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To mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday last year, we spoke to Dr. Brian Hanley about the reaction in the Republic of Ireland to the events in Derry on 30th January 1972, when British soldiers opened fire on civil rights marchers, killing 14 and injuring several others. The reaction in the South saw walkouts and strikes, a national day of mourning, the burning of the British embassy in Dublin, and mass protests around the country.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/podcast/35-bloody-sunday-reactions-in-the-republic-of-ireland/

Episode 35: Bloody Sunday: Reactions in the Republic of Ireland, with Brian Hanley — Irish Left Archive Podcast

Irish Left Archive

30th January 1972, Bloody Sunday in Derry -- British soldiers shot 26 people during a civil rights march in Derry, resulting in 14 deaths.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/on-this-day/01/30/#event-4800

On This Day, 30th January

Irish Left Archive

New document:

"19 Arrests - Campaign Will Not Be Intimidated!"

Armagh/H-Block News, Vol. 1, No. 5, 19th September 1981, from the Armagh/H-Block Action Group.

Active during the 1980/1 Hunger Strikes, the group was associated with the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist).

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/6288/

Armagh/H-Block News, Vol. 1, No. 5 (1981) — Armagh/H-Block Action Group

Irish Left Archive

Our index of left political organisations includes 377 parties, formations and campaign groups.

This includes Irish left orgs. from throughout the 20th Century, as well as groups from outside Ireland who have produced documents on Ireland.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/browse/organisations/

Index of Organisations in the Irish Left Archive

Irish Left Archive

Our timeline of the Irish left traces the history of Irish left parties and groups throughout the 20th Century and up to the contemporary.

The timeline is always evolving -- if you are aware of a group that should be included or have any corrections, please let us know!

https://www.leftarchive.ie/page/timeline-of-the-irish-left/

Timeline of the Irish Left

Irish Left Archive

A section of the timeline of the Irish left diagram, representing organisations over time with lines on the horizontal axis and indicating merges and splits.

"Landlord should be "tarred and feathered""

A 1975 article from The Irish People on poor housing conditions in Carlow.

The Irish People was the newspaper of Official Sinn Féin and then The Workers' Party, from the 1970s to 90s.

Full issue here: https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/2967/

The Irish People, Vol. 3, No. 25 (1975) — Sinn Féin [Official]

Irish Left Archive

Landlord should be "tarred and feathered"

He should be "tarred and feathered" Carlow Urban Councillor, Mr. Michael Byrne, said of one Carlow landlord when he finished inspecting a flat which was being rented out to a young married couple in the town. As a lesser deterrent Carlow Urban Council has decided to introduce bye-laws covering the conditions of rented accommodation in the town and containing penalties for noncompliance, including possible closure. The decision in principle was taken by the Council on 26 August and the September meeting is to discuss the enactment of bye-laws more fully.

The motion to introduce housing bye-laws was proposed by Counclllor Byrne who told colleagues on the Council that conditions in some of the flats rented by one particular landlord had made him "literally sick" and were not fit for a dog.
Such conditions were a serious indictment of public representatives, he said.


A tour by Urban Councillors around flats in the town brought to light shocking cases of extortionate rents for insanitary, often rat-infested, accommodation.

In one case, a group of flats, the sewer (open) was covered over by a flagstone.

Couples were living in danger of contracting disease carried by rat infestation. One child had dermatitis which could not be cured while living in its present home and another had been in hospital with gastro-enteritis on a number of occasions. Yet again, children had had to be hustled out of a building to avoid the rats in a flat which also used to chew their clothing.

One flat was so bad that the tenants were recommended for emergency rehousing; in another
the tenants' ESB bill, averaging £2-£3, had been upped to £21 odd because, they were told, the ground rent was included!

Under the 1966 Housing Act local authorities are empowered to introduce bye-laws setting out minimum standards of ventilation, lighting, heating, sanitary facilities, food storage etc. In rented accommodation. Councils, however, are not allowed to regulate the rents charged for flats.

"Dig deep for the miners"

From the 1984-85 British miners' strike.

From our collection of documents from support work in Dublin for the striking miners' families. https://www.leftarchive.ie/collection/1147/

Document Collection: British Miners' Strike 1984/85

Irish Left Archive

A circular yellow sticker with black text in the centre reading: Dig Deep for the Miners. Red text around the perimeter reads: National Union of Mineworkers.

