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
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.
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
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
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
Of the many, many tens of thousands of Irish people who have suffered hardship at the hands of the UK state in recent decades Robert Storey probably has more reason than most to feel bitterness or hate. From the early 1970s to the late 1990s, starting at the age of just seventeen, he spent most of his adult life in British cells… Read More The Existence Of The IRA As A Guarantor Of Peace
Over the last three years of writing the Sionnach Fionn blog there have been a number of subjects that have drawn vigorous responses from readers, both regular and passers-by. The continued British occupation of the north-east of our island nation, and the conflicts it has engendered. The place of the Irish language and Irish-speakers in modern Ireland and… Read More Opposing Abortion Based On Fact Not On Faith
Over the last several months a number of people from Ireland and the Irish diaspora have been barred from the American social networking platform, Facebook, because it refuses to recognise the legitimacy (or existence?) of names in the Irish language. Yes, I know, it sounds bizarre, particularly as Facebook’s European HQ is based in Dublin, but in several recent cases the company’s online administrators… Read More #MyNameIs And #NINA As Facebook Claims Irish Names Are Not Real Names
What is the real attitude of Sinn Féin to the imposition of water charges in Ireland? Are they wholly opposed to them or are they, to borrow a phrase from elsewhere, sneaking regarders? Certainly the party took a curiously cautious line in the press following the creation in 2013 of a public service utility company, Uisce Eireann – Irish… Read More Sinn Féin And Right2Water
One of the great, populist myths on the right and far right of German politics during the 1920s and ’30s was the claim that the country had been “stabbed in the back” during the closing months of World War I by a minority cabal of left-wing agitators and Jewish financiers. Without that betrayal at home and the conspiracy… Read More An Inconvenient Truth Of The Irish Revolution
Another year, another nomination to the Blog Awards Ireland competition. This is the third time in a row for An Sionnach Fionn, though with no political or news categories this year, the site has been added to the Best Blog Post contest for the article, “The Battle of Pettigo and Belleek, May To June 1922“, published on the ninety-third anniversary of the… Read More Vote For An Sionnach Fionn In The Blog Awards Ireland 2015
Former libertarian favourite and would-be United States presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Rand Paul, seems to have completed his political journey from wayward centralist to right-wing rabble-rouser. Long gone are the days when he used to gain the admiration of some progressive commentators in the news media as he now competes with the other wannabes of the GOP… Read More Native America To Native Ireland, Extermination By Any Other Name