Constitution | Bunreacht

  1. Introduction | Intreoir
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement is a national all-Ireland Marxist-Leninist youth movement which exists as a vehicle for the elevation of class-consciousness among the youth. 
  1. The philosophical outlook the Connolly Youth Movement applies is Dialectical Materialism. Materialist in that it views social change as indistinct from economic change. Dialectical in that it views social change as a highly connected process that requires a collective transformation to unify local or single-issue struggles into a single historic force. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement strives to stand in the tradition of Socialist Republican values as put forward by the likes of James Connolly, James Larkin, Liam Mellows, Seamus Costello and Michael O’Riordan.  Socialism Republicanism is the expression of Marxism Leninism in Ireland. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement is an internationalist and therefore anti-imperialist organisation standing in solidarity with the oppressed working people all over the world.   

2. Aims and objectives | Aidhmeanna agus cuspóirí

  1. The Connolly Youth Movement aims at mobilising, educating and organising a critical amount of young people in the overthrow of the capitalist system and the construction of Socialism i.e., a social, economic and cultural system wherein the means of production, distribution and exchange are publicly owned and utilised for the benefit of the people. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement will seek to mobilise young people against capitalism through mass organisations such as trade unions, tenant unions and student unions, across a plethora of issues, particularly housing, health, imperialism, the environment, education, worker’s rights, women’s issues, and civil rights (LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, anti-racism and anti-sectarianism). 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement will strive to inject Marxist analysis in all fields in which it struggles, with the singular purpose of raising the consciousness of other activists and developing a strong mass anti-capitalist movement among young people. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement will align itself to progressive struggles abroad with organisations committed to objectives and analysis akin to our own. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement is a revolutionary organisation; therefore it does not endorse any social democratic parties in Ireland nor does it advocate a strategy supporting their formation or advancement. The only way to constructively influence the progressive elements of the parliamentary and union movement is through involvement in people’s organisation, agitation along Marxist-Leninist principles, and direct action. 

3. Organisation | Eagar

  1. The Connolly Youth Movement is a voluntary organisation of activists and politically conscious young people dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of a Socialist, independent and united Ireland. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement’s political mission is class-based. It advocates young workers and students as being the principal architects of their future. The Connolly Youth Movement will be embedded in this class and will make decisions based on consultations with it. 
  1. The Connolly Youth Movement is based on the concrete organisational method of the Bolshevik Party, otherwise known as democratic centralism which entails: 
  1. Maximum participation, input and involvement of the membership 
  1. Freedom of criticism of the movement without fear of reprisal 
  1. Diversity of thought wherein comrades debate freely and openly prior to coming to definitive and concrete solutions 
  1. Unity of action wherein comrades must carry out majority decisions agreed upon by the relevant elected body are followed up by all CYM members, irrespective of personal disagreements with said decision. 
  1. Through standing behind a programme and uniting together through the principles of democratic centralism we will show maximum efficiency and discipline in the development of a legitimate vehicle committed to the overthrow of capitalism. 

4. Structure | Struchtúr

  1. The Connolly Youth Movement comprises five different structures: 
  1. The Ard Fheis which is the highest decision-making body of the Connolly Youth Movement. It is to be convened annually except in exceptional circumstances. 
  1. The Ard Chomhairle which will be elected at the Ard Fheis and will be the highest political and organisational body of the CYM between sittings of the Ard Fheis. 
  1. Localised branch structures which oversee the day-to-day work and activity of local areas. Local branches are to mirror the over-all national structure where necessary. 
  1. Cumann structures which oversee and coordinate localised community engagement of CYM members in local areas. Cumainn are to mirror branch structures where necessary. 
  1. The National and Branch Women’s Committees which comprise of all women and misogyny affected members of the Connolly Youth Movement and function as an additional representative body and safe space for these members. Additionally, the Women’s Committees guide the activity and strategy of the Connolly Youth Movement in engaging with feminist and women’s organisations and in raising consciousness among working class women. 
  1. The National Ard Fheis endorses amends or drafts the Connolly Youth Movement programme and constitution, determines key political questions and elects the Ard Chomhairle by majority vote. All decisions taken by the Congress are binding on the Connolly Youth Movement. An extraordinary Ard Fheis may be convened by two-thirds majority vote of the Ard Chomhairle, or by an internal motion ratified by majority vote in the majority of full branches. 
  1. The Ard Fheis will be composed of all on file members who have passed probation. Probationary members may attend as observers, engaging in debate but possessing no vote. 
  1. A document compiling all motions, amendments and nominations for an Ard Fheis must be prepared and disseminated amongst the membership at least two weeks prior to the Ard Fheis itself. 
  1. Candidates for Ard Comhairle positions must be nominated by one member and seconded by another prior. No nominations are to be officially disseminated unless the nominated individual accepts their nomination. 
  1. Ard Fheiseanna require an attendance of 50% of the on-file membership to be considered legitimate. 

