Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘The Irish Times’ Category

Michael D Higgins 6 Partition 0 – Two Opinion Polls Show Landslide Support for the President’s Anti-Partition Actions – Irish Times Dampens Impact

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Casual Irish Times readers may not have noticed an important story. A news item is presented in a tiny corner on the front of the October 8 2021 edition of the newspaper :

Poll: A majority approves of the decision by the President to refuse to attend a religious event in Armagh : page 2

Turning to page 2 alert readers might notice a headline on the bottom of the page :

Poll reveals support for Higgins’s decision to decline invitation to partition event

The stubborn facts :


A large majority of voters approves of the decision by President Michael D Higgins to refuse the invitation to attend a religious event in Armagh to mark the centenary of partition and creation of Northern Ireland, today’s latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll finds.

More than two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) agreed that the President was “right to decline the invitation”.

This is a statistical landslide, proving that mass sentiment is against the political establishment on this issue

Support for the President’s decision is highest among older age groups, with 74 per cent of those over 50 agreeing with him, against just 54 per cent of those aged 18-24.

A higher proportion of Fianna Fáil voters (74 per cent) than Sinn Féin voters (72 per cent) backed the President’s position, though supporters of the Green Party (81 per cent) were most likely to say he was right to decline the p

Supporters of Fine Gael (19 per cent) and Labour (20 per cent) were most likely to say he should have attended the event.

A different media outlet, the Irish News, published details of another opinion poll with very similar numbers, and decided this headline worked

“Huge backing for President Michael D Higgins” – Irish News Headline

Practical Conclusions?

Boycott the October 21 Armagh Cathedral Celebration of Partition

The men of God have no right to summon the President of Ireland to anything – certainly not a Partitionist Pray-in.

John Meehan October 8 2021

The Fascist Origins of Fine Gael in the 1930’s – Manus O’Riordan – one of his last posts.

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Manus O’Riordan, who died unexpectedly on Sunday September 26, was always writing and publishing. This was one of his last Facebook posts – it is re-published here in his honour.

FOR THE DECADE OF CENTENARIES: REMEMBER COSGRAVE!

W.T. Cosgrave , Fine Gael Fascist and President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State 1922-1932.

These photos show the first Vice-President of Fine Gael, W.T. Cosgrave, in dress suit, with the first President of Fine Gael and Blueshirt leader, Eoin O’Duffy, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alfie Byrne, at a November 1934 Blueshirt / Fine Gael rally in the Mansion House.

Heil Willie!

On February 28, 1934, voicing his opposition to the Fianna Fáil Government’s Wearing of Uniforms (Restrictions) Bill, the Fine Gael TD and future Taoiseach John A Costello proclaimed in Dáil Éireann that “the Blackshirts were victorious in Italy and the Hitler Shirts were victorious in Germany, as, assuredly, in spite of this Bill and in spite of the Public Safety Act, the Blueshirts will be victorious in the Irish Free State”.

Or, as Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the first Fine Gael Taoiseach:

“John A. Costello, in full John Aloysius Costello, taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland from 1948 to 1951 and from 1954 to 1957. A prosperous lawyer who had served as attorney general, he owed his selection as taoiseach to a coalition of several parties (including his own Fine Gael) and prominent independent politicians united in opposition to Eamon De Valera’s Fianna Fáil.”

Death Notice; Funeral and Wake Details; Tributes : https://rip.ie/death-notice/micheál-manus-o-riordan-glasnevin-dublin/470919. https://rip.ie/cb.php?dn=470919. https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/manus-oriordain/

Irish Police Boss Drew Harris and Two Unsolved Murder Cases – 1975 Miami Showband Massacre; 2007 Paul Quinn Murder

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The Masks of Garda Boss Drew Harris

If you knew nothing about Irish 6 County whataboutery you might think “Fair enough – Garda Boss Drew Harris is doing the decent thing”. Maybe there are better questions : What mask is the former Royal Ulster Constabulary / Police Service of Northern Ireland high-flier wearing? Is he a “fox in charge of the hen-house”? Or, should we trust a “warm and friendly” chap “committed to justice”?

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has visited the barn in Co Monaghan where Paul Quinn was battered to death by the IRA, and has pledged to help bring his killers to justice.

