UK state and Northern Ireland

John O'Neill johnfergaloneill at
Wed Feb 19 17:34:47 MST 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: Danielle Ni Dhighe <danielle at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 10:18 PM
Subject: Re:UK state and Northern Ireland

> At 08:01 AM 2/18/2003, James Daly wrote:
>  >When I point to the obvious facts of the present
>  >situation of partition, I am told that there is
>  >a virtual reality which is totally different, a
>  >united Ireland, which is just around the corner.
> If it is achieved, it won't be the socialist republic so many fought and
> died for, it will be a neo-liberal state within an EU which will be much
> more federalised than it is today.  Sinn Fein is estimating twenty years
> for a united Ireland, in which they see themselves as a dominant party,
> certainly not as the vanguard of socialism some still consider them.
> Danielle Ni Dhighe


Lets be honest, the Provisional Republican Movement always argued  their
primary goal was the unification of Ireland. That is why their movement
often had such diverse political strands and was ambiguous enough to garner
support from both the left and more conservative America. The ending of the
"Long War" and the entry into the Peace Process has required their movement
to consider their political ideology more seriously. The fight for the (IMO)
vague "Socialist Republic" sits uneasily with being in a powersharing
administration. I am sure all their present contradictions are making for
some extremely interesting internal debate and I am also sure there are
socialists within SF contributing to this debate. In the next 10 years they
could be the second biggest Party in the South and the largest Nationalist
Party in the North or they could fracture, the left going one way and the
more pragmatic merging with Fianna Fail the Republican Party(sic). They are
presently a relevant, radical political force in Ireland and deserve serious
analysis from the left. Domhnall assures us their youth section is dominated
by socialists and I have no reason to disbelieve what he says, but it is
very difficult for people outside SF to know what their strategies are
short, medium and long term and, more importantly, the power blocs that
struggle within SF.

A United Ireland may be around the corner but a Socialist Republic is down a
road that has yet to be built. Will SF be happy turning the corner or are
are they in for the long haul laying foundations for a socialist future?



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