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Left Archive: Starry Plough Magazine, Number 2, Irish Republican Socialist Party, 2009 May 16, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Republican Socialist Party, Uncategorized.
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To download the above please click on the following link. STARRY PLOUGH

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This is a very useful addition to the Archive, and many thanks to “Spáilpín” for allowing us to scan materials from his collection. There are many more documents to be posted from there, including one’s from groups and parties hitherto unrepresented in the Archive.

The text on the second page is particularly interesting in offering an outline of the rationale behind the Starry Plough itself. It notes that:

The SP magazine is the organ of the Irish Republican Socialist Party. The aim of this publication is to assist and develop republican socialists ideas as well ass to create debate. This is your magazine. We constantly require input from our supporters. If you can contribute articles, photos, drawing, information on potential bookshops or stockists or anything else that you feel will help this project then please get in touch with us.

It notes that:

The magazine is put together by a volunteer collective of activists and is paid for only by donations, subscriptions and sales. We have no corporate backing nor do we want any.

We aim to produce the SP in this format as a quarterly publication to provide a republican socialist perspective that’s not normally covered in other papers. We welcome contributions from all our readers that will further the objectives of republican socialism. Likewise we welcome all articles that will initiate discussion.

In another piece it notes:

Since our last edition we have received many messages of support for our efforts. To those that have taken the time to contact us may we offer our thanks. This magazine would be nothing without our readers, supporters, distributors and contributors.

And in terms of the content it also notes:

This edition of the Starry Plough carries many great articles, particularly our special four page supplement on the 40th anniversary of the NICRA which is the first par tot a two part series. We also carry in depth coverage of calls for an independent inquiry into the events during the 1981 hunger strike period where it is claimed that a deal was accepted by the prisoners yet rejected by the outside leadership of the Provisionals. We have coverage of ongoing fight in Mayo against Shell oil and the upcoming Lisbon vote. If anything within this magazine inspires then please get in touch and join the debate.

The publication is well produced and as can be seen above covers a lot of ground (there are also pieces on Israel/Palestine and an interview with the Independent Workers Union. Notable too is the sheer volume of web links to ‘The Movement Online’ and a piece on the ‘North American Section’s… recent convention for 2009 in Chicago’.

Left Archive: Gralton, An Irish Socialist Review, No. 5, Dec/Jan 1983 May 9, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Gralton Magazine (1980s), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. GRALTON5

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Jim Lane for donating this and other copies of Gralton to the Left Archive. It is intended to reproduce these every month or so for the next year and a half and thereby have a full run of them online.

As noted previously Gralton magazine ran for ten issues from 1982 to 1983. It took it’s name from James Gralton, “the only person to have been deported from the 26 counties for political activity”.

This edition contains an Election Special with a articles on ‘The State of the Left’ by Dermot Boucher, ‘Holding Our Own’ by John Cain, ‘What the Right Want’ by Des Derwin and Doorstepping for Tony’ by Nora Hamill.

It also looks at Politics in Waterford including the rise there of the Workers’ Party, Tax Reform: The forgotten Campaign, an assessment of SF’s ‘succession the Assembly Elections’ and Monetarism.

There’s a report under the heading ‘Anti-Amendment News’ by Mary Gordon which looks at the situation facing the Anti-Amendment Campaign ‘after the publication of the proposed text giving equal rights to the ‘unborn’ and the mother’. There’s also a piece on ‘attacks on the right of women to work’. Brian Trench has a piece on how trade unionists might ‘develop more positive ways of influencing the media’.

Irish Left Archive: Unity and Freedom to the Irish People! Against the Fascist Divide and Rule Anglo-Irish Agreement – Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), September 1986 May 2, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download the above please click on the following link. CPI ML ANGLO IRISH

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This document adds to the collection of materials engaging with the Anglo-Irish Agreement in the Archive. At 132 pages it is remarkably comprehensive. The contents are divided into four sections. Part One considers ‘Fascist terror in north to conjure up bogey of ‘civil war’. Part Two engages with ‘The Promotion of the illusions and the taboos of bourgeois ‘democracy’. Part Three is ‘The Anglo-Irish Agreement – its ‘Irish dimension’ and its ‘International dimension’. Part Four is ‘the Necessity facing our generation – revolution’.

