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The Rising Tide – LookLeft 19 in shops now September 15, 2014

Posted by guestposter in The Left, Workers' Party.


LookLeft 19 is in Easons stores and hundreds of selected newsagents across the island now. Still only €2 this issue includes former Workers’ Party President Séan Garland’s assessment of the career of Eamon Gilmore, an exclusive article by Greek economist, Yanis Varoufakis, on the failure of European Social Democracy, an interview with new Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger, an examination of the growing militancy among trade union members in Ireland and John Cooney on Scottish Independence and much, much more…

Contents include:


The links between Irish corporate and clerical elites, Richard McAlevey investigates.


Brian McDermott and Kevin Squires discuss the rise of racism on both sides of the Border.

Kevin Squires meets Ruth Coppinger to discuss her aims in the Dáil.

Osal Kelly discusses how to put a lid on a the bubbling housing market.

Dara McHugh and Padraig Mannion discuss the threat to democracy from the secretive trade deal.

RISING TIDE OF EXPECTATIONS Workers are seeking a new militancy in the trade union movement, Francis Donohoe explores.

THE FORUM Seán Garland bids an unfond farewell to Eamon Gilmore. Also featuring John Cooney, Anna Quigley, Cian O’Callaghan, Marie Moran and Gavin Mendel-Gleason.

Yanis Varoufakis and Terry McDonough discuss the fall of European social democracy and look at how the Left can rise instead.

Conall Parr looks at the legacy of radical Protestants in Northern Ireland politics

Dara McHugh talks music, politics and petty theft with pioneering Dublin folk band Lynched.

Neil Dunne discusses the reactions of Malmö FC to the stabbing of a fan by neo-nazis.

Irish Left Archive: Focalín, 1980s from supporters of Peoples Democracy, London September 15, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Focalín magazine from supporters of Peoples Democracy (1970s/1980s), Irish Left Online Document Archive.


Many thanks to NollaigO for the following: Focalin GO

To go to the Left Archive please click on this link.

Seamus, a friend , recently discovered five editions of Focalín in his attic and has loaned them for copying to the CLR Archive.

Focalín (“A wee word” for the odd reader of CLR who does not understand the First Language) was an Irish political satirical magazine produced in London in the late 1970s /early 1980s. The founders of the magazine were former supporters of the early Peoples Democracy and included an outstanding cartoonist.

Given the nature of the material in the magazine, it had a “sub rosa” flavour about it. Main targets for the magazine were Conor Cruise O’Brien, Charlie Haughey, Irish journalist Mary Kenny who was working in London at the time and legendary Gery (sic) Lawless [and his mythical(!) first lieutenant, Paddy of Cricklewood] to name but a few. One of the magazine’s exposés was the Kincora Boys Home scandal for which they got an informal tribute from Glenn Barr.

Specially recommended in this issue are the articles on the Inflatable Bodhran Kit (p3), Letters to the Editor (p4 &10), cartoon SUPERMICK and the Taxman, in fact every page (including the cover)!

The Cedar Lounge Revolution hopes to publish these five editions over the next few months [Libel laws considered!].

We estimate that at least twenty issues of the magazine were published.
Any of our readers got any further copies in their attics?

Left Archive Gralton Excerpt: Interview with Michael D. Higgins Oct/Nov 1983 September 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Here’s a very interesting interview with Michael D. Higgins from all of 31 years ago. To download click here: GRALTON LP

Many thanks to Jim Lane who has forwarded almost a full set of issues of the magazine to the Archive. These will be appearing shortly.

Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line – new section ‘Anti-revisionism in Ireland’. September 9, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.

And here it is! Some familiar materials in there but also some fascinating details.

They note that:

This carries introductions on the main organisational expressions and transcripts and pdfs of documents from


Left Archive: Grille – The Irish Christian Left, Revolution and Violence, Grille 3, Winter 1968 September 8, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Grille - Irish Christian Left, Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download this file please click on the following: GRILLEGO12

To go to the Left Archive please click here.

