Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘2018 Referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution’ Category

Dáil committee to investigate Bríd Smith comments about judge – “Attack on Democracy Itself” Says admirer of the RIC/Black and Tans Charlie Flanagan TD

leave a comment »

A People Before Profit TD attacked ‘democracy itself’, former minister for justice claims.

The deputy who made the complaint against Bríd Smith TD (Dublin South-Central) is Charlie Flanagan, who dumped his Fine Gael Party in very hot water in January 2020. The ex Minister for Justice, attempted to sponsor a government ceremony celebrating the Royal Irish Constabulary/Black and Tans. These were ruthless gangsters in a notorious uniform of the RIC during the War of Independence 100 years ago. Splendid language was spoken by deputies in the first Dáil, elected in 1919, about the Black and Tans and other props of British rule in Ireland such as judges, who were very effectively shunned and boycotted.

Ex Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan with British Premier Boris Johnson

RIC/Black and Tan Recruitment Public Letter

Bríd Smith TD campaigning for Repeal of the Anti-Abortion 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution

Hats off to Manus O’Riordan, a tireless researcher – retirement from SIPTU has not dimmed his energy – O’Riordan’s lengthy demolition of Charlie Flanagan’s political and historical hypocrisy about the Black and Tans should assist Bríd Smith TD :

A CUMANN NA NGAEDHEAL REBUKE TO FINE GAEL!

EOIN MACNEILL ON THE RIC WAR AGAINST IRISH DEMOCRACY

In the Irish Republic’s democratic assembly of Dáil Éireann on April 10, 1919, the following address on RIC atrocities was delivered by the Minister for Industries, Eoin MacNeill:

“It is impossible for us to escape having our blood stirred at the recital of the details laid before us here to-day. While all that we have heard stirs the indignation, there is not a single one of us who is surprised. There is nothing in it that surprises us. We know that only for fear of the consequences such infamous things as have been detailed here to-day would be thrown into the shade. We cannot allow our feelings of indignation to be uppermost in dealing with these matters when we come together in common council. In our homes we give full voice to what we think. The responsibility for these things rests on the heads of the rulers of England (and not on such vague abstracts as the English Government or the English State) from Lloyd George down to Macpherson and those others who are employed by them who are personally engaged in committing atrocities. They are the men we have to defeat. I hope that any potentate who has been guilty of atrocities will be punished. It will be a wholesome precedent.”

“If they fix the precedent of bringing the ex-Kaiser to trial, we may yet have an opportunity of having other persons brought to the bar of international justice. I have been watching the development of the English Government’s policy. That policy aims at making the police our masters in Ireland, and we often do not realise that with the single exception of Russia under the Government of the Czar there never was a country so police-governed as this country is.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tarlach Mac Niallais Radio Broadcast from 1984 – Gay Liberation Politics, the Partition of Ireland, Fighting Against a Carnival of Reaction

with one comment

Previous Readers of this blog know about the New York Death of Belfast Gay Liberation and Socialist Activist Tarlach Mac Niallais. Thanks to an old friend and comrade of Tarlach, Cathal Ó Ciorragáin, we can listen to a New York Radio Interview with Tarlach dated October 9 1984

The interview concludes with a ballad sung by Tarlach.

https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/04/covid-19-has-taken-tarlach-mac-niallais-from-us-in-new-york-a-courageous-fighter-from-north-belfast-who-saved-sodomy-from-ulster/

Green Politics or Gardening? Saoirse McHugh Versus Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan – FFFG plus Green-Gombeen Coalition Emerges

leave a comment »

The Irish Green Party is entering a coalition government FFFGGG (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Greens and Gombeens). One prominent member, Saoirse McHugh from Achill Island in Mayo, disagrees. Something has got to give.

Green Politics or Gardening?

The Irish Times reports on Friday April 24 2020 :

Senior figures in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil believe they can progress to negotiations on a coalition government with the Green Party on the basis of the party’s 17 demands, published on Thursday.

