" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Monday, April 09, 2007

WHICH WAY FORWARD IN THE FREE STATE....... ?

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 .

TRADE UNIONS :

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.......
(MORE LATER).



A SEGREGATED JAIL .......
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 .......
(MORE LATER).



GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983.......
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 .
(MORE LATER).



I HAVE NOT GARNERED GOLD .
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!