Left Archive: The Maynooth Model: Building a new relationship between the Labour Party and the Communities we live in – Maynooth Branch, Labour Party, c. 1987 February 23, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Labour Party, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. MAYNOOTH DOC LP
‘…in co-operation with trade unionists, ensured that if the Council cut off people’s water for non-payment, they were re-connected with the day’ is but one interesting quote from the above document.
Many thanks to a regular reader for scanning and forwarding this remarkable document to the Archive. In eight pages it sets out a plan for engaging communities by the Labour Party. Published by the Maynooth Branch it takes lessons it believes are relevant from the experience of that branch and attempts to apply them to the broader Labour Party.
It is quite an elaborate production with cartoons (possibly sourced from Private Eye), photographs and images of the cover of documents issued by Maynooth Labour Party.
The document is divided into short sections, including; The Maynooth Branch, Beginning at the Beginning, Recruitment, Working in the Neighbourhoods and so on. It emphasises ‘Community Participation’, which includes involvement in Community Councils and Charity Walks. Interestingly it also highlights ‘Community Participation III: The Anti-Charges Campaign’:
When Kildare County Council established local service charges on water and refuse collection, this provided the Branch an opportunity to mobilise people around concrete political goals.
The Branch set up the ‘Maynooth Residents Against the Charges’ inviting all residents to an initial meeting to set up a Co-ordinating Committee.
And it notes that ‘in co-operation with trade unionists, ensured that if the Council cut off people’s water for non-payment, they were re-connected with the day’.
And that section has the following:
Whether it is long-term or ad hoc campaigns (e.g. anti-extradition referenda, a Land Tax campaign), that’s where Labour should be.
It is interesting to reflect upon how approaches like this laid a broader sentiment in regard to charges on water and refuse collection.
The leaflet concludes by noting:
Let us be clear: our socialist p;politics is not about people consuming our press statements, leaflets and public meetings bloke a better brand of soap. It is not about offering people some far-off better future. It is about intervening today in their lives – whether in the community, the workplace, the schools and hospitals – struggling with them to resolve their everyday problems. It is about getting people to participate in organising against their own oppression and for their own freedom. In this way, people will join with us to create a socialist future, every step of the way.
Left Archive: Republican Bulletin/Iris Na Poblachta: Historic Sinn Féin Declaration, Samhain – November 1986, Republican Sinn Féin February 16, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Politics.
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To download the above please click on the following link. RSF SAOIRSE 1986
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
In some respects this is a foundational document of Republican Sinn Féin outlining their declaration that while the:
‘majority of delegates to the 82nd Ard-Fheis of Sinn Féin have today voted to allow their elected representatives to recognise the 26-County Parliament at Leinster House and take part in its administration: and,
Whereas such a decision conflicts with the two fundamental principles on which the organisation is based and which are enshrined in the Constitution of Sinn Féin, vis.
“(a) That the allegiance of Irishmen and Irishwomen is due to the Sovereign Irish Republic proclaimed in 1916.
(b) That the sovereignty and unity of the Republic are inalienable and non-judicible’
We, Irish Republicans who wish to uphold the basic Republican position enshrined in the SInn Féin Constitution until today and meeting in public session declare as follows:
We renew our allegiance to the Sovereign Irish Republic proclaimed in 1916 and which was endorsed by the morality of the people of Ireland, acting as a unit, in 1918.
This is dated, 2nd of November, 1986.
The document continues by offering ‘A Portrait of Ireland’, and notes that:
The Ireland of 1986 is best by many social problems. Most of us are aware of this. We know there is material and cultural deprivation and that unemployment is at record levels, both North and South.
Those who would wish to change a lot of things in Irish society cannot plan a way ahead without first taking a hard look and making a realistic assessment of how and where we are now and how we got here. Never was the need for a radical alternative more necessary than today.
It recommends and quotes from a number of documents including Ireland: A Sociological Profile from the IPA, and perhaps more surprisingly, a paper ‘Class, Clientelism and the Political Process in The Republican of Ireland; by Ellen Hazelkorn of DIT (who was associated with the WP during this period).
There is a short piece from an editorial in the Longford Leader on ‘A Man of Honour’ noting the recent SF split, and the foundation of RSF which includes:
Martin McGuinness and his friends who wanted to end the boycott of the Dáil tried to convince their colleagues that he new proposal was not a sell out on the principles of SF up to that point. It was of course a total sellout… but in their lust for power another sellout here or there means little to Gerry Adams and his cronies’.
