Tomás Ó Flatharta

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Jack Charlton (1935-2020) World Cup winner, Ireland football manager, supporter of the miners, anti-fascist

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There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977.

In Ireland Jack Charlton is celebrated – he was the most successful ever manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team. There was a political side to this cultural phenomenon – it is well explained in the Keith Flegg blog below. Months before the opening 1990 game between Ireland and England in Cagliari a small group of Dublin people met in a Dublin pub, the Teachers’ Club. They wondered : how they could raise funds for a cash-strapped campaign seeking freedom for the Birmingham Six and other Irish political hostages in British jails. The venue, largely because of the example set by this campaign, has become home to many left-wing, trade union, feminist and human rights social movements.

A couple of the men in the group focused on the forthcoming Battle of Cagliari – Ireland’s Game Versus England, our Italia 90 opener. We were overcome by a brainwave : let’s organise a big screen showing. In those days that was a novel idea – we booked the scarce equipment months in advance. The staff in the Teachers’ Club did a great job installing the required technology. As the big day approached many large pubs and hotels offered to buy the equipment from the campaign, allowing us a huge profit. We refused – the event was going ahead. The venue was overwhelmed by the crowd – mainly young, male, Dublin working class, and proudly Irish. A number of women activists joined in – a little bemused, entertained, and deeply moved.

The Diceman, Thom McGinty, Symbolises British Justice and the Birmingham Six

A follow-up

“It begins with a man getting to shake the hands of some of the football heroes he’d only ever previously been able to see on television in prison. It ends with one of those same football heroes, having partied well but not wisely, fast asleep at a table in a motorway café and being prodded awake by a couple of passing Welsh supporters. And in between is one of the defining games of the Jack Charlton era, a 1-1 draw with England in a European Championship qualifier at their national stadium which should, in truth, have been a victory for an Irish side playing at something close to the peak of its powers.

For one Irish supporter in particular, the experience was bound to be memorable, whatever the result. Hugh Callaghan was one of the Birmingham Six, innocent men who had served 16 years of a life sentence for the IRA’s 1974 Birmingham pub bombings. With those convictions finally quashed after a long-running campaign and, having been released amid scenes of unbridled joy only 13 days before the game at Wembley, Callaghan found himself walking the famous turf as a guest of the Irish team at their eve of match training session.

Niall Quinn, the striker who would have such a significant say in the game itself, has vivid memories of meeting a man who had endured one of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

“He came on the bus with us from the hotel and stood with Jack and watched the training,” he recalls today.

“We had a good chat with him first on the pitch and then he had a cup of tea with us in the dressing room. He was a football fan, very proud of what we’d achieved over in Italy. He spoke about how he used to listen intently on the radio and saw bits and pieces on TV. I think Paul [McGrath] was his favourite – but then Paul was everybody’s favourite. It’s one of those nice memories that stay with you. It was a thrill to meet him and my memory of the meeting is that he was thrilled to meet us, and it was a very happy occasion.” https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/we-felt-a-little-bit-robbed-232294.html

Kmflett's Blog

Jack Charlton at the Durham Miners Gala

Jack Charlton who has sadly died at 85 was an iconic figure in post-1945 British culture as part of the 1966 World Cup winning England team, and a football manager most significantly with the Ireland team

The media rightly carries a range of appreciations and obituaries

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/11/jack-charlton-england-world-cup-winner-dies-aged-85

There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977. Charlton had some criticisms. While the ANL was about building a broad united front to isolate the fascists of the National Front it also confronted their attempts to whip up racism when they held deliberately provocative actions.

Charlton was clear in his opposition to fascism but not happy about confronting the NF physically. This of course was a tactical not an…

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“A Controversial Quarantine” – Cedar Lounge Revolution

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A big Thank You to the Cedar Lounge Revolution for this important story.

A couple of questions and observations are added here.

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Main players in the Irish Airline and Tourism industry are seeking an end to many coronavirus restrictions.

https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/a-controversial-quarantine/

They are part of a “taskforce” established by unelected right-wing Government Minister Shane Ross, who lost his Dublin Rathdown Dáil seat in the February 2020 General Election.

And who are these worthies on this “taskforce”?

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, appointed the task force, whose members represent the industry, workers and Government.
Businessman Chris Horn chairs the group whose members include: Dalton Philips, chief executive of DAA, the company responsible for Cork and Dublin airports; Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Aer Lingus chief executive Sean Doyle; David O’Brien, commercial director at Ryanair; and Conor McCarthy, chief executive of aircraft maintenance group Dublin Aerospace.

Questions arise over the presence of ICTU General Secretary Patricia King on this “taskforce”, and her implied support for this committee’s woefully dangerous recommendations.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary Patricia King

And a medical input? Why none at all. 

Professor Gabriel Scally

Read the rest of this entry »

President Higgins ‘will not allow’ Dáil to disband if programme for government fails – A SFFFSDLP Government lurches across the Phoenix Park horizon in Dublin

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Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael is doing well in current opinion polls, and is threatening a fresh Irish General Election if Green Party members reject coalition with Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and several right-wing gombeens.