The Introduction gives a good sense of the overall approach of the document. It argues that the publication…

…is being released… to expose the savage and all-sided ideological, political and military offensive being waged against the Irish people by the foreign aggressor, British imperialism, under the current Anglo-Irish Agreement. This is a criminal attempt to snuff out our rights as a nation to national independence and re-unification by crushing the ongoing heroic patriotic resurgence against the illegal British colonial occupation of the northern 6 counties of Ireland.

It suggests:

This offensive of British imperialism is being waged with the active connivance of the national traitors of the Irish monopoly bourgeoisie, and with the sinister backing of US imperialism, one of the two superpowers, and the EEC powers, members of the warmongering US-led NATO bloc (and partners in crime of our national enemy, British imperialism) in contention with the Warsaw Pact bloc led by the other superpower warmonger, Soviet social imperialism.

It argues that:

The exposure of this sinister conspiracy against the Irish nation, posed by the Anglo-Irish Agreement, is an integral part of the work of the proletarian Party to politically organise the working class and unite and mobilise the masses of the people of Ireland for the revolution, which is the necessity facing our generation, the necessity which we face as Irish people to achieve our nation’s ancient and just cause of national freedom and the necessity which we face in common with the working class and all the nations and people of the world to avert world war by making our contribution to the overthrow of the system of world imperialism, headed towny by the two superpowers, US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism which is the only basis for such wars.

The conclusion is that:

The necessity facing our generation is to bring to fruition the centuries of struggle and the sacrifices of generation of the Irish people, in particular the heroic sacrifices and struggles of the people of the north over the last 18 years, in the final conflict – the insurrection of the entire Irish nation for the complete military defeat and wholesale expulsion of the foreign aggressor, British imperialism, from the northern 6 counties and from Ireland as a whole, achieving national liberation and establish the new Ireland, the IRISH REPUBLIC, in which the masses of the Irish people hold state power as laid down in the solemn and binding declaration, the historic PROCLAMATION OF 1916 OF POBLACHT NA H EIREANN, and thereby for the first time are in a position to decide their own destiny, including the form of their society and government, freed of foreign interference and its internal agencies of native betrayal.

Left Archive: Connolly: A Marxist Analysis – Irish Workers Group, 1990 April 25, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Workers Group.
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To download the above please click on the following link. IWG Connolly Book 1990

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

As a part of our continuing project to build a collection of documents relating to 1916 here is a further one from the Irish Workers Group from 1990. The Left Archive is very grateful to those involved in that group for compiling and forwarding this keynote work. As the person who sent it notes:

In 1990 the Irish Workers Group published a book on James Connolly. It collected a series of articles that had appeared in IWG journals in the ’80s. No-one acknowledged their existence even when later preaching about some of its ideas.

Here is the original.

IWG’s intention was to bring out an analysis for anyone putting together a revolutionary socialist current in Ireland.

While defending the 1916 Rising, it critiques the ‘socialist republican’ history and doctrine that has afflicted the best traditions in Ireland of opposition to imperialism and capitalism.

It is also appropriate to quote from the Introduction to the work.

It argues that:

Every serious attempt since 1916 to develop a socialist programme which addresses also the National Question has looked to Connolly’s legacy. His ‘socialist republicanism’, because it is ambiguous on key questions of class and nation, remains an obstacle to developing independent working class politics

And suggests that:

The purpose of this book… is to examine the roots, influences and level ped ideas of Connolly’s thought from an unashamedly Marxist standpoint. Not the “Marxism” of Greaves or of Stalinists generally, but that of the classical tradition upheld and developed by Trotsky from the mid 1920’s, when Stalin’s grip began to tighten on the neck of the October revolution and all its historic aspirations. Now that Stalinism is being ground between the upper wheel of imperialism and the nether wheel of working class revolution, as predicted by Trotsky, it is all the more relevant for Marxists to re-examine Connolly’s legacy in a clearer light.

