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Left Archive: RSYM Position on Recent Developments (IRSP) – c.2009 February 20, 2017

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.


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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document is five pages long and represents a response by the Republican Socialist Youth Movement to developments in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, namely the conclusion in a statement from the IRSM issued in October 2009 that “the armed struggle is over and the objective of a 32 County Socialist Republic will be best achieved through exclusively peaceful political struggle.”

The RYSM is deeply critical of this conclusion and argues that it ‘goes against the very principals of Republican Socialism’.

Notable are those it references as embodying the those principles:

Not only can a 32 County Socialist Republic not be ‘best achieved through exclusively peaceful political struggle’, as the lessons of history have shown, the possibility of a peaceful revolution is not very likely at all. Accordingly, it is essential from an ideological perspective that an armed element is maintained in the IRSM so as to be ready for all possible eventualities. It has been a cornerstone of our ideology since the foundation of the movement that there is no parliamentary road to socialism and this can never change. To suggest as much is to abandon the politics of Costello, Connolly and Ta Power. It is reformist to the core.

In some respects the arguments outlined in the document are ones that were contentious from the establishment of the IRSP and are central to its relationship with the INLA. It is perhaps notable that the RYSM was founded in 2005.

Under the heading ‘The Use of the Armed Wing’ it argues that:

A lot of this debate has focused on whether the armed wing is productive at this point to the overall political goals of the movement. The consensus among the leadership has been that it is not, that it actually hinders our political aspirations. This is not a Marxist analysis. Yes we in the RSYM agree that the conditions for armed struggle in the North against imperialism do not exist.
But the INLA is a republican SOCIALIST army, just because it may not have a role in relation to the British occupation at this point does not mean it won’t have tomorrow, as we don’t know what conditions will develop. And it certainly doesn’t mean that the armed wing has no role in the class war, in any of the 32 counties.

And it continues:

The reputation of the INLA and its association with drugs and feuding of course does hinder the movement somewhat. But this can be tackled, it is not something to stand down over. Under no circumstances should a Republican Socialist army, the army of the workers, bow to popularism and bourgeois media slander. The INLA and its reputation is an issue of concern, but it is much more a case of the way it manifests itself and acts than its existence. Its existence is ideologically

One of the most striking aspects of the document is how open it is in regard to these issues.

It concludes by noting:

There has been so much confusion, ideologically especially, that if the IRSP was actually to progress and get elected representatives at some point we in the RSYM would be very doubtful the movement would be ideologically strong enough to prevent us moving towards reform. Removing the INLA will not
change this one iota, it is an issue but it is not the most immediate problem. Educate the membership, set in place concrete and accountable structures and root out the apoliticals and we will have come a long way through relatively straight forward measures.

Left Archive: SLP’s Confusion, leaflet from Socialists Against Nationalism, c.1979 February 13, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.


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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Thanks to Jim Monaghan for forwarding this short document from Socialists Against Nationanlism, a group formed by British & Irish Communist Organisation, the Limerick Socialists and the Socialist Party of Ireland, (see here in the Archive) which takes the Socialist Labour Party to task for its approach on British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. It looks at comments from Dr. Noel Browne, which appear to have been made in 1979, and compares and contrasts them with the SLP’s platform.

Irish Left Archive: Bloody Sunday Poster, Revolutionary Marxist Group, c.1972? January 30, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Revolutionary Marxist Group.
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From the RMG.

Many thanks to Alan of Irish Election Literature for forwarding this to the Archive.

Left Archive: Ireland – The Workers’ Party, Spring 1983 January 16, 2017

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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This is another publication of the Workers’ Party, clearly positioned for an international audience. It includes an analysis of the then recent General Election painting it in positive terms for the party despite the loss of two seats. An Editorial stresses that:

The objective of the WP is to win state power for the Irish working class. our Party will never be content with a society in which the privileged, the wealthy, the landlord, the industrialists, tell us how we are to live our lives, determine the future of our children, and dictate the narrow boundaries within which hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens are to exist.

There are a large number of articles, including one calling on Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald to reaffirm the commitment to neutrality, a message of condolence to the people of South Africa on the murder by the apartheid regime of Ruth First, an address by Kevin Smyth of NICRA, greetings to Yugoslavian Youth, a letter to Yuri Andropov and the CPSU extolling the ‘peaceful aims, policies and actions of the the Soviet Union’ and another appealing to Ronald Reagan, then US President, calling on world disarmament.

