Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Arts and Culture’ Category

Irish Journalist Gene Kerrigan Praises British Railway Union Leader Mick Lynch

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A brilliant Gene Kerrigan Column : Source Sunday Independent, June 26 2022

Biting lumps out of hapless Tories and media celebs Writes Gene Kerrigan

It was great fun, watching Her Majesty’s over-confident, under-talented politicians take a hiding. And there was the bonus of watching Her Majesty’s loyal media celebrities making fools of themselves. The Mick Lynch story last week provided social media — here and across the water — with a new hero.

Mick Lynch is a life-long trade unionist, with Irish parentage — his political hero is James Connolly. He was blacklisted for joining a union when he was a young electrician.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 26, 2022 at 12:33 pm

Marriage Advice for Young Ladies – From a Suffragette – 1918 – Reflections on Bloomsday 2022

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“ Marriage advice for young ladies from a suffragette, 1918. The pamphlet is on display at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales. The suffragette is unknown.”

Source : Bernadette McAliskey’s fb page :

This is Bloomsday 2022 :

A favourite married man is fictional : Dublin’s “Everyman” Leopold Bloom, who had some roots in Hungary, the (anti) hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses, a tale of Baile Átha Cliath in one day.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 16, 2022 at 9:05 am

Thousands took to the streets to march on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday – DerryNow Report

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The feedback I got all week was that the 2022 Bloody Sunday March in Derry today would be huge. This turned out to be true. An initial report is below.

Here is the intriguing bit. The mass media (e.g. RTÉ Radio Bulletin this morning at 8.00am) reported lots of other stuff – for example, Dublin government taoiseach Mícheál Martin laying a wreath – and said nothing about the march this afternoon at 2.30pm in Derry featuring speeches by Bernadette McAliskey, Éamonn McCann, and others. RTÉ is a public service broadcaster in Ireland largely funded by a license fee. It comes under pressure from the “great and the good” to toe the line and exclude radical voices. And sometimes it gets things spectacularly wrong – today was an example.

What is the key political message today : Prosecute the Generals!

We will keep fighting – and, eventually, we might win. If we don’t fight, we definitely lose.

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RTÉ Broadcaster Claire Byrne Censors Joe Brolly, who criticised the reactionary politics of DUP Westminster MP Gregory Campbell

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The Censor, RTÉ Journalist Claire Byrne

Media Alert!

The Claire Byrne RTÉ 1 Show on the Irish Border (March 22 2021) was incredibly bad, swamped in identitarian gibberish. The tone was set by Sinn Féin leader MaryLou McDonald and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. The rest of us should focus on “the carnival of reaction”. Once Joe Brolly criticises the reactionary politics of a previous contributor, Gregory Campbell, he is censored.

Derry GAA Star Joe Brolly, Censored

Joe Brolly explains

I was taken off air and told it was because RTE could not risk me saying the DUP were homophobic, racist or sectarian. I must apologise to the DUP at once.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B : Mr Gregory Campbell MP (DUP) allegedly once described homosexuality as “evil” and claimed God sent AIDS as a homosexual “curse”.

He had claimed: “It’s an evil, wicked, abhorrent practice. My opposition to that is based on the Bible and also based on natural justice and I know many people who do not share my Protestant faith but who would share my opposition to homosexuality because they believe it is something which would corrupt society as a whole, and is something so radically awful as to merit total and utter opposition. You’re not even talking about someething which is a run of the mill sexual practice but something which is totally and utterly depraved.

“The AIDS scare which is currently running through America is proof that homosexual practice is something which calls upon the curse of God.

“I would see homosexuality as something which merited the curse of God.

“AIDS came about because of sexual contact between homosexuals. Now that to me is something which shows in a small way that there is more than just human opposition to homosexuality.

