" 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!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Last Letter of Seán MacDiarmada , 11th May 1916 .







We have recently received what is to us a virtual treasure-chest of old Irish Republican literature and other similar material , which we will publish on this blog beginning , properly , on Friday 27 April 2007 : the following post contains the words of the last letter written by one of the 1916 leaders , Seán MacDiarmada :

" Kilmainham Prison
Dublin
May 11th 1916 .


My Dear Daly ,

Just a wee note to bid you Goodbye. I expect in a few hours to join Tom and the other heroes in a better world . I have been sentenced to a soldiers death - to be shot tomorrow morning .
I have nothing to say about this only that I look on it as a part of the day's work . We die that the Irish nation may live . Our blood will rebaptise and reinvigorate the old land . Knowing this it is superfluous to say how happy I feel .
I know now what I have always felt , that the Irish nation can never die . Let present day place hunters condemn our action as they will , posterity will judge us aright from the effects of our action .
I know I will meet you soon , until then GoodBye . God guard and protect you and all in No. 15 . You have had a done trial , but I know quite well that Mrs. Daly and all the girls feel proud in spite of a little temporary and natural grief , that her son and the girls , their brothers as well as Tom are included in the list of honours .
Kindly remember me especially to Mrs. Clarke and tell her I am the same Seán that she always knew .

God Bless you all
As ever
Sincerely Yours

Seán MacDiarmada. "


Most of the rest of the material we received is from the late 1950's and will be published here shortly.






Friday, April 20, 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 acknowledging these issues as they exist , we are faced with no different a situation than that which faces socialist movements in countries as socially and politically developed as France , Spain or Italy : scattered pickets on laudable issues , or minority industrial action , cannot compensate for the realities of the general political situation .

Politics in the Free State , as in most bourgeois democracies , take place only at election times - at least insofar as political action visibly affects the mass of the people . There is no social revolutionary potential in the State at present so it must therefore be in the superfically reformist area of 'advice clinics' and elections that we will build our base , and in principled and patient work in other organisations , notably the trade union movement .

We cannot get around this gradualist process under the conditions that exist . As Che Guevara said - " Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote , fraudulent or not , and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality , the guerrilla outbreak cannot be prompted , since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted . " ('1169...' Comment : some have obviously taken that to mean that they should join with those 'fraudsters' ....)
(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 .

The 'troublesome Irish' comments expressed by J.R.Clynes was typical of the core of British Labour's attitude towards Ireland - a 'troublesome subject' that they would much rather see go away peacefully . If one could sum up all subsequent policy on Ireland it would be the search for the 'middle ground' .

Concerning this , Geoff Bell notes correctly however that "...there is little evidence that there is a navigable middle way in Ireland , or that there ever has been.. " ('1169...' Comment : those who - before the rich pickings of political corruption set in - would have once agreed with that sentiment are now the loudest in condemning same!)

The only consistently democratic attitude would have been support for the Irish right to self-determination and the forces struggling for full independence without partition. In the years since the partitioning of Ireland in the 1920's, British 'labourism' has blown hot and cold over 'the Irish Question'.......
(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' .)

SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY: Changed its name from 'Sinn Fein' in 1977 . Known in the North of Ireland as 'Republican Clubs - the Workers Party'. While their support in the North was much reduced from that at the time of the split with the Provisionals, support in the South was steadily building itself along fairly conventional lines , culminating with the election of one party member to Leinster House in 1981 and three party members in February 1982. This group changed its name to the Workers' Party in 1982 .

SOCIALIST LABOUR ACTION GROUP: Formed in 1970 to resist the rightward trend in The Labour Party, this group included members of 'The Young Socialists' organisation . This 'Action Group' was replaced by 'The Socialist Labour Alliance' in 1970 .

