At last, a marker for Bang Bang.


Come Here To Me!

In April 1846, the Dublin street performer Michael Moran passed away. Known as Zozimus, the ‘Blind Bard of the Liberties’ had spent years reciting poetry and verse on the streets of the capital, much of it composed by himself. Fearful of grave robbers, Moran was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, which boasted watch towers to keep the ‘sack-em-ups’ away from the corpses of the recently deceased.

A work dedicated to his memory was published in 1871, and noted that:

When arrived at his destined spot, Zozimus would spread out his arms, as if to catch all comers-and-goers- and say with his own great and peculiar accent:

‘Ye sons of daughters of Erin, attend.

Gather round poor Zozimus, yer friend.

Listen, boys, until yez hear

My charming song so dear.

Zozimus lay in an unmarked grave until 1988. In that year of Dublin’s so-called Millennium (a historically dubious claim, but a year…

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The Historic Setback of Capitalism – A Review of Silvia Federici’s “Caliban and the Witch”


The End of Capitalism

The following book review was published in the Fall issue of Fifth Estate.  I originally wrote a much longer version here. This one’s short and sweet. [alex knight]
calibanwitch250Silvia Federici’s book, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation, is an essential read for those of us seeking to overthrow systems of domination and build a liberated future.

What is most fascinating about Caliban and the Witch is how it challenges the widely-held belief that capitalism, though perhaps flawed in its current form, was at one time a “progressive” or necessary development. Uncovering the forgotten history of the Witch Hunt that consumed Europe in suspicion and fire for more than 200 years, Federici demonstrates that capitalism has always relied on spectacular violence, particularly against women, people of color, workers, and those cultivating a more egalitarian future.

The book recalls the enormous and colorful peasant movements of…

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Fine Gael will go to the limits and beyond to defend the Garda


Jobstown -v- Joan: Which side are you on?

The theme of a posting I put up three weeks ago concerned the role of the Garda in pursuing the Jobstown prosecutions and how their stock in the eyes of the public had plummeted in recent years not least due to their role in the water charges movement.

In the intervening three weeks we have observed:

  • The existence of up to forty unauthorised bank accounts centred around Templemore Garda training college which were operating as a slush fund and the efforts of senior Gardaí to obstruct civilian management within the organisation investigating this
  • The complete degradation of Dara Quigley days before her tragic suicide
  • Headlines regarding a significant jump in Garda surveillance including at least one occurrence of surveillance of a Minister’s constituency rival

Coupled with the last point is the victimisation of another Garda whistleblower who objected to the completely inappropriate surveillance practices.

Gene Kerrigan in last weekend’s Sunday…

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The judiciary remains the last potential obstacle in securing a not guilty verdict for the Jobstown Protesters


Jobstown -v- Joan: Which side are you on?

Most of us who have followed closely the unfolding Jobstown Trial over the last four weeks can’t help but feel a rising optimism about the prospects of a not guilty verdict. Our anxiety about the blatant stacking of the jury was assuaged when the judge threw out the DPP’s application seeking basically a jury composed of hardcore Fine Gael and Labour voters. The resources that #JobstownNotGuilty and others put into exposing the DPP’s disgraceful anti-working class application were resources well spent.

Our next concern was that the politics that underpin the Jobstown trial, that is Labour’s betrayals in government, which brought people out in protest against Joan Burton, would not get an airing. It has to be acknowledged that the Senior Counsel, whose personal politics I cannot vouch for, have followed their brief admirably and brought the class politics into the courtroom when cross examining Joan Burton, Karen O’Connell and…

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KCTMO – Playing with fire!


Grenfell Action Group

fire

It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the  KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of  looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster.

Unfortunately, the Grenfell Action Group have reached the conclusion that only an incident that results in serious loss of life of KCTMO residents will allow the external scrutiny to occur that will shine a light on the practices that characterise the malign governance of this non-functioning organisation…

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Fund ‘abandoned’ thousands of victims


The Ragged Wagon

A state agency responsible for paying redress to survivors of institutional abuse has been accused of acting beyond its authority by incorrectly sending letters to thousands of people telling them that their case was closed.

The victims which Caranua was set up to help have accused it of substantial failings in submissions sent by their representatives to the Oireachtas education committee.

In the documents, seen by The Times, Caranua is accused of misleading survivors and warning them that they could be reported to the gardaí for fraud. It is also accused of causing them to miss medical appointments by failing to send cheques in time.

Catherine Connolly, the independent TD and member of the Dáil’s spending watchdog, told The Times that she had lost all confidence in the agency.

“I believe it is completely not fit for purpose. I am horrified at the way survivors are being treated and I…

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A reminder of Jacob’s on Bishop Street.


Come Here To Me!

Jacobs1 Jacob’s signage, Bishop Street.

Today, the Dublin Institute of Technology (Aungier Street) and the National Archives of Ireland dominate Bishop Street, but the Dublin street was once home to Jacob’s, one of the largest employers of female workers in the city for generations.

On 20 May 1987, Dubliners woke up to the news that the former biscuit factory site had been “badly damaged in a spectacular fire.” Twelve units of the Dublin Fire Brigade battled the blaze, and the Irish Press reported that “a thick pall of smokes hung over streets as far away as half a mile.”

By 1987, there were no more biscuits being made on Bishop Street. Like Cadbury’s across the Liffey, Jacob’s had long left the city for suburbia. As historian David Dickson has noted, there was something of an “industrial flight to the suburbs” at the time. Having merged with Boland’s Biscuits, Tallaght became home…

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The judiciary remains the last potential obstacle in securing a not guilty verdict for the Jobstown Protesters

‘Brainwashed into believing our mother abandoned us for 18 years’


Patricia Devlin

cropped-website1

LAST month I got speaking to two very brave brothers who decided to share their desperately sad story of how their father brainwashed them against their own mother.

JPand Brendan Byrne, both from Dublin, are the only authors in Ireland (that I am aware of) who have tackled parental alienation in this way. Their story tells how as young boys they were cruelly manipulated by their father into believing their mother didn’t love them and that for 18 years she had abandoned them.

By the time they realised that wasn’t the case they were grown men, and their mother had missed out on the most precious years of their lives.

A small piece of the below article was published in the Irish Daily Star today, but even reading my more indepth, original version won’t do JP and Brendan’s story justice. You have to read their fantastic book, Don’t Hug Your…

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He made millions from heists, armed robberies and drugs, but today this criminal godfather has just €3.50 in his pocket


Patricia Devlin

dunne-young A young Christy Dunne

By Patricia Devlin

CHRISTY ‘Bronco’ Dunne was once the King of Ireland’s criminal underworld who made millions from heists, armed robberies and trafficking drugs

Today he lives in a Co Dublin council flat with just €3.50 in his pocket. The man who pulled off Ireland’s first Tiger Kidnapping certainly is living proof that crime doesn’t pay.

The 79 year-old has long left Ireland’s criminal scene, dominated by the deadly Hutch-Kinahan feud, but Dunne isn’t afraid to voice his opinion on today’s guntoting gangsters.

“My brother Larry was right when he said, ‘if you think we are bad, wait to you see what’s coming next’. He was very prophetic. There is less regard for life now among people – all people.”
Dunne adds: “There’s a subculture all over Ireland now kids that don’t know their arse from their elbow.
“They only know what they learn on the street…they…

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