May 2014        

Michael Ahern

The Communist Party of Ireland offers its condolences to the family and friends of our comrade Mick Ahern, who died on Thursday 3 April, and in particular to his wife and comrade Julie.
      Mick dedicated his life to the broad republican struggle, becoming involved in 1974 in the IRSP. He was a member of its Ard-Chomhairle and was editor of its paper, the Starry Plough.
      Mick was a man of strong principle and deep political conviction. To sit in his company was a pleasure, not just to hear how he related his past experiences to current issues but also for his knowledge of Irish history. He had a great sense and love of place, of where he lived and the people around him, a knowledge of local events and the struggles of working people in and around his native Muine Bheag, Co. Carlow.
      His approach to the communist movement came from his own reading and understanding of the world around him, of the nature of the enemy that we face: imperialism. He rarely took a step without thinking deeply about it and understanding the consequences—not out of fear but knowing that in order to defeat imperialism we need to understand it better than it understands itself.
      Mick was as active in the CPI as his health would allow, campaigning for the repudiation of the massive corporate debt put on the backs of the Irish people by the EU and the Irish establishment. He wrote regularly for Socialist Voice, on both local and national issues, especially on the continuing assaults on the credit union movement and the endless cuts in the health service that have such a profound effect on everyone. When he wrote about the health service and its overstretched facilities it was from first-hand experience.
       He understood that we need to confront the imperialist domination of our country by the European Union and the United States and not just by the British state in the North. He understood the importance of taking a wider view and the need to develop a broader strategy, to learn the lessons of history from past struggles, both their successes and their defeats, to learn from Connolly and not mechanically parrot his words.
      Mick Ahern decided a long time ago that he was not going to be a bystander of history but would play his part in shaping history, in changing the world around him. He put his heart and his intellect into the struggle.
      The Communist Party of Ireland salutes Mick Ahern and his contribution of more than forty years of active political struggle. We are all richer for having spent time in his company, for having walked part of the road of life in his company.
      The fight continues.

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