Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘History of Ireland’ Category

Doctor Matt Barrett saves a little of Ireland’s honour at the absurd coronation of a British King called Charles III

leave a comment »

The French socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon spoke for many when he branded the coronation of the new English king Charles III “nauseating”.

A Dublin cardiologist, Matt Barrett, is the partner of an Irish politician Leo Varadkar (currently the Fine Gael Taoiseach, Prime Minister). Matt had to attend the recent coronation of an English king called Charles. While Varadkar and other attending Irish forelock-tuggers (such as President Michael D Higgins and the Sinn Féin leaders Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill) dutifully swallowed the nauseating royal guff, Matt broke ranks.

Ten out of Ten to Matt Barrett! :

“Varadkar’s partner, Matt Barrett, however, did not get the memo. In the VIP motorcade and in Westminster Abbey, he posted a series of irreverent comments on Instagram to his private group of more than 350 followers.

“Holy shit I think I’m accidentally crowned king of England,” he posted from the taoiseach’s car as they approached the abbey on 6 May.

The posts, reported in the Irish Times on Saturday, have embarrassed the government and landed Varadkar in a fresh diplomatic blunder.

Once inside the abbey, Barrett, a consultant cardiologist, ignored an injunction in the order-of-service booklet to switch off his phone and posted jokes and observations on the ceremony.

A paragraph from page 38 in the booklet caught his eye. “The queen’s sceptre and rod are brought from the altar by the Right Rev and Right Hon the Lord Chartres GCVO and the Right Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin CD MBE, Bishop of Dover. The queen touches them in turn,” it said.

Barrett posted a photo of it with a green line around the last sentence. “Sounds like the script to a good night out, tbh,” he said.

In the list of participants, he noted the Right Rev James Newcome, who has the title Clerk of the Closet. Barrett highlighted this, saying: “Had this job until my early 20s.”

Later he posted a photograph of Charles wearing his crown and compared it to the sorting hat in the Harry Potter books. “Was genuinely half expecting it to shout ‘GRYFFINDOR,’” he wrote.”

The source is the Guardian, a British newspaper.

In Ireland, beside the famous “You Are Now Entering Free Derry Wall”, the English king is not welcome :

“It was all about FINBAR. the Irish environmentalist; DMITRY the Russian anarchist, and COOPER the American socialist” – Tribute to heroes fallen in Ukraine at Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

leave a comment »

A report is here :

On Saturday, May 6, a delegation of activists and representatives of organizations participating in the French Committee of RESU (European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine 🇺🇦) held a tribute organized by the Collectif des Francophone Combatants du Rojava to three internationalist comrades who fell all three in Ukraine fighting against the Russian invasion . The homage took place at the cemetery of Father Lachaise. at 14:30 in front of the Federated Wall of the Paris Commune.
It was all about FINBAR. the irish independentist and environmentalist. ; from DMITRY the Russian anarchist, and from COOPER the American socialist. They fought against the Russian invasion that they judged to be the emanation of authoritarian imperialism covering itself with the varnish of “liberator”.
Some had previously fought in Rojava alongside the Kurds with other revolutionary militants.
We wanted to show our deepest respect for their commitment.

French Committee of the ENSU (RESU) : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100087563586225

Link to ENSU : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/to-read/the-irish-lefts-response-to-russias-war-on-ukraine-debate-on-the-letters-page-of-the-irish-times-part-two

Dozens of British Police Confiscate Anti-Monarchy Banners in London, May 6 2023

with one comment

The site “Leeds for Europe” reports :

Yesterday Suella Braverman’s new, draconian anti-protest laws were used to their full extent to surpress anti-monarchy protestors.
The rest of the world was watching, this is how the English service on France 24 reported it – “While many criticise the price tag of the Coronation as ordinary Britons struggle to put food on the table.. The police arrests of peaceful protesters are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia, not in the UK.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20230506-anti-monarchists-among-uk-protesters-arrested-before-king-s-coronation

‘An Historic May Day in London: New Days in Old England’ by Thomas J. O’Flaherty from the Daily Worker Saturday Supplement. Vol. 3 No. 134. June 19, 1926.

leave a comment »

Tomás Ó Flatharta, inspiration of this blog, was a talented writer. This is an example of his work, full of interesting personal and political insights.

Source : Revolution’s NewsStand : https://revolutionsnewsstand.com/2023/05/01/an-historic-may-day-in-london-new-days-in-old-england-by-thomas-j-oflaherty-from-the-daily-worker-saturday-supplement-vol-3-no-134-june-19-1926/

May Day in London’s Hyde Park, 1926.

T.J. O’Flaherty travels from Dublin to London to participate in the May Day celebrations during that year’s General Strike and penned this wonderful essay on the day’s events.

