Talk:Official Irish Republican Army

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With apologies to everyone, I've reorganised the discussion into two threads:


With regards to Demiurge, the term "Stalinist" is entirely appropriate. It is not a value judgement of their politics. One need only look at their politics, they embraced: the "Stages Theory" approach to revolution and the concept of the "popular front". These are two things which distinguish Stalinism from other variants of Marxism (Western, Trotskyist, Post-Marxist,Neo-Marxist etc.) On top of this they, in their present incarnation, still refer to the former eastern bloc states, as being "socialist" and the Soviet Union as being "socialist". These are positions consistent with an organisation having a Stalinist framework. This is not about having a NPOV, what this is about is precision of terminology. Whilst calling them "Marxists" is not entirely inaacurate it is unnecessarily vague. DBE

Hi, DBE, and welcome. The problem is that they never claimed to be Stalinist. Some of them claimed to be Marxists, others used the term 'socialist'. To the best of my knowlede, no published book described them as 'Stalinist'. The term 'Stalinist' has other connations which may not be appropriate to the Stickies - regards - --ClemMcGann 13:51, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Hi Clem, I think that the question that need be asked is when they refer to themselves as "Marxists" or "Socialists" what precisely do they mean? OSF/WP, Labour, the SP, SWP, and probably SF would all self-identify as "socialist" yet they dont have the same politics. Furthermore, OSF/WP, SP, and the SWP all self-identify as being "Marxist" and yet again they dont have the same politics...therefore, in my opinion, more terminological precision is required. If this be true then the term "Stalinist" is, at least to me, the most accurate characterisation of their politics.DBE
Consider their non-intervention in sectarian riots. As 'Marxists' they weren't going to attack the 'working class' even if they were protestants. When the early provs went fund-raising in the states they labelled the stickies as 'communist'. As I said, 'stalinist' has other connations. There are many books written on this topic. I have yet to read one which called them 'stalinist' --ClemMcGann 00:22, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
No sourcebook I have seen, nor academic thesis (and one was done on the Official IRA by a student in QUB) suggest Stalinist. An Phoblacht openly called the party marxist from I think circa 1967 if I memory serves me well. (Its a decade since I read copies of An Phoblacht from that era in the Linenhall Library.) FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 00:57, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
The term Trotskyist was certainly used, as was Stalinist, but both perjoratively. I doubt that those using them had read the works of either. The terms were short hand for "opportunist" or "authoritarian". Reading the relevant Wiki articles now makes the mapping with either hard to fathom! --Red King 19:52, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Clem, The problem for much of the last 70 or 80 years Marxism was not seriously differentiated from the politics of the Soviet Union and of Stalin. Despite the ease at which one could see the divergance... at least if one wishes to do so. Even in the post 1989 era they often are still often not differentiated, I suspect for differing though ultimately self-serving reasons. One need not have a PhD in political theory to see how seriously the politics of Stalinism and those of Marxism differentiate from each other on a number of fundemental areas. The politics of the Official Republican Movement were, and in their present incarnation still are, in the ares of "popular frontism", "stages theory", a pro-UUSR/Eastern Bloc (viewed as socialist)and a dependence of "parliamentarism" rather than mass movements puts them squarely in the camp of the Stalinist version of Marxism. Their politics speak for themselves. To label them unqualifyingly as "Marxist" is unnecessarily vague and is by itself is inaccurate. In doing so one is effectively claiming that their is no significat difference between them and other "Marxist" groups such as the SWP or SP, or for that matter from the Shinning Path in Peru. I for one believe that there are differences between these parties and it is because they have different "Marxisms" that need to be differentiated for the sake of clarity, terminological precision, and intellectual honesty. Clem, you mightn't be able to find a book that specifically refers to them as "Stalinist" but then I have never seen a book written about them that was written from the critical perspective of a Marxist. However, I can refer you to litany of books that discuss the diversity within Marxist thought in excrutiating detail and you can see for yourself exactly where the ORM/WP falls ideologically. Finally, you argue that "Stalinist" is a pejorative, well in many places so is "Marxist"

