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The Left and Elections in Rural Ireland 1973 to present October 5, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics, Local Politics, The Left.
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The recent thread on WUAG leaving the ULA asked about the strength of the Left in rural Ireland.
Now I know electoralism is frowned upon by some on the Left but I figured electoral activity was a good way of trying to measure the strength or indeed presence of the Left in various places.
I have a good deal of old local election results myself in spreadsheets and books and old newspaper results supplements as well as electionsireland.org.
The only area where this may be incomplete results wise is Town Councils and UDCs.
I did my best in identifying what part of the political spectrum Independents were and I may have missed out various candidates or included in error .
Labour and Sinn Fein not counted as ‘Left’ for this.

From the below results it can be seen that from 1973 to today every county bar Leitrim has had a candidate from a Left party. This in turn would indicate that there was at some point a party organisation within those counties.

One thing that struck me looking at the results was how widespread OSF/SFWP/ WP were. As a party Dail seat wise and poll wise their trajectory went upwards from 1981 until the DL split. Yet its in 1979 that they had a far bigger geographical spread of candidates  with candidates put forward in Cavan,Mayo, Laois, Offaly , Longford and Sligo. These were places where they never stood again. Did the local organisations die out in that time?

Carlow –
There have been OSF/WP candidates in General Elections for Carlow Kilkenny but these were all Kilkenny based.
Only record of a Left candidate I can find is Margaret O’Brien who ran for the Workers Party in the 1985 Local Elections in Carlow where she polled 91 votes.

Cavan
General Elections -No disernable Left candidates
Elected in Local Elections
Paul Doran elected as an Indpendent Socialist in for Cavan UDC in 1985

Candidates in Local Elections
Bailieborough 1979 -James Finnegan SFWP 50 votes

Clare
General Elections
Feb 1982 -Brigid Makowski IRSP -232
1987 Brigid Makowski Ind 644
1997 Brigid Makowski Ind 944

Local Elections
Elected
1991 -Brigid Makowski Ind -Shannon 545 votes
1982 Brigid Makowski IRSP -Shannon TC
1985 Brigid Makowski Ind -Shannon TC
1994 Brigid Makowski Ind -Shannon TC 345

Candidates
1974 -Siobhan Thomas OSF -Ennis 137 votes
1979 -Peter Lawlor SLP -Ennis 71
1979 -Gerry Hourigan SFWP -Ennis 138
1979 -James Tierney SFWP -Ennistymon 51
1985 -Brigid Makowski IND?- Shannon 372
1985 Dermot Hayes WP -Ennis 186
1999 Dominic Haugh SP -Shannon 108
2004 Damon Wise SWP -Shannon 27
2004 Damon Wise SWP -Shannon TC 15
2004 Karen Wise SWP -Shannon 6
2004 Karen Wise SWP -Shannon TC 5
2009 Damon Wise Ind -Shannon 42
2009 Karen Wise Ind -Shannon TC 16

Donegal
General Elections
Thomas Pringle Ind 2010 Donegal SW By Election 3438
Thomas Pringle 2011 Donegal SW 5,845
Seamus Rodgers stood in 1973, 1977,1980 By Election, Feb 1982, Nov 1982, 1983 by-election,1987, 1989 and 1992 for SF,SFWP,WP and DL without being elected
his record is here

Local Elections
Elected
1974 Seamus Rodgers OSF -Glenties 1580
1979 Seamus Rodgers SFWP -Glenties 1519
1985 Seamus Rodgers WP -Glenties 1352
1991 Seamus Rodgers WP -Glenties 1427
1999 Thomas Pringle Ind -Donegal 954
2009 Thomas Pringle Ind -Donegal 1501
2009 Tom Crossan LRP -Letterkenny TC 417

Candidates
1974 Sean O’Donnell OSF -Letterkenny 598
1979 Sean O’Donnell SFWP -Letterkenny 484
1979 Michael Byrne SFWP – Donegal 192
1994 D Doyle DL -Ballyshannon TC 66
2004 Francis McCafferty -SP -Letterkenny TC 64

Galway (County Council)
Local Candidates
1974 Jimmy Brick OSF -Galway 356
1979 Tony Coffey SFWP-Galway 872
1985 Colm Ó Donnchadha WP -Galway 271
1985 Stan MacEoin – WP -Loughrea 246
1991 Stan MacEoin – WP -Loughrea 338

