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Left Archive: Starry Plough Magazine, Number 3, Irish Republican Socialist Party, 2009 July 25, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. SP 3

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this document to the archive. It is a further addition to the Archive from this source.

There are a wide range of articles in the magazine including a number of articles on the ‘Occupy’ movement. Another piece asks what happened to the concept of ‘Cradle to the Grave care by the state. There is a reprint of a short essay by James Connolly on Socialism and Irish Nationalism.

Under the heading ‘Looking back at our history’ is an article entitled ‘Learning from Seamus Costello’. This notes that ‘Costello states that the IRSP are ‘a revolutionary socialist party’ whose objectives are ‘a revolutionary socialist state in Ireland’ leaving no doubt whatsoever about the party’s Marxist orientation. He is by no means an isolationist and state state that he regards the Irish Republcian Socialist Movement’s struggle for a democratic Socialist Republic ‘as part of the worldwide struggle for the emancipation of working class people’.

It notes that ‘he clearly sees engagement in liberal democracy as a means to an end, with a view to destroying ‘the confidence of the people in these institutions’ not propping them up or conferring legitimacy on them.

Interestingly the article argues that ‘Costello’s ‘broad front’ has been left open to various interpretations, to a certain extent, though we are able to see unequivocally what it is definitely not, i.e. namely not a pan-Nationalist type front. When Costello was proposing broad front politics in the 1970s the Republican Movement had already split along generally left-right lines, yet both movements ostensibly shared the same goal of a Socialist Republic’.

Other pieces of interest include an article on Máirtín Ó Cadhain, another criticising selective education and organising the unemployed and an intriguing piece on ‘Republican Unity’.

One interesting aspect of the publication are the footers which highlight ‘A world of injustice’ with accounts of inequality and exploitation.

Left Archive: Anarchism and Ireland: A Beginners’ Guide, Workers Solidarity Movement, 1996 July 4, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. Anarchism and Ireland

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to David Convery and John Cunningham of the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class for the following document (and to the WSM too). An earlier edition of this pamphlet from the 1980s can be found here at the impressive Irish Anarchist History archive. As the IAH notes:

Published shortly after their formation (in September 1984) this was an introduction to the politics of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It was republished in 1987 and a new edition with a section on how ideas change was published in 1989. The initial print run was 1,000 and both reprints were either 500 or 1,000.

The IAH also notes that the document ‘positioned the WSM within the trade union movement’ and was a rejection of ‘anarcho-syndicalist strategy of… trying to build separate revolutionary unions’. Notably it rejects patriarchy.

It also notes that the intention of the pamphlet in all its iterations was to demonstrate how the WSM presented itself to others on the Irish left.

This edition notes in a preface by Kevin Doyle that:

In the seven years since the WSM last reprinted “Anarchism and Ireland” the reasons for doing so again have been more than demonstrated. Despite the great technological advances and the huge wealth and resources that now exist throughout the world, millions continue to die from starvation and from the major preventable diseases.

It notes that “Ireland is no expect ion to the injustice and inequality that prevails” and points to national deals that ‘have been stitched up between bosses and unions over the past nine years’.

It continues that:

The WSM is an anarchist organisation. We aim for a revolution by the working class which will overthrow the bosses and their governments and create a society run and controlled by those who actually produce the wealth of the world.

The pamphlet is divided into short sections that address different issues including The National Question, Women’s Freedom and The Trade Unions while also addressing pivotal moments in the history and development of anarchist thought including Russia and in particular Spain.

It also includes a reading list of further publications for those interested.

On that topic this is a PDF list courtesy of the WSM of documents issued by them.

FG and free votes July 3, 2016

Posted by Tomboktu in Democracy, Ethics, Fine Gael.
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I haven’t seen the incident reflected in my screen shot below mentioned in any of the discussion on John Halligan’s intentions on how he will vote on Mick Wallace’s bill to permit terminations of pregnancy in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

It’s an extract from a Dáil vote on Tuesday 16 July 1974, and it shows the last-plus-two Fine Gael Taoiseach before Enda Kenny, Liam Cosgrave, voting Níl along side the leader of Fianna Fáil, Jack Lynch.

They were both voting against the Control of Importation, Sale and Manufacture of Contraceptives Bill, 1974, at the second stage, when the Dáil decides if it will accept the bill in principle. The Dáil didn’t, by 75 votes to 61.

The Supreme Court had ruled legislation prohibiting the import and sale of contraception was unconstitutional, and the Minister for Justice had prepared and proposed the bill to bring the law into line with the Constitution.

Two contrasts with today are worth noting:
(1) Fine Gael was prepared to allow not merely ministers, but the most senior cabinet minister, vote against a government bill without penalty.
(2) Unlike the situation with Attorney General’s advice on whether Mick Wallace’s bill is constitutional, there was no doubt in 1974 with the unconstitutionality of the law that the Taoiseach voted to leave in place.

Left Archive: Trade Councils Model Rules and Notes for Guidance – ICTU c. 1970 June 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to PM for forwarding this document to the Archive.

It is a short twelve page pamphlet that outlines the rules and notes for guidance from ICTU. It was a part of the Education Programme of Congress and one of a number of booklets issued by ICTU designed to give members an insight into the workings of various aspects of the unions, including ‘Your Union and You’, ‘Operating the ‘All-Out Strike’’ and ‘Structure and Functions of Congress’.

The introduction touches on this noting that:

The circumstances in which a modern trade council performs its fucitnos have changed substantially since the first trades councils were established. Centralisation of organisation, national agreements, social changes and such developments as modern transport facilities, and modern information services (press, radio and TV) have brought about changes both in trade union organisation and in the communities in which trades councils operate.

It argues that ‘some trades councils have not sufficiently adapted themselves to the changes which have taken place… the result if frustration, andy eh council may eventually find itself unable to continue in operation due to lack of interest by its members’.

It suggests that:

Of the functions (of trades councils) probably the most important is the provision of a line of communication between membership and Congress and between members of different unions in a locality. The development and strengthening of these ‘lines of communication’ is essential to the integration of the trade union movement, enabling it to act in a unified manner and so achieve its economic and social objectives.

Left Archive: Norwich Clann na h’Eireann, Official Sinn Féin, c.1975 June 20, 2016

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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This unusual and short document is a handwritten, copied double sided leaflet that was issued during the 1970s on behalf of the Norwich cumann of Clann na h’Eireann. Clann na h’Eireann was the UK based support group for Official Sinn Féin and the Official Republican Movement. Their main publication was Rosc Catha (an example of which can be found in the Archive here).

The introductory paragraph notes that fact, as when it says:

Clann na h’Eireann is the political support group in this country of the Official Republicn Movement in Ireland. As such we are often approached by people who whilst they might not completely agree with us politically, ask us if there is any way in which they can help us.

It further notes issues that it campaigned against that elicited some support during the period, The Jenkins Anti-Terrorist Act, British Troop, Internment & Bill of Rights, Press Bias. On the latter it argues that:

Our two best weapons in this flight are two newspapers ‘the United Irishman’ and ‘Rosc Catha’. A copy of the latter is being posted in the Archive over the Summer. In relation to Rosc Catha the leaflet notes ‘it has had a lot of harassment etc and a subsequent loss of finance so any donations even pennies would be appreciated.

It also mentions Political Prisoners and lists those in English jails.

The mention of the poor finances of Rosc Catha perhaps also accounts for the hand-rendered quality of this document which is quite unlike other material emanating from OSF or OSF related formations during this period.

Left Archive: Congress ’86, League of Communist Republicans, Issue 5, Winter 1988 June 13, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download the above please click on the following link. Congress 86 Issue 5 Winter 1988

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Many thanks to the person – they prefer to be called Master McGrath – who donated this and others documents to the Archive. It expands a section which has needed extra materials for quite some time.

The League of Communist Republicans was a group of Republican prisoners in H-Block who split with the Provisional IRA during the 1980s. As noted in the Left Archive:

With the end of abstention by Sinn Féin at the 1986 Ard Fhéis there was a mass resignation of about 100 IRA prisoners in Long Kesh. Of this number a smaller group combined in November 1986 as the League of Communist Republicans. Their position was interesting since they argued that the armed campaign was of limited use at that point in time (and who better to know?) and that Sinn Féin was retreating from the left.


