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The Waterford People’s Party – The latest episode of the podcast July 2, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Did a bit of research and this weeks podcast is about The Waterford People’s Party a breakaway from the Workers’ Party in Waterford in the mid 80’s.

The episode and the rest of the podcasts are on Anchor FM here

The rss feed at https://anchor.fm/s/2431404c/podcast/rss

Spotify

Apple Podcasts

Alan Kinsella · The Waterford People’s Party- Episode 4 – ‘The Others’- The Alan Kinsella Podcast

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1. Colm B - July 2, 2020

Very interesting podcast, thanks Alan. John Halligan later played a key role in keeping Waterford in the WP both in 1992 with the DL split and especially in 1998 during the split with the ORM.
This may be incorrect, as I only heard it second hand, but I was told that Waterford WP was the only area in the south where a significant number of members were tilting towards the ORM side in 1998 but that Halligan played a key role in keeping them with the WP. His ability to do this was linked to his long-standing association with Sean Garland and the old-guard etc.
Ironically Halligan later was elected as an independent TD having abandoned the party’s principled opposition to water rates and became a Minister in the right wing FG-Ind. Gov.
In my experience in the 80s the members from Waterford city tended to vere to the left, very keen on campaigning activity not just elections. Paddy Gallagher was not particularly popular with the members. I think there were other splits later with a few prominent members joining the SWP at one stage!

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irishelectionliterature - July 2, 2020

Yeah, I meant to include the reaction of Davy Walsh to the news that Halligan “had left” the WP to run as an Independent.
“Not the first time he left the Party”
So the WPP split must still have caused some bitterness all those years later.

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WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2020

I understood that even when Halligan was a TD he’d still have some contact with Garland. I think his politics had shifted radically but clearly there was a residual loyalty or friendship there.

BTW that must have been some split if people went to the SWP. I mean SF or the IRPS. That’s one thing. But the SWP. 😉

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irishelectionliterature - July 2, 2020

The SWP had a presence in Waterford Glass I think

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Conor Kostick - July 3, 2020

The SWP was very strong in Waterford Glass. In the early 1980s, a group of revolutionaries there invited a number of parties to address them and they opted to join to the SWP. By the time I was going there as an SWP full-timer in the mid-90s it was down to around five members but still was very influential in the factory as they held prominent ATGWU positions. And they led the local community in 1994 in opposition to a local water charge (the history of which is covered here: https://issuu.com/swonline/docs/sw-274-web). I think anyone looking around for an alternative socialist movement in Waterford c.1980-2000 would give the SWP serious consideration, even with the differences on Russia, China, etc.

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Colm B - July 3, 2020

Wasnt Carol Ann Duggan an SWPer from Waterford? I think she ran for head of SIPTU and actually won but they fiddled the vote, to stop her, allegedly.

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Conor Kostick - July 3, 2020

Carolann Duggan was a SIPTU shop steward at Bausch & Lomb Waterford who did indeed rattle the SIPTU top officials. In 1997, she got 43% of the vote for Vice President. She did less well in subsequent elections. I wouldn’t say the establishment ‘fiddled the vote’ in the sense of committing fraud. But they did create a massively uneven playing field through, for example, control of the contact lists of SIPTU shop stewards. And it was very hard for a factory worker to take time off to campaign against a full-timer.

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Colm B - July 2, 2020

Can’t remember the names but I remember one man from Waterford who I met at party meeting in Belfast in the he late 80s. I was very impressed with his description of campaigning work, he even had samples of their newsletters. He wasn’t a public rep but an organiser. I think he was one of the WPP returners. I heard later that he and some others had joined the SWP.

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Michael Carley - July 2, 2020

If veterans of the WSM can join the WP …

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entdinglichung - July 3, 2020

the ORM, do they still exist?

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2. roddy - July 3, 2020

I recall someone from Waterford with a WP avitar posting on another site (may have been politics ie) and he was not really hostile to SF and quite benign towards David Cullinane in particular.I,mtalking 5 or 6 years ago.

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Colm B - July 3, 2020

Really showing my aged brain here with all this “can’t remember the names” but I recall another prominent member of Waterford SFWP defected to SF over the HBlocks in 1981ish. Just can’t remember the name!

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3. Joe - July 4, 2020

There was an attempt to kill Seamus Costello in Waterford in 1975. My recollection is that someone shot at him when he was on his way back from attending a meeting. And iirc the meeting was with some ‘far left’ people (the SWM?) – don’t know if I’m right about any of that bit but I have it in my head that that’s what media reports at the time said…. that he was returning from or coming out of a meeting. If there was a meeting I wonder was it a public meeting of some kind or a private one.
Just putting this up re the left in Waterford and whether there were some far left there in 75.

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Conor Kostick - July 4, 2020

Yes, he was getting a lift from an SWM member at the time.

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WorldbyStorm - July 4, 2020

I’d forgotten that episode. It’s in Deadly Divisions, pp71, Costello and Séamus O’Kane (from Derry) were on their way from a public meeting about the IRSP at the Granville Hotel and they were raked with gunfire from a motorbike.

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