|Organisation:||Communist Party of Ireland|
|Author:||Eoin Ó Murchú|
|Discuss:||Comments on this document|
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A guest Left Archive post from John O’Neill of the Irish Socialist Network (their excellent site is here )
Eoin Ó Murchú - The Workers’ Party: Its Evolution and Its Future: A Critique
(Scanned from Irish Socialist Review, September 1982)
This is a lengthy (26 pages) article written by Eoin O’Murchú former Ard Comhairle member of ‘Official’ Sinn Fein and editor of their newspaper “The United Irishman”. He defected to the Communist Party after a leadership struggle possibly around the time he was replaced as Editor of the ‘UI’ and went on to hold the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland. He resigned from the CPI although why and when I am unsure.
This article is interesting in part, particularly as he was on the A/C (Ard Comhairle - party executive) and outlines some of the strategy, policy and directional struggles that took place within OSF/SFWP. However it should be remembered that O’Murchu is writing the article from a CPI perspective and his conclusions would have had to coincide with the overall analysis of that Party. He gives certain people a positive mention like Cathal Goulding and Tomás MacGiolla but it is obvious that he had little time for Seamus Costello and Eamon Smullen with Garland somewhere ‘in between’ in his estimation.
Goulding’s speech at Bodenstown in 1967 is identified as the first shift in orientation from traditional physical force republicanism and The Irish Industrial Revolution as the departure from traditional Marxist analysis. On the PIRA, O’Murchu argues that the Officials made a disastrous error of judgement in refusing to either criticise or respond to any PIRA statements thus lending credibility to accusations they made about the Officials. The attempt by the PIRA to wipe out the OIRA in 1972 is seen as the event that brought about a “propaganda offensive that they have never since refrained from.”
As all of these events were before my involvement and the fact that I was never an Ard Comhairle member I cannot really verify any of them. Hopefully some others who contribute to the site are older and can recall some of the internal ideological disputes referred to.
I would also mention that when I asked people in the WP about O’Murchu the overall impression I was given was that he was quiet, intelligent and arrogant and people felt that he had ‘risen through the ranks’ too hastily (possibly with assistance from Goulding?) He had (rightly) argued that internal education was essential to the Party but it is alleged that he wanted potential members to sit an exam before being accepted as full members!
I hope the publication of this article generates an intense intelligent debate that Cedar Lounge is renowned for. All typo’s are down to me and my scanner.