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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 »


Report by the Communications Workers’ Union Youth Committee, November 2012

What is JobBridge?

In July 2011, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton launched the JobBridge internship scheme. Heralded by the government as a mechanism for labour market activisation (getting a job to me and you); the scheme seeks to provide work experience placements for some of the 434,000 people currently unemployed in Ireland.

Read the rest of this entry »

– Sarah McCarthy reports on last night’s draft legislation on life-saving abortion, and the reaction of pro-choice groups.

Savita Halappanavar died last November as a result of Ireland's restrictive laws on abortion.

Savita Halappanavar died last November as a result of Ireland’s restrictive laws on abortion.

Last night, the Cabinet finally published the draft of the Heads of Bill for the ‘Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013’. After 21 years, it looks like we will finally have legislation on the X Case before the summer is out.

The Bill requires one doctor to approve a termination to save a pregnant woman’s life in the case of an emergency, two in a non-emergency situation, and three consultants to unanimously approve a termination when a woman’s life is at risk due to “suicidal ideation”. If a woman at risk of suicide is denied a termination she must appeal to another panel of three consultants, who must also be unanimous in their decision.

Read the rest of this entry »

"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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– Sarah McCarthy writes about last week’s High Court case in which a hospital brought a pregnant woman to court to try and compel her to have a C-Section. This post originally appeared on Sarah’s personal blog here

How would you feel if I told you that a hospital in Ireland went to court last week, because they felt it necessary to tie a woman down, forcibly give her an anaesthetic, and slice open her abdomen, then her uterus? Horrified; disgusted; transported back to a time ofsymphysiotomies and the Magdalene Laundries? Well, they did. Read the rest of this entry »


– 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 »

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 »

Obligatory first blog post. Those of us at ISLO are very happy to welcome you all to the site. We hope it will be the start of some very stimulating discussion and debate. The following is just a little bit about Irish Student Left Online and its plans for the future.

Founded in January 2013, Irish Student Left Online is a blog set up to give space for the radical student voice studying in Ireland. Alongside discussing the ever present issues of student fees, grant cuts and the continuous neo-liberalisation of third level education, both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland, it will discuss wider topics such as abortion legislation, LGBTQ rights, anti-racist/anti-fascist movements,  feminism, anti-war and of course the wider anti-austerity campaign.

The second function will be to start a discussion and debate on exploring the possibilities of what the student movement can be beyond the usual lobbyist tactics of recent years and how a broad left student group could develop to cater for a united and truely progressive student movement.

If you would like to get involved  in Irish Student Left Online, feel free to drop us an email at

Look forward to reading, writing and debating with you all,

-Comrades of Irish Student Left Online 

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