Welcome to this blog.  Its function is to provide analysis of Irish history and contemporary Irish society from a socialist-republican standpoint, inspired by James Connolly and the tools of analysis developed and sharpened by Marx and Engels.  Social-revolutionary republicans from Wolfe Tone to Fintan Lalor to Michael Davitt to Padraic Pearse (and the other Easter signatories) to Liam Mellows to Saor Eire and Republican Congress to Seamus Costello are also important influences.

As well as material by myself, and hopefully other contributors as the blog progresses, it will run material from socialist-republican organisations such as éirígí; at the same time, the blog will do whatever it can to encourage co-operation between socialist-republican groups  such as éirígí and the Irish Republican Socialist Party and others spread out in various currents opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, partition and the failed states both sides of Britain’s border in Ireland.

The blog is based in New Zealand so it will also have the aim of promoting solidarity across Australasia with the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.  This includes informing people here about the continuing British occupation in the north and the attacks on workers by the administrations on both sides of the border.  Hopefully we will also be able to get enough interest here in Australasia to organise some solidarity actions around issues such as state repression, political prisoners and so on and educational/solidarity gatherings, including public meetings, film showings and talks, on aspects of the history of Irish oppression and the long struggle for political and economic liberation.

At present, I don’t belong to any political party in New Zealand (or anywhere else), nor do I have any plans of joining any left groups here, although I am part of a new left blog project in New Zealand called Redline (rdln.wordpress.com) and most of us involved in the blog were in an organisation called the Workers Party (no relation at all to the Stickies!).  I am also an ex-member of Sinn Fein in Dublin from 1986-1994.

After returning to New Zealand, I went to university and did postgrad work, including an MA thesis on Irish republicanism in the 1900-1930 period (and subsequently a PhD thesis on the making of the White New Zealand policy, the chapters of which are up on Redline).

A lot of books about that period of Irish history have been published since, and the Bureau of Military History archive of witness statements is now publicly available, so the chapters of my thesis are a bit dated.  Nevertheless there is still a lot of meaty stuff there and so over the next month or two I will be concentrating on putting up parts of the thesis, as well as running some current commentary and contributed articles.  Related to the thesis is that in Dublin in the late 1980s I did a lot of work gathering together the writings of Constance Markievicz, and I will try to start getting these up on the blog as well.

I look forward to feedback and contributions from people interested in and/or already supportive of the struggle for Irish freedom and of Irish socialist-republicanism and Marxism in particular.

Philip Ferguson


Posted in Uncategorized | Edit

  1. Hi Phil,

    Here is a story you might be interested in about recent events here in Ballyfermot.
    Beir Bua


  2. Of interest?

    Audio of yesterday’s meeting on ’21st Centruy Republicanism’ featuring former IRA prisoner Tommy McKearney (author of The Provisional IRA: From Insurrection to Parliament), Eoin Ó Broin of Sinn Féin (author of Sinn Féin and the Politics of Left Republicanism), éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson and Tom Redmond of the Communist Party of Ireland.


  3. Cheers Kevin. I’ve put a note about this on the blog and I’ve also put up a link to your blog.

  4. Martin Óg Meehan – Bravest of the Brave?


  5. hi phil heres our website aswell, we try to bring the various strands of republican left together under the international brigades flag


  6. Great site. Forgive if you have answered this question elsewhere, but why did you join Sinn Fein in 1986 rather than the IRSP? Did the Revolutionary Communist Party (UK) support joining Sinn Fein? Cheers, Ben

  7. I’m not sure what the RCP would have to do with it and in 1986 I would have had no idea if they favoured either the Irps or the Provos.

    Later on, I got to know some RCPers and their position, as anti-imperialists in Britain, was that they didn’t favour any one anti-imperialist force in Ireland over any other.

    It was a nice change from the colonial-mindedness of so much of the British left who just wanted to ‘teach’ the Irish stuff and create clone sects in Ireland. A few British groups – Red Action, RCG, RCP – had the reverse idea; that the Irish struggle was far in advance of anything in Britain and had much to teach the British left and working class.

