New Europe Defies Old Europe

An Chatalóin (Catalonia)

Last Thursday over 1.8 million men, women and children took to the streets of Barcelona demanding independence for Catalonia in a mass demonstration that is being heralded as the largest political rally in the history of modern Europe. Surpassing previous events huge crowds thronged the Catalan capital defying the opprobrium of the Spanish government and press. From a report by Al Jazeera: … Continue reading

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Analysis Of ÓnaÉ Video

Volunteer of the Real Irish Republican Army armed with an AKM assault rifle

There was a bit of a kerfuffle in the news media over the weekend caused by the military funeral of Tony Catney, a former senior veteran of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army. His funeral cortège in Belfast was escorted by uniformed activists, possibly Volunteers of the so-called New Irish Republican Army or NIRA through the west of … Continue reading

The Rise Of The Islamic State

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Reading Tom Holland’s stupendous (if controversial) history of the foundations of Islam, In the Shadow of the Sword, I was struck by how current events in the Middle East can find distant parallels in the political and religious convulsions of the sixth and seventh centuries. In particular the rise and spread of the Islamic State … Continue reading

British Violence Good, Irish Violence Bad

The mutilated body of Patrick Loughnane, age 29, Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army, tortured to death alongside his younger brother Harry, age 22, by the Royal Irish Constabulary, Britain's feared colonial police force in Ireland, 1920

Perhaps I should change that headline to a more accurate one? “British Violence (By Irish People For Britain) Good, Irish Violence (By Irish People Against Britain) Bad” For that in essence is the argument put forward by former Taoiseach and aficionado of several right-wing think-tanks John Bruton in a number of recent speeches. Of course … Continue reading

Underground Warfare

Maev's second meeting with Fergus, illustration from The Táin by Mary Hutton, 1924

  One of the commoner settlement types to be found in Irish archaeology are the ráthanna or so-called ring-forts 40,000 of which are known to have existed during the first millennium CE (and probably many more than that). These were a class of fortified homestead normally consisting of a circular earthen bank inside an exterior ditch which together enclosed … Continue reading

This Land Is Mine, Israel And Palestine

Israeli soldiers pray before a Torah, southern Israel, 2012 (AP Photo - Ariel Schalit)

From the talented Nina Paley.

The Orange Order – Enough Is Enough

British soldiers of the RIR unit with a flag supporting the anti-Catholic and Protestant fundamentalist Orange Order in Drumcree, 2002

From 1975 to 1982 a British terrorist faction nicknamed the “Shankhill Butchers”, part of the militant UVF, carried out a series of attacks designed to instil terror in the Irish Nationalist community of Belfast, randomly targeting men, women and children living in isolated enclaves around the city. Like Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the intercommunal conflict the … Continue reading

France Had Pétain, We Nearly Had Redmond

John Redmond MP presents a regimental flag to a unit of the Irish National Volunteers, the paramilitary wing of the Irish Parliamentary Party, the Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland, April 1915

John Redmond is probably one of the more divisive figures in Irish history and rightly so. The patrician head of the Irish Parliamentary Party whose followers eulogised him with an almost messianic fervour while excoriating any and all critics he was the self-proclaimed “leader of Nationalist Ireland” who bullied and cajoled thousands of young Irish … Continue reading

The Reality Of War

Israeli soldiers pray before a Torah, southern Israel, 2012 (AP Photo - Ariel Schalit)

Philip Weiss links to a shocking and profoundly disturbing video of a Palestinian father unable to accept the killing of his young son during an Israeli military attack on a civilian population centre in the Gaza Strip. This the reality of Israel’s latest campaign against the besieged population of Gaza while supposedly countering the military forces of the … Continue reading

Rhetoric Should Take Second Place To Respect

An Phalaistín (Palestine)

The ongoing military operations being carried out against the civilian population of Gaza and Occupied Palestine as a whole by the Israeli defence forces and government in pursuit of Palestinian insurgents are dreadful and may well fall into the category of war crimes. However the use of deliberately egregious language to describe or condemn those … Continue reading

Syria’s Other War

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

As if the dreadful loss in human life and untold misery inflicted upon tens of thousands wasn’t enough the internecine struggle in Syria now rivals the conflict in Iraq for the irreparable damage it has caused to the physical heritage of the Middle East and its many peoples. A thoroughly depressing report from the BBC: … Continue reading

The Dirty Secrets Of A Dirty War Get Even Dirtier

Joint footpatrol of British UDA terrorists and British Army soldiers

In the “better late than never” category Britain’s Left-leaning newspaper, the Guardian, has published a special investigation by Ian Cobain into the infamous Ballymurphy Massacre of August 1971. During the course of three days rampaging British troops in an isolated Irish Nationalist enclave on the edge of West Belfast murdered ten civilians, 9 men and boys … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014

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