And it contrasts that with what it regards as ‘the one man to emerge from the SF debacle with his honour intact was Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.
There are reports on Cumann na mBan’s unwillingness to support the removal of abstentionism, a progress report on the Organising Committee and a further account of the manner in which ‘those who wished to defend the Republican position moved with speed’ at the 82nd Ard-Fheis. It also notes expressions of support from various figures in the US, including Michael Flannery.
An important addition to the Archive.
Left Archive: Sinn Féin Policy Document, c.1994 February 9, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
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To download the above please click on the following link. SF POLICY DOC
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This document from Sinn Féin which undated appears to have been produced around 1994 – given that it mentions both the 1992 abortion referendum and calls for the introduction ‘of divorce in the 26 counties’. 25 pages long it outlines SF policy across all areas including Women, Economy,Prisoners – Political Hostages, the European Community and so on.
It notes in the introduction that:
The prerequisite for a lasting peace in Ireland is the existence of democracy. Without democracy there can be no settlement, no economic stability, no end to injustice or part ion. The denial of national democracy creates the donations for conflict, perpetuates injustice and division and deprives the Irish people, North and South, of a free and open society in which economic prosperity and social equality can be achieved.
It argues that:
The primary task facing the Irish people today is the resolution to he national question and the establishment of an Irish democracy in which the Irish people as awhile can decide their future.
SF’s pursuit of peace through dialogue, discussion and debate, in private and in public, with a range of groups and individuals across the political and religious spectrum have borne fruit in the current national and international concentration on the issue of peace in Ireland. Most significant of all has been the dialogue between our president Gerry Adams and the SDLP leader John Hume.
In April 1992, as a result of their discussions, they issued a joint statement which accepted that the most pressing issue facing the people of Ireland and Britain today is the question of lasting peace and how it can best be achieved. The statement accepted that ‘an internal settlement is not a solution’ and that ‘the Irish people as a whole have a right to national self-determination’.
Given its publication at a pivotal time in relation to political developments on the island of Ireland this is provides a clear insight into developments in the thinking of that party.
The Coffee Circle Papers (Papers and responses from the series of political forums organised during 1998 by Democratic Left): Paper 4 – Equality and Difference February 2, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Democratic Left, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. EQUALITY SECTION DL
Many thanks to Catherine Murphy TD for donating this document to the Left Archive. Due to its length it will be posted up in individual sections over the next twelve months.
This document [published on foot of a series of meetings] is unusual in respect of the Irish left in that it sought to challenge fairly directly the assumptions held by a political formation. That formation, Democratic Left, less than a decade old had recently left government after Fianna Fáil had won the 1997 General Election. It had also shed two seats from its complement of six TDs.
Due to the length of this document it has been broken up into sections, and is being posted non-sequentially over the next year or so.
This chapter engages with the issue of Equality and Difference and is based on discussions held in Mao’s Café on International Women’s Day, 1988. There are two contributors, Kathleen Lynch of the Equality Studies Centre and a response by Orlagh O’Farrell, Lawyer and expert in equality law.
The summation is made by Deirdre O’Connell, a member of Democratic Left Women’s Committee.
The section includes two poems, one by Rita Ann Higgins and the other by Robin Morgan which were read by Ann Clune on the day of the discussions.
The papers are of considerable interest, the submission by Lynch particularly so as she offers an overview of the very term ‘Equality’. In it she argues strongly that distributive models of justice and equality are not sufficient, that it necessitates the inclusion of difference models. She also outlines concepts of ‘basic equality’, ‘liberal views of equality’, ‘focus on Juristic Forms of Equality’, ‘Women and Liberalism’ and the question as to whether ‘Radical Egalitarians have Answers?’. In this latter section she engages with various mechanisms for ‘realising equality of conditions’, many positioned in Marxism.
She concludes by suggesting that:
Equal rights of access and participation are crucial, but they may be meaningless when one finds one is allowed to participate or succeed only in lower paid ends of the labour market, or in the political work that more powerful people will not do. Hierarchies and patriarchies of wealth and power must be addressed to give substantive meaning to respect for difference’.
