Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tomorrow's News: Sinn Féin release pre-budget proposals that put the needs of the Irish people and the future of the nation before the needs of the EU, IMF and Corrupt Banks!

Tomorrow, Monday the 1st of November, Sinn Féin will launch their budget 2011 proposals. Yesterday, Wexford Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Kelly was briefed on the details of the document in Dublin. Speaking afterwards, Cllr. Kelly said that he was highly impressed by the nature of the document, which he stressed puts the needs of all the people of Ireland before the vested interests of our government, their big business backers, the toxic banks, the EU or the IMF.
"Sinn Féin is the only party that does not support the governments reckless cut and burn plan. Our plan will be ran over a six year period, and while offering reform to the terrible wastage in public expenditure, will not cut any front line services, and will not cut people on social welfare. Most importantly, our reforms would be run in conjunction with a massive employment stimulus package, which would get this country off its knees and back to work."
When asked by Wexford Sinn Féin members to verify that Sinn Féin opposed all cuts to social welfare, Cllr. Kelly smiled and said, "Not only does our plan oppose all cuts to welfare, it also calls for the reintroduction of the Christmas social welfare bonus, which would act as a vital stimulus for the local economy, as well as easing the suffering of struggling families, many of whom will be drove into the arms of money lenders this Christmas by Scrooge Lenihan".

Tomorrow the full details of Sinn Féin's pre budget document will be released. This blog would urge everyone who believes that there is something very wrong with this nation and the way that it is being managed to read this document in full, and not to take your understanding of it from a biased media, who wish to keep the current status quo in place.
For those who will think that Sinn Féin's plan cannot work, read the document and make up your own mind, as oppose to being told it cannot work by the people who sunk our economy in the first place.
For the people who say the planned savage cuts are necessary to "balance the books", ask yourself why have the previous four budgets of "fiscal tightening" measures failed to improve our lot, and have actually led to a bad situation getting a lot worse?
For the people who say that Sinn Féin is too small a voice to change our world, This blog points you to the words of the cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead;
"Never doubt that a small band of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seamus Costello Bodenstown oration, 1966

Text of oration delivered by Seamus Costello at the Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown, 1966.


We have assembled here today to pay our respects to the memory of Theobald Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish republicanism. If we, the republicans of 1966, are to pay a fitting tribute to Tone, it is essential that we examine in depth the ideals for which he fought and died. He believed that the Irish people "had but one common interest and one common enemy; that the depression and slavery of Ireland was produced and perpetrated by the divisions existing between them, and that, consequently, to assert the independence of their country, and their own individual liberties, it was necessary to forget all former feuds to consolidate the entire strength of the whole nation, and to form for the future but one people."

His attitude towards the so-called 'Irish parliament' of the day is also worthy of attention. He maintained that the parliament was a totally ineffective body, that it had changed nothing in Ireland, that the social and political order remained the same, and that, as before, the real power lay with the British Government. He realized that until such time as the Irish people united and demanded their just rights that the wealth of this country would either be controlled directly by Britain, or be syphoned off with the willing connivance of a subservient Irish parliament.

Having seen the problems that existed at the time, Tone in conjunction with the other leaders of the revolutionary movement decided that the first logical step towards a solution was to "break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political and economic evils."

You may well ask why we of the republican movement, 168 years after the death of Tone, find it necessary to advocate the same course of action that he advocated. The answer is simple. We find it necessary to advocate the same course of action because of the fact that the Irish people still do not control their own affairs, and because their economic and political independence is considered a fit subject for barter or sale by our two subservient puppet parliaments. If the Irish people have any doubt about the truth of this statement and want proof of what I say, they have only to take a close look at the situation that exists today in each part of our partitioned land.

In the North, the destinies of one and a half million of our countrymen are controlled by a puppet regime whose existence for some 45 years has depended on the support of British armed forces. This regime has found to its apparent delight that one of the simplest ways of ensuring its continued existence is by the furtherance of bigotry and sectarianism. Ample evidence of this policy can be found in the recent antics of a certain reverend agent provocateur.

These then are the means by which the British imperialists intend to maintain the people of the North in perpetual slavery. These are also the means by which the working classes are divided against their own material welfare. The pro-British capitalist class who control the economy of the North know very well that, when the people reject those who foster sectarianism, their next step will be to demand a just share of the wealth which they create. These are the real reasons why one section of the community are led to believe that it is in their interest to discriminate against another section. Never are they told that the standard of living which they enjoy, at the expense of their victimized neighbors, is theirs by right - rather are they tricked into believing that these natural rights are a reward for their support of the regime. These tactics serve to ensure that a large section of the population of the North remain loyal to the regime and at the same time do not insist on having a bigger share in the wealth.

In the 26 counties the most that can be said of the position is that it contains one evil less religious discrimination is absent. The political and economic subjection of this part of Ireland to Britain is no less complete than that of the North.

However, British control over the destinies of the people of the 26 counties is not as obvious. This is due in the main to the fact that since 1921 they have had the co-operation of successive quisling parliaments in order to ensure that their interests here are fully protected.

The effects of this economic subjection are obvious in every sphere of life in Ireland at the present time. We of the republican movement have no need to tell the Irish people of the sorry mess which has been made of the economy.

The politicians are telling us every day. They tell us that this position arises as a result of the workers insisting on having a better standard of living. Never are we told that the profits which accrue from our labours are invested abroad by the native and foreign capitalists who control our resources. We are constantly told that we must work harder for the same wages despite the fact that we have to live with an ever increasing cost of living and an ever increasing burden of taxation. Up to now we have been 'advised' that it is wrong for workers to withhold labour in the struggle to wrest a decent wage from those employers whose only role in life seems to be the exploitation of workers. The situation in this regard has now changed radically, with the introduction of coercive anti-worker legislation. We now find that Mr. Lemass, in his eagerness to please his imperial masters, is prepared to use against farmers and workers the same type of repression which was previously reserved for republicans. It now seems inevitable that the republicans in Mountjoy prison will soon find themselves joined by farmers and trade unionists.

We republicans must not be content to criticize those who misgovern both parts of our country. If we are to regard ourselves as true followers of Tone, we must provide the Irish people with an alternative. It must be a realistic and practical alternative. Our target must be the achievement of the ideals set out in the Proclamation of 1916 - the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities for all our citizens.

This in effect means that we must aim for the ownership of our resources by the people, so that these resources will be developed in the best interests of the people as a whole. Some of you may feel that these aims are impossible to achieve until such time as we have an independent all-Ireland government. It is certainly true that some of these aims will not reach fruition until such time as we have an all-Ireland parliament. However, in the meantime, you as republicans have an extremely important part to play in the furtherance of this policy.

It is your duty to spearhead the organization of a virile co-operative movement among the farming community. It is also your duty to use your influence as trade unionists to organise a militant trade union movement with a national consciousness. In short, it is your duty to become active, hard working members of each and every organization that is working for the welfare of all the people and towards the reunification of the country.

You should use every possible opportunity to acquaint the people with our policies on land, industry and finance. We believe that there should be a limit to the amount of land owned by any single individual. We also believe that the large estates of absentee landlords should be acquired by compulsory acquisition and worked on a co-operative basis with the financial and technical assistance of the State.

In the field of industry, our policy is to nationalize the key industries with the eventual aim of co-operative ownership by the workers. The capital necessary to carry out this programme can be made available without recourse to extensive taxation by the nationalization of all banks, insurance, loan and investment companies whose present policy is the re-investment of our hard earned money in foreign fields.

