- A Very Irish Coup
In 2019, the year in which we had a smidgen short of 78,000 millionaires, nine billionaires, and a handful of people earning more than the country, Social Justice Ireland estimated that approximately one full-time worker in five in the Republic earned less than the Living Wage. That is, in the second richest country in the world (IMF), 20 percent of our full-time labour force earned less than what it would cost to achieve an acceptable standard of living.
- BROKEN DEMOCRACY
Our democracy is broken and it’s time we did something about it. Self-governing republican freedom is shared among equal citizens, and so is the responsibility for maintaining it. That requires active participation from us all, individually and collectively, taking responsibility for the state we’re in. 10-minute read.
- UNQUIET REVOLUTIONARIES
In 1983, a two-to-one majority voted for the Eighth Amendment, banning abortion for all time and the Supreme Court ruled that laws criminalising homosexuality supported the ‘Christian nature of the Irish State’. But by 2018, we had legalised same-sex marriage and repealed the Eighth. What happened? 12-minute read.
- IS THE LEAVING CERT FIT FOR PURPOSE?
Two recent studies asked students whether the skills taught in their Leaving Cert courses prepared them for third-level study. An overwhelming majority said ‘No’, that they had not learned the intellectual skills they would need to succeed. 8 minute read.
- THE ESSENCE OF HUMANITY
Drunken, brawling, criminal, lazy, as thick as two short planks nailed together, and not wanted over here—that’s what ‘everybody knew’ about the average Mick when I was growing up in England. Creating a racist stereotype doesn’t need any basis in fact, just an ugly image repeated often enough. (10 minute read.)
- “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by Eric Bogle – a new interpretation
Written by Scottish-born folk singer Eric Bogle, the song describes the futility and horror of war through the personal experiences of the song’s character. In stripping away melody the words alone are left to convey the bleak vistas and raw emotion of the story.
- Welcome to Ballymun
Upwards of 17,000 people moved into the Ballymun flats in one go. The bus arrived late as did the shopping centre with its one supermarket and two pubs. The promised health centre, swimming pool, library, meeting rooms, community halls, and gym didn’t happen. Anyone spot a problem?
- Misinformation, disinformation, and plain ole lies
Social media algorithms created separate information tunnels leading to echo-chambers fed not with information but with affirmation of what their readers had already liked. Each tunnel built up its own ‘truths’: anything that offered a different perspective had been sent down a different tunnel.
- How We Can Build a Sustainable Future
Eco-villages have become more and more popular over the years as people become more conscious of the looming climate crisis. Owen Connolly asks Davie Philips of Cloughjordan exactly what is an eco-village and what is different about living in one?
- History’s Response to Covid 19
Owen Connolly interviews Liam O’Sullivan of Trasna na Tíre – Ireland’s online history lecture series, adapted to work with the restrictions of the lockdown. ‘We bring in experts from outside our locality to explain aspects of our history to us.’
- Let’s Cooperate! Stevie Nolan of Belfast Trademark
Owen Connolly talks to Stevie Nolan of Trademark Belfast, the anti-sectarian unit of the Irish Labour movement. ‘Our role for the last 25 years has been in the peace process. In particular, we deal with sectarian conflicts in the workplace.’
- TAX AND SPEND: Part two . . . and spend
French economist Thomas Piketty argues that, contrary to what we are constantly told about job creation and trickle-down riches, the ultra-rich are harmful to the general economy. When the number of US billionaires exploded in the 1990s and 2000s, per capita income growth halved from 2.2% to 1.1%. (8-minute read.)
- SENATE REFORM
What is the Senate good for? Ideally, in a bicameral legislature, each house acts as a check and/or balance to the other. In our case, however, there is no check, given that the balance is well and truly tipped in favour of the Government of the day. The result is a redundant Senate and a dictatorship of the Dáil.
- TAX AND SPEND Part three: Anyone for Redistribution?
More equality is better for everybody, including the economy.Social Justice Ireland Right-wing governments are predictably reluctant to impose a wealth tax on their friends. But in a time of multiple crises—not just the coronavirus and its effect on the economy, but also the perennial favourites in health, housing, climate action, and so on—there’s nothing to be gained by endlessly cutting the national cake into ever thinner slices in an attempt to make it stretch further. We’ve been determinedly doing that for four neo-liberal decades, refusing to admit that the national budget isn’t St Brigid’s cloak[i]. And look how well it’s […]
- An Chéad Dáil Éireann
Democratic Programme We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President, Pádraig Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation’s sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation’s soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm that all right to private property must be […]
- BORIS JOHNSON’S HUMAN EXPERIMENT
More than 250,000 UK citizens may die by Johnson’s Covid-19 experiment. Herd immunity has never been tested on a human population with an unknown virus and an unavailable vaccine. This idea by Boris Johnson and his administration in the UK, was not only crazy, but a very dangerous human experiment.
- ST. SHEELAGH’S DAY – MARCH 18th
Should St. Sheelagh be our patron saint of Covid-19? Terrifying and destructive yet the embodiment of fertility and the maternal instinct in addition to being the queen of territorial sovereignty she has all the qualities of the Coronavirus crisis and it’s necessary isolationist management.
- THREE ELECTIONS THAT NOBODY WON AND EVERYBODY LOST
After a century of batting the electoral ball between two right-wing parties, in the last three elections, we voted in unprecedented numbers against the ‘ruling’ parties of the last hundred years and for outsiders, non-politicians, single-issue warriors, and the like. The effective message from the electorate was a pox on all your houses.
- EQUAL ACCESS TO A HOME nix
Let’s be clear, homelessness is a policy-driven crisis. Bedrock Fine Gael ideology does not want government in the business of building public housing, because it interferes with the free market. The ‘logic’ is that, without government interference, supply-and-demand in a free marketplace will solve the problem. Except that it hasn’t.
- ‘WHY WE BUILD THE WALL’ by Anaïs Mitchell
Recently there has been a worrying growth in active and headline-grabbing intolerance towards asylum seekers. Pressure groups are increasing efforts to build social and political walls around our communities and country. Globalisation has reduced continents to parishes and a worldwide bout of parochialism has taken hold.
- TINNITUS! Help is available.
Most tinnitus sufferers have the common experience of being told “there is no cure for tinnitus.” However, life changing help is available for tinnitus victims and this article explains how and why it works.
- JUSTICE, SOLIDARITY, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
It’s not an exaggeration to say this last year has been among the most meaningful and enjoyable of my life. I’ve wanted to return to teaching for a long time, and so when I read that a solidarity organization in El Salvador was recruiting ESL teachers, I jumped at the opportunity.
- It’s a War Zone in HSE Emergency Departments
Since 2006 when our hospital A&E’s were determined by the then Minister for Health, Mary Harney, to be in a “state of emergency”, almost 4,000 sick people in A&E have been killed. The deaths are due solely to delays, neglect and inhumane treatment while awaiting necessary medical intervention.
- Eddie Comes Home (Fiction)
The first words she’d ever said to him were that her father had warned her not to be in this dance hall because it attracted a very low crowd. She’d had a blonde bubble-cut then, just like Kim Novak’s, and she was the best-dressed girl in the hall.