Category Archives: Fine Gael

The Shinners, Fianna Fail and the state of southern Irish politics – a conversation

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

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Remembering IRA C/S Charlie Kerins, hanged in Dublin, Dec 1, 1944

I got this from Jim Lane’s facebook page; I assume Jim wrote it:

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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

Workers and the way forward: a socialist-republican perspective

In order to get real action, the workers will need to act for themselves not rely on ICTU leadership

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

On the elections in the south. . .

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.

éirígí activist confronts FG senator over health cuts

 

Great Natural Resources Robbery – next talk in Rathfarnham, Friday, November 20

12246653_1080503811962035_6943700160667517093_nThe next ‘Great Natural Resources Robbery!’ public talk will take place next Friday (November 20th) in the Whitechurch Community Centre in Rathfarnham in South Dublin.

If you are opposed to the Water Tax you need to be at this meeting, as it sets the backdrop for the attempt to introduce the tax and the future privatisation of our water resources. The presentation will be delivered by Brian Leeson, starting at 7.30pm.

Please spread the word and come along. All welcome. Bígí linn.

Dunnes Stores strike – follow-up article

I’ve done a follow-up article, which can be read at:  https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/after-the-strike-dunnes-stores-tries-punishing-and-victimising-workers/

Gay marriage referendum

I’ve written a feature-length article about this for another blog.  Because it’s written for a mainly non-Irish audience, it explains things that wouldn’t need explaining to Irish readers, but hopefully is still well worth a read by this blog’s readership.

You can find it at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/irish-society-and-politics-and-the-referendum-on-gay-marriage/

 

 

Shinners seize the moment – socialist-republicans need a serious alternative

While the new Bourgeois Sinn Fein tries to wrap 1916 around itself, socialist-republicans urgently need a co-operative strategy

As the new Bourgeois Sinn Fein tries to wrap 1916 around itself, socialist-republicans urgently need a co-operative strategy

The bould Shinners have certainly stolen a march, a big one, on both Fianna Fail and the government by announcing their 100th anniversary celebrations of the Rising.  And that these celebrations are open to all.  In other words, they are effectively acting as if they are the government and the state and the inheritors of the mantle of 1916, all rolled into one.

Their programme begins early – it starts this August by marking the 1915 funeral of Fenian O’Donovan Rossa, one of the events that showed the size and power of the Irish Volunteers (the Citizen Army also took part).  And, of course, it was at Rossa’s funeral where Pearse gave his famous graveside oration, culminating with the words “Ireland unfree will never be at peace.”

An exhibition on the Rising, Revolution 1916 Eiri Amach, will run for no less than 33 weeks at the Ambassador Hotel at the top of O’Connell Street.  International Women’s Day, March 8, will be dedicated to the role of women in the Rising and the dual fight for the rights of Ireland and of women.  (Ironic, considering the Shinners tawdry shilly-shallying on the very basic right of women to access abortion.)

A visual spectacular is planned for the GPO, running the actual 100th anniversary of the dates of the Rising – April 24-29.  A 3D video will tell the story of the rebellion, with the GPO itself even appearing to come under shell fire and be engulfed with flames, as it was in 1916.

A number of other events, including a reconstruction of the Citizen Army marching from Liberty Hall to St Stephen’s Green, and events marking the Irish diaspora, are also planned.

Another way in which the wily Shinners have stolen a march on both the Soldiers of Destiny and the government is getting descendants of the 1916 leaders on 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