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– Aidan Rowe discusses UCD’s Disaffiliation from the Union of Students of Ireland, its implications for the student movement, and whether there actually is a student movement in Ireland . 

It is something of a paradox that leftists – those progressives who fight for a radical restructuring of society – often end up adopting antiquarian positions that, viewed from the outside, appear bizarre and irrelevant to present-day struggles. This has certainly been true of left-wing students’ positions on the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) for some time. We understand more keenly than most the historical importance of trade unions, which leads to the adoption, often without much debate, of a moralistic pro-USI position based in an abstract pro-unionism: one which loses sight of why leftists engage(d) with unions in the first place. We feel morally obligated to beat our heads against that particular brick wall regardless of the outcome, and then wonder aloud why more students don’t wish to join us in this particular form of Sisyphean masochism.

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– Joseph Loughnane on the rise in discrimination in Ireland during the recession. (Originally posted on the Irish Left Review)

Over the past month we have seen numerous racist and discriminatory statements made in both Council meetings and Courts across Ireland. What they amounted to was public representatives as well as a judge using either racist slang or making racist statements in the course of their work. These statements were largely brushed under the carpet by the media despite the long term effects they have on the oppressed groups they targeted. A statement by a Fianna Fail senator that he would not get into a taxi driven by an “obvious” non-national resonates quite closely with problems with racism in Galway city.

Despite numerous letters to the local media as well as reports categorically confirming that racism against African taxi drivers is rife in the city, the practice continues with more and more non-national drivers reporting incidents of aggravated racial assault and abuse, to the effect now that these men and women see it as normal for them receive racism on a daily basis. Comments by this Senator only serve to cement such prejudice and make the day-to-day living of an African taxi driver that bit harder.

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– Sarah McCarthy writes about that momentous moment in Ireland’s abortion history.

Twenty-one years ago, this cartoon appeared on the front page of the Irish Times. It encapsulated perfectly the grotesque actions of the State at that time, and the striking image haunted a divided nation.

It’s hard not to know the story of X by now. She was a fourteen year old rape victim, who had been assaulted by Read the rest of this entry »

In his debut for the ISLO Robert Nielsen goes through the bizarre and tragic nature of the recent “deal” on the Promissory Notes. Robert blogs over here normally. 

Whenever discussing the banks people often preface their comments by saying that they don’t know much about economics. It is assumed that the bank bailout only seems absurd due to a lack of economic knowledge, that in actual fact the government is following well-established economic principles. As an economics student, let me tell you that nothing is further from the truth. There is no economic logic or theory behind the government’s Read the rest of this entry »

Experienced student activist, Karl Gill, shares his concerns about the future of the Irish student movement.

Ireland’s largest student union, University College Dublin Students’ Union, is facing a referendum on affiliation to the Union of Students in Ireland. The call for disaffiliation is becoming extremely popular and increasingly hard to challenge. The old mantra of ‘united we stand divided we fall’ seems to fall on deaf ears as people do not see or believe in the USI tagline “together we’re stonger”. This has led a number of people to discuss the very nature of student politics, apathy and engagement. This post is an attempt to stimulate debate Read the rest of this entry »

Alán Camilo Cienfuegos writes about the recent announcement that the Irish Government is considering sending troops to Mali.

According to an RTE news report of the 6th of February, 2013, the Irish government is considering sending Irish Defence Forces troops to Mali to aid in the training of the Malian military, as part of the intervention by Western powers, led by the French, in Mali’s internal conflict with Islamist militants. Despite the benevolent sounding nature of this exercise, if it indeed comes to pass, it will in fact be just the latest in a long line of collaborations that successive Irish governments have undertaken with the Western imperialist powers, to further the agenda of Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah McCarthy writes on the recent proposal that five doctos would be required to diagnose if someone is suicidal to be allowed access to an abortion. 

Tensions in the Government coalition have delayed Health Minister’s Reilly submission to Cabinet on proposed changes to abortion legislation. The strain comes as some of the ultra-conservative anti-choice deputies in Fine Gael are insisting that five doctors would be necessary to determine whether the life of Read the rest of this entry »

Here we go. The difficult second blog post. Mightn’t be as groundbreaking or as good as the earlier stuff but sure we’ll get through it. 

While the Daily Edge often gets a bit of ridicule from the Journal.ie comment warriors for not having serious stories, I always find it’s a good way to get a laugh and to help get rid of the Monday morning blues. I didn’t think I’d find it however in the main news section when I came across a column by Fiachra Ó’Raghallaigh on youth politics in Ireland. If you haven’t read it already, go check it out. Read the rest of this entry »

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