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Left Archive: The Republican Movement and Socialism, 1950-70, Jim Lane, originally published in the Starry Plough (IRSP), 1987 September 27, 2010

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

Please click on following link to download the document: The Republican Movement and Socialism, 1950-70

Next week we will have a most interesting document from the British Labour Party Young Socialists. But this week we return to Jim Lane who as noted here and here has been involved in Socialist and Republican politics from the 1950s.

It’s important as a preface to acknowledge both the work Jim Lane has put into writing this and making it available for publication and the work Conor McCabe has put into compiling it for release – and indeed the broader research he has been conducting the fruits of which are evident in the Open History and on both the Irish Left Review and the Irish History. This and other documents from Jim Lane will provide a key element of the Archive over the next six months as they are posted up.

This document by Jim Lane provides an analysis of The Republican Movement and Socialism, 1950-70 and was originally published as a supplement to the Starry Plough (organ of the Irish Republican Socialist Party) in December 1987. This version was a revised and updated piece from 1989 (and there is some prescience in the analysis that the then WP had tilted to reformism and was in the process of becoming a second Labour Party).

The text itself provides a fascinating critique of the narrative that the Republican Movement was shifting towards socialism during the early 1960s and argues that conservative strands remained pre-eminent within it throughout that period and afterwards. There’s certainly some telling quotations such as one from a front page article in the United Irishman from 1965 which berated the introduction of English as part of the Mass.

A very useful addition to the Archive and once again many thanks to Jim and Conor.


1. Phil - September 27, 2010

one from a front page article in the United Irishman from 1965 which berated the introduction of English as part of the Mass



shane - September 27, 2010

They wanted Irish, not Latin


Mark P - September 27, 2010



2. Budapestkick - September 27, 2010

Hm. I came across this in Cork City Library before. It’s an interesting document but I notice that most of the quotes Lane uses to berate the 60s leadership are from 1965 or earlier. A look at the 67/68/69 UIs show that there had been a sea-change by then with the leftists in ascendancy and economic resistance in full swing.


Mark P - September 27, 2010

Well yes, it’s an extremely tendentious document when it comes to analysis. The overriding concern seems to be proving that the Officials were always a shower of reformist bastards.

However, as an odd hybrid of a Maoish critique of Moscow type Communism and an Irpish critique of Stickyism it’s fascinating. It also reveals a lot of interesting details, some of MacGiolla’s speeches being particularly amusing in hindsight. And the stuff about the English Mass is priceless.

A great addition to the archive.


3. V07768198309 - September 28, 2010

More Jobs, No Debt, No Fear.
Prosperous, Fair and Stable.


4. Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung - September 30, 2010

[…] Jim Lane: The Republican Movement and Socialism, 1950-70 […]


5. jneilson - September 30, 2010

When the Republican Movement split in 1969/70 the line that was spread was that it was a ‘Left’ / Right divide.The media played a great hand in this. People like Cathal Goulding and Tom Gill were treated by them as though they were the Irish Che Guevaras. I really enjoyed the piece about Tom Gill comparing himself with Castro, it gave us a flavour of how the media were treating them at the time.
I believe the interview Goulding gave to’This Week’ in July 1970is is very revealing. How right Jim was when he pointed to the fact that the sequence of declaring the RM now stood for A Socialist Republic, was that the IRA declaration was tailed by Sinn Fein’s declaration. As he said, ‘truly indicative of a socialist party’,- The army decided, the party followed.


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