Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird

The Personal and Political within Catholic Ireland

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Sci-fi is a genre that I’ve never been able to get into and have never had the desire to change this. I find myself in the strange position now, however, of wishing I was some kind of sci-fi expert so that I could easily find a term for something that is half alive and half ghost. If there were such a term I’d use it to personify catholic Ireland, an institution that is still alive but dying with a ghost that wields most of its power.

Catholic Ireland was a violent, brutal regime that existed – among many other reasons - to dehumanise, torture and inflict as much pain as possible on women. The church sexualised us from no age through instilling notions of modesty and chastity in us. They then shamed us and hid us away when we did have sex and the evidence was there to prove it. While in hiding they tortured us in laundries and traumatised us in Mother and Baby Homes.

An Anarchist Response to “Anarchists, It Is Our Duty To Vote In Elections”

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As the title suggests, this article has been written in response to this article which was written over two years ago just before the last UK General Election and as Hillary Clinton was beginning her campaign for US presidency. Coming from my own knowledge and beliefs on voting I was surprised when reading fellow anarchist Paddy Vipond’s article that he omitted major anarchist arguments against voting. In addition to serving as a response to Vipond’s piece I will discuss what he left out under his headings and address some issues that have become apparent during this current election campaign particularly with the hope that Corbyn’s Labour has sparked among the UK electorate and indeed further than that among the international electoralist left.

Anarchists, Is It Really Our Duty To Vote?

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Voting has just ended in the UK election. Many people are consumed with hope that Corbyn could win and implement his reforms “for the many, not the few”. For those of us who work with the broad left, it is inevitable that the topic of elections and voting will come up. Heated debates can occur between those of us who would rather ignore the electoral circus and those who strongly believe in using it as a vehicle on the road to a new society.

 

Before beginning, it is important to clarify the misconception that anarchists are against voting. We have absolutely no problem with voting - how else could we make decisions? We are against a system that allows for us to tick a box every four or five years which gives whoever received the most X’s to make decisions that affect our lives in a fancy building miles away from us. Politicians once elected do what they like because we can neither mandate nor recall them.

A referendum on the 8th or #strike4repeal on March 8th

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Feminists in Ireland are upping their game against the 8th amendment and indeed against the Irish state. The newly formed group, Strike for Repeal, are preparing to ‘strike’ if a date is not set for a referendum to repeal he 8th Amendment by International Women’s day on March 8th.

In a press release the group has said “The strike will not be an industrial strike in the traditional sense but could include taking an annual leave day off work, refraining from domestic work for the day, wearing black in solidarity or staging a walkout during your lunch break. We also encourage any business owners in a position to close their services at no cost to workers, to do so for all or part of the day as a solidarity action.”

Meaningless election looms at Stormont

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With Martin McGuinness resigning as Deputy First Minister and Sinn Fein declining to nominate a deputy first miniter an election is almost certainly going to be called and the electoral circus will once again come to town.  

Please excuse this writer's election fatigue - with this being the third election in 12 months on this island - as I begin this short post off with a well used phrase: "Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth".

The Green and Orange politics of the north almost guarantees us that we will be returned with a Sinn Féin - DUP government, meaning that, yep you guessed it(!), if voting changed anything here it would be illegal.

Video - support & solidarity to Apollo House occupation

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Ireland is in the depths of a severe homelessness crisis, with 7,000 people without a home. With the government refusing to act, some activists in Dublin did.  Apollo House was occupied by Home Sweet Home Eire on the 15th December, to intervene in the housing crisis and to save lives.

There are around 190,000 vacant buildings in Ireland, that's 27 houses for every homeless person.

Arlene Foster hides behind misogyny claims after burning 400 million

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The northern Ireland parliament, Stormont, is in one of its usual crises.  In this latest instance we’re talking about a massive fuck up by the DUP whereby Arlene Foster introduced a Renewable Heating Initiative scheme in 2012 which would pay businesses £1.60 for every £1 they spent on heating. This lead to companies heating up empty sheds and barns through the scheme which has amounted to almost half a billion pound being squandered by the so-called political elites. This is one of those crises that has gotten out of control and Stormont is struggling to get a grasp back on things so they’ve rolled out a bit of sectarianism in the hope that we get outraged about that and not the £490 million that has gone up in smoke.

Amazingly, after watching almost half a billion quid go up in smoke, and branding calls for her to step down after such a monumental fuck up as misogynistic - insulting women who have felt the very real consequences of her and her's party's misogynistic policies - Arlene Foster has put a meme on her facebook page of a guinea pig wearing pink heart shaped sunglasses with the words "can't see all the haters with my love glasses on".

Pope to visit Ireland as part of drive to shame women ahead of referendum

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In case you missed it, the pope is set to visit Ireland in 2018. Archbishop Eamon Martin has said that this visit will be used to campaign against abortion, and that the church will run a much stronger campaign against it than what they did on marriage equality.

When the pope came to power in 2013 he was hailed and celebrated by liberals as some sort of radical who was single handedly going to bring the church into the 21st century. With statements such as the now famous "who am I to judge?" in regards to LGBT+ people you could almost have been fooled that the liberals were right.

Yet another women arrested in north Ireland for use of abortion pills

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It was reported 27th October that yet another woman has been arrested and charged for having an illegal abortion through use of pills obtained online in northern Ireland. It is believed that the woman sought medical help after taking the pills and so we can only assume that she was reported to the police by staff at the hospital.

BBC spreads misinformation about safety of abortion pills

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The BBC  spread dangerous misinformation about the abortion pills in its broadcast of 27th October.  They have claimed that it is dangerous and that “a number of women will actually require a blood transfusion" after taking the pills.  This is not true. The abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, are extremely safe - safer than viagra and aspirin as a matter of fact. They are on WHO's list of essential medicines.

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