The Party Programme
Date:October 1980
Organisation: Labour
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document

Please note:  The Irish Left Archive is provided as a non-commercial historical resource, open to all, and has reproduced this document as an accessible digital reference. Copyright remains with its original authors. If used on other sites, we would appreciate a link back and reference to The Irish Left Archive, in addition to the original creators. For re-publication, commercial, or other uses, please contact the original owners. If documents provided to The Irish Left Archive have been created for or added to other online archives, please inform us so sources can be credited.

Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

29th March 2010

A few short words on this document which fills a gap in the Archive between the 1990s and the 1970s as regards the Irish Labour Party. Note the use of the Starry Plough on the cover, in a very modern incarnation and set within a predominantly red black and white colour scheme. This harder edged imagery is somewhat echoed by a text which happily utilises the word ‘socialist’ from the off.

Brendan Halligan, then General Secretary provides an introduction and notes that…

The LP is required under its constitution to publish from time to time a Party Programme which it is intended, would state the party’s basic principles together with an outline of the policies whereby they can be implemented. The Programme is to be distinguished from an election manifesto which normally is confined to short-term issues as they relate to an election. The Programme has a longer vision and, indeed, a different purpose. It shold be the basic guide for all party activity over a generation.

It continues…

It is appropriate that at the beginning of a new decade the LP should once again address itself to a restatement of its basic socialist objectives and the means whereby they can be achieved in practice. It is always a challenge to a serious political party to abstract itself from the day to day pressures of politics and to reappraise its policies in the light of change.

And concludes…

The Labour Party accepted that challenge and updated its Programme to meet the new demands and priorities of the eighties. It offers this Party Programme as its vision of Ireland during that decade, an Ireland organized on socialist lines.

And inside? Well, count the ways in which so much has stayed as it was. Or worsened.

Page 23…

As a socialist party, Labour’s objective is to devise an equitable taxation structure which will include all income earners within the taxation base and which will be levied on all earnings, no matter how they are derived. The aim will be to effect a real redistribution of income and wealth between the different groups in society so as to bring about greater equality and the elimination of poverty…

Page 29

The fundamental aim of the Labour Party n this vital area [Health] is the establishment of a free comprehensive health system for all citizens incorporating a general medical, hospital and specialist service, dental, aural and opthalmic services and free medicines to be provided on doctor’s prescriptions.
Our socialist policy on health is based on the acceptance of equality and the right of every citizen to medical treatment without cost.

Interesting reading page 10 on “The Unity of the Irish People” which attempts to straddle a number of different positions relating the North, although is surprisingly sharp in its thoughts on ‘the second Unionist veto’ (p.11).

As ever, there’s more. Apologies for the quality of the scan, I hope it’s reasonably legible.

More from Labour

Labour in the archive


No Comments yet.

Add a Comment

Formatting Help

Comments can be formatted in Markdown format . Use the toolbar to apply the correct syntax to your comment. The basic formats are:

**Bold text**
Bold text

_Italic text_
Italic text

[A link](
A link

You can join this discussion on The Cedar Lounge Revolution

  • By: LeftAtTheCross Mon, 29 Mar 2010 12:31:56

    Interesting document, I’ll give it a proper read tonight.

    Did any of the program make it into government policy during the FG/LP coalition governments of the 80s?

    Aside: From a quick scan one of the things that caught my eye was article on housing policy (18.9) which states that first time buyers should receive 100% mortgages. Of course such a seemingly well meaning policy aspiration became reality some 30 years later and poured fuel onto the most recent boom/bust cycle. Damned if you do…

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung Tue, 30 Mar 2010 15:39:31

    […] Irish Labour Party: The Party Programme […]

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: casanovas barcelona Wed, 07 Nov 2012 12:44:12

    My brother suggested I may like this web site. He was once entirely right. This submit actually made my day. You can not consider just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    Reply on the CLR