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Irish Left Archive: Civil Divorce is a Civil Right – Vote Yes – The Workers’ Party, 1986 September 18, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
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For the poster section of the Archive, this from 1986.


The text of the amendment was as follows:

The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1986, proposes –

to delete subsection 2° of Article 41.3 of the Constitution, which states that no law shall be enacted providing for the grant of a dissolution of marriage, and to substitute the subsection here following:

2° Where, and only where, such court established under this Constitution as may be prescribed by law is satisfied that:

i. a marriage has failed,
ii. the failure has continued for a period of, or periods amounting to, at least five years,
iii. there is no reasonable possibility of reconciliation between the parties to the marriage, and
iv. any other condition prescribed by law has been complied with,

the court may in accordance with law grant a dissolution of the marriage provided that the court is satisfied that adequate and proper provision having regard to the circumstances will be made for any dependent spouse and for any child of or any child who is dependent on either spouse.

As noted here it was defeated -

No 935,843 63.48
Yes 538,279 36.52

It would not be until 1996 that the prohibition was finally overturned by the Fifteenth Amendment.

If you have more posters from the Irish Left (or relating to Ireland from political parties or formations or campaigns abroad) from any period, whether issue led, party promotional, campaigning or such like please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be glad to post them online as part of this section.

From Ireland to Greece- Pavlos Fyssas memorial vigils-Belfast, Cork, Derry, Dublin September 17, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left.
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Tomorrow (Thursday, 18th September) to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Greek anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in Athens, Greece, anti-fascists across Ireland will stage vigils to mark one year since his passing and as an act of international solidarity with Greek anti-fascists.

The vigils, commencing at 7pm, will be held at the following locations:

Belfast-Spanish Civil War memorial, Writers Square
Cork- Daunt Square
Derry- Free Derry Corner
Dublin- Jim Larkin statue.

From Reform Alliance to Technical Group September 17, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

Those already in the Technical Group may well be hopping mad at this latest news.

Lucinda Creighton, a leading figure in the Reform Alliance, submitted her application to Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett to join the technical group.

Ms Creighton said last night that the Ceann Comhairle had agreed to facilitate her and colleagues Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan, Peter Matthews and Denis Naughten in joining the group.

And they’re certainly not rolling out the welcome mat:

…the loose grouping of independent and smaller party TDs say… they would oppose her application to join them.

And what of this fascinating piece of information:

Neither the Ceann Comhairle nor the Technical Group itself has a role in who can and cannot join the group. However, it had been thought that those previously affiliated to political parties in the current Dáil term – as Creighton was with Fine Gael – could not join.


But Creighton said she had been in “constant contact” with Barrett’s office for the last two days and is now of the understanding that any independent TD can now join the Technical Group.

“He is interpreting the relevant standing order in such a way that any independent member in the Dáil can join Technical Group,” she claimed.

Hitherto those standing orders were interpreted on the departure of Creighton et al from FG to allow for the RA TDs and some ex-LP TDs to effectively be ‘the others’, given their own tranche of speaking time (though no resources if my memory serves me correctly).

So where does this leave Roisin Shortall or Tommy Broughan? What of the allocation of speaking time and resources?

And what of the Reform Alliance, the – er – last best hope for…erm… reform.

All very complicated, and above and beyond that, why now? Is the idea to bundle up all, or as many as possible of, the Independents in the Dáil under a single TG category thereby potentially diminishing their individual political identities to some degree? That goes so far, but what of those TDs outside the TG, that would be Grealish, Healy-Rae and one M. McGrath (IIRC) and also… Denis Naughten, previously sort of kind of of the Reform Alliance while Billy Timmins is apparently undecided (and what does that say about the Reform Alliance too?). We shall see.

More on the latest RedC/SBP poll September 17, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

An interesting poll in the SBP this weekend from RedC. It’s headline figures as noted on Saturday were as follows:

Fine Gael – 28% (+3%)

Labour – 8% (+1%)

Fianna Fáil party 18% (NC)

Sinn Féin 23% (+1%)

Independents and Others are also on 23% (-5%)

Adrian Kavanagh – who has transcended the curious disappearance of Political Reform:

…estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 32, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 37, Labour Party 3, Independents and Others 30.

FG big enough, one supposes, but… Behold the renaissance of the LP with a …er… ‘new’ leader. And government formation on those figures? 80 is pretty much the bare minimum necessary for a coalition to operate. How’s that going to work with the configuration offered above?

The reconsolidation of FG is troubling, but not entirely unexpected. Pat Leahy in the SBP suggests that this poll shows a ‘boost for the coalition parties’. And that it is ‘encouraging news… as the new political season begins and the countdown to the October budget begins in earnest’. I’m not entirely convinced:

Support for the government parties increases by four points today, with Fine Gael winning the lion’s share of that improvement, rising by three points since our last poll in June to 28 per cent today, while Labour gains by a single point, up to 8 per cent.

Richard Colwell of RedC puts it this way:

The rise in support in this poll [for FG] only claws back that lost during those months at the start of the year, but does show that the party can win back support with a prevailing wind behind them. The key is whether it will be enough to offset anger at austerity in the years before this.

Even if it was just anger at those years, I’d be sceptical that FG could claw back too much support. But the tenor of his analysis is that all is peachy from here on out.

Perhaps partially linked to the economic competence rating, and surely influenced by indications by the government parties that we have seen our last austerity budget, is the finding that voters also appear to be prepared to forgive the austerity that had been such a driver of dissatisfaction just a few months ago.

Erm… water charges, anyone?

In fairness Colwell is clear that Labour’s continuing low polling figures are a significant problem (look again at Kavanagh’s projection of 3!).

Still, looking at FG figures the thought does come to mind as to where else do those on the right go? Hardly FF, whose polls remained mired at just about where they were at election 2011. That in itself is remarkable. So much for their renaissance. It’s been said before that now we know their core vote. Seems they can’t actually break much beyond it. Some will be eyeing this figures carefully and wondering whether a certain M. Martin may have gone beyond his expiry date. That will probably include a certain M. Martin.

Labour? They’re not going to be cheering over 8%. That’s towards the lower end of their operating area, though I suppose a voting pact with FG might be of some help come the day of the election. But not much for them to be happy about either. A change of leader and yet so little to see gained from it. Which as any fule no suggests that it wasn’t the leader at all that was the problem but the party and its approach.

As for SF. Marginal improvement, but so what? They’re above 20% and well ahead of FF and the LP. It’s the very fact of continuity, of consolidation, that is so important to them. There’s perhaps likely to be some slippage at the election, but probably not that much. They’ll be well pleased.

And Independents and Others, sliding some 5%. Outside margin of error, indicative, of what exactly? Hard to say, still well ahead of their 2011 vote. But food for thought. They’d win big, and gain seats on this figure, but can they sustain it as Independents and Others? Or do they require more formal alliances.

That’s a thought isn’t it? Perhaps the public is tiring a bit of Independents, becoming more aware that a volatile post-election environment is likely with no party able to dominate and the combinations available being incompatible. That’s the sort of terrain a clever alliance of sorts might slip profitably onto.

Or, is it that it is far far too early to take away much at all from this poll, coming as it does at the end of a long Summer. Could it be that the return of parliamentary political activity – with the attendant focus by media upon same, will see these figures move around?

So it’s good to have a poll, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable offering conclusions, of sorts, in the wake of a couple more monthly ones. We’re moving into interesting times. The public appears to think austerity has done the business, or at least a majority of them. Perhaps that’s in a certain hope that austerity is now ‘over’ – as some of the media seems to suggest. We should be so lucky.

