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The Public Meeting posters haven’t appeared yet ….but we’re heading for another election ! March 31, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Michael Healy Rae said recently that we’d be heading back to the polls on the 20th of May. I’ve no doubt now that he’s correct, his date may be out by a week or two but we’re heading for another election.
The fuss over a phone call between Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin indicates that no matter what, we are not looking at any cooperation between FF and FG this side of another election.
“I rang You”
“I Texted you first”
“Lets meet tomorrow”
“No Lets meet next week” and on and on……
All this after the whole country wondering why they hadn’t started talking the Monday after the election! Instead they talked to almost everyone they could despite knowing that numbers wise each would need the support or at least the agreement of the other.
There will of course be lengthy talks which will eventually break down, more than likely over Irish Water. It’s all now about optics of who is to blame for the two parties not going in with each other.
I may be wrong but at present there is no way the FF membership will vote for any arrangement with Fine Gael. Whatever happens there is no way FF will let a deal come before the membership otherwise it will be defeated.
They will take their chances of another election and hope to come back with more seats than Fine Gael.
A quick election will of course mean that Fine Gael won’t have a chance to change leader , which given his performance in the media during the previous campaign won’t do Fine Gael any good at all and of course Martin will come out looking even better. Where Martin (on 20 seats) was not really an option as Taoiseach in the recent election, he is now. So we get the added bonus of a campaign asking “Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin for Taoiseach?”.
In a quick election Fianna Fail could continue with their ‘Ireland for All’ fairer Ireland mantra whilst Fine Gael will have to come up with new slogans and a new campaign theme.
Both parties will be targeting the seats of Independents as well as the ones they missed out narrowly on.

Sovereignty March 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Speaking of eurosceptics, can this possibly be true? Tom McGurk writing in the SBP suggests that:

…nor has this country’s [sic] deeply ambiguous relationship with notions of a republic and the nation changed much. Most recently our overwhelming determination to be the best boys of all in the new European project most vividly points up our seeming disregard for any belated and dangerous 1916 notions of national sovereignty.

Given the rise of the European federal state, and the parallel disappearance of democratic accountability, we are apparently happy to be little more than a small offshore EU colony, dressed up in republican garb when the occasion demands. Today, remarkably, we probably exercise less real sovereignty than we did in 1916 when we were part of a vast empire.

What? No mention of Corbyn? March 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Surely some mistake here.

What country is the closest ally of the US? March 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

It reminds me a bit of the question as to where Charlie Haughey was born. Though one name keeps cropping up there seemed to be multiple answers. For example here. And here. And here. And here.

A former Minister writes on 1916 March 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It’s Michael McDowell who in his piece in the SBP at the weekend isn’t bad at engaging with and demolishing some myths he sees (and many would agree) about the events of 1916. He covers them rapidly. #1 being the idea that ‘1916 was the start of a century of political violence’ – which he notes was clearly not the case given the creation of the UVF and support from the Tory establishment. #2 is the trope that ‘Irish independence was available through the Home Rule Acts’. This he gives short shrift to and also notes that Redmond’s patriotism wasn’t one that was shared by most of the Irish people within 24 months of the Rising. #3 is the idea that the Rising had a chance of military success. #4 the idea that ‘the Rising validates the Provo campaign’.

In a way though what is most interesting is his reiteration of an essentially Eurosceptic line, arguing that ‘nor do I believe that we should, after 100 years fold up the proclamation and become to an EU super-state what North Dakota is to the US’.

Esteem March 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Telling how combative Arlene Foster is in relation to 1916, as reported today in the IT.

“I think a lot of them were egotistical [and] were doing it to bring glory upon themselves.
“They had no democratic backing. I don’t see them as selfless individuals at all.”

But in all that is going on never got around to discussing this from the President at the weekend:

She also rejected the President’s call for a review of militarist imperialism.
Mr Higgins, who was speaking at a symposium at the Mansion House in Dublin, said “while the long shadow cast by what has been called the Troubles in Northern Ireland has led to a scrutiny of the Irish republican tradition of physical violence, a similar review of supremacist and militarist imperialism remains to be fully achieved”.

Foster, of course, misses the point when she says:

“I think he needs to re-examine what he is saying because, for a lot of us, the legacy of 1916 has been continued violence”.

And it’s not difficult to see contradictions in her stance as expressed here:

She declined to attend the commemorations in Dublin because she said she viewed the Rising as “a violent act that killed many hundreds of Irish people.”

But the President’s point is well made.

