You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2013.

Alán Camilo Cienfuegos writes about the recent events in London….

Britain is today left reeling after an attack in Woolwich, London, yesterday left a man, apparently a British soldier, dead – hacked to death by two men described as Islamic fundamentalists, who butchered him in the street while shouting ‘God is Great’. And, just as with the London bombings of July 7th, 2005, the British and wider western media has gone into overdrive to take advantage of the situation. Dramatic headlines and pictures of the attackers, their hands soaked in fresh blood and brandishing meat cleavers and knives, abound.

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– Maeve Dunne writes about the Loreto Day School in Kolkata, India as an example of the empowering potential of equality-based education. This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

Loreto Day School in Kolkata, India exemplifies the power of education and its positive effect upon communities and society at large. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer at this progressive school and witness the work it is doing firsthand. The school was set up in 1979 under the direction of an Irish nun Sr. M. Cyril. During her tenure as principal, Sister Cyril has transformed this once exclusively upper-class private school for girls into a model for equality-based educational change in India. Her experimental and revolutionary school:

Was born of a certain uneasiness felt at being part of a formal school system imparting ‘quality education’ to a privileged few, while millions of their less fortunate peer group get virtually nothing at all. It has involved opening up the school more and more to underprivileged youngsters from slum areas and pavements, to produce a healthy mix of children from all social, financial and religious backgrounds.

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Young Peoples’ Radical Assemly, Wednesday 22nd May, 1-5pm, Rowlagh Community Centre, Neilstown Road. Hosted by Councillor Gino Kenny

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– Derek McKenna breaks down some of the Government’s myths about ‘Jobsbridge’ and explains how it serves only to provide exploitative employers with free labour. 

As a recent university graduate and new member of Ireland’s massive 14% + unemployed club, I have been eagerly scouring the internet looking for work. Of course this task was never going to be easy with over 400,000 others on the dole queues, but the task is not being made any easier by the government’s promotion of free labour for employers through the normalisation of internship schemes. A cursory glance over any jobs website with show that many companies are no longer hiring for real jobs and it is only internships on offer. I mean one can’t blame the companies can they? If you run a for-profit business and there is free labour on offer, you would be mad not to take advantage of it.

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– Robert Nielsen gives an outline of the key moments in Ireland’s troubled history with abortion.

Ireland has the most peculiar relationship with abortion in the world. You see, in Ireland we pretend it doesn’t exist. Abortion is something to be ignored at all costs and unlike in most other countries, it is almost completely absent from the political discourse. Abortion is more or less (more on that) completely illegal and in fact the constitution contains an amendment (passed in 1983) that guarantees the “right to life of the unborn” which has an “equal right to life” as the mother. This doesn’t mean abortions don’t take place, they do, but in secret or in England. However, whether we like it or not abortion has exploded onto the political stage and we are going to finally have to deal with the problem that many wish would just disappear.

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By James Falconer, originally posted here –

What’s going on with Ireland’s natural resources? Many people believe that our government have given our oil away, and that ownership and control of the oil belongs completely to the various oil companies. Have our government really given it away? There’s so much speculation and spin around the whole topic – no one seems to be able to give a clear assessment of the situation. When confronted, politicians do what they do best – avoid answering questions. Isn’t it time we had some transparency?
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– Dan O’Neill writes about the youth response to austerity in Ireland and the role of trade unions in this movement.

This piece was originally posted on the Young Workers Network here.

There’s Never Been So Many Young People

Since the economic crisis began there have been strong youth movements taking action across the globe.

From the barrios of Venezuela to the favelas of Brazil; the squares of Egypt to the streets of Quebec and Chile; young people have been demanding that their voices are listened to against a wave of conservative opposition.

According to the UN, 2.8 billion people across the developing world are under the age of 24.

In the Middle East and North Africa, it’s estimated that over 65% of the population are under the age of 24.

Here in Ireland, young people make up about 40% of the population making our population one of the youngest amongst the EU 15.

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Richard Manton is a PhD student at NUI Galway and blogs at Public Engineering.

AT THE HUNGER, Nutrition and Climate Justice conference the extent of hunger and malnutrition across the globe was highlighted. The statistics, which unfortunately many people have become conditioned to, were given by Michael D. Higgins: “more than one billion people are undernourished, over two billion suffer from nutritional deficiencies and almost six million children die every year from malnutrition or related diseases.”


Higgins called this “the greatest ethical failure of the current global system”. As horrific as this global situation is, one does not need to travel across the world or 150 years back in Irish history to see significant levels of hunger and ethical failure; one need only look around Ireland today.

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For further information on the schedule or to volunteer to take part visit or contact

On the 16th of May last year Gardaí and workers from Galway city council launched an early morning raid on the Occupy Galway camp in Eyre Square. As dawn broke on the 215th day of the protest, the city was put under martial law and all streets into Eyre Square were blocked off. The 9 people present at the time of the raid could offer little resistance to the overwhelming force of the Garda public order unit. After the occupiers were removed from the camp the Gardaí and workers began to destroy the structures and remove the tents. They showed little or no regard for personal belongings, books, clothes, computer equipment and other items were indiscriminately dumped along with tents, tarps, banners and bedding. The Gardaí had said previously that we were breaking no law and that Eyre Square had in fact been safer while the camp was there. In the end the Gardaí, the supposed guardians of the peace, caved to political pressure and launched the raid. They ignored the fact that we were a peaceful assembly of citizens and were entitled under the constitution to protest. Instead of protecting human rights like they were supposed to do, they instead treated us like criminals. Two occupiers were arrested on the morning of the raid, one for refusing to leave his tent and another for trying to get through the Garda line around the square. Three more were arrested in the days following the raid for writing with chalk on Eyre Square.

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Breandán O Conchúir explains why the Irish Left need to organise in rural Ireland… 

While the growth of the left in Ireland is a welcome development it is worth looking at how socialism relates to life in rural Ireland. I think it is fair to say that the left in Ireland is and has traditionally been urban based as has socialism globally. A quick search of the socialist party website using “farm” and “rural” as search terms returned no results while the socialist workers party website does have  animal welfare items, only one animal  welfare topic related  to rural Ireland in anyway and the ULA website makes no mention of farming or rural Ireland. I truly believe socialism can appeal to rural Ireland and the farming community and if there is a failure to develop policy on rural development then we will see a polarisation of a left right dived along the rural urban divide.

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