Kerry
General Elections
1973 Paddy Callaghan OSF -Kerry South 1,014
1977 Redmond O’Sullivan OSF -Kerry South 1,065
Nov 1982 Sean O’Grady WP -Kerry South 679
1987 Sean O’Grady WP -Kerry South 735

Local Elections
Elected
1974 Sean O’Grady WP -Killarney TC
1979 Sean O’Grady WP -Killarney TC
1985 Sean O’Grady WP -Killarney TC
1991 Sean O’Grady WP -Killarney TC
1994 Sean O’Grady Ind -Killarney TC 356
1999 Sean O’Grady Ind -Killarney TC 546

Candidates
1974 Redmond O’Sullivan OSF -Killarney 1,255
1979 Redmond O’Sullivan SFWP -Killarney 1,159
1985 Donal Tobin WP – Tralee  413
1985 Paddy Callaghan WP -Killorglin 169
1985 Sean O’Grady WP -Killarney 987
1985 Redmond O’Sullivan Ind -Killarney 670
2009 Sean Moraghan PBPA -Tralee TC 127

Kildare
General Elections

Elected
2011 Catherine Murphy Ind -6911
Catherine Murphy 2005 Kildare North By Election 5,985

Candidates

1987 Colm Purcell WP -1238 votes
1989 Catherine Murphy WP – 1520
1992 Catherine Murphy DL – 1,613
1997 Catherine Murphy DL – 2,762
2007 Catherine Murphy Ind -5,188

Local Elections -Elected
1985 Colm Purcell WP – Celbridge 722
1991 Catherine Murphy WP -Celbridge 1,242
2004 Catherine Murphy Ind -Leixlip 2,101
2009 Catherine Murphy Ind -Leixlip 4,499
2004 Catherine Murphy Ind Leixlip TC 1,225
1994 Catherine Murphy DL Leixlip TC 546
1994 F Purcell DL Leixlip TC 544
1991 Catherine Murphy WP Leixlip TC
1988 Catherine Murphy WP Leixlip TC

Candidates
1979 Colm Purcell SFWP -Clane 437
1979 Myles McGrath SFWP – Naas 135
1985 Dan O’Sullivan WP -Naas 313
1991 Eugene Little WP -Athy 51
1991 Mary larkin WP -Naas  263
1994 G McDonagh DL -Leixlip TC 134

Kilkenny
-Sean Walsh WP 1977,1981,feb 82, Nov 82  results at electionsireland.org
1989 Liam Quigley WP 1,159

2011 Conor Mac Liam SP 1,135

Council Elected

1974 Sean Walsh OSF -Piltown 649
1979 Sean Walsh SFWP -Piltown 810
1985 Sean Walsh WP -Piltown 1145
Liam Quigley was also a Councillor on Kilkenny Corporation from 1985

candidates

1974 Patrick Murphy OSF -Piltown 160
1979 Joe Doyle  SFWP -Thomastown 276
1979 Bill Kelly SFWP -Piltown 181
1979 Anne Croke SFWP -Piltown 107
1985 Joe Doyle WP -Thomastown 301
1985 Noel O’Farrell WP -Kilkenny 198
1991 Martin Kennedy WP -Piltown 396
1991 Joe Butler WP – Kilkenny 268
1994 Joe Butler DL -Kilkenny Borough -263
1999 Davy Walsh WP -Piltown 269

Laois
General
2011 Raymond Fitzpatrick SP  561

Local Election candidates

1979 Gabriel Lalor SFWP -Portlaoise 123

Leitrim
Couldn’t find anyone with a left banner in Local elections.
Declan Bree would have been Sligo Town based.

