The Easter Rising of 1916, in which just over a thousand Irish rebels seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the independence of the Irish Republic before being brutally suppressed by the vastly larger and better-equipped British Army, is an event whose meaning remains contested to this day. For some it represents a blood sacrifice without the hope—or even the intention—of success. For others, it was the first act in a tumultuous political drama played out in Dublin streets and London cabinet rooms that led to the eventual formation of an independent Irish state.
In 1916, Kieran Allen argues that this pivotal moment in Irish history has been obscured by those who see it only as a prelude for a war of independence. Emphasizing an often ignored social and political radicalism at the heart of the rebellion, he shows that it gave birth to a revolutionary tradition that continues to haunt the Irish elite. Socialist aspirations mixed, and sometimes clashed, with the republican current, but both were crushed in a counterrevolution that accompanied the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. The result today is a partitioned Ireland that acts as a neoliberal tax haven for multinational corporations—a state of affairs quite alien to both Connolly’s and Pearse’s vision.
Published to coincide with the Rising’s centennial, 1916: Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition re-establishes the political role of socialist republican figures, offers a highly accessible history of the Easter Rising, and explores the militancy and radicalism that continues to haunt the Irish elite one hundred years later.
'This is Irish history seen anew, from below, bristling with practical lessons for working-class struggle today' - Eamonn McCann
The 32 counties of Ireland were divided through imperial terror and gerrymandering. Partition was borne from a Tory strategy to defend the British Empire and has spawned a 'carnival of reaction' in Irish politics ever since. Over the last 100 years, conservative forces have dominated both states offering religious identity as a diversion from economic failures and inequality.
Through a sharp analysis of the history of partition, Kieran Allen rejects the view that the 'two cultures' of Catholic and Protestant communities lock people into permanent antagonism. Instead, the sectarian states have kept its citizens divided through political and economic measures like austerity, competition for reduced services and low wages.
Overturning conventional narratives, 32 Counties evokes the tradition of James Connolly and calls for an Irish unity movement from below to forge the North and the Republic into a secular, socialist and united Ireland.
Ireland has been marketed as the poster boy of EU austerity. EU elites and neoliberal commentators claim that the country’s ability to suffer economic pain will attract investors and generate a recovery.
In Austerity Ireland, Kieran Allen challenges this official image and argues that the Irish state's response to the crash has primarily been designed to protect economic privilege. The resulting austerity has been a failure and is likely to produce a decade of hardship.
The book offers a deeply informed and penetrating diagnosis of Ireland's current socio-economic and political malaise, suggesting that a political earthquake is underway which may benefit the left. Austerity Ireland is essential reading for all students of Irish politics and economics, as well as those interested in the politics of austerity and the eurozone crisis.
Born in 1868 and executed by the British in 1916 for his role in the Easter Rising, the work of Irish national hero James Connolly has long been misunderstood. From Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, to conservative Irish nationalists and the Church, many groups have claimed Connolly as their own, his ideas and strategies used and distorted to justify particular political positions.
Kieran Allen breaks this mould, assessing the founder of the Irish Marxist movement ideas from a revolutionary socialist perspective. Allen considers the strengths and weaknesses of Connolly’s revolutionary strategy, the effect of his commitment to international socialism on his nationalist loyalties and arguing that, ultimately, Connolly's enduring relevance derives from his anti-imperialism. Any socialist movement today ignores this book at its peril.
This is the story of how a small island on the edge of Europe became one of the world’s major tax havens. From global corporations such as Apple and Google, to investment bankers and mainstream politicians, those taking advantage of Ireland’s pro-business tax laws and shadow banking system have amassed untold riches at enormous social cost to ordinary people at home and abroad.
Tax Haven Ireland uncovers the central players in this process and exposes the coverups employed by the Irish state, with the help of accountants, lawyers, and financial services companies. From the lucrative internet porn industry to corruption in the property market, this issue distorts the economy across the state and in the wider international system, and its history runs deep, going back the country’s origins as a British colonial outpost.
Today, in the wake of Brexit and in the shadow of yet another economic crash, what can be done to prevent such dangerous behaviour and reorganize our economies to invest in the people? Can Ireland – and all of us – build an alternative economy based on fairness and democratic values?