In this episode we talk to Roger Cole. Roger has been involved in politics in Ireland since joining Labour as a student in the late 1960s. He was involved in the Liaison Committee of the Labour Left, and subsequently became General Secretary of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP). After the SLP, he re-joined Labour and remained a member until leaving in recent years in response to their lack of support for neutrality when in government. He is currently a member of Sinn Féin.
In 1996 Roger founded, with Carol Fox, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), which describes itself as seeking to “advocate an Independent Irish Foreign Policy, defend Irish Neutrality and to promote a reformed United Nations as the Institution through which Ireland should pursue its security concerns”, and to which several political parties, unions and organisations are affiliated.
We’ll discuss Roger’s political background, his experience of political parties, and his identification with the values of Republicanism; the issue of Irish neutrality, the PANA organisation, and EU and international militarism; his involvement in organising the huge march against the war in Iraq in Dublin in 2003; and his involvement in centenary commemorations in recent years and the effect of the centenary on people’s assessment of Republicanism and Ireland’s history.
To find out more about the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, you can visit pana.ie.
Please note this episode was recorded prior to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Irish Left Archive Podcast looks at Left politics in Ireland, talking to activists, writers, historians, politicians and others involved in Left organisations and movements about their experiences of participating in Left parties and campaigns. The podcast is hosted by Ciarán Swan and Aonghus Storey.
View this episode on our website: #28: Roger Cole: Peace and Neutrality Alliance.