And concludes:

After the rising, Trotsky perceptively observed that the young Irish working class, emerging against a backdrop of a burgeoning nationalism and “the egoistic, narrow-minded imperial arrogance of British trade unionism”, tended to swing between syndicalism and nationalism in search of a programme. Connolly’s central ideological struggle consisted of the attempt to render such impulses into a coherent political consciousness. The wonder is that he achieved as much as he did, given the sources and influences that shaped his ideas. We see his demise in the 1916 insurrection not as the product of a simple abandonment of his socialist career, but rather as its inescapable conclusion. Not some sudden conversion to Pearse’s nationalism but his own theoretical paradigm since as early as 1897, provides the key to the rights and wrongs of Connolly’s ultimate political sacrifice, and indeed to so much of the political legacy we have inherited from him.

A provocative and timely addition to the Archive.

Irish Left Archive: Left Perspectives, Vol. 1, No. 2, Autumn 1980. April 18, 2016

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Left Perspectives Magazine (1980s).

Left Perspective Autumn 1980

To download the above please click on the following link. LEFT PERSPECTIVES

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Left Perspectives describes itself as presenting a ‘socialist analysis of political, economic and social problems’. It continues that it has a policy of ‘using non-sexist language’. It seeks articles ‘with a practical emphasis’.

The range of contributors is wide. Dermot Quish, a long-standing socialist activist was a teacher at the time, Madge Davison was secretary of NICRA, Francis Devine was co-Editor of Saothor, Seanie Lambe part of the group of activists around Tony Gregory, Art Kavanagh, a former UCD student activist, Brian Trench needs no introduction, Andrew Boyd a graduate of QUB and one-time apprentice in Harland and Wolff and Chris Kirwan of the ITGWU.

Likewise the articles cover a broad range of topics, ‘Pedagogy and Politics’ by Quish, Inflation and Pay Restraint by Art Kavanagh, a section focusing on Northern Ireland with pieces by Madge Davison and Andrew Boyd and one which includes an overview of the Northern Ireland Association of Socialist Lawyers founded that year.

There are also a number of book reviews.

A small taste of the overall approach can be given by a number of quotations from the Editorial which is on Northern Ireland.

It notes that:

For socialists, NI presents a series of political problems. The province is a development of capitalism, of British imperialism and colonialism, but to state the problem thus is not to point infallibly to its solution.

It also notes that:

Colonialism involved the creation of a privileged minority of colonists who are the local embodiment of the colonial power. When the colonial thrust has been reversed, the colonists have either to put up or get out, not least because there are fear of them than there are of the natives. In NI the colonists (and anti-Unionist rhetoric veers uneasily between welcoming them as Irishmen and women under the skin, and threatening to chase them into the sea), actually outnumber the natives. Only in Ireland as a whole do they form the classic political minority. But Ireland as a whole is not the political unit – and attempts to claim that it is must take second place to official insistence, however qualified, on the right of NI’s own political majority to self-determination.

It also notes that

Above [?] all that Dublin and London appear to be agreed that there can be no return to simple majority rule.

And suggests that:

The principal options at present, therefore, are direct rule and some form of power-sharing. The critical political question is whether there is any sanction which will force unionist to accept the latter. It could be argued that the North’s anti-unionists have a unique power to defuse the border as an issue Irish politics, in return for acceptance by unionists of power-sharing; if one accepts that Dublin cannot, and London will not, take out by removing it forcibly.


Socialists may have to accept, in the short term, that the quality of their analyses of the Northern situation is not matched by a capacity to influence it; and that even the mergence of a conservative but non-sectarian administration, together with the democratic processes by which it can be opposed and replaced, is preferable to a type of politics which takes place only behind closed doors.

This necessarily commits socialists, whether in NI, Britain or the Republic, to a long march; identifying the ruling groups in society and mobilising political action against them; opposing illegal violence by whomsoever exercised; persuading international socialism that the cliches of terrorism in NI are not the language of the left; and exposing the many and varied ways in which democratic structures can be manipulated.

