Bill O'Brien  A conference was held by the Connolly Youth Movement to discuss their affiliation with the Communist Party of Ireland, with a decision taken to disaffiliate. 

16 reasons were given for disaffiliation and it is claimed it was accepted by 75% of the membership. This has to be most significant for the Left in Ireland as the Connolly Youth Movement is the oldest youth movement with socialist credentials.

It was founded in 1965 by less than 10 members. On the Communist Party website, Socialist Voice, a brief outline of its foundation was detailed. It provides the names of individuals who are involved, some of whom are still members of the Communist Party. It explains the enthusiasm of young people in Ireland that was generated by the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the 1916 rising. And it further details all the factions and individuals that made up well attended meetings in Pembroke Lane, premises of The Irish Workers Party, later to become the Communist Party of Ireland.

It briefly outlines the splits that took place in the initial years. Different Trotskyite tendencies, mainly from British groups trying to poach members, that went away to form their own groupings. Michael O’Riordan and the Communists managed to maintain most of the membership. In 1970 The Irish Workers Party amalgamated with the Communist Party of Northern Ireland. The Young Communist League in the North and the Connolly Youth Movement merged. This left only one Moscow aligned youth movement existing in Ireland.

The most serious of all the splits was from a group of leading members who formed the British and Irish Communist Organisation (B&ICO), One of the main Protagonist in all of this was Manus, son of the general secretary of the Communist Party, Michael O’Riordan. This organisation causes absolute mayhem on the left in Ireland. Their members influenced the Labour Party, trades unions, the Official Republican Movement and other socialist groups, like the Limerick Socialist Group. They supported right-wing Unionist groups like the UDA, and condemned anyone in sympathy with an anti-imperialist position on the National question. They supported the Ulster Workers Strike that brought down the power-sharing executive - this was a fascist exercise. They were variously opposed to the Hunger Strikers, saying they were criminals and not political prisoners. They were an extremely effective group that had greater influence then members.

They also supported anti-working-class policies within the trade union movement, encouraging people to support National Wage Agreements. The pro-imperialists and capitalists could not have had better allies. The establishment loved them. And on foreign policy they, at a time, supported Israel.

The paragraph below is from Socialist Voice January 6th 2021:

A more serious and organised challenge came from the so-called Irish Communist Organisation (later renamed British and Irish Communist Organisation). They had some fairly “heavyweight” Marxist-Leninist would-be gurus, who devised the notorious “two-nations theory.” Though they subsequently moved away from this position, they did enormous damage. This was limited in the CYM because of the ideological strength primarily of the IWP and its members in the CYM but very serious in the influence they weaved for this reactionary pro-imperialist analysis in the labour and trade union movement, specifically in the Labour Party, Democratic Socialist Party, and, most damaging, in the SFWP/Workers’ Party.

Some of these reactionary revisionists are still masquerading as socialists today. One of the main places of refuge for these revisionists are organisations that commemorate the Spanish Civil War. They have literally made an industry out of this; it gives them an element of respectability in their old age. Even the history of the Spanish Civil War can be distorted by them, with serious incidents omitted like the fighting between the Irish and British groups; dealing with why the Irish left the British Oliver Cromwell Battalion and move to the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion. The Irish were the victims of British anti-Irish Jingoistic Chauvinism, which anyone from Ireland that lived in England may have suffered on a daily basis. One of the British Battalion was an ex-Black and Tan and a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. If future generations are to learn lessons, these details cannot be overlooked or deliberately ignored.

In the 1970s the CYM could be seen participating in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and in support of the native people in South Africa. They gave support to the Civil Rights Movement in America also. Mag Davison their general secretary, was also the secretary for the North of Ireland Civil Rights Association. They participated in anti-internment demonstrations in the 26 and 6 counties, but did not join any military group.

