The Irish Student, No. 1
Date:24th May 1967
Organisation: Irish Student Movement
Publication: The Irish Student
Issue:Number 1
Type:Publication Issue
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

26th May 2008

“Irish Students! We have waited long enough! The powers that be would have us irresponsible, indifferent and apathetic. We refute this charge and call upon all students to prove it false by taking a full part in the events which shape our destiny.”

And with that ringing declaration here’s a piece from the year before 1968, and the Irish Student Movement. It’s a bit of an oddity because I know nothing about the ISM at all. It makes a number of attacks on “Trotskyite factions”, and I was told by the person who donated it that it was Maoist. This would make sense, not least in terms of the references to ‘the imperialist powers, including the Soviet Union…’.

As regards the content, it is interesting to see how the events of the subsequent year were part of a dynamic that had already, and quite self-consciously emerged, for more consider the last page. The article on ‘Jargon’ by a Labour Party member makes some provocative statements, not the least of which is that ‘totalitarianism need not necessarily exist in a one-party state provided that fundamental human rights are respected’.

There is a reprint of “The Murder Machine” by Pearse, an article lauding the PAC in South Africa (“… It is futile to think that the U.K., U.S. Or any West European country will apply sanctions…”), numerous digs at Kadar Asmal and the article on Q.U.B. Is curiously indifferent to partition as against the requirement for foreign students to pay ‘their own bloody way’.

The focus is very much on student politics, perhaps inevitably, but the language (see S.R.C. Sell-out, page 4) is that of the left. Anyhow, I’d be very grateful if anyone knows who or what it represents. Any additional information will be posted up with this post.


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  • By: Jim Monaghan Mon, 26 May 2008 12:38:15

    Could it be the Trinity Internationalists.Trotskyism was fairly weak non existent in the vcolleges at this stage. Unless you count IALSO.
    Jim Monaghan

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  • By: chekov Mon, 26 May 2008 13:07:58

    Looks like a broad-left thing to me. It contains almost none of the characteristic jargon of the Maoists or the tankies. It’s also surprisingly well put together and obviously written by people who have good knowledge of the student organisations in various colleges. It probably had a few commies in it, but I’d put my money on a broad-democratic left sort of thing.

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  • By: NollaigO Mon, 26 May 2008 13:48:45

    Jim Monaghan is correct. The ISM was the student front organisation of the Internationalists. I remember them well in UCC in the late 1960s and early 1970s. [Daoine le dia, iad go leir.]
    Jim Blake was not connected with them even though he is quoted in the magazine. The guru of the group was Hardinal Bains who visited visited Cork for a weekend in early 1968. During his visit, ISM got in touch with some members of the UCC Labour branch and persuaded them to disband the branch and join the ISM. The whole thing was manipulative and totally undemocratic. The meeting was informal and no notice of the purpose of the meeting was given.Only a minority of the branch members were at the meeting but they felt entitled to issue a press release announcing that the branch had been disbanded. In opposition to this nonsense, Jim Blake took the initiative in reforming the branch during the following week.
    However the Internationalists had by now established a presence and we were treated to their antics much of it laughable.One of the many incidents that I remember: Sinn Féin had organised a fish-in on the Blackwater. After the fish-in had been in progress for an hour a group of Internationalists descended on us. After haranguing us on our ideological confusion for many minutes, one of them exclaimed to his comrades ” We have been mislead – this is no revolutionary situation!. Come on and we’ll do mass work among the peasantry”.

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  • By: Garibaldy Mon, 26 May 2008 13:58:03

    Hilarious story Nollaig. Excellent stuff. I’m fairly sure the only mass work the peasantry was interested in was on a Sunday.

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  • By: chekov Mon, 26 May 2008 14:03:31

    NollaigO – that makes sense now. They must have been engaged in entryism in the LP and therefore keeping their mentalism hidden in their publications.

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  • By: NollaigO Mon, 26 May 2008 14:04:09

    Well the fish-in was held on a Sunday!

