Category Archives: Fine Gael
An interesting article, although I think the comrades might be somewhat optimistic about the level of class struggle they think will follow the pandemic.
by Socialist Democracy
When the Dublin government announced financial measures in response to the Covid 19 pandemic a local satirical e-zine, Waterford Whisper News, had a field day. The right wing Fine Gael government had gone communist. The country was now a Soviet. Ireland should be done with it and imprint a hammer and sickle within the tricolour.
There was reason for the satire. Many of the major issues of Irish society, claimed by the government to be insoluble because of the lack of a money tree, disappeared overnight. An army of homeless were ushered into empty hotels. For the first time in its history the Irish state conjured up a national health service by renting the large private sector. Individual payments to workers were ushered in and then increased when they proved insufficient. In the background a State that constantly misses all environmental targets and has no serious plan to deal with climate change suddenly saw the skies clear above the entire island.
Of course the Irish Soviet is a figment of the satirical imagination. Most government expenditure is directed towards the bosses. Payments to workers are in part an attempt to maintain the structures of production to speed eventual recovery. With this said, there are substantial funds assigned to ensure social peace, especially as the recent elections had demonstrated just how unpopular the leading capitalist parties are.
This is a rump government, the struggle to establish a new one is ongoing, and the issues that brought it down are the issues that it is now trying to temporarily resolve: a massive housing crisis, a health service in a shambles and large sections of the population under wage and pension pressures. The problem with their resolution is twofold. Firstly, how do you row back on the temporary concessions made today? Secondly, how do you present the bill for the extra expenditure to a working class still paying for the 2008 banking bailout?
The rump government has shaken off the shock of the. . . continue reading article on the SD site
This article gives an overview and the Éirígí perspective on the recent General Election in the 26 counties; it appeared in last week’s issue of the French left-wing publication Informations Ouvrières. The author is cathaoirleach Éirígí.
by Brian Leeson
On February 7th voters in southern Ireland went to the polls to elect a new government for the first time since 2016. When the exit poll was released at 10pm that night it became clear that the electorate had delivered a major blow to the two dominant centre and centre-right political parties.
When counting concluded four days later the outgoing party of government, Fine Gael, had just 20.9% of the popular vote. Fianna Fail came in with the second largest share at 22.2%. And in a shock result, Sinn Féin won the largest share of first-preference votes at 24.5%.
The importance of this result can only be fully appreciated when it is placed in its historical context. In the century since the foundation of the state in 1922, no party has ever secured more Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, éirígí, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Elections, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Imperialism (generally), Irish politics today, Partition, Provos - then and now, Public events - Ireland, Public sector/cuts, Toadyism, twenty-six counties, Workers rights
I wrote an article on the elections just after I saw the exit polls, then updated it earlier this morning (NZ time; Sunday night, Irish time).
by Philip Ferguson
With almost all the votes now counted, Sinn Fein looks like being the big winner in Saturday’s election in the south of Ireland.
Exit polls showed a three-way virtual tie between the main parties in the south of Ireland. Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael were all on just over 22% of first preferences: FG on 22.4, SF on 22.3, FF on 22.2. These polls indicated that almost 32% of 18-24 year-olds voted Sinn Fein.
But now, with 96% of the votes cast, SF is sitting on 24.1% of first preferences and both FF and FG are on 22.1%. For the first time
SF didn’t expect to do so well, especially after suffering substantial losses in the Euro and local government elections last year, so ran a limited number of candidates – it looks like it will get less seats than it could have gotten if it had’ve aimed for two seats in more constituencies. At the same time, its surpluses have transferred significantly to two Trotskyist parties, helping them keep their seats. . .
See full article at: Sinn Fein takes the lead
Frank Keane is one of the living people I most admire and respect. The questions for this interview were written by myself and Mick Healy, and Mick conducted the actual interview. Mick has done more than anyone to retrieve the story of Saor Eire, which disbanded in 1973, and its significance and relevance.
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, British strategy, Civil rights movement, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Interviews, Ireland and British revolution, Irish politics today, Officials, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Saor Eire, Workers rights
by Stewart Reddin
Robert (Bob) Andrew Doyle was born on 12th February 1916 at 15 Linenhall Street in Dublin’s northwest inner city. He was the second youngest of five siblings. Bob’s parents, Peter Doyle and Margaret Alldritt, were married in Dublin on 13th November 1904. Peter, aged 20 at the time, was employed as a seaman and lived on Upper Dorset Street with his three sisters. It appears that both his parents were deceased by 1901 as his eldest sister Anna, aged 20, is recorded in that year’s Census as head of the family.
