Sources


Irish Labour Movement and the SCW

Newspaper articles

I started to add these articles and dozens are now online. This section will reprint articles from The Worker, for July to September 1936. This was the paper of the Communist Party of Ireland. Further reports from The Worker are also available on this site for October - December 1936 and for January - March 1937. Other material from that period is in the Irish Democrat for 1937 and The Workers' Republic from 1938, the Left papers.

Ciaran Crossey



25th July 1936

Spain: The Workers Answer the Fascist Challenge

In Spain, as we write, a new and immortal page of working class history is being inscribed. The reports printed by the capitalist press are like a dust cloud obscuring the fighters as they strain in combat, but from the glimpses of the truth we can picture the rest; and the heart of the working class Ireland goes to our Spanish brothers and sisters in their life and death struggle with Fascism.

From individual murder come outrages, church burnings (that the communists might be blamed) up to an Army coup – this is the record of Fascism in Spain since last February.

In that month a new government was elected in Spain, a new kind of government. It was the product of the hatred of the working people for the Lerroux-Gil Robles regime that has bludgeoned and battered them.

Socialists, Communists, Republicans, Syndicalists had all come together in a People’ Front. They did not hide their differences from each other, but they set out to find a basis of unity that would lift from the Spanish masses the hated murder regime. In the general election in February the People’s Front was swept to victory. The programme which won the support of the Spanish people was:

  • Freedom for the 30,000 political prisoners
  • Restoration of employment to those victimised by the Fascist terror after October, 1934
  • Land for the peasants
  • Re-establishment of the Republic’s social services, abolished by the Fascists

The Government elected after the polls was neither Socialist nor Communist. It was Republican, with a middle class Premier. The Communist and Socialist Parties did not enter the Government. But they promised full support in carrying out the people’s front programme.

The prisoners were released and Spain went mad with joy. 120,000 peasants and landless workers for land. The workers got slight wage increases. Then slowly the government began to fulfil the rest of its pledges.

But the fascists did not accept the democratic decisions of the Spanish people. They set out to overthrow the Government, to destroy democracy, to establish a Fascist dictatorship. Jose Diaz, secretary of the Communist Party of Spain, (writing in the American New Masses, July 7) describes the Fascist tactics:

‘Big employers are shutting down their plants and are refusing through various subterfuges to accept the decisions of the Government. Large landowners are leaving their lands until led rather than give employment to the hungry thousands of agricultural labourers. The assinations of prominent Left leaders are planned; gangsters are armed and sent out to the people to provoke violence.

“The aim of the provocateurs is clear. They seek to disrupt the unity of the popular forces in Spain. They attempt to flaunt the disturbances which reaction itself brings about, before the whole world with the accusation that the Lefts cannot preserve order.”

The next move was the formation of the Spanish Military League, a Fascist secret society of officers inside the Army with the object of destroying the republic to which they had sworn allegiance.

The workers saw that a counter-revolution was being planned. They saw the employers, landlords, Fascist monarchists and Army generals getting ready. They demanded that the Government take action against the conspiracy. But the Government hesitated; it took only half-hearted measures.

It allowed Fascist officers to remain in command of the Army. It allowed reactionary magistrates to acquit Fascists who had murdered workers’ leaders. It allowed the landlords to use the Civil Guard against the peasants.

One good thing it did. It formed a corp of Shock Police, composed of Republicans and more reliable than the Civil Guard.

Last week the Fascists thought the hour had come. Their plans were complete. At the signal the traitorous Army chiefs would order their troops to march and the people of Spain would be at their mercy.

The Foreign Legion in Morocco began the coup – the hated Foreign Legion that had crushed the Asturian Rising in 1934. Then the Commander in Chief of the Army, General Franco, ordered to crush the plot, instead put himself at its head.

But here was an unpleasant shock in store for the Fascists, The walls of Jericho did not collapse at the sound of guns.

The workers and peasants rallied swiftly to the defence of the Republic and democracy. They poured from the factories and fields to defend their liberties and the Republic. Workers militias sprang up in all towns. Sailors put their commanders under arrest and took charge of their warships themselves. The Fascist generals found they had to reckon with, not merely a government sitting in Madrid, but with the Spanish people with arms in hand.

The line is still in doubt as we write, but the struggle of Spain’s working people will be an inspiration for all time. If they lose temporarily, they will have learned tremendous lessons and the fight will still go on. If they win, the encouragement it will give the workers of the world will be tremendous. Greetings to our heroic Spanish brothers and sisters in their glorious fight!

[Some of my photocopy was very hard to read, but I think this is as good a transcript as possible. CC]

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 1st August 1936

Truth about Spain

By Sean Murray

The Spanish people are fighting gallantly in defence of the Republican against the conspiracy of scoundrels led by the landlords sons in the army and supported by the heads of the banking families in Spain.

It is a Fascists rebellion against a Government constitutionally elected by the Spanish people. It is a conspiracy of militarists, landlords and bankers to assassinate democracy, to destroy liberty, to rob the Spanish workers and peasants and set up the rule off Fascist murder over the great Spanish nation.

THAT is why the workers, farmers and middle classes - all that is decent in the country - have flocked to the fight to crush the dastardly conspiracy.

Let every Irishman and woman get this point clear: This rebellion is not a rebellion such ass Pearse and Connolly led here in 1916. It is a rebellion of the type that Carson, Craig and the Tory lords prepared against Home Rule in 1912-13. It is a rebellion of the type that Cosgrave and Mulcahy, in conspiracy with Lloyd George, carried out against the Irish Republic in 1922. It is a rebellion of the slave-owners against the freedom of the workers and peasants.

IT is an uprising of the rich against the poor.

THE Spanish workers, disregarding death and danger, ate at grips with the Spanish Carsons and generals. In Madrid and Barcelona (the Dublin and Belfast of Spain) the workers have heroically crushed the landlords, generals and have the murder gangs in retreat in the main centres.

BUT the Fascists are getting support from Hitler and Mussolini and the British Government is also helping the rebellion. It refused to warships loyal to the Spanish Government to refuel off Gibraltar. This is direct assistance to General Franco, the leader of the conspiracy.

THE capitalist class in this country is shamelessly aiding and abetting this Fascist attempt on the life of Spanish liberty. Murphy's 'Irish Independent', which got Connolly done to death for leading the Easter insurrection against eh British enslavement of this country, says that a victory for the Spanish Republic 'would be an unparalleled disaster not alone for Spain but for the whole of Europe…All who stand for the ancient faith and traditions of Spain are behind the present revolt against the Marxist regime in Madrid.'

THE 'Irish Press' joins the 'Independent' in support of the slave-owners' rebellion. Mouthing nosily about Republicanism and the will of the majority in Ireland and lecturing the people on the immorality of armed movements against the Government, de Valera's paper supports armed insurrection against the democratically elected Government of a friendly country.

THE English news agencies are circulating atrocity stories about priests being massacred and churches burned. The wildest lies are being spread by the Fascists and the English imperialists to defame the Spanish people. Yes, there have been atrocities in plenty. The Fascist militarists wherever they got the upper hand have massacred the supporters of the Republic. The Rev. Austin Murphy, Castleknock College, just returned from Spain and himself a supporter of the rebellion, says: '…one incident occurred when Fascist troops were entering Palma. A Communist woman said something to them as they passed. She was shot on the spot.' Here is another story from the Belfast Catholic paper, the 'Irish News', which also supports the rebellion. 'Spanish Fascists conducted a through search of private houses in San Roque after the battle and are reported to have found in hiding about 60 members of the Popular Front who were afterwards executed on the public square in batches of ten.' The Fascists are conducting themselves like bloody maniacs. It is they that are drenching Spain with blood.