This in short is our policy. This is our definition of freedom. It was Tone's definition, Lalor's definition, Mitchel's definition, and the stated aim of Pearse and Connolly. We can expect the same reaction to the implementation of these aims from the forces of exploitation, whether native or foreign sponsored, as the originators received in '98, '48, '67 and 1916. Therefore, to imagine that we can establish a republic solely by constitutional means is utter folly. The lesson of history shows that in the final analysis the robber baron must be dis-established by the some methods that he used to enrich himself and retain his ill-gotten gains, namely, force of arms. To this end we must organise, train, and maintain a disciplined armed force which will always be available to strike at the opportune moment.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pearses oration for O' Donovan Rossa, 1915

Padraig Pearse speaking at the funeral of old fenian O' Donovan Rossa
It has seemed right, before we turn away from this place in which we have laid the mortal remains of O'Donovan Rossa, that one among us should, in the name of all, speak the praise of that valiant man, and endeavour to formulate the thought and the hope that are in us as we stand around his grave. And if there is anything that makes it fitting that I, rather than some other, rather than one of the grey-haired men who were young with him and shared in his labour and in his suffering, should speak here, it is perhaps that I may be taken as speaking on behalf of a new generation that has been re-baptised in the Fenian faith, and that has accepted the responsibility of carrying out the Fenian programme. I propose to you then that, here by the grave of this unrepentant Fenian, we renew our baptismal vows; that, here by the grave of this unconquered and unconquerable man, we ask of God, each one for himself, such unshakable purpose, such high and gallant courage, such unbreakable strength of soul as belonged to O'Donovan Rossa.


Deliberately here we avow ourselves, as he avowed himself in the dock, Irishmen of one allegiance only. We of the Irish Volunteers, and you others who are associated with us in to-day's task and duty, are bound together and must stand together henceforth in brotherly union for the achievement of the freedom of Ireland. And we know only one definition of freedom: it is Tone's definition, it is Mitchel's definition, it is Rossa's definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served by giving it any other name and definition than their name and their definition.

We stand at Rossa's grave not in sadness but rather in exaltation of spirit that it has been given to us to come thus into so close a communion with that brave and splendid Gael. Splendid and holy causes are served by men who are themselves splendid and holy. O'Donovan Rossa was splendid in the proud manhood of him, splendid in the heroic grace of him, splendid in the Gaelic strength and clarity and truth of him. And all that splendour and pride and strength was compatible with a humility and a simplicity of devotion to Ireland, to all that was olden and beautiful and Gaelic in Ireland, the holiness and simplicity of patriotism of a Michael O'Clery or of an Eoghan O'Growney. The clear true eyes of this man almost alone in his day visioned Ireland as we of to-day would surely have her: not free merely, but Gaelic as well; not Gaelic merely, but free as well.
In a closer spiritual communion with him now than ever before or perhaps ever again, in a spiritual communion with those of his day, living and dead, who suffered with him in English prisons, in communion of spirit too with our own dear comrades who suffer in English prisons to-day, and speaking on their behalf as well as our own, we pledge to Ireland our love, and we pledge to English rule in Ireland our hate. This is a place of peace, sacred to the dead, where men should speak with all charity and with all restraint; but I hold it a Christian thing, as O'Donovan Rossa held it, to hate evil, to hate untruth, to hate oppression, and, hating them, to strive to overthrow them. Our foes are strong and wise and wary; but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation. And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and '67 are coming to their miraculous ripening to-day. Rulers and Defenders of Realms had need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! — they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Wayfarer - Padraig Pearse

The beauty of the world hath made me sad,


This beauty that will pass;

Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy

To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,

Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk,


Or little rabbits in a field at evening,

Lit by a slanting sun,


Or some green hill where shadows drifted by


Some quiet hill where mountailly man hath sown


And soon would reap; near to the gate of Heaven;


Or children with bare feet upon the sands


Of some ebbed sea, or playing on the streets


Of little towns in Connacht,


Things young and happy.


And then my heart hath told me:


These will pass,


Will pass and change, will die and be no more,


Things bright and green, things young and happy;


And I have gone upon my way


Sorrowful.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Street lights for Baldwinstown

Following a request by locals in Baldwinstown village and the surrounding area, Wexford Sinn Féin rep, Cllr. Anthony Kelly, is happy to announce that new street lights will be provided for Baldwinstown early next year.
Cllr. Kelly made his announcement to local Sinn Féin groups from Rathangan, Duncormick, Ballymitty, Bridgetown and Kilmore in the past few days, following his successful meeting with the executive engineer of Wexford County Council. Cllr. Kelly had used the meeting as an opportunity to deliver a petition of over two hundred local names calling for new street lights and an extension to the villages footpath network, which had been collected by concerned locals.


Cllr. Anthony Kelly with local SF members and concerned locals in Baldwinstown recently
 Speaking yesterday, Cllr. Kelly said, "The county council were suitably satisfied that the vast majority of locals want these new street lights, and an extension to the footpath, so as to connect the village to the nearby credit union. This is a matter of public safety. Due to funding shortfalls, work will not commence until early next year, but the council engineer has assured me that this job will go ahead."
Cllr. Kelly went on to commend the people of the local area for not giving up when representatives of other political parties told them that the job could not be done.
"Never give up", Cllr. Kelly said, "There's no job that cannot be done, if we stand together, even in a recession."

Friday, October 22, 2010

The little white lies of a little corrupt government

As this blog glances through the news columns this morning, its clear that there is a growing acceptance among economists and rational people that the governments four year plan of budget cuts and misery will not be successful in clearing the cutting our deficit to 3%. Instead, in the opinion of leading economists, the governments inflexible stance on the four year plan and their rejection of all other options will lead to further economic collapse, and a possible cataclysm that some people have stated will result in a "lost decade". The ERSI have claimed that 10,000 more people will join the dole queues next year, and 60,000 more people will be forced to emigrate, as there will be NO improvement in the next four years as a direct result of the Fianna Fail/Green coalitions exceedingly austere plan.

Brian Cowen has responded to the condemnation of the governments plan by saying that all other options are "not feasible", and that attempting anything else would "would raise the actual national debt, over €20bn would have to be found."
Can we believe this?
Here are some of the other economic "facts" that this government has presented us with in the past.


"There is an exposure in the Irish banks, but they made it clear they can accommodate it........ Irish banks can weather this crisis."   - Brian Lenihan, October 2008

"Construction is hugely strong at present and looks as if it will be for the medium term. I'm always sceptical of the glasses half-empty."     Bertie Ahern, April 2006

"The consensus scenario for the housing market is a soft landing"   - Mary Harney, August 2006

"The Government is confident about the strength and resilience of the Irish financial system."   - Brian Lenihan, September 2008.

"The opposition parties .... unfounded claims have been picked up abroad...... Loose talk costs jobs!"   - Brian Cowen, June 2009

"In terms of monetary and banking stability, we are in a very good position."   - Brian Lenihan, June 2008

 "We need a strong and effective Europe to help us remain competitive....... to help us protect, retain and create jobs"   - Brian Cowen lying to the Irish people to win a Yes vote to Lisbon, September 2009.

As you can see, this blog finds it very hard to believe anything that the current government says. And lets not forget the honest, idealistic green party....
"The Green party are committed to real change and to achieve this, Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats must be removed from government."   - John Gormley, May 2007

Stuck to your guns there John, didn't you?

