Patricia McCarthy

The history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic recognition

Date:

Patricia McCarthy examines the history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic recognition. Their struggles have much in common with those of Indigenous people worldwide and with the struggles of Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals and also with the struggles of Gypsies, Travellers and nomads against racism and oppression.

Dublin Dockland to be developed - But Who will benefit?

Date:

The Dublin Docklands, from Ringsend to Sheriff Street, are starting a very major re-development which will take place over the next fifteen years. A Master Plan has been produced and a Dublin Docks Development Authority (DDDA) set up. Already the property developers are in the area buying up the land, a lot of which is owned by state and semi-state companies.

Communities standing up to the heroin barons in Dublin in 1997

Date:

The anti-heroin movement has brought thousands of people to meetings and onto the streets in Dublin's working class communities. Pushers have been sent packing, communities have organised their own treatment programmes for addicts who want to combat their addiction, a sense of power has been given to many who used to feel powerless. In the article below inner city community development worker Patricia McCarthy gives her personal view of why the campaign has been so popular and energetic. In the next issue of this paper we will be printing more viewpoints, letters from readers are welcome.

Everyone knows by now that Dublin is experiencing a very serious heroin epidemic with an estimated 8,000-9,000 heroin addicts in the capital alone. This situation did not arise overnight but has been growing for the past fifteen years. Heroin addiction and the accompanying H.I.V. and Aids related deaths has become a fact of life for devastated inner city communities, and more recently working class suburbs from Tallaght to Blanchardstown.

Ethnicity and Oppression - Who are the Travellers?

Date:

ARE TRAVELLERS a distinct "ethnic" group with their own traditions and customs? Very few people want to accept that they are. This reflects the widespread racism towards them, a racism which insists on seeing them as "failed settled people". They are seen as "problems" rather than a people who have been denied even the most basic rights.

Irish Travellers are a very small minority group, constituting less than 1% of the population. Their numbers currently stand at approximately 23,000 people in the 26 counties and another 1,500 in the North. There are also an estimated 15,000 Irish Travellers in Britain and 7,000 in the U.S.A.

Anti-Traveller Thuggery on the Increase

Date:

Over the past year, there has been a series of physical attacks on Travellers in different parts of the country. Travellers were attacked in Glenamaddy in New Ross, Wicklow and Bantry.

In Bantry, a group of hired vigilantes wearing balaclavas broke into the caravan of an elderly Traveller couple. They hit the woman in the face with a pick axe handle, breaking her nose and giving her dozens of stitches.

No room at the refuge: Health Board subsidises B&B owners

Date:

An Eastern Health Board report published in December 1994, shows a huge increase in the number of homeless people put up in Bed and Breakfast accommodation by the Health Board.
Five years ago, the homeless unit run by the Board in Dublin's Charles Street spent £25,000 on Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Last year they spent just under £300,000. Homeless people who cannot get into the hostels because they are full, are put up in Bed and Breakfasts by the health board.

The Heroin menace in Dublin in 1994

Date:

DUBLIN is currently experiencing a heroin epidemic similar to the one that hit the north and south inner-city in the late 1970s. That epidemic left hundreds of young people hooked on heroin and dozens of them have since died of AIDS and AIDS related diseases. Some big criminals made fortunes out of it.

Waiting on the housing list in Ireland in 1994

Date:

THERE ARE 30,000 families on the housing waiting lists of the local authorities throughout the country at the moment. 3,500 households are waiting for housing in Dublin. The average wait for a local authority house in Dublin is now two years and rising. For single people ,there is virtually no chance of housing unless they are seriously ill and even then they will only be offered hard to let flats in the inner city.

Feminism and Anarchism

Date:

Feminism & Anarchism, comrades might wonder why we have chosen this subject for discussion. Due mainly to our involvement in the Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign we have had to deal with the feminists organised in the 'Womens Coalition' and to adopt a position in relation to their structure and interventions. This involves dealing with the ideology of feminism. Feminism as a philosophy locates the unequal position of women in society in gender terms. Patriarchy - male power and domination over women in every aspect of their lives - is identified as the enemy, the obstacle to womens liberation. Womens oppression is not differentiated in class terms - feminists see all women as oppressed by all men.

Abortion in Ireland - a Historical Perspective to the 1990's

Date:

Abortion was totally illegal in Ireland under all circumstances until the Supreme Court judgement in the "X" case earlier this year, which seems to permit abortion in the extremely limited case of threatened suicide by the mother. The 1861 Offences against the Persons Act states that any person "performing, attempting and or assisting in an abortion is liable to penal servitude for life". Laws such as this on the statute books of other European countries have been relaxed, liberalised or abolished in the face of the general realisation and acknowledgment that women always and everywhere will exert their right to end an unwanted pregnancy. In Ireland powerful reactionary forces have succeeded in not only preventing the liberalisation of laws here on abortion but have gone much further with a constitutional amendment, the 8th Amendment, and a series of court actions which have outlawed the distribution of information on abortion. Ireland is now the only country in the world that actually bans information on abortion. The offensive by the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) against womens' rights in Ireland is part of a world wide offensive against abortion rights. The upholding of Ireland's information ban by the E.C. Court of Justice places the campaign for abortion rights in Ireland in an international context.

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter

Syndicate content