    You’d need to know what state the Irps (both wings) were in when I went to Ireland to answer your question. If I had’ve gone to Ireland ten years earlier, I would have joined the Irps but, by 1986, no way. They were the best thing in Ireland at the time of their founding, but the murder of Seamus Costello and then the murder of Miriam Daly, who had taken over as IRSP chairperson after his killing, and the sheer intensity of repression levelled against them, the defection of Bernadette Devlin and a sizeable chunk of the national leadership of the party because of their disagreement re an armed wing, struck massive blows against the IRSP. Then, in the aftermath of the 1981 hunger strikes, they let in too many people and a chunk of recruits turned supergrass which resulted in the movement almost tearing itself apart.

    Faction fights can be hard going, but when all sides have guns the results can be tragic.

    Despite their more recent best intentions, I fear the Irps may belong to history now. Their best bet would be to try to merge with eirigi, or with the RNU.

    But I certainly stand in the tradition of Seamus Costello and Miriam Daly.



  9. Incredible points. Solid arguments. Keep up the great effort.

  10. Hi. Does you blog have an email address I can use to contact you with? Thanks, Kev.

  11. Nice1 Phil
    Really enjoyed your piece on revisionists bash at reinventing the revolution.
    Like all your basis and the sections on Tone and Lalor encourage me to dig deeper on their lives and times.
    Also Marks findings on the post famine rise in instability makes absolute sense.
    Must devote more energy to the cause dear to my heart and soul.
    Im a Livipudlian but both my parents were from border towns.
    Thanks Darrell

  12. Hi, I was wondering if I could get the full name of who writes this blog as I am using it as a source for a history project and need to include full details of my sources.

  13. I’m back online after years of being in the dark. So far, what I’ve read fills in some blanks (I learned little of Irish history after my Gram died when I was nine), but also contradicts both other readings (books) and recordings (as I recall, Joe Cahill was one one tape), as well as direct recollections from witnesses (whose names I don’t reveal).

    My opinions on partition and british occupation remain fixed and it will take a lot to soften my views. I read where the “free” state didn’t seem terribly moved by the horrible spring and summer of 1981 (though apparently two of the men were elected there as TDs). Here in the DC area, very little was said in the Washington Post (always pro-brit), but the whole world was watching. I’m amazed that anyone wasn’t moved by the men’s sacrifices, because I still remember how painful each death was for me. I knew from the start that Thatcher would dance on their graves, at least symbolocally (such an attempt in person would have rid the world of a serious evil). She would do nothing to save anyone Irish, ever. When Maggie finally croaked, local DJ’s asked listeners to stop requesting “The Witch is Dead” (from the old movie, “The Wizard of Oz”) as they were playing it every 30 minutes. I texted a good friend at work saying only, “The bitch is dead.” She responded “Great.”

    The Iranians renamed the street the British Embassy (Tehran) faced to honor Bobby Sands (& apparently the other nine who died) and the brits responded with demands and tantrums. I’m told they made the embassy front door the loading dock and the old loading dock the new front door. If Dublin folded to the brits while Tehran ignored them, they should all hang their heads in shame.

    I’ve seen a number of things recently about Gerry Adams, and I’ve generally thought him as a slick politician. I have to admit that when Bill Clinton issued him a visa and had him visit the White House, it was a treat for those of US in the DC area. The British PM at the time refused to speak to Clinton for weeks. That was, if possible, more entertaining–another temper tantrum.

    When Bush 2 (“Dub”) was in office, Adams left the White House to fly to a dinner engagement in another US city, one with a more cohesive Irish population. We’re all over the DC area. “Homeland Security” said Adams was on their “no fly” list even though they’d let him enter the US not many hours before. They fucked around until Adams had missed the later appointment. The “no fly” list was not an exclusive list under Dub: Bernadette McAliskey and her daughter were refused entry at US Customs, even though they’d cleared US Customs to board the plane at home; the late Sen Ted Kennedy was not allowed to board a domestic flight one night. Edward Kennedy is not an unusual name among Irish-Americans because we don’t learn british history in school, but the list didn’t say “Senator” and everyone in the US knew the man’s face. (The list goes on as Dub was simply a spoiled brat who used the list to screw people. Forget about traveling at all if Trump gets elected.)

    I see references to an Astralasia writer, possibly a group, which is good. Is there an American (Irish-American) group, even a few people on the east coast & Chicago?


  14. finnian o donnell

    Hi Phil

    how can i contact you through email? i wish to send some articles to you and ask a few questions aswell.



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