Revolutionary Workers' Groups

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Revolutionary Workers' Groups
Merged intoCommunist Party of Ireland
NewspaperThe Irish Workers' Voice
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationCommunist International

Revolutionary Workers' Groups (RWG) were left wing groups in Ireland officially founded in 1930 with the objective of creating a Revolutionary Workers' Party. Formed initially as the Preparatory Committee for the Formation of a Workers’ Revolutionary Party, it changed its name in November 1930. It was helped establish by Bob Stewart and Tom Bell from the Communist Party of Great Britain and Comintern. In 1933 they disbanded and established the Communist Party of Ireland.[1]

They had their headquarters in 64 Great Strand Street in Dublin, which was named Connolly House, opened in 1932 as a Socialist Bookshop.[2]

The RWG ran two candidates in the newly reconstituted Dublin City Council Elections in 1930. James Larkin Jnr, was successful.[3] The RWG ran two candidates in Dublin in the 1932 Irish general election, Joseph Troy and Jim Larkin, Jnr. Members also ran in Belfast municipal elections: Tommy Geehan in Falls, and Phil Wilson and William Boyd in Cromac.[4]

The RWG was officially banned by the Cosgrave government in 1931, under the Coercion Act, along with 11 other organisations. The ban was lifted following the electoral victory in 1932 of Fianna Fáil.[5]

In Northern Ireland the Revolutionary Workers' Groups set up the Outdoor Relief Workers Committee in July 1932, to help workers in the campaign against Task work, and for better conditions and union recognition.

In March 1933 the RWG headquarters was attacked by anti-communists[6] [7]

Members of the RWG included many Irish communists such as James Gralton and Sean Murray.

In June 1933 the Communist Party of Ireland was formed and the RWG disbanded.

The group produced a weekly paper The Irish Workers' Voice, first issued on April 5, 1930,[3] with the Scottish socialist Tom Bell as its editor.[5] The paper went on to be a publication for the Communist party, and was consistently published up to 1936.


  1. ^ The Communist Party of Ireland A Critical History, Part 2 by DR O'Connor Lysaght, 1976.
  2. ^ History - Connolly Books Website.
  3. ^ a b Communist Party of Ireland History
  4. ^ 'The Communist Party of Ireland 1921 - 2011' By Matt Treacy, Brocaire Books, Dublin, 2012.
  5. ^ a b A history of the communist movement in Ireland - 1929-1941
  6. ^ “Dublin ‘Red’ Headquarters Set On Fire, Twenty Injured In Riots”
  7. ^ The Storming of Connolly House History Ireland, Issue 2 (Summer 1999), News, Volume 7.