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Irish Times and Business Post on Discussion in CWI and SP(I)

Fourth Article in Irish Times on “Clash” in Socialist Party(I) and CWI

CWI Members Bulletin ,Paste into URL

https://docs.google.com/file/d/1awGh8HkPPhCnIxWGqOHNB_7_sXofHzIh/preview

Socialists Clash over How To Compete With Sinn Féin

Fiach Kelly, Irish Times March 7,2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

Murphy describes rivals as bourgeois sectarian nationalists with “an armed wing”

TD Says Key Strategy was applied during Dublin South West  Byelection

Dublin South West TD, Paul Murphy:

“Of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party, a party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North-whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle”

The challenge of how to compete with Sinn Féin for left wing votes is at the centre of differences in political strategy between leading members of the Socialist Party. Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy advocates challenging Sinn Féin with a so-called “united front” approach. Mr Murphy explains this approach in detail in a paper called “The United Front method and putting forward a Socialist Programme today”, published on November 20th. In explaining the united front approach, Mr Murphy cites a definition from the “Executive Committee of the Communist International Theses on the United Front”. By this definition, the tactic is “nothing other than the proposal made by the Communists to all workers, whether they are members of other parties or groups or of none, to fight alongside them, to defend the elementary and vital interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie. “Every action for even the smallest demand is a source of revolutionary education, because the experience of combat will convince the working people of the necessity of the revolution, and will demonstrate the meaning of Communism to them.” He says this can be “applied to today’s situation to win over workers looking towards other organisations”. Mr Murphy also cites Trotsky in expanding his argument, adding: “Trotsky made it clear that even in a specific united front, there was a need for clear differentiation from other forces.” ‘No common platform’ He then quotes Trotsky thus: “No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands.” In effect, Mr Murphy says this would allow Socialists join in common action with others “in order to achieve real gains for the working class” while maintaining their own independence as the “revolutionary” party. “The united front method also means revolutionaries fight in that movement to expose the limitations of the other organisations and ideas, to prove the superiority of revolutionary ideas and seek to win a majority to a revolutionary programme and the leadership of the revolutionary party.” An example of how this was applied, according to Mr Murphy, came during the Dublin South West byelection in 2014. It saw Mr Murphy beat Sinn Féin, who had been expected to take the Dáil seat, on the back of an anti-water charges ticket. His victory is widely credited with pushing Sinn Féin and then Fianna Fáil towards a position in favour of abolishing water charges. Sinn Féin did not initially favour of non-payment of the charges, as the Socialists had. “Here, a very critical and ‘hard’ approach was taken to Sinn Féin, on the concrete issue of water charges to illustrate in practice the weaknesses of their programme and approach, and win over their supporters,” Mr Murphy says. “A consistent element of our campaign was appealing to Sinn Féin supporters to vote for us to apply pressure on Sinn Féin ’to change their position’ and ‘join with us in campaigning to build a mass movement of non-payment’. Weak position “In the election leaflet the comrades themselves quote, it clearly says: ‘The election of Paul Murphy would make it clear to Sinn Féin that a weak position on Water Charges in the future will not be tolerated’. “This was a theme running through much of our election posters, leaflets and other material. “Failing to understand the importance of applying the united front method has resulted in mistakes in the past in relation to Sinn Féin, and can result in mistakes in the future.” The byelection is also used in a paper from others in the movement, replying to similar arguments that had been previously made by Mr Murphy. This paper, is called: “A brief contribution on some political issues mentioned by PM” and is written 3/7/2019 irishtimes.com – Paul Murphy uses Trotsky to explain how Socialists can compete with ‘sectarian’ SF – Wed Mar 06 12:42:27 GMT 2019 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/paul-murphy-uses-trotsky-to-explain-how-socialists-can-compete-with-sectarian-sf-1.3816304?mode=pri… 2/2 by Laura F, Stephen B, Kevin M, Joe H, and dated October 10th last. The authors are understood to be Laura Fitzgerald, Stephen Boyd, Kevin McLoughlin and Joe Higgins. “We should be hesitant about using labels if they don’t accurately convey what we mean,” they say. “We don’t have the time to go into more generally, but will use the example DSW By-Election just given to try to illustrate the difficulty with the term. “There was no question of a unified approach with Sinn Féin on the water charges. There was obviously an attempt by us to win over people who voted for them by using the water charges and austerity issues, but there is a major difference in the content and tone of our campaign.” Differences also emerge between Mr Murphy and his colleagues on how to describe Sinn Féin. Sectarian Mr Murphy says: “The comrades…respond to my description of Sinn Féin as a nationalist, pro-capitalist party saying the following: ‘Of course they are “nationalist, pro-capitalist party’, the reality is that Sinn Féin are a bourgeois nationalist party – but of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party. A party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North – whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle, that was overtly sectarian and at times directly targeted working class Protestants.” Mr Murphy then adds further description is needed on the term “bourgeois nationalist party” the Socialist have used for Sinn Féin. “It seems to me that further clarification may be needed. If the comrades mean it is a capitalist nationalist party, i.e. one with a pro-capitalist nationalist programme, as demonstrated by their implementation of austerity and sectarian policies in Northern Ireland, then I completely agree. “However, if the term ‘bourgeois nationalist party’ is used to indicate a party which represents the nationalist aspirations of the bourgeoisie, then it is not a precise description of Sinn Féin. While in the North, Sinn Féin has support amongst a section of the Catholic capitalist class, in the South, no significant section of the capitalist class supports Sinn Féin.” Mr Murphy also corrects his comrades on their understanding of the “united front”. “The comrades begin with an inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted in general towards the mass organisations of the working class in the 1920s and 1930s’,” he says. “I will deal below with the question of whether the united front is solely a tactic or a method, or both. Nonetheless, the history is clear. The united front did not originate in the 1920s as seems to be implied [by others]. Bolsheviks “It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular. The most well known example is the united front struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov.’ “It wasn’t until later, in particular at the Third and Fourth Congresses of the Communist International in the early 1920s, that the united front was theorised. The same process took place with the transitional method and the workers’ government slogan, both of which were implemented by the Bolsheviks in 1917, for example in Lenin’s ‘The Impending Catastrophe and How to Fight It’, and the ‘Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers’ slogan demanding that the Mensheviks and SRs form a government without the participation of the capitalist parties. “The comrades are unfortunately wrong to suggest that the united front was then adopted by the Communist Parties. In fact, the tragedy of the 1920s and 30s is precisely that it was not fully adopted or properly implemented.” © 2019 irishtimes.co

 

 

 

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Irish Sunday Business Post

Peter Taaffe says focus of Socialist Party has switched to women’s and gay rights as unions are abandoned By  Michael Brennan    Sunday Business Post  Mar 3, 2019

A prominent English socialist figure has accused the Irish Socialist Party of giving up on the working class to focus on the rights of women and LGBTQ people. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

The Irish Socialist Party includes three TDs – Paul Murphy, Mick Barry and Ruth Coppinger – who are also members of the Solidarity-People Before Profit party.

It has come under fire from Peter Taaffe, the general secretary of the Socialist Party of England and Wales, who was expelled from membership of the British Labour Party in 1983.

Taaffe said the ‘Irish comrades’ did not believe in the possibility of mobilising independent working class support.

He said they had admitted that “the new ‘vanguard’ for change is not the working class” and were instead concentrating on “the forces around the movement for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights”.

This is a strong criticism because it has been an article of faith for socialists like Taaffe that the working class is the main revolutionary force that will replace capitalism with socialism.

There is recent evidence of the strong focus of Coppinger, Murphy and Barry on rights for women and LGBTQ people.

All three were active in last year’s campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Coppinger has attracted international attention for holding up a thong in the Dáil to highlight how a jury was told about an alleged rape victim’s underwear during a court case.

Murphy has brought in a sex education bill which he has said would help young LGBTQ students who felt excluded and isolated in school.

Taaffe complained that the Socialist Party and its sister organisation Rosa – set up by women in the party – did not have a clear orientation towards working class organisations during the abortion rights campaign.

“We all agree that they carried out tremendous work in their participation in this campaign, but it was not through clear working class methods and orientation,” he said.

There have been rumblings within the Irish Socialist Party that such campaigns rely too much on middle class students who are not interested in wider socialist campaigns.

Taaffe’s criticisms were published online, in a rare example of dissent between the political parties which follow the philosophy of Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky.

They meet through an umbrella organisation called the Committee for a Workers’ International.

Taaffe said the Irish Socialist Party had effectively abandoned working within the Irish trade union movement for a period.

“But all the great leaders of the working class – Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky – emphasised the absolute necessity even in difficult periods for organised systematic work in and around the trade unions,” he wrote.

TD Paul Murphy could not be contacted for comment.

————————————————————————————Irish Times

Socialist Party documents illustrate criticism from international comrades

Papers show serious differences between leading party figures on domestic strategy

From left to right: Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger TD, Cllr Michael Murphy and Mick Barry TD pictured in 2017. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The inner workings of the Socialist Party are not usually on display for all to see.

Its TDs – Paul MurphyRuth Coppinger and Mick Barry – are the most cogent left wing voices in the Dáil.

Also operating under the Solidarity (formerly Anti-Austerity Alliance) banner, they have led debates on issues such as abortion and water charges.

In our view a tendency has also developed of some leading Irish comrades seeing all struggles through the prism of the women’s movement, rather than seeing how it interconnects with other struggles

Documents recently circulated within the party, however, illustrate how their movement has been criticised by international comrades for an excessive focus on abortion and women’s rights issues.

A collection of documents, including internal policy papers and international policy papers totalling 66 pages, have been seen by The Irish Times, and also reveal serious differences between leading figures on domestic political strategy.

Mr Murphy, Ms Coppinger and Mr Barry did not return repeated requests for comment yesterday.

A number of party councillors also declined to comment, with one saying he had been asked not to speak to The Irish Times. Former party TD Joe Higgins, also named in the documents, did not return calls.

Former Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins was named in the documents but did not return requests for comment made by The Irish Times. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Parent organisation differences

The documents show how differences emerged with the International Section (IS) of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), the parent organisation of the Socialist Party.

Concerns were raised with Irish members last autumn on “struggles relating to women’s oppression”.

The differences, in fact, pre-date last year’s referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

British activists felt the AAA was not forceful enough in arguing during the 2016 general election for “public ownership of the main sectors of the economy”.

This generation of petit-bourgeois feminists put very little focus on winning material gains for women concentrating overwhelmingly on individuals’ experience of sexism

The sharpest exchanges, however, came over the importance of the abortion referendum.

“It is our duty, as the elected leadership of the CWI, to raise our concerns in order to strengthen the work of the whole international,” the International Section of the CWI said in a paper called Women’s Oppression and Identity Politics – Our Approach in Ireland and Internationally.

“We think the comrades could be in danger of overstating the importance of the victory on abortion rights. In our view a tendency has also developed of some leading Irish comrades seeing all struggles through the prism of the women’s movement, rather than seeing how it interconnects with other struggles.”

It also questioned the future of the pro-choice group linked to the Socialist Party, Reproductive rights against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity (Rosa).

For the IS, the campaign against water charges is held up as a better example of “how united working-class struggle can win, and crucially our role in leading it”.

Role in Ireland

However, the role taken by those in Ireland in leading campaigns to increase awareness around abortion pills in the years before the referendum is praised.

“Clearly, the militant and campaigning stance taken by the comrades – for which they were attacked by a layer of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois feminists – was an important positive factor.”