The President Michael D Higgins is entering stage left, and is refusing to play Varadkar’s game.

President Higgins says to lame-duck Taoiseach “Good riddance Leo, at last you’re sacked”

This means Fianna Fáil, which is doing badly in opinion polls, may act in its own interest and form a coalition with Sinn Féin, trying to also attract the Social Democrats, Labour and the Greens.

We can call this the SDLP option.

FF might need to replace its leader Mícheál Martin to complete this manoeuvre.

The opinion poll data is very persuasive in a situation like this :

Paddy Healy notes :

“Irish Mail on Sunday Poll June 21
FF At Less Than Half Sinn Féin Vote!!!
FG34 SF27 FF13 GRN8 LAB4 SD3 SOL/PBP2 IND10
In Comparison with poll in Irish Mail on Sunday in May
Independents up 4%, GP up 2%, no change for SF and FG and FF slightly down. All others as it was.
In Comparison with General Election 2020
FG +13, SF +2, FF -9, Gn +1 Lab NC, SD NC, Sol/PBP-1, Ind -2” Read the rest of this entry »

Keeling’s Fruit Pickers’ Company Places 579 Workers in CoVid-19 Danger – Irish State Authorities Dawdle While Disease Gallops Out of Control

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  • Paul Murphy TD (RISE) “Passed From Billy to Jack” Over Keeling’s Fruit Pickers’ Company’s Failure to Protect its Workers
  • Keelings: Minister Humphreys must give HSA powers to protect workers’ health
  • Advice from two Ministers: go to HSE, yet HSE says it “has no statutory role”

“I have been passed from Billy to Jack in trying to get someone to inspect Keelings to ensure their workers are safe. The HSA has said that they have no powers in overseeing the Covid-19 guidelines, although Minister Humphreys said in a reply to me that she’s talking to her officials about it. The Minister for Finance explicitly said that it is the HSE which oversees them. However, now the HSE has said it is not their role. I have written to Minister Humphreys to urge the government to to urgently address this by extending the powers of the HSA, so Keelings workers and others can be protected.”

Video of engagement with Minister Donohoe in Dáil on 16 April:

https://www.facebook.com/paulmurphytd/videos/277643093252182/.

Keeling’s, Ryanair, Put Workers in Danger

Copy below of letter sent to Minister Heather Humphreys this morning:

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Covid-19 restrictions Necessary – Irish Government’s Hesitation Showed Priority it Places in Profits over Lives

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No Border News (NBN) No Borders News is publishing a series of interviews about Covid 19 in many different parts of the world.

Jessy Ní Cheallaigh answers NBN’s questions about the Coronavirus Epidemic in Ireland.

Please provide a brief biography for yourself and any links to resources or websites you would like included in your interview.

My name is Jessy Ní Cheallaigh. I’m a 22 year old woman living in Ireland. I’m a socialist activist and a final year student studying Communications through the language of Irish in NUIG, Galway City. I’m a member of RISE (Radical, Internationalist, Socialist, Environmentalist) a democratic socialist political group. https://www.letusrise.ie/

Above from left: Dave Murphy; Jessy Ní Cheallaigh, Paul Murphy TD, Kay Keane and Nicole McCarthy

1. Briefly describe the state of the pandemic in your country or city. How many people are infected? How many have died? What do experts expect in the coming weeks in terms of how fast the contagion will spread.

At the current date (14/04/2020) the total number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland is 10,647. Death toll has reached 365 as 31 more deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. In Northern Ireland, 76 new cases have been registered and 6 more people have died from the coronavirus. The tally in the North now stands at 118 deaths and 1,882 confirmed cases. 12,529 confirmed cases on the island with a death toll of 483. Overall Ireland has made a decent effort to flatten the curve as the spread is not as rapid as it is in other countries. The government announced that there has been a “very high level of compliance” with restrictions on non-essential travel over the bank holiday weekend. However there is still concern amongst experts over the “clusters” of the virus present in nursing homes around the country with very little healthy/qualified staff to help prevent spread. As of Saturday 11 April, there have been 6.5 deaths per 100,000 people in Ireland. These figures however are definitely not 100% accurate as there have been problems with testing in the lack of testing kits available/bought as well as the huge backlog in test results that have yet to be processed. When testing was first opened up it was under the understanding that anyone who suspected they had the virus could be tested, when large numbers of test were coming back negative they changed it so that the only people who were referred for testing were those who had two or more of the most common symptoms of the virus or those who were high at risk (immuno-compromised/underlying conditions etc.) This resulted in over 40,000 people being taken off the waiting list who then had to reapply. Lots of reports state that some of these people still haven’t received results and that was just under a month ago.

2. What practical measures has your national government taken to respond to the crisis? Have they acted responsibly or were they unprepared? Briefly describe measures your government is taking now to contain the virus and treat people infected with Covid-19. Is there a state of emergency, are schools closed, etc.?

