A message from the Tamminists to the alt-right snowflakes

Our comrades in the Revolutionary Tamminist Party of Mahon were recently banned from Facebook for posting an anti-racist rant, which obviously left a fair few of the alt-right snowflakes fairly butt-hurt. So here we re-publish the original post (with some editorial tweaking), just so those cucks can come and have a read of it if ever they’re looking for something to get them going in the strange self-flagellating fetishism that they are known for. Weirdos.

A few weeks back some cowardly racist cunts decided to firebomb a hotel up the country which was earmarked for to be used as a Direct Provision Centre for asylum seekers. This is the second such attack in the past three months. We in the revolutionary Tamminist Party of Mahon would like to express our desire to fight anyone who supports this kind of action. Honest to god. Because anyone who thinks attacking poor people is a good way to get back at the pricks in Leinster House is a fucking amadán and a coward and deserves a couple of slaps with a hurley.

You’re not a patriot, you’re a bonehead. You’re not fighting for your country. you’re behaving like the Loyalist cunts who burned our countrymen out of their homes. You’re not carrying on the long tradition of resistance than us Irish are so proud of. You’re mimicking the long tradition of fascism that the Brits are known for. Yeah, Tommy Robinson probably thinks you’re sound. But the Chairman Tammy thinks you’re a cunt. Bobby Sands would have boxed the head off ya. Padraig Pearse would have been disgusted by ya. And Tom Barry would have left ya in a fucking ditch!

There is bogland all around Cork – and all over the country – where many a traitor and counter-revolutionary were laid to rest for serving the cause of imperialism. And those who carried our these attacks would have met the same ending were the ra still a formidable force today. And ’tis a fucking pity they’re not!

The small handful of people (a few thousand on an island of 6+ million) who come to this country to seek better lives for themselves are NOT to blame for ANY of your hardships. Whether they’re asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrants or whatever, who fucking cares!The VASt majority are here to build a good life for themselves while contributing society. Unlike the cunts responsible for these attacks, and the sneering fuckers who support it.

The family with three kids from Syria aren’t to blame for Tina’s untreated mental health issues. The Health Care Assistant from Nigeria isn’t to blame for John’s drug addiction. The taxi-man from kenya isn’t to blame for Daithí ending up on the streets. The fast-food worker from China isn’t to blame for Tomás and Mary being evicted out of their family home. the barber from iraq isn’t to blame for our nurses working in such shit conditions.

The bankers, their puppet politicians, the greedy landlords and the rest of their fellow elites are to blame! It’s not the blacks and the Muslims, most of those responsible are fucking white and irish! And of course their lackey knuckle-draggers that act the big boys online and creep in the shadows to carry out attacks in the name of some fake patriotism and claiming we should “look after our own”.

Look after our own? Who the fuck is that? If you’re poor and struggling, you’ve much more in common with the immigrants than the boys running the country. So who the fuck are “our own”? And who the fuck is the real enemy? Not so long ago the Irish were spat at and attacked on the streets of England – NO BLACKS NO DOGS NO IRISH! And now these new breed of so-called “nationalists” are acting exactly like those English fascists cunts who treated the Irish like shit.

Swear to god, on me grandmother’s grave, every single one of the cunts that supports these attacks is a cowardly fucker and deserves a fucking hiding and we’re calling them out. In fact, they should come out from behind their keyboards and organise a public rally. Give it plenty of advertisement and plenty of time notice, and we see how many of ye fuckers show up. Cos we’ll be waiting. Cunts.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All power to the Soviets.

Taken from ‘A night of music and musings, an event from the 7th of November, celebrating the October Revolution’ by Noel Murphy.

all power to the sovietsLiemrick soviet

All Power to the Soviets – Rather than the Duma

Imagine an Ireland of Soviets. Every place electing their Local Soviet

The Local Soviet electing the Regional Soviet


The Regional Soviets electing the National or Supreme Soviet.

Lets look at the Cork Soviet

Imagine each factory / workplace electing its delegates:

5 from EMC – 5 from Apple – 2 from the Univeristy Hospital,

2 from Abtan, Voxpro and Merriott

2 from the army 2 from the navy 4 from the building workers 4 from the hospitality sector and so on.

This group amounting to several hundred delegates in session, having taken over the City Hall and its now defunct City Council.

The delegates agree with the motion from the Building Workers that we will start the house building and repairing programme immediatetly –

Housing for the people.

The Delegates from the army will make emergency accomodation available to any person or family in need of lodging while they wait on the completion of their new house or flat.

The delegates now agree a motion from the University hospital and Mercy Hospital workers to sort out the waiting lists. If necessary we can use the Hotel / formerly a hospital to create more spaces for out patients and accident and emergency cases.

Health for the people.

