Today we remember Val Lynch on this the first anniversary of his death. One year ago we were saddened to learn of his passing and even though his health had deteriorated in time, his death gave us a great sense of loss. Today we further extend to Val’s wife Dolores, and his immediate and extended family, our sincere sympathy on the loss of a husband, father and grandfather. It would be fair to say one never seen Val without Dolores and from our perspective he was held in high esteem by all. To us Val was a genuine and devoted republican and the republican family share that same sense of loss as well as the invaluable commitment he brought to the table.

In this latest phase of the republican challenge to British Rule in Ireland Val was not found wanting. He clearly saw that the issue of the sovereignty of the Irish people being violated and denied was the root cause of the conflict in Ireland. Val had a heartfelt support for Irish republican prisoners, and he visited the gaol to ascertain their needs and put in place the structures to ensure these needs were met. Equally he looked at the families and dependents of prisoners to ensure they did not want especially at Christmas. This involved decades of work and commitment. Val was visibly saddened at the murder of Volunteers Ronan Mac Lochlainn , Alan Ryan, Vincent Ryan and the death of Volunteer Kevin “Kiddo” Murray and he ensured their deaths would be respectfully remembered and never forgotten. Unfortunately due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Val Lynch did not have the funeral deserving of a republican of his standing. However we hope that at a future date there will be a ceremony befitting of him and remembering the legacy he left behind. But his true legacy is best served by emulating the commitment he brought to this struggle. We are forever grateful to have known and worked with Val Lynch. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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After publicising our intent to picket an anti-community event at the MAC theatre last night, the organisers ‘Belfast Property Meet’ cancelled their evening. This vulture group have been holding monthly seminars at the MAC for the last few years, with the exception of recent venue closures. The aim of these seminars is to school landlords, developers and vulture fund investors on how best to undermine and decimate working class communities in order to build their own wealth. Worryingly these kind of events are happening more often and it seems what they are selling is being viewed as a legitimate and victimless business; let us be clear, gentrification and landlordism are not victimless businesses. These parasites are making a fortune off the backs of ordinary people and we hope in future the MAC, along with other community based venues, refuse to accommodate them. We believe that only with a unified response from the working class can we put an end to these vultures for good, the time to act is now.  

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One of the greatest injustices faced by the working class has always been the criminal greed of landlordism. For centuries in Ireland excessive rent rates have forced the people to their knee’s.

Over the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in individuals using vulture funds to buy up as much land and property at low cost in working class areas. They then build high end apartments, offices and other infrastructure to entice big business into the area. All this coupled with the decrease of social housing and an increase in rent prices forces low income working class families out of the area, paving the way for more corrupt capitalists to make a fortune, this is gentrification.

One way these parasites are gaining support and building a facade of legitimacy, is by running seminars where they school possible investors (current and future landlords) on how to go about spending as little money as possible while gaining huge profits in return, all off the back of our communities. One such group named Belfast Property Meet, holds monthly seminars at the MAC theatre in Belfast city centre, a supposed cultural hub with a focus on the arts as well as claiming to be family and community friendly.

On Thursday 6th January at 7pm this parasitic group of landlords and business capitalists will be holding one of their meetings at the MAC. There will be a protest held from 6.30pm at the entrance to show these people that their interests are a detriment to working class communities and are not wanted. We would encourage all Republicans, socialists, trade unionists, community and human rights groups to attend and show your support.

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