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Left Archive: Interview with Paddy Bolger (Ard Comhairle Member, Provisional Sinn Féin), from Gralton Magazine, Aug/Sep 1983 August 21, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin, Uncategorized.
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SF1

To download the above please click on this link: SFDOCGRALTON2

SFDOCGRALTON2This interview dovetails neatly with the one with Proinsias De Rossa posted up recently (and now available in the Archive) and provides an insight into the thinking of Sinn Féin during this period. Bolger was then National Organiser with special responsibility for Dublin.

Again, many thanks to the person who scanned these, and if anyone has any issues of Gralton it would be great to add at least one to the Left Archive.

Left Archive: One Ireland, One People, National Manifesto for the EEC Elections 1984, Sinn Féin August 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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1

To download the above please click on the following link: ONE IRELAND SF 1984

To go to the Left Archive please click here.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This interesting document printed for the EEC elections of 1984 is ten pages long. On the front cover it has the old SF logo with the initials SF superimposed on the map of Ireland. Inside it notes that:

SF is contesting the EEC elections in all five constituencies in the 32 counties, putting before the people a real alternative. We are the only all-Ireland party with an unapologetic stand in support of national re-unification and in defence of the right of the Irish people to resist British occupation.

It notes that SF has ‘consistently opposed membership of the EEC’. And it suggests that the EEC has failed ‘to pro due the economic miracle promised on entry’. It also argues that ‘EEC membership has subjugated national sovereignty to the interests of the bigger and richer EEC states, only shifting the balance of colonial neo-colonial dependency on Britain to dependency on Brussels’ and that it has ‘re-emphasised partition’.

Under various headings, Unemployment, Policy Control, Agriculture, Fisheries, Social Issues and Cultúr it critiques the EEC and it concludes by arguing:

SF advocates withdrawal from the EEC and the negotiation of trading agreements with it, but also advocates the implementation of a radical socialist economic programme in a united Ireland.

Left Archive: Peace With Justice, Provisional Sinn Féin, 1972 and 1975 July 7, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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1

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

To download this document please click on the following link:PWJ SF 1972

To go straight to the Left Archive please click here.

This short document from Provisional Sinn Féin was first printed in 1972 and then reprinted in 1975. It calls for ‘A British Withdrawal’, ‘A New Ireland negotiated by the Irish People themselves’ and ‘A general amnesty for all political prisoners’.

Its contents essentially reiterates Eire Nua (see here for the copy in the ILA). And it reprints elements of the ‘New Constitution’, the ‘Draft Charter of Rights’ and aspects of the structure of the proposed new government.

It concludes:

The above programme is an outline of the New Ireland envisaged by the Republican Movement. Its adoption will ensure that the sacrifices of generations will not have been in vain. Peace, prosperity and security can be secured for all our people and foreign rule and dissension shall be buried for ever.

Clearly the basic function was to ensure that the key points of Eire Nua were conveyed more widely than the original readership of that document.

Left Archive: Yesterday and Today, Provisional Sinn Féin, 1971 June 2, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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Y&T SF

To download the above file please click on the following link: SFY&T

To find more in the Archive please go here.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is a fascinating document from 1971, a simple double sided leaflet, folded in DL panels. It seeks to present itself as:

…the same organisation as was founded in 1905 and has the same objectives as it set itself in 1918. Its most recent successes were in 1955-1958 when it had two candidates elected in the occupied North and found in the South.

It argues that:

The SF programme in the political sphere is aimed at contesting local and parliamentary elections north and south of the Border and re-establishing a 32-County Dáil which would seek to enforce its legislation over all Ireland. The social and economic policy is radical and aims at nationalisation of the currency, banks and key industries; state development of the natural resources on a large scale and the spread of co-operatives throughout agriculture, industry and trade.

Interestingly it doesn’t mention armed struggle as such though it does suggest that it may be on the brink of a ‘major breakthrough’ due to ‘the spirit of resurgence which has been generated in the Six Counties since the Civil Rights movement began to make progress in 1968’.

It also goes into some detail on ‘the SF attitude to the Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House Parliaments’.

Left Archive: What We need to know to win – Sinn Féin, c. early 1980s May 5, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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what we need cover SF

To download or view the above document please click on the following link:
WHAT WE NEED SF

You’ll find more at the Irish Left Archive here.

This is an interesting document from Provisional Sinn Féin which notes that:

Education in SF is a key feature of our current strategy. The success of our challenge to establishment power structures depends on our members becoming competent activists moving forward with a clear and up to date analysis of the situation and equipped with all the necessary skills – in organising, leadership and communication – to make things happen in the community.

It continues with an outline of means by which activists can command the rhetorical high ground as a means of extending their influence. And it also gives an insight into the education of new members of SF. For example it notes that:

All new members must complete an introductory course before being admitted to full membership of SF. It is the responsibility of the education officer to provide necessary background on the following:-

1. Security. Political security – what is it; legal rights and how to deal with harassment by crown forces or gardai; how to behave if arrested.

2. National Aims of SF.

3. Social and economic policies of SF.

4. Structures and organisation of SF.

5. Constitution and rules.

6. Brief History of SF.

It notes that in relation to the latter ‘distribute Freedom Struggle leaflet after presentation’ (FS was actually a banned document through the 1970s and onwards. There is a copy waiting to be posted up in the Archive in the future).

It also notes the value of continuing education, ‘[organising] a series of events for our membership (internal SF debates, public lectures, films, videos, speakers, etc) designed to provoke discussion, re-examination and analysis of our situation, and the strategies we’ve developed to deal with it.

