The future of trades unionism

This article by Pádraic Ó Conaire was translated in Issue 16 in July 2003.

This year sees the seventy-fifth anniversary of the death of the Irish language writer Pádraic Ó Conaire. While generations are familiar with his stories, little is known of his commitment to revolutionary socialism. To give English speakers a taste of Ó Conaire’s politics, we here translate an article of his. The original, ‘Cumannachas Ceárd san Am le Theacht’, appeared in the April 1919 issue of An Branar in Dublin, and was based on a talk Ó Conaire gave in Liberty Hall on 18 March that year.

I

This old world has seen many a great change over the centuries: the Roman Empire rose, gaining supremacy of territories East and West, and then declined and collapsed; the fierce Turk came east from Asia and seized Constantinople, scattering the remains of ancient Greek learning and philosophy throughout Western Europe; that scattering gave hope and courage, so that Christopher Columbus sailed to find a new world; the religious wars and the imperial wars and the wars of succession came; the lower orders of France arose, lighting a fire that hasn’t been extinguished since; the age of engines and steam came, putting a new face on the world; but none of the changes mentioned is anywhere near as great as the revolution this world is undergoing before our eyes, or before the eyes of those with insight.

And this is the great change I mean: that the working class of the world, the providers of all wealth, are coming to power and seizing control of this world.

II

Gradually this seizure will take place. The flood is heading towards us from the east.1 And there is no power under heaven that can stop that flood. The working class will be beaten here and there, and from time to time—through lack of study and knowledge, through some of their leaders being bought by the bosses—but they will get what is rightfully theirs in our time: what is rightfully theirs—how much is that? The ownership and control of all means of wealth—that is the right of the working class, because it is they and they alone who provide all the abundance and riches that exist. And when they have achieved that right the Great Revolution will be here, the greatest industrial and economic revolution that ever came.

But no economic revolution can last unless it corresponds to the time and the occasion. The people must be ready for it. If any society is overthrown, those overthrowing it must have a new society ready to replace it. The age of Capitalism is more or less over. The age of Socialism is coming from the east. Will we, the working class of Europe, be able to build a new society in place of the one collapsing?

III

The old trade unionism was set up to defend the working class’s standard of pay against the capitalist, and those who established it had no intention of fundamentally changing the industrial world. But the leaders of the new unionism have the opposite view: achieving the ownership and control of all means of wealth for the working class is the great object they have placed before them. Up until ten years ago—until Larkin set up the Transport Union, say—there was no close connection between the trade unions in Ireland. There were hundreds of them, each working on its own behalf and with no great friendship between them. Strikes for wage rises would be organised, but the help strikers got from their fellow workers was pathetic. But that was changed. The Trade Union Congress was set up in 1894, but there was little strength in it until twelve years later, until Larkin set up the Transport Union in 1907.2 This union showed the Irish working class the proper road. It was explained to them that a separate union for each trade wouldn’t do much good. The new unionism was established in Ireland when this new union’s two battle cries were heard: “one big union” and, secondly, “an injury to one is an injury to all”. That is the battle cry of today’s working class in Ireland, and that will be their battle cry in future, until they win their full rights, their natural rights.

IV

The foundation was firmly laid. One big union, one big industrial army will exist in future until the aforementioned object is achieved, until every industry in the country is owned by those who work it.

But I will be told that there are many types of trade and that one trade union won’t suit them all. We are stronger standing shoulder to shoulder, and every benefit of separate unions can be got by the other method, because the future one big union will have a separate section or department for each trade (as there is presently in the Transport Union) and the members of that section will control the section. That way, every type of trade will be able to promote the affairs of that trade without restraint from the working class in general, and if any enemy interferes with any section of the big union that section will know that the whole working class will stand behind them, unlike now.

This arrangement gives the advantages of a separate union without the disadvantages.

