The Detestable Race. Beatrice and Sidney Webb In Ireland – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing some research on the complex origins of socialism as a political and cultural force in late 19th and early 20th century Ireland, which of course includes the significant influence of British thinkers and campaigners on developments here. Which led me to this observation on the Irish people by the acclaimed Christian-socialist author and reformer Charles Kingsley upon a visit to County Sligo from his home in England, writing to his wife from…

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Abortion & Ireland: Report Shows Rate Increased in 2019 after Legalization – Politics Article

A celebration following the result of the abortion referendum, Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018 (Max Rossi/Reuters) In May 2018, Ireland voted to repeal the Irish constitution’s eighth amendment, opening the door for full legalization of abortion, which officially became legal on January 1, 2019. A new report from Ireland’s Department of Health shows that the number of abortions performed in the country surged during the first full year after legalization. This report indicates that 6,666 abortions took place in Ireland,…

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Fianna Fáil Dissent, Fine Gael Smugness, Green Party Unease And Russian Bots – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

Are the wheels about to come off the new multiparty coalition government before it can even trundle out of the garage? Things are looking difficult for the spindly tricycle hammered together by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens. The much diminished Legion of the Rearguard in FF, championed by the likes of Éamon Ó Cuív and a handful of well-known grassroots’ veterans, has come out in opposition to the draft deal with the support of an even smaller cadre…

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Good News For Cyclists And Pedestrians? – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

The draft programme for government agreed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party commits the forthcoming coalition to further investment in new and improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Which is a welcome development. Unfortunately I have no doubt that when it comes to planning and constructing that infrastructure a number of local and regional authorities around the country, and in the capital in particular, will make an absolute balls of it. Unfortunately with the move to push…

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The Summer Solstice Was Not A Celtic Irish Festival – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

Last Saturday evening witnessed the apogee of the summer solstice in Ireland, leading to this description of its cultural significance by RTÉ. The ancient Celtic festival acts as a timely reminder and celebration of who, where and what we really are. Our ancestors saw this key turning point in the Celtic calendar as momentous – a time of blooming, blossoming and wild abandon. Even though it does herald the light starting to lessen, we can imagine they revelled in the…

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Ending The Lockdown In Ireland. Too Fast, Too Soon? – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

Though the Fine Gael-led Government seems determined to speed up the country’s transition through the various stages of the lockdown exit plan, spurred on by backbench TDanna and newspapers lobbying against the continued restrictions on behalf of various business interests, the push to prematurely end the pandemic controls implemented back in March is meeting its own criticism. While much of the established press is presenting the rapid easing of regulations as simply a recognition of reality in the face of…

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UK Issues Threats Against Its EU Neighbours – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

Following on from claims by anonymous sources in the UK government that Britain would seek to sabotage the workings of the European Union if its extortionate demands in the Brexit negotiations were not met, late last night we had a nameless but senior Downing Street official – widely believed to be the anti-EU activist turned prime ministerial aide Dominic Cummings – uttering new threats against Europe through a journalist with the right-wing Spectator magazine. According to the Guardian: On Monday…

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The UK Has Effectively Broken The Good Friday Agreement – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

A tribunal in Belfast has ruled that the residents of the Six Counties are British subjects, and British subjects alone, because the United Kingdom failed to implement the nationality clauses of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) into domestic law. That decision came in a shock judgement against Derry-born Emma DeSouza and her husband Jake, who were fighting a challenge by the Home Office in London following an earlier court ruling in their favour. Under the regional and international peace treaty…

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New IRA Interview On The Border, Brexit And Armed Resistance – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

Featured below is an interview by Channel 4 News in Britain with a spokesperson for the so-called New Irish Republican Army; though like the Provisional IRA before it the organisation does not use the qualifier, instead claiming continuity of title and authority with the military force that emerged from the coalition of revolutionary groupings during the Easter Rising of 1916. The masked volunteer, also dubbed with a voice-over to help preserve his anonymity, makes the following points about the violently…

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The UK Concedes A Backstop For An All Stop – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

So after two years of contentious negotiations abroad and political chaos at home, London has returned to the original “Northern Ireland only” version of the backstop protocol in the proposed Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Except that in this second draft of the treaty the UK has moved from accepting a potential “backstop” for the Six Counties to recognising an immediate “all stop”, placing the contested region in a bespoke regulatory arrangement that will make…

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Justified By The DUP, Tories, Labour And Lib Dems – AN SIONNACH FIONN – Politics Article

On the 16th of February 1886, Lord Randolph Churchill, a member of the troublesome “Fourth Party” backbench faction of the opposition Conservative Party, wrote to a colleague that the “…Orange card would be the one to play” if hardline Tories were to undermine any new attempt by the ruling Liberal Party government to introduce legislation into the House of Commons that promised “home rule” or limited autonomy for Ireland within the then United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In…

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Boris Johnson tells Merkel EU must abandon backstop if it wants Brexit deal – live news | Politics – Politics Article

Amidst all the talk of a snap election this autumn, it is unwise to ignore the likely scale of an Scottish National party “win” in Scotland. All the recent polls show the SNP will romp home with a larger number of seats: not quite as high as the 56 out of 59 seats they won in 2015 but they’re on course to easily surpass 40, leaving the other parties trailing. Those numbers will have significant impact on the prospects of…

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‘We should be afraid’ – Irish PM Leo Varadkar steps up warning about no deal Brexit – as it happened | Politics – Politics Article

If some of that is spent on things which are only needed in the event of no deal, and we don’t end up with no deal, then of course it will be wasted money. But I think we should probably see it, and the government would see it, as a form of insurance policy. If in the end it is not needed, it is not wasted, because it has at least insured us to some extent against what might happen.…

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Brexit deal won’t happen tonight, government sources confirm – as it happened | Politics – Politics Article

11.54pm BST23:54 We’re going to wrap up this liveblog now and summarise an eventful day in Brexit history. Senior government figures have said there will be “no deal” on Wednesday night. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, attempted to secure backing from Tory Brexiters and the DUP as EU leaders spearheaded talks in Brussels, awaiting the green light to approve a deal before Thursday’s summit. However, the DUP objected to several points in Johnson’s agreement. In addition, an issue over VAT…

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