Now we can all see who was lying about the Lisbon Treaty

What this nation does not need now is the lying, incompetent actions of the Fianna Fail/Green coalition. What we need is change. What we need is a general election, and the election of a party that will fix our economy, not by punishing the weak, but by getting the country back to work. Sinn Féin is the only party in Ireland who have put forward an alternative budget that matches what the economists are now calling for.
The time for real change has come.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Theres something about Mary Harney

Yesterday, this blog listen with eager curiosity as "Health Minister" Mary Harney defended the HSE's plans for the future of Wexford General Hospital. Of course, Mrs Harney didn't actually give us any explicit details as to her plans for the hospital, because she has to discuss it with other people first. Why she didn't do that before addressing the people of Wexford is beyond us, but perhaps she needed that smokescreen to try and sell the people of Wexford a plan that will see their health service decimated in the next four years.
Who is Mary Harney?

Yes, we know she is the minister for wealth, not the minister for health, but who is she? Where has she come from, and what factors have led to the development of a minister for health who doesn't give a damn about the welfare of the nations sick and vulnerable?
Mary Harney was born in Galway in 1953, but her parents moved to Dublin shortly after her birth. In 1976 she graduated from Trinity College in Dublin with a bachelor of arts in modern studies. For a brief time she served as a secondary school teacher.
In 1977, Harney stood unsuccessfully as a Fianna Fail candidate in the general election of that year. Jack Lynch, seeing something worthwhile in Harney, appointed her to the Seanad. She was elected to Dublin County Council in 1979, and two years later won election to the Dail. Unfortunately for the sick of Ireland, Harney has been re-elected every election since.
In 1985, Harney was expelled from Fianna Fail by Charles Haughey for being part of the Gang of 22, who voted in favour of the Anglo Irish Agreement. Later that year she became a founder member of the Progressive Democrats, who declared themselves as a clear alternative to Fianna Fail. However, less than four years later, Harney ended up back in government with Fianna Fail, and her destiny was to remain intertwined with them for the coming two decades.
Following the 1997 general election, Harney, now leader of the PDs, became the first female Tánaiste, and minister for enterprise, trade and employment. In 2001, Harney was at the centre of a scandal when it emerged that she and her husband had used an Air Corp craft to fly to Sligo, where she opened an off license owned by a friend.
On the 29th of September 2004, Harney was appointed Minister of Health in a government reshuffle. The same year Harney personally requested the use of the Government jet for a FAS trip to Florida at a cost of up to €80,000 to taxpayers. She travelled to Florida with senior FÁS executives, department officials, and her husband, Brian Geoghegan, was receiving more than €100-a-day subsistence money from the taxpayer when FÁS picked up her hairdressing bill in a Florida hotel. Like all government ministers travelling abroad, she was entitled to a daily allowance for "incidental expenses".

In the 2007 General Election, the PDs were essentially wiped out. Alas Mary Harney was not, and remained as Minister for Health. Currently Mary Harney is the longest serving female member of Leinster House. She is also the most publicly hated member of the house.
We have seen that Mary Harney is a ruthless self serving TD, who has been at the centre of more than one scandal. Can we trust someone like her to protect our health service? Can we trust her to protect the rights of our health workers? Can we trust her to look after our sick?
No, we cant.
Remember this when the next election comes around. A vote for Fiann Fail is a vote for Mary Harney to continue as Minister for Health.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Easter 1916 - WB Yeats

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.


That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse.
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vain-glorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.


Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter, seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute change.
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim;
And a horse plashes within it
Where long-legged moor-hens dive
And hens to moor-cocks call.
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.


Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death.
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead.
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse --
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Remember the 1980 Hunger Strike

The 1981 Hunger Strike and the terrible sacrifice made by ten noble republican hunger strikers has etched itself into the collective memory of Irish Republicans and those who strive for freedom everywhere. However, due to its profile perhaps, some have regrettably failed to remember the gallant protest made other republican hunger strikers only a few months earlier, in late 1980.
In late October 1980, seven prisoners in the H/Blocks, led by Brendan Hughes, who was succeeded as O/C by Bobby Sands, began a hunger-strike for political status. Hughes was joined on the on the fast by five other IRA Volunteers; Tom McFeeley; Sean McKenna, Leo Green, Tommy McKearney and Raymond McCartney and an INLA Volunteer, John Nixon.

In early December, as the hunger strike entered its sixth week, they were joined on the fast by three women in Armagh jail who had, along with their comrades, been on the no-wash protest since the previous February; Mairead Farrell, OC of the prisoners, Mairead Nugent and Mary Doyle.
The British Government refused to listen to the mass protests that broke out across Ireland and England during late 1980, and rejected any notion of giving the prisoners back political status. In mid-December, as Sean McKenna neared death and as the prisoners prepared to escalate the hunger-strike, the British announced that they were prepared to concede the Prisoners' demands, on a phased basis, once the fast had ended.
Trusting that Humphrey Atkins, the then British Secretary of State, would not renege on this promise, Sands, having consulted his staff, the prisoners and those on the fast, reluctantly decided to end the hunger strike on Thursday, 18 December. After weeks of delays by the British in implementing the promised changes, and confusion among the prisoners and their supporters, it became apparent in January 1981 that political status was not to be granted. The prisoners, faced with no alternative, would be forced to embark on a new fast that would have widespread repercussions in Ireland and abroad.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We only want the Earth - James Connolly (1907)

Some men, faint-hearted, ever seek
Our programme to retouch,
And will insist, whene’er they speak
That we demand too much.
’Tis passing strange, yet I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
We only want the earth.

“Be moderate,” the trimmers cry,
Who dread the tyrants’ thunder.
“You ask too much and people By
From you aghast in wonder.”
’Tis passing strange, for I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
We only want the earth.

Our masters all a godly crew,
Whose hearts throb for the poor,
Their sympathies assure us, too,
If our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
What they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
To ask, that is, the earth.

The “labour fakir” full of guile,
Base doctrine ever preaches,
And whilst he bleeds the rank and file
Tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in despite, we’ll see the day
When, with sword in its girth,
Labour shall march in war array
To realize its own, the earth.

For labour long, with sighs and tears,
To its oppressors knelt.
But never yet, to aught save fears,
Did the heart of tyrant melt.
We need not kneel, our cause no dearth
Of loyal soldiers’ needs
And our victorious rallying cry
Shall be we want the earth!

- Songs of Freedom

Making a complaint about a newspaper: Know Your Rights

According to our constitution, Ireland has a free press. This means that the Government should not censor or control the articles or stories the press choose to print. Regrettably, this is not always the practice in our country. There are professional standards and behaviors that the print media must comply with. These professional standards and behaviors are set out in a Code of Practice for Newspapers and Periodicals and enforced by the Office of the Press Ombudsman and the Press Council of Ireland. It is up to you to contact the Press Ombudsman if you have been directly and personally affected by a breach of the Code of Practice.

Code of Practice can be found here;
http://www.pressombudsman.ie/v2/pressombudsman/portal.php?content=_includes/codeofpractice.php
You can make a complaint to the Press Ombudsman about any article you read in any Irish newspaper (including Irish editions of UK newspapers) or Irish magazine that you feel breaches the code. This applies to national, provincial and regional newspapers. You can also make a complaint about the behaviour of a journalist which you feel breaches the code.

