Ard Fheis/Annual Delegate Conference 1987: General Secretary's Report
Organisation: The Workers' Party
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

1st July 2019

As with other General Secretary’s Reports from the Workers’ Party this document covers a broad range of areas relating to the development and activity of the party. There are short pieces detail attendance at meetings of party bodies, an outline of party activity in the Dáil and then areas of interest or activity by party committees. So one will read an Environment & Local Government Committee Report, the Finance Committee, Health and Social Services Committee and so on.

There are some interesting aspects discussed. The Finance Committee Report notes in passing ‘In NI we are faced with a situation where the law does not allow for political parties gaining a permit for any sort of public collection. This obviously creates difficulties and places restrains on the ability of the local organisation to generate funds fo the party. While most areas have surmounted this difficulty, we would call for a greater effort from those constituencies outside of Belfast in the fund raising efforts for the Party Centre’.

The issue of ‘Associate Membership’ is described as a positive ‘half-way house to full membership. These supporters must be invited to all events’. Mention is made in the National Youth Committee Report that ‘the class structure of the student population [at third level] has changed and the small number of working class students are being squeezed out. However, we have still made progress and have recruited new members to the party and become active in many smaller colleges as well as the large universities’. The National Women’s Committee Report notes that ‘ we would like to be confident that all branches are convinced of the necessity to develop and adapt flexible methods of organisation to allow us to tap the receiver of commitment and talent amongst women. Though it is a matter for concern that some branches have a very low percentage of women members, there are many areas however where the ratio of women members has levelled out in recent years and it is a fact that women share a fair proportion of responsible positions within. The local organisation’.

The General Secretary’s Report argues that:

Few would now deny that the Workers’ Party has established itself as the party fo the Irish working class, particularly coming after the results of the recent general election in the Republic and the steady growth and activity of the Party in Northern Ireland.

And it concludes:

Given the immense task the Party has to accomplish it is essential that we use our time and resources to the maximum possible advantage. Very often, as we all know too well, time spent at many meetings at all levels of the Party could be more profitably spent if the meetings were better organised and properly structured.

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