After fascism, what?

lives; running

The question of whether Donald’s Trump victory marks a triumph for fascism in the US depends, as always, on which definition of fascism you use.

For most of the past fifty years, the principal way in which theorists of fascism have defined it is by drawing up a list of surface phenomena which were shared by the Italian and German fascisms of the 1920s and 1930s: a belief in a strong party, a style of authoritarian leadership, an ideology which positioned itself as neither right nor left, racism, a belief in a new fascist man, etc.

Under the list method, Trump or Trumpism looks more unlike than like fascism: there isn’t a Trump “party”, Trump doesn’t demand the same sort of loyalty that Hitler or Mussolini expected, he is not offering a universal alternative to liberalism, socialism, etc.

Within liberal definitions of fascism, political scientists have long been aware that…

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The Facilitators

By Joe MacAnthony As described in our interview with Joe MacAnthony, the following article did not appear in the Sunday Independent in 2001. Joe Mac Anthony writes of The Facilitators who have the …

Source: The Facilitators

Grasping the Moment: Class, Race and the Crisis

In The Half Light


Class and race were both at the heart of the two major political events that rocked the cosy consensus-politics of Western democracies this year: the Brexit vote in the UK and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. In the aftermath of both of these events fissures have opened amongst people on the broad left, trying to make sense of and respond to the current moment.

There is a broad, and clumsy, division between those who want to shoehorn the Brexit/Trump phenomena (and indeed the rise of right wing, racist movements throughout the West) into a neat, mechanical understanding of class; and those who insist on the absolute priority of race and racism as categories for understanding the contemporary crisis.

Neither of these approaches, as currently formulated, seem adequate to the historical moment we find ourselves in. Which means that in the midst of a profound…

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The Lord Edward and Fallon’s – two Dublin 8 institutions

Come Here To Me!

Thanks to Darragh Doyle and others, we now know more about the rumoured closing earlier this week of two landmark Dublin 8 pubs – The Lord Edward and Fallon’s.

Both floors of The Lord Edward pub will remain open but the upstairs seafood restaurant is closing its doors after 47 years in business. Fallon’s has recently been sold and may shut temporarily for refurbishment but they’re definitely not closing.

It’s as good a time as any to briefly look at the history of these two pubs.

Perched on the corner of Christchurch Place and Werburgh Place, the Lord Edward is a five-storey over-basement building, once part of a substantial terrace. Built in 1875, the former dwelling house was refurbished and reopened as a public house in 1901 by the Cunniam family. However, it is said that there has been a licenced premises on the site since the late 1600s.

The Lord Edward, August 1979. Credit - sergios56. The Lord Edward, August…

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The Four Corners of Hell : A junction of four pubs in the Liberties

Come Here To Me!

The Four Corners of Hell was the colloquial name given to the junction where New Street, Patrick’s Street, Kevin’s Street and Dean Street met in The Liberties, Dublin 8.

In the shadow of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this crossroads was infamous for having a public house on each corner and the immediate area after closing time was legendary for its rowdy crowds and punch ups. Revelers from rival neighborhoods or families would pour out onto the streets when the pubs shut and would settle old scores and new disputes with their fists. Famed local cop Lugs Brannigan and his men based out of nearby Kevin Street Garda station would often have their work cut for them. Its heyday was from the 1950s to the early 1980s.

Illustration of The Four Corners of Hell. Credit - Sam (CHTM!) Illustration of The Four Corners of Hell. Credit – Sam (CHTM!)

The cross-roads is almost unrecognisable today now due to the demolition and road widening…

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Prison Law Seminar: Litigating Prison Conditions

Irish Criminology Research Network

The sixth Prison Law Seminar, run in conjunction with the Irish Criminal Bar Association and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, will take place on July 13th 2010 at 5pm at the Distillery Building, Church St, Dublin 7 and will address the issue of “Litigating Prison Conditions”.

The focus of the seminar will be on current substantive and procedural issues around litigating prison conditions. Speakers Paul O’Higgins SC and Michael Lynn BL have recently been involved in significant actions around prison conditions (slopping out and prison overcrowding), drawing on both constitutional and ECHR arguments, while Des Hogan of the IHRC will present a paper on the potential role of the Irish Human Rights Commission in prison related actions.


  • Paul O’Higgins, SC
  • Michael Lynn BL
  • Des Hogan, Director of Enquiries, Legal Services and Administration /Deputy Chief Executive, Irish Human Rights Commission

This seminar series is hosted jointly by Irish Penal Reform…

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IPRT expresses disappointment at Slopping Out Decision

Irish Criminology Research Network

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) today expressed disappointment at the judgment in the case of Mulligan v. Governor of Portlaoise Prison, which found against the applicant’s claim that the slopping out regime he was subjected to in that prison violated his constitutional and human rights.  Speaking today, IPRT Executive Director Liam Herrick stated:

“Although the result in this case is disappointing, it is of great significance in that it sets out the most comprehensive analysis to date of the legal issues around human rights, prison conditions and slopping out. The case presents a horrific description of the reality of the humiliation and discomfort caused by forcing adults to carry our basic human functions in appalling circumstances.  It also gives a further damning indictment of the persistent failure of the State to prioritise the provision of basic sanitation to prisoners.”[i]

Most disappointingly, the judgment finds the conditions of…

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Irish Criminology Research Network

The fifth report on Ireland from the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Degrading Treatment (CPT), published today (Thursday, 10th Feb 2011), is the most critical yet, and a damning indictment of a prison system that is failing to meet the most basic human rights standards of safe and humane custody. The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), Ireland’s leading penal reform campaign organisation, is calling on all election candidates to take heed of this national disgrace and commit to rectifying the many human rights issues identified in the report, including slopping out, overcrowding, escalating violence, patchy provision of health care including mental health care, and above all, the failure to provide safe custody.

During the CPT’s last visit to Ireland, which took place from 25th January to 5th February 2010, the Committee also examined detention in Garda stations and psychiatric institutions. However, the…

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Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2011

Irish Criminology Research Network

The IPS published their latest annual report recently. The good news is that prisoner numbers are leveling off – the average daily number in custody was 4,390. However, this is overshadowed by a 12% increase in the number of women been sent to prison, along with a 10% rise in the number of people serving short sentences. The report also doesn’t appear to contain any information on the number of deaths in custody in 2011. Given the DoJ’s announcement in April regarding new mechanisms to create more transparent investigations into deaths in custody this seems like a major oversight.

Read the report here: Irish Prison System Annual Report 2011

Or, if pressed for time, IPRT have compiled the top line statistics into a very accessible infographic  

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Deaths in Custody: Helping to Establish the First Database in Ireland

Irish Criminology Research Network

A recent University of Limerick research project has attempted to draw together guidelines for the first database of deaths in custody in Ireland.

Led by Professor Shane Kilcommins and Dr Eimear Spain, 10 4th-year law students – Roisin Cahill, Blathnaid Christian O Shea, Maire Ciepierski , Caoilinn Doran, Cillian Flavin, Niall Foley, Michelle Kavanagh, Luke Mulcahy, Rachel O’Carroll and Stephen Strauss-Walsh – conducted a literature review of other common law jurisdictions to compile a means of designing a database in line with international best practice.

The Report draws together these findings and offers a concise overview of the current procedures for the investigation of deaths in custody, as well as an overview of literature on deaths in custody. The Report itself has been presented to the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, and is expected to be presented to the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald.

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