Irish Workers' Group 1967-8

The Frank Keane Defence Committee, 1970

Introduction: a footnote to Republican-Socialist history.

In April, 1970 a group of armed men raided the Bank of Ireland on Arran Quay, in Dublin. An unarmed policeman, Richard Fallon, was shot dead. The police immediately blamed a 'Guevarist' urban guerrilla group, Saor Eire (Free Ireland) for the robbery and murder.

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Left Wing Urban Guerrillas in Ireland: Saor Eire, Peter Graham, Irish National Liberation Army; The Fenians; the First 40 Years of The IRA; Permanent Revolution

Five articles on Saor Eire and the Irish National Liberation Army, the Fenians the early IRA - Left Urban Guerrillas in Ireland.

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Saor Eire, Peter Graham, Irish National Liberation Army: Left Wing Urban Guerillas in Ireland

Irish Emigré Trotskyism in the mid-1960s: Notes by a Participant

[Workers' Fight and the Trotskyist Tendency of the International Socialists – now the SWP – were forerunners of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. This is only an outline account, part of a longer article “AWL’s record on Ireland”.]

A brief account of the Irish Workers Union, the Socialist Republican League, the Irish Communist Group, and the Irish Workers Group.

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

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

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

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


Click here to download as pdf.
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.

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"Taking whose gun out of politics?" Irish Militant, January 1967

This article, published in Irish Militant of January 1967, demonstrated the confusion of the Irish Workers' Group in relation to Republicanism. It was by-lined for though not written by Phil Flynn, later vice-president of Sinn Fein, a prominent trade unionist in the 26 Counties, and later a high-profile businessman.

This article, published in Irish Militant of January 1967, demonstrated the confusion of the Irish Workers' Group in relation to Republicanism. It was by-lined for though not written by Phil Flynn, later vice-president of Sinn Fein, a prominent trade unionist in the 26 Counties, and later a high-profile businessman.

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

Author: 

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.

An article from "Workers Republic" no.17, Feb. 1967 about what attitude revolutionary socialists should take to the IRA and Sinn Fein

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Ireland and Permanent Revolution: A Discussion 1966/7 .

Author: 

Gery Lawless/Rachel Lever/Eamonn Mc Cann/Sean Matgamna

CONTENTS:
Introduction
a Editorial for Irish Militant, Dec 1966, By Gery Lawless and Eamonn McCann
b Letter to Irish Militant from Sean Matgamna
c Letter to Gery Lawless from Sean Matgamna

Ireland and Permanent Revolution: A Discussion 1966/7 .

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Trotskyism and Ireland (Irish Workers Group, 1965-8: Archive) Ireland and Permanent Revolution, etc:

Author: 

Gery Lawless, Rachel Lever, Sean Matgamna, Eamonn McCann
Irish Workers Group (1965-8) Archive

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

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
Part two of a response to Rayner Lysaght on the history of revolutionary socialism in Ireland. This is a copy-edited and slightly expandedversion of the text in "Solidarity".

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The theory of Permanent Revolution and Ireland: is there a socialist quintessence in Irish nationalism?

Author: 

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 Good Friday system is far from stable.

Does a "permanent revolution" perspective - mobilising the working class to lead a not-yet-achieved bourgeois-democratic revolution, and thus to combine it with a socialist revolution - fit Ireland?

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The "Manifesto" of the Irish Workers' Group (1967)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

This programmatic "preamble" was adopted by the Irish Workers' Group in September 1967. (The IWG itself subsequently fragmented).

This programmatic "preamble" adopted by the Irish Workers' Group in 1967 is in essence one of the founding political documents of the tendency which is now the AWL.

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Marxism and the Irish revolution

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
A short discussion of Ireland as it has been depicted in modern "Marxism", and in "The Communists and the Irish revolution: the Russian revolutionaries on the Irish National Question, 1895-1924", edited by Rayner Lysaght.

The striking thing about this collection ("The Communists and the Irish Revolution", edited by Rayner Lysaght) is that one of the key documents reproduced here "The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination", 1915 — one of Lenin's most important texts on the national question — has been bowdlerised so that the meaning of what Lenin wrote is transformed into its very opposite.

The words in square brackets below have been excised from Lysaght's text:

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AWL’s record on Ireland (and an account of the IWU, ICG and IWG) Part One

Derry

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

What follows is an account of the politics on Ireland of the Trotskyist Tendency, the forerunner of AWL, especially in 1968-70 — that is, of one side in the dispute in IS (forerunner of the SWP), which previous articles have described.

Rest of the series, of which this is part eleven (A)

This article traces ideas developed in Workers' Republic, the journal of the Irish Workers' Group, before the Northern Ireland Catholic revolt in 1968; the place of those ideas in the debates of the 1960s; the reassessments necessary after 1968; and mistakes which we now think we made.

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The Irish Workers' Group, IS and the "Trotskyist Tendency": The Irish Crisis and the British Left 1968-70 — part 2

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

In Solidarity 3/118 we began a series of articles about the events in Northern Ireland in 1969 — when the nearly 50 year old Northern Ireland state broke down, and the British Army went on the streets to hold it together — and the debates and disputes which that provoked in the British left.

[Note: corrections and some expansions are made here to the text in Solidarity.]

THE IRISH WORKERS GROUP

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