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To download the above please click on the following link. UI SEPT2
This edition of the United Irishman from Official Sinn Féin is one of a series of United Irishman and Starry Ploughs that date from the feud between the INLA and the OIRA in Spring/Summer 1975 which have been posted in the Archive this year.
It contains a broad range of articles. The focus is notably, given the events of the Summer of 1975 and the conflict between the OIRA and INLA/PLA, focused on the economy. And while the front page headline is ‘United Against Sectarian Murder’ – and an accompanying centre spread on that topic argues strenuously for working class unity in the face of such violence, the rest of the front page incorporates an article entitled ‘Expand the economy – resist then jobs cut-back’.
Inside there are some mentions of the OIRA, including a report on how Belfast Command Staff I.R.A. ‘reported two successful defensive actions against sectarian bombers and gunmen in the Banwmore Estate, Shore Road and at Divis Flats, Falls Road last month’. It reports that in relation to these incidents ‘an IRA patrol returned fire and prevented what was clearly a determined assault on the Flats complex’.
Elsewhere the focus is explicitly on the political, including editorials that examine the death of Eamonn De Valera and one on a workers protest against threatened job losses in Belfast. There is a long article on ‘Tourist rip-off for Irish hotels’ and a piece entitled ‘An Ghaeilge Marbh’ (notable is the continuing focus on the Irish language in the UI’s of this period).
The ‘Women of Their Time’ column discusses Louie Bennett of the IWWU. International events are covered by pieces on Angola, Vietnam and Kissinger. There is a report on the Dublin Port Redevelopment plans of the period which supports wholesale industrialisation of that area.
Left Archive: An Analysis of the Significance of the Ulster Workers’ Strike – May 14th-30th, 1974 – A Series of Articles from RED PATRIOT Editorial Staff Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). September 28, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
To download the above please click on the following link. REDPATRIOTUWC1974GO
This is a fascinating document published in the aftermath of the Ulster Workers Council Strike. It is drawn from articles produced by RED PATRIOT staff (see Archive here) and takes a very distinctive line on the strike. The articles include an overview of the strike which takes up most of the 70 plus pages document, A ‘reference article’ on the Northern Ireland Economy. Another on Sectarianism in Northern Ireland. A further piece on how ‘The ‘Council of Ireland’ is an Attempt to Further Unite the Irish Comprador Bourgeoisie against the Irish People. Finally there are two pieces comprising a Statement of the Dublin Branch of the CPI (M-L) on how ‘Anti-Sunningdale Strike Reveals the Strength of the Irish Working Class’ and one one entitled ‘Down With British Imperialism’s Latest White Paper’.
It argues strongly in favour of the strike ‘[where] Ulster workers dealt a severe blow to the British monopoly capitalist class, as well as to the Irish comprador bourgeoisie north and south. it was also a great step forward of the working class in Ulster, and strengthened their class consciousness, unity and revolutionary sentiment’.
It further proposes that:
At the beginning of the strike Craig, Paisley and West were the last people to appalled the workers because what they fear more than anything else is the workers taking the question of political power into their own hands, organising themselves and having done with the bourgeoisie. During the strike they were literally told on what basis the workers would have anything to do with them and were forced to accept…
It is not a matter whether Craig, Paisley and West have agreed to this but that they have no choice but to make definite concessions to the workers if they wish to retain any political credence.
And it continues:
Even this minimal use which the workers are putting them to will definitely be done away with before long as more and more workers see the necessity to join with the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), the only party based uncompromisingly on the interests of the proletariat.
The document has harsh words for many different groups, including the Unionists, Loyalists, the SDLP and indeed both Official and Provisional Sinn Féin. Notably, however, is the hostility of its analysis in regard to the British and Irish Communist Organisation who also regarded the strike as a positive manifestation of working class unity.
A most interesting addition to the Archive and to the stock of documents from the CPI (M-L) [for more see here in the Archive].
