The Proinsias De Rossa Interview
Date:1983
Publication:Gralton
Issue:Oct/Nov 1983
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Proinsias De Rossa

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

12th August 2014

Recently the question was posed as to what accounted for Workers’ Party policies on the North during the 1980s? This interview with Proinsias De Rossa from Gralton Magazine, Oct/Nov 1983, perhaps provides some answers pointing to the manner in which the past weighed upon those in that party, and – arguably – indicating an increasing emphasis on politics in the Republic.

Many thanks to the person who scanned these, and as a more general thought, if anyone has any issues of Gralton it would be great to add at least one to the Left Archive (if you want to read one in full thankfully Conor McCabe scanned this one here on the fantastic Irish Labour and Working Class History site ).

More from Gralton

Gralton in the archive


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  • By: que Wed, 13 Aug 2014 16:31:59

    So fess up people. Did anyone in the workers party in the early 80s have an uneasy feeling that Ponce Fossa was a bit of a luadair or was his later change bolt from the blue stuff.

    This is more a question on human nature than his politics. Did he always have something about him. Was it Damascene or something in hind sight that was obvious.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:10:45

    I’ve mentioned it on here before, but in 1985/6 (can’t remember the year – Joe could probably help me there because we were both at the meeting) he was despatched by the powers that be to assure the local branches that the candidate one P McCartan who was regarded as having social democrat tendencies would follow the party line. His assurances were good enough then for the assembled comrades – who would certainly have been of a non social democrat persuasion.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:11:48

    So to follow that up I guess it did come as something of a surprise the outward shift in his approach between then and the split. But that’s just my perception, others may have had inklings before that.

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  • By: roddy Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:23:02

    Did none of you notice DeRossa’s accent getting progressively posher as the years went by? That alone should have set the alarm bells ringing!

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:02:29

    Now that I did not notice 🙂

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  • By: EamonnCork Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:26:13

    Isn’t there a certain poignancy about his criticism of Gregory for not knowing how to bring about socialism in Ireland whereas SFWP had a clear strategy on how to seize power. I’d imagine to anyone who doesn’t actually remember the tenor of the times this would seem a bit Roswell Incident.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 13 Aug 2014 20:37:08

    Isn’t that true? I imagine that’s correct re the talk of Gregory etc, but then again I think that the Ahern era is getting on for what, seven, eight years ago, and probably to anyone under, say 20 near enough ancient history.

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  • By: Joe Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:33:37

    I recall that meeting. 86 or 87 I would have thought. De Rossa was at the top table but so was Garland. And I took it that Garland was telling the membership that McCartan was to be the candidate and stop your messing.
    Long time ago and much water under the bridge.

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