Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

A 1936 Obituary : The first known Irish Supporter of Trotsky’s Left Opposition – TJ O’Flaherty (Tomás Ó Flatharta) – passed away on Inis Mór ( one of the Aran Islands)

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Gort na gCapall, Inishmore, Aran. Home of the Ó Flaithearta family.

Des Derwin drew our attention to this fascinating obituary.

Source : https://revolutionsnewsstand.com/2022/11/23/t-j-oflaherty-dead-from-new-militant-vol-2-no-22-june-6-1936/?fbclid=IwAR08oP2REQBBFNs2tWByO1-U3tWdwtjv7-OXax_0Ljm3ycJkB2IrK67FO-g

‘T.J. O’Flaherty Dead’ from New Militant. Vol. 2 No. 22. June 6, 1936.

The New Militant learns with great sorrow of the sudden death in Ireland of comrade T.J. O’Flaherty, an adherent of “Trotskyism” from the first days of the formation of the Left Opposition in the United States and a firm supporter to his dying day of the movement for the Fourth International. On his deathbed all his thoughts and interests were with his comrades in the United States and to the last he had hopes to recover his health and to return to the States to function actively in the movement. He gave full support to the Workers Party of America upon its formation and viewed it as the first step in the process of unification of the genuine revolutionary elements who based themselves on the teachings of Lenin and Trotsky.

His sister, Anna Johnson, in a letter to comrade Martin Abern, writes from the Aran Isles, Ireland:

Letter from His Sister

“You will be surprised to hear that Tom has passed away. He died on May 19 from heart trouble. He came back here on January 15 after 18 months between Dublin and England. He was ill when he got back and got worse every day. You know he always suffered from heart trouble.

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Racism in Dublin’s East Wall Area : “Demanding Garda vetting for asylum seekers and refugees and using this as an excuse to surround asylum seekers and chant “Get them out” is as racist as it gets”

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Let’s be clear and unambiguous.

A correspondent writes :

Demanding Garda vetting for asylum seekers and refugees and using this as an excuse to surround asylum seekers and chant “Get them out” is as racist as it gets. That’s the inner core of the protests in East Wall and it has nothing to do with housing. Calling for vetting to make sure these black men are not pedophiles is a propaganda repeated everywhere such protest emerge. It is learned from European racism over the past decade. Nothing can make this look any different. Nothing should try to make this any different than what it is.

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“If 9 months into this thing you are still blaming NATO, Nazis, and Zelensky for this war, you aren’t ever going to be sensible about it, are you?”

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A correspondent, James Doyle, took three weeks off social media – recommended therapy for many of us! He thinks that political differences among the left have deepened.


There was me thinking that everything that happened in Ukraine/Russia during my three weeks off social media might have led to some revaluations on the pro Putin/Campist “left”, but if anything it seems the delusional have simply gotten more detached from reality and the sympathetic have decided stubbornness is the better part of valour when it comes to deciding which “camp” to stick your flag in, which team to support.

I mean, we’ve had the retreat from Kherson and the illustrative response of the people who (apparently) voted 95% to be annexed by Russia there, Human Rights Watch reports of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians (and thousands of them unoccupied children) being forcibly deported into Russia, the offical self-outing of the Wagner Group as the main (and deliberate) agitators of sectarian violence in Donetsk and Lukhansk in preparation for Russia’s first invasion back in 2014, the deliberate and -frankly – genocidal targeting of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine to freeze/starve the population to death during this Winter, the public statements in the Duma re: Russia’s plans to create millions of refugees from Ukraine and provoke racism and division in Europe, more unhinged messianic death cult sermons from Medvedev, UN warnings of war crimes in Kherson etc etc ad nauseum…

But still some on the left want to talk about the bridge in Crimea, Russian accusations of surrendering soldiers being executed (forgetting of course one of the “surrendering soldiers” actually opened fire first) and fake concerns over what the war stretching into Winter means for all of us in the West and our radiators while millions of Ukrainians are being targeted for freezing to death by an invading force.

