|General secretary||Breandán Mac Cionnaith|
|Founded||24 April 2006|
|Local government in the Republic of Ireland|
|Local government in Northern Ireland|
|Politics of the Republic of Ireland
Politics of Northern Ireland
éirígí (Irish pronunciation: [ˈeːɾʲiːɟiː] or [ˈaɪɾʲiːɟiː]) is a socialist republican political party in Ireland. It was formed by a small group of former Sinn Féin activists in Dublin in April 2006 as a political campaigns group. On 12 May 2007, at the party's first Ardfheis (conference), its members voted to become a full-fledged political party, and at its 2009 conference passed a motion to register as a political party in the Republic of Ireland. Since March 2010, the party has been registered to contest local elections only. The party chairman is currently Brian Leeson. Breandán Mac Cionnaith was elected general secretary in May 2009.
The party name, "éirígí", means "arise" in the second person plural imperative in Irish, possibly a reference to Labour leader James Larkin's famous speech. In 2009, it gained its first local councillors when two former Sinn Féin councillors, Dungannon councillor Barry Monteith and Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan, joined the organisation. Monteith subsequently left the party.
The party seeks a British withdrawal from Northern Ireland and the establishment of a 32-county republic based on democratic socialist principles. Established in 2006, shortly before the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, éirígí was originally set up as a Dublin-based campaigns group. éirígí has participated in a range of campaigns including Shell to Sea and Reclaim the Republic which involved the organisation distributing 60,000 1916 Proclamations nationwide.
The twentieth Independent Monitoring Commission report said the group is "a small political grouping based on revolutionary socialist principles". While it continues to be a political association, albeit with aggressive protest activities, it was not seen as paramilitary in nature. However, in November 2012 a prominent member of éirígí was arrested in County Offaly and remanded in custody for possession of two handguns and ammunition.
For its emblem, the party uses a green star as it incorporates both the national colour of Ireland and the international symbol of socialist struggle. The full national colours of the Irish Republic are achieved when the green star is combined with the word éirígí in the colour orange (signifying the cultural identity of some of Ireland's Protestants) set on to a white background.
éirígí's Ciorcal Náisiúnta is responsible for the day to day running of éirígí between meetings of An Ard-Fheis. It is elected by the membership annually on a 'one member – one vote' basis. It consists of:
Seven individuals elected directly to national positions at An Ard Fheis (see below) The Cathaoirligh (Chairpersons) of all Ciorcail Áitiúla (local branches) who have been elected by the members of their respective Ciorcá Áitiúil A maximum of four additional co-options At the November 2011 Ard-Fheis the membership of éirígí elected the following individuals to the seven national positions:
- An Cathaoirleach (Chairperson) – Brian Leeson (Dublin)
- Leas-Chathaoirleach (Vice-Chairperson) – Rab Jackson (Belfast)
- An Rúnaí Ginearálta (general secretary) – Breandán Mac Cionnaith (Portadown)
- Cisteoirí (Treasurers) x 2 – Micheál Mac Neighill (Belfast) and Ciaran Heaphey (Dublin)
- An tOifigeach Caidrimh Phoiblí (Public Relations Officer) – Pádraig Ó Meiscill (Belfast)
- An tOifigeach Ballraíochta (Membership Officer) – John McCusker (Dublin)
In the May 2011 elections for Belfast City Council, the party stood in the Lower Falls and Upper Falls electoral areas, receiving over 2,000 first preference votes (10% plus). No councillors were elected there however.
Weapons and terrorism charges
In November 2012, Ursula Shannon, a Trinity College graduate and prominent member of the party, was among four people brought before the Special Criminal Court in the Republic of Ireland charged with possessing weapons and ammunition including several handguns at Tullybeg, Co. Offaly, following an investigation by the Garda Special Detective Unit. Brian Leeson, National Chairperson of éirígí, was also arrested in connection with the weapons seizure but was later released without charge. Mac Cionnaith, éirígí's general secretary, confirmed Shannon was a member and said the group would take no steps to distance themselves from her.
The party's Newry press officer Stephen Murney was also taken into custody in November 2012 on terrorism charges for owning and publishing photographs of police officers on duty, though was later cleared of all charges. In her ruling, Judge Corrinne Philpott said: "There is no evidence before this court that Éirígí supports violence, or has argued for violent action to be taken against the police, or that the organisation is directly linked to those that support terrorist activity."
- "éirígí Becomes a Political Party – Indymedia Ireland". Indymedia.ie. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "éirígí and Elections: an Exercise in Participatory Democracy". Eirigi.org. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Clár na bPáirtithe Polaitíochta – Register of Political Parties – 23 March 2010". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
- Irish News 1 August 2009
- "éirígí: For A Socialist Republic". Eirigi.org. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Twentieth Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission" (PDF). October 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "Éirígí activist one of four held on gun charge".
- "Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll for the District Electoral Area of Lower Falls" (pdf). Belfast City Council. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll for the District Electoral Area of Upper Falls" (pdf). Belfast City Council. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Trinity graduate wearing wig and disguise when intercepted by armed gardai, court old". 30 January 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- éirígí member charged over guns, 30 November 2012
- "Éirígí press officer bailed over photos". 29 January 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "Éirígí press officer Stephen Murney cleared of terrorism charges". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.