Notable are the figures in favour of increased public spending over tax cuts in the same poll. That probably won’t cut much ice with Fine Gael. But perhaps it should. Not least because citizens are as noted above now facing water charges and so on, and a budget too.

Leahy argues that:

What today’s poll suggests is that the root of the government’s political difficulties lies not in the unpopularity of its austerity policies – and how can one reasonably expect austerity to be anything other than unpopular? – but in the collapse of competence that occurred after the bailout exit at the end of last year.
Look at the numbers again: 58 per cent say austerity was necessary – even hefty minorities of Sinn Féin (42 per cent) and independent voters (45 per cent) agree. In the light of this, it doesn’t make much sense to assert that the voters were punishing the government for implementing something most of them agree with.

There may be something in that, but I wonder if that ‘agreement’ with austerity is rather like the agreement of one acquiescing to someone holding a gun to your head and walking forward on their command. There’s no agency involved here, no visceral or other attachment to austerity. Or to put it another way, to expect political reward for carrying through such policies (and let’s note that the government itself eschewed agency and let itself be pushed forward by the troika, not very unwillingly it has to be said) is to miss the point. Some might agree in theory that the policies were necessary, but that doesn’t mean they agree with the way they were implemented (something that the preference for increased funding of services over tax cuts is also suggestive of).

Docklands community to mark 50th anniversary of death of Sean O’Casey – this weekend September 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Culture night performances and unveiling of important local plaque

This Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sean O’Casey. He died on 18th September 1964 in Devon, aged 84 .
Sean O’Casey, one of Ireland’s most enduring playwrights, spent three decades of his early life living in the North Docks area of Dublin. To mark the anniversary of his death, the local community will be holding two very special events this week – an evening dedicated to the life and works of Sean O’Casey on Friday Evening and Saturday afternoon will see the unveiling of a plaque on the site of the former St Barnabas Church & School where O’Casey attended.

As part of Culture Night celebrations on Friday 19th September, the Sean O’Casey Theatre on St. Marys Road, East Wall will be hosting “What is the stars?” This is a newly constructed O’Casey piece which features scenes and characters from ‘The Silver Tassie’, ‘Juno and the Paycock’ and ‘The Plough and the stars’ alongside a musical accompaniment. In the year that also marks the outbreak of the First World War, this is a powerful piece which highlights a common O’Casey theme, of ordinary people living their lives while “The whole world’s in a state of chassis”. This will be followed by readings and performances of O’Casey material, drawn from his plays, autobiographies and letters. In addition to the invited participants, there will be an opportunity for all performers, amateur and professional to take part and read their chosen O’Casey piece.

On Saturday afternoon, 20th September, a memorial plaque will be unveiled on the former site of St. Barnabas Church, which stood from 1869 to 1969 on Sheriff Street. It’s most famous parishioner was Sean O’Casey, who dedicated a volume of his autobiography to the Reverand Griffin, whom he befriended here. The plaque will recall others associated with the mariners church – the Rev Canon DH Hall , the so called ‘building parson’ who was an innovator of housing reform in the early 20th century , and also the 12 parishioners who lost their lives in ‘The Great War’. The unveiling will take place at 2.30pm at the junction of East Road and Sheriff Street, followed by refreshments and celebratory event.

Commenting on the Culture Night event, Fran Laycock of the Sean O’Casey Theatre said: “O’Casey was a unique talent, he captured the voices of those around him and immortalised them in his work. When his characters speak, you are hearing the authentic sounds of Dublin life as witnessed by the playwright. What better way to celebrate his anniversary than by attending these performances in the heart of the community and amongst the people he was very much a part of, in a theatre named in his honour.”

Commenting on the unveiling of the plaque on the site where St Barnabas Church once stood, local resident Marie O’Reilly stated: “So much of the area has changed and important elements of our history are in danger of being forgotten. It is great to see this being prevented from happening – Saint Barnabas Church & School and the sizeable Church of Ireland population played a hugely significant part in the development of the North Docks community, yet many younger people are unaware of this. Commemoration events and the presence of historical markers will keep the great story of our area alive and hopefully encourage people to find out more.”