THE SOCIALIST LABOUR ALLIANCE: Formed in 1971 (after being in 'preparatory form' since 1970) following the coalition decision of the Labour Party conference . Most of The Socialist Labour Action Group joined , the 'People's Democracy' group affiliated to them as did Saor Eire, nominally . By early 1972 it consisted of the People's Democracy' group, the League For A Workers' Republic (with the remnant's of the 'Young Socialists') , and the newly formed Socialist Workers' Movement and Revolutionary Marxist Group. It ceased to function when the Socialist Workers' Movement disaffiliated on the ground that the organisation had become a mere 'debating society' .
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, April 19, 2007

HUNGER-STRIKE COMMEMORATION RALLY , DUBLIN , 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 18, 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 .

Total grants , subsidies and loans from the EEC during the period of membership up to 1981 (ie 1972-1981) amount to a total of £3,777.7 million , while the total Free State contribution to the EEC in the same period amounts to £360.5 million .

Most people in the South believe that the 'recession' is due solely to world market forces , and that it will improve . And so despite the actual effects of the EEC on jobs and on small farmers there is no concrete mood for EEC withdrawal : an anti-EEC campaign based solely on economic opposition would not command support across a sufficiently wide spectrum of people .

Sinn Fein may well grasp the political realities that underlie the EEC , but the fact is that , as yet , the mass of people does not . The consideration of these complex issues in the confined space of this article has arguably been rather trite , but its basic assertion is that in the identified areas of economic and social issues Sinn Fein will not in the near future begin to build anything approaching an 'Economic Resistance Movement' in the South of Ireland.......
(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 .

The British Labour Party's manifestos in the two general elections of 1910 made no commitment to , or even mention of , Irish Home Rule : in 1916 , the British labour movement's newspaper , the 'Daily Herald', made this comment on the Easter Rising: " No lover of peace can do anything but deplore the outbreak in Dublin ." It is strange how pacifism always breaks out when the oppressed fight back !

When the inter-imperialist wars break out , labour leaders glorify the call to arms in the name of 'national sacrifice' . James Connolly was quite right when he told his comrades in 1916 that British socialists would simply not understand why he joined the Rising .

After Sinn Fein swept the board in the 1918 elections, British labour leader J.R. Clynes could only deplore that the Irish movement "...which treats this country and this House (ie Westminster) with contempt , and refused to come under it , * received the support of the great majority of the Irish people.." (* '1169...' Comment : Mr Clynes would no doubt be pleased with the actions of Westminster's 'newest' subjects.......) It was , stated Mr Clynes , the 'lawlessness' of Sinn Fein which was "...being especially encouraged by the government's neglect of this troublesome subject.."
(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' .)

SINN FEIN: Formed in 1905 originally , after the 1930's it was no longer a mass movement but had renewed its ties with the IRA . It lost its four seats in Leinster House in 1961 and in 1962 the IRA called off the Border Campaign: Sinn Fein then began to consider a move to the left , and a re-orientation to radical activism took place with an ideology approaching that of the Communist Party. The failure to provide guns in the North of Ireland and the ending of the abstentionist policy with regard to seats won in Leinster House led to the split between the 'Officials' and the Provisionals- 1969 on the military side and 1970 on the political side .

The Officials , known in the North as the Republican Clubs, continued their movement , increasingly emphasising the winning of parliamentary seats, and changed their name to 'Sinn Fein The Workers Party' in 1977 .

The Provisionals' greater emphasis on military methods of struggle brought them more recruits , and their concentration in Nationalist working-class areas helped them to begin their own move to the left and their popular support led to the contesting of the 1982 Assembly elections when they won five seats.
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, April 17, 2007

2007 MEMORIAL RALLY FOR IRISH HUNGER-STRIKERS.

MEMORIAL RALLY FOR IRISH HUNGER-STRIKERS , Saturday 5th May 2007 .

