No Taxation Without Representation

In recent weeks the right-wing Fine Oibre coalition and much of the equally right-wing press have confidentially asserted that the protests against water-charges and other forms of punitive taxation have largely dissipated in the face of government determination to pursue its programme of state-sanctioned “austerity”. The visible back-slapping of Fine Gael and Labour ministers and TDanna, not to mention the praise of sycophantic… Read More No Taxation Without Representation

Circle Jerk Journalism From The Sunday Independent

“Circle jerk” is a slang term in American English normally defined as a sexual act, sometimes associated with pornography, where several individuals – invariably men – form a circle and masturbate themselves or each other until reaching climax. In recent years it has also come to describe a type of self-congratulatory behaviour or debate amongst a group of people holding like-minded opinions. The phrase… Read More Circle Jerk Journalism From The Sunday Independent

The Murderous Hypocrisy Of The Unionist Parties In Ireland

In many ways the conflict in the north of Ireland, the Long War or the Troubles, call it what you will, began and ended with the Ulster Volunteer Force, the oldest British terrorist organisation on this island nation. From its violent reappearance in the mid-1960s, after decades of nominal absence, to its permanent cessation of hostilities in the mid-to-late… Read More The Murderous Hypocrisy Of The Unionist Parties In Ireland

Vice News On Poland’s Paramilitary Groups And Militias

Vice News’ German team has a short documentary on the growth of private militias in Poland, non-state groupings that can legally organise and train their memberships in conventional and non-conventional warfare. Euroviews gave a good overview of the phenomenon back in April: “During the last year, more and more Poles have turned to camouflage clothes and fake guns. They sign up… Read More Vice News On Poland’s Paramilitary Groups And Militias

Provisional IRA Not On A War Footing

Two days have passed since I criticised the risible scaremongering amongst sections of the domestic and UK press, as well as various opportunist politicians, following contradictory statements by PSNI officers investigating the related murders of Gerard Davison in May and Kevin McGuigan this August, both in the city of Belfast. In particular confused claims over the alleged involvement of former or current volunteers of the (Provisional)… Read More Provisional IRA Not On A War Footing

#LabourPurge Or The Anyone But Corbyn Campaign

Given the willingness of Andy Burnham, one of several über-ambitious pols contesting the leadership of the British Labour Party, to destabilise the finely balanced peace in the north-east of Ireland while pursuing the votes of local BLP activists, I must admit to experiencing a small degree of schadenfreude at the very public troubles enveloping his organisation. The unexpected rise of Jeremy Corbyn, an old school left-wing Labourite who rejects the… Read More #LabourPurge Or The Anyone But Corbyn Campaign

The Reality Of Cold War Politics In The North-East Of Ireland

From 1995 to 2001 an organisation calling itself Direct Action Against Drugs, or DAAD, was involved in a series of “vigilante-style” attacks on a number of criminals and underworld gangs in the north-east of Ireland. The various assaults, involving the use of guns, bombs and so-called “punishment beatings”, took place against the background of the Irish-British… Read More The Reality Of Cold War Politics In The North-East Of Ireland

The Colonist-Deniers Of Irish And British History

Speaking of that generation of academics, writers and journalists who have formed the core of what we might call the “colonist-deniers” of Irish historical studies, here is regular columnist Archon writing for the Southern Star newspaper on the attempts by some revisionist ideologues to alter the record of the Fenian revolutionary Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa: “Indeed, the effort to blacken… Read More The Colonist-Deniers Of Irish And British History

Contender For Leadership Of British Labour Plays The Orange Card

For the last four decades the Irish and British Labour parties have declined to formally or fully establish local branches or stand candidates for election in the north-east of Ireland, jointly recognising the territory’s disputed nature between Dublin and London. Instead both groupings have turned over the management of centre-left politics in the north to their regional “sister party”, the Social Democratic and Labour… Read More Contender For Leadership Of British Labour Plays The Orange Card

John Redmond MP The Gun-Loving German-Shooting Pacifist

Just after midnight on the 15th of August 1915 several armed and masked men forced their way into the London and North Western Railway Depot in the North Wall district of Dublin and proceeded to load four large crates from one of the warehouses onto a number of motor vehicles before disappearing into the early morning darkness. Press reports over the following days claimed that… Read More John Redmond MP The Gun-Loving German-Shooting Pacifist

Sinister Policing In The Ireland Of Fine Gael And Labour

In November of 2014 the Tánaiste and Labour Party leader, Joan Burton, was greeted by several dozen local residents protesting the imposition of water taxes via the establishment of the public service company, Uisce Éireann – Irish Water, during a visit to An Cosán in Jobstown, Tallaght. The demonstrators delayed Burton’s exit from the area by staging… Read More Sinister Policing In The Ireland Of Fine Gael And Labour

An Interview With The Parents Of Peace Activist Rachel Corrie

Back in August of 2013 the US-based current affairs website, MintPress News, gained considerable publicity when a report by its correspondents allegedly exonerated the Assad regime in Damascus of any involvement in three chemical weapon attacks that had taken place in the Ghouta district of the Syrian capital. Instead the MintPress team blamed the machinations of Saudi Arabia and the… Read More An Interview With The Parents Of Peace Activist Rachel Corrie

Denis O’Brien, Putting The Boot In

In relation to the controversial entrepreneur Denis O’Brien , the “Donald Trump” of the Irish business world, and his seeming determination to litigate his critics into submission (yet again!) the academic writer Julien Mercille makes this cogent point over on the legally-besieged broadsheet.ie: “Ireland’s mass media landscape is among the most concentrated in developed countries. Notably, we don’t have a single left-of-centre outlet.… Read More Denis O’Brien, Putting The Boot In

American Journalism Fails The Irish Test Once Again

Kurt Eichenwald is a veteran American journalist of some thirty years standing who has specialised in everything from corporate malfeasance to defence issues for publications as diverse as the New York Times and Vanity Fair. For the last year he has been authoring a series of investigatory or analytical pieces for the current affairs magazine Newsweek, some of… Read More American Journalism Fails The Irish Test Once Again

A’ Seinn An Aghaidh Na Balbhachd

A quick thank you to regular contributor Marconatrix for an email reminder of this 2012 video-documentary from Michael Newton, A’ Seinn an aghaidh na Balbhachd “Singing against the Silence”, examining the Scottish (Scottish Gaelic) language in Nova Scotia and Canada. It’s well worth half an hour of your time.  

Attitudes Towards The Irish Language On The Island of Ireland 2015

The Economic and Social Research Institute, the well-known independent think-tank, has released a new, one hundred page study titled, “Attitudes towards the Irish Language on the Island of Ireland, August 2015”, edited by Dr. Merike Darmody of the ESRI and Tania Daly of Amárach Research. The document outlines the current status of our indigenous language and… Read More Attitudes Towards The Irish Language On The Island of Ireland 2015