“In the Bible there is only one sin which called down literal fire and brimstone from God and that wasn’t murder, it wasn’t theft, it was homosexuality.” https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/06/12/meet-the-dup-homophobes-who-now-hold-the-keys-to-power-in-the-uk/

Exhibit C

John Meehan March 23 2021

Ireland‘s Banished Babies – Illegal Adoptions and Dr Éamon de Valera Junior

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According to an RTÉ Investigates documentary, broadcast on March 3 2021, Dr Éamon De Valera Jr – the oldest son of Éamon De Valera Sr, Taoiseach and President of Ireland between 1932 and 1973 – repeatedly facilitated illegal adoptions. This is not a new story. https://www.rte.ie/news/investigations-unit/2021/0302/1200520-who-am-i-the-story-of-irelands-illegal-adoptions/

Mike Milotte’s book “Banished Babies” was first published in 1997. A new and updated version appeared in 2012.

I picked the book from my shelves, and re-read the chapter about St. Rita’s Nursing Home, run by Mrs Mary Keating.

Milotte explores a 1965 cover-up prosecution of Mrs Mary Keating, who was supported by many powerful men : Declan Costello (son of ex Fine Gael Taoiseach John A Costello) was Mrs Keating’s lawyer. Declan Costello, a Fine Gael TD, was Attorney General in the 1973-77 Fine Gael-Labour Coalition Government. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/was-liam-cosgraves-1973-77-fine-gael-labour-coalition-the-worst-ever-dublin-government/?preview=true&preview_id=837&preview_nonce=2da4341dc4

In 1992 the High Court Judge Declan Costello ordered the internment in Ireland of a pregnant raped suicidal 14 year old girl, in that way preventing her from getting an abortion in England or some other country. This was the infamous “X Case”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_v._X?wprov=sfti1

Joe Doyle was another strong supporter of Mary Keating – in 1965 Doyle was the sacristan at Donnybrook Church, where “Mrs Keating had her falsely registered babies baptised”. Doyle was in later years a Fine Gael Constituency TD colleague of Garret FitzGerald in Dublin South-East between 1982 and 1992. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Doyle?wprov=sfti1 Then Fianna Fáil Agriculture Minister Charles Haughey is reported saying “sure half the children born in St. Rita’s were fathered by members of the Dáil”. Haughey was Taoiseach of Ireland and the Fianna Fáil leader between 1979 and 1991. All these politicians – Doyle, Costello and Haughey – backed the 1983 constitutional Irish ban on abortion. Another supporter of Mrs Keating was the ex Rugby Star, the Consultant Karl Mullen – 30 years later he recalled, inaccurately, that the St Rita’s Nursing Home boss was prosecuted “for selling babies to America”. Mike Milotte accurately observes that although Mrs Keating was not charged with “selling babies to America”, many suspected “that was precisely what she was up to”.

An update after watching the RTÉ Investigates documentary, broadcast on Wednesday March 3 2021. I think everyone should zone in on the 1965 Mary Keating court case. A large cast of high-ranking politicians and Catholic Church bosses were terrified Keating would spill the beans and bring them all down. It would be a mistake to suggest Éamon De Valera Junior acted alone. I believe Éamonn Ó Cuív TD (FF Galway West) may have information which would assist up to 10,000 people in Ireland who have false birth certificates. In 1965 Mary Keating’s blackmail worked. Many politicians and bishops involved in the babies for sale “adoption” racket went on to infamously promote the 1983 Anti-Abortion amendment. The money trail is extremely important.

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Joe Biden President of USA – Donald Trump Departs – Extreme Right Criminals Celebrate

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One correspondent is not impressed with many displays of forelock-tugging on Irish mainstream media outlets. Joe Biden is an Irish-American, who frequently quotes Irish poets and writers such as Séamus Heaney WB Yeats and James Joyce.

Joe Biden is an incubator of Trumpism.

“I wonder did he read any poems written by Black men in American prisons, seeing as he was the main architect of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 which enforced mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. Due to that and other ‘catch-all’ crime laws, Black men (also women) make up about 15% of the population but 40% of the prisoners.”

