Johnston Roy Dr

Dr Roy Johnston

Roy Johnston was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1929; his father, Joseph Johnston, had been a Protestant "Home Ruler" farmer from the Dunganon area of Tyrone and a member of the Irish Senate.

Roy Johnston was educated at Dublin's Trinity College where he studied physics. He helped found the Irish Workers League, later joining the Communist Party.

He moved to London with his young family in 1960 and became active in the Connolly Association and the British Communist Party. Along with Anthony (Tony) Coughlan from Cork, who also lived in west London, he was an active writer for the Connolly Association journal, the `Irish Democrat’; Johnston writing under the pseudonym of Riogh MacEoin.

The Connolly Association's paper, the Irish Democrat provided a forum for Irish workers to highlight their safety and poor treatment on English construction sites. However the priests of Kilburn warned against supporting it as being "red". Johnston returned to Ireland in 1963, living at Raneleagh, to teach at Trinity.

He became involved in the Dublin Wolf Tone Society, which was instrumental in turning the Official IRA into a socialist organisation. Johnston later became the Official IRA's Education Director and sat on the Army Council. He produced an education manual in October 1967, which attempted to place Irish republican movement leftism within the Irish radical tradition of Wolf Tone, Mellows and Connolly. The document outlined a strategy of forming a progressive alliance, with  campaigns would begun on housing, control of natural resources, rural depopulation, wages, conditions and small Irish shopkeepers.

Johnson also became Editor of the United Irishman but either left or was expelled from the Official IRA in1971. Briefly rejoining the Communist Party of Ireland in 1977, he later joined the Irish Green Party which later became tainted with its support for massive cuts in 2010.

Michael Walker

Source: The Lost Revolution – the story of the Official IRA


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply