Irish Workers' Group 1967-8

Rayner Lysaght and Sean Matgamna debate "Socialism, Ireland, and permanent revolution"

On 9 November 2018, 7:30 at the London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Grays Inn Rd WC1X 8UE, Rayner Lysaght, author of "The Republic of Ireland" and many other books, debated Sean Matgamna of Workers' Liberty on the perspectives of Irish politics. Solidarity 485 carries interviews with Lysaght and Matgamna outlining the ideas they will debate. Interviews by Martin Thomas: click here for Lysaght , and click here for Matgamna --- Rayner Lysaght: Threading together struggles T: How would you sum up the idea of permanent revolution in a few words? L: The development of the proletarian revolution out of...

Liam Daltun: Stocking up on theory

Introduction by Sean Matgamna Another day The document we reprint here, Liam Daltun's account in a letter to Sean Matgamna of events in the Irish Communist Group, deals with an important episode in the history of the Irish left. The ICG, set up in 1964, was a foredoomed experiment in building an organisation involving both Trotskyists and Chinese-oriented "revolutionary" Stalinists. Stalinist Beijing and Moscow had fallen out. The Chinese criticised Moscow from the "left" - for instance, questioning the dogma of the Stalinist parties controlled by Moscow that there could be a peaceful...

James Connolly: Home Rule and the Gaelic Revival

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly. Connolly's period in Dublin coincided with the period of the Gaelic Revival, and the rediscovery (and re-invention) of Ireland's historical, literary and cultural past. It also led to a deepening of Connolly's understanding of Irish history and the Irish national question, establishing some themes which, in various form, would be present throughout his political life. The Gaelic Revival was in full-swing when Connolly moved to Dublin in 1896, as sections of the Irish middle class, many of them Protestant, were...

Liam Daltun: 50 years after the Easter Rising, a Socialist Republican's "Reflections on the Easter jamboree"

Introductory note. This article appeared in the London monthly of the Irish Workers' Group, “Irish Militant”, in May 1966. The author, Liam Daltun had been a member of the IRA who had taken part in the 1956 split in that organisation, siding with the faction led by Joe Cristle, which was impatient for “action” against the 6 County sub state. He took part in the “action” of November 1956, when they set fire to custom posts along the internal Irish border, which preceeded the “official” IRA Campaign that would start in December 1956. Eventually disillusioned with both of the IRA factions, he...

“Unite the workers and bury the religious hatreds”

At Workers’ Liberty 2015 summer school, Ideas For Freedom, Michael Johnson summarised on the history of the far left in Northern Ireland. Here we publish his presentation. Marc Mulholland’s speech in the same session was published in Solidarity 386 . There are two main approaches that Trotskyists have taken to Ireland since partition in 1921. Both approaches are wrong in different ways. The main problem with both of them is that they ignore the democratic programme to overcome an unresolved national problem which is dividing the working-class movement in Ireland. The first approach I want to...

The far left in Northern Ireland

Marc Mulholland is a historian working at Oxford University, and the author of books including “Northern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction”. He spoke at the Workers’ Liberty 2015 summer school, Ideas For Freedom, on the history of the far left in Northern Ireland. Trotskyism in the early 1960s in Northern Ireland is interesting and unusual, in that it was most prominent amongst the Protestant working-class. The Socialist Labour League, which became the WRP, got together a group of people around Jackie Vance, who came from working-class East Belfast. They had a group in the Draughtsman and...

The Frank Keane Defence Committee, 1970

Introduction: a footnote to Republican-Socialist history. On Friday, April 3, 1970 a group of armed men raided the Bank of Ireland on Arran Quay, in Dublin. In the course of this raid an unarmed policeman who tried to stop them, Richard Fallon, was shot dead. The police immediately blamed a small urban guerrilla Guevarist organisation called Saor Eire (Free Ireland) for the robbery and murder. They put out a list of men they wanted to “interview”. One of the men, Frank Keane, was soon apprehended by the British police in London. He would spend a year in Brixton jail awaiting extradition. He...

Left Wing Urban Guerrillas in Ireland: Saor Eire, Peter Graham, Irish National Liberation Army; The Fenians; the First 40 Years of The IRA; Permanent Revolution

Peter Graham: Life and death of an Irish Socialist Republican (1972) Left Wing Urban Guerrillas in Ireland: The Irish National Liberation Army's Bloody Feud and the Saor Eire Episode (1987) Saor Eire and Peter Graham (1996) INLA and the Irish National Question(1997) The Fenians: Rise and Decline(1967) Where the Hillside Men Have Sown: 40 Years of the IRA (1967) Permanent Revolution and Ireland Peter Graham Liam Daltun

Irish Emigré Trotskyism in the mid-1960s: Notes by a Participant

[Workers' Fight and the Trotskyist Tendency of the International Socialists – now the SWP – were forerunners of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. This is only an outline account, part of a longer article “AWL’s record on Ireland” .] INTRODUCTION The politics of the Trotskyist Tendency on Ireland in 1969 were rooted in the work of the small group of socialists who produced the journal An Solas/Workers’ Republic in 1966-7, under the umbrella of the Irish Workers’ Group, a mainly émigré and mainly London-based organisation. The group producing Workers’ Republic was the original nucleus of the...

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