Happy 4th Of July To The Spook-Bots Of US Intelligence

A very happy Fourth of July to the automated-programs of the United States’ Armed Forces and intelligence community who have enlivened the web statistics of An Sionnach Fionn for the past few years. These include the frenetic surveillance bots lurking in the networks and IP addresses of current or long-passed organisations across the US like the… Read More Happy 4th Of July To The Spook-Bots Of US Intelligence

Ireland’s British Problem And England’s New Motto, Ourselves Alone

I’ve been travelling and working overseas for the last wee while which has left me with precious little time, energy or even inclination to write. Truth be told, business class hotels are remarkably dour places to be, no matter how impressive the star rating. Come the late evening one simply loiters aimlessly in one’s room, knowing that you face another conversationally… Read More Ireland’s British Problem And England’s New Motto, Ourselves Alone

Stephen King And George R. R. Martin In Conversation

Stephen King is one of my favourite authors and his quasi-autobiographical horror novel, “It”, is not just an outstanding example of the genre but a wonderful book in its own right. King’s description of the fictional New England town of Derry in the 1950s, and the supernatural forces which lurk beneath, remains as evocative and chilling in 2016 as it did when published way back in… Read More Stephen King And George R. R. Martin In Conversation

Echoes Of The Irish Revolution In Brexit Britain And The Scottish Independence Debate

These thoughts strike me in relation to the current post-referendum turmoil in Britain, and Scotland in particular. Ireland’s failed Easter Rising of 1916 = Scotland’s failed independence referendum of 2014 Sinn Féin’s by-election victories of 1917 = The SNP’s general election victory of 2015  Ireland’s hostility to the Conscription Crisis of 1918 = Scotland’s hostility to the EU… Read More Echoes Of The Irish Revolution In Brexit Britain And The Scottish Independence Debate

Following On From Brexit Is It Now Time For UnityRef?

There is more than a little irony for Scotland in the negative outcome of the United Kingdom’s plebiscite on its continued membership of the European Union. One of the threats made against Scottish voters in the independence referendum of 2014 was the warning from British unionists that the Scots would find their membership of the EU stripped away if they favoured… Read More Following On From Brexit Is It Now Time For UnityRef?

Peter Robinson, the DUP And Britain’s Counter-Terrorists

While the debate continues in Britain over the motives of murderer Thomas Mair, the killer of Labour MP Jo Cox, his undoubted links to various far right bodies in the United Kingdom serve as a useful reminder of the enmeshed nature of parliamentary and paramilitary unionism. Here is a 1986 television interview with Peter Robinson MP, the… Read More Peter Robinson, the DUP And Britain’s Counter-Terrorists

The Deep Insurgency, The Enduring Irish Rebel Tradition

Back in 2013, while examining the thorny issue of public support for the armed struggle of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army from the early 1970s to late ’90s, I wrote: “The big lie of the Long War is the claim by establishment Ireland, the political and media élites, that (P)IRA enjoyed little to no support on… Read More The Deep Insurgency, The Enduring Irish Rebel Tradition

Government Rejects Secular Irish-Medium School Despite Record Popularity

According to the all-party “20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030”, one of the most purposefully underfunded policies in the history of the modern nation-state of Ireland, it is official government policy to prioritise schooling through the medium of the Irish language: “It will continue to be national policy to promote immersion education through Irish… Read More Government Rejects Secular Irish-Medium School Despite Record Popularity

Up Close And Personal With A Donald Trump Rally

Despite the latest polls showing a significant slump in the popularity of Donald Trump only a foolhardy forecaster would confidently claim that the celebrity politician has no chance of being elected the president of the United States of America. Dave Eggers highlights some of the reasons for caution in this on-the-ground description of a Trump rally for the Guardian newspaper: “It was just… Read More Up Close And Personal With A Donald Trump Rally

The Killer Of Jo Cox, The Springbok Club And It’s Unionist Associations

Following on from the brutal death of the British Labour MP, Jo Cox, at a constituency meeting in West Yorkshire the UK and international press has rushed to examine the killer’s background and alleged political views. So far it has been fairly tenuous stuff, largely based on eye-witness claims and links to the Far Right movement in Britain dating back to the early… Read More The Killer Of Jo Cox, The Springbok Club And It’s Unionist Associations

