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

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

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

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

The Irish Language Deniers

In an interesting if factually flawed article the surprisingly authoritarian newspaper columnist Victoria White, the eco-activist wife of the Green Party’s lame duck leader Éamon Ryan, takes to the pages of the Examiner to express a degree of resigned sadness at the passing of the Gaeltachtaí, the traditional and supposedly state-recognised Irish-speaking regions of the country. The chief culprit for the… Read More The Irish Language Deniers

British Reparations For British Crimes In Ireland And India

Shashi Tharoor, the noted Indian politician and author, delivers some home truths on the murderous nature of the British Empire to the Oxford Union and the long shadow it has cast over its former colonies. Substitute “Ireland” for “India” in Tharoor’s arguments and most of these hard facts would still apply. We are told by the… Read More British Reparations For British Crimes In Ireland And India

Ireland And Catalonia, Some Historic Parallels

In the general election of December 1918 the revolutionary Irish republican and nationalist party, Sinn Féin, took 73 of the available 105 seats allocated to Ireland in the House of Commons, the parliament of the so-called “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”. The Irish Parliamentary Party, a nationalist-regionalist grouping favouring some form of quasi-autonomy… Read More Ireland And Catalonia, Some Historic Parallels

Lá Lúghnasa Agus Diarmaid Ó Donnabháin Rossa

A belated happy Lá Lúghnasa to one and all as we celebrate the traditional harvest festival marking the commencement of the third quarter of the year in the indigenous calendars of Ireland and the Gaelic world. Unfortunately my day has as been consumed with rather more contemporary work, leaving me little time for festivities. However it’s pleasing to note… Read More Lá Lúghnasa Agus Diarmaid Ó Donnabháin Rossa

Vice News On The Fianna Éireann And RSF

The pioneering US current affairs website Vice News has just published a short documentary examining the Fianna Éireann, the youth wing of Republican Sinn Féin. The latter group broke away from mainstream (Provisional) Sinn Féin in 1986 and has devolved into more of a political tradition amongst certain families and communities than a nation-wide organisation. RSF… Read More Vice News On The Fianna Éireann And RSF

Super Colonised Irish Syndrome

  In today’s Irish Times newspaper Seaghán Mac an tSionnaigh reviews the latest in a wave of books from a new generation of writers and historians challenging the inferior position of Ireland’s indigenous language, and the conventional narratives which have shaped our understanding of the suppression – and extermination – of those who speak it: “In The Broken Harp, Identity and… Read More Super Colonised Irish Syndrome

The Hooded Men, British Torture-Centres In Ireland

The Irish Times has a laudably detailed article examining the historic issue of the “Hooded Men”: Irish citizens detained by the British and unionist authorities in the north-east of Ireland during the period of internment – imprisonment without charge or trial – in the early 1970s. Unlike some two thousand others who were carted off to… Read More The Hooded Men, British Torture-Centres In Ireland

British Spies In The IRA, Myth Versus Reality

Just a quick heads-up for those who have access to the series “Twentieth Century British History” from the Oxford Journals. A recent edition features an article titled “The Influence of Informers and Agents on Provisional Irish Republican Army Military Strategy and British Counter-Insurgency Strategy, 1976–94” by Thomas Leahy of King’s College, London. In it the researcher pretty… Read More British Spies In The IRA, Myth Versus Reality

It Is No More A Sin To Kill An Irishman Than A Dog

From a quote in an article by the Huffington Post examining the institutionalised discrimination faced by Irish-speaking citizens and communities in Ireland, which I featured last week: “In February 2014, at an Irish language rights march and protest in Dublin, Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, a manager at Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week), remembers a speech… Read More It Is No More A Sin To Kill An Irishman Than A Dog

The INLA Show Of Strength In The City Of Derry

      Following the recent death of Peggy O’Hara, the veteran political activist in the city of Derry, the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Irish National Liberation Army – the IRSP’s largely quiescent military wing – staged an unusual public show of strength at her funeral, drawing much media attention and commentary. O’Hara was the mother of the late Patsy O’Hara, the INLA leader who died… Read More The INLA Show Of Strength In The City Of Derry