A Battle Fought Before: Looking at the Dublin Housing Action Committee.

Come Here To Me!

This article was first published in Rabble magazine. Given the on-going occupation of Apollo House by activists, it seems right to post it