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Left Archive: Interview with Proinsias De Rossa (Workers’ Party), from Gralton Magazine, Oct/Nov 1983 August 12, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download the above please click on this link here: WPDOC GRALTON2

Recently the question was posed as to what accounted for Workers’ Party policies on the North during the 1980s? This interview with Proinsias De Rossa from Gralton Magazine, Oct/Nov 1983, perhaps provides some answers pointing to the manner in which the past weighed upon those in that party, and – arguably – indicating an increasing emphasis on politics in the Republic.

Many thanks to the person who scanned these, and as a more general thought, if anyone has any issues of Gralton it would be great to add at least one to the Left Archive (if you want to read one in full thankfully Conor McCabe scanned this one here on the fantastic Irish Labour and Working Class History site).

More next week with an interview from Gralton from the same year with a (Provisional, as was) Sinn Féin AC member.


1. que - August 13, 2014

So fess up people. Did anyone in the workers party in the early 80s have an uneasy feeling that Ponce Fossa was a bit of a luadair or was his later change bolt from the blue stuff.

This is more a question on human nature than his politics. Did he always have something about him. Was it Damascene or something in hind sight that was obvious.


WorldbyStorm - August 13, 2014

I’ve mentioned it on here before, but in 1985/6 (can’t remember the year – Joe could probably help me there because we were both at the meeting) he was despatched by the powers that be to assure the local branches that the candidate one P McCartan who was regarded as having social democrat tendencies would follow the party line. His assurances were good enough then for the assembled comrades – who would certainly have been of a non social democrat persuasion.


WorldbyStorm - August 13, 2014

So to follow that up I guess it did come as something of a surprise the outward shift in his approach between then and the split. But that’s just my perception, others may have had inklings before that.


Joe - August 15, 2014

I recall that meeting. 86 or 87 I would have thought. De Rossa was at the top table but so was Garland. And I took it that Garland was telling the membership that McCartan was to be the candidate and stop your messing.
Long time ago and much water under the bridge.


2. roddy - August 13, 2014

Did none of you notice DeRossa’s accent getting progressively posher as the years went by? That alone should have set the alarm bells ringing!


WorldbyStorm - August 13, 2014

Now that I did not notice 🙂


3. EamonnCork - August 13, 2014

Isn’t there a certain poignancy about his criticism of Gregory for not knowing how to bring about socialism in Ireland whereas SFWP had a clear strategy on how to seize power. I’d imagine to anyone who doesn’t actually remember the tenor of the times this would seem a bit Roswell Incident.


WorldbyStorm - August 13, 2014

Isn’t that true? I imagine that’s correct re the talk of Gregory etc, but then again I think that the Ahern era is getting on for what, seven, eight years ago, and probably to anyone under, say 20 near enough ancient history.


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