Monday, March 19, 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 : " Even though it (the difference between Sinn Fein election results North and South) doesn't match the vote in the North ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " Oh no . But we didn't expect it to . I mean if you look back on what we said when we launched the campaign it was that we have a difficult job - we have a small organisation , we suffer from isolation - some of it self-inflicted * - and we want to use this election as a recruiting and organisational campaign . I mean we don't expect to form a government tomorrow , we're fairly realistic . " ('1169...' comment * which he meant the republican policy of not taking seats , if elected , in partitionist [Leinster House and Stormont] or foreign [Westminster] parliaments , a policy which led to Adams and his followers leaving the Republican Movement in 1986 .)

From 'MAGILL' magazine, August 1983 .

Punish Raymond Gilmour , punish the Gilmours , punish somebody for what is being done to us . There are fewer and fewer jokes around Derry about how the 62-year-old father is having the time of his life somewhere in Donegal , in the company of 'the lads' . Fewer jokes about how it does a man good to get away from the wife .

If Mr Gilmour is shot now , the reasoning goes , it will only stiffen Raymond Gilmour's resolve . There's no point shooting him after the trial , either , since the damage will have been done . There is a point , though , to shooting him dead , anyway , as a warning to other informers . Unless the Gilmour family can draw Raymond back from the brink . That family , isolated now , draw emotional sustenance from Sinn Fein , because few others will speak to them , and live in dread of what the Provisional IRA will do . This deadly scenario has become a commonplace of casual discussion in Derry .

No one has come to Raymond Gilmour's public defence : 'officially' , he's doing what the Catholic Bishop of Derry and the SDLP (...and , now , the 'Please Stoop Furthers', too..) have repeatedly called for - he's giving information about killings and such - but neither the Bishop nor the SDLP have defended his stance . This has not gone unnoticed : in the absence of authoritative moral guidelines - from those who claim to know - people have wandered into a moral maze . The mental savagery of the Belfast courtroom has seeped like a virus across the land and into the streets of Derry.......

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' .)

INTERNATIONALISTS: Formed in 1965 , initially broad-based , but soon becoming openly Maoist. This group established the 'Irish Communist Movement (Marxist-Leninist)' around themselves in 1969 .

IRISH COMMITTEE FOR A SOCIALIST PROGRAMME: Formed in 1976 as a left-wing and anti-militarist breakaway from the Irish Republican Socialist Party, this group was replaced later-on in 1976 by the Independent Socialist Party .

IRISH COMMUNIST GROUP: Formed in 1964 mainly among emigrants , as a successor to the Irish Workers' Union . Following the secession of the Stalinist section in 1965 to form the Irish Communist Organisation, the Trotskyist remainder changed their name to the Irish Workers' Group.