Category Archives: Fianna Fail
On-line talk on Constance Markievicz, Wednesday, March 31, 8.30pm (Irish time)
The next in a series of on-line talks organised by Eirigi is a re-running of the talk on Constance Markievicz.
It’s being given again by myself, Philip Ferguson, a member of Eirigi and the person behind this blog.
I’ll be looking at Markievicz’s life, activities and her ideas, as she was a major socialist-republican figure during the revolutionary era.
There will be an Q & A afterwards.
The meeting will take place at 8.30pm on Wednesday the 31st of March (Irish time; check for time differences if are in the USA, Australia, NZ, continental Europe etc)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Posted in 1913 lockout, éirígí, British strategy, Civil War period, Constance Markievicz, Counter-revolution/civil war period, Fianna, Fianna Fail, Free State in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Internationalism, Ireland and British revolution, Irish Citizen Army, James Connolly, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Public events - Australia and New Zealand, Public events - Britain, Public events - Ireland, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, The road to the Easter Rising, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, War for Independence period, Women, Women in republican history, Women prisoners, Women's rights, Workers rights
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SD on the Dublin rump government and its economic survival plan
An interesting article, although I think the comrades might be somewhat optimistic about the level of class struggle they think will follow the pandemic.
by Socialist Democracy
When the Dublin government announced financial measures in response to the Covid 19 pandemic a local satirical e-zine, Waterford Whisper News, had a field day. The right wing Fine Gael government had gone communist. The country was now a Soviet. Ireland should be done with it and imprint a hammer and sickle within the tricolour.
There was reason for the satire. Many of the major issues of Irish society, claimed by the government to be insoluble because of the lack of a money tree, disappeared overnight. An army of homeless were ushered into empty hotels. For the first time in its history the Irish state conjured up a national health service by renting the large private sector. Individual payments to workers were ushered in and then increased when they proved insufficient. In the background a State that constantly misses all environmental targets and has no serious plan to deal with climate change suddenly saw the skies clear above the entire island.
Of course the Irish Soviet is a figment of the satirical imagination. Most government expenditure is directed towards the bosses. Payments to workers are in part an attempt to maintain the structures of production to speed eventual recovery. With this said, there are substantial funds assigned to ensure social peace, especially as the recent elections had demonstrated just how unpopular the leading capitalist parties are.
This is a rump government, the struggle to establish a new one is ongoing, and the issues that brought it down are the issues that it is now trying to temporarily resolve: a massive housing crisis, a health service in a shambles and large sections of the population under wage and pension pressures. The problem with their resolution is twofold. Firstly, how do you row back on the temporary concessions made today? Secondly, how do you present the bill for the extra expenditure to a working class still paying for the 2008 banking bailout?
The rump government has shaken off the shock of the. . . continue reading article on the SD site
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Economy and workers' resistance, Elections, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Irish politics today, Public sector/cuts, Social conditions, Trade unions, twenty-six counties, Workers rights
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Brian Leeson in French paper on the February general election in the South
This article gives an overview and the Éirígí perspective on the recent General Election in the 26 counties; it appeared in last week’s issue of the French left-wing publication Informations Ouvrières. The author is cathaoirleach Éirígí.
by Brian Leeson
On February 7th voters in southern Ireland went to the polls to elect a new government for the first time since 2016. When the exit poll was released at 10pm that night it became clear that the electorate had delivered a major blow to the two dominant centre and centre-right political parties.
When counting concluded four days later the outgoing party of government, Fine Gael, had just 20.9% of the popular vote. Fianna Fail came in with the second largest share at 22.2%. And in a shock result, Sinn Féin won the largest share of first-preference votes at 24.5%.
The importance of this result can only be fully appreciated when it is placed in its historical context. In the century since the foundation of the state in 1922, no party has ever secured more Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, éirígí, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Elections, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Imperialism (generally), Irish politics today, Partition, Provos - then and now, Public events - Ireland, Public sector/cuts, Toadyism, twenty-six counties, Workers rights
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Ireland’s Marxist guerrillas: the story of the Saor Éire Action Group, 1967-73
by Mick Healy, in collaboration with several former Saor Eire members
(Mick wrote an article about Saor Eire which appeared on this site in 2011; this is an updated and expanded version of that article, including new material added by former Saor Eire members; the article has been proofed and edited by me – PF)
The 1960s was a time of upheaval and change in conservative Irish society; social attitudes, fashion and music, for instance, all changed dramatically. New social movements reflected the thinking of a new generation that, in particular, wanted more freedom. The huge student-worker protests of May-June 1968 in France, the Vietnamese struggle to remove the US, its allies and their Vietnamese toadies, the US civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, and the national liberation struggles in Latin America and Africa galvanised opposition to the existing order. In Ireland, these events inspired people, especially the new generation, into action. This was especially the case around the civil rights movement in the north of Ireland. Among the new organisations which emerged here as a result of this new ferment and revolutionary idealism was the Dublin-based Saor Éire (SE) or, to give it its full name, the Saor Eire Action Group.
