May 18 2020

KEVIN KEATING – An Appreciation

It was with great sadness I learned of the death of Kevin Keating.  I first met Kevin and his partner, Anne Conway, at the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) weekend schools held near Kippure, in the upper Liffey Valley in  Wicklow Mountains, from 2007-9. The political debates  were of a very high standard, and the camaraderie and shared meal-making and social drinking very enjoyable (for which thanks must also go the ‘master of ceremonies’ – John McAnulty).

When the first of these weekend schools ended, I stayed with Kevin and Anne in their north Dublin house. I stayed again before and after the following years’ weekend schools. I much appreciated their very informative discussions based on their trade union and community experience in Dublin. Kevin used to take me to The Cobblestone in Dublin’s Smithfield, where he joined the other musicians who played and sang there. It reminded me of Sandy Bells in Edinburgh. I had always hoped that he and Anne would make it over to Scotland, my most recent invite following the birthday greetings Kevin sent me this February. Although I did not know it, Kevin was already seriously ill. My thoughts go out to Anne for whom the invitation still very much stands.

Knowing Kevin relatively fleetingly I am posting the the following two much fuller appreciations:-

Kevin was interviewed by the Irish Revolution blog this February about his years of activism. This interview can be seen at:-

https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/interview-with-veteran-irish-working-class-and-marxist-activist-kevin-keating/

A political appreciation from a comrade and friend, Gearoid O’ Loinsigh 

http://www.socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentKevinKeatingATribute.html

A political appreciation from his Socialist Democracy (Ireland) comrades first appeared on the Socialist Democracy website.

http://www.socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentKevinKeatingPresente.html

A political appreciation from his Socialist Democracy (Ireland ) comrade and historian Rayner O’Connor Lysaght

http://socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentKevinKeatingAnAppreciation.html

 

KEVIN KEATING – PRESENTE!

 

 

Our dear comrade Kevin Keating has died. Continue reading “KEVIN KEATING – An Appreciation”

Tags: , , , ,


Mar 26 2020

FIGHTING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

We are posting two responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first is from Trade unionists, health workers, independence supporters and community activists in Scotland. The second is from Socialist Democracy in Ireland.

 

1. Trade unionists, health workers, independence supporters and community activists demand radical action from the Scottish government to fight the pandemic

(To add your name and group or position (if any), email – covidscotresponse@gmail.com)

This statement was first published on 19th March. This version contains additions and revisions in the light of recent developments. There is a list of signatories at the end of this statement – as more are added the list will be updated at https://tinyurl.com/t6s5csz

The Covid-19 outbreak poses a real and significant threat to the people of Scotland, a country with a large elderly population, massive health inequalities and rural communities who will have difficulties accessing the health service when they need it most.

The Tory Governments “herd immunity” strategy is a catastrophe. The Westminster government itself predicted over a quarter of a million UK dead following this approach. Boris Johnson has now declared that “herd immunity” isn’t their strategy anymore because the science had changed! However, according to the editor of the Lancet in a tweet,” it took a study from Imperial to understand the likely burden of COVID-19 on the NHS. But read the first paper we published on COVID-19 on Jan 24. 32% admitted to ITU with 15% mortality. We have wasted 7 weeks. This crisis was entirely preventable.” Continue reading “FIGHTING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Dec 19 2019

THE HEALTH WORKERS’ STRIKE, THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STORMONT

This article about the healthworkers’ strike in Northern Ireland was first posted by Socialist  Democracy (Ireland)

THE HEALTHWORKERS’ STRIKE, THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STORMONT

 

 

Around 25,000 health care workers including nurses, social care staff and support services are taking industrial action to defend a health service which is widely accepted to be on the verge of collapse and to demand an increase in the currently ‘unsafe’ levels of staffing, investment and a long overdue pay increase for hard pushed health workers. To give a taste of the degree of under-investment in local health care, over 94,000 people are waiting more than a year for a specialist’s appointment compared to 3,364 in England with a population around 28 times greater. Continue reading “THE HEALTH WORKERS’ STRIKE, THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STORMONT”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jan 22 2019

FAILING GOVERNMENTS IN IRELAND – SOUTH AND NORTH

We are posting two articles from the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) website, highlighting the problems faced by  the current Fine Gael  government in  the Dail and the lack of enthusiasm for reviving Stormont in Belfast.

 

1. CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY AGREEMENT EXTENDED

Varadkar (Fine Gael) and Martin (Fianna Fail) agree deal at the Dail

A de facto government of national unity in Ireland weakens capitalism and poses a sharp challenge for the opposition.

In mid-December Fianna Fail and Fine Gael agreed a new confidence and supply agreement, maintaining the minority Fine Gael government in place until 2020. The event went almost unnoticed, with smiles from both parties, claims that the agreement was forced by the national interest and the imminence of Brexit. The smaller parties cried foul from the sidelines, having been deprived of an election contest. Continue reading “FAILING GOVERNMENTS IN IRELAND – SOUTH AND NORTH”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Nov 23 2018

AN IRELAND UPDATE – SOUTH AND NORTH

We posting to articles from the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) website on the current political situation South and North. The first looks at the recent Presidential election; the second at the collapse of Stormont.

1. IRISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: AN ELECTION WITHOUT CANDIDATES

Sinn Fein presidentail candidate. Liadh Ni Riada, appealing to the lowest common denominator in ‘A New Ireland’ – but no mention of Sinn Fein!

Throughout the presidential election one could only watch open mouthed as RTE, an organisation usually incapable of reporting real events, spent day after day in minute analysis of a nothing burger election.

The clear favourite was Michael D Higgins who has left his Labour Party days long behind to become a living figurehead representing more or less nothing. The other candidates were self-publicists and reality stars with the exception of the Sinn Fein candidate, Liadh Ní Riada, who successfully imitated the bland conservatism of her opponents. It is hardly a surprise that a minority of the population struggled to get as far as the polling booth as a wave of apathy swept the state. Continue reading “AN IRELAND UPDATE – SOUTH AND NORTH”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Nov 23 2018

RENEGING ON REPEAL: A NEW THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

This article, first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland) on the situation in Ireland following  the earlier successful repeal of the 8th amendment highlights the need to organise independently of the state. 

 

 

RENEGING ON REPEAL: A NEW THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

After a period of quiet relief following the repeal referendum the struggle around abortion rights is returning to the political agenda. The effect of the referendum was simply to remove abortion from the constitution and make it an issue for legislation.

It is now becoming evident that government proposals will be quite restrictive and that the battle will resume in the Dail when legislation is brought forward shortly. There is another issue that will not go to the Dail but is being settled in quiet negotiation between Fine Gael health minister Simon Harris and the Catholic Church about the transfer of ownership of the new maternity hospital to a private company controlled by the church. The nuns have made it clear that their ethos will prevail within the new company. Aside from the massive privatisation giveaway new legislative proposals that include a conditional freedom of conscience for medical practitioners means that abortion rights for the majority of women could be easily blocked. Continue reading “RENEGING ON REPEAL: A NEW THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND”

Tags: , , , , , ,


Oct 03 2018

REVIEW: BALLYMURPHY PRECEDENT (Channel Four)

The following review from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) is of the film Ballymurphy Precedent made by Callum Macrae for Channel Four.

 

 

A HIDDEN HISTORY OF BRITISH MILITARY REPRESSION AGAINST CIVILIANS 

The Ballymurphy massacre has the simplest of all dramatic structures. It is a narrative built around a chronology – a three-day assault by the British Army on a Belfast housing estate following the introduction of internment that left ten unarmed civilians dead and many others badly injured. This story is told through a mixture of stock footage, interviews, re-enactment of events and documentary evidence. Continue reading “REVIEW: BALLYMURPHY PRECEDENT (Channel Four)”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Sep 20 2018

FRANKIE GOES TO IRELAND

Following Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland we are posting this article by D. R. O’Connor Lysaght of Socialist Democracy (Ireland).

 

FRANKIE GOES TO IRELAND

He came, he saw and, well, he addressed congregations considerably smaller than those prophesied, talked to representative of the many individuals assaulted by officials of his bureaucracy and went back to Rome. During his stay, he expressed strong distaste for the holy perverts, but did not announce any positive steps to deal with them. Of course, he could be trying to play a long game, but the question here is whether such a game is winnable. Continue reading “FRANKIE GOES TO IRELAND”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Aug 01 2018

A QUIET TWELFTH

We are posting the latest update in out coverage of events in the Six Counties. This article was first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland) 

 

A QUIET TWELFTH
Capitulation to Orangeism pays off, but at what price?

 

                                                                                         Four Catholic families have been intimidated

                                                                                                       out of Cantrell Place in Belfast

 

The Orange marching season in the North of Ireland kicks off with Twelfth of July marches, preceded by the 11th night bonfires. This year the Twelfth demonstration passed almost without incident. The 11th night bonfires saw a rash of hijacking and petrol bombing in east Belfast and parts of County Down. These were protests following a court order applying fire safety rules to a bonfire. The Ulster Volunteer Force gangsters behind the hijacking believed as a matter of principle that the bonfires should be free of any legal impediment. Continue reading “A QUIET TWELFTH”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jun 04 2018

8th AMENDMENT REFERENDUM

We are posting the following article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) on the victory  over the forces of the traditionalist Right in the 8th Amendment referendum on abortion in Ireland.

 

CATHOLIC CHURCH KNOCKED DOWN BY REPEAL VOTE –

BUT THE IRISH STATE DODGES THE BULLET

 

 

The success of the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution and legislation for abortion reform produced a deafening hurrah that should echo to all corners of the planet. The result is a body blow to the Catholic Church and to the reactionary church-state counter-revolution established following the Irish Civil War. Continue reading “8th AMENDMENT REFERENDUM”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Next Page »