There is some criticism of Ms Coppinger for comments made at an “Englandand Wales Socialism 2014 event”. Ms Coppinger is noted as saying: “Most young women wouldn’t have seen unions doing much for women. I thought a lot of the contributions were from middle-age women and were economic.”

The IS responded by saying the event in question “had a particular trade union focus that had not been the case in many other years”.

“However, in our view Ruth’s comments also reveal a misunderstanding about the necessity of us explaining how economic and social change can be won, and the role of the organised working class in achieving that, as well as an underestimation of the importance of economic issues for working-class women, including young women.

“This generation of petit-bourgeois feminists put very little focus on winning material gains for women concentrating overwhelmingly on individuals’ experience of sexism. In that sense their ideas are a retreat from at least some of the feminist struggles of the 1970s.”

The Irish National Executive Committee (NEC) sent its own document in response. “From the NEC in Ireland, with all NEC comrades, bar Paul M voting for the document,” it notes, and argues: “The IS document could give the impression that the Irish section is soft on, and friendly with the forces of petitbourgeois feminism.

“The IS document says we are in danger of overstating the abortion rights victory. Unfortunately, the IS are understating it.”

The response to the Belfast rape trial last year of rugby players Paddy Jacksonand Stuart Olding (who were both acquitted of rape charges) is also a flashpoint between the IS and Ireland.

The Irish NEC says: “In the context of the Belfast rape trial and presumably in reaction to the ‘I believe her’ slogan that emerged from below, the IS document cautions, ‘we have to be careful not to go along with the conclusion of many petit-bourgeois feminists that every accusation of sexual assault made by a woman against a man has to be accepted. The IS are intimating that we just follow petit-bourgeois feminists. This is inaccurate to say the least. The facts are that when we called the demonstration North and South regarding this trial, we purposely called it under the general title/slogan of ‘Stand with Her & All Survivors’.

 

Socialist Party to present truth in ‘most digestible’ way to working class

In internal documents Paul Murphy advocates ‘united front’ when dealing with Sinn Féin

 

Paul Murphy, left, said: “The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

The Socialist Party will present the truth “in the way which is most digestible to the working class at a particular time”, TD Paul Murphy has said.

In internal documents discussing Brexit and wider strategy, he asks: “Are we guilty of not ‘telling the truth’ to the working class when we don’t bring a demand to leave the EU?

“We always tell the truth to the working class. But we present the truth in the way which is most digestible to the working class at a particular time.”

In exchanges with members including Joe Higgins, he advocates a “united front” method of dealing with groups such as Sinn Féin.

Lenin

“The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.”

He also corrects his comrades’ “inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted . . . in the 1920s and 1930s’.”

“It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular,” he says, citing the “struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov’”.

Mr Murphy did not return requests for comment.

 

Socialists clash over tactics for competing with Sinn Féin

Paul Murphy describes rivals as bourgeois, sectarian nationalists with an ‘armed wing’

Paul Murphy TD outside Leinster House, Dublin Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The challenge of how to compete with Sinn Féin for left wing votes is at the centre of differences in political strategy between leading members of the Socialist Party.

Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy advocates challenging Sinn Féin with a so-called “united front” approach. Mr Murphy explains this approach in detail in a paper called “The United Front method and putting forward a Socialist Programme today”, published on November 20th.

In explaining the united front approach, Mr Murphy cites a definition from the “Executive Committee of the Communist International Theses on the United Front”.

By this definition, the tactic is “nothing other than the proposal made by the Communists to all workers, whether they are members of other parties or groups or of none, to fight alongside them, to defend the elementary and vital interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.

“Every action for even the smallest demand is a source of revolutionary education, because the experience of combat will convince the working people of the necessity of the revolution, and will demonstrate the meaning of Communism to them.”

He says this can be “applied to today’s situation to win over workers looking towards other organisations”.

Mr Murphy also cites Trotsky in expanding his argument, adding: “Trotsky made it clear that even in a specific united front, there was a need for clear differentiation from other forces.”

‘No common platform’

He then quotes Trotsky thus: “No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands.”

In effect, Mr Murphy says this would allow Socialists join in common action with others “in order to achieve real gains for the working class” while maintaining their own independence as the “revolutionary” party.

“The united front method also means revolutionaries fight in that movement to expose the limitations of the other organisations and ideas, to prove the superiority of revolutionary ideas and seek to win a majority to a revolutionary programme and the leadership of the revolutionary party.”

An example of how this was applied, according to Mr Murphy, came during the Dublin South West byelection in 2014. It saw Mr Murphy beat Sinn Féin, who had been expected to take the Dáil seat, on the back of an anti-water charges ticket. His victory is widely credited with pushing Sinn Féin and then Fianna Fáil towards a position in favour of abolishing water charges.

Sinn Féin did not initially favour of non-payment of the charges, as the Socialists had.

“Here, a very critical and ‘hard’ approach was taken to Sinn Féin, on the concrete issue of water charges to illustrate in practice the weaknesses of their programme and approach, and win over their supporters,” Mr Murphy says.

“A consistent element of our campaign was appealing to Sinn Féin supporters to vote for us to apply pressure on Sinn Féin ’to change their position’ and ‘join with us in campaigning to build a mass movement of non-payment’.

Weak position

“In the election leaflet the comrades themselves quote, it clearly says: ‘The election of Paul Murphy would make it clear to Sinn Féin that a weak position on Water Charges in the future will not be tolerated’.

“This was a theme running through much of our election posters, leaflets and other material.

“Failing to understand the importance of applying the united front method has resulted in mistakes in the past in relation to Sinn Féin, and can result in mistakes in the future.”

The byelection is also used in a paper from others in the movement, replying to similar arguments that had been previously made by Mr Murphy. This paper, is called: “A brief contribution on some political issues mentioned by PM” and is written by Laura F, Stephen B, Kevin M, Joe H, and dated October 10th last.

The authors are understood to be Laura FitzgeraldStephen BoydKevin McLoughlin and Joe Higgins.

“We should be hesitant about using labels if they don’t accurately convey what we mean,” they say. “We don’t have the time to go into more generally, but will use the example DSW By-Election just given to try to illustrate the difficulty with the term.

“There was no question of a unified approach with Sinn Féin on the water charges. There was obviously an attempt by us to win over people who voted for them by using the water charges and austerity issues, but there is a major difference in the content and tone of our campaign.”

Differences also emerge between Mr Murphy and his colleagues on how to describe Sinn Féin.

Sectarian

Mr Murphy says: “The comrades…respond to my description of Sinn Féin as a nationalist, pro-capitalist party saying the following: ‘Of course they are “nationalist, pro-capitalist party’, the reality is that Sinn Féin are a bourgeois nationalist party – but of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party. A party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North – whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle, that was overtly sectarian and at times directly targeted working class Protestants.”

Mr Murphy then adds further description is needed on the term “bourgeois nationalist party” the Socialist have used for Sinn Féin.

“It seems to me that further clarification may be needed. If the comrades mean it is a capitalist nationalist party, i.e. one with a pro-capitalist nationalist programme, as demonstrated by their implementation of austerity and sectarian policies in Northern Ireland, then I completely agree.

“However, if the term ‘bourgeois nationalist party’ is used to indicate a party which represents the nationalist aspirations of the bourgeoisie, then it is not a precise description of Sinn Féin. While in the North, Sinn Féin has support amongst a section of the Catholic capitalist class, in the South, no significant section of the capitalist class supports Sinn Féin.”

Mr Murphy also corrects his comrades on their understanding of the “united front”.

“The comrades begin with an inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted in general towards the mass organisations of the working class in the 1920s and 1930s’,” he says.

“I will deal below with the question of whether the united front is solely a tactic or a method, or both. Nonetheless, the history is clear. The united front did not originate in the 1920s as seems to be implied [by others].

Bolsheviks

“It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular. The most well known example is the united front struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov.’

“It wasn’t until later, in particular at the Third and Fourth Congresses of the Communist International in the early 1920s, that the united front was theorised. The same process took place with the transitional method and the workers’ government slogan, both of which were implemented by the Bolsheviks in 1917, for example in Lenin’s ‘The Impending Catastrophe and How to Fight It’, and the ‘Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers’ slogan demanding that the Mensheviks and SRs form a government without the participation of the capitalist parties.

“The comrades are unfortunately wrong to suggest that the united front was then adopted by the Communist Parties. In fact, the tragedy of the 1920s and 30s is precisely that it was not fully adopted or properly implemented.”

Categories: Uncategorized

British Nuclear Dump to Be Placed Near Newry???NOT A CHANCE-TRY BUCKINGHAM PALACE

February 13, 2019 Leave a comment

British Nuclear Dumps To Be Placed  in 6-Counties!!!

And You Thought a Hard Border Would be a provocation!!!

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Nuclear Dumps in 6-Counties

From Damien Hackett on Facebook

It is apparently clear that all the main political parties have agreed that we will store higher activity radioactive nuclear waste here, and in my opinion in The Sperrins.

Anywhere in Northern Ireland is totally unacceptable as we will all be detrimentally effected. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1eP

The UK government plan, executed by DUP/Sinn Fein led Executive and supported by all the other parties, is that NI will be the dumping ground for higher activity nuclear waste. This is in legislation (July 2014 White paper Implementing Geological Disposal). In my opinion The Sperrins will be the prime location. Already significant infrastructural and policy decisions have been made to reinforce this. The siting of this here is one of the key reasons why Brexit is being so ardently pushed through particularly by the DUP. In 2015 the UK government passed legislation that the selection and siting of this Geological Disposal Facility is of national significance, effectively giving them full control to locate it here in the absence of an Executive (just need NIEA to state it is safe, – which based on stance re current applications will be achieved easily).

This motion by Sinn Fein is only a sham.

A council motion will have no impact on this decision. Indeed in January 2018, the CEO of all councils were sent a letter regarding consultation of GDF (storing nuclear waste underground), but none of the councils informed the people of the devaststing contents of this letter.
This was our opportunity to object to this toxic proposal as this was introducing the consultation period. It is too late now, from a council perspective. We do need to voice opposition to this, important not to consent to community involvement, but the official consultation time was last year.

Strange these letter went to the CEO of every district council, headed by all political parties, and not one party decided to speak out against it. This is all part of the various leaderships (all of the political parties) plan.

A smokescreen has been perpetuated that the Mournes will be the location for this GDF. In my opinion, this was never a feasible option and will never be the location for the GDF for various reasons- but it may be a staging/storage area.

Our politicians are all lining up to state it will NEVER be in the Mournes, semantics again. Why are they not categorically making it clear that a GDF is unwelcome anywhere in Northern Ireland, even Ireland.

It is very apparent that The Sperrins is the location destined for this toxic storage, based on current and past policies, political positions, infrastructural works and plans, and governmental policies and commitments.

The first choice for the Site is Dalradian’s gold processing and mine network in Greencastle Co. Tyrone. Conveniently our area straddles sub region 3 and sub region 4 so applicable under both areas. The fact that there are multiply subregions is another ploy designed to divide and conquer our people.

Dalradian’s toxic plans never made any sense; to create the largest cyanide processing plant in Western Europe, in Greencastle, Tyrone, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 300m above sea level sited over rivers feeding water treatment plants, 1 km from a pre and primary school (160 pupils), in an area with the highest radon levels in the UK, 60 miles from any coast whereby the toxic pm10 and pm 2.5 dust can infiltrate all, not to mention impact of Chernobyl, radioactivity from uranium, explosives twice per day, with 2 blasts at a time having upto 25 explosives charges at a time, creating the largest militarilsed facility we have seen, using up to 10 tonnes or cyanide per day (1 gram can kill an adult), not to mention the devastation to our environment and to our tourism and agricultural industries.

