IWW in Ireland

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 13-10-12
Jun 3 2013 22:03
IWW in Ireland

Last year I went to (which is listed as the "Britain and Ireland region") to see if there were any branches in Ireland, but there were none listed, so I emailed the communications officer and he responded thusly:

"I will pass you on to the organiser down for covering your region while we are short of one in Ireland."

Eh? There's an organiser down for covering my region (Ireland) but at the same time they're short of one (branch/organiser?) in Ireland.

I asked for clarification and was told:

"Its fine, ... the regional organiser will get in touch with you mate."

Never heard back.

So a few weeks ago I sent a message to the IWW page on Facebook asking the same question, and I was given two email addresses, to which I forwarded the same question again. One of these people responded, saying:

"I believe there were a few members some time ago, but actually mostly the website is very much outdated and the part of the IWW that is the local structure in the UK, is no longer called BIRA, but European Regional Administration.

I think it is fair to say, the issue you raise about lack of members in Ireland in relation to the name, was also raised periodically in the 3 years or so it was BIRA (2009-2012, I think).

All that said, to find out about current members in Ireland you can contact our Regional Organizer for Scotland and Ireland."

I sent an email in that direction, never heard back.

So what's up? Has the IWW ever been active in Ireland? Do they aspire to be? Why was I bounced around so much with such a simple question?

georgestapleton's picture
Joined: 4-08-05
Jun 4 2013 12:21

They have a few isolated inactive members but no attempts at organising anything. Occasionally they talk about organising in Ireland, but this have never really been pursued.

Joined: 13-10-12
Jun 4 2013 22:32

Do you know why that is? I mean the impression I got was that they don't care at all, and at least three of the people I contacted weren't even interested in answering my question. It's an odd attitude.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Joined: 5-07-09
Jun 5 2013 04:14

it seems to me that as comrade says there are only 3 or so wobs maybe in the country and then the scottish contact and whomever else doesn't really know who to point you too, even if there are these three wobs.

i can't know for sure, but i have a hunch this means these FWs might not have the capacity to build the IWW right now or obviously haven't done much work to do so, despite being sympathizers.

if you really want to join the IWW and see it grow in Ireland i suggest you get in touch with the IWW, join, get your workmates and buddies from the community to join and really make a go at it.

alternatively maybe some other organization could help you take a similar approach.

West coast Scot
Joined: 5-06-13
Jun 5 2013 08:49

About a dozen contacts appear in IWW database for All ireland, some lapsed. I am the new Regional Organiser for west Scotland. we are in the process of handing over posts, and redrawing the map of Scotland*. Others will look into what happened to your application.

We did in Scotland have a speaker from the independent union in Ireland at a Scottish assembly in Edinburgh, that is closest to the IWW, which is principally based in Cork & Dublin.

Online applications usually get processed, but applications remain that unless accompanied by dues payments. We could send you a paper form if you want. My email is i will have a more formal IWW email soon but the title is new* so best use my personal for time being.

A network of Irish wobs would be a step forward, and in short term we as "celtic cousins" will assist you. In longer term, a RO for ireland and network within ERA for Ireland is a goal.

Joined: 13-10-12
Jun 5 2013 22:11

Thanks for that. It wasn't so much an application as a general inquiry about current and past activity in Ireland, it was just a bit exasperating to be bounced around so much and still end up with no answer.

I am definitely interested in staying in contact though, I'll send you an email.

cantdocartwheels's picture
Joined: 15-03-04
Jun 30 2013 20:04

There's the WSM and the IWU, if your North of the border theres also Belfast Solfed.
Those would probly be your best bets for finding like minded anarchists and syndicalists.

Joined: 13-10-12
Jul 22 2013 15:00

Is the IWU explicitly anti-capitalist?

The international aspect of the IWW is important to me.

Joined: 2-10-04
Aug 6 2013 11:46

Solidarity Federation have a Local in Belfast that is not just about organising 'north of the border', as anarcho-syndicalists we are explicitly internationalist and anti-capitalist.

As the Belfast Local when it was in formation was effectively made up of members of the previously existing anarcho-syndicalist group Organise! I can shed some light on what happened with IWW members in Ireland.

Many of them joined Organise! and let their IWW memberships lapse. At least one was a member of both until the BIROC went for registration as a legal union in the UK when they left the IWW. A couple of people held onto their IWW membership cards but never attempted to organise as the IWW.

If you'd like more info on SolFed and what our aims are in general and how the Belfast Local would like to contribute to developing anarcho-syndicalism in Ireland you can message me here or email belfastsolfed @



back2front's picture
Joined: 15-03-09
Feb 24 2016 08:16

Yes, the registration as Deezer suggests was the reason.