|Organisation:||Sinn Féin [Pre 1970]|
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The Left Archive [Remembering 1969] seeks to bring into the public domain documents and publications from 1969 with a left and Republican slant. Already there are a number of documents that have been donated or are on file, but if you have any material you think might be appropriate - and, in particular, Official and Provisional Sinn Féin publications would be welcome - please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can I also take this opportunity to call again for any donations to the Archive - we're adding trade union material and other materials of interest would include left-wing unionist publications from the last thirty years...
As part of our continuing series of documents produced in 1969, three notices passed to the Archive give a flavour of Spring of that year and a range of actions inside the Republic with a strongly activist character. So a statement is issued on the events at a picket of a Fianna Fáil executive meeting at a hotel in Sligo by the Connolly Youth Movement (including one Declan Bree) which resulted in a fracas and subsequently in a statement from the IRA asserting that it would '...whenever and wherever Irish men and women wish to make a protest against any of the injustices so prevalent in Ireland... The Irish Republican Army... Will not hesitate to take direct action against any individual or group of individuals, official or otherwise, who would attack ... Irish men and women...'.
Galway Command, Irish Republican Army releases a statement "The Land of Ireland for the People of Ireland" concerning 'recent action at the Mannin estate carried out by a unit of the Irish Republican Army in support of the demand by local farmers that this estate be acquired by the Land Commission and divided among the thirteen neighbouring smallholders'. In an explicit linking of that action with historical precedents the statement quotes Fintan Lalor on the meaning of the 'rights of private property'. And it concludes... 'The Republican Movement has committed itself to being in the vanguard of the people's fight for the re-conquest of Ireland, and the return of the land, fisheries, industry and general wealth of the nation to their rightful owners, the Irish people'.
And a further statement deals with 'the recent economic resistance operation in which a foreign owned mansion was destroyed by a unit of Oglaigh na hEireann'. The concentration, familiar as a continual concern expressed in the pages of the United Irishman both before and after the split, on foreign purchase of Irish land is very striking. As is a prescient critique of the Common Market. And an overview of those formations the Republican Movement believed should be spearheading economic resistance leads inexorably to the conclusion that 'So far, in Meath at any rate, only the Republican Movement has taken action against the land grabbers... The Republican Movement as the revolutionary movement of the Irish people will support the fight for the land and the peoples right to it'.
Worth noting that far from a subdued and passive force the events of this period seems to indicate that the Republican Movement was very active indeed.
This text and these files are a resource for use freely by anyone who wants to for whatever purpose - that’s the whole point of the Archive (well that and the discussions). But if you do happen to use them we’d really appreciate if you mentioned that you found them at the Left Archive…