But I suppose, “If 9 months into this thing you are still blaming NATO, Nazis, and Zelensky for this war, you aren’t ever going to be sensible about it, are you?”

Ukrainian socialist and academic, Yuliya Yurchenko, speaks at a public meeting ‘Ireland – Ukraine International Solidarity of the Left’ in Dublin on Monday November 21 : Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1.

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Ukrainian Socialist Yuliya Yurchenko to speak at Solidarity Meeting in Dublin :

Ukrainian socialist and academic, Yuliya Yurchenko, speaks at a public meeting ‘Ireland – Ukraine International Solidarity of the Left’ in Dublin on Monday November 21.

The meeting is organised by Irish Left With Ukraine, which says that the purpose of the meeting is to extend solidarity to the Ukrainian people as they continue to resist the Russian invasion of their country – and to amplify the voices of Ukrainian socialists and trade unionists.

Statement – Meeting Chairperson Nóirín Greene

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“Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion” – An outstanding PhotoBook – Interview with Co-Author Therese Caherty

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We’ve come a long way!

The fight for reproductive freedom in Ireland

Irish publisher Lilliput Press recently launched the photobook, Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion, in Dublin’s Mansion House. Social policy analyst Pauline Conroy, photographer Derek Speirs and journalist. Therese Caherty have documented in pictures and words Ireland’s choice movement over half a century.

John Meehan interviews Therese about the project, where it came from and the future for reproductive rights in Ireland.

John Meehan – What gave you idea for the book?

Therese Caherty – Our project began in 2013 at Against the Tide, a retrospective of 1980s activism by photographer Rose Comiskey. At a closing discussion on Irish feminism, a young woman asked some of us oldies – Why did you let the 8th Amendment happen? It wasn’t a view we were familiar with. But you could see where she was coming from. She had arrived into the world of the Eighth and seen, maybe experienced, its effects. And she was angry.

In 2014 we answered her question with Women to Blame, a multimedia exhibition on the struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion. Today, thanks to Lilliput Press, we have what we always wanted – a permanent home for that exhibition. Road to Repeal commemorates in pictures and words a people– powered movement that believed in a more equal Ireland for women and pregnant people, and their unfettered right to independent decision– making about parenthood.

We see our book as part of that movement of activists and participants and a contribution to it. It’s not for profit and all royalties go to the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

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Ukraine: Divisions Among The Indian and Global Left – by Achin Vanaik

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Achin Vanaik, a revolutionary socialist from India, writes a comprehensive review of differing left-wing responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Find out more about Achin in the notes below this fine article.

Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article64701

The author does not directly discuss the policies advocated by organisations on the Irish left. Readers can judge for themselves where various left-wing groups in Ireland align within the categories described by the author.

Irish Left With Ukraine belongs to Achin Vanaik’s Fourth Group

“This fourth group aligns itself with what the anti-Stalinist Marxists and Socialists and Socialist Feminists and progressive Anarchists of Ukraine themselves say. Listen to us, they say. We are as much against the US and NATO as you in the West and elsewhere are. But this war is not about Russian security concerns but primarily about its imperialist ambitions.”

The organisation People Before Profit, represented in Dáil Éireann by four Teachtaí Dála (TD’s, member of the Dublin parliament) is, sadly, a candidate for membership of Achin’s “Third Group”.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Nov 19, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Posted in Ireland

Ireland – Ukraine International Solidarity of the Left – Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1, 7pm – 9pm – Monday November 21 2022

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Yuliya Yurchenko – an active supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) – speaks at this Dublin meeting. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Find out more about Irish Left With Ukraine here :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/466892938791354/?ref=share

The meeting will be chaired by Nóirín Greene (Former member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions [ICTU]) Executive. The other speakers are : David Joyce (ICTU International Officer); Séamus Dooley (National Union of Journalists, Guest Speaker); A Ukrainian socialist refugee who is living in Ireland.

