Years Active:1971
Groups & Sections: InfoAubane Historical Society  … Close Association
Athol Books  … Publishing Imprint
Northwest Labour Publications  … Publishing Imprint
The Workers' Association  (1972) … Close Association
  Documents in Archive:18
  Publications:Workers' Weekly, The Northern Star, The Irish Communist, The Communist, Irish Political Review, Communist Comment, Comment, Church and State
  Precursor:Irish Communist Organisation
  Other Related Organisations: Communist Organisation in the British Isles, Campaign for Labour Representation, Socialists Against Nationalism
Timeline:View in the timeline of the Irish left
Discuss:Comments on this organisation


The British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO) was a communist party led by Brendan Clifford and based largely in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and London. It developed from the earlier Irish Communist Organisation (ICO).

BICO produced a large number of publications, under the BICO name as well as several publishing imprints. Its activity in Northern Ireland was largely through the Workers’ Association.

BICO adhered to a “two Nations” position on Northern Ireland, which supported the autonomy of Unionist NI from the Irish state. Its members had a prominent role in the Campaign for Labour Representation (which sought to get the British Labour party to run in Northern Ireland) and Socialists Against Nationalism,

Members were also involved in the foundation of the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), and later in the Labour Coalition (which represented Left and Labour groups in the NI peace process), though by that time the BICO name was essentially defunct.

As the activity of BICO declined in the 1990s, members subsequent activities are largely through the publications of Athol Books, the Aubane Historical Society, and the Ernest Bevin Society in the UK.

Other names, groups or sections

  • Aubane Historical Society

    The Aubane Historical Society was originally formed as a local history organisation, but expanded to publications opposing the “revisionist” movement in Irish history. It publishes work from former B&ICO members Brendan Clifford, Jack Lane and others.

  • Athol Books

    Athol Books is the publishing imprint originally associated with BICO, though continuing after BICO essentially dissolved. It publishes Church & State and Irish Political Review.

  • The Workers' Association

    The Workers’ Association was established by the British and Irish Communist Organisation in Northern Ireland in 1972. It published Workers Weekly. Though generally using the shorter title, the group’s full name was Workers’ Association for the Democratic Settlement of the National Conflict in Ireland.


British and Irish Communist Organisation

ISNIInfo0000 0001 0068 886X 
WikipediaBritish and Irish Communist Organisation 

Aubane Historical Society

WikipediaAubane Historical Society 

Athol Books


The Workers' Association



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Related Material

Items about British and Irish Communist Organisation.


A list of known publications from British and Irish Communist Organisation, including those not represented in the Irish Left Archive collection.

A Belfast Magazine19861995Athol Books
Church and State: A Journal of Secular Opinion1980 c.Athol Books
Comment: For the working class - the class that holds the future in its hands1973 c.1983 c.British and Irish Communist Organisation
Communist Comment1969 c.1973 c.Irish Communist Organisation, British and Irish Communist Organisation
Communist Review1974British and Irish Communist Organisation
Communist Times19751976 c.British and Irish Communist Organisation
Communist, The19671986Irish Communist Organisation, British and Irish Communist Organisation
Heresiarch, The: A journal of anti-theology19921999 [Irregular]Athol Books
Irish Communist, The: A theoretical journal of the British and Irish Communist Organisation19651986British and Irish Communist Organisation
Irish Political Review1986Athol Books
Northern Star, The: Incorporating Workers' Weekly19882004 c.Athol Books
Two Nations, The19711974 c.The Workers' Association
Worker, The [BICO]1969British and Irish Communist Organisation
Workers' Weekly: Workers' Association Bulletin19721988The Workers' Association


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