Longford

Local Election candidates

1979 Packs Prunty SFWP -Longford 119
1979 Tom Connolly SFWP -Longford 113

Louth

General Election candidates
1973 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill OSF 1450
1977 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill OSF 1894
1981 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill SFWP 785
Feb 82 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill SFWP 742
Nov 82 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill WP 671
1987 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill WP 570
1992 Peter Short WP 249
2002 Peter Short WP 176
2007 Peter Short WP 193

Local Elections

Elected

1974 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill OSF -Drogheda
1979 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill SFWP -Drogheda 664
2009 Frank Gallagher SP -Drogheda BC 504

Candidates

1974 Maurice Coffey OSF -Dundalk 355
1979 Rose Hickey SFWP -Ardee 82
1979 Tim Morgan SFWP -Dundalk 184
1979 Joe Coyle SFWP – Drogheda 166
1985 Pat Rooney WP -Dundalk Rural 146
1985 Tim Morgan WP – Dundalk Urban 126
1985 John McKenna WP -Drogheda Urban 103
1991 Peter Short WP -Dundalk Urban 237
1991 Donnchadha MacRaghnaill Ind – Drogheda Urban 149
1999 Peter Short WP -Dundalk South 197
1999 Peter Short WP -Dundalk No 1 TC  211
2004 Frank Gallagher SP -Drogheda No 1.  437
2009 Peter Short WP -Dundalk C TC  183
2009 Peter Short WP -Dundalk South 241
2009 Syd Smyth PBPA – Dundalk W TC 51

Mayo

Local Election candidate
1979 Cathal Quinn SFWP -Killala 323

Meath

General Elections
2011 Seamus McDonagh WP Meath West 189
1997 Christy Gorman DL 798
1992 Christy Gorman DL 809
1989 Christy Gorman WP 628
1989 John King WP  262
1987 Seamus McDonagh WP 790

Local Elections

Elected

1991 Christy Gorman WP -Navan 663

Candidates

1979 Olive Rogers SFWP -Kells 74
1979 Jim O’Brien SPI -Navan 79
1985 Seamus McDonagh WP – Navan 354
1985 John King WP -Dunshaughlin 243
1991 John King WP -Dunshaughlin 417
1991 Christy Gorman Ind -Navan 583
1994 Christy Gorman DL – Navan TC 713

Monaghan
Dail
David Vipond CPI-ML 1973 Monaghan By-Election 175

Local Election Candidates
1974 Pat john McKenna OSF -Monaghan 194
1974 Owen Kirk OSF -Carrickmacross 194
1974 Peadar Doyle OSF – Carrickmacross 119
1974 P. Ó Maolagain OSF -Castleblaney 98
1979 Michael McKenna SFWP -Monaghan 119
1979 Francis O’Donoghue SFWP -Carrickmacross 157
1979 Owen Kirk SFWP – Carrickmacross 118
1985 Francis O’Donoghue WP -Carrickmacross 193
1991 Francis O’Donoghue WP -Carrickmacross 249

Offaly
No Offaly based General Election candidates

Local Election candidates
1979 James Corcoran SFWP -Tullamore 74

Roscommon
No Roscommon based General Election candidates

Local Election candidates
2009 Tim Stevens PBPA – Mid Roscommon 119

Sligo

General

Declan Bree’s Electoral record at electionsireland.org

Local Elections
Elected
1974 Declan Bree Sligo Corp 348
1974 Declan Bree Sligo CoCo 550
1979 Declan Bree ISP Sligo Corp 451
1979 Declan Bree ISP Sligo CoCo 1154
1985 Declan Bree ISP Sligo Corp 668
1985 Declan Bree ISP Sligo CoCo 960
1991 Declan Bree ISP Sligo -Sligo CoCo 675
2009 Declan Bree Sligo Corp East 912

Candidates
1979 David Smith ISP Sligo Corp 135
1979 Michael Leyden SFWP Sligo Corp 47
1979 Martin Gaffney ISP Sligo Corp 89
1979 Michael Leyden SFWP Sligo CoCo 167
1985 Pat Fallon ISP Sligo Corp 62
1985 Pat Fallon ISP Drumcliffe -Sligo CoCo 62
1985 John Harrison ISP Drumcliffe -Sligo CoCo 175
1991 John McCarrick ISP -Ballymote-Sligo CoCo 271
1991 Pat Fallon ISP Sligo -Sligo CoCo 111
1991 John Harrison ISP Drumcliffe -Sligo CoCo 282
1991 Frank Dobbs ISP Drumcliffe -Sligo CoCo 117

Tipperary
General Elections
Elected
Seamus Healy WUAG 2000 Tipp South By- Election 9,419
2011 Seamus Healy WUAG/ULA 8,818
2002 Seamus Healy WUAG 7,350

