A United Ireland: A Working Class Demand
Date:October 1986
Organisation: Trade Unionists for Irish Unity and Independence
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

5th April 2010

Here is a document from Trade Unionists for Irish Unity and Independence, printed in October 1986. TUIUI was an organisation, that as noted in the Introduction, was set up in 1984 in Dublin. It was ‘not a political party… On the contrary the sponsors of TUIUI are members of different political parties and organisations, or of none. They would probably all describe themselves as socialists, using the term in the broadest sense, who share a common view on the national question and partition, in particular.’

And as the document continues…

What is this view? It is the classical one, advanced by James Connolly, the great Irish labour leader and theoretician. Connolly argued that the two central issues in Ireland, national independence and the emancipation of the working class were complementary, rather than antagonistic. Accordingly, achieving national independence in Ireland was a prerequisite to the ultimate goal of a Workers’ Republic.

As also noted the document was directed towards a British audience, ‘as the interest in Ireland within the British trade union and labour movement has increased in recent years and there is a need for them to hear an authentic Irish trade union voice’.

A list of individual sponsors gives some indication of the support base for TUIUI, Des Bonass (ATGWU), Phil Flynn (LGPSU), Anne Speed (ITGWU), Matt Merrigan (ATGWU and President of ICTU) and so on.

In terms of policy approaches the TUIUI links to the McBride Principles as well as arguing that:

The British Government must be pressed to disengage from Ireland. The British Labour Party must be committed to unconditional support for a united Ireland. It must drop the undemocratic ‘unity by consent’ position. This necessitate an increase in the educational campaign i the British trade union and Labour Movement. … There should be further support for the existing organisations, such as the Labour Committee on Ireland, the Connolly Association, the Campaign to End Interference in Irish Affairs and others who are trying to stimulate debate on the question.

All told another useful addition to the Archive.


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  • By: Jim Monaghan Mon, 05 Apr 2010 14:17:10

    This organisation was really restricted to Trade Union Officials. Aside from this and maybe one or two other publications it was not a campaigning organisation.One thing I regret to say is that many Trade Union officials from both right an dleft regard only themselves as the “real” members. The actual membership are more in the nature of subscribers.

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  • By: Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung Tue, 06 Apr 2010 09:25:55

    […] Trade Unionists for Irish Unity and Independence (TUIUI): A United Ireland: A Working Class Demand […]

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  • By: Joe Wed, 07 Apr 2010 10:20:07

    “It must drop the undemocratic ‘unity by consent’ position.”

    Good to see that at least two of the sponors of this document (Anne Speed and Phil Flynn) have since copped on to the error of their ways on this point at least.

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  • By: gerard Wed, 20 Oct 2010 21:41:28

    i think if there was an united ireland there would be more peace now days i.e walk anywhere you want like when i walk home from school i wonder when i walk past the shankill i wonder ‘could i walk up there 1 day when ireland is free’ if i waalked up nowdays i know i would get killed

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