It was I who remarked that the term "stalinist" was being used perjoratively. Your argument is a good one and deserves to be added if we can find a suitable form of words. Stalin died in 1953, 15 years before these events. I don't think that the term Khrushchevist exists? Were they communists? They were certainly portrayed as such. The comment about "another Cuba in Europe's backyard" was certainly current at the time. Remember at the same time, France was in flames (well Paris) and the Bader-Meinhof were active in Germany. So may I pick out one thing you said However, I can refer you to litany of books that discuss the diversity within Marxist thought in excrutiating detail and you can see for yourself exactly where the ORM/WP falls ideologically. and invite you to do exactly what you suggest. Indeed it would be really excellent if you can provide a context of contemporaneous European (incl UK) ideology. Have a look at IRA (1922-1969) as well, because there is more on the Communist cross-membership there. --Red King 19:57, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Paul LeBlanc "From Marx to Gramsci: A Reader in Revolutionary Marxist Politics" Jules Townsend "The Politics of Marxism: The Critical Debates" Tom Bottlemore "A Dictionary of Marxist Thought" Stephen E. Bronner & Douglas M. Kellner "Critical Theory and Society: A Reader" You may wish to compare J. Stalin's "Selected Works" and L. Trotsky's "Permanent Revolution" and "The Revolution Betrayed"

Actually what I had in mind, since you are clearly familiar with these texts, was that you write the comparative material that puts the Stickies' Marxism in context. You might even be able to show that "Stalinist" is the most appropriate tag! --Red King 00:38, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
The problem with 'Stalinist' is that organisations described as Stalinist universally consider it to be pejorative. Its use to describe "orthodox" or "philo-Soviet" communist parties is rejected by all these parties, who term themselves "Marxist-Leninist". Of course they aren;t the only ones to do so, so do Maoists. The so-called "Stalinists" consider that a lot of what Stalin is best known for - show trials, purges, the huge-scale imprisonment in the Gulag of imagined opponents, etc - was criminal, so calling them Stalinists is arguably rather unfair. They would certainly argue so. "Marxist" describes the Sticks adequately, "pro-Soviet" would also be an accurate description. Palmiro | Talk 13:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Planters as traditional enemies[edit]

"whereas the traditionalists continued to see the Unionist population as foreign planters and historic ememies". This is a mischaracterisation of the Provisionals position and is not reflective of their ideology then, or now. I do question its NPOV DBE

That was certainly the flavour at the time - that they saw the Loyalists and Orange Order as very definitely the enemy; also that their role was to "defend the nationalist (read Catholic) community". Of course this may have been Machiavellian - get the young hot-heads signed up and then persuade them to attack the British Army. And the Shankhill Road chipshop bombing is a lot more recent than the split. Maybe the Provo historical revisionists would prefer nowadays to airbrush out that aspect of the chronology, but it is certainly part of it. There was a great deal of unashamedly sectarian violence. --Red King 19:52, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Red King, those may well be your perceptions of the what the "Provos" think or thought, but it does not stand up to serious scrutiny. Though it may pain you to admit, the Provos do exist within a political sphere not a sectarian one. To label them as viewing the Unionists as 'foreign' or the 'enemy' is ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE and is not a NPOV, it is in fact the point of view of the unionists and they are hardly neutral69.119.74.121
I only remark on what I saw and heard over 30 years to be the case on the ground - a great deal of sectarian conflict. That was certainly the perception of the Officials. I don't disagree that there was also (and especially in latter years) "good old fashioned Republican Brits Out violence", but that was by no means all of it. I also don't disagree that the Loyalist violence was unremittingly sectarian. So whether the Povos ever declared outright that the "Planters" were the enemy, that is how they behaved. However I acknowledge that you have me on the "no original research" rule, so I can't revert if you edit it out. Unless someone else has the research evidence? --Red King 19:55, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

I recall an AP article written shortly after Sunningdale collapsed and Ruari O'Bradaigh commenting on what the Loyalists had been able to achieve (referring to the strike) and musing on what would be possible if Republicans and Loyalists would be able to get together as a common political force. The enemy for the Provos was the state and its agents (police, army, paramilitaries) not the general Protestant population (obviously they will disagree). The fact is that even in the most militant Republican areas there are Protestants living as they always have done so. The cold, hard truth of the matter is that if Protestants had been viewed as the enemy there wouldn't be any left west of the Bann. DBE Also, one must look at the surnames Adams,Morrison,Hannaway-surely those names indicate possible Protestant "Planter" forefathers.As a person of Irish Catholic ancestry on my father's side, but brought up in the Protestant religion, I can attest to the fact that not once has a Nationalist ever verbally attacked me on the basis of my religion or my mother's Ulster "planter " surname.My POV,obviously, but I had to say it here to back up the last user.--jeanne (talk) 18:49, 10 April 2008 (UTC)--jeanne (talk) 18:49, 10 April 2008 (UTC)--jeanne (talk) 18:49, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Mao and Seamus Costello?[edit]

By what stretch were the INLA/IRSP Maoist? As I understand it, even in its early days the Republican Socialist Movement included leftists of many different stripes., 20 Sept

