Category Archives: Irish politics today

After the Stormont election: the way forward

by John McAnulty

The common assertion arising from the latest election in the North of Ireland is that Sinn Fein now has the upper hand. That reform of the local settlement is now inevitable and Gerry Adams has gone so far as to assert that a united Ireland is now back on the agenda.

However the loss of the overall unionist majority is largely a profound psychological shock rather than a practical issue. The seats are:

DUP SF  SDLP  UUP ALLIANCE OTHER
(inc 2 Green, 1PBP) 
28  27  12  10 8 5

 

So The DUP remains the largest party and would nominate the first minister. The loss of the overall majority relies on the dubious idea that Alliance is not a unionist party – they have in the past designated themselves as unionist to save the assembly and until recently fulfilled a role as lynch pin for the sectarian setup by holding the justice ministry position.

In addition in the coming negotiations Sinn Fein will be facing the British government. They themselves have complained that the pro-unionist positions of the British secretary, James Brokenshire, should make him unsuitable as chair.  They will also be appealing to a Dublin government hostile to Sinn Fein that acts as an agent of reaction in both parts of the Island. 

The settlement in Ireland is not designed to lead to a united Ireland and the issue depends entirely on gaining permission from Britain to hold a vote restricted to the six-county area – permission that will not be forthcoming.  Read the rest of this entry

Rich and poor in Belfast and the six counties

From the latest Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report (#4) (with thanks to Liam O’Ruairc):

•In terms of being endowed with multi-millionaires, Belfast is proportionally banking way above its weight with 35.8 multi-millionaires per 100,000 population, third only to oil-rich Aberdeen (53.0) and London (51.6). Yet as a region, NI has the highest proportion of households with no savings accounts and the highest proportion of households deriving income from disability benefit.

•The “Wallace Park” council ward in Lisburn is the least deprived ward in NI. Whiterock in Belfast is the most deprived. Of the top 20 least-deprived wards, four have switched between the 2001 census and the most recent 2011 census from being majority Protestant to being majority Catholic: “that the four new areas are all in Peter Robinson’s Castlereagh constituency is evidence of a remarkable Read the rest of this entry

Video of the discussion period at Peter Graham commemorative meeting

Martin McGuinness: a political obituary

by John McAnultydownload

Many commentating on Martin McGuinness’s retirement as a public representative for Sinn Fein will not be able to resist the cliché of his journey from IRA commander to central architect of the local peace process. Fewer will draw on the metaphor of his present state of ill health and the parlous state of the settlement that was to be his legacy.

My own clearest recollection of Martin is during the attack by loyalist imagesMichael Stone on the funeral of Sean Savage (in 1988 – PF), assassinated by the SAS in Gibraltar. Two grenades exploded at my back and a mourner beside me was shot in the leg. As I retreated with other members of my family I saw Martin and a group of unarmed young men rush past me towards Stone and drive him back.

McGuinness is an extremely brave and determined man. These qualities mean that he will pursue a strategy to its Read the rest of this entry

Derry’s ‘March of the British Death Squads’ a calculated insult to Bloody Sunday dead

pol-torboid-on-extreme-right-at-recent-event-to-highlight-british-army-recruitment-in-irelandThe following was written before the Brits decided to call off their grubby imperialist parade: 

Éirígí has branded a planned march through Derry on Saturday, March 4 as “deliberately provocative” and a “calculated insult”. It is estimated that 100 serving and former members of Britain’s military forces will take part in the march.  The event is one of a series which will take place across Britain and occupied Ireland in opposition to any prosecution of British soldiers who have committed serious crimes in Ireland.

Commenting on the contentious march, Éirígí spokesperson Pól Torbóid said, “It is absolutely no coincidence that this event on the streets of Derry was announced just days after another very successful march commemorating the deaths of 14 innocent civilians on those same streets.”

“There is no doubt that the organisers of the March of the British Death Squads are being deliberately provocative to generate publicity for their event. This is nothing less than a calculated insult to the dead of Bloody Sunday and their families, as well as all the other victims of British brutality in Ireland.”

He continued, “Let us not forget that the British Army killed 14 civilians and injured another 12 in one afternoon in Derry. Many more have been killed and injured in Derry City and the surrounding areas by Britain’s official and unofficial death squads.  Éirígí is totally opposed to the March of the British Death Squads going ahead and is now consulting its members and others to identify the best way to oppose it.”

Public talk on 1960s Dublin housing action committees, Sat, Feb 25

unnamed

Public Housing for All – Dublin Bay North launch, Feb 13

PUBLIC HOUSING FOR ALL –
DUBLIN BAY NORTH CAMPAIGN LAUNCH,
7.30pm, Monday, February 13,
Kilmore Recreation Centre, Cromcastle Rd, Kilmore, Dublin 5.

Speakers: éirígí Dublin Bay North rep Ciarán Heaphey; Dublin Bay North Housing Crisis Community’s Aisling Hedderman. Chaired by Damien Farrell.

#PublicHousingForAll.

Join éirígí Dublin Northeast to help launch the campaign for Public Housing For All in Dublin Bay North area.

The reign of the Landlord, Banker, Developer, Estate Agent and all of the other parasites that use housing to grow rich off the labour of others must be brought to an end.

Please INVITE all of your friends to LIKE this event and join the campaign to turn the Right to Housing from an empty slogan into a reality.

Peter Graham commemoration, Dublin, Feb 18

16298792_455270308195196_2193927372332732089_n

Very good Suzanne Breen article on Stormont

Very good piece in the Belfast Telegraph on Tuesday by Suzanne Breen on the demise of Stormont.  It’s rightly headed “Such is the cynicism, most couldn’t care less if lights never go back on at Stormont”: see here.

Can ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ solve the housing crisis? Lunchtime talk, Dublin, Thursday, Jan 26

Lunchtime Seminar: Dr. Rory Hearne, TASC ‘Can ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ solve the housing crisis?’

26 January 2017 – 12:45pm to 02:15pm

On Thursday 26th January Dr. Rory Hearne, TASC, will deliver a talk entitled ‘Can ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ solve the housing crisis?’

An analysis of the effectiveness and likely impact of the Government’s housing strategy ‘Rebuilding Ireland’. The seminar will present a macro-level political economy analysis of the government’s overall approach to housing combined with an in-depth analysis of the government’s social housing statistics, the impact and role of NAMA, the re-emergence of Public Private Partnerships and it will detail some alternative policies that could provide a more human rights and equality orientated housing system.

The seminar will take place in TASC’s offices in Castleriver House, 14-15 Parliament Street, Dublin 2. (Entrance on Essex Street East).

The event, which is free of charge, will run from 12.45 tea/coffee with the seminar starting at 13.00 and ending at 14.15 sharp.

The idea of the lunchtime seminars is that you are free to bring your own ‘brown bag’ lunch to eat. Complimentary tea and coffee will be available.

Please RSVP to Sylvia Byrne on 01 6169050 or by email to sbyrne@tasc.ie if you wish to attend.