• Equal Access to Healthcare
    Healthcare can no longer be an expensive privilege in the private tier and a catch-as-catch-can system of firefighting in the public tier, where patients present at ever later stages of their illness costing both lives and resources that could have been saved with timely access. 5 minute read.
    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.)
  • 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 ‘truths’ that appeared incontrovertible: anything that offered a different perspective had been sent down a different tunnel.
  • 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.
  • Equal Access to a Home
    The only possible conclusion is that current housing policy is designed to make landlords, developers, and investors rich on our tax money. Keep shovelling the money upwards and, to paraphrase Trump, ‘one day the homeless will just disappear, like a miracle.’
  • “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.
  • Angry Commoners
    The pandemic has drawn a sharp divide between those who could lose their houses, jobs, or lives, and those who are calculating how to foreclose on newly ‘distressed’ mortgages, or who will use job losses to depress wages, or who talk about the death rate among older citizens reducing the cost of pensions.
  • A Very Irish Coup
    Albert Einstein said that we can’t solve problems with the same thinking we used to create them. Swinging endlessly between two parties from a socially conservative, right centrist, and redundant tradition of party politics got us to the mess we’re in. But take Einstein’s word for it, it’s not going to get us out of it. (10 minute read)
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • Equal Access to Education Redux
    All other things being equal—Leaving Cert results, for instance—students who attend schools in working-class areas are less likely to graduate to third-level study than those from more affluent areas. Why is that? Two classic studies partially explain the disparity, but it took a pandemic to break it open.
  • Unequal Access to Education
    The debacle surrounding calculated/manipulated Leaving Cert grades made it possible to see why students from private schools are disproportionately more likely to graduate to third-level study than all others. That’s the intention—to maintain the socio-economic status quo.
  • 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.
  • 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.’
  • 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 […]
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.