9. Ireland

As Marx put it, Ireland was and remains the ‘litmus test’ for socialists in Britain. The RCG distinguished its politics from the rest of the left at the height of the revolutionary nationalist struggle against British rule on this issue. We fought for solidarity with the Irish peoples struggle and in doing so were opposed by the bulk of the left. Today the left joins with imperialism in trumpeting the so called peace process. From its outset we have pointed out the reality on the ground; British imperialism has not left Ireland and continues to uphold the Unionist veto. The north of Ireland is an endemically racist and sectarian society created and sustained by British imperialism. No amount of reform can alter this political reality

We have constantly pointed out that the struggle to free Ireland from British rule is not over. The economic, political and social problems which keep forcing the national struggle on to the political agenda remain. Discrimination and social deprivation remain for a large proportion of the nationalist working class. Today, more than ten years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein is now part of the political class which helps sustain British rule in Ireland. As economic and social changes force the national question once again to the fore, new forces will have to emerge from within the nationalist working class, prepared to build a new campaign which learns from and does not repeat the mistakes of the past.


David Reed: Ireland - the key to the British revolution, Larkin Books

RCG: Manifesto of the Revolutionary Communist Group - Part 4 pp 67-86

FRFI 195 Nationalists divide over Sinn Fein support for British policing

FRFI 187 Ireland: Imperialism and national revolution

FRFI 184 Republican Movement faces disintegration

FRFI 143 Ireland’s peace agreement

FRFI 121 Ireland: IRA lays down its arms

Basic Principles of Marxism – Part Eight: The First International and Ireland

Supplementary reading

FRFI 75 Questions of History

FRFI 111 Communism and armed struggle


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