On the Resignation of the Cork Branch of the Irish Communist Organisation
Organisation: Cork Communist Organisation
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Subjects: Irish Communist Organisation

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

30th October 2007

An oddity this week from the Archive (and another donation to the Archive from Jim Lane - for which we’re very grateful). This is a 20 page pamphlet issued by the Cork Communist Organisation in 1972. This was a split from the then sort of kind of Maoist Irish Communist Organisation which went on to become the British and Irish Communist Organisation. Within the pages of this document are detailed the upset of the CC Organisation at the Irish Communist Organisation and various policy positions. It’s remarkable really.

Accusations of ‘bourgeois factions’, worries about secessionist tendencies (in the geographic sense of the term), the ‘Two Nations’ Theory and so on abound. Forensic attention is paid to these, and yet, let’s not fool ourselves. The debates here mirrored or even predated debates in other organisations over the course of the conflict as those on the Left sought to understand and grapple with aspects of Nationalism.

Throughout there is a real sense of upset and hurt on the part of the CCO, perhaps even incomprehension, at the development (or is it deviation) of the ICO. On one level it is surprising how seriously all this was taken. Train journeys across Ireland to discuss the esoterica of party policy. Debates in pubs and meeting rooms. Of course, that is to ignore the time at which this was taking place. 1972, the conflict in the North gaining pace. Perhaps a sense that revolutionary change was possible, even if one was in the presumably tiny ICO. Incidentally, it’s a world away from the politics I know and experienced. What about representation? The actual as distinct from notional working class? Getting down and dirty organising in constituencies? Was that part of the exercise or was it purely a talking shop? I would very much like to know, and to know what happened to the CCO. Any information would be appreciated….


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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 29 Nov 2007 22:44:59

    Well that’s a good point, but… I live with what I get…

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  • By: Garibaldy Thu, 29 Nov 2007 22:57:28

    Yeah. Though the tradition of writing things down lasted a long time – and Ed Moloney claims to have minutes from the Provos’ Army Convention in 1997.

    We should of course remember that this was not an IRA action, but was in fact done outside the chain of command by people connected to the IRA as well, so much less likely to be any minutes.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 29 Nov 2007 23:04:22

    Hmmm… minutes he says…

    I often wonder about such things… Imagine if one was caught with them.

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  • By: Garibaldy Thu, 29 Nov 2007 23:19:52

    That was the attitude that emerged among a lot of people during the Troubles in the north. I know it seems incredible, but minutes were certainly being kept into the 70s, and I wouldn’t be in the least surprise if the Provos were still keeping them when Moloney says. Not one of his opponents rejected the idea that minutes would be held. .

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Fri, 30 Nov 2007 08:18:02

    It’s sort of funny. One can imagine three competing Army Councils each assiduously noting down everything… To get them would be something, wouldn’t it?

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  • By: John O'Neill Fri, 30 Nov 2007 10:40:14

    On ‘Sour’ Eire – I believe there is a judge that may be able to enlighten SD on that subject as he was strongly associated with them but I doubt if he will! There are a few SE members around Dublin still. I never realised until recently that there was such a difference between the Cork Saor Eire and Dublin.

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  • By: stephen dorril Fri, 30 Nov 2007 18:33:08

    Thanks Pete for Liam Sutcliffe – I see that he claimed toppling Nelson in a radio interview (see Scotland on Sunday 9.2.03). An IRA member but he seems to have done it off his own bat – if he did it.

    There is a full biog of Jim Lane on Wikipedia – is it accurate? Includes this ‘… briefly the intelligence officer for Daithi O Conaill’s command area around Derry/Donegal at the time of the disturbances [August 1969]…’

    The Judge?

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  • By: Starkadder Sat, 15 Dec 2007 19:33:03

    On the subject of the radical left in Cork, an afternoon in the library
    revealed that there was an active anti-Vietnam war
    movement here in the late 1960s. There was the Cork Vietnam
    Freedom Association, which was linked to a student organisation,
    UCC Students against the War in Vietnam.
    The former organisation was led by Jim Blake and
    Jack Lane. Both groups led a march in October 1967 against the war.

    Jim Blake was in the UCC Branch of the Labour Party and later
    joined the I.T.G.W.U. in the seventies. In April 1983 he led a
    protest against unemployment called the “People’s March”.
    He also protested against the second Gulf War in 2003.

    Jack Lane was also involved in the UCC Labour group but
    left in 1968. He was later convicted for assaulting
    Garda C.B. Griffin in January 1969 (he was fined £50).
    During his trial, the police claimed he was involved in several
    Young Socialist groups and the Housing Action Committee. Since
    Dennis Dennehy of B&ICO was also involved in the
    Housing Action movement, I’m pretty sure this is
    the same Jack Lane who was in B&ICO and the
    Aubane Historical Society.

    According to the CCO
    document, Jack Lane was in Dublin in
    1970, editing Communist Comment.
    Perhaps he moved to Dublin before this

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  • By: Starkadder Sun, 16 Dec 2007 18:42:04

    According to the Wikipedia bio, Jim Lane was also
    involved in the Cork Vietnamese Freedom Association
    in the 1960s.

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  • By: The Left Archive: “On the IRA Belfast Brigade Area”, Jim Lane, Cork Workers’ Club, 1972 « The Cedar Lounge Revolution Mon, 07 Apr 2008 07:24:00

    […] here from Fintan Lane (and I’ve swiped it from here) is an overview of the Cork Workers’ Club and its […]

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  • By: fornetti Sun, 31 Aug 2008 08:37:17

    I do not believe this

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  • By: NollaigO Sun, 31 Aug 2008 09:32:51

    “I do not believe this”.

    Post 166: Could you give the more intellectually challenged of us a clue ?!

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  • By: brian lyons Thu, 06 Aug 2009 16:06:43

    is this organisation still in existance

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  • By: Vabian Thu, 06 Aug 2009 16:08:32

    I don’t think so. Jim Lane is retired from politics. However,
    you can still find the occaisional CWC pamphlet in places like
    Connolly Books.

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  • By: Left Archive: Irish Communist Organisation “Crisis in the Unionist Party”, May 1969 « The Cedar Lounge Revolution Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:54:49

    […] well worth reading is the following from the Cork Communist Organisation which explains in part some of the events that occurred later. LikeBe the first to like this […]

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  • By: Left Archive: The Economics of Irish Partition, Irish Communist Organisation, 2nd edition, November 1969 « The Cedar Lounge Revolution Mon, 13 Jun 2011 06:06:45

    […] Perhaps best known as the precursor of the British and Irish Communist Organisation who assumed that name around November 1971, The Irish Communist Organisation already has the following documents in the Archive, and here. There’s also a critique in the Archive from the Cork Communist Organisation on the development of the ICO. […]

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  • By: Irish Revolutionary Tradition in Cork Workers Club’s Publications (Part 2 ) – woodsmokeblog Sat, 17 Feb 2018 09:01:38

    […] Source: Fintan Lane – October 30, 2007 […]

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  • By: Bill mc camley Mon, 13 Apr 2020 09:42:19

    Did the CCO not become the Cork Workers Club? The latter was led by Jim Lane. …the club published a series of Labour History pamphlets. Jim Lane, I believe, subsequently joined the IRSP.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 13 Apr 2020 11:33:16

    In reply to Bill mc camley.

    It did didn’t it? And he did. Hope all is well with him.

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  • By: The Cork Workers Club | Splits and Fusions Sun, 04 Apr 2021 16:05:32

    […] very useful introduction to the Club and its background can be found here on the ever useful Cedar Lounge site- look for the comment by Fintan […]

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