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Irish Left Archive: Official Sinn Féin: Imperialism and the Irish Nation, Repsol No. 9, c. early 1970s January 3, 2011

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

To download please click on following link: OSF IMPER&IRISH

This document – donated by Jim Monaghan, for which many thanks – is part of the Repsol (Republican Socialist) series of pamphlets issued by Official Sinn Féin in the early 1970s (date unfortunately unknown). It lays out its theoretical framework from the start.

The main conflict which affects the lives and destinies of the Irish people today is that between English imperialism and the Irish nation.

It continues:

The character of conflicts within the nation can be of vital importance in affecting the struggle between the nation and Britain, primarily because the divisions within the nation affect the character of the national independence movement: they give rise to the existence of compromising sections who may seek to do a deal with imperialism in certain conditions.

It notes…

The most important conflicts within the nation are those between employers and employees, between British and foreign-owned business and Irish-owned business, and between the pro-imperialist section of the population, mainly the Unionists and the Fine Gael Castle Catholics in the South, and the rest of the nation.

The document also notes … ‘the existence of potential allies among the ‘democracy’ of Britain – the common people – and particularly in the Labour and trade union movement in that country. There has always been a tradition of support – though frequently a very slender one, for Irish national aspirations among the most progressive and anti-imperialist sections of the British people, and particularly the British workers who numerically predominate in that country.’

And it is useful to see that the outline of ‘the main elements of British imperialist domination’ are primarily…

Political union with the Six Counties, and military occupation of that area by British forces…[…] Economic domination of the Six counties…

There is more to the analysis contained within the pamphlet, but it indicates a clear emphasis on the economic nature of imperialism military, at least as it impacts upon Ireland, in the approach of Official Sinn Féin albeit one which is encapsulated within a familiar rhetoric of contextualising it in relation to England or Britain.


1. Just saying - January 4, 2011

repsol stood for REPublican SOLdier, hence Repsol as opposed to RepSoc.


WorldbyStorm - January 4, 2011

You may well be right though on p365 of the Lost Revolution it states that it was short for Republican Socialist Publications and when I was in the WP that was certainly what I understood the meaning to be.

That said I suspect people projected whatever they wanted onto the name so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some people thought it meant republican soldier.


ejh - January 4, 2011

That said I suspect people projected whatever they wanted onto the name



Ciarán - January 4, 2011

I was under that impression as well.


2. Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung - January 12, 2011

[…] Rights Association (NICRA): DIRECT RULE: Civil Rights NOT Civil War (1972) * Official Sinn Féin: Imperialism and the Irish Nation, Repsol No. 9 […]


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