They supported the Five Demands for the H-Block Prisoners in the early 80s. They encouraged their members to take positions in the Trade Union Movement and become fulltime officials. From the 90s onwards until quite recently they were pretty much non-existent and so was the Communist Party. In very recent years they appeared to be rejuvenating branches in Cork, Belfast, Dublin. Plus, one or two members in Galway, Derry, Limerick, Waterford and a few individuals elsewhere. The annual conference in Belfast in early 2020 appeared to be well attended and conducted in a business-like manner, engaging in intelligent debates. 

This makes it all the more surprising and disappointing that they appear to be having internal differences just now. So, let's examine the 16 criticisms.  See the 16 points of critique listed by the Connolly Youth Movement, followed by some italicised observations from myself.

1 ➽ The Communist Party of Ireland is dominated by a clique surrounding the main leadership that marginalises people with differing views on a regular basis, through methods that often amount to bullying. Isolation is used as a tool to remove good communists who are deemed inconvenient as individuals, in order to prevent dissent from amassing, and to keep others in line. Some who have left due to this pressure have made long-lasting and significant contributions to the Irish Communist Movement.

This is a relevant and fair criticism of what has been a long-standing practice throughout the CP’s history. It is a practice also common in other left-wing groups - like being excommunicated from some religious sect. 

The CPI Dublin and Cork secretaries introduced bans on CYM members from joining the CPI in 2020, which was overturned by the Cork branch membership but later upheld by the NEC. This was first claimed to be the result of a lack of face-to-face interview possibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the reasoning behind this changed repeatedly over the course of several months, exposing the clique’s dishonesty and factionalism. It has been made clear that it was a cynical attempt to halt an influx of new members in order to maintain the status quo for factional ends. The CYM was accused of “entryism” into the CPI. 

It is an absurd claim that there is something abnormal about a youth organisation encouraging their members to go on to play a role in their affiliated party. The regional secretary of the Northern Area encouraged CYM members to join the party in 2020, showing that other elements in the party attempted to distort and poison this request for higher involvement.

 This is quite a profound statement, which clearly shows a lack of understanding of Democratic Centralism on the part of the CPI leadership, which has more in common with the hierarchical structures of the Catholic Church. The Pope must reside in Essex Street and all roads lead to Dublin! 

➽ In 2020, the clique ceased to advise younger CPI recruits to join the CYM. 

 It would be interesting to get the current general secretary’s comments on that. 

 The clique and its leader repeatedly attempted to convince dual members in the CYM to act factionally, and by the end of 2020, had either expelled or planned to refuse to re-register the majority of them in January due to their opposition to this. 

 At this stage the problem is becoming clearer. The general secretary is discreetly identified as the Pope in all of this. To be fair, some of his closest cardinals seem to be getting away too lightly.

5  The CPI constitution does not contain any mention of the Connolly Youth Movement; therefore, collaboration could be discontinued by the clique’s leadership at any time, and this was used to local tactical effect as means of pressure. This drew fundamental questions about the inclusion of affiliation in the CYM constitution without any path to redress. 

 So, the Connolly Youth Movement was never part of the CPI - a bit like saying the Pope was never a Catholic.

6  The clique suppresses views it deems incorrect without discussing them and hands out suspensions to those who disagree with them, despite lacking consistency in what it deems incorrect. We understand this to be completely contrary to the principles of democratic centralism. 

 It most certainly is.

7  The clique puts forward contradictory political positions on such central pillars of our movement as socialist-republicanism and democratic centralism, ultimately interpreting them based on whatever’s convenient at the time through the deference of collective political interest to an arbitrary and top-down factional interest. 

 I think it’s time to stop calling them “the clique” - they are the CPI central committee and the political committee rolled into one. They have a problem with republicanism because in the past they had a base within the working-class Unionist community. Which means on the National Question they have to talk through the two sides of their mouth, which is a position impossible to maintain for long. Their trade union group, Trademarks, attempted to rejuvenate the workings of the white-supremacist, pro-imperialist Unionist Orangeman, William Walker, to an acceptable position in modern history. This exposed CP members in the trade union movement, in the occupied zone, for what they are. We mustn’t forget that Connolly dealt with this individual in his famous Connolly/Walker Controversy. Connolly, it should be remembered, also put a Union Jack on the steps of a conference hall in Belfast so that Walker would have to "walk on it" upon "entering the hall, which Walker refused to do."

