ETOL Writers: Peter Hadden

Peter Hadden

photo: Paul Mattsson


Internet Archive

“Socialism ... means no privileged elite, only the right of people themselves to manage their own affairs. It means creating an international brotherhood and sisterhood, a unity based on respect of difference and in which all national and minority rights would be guaranteed. It is the unity of the working class, built in the struggle for such a society that will solve the national problem in Ireland.”

Troubled Times: The National Question in Ireland, 1995


Peter Hadden was a representative from Ireland at the 1974 founding congress of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) and was re-elected to its International Executive Committee thereafter. Born into a Protestant household in Country Tyrone, Northern Ireland, he joined the ‘Militant’, in Britain, while studying at Sussex University in the late 1960s. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1971, committed to building the forces of Trotskyism and the unity of the working class, along with the other initial forces of the Irish Militant. After a few years working for the NIPSA union, he worked full time as a leading member of the National Executive of the Irish Militant/Socialist Party for the rest of his life, serving as a guiding influence on the party, both north and south. Peter was Northern Secretary of the party, including during the long years of the ‘Troubles’.

Renowned for his clarity, Peter made very important contributions on many political issues and Marxist theory, in particular concerning a socialist analysis of and programme for the national question in Ireland and internationally. He wrote prolifically for the socialist press in Ireland, Britain and internationally, including Militant Irish Monthly and The Socialist. In addition to his journalistic work, Peter wrote pamphlets and books, such as Common Misery, Common Struggle (1980), Divide and Rule (1980), Beyond the Troubles? (1994), Troubled Times: The National Question in Ireland (1995) and Towards Division Not Peace (2002). This archive is intended to give an outline of his full life of political work.


Irish Times: Peter Hadden – Co-founder of Socialist Party (May 2010)

Kevin McLoughlin: A tribute to comrade Peter Hadden’s contribution (May 2010)

Niall Mulholland: Peter Hadden – an inspiring life for socialism (May 2010)


October 1971: Internment – Threat to all workers

March 1972: Connolly and the 1916 uprising

March 1972: Only working class can bring Irish unity! pamphlet, with John Throne)

April 1972: Derry murders condoned – The Widgery whitewash

May 1972: End sectarian violence with Trade Union Defence Force

September 1972: Protestant workers and the struggle for socialism

October 1972: No coalition – for a socialist Labour Party

November 1972: Officials’ Civil Rights demand – inadequate at this stage

January 1973: Officials’ Ard Fheis – Adopt socialist ideas demand rank and file

April 1973: The Easter Rising

1974: Northern Ireland – For Worker’s Unity (pamphlet)

February 1974: Civil Rights and socialism – not separate issues

March 1974: Trade union movement must defend workers

Summer 1974: Northern Irish Perspectives (document)

July 1974: Conference of Workers Parties needed Now (as Peter Hunt)

July 1974: Protestant workers poverty (as Peter Hunt)

August 1974: Communist View – Attack on BICO (letter, as Peter Hunt)

September 1974: After three years of internment in Northern Ireland – Only workers’ movement can solve the problems (as Peter Hunt)

November 1974: A strong union (unsigned)

January 1975: NILP Conference – Shows the need for a genuine workers’ party (as Peter Hunt)

July 1975: Attack on workers’ wages

December 1975: Northern Ireland Housing Executive

1976: For Socialist policies to save jobs

February 1976: NILP accused of turning against socialism (press release)

April 1976: Belfast Workers protest – Meter man murdered (as Peter Hunt)

July 1976: Flecks Strike

August 1976: Shankill Peace March

September 1976: Workers defence in Northern Ireland

October 1976: Peace Movement – Labour Movement must intervene (as Peter Hunt)

November 1976: Mobilise Unions (as Peter Hunt)

December 1976: Labour representation in Northern Ireland (letter)

May 1977: UUAC – Loyalist stoppage (letter)

August 1977: Northern Perspectives (document)

October 1977: NILP and sectarianism (letter)

February 1978: Maintain ICTU Unity (as Peter Hunt)

April 1978: End Sectarianism (as Peter Hunt)

October 1978: Civil Rights – 10 years of struggle in Northern Ireland

April 1979: Bennett Report – Police Torture exposed

May 1979: Gas Industry to Close

May 1979: Trade Unions must fight repression

June 1979: Northern Ireland – Youth fight for socialism

February 1980: Northern ICTU Conference – Support Grows for a Labour Party

August 1980: Divide and Rule (pamphlet)

October 1980: Northern Perspectives (document)

February 1981: British Labour Right rejects democracy

May 1981: Northern Ireland – Stop sectarian upsurge

May 1981: Worker’s unity can end repression – H-Block

October 1981: Does Britain want to get out?

