The Labour Party Suggests Free Hugs For Narco-Terrorists

If one needed an example of leadership in Ireland, an illustration of the competency and acumen of our political classes, and how they view the role of government, the Labour Party steps up to the plate with this plan of action to tackle and defeat the growing scourge of gangland crime in the country. From… Read More The Labour Party Suggests Free Hugs For Narco-Terrorists

Fianna Fáil’s New Slogan: Screw Our Republican Dead

With the general election just weeks away, and with all the polls pointing to a minority, Fine Gael-led government of the centre-right, Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, is keeping all his options open. From thejournal.ie: “In a robust interview with Cathal Mac Coille on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Martin refused to rule out supporting a minority Fine Gael government.… Read More Fianna Fáil’s New Slogan: Screw Our Republican Dead

The Continuity IRA And Other Journalistic Nonsense

Following on from last Friday’s gun attack at a sporting event in Dublin’s Regency Hotel, which left one man dead and several more wounded, all sorts of allegations and analyses have featured in the national press, each more prosperous than the last. The most important matter at the moment is a verbal statement issued to Vincent Kearney, a BBC… Read More The Continuity IRA And Other Journalistic Nonsense

Ireland Has Become The “Gun Land” Of Western Europe

Fearann claímh or “sword land” is a Medieval Irish term to describe a territory taken or held through violence. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was also used to identify a region where violent interactions had become the norm. In a 16th century panegyric by the famous blind poet, Tadhg Dall Ó hÚigínn, the Norman-British were said to have made a fearann claímh críoch… Read More Ireland Has Become The “Gun Land” Of Western Europe

Feed The Rich, Eat The Poor

As many of you will be aware the would-be Democratic Party candidate for the US presidency, Bernie Sanders, has been hammering down in recent months on the corrupt practices of Wall Street and the soaring levels of income and wealth inequality in the United States. Now the millionaire business executive, Lloyd Blankfein, has emerged from the boardroom shadows to play the victim card… Read More Feed The Rich, Eat The Poor

Hating The Gaelic

Following a brief period of relative quiet the haters of Scottish Gaelic are back in full-swing, attacking new education legislation in Scotland which includes provisions to allow Gaelic-speaking parents to request Gaelic-medium schooling for their Gaelic-speaking children. The horror! From the Deadline News Agency, a press organisation with a certain reputation when it comes to reporting on Scotland’s indigenous tongue:… Read More Hating The Gaelic

Patrick Pearse And RTÉ’s Rebellion

With all the controversy stirred up by RTÉ’s dismal television dramatisation of the 1916 Easter Rising, its strange overtones of colonial denialism perhaps best summed up by the programme’s title, “Rebellion” (not, “Revolution”), I was reminded of this paragraph from a 2013 article by professor Bryan Fanning in the Dublin Review of Books. While examining a long forgotten “science-fiction” style story by Patrick Pearse published… Read More Patrick Pearse And RTÉ’s Rebellion

Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian Von Ungern-Sternberg

The Atlantic has a fascinating article on a little known, early 20th century warlord who once terrified Mongolia and neighbouring regions of Russia and China. Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg, a scion of the Deutsch-Balten or Baltic German nobility, aligned himself with the “White Russian” faction during Russia’s communist revolution and counter-revolution of 1917 to 1922, eventually leading a rag-bag… Read More Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian Von Ungern-Sternberg

Ayelet Shaked And The Rise Of Religious Nationalism In Israel

Der Spiegel has an extraordinary interview with Ayelet Shaked, a member of the HaBayit HaYehudi or “Jewish Home” party in Israel and the minister of justice in the country’s quintipartite coalition government. In recent years the formerly unknown politician has made a name for herself with some alarming pronouncements on Palestinians and Arabs, including Arab-Israeli citizens, which seem to… Read More Ayelet Shaked And The Rise Of Religious Nationalism In Israel

Facebook’s Opportunist Defence Of Non-English Languages

Given the relative antipathy or indifference of most major internet corporations to global minority languages, or indeed to any languages other than American English, this report from the Guardian newspaper is more than a little ironic: “Facebook is objecting to the use of English words such as “cookie” and “browser” in a Belgian court order, which has demanded the… Read More Facebook’s Opportunist Defence Of Non-English Languages

How Netanyahu Won The 2015 Election In Israel

In the week leading up to the 17th of March 2015, the day of the general election in Israel, the governing Likud party of the incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seemed to be on the cusp of a humiliating loss of seats to a range of right-wing, centrist and left-wing rivals, notably the Zionist Union pact of the liberal-leaning Labor Party and… Read More How Netanyahu Won The 2015 Election In Israel

Bessie Coleman

Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was a young pilot of Native- and African-American descent who became something of a minor press sensation in the United States during the 1920s where she earned a living as a “barnstorming” stunt flier in fairs and exhibitions across the country. With trips to France, the Netherlands and Germany, “Queen Bess“, as she was publicised, seems to have been a… Read More Bessie Coleman

The Banking Inquiry Whitewash, Covering Up For The Party Tigers

With the death of Ireland’s so-called “Celtic Tiger” economy in 2008-2010 the country entered a period of severe recession, made worse by the erratic, panic-driven policies of the then Fianna Fáil – Green Party coalition government and its successor in the present Fine Gael – Labour Party administration. By 2012 the nation was firmly under the financial diktat… Read More The Banking Inquiry Whitewash, Covering Up For The Party Tigers

The Shankill Bombing And Britain’s Proxy-War In Belfast

Just after 1 pm on the afternoon of Saturday the 23rd of October 1993, Thomas Begley and Seán Kelly, two volunteers of the 3rd Battalion of the Belfast Brigade of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army, entered Frizzell’s, a busy two-storey fishmonger’s shop on the Shankill Road, a traditionally pro-UK or unionist enclave in the nationalist west of the… Read More The Shankill Bombing And Britain’s Proxy-War In Belfast

Headquarters Of The Fenian Brotherhood of America, New York City

In the latter half of 1865, the Fenian Brotherhood of America (FBA), the formerly clandestine Irish revolutionary organisation in the United States and Canada, spent the modern equivalent of some $3.5 million dollars on moving its headquarters from a modest address at 22 Duane Street, New York City, to a prestige location at Moffat Mansion, 32 East 17th Street,… Read More Headquarters Of The Fenian Brotherhood of America, New York City

Dublin, Easter 1916, Their Sympathies Were With The Rebels

I’ve made reference before to one of the great myths of the Easter Rising of 1916. That is, the absence of popular support among the broad swathe of the Irish people for the failed national insurrection, indeed the hostility and opposition that folk memory insists was universal across the island. Unfortunately communal history is as susceptible to… Read More Dublin, Easter 1916, Their Sympathies Were With The Rebels

Swimming To Cambodia

Many years ago, discouraged by the need to go to school the next day, and unable to read, let alone sleep, I spent much of the night flicking through the television channels on the second-hand TV in my bedroom desperate for something to watch, anything to distract me from the black moods which characterized much of my teenage years. If I were to sum up that entire decade… Read More Swimming To Cambodia

The Gaelic-Haters Of Britain Are At It Again

Well, it’s been a busy week for those who despise the Scottish Gaelic language and the communities which speak it. From attack-stories on government support for language rights and education in Scotland to artificial outrage over specific schemes, teaching pupils and staff in Scottish-medium schools how to carry out CPR for instance, we’ve seen it all. Now here comes another fake controversy to… Read More The Gaelic-Haters Of Britain Are At It Again

The Scale Of Surveillance Operations By The Irish State Is Staggering

While many people, certainly informed journalists and anti-austerity activists, would have been aware of the soaring levels of surveillance being carried out by the agents of the Irish state over the last decade, principally An Garda Síochána, the sheer number of official requests made in the years 2008 to 2012 is pretty staggering. Some 61,823 applications were made for unrestricted… Read More The Scale Of Surveillance Operations By The Irish State Is Staggering