The Press Ombudsman can only deal with complaints about articles that are published or behaviour that occurs after 1 January 2008 and where you lodge your complaint within 3 months of the publication or incident.

To make a complaint, the article or behaviour must be in breach of the professional standards and behaviours set out in the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Periodicals. In addition, you must be directly affected by and involved in the article or behavior in question. The Press Ombudsman will not deal with the complaint if legal proceedings have been initiated

You must first make your complaint to the editor of the newspaper or magazine in question, explaining why you think the code has been breached. If you do not get a response within a reasonable amount of time (about 2 weeks) or if you are not happy with the response, you can make a complaint to the Press Ombudsman.
 
You must lodge your complaint with the Press Ombudsman within 3 months of the date of publication of the article or occurrence of the incident.
Your complaint should include;
Your contact details.

A summary of your complaint, indicating which part(s) of the Code of Practice you feel has been breached and why.
A dated cutting of the article if the complaint is about an article. If you are making your complaint by email or on-line, you must send a hard copy of the article within 7 days or as an attachment (or link) to the email.
Copies of any correspondence between you and the editor of the newspaper or magazine.



Office of the Press Ombudsman
1, 2 & 3 Westmoreland Street
Dublin 2
IRELAND
Locall:1890 208 080
Fax:(01) 674 0046
Homepage:www.pressombudsman.ie
Email:info@pressombudsman.ie


















Friday, October 15, 2010

We Will Rise Again - James Connolly (1916)

The celebrations of the past week in Ireland are a welcome reminder of the indestructible nature of the spirit of freedom. Who would have thought in August, 1914, that in March, 1916, the principle of a distinct and separate existence for Irish Nationality would evoke such splendid manifestations of popular support and popular approval. In August, 1914, it seemed to many of the most hopeful of us that Ireland had at length taken its final plunge into the abyss of Imperialism, and bade a long farewell to all hopes of a separate unfettered existence as a nation.


Plans carefully laid for years before had been suddenly and relentlessly put in operation. A party of Parliamentary representatives elected to obtain Home Rule from England, and without any mandate expressing hostility to any other people, suddenly claimed the power and right to pledge the manhood of Ireland to battle with a friendly nation – a nation whose last public act towards Ireland had been an attempt to open the port of Queenstown when shut by English intrigue. The same Parliamentary Party publicly renounced all hope and desire that this country should ever attain the status of nationhood, and expressly limited the ambitions of Ireland to such freedoms as the British Government would judge to be not incompatible with the British Empire. Having so limited the claims and renounced the hopes of Ireland this Parliamentary Party consummated its treason by calling upon their fellow countrymen to go out to die, in order to win for Belgium those national rights and powers they had just renounced the right to claim for Ireland.

The public press, the vaunted guardians of public liberty, sold themselves in a body to the Government that had publicly pledged itself not to interfere with an Orange-cum-militarist conspiracy against the liberties of Ireland, and immediately became the foulest slanderers and vilifiers of all who stood by the national cause they had deserted.

The few papers that refused to be bullied, or to be bought, were ruthlessly suppressed by military force.

All over Ireland the public representatives whom a lifetime of political intrigue, vote-hunting and job-hunting had debased and demoralised, yielded at the first onset of the new Irish Imperialism, and joyfully, eagerly, exultantly sold their country and their country’s cause.

August, 1914, and the months immediately succeeding it, were months of darkness and of national tribulation. If the darkest hour is that before the dawn, then the dawn should not be far off, for surely no darker hour could come for Ireland than that we passed through in the beginning of this English war upon Germany.

But slowly, gradually, but persistently, the forces standing for the social and national freedom of Ireland won the people back to greater sanity and clearer visions. Despite imprisonment, despite persecution, despite suppression of newspapers, despite avalanches of carefully framed lies, the truth made headway throughout the country. The people saw clearer and clearer that nothing had been changed in Ireland, that Ireland was still denied every prerogative that makes for true nationhood, that her interests were still subject to the interests of a rival country, that the Home Rule Act expressly declared for the subjection of Ireland as a permanent condition, that the Redmond-Devlin party had sold the birthright of their country in return for the valueless promise of a Government that did not even keep faith with its own countrymen or women, that the British Empire and the freedom or prosperity of the Irish people were two things that could not exist together in Ireland, and that therefore one or the other must forever and utterly perish.

All through Ireland last week the manhood and womanhood of the nation have gladly, enthusiastically proclaimed their realisation of those truths. This 17th of March will be forever memorable for that reason. The magnificent parades of Volunteers under arms, the overflowing meetings, the joyous abandon of the Irish gatherings of all descriptions, and above all the exultant rebel note everywhere manifest, all, all were signs that the cause of freedom is again in the ascendant in Ireland.

The Cause is not lost, this 17th of March has assured us that despite all the treasons of all the traitors Ireland still remains as pure in heart as ever, and though Empires fall and tyrannies perish

We Will Rise Again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trouble paying your Mortgage? Know Your Rights

Your mortgage is probably the biggest and most important financial commitment that you have. In Ireland today, record numbers of mortgage holders are in arrears. If you cannot keep up your mortgage repayments, your lending institution (bank, building society or local authority) may eventually seek to repossess your home.
If you are having difficulties paying your mortgage, then you must talk to your lending institution immediately. Your lender must take certain actions, and repossessing your home will be the last option they are willing to take.


Four Important steps in facing up to your debt;

1.Assess your situation. Make a list of all your debts. Check that each debt is in your name. Identify the debts needing immediate attention (for example, your mortgage arrears). Get in touch with the lenders immediately - preferably in writing. There are sample letters on the MABS website.


2.Make out a budget. List how much money is coming into your household each week (or month) and how much is going out. You can then work out how much you can afford to offer towards paying your debts and how you can best plan your spending in the future. You can get blank budget sheets and spending diaries from the MABS website or through the helpline.

3.Deal with the debt. Write to the lender, making an offer of the amount you can afford to pay and explaining your financial situation. The MABS website has sample letters and blank financial statements.

4.Organise a method of paying the agreed amount. You can do this in various ways, such as direct debit, internet banking or a MABS Budget Account.
 
Two statutory codes of conduct govern how mortgage lenders should deal with mortgage arrears. They are the Financial Regulator's consumer protection code, which has been in force since 2007, and the Financial Regulator's Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, which came into effect in February 2009, and was updated in February 2010.
 
The Financial Regulator’s Consumer Protection Code applies to all home loan providers operating in Ireland. The code provides that the lending agency must:

Contact you as soon as it becomes aware that your mortgage account is in arrears even if the arrears are quite small
The lending agency must have in place a procedure for handling accounts which are in arrears.
This means that lenders are required to agree a remedial action plan with you as soon as they detect arrears starting to emerge and to try to assist you to manage your financial commitments and not allow the situation to worsen.

The Financial Regulator Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears came into effect on 27 February 2009, and an amended version came into effect on 17 February 2010. The code builds on the Regulator's Consumer Protection Code (described above) and on a voluntary code that had been developed by the Irish Banking Federation. It applies to all mortgage lenders, not just banks. Its main requirement is that lenders must wait for a specified time from the time mortgage arrears arise before taking any legal action. Initially they had to wait at least 6 months but with effect from 17 February 2010 they have to wait at least 12 months from the time the arrears arise.