This is an unusual addition to the Archive being a periodical edited by John Feeny and William Ledwich that positions itself overtly on the Christian Left. An outline of how the group around Grille – which explicitly regarded itself as Christian Socialist and came into direct conflict with conservative Catholics – came into being is given here on Come Here To Me earlier this year, as well as where many of those involved went subsequently.

The cover headline is ‘Revolution and Violence’ and the contents addresses these subjects through a broad range of articles, including those on The Ecclesiology of Violence, the Theology of Violence, Black Power, The Educational Policy of the Irish Labour Party and Student Unrest.

There is too much content to adequately address here, but the Editorial is useful in offering an insight into the project.

When this Spring, those who were to become the editorial board of Grille, thought out the possibilities of an movement of the Christian left in Ireland, they had little or no idea about how it would succeed. Our plans were vague, and while we believed that hopes were well founded, we were continually frustrated by opposition from antagonistic christians and marxists and by despair from sympathisers who still thought that ‘Ireland’s not ready for it yet’ or ‘There are enough magazines already’.

Since the magazine started, however, we found that a magazine could not in itself do all that had to be done. The Encyclical on birth control divided the christian world into two shapely defined categories; there were conservatives and progressive on this issue i every denomination… In the same week Russia invaded Czechoslovakia, and here again the recognisable borders between capitalist and socialist countries were blurred.

It notes:

The two events demanded spontaneous action, and we thought of a pray-in in Westland Row Church. Again, when the Chicago police came to Dublin soon after their now famous neo-fascist brutality, more was clearly needed than a comment in Grille, ready by a maximum of two and a half thousand people three months later. So we held an all-day fast.

On both events we were heavily criticised, now even by those who had supported us; liberals mostly, who said, ‘A magazine is alright, which people can read in a civilised way. But don’t sit on th street; don’t break the law; don’t be a nuisance.’

And it continues:

But it was not possible to respect the limits they set us; we found in effect that they were preventing us being fully heard. A magazine was important bout outrageous disreputable action was need as well. It was the only way in which we could break through the set channels of critical thinking, and make the readers of the evening papers be challenged and upset. The liberal’s answer of patient limited protest within conventional patterns was inadequate; were were compelled to extremism as is every christian, even at the risk of alienating our cautious middle class supporters.

We do not intend therefore to restrict our challenge to society and the church to the magazine, though this will, we hope remain the articulate focus of our work. But we can see that an active organisation will have to be formed, with branches throughout the country, including the north. Through it christian marxists can work together in every part of the country, meeting regularly, and acting spontaneously of the present cruel society, which it is Grille’s purpose to opposite and to help change.

There is a notice of the Grille Study-School on ‘Who Owns Ireland’ – ‘Papers on the ownership of capital in Ireland and discussions on the Socialist alternative – Industrial Democracy’ which notes that speakers include ‘Roy Johnston’ and Dr. Noel Browne’.

On the back cover it advertises the “Grille Retreat for left-wing Christians” which has ‘Readings from Connolly, Che and Mathew’ as well as ‘Lectures from Various Clerics’ and ‘Praying – Talking – Drinking etc’.

An illuminating document.

Just on a personal note, my father had this amongst his own documents. Unfortunately I never had an opportunity to discover how he acquired it.

Left Archive: Gralton Excerpt – The Fairview Killing, The Dublin Gay Collective Speak Out. 1983 September 4, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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This article from Dublin Gay Collective was printed in Apr/May 1983 following the killing of a gay man in Fairview Park and in the wake of the suspended sentences those who admitted the killing were given. The article notes that the response at the time tended to look at the ‘law and order’ aspects rather than the broader issues. A distressing insight into that time and a reflection on both how far matters have progressed since then and matters unresolved.

Timeline of the Irish left September 1, 2014

Posted by AonRud in Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Left.

Timeline of the Irish left

I’ve created a timeline of Irish left organisations and parties over on the Irish Left Archive website. It’s still a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully will make a useful and interesting addition.

