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The Left Archive: The “Inner City Republican” – Provisional Sinn Féin in 1983. November 21, 2007

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

Taking a quick break from Coolacrease here, as a contrast to last weeks Official Sinn Féin “United Irishman”, we have a leaflet from Provisional Sinn Féin, the “Inner City Republican” issued on behalf of Christy Burke in the Dublin Central constituency. The leaflet was donated anonymously – for which we’re very grateful – and is from a photocopy, so apologies for the poor reproduction quality. icr.pdf

It’s an interesting document. Some obvious points. The ‘Provisional’ is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the name change of Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party to the Workers’ Party the previous year had rendered it superfluous. The masthead has a photograph of Connolly and Bobby Sands. There is a heavy emphasis on ‘socialism’ throughout. We are told in the editorial that “there can never be social justice and independence under a capitalist system”. Christy Burke is quoted We are treated to an interview with the IRA which is notable for the way in which it localises its involvement to specific areas in Dublin Central. And linked to that is a strong anti-drugs message. Interesting to see how in 1983 there was the claim that there was no heroin addiction in the North. The intervening years were to bring about a different story. And that too is interesting because the concentration remains very strongly focussed on the Inner City and the ‘war’ and the North is mentioned only glancingly. Perhaps an indication fo future complexities that we would see reiterated as recently as the election this year.

One notable omission is any reference to Tony Gregory who had been elected the previous year. This indicated interesting problems for PSF in the constituency because Gregory had already, to some degree, soaked up the left Republican vote by clothing it in community activist garb. And that linked into my previous point. For PSF this was a constituency, like many in Dublin that would be hard to ‘break’ into because there were many, Gregory, Labour and indeed FF who had first mover advantage. One can only marvel at the way in which Nicky Kehoe almost made it back in the last but one election. On the other hand there was no significant WP or DL presence here throughout the 20 odd years since unlike other constituencies, which counterintuitively might have been a problem in the 1980s and early 1990s but as time went on become yet another source of votes in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Finally, interesting to see that the fada’s are hand rendered. Them were the days…


1. Dinheiro Internet - Blog de Dinheiro » Permalink for : The Left Archive: The “Inner City Republican” - Provisional Sinn Féin in 1983. - November 21, 2007

[…] God’s Politics – Jim Wallis blog, faith blog, religion, christian, christianity, politics, val… wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptThe Left Archive: The “Inner City Republican” – Provisional Sinn Féin in 1983. November 21, 2007 Posted by WorldbyStorm in Left Archive, Sinn Féin. […]


2. Garibaldy - November 21, 2007

Interesting to note that Burke was introduced by then Vice President Adams. I wonder if the President was opposed to the move, or sidelined or what


3. WorldbyStorm - November 21, 2007

Surely not!


4. Leveller on the Liffey - November 23, 2007

Re SF’s Inner City Republican news-sheet (1983)

No major mystery about the omission of Tony Gregory in the copy – why give publicity to your political rivals, especially when they are fishing for the same voters as yourselves?


5. WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2007

Of course, that’s very true.


6. Wednesday - November 23, 2007

Interesting to note that Burke was introduced by then Vice President Adams. I wonder if the President was opposed to the move, or sidelined or what

Or maybe he just wasn’t available. Jeez. Some people see conspiracies in everything …


7. Garibaldy - November 23, 2007

Not available for as significant a move as this was made out to be in the leaflet? I’d be EXTREMELY surprised. But you might be right.


8. WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2007

Well in truth, who knows. It’s only a small leaflet and in the context of the broader SF approach at that time I’m sure there was a fair bit of boosterism about their chances, etc, so no, probably not as significant as they make it out to be, or as it was perceived at the time.


9. Garibaldy - November 24, 2007

So in the context of a power struggle which, IIRC, saw Adams become President that year with a clear intention to get more and more involved in elections – and long after the change in leadership to the north in the other half of the walnut – it’s an accident that one of the first of the new wave candidacies in the south sees Gerry A launch the candidate and not the incumbent. Maybe I’m too suspicious, but seems like a large coincidence to me.


10. Wednesday - November 24, 2007

You are Ed Moloney and I claim my €5 🙂


11. Garibaldy - November 24, 2007

The cheque’s in the post.


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