For further information contact:
Fran Laycock (Sean O’Casey Theatre) – 0876350056
Joe Mooney (East Wall History Group) – 0876698587

See links to event pages (which will feature related articles throughout the week):



The Rising Tide – LookLeft 19 in shops now September 15, 2014

Posted by guestposter in The Left, Workers' Party.


LookLeft 19 is in Easons stores and hundreds of selected newsagents across the island now. Still only €2 this issue includes former Workers’ Party President Séan Garland’s assessment of the career of Eamon Gilmore, an exclusive article by Greek economist, Yanis Varoufakis, on the failure of European Social Democracy, an interview with new Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger, an examination of the growing militancy among trade union members in Ireland and John Cooney on Scottish Independence and much, much more…

Contents include:


The links between Irish corporate and clerical elites, Richard McAlevey investigates.


Brian McDermott and Kevin Squires discuss the rise of racism on both sides of the Border.

Kevin Squires meets Ruth Coppinger to discuss her aims in the Dáil.

Osal Kelly discusses how to put a lid on a the bubbling housing market.

Dara McHugh and Padraig Mannion discuss the threat to democracy from the secretive trade deal.

RISING TIDE OF EXPECTATIONS Workers are seeking a new militancy in the trade union movement, Francis Donohoe explores.

THE FORUM Seán Garland bids an unfond farewell to Eamon Gilmore. Also featuring John Cooney, Anna Quigley, Cian O’Callaghan, Marie Moran and Gavin Mendel-Gleason.

Yanis Varoufakis and Terry McDonough discuss the fall of European social democracy and look at how the Left can rise instead.

Conall Parr looks at the legacy of radical Protestants in Northern Ireland politics

Dara McHugh talks music, politics and petty theft with pioneering Dublin folk band Lynched.

Neil Dunne discusses the reactions of Malmö FC to the stabbing of a fan by neo-nazis.

November SOCIALIST VOICE from THE CPOI September 14, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

Many thanks to EMC for the following:

The September Socialist Voice is now available online.

Apologies for the delay.

List of contents:

Illusions of recovery

In early September the minister for public expenditure, Brendan Howlin, claimed that the Government’s economic strategy was so successful that “we’re not going back to boom and bust.” But he is not the first social democrat, and no doubt will not be the last, to make that grandiose claim.
Slump and boom are inherent in the capitalist system, and recurrent crises cannot be prevented within capitalism but only by defeating capitalism itself.
Capitalism is prone to sequences of slump and boom, coupled with wild financial speculation and property and asset bubbles. It simply cannot exist otherwise.

Guests of the nation

Being a theoretical journal with an unambiguous world view, Socialist Voice places less emphasis on the type of investigative journalism that features prominently in more commercially inclined publications. Nevertheless there is a role for this method of news-gathering and especially when an intriguing rumour is begging for authentication.

Suffer little children

The United States is one of three countries that have failed to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this it finds itself in the august company of Somalia and South Sudan. Somalia, however, has committed itself to ratifying, and South Sudan’s parliament has passed a bill to do so.
To be fair, it has to be said that the United States played an active role in the drafting of the bill, and has actually signed, though not ratified, it. Among the reasons given is the fear of a backlash from the religious right, who see the bill as an assault on their rights.

The Republican Congress eighty years on: A relevant or redundant concept?

Like any organisation, the Republican Congress was a product of its time and place; therefore we need to understand it on its own terms and in the historical conditions of the time.
Ireland eighty years later is a different place from the Ireland of the 1920s and 30s. The world is different, and the balance of forces has shifted.
We need to consider such factors as the deep economic crisis of the system at the time, which had a huge impact on Ireland. Unemployment in the South stood at more than a quarter of a million; there was mass emigration, widespread poverty, and evictions from farms and homes.

