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Two Irish general elections occurred , 6th June, in 1977 and 1997.

Here' the Socialist Party of Ireland's (SPI) Advance magazine profiling their candidate Eamonn O'Brien in 1977. The SPI went on to merge with the Democratic Socialist Party in the early 1980s, which ultimately merged with Labour in 1990. (It is not related to the current Socialist Party).

And from 1997, an analysis from Labour's Emmet Stagg in TILT of Labour's losses in that election (the party lost 16 TDs, going from 32 to 17).

On This Day, 6th June

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Front cover of Advance, No. 25, from the Socialist Party of Ireland, with the headline: General Election 1977; O Brien, Eamonn: Your Socialist Party TD for Ballymun and North County Dublin
Extracts from an article from Labour's TILT magazine headlined: No Disaster: Emmet Stagg Puts '92/'97 in Context
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5th June 1982: March For Survival

Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament marched from Parnell Square to Stephen's Green in Dublin, calling for pressure on the Irish government's position on disarmament and Irish neutrality.

March for Survival (1982) — Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

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New document:

"25 Years On – We Shall Overcome"

An Phoblacht Republican News marks the 25th anniversary of the deployment of British troops in the North in 1969.

From Déardaoin, 11 Lúnasa / Thursday, 11 August 1994, the newspaper of Sinn Féin.

An Phoblacht Republican News, Iml. 16, Uimh. 32 (1994) — Sinn Féin

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We've just added lots of new entries to our bibliography of Irish Left periodicals, which you can find here:

Thanks to Ciarán Crossey for his help! If you are aware of any periodicals we're missing, please let us know.

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The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair takes place tomorrow in the Teachers' Club.

In the latest Irish Left Archive Podcast episode, we spoke to Gregor Kerr about this year's fair and the history of the annual event:

Flyer for Dublin Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday 20 May, 10–6, Teachers Club, Dublin 1
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🆕 Website update:

🗓️ We've added a calendar showing events occurring, demonstrations from the Snapshots of Political Action project, and documents published for each day.

Hopefully it's a useful way of finding interesting bits of left history in our database.

It's far from full, so if you come across an interesting event that's relevant or appears in materials in our collection, do please let us know and we'll add it!

Calendar of Events

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A screenshot of a calendar for May from the Irish Left Archive website, with icons on several dates indicating historical events, demonstrations, documents published and subject headings occurring on that date in history.
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"James Connolly and the struggle for Marxism in Ireland"

A 1980 article from the Workers' Revolutionary Party journal, Labour Review.

James Connolly and the struggle for Marxism in Ireland (1980) — Workers Revolutionary Party

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"What's Another Tour? No To Racist Rugby"

From 1981, an article in Socialist Republic on a proposed tour of apartheid South Africa for the British & Irish Lions rugby team. The team had toured in 1980 despite widespread opposition (including from the governments of both the UK and Ireland).

Socialist Republic was the magazine of Peoples Democracy, who were then the Irish affiliate of the Fourth International.

Scanned magazine article, reading:

What's Another Tour? No To Racist Rugby

Most readers of Socialist Republic probably have never played rugby. Rugby, you see, is a peculiar sport If you belong to certain broad categories of humanity ... well, you're out. If you are a woman, for example. That's half of you gone already.
If you are from the wrong side of the tracks. |f your accent is vulgar and you really don't know your claret. If you didn't go to a good private school. If you are small or lack the necessary aggression. And, in sunny South Africa, if you are black.

So what is all this controversy about the proposed Irish tour about? Why should the doings of fifteen burly executives with time and money to spare concern us? They are drawn from an elite minority segment of the community. If they wish to cart themselves off several thousand miles to the tip of Africa to kick an inflated pigskin up and down a grass field why should we bother? No doubt many of you wish you had the kind of job (that is, if you even have a job) with such attractive travel and recreation opportunities.

But South Africa is the problem, not rugby . And South Africa is unique.
This vicious society is as repressive and exploitative as any capitalist country. But with the added dimension of apartheid - racial segregation and discrimination enshrined as a fundamental policy of state. Over 80%of the population are totally and permanently disenfranchised, oppressed and degraded by the remaining 20%, simply because of skin colour.

