Our friends at Red Mole Rising have done a great service by republishing online Rayner Lysaght’s history: “The Republic of Ireland”.
Originally published in 1970, this is a dense and detailed account of Irish history up to that period from a revolutionary marxist standpoint. Rayner Lysaght recently died at the age of 80, and for most of his life was a revolutionary activist and member of the Fourth International. Born in Wales and descended from a long line going back to Welsh Chartist radicals, Rayner moved to Ireland in his early years to study and stayed there for the rest of his life helping to found the Irish Fourth International group in the 1970s while researching and writing about Irish history. He is particularly well known for his detailed account of the almost-forgotten Limerick Soviet of 1919. “The Republic of Ireland” is a detailed history of the island, written from the standpoint and understanding of the the centrality of the class struggle rather than a traditional academic focus on governmental and ruling class institutions. As such, it is not as well known or widely read as it should be, so it is a fitting tribute to Rayner’s life to have it republished online and made more widely available. For those grappling with the challenges of Scottish independence from the UK state, an understanding of Irish history from a working class marxist standpoint is immensely rewarding.
The book is available as a large PDF and contains a new introduction written in 2021 by Irish revolutionary socialist John McAnulty of Socialist Democracy.
The full book is here.
It is also available broken down by chapters here.
Obituaries of Rayner Lysaght and tributes to his life can be read here: https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7210
ecosocialist.scot October 2021
“The Republic of Ireland” Contents pages