It goes without saying that the connection between many unions in Ireland and their equivalents abroad will be broken. The big union I have in mind will stand on its own two feet, but will help and extend brotherhood to the working class in all countries, while itself being independent of all. This Brotherhood and Internationalism exists already: the Irish Labour Party and Trade Union Congress take part in every international assembly on the continent, two delegates from Ireland are on the Executive of the Inter­national since recently, and that International recognises Ireland as a separate nation, unlike the Conference of States currently sitting in Paris.3 Some of our people are currently scared of talk of Internationalism, but they have no need to be afraid. Both are needed, Nationalism and International­ism, and don’t interfere with each other in any way.

V

The wealth of the Trade Union Movement will not be sunk in war funds or in the bosses’ businesses in future. No, the big union, or the sections of the union, will have their own assets, administered by the members of the big union for the good of their brother workers. Most of the unions’ resources are currently spent on sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, funeral benefit and so on: but in future, when the sections of the big union have lands and factories of their own, the trade union movement won’t have to waste its money like that; and these awards certainly are a waste, as trade unionism derives no permanent benefit from them. The man who is out of work will be able to feed himself and his family on his union’s farm or in his union’s factory according to his trade and ability, and the unemployment benefit he now gets from his union will not be spent, serving instead as assets for the union to promote the industrial work on hand. The existence of these lands and factories would provide another benefit: a period on the farm or in the workers’ colony would greatly improve the man himself; it would improve his and his family’s health and make him independent in every way. Each of these colonies would be a little world in itself, a happy pleasant little world with the invalids of the labour army working in them as befits their own nature. As befits their own nature—we, tormented under the yoke of capitalism, can hardly comprehend the good this method of working would bring. Leave the magazine aside for half an hour, reader, and think about it, not forgetting that there are traits and virtues in humanity that do not flourish at all under the yoke of capitalism. We don’t know what triumphs poetry, painting, sculpture and many other trades and arts would achieve when the great mass of the slaves of today could shed their great burden of worry.

Strikes are broken easily enough at present. Scarcity and hunger is the capitalist’s strongest weapon of attack to that end; but in future, when trade unionists have set up these workers’ colonies, this barbaric weapon will be blunted. Trade unionists will have a food supply of their own during strikes.

VI

We know that the bosses and the arrogant rulers of the world will not release their grip easily; that is clear from their current attempt to crush the Socialist Republic that has been set up in Russia.4 But the trade unions, or the congress of those unions, will have their own defence force in future. James Connolly started this defence force in Ireland when he set up the Irish Labour Army during the great strike in Dublin in 1913-1914.5 But this defence force is not the only defensive and offensive weapon that Trade Unionism will have: when the working class come to a proper realisation of themselves, they will be able to deny food and fighting men to the State Army; they will be able to put an end to State Wars because of their grip on the industrial and economic system of all countries.

And the age of capitalism will be over when that day comes.

VII

But political freedom has to be obtained for the nation itself in Ireland first, because that freedom is the basis of every other freedom. And when trade unionism is strong and equipped in the manner mentioned, the complete economic freedom of the working class will be achieved, and it will be able to take ownership and control of all means of wealth. They will have a new society to replace the one being overthrown. But individual freedom, the crowning glory of every other freedom, there are few in Ireland who believe such a precious treasure can be given to this tormented world at all—but let them wait.

Notes

  1. A reference to the Russian revolution of October 1917 and the revolutionary outbreaks that followed it elsewhere in Europe.
  2. Ó Conaire’s confusion regarding the date of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union’s foundation is understandable. Jim Larkin began working as a union official in Ireland in 1907. A meeting on 28 December 1908 decided to set up the ITGWU, and it was formally established on 4 January 1909.
  3. Two delegates from the Irish Labour Party and Trade Union Congress attended the International Labour and Socialist Conference in Berne, Switzerland in March 1919. The conference, called to re-establish the international links that collapsed with the outbreak of the world war, supported Ireland’s right to self-determination and gave the Irish delegation a seat on its commission. The Paris Peace Conference, where the victorious powers had been discussing peace treaties since January 1919, refused to hear Ireland’s claim to independence.
  4. Armies from various states were invading Soviet Russia in an attempt to overthrow the revolution.
  5. A reference to the Irish Citizen Army: while Connolly was not the Army’s founder, he became its commandant in 1914.

