Ireland: debate, theory, history

Liam Daltun: Stocking up on theory

Author: 

Liam Daltun

Introduction by Sean Matgamna

Another day

The document we reprint here, Liam Daltun's account in a letter to Sean Matgamna of events in the Irish Communist Group, deals with an important episode in the history of the Irish left.

The ICG, set up in 1964, was a foredoomed experiment in building an organisation involving both Trotskyists and Chinese-oriented "revolutionary" Stalinists.

Liam Daltun's account in a letter to Sean Matgamna of the dispute in the Irish Communist Group in 1965.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

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.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

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.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

“Unite the workers and bury the religious hatreds”

Author: 

Michael Johnson

At Workers’ Liberty 2015 summer school, Ideas For Freedom, Michael Johnson summarised on the history of the far left in Northern Ireland. Here we publish his presentation. Marc Mulholland’s speech in the same session was published in Solidarity 386.

At Workers’ Liberty 2015 summer school, Ideas For Freedom, Michael Johnson summarised on the history of the far left in Northern Ireland. Here we publish his presentation.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

The far left in Northern Ireland

Author: 

Marc Mulholland

Marc Mulholland is a historian working at Oxford University, and the author of books including “Northern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction”. He spoke at the Workers’ Liberty 2015 summer school, Ideas For Freedom, on the history of the far left in Northern Ireland.


Trotskyism in the early 1960s in Northern Ireland is interesting and unusual, in that it was most prominent amongst the Protestant working-class.

Marc Mulholland is a historian working at Oxford University, and the author of books including “Northern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction”. He spoke at the Workers’ Liberty 2015 summer school, Ideas For Freedom, on the history of the far left in Northern Ireland.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Ireland: theory, debate, history (contents page)

Ireland: the socialist answer.
A pamphlet explaining our view of what consistently democratic and socialist politics mean in Ireland

The New Anglo-Irish Treaty (1987)
A Workers' Liberty pamphlet analysing the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 and its sequels, with a debate from the time between us and Sinn Fein.

The Northern Ireland crisis of 1968-9 and the left
A 12 part series on the crisis of 68-69.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Provos, Protestants, and working-class politics

Provos, Protestants, and working-class politics: an imaginary dialogue, by Sean Matgamna. (1986 text plus a 2007 introduction)

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The 1983 debate in Socialist Organiser, plus 1986 introduction and background briefing pages: download pdf.

Provos, Protestants, and working-class politics: an imaginary dialogue (1986, plus a 2007 introduction); the debate in Socialist Organiser, 1983

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

The New Anglo-Irish Treaty (1987)

A Workers' Liberty pamphlet analysing the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 and its sequels, with a debate from the time between us and Sinn Fein.

Click here to download pdf.

New Anglo Irish Treaty

A Workers' Liberty pamphlet analysing the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 and its sequels, with a debate from the time between us and Sinn Fein

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

I once knew a man who was shot by a Provisional IRA gang that included Gerry Adams [2002]

 I once knew a man who was shot by a Provisional IRA gang which included Adams.

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

"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...

Seeing pictures of Gerry Adams grinning his Cheshire-cat-who-has-eaten-six-mice grin in triumph at SF/PIRA's latest success reminded me that I once knew a man who was shot by a Provisional IRA gang which included Adams.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

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