One of those pivotal to the LCR was Tommy McKearney who developed their programme (reproduced, not quite in full due to missing pages, in the last pages of the PDF above):

WE STAND FOR: 1. An independent Sovereign Republic of All Ireland. 2. A Revolutionary Democratic Government, under the control of the Workers and the Small Farmers. 3. Administration of the State to be under the supervision of a National Assembly which practices Direct Participatory Democracy, ie deputies are subject to recall. THE STATE MUST GUARANTEE ITS CITIZENS: • Work at an acceptable wage. • A home suitable to the citizen’s needs. • An education to the highest level compatible with the citizen’s ability. • Full and comprehensive healthcare. • Social Rights including: Divorce Contraception and abortion Separation of Church and State Meaningful equality between the sexes. To allow the Workers’ and Small Farmers’ State exercise control, it is imperative that the commanding heights of the economy, Finance, Trade, Industry, Production and Communication, be brought under the Democratic control of the Revolutionary Democratic Workers’ and Small Farmers’ Republic.


As can be seen this had deliberate resonances with the 1934 Republican Congress. Their slogan ‘A Workers’ and Small Farmers’ State’ was an attempt to remedy what they saw as the original error by Ryan and others at that Congress. And as a further echo of this their journal was named Congress ‘86.

This edition of that journal, dating from winter 1988, numbered 5, offers an excellent insight into their thinking during this period. In eighteen or so pages a considerable number of topics are covered including ‘The Price of Sovereignty’, ‘Direct Democracy’, Emigration, Nicaragua, Woman Against Poverty and a piece entitled ‘Tories out North and South’. The main article on the front page is on extradition, particularly that of Robert Russell. The piece on Direct Democracy extolls that form of political organisation suggesting that ‘we need direct participatory democracy because – Direct Participatory Democracy implements the Manifesto’. There’s a fascinating piece on the aftermath of the Sinn Féin-SDLP negotiations which argues that the ‘rift’ between the two parties ‘may not be unbridgeable’ and suggests that:

A reading of the document released by both parties at the end of the negotiations, shows clearly that on only two issues is there real disagreement. These concern the role of armed struggle and whether Britain is a neutral actor on the Irish scene’. Given the centrality of both of those elements to what would later be termed the Peace Process that appears prescient. In a not dissimilar vein theres a critical analysis of ‘Armed Struggle’, a pamphlet issued by the Communist Party of Ireland (part of the the text of which can be found here in the Archive).

There’s also an exchange in letters between a US based correspondent and a ‘reply from the H-Blocks’ on the nature of Congress ’86. This gives a good overview of the development of Congress ’86 from the early 1980s onwards and notes:

Ideologically, we moved away from the IRA/SF in the early 1980s. But the straw that broke the camel’s back and led us to sever our links was the Ard Fheis of 1986.

And it continues that:

…we believed there was the potential to broaden the struggle into the 26 Counties [on foot of the ‘mass movement’ of the Hunger Strikes campaign and after]… in short to agitate among the unemployed, the low paid and the small farmers. in shot agitate and organise for a Workers and Small Farmers Republic.

Sadly things were not taken in this direction. SF’s stranglehold stifled the growing activity of the people… the political movement drifted along into electoralist Social Democracy. The promotion of class consciousness was contemptuously pushed aside. Left Nationalism with its socialist rhetoric was in the ascendancy.

Interestingly the writer argues…

In principle we had no objection, nor have we now, to taking seats in Leinster House. …


The use of physical force should be regarded as a tactic , not as a principle.

There is considerably more, including analyses as to why in their view the ‘Officials’ and IRSP ‘went wrong’ and criticisms as regards the Marxist characteristic of both.

In sum an important addition to the Archive. A number of questions remain. Did Congress ’86 find a political expression in terms of campaigning or other activities and when did it disband? Any insight into these questions would be very useful.