Ár mbeatha agus ár dtalamh

Foilsíodh na haistí nua-aimsithe seo le Pádraic Ó Conaire ar Eagrán 56 i Meitheamh 2014.

Tá na scórtha aistí cnuasaithe in An tAthrú Mór: Scríbhinní sóisialacha le Pádraic Ó Conaire (Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh a chuir in eagar, Coiscéim 2007) a chruthaíonn go cinnte a thugtha is a bhí an scríbhneoir seo don sóisialachas sna blianta corracha i ndiaidh an chogaidh mhóir. Tá dhá aiste shóisialacha eile óna pheann aimsithe againn anseo. Foilsíodh iad ar Ár gCeart / Rights: The Irish Labour Review, páipéar a d’fhoilsigh an Irish Clerical and Allied Workers’ Union i 1919-20. Áitíonn sé iontu gur gá do na hoibrithe smacht a fháil ar an talamh agus táirgeadh an bhia, ceist a phléigh sé go minic sa tréimhse sin.

Ár mBeatha
Dualgas an fheilméara

[21 Bealtaine 1920]

Is iontach an rud é nach raibh sé de mhisneach ag aon cheann des na páipéir laethúla atá againn sa tír seo cur síos a dhéanamh ar an ngníomh mór a rinne Comhlucht Oibre Éireann nuair a chuireadar cosc ar imeacht an bhia as ár dtír.1 Bhí eagla orthu a rá roimh na feilméaraí agus na ceannaithe agus lucht saothraithe bagúin go raibh an ceart ag an lucht oibre; bhí eagla orthu a rá nach raibh sé ceart, mar bhéadh, ní amháin an lucht oibre ach an chuid is mó den phobal anuas ina mullach; agus de bhrí a meatachta fágadh na páipéir gan meas gan urraim ag aon dream.

Dúirt mé gur mór an gníomh a rinne Comhlucht Oibre Éireann agus an bia a choinneáil sa mbaile do mhuintir na tíre seo agus iallach a chur ar cheannaithe agus eile an bia sin a dhíol ar airgead cothrom; go deimhin, ní bheinn ag dul amú go mór dá n‑abraínn go mb’é an gníomh is tábhachtaí dá ndearnadar ariamh é. Ba mhó, le féachaint air, an Stailc Náisiúnta ar son na bPríosúnach,2 ach is mó agus is buaine an toradh a bhéas ar an ngníomh eile. Chuir an gníomh eile sin i gcéill do chách gur le muintir na tíre seo a saothraítear de bhia in Éirinn, agus nach mbeidh sé de chead ná de cheart ag aon duine, ná ag aon dream, beatha na tíre a sheoladh thar farraige anonn go dtí go mbeidh riar ár gcáis againn féin. Réiteodh duine ciallmhar ar bith leis an méid sin; chuir Comhlucht Oibre Éireann aguisín leis ag rá nach bhfuil an cead ná an ceart sin ann gan é a bheith i gcumas an fhir oibre a chuid a cheannacht ar airgead cothrom. Agus ní hé sin amháin ach shocraigh Comhlucht Oibre Éireann céard is airgead cothrom ann.

San aimsir atá imithe, b’é bun-bharúil na sua as Manchain gur ar éigin go bhfanfadh an ghrian ar an spéir dá gcuirtí isteach ar dhlithe na tráchtála, de réir mar a thuig siadsan iad; agus lean gach rialtas dá raibh i Sasana den chuspóir sin gur tháinig an cogadh mór. Cuireadh cosc le imeacht mórán cineál earraí as Sasana i dtosach an chogaidh sin; socraíodh luach gach cineál bia ann. Rinneadh praiseach de gach barúil a bhí ag Scoil Mhanchain agus níor tógadh glór in aghaidh na hoibre sin. Ach nuair a rinne Comhlucht Oibre Éireann a leithéid chéanna d’obair don tír seo is a rinne an Rialtas i Sasana don tír sin, tháinig feilméaraí na hÉireann i gceann comhairle agus chuireadar scréach astu ag rá nach raibh sé de cheart ag an bpobal, nó ag aon dream sa tír, cur isteach ar a saothar. Agus an Rialtas Gallda ag cur isteach orthu gach lá sa mbliain!

