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Left Archive: Communist Party of Ireland: Outline History – CPOI, 1970s January 20, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Irish Left Online Document Archive.


To download the above file please click on the following link: CPOI HISTORY

This history of the Communist Party of Ireland is a large magazine-like document, some 66 pages long. Black and white throughout in a series of essays and a longer Outline History it offers an overview of the development of the Communist Party of Ireland in its various incarnations on the island of ireland.

The essays include ones on Sean Murray, Jim Gralton. It also has an outline of the ‘Onslaught on Castlecomer Miners’ in the 1930s, another on how the ‘Ballyfermot Co-Op Falls Foul of Reaction’ in the 1950s, and ‘Belfast’s October, 1932’. It also has pieces on ‘Unemployed Struggles: 1920s to 1950s’ and the ’Spanish Civil War – 1936-1938’.

One interesting aspect of the text is the way in which the different organisational structures north and south are treated. For example, it is not made entirely clear that the Communist Party recombined into one party in the late 1960s or when the Irish Workers League became the Irish Workers’ Party, although in the text reference is made at one point to a speech by Sean Murray given in Moscow on behalf of Irish communists in 1960 where he says:
I speak on behalf of the Irish Workers League, which functions in the Republic of Ireland, and on behalf of the Communist Party, which functions in Northern Ireland.

The existence of our two Marxist organisations arises from the partition of Ireland into two States.
Guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism, we elect to make joint statements on the important questions which which this great gathering of Communists from all parts of the world is concerned.

The Border Campaign in the late 1950s is treated as follows:

Between 1956 and 1962 there had been the cross-Border raids organised by the I.R.A. int he course of which some I.R.A. mean and R.U.C. constables were killed and wounded, as well as a number of Republicans were captured and got long terms of imprisonment. Both the C.P. in the North and the Irish Workers’ Party expressed disagreement with the forms of struggle used by the I.R.A. stating that they would not bring nearer the aim of a united Ireland, but would in fact harden the support of the Ulster Unionist overlords. The I.R.A. leadership called off the campaign in 1962 and in time it was acknowledged that the 1956-62 campaign had not been helpful in promoting success for the national aim.

There is considerable detail of a variety of events in which Communists on the island participated and at least some sense of the broader socio-economic and political dynamics at work which shaped the parties during this period. In sum a fascinating document.

EMC of the CPOI adds a couple of thoughts on the document and those who produced it.

…on the whole it was the work of Sean Nolan. He was born and reared in Marlborough St., and remembered coming a across a street meeting at which James Connolly was the speaker. He joined the Communist movement in the mid 1920’s and was a central figure in the re-establishment of the CPI in 1934.

He was a pivotal figure in coordinating and keeping in contact with communists scattered around the country as well as those who emigrated to Britain etc. He was also secretary of the Spanish Aid Committee and the Release Frank Ryan Committee. He established the first Connolly House that was attacked and burned down he ran a book club from it disseminating Connolly’s writings, as well as materials about the Soviet Union. He established New Books in Pearse Street, then Parliament Street, then final in the current venue. He was a beautiful, gentle thoughtful comrade. It was a great honour to have worked along side him.

Socialist Voice from the CPOI March 16, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Irish Politics.
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Can be viewed online here:

Table of contents:
Workers continue to pay the price [EMC]
The passing of a hero
Austerity hits local services [MA]
Theft by stealth—the solution of the rich [MA, JA]
The super-rich dine at our expense [NL]
Women written out of history [PD]
Launch of the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum
Democracy and the crisis—Part 2 [FC]
Spain swings to the left [TMS]
Western commentators shocked by their own darling [BG]
New abusive measure against one of the Cuban Five
The hunt for truth [RCN]
Belfast’s working-class troubadour [RH]
A fantastic sixty minutes of drama [PD]

From the lead article: Workers continue to pay the price

” We need to constantly keep to the fore the following question: What is austerity designed to do?
It is for shifting the burden of crisis onto workers and away from capital, through pay cuts, redundancies, and the socialisation of corporate debt where necessary. Austerity is capitalism’s response to the crisis: to recover growth through increased exploitation and provide state-led guarantees to private investment.

