'Communists were the devil itself': New documentary explores rise of communism in Ireland

'Communists were the devil itself': New documentary explores rise of communism in Ireland

THE little-known world of communism in Ireland will be explored in a new documentary which airs this month.

Produced by TG4 and PushPull Media, Reds na hÉireann shines a light on the “colourful world of leftist politics and activism” which emerged in Ireland before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Despite Ireland's historical reliance on America for guidance and its powerful right-leaning clergy, a colourful world of leftist politics and activism emerged in Ireland during this time,” the producers explain.

“Hundreds of Irish communists travelled to the Soviet Union and its satellite states in search of a worker's utopia,” they add.

Archive footage reveals the rise of communism in Ireland

The documentary, which will air on TG4 and be available on TG4 player, interviews former communist party members and those who are still loyal to the cause today – despite the idea of the party’s promised leftist utopia being further away now than it ever was.

“Viewers will hear firsthand accounts of the wild, unpredictable accounts of agitating and organising for the Revolution that never came,” TG4 explains.

“Viewers will also be interested and enlightened by a packed hall full of the West Belfast Branch members of the Communist Party Meeting in 1981, a truly non-sectarian space in the middle of a sectarian conflict.”

They add: “Through interviews with veteran Irish communists, Reds na hÉireann will bring the audience deep inside this previously undiscovered world of struggle and comradeship back to a time when it felt like the world was up for grabs.

Former communist leaders in Ireland are interviewed in the new documentary

“The spirit and vigour of many of our interview subjects is on show as we trace their respective journeys from the convent, trade unions and militant republicanism to communism.”

Reds na hÉireann will be broadcast on TG4, and available on TG4 player from 9.30pm on May 24.