|Date:||6th August 1976|
|Publication:||The Bottom Dog|
|Issue:||Volume 3, Number 70|
|Contributors:||Dave Lee, Jim McNamara, Pat O'Connor|
|Discuss:||Comments on this document|
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This periodical, of which a number were donated on behalf of Mick Ahern and Tom Hayes to the Left Archive - for which we’re extremely grateful, is a fascinating addition. The paper which was published on a very regular basis had the subheading that it was ‘the working class paper of North Munster’.
From the striking cover image, a photograph of then Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave sitting in the turret of an armoured car to a broad ranging contents from local activism on the union front, issues of state repression and more international issues including boycotts on South Africa and the situation in Chile.
The editorial notes that:
The Bottom Dog is not a platform for any political party or faction. It is rather a forum open to all workers who wish to contribute articles or ideas etc. The paper covers issues where the working class is under attack or on the advance e.g. Redundancies, unemployment, wage freezes and attacks on workers’ rights, repression, sex discrimination and womens’ rights, strikes, sit-ins and trade unionisation, especially when they relate to, affect, teach lessons or show the way forward for workers in this country.
Mick Ahern also offers the following thoughts on the periodical:
It was a collective of sorts…the prime mover according to my recollection was Joe Harrington. Joe had a keen sense of commitment and was determined to build. Some of those involved were Labour Left while others were ex-members of Official Sinn Fein (mainly IRSP) - Joe Harrington (Limerick) , Tom Hayes (Castleconnell & Shannon), Aileen Dillane, Jim Curtin, Dave Lee, Paddy Kenneally (Ennis) and Padraig Malone. Nationally it was the time of the Heavy Gang, the attempt to destroy the IRSP at birth… At that time Labour in Limerick was personified by Jim Kemmy. Jim was regarded as a supporter of BICO by some… Many felt that it would be desirable to develop an alternative left. The Bottom Dog had excellent contacts in the Local Trade Unions and community organisations. Then there was the recent experiences of Czechoslovakia and Chile and the arrival of a number of Chilean emigres in the area.
What is perhaps most notable apart from the varied nature of the content is the quality of the production. More copies will be posted online over the rest of the year.