Posts By Irish Left Review


Sheehy Skeffington School, Saturday April 12th in Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse St

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The Sheehy Skeffington School is on this Saturday April 12.

Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse St., Dublin 2

The keynote speaker this year is Gareth Peirce.


09:30 Registration

10:00 Introduction by chair, Carol Coulter (former Irish Times journalist, now Director Child Care Law Reporting Project)

10:15 Michael Farrell (Sen. Solicitor, FLAC, former ICCL & IHRC) ’Brief update on human rights infrastructure’.

10:30 Gareth Peirce (leading human rights lawyer) ’No World for Whistleblowers’

11:00 Questions

11:15 Break

11:30 Seanie Lambe (Inner City Activist, Chairperson ICON) ’Communities, regeneration and rights’.

11:50 Clare Daly (TD) ’The Legacy of Austerity’.

12:15 Panel Discussion

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Leeann Lane (Head of Irish Studies, MDI) ’The Irish Suffrage Campaign on the eve of World War 1 : Tensions and debates’.

14:30 Questions

14:40 Richard Sheehy (Glasnevin Parish and relative of Sheehy Skeffingtons) ’Thoughts on Francis Sheehy Skeffington’
followed by Donal O’Kelly (playwright and actor) & colleagues Readings from ‘A Prodigal Daughter’ (a play written by Francis Sheehy Skeffington, first performed in 1914).

15:30 Close

Speakers biogs:
Dr. Carol Coulter is Director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project and a former Legal Affairs Editor with the Irish Times which she joined in 1986. She has been deputy News Editor, acting London editor and acting Belfast editor. She has won a number of journalism awards, including a National Media Award and the overall Justice Media Award in 2012 for her coverage of legal and justice issues. Carol’s chairing of previous Sheehy Skeffington Schools contributed substantively to the level of discussion on the subjects under consideration.

Clare Daly is a TD for the United Left Alliance in the constituency of Dublin North. Formerly a Students’ Union President in NIHE and later DCU as well as a long standing SIPTU shop steward in Dublin Airport when she worked for Aer Lingus, Clare has a long track record as a campaigner for workers rights and the interests of the community.

Michael Farrell is the senior solicitor with FLAC. He formerly worked as a solicitor in private practice and has taken cases to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Committee of Social Rights. He is a former Co-Chairperson of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and was a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission from 2001 to 2011 and of the working group on the proposed merger of the IHRC and the Equality Authority. He is the Irish member of the Council of Europe Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and a member of the Council of State.

Seanie Lambe is the Chairperson of the Inner City Organisations Network (ICON). He has been involved in the development of the area for many years and sits on a number of boards. He is currently the Director of the Inner City Renewal Group (ICRG).

Dr. Leeann Lane is Head of Irish Studies and Head of the School of Humanities at the Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin City University. She is the author of Rosamond Jacob: Third Person Singular (2010). She is a member of the “Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Commemorations” appointed by the Government in 2012.

Donal O’Kelly is one of Ireland’s foremost socially engaged playwrights. His recent production, ’Hairy Jaysus’ is a bifocal perspective of Francis Sheehy Skeffington’s final hours – through historical and contemporary viewpoints. His other plays include Catalpa, Jimmy Joyced! and Bat the Father Rabbit the Son. Donal’s creations include The Cambria, The Adventures Of The Wet Señor, Vive La, Operation Easter, Asylum! Asylum!, The Dogs, Farawayan and The Hand. As an actor, he has appeared in Translations, Juno and the Paycock and The Tempest in the Abbey, played Lucky in the Gate Theatre’s Waiting For Godot, and on screen played leading roles in Kings, The Van, and Spin The Bottle, as well as RTE’s Paths to Freedom and Fair City.

Gareth Peirce is a solicitor, educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, University of Oxford and the London School of Economics. She is best known for her tireless, groundbreaking work and advocacy in high-profile cases involving miscarriages of justice, and those of people (particularly Irish and Islamist) accused or convicted under anti-terrorist legislation. Gareth’s calm and reflective demeanour belies a passionate and longstanding commitment to the use of law to promote human rights and justice for the most vulnerable.