Bear in mind in April 2017 566 MEPs voted to ban cyanide in mining ASAP with only 8 opposing, based on there having been 30 major cyanide incidents in 25 years. Our civil servants and politicians seem oblivious to this fact with silence and censorship being to the fore.

Given all this not one leader of ANY of the main political parties voiced any concerns but most importantly the leaderships have refused to communicate to any of the groups opposed to this toxic plan (From Omagh, Greencastle, Draperstown, Maghera, Desertmartin etc) and most insulting of they have refused to meet with these groups.
We all know why now!

Dalradian has 122,000 hectares licenced for exploration yet the mine in Greencastle is to be 700m deep with a option to go to 900m. This is low grade gold, it does not make any commercial sense to go down these depths given the other mines.

If planning permission is granted then Dalradian has the right to buy hundreds of hectares land in the Greencastle area.

According to the new rules, community involvement is not essential as the GDF can now be initiated by a large landowner.

As per the information supplied in the catchy video clip and text Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) continues to review the results from the exploration and prospecting process in Greencastle, Tyrone. This surely dispels any myths as to what stage we are at. This proves beyond doubt that Dalradian and RWM are working hand in hand. Bear in mind the various civil services departments have formed a joint working group last Summer to assist Dalradian – we are only at planning, Why?

So it would be safe to presume either all or some of these departments are fully aware of these toxic plans.

If planning permission fails (for Dalradian and even Walkabout), then the NI Executive has at least one further very viable option to initiate this monstrosity in The Sperrins, in my opinion.
Not far from Greencastle is a very big landowner, extremely supportive of the goldmine to date, and indeed having interests in a large scale commercial wind farms, this estate owner will have the option to initiate the GDF process, without community involvement.

Bear in mind DOENI is the decision maker in this instance. The UK has to designate somewhere, to date all voluntary community participation has failed. At some point the UK government will be forced to select a site (within next decade) and we are in pole position.

Why did our DUP/Sinn Fein led executive, obviously supported by the other parties, agree to Northern Ireland accepting Higher Activity radioactive nuclear waste using a GDF? We were sold out as part if the GFA.

This was a devolved decision and like Scotland we could have refused, and we would not be placed under this threat.

The GDF does not have to be operational until 2040s so this allows for the exploitation of our precious metals and minerals including numerous gold and silver mines throughout the north.

Bear in mind the cyanide (or an alternative solution) processing of low grade gold will continue from throughout Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and Western Europe.

Uranium will be mined in Tyrone, most dangerous of all mining activities, highly radioactive (cancers), plus cobalt, lithium and other precious metals.

Bear in mind the remediation and monitoring of the gold mine after closure will typically cost between £150m to £300m, Dalradian has allowed $16m throughout works and $16m on closure stopping monitoring after 5 years. The impact of acid rock alone lasts thousands of years.

After the devastation caused by this plan, including the decimation of our tourism economy, a GDF, destined to employ several hundreds if not thousands of high paying jobs, guaranteed for hundreds of years, would become an attractive proposition. This will then be a national security site – what does Sinn Fein think of that?

Our only option is for the Executive to be restored, overturn this decision, and the precious metal and minerals agenda, designed purely to make a GDF a more palpable option.

Please get the leaderships of all political parties to take up their seats and get them to publicly make a pledge that a GDF will not be located in Northern Ireland.

If they don’t the UK government will.

A no deal Brexit, or a Brexit with or without the backstop means NI is not protected by EU environmental legislation or by Human Rights legislation. Furthermore coming out of the Euratom Treaty means high activity radioactive nuclear waste can be dumped here from anywhere in the world.

Well done to the leaderships of our traitorous and treacherous political parties.
The only way we can stop this is from a grass roots perspective.

We must all state we do not want a GDF in any subregion of NI, as part of this consultation process.

These are my personal comments, please feel free to share.

——————————————————–Reports that nuclear waste may be stored in Mourne mountains ‘spreading fear’

Newry is one of five areas in the North and 45 in the UK under consideration for the waste including an area between Omagh and Cookstown, Co Tyrone; a location between Belfast and Larne; areas near Coleraine, Co Derry and Ballymoney and Ballycastle in Co Antrim.

Tánaiste will discuss proposal with Northern Secretary later this week  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1eP

Irish Times Wed, Feb 13, 2019, Marie O’Halloran

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he took on board the concerns of TDs who raised the nuclear issue and that ‘we need more details on it’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Government has been following “with concern” reports that the UK proposes to use the Mourne mountains as a storage area for nuclear waste.

He will discuss the issue with Northern Secretary Karen Bradley when he meets her later this week.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he understood that the Scottish Assembly ruled out such “deep geological storage of nuclear waste” there but that the Northern Ireland Assembly had agreed.

Raising the issue in the Dáil, Mr Ryan said it was not clear “what the parties in government in Northern Ireland have agreed or why they did so”.

But he asked “what if anything is the Government doing about this”.

Independent Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick said reports that the UK was considering dumping hazardous waste in the Mourne mountains were “spreading fear” rapidly in the border county.

Mr Fitzpatrick said he hoped it was not happening because the North had had no government for the past two years. He said the Northern Secretary and civil servants were keeping departments in operation and were looking for more power.

“We had Sellafield for years and the last thing we want is to have hazardous waste in the Mountains of Mourne.”

Concerns

Mr Coveney said he took on board the concerns of TDs who raised the issue and “we need more details on it”, which he would discuss with Ms Bradley.

Last week Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, unanimously passed a motion opposing locating any nuclear waste facility in the local area.

It follows a report by a UK state-owned company Radioactive Waste Management stating that an area of granite bedrock near Newry stretching from Slieve Gullion to the Mourne mountains might be suitable for a geological disposal facility.

Newry is one of five areas in the North and 45 in the UK under consideration for the waste including an area between Omagh and Cookstown, Co Tyrone; a location between Belfast and Larne; areas near Coleraine, Co Derry and Ballymoney and Ballycastle in Co Antrim.

 

 

 

——————————————————————————–

See articles from Newry.ie and THE ECOLOGIST at the link

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1eP

NO Way, Mrs May!!

From Celtic League

Our Celtic League Irish Secretary sends me details of plans to possibly use the Mournes and Slieve Gullion area as the site for the United Kingdom’s deep secure nuclear waste repository. The Mournes it seems are one of a number of sites on the UK hit list but I think can any of the Celtic countries (sites in Wales also appear apparently) countenance this ‘blot on (or under) the landscape’. Henceforth Ireland will be the land of ‘Saints, scholars and nuclear dumps’ if the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) get their way!

Hard to comprehend nuclear filth to the East of us at Drigg(Cumbria-See Article Further down) being complemented by more dross stored in South Down to the West. I would never see the Mournes in the same light again.

I feel sure Celtic League both at branch level and centrally will oppose any plans to use the Celtic countries as a nuclear tip!

Bernard Moffatt

Celtic League
Assistant General Secretary

——————————————–

From Newry.ie   Here’s the link:

https://www.newry.ie/…/6591-newry-area-under-investigation-…

NEWRY AREA UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL

By: Columba O’Hare

Published: 03 February 2019

The UK Government are investigating the suitability of Newry and surrounding area of Mourne Mountains and Slieve Gullion as a potential venue for the storage of radioactive waste. It’s one of four sub-regions in Northern Ireland that have been deemed potentially suitable for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

Thirteen regions in total are under investigation including Northern Ireland, Northern England, Pennines and adjacent areas, Eastern England, Wales, Welsh Borderland, Central England, East Anglia, Bristol and Gloucester, London and the Thames Valley, South West England, Hampshire Basin and Wealden District.

A map from the Radioactive Waste Management Report, Northern Ireland, sub-region 2 which includes the Newry area.The blue area shows the presence of ‘higher strength rock’

In a Radioactive Waste Management report it explains the potential suitability of the area for Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) “There are granites and similar strong rocks around Newry, in which we may be able to site a GDF. We would need to do more work to find out whether these rocks have suitable properties and thicknesses in the depth range of interest for a GDF.””

The report adds “In the vicinity of Newry (from Slieve Gullion to Slieve Croob), the basement rocks comprise a sequence of granite masses, several kilometres deep, which were emplaced into the Ordovician and Silurian rocks about 400 million years ago. These Newry Igneous Complex rocks range from granodiorite to granite and are potential HSR host rocks.”

The report was published 18 December 2018 but only just brought to light by Carlingford Lough campaigning group Love Your Lough. You can view a video and report at WWW.GOV.UK

Explaining the theory behind geological disposal the government publication says “In geological disposal, man-made or engineered barriers work together with the geology to provide long-term safety. Placing radioactive waste deep underground puts it far beyond people’s reach, so that it is safe and secure. The rock will shield people from the radiation and, depending on the rock type, will either limit or completely prevent radioactivity from moving towards the surface when other barriers eventually degrade. Disposal deep underground will also ensure that the waste can never be exposed at the surface even in the event of a change in sea level or future ice ages.”

Commenting on the investigations South Down MP Chris Hazzard said “The latest proposal in a video from the British government’s Radioactive Waste Management group that parts of Co Down and Armagh could be used as a site to dispose of nuclear and chemical waste is totally unacceptable.

“Britain cannot use the north as a dumping ground for this hazardous and toxic material.

 

 

Cumbria flooding: Environment Agency issues alert on Drigg nuclear waste site

Marianne Birkby

 

| 31st December 2015

 

Following this month’s intense rainfall in the north of England an Environment Agency alert has highlighted the flood risk to the crumbling nuclear waste dump adjoining Sellafield in Cumbria, writes Marianne Birkby – a dump which remains in use despite its condemnation by the EA in 2005 due to its likely destruction by rising seas. Now it really is time to close the gate on Drigg!

It’s no secret that Cumbria in northern England has been repeatedly hit by torrential rain and wind this month.

But there has been little media focus on what this means for nuclear waste buried at Drigg, the UKs ‘Low Level Waste Repository‘, located near the Sellafield nuclear site on the Cumbrian coast.

Yesterday the Environment Agency issued a flood alert for the River Irt which runs alongside the Drigg nuclear dump. The Environment Agency’s flood map illustrates the River Irt inundating the Drigg site on the southward side with floodwater also encroaching from the northward side.

This has not actually happened yet – the map (right) illustrates risk, not actual flooding. But it certainly gives cause for concern as Storm Frank ditches further enormous quantities of rainfall on the Cumbrian mountains and fells.

On the same day, 30th December, Cumbrian campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland sent a letter to Cumbria County Council asking for Drigg’s gates to be locked to any more nuclear waste given the dangers from flood waters entering the site, eroding the landfill and contaminating land, river and and sea with radioactive waste.

“To describe the UKs nuclear waste site as a ‘Repository’ is putting a spin on the UKs main nuclear dump for ‘low level’ waste”, the letter states. “There is controlled discharge direct to the Irish Sea not to mention run off to the Drigg Stream and River Irt.

“Discharges to the air of radioactive gases are ongoing. According to the British Geological Society the Drigg site is above a regional aquifer. It is also likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion in 500 to 5,000 years (computer modelling can be wrong either way). Much of the waste is long lived and high risk.”

Drigg must stay open, says nuclear industry

Keeping the Drigg site open for continued dumping and extending the capacity of the site is something the nuclear industry are keen to do, seemingly at any cost to the environment. This plan is titled: ‘Low Level Waste Repository Site Optimisation and Closure Works‘.

