Public campaign needed for national health service in Ireland

In the South we often look enviously at the British NHS. From the injustice and inequality of our two tier system, from our GP waiting rooms where we will have paid €50 or €60 to see a doctor, we see how the NHS was at the center of the debate in the British General election campaign. As efforts to push citizens in the South into the private health market are ratcheted up we see the growth of grassroots campaigns in …

Read more…

Plunging into a Dark Age of Neoliberalism

The choking effect of neoliberalism on the aspirations of people in Ireland, Europe and globally to live better lives, to end poverty, to achieve equality, to progress, is becoming ever more clear. There is an audible growth of discontent. Neither human well-being nor progress are being advanced by neoliberalism and its assumption that individual freedom is guaranteed by the freedom of the market. In fact the opposite is the case. Neoliberalism has seen a drive to make the state and …

Read more…

South Must Separate Church and State

While in the North partition resulted in the creation of a profoundly sectarian Orange state, in the South the victors in the civil war created a state that was reactionary, Catholic and deeply conservative. Despite the passage of time, much of the architecture of that conservative catholic state remains, including the 1937 constitution which was in the words of Professor Dermot Keogh “suffused with Catholic thinking and ideals”. The Catholic hierarchy had stood staunchly behind the pro-treaty side in 1922 …

Read more…

We let them rot in Cricklewood

In 1967, eight years before Enda Kenny entered the Dáil,  another Mayo native John Healy wrote his book ‘No One Shouted Stop – Death of an Irish Town’ chronicling the devastating impact of emigration on the town of Charlestown, Co. Mayo.   As the title suggests the book focused on the failure to act and the complacency that characterised the official response to emigration. As we enter Enda Kenny’s 40th year in the Dáil there is deep disappointment that the Taoiseach …

Read more…

What about democracy?

This week many commentators criticized Greek’s new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis for his decision to travel to Paris and London before travelling to Berlin to meet his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble. The message is clear – all states within the EU are not equal. The unelected European Central Bank, the European Commission and Germany are seeking to bully the newly elected Greek Government in negotiations over Greek’s unsustainable debt. The reality faced by the Greek Government is the extent to which nation …

Read more…

Change is coming and all parties in the South know it

All parties in the south are now in election mode. Selection conventions are beginning to take place across the state. There is a scramble particularly by independents to tap into the mood for change and to benefit from the disillusionment of the public with the establishment parties. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are grappling with the growing possibility that they may end up going into coalition together. They do not want to see Sinn Féin in Government but neither do …

Read more…