In memory Brian Moore – ‘Cormac’

14th March 2011 Socialist Action 0

Socialist Action express sadness at the death of Brian Moore ‘Cormac’

Socialist Action was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Brian Moore, the political cartoonist known as ‘Cormac’, who died on Saturday night (12th March). Brian was well known by his sharp and insightful cartoons ‘Notes by Cormac’ which appeared in Republican News and An Phoblacht.

Brian was also a regular contributor to Socialist Action weekly newspaper throughout the 1980s and to its predecessor, Socialist Challenge in the 1970s. His cartoons in Socialist Action – ‘A Piece of the Action’ – showed his incisive, hilarious and sometimes surreal take on many political issues during that period. They revealed his socialist, republican and internationalist view of the world.

Gerry Adams on the Ireland election

2nd March 2011 Socialist Action 0

Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin and elected to the Dáil in the recent Irish elections, draws out the historic turn in the politics of Ireland marked by the 1981 hunger strike and the elections of hunger strikers Bobby Sands (to the Westminster Parliament) and Ciaran Doherty and Paddy Agnew (to the Dublin Dáil). He draws out how this period marked a turn in the politics of Ireland on both sides of the border and shaped the subsequent three decades of Irish politics. The article orginally appeared on his blog.

Photo: An Phoblacht

Historic breakthrough for Sinn Féin as Dáil election marks turning point in Irish politics

2nd March 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

The 2011 Dáil election last Friday represents one of the most significant political shifts in the 26-county state for over nine decades. As Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said, it potentially represents ‘the beginning of a realignment of Irish politics’. He also pointed out that, while the outcome is likely to be Fine Gael and Labour implementing Fianna Fáil policies – one right wing government replaced by another one – an examination of the results reveal a more fundamental change. This is the beginning of the break-up of the post-civil war political domination by Fianna Fáil (FF) and Fine Gael (FG) and in fact some significant move to the left – most notably the dramatic rise in support for Sinn Féin and their consolidation as a significant party in the south, potentially the leading opposition voice in the coming Dáil.

National Demonstration, Dublin, Ireland, 27th November 2010

Sinn Féin’s electoral advance

9th December 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

National Demonstration, Dublin, Ireland, 27th November 2010

Photo lusciousblopster

Sinn Féin’s stunning victory in the Donegal South West parliamentary by-election on 25 November represents a huge advance in what was the first electoral test for the Dublin government since the sharp deepening of the state’s economic crisis. Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty saw his party’s vote soar from 21 per cent at the last general election in 2007 to 40 per cent of first preference votes. In a reversal of previous showings, Sinn Féin also won an increasing share of the transfers from the eliminated candidates.

Political response to economic crisis in Ireland

10th November 2010 Socialist Action 0

Sinn Féin offers a better way

By Nicky Dempsey

Sinn Féin has published its response to the Dublin government’s threatened plans to cut public spending once more in its Budget for 2011, There Is A Better Way. The Fianna Fail/ Green coalition in government has outlined planned further cuts totalling €6bn in both capital and current spending, including welfare payments to the poor. This would bring the total level of ‘fiscal tightening’ to €20.6bn since the end of 2008, which is now equivalent to 13.1% of GDP. For comparison the British government’s current plans – among the most draconian of any major European country – amount to 9.2% of GDP.

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What lies behind the current impasse in Ireland’s peace process

28th December 2009 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

Yet again, a crisis is brewing in the Irish peace process. This time it centres on the ongoing failure of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to agree a date for the transfer of powers on justice and policing from Westminster to the Assembly in Belfast.

The DUP’s obstructive approach on the issue has seen, at every twist and turn, excuse after excuse in order to block this key element of the new system, which is an integral part of the peace process.

Over 11 years ago, the Good Friday Agreement was endorsed by referenda in the two parts of Ireland. It outlined a series of key measures to address one of the central inequalities of the northern six-county statelet – a legal system and a police force which were riddled with injustice to the core. From the foundation of the ‘Northern Ireland’ state in 1921, an armed sectarian police force acted to suppress and brutalise that section of the population which did not support British rule, and upheld in the most brutal way a rotten, sectarian state, which systematically discriminated against Catholics and Irish nationalists. This history of brutality, of the ‘police’ acting as a pro-British state militia, combined with a blatantly discriminatory system of so-called justice, was unique to that part of the ‘UK’. It included the use of non-jury ‘Diplock’ courts, torture, collusion, political bans and other methods which drew international condemnation – all of which has been well documented. Unsurprisingly, it met with sustained and mass popular resistance and political opposition.