Cead Mile Failte!

[Larkins' return to Ireland]

O U Rube, in The Workers’ Republic, January 27th 1923

Whether the release of Larkin was an astute political move on the past of Govenor Smith, or produced by the growing tide of protest of the workers, concerns us not. "Our Jim", is coming back to Ireland; with this alone are we concerned. Out of the bitterness, engendered by the mailed fist of the enemy and the treachery of the men we paid to protect our interest, out of the depth of our bleeding hearts we cry to our comrade, Cead Mile Failte!

The Communist Party have, more than any other party, fought for the release of Larkin. They, and they alone, have kept the faith which inspired Larkin in his hour of persecution, and Connolly in the hour of his death. They alone have kept aloft the fiery cross and remained true to the fighting tradition of the rebel working class. We, therefore, are the most concerned in the news of Jim’s home-coming. We wish him to be the rallying centre for all that is virile and true in out national life. We wish Jim to be again the leader of the Industrial Union which he founded. We wish to see Larkin at the head of the national forces in Ireland raising the standard of revolt, as Connolly did in 1916 against all the hirelings of Imperial Britain.

We are not deceived by our own enthusiasm. We appreciate the fact that since his departure from us Larkin has suffered much, experienced much. It may possibly that the Larkin who returns will not be the same fighting Jim of 1913. He has aged, and his physical health has not come unscathed from the storms he has faced. Knowing as we do the success of the bureaucrats of Liberty Hall in building their machinery within the union, knowing how their weakness has disheartened the workers, knowing the ‘let alone’ policy of the traitors, we can appreciate the hard fight that is before Larkin in his own field. And on the political side any attempt to clarify the situation will be a job which even a younger man than Jim might shrink from. Yet because the cleansing of the Labour Movement from its bureaucrats and the clarification of the national issue are necessary preliminary steps to the fight for freedom, and because, loving Jim, we hope for the best, we are confident that the arrival of Larkin on Irish soil will be the signal for a drive towards our goal.

Therefore it is our duty to prepare the way to clear the obstacles from the path. It is the duty of all intelligent workers, party and non-party, to throw all their energies into the creation of clear thinking, hard-hitting nuclei within any organisation in which the workers may be. The tactics outlined by Comrade Connolly in the first issue of The Workers’ Republic (new series), which were afterwards confirmed by the Comintern, deserve serious study. They are as practical today as they were then. What is needed is their application and intensification.

  1. Nuclei within the unions.

    The finest propaganda can be done by taking part in the day-to-day struggles of the organised workers. Rebels in the unions must act in unison in forcing a fighting policy from the officials. Literature should be sold at all union meetings. If you can’t get the arrangements with the wholesale agent in your town, write to The Workers’ Republic office and tell us of your troubles.

  2. We must prepare for the mental reaction which history teaches us is the inevitable aftermath of all wars. The sacrifices of the best and bravest elements of the working class musty not be wasted by the bourgeois who surrender, and the petit-bourgeois who compromise. The army must be led to victory by men who have a sound grip, not on political economics, but on the bread and butter questions of life, men not opposed to England but opposed to the capitalist system which Britain has introduced into Ireland, maintained with her bayonets, and which she is now paying Cosgrave to perpetuate.

There are sufficient readers of The Workers’ Republic to bring success to any cause they espouse. If Larkin is willing and sufficiently strong in health we must place him at the head of the rank and file movement. If not, we must go ahead ourselves. We, at least, realise the seriousness of the present crisis. On the events of the next three months more than on any other period in our history rests the fate of the working class and the hour of emancipation. We must get right down to bed rock and do the spade work. We must issue our clarion call. Friends of Labour, fall in line. Foes of Labour, Faugh a ballagh [get out of the way.]

O U Rube

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