And it notes the scope for ‘panel(s) of guest speakers taking a topic, for example, Gerry Adams and Des Wilson on Republcianism and Socialism, or perhaps the SDLLP, SF and the Church and an academic on Crime within the Community, defining issues and working towards solutions.

Tellingly it also suggests that ‘use a bit of imagination in organising such events, don’t think they always have to be overtly sponsored by SF or focus on a republican issue. Your aim should be to crate a public forum where issues vital to republican interests can be raised and the republican viewpoint presented.

It concludes with five points ‘for successful confrontation with your political opponents’.

1. Know your opponents’ position

2. Know your opponents’ weakness

3. Know your own position

4. Know your own weakness

5. Muster support

Bishop Supports SF on Abortion – Or Does He? April 17, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in Choice, Sinn Féin.
4 comments

Fascinating report on the BBC website about a row between the Catholic bishop of Dromore and elements of SF over a letter distributed in west Belfast claiming he supported its position on abortion. The BBC quotes the bishop as saying

When I became aware of party political literature which was jointly issued in the names of Sue Ramsey MLA and Councillor Matt Garrett of Sinn Féin, which stated that I ‘share’ their position on the ‘termination’ of unborn human life, I was appalled

The Deputy First Minister and Paul Maskey MP (West Belfast) both acted to get the letter removed. The BBC quotes Paul Maskey as saying

Sinn Féin accepts that references in the letter to Bishop McAreavey were inaccurate.

“These letters should have not gone out.

“I apologise unreservedly to the bishop for any hurt and distress caused.

“I can assure the bishop that all reference to him on this issue has now been removed from all print and electronic literature. Sinn Féin has also removed the offending comments from Facebook.

A very revealing story as well as a fascinating one.

Left Archive: What Sinn Féin means by ‘Regionalisation’ – Provisional Sinn Féin, 1974 April 14, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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REGIONALCOVER

To download the above file please click on the following link:
Binder1

This is a short leaflet from Sinn Féin in 1974 which outlines its approach to ‘Regionalisation’. There is an oddly contemporary note in its definition of same, when it suggests that one meaning is ‘Taking away powers from primary local authorities and giving them to regional authorities. This use of the word is particularly marked in Ireland.’

It notes another meaning is ‘Dividing the state into economic planning regions for which planning is done centrally with some advice from regional consultative bodies that have no powers of their own’.

And finally it seeks the creation of regional public authorities under democratic control.

Obviously this links in to the approach espoused in Éire Nua (which can be found in the Archive here) and it quite naturally leads to the federal Ireland envisaged in that document.

Should Adams and McGuinness retire? April 12, 2014

Posted by Tomboktu in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, The North.
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Norman Tebbit’s remark during the week — the he hoped Martin McGuinness would be shot in the back — prompted a thought. Should McGuinness and Gerry Adams consider retiring from activie politics at this stage? They are the only leaders to have remained in place as leaders from the start of the peace process through the signing of the Belfast Agreement, and the first years of the operation of the Assembly and Executive. Tebbit’s comment show that despite the huge changes they led Sinn Fein and the IRA through, they are still lightning rods for hatred and distrust. Would it be better for the stability of the process and politics in the North if they were to hand over the rein of Sinn Fein to a new generation?

Left Archive: Students and Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin, c.1980? March 3, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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Students and Sinn Fein

To download the above file please click on the following link: SF STUDENTS

This document,issued by Sinn Féin appears to date from prior to the Hunger Strikes because there’s no mention of same in the text. A two sided A4 leaflet it notes that SF is ‘one of the largest political organisations in Ireland with over 300 branches throughout the country and elected representatives on both sides of the border’.

It continues:

Sinn Féin is a democratic socialist organisation working for the establishment of a workers’ republic where the wealth of this country will be owned and controlled directly by the people who produce it.

It defines socialism as:

The belief that the ownership and control of wealth and of all the wealth producing process should be taken out of the hands of the relatively small group of people who presently own them, and vested instead in the working class.

There are some interesting mentions of ‘the rat race of the totally exam-oriented and class biased secondary schooling system’ and the ‘semi-private nature of Church-controlled schools – in spite of massive state subventions’ and ‘a professional or clerical strangles hold over the lives and futures of thousands of students’.

It also unequivocally expresses support for the ‘armed struggle for national liberation being waged in the North by the IRA’.

Left Archive: Know Your Rights – Advice on What to do if Arrested in the Twenty-Six Counties, Sinn Féin, c.1980s? February 3, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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SF KNOW YOUR RIGHTS COVER

To download the above file please click on the following link: SF KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Many thanks to the person who donated this document to the Archive.

This 6 page long document is a short but detailed leaflet that covers all the issues that may arise on being arrested in the Republic, from psychological to practical and other issues. It notes the various stages from the initial arrest, where one will be held, interrogation and the necessity to be aware that making ‘any kind of statement, even a verbal one, is as bad as a written one’. It also notes that (at the time) ‘the most you will have to stick it out [is] for 48 hours – if you break it could be years before you get home’. And it asserts that:

…you might also remind yourself about the shame it will bring on you and your family to be known as an informer for the rest of your life. A lot of people would like to get a second chance because they made a mistake and talked while in the barracks.

It’s worth noting that this is one amongst many documents issued by PSF during this period on a very wide range of subjects. Each month it is intended to post one up in the Archive.

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