Saor Éire Action Group was established in the late 1960s by former members of the Republican Movement and newer young Irish political left activists coming together. As an organisation they claimed to have their roots in the Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, British state repression (general), Civil rights movement, Economy and workers' resistance, Fenians, Fianna Fail, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Ireland and British revolution, Officials, Other blogs, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Repression and resistance in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Revolutionary figures, Saor Eire, Social conditions, Uncategorized, Unionism, Women in republican history, Workers rights
Southern Irish election: Sinn Fein takes the lead
I wrote an article on the elections just after I saw the exit polls, then updated it earlier this morning (NZ time; Sunday night, Irish time).
by Philip Ferguson
With almost all the votes now counted, Sinn Fein looks like being the big winner in Saturday’s election in the south of Ireland.
Exit polls showed a three-way virtual tie between the main parties in the south of Ireland. Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael were all on just over 22% of first preferences: FG on 22.4, SF on 22.3, FF on 22.2. These polls indicated that almost 32% of 18-24 year-olds voted Sinn Fein.
But now, with 96% of the votes cast, SF is sitting on 24.1% of first preferences and both FF and FG are on 22.1%. For the first time
SF didn’t expect to do so well, especially after suffering substantial losses in the Euro and local government elections last year, so ran a limited number of candidates – it looks like it will get less seats than it could have gotten if it had’ve aimed for two seats in more constituencies. At the same time, its surpluses have transferred significantly to two Trotskyist parties, helping them keep their seats. . .
See full article at: Sinn Fein takes the lead
Posted in Elections, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Irish politics today, Labour Party, Provos - then and now, Public sector/cuts, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
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Frank Keane, veteran socialist-republican and former national organiser of Saor Eire, interview
Frank Keane is one of the living people I most admire and respect. The questions for this interview were written by myself and Mick Healy, and Mick conducted the actual interview. Mick has done more than anyone to retrieve the story of Saor Eire, which disbanded in 1973, and its significance and relevance.
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, British strategy, Civil rights movement, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Interviews, Ireland and British revolution, Irish politics today, Officials, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Saor Eire, Workers rights
From the slums of Dublin to the battlefields of Spain: Brigadista Bob Doyle (1915-2009)
by Stewart Reddin
Robert (Bob) Andrew Doyle was born on 12th February 1916 at 15 Linenhall Street in Dublin’s northwest inner city. He was the second youngest of five siblings. Bob’s parents, Peter Doyle and Margaret Alldritt, were married in Dublin on 13th November 1904. Peter, aged 20 at the time, was employed as a seaman and lived on Upper Dorset Street with his three sisters. It appears that both his parents were deceased by 1901 as his eldest sister Anna, aged 20, is recorded in that year’s Census as head of the family.
Bob’s mother Margaret was 19 when she married and she lived in Kilmainham with her family. Alldritt is not a common surname in Ireland (in his biography, Brigadista, written in conjunction with Harry Owens, Bob’s mother’s family name is recorded as Aldridge, however the birth, marriage and census records confirm her family name was Alldritt). In the 1911 Census there were just seven Alldritt families recorded in Ireland; four were located in Dublin and three in Co Antrim. All of the Alldritt families were Protestant, with the exception of Margaret’s family who were Catholic.
Following their marriage, Peter and Margaret lived at 18 Moore Street, later moving to 33 King’s Inn Street where they shared a room with Margaret’s parents, Ignatius and Margaret Alldritt, and sister Annie. According to the 1911 Census Bob’s grandmother Margaret was 75 years of age (she was born in 1836 almost a decade before the Famine) and was 20 years older than his grandfather Ignatius. Bob’s grandparents had married in the Catholic church of St Andrews in 1874 and his grandmother was 50 years of age when she gave birth to Bob’s mother.
By 1911 Bob’s father was employed as a marine firefighter in Dublin’s docks and his mother Margaret had given birth to three children. However, two of her children had died in infancy and only one, Mary aged four, was surviving. Sadly, this was an all too familiar feature of working-class life in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century.