Any further information on provenance – or other issues – would be very gratefully accepted by the Archive.

Left Archive: The United Irishman, May 1966, Vol. XX, Uimhir 5. Sinn Féin March 28, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin (pre-split.
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To download the above please click on the following link. UI 1966 copy

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This month we’ll be highlighting documents that engage with 1916 – either from the 1966 or 1991 anniversaries. Many thanks to those who forwarded same to the Archive. In particular many thanks to Spaílpín for donating this issue to the Archive.

It seems appropriate this Easter to look back both to 1916 and 1966. With that in mind the Archive posts this edition of the United Irishman from that latter year in order to offer an insight into pre-split Sinn Féin during the mid to late 1960s.

The front page is split between an article on how a Jury had been unable to agree in regard to Cathal Goulding’s possession of a weapon and ammunition, a report on a police baton charge at a Republican parade en route to Glasnevin cemetery and a report on ‘the greatest ever Republican demonstration held in the North’. Seamus Costello delivered the oration which included:

If we of this generation are to pay a fitting tribute to the men who died for us all in 1916 it is absolutely essential that we understand the ideals for which they died. The most widespread misconception outside the Republican Movement concerning the men of 1916 is that they had died simply to change the colour of the flag and the post boxes- that they were a group of romantics unconcerned with the everyday problems of the people. Nothing could be further removed from the truth.

He continues by discussing the situation in the Republic after ’45 years of so-called ‘independence’.

What they [Irish politicians] mean [when they say we are ‘free’] is that they have accepted the existence elf Partition, with its consequent evils of emigration, unemployment and sheer poverty. They would also have us believe that that selling of our national assets to the first foreigner who has the money to buy is a hallmark of freedom. They would also have liked us to believe that the use of the infamous Offences Against the State Act against workers who are struggling for a just wage is a necessary and desirable thing.

Mentioning the ‘so-called ‘Free Trade Agreement’, he suggests that:

This agreement which will make Ireland more dependent on Britain’s goodwill politically and economically than at any times since the Act of Union – this, then is the ‘freedom’ that Mr. Lemass would like us to believe the patriots of 1916 died for.

He considers the situation in Northern Ireland:

The North today is palace of carefully fostered bigotry and sectarianism. It is also a place where an extremely high proportion of the population is denied the right to have a political organisation which represents their point of view. It is also place where religious differences between Catholic and Protestant workers are deliberately fostered by those whose only purpose is the exploitation of all workers.

It is essential that we understand how discrimination agasint any section of the working classes works to the benefit of the Capitalist class. The great majority of people in the North are either industrial workers or small farmers who are controlled economically by a majority of the wealthy and privileged capitalists. It is the business of these capitalists to maintain their privileged positions…

He argues that:

The first aim of the Republican Movement is to unite all sections of the Irish people, irrespective of class, creed or political persuasions in their demands for political and economic independence.

And he argues that 1798 and Connolly prove this task is not impossible. And he concludes by suggesting:

We will not compromise on this question [the evacuation of British troops from our country]. No foreign troops under *no matter what flag* will ever garrison Ireland in peace. [text bolded in original].

The contents of the rest of the publication are eclectic. They include Notes and Comments on ‘Empty “Patriotic” Rhetoric. A report on the ‘election rout of Republicans’ in the ’1966 Imperial Elections in the Six Counties’ which suggests a renewed focus on ‘bread and butter issues’. Another piece by Deasún Breathnach is entitled ‘Invitation to Revolution’ and there is a long report on the Easter Week Commemorations which quotes Tomás MacGiolla as arguing that:

The Irish people must oppose the unchristian capitalist system inherited from Britain which leads to the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few and the permanent degradation of the many who are deprived of essential health and educational facilities, job security, a decent wage and satisfactory living conditions.

