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

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

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

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

Unprecedented Times In Catalan And Irish Politics

Consumed with matters closer to home I have had little chance to highlight some important political developments in Catalonia, in particular the emergence of Junts pel Sí “Together for Yes”, a new alliance between the major nationalist parties and organisations in the region. From a report by the informative ara.cat: “”What we are doing here is far from ordinary,… Read More Unprecedented Times In Catalan And Irish Politics

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 Eircode Controversy Or Screwing The Irish In That Other England

Eircode, the controversial, multi-million euro postal code system for Ireland, has been launched by Alex White, the coalition’s minister for communications, and as expected the service comes with a host of issues. Topping these is the revelation that at least fifty thousand placenames across the country in the Irish language have been excluded from the new database. This of… Read More The Eircode Controversy Or Screwing The Irish In That Other England

Irish Is Not Dying, Irish Is Being Killed

When the greater part of Ireland won its independence from the United Kingdom in the early 1920s the number of native Irish-speakers across the island, north and south, was close to 6% of the total population (a figure which excludes fluent non-native speakers of Irish, perhaps another 3%-5%). This represented over 250,000 men, women and children, the vast… Read More Irish Is Not Dying, Irish Is Being Killed

Irish Language Rights Are No Rights At All

Coincidental to the temporary silencing of a compliant Irish press by a billionaire businessman whose past dealings have become mired in controversy, the Irish Times reports on the Fine Gael-Labour coalition’s new rules on media ownership which will give: “…the Minister for Communications power to decide if a proposed media merger is in the public interest in terms of… Read More Irish Language Rights Are No Rights At All

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

On Thursday the 28th of May the independent TD Catherine Murphy, a recent campaigner against fiscal impropriety and corruption in Irish society, made a contribution to Dáil Éireann questioning the business dealings of Denis O’Brien, the influential Ireland-born entrepreneur and overseas tax-resident, following several weeks of public disquiet. Her actions were widely regarded as a response to the temporary injunction against the public service broadcaster RTÉ that the billionaire’s legal team had sought and… Read More He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Fathers And Mothers Matter, Respect And Understanding Not So Much

We are in the last week of the referendum campaign debating the addition of a new sub-section to Bunreacht na hÉireann defining marriage as a gender-neutral institution. In other words, permitting hetero- and homosexual marriages under the Irish constitution (with specific legislation to follow). For the last 48 hours the moronically-named grouping “Mothers and Fathers… Read More Fathers And Mothers Matter, Respect And Understanding Not So Much

Did You Hear The One About The Irish Name Spelled With Chinese Letters?

If you and your family are native Irish-speakers and you live in an Irish-speaking region, it seems not unreasonable to expect that your children will be educated by an Irish-speaking teacher when they attend the local Irish-speaking school. However in Ireland there is nothing reasonable about the institutional discrimination towards Hibernophone communities that permeates parts of the state, notably the… Read More Did You Hear The One About The Irish Name Spelled With Chinese Letters?

The Super Scary, Quite Contrary Equal-Marriage Referendum In Ireland

Buzzfeed, the popular American click-bait site which has recently acquired a serious case of the journalistic respectables, has a fairly lengthy article on the upcoming referendum in Ireland which proposes adding a clause to the constitution defining marriage in a gender-neutral manner (or as the opponents to the amendment would have it: imperilling heterosexual relationships and families, inculcating homosexuality into our schoolchildren… Read More The Super Scary, Quite Contrary Equal-Marriage Referendum In Ireland

UZI, UZI, UZI

There is a decidedly weird fetishization of guns and the possession of guns that characterizes some serving and former members of An Garda Síochána, especially those with a decidedly authoritarian bent. They, and some like-minded fanboys journalists, are quite obsessed with with the concept of big toys for big boys, and this is never truer than when it comes to the… Read More UZI, UZI, UZI

The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish

  Another year, another dire record of public services to Irish-speaking citizens and communities by the supposedly bilingual Irish state (note the word “Irish” in that description. Ah, the irony…). From a report by the Irish Examiner newspaper: “The Irish-language commissioner has questioned the effectiveness of the Government’s efforts to promote the use of Irish… Read More The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish

The International Lesbian Conspiracy To Sap My Precious Bodily Fluids

Here is a warning to all true Irishmen, one that we disregard at our peril, from Tom Finnegan, a legal advisor to Mothers and Fathers Matter, a “No” supporting group in the upcoming constitutional referendum on marriage equality, as reported by the Irish Times: “Mr Finnegan said that, if the referendum passes, homosexual married couples would have the same… Read More The International Lesbian Conspiracy To Sap My Precious Bodily Fluids

The Bloody Demonisation Of Political Opponents By Fine Gael And Labour

This is what happens when members of the political establishment, the governing coalition parties and the sycophantic right-wing national press, conspire together to present ordinary citizens protesting the imposition of iniquitous taxes on a population already straining under the weight of austerity-driven, elites’-shielding economic policies as a “sinister fringe“. The videos below are from a demonstration yesterday at the grandiose offices of Fingal… Read More The Bloody Demonisation Of Political Opponents By Fine Gael And Labour