Labour and the Republican Movement
Date:December 1966
Organisation:Sinn Féin [Pre 1970]
Author:George Gilmore
Contributor:Peadar O'Donnell
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

29th August 2011

This document by George Gilmore was printed in 1966 by Republican Publications, essentially Sinn Féin. As a preface notes:

In this pamphlet George Gilmore writes on the place of Labour in the Republican Movement in the years preceding the Rising and in the post-Rising Years. He writes that “as the squeezing out of the Labour leadership from the vanguard of the Independence movement was of such importance in ensuring its defeat, so it would appear that, if there is to be any future for the Irish people as a free people, it must depend upon a return by organized Labour to the politics of Connolly”.

This is an interesting publication for Sinn Féin to publish at that point in time given the history of Gilmore.

The preface also notes that:

The matter contained in the pamphlet first appeared as a series of articles in “The United Irishman” and later was presented as a lecture under the auspices of the Dublin branch of Muintir Wolfe Tone. It was also presented as a lecture under the auspices of the Republican Society of Trinity College Dublin.

That Peadar O’Donnell was invited to write a brief introduction is perhaps also indicative of a shift in the approach of Sinn Féin during this period towards a more explicitly Left Republican stance. His contribution is short and almost humorous while also being profoundly critical of the Republican Movement ‘within which the I.R.A. Lives and moves’.

The essay itself is very readable and makes the point that ‘So we are back pretty much where we began. O’Neill is at last on talking terms with Lemass’.

Just to remind people that on Political World there is the following:

George Gilmore’s “The Irish Republican Congress”,  with its foreword, in quotable text on Politicalworld.org, for discussion purposes.

And also that copies of the “The Irish Republican Congress” by George Gilmore are available from Jim Lane in the original print format - contact details:

CWC Publications, c/o 79, Earlwood Estate, Togher Road, Cork City for the sum of € 6.00 . Only a limited amount of copies are available.

More from Sinn Féin [Pre 1970]

Sinn Féin [Pre 1970] in the archive


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  • By: Ciarán Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:31:15

    The Stickies republished the pamphlet above a few years ago as The Working Class and the Struggle for the Republic. O’Donnell’s introduction was replaced by a new one by Seán Garland.

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  • By: peterdalysociety Mon, 29 Aug 2011 12:34:52

    its still available from WP goin by their website

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  • By: Brian Hanley Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:23:40

    I think this pamphlet was one of the first places where the thesis that de Valera had demanded that ‘labour must wait’ was advanced. It has been very influential. O’Connor Lysaght wrote an article in Saothar 2001 about this- de Valera never actually used that phrase, at any stage.

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  • By: Jim Monaghan Fri, 02 Sep 2011 13:03:21

    Labour decided to wait. Now they have decided that they have nothing to wait for.

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  • By: 11 Sixty Nine And Counting….. :: COMMEMORATIVE MUSIC NIGHT FOR BOBBY SANDS. :: April :: 2012 Wed, 25 Apr 2012 15:09:02

    […] these circumstances , de Valera’s brusque ‘Labour must wait’ must have sounded like the answer to a prayer – but can anyone see de Valera daring the like were […]

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