The Delegates elect their 20 most dynamic delegates to join the delegates elected from Cobh, Mallow, Midleton, Youghal, etc to repressent them on the Regional Soviet

These delegates in consultation with their colleagues on the Local Soviets plan the infrastructure programme from the County Hall where the old Council is now defunct.

Rail Electricity Roads Water Communications

Agricultural Production, Industrial Output , Computerisation


We can do it better and more efficiently, as we are the workers who performed these tasks before to make profits for individuals and Corporations, now we are doing it for our people – our communities – our present and our future.

The surplus value is no longer goping to line the pockets of the super rich but now goes to the Regional Local and National Soviet funds.

Imagine the National Soviet – meeting in the Mansion House, or Liberty Hall or the Central Bank Building.

First a motion dealing with the Banks.

Unlike the powerless Dáil – afraid to take any real action – lest the Bankers use the laws that they created themselves – against their Government.

The laws that protect finance houses and banks are declared Null and VOID by the National Soviet.

The victims of the Tracker Mortgage scandal are immediately compensated. All family home eviction orders are rescinded.

Banking executives can comply or face imprisonment. Perhaps a bit of tuft cutting on the bogs or vegitable growing on cut bogs.

Justice for the People

Food for the People

The old systems disappear and are replaced by new structures, new ideas, new ways of doing things so that the labour of the workers is enjoyed by the workers in the land of Soviets.

And the Dáil talks about a constitution that puts the rights of property before the rights of the people and they talk of their bourgeoise democracy.

And now the National Soviet

overturns the law that see young people being paid less social welfare

because of their age

we rescind the law that stops the single parent allowance because the child has reached the ripe old age of 7 years

we rescind the law which gives lesser pensions to some because of different historical circumstances

And the Dáil and the Bureaucracy says you cant do this and we say, we are doing this.

And the Dáil and the Bureaucracy and their compliant media, asks but what about us

and we the people, seeing that our democracy is a true democracy give them their answer


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ava’s pain is Simon’s shame

Since 2nd of November 2016, when Vera Twomey first promised to walk from Cork to Dublin (Long march), she has captured the hearts, minds and souls of a population. An ordinary woman with an extraordinary spirit, compelled by the most natural maternal instincts to protect her daughter Ava, breaking down the bureaucratic barriers put in place by an uncompassionate, neo-liberal state, which oozes contempt for its ordinary citizens. Ms. Twomey had become increasingly disheartened, following unsuccessful attempts to acquire medicinal cannabis for her 7 year old daughter Ava, a sufferer of Dravet Syndrome. It is now 8th of March, Vera Twomey completed her walk to Dublin yesterday, following postponement of her first attempt. Being a rebel herself, Rebel City Writers find it fitting to give a timeline of Vera’s cause, outlining the facts clearly and offering a radical perspective on developments.

Dravet Syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy formed from birth that poses a variety of issues, but the most prevalent are prolonged and frequent seizures, in Ava’s case, sometimes 20 a day. Ms. Twomey explained that she had long exhausted the avenue of prescribed medications as a means of controlling Ava’s seizures, and in consultation with both paediatricians and neurologists, she had used Cannabidiol (CBD), which saw Ava’s condition improve drastically. The issue now is that further improvement requires the addition of THC with the CBD. THC is effectively the chemical in cannabis which allows you to get high, and therefore, is banned in Ireland over 0.02%, while Ava`s treatment requires around 1% or 2%. So, essentially, it is illegal for the medical professionals overseeing Ava’s treatment to prescribe her this treatment, unless there is a change in legislation. Ms. Twomey has continuously outlined this positon and the need for legislation change.

After beginning here first walk to Leinster House, Vera received a phone call from the current Health Minister, Simon Harris, urging her to halt the walk and promising to take action in relation to medicinal cannabis by January. Amidst a surge of public support and positive acknowledgement of her cause, Ms. Twomey decided to postpone her walk, but was adamant that failure to act would force her to restart her walk to Dublin. On the 9th of November, PBP/AAA TD Gino Kenny introduced the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation bill, which was passed unopposed by the government. The bill went on to committee stage, where a request for “Expert Scientific Advice” was made by Simon Harris to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). The report was published on the 31/01/2017, and, although critical of the substance of scientific evidence to support the use of medical cannabis, it did offer recommendations for the regulation of medicinal cannabis, and as of today, has backed its piloted introduction for use in specific conditions, of which, on the surface, all are met by Ava.

It is worth noting the negative points in the report were largely aimed at how it could contribute to an increase in recreational use of cannabis. If they want, I am available to categorically explain to the HPRA how easily people can get access to recreational cannabis; perhaps they might sample some as part of a clinical trial. Refusing sick people medicine because some will abuse it is plainly a cop-out! People abuse prescription drugs all the time but they are not outlawed!