November 1981: Lessons of the hunger strike

1982: Northern Perspectives (document)

January 1982: Northern Ireland – For Workers’ Unity and Socialism

March 1982: One answer – workers’ unity

April 1982: Northern workers need a party of Labour

October 1982: Assembly – a platform for Tories

October 1982: Northern Ireland – Sectarianism no solution

November 1982: Assembly elections – no hope for political stability

January 1983: Provisionals – a blind alley for youth

March 1983: Karl Marx – founder of scientific socialism, revolutionary thinker and activist

October 1983: Supergrasses

October 1983: War in Lebanon – class unity the key

November 1983: Guerilla warfare – no alternative to mass struggle

December 1983: Why socialists must oppose Sinn Fein

February 1984: Militant editor on Irish tour

April 1984: Marxism and the Labour Movement

August 1984: Northern Ireland – A Marxist analysis (pamphlet)

September 1984: State Terror

October 1984: The National Question in the epoch of imperialism

December 1984: Miners turn tide

April 1985: Socialist candidates in local elections

May 1985: Northern Ireland’s history of class struggle

Summer 1985: Sinn Fein blocks workers’ unity

November 1985: Anglo-Irish Talks – can they solve the crisis?

December 1985: Anglo Irish Agreement – workers movement must put an alternative

Spring 1986: The Anglo-Irish Agreement – A Warning to Labour

Mar 1986: 1976 – Workers fight sectarian attacks

May 1986: Divide and rule – then and now

May 1986: Northern Ireland public services right wing manoeuvre

June 1986: “Allow Free Discussion” – demands NIPSA Broad Left

July 1986: Civil war threat – workers must respond

November 1986: One year of the Anglo-Irish Agreement

June 1987: Sri Lanka – Only socialist revolution can end the bloodbath

July 1987: Northern Ireland Perspectives (pamphlet)

July 1987: Sectarian tension mounts in Northern Ireland

November 1987: Anglo-Irish Agreement – another failed solution

January 1988: New recession will open up world revolution

February 1988: Palestinian youth revolt

April 1988: How workers defeated the bigots

Summer 1988: Northern Ireland – Tories Reach an Impasse

June 1988: De Lorean style “realism” or a socialist solution

October 1988: 1968 – Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement

December 1988: World Economy – Will there be a slump?

1989: The Troops go into Northern Ireland

March 1989: Afghanistan – Why the Russians Withdrew

April 1989: Defend nationalisation – No to the buy-out (as Harry Peters)

April 1989: Irish Labour Party Conference – Witch-hunt of Militant

Autumn 1989: Twenty Years Since the Troops Went In (Debate with Clare Short)

October 1989: Provos bomb marines in Deal (as Harry Peters)

December 1989: Greece – the prospect for world capitalism

March 1990: Northern Perspectives (document)

September 1990: Pat Wall – a lifetime fighting for socialism (obituary)

December 1990: Will Britain withdraw? – An analysis of Brooke’s statement

January 1991 Stop the Slaughter

February 1991 How to build the anti-war movement

March 1991 Slaughter in the Gulf

April 1991 Brooke Initiative – Can talks bring a solution?

May 1991 Northern Perspectives (document)

September 1991 Stalinism in Ruins – following the failed coup

January 1992: Build workers’ unity to end the troubles and drive out the Tories

January 1992: How we can defeat sectarianism

March 1992: Labour’s Hidden Past – An answer to sectarian myths

April 1992: A chance to vote for socialism

July 1992: Northern Perspectives Statement (document)

August 1992: Yugoslavia – disintegration and slaughter

November 1992: New document shows Sinn Fein moving to Right

November 1992: No Pay Freeze

March 1993: Militant Labour stands in May elections

March 1993: People in bullet proof houses

March 1993: Towards a lasting peace?

