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Left Archive: Communism in Ireland, British and Irish Communist Organisation, c.1977 July 31, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.

To download the above please click on the following link. communism-in-ireland

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is an interesting addition to the collection of publications from BICO in the Left Archive. Sixteen pages long, it provides an overview of the history of the Communist Party of Ireland from the perspective of the British and Irish Communist Organisation.

It is reasonable to argue that this perspective is deeply critical. Some flavour of this is evident from the opening words of the introduction:

The Communist Party of Ireland has constantly placed itself in a rearguard position, fighting at every stage of the development of Irish society to prevent the society form abandoning ideals which it was outgrowing…

The effect of this ideology has been to shackle the small section of the Irish working class that fell under community influence to the reactionary and unreliable ideals of national self-sufficiency, ‘national’ unification and defence of the small producer. Basically the CPI has been powerless to retard social development. Realising its impotence the CPI has sought alliances in strange quarters. These have included the republican movement and the most reactionary sections of the Catholic Church.

The remainder of the work is divided into various chapters addressing the development of the CPI.


1. NollaigO - July 31, 2017

As always with BICO publications much of interest here e.g. their description of the emigre Irish left in London; the highlighting of the CPI claim that the ” The Irish Industrial Revolution” was pro Common Market (The first remainers?)
I would suggest that the document was written in the late 1970s rather than c1974


Aonrud ⚘ - July 31, 2017

The imprint after the introduction puts it from October 1977. Thanks for pointing that out – I’ve updated it on the archive site.


2. NollaigO - August 1, 2017

I wish some of the bloggers who have shared this document had acknowledged the CLR.
The reference in my above post to the emigre Irish left in London was to London in the 1960s.


WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2017

Thanks NollaigO!


3. Geraldus Galwensis - August 2, 2017

B&ICO and its publishing offshoots for more than 50 years have been prodigious in output. One thinks of Athol Books, the Aubane history society, Irish Political Review, Church & State, Irish Foreign Affairs, and the Heidegger Review. Authors in different decades hae taken contrary attitudes towards Irish nationalism, Catholic social thought, Fianna Fail, the GAA, the provos, the British Labour Party, Gaelic culture and a range of other cultural and political matters. One wonders how many core members these organizations/publishing enterprises have had at varying times. 50? 30? 15? or less than ten?


WorldbyStorm - August 2, 2017

In all seriousness I’ve assumed over the years that you’ve some connection to them. I do agree that it’s a remarkable output for a group that can’t be very large.


Geraldus Galwensis - August 2, 2017

Not Guilty m’lud! And it’s no crime to be a small group with a remarkable output. I envy their mental energy, while wondering what they represent.


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