The neutrality of the Irish state, that most of its people support, is a myth. The Irish government has repeatedly stated that the state is militarily neutral but not politically. Since its armed forces are tiny it might be said that its military neutrality doesn’t matter but its politics does. It is also often said that its policy of neutrality is whatever its government decides it is.Already the so-called policy of neutrality is variously referred to as ‘not clear’ and ‘flexible’, while the anti-communism of the cold war period was clear, and before that its neutrality in the Second World War was flexible in favour of the Allied powers. (read more)
A story of ecological catastrophe is slowly emerging around Lough Neagh, the largest lake in what are termed the British Isles and the source of 40% of the area’s drinking water. Toxic blue-green algae has led to sections being closed to bathing and watersports and a dramatic die off of fish, birds and wildlife in what was a rich and important ecosystem. The blooms are thought to be driven by slurry and other runoff from nearby farmland, as well as discharges of human sewage and industrial waste.
A long awaited Let Women Speak Rally was finally held in Dublin on September 16th, coinciding by chance with the anniversary of the murder of Masha Amini by the Iranian Morality Police a year ago and more distantly with the murder by Pinochet of the Chilean folk singer Victor Jara.
The rally had to contend with a counter protest organised by Men’s Rights advocates such as People Before Profit and assorted collection of former leftists from Sinn Féin, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party amongst others. (read more)
Today’s rally in Dublin takes place on the first anniversary of the murder
of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini by the Morality Police for her defiance of
diktats on how women should behave and dress. While a different time
and place Irish women are well aware, many by their own lived experience, of the abuses that follow from the enforcement of religious dogma by state institutions. In a struggle that extended over decades, they had to fight against an alliance of state and church for control over their own bodies, for abortion rights, for contraception and divorce, and
against discrimination in the workplace. (read more)
On Friday 8th September teacher Enoch Burke attended the high courts
in Dublin and was jailed a second time for standing outside Wilson’s Hospital School, his former place of employment. The imprisonment is indefinite, although he can seek release by agreeing that he will stay away from the school. Mr Justice Mark Heslin said that there “was no dispute” that Mr Burke had “flagrantly breached” the previous injunction to stay away from the school. (read more)
Oppenheimer is partly set at a similar time as the birth of the Beat Generation and Bebop, the forties and fifties. These revolutions in art are just as important as the scientific revolution of atomic physics although I suppose Marxists tend to give primacy to major socio-economic events such as war and Oppenheimer was in charge of the Manhattan Project, to develop a usable atom bomb.
The atom bomb is portrayed as a vast and fascinating scientific world-shattering project, which it was. How well does the film do its job at portraying the moral nightmare? Well, it chooses a Hollywood direction which can be corny. (read more)
10 April 2023
25 Years On: in the debris of the Good Friday Agreement
The 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement is being marked by assemblies of the great and the good. Joe Biden rushes through the North, avoiding attention to the barren political landscape. On RTE television the ghost of Bertie Ahern dominates, while the high point will be the upcoming visit of Bill and Hilary Clinton and Tony Blair to a celebration at Queens University. No-one will remark on the unsavoury character of these saints of peace. Even less will anyone notice that the fine mansion that they built is now in ruins. (read more)
Socialist Democracy Statement on Coronavirus pandemic - 28/03/20
The promise and reality of vaccination -28/03/21
Herd immunity - myth and reality - 30/11/20
Coronavirus pandemic - a deepening health and economic crisis - 28/07/20
Protest, class conflict and Covid 19 - 06/05/20
Unionism’s silent shift on the pandemic - 16/05/20
Ideology and Science - 05/05/20
Big Pharma in Ireland - 24/04/20
Europe and the pandemic - 09/04/20
Presentation by Orla Ni Chomhrai on why socialists should oppose a dogma which undermines women's rights, gay rights, free speech, and science.
18 October 2021
Discussion on the housing crisis with Brian Leeson of Eirigi and author Conor McCabe.
17 October 2021
Rayner O’Connor Lysaght Presente!
Irish Labour History Society
Emancipation, Liberation & Self-determination
Irish Republican Marxist History Project
The Pensive Quill
Irish Left Archive
Obituray from the Irish Independent
A selection of writings by Rayner can be found online at:
Arguments for a Workers' Republic
The Encyclopedia of Trotskyism
Red Mole Rising