People Before Profit
Pobal Roimh Bhrabús[1]
LeaderCollective leadership[a]
FoundedOctober 2005
Headquarters5 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Irish reunification[5]
Political positionLeft-wing[6] to far-left[7]
National affiliationPeople Before Profit–Solidarity
European affiliationEuropean Anti-Capitalist Left
Affiliated groups
Colours  Red
SloganFighting For Workers & Eco-Socialism
Dáil Éireann
4 / 160
Northern Ireland Assembly
1 / 90
Local government in the Republic of Ireland
6 / 949
Local government in Northern Ireland
2 / 462
Website Edit this at Wikidata

People Before Profit (Irish: Pobal Roimh Bhrabús, PBP) is a Trotskyist political party formed in October 2005,[8] active in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Socialist Environmental Alliance was a party led by Goretti Horgan that operated between 2003 and 2008 before merging in People Before Profit

People Before Profit was established in 2005 as the People Before Profit Alliance by members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a Trotskyist organisation affiliated to the International Socialist Tendency (IST).[13] The Community & Workers Action Group (CWAG) in south Dublin joined the alliance in 2007 and brought along the party's first elected representative, Joan Collins, an anti–bin tax campaigner and former member of the Socialist Party.[14] In February 2018, the SWP renamed itself the Socialist Workers Network (SWN) to reflect "a decision to focus on building People Before Profit, and within that to win and educate as many members as possible in revolutionary socialist politics."[15]

The Socialist Environmental Alliance (SEA) was a political party which operated in Northern Ireland, based largely in the city of Derry.

The SEA contested the Northern Ireland Assembly 2003 election in the East Londonderry and Foyle seats (reflecting the party's Derry base). It polled poorly in East Londonderry, with candidate Marion Baur gaining 137 first preference votes (0.4% of the total), although in Foyle Eamonn McCann gained 2,257 first preference votes (5.5% of the total).

It contested the 2004 elections to the European Parliament, with Eamonn McCann their candidate. He won 9,172 first preference votes, or 1.6% of the total cast. McCann then stood in the 2005 general election in the Foyle constituency, winning 3.6% of the vote.

McCann again stood for the organisation in Foyle in the 2007 Assembly election. The group was dissolved in 2008 with most of it folding into the People Before Profit Alliance.

Republic of Ireland

People before Profit's 4 representatives in Dáil Eireann, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, as of 2021.

People Before Profit contested several constituencies in the 2007 general election, polling around 9,000 first preferences, with Richard Boyd Barrett—the candidate in the Dún Laoghaire constituency—missing a seat on the 10th and final count by 7,890 votes to 9,910.[16][17]

In May 2008, People Before Profit launched a campaign calling for a No vote on the Lisbon Treaty when it was put to the people.[18]

In the Republic's 2009 local elections People Before Profit ran twelve candidates, including ten in County Dublin. It secured five seats in three of Dublin's four councils. As well as ten members of the SWP, Joan Collins and Pat Dunne of the CWAG ran in Dublin,[19] and Donnie Fell (a former Waterford Crystal worker and trade union representative) in Waterford.[20]

In the Republic's 2011 general election, both Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins were elected to Dáil Éireann as TDs (deputies), running under a joint People Before Profit and United Left Alliance banner.

In April 2013, Joan Collins TD and Cllr Pat Dunne left the group to form United Left, a political party with former Socialist Party TD Clare Daly.

In the May 2014 local elections, People Before Profit won 14 seats including two seats outside Dublin on Sligo and Wexford County Councils.

People Before Profit supported the successful Right2Water Ireland campaign against the introduction of water charges in Ireland, which was launched in 2014. By 2017 the scale of the campaign resulted in the suspension and ultimately the scrapping of the funding model.[21]

Discussions were held in August 2015 with the Anti-Austerity Alliance about forming a new political grouping.[22] On 17 September 2015, the two parties announced they had formally registered as a single political party for electoral purposes.[23] The new organisation was called the Anti-Austerity Alliance–People Before Profit.

At the 2016 general election, Boyd Barrett was re-elected.[24] He was joined by fellow People Before Profit candidates Gino Kenny and Bríd Smith.[25][26]

In January 2019, Dublin City Councillor John Lyons resigned from the party due to disputes with the leadership.[27] Cllr Lyons subsequently was a leading figure in the foundation of Independent Left.[28] He criticised his former party saying:[29] "Solidarity and People Before Profit are the closest fit to us but have a hierarchical, carefully controlled internal life that is not fit for the purpose of socialist change."

