jump to navigation

Left Archive: The Bottom Dog: The Working Class Paper of North Munster – August 6th, 1976 February 7, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Bottom Dog - Working Class Paper of North Munster, Uncategorized.

To download this file please click on the following link: AUG Btm dog 76

This periodical, of which a number were donated on behalf of Mick Ahern and Tom Hayes to the Left Archive – for which we’re extremely grateful, is a fascinating addition. The paper which was published on a very regular basis had the subheading that it was ‘the working class paper of North Munster’.

From the striking cover image, a photograph of then Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave sitting in the turret of an armoured car to a broad ranging contents from local activism on the union front, issues of state repression and more international issues including boycotts on South Africa and the situation in Chile.

The editorial notes that:

The Bottom Dog is not a platform for any political party or faction. It is rather a forum open to all workers who wish to contribute articles or ideas etc. The paper covers issues where the working class is under attack or on the advance e.g. redundancies, unemployment, wage freezes and attacks on workers’ rights, repression, sex discrimination and womens’ rights, strikes, sit-ins and trade unionisation, especially when they relate to, affect, teach lessons or show the way forward for workers in this country.

Mick Ahern also offers the following thoughts on the periodical:

It was a collective of sorts…the prime mover according to my recollection was Joe Harrington. Joe had a keen sense of commitment and was determined to build. Some of those involved were Labour Left while others were ex-members of Official Sinn Fein (mainly IRSP) – Joe Harrington (Limerick) , Tom Hayes (Castleconnell & Shannon), Aileen Dillane, Jim Curtin, Dave Lee, Paddy Kenneally (Ennis) and Padraig Malone.

Nationally it was the time of the Heavy Gang, the attempt to destroy the IRSP at birth…

At that time Labour in Limerick was personified by Jim Kemmy. Jim was regarded as a supporter of BICO by some… Many felt that it would be desirable to develop an alternative left. 

The Bottom Dog had excellent contacts in the Local Trade Unions and community organisations.

Then there was the recent experiences of Czechoslovakia and Chile and the arrival of a number of Chilean emigres in the area. 

What is perhaps most notable apart from the varied nature of the content is the quality of the production. More copies will be posted online over the rest of the year.


1. Tweets that mention Left Archive: The Bottom Dog: The Working Class Paper of North Munster – August 6th, 1976 « The Cedar Lounge Revolution -- Topsy.com - February 7, 2011

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Northern Ireland, Cedar Lounge Revol. Cedar Lounge Revol said: Left Archive: The Bottom Dog: The Working Class Paper of North Munster – August 6th, 1976: To download this fil… http://bit.ly/gZu1n8 […]


2. Jim Monaghan - February 7, 2011

Joe was a member of the RMG later MSR and then PD. He now supports the ULA along with the other former members of the RMG in Limerick.A great guy from Lyrecumpane in North Kerry.
He has an online radio program on Irish music.


3. Jim Monaghan - February 7, 2011
4. Garibaldy - February 7, 2011

This is fascinating. Impressive stuff too. Thanks for it WBS.


5. Jim Monaghan - February 7, 2011

Bottom Dog and Joe Harrington would be opposed to Kemmy on the North. Joe and his comrades would be Connolly Socialists and were mainly PD. The personal relations with Kemmy were friendly in spite of that difference.
Kemmy was a democrat and would have nothing to do with witchhunting.


6. Terry McDermott - February 7, 2011

Anyone out there with backissues of Kemmy’s newspaper- Limerick Socialist?


Joe Harrington - February 22, 2011

I passed on a good number of them to Pat O’Connor recently. The content of the Limerick Socialist was more local history than political. Pat’s e-mail is


7. Starkadder - February 7, 2011

Very interesting.

A publication that seemed to be similar was
“The National Crumb” ,published by the
Cork Unemployed Action Group in the mid-80s. I’ve heard about TNC but never seen a copy.


8. Death of the Sunday Tribune « Tomás Ó Flatharta - February 8, 2011
9. Limerick, The Left , The 1977 General Election « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - July 4, 2011

[…] was sponsored by The Limerick Working Class paper The Bottom Dog (There is an issue of it in The Left Archive) Harrington polled 122 votes, Reynolds 262 and Kemmy 2,333 votes. Click on image to enlarge. […]


10. Left Archive: The Bottom Dog, Vol. 3, No. 57, January 1976 | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - July 15, 2013

[…] As noted with the first of TBD’s placed in the Archive: […]


11. Starkadder - August 26, 2015
12. Brian Hanley - August 26, 2015

Very sorry to hear that.


WorldbyStorm - August 26, 2015

Likewise. Sad news.


13. Mark P - August 26, 2015
WorldbyStorm - August 26, 2015

Thanks MarkP – very nice overview of his life and activism.


14. Was Liam Cosgrave’s 1973-77 Fine Gael-Labour Coalition the worst-ever Dublin Government? | Tomás Ó Flatharta - May 15, 2020

Leave a 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 )

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: