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ILA Podcast #16: Laura Broxson: National Animal Rights Association (NARA) January 18, 2021

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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In this episode we talk to Laura Broxson. Laura is an activist focused on animal rights and founder of the National Animal Rights Association (NARA). NARA is a non-hierarchical organisation, taking a radical animal rights and vegan perspective. We’ll discuss how Laura came to activism and founding NARA; the anti-fur and hare-coursing campaigns in which she’s been involved; different methods of campaigning, from street protest to legislative change; cooperation and interaction with Left parties and organisations; and how Laura integrates animal rights campaigning in a wider anti-fascist, anti-capitalist and Left perspective.

For more information on the National Animal Rights Association, you can visit their website at naracampaigns.org .


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.

The French Revolution and the Irish Struggle, lecture by Seán Ó Brádaigh, Longford Branch, National Graves Association and RSF, 1989 November 9, 2020

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Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This short document printed by the Longford Branch of the National Graves Association reprints a lecture given by Seán Ó Brádaigh in Dublin on 21st January, 1989, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the first Dáil and explores links between ‘Irish and French Republicans – ‘Partners in Revolution’ 200 Years Ago’.

The last two pages of the document contains a short piece entitled ‘Start Talking About Irish Republicanism’ (STAIR) which argues that: ‘The present death, bloodshed and suffering being endured by the people of the six occupied counties can be trrced to the partition of our country by Britain’ and exhorts people to join STAIR which it describes as a ‘sub-committee of the Dublin Comhairle Ceantair, Sinn Féin Poblachtach’.

The conclusion is particularly notable:

As Irish Republicans we are all in the tradition of Tone and the United Irishmen. That tradition was born of an Irish separatism which was given a new direction and new lease of life by the inspiration of the events of 1789 in France. The generous ideas of the First French Republic born in blood 200 years ago, are part of an inheritance which has inspired very generation of Irish people since then and inspires us today.

And:

We are children of Ireland, but we are also, as Irish Republicans ‘infants de la patria’ because the school of Irish Republicanism is a Franco-Irish school and we have all been there. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity are noble ideal which still inspire us and for which we still struggle, both North and South of the British-created border.

Please note: We accept scanned files in good faith. However if files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We are keen to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

ILA Podcast #14: John Goodwillie: Young Socialists, Socialist Labour Alliance, SWM, Socialist Labour Party, Gralton magazine and the Green Party November 2, 2020

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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In this episode we talk to John Goodwillie. John is a long-time political activist, who has been involved in a number of progressive parties and organisations. He was a member of Labour in the 1960s and belonged to the Young Socialists, Socialist Labour Action Group and subsequent Socialist Labour Alliance. He was involved with the Socialist Workers’ Movement (SWM) in the 1970s, and joined the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) when the SWM merged with that party as a tendency, and remained on the National Executive until the SLP’s dissolution.

John was on the editorial board of Gralton magazine. He has also participated in a number of campaign groups, including the Dublin Clean Seas Group, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) – on the executive of which John served in various roles – and the National Lesbian and Gay Federation. Since 1990 he has been a member of the Green Party, and was the party’s candidate in Dublin South Central for Dáil and local elections through the 1990s. He has been involved in policy formation and served as Secretary of the Party’s Policy Council.

We discuss the history of Irish Left organisations since the 1960s and John’s own political trajectory: from Labour in the 1960s, through organisations seeking to form a party of the Left. We also discuss Gralton magazine and John’s political activity in the 1980s and in the Greens since 1990.

John created a ‘family tree of the left’ diagram, which provided an overview of the splits, merges and relationships between organisations on the Irish Left, printed in Gralton in 1983. It was an online copy of this which inspired the creation of the Timeline of the Irish Left on our own website – John’s diagram gave us a starting basis for it, and we are indebted to John both for that and for subsequent suggestions and corrections to the initial version.

The Gralton Family Tree of the Left, by John Goodwillie. From Gralton magazine, 1983. (Image from DublinOpinion.com)
The Gralton Family Tree of the Left, by John Goodwillie. From Gralton magazine, 1983. (Image from DublinOpinion.com)

Some materials in the archive may be of interest to listeners in the context of the discussion.

From the fourth issue of The Worker, the aims of the Socialist Workers’ Movement (SWM):

SWM - What we stand for

The Fintan Lalor branch of the Labour party mentioned in the podcast was expelled in 1971. Listeners may be interested in this article from Labour News Bulletin announcing the expulsion:

Labour News Bulletin, July 1971, on the dissolution of the Fintan Lalor branch and expulsion of Paddy Healy for membership of the Socialist Labour Alliance.
Labour News Bulletin, July 1971, on the dissolution of the Fintan Lalor branch and expulsion of Paddy Healy for membership of the Socialist Labour Alliance.

Gralton magazine was published in 1982-83. This is the first issue of the magazine: Gralton, No. 1 .


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Left Archive: Red & Black Revolution, Issue 14 – 2008, Workers Solidarity Movement November 2, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. redblack-rev-no-14-2008.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This document is here on the WSM website, but we like to have at least one sample of a publication from an organisation, party or formation in the Archive, even if hosted elsewhere, in order to build a representative sample of their output. We scanned this in (and many thanks to SM for donating a copy for same and the WSM for letting us repost it).

This twenty two page document dating from 2008 is one of a series of this particular publication. It is, as is usual with WSM related materials, designed and printed to a good quality. There is a range of articles contained within including an interview with Larry Wheelock, an assessment of Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction, a piece entitled ‘How free can you be if you can’t even control your own body?’ and a book review.

The publication notes that:

Like most publications of the Left, Red and Black Revolution is not a profit making venture. It exists in order to spread ideas and contribute to the process of changing the world.

And it suggests that readers, if they would like to help, could subscribe, or take copies of the issue to see, and that they are ‘always looking for bookshops or stalls that will see this magazine on a commercial basis’. Notably it gives permission to revolutionary publications to reprint articles.

There’s also a piece on the history of the Workers Solidarity Movement.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

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 .


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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

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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:


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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.


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