Find out more about Yuliya Yurchenko here :

https://www.gre.ac.uk/people/rep/faculty-of-business/yuliya-yurchenko

://www.plutobooks.com/author/yuliya-yurchenko/

Yuliya Yurchenko is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the Department of Economics and International Business and a researcher at the Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability Institute, University of Greenwich, UK. She is the author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital (Pluto, 2017). She researches state, capital and society relations as well as public services, with a regional focus on Europe and Ukraine.

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Jill Stein : Fake Anti-War Activist, Apologist for Russia’s Imperialist Invasion of Russia – Green Party (USA) Split Down the Middle

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Jill Stein has form. Mary Scully, an Irish-American activist and blogger, explains below.

The Green Party (USA) is split down the middle on this issue.

This party’s 2020 Presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, endorses the policy of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) and its Irish supporter Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU).

Here is an extract from a Howie Hawkins post dated March 2022 :

People are not going to respond to a call for no US war with Russia when they plainly can see that the shooting war is Russia’s assault on Ukraine. If we are not clear that we oppose Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine, we won’t be able to get a public hearing about opposing the expansion of NATO to Russia’s doorstep as a precipitating factor in this war, as well as opposing the many “low-intensity” and economic wars that the US and NATO are fighting around the world.

I would like to suggest some more particular demands we should make and actions we should take under these two slogans of Russian Troops Out and No NATO expansion.

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PANEL: UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN ACADEMICS DISCUSS THE WAR – Broadcast by the Real News Network

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Debates over the proper approach to the Russo-Ukrainian War have dominated much of the year. Yet discussions within the western left have not always featured the perspectives of Ukrainians and Russians themselves. The Real News Network board member Bill Fletcher, in partnership with Haymarket Books, hosts a panel with Ukrainian and Russian academics.

Link : https://therealnews.com/panel-ukrainian-and-russian-academics-discuss-the-war?fbclid=IwAR2rLkZ0rerziSQgyPsEf4mb7_F-yrHa0TQCHpQPtA8gtNjuq-U2hOKByjs

Bill Fletcher, a long-time trade union and human rights activist from the USA hosts a discussion with Yuliya Yurchenko, Ilya Budraitskis and Alona Liasheva
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The Fallacies of the Call for “Negotiations” Between Ukraine and Russia – Charles Pierson

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The following article was submitted to the USA journal Counterpunch replying to the article mentioned in the paragraph below. Counterpunch refused to publish it.

We wish to thank the New York based Irish-American activist Joan McKiernan who brought the article below to our attention. This vital discussion is occurring in many parts of the world, including Ireland. If you wish to actively participate in principled left-wing solidarity with the Ukrainian masses we recommend the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine (ENSU). The ENSU’s Irish supporters work with Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU), which has organised a public meeting in Dublin taking place on November 21 2022. The main speaker is ENSU activist Yuliya Yurchenko.

John Meehan November 10 2022

Links :

ENSU https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/ ILWU : https://www.facebook.com/groups/466892938791354

“Victory against Russia,” is the wrong goal in Ukraine, writes Binoy Kampmark (“Vicarious Zeal: Fighting to the Last Ukrainian,” Counterpunch, Jul. 15, 2022). Kampmark, a frequent contributor to Counterpunch, worries that Ukraine and the West are demanding what amounts to Russia’s “unconditional surrender.” Instead of demanding Russia’s surrender, Kampmark recommends peace talks. A negotiated peace, he writes, will shorten the war and save lives. Unfortunately, “Hard-headed peace talks, let alone anything approximating to negotiations have … become taboo.”

I respect Binoy Kampmark. I believe this is the first time I have disagreed with something he has written, but I do disagree. Strongly. Here’s why.

Russian-Ukrainian Peace Talks Since the Russian Invasion
Kampmark appears to have bought into the myth propagated by the “anti-imperialist left” that Ukraine refuses to negotiate. That puts the onus on Ukraine for rejecting peace. The truth is that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine began even before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russia and Ukraine, together with France and Germany, met in January and February to attempt to defuse the growing crisis.

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