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ILA Podcast #13: Brian Hanley: The Lost Revolution – The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party October 26, 2020

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In this episode we talk to historian Brian Hanley about The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party, the book which he co-authored with Scott Millar, published in 2009. We discuss the history of Official Republicanism from the move to the Left in the 1960s up to the contemporary, and how Brian and Scott went about researching and writing the history of that movement.

Brian Hanley is Assistant Professor in Twentieth Century Irish History in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin. His other books include The IRA, 1926-1936 (2002), A Documentary History of the IRA, 1916-2005 (2010) and The impact of the Troubles on the Republic of Ireland, 1968-79: boiling volcano? (2018).

The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party is published by Penguin .


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

ILA Podcast #12: Informal Archives, From Print to Digital, Local Government, and Left Organisations October 19, 2020

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We’ve been very lucky in the podcast so far to have had guests from a range of political activity, including elected representatives; campaigners, organisers and activists; and people involved in archiving political material.

In this episode we discuss clips from each of those guests to illustrate four themes that have come up so far: the role of informal archives; the shift from print to digital publication, and consequently digital organising; the benefits and the limitations of local government seats; and the nature and diversity of Left organisations.

Thanks to everyone who has listened so far! We’ve more guests lined up in the coming weeks.


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

Left Archive: Hands off Seán Russell, leaflet, Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland, 2020 October 19, 2020

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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This document is from a relatively newly formed group, Anti-Imperialist Action, Ireland. A panel on the reverse side notes:

Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland is an All-Ireland Socialist Republican mass-organisation dedicated to combat and resist British, EU and US imperialism on the island of Ireland. AIA owes its allegiance to the All-Ireland People’s Republic; Proclaimed in Arms in Dublin 1916 and established on January 21st 1919.

Campaigning since 2017, AIA is building a People’s Resistance and bring all progressive forces into a united front against fascism, capitalism and imperialism. As a revolutionary socialist republican organisation, AIA continues in the best traditions of Irish Republicanism and the International Communist movement. As an All-Ireland body the organisation has coistí, events and actions across the country. If there’s isn’t a coiste in your area get in touch and form one!

The leaflet argues:

There will be few in the Fairview area that are not aware that recently the Sean Russell Monument in Fairview Park, had once again been defaced. Painted with the colours of an LGBTQ flag, it has certainly confused republicans given that Russell and his comrades were not known for the targeting of homosexuals. The use then of a form of the Gay Pride colours in the attack is nonsensical, displaying the apparent ignorance of the perpetrators who do not speak on behalf of the LGBTQ community. The reality is that this stunt has provided a useful gift to the right and far-right in Ireland that seeks influence through dividing the working classes and questions remain over whether it were these forces that are responsible. Supporting this suspicion is the fact that the rainbow flag in question was painted upside down.

And:

Taking their cue from Varadkar, members of Ireland’s disparate fascist movement have, in recent months, been posing at monuments to Ireland’s patriot dead for photo opportunities to put up on social media.

And it continues:

The Sean Russell monument after all, is one that is dedicated to the IRA in the dark days of the 30s and 40s and requires some respect. Naturally then, Irish Republicans will not allow the current crop of Irish fascists to claim our monuments or our patriot dead, or indeed to associate themselves with the revolutionary struggle for national liberation and an All­ Ireland Socialist Republic. It was the Black Panther Party member Assata Shakur who once warned, “It’s got to be one of the most basic principles of living: always decide who your enemies are for yourself, and never let your enemies choose your enemies for you. “

The leaflet is particularly notable for appearing during the pandemic when many forms of political expression and activity have been curtailed.


Any other documents issued by AIA are very welcome. Their website is here.

Left Archive: Irish Manifestos Archive September 28, 2020

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This week the Left Archive podcast discusses the Irish Manifesto Archive with Green Party Cllr. Michael Pidgeon. It’s a very comprehensive archive of local, European and General election manifestos which has material from most political groups in the state and in many instances dating back decades.

Michael has donated documents to the ILA and vice versa) and here is a joint post with the Left Archive and the Manifesto Archive from 2008 on the Green Party Election Manifesto 1989 – written by Michael.

The Archive can be viewed by Party, or by Election, and there’s also a selection of Programmes for Government.

One particularly useful feature is the use of photographs of leaders – and it is intriguing to see the numbers of campaigns some leaders have been in situ as compared with others.

Documents of particular interest from a left perspective include the ULA manifesto from 2011 which does not appear to have taken a printed format.

If you want to get in touch with materials you can contact Michael on twitter here or at the following email
m.pidge@gmail.com.

