Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist–Leninist)

The Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist–Leninist) was an anti-revisionist political party based in Ireland. It had strong links to the Party of Labour of Albania, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist) and Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist).

Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist–Leninist)
Páirtí Cumannach na hÉireann
Founded1965 (1965)
Dissolved2003 (2003)
Political positionFar-left

History edit

Background edit

CPI (ML) originated from the "Internationalists in Ireland", a group started on 9 December 1965 by Hardial Bains, while he was working as a microbiologist at Trinity College, Dublin.[2] His efforts culminated in the "Necessity for Change" conference, at which delegates from Canada, India, Ireland and Britain pledged to build Marxist–Leninist parties in their countries. They rejected Nikita Khrushchev's policies, which they regarded as revisionist, and followed a Marxist–Leninist course.[3] In 1968, the Internationalists came to public attention as they organised a protest against the visit of King Baudouin of Belgium to Trinity College.[4] In 1969, they renamed themselves the Irish Communist Movement (Marxist–Leninist).[1] On 4 July 1970 they relaunched themselves as the CPI (ML), with Michael Hehir named as the 'leading national spokesman.'[5] The ICM opposed the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.[6]

CPI (ML) participated in the 1974 UK parliamentary election. It had candidates in three constituencies in Northern Ireland.[7] In total they got 540 votes, between 0.2%-0.5% in each constituency.[8][9][10] CPI (ML) member David Vipond stood in the 1973 Monaghan by-election, receiving 157 first preference votes.[11] Vipond later stood for election in Dublin along with other CPI (ML) members.

CPI (ML) ran a bookstore in Dublin called Progressive Books and Periodicals at 25 Essex St, Dublin 8.[12][13] For a short period in 1970, CPI (ML) had bookshops in Limerick (11 Castle Parade, Nicholas Street, opposite King John's Castle)[14] and Cork (1 Cattle Market Street (later Blarney Street), off Shandon Street).[15] In the early 1970s, the group's General Secretary was Carole Reakes.[16]

Hoxhaism edit

Red Patriot, CPI (ML) organ

CPI (ML) originally upheld Mao Zedong Thought - particularly in the 1970-71 period during which entire issues of Red Patriot were dedicated to Mao Zedong but they flatly rejected Mao Zedong after the Sino-Albanian split of 1978, after which they upheld the writings of Albanian leader Enver Hoxha.[1][17] The CPI (ML) organised several delegations to Albania, beginning in June 1979, (when the delegation met Ramiz Alia); CPI (ML) delegations there continued during the 80s.[1] The CPI (ML) also supported the communist movements of Vietnam and Cambodia.[18] They also expressed some support for the Gang of Four faction in China.[19]

The Troubles edit

The CPI (ML) were strongly critical of other Irish left-wing parties, including the Workers' Party,[20] Irish Labour Party[21] and the Communist Party of Ireland, whom the CPI (ML) accused of being "revisionist" and of not supporting the IRA's campaign in the North.[22][23][3] They were especially hostile to Brendan Clifford and his British and Irish Communist Organisation, whose support for the Partition of Ireland and the British Army in Northern Ireland the CPI (ML) regarded as a complete betrayal of Maoism.[24][3][25]

The CPI (ML) supported armed struggle for the reunification of Ireland and initiated the Spirit of Freedom Committee to work with Irish republicans.[26] Other groups created by the party were the Workers and Unemployed Movement[27] and the Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist–Leninist).[13]

In the early 1980s, the CPI (ML) was a major force in the students' union movement, with member Brendan Doris becoming president of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI),[28] while member Tommy Graham became president of the College of Technology (Bolton Street) Students' Union.[29] Tommy Graham is the current editor of History Ireland.[30]