President Donald Trump sent QAnon-style goons on their way to Washington DC’s Capitol Hill on January 6 2021 trying and failing to overturn a convincing Joe Biden General Election victory in November 2020. Trump lost by a margin of over 8 million votes, a gap of more than 4.5 per cent, and turnout reached record levels. Many of the QAnon-style Trump-goons so far arrested and charged over the Capitol Hill assault on the US Senate and Congress are serving or retired staff in the state repressive forces – Army, Air Force, Police, National Guard and so on. What protection is the US state offering to the people attending the Joe Biden Presidential inauguration on January 20 2021? It is a version of putting the fox 🦊 in charge of the chicken 🐓 coop – 25,000 members of the National Guard occupy the city of Washington DC, whose population is overwhelmingly non-white, politically and socially hostile to Trumpism, and supportive of the magnificent Black Lives Matter Movement. No wonder the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had to desperately “vet” the repressive forces instructed to “protect” the Joe Biden inauguration.

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Pat O’Connor 1948-2015, Limerick Socialist, Supporter of the Fourth International

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cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/left-archive-pat-oconnor-limerick-based-socialist-1948-2015-published-2015/

Recently, following prompts by Pádraig Malone, I forwarded material celebrating the life and political activities of the late Pat O’Connor to the Irish Left Archive site.

A 21 year old Pat O’Connor is holding the placard saying “PD [People’s Democracy] Opposes Racism”. 1970 demonstrations against the touring South African 
All-White Rugby Team.

Readers can find links to to that material in two PDF’s below. The pamphlet link includes the text of a speech I delivered at a 2015 memorial meeting for Pat. A second link is a copy of an obituary submitted to the Limerick Leader newspaper written by myself and Cian Prendiville.

John Meehan December 7 2020

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Who will be boss of the Northern Ireland Civil Service? Foster-O’Neill Deadlock, Frantic Piggies 🐷 in Queue for £182,272 top job

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Ugly scenes are visible at the highest levels of Belfast’s assembly government, rivalling FFFGGG coalition government jobbery in Dublin. Anything Fianna Fáil Fine Gael and the Greens can do in Leinster House is matched by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin in Lord Carson’s Stormont.

🐷 Three piggies are slugging 🐌 it out, frantic to slurp alone at a very expensive trough – it is called Head of the NI Civil Service.

“In July, it was reported that the NI Civil Service was offering a salary of up to £188,272 for its top job.

The NI Civil Service employs about 22,845 staff and has a total annual budget in excess of £20bn.”

First and Deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill hold the keys 🔑 needed to unlock 🔐 a pot of gold, but can’t agree which of three piggies’ snouts 🐽 is the winner.

Sisters Grim Arlene Foster & Michelle O’Neill deadlocked at Stormont – who gets top job worth £188,272 a year?

“The First and Deputy First Ministers have failed to appoint a new Head of the Civil Service in Northern Ireland following a round of interviews.

It is understood that three candidates were interviewed on Wednesday, but were unsuccessful.

In a statement, an Executive Office spokesperson confirmed an appointment had not been made.

They said the “next steps are currently being considered”.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said she hoped the Executive Office would be shortly able to appoint an interim Head of the Civil Service, until a new full recruitment process can take place.

The post has remained vacant since David Sterling stepped down at the end of August.

He had worked in the civil service for more than 40 years, joining in 1978.

It is understood the three candidates interviewed yesterday were Sue Gray who is Permanent Secretary with the Department of Finance, Peter May who is Permanent Secretary at the Justice Department and Richard Pengelly who is the Permanent Secretary at the health department.”

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Too many FFFGGG piggies 🐷 🐷 🐷 slurping Euros 💶 from the trough? 18 ministers at Cabinet is ‘fairly obviously unconstitutional’ and politically ‘dubious’

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Bunreacht na hÉireann states: “The Government shall consist of not less than 7 and not more than 15 members.”

