Tag Archives: Ireland

Northern Ireland: Bonfires of the vanities

Loyalist mayhem and hate now mainstreamed

Hundreds of loyalist bonfires have gone ahead tonight across the North despite the death of a bonfire builder who fell to his death from one of the pyres.

The death in County Antrim on Saturday night has raised the issue of who is responsible for the bonfires, which have once again become catalysts for sectarian violence.

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Inquest exposes British army murder of Irish mother as legacy fight continues in London

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A Derry mother was shot dead by a British soldier in her back garden in circumstances which were “unjustified”, a coroner has ruled.

Kathleen Thompson, a mother of six, was killed by a bullet fired into the chest in Derry, Northern Ireland, on November 6 1971.

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Red letter day for the Irish language

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A new sense of empowerment was evident in the largest ever demonstration for Irish language rights in Belfast last weekend, as up to 20,000 people demanded overdue legislation to protect the rights of Irish speakers under British rule.

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No Irish jubilee celebrations for an imperial monarch

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By Lasair Dhearg

Irish Republicans, and indeed Republicans throughout the world, will never celebrate the lives of any monarch and especially one who resides in massive palaces in England.

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Queen Victoria – The Famine Queen

On the Occasion of Imperial Day (now called Victoria Day)

Recently campaigns have been underway in Ireland, like that in Cork, to remove the name Queen Victoria, known as the “Famine Queen”, from street signs. That her main statue at Leinster House in Dublin survived until 1948 (26 years after the creation of the Free State) is something of a miracle. She was monarch when Ireland was beset by a famine organized by rich English and Irish landowners and millions starved or emigrated. After gathering dust in Ireland for some years, Victoria got a trip to Sydney, Australia to be “planted” outside the Queen Victoria Building, despite some bids from Canadian buyers. Writing in the Irish Times, Myles na gCopaleen (Brian O’Nolan/Flann O’Brien) the following month was not overly bothered with its removal – her statutes were more harmful than her statues, as he put it. “Besides, look at it this way,” he wrote. “Time has given the mere Irish their revenge. The fact is that Victoria has turned green. Of hue she approaches our decent Irish letterbox. And it is the price of her.”

Excerpt from Tony Seed, Signs of Change in Ireland

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Why Ireland’s pandering to Israel is treason

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, was kept updated about attempts to silence a lawyer who complained about his government’s grovelling toward Israel | Brian LawlessZUMA Press

By David Cronin, Electronic Intifada

(Sept 24) – Ireland’s government will not tolerate the truth about how it panders to Israel.

That is the unavoidable conclusion from efforts made by the foreign ministry in Dublin to muzzle the human rights lawyer Susan Power.

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Ireland: New Roger Casement statue drives reinterment campaign

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A three-metre tall statue of Irish revolutionary Roger Casement has been installed on the south Dublin coast near the place of his birth. Using cranes at Dún Laoghaire Baths, the bronze sculpture of Casement was placed high on a plinth.Born in Sandycove in 1864 to an Anglo-Irish family, Casement was hanged for treason for his part in the 1916 Rising. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council noted that Casement’s last sight of Ireland was from the boat departing its harbour as he was transferred to London to stand trial.

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Call for removal of militarist mural at Belfast football grounds

Irish resist attempt of paramilitary gang to use sport to recruit youth

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Disturbing new hoarding featuring masked UVF gunmen has appeared next to the home ground of Crusaders Football Club. The mural, bearing the logos of the UVF and the paramilitary group’s “youth wing”, the YCV, appeared at the Irish League ground last month.

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Sinn Féin reaffirms solidarity with Cuba

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has reiterated solidarity with the Cuban people and continued support for the Cuban Revolution.

Sinn Féin activists on solidarity tour with Cuba in November 2019

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Sighting. Northern Ireland is coming to an end

Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Politics of partition: “North and South will again clasp hands, again will it be demonstrated, as in ’98, that the pressure of a common exploitation can make enthusiastic rebels out of a Protestant working class, earnest champions of civil and religious liberty out of Catholics, and out of both a united social democracy.” (James Connolly, quoted in Peter Berresford Ellis, A History of the Irish Working Class, Pluto [1985] 1996, p.342; no source.)

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Partition of Ireland: 100 years of Irish language rights denied

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By Lasair Dhearg

For more than six centuries, British policy in Ireland has been aimed at the destruction of the Irish language.Partition has failed the language in both the Twenty Six and the Six County states. Successive Free State governments have failed to support the revival of the language in any meaningful or practical way and have refused to support the economic development of Gaeltacht areas to the point of no return. British repression of the language has continued post partition with the foundation of the Six County Orange state where it has been continually treated with hostility.