Croke Park I and II are an extension of “social partnership.” Mentally, the ICTU still sees things in terms of giving away rights to placate the interests of the bosses.

What was social partnership? It was state-led control of working people to meet the needs of capital: controlled pay, shifting the tax burden to labour, pro-capital legislation, the creation of a flexible work force, the individualisation and atomisation of workers, the breaking down of social solidarity, with everyone looking after themselves.

Croke Park II is more of the same: a controlled decrease in pay to increase profits for monopolies through pay cuts in the public sector, to knock on into the private sector; the shifting of state expenditure away from labour and the public and to meet the debt of private capital; further job insecurity in the public sector, to drive maximum insecurity and “flexibility” (precarious work) in the private sector.

Essentially it is an agreement for restructuring the working class into a low-wage, highly precarious zone for monopoly capital—particularly American exports into the euro zone. They are solving their crisis by placing the burden on our backs.

Left Archive: Which way for Socialism? Communist Party of Ireland c.1977 October 22, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Irish Left Online Document Archive, Workers' Party.
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To download the above file please click on the following link: CPOI WHICH WAY FOR SOC

This document is almost unique in containing within it different viewpoints from a variety of sources on the Irish left during the 1970s, in this instance on the nature of the Sinn Féin The Workers’ Party document “The Irish Industrial Revolution”. In this respect only one other document in the Archive is even somewhat similar, that being “Patterns of Betrayal”, issued by the Workers’ Party after the split in that party in the early 1990s – which also contained viewpoints from the various elements involved in the split. That said in both instances – and perhaps understandably – the line pursued by the parties that issued the documents is given particular prominence.

The pamphlet contains a review of the Irish Industrial Revolution and both parts of it. This review is highly uncomplimentary. A letter for against the review and for it are also published. The latter was written by Anthony Coughlan. The Sinn Féin view (that is SFWP) is also published, this being written by Eamonn Smullen, then Director of the Department of Economic Affairs in SFWP. To this there is an Editorial Board Reply and a further response from Sinn Féin, in this instance written by Seán Ó Cionnaith, PRO of SFWP. This too is given a response from the CPOI.

Rather than quoting from the individual pieces it is probably most appropriate to consider the Preface which notes:

At the beginning of 1977 Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party issued a contribution to the debate on how to solve Ireland’s economic problems, The irish Industrial Revolution. This document amounts to a massive revision republicanism, in that the role and significance of British imperialism in Ireland is minimised and the national question declared redundant.


The document contains two sections: a review of Irish economic history, which – in the name of Connolly – refutes, or attempts to refute, everything that Connolly stood for; and a section on economic planning, which is unfortunately grounded in fantasy rather than reality.

It notes;

The document, marking as it does a radical break with republicanism, has been welcomed strongly in the two-nationist camp, particularly by the B.&I.C.O.; and the United Irishman in May published a defence of the historical section written by Cormac Ó Gráda, an avowed two-nationist, a lecturer in economics in U.C.D. described as a professional historian.

In March and April, the editorial board of the Irish Socialist published a review of the document. None of the questions raised in that review – questions which relate to where SF stands on important issues such as the E.E.C., the linking of the social and national struggles in the fight for independence and unity, their attitude to British imperialism- have yet been answered.

In light of the discussion generated by our review of the document, and the fact that some people have been unable to get copies, the editorial board of the Irish Socialist is reprinting the review, together with the published correspondence which we received on the matter.

And it concludes:

The review is reprinted in a spirit of fraternal criticism without which the political process can only stagnate. Through the pages of the Irish Socialist we will continue to advance a Marxist analysis of the Irish economy, subjecting all proposals for solutions to sharp scrutiny and making our own contribution to the debate on how to break the dominance of Britain and other foreign powers over our country in order to provide employment and material security for our people, in order to build the basis for building a new, a socialist, society in Ireland.

This is well worth reading in tandem with the “Irish Industrial Revolution”. All in all it is an impressive publication that attempts to engage with the chosen topic and although weighted towards the CPOI view enters into some debate and discussion.