Comhlucht Oibre Éireann cuid den ghléas atá ag an bPoblacht seo le toil an náisiúin a chur i bhfeidhm; saighdiúirí agus póilíní agus a bhaineann leo, an gléas atá ag ár namhaid le toil Shasana a chur i bhfeidhm; deir na feilméaraí, an chuid is mó acu, go bhfuilid dílis don Phoblacht, ach má tá is ait an dílseacht é agus géilleadh don namhaid agus dul i gcoinne toil an Rialtais a thoghadar féin.

Dob fhiú don uile dhuine an freagra a thug Cumann na bhFeilméaraí ar Chomhlucht Oibre Éireann a léamh. Cuireann siad i gcéill don saol nach ligfidh siad (má fhéadann siad é) don phobal cur isteach ar ghnó na feilméarachta; go bhfuil sé de chead agus de cheart acu a gcuid ime agus a gcuid bagúin, a gcuid uibheacha agus a gcuid mart a dhíol in aon áit a mbeidh an scilling ba mhó le fáil orthu, cuma a dtír dhúchais féin a bheith gann nó gan a bheith. “Ná leag méar ar an muic sin” an fógra a thugadar don lucht oibre agus do mhuintir na tíre seo.

Níor mhór dhóibh machnamh ar chupla rud: ar an gcéad chur síos is le muintir na tíre seo talamh na tíre seo agus a bhfuil faoi agus a bhfuil ós a chionn, agus nach bhfuil sé ach ar seilbh agus ar bannaí acusan ó mhuintir na tíre; go bhfuil sé de dhualgas ar an talmhaí ábhar bia a sholáthar dá thír féin i dtosach, agus nach bhfuil sé de cheart aige punt ime a chur thar sáile go mbeifear sásta go bhfuil ár ndóthain féin le fáil againn in Éirinn ar airgead cothrom.

Sin cuid de dhualgas an fheilméara go bhfuil talamh ina sheilbh ó mhuintir a thíre; ar comhlíonadh an dualgas sin? Tá fhios againn uile go léir nár comhlíonadh. Airgead páipéir an tSasanaigh is mó a bhí ó na feilméaraí ó thosaigh an cogadh mór, agus ba chuma leo ó neamh anuas céard a dhéanfadh an fear oibre sa mbaile mór, nó faoin tuaith féin. Bhí an scéal chomh dona sin go mb’éigin do Sinn Féin gníomh a dhéanamh leis an mbeatha a choinneáil in Éirinn ar eagla go gcaillfí leis an ocras sinn. Rugadh ar na muca ar shráideanna Átha Cliath, maraíodh iad agus roinneadh an fheoil leis an bpobal ar luach cothrom. Marach an gníomh sin a rinneadh leis na muca a bhí dhá gcur go Sasana, agus an toradh a bhí air, is beag bagúin a bhéadh againn le linn deireadh an chogaidh mhóir. An do na feilméaraí atá ár mbuíochas ag dul nár creachadh an tír le cúig bliana? Dualgas an fheilméara ár ndóthain bia a sholáthar don tír—cé atá in ann a rá gur chomhlíonadar an dualgas sin? Agus tá fhios againn uile go léir céard ba chóra a dhéanamh le dream nach gcomhlíonann a ndualgas dá dtír agus don phobal a thug an talamh dhóibh lena shaothrú ar son na tíre.

