Tomás Ó Flatharta

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Socialists and Coalition with Sinn Féin – Colm Breathnach, Independent Left

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Colm Breatnach makes an important contribution here

SOCIALISTS AND COALITION WITH SINN FÉIN

Sinn Féin Oireachtas and Stormont Members on the steps of Leinster House, Kildare Street

Is a Sinn Féin controlled left government in the 26 County bit of Ireland possible or likely? Right now, a general election electing the next Dáil can be delayed until February 2025. The current FFFGGG coalition (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Greens and Gombeens) has a comfortable majority and will not voluntarily cut and run – unless it is forced to change course. Reliable opinion surveys show that, if a general election was held soon Sinn Féin is likely to increase its number of Dáil seats – but the current government would retain a majority. There is more detail on this important “technicality” in a note at the end of this article. John Meehan May 11 2022


SOCIALISTS AND COALITION WITH SINN FÉIN

The experience of Syriza, Greece warns against coalition with Sinn Féin

As the likelihood of a Sinn Féin led government grows, the prospect that the government might include radical left parties as coalition partners looms. But should socialists take up roles in government in coalition with Sinn Féin? Are there circumstances where this might prove to be necessary? Obligatory even? Now is the time to debate this issue, rather than being rushed into hastily made post-election decisions that could have a disastrous effect for the left in Ireland.

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“Ukrainian town fights off Russians and faces down hospital bombing” – Remember that name – Bashtanka.

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Introductory Note :

Daniel McLaughlin is an old-fashioned war-correspondent, who writes for the Irish Times. This report, published on Saturday April 30 2022, illustrates very vividly the real nature of the current war in Europe, the most dangerous conflict on the continent since World War 2.

This is a war of Ukrainian national liberation against a far-right ethnic-cleansing imperialist state headed by Vladimir Putin. The residents of Bashtanka, in the words of the town’s mayor, Aleksandr Berehovyi, decided to fight because “we had no choice”.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine : Richard Boyd-Barrett TD (People Before Profit) 1. Mick Wallace MEP 0. Dissolve NATO – Russian Troops out of Ukraine

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Left wing anti-war activists and public representatives need to actively oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the eastern military expansion of NATO. Credible news reports indicate that Richard Boyd-Barrett TD (Dún Laoghaire) passes this test. Two Irish members of the European Parliament fail the same test : Mick Wallace (Ireland South) and Clare Daly (Dublin), who is associated with Independents for Change. The Irish Times (February 23) reports :


In a social media post after Russian president Vladimir Putin formally recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday, Mr Wallace claimed that “only a full scale war between Russia and Ukraine would satisfy Nato”.

“The people of Europe must campaign for the abolition of Nato – it has nothing good to offer anyone that prefers peace to war,” wrote Mr Wallace, who voted against a European Parliament motion to offer €1.2 billion in loans to Ukraine.

Irish Tines, Wednesday February 23 2022

The same report quotes Richard Boyd-Barrett

Inflame
Condemning Russian “incursions”, he said they should not “be used as an excuse for Ireland to line itself up with Nato or to give succour to the idea that military action by the West” can help.
Russia needs “to be condemned and condemned roundly”, Mr Boyd Barrett said, but “we need not to be one-sided in this and recognise that the expansion of Nato into eastern Europe has also helped inflame this extremely dangerous situation.
Ireland has said nothing about Nato’s “game-playing of expanding into eastern Europe and potentially inflaming this extremely dangerous conflict”, he added.

Hopefully the Irish Independents for Change network will clarify it’s position, and clearly distance itself from the statements issued by Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

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Tomás Ó Flatharta

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Tomás Ó Flatharta was the first known Irish supporter of the Left Opposition to the Stalin-led Bolshevik Government in Russia, in the 1920’s. He is pictured here with comrades

William F. Dunne, T.J. O’Flaherty (Tomás Ó Flatharta), William (Big Bill) Haywood, and James P. Cannon together in Moscow from Labor Defender. Vol. 1 No. 8. August, 1926. Frank Little Memorial Number.

Thanks to Des Derwin for the information.

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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“Some cause happiness wherever they go. Some cause happiness whenever they go” Is British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the way out?

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I asked an interested comrade living in England – how long will Boris Johnson last? The first reply :

He’s clearly in serious trouble, and the Tories are scouting around their stable of horrors for a replacement.

Oscar Wilde’s Verdict “Some cause happiness wherever they go. Some cause happiness whenever they go”

The drama is receiving continuing attention in the Irish mass media. The RTÉ Morning Show hosted by Claire Byrne covered the Downing Street Pantomime. First boxer on the stage was Mr Andrew Bridgen (MP for Hard Brexit) [Bridgen is a competent anti-Johnson backbencher who may ascend to ministerial ranks if Johnson resigns]. Sir Tony Blair’s ex handler, Alistair Campbell (Iraq Dodgy Dossier) was in the opposite corner. Campbell started OK, concentrating on Boris Johnson’s CV – saying partygate is predictable once you knew the CV. Campbell went all Roy Keane after that – take out the player, never mind the ball – once Bridgen mentioned Campbell’s Iraq War Deadly Dossier. Lies about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” helped cause a hideous imperialist war – millions of innocent civilians dead and injured. Campbell’s behaviour contributed to the hounding of a courageous whistleblower, Doctor David Kelly, who died via suicide. Prime Minister Johnson lies about partying while the mother of a likely child abuse criminal (Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew) was grieving over the death of a dangerous driver husband (Prince Philip). Is this an episode in an ongoing drama – the strange death of Brexit Hard Right Britain?

