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The Left Archive: IRSP Hunger Strike Bulletin No. 1, 1980 September 29, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Republican Socialist Party.


A document from the Irish Republican Socialist Party which I won’t say too much about because I hope to have a bit more information from the person who donated it.

Suffice it to say that this was issued by the IRSP in 1980 shortly after the assassination of Ronnie Bunting by the UDA. Bunting was in some respects an intriguing figure, son of Ronald Bunting, follower of Paisley, he was a former member of the OIRA and later INLA member.

As significant is the concentration on the first wave of hunger strikes that year, where one member of the INLA, John Nixon participated. He is, given first place in this document although it gives equal space to the PIRA members on hunger strike.

In some respects there is a remarkable lack of ideology for a document – even in the context of its subject matter – issued by a left wing party and the linkage to the 19th century hunger strikes would appear to link into a different discourse entirely.


1. Omar Little - September 29, 2008

The hunger strikers name was John Nixon.


2. WorldbyStorm - September 29, 2008

Apologies Omar, the danger of typing after midnight. Amended.


3. Mark P - September 29, 2008

You are right about the “lack of ideology”. The document contains almost no analysis of anything. That’s probably not an accident, given that the IRSP has never really been united around a coherent political viewpoint.


4. Robert - September 29, 2008

If analysis is what your after then I would suggest the Starry Plough or the various policy documents issed at the time and not a bulletin issued for a single issue such as the 1980 hungerstrike.


5. WorldbyStorm - September 29, 2008

Surely, and incidentally while I think we have one copy more would be gratefully received, but I think it’s interesting (and I’m not being pejorative here) that the furnace of the first wave of those hunger strikes was such that they didn’t make any mention of their ideology.


6. Seosamh - June 3, 2009

The *Hunger Strike Bulletin* seems to have only had four monthly issues, ending in Dec 1980–at least the Linen Hall Library only has these four issues. The gap seems to have been filled by the *Hunger-Strike Newsheet* (issued by the National H-Block/Armagh Committee), which began its weekly run on 22 March 1980. BTW it has a more ideological bent. Hope this is of relevance.


7. From 1980 -Hunger Strike Bulletin -Issue 2 -IRSP « Irish Election Literature Blog - November 2, 2010

[…] First off many thanks to the sender. I’m afraid, despite my best efforts, that its quite difficult to read in parts. Its issue 2 of the IRSPs Hunger Strike Bulletin produced during the ‘First Hunger strike’ in 1980. The Hunger Strike began on October 27th 1980. Among the Seven initial Hunger Strikers was INLA member John Nixon. This issue contains a letter from John Nixon and a diary of events for the period between the 26th of October and the 4th of November. Issue one is posted HERE […]


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