A Trumpite Speaks

Perhaps not the best choice of words by American ex-pat, Meghan McBride, writing in defence of Donald Trump and the United States’ Republican Party in today’s Irish Times newspaper: “I believe in American hegemony. To those who question the value of American superpower, I ask who else can act as a broker for freedom around the… Read More A Trumpite Speaks

Trump Plays The Islamist Card As Britain Played The Orange Card

In the wake of the slaughter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, an atrocity driven far more by one man’s self-hatred and homophobia than any ideological allegiance to radical Islam, the usual suspects have demanded penitence from the world’s Muslim communities. This of course is not just unfair but illogical. As I pointed out elsewhere, the Irish don’t blame sixty-four million… Read More Trump Plays The Islamist Card As Britain Played The Orange Card

How One Turbulent City In Iraq Can Stand For The Whole Country

With some sections of the Western news media proclaiming imminent victory over the Islamic State (an entirely nebulous concept given the nature of the conflict) it is worth remembering that the possible end of one war will almost certainly mark the commencement of a new one. From Der Spiegel International, an article on Tuz Khurmatu (Tuz Khormato), a… Read More How One Turbulent City In Iraq Can Stand For The Whole Country

The Welsh Language Banned From The British Parliament

Yesterday’s sight of the former British prime ministers, toothsome Tony Blair and dour John Major, proclaiming the United Kingdom of Great Britain the “…most successful union in world history” while standing in the colonially-occupied Irish city of Derry must have struck more than one or two observers as particularly bizarre. How do the great and the good of Britain’s political establishment calculate… Read More The Welsh Language Banned From The British Parliament

The Revival Of The Native Hawaiian Language

The US news and current affairs website, Slate, has a lengthy article on the modest revival of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the native language of the Pacific state of Hawaiʻi, and the importance for that project of schools teaching entirely through the medium of the Hawaiian tongue. Where the language was once on the verge of extinction, official recognition and facilitation by local… Read More The Revival Of The Native Hawaiian Language

UK Forces Conspired With British Terrorists In The Loughinisland Massacre

There is further evidence today of the dual nature of Britain’s counter-insurgency war in Ireland, the use of regular and irregular forces, with the publication of an official investigation into the Loughinisland Massacre of June 18th, 1994. On that date members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a pro-UK or unionist terrorist faction, entered the crowded Heights Bar in the mainly… Read More UK Forces Conspired With British Terrorists In The Loughinisland Massacre

The Fresh Start Panel Report, Just More Of The Same

Remember the political and media outrage created last September by the murder of petty criminal, Kevin McGuigan, at his home in Belfast? His assassination was believed to be in retaliation for the shooting dead of Gerard Davison, a prominent republican activist in the city, which was itself blamed on McGuigan. Both men had formerly served as volunteers of the Belfast Brigade, (Provisional)… Read More The Fresh Start Panel Report, Just More Of The Same

The Atlantic Irish And Celts

Following on from a previous post examining the “Celtic from the West” theory, a quick thank you to ASF reader, Mark, for reminding me of the tetralogy, “Atlantean“, by the iconic Conamara-based film-maker Bob Quinn. His 1981 documentary series for RTÉ was one of the first to popularise in Ireland the argument that the early prehistory of western Europe should be reorientated towards its… Read More The Atlantic Irish And Celts

IMF Report Questions The Economics Of Neoliberalism

The publication of a study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) criticising certain aspects of neoliberalism has led to a lot of told-you-sos from the political Left and apologetic parsing from the Right. While not the outright rejection or condemnation some are making it out to be the research document does represent a remarkable admission of… Read More IMF Report Questions The Economics Of Neoliberalism

Jeremy Corbyn’s Vice News Documentary

The left-wing British politician, Jeremy Corbyn, recently gave Vice News behind the scenes access to his embattled leadership of the UK Labour Party. In a country which leans broadly to the right (thanks to the domination of the Greater England component) Corbyn has become something of a hate-figure among the metropolitan elites, even within his own parliamentary party. Not to mention supposedly… Read More Jeremy Corbyn’s Vice News Documentary

Kincora, Whitewashing The Secret History Of Britain’s Dirty War In Ireland

With informed observers, including lawyers, journalists and politicians, already predicting a whitewash there seems little hope that Britain is ready to face up to one of the dirtiest aspects of its dirty war in Ireland: the Kincora Boys’ Home Scandal. From a short article in the Guardian newspaper: “The judge heading up a new inquiry into the Kincora… Read More Kincora, Whitewashing The Secret History Of Britain’s Dirty War In Ireland