ILA Podcast, 8: Orla Egan: Cork LGBT Archive September 21, 2020

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Irish Left Archive Podcast - Episode 8, with Orla Egan

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In this episode we are joined by Orla Egan of the Cork LGBT Archive. Orla founded the project in 2015, and has developed it to now encompass a digital archive available at CorkLGBTArchive.com , which is also retained as part of both the Digital Repository of Ireland  and Europeana ; a physical archive now housed in the Cork City Council Public Museum; a book entitled Queer Republic of Cork; and a number of exhibitions.

We talk to Orla about how she developed the archive as a volunteer with limited resources to the multi-format project it now encompasses; the histories and stories of the Cork LGBT community represented in the archive material; the challenges of a community archive project; and the value of community archives as activism.

These are the open projects and tools for archives mentioned by Orla:

  • Omeka  – open source platform for digital collections
  • Homosaurus  – an international LGBTQ linked data vocabulary

Some materials from the Cork LGBT Archive mentioned in this episode:


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

ILA Podcast, 7: Mary Muldowney: Trade Union and Left Campaigns, the Socialist Party, and Oral History September 14, 2020

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In this episode we talk to Mary Muldowney about her political background and experience campaigning in the trade union movement and working in the Socialist Party; pro-choice campaigns including the Women on Waves ship and the abortion referendums; and her work as a historian, and how that relates to her activism.

Mary is a historian in residence with Dublin City Libraries. She is the author of The Second World War and Irish Women: An Oral History, originally her PhD thesis. She has a particular interest in oral history, and was involved in the founding of the Oral History Network Ireland, edited the Alternative Visions Oral History Group book 100 Years Later: the Legacy of the 1913 Lockout on the centenary of the lockout, and is also involved in the Labour History Society.

As an activist on the Left, Mary has been involved in trade unionism, was formerly a member of the Socialist Party and worked with Joe Higgins in the Dáil, and has been involved in many campaigns over the years.


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

Irish Left Archive: selections from Siptu Fightback, 1990s-2000 from the Struggle Archive… September 14, 2020

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Mary Muldowney guests on the Irish Left Archive Podcast today and we thought it appropriate to post about one of the publications she was involved with Des Derwin, Alan MacSimóin and others in, that being Siptu Fightback which was published in the late 1990s and 2000.

If anyone has a copy they would scan or forward to us for scanning so that we can have one in the Archive we would be very grateful.

However, in the meantime here is an excellent online selection of some of the articles from SIPTU Fightback from the Struggle Archive – in itself a very useful and comprehensive online resource, and for more on that see below – which give a real flavour of the publication.

For example, Issue 9 from February 1999 had the following contents:

 

And here is the publications outline of their goals:

SIPTU Fightback is a newsletter for SIPTU activists who believe that the strength of our Union should be used to fight low pay, job losses, wage restraint and cheap labour grades. We think that can only be done effectively when the members have real control of their own union. Our aim is to provide a link-up for the many activists in SIPTU who want a fighting Union, but who feel isolated and powerless. We want to provide news and views, an open forum and a modest service for those activists.

We hope that this bulletin could be a small step towards the creation of a ‘solidarity network’ which can support workers in struggle for better pay, better conditions and trade union rights; win support for the repeal or radical reform of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act and for workers who defy it; win the argument against ‘social partnership’ deals which tie us to the interests of the bosses; promote greater democracy in our Union, particularly more membership involvement and decision making powers at grassroots level; support struggles of the unemployed, the poor and the oppressed and for real equality for women in the workforce.

Our editorial committee is open to broadly like-minded SIPTU members and the newsletter will be independent of all political parties. Its pages are open to views not in accord with our own. Signed articles will not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial committee. The committee members are Des Derwin, Electronics and Engineering Branch (a member of the Dublin Private Sector Regional Executive Committee); Mary Muldowney, Education Branch (who is President of her Branch) and Alan MacSimóin, Education Branch (a member of Trinity College Section Committee). We do not speak in these pages for any of the above Union bodies.

Also to be found on that webpage is the following pamphlet:

Solidarity not Social Partnership – Why SIPTU should say no to another partnership deal
Pamphlet produced for SIPTU Thursday 6th October 2005 Biennial National Conference in Cork. “Conference should vote against Motion 59 because social partnership is a lie, a rip-off and has floored our movement. SIPTU needs a new direction and a renewal as a fighting,” participatory organisation. PDF file of this text

For a full outline of the contents of the Struggle site please go here.