Even the title of the application is hugely misleading. The date for ‘closure’ is set at 2079. So Drigg would continue to accept nuclear waste for more than six decades to come.

The site would be ‘capped’. Again this is misleading: to ‘cap’ a nuclear dump is akin to putting a cap on a fizzy lemonade bottle which has holes in the bottom. Despite a ‘cap’ the site will continue to leach aqueous emissions to groundwater and gaseous emissions to air for as long as the wastes remain dangerous – which in some cases is the half life of the universe.

The plan suggests that the waste at Drigg is low risk and short lived. Neither is true. As the University of Reading has pointed out:

“The Drigg site uses two disposal systems:
1) An original system operated from 1959 (?) to 1988 comprising a series of parallel trenches excavated into glacial clays, back filled with LLW and covered with an interim water resistant cap.
2) Current disposal of compacted waste placed in steel ISO-freight containers, with void space filled with highly fluid cement based grout. These containers are then disposed of in a series of open concrete vaults.

“Radionuclides with highest activities in the inventory include 3H, 241Pu, 137Cs, 234U and 90Sr, 238U and 232Th.”

This represents a cocktail of relatively short-lived, intensely radioactive species such as the tritium, caesium, strontium and plutonium with half lives measured in years and decades, with daughters such as americium 241 that’s dangerous for centuries, mixed in with uranium and thorium isotopes with half lives as long as 14 billion years.

Serious degradation already under way

But the waste has been dumped at the site with little or no regard to either short or long term hazards. From 1940 to 1988 chemical and radioactive wastes was simply ‘tumble tipped’ into trenches.

Now the waste is compacted into steel shipping containers filled with cement. But the containers, stacked up high on the site, are already suffering from serious degradation, with widespread cracking and corrosion, as the LLW management wrote in 2013:

“in containers at the tops of stacks, the external capping grout has undergone extensive physical degradation and settlement; the lids are not full of grout, and the grout is generally heavily cracked. The state of the capping grout in underlying layers is better; most containers only show sparse cracking. Standing water, sometimes contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, is present in approximately half of the containers at the tops of stacks … Corrosion, sometimes fully penetrating, is present in some container lids at the tops of stacks …”

In June 2005 the Environment Agency wrote“BNFL (Now the NDA) has not yet demonstrated that the wider benefits to the UK from continued LLW disposal on this site outweigh the potential future impacts …

“We have concluded that the 2002 safety cases fail to make an adequate or robust argument forcontinued disposals of LLW because:
(i) Estimates of doses and risks from existing disposals to members of the public in the future significantly exceed current regulatory targets.
(ii) BNFL indicates that the LLWR is likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion in 500 to 5,000 years.
(iii) The 2002 safety cases include insufficient consideration of optimisation andrisk management, to demonstrate that impacts will be as low as reasonablyachievable (ALARA).”

But they have since revised that position and now take a formal view that “the potential for disruption of the site” (by which they refer to inundation by sea and floodwaters) “is an acceptable risk.”

Radiation Free Lakeland agrees with the Agency’s 2005 findings that that the real and present threat of inundation of the Drigg site – which is only about 300m from the sea and lies just 8 metres above mean sea level – by flood or by sea is not an acceptable risk to the people of Cumbria or to our international neighbours.

We also concur with Greenpeace’s 2005 ‘Comments on Environment Agency’s Assessment Documents on Drigg in which they highlight the Agency’s indications that much of the nuclear waste dumped at Drigg on the basis of being ‘low level’ should have been consider ‘intermediate level’ owing to the presence of the long lived isotopes in the mix. As the EA wrote,

“We are concerned by the potential for the destruction of the LLWR by coastal erosion. These concerns appear to be shared by both BNFL and BNFL’s peer review panel (Hilland Irvine 2003). Regardless of the calculated risks, the potential for the destruction of the LLWR by coastal erosion means that disposal of long-lived LLW in the LLWR might be creating undue burdens on future generations.”

Tell it to the birds

Up until 1958 thousands of black headed gulls eggs from the Drigg and Ravenglass gullery were harvested at a time in basketfuls and sold in London. The black headed gull is now on the amber list. The collapse in the mid 1980s of the largest black-headed gull breeding colony in Europe on the Drigg dunes has never been satisfactorily explained.

The official explanation is that a fox did it: “the concentrations of radionuclides in the foods, body tissues and general environment were at least three orders of magnitude too low to have had any effect. The more likely cause of the desertion of the gullery was the combination of an uncontrolled fox population, the severest outbreak of myxomatosis amongst the rabbits since 1954 and the driest May–July period on record, all in the same year (1984).”

Meanwhile childhood leukemia is officially blamed on ‘population mixing’ due to the influx of workers firstly to the 1940 explosives factory (Royal Ordnance Factory) at Drigg and then the ROF at Sellafield.

The irony of this incredible argument is that the plan for three new nuclear reactors at ‘Moorside’ a few miles from Drigg (‘Moorside’ is at the village of Beckermet) would involve a boom and bust influx of thousands of workers along with a further tsunami of nuclear wastes and ever more Driggs.

And let’s not forget the rising sea level problem. The Sellafield site lies within 100m of the sea and most of it is just a few metres above sea level. The nuclear site, already one of the most dangerous and contaminated in Europe, could be inundated by sea water within a century.

Is it really wise to go adding to the problem with a massive complex of three huge new nuclear reactors? When the current problems at the Sellafield / Drigg site have so manifestly not been solved?

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Neo-Liberal Governance Scheme HOW TO ENSURE THAT GOVERNMENT AND SENIOR ADMINISTRATORS CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING

February 5, 2019 Leave a comment

On February 5, HSE officials held a meeting on what Health Projects to Delay, Cancel, or Change. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Hospital overrun led the HSE to change capital plan Contrary to Assurances by Varadkar and Donohoe. 

Thursday, March 14, By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

The HSE was forced to “very substantially” change its capital plan for this year, because of the national children’s hospital costs crisis, officials have confirmed. On February 5, the officials held a meeting on what projects to delay, cancel, or change.

Last month, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe insisted that despite the potential €1bn children’s hospital budget overrun, no services would be scrapped. That claim was widely questioned. Mr Donohoe said that while this year’s Government capital plan would be reduced by €99m — including €24m from “small capital projects and repairs” in hospitals — this involved “re-profiling” and not cuts.

 

However, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also insisted services would not be affected, the issue is likely to be called into question again, after the HSE confirmed it has been forced to “very significantly” revise its capital plan. In a Freedom of Information Act response to the Irish Examiner, the HSE confirmed its strategic planning team met on February 5 to discuss the implications of the hospital overrun.

In a pre-meeting email to those attending on January 31, HSE national director of strategic planning and transformation, Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, said:

“This issue at the national children’s hospital will have a very significant impact on our plan, with €50m [subsequently reduced to €24m] required to be identified from within existing projects in 2019, and €100m in each of the following years. There is a need for us to provide clarity on the implications.”D MORE

During the February 5 meeting, the officials examined a document linked to the cuts that may take place, which the HSE has declined to release.

A HSE spokesperson said: “A meeting took place on February 5 to discuss the impact of the additional funding requirements for the national children’s hospital on the HSE capital plan. The main purpose of the meeting was to give direction to HSE Estates, who are responsible for preparing the capital plan. The document presented to the meeting was an initial draft capital plan and has since been substantially revised.

“The HSE’s capital plan is currently being finalised by the HSE and will be published following approval by the Minister for Health.”

 

—————————————————————Government Campaign To Cover-Up Finance Minister’s Knowledge of Hospital Over-Run before Budget Continues https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Civil servant Paul Quinn, Chief Procurement Officer in Donohoe’s Department, who failed to reveal children’s hospital budget crisis, to snub PAC grilling-Irish Examiner

 

In pursuit of this government cover-up  we are asked to believe the following outrageously misleading and unbelievable “spins”:

Mr Quinn will not be appearing because he was not chosen for the team by Mr Watt, General Secretary of Donohoe’s Department

Mr Quinn ,who was a member of The Childrens Hospital Procurement Board, was not on the Board as a nominee of Donohoe, but was appointed “in a personal capacity”  by the Harris, Minister for Health.

As such, he was not required to report to Donohoe and did not report before the budget though he was aware of huge over-runs for over two months before the budget.

Note: Mr Quinn is the Chief State Procurement Officer and was involved in a huge state procurement process for the national children’s hospital!!

 Civil servant who failed to reveal children’s hospital budget crisis to snub PAC grilling-Irish Examiner

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith , Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

The State’s Chief Procurement officer,Paul Quinn, will snub demands to explain his role in the children’s hospital costs crisis by refusing to attend a Dail meeting on Thursday.

The Department of Public Expenditure’s head of procurement Paul Quinn will not attend a crunch meeting of the Dail’s public accounts committee on the scandal despite a formal request to do so.

Mr Quinn was a “public interest” representative on the children’s hospital board while the budget crisis was mounting.

However, despite the deepening scandal, the Government has said he failed to tell ministers of what was happening – a claim the PAC is insistent it wants to question him on.

 

Department sources confirmed to the Irish Examiner on Wednesday night that while the PAC has demanded Mr Quinn attends due to his crucial role in the scandal, Department secretary general Robert Watt has the final say on which officials he will bring with him for the meeting.

As such, Mr Watt has decided to bring:

  • principal officer of the office of Government procurement David O Brien (Mr O’Brien, is Junior to Mr Quinn in Donohoe’s Department and, unlike Mr Quinn, was not a member of the Hospital Development Board-PH)
  • principal officer of the Corporate Office, David Feeney
  • assistant principal officer of the Corporate Office, Helen Codd
  • and assistant principal officer of the Investment Projects and Programmes Office, Ciara Morgan

“He isn’t going. It’s always up to the secretary general which officials he brings. He’s not bring him,” a Department source said.

Asked how this can be allowed if the PAC specifically asked Mr Quinn to appear, the source added:

“They asked.”

Mr Watt and Mr Quinn’s decision for Mr Quinn to snub the PAC meeting is likely to infuriate committee members.

While they will be relieved Mr Watt will attend, PAC members have been insistent Mr Quinn also needed to appear for a number of weeks due to ongoing questions over who knew what and when in the children’s hospital scandal.

Chief Procurement Officer did not inform Donohoe of cost escalations at children’s hospital

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Irish Examiner, Wednesday, February 27, 2019 , By Daniel McConnell Political Editor

The Government’s Chief Procurement Officer has confirmed he did not inform Minister Paschal Donohoe or his Secretary General about the cost escalations at the Children’s Hospital, even though he sat on its board.

His letter to the PAC comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) earlier this month said he was “obliged” to pass on such information.

Paul Quinn, in a letter to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said he is “fully aware” of his obligations under the code of practice for the governance of state bodies.

 

He confirmed, as chief procurement officer, that he did not personally inform the minister or his top official, Secretary-General Robert Watt, as to the cost escalations.

“I did not inform either the minister or the Secretary-General of that department as I was satisfied that the National Pediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) was addressing the matters and reporting to both the HSE and the Department of Health,” he wrote to PAC members.

He said he did not tell Mr Donohoe because he was and is satisfied that the cost issues which developed over the summer and autumn of last year “were being appropriately addressed by the board and its chairman.”

In his letter, dated February 25 and seen by the Irish Examiner, Mr Quinn said he was satisfied the HSE and the Department of Health as the funder of the hospital were aware of the issues given their “integration into the committee structure” of the hospital.