Bob’s mother Margaret was 19 when she married and she lived in Kilmainham with her family. Alldritt is not a common surname in Ireland (in his biography, Brigadista, written in conjunction with Harry Owens, Bob’s mother’s family name is recorded as Aldridge, however the birth, marriage and census records confirm her family name was Alldritt). In the 1911 Census there were just seven Alldritt families recorded in Ireland; four were located in Dublin and three in Co Antrim. All of the Alldritt families were Protestant, with the exception of Margaret’s family who were Catholic.
Following their marriage, Peter and Margaret lived at 18 Moore Street, later moving to 33 King’s Inn Street where they shared a room with Margaret’s parents, Ignatius and Margaret Alldritt, and sister Annie. According to the 1911 Census Bob’s grandmother Margaret was 75 years of age (she was born in 1836 almost a decade before the Famine) and was 20 years older than his grandfather Ignatius. Bob’s grandparents had married in the Catholic church of St Andrews in 1874 and his grandmother was 50 years of age when she gave birth to Bob’s mother.
By 1911 Bob’s father was employed as a marine firefighter in Dublin’s docks and his mother Margaret had given birth to three children. However, two of her children had died in infancy and only one, Mary aged four, was surviving. Sadly, this was an all too familiar feature of working-class life in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century.
High unemployment, overcrowded accommodation (one third of all families in Dublin lived in one room dwellings) and lack of public sanitation resulted in Dublin having the highest infant mortality rate (142 per thousand births) of any city in Ireland or Britain. Following the redevelopment of the area around North King Street and Church Street in 1915 Peter and Margaret moved to a newly built home at 15 Linenhall Street.
The wretched slums of Dublin
Linenhall Street is enclosed within a triangle of main thoroughfares — Church Street to the west, North King Street to the south and Henrietta Street to the north. In the 1700s the area was at the centre of Dublin’s burgeoning linen industry. It was the site of the city’s magnificent Linen Hall with its splendid façade, distinguished by a domed gated entrance which faced onto Linenhall Street.
However, by the late 1700s the linen industry in Dublin had Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1930s and 1940s, British state repression (general), Counter-revolution/civil war period, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Free State in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Housing, Imperialism (generally), Internationalism, Irish Citizen Army, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Public events - Ireland, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, The road to the Easter Rising, War for Independence period, Workers rights
Alan MacSimoin 1957-2018 was a long-time anarchist activist and a founder member of the Workers Solidarity Movement.
MacSimoin joined the Official Republican Movement (Official Sinn Fein) as a young man in the 1970s. He was involved in the Murray Defence Committee in 1976-77 to stop the state execution of anarchists Noel and Marie Murray for the killing of a member of the police.
He was also involved with the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement’s boycott of South African goods in Ireland and the Irish Anti-Nuclear Movement that stopped the building of nuclear power stations around the coast of Ireland in the 1970s.
Below is an interview my friend Mick Healy did with him a year or two back and has passed on to me . . .
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, Anti-nuclear movement, British state repression (general), Civil rights movement, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Interviews, Irish politics today, Labour Party, Officials, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Secret police, Trade unions, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism
The other day I was talking to one of my long-time best mates in Ireland about stuff and thought chunks of the conversation – it was on messenger – would make interesting material for this blog. My mate is a longtime (southern) republican and OKed the following. We’ll call him ‘Eamon’.
The conversation actually began with other subjects, like the problem of (religious) sectarianism among some Shinners. Then it moved onto a mixture of discussion about Sinn Fein and southern politics, interspersed with various personal recollections and comments, which aren’t appropriate here.
Eamon: A Shinner asked me today to delete my latest post on my facebook page!
Me: Typical. Hey what did McElduff say? I think FF and DUP love stuff like this, as it enables them to take the moral high ground, covering over their own sins.
SF has basically chosen in the north to be a catholic/nationalist party instead of a republican, let alone socialist-republican, party. So McElduff is just doing what a bunch of Shinners (and some of their support base) is thinking. The leadership will be fucked off because he is doing in public what they are thinking.
E: True. Hey, it looks like Mary Lou will get to be leader unopposed.
They knew what they were doing when Michelle O Neill was appointed leader in the North…..With McDonald being the president of Sinn Fein there would be no opposition from Belfast about the president been from Dublin with O Neill in the North…..Very clever move….
