Workers' Republic, No. 96
Date:1983
Organisation:League for a Workers Republic
Publication:Workers' Republic
Issue:Number 96
May 1983
Collection:Abortion and reproductive rights
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Nicky Kelly

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

25th July 2011

This document issued in May 1983 was published by the League for a Workers Republic, at that point the Irish Section of the Fourth International. For an overview of the LWR see here .

The lead article details how shop-stewards organise for a General Strike but that…

…no prominent trade union leaders or political figure has supported Matt Merrigan’s call. Instead the ICTU leadership has stated that they are encouraged by the anti-tax evasion measures in the Finance Bill. This Bill, now going through the Dáil implements the PAYE increases. But the ICTU want stoppages to cease and lobbying of individual T.D.’s to take place instead.

It also has a piece on the Nicky Kelly campaign which notes that:

British rule in Ireland has been challenged by the heroic workers and youth of the occupied 6 counties for over ten years, supported by their brothers and sisters in the South.

There are a range of articles engaging with topics such as Trades Councils, an account of a Polish strike committee organizer and founder of the Polish Socialist Workers’ Party at his trial by the Polish regime and reference to the anti-abortion amendment to the Constitution, which had yet to be determined.

There’s also an editorial that criticises Brendan Doris [of CPI M-L] and Joe Duffy, then the leadership of the Union of Students in Ireland, for not running a national campaign or press conferences against education cuts.

Careful study of the names of those involved will point to one or two familiar to the Left Archive.

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  • By: Jolly Red Giant Mon, 25 Jul 2011 14:10:38

    Interesting the criticism of Doris and Duffy (warranted that it was) – of course that fact that LWR member and TCD SU President Alex White did nothing either is beside the point.

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  • By: Jim Monaghan Mon, 25 Jul 2011 14:50:05

    The LWR had the general strike as a mantra for every situation. I felt that calling for one in isolation would just brand the person calling for it as an ultraleft. I feel that a militant has to read the situation and advance things. If the atmosphere is ripe then up the ante.
    E.G in the present situation, the real thing is to get something going not an ultimatumist demand.
    In this case the support of Merrigan showed that there was some wind in the sails for a work stoppage.The more I look at the timid, scared, lackies, we have as TU leaders now, the more I see Merrigan for the titan he was.The anecdote about Greaves and his suggested title for volume 1 of his history of the ITGWU “The giants”. It being turned down because of an obvious title for the subsequent volumes, comes to mind.
    Paddy recruited me to far left politics and I have a huge regard for him. At the ULA conference he joked with Eamonn McCann about how they met in London in the Irish Workers Group in the mid 60s. Whatever about White (op cit) Paddy stayed the course.Beir bua.

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  • By: Gerryboy Tue, 26 Jul 2011 01:36:23

    Matt Merrigan was a trade union leader with social principles, but these principles were too strong for the Labour Party, which he eventually left in order to co-found with Noel Browne the ill-fated SLP Socialist Labour Party.

    So one Joe Duffy was a big student leader and failed to lead the students into militant campaigning, eh? Has anybody considered swamping his phone-in radio programme asking him why he doesn’t call a national strike against all the ills that callers daily complain about?

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  • By: Left Archive: Workers Republic, Journal of the League for a Workers Republic, no. 84, 1981 « The Cedar Lounge Revolution Mon, 02 Jan 2012 09:21:50

    […] Republic is first and foremost concentrated on the death of Bobby Sands on hunger strike. It joins this document from the LWR published a few years later. At that point the Irish Section of the Fourth […]

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