Category Archives: Economy and workers’ resistance
Below is the speech delivered by Jim Lane at the commemoration for Seamus Costello on the 5th anniversary of his murder by the pro-Moscow ‘Official’ IRA. Jim was a member of the central leadership of the IRSP at the time, becoming its general secretary in 1983. The speech was delivered at Seamus’ graveside in Bray on October 3, 1982.
The original text had some very large paragraphs. I have broken these up, simply to make it easier to read. None of the text has been changed.
Special thanks to Mick Healy for passing the original text on to me and suggesting I put it up here.
Gathering beside the graves of our patriot dead is a long-established custom for Irish revolutionaries. In doing so, we honour our dead and seek strength and inspiration to help further the cause for which they struggled. Such strength and inspiration derives not alone in recalling the deeds of our dead patriots, but also in restating and clarifying our political philosophy, in terms of existing conditions. The deeds of our dead comrade, Séamus Costello, republican socialist and founder member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party are legion. This year in a fitting and timely tribute, such deeds have been recorded with the publication of a book by the Séamus Costello Memorial Committee. For an insight into the contribution that Séamus made to the revolutionary socialist struggle in Ireland, it is required reading, guaranteed to strengthen our resolve and provide inspiration. Therein can be found not alone an account of his life, achievements and writings, but an excellent collection of tributes from his friends and comrades. No words of mine spoken in tribute could match theirs.
Nora Connolly-O’Brien, recently deceased daughter of Irish socialist republican martyr James Connolly, considered him to be the greatest follower of her father’s teachings in this generation and hoped that his vision for Ireland would be realised in this generation.
For Tony Gregory, Séamus “personified more than any Irish man or woman, at least of our generation, the republican socialist – the revolutionary activist who organised and worked in tenant organisations, trade unions, housing action committees and cultural organisations.”
From the young men and women of the republican socialist movement, to whom he was friend and mentor, came the following tributes:
Gerry Roche – “Like Lenin, he was pragmatic in his tactics, and while recognising the corruption of the courts and parliament, he was quite prepared to use them as a platform while remaining totally inflexible in his politics.”
Seán Doyle – “Séamus Costello was a man of the people. He got his degree in working-class involvement, on the streets with his people, campaigning with them for justice.”
Niall Leonach – “He had an irrepressible dedication and energy to carry on with the struggle, to learn new lessons and to break new ground.”
Íte Ní Chionnaith – “Bhí a fhios aige in gcónai go raibh a bheatha i mbaol agus go mbeadh, an fhaí is a lean sé den obair a bhí ar bun aige ach níor lig sé dó sin cur as dó. Ba chailliúint gan áireamh é do phobal na tíre seo, thuaidh agus theas.”
And it was Miriam Daly, first chairperson of the Séamus Costello Memorial Committee and a member of the Ard-Chomhairle of the IRSP when Séamus was murdered, who highlighted the point that made him stand out as a republican socialist, when she said he never Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, 21st century republicanism and socialism, British state repression (general), British strategy, Commemorations, Economy and workers' resistance, Elections, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Irish politics today, IRSP, James Connolly, national, Nora Connolly, Officials, Partition, Political education and theory, Public events - Ireland, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Seamus Costello, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties, Workers rights
I actually began this six months ago. It started as a book review and kind of evolved into almost as much a synopsis of the book. But after I had done a lot of the synopsis I worried that people who read it, if I finished it, might decide they nbow knew the book and so not go out and buy it. So I mulled it over for ages and decided to not take the synopsis any further but deliberately leave it incomplete. Hopefully people who want more will buy the book.
Anyone serious about a free working class in a free Ireland needs to know about Sean McLoughlin. They need to know who he was, what he did, and to read what he wrote.
For a long time, we had no such knowledge and no reason to go hunting for it. But thanks to Charlie McGuire, we now have all these things.