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Historic moment as the Irish Dáil supports Sinn Féin motion on Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands

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Dublin, Ireland, May 22, 2021. During the march, the crowd stretched 2.3 kilometres.

A vote by the Dublin parliament on May 26 to adopt a Sinn Féin motion condemning the annexation of Palestinian lands by Israel has been hailed as a historic recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The vote came after thousands turned out across Ireland in support of Palestine the previous weekend in a dramatic display of the level of public anger in Ireland to the latest Israeli onslaught on the Gaza strip, which saw 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, killed by air strikes. Millions of people all over the world have taken to the streets in support of the heroic struggle of the Palestinian Resistance, and to protest against the criminal ethnic cleansing carried out by the Israeli Zionists. The Palestinian Resistance has demonstrated once more that they will continue to fight and expose the Zionists’ schemes to expel the Palestinians from their homeland.

As a sign of appreciation for the solidarity shown by Ireland’s recognition of their right to be, an Irish tricolour flag was raised above Ramallah City Hall in the West Bank on Thursday while Ireland’s national anthem ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ played in the background.

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Bobby Sands

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Bobby Sands died on 5 May, 1981, 40 years ago this week. This article recounts how he became inspired to join the Irish republican struggle and to lead the 1981 hunger strike against the criminalisation of political prisoners. Continue reading

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105th Anniversary of the Irish Rebellion, 1916: We Only Want the Earth

– Poem by James Connolly, 1907 –

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105th Anniversary of the Irish Rebellion, 1916: The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up

– V.I. Lenin –

Painting of the inside of the Dublin Post Office entitled “The Birth of the Irish Republic”

The following is an excerpt from the article by V. I. Lenin, “The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up,” first published in October 1916. Lenin wrote to clarify the issue of self-determination of nations including the significance of the Irish Rebellion in opposition to the opportunist and chauvinist theses put forward by Polish social-democrats and the so-called Zimmerwald Leftists. These theses dismissed the revolt of oppressed nations such as Ireland and the important role of their struggle for their right to self-determination in the proletarian revolution. In his conclusion, Lenin pointed out, “The epoch of imperialism has turned all the ‘great’ powers into the oppressors of a number of nations, and the development of imperialism will inevitably lead to a more definite division of trends in this question in international Social-Democracy as well.” Continue reading

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105th anniversary of the Irish Rebellion, 1916

Glorious uprising of the Irish people | Dougal MacDonald

Mural, Falls Road, Ireland, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2016

The Easter Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed uprising in Ireland during Easter Week in 1916, from April 24-29. The Rising was part of the centuries-long ongoing struggle of the Irish people for independence from England, which began in 1169 with Henry II’s annexation of Ireland. The Rising was no isolated incident or “putsch” as some labeled it at the time to denigrate it. The Irish people have always resisted British rule without letup. Prior to the Rising, at least 20 other separate rebellions had taken place since the 16th century, including within Canada. The single-minded aim of the Irish people has always been to fight to win their independence by ending British colonial rule so as to be free to decide their own destiny. Today they are fighting to reunify Ireland. “A United Ireland Is an Idea Whose Time Has Come,” the leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald said in 2021. Continue reading

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105th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Ireland

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Republican organisations are issuing statements and making speeches to mark the 105th anniversary of the heroic Easter Rising in Dublin of 1916, affirming their commitment to the unification of Ireland. Continue reading

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Bobby Sands’ Hunger Strike Diary

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Forty years ago today, Bobby Sands began his hunger strike. In order to fight Thatcher’s policy of criminalisation and secure their status as Irish political prisoners, he and his comrades were willing to fast until death. He died 66 days later, followed by nine of his comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice. In doing so, they changed the course of Irish history. 

He recorded his thoughts for the first seventeen days, setting them down for as long his mind was clear. This is his hunger strike diary. Continue reading

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Ireland: Isolated but unbowed – Frank Stagg’s hunger strike

Irish republican volunteer Frank Stagg died on hunger strike for rights as a political prisoner in an isolated British jail on the Isle of Wight, 12 February 1976, 45 years ago this week. The story of that sacrifice, by Jonathan O’Meara.

