To: All Staff Reps & Activists
Re: ‘The Delegate’ – Newsletter of the Bray & District Council of Trade Unions
Date: 29th June 2021
Attached is the June 2021 issue of the Bray & District Council’s newsletter ‘THE DELEGATE’ which may be of interest to you, along with a brief historical background on the inception of ‘The Delegate’ up to present day.
COUNCIL NEWSLETTER – ‘The Delegate’
‘The Delegate’ was first published by the Education Committee in 1964 but there is no known copy of Issue No. 1 still in existence. Edited by Ross Connolly. Issue No. 2 was published in April 1964 – a single page with three articles – Income Tax; Is Your Job Safe?; and What Is A Union?. It had expanded to two pages by Issue No. 5 (Oct/Nov 1964) – mainly devoted to an article on an important and topical issue at the time – ‘Towards the 40 Hour Week’ by Pearse Connolly (Secretary of the Education Committee). It soon increased in size and was generally six to eight pages per issue. This reflected the considerable activities and topics that exercised the minds of Trade Unionists during the following turbulent years, particularly through the mid 1960’s to the late 1980’s. It had a reasonable circulation among local Trade Union branches and Members, and was seen as an effective way to communicate the work of the Council.
In addition to highlighting the work of the Council, ‘The Delegate’ also included articles of interest to Trade Union Activists and this encouraged and stimulated debate from time to time. It could be controversial at times, particularly under the Stewardship of Editor and former Council Secretary, the late Ross Connolly. This generally reflected the diverse range of political and personal views of Trade Union Delegates; Conservative/Liberal; Left/Centre/Right; Religious/Secular, etc. Indeed, a study of The Delegate over the first forty-odd years is truly a journey through the history of our Movement, particularly at local level.
In later years, ‘The Delegate’ was published occasionally, sometimes monthly – the last regular issues being 2009 -2010. However, it became less and less regarded as a way to effectively communicate among local Trade Union Activists. Indeed, the last two issues were sadly special editions published in tribute to the late Ross Connolly (April 2011) and Joe Byrne (November 2012) – both publications being widely praised.
In November 2020, it was decided to again publish the newsletter as a means of more widely communicating the work of the Council generally among Trade Union Members and the wider community, which has proved useful particularly due to the benefits of electronic mailing.
In addition to keeping Members updated on recent issues involving the Council, the newsletter has included a wide range of articles of interest, including pieces on local Trade Union historical figures and events, such as, ‘The Council and the INTO’; ‘Benjamin Lindop (1874 – 1940)’ – the first Secretary of the Council in 1917; and ‘James McGarry’ – former Principal of St. Peter’s School, Little Bray, and the first Council President from the INTO in the mid-1920s.
Michael Meegan, Divisional Organiser
Barbara Anderson, Industrial Officer