There is mention of work done by the Clann na hÉireann on Glencolumbkille working in tandem with the Errigal Co-Operative. A focus on sport is also evident. The book service and titles offered therein is of considerable interest. There is also an IRPB Statement effectively disavowing responsibility for ‘damage [which was caused to various public utilities].

Left Archive: In Memory of Tone – Wolfe Tone Week, June 12-19, 1966, Wolfe Tone Committee, Sinn Féin. March 21, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin (pre-split, Uncategorized, Wolfe Tone Committee.
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To download the above please click on the following link.SF WOLFETONE1966 MACGIOLLA

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This month we’ll be highlighting documents that engage with 1916 – either from the 1966 or 1991 anniversaries. Many thanks to those who forwarded same to the Archive and in particular many thanks to Bobcat who forwarded this particular document to the Archive.

This short 8 page document starts with the following:

1798 – 1966

Theobald Wolfe Tone is remembered and honoured as the Father of Irish Republicanism. This booklet is published as a tribute to him and as a guide to the many events of Wolfe Tone Week in Dublin. It also contains articles in which the principles of Irish Republicanism are discussed in the light of the present state of our country.

There is an essay on Nationalism by Tomás Mac Giolla, Uachtarán Sinn Féin, another by Dr. Roy Johnston on Economic Resistance: A Re-Examination. As part of the latter there is a Democratic Unity Programme outlined which it is suggested ‘may possibly be regarded as a basis for further dialogue between the Labour and Republican Movements and the recommendation that:

…the Republican Movement can adopt the following programme if it so chooses. It can recognise itself as a movement principally of the one-man farm and the one-man firm; the men of small property, whose existence is threatened by the existing economic trends, especially the foreign monopolistic take-overs. It can consciously adopt a co-operate programme adapted to the needs of the small producers and the small urban businesses (whether retail or productive) and seek alliance with a Trade Union Movement in which the ‘men of no property’ were organised as such.

And it explicitly calls for an effort to ‘revive the Connolly tradition within the ‘Trade Union and Labour Movement’.

There is an outline of Wolfe Tone Week events, which include a Céilí Mór, Bus Tour’s led by Éamonn Mac Thomáis from Liberty Hall ‘In the Footsteps of Lord Edward’. Dr. Seán Ó Tuama speaks on Irish and Politics. Kader Asmal, then lecturing in TCD talks about ‘Trade Unions, Industrial Relations and the Law’. Brendan Halligan speaks on ‘The Impossible Philosophy’. There is a concert of Ballads, Traditional Music and Dance. A Parade from Liberty Hall to Wolfe Tone Memorial Park and a Memorial Service at St. Mary’s Church after which the Train leaves for Bodenstown. Another piece by Séan O Beirn is entitled ‘An Phoblacht Abu! – cen ceann acu?’ and the leaflet concludes with The Blarismoor Tragedy street ballad from the early 1800s and a further one By Memory Inspired.

It is worth noting the emphasis on nationalism in the Mac Giolla piece.

Nationalism is the dynamo which can spur the nation to progress – social progress, economic progress, cultural progress. Nationalism and patriotism make us eager to give our own people better conditions than any other people. It helps us to create our own ideas and develop them by our own efforts. By building up a dynamic and progressive national socio-economic structure based on an ideology developed from Irish conditions and on Irish needs, we can give a new lead and new hope to the many young nations which have in recent years emerged from Europan colonialism. Many of these are still groping in the dark and are easy pretty to the great powers who are casting their bait from East and West.

Irish Left Archive: James Connolly and the 1916 Rising, 75th Anniversary Supplement to Class Struggle, April 1991, Irish Workers Group March 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Workers Group.
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To download the above please click on the following link. IWG2016

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This month we’ll be highlighting documents that engage with 1916 – either from the 1966 or 1991 anniversaries. Many thanks to those who forwarded same to the Archive.

This document, for which many thanks to the person who forwarded it to the Archive, is a four page special supplement to the Irish Workers Group publication Class Struggle for the 75th Anniversary Supplement.

