Political and Pressure Groups
What follows is a guide to the complexities of leftwing political groupings in Ireland, and to pressure groups with no particular political affiliation which campaign on a broad spectrum of issues from civil liberties through women's rights to tax r.eform. N~ such directory can possibly hope to be comprehensive given the shifting nature of the political alliances. We've done our best and will welcome brief statements of aims, details of meetings etc from all comers to the political spectrum.
A decade ago the map of radical politics in Ireland was simple. The Republican Movement was united. To the left of the Labour Party there was only the pro-Moscow Irish Workers' Party and its Northern counterpart, the Communist Party of Northern Ireland. But in the mid-1960s a process of splintering beqan., Many new organisations have been formed
since, and the result is an array of initials and publications which confuses the 'uninitiated observer.
SINN FEIN(the Provisionals): Walked out of the 1970 Republican Ard Fheis and split the movement. Maintains the traditional nationallist position, making a British withdrawal from the North its first priority. Actively supports the Provisional IRA's military campaign in the North. Publication, An Poblacht, weekly. Za Lower Kevin St. Dublin 8.
SINN FEIN the Workers' Party (the Officials]:
Politics close to those of many western Euroopean Communist Parties. Rejects Provisionals' nationalism as divisive of Northern working class. Urges economic planning and expansion of state sector of economy. Associated with the Official I RA. Publications, United Irishman monthly and the Irish People weekly. 30 Gardiner Place, Dublin 1.
IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY:
Broke away from the Officials in 1974, demanding a more militant position on the national question. Publication, the Starry Plough, monthly, 34 Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin 1.
WOLFE TONE SOCIETY: Loosely associated with Republican Movement, self-described as a "meeting ground of the Labour and Repubblican traditions", 22 Belgrave Square Dublin 6.
IRISH SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT: Broadly republican, intellectual group. Active in cammpaign against the EEC and for the maintenance of I rish neutrality between East and West, 24 Belgrave Road, Dublin 6.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF IRELAND: Formed by 1970 fusion of CPNI and WPI. Orthodox pro-Moscow line on most issues. Publications, the Irish Socialist, monthly and the Irish Socialist Review, quarterly. 43 Essex Street, Dublin 2.
CONNOLLY YOUTH MOVEMENT: Youth section of CPI. Publication, Forward occasionally. 47 Pembroke Lane, Dublin 4.
IRISH MARXIST SOCIETY: Split from CPI led by Sam Nolan and others in 1976. Supports the "Euro-Communism" of Spanish and Italian CPs. 34 Highfield Road, Dublin 6.
SOCIALIST PARTY OF IRELAND: Formed by dissident members of the Officials in early 70s. Also supports "Euro-Cornmunisrn" but distinguished from IMS by advocacy of "two nations theory" of the North. Mainly based in Baliymun. Publication, Advance monthly. No address available.
LIAISON OF THE LEFT: Left-wing, antiiCoalition group within Labour Party. Two members, Noel· .. Browne, and Matt Merrigan contested 1977 election as Independents. Decision on whether .tc stay with Labour or form new .. party imminent. c/o Dermot Boucher, 172 Glenageary Park, Co. Dublin.
BRITISH AND IRISH COMMUNIST PARTY:
First groyp to restate "two nations theory" in late sixties. Stalinist. Publications, Communist Comment, and the Irish Communist. 10 Atholl Street, Belfast BT124GX.
LEAGUE FOR A WORKERS' REPUBLIC:
Trotskyist. All Trotskyist groups look to the Fourth International founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938 inopposltion to the Second (Social Democratic) International and the Third (Communist) International. FI split in 1952 and again in 1963. Most Trotskyist groups adhere to one or other of the international tendencies sprouting from these splits. LWA is affiliated to the Organising Committee for the Reconstruction of the FI which believes that the fragmentation of Trotskyism is such that it is necessary to build again from base.
Calls for an all-Ireland "Constituent Assembly" and all-Ireland Labour Party. Publication, Workers' Republic, bi-monthly. No address av:eilable.
MOVEMENT FOR A SOCIALIST REPUBLIC: Affiliated to largest international Trotskyist tendency, the United Secretariat of the FI, which holds that the epicentre of world revoolution is now in the Third World. Formed in 1972 after split in Young Socialists, then linked to the LWR. Emphasises struggles for women's ,rights and against repression. Publiications, Societist Republic, monthly and Workers' Fight, occasionally. 38 Ctanawlev Road, Dublin 5.
MILITANT GROUP: Sister tendency of British Militant group recently at centre of controoversy over "infiltration" of British Labour Party. Works within Labour Party here. Insists that it is a loose group of like-minded Trotskyyists, not an organisation. Publication, Militant Irish Monthly. 75 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
WORKERS' LEAGUE: like British Workers' Revolutionary Party (Vanessa Redgrave's membership of which is regularly trivialised by medial adheres to International Cornrnlttee of the F I. Argues that rnetropol itan world is epicentre of revolution. Publication, Workers' News,. 47 Middle AbPeY Street, Dublin 1.
SOCIALIST WORKERS' MOVEMEfIIT: Sister organisation of British SociaTIsfWorkers' Party, currently at centre of race controversy. Differs from other Trotskyists in estimating the Eastern bloc as "state capitalist". Puts more emphasis on economic issues than the others, and downgrades the national question: Publication, The Worker, monthly.
IRISH WORKERS' GROUP: Breakaway from SWM. More rnititant line on North and women's rights. Only Irish group strongly campaigning for abortion. 90 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1. '
INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST PARTY: Breakkaway from IRSP, broadly Trotskyist but outtside main international tendencies. Criticises alleged IRSP subordination to military assoociates and absence of socialist politics. Bernadette McAliskey among the leadership. Publication, the Fivf! Eight, monthly. 3 Wellinggton Road, Dublin 1.