High unemployment, overcrowded accommodation (one third of all families in Dublin lived in one room dwellings) and lack of public sanitation resulted in Dublin having the highest infant mortality rate (142 per thousand births) of any city in Ireland or Britain. Following the redevelopment of the area around North King Street and Church Street in 1915 Peter and Margaret moved to a newly built home at 15 Linenhall Street.
The wretched slums of Dublin
Linenhall Street is enclosed within a triangle of main thoroughfares — Church Street to the west, North King Street to the south and Henrietta Street to the north. In the 1700s the area was at the centre of Dublin’s burgeoning linen industry. It was the site of the city’s magnificent Linen Hall with its splendid façade, distinguished by a domed gated entrance which faced onto Linenhall Street.
However, by the late 1700s the linen industry in Dublin had Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1930s and 1940s, British state repression (general), Counter-revolution/civil war period, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Free State in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Housing, Imperialism (generally), Internationalism, Irish Citizen Army, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Public events - Ireland, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, The road to the Easter Rising, War for Independence period, Workers rights
In Review: Michael Ryan’s Border Campaign
Michael Ryan, My Life in the IRA: The Border Campaign, Cork, Mercier Press, 2018; reviewed by Philip Ferguson
Opinions differ in republican circles about Operation Harvest (the ‘border campaign’). Often it has been suggested that the entire campaign was misconceived and then poorly executed, turning into a disaster for the Movement.
Some more recent interpretations have suggested that it had more going for it. I certainly find it a bit difficult to see that someone of Sean Cronin’s intelligence and military experience would have put together a plan of campaign that could only ever have been a disaster. Moreover, things started out well – Sinn Fein had captured two six-county seats on an abstentionist basis in the 1955 British general election, winning over 150,000 votes there and then got four further (abstentionist) candidates elected to Leinster House in 1957, taking over 65,000 first-preference votes. And, after almost being destroyed in the 1940s, the IRA had been able to substantially re-arm, with a series of arms raids in both the six counties and England.
The degree of optimism was such that Mick Ryan writes how he and other Volunteers felt they’d free the north in three months! (p91)
However, very early into the border campaign, problems arose. Ryan’s book suggests that these problems were Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1930s and 1940s, Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, British state repression (general), British strategy, Catholic church/church-state relations, Fianna Fail, Free State in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, national, Officials, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
Frank Keane and the Irish revolution
“The magistrate in his summing up said that he had no doubt whatsoever that I was politically involved. This should stand to my benefit at a later stage and should really nail the lie that I’m a gangster, a criminal”. – Frank Keane, Brixton jail, 14th August, 1970.
Frank Keane, who is now over eighty years of age, was born on May 8, 1936 in Peter Street, Westport, Co. Mayo. He was once regarded as a dangerous political opponent by the Irish establishment.
Frank was the eldest of three brothers and a sister and was educated at the local Christian Brothers School. In 1952 he moved with his family to North Road, Finglas in Dublin. The following year he joined the Jackie Griffith Sinn Fein Cumann. (The cumann was named after a republican activist shot dead by the Free State special branch in Dublin on 4 July 1943.)
Frank volunteered for active service during Operation Harvest, the IRA 1950s border campaign. With training/recruitment officers interned or on the run, he enlisted in the Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, Civil rights movement, Commemorations, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Frame-ups, Free State in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Ireland and British revolution, Mairin Keegan, Partition, Peter Graham, Prisoners - past, Repression and resistance in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Saor Eire, Secret police, Uncategorized, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism
Interview with Alan MacSimoin (1957-2018)
Alan MacSimoin 1957-2018 was a long-time anarchist activist and a founder member of the Workers Solidarity Movement.
MacSimoin joined the Official Republican Movement (Official Sinn Fein) as a young man in the 1970s. He was involved in the Murray Defence Committee in 1976-77 to stop the state execution of anarchists Noel and Marie Murray for the killing of a member of the police.
He was also involved with the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement’s boycott of South African goods in Ireland and the Irish Anti-Nuclear Movement that stopped the building of nuclear power stations around the coast of Ireland in the 1970s.
Below is an interview my friend Mick Healy did with him a year or two back and has passed on to me . . .
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, Anti-nuclear movement, British state repression (general), Civil rights movement, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Interviews, Irish politics today, Labour Party, Officials, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Secret police, Trade unions, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism
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