Category Archives: Border Campaign/Operation Harvest

From the IRA to Saor Eire: Remembering socialist-republican Liam Walsh

Liam Walsh’s funeral cortege, Dublin, October 1970


by Mick Healy

Liam Pearse Walsh, who was born in Dublin in 1933, was totally committed to whatever he did: to his trade as a fitter-welder or the Socialist Republican struggle.  He was fiercely loyal to those around him: his comrades, family and especially his four young daughters.

Recruited into the Irish Republican Army by Liam Sutcliffe in 1954, Liam Walsh was active in Operation Harvest, the IRA border campaign of 1956-1962, eventually becoming the Commanding Officer of the South Dublin Unit of the IRA.

In 1957, he was interned without trial in 1957 in the Curragh Internment Camp in Co. Kildare.  His girlfriend, Jacqueline Barry, and his father, Joseph,visited him and brought food parcels and cigarettes.

Shortly after they were married in 1960, Liam and Jacqueline, like many of their generation, Read the rest of this entry


Willie Gallagher on 40th anniversary of IRSP

This is actually two years old, but I only just came across it.  It is a talk given by Willie Gallagher to the 2014 Irish Republican Socialist Party ard fheis in October 2014.


wullie gComrades,

the difficulty I had when first asked to give this presentation was ‘how do I condense 40yrs of our history into a 10 to 15 minute presentation. A definitive and detailed account would take many months, if not years, of research as well as interviewing scores of past activists. The following account is my no means definitive and of course is subject to criticism given the fact that it is laced with my own personal opinion and interpretation.

Even though this year is the 40th anniversary of our birth the Irish Republican Socialist Party can trace its roots back to James Connolly and the Irish Citizens Army.

After the border campaign in the 1950s, serious debate took place within the Republican Movement about how exactly it could become more relevant to the everyday needs of the people in an Ireland vastly different from the times of Connolly and the ICA.

The Republican Movement after the unsuccessful border campaign was not ideologically united and consisted of Read the rest of this entry

Richard Behal interview, pt 3

I was sent the following by my friend Mick Healy.  Mick sometimes writes pieces for this blog, but is also the main person behind the Irish Republican and Marxist History Project site.


Public event: Revolutionary politics of Seamus Costello

download6-9pm, Saturday, Nov 14

Newtown Community Centre


Co. Wicklow


Chair: John Davis

Brian Leeson (éirígí ) on the Great Natural Resources Robbery
Erika Brennan (community activist) on the Housing Crisis
Sean Doyle (co-worker of Seamus Costello) on the Politics of Seamus Costello in Today’s Struggle

Pádraig Ó Fearghaíl (Wicklow Remembers 1916 Committee)
Ruan O’Donnell (historian, University of Limerick)

Bígí Linn


Cork Volunteers’ Pipe Band: supplementary editions (#5)

Supplementary Edition (No. 5) of the Cork Volunteer’s Pipe Band Centenary Year Project 1914-2014.

by Jim Lane

Capture the band

Funeral of James Crossan the last IRA Vol to be killed in Operation Harvest.The cortege was led by Jim Lane , piper of the Cork Volunteer’s Pipe Band. At the graveside Eoin O'Connell, Fiianna Eireann bugler from Cork sounded the Last Post and Reville. The oration at the graveside was delivered by T.ÓhUiginn.

In the number four edition of the Cork Volunteer’s Pipe Band on December 2014, Jim Lane promised viewers that” if anything further comes to hand of importance, he will request the relevant websites to make available space put it up online”. With this Supplementary Edition,  published in October 2015, we fulfill that comment.

This is a series of five articles on the centenary year 1914-2014 of the Cork Volunteer’s Pipe Band that was founded by Tomas MacCurtain . With the help of some old band members, we tried our best to bring together what information and photos we could fined.


Interview with Jim Lane, Irish socialist-republican, pt 3

Part 3 of Mick Healy’s interview with veteran Irish revolutionary figure Jim Lane.

Check out the Irish Marxist-Republican History project:



Liam Daltun (1936-72): a man of great charm and knowledge

LiamDaltunby Mick Healy

Writing about the great events in Ireland (1913 Lockout-1916 Rising) Lenin described the Citizens Army as ‘the first Red Army in the World’ and remarked that the Irish workers had set an example for workers everywhere.  Within a little more than a year of the events of the 1916 Rising a ‘similar body of armed men’ in Russia shook the world. Russian workers carrying rifles and wearing scarlet armbands appeared on the streets of St Petersburg and Moscow. Under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky the insurrectionary seizure of power was organised which led to the founding of the first Workers State.  – Liam Daltun, The Irish Militant, May 1966.

Liam Daltun was born in February 1936 in Westmeath and moved with his family to Ballymun, Dublin in the 1950s. His first employment, for about two years, was in Gael Linn, an organisation founded to foster the Irish language. He spoke Irish with a perfection rarely found outside of the Gaaeltacht. Dalton was a particularly gifted linguist, as he also spoke French, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

His association with radicalism went back to his youth when, at 18 years of age, he joined the IRA in 1954. He later left the IRA and operated with the breakaway Joe Christle group (Saor Uladh) during the 1950s republican Border Campaign. The Christle group, including Dalton, blew up nine customs posts along the border in 1956. Around this time he was arrested in Dublin; his trial was held the next day.  At a time when Irish republicans refused to recognise the authority of the courts, he Read the rest of this entry

Sources on Irish Citizen Army

join_armyThis is reblogged from Micheal at Laochra Uladh (see blogroll), an excellent blog dealing mainly with the Border Campaign (Operation Harvest) of 1956-62; I’ve left his American-English spellings as in the original, except that I spelt RoH out in full, so used the English-English for Honour.  I’ve slightly changed the order of items from the original and also stuck in an illustration.  I’ve also written a little bit about the ICA, albeit within chapters about wider events, which you can find here and here.  Lastly, Mick mentions that Brian Hanley’s article in Saothar on the ICA after 1916 is hard to find – I have a pdf of the Brian H article, which I can send to anyone if you drop me a line:

There’s no doubt that the Irish Citizen Army is one of the landmark organizations of modern Irish history. In honor of Labor Day here in America and the 100th anniversary of the Lockout, I’ve compiled some of the best links and online resources on them:

Very good introductory history:

James Connolly’s explanation of why they formed:

Worth including is this instructional pamphlet Connolly addressed to the Citizens’ Army on revolutionary warfare:

Recruiting poster and uniforms:

Their Roll of Honour:

Sean O’Casey’s Memoir:

Memoirs by volunteers:

Frank Robbins (later published as Under the Starry Plough):

Matthew Connolly (brother of Sean, KIA):

James O’Shea:

Willie Oman:

Maeve Cavanagh:

Rosie Hackett:

After 1916

On their little known existence from 1916-1930s. Brian Hanley wrote an excellent article on the subject (for Saothar in 2003), but it’s hard to find. Luckily SIPTU has a summary here:

AOH Hibernian Rifles

An article on their unlikely and today uncredited allies in the AOH’s Hibernian Rifles:

Report on radical politics of late 60s/early 70s meeting

A brief report on the meeting and a bunch of photos, plus video coverage are up on the Irish Republican Marxist History Project site:

Material relating to Kevin Neville Uladh

The following three items have been provided by Jim Lane.

Kevin Neville 10001 Read the rest of this entry