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Mike Finn’s “Bread Not Profits” – Celebration of the 1919 Limerick Soviet – Online for 48 Hours, Starts Thursday April 9 2020 1.00pm

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Highly Recommended – Watch Out for the Reference to Leon Trotsky!
The play has won an Irish Times Award, which is Extremely Well Deserved. Bread Not Profits was a rare example of Performance Theatre 🎭 drawing in the audience very close; there was very little alienated feeling that the performers were talking down to you from the top stage. This is a big problem with the conventional theatre format, and all kinds of lectures – especially the big rally/meeting format beloved of political control-freaks! I attended the play on my last visit to Limerick. The way life has turned, I wonder will I I ever be able to visit again? Still, memories stimulate! – John Meehan

Highly Recommended

https://www.facebook.com/Breadnotprofits

Voluntary Contribution Requested

A review :

Shakespeare used his history plays to explore issues relating to the morality of power and kingship and to question when it might be right to rebel. In Gúna Nua’s production of Mike Finn’s latest history play Bread Not Profits, the question repeatedly asked of the audience is “ whose side are you on?” , by the end it’s not a very difficult one to answer.

In this promenade-style production, which traces the events surrounding the unique Limerick Soviet of 1919, it’s impossible not to cheer for the ordinary workers who had the audacity and courage to strike against the military might of the British Empire.

Set in the haunting dereliction of Limerick’s Cleeves toffee factory, one of the first factories where the workers downed tools in 1919, Finn’s Bread Not Profits walks you through a time and place all but forgotten. From the shadows of history men and women emerge like ghosts demanding to be heard.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/stage/bread-not-profits-review-a-play-that-touches-the-soul-1.3874005

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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Essential profits, replacable union leaders.

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Pandemic posts, propaganda and positions: political and proletarian, never 'populist'.

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We should never allow the left to be to be smeared as ‘populist’ ever again.

The Irish left has maintained a huge degree of unity and agreement during this crisis so far.

As well as demands for social and public health provision, testing and recruitment, release of resources and protection of workers’ incomes, the left has agreed with, and led on, all necessary constraining measures to beat the virus: the strictest social distance, the close down of venues, events, institutions, workplaces, gatherings; calling for closure of inessential production.

The left has at no time raised pseudo democratic demands for rights to assemble and protest. It was ahead in calling off scores of events and demonstrations it had organised.

Far from ‘stirring it up’ or basing itself on the most disruptive, delinquent or irresponsibly ‘rebellious’ in society, the left has been to the fore in calling out not just the crazy Trumps and Johnson’s, not just the underlying ecological apocalypse, not just the run down of the health service, not just the Cheltenham chumps, but those in the general public, among the young, the ‘broad masses’, who have been stupid and selfish enough to party on and congregate on, as if they and their fellow citizens were invulnerable. The left is calling out, drawing attention to and exposing as crazy, those who ignore the simple demand to keep their distance and stay at home as much as possible.

Socialists are being social-ist. Please note, all those high and low who have contributed to or who contribute to the advance of the pandemic. Please note, you panelists and pundits, for future discourse.

Des Derwin, 22nd March 2020.

Written by tomasoflatharta

March 22, 2020 at 8:27 pm

Fumbling in the Greasy Till – Paul Murphy TD Campaigns Against CoronaVirus Price Gouging

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CoronaVirus Price Gouging


We need to speak out about the profiteering taking place.

Just like September 1913 – the Worst Elements of the Irish Middle Class “fumbled in the greasy till” – and “added prayer to shivering prayer” – determined to wage war on the poor. The workers were on strike, led by the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. The employers were led by William Martin Murphy, owner of the Irish Independent Newspaper, Spiritual Godfather of today’s Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil Parties.

Paul Murphy Declares :

I’m organising a press conference tomorrow to highlight the huge number of examples people have sent me. This is a chance to show the real impact this greed is having, and to demand price controls are implemented. The government must take action to ensure those who need masks and hand gel most get it first.

We need more people willing to speak up on this, and tell their story. Get in touch to share your story, and help end this rip off

https://www.facebook.com/paulmurphytd/


‘September 1913 is a devastating piece of satire in which Yeats takes the well-off Catholics to task for not only their meanness and materialism but also for the shallow nature of their religious devotion. The image of the shopkeeper fumbling in the ‘greasy till’ captures the greed while the image of them adding ‘prayer to shivering prayer’ sums up their terrified devotion to the Catholic Church who were enormously influential at the time.

Yeats declares that through their greed the middle classes have made Ireland a materialistic and un-Romantic place: ‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone.’ By doing so they have betrayed the legacy of past heroes. The middle classes are incapable of understanding the heroes’ courage and self-sacrifice.

The repetition emphasises Yeats’ contempt for the state of contemporary Irish society. Also like many Irish political ballads it personifies Ireland as a female figure

https://prezi.com/qly2zy81pfqx/september-1913/

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