He said he was also satisfied that the issues were being communicated on an ongoing basis both to the HSE and the Department of Health through the reporting and governance arrangements established.

Mr Quinn also said he accepts he should have disclosed he sat on the board of the hospital in a letter to the committee in January.

I accept in hindsight that I should have advised that I was a member of the NPHDB having been appointed in a personal capacity by the minister for health in 2013.

“My work on the board is separate and distinct from the Office of Government Procurement’s role in the project,” he wrote.

Earlier this month, C&AG Seamus McCarthy said he was obliged to pass on concerns about the project to Government Ministers if he felt they were not being addressed.

The Government has been dogged by controversy as to how the cost of the hospital rose from an estimated €800 million in 2014 to the current figure of €1.73bn.

The Government only became aware of the final figure last November, despite concerns being flagged months earlier by the hospital board.

Labour TD Alan Kelly, at the PAC, said Mr Quinn “should have been reporting the ongoing issues with the cost overruns” to ministers or senior civil servants.

———————————————————-

Motion: That This House Has No Confidence in Health Minister Harris (FG)

Dáil Voting Analysis

The Dáil divided: Tá (Yes), 53; Níl(No), 58; Staon (registered abstention), 37. Ceann Chomhairle ,1 Absent 9.  Total Number of Dáil Deputies 158.

Absent and did not vote:  Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind. Dublin Central), Carol Nolan(ex Sinn Féin Independent)  Fianna Fáil  7

Níl(No)    Michael Lowery (IND Tipperary), Noel Grealish (IND Galway), Denis Naughten(Ind Roscommon), Minister Zappone (Ind Dublin West), Minister of State Canney(Galway), Independent Alliance( Minister Shane Ross, Ministers of State McGrath, Halligan, Moran), Fine Gael 49

Registered Abstentions : Fianna Fail   37

Tá (Yes) Supporting the Sinn Féin No Confidence Motion. All TDs Other than the Above  53

 ——————————————————–Seamus Healy TD Speaking in Dáil on No Confidence Motion in Minister Harris:

Delays To Provision of Extra Resources To Co Tipperary Health Services including more beds at Clonmel, Cashel and Limerick UH, will not be tolerated. Claw Back Tax Concessions made to Super-Rich Irish individuals in the Last three Budgets instead!!!

Written Copy of  Speech  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Health Minister Harris Should Resign and Take Finance Minister Donohoe With Him!

It is time for Fianna Fáil and the Independents who are supporting the Government, including Deputies Lowry and Cahill, to call it out on this issue and support the motion.

Seamus Healy TD

I will be supporting the motion of no confidence in the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris. Nobody with a whit of common sense believes the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohue, and the Government were not aware of the national children’s hospital debacle. It is crystal clear that the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance were fully aware of the huge hospital overrun at the time of the last budget. The Minister for Finance had the chief Government procurement officer on the board of the hospital who was involved at all levels, including financial sub-committee level. The cover-up included confidentiality pledges to ensure the Government would not be formally or officially informed until after the budget. That was because it wanted to continue to give massive tax concessions to its super-rich backers. There is no justification for the Government delaying health and other capital projects and using the excuse of the cost overrun on the children’s hospital project. The hospitals serving my constituency of Tipperary, South Tipperary General Hospital and University Hospital Limerick, are the most overcrowded in the country. No cancellation, no suspension, no long-fingering and no delaying of capital projects will be tolerated. I include the completion and opening of the 40-bed modular unit at South Tipperary General Hospital, the building of a new 50-bed unit at the same hospital, the building of a new 100-bed unit at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel and the building of a 60-bed unit at University Hospital Limerick.

The Irish super-rich are dripping with wealth and gaining more by the day. The Government’s policy is not only not to tax the super-rich but also to give them tax concessions. It is politically the most extreme representative of the super-rich at the expense of citizens. It should bring forward an emergency budget to claw back the €250 million worth of tax concessions given to the super-rich in the last three budgets, including those given to the 25,700 individuals with incomes ranging from €200,000 to in excess of €2 million.

It is time for the Minister for Health to go and to take the Minister for Finance with him and give the public an opportunity to make a decision on the Government in a general election. It is time for Fianna Fáil and the Independents who are supporting the Government, including Deputies Lowry and Cahill, to call it out on this issue and support the motion.

Video of Speech   Paste into Top Line of Browser

https://youtu.be/iek1B2TH7NE

————————————————————————————————-

Government Defeated No Confidence Motion in Minister Harris by 58 votes to 53 with 37 Registered Abstentions. There were 9 TDs who did not register a vote though some were seen in the Dáil chamber.

Independents  Michael Lowery (Tipperary), Noel Grealish (Galway West) and Denis Naughten(Roscommon) voted with government as did all members of Independent Alliance and Ministers Katherine Zappone and Sean Canney

Jackie Cahill (Tipperary) was one of the 37 Fianna Fáil TDs who abstained.

Maureen O’Sullivan ( Independent Dublin Central) did not register a vote

 

 ————————————————————MINISTER DONOHOE KNEW OF HOSPITAL OVER_RUN WHEN FRAMING THE BUDGET BUT PRETENDED HE DID NOT KNOW UNTIL AFTERWARDS

Irish Examiner, Tuesday, February 19,

Secret plan to manage hospital fallout made last August  

 

Irish Examiner, Feb 19: “Efforts to clampdown on and control negative publicity around the spiralling costs of the National Children’s Hospital began last August, when the scale of the overrun became apparent to those responsible for delivering it.

In addition to those close to the project being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, different scenarios for controlling the bad news about the hospital overspend were war-gamed with public relations firm Q4PR.

Confidential minutes of the joint construction and finance sub-committee of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) of August 30 show serious unease about escalating costs and the efforts that got under way to keep the news under wraps.

The meeting took place three days after Health Minister Simon Harris was told of a potential overspend of €391m.”

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform claims that he did not become aware of the cost over-run until after the budget in November.

Paul Quinn, the Chief Procurement Officer in the Office of Government Procurement, was a member of the Development Board and its Finance and Procurement Subcommittees. The Office of Government Procurement is part of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform headed by Minister Paschal Donohoe.

The Comptroller and Auditor General has publicly confirmed that, despite the words of the Finance Minister and the Taoiseach, this senior civil servant was indeed subject to a circular that required civil servants to report matters of grave concern to the relevant Minister.

The Comptroller and Auditor General said: ‘the re-iteration of that circular would apply’.

Government Website  file:///C:/Users/Admin/Downloads/3.10-OGP%20(6).pdf

Office of Government Procurement –Department of Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal O’Donohoe

Corporate Office :The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) Corporate Office is responsible for corporate governance, the OGP Vote and budget, financial management, programme management of the Procurement Reform  Programme (PRP), corporate planning, OGP performance reporting, internal controls and risk management.

Chief Procurement Officer   Paul Quinn

Principal                        Anne O’Mahony

 ———————————————————–MEDIA NOW ACCEPTING MY EARLIER ANALYSIS OF Cover-Up of HOSPITAL Over-Run Following Leaks from Department of Health

————————————————————————————————————

Blame Shifting, Self Serving, Varadkar Has his Bluff Called By Builders of Childrens’Hospital!! https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

In a statement BAM offers to pull out if Government can get a better tender

In a Dáil debate on the over-run on the Childrens’ Hospital, Varadkar talked about companies “low-Balling” in tenders for projects, and then ramping up the cost. There are two companies he would ban, he said from tendering for future major projects,

Spokesperson for Varadkar says he was speaking “in general” and not of a specific contractor. Would you believe he was not referring to BAM?? If you claim you do, you are a FG supporter

—————————————————————————————————————————————-MORE DELIBERATE DELAY BY GOVERNMENT IN PROVIDING INFORMATION

Failure to give Hospital Cost report to PAC ‘deliberate tactic’-Irish Examiner

Yesterday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar batted away questions from Irish Examiner about the Mazars report on the cost of the National Children’s Hospital, saying he had not read it for two months. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Irish Examiner, Friday, February 15, 2019 –By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith and Elaine Loughlin

Noting the release on Wednesday(Feb 14)  night, two months late, of the Mazars review of the Childrens Hospital  costs — which revealed a 56% increase in the project’s costs between April 2017 and December 2018 — TDs hit out at the delay in publishing the record.

Health officials have been accused of failing to provide TDs with a detailed report on the cost of building the National Children’s Hospital before a Public Accounts meeting last week, amid ongoing claims they are delaying access to key information.

Members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee said the “foot-dragging” was a deliberate tactic.

Yesterday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar batted away questions from Irish Examiner about the Mazars report on the cost of the National Children’s Hospital, saying he had not read it for two months.

At the latest PAC meeting, Fianna Fáil’s Sean Fleming, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane and Labour’s Alan Kelly raised questions over when relevant files are being released.

Noting the release on Wednesday(Feb 14)  night of the Mazars review of the Childrens Hospital  costs — which revealed a 56% increase in the project’s costs between April 2017 and December 2018 — TDs hit out at the delay in publishing the record.

The TDs said that despite asking the Department of Health, the HSE and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board itself for all relevant financial records at recent meetings, it was not given the Mazars report, which “answers a lot of the questions”.

The report was concluded in late November and given to the Department of Public Expenditure and Department of Health in early December, at which point it was read by ministers and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

However, it was not given to PAC members before the recent meetings, leading to claims the group is being deliberately left in the dark.

“We’ve had to drag the information out from the Department of Health, and others, in terms of the costs,” Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane told the committee.

How in God’s name did the Department not give us the Mazars report before coming in? The Mazars report nails a lot of these questions.

“The Mazars report highlighted all these weaknesses, and wasn’t given to us until afterwards. It was disingenuous, in my view,” he said, adding it is his belief the apparent delay is “a deliberate tactic” and that officials may need to now come back for “a real meeting” on costs.

Mr Varadkar dismissed questions on the Mazars report at a separate event.

“It’s November since the last time I read the Mazars report, I would have to look over that section again to give you a proper answer… if I am being asked a specific question about a specific report that I read two months ago, I would like to see that again before commenting,” he said to reporters.

“It would be like me asking you a question about an article that maybe you wrote two or three months ago.”

—————————————————————————–Government Didn’t Want To Be Told of Hospital Over-Run AS It would have Endangered Tax Relief in the Lead up to the General Election Which Varadkar Was Then Seeking To Hold—Harris can’t be sacked because Varadkar and Donohoe Were Parties to the Cover-up

Sunday Business Post   Feb 10  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Some in Health (Harris’Department) believe that DPER (Donohoe’s Department) didn’t want to know about the problems with the National Children’s Hospital as it grappled with its considerable work on the now-annual Health budget overrun.

“His (Minister Harris) political opponents believe the minister was keeping schtum because an election was around the corner. Even a Fine Gael minister wondered: “Was he just hoping this would be the next minister’s problem?” Harris was pushing hard for an autumn poll. He wasn’t the only one in Fine Gael, but he was certainly among the most vocal. Some say the Taoiseach and Donohoe were of a similar mind as Fianna Fáil resisted talks on extending confidence and supply until after the October budget was done.

But while the ministerial silence is puzzling to say the least, what is even more strange is the lack of engagement at a civil service level as the National Children’s Hospital overrun grew. Emails show how Department of Health officials made strenuous efforts to contact their counterparts in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to seek a meeting on the matter.