October 1993: Middle East conflict – has it been resolved?

October 1993: Something in the air?

October 1993: Talks about Talks

November 1993: Can there be a settlement?

1994: Beyond the Troubles? (pamphlet)

1994: Northern Perspectives (document)

January 1994: A Precisely Worded Fudge

February 1994: Within the Italian Left

June 1994: Loughinisland Outrage

September 1994: New strategy or dead end?

October 1994: Loyalist ceasefire – Time for some class politics

October 1994: Statement on the Ceasefire in Northern Ireland

1995: Troubled Times – The National Question in Ireland (pamphlet)

January 1995: Will Peace bring jobs?

February 1995: Could the Times sink Major’s plans?

Spring 1995: Our Programme for the 1990s

March 1995: Are you being framed?

Autumn 1995: Arms Decommissioning

1996: Northern Perspectives (document)

January 1996: Problems for Palestinian Peace Process

February 1996: Another roadblock on the path to peace

March 1996: Has Republicanism reached an impasse?

March 1996: Northern Ireland – there is no capitalist solution

April 1996: Somewhere between war and peace

June 1996: Labour Coalition victory

July 1996: Calls for RUC disbandment (with Manus Maguire)

July 1996: NI ‘peace’ process rumbles on

July 1996: Sectarianism returns as “peace process” crumbles

July 1996: Should marches be banned?

July 1996: Socialism or civil war

July 1996: A week of shattered hopes (with Manus Maguire)

September 1996: Back from the Brink

September 1996: Rebuilding class unity

1997: Northern Perspectives (document)

May 1997: Montupet Strike raises basic issues (letter)

May 1997: No Change in Northern Ireland

July 1997: Back from the brink?

September 1997: Ceasefire 2

October 1997: Northern Ireland’s hidden history

October 1997: Why we fight for working class unity

November 1997: Republican Divisions

1998: Northern Ireland – An opportunity for class politics (document)

April 1998: Giving peace a chance? (interview)

May 1998: Northern Ireland ‘Peace’ – A new framework for sectarian conflict?

May 1998: Where now for Northern Ireland?

May 1998: Will the Agreement bring peace?

July 1998: Stepping back from the brink

September 1998: After the Omagh bomb

1999: The Struggle for Socialism Today (pamphlet)

April 1999: “Name and shame” list not short of candidates (letter)

May 1999: Broken promises and no peace for Palestinians

2000: Paddy Devlin (1925–1999) (obituary)

April 2000: Sinn Fein – activists oppose shift to the right

May 2000: IRA Statement – Is the war over?

May 2000: Northern Ireland – Good Friday two years on

June 2000: Bookies staff to strike

July 2000: The Alternative to the annual battleground

July 2000: Parades crisis needs working-class solution to wider sectarian conflict

July 2000: Parades – Socialist Party Statement

September 2000: What’s behind the loyalist feud?

November 2000: Northern Ireland – Another Middle East in the Making?

Summer 2001: Middle East – On a Knife Edge

June 2001: Edging closer to all-out war

June 2001: Northern Ireland – The No Choice Election

July 2001: Killed for Being a Catholic

July 2001: Northern Ireland ‘peace process’ – Sliding into sectarian conflict

August 2001: Stop the slide into conflict

August 2001: Workers Must Challenge the Bigots

September 2001: No cause justifies this

September 2001: Working Class Must Unite Against Sectarianism

January 2002: Statement on Northern Perspectives (document)

January 2002: Strike against sectarianism

January 2002: Striking against sectarianism – United action can succeed

March 2002: Don’t privatise the Post Office

March 2002: Private finance initiatives

March 2002: Towards Division Not Peace (pamphlet)

June 2002: Sectarian violence worsens in Belfast

July 2002: Build the fight against sectarianism

July 2002: Support the sacked airport workers

November 2002: Stand by the Firefighters

January 2003: Airport Struggle Continues (interview with Gordon McNeill)

January 2003: Bin The Bain Report – Act to Defend the Fire Service (inc. interview with Tom Maguire)

February 2003: Fire Fighters Lead 20,000 Strong Belfast Anti-War Demonstration

April 2003: Bush/Blair seek Peace Process alibi to cover their responsibility for slaughter in Iraq (with Joe Higgins)

April 2003: Iraq – Occupation, the Reality of ‘Liberation’ (with Stephen Boyd)

April 2003: Stop the Slaughter in the Gulf (with Stephen Boyd)

May 2003: Imperialism’s Grim Legacy – The Reality of Occupation (with Stephen Boyd)

May 2003: Northern Ireland Assembly elections – Only working class can end sectarian impasse

May 2003: Northern Ireland elections – Polarisation widens

Summer 2003: Correspondence with SWP over Left slates in elections

Summer 2003: European workers fight back

June 2003: Angry Shorts’ Workers Reject Pay Deal

September 2003: Carpet Factories Face Closure – Management to Blame

September 2003: Free the bin bag two

December 2003: Divided vote hides workers disillusionment

December 2003: Northern Ireland – End of the Road for the Assembly?

January 2004: Sacked Airport Workers Take Battle to Court

February 2004: Sacked Airport Workers – We Want the Truth to Come Out

March 2004: End of the Road for the Assembly?

March 2004: Statement on Northern Political Situation (document)

Spring 2004: Nigeria – A country in crisis

April 2004: Airport inquiry starts

May 2004: Fighting racism (with Ciaran Mulholland)

October 2004: Do we want New Labour to organise in Northern Ireland?

December 2004: What happened to Peace Deal cash? (letter)

January 2005: Sacked airport workers’ tribunal – Employers & union officials in the dock

February 2005: The failure of sectarian politics

February 2005: Now we need to change the T&GWU

March 2005: Northern Statement (document)

March 2005: Socialist challenge in Fermanagh

March 2005: Where now for the peace process?

April 2005: Republicanism in crisis

May 2005: Socialist policies give an alternative to sectarian division

August 2005: Disband ALL paramilitaries

October 2005: Headed towards renewed conflict not peace

November 2005: Northern Ireland – Towards conflict or peace?

December 2005: George Best wrote poetry with his feet

2006: Northern Perspectives – Perspectives and Tasks (document)

January 2006: After Sharon – Middle East in turmoil

March 2006: Historic strike victory for postal workers ...

March 2006: Postal workers say: “We may have to strike again”

April 2006: The real ideas of James Connolly

April 2006: Strike threat at Visteon

May 2006: Visteon – Bosses say “accept cuts or we close”

June 2006: Fighting to save jobs in Lisnaskea

November 2006: No peace dividend for working class people

Winter 2006: Northern Ireland talks – Another deadline! Will it work?

February 2007: Sinn Fein’s major U-turn

March 2007: Water charges a key issue in Assembly election campaign

April 2007: “We won’t pay” say hundreds of demonstrators in Belfast

May 2007: Belfast airport workers – Campaigning for justice

May 2007: Northern Ireland – 1907 Dockers and Carters’ strike

May 2007: Sacked airport workers out to prove that … Ordinary workers can fight back

May 2007: Sinn Fein and Ian Paisley’s DUP form power sharing Executive

July 2007: Power sharing internationally – How and why it has failed

September 2007: Belfast International Airport workers win ground-breaking court victory

December 2007: Sinn Fein ministers are toeing a Thatcherite line (letter)

January 2008: Socialist Party replies to Sinn Fein attacks on classroom assistants

February 2008: Another election, another recipe for sectarian deadlock

Spring 2008: Iraq five years on – Invasion and occupation – An unmitigated disaster

March 2008: British state repression, the IRA’s armed campaign and the Labour Movement

May 2008: Sacked airport workers’ six year long battle for justice

Summer 2008: Belfast Airport Workers – Setting the True Record Straight

June 2008: Belfast Airport workers – The long battle for justice

July 2008: Airport workers win appeal – We need fighting democratic unions

September 2008: Attempt to jail Gordon McNeill fails

September 2008: SP calls for nationalisation of energy companies

October 2008: UNISON union expels socialist activist

November 2008: Sectarian agendas at play

Winter 2008: Descent into Chaos – The United States and the failure of nation building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia

January 2009: End the invasion of Gaza

April 2009: Belfast Visteon occupation – One week on and still solid

June 2009: Northern Ireland – Who can fill the political vacuum

July 2009: August 1969 – When British troops went into Northern Ireland

August 2009: Afghanistan – will this be Obama’s Vietnam?

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Last updated: 26 July 2015