5. Branches | Brainsí

  1. Branches form the basis of the Connolly Youth Movement and are the most important organ on a day-to-day basis. Members shall be organised in branches around the country which meet the requisites. 
  1. When you become a member of the CYM, you are a member of the geographically closest branch. If you decide to leave, you must terminate your membership formally via letter or email to the AC or branch secretary. 
  1. Under exceptional or necessary circumstances, members may operate without a branch structure with agreement of the Ard Chomhairle. If a member leaves Ireland they will operate with guidance of Article 7.7 of the Membership section. 
  1. A minimum of five members is needed to form a provisional branch. A branch committee shall be elected to direct the work of the branch consisting of a chairperson, secretary, women’s officer and Ard Chomhairle representative. A minimum of ten members is needed to apply to the Ard Chomhairle or Ard Fheis for full branch status, which will be accepted or rejected based on criteria determined by the Ard Chomhairle. Upon reaching ten or more members the branch will elect a treasurer, youth protection and welfare officer, and education officer. The branch may also elect any number of general officers to sit on the branch committee who may be assigned specific roles and responsibilities as required 
  1. A branch shall hold an annual general meeting, at which the work of the branch shall be reviewed and a programme of activities for the year ahead decided upon. The annual general meeting shall elect the branch officers by majority vote and shall occur within one month following the Ard Fheis 
  1. The branch committee is tasked with the regular convening of meetings of members, for the political and organisational direction of the branch, for the initiation of internal and public activities of the branch, for the collection of members subscriptions and other fund-raising activities, and for making regular reports on branch work and problems which are to be submitted to the Ard Chomhairle and appropriately filed for reference within the branch. 
  1. The Chairperson of the branch is tasked with: Organisation of branch and committee meetings, set the agenda in liaison with the branch secretary and committee, direct and encourage the branch to work towards the fulfilment of the Programme. 
  1. The Secretary of the branch is tasked with: Accurately minuting branch and committee meetings, assisting the Chairperson in the creation of an agenda for branch and committee meetings. Assisting the Chairperson in the organisation and direction of the branch for the fulfilment of the Programme. It is the role of the Secretary to be in regular liaison with all branch members. 
  1. The Treasurer of the branch will manage the financial affairs of the branch, including the collection of dues and investigation of other sources of income for the branch, the approval or disapproval of any branch expenses and the preparing of regular and accurate reports on all income and expenses to be submitted to the national treasurer and the branch committee. 
  1. The Youth Protection and Welfare Officer of the branch will assist the national youth protection and welfare officer in the carrying out of their duties as outlined in Article 6.14.8 of the Ard Chomhairle section. They will be the primary point of contact with the parents/guardians of any underage branch members. 
  1. The Women’s Officer of the branch will oversee the branch women’s committee and act as a liaison between the branch and national women’s committees and the branch committee. This officer will be elected by the women and misogyny-affected members of the branch. 
  1. Outgoing branch offices are to provide an introduction, explanation and full hand over of their office to the newly elected branch officer across a period of two weeks. 
  1. Branch officers and their deputies are both considered elements of the same office, and so collectively carry one vote on the branch committee. 
  1. The deputy secretary and deputy chairperson of the branch will be nominated by their respective incoming officers and then ratified by majority vote of the branch at the first branch meeting following the AGM. 
  1. If three members of a local branch are present in a smaller local area, they are advised to form a Cumann to carry out community work in the local immediate area. They must elect a Cumann officer who will sit on the Branch Committee and report Cumann activity to the branch. 
  1. Branch officers may be recalled by majority vote of the branch. A branch officer who is absent from three consecutive branch or branch committee meetings without apologies will be assumed to have resigned from their position 

6. National Executive Committee | Ard Chomhairle

  1. The Ard Chomhairle is the standing committee of the Ard Fheis, overseeing the political and organisational direction of the CYM on a day-to-day basis, meeting at least once per month. 
  1. The Ard Chomhairle consists of: 
  1. Voting Officers, elected at the Ard Fheis, and their deputies 
  1. Branch Representatives 
  1. Non-voting Officers, co-opted by the Voting Officers and Branch reps after each Ard Fheis following a screening process appropriate to each Officer position 
  1. Branch representatives will be elected by branch members at each respective branch AGM, from the membership of that branch. Only AC representatives of full branches will have a vote on the AC. 
  1. Ard Chomhairle officers may be recalled by majority vote of an Ard Fheis, or by an internal motion ratified by majority vote in the majority of branches. Once a motion of recall is ratified by one branch, it must be added to the agenda for the next meeting of each other branch. An Ard Chomhairle officer who is absent from two consecutive Ard Chomhairle meetings without apologies will be assumed to have resigned from their position. 
  1. A branch representative may be recalled by a majority vote of their branch. 
  1. While sitting on the AC, officers and representatives may be assigned specialised roles in addition to their existing duties. 
  1. The AC must be transparent about the frequency of its sessions. If the AC fails to meet monthly, any branch may direct the AC to initiate an extra-ordinary congress to address a vote of recall. This extra-ordinary Ard Fheis must occur within 40 days. 
  1. The AC will have a working quorum of two-thirds of the membership of the AC. 
  1. In the event of personal issues such as illness, an AC member may deputise a member to represent them during their absence or may be represented by a pre-assigned deputy. 
  1. The outgoing AC is obligated to pass on all documentation, including minutes and email records, to the incoming AC on their departure.
  1. AC officers and their deputies are both considered elements of the same office, and so collectively carry one vote. 
  1. The outgoing AC is obligated to hand over full control of all accounts and websites, including social media, to the incoming AC. 
  1. The Voting Officers of the Ard Chomhairle and their responsibilities are: 
  1. The General Secretary will carry out internal organisation, co-ordination between branches for the implementation of the national programme and maintain an active roster of members and mobilisation capability through conferral with branch committees. They will minute the meetings of the AC and see that plans are enacted. 
  1. The Chairperson will chair meetings of the AC, setting the agenda and co-ordinating its internal organisation. The Chairperson will publicly represent the CYM when needed nationally, for example in the writing and delivery of press statements. 
  1. The National Treasurer will handle the finance of the organisation, deliver reports to the AC and examine revenue sources. 
  1. The National Education Officer will oversee and direct the education of the movement. They will advise and support branch education officers, and cooperate with other national officers to promote a coherent and unified understanding of issues throughout the organisation. 
  1. The International Officer will distribute public statements internationally, maintain links with fraternal bodies and attempt to attend global gatherings where possible. 
  1. The Women’s Officer will be a voting position elected by the National Women’s Committee to represent the National Women’s Committee, act as a liaison between each branch’s Women Committees and the Ard Chomhairle, and will ensure that issues within the organisation and outside of it relating to the struggle for women’s liberation are approached correctly. 
  1. The Communications Secretary will advise on the overall media strategy of the organisation. This role will manage all information delivery for the Connolly Youth Movement, promote and maintain the public relations of the Connolly Youth Movement, defend the reputation of the Connolly Youth Movement, ensure the creation of propaganda; both digital promotion and physical media, develop relationships with journalists and media outlets, and ensure that social media posts and promotional material are scheduled and published. 
  1. The Youth Protection and Welfare Officer will develop a program to ensure the wellbeing of our members and act as a mediator in any personal disputes. This role will also coordinate Youth Protection and Welfare Officers in each respective branch. Duties to include: liaising with branch officers, overseeing the development and implementation of relevant policy, act in an advisory role to all officers and members on matters pertaining to youth protection and welfare, and act as the point of contact for parents and guardians for underage members. Members who wish to run for the role of YPWO have to submit an application to the Ard Chomhairle no less than two weeks ahead of the Ard Fheis, to allow a screening process of the applicants’ suitability for the role. Only if the application is approved by the Ard Chomhairle can the applicant run for the position of YPWO at that Ard Fheis. 
  1. The Non-Voting Officers of the Ard Chomhairle and their responsibilities are: 
  1. The Editor of Forward will be appointed by the AC as a non-voting position to manage, run and direct the affairs of Forward. A screening process appropriate to the position will be established by the AC. 
  1. The System Administrator will be appointed by the AC as a non-voting position to manage, run and direct the website and all other technical online requirements of the Connolly Youth Movement. The System Administrator will also fulfil the role of Data Protection Officer where required. A screening process appropriate to the position will be established by the AC. 
  1. Branch representatives to the Ard Chomhairle will submit regular reports on branch activity to the Ard Chomhairle and ensure all correspondence from the Ard Chomhairle is shared with the branch in an appropriate and timely manner. They will also assist Ard Chomhairle officers with carrying out their duties and may be assigned additional roles and responsibilities as required. 
  1. The Ard Chomhairle may co-opt at any point a non-voting Ordinary Committee Member, who will sit on the AC, fulfilling a specific role and function within a predetermined timeframe. The OCM position will be dissolved once its purpose has been resolved 