Later years edit

With the collapse of socialism in Albania, the CPI (ML) opened up relations with the Workers' Party of Korea and signed the 1992 Pyongyang Declaration.[31] General Secretary Rod Eley visited North Korea in 1999.[32] In 2003 CPI (ML) was disbanded, following a long period of passivity. Upon dissolution, the general secretary of CPI (ML) was Rod Eley. Following the group's dissolution, former leading member Brendan Doris stood in the 2011 Dublin West by-election for An Chomhdháil Phobail/The People's Convention (CPPC),[33] achieving 95 first preference votes.[34]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Maoism in the Developed World by Robert Jackson Alexander. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 0-275-96148-6, (p.103)
  2. ^ Trinity Tales: Trinity College Dublin in the Sixties edited by Sebastian Balfour, Laurie Howes, Michael De Larrabeiti and Anthony Weale. Lilliput Press,2009. (p. 265-66)
  3. ^ a b c "Communiqué of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist)". Red Patriot. Vol. 6, no. 3–4. Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). 1 August 1982. p. 6 (part I). Retrieved 9 April 2024 – via The revionists had subverted and liquidated the old Communist Party of Ireland during the 1940s, and turned into a headquarters of Kruschevite revisionism during the 1950s by following Kruschev's line of the "peaceful, parliamentary road to socialism in the capitalist countries", supporting the transformation of the Soviet Union into an aggressive social imperialist power, supporting its policies of contention against U.S. imperialism towards world war and its policies of collusion with U.S. imperialism for the suppression of the revolutions for national liberation and socialism.
  4. ^ "Students demonstrate during Royal visit", The Irish Times 16 May 1968 (p. 11)
  5. ^ Red Patriot, Vol.2, no.9, 6 July 1970
  6. ^ Red Patriot magazine, 28 August 1969
  7. ^ "October 1974 General Election - Parties - Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)". Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  8. ^ "1974 - October 1974 General Election - Belfast West". Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  9. ^ "1974 - October 1974 General Election - Fermanagh and South Tyrone". Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  10. ^ "1974 - October 1974 General Election - South Down". Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  11. ^ " 20th Dail By Elections - Monaghan First Preference Votes". Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  12. ^ "Progressive Books" (PDF). Marxist-Leninist Weekly. Vol. 19, no. 21. Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). p. 4. Retrieved 9 April 2024 – via Progressive Books - 25 Essex Quay, Dublin 8 ... Literature of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)
  13. ^ a b "Youth of Ireland, TAKE UP OUR NATION'S JUST STRUGGLE FOR UNITY AND FREEDOM!". Communist Youth League of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). 11 May 2015 [1989]. Retrieved 9 April 2024 – via Published by the Communist Youth League of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) Contactable c/o Progressive Books, 25 Essex Quay (by Capel St. Bridge), Dublin 8
  14. ^ The Irish Independent, 5 October 1970
  15. ^ The Examiner, 3 July 1970
  16. ^ Red Patriot, 14 July 1972.
  17. ^ "Paws for thought". Irish Times. 29 September 2012. Archived from the original on 9 April 2024. Retrieved 9 April 2024. Maybe, in 1970, even the dogs in the street could tell that the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) was beginning to drift away from its staunch support for the chairman. Come the Sino-Albanian split of 1978, the party would side with Enver Hoxha's Albanian brand of Communism.
  18. ^ Red Patriot, 7 April 1975
  19. ^ "Political and Pressure Groups", Magill magazine, 1 October 1977.
  20. ^ "Communiqué of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist)". Red Patriot. p. 6 (part III). Retrieved 9 April 2024 – via The promotion of revisionist lines to conciliate and collaborate with revisionists, social-democrats and opportunists, and, in general, with labour aristocracy controlling the trade unions, under the hoax that this was "repudiating the main error of CPI(M-L)'s past under the Maoist influence", "left sectarianism", which became a trend in articles on the workers' struggle in "Red Patriot" during 1979, in particular for a short time support for the slogan of the labour aristocracy in the campaign against the burden of P.A.Y.E. income tax, "Tax the Greedy, not the Needy" which had been developed by the revisionist so-called "Sinn Féin The Workers' Party".
  21. ^ Red Patriot, 6 December 1975
  22. ^ Michael Gallagher, Political Parties in the Republic of Ireland, Manchester University Press, 1985 ISBN 0719017971, (p.98).
  23. ^ Red Patriot, 19 July 1975
  24. ^ "Differentiate between sham and genuine Marxism–Leninism to unite the revolutionary forces and defeat the enemy : British and Irish 'Communist' Organisation- Trotskyite thugs, sham Marxist–Leninists and agents of British imperialism." CPI (ML) Pamphlet, 1975.
  25. ^ "Communiqué of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist)". Red Patriot. Vol. 6, no. 3–4. Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). pp. 6 (part III). Retrieved 9 April 2024 – via It was an attempt to liquidate the healthy and essential revolutionary activity of CPI(M-L), bring the Party to complete halt through this reactionary "debate", and through liquidationism create the internal conditions most favourable for the revisionists to to[sic] lead the CPI(M-L) down the path of the revisionists of the so-called "communist" Party of Ireland and the "British and Irish Communist Organisation " towards the betrayal of the working class and the Irish people and the Irish revolution itself -- revisionists lines which CPI(M-L) has always resolutely fought since its foundation.
  26. ^ "PROTEST AGAINST BRITAIN'S CRIMES AGAINST IRISH PEOPLE!". Marxist-Leninist Weekly. Vol. 18, no. 3. Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). 3 February 1988. p. 1 – via Organised by the Spirit of Freedom Committee
  27. ^ "Meeting - WORKERS AND UNEMPLOYED MOVEMENT - Fight 'Free' state pay freeze". Marxist-Leninist Weekly. Vol. 15, no. 23. Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). 4 September 1985. p. 1 – via
  28. ^ Leahy, Jack (15 July 2012). "USI training speakers criticised". Retrieved 9 April 2024. Labour Party press officer Shauneen Armstrong bluntly added 'I don't think I would like to learn whatever it is that O'Rourke would have to teach', while Brendan Doris, president of USI between 1981 and 1983, stated 'Ruarí Quinn signing the pledge on student fees must be a clue [as] to where "lobbying political representatives" gets you!'
  29. ^ "Student Handbook and Diary ; Bolton Street, 1981 - 1982". Dublin Institute of Technology Bolton Street: Dublin Institute of Technology Students' Union. 1981. p. 8. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - The Executive Committee is made up of President - Tommy Graham...
  30. ^ "About History Ireland". History Ireland. Retrieved 9 April 2024. Editor - Tommy Graham, Griffith College, Dublin. Contact:
  31. ^ "Past news". 4 March 1999. Retrieved 9 April 2024. The Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) signed the Pyongyang Declaration on February 15, bringing the number of signatories to 242.
  32. ^ "News Dispatches". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2009.
  33. ^ "Leaflet from Brendan Doris - 2011 Dublin West By-Election". 16 October 2011. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  34. ^ RTE website Archived 29 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine