Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘“A Carnival of Reaction” – James Connolly’s Warning About the Partition of Ireland’ Category

‘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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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International Women’s Day 2023 in Ireland – Show Solidarity With the Women of Ukraine – Wednesday March 8, The Spire, O’Connell Street, Dublin

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On 8 March, Wednesday, #IWD an International Women’s Day march assembles 17.30 at The Spire, Dublin.

The Irish Left with Ukraine, part of the European Network with Ukraine will attend will attend to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian resistance and the Ukrainian feminist resistance.

. #IWD2023March

Links : https://www.facebook.com/groups/irishleftwithukraine @EuropeanWith https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

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Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity – Dublin Book Launch Report and Video

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We wish to thank Independent Left, Conor Kostick, Donnacha Ó Bríain, Halyna Herasym and Nóirín Greene for this report and visual record. Source : https://independentleft.ie/voices-of-resistance/

Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity

27/02/2023

Ukraine Book Launch Voices of Resistance and Solidarity
Irish book launch of Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity

Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity is a book edited by Fred Leplat and Chris Ford, published by Resistance Books and Ukraine Solidarity campaign. It contains essays by Mick Antoniw, Welsh Labour MP; John-Paul Himka, history professor; Taras Bilous, activist for Sotsialnyi Rukh / Social Movement; Yuliya Yurchenko activist for Ukraine Solidarity Campaign and Sotsialnyi Rukh / Social Movement; Oksana Dutchak, co-editor of Spilne/ Commons; Viktoriia Pihul, Ukrainian feminist; Nataliya Levytska, Deputy Chair of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine; Vitalii Dudin president of Sotsialnyi Rukh / Social Movement; Bogdan Ferens, founder of the Social Democratic Platform; Eric Toussaint, spokesperson of the CADTM International; Ilya Budraitskis, activist in the Russian Socialist Movement; Niko Vorobyov, Russian-British freelance journalist; Gilbert Achcar, Lebanese socialist; Simon Pirani professor of modern languages and cultures; Stephen R. Shalom, editor of New Politics; and Dan La Botz, editor of New Politics.

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The first anniversary of the imperialist military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022 – Statement by Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU)

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The Ukrainian people are foremost on our minds as they suffer under and resist the Russian invasion. Anyone who considers themselves an opponent of imperialism should be in support of their resistance.   

We in the ILWU — socialists, anarchists, feminists, trade unionists, anti-imperialists — have watched with dismay, however, as many on the Western left who have campaigned vigorously against US imperialism have failed to recognise the need to do the same with respect to Russian imperialism. If Ukraine has the right to self-determination and to resist the dismemberment and partition of their state then Irish socialists should expend their energy on seeking out practical means of supporting the Ukrainian people’s struggle. This struggle echoes the same fight Ireland undertook over a century ago.

Some left-wing organisations oppose deliveries of weapons to Ukraine. They are fast becoming isolated in the international labour movement. Trade unions, social movements, and organised left-wing parties across the European continent are mobilising in support of the Ukrainian right to self determination.

Indeed some left-wing organisations oppose deliveries of weapons to Ukraine. They are fast becoming isolated in the international labour movement. Trade unions, social movements, and organised left-wing parties across the European continent are mobilising in support of the Ukrainian right to self determination.

Support Irish State Mine Clearance in Ukraine

The ILWU makes this statement to publicly register our support for Irish assistance, by the Irish Defence Forces, with mine clearance in Ukraine. Mine clearance is humanitarian work that will save lives, will clear land to enable farming, and will make towns and villages habitable once again. Defence Forces personnel will use their specialist demining skills to train Ukrainians in this activity.

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Ireland Fought for Freedom against an Empire – Now we on the Irish Left Support Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom – Global Week of Action Events in Ireland – February 21-26 2023

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A global week of action for solidarity with UkraineStop the Russian war of aggression! Peace for Ukraine!

Friday February 24 will mark one year since the Russian army invaded Ukraine on the orders of Putin and his regime. A year of indescribable suffering and bloodshed for the Ukrainian people.