But, when you know about Harris’s obstructive behaviour towards survivors of the 1975 Miami Showband massacre, you correctly suspect the motives of a powerful state agent who shields British State killers.

Garda boss Drew Harris and his legacy – Stephen Travers, Miami Showband, Aftermath of a loyalist murder spree.

Miami Showband Massacre survivor Stephen Travers also criticised Mr Drew Harris’s appointment, describing it as “putting the fox in charge of the hen house”.

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Incivility in Irish political life…

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This is a great Cedar Lounge Revolution Post

“Stephen Collins is very exercised this morning about a problem in Irish politics…

https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2021/01/22/incivility-in-irish-political-life/

“[Biden’s] plea to American politicians to “stop the shouting and lower the temperature” could well be applied to Dáil Éireann where aggressive grandstanding by Opposition TDs like Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Richard Boyd Barrett have become the norm. Trump thrived on fomenting bitterness and division, constantly attempting to create conflict between “us and them”. A key element of the strategy was to portray political opponents as part of some ill-defined “elite” as distinct from the “ordinary people” he claimed to represent. It is no accident that the Trump social media strategy has been adopted here by Sinn Féin and a variety of extremists who dominate exchanges with aggressive and hate-filled messages which tend to drive more considered voices to the margins. Irish politics has steadily become more Trumpian in recent years and there is no sign that is about to change.

Irish Times Political Correspondent Stephen Collins – ludicrous claims ridiculed : “the idea that Boyd Barrett or McDonald have had to learn anything or adopt anything from Trump is risible. Or even that their politics is akin to that of Trump likewise.”
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€14.6 billion tax income, courtesy of Apple mega-corporation, could be used for Green New Deal – Green Party finance spokesperson Neasa Hourigan TD dithers

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Exactly Right – from Paul Murphy TD :

“The verdict in the Apple Tax case is due tomorrow. The Irish government has already spent millions trying to NOT get this money from Apple. They shouldn’t waste any more money fighting for the billionaire’s right to dodge taxes. Green TDs shouldn’t just ‘query’ this – they should draw a line in the sand. This is €14.6bn that could be used on a Green New Deal to rebuild the economy with socialist policies.”

It should be noted that Catherine Martin TD, seeking the leadership of the Green Party, is on the record saying that female Green Party Oireachtas members (TD’s and Senators) should have got more slurps from the ministerial piggies’ trough. This works out as a nod and a wink to Ms Hourigan that promotion is possible. Careerist feminism in action. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/most-fffggg-ministers-are-male-would-extra-green-party-females-at-the-top-table-improve-things/

Green Party Piggies join FFFGGG charge towards the trough
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Private hospital deal will cost the Irish State €115 million per month – CoronaVirus: Confidential deal to take over private hospitals “expected to cost State €115m per month” – Irish Times Report

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It looks like the Irish Government is paying far more money to private hospitals compared to the British Government.

Irish Government Uses CoronaVirus Crisis to Pay Private Hospitals

Many of these hospitals are owned by Denis O’Brien & Larry Goodman who made their fortunes from sweetheart deals. In fact, some of these deals have ended up the subject of costly tribunals. But now we are told to just take them at their word that this is a not-for-profit deal? If it is, why does it seem to be so much more expensive than the deal struck by the NHS with private hospitals in the UK?

The government should publish today the full details of this deal, including a break down of the costs. The private hospitals should open their books, so we can see the real costs, rather than just pay them whatever they say.

Rather than lining the pockets of Denis O’Brien & Larry Goodman, what we really need is to bring these private hospitals permanently into the public system, to build a unified, single-tier National Health Service.

Open the books. – Source LetUsRise.ie

Paul Murphy TD has raised this matter in Dáil Éireann, and has followed up with a letter addressed to Acting Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

I wrote to the Minister of Finance on Monday requesting more information about the deal with the private hospitals. I still haven’t heard back. So far at least €90 million has been handed over. We need a break down of those costs published.

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Acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar the Volunteer Doctor – Celebrity Distraction, Hindrance to Health Services?

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A worker asks us if the celebrity actions of the Irish Acting Taoiseach are a help or a hindrance to the war against the CoronaVirus Epidemic.