Socialist Voice – September 2012 September 5, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland.
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This edition is now out and available here and on the CPOI site. To download it here please click on the following link: SV-93

Here’s a quote from the front page article:

The elderly, the sick and the poor are paying a heavy price. This year
alone the government will hand over tointernational bankers and wealthy individuals
nearly €5 billion in servicing the socialised corporate debt, a debt
that is neither the people’s debt nor their responsibility.
By September nearly another €2 billion will be paid over to unsecured
bondholders, all coming from the public purse—a case of robbing
working people and handing it over to the rich and powerful.

And here’s a list of the rest of the contents.

Austerity with a vengeance!
Ireland has been turned into a vast debt-service machine
Time for Labour to come out of the closet
Peter Daly Commemoration
Staggering levels of debt
The “left” needs to move beyond Keynes
What is a free nation? [James Connolly]
A decade of commemorations
Which side are ye on?
TINA hasn’t a stitch to wear!
Syria: America’s next puppet
Letter: Commemorating Che Guevara

As always well worth a read.

Left Archive: Irish Socialist, May 1989. Communist Party of Ireland. June 18, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Irish Left Online Document Archive.

To download the above document please click on the following link: IRISH SOC 1989

This copy of Irish Socialist from the Communist Party of Ireland, was published in May 1989. It’s a well produced document, large tabloid in size, black and white with a red masthead and running to eight pages. It was produced at a very particular time in near contemporary history, with significant changes underway in the USSR and about to occur in Europe and elsewhere with a fracturing of the post- Second World War dispensation.

As the May Day edition the focus on the front page is on ‘Socialism is the Answer’. But there is another article human rights in Britain in relation to Northern Ireland and another report on the French Communist Party condemning European integration within the European Economic Community.

The editorial notes the then upsurge in killings in the North and notes:

To a considerable extent the killings are sectarian. Loyalist gunmen shoot Catholics in an effort to intimidate the whole community; the RUC retaliates against suspected loyalists and against RUC men, UDR men and reservists but the Protestant community sees it all as just an attack on them.

Further on the editorial argues:

The Provisionals can find no political justification for the so-called armed struggle: they must bite the bullet and bring it to an end.

There are a number of reports inside the paper on the upcoming European elections and anti-EEC campaigners standing in those contests. There’s also a report on the Gibraltar killings.

A strong concentration on international affairs includes reports on Namibia, Palestine and Afghanistan.

But one of the most interesting features is a long report on the Workers’ Party Ard-Fheis which [see here for WP Presidential Address] the Irish Socialist argues that this ‘heralded a fundamental change in Workers’ Party policy in relation to the meaning of socialism and the short-term strategy of the party’.

It notes that:

…[De Rossa] discarded party commitments to nationalising industry and, by implication at least, played down the significance of the role to be played by state industries.

He developed his theme by declaring that the WP now stood for ‘enterprise and innovation, sturdy individualism, risk-taking, and competition.’

He rejected the idea that he said was commonly put against the WP that they stood for feather bedding a cosy civil service and ever burgeoning bureaucracy.

Presciently the paper suggests:

This emphasis on private enterprise and individualism clearly calls into question the state’s role in industrial development. This has been a major plank of WP policy up till now. Of course communists have argued that it was inconsistent to call for state development while working in favour of the Common Market; but whatever our differences about the EEC, the WP had a good line on the role of state industries.
Will this now change? Logically it must: but the speech must have caused great internal confusion and concern. How this will express itself, time will tell.

Overall a very well produced document.

Left Archive: Connolly Youth Movement, Manifesto and Policies, [Communist Party of Ireland] 1970 May 7, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Connolly Youth Movement, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above document please click on the following link: CYM1970

This document from 1970 provides an overview of the position of the Connolly Youth Movement, youth movement of the Communist Party of Ireland at a pivotal time in its existence. The recent union of the CPNI and the CPI also saw a merger of the respective youth movements of each party. The document argues that:

The programme of the United National organisation is a product of the separate ones. It is a synthesis of the Connolly Youth Movement, which, initially a looser organisation, through concrete work in class politics has come to a firm Marxist-Leninist basis, and of the Communist youth league, originally a rigid youth organisation of the CPNI, becoming through its own experience involved in the mass movements of the people.

As the introduction notes ‘Currently Ireland is in the prelude to political change more significant than for many years’ and makes the point that both the Unionist Party and Fianna Fáíl faced different but not dissimilar challenges.

