The Irish Case Against Partition
Date:1956
Organisation: Connolly Association
Author:Desmond Greaves
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

20th September 2021

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive, a 38 pages long document issued by the Connolly Association in 1956. Written by Desmond Greaves the pamphlet sets out ‘Full Facts and Programme of Action’ against Partition.

The document is organised under a range of headings into an Introduction; History of Ireland with corresponding sub-sections; Economic Results; Political Results; What Others Say; How to End Partition and a Conclusion.

The Introduction offers:

A special word is perhaps needed to the English reader. While the study of History is a commonplace to every Irishman and requires no explanation or justification, the tradition of England is to let the past take care of itself. There are advantages in both attitudes. But to understand partition both are needed. The situation in Ireland is so complex that it is hopeless to attempt to grasp it whiteout seeing how it came into being step by step.

It also asks ‘Can the border question be settled by agreement? That issue will present itself to every mind. There are reasons to believe that agreement ism ore possible now than ever before’.

The range of areas covered include Unemployment; the cost of Partition; Sectarianism; British Labour Politics; Civil Liberties, Leftist Arguments. Interestingly under How to End Partition the subheadings include Immediate Demands amongst which are listed:

The recognition of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish T.U.C. and the repeal of the Trades Disputes Act by the Northern Ireland Government.

Restoration of Proportional Representation to end gerrymandering.

Disbandment of the ‘B’ Specials and pending that the suspension of all ‘patrols’.

The wiping out of all ‘Special Powers’.

The repeal of those parts of the 1949 Ireland Act which place restrictions on the power to end partition (the part recognising the Republic should, of course, stand).

The Conclusion asks:

Therefore let all the Irish in Britain combine with and win the British working class to wage a continuous and intensifying war against the partition of Ireland. When that has gone, and Ireland strides forward to prosperity, the Irish question will have been answered, and the interests of the two peoples will never again seem to be at variance, for antagonism will be replaced by co-operation, mutual suspicion by mutual help.

The pamphlet also outlines the Irish Democrat paper, noting that it is ‘one of the most startling co-operative enterprises in Britain’ intended to ‘educate public opinion, especially the Labour Movement, in support of ending of partition of Ireland so as to make possible the industrial, social and political development of that country as a single independent unit.’

There’s also an outline on the back page of ‘The Irish Flag and what it means’ noting the connection to the Paris Commune in 1848 and cautions:

[between Orange and Green] was the White. This meant not merely peace between the two sections. It was the colour of REPUBLICANISM or Jacobinism as it was called. This was summarised in the words ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’…

The Irish flag means that PROVIDED you have liberty, equality and fraternity, there can be permanent peace between Orange and Green.

That is why republicans of all nations honour the Irish flag.

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  • By: EWI Mon, 20 Sep 2021 13:37:11

    It’s unfortunate that there has been litigation around the Greaves circle, which therefore causes people to need to step warily; a good history is long overdue.

    Reply on the CLR