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by Mick Healy
The RUC used CS gas for the first time on August 12, 1969, in the Bogside of Derry. It invisibly covered the streets and seeped into every room of the houses, causing choking, vomiting and irritation of the eyes and skin. The British Army first used the gas in April 1970 when they indiscriminately fired off 104 gas canisters in Ballymurphy in West Belfast during a night of rioting.
Máirín Keegan of Saor Eire suggested to Butch Roche, an original member of Peoples Democracy, that they mount a publicity campaign to highlight the use of CS gas, because they were convinced it had done considerable harm. She also acquired two CS gas canisters that were photographed with the intention of using them in the publicity campaign. Roche decided on a symbolic action that wouldn’t injure anyone but bring home to the British public and establishment the impact of its use against the civilian population in Belfast and Derry.
On July 22, 1970, Butch arrived in London with the two CS gas canisters. The next day he entered the Public Gallery of the House of Commons, with a newspaper to cover the bulkiness in his pockets. He threw the gas grenades Read the rest of this entry
The Trade Union Left Forum is hosting a discussion on the impact of the Industrial Relations Act on trade union activity and organising on Wednesday, 3rd of July from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm in the Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin (right near the ICTU conference in Trinity College).
Presentations will be made by:
Gareth Murphy (Financial Services Union)
John Douglas (Mandate)
The event is open to members of all trade unions so please come along and have your say.
For more information, please go to the TULF’s event page on Facebook by clicking here.
Post Election The Fight For A New Republic Continues
The great battle of ideas between those who believe in never-ending vicious competition between human beings and those who believe in ever-deepening cooperation among human beings will continue regardless of this or any other single electoral result.
The Green Party And Fianna Fail Will Never Deliver Real Change
The last Fianna Fail and Green Party coalition had to make a series of major individual, but connected, decisions between 2007 and 2011. At a fundamental level each decision was actually a choice between protecting the interests of the elites or protecting the interests of the people.
By Front or Back Door The Water Tax Will Be Resisted
Éirígí has been actively campaigning against the introduction of the Water Tax since 2012. We’re opposed to the introduction of any form of meter-based or stand alone water charge or water tax because we know that it will pave the way for the eventual privatisation of our water resources and water services.
Varadkar’s Fake Outrage An Insult To Irish Women
Some of the most damning commentary by Dr Scally relates to his belief that the HSE was more worried about the cost of screening than the quality of screening, as follows,“It is my view, based on the documentation and expert opinion available to the Scoping Inquiry, that the tendering process appeared to move over time to place an increasing emphasis on price rather than quality.”
Republican History: The International Democratic Association
In the Spring of 1871, the IDA championed the Paris Commune, calling a great republican demonstration in April marching from Finsbury Square and Clerkenwell in London; speeches were given at both the meeting point and at its conclusion in Hyde Park. The Times carried a report of the rather florid fraternal greetings sent to the Communards which ran over wishes for the expropriation of church property, the illegitimacy of the Versailles government, fears of a restoration of the French monarchy and a bitter denunciation of the English press, concluding ‘Long live the Universal Republic, Democratic and Social!” The Times sourly observed the number of foreigners on the demonstration – the idea of ‘outside agitators’ has a long history.
Kerron Ó Luain reviews Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s ‘Language From Below: the Irish language, ideology and power in 20th century Ireland’
“The night of the sword and bullet was followed by the morning of the chalk and the blackboard. The physical violence of the battlefield was followed by the psychological violence of the classroom. But where the former was visibly brutal, the latter was visibly gentle.”
The above, written by renowned Kenyan thinker Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, sums up much that is at the heart of Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s persuasive book here under review. Language From Below: the Irish language, ideology and power in 20th century Ireland examines the relationship between material forces and the ideology surrounding the Irish language during the past century or more.
Little treatment has been given to this subject, especially in book length. Hence, the reasons for the varying attitudes that exist towards the Irish language – some of them positive, others hostile, many apathetic – are not well understood. Often, in the face of opposition, instead of turning to class or economics as explanatory factors, proponents of the language frame hostility to An Ghaeilge in simplistic “anti-Irish” terms.
Ó Croidheáin admits that Irish occupies a strange place in the national consciousness; “it is true that not many Irish people speak the Irish language, yet many Irish people still define their identity in terms of the Irish language”. He thus seeks not only to. . .
continue reading here.
The first edition of Constance Markievicz’s prison letters was put together by Esther Roper, the partner of Markievicz’s sister Eva Gore-Booth, to whom many of the letters were addressed. The editon was published by Longman Paul in 1934. Roper, with help from Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington, one of the executors of Markievicz’s will and longtime friend and fellow activist, wrote a substantial biographical essay for the book.
Over 50 years later Amanda Sebestyen worked on a new edition and wrote her own introduction. This edition was brought out by the feminist publisher, Virago, in 1987.
Thirty-one years later (last year, 2018) Lindie Naughton, the author of a new recent biography – Markievicz: a most outrageous rebel (Dublin, Merrion Press, 2016) – has put together a new edition. This edition returns the letters to their original form. (Lindie notes, “Consulting the originals in the National Library of Ireland makes it obvious that the published versions of the prison letters skirted around some sensitive issues and blanked out the names of people who quite possibly were still alive at the time of the original publication.”)
The prison letters come from her various stints in jail: May 1916-July 1917 in Mountjoy (Dublin) and Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire); June 1918-March 1919 in Holloway; June-October 1919 in Cork; September 1920-July 1921 in Mountjoy; and November-December 1923 in the North Dublin Union.
Moreover, this edition adds a bunch of letters that haven’t appeared in print before. These include letters to Read the rest of this entry