This article was originally published in the Militant under the title "Northern Ireland - For A United Workers' Defence Force" just after the British troops were sent into the North of Ireland in 1969. While most of the left capitulated and supported the sending in of troops the Marxists explained clearly that, "The call made for the entry of British troops will turn to vinegar in the mouths of some of the Civil Rights leaders. The troops have been sent in to impose a solution in the interest of British and Ulster Big Business."

Over 150 years ago Ireland lost a staggering 13% of its population to death by disease and starvation. How could it be that Britain, which was still the richest and most powerful country in the world, could not prevent this horrific death toll? The answer is simple ‑ the British ruling-classes did not want to minimize the death toll, on the contrary, they welcomed it!

We are publishing here an interesting piece on the Irish trade unions by Peter Black, an active member of the TGWU (now fused with Amicus to form “Unite”) and the Irish Republican Socialist Party. Trade union membership is growing in Ireland, as is the militancy of the working class and Socialist Republicans, in the tradition of James Connolly, can play an important role in providing the militant leadership the Irish workers deserve.

Last week an important dispute flared up at the Dublin Bus company over new work schedules. Although the strike was called off today, the present article, written last week, gives an idea of the militant mood that exists among Dublin's bus workers.

A Basque Marxist was on a speaking tour of the North of Ireland at the end of October. He spoke to audiences in Belfast, Strabane and Derry mainly composed of republican socialists, but not only. There was keen interest in seeing how the experience of the Basque situation could be applied to the North of Ireland, and vice versa. We make available here a report, originally published in The Plough, the journal of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.

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