The Greens confirmed that a challenging commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 7 per cent every year was the primary “red line” in its list of 17 demands to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politely welcomed the Greens’ document and said they would study its contents before replying, senior figures in both parties who spoke on condition of anonymity believe they can now move towards forming a coalition. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/green-coalition-demands-doable-for-fianna-fáil-and-fine-gael-1.4236455

Do not overlook Team Gombeen in the new Irish Coalition Government.

A team of Racists (Noel Grealish and Verona Murphy); Lifers (Peter Fitzpatrick, Peadar Tóibín, Marian Harkin); Climate Change Deniers (Michael Healy-Rae); Former Ministers Who Left Office “Under A Cloud” after allegations of “financial irregularities” (Michael Lowry, Denis Naughten)

Covid-19 restrictions Necessary – Irish Government’s Hesitation Showed Priority it Places in Profits over Lives

leave a comment »

No Border News (NBN) No Borders News is publishing a series of interviews about Covid 19 in many different parts of the world.

Jessy Ní Cheallaigh answers NBN’s questions about the Coronavirus Epidemic in Ireland.

Please provide a brief biography for yourself and any links to resources or websites you would like included in your interview.

My name is Jessy Ní Cheallaigh. I’m a 22 year old woman living in Ireland. I’m a socialist activist and a final year student studying Communications through the language of Irish in NUIG, Galway City. I’m a member of RISE (Radical, Internationalist, Socialist, Environmentalist) a democratic socialist political group. https://www.letusrise.ie/

Above from left: Dave Murphy; Jessy Ní Cheallaigh, Paul Murphy TD, Kay Keane and Nicole McCarthy

1. Briefly describe the state of the pandemic in your country or city. How many people are infected? How many have died? What do experts expect in the coming weeks in terms of how fast the contagion will spread.

At the current date (14/04/2020) the total number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland is 10,647. Death toll has reached 365 as 31 more deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. In Northern Ireland, 76 new cases have been registered and 6 more people have died from the coronavirus. The tally in the North now stands at 118 deaths and 1,882 confirmed cases. 12,529 confirmed cases on the island with a death toll of 483. Overall Ireland has made a decent effort to flatten the curve as the spread is not as rapid as it is in other countries. The government announced that there has been a “very high level of compliance” with restrictions on non-essential travel over the bank holiday weekend. However there is still concern amongst experts over the “clusters” of the virus present in nursing homes around the country with very little healthy/qualified staff to help prevent spread. As of Saturday 11 April, there have been 6.5 deaths per 100,000 people in Ireland. These figures however are definitely not 100% accurate as there have been problems with testing in the lack of testing kits available/bought as well as the huge backlog in test results that have yet to be processed. When testing was first opened up it was under the understanding that anyone who suspected they had the virus could be tested, when large numbers of test were coming back negative they changed it so that the only people who were referred for testing were those who had two or more of the most common symptoms of the virus or those who were high at risk (immuno-compromised/underlying conditions etc.) This resulted in over 40,000 people being taken off the waiting list who then had to reapply. Lots of reports state that some of these people still haven’t received results and that was just under a month ago.

2. What practical measures has your national government taken to respond to the crisis? Have they acted responsibly or were they unprepared? Briefly describe measures your government is taking now to contain the virus and treat people infected with Covid-19. Is there a state of emergency, are schools closed, etc.?

Read the rest of this entry »

Words on Des Bonass (died 26th September 2019), commemorative evening, Teachers Club, 29th February 2020.

leave a comment »

Words on Des Bonass (died 26th September 2019), commemorative evening, Teachers Club, 29th February 2020.

Delivered by Des Derwin, on behalf of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions.

Des Bonass May 2019

Des Bonass, a constant campaigner in a long life of activity in the most stirring and also the most unproductive political times, is missing, just missing, the extraordinary outcome of this month’s general election. The upending of a century of duopoly by Tweedle Fail and Tweedle Gael, a surge for change at the ballot box, the development of a left-right configuration, however confused, and a crisis in mainstream, establishment politics. ‘Who would have thunk it’? An overflow crowd outside a political meeting in Liberty Hall [25th February 2020] addressed in the biting wind by one the speakers who has come out to speak to them too. In the 21st century.