A stark class divide

A recent report from the Higher Education Authority reveals a stark class divide in Dublin when it comes to access to higher education. The report confirms what all socialists already knew: that teenagers from the leafy middle-class suburbs are far more likely to go on to third-level education than those from less privileged areas of the city.

Lance Armstrong should keep his jerseys

In July, RTE featured a documentary on Paul Kimmage, the sports journalist. He was portrayed as the journalist who exposed Lance Armstrong as a cheat, and was one of the main journalists who campaigned about the use of drugs in professional cycling.
There is no doubt that Kimmage is a unique journalist, and in fact he is one of the small number of people—never mind journalists—who actually completed a Tour de France when he was a professional cyclist. He could have completed a second Tour but withdrew. This still seems to be a source of regret to him.

Political statement
National Executive Committee, Communist Party of Ireland

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland expresses its solidarity with workers now engaged in industrial struggles to defend their livelihood.
Iarnród Éireann workers are struggling to prevent a cut in wages arising out of Government policy, which is to to run down the rail service, and public transport in general, in the interests of privately owned companies, to shift the burden of running public transport onto the workers and travelling public, and to remove the state from any meaningful social responsibility for providing a comprehensive public transport service.

Whoop it up for freedom!

René González, the first of the Cuban Five to be released, was due to speak at meetings in Liverpool and London to mark the sixteenth anniversary of their arrest.

Who really owns us?

It was announced last month that the value of Government bonds at the end of last May was €113.216 billion—120 per cent of the value of the country’s annual economic output. 53 per cent of these bonds are held by foreign individuals and institutions.
Along with Portugal, Ireland is one of the EU’s most indebted countries, and it has recently taken to share-switching to stave off an inability to pay its creditors. Short-term bonds due to be cashed in in 2016 are swapped for ten-year bonds, and so the evil day is postponed.

O’Flaherty Summer School a huge success

Féile na bhFlaitheartach, 2014—the Liam and Tom O’Flaherty Society’s August summer school—was a fantastic weekend, richly rewarding for all who made it to Árainn.
The school opened with a talk by Theo Dorgan on the horrific industrial slaughter that was the First World War, making the point that if it were not for the literary records of the brutality and horrors of this war in books such as Liam O’Flaherty’s Return of the Brute later generations could be more easily duped by politicians and the the media into believing there was something heroic in it.

Frank Connolly, Tom Gilmartin: The Man Who Brought Down a Taoiseach and Exposed the Corruption and Greed at the Heart of Irish Politics (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2014); ISBN 978-0-7171-6047-1; €16.99 / £14.99.
Níl siad imithe uainn fós, bíodh a fhios agat—polaiteoirí, baincéirí, lucht forbartha, agus infheisteoirí cama, ná na fórsaí taobh thiar díobh. Ná níl scéal Bhinse Flood/Mahon thart go fóill, mar a mheabhraigh cúis George Redmond sa Chúirt Uachtarach dúinn i mí Iúil.

Bratacha Bána
Gabriel Rosenstock

The pigs are back!

Tomás Mac Síomóin, Is Stacey Pregnant? Notes from the Irish Dystopia (Nuascéalta, 2014; ISBN 978-1-4992-1354-6; $10.75). Available from Amazon, Connolly Books, and general booksellers.

Anybody familiar with Orwell’s Animal Farm will be amused by Tomás Mac Síomóin’s rebirth of the pig as the “Smilin’ Porky” in his newly published novel Is Stacey Pregnant?—although the amusement will not last long as this novel gradually unfolds its horror!

The first expressionist play in Irish

Expressionism is an art form that developed fully in Germany in the years before the First World War (in painting, poetry and drama) and after the war in German cinema. It arose from a sense of existential fear and a world going out of control.
Its themes are very often psychological struggle, insanity, and unfathomable forces controlling people’s lives. Mainstream bourgeois aesthetics of outward objectivity are rejected in favour of the aesthetics of ugliness as the way these artists perceived their reality in the build-up for war and following it, right through the 1920s.