Following an application for medicinal cannabis by Ms. Twomey, a decision was made on the 23rd of February not to grant Ava a licence. The Department of Health stated “Until such time as the necessary legislative amendments have been made to facilitate the implementation of the Cannabis Access Programme, it remains open to the Minister to consider granting a licence to an Irish registered doctor for access to medicinal cannabis for named patients.” Time had run out on Harris’ delaying tactics and the mask had finally slipped. Ms. Twomey was left with no choice but to restart her “long march” to Dublin.

After a week of walking, and even incurring an injury in the process, Vera finally arrived in Dublin to swathes of supporters. This image of support was replicated in every county, town and village that she had passed through; large crowds, media, schools, guards of honour, marching bands, all rally in their respective areas to show Ms. Twomey that she had the support of the nation. Yesterday afternoon, as she had done every day, Vera expressed her amazement and gratitude at the level of support she received from the public. Perhaps unbeknownst to herself, she made an excellent one line observation; “the real people of Ireland care”.

This statement is undoubtedly true, the real people of Ireland do care, and we care about Ava and all the other people who are in need of medicinal cannabis. Unity and compassion are indispensable weapons in the fight against global neo-liberalism and the serfs that implement its agenda. Vera Twomey’s “long march” has amplified how much the “real people of Ireland care”, while the state reaffirms departmental lingo and cowers behind red tape. As citizens we are supposed to accept the fact that the government can call emergency sittings in the middle of the night and proceed with legislation which will saddle our children with billions of euro worth of debt, but they cannot legislate to potentially save the life of a 7 year old girl! The following can be said of homelessness, it can be said of the hospital crisis and can be said of mental health; unless you’re a market, or a potential market, you will receive no compassion from the Irish State.

Jonathan Dunne

Posted in National Issues, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Workers rights and Sleepless nights – An evidence based rant at the incessant bolloxology of this State

The old adage goes ‘an affront to one, an affront to all’. These weeks another veiled attack on workers’ rights and public infrastructure once again exemplified how we are all being sniped and hacked at. To an outside observer the push toward a low wage economy is clear with workers conditions of employment spiraling towards the drain. Who has pulled the plug? Those elected to safe guard the workers’ rights our forebear’s gave their lives for, those elected to provide us with social security and infrastructure as part of the social contract we all uphold in our daily lives. It is those we pay to protect us that are this nation’s biggest assailant.

The news of late has had reports of strike action, financial difficulty and Bus Éireann routes closing. What has been absent from reporting is the reason for this. The subcontractor’s from Noonan cleaning services replacing those working in the direct employ of Bus Éireann. The National Transport Authority giving transport routes to private companies that offer poor contracts and conditions to workers. The defunding by the state of the Bus service, which has been the back bone of rural and suburban Ireland, are all reasons we are now in the midst of workers taking defensive strike action. But all we are told is that the company is facing insolvency – not why. We are not told of the nearly 3 thousand workers who jobs are at risk or the families they support.

The vile maxim of neo-liberalism first notably mentioned by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations and lately brought to attention by Noam Chomsky in Requiem for the American Dream follows as such; ‘The principal architects of policy are those who own the country: the merchants, manufacturers and landlords in Smiths day. They make sure to design policy so that their own interests are most peculiarly attended to. Their interests are served by policy, however grievous the impact on others, including the people”. To quote Smith directly –“All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind”.

How this may be evidenced are stories such as Shane Ross refusing to perform his duties as Minister for Transport, his excuse that the state can offer no financial support. Whilst Ross is claiming empty pockets in Leinster House, T.D Pascal Donahue and his cohorts have been planning how they want to spend your money on some expansion at Dublin Airport. I ask you this, what will attract more tourism; €500 million of public transport infrastructure to view the nation, or, a new runway?

This excerpt is taken from a central bank publication;

‘National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) raised a further €1.5 billion through bond sales in the second quarter of the year, with auctions continuing to be oversubscribed. This brought the total raised to date in 2016 to €5.5 billion, and as a result the NTMA is comfortably on target to achieve its range of €6-10 billion for the year as a whole. The NTMA also cancelled a further €500 million in outstanding bonds linked to the liquidation of IBRC during this period.’

The money is there just not for the tax paying people who live and work in Ireland. The next time you hear that we don’t have money to fund Bus Éireann just remember this, *eh eh hem* HORSE RACING IRELAND RECEIVED €60 MILLION LAST YEAR FROM THE GOVERNMENT while Bus Éireann got €34 million and paid €59 million in taxes. Every year since 2011 the government has cut funding to the service.