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  • By: Mark P Mon, 26 May 2008 14:06:47

    Thanks for the information Nollaig0. That would make sense, in that the language and preoccupations of the paper is recognisably influenced by Maoism (support for the PAC rather than the ANC/SACP, reference to the Soviet Union as an imperialist power, stuff about “Trotskyite factions”, and the repeated uses of the phrase “serve the people”). But Ireland hasn’t exactly been littered with Maoist groups capable of putting out a relatively professional paper.

    I think the thing that was throwing other people in the thread off the scent was the lack of jargon filled craziness of the kind normally associated with the Internationalists. Compare this for instance with the other document from the Internationalists/CPI(ML) in this site’s archives.

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  • By: Garibaldy Mon, 26 May 2008 14:39:56

    Fish-in on a Sunday. Godless communist swine!

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  • By: NollaigO Mon, 26 May 2008 14:56:44

    It gets worse, Garibaldy. The swings in Fitzgerald Park were also open on Sundays.

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  • By: Garibaldy Mon, 26 May 2008 15:23:17

    Unlike in Ballymena until recently. Paisley saved the people of his heartland not only from the rocky road to Dublin, but also from dancing in parks and at cinemas on a Sunday. One prophet who was recongised in his oiwn land.

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  • By: Jim Monaghan Mon, 26 May 2008 15:36:16

    Hardial Bains formed a similar Maoist group in Canada. His brother with different politics was in trouble in India.The world of the MLs is and was quite fragmented.They stood in a Monaghan byelection. The deposit was quite low and they got free tv time.
    Last I heard was one of them in Belfast (Vipond?) involved in Irish music, I guess to get an in with the Provos.
    I know a lot of left groups come clsoe to being religions, always felt that this lot were the closest.Even their posters had Irish “peasants” lookng vaguely Chinese.
    A few of the BICO lot came from this direction. BICO for all its revisionism dealt with real ideas.
    Jim Monaghan

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 26 May 2008 16:56:29

    yeah, the comments against Ruairi Quinn didn’t seem to indicate a very Labour friendly publication.

    Thanks, and not I’d bet for anywhere near the last time, NollaigO and Jim..

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  • By: mirage28 Mon, 26 May 2008 17:28:58

    Reminds of USI meetings (when FFers and FGers were taking over and trying to destroy the womens rights and LGB campaigns ) some of us were going to set up PFLUSI – The Peoples Front for the Liberation of USI

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 26 May 2008 18:33:04

    What time period was that mirage28?

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  • By: mirage28 Tue, 27 May 2008 15:48:56

    The late 1990s – PFLUSI was never seriously going to be set up it was that a group of broad lefties and people involved in the rights campaigns: womens, environmental, LGB and disability working together to stop their destruction

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Tue, 27 May 2008 17:53:50

    Ah… interesting. I remember something not dissimilar in UCD around 1992 while I was doing some post-grad… v. broad left from Red Action precursors to Labour Left… I thought it was a good idea.

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  • By: Joe Wed, 28 May 2008 09:22:05

    “Last I heard was one of them in Belfast (Vipond?) involved in Irish music, I guess to get an in with the Provos.”

    With a bit of luck he’ll meet some Paul Brady thinkalikes who’ll steer him to the right path.

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  • By: Diarmuid Ferriter Sat, 31 May 2008 08:12:34

    Nollaig do you have any stuff that you could scan from the CPI(ML) or their fellow travellers.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Sat, 31 May 2008 08:48:15

    Diarumuid, in addition to any materials from Nollaig, if you look under the Archive you’ll find CPI-ML material here:

    The Left Archive: Red Patriot, Vol 5 – 42-43, 1976, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)


    The Left Archive: More from the CPI (M-L)

    Incidentally, Monday – I hope – will bring a real treat from the Left Archive. Think of the Senator and Social Democracy… I’ll say no more…

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  • By: click here Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:37:45

    What’s up, its fastidious post on the topic of media print,
    we all understand media is a enormous source of information.

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