However, the 12-month requirement does not apply if a borrower is deliberately not engaging with the lender

Legal Advice
You may wish to get legal advice on your options and on what happens if the mortgage lender takes steps to repossess your home. The Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) provide free legal advice from a nationwide network of voluntary advice centers

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“In This Supreme Hour of Our National Danger” - James Connolly (1915)

The report is a terrible indictment of the social conditions and civic administration of Dublin. Most of us have supposed ourselves to be familiar with the melancholy statistics of the Dublin slums ... We did not know that nearly 28,000 of our fellow-citizens live in dwellings which even the Corporation admits to be unfit for human habitation. We had suspected the difficulty of decent living in the slums; the report proves the impossibility of it. Nearly a third of our population so lives that from dawn to dark and from dark to dawn it is without cleanliness, privacy or self-respect; the sanitary conditions are revolting. Even the ordinary standard of savage morality can hardly be maintained. To condemn the young child to an upbringing in the Dublin slums is to condemn it to physical degradation and an appalling precocity in vice.

The above quotation is from the Irish Times’ comment upon the report of the Inquiry into Housing Conditions in Dublin issued during the last days of the great dispute of 1913-14. We reproduce it to-day because there is a danger that amid the clash of arms, and the spectacular magnificence of international war, the working class voters of Dublin may be dazzled or chloroformed into forgetfulness of the horrors, and the responsibility for the horrors, that lie around them and degrade and destroy many thousands of their lives. It is our duty to our own class, to our country, and to ourselves to see that the voters do not so forget, but that on the contrary they seize the opportunity given them by the elections to strike as hard a blow as they can at the system responsible for such atrocities, and at the political parties which uphold that system.

Of course, we will be told that “now in this supreme hour of our national danger”, etc, all ideas of war between classes should be laid aside and we all should co-operate harmoniously together. In answer we would ask – Has any capitalist or landlord shown any forbearance towards the workers more than they have been compelled to by the force of law, or by the power of labour unions? Is it not the fact that “in this supreme hour of our national danger” the employers are seizing eagerly upon every pretext to reduce wages and victimise the workers? The great loyalist firm of Switzer and Co have enforced a severe cut in the wages of the employees in their drapery establishment, and their example has been followed all over the city and country. The firm of S.N. Robinson, coal importers, have cut down the carting rates for all government contracts, so that their drivers now receive from 2d to 6d per ton less for coal carted to government establishments than they are entitled to receive. The law says that all government contractors must pay the standard rate paid in their district, but this firm laughs at the law and steals their employees’ wages. “In this supreme hour of our national danger” rents are going up, prices are steadily mounting to the sky, more and more men, women and girls are disemployed; more and more we see few workers compelled to do the work usually done by a greater number, and persistently as all the necessaries of life go up the wages of the labourer are relentlessly hammered down. “In this supreme hour of our national danger.”

Nay, let the truth be told though the heavens fall! The greatest danger that we see at the present moment is that the whole brood of parasites and spongers upon Labour whom our past agitations have dragged into light, the vile crew who have waxed fat and wealthy by the robbery of Dublin’s poor, the slum landlords of the vile and disease-laden Dublin tenements condemned alike by the laws of God and man, the sweaters whose speciality is the grinding down of women and girls, and all the unclean politicians, ward heelers and personators who have fastened upon the vitals of the working class – the greatest danger is that these enemies of their kind should succeed in escaping the public wrath under cover of the excitement and confusion of the war.

Therefore we cry aloud that all might hear: War or no war those slums must be swept out of existence; war or no war those slum landlords are greater enemies than all the “Huns” of Europe; war or no war our children must have decent homes to grow up in, decently equipped schools to attend, decent food whilst at school; streets, courts and hallways decently lighted at nights; war or no war the workers of Dublin should exert themselves first for the conquest of Dublin by those whose toil makes Dublin possible; war or no war the most sacred duty of the working class of Ireland is to seize every available opportunity to free itself from the ravenous maw of the capitalist system and to lay the foundations for the Co-operative Commonwealth – the Working Class Republic.

“In this supreme hour of our national danger”, we call upon the Working Class of Ireland to remember that the only enemy it actually knows of is the enemy that lives upon its labour, that steals its wages, that rackrents its members, that oppresses its women and girl workers, that constantly seeks to encompass its social degradation. All the fleets and armies of the ‘alien enemy’ are not as hurtful to our lives, as poisonous to our moral development, as destructive to our social well-being as any one street of tenement houses in the slums of Dublin.

The Municipal Elections are the most important things for the moment in the interest of our class. That the flag of the Dublin Labour Party should float victoriously over each of the seven wards it is contesting is more essential for the better interests of civilisation in this island than the planting of the flag of a robber empire upon the ramparts of some alien capital in Continental Europe.

Our call then is for Volunteers for this great fight to redeem Dublin from the hands of the capitalist barbarians.

Will Magnificent Dublin of the Workers magnificently respond?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kelly concerned over Fianna Fail TD's "rushed statement"

Wexford Sinn Féin Borough Councillor Anthony Kelly has welcomed Sean Connicks statement on South East Radio yesterday morning promising immediate application for planning permission for a new A&E unit at Wexford General Hospital. Speaking at a Wexford Sinn Féin county meeting last night, Cllr. Kelly said that this was a “more progressive” move by a junior minister who had failed in the past to assure the public that he was one hundred percent committed to stopping any downgrading at Wexford General.


“I would be concerned that this is a rushed statement by Deputy Connick in reaction to the last weeks Borough Council motion”, Cllr. Kelly said, referring to his controversial, successful motion at last week’s council meeting calling on Fianna Fail Oireachtas members to vote against the government if it attempted to downgrade Wexford General Hospital.

“I would also point out that planning permission is only worth the paper it’s written on”, Cllr. Kelly continued, “Ill celebrate when I see the diggers and builders on site.”

Cllr. Kelly speaking at the recent Saltmills Commemoration

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emigrating? Protect yourself

Emigration has unfortunately returned to Ireland with a vengeance. Many young people are now leaving our country to try and find a better life abroad. Though the Fianna Fail/Green coalition government are actively supporting emigration, and no doubt see it as a means of calming public spending, they are giving these young people no information or support as they leave.
If you need help or advice while abroad it is your right as an Irish citizen to call on the Irish embassy or consulate in that country. There are 40 Irish embassies and 70 consulates-general located in countries throughout the world. If you are in a country where there is no embassy or consulate, you may look for advice and assistance from embassies or consulates of other European Union countries.

Embassies and consulates can be of assistance if:


You need an emergency passport


You have been the victim of crime or illness or have had a serious accident


You have been arrested or imprisoned while abroad


You need help in transferring funds from home where more conventional means are not available


There is a death abroad and the remains need to be returned to Ireland.
 
There are of course limits to the services that the embassy can provide for you, but if you are in trouble it is your right to go to them for help.
In very exceptional circumstances, where the health or security of an Irish citizen abroad is at risk and there is no way of dealing with the situation satisfactorily locally, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland may agree to repatriate the person to Ireland.

This will be done at the sole discretion of the Department. In addition, repatriation in this instance is subject to strict conditions which will be set out and explained clearly in each individual case. The conditions include a written undertaking to repay all the expenses incurred as well as a statutory fee for this service.