Not satisfied with having laid the state coffers to waste and stripped her bare of assets, not appeased by the implementation of cuts to the services available to the public, not feeling one bit abashed by the public outcry and direct action the ruling class marches on in their war against ordinary people. The last decade and longer has seen relentless attacks on state assets and by proxy workers’ rights. When Board Gáis was privatised the terms of employment of workers were altered. When waste management was privatised workers were replaced by employees whose terms of employment were scandalous. “Zero hours”, a fitting name for the contract that is comparable to the schemes of a Bond villain.

State intervention only comes in the form of facilitating the shift toward an economy which serves private interests. When the Dunnes workers, Tesco workers and many others have been attacked the state has remained silent. When big business is shown to be exploiting the Irish economy the state is the first to claim this is all in our best interest.

Photo: Samboal/RollingNews.ie

How has the ruling class dealt with our housing crisis? To call it a crisis is true, but it does not explain what is happening. What is happening is that people who work are now no longer able to afford to rent a home, much less buy one. What is happening is that we have the worst problem with homelessness since the formation of the state. Our state representatives have stopped all spending on social housing and allowed private developers and vulture funds to take control of the housing market. The same housing market that brought this country to its knees is now in a worse condition than before the recession, and the reasoning we are given for this is that it’s what we need to do to recover!

Government funding for new social housing provision fell by 88.4% between 2008 and 2014 and, as a result, output of dwellings in this tenure declined by 91.5% concurrently (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, various years; Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, various years). This happened despite the fact that ‘Social housing was a central part of overall housing supply during periods of economic growth as well as through several recessions. It also played an important role as an economic stimulus and a source of employment when labour was in oversupply as well as providing a vital source of accommodation for lower income households which was affordable because social housing rents in Ireland are linked to incomes’ (O’Connell, 2007).

There are no stops on the neo-liberal bus that the coalition and those in the civil service, economic and high end business sectors are driving. It is an express route in the eyes of Coveney and co to a gentrified, privatised, rich man’s paradise where the rights of the worker are just another fairy tale of bygone days of glory in Ireland to sell to bleedin’ tourists! We have Starbucks popping up around Jim Larkins statue on O’Connell Street, with the company paying a net of €45 tax in 2015 and not a union employee to be seen!

We have watched job losses, emigration, suicide, forced evictions, health service cuts, death’s due to hyperthermia of the elderly, gang war – the list goes on and on with suicide a continuing feature. We endured austerity and the erosion of democracy and sovereignty, and we as a people began asking questions about how we got into this mess while doing what we could to get out of it despite the best efforts of Fine Gael. We are told more lies from Leinster House, we hear of recovery and the understanding from aloft of the people’s plight. Actions speak louder than words and the actions of those in positions of control are to the contrary of what they say.

“Yes, friends, governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class. ” – James Connolly

The news these past months of trouble within C.I.E and Bus Éireann had echoes of past actions of the mechanisms of the ruling class.The de-funding and push toward private health care, the sale of Aerlingus, the sale of Bord Gáis and, lest we forget, the sale giveaway of our Gas and Oil reserves. We have seen a stark advance in the interests of private equity and a shrinking of public support and service. We have seen the rights of the tax payers of the state diminished while corporate entities and vulture funds take haven here as their needs are protected.

What is happening to the workers of Bus Éireann is symptomatic of the disease that has caused all the other maladies of society mentioned within this rant and more. When I first heard the news resurface of impending woe for staff of Bus Éireann a few weeks ago I had a fair inclination as to how things were going to play out on the states side of things. To predict how neo-liberal attacks work is clearly defined by many scholars and social scientists. I have read fictional and academic material and studied the matter through media such as cinema and documentary film since silent sepia tone days. Defund, deregulate, dismantle and privatise. Following the news reports was like the script was being read, like the rules were being followed for once in a blue moon. It appears the only time our ruling class follow the rules is when shafting us, and why wouldn’t they? It works 95% of the time the world over, though this trend has decreased the last decade due to the actions of ordinary people.

Bus Éireann has been an integral part of my life and who I am. I remember with joy the trips to town that would not have been possible without the journey spent on the mysterious large vehicle full of strangers. The four seaters where people would chat sitting on musty green seats, the drivers who may not have had a uniform but nearly always wore a smile. As I got older my secondary education would not have been possible without the four trips a day on Bus Éireann wheels. My trips to and from Dublin and elsewhere for work and pleasure the last decade or so have all been facilitated by the staff of Bus Éireann and I feel that I, and most of those who were born with a silver spoon absent, owe a great debt of gratitude to the staff of Bus Éireann and the institution itself.

We are still bailing out the bankers and the debt they laid upon us without ever giving a red cent back. It is time for once that our elected representatives begun bailing out the citizens of this country. There is money in the governments purse to not only save Bus Éireann, but to reinvigorate it. It may mean directing a small sum of money out of the pockets of private interests, but I won’t lose sleep over that. It will mean using the revenue generated by the people of Ireland for the benefit of the people of Ireland and that may cause some sleepless nights for those in Dáil Éireann.

