Tommy McKearney

Tommy McKearney, a native of Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland is a former member of the IRA who, as a consequence, served 16 years in prison during which time he underwent a 53 day hunger strike demanding political recognition. Tommy edits Fourthwrite, a quarterly magazine reflecting a left-republican viewpoint. In line with the magazine’s editorial stance, he holds mixed views about the Good Friday Agreement seeing it as having underwritten some valuable and necessary democratic reforms in the North of Ireland but simultaneously leaving other vital issues unresolved.

Fourthwrite is a quarterly publication, now in its eight year and has consistently taken an independent and non-militarist line on the developing situation in Ireland. It has, however, remained critical of the centerist drift of Sinn Fein and its acceptance of pro-business policies.

Tommy McKearney is also an organiser with the Independent Workers Union (IWU). The IWU is not a member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions knowing that participating in that body would oblige them to endorse the current Social Partnership arrangement prevailing in the Republic of Ireland. The union remains a small but growing force in Ireland and is finding an increasing demand for its services as the Irish economy falters amid the global economic down turn of late.

 Related Sessions

Saturday 1 November 2008, 10.30am Lecture Theatre 2
Irish History: don't mention the war?

 Festival Buzz

"Taking part in the Battle of Ideas is like putting your brain in a pencil sharpener. It works better as a result."
George Brock, Saturday Editor, The Times