Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hayes and the Irish

Ireland and The Hayes Labour Movement

The Labour movement in Hayes, has always taken a keen intrest in Irish freedom and the first meeting in the Borough can be traced backed to a Quaker meeting in Uxbridge in the 1880's. Which reported on a delegation to Ireland.

The first Labour candidate for Uxbridge Constituency (including Hayes) Harry Gosling called for Irish independence in his election address.

John Ryan MP for Uxbridge in the 1960's was an active supporter of the Irish Civil Rights Association

In February 1972, the Hayes Communist Party organised a meeting (According to Peter Pink one of their best) with Sean Morrisey as speaker. Civil rights leader and Chairman of the Turf Lodge Residents Association, he was also an Executive Committee member of the Communist Party.

Sean Morrisey, hit out at the British Army claiming “They shot down these people in Derry and thought that they’d finished us”

"But the struggle continued, he said doubting that a solution to the problems could be brought about by violence” – either by the Army or the IRA."

It was stated that, Mr Morrisey who lives in Belfast with his wife and three children continued “Although the civil rights movement supports the aims and objectives of the IRA, we do not support their methods."

“If we thought they could succeed we would all be members ourselves, We’re trying to get political action and bring northern Ireland back on the political platform"

"We don’t think any elitist group will about political changes in northern Ireland, it depends on the masses"

Mr Morrisey also attacked the Stormont Government.

Not only had the government failed to provide employment – 11% were out of work

but also to provide normal amenities

"If unionism and democracy cant exist together, one of them has to go, and its not going to be democracy"

The Irish trade union movement also came in for criticism but he said “the trade union movement is the one common platform which could bring the two sections of the community together”Chairman Mr Peter Pink said his Party endorsed the speakers view

Mr Morrisey returned home on Saturday following the meeting on Thursday at Townfield School. He was one of two Civil Rights leaders to visit Britain.s

Sean Morrisey Education Officer for Ireland Amalgamated Transport & General Workers Union
Speaking in 1980 he stated " When we explain the actual reasons for unemployment and the worsening living conditions to the workers, we show them that vital problems can be resolved not by patching up contradictions but by fundamentally changining the present socio-economic system, Our Party's strength lies in its ability to bring this truth home to the people"

the leader of the Labour Group and Hayes Parliamentary Labour Candiate was Peter Fagan, born in Dublin

In the 1980's a delegation of Sinn Fein Councillors were invited to various meetings in Hayes and to meet the Labour group Councillors, the delegation included Barbara de Brun (then Barbara Brown).

John McDonnell has used his position on the GLC and in the House of Commons to continue this tradition, including the GLC funding of the Hillingdon Irish Centre