The completely unjustified invasion has already cost the lives of many tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and military personnel. Every day the Ukrainian people face brutality and violence. Millions of civilians have been forced to flee abroad, millions are internally displaced.

Entire towns and villages have been reduced to rubble by Russian bombing and airstrikes. Civilian infrastructure (electricity and heating networks, schools, hospitals, railroads, ports, etc.) is being systematically destroyed, making the country unliveable.

Calendar of Events

February 21-26 2023 Events Supported or Organised by ILWU

Tuesday February 21, 7pm

Why You Should Support Ukraine (via Zoom)

Speakers :

Vladyslav Starodubtsev (Sotisalniy Rukh); Vlad Dziuba (Ukrainian Action in Ireland)

Join us on Tuesday February 21 at 7pm to discuss Why you should support Ukraine – Hear two Ukrainian activists. Email irishleftwithukraine@gmail.com for zoom link

Friday February 24 2023 Dublin, GPO, 2pm.

Called by Ukrainian Action on Ireland : 1st Anniversary of Russian Invasion of Ukraine : “Fighting for Europe”

Immigrants Involved in Irish Radical Left/National Liberation Movements – Before, During and After the Easter 1916 Rising

A Maurice Casey Walking Tour – supported by Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU)

Saturday February 25 – 1-3pm – Portobello to the GPO

1pm to 3.00pm, starting at Portobello Square (at 1 Portobello Harbour, opposite BelloBar), finishing at the GPO.

The route and the stories Maurice Casey will be covering at each stop :

Portobello Place – Harry Kernoff

Harry Kernoff’s woodcut of James Connolly in the uniform of the Irish Citizen Army, whose flag is on the banner of the ILWU.

Lombard Street West – The Harmel Family

St Stephen´s Green – Casimir Dunin

Mansion House – Sidney Aronson and Rose McKenna, WILPF Ukraine
delegates
National Library of Ireland – Nora Dryhurst and Georgian Independence, Kropotkin

Peterson´s Pipe store – Conrad Peterson, Helen Lena Yeates

Trinity College Dublin – Russian Department – Daisy McMackin

GPO – The Bolshevik delegation to Dublin – Point up to the Mater
Hospital – End with story of the Finn and the Swede in 1916

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Memory Politics – 6 Belgrave Square, Rathmines, Dublin – Property was once owned by sinister reactionary Edward Carson – Decades later Brian Judge used the house to raise funds for the Birmingham Six – victims of a British Miscarriage of Justice

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Properties can be used for many different purposes. Brian Judge reported on his Facebook page :

I owned Number 6 Belgrave Square for several years. When researching the title I found out Edward Carson was the first owner of the property. He lived in it for 3 years. For obvious reasons I did not put a plaque on the wall.
It was a large house with a large rear garden which I used regularly to raise funds for Irish miscarriage of justice cases in Great Britain and Ireland.
During a fundraiser for the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas the police turned up and entered the house.They were confronted by Joe Costello TD (Teachta Dála, MP in Ireland). Joe asked by what authority they had entered the house, they claimed they were invited – something I disputed.They prosecuted me for having a bar at the function. I was represented by Michael Farrell a founder of People’s Democracy and a fellow member of the Commission. The case was thrown out on a technicality. Apparently in Irish law you can sell drink to your friends for the purchase price.
Post Script : Michael Farrell was interned in 1971. He was released after a 34 day hunger strike. One of Ireland’s foremost human rights activists down to the present day.

6 Belgrave Square, Rathmines, Dublin

This prompted some correspondents to ask why Brian was opposed to the erection of a plaque honouring Lord Edward Carson.

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“The State’s obligation to provide accommodation for tens of thousands of newcomers from abroad is a logistical dilemma but it is exacerbated by a housing crisis that governments have presided over for the past decade” – Justine McCarthy talks sense about Ireland’s political problems today

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Justine McCarthy’s article appeared in the Irish Times, February 2 2023. She talks a lot of sense.

