Irish history

Rendezvous in Northern Ireland?

Martin McGuinness shaking the Queen's hand offended socialists because of our contempt for the institution of monarchy but his motive at least was progressive, and also republican in the sense defined by the founder of modern Irish republicanism Wolfe Tone — “to replace the name Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter with the common name Irishman”.

In a hugely symbolic moment on 27 June, during a royal visit to Northern Ireland to mark her jubilee, the former commander of the IRA shook hands with the Queen.

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An Irish Trotskyist Programme for Irish Unity (1948)

This leaflet was produced by the Irish Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Socialist Party in 1948. A section of the Cannon-Pablo-Mandel Fourth International, the RSP had adopted the politics of the Workers Party USA, the Shachtman organisation. The “coalition” referred to is the Dublin government formed after the the February 1948 election in the 26 Counties by Fine Gael, the Labour Party, Clann na Poblachta, Clann na Talmhan and the National Labour Party. It replaced De Valera's Fianna Fail, which had been in office since 1932.


Fine Gael takes hostages

This leaflet was produced by the Irish Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Socialist Party in 1948. A section of the Cannon-Pablo-Mandel Fourth International, the RSP had adopted the politics of the Workers Party USA, the Shachtman organisation.

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The life and politics of James Connolly

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson's series on the life and politics of James Connolly has been serialised in Solidarity.

All of the editions of the series so far are listed below:

Michael Johnson's series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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James Connolly, Irish nationalism and the socialist republic

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Building on the ideas of John Leslie (of the Social Democratic Federation) in his 1897 pamphlet Erin’s Hope, Connolly claimed that the essence of the national question in Ireland was a battle over “fundamentally different ideas on the vital question of property in land”. Between, on the one hand, a supposed Irish “primitive communism” and, on the other, an “alien social system” of private ownership.

The fourth part of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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James Connolly: Home Rule and the Gaelic Revival

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.


Connolly's period in Dublin coincided with the period of the Gaelic Revival, and the rediscovery (and re-invention) of Ireland's historical, literary and cultural past. It also led to a deepening of Connolly's understanding of Irish history and the Irish national question, establishing some themes which, in various form, would be present throughout his political life.

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Uniting the Dublin socialists

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.


When Connolly arrived in Dublin in May 1896 he had his work cut out for him. The situation for the working-class was even worse than in Edinburgh. Overcrowding and tuberculosis were rife, and the city had the fifth highest recorded death rate in the world.

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Liam Daltun: 50 years after the Easter Rising, a Socialist Republican's "Reflections on the Easter jamboree"

Author: 

Liam Daltun

Introductory note.

On the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Socialist Republican Liam Daltun Reflects on the Irish state's celebration of the Rising.

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A hundred years since Ireland's Easter Rising

Author: 

Matt Rawlins

By 1916 the history of Ireland had been inextricably linked with that of Britain for seven hundred years, and the connection had not been a happy one.

The English (and later, British) imperialists took several centuries to conquer Ireland, in the process committing many atrocities and persecuting the Gaelic Irish. After the religious Reformation, conflict between Catholics and Protestants came to be central in Irish life. There were many uprisings, most significantly that of the United Irishmen in 1798, inspired by the French Revolution.

23 April marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

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1969: Why Northern Ireland split on communal, not class, lines

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

IS AND IRELAND

Continuing the series about the events in Northern Ireland in 1968-9 — the start of the long-running turmoil there, still not resolved today — and the debates and disputes as the left tried to orient itself.

The breakdown of N. I. in 1969, and the British and Irish left then.

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