The Irish people owe a solemn duty to their Spanish kinsmen in this hour of trial. We cannot permit the Murphy-de Valera papers to misrepresent Ireland by supporting the Spanish Carsons, Cronins and O'Duffys.

The Irish working class particularly must speak. The Trade Union movement must find its tongue in support of the Trade Union movement in Spain. Raise the issue in all the branches of the Labour and Republican movement. Send greetings to the Republican and Labour fighters of Spain. Protest against the lying press campaign and their support of the Fascist murderers. Organise a common front of all who stand for liberty in support of the gallant men and women who are giving their lives for the cause of freedom at this hour in the Spanish Peninsula.

LONG LIVE THE SPANISH AND IRISH REPUBLICS!

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker 8th August 1936

Poison Pens at work on Spain

If poison pens could kill, the Spanish people would have been defeated long ago. Not since the Russian revolution has a people battling for its liberty been so lied about and slandered by the capitalist press. The ‘Irish press’ and ‘Independent’ have never acted more foully than they are acting on Spain.

But despite the foreign press, the workers, peasants, Basque and Catalan nationalists are fighting their way to victory. Isolated from any mass support, the Army generals and landlords are being isolated and crushed.

Not all the arms and money from the foreign fascisms of Mussolini and Hitler will save them from the masses of their own nation.

That the imperialist ‘Irish Times’ is beginning to see this is shown by the editorial of the ‘Irish Times’ on Wednesday:

“At the last General Election a government was returned in a perfectly democratic way. It was Republican Government, with certain leaning towards Socialism; but, nobody could question its credentials…it was broad-based on a system of the widest popular franchise.

“The age-old antipathy between the aristocrats and the people began to manifest itself in an acute form. The big landowners and the monied classes took sides with the Church and the stage was set for a bitter struggle between the popular Front and the allied forces of Conservatism...

“It was the legally constituted Government of the country, with eth clear right to arm whomsoever it chose to arm; and General Franco with his associates manifestly was guilty of high treason in its most aggravated form…If they succeed, they will establish a military dictatorship in Madrid..”

The Spanish masses are fighting for democracy, for liberty, for work and bread, for the preservation of the trade unions, for land for the landless, freedom for Catalonia and the Basques.

Irish Workers! Support your Spanish brothers and sisters. Pay no heed to the lies spread about them. Get your branches to pass resolutions of support and send them to the Spanish Legation, Dublin, and the daily press.

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 15th August 1936

Atrocity Fairy Tales Exploited by Capitalist Newspaper

Remarkable article
A remarkable leading article appeared in the ‘Irish Times’ last Tuesday on the Spanish situation. The ‘Irish Times’, organ of the big capitalists, costs 2d and is read exclusively by the upper classes. It is therefore in a position to ‘talk more freely’ than its contemporaries who are read by the masses. Spaces forbids us to give more than a few extracts. The Times writes:

“The news from Spain is becoming increasingly untrustworthy. Special correspondents are supplying their newspapers with precisely the kind of report that suits their editorial policies. Lisbon has Lagun to rival Riga as a source for tales. All the hoary old stories of atrocities…are being dished to once more, and the reader will be able to recognise in many of them the identical canards that did such service, not only against the Russians from time to time, but also against the Germans in the world war…The situation in Spain has been distorted grossly by Europe’s yellow press. When the Government shoots somebody it is accused of brutal murder, whereas shootings by the rebels are described as salutary executions. Spain has a legally elected Government which is almost as bourgeois (capitalist) in character as the Government of the Irish Free State. It’s authority has been challenged by certain officers of it’s own army, who normally would be regarded as common or garden traitors; but by some curious metamorphosis the Government has been made to appear as the usurping party, while the rebels are hailed as patriotic heroes.”

On the issues at stake the ‘Irish Times’ permits itself to be very frank: “The issue is anything but new. On the one hand are ranged the officers’ class, the Church and the big landowners; ON THE OTHER IS THE MASS OF THE PEOPLE.” These remarkable statements from the leading capitalist newspaper in Ireland, reveals the whole fraud of the atrocity tales which the capitalists dish out to the workers in the yellow press, and the lies that the civil war in Spain is over religion.

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 15th August 1936

Belfast Workers Take Stand on Spain

A MASS MEETING at the Labour Hall, York Street, on Friday 14th inst. At 8 p.m. will sound the call for support of the Spanish workers in their fight against Fascism. The meeting will be under the auspices of the Socialist Party of Northern Ireland with speakers from the Labour and Communist Parties. Peadar O'Donnell, just returned from Spain, will being first hand knowledge from the scene of the struggle.

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 15th August 1936

Sean Murray on the issues in Spain - Damming exposure of Fascist conspiracy

A large and enthusiastic meeting in support of the Spanish workers listened to Sean Murray in Dublin last Monday night. Sean Murray said:

'I warn the workers of Ireland against he press reports about atrocities in Spain. These come from Imperialist liars, the hirelings of Fascism. Their purpose is to turn the outside world against the Spanish Republic and try to get foreign intervention to foist Fascism on the people of Spain. These liars are not to be believed.

'I warn the workers of this country that this is not a rebellion of the type of Easter '16 in Ireland. It is the type of Lord Carson's rebellion in Belfast, General Gough's mutiny at the Curragh. It is a landlords' rebellion. It is a conspiracy of Fascist murderers against the decent people of Spain.

' I warn the workers not to be misled into believing that this is a religious issue in Spain. It is no more a religious issue than was the Irish Land War, the struggle for Home Rule, the fight for complete independence. But what did the aristocracy of this country say the fight was about? Religion, of course! Home Rule is Rome Rule, roared the landed Ascendancy and their hirelings., the generals and lawyers. 'We are fighting for religious freedom!', shouted Carson, Craigavon and General Gough. Franco at the head of a Mohammedan army of coloured Moroccans and the cutthroats of every nation under the sun organised in the Spanish Foreign Legion is out to restore Christianity in Spain. O'Duffy and Lombard Murphy and other kindred spirits are calling for Irishmen to go and join this army of ruffians! Was there ever such a combination of hypocrites and traitors! But the Irish people who have seen these gentlemen at work in their own country, have seen their country partitioned by the introduction of religious issues into politics, and seen the Republic of Ireland betrayed by these supporters of Franco and his Riff army will not be deceived into throwing in their lot against the Spanish people.

'The Spanish Government has the support of four-fifths of the Spanish people. It has the support of the trade unions, of the Socialist, Communist and Republican parties, AND, bear this is mind, it has the support of the Catholic masses and such Catholic Conservative parties as the Basque Nationalist. That's the reply to the lying press.

