Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Cash for Ash -Will the Stormont Sinn Féin-DUP Coalition be Incinerated?

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A BBC (Northern Ireland) news story offers a neat summary of the key issues in Belfast’s FosterGate : £400 million disappear into the pockets of Cash for Ash friends of the Stormont Peace Process Government.

Cash for Ash – Stormont Incinerated?

“It is estimated the way the scheme was set-up will cost taxpayers £400m over its 20-year lifetime.

Mr Bell told the BBC that top advisers from his DUP party stopped him from restricting the RHI scheme.

According to Mr Bell, the advisers, who deny the allegations against them, secretly tried to “cleanse the record” of references to Mrs Foster.

Those alleged attempts to alter the papers were made “without my knowledge, without my consent”, Mr Bell said, and were revealed to him by a senior civil servant at the department.

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The super chairperson – Joe Kelly, born April 8 1938, died Wednesday December 7 2016, Aged 78.

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Tributes are pouring in to Joe Kelly.  In future days a lot more will be written said and sung about an outstanding political activist and very firm friend.Death Notice of Joe Kelly

A small initial contribution is below, along with some other tributes seen on social media.

The mid-1980’s : The first big mass campaign where Joe Kelly and I worked together was Miscarriages of Justice, primarily the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six :  innocent Irish people in British jails, framed by the British State, sentenced to life imprisonment and no mass campaign existed.  That changed in Dublin, Joe Kelly was its heartbeat.  An enormous “Parade of Innocence” in Dublin, headed by the Diceman Thom McGinty, was one outstanding result.  Declan Gorman Writes About Dublin’s Parade of Innocence

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Come on comrades! Three important events clash in Dublin on 17th June.

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Come on comrades!

Saturday 17th June 2017. Three important meetings/marches/rallies, on three currently crucial issues, housing, health and Repeal the 8th. In Dublin city centre, at the same or near the same time. All three are well organised, broad based, interesting events.

  • 1pm, National Housing Demonstration (Inner City Helping Homeless), Custom House
  • 2pm, Health Public Meeting (Still Waiting Health Campaign/People Before Profit), Wynn’s Hotel
  • 3pm, Rally for Repeal (Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment), Central Bank.

The Rally for Repeal was changed from 2pm to 3pm to facilitate the housing march. Fair enough. Nevertheless there is a large proportion of people on or around the left, or just concerned about these issues, who would like to attend two or even all three of these events. OK they don’t start at exactly the same time but this is barely helpful. Few will leave one to go to the other and each will last more than an hour. Having more than one important event drawing from the same pool on the same afternoon will divert away from all events as most people have time and energy and attention for attending only one political event on a Saturday afternoon.

This is actually a matter of practical intersectionality as well as left unity and tactical competence.

Yes, co-operation on the left for campaigning issues has improved in recent years. Saturday 17th probably has less to do with rivalry than with benevolent but headlong hard work, introversion and organisational bubbles. Yet even with the informational clearing house of social media these clashes continue to happen. They are not good, for each and all events, or for the left in general.

Des Derwin

 

Written by tomasoflatharta

June 8, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Posted in Ireland

In Derry, Pressure Mounts on Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster

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If Arlene Goes, so does her Deputy Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin.

Goodbye Marlene?

Arlene Foster, First Minister, Under Pressure in Derry

Arlene needs to resign. Take to the streets! Demand her resignation!

People Before Profit have called a protest at the Guildhall, calling on Arlene Foster to resign over the Renewable Heat scandal. People are outraged because we’re told day in, day out that there is no money for benefits or for public services, but here we have £400 million wasted due to sheer incompetency.

Coming hot on the heels of the Social Investment Fund fiasco, it seems anything goes up on the Hill as long as DUP-Sinn Fein dominance is maintained.

The Coalition partners stage occasional sham fights to maintain credibility. But mostly they are watching and scratching one another’s back.

Sinn Fein goes easy on the DUP now, perhaps remembering how helpful the DUP was two years ago when Spotlight exposed a phoney “research” organisation which Sinn Fein had used to claim a staggering £700,000 in “expenses.”

In the last three years, the DUP has had involvement in the Red Sky affair, the Nama scandal, the SIF/Charter NI fiasco and now the bonfire of public-money that is the Renewable Heat scheme.

But the Assembly hasn’t laid a glove on either wing of the Executive.

None of this is accidental. The Stormont structures are designed to sustain a system based on the idea of communal solidarity. Bread and butter issues don’t figure when it comes to forming or getting rid of a government. In practice, it is permissible to plunder the public finances – but not to upset the Orange-Green balance.

Working-class people should take a hard look at the parties which have either been involved in or turned a blind eye to these events.

Arlene Foster is unfit for office. She should resign without further ado.

Join us at the Guildhall, 5pm – Friday December 16″

Gerry Adams and the Sons of former Portlaoise Prison Officer Brian Stack, Killed by the IRA in 1983

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Many of my friends may be surprised, but I think Gerry Adams is telling the truth about his encounters with the sons of Brian Stack, a Portlaoise Prison Officer killed by the IRA in 1983.

Austin Stack probably gave the names of alleged 1983 IRA killers of his father Brian Stack (a prison officer) to the Sinn Féin President, not the other way around. That explains the Gerry Adams email to Garda boss Nóirín O’Sullivan on this matter.

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Images, Funeral of Joe Kelly

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Joe Kelly Greets the Mourners Coming to His Funeral, Teachers’ Club / Club na Múinteóirí, December 10 2016

Joe Kelly’s Most Recent Campaign

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Written by tomasoflatharta

December 11, 2016 at 12:52 am

Super Chairperson Joe Kelly – What is the Statement behind Your Question? A Frank Discussion About the Irish Peace Process With John Meehan and Killian Forde

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Thoughts of Chairperson Joe Kelly, April 8 1938 – December 7 2016.

Phrases that came immediately to mind :

How’s Your Love Life?”

What is the statement behind your question?”

Are there any loose people in the room?”

What’s your point?”

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution” [borrowed from Emma Goldman]

Can we break up into small groups?per33

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Joe Kelly voted No to the deletion of Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish Constitution in a 1998 Referendum, a very unopular decision – only 5 per cent of the voters wanted to keep these Articles.

Joe was very troubled about this and discussed it often with me.  Being the man he was, he organised a broadcast radio discussion between me and a then Sinn Féin member of Dublin City Council Killian Forde.

Here is a transcript :  Read the rest of this entry »