newly elected chairman David Jordan (photographed) was highly critical of Sinn Féin. Photograph: Facebook

 

Dissident Irish republicans have launched a new political party called Saoradh.

A range of high profile dissidents from both sides of the Border gathered at a hotel in Newry on Saturday to outline their vision for Saoradh, the Irish word for liberation.

The radical new party, which is opposed to the power-sharing government in the North, will stage demonstrations in support of republican prisoners. Its constitution says it might, at some point, contest elections.

However, if candidates are put forward at future elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Dáil or Westminster it would be on an abstentionist basis, meaning seats would not be taken if they were successful.

At Saoradh’s first Ard Fheis newly elected chairman David Jordan was highly critical of Sinn Féin.

In remarks aimed at the party he referred to its politicians as “false prophets who have been defeated and consumed by the very system they claim to oppose”.

A national executive was also elected and motions passed by Saoradh representatives who claimed they had formed a revolutionary party to represent the working class and further the cause for an Irish socialist republic. The party has the support of prisoners from the New IRA in Maghaberry and Portlaoise jails and calls were made for the release of all political prisoners.

A statement from Saoradh said a “significant collective of Irish Republican activists”, who have acted autonomously in the past, had reached agreement to launch the party. “Saoradh believes that Ireland should be governed by the Irish People with the wealth and wealth producing mechanisms in the ownership of the Irish people,” the statement said.

“This can not happen while British imperialism undemocratically retains control of Irish destinies and partitions our nation, this cannot happen while a neo-colonial elite in a subservient supposed indigenous administration sell’s the nation’s labour and natural resources to international capital.”

The party believes any assembly claiming to speak for the Irish people “without being elected by the united people of the Irish nation to be illegal”.

“Saoradh will seek to organise and work with the Irish people rather than be consumed and usurped by the structures of Ireland’s enemies,” the statement continued.

Among those in the audience in Newry, who also heard from speakers from the Free Tony Taylor campaign and the Craigavon Two campaign, was dissident republican Colin Duffy. There was no indication from the the newly formed party that dissident republican organisations are considering an end to violence.

A Sinn Féin spokesman highlighted that it had 28 MLAs, 23 TDs, seven Senators, four MEPs, and hundreds of councillors across the island of Ireland.

“We have placed our republican vision and analysis before the electorate and half a million people across the 32 counties have supported us,” he said.

“We encourage genuine political debate within republicanism. We will continue to provide effective republican representation all over Ireland.”