Ireland

Ireland Political Economy

Marxism and the housing crisis

“Our cities can never be made really habitable or worthy of an enlightened people while the habitations of its citizens remain the property of private individuals. To permanently remedy the evils of city life the citizens must own their city.” (James Connolly, Workers’ Republic, 18 November 1899) “The so-called housing shortage, which […]

Ireland

The last acceptable form of racism| Part 2

In part 1 of this article (Socialist Voice, March 2021) I used official statistics showing the gap between Travellers and society in general in health, employment, and educational achievement. Travellers die earlier, have greater ill-health, have lower educational qualifications, have higher unemployment and have more overcrowding and poorer housing than society […]

Ireland

A view from rural Ireland

The CAP talks have stalled. That means no new environmental schemes until the powers that be, the parties to the negotiations, are all in bed with big-money capitalism. The result, of course, will benefit large corporations and factories, not small or medium farmers, meat-factory workers, or all the rural workers. […]

Books Culture Ireland

Irish as spectacle

Manchán Magan, Thirty-Two Words for Field (Dublin: Gill Books, 2020). This acclaimed book ostensibly celebrates the Irish-speaking community in Co. Kerry, where the author spent his holidays as a young man. He explores the rich vocabulary of traditional Irish-speakers and their words for natural phenomena: the weather, the sea, plants, […]

Culture Ireland

Another phoney celebration

Just as it did with St Patrick’s Day, the state has decided to take over the 1st of February—the beginning of spring, traditionally known as St Brigid’s Day—and convert it into another cheap stunt for promoting tourism and “selling Ireland.” (The only wonder is that there’s anything left to sell.) […]

Ireland

The last acceptable form of racism

Part 1 In March 2017 the Government recognised Irish Travellers as an ethnic minority. This was the culmination of a long campaign by Traveller activists, and while it was a vast improvement on the attitude behind the Report of the Commission on Itinerancy (1963),[1] which saw them as “deviant, destitute […]

Ireland

What type of united Ireland do we want?

It’s easy to misinterpret what’s published in newspapers, and particularly so when the narrative appears favourable to a reader’s own point of view. However, when three pillars of the British establishment’s conservative press publish articles raising doubts about Northern Ireland’s future within the United Kingdom, and all published within the space of one week, it is at least worth reflecting on the significance of this phenomenon.

Imperialism Ireland

Brexit and national unity

After nearly half a century of membership of the EEC and then the EU, Britain finally left on 1 January 2021. The period leading up to its departure was heavily choreographed, with displays of brinkmanship, the stock in trade of the European imperial powers of Britain, France and Germany and the other old imperial states of Europe that make up the core of the EU.

The fact that the particular characteristics of Brexit arose out of an inter-imperialist conflict and were determined by the most right-wing forces in Britain may have significantly