Ireland: The Lever of Social Revolution


  • Paul O'Brien


For over fifty years Marx and Engels collaborated and were absorbed in the study of Irish politics and the Irish question. Engels visited Ireland on three occasions, in 1856, 1867, and in 1870. He was collecting material for a History of Ireland, a project he never completed. In a letter to his daughter Jenny, Marx refers to Engels’ ‘book on Ireland – which by the by costs him a little more time than he had at first supposed – will be highly interesting’.The Paris Commune of 1871 diverted their attention from Ireland and the book was put aside to concentrate on the revolutionary upheavals in France. Unfortunately Engels never returned to the book and only the first four chapters were completed.