Monthly Archives: July 2013
While I’d intended to get back into the swing of things at the start of July, after a nice little holiday break involving a couple of Seth Lakeman gigs in the west country, a brief idyll in Cornwall, a visit to Cork, a garda raid in Wicklow, and chilling out in London and Belfast, I managed to pick up a very bad case of the flu in London at the start of July.
The flu made me very lethargic and so I’ve not been able to get much done for this blog, or much else. It finally seems to be going, the hearing in my left ear has returned, and I’m feeling a bit more energetic. I’m massively behind in stuff that I wanted to write, but am now able to start getting back into it. So my plan is that the blog will start to come back to life over the next two-three weeks.
I’m also still looking for more contributors. Keep in mind that this isn’t an ‘open’ blog; it’s a specifically socialist-republican blog, so I’m looking for socialist-republican/class-struggle/Marxist analysis of Irish history, politics, society and economy, as well as more newsy articles and features. Book, film and music reviews are also very welcome.
21 years since the X Case Ruling, the Irish Government has finally introduced legislation to provide for life-saving terminations. However, instead of protecting women, it has made the route to their constitutional right to be so arduous that it effectively encourages them to continue to travel abroad even when legally entitled to a termination in this country.
For the first time in Irish law, this Act defines ‘unborn human life’ which was given an equal right to life to that of the woman, as a fertilised ovum from the moment of implantation. Consequently this bill does not offer the right to choose a termination to women in Ireland who are pregnant with a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality. It makes no provision for abortion in cases of rape or incest, during an inevitable miscarriage while there is still a foetal heartbeat, nor indeed does it serve the needs of women whose health is at risk if a pregnancy is continued.
Orlaith Reidy of Galway Pro-Choice stated:
Forcing women who are suicidal to face panels of between 3 to 7 medical professionals is such an ordeal in itself that women entitled to a legal abortion here will continue to travel abroad, rendering the legislation ineffective. There is also no provision to ensure those against terminations in all circumstances cannot sit on these decision making panels raising the possibility of a woman not being granted a termination regardless of her case including if there is a genuine risk to her life.
Savita Halappanavar died in Galway University Hospital after being denied a termination of an inevitable miscarriage. The inquest into her death found that Read the rest of this entry
Rank-and-file Unite union members have expressed angry opposition to the Croke Park III agreement (called Haddington Road to protect the guilty.) The recent Belfast Conference saw the Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, using language that echoes James Connolly’s ’Old Wine in New Bottles’, say that workers would not be deceived by a deal that was the contents of the ‘Croke Park bottle’.
The radicalism did not last long. No sooner than we have been marched up the hill than the leadership are instructing us to turn around and march back down again. It should come as no surprise; we have been at this point of departure before when Unite rejected Croke Park I. Jimmy made exactly the same noises then but later went in to avoid being ‘victimised’.
Only the incurably naïve could suggest that we take the bureaucracy’s rhetoric at face value. Radical speeches are followed by a climb down, in this case by means of a re-ballot with a recommendation to ‘accept’ coming from the leadership.
For years the trade union leadership have hidden their betrayals behind the low level of industrial struggle and the concomitant low level of self confidence among workers. Promises of success at the negotiating table were always linked to reminders of unsuccessful attempts at industrial action. No mention is made of course that the lack of success was as often as not due to the Read the rest of this entry