Not Elected
2007 Seamus Healy WUAG 5,707
Phil Prendergast WUAG 2001 Tipp South By- Election 7,897
1987 Seamus Healy 1,457
1987 Sean Hill WP 407
1989 Seamus Healy WUAG 2,859
1992 Seamus Healy WUAG 4,023
1997 Seamus Healy WUAG 5,814

Local Elections
Elected
1991 Seamus Healy WUAG -Clonmel 1582
1991 Christy Kinahan Ind -Tipperary 766
1999 Christy Kinahan Ind -Tipperary 908
1999 Phil Prendergast WUAG -Clonmel 463
1999 Seamus Healy WUAG -Clonmel 1525
1999 Seamus Healy WUAG -Clonmel BC 1111
1999 Phil Prendergast WUAG -Clonmel BC 370
1999 Billy Shoer WUAG -Clonmel BC 337
1999 Brian O’Donnell WUAG -Clonmel BC 231
2004 Christy Kinahan Ind -Tipperary 721
2004 Phil Prendergast WUAG -Clonmel 1353
2004 Billy Shoer WUAG -Clonmel 866
2004 Pat English WUAG -Clonmel 802
2004 Phil Prendergast WUAG -Clonmel BC 666
2004 Billy Shoer WUAG -Clonmel BC 537
2004 Pat English WUAG -Clonmel BC 482
2004 Brian O’Donnell WUAG -Clonmel BC 394
2009 Seamus Healy WUAG -Clonmel 2366
2009 Pat English  WUAG -Clonmel 674
2009 Seamus Healy WUAG -Clonmel BC 1602
2009 Pat English  WUAG -Clonmel BC 443
2009 Brian O’Donnell WUAG -Clonmel BC  235
2009 Teresa Ryan WUAG -Clonmel BC 206
2009 Billy Shoer WUAG -Clonmel BC 423
2009 Martin Henzey WUAG -Carrick On Suir TC 170

Not Elected
1985 Sean Hill WP -Cashel 299
1985 Christy Kinahan WP -Tipperary 636
1985 Michael Langton WP -Fethard 178
1985 Seamus Healy Ind -Clonmel 535
1991 Peadar O’Donnell WP -Tipperary 83
1991 Brian O’Donnell WUAG -Clonmel 452
1999 Brian O’Donnell WUAG -Clonmel 261
1999 Billy Shoer WUAG -Clonmel 313
2009 Billy Shoer WUAG -Clonmel 580

Westmeath
No Westmeath based General Election candidates

Local Election candidate
1985 Patrick Boyce WP -Mullingar Urban 19

Wexford
General Election candidates
2011 Seamus O’Brien PBPA 741
1997 Michael Enright DL 1454
1992 Michael Enright DL 797
1989 Michael Enright WP 1049
1987 Michael Enright WP 1250
Nov 1982 John Roche WP 920

Local Elections

Elected
1985 M Enright WP Wexford BC
1994 M Enright DL Wexford BC 374
1994 S O’Brien Ind New Ross TC 194

Candidates
1974 Sean Doyle OSF -Enniscorthy 511
1974 Sean Rossiter OSF -Wexford 196
1979 Tom Murphy SFWP -Gorey 145
1979 Sean Rossiter SFWP -Wexford 167
1979 John Teehan SLP -Wexford 116
1979 Michael Enright SLP -Wexford 113
1985 Richard Synott WP -Enniscorthy 144
1985 Ingrid O’Brien WP -New Ross 142
1985 Michael Enright WP -Wexford 480
1991 Michael Enright WP -Wexford 893
1994 J Corish WP Wexford 122
1994 D Hynes DL Wexford 118
2004 John Carty SWP – Gorey 189
2004 Seamus O’Brien Ind -New Ross TC 80

Cork,Galway City, Limerick, Waterford, Wicklow and Dublin are possibly worth posts of their own.

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Comments»

1. Jolly Red Giant - October 6, 2012

A couple of bits of information – the Militant ran a number of members in the locals in 1985 as LP candidates – off hand I can remember Mick Martin somewhere in Dublin, Seamus O’Brien who was elected in New Ross and there was a candidate somewhere in Kildare. Militant members stod regularly in Letterkenny in 1979 and the 1980s.