As it notes:

The functionality proved by struggle was replaced by indymedia and sites like Anarkismo.net. So this site is now mostly an archive with new additions limited to stuff that other sites are not suitable for. There are thousands of documents here and hundreds of photographs as well as a few still maintained sections. My intention is to maintain the site into the future principally as an archive and reference.

And:

Struggle was a collection of web pages put up on a voluntary basis for a variety of Irish struggles the web maintainer was connected to and for Irish and international anarchist groups. It is not intended to imply any relationship between any of the organisations whom I have provided space for on this page (outside of the fact that by putting up pages for them I obviously consider them worth supporting).

ILA Podcast, 6: Rhona McCord: Trade Unionism, the Right2Water Campaign, and Community Organising September 7, 2020

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In this episode we talk to Rhona McCord about her political background, the Right2Water and Right2Change campaigns, community organising, and the challenges for the left and Trade Union movement in the contemporary period.

Rhona is a long-time activist on the left, she has been involved in Militant, union activism, the United Left Alliance, and a number of campaigns including Right 2 Water and Right 2 Change. She currently works for Unite in Strategic Research, Community Development and Communications. She also has a doctorate from TCD for research into the ‘Post World War Two Suburban Development of Dublin’.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

 

Left Archive: Fingal Fund Raising Poster and other documents from Right2Water, 2010s September 7, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. r2w-fundraiser-poster.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Given the release of the Irish Left Archive Podcast interview with activist Rhona McCord today it seems appropriate to include materials from the Right2Water campaign which she, and many other leftists, were involved in during the mid-2010s.

As noted here on the Right2Water site which as of late 2020 is still operational the campaign set out its objectives:

Who are we? If you believe that water is a human right then we are you!

The provision of sufficient water and sanitation is an essential public service and a human right recognised by the United Nations. It should be freely available to all regardless of wealth or income.

All citizens need clean drinking water and quality sanitation. Right2Water.ie is a public campaign by activists, citizens, community groups, political parties/individuals and trade unionists who are calling for the Government to recognise and legislate for access to water as a human right. We are demanding the Government abolish the planned introduction of water charges.

Why we’re against water charges

Water charges will discriminate against working people and the unemployed in favour of the wealthy and are another regressive tax taking vital money out of the pockets of people and out of our economy. Our public water system is already paid for through general taxation which is progressive and we wish it to remain that way.

Your campaign

The Right2Water campaign has started with a petition and we aim to collect 50,000 signatures before the forthcoming budget. However, that’s not the end of it. Our intention is to raise awareness of this vital issue and to ensure that water charges remain in the public consciousness ahead of Ireland’s next General Election and in the upcoming bye-elections. We will be contacting all political parties and Independent TD’s in the coming months seeking a commitment that they will legislate for the removal of water charges should they be elected into any future government.

As wiki notes the first R2W first march in Dublin was in October 2014. Subsequent to that there were protests, including a second march in November and “These demonstrations forced major concessions from the government”. National demonstrations continued in 2015 and 2016. As late as the week before the 2016 General Election 80,000 people attended a march in Dublin.

A broad range of groups, parties and formations supported the campaign:

Right2Water Ireland is supported by trade unions Unite the Union, the Communication Workers Union, the Civil and Public Services Union, MANDATE and Operative Plasterers and Allied Trades Society of Ireland (OPATSI), as well as political parties and politicians including Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the People Before Profit Alliance, the Workers’ Party of Ireland, éirígí and Sinn Féin.[1][2]

The following documents were issued by elected representatives referencing or focused on the campaign.

Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams TD

People Before Profit, Richard Boyd Barrett TD

United Left Alliance, Joan Collins TD

For a selection of documents here is a sampling from Irish Election Literature.

ILA Podcast, 5: Alan Kinsella: Collecting Political Ephemera, “The Others”, and Politics During a Pandemic August 31, 2020

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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In this episode we talk to Alan Kinsella about his Irish Election Literature  collection, how it has developed, and the advantages of a wide online network that has spread internationally; how political activity has changed during the Covid19 pandemic; his podcast “The Others” and the histories that that explores; and also the state of the contemporary party system since the last election and the current coalition was formed.

Alan will likely be known to any followers of Irish politics as the man behind the Irish Election Literature collection. He digitises a lot of documents on his website and on social media, as well as having exhibited materials several times, including in the National Print Museum (in an exhibition that also included a small selection from the Irish Left Archive), and at party Ard Fheiseanna. He regularly appears in the media as the de facto expert on election material and Irish political ephemera, and has recently started a podcast called “The Others – the Alan Kinsella podcast”  in which he tells the stories of some of the smaller groups and parties to have stood in elections over the years.

Alan has also been very generous in donating material to the Irish Left Archive over the years.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

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