"The Path to Marriage Equality in Gay Community News"

Written on the first anniversary of the marriage equality referendum, this series of articles traces same-sex marriage through the pages of Gay Community News, starting in the early 1990s (when homosexuality was still criminalised in Ireland).

https://www.leftarchive.ie/article/1989/

The Path to Marriage Equality in GCN: Part 1

Irish Left Archive

Traveller Activism in the 1980s: The Committee for the Rights of Travellers and Mincéir Misli

An article on Traveller activism in response to anti-Traveller protests and state mistreatment. The Committee ran the first Traveller candidate for the Dáil, Nan Joyce, in 1982.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/article/5703/

Image: A screenshot from an RTÉ Archives video.

Traveller Activism in the 1980s: The Committee for the Rights of Travellers and Mincéir Misli

Irish Left Archive

A still image from a video of a protest march in Dublin. In the foreground, Nan Joyce and her children are sitting in a horse-led cart. She's holding a sign (not legible in the image). Other marchers walk behind her with a large banner (partially legible: Commitee For...).

Material from Occupy Dame Street in 2011.

From a march in support of the occupation, which took place on the 22nd of October 2011 from the Garden of Remembrance to Dame Street.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/demonstration/6140/

Political Material from: Occupy Dame Street March, 22nd October 2011

Irish Left Archive

23rd January 1973:

"Giving Irish Trotskyism a Bad Name"

A letter from the Belfast branch of the Revolutionary Marxist Group to the rest of the organisation over a proposal to change the name from ‘Revolutionary’ to ‘Republican Marxist Group’.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/3161/

Giving Irish Trotskyism a Bad Name (1973) — Revolutionary Marxist Group

Irish Left Archive

Published 22nd January 1973:

"Official Republicans Meet in Dublin: A Step Forward for the Irish Vanguard"

Gerry Foley on the Official Republican Convention in 1972. From Intercontinental Press, the magazine of the Fourth International.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/3237/

Official Republicans Meet in Dublin: A Step Forward for the Irish Vanguard (1973) — Gerry Foley

Irish Left Archive

🎙 New podcast episode:

https://www.leftarchive.ie/podcast/45-one-small-step-by-michael-flavin/

We talk to academic and author Michael Flavin about his novel, One Small Step . Published by Vulpine Press, the novel tells the story of a young boy from a Northern Irish catholic background growing up in Birmingham in the 1970s and the impact of the 1974 Birmingham bombings. We discuss Michael’s own background, coming from an Irish family in Birmingham, which he drew on for the novel, and his research into the Troubles, which also led to publishing the academic article, “Four Typologies of Leadership Applied to a Survey of the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin in the Troubles ”.

Episode 45: One Small Step, by Michael Flavin — Irish Left Archive Podcast

Irish Left Archive

Vulgar cartoon satirising Gardaí / Police

From The Botton Dog in 1976, an unequivocal cartoon accompanying an article listing allegations of police misconduct in the preceding few years.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/view/410/?page=3

View Document: The Bottom Dog, Vol. 3, No. 70

Irish Left Archive

A cartoon showing a circle of police and detectives, each with their trousers down and leaning forward with their face in the arse of the next. One has a pig's head. The drawing is initialled I.K. It is captioned: The Special Branch investigating a case of police brutality.

🎙 New episode of the Irish Left Archive Podcast:

https://www.leftarchive.ie/podcast/45-one-small-step-by-michael-flavin/

We talk to academic and author Michael Flavin about his novel, One Small Step . Published by Vulpine Press, the novel tells the story of a young boy from a Northern Irish catholic background growing up in Birmingham in the 1970s and the impact of the 1974 Birmingham bombings. We discuss Michael’s own background, coming from an Irish family in Birmingham, which he drew on for the novel, and his research into the Troubles, which also led to publishing the academic article, “Four Typologies of Leadership Applied to a Survey of the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin in the Troubles ”.

Episode 45: One Small Step, by Michael Flavin — Irish Left Archive Podcast

Irish Left Archive

"Sinn Féin Philosophy: Revolutionary Or Reformist?"

An article from the first issue of Congress '86, magazine of the League of Communist Republicans (LCR).

The LCR formed among IRA prisoners who resigned following the ending of Sinn Féin's policy of abstention in 1986.

Scanned article reading:

Sinn Féin Philosophy: Revolutionary Or Reformist?