Sources and Images :

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s Stormont-Westminster Double-Job Stroke Shot Down

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Ashling Murphy – Vigils All Over Ireland

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Vigils all Over Ireland, 4pm, Friday January 14 – plus photos of the large gathering outside the gates of Dáil Éireann, Kildare Street

She was going for a run

Dublin, Called by the National Women’s Council of Ireland

RTÉ reporter Samantha Libreri interviews a protester

Kildare – many venues – thanks to Brendan Young for the information

Derry Vigil, called by the Alliance for Choice

RTÉ News Report :

Gardaí investigating the murder of Ashling Murphy have renewed their appeal for information.

Ms Murphy, a 23-year-old primary school teacher, was attacked and killed on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly on Wednesday afternoon.

Gardaí said they are particularly interested in knowing more about a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/ green front forks.

https://www.rte.ie/news/2022/0114/1273607-tullamore-murder-investigation/

Images, Ashling Murphy Vigil, Dáil Éireann, Kildare Street, January 14 2022

Ailbhe Smyth addresses the crowd

Desmond Tutu, South Africa, Apartheid, Israel – An unpublished letter to the Irish Times

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An unpublished Irish Times Letter : Desmond Tutu, South Africa, Apartheid, Israel – the author is Betty Purcell :

“Dear Editor,
It was with the deepest sadness, that I learnt of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, (South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies age 90, IT December 26th )this week. He was indeed a moral giant, an unequivocal fighter for human rights, a compassionate and funny individual, who used his voice so articulately, for the betterment of humanity.
I had the honour of meeting him twice; once while filming on the subject of human rights in South Africa, and once here in Ireland, when he came to speak for Afri, the small Irish Justice campaign of which he was a sponsor. He was passionate and informed on so many issues, and eloquently argued the rights based approach.

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Rupture magazine: Issue 6, Winter 2022

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Special feature: Home sweet home Green gaffs for all, by Nicole McCarthy & Des Hennelly Mica & the fight for 100% redress, by Kiran Emrich The …

Rupture magazine: Issue 6, Winter 2022

Special feature: Home sweet home

  • Green gaffs for all, by Nicole McCarthy & Des Hennelly
  • Mica & the fight for 100% redress, by Kiran Emrich
  • The North’s housing crisis, by Amy Merron
  • Expropriate the big landlords, by Nelli Tügel

Features:

  • Fascism & the algorithm, by Méabh French
  • “Learn from each others’ struggles: Interview with Laurence Cox, by Brian O’Cathail
  • Tax haven Ireland – the inside story, by Brian O’Boyle
  • Feeding an insatiable monster: Data centres in Ireland, by Diarmuid Flood

What is to be done?

  • The feminist challenge to traditional political organising, by Penny Duggan
  • Keep it in the ground, by Sarah Frazer
  • Permanent revolution: Myths, reality & relevance, by Sami El-Sayed
  • Lighting the way: Transitional demands & the struggle for socialism, by August Thalheimer

Rupture Regulars

  • The Tipping Point by Jess Spear
  • Lesser-spotted comrades: Walter Rodney, by Emma Finnamore
  • Gaslighters, Ghouls, and Gobshites, by Des Hennelly

RUPTURE is produced by RISE, a network within People Before Profit. Paul Murphy TD, Dublin South-West is a member. https://rupture.ie/. See also : https://www.letusrise.ie/

Manus O’Riordan has passed away

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Here is a preliminary tribute written by Des Derwin, and a report describing his funeral

Trade unionist, socialist, historian, researcher and singer Manus O’Riordan has died. A keeper of the memory of the Spanish Civil War, and of the music of the movements.

Trade unionist, socialist, historian, researcher and singer Manus O’Riordan has died. A keeper of the memory of the Spanish Civil War, and of the music of the movements.

It is only hours, according to Facebook, since Manus O’Riordan posted on his page. It is less than three months since he stood with the wide spectrum of the left at fellow historian Rayner Lysaght’s funeral. Manus shall have as great a send off. Since then I spoke to him briefly near Hart’s Corner, where he lived and where he had some memorials erected. (Manus O’Riordan is pictured carrying a banner honouring Irish anti-fascists who fought against Franco in the 1930’s Spanish Civil War – in Glasnevin Cemetery at the funeral of Rayner Lysaght https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2021/07/05/rayner-lysaght-has-passed-away-limerick-soviet-historian-a-parent-of-modern-irish-trotskyism/

I differed profoundly with Manus on many issues and strongly agreed with him on many others. In the ITGWU and SIPTU he always showed the greatest respect to me and to my minority views. He cooperated on labour and anti-imperialist history with all those on the left providing a historical forum.

In the past fortnight I finally completed noting my political reminiscences of my own father, who was a one-time colleague of Manus’ father.

Passing on and passing it on. RIP. Des Derwin September 27 2021

Update : the funeral of Manus O’Riordan, Glasnevin Cemetery, Friday October 1 2021

Some images from the funeral of Manus O’Riordan. Friday October 1 2021. Among the attendance was Tara, carrying the shopping bag of the occasion. It can be bought at the Bang Bang Café, Phibsborough. Also present was Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland – currently popular with nearly stream of the Irish Left after refusing to attend a religious ceremony in Armagh celebrating a “Carnival of Reaction” 100th Anniversary : the partition of Ireland in 1921. There were many displayed Trade Union and left wing banners at the funeral, honouring a dedicated historian of the Irish working class. See also https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/the-fascist-origins-of-fine-gael-in-the-1930s-manus-oriordan-one-of-his-last-posts/

Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland
Banners honouring Manus O’Riordan