On Saturday May 5th next , in Dublin ,the Republican Movement will hold a Memorial Rally for the 22 Irish men that died on hunger-strike between 1917 and 1981 :
Thomas Ashe, Kerry, 5 days, 25 September 1917 (force fed by tube , died as a result).
Terrence McSweeny, Cork, 74 days, 25 October 1920.
Michael Fitzgerald, Cork, 67 days, 17 October 1920.
Joseph Murphy, Cork, 76 days , 25 October 1920 .
Joe Witty, Wexford , 2 September 1923.
Dennis Barry, Cork, 34 days, 20 November 1923.
Andy O Sullivan , Cork, 40 days, 22 November 1923.
Tony Darcy, Galway, 52 days, 16 April 1940.
Jack 'Sean' McNeela, Mayo, 55 days, 19 April 1940.
Sean McCaughey, Tyrone ,22 days, 11 May 1946 (hunger and thirst Strike).
Michael Gaughan, Mayo , 64 days, 3 June 1974.
Frank Stagg, Mayo , 62 days, 12 February 1976.
Bobby Sands, Belfast , 66 days, 5 May 1981.
Frank Hughes , Bellaghy (Derry) , 59 days, 12 May 1981.
Raymond McCreesh , South Armagh , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Patsy O Hara , Derry , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Joe McDonnell , Belfast , 61 days, 8 July 1981.
Martin Hurson , Tyrone , 46 days, 13 July 1981.
Kevin Lynch, Dungiven (Derry) ,71 days, 1 August 1981.
Kieran Doherty , Belfast , 73 days, 2 August 1981.
Tom McIlwee , Bellaghy (Derry) , 62 days, 8 August 1981.
Micky Devine , Derry , 60 days, 20 August 1981.

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.






Monday, April 16, 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 .

THE EEC:

Sinn Fein is the predominant group among a small number of organisations in Ireland calling for withdrawal from the EEC : in 1972 , Sinn Fein correctly predicted that EEC membership would result in the destruction of native industries and warned that the parallel policy of welcoming multinationals would not provide a long-term alternative .

The 23,000 jobs lost by the collapse of industries such as textiles and leather-working were replaced in the short-term by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), and , as has been discussed earlier in this article , the massive increase in unemployment since 1972 has not yet led to a total collapse of the Free State economy , which of course no longer exists as an independent reality .

In agriculture it is the small farmers who have suffered from the EEC : another 5,000 farmers currently face ruin over the EEC milk super levy, but the medium and large farming sectors have benefitted substantially from the net balance between Free State contributions to the EEC and EEC subsidies to the Free State , at the expense of other social groups - when the following figures are examined , the 'profit' going to those 'in favour' and , indeed , the reason why they are 'in favour' , becomes clear.......
(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 .

Not everyone welcomed the involvement of the 'Social Democratic Federation' in the Irish land struggle issue , although some were : the great revolutionary and member of the Fenian Brotherhood, Michael Davitt, was so impressed by this show of solidarity that he declared -

" The rising democracy in England are not animated by feelings of hatred towards the people of Ireland . I believe , on the contrary , they are willing that Ireland should have these rights , political and social , that they themselves are demanding . " Unfortunately this was not to be . Charles Parnell, leader of the Irish Home Rule Party, although not in Davitt's radical mould , was ironically more realistic in his estimation of the English labour movement -

" We are told of some great wave of English democracy which is coming over here to poor Ireland to assist the Irish democracy . The poor Irish democracy will have , I fear , to rely upon themselves in the future as they have had up to the present . " In Britain subsequently , the democratic or socialist forces were to prove how 'vacillating' they were , collapsing often into naked imperialist chauvinism : the nascent British Labour Party (formed in 1906) began by simply ignoring Ireland - the first ten conferences were taken up by such 'vital' matters as cab trade legislation , vaccination and the laws governing motor traffic.......
(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' .)

REVOLUTIONARY MARXIST GROUP: Trotskyist organisation formed in 1972 as a breakaway from the 'Young Socialists' on the basis of support for the United Secretariat of the Fourth International. The group changed its name to the Movement for a Socialist Republic in 1976 .

REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE: Formed in 1975 with a somewhat Maoist tinge , comparable to what are called Autonomists on the Continent .

SAOR ÉIRE: Formed in 1967 as a left-wing breakaway from the Republican Movement with a somewhat Guevarist orientation . Ceased to function in about 1973 .
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, April 15, 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!