This was a busy time for DPER when it came to Health, which was running over budget by some €600 million on the current expenditure side. Some in Health believe that DPER didn’t want to know about the problems with the National Children’s Hospital as it grappled with its considerable work on the now-annual Health budget overrun. In any event, the DPER officials were not, in fact, told of the full scale of the overrun – €450 million – until late November and they were pretty unhappy about it.

 

————————————————————Tricks of Harris and Donohoe On Childrens’ Hospital Over-Run

Note Clauses 3 and 3A in Scheme Below

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government   Department

“The soon to be released internal memo will also show Department of Health officials made several attempts since September last year to meet Department of Public Expenditure and Reform of Paschal O’Donohoe to discuss the cost overrun. It is understood a meeting was not arranged at this point.”-Irish Independent Feb 8 https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey Another Government Trick- Refuse to hold a formal meeting so that unwanted information cannot be formally transmitted “at this point”.Having already given the promised tax relief to the rich in the budget, Then arrange for the formal transmission of the information. Extra cost can then be taken out of other badly needed projects. By the way, Minister Donohoe had a representative of his Department on the Hospital Board . But he didn’t tell the minister before the Budget either!!.

HSE-Department of Health, Childrens Hospital and Department of Public Expenditure, Irish Water Ltd, Garda Service etc.-Examples of Deliberate Misgovernance

General Plan Designed to Allow Ministers and Governments to Evade Responsibility for Citizens’ Well-Being https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

1)Set Up  Agency Seperate from Government(Eg HSE) To Deliver “Service” to “Customers” on capitalist market model (Redress for aggrieved customers only through courts without legal aid)

(Irish Times 2014 The head of the Health Service Executive has said the way it was established a decade ago was “like a high speed car crash”.He said this meant the “high-speed amalgamation of the health boards in 2004, which resulted in the HSE when it was established to replace them having a very difficult initial period”.)

1a)   Contract out key functions to private companies at home and abroad to achieve efficiencies (expenditure cuts)! and put service (eg examining smears on slides) “at arms length” from Agency such as HSE. HSE not Responsible!!!

1b) Write into legal contract with private companies that, in return for the business, the company will indemnify the state agency against law suits and that the company will be allowed to demand confidentiality clauses from aggrieved “customers” seeking redress in return for compensation. BUT Now foreign companies requiring Irish state indemnity against law suits to continue service!!!

1 c) Procedures of Companies abroad(EG Screening Companies) not subject to Irish Law (Irish Government and HSE not Responsible for their activities)-purely commercial relationship

1(d) US  Screening Companies contract out screening of slides from Irish women to sub-contractors all over the world. US companies can blame sub-contractors for “mistakes”. Irish government have even less control of implementation of “quality assurance” standards!

2)Head of State Agency (EG HSE or Garda Management)) not required to report on “operational matters” to Minister

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , civil servants, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government         Department

4) When scandal breaks Minister says s/he doesn’t know and is “shocked”.

5) Head of Agency says s/he didnt know

6) Minister and Agency Head cannot be expected to resign because they didn’t know and are now required to “clear up the mess”.

7)They will both set up enquiries and investigations. Terms of reference will protect government and agency head from blame. (Scally was precluded from blaming any person for the Cervical Check scandal) .Any questioning of the over-all governance system must also be precluded by terms of reference.

7(a) If necessary choose a scape-goat outside of government  to blame

8) Minister and head of agency are both “bloody raging” and “mad as hell”

9) Head of Government, Minister and Head of Agency will now ride to rescue of victims on a White Horse

10) It all happens again 2 years later and points 3 to 9 above resume!

RTE: SCALLY REPORT FINDS: There was Nobody in Charge of Cervical Screening Programme and there was no Statutory or legal requirement for Full Disclosure by Clinicians(Medical Doctors) to Patients

Paddy Healy; It wasn’t Due to Errors. It wasn’t Due to Confusion. THE SYSTEM WAS DELIBERATELY PUT IN PLACE BY THE IRISH ELITE AND SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS  https://wp.me/pKzXa-KR

ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITY TO INDIVIDUALS (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT MINISTERS) WAS OUTSIDE THE  POWER OF SCALLY under THE TERMS OF REFERENCE OF HIS TASK (See Piece on Pay-Off of Tony O’Brien, Former Head of HSE Below)

HSE HEAD PAID OFF !! Did He Know Where The Ministers Buried Their Dead Bodies???

Irish Independent:LABOUR Party leader Brendan Howlin has defended a payment of around €140,000 that is to be made to the outgoing HSE boss Tony O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien, who was on a salary of €192,000, last week bowed to pressure over the cervical cancer screening controversy and stood down as the HSE’s director general.
It later emerged that he will continue to be paid his normal salary until his contract expires at the end of July and he is to receive a once-off payment equivalent to six months’ wages. The sum he is to receive has been put at around €140,000.
Categories: Uncategorized

For a More Equitable Tax System-Make the Super-Rich Pay Their Fair Share To Adequately Fund Our Public Services

February 5, 2019 Leave a comment

Seamus Healy TD Tells The Government in the Dáil: Pay The Nurses by Taxing The Massive and Growing Wealth of the Irish Super-Rich

Having worked 21 years at South Tipperary General Hospital, I know the pressure nurses and staff are under. The hospital works at 125% capacity, when normal capacity should be in the region of 85%. It has one of the highest trolley counts in the country. Mental health services are understaffed and under-resourced.

Dáil Speech  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ew

I believe nurses are fighting a battle to establish and restore a civilised society in Ireland

I have been a trade union activist all of my working life. I was a member of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, the Federation of Rural Workers, the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union and the Irish Local Government Officials Union, now called Fórsa. I have represented that union at national level and been president of the Clonmel Trades and Labour Council. I have been on the picket line with nurses at South Tipperary General Hospital and Nenagh General Hospital in the past two weeks. I fully support their claims and believe the industrial action they are taking is fully justified. It is about fair pay and conditions of employment, but it is also about safe staffing levels, the safety of patients and the provision of a quality health service.

The Government spin against the nurses is shameful. Everybody in this House, including the Minister, knows that the health service is in a shambles. They know that patient safety is at risk every day. Cancellations occur every day of the year. A colleague of mine had his cardiac bypass surgery cancelled on two occasions. Having worked 21 years at South Tipperary General Hospital, I know the pressure nurses and staff are under. The hospital works at 125% capacity, when normal capacity should be in the region of 85%. It has one of the highest trolley counts in the country. Mental health services are understaffed and under-resourced. The acute inpatient service is non-existent, having been closed by Fine Gael and the Labour Party in the last Government. The pay agreement cited by the Government does not represent a pay increase. It is a pay restoration agreement which does not even fully restore pay to the previous levels. I believe public representatives should support the nurses. One thing we can do is call on all of our supporters to be at the Garden of Remembrance next Saturday at 12.30 p.m. to support the demonstration called by the nurses.

I believe nurses are fighting a battle to establish and restore a civilised society in Ireland. They are fighting to ensure all Irish people will have adequate and effective healthcare. More than that, they are fighting for priority to be given to caring human values over the greed of the super-rich. It is the greed of the super-rich and the feeding of that greed which are the driving principles of the Government, not just its Fine Gael component. The Taoiseach told us that the Government would have to borrow money to meet the claims of the nurses. That statement is shamefully and demonstrably untrue. Anybody who doubts it might read the 2019 report of Social Justice Ireland which was published recently. The Government states meeting the nurses’ claims would cost €300 million per year. The unions dispute this and point out that many of the resources required could be found by reducing the dependence on agency nursing. Even if the Government’s claim was correct, the amount of money is minuscule compared to the untaxed, massive and growing wealth of the Irish super rich. The Minister and the Government need to make the super rich pay their fair share of taxation. There is massive wealth in the country and a disproportionate share is owned by the super rich. According to the Central Statistics Office, there are 25,700 individuals who earn between €200,000 and €2 million per year. In the last budget not only were no additional taxes placed on them but the Minister for Finance gave them tax relief, as he had done in the previous two budgets. The money is available to resolve the dispute. The Government simply has to address the very wealthy people who have billions of euro above the peak boom levels in 2007 and 2008. The Minister should resolve the dispute by acceding to the requests of the nurses. The Government should resign and allow the people to make a decision on what will happen in the future.

—————————————————————–Fr Seán Healy: We need an extra €2.5bn – €3bn in tax if we are serious about addressing the deficits in our society

It is simply not possible to provide the high-quality public services Irish people aspire to having while failing to collect adequate revenue to pay for them.

Irish people and Irish policymakers need to recognise that European-average levels of services and infrastructure cannot be delivered without European-average levels of taxation.

Monday, February 04, 2019 – 04:27 PM

Ireland needs to have a real debate about the level of public services and social infrastructure it wishes to have in the coming decades and how these are to be financed, writes Eamon Murphy.

Eamon Murphy is the Economic & Social Analyst, Social Justice Ireland.

Full SJI Document     Social Justice Matters 2019

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5720426/socialjusticematters2019.pdf

GOVERNMENT policy at the moment is to reduce total revenue – of which tax is by far the largest component – as a percentage of national income. With that will come a corresponding real reduction in expenditure.

However, Ireland already experiences significant deficits in services and infrastructure when compared to the EU-15 norm, and this gap cannot be closed by continuing to invest less than our European peers.

By any realistic measure, Ireland is a low-tax economy.

Would you pay more tax for improved public services?

As a policy objective it can remain so, but should not be incapable of providing the economic, social and infrastructural requirements necessary to support employment, underpin living standards, and complete our convergence with the rest of Europe.

Impressive economic growth should be seen as an opportunity to increase expenditure on our depleted social infrastructure, not to reduce taxes.

Consequently, Social Justice Ireland believes that Ireland should aim to collect an additional €2.5bn to €3bn per annum in taxation.

This calculation is based on an estimation of Ireland’s actual economic growth figures – factoring out so-called “leprechaun economics” – as well as on per capita taxation numbers and predicted population growth.

It also takes into account the estimated gap between Ireland’s actual tax-take and the tax-take needed to provide a level of public services consistent with the expectations of a developed European country.

The need for a broader more stable tax base is a lesson painfully learned by Ireland during the financial crisis. The overreliance on a small handful of revenue sources resulted in almost 25% of tax revenues disappearing in the space of a few months, plunging the exchequer and the country into a series of fiscal policy crises.

READ MORE:Call for five-year plan to eradicate poverty in Ireland

This broader base and increased take must be achieved in a fair, equitable and sustainable manner. Those who benefit the most from Ireland’s economic system must contribute their fair share.

Social Justice Ireland advocates:

a minimum effective corporation tax rate of 6 per cent; the introduction of a Financial Transactions Tax in line with proposals outlined by the European Commission and accepted by leading EU member states; a Site Value Tax, rather than the current Property Tax, which would perform the dual role of raising revenue and discouraging land-hoarding; a restoration of the 80% windfall gains tax on the profits generated from land re-zoning; and a reform of tax-based reliefs and incentives, particularly those accruing to high income individuals.

Pension-related tax incentives are in particular need of reform as in their current format they redistribute income towards the better off in society.

Well-structured efficient tax systems help reallocate capital to productive investment and away from speculative finance, rent-seeking activity, and actions that cause environmental damage, whilst also incentivising employment and other productive activity. Making income tax credits refundable would help make low-paid work more rewarding, thereby encouraging employment.

There may be scope for reductions in income tax if these are done in an equitable manner and the foregone revenue can be raised elsewhere.

It has long been a key part of Ireland’s industrial strategy to use a low headline corporation tax rate to attract foreign direct investment.

