Folks may be interested in this – Connolly is relevant all over the world!
In the past few days I’ve been in contact with a number of republicans around Ireland and further afield, as part of my attempt to expand this blog’s readership and also to find more people to write for it.
One result is that I came in contact with someone who recently (2013) completed a master’s thesis on how republicans who continue to hold core republican views have been presented by the Provisionals’ leadership (and others – academics, media) as “dissident republicans”. Larry has kindly agreed that I can use his MA thesis for the blog.
So, over the next couple of weeks, I hope to go through it and start getting it up on the blog.
I am trying to put aside time to work on a feature piece on Fintan Lalor and the Irish Revolution, as well as a bunch of reviews which I have been meaning to write over the past couple of years and haven’t, as other aspects of life have intervened continuously, as they are wont to do. . .
Once again, I am very keen to get other people involved in writing stuff for the blog.
The debate between veteran republican activist Tommy McKearney and veteran revisionist historian Ruth Dudley Edwards on “The 1916 Rising – a good or bad thing for Ireland”, organised by the 1916 Societies and held at the Teachers’ Club in Dublin on July 29, is now up on youtube.
You can watch it here.
Next week marks the anniversaries of the murders of two great revolutionaries, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and Seamus Costello, thinkers and fighters who were murdered ten years apart.
Che was murdered (executed) in Bolivia on October 9, 1967 while Seamus was murdered in Dublin on October 5, 1977.
Seamus was kind of Ireland’s Che Guevara. While Guevara was joining forces with the Castro brothers and the July 26 Movement, Seamus at just 16 years old joined the IRA and took part in the ‘border campaign’. Already his talents were leading to him being dubbed ‘the boy general’.
While Che was part of the revolutionary government in Cuba in the early 1960s and then went to fight in the Congo and, subsequently, Bolivia where he was captured and executed without trial, Seamus had become a member of the Army Council, the 7-person central leadership of the IRA and was to the forefront of the political rethinking that was going on in IRA and SF following the defeat of the ‘border campaign’.
With the 1969/1970 split in the Republican Movement, resulting in the ‘Officials’ and ‘Provisionals’, Seamus was a key figure in the Officials. However, the Officials’ commitment to revolutionary socialism was quickly replaced by a virulent strand of pro-Moscow reformism and they began quickly to retreat on the national question and the armed struggle, In 1974 Seamus, who was the chief internal critic of the drift of the Officials, led his supporters out of the Officials and established the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the INLA. The new movement attracted a layer of revolutionary-left activists including Bernadette Devlin.
The Officials, who had been overtaken by the (originally smaller) Provisionals were determined not to allow themselves to be outflanked from the left and began to try to violently suppress the IRSP. Several activists in the IRSP were murdered and the IRSP struck back in defence.
The Officials’ central leadership then decided to kill Costello and he was shot dead while sitting in his car in the centre of Dublin. Miriam Daly then took over as chair of the IRSP before she too was murdered – this time by the UDA during the 1981 hunger strikes.
On Seamus Costello see: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/remembering-seamus-costello-1939-1977/ (this includes an excellent talk given by Louise Minihan of eirigi a couple of years ago)
Bernadette Devlin tribute to Seamus: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/remembering-seamus-costello-outstanding-irish-revolutionary/
Miriam Daly tribute to Seamus: https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/miriam-daly-on-seamus-costello/
And see the text of a key 1969 speech of Costello: “On Democracy and the Mass Movement”:https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/seamus-costello-democracy-and-the-mass-movement-speech-feb-1969/
On Che, see The Legacy of Che Guevara: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/the-legacy-of-che/
Che’s African Dream: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/in-review-che-in-africa/
Che’s message to the Tricontinental: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/ches-message-to-the-tricontinental-1967/
The piece below is reblogged from the Socialist Democracy site here.
The latest crisis in the slow decay of the Irish peace process was unleashed following the murder of republican Kevin McGuigan when the local chief constable announced that the IRA continued in place with an organised structure and that members were involved in the murder of their opponent.
In the furore that followed the most honest comment came from a surprising source. British secretary of state Thersa Villiers said she was “not surprised” by the news. Neither was anyone else on the island of Ireland. Former southern Irish minister Michael McDowell explained that the governments had decided to leave a dried up husk, calculating that this would act as a barrier to the formation of a new republican movement. In fact the IRA have been involved in killings since the claim that they had been stood down and the police have obscured the issue with a formula similar to that used today.
So why have Irish politicians been thrown into crisis by a ghost? Especially one whose appearance lacks the element of surprise and where the police have used a familiar formula, used in the past to obscure direct IRA involvement, invoked purely imaginary cover names for the IRA such as Action Against Drugs and stopped short of alleging that the killing was carried out by the IRA as opposed to individual members, in fact explicitly ruling out evidence of a chain of command.
The explanation lies at the foundation of the peace process. The process is at odds with the programme of Read the rest of this entry