Left Archive: Manifesto, Local Government Elections, Labour Party, 1979 September 14, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Labour Party.
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To download the above please click on the following link.
Many thanks to Peter Mooney for donating this document to the Archive – one of many from his collection that is being posted here this year and next.
This fourteen page document was published by the Labour Party in advance of the 1979 Local Government Elections.
The introduction is of particular interest:
It notes that:
The policies of the present Fianna Fail Government have taken away the initiative and autonomy of Local Authorities and replaced local initiative with a centralised bureaucracy. FF’s Dublin centred bureaucratic form of Local Government is stringing local communities throughout the country.
It argues that:
Labour is committed to genuine local democracy at community level. We recognise that local initiative of ordinary people can, if property harnessed, bring about the resolution of many of their local problems.
It suggests that:
Labour realises that the problems of local communities will only be solved finally by the application of a comprehensive set of socialist policies to all our social ills. Labour’s socialist programme which has been developed in detail to cover the many aspects of communal life forms the basis of this short-term programme of policy action which is designed to enable Local Authorities throughout the country to being immediately the task of attacking social injustice and promoting social policy and harmony.
Various sections engage with Transportation, Planning, Housing, Physical Amenities, Youth Facilities, 1979-The year of the Child, Disabled People, Local Government Reform and the Conclusion.
In relation to funding the document argues;
The autonomy of local authorities has been further undermined by the abolition of domestic rates. Labour has always argued that rates were a bad form of taxation. Labour will abolish the rating system entirely and establish a new form of financing for Local Authorities. This will consist of a statutory per capita grant each year, plus a block development grant.
Left Archive: Workers Life, Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party, May 1981 September 7, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin The Workers Party.
To download the above please click on the following link. WL 81
Many thanks to Áine Mannion for forwarding this to the Archive.
This edition of Workers Life, the magazine of Sinn Féin The Workers’ Party joins the other in the Archive and further underscores the good production values of this publication. Again, like the other issue it does not overly emphasise its links to SFWP. The editorial discusses the foreign policy of the Republic of Ireland with reference to the then permanent representative of the Irish government to the United Nations, Noel Dorr who was at that point President of the Security Council.
There is an account of the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis and an analysis of the Irish left under the heading ‘The General Election will see a shift in balance on the Left as Sinn Féin The Workers’ Party make their long-awaited breakthrough’. Des O’Hagan contributes a piece on the Fermanagh/South Tyrone by-election where Bobby Sands defeated OUP candidate Harry West. In the course of that piece he suggests that:
If ever here was an occasion when one would like to be a political scientist examining elections from the vantage point of city years hence, then surely the impending Northern Ireland Local Government elections is that occasion. The reasons are obvious. Apart from the atmosphere in which the elections are being conducted, sectarians, violence and the absence of a central democratic government, voters are confronted with a bewildering variety of parties, if not programmes, from which to pick.
Paddy Gillan examines the relationship between Anthony Cronin and Charles Haughey, there’s a piece on ‘PAYE workers still waiting for reform’ and one on the ‘battle for the minds and pockets of the public in the Republic by the large supermarket multiples and the so-called ‘independent’ grocers…’.
There’s a section on the International Year of the Disabled which calls for full participation and equality.
In international affairs there’s a sympathetic article on the French PCF and one on the recent coup attempt in Spain. There’s also a broad range of essays and pieces on culture and a poem is included too.
Linking up the Left Archive with external resources September 1, 2015Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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We’ve recently added a feature to the Left Archive to allow us to include links to some of the other online resources related to individual parties, publications or people on their respective pages. There are several groups for which there are interesting materials online, but few or no documents currently in the archive, so hopefully this will be useful for people searching for particular groups.
In many cases this means linking directly to the relevant category in other broad archives – Irish Election Literature, Irish Election Manifesto Archive, Irish Anarchist History – but there are also some useful more specific resources out there, like the Connolly Association’s recently digitized Irish Democrat archive.