Belfast Lexit Meeting with KKE and WP, Belfast 14 June at 7pm June 12, 2016

Posted by guestposter in Communism, European Union, KKE, Workers' Party.
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EU Meeting

The Workers Party in Northern Ireland is calling for a class based response to the European Union debate and is in favour of a Leave Vote as part of a principled, socialist LEXIT strategy.

As part of the LEXIT debate the Party is holding a public meeting on

Tuesday 14th June at 7pm

in the Clayton Hotel.

Ormeau Avenue. Belfast

(opposite the BBC)

The guest speaker will be Elisseos Vagenas a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, who will reflect on the lessons learnt in Greece from the Europe Union and the crisis in capitalism.

More details here

Left Archive: Socialist Republic, Paper of Peoples’ Democracy, Volume 4, No. 1, Peoples’ Democracy, January 1981 May 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, People's Democracy.
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To download the above please click on the following link. Socialist Republic V4 N1 Jan81

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the persons who scanned and forwarded these documents and others which will be posted up over the next month or so.

This edition – from Peoples’ Democracy (for more documents from same see here in the Archive) – of considerable interest in that it engages in eight pages with a wide variety of issues. The headline is ‘Expose the British Assassins’ and details the attempt on the life of Bernadette and Michael McAliskey.

The article notes:

The assassination attempt on Bernadette and Martin McAliskey has finally brought home the extent of the attacks on the anti-imperialist and minority population in the Six Counties and in particular the H Block/Armagh Committees. There can be no doubt there is plan to eliminate leading militants in the H Block/Armagh Campaign. Their shooting is the latest and most significant incident in the catalogue of horrors perpetrated by the British and their Loyalist allies.

It continues:

There is strong evidence which points to British collusion in the shooting… British troops of the parachute regiment staked out the house for three days. The regiment at presented stationed in the area is the Argyle and Southerland Highlanders. The parachutists are from 50 miles away in Omagh. The Brits allowed the assassins to do their dirty work and only then arrested them. The assassins are UDA members. The RUC is calling them Red Hand Commandos in order to protect the UDA. The RUC and Brits provide intelligence for this Loyalist gang, and obviously know where they are to strike next. They left Bernadette defenceless by refusing to allow to have a revolver. An enquiry would expose elements of British treachery and murderous intent.

An inset article argues that: Haughey and Hume aid British Imperialists: Collaborators will Answer.

This takes both to task and notes:

The British Government and the news media in Ireland have tried to portray the ending of the H Block and Armagh hunger strikes as a defeat for the prisoners and their supporters. Despite the fact that major concession on all five demands were promised, an attempt is being made to confuse the public and withhold the reforms. The British Government has to save face and try to regain the initiative against the anti-imperialist movement.

Other pieces in the paper include an article on ‘Contempt shown to anti-Republicans’ which lists ’Pro-Imperialist “Socialists” focusing on Jim Kemmy in Limerick. It argues that:

As with Kemmy there is little evidence that other Pro-Imperialist “Socialists” owe whatever influence they have in the workers’ movement to their anti-republican rantings. Likewise in the future Pro-Imperialist “Socialists” will have little part to play in the formation of a socialist opposition in the Labour Movement.

There’s also a letter published criticising the Socialist Labour Party which suggests that it has ‘failed the H-Block test’ and the editor of Socialist Republic ‘heartily agrees’. There’s another criticising Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party and a long piece on ‘Hunger Strikes Lessons’ and ‘Mass Action Method Proven Essential’. A link is made between Armagh women on protest and International Women’s Day. A further link is made ‘Why Feminists Should Confront Imperialism’.

There’s mention of the Agricultural Crises and the potential of a Worker/Small Farmer Alliance. On international affairs it notes ‘Polish Workers Challenge Bureaucracy’ and Free Trade Unions Grow from Strength to Strength. Another piece details how Nicaraguan Capitalists Isolated. A small snippet notes that in USI ‘the election of Brendan Dorris as President and Joe Duffy as Education Officer of the USI, coupled with the defeat of Jimmy Collins (a supporter of SF-WP) is a major defeat for the politics of Sinn Fein – The Workers’ Party who has bureaucratically controlled USI for the past decade’.

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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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’.


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