I found that one odd too. Is there any evidence to support it? Because if not, it should go. Bernadette McAliskey was a leading light in the early IRSP before the nutters took over. She was fairly hard left, but not Maoist by any stretch of the imagination. --Red King 23:02, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, it don't say that no more. If anyone wants to put it back in, a reliable source should be quoted. Palmiro | Talk 23:24, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

WikiProject IRA?[edit]

Hi all, I'm rather new to the Wiki (just joined up a few days ago), but the whole WikiProject concept seems like an effective tool for gathering a group of people together to work on a specific subject. I'm primarily interested in contributing to areas related to Irish nationalism, and the Irish Republican Army, and I've noticed a few of you have quite a lot of involvement in the same area. So, I wonder if anyone would be interested in forming a WikiProject focusing on Irish Nationalism? Wikipedia:WikiProject Irish Republicanism seems like a good title to me! WP:IRA would be a great shortcut! I'm posting this up on many different pages, so I would especially appreciate it if, if you're interested, you would join me at User talk:Johnathan Swift#WikiProject IRA. NonFreeImageRemoved.svgErin Go Bragh 06:40, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

Official IRA -> Official Irish Republican Army. Regardless of the merits of the "Official IRA" name the PIRA, CIRA and RIRA all follow the latter standard, so this should be the same for the sake of consistency. One Night In Hackney303 17:09, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

seconded.--Vintagekits 17:13, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Areas of activity[edit]

The article states that OIRA were confined mainly to the Falls Road and Markets areas of Belfast but seeing as Ballymuphy saw quite a bit of activity such as feuding between the INLA and OIRA surely Ballymurphy should be added to the article.jeanne (talk) 07:14, 8 April 2008 (UTC) Also Cork had an OIRA presence in late 1970's and it isn't mentioned in article.Overalljeanne (talk) 07:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC),Ithink article needs expanding.jeanne (talk) 07:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

"Two of the men responsible for the murder fled to Cork , where they were looked after by local Official IRA contacts" is hardly them having units in Cork. It's the nature of all variants of the IRA that they have "contacts" like that all over the place. I'm unsure where Ballymurphy comes into it either as that was largely Provo territory. I think we're trying to point out their most active areas or pockets of support, not everywhere they had members. One Night In Hackney303 20:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
ONIH,I'm not trying to be contentious nor authoritarian, but I happen to know from a reliable source that the OIRA were somewhat active in the Ballymurphy area.In fact, there were many attacks on members of OIRA by INLA and vice-versa.But I agree that Ballymurphy was a very strong Provo stronghold.The OIRA members who lived there were given a lot of stick.Unfortunately,ONIH, I absolutely cannot list my source for this info;I can only say ,that in 1986,I had a boyfriend from Ballymurphy.But obviously,I cannot state his name, so I suppose my additions to article cannot be adequately05:56, 9 April 2008 (UTC)jeanne (talk) substantiated.A pity because the OIRA has been somewhat been pushed into the shadows by the activities and publicity of the PIRA.The article needs a bit more "meat" if you catch my drift.--jeanne (talk) 11:28, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll take a look at the sources I have later, but I'm dubious. Ballymurphy didn't see much armed activity for quite some time, as the policy of the "unnamed" Provo OC there was to radicalise the people by encouraging them to riot against the British Army each day, and shootings and bombings were deliberately discouraged to allow this to happen. Therefore I'm somewhat dubious that while this was happening the Sticks were particularly active in Ballymurphy, or at least active enough to merit a mention. One Night In Hackney303 17:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Alas,ONIH,my boyfriend didn't exactly provide me with names and I have no doubt that what little he used to tell me was the truth;but I'll admit before I knew him ,I hadn't realised there was any sizeablejeanne (talk) 11:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC) OIRA activity in Ballymurphy.Yet...the things he would occasionally mention ; they weren't just exaggerated macho stuff to impress me.He knew perfectly well what he was talking about.But I just cannot give his name or even his nickname.Sorry.
ONIH,as I recall "S" as I shall henceforth refer to my ex-boyfriend,did tell me something about there being mostly action taken against the British Army rather than bombings,etc.Would this be the reaction of the PIRA to the Springfield Road massacre in July 1972 when the Catholic priest was shot dead by the British along with several young people?Also,"S" did tell me he left home at 16 and spent the next few years living in various digs and kipping at friend's houses.He seemed to have lived near the Springfield Rd.So what you are saying ONIH,is beginning to refresh my memory of the conversations I used to have with"S".Perhaps he was referring to the Falls Rd. area and not Ballymurphy after all.In 1972 he would have been about 16 years old.Yeah, ok I probably made a mistake due to my faulty memory.Have you found anything, by the way?jeanne (talk) 15:46, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
It's been about 5 months since I posted this in regards to areas of activity for the Sticks. ONIH is no longer at Wiki but can any other editor discover the truth as to whether or not the OIRA had much support in Ballymurphy and Cork. I happen to personally know that there were Sticks in Ballymurphy as well as Cork as late as 1979.--jeanne (talk) 16:57, 1 September 2008 (UTC)--jeanne (talk) 16:57, 1 September 2008 (UTC) Actually what is needed is sourced proof that they operated in the said areas. I cannot give my source's name.--jeanne (talk) 17:00, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

