Gralton, No. 3
Date:1982
Publication:Gralton
Issue:Number 3
Aug/Sep 1982
Contributors:Goretti Horgan, Mary Gordon, Austen Morgan, Dermot Boucher, Brian Trench, Michael Cronin, John Goodwillie, John Cane, Paul Brennan
Collection:Abortion and reproductive rights
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Travellers and Travellers' Rights Eighth Amendment (Right to life) Referendum, 1983 Irish Neutrality Socialist Labour Party

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

20th April 2015

Many thanks to Jim Lane for donating this and other copies of Gralton to the Left Archive. It is intended to reproduce these every month or so for the next year and a half.

As noted previously Gralton was a very well produced left wing news and current events magazine that ran for some ten issues in the early 1980s.

This edition has a striking cover with a photograph of Traveller children. This references an article inside on the topic of Travellers entitled ‘Bigotry, tokenism and fighting back’ written by ‘a Dublin social worker who has worked with travellers for a number of years’. It provides a very useful and important insight into the changing environment for Travellers during that period as ‘in the last fifteen years, large numbers of travellers have moved to the urban areas especially Dublin, just as the settled population has’. It notes ‘attempt(s) by a group of residents to force the travellers out of Tallaght that has provided the impetus for a new defensive organisation among travellers’ and it notes a growing activism by travellers during this time and support amongst the broader community.

The scope of the articles is considerable including one on Eurocommunism, another on the end of the Socialist Labour Party (referenced here before in the Archive). One argues that ‘socialists should not support university students’ due to it ‘being in effect an enormous subsidy for the middle class’. There’s another on Neutrality and one entitled Gays Fight Back. This is a piece written by Melissa Murray and Charles kerrigan of the then nwely-formed Dublin Gay Collective arguing that ‘gay men and lesbian women need a more militant organisation to promote their cause’.

There’s also a continuing focus on the abortion amendment. A major feature of this issue is a four page pull out section on Women in the Unions. This engages with that issue under a number of headings, ‘Hidden From History’, ‘Some Are More Equal Than Others’, ‘Positive Action at the Top?’, ‘Some Ideas on Organisation’ and so on. A lot of the disparities noted are egregious, for example, ITGWU ‘organises more woman than any other trade union in Ireland. A third of its members are women. Yet in 1979, only 3 out of 125 officials were women, only 15% of branch committee members and only 19% of shop stewards’.

The list of ‘issues to be fighting on’ encompasses a broad range of areas – Meetings, Creches, Discrimination, Right to Work and Equal Pay.

And it notes that inequality operates in many different ways ‘the timing of union meetings is very important for women’s participation in the unions. Sunday mornings, for example, virtually exclude women with ids to mind and dinners to cook. As long as most women still perform the dual role of worker and housewife, then on the job meetings in work are a must. But in the long run it’s that dual role that must be broken – and the unions must play their part’.

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