Secondly – the SWP candidates in Clare in 2004, Damon and Karen Wise, were not actually members of the SWP. Damon has stood in a number of local elections as a disability rights candidate (Damon has Aspergers). In 2004 he couldn’t get enough signatures to be nominated as an independent so he rang around asking parties to nominate him and his wife – the SWP agreed. While Damon has some left leaning views he really should not be classed as a left wing candidate and his wife most certainly should not.

Liked by 1 person

Pidge - October 6, 2012

Damon is also a member of the Greens, but was left alone to run in the locals as far as I remember.

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2. Jolly Red Giant - October 6, 2012

If I remember correctly Greg Duff stood for the Peoples Democracy in Shannon in the Town Commissioners election in 1982 (got something like 29 votes) – he’s now a LP town councillor.

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Greg Duff - October 21, 2012

Thats correct I stood for Peoples Democracy in 1982. Joe Harrington, Mary O’ Donnell & Pat O’ Connor helped me in the campaign. Al Dowie signed my papers he had come to.. Shannon from the Shankill Road, East Belfast. Before getting eventually elected to the Town Commissioners, I secured a co-option on to the Town Commissioners with the support of Bridget Makowski IRSP,, Sinn Fein, Labour & Fine Gael

Greg Duff

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3. Jolly Red Giant - October 6, 2012

David Vipond stood for the CPI (ML) in a by election in Monaghan in a by election in 1973 and got 175 votes. I believe the CPI (ML) were going through their ‘peasant army’ building phase at the time. From what I have been told Vipond organised buses from Trinity (he was SU president) to go to Monaghan to canvass for him.

He also stood in South Down in the 1974 general election getting 152 votes. Apparently they were very disappointed with that result after their major vocal support for the UWC strike earlier in the year.

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4. Jolly Red Giant - October 6, 2012

Scratch the Vipond one (although I do like publicising the fact that the CPI (ML) were the only left group to support the UWC strike) I missed it the first time around.

Another one for the list –
Stella Fean (Brigid Makowski’s daughter) stood for the IRSP with her mother in (I think) 1985 locals in Shannon and got (I think) about 150 votes without being elected.

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Ed - October 6, 2012

BICO? (if we’re calling them left). What was the CPI-ML’s line on the UWC? I thought they were all about ‘critical support’ for the Provos at that time. Isn’t that where the story about Vipond during that by-election comes from, that he was chased off some farmer’s land after referring to the strength of anti-imperialist consciousness among ‘the peasantry of Monaghan’.

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John Goodwillie - October 6, 2012

I don’t remember support for the UWC strike. I do remember the newspaper from one of the CPI-ML’s predecessors around 1968 which told us that the Irish peasantry were at that time tenants whose landlords practiced the jus primae noctis.

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Dr.Nightdub - October 6, 2012

The version of the story I heard was that he began an election speech with “Comrade peasants…”

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WorldbyStorm - October 6, 2012

Wasn’t it B&ICO who supported the UWC strike, not CPI (ML)? In the Archive there’s a B&ICO pamphlet on same. Can’t see CPI (ML) in any period of its existence doing that.

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Jolly Red Giant - October 6, 2012

The CPI (ML) were openly supportive of the UWC strike. The evidence has been provided on this blog on more than one occassion.

The CPI (ML) published ‘An analysis of the significance of the Ulster Workers’ Strike, May 14 – 30, 1974′ as part of ‘A series of articles from Red Patriot editorial staff.’ and published by the ‘Necessity for Change Institute of Anti-Imperialist Studies, 1974’.

the article was entitled ‘Strike of Ulster Workers Deals Severe Blow to the British Monopoly Capitalist Class and Marks Growing Revolutionary Trend Amongst Ulster Workers’.

The strike was lauded as a sign that “the workers of Ulster are going to participate in proletarian socialist revolution, are going to unite with their fellow Irish workers to settle matters with the British imperialists …”

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WorldbyStorm - October 6, 2012

That’s a really interesting light you shed there JRG on the CPI (ML)’s stance during that period – I hadn’t realised they took a line indistinguishable from B&ICO. One wonders what they thought of it subsequently.

