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Left Archive: An Phoblacht, Numbers 9 and 10, Irish Revolutionary Forces, January 1967 and Mar-Apr 1967. August 25, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Revolutionary Forces.
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To download the above documents please click on the following links: An Phoblacht No.10 Mar-Apr. 1967

An Phoblacht No.9 Jan. 1967 And…

To go to the Left Archive please click here.

Many thanks to Jim Lane for donating two more issues of An Phoblacht – The Republic from Irish Revolutionary Forces. It is intended to have a complete set of this important document in the Archive. It is also important to note how useful this document is in tracing – from a critical perspective, changing attitudes within Republicanism and Sinn Féin and the IRA during the late 1960s. That it was positioned critically in relation to Sinn Féin and the IRA is of particular importance offering a distinctively different view into the changes in those organisations.

As always it is probably most useful to quote briefly from both editions.

The Editorial in number 9, from January, makes the point that many who are antagonistic to the then direction of the Republican Movement had no assisted in contributing to a larger paper than An Phoblacht, and it argues that:

…we must again stress that our attacks are against certain lines of policy which are being openly pushed by a specific clique of people’ and that at no time have we dwelt on maters detrimental to the security of any undertaking against the Partitionist regimes.

And it continues:

The Republican Movement is not an Irish version of the Mafia, you know; it is a political organisation responsible to the people it claims to represent. And this business of keeping one’s mouth shut, while the fortunes of Republicanism go to the dogs, has been prevalent for far too long already amongst Republicans.

Other articles in this edition include one asking will Clann na hEireann be ‘sold-out’ in relation to ‘throwing their lot in with the British Communist Party’? Another argues that ‘talk of ‘constitutional action’ emanates strongly through the backdoor of the ‘Sinn Féin Club’’, while a third notes the establishment of a Wolfe Tone Society in Cork and asks ‘who are these people?’. Another argues that a ‘big-sell out [is] on the way from the Republican Movement’.

Intriguingly it also dismisses the idea put about by some that ‘we ‘claim force as a principle..’ and that if we ‘could get Ireland free without force (we) wouldn’t accept it’, and it notes that ‘Force is the mailed fist of revolutionary principles; but it is not, and never can be, a revolutionary principle in itself…’.

It concludes with the thought that ‘the Republican movement is presently in the hands of interlopers’.

Other articles in this edition include one asking will Clann na hEireann be ‘sold-out’ in relation to ‘throwing their lot in with the British Communist Party’? Another argues that ‘talk of ‘constitutional action’ emanates strongly through the backdoor of the ‘Sinn Féin Club’’, while a third notes the establishment of a Wolfe Tone Society in Cork and asks ‘who are these people?’. Another argues that a ‘big-sell out [is] on the way from the Republican Movement’.

One very interesting feature of March-April issue Number 10 is the cover, which as noted inside the document ‘is a reprint of the Proclamation issued by the Provisional Government during the rising of ’67. It is an important document which is not without significance. It is a pity it is not better known to Republicans.’

The Editorial continues this theme and notes:

This year it is again our duty to commemorate yet another Rising which marks the progress of the Irish Revolution. A century ago, on March 5, 1867, brave men ventured forth to win an objective first crystallised in the ideology of Irish Republicanism as it was formulated by the revolutionary leadership of the Untied Irishman. The men of ’67 lost the battle, it is true… but as Col. T.J. Kelly Chief Executive of the IRB… wrote… ‘Our movement is only commencing, and it is not about to finish. I speak,’ he wrote, ‘in the name of all proletarian Ireland’.

It takes Republican publications to task on their lack of focus and ‘derogatory treatment accorded’ the Fenians whose ‘aim to organise a military coup’ is contrasted by the RM with ‘Parnell’s parliamentarianism… which had a revolutionary purpose: to make it impossible for the Westminster Parliament to function unless Irish demands were conceded’. It further criticises the RM for arguing that the ‘banner of agrarian revolt… was not picked up by the Fenians’. Indeed the editorial argues that the Fenians were ‘far to the left’ of Lalor on the issue of the ‘land question’.

The piece concludes by arguing that Ireland has not had a bourgeoise revolution and that it cannot have one – and it asks that when asked to pass judgement on the Fenians it be kept in mind that a century of experience has passed.

This edition also contains a report from the Clann na hEireann Ard Fheis, a piece by Eoin McDonaill looks at ‘Revolution vs. Reform: The Battle Now Being Waged’.

There is a piece on the IRA badge and how apparently ‘Dublin’ ‘refuses to supply this badge any longer’. And there’s a scathing piece on The United Irishman.

AP 9 and 10 contents

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