It’s essentially an update of the timeline posted on Dublin Opinion and mentioned here before, which was created by John Goodwillie along with a glossary of organisations in Gralton magazine (Aug/Sept 1983). As such, it’s entirely indebted to his work.

There are a few particular issues that readers may be able to help correct. First, organisations for which no dissolution date is known appear on the timeline as if they continue until the present. The Irish Workers’ Group was active into the late 90s, I believe, but isn’t still about, so if anyone has a date for that, it would be much appreciated. Similarly, I can’t find anything on the Dublin Anarchist Collective, but I imagine they didn’t continue into the present.

Also, there are a couple of ‘Young Socialists’ in Goodwillie’s chart with various links and these are probably not linked up properly in this version, so any suggestions there are welcome.

Aside from these there are no doubt other errors and omissions, particularly in my potted updates post-1983, so any corrections are very welcome.

Finally, on a technical note, it may be fairly heavy on the browser, so if anyone finds it doesn’t look right, especially with an older or uncommon web browser, please let me know.

Left Archive: Fianna – The Voice of Young Ireland, Sinn Féin, c. 1964 September 1, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin (pre-split.


To download the above file please click on the following link:FIANNA 1960s

To go to the Left Archive please click here.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive – it is part of a continuing project to post up Sinn Féin and (then) Provisional Sinn Féin materials from the 1960s onwards – and is very much appreciated.

This newspaper issued on behalf of ‘na Fianna Eireann – the national Boy Scouts’, the youth section of the IRA, was printed in 1964, to judge from the text, though no date is printed on it. It clearly dates from prior to the split in Sinn Féin and the IRA that led to the establishment of competing organisations.

It argues that:

…this paper is not the organ of any political party or society, but is confined solely to furthering the aims of Na Fianna Eireann’ which it argues is ‘a non-political, non-sectarian organisation’.

It notes that:

During the last few years, Na Fianna Eireann has resurrected itself and completely re-organised. The overseas units have been re-organised and Sluaite have been reformed in the principal cities and several of the principal towns at home.

It also notes that:

This year an intense effort was made by the Dublin Castle Lackey’s to crush the sale of the Easter Lily – Mr. Haughey’s way of showing respect to the men of ’16.

And it:

…takes this opportunity of congratulating all those republicans who defended the Easter Lily from the vicious onslaught of the Twenty-Six County Police during Easter 1963.

The rest of the paper contains the history of the Fianna and outlines the activities of same. There’s also a short piece on ‘The National Flag’.

Left Archive: Gralton excerpt – The Party’s Over, Socialist Labour Party, August/September 1982 August 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.


Another excerpt from Gralton (and many thanks to the person who is forwarding full copies of same for the Archive). This time an article from Dermot Boucher, of the National Executive of the SLP on the demise of that party.

Full article available here: GRALTON SLP2

The article is useful, being written at a time of economic turmoil, but this final paragraph from it is of particular interest:

Significantly, it now seems likely that few ex-SLP members will seek to join another political party, preferring to join the growing ranks of the organisationally unattached. This will reinforce that phenomenon of recent years whereby activists prefer to involve themselves in single issues campaigns and ad hoc organisations, rather than submit to the tedium and discipline of a political party. Given the continuing failure of the Irish Left to create any sort of credible political alternative is it any wonder that eh working class prefers to place its trust in parties of the Right, even at a time of economic crisis and deepening recession.

Left Archive: An Phoblacht, Numbers 9 and 10, Irish Revolutionary Forces, January 1967 and Mar-Apr 1967. August 25, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Revolutionary Forces.
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To download the above documents please click on the following links: An Phoblacht No.10 Mar-Apr. 1967

An Phoblacht No.9 Jan. 1967 And…

To go to the Left Archive please click here.

Many thanks to Jim Lane for donating two more issues of An Phoblacht – The Republic from Irish Revolutionary Forces. It is intended to have a complete set of this important document in the Archive. It is also important to note how useful this document is in tracing – from a critical perspective, changing attitudes within Republicanism and Sinn Féin and the IRA during the late 1960s. That it was positioned critically in relation to Sinn Féin and the IRA is of particular importance offering a distinctively different view into the changes in those organisations.