Some useful Irish Embassy addresses;
According to recent surveys, the majority of young Irish emigrating are going to Australia, USA and England, so we have provided the contact details for the Irish embassy's in these countries here. Other embassy contact details can be found at www.dfa.ie

Australia
Address: Embassy of Ireland

20 Arkana Street
Yarralumla A.C.T.
2600 Canberra
Telephone: +612 6273 3022
Fax: +612 6273 3741
Website: www.embassyofireland.au.com


USA
Address: Embassy of Ireland

2234 Massachusetts Avenue
N.W
Washington D.C. 20008-2849
United States
Telephone: +1 202 462 3939
Fax: +1 202 232 5993
Website: www.embassyofireland.org

England
Address: Embassy of Ireland

17 Grosvenor Place
London SW1X 7HR
Telephone: +44-20-7235-2171
Fax: +44-20-72012- 515
Website: www.embassyofireland.co.uk

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Rebel Song - James Connolly (1903)

Come workers sing a rebel song,

A song of love and hate,

Of love unto the lowly

And of hatred to the great.

The great who trod our fathers down,

Who steal our children’s bread,

Whose hands of greed are stretched to rob

The living and the dead.


chorus:

Then sing our rebel song as we

proudly sweep along

To end the age-old tyranny

that makes for human tears.

Our march is nearer done, with

each setting of the sun.

And the tyrants’ might is passing

with the passing of the years.



We sing no more of wailing

And no songs of sighs or tears;

High are our hopes and stout our hearts

And banished all our fears.

Our flag is raised above us

So that all the world may see,

’Tis Labour’s faith and Labour’s arm

Alone can Labour free.


chorus

Out of the depths of misery

We march with hearts aflame;

With wrath against the rulers false

Who wreck our manhood’s name.

The serf who licks the tyrant’s rod

May bend forgiving knee;

The slave who breaks his slavery's chain

A wrathful man must be.


chorus

Our army marches onward

With its face towards the dawn,

In trust secure in that one thing

The slave may lean upon.

The might within the arm of him

Who knowing freedom’s worth,

Strikes hard to banish tyranny

From off the face of earth.


chorus

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Men we Honour - James Connolly (1898)

Apostles of Freedom are ever idolised when dead, but crucified when living. Universally true as this statement is, it applies with more than usual point to the revolutionary hero in whose memory the Irish people will, on Monday, 15th August, lay the foundation stone of a great memorial.


Accustomed, as we are, to accept without question the statements of platform oratory or political journalism as embodying the veriest truths of history, the real meaning and significance of the life and struggles of the high-soured organiser of the United Irish movement of 1798 is too often lost to the people of Ireland today. We think with pride and joy of Wolfe Tone and his struggle for Ireland, but when we think of his enemies, of those who thwarted him at every opportunity, who ceased not to revile him while alive and paused not in their calumnies even when he had passed beyond the grave, we are too apt to forget that the most virulent and unforgiving of those enemies were not the emissaries of the British Crown, but the men from whose lips the cant of patriotism was never absent, the leaders in Church and politics of the people whose emancipation Wolfe Tone had laboured to secure - and met death in the effort to forward. Yet it is a lesson we need to remember, fraught as it is with meaning, in the task before the Irish democracy today.

There are few passages in the life of Tone more pregnant with interest to the attentive reader than that which chronicles the negotiations between himself and the great Whig Party of which Grattan was such a shining light. The attempt of the Whig aristocracy to cajole and bribe the young and ardent democrat into lending his intellect and powers to the service of their party, and the scornful refusal of the high-minded, but penniless, Tone to thus prostitute his genius in the cause of compromise and time-serving, points a moral the young men of Ireland might well lay to heart in deciding under which flag they will take their stand in the struggle to which we henceforth challenge friends and enemies.

“I was a democrat from the commencement,” proudly declared our hero, and in the light of that announcement we at once perceive why the wealthy classes of Ireland with scarce a dozen exceptions ranged themselves against him; why Grattan never by word or deed testified the slightest sympathy with the United Irishmen; why Dan O’Connell took up arms to defend Dublin for the British Government against his own countrymen and rebel co-religionists; why the Catholic aristocracy fought side by side with the Orange yeomanry; why the fiercest invectives of Lord Castlereagh or Beresford of the Riding School were but faint echoes of the maledictions heaped upon the revolutionists by the aristocratic Catholic Bishops; why, in short, Wolfe Tone and his comrades were overwhelmed by the treachery of their own countrymen more than by the force of the foreign enemy. He was crucified in life, now he is idolised in death, and the men who push forward most arrogantly to burn incense at the altar of his fame are drawn from the very class who, were he alive today, would hasten to repudiate him as a dangerous malcontent. False as they are to every one of the great principles to which our hero consecrated his life, they cannot hope to deceive the popular instinct, and their presence at the ’98 commemorations will only bring into greater relief the depth to which they have sunk. Our Home Rule leaders will find that the glory of Wolfe Tone’s memory will serve, not to cover, but to accentuate the darkness of their shame.

Wolfe Tone was abreast of the revolutionary thought of his day, as are the Socialist Republicans of our day. He saw clearly, as we see, that a dominion as long rooted in any country as British dominion in Ireland can only be dislodged by a revolutionary impulse in line with the development of the entire epoch. Grasping this truth in all its fulness he broke with the so-called ‘practical’ men of the time, and wherever he could get a hearing he, by voice and pen, inculcated the republican principles of the French Revolution and counselled his countrymen to embark the national movement on the crest of that revolutionary wave. His Irish birth did not create his hatred of the British Constitution, but only intensified it. Like Mitchel, fifty years later, he held ideas on political and social order such as would have made him a rebel even had he been an Englishman. In this fact lay his strength and the secret of his enthusiasm. We who hold his principles cherish his memory all the more on that account, believing as we do that any movement which would successfully grapple with the problem of national freedom must draw its inspiration, not from the mouldering records of a buried past, but from the glowing hopes of the living present, the vast possibilities of the mighty future.

When the hour of the social revolution at length strikes and the revolutionary lava now pent up in the Socialist movement finally overflows and submerges the kings and classes who now rule and ruin the world, high up in the topmost niches of the temple a liberated human race will erect to the heroes and martyrs who have watered the tree of liberty with the blood of their body and the sweat of their intellect, side by side with the Washingtons, Kosciuszkos and Tells of other lands, a grateful Irish people will carve the name of our precursor, Theobald Wolfe Tone, the man whose virtues we can only honour by imitation as the Socialist Republic will yet honour his principles by realisation.

The End of Democracy: National government to "save" us led by the people who bankrupted the nation

This week we've heard numerous Fianna Fail and Green party people calling on the opposition to stop attacking them and to band together as a "national government" in order to get us out of  our dire economic situation. They've said that in the best interests of the Irish people, we need to implement a "Tallaght 2" strategy. They've said that the opposition are using this crisis to score political points and should be patriotic like them and help push through the next budget, which will be a savage budget of cuts, but to have it as anything else would mean the immediate collapse of our country and the arrival of the big bad IMF to huff and puff and blow whats left of our shattered infrastructure down.
What a load of crap.