'The Fascists generals at the head of their Foreign Legion and Mahommodean army have the support of the Spanish aristocracy, all that is decayed and rotten in the life of Spain. They are backed by the two Fascist Powers, Germany and Italy, who are trying to dictate to the Spanish people, and are prepared to plunge the world into a dreadful war in order to set up a Fascist dictatorship in Spain. British Imperialism, too, is playing a treacherous dirty part in this business. It is spreading the wildest lies against the Spanish Government and people. It is hampering the Spanish fleet in its operations against Franco, and encouraging the brazen policy of the two Fascist Powers. Thus we have arrayed against the Lawful Government of Spain, against Spanish democracy and its heroic defenders, the imperialist forces off Europe. That is the position. The gallant Spanish people are not only fighting against the traitors within Spain, but against the enemies of Liberty throughout all Europe, Ireland included. This makes the Spanish question indeed a question for the freedom in every land. Are we in Ireland to stand aside and allow this crime against the people of Spain to be carried out before our eyes. If we did, we would be traitors to the best traditions of our race, to the men who gave their lives for the cause of freedom in this country. What would Wolfe Tone, John Mitchel, or James Connolly and Pearse say if they could speak to us today! They would be behind their brother Republicans in the Spanish fight. They would be against the Murphys, the Churchills and O'Duffys. They would have nothing but contempt for the treason to Republicanism of De Valera and his newspaper, who are also behind the criminal Fascist gang in Spain.

'The spirit of the dead and the voice of justice speak to us in this crisis and tell us plainly to do our duty by the heroic defenders of freedom in the Spanish Republic. It is a shame that no lead has yet come from the official Labour movement on this question. The Spanish workers are giving their lives in defence of liberty in every country. I ask every Irish man and woman to answer the question. What are you doing? Have you raised your voice on the side of the heroic Spanish people? Have you protested against the shameful attitude of De Valera's newspaper, against the foul campaign of Murphy's bloodstained 'Independent', against the criminal attempt of the Fascist O'Duffy to raise a brigade of Irishmen to attack the Spanish Republic? It is the sacred duty of every man and woman to make their voices heard, to raise the issue in their trade unions and political parties to demand that their leaders give the people a lead in support of justice. We must demand that a United Front of Labour and Republicanism be formed in this country in support of the Spanish people, and that financial assistance be organised for the sufferers of this fascist rebellion. By so doing we will be striking a blow to the enemies of Ireland and taking a step forward to the social and national emancipation off our own nation, to the smashing of coercion, the opening of the jails and the clearing away of the would be Fascists in both Northern and Southern Ireland.'

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker, 22nd August 1936

Franco's Moors Massacre Christian Workers
O'Duffy to join with the Moorish murderers

THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN - the real people, the workers, peasants and middle classes - continue in their heroic struggle to defend their democratic liberties against the Fascist Black Hundreds.

The foul-mouthed organs of Irish capitalism - the same papers that campaigned against the Irish Republic in 1916 and 1922 - are today screeching wildly against the democratically elected Government of Spain. They have flung to the winds their oft-repeated slogan 'the will of the majority must prevail'. Not so in Spain, they say. The 'rebels' (Fascists) are fighting a 'holy war', they screech. But Mr Hugo Flynn, the Minister for Local Government, put the issue in a recent election speech when he said that the fight in Spain is one between democracy and Fascism.

Mr Hugo Flynn is a member of the Fianna Fail Government, but the 'Irish Press' speaks the same voice as the 'Irish Independent' on the question of Spain. The 'Irish Press' and 'Independent' unite in their foul campaign of spreading vicious lies about the Spanish Government with whom our Free State Government has friendly relations.

For every Irishman and woman the issue is clear. Those who believe in freedom and democracy will support the Spanish Government. Those who are against freedom and democracy will support the Spanish Fascists and their General O'Duffy allies.

We are told the Spanish Fascists are fighting for Christianity. And to wage their 'Christian' war they employ the heathen Moors and the scum in the Foreign Legion - the dregs of humanity. Here is a description of how the Spanish Fascists carry on their 'holy war'. It refers to the capture of Badajoz by the Fascists and is told by a Portuguese journalist, and was printed in most of the daily papers last Monday.

'The military commander eventually gave me permission to visit Badajoz, but he warned me: 'You are running a great risk, and you had better take care of the Moorish troops which are patrolling the town. They are still very excited.'

'I decided to take the risk, however, and shortly afterwards entered the town gates under the suspicious and unfriendly gaze of the Moors, who were acting as sentinels.

'That part of Badajoz which is not destroyed now lies in the most fantastic confusion. It well deserves the nickname 'bloody Badajoz', which it earned in the Peninsula War.

'In each street there is a barricade, and each barricade is now almost a mountain of corpses. A red, blood stained wall, shows the grim spot where some 2,000 men were executed by the insurgents.

'The ruined blood-stained streets are haunted by pitiful figures of women and children dressed in deepest mourning, who move furtively about looking for the bodies of their loved ones. I witnessed terribly pathetic scenes whenever a woman found the corpse of her husband or son among the bodies littering the abandoned barricades.'

Badajoz Cathedral is said to have been little damaged.

Grim court-martial scenes when batches of Government supporters captured by the insurgents are condemned to death are also described:

'In certain places the court martial sits twice a day, passing sentence of death on all prisoners who are found to have carried arms. They die the same night or the next morning.

'Most of them asked to be confessed by a priest, but show no fear of death. Thereupon a priest belonging to the insurgent militia drops his gun, changes his uniform for clerical vestments, and speaks words of comfort to the condemned.

'Many of the prisoners about to die embrace the priest - their enemy of yesterday - and both weep bitterly.'

And here is another example of the cowardly and murderous methods used by the Fascists in their 'holy war.' It is culled from the 'News Chronicle' of Tuesday, August 19th:

'Sailors belonging to the German vessel Saeadler, which arrived at St. Jean de Luz this afternoon, state that the rebels captured the oil dock a short distance from Porto Galete. In it they imprisoned 300 Loyalists. When the rebels were forced to retreat they fired the docks and the majority of the prisoners were burned alive.'

The Fascists are well equipped with the most modern weapons of war, supplied to them by Hitler and Mussolini; the few victories they have would have only been made possible by their recruitment of the Foreign legion and Moorish troops. The great mass of the Spaniards are in arms against General Franco and his gang, who are recruited from Spanish aristocrats, German and Italian fascist officers, with the rank and file in the main of the Foreign Legion and Moors. And yet General O'Duffy, the 'Irish Press' and 'Independent' would like us to believe that Franco and his gangsters are out to save Spain and the church!

The Spaniards are saving Spain! They are fighting heroically with the Spanish Government, determined to rid their country of the Franco's, Mola's and their foreign allies.

Foreign intervention is a reality in Spain today! Franco has brought in the Foreign Legion and the Moors; Hitler and Mussolini have sent squadrons of bombers and ammunition, along with officers, to aid Franco; airplanes are leaving London everyday for Portugal and Poland for delivery to the Fascists in Spain. General O'Duffy has just returned from the Continent where he has been making a deal with the leaders of the moors and Foreign Legion for the organisation of his 'Irish Brigade' to fight against the Spanish Republic. It is idle nonsense to regard the fight in Spain as a civil war. Hitler, Mussolini and Portugal have already intervened on the side of the rebels; with Franco they are united on a plan to capture Spain for Fascism.

The workers of Ireland must add their voice to the growing world demand; 'Hands off Spain!' And the Spanish Government must be given all the moral and material assistance it requires to crush the fascist vipers.

Let the Irish workers, by resolutions in their trade union and Labour Party branches and other organisations give their answer to the O'Duffy's by declaring solidarity with the Spanish Republic.

Let the slogan of every Irish worker, every Irish Republican be:

LONG LIVE THE SPANIARDS FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM;

VICTORY TO THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT'S FORCES;

DEATH TO FASCISM

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 22nd August 1936

Lies of the Month

Report in the Dublin papers of break-up of Communist meeting at Peel Street, Belfast. The meeting was a West Belfast Labour Party meeting!

