National

The 'polluter pays' argument & the bin tax

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The attempt to introduce refuse charges by the Dublin area county councils has been welcomed in some quarters. It is, we are told, necessary to fund a local waste management policy, that will increase the amount of waste recycled, and reduce the amount of landfill needed.

Hobson's choice : The "Good Friday Agreement" and the Irish Left

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Until the Real IRA blasted the heart out of Omagh and its people, the Northern "peace process" appeared to be close to achieving the impossible. Loyalists and Republicans alike signing up to the "Good Friday Agreement", its acceptance by large majorities on both sides of the border, Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley sitting down in the same room as part of the new Assembly - it seemed as if what had appeared for decades to be impossible had been overtaken by the realpolitik of the pragmatic. All sides in the "conflict" - we were led to believe - were looking to a new beginning. Countless column inches in the popular press had been written eulogising the "statesmanship" of David Trimble and Seamus Mallon, the "peacemaking skills" of Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern and the "pragmatism" of Gerry Adams and David Ervine.

The 1798 Rebellion

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In 1798 Ireland was shook by a mass rebellion for democratic rights and against British rule. 200 years later 1798 continues to loom over Irish politics. The bi-centenary, co-inciding with the 'Peace process', has attracted considerable discussion, with the formation of local history groups, the holding of conferences and a high level of interest in the TV documentaries and books published around the event.

Homelessness & Prostitution - Legalisation not criminalisation

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The sex industry is expanding and is said to gross millions of pounds per annum. Over the last year this has been reflected in the increasing focus in the media on prostitution. In October, a brothel keeper was arrested and charged. In November, Young Fine Gael passed a motion supporting the legalisation of prostitution. It is now a popular topic on the late night chat shows on tabloid radio stations.This summer, an inevitable tragedy happened. As a result of having to work unprotected on the street Sinead Kelly, a young Dublin prostitute, was murdered as she worked. Politicians and high-ranking cops shed crocodile tears for the cameras. Few of them pointed out that it was their stringent laws that made Sinead Kelly an easy target.

Defeating the Water Tax in Dublin in the 1990s

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Last year, the domestic water charge was abolished. In 'Winning The Water War', Dermot Sreenan, an activist in the Federation of Dublin Anti Water Charges Campaigns examines the campaign and the demonstration of people power that brought about the downfall of this charge.

Housing Crisis - renting in Ireland

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Housing is one of people's most basic needs. Yet it is a need that the 26 county state [1] has consistently failed to supply to a significant number of its people. It seems that the Irish housing crisis is permanent, becoming more severe from time to time, but never disappearing. Despite the Celtic Tiger economy and the building boom, waiting lists for social housing continue to lengthen. Over 37,000 people are currently waiting. Are we to believe that this lack of housing is inevitable, that it is impossible to build houses quickly enough to satisfy the demand?

Peace deal offers sectarian war or sectarian peace

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The huge vote, North and South, in favour of the 'Good Friday Agreement' shows that the vast majority do not want a return to pre-ceasefire violence. Can this agreement get to the root of the sectarian problem and deal with the hatreds, fears and suspicions that have bedevilled our country? Andrew Flood looks at the prospects.

About Anti Racism Campaign (ARC) - Building the anti-racist resistance

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In response to growing racism against refugees and asylum seekers, recent months have seen the beginnings of an anti-racism campaign in Dublin. This campaign had its public 'launch' at a very successful public meeting, attended by over 80 people, last October.

The Dunnes Strike & Managing Change - the two souls of the trade union

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For three weeks, in June-July 1995, nearly 6,000 mostly young and part-time workers struck against Ireland's largest private sector employer, the firmly anti-union Dunnes Stores, over Sunday trading, zero-hours contracts, the proportion of full-time jobs and other issues. But the principal, and unstated, issues were probably union recognition and the organisation of the newly emergent semi-casual, part-time, young (and mainly female) section of the labour force. The result, while disappointing on the concrete 'economic' issues, was generally greeted as something of a breakthrough on the latter 'political' issues.

Union activists are facing new management attacks but the trade union leadership speaks only of partnership with the bosses. Des Derwin, member of the Executive of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and of the Dublin Private Sector Regional Executive Committee of SIPTU gives his personal view on the two souls of the unions. 

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

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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.

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