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Left Archive: Northern Ireland Report, Number 24, August 1999 August 31, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Northern Ireland Report.
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NORTHIRLREP 24 1995_Page_1

To download the above please click on the following link. NORTHIRLREP 24 1995

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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: Northern Ireland Report – Number 2, February 11, 1992 June 30, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Northern Ireland Report.
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To download the above file please click on the following link:

Northern Ireland Report

Click here for the Left Archive.

Many thanks to those who donated issues of Northern Ireland Report to the Archive. These will be appearing in the months ahead.

This is a particularly unusual addition to the Archive. Northern Ireland Report was published by an ad hoc group of individuals in the United States who while close to Sinn Féin were critical of it, and particularly so during the developing Peace Process. Their position would have been strongly left of centre. One aspect of their goal was to produce a publication which was different from the more conservative leaning publications issued in the US which were sympathetic to Irish republicanism.

The magazine ran for 25 issues, finally ending publication in May 1996.

As later editions noted:

“NIR is an independent publication and is not affiliated with any political party, group or organisation in Northern Ireland or the United States. “

This second issue has a wide range of articles in eight short pages. These include news about the then extradition of Joe Doherty in the United States and it is worth quoting extensively from that piece in order to give a sense as to the political orientation of the newsletter. This makes mention of the fact that Doherty had an Irish People [“The voice of Irish Republicanism in America”, as the article notes] column.

And it notes that his ‘battle was marred by the controversy that arose from his criticism of the IRA in the Irish People’.

It continues:

“This controversy revealed a fundamental problem in the debate on Ireland in America. A problem that, despite temporary resolutions, will not go away.

The Irish People serves a necessary function for Americans interested in Irish affairs. By republishing much of An Phoblacht/Republican News, the [IP] allows one to cut throughout he normal rubbish written on Ireland. Compared to the Echo, Voice and mainstream mead, the IP offers a more realistic picture of the conflict, but that does not excuse it from being belligerent or arrogant.

The episode started when Joe Doherty mildly criticised the IRA’s autumn bombing of a military base that was reported throughout the world’s media as a hospital bombing. The editors at the ‘voice of Irish Republicanism in America,’ with their unbending faith in the IRA, could not accept this and Dohertty was fired.

A few weeks later, after much gleeful laughter by the Echo and Voice, and perhaps the rumoured spanking by Sinn Féin, Doherty reappeared and all ‘philosophical differences’ were resolved. “

It continues:

“What were these ‘philosophical differences’? Why can’t the Irish People admit what everyone else knows? Joe Doherty, a former member of the IRA, serving time in jail because of that membership, was fired because he criticized IRA tactics to the displeasure of a bunch of Americans playing revolution three thousand miles aaay from the war. “

And it adds:

“This is the fundamental problem that inhibits other American groups and organisations from sympathising and promoting Irish Republicanism. Irish Americans, or any Americans who organise around Irish issues, have yet to develop any real movements that can sustain dialogue, debate and analysis. Irish-American activists have suffered from intellectual paranoia, associating any criticism of the IRA as a form of treachery. “

It notes that in Ireland ‘where censorship and oppression are very real, within the Republican movement there is much debate’. And it suggests:

“This is not to condemn the Irish People, but to suggest that if the Irish conflict is going to be taken seriously by the left, a group that can honesty rally around it in a common cause, then publications like the Irish People must drop this zealous, and sometimes embarrassing, commitment to every IRA action. “

It concludes:

“It is time for Irish-Americans to transcend their simple support for the IRA, and being to support the ideals of Irish Republicanism, such as socialism and anti-imperialism, in their own country as well as in Ireland. As Joe Doherty is deported, we all must remember his most important contribution, highlighting the extent of U.S. injustice.”

Other pieces consider topics such as ‘IRA bombs in London’, ‘British Increase Military Presence’, one entitled ‘Britain is to Blame’ on sectarian violence in the north of Ireland and a long article by Bill Rolsten and Mike Tomlinson on U.S. Investment in the North of Ireland. It also has an interview tin Richard McCauley, ‘Sinn Féin’s Director of Publicity for the Six Counties’. This last is of particular interest for some of his comments about socialism, anti-imperialism and so on.

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