As always it is probably most useful to quote briefly from both editions.

The Editorial in number 9, from January, makes the point that many who are antagonistic to the then direction of the Republican Movement had no assisted in contributing to a larger paper than An Phoblacht, and it argues that:

…we must again stress that our attacks are against certain lines of policy which are being openly pushed by a specific clique of people’ and that at no time have we dwelt on maters detrimental to the security of any undertaking against the Partitionist regimes.

And it continues:

The Republican Movement is not an Irish version of the Mafia, you know; it is a political organisation responsible to the people it claims to represent. And this business of keeping one’s mouth shut, while the fortunes of Republicanism go to the dogs, has been prevalent for far too long already amongst Republicans.

Other articles in this edition include one asking will Clann na hEireann be ‘sold-out’ in relation to ‘throwing their lot in with the British Communist Party’? Another argues that ‘talk of ‘constitutional action’ emanates strongly through the backdoor of the ‘Sinn Féin Club’’, while a third notes the establishment of a Wolfe Tone Society in Cork and asks ‘who are these people?’. Another argues that a ‘big-sell out [is] on the way from the Republican Movement’.

Intriguingly it also dismisses the idea put about by some that ‘we ‘claim force as a principle..’ and that if we ‘could get Ireland free without force (we) wouldn’t accept it’, and it notes that ‘Force is the mailed fist of revolutionary principles; but it is not, and never can be, a revolutionary principle in itself…’.

It concludes with the thought that ‘the Republican movement is presently in the hands of interlopers’.

Other articles in this edition include one asking will Clann na hEireann be ‘sold-out’ in relation to ‘throwing their lot in with the British Communist Party’? Another argues that ‘talk of ‘constitutional action’ emanates strongly through the backdoor of the ‘Sinn Féin Club’’, while a third notes the establishment of a Wolfe Tone Society in Cork and asks ‘who are these people?’. Another argues that a ‘big-sell out [is] on the way from the Republican Movement’.

One very interesting feature of March-April issue Number 10 is the cover, which as noted inside the document ‘is a reprint of the Proclamation issued by the Provisional Government during the rising of ’67. It is an important document which is not without significance. It is a pity it is not better known to Republicans.’

The Editorial continues this theme and notes:

This year it is again our duty to commemorate yet another Rising which marks the progress of the Irish Revolution. A century ago, on March 5, 1867, brave men ventured forth to win an objective first crystallised in the ideology of Irish Republicanism as it was formulated by the revolutionary leadership of the Untied Irishman. The men of ’67 lost the battle, it is true… but as Col. T.J. Kelly Chief Executive of the IRB… wrote… ‘Our movement is only commencing, and it is not about to finish. I speak,’ he wrote, ‘in the name of all proletarian Ireland’.

It takes Republican publications to task on their lack of focus and ‘derogatory treatment accorded’ the Fenians whose ‘aim to organise a military coup’ is contrasted by the RM with ‘Parnell’s parliamentarianism… which had a revolutionary purpose: to make it impossible for the Westminster Parliament to function unless Irish demands were conceded’. It further criticises the RM for arguing that the ‘banner of agrarian revolt… was not picked up by the Fenians’. Indeed the editorial argues that the Fenians were ‘far to the left’ of Lalor on the issue of the ‘land question’.

The piece concludes by arguing that Ireland has not had a bourgeoise revolution and that it cannot have one – and it asks that when asked to pass judgement on the Fenians it be kept in mind that a century of experience has passed.

This edition also contains a report from the Clann na hEireann Ard Fheis, a piece by Eoin McDonaill looks at ‘Revolution vs. Reform: The Battle Now Being Waged’.

There is a piece on the IRA badge and how apparently ‘Dublin’ ‘refuses to supply this badge any longer’. And there’s a scathing piece on The United Irishman.

AP 9 and 10 contents


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