Democratic Socialist Party (Ireland)
The Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) was a small left-wing political party in the Republic of Ireland. The party was formed by a merger of Jim Kemmy's Limerick Socialist Organisation and the Socialist Party of Ireland. Jim Kemmy was an Irish politician and member of Dáil Éireann. He left the Labour Party in 1972. A number of members of the British and Irish Communist Organisation also joined the party.
|Founder and leader||Jim Kemmy|
|Merger of||Limerick Socialist Organisation |
Socialist Party of Ireland
|Merged into||Labour Party|
The party had a political stance to the left of the Labour Party, and was strongly opposed to nationalist positions regarding Northern Ireland. Journalist Brian Trench claimed the DSP shared "the anti-republicanism and economism" of the 1980s Workers' Party, despite disagreeing with the WP on other issues. In 1983 the party made submissions to the New Ireland Forum reflecting its non-nationalist position. It also held a strongly secularist position, opposing the influence of the Catholic Church on issues such as contraception, divorce and abortion.
The party never held any Dáil seats other than Kemmy's seat in Limerick East. Outside of Limerick City its membership was very small, although its positions on Northern Ireland and the Catholic Church attracted members of the British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO) to it. In 1982, the Socialist Party of Ireland joined.
A number of former members became successful electorally with the Labour Party such as Limerick TD Jan O'Sullivan, Dublin TD Michael Conaghan who was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 2004 and TD Eamonn Maloney. The historian John de Courcy Ireland was also a member of the party and a candidate in the 1984 European elections.
List of the DSP electoral candidatesEdit
|Election||Candidate||Constituency||1st Pref. votes||%|
|February 1982 general election||Jim Kemmy||Limerick East||6,502||13.7|
|1982 Dublin West by-election||Michael Conaghan||Dublin West||667||1.6|
|November 1982 general election|
|Garry O'Sullivan||Cork South-Central||369||0.8|
|Philip O'Connor||Dublin North-Central||224||0.6|
|Séamus Rattigan||Dublin South-Central||303||0.7|
|Denis O'Connor||Dublin South||479||0.9|
|Michael Conaghan||Dublin West||476||1.0|
|John de Courcy Ireland||Dún Laoghaire||1,036||2.1|
|Jim Kemmy||Limerick East||4,125||8.7|
|1984 European Parliament election||John de Courcy Ireland||Dublin||5,350||1.9|
|1987 general election|
|Philip O'Connor||Dublin North-Central||681||1.6|
|Eamonn Maloney||Dublin South-West||223||0.5|
|Michael Conaghan||Dublin West||600||1.2|
|Jim Kemmy||Limerick East||5,920||11.9|
|1989 general election|
|Michael Conaghan||Dublin West||668||1.4|
|Jim Kemmy||Limerick East||9,168||19.8|
General election resultsEdit
|Election||Seats won||±||Position||First Pref votes||%||Government||Leader|
0 / 166
|None||7,012||0.4%||No Seats||Jim Kemmy|
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- Peter Barberis; John McHugh; Mike Tyldesley; Helen Pendry (2000). Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations: Parties, Groups and Movements of the 20th Century. A&C Black. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-8264-5814-8.
- The Dynamics of Irish Politics by Paul Bew, Ellen Hazelkorn, Henry Patterson, (1989).
- "Radical Fragments in a Southern Wilderness", Brian Trench, Fortnight Magazine, no. 196 (Jul/Aug),1983 pp. 5–6.
- John de Courcy Ireland Elections Ireland website