The shared post included a quote from IRA member and hunger striker Bobby Sands (featured above in a Belfast memorial) describing Britain as the “perennial oppressor”.C N @ Flickr

Cambridge University’s Labour Club (CULC) has apologised for sharing content produced by Lasair Dhearg, an Irish republican group which has voiced opposition to the Good Friday Agreement.

The incident has sparked infighting within the society, with a senior member of the executive team, Jake Havard, resigning from his post.

The Lasair Dhearg post, which was reposted on the club’s Instagram story, commemorated the 42nd anniversary of the 1981 hunger strikes and provided instructions on how to join the republican organisation.

Lasair Dhearg, an organisation formed six years ago with operations spanning Belfast, Dublin and Derry, have called the Good Friday Agreement a “victory for imperialism” and the British “military machine”, while advocating for a single “socialist republic” including all of Ireland’s thirty-two counties.

The shared post included a quote from IRA member and hunger striker Bobby Sands, describing Britain as the “perennial oppressor”.

Several students and rival political societies were quick to criticise the Labour club’s actions.

The Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) called the Labour club’s actions “profoundly irresponsible”, saying “the decision to amplify the voice and recruitment campaign of this group has given support to a lamentable political force”.

CUCA described the incident as “especially inappropriate” given Lasair Dhearg’s opposition to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). This follows the recent PSNI data leak and announcements by the chief constable that officers’ personal information is likely in the hands of “dissident republicans”.

A source close to the Labour society’s executive team hit back at CUCA criticisms, claiming CUCA were “trying to ‘one-up’ us for calling them out for their more egregious controversies of the past.”

“The conversation has been totally shifted from the original meaning of that tribute to the insinuation that the Labour club officially supports some obscure Republican group”, the source continued.


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Jake Havard, who resigned from his role as publicity officer in the fallout of the incident, told Varsity “multiple people clashed” in the Labour society over the post.

Havard said “the idea that the executive is wholly united against the post is ridiculous”.

The Labour club’s executive body has since apologised for the post, telling Varsity: “the post was shared by mistake, without any knowledge of the beliefs and affiliations of the organisation.”

“We value and recognise the validity of the resulting criticism”, the statement continued, promising to install procedures guaranteeing that “no such mistake can happen again”.

The executive team went on to describe the Good Friday agreement as “one of the greatest achievements of Labour in government”, and condemned “any organisation which attempts to frustrate that hard won peace.”