The recent Ard Fheis allowing S.F. delegates if elected to enter and take their seats in Leinster House has left many Republicans and Socialists within the movement and the class as a whole reappraising their role within that movement. The walkout and formation of Republican Sinn Fein is well enough documented elsewhere not to warrant further debate or discussion here. What is worth much more discussion and debate is, in what light should the revolutionary Socialist element view the decision to end abstentionism in particular and Sinn Fein's philosophy as expounded by Sinn Fein in general. It would be a great mistake to try and separate the two, as only when we examine Sinn Fein's philosophy from a materialistic analysis can we truly see the decision to end abstentionism in its true light.

The taking of seats in bourgeois parliaments is generally seen by revolutionaries as a tactical option and is the line most often quoted by those who support the decision to enter Leinster House. The taking of seats in bourgeois parliaments is indeed a tactical option for revolutionaries. However, at this stage it is necessary to point out that sometimes those who call themselves revolutionaries are in fact opportunists and reformists hiding behind revolutionary rhetoric. Irish history affords us the opportunity to analyse those who in the past called themselves revolutionaries and socialists and who took the same path to Leinster House as Sinn Fein are preparing to do at present.

Fianna Fail in the 20's, Clan Na Poblachta in the 40's and The Workers Party (nee Official Sinn Fein) in '69, all these parties have one thing in common, they all claimed that they were only going into Leinster House for tactical reasons and would never never allow themselves to sink into the mire of what passes for politics in the Free-State. History is the final judge and as we all know each of the above mentioned parties not alone sank into the mire but they remerged as staunch upholders and guardians of the status quo as dictated from Leinster House. On hindsight it is easy for us to see that the above mentioned parties were merely opportunists and reformists hiding behind their own particular forms of rhetoric. Tragically the fact remains that at the time many people put their faith and trust in these parties only to have that faith and trust betrayed at a later date.

For those of us who believe that only socialism, only communism can end the ruthless economic exploitation, political oppression and foreign occupation of our country we have a direct obligation to ensure that no such betrayals ever again, by any political party, shall hinder us in our forward march towards a socialist republic.

The marriage between republicanism and socialism has never been a happy one, and could be at best described as a marriage of convenience. The whole question takes on a new sense of urgency in the light of the abstentionist issue and recent remarks made by the President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams in an interview which appeared in the Irish Times 10/12/86. Mr. Adams stated that “Socialism was not on the agenda” also in his recently published book ‘Politics of Irish Freedom' in which he said "Republican struggle should not at this stage of it's development style itself Socialist Republican as this would imply that there is no place in it for non socialists”. The historical precedent which immediately springs to mind is the now infamous caution of DeValera when he stated that "labour must wait", Not a very encouraging precedent.

In no sense of the word can such an ideology be regarded as revolutionary and clearly must be delegated to the marshy ground of opportunism and reformism. For those of us who believe that if there is to be a revolution there must first be a revolutionary party and that without a revolutionary party built on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and in the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style, it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses to victory, the weakness and flaws in the ideology of Sinn Fein are obvious for those with the courage and clarity to see them.

The question now arises, what is to be done? Firstly we learn from history. The old cry don't embarrass Fianna Fail must never be allowed to be converted into the don't embarrass Sinn Fein. It is clear that we as revolutionary socialists must vigorously struggle against all attempts to entrench non socialist ideology in the working class. As revolutionaries it is our duty to expose all flaws and weakness that are inherent. The time comes in the life of any socialist when there remains only two choices, submit or resist.

That time has come for Irish socialists, we shall not submit and we have no choice but to resist. The time has come when the unhappy marriage between republican and revolutionary socialists must be terminated. We must put our faith in the most creative class, the working class and the broad masses. We must set about the task of building a revolutionary party, a party built on the


Marxist/Leninist theory. Then and only then shall we be equipped and capable of leading the working class and masses to victory.
Socialists everywhere must get together, expose, plan organise and build the very defence of our people, our future and our freedom depends on our ability o tackle the tasks ahead.

Comrades let us not be found wanting in the months and years of struggle ahead…

From 1949: “Irish Workers' Road to Freedom”

The Manifesto of the Irish Workersʼ League (IWL).

The IWL (later Irish Workersʼ Party) was formed in the late 1940s in the South, after the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) dissolved during WWII.

In 1970, it merged with the Communist Party of Northern Ireland to re-found the CPI.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/1850/

Irish Workers' Road to Freedom (1949) — Irish Workers' League

Irish Left Archive