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Many thanks to Peter Mooney for donating this document to the Archive – one of many from his collection that are being posted up this year and next.
This document, published in 1972 by the Republican Clubs, was the text of a speech delivered by Tomás MacGiolla that year to the Republican Clubs Conference in Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone. Sixteen pages long it offers a particularly striking insight into the thinking of the Republican Clubs and Official Sinn Féin at that time.
A selection of quotes will give a sense of the document – and in particular the orientation of the Republican movement during the 1960s and after:
When the Republican Movement evolved its revolutionary strategy in the middle sixties, it was clearly based on a peoples’ struggle of their ownership of the wealth of their country and for full control of their lives and destinies. We said then and have repeatedly emphasised since that no elitist group could emancipate the Irish people. Only the people themselves could win through to victory and establish a democratic socialist republic.
It suggests that:
Here in the 6 counties the paramount issue on which a mass struggle could be built was clearly the issue f democracy and basic human rights. The Republican Clubs had been active on the economic issues of housing and unemployment which have achieved such success amongst the people in the south. But all the time they came up against the barriers of sectarian discrimination and second-class citizenship which prevented the development of united working class struggle. We all therefore, threw ourselves into the civil rights struggle.