Ach deir Cumann na bhFeilméaraí sa bhfreagra a tugadh ar Chomhlucht Oibre Éireann go raibh siad ag iarraidh prís an bhia a laghdú, go raibh Comhdháil acu féin agus ag an Department3 le chéile leis an gceist a shocrú. Maith go leor—más ea, má bhí an chomhdháil sin ann, comhdháil na bhfaolchon faoi roinnt na n‑uan a bhí ann, mar ní túisce a bhí cead ag na feilméaraí a rogha airgid a bhaint amach ar an mbeatha ná ardaíodh luach an bhagúin scilling sa bpunt agus an t‑im dá réir. Admhaíonn siad féin é sin, agus le linn na hadmhachtála sin dóibh taspáineann siad nach dtuigeann siad céard atá in aigne Chomhlucht Oibre Éireann ar chor ar bith. “In response to the operation of supply and demand” na focla a deir siad. Tá fhios ag an saol go bhfuil an glaoch ann, tá fhios ag an saol nach dtógtar mart, muc ná caora in Éirinn nach bhféadfaí a dhíol ar luach níos mó thar lear ná a d’fhéadfaí a fháil air in Éirinn. An abróidh siad linn go bhfuil sé de chead agus de cheart acu é sin a dhéanamh agus an tír seo a fhágáil bán? Bhfuil sé de dhánacht iontu a rá go bhfuil sé de cheart acu torthaí thalamh fhir Éireann a chur thar sáile lena bpócaí féin a líonadh le airgead páipéir Shasana?

Deir lucht oibre na tíre seo, agus muintir na tíre i gcoitinne, nach bhfuil an cead sin acu, agus nach mbéarfar dhóibh go deo é. Ach tá an ceart ag muintir na tíre gan aon bhlas bia a ligint thar sáile go mbeimid sásta go mbeidh a dhóthain mhór ag an uile bhean, páiste agus fear a chónaíonn in Éirinn, agus an dóthain sin le fáil acu de réir na páidhe atá ann. Tá an ceart sin ag Comhlucht Oibre Éireann, agus an comhacht acu chuige, agus chomh cinnte is atá grian ar an spéir inniu déanfaidh siad é, cuma cé a bheas ina n‑aghaidh.

Go n‑éirí an obair mhaith leo!

PÁDRAIC Ó CONAIRE

An Cléireach agus an Talamh
Scéim nua

[Meitheamh 1920]

Níl aon dream sa tír seo, ná in aon tír eile, is mó a ghoillfeadh droch­shaol agus anró agus cruatan orthu ná lucht na bpeann, idir cléirigh agus scríobhnóirí agus eile. Agus ní mór d’aon chumann cléireach machnamh maith a dhéanamh ar an bhfírinne sin, agus beart dá réir a dhéanamh. Is cinnte go dtiocfaidh aimsir na contúirte nuair a bhéas ar lucht oibre na hÉireann éirí amach i gcoinne na máistrí, idir máistrí dúchasacha agus máistrí iasachta, ar son a gceart, agus ní mór dhúinn a bheith ag síor-ullmhúchán i gcomhair na haimsire sin. Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scolb, deirtear, agus is fíor an focal é, agus ná bímís ag baint scolb lá na gaoithe móire, ach bímís ullamh ina chomhair. Ach ní faoi lá na gaoithe móire, ní faoin lá go mbeidh ar lucht oibre na tíre seo éirí amach in aghaidh na ndaoine saibhre sotalacha a bhí dhá gcreachadh agus dhá gcrá le linn na n‑aoiseanna is mian liom caint a dhéanamh an tseachtain seo, ach faoin ngnáthshaol a bhíos ag cléirigh agus lucht oibre nach iad.

Gan stailc ná aon rud dá sórt a bheith ar siúl ag aon dream ceardaithe, ag na cléirigh, abair, bíonn costas an-mhór ar a gcumainn. Bíonn ar an gcumann airgead tinnis, airgead díomhaointis, airgead na seanbhall agus airgead nach iad a íoc i gcónaí; cosnaíonn na fiacha seo a bhfuil de shíntiúisí ag teacht isteach ag an gcumann, beagnach, agus gan tairbhe dá réir ann; ualach mór trom ar gach cumann ceard an íocaíocht sin—an féidir an t‑ualach mór sin a thógáil de na cumainn? An féidir le Cumann na gCléireach, abair, an t‑ualach trom sin a chaitheamh ar leataobh agus an buntáiste a théas leis an ualach a choinneáil? An féidir cuid den ualach a chaitheamh ar leataobh agus an buntáiste a choinneáil? Sílim féin gur féidir.