‘An Historic May Day in London: New Days in Old England’ by Thomas J. O’Flaherty from the Daily Worker Saturday Supplement. Vol. 3 No. 134. June 19, 1926.

I LEFT the usually turbulent but now comparatively peaceful Dublin on the evening of the 30th of April, bound for London. Dublin is not an easy place to leave—particularly for those with a thirst for the dramatic.

But May Day in London in 1926 with 1,000,000 coal miners out of the pits! And with a general strike threatened! This was something that many men and women would sacrifice years of ordinary existence to experience. So I resisted the temporary invitation of friends to spend a week shooting curlews in the heather-clad mountains of Wicklow, or discussing the futility of things in general with the cynical intelligentsia of Dublin who survived the gats of Black and Tans, Regular and Irregular Republicans and Free States.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leader of Britain’s anti-monarchy group Republic arrested at coronation protest

with one comment

Gopal Priyamavda Observes :

From a plundered economy to a police force ready to crush protests, Britain today looks like its colonies once did. It had to happen.

https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article66450

Priyamavda published her article on the Al Jazeera website on May 5 2023; One day later her prediction concerning “a police force ready to crush protests” came true.

Meanwhile several leading Irish politicians are tugging the forelock to the British Monarch : Shame on the leaders of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill and President Michael D Higgins – their behaviour is politically unprincipled. Leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil – Messrs Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin are not betraying their principles – they believe in celebrating the crimes of the British Empire.

Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article66449

Republic’s Graham Smith held at protest on King Charles III’s procession route in central London

Read the rest of this entry »

Finbar Cafferkey – “Achill Island Man killed fighting Russian forces in Ukraine” – Russian Embassy in Dublin Threatens Irish Government

leave a comment »

Finbar Cafferkey’s death was front page headline news in one of the leading Irish daily newspapers, the Irish Times. The newspaper also reports :

Council of Europe says deportation of children from Ukraine is “genocide”

Irish Times, Friday April 28 2023, Front Page

Vladyslav Starodubtsev, a member of the Ukrainian organisation Sotsialnyi Rukh (Social Movement) issued the following tweet :

Vladyslav Starodubtsev (@VlStarodubtsev) tweeted at 8:36 pm on Thu, Apr 27, 2023:
Irish freedom fighter, who fought for Kurdish YPG and then in Armed forces of Ukraine (ZSU) died today. Glory to such persons, who are ready to defend a just cause and die for it. Glory to heroes
(https://twitter.com/VlStarodubtsev/status/1651656479089238037?t=hg_o8jGfkv05IuMtjkP_yw&s=03)

Finbar Cafferkey served with the same unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and died in the same battle as did his comrade, fellow internationalist, anarchist and revolutionary, Dmitry Petrov from Russia.

Taras Bilous – Sotsialnyi Rukh – wrote a long thread about Dmitry’s life.

Taras Bilous (@ahatanhel) tweeted at 7:19 am on Fri, Apr 28, 2023:
Dmitry was a co-founder of the Combat Organization of Anarcho-Communists (BOAK), which sabotaged railway infrastructure in Russia since the start of the invasion.

He send his last word to them for publication in case he died. 9/9
https://t.co/3fzN82woaO https://t.co/dZlDhMsQmr
(https://twitter.com/ahatanhel/status/1651833602705969152?t=kRxCMOkigOV2psgr7F47Yg&s=03)

Read the rest of this entry »

A “Kerry Babies” Judgment Which Must Be Binned : Three Gardaí Sued Joanne Hayes for “Libel” and Trousered £100,000

leave a comment »

As fresh 2023 Irish state investigations continue into the death of a Tralee baby in 1984, we are not hearing the story of Joanne Hayes. Many readers must be wondering – Why?

A huge reason is that three police officers got the book of Joanne Hayes – “My Story” – destroyed. These Gardaí succeeded because of the “discredited” Judge Lynch Tribunal Report.

Today, action is needed on this matter. On a directly related issue, the non-jury Special Criminal Court must be abolished.

The police torturers were connected to the heavy gang which tortured loads of people connected to Irish Republican organisations in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These practices were institutionally protected by the non-jury Special Criminal Court and numerous other state organs and functionaries. This court still exists. Justice sleeps there, and right-wing government parties routinely rubber-stamp a renewal once a year. We need to constantly remind ourselves of Bertolt Brecht’s comment about the root causes of a German Nazi’s rise to power in the 1930’s : concerning capitalist decay “the bitch that bore him is in heat again”. Let’s stop making excuses for the Special Criminal Court. It spread cancer within the police force outwards. Today, the following practical steps are necessary :

1. Immediate Abolition of the Non-Jury Special Criminal Court. 2. Immediate State Investigation of the police torturers in the Joanne Hayes case and the state institutions which facilitated them – up to and including courts, governments, and functionaries. 3. Formal rejection of the Lynch Report, rescinding of the “My Story” libel verdict, compensation for the authors (Joanne Hayes and John Barrett).

