Category Archives: Corruption

éirígí launch campaign for EU withdrawal

13307473_1197141990298216_1157554319007110554_nWith the assertion that socialist politics is on the rise in Ireland, particularly in the wake of the Stormont elections, the socialist republican party éirígí now calls upon the progressive and socialist forces in British occupied Ireland to galvanise and deliver a strategic blow to both capitalism and imperialism; by voting ‘LEAVE’ in the upcoming referendum on membership of the European Union.

Speaking from the éirígí party office in West Belfast party spokesperson Pádraic Mac Coitir said:

“The denial of the Irish people to the right of national self-determination is twofold, hindered by the British puppet administration in the North, and the plutocratic EU lapdogs in the south. The dual nature of this occupation by two separate imperialist entities has served to only further subdue the Irish working class to the barbarity of Read the rest of this entry

The assault on Markievicz – as fact-free as it is malicious

Countess_MarkiewiczThe excellent piece below appears in this month’s issue of the journal Irish Political Review.  It deals with the extraordinary and malicious assault on the reputation of Countess Markievicz, an assault which has been ratcheted up in recent years by Ann Matthews.  Matthews seems to have decided to devote her twilight years to a personal vendetta against the revolutionary countess – indeed, the vendetta seems almost out-of-control now, in terms of what she says about Markievicz, making Matthews look somewhat obsessive and deranged.  She suppresses evidence, uses ‘evidence’ which is highly questionable, cherry picks evidence to suit her already decided upon line, claims to have ‘no theory’ as if she is just some impartial fact-finder, and writes books and plays which appeal to a particular type of audience (middle class, anti-republican) who lap up her fanciful ‘history’.  In reality, hatchet job as history.

I had been thinking of writing something about Matthews and her methods for a while, when I received the piece below from a friend of mine in Belfast.  What is most notable about the critiques of people like Matthews is how strongly evidence-based they are.  They show Matthews and her fellow revisionists to be short on facts and long on prejudice and not particularly scrupulous – and certainly not rigorous – when it comes to dealing with evidence.

Sometimes, however, you do just have to laugh.  For instance when Matthews refers to Markievicz as “eccentric” and “with a strong sense of her own self-importance”, I think this is what the psychologists call ‘transference’!

In a future short piece I’ll deal with Charles Townsend on Markievicz’s imaginary breakdown and with Fearghal McGarry’s complete misrepresentation of evidence from Barton & Foy’s book on 1916.  (Barton & Foy demolish the nonsense that Markievicz broke down at her court-martial and call the claim ‘scurrilous’, whereas McGarry pretends that they say the account of her breakdown was expunged from the official court-martial proceedings!) If I can summon the energy, I’ll also comment on Matthews shoddily-written Renegades, point to the shoddiness of the writing, suppression of evidence and some of her sleights-of-hand and double standards.  It’s hard to believe that her ‘work’ is taken seriously, so it’s hard for me to summon up the energy to deal with it.  She should have been taken to task for all this by her PhD superviser/s and marker/s.

Perhaps someone in Ireland or Britain doing honours papers could methodically go through Matthews’ ‘work’ and check her ‘references’ as well as her omissions and double standards.  It could be a model dissection of how a rather crude anti-republican propagandist goes about presenting their propaganda as merely truth-seeking historiography. 

 

Irish Political Review, May 2016:

“MURDERESS” MARKIEVICZ OR MALICIOUS MISOGYNY?

by Manus Riordan

From April 20 to May 2 of last year a Show Trial took place in the Headquarters of the Communist Party of Ireland. A year later, during this past month of March, the Show Trial resumed in CPI HQ, with the defendant scheduled to be extradited to Paris for the final day’s Court sitting on April 23. On trial for “murder”, and undoubtedly scheduled for a death sentence, gender considerations nonetheless signaled commutation. 

But no, the CPI has not been seeking to emulate any of the Show Trials that characterised Leninist rule in Eastern Europe. Indeed, the CPI has no responsibility at all for Madame de Markievicz on Trial. For understandable commercial reasons, the CPI shares its premises with the New Theatre. But just as I found it incongruous to pass through Connolly Books en route to finding out just how nauseating the theatrical character assassination of Connolly’s comrade-in-arms would turn out to be, I am sure CPI personnel found it even more nauseating to witness, on a daily basis, those audiences en route to lap up that Show Trial authored by one-time CPI-archivist Ann Matthews. 

