|Discuss:||Comments on this document|
Please note: The Irish Left Archive is provided as a non-commercial historical resource, open to all, and has reproduced this document as an accessible digital reference. Copyright remains with its original authors. If used on other sites, we would appreciate a link back and reference to The Irish Left Archive, in addition to the original creators. For re-publication, commercial, or other uses, please contact the original owners. If documents provided to The Irish Left Archive have been created for or added to other online archives, please inform us so sources can be credited.
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This short three page document is typewritten. It is undated, but given mention of the ‘Hillsborough Deal’ in the text it would appear to date from the late-1980s.
It suggests that:
SF has a leading role in the struggle to establish a 32 Democratic Socialist Republic. Its role is vital to achieve that goal and therefore it is just as important as the role of the volunteers engaged in armed struggle – neither can win without the other. What is this vital role that Sinn Féin has?
And it answers that question by addressing it in the context of ‘The 6 counties’, ‘The 26 counties and ‘The 32 counties’.
Notable is how it presents itself:
By its presence on the ground and in elections SF has challenged the S.D.L.P. voice as the voice representing the wishes of the nationalist people. This is of great importance in the propaganda war – and guerrilla war is really a struggle for the hearts and minds of the people – so it is vital to speak out in sport o the armed struggle.
But it also notes:
On the international level the SF electoral victories have destroyed the British strategy of criminalisation and normalisation. The Hunger Strike made this possible but without SF electoral victories the effects of the Hunger Strikes would be quickly forgotten – think back to the emotional wave that followed Bloody Sunday and how we failed to harness it.
It also suggests that ‘SF spokespersons from the 6 counties are constantly giving interviews on TV and to magazines and papers from all over the world, explaining the situation in Ireland and exposing the lies of British and Dublin propaganda about it being a sectarian conflict.’
It also argues that that ‘a no less important result of a strong SF presence on the ground in that the isolation of the IRA is made impossible’. And it suggests that ‘the presence of SF elected representatives on the Councils in the 6 Counties has effectively ended local government because of the Loyalist reaction to them’. And it further suggests that this presence destablised the British presence and ‘produced the Hillsborough Deal… [which] is an attempt to stabilise a rapidly worsening situation by drawing in the SDLP and Dublin behind the British in looking for an internal political solution… so SF has effectively destabilised the whole thing. Of course it could only have been done in the situation created and maintained by the armed struggle’.
The brief section on the 26 counties includes the following:
The net effect is to produce a more nationalist outlook even in political parties or organisations like trade unions who might have otherwise taken a Workers Party line’.
Some intriguing thoughts too on Sinn Féin in the 32 Counties, albeit truncated due to the short space afforded them.
In some respects it is an unusual document, and it is not clear if it is intended for general distribution or some internal education function. Any assistance on its provenance would be very welcome.