8 ➽ The clique has spent a significant amount of its time engaged in a whispering campaign against the Connolly Youth Movement and its members, while simultaneously refusing to raise any of these issues with the Connolly Youth Movement in bilateral meetings. This has led to concrete cases of lost opportunities for the CYM in its work. 

 That is absolutely disgraceful and it’s not only the members of the current CYM movement who are victims of such whispering campaigns. An elderly Communist who worked in many a campaign over 50 years and is an ex-member of the YCL in England - but who has differences currently with the CP in Ireland - visited Cuba a few years ago to see a lady friend who he was corresponding with for four years, and was accused of being a” sex tourist”. 

In furtherance of the “sex tourist” smear, a photograph was lifted from the activist’s Facebook page showing him with this woman. She is in fact a high-ranking Cuban doctor who has worked in several South American missions. There is no level these people won’t get down to. So, sympathy to any young person who falls victim to their disgusting tactics.


9 ➽ Branch and national structures are being weaponised to disunify the organisation rather than serving their intended purpose of unifying political action through consensus and effective local feedback. A major element has been the internal denunciation of Northern members as either being too republican or not republican enough, seeking to exploit the complexities of partition to suppress a national area outside the immediate control of the clique around the General Secretary. Similar divide-and-conquer tactics have been used against the Cork branch and other branches. 

 That would be purely internal stuff - outsiders should be reluctant to comment. Not being in the organisation, they are not really in a position to help or advise. It’s sad that young people find themselves in this situation. As for the clique around the general secretary, again it’s the old boys club feeling valuable to the new kids on the block.

10  In private, members of the clique denounce not only their own comrades but also other socialist-republican organisations in a vitriolic manner. 

 Yes, they can be an extremely sectarian group, feeling that they have a greater understanding of dialectics and Marxism, which they claim ownership of in Ireland. No one else is capable of understanding it. Their sectarianism keeps them isolated; they wouldn't want the working-class to join them in any great numbers, and they’re content in their minuscule existence.

11 ➽ A number of CYM members were recently expelled from the CPI as a result of attempting to raise issues with the CPI NEC about bad faith practices in bilateral on the issues facing the movement after it was discovered a committee of National Officers was conducting these bilateral without the knowledge of the CPI NEC and with dishonest intentions. 

 More internal stuff which should be inappropriate for outsiders to comment on. 

12  The clique has led the Party down a narrow, reformist cul-de-sac. It offers no vision, no strategy for realising the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Yes, they have no programme of militant activities in any field whatsoever. Lifeless, gutless and totally ineffective, not involved in any domestic agitation that requires a Communist Party input and guidance.

13  Education sessions organised by the clique are not really education sessions but are ritualistic and circular re-affirmations of loyalty that do not promote critical analysis or dialectical reason 

 Another internal problem that would appear to be most non-educational to say the least! 

14 ➽ The clique has no interest in engaging with the working class and has made this very clear. Ultra-centralisation reinforces the insular nature of the party leadership and their inability to organise, educate and learn from – not to mention lead – the class they claim to represent. This has led to the party having a lower public profile than it could have due to inaction and a failure to grasp the potential of crises. 

 That is a very mature analysis, correct and crystal clear that needs no further comment as it speaks for itself.

15  The clique has made it abundantly clear that the sort of youth organisation it desires is one that it has total and unquestioned control over. Over a number of years, we have come to recognise an irreconcilable contradiction between our historical independence and the wish of the clique to dominate the movement. The CYM chose its autonomy rather than becoming a useless front group for a moribund party. We chose dynamic action and growth over stasis and stagnation. 

♟ You have clearly come to the understanding that some of us old ones came to years ago. Hopefully you get more success than we managed to obtain, Ireland definitely needs you.