Latest RedC/SBP poll… September 13, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.


Fine Gael 28% (+3%)

Labour 8% (+1%)

Fianna Fáil party 18% (NC)

Sinn Féin 23% (+1%)

Independents and Others are also on 23% (-5%)

And what of this?

61% now say the country is generally on the right track [economically], while 39% disagree.

Almost six out of ten voters (58%) believe that the Government’s austerity policies were necessary, with 41% disagreeing and 1% said they did not know.

Asked if Government should use extra resources to fund public services, rather than cutting taxes, 64% agreed and 34% did not.

More during week…

TWENTY-SIXTH DESMOND GREAVES ANNUAL SCHOOL 2014 – 12-14 September 2014 September 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

Just to remind people…

A weekend of political thought and discussion
Friday to Sunday
12-14 September 2014
The Ireland Institute
27 Pearse Street
Dublin 2

Friday 12 September at 7:30pm
The Ideology of Remembrance – Ireland and the First World War

Brian Hanley
(Historian, author of A Documentary History of the IRA, 1916-2005 and (with Scott Millar) The Lost Revolution)
Michael Quinn
(Historian, has recently completed a doctorate on Irish-Soviet relations and is currently specialising in Ireland and the First World War)

Chair: Tommy Graham
(Historian, Editor and founder of History Ireland magazine)

Saturday 13 September at 11:00am
The Good Friday Agreement today

Anne Cadwallader (Journalist, case worker with The Pat Finucane Centre for Human Rights, author of Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland)
Tom McGurk (Broadcaster, Sunday Business Post columnist)
Declan Kearney (National Chairperson, Sinn Féin)

Chair: Peter Bunting (Assistant General Secretary ICTU, with responsibility for co-ordinating the Trade Union Movement in Northern Ireland)

Saturday 13 September at 2:30pm
Politics and the physical force tradition in Ireland

Tommy McKearney
(Socialist republican, participant in the 1980 H-Block hunger strike, Northern organiser for the Independent Workers Union)
Eoin Ó Murchú
(Journalist, longtime campaigner for Irish sovereignty)
Mícheál MacDonncha
(Sinn Féin Councillor Dublin City Council; former editor of An Phoblacht, author of Sinn Féin, A Century of Struggle)

Chair: Ruán O’Donnell
(Historian, University of Limerick, author of Special Category: The IRA in English Prisons, Vol. 1: 1968-1978 and other books)

Sunday 14 September at 11:00am
Imperialism and the national question in Ireland

John Foster
(Joint author Red Papers on Scotland; Emeritus Professor, Social Sciences, West of Scotland University; Secretary, Scottish Campaign against Euro-Federalism)
Kevin McCorry
(People’s Movement, former organiser NICRA)
Patricia McKenna
(People’s Movement, former MEP for Dublin)

Chair: : Mary Cullen (Historian, author of recently published Telling It Our Way: Essays In Gender History)

Sunday 14 September at 2:30pm
Unionism and the Way Forward

Professor Peter Shirlow
(Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen’s University Belfast)
Linda Ervine
(Irish Language Development Officer for East Belfast; sister-in-law of the late David Ervine)
Owen Bennett
(Writer and commentator)

Chair: Helena Sheehan
(Professor Emeritus, Dublin City University; author of Irish Television Drama, A Society and its Stories)

For further information, contact Frank Keoghan, Director, at 087–2308330.

Left Archive Gralton Excerpt: Interview with Michael D. Higgins Oct/Nov 1983 September 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Here’s a very interesting interview with Michael D. Higgins from all of 31 years ago. To download click here: GRALTON LP

Many thanks to Jim Lane who has forwarded almost a full set of issues of the magazine to the Archive. These will be appearing shortly.


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