The party retained its three TDs in the 2020 Irish general election.[30]

People Before Profit supported Debenhams Ireland workers in their 2020 industrial dispute.[31][non-primary source needed]

On 28 February 2021, RISE, a democratic socialist party that had previously split from Solidarity in 2019, merged with People Before Profit. Paul Murphy became the party's 4th TD in the process. It maintains its media and functions as an internal organisation.[32]

On 10 May 2021 the party announced that Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown "Councillor Hugh Lewis is no longer a member of People Before Profit following an internal disciplinary procedure".[33]

Northern Ireland

Gerry Carroll has represented People Before Profit in the Northern Irish Assembly since 2016

People Before Profit unsuccessfully ran one candidate, Sean Mitchell, in the 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election, polling 774 first preferences in the Belfast West constituency.[34]

People Before Profit ran four candidates in the Northern Ireland Assembly election of May 2011, winning 5,438 first-preference votes between them but no seats in the new Assembly.[35] Its most successful candidate in this election was Eamonn McCann, who won 3,120 first-preference votes, or 8% of the total, in Foyle.[36]

In the June 2011 Belfast West by-election, Gerry Carroll won 1,751 votes (7.6%), coming in third place and ahead of both unionist candidates.[37]

In the 2014 Belfast City Council election, Carroll became the first People Before Profit councillor elected in Northern Ireland, winning 3rd place in the Black Mountain DEA, with 1,691 1st Preference votes.[38]

In May 2016, Carroll topped the poll in the Belfast West constituency at the 2016 Assembly Election with 8,299 votes (22.9%), almost 4,000 first-preference votes clear of his nearest challenger, Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann (Sinn Féin was running five candidates).[39] This victory secured People Before Profit with their first elected MLA. Eamonn McCann also took a seat in the constituency of Foyle.[40] In 2017, Carroll retained his seat but with a much reduced vote (12.2%),[41] while McCann lost his.[42]

The party gained 4 seats in the 2019 Local Elections. People Before Profit won 5 council seats, 3 in Belfast City Council and 2 in Derry.[43]

The party stood two candidates in the 2019 general election, with their best performance being by Gerry Carroll in the Belfast West seat: he came second with 16%.[44]

People Before Profit retained their single seat in the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election.[45] They lost three of the five council seats they had had in the May 2023 Northern Ireland local elections, with 1.1% of the vote, down by 0.4 percentage points.[46]

Ideology and policies

People Before Profit are a Trotskyist party[47] committed to political agitation through working-class mass action in capitalist societies.[12][48] However, People Before Profit do not accept this label, with their website stating that "Trotskyist is the Labour Party's bizarre code word for anyone with strong left-wing principles".[49] The party self-claims to be an eco-socialist party. It described its 2022 AGM as a "positive step forward in building a major, pluralist eco-socialist party in Ireland" and described its party programme as eco-socialist.[50]

In the Northern Ireland Assembly, the party's assembly members sign the register as "socialist" when asked if they are "unionist" or "nationalist", resulting in an official designation of "other" in the assembly.[51] However the party is not neutral on constitutional matters, and are in favour of "a 32 county socialist Ireland."[52] People Before Profit support a referendum on Irish reunification.[53] This is in contrast to their alliance partners Solidarity who oppose one.[54]

People Before Profit have supported leaving the EU[55] and campaigned for a 'Lexit' (a left-wing Brexit) in the 2016 EU referendum in Northern Ireland.[56][57] Commenting on their pro-Brexit position, Gerry Carroll stated "We made a decision to say that the EU does not operate in the interests of working people anywhere, and the strongest example of that is Greece. What we need is a Brexit that is not shaped by Theresa May, we need one that is shaped by working-class people in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. And one that is shaped by the trade union movement."[58] Members of Sinn Féin criticised this stance, saying that supporting Brexit, tactically or otherwise, aligned People Before Profit with British parties such as the Conservatives, UKIP, the Democratic Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice and regardless of People Before Profit's intentions, this would serve the pro-Brexit agenda.[59] In response, Richard Boyd-Barrett tried to distance PBP's position from those parties, and noted that People Before Profit opposed a hard border, and would encourage "a movement of civil disobedience to remove border posts if they are imposed by either the UK government or the EU".[60]

The party supports free public transport.[50]