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New LookLeft out now!

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New LookLeft out now!

€2 for 48 pages of progressive, news, views and solutions

In Easons and selected newsagents countrywide.

This issue includes:

  • Who Watches the Watchmen: The Gardai, drugs and the working class
  • Look Back in Anger: Brian Hanley on remembering the reality of WW1
  • Conor McCabe on Ireland, the frontline of the class war
  • Sean Garland pays tribute to RMT leader Bob Crow
  • LookLeft talks to Andy Irvine
  • Kevin Brannigan on the struggle to save the home of Irish football
  • Interview with Belfast’s Red Devil: Des O’Hagan
  • Jennifer Silva on Economic Uncertainty and Mental Health
  • Mark Walshe on Making a market out of education
  • Chris Hudson asks Where is progressive unionism?

And much, much more….

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Anglo: Not Our Debt Campaigners Alarmed at ECB Pressure

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Debt Justice Action – a coalition of community, trade union, global justice, academic, faith-based and other groups that hosts the Anglo: Not Our Debt Campaign –  has described as “alarming” media reports that the Irish government is being pressured by the European Central Bank to quickly sell on to the private sector the government bonds it issued to replace the Anglo promissory notes in 2013.

Spokesperson Niamh McCrea said that any such sale would “make an already bad deal even worse”.  She said, “The debts run up by a bank like Anglo, which is under criminal investigation, should never have been taken on by the Irish people through the promissory notes, and those notes should not have been turned into sovereign debt, as the government did last year, extending the repayment period but with no write-down of the debt”.

Andy Storey pointed out that as the bonds are currently held by the Central Bank of Ireland, any interest paid on them stays with the Irish state, but that “if they are sold to the private sector, as the ECB is now pushing to happen quickly, then the same class of creditors and bondholders whose gambles were made good by the Irish government will end up making yet more money by raking in the interest payments due”.

Ms McCrea called on the Irish government to “for once, resist ECB pressure and insist that the bonds remain with the Central Bank with a view to negotiating the write-down of this odious and illegitimate debt”.

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Launch of ATTAC Ireland, 5/6 April

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Disarm the Markets: Launch of Attac Ireland with a public talk by Esther Jeffers (University of Paris VIII and European Attac Network) and IFSC walking tour with Conor McCabe.

Where: Room 4-027, Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street, Dublin 2

When: Saturday 5th April, 2pm.

Attac is an international movement working towards social, environmental and democratic alternatives to neoliberal globalisation. Founded in France in 1998, it fights for the regulation of financial markets, the closure of tax havens, the introduction of global taxes to finance global public goods, the cancellation of debt, fair trade, and the implementation of limits to free trade and capital flows (see

5th April marks the launch of the Irish chapter of Attac. Attac Ireland is delighted to welcome Esther Jeffers who will speak at the event. Esther is a lecturer at the University of Paris VIII and a specialist on shadow banking and finance in the Euro area.

Esther’s talk will be followed by an open meeting for anyone interested in becoming involved with Attac Ireland. This meeting will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about Attac, and to discuss how Attac Ireland could be developed to challenge financial power and injustice through education and activism.

These events will be followed on Sunday morning 6th April, with a walking tour of the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC) by Dr Conor McCabe (UCD School of Social Justice). Time tbc.

Follow Attac Ireland on Facebook

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Irelands’ Bank Guarantee: A Lesson In Class Power

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The following article by Conor McCabe, is taken from the first issue of the relaunched The Bottom Dog, published by the Limerick Council of Trade Unions. Copies of the full print issue are now available in Connolly Books. You can also follow The Bottom Dog on Facebook.  

At the start of 2013 the indepen­dent TD for Wicklow, Stephen Don­nelly, stood up in the Dáil and ta­lked about the bank guarantee. He said it was passed because ‘of a di­ktat from Europe that said no Euro­pean bank could fail, no Eurozone bank could fail and no senior bond­holders could incur any debt.’ It is a curious opinion to hold, as the on­ly foreign accents heard on the re­cently-released Anglo tapes are imitations done by Irish bankers of considerable wealth and influence.