There is little doubt in my mind that Constance Markievicz has been the target of systematic misogyny, irrespective of whether the character assassins be male or female. Professor John A Murphy, University College Cork’s Emeritus Professor of History, had certainly been prepared to play the role of nasty little man in the Irish Times of 22 October 2004 when, under the heading of “Markievicz and the Rising”, he gave vent to the following piece of misogynistic West Brit character assassination:

“The argument in your columns about Countess Markievicz’s activities in Easter Week 1916 recalls W.E. Wylie’s interesting account of her demeanour at the courts martial. Wylie was appointed to act as prosecuting counsel. He was impressed by some of the prisoners, notably Eamon Ceannt and John MacBride, but not by Constance Markievicz. According to him, the court expected she would make a scene and throw things at the judge and counsel. ‘In fact’, said Wylie, ‘I saw the General (Blackadder, court president) getting out his revolver and putting it on the table beside him. But he needn’t have troubled, for she curled up completely. ‘I am only a woman’, she cried, ‘and you cannot shoot a woman. You must not shoot a woman.’ She never stopped moaning, the whole  time she was in the courtroom.’ Though she had been ‘full of fight’ in Stephen’s Green, ‘she crumpled up in the courtroom’. ‘I think we all felt slightly disgusted. . . She had been preaching to a lot of silly boys, death and glory, die for your country, etc., and yet she was literally crawling. I won’t say any more, it revolts me still.’ Wylie’s memoir of 1916 was written in 1939 when he was 58. But is there any reason to think he was lying about Markievicz, or that his recall was defective?”

In my then capacity as SIPTU Head of Research in Liberty Hall, I submitted the following reply, which was published that 28 October: 

‘In the 1916 Rebellion Handbook, first published in that year by the Weekly Irish Times, there is a self-revealing observation on the Irish Citizen Army from ‘The Steward of Christendom’ himself, Dublin Metropolitan Police Superintendant Thomas Dunne. (This is the title of the play penned in his memory by Dunne’s great-grandson, Sebastian Barry – MO’R). He complains that it is a serious state of affairs to have the city endangered by a gang of roughs with rifles and bayonets, at large at that time of night with a female like the Countess Markievicz in charge’. Constance Markievicz’s reputation has indeed been bedevilled by a combination of misogyny and contempt for her association with the working class that this union set out to organise, and whom Superintendent Dunne chose to christen ‘the disorderly class’. All the more reason, then, to expect professional rigour to be applied when UCC’s Emeritus Professor of History, John A. Murphy, intervenes (October 22nd) in what he calls the ‘argument in your columns’ concerning Markievicz’s role in 1916. Surprisingly, however, he has nothing to say on the actual issue in dispute: that either Markievicz had shot Constable Lahiff at Stephen’s Green, as maintained by Kevin Myers (October 14th), or that she could not possibly have done so, being at that time at the City Hall, as evidenced by Claire McGrath Guerin (October 19th).” 

“Prof Murphy has instead chosen to open up a new line of attack, by endorsing, without any qualification, the character assassination of Markievicz offered in his memoirs by the death penalty Read the rest of this entry

Look who owes Ireland. . .

11229689_1057516514260765_7546518945015317525_nApple is estimated to owe seventeen billion (yes BILLION) euro in unpaid corporation back-taxes to the Twenty-Six County exchequer.

And looking to the future, if this one US corporation actually paid the full 12.5% rate of corporation tax the state could receive an estimated FOUR BILLION in tax revenue from just this one company each year.

For comparison the state currently takes an average of just €4bn in corporation tax from every domestic and international company combined. Yes, COMBINED.

Do you find it hard to believe these figures? Do you think éirígí has made them up? Or perhaps you think we used the Anglo-Irish Bank approach and ‘picked them out of my arse’?

The actual source of these figures is that well-known hot-bed of revolutionary socialist republicanism – J.P Morgan.

Back in May J.P Morgan issued a Read the rest of this entry

The gathering crisis in the six counties: more Provo capitulation?

Since Adams & McGuinness got the IRA to effectively surrender, the Provos have made new friends and suffered endless humiliation at the hands of the Unionists and British state

Since Adams & McGuinness got the IRA to effectively surrender, the Provos have made new friends and suffered endless humiliation at the hands of the Unionists and British state

The piece below is reblogged from the Socialist Democracy site here.

The latest crisis in the slow decay of the Irish peace process was unleashed following the murder of republican Kevin McGuigan when the local chief constable announced that the IRA continued in place with an organised structure and that members were involved in the murder of their opponent. 

In the furore that followed the most honest comment came from a surprising source. British secretary of state Thersa Villiers said she was “not surprised” by the news. Neither was anyone else on the island of Ireland. Former southern Irish minister Michael McDowell explained that the governments had decided to leave a dried up husk, calculating that this would act as a barrier to the formation of a new republican movement. In fact the IRA have been involved in killings since the claim that they had been stood down and the police have obscured the issue with a formula similar to that used today. 

So why have Irish politicians been thrown into crisis by a ghost? Especially one whose appearance lacks the element of surprise and where the police have used a familiar formula, used in the past to obscure direct IRA involvement, invoked purely imaginary cover names for the IRA such as Action Against Drugs and stopped short of alleging that the killing was carried out by the IRA as opposed to individual members, in fact explicitly ruling out evidence of a chain of command.

