Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment Table Quiz Thursday March 29 at 8.00pm in the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West

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The Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment is hosting a Table Quiz on

Thursday March 29 at 8.00pm in the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West

Teams of 4, €5 per person

Feel Free to make a donation or bring a prize!

Tell Your Friends and Spread the Word15A11F24-1906-4EC2-81F1-EDC2916AB396

Doctors For Choice Publish Abortion Fact Sheets in Ireland

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via Fact Sheets

“Spokesperson for Doctors for Choice, Dr Tiernan Murray said:

“As doctors we practice based on evidence and facts, and to help reduce misinformation and spread facts about abortion we have developed a series of factsheets with different topic areas: mental health, common mistruths, medical abortion, surgical abortion and the impact the Eighth Amendment has on consultations with doctors. The public deserves medical facts and knowledge about abortion: a safe and sometimes necessary part of a women’s reproductive healthcare.”

Dr Murray continued: “Many Irish people, both women and men understand very little about the procedure of abortion and must rely on often inaccurate and sensationalized information to make decisions and shape opinions about Irish abortion provision. Poor, or inadequate or often absent information increases the already substantial stigma present in Ireland about abortion and perpetuates myths and judgments about abortion as a medical procedure, and about the women who have abortions.”

“During the St Patrick’s Day festival, where people all over the world celebrate Irish culture, we want to give people the information to have conversations about the realities of abortion in Ireland, free from myths and scaremongering.”

He concluded: “As doctors, we want to support all of our patients to make informed, healthcare decisions that are best for them in their individual circumstance. We hope these factsheets will help the public better understand the facts about abortion and help to destigmatise it.”

Mr Paisley Meets the Trumps – A fabulous gift 🎁 from the Irish Peace Process

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Another fabulous gift 🎁 from the Irish Peace Process : Far-right reactionaries Ian Paisley and Donald Trump schmooze at the Washington DC Patrick’s Day Parties and get away with it – corruption, hate, misogyny, warmongers, eyes wide shut :

“It is understood no DUP figures are set to attend St Patrick’s parades on Saturday.

Accompanying Mr Dodds on the American trip is his wife Diane, one of the Province’s three MEPs.

Also with them are Paul Givan and Edwin Poots, MLAs for Lagan Valley, and Jonathan Buckley, MLA for Upper Bann.

Mr Paisley and Mr Givan were pictured meeting Donald Trump himself during a lunch on Thursday.

Mr Dodds’ trip is funded by Parliament, and his wife’s trip by the European Parliament; the other DUP delegates are there as guests of pro-life group “Family and Life”.

It is understood the fact that Ian Paisley was personally invited to a St Patrick’s lunch at the White House is because of a family connection to the Trumps.

A party spokesman suggested this may date back to a meeting Mr Trump had with Rev Ian Paisley concerning golf courses in Northern Ireland.

The Scotsman newspaper reported in January 2008 that Mr Trump and Rev Paisley had met the previous month in New York.

It also said that a meeting between Ian Paisley Junior and a key Trump business aide was thought to be scheduled in January 2008, at which the future of Runkerry golf course on the north Antrim coast was thought to have been up for discussion.”


Ian Paisley Cuts Deals in the Trump White House

Two weeks later: three more Dublin events clash

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Two weeks after Saturday 17th June, on which the left organised three important but clashing events (see previous post), the same thing happened for Saturday 1st July. Two of these events were important, the ‘Jobstown Not Guilty’ rally, following Thursday’s acquital, and the counter-demonstartion to the anti-abortion march. Both were timed for 2pm in Dublin city centre (see details in the flyers below). The third, a United Against Racism picnic in the Phoenix Park was pretty important too and planned of some time.


Written by tomasoflatharta

July 4, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Posted in Ireland

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

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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″