The London 'Daily Express' published a photograph of Spaniards marching out of Madrid to fight against the Fascists. The 'Irish Independent' (a few days later) prints the SAME PHOTO as that of Fascists being marched out to be massacred by the Reds!

The papers tell the people that the Spanish Government is a 'Red' or Communist Government. The Government of Spain is a moderate Republican-Liberal Government, in which there is NOT ONE SOCIALIST OR COMMUNIST.

The Spanish rebellion is to save Christianity, say the newspapers. We learn the Fascist Generals tell the Mohammedan Moors it is to save Mohammedanism!

It is a lie to charge the 'Irish Independent' with being guilty of telling the truth!

26/07/2010

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 29 August 1936

Mola and Franco Spill the Beans
Secret of ‘Independent’ – O’Duffy Support

O’Duffy and his ‘Christian’ Front are organising a ‘Brigade’ of Irishmen to fight with Generals Franco and Mola at the head of the Mohammedans against the Spanish Government and people. Why? The following ‘Christian’ programme issued by Generals Franco and Mol, gives the answer. The Generals declare their aims to be:

  • The establishment of a military dictatorship.
  • The dissolution of parliament and the Trade Unions.
  • The suppression of the Left Press (Labour, Republican, Communist, etc.)
  • Denial of the right to strike for better wages, etc.
  • Restoration of landlords estates divided up by previous governments among the small farmers.
  • The trial of all Left-Wing leaders.
  • A vote for the return of the Monarchy.
This is the ‘Christian’ programme that the Murphys of the ‘Independent’ and their tool, O’Duffy, and his henchmen want Irishmen to go crusading for.

The Socialist Party of Northern Ireland and (to his everlasting credit be it said) Mr Harry Midgley, M.P. have issued a call for the organisation of an Irish Ambulance Brigade to aid the Spanish Republicans. Well done, working men and women of Belfast! You are worthy sons of the great democrats of Ulster from Wolfe Tone and Henry Joy McCracken to the Rev. J.B. Armour and the victims of October 1932. This is the lead of the whole Irish labour movement.

But it is time to ask what is the attitude of the Irish Labour Party and Trade Unions to the attempt to rouse the Irish people on the side of this programme of Spanish Fascism. The Labour leaders are silent while every principle dear to Labour is at stake. It has been left, so far, to the Irish Communist Party, Left-Wing Republicans and decent men and women of the professional classes to make a stand against the Irish Fascists for truth, democracy and the heroic people of Spain. What does the Labour Party branches say to this shameful silence of the leaders? What has the trade union branches to say? There is only one path that any Irish Labour man can tread with honour and that it to jump into the line of struggle against murder propaganda of the ‘Independent’ and its Fascist hirelings. Let the watchword be: An offensive throughout the whole Labour movement for Truth against the Liars; for Democracy against Fascism; for not a man on ship to be used to transport a single Fascists cutthroat from our shores; for the gallant working men and women of Spain in their glorious fight to save their country from the horrors of murderous Fascism!

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 29th August 1936

We fight for neither Lombard Murphys nor Mohammedan Moors!

(A fighting call to the Irish working class has been issued as a leaflet by several workers organisations. We give extracts):

The 'Irish Independent' newspaper and its puppet, General O'Duffy, want Irishmen to join a Brigade to fight along with the Mohammedan Moors for the Spanish landlords against the Spanish Republic.

The 'Independent' and the Great War:

This same newspaper sent tens of thousands of Irishmen to their death in the last big war fighting for British imperialism. What was its war cry then? 'Save Catholic Belgium'. What is its war cry now? 'Save Catholic Spain.'

The 'Independent' in 1913

Remember how this bloodstained paper and its proprietor, William Martin Murphy, treated the Catholic workers and poor of this city in 1913. It formed a ring of employers - almost all freemasons - to starve the labourers into submission. It called on the British Government (Dublin Castle) to use the State forces against the people of Dublin, with the result that two Dublin men, Nolan and Byrne, were done to death on Bloody Sunday, 1913.

The 'Independent' and 1916

This bloodstained newspaper came out on the side of the British Government against Pearse and Connolly in Easter Week, 1916. It called them 'criminal madmen'. When 15 of the leaders were executed, leaving only Sean McDermot and James Connolly and there were prospects of saving their lives, the 'Independent' demanded that the British Government kill them. The 'Independent' in its issue of May 10, 1916, stated: 'Let the ringleaders be singled out and treated as they deserve.' Connolly and McDermot were put before the firing squad on May 12 and on May 13 the 'Independent' screamed with joy at the news of the executions.

Yet this bloodstained organ dares to pose now as the champion of Catholicism!

The 'Independent' in 1920-22:

It called the IRA murderers and action was taken against it by the Republican Government.

It supported Cosgrave and Mulcahy when they sent four prisoners - Liam Mellows, Rory O'Connor, Richard Barrett, and Joe McKelvey - without any trial at all to their deaths on December 8th, 1922.

Like the tiger, once it has tasted blood, the 'Independent' cannot get enough victims.

Now it wants more:

This bloodstained organ of imperialism haunted by the ghosts of Nolan and Byrne of 1913, by those of Pearse and Connolly in 1916, of Liam Mellows and his comrades in 1922, with the curses of the working men and women of Dublin on its head, condemned as a traitor by its own nation - this vile paper, with the brand of Cain all over it, now holds up to the Irish people as their leaders the Fascist O'Duffy and his fellows, and wants Irishmen to join the Mohammedan Moors in a crusade against the Spanish people.

Dublin men and women; Irishmen and lovers of justice, don't heed this newspaper and its Fascist General. They are your enemies now as they always were. They tell you lies and deceive you as they always did. They want you to fight [for Franco but not for yourselves], for every cause but your own.

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 29th August 1936

Smash this Conspiracy

The Free State Government’s ban on arms and its refusal to break off diplomatic relations with Spain uncovers the sinister conspiracy hatched by the ‘Irish Independent’ and O’Duffy against the people of this country.

The warriors of Ballyseedy want to help a similar gang in Spain to destroy a Republic to which they had pledged allegiance. But the ‘Independent’ –O’Duffy-‘Christian’ Front campaign aims at more than that.

It is the answer of the Fascists here to their defeat in Galway and Wexford. They hope that [if] they can get the support of the Irish people for a war on the democratic Government in Spain, they can get the same support for an attack on the constitutionally elected Government here.

This is the new version of the exploded Blueshirt rump – also organised ‘to defend Christianity against Communism.’

All the moves are part of the same game. O’Duffy and the victors of Kerry organise a ‘Brigade’. Paddy Belton and Miss O’Brien of the Vickers financed ‘Pro Deo’ racket organise a ‘Christian’ Front. The UIP gets local bodies to demand the breaking-off of relations – JJ Byrne will try the stunt in the Dublin Corporation. And the ‘Independent’ leads the whole pack, printing anonymous letters designed to work up a pogrom in Ireland.

The ‘Independent’ conspirators are trying to place the Irish people in a state of war with the Spanish Republic. They are prepared to jeopardise our international position – if only they can make us pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Hitler, Mussolini and Franco.

Mr de Valera now sees through the manoeuvre. That is why the Executive Council snubs the manufactured campaign. (Though the Government seems to have accepted the lying Fascist propaganda about the Republican Government.)