Seriously. What worries me is not Leo the Doctor, but Leo the Taoiseach.

I think the discussion on whether he worked as a Doctor and has the experience or not is not the real issue. This ‘fact’, whatever it is, has very little value, if any at all, in terms of our situation, our lives and the state of the health system and the country as a whole.

  1. He is paid and uses his authority as the leader of the country, not as a volunteer Doctor.
  2. As a volunteer Doctor, his actions or his help is no bigger or smaller, no more or less significant than thousands of other healthcare workers. Why this big fuss, big media headline?
  3. Why, because the mainstream media is on this “let’s be positive at all costs” trip. Leo has now a new PR machine.
  4. We just got defective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shipped from China. Total incompetence.
  5. Nurses and other workers in hospitals are not fully protected in terms of PPE. Listen to nurses.
  6. Student nurses are NOT paid as we believed to be the case. Fact.
  7. Private hospitals are NOT nationalised as we believed to be the case.
  8. Workers are facing serious problems, in terms of ambiguity of definition of essential/essential services, health and safety other challenges from bosses. Listen to workers.
  9. People in homeless hubs, hostels, or in overcrowded family conditions – cannot self- isolate.
  10. Asylum seekers in Direct provision are living in extremely dangerous conditions.
  11. Doctor Leo Varadkar the Taoiseach still targets the poorest, lowest paid workers in his latest statement (See the IT piece today)
  12. People are extremely worried about piling up rent and utility bills.

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Global Coverage of Savita Halappanavar’s Avoidable Death in an Irish Galway Hospital

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“As the news of Halappanavar’s death was reported via newspaper front pages on Tonight With Vincent Browne on TV3, and across Twitter on Tuesday night, reactions almost uniform in their sadness, anger and outrage turned to organising demonstrations both in memory of Halappanavar and against the delay in legislating on the ‘X Case’, which international readers can learn about here. By Wednesday evening, protests had already taken place in Ireland, and Halappanavar’s death and the surrounding issues were being covered internationally.”

http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/poplife/2012/11/14/savitahalappanavar/

 

Wikileaks, Julian Assange and a North American Torture-State (the President is Mr B Obama)

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Wikileaks, Julian Assange and a North American Torture-State (the President is Mr B Obama)

Lots of cowardly junk has been published in Mainstream Media Outlets about the Assange / Wikileaks case; the key feature is a determination to avoid resisting the North American torture-state offensive headed by its leader Barack Obama.

Susan McKay’s August 24 Opinion Piece in the Irish Times is typical of this worldwide trend :

The Assange affair is not just about WikiLeaks, stupid – Susan McKay 

McKay alleges :

Assange has not sought political asylum because of WikiLeaks. He is on the run from allegations of rape. These alleged crimes are defined as both serious and non-political. Political asylum is a hard-won human right – Assange has abused it. In doing so he has endorsed a real witch hunt – against the women who allege he sexually coerced them.”

Mocking the threat to Assange McKay tells her readers : Read the rest of this entry »

Have They Gone A Bit Mad in Cavan and Fermanagh, Ted? – Michelle Gildernew MP (SF) says Seán Quinn “is being punished for having the audacity to ‘buy the bank; and for being an ordinary man from Fermanagh”

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The Fall of the Seán Quinn Family Empire has angered many people in the bankrupt billionaire’s home county of Fermanagh and its near-neighbour Cavan, where a demonstration of over 4000 people assembled in Ballyconnell on Sunday July 29.

Supporters include the Sinn Féin Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew :

 Even Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew has come out to defend the family, telling this newspaper that what has happened to Mr. Quinn was “wrong”.

“He has been treated disgracefully by the Irish Government. Had they not tried to strip him off all his assets, including his home, deny him the ability to function in business, and routinely try to humiliate him I believe he would have paid back every penny he owed to the Irish taxpayer.

“He accepted he had done wrong, but all our attempts to make the government show some comment sense were ignored. He is being punished for having the audacity to ‘buy the bank; and for being an ordinary man from Fermanagh who is hugely respected by his community,” she said.

The support hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Quinns who say they will be “forever grateful” to everyone in both Fermanagh and Cavan “who have stood by us as they have been doing for nearly 40 years now”.

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