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A telling omission June 29, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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The Seanad reconvenes today in all its glory. But RTÉ picks up on one aspect of the Taoiseach’s nominees which is telling:

Meanwhile, the new government has also been criticised for not appointing a Senator from Northern Ireland with a Unionist background.

Former Senator Ian Marshall told the BBC he was “astonished” at this failure, and dismissed a policy commitment by the Government to a “shared island” as a “farce”.

A Government source replied that there would be a “major new focus” by the new Coalition on north/south relations, with the establishment of a new unit in the Department of the Taoiseach.

Mr Marshall, a dairy farmer from Markethill in Co Armagh, and an anti-Brexit campaigner, won a seat on the Agricultural Panel between 2018 and 2020.

Of course a single Senator is but a single Senator, yet even putting aside what some of us would say was a necessity to have voices from the North in the Oireachtas, it seems doubly curious given that Brexit continues and so on.

Comments»

1. EWI - June 29, 2020

I am not at all surprised – MM has also refused to carry out the party’s mandate to extend FF into the North. We have a kindler, gentler version of John Bruton on our hands here.

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2. sonofstan - June 29, 2020

Not to hijack this thread, but lots of ‘telling omissions’ in the cabinet list: Calleary and O’Callaghan for FF, Murphy, Bruton, Flanagan for FG…
Both leaders will be nervous at the likes of these having time on their hands. First shot from Conor Lenihan this morning, suggesting MM will/ should stepdown after his semi-term.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2020

Never fussed about hijacking threads where there’s a clear connection – and that’s 100% right. Was only thinking even with just 37/35 or whatever TDs FF/FG must be nervy about those folk in the background. Some of them are perhaps moving ot the end of their careers or just about there, but others… That’s interesting re CL’s intervention!

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2020

Calleary not at all embarresed to articulate his ‘disappointment’ today.

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Tomboktu - June 29, 2020

I assume he was promised promotion at the mid-term shuffle, and was putting down that marker, without saying that.

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Tomboktu - June 29, 2020

It would be interesting to see who those who champion Calleary would have dropped to make way for him.

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sonofstan - June 29, 2020

Foley, probably – it’s unfortunate that FF are so lacking in women that any appointment they do make will look tokenistic. Irony of course is that, had Dara not held his seat at her expense, Lisa Chambers would probably have gotten the gig.

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3. Pangurbán - June 29, 2020

Did anyone see the diva of the left who criticised Simon Harris new minister for higher education because he dropped out of DIT?
I’m no fan of the younger breed of blue shirt but maybe he’d be ideally suited to managing the bums on seats approach of many HEIs, or indeed to look at the low completion rates in IOTs?

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sonofstan - June 29, 2020

” the diva of the left”

Who?

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2020

Harris is interesting. Wasn’t his father a taxi driver and his mother an SNA?

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Colm B - June 29, 2020

Went to primary school with Harris’s dad, he came from Monkstown Farm, a small working class area south of Dun Laoghaire. I don’t know what the family’s politics were but there was a surprisingly strong element of support for FG in the old working class areas of “the Boro”. This was based, I think, on the clientelist network of the Cosgraves and traditional recruitment to the Free State army. This weakened significantly from the 80s onwards as the old areas were gentrified and families moved to the bigger new council estates further south such as Ballybrack, Shankill etc.

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sonofstan - June 29, 2020

That’s interesting.
People from outside Dublin, and some from within, have a belief that Dun Laoghaire is entirely middle-class, which it very definitely isn’t. On working-class support for FG: the old Mitchell brothers territory in D8 also had that tradition – also an army stronghold, and an area with perhaps surprisingly large protestant working-class population

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irishelectionliterature - June 29, 2020

Dun Laoghaire is very diverse. There’s a reason RBB has held onto his seat and you had Gilmore elected initially for the WP there too. A lot of older areas from Deansgrange to the top of York Road would have been Council housing and off the bottom of York Road and the area of the Town inland would have been Council housing too. Then up to Sallynoggin , Mackintosh Park and Ballybrack, Shanganagh and parts of Shankill.
There would have been some Fine Gael Councillors from and representing those areas well into the 90’s at least. The sell off of Council housing has changed the demographics somewhat with the likes of the Farm, St Fintans and so on now very desirable addresses!

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EWI - June 29, 2020

Dun Laoghaire is very diverse.

Very much so. There were more SF councillors getting elected there than in other townships such as Rathmines, a hundred years ago.

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FergusD - June 30, 2020

My Dad grew up in Monkstown Farm, in poor circumstances. Long time ago though.

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Liberius - June 29, 2020

I think the reference is to this tweet.

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Colm B - June 29, 2020

Not much of fan to start with, given her tendency for ostalgia, but this is just academic snobbery. Surely the problem is that he’s an FG politician who will implement a neoliberal agenda not his academic record.

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sonofstan - June 29, 2020

Oh dear.