16 ➽ Individual members from across the country have repeatedly stressed to members of the Connolly Youth Movement that they sympathise with our frustrations but, ultimately, have not been able to resolve them. While we appreciate their efforts and sentiments, we cannot wait indefinitely while the demands facing us as a communist youth organisation are so urgent. 

Based primarily on the above reasons we believe that, at the present juncture, the interests of young Irish communists will be best served by an autonomous and independent communist youth organisation. In the transition period ahead, internal debate and organisation around the organisation’s future will continue unabated.

We have no doubt that many members of the Communist Party are earnest and dedicated comrades and have no issue in continuing our political relationship with them, as well as those who have left or been forced out of the CPI. As with other communist and socialist-republican organisations, we will continue to co-operate and work with them on any mutual arenas of struggle. 

We will continue to tirelessly struggle for a 32-county socialist republic and to build the Connolly Youth Movement into a radical youth organisation that is present in every county, town and estate.

We have a revolution to build and a world to win and nothing will stop us.

 I totally concur with those sentiments. I give my best wishes to all of you in your continuing work. See you in the field comrades, a field that I never left. Solidarity, Solidarity, Solidarity for ever.

Bill O'Brien is an independent republican.

Is This The End Of The Connolly Youth Movement?

Bill O'Brien  A conference was held by the Connolly Youth Movement to discuss their affiliation with the Communist Party of Ireland, with a decision taken to disaffiliate. 

16 reasons were given for disaffiliation and it is claimed it was accepted by 75% of the membership. This has to be most significant for the Left in Ireland as the Connolly Youth Movement is the oldest youth movement with socialist credentials.

It was founded in 1965 by less than 10 members. On the Communist Party website, Socialist Voice, a brief outline of its foundation was detailed. It provides the names of individuals who are involved, some of whom are still members of the Communist Party. It explains the enthusiasm of young people in Ireland that was generated by the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the 1916 rising. And it further details all the factions and individuals that made up well attended meetings in Pembroke Lane, premises of The Irish Workers Party, later to become the Communist Party of Ireland.

It briefly outlines the splits that took place in the initial years. Different Trotskyite tendencies, mainly from British groups trying to poach members, that went away to form their own groupings. Michael O’Riordan and the Communists managed to maintain most of the membership. In 1970 The Irish Workers Party amalgamated with the Communist Party of Northern Ireland. The Young Communist League in the North and the Connolly Youth Movement merged. This left only one Moscow aligned youth movement existing in Ireland.

The most serious of all the splits was from a group of leading members who formed the British and Irish Communist Organisation (B&ICO), One of the main Protagonist in all of this was Manus, son of the general secretary of the Communist Party, Michael O’Riordan. This organisation causes absolute mayhem on the left in Ireland. Their members influenced the Labour Party, trades unions, the Official Republican Movement and other socialist groups, like the Limerick Socialist Group. They supported right-wing Unionist groups like the UDA, and condemned anyone in sympathy with an anti-imperialist position on the National question. They supported the Ulster Workers Strike that brought down the power-sharing executive - this was a fascist exercise. They were variously opposed to the Hunger Strikers, saying they were criminals and not political prisoners. They were an extremely effective group that had greater influence then members.

They also supported anti-working-class policies within the trade union movement, encouraging people to support National Wage Agreements. The pro-imperialists and capitalists could not have had better allies. The establishment loved them. And on foreign policy they, at a time, supported Israel.

The paragraph below is from Socialist Voice January 6th 2021:

A more serious and organised challenge came from the so-called Irish Communist Organisation (later renamed British and Irish Communist Organisation). They had some fairly “heavyweight” Marxist-Leninist would-be gurus, who devised the notorious “two-nations theory.” Though they subsequently moved away from this position, they did enormous damage. This was limited in the CYM because of the ideological strength primarily of the IWP and its members in the CYM but very serious in the influence they weaved for this reactionary pro-imperialist analysis in the labour and trade union movement, specifically in the Labour Party, Democratic Socialist Party, and, most damaging, in the SFWP/Workers’ Party.

