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Standing back or standing aside? April 28, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Funny, given yesterday conditions were the issue of the day in relation to government formation – at least as regard the Green Party. So, yesterday evening came the news that:

Several Independent TDs are to stand back from talks on Government formation until the Green Party reaches a decision on whether or not to enter negotiations.

Last week two groups of Independents met a joint Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael negotiating team.

However, the Regional Group has now told those parties that they are waiting for clarity on the Greens’ position before committing to any further talks.

It is understood that the Independent Group, which includes TDs Marian Harkin, Michael Fitzmaurice and Michael McNamara, is also going to seek further detail on the Greens’ policy plans.

Not difficult to see all this as positioning by everyone, waiting to see what emerges. I presume if the GP TDs were to actually go into government that might cause problems for the Independents. As noted yesterday, would they be simply not necessary to form a government?

Just on the Independent Group. Where do Pringle, Connolly and Collins stand on this? Anyone know if they are part of this process?

Conditions, conditions! April 27, 2020

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Is it me or does there seem to be a renewed appetite on the part of smaller parties to at a minimum explore coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil? And is that driven by political orientation to coalition or by a concern that if not seen to at least seem to be open to it they will suffer politically or something else?

And how high a cost for entry to government would the Green a party, to take one example, be offering given the following?

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said that a 7% cut in carbon emissions every year is a pre-condition for talks on a programme for government.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, he said it is something that has to be stated before government formation talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

“This has to be clear from the start we have to have that baseline understanding because it is going to be challenging.

And is that merely an opening gambit, later to be modified (i.e. moderated) or is that a minimum condition?

And what of other parties, say the Social Democrats or the Labour Party?

A further thought, what if the SDs, LP and GP made it known they would enter this coalition? Would FF/FG accept them all or balk at that many? After all that would have implications as regards Cabinet positions. Or would they see most/all of them as a better bet than the Independents? And if they did jettison the Independents what sort of Dáil would that present with SF the largest component of the opposition but also Independents as a significant element too.

Left Archive: Irish Socialist, July 1972, Communist Party of Ireland April 27, 2020

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. irish-socialist.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This edition of Irish Socialist, publication of the CPI, from 1972 has lead article that argues that on foot of the recent referendum on EEC membership:

IT didn’t take long after the Referendum for the take-overs to start. Even the fruit importing trade is heading for monopoly. These are the first steps on the road to the Common Market. The workers are sitting in at Crannac in Navan. The take-overs are going to mean more unemployment ( it’s over 13,000 higher than last year and we’re not in the E.E.C. yet, only in the Free Trade Agreement with Britain).

Another piece states ‘No’ to Civil War says Civil Rights Association:

The CIVIL WAR that has raged ·below the surface in this com­munity for some years now is 1blazing out into the open. In the light of the growing conflagration we can only point out that there is no fire ,brigade to extinguish the flames. Once again die fires of sectarianism will bum themselves out at the expense of each and every person, Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter in this community.

Inside a piece examines the murder of OIRA volunteer Joe McCann and quotes Cathal Goulding, Chief of Staff of the IRA noting those at his funeral ‘come to pay tribute to Joe McCann, the man, the solider, the political activist, the revolutionary’.

Betty Sinclair writes on ‘Unionism; the Politics of Desperation’. Another piece argues that ‘Military victory in the North is Impossible’.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

East Wall for All “A RARE TIME FOR DEATH…” – Sean O’Casey and the Easter Rising April 26, 2020

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From East Wall For All…

O’Casey was not just one of Irelands greatest playwrights, he also wrote a large amount of other material, including six volumes of autobiography. In these edited extracts, we look at his own experiences during Easter week 1916.

From Independent Left: Reading Lenin in the light of the collapse of the SWP and the ISO April 26, 2020

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From Independent Left’s Conor Costick.

A comparison of Tony Cliff’s Lenin: Building the Party with Paul Le Blanc’s Lenin and the Revolutionary Party

Statements in the media… good, bad and indifferent… April 26, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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The good? This on the UK NHS and the current tendency to reify it to absurd proportions regardless of the reality – some of that reification having a very political purpose indeed.

Medicine is not a religion, and getting better is not simply a matter of belief or character…

NHS staff should not be placed under pressure to work unsafely – whether that is through long hours, the absence of appropriate PPE or the burden of unreasonable expectations. Courageous management and psychological support should be deployed to protect frontline staff from these stresses. Let us appreciate them through better pay and conditions rather than adulation for their “miracles”. Let us recognise that they do have the same feelings as us – including confusion, uncertainty, fear and anger.

And this too come to think of it, also from the Guardian.

There’s the… well is bad the right word for it?