The response by Orlagh O’Farrell takes a different approach and focuses on two main areas. ‘The first one is that the response of men to women’s fight for equality needs to be looked at, as you really can’t get past a certain point in terms of arguing for equality without looking for a response from men. That point has now come’. Secondly she argues ‘we need to work on how to take account of the needs and situation of different groups of women. How can they be recognised and accommodated in the same political movement’. On the first she argues for a ‘kind of transition to power sharing between women and men’. For the second she argues that ‘I don’t see why specific policies cannot be designed within the broad umbrella – for unemployed women, for women in rural areas, for disabled women, for women travellers, lesbian women, for migrant women and for older women’. And she continues that ‘as a passport to economic independence for women, work is the key and work, I mean work in the formal economy, as been improving over the last number of years. It is no secret that many of these new jobs are precarious low-paid jobs.’
The summary of the discussion by Deirdre O’Connell briefly attempts to synthesise the thoughts of both contributors and notes that:
Other issues discussed were the mainstreaming of rights issues. Media major institution of ideology. Political resonance of language and other general issues of the question of democracy and equality. Relative advantage was also mentioned, to date liberal policies have advantaged the advantaged e.g. in relation to public transport.
Left Archive: Northern Policy Statement – Adopted by Annual Conference, Wexford 1972, The Labour Party January 26, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Labour Party, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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Many thanks to Peter Mooney for donating this document to the Archive – one of many from his collection that are being reproduced here.
This document, published in 1972 by the Labour Party outlines their approach to Northern Ireland. It states on page 2 that:
The establishment of an all-Ireland Socialist Republic is the fundamental objective of the Labour Party. National Unity, is therefore, a basic objective of the party. As stated in the Party Constitution, the Labour Party affirms that the national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and territorial seas; and it accepts as part of its immediate programme the work of securing social justice and equal opportunities of fall citizens in accordance with the declaration of Democratic Principles embodied in the Proclamation of Easter 1916.
It also argues that:
Whereas other political parties in the Republic aim solely at territorial unity, the Labour Party goes further and aims at the creation of a socialist society in Ireland and the uniting of the Irish people as complementary objectives.
It also as one of its Principle’s posits that:
The Labour Party is convinced that peace and better understanding between the communities is a necessary precondition of rate achievement of both socialism and eventual unity. It therefore repudiates unequivocally any attempt to achieve a United Ireland, ‘socialist’ or otherwise, by force of arms.
And intriguingly it also argues that:
The Labour Party differs from the other forces and national a parties engaged in the struggle for national independence in that it is a democratic as well as a socialist party, totally committed to democratic methods. For that reason it rejects any attempts at usurping by violence the democratic parliamentary processes which are based on the authority of the Irish people.
There is much more, including support for a Bill of Rights and calls for the removal of security from the Stormont Government.
Left Archive: Orangeism, Myth and Reality, Peter Berresford Ellis, Connolly Association, 1995 January 19, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Connolly Association, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This document adds to the materials the Archive has from the Connolly Association. This ten page document from 1995 reprints the text of a lecture delivered at the 7th Desmond Greave’s Summer School a the Irish labour History Museum, Beggars Bush Barracks, Dublin in that year.
The lecture gives an over-view of the history of the Orange Order from its foundation through to the present day. Berresford Ellis is quick to point out that:
when we talk about the Orange Order we are not speaking of a movement whose philosophies have been cast in stone from the moment of its creation. Its attitudes and intentions have changed over the years. Initially it was an exclusively Anglican organisation, firstly an an anti-unionist movement and only subsequently a pro-unionist force.
He also suggests that:
Today we are asked to believe that the Order has now changed into some folkloric institution, content to bang drums, wear sashes and uphold the traditional of a ‘Protestant Culture’ whatever one may mean by this. We are told by Orange Order grandees like Rev Martyn Smythe that, I quote, ‘It is not an anti-Catholic body – there is nothing provocative about it’.
And he concludes:
For this historian, there is a sadness that a people can be so utterly manipulated by a misunderstanding of history. Instead of being shown the reality of a common past, the Protestants of Ulster have been deliberately subverted into believing a mythological history. Their view of William of Orange and the Boyne Water is a dream of a world which never existed. The worst thing is that, lacking the knowledge of the realities of the common past shared with their fellow Irishmen and women, they are still disputing the realities of the present.