The whole stunt of the ‘Independent’ and its Fascist ‘Napoleon’ O’Duffy, is a cunning plot by the discredited imperialist groups to fetch the Irish Fascists out of obscurity, to avenge their defeat in Galway and Wexford and to stage a come back to power here on the ruins of all semblance of democratic Government.

The cat is out of the bag. Irishmen and women: SMASH THIS CONSPIRACY!

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 29th August 1936

The way to answer O’Duffy

Reply to the O’Duffy-Martin Murphy campaign by sending donations to organise an Irish Ambulance Corps in support of the Spanish Republic to the Secretary, Socialist Party of Northern Ireland, 48 York Street, Belfast, or c/o ‘Workers’ Bulletin’, 348 Lower Ormond Quay.

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 29th August 1936

John Mitchel on O’Duffy and the ‘Christian’ Front

‘If any man talks to you now of political sects when the matter in hand relates to civil and political rights, to administration of Government or distribution of property – depend upon it - though he wear a coronet on his head, HE MEANS TO CHEAT YOU’ (John Mitchel, Great Irish Patriot).

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 29th August 1936

Lies of the Week

The Prince of Liars, the organ of Murder Murphy, the ‘Independent’ told a few fat lies during the past week on Spain. Here are some examples:

“ ‘Reds’ Kill Cardinal” it shrieked on Monday, 24th August. This Spanish Cardinal [is] not murdered, having ‘been in Italy since the beginning of the insurrection,’ it wrote on Tuesday 25th August.

“Boxer was shot by the ‘Reds’ “ it wrote on Friday, 21st August. “Paolini Uzcunduna was shot by a Communist firing squad.” “Paolini Uzcunduna is alive and well” reported all the newspapers – except the Dublin Prince of Liars of the House of Murphy – on Tuesday 25th August. “The Communists made no attempt to harm me. I am fit and well”, the boxer stated to the press representatives.

Ricardo Zamora, the international goalkeeper has been executed by the ‘Reds’ wrote the Martin Murphy organ on Friday 21st August. “Zamora is alive and in perfect health,” reported the entire press on Tuesday, 25th.

We learn that Lombard Murphy’s Editor met the god of Truth one morning in Abbey Street and both fainted.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, September 5 1936

'Christian Front' to help Moors! A damp squib

A young lady has arrived in Dublin from Switzerland on a mission. Her name is Aileen O'Brien, and her mission is to teach the native of Ireland Christianity. She was born in California (so her own story goes), reared in South Africa and educated in Germanic Switzerland, She met with some Russian White Guards (that is people who refused to stay in their own country and work for a living) and they formed a society and gave it the Latin name 'Pro Deo.' The international heads of this society are men of the business world with money invested in some of the huge armament firms in England. As a matter of fact the 'Pro Deo' society is well financed by the armament firm of Messrs. Vickers.

If we are to believe their story, these people are all very, very Christian. Miss Aileen O'Brien is particularly fiery. She has an exhibition of pictures showing the bad people the Russian workers are., She wanted to show this in Dublin, BUT THE ARCHBISHOP PROHIBITED HER.

Along with Miss O'Brien in this business is an English gentleman named F Noone, who seems to be at the head of another society called the League of the Crusaders. He,too, is out to teach the native Irish Christianity.

Now this young lady and gentleman got into touch with Lombard Murphy's 'Independent' newspaper, the same newspaper that for Jim Connolly done to death in 1916. They also got in touch with one, General O'Duffy, who was removed from the head of the free State police force by de Valera and took up the job of organising a Fascist party. A gentleman - this time a real gentleman - by the name of Lord ffrench joined the good cause and between them all they launched a brand new organisation, to wit, the 'Irish Christian Front'. The object of this great front is to co-operate with the above-mentioned General O'Duffy to assist the Mohammedan Moors to Christianise and civilise Spain! The inevitable Paddy Belton, ex-member of the Fianna Fail party and ex-member of the Cosgrave party, was, of course, there. How long he will stay in the 'Christian Front' party s another matter. Hey raked in Dr. Brennan, Coroner for South Dublin, a man of long words and limited intelligence. Dr Brennan is a member of the National Directorate of Cumann na Poblachta (new Republican Party) What Republicans think of the performance of their national director, in alliance with Lombard Murphy and O'Duffy, the public will be anxious to know.

The Catholic masses are not being taken in by this curious gathering of odds and ends. They know the game of the 'Independent.' The marks of its treason in Easter Week are still visible for all to see. They know of O'Duffy; and the young lady from California-South Africa-Geneva and the English Gentleman they know not and are resolved never to know. The people of this country will see to it that their religious beliefs and liberties are not interfered with - not even by the Lombard Murphy's and their fascist tools of the Christian Front (the Mohammedan Front would be a more correct name.)

The Church will not touch this fake 'Front'. The Catholic organisations are suspicious of it and won't touch it. No public man of any serious repute will associate with it. It is an O'Duffy - 'Independent'-Fascist rump. As such it must be exposed and fought by the working people whose enemy it is.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, September 5, 1936

'Spanish Atrocities'

Readers of the Irish papers are being treated to an extraordinary variety of atrocity stories about the Spanish democratic forces - gruesome deeds done, it is alleged, by the ordinary working men and women who compose the Government forces. Some people know how these stories are manufactured, others do not. But doe the benefit of those who do not we publish below a classic example. The story is from the days of the Great War - but it is of the same family as those which are now being circulated about Spain.

The fall of Antwerp as seen by the British and Allied press and propaganda service: 'When the fall of Antwerp got known the church bells were rung (in Germany)' - Kolniche Zeitung.

'According to the Kolniche Zeitung the clergy of Antwerp were compelled to ring the church bells when the fortress was taken.' Le Matin.

'According to what 'Le Matin' has heard from Cologne, the Belgian priests who refused to ring the church bells when Antwerp was taken have been driven away from their places.' The Times.

'According to what 'The Times' has heard from Cologne, via Paris, the unfortunate Belgian priests who refused to ring the church bells when Antwerp was taken have been sentenced to hard labour.' Corriere delia Sera.

'According to Corriere delia Sera from Cologne, via London, it is confirmed that the barbaric conquerors of Antwerp punished the unfortunate Belgian priests for their heroic refusal to ring the church bells by hanging them as living clappers to the bells, with their heads down.' Le Matin.

The story, which is taken from Lord Ponsonby's book, 'Falsehood in War-time' was circulated in 1914. The next time you read an atrocity story you will know at least one if the processed by which it may have been manufactured.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 5th September 1936

Lies of the Week

The ‘Irish Independent’ is still at it. Some time ago it published a photo supposed to show ‘Communists’ firing at a statue of the Sacred Heart. The Murphy rag was hurt when its readers openly declared the photo to be a fake. So to ‘prove’ the truth of the first fake it printed another –an old picture believed to date from the Barcelona rioting of 1909.

On September 1st the ‘Independent’ quoted a ‘foreign observer’ IN LISBON as follows: ‘looting and rioting are going on in Madrid on a widespread scale.’

Reuter’s Correspondent in Madrid, on behalf of the whole corps of foreign correspondents, broadcast a radio protest against people peddling such silly lies!

The ‘Independent’ the same day went a step further. It reported: ‘Father Charmayon, a French priest, and a companion were shot when a bus in which they were travelling was only a few yards from the French border, although they had been given permission by the Reds to leave Spain.’

The evening papers the previous night made clear that Fr Charmayon was loved by the workers of the People’ s Front for his educational work, that he had People’s Front passports on him, and that HE WAS SHOT BY THE FASCIST INSURGENTS.’

