|Organisation:||Sinn Féin [Official]|
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“Republican Worker” was the monthly newsheet of Official Sinn Féin in Cork City. It is a fairly basic production, typed on A4 sheets.
Inside the level of political discourse is of variable quality. It would have surprised those living in Madrid to discover that ‘no state in Europe has such repressive legislation as the twentysix counties…’.
There is an appraisal of Volunteer Martin O’Leary, a member of the Official IRA who was injured fatally by an explosion in 1971 in Co. Tipperary during a labour dispute at the Mogul Mine. That this was not something that figured highly in the party in later years is perhaps explained by a quote from Roy Johnston’s interesting site here gives some insight into the event (as well as his response).
…on July 12 1971 claimed Martin O’Leary as the first martyr of the new phase of struggle; his funeral in Cork was reported; Seamus Corry of the ITGWU laid a wreath. He had lost his life at the Mogul mine at Silvermines, an an IRA action in support of the striking miners. According to local lore this action, which involved disabling an ESB sub-station (a hazardous operation), had a positive political effect. The present writer however wants to place on record that he had nothing to do with it, and would have opposed it had he known it was in prospect. It illustrates perfectly the nature of the problem of dealing with the still dominant culture rooted in the traditional military nature of the IRA, which had persisted despite my best efforts since 1965. The elitist role of the IRA, in acting ‘for’ the workers from outside, is the antithesis of that projected for the type of left-wing democratic activist organisation we had being trying to build. This was the beginning of the end of my association with the movement.
The laudatory reference in Republican Worker would seem to indicate that there was a sea-change in the nature of OSF at this time from its later SFWP and Workers’ Party incarnations (and it’s unlikely that even three years later one might have read, as one does here, about “Hiberno-Nazi-British-Policy”, even in jest). Yet there is nothing on international affairs or indeed Marxism although the concentration on the E.E.C. Is notable.
It is useful to compare and contrast this with this document also from Official Sinn Féin/Official Republicanism during the same period. The differing emphases possibly indicate both a political and, in some senses, a cultural divide within the organisation on the island.
In sum a document that seems to link more closely to the early 1970s that that which would come later.