Irish Workers Group, FightBack No 2, February 1993 January 9, 2017

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. fght-back-no-2

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This edition of FightBack joins other IWG documentation in the Archive. Many thanks to the person who forwarded it. From 1993 it is particularly interesting detailing as it does the Fianna Fáil/Labour Coalition.

It is scathing about that administration:

Labour’s reformism is now being shown in its full ‘glory’ in the coalition with FF. Labour’s election manifesto had been based around such platitudes as creating ‘a more caring society’ and putting ‘justice into economics and trust into politics’. Can Labour, the so-called working class party, expect us to believe that capitalist economics can be just and that a capitalist political system can be trusted?

Other articles are of note, including one on the United Nations which dubs that organisation ‘imperialist police’. There’s also information on a student occupation at TCD.

Another piece worth considering is a sharp critique of the Socialist Workers Movement over the issue of abortion where Fightback accuses the former of blocking demands at RTC for free and legal abortion along with more conservative students ‘on the grounds that this demand was too extreme and that the students weren’t ready for it’.

There’s also a long piece on ‘a wave of Nazi killings and violence sweeping through Germany’.

Left Archive: An Phoblacht, Iml 4, Uimh 12, Marta 22, 1974, Provisional Sinn Féin. January 2, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. an-phoblacht

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This edition of An Phoblacht has a broad range of issues discussed. The front page argues that the events of 1974 were like a farcical replay of the Treaty of 1921. It notes that the Council of Ireland was being pushed aside. The editorial looks at the escape of the Littlejohn brothers from Mountjoy Jail and suggests this was with the collaboration of Special Branch and British intelligence.

It also carries a piece condemning the murder of Senator Billy Fox (even today some raises questions over the provenance of those responsible). There’s articles on Conor Cruise O’Brien (and apologies for the faded text on the first one – that is on the original). There’s also a series on Famous Guerrilla Leaders.

2016 in the Irish Left Archive December 30, 2016

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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Following IEL’s post earlier, I thought I’d compile a similar list of popular documents from this year in the Irish Left Archive.

The archive passed 500 documents earlier in the year, and hopefully continues to build into a useful resource for anyone interested in the history of the Left in Ireland.  As always, thanks to those who contributed documents, took part in discussions, and posted corrections.

Here are some of the most popular new documents (according to the questionable statistics of the archive’s visitor metrics):

An edition of Congress ’86, a journal produced in the late 1980s by the League of Communist Republicans.


From the Irish Workers’ Party in 1966 we have 1916-1966 – a collection of articles marking the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

(Further materials relating to the centenary were posted earlier in the year, and all are listed in the  1916 Rising collection).

The first edition of Teoiric (“Theoretical Journal of the Republican Movement”), from Official Sinn Féin in 1971.


The second edition of Sinn Féin’s An Phoblacht, from 1970, which deals with the then recent Sinn Féin split in an open letter from Ruairí O Brádaigh headlined “Where Sinn Féin Stands”.

Finally, from the Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front in the UK (established by the Communist Workers League of Britain (Marxist–Leninist)), an edition of Irish Liberation Press.


Socialism 2000: Political Journal of the Socialist Party The End of the ‘Long War’? Autumn 1998, Issue 3. December 19, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download the above please click on the following link. soc2000

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Joan Collins who forwarded this to the Archive.

This document is reprinted, not because it is difficult to find online, it is available here in full in text form, but because the Archive attempts to present documents as they were, in terms of the full printed publications in order to get a sense not just of the content but of the form.

This edition offers a strong critique of the IRA campaign by Ciaran Mulholland. He argues that:

The IRA’s war was strategically destined to fail and was politically a disaster for the working class . No other analysis is or was, from the outset, possible.

In the course of a long and expansive piece that touches on the Marxist analysis of the use of individual terrorism and examples of groups including Red Army Faction and Direct Action Mulholland argues also that the IRA ‘did have significant support’ but suggests that ‘The IRA campaign by alienating protestants totally and strengthening protestant reaction, made it more likely that Britain would stay, not less likely. If the Provos ever had achieved their objective of a British withdrawal the result would have been a sectarian civil war and repartition, not a united Ireland.’

Lynn Walsh examines “international Capitalism’s Economic and Social Crisis’ and suggests that:

All the contradictions of the neo-liberal adventure are manifest in the current downturn. It is not merely, or even primarily, a financial crisis: it is a deeply rooted crisis of capital accumulation, now expressing itself as a crisis of production.

And he continues:

The leaders of the advanced capitalist countries have been plunged into a crisis of policy.