Dá mbeadh talamh dá chuid féin ag Cumann na gCléireach (agus ag cumainn nach é freisin) d’fhéadfaí an chuid is mó den ualach ar ar thráchtas a chaitheamh ar leataobh. Agus ní hé sin amháin, ach bhéadh buntáistí ann nach bhféadfaí a cheannacht ar airgead .i. saol iomlán aoibhinn a bheith ag na baill a bhí gan obair, agus ag a gcúram, ar thalamh an chumainn.

Cuirim i gcás go bhfuil feilm mhaith i seilbh Chumann na gCléireach: an cléireach a chaithfí amach as a chuid oibre, ní bhéadh air ach a scéal a inseacht dá chumann agus sheolfaí é go dtí an áit a mbéadh an fheilm sin. Chuirfí ag obair ar an bhfeilm é, ag soláthar beatha dhó féin agus do mhuintir an chumainn a bhéadh ag obair sna bailte móra. Dá chiotaí dá mbéadh ridire na cleite caoile leis an talmhaíocht i dtosach (agus admhaím go mbéadh cuid acu sách tuathalach) d’fhéadfadh an duine ba mheasa agus ba neamh­chleachtaithe acu obair éigin a dhéanamh ar an bhfeilm, an oiread is a shaothródh greim a bhéil ar a laghad. Ní chaillfeadh an cumann aon cheo dá chothú, agus maidir leis an bhfear a bhí aiclí feidhmiúil, bhéadh brabach maith aige féin de bharr a shaothair, agus ag an gcumann chomh maith. Agus is ag dul i gcliste a bhéadh an dá dhream, an dream ciotógach agus an dream deasógach, in aghaidh na seachtaine.

Cuimhnítear ar an tairbhe a bhéadh ag an gcléireach a chaill a ghnáthphosta agus a bhéadh ag obair ar fheilm a chumainn, seachas mar a bhíos ag an gcléireach atá gan posta faoi láthair: an cléireach atá gan posta faoi láthair, is éigin dó airgead a éileamh ar an gcumann len é féin a bheathú; bíonn sé ag dul thart ar fud na cathrach ó oifig go hoifig ag súil le obair agus gan obair le fáil go minic; is mór an díol trua é ar an tsráid—culaith ghalánta de réir nósanna a cheirde ar a dhroim, an croí agus an misneach agus an dóchas ag imeacht uaidh, gan mórán ina bholg, níos lú ná sin ina phóca, agus gan aon rud atá aige ag dul i méid ach an poll beag atá ar thóin a bhríste.

Traigéideacht4 ann féin cás an fhir sin; ach más bean atá ina leithéid de chás is seacht measa an scéal aici é. Is beag duine den chumann gur leis an páipéar seo nach dtuigeann an scéal chomh maith liomsa, is beag duine againn nach dtabharfadh a lán ar an scéal a leigheas.

Agus tá a leigheas ann, agus ní chosnódh an leigheas aon rud. Ní chaillfí aon airgead leis an leigheas ach a mhalairt. Níl ag teastáil ach misneach agus éirim agus léargas.

An cléireach a bhíos gan posta faoi láthair agus a bheag nó a mhór d’airgead ag teacht chuige ón gcumann, tuigeann cách cén saol cráite a bhíos aige faoi láthair; ach cén saol a bhéadh aige dá mbéadh feilm talún ag an gcumann, áit a bhféadfadh sé tréimhse a chaitheamh ar mhaithe lena phóca agus ar mhaithe lena shláinte?

Saol nua ar fad a bhéadh ag a leithéid d’fhear, saol tuaithe in ionad saol cathrach; ceird nua ar fad dhá foghlaim agus dhá cleachtadh aige, ceird na talmhaíochta in ionad ceird na cleite; mhéadófaí ar na tréithre ba mhó agus ab uaisle a bhéadh ann, mar is ceird iomlán an talmhaíocht; mhéadófaí ar a mheas air féin, agus nuair a d’fhillfeadh sé ar an gcathair bhéadh feabhas dá réir ar a shaothar agus ar thoradh a shaothair.