A member of Streetlink Homeless Support helping homeless people remove some of their belongings from a migrant camp in Ashtown, Dublin. The camp was the target of an alleged attack by a group of Irish men last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Justine McCarthy's face

Justine McCarthy

Any John Wayne movie worth its cast of cowboys has a scene where the baddie sets light to the dynamite taper. As the flame sizzles towards the point of detonation, the audience prays to God and all the saints above in heaven to send someone, quick, to stamp it out before the whole damned town of Tombstone goes up in smoke. That is how it has felt this week watching the lit taper of Irish xenophobia pick up speed in its burn towards cataclysm. Heightening the fear is the absence of any star-billed hero dashing to the rescue.

As gardaí investigate the suspected arson of a 19th century former schoolhouse in Dublin, which had been wrongly identified on social media as a location being prepared to house people from abroad seeking refuge here, the response of Ministers has run the full gamut from tut to tutting. As a group of Irish-born men equipped with a German shepherd, a pit bull terrier and a baseball bat yelled “pack up and get out now” to men who were not born in this country at an encampment in another part of Dublin last weekend, Ireland’s most admired leader, President Higgins, was nearly 3,000 miles away in Africa.

Amid this paralysis of State leadership, two sides have gone to war. On one side are some residents of mainly non-privileged areas who are furious that the Government is trying to look after people fleeing their native lands while many of those born here struggle to pay their bills and to secure homes. Malign keyboard warriors are deliberately stirring this resentment with lies and innuendo for their own bigoted agenda, but there are also many kind-hearted residents who have justifiable reasons for feeling discriminated against. The disproportionate number of communities with inadequate public services that have been chosen to accommodate people from abroad is as provocative as the racist rhetoric.

On the other side are many residents in these communities who are sickened by the hatred being spewed at people coming from abroad to live among them and who, in numerous cases, have suffered unimaginable vicissitudes before arriving here. The prejudice pricks a folk memory of times past when desperate Irish immigrants were as unwelcome as dogs in other countries. Besides, it belies Ireland’s self-image as the compassionate land of the céad míle fáilte.

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Zero Tolerance for intimidation – Anthony McIntyre reports on a Labour Party Public Meeting in Drogheda – Unity in Action Against a Common Far-Right Racist Enemy

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Differences exist on the left-wing spectrum in Ireland – some of them concern fundamental disagreements about political principles. One clear example is opposition to entering any coalition government with right wing ruling class parties in Ireland such as Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Democratic Unionist party or the Alliance party.

Other issues place a duty on parties in the broadly left-wing spectrum to put aside tactical differences, and explore methods of practical co-operation. Building effective practical opposition to the dangerous growth of far-right racism in Ireland is on the agenda today. In this spirit we re-publish an Anthony McIntyre article which reports on a well-attended Irish Labour Party rally in Drogheda which tackled the issues of racism, immigration, and Russia’s fascist and genocidal invasion of Ukraine head-on.

Anthony pulls no punches discussing his political differences with the Labour Party!

John Meehan February 3 2023


link : https://www.thepensivequill.com/2023/02/zero-tolerance-for-intimidation.html

Zero Tolerance For Intimidation

Anthony McIntyre Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It has long struck me that the Irish Labour Party more than any other has abandoned the constituency that returns it in pursuit of office. It promises a left package then delivers the Rabbitte punch to the recipients of the promise so that it may become the prop sustaining governments which view left packages much as a dog does a lamppost.

Whatever the Labour leadership sought to project onto the screen, the filtering process left the electorate feeling that it had just viewed Pensions Before People. Last time out those who had voted the party in such numbers in the previous general election followed through on Eamon Gilmore’s promise, while still with the Workers Party, to destroy the Labour Party. Since then Labour has struggled to make any impact on the Irish political scene.

None of that stopped me from turning up at a Labour Party Town Hall meeting in Drogheda’s D Hotel on Monday evening. I actually left Dublin early to make the event which was attended by around one hundred people. I had never been at any of the party’s gatherings before although any time I have approached its elected representatives or party workers, the response has been nothing less than helpful. Their members also have been to the fore in defusing the moral panic that the far right has been trying to stoke and amplify over a range of issues, most notably refugees.

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