Irish Socialism Study

Over the Summer I am going to do a study of the Irish Socialist Movement, I am doing this for three reasons.

1. While I generally find while American plastic paddies to be gross, I am of Irish descent and its a part of my family history. I am alive because some of my ancestors had to flee the potato famine, this draws me to that history.


2. I know more about the Irish socialist movement, and Irish history in general, than I do about that of any other country save for America’s. This base knowledge will allow me to jump into the history without having to muck about with the introductory texts.


With this base knowledge I can start my research with a few questions:

On the 1917-1918 period:

  1. What was the relationship between Irish nationalism/republicanism and the socialist and trade union/workers movement?
  2. What was the relationship between Irish nationalism/republicanism and the Soviets?
  3. How did the workers and socialists view nationalism, how did this differ from how Irish capitalists viewed it?
  4. Why did the Irish Soviets never come to power? What was the relationship of the trade unions and the Soviets?
  5. The Limerick Soviet was a response to British clampdowns in response to IRA activity, what was the relationship between the IRA and the Soviets?
  6. How did the Irish revolution relate to the diaspora?
  7. What role did sectarianism play in the period?


On the troubles:

  1. Why did the troubles happen, how did this shape the socialist movement both North and South?
  2. Was cross sectarian class struggle possible in this period?
  3. What was the Provisional IRA, what classes did it represent what was its project?
  4. How did native Irish workers relate to the IRA, how did English workers relate to the loyalist paramilitaries?
  5. What class struggles emerged during the Troubles, did they represent a path to cross sectarian solidarity?
  6. What are the potentials for class struggle since Good Friday? Are they better, or worse than before?

Any source recommendations are welcomed!

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