The ‘Independent’ has got so used to lying, it doesn’t even take the trouble to remove its fingerprints.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, September 12, 1936

Priests were 'murdered' in Ireland too!

'Horrible outrages on priests and nuns.' 'Christianity in danger.' You can read the atrocity stories about Spain in the papers every day. You can always read about any country where the people are fighting for their liberty. The very same lies have been told about Ireland by the press owned by the employer-landlord class.

Yes, the world has been told that the Irish people were 'murdering priests' too. Here are some examples.

Six years ado British Imperialism was looking for a war on Socialist Russia. So the English press tried to inflame world opinion with hair-raising stories about the 'persecution of religion' in Russia. Here is how 'Scoilig', the famous Republican leader and writer answered them in An Phoblacht (March 29th, 1930.)

'In 1916, the machine that now slanders Russia had the rumour sent around Ireland that Tom Clarke and Patrick Pearse inaugurated the Rising by looting stores and burning the city, crowning their first day's work by murdering Archbishop Walsh and flinging his mangled remains into the basement of a burning building - so that in many remote churches on Low Sunday the prayers of the faithful were asked for the repose of his soul.'

You see they did not hesitate even to give the Archbishop's name. They knew that the contradiction would never catch up with the lie. Just like the 'Independent's' story about the 'murdered Cardinal', who was discovered not to be in Spain at all.

In Land League and Fenian days it was the same. If we go back to our grandparents' times we find not only the imperialist press slandering the Irish people, but also a paper that is full of similar 'Spanish horrors' today - the 'Osservatore Romano', published in the Vatican City.

Can this paper be trusted to speak the truth about a struggle in which the people are against the propertied classes? No, it cannot. It has always been a bitter and unscrupulous enemy of the Irish nation's effort to free itself from alien oppression. It lied about Ireland as it lies about Spain today. Here are the proofs.

Michael Davitt, the founder of the Land League and the man who more than any other freed Irish tenant farmers from landlord bondage, tells (in his book, 'The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland', New York, 1904, page 191) how this paper called Parnell a 'Freemason' and Biggar 'a bacon-seller, an Irish Naquet.' And how many times have we heard this since? 'Ireland is now in an acute moral and political crisis.'

Now listen to this. Michael Davitt continues:

'It was this same 'Osservatore Romano' that had declared, in 1875, that 'FORTY MISCREANTS WERE THEN IN THE PRISON OF THE COUNTY OF THURLES, IRELAND ON A CHARGE OF 'MURDERING PRIESTS.' There's as little truth in this paper's stories about Spain today as there was in its lies about 'murdered' priests in the 'county' of Thurles.

But why should the 'Osservatore Romano' tell such lies and oppose the people's struggle for bread and land and liberty as it does? Because the same thing as happened in 1936 as happened in 1883, when the landlords and their politicians, in Davitt's words, "succeeded in creating the impression in Rome that the Land-Leaguers were the 'enemy of religion,' the 'foes of morality,' and all the rest."

YES, THERE'S NOTHING NEW IN THE ENEMY'S PROPAGANDA

But the 'Irish Independent', O'Duffy and their 'Christian front' hope that Irishmen have forgotten their history.

THE ATROCITY STORIES ARE LIES SPREAD BY CONVICTED LIARS.

Go Back to List of Articles


Worker 12th September 1936

Spain: Ireland's Duty

Feast of heroism, without parallels in the annals of war, are being performed by our gallant brothers, the workingmen of Spain, defending their liberty against the criminals of Fascism. The defence of Irun makes Spain's workers the pride of their brothers in every land. We raise our hats to the noble men, aye, and women, who gave their lives that liberty might live.

The Spanish democracy is fighting a coalition of world Fascism and imperialism. The landlords of Spain, the Foreign Legion cutthroats, the misguided Moors, could never have inflicted all this massacre and misery on the Spanish nation only for one thing: they have the open aid of the Fascist Powers, Italy, Germany and Portugal. This is made possible because England will not stand with France and Russia to enforce international law which makes it illegal to support armed rebellions against the governments of other nations.

One hundred and fifty years ago the French Republic was attacked by the monarchies of Europe - Austria, Prussia, Russia, headed by England. In our own day the Russian Republics were attacked by 14 nations. Spain is now up against a similar criminal conspiracy of the Fascist Powers.

The gallant Spaniards are replying as their sister nation, France, did in 1789 and Russia in 1917-20. The defeat at Irun has steeled the nation as never before in a resolve to fight to the death rather than allow the heel of the blood-soaked rascals of Fascism to plant itself on the body of Spanish liberty. The Liberal Government of Senor Giral has given place to a Coalition Government of Socialists, Liberals, Communists, Catalonians and Basque nationalists (Catholics). This Government truly represents the masses of Spain, headed by the veteran Labour leader, Caballero. It is not a 'Communist' Government as the 'Independent' screeches; it is a People's Government of all parties which stand for democratic liberty and constitutional government, for the will of the people against Fascism. Its first is for the raising of an army of 500,00 men to crush the rebellion.

But the Spanish people can only be victorious with the aid of the democracies of all countries. How can Irishmen and women render aid? The first and most important step is to organise the masses against the Fascist cut-throats in our own country. The gentry, headed by the murderers of Connolly, the 'Independent', are organising men and money to fight against the heroic Spanish workers and peasantry. These people tell us they are only concerned to defend religion. We do hesitate to say they are barefacedly lying. We say they are the greatest enemies of religion, of justice, of truth and decency. Enemies of religion-because they are seeking to use it as a cover for Fascist barbarism, seeking to exploit the difficulties of the Church in Spain for their own political ends. Enemies of justice - because they are stained with the blood of those who fought for justice, national and social, in Ireland, because under their 'Christian Front' uniform can be seen the tiger's skin of the usurer, the banker, the monopoly millionaire, Lombard Murphy.

Murphy's 'Independent', its gangs of Fascists bullies, and its fake 'Christian Front' are creating a reign of blackguardism in Dublin, 20 years after Easter Week, 20 years after the deaths of Connolly and Pearse. This is because of the disunity in the ranks of the workers and the cowardly treachery which passed for Leadership in the ranks of the Labour movement. The first step is to end this. The militant workers must come together and decide that the Trade Unions and Labour Party act against the Fascist 'Christian Front' and in support of the Spanish democrats. The United Front of all opposed to Fascist tyranny is the urgent need of the hour.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 12th September 1936

A Shameful Contrast

‘The agonising struggle of the Spanish people against the military assassins who have conspired with the former rulers of Spain to overthrow democratic institutions is a call to working class unity. It is the blood of our fellow trade Unionists that is being spilled in Spain…Let us stand in homage to the working-men and women of Spain who are fighting in defence of liberty against Fascist tyranny.’

This was the moving appeal of Mr Alan Finlay, presiding at the British Trade Union Congress on Tuesday. And the hundreds of delegates stood as one – a symbol of working class unity with the Spanish people. At the same time thousands of pounds are being collected by British trade Unionists; French Trade Unionists are demanding an end to the ‘neutrality’ pact, which Hitler and Mussolini are laughing at; Belgian, Czech, Dutch and American workers demonstrate in thousands in support of Spanish democracy. And Ulster Labour, leaders and rank and file alike, support the sending of a Red Cross unit to the Republican forces in Spain.