If you scroll down below the list of documents, you’ll see a list of external resources on a lot of pages now. As ever, suggestions are welcome, and there are likely a number of other resources that could be added, so if you are aware of any useful links that should be included, please let us know.
Left Archive: Northern Ireland Report, Number 24, August 1999 August 31, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Northern Ireland Report.
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To download the above please click on the following link. NORTHIRLREP 24 1995
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This document adds to our collection of Northern Ireland Report, a US based publication from the 1990s which sought to position itself as a left critique of Sinn Féin. The edition we first posted up some time back was Number 2 from 1992. This, Number 24, from 1995 is obviously positioned at a different time in the progress of the peace process.
In that respect the leading article is ‘It’s the Veto—Stupid’.
Other pieces deal with the Combined Loyalist Military Command’s statement that it will not ‘restart war’, another notes the IRSP argues the IRA should reconsider its ceasefire. Another has former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds criticising the British.
There’s a fascinating piece by Jim Dee which considers whether the then situation was a ‘win, lose or draw?’ for SF. It suggests that:
Sinn Féin has won the first stage of the peace – hands down. Since the mid-1970’s, the vast majority of the general public has equated the IRA and SF with crisis (e.g. the Hunger Strikes, Gibraltar and its bloody aftermath, Warrington, etc.). Today the republican movement has transformed its public image, conveying an image of flexibility via a leadership quickly learning the ropes of international statecraft. And while no delusions should be harboured regarding rewards to date – there have been no tangible rewards – republican flexibility signals a maturing and growth of the movement which will serve them well in the days ahead.
There’s an interview with Sinn Féin’s Mairead Keane, who at that point headed up SF’s Washington D.C. office. There’s a fairly critical analysis of Martin Dillon and his works on the conflict in Northern Ireland.
The back page has a notice which reads:
NIR is an independent publication and is not affiliated with any political party, group or organisation in Northern Ireland or the United States.
Left Archive: United Irishman – An t-Eireannach Aontaithe, Lunasa (August) 1975, Official Sinn Féin August 24, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin.
To download the above please click on the following link. UI AUGUST 1975 copy lo
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This edition of the United Irishman from Official Sinn Féin is one of a series of United Irishman and Starry Ploughs that date from the feud between the INLA and the OIRA in Spring/Summer 1975.
The cover article – Energy Programme needed not A-Bombs – references proposals to have a nuclear reactor in Wexford operational in 1980. The tone is deeply antagonistic to the proposal arguing that ‘the plan threatens the livers of our people of this and future generations’. By way of contrast a piece on the back page examines, quite favourably, proposals for an oil refinery sister in Dublin Bay. It argues that:
There is only one way in which Ireland can solve the joint problems of unemployment and emigration. this is by developing her international trade. Over 99 per cent of this trade by volume is carried by sea and more than 60 percent of the general cargo, the most valuable constituent, passes through the Port of Dublin.
Other notable aspects of this edition are a number of stories about activities and statements from various sections of the OIRA, including one on how “D” Company of Belfast Command prevented the kidnapping of a former internee and discovered a haul of undercover British Army weapons. The editorial suggests that ‘Recent killings, claims and counter claims are evince that he enemies of the working class are preparing for their kind of ‘solution’.
There’s a piece on Mother Jones, another on Portugal and a two page spread on the need for ‘Human rights must be fully guaranteed’ along with a four point outline of what OSF demands in that regard.
There is only oblique mention of the OIRA/IRSP(PLA) conflict of earlier in the Summer. This is most notable in the Sinn Féin Platform column which carries the text of a speech by Tomas Mac Giolla addressing a conference on Sectarianism in Derry. This includes the statement that:
We know that a purely military campaign would destroy the unity which the Civil Rights struggle was developing, that it would strengthen bigotry and sectarianism and eventually solidify once again the Orange Unionist structure. Our purpose was to eliminate sectarianism completely.