The absence of effective action meant in the past – and will mean in the future – that the same system continues – and will continue to generate future “Kerry Babies” Miscarriages of Justice.

Joanne Hayes and her daughter Yvonne

We recommend “Kerry Babies II” written by the blogger “The Empiricist” in February 2018.

Source : https://korhomme.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/the-kerry-babies-ii/

Joanne Hayes wrote her account which was published as My Story in 1985. She, her coauthor and the publisher were sued for libel by three Gardaí. She had compared herself to Nicky Kelly. Kelly and others had been arrested in connection with the Sallins Train Robbery in 1976. Kelly had ‘confessed’. During the two trials there was medical evidence of ‘beatings’. The Court felt that these were either self-inflicted or done by the co-accused. Kelly was found guilty on the basis of his ‘confession’, but jumped bail. Subsequently, two of the accused were acquitted on appeal as their statements had been taken under duress. Kelly returned to Ireland in 1980, but was imprisoned, though released ‘on humanitarian grounds’ in 1984.

Because the Tribunal, as noted in paragraph 28 of the Summary, had found no intimidation or abuse, the suggestion that what had happened to Kelly had also happened to Joanne Hayes was libellous. An out of court settlement was reached; damages and costs of £100,000 went to the plaintiffs. Unsold copies of the book were ordered to be pulped.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Irish Green Party “Rebels” Plan to Vote for Landlords in Dáil Éireann – Thousands of Tenants Will be Evicted

leave a comment »

It seems certain that Green Party “Rebels” Neasa Hourigan TD (Dublin Central) and Patrick Costello TD (Dublin South-Central) will vote with FFFGGG coalition colleagues allowing landlords to evict tenants who will become homeless. A bad housing crisis will become worse.

Here is a quote from Deputy Costello’s website : “Ireland needs quality public housing – we need to build more homes, for all ages and incomes. Yet there is very little building happening, either public or private. This needs to change”.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Threshold paints a grim picture :

Read the rest of this entry »

“War and an Irish Town” – Joan McKiernan reviews a classic Eamonn McCann study of Derry and Partitioned Ireland

leave a comment »

Joan McKiernan is an Irish-American socialist-feminist activist living in New York.

Joan McKiernan

War and an Irish Town
By Eamonn McCann
First publication Pluto Press, 1974. Chicago: Haymarket Books edition, 2018, $20 paperback.

Source : https://againstthecurrent.org/atc223/war-and-an-irish-town/

“‘WE’RE GONNA WALK on this nation, we’re gonna walk on this racist power structure, and we’re gonna say to the whole damned government — “STICK ‘EM UP MOTHERFUCKERS.’”

WITH THIS QUOTE from a film of the Black Panthers, Eamonn McCann, launches the Haymarket edition of his classic study of Derry and the North of Ireland Troubles, War and an Irish Town, taking us back to those heady days when so much change not only seemed possible, but likely to happen.

This is an especially timely reissue when the question of a united Ireland is again on the table.

Those in Derry that 1968 night cheering the Black Panthers’ words shared a common goal: the fight against inequality and repression, whether on the streets of Derry or Chicago where Black activists were “then under murderous assault by the feds and local police forces across the US.”

In those years, from Vietnam to Yugoslavia, Chicago to Mexico and many other places, the world was filled with students, workers, communities fighting back. McCann argues that “Each upsurge of struggle sent out a flurry of sparks which helped ignite struggle elsewhere.”

He situates The Troubles in the North of Ireland in this time of international struggles. Those who were there for those struggles should read this latest edition, with a new introduction by the author, to reconsider what happened and why we did not win. Those who were too young at the time can read about those exciting times and what lessons can be learned for the future.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cedar Lounge Blog Response to People Before Profit Pamphlet : “The case for a left government / Getting rid of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.”

leave a comment »

The Cedar Lounge Blog publishes a very good assessment of a recent People Before Profit Pamphlet. Source : https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2023/03/08/left-wing-unity/

Everyone on the Irish Left needs to keep the focus on supporting left wing election candidates who rule out coalition with the right in all circumstances. On this key point, People Before Profit is correct.

Predicting a general election result almost two years from now is unwise. The current Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/ Green Party FFFGGG coalition can remain in office until February 2025. These three parties will not voluntarily cut and run unless at least one of them is sure they will benefit from a fresh general election. Could the government fall due to external pressures? That’s possible. At the moment one serious crisis follows another. The latest arises from a government decision making it easier for landlords to evict tenants.

Read the rest of this entry »