On this day in 1922, Liam Mellows along with his anti-Treaty Republican comrades Joe McKelvey, Rory O’Connor, and Dick Barrett were murdered by the Free State. The four, imprisoned in Mountjoy jail s

On this day in 1922, Liam Mellows along with his anti-Treaty Republican comrades Joe McKelvey, Rory O’Connor, and Dick Barrett were murdered by the Free State.

The four, imprisoned in Mountjoy jail since the capture of the Four Courts, were summarily executed by a Free State army firing squad as a brutal retaliation for the killing of Sean Hales TD the previous day.

Mellows in particular had grasped the vision of Tone and Connolly of a free, independent Ireland with a society and economy built on the needs of the ordinary masses. He had recognised that the hopes of the Republican movement rested on the working class and saw the need to put forward a popular programme that would appeal to the needs of the great majority in Ireland as the only path to genuine freedom.

In his radical social programme written in jail shortly before his execution, Mellows proposed the nationalisation and common ownership of transport, heavy industry, and the banks, confiscation of the large ranches and estates without compensation, municipalisation of all public services free at the point of use, amongst many other radical demands.

He wrote, ‘'We are back to Tone, and it is just as well, relying on that great body 'the men of no property'. The ‘stake in the country men’ were never with the Republic’’.

''Ireland does not want a change of master. It would be folly to destroy English tyranny in order to erect a domestic tyranny that would need another revolution to free the people. The Irish Republic stands therefore for the ownership of Ireland by the people of Ireland. It means that the means and process of production must not be used for the profit or aggrandisement of any group or class.

Ireland, if her industries and banks were controlled by foreign capital, would be at the mercy of every breeze that ruffled the surface of the world's money-markets. If social capitalism flourished, a social war such as now threatens practically every country in Europe would ensue. Ireland, therefore, must start with a clean slate.

The Irish Republic is the People's Republic.''

Source: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2008030099314842...

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Steven Harris

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