Jun 10 2014

CULTURAL CAPITULATION AND CULTURAL RESISTANCE IN IRELAND

Below are two articles from the May/June issue of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) about recent cultural developments in Ireland. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has always been seen as being on the cultural frontline of the Irish national movement. The first article outlines the retreat of the GAA in the  face of Sky TV’s global corporate onslaught. The gombeen capitalists referred to in this article are Irish  small wheeler-dealing businessmen always looking to a fast buck and ready to trample over others. They have traditionally formed the Right wing of the Irish national movement.

The second article provides an example of cultural resistance in Belfast. In this city, the Irish language emerged as a weapon if resistance in the ‘Jailtacht’ during ‘The Troubles’. Despite promises of being given official recognition under the Good Friday Agreement, Unionists have reneged on this. Sinn Fein has also backtracked. It appears that they are now content to develop West Belfast’s official Gaeltacht, alongside the city’s Cathedral and Titanic Quarters as money-making tourist attractions, rather than develop the language as part of  communities of resistance. However, as this article shows, they have met opposition. 

 

1. GAA AND SKY – GOMBEEN CAPITALISTS BREAK THE LINK WITH THEIR SUPPORTERS

Poster commemorating the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884

Poster commemorating the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884

With patronage by the elite, a middle class leadership and a large support base of working people the GAA has traditionally reflected Irish social stratification, but within the organisation a sometimes uneasy state of balance existed between the more plebeian club membership and the leadership at provincial, county and top management level at Croke Park. To many of those working class rank and file members the recent Sky deal has been a rude awakening, but like all degenerative processes the push towards the GAA’s commercialisation has been in progress for a while.

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Oct 27 2012

€9 WORTH OF CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO GILMORE’S CAR

Eamon Gilmore, the Irish Labour Party Tanaiste (Depute Prime Minister) took protestor, Donall O Ceallaigh, to court for criminal damage to his car. The following article from eirigi highlights both the light, and far mote serious sides to this case.

An egg causes ‘damage’ to Gilmore’s car

Peals of laughter rang out in Court 4 of the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin this morning when it was revealed that a grand total of €9 worth of ‘criminal damage’ had been allegedly caused to the ministerial car of Eamon Gilmore during an éirígí organised anti-austerity protest in Ballyfermot on Friday October 5th.

Further laughter erupted when the Garda witness revealed that the €9 had been spent on a car wash which ‘repaired’ the ‘criminal damage.’ Despite the obvious farce of the situation the charges of criminal damage and breach of the peace against Dónall Ó Ceallaigh were not struck out by the presiding judge.

Speaking in relation to the court appearance Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said, “Today’s court proceedings would have been hilarious had the judge thrown the case out of court, but as it stands a young man remains on criminal charges; facing the prospect of criminal convictions. When Dónall was originally charged the Gardaí claimed that somewhere in the region of €200 worth of damage had been done to Gilmore’s car and possibly more, but now it turns out there was no damage at all. If criminal damage can be fixed with a car wash the Gardaí might want to consider charging the seagulls and pigeons that regularly cause criminal damage to cars across the state!”

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