Addendum to Ireland Today Document
Date:July 1969
Organisation:Sinn Féin [Pre 1970]
Collection:Remembering 1969
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

10th August 2009

I should have posted this up last month, but it slipped my attention. However, as a means of gauging opinion within the Republican Movement in July 1969 it provides an invaluable guide.

An addendum to the original Ireland Today discussion document this is a short 7 pages. The idea of Ireland Today as a potential successor to the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil is articulated.

Some of the aspects of the document which perhaps provide evidence of a rather mixed reception of its predecessor are listed under ‘Ommissions [sic] which emerged’ including… The failure to evaluate the language movement, … The failure to stress the co-operative movement as a mass democratic organisation with radical potential… The lack of reference to the special position of the Roman Catholic Church under the 26-county constitution and the negative influence of this factor on the development of democratic thinking among the northern Protestants. Coupled with this was the feeling that the lack of an integrated education system was a factor preserving religious sectarianism’.

Then there are “Points Requiring Elaboration”: including ‘the analysis of the farmers’ organisations and the basis for the workers/farmer alliance’. Also, and also indicative of future issues is the following:

… The role and status of the various other radical groups envisaged as being part of the national liberation movement. The Movement outside the three main urban centres seemed to think that too much weight had been placed on this question. At this stage it is sufficient to state that the issue is important in the main urban centres, that it does merit close analysis for this very reason, and taht while it is not a problem fro the other regions, it is necessary for the Movement as a whole to know and accept that in the urban centres, and in some smaller provincial centres such as Sligo, the make up of the national liberation movement is likely to be composite…

And also…

‘working class’ and ‘working people’; broadly speaking, the former are those who are eligible for trade union membership, while the latter includes the self-employed, farmers and working owner managers, but excludes those who derive their main income from investments.

And this is addressed more explicitly in (B) Points on Strategic Section (a) socialism and nationalism.

The issue of abstension is teased out in greater detail in (C) Points on Tactical Section.

A most curious paragraph under that heading is as follows…

6/ Some of those most strongly in favour of the abstention policy agreed that tehre was now a need for the Movement to have political participation under some guise. The point was made that Sinn Féin should be retained as a traditionalist wing of the Movement, and that another political organisation be formed to contest elections. While appreciating the thinking behind this idea, the Commission feel that it would in fact be deliberately creating the split mentality which the Movement must endeavour to avoid.

That’s the first I heard of that idea, and it seems unlikely that pro-abstentionists would suggest same.

There’s considerably more to this document, and it is probably best read in conjunction with the original Ireland Today.

More from Sinn Féin [Pre 1970]

Sinn Féin [Pre 1970] in the archive


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