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Irish communists call for popular struggle to ensure real political change

IRISH communists called for a renewal of popular struggles and mobilisation of progressive forces to ensure the promised social and economic changes happen in the wake of last week’s seismic general election.

Sinn Fein topped the polls, breaking the dominance of the two main parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, with negotiations ongoing in a bid to form a coalition government.

The Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) said that the result reflected “an important growth in class consciousness” that needs to be nurtured and developed further.

The Sinn Fein breakthrough stemmed from the party offering a left alternative economic and social platform, the CPI said, with a focus on housing and a rupture with neoliberal politics.

“This election result has grown on the rejection of EU-imposed austerity and the polices that give priority to the needs of capital, of the rich and powerful, at the expense of workers, policies promoted by all the Establishment parties, including the Labour Party, and the establishment media,” the CPI said.

“It follows from the mass struggles on water, housing, health … and marriage equality.”

Working people had delivered a significant “political blow” to the Establishment, the party said.

The CPI welcomed Sinn Fein’s electoral success but cautioned that its role in the north of Ireland and the “imposition of social and economic policies promoted by the British state” do not bode well for a radical departure from the existing system.

However, the election result “has the potential to bring to the top of the political agenda the central question of who has control of political and economic power in Ireland,” the communists argued.

“Working people cannot afford to sit back and allow our future to be decided by backroom deals,” the party said, calling for a renewal of popular militancy through “more vigorous and militant trade-union and class struggle.”

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