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Hardy Bains - October 6, 2012

CPI-M-L were anti-assembly but hardly supportive of the loyalist strike. They called the two-nations analysis a bogus analysis, one fostered by the bourgeoisie to split the working class. They were critically supportive of the Provos and had to endure death threats by loyalist paramilitaries in Belfast for their efforts.

At the same time, Militant was calling for the creation of a new, armed, Irish Citizens Army that would work in both loyalist and republican areas and unite the working class.

It’s first job would be to disarm bogus militias such as the Provos, the UDA and the UVF, and it called on the Irish trade union movement to be at the vanguard of this new armed citizens army.

At least one of these groups was in La-La land, not sure quite which one, though.

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Jim Monaghan - October 6, 2012

I remember a headline in the Red Patriot supporting the Loyalist lockout.

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gabbagabbahey - October 6, 2012

I looked that up earlier, it’s on Dublin Opinion here: http://dublinopinion.com/2011/01/06/red-patriot-1-june-1974-election-special/

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WorldbyStorm - October 6, 2012

Wow, they did support it. Sort of anyhow. Them and B&ICO.

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Jim Monaghan - October 6, 2012

Didn’t BICO p[ublish a pro UWC paper during the lockout.

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5. Jolly Red Giant - October 6, 2012

Mistake on my part – the vote for Brigid and Stella together was about 150 – Stella probably got between 20 and 30 votes.

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6. John Goodwillie - October 6, 2012

From memory, Socialist Labour Party candidates in 1979 also included Paul Doran in Cavan (later Ind Soc as you say), and Arthur or Assumpta Broomfield in Portlaoise (later PD).

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7. WorldbyStorm - October 6, 2012

IELB has a good amount of SLP stuff over at Irish Election Literature Blog.

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8. Blissett - October 6, 2012

If Dundalk, Sligo, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Portlaoise, Ennis, Navan and Drogheda are ‘rural ireland’, then Dublin must be a market town.

Most of these aren’t truly rural in any real sense. The area which TCs only ever really take in the built up areas, so pretty much everyone with a vote lives and works in the town, and many of these are substantial towns.

Now it does reflect a reasonable spread around the country, that’s fair to say. But no major evidence really of any ability to appeal to rural communities. Some exceptions might include Piltown, Killorglin, Dunshaughlin (then, not now), GE constituencies maybe.

I think that with some exceptions, (SF, OSF/SFWP/WP) a factor has to be how lamentably little of value the Irish left has had to say about agriculture, particularly given how significant a sector of the economy it is, and indeed given it may well increase in importance. I made this point before here, i found it incredible that the ULA had nothing to say about AEOS being scrapped, nor seeking assistance for farmers ruined by the bad weather this summer.

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feirm - October 6, 2012

fuly with you. disagree though on the position of the wp on farmers.Eoghan harris industrial revolution booklet from the 80s is an awful doc when itcomes to agri. sector. so wp have also maybe gone wrong in ways trying to shoe horn farmers into a coceptual box. hard for peoplsle to vote for parties that dont have much interest in them.

top post IEL.

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9. itsapoliticalworld - October 6, 2012

Very interesting and useful thread – thanks for compiling

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WorldbyStorm - October 6, 2012

+1, fair dues IELB

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10. Brian Hanley - October 6, 2012

‘If Dundalk, Sligo, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Portlaoise, Ennis, Navan and Drogheda are ‘rural ireland’, then Dublin must be a market town.’
That’s what I thought when I saw the list of places as well! Anyone living in, or outside one of those towns could tell there’s a pronounced sense of not being rural if your a ‘townie’. You could also trace differing voting patterns between town and country going right back to the home rule era.

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irishelectionliterature - October 6, 2012

Yes, I’m at fault there, ‘rural’ would be overstating things. The original point of the thread though is the same. that there were Left groups all over the country that faded away or never grew.
I’ve actually a good few more to add to the above list, which I’ll do at some stage.
Thanks to Jolly Red Giant and others for adding names or clarifying others.

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CL - October 6, 2012

The distinction between rural and urban Ireland is somewhat exaggerated. After all its a rather small island. Cork ‘city’ always seemed to me to be a quite charming fairly large market town. It was the butter capital of the world at one stage.
And some of Ireland’s best known radicals were products of rural areas.

