éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey has said that the West Belfast result from last week's local government elections in the six-counties was clear evidence of the ever increasing support for éirígí and its socialist republican analysis. He was speaking following the count in Belfast yesterday (Monday) where éirígí candidates received more than 2000 votes in West Belfast.
Pádraic Mac Coitir, who was standing in the Upper Falls constituency, polled 1,415 votes [11.3 per cent], while John McCusker, who was standing in the Lower Falls constituency, polled 647 votes [6.6 per cent].
Congratulating the two candidates and those party activists and supporters who worked tirelessly during this campaign, Casey said that this was yet another step forward in the resurgence of a movement for a Socialist Republic.
He said: "The decision of the party to contest this election, our first electoral outing, was only taken at our recent Ard Fheis at the end of January (see here). And while others used vast financial resources, black propaganda and even intimidation to counter our challenge, more than 2000 people seen through this deceit and voted for éirígí and the issues we brought to this campaign - an end to British rule, an end to poverty and the creation of a socialist republic."
"Yesterday's result shows clearly that éirígi's Socialist Republican analysis is gaining support in significant numbers. And while the party has always been consistent in its view that the aim of a socialist republic will not be attained through the ballot box, to attain such a sizeable vote on our first election is very significant indeed." (To read our Policy Document 'Elections, Elected Institutions & Ireland's Revolutionary Struggle' click here)
At the conclusion of the count, Lower Falls candidate John McCusker said: “Despite claims to the contrary, it has now been proven beyond fear of contradiction that éirígí has a large support base in west Belfast."
“Last Thursday, more than 2,000 people took the effort to go out and declare their support for éirígí, its strategy and the politics of socialist republicanism. On behalf of éirígí, I would like to thank these people and encourage them to get onto the streets in opposition to the cuts in the time ahead."
“The republican struggle is, slowly but surely, being rebuilt and today was another positive development in that process. éirígí brought to this election the politics of socialist republicanism and the dedication and determination of our members and supporters. We are proud of our campaign and the result it has achieved."
“éirígí will continue to campaign for the rights of the working people of west Belfast and for the political, social and economic liberation of all the working people of this country.”
Pádraic Mac Coitir added: “When éirígí entered this election campaign, its objective was to demonstrate a significant support base for socialist republican politics in west Belfast. Today, it is undeniable that such a support base exists in large numbers."
“I would like to thank all those republicans and socialists who came out to vote for éirígí and the politics we espouse. A vote for éirígí was a vote against the cuts, a vote against partition and a vote for a radical socialist republican alternative; large numbers of people have responded to that message in a positive manner."
“I would also like to thank the many, many republican activists who devoted so much time over the last number of weeks in fighting an effective, coherent campaign for éirígí. The contribution from every single one of them was invaluable.”
He continued: “We must organise on the streets, in our communities and in our workplaces to build a movement for real change. We hope that all those who voted éirígí in this election, and the massive amounts of people who decided not to vote, will join this campaign in the time ahead."
"Today, the support for a radical, socialist republican alternative has been demonstrated unequivocally.”