Tributes paid following death of Irish Marxist activist John Molyneux

Tributes paid following death of Irish Marxist activist John Molyneux. Image: John Molyneux/Facebook

Tributes flooded social media after news that John Molyneux, the popular Irish Marxist activist, had died at the age of 74.

Hundreds of tributes poured into social media after news spread that Irish Marxist activist and Irish Marxist review editor, John Molyneux, had died.

John Molyneux was a British Trotskyist, academic and author.

Before retiring to Ireland and becoming an active member of the Irish SWP, he was a leading member of the Socialist Workers Party, a far-left political party in the United Kingdom.

Social activist Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin wrote a lengthy tribute.

“I only knew John Molyneux for the last 7 years of his life,” he said.

“A fraction of what he lived through, but his impact on me during that time was enormous.”

He added: “One of the most important memories I have of him was in 2016 when I had been canvassing for Bríd Smith for the general election.

“I hadn’t yet joined PBP or the SWP (as it was then). I was in his and Mary’s kitchen after a canvass and he told me he thought I should join the SWP. I told him I had been thinking about it but I felt I needed to read and learn more before joining.”

“He said something along the lines of, “Aha! You’re absolutely right! But let me show you something”. He then brought me into his study, which was crammed wall to wall with hundreds and hundreds of books.

“He told me, “You absolutely should read, you should always learn, this is good, it is really important. But don’t wait until you’ve read everything, or you’ll never do anything.”

“He then gave me a copy of his book on Marxist philosophy, The Point Is To Change It. I read it and joined a few weeks after that.

“This one memory for me sums up so much of what John was about. He had an incredible knowledge of history, but he wasn’t just recounting historical artefacts – all of this was to be drawn on to help fuel the struggles of today. He was a real socialist, not just in his theory and his politics, but in the way, he related to everyone around him, the way he shared his knowledge and constantly encouraged people, particularly younger comrades.”

“In the years that I knew him, he was throwing himself into the question of the climate and biodiversity crisis – both analysing what was going on and joining and building the movement on the street. I think he recognised the centrality of this challenge quicker than many and was arguing for an ecosocialist approach from early on. There is such a huge amount to learn from what he has written on this over the last few years,” he wrote.

He added: “On a more personal note, I will greatly miss our conversations about art, creativity, alienation, mental distress, and the intersections between all of these. He always had very thought provoking insights on these matters. I think these conversations with John, more than anyone, opened up for me the idea and liberatory potential of a different kind of world where all human beings might be able to live full, creative lives.

“John’s loss will leave a chasm, both for the socialist movement and for all of us who were lucky enough to know him as a friend. We will always hold his fire in our hearts. La lutte continue.”

Others paid tribute to the popular activist on Monday, December 12.

“I am enormously sad to hear news of the death of British & Irish Marxist thinker & activist John Molyneux. My solidarity to his family & his many friends & comrades. I had the pleasure of talking & working with him on many occasions. A massive loss to the revolutionary movement,” one person wrote.

Another person said: “I’m sorry to hear about the death of John Molyneux. As someone that never attempted Das Kapital, it was Johns writings and his podcast that I used for education. The Irish Marxist review, of which he was the editor, was always a good read. Condolences to his comrades and family.”

Unite against Fascism (UAF) wrote: “Condolences to family, friends, comrades of John Molyneux who has suddenly died. Shocking news. A towering figure on the left, only last week he was part of a United Against Racism (right of pic). #RefugeesWelcome demonstration in Dublin. He was principled & a fighter to the end.”

“It is with great sadness we report the passing of our founding member John Molyneux. John was a leading force behind United Against Racism and a tireless activist. We have learned so much from John and he will be a great loss to us and our struggle,” wrote United against Racism.

Adding: “We honour his life and legacy by continuing to fight against racism. John, we will miss you. Thank you for everything you did. Rest in power!”

While another person wrote: “I’m so sad to hear this news. John Molyneux introduced me to Marxism when I was an art student and had a profound effect on my politics. I could listen to his anecdotes for hours. He was a really lovely man, and had a brilliant mind. Rest in power John x”


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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