On the 12th of June 1982, the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) voted to dissolve.
Founded in 1977, the SLP sought to build a party of the Left, bringing together former Labour members and Left groups, which joined as tendencies — the Socialist Workers’ Movement (SWM), League for a Workers’ Republic, Irish Workers Group, and Movement for a Socialist Republic; though all left the SLP within a few years (with the SWM tendency leaving last in 1980).
In an article for Gralton, former National Executive member Dermot Boucher wrote:
On the 12th June, quietly and with little ceremony, the Socialist Labour Party voted itself out of existence. Five years earlier, almost to the day, the Independent Labour campaign had scored a major electoral success, returning Dr. Noel Browne to Dáil Éireann, and the following November over 300 delegates gathered in Liberty Hall to launch the new party on a a rising tide of optimism and expectation. What, if any, were the Party’s achievements, and, more to the point, where did it go wrong?
In retrospect its most remarkable achievement lay in surviving for so long. From the outset the SLP was fatally flawed. In the first place there was no consensus as to what the party was supposed to be: a slightly more honest and democratic version of the Labour Party? An Irish version of the Socialist Workers’ Party? The revolutionary Party? An election machine for Noël Browne (or other aspiring public representatives)? A socialist debating society? Worthy objectives perhaps, but hardly reconcilable within a single organisation.