Do these scoundrels really expect us to forget that they are the ones who caused this recession by inflating our economy, promoting greed, failing to spot any sign of the recession on the horizon and then acting with total incompetence to combat the economic decline?
And despite what the Fianna Fail/Green dictatorship are having their lapdogs in the Irish media tell you, this is NOT a national government that they are talking about. They are talking about the same tired, worn, incompetent, corrupt, unfit Fianna Fail/Green government that is currently destroying our lives, but with the support of Fine Gael and Labour. What a great way to spread the blame. Get the next government to support all your mistakes.
The original Tallaght strategy had seen Fine Gael support cutbacks implemented by the minority Fianna Fáil government in the late 80s in order to rescue the economy. Tallaght had worked then, but the situation is very different now, not least because the EU are banging on our doors saying that whatever government is in must sign up to the Fianna Fail four year plan of doom and misery. Has the big bad IMF arrived already? No, its only the EU. Remember them? Fianna Fail and the main opposition forced you to vote yes to their Lisbon treaty which effectively gave them the major say in our economy.
Fianna Fail have said that the Tallaght 2 strategy is what the people want.
In this blogs humble opinion, what the people want is an end to the crooked, inept Fianna Fail/Green coalition and the induction of a new government that will put the interests of the Irish people before anything else. What the people want is a strong opposition to stand up for their rights, not the peevish politics of Fine Gael, who even faced against the worst government in Irish history, cannot win the moral high ground. What the people want is an honest national media that will give them a detailed account of all their options, not scaremonger them into thinking that Fianna Fails Four year plan is the only game in town by constantly quoting the IMF and the EU.

A national government to "save" us?
There are other options but our government, the EU and our national media are determined that you will never learn of them. Don't allow their lies to brainwash you. Tallaght 2 is their get out of jail free card. Don't let them use it. Theres been a lot of talk among the governments supporters that now is the time to pay the piper. This blog agrees, but let the guilty pay, not the people.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fool - Padraig Pearse

Since the wise men have not spoken, I speak that am only a fool;


A fool that hath loved his folly,

Yea, more than the wise men their books or their counting houses or their quiet homes,

Or their fame in men's mouths;

A fool that in all his days hath done never a prudent thing,

Never hath counted the cost, nor recked if another reaped

The fruit of his mighty sowing, content to scatter the seed;

A fool that is unrepentant, and that soon at the end of all

Shall laugh in his lonely heart as the ripe ears fall to the reaping-hooks

And the poor are filled that were empty,

Tho' he go hungry.

I have squandered the splendid years that the Lord God gave to my youth

In attempting impossible things, deeming them alone worth the toil.

Was it folly or grace? Not men shall judge me, but God.

I have squandered the splendid years:

Lord, if I had the years I would squander them over again,

Aye, fling them from me !

For this I have heard in my heart, that a man shall scatter, not hoard,

 Shall do the deed of to-day, nor take thought of to-morrow's teen,

Shall not bargain or huxter with God ; or was it a jest of Christ's

And is this my sin before men, to have taken Him at His word?

The lawyers have sat in council, the men with the keen, long faces,

 And said, ‘This man is a fool,’ and others have said, ‘He blasphemeth;’

And the wise have pitied the fool that hath striven to give a life

In the world of time and space among the bulks of actual things,

To a dream that was dreamed in the heart, and that only the heart could hold.

O wise men, riddle me this: what if the dream come true?

What if the dream come true? and if millions unborn shall dwell

In the house that I shaped in my heart, the noble house of my thought?

Lord, I have staked my soul, I have staked the lives of my kin

On the truth of Thy dreadful word. Do not remember my failures,

But remember this my faith

And so I speak.

Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:

Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;

Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;

Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.

And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,

O people that I have loved, shall we not answer together?

Socialism and Nationalism - James Connolly (1897)

In Ireland at the present time there are at work a variety of agencies seeking to preserve the national sentiment in the hearts of the people.


These agencies, whether Irish Language movements, Literary Societies or Commemoration Committees, are undoubtedly doing a work of lasting benefit to this country in helping to save from extinction the precious racial and national history, language and characteristics of our people.

Nevertheless, there is a danger that by too strict an adherence to their present methods of propaganda, and consequent neglect of vital living issues, they may only succeed in stereotyping our historical studies into a worship of the past, or crystallising nationalism into a tradition – glorious and heroic indeed, but still only a tradition.

Now traditions may, and frequently do, provide materials for a glorious martyrdom, but can never be strong enough to ride the storm of a successful revolution.

If the national movement of our day is not merely to re-enact the old sad tragedies of our past history, it must show itself capable of rising to the exigencies of the moment.

It must demonstrate to the people of Ireland that our nationalism is not merely a morbid idealising of the past, but is also capable of formulating a distinct and definite answer to the problems of the present and a political and economic creed capable of adjustment to the wants of the future.

This concrete political and social ideal will best be supplied, I believe, by the frank acceptance on the part of ail earnest nationalists of the Republic as their goal.

Not a Republic, as in France, where a capitalist monarchy with an elective head parodies the constitutional abortions of England, and in open alliance with the Muscovite despotism brazenly flaunts its apostasy to the traditions of the Revolution.

Not a Republic as in the United States, where the power of the purse has established a new tyranny under the forms of freedom; where, one hundred years after the feet of the last British red-coat polluted the streets of Boston, British landlords and financiers impose upon American citizens a servitude compared with which the tax of pre-Revolution days was a mere trifle.

No! the Republic I would wish our fellow-countrymen to set before them as their ideal should be of such a character that the mere mention of its name would at all times serve as a beacon-light to the oppressed of every land, at all times holding forth promise of freedom and plenteousness as the reward of their efforts on its behalf.

To the tenant farmer, ground between landlordism on the one hand and American competition on the other, as between the upper and the nether millstone; to the wage-workers in the towns, suffering from the exactions of the slave-driving capitalist to the agricultural labourer, toiling away his life for a wage barely sufficient to keep body and soul together; in fact to every one of the toiling millions upon whose misery the outwardly-splendid fabric of our modern civilisation is reared, the Irish Republic might be made a word to conjure with – a rallying point for the disaffected, a haven for the oppressed, a point of departure for the Socialist, enthusiastic in the cause of human freedom.

This linking together of our national aspirations with the hopes of the men and women who have raised the standard of revolt against that system of capitalism and landlordism, of which the British Empire is the most aggressive type and resolute defender, should not, in any sense, import an element of discord into the ranks of earnest nationalists, and would serve to place us in touch with fresh reservoirs of moral and physical strength sufficient to lift the cause of Ireland to a more commanding position than it has occupied since the day of Benburb.

It may be pleaded that the ideal of a Socialist Republic, implying, as it does, a complete political and economic revolution would be sure to alienate all our middle-class and aristocratic supporters, who would dread the loss of their property and privileges.

What does this objection mean? That we must conciliate the privileged classes in Ireland!

But you can only disarm their hostility by assuring them that in a free Ireland their ‘privileges␁ will not be interfered with. That is to say, you must guarantee that when Ireland is free of foreign domination, the green-coated Irish soldiers will guard the fraudulent gains of capitalist and landlord from ‘the thin hands of the poor’ just as remorselessly and just as effectually as the scarlet-coated emissaries of England do today.

On no other basis will the classes unite with you. Do you expect the masses to fight for this ideal?

When you talk of freeing Ireland, do you only mean the chemical elements which compose the soil of Ireland? Or is it the Irish people you mean? If the latter, from what do you propose to free them? From the rule of England?

But all systems of political administration or governmental machinery are but the reflex of the economic forms which underlie them.

English rule in England is but the symbol of the fact that English conquerors in the past forced upon this country a property system founded upon spoliation, fraud and murder: that, as the present-day exercise of the ‘rights of property’ so originated involves the continual practice of legalised spoliation and fraud, English rule is found to be the most suitable form of government by which the spoliation can be protected, and an English army the most pliant tool with which to execute judicial murder when the fears of the propertied classes demand it.