The contents includes an outline of the the participation of James Connolly in the Rising. It argues that:

Ever since, the popular memory of Connolly has been that of a *national* revolutionary and labour leader rather than a revolutionary socialist. In the article in this supplement on Republican Socialism we show how he worked out, early in his career in the 1890s, an original but flawed theory of the Irish national question which *identified* republicanism with socialism.

The document examines Connolly’s approach and posits that:

Connolly was one of the first to appreciate the significance of the canoes taking place within the working class. The downtrodden and unskilled labouring masses of town and country and burst onto the scene with the weapon of mass struggle to challenge the bosses and their system. From the beginning he sought to give this movement a socialist class consciousness and leadership.

It also notes his support for armed self defence and ‘shrewd insights into the radicalising potential of women workers in struggle’. Another piece examines his support as a ‘Champion of the Woman Worker’. This suggests that:

…he had no perspective of mobilising amen in a specific struggle, using class action for woman’s emancipation. While he saw the necessity for women to fight together against their oppression, he narrowed the horizons for organised women workers to the fight around economic issues in the unions.

The document is also critical of Connolly. For example:

Tragically, Connolly’s overarching focus on the need for insurrection profoundly shaped his political propaganda during the war years. In Workers Republic in January 1916 immediately after joining the IRB conspiracy, he answered at length the question – ‘What is Our Programme?’. There we find nothing whatsoever with which the IRB could disagree – and nothing at all of a fighting socialist character.

And it continues;

The basis of his alliance with the IRB and the whole of his public propaganda in the lead up to 1916 show that he did not consciously seek to independently assert, let alone fight for at the time, a socialist programme. IT was the abandonment of a principle long established since Marx…

There is an useful piece on the World of James Connolly which considers his participation in the Scottish Socialist Federation amongst other matters. And another article looks at Connolly’s Republican Socialism.

Interestingly this concludes that:

Connolly’s much acclaimed slogan, therefore, ‘The cause of Ireland is the cause of labour, the cause of labour is the cause of Ireland’…was founded on a populist misconception of the national struggle as inevitably socialist. it masked in reality a tragic liquidation of the political independence of the working class into revolutionary nationalism. In that respect it is a part of Connolly’s legacy that must be rejected in the fight for the overall goal which Connolly first placed before the Irish working class – the establishment of a Workers Republic and international communism.

Irish Left Archive: 1916 – 1966, Irish Socialist Review, Irish Workers Party (later CPI), 1966 March 7, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in 1916, Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download the above please click on the following link. IRISHSOCREV1966

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This month we’ll be highlighting documents that engage with 1916 – either from the 1966 or 1991 anniversaries. Many thanks to those who forwarded same to the Archive.

Many thanks to Bobcat for forwarding this and other documents to the Archive.

This handsome twenty-four page document was issued by the IWP – the forerunner of the Communist Party of Ireland. It seeks to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Rising. The list of those contributing is extensive, including A Raftery (editor of the Irish Socialist), Joseph Deasy (author of The Fiery Cross: The Story of Jim Larkin) and Anthony Coughlan. Reprints of articles from Sean Murray (IRA and later CPI), Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (CPUSA) and John S. Clarke (a colleague of Connolly’s).

Contents wise it includes an overview of Easter Week 1916 and a re-examination of the Rising, which concludes:

The working class remains as the ‘incorruptible inheritors’ of 1916. By recapturing Connolly’s vision of the unity of national and social struggles they can give leadership to all those who will suffer from the repudiation of the heritage which was asserted in arms 50 years ago.

Another article notes ‘1913-1916: Similar Battle Lines’.

Elizabeth Gurley-Flynn’s piece examines Connolly in America and suggests that ‘he felt keenly that not enough understanding and sympathy was shown by American Socialists for the cause of Ireland’s national liberation, that the Irish workers here were too readily abandoned by the Socialists as ‘reactionaries’ and that there was not sufficient effort made to bring the message of Socialism to the Irish-American workers.