The Apple ruling of 2016 is by far the best example of how this policy has led to reputational damage due to the utilisation of the Irish tax regime by transnational corporations to avoid paying tax.

A crucial medium-term priority must be the re-conceptualisation of the role of the Irish corporation tax regime.

There has been a growing international focus on the way transnationals manage their tax affairs and the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profits Shifting (BEPS) examination has established the manner by which transnationals exploit international tax structures to minimise their tax liability.

Reform is inevitable and Ireland should change its stance towards the corporation tax debate in Europe by taking the lead in negotiating Europe-wide minimum headline and effective corporation tax rates.

When a country is setting social and economic goals, it is important that these goals are supported by taxation policy.

It is simply not possible to provide the high-quality public services Irish people aspire to having while failing to collect adequate revenue to pay for them.

Irish people and Irish policymakers need to recognise that European-average levels of services and infrastructure cannot be delivered without European-average levels of taxation.

Eamon Murphy is the Economic & Social Analyst, Social Justice Ireland.

Categories: Uncategorized

Fight Evictions-News

December 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Attempt to hold trial of Roscommon Anti-Eviction Activists in Semi-Secret. You can stop it! https://wp.me/pKzXa-1cG

Harristown District Court in Roscommon….

10 Am on Friday morning, January 18. Please can you come along to show solidarity

————————————————————–

Documents “Gone Missing” From Legal File in Central Office of High Court on Evicted Family!!!!

Just look at what a person has to go through to see a file about him that he is entitled to see

Anna Kavanagh  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1cG

The most important documents pertaining to his case were missing from the file.”

A shortened version of what the farmer at the centre of the Roscommon Illegal eviction, told me tonight Friday 21st December 2018

The farmer at the centre of the Roscommon illegal eviction travelled to the central office in the High Court in Dublin this morning to retrieve copies of his files. On entering the central office at 11 AM he was informed that his file would not be available until 2:30 PM and was instructed to go over to the retrieval book and enter his case number and details and the file would be available at 2:30 PM.

On returning at 2:30 PM he was told to go back to the Retrieval Book and if there was an X marked beside his case number it meant that the file could not be viewed.

On returning to the Retrieval Book there was an X marked beside his case number.

On returning to the desk he asked where his file was. The girl at the desk informed him it was with the registrar and she was unable to name the registrar.

The farmer moved away from the desk to explore his options.

He returned to the desk and asked when he could see his file. He was told it would not be available for viewing today as the file was not in the building.

He then contacted his solicitor who instructed him to demand his file as it was in the building. He returned to the desk and received no satisfaction.

The Farmer’s solicitor instructed a Junior Council to go to his assistance at the central office. The Junior Council arrived and instructed the farmer not to leave without seeing his file and to state that if he didn’t get his file the media was on standby.

At this point he was told to go to the floor where the High Court registrar’s office is located. Through the glass widow a lady could see the farmer at the door. She opened the door and came out of the office. The farmer explained to her the series of events that were unfolding. She gave the farmer the name of the office manager and told him to return and speak to her about retrieving his file. The office manager came out and told him the file could not be retrieved today. The farmer asked where it was. She said that she didn’t know. The farmer formed the opinion that she was in a very uneasy distressed state in response to the standoff that was unfolding. The farmer responded by saying that it was okay as the media was on standby to highlight what was happening. At this point she asked him to wait and she said she would be returning to him in five minutes.

After approximately a 15 minute wait she returned and having miraculously retrieved the file she handed it over to the farmer. At this point the farmer then examined the file thoroughly alongside a legal representative there on his behalf. The most important documents pertaining to his case were missing from the file.

When the file was viewed previously, these missing documents were in the file.

END OF STATEMENT

———————————————————–Article in Roscommon People Slates National Media Coverage Of Strokestown Eviction  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1cG

Paul Dalton: “Indeed, such has been the bias displayed by certain quarters of the traditional print and broadcast media in the last few days that as a former national newspaper editor and foreign correspondent in the UK and Ireland for 25 years, even by the standards of ‘fly by your pants’ journalism, I’m shocked and disgusted by my colleagues, and it takes a lot to say that.”

http://www.roscommonpeople.ie/news/48-news/an-out-of-touch-media-elite

‘An out of touch media elite’

Paul Dalton, Dec 20

Amid the outrage that has swirled all week around the shocking events in Strokestown, it’s becoming clear that underneath the justifiable outrage at the manner of the eviction in Falsk, and the apparent ruthlessness of bankers when it comes to repossessions, something equally insidious and dangerous has been taking place.

And, as if it were needed, it is further proof of the chasm which exists between the mindset of a media elite in Dublin and those of us who live and survive beyond the M50.

Indeed, such has been the bias displayed by certain quarters of the traditional print and broadcast media in the last few days that as a former national newspaper editor and foreign correspondent in the UK and Ireland for 25 years, even by the standards of ‘fly by your pants’ journalism, I’m shocked and disgusted by my colleagues, and it takes a lot to say that.

Almost within hours of Sunday morning’s events, The Irish Independent had already fingered “dissidents” as being responsible for the revenge attack against the security personnel shipped down from the North. As someone who’s edited these kind of stories, it was bewildering to see that The Indo had no evidence for its claims, nor any clarification as to whom these “dissidents” were. Republican, Loyalist, it didn’t matter.

The same newspaper within a day then extrapolated its bias by wheeling in a “notorious crime family” as being part of Sunday’s dawn attack, again with no evidence other than unnamed and not even quoted Garda sources, and further cemented its claim of “dissident” insidious control of events.

The aroma of creative license began to waft in the air. To a lesser extent, The Irish Times and broadcast media, especially RTE News, tried to play as straight a bat as they could. But hidden beneath their coverage, there was still a sense of them puting a perfumed handkerchief to their noses as they surveyed the “mad Rossie culchies” out West.

Ironically, it was the often derided tabloids, The Irish Sun and The Irish Mirror who gave the fairest and most accurate accounts, as far as they could, of what took place, and the real sense of outrage many of us in rural Ireland feel.

In fact, it was only these two tabloids who even reported the now notorious moment when one of the security personnel boasted about being “British” on a video clip in response to why he was helping evict an Irishman from his own home, a clip that has gone viral.

So, there have been calls to boycott The Indo, which is fair enough, and their reporters have been told to “f**k off back to Dublin” while reporting from outside the Falsk premises.

In fairness, and I’ve been there, it’s not the individual journalists’ fault. I know from experience that, when a publication has a mindset riddled with bias from the very editorial top, at times you have to fall into line. It ain’t pretty, and might leave a bad taste in your mouth of which you’re not proud, but it does help pay the bills at the end of the month.

No, the reason for such skewered coverage is the simple fact that not only does the Dublin media elite not, in the main, understand the outrage and solidarity that rural communities feel at times such as this, they just don’t care.

And in doing so, they ignorantly risk further compounding the decline in newspaper sales, in effect shooting themselves in the foot: because it has been to social media that the majority – even my 81-year-old mother on her mobile – have turned to search for the truth about events at Falsk.

With a glimpse into the Looking Glass, the traditional media have been Twittered-Out when it comes to this story.

Further proof: within hours, the Irish Daily Mail, for which I once worked, condemned everything that had happened at Falsk as protest masquerading as “criminality”.

No wonder their sales are falling through the floor like soup down a plughole.

Because if a newspaper, like a politician, loses touch with its readers, its constituency if you like, it loses everything.

And even more so when paltry propaganda masquerades as competent journalism.

———————————————————-

Protests outside KBC Bank Branches in several towns and cities
https://wp.me/pKzXa-1cG

Well Done! Keep it Up!

Evicted Family claim that they are now being denied access to information which they urgently require to prepare their own legal defence.

The Democrat

****BREAKING NEWS*****

Anthony McGann and spokesperson for his family, Donal Hanly, arrived at the Central Office In the Four Courts this morning, on instruction of Anthony’s solicitors; Donnacha Anhold and Phelim O’Neill. They did so to bespeak a copy of Anthony’s entire file.

After arriving there, they were unusually told that they could not be dealt with until 2:30 pm this afternoon. When they returned, they were told the file was not available as it was allegedly with a registrar. Solicitors for the McGann’s believe there is simply no reason why the entire file should be with a registrar.

The McGann family requires the entire file in order to construct a case to defend their family home. It is clear that certain media outlets have had access to the McGann’s file in the last week, and they and their solicitors are now concerned that information from their file is being illegally leaked by somebody in the courts services to certain media outlets. The family claim that they are now being denied access to information which they urgently require to prepare their own legal defence.

 ——————————————————–

Men quizzed over Roscommon vigilante attack released without charge

Irish Independent, December 21 2018

Two men who were being questioned in connection to a pre-dawn attack at a repossessed home in Co Roscommon have been released without charge.

The two males were arrested on Wednesday following a number of searches in Roscommon.

A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The “Security Workers” from Northern Ireland Were acting Illegally while providing security services for KBC BANK at the house AFTER THE EVICTION

 

They had not been Garda Vetted and were not wearing identification numbers as required by law for such work. The Gardaí should have removed them! Were those who did remove them enforcing the law???

The Private Security Authority has begun an investigation

Irish Times:”The eviction came on foot of a High Court order. The execution of such orders is not deemed to be security work, meaning registered security guards are not required and evictions do not come under the authority’s remit. (Paddy Healy-They are in fact employees of the Sheriff and therefore of the State while carrying out the eviction)

However, the inquiry will seek to establish if the group was providing security services at the property in the days after the eviction.”

Roscommon Eviction: Investigation begins into conduct of security men

Conor Lally Irish Times;Friday, December 21, 2018, 01:00

 

An investigation into the conduct of a group of men who carried out an eviction in Co Roscommon has been commenced by the Private Security Authority (PSA).

It means the identity of the men, company they work for and circumstances in which they were recruited will likely become public knowledge. KBC bank, who the men were working for, would also likely be asked to aid the inquiry.

The investigation by the authority, which has the power to bring people before the courts to face charges, has been under way since last weekend.

The McGann family were evicted from their home in Falsk last Wednesday week. In the early hours of last Sunday the property was stormed by a gang who beat the security guards, burned their vans and cars and forced them out of the house.

The authority’s inquiry is focussed on the men’s activities in the days after the eviction, rather than during the eviction itself.

In reply to queries from The Irish Times, the authority said: “Following events in Roscommon on Sunday, December 16th, the PSA commenced an investigation into the provision of security services at Falsk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon. The PSA will not be providing any further information in relation to this matter while its investigation is ongoing.”

Court order

The eviction came on foot of a High Court order. The execution of such orders is not deemed to be security work, meaning registered security guards are not required and evictions do not come under the authority’s remit.

However, the inquiry will seek to establish if the group was providing security services at the property in the days after the eviction.

If they remained on at the house to secure it for the bank, that would be deemed by the authority as a static guarding service. In that case, the men would be obliged to follow all of the rules for private security firms set down by the Private Security Services Act.

This states that all of those involved should have been registered and trained as security workers as well as being Garda vetted. They should also have worn identification numbers while on duty.

During the eviction, the security workers from Northern Ireland used force to remove the McGanns and their supporters. While force is permitted under the law, video footage of the eviction has been widely shared on social media and has caused controversy.

After the eviction, the security staff stayed on at the property, in an apparent attempt to ensure the house remained in the possession of KBC. But they were attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning by a 20-strong gang armed with a gun and baseball bats.

Fled the scene

Some of the security workers were hospitalised and others fled the scene. On Monday, the McGanns moved back into the house which was then vacant.

