jump to navigation

The Irish Left Archive: Freedom News, Monthly Organ of Cork Irish Republican Socialist Party, October 1985. December 1, 2008

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

freedom-news-cover

freedom-news-cork-irsp-october-1985

I’m indebted to a contributor forwarding this document – already scanned no less – from the Cork IRSP. Dating from 1985 it notes that:

This is the first issue of “Freedom News”, the voice of Republican Socialism in Cork City. We intend to publish monthly until such time as the Republican Socialist Partys national newspaper resumes production and thus eliminates the need for localised papers.

Worth noting how it states that:

We believe that Marxism-Leninism provides the necessary method, viewpoint and science needed to define the correct strategy and tactics to defeat Capitalism and build Socialism.

There’s certainly a Cork flavour to the publication, from the cartoon about ‘moving statues’ – Ballinspittle being just a short distance from the city – to the news report about how a trip of 35 Councillors to Budapest includes… ‘only 8… from Dublin Corporation… the rest believe it or not, include Cllr’s from Cork County Council, Mayo County Council, Clonmel County Council…’

Then there is the War News section which details how ‘in a direct attack on the infrastructure of the six county statelet the Northern Brigades of the Irish National Liberation Army carried out two attacks on trains in the month of August’ and a gloomy account of the ‘Killeady Bomb’ about a booby-trap bomb ‘meant for the crown forces’ that concludes ‘It was expected that, having seen the hoax bomb, crown forces would clear civilians, including the occuppant of the house, out of the area thus activating the bomb. Unfortunately a local man, having noticed the keg, arrived at the house and detonated the device injuring himself’.

In terms of political analysis there is remarkably little. A centre spread piece “Ireland – reform or revolution” criticises the ‘reformists’ of the Labour Party, Workers’ Party and Sinn Féin, but in no great depth. And this perhaps is explained by the localised nature of the newsletter.

In contrast to the vastly more polished material emanating from its rivals one could argue that it was remarkable that such a document was produced at all.

I usually don’t censor or abridge documents, but there is one page which names some living individuals which I thought on balance it might be better to remove names and identifiers from. My apologies but the CLR has very very shallow pockets should anyone decide to take any legal action against us.

Comments»

1. NollaigO - December 1, 2008

Note the address also the address of the Cork 1960s Maoist grouping Saor Éire.
More comment later in the week.

Like

2. Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen Linken - eine Auswahl « Entdinglichung - December 1, 2008

[…] * Irish Republican Socialist Party, Cork (IRSP): Freedom Now, Oktober 1985 […]

Like

3. Garibaldy - December 1, 2008

I was struck by the shallowness of the comparison of the South African and Irish situations. The war news bit now just looks pathetic and ridiculous, as well as tragic – was firebombing the Dublin-Belfast train ever really going to drive the Brits out and establish socialism? I thought though it looked ok, and dealt with some of the local stuff well.

Like

4. Jim Monaghan - December 1, 2008

“was firebombing the Dublin-Belfast train ever really going to drive the Brits out and establish socialism”

Very true.
A lot of the military campaign defied any logic, both of the INLA and the PIRA.But the main problem is that support was confined to a minority of the minority and some other pockets. A breakthrough was mad with the H-Block struggle and the anti drigs campaigns but this was still not enough. Perhpas the flirtation with a variety of Trotskyism (Grant) will mean the victory of mass action vis a vis militarism and other shortcuts.

Like

5. Garibaldy - December 1, 2008

I think Jim a few of the leaders at the top of the IRSP would be interested in political struggle without the shortcuts, but I don’t think they reflect the majority. Although there is the ceasefire, the public display at Easter and at things like Johnnie White’s funeral is still intensely militaristic.

Like

6. Jim Monaghan - December 1, 2008

Always though of White as a decent and good person. On an aside I distinguish between the IRSP/Provos and the RAF (Red Army faction or baader/Meinoff). The Northern struggle arose out of a mass movement. It was based on a genuine upsurge, where the RAF had no links with real struggle. I gather there is an attempt to justify/glorify the Weathermen. Unlike the Black Panthers they had no links with living struggle.The Black Panthers represented a section of the oppressed in the USA.
I think the rituals of Republicanism are part of the fabric.Bombay S. and Bloody Sunday created and fanned militarism as a response.

Like

7. Garibaldy - December 1, 2008

On the aside, I think Jim that clearly the situation in NI was different to that in west Germany, or with the Weathermen.

I think on the rituals that they can become demilitarised, but that the IRSP continues to present a very militaristic face. That seems to me to be an indication of something regarding their politics.

Like

8. Shane - December 1, 2008

The censored pieces, reminded me of a highly emotive television performance by Joe Sherlock in the immediate wake of his defeat in November 82- Cork East, where he claimed that one of the victors had gone around paying ESB bills for wavering voters. So that FAS (or was it ANCO) course thing reminded me of that. Very 80s.

I think there is more than enough analysis in it for a local publication btw.

Like

9. Shane - December 1, 2008

The censored pieces, reminded me of a highly emotive television performance by Joe Sherlock in the immediate wake of his defeat in November 82- Cork East, where he claimed that one of the victors had gone around paying ESB bills for wavering voters. So that FAS (or was it ANCO) course thing reminded me of that. Very 80s.

I think there is more than enough analysis in it for a local publication btw.

Like

10. WorldbyStorm - December 1, 2008

Yeah, again, sorry about censoring it, but this isn’t as far as I can tell in the National Library (my litmus test for putting stuff out untouched) and therefore not something I want to test the water with. I had similar reservations about Éire Nua, and some of the old anti-FF OSF material, but it’s all in the NL.

Oddly looking up the NL online last week I saw that although four docs are listed under Irish Republican Socialist Party when one tries to click on them it says there are none there.

Any explanations?

Re the IRSP and the conflict, there’s no doubt – and I’ve met a few – that some good people went through that organisation. But somehow it lost its way completely. Jim, I think your point about organic conflicts is very well-made.

Like

11. Shane - December 2, 2008

That is a very fair litmus test. Wasn’t complaining.
However like a crossword puzzle I spent about 15 minutes trying to ascertain who it was. I even went and got the local election results from 1985 to see if my suspicion was right :-). Still not 100 % sure though. Wouldn’t have done that if the name wasn’t tippexed out.

Just reminded me of the Sherlock moment then. You just don’t hear of the same overt levels of clientelism today. Maybe it is a recession thing.

Like

12. Starkadder - December 2, 2008

I remember the Cork 800 celebrations…they gave us Cork 800
milk-cartons at our primary school,and did up the train station
with a C800 mural. Not that it made things much better…

Like

13. Garibaldy - December 2, 2008

At least they gave you milk instead of stealing it like Thatcher!

Like

14. Mark P - December 2, 2008

This paper looks like it was laid out by a drunken Orang Utan.

Like

15. Garibaldy - December 2, 2008

Are you suggesting Mark that the Irps are a bunch of hairy primates?

Like

16. WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2008

But clearly not an Orange Utan…

Sorry, I’ll get my coat…

Like

17. Starkadder - December 6, 2008

I vaguely remember the Ballinspittle stuff as well…poet
Kieran Furey wrote a very funny poem about the Moving Statue
craze in one of his poetry books.

Like


Leave a Reply to Garibaldy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: