Yet again it takes a murder, and one with quasi-political overtones in the eyes of some exploitative journalists, before politicians and the news media turn their attention back to the epidemic of domestic abuse suffered by women and girls across Ireland. Last Sunday night in the small County Louth village of Omeath thirty-six year old garda Tony Golden was shot dead… Read More The Answer To Gun Violence Is Not More Guns
So, I’ve not too much to say while I’m smothered with a persistent cold which refuses all efforts to kill it off (before it does the same to me). The fact that it took me four attempts to write that one sentence pretty much indicates where my head is at now (somewhere between a rock and a hard place,… Read More A Delirium Of Political Vacuousness
To misquote a terrible old bigot with a way with words, most political controversies end not with a bang but with a whimper. That may turn out to be true in relation to the scandal which brought Maíria Cahill to public prominence and which has culminated in her selection by the centre-right Labour Party as their candidate to that most-undemocratic of… Read More Maíria Cahill And The Labour Party, Or Integrity Meets Avarice
As we move deeper into these post-conflict (or, arguably, intra-conflict) times, am I the only one to be struck by the sheer volume of historic accusations made against the UK forces and authorities in the north-east of Ireland that have turned out to be true? Dismissed as “republican propaganda” throughout the 1970s to ’90s by a domestic clique of politicians and… Read More Satanic Masses, Devil Worshippers And British Dirty War Propaganda
In recent weeks the TG4 period drama, An Klondike, has garnered favourable reviews from across the Anglophone press and media in Ireland, gaining plaudits from even the most cynical critics of Irish language broadcasting. For a channel that has been underfunded and pilloried since its establishment, the Conamara-based television station has built up an enviable reputation for producing well-crafted dramas, comedies and documentaries that… Read More ¡Viva Irlanda! I’m Irish – Speak Spanish!
Speaking of the history of British separatist terrorism in Ireland, here is a recent article from Ciarán Mac Airt, author and researcher, published on Paper Trail, an archive devoted to “legacy issues” of the Long War. “The documents found at Kew National Archives by Paper Trail regard the RELEASE of Gusty Spence by RUC in October… Read More Gusty Spence, In The Shadow Of A British Gunman
Ulster Resistance, the paramilitary wing of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party during the 1980s, is making the headlines once again following the appointment of Emma Pengelly as a DUP representative to the dysfunctional regional assembly in the north-east. The MLA’s father is Noel Little, a former soldier in the British army and, with the late reverend Paisley, one of the… Read More Ulster Resistance, The DUP Past That Won’t Go Away
If you’re familiar with Irish TV broadcasts from the 1980s and early ’90s you’ll certainly remember the less-than-professional advertising that used to populate the commercial breaks of RTÉ and TG4 (or UTV). It wasn’t quite at the same level as local public access channels in the United States but at times it didn’t seem that far off, either. These days such things… Read More VHS Memories: Bedspring Bob
The Language Commissioner, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has offered a carefully worded response to an article published in last week’s Irish Examiner by the eco-conservative journalist Victoria White. Through her newspaper column White derided the legislative basis for language rights in Ireland while extolling the lyrical, airy-fairy, oh-so-gossamer nature of our indigenous tongue, one that has no place as the living language of several hundred thousand citizens in a… Read More Anglophone Supremacism: Spurious Arguments, Factual Inaccuracies
In light of the recent ruling by the courts that the Gardaí failed to follow the law by not producing bilingual results of breathalyser tests given to suspected drink-drivers (despite the fact that the Evidenzer machines used in the tests were programmed to print out result certificates in both English and Irish) the conservative eco-activist and newspaper columnist Victoria… Read More Killing Irish-Speakers With Kindness
A couple of days ago I was helping my sister complete her online application form for the driver theory test when we encountered a drop-down menu that offered several different language options, including one for “Gaelic“. I was surprised to see this term substituted for the word “Irish” (or “Gaeilge“) on a website serving users in Ireland. While Irish is a Gaelic language, one of the… Read More The Irish Driver Theory Test – In Gaelic?
Yanky Fachler, author and member of the Jewish Historical Society of Ireland, with an interesting two-part lecture on the contribution of the Jewish-Irish community to revolutionary republicanism and the War of Independence. Well worth a watch if you can forgive the odd mispronunciation or occasional poorly chosen word. Local and community histories like this are excellent.
The steep-streeted town of Drogheda has offered many fine contributions to Irish culture, though perhaps none more so than an English language euphemism for the act of coitus that simultaneously manages to both horrify and amuse. It invariably involves one young male asking of another young male, in reference to a potential romantic tryst of the previous night or weekend, the… Read More David Cameron Gives Showing The Pig A Whole New Meaning
Well it didn’t take long for John McDonnell, the finance spokesperson for the UK Labour Party, to walk back from his previous – and quite explicit – belief that it was the armed struggle of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army that secured the compromise peace in the north-east of Ireland during the late 1990s and early 2000s. As he stated… Read More Britain Goes All 1970s With Threats Of Mutinies, Coups And Rebellions
As the United States and its allies (and foes) continue to dither over the expansion of ISIS/ISIL in the Syrian-Iraq borderlands and its seeming imperviousness to outside pressure or force, the Middle East’s real Islamic state is more concerned with imprisoning, torturing and executing its own restless subjects for the slightest or most concocted of reasons. From a… Read More The Real Islamic State Is The Child-Crucifying Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia
On the morning of Monday the 24th of April 1916 a number of republican and nationalist organisations in Ireland, directed by the covert leadership of the revolutionary Irish Republican Brotherhood, took to the streets of Dublin city in the first stage of a planned national insurrection across the island against the colonial rule of the United… Read More O’Connell Street In Flames, 1916
On a day that has witnessed a state-funeral for the disinterred remains of Thomas Kent, a fifty-year-old commandant of the Irish Volunteers executed by a military firing squad in the aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1916, it is worth noting the reactions of the political leaders of the British unionist minority in the north-east of our country. From… Read More Thomas Kent And The Hatred Of The Unionist Demagogues
It really is our fault. Yes, you and me, and all the other fools who year after year, decade after decade, keep electing idiots and charlatans to high office. For only fools could fall for the harebrained PR stunts of the attention-hungry careerists who populate our political parties. From today’s Irish Times: “The national broadcaster RTÉ should be asked to vacate its… Read More The Green Party, Taking Us For Fools
If the Fox News debate amongst the presidential candidates for the Republican Party was a pantomime of the absurd the marathon event organised by CNN was a gladiatorial contest of the power-hungry. By bending and twisting their own rules the folks in Atlanta managed to get Carly Fiorina, the sole woman candidate, onto the otherwise… Read More CNN GOP Debate 2015
The unexpected election of a progressive candidate to the leadership of the UK Labour Party, along with several like-minded colleagues, has sent a number of British unionist politicians and commentators in the north-east of Ireland into something of a mini-meltdown. After two decades of pandering to Britain’s conservative-leaning electorate the Labour movement is now under the (somewhat befuddled)… Read More On The Anti-Colonial Struggle In Ireland Corbyn And McDonnell Are Right
On the 13th of January 1921 a number of British soldiers manning a vehicle-checkpoint on O’Connell Bridge, the main river-crossing in Dublin city, opened fire on a crowd of men, women and children protesting their presence, killing two civilians and wounding five others. Exploiting subsequent unrest in the capital’s northside districts on the 15th of… Read More A British Tank On An Irish Street
Talking of the press conference by Bobby Storey, the Sinn Féin northern chairperson, here are the words of the deputy first minister in the regional administration at Stormont, Martin McGuinness, from the same event: “The more I consider and the more I think about how all this began … you’d need to be stupid not to… Read More Sinn Féin Sees Enemies To The Left, Enemies To The Right, Enemies All Around