cia involvement? there have been many rumours of cia backing towards the ira. it was first brought to my attention by al murry on mock the week. is there any evidence to thi accusations and if so what was the purpose of the funding?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Mock the Week (a UK comedy television show) hardly counts as being evidence of anything.Coolavokig (talk) 08:06, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Why stop at 1975?[edit]

They shot Seamus Costello in 1977. They did some stuff after that too. The only sensible date for the infobox is when they declared a ceasefire surely? O Fenian (talk) 03:08, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

After giving this more thought the only date which can be sourced for them to have actually stopped is May 1972. Otherwise you are looking at an event and deciding "there's nothing after it", which may or may not be true. Even in 2005 they were called largely inactive, are we going to go back to the bizarre "1969-current" version with no source to say they are currently active as of 2009? A caveat about some activity since 1972 may be the best way to deal with it, but the only possible date that can go in the infobox is 1972, no other date can be sourced. O Fenian (talk) 11:35, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


In the infobox it says its leaders were unknown; wasn't Cathal Goulding one of the leaders? If so, his name should be in the infobox.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 19:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

"came to be known popularly as Provisional Sinn Féin"[edit]

I have no idea why User:ÓCorcráin keeps removing this sourced info. They insist here and on the PIRA page that sources like RTE are "non-neutral." That seems to be a total misinterpretation of our neutral point of view and reliable sources policies. Sources do not have to be neutral,WP:RS specifically says: "reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective." So removing sourced info on that basis is unacceptable. Furthermore, it's incredibly hard to see how American authors with no track record in the conflict and an IRA historian like J Bowyer Bell, who even gets a glowing obituary entitled "an appreciation" in An Phoblacht, are non-neutral! ÓCorcráin in their latest edit then insists on the production of "official data from electoral records." No. First those would be primary sources and Wikipedia prefers secondary sources, secondly no one is claiming that there are "electoral records" showing "a political party called Provisional Sinn Féin." So that is a classic strawman argument. What is being claimed is that those who supported the Provisional Army Council "came to be known popularly as ... [[Provisional Sinn Féin]" A search of google and google books shows up thousands of sources showing that that is so. The party itself even seems to have used Sinn Féin (Provisional) in early publications. This should be changed back to the previous version, unless better justification for removing this well referenced info is found. Valenciano (talk) 17:11, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

You are disregarding the context.There are plenty of sources that contradict your assertion but I know despite the fact if I was to link them here, it will just go on and on. Sinn Féin are not called Provisional Sinn Féin (FACT), there no electoral records of any party who have participated in elections under Provisional Sinn Féin in the south and north of Ireland (FACT), Sinn Féin today is not call Provisional Sinn Féin (FACT). Hence the party is called Sinn Féin and should be called as such, I fail to comprehend how you cannot understand these simple facts. ÓCorcráin (talk) 17:34, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
The context is that you are changing "came to be known popularly as Provisional Sinn Féin or Sinn Féin (Kevin Street)" to "came to be known popularly as Sinn Féin (Kevin Street.)" No one has mentioned elections contested or any of the other red herrings that you've thrown in and amongst all those "facts" you've omitted the one most relevant to this discussion: that they were popularly known as Provisional Sinn Féin. That is attested to by multiple reliable sources. Whether you like that or not is another matter, but we're here to report what reliable sources say. You're also changing "Those defeated in the motion walked out" to the grammatically incorrect and questionable "Those motion was defeated and resulted in a split between Sinn Féin and the other as what was then known as Official Sinn Féin."
What is your problem with "those defeated in the motion walked out?" It's exactly what happened. The rest we can change to "this resulted in a split into two separate groups with the Sinn Féin name. One, referred to in the media as Provisional Sinn Féin or Sinn Féin (Kevin Street), contested elections as Sinn Féin, while the other, referred to in the media as Official Sinn Féin or Sinn Féin (Gardiner Street), later became the Workers' Party." If you can think of a better wording, then go ahead and propose it. Valenciano (talk) 17:59, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

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