The tapes shone a light on the short-term focus, the scramble for capital that was to the front of the bank’s management team. John Bowe, the head of Capital Markets at Anglo Irish Bank, told his collea­gue Peter Fitzgerald that the strate­gy was to get the Irish central bank to commit itself to funding Anglo, to ‘get them to write a big cheque.’ By doing so, the Central Bank wo­uld find itself locked in to Anglo as it would have to shore up the bank to ensure it got repaid.

The Irish financial regulator, Pat Ne­ary, in a conversation with Bowe, said that Anglo was asking his offi­ce ‘to play ducks and drakes wi­th the regulations.’ Once the gua­rantee was passed the bank’s CEO, David Drumm, told his executives to take full advantage but advised them to be careful and not to get caught.

This was reinforced by an article in the Sunday Independent on 17 No­vember 2013 which looked to the British Treasury’s archives for in­formation on Anglo and the bank guarantee. ‘The documents reve­al’ said the newspaper, ‘that the Fi­nancial Regulator tipped off Britain that Anglo might be “unable to roll €3bn [in funding] overnight,” but not to worry as if that happened the Central Bank or Government would step in to bail it out.’

The idea for a blanket guarantee, however, did not originate entirely with the Anglo management team, regardless of how much they em­braced it. In the weeks leading up to the decision, the idea of a gu­arantee was flagged in the natio­nal media by people such as David McWilliams and the property deve­loper Noel Smyth.

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A Bridge for Rosie: International Women’s Day Celebration of the Rosie Hackett bridge

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A Bridge for Rosie: International Women’s Day Celebration of the Rosie Hackett bridge, brought to you by the Irish Women Workers Union Commemorative Committee and SIPTU

Cois Life Bar, Liberty Hall
Saturday March 8th
Doors 7pm, bar 7-10pm

Host: Actor/writer Tara Flynn

8-9pm Spoken Word with journalists Kitty Holland & Justine McCarthy and writers Catherine Ann Cullen, Rachael Hegarty, Nessa O’Mahony, Mary Russell & Enda Wyley

9-10pm Music: Zrazy with their luscious latin & funky swing, Rita Fagan with the Laundry Workers Song and Niamh Kelly with a Song for Savita

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Obamas America – Not just a Christian, Father Daniel Berrigan S.J. in Dialogue


This an interview with peace activist Daniel Berrigan conducted by the German magazine Thanks to Riocard Ó Tiarnaigh, an editor at the magazine for translating it and sending it on.

Interview with Daniel Berrigan, August 26, 2013 in New York

Daniel Berrigan is a shining light of the American peace movement. For more than sixty years the Jesuit priest, theologian and poet, who was born in 1921, has spoken out loudly against poverty, oppression and war. Two incidents in 1968 made Berrigan famous. In January of that year he travelled in the company of the historian Howard Zinn to Hanoi for talks with the North Vietnamese leadership and to bring three U. S. air force prisoners-of-war home. In May he, his brother Philip, also a Catholic priest, and seven other peace activists entered the offices of the draft board in Catonville, Maryland, seized several hundred draft letters and set them on fire with home-made napalm on the parking lot in front of the building. This led to the sensational trial of the “Catonville Nine”. Upon being sentenced to three years in prison for trespassing and severe damage to property, Berrigan went into hiding. During his time on the run from the legal authorities, he was named as one the FBI’s “top ten most wanted” criminals. He was eventually arrested and later given early release, having served one and a half years of his sentence.

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Fight the Power & Parecomic: Two Graphic Political Books by Sean Michael Wilson

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Sean Michael Wilson is an Irish-Scot professional comic book/graphic novel writer, who often makes books on social issues, history, and politics and so his recent work might be of interest to readers. His most recent book, which came out last October, is Fight the Power, published by the New Internationalist and introduced by Tariq Ali. Fight the Power is described as ‘A Visual History of Protest Amongst the English Speaking Peoples’ and has a whole chapter on Ireland and Irish struggles.

Another one of interest is Parecomic, published by Seven Stories Press, which describes in graphic novel form the anarchist inspired participatory economics system of Michael Albert. The book includes an introduction by Noam Chomsky, who is also in the book several time – his first contribution to a book in graphic form.

