Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

CoVid-19 Has Taken Tarlach Mac Niallais From Us in New York – A Courageous Fighter from North Belfast who “Saved Sodomy from Ulster”

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We are starting to lose comrades and friends dying before their time. I met Tarlach a few times in the 1980’s, a courageous member of People’s Democracy, a brilliant up-front fighter for Gay Liberation Politics – and the then-partner of Fergus O’Hare. Huge condolences to Fergus who has suffered an awful sudden and unforeseen loss. Many tributes will be written about Tarlach. – John Meehan

Ian Paisley’s DUP Tried and Failed to “Save Ulster from Sodomy”. Tarlach Mac Niallais led the Counter-Charge – a Man who Saved Sodomy from Ulster.

The article below, from the Irish News, is great humane journalism. It brings us up close to the very harsh reality of a CoVid-19 Death.

I picked it up via a Facebook link supplied by Fergus, who offers these thoughts :

Comhbhrón ó chroí lena theaghlach agus lena chairde uilig faoi bhás Tarlach. Tá an saol níos boichte agus níos dorcha gan é. Ag caoineadh an chailliúint mhór seo.

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

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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 »

Super Chairperson Joe Kelly – What is the Statement behind Your Question? A Frank Discussion About the Irish Peace Process With John Meehan and Killian Forde

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Thoughts of Chairperson Joe Kelly, April 8 1938 – December 7 2016.

Phrases that came immediately to mind :

How’s Your Love Life?”

What is the statement behind your question?”

Are there any loose people in the room?”

What’s your point?”

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution” [borrowed from Emma Goldman]

Can we break up into small groups?per33

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Joe Kelly voted No to the deletion of Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish Constitution in a 1998 Referendum, a very unopular decision – only 5 per cent of the voters wanted to keep these Articles.

Joe was very troubled about this and discussed it often with me.  Being the man he was, he organised a broadcast radio discussion between me and a then Sinn Féin member of Dublin City Council Killian Forde.

Here is a transcript :  Read the rest of this entry »

British Trotskyism Until 1949 on Mastermind

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We wonder is this a spoof? How many questions did you get right? Happy Christmas and give the 2013 New Year a fab welcome!

Update, Stephen’s Day, December 26 2012 :

Definitely this is genuine, not a spoof :

Mastermind – First Round Heat 21/24

Practically a photo finishThe BBC’s inscrutable campaign to sabotage the original Mastermind show continues. For at exactly the same time that the show began tonight on BBC2, a version of Celebrity Mastermind, featuring David Tennant, and Screamin’ Davina hosted by John Humphrys made up a small segment of the Comic Relief Extravaganza. Coincidence ? I should cocoa.If you missed the original and best, then its a shame, since it was a great episode tonight, and the tension for me was heightened by the fact that I know two of tonight’s contenders. Howard Pizzey took part in the 2007 series of blessed memory, and achieved the unenviable feat of scoring a massive 29 in the first round, but still not getting to the semi finals. Howard had no luck whatsoever last year, so my fingers were resolutely crossed for him.

I also know David Porch, in as much as David is a ‘face’ in the pub quiz circuit between Cardiff and Bridgend. We’ve played against each other in many quizzes. Eagle eyed viewers might also have spotted David playing for one of the teams in Battle of the Brains a couple of weeks ago. David , who is new to Mastermind,was answering questions on the films of Sidney Poitier. It was a virtuoso performance too, and these questions were no picnic. 14 and 1 pass sounded like a pretty good score to me.

Paul Moorhouse is not someone I know personally, but he is not unknown in Mastermind circles. This was, I believe his third Mastermind performance, having made the semi finals in both 2000 in the Radio 4 Mastermind competition, and the 2004 series. It seemed to me that he had some very long questions on his subject of British Trotskyism, so 12 points and no passes was not by any means a bad return. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Dec 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Tale of the tape pits law against history

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Liam Clarke has written a very good article about the PSNI (six-county police) “attempt to gain access to Boston College’s Belfast Project Archive of the taped testimonies of IRA and loyalist figures.”

It can be read here on the excellent Newshound site :

http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Sunday_Times/arts2011/jun19_Tale_of_tapes_BC__LClarke.php

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

Tariq Ali – One on One – Al Jazeera English – “History Always Surprises Us”

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Tariq Ali – One on One – Al Jazeera English.

This is a 25 Minute interview – biographical and political – the father’s advice was to always “speak the truth”.

Tariq Ali - Still Fighting After All Those Years

Tariq Ali’s writing and public commentary on global affairs, particularly the international left, over the past four decades has made him an influential figure worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 18, 2011 at 11:21 am