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🎙 New podcast episode, featuring politically influential books, films, music, events and media from several of our guests throughout the year.

Happy new year! Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Irish Left Archive during 2023 by donating documents, offering feedback and appearing on (and listening to!) the podcast!

https://podcast.leftarchive.ie/@ILAPodcast/episodes/politics-and-cultural-influence

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From the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in 1975: Bill of Rights (Northern Ireland) Act 1975, presented to the people of N. Ireland by N.I.C.R.A.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/4589/

Bill of Rights (Northern Ireland) Act 1975 (1975) — Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association

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A cartoon from United Irishman in 1975 on American adoptions of Vietnamese children.

United Irishman was the newspaper of Official Sinn Féin.

A cartoon depicting a number of Vietnamese children on a display stand labelled "Vietnam Orphan Souvenirs", "Remember your stay in Vietnam forever" and "Limited supply". An American couple, identified by a "USA" label on a carry-bag, are pointing at one of the children. It is captioned "That one would look nice in the den."
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Published 13th April 1973, a "Special Election Bulletin" from the Democratic Student Front.

The group was formed by the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) in Trinity College Dublin to contest the student representative council elections.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/457/

Special Election Bulletin, 13th April 1973 (1973) — Democratic Student Front

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From 1969, an article on opposition to the appointment of Charles as Prince of Wales, and the ongoing trial of nine members of the Free Wales Army.

From United Irishman, newspaper of Sinn Féin.

Scanned newspaper article headlined "Wales Defiled!", with a caricature image of Charles, and reading:

On July 1 as we go to press a representative of the English Crown, the most vicious institution of murder the world has ever known, was installed as "prince" of Wales.

Surrounded by the largest force of police and troops ever mounted in peacetime the English “royals” imposed themselves on the people of Wales. The “royal” occasion did not pass without protest however: bombs exploded in Cardiff, the Welsh Capital, and in Abergele, forty miles from Caernarvon, two men were killed while placing explosives in a government office.

At the same time the marathon trial of members of the Free Wales Army was coming to an end and the verdicts were due to be announced on July 1. Referring to the trial, our Welsh correspondent writes:

Now as the Free Wales Army trial drags to its seemingly interminable close the moment of decision — the “crunch” — arrives. Not only for those patriots in the dock at Swansea. The hour of decision has arrived for the whole movement towards devolution of Government away from the Whitehall tyrannies of the Harold Wilson regime. Sadly, most sadly, one or two signs of the cracking of resolve are to be seen amongst those who took upon themselves the heavy responsibility of putting themselves forward as martyrs in the cause of the struggle to save the lifeblood of the Welsh nation.

The inspiration for the Welsh militant movement sprang — as it was bound to do — from the great examples of the Irish patriots of the time of Ireland’s agony.

 But from the example of the martyrs for Irish independence those who are now in doubt — and who can blame them after the ordeal they have undergone in English prisons over the past months? — they, these new martyrs in the cause of Wales, must draw fresh strength.

They must stand firm. One sign of weakness, one indication that one or two may be tempted, fatally, to “crawl out from under” the weight of their responsibility — a responsibility to the generations of new Welshmen and women in the years to come — and the very existence of Wales, as a Nation again, will be equally fatally threatened.

Stand firm, the new martyrs of Wales.

Remember the examples of Pearse, of Connolly, of Ap Griffith, the Welshman him self who inspired in those days of the other struggles for the freedom of Ireland. Stand firm. For the dignity of the Welsh nation.

Only stand fearless before the threats of the London Government hirelings, the Quisling traitors of Wales, who are even now drawing their wages in Saxon gold as drovers of the Welsh cattle out of Wales and to the "Sais“ New Towns, only stand firm now all can be won.

Only stand firm now and as Ireland survived its testing hour, so can Wales today.

A heavy responsibility rests on the shoulders of the men on trial. They must prove themselves worthy of it.

Any sign of weakness, any sign of fear, and the whole movement towards the rennaissance [sic] of the Welsh spirit will be put back a hundred years.

The men on trial at the Inquisition of Swansea have the ability to write themselves into a golden page of Welsh history. Stand firm Welshmen. The heart and soul of a new Wales is with you. The new martyrs of Wales have already been likened to “the tip of the spear” — this one action, this one public martyrdom, and the modern “Siege of The Post Office" in open court can win Wales its freedom after 500 years of insidious and open oppression.

Stand firm and all can be won.

Stand firm for Wales!
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New document: People's Voice, No. 6.

Magazine of Saor Éire, 1969.

Note, this is the Cork-based organisation, not to be confused with the Saor Éire Action Group.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/6371/

People's Voice, No. 6 (1969) — Saor Éire [Cork]

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Published 1st April 1972:

"Military Dictatorship in Northern Ireland"

Freedom, anarchist weekly from Freedom Press.

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/1187/

Freedom, Vol. 33, No. 14 (1972) — Freedom Press

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31st March 1976, the Sallins Train robbery occurred.

Three members of the IRSP were charged with the robbery and convicted despite evidence of torture after arrest. A significant campaign for the release of Nicky Kelly was organised. Kelly was ultimately released, and later received a presidential pardon and compensation.

Here are documents from the campaign in our collection: https://www.leftarchive.ie/subject/2674/

Event - Sallins Train robbery

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Scanned front page of a newspaper called Nicky Kelly News, with front-page articles headlined: The Song that Tells it All Banned By RTÉ; and Campaign Goes On
Front cover of A State Conspiracy: IRSP and The 'Great' Train Robbery Frame-up
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The other Saor Éire was a Maoist-influenced group in Cork, and a successor to the Irish Revolutionary Forces. It published a magazine called People's Voice, which can be read in the archive: https://www.leftarchive.ie/publication/131/

Associated with Jim Lane, members went on to join the Irish Communist Organisation (ICO), though later left to form the Cork Communist Organisation after the ICO moved to the "two nations" theory.

People's Voice

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Two unconnected later groups, active in the late 1960s and early 70s, also had the name Saor Éire.

One was a Republican "urban guerilla" group formed by former IRA members and Trotskyists, also known as the Saor Éire Action Group. It was involved in a number of bank robberies to fund arms purchases in the late 60s. By 1975 it had dissolved.

Their manifesto, reportedly printed by Peter Graham using the presses of Red Mole in London (the publication of the International Marxist Group), is available in the archive here: https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/1712/

Saor Éire Manifesto (1971) — Saor Éire [1967]

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The Draft Constitution and Rules of Saor Éire: https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/6252/

Saor Éire was a short-lived left Republican and communist organisation founded by members of the IRA in 1931. Notable among its founders were Peadar O’Donnell, Frank Ryan and George Gilmore.

It brought together members of the Revolutionary Workers’ Groups (RWG), which was chiefly Dublin-based, and the Irish Working Farmers’ Congress (IWFC), which had been established by O’Donnell in 1930 and was associated with Krestintern, the Peasants International.

Saor Éire: Draft Constitution and Rules (1931) — Saor Éire [1931]

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Published 29th March 1974:

"Shops Stewards Committee: 'Why We Left It': B&ICO Shop Stewards"

"Revivalism or Reform for the Gaeltacht?"

Comment, fortnightly paper of the British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO).

https://www.leftarchive.ie/document/2322/

Comment, Vol. 3, No. 4 (1974) — British and Irish Communist Organisation

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