The United Irishman

The United Irishman, based in Dublin and launched in May of 1948, was first the monthly newspaper of Sinn Féin. The paper documented the rebuilding of the republican movement in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the IRA’s “Border Campaign” (1956-62), and the leftward shift in the movement during the 1960s. When Sinn Féin split in 1970, The United Irishman continued as the newspaper of “Official” Sinn Féin while “Provisional” Sinn Féin established its own newspapers (An Phoblacht in Dublin and Republican News in Belfast). The “Officials” were harsh critics of the “Provisional” IRA’s paramilitary campaign. In 1972, the “Official” IRA went on ceasefire, and in 1977 “Official” Sinn Féin changed its name to Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party. In 1982, the party dropped its reference to Sinn Féin and became The Workers’ Party. By this time, as described by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar in The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party (2009), sales of The United Irishman had declined and its title was “increasingly anachronistic”. The paper ceased publication in 1980 and the party launched a new publication, Workers’ Life. We thank Diarmuid Mac Dubhghlais and the estate of Dr. J. Bowyer Bell for providing access to issues of The United Irishman

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