There was a time when the more radical sections of the Irish Left were passionately concerned about Northern Ireland/the North/the Six Counties (delete according to preference). Elsewhere, the main lines of division among left-wingers ran between communists and social democrats, Stalinists and Trotskyists, anarchists and Maoists. All of these tendencies could be found on the Irish left-wing scene, but they often seemed less important than concerns about the North and the issues it required people to take a stand on.
A rose-tinted view of the past more often than not gives rise to a pessimistic outlook on the present and future. Talk about the death of working-class movements often overlooks the fact that establishing and giving momentum to such movements was hard work; contemporary hopelessness as to the potential for new movements of resistance to come into being has perhaps less to do with the strict impossibility of such a thing, and more to do with a failure to remember that the organised and effective resistance of the past more often than not occurred against all odds.