Some of these reactionary revisionists are still masquerading as socialists today. One of the main places of refuge for these revisionists are organisations that commemorate the Spanish Civil War. They have literally made an industry out of this; it gives them an element of respectability in their old age. Even the history of the Spanish Civil War can be distorted by them, with serious incidents omitted like the fighting between the Irish and British groups; dealing with why the Irish left the British Oliver Cromwell Battalion and move to the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion. The Irish were the victims of British anti-Irish Jingoistic Chauvinism, which anyone from Ireland that lived in England may have suffered on a daily basis. One of the British Battalion was an ex-Black and Tan and a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. If future generations are to learn lessons, these details cannot be overlooked or deliberately ignored.

In the 1970s the CYM could be seen participating in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and in support of the native people in South Africa. They gave support to the Civil Rights Movement in America also. Mag Davison their general secretary, was also the secretary for the North of Ireland Civil Rights Association. They participated in anti-internment demonstrations in the 26 and 6 counties, but did not join any military group.

They supported the Five Demands for the H-Block Prisoners in the early 80s. They encouraged their members to take positions in the Trade Union Movement and become fulltime officials. From the 90s onwards until quite recently they were pretty much non-existent and so was the Communist Party. In very recent years they appeared to be rejuvenating branches in Cork, Belfast, Dublin. Plus, one or two members in Galway, Derry, Limerick, Waterford and a few individuals elsewhere. The annual conference in Belfast in early 2020 appeared to be well attended and conducted in a business-like manner, engaging in intelligent debates. 

This makes it all the more surprising and disappointing that they appear to be having internal differences just now. So, let's examine the 16 criticisms.  See the 16 points of critique listed by the Connolly Youth Movement, followed by some italicised observations from myself.

1 ➽ The Communist Party of Ireland is dominated by a clique surrounding the main leadership that marginalises people with differing views on a regular basis, through methods that often amount to bullying. Isolation is used as a tool to remove good communists who are deemed inconvenient as individuals, in order to prevent dissent from amassing, and to keep others in line. Some who have left due to this pressure have made long-lasting and significant contributions to the Irish Communist Movement.

This is a relevant and fair criticism of what has been a long-standing practice throughout the CP’s history. It is a practice also common in other left-wing groups - like being excommunicated from some religious sect. 

The CPI Dublin and Cork secretaries introduced bans on CYM members from joining the CPI in 2020, which was overturned by the Cork branch membership but later upheld by the NEC. This was first claimed to be the result of a lack of face-to-face interview possibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the reasoning behind this changed repeatedly over the course of several months, exposing the clique’s dishonesty and factionalism. It has been made clear that it was a cynical attempt to halt an influx of new members in order to maintain the status quo for factional ends. The CYM was accused of “entryism” into the CPI. 

It is an absurd claim that there is something abnormal about a youth organisation encouraging their members to go on to play a role in their affiliated party. The regional secretary of the Northern Area encouraged CYM members to join the party in 2020, showing that other elements in the party attempted to distort and poison this request for higher involvement.

 This is quite a profound statement, which clearly shows a lack of understanding of Democratic Centralism on the part of the CPI leadership, which has more in common with the hierarchical structures of the Catholic Church. The Pope must reside in Essex Street and all roads lead to Dublin! 

➽ In 2020, the clique ceased to advise younger CPI recruits to join the CYM. 

 It would be interesting to get the current general secretary’s comments on that. 

 The clique and its leader repeatedly attempted to convince dual members in the CYM to act factionally, and by the end of 2020, had either expelled or planned to refuse to re-register the majority of them in January due to their opposition to this. 

 At this stage the problem is becoming clearer. The general secretary is discreetly identified as the Pope in all of this. To be fair, some of his closest cardinals seem to be getting away too lightly.

5  The CPI constitution does not contain any mention of the Connolly Youth Movement; therefore, collaboration could be discontinued by the clique’s leadership at any time, and this was used to local tactical effect as means of pressure. This drew fundamental questions about the inclusion of affiliation in the CYM constitution without any path to redress. 