Free State Labour- Alone in the World – Keeps Silent
Since the civil war started, no Labour leader – from William Norton and Sam Kyle to Jim Larkin and William O’Brien – has uttered a single word of guidance to his members. The hungry sheep look up and are not fed. Our Labour leaders do not keep silent because they are Fascists and support the Fascist generals in Spain. They are not gulled by the ‘Independent’s campaign to represent the Moors and hired mercenaries of the Foreign Legion as the defenders of Christianity.

No, our labour leaders know the real situation as well as the leaders in other countries. They keep silent because they fear the scurrilous abuse they know they will get from Lombard Murphy’s press, O’Duffy and his allies. The ‘Independent’ has actually praised our Labour leaders for their silence – condemnation enough!

Is it any wonder that Irish workers are being misled by the lying propaganda and that one or two branches of unions have actually passed resolutions in favour of the assassins who are murdering their fellow Spanish trade unionists?

The Labour leaders poltroonism is shaming us, shaming our movement and the Irish nation, in the face of international Labour. This cowardly silence must be broken. The Labour Executive and TUC must speak.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 12th September 1936

Dominican Organ attacks ‘Atrocity’ Liars

A remarkable article in the current ‘Blackfriars’, organ of the Dominican Order in London, makes a scathing attack on the sham-religious press campaign of lies on Spain. ‘Spiritual poisoning of the masses,’ the writer calls it. He continues:

‘That modern states and parties should be compelled to resort to this kind of thing is bad enough in all conscience. That Catholics as Catholics should participate in it and allow the spirit of hate and revenge to be exploited by capitalist press lords, with approval from Catholic pulpits, is intolerable.’

This reference is a rebuke to an English Jesuit who has been writing atrocity stories for the ‘Daily Mail’ and ‘Sunday Dispatch.’ The Dominican writer asks, ‘Must God go Fascist?’ and says:

‘There seems little room to choose between the honest-to-God anti-God and the NOT SO HONEST EXPLOITATION OF GOD AS THE STATE’s BIG POLICEMAN.’

He adds that while the Rothermere Press screams that it defends Catholicism, Catholic writers on the Continent 'have shown the irony of the Assumption celebrations of the Badajoz massacres,' and that the Holy See 'remains firmly neutral and anti-interventionist.'

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 19 September 1936

Murphy's 'Christians' As Union Wreckers!

The latest landfall of the 'Irish Independent' and its 'Christian Front' is a campaign of disruption in the Trade Unions. The Amalgamated Transport Union is meeting the full blast f the 'New Christianity'. It is having trouble with some of its country branches in Galway and Tyrone.

The playboys of Lombard Murphy's 'Christian Front' - young lady from Geneva, the lad from Merseyside, Lord ffrench and Paddy Belton - are now giving their orders to the Trade Unions. They demand that the ATGWU should repudiate the policy of sympathy for the Trade Union movement of Spain. Instead of being on the side of the Spanish workers, the Irish Trade Unionists are asked to be on the side of the Spanish landlords and Fascists.

Mr Ernest Bevin, the most notorious anti-Communist and Right Wing leader in the Trade Union movement, is in the eyes of Lord ffrench and Miss O'Brien and Paddy Belton, the reddest of Red leaders!

Now the workers must naturally ask who are these gentry who are sticking their snouts into the affairs of the Irish Trade Union movement? Paddy Belton is well known as an employer of Labour; so is Mr Corr - a prosperous businessman. Then there is Lord ffrench: all three distinguished upholders of Trade Unionism! So the landlords and employers are going to give marching orders to the Trade Unionists of Ireland!

It is clear as noon-day that the 'new Christianity' of Belton, Miss O'Brien and the prince of the money lords in Dublin, Lombard Murphy - the son of the man who starved the Dublin workers in 1913, whose newspaper in 1916 got Connolly and McDermott slaughtered - is out to wreck and disrupt any semblance of organisation among Labour. Did not the 'Irish Independent' dismiss every man who dared to be a member of the Irish Transport Union in 1913? Was not its whole fight and that of its proprietor W M Murphy, to smash Trade Unionism in the 1913 struggle? Having failed in 1913, it now returns to the attack, but instead of its old tools, Bill Richardson and Alfie, it is using Lord ffrench, Belton and the young lady from Geneva, Miss O'Brien. The 'Independent' has not changed its spots; its policy is now the same as in 1913, as in Easter Week, when it screeched and got the blood of the great Labour leader - James Connolly.

This rascally game of the Commander-in-Chief of the Monopoly Capitalists, the house of Murphy, is able, for the moment, to do its disruptive work because of the scandalous lack of policy and leadership of the Trade Union and Labour movement. Organised Labour will pay a heavy bill if it continues to evade its duty to the worker's at this hour. The foremost plank in the policy of Franco and Mola in Spain is plainly stated by them to be the suppression of all Trade Unions, their newspapers and parties, and confiscation of their funds, as in Germany. This is the policy the 'Independent' and its Fascist allies are supporting. This is what they would like to get I Ireland. And still no signs of any stand by the Trade Union leaders!

We believe the time has come for all militant workers to get together and banish these lords and ladies, local and foreign, from the precincts of the Trade Union halls. The Trade Union movement must explain to the masses the real issues in Spain and the game of the 'Independent.' All together under the Watchword: HANDS OPFF THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT!

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 19 September 1936

Dublin Republicans Denounce 'Independent' Plot

Dublin Republicans have exposed the 'Independent' plot to rally popular support for Fascism in this country and have repudiated the claim of the pseudo 'Christian Front' to speak on behalf of Christianity. A resolution passed unanimously at a meeting of Republican Congress members declares:

"That this meeting of Dublin city supporters of the Republican Congress draws the attention of the Republican and Labour movements to the revival of Fascism in Ireland.

"We declare that the so-called Christian Front is a disguised Fascist organisation, a puppet of the 'Independent' newspaper trust and is in an underhand league with General O'Duffy and his Fascist party. That this combination of the so-called Christian Front, General O'Duffy and the 'Independent' is shamelessly and recklessly trying to use religion to further the rise of the discredited Fascist groups in Ireland for further attacks on the rights and liberties of the Irish people and to obstruct national advance and hinder the movement of the working class.

"We call on all Irishmen and women, regardless of creed or class, to repudiate the right of the so-called Christian Front, General O'Duffy or the Press trust (whose instruments they are_ to speak in the name of Catholicity and Christianity, and we call on the people of this country to unite their forces for the liberation of their own land and from all vestiges of foreign domination and the injustice of imperialist financial and economic dictatorship, and to advance towards the Irish Republic."

The meeting further decided to send a telegram to Senor Caballero, the Spanish Premier, repudiating O'Duffy and his allies and assuring the Spanish, Catalan and Basque peoples of their support.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 19 September 1936

Trade Unionist Spikes Lies

A girl trade unionist, Miss H E Parsons, a member of the staff of Messrs Boots, the chemists, describes her experiences in Spain. Writing in 'The Bee' the official staff organ, she writes:

'Our exciting story was over. It is true we had seen none of the atrocities that seem invariably to happen wherever the Yellow Press send its reporters in search of stories.

'Although the country was in the hands of the so-called 'Reds', the churches refused to be burnt, the priests and nuns remained persistently unmassacred, and we were treated with unfailing courtesy.'

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 19 September 1936

Aid for Heroic Spanish Fighters

The first steps in aid for the Spanish workers have been taken, both North and South. Two members of the Northern Ambulance Unit have already left for Spain. They were given a great send-off by a mass meeting in the Labour Hall, Belfast, Harry Midgley, Labour MP and Sam Haslett, being present.