Here are more detail on both books…

On  Fight the Power

In his famous history series A History of the English Speaking Peoples Winston Churchill seemed to think that history was about wars and made by great leaders.

Fight the Power! begs to differ and instead presents A Visual History of Protest Amongst the English Speaking Peoples.

Today’s occupy movements are part of a long history of struggle. This book visualises key moments in history where ordinary people have risen up and fought governments, corporations, even empires. When the 99% have stood up to combat exploitation and abuse or in pursuit of freedom of action and a better life.

This comic book covers 14 cases of such struggle over the last 200 years and in several English speaking countries including not just the US and UK but Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, India and Jamaica.

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Progressive Film Club, Saturday 22 February at the New Theatre

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Progressive Film Club 

Showing This

Saturday 22 February at the New Theatre ·

43 East Essex Street · Dublin 2

2:30 p.m. Dream Apocalypse (UK)
Dream Apocalypse tells the poignant tale of what it is like to be a student in England today. We follow Joel Muckett’s life experiences and his hopes of hanging on to his dream of going to university, in spite of his disillusionment with the commodification of higher education. The increasing cost may put this education beyond his means, and his dream may be a dying dream. This is Ismael’s first film. ¦ Directed by Ismael Ahmed (University of Bedfordshire). Running time: 10 minutes.

2:45 p.m. The Colour of the Soul (India)
A documentary that seeks to address the principles on which the caste system in India is based. The social system is not without controversy and paradoxes. In India, birth has a colour. ¦ Produced and directed by Alberto Martos (Spain). In Spanish, with English subtitles. Running time: 47 minutes.

3:45 p.m. National Identity (France)
In France, for more than thirty years, foreign nationals have accounted for about 20 per cent of the prison population, even though they represent only between 6 and 8 per cent of the total population. This over-representation is explained by political choices since the end of the 1970s, particularly the repression of immigrants. National Identity spotlights the plight of former foreign-national prisoners who were sentenced to deportation after prison, which amounts to a double punishment. In the film there are interviews with victims of the system, justice professionals, and politicians, with analyses by research workers. A little-known side of the French state’s relationship with foreign nationals, many of whom hold French passports, is revealed. ¦ Produced and directed by Valérie Osouf (Granit Films / Divali Films). In French, with English subtitles. Running time: 80 minutes.

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The Inquiry – Showing As Part of JDIFF ’14

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In the autumn of 1913, as the social and political maelstrom of the Lockout raged around them, legendary union leader James Larkin faced his nemesis William Martin Murphy across a conference table in Dublin Castle. It was here, in the seat of British power in Ireland, that the two men passionately articulated their respective visions for the coming Irish state.

With the centenary of the Lockout having passed, THE INQUIRY ventures beyond the rhetoric to offer a compelling account of the Askwith Inquiry, a seminal event in Irish history never-before presented on the big screen.

The film steps back from Dublin’s seething streets to explore the complex personalities and ideologies of key figures such as Larkin (Stephen Murray), Murphy (Bosco Hogan), James Connolly (Patrick O’Donnell) and Timothy Healy (Gerry O’Brien). Shot in crisp black-and-white, THE INQUIRY captures the political ferment of a country on the brink of a decade of violence, through powerful performances and a gripping narrative thrust.

See The inquiry @ the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival
The Lighthouse Cinema
Smithfield, D7
Saturday 22nd of February
12.30pm – Screen One
Photo credit: Kate Bowe O’Brien

The Inquiry – Official Trailer JDIFF ’14 from DCTV on Vimeo.

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Media, Crisis and The Making Of Common Sense

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Why is the vast majority of Irish media dominated with an undoubting and uncritical attitude towards a single theory of the ‘crisis’? What role does it play in legitimising, rather than challenging, the structural causes of growing inequality? And what does this mean for radical interpretations of democracy, public space and the remaking of common sense?

In this Live Register podcast, we’re joined by Julien Mercille and Henry Silke, two academics who have been carrying out separate research relating to the Irish media.