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11. Florrie O'Donoghue - October 7, 2012

Although it might add several extra layers of confusion into the measure – and surely inconvenience the creator of this list (kudos, by the way) – I would think that Provisional Sinn Féin might be included from 1979 and on through the 1980s.

In terms of rhetoric, and many members, the organisation would have been considered ‘Left’ during this period. I think it was a Magill article from 1979 which asserted that, ideologically, the party was actually more ‘Left’ than even their rhetoric implied – and the rhetoric of that period was certainly full of many of the keywords that the other parties in the above list were employing.

The party had 30+ councillors in the twenty-six counties in 1983.

@JollyRedGiant:

Some very interesting points there re: Clare and Shannon, cheers for them. Greg Duff’s earlier political career was unknown to me.

I believe the provisional (pun intended) town council in Shannon, prior to its formal granting of town status, was made up of two representatives from each of the three major parties as well as Sinn Féin; which is perhaps indicative of the support the party had in the town. Although it was Brigid Makowski who took the ‘Left’ and ‘Republican’ vote in the town at its first local elections, such a seat and vote subsequently being held by Sinn Féin.

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Jolly Red Giant - October 7, 2012

What is actually a surprise in Shannon, given the fact that a third of the town was from the North, was that SF (and Makowski) could never muster more than a single seat on the town council. Over the past 30 years I don’t think the membership of SF ever went into double figures. Up to 2,500 people in Shannon were originally from the North.

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12. entdinglichung - October 8, 2012

for someone not particularly used to local politics in Ireland, would be good to have also the percentages of the votes

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13. Florrie O'Donoghue - October 8, 2012

@Jolly RedGiant

Although Shannon did and does have a sizable northern population (second and third-generation included), I am a bit sceptical about the numbers cited sometimes. I have come across references in newspapers from the 1980s attesting to one-third or one-quarter, but with no source referenced (granted, they are newspapers, not academic essays).

Certainly, in the first years of the 1970s, the proportion would have been considerable. But many of the people who first moved down from the north (particularly Belfast) subsequently returned home.

Regarding the relative underrepresentation – it still is a curious issue, you’re right. Arguably, this was down to Sinn Féin’s insistence on running northerners in the early election – and too many candidates at that – who, while they might have appealed to northern voters, appeared not to have goned own too well among others for whom Shannon became home.

Following those early mistakes, I don’t think Sinn Féin ran more than one candidate at any given time in Shannon – though ‘why not?’ is certainly a valid question.

Brigid was/is a one-woman wonder. Her votes seems to have come from hard work and people’s recognition that she would fight for them, not so much due to her political party and beliefs.

Is mise srl.

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Jolly Red Giant - October 8, 2012

You are correct about Makowski – her vote was primarily down to hard graft and a small level of support for the IRSP/INLA.

The reason that SF didn’t run more than one candidate is because the never had enouugh votes to win more than one seat and sometimes struggled at that as well. 150 votes was sufficient to win a seat in the 1980s. In 1999 SF got 250 votes – in 2004 SF got 196 (the sitting SF councillor ran as an independent) – in 2009 I think SF got about 200 votes again.

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14. Statement from David Vipond -Communist Party of Ireland (ML) 1973 Monaghan By-Election « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - October 9, 2012

[…] the recent thread on The Left and Elections in Rural Ireland 1973 to present there were some comments prompted by the CPI-ML candidacy in the 1973 Monaghan By-Election. This is […]

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15. The Weekly Archive Worker: Collectivization in Spain « Entdinglichung - October 11, 2012

[…] auf Kritische Geschichte ein Artikel zur Ernst Busch-Biographie von Jochen Voit, Poumista weist auf eine Diskussion zwischen CLR James und E.P Thompson und La Bataille Socialiste auf ein Interview mit Paul Mattick von 1978 hin und Cedar Lounge Revolution dokumentiert die Wahlergebnisse linker Parteien im ländlichen Irland 1973-2011: […]

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16. Wilson - October 21, 2012

Thanks , I have just been looking for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source?

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17. OSF/SFWP and 1979: where did branches and candidates go after that? | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - May 21, 2015

[…] And now for something entirely unrelated to the referendum. Reading back to this thought provoking p… […]

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