Peace process

The explanation lies at the foundation of the peace process. The process is at odds with the programme of Read the rest of this entry

A Fianna Fail/Fine Gael coalition? – A socialist-republican response

Mass protests against austerity are forcing the southern ruling elite to rethink politics and unite; our side needs to match them

Mass protests against austerity are forcing the southern ruling elite to rethink politics and unite; our side needs to match them

Turbulent times often bring about new political alignments.  This is certainly very true of Ireland.

In the north the turbulent times of the armed conflict brought about a coalition between the Paisleyite DUP and Sinn Fein.  In the south, the turbulent times produced by the economic meltdown and the implementation by Fianna Fail and then Fine Gael/Labour of Troika-imposed austerity has shaken up politics too.  The result has been the rise of Sinn Fein and, to a more modest extent, the Trotskyist left.

The ruling class in the south are now faced with something of a dilemma.  Do they agree to bring Sinn Fein in entirely and make them part of the establishment circle because they’ll need them in government to ensure stability and carrying the austerity programme through to its conclusion?  Or do they throw their weight into bringing together Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, the two traditional parties of the 26-county ruling elite?

Although political differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail narrowed a long time ago – after they came to power in 1932 the Read the rest of this entry

Exchange with Sinn Fein

Much to my surprise I received an official email from Sinn Fein inviting me to join their on-line supporters’ group.

I replied to it as below. I could’ve said a lot more, but there’s no point in sending them a tirade of abuse (which was what was going through my head when I opened their email!) or trying to convince them of the error of their ways.

Here is my response; below that is their original email (I guess I got it because at some point I read AP/RN on-line or I ordered something from their on-line shop):

 

To: New Sinn Fein

I received your email with interest.

Since Sinn Fein has abandoned not only socialism but also, eventually, republicanism, I will not be taking up your offer to become an on-line supporter of New Sinn Fein.

Instead, I have joined Clann éirígí as I wish to give my support to the struggle for a 32-county socialist republic.

The Provisional leadership, or the main part of it, opted for an internal settlement in the north and is helping the Brits in running the six-county state, including administering capitalist austerity and hobnobbing with the parasites who sit atop Read the rest of this entry

900 attend Hands off Newbridge Credit Union meeting

Newbrdigeby Mick Healy

Feelings have been running high in the past week as the Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Credit Union saga appears to be drawing to a close. A Sunday newspaper report added fuel to the fire by quoting a statement from the Central Bank that Naas Credit Union submitted a proposal to the Central Bank last April to combine Newbridge Credit Union with Naas.

A massive turnout for Wednesday night’s meeting at the Ryston Sports Centre, with over 900 angry people, heard a spokesperson from the newly-formed Credit Union Action Group state, ”we are prepared to fight for the future of the struggling institution, and the other serious question of the staff jobs”. The Credit Union Action Group also said they “intend to seek legal advice on the constitutionality of the actions taken by the government and the Central Bank”.

It is also clear that members of both Credit Unions will have no say in the Read the rest of this entry

éirígí to hold series of anti-private banking protests

Cathaoirleach éirígí, Brian Leeson, has announced that the socialist-republican party are to hold a series of anti-private banking protests in Dublin and Wicklow (see below).  Come along and spread the word amongst your family, friends and work mates.

5pm, Thursday, July 11, Bank of Ireland, Ballyfermot, Dublin.

5pm, Thursday, July 11, Artane Roundabout, Malahide Road, Dublin.

11am, Saturday, July 13, Dargle Bridge, Bray, Co Wicklow, Dublin.

5pm, Thursday, July 18, Bank of Ireland, James’s Street, Dublin.

Speaking in relation to the Anglo Irish Bank tapes controversy Leeson said, “The content of the Anglo-Irish Bank tape recordings has caused widespread revulsion across this state and beyond.  The arrogance, vulgarity and cavalier attitude of the bankers is particularly galling to families and communities that are having to live with the reality of mass unemployment, enforced emigration, underfunded public services, reduced incomes and increased taxation.

“The tapes provide a Read the rest of this entry

Protest at Kildare Credit Union

Untitled

About 80 angry members of Newbridge Credit Union protested outside the office last Friday morning 26th April  to demand a meeting with the Board of Directors and the special manager. People also protested against fees arising from the appointment of Luke Charleton.

Charleton of Ernst & Young was appointed to run Newbridge Credit Union in January 2012.  Since he was appointed to the Credit Union  his fees have exceed 2 million Euro. Charletion will also receive an additional sum of almost 144,000 Euro to cover fees and expenses for 12 weeks to April 7th last.  A local éirígí spokesperson said the sums are enormous from the point of view of a credit union with small depositors.

“Next Friday we will hand a letter into the special manager to request his and the Board of Directors presence at a meeting to be held in the Keadeen Hotel on Friday, May 10 at 8pm,” said organiser Jason Turner of local political party Tuas Nua, a group formed out of the departure of a number of Kildare members of Sinn Fein.  “The credit union belongs to the members. An AGM could not be held for the past two years as the reserve was not there and we want to know why the reserve wasn’t there? There are rumours out there about lending to property developers but the credit union is not a [commercial ] bank. The ball is in their court and I expect them to turn up. . .”