Comrades and friends,
It is a great honour to be chosen as party president. I thank you all for your trust in me to take on this important role.
We have had a successful day today. It has been great to see everyone engaged in debate, focused for the future, determined to build our party – together.
We have had an extremely difficult two years, with the pandemic affecting our ability to get out on the streets and agitate. As a result of this our work has been limited to mainly online work, however as we have already seen, in the last few weeks, we have begun to get ourselves out and about again, in our areas, among our class, the working class, spreading our message and this activity will only increase as time goes on.
We have also had to endure the turmoil of internal issues, where a few individuals, intent on causing division within our ranks, attempted to undermine the party leadership and spread lies and misinformation – yet we have survived and we have continued to uphold our Republicanism, our secular, socialist, anti sectarian principles and the integrity of our party. We will continue to do so.
Nothing and no one will throw us off course, we remain committed to building the vanguard party of the working class based on the principles of Tone and Connolly, of Goulding and McMillen, Garland, O’Hagan and Mac Giolla.
North and south the working class are under continuous attack. The number of families living in food poverty, fuel poverty, poor quality and unaffordable housing, many even without a home – living in temporary accommodation, our homeless numbers rising, our healthcare systems starved – our workers underpaid and exploited. Sectarianism, in the north, continues to divide our communities. It is clear that Ireland, both North and South, needs a disciplined, committed and strong Workers’ Party to fight on behalf of our workers, to be their voice. As Tomás MacGiolla said, “our weapon is the people through the party.”
We have a tough road ahead of us, of that there is no doubt, but we have faced difficult times before and on each occasion we have faced our difficulties head on, with the determination necessary to succeed. We must position ourselves to do this again. We have withstood attacks on our party from a wide range of reactionary forces, state and sectarian, all committed to stop the advancement of progressive politics.
Many of our friends and comrades gave their lives so that we could go on to create and build an organisation which has made it possible for workers and their families to recognise that there is a way forward and that is to build a Workers Party, of all religions and of none, that the most important thing is who you are and where you stand in the class struggle.This is Tone’s way, it is Connolly’s way and it is McMillan, Goulding, Garland and MacGiolla’s way. It is our way.
As we know the capitalist class, both north and south, will not relinquish their power without a fight and we must be prepared to embed ourselves in our communities, campaign on a local level though our branches, and be a part of the everyday struggles of the working class.
We have come this far comrades, we must continue. We all have our part to play, we must be disciplined, committed, organised and as Seán Garland’s final letter pointed out we must be loyal and unified.
We know what we must do. So let’s get out there and do it!
Thank you comrades
Our incoming President, Michael McCorry paid tribute to our outgoing President Michael Donnelly for his commitment and loyalty to the Party over many decades. He thanked Michael Donnelly for his work and dedication on behalf of the Party.
President Michael McCorry also presented lifelong Workers’ Party member Paddy Fitzsimons with a piece of engraved Waterford Crystal as recognition for his service, dedication and loyalty to his Party, his class and his comrades.