|Sinn Féin [Official]
|The United Irishman
|Volume 33, Number 12
Nollaig (December) 1975
|1975: Official Sinn Féin/IRSP Split and Republican Feuds
|Comments on this document
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This edition of the United Irishman from Official Sinn Féin is one of a series of United Irishman and other left wing materials that date from the feud between PIRA and the OIRA towards the end of 1975. The Archive hopes to present a rounded picture of those events and therefore would welcome IRSP, PSF or other left political publications from the same period. Please contact us at the contact section on the Irish Left Archive.
Interestingly the cover makes no mention of those events, instead focusing on ‘The Year of International Crisis: Little hope for our economy’.
Inside though there are numerous mentions including letters from Kilkenny Comharle Ceanntair professing sympathy. On page 3 there is an account of Seamus Lynch, of the Six-County Executive of Republican Clubs, and the oration he gave at the funeral of John Brown, one of those murdered during the feud.
The editorial makes no mention of the feud however there is a detailed outline of the activities of the Republican Clubs which seeks to rebut:
…the propaganda campaign waged by the Provisional Alliance… and accusations that our members were engaged in acts of petty gangsterism against the people of Belfast.
In these pages we show what the activity of the RC really is not only in Belfast but throughout the Six Counties.
This includes the declaration that ‘Rights and R.U.C. the targets’ of RC efforts.
Provisionals have condemned the Republican Clubs for demanding Civil Rights in the North. They say that such rights are ‘British rights’ and therefore Irish men and women should have nothing to do with them. Yet the Provisionals negotiated with the British authorities, and until recently were in constant contact with them through the Incident Centres. By doing this they recognised the de facto reality of British control in the North. And tried to get all they could for their organisation on that basis.
In another part of these articles there is the following:
The participation of the Republican Clubs in elections has often been attacked from the ultra-left as reformist. The accusation comes usually from maniacal fringe groups who fail to see the importance of presenting policies to the people so they can see the need for change and support those policies which will benefit them.
Later there are condolences extended by the Ard Comhairle of Sinn Féin ‘to the bereaved families of all those murdered during the Provisional attacks on our Belfast members’.
Another piece notes that Mac Giolla restates Civil Rights demands including the abolition of the RUC and its replacement by a ‘police service’.
Other articles include a two page spread on International Women’s Year and a column asking ‘Whatever happened to the Southern Labour Party?’.