An establishment and a state tied up in nearly a century of class war against the poor


Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
17 January 2018



The public apology by the Garda Síochána to Joanne Hayes is thirty-four years too late. The response to the finding of the remains of a baby on a beach in Co. Kerry exposed the practices and the automatic response of the state and its police force in rounding up the poor, just as they did in the industrial schools and the Magdalene laundries.
     As always, working people must be dominated, kept in check, and a reign of terror imposed on them.
     Alongside the establishment of this failed state, the Catholic Church was given the leading ideological role in reinforcing the partitionist state and marginalising any possible alternative economic system. They were a significant force in eliminating the radical elements that had played a central role in the War of Independence, marginalising working-class activists, communists, and the more radical republicans.
     In alliance with local gombeen business interests and politicians, the Catholic Church hounded the Irish communist Jim Gralton and had him deported to the United States. They were the driving force in breaking the Castlecomer miners’ strike and many other industrial disputes, marginalising and bullying workers throughout this failed state. And working-class and rural women bore the brunt of these church attacks.
     They organised an inquiry supposedly to investigate how Joanne Hayes had been wrongly charged but turned it into an inquisition on an ordinary single mother. No doubt this apology will provide an opportunity for hand-wringing by a political establishment whose antecedents were happy to unleash the dogs of class war, fronted by the Catholic Church, against our parents and grandparents, against our class.

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