It’s not a given that Harris will be any good at this of course, but the experience of someone for whom HE didn’t deliver is as valuable as that of the one who sailed through to a PhD when it comes to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the system. And presumably as a first-generation student, his perspective will be similar to the majority of students in Ireland given the recent huge growth spurt in provision.
There was much applause here in the Uk, even from some fo the tory press IIRC, when Angela Rayner (left school at 16, teenage single mother) became shadow Education Secretary.
As someone who has been a student, a staff member and a researcher in the Irish system, I’m not insulted!

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Colm B - June 29, 2020

The WP can claim some credit for the retention of social housing in the centre of Dun Laoghaire. We started up and were very involved in a successful housing action campaign which mobilised tenants to get the 800 council houses in the old borough area that didn’t have indoor bathrooms/toilets refurbished in the late 1980s/early 90s. This was a big factor in getting the council to carry out the refurbishment but it also meant that the old red brick terraces in central DL remained council-owned as opposed to many of the council estates in surrounding areas which were mostly purchased and have now been largely gentrified. This means that the centre of the town retains a vibrant working class community.
As a footnote, the cub-journalist who covered the campaign for the the local newspaper, Southside News, was none other than Paul Howard of Ross O Carroll Kelly fame.

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CL - June 29, 2020

I’m reading a ROC-K right now.
Is is OK? PC?
Reminds me of an old Dublin joke. Why do women from the southside marry men from the northside?

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EWI - June 29, 2020

It’s not a given that Harris will be any good at this of course, but the experience of someone for whom HE didn’t deliver is as valuable as that of the one who sailed through to a PhD when it comes to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the system. And presumably as a first-generation student, his perspective will be similar to the majority of students in Ireland given the recent huge growth spurt in provision.

This. I was a first-generation college student as well (first-generation LC student, even) and a familiarity with how third-level can fail students is at least as important as familiarity with how it can succeed.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - June 30, 2020

Mind you, your comparison between Kingstown (as it then was and Rawthmines is not so remarkable. Rawthmines was the only Irish constituency outside Ulster and Trinity to return a Unionist in 1918.

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4. r - June 29, 2020

The new Government has no interest whatsoever in the United Ireland

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2020

You’re telling me. Completely agree.

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sonofstan - June 29, 2020

Is that what the IT means by continually telling us that ‘civil war politics’ are dead?
I might be wrong, but I doubt if the civil war motivated anyone, one way or the other to vote for FF/FG for a very long time.

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Fergal - June 29, 2020

Pure speculation but I get the feeling that a focus group cane up with a list of the least likeable/affable ministers from the previous regime and ditto for FFers…
Not policy, mind you but image etc…

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EWI - June 29, 2020

Is that what the IT means by continually telling us that ‘civil war politics’ are dead?

The IT are ecstatic over MM as Taoiseach. Which shows what a sad state of affairs we’ve come to.

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Pangurbán - June 29, 2020

I suppose that’s one piece of good news to take out of the announcements

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5. roddy - June 29, 2020

The delightful thing is that the next free state government will be run from the Felons club ,Falls rd Belfast.Hows that for “Northern representation”.(It wont really be run from the Felons but let that shower of partitionist bastards think that anyway!)

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6. Joe - June 29, 2020

Go easy on me now if I’ve left out any deserving cases.

Sins of omission

No Northern prod
No Ulster taig
No Leitrim man
No Longford woman
No Roscommon hurler
No Kilkenny footballer
No freckle-faced flame-haired colleen
No porter-bellied short-arse
No Donegal Danny
No lovely rose of Clare
No Communist
No young novelist
No hop off me thumb
No johnny come lately
No poet of the Celtic mist
No end to this list

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Dr. Nightdub - June 29, 2020

Joe, Niall Ó Donnghaile from Short Strand is the new leader of the SF Seanad group.

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Joe - June 29, 2020

Ah, thanks Dr Nightdub. I’ll change the porter-bellied short-arse line.

Only joking.

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7. roastedsnow1 - June 29, 2020

Ian Marshall is right. This was a clear snub to liberal unionism and partitionist FFs paws all over it. Nasty little party!

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Corto Maltese - June 30, 2020

Government of the suburbs, by the suburbs, for the suburbs.
Says this embittered redneck.

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8. tomasoflatharta - June 30, 2020

These discussions – no Unionist appointed to the Senate, no minister based in Connacht, etc – are irrelevant side issues. Far more important related to the north – the disgraceful decision to renew the Special Criminal Court, facilitated by Sinn Féin’s decision to avoid voting against a notorious piece of repressive legislation which has bred police brutality and misbehaviour. Ming Flanagan got it right about the West ““what’s new about FF & FG shafting West of Ireland? Nothing. Any chance that those who vote for them might not do it again?” What use was Bertie Ahern to one of the most deprived urban areas in Ireland, Dublin’s inner city? Well, Bertie got lots of stuffed brown envelopes without having a personal bank account (apparently). Unionists in the Seanad – what use was “liberal” unionist Sam McAughtry? Piggies will keep slurping from the trough.

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Corto Maltese - June 30, 2020

I suppose the hope is that like Flynn in Castlebar and Michael D in Galway, a minister in the constituency will shower the locality with goodies. A selfish and sectional hope no doubt but given the way things work, an understandable one. Especially in places which do feel at one remove from the centre of political power.

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