People Before Profit supports nationalising the "major Agri-corporations" and using them to finance a “just transition” for farmers and rural Ireland. People Before Profit also seeks to cut the national cow herd by 50% and pay farmers a green payment to offset this, provided a farmer doesn't earn more than €100,000 a year.[61] People Before Profit seek to create a state-owned building corporation that would be used to retrofit existing homes.[61]

People Before Profit supports the legalisation of cannabis for medical and general use. It states that it wants to "legislate for the use of medicinal cannabis for pain management of chronic conditions" and medical cannabis be "researched and made available as an evidence-based option for health care providers and patients". It also states that it wants the "non-commercialised legalisation of cannabis to be regulated by a new state body and dispensed via designated stores".[62] In November 2022, Gino Kenny introduced a bill to legalise personal usage of cannabis, and possession of up to seven grams of cannabis.[63]

In 2023, People Before Profit published a document which said that the Irish military and police force (Garda Siochana) would commit a coup on behalf of "wealthy elites" against any prospective left-wing government that formed in Ireland. [64]

Foreign policy

People Before Profit is opposed to NATO[65][66] and support Irish neutrality.[67][68] They have said that "the role of NATO expansion and the role of further potential NATO aggression" are partly to blame for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which they consider "a conflict between two reactionary imperialist blocs",[69] and accuse NATO of escalating the war "to the terrifying possibility that we could have a nuclear situation".[70]

People Before Profit call for international sanctions against Israel and support the Palestinian-led movement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).[71] They have called for "a comprehensive package of economic, political and cultural sanctions against Israel for war crimes, ethnic cleansing and the crime of apartheid".[72]

People Before Profit oppose sanctions against Russia as a response to its invasion of Ukraine.[72][73] Paul Murphy said PBP stand with Ukrainians "in their struggle against the Russian imperialist invasion", but said that sanctions "are hurting ordinary Russians and are only bolstering the Putin regime at home". Simon Coveney and Neale Richmond of Fine Gael suggested it is contradictory for PBP to support sanctions against Israel but not against Russia.[72] Murphy responded "You have a call for [sanctions] coming from ordinary Palestinians, including Palestinians who live within the state of Israel and suffer apartheid".[73] Although supporting Ukrainian resistance, PBP oppose sending any kind of weaponry to Ukraine.[74]

Election results and governments

A logo used by the party

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Assembly elections

Election Assembly First
Vote % Seats Government
2007 3rd 774 0.1%
0 / 108
DUP–Sinn Féin–SDLP–UUP–Alliance
2011 4th 5,438 0.8%
0 / 108
DUP–Sinn Féin–UUP–SDLP–Alliance
2016 5th 13,761 2.0%
2 / 108
DUP–Sinn Féin
2017 6th 14,100 1.8%
1 / 90
DUP–Sinn Féin–SDLP–UUP–Alliance
2022 7th 9,798 1.2%
1 / 90
Subject to negotiation

Westminster elections

Election Votes Vote % Seats Government
2010 2,936 0.0%
0 / 18
Conservative Party–Liberal Democrats
2015 7,854 0.0%
0 / 18
Conservative Party
2017 5,509 0.0%
0 / 18
Conservative Party
with DUP confidence & supply
2019 7,526 0.0%
0 / 18
Conservative Party

Northern Ireland local elections

Election First
Vote % Seats
2011 1,721 0.3%
0 / 583
2014 1,923 0.3%
1 / 462
2019 9,478 1.4%
5 / 462

Republic of Ireland

General elections

Election Dáil First
Vote % Seats Government
2007 30th 9,333 0.5%
0 / 166
Fianna Fáil–Green Party–Progressive Democrats
2011 31st 21,551 1.0%
2 / 166
Fine Gael–Labour Party
2016 32nd 42,174 1.96%
3 / 158
Fine Gael–Independents
with Fianna Fáil confidence & supply
2020 33rd 40,220 1.84%
4 / 160
Fianna Fáil–Fine Gael–Green Party

Irish local elections

Election First
Vote % Seats
2009 15,879 0.8%
5 / 883
2014 29,051 1.7%
14 / 949
2019 21,972 1.29%
7 / 949

European elections

People Before Profit have only contested European elections in the Republic of Ireland.

Election First
Vote % Seats
2014 23,875 1.5%
0 / 11
2019 33,804 1.9%
0 / 13


  1. ^ Eamonn McCann is listed as the party's leader in Northern Ireland for the purposes of registration to the UK Electoral Commission. Electoral Commission registration


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