The eviction of farmer Michael Anthony McGann and his two adult siblings from their home followed a dispute between Mr McGann and KBC bank over a loan in excess of €300,000. The dispute has been before the courts since 2009.

Last August the High Court granted a repossession order and later an order of possession, or eviction, to KBC. When Mr McGann refused repeated requests to leave, the house was repossessed by the group of eight security workers from the North, who removed the McGanns and their supporters.

 

——————————————————————————————————–

Irish Mirror To-Day  Dec 18

https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/former-british-soldier-whose-private-13747413

Former British soldier whose private security firm evicted Roscommon family ‘thinks he’s Rambo’  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1cG

49-year-old debt collector Ian Gordon contacted former colleagues a month ago urging them to travel to the Republic with a ‘name your price’ offer

  • Photo at link Ian Gordon at a previous eviction in Northern Ireland

This is the man whose private security firm caused uproar by kicking three siblings out of their family home.

Ian Gordon is an ex-British soldier who served with the Royal Irish Regiment and the Ulster Defence Regiment.

He subsidises his military pension with work as the boss of his firm GS Agencies.

He was filmed at the home of a family his firm was sub-contracted to evict by a finance company.

The 49-year-old debt collector, from outside Lisburn, Co Antrim, contacted former colleagues a month ago urging them to travel to the Republic with a “name your price” offer.


Fianna Fáil Facilitated the Evicting Hoodlums

Jim O’Callaghan, Senior Counsel and Front Bench Spokesperson for Fianna Fáil, admitted on RTE that he knew since September Last, 3 months ago, that security personnel involved in evictions were not required by law to wear an identification number and a photograph. But FF allowed this to continue!! https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Shame!

Categories: Uncategorized

Rise of the Far Right

October 29, 2018 Leave a comment

 

Far Right, Peter Casey Came Second in Presidential Election with over 20% of  The Vote
The Failure of the Labour and Trade Union Leaderships To Stand Up for Workers and the Poor has Created a Vacancy for the Populist Right . It has happened all over Europe. It has happened in the USA. Now it is here in Ireland

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The Oldest Trick in The Book- Offer to Join A Big Party in the Most Provocative Way. When Rejected set up a new Party

I will form new party if Fianna Fáil will not let me join, says Casey

Irish Examiner Monday, October 29, 2018   https://wp.me/pKzXa-1bc

“I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal”

“I’m 100% serious. If the consensus after talking to them is they don’t want me, I’ll form a new party and I’ll call it the New Fianna Fáil.”

Presidential candidate Peter Casey says he plans to set up a new party if he is prevented from joining Fianna Fáil.

The Derry businessman finished second behind Michael D Higgins in the race for Áras an Uachtaráin.

Mr Casey was initially an outside contender in the presidential election, but his vote surged late in the campaign following critical comments about the Travelling community and welfare recipients.

His support, which had been hovering around 1% in some opinion polls prior to the contentious remarks, rocketed to 23% in the election to secure an unexpected second place finish behind incumbent Mr Higgins, who romped home for a second term with more than 55% of the vote.

After the election result, Mr Casey said he plans to join Fianna Fáil and run as a candidate in Donegal at the next general election.

I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal

He told the Sunday Independent: “I am joining Fianna Fáil.

“I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal.

“And I am going to become a Fianna Fáil TD – with a view to becoming Taoiseach at the head of a renewed and revitalised Fianna Fáil.”

However a Fianna Fáil spokesman said: “Mr Casey made clear during the campaign that he has zero allegiance to Fianna Fáil; we will not be facilitating any personal crusades of his.”

In response Mr Casey, speaking on RTE’s Today with Miriam show, said he would set up a new party if Fianna Fáil refused to admit him as a member.

“They definitely need someone like Peter Casey to shake it up,” he said.

“I’m 100% serious. If the consensus after talking to them is they don’t want me, I’ll form a new party and I’ll call it the New Fianna Fáil.”

– Press Association

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Kitty Holland: Support for Casey reflects rage of those feeling left behind

But that big surge in his support cannot be ignored, nor those who voted for him blamed. The blame should be lain squarely at a political, trade-union and media class which is either oblivious or inured to just how real the struggle continues to be for huge numbers of people, just to get by.

Kitty Holland, , Irish Times, Monday, October 29, 2018,

There are two dangers when talking about Peter Casey’s strong showing in the Presidential election – taking it too seriously and not taking it seriously enough.

Though his vote surged from a predicted 2 per cent in polls taken before he made his nasty, inaccurate Traveller comments about Travellers, and later his lazy lamentations about a supposed welfare state, to 23.25 per cent, let’s remember again – he did not win the election and only 44 per cent of the electorate were bothered to vote for anyone, much less Casey.

But that big surge in his support cannot be ignored, nor those who voted for him blamed. The blame should be lain squarely at a political, trade-union and media class which is either oblivious or inured to just how real the struggle continues to be for huge numbers of people, just to get by.

The Traveller comments certainly resonated with thousands of voters, and I’ll come back to that, but to dismiss a growing and widespread rage – particularly among 20- to 50-year-olds, and those living in huge swathes of rural Ireland – would be as arrogant as it would be stupid.

Socially Ireland may seem more inclusive than ever. Look how compassionate we have proven ourselves voting for marriage equality and repealing the Eighth Amendment, our governing classes tell us. These two measures were delivered, of course, only when it became politically impossible not to, and importantly they cost the same governing classes nothing.

Austerity

Economically, however, life is as hard as ever for the vast majority of us. Austerity as an ideological project, we’re told, is over but the benefits – workers’ rights eroded, sky-high rents, six-figure salaries and bonuses for those back at the helm of the property boom – are still being reaped by a minority. They never let a good crisis go to waste.

So we are almost at full employment? But people are getting up earlier than ever and dropping their kids to childcare they can hardly afford and with which most of us are getting zero help with from the Government. We are working longer hours than ever – often at home on our laptops into the night, often in jobs we do not know will still be ours in a year’s time, or where we cannot even be sure what hours, if any, we’ll work next week.

We’re barely able to pay mortgages or rent – those of us lucky enough to have a home – and if we or our children get ill we avoid the GP for fear of the €60 bill, or the emergency department for fear of the €100 charge. If our children get to third level we weep at the thought of the charges, meanwhile, in blind dread of even thinking about what we’ll live on when we retire, following the dismantling of our pensions. We’re not just “squeezed” or fed up. We’re raging.

In April I visited Castlerea, Co Roscommon, to talk to people about the forthcoming abortion referendum. On a Saturday lunchtime the main street was all but deserted. More than half the shops were boarded up. A woman I spoke to in her empty bar told me: “You might be worried abortion in Dublin. We’ve more to be thinking about here. We’re just forgotten about.”

Casey’s vote was marginally stronger in rural areas than in urban areas, and particularly in areas populated – however sparsely – by Travellers. This will have been a painful election for our small (30,000) Traveller community, but Casey clearly spoke to the only experience many people have of Travellers, which is negative. It too cannot be dismissed as just racist – racist though much of it is – or ignorant, but listened to.

We know the statistics – the 80 per cent unemployment, the seven-times risk of suicide compared with the settled community, the homelessness, the low school attainment, the poverty, the high levels of domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, and some criminality. By any measure the Traveller community is not flourishing and the only experience they have of many in the settled community is negative.

Political leadership

The Traveller community – particularly their women – want to do their part to address this. But as a vulnerable, impoverished community they cannot do it alone. We must demand political leadership on this, and fundamental to that is addressing the accommodation crisis. Without culturally appropriate housing which respects the community’s ethnicity, Travellers cannot begin to properly address their profound problems.

So, welcome to the very Irish fruits of six years of vicious austerity followed by a selective, localised recovery for the few.

The political class, the trade-union movement and the media can dismiss Casey as a man who “brain farts” and his voters as “racist” or “deplorable”. If they do, they downplay the realities of people’s struggles and will deserve increasing irrelevancy and disdain.

I have no doubt President Michael D Higgins, constrained as he is by his office, will continue to do what he can to articulate those struggles. Also-ran Peter Casey was clearly seen by many as a man who heard them.

Categories: Uncategorized

Murderous Surrogate Wars By Imperialist Exploiters

October 15, 2018 Leave a comment

From Edward Horgan , Comdt, Retired

Yes Paddy military supports for Saudi Arabia are passing through Shannon, probably including several mid air refuelling planes that I photographed at Shannon airport. Saudi Arabia has no mid air refuelling planes of their own so the US air force provided the mid air refuelling for them as their fighter planes attack Yemen. Most of the bombs dropped by the US in Yemen are supplied by the USA, but some are also supplied by Britain, France and Germany, three nice “peaceful” European Union countries.

Saudi Deliberately Bombing Food Supplies to Yemen-50% of fishing Boats destroyed-It is a war crime-Patrick Coburn, London Independent

Yemen could be ‘worst famine in 100 years’-BBC-Orla Guerin

Any Chance That Irish Government Would Denounce War Crimes at the United Nations??

Are Military Supports to Saudi Murderers being shipped through Shannon? https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ax

The United Nations is warning that 13 million people in Yemen are facing starvation.

It’s calling on the military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, to halt air strikes which are killing civilians, and contributing to what the UN says could become “the worst famine in the world in 100 years”.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ax

Yemen’s civil war began three years ago, when Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, seized much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US, the UK and France, is using air strikes and a blockade – in support of the internationally-recognised government.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict and millions are displaced.

Our international correspondent Orla Guerin, producer Nicola Careem and cameraman Lee Durant sent this report from Sanaa.

It contains some distressing scenes.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-45857729/yemen-could-be-worst-famine-in-100-years

 

 

Al Jazeera

Saudi-UAE Bombing Campaign Supported by US, Britain,

The charity Save the Children has estimated that an average of 140 children have been killed every day since Saudi Arabia(SunniMuslim) and the UAE (Sunni)began their bombing campaign against the Iran-backed Houthi (Shia Muslim) fighters

“8.4 million people are severely food insecure (don’t know where they’ll get their next meal and at risk of starvation, 16 million lack access to safe water and sanitation”- UN

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the conflict enters its fourth year, more than 22 million people – three-quarters of the population – need humanitarian aid and protection–Secretary-General António Guterres in remarks to donor conference in Geneva on 3 April ’18

 

Pullizer Centre   https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/yemen-us-allies-spin-deals-al-qaida-war-rebels

“The Saudi led Coalition backed by US  coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters in Yemen, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.”

NOTE: Al Quaida and 9/11 no problem:Al-Quaida are Sunni Muslims. The Houthu Fighters in Yemen are Shia –the historic enmity between the two largest muslim sects have been manipulated by imperialists, kings and dictators for their own political and economic purposes-similar events happened in Europe among Christians in  past centuries  (P.H.)

UN News

“8.4 million people are severely food insecure (don’t know where they’ll get their next meal and at risk of starvation, 16 million lack access to safe water and sanitation”- UN

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the conflict enters its fourth year, more than 22 million people – three-quarters of the population – need humanitarian aid and protection.

Secretary-General António Guterres in remarks to donor conference in Geneva on 3 April ’18

After more than three years of escalating conflict, Yemeni people continue to bear the brunt of ongoing hostilities and severe economic decline. An alarming 22.2 million people in Yemen need some kind of humanitarian or protection assistance, an estimated 17.8 million are food insecure, 8.4 million people are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation, 16 million lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 16.4 million lack access to adequate healthcare. Needs across the country have increased steadily, with 11.3 million who are in acute need, an increase of more than one million people in acute need of humanitarian assistance to survive.

Categories: Uncategorized