Yes, it is true that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the second and third oldest parties in the State, have dominated politics for much of the past century (along with the positive contributions of the oldest party, Labour). Like all political parties, there are things in our pasts that we would have preferred did not happen. But both parties have built a country where there is unprecedented levels of educational opportunity, where business has been able to flourish and where employment has been created, and where we have truly taken our place among the nations of the world. Ireland is a country with a high standard of living, opportunities and a very good quality of life. We are not an economic basket case, such as Venezuela, that some believe we should emulate.

Perhaps it is.

And then there’s the indifferent…

That experience of a minority government operating in difficult economic circumstances may be more relevant to today’s politics than the fate of the Lemass and Ahern governments. Still, what the Lemass experience showed was that decisive and courageous government can force Independents to face up to their responsibilities. They have to make a careful calculation about whether they dare bring it down and cause a general election.

Tá brón orm April 25, 2020

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I was sorry to see this, news that Gaeltacht courses have been cancelled.

Summer language courses in the Gaeltacht have been cancelled, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision, announced by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht this evening, will be a significant blow to rural communities along the west coast, which would usually be preparing to welcome thousands of second level students at this time of year.

Around 600 families usually welcome students into their homes at locations around the country each summer.

It was, of course, inevitable. But nonetheless it is hard for families and communities. Surprising to see that this affects only 600 or so families.

I’ve good memories of going to Coláiste Chamuis in Indreabhán in the Galway Gaeltacht in the early 1980s. My knowledge of Irish – or at least a vernacular version of same – is based almost entirely on that experience of three summers there. An interesting time in my life. I wound up a Cinnire Tí which meant I was nominally in charge of a house of young people around my age and a bit younger again.

Without question it ignited a real love of the language and the culture. And a spotty but not unuseful knowledge of Irish. At least in its spoken variant. As it happens Chamuis was a split away from a more nationalist organisation – though and I liked this, we saluted the flag ourselves every evening. So not at all un-Republican.

I revisited there with my old friend Mark a few years ago and we walked around the school house one rainy Summer afternoon and the place looked smaller but very familiar. It was good to be back.

Birmingham Irish April 25, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Many thanks to Sam for forwarding the link to this.

“Musician Angela Moran, whose grandparents were amongst thousands of Irish to move to Britain’s second city in the 1950s, tells the story of the Birmingham Irish through the memories of local people and rare archive footage. She hears about life during the 50s and 60s, and also looks at the impact the 1974 terrorist pub bombings had on the city – an act of unimaginable horror in which 21 people were killed and 220 injured. There were consequences for the local Irish community too. The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled and people hid their identity.

Angela also shares her own experiences of growing up in the 90s when being Irish was fashionable and something to be celebrated. Broadcast on BBC One West Midlands at 10:55 pm on Monday 3rd February 2020.”

As S notes, some good archive footage (a Provisional rally at Casement Park, Belfast, 1979, and interviews with Padraig Yeates and Seamus Collins (Clann na hÉireann / OSF).

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Great Western Squares April 25, 2020

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I was amazed to realise recently, reading YourCousin’s John Prine post and remembering a certain cover of Rocky Mountain Time, that The Great Western Squares had never featured in this particular slot on the site.

The Great Western Squares were formed in the late 1990s, as some would say from the ashes of the ‘Johnny Cash Appreciation Society’ in Dublin where they played a range of covers and subsequently and increasingly their own material. As Discogs notes ‘The group featured Gary Fitzpatrick [Vocals & Guitar], Oona White [Vocals], Stan Erraught [Guitar], Tim Rogers [Fiddle], Gary O’Growney [Mandolin], Pat McGauley [Bass Guitar] and Alan Murphy [Drums].’. I happen to have a family connection to the group and one of their number is not unfamiliar on this site either.

TI suspect their cover of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades was an introduction to them for many people. But as importantly they released two albums, 1997’s Judas Steer and 1998’s Almost Sober both of which are pretty great, and live they were even better. The Irish Music database records the following:

The band split somewhere around 1999. Gary went on to form The Sick And Indigent Song Club in 2003. Oona went on to form another country band Oona And The Devils as well a rockabilly outfit Oona Fortune And The Pavement Kings

They reformed in 2011 to play at the Rockin Road Festival.

But let the music speak for itself – I’ve a certain preference for the second album over the first but some great cuts on both:


The Race is on (George Jones cover)


Luxury Liner (Gram Parsons)


Don’t Tear Yourself to Pieces


Almost Sober


Ace of Spades


Ace of Spades (cover) @ Rockin Road 2011


I’m Not a Man (of Temperance)

Signs of Hope – A continuing series April 24, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?

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