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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Connolly and the Easter Rising

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Michael Johnson

The final part of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.

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

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Connolly and the First World War

Part 11 of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.


In March 1914, Asquith made his new and final proposal on Home Rule, putting forward a scheme whereby the Ulster counties could exclude themselves from the new Irish constitution. It was supposed to be a temporary exclusion, for six years, but a general election in the interim delivering a Tory majority could make it permanent.

Part 11 of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Connolly and the Irish labour movement

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Michael Johnson

Part ten of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.

Part ten of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Connolly and the Unionists

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Part nine of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.


The prospect of the Third Home Rule Bill sparked a widespread mobilisation of Ulster Unionists in opposition to the measure, backed to the hilt by the Tory establishment who hoped to use Ulster to defeat Home Rule for Ireland as a whole.

Part nine of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Connolly and the Dublin lockout

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Part eight of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.


While the Home Rule crisis raged in Ulster, the southern Irish labour movement was about to engage in a class battle of unprecedented militancy.

Part eight of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Connolly, the rise of Irish labour and Home Rule

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Michael Johnson

By January 1908, Connolly finally had an organ of his own once again, when he founded The Harp as the newspaper of the Irish Socialist Federation (ISF) in the USA.

Part seven of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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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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