The Ragged Trousered Philathropist

Sources –




















Posted in National Issues, Workers' Struggles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Happens if Women go on Strike? Strike for Repeal: Ireland’s Abortion


An edited version of the following piece appeared in yesterday’s Evening Echo. Below we publish the unedited version in it’s entirety with the kind permission of the author, Rebel City’s very own, Rachael O’Sullivan.

A woman’s work is never done, and at €1.14 an hour, the price the Social Protection Department has put on our labour, is it worth it? Strikes for fair working conditions conjures picket lines, cars beeping in support and a general feeling that the working man has rights. He should expect certain humane and fair conditions. Sweatshops are bad; lunch breaks are good. Our history of strike action has taken us from an industrial revolution that thought a seven-day working week and child labour were acceptable, to a modern environment of paid sick leave and assault free work places. Zero hour contracts now threaten that, and yes, we will strike if we need to. It is a tool we understand and is the failsafe we use to ensure our labour remains valued and respected. That our human right to equality is enshrined in our society.

It is fitting then, that over 27 groups around Ireland have called for a national strike to force the government to hold a referendum on the 8th amendment. Women and men around Ireland will be holding events at 12 noon on the 8th of March. Strike for Repeal, are not calling for the government to make abortion legal. They are calling for the right for the people of Ireland to finally make a collective decision. They want the government to allow democracy. To allow the people to decide. To stop avoiding a controversial topic and to face the realities of the female population.

Abortion is one of Ireland’s most divisive subjects. Everyone has an opinion and our democracy ensures they can voice it. The fundamental problem is, should another person’s human rights be your opinion? Do you have the right to make a decision that will affect the physical, psychological, and emotional health of another human being? A decision you make for a stranger could determine their earning power, employability, socio-economic status and their ability to secure a mortgage for the rest of their adult life. Ireland has abortion. It is economic abortion shrouded in secrecy, lies and shame. Over 165,000 women from Ireland have had abortions in the UK since 2006. 65% of the UK’s non-resident abortions are from Ireland.  9-12 women a day travel to the UK to have abortions. Over 1,500 women have travelled to the Netherlands since 2006 for abortions. And just one abortion pill provider shipped 5,600 abortion pills to Ireland within a five-year period. There is no conclusive information on the annual amount of abortion pills women in Ireland are taking. These statistics do not capture the full story as they are based on the UK Department of Health’s records of women who openly recorded their address as the Rep of Ireland. This makes the voluntary inclusion of an address on a form the only method we have of tracking Irish abortion in the UK. It does not include other countries we travel to, and the real figures will show our current statistics to be a stark underestimation.


Abortion protects women. It protects us from raising a child alone, it protects us from the psychological impacts of carrying a rapist’s child, it protects us if something goes wrong during the pregnancy. Abortion is a medical procedure. It has health risks. If a woman has a rushed and unsupported procedure in the UK and returns to Ireland, can she seek medical help? If she haemorrhages internally, can she say why? If her abortion pill fails or partially aborts, can she approach her GP? Partial abortions can cause serious infections. Does she risk septicaemia or risk imprisonment? This is Ireland’s economic abortion, and its availability depends on last-minute funds to travel, or the freedom to do so. We are a country that has enshrined in our constitution, under article 40.3.3, that a foetus has equal rights to the mother. This places Irish women with the inability to determine their own health care during pregnancy and removes their right to make decisions around their health while pregnant. The James Reilly Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, states that conditions like inevitable miscarriage must become life threatening before a doctor can intervene. In the case of Savita Halappanavar this was too late. If you consider that out of 100 pregnancies, 15-20 will spontaneously abort or miscarry before seven weeks, it places a worrying number of women in Ireland at risk.

The Pro Life campaign uses slogans like, “I’m speaking for the unborn or the pre-born baby”. They are right. They do speak for them. Abortion is not a comfortable or a straightforward medical procedure. There are two people in the equation. You may wish to love them both equally, but you cannot. The question is primal in nature. It delves within our basic desires to protect children, but at what point does an unborn child have rights? And should these rights out strip the mothers? Should a woman, once pregnant, become an ‘incubator’ who allows her human rights to be put on hold for nine months? Pregnancy is a complex and life altering experience for every woman who survives it. The journey into motherhood sees your locus of control shift from yourself to your child. Your instincts for self-preservation switches to the child. Our evolution depended on this instinct and it makes abortion a last resort and complex decision for every woman who makes it. The idea that women could use it as a form of contraception, after a drunken night out, is insulting to the nature and integrity of women. It should not be used to further campaigns as it depicts women as depraved, and we are not. We make great mothers, excellent wife’s and nurturing girlfriends. It is why we accept the unpaid labour of domesticity and provide the nurturance at the heart of our society. It is why you love us. You trust our capacity for the compassion and the care we bring to your lives.