Many thanks to ‘Spailpín’ for allowing us to scan materials from his collection including this.
This document from Provisional Sinn Féin in 1973 is the first issue of Republican News to be added to the Archive. Four pages long and in tabloid format it contains a range of articles. The lead article argues ’Stormont Must Not be Re-Built’ quoting Malachy Foots, spokesman for the Sinn Féin Ulster Executive who stated that:
…he was more convinced than ever that we are now on the eve of the rebuilding of the old Stormont, with its Unionist majority assisted by the SDLP, NILP, Republican Clubs, etc, to give it the guise of a democratic body’.
Another piece has the IRA condemning sectarian murders, those being the murder of Paddy Wilson and Irene Andrews.
We have repeatedly disclaimed and condemned sectarian killings and we deplore the foul murders of last night.
In the same piece:
The Belfast Brigade denied any involvement in the murder of the young protestant whose body was found in the Lower Falls area. They say that it is likely that he was the victim of the local fascist murder squad who were responsible for two murders of Catholic Boys in the Giants Ring area.
It notes under ‘Quislings publicly thanked’ that SF ‘wishes to express its contempt for the Quislings in the so-called National Coalition Government of the 26 Counties. Cosgrave and his ministers are attempting to assist Britain to finally achieve its long attempted aim of the final conquest of the Irish people’.
There’s is also a message from PIRA internees and detainees in Long Kesh.
Elsewhere Sinn Féin ‘calls for spoilt votes’ as well as a Ten Point Summary which concludes…
So defeat Whitelaw politically by spoiling your vote in a positive way. In place of 1,2,3 write in the letters EIRE NUA, the slogan of a free socialist 32-county Republic. Your intelligently spoiled vote will bring this goal nearer. You have won the military victory, now win the political one!
Workers’ Party Statement on Paris Massacre January 8, 2015Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
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The Workers’ Party of Ireland condemns today’s brutal and murderous attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which has produced understandable anger and indignation throughout France, Europe and the world.
The WPI expresses its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and takes this opportunity to express its firm support for workers’ rights to carry out their work free from the threat of terrorist attack by the enemies of peace, freedom and social progress who have nothing to offer humanity other than misery, obscurantism and reaction.
These criminal terrorist actions will serve only to increase the clamour for further repressive state measures and add fuel to the racists who will use this attack as cover for their vile, virulent toxic beliefs.
Solidarity with the journalists and staff of Charlie Hebdo.
Solidarity with the French people.
For freedom and social progress against racism, obscurantism and reaction.
Workers’ Party of Ireland
7 January 2015
Left Archive: Where We Stand: The Republican Position – Speech by Tomás MacGiolla, July 1972 – Republican Clubs/OSF January 5, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin, Republican Clubs.
To download the above please click on the following link. REPCLUBS1972 PM
Many thanks to Peter Mooney for donating this document to the Archive – one of many from his collection that are being posted up this year and next.
This document, published in 1972 by the Republican Clubs, was the text of a speech delivered by Tomás MacGiolla that year to the Republican Clubs Conference in Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone. Sixteen pages long it offers a particularly striking insight into the thinking of the Republican Clubs and Official Sinn Féin at that time.
A selection of quotes will give a sense of the document – and in particular the orientation of the Republican movement during the 1960s and after:
When the Republican Movement evolved its revolutionary strategy in the middle sixties, it was clearly based on a peoples’ struggle of their ownership of the wealth of their country and for full control of their lives and destinies. We said then and have repeatedly emphasised since that no elitist group could emancipate the Irish people. Only the people themselves could win through to victory and establish a democratic socialist republic.
It suggests that:
Here in the 6 counties the paramount issue on which a mass struggle could be built was clearly the issue f democracy and basic human rights. The Republican Clubs had been active on the economic issues of housing and unemployment which have achieved such success amongst the people in the south. But all the time they came up against the barriers of sectarian discrimination and second-class citizenship which prevented the development of united working class struggle. We all therefore, threw ourselves into the civil rights struggle.
Left Archive: “Are We Two Nations?” – Fortnight Magazine, March, 1972, British and Irish Communist Organisations December 31, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
This from Fortnight Magazine, March 1972, written by L. Callender on behalf of BICO, represents an encapsulation of the Two Nations theory. Many thanks to the person who forwarded the photocopy.