An Phoblacht/Republican News, the weekly paper of Sinn Féin, was Ireland’s biggest selling radical publication throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Twice it published letters about the misuse of the word ‘anarchist’. The first cutting, from May 31st 1980, has two letters taking them to task for talking of “terrorist anarchists”. One of the writers, Cathal McLoughlin, had been a member of the Belfast Anarchist Collective. We have no information about the other writer, Neill Roberts.

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The second cutting, from October 31st 1996, sees the Workers Solidarity Movement complain about AP/RN “turning the word ‘anarchy’ on its head to denote chaos and disorder”.

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This is followed a couple of weeks later by a letter from an anonymous member of Red Action accusing anarchists of being “due to their anti-patriotic nature, reactionary in character” and “counter-revolutionary”.

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