PEOPLES' DEMOCRACY: Formed out of civil rights struggle in North. Marxist and Republican. Publication, Unfree Citizen, monthly. No address available.
RED REPUBLICAN PARTY: Breakaway from PD. Urges more vigorous activity on national question, PD believing more urgent priority is to rebuild mass movement. Publication, Heads Up, monthly. 5 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF IFI~LAND: (Marxist-Leninist): Orthodox Maolst, but seem to support Gang of Four. 10 upper Exchange Street, Dublin 2.
REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE: "New Leftists", following Marcuse, Poulantzis etc. Associated with "Ripening of Time", a resspected theoretical journal. Publication, Revolutionary Struggle, monthly. 51 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
A number of groups and ad-hoc bodies have no specific political orientation. The list below is not complete: We would welcome information about others for future listing, giving statement of aims, publication and address.
IRISH CIVIL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION: Antiirepression. Argues that root cause of violence is British presence in North. Frequently in company of Provisionals. 5 Blessington Street, Dublin 1.
ASSOCIATION FOR LEGAL JUSTICE:
Liberal lawyers and supporters. Campaign North and South against abuse of security powers. Also active in defence of children's rights etc. 11 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2.
IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES:
Modelled on British National Council for Civil liberties. Less emphasis on pol itical matters than ICRA and AU. liberty Hall, Dublin 1.
IRISH ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS: Radical, socialist lawyers concerned with penal system, labour law and legal aid. 153 Church Street, Dublin 1.
PRISONERS' RIGHTS ORGANISATION:
Ex-prisoners and others agitating for penal reform. Holds that illl crime is essentiatlv political. 9 Anglesea Street, Dublin 2.
PRISONERS' COMMITTEE: Breakaway from PRO led by Brendan Willsh. Alleges PRO is front for Officials. 29 Goldsmith Street, Dublin 7.
RELATIVES ACTION COMMITTEE: Welfare orqanisation for Provision ill IRA prisoners. 5 Blessington Street, Dublin 1.
CAMHAIR: Welfare organisation for Official IRA prisoners. 30 Gardiner Place, Dublin 1.
TRADE UNION COORDINATION COMMMITTEE AGAINST REPRESSION: Seeks to organise within unions against repressive legisslation and in support of its victims. Publication Tuccar, occasionally. 84 North Circular Road, Dublin 1.
NEW LIBERTY GROUP: Rank and file group within Irish Transport and General Workers' Union. Calls for more aggressive pro-worker activity and greater democracy within the union. Publication, New Liberty, occasionally. 13 Ventrv Park, Cabra, Dublin 7.
UNEMPLOYED WORKERS' ASSOCIATION:
Tries to ensure workless get full social welfare entitlement. Organises marches and petitions against unemployment. clo ATGWU, Marllborough Street, Dublin 1.
DUBLIN FIGHT UNEMPLOYMENT COMMMITTEE: Agitates for free transport, gas and elctricity for jobless. Recently workinq clcsetv with UWA. 3 'Wellington Street, Dublin 2.
RESOURCES PROTECTION CAMPAIGN:
Responsible for assiduous research wh ich made resources a major issue. Advocates national isation of resources as best means of protection. Publ ications, various pamphlets. clo 9 Anglesea Street, Dublin 2.
DUBLIN FLAT DWELLERS' ASSOCIATION:
Active on behalf of tenants in private accornoodation. 9 Anglesea Street, Dublin 2.
IRISHWOMEN UNITED: Ireland's only fulllbloodedly feminist orqanisation.Trernands full equality in all spheres, free family planning service and much-expanded child-care facilities. Publication Banshee, monthly. clo 6 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.
COUNCIL FOR THE STATUS OF WOMEN:
Formed in wake of Government-sponsored report on' women's status. Contains represenntatives of various women's organisations. Cabra Villa, Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7.
WOMEN'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the !~TU. Sub-committee to advise TU movement on matters affecting women. clo I CTU, 19 Raglan Road, Dublin 4.
LABOUR WOMEN'S NATIONAL COUNCIL:
Internally.-influential sub-committee of Labour Party making recommendations on policy on women's issues. 16 Gardiner Place, Dublin 1".
CONTRACEPTION ACTION PROGRAMME:
United front of family planning and women's organisations and the Union of Students in I rei and to push for full contraceptive facil ities. No address available.
AIM (Action, Information, Motivation): Conncerned with reform of family law. Offers information and legal advice on family affairs. 44 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. '
WOMEN'S AID: Refuge for battered wives. Recently took over disused Overseas Club. Policy of not publishing address but can be contacted through AIM.
ALLY: Helps place pregnant girls in homes of sympathetic families. Will help arrange accomodation and counsel on social problems, arising. 2 Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.
ADAPT: Association for Deserted and Alone Parents for whom it provides information and help. PO Box 673, Dublin 4.
CURA: Catholic church-sponsored "pro-life" group, advising pregnant girls against abortion and providing facilities for confinement to those dissuaded. clo Catholic Protection and Rescue Society of Ireland, 30 South Anne Street, Dublin 2.
IRISH GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT: Seeks to break down anti-homosexual prejudice. Offers counsel to homosexuals and runs a disco. 46 Parnell Square, DlIblin 1.
CAMPAIGN FOR HOMOSEXUAL LAW REFORM: Wants homosexual acts between consenting adults decriminalised, to bring ireland into line with civilised world. PO Box 931, Dublin 4.
GAYS AGAINST REPRESSION: Most miliitant of gay qroups, formed by homosexuals who have "come out". Disco and occasional demonstrations. No address available.