Capitalism will not be able to escape form its fundamental contradictions. Whatever the depth and duration of the coming world slump, however, the world economy will sooner or later, given the political weakness of the forces opposed to capitalism, move into a new period of cyclical growth. This will not allow the capitalist to repair the damage to the system’s foundations, and the ruling class will face mounting mass opposition to its rotten system.

Joe Higgins, then the sole TD of the SP, is strongly critical of ‘Deportations: the Brutal Side of State Racism’ in a short but very pointed piece that concludes:

Fighting deportations is the key task but it is not the only issue we face. There is also the forthcoming government legislation which represents a major assault on immigrant rights in Ireland.

There are two book reviews, one on Drugs and the other of John Pilger’s then latest work. All in all a cogent work that adds to the collection of Socialist Party materials already in the Archive.

Left Archive: The Theory of Permanent Revolution – A Critique, Loizois Michail – Trotskyism Study Group, Communist Party of Great Britain, 1977 November 14, 2016

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To download the above please click on the following link. CPGB TSG 1977

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Michael Cunningham for forwarding this to the Archive.

This document is somewhat anomalous in the archive in that it does not directly address the political situation in Ireland. However, as a production of the Trotskyist Study Group of the Communist Party of Great Britain there is a tenuous link to Ireland. Geoff Roberts, the historian at UCC and author of various works on Stalin and the Soviet Union was, it appears,> a member of that group in the CPGB. Others involved included Monty Johnstone, Betty Reid, Liozos Michail and John Callaghan. Mention is made online to the TSG in various places and any further information would be welcome.

Still, as an indication of a response from the CPGB towards the increasing popularity of Trotskyist parties in the UK and, indeed, in Ireland during the late 1960s and early 1970s it is well worth considering.

In relation to the group the Preface outlines its aims;

The Trotskyism Study Group consists of a group of Communist Party members engaged in the study of various aspects of the history, theory, and politics of Trostkyism. As part of our work we intend to publish a series of articles and documents dealing with some of the controversial questions that Communists and Trotskyists have devoted over the past 50 years. The first of these is the present pamphlet which discuses possibly the most contentious issues of that continuing debate – Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. For those readers wishing to examine the issues involved more fully a brief reading list is appended at the back.

The views expressed in this pamphlet should not be taken to express the views of the Communist Party or those of the Trotskyism Study Group or those of any individual members apart from the author himself.

Irish Left Archive: Womens View: Spring/Summer 1989 (Workers’ Party) November 7, 2016

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. wvwp89

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is a later edition of Womens View, the womens publication of the Workers’ Party. In 28 pages it covers a broad range of issues and there is an overt linkage to Workers’ Party political activity with the inside front page that includes photographs of WP European Election candidate (and later Independent left TD Catherine Murphy).

Under the heading Equality News there are short pieces on a range of topics including Labour Court rulings on Telecom Eireann women workers on the issue of equal pay, European Community guides to ‘positive action programmes’ and mention of what appeared to a discriminatory attitude to women gardai by that organisation.

Notable is a focus on women in Tallaght, including a full page piece on Tallaght Adult and Community Training. which notes that ‘for women their participation in adult education is a springboard for becoming involved in their community’. This also notes the opening of a Tallaght Women’s Contact Centre due to the efforts of combined women’s groups since 1984.

Another piece examines links between education and inequality and the impact on women in particular – part of this notes that ‘working class girls have even less chance than working class boys of participating in third level education’. Included in this are the personal testimonies of parents one of whom sent her children to a Gaelscoil and another who sent her son to a non-denominational and co-educational school.

Mary MacMahon gives a view from Northern Ireland on the Milan Conference of Women of the European Left, which positions the struggles of women in the very particular context of the North. This makes an interesting point:

The Ireland Fund, established as part of the Anglo-Irish Agreement is seen as little more than an SDLP slush fund, pushing Yankee dollars into the hands of private entrepreneurs in the areas they regard as politically important.

She concludes by stating that:

Discrimination can be declared illegal; ridding the member states of sexist attitudes is altogether another thing.

…it is our contention that the struggle for Peace in Ireland, and indeed in Europe, is indistinguishable from the struggle for Socialism. Without peace there can be no serious progress for left-wing politics; without left-wing politics continually asserting the values of communal activity and the need for struggle there can be no peace.

Rosheen Callender writes on how ‘Poverty is a political issue’ and other articles address Sellafield as well as issues addressing carers.

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