 So, the Connolly Youth Movement was never part of the CPI - a bit like saying the Pope was never a Catholic.

6  The clique suppresses views it deems incorrect without discussing them and hands out suspensions to those who disagree with them, despite lacking consistency in what it deems incorrect. We understand this to be completely contrary to the principles of democratic centralism. 

 It most certainly is.

7  The clique puts forward contradictory political positions on such central pillars of our movement as socialist-republicanism and democratic centralism, ultimately interpreting them based on whatever’s convenient at the time through the deference of collective political interest to an arbitrary and top-down factional interest. 

 I think it’s time to stop calling them “the clique” - they are the CPI central committee and the political committee rolled into one. They have a problem with republicanism because in the past they had a base within the working-class Unionist community. Which means on the National Question they have to talk through the two sides of their mouth, which is a position impossible to maintain for long. Their trade union group, Trademarks, attempted to rejuvenate the workings of the white-supremacist, pro-imperialist Unionist Orangeman, William Walker, to an acceptable position in modern history. This exposed CP members in the trade union movement, in the occupied zone, for what they are. We mustn’t forget that Connolly dealt with this individual in his famous Connolly/Walker Controversy. Connolly, it should be remembered, also put a Union Jack on the steps of a conference hall in Belfast so that Walker would have to "walk on it" upon "entering the hall, which Walker refused to do."

8 ➽ The clique has spent a significant amount of its time engaged in a whispering campaign against the Connolly Youth Movement and its members, while simultaneously refusing to raise any of these issues with the Connolly Youth Movement in bilateral meetings. This has led to concrete cases of lost opportunities for the CYM in its work. 

 That is absolutely disgraceful and it’s not only the members of the current CYM movement who are victims of such whispering campaigns. An elderly Communist who worked in many a campaign over 50 years and is an ex-member of the YCL in England - but who has differences currently with the CP in Ireland - visited Cuba a few years ago to see a lady friend who he was corresponding with for four years, and was accused of being a” sex tourist”. 

In furtherance of the “sex tourist” smear, a photograph was lifted from the activist’s Facebook page showing him with this woman. She is in fact a high-ranking Cuban doctor who has worked in several South American missions. There is no level these people won’t get down to. So, sympathy to any young person who falls victim to their disgusting tactics.


9 ➽ Branch and national structures are being weaponised to disunify the organisation rather than serving their intended purpose of unifying political action through consensus and effective local feedback. A major element has been the internal denunciation of Northern members as either being too republican or not republican enough, seeking to exploit the complexities of partition to suppress a national area outside the immediate control of the clique around the General Secretary. Similar divide-and-conquer tactics have been used against the Cork branch and other branches. 

 That would be purely internal stuff - outsiders should be reluctant to comment. Not being in the organisation, they are not really in a position to help or advise. It’s sad that young people find themselves in this situation. As for the clique around the general secretary, again it’s the old boys club feeling valuable to the new kids on the block.

10  In private, members of the clique denounce not only their own comrades but also other socialist-republican organisations in a vitriolic manner. 

 Yes, they can be an extremely sectarian group, feeling that they have a greater understanding of dialectics and Marxism, which they claim ownership of in Ireland. No one else is capable of understanding it. Their sectarianism keeps them isolated; they wouldn't want the working-class to join them in any great numbers, and they’re content in their minuscule existence.

11 ➽ A number of CYM members were recently expelled from the CPI as a result of attempting to raise issues with the CPI NEC about bad faith practices in bilateral on the issues facing the movement after it was discovered a committee of National Officers was conducting these bilateral without the knowledge of the CPI NEC and with dishonest intentions. 

 More internal stuff which should be inappropriate for outsiders to comment on. 

12  The clique has led the Party down a narrow, reformist cul-de-sac. It offers no vision, no strategy for realising the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Yes, they have no programme of militant activities in any field whatsoever. Lifeless, gutless and totally ineffective, not involved in any domestic agitation that requires a Communist Party input and guidance.