The FFFGGG coalition has a deserved reputation for letting ministerial piggies 🐷 loose to slurp at a trough stuffed with Euros 💶. Greed causes the party leaders to ignore clear and simple rules about how many ministers can be appointed – the constitution states the maximum number is 15 – and no other politicians can attend cabinet meetings. Three “super junior” mini-ministers – already in hot water for getting a pay 💰 hike – are attending cabinet meetings – according to the attached article this practice is probably unconstitutional and illegal. This might look like an obscure technical point – but it might be a gift 🎁 to radical left deputies denied 🙅 decent speaking rights in the current Dáil. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

FFFGGG super-junior ministers Chambers Naughton and Hackett

The legal side: ‘Crystal clear’ and confidentiality

“Most of the time with constitutional law, there’s a great deal of ambiguity and it’s really unclear what the constitutional answer is,” says David Kenny, Assistant Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin and co-author of the leading text on Irish constitutional law.

“This is one of those ones where I think it’s very clear that there’s essentially no scope for having more than 15 members of government. The Constitution is crystal clear about that, there’s just no way to have more than that.”

Confidentiality is also enshrined in the Constitution, meaning that you can’t have non-Cabinet members involved in the deliberations of Cabinet.

Article 28.1 of Bunreacht na hÉireann states simply:

“The Government shall consist of not less than seven and not more than fifteen members who shall be appointed by the President in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”

Article 28.4 alludes to the confidentiality and collective responsibility of Cabinet:

“The Government shall meet and act as a collective authority, and shall be collectively responsible for the Departments of State administered by the members of the Government.

The confidentiality of discussions at meetings of the Government shall be respected in all circumstances save only where the High Court determines that disclosure should be made in respect of a particular matter.”

Kenny continues: “So the question is how are these junior ministers both allowed to be subject to these confidential discussions and involved in these meetings, where only 15 people are supposed to collectively wield the executive power of the State?”

So I think it’s fairly obviously unconstitutional.

https://www.thejournal.ie/government-more-than-15-members-at-cabinet-5163806-Aug2020/

Thanks to Raymond Deane who drew attention to this problem.

Nice Try But Public Not Falling For Government’s 10% Pay Cut Bullshit – Waterford Whispers News

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Satire which is real news.

Irish FFFGGG coalition government ministers continue to fumble in the greasy till and get caught.

FFFGGG Ministers Line Their Pockets

THE PUBLIC has doffed its cap to the government in appreciation of its attempt to pull a fast one with its selfless decision to institute a 10% pay cut for ministers, but added ‘we ain’t falling for this bullshit’.

“It’s the sort of tokenistic gesture that I actually might have appreciated were it not for the fact Taoiseach Martin and some of his ministers will still actually be earning more than the previous government’s salaries,” explained one member of the public.

“Sorry, what was that? Could you speak up,” asked the Taoiseach when it was put to him his government have taken being tone deaf to new inaudible highs.

The Taoiseach had been hoping the 10% cut would have distracted from Junior Minister pay bumps, welfare hunters at airports and reemerging focus on the treatment of victims of the Cervical Check scandal among 400 other things, however, the move has gone down like a dozen lead balloons strapped with explosives.

“Fair play, only this clown car of a government could take a pay cut and still end up earning more money, and that’s before expenses even come into play,” shared one member of the public, who as a healthcare worker, will have to settle for saving up all the applause they received to pay the bills in lieu of any pay increases.

In a last ditch attempt to secure a positive PR win for his government the Taoiseach stated Jack Chambers is worth every penny of the €140,000 he is paid.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin, a party who incorrectly claimed their TDs only take home the average industrial wage labeled the 10% pay cut ‘a disgrace’.
— Read on waterfordwhispersnews.com/2020/07/28/nice-try-but-public-not-falling-for-governments-10-pay-cut-bullshit/