" 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. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

HUNGER STRIKE MEMORIAL RALLY , DUBLIN , SATURDAY MAY 5th , 2007 .
Between the years 1917 and 1981 , 22 Irish men died on hunger strike in their fight for Irish Freedom . That same fight continues today , as six Irish counties remain under the jurisdictional control of Westminster , which enforces that control with military occupation . The annual Hunger-Strike Commemoration -organised by the Republican Movement - will be held this year on Saturday , 5 May , when a picket and rally will be held on the traffic isle facing the GPO in Dublin's O'Connell Street , beginning at 1(one) P.M.
ALL WELCOME!






Friday, April 13, 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 .

WOMEN'S RIGHTS :

The women's movement is not of course in any sense a mass movement , and where women have mobilised it has been in the area of civil liberties on issues which primarily affect them . But the Anti-Amendment Campaign, and campaigns for contraception and divorce , are democratic demands which cross class divides and are not in themselves revolutionary demands , except insofar as they challenge the 'confessional nature' of the 26 County State .

Although changes in family law and other areas are absolutely worth fighting for , can anyone seriously argue that they have any real revolutionary potential ? Class demands for women - equal employment opportunities for working-class women , equal pay and the release of working women from the family home - are of central importance for the building of a progressive women's movement , but the current potential of these demands - and for the foreseeable future - is as limited as is the current revolutionary potential of the working class as a whole.......
(MORE LATER).



TROUBLESOME BUSINESS .
The book - 'Troublesome Business-The Labour Party and the Irish Question', by GEOFFREY BELL , was published by Pluto Press in 1982.
Reviewed here by Ciaran Dowd.
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

Geoff Bell , the author of this short book , and himself a member of the British Labour Party, concludes unequivocally that "...the attitude and relationships of the British Labour Party to Ireland have been neither honourable , international nor socialist . "

While this can scarcely be news to Irish republicans , the book does serve nonetheless the useful purpose of documenting the progress of this dishonourable , chauvinist relationship from the days of the Black and Tan war up to the 1981 hunger-strike. Although it is in fact heavy on recording events and somewhat lacking in analysis , Geoff Bell's book is extremely readable and useful as a reference for dates and quotes . Overall , as the first book of its kind , it is recommended reading .

During the 1880's one of the small left-wing predecessors of the Labour Party, the 'Social Democratic Federation', threw its weight behind the campaign of the Land League and pledged itself to "...end coercion in Ireland.." . This solidarity was met with a mixed reaction from groups already campaigning on that issue.......
(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' .)

RED REPUBLICAN PARTY: This group changed its name from 'Left Revolutionary Group' in 1976 : by 1978 it had ceased to function .

REPUBLICAN LABOUR PARTY: Formed in 1963 around two M.P.'s , Harry Diamond and Gerry Fitt. Although it won several seats on Belfast Corporation, it never had much of a party organisation . Reduced in size after the departure of 'Lord' Fitt to the SDLP in 1970 , its remaining M.P., Paddy Kennedy, continued to use the name . The Party ceased to function after winning no seats in the 1973 election.

REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST TENDENCY: Formed within the Socialist Labour Party in 1979 by supporters of People's Democracy, this group left the SLP altogether shortly after their formation .
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, April 12, 2007

HUNGER STRIKE MEMORIAL RALLY , DUBLIN , SATURDAY MAY 5th , 2007 .

Between the years 1917 and 1981 , 22 Irish men died on hunger strike in their fight for Irish Freedom . That same fight continues today , as six Irish counties remain under the jurisdictional control of Westminster , which enforces that control with military occupation . The annual Hunger-Strike Commemoration -organised by the Republican Movement - will be held this year on Saturday , 5 May , when a picket and rally will be held on the traffic isle facing the GPO in Dublin's O'Connell Street , beginning at 1(one) P.M.
ALL WELCOME!






Wednesday, April 11, 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 .

In the public service sector , with almost 100 per cent trade union membership , the unions have shied away from large-scale industrial action despite Garret FitzGerald's threat of cuts of £500 million in the 1984 budget which will result in thousands of white-collar redundancies . Even the notably militant National Busworkers Union has developed a caution in taking industrial action which contrasts with its previous practice . The Civil and Public Services Staff Association was forced to suspend its strike action when other public service unions - including the progressively-led Local Government and Public Services Union - decided the climate was not right for major industrial action .

Even where relatively advanced leadership has been provided by the Dublin Congress of Trade Unions, the results have been transitory or disappointing ; for instance , the PAYE protest marches and the attempted unemployment campaign of 1981-1982 .

The hard fact is that the prevailing mood in the organised working class in the South is one of fear of unemployment rather than real anger at the underlying political system . Progressive political groups can point to a poverty of ideology as the root of this trade union quiescence , but it will only be when socialist ideology has been developed within the trade unions under a broad progressive leadership - not foisted patronisingly from outside - that there will be hope for improvement . Sloganising will achieve nothing , hard work by republicans within trade unions might do something.......
(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 .

The latest protests , beginning on the weekend of October 16th/17th 1982 , involving loyalist prisoners in the H-Blocks smashing up 150 cells , with rioting reported at Magilligan Prison also , are an indication of a trend that may continue unless the British government officially concedes segregation .

The one thing they can rest assured of is that until they do there will be no peace inside their jails.

[END of 'A SEGREGATED JAIL']
(Next - 'Troublesome Business' : from 1982)


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' .)

NEW EARTH: Formed in 1973 . An anarchist group composed mainly of ex-members of Official Sinn Fein. The 'New Earth' group ceased to function in 1975 .

NORTHERN IRELAND LABOUR PARTY: (sic) This organisation changed its name from the 'Labour Party of Northern Ireland' (sic) in 1927 . Since 1949 this group has been in favour of the 'union' with England . Despite the affiliation of many trade unions , it never achieved a breakthrough , and its showing at elections declined from 4 seats in 1958 and 1962 to 1 seat in 1973 and 1975 . Since then its decline has preceeded apace and its existence is virtually nominal .

PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY: Formed in 1968 around the core of the Young Socialist Alliance, this group was a force to be reckoned with briefly as the left wing of the Civil Rights Movement, but soon declined in size and adopted a more definite membership and Marxist policy . Following the merger with the Movement for a Socialist Republic in 1978 it has affiliated to the United Secretariat of the Fourth International.
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, April 10, 2007


RSF EASTER COMMEMORATION ,DUBLIN 2007 :

A report , pictures and comments on the Easter Monday RSF Commemoration at the GPO in Dublin can be viewed here and here.
As you will read , proceedings went ahead with only two minor hitches - an unexpected Commemoration and the weather! The RSF event was well organised , well attended and was a credit to that organisation , which conducted itself with a dignity befitting its Republican heritage .
Well done to all involved !






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!






Sunday, April 08, 2007

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

" O wise men, riddle me this: what if the dream come true?
What if the dream come true? and if millions unborn shall dwell
In the house that I shaped in my heart, the noble house of my thought?
Lord, I have staked my soul, I have staked the lives of my kin
On the truth of Thy dreadful word. Do not remember my failures,
But remember this my faith
And so I speak.
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
O people that I have loved, shall we not answer together? "


A Commemoration to honour the men and women of 1916 will be held tomorrow , 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!