Well, such is the lot of many a life-long political activist. Things happen just after you are gone. But that is not the way we think and its not the way Des would have thought. Because he worked and acted in the here and now; he did what could be done at the time. And because he helped set the present in motion, and a lot of other big steps too in the past. And because we are this evening giving Des his rightful place in whatever is happening now, because of his contribution, and because he would have been no less a part of the big things, and the small less-noticed things, than he ever was. And finally, what is happening this month is – if indeed it keeps up and develops – only a small proportion of the eventual historical events that will be needed, and that will follow, and will probably be missed by most of us here too, to bring about the really momentous social change that Des Bonass stood for, and worked for and carried a clear vision of in his head, throughout his long trade union, republican and socialist life. Read the rest of this entry »

“To all of them we say – Rule out coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael! – Sinn Féin should seek to lead an alternative minority government” – Interview with Paul Murphy TD, RISE

with 6 comments

“To all of them we say – Rule out coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael! – Sinn Féin should seek to lead an alternative minority government”

The Irish General Election to the 33rd Dáil, February 8 2020

Interview with Paul Murphy TD, RISE, Dublin South-West.

Paul Murphy is a member of RISE

RISE – Radical Internationalist Socialist Environmentalist

RISE was part of the Solidarity-People Before Profit (SPBP) Electoral Coalition.

Full Statewide results are here

Irish General Election February 8 2020 – Results

The Dublin South-West Result is here :

Result of the 2020 Irish General Election, Dublin South-West

The interview took place in Dáil Éireann on February 19 2020.

John Meehan asked the questions.

Dan Finn’s excellent analysis of the Irish General Election Results is here : Ireland’s Left Turn

Finn summarised the main features of the result :

“At a time when left parties in Europe have been losing ground to their rivals on the Right and Centre, the Irish election bucked the trend. Whatever Sinn Féin does next, this was clearly a left-wing vote. The exit poll showed that health and housing were by far the most important issues for voters. [1] Two-thirds wanted investment in public services to be prioritized over tax cuts. 31 percent agreed with the statement that Ireland “needs a radical change in direction”. It’s possible that this opportunity for change will be squandered. But right now, the momentum in Irish politics is with the Left, and the traditional conservative parties are on the back foot. An election that was supposed to call time on the political turbulence of the last decade has had the opposite effect.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nurses for Choice Warn Against “Wait Period” in Proposed 8th Amendment Draft Legislation

leave a comment »

Nurses for Choice Express Concern over “Wait Period” in Abortion Legislation

Voluntary organisation Nurses for Choice have spoken out on the “wait period” between initial meeting with GP and receiving a termination proposed to be included in Irish abortion law in the event that the eighth amendment is repealed this May. The organisation has stated that waiting periods only act as barriers to healthcare in the hope it decreases needs of abortions, but have proven to be harmful. Nurses for Choice representative Joanna Hickey said “Abortion healthcare should be evidence based in practice and not based in myth in that time constraints somehow benefit the pregnant person.”

They have welcomed the introduction of the 36th amendment and Minister Simon Harris’s statements regarding the need for immediate change.  Representative Rachel Egan stated; “We are encouraged to see evidence based information used to support the argument against retaining the eighth amendment. We too believe in trusting women to make their own healthcare choices and granting all patients their bodily autonomy”

Nurses for Choice representative Joanna Hickey stated “Nurses care for a wide and diverse range of patients of reproductive age who are experiencing serious and difficult health issues in which pregnancy cannot be an option for them. As advocates for these patients we believe it is imperative that we repeal the eighth amendment.”

Rachel Egan added, “Forcing women to travel to avail of abortion has been shown to have negative effects on the person’s psychological, physical, social and financial wellbeing. We believe the constitution is not the correct place to contain laws regarding a private and personal matter, and the pregnant person’s choice should be made by them alone in conjunction with appropriate medical professionals.”