The Dublin Committee is also active, despite the ferocious howls of the 'Independent' and its Fascist thugs. The Committee has announced in the Press that it is raising funds and will co-operate with the Northern group, and Mr Sam Haslett and another member of the Northern Committee were in Dublin over the weekend in consultation with the Dublin Committee.

"There are still some decent men in Ireland in spite of you, Good day!" That was Mr R N Tweedy's (secretary of Dublin Spanish Aid Committee) answer for an 'Irish Independent' reporter sent to find out some things the 'Independent' would very much like to know. They failed.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 26 September 1936

My Stand on Spain, by Alderman Harry Midgley, MP

Since the beginning of the controversy (on the Spanish Civil War) many persons have written informing me that I have been denounced all over the country as a bigot, a bolshevist, a representative of the Soviet Government, etc.; in fact, as everything except what actually I am.

As Chairman of the Labour Party, Northern Ireland, Alderman of the City of Belfast, and a Member of Parliament I am determined that the worker's of Northern Ireland shall be warned of the fate that may befall them and the worker's of Great Britain if the forces of Democracy and representative government are overthrown in Spain by the cruel and arrogant forces of Fascism.

A Fascist victory in Spain means new life, hope and inspiration to Mussolini and Hitler; a new menace to Democratic Government in Britain and France, and the inevitability of world war. Wherever fascism triumphs, the worker's are deprived of liberty. Trade Unions, Co-Operative Societies and working class political parties are banned, and all opportunity for a free expression of the franchise is denied.

Fascism also makes for war. Its conception of the State is one in which the citizens, from childhood to old age, regardless of sex, are organised and regimented for the realisation of imperialist projects by means of force. Without this, Fascism would die a natural death.

Be on your guard, therefore; and hold fast to liberty.

(The above is from a brilliant pamphlet by Mr Harry Midgley, MP, just issued. Every Irish worker should read it. Supplies can be obtained through 'The Worker', 232 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin.)

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 26 September 1936

Irish People Hit Back

The Irish people are hitting back at the Murphy Front attempt to swing them into support of Fascism in Spain and at home. Last week a Fianna Fail club, trade unions and Republican speakers all denounced the Fascist war and declared their support of the Spanish Republic and people.

Killelane and Movidy Fianna Fail Cumann, Co. Cork, unanimously passed the following resolution:

"This Cumann deplores the tragic events in Spain. We are moved by the efforts of the Spanish Government and people in their defence of representative government and democratic institutions. We pray that by perseverance and heroic sacrifice ordered conditions will be restored to beloved Spain.

"An active reactionary minority is exploiting the tragedy of Spain," declared Mr T Murphy, the proposer. "It is our duty to express our views on the Spanish situation and not permit by silence minorities to misrepresent us in Ireland or outside it."

The Irish Conference of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union unanimously declared its approval of the Executive's decision in granting £1,000 for humanitarian aid to the Spanish Government forces.

Mr Ernest Bevin, general secretary, made a scathing exposure of the 'Daily Mail', which was supporting Mosley and Fascism in Britain, and the 'Irish Independent', which since 1913 had been a virulent enemy of the working class and Trade Union movement.

Mr C D Watters, Irish organiser of the National Union of Railwaymen, defends the Executive's stand in a letter to the Mallow branch.

"The motive which influenced the Executive Committee to vote such a subscription (£500) was, first, one of humanity, and. secondly, out of sympathy with the democratically elected Government, which desires to maintain a democratic constitution and to maintain the right of free speech and a free Press.

"The alternative to that, of course, as you are no doubt aware, will be that if the rebels win, they propose (as outlined in the proposals of General Franco) crushing out of existence all Trade Unions. I can well understand what our members here in Ireland would kick up if such a proposal were carried out in this country."

At a Sinn Fein meeting in Dublin on Sunday Mr Hugh Magill said he had every sympathy with the Spanish people "for they have been divided by false friends in the same way as the Irish people had been divided."

Those who spoke about the Irish Christian Front, he said, were like those who preached religion in the Six Counties. They knew only one thing and that was tyranny.

In a letter to Cardinal MacRory, Mr Frank Ryan, the Republican Congress leader, protests against the claim that the Catholic faith is an issue in Spain, and declares that the issues are being misrepresented as they were in Ireland in 1922. He states that as an Irish Republican he will support the Spanish Republic against the Fascist attacks on it.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 26 September 1936

Spanish Aid Appeal

An appeal for funds to supply medical aid to the Spanish Government forces was issued last weekend by the Irish Spanish Aid Committee. The appeal is signed by the following prominent citizens, representing varying shades of opinion: Owen Sheehy-Skeffington, MA, Dorothy MacArdle, MA, Nora Connolly-O'Brien, Sheila Bowen, Dr. N McCormick, R N Tweedy, Sam Haslett, H Midgley, MP.

Every reader of 'The Worker' is asked to get busy in answer to this appeal. Donations should be forwarded to Mr R N Tweedy, Carrickmines, Co. Dublin or Mr H Midgley, 232, Duncairn Gardens, Belfast.

Go Back to List of Articles


The Worker, 26th September 1936

Irish Labour: Where does it Stand?

Why is the Irish Trade Union movement silent in ace of the campaign to disrupt the unions by Lombard Murphy’s ‘Independent’, its ‘Christian Front’ and Fascist General? That is the question every sensible worker is asking.

Why is the Irish Labour Party struck dumb in face of this attack on the liberty of the working class movement? That is also a question that all sensible people are asking.

The Irish Trade Union Congress time and again has proclaimed itself as the champion of democracy. A rebellion in Spain, organised by Fascists and landlords, is threatening to destroy democracy in Western Europe, with the aid of the Fascist states, Germany and Italy. Not only this, but a campaign is in full swing in Ireland to organise support, financial and military, to assist the Fascists bloodhounds of Spain to carry though their criminal conspiracy. A campaign of intimidation to throttle free speech, smash-up meetings, to way-lay individuals, is going on here. A determined attempt id made to introduce religious divisions into the Trade unions. And in the face of all this, not a murmur from the Irish Labour Party or the Irish Trade Union movement!

Worse still. Some country Labour Party branches have actually been lured into the trap of passing resolutions supporting the Spanish Fascists and aligning themselves with Lombard Murphy’s ‘Christian Front’ and the Fascist O’Duffy. The shameful figure cut by the Irish Labour Party and Trade Union leaders is due to the cowardly run-a-way of the leaders of the movement. And these men only a few months ago, pledged themselves in conference to the principles of Connolly and a Workers’ Republic! But can anyone imagine James Connolly silent in ace of the organisation of Fascist Brigades to murder the workers of other nations and destroy their liberty? Can any one imagine Connolly silent in face of the attempt of the Lombard Murphys, Beltons and O’Duffy’s to gag and disrupt the Irish Trade Union movement? No. Connolly would be giving battle to these enemies of the working class.

In contrast to this amazing attitude of the Free State Labour leaders, stands that of Mr Harry Midgley, MP and the Northern Irish Labour movement, Right and Left. Northern Labour has faced the Fascist bandits, and stood for the foursquare for democracy, both in Ireland and Spain.

Every man and woman connected with the trade Union and Labour movement has a fearful responsibility. The honour of the Irish working class is at stake. The militant trade unionists have got to come together and the most energetic fight be waged to force the hand of the official leadership and align Irish Labour with the fight for democracy and against the Fascist scourge.





GO TO TOP OF PAGE