It also notes that the Youth Movement ‘campaign on the particular demands of young people’ and it says that these include:

Democratic structures within the schools and universities.

Integration of all pupils at school, regardless of religion, class, or sex.

A spreading Irish Culture and games and the reviving of Gaelic as a viable National language.

Full adult rights at 18 years, and an end to all discrimination against young people.

Tellingly the first resolution is one on housing and the CYM offers ‘support the struggles and the just demands of Tenant’s Associations, Housing Action Committees, Residents’ Associations and Preservationist groups in the 6 and 26 counties and will work with any group or organisation for the implementation of any or all of our demands.’

Equally telling is the emphasis on Civil Rights. Here the CYM argues that ‘it [the CYM] must remain in the leadership and in the forefront of the fights for civil rights, realising all the time of course that the Civil Rights Movement is a movement for REFORM not REVOLUTION – and a movement which can be used to bring about a climate in this country wherein all political parties and groups can work more freely than now for the attainment of their political aims.’

The Foreign Affairs Resolution unsurprisingly suggests that:

Not withstanding the strength of imperialism, there are opposed to it – mightier forces; the socialist community of nations, especially the Soviet Union, the world-wide national liberation movement, the broad movements for peace, democracy and against discrimination and the international working class.

Interestingly the document states:

One of the great tragedies today has been the abandonment of Marxism by the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the substitution of the personality cult of Mao-Tse-Tung coupled with their efforts to split and fragment the International Communist Movement. We are confident that these efforts will be defeated and that Marxism will once again triumph in China.

Joint Statement of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the 5 Countries with Highest Levels of Unemployment in the EU February 28, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, Communist Party of Ireland, European Politics, European Union, KKE, Workers' Party.

“Organization and struggle for stable work with rights. Immediate measures for the unemployed. Struggle for a society without unemployment, exploitation, capitalists. The answer is socialism.”

Worker, Unemployed

The Communist and Workers Parties of the countries of Europe which have been most affected by unemployment Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Ireland call on you to struggle and organize.

We address the 24 million “officially” unemployed people in the European Union, particularly the long term unemployed, the unemployed young people and women who are most badly affected.

We address all those who are not recorded in the official statistics, but experience the same nightmare of unemployment.

We address the semi-employed, the agency workers, the workers without social security, those who work in a state of employment by rotation with flexible shifts, with individual contracts, with piece-work contracts, who experience employer intimidation, who face the danger of dismissal and unemployment.

We address those who are forced into unpaid labour under the pretence of opportunities to return to work; those who are deprived of their entitlements to redundancy payments by employers’ pleading “inability to pay”; workers who are on strike and engaged in occupations and sit-ins to protect their jobs and rights.

We also address the farmers who are being wiped out, the small professional and self-employed who have been led to closure by the assault of the monopolies, the anti-people political line of austerity which attacks the working class-popular families.

All of you, as well as every worker today, better understands that this labour “jungle” is spreading and is becoming a general law which, slowly or quickly, big capital, its governments, and the EU seek to impose in every workplace. There is no time to lose.

In the countries where our parties operate, Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Ireland unemployment has reached very dangerous levels. The bourgeois class in each country and the predatory alliance of the EU as a whole, have declared war on the working class and the poor popular strata. The capitalist economic crisis brings new measures which smash whatever the anti-people offensive in the previous period had left upright, especially after the Maastricht Treaty.

In this harsh reality, a handful of plutocrats have made fabulous profits. And yet they demand further measures. Their crisis is not a debt crisis, it is a capitalist crisis which came about due to the over-accumulation of capital.

In order to overcome the crisis in favour of capital, the industrialists, the bankers and the other sections of the plutocracy along with their political representatives impose hard measures in order to further reduce the price of labour power and force more people into unemployment.

In this situation the people’s resistance to these harsh measures has been hindered by those elements in the trade union and labour movement who, having long ago accepted the logic and the ideology of capitalism, now plead that there is no alternative but to succumb to the offensive of capital.

The way forward is to win the majority of workers and their families for class based popular struggles on the strategy which promotes their interests. The Communist and Workers parties must be at the heart of this process.

Struggle together with the class-oriented forces, together with the Communist and Workers parties.