Julien Marcille lectures at the School of Geography in UCD and has recently published research on how the Irish mainstream media have covered the Irish “crisis” from a pro-austerity position over the last five years. Henry Silke is a postgraduate researcher at the School of Communications DCU, who has been examining the political role of the Irish press during the crisis.

We used their research to frame a wider discussion of the real role of mainstream media in Ireland today, exploring how market ideology is central to how mainstream media frames public discourse, very much at odds to the perception of mainstream media holding truth to power.

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EU civil society voice opposition to European Commission green light for fracking

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Press Statement from Fracking Free Ireland

EU civil society voice opposition to European Commission green light for fracking

Some 300 civil society groups from across Europe have addressed their concerns over proposals by the European Commission to issue non-binding guidance for the shale gas industry this week.

In an open letter addressed to EU institutions, some 300 diverse groups from across Europe criticise the Commission’s proposals to issue non-binding guidance for the industry, which pave the way for shale gas exploration. The EU executive body will announce its plans this Wednesday, as part of its 2030 Climate and Energy Package. Pressure from the fossil fuel lobby, as well as from Member States, with the UK playing a leading role, has resulted in the Commission making a U-turn from its previous course to deliver binding legislative proposals, initially favoured by Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik in October.

As new drilling sites appear across Europe, from Barton Moss in the UK to Punge?ti in Romania, groups point to how the current legal situation in the EU does not even guarantee mandatory Environmental Impact Assessments. Lobbying from Member States during recent negotiations on the review of the EIA Directive have resulted in the exemption of an amendment which would have required mandatory EIAs for shale gas projects. With no specific regulations in most Member States and plans for EU-wide legislation now scuppered, communities are at the mercy of an unregulated industry which has left a frightening toll of destruction in its wake in the US.

The Commission’s move also flies in the face of EU public opinion. The results of a consultation it carried out last year reveal that two-thirds of EU citizens believe the shale gas industry should not be developed in Europe at all. When asked which policy option repondents would like it to pursue most, citizens chose the development of a comprehensive and specific EU piece of legislation, while industry opted for guidance.

Legislators seem intent to turn a blind eye to the dangerous realities of the industry despite its own recommendations. A study published by the Commission in September 2012 identified significant gaps in at least eight key environmental directives. The same study confirmed the high risk nature of shale gas activities. A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence highlighting the threats to air, water and human health continues to emerge, along with an ever expanding list of global bans and moratoria, with Dallas, Texas the latest US community to outlaw the industry.

With failure from Brussels to provide protection to citizens, Leitrim County Council voted last week to insert a ban in its County Development Plan, lending a huge boost to plans for a nationwide ban.

To coincide with the Commission’s announcement this Wednesday, citizen groups will also be staging demonstrations in protest

Fracking Free Ireland – Brussels

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Talk on Landscape and Revolution in Ireland, France and America 1770-1810

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Landscape and Revolution in Ireland, France and America 1770-1810
Irish Landscape Institute Lecture
Dr. Finola O’Kane Crimmins
Thursday January 23rd at 6.30pm
Goethe Institut, 37 Merrion Square East, Dublin 2.
All welcome, please rsvp to to reserve your space.
The original correlation of landscape and revolution took place on American soil in the heady decade of the 1770s.
This lecture will explore how this was projected back to Europe in order to engender revolution in the old world. It will identify which European sites were also invoked to do so and to what degree landscape tours became a precondition for revolutionary thought.

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Trips to the West Bank, From 12th to 20th Sept 2014

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Are you interested in travelling to the West Bank?  Would you like visit Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron?

Would you like to meet with Israeli and Palestinian individuals and groups working for peace and justice in the region?

Since 2006, Elaine Daly has organised 14 trips to the West Bank and is currently preparing for the next trip which is scheduled for the 12-20th of September 2014.

Participant numbers vary for each trip but are limited to a maximum of 30 people.

The aim of these trips is to enable people to see for themselves the situation in the West Bank and to meet with Israeli and Palestinian activists who are working for peace and justice in the region.

If you would like further information about this trip check out or contact Elaine on 086 1568 234.

Elaine Daly organises these trips to the West Bank in a personal and non-profit making capacity and is a member of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Sadaka, The Ireland Palestine Alliance.

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