Monday, April 09, 2007


In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle ('National Executive') member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

It seems likely that as long as most unemployed are relatively short-term and protected to some extent by Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI), and until the young urban jobless spread out of the traditionally disadvantaged communities , the spiralling growth of unemployment will nonetheless not have any substantial effect on the political balance . In fact , a mildy reflationary policy by a future Fianna Fail government might well be enough to defuse the discontent which rising unemployment is undoubtedly causing but which , even so , is not causing any real challenge to the acceptance of capitalism in the 26 counties .


The political problems facing trade unions in the South , despite the affiliation to them by 65 per cent of the insured workforce , are as substantial in their way as those confronting hopeful revolutionaries . Published figures by the Federated Union Of Employers (FUE) on the last wage round show the pressure workers are currently under despite the demise of the objectionable 'national' wage agreements . In the annual pay round up to October this year (1983) , a massive 71.3 per cent of all agreements contained a 'No Strike' Clause, while in only 12 out of 655 pay negotiations involving the FUE was there any industrial action in pursuit of wage claims.......

Formerly Sinn Fein's national organiser , 28-year-old Belfast republican Jim Gibney has been imprisoned on remand since last January , one of many who have been held solely on the word of an RUC informer . Most of this period on remand has been spent in Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail.
In this article , smuggled out of Crumlin Road , Gibney outlines the daily routine in the jail , in which segregation between republican and loyalist prisoners -one of the hunger-strikers' five demands- plays a central , if 'officially' unrecognised , role .
From 'IRIS' magazine ,November 1982 .
By Jim Gibney .

It must be emphasised that for this form of segregation , prisoners pay a price and , in prison terms , it is a hefty one : that is - over one week - each prisoner loses 26 hours' unlocked time which he would otherwise be entitled to . On top of this , prisoners are denied a weekly film and access to the prison library . This deprivation , coming on top of other petty restrictions - especially where visits are concerned - of course , makes the time spent on remand all the more difficult .

Recently , both republican and loyalist prisoners in 'A' and 'C' wings of Crumlin Road Jail , amounting to 400 men , petitioned the NIO to relax the rule which prevents a prisoners' wife or girlfriend sitting beside him during a half-hour visit . As they pointed out , there is no similar restriction on personal closeness during H-Block visits . Their petition , nonetheless , was curtly turned down .......

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' .)

MILITANT: Formed in 1972 with close links with the British Militant organisation: it has provided a Trotskyist wing in the Labour Party in the 26 Counties and , in the North , in the 'Northern Ireland' Labour Party and also , more recently , in the Labour and Trade Union(Co-ordinating)Group.

MOVEMENT FOR A SOCIALIST REPUBLIC: This group changed its name from the Revolutionary Marxist Group in 1976 . It was a Trotskyist organisation affiliated to the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, and it merged with People's Democracy in 1978 .

NATIONAL PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS: Formed in 1958 around two members of Leinster House - Dr. Noel Browne and Jack McQuillan. It was to the left of the Labour Party, and most of the 'NPD' members followed their leaders into that latter party in 1963 .

by Padraic Pearse (Patrick Henry Pearse [Padraic Mac Piarais]).

"I have not garnered gold;
The fame I found hath perished;
In love I got but grief
That withered my life.

Of riches or of store
I shall not leave behind me
(Yet I deem it, O God, sufficient)
But my name in the heart of a child."

A Commemoration to honour the men and women of 1916 will be held today , Easter Monday (9th April) in Dublin : those wishing to attend should assemble outside the Garden Of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 12.45pm , for a Parade to the GPO.
Organised by the Republican Movement. Details of other Republican Easter 1916 Commemorations can be found here.
All Welcome!