A crucial point in Ireland’s abortion debate is that women carry the responsibility of unplanned pregnancy. At what point did men become removed from the equation? Why is unplanned parenthood a female responsibility? Why do we have abandoned wife’s or single mothers? Could we create a society that reacts to abandoning a child or rape in the same way we do to cannibalism? Something depraved and physically repulsive. Or should we continue to allow our Social Welfare system to track fathers down because teaching our sons to share responsibility is complex? Is it easier to create laws than morals in our society? Ireland has abortion. The reasons we need abortions has been present in our country for generations. Our laundries made these women slaves, our anti-abortion laws make them criminals. Same solution, different generation, but the root problem remains. You may not agree with abortion, but we already have it. Voting to keep Ireland abortion free simply passes the moral baton to the UK. It is easier and will allow a feeling of sitting-room-self-righteousness.  Isolated feelings of contentment but no shared social responsibility for the nature of our actual society. The one we live in; not the utopic version we believe a law has the power to create. Suppression of Ireland’s abortions will not change Irish society; it just rebrands our laundries.

The 8th of March is International Women’s Day. In Ireland, we will see a ‘Strike for Repeal’ throughout the country. You can strike by not going to work, organising a lunchtime protest, or, by wearing black clothes or an armband. It is a solidarity protest for the hundreds of thousands of women who take time off work and travel in secret to other countries. It is time to face the question and have a referendum. I hope we start with the reality of abortion in Ireland and support women through the decriminalisation of their decisions and the medical support they require. Societies based on denial and inequality remain unhealthy and never create solutions. I want to live in a country where I can be an equal and be unafraid to become pregnant. “Motherhood or prison” is not an Ireland to be proud of. It is time for change and to see Ireland as it is, not how denial or locked, secret doors whisper or chant it could be. Accept the things you cannot change and support not criminalising the women of Ireland.

Rachael O’Sullivan

Posted in Feminism, National Issues, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is punching genocide supporting white supremacists wrong? – The moral dilemma of a pampered and privileged liberal society


During the past week or so you will have no doubt witnessed some of the many scenes of protest in the USA after the inauguration of Donald “Grab ’em by the Pussy” Trump as the democratically elected leader of the American Empire. You may also have seen the footage of the unofficial leader of the “alt-right” (read: Neo Nazi) movement, Richard Spencer, getting punched in the face by an anti-fascist during a television interview (twice in one day!). From this memetastic, though scrappy, sucker-punch there has been a resulting outpour of admiration/outrage from the masses for the hooded and ski-masked amateur pugilist, which has brought the wide assortment of leftists and liberals engaging in mass protests against the new POTUS to an apparent impasse, and poses a very necessary question. Is punching white nationalists who paraphrase Hitler and call for ethnic cleansing and the creation of a white-centric USA wrong? In short, HEELLLL NOO! Punch that motherfucker every opportunity you get!

Violence begets violence

It is often claimed by liberals and conservatives alike that using violence against fascists is itself a fascist act and only leads to more violence. Quite often they will refer to the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “violence begets violence”, which would seemingly add merit to their pacifist argument. However, the very nature of the Civil Rights leaders death only further proves that those driven by hatred towards their fellow human beings ultimately believe in using violence as a means to their ends. White supremacy/fascism/racism are inherently violent ideologies, in that by their nature they reduce certain human beings to a subhuman category. In turn this allows the followers of these ideologies to believe they are entitled to more rights than those that do not fit into their vision of the “master race”, and that crimes committed against their “lessers” are acceptable and should be viewed as the norm.

This way of thinking, though not an actual act of physical violence itself, is an act of indirect violence, as it fosters an environment where violence against certain people is acceptable. It is the mentality that allowed the lynching of blacks and other minorities in America to be commonplace and acceptable, even as recently as the 1981 lynching of 19 year old Michael Donald. People who no doubt lived otherwise normal lives would take their children to lynchings as family outings, such was the degree to which this racial based violence was normalised. This is where racism ultimately leads when allowed to spread, as history has shown us time and time again. To imagine that the transition into the America envisioned by Spencer and the NPI (National Policy Institute) could possibly occur without such acts of gross violence is ludicrous, and childishly naive. Therefore we have a moral obligation, a societal duty, to oppose racism by any means necessary. And if ya have to punch an unrepentant white supremacist, then by all means, knock that motherfucker out!

