Issue 18 of Look Left is available now for €2 in Easons and other newsagents. I genuinely think this is the best issue in the last while.
The interview with Des O’Hagan, founding member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and the Workers Party, was fascinating. Involved in politics for over six decades, he talked about his family’s links to James Connolly, his spell in Crumlin Road Jail in the 1950s and the time he was told by the American consultate in Belfast that “No matter how long you live, no matter what changes take place in the United States, you will never get into America. You’re a communist”.
Historian Brian Hanley’s four-page piece on the the politics and commemoration of World War 1 hits the nail on the head on and is a welcome addition to current articles on the topic. Luke Fallon’s distressing illustration of the trenches helps to bring the piece to life.
The fascinating story of English footballer Robin Friday is told to Look Left’s Barry Healy by music journalist Paolo Hewitt. Friday, who only played top flight played professional football for three years, was known for his heavy smoking, drinking, womanising and drug-taking but scored goals for Reading that “are still considered amongst the best in English football”.
Yours truly has another piece looking at music and politics, this issue focuses on Paul Heaton of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South fame.
Folk musician Andy Irvine is interviewed and talks about his time in London in the late 1950s, travels to Eastern Europe in 1968 and his current work with the Musicians Union of Ireland.
[Andy Irvine’s ballad about the ‘Sydney Twelve’ – members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Australia who were arrested and charged with treason for their active opposition to conscription during the First World War. Jim Larkin’s brother Peter and Thomas Glynn from Galway were two of those involved. The group were released after spending four years in jail.]
Last but not least Kevin Brannigan investigates the current threat to Dalymount Park in Phibsboro (“Dublin’s most historic football ground”) and how legislation in England and Wales has helped to save significant football stadiums from the developer’s wrecking ball.
Other pieces include:
Who Watches the Watchmen: The Gardai, drugs and the working class by Francis Devine
A Tribute to RMT leader Bob Crow by Sean Garland
Where is progressive unionism? by Rev. Chris Hudson
Short impressionistic view of a recent trip to Cuba by Vivian Cullen