The Socialist who would destroy, root and branch, the whole brutally materialistic system of civilisation, which like the English language we have adopted as our own, is, I hold, a far more deadly foe to English rule and tutelage, than the superficial thinker who imagines it possible to reconcile Irish freedom with those insidious but disastrous forms of economic subjection – landlord tyranny, capitalist fraud and unclean usury; baneful fruits of the Norman Conquest, the unholy trinity, of which Strongbow and Diarmuid MacMurchadha – Norman thief and Irish traitor – were the fitting precursors and apostles.

If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.

England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.

England would still rule you to your ruin, even while your lips offered hypocritical homage at the shrine of that Freedom whose cause you had betrayed.

Nationalism without Socialism – without a reorganisation of society on the basis of a broader and more developed form of that common property which underlay the social structure of Ancient Erin - is only national recreancy.

It would be tantamount to a public declaration that our oppressors had so far succeeded in inoculating us with their perverted conceptions of justice and morality that we had finally decided to accept those conceptions as our own, and no longer needed an alien army to force them upon us.

As a Socialist I am prepared to do all one man can do to achieve for our motherland her rightful heritage – independence; but if you ask me to abate one jot or tittle of the claims of social justice, in order to conciliate the privileged classes, then I must decline.

Such action would be neither honourable nor feasible. Let us never forget that he never reaches Heaven who marches thither in the company of the Devil. Let us openly proclaim our faith: the logic of events is with us.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Rebel - Padraig Pearse

I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow;


Who have no treasure but hope,

No riches laid up but a memory of an ancient glory

My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born,

I am of the blood of serfs;

The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten

Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,

and though gentle, have served churls.

The hands that have touched mine,

the dear hands whose touch Is familiar to me

Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,

have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers.

I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone I that have never submitted;

I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people’s masters,

I that have vision and prophecy, and the gift of fiery speech,

I that have spoken with God on the top of his holy hill.

And because I am of the people, I understand the people,

I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire;

My heart is heavy with the grief of mothers,

My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,

I have yearned with old wistful men,

And laughed and cursed with young men;

Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it

Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free

Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,

Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and their jailors.

With their Writs of Summons and their handcuffs,

Men mean and cruel.

I could have borne stripes on my body

Rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak, being full of vision:

I speak to my people, and I speak in my people’s name to

The masters of my people:

I say to my people that they are holy,

That they are august despite their chains.

That they are greater than those that hold them

And stronger and purer,

That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,

God the unforgetting, the dear God who loves the people

For whom he died naked, suffering shame.

And I say to my people’s masters: Beware

Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people

Who shall take what ye would not give.

Did ye think to conquer the people, or that law is stronger than life,

And than men’s desire to be free?

We will try it out with you ye that have harried and held,

Ye that have bullied and bribed.

Tyrants… hypocrites… liars!

Renunciation

Naked I saw thee,


O beauty of beauty,

And I blinded my eyes

For fear I should fail.

I heard thy music,

O melody of melody,

And I closed my ears

For fear I should falter.

I tasted thy mouth,

O sweetness of sweetness,

 And I hardened my heart

For fear of my slaying.

I blinded my eyes,

 And I closed my ears,

 I hardened my heart

 And I smothered my desire.

 I turned my back

On the vision I had shaped,
Padraig Pearse

And to this road before me

I turned my face.

I have turned my face

To this road before me,

To the deed that I see

And the death I shall die.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ninty years since the Saltmills Explosion

This month marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Saltmills explosion, which resulted in the greatest number of casualties of the War of Independence in County Wexford. On the twelfth of October, 1920, an IRA unit were preparing explosives in an old unoccupied house located at St. Kearns, Saltmills in South Wexford. When the explosives detonated prematurely, five men from G company of the 2nd battalion of the South Wexford IRA were killed. Nine others survived.

Every year, republicans gather in Saltmills to remember these brave men, and to pay respect to the cause for which they sacrificed so much. This year will be no different, and on Sunday the tenth of October, members and supporters of Wexford Sinn Féin will gather and follow the colour party and magnificent Ed O' Brien Republican Flute band from Saltmills village to the Saltmills memorial.

G Coy 2nd Batt. South Wexford IRA
Killed:
Sect. Com. Michael Fitzpatrick
Sect. Com. Martin Roche
Vol. James Byrne
Vol. Robert Walsh
Vol. James Gleeson
RIP

Survivors:
Coy. Captain John Timmins
Vol. Stephen Barron
Vol. Michael Conway
Vol. Thomas Gleeson
Vol. Patrick O' Grady
Vol. Edward Kelly
Vol. Patrick Kelly
Vol. Thomas Kinsella
Vol. Patrick Reville

Monday, October 4, 2010

Still hope for the sinking ship

Recently this blog has heard many people compare Ireland to a sinking ship. Its true that our economic woe, resulting in mass unemployment and savage cuts, has left the majority of us feeling that this allegory is true. With more and more people being forced to "choose" to emigrate, it leaves us all wondering should we desert this sinking ship.

This blog has the greatest of sympathy for those people who have been forced to emigrate. No one can blame them, and they have been left with little option. In fact, at certain moments, even this blog wonders is there any hope for this nation.

There is still hope. It does not rest with the likes of Mary O' Rourke, who flirts with the idea of a national government to try and save her own hide. It does not lie with the Fianna Fail/Green governments plans to introduce a series of harsh budgets over the coming years, which they claim might "save" our economy. It does not rest with the weak opposition of Enda Kenny, who's party has refused to rule out introducing similar cuts if they were in power tomorrow.

What hope is left lies with the people of Ireland. Only they can bring down this government. Only they can prevent the "doomsday" budget. Only they can elect a new Fianna Fail/Fine Gael free government.

Sinn Féin is the only party committed to not introducing savage cuts against the ordinary citizens of Ireland. But Sinn Féin are nothing without the support of those ordinary citizens.


There is still hope, and it rests in you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

1 in 5 workers unemployed in South East

One in five workers are now unemployed in the south east, with our unemployment figures standing at nearly 20%, the highest in the state. While Fianna Fail celebrate the very, very small reduction in national unemployment figures, we in the south east have little to celebrate. Unemployment in the south east region has gone from 6.1% to 18.1% in just two years.
Ask any of our two Fianna Fail TDs in Wexford about this huge increase in unemployment and they will undoubtedly blame the global recession. However other countries effected by the global recession are seeing rising employment, why is Ireland not seeing this? Why? Because we have allowed a bunch of corrupt gombeen politicians to rule this nation for the last thirteen years.

Where are those Lisbon jobs now I wonder?
It was a Fianna Fail government that gave away our off shore resources to multinational companies like shell. Resources that are now valued at over €420 billion. It was a Fianna Fail government that promised economic stability if the people of Ireland changed their minds about the Lisbon Treaty and voted the way the government told them to. Remember Fianna Fail are blaming the EU for the necessity of some of its planned savage cuts. It was Fianna Fail who gave the EU this power! It was also a Fianna Fail government that lied to you about the true extent of our economic crisis, and then agreed to put the welfare of corrupt bank managers and greedy property developers before the welfare of the state or the welfare of its citizens.
To put it simply, Fianna Fail have destroyed this nation, and are directly responsible for our mass unemployment and emigration.

I hope we will all remember that the next time, and every subsequent time, we go to the polls.