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In almost every decade of the last century, Irish republican prisoners held in jails in Ireland and England have been forced to embark on hunger strike as a last resort in support of their demands for political status. The second of the 12 republicans to die on hunger strike during the latest phase of struggle was Volunteer Frank Stagg. Continue reading

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Irish reject British Army Covid 19 militarization of public health

In a little-mentioned program, NATO is using the global Covid 19 pandemic as the pretext to deploy military forces in the public health system, presented as “essential” and “good Samaritan saviours” and a “normal” response to “exceptional circumstances”, even as it exclaims against medical programs of Russia, China and Cuba. Canada, which has placed the federal distribution of vaccines under the administration of the Canadian Forces, deployed hundreds of soldiers into long-term care facilities and Indigenous communities with disastrous consequences, is no isolated exception, as this news item from Republican News in Ireland illustrates. 

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(January 23) – A deployment of British Army paramedics to hospitals in occupied Ireland has angered many nationalists, particularly among families of those killed and injured by British soldiers.

Following a request by the Stormont authorities, the occupying British Army garrison based in the North of Ireland is to be increased by over a hundred. Continue reading

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Report on Irish ‘Mother and Baby’ homes ‘a cop-out’

Baby factory for the United States?

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A Commission of Investigation has established that some 9,000 babies and children died over eight decades in Irish ‘Mother and Baby’ homes, but a limited report and an official State apology have only increased demands for full redress for a history of murderous neglect and misogyny. Continue reading

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This Day. The Kilmichael Ambush and the Flying Column of Tom Barry

On November 28th one hundred years ago on a roadside in County Cork, Ireland a small group of young men with hardly any military training lay in wait for their enemy. History was about to be made. 

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By Phil Mac Giollabhain (philmacgiollabhain.ie)

The ambush is a particularly risky military operation to pull off. If the element of surprise is lost then it usually ends in calamity for the ambusher Continue reading

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This Day. The burning of Cork, 100 years ago

This week marks the 100 year anniversary of the burning of Cork City by British Crown Forces. An account (abridged from an essay by historian Donal Fallon) of the conflict before and the cruelty during the devastating Cork City fire. “The most colossal single act of vandalism committed in the whole period of the national struggle” was how Florence O’Donoghue, the Head of Intelligence of the Cork No.1 Brigade of the IRA, described the destruction of Cork City on the night of 11 December, 1920.

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This Day. Defeat of the Cairo Gang

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One hundred years ago this week, the IRA carried out one of its most successful operations. The British secret service in Ireland was decimated when 13 senior intelligence officers were executed and many more fled into Dublin Castle. Behind the war against the British state in Ireland was a highly organised Intelligence Department operating in the main under Michael Collins’s direction. Former and serving British soldiers or RIC men, tradesmen, landladies, maids, taximen, businessmen, postmen, British agents and others supplied vital snippets of information on which the department depended. Continue reading

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Frederick Douglass to be remembered in Belfast

A proposal to erect a statue dedicated to US abolitionist and activist Frederick Douglass has been passed by Belfast City Council. Douglass, a former slave, visited Belfast in 1845 as part of his lecturing tour of Ireland. Continue reading

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This Day. In Memory of Kevin Barry

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Kevin Barry was hanged at the age of 18 by the British in Mountjoy Jail on 1 November 1920, 100 years ago this week. He was the first republican to be executed by the British after the 1916 Rising, but his martyrdom inspired the republican side in the War of Independence. Continue reading

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This Day. The 1980 H-Block hunger strike in Belfast

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Irish political prisoners confined in the infamous H-Blocks of Long Kesh commenced a hunger strike on October 27, 1980, 40 years ago this week.

The hunger strike was to continue until their demands for political status and for an end to British torture were met, or until death. Continue reading

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Protest at new British spy towers in Northern Ireland

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Large-scale surveillance installations used by British forces to spy on the nationalist population in the north of Ireland are the focus of a new campaign by republican activists. Continue reading

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Barbados sheds imperial monarchy

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Countries around the world are re-examining their post-colonial identity after Barbados moved to remove the English queen as the head of state. The island has said that it is planning to become a republic as it moves to withdraw from the Commonwealth and “leave its colonial past behind”.Most of the population of Barbados have ancestors who were victims of colonial slavery. It is estimated that between 1627 to 1807, some 387,000 Africans were shipped to the island against their will by English slave traders. Continue reading

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Britain openly admits to breaking international law on Ireland

Having illegally defied the International Court of Justice and the UN General Assembly over the Chagos Islands, now it is Ireland, which is also to be remilitarized.

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(September 9) – The British government has been accused of creating a “rogue state” as it published a bill to violate the Irish protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, an international treaty. Britain’s Direct Ruler in Ireland, Brandon Lewis (pictured), has brazenly admitted in the Westminster parliament that the Tories’ ‘Internal Market Bill’ breaks international law. Continue reading

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