1916 and Family History March 30, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Wbs covered a bit regarding the 1916 relatives here….. On a tangent from that….
I found myself in the pub last Saturday night with three friends. Naturally 1916 was a topic of conversation. Soon two of the lads had phones out comparing the medals that were in their family. One had pictures of his great grandfathers 1916 medal and his grandfathers War of Independence one. The other a War of Independence and another medal which I can’t recall. The gas thing is that I’ve known these two gents thirty plus years and never knew of their families involvement.
Over the evening I heard the family tales of the Rising, a spell in Frongoch, of being interned in Gormanstown during the Civil War. Indeed one of the lads Grandfathers was arrested by a neighbour as he made his way to the Four Courts and by doing so probably saved his life. I’m told there’s a diary/autograph book from Gormanstown in his family which I’m hoping to see in the future and will take a few pics when I do. The same lad is related to Kevin Barry on his mothers side and his parents were at the ceremonies when he and 9 others were reinterred to Glasnevin. It’s funny the legacy some of us are born with. Yet it was really only something he became aware of in recent years. I suppose like the 1916 veteran I knew growing up (It was another friends Grandad and we wondered at the funeral why it was so formal with the tricolour on the coffin etc), it was something generally not talked about. That is what is great about the witness statements and other records available to the public now.
My friend read his relatives Witness statement and said they sounded terribly bitter. Turns out that there was some dispute over the IRA pension he had received.
Regarding 1916 relatives and the current celebrations , my friends uncle was due to arrange tickets for the family for the various events, however despite being relatives they were too late with their applications as all the tickets to the various events had already gone. So they missed out which was an awful pity.
What the centenary has done is got people talking about the Rising and I’m sure my own children aren’t alone in asking if there were any relatives involved in The Rising. It has also led to an interest in the history of the family on both my own and my wifes side. There were Kinsella’s involved in the Rising and some came from where I know relatives were, but with my fathers generation all passed on it would take some study and a decent family tree to find out more. For the moment the only facts we have is Michael Collins being a regular at the Sunday Night card school in my Grandparents house and a Priest relative being wounded in Ferns during the War of Independence.
On a side note , on the day the school had the National Flag was raised and the Proclamation read the daughter of one of my friends bought the 1916 medal to school. It was treated with reverence and brought around and shown in every classroom in the school…. when she arrived home my friend realised that his daughter had taken his medal to celebrate 10 years service in the FCA rather than the 1916 one to school!

Gardening leave? March 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Not entirely surprising news that:


Journalist John Drennan, who stepped down from his role as the Sunday Independent’s political editor to join Lucinda Creighton’s party, resigned from Renua soon after the election.

But what’s this?


Mr Drennan was on gardening leave for a number of weeks but this has officially ended and he is now no longer a member of the party.

Coalition… March 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’ve already mentioned some of the math in relation to government formation this week, but a nice line in the SBP from Mary Regan this weekend about how Kenny and FG are seeking to form a ‘coalition of the unwilling’. But who could they be talking about? FF or Independents and Others? If the latter some of them seem all too willing, even if it is a case of offering minority support to an FG led administration.

Interestingly Regan believes that some in FG are sanguine about a minority FG government with Independent/GP/Other support.

FG TDs believe that [with FF abstaining FG can bring the number needed to win a Dáil vote down to 58] this figure [58]is too low for the party to have the moral authority to run a government. Some have se the bar as high as 70 for it to have legitimacy, others say the mid-60s might have to do.

There’s a lot in that. Even with FF sitting on its hands how does FG navigate convincingly around the issue of legitimation. It’s not that a minority government is illegitimate as such, particularly not in our system, but rather that it needs to have some weight to it.

Here’s another interesting point from Regan. She reports that Simon Coveney says:

‘The nature of being an independent TD is very different now to maybe what it has benign the past’.


Out of the 15 that he has held a number of discussions with, he said ‘none of them have actually sought a deal for their individual constituencies. They realise we have a different political landscape now, a much more sophisticated electorate that wants to see the political system work in the context of how they voted a few weeks ago’.

Assuming that is correct it suggests that the national weighs large in independents thinking. Perhaps they calculate that the electorate is impatient for deals to be done and government to resume. What will be very telling is whether by aligning with FG, or indeed FF, they will lose support.

Change is difficult… March 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Not entirely surprised that New Zealand is keeping its flag. For the moment. But in these things it often seems to me that once change is mooted it makes it easier next time around to implement it.

Here’s a comment from the Guardian piece. Not sure I completely agree but the last sentence is intriguing:

Prof Paul Moon, a New Zealand historian at the Auckland University of Technology said changing the current flag would have been like “amputating” New Zealand history.
“There was no popular sentiment for a change. Indeed, most people barely considered our national flag as an issue until it was thrust in front of them in the form of an impending referendum.
“Entrusted with a once-in-a-lifetime task to select four alternative contenders for our national flag, the panel delivered options that were insipid and unimaginative. And to make matters worse, for all the talk of inclusivity, serious Indigenous input was largely whitewashed. What we were left with was culturally monochromatic and aesthetically neutered design to go up against the incumbent.”
“We were told a new flag was needed because we were ‘more multicultural, ‘more independent’, and ‘more vibrant’ as a nation. Putting these cliches aside, the premise that we change a flag as our identity evolves is inherently flawed. Flags, like our names, remain with us as we mature and are the sum total of our existence.”

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