The counter-revolution in Ireland led to civil war and the brutal execution of dozens of Irish republicans by the new ‘Free State.’ Here is a resolution presented by Roddy Connolly, son of James Connolly and Irish delegate to the Comintern, and passed by the Fourth Congress of the Communist International in December, 1922.
‘Resolution on the Executions in Ireland’ from International Press Correspondence. Vol. 2 No. 18. December 30, 1922.
Comrades, In the name of the delegation of the Irish Communist Party I propose the following resolution:
The Fourth Congress of the Communist International vigorously protests the execution of five national revolutionaries by the Irish Free State on 25 November. It draws the attention of all the world’s workers and peasants to the bestial excesses of pervasive and vile terror in Ireland. Already more than six thousand brave fighters against British imperialism have been thrown into prison and exposed to dreadful conditions. Many women have been compelled to go on hunger strike. Five months of struggle against the terror have produced examples of horrible atrocities, similar to those of the Black and Tans, the fascists in Italy, or the thugs used by trusts in the United States. This has claimed 1,800 lives.
The Free State has not hesitated to use the artillery, munitions, rifles, and ammunition supplied by the British government. It has even used airplanes with death-dealing machine guns against revolutionaries, both armed and unarmed. And it has capped off all this by executing the five revolutionaries, on the feeble grounds that they had weapons in their possession. This desperate shooting of prisoners is the direct result of the admitted bankruptcy of the Free State, its last resort in breaking the resistance of the fighting Irish masses against their enslavement by the British world empire.
The crushing of the Republicans can result only in firmly establishing an imperialist and terrorist government. Such a government will not hesitate a moment in using these same brutal weapons against the Irish workers’ movement, the moment it gives the first indication of advancing to power or of fighting for better conditions.
Given this indisputable fact, the action of the Labour Party majority led by Johnson in approving the executions represents a betrayal beyond anything that these betrayers of the working class have ever done before. That was graphically demonstrated by the fact that even Ireland’s most reactionary capitalist newspaper, which in 1916 demanded the blood of Connolly, deplored the government’s action.
The Communist International warns the working class of Ireland against this betrayal of the ideals of Connolly and Larkin. It points out to the Irish workers and peasants that the only means of escape from Free State terrorism and imperialist oppression is an organised and coordinated struggle in political, economic, and military arenas. Armed struggle alone, without its extension and support through economic and political actions, will end in failure. In order to achieve success, the masses must be mobilised against the Free State. This can only be done on the basis of the social programme of the Communist Party of Ireland.
The Communist International sends fraternal greetings to the struggling Irish national revolutionaries and expresses its confidence that they will soon take the path to true freedom, the path to communism. The Communist International will support all efforts aimed at conducting a struggle against this terror and at assisting the Irish workers and farmers to victory.
Long live the Irish national independence struggle!
Long live the Irish workers republic!
Long live the Communist International!
International Press Correspondence, widely known as”Inprecorr” was published by the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) regularly in German and English, occasionally in many other languages, beginning in 1921 and lasting in English until 1938. Inprecorr’s role was to supply translated articles to the English-speaking press of the International from the Comintern’s different sections, as well as news and statements from the ECCI. Many ‘Daily Worker’ and ‘Communist’ articles originated in Inprecorr, and it also published articles by American comrades for use in other countries. It was published at least weekly, and often thrice weekly. The ECCI also published the magazine ‘Communist International’ edited by Zinoviev and Karl Radek from 1919 until 1926 monthly in German, French, Russian, and English. Unlike, Inprecorr, CI contained long-form articles by the leading figures of the International as well as proceedings, statements, and notices of the Comintern. No complete run of Communist International is available in English. Both were largely published outside of Soviet territory, with Communist International printed in London, to facilitate distribution and both were major contributors to the Communist press in the U.S. Communist International and Inprecorr are an invaluable English-language source on the history of the Communist International and its sections.
PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/inprecor/1922/v02n118-dec-30-1922-Inprecor.pdf