According to the group's historian Ian Birchall, the position of the International Socialists was one of 'unconditional support for the IRA in the struggle against imperialism'. In 1977 the group was renamed the Socialist Workers Party. Such is the tangled world of Trotskyism.
Meanwhile in Ireland the Socialist Workers Movement was formed in 1971 by members of the International Socialists who were living in Ireland and who had previously been members of the People's Democracy and several other small groups. The SWM argued that it was the duty of revolutionary socialists to support republicans in fighting against 'British imperialism'. They supported IRA prisoners and some of their members were active in the anti-H Block committees. The SWM also encouraged people to vote for Sinn Fein. But that was back then.
At its conference in 1995 the SWM was renamed the Socialist Workers Party and it argued that the Sinn Fein leaders were moving to an accommodation with imperialism. It was time for them to strike out on their own and in 1997 the SWP began contesting elections in the Irish Republic.
Some folk will remember Bernadette as not only an agitator in the ranks of the People's Democracy, but also one of the founders of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the INLA. More recently, on 12 May 2007, McAliskey was the guest speaker at a James Connolly commemoration organised by Eirigi, one of the many dangerous and 'dissident republican' groups.