Nurses for Choice is group of nurses campaigning for a change in the constitution to allow women access to free, safe and legal abortion here in Ireland. We ask for any nurses who wish to participate in the campaign to repeal the eighth amendment to get in touch via nurses4choice@gmail.com or by joining their local pro-choice group.

Remember Sheila Hodgers

leave a comment »

Remember Sheila Hodgers.

The infamous story of Sheila Hodgers, murdered by Irish Lifers in positions of power – Repeal the 8th.

From Una Dunphy of the Waterford Trades Council :

“Today is the anniversary of her death, thirty five years ago.

Sheila lived in Dundalk with her husband, Brendan. They had two daughters, aged eight and seven. They were considering trying for a third child when Sheila discovered a lump on her breast. After a mastectomy, however, she got better. With the help of cytotoxic drugs, her cancer was kept at bay.

Until, that is, she became pregnant. Her medication was stopped, for fear that it would harm the foetus in her womb. She developed severe lumbar pain, indicating a tumour on her back. But this could not be fully confirmed because the hospital would not take an X-ray.

Brendan Hodgers asked that a Caesarean section be performed on his wife, so that she could return to her cancer treatment immediately. The request was refused. She was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes in agony. As Brendan Hodgers subsequently recalled: “She was literally screaming at this stage. I could hear her from the front door of the hospital, and she was in a ward on the fourth floor.”

Sheila Hodgers was eventually moved to the maternity ward. On March 16th, 1983, she went into labour two months prematurely and was delivered of a baby girl the next day. The child died almost immediately after birth. Mrs Hodgers died two days later. She had tumours on her neck, spine and legs.”

Six months later the 8th amendment was approved to be added to the constitution. The news had broadcast Sheila’s case just two days before the referendum. Despite that – the referendum passed, and the following month it was written into the constitution.

Since the addition of the 1983 amendment – countless women and families have been negatively impacted by the 8th.

From Miss X [1991], a 14 year old girl that was raped and detained from travelling to the UK for an abortion – to Miss P [2014], a clinically dead woman in her 20s, 15 weeks pregnant, and kept artificially alive for three weeks until the High Courts decided that the woman should be able to have dignity in death.

It is time for Repeal.”

Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment Table Quiz Thursday March 29 at 8.00pm in the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West

leave a comment »

The Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment is hosting a Table Quiz on

Thursday March 29 at 8.00pm in the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West

Teams of 4, €5 per person

Feel Free to make a donation or bring a prize!

Tell Your Friends and Spread the Word15A11F24-1906-4EC2-81F1-EDC2916AB396

https://www.facebook.com/events/2087542581483086/

Doctors For Choice Publish Abortion Fact Sheets in Ireland

leave a comment »

via Fact Sheets

“Spokesperson for Doctors for Choice, Dr Tiernan Murray said:

“As doctors we practice based on evidence and facts, and to help reduce misinformation and spread facts about abortion we have developed a series of factsheets with different topic areas: mental health, common mistruths, medical abortion, surgical abortion and the impact the Eighth Amendment has on consultations with doctors. The public deserves medical facts and knowledge about abortion: a safe and sometimes necessary part of a women’s reproductive healthcare.”

Dr Murray continued: “Many Irish people, both women and men understand very little about the procedure of abortion and must rely on often inaccurate and sensationalized information to make decisions and shape opinions about Irish abortion provision. Poor, or inadequate or often absent information increases the already substantial stigma present in Ireland about abortion and perpetuates myths and judgments about abortion as a medical procedure, and about the women who have abortions.”

“During the St Patrick’s Day festival, where people all over the world celebrate Irish culture, we want to give people the information to have conversations about the realities of abortion in Ireland, free from myths and scaremongering.”

He concluded: “As doctors, we want to support all of our patients to make informed, healthcare decisions that are best for them in their individual circumstance. We hope these factsheets will help the public better understand the facts about abortion and help to destigmatise it.”