Ach an tairbhe ba mhó, níor labhradh fós faoi: an spleáchas an duáilce is mó a bhaineas leis an gcléireach de ghnáth: eolas aige cén drochbhail a bhéadh air dá gcailleadh sé a phosta is siocair leis an spleáchas sin; dá mbéadh fhios go bhféadfadh sé a thréimhse díomhaointis a chur isteach ar fheilm a chumainn, ar mhaithe leis féin agus ar mhaithe lena chumann, níorbh fhada go dtráfadh ar an spleáchas sin, níorbh fhada go gcaillfeadh sé an umhlaíocht agus an eagla a bhíos air roimh a mháistir sotalach, thuigfeadh sé gur fear a bhí ann, go raibh sé in ann seasamh ar a bhonna féin, gur cruthaíodh é i múnla Dé.

Don té go bhfuil léargas aige ní gá dhom tuilleadh a rá faoin taobh seo den scéal; agus an duine atá gan léargas, ní mian liom labhairt [leis] ar chor ar bith.

Cluinim lucht an lagmhisnigh agus lucht an bheag-is-fiú agus iad ag labhairt d’aon ghuth: ní féidir é a dhéanamh! an t‑aon phort amháin atá acu, agus dar Crom, ní port uasal é.

Deirimse gur féidir é a dhéanamh agus cruthód é.

Is féidir leis an Rúnaí Ionaid […]5 agus an talamh a cheannacht amach ’s amach leis an gcaipiteal sin, mar bhéadh a gcothú agus luach a saothair ag na daoine go bhfuil an pháidhe díomhaointis ag gabháil dóibh faoi láthair agus ní theastódh an pháidhe eile uathu. Ach ní mór do dhuine aiste faoi leith a scríobh faoin gcuid seo den scéim agus tá fúm é a dhéanamh uair éigin eile.6

Tá mórán buntáistí eile sa scéim seo nach bhfuil sé d’fhaill agam trácht orthu an tseachtain seo, ach d’fhífeadh sé lucht cheird an chléireachais go dlúth le chéile. An té a bhéadh ag obair ar an bhfeilm nó ar an gcoilíneacht seo atá i gceist agam, chuirfeadh sé aithne níos fearr ar a chomhoibritheoirí mar ní aithne go aontíos. Bráithre aon chumainn a bhéadh iontu, cinnte, agus ní cumann ceirde amháin a bhéadh sa gcumann seo ach cumann cairdeasa agus ceana nach scaoilfeadh an saol.

Is léir dom rud eile freisin, is léir dom gurab é an cairdeas seo agus an cion seo is mó atá ag teastáil sa saol in Éirinn inniu, agus dá mbéadh na suáilcí uaisle seo ann, go bhféadfaí ár saol a mhúnlú ar ár dtoil féin, agus Éire faoina háilneacht a bhaint [amach dá] muintir atá faoi chois […]7

Nótaí

  1. Comhlucht nó Cuallacht Oibre Éireann an leagan a bhíodh ag an gConaireach ar an Irish Labour Party and Trade Union Congress. An mhí roimhe seo chuir dugadóirí i mBaile Átha Cliath stop le bia a easportáil gur díoladh cuid de in Éirinn ar phraghas socraithe.
  2. Bhí stailc ghinearálta ann an mhí roimhe seo ag éileamh go scaoilfí saor príosúnaigh phoblachtacha, rud a rinneadh tar éis trí lá.
  3. An Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.
  4. “Tráighidheacht” atá sa téacs.
  5. Tá cuid den nuachtán ar iarraidh, agus thart ar chúig líne den aiste anseo.
  6. Ní cosúil gur foilsíodh aon eagrán eile de Ár gCeart.
  7. Tá an chuid dheireanach seo den aiste ar an bpíosa den nuachtán atá ar iarraidh. Ach ina aiste ‘Déantar Tús Maith’ a foilsíodh ar an Irishman 11 Bealtaine 1918 agus a phléann an cheist chéanna, scríobh Ó Conaire: “is léir dhom go bhféadfaí an saol seo a mhúnlú ar ár dtoil féin, agus Éire faoina háilneacht a bhaint amach don mhuintir atá faoi chois inniu, agus í a bhronnadh mar oidhreacht uasal ar shliocht ár sleachta.” (Féach An tAthrú Mór, lch 52.)