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Left Archive: Occupation News 1, 12 June 1979, Wood Quay Protest. October 24, 2016

Posted by guestposter in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.


To download the above please click on the following link. Wood Quay Occupation News 1

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Adding to the collection of documents already posted on the Archive, here is a further example of same. As noted the Wood Quay protests of 1978 and 1979 were not explicitly left-wing, however in the materials used to promote the protests and occupation there was an appeal to trade unionists and others. Individuals later prominent in the Labour Party and other groups were involved.

This collection brings together documents related to the campaign. Many thanks to the family of Leo Swan for forwarding these documents to the Left Archive and many thanks to the person who scanned in this and other documents.

The tone of this piece is, perhaps at this remove, curious. The opening article in the four page A4 newsletter starts:

Drama and uncertainty surrounded the room in the liberties where a group of famous people met to carry out the invasion of the Wood Quay site. And what a picture they made, an alderman in his robes, well-known writers, politicians and trade union leaders.

Further on it continues after noting a ‘nun and a priest led the [first] group in’:

A squad car was parked outside but the stunned grade [sic] were ruled to their seats with surprise at the glittering parade of famous names: Mary Lavin, James Plunkett, Michael O’Leary, Denis Larkin, Donal Nevin, Oisin Kelly, gemma Hussey, Alexis Fitzgerald, Kevin Byrne, George Eogan, John Gallagher, Benvenuta MacCurtain, Imogen Stuart, Michael Scott, Tom Kinsella and F.X. Martin.

It outlines the events of the occupation (Operation Sitric). There’s also an explanation of the decision to occupy the Wood Quay site written by F.X. Martin. This notes the proximity of the local elections, to be held later that month. There are also pieces on ‘An American reaction’ to the occupation and a reflection on the ‘estimated 7,000 cars which will travel to WQ daily and will inflate the already choked traffic condition in the Quays’.


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