Irish Workers' Group 1967-8

Trotskyism or Chameleonism? The Irish Workers Group (1965-68)

Sean Matgamna

The main document of the Trotskyist side in the faction fight in the Irish Workers' Group in 1967-8.

I. Vacillation and inconsistency
II. What kind of revolutionary party?
Organisational politics
III. The record: political chameleonism
Eclecticism and nationalism
IV. The present orientation
Result of the nationalist accommodation
Accommodation to Labour too?
V. The theory of Irish exceptionalism
And exclusiveness
VI. The internal "regime"
The chameleon at home - a petty bonaparte
Centralism vs. democratic centralism
The Lawless clique and the Workers' Fight faction
VII. Whither the IWG?
[Notes, 2012]

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The dispute in the Irish Workers' Group was important in shaping - or mis-shaping - the available Irish left on the eve of the explosion of 1968-9 in Northern Ireland, when thousands of young people sought new revolutionary politics, and most ended up joining the Provisionals, a new version of old and indeed anachronistic militarist/Catholic-nationalist politics.

40 Years of the IRA: Where the Hillside Men Have Sown [IWG 1967]

Gery Lawless & Sean Matgamna [1967]

James Connolly wrote: “Ireland occupies a position among the nations of the earth unique … in the possession of what is known as a ‘physical force party’ – a party, that is to say, whose members are united upon no one point, and agree upon no single principle, except upon the use of physical force as the sole means of settling the dispute between the people of this country and the governing power of Great Britain.

Debate: anti-semitism and the split in the Irish Workers' Group.

Sean Matgamna

Part two of a response to Rayner Lysaght on the history of revolutionary socialism in Ireland. It is a copy edited and expanded version of the text in Solidarity. It now includes relevant quotations from the record of the hearing of the Lawless Case by the European Court of Human Rights .

The theory of Permanent Revolution and Ireland: is there a socialist quintessence in Irish nationalism? . A reply to Lysaght

Sean Matgamna

[This is a copy-edited and slightly expanded version of the text in Solidarity replying to Lysaght.]

A dozen years on from the “Good Friday Agreement” (GFA) things in Northern Ireland are far from settled. The recently threatened breakdown of the power-sharing executive was avoided. But the Good Friday system is far from stable.