Fight fire with water, not fire

Though violence should be viewed as an acceptable, and ultimately necessary, tool to combat the spread of ideologies of hate, it should of course never be the first mode of intervention when dealing with someone you suspect of harbouring racist opinions. To paraphrase the revolutionary Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, the best way to fight fire isn’t with fire, you fight fire best with water. In the same sense, you don’t fight racism with more hatred, you fight it best with solidarity. Often otherwise decent people express racist views without themselves truly subscribing to the ideology of racial supremacy, ergo, your instinct shouldn’t be to punch them in the mouth where you can otherwise reason with their good nature about their grievances.

It is natural for the downtrodden masses to seek someone to blame for their struggles and toiling, and when racists are given a platform to spew their bile it is reasonable to think that some decent folk might fall for their simplistic hate mongering. As Chairman Hampton would encourage, appeal to their humanity and respectfully offer an education on the realities of racism and how the twin evils of capitalism and imperialism rely on racial divisions to keep us all under the proverbial boot. Offer them your solidarity, don’t be an uber-leftist elite (all praise be upon them) and drive them further down the right-wing path by shouting down their honest concerns as you stick piously to the puritan teachings of whichever ideological demigod you subscribe to. In turn, they will hopefully see through the bullshit and offer their solidarity to the victims of racism instead. And if that fails, well, contact your local anti-fascists.

Richard Spencer, however, is a different kettle of fish altogether.


Children gleefully among the crowd observing the lynching of an black man

A bigger threat than Trump

Richard Spencer isn’t one of the aforementioned downtrodden toilers who can be reasoned with and deterred from his notions of racial supremacy. Richard Spencer is an indoctrinated white supremacist who actually believes that Africans and Latinos are lesser beings than Euorpeans. Richard Spencer propagates the idea of ethnic-cleansing to create a white America. He may say now that this ethnic cleansing should be peaceful, but even the most basic understanding of history – both American and European – shows that any such forced resettlement requires extreme violence. Richard Spencer is charismatic and intelligent, and appeals to a very large section of American (and global) society. Richard Spencer espouses views that are prevalent in their extreme among the subculture of right-wing message boards and forums on websites such as 4chan and Reddit, where many disgruntled white Americans are becoming radicalised in extreme right-wing and racist views. White Americans like Dylann Roof.

Richard Spencer and his ilk are a very real threat to American (and again, global) society, now that Trump’s election has given legitimacy to overt racism, Islamophobia and sexism. It would of course be foolish of me to compare Spencer’s words with the actual crimes of the Nazis, but his quick rise to prominence and growing relevance is certainly comparable to that of Adolf Hitler. Only a few days ago it was the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp by the Soviet Red Army, and the world was once more reminded never to allow such atrocities to occur again. “Never again” the liberals will cry. Well, it is in this sentiment that those promoting Nazi-like ideals should be opposed. A punch in the mouth might seem rather insignificant should Spencer’s goals ever come to fruition. Imagine if Hitler had been punched in the mouth every time he tried to spread his hatred.


Liberal complicity in the rise of the right

Some of the liberal types that are baying for Trump’s blood would be the very same people who are appalled at Spencer getting clocked in the mouth. In sheer irony they cheer when millionaires like Madonna talk of blowing up the White House, yet these hypocrites feign disgust when the leader of the modern day incarnation of Nazism gets his chin checked. The old adage “I may not agree with what you say, but I respect your right to say it” is their go-to catchphrase as they look down upon those with the courage to take the necessary action and stamp out the disease of racism before it spreads. This is literal liberal complicity, through ignorance one would hope, in the ongoing rise of the ideologies of hate. Only those of a pampered and privileged position would decry someone for putting a racist in their place. One would genuinely fear how these people would act were the likes of Richard Spencer ever to get into a position of real power. “Stop resisting, just do as the policeman says, and get on the train. I’ll start a petition for you”. Middle-class student types saving the world one petition at a time. Smh.

I would not dare to speak for Black, Latin and Muslim Americans, but these communities facing the very real threat of growing violence under the Trump presidency are no doubt faced with real fears and concerns when people like Spencer are given a mainstream platform to tell them that they do not belong in their own country. As the recent attack on the mosque in Quebec has shown, right-wing extremists are becoming all the more emboldened, and therefore they need to be stopped before they get out of hand. If that means a few Nazis have to get punched in the face, then so fucking be it! And if that means a few liberals have to get their feels hurt, then fuck them too! People who have lived under actual fascism and who are facing actual real violence and genocide (whether Nazi Germany or those living under the Islamofascism of ISIS today) I have no doubt would gladly jump on the opportunity to go back in time and box their future oppressors around the head before their confidence and influence is allowed to grow, without a fuck given as to what liberals might think.

