Soviet Ireland

Documentary / 52 min / 2008

Director: Jimmy Duggan

Producer: Siún Ní Raghallaigh / Jimmy Duggan

Distributor: Ikandi Productions

Logline: A controversial documentary that recreates the turbulent era between 1919 and 1922 when it seemed that militant labour rather than middle class nationalists might lead Ireland to independence.

Synopsis: In 1919 strikers declared the city of Belfast a Soviet (a territory ruled by a strike committee elected by workers). This was followed by the Limerick Soviet, more about when the Trades Council ran the city and even issued its own currency. In the following years hundreds of Soviets were set up all over Ireland occupying creameries, docks, railways, bakeries, agricultural estates, a fishing fleet and even the Monaghan Mental Asylum. During the general strike of 1920 Irish Soviets took over cities, towns and villages across the island. Yet the Soviet movement collapsed and the Irish self-government created an authoritarian state of social deprivation. But, wonders Soviet Ireland, might it all have been incredibly different between Europe and the USA?

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