In the psyche of the racist minority which presides over this barbarity, rugby plays an important role. All the classic features of the sport are there. Back-slapping bonhomie, character hardening platitudes, the gentlemanly violence of the heaving , stiff upper lips, sexist jokes in the showers after the match, ribald drunken singing over a few brandies on the train home. With one added dimension , all the players, managers, commentators and spectators are white. Any blacks that do want to play must do it on their own and with inferior facilities.

Far away from the whites' manicured pitch the black kids are crowded into festering slums. Officially they don't even exist - they are 'citizens' of remote rural native reservations they have never even seen. They kick cans =cross the dusty bits of burnt earth sandwiched between the shacks. Loiter around the shebeens -the white government kindly subsidises the price of booze for blacks. Stand in mute humiliation while a white cop demands the pass book. Sometimes even get shot or clubbed by the riot police - as the touring British Lions saw and heard to their discomfort last year.

No changes have really occurred in South African rugby. The wellfinanced and orchestrated SA government propaganda saying otherwise is a blatant lie. South Africa is racist and proud of it. Rugby, like all form of social activity, reflects that racism. The SA government has made it crystal clear that it will not alter apartheid and will fight to maintain it. Even as rugby officials were coming to Ireland to debate on RTE (who paid for that?) SA commandos were invading a sovereign state to murder fourteen innocent civilians who disagreed with being categorized as animals.

Rugby is an integral part of white South Africa. Boycotts do have an effect. They stimulate the morale of the oppressed and insure that no aspect of South African life can B pass itself off as "normal". South Africa is beginning to feel the first whisper of the coming wind as bastion after bastion of white rule and colonialism have fallen. That change did not come through any charm being exuded by a touring centre forward at a Johannesburg cocktail party. It came through the African liberation struggle being waged throughout the continent and the maximum international support for and solidarity with that struggle.

This is the time to isolate South Africa. The proposed Irish tour must be stopped. it is perhaps unfortunate that the debate on the tour, as revealed in the letters to the Irish Times, show a touching side to Irish liberalism which doesn't rise to the same heights when the issue is closer to home in Long Kesh or Armagh. But Socialist Republic isn't the Irish Times so we won't ask you to raise the matter in your local rugby club or at the next Rotary club luncheon. But do raise it and the issue of apartheid (and Western support for it) on your shop floor, among other workers, at your trade union branch, in your women's group, community association.

Workers in Dublin Airport have said they will refuse to process the travel documents of the rugby players.
This is the kind of action that will stop the tour. Actions like these must be encouraged wherever possible.

Because the tour is a diversion. Apartheid is not. It is the foulest product of centuries of imperialism.

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"Mass-Line in Education -- Revolutionary v Reactionary Line"

Published 2nd February 1968, Words and Comment, No. 3, from the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist).

Words and Comment, No. 3 (1968) — The Internationalists

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31st January 1971, the Cork Communist Organisation (CCO) resigned from the Irish Communist Organisation (ICO) in response to their position on Republicanism. It later became the Cork Workers Club (CWC).

The CCO was associated with Jim Lane, and those who had formerly been involved in Irish Revolutionary Forces and Saor Éire. Their position is outlined in their document On the Resignation of the Cork Branch of the Irish Communist Organisation.

The ICO was moving towards the "two nations theory" view, with which their later formation, B&ICO was known. The CCO and later CWC were Maoist-influenced.

On the Resignation of the Cork Branch of the Irish Communist Organisation (1972) — Cork Communist Organisation

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Scanned text reading: After an existence of 11 months the Cork Branch of the ICO on 31 January, 1971 seceded from the Irish Communist Organisation (ICO) and reconstituted itself as the Cork Communist Organisation (CCO). The decision to secede from the ICO was unanimous and followed several weeks discussion by the members of the Cork Branch. The following pamphlet outlines the circumstances which led to the split. The ICO statement on the split, ‘Nationalist Disruption of the Communist Movement’ (Irish Communist, May 1971) is also commented on in Part One, as are their statements ; ‘Nationalist Slander’ (Communist Comment, 21 August, 1971) and ‘Nationalist Disruption 2’ (Irish Communist, October 1971) in Part Two.
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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.

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

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

On This Day, 30th January

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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).

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

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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.

Index of Organisations in the Irish Left Archive

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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!

Timeline of the Irish Left

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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.
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"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:

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

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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.