13  Education sessions organised by the clique are not really education sessions but are ritualistic and circular re-affirmations of loyalty that do not promote critical analysis or dialectical reason 

 Another internal problem that would appear to be most non-educational to say the least! 

14 ➽ The clique has no interest in engaging with the working class and has made this very clear. Ultra-centralisation reinforces the insular nature of the party leadership and their inability to organise, educate and learn from – not to mention lead – the class they claim to represent. This has led to the party having a lower public profile than it could have due to inaction and a failure to grasp the potential of crises. 

 That is a very mature analysis, correct and crystal clear that needs no further comment as it speaks for itself.

15  The clique has made it abundantly clear that the sort of youth organisation it desires is one that it has total and unquestioned control over. Over a number of years, we have come to recognise an irreconcilable contradiction between our historical independence and the wish of the clique to dominate the movement. The CYM chose its autonomy rather than becoming a useless front group for a moribund party. We chose dynamic action and growth over stasis and stagnation. 

♟ You have clearly come to the understanding that some of us old ones came to years ago. Hopefully you get more success than we managed to obtain, Ireland definitely needs you.

16 ➽ Individual members from across the country have repeatedly stressed to members of the Connolly Youth Movement that they sympathise with our frustrations but, ultimately, have not been able to resolve them. While we appreciate their efforts and sentiments, we cannot wait indefinitely while the demands facing us as a communist youth organisation are so urgent. 

Based primarily on the above reasons we believe that, at the present juncture, the interests of young Irish communists will be best served by an autonomous and independent communist youth organisation. In the transition period ahead, internal debate and organisation around the organisation’s future will continue unabated.

We have no doubt that many members of the Communist Party are earnest and dedicated comrades and have no issue in continuing our political relationship with them, as well as those who have left or been forced out of the CPI. As with other communist and socialist-republican organisations, we will continue to co-operate and work with them on any mutual arenas of struggle. 

We will continue to tirelessly struggle for a 32-county socialist republic and to build the Connolly Youth Movement into a radical youth organisation that is present in every county, town and estate.

We have a revolution to build and a world to win and nothing will stop us.

 I totally concur with those sentiments. I give my best wishes to all of you in your continuing work. See you in the field comrades, a field that I never left. Solidarity, Solidarity, Solidarity for ever.

Bill O'Brien is an independent republican.

6 comments:

  1. Bill - thanks for running this with TPQ.

    Schisms or splits on the Left don't much interest me these days. Even the entertainment value that such things used to spur has long since fizzled out. Nevertheless, this is an informative piece.
    Socialist Voice has in my view been one of the better Left Wing sites in terms of ideas. They do a good podcast slot as well.
    As for the issues dividing the two camps, my eyes simply glaze over.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good analysis from Bill, whom I knew of old. Pleased to see the CYM split to the left, combining anti imperialism and revolutionary socialism. And operating united front operations with other self declared Republican Socialists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am far from persuaded that splits on the left ever serve much purpose. To remain part of something may well be impossible due to irreconcilable differences. But Left splits rarely seem to strengthen a Left position.
      I remember observing and working with CP and Trot people in the North. Always found the CP people more level headed and astute, able to get the business of the day done. The Trots invariably labelled the CP as Stalinist, yet my own experience was that in their dealings with other people the CP were much less Stalinist than the Trots.
      I guess that is pretty immaterial to the wider political considerations at play in this dispute.

      Delete
  3. The CPI has made its position known in a statement in Socialist Voice.
    Statement on CPI – CYM Relations

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read the cym statement previously.its good to get these critiques out into the open.smear tactics are typical of many groups and organisations I have fallen foul of them muself from members of sf fronting Palestinian support groups.Best wishes to CYM and I hope all issues with CPI can be fully redressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a rule, we ask commenters to sign off on their comment rather than leave it as posted by "Unknown" or the comment risks not being carried.

      It can be a pen name, just not "Unknown."

      It is simply to avoid any confusion that might arise from others commenting as Unknown.

      Delete