Monthly Archives: April 2015

40th anniversary of victory in Vietnam

download (1)Today, April 30, marks the 40th anniversary of the triumph of the Vietnamese masses over imperialism.

I’ve written about it here:

Connolly College, Baile Átha Cliath, Dé Sathairn, Bealtaine 2

Saturday, May 2 will see éirígí Baile Átha Cliath launch a new annual forum for education, discussion, debate and the networking of political activists. The theme of the inaugural ‘Connolly College’ will be ‘We Only Want the Earth – The Fight for Control of Ireland’s Natural Resources’.

The one day event, which take place in Wynns Hotel on Abbey Street, Dublin on May 2nd will be broken into three separate sessions broadly focused on:

  • James Connolly on Natural Resources
  • Ireland’s Natural Resources – A Sectoral Breakdown
  • From Rossport to Coolock – Stories of Resistance in the Struggle for Control of Ireland’s Natural Resources

Following the final session there will be an opportunity for people to renew old friendships and make new acquaintances whilst discussing the day’s proceedings over refreshments.

Confirmed speakers include the author, historian and co-author of the ‘Come Here to Me!’ blog Donal Fallon, éirígí’s Brian Leeson and the Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington.

The Connolly College is open to all and no cover charge applies.  Hope to see you there.

Bígí linn.

Soldier of the revolution and working class intellectual: two tributes to Vol Tony Catney


Funeral of Tony Catney

Below is the tribute to Tony ‘TC’ Catney written by republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry.  It was read out at his funeral in August 2014 in Belfast by Paul Duffy.  The text is taken from The Pensive Quill blog.

People assembled at the graveside of Tony Catney hardly need an introduction to the life and times of the man being laid to rest. There are so many dimensions to the life just ended that it would be impossible to catalogue them or squeeze them into some easy to deliver package. TC, as we all knew him, was a republican gem, a rough diamond with sharp edges and a razor sharp intellect to match.

People will remember TC in different ways and for different reasons. His friends will remember him fondly. His critics will see him more caustically. But the mischief in him would have enjoyed that. His attitude would be that if he was not annoying those he fundamentally disagreed with then he wasn’t doing his job. And the job of TC, as he saw it, was to bring clarity to matters that others tried to obscure.

For IRA prisoners TC will always occupy a Read the rest of this entry

Commemorating Tony Catney

TCRegardless of which particular socialist-republican group anyone belongs to, or supports, the death of Tony ‘TC’ Catney last August was a loss to all serious socialist-republicans.  The 1916 Societies in Dublin have taken on organising what is intended to be an annual debate dedicated to him.  The inaugural Tony Catney Memorial Debate was organised by the new Cathal Brugha 1916 Society, based in Kilbarrack/Donaghmede, and took place in the Teachers Club in Parnell Square on March 7.  The topic was Republicanism in the Twenty-first Century and the speakers were Dee Fennell, Cait Trainor and Anthony McIntyre.

It attracted a large audience, including sections of the disparate left republican currents, and went on for two-and-a-half hours.  There were still hands in the air when it had to be ended because the club was closing.

Anthony McIntyre’s speech can be read here.

Hopefully the speeches by Cait Trainor and Dee Fennell will be on-line soon or a video will appear.

While, as Anthony McIntyre noted, the Provo leadership cabal around Adams destroyed the struggle to an extent no amount of British repression ever could, this meeting was yet another indication that there is still a significant layer of left republicans floating around wondering what the hell happened and wanting to talk about how the struggle was taken up the cul-de-sac of bourgeois nationalism and republicanism and socialism were both sacrificed.

At the same time, there are too many left-republican groups.  The differences between them are far, far slighter than the common ideas – most particularly that in the 21st century, and after the debacle of the Provos, any real republicanism has to be socialist-republicanism.  The bulk of republicans at this meeting should be in a common socialist-republican organisation, one with a lively internal political life which is also publicly projected.

Well done to the 1916 Societies, especially the new Cathal Brugha 1916 Society, for organising such a lively political meeting.

Given that the 1916 Societies devote a lot of energy to public events such as this, it would be great to see them hosting meetings where representatives of the various left-republican currents were invited to speak.  One of the topics might be on how to work together to ensure the most successful revolutionary celebration/commemoration of the 1916 Rising, rather than having half a dozen different groups all organising their own events, a recipe for being completely overshadowed by the Adamsites’ carnival of blarney.  A combined revolutionary programme, involving all the genuine republican forces, could be attractive and big enough to at least present an alternative to the attempt by the Adamsites to grab ownership of 1916.

Dunnes Stores strike – follow-up article

I’ve done a follow-up article, which can be read at:

Gay marriage referendum

I’ve written a feature-length article about this for another blog.  Because it’s written for a mainly non-Irish audience, it explains things that wouldn’t need explaining to Irish readers, but hopefully is still well worth a read by this blog’s readership.

You can find it at:



The Dunnes Stores strike – fantastic workers’ action

Photo: RTE

Photo: RTE

I’ve written about this over on the Redline blog:

Six thousand workers employed in 109 Dunnes Stores in the south of Ireland staged a 24-hour strike yesterday (Thursday, April 2).  (The business sells food, clothing, home furnishings; they’re roughly similar to a chain like Woolworths in NZ.)

Whereas in New Zealand, there is currently a campaign against zero-hours contracts, in the Dunnes Stores case the  most pressing issue is low-hours contracts.  About 80 percent of Dunnes workers have only 15 hours guaranteed work a week, so the effect is still that they cannot plan their finances beyond any one week, if even that.  The strike is also for. . .

full at: