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Ceremony to be held on the 18th September 2011 commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the deaths of Fian Rose Curry and Fian Gerard O’Hare. September 2, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in History, Official Republican Movement (1990s/2000s), Official Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin, The Left.
3 comments

Dear Friend/Comrade,

A ceremony will be held on the 18th September 2011 commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the deaths of Fian Rose Curry and Fian Gerard O’Hare.

You are invited to attend the unveiling of a memorial plaque to honour our fallen Comrades, who gave their lives in defence of the people of the Lower Falls.

A family mass will be held in St. Peters Cathedral at 11.00am. The Commemoration will begin at 12.30pm at the corner of Balkan St/Leeson St. The Speeches and plaque unveiling will start at 1.00pm sharp at Gibson St.

This will be a non Party-Political event and all are welcome.

Left Archive: Case for the Formation of a Republican Socialist Party – precursor of the Official Republican Movement, late 1990s September 13, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Republican Movement (1990s/2000s), Republican Left/later ORM.
34 comments

This document can be downloaded by clicking on the following link: REP LEFT

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this and the accompanying overview of the document.

This internal document was a proposal on the future of the ‘Official Republican Movement’ (ex members and supporters of the Workers Party) at the ORM conference attended by over 120 members in the Ulster Peoples College 1999. Calling for the launch of a new political party to be titled ‘Republican Left’, the motion was one of two on the table and, should it be available, it would be worthwhile putting up for some context as its alternative, as I recollect the formation of a ‘society’.

The document looks to be the work of a committee as it is a little ‘choppy’ and goes into tremendous detail in some areas and skims others. The proposal document is quiet long, 7 sections, starting with an introduction that places it firmly as a ‘tactical’ way forward for the ORM and begs delegates to listen to both arguments as both “are by comrades genuinely committed to our organisation.” Then, as with all internal republican debates, it harks back to the past to give some historical justification for its core rationale.

In this case the starting point is the ‘failed’ 50’s campaign is the starting point followed by a cramming of the 1970’s and 1980’s Official/WP transformation, essentially stating that within this process the baby was thrown out with the political bathwater particularly the WP analysis of Irish Nationalist aspiration (counter productive and reactionary) and British Nationalism (must be understood and respected) rather than the rejection of all nationalisms for socialist unity of the working class.

More interesting is the point mooted that the split in the Workers Party was basically a split in the leadership without much involvement from the general membership. It backs up this assertion with a breakdown of the various ‘factions’ and names some ‘leading lights’ associated.

After that, in a section about the political bankruptcy of the WP, it asserts that the WP lost the working class in the Republic when it refused to engage with the Concerned Parents Against Drugs campaign and was openly hostile to it. The document rounds off returning to the introduction putting forward a case for a Socialist Republican Party.

The proposal/document was endorsed at the meeting by over two thirds of the attendees. However, it was noticeable that few of the ORM ‘Leadership’ supported it (possibly only two or three of the eighteen). After the Conference they shelved the proposal as “the time wasn’t right” failed to rebrand as Republican Left and, instead, implemented the alternative proposal.

JJ McGarrity (Jnr)

The Irish Left Archive: United Irishman 2000 – Official Republican Movement December 7, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Republican Movement (1990s/2000s), Uncategorized.
8 comments

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This is a useful document which I think it is fair to say originates from the general direction of the Official Republican Movement, a 1990s split from the Workers’ Party, with a selection of guest contributors. That it takes the form of a reworked United Irishman (monthly newspaper of Official Sinn Féin) is telling. The linkages to 1798 are explicit as are the critiques of both the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and the concern about contemporary social ills such as drugs. The former – the GFA/BA -is assessed in a more favourable way than one might have imagined.

Colm Breathnach provides a piece on “The Left and the Rise of Sinn Féin”. It makes some interesting points, such as ‘The alarm bells of history should also warn us not to repeat the fundamental mistake of the WP of the 1980s – principled opposition to the Provos must never degenerate into irrational obsession’ but simultaneously is rooted in an analysis which is profoundly sceptical about the ability of SF to pursue a radical – let alone socialist – agenda.

Sociopolitical issues are dealt with in some detail, for example women’s poverty which an article by Orla Brennan notes that the very experience of poverty by men and women can be markedly different, as can the risks of falling into it. And this concentration on the sociopolitical is followed by a piece on Restorative Justice which has a whole page devoted to it. And clearly in light of that one can discern a distinct Northern tilt, as with a piece on the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the execution of Henry Joy McCracken.

Eamonn McCann has a piece in it on John Hume and David Trimble, both Nobel Peace Prize winners, who both supported a factory which built components used in missile guidance systems being sited in Derry.

Note the short column that publicises An Eochair/The Key, ‘established to identify structures and systems designed to meet the needs of Official Republican Prisoners and their families’.This argues that ‘our ex-prisoners had no support while in prison and none on release. Families were left to cope on their own, any support given was limited. We decided to start a process where all our ex-prisoners can regain the respect and fair play they rightly deserve and have been denied for too long’.

No doubt there are many who would agree or dissent from that analysis.

The editorial is also of interest in terms of the relationship it posits with socialism.

All in all a document that attempts to link explicitly into a pre-existing political narrative and also rework it for the context of this decade.

Irish Left Archive: An Solas – The voice of the Official Republican Movement, November 2005 January 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Republican Movement (1990s/2000s).
19 comments

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A useful document donated to the Archive offers an opportunity to consider the most recent off-shoot of the Official Sinn Féin, later Workers’ Party, brand of socialist Republicanism.

Look up Official Republican Movement on, say, wikipedia, and the most one will read is:

In the late 1990s, some Northern based former Official IRA members launched a “re-founded” Official Republican Movement, intended to pursue the socialist republican politics which the Officials espoused in the 1970s. They are not thought to advocate the use of violence however.

The history is a little more complex than that reading (and there is another document donated to the Archive which I intend to post up as soon as a guest writer finishes a piece on it).

What is interesting about this document is that it supports the contention that the ORM was mainly centred on Newry and it demonstrates a strongly retrospective tilt to that organisation. The address for the ORM is the same as An Eochair, an ex-OIRA prisoners support group. Note the Seminar organised by the ORM on Republicanism, Nationalism and Unionism which included speakers from both Republican and Unionist traditions.

The concerns of the ORM are certainly within the range of traditional socialist Republicanism. There is a good report on the Grundtvig European Women’s Project where An Eochair was also involved in a visit of the former to Belfast. Also notable is a piece on a Cross Community conference with a mention of the Sinn Féin Mayor of Derry where – remarkably – the Mayor gave a commemorative plaque of the Conference to an An Eochair member.

The editorial on the inside page on decommissioning by the IRA, while hardly fulsome, is at least positive in tone. A review of DVD on the Falls Curfew of 1970 is much more pointed, directly blaming SF for what it sees as a propagandistic attempt to rewrite history to their benefit.

However most significant is an analysis which reflects upon the Official IRA and its development. Note the reference to ‘people evolved from the Workers’ Party to form the ORM, an organisation not afraid to admit its mistakes and successes and defend the name of the O.I.R.A.’

This, perhaps, explains the dynamic of the ORM, an intriguing mixture of civil society social activism with a strong sense of an historical continuity with a very specific phase in the life of socialist Republicanism. In some respects the ORM almost appears like an organisation in search of a party structure.

In sum a fascinating document.

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