I had come across the name Sean McLoughlin years ago, but only in passing. The name cropped up in a book I was reading that happened to mention some of the Irish soviets from the Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1913 lockout, 21st century republicanism and socialism, British state repression (general), Civil War period, Counter-revolution/civil war period, Economy and workers' resistance, Free State in 1920s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Ireland and British revolution, Irish Citizen Army, Partition, Political education and theory, Republicanism post-1900, Reviews - books, Revolutionary figures, Sean McLoughlin, The road to the Easter Rising, War for Independence period
James Connolly (1868-1916) was a leading figure in socialist politics in Scotland, Ireland and the United States and a radical trade union leader in the USA and Ireland. In Dublin, he was one of the key leaders of the new Irish Transport and General Workers Union, through the massive Great Dublin Lockout of August 1913-February 1914. Later in 1914, Connolly became the leader of the workers’ militia, the Irish Citizen Army, that had been estaboished as a workers’ defence force in the lockout. Under the leadership of Connolly, Michael Mallin and Constance de Markievicz, the ICA was transformed into a revolutionary army.
He also wrote stirring songs of working class struggle.
In April 1916 the ICA and the republican Irish Volunteers launched an insurrection against British rule and declared an independent Irish Republic. After a week of fighting the rebels, under heavy British bombardment that was demolishing the centre of Dublin, were forced to surrender. Connolly and other leaders of the rebellion were tried by British court-martial and sentenced to death by firing squad. Connolly, who had gangrene as a result of a wound, couldn’t stand and was tied to a chair for his execution.
The Otago Socialist Society is hosting a talk on Connolly, not only to commemorate this great revolutionary working class leader but also to look at the continuing relevance of his ideas.
The speaker is a former activist in Sinn Fein in Dublin and a current member of Clann Eirigi. He will cover Connolly’s life; his perspectives on the working class and Irish national liberation; and his writings on revolutionary trade unionism.
Speaker: Dr Philip Ferguson
2pm, Saturday, June 2
Seminar Room, Third Floor,
Dunedin Central Public Library (Moray Place)
Posted in 1913 lockout, 21st century republicanism and socialism, Constance Markievicz, Economy and workers' resistance, Fenians, Fintan Lalor, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Irish Citizen Army, Irish politics today, James Connolly, Jim Larkin, Nora Connolly, Political education and theory, Public events - Australia and New Zealand, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, The road to the Easter Rising, Trade unions, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Women's rights, Workers rights
Thomas (Charlie) O’Neill was born in Drimnagh in Dublin on 20th December 1937 and was a dyer by trade. His family had fought with the United Irishman and the Fenians. He was a Socialist Republican with a sharp wit who loved classical music, the Irish Times, a glass of wine and, especially, his family.
As a young man, Charlie joined the Irish Republican Army where, with a large number of Dublin volunteers, he became involved with the breakaway Joe Christle group. In 1956 they joined forces with Liam Kelly’s organisation Saor Uladh in Co. Tyrone. Christle and Kelly were annoyed at the lack of action by the IRA, although the IRA leadership were actually putting together plans for Operation Harvest aka “the border campaign”.
Saor Uladh went on the offensive and attacked the RUC barracks in Roslea, Co. Fermanagh in 1955, custom post telephone exchanges, bridges, B-Special drill halls as well as demolishing lough gates at Newry. When the IRA began its own campaign in 1956, Saor Uladh was subsumed back into it.
With the failure of Operation Harvest, Charlie moved to Cork. He worked in a shoe factory there during the early 1960s and eventually bought a cottage in Crosshaven. He became good friends with many of the University College Cork socialists as well as Jim Lane and Gerry Higgins from Irish Revolutionary Forces. Charlie, Gerry and Jim attended an anti-Vietnam War protest, organised by the Cork Vietnamese Freedom Association, during the berthing of USS Courtyney in Cork harbour in 1967.
At this time Charlie also became good friends with the legendary Tom Barry who had commanded the IRA’s Third West Cork Flying Column during the Irish War of Independence, fought on the anti-Treaty side in the civil war and briefly became IRA chief-of-staff in 1937.