Organize in your unions and workplaces. Contribute to the development of activity. In this direction the strength of the working class can be reinforced.

Demand immediate measures for the protection of the unemployed:

Decent unemployment benefit for all the unemployed.
Comprehensive medical pharmaceutical healthcare and social security protection.
Freezing of their loans and mortgages.

Unemployment is not a natural phenomenon. It is bred by the capitalist system which is characterized by the anarchy in production, by exploitation.

Only a socialist economy, that is to say a centrally planned economy that will be based on workers’ power and the socialized means of production can guarantee the right to work for all.

This is what happened in the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries and it is a historical achievement and one of the many accomplishments of the socialist countries.

Our parties call you to struggle every day, to struggle for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, for a society without unemployment, for socialism which can satisfy the needs of the people.

The Parties:

Communist Party of Greece

Communist Party of Ireland

Workers Party of Ireland

Socialist Party of Latvia

Socialist People’s Front of Lithuania

Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain

Left Archive: Ireland – Battlefront for Democracy, R. Palme Dutt, 1974, CPI January 16, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above file please click on the following link: RDUTTPLAMCPI GO

This is an interesting document issued by New Books Dublin, an imprint of the Communist Party of Ireland, which contains a reprint of an article from the CPGB publication Labour Monthly, July 1974.

R. Palme Dutt, the author was a stalwart of the Communist Party of Great Britain, indeed could be regarded as unapologetic as regards many of the events that defined the history of that party and indeed the broader left, to the point that as late as 1968 he disagreed with the CPGB’s criticisms of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet forces.

Interestingly then, the document is somewhat cautious in its analysis. It suggests that:

…the deep wound of the British imposed partition through the establishment of the ultra-reactionary settler regime in Northern Ireland to dispossess the people of their land in the old tenacious strong hold of popular struggle, and maintained by British military power and financial backing, has flared to new intensity, as the old Carsonite days of over half a century ago, once again to menace the whole future of democracy alike in Ireland and Britain.

It notes:

…there is a danger that some sections of popular opinion in Britain… should fall into the trap of advocating as an alternative programme that the menace of the crisis and offensive of reaciotn in NI, created by British imperialist policy, should be left for the Irish people to settle, in place of recognising the joint responsibility of the British and Irish working people to work together for a solution in the interests of both peoples.

It references the then recent collapse of the Sunningdale Agreement and argues that:

…from the point of view of British big business interests such economic co-operation of the two parts of partitioned Ireland was desirable in relation to the aim of aligning both parties together in the Common Market.

And continues:

Thus Sunningdale was in ruins. The reality remained the military occupation and action of British imperialism in Northern Ireland, desperately attempting without success so far to find some new formula to cover the naked reality of military dictatorship.

But it is critical of ‘violence and politics’. It notes:

…in fact the main proportion of British military forces in NI is stationed in the Republican working class areas. It is true that the violence of the ultra-reactionary Tory regime in NI has led to a section of the Republican supporters (the ‘Provisionals’) breaking away from the basic programme of mass political struggle for political change, to conduct sporadic acts of violence, not he organised mass struggle for the change of a political regime, but senseless small scale acts of bomb explosions against innocent citizens, men, women and children.

And it concludes by calling for ‘Joint Action of the Irish and British Working Class for a Political Solution’ and noting resolutions of the Connolly Association calling for a ‘united republic’.

Please note that this is 12 printed pages long and due to being scanned in spreads page 12 is to the left of the front cover [i.e. the first spread, or page 1 of the PDF].

Left Archive: Seán Nolan – 1908-1988 – CPOI December 22, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland, Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Here’s an interesting addition to the Archive – donated by Paul Moloney, a Funeral Programme for long time [and founder?] Communist Party of Ireland member, Seán Nolan [Paul’s great uncle] who died in 1988. This sort of material which gives a sense of the broader cultural aspects of membership of the Irish left is of particular interest to the Archive.

World Peace Council Public Meeting March 12, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Communist Party of Ireland, International Politics, Irish Neutrality.

As can be seen from the poster above, Iraklis Tsavdaridis, executive secretary of the World Peace Council will address a public meeting to be held in Dublin on Thursday 24th January at 7.30pm in the Ireland Institute. The theme is The Peace Movement versus the EU and NATO.

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