Another piece argues that ‘1916 proved Britain not Invincible’. And yet another considers Connolly’s views on partition. Here he offers the opinion that:

‘Personally I entirely agree with those who think [the proposal should be resisted with armed force if necessary]… Belfast is bad enough as it is; what it would be like under [Orange] rule the wildest imagination cannot conceive.

Anthony Coughlan’s piece argues that ‘The Connolly Road should lead to Labour Republican Unity’.

The publication contains many photographs of the period and after, the personal reminiscences of those involved in the Rising and also incorporates poems and songs into the text.

Left Archive: An Phoblacht, Volume 1, Number 2, March, 1970, Provisional Sinn Féin. February 29, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.


To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Spaílpín for donating this issue of An Phoblacht to the Archive. It offers a very useful insight into the period during the split in the Republican Movement in 1969/1970. Furthermore with an article on the meaning of 1916 it provides a good starting point for the materials being posted to the Archive over the next five weeks which will be comprised of publications referencing or being focused entirely on the events of 100 years ago.

This edition of An Phoblacht from Provisional Sinn Féin is notable for how it engages directly with the split in the Republican Movement earlier that year. An Open Letter from Ruairí O Brádaigh, in his role as Chairman of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Féin outlines as much:

I fully intend to retain membership of Sinn Féin as I have done for the past 20 years. I deny your right and the right of your alleged Ard-Chomhairle to deprive me of membership. All of you who voted for resolution no.54 on the agenda of the recent Ard-Fheis giving ‘support and allegiance to the IRA’ as represented at the Ard-Fheis by an alleged Army council which is publicly committed to going into Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House, forfeited membership of the Sinn Féin organisation.

The Sinn Féin Constitution and Rules as re-affirmed by the Ard-Fheis specifically forbids entry to these parliaments and all of you who gave ‘support and allegiance’ to a leadership which intends doing so are in breach of the Sinn Féin Constitution and Rules and stand suspended from membership.

He notes the rules of the Constitution and then:

The Caretaker Executive appointed by the delegates who withdrew from the Intercontinental Hotel and resumed the Ard-Fheis in Parnell Square uphold the Constitution and Rules of Sinn Féin and pending the re-convening by it of an Ard-Fheis are the lawful governing body of the organisation.

Other news highlighted is the formation of a North West Regional Executive with the Secretary of that body being Daithí O Conaill. There is a reprint of an editorial from the Leinster Express, Port Laoise which speaks of a Sinn Féin Revival. This speaks of the walk out at the Ard-Fheis and how evidence of ‘infiltration by Communist elements was well documented in the statement [issued by the group which walked out]’.

Cumann na hUaimhe, Sinn Féin is reported as recognising the Provisional Army Council as the lawful leadership of the Republican Movement and stating:

We do not serve Queen, Kremlin or Free State, but will strive for a 32-County Republic based on the Proclamation of Easter Week and Christian principles.

Elsewhere it is reported that the South Galway Comhairle Ceantair held an AGM at which Ruairí O Brádaigh read a comprehensive statement from the Caretake Executive of SF giving five major reasons for the walk-out from the Ard-Fheis.

1) Recognition fo Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House.
2) Extreme Socialism leading to dictatorship.
3) Internal methods being used in the Movement.
4) Failure to give maximum possible defence in Belfast and other Northern centres last August.
5) Campaigning to retain Stormont instead of seeking its abolition.

An outline on the last page offers ‘Our Aims and Methods’ and includes the ambition of:

…[an] end to foreign rule in Ireland, to establish a 32-County Democratic Socialist Republic based on the Proclamation of 1916, to restore the Irishh language and culture to a position of strength, and to promote a social order badged on justice and Christian principles which will give everyone a just share of the nation’s wealth. These are objectives which have always had the support of the majority of our people, thought at times they may not have been expressed in precisely the same terms.

The piece continues by offering a history since partition, and includes a somewhat sympathetic overview of the Civil Rights struggle.

As noted above the contents includes an interesting article on ‘What the 1916 Rising Meant’ and a most interesting article regarding Comhar na gComharsan (Neighbours Cooperation), a manifesto on economic and social thinking.


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