You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2013.

A member of UB1913 reports on the series finale of their podcast series as aired on NEARfm.

[image credit: Moira Murphy]

This past Monday(26 August) marked 100 years to the day of the commencement of the great Lockout of 1913. While official commemoration events are planned for this weekend. for the day that was in it, RTE that evening screened a special episode of Nationwide. The first half of the show fittingly featured the beautiful commemorative Lockout tapestry being put together by volunteers with the help of artist Robert Ballagh.

The second part, however, championed the owner of a small chain of curtain stores of the time who “bravely stuck his head above the parapet” and refused to join in the bosses’ lockout. With much fawning, the segment praised his efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table. Apparently, it was to his eternal credit that he disagreed with the other bosses literally starving half the city to break the union..!

Only the anti-worker establishment could take the momentous and infinitely political story of new unionism(aka “Larkinism”) in Ireland – in its apex of the great 1913 Dublin Lockout – and sideline the self-agency of the working class in its most epic moment. The story of Larkinism and the Lockout is one of direct, brutal class struggle between the workers of Ireland and the bosses of Ireland, not the embryonic corporatism of social partnership advocated by RTE in their chosen micro-history.

Expecting this obscuring of the workers’ story by elites; a small group of young unemployed, students, precarious workers(and combinations thereof) got together at the beginning of the year to form the 1913 Unfinished Business collective with an aim of countering the neutering of our history by elite commemorations such as the RTE Nationwide episode. Instead, we seek to make prominent our history of radical struggle, which we believe is incredibly relevant with the return of white-hot class war being waged from above by bosses on the working class of Ireland since 2008.

By drawing on the real inspiring events of the Lockout period and stories of the likes of Jim Larkin, James Connolly, Rosie Hackett, Constance Markievicz and others – we recorded a podcast series, culminating in the series finale released on Monday(embed below). We hope by using our incredibly rich past to talk about the present, we can locate its contemporary relevance to inspire young people in particular to preach Larkin’s “divine mission of discontent”  in future. Stay tuned.

Episode 6 Description

In our final episode of the 1913 Lockout podcast series we look at how workers can organise today to meet the challenges we face.We take a critical look at the state of the Irish trade union movement today and explore what needs to be changed.

We speak with Joe Carolan, Organiser with Unite, on his experience with organising Fast Food Workers in New Zealand and hear from Esther Lynch, Legal and Legislative Officer ICTU, on the legislative framework for Irish trade unions. Derek Keenan, chair of the ICTU Youth Committee, speaks to us about what the trade union response has been to Job Bridge and Kieran Allen, Lecturer and Shop Steward, addresses the history of social partnership.

This episode also takes a look at a form of community unionism as advocated by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.

The series concludes with group discussion on the need for a reinvigorated mass movement of workers to fight back against bosses, and where to go from here.

Contributors: Moira Murphy, Pádraig Madden, Ronan Burtenshaw, Shane Fitzgerald, Eoin Griffin, and Jen O’Leary.
Produced by: Moira Murphy
Music by Lynched & Lawless.
Thanks to: Joe Carolan, Esther Lynch, Derek Keenan, Kieran Allen


In a post originally found here, Aidan Rowe gives us an article looking the fight for marriage equality and is it enough for the continuation of LGBTQ liberation?

“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us. Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.” ― David Cameron

“Legalizing gay marriage would offer homosexuals the same deal society now offers heterosexuals: general social approval and specific legal advantages in exchange for a deeper and harder-to-extract-yourself from commitment to another human being. Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence… it could also help nurture children. And its introduction would not be some sort of radical break with social custom… A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend… Those conservatives who deplore promiscuity among some homosexuals should be among the first to support it… If these arguments sound socially conservative, that’s no accident. It’s one of the richest ironies of our society’s blind spot toward gays that essentially conservative social goals should have the appearance of being so radical.” ― Andrew Sullivan, ‘Here Comes The Groom: A (Conservative) Case For Gay Marriage’


As it’s presently constructed, the LGBT movement is probably less than a decade away from achieving all of it’s major aims in most Western societies: centrally, same-sex couples having the right to marry and Read the rest of this entry »

– UL student Úna Roddy writes about the shocking level of judgement and unprofessionalism she experienced when trying to get a prescription for ‘The Pill’ from her family doctor.

Picture a doctor in your mind. For most people it’s a blank, but friendly, face you can throw your symptoms at and they will make you all better. Occasionally you need to show them something embarrassing, but it’s okay because we all know that they’re not really “people” regardless of what Grey’s Anatomy tells us. They are Doctors, capital D. The white coat stands for impartial, knowledgeable and non-judgemental advice that you don’t get anywhere else. But in the immortal words of Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility; few people in our modern society hold the kind of untouchable power of a Doctor. Read the rest of this entry »

Interesting little piece from Aidan Rowe on an Irish nationwide university speaking tour of a Canadian speaker from the mass student strikes in Quebec in 2012. If anyone would like to help organising at your university level, or know anyone who would be, link is at the bottom of the piece. 

In 2012 the attempt by the government to Quebec to introduce a 75% fee hike was defeated by the organisation of a mass student strike that lasted over 6 months. That fee increase was part of the global process of imposing the privatisation and commodification of education. Since the victory, organisers of the strike have been being doing speaking tours to aid the process whereby “youth and students everywhere are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to organize as a means to defend education as a social right”. In September this tour reaches Ireland where we need to hear how a sustained and militant student movement that can win is built. We want you to help in ensuring a really good turnout for all of the Irish dates of the tour.

Poster for speaking tour that starts this September.

Poster for speaking tour that starts this September.

There are two purposes to the tour. Firstly so that we Read the rest of this entry »

– Finding a decent place to live with housemates you don’t want to kill by the end of the year can be surprisingly difficult! Here, Anna Ryan from UCD shares her hard-earned wisdom in the field of house-hunting.

  1. Thou shalt choose your housemates wisely. It’s said that you never really know someone until you live with them. Very true. You’ll become intimately familiar with each other’s drinking habits, hygiene, music tastes etc. You and your best friend might become total hated enemies after living with each other for nine months, purely because one person is extremely clean and the other is not. Think long and hard before you move in with your girl/boy-friend or your best friend. If you are one person moving into a house with people already living in it, things become much more difficult. Talk to everyone in the house before you agree to rent the room. It really, really makes your college year a strain if you don’t get on with the people that you live with, so be very careful. Read the rest of this entry »

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