7. Membership | Ballraíocht

  1. Membership of the Connolly Youth Movement is open to all people aged 16 – 30 who accept the Connolly Youth Movement constitution and programme and commit to working towards the programme. 
  1. The extraordinary Ard Fheis of 2021 introduced a two-year moratorium on aging out members that is to last until 2023, or another Ard Fheis. 
  1. Every member will have the right to membership of the trade union of their choice. 
  1. The duties of membership shall include: 
  1. Playing an active part in the development of the Connolly Youth Movement programme and organisation. 
  1. Reading, contributing and assisting in the distribution of the Connolly Youth Movements publications, statements etc. 
  1. Playing an active part in the working class movement, be it through a trade union, self-organised community group, tenants and residents associations, civil rights organs and other mass organisations of the working class. 
  1. Proactively struggle against male chauvinism, racism, sectarianism, fascism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, national chauvinism, religious extremism and all forms of bigotry. 
  1. Engaging in political and ideological discourse and education. 
  1. Successful completion of the probation period, determined either by the local branch structure or in certain circumstances, the Ard Comhairle. Passing of probation should be based upon their commitment and ability to fulfil their membership duties under Article 7.4. In order to successfully complete probation and become a full member of the CYM, all probational members must: 
  1. complete an educational programme of study set out by their branch committee. This is to be completed at their own pace. 
  1. Partake in a minimally fixed number of branch activities and meetings (to be decided on a branch by branch bases based on abilities and activity of the branch). 
  1. Partake in a discussion with one or more fellow branch members in which they are encouraged to share what they have learned over the probationary period to assess if they are equipped to become full members 
  1. No member of the Connolly Youth Movement may hold membership of another political party. 
  1. Members under the age of 18 are not permitted to hold Officer positions within the organisation, including but not limited to branches and the Ard Chomhairle. 
  1. If a member of the CYM leaves Ireland or is not based in Ireland, their membership will be considered “frozen” and available upon return – but they are not to be inside any internal communication channels and will be notified of this before being removed. Exceptions determined either by a Branch or the AC can be arranged for example if a member knows they will be back or is fulfilling a job for the CYM while abroad. 
  1. Probation for all new members is set at three months and to be reviewed in an accept, extend or decline format by relevant branch and/or national officers. 
  1. If a member neglects to attend three consecutive branch meetings without sending apologies, their membership will be automatically withdrawn. Said member will be contacted by a member of their branch committee after their second absence. Once removed, the individual in question will have the right to reapply. Following this, the branch committee will review whether to accept or deny the application, and whether a renewed probationary period is necessary. 
  1. From time-to-time members may wish to take breaks from the Connolly Youth Movement. During such breaks their apologies will be accounted for and they will not be expected to carry out the full duties of membership. Where possible and except in exceptional circumstances, a minimum of a week’s notice is to be provided to the relevant branch committee and/or the Ard Chomhairle before the break starts, and the duration of the break is to be set before it begins. Before going on break, the member is required to fully hand over any ongoing work and the resources required to complete it to another member. If the member holds an officer role, a deputy must be appointed to fill the role for the duration of the break. 
  1. All aged out members covered under the aging out moratorium are prohibited from holding any officer positions in the CYM. 

8. Finance | Airgeadas

  1. The precarious nature of work and standard of living for young people means that we cannot in good faith base memberships on ability to contribute financially. Members may pay dues to their local branches should they have the means to do so. In the absence of a branch treasurer, dues may be paid to the national treasurer. Contribution is to be according to the financial situation of each member. 
  1. While in no way mandatory, the paying of dues by members is to be encouraged by the branch treasurer. Not paying dues is not a valid reason to terminate an individual’s membership. 
  1. The treasury of the movement shall be managed and articulated by the National Treasurer in coordination with local treasurers. 
  1. Local branches will organise the accumulation of funds as they see fit, including the collection of membership dues where appropriate. 

9. Discipline | Smacht

  1. Full policies on disciplinary procedures and conflict mediation are to be made available on request to any member. These policies may be updated by the Ard Chomhairle with input from branches at any time, however any disciplinary decisions must follow the policy that was in place at the time the incident under investigation occurred. 
  1. The branch is the main court of arbitration for all disputes in a local area. However, in instances where the dispute is between branch committee members or the branch is unable to reach a conclusion, arbitration may be escalated to the Ard Chomhairle. 
  1. If a member commits an infraction against the constitution, programme or policies of the CYM their branch committee may, after sufficient investigation, place said member on probation or suspend them by majority vote of the committee. The committee may also put forward a motion to expel the member by majority vote of the branch. 
  1. To place a member on probation refers to the temporary revoking of certain rights afforded to members. Probation is to last for a minimum time period and until some requirement is met, as determined by the branch committee. 
  1. Suspension refers to the temporary removal of a member from the CYM. Suspension is to last for a minimum time period and until some requirement is met, as determined by the branch committee. When the suspension is lifted the member will be required to complete a minimum of two weeks probation. 
  1. If it is believed a member poses a safeguarding risk to other members, they may be suspended pending investigation for a maximum of eight weeks. If the investigation finds no infraction was committed, they will not be subject to a required probationary period when the suspension is lifted. 
  1. Expulsion will only be considered in extreme circumstances or after multiple infractions. Expulsion of a member is the complete removal of said member from the CYM and results in the automatic rejection of any subsequent applications they make to join the CYM. 
  1. Except in cases of gross misconduct, if a member is not satisfied with the disciplinary procedure of the branch committee or the Ard Chomhairle they are entitled to appeal to the Ard Chomhairle or the Ard Fheis within 21 days of the disciplinary action. If an appeal submitted to the Ard Chomhairle is rejected, the member is entitled to submit a second appeal to the Ard Fheis within 21 days of the rejection occurring. Once an appeal is rejected by the Ard Fheis no further appeals relating to the same incident may be submitted. 
  1. The rejection of a member’s probation and subsequent removal of the member from the Connolly Youth Movement is not considered a disciplinary action and so cannot be appealed. 
  1. Within two weeks of receiving an appeal the Ard Chomhairle will establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the disciplinary process and review the appeal. Following this the ad-hoc committee will submit a recommendation to the relevant body, the Ard Chomhairle or the Ard Fheis, on whether to accept or reject it. 
  1. The ad-hoc committee will be made up of one national officer who will convene meetings of the committee but will not hold a vote on it, and four members who are not on the Ard Chomhairle and are in different branches to the member who has submitted the appeal. No one involved in the initial disciplinary process may sit on the ad-hoc committee. 
  1. The Ard Chomhairle is bound to accept the recommendation of the ad-hoc committee. 
  1. If the ad-hoc committee fails to produce a report within eight weeks of its first meeting the Ard Chomhairle may dissolve it and investigate the appeal itself. 

10. General | Ginearálta

  1. The Connolly Youth Movement maintains a fraternal relationship with Connolly Youth societies present in universities. 
  1. The Ard Chomhairle is empowered to interpret these rules and subsequently lay down procedures as seen fit and necessary.