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Left Archive: Selection of writings on the Official Sinn Féin/Irish Republican Socialist Party split in 1975 – including a tribute to Billy McMillen and interview with Séamus Costello, by Gerry Foley June 4, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Intercontinental Press, Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Republican Socialist Party, Official Sinn Féin.

To download file 1: Officials Split Feb 1975
To download file 2: Officials Turn March 1975
To download file 3: Interview with Seamus Costello
To download file 4: In tribute to Billy McMillen

Many thanks to Nollag O for the following documents from Intercontinental Press.

These documents were written by Gerry Foley (see here and here) for Intercontinental Press between 1974 and 1975 about the split in Official Sinn Féin which resulted in the formation of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (and also the INLA). It is particularly appropriate given that there was a commemoration for Gerry Foley last night in the Teachers Club in Dublin.

There are four documents, the first is ‘Officials’ Split over Stalinist Power Play from 24 February 1975. The second from 3 March 1975 is entitled ‘Officials’ Turn Against Their Own Past. The third is ‘In Tribute to Billy McMillen’ from June 9 1975 after the assassination of Commander of the Belfast Command Staff of the Irish Republican Army [Officials]. The last document is an interview with Séamus Costello – described as ‘one of the most prominent leaders of the Irish Republican Socialist Party’ – and entitled ‘The Need to End the Feud Between ‘Officials’ and IRSP, from July 1975.

They provide both a clear, albeit subjective, view of the situation as regards the origins and development of the split – though note that at that time there was no admission that it was IRSP members who had assassinated McMillen and mention is made by Costello of ‘the People’s Liberation Army and the other armed groups that have acted in this way’.

As always Foley is scrupulously fair to all protagonists while making clear the general perspective he viewed the events through. As such it is another welcome addition to the Archive.

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