Upon his return to Dublin, Charlie was associated with the radical National Civil Liberties League. The NCLL agitated around industrial disputes and tenant and traveller rights. Later he became involved in the Saor Éire Action Group, a militant Marxist-republican group which included prominent former members of the IRA like Frank Keane and Liam Sutcliffe and Trotskyist activists associated with the Fourth International.
On October 3, 1968, shots were fired in a Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, Commemorations, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Irish politics today, Partition, Prisoners - past, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Saor Eire, six counties, twenty-six counties, Workers rights
Protesting the activities of Turas Nua, Seetec and the Dept of Social Protection, in particular the way unemployed people are harassed and corraled into very low-paid work.
The protest is organised by the Dublin branch of United People. All welcome.
TRES BILLBOARDS FOR THE REPUBLIC: PRESENTED BY FRIENDS OF THE INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES IRELAND
A musical, artistic and historic celebration of Ireland’s International Brigaders with Jurama, a film about Charlie Donnelly, the Republican Congress veteran and poet.
We also present One Way or Another, a play on the life of Dinny Cody who was killed at La Rosas 1937, while historian James Durney will give a talk on the life of civil war hero Frank Conroy.
Finishing up the evening with music from the wonderful Sive.
Posted in 1913 lockout, 21st century republicanism and socialism, British state repression (general), Commemorations, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Irish Citizen Army, Irish politics today, James Connolly, Political education and theory, Public events - Ireland, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, The road to the Easter Rising, Trade unions, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Women's rights, Workers rights
Accordingly, I will be running material by Marx (and Engels) on the subject of Irish freedom and its interconnectedness with the British revolution, as well as material by and about James Connolly.
This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Connolly’s great co-workers, Constance Markievicz.
This blog already contains a substantial body of her writings and also articles about her. Most recently, I added her 1923 pamphlet What Irish Republicans Stand For.
Later this year, I will be putting up a substantial piece on her and the Irish revolution, something I began to write well over 20 years ago and put aside unfinished.
I will also continue my (so far rather haphazard) efforts to get up everything I have of Fintan Lalor’s writings and write something substantial on ‘Fintan Lalor and the Irish revolution’. I had made a load of notes for this last year and then lost them, so I have to start again; very frustrating.
I want to get something substantial up soon on Sean McLoughlin too, a kind of precis of the book by Charlie McGuire, a book I urge folks to go out and buy.
As always, I have a bunch of books – and it’s growing, also as always! – which I want to review. They go back to stuff published about five years ago now, I have been so lax in getting these reviews done. Aaaarrrggghhh!
And there are a few old articles from several journals that I want to get up here, but I have to type them up – a very time-consuming task.
Posted in 1798 - 1803, 1840s, Famine, Young Ireland & Irish Confederation, 21st century republicanism and socialism, British state repression (general), British strategy, Constance Markievicz, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Engels, Famine, Fenians, Fintan Lalor, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Ireland and British revolution, James Connolly, Marx, Political education and theory, Republicanism post-1900, Republicanism pre-1900, Reviews - books, Revolutionary figures, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism
Posted in 1913 lockout, 21st century republicanism and socialism, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Irish Citizen Army, James Connolly, Labour Party, Political education and theory, Revolutionary figures, The road to the Easter Rising, Trade unions, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Women
The issue of public housing played a key role in the Civil Rights movement during the late 1960s/early 1970s.
Prior to the creation of the Housing Executive in 1971, public housing had been allocated by local councils, and within unionist-controlled councils, discrimination in housing allocation was widely practiced against members of the minority Catholic community.
Indeed, the right to, and fair allocation of, public housing were key demands of the Civil Rights movement.
Through the creation of the Housing Executive, housing decisions were taken out of the political arena and placed in the hands of a neutral specialised organisation.
By 1983/84, public housing – almost all of which was controlled by the Housing Executive – accounted for 37% of continued here. . .