Me: Adams is nothing if not crafty. A worthy heir to De Valera in that (horrible manipulative) sense. O’Neill and McDonald are also lightweights, so Adams will be able to string pull after he retires. SF have been reshaped entirely as an Adamsite party. His creation. Quite sickening really.
E: SF folk seem to think with Adams and Martin gone that they will fly it now in the South……That the IRA monkey is off their back……But they are wrong…..After all Adams topped the poll in Louth and brought in another SFer on his surplus.
The Irish electorate have long forgotten about Sinn Fein’s past…… Still, I would bet anybody a thousand euro that SF will not get more than 15% next election down south.
And 15% will not get them into government, even in a coalition.
The careerists in SF will not stay there forever in opposition….. I predict some will walk after the next election…
Me: Adams was contradictory in terms of popularity. He was the Shinners’ biggest asset (gunman turned statesman, although he apparently never did fire a shot), but he was also their biggest liability. Fine in Louth – and he would have been very popular in Monaghan and Donegal if he had’ve stood there – but of less use electorally in Dublin or Cork.
I think there is a reasonably big space for SF’s politics – the gap left by Labour and FF since they are discredited by imposing austerity. But the closer the Shinners get to a whiff of “power”, ie Leinster House government, the more Read the rest of this entry →
I got this from Jim Lane’s facebook page; I assume Jim wrote it:
Charlie Kerins was born in Tralee County Kerry in 1918. At the age of 17 he joined his local unit of the IRA and took part in action against the Blueshirts in the area. In 1942, Charlie travelled to Dublin to join the GHQ staff, then under extreme pressure from the Free State Government of Fianna Fáil. Hundreds of IRA members had been arrested and interned without trial or sentence.
A year later, when Hugh McAteer was arrested, Charlie became Chief of Staff. He moved about the city under the name of Charles Hanley, constantly on the run and with a price on his head.
These were dark days for the IRA; its ranks had been depleted by constant arrests at the hands of former comrades who had taken the Free State shilling and were now members of the Broy Harriers. One of these men was Sergeant Dinny O’Brien.
Dinny O’Brien had fought with his two brothers, Larry and Paddy, in the Marrowbone Lane garrison in 1916; afterwards they had fought together in the Tan War and in 1922 Paddy was shot dead by the pro-Treaty forces in Enniscorthy.
Dinny O’Brien stayed in the IRA until 1933, when, along with a number of other IRA men, he was inveigled into the Broy Harriers on De Valera’s plea that “we need you to fight the Blueshirt menace”. Within a few years, he was fighting and hunting his own, as rapacious as the most dyed in the wool Stater. In his time, he cut down quite a few republicans, Liam Rice and Charlie McGlade among them, shot while resisting arrest. O’Brien built up his own secret network in pubs, hotels, at stations and among the news vendors on the streets. By 1942, he had turned into a vicious and determined hunter and the IRA gave the order that he was to be Read the rest of this entry →
by Philip Ferguson
It seems a long time now since trade union members in the south of Ireland voted to reject Croke Park 11, a deal promoted by leaders of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in partnership with the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government in Dublin. The current coalition, like the Fianna Fail/Green coalition that preceded it, has sought to make southern Irish workers pay for the financial crisis of Irish banks and the meltdown of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy.
For several decades the bulk of the union leadership has pushed tripartite deals with the bosses and the state, a ‘partnership’ model which has been held up by union leaderships as far afield as New Zealand as worth emulating. But these tripartite deals did not deliver to workers even during the ‘good times’ of the ‘boom’ periods in the 1990s and early 2000s. Now the boom has turned to bust the partnership model has simply locked unions into accepting responsibility for the financial crisis and agreeing to the austerity measures demanded by the Troika.
Rhetoric v resistance
The leadership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has engaged in some token rhetoric about ‘sharing the burden’ of the crisis and they have marched workers up and down the hill and then sent them home a couple of times. But, in general, they have acted as faithful lieutenants of the state and capital, serving more to Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Elections, EU, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Fintan Lalor, General revolutionary history, Independent Workers Union, Irish politics today, James Connolly, Labour Party, national, Partition, Political education and theory, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, Repression in 26-county state, Revolutionary figures, six counties, Social conditions, Toadyism, Trade unions, twenty-six counties, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Workers rights
I’ve written an article on how the southern elections will confirm the new political cycle in Ireland. it appears on the NZ-based Redline blog: see here.