So to conclude, there is absolutely no moral hypocrisy in, and nothing wrong with, punching genocide supporting white supremacists. Remember, liberalism didn’t defeat the Nazis, communists with guns did. I’ll leave ye with a short excerpt from one of Richard Spencer’s recent speeches, which was met with rousing chants of “sieg heil” from his followers.

“To be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror… We don’t exploit other groups, they need us and not the other way around… For us as Europeans, it is only normal again when we are great again. Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

If you don’t find that a little bit ominous then you are part of the problem.

An Bhreathnadóir

Posted in Anti-imperialism, Anti-racism, International Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m still here. Still. – A personal journey in the Irish mental health services


So I’ve just informed my psychiatrist that over the Christmas period I was getting suicidal thoughts. She doesn’t even acknowledge it, just keeps writing on her chart as if I told her I was having pains in my arm or something. There’s no compassion or basic empathy, even forced empathy. She just looks down her chart and keeps asking the same questions I’ve been asked since I was 16: What was your appetite like?; Were you socializing much?; How are things at home? She then gives the question asking will I do anything to myself in the short-term, not because she cares, but because it’s required in case the health service later gets sued for malpractice. She then says she’s upping my medication, despite me telling her I wasn’t satisfied with it so far. The idea is more drugs help. More having to swallow a big fat capsule every night which is so horrible it makes me gag doing it. She tells me we’re done for now and she’ll see me in two weeks, and then goes off to photocopy my prescription. I was in there for 15 minutes. I spent more time in the waiting room than in the room talking about how I was feeling.

I leave and go outside to read a bit while my dad comes to collect me to bring me to college. The place is a small little HSE building in one of Cork’s suburbs. Hard to get to and not on a bus route. All the staff are cold and clearly have no interest in their job. Except for the odd young person clearly fresh out of college who’re visibly losing faith quickly in their hope of helping anyone seriously. In the waiting room, there’s a gold plaque celebrating the opening of the place by a Fianna Fáíl politician during the Celtic Tiger years. It’s my second time going there. Over a year ago, I attended a few psychiatry sessions which were the same type of box-ticking interview before I eventually decided not to waste my time going there. I only went back this time as my GP said it was necessary if I wanted to improve. Can’t say I was surprised, I’ve been in enough of these sessions to know what the protocol is.

I first went to counselling when I was 15. I went to a place ran by CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – on the Western Road across from UCC. It was in a rented out old building where the budget was clearly being stretched. The staff were all friendly and very hard-working, but even still, they were forced to follow a script taught to them by the HSE. It was more about keeping the HSE safe rather than helping people with mental illness. After 2 years in and out of counselling and therapy I was in a tough spot because of my age. I was getting too old for counselling with CAMHS, and they were already stretched with demand, but I hadn’t turned 18 yet so I couldn’t use adult services. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place [It must be mentioned, minors that are “sectioned” are often placed into care in the adult services due to lack of beds in the appropriate facilities – Ed.]. Eventually, I got referred onto the psychology department in a city hospital, where I went through the same checklist interviews. I received my first diagnosis of clinical depression and anxiety. Apparently, I ticked enough of the boxes. I was started on medication for the first time, and had weekly counselling for 10 weeks. I was 17 at the time and just going into my Leaving Cert Year. After the 10 weeks of counselling ended, that was it. No follow-up, nothing. It wasn’t until my first year of college that I was referred onto somewhere again. Again, on the first day, the same predictable interview. No emotion is shown, no compassion, just the same automatic questioning and jotting down the answers.


Most of the counselling I’ve attended has only been for a fixed amount of time. Just when I start to get comfortable with someone, enough to really begin going in-depth into my mental well-being, they’re sent on a course with their college, or moved to a different health department. Then someone else comes in and it starts over again, with no conclusion. I never get the chance to talk about the actual issues I’m facing. Such as the guilt I feel that every time my parents leave for work I can see the dread in their faces that they’re going to come home and I’m after doing something. That’s not something that can go on any clipboard, that’s the human side of a deeply widespread issue. I only got home that day after my appointment to see that 8 people in Cork had taken their lives that week alone. There’s an obvious crisis, but the response to it is just cold. I’m in favour of treating mental illness as a medical issue, and I couldn’t care if I got a horrible person as a counsellor, if they helped my mental well-being. But the services just aren’t there. Throughout my entire time in the mental health industry (yes, industry), I’ve never met someone else who’s gone through the same thing. It’s a purely individualized treatment.

This is the personal side of mental health services in Ireland, but it’s reflective of a broken system. It reflects a state and a system that doesn’t cherish all the children of the nation equally. It’s the result of austerity and cutbacks to healthcare so bankers could be paid off. It’s the result of a system that puts profits and money ahead of social wellbeing. A system that puts the individual on the spotlight, taking away the strength that lies in our co-operating together, as we have done for thousands of years.


Posted in Mental Health, National Issues, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments