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Last week, Young Fine Gael made an excellent attempt to outdo their daddy party in the contempt for the commoners race when their proposal of an “Earned income Tax Credit” surfaced on

In a recommendation full of political buzzwords that comes right out of an essay by a 3rd year Law and Economics student, this proposed ‘twofold strategy’ would see a ‘restructure’ of how minimum wage is paid by employers which would take €2 off what businesses had to pay minimum wage employees. So instead of the 8.65 employers would normally pay an experienced employee, they would pay only 6.65. For workers under the age of 18, this new pay rate would see them be paid only 4.06 by employers. But don’t worry folks, that two euro that your boss isn’t paying you will be given back to you in the form of a tax credit by the government (read taxpayers/yourself) so it all works out even in the end right? Read the rest of this entry »


With TCD’s Phil Society debating whether or not to re-invite Nick Griffin back to Trinity, let’s take a look back at some previous attempts to bring him onto Irish university campuses and why a No Platform policy is not the same as being against freedom of speech.

It came to my attention today that The illustrious Phil of Trinity College Dublin had a motion last week entitled “This house would re-invite Nick Griffin”, I presume to ‘debate’ (read as espouse racist hate speech under the thin veil of standing up for the good, decent working class people of Britain) immigration reform and/or free speech, while the debating students of the Phil look very open minded and liberal while cracking some witty remarks at his expense and using logical debate. All the while they have stood up for free speech by letting a racist in a suit talk shite. End of the night the students can go home safe in the knowledge that democracy is the best system we have and anyone who would deny Griffin his speaking writes are no worse than the fascists themselves. Sure who really listens to him anyway?


The Phil Society's flier for the Griffin motion

The Phil Society’s flier for the Griffin motion

I know. The sheer thought that we potentially have to go through all this again after two years and two colleges inviting Griffin (UCC being the other) has me holding my head in my hands and weeping into my copy of Rabble magazine as well. Unfortunately, as Aidan Rowe stated in an open letter to the Phil Society in the wake of the last attempted visit:

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After hiring strippers to preform for them in their SU bar, Maynooth Student’s Union have said that they cannot comment on the matter because they are in the middle of an SU election. Nonsense hackery really. We’re happy to re-blog a post from Karl Gill’s blog Red Head, where he talked about the nature of student politics in Ireland last year. If you like this, you should go check more of his stuff. 

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 about the nature of Irish student politics.


Every single student in this country is a member of a student union. Unlike a Trade Union, students do not choose this membership, the majority of students are not consciously Read the rest of this entry »

In the wake of NUI Maynooth’s recent stripper incident, Pádraig McCarrick talks about what it means for 3rd level institutions as safe spaces. 

There was an extra special case of irony around the most recent furor of sexist allegations against some at NUI Maynooth insofar as that the story broke just after International Women’s Day. This highlighted that for all the successes in increased gender equality that have been achieved, the culture of casual sexism exemplified by the lad culture seen on campuses across the country is attacking the concept that universities and other public places are to be seen as safe spaces for all.


This particular incident, which took place last Monday involved an event in which a current Students’ Union Exec Officer was having a mock stag night before a charity wedding later on in the week. In good stereotypical fashion exotic dancers/strippers (which apparently have no connection with the Ex. O in question despite his name being attributed to the event) were produced and the story ended up being picked up by the Sunday World. If you want more on Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Alán Camilo Cienfuegos discusses the true legacy of the bizarrely beloved JFK.

It is 50 years since John F. Kennedy, then president of the US, visited Ireland, in 1963. And now, just as then, the media both here and in the US is replete with praise and admiration for the man, America’s first Catholic president, the great-grandson of Irish emigrants from County Wexford. The Irish Times piece of June 19th entitled ‘Flame transfer celebrates transformational John F. Kennedy’ is particularly illuminating in its quoted praise for the former president, describing a memorial service in Washington’s Arlington Cemetery on June 18th, at which the ‘eternal flame’ at Kennedy’s graveside was transferred to a torch, to be carried to Dublin and thence to New Ross in Co. Wexford by Irish Navy vessel, where it will light an ‘emigrant flame’ on the quay front. The ceremony is to be attended by Enda Kenny, President Kennedy’s daughter Caroline, and his sister and former ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith.

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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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– Robert Nielsen discusses the ongoing dispute over the Croke Park II proposals, and why cutting wages is always a bad idea.

At the moment there is a great deal of controversy over the Croke Park Deal. In essence the government is trying to cut the wages of public sector workers while the public sector unions are opposing this. Regardless of the politics of the agreement, cutting wages is bad economics. It depresses the economy, worsens the recession and doesn’t even achieve its objective of reducing the deficit. The union membership was absolutely right to reject the Croke Park Deal and the government must completely reconsider its plan of action, because the current one isn’t working.

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Sarah McCarthy writes about the scandal that has raged this week about banks possibly forcing parents to give up their jobs.

There has been a good deal of uproar this week about the soon to be published Personal Insolvency Service guidelines. The controversy has centred around the possibility that parents whose incomes is less than the cost of their family’s childcare will be forced to quit their jobs.

What Happened?

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"It's Okay Ladies; I Got This!"

“It’s Okay Ladies; I Got This!”

– Sarah McCarthy writes about Eamon Gilmore’s recent refusal to attend an males-only dinner in the US.

On his St. Patrick’s Day trip to the US, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore decided to skip the traditional visit to the city of Savannah in Georgia. He did so to avoid the awkward moment of having to turn down an invitation to attend the Hibernian Society’s men-only annual dinner. Apparently, this “bold move” means we should now all pat him on the back for his feminist-ally credentials.

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