Better Know A Micro-Party: éirígí

Let’s start looking at some of the more republican leaning ones.

Name: éirígí
Founded: 2006
Leader: Brian Leeson/Breandan Mac Cionnaith*
Representation: One Local Councillor (and another in Northern Ireland)
Politically: Left
Associated With: Pro-Irish Unification, Pro-Environment, Pro-Tax Reform, Pro-Socialism, Anti-War, Anti-Third Level Fees, Anti-EU, Anti-Capitalism
Notable Members: Cllr Louis Minihan, Breandan Mac Cionnaith
Online: http://www.eirigi.org/index.htm

History

Founded on the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising, éirígí was originally just a campaign group based in Dublin, drawing its inspiration from figures like Jim Larkin and James Connolly. Involved with things like the Shell to Sea campaigns, anti-British movements in the north and Third-Level fee protests and with a socialist republican outlook, eirigi only really became a political force recently, gaining two Sinn Fein defectors after the 2009 local elections on either side of the border.

Electoral Record

Not strictly applicable. éirígí is yet to contest an election itself, with its two local representatives, Louise Minihan in Ballfermot Drimnagh, Dublin and Barry Monteith in Dungannon, County Tyrone, joining the group from Sinn Fein after being elected. Both cited disillusionment with Sinn Fein’s current policies, especially regards moves towards Irish unification, as the major factor for their decision. If Minihan’s name sounds familiar, it’s because her most noticeable activity was being arrested for throwing red paint at Minister Mary Harney earlier this year.

What They’ve Been Doing Lately

The Mary Harney paint incident is big one. Aside from that, yes, you guessed it, protests, protests, protests. éirígí’s public profile has certainly been boosted in the last few months, as they get to be in the spotlight as a voice of opposition a little bit more than usual.

What they’ll Do In The Future

Right now, the “Campaigns” section of their website is focused a lot on northern matters – getting the British out, protesting the upcoming Royal visit, opposing the Good Friday agreement etc. The group lacks specific policies on most other issues, seemingly just putting themselves against whatever the main parties, especially Fianna Fail of course, are doing. As it is, they have no power to really affect anything of any consequence.

Chances In The Next Election

They are in favor of contesting elections “tactically” but have yet to announce of they will be standing anyone in the next election. If they do, they’ll be competing with Labour, Sinn Fein, the ULA and every other new left-wing party for votes. Not liking their chances.

NFBs View

éirígí suffer from being little more than smaller, hardline, version of Sinn Fein. They have no wide scale support base to speak of, and they have never won an election. Their main aims – Irish unification and the like – is far, far from being a worthy issue of discussion in this day and age, and their socialist rhetoric is spoken better and louder by others like the Socialist Party, the SWP and even Sinn Fein.

éirígí are a group that place an awful lot of focus on 1916 for some reason. I’ve spoken on that kind of historical name-dropping before and it isn’t something that endears them to me. eirigi seem committed to the unlikely prospect of widescale social revolution. That isn;t going to happen anytime soon.

Most Likely To Say: Ireland unfree shall never be at peace!

Least Likely To Say: Most people don’t care about our main issue anymore!

*Its unclear who is actually in charge of the party.

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