Friday, March 09, 2007


The recent strike by BBC journalists over the 'REAL LIVES' programme and the dispute at RTE over the interview with NORAID representative MARTIN GALVIN have focused world attention on Sinn Fein once again .MICHAEL KELLY spoke to Sinn Fein president GERRY ADAMS at interviews in Dublin and Belfast , conducted over the course of the past month .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, August 1985 .

MICHAEL KELLY : " So what you're saying is - 'The raison d'etre for Sinn Fein wouldn't be gone in a united Ireland '? What would its function be ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " Once the people win independence , it's up to them to decide who they want to govern them . In those circumstances , I think you would have a re-alignment of Irish politics on a left-right basis . You have at the moment a division north and south of the working class and also within the north , and partition affects class politics in Ireland or the lack of them . You have the complete mystification of the people who call themselves the Labour Party: for all the faults of the Labour Party in England, it doesn't go into coalition with Thatcher. It never ceases to baffle me how Dick Spring, or whoever is in charge , can do such a thing. When James Connolly went into the GPO the Labour Party never came out ." ('1169...' Comment : Likewise , there was no constitutionalist nationalists in the GPO in 1916 , fighting for increased civil rights from Westminster!)

From 'MAGILL' magazine, August 1983 .

Raymond Gilmour's Special Branch minders drew aside , like a curtain , and Gilmour turned to face the people he had grown up with : if the British magistrate were to believe his 'evidence' , and return them all for formal trial , and if they were subsequently convicted , they would go to jail for life for murder of RUC members , or fifteen years , or ten years , or five years if the charge was relatively minor , like membership of the IRA . He would have to point them out of course , point his finger at them - " That man there ," he said , conversationally , pointing : "...the man on the left , with the yellow tee-shirt .... that girl there , sitting in the second row , between the RUC men..."

Others he could not spot quite so easily , for they were in the second row of the dock , behind the first crowded row . Besides which , he would not know them all intimately , if his evidence was correct , because they operated in separate secret units and he might only meet a person from another IRA unit once , on a joint operation . One man would not wait to be pointed out , and stood up - " Is it me you're looking for , Gilmour ? " " Yes , that's you , " he replied , and then moved on to the next person . And the next ....

A further name was mentioned and as Gilmour's expressionless gaze travelled their faces slowly from far left to middle , the named man on the far right was already on his feet , himself pointing at Gilmour , whose glance arrived at him finally , and the informer pointed his finger at this man , so that they were pointing at each other , but the named man stayed accusingly silent , and Raymond Gilmour had to say his name.......

These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From 'GRALTON' magazine, 1983.
By John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible - not all the groups mentioned left a discernible 'footprint' .)

ANARCHIST BOOKSHOP COLLECTIVE: A shortlived group in 1980 who can be regarded as successors to Dublin Anarchist Group and predecessors of Dublin Anarchist Collective.

ANARCHIST WORKERS' ALLIANCE: Formed in 1978 , A Libertarian Marxist organisation formed by ex-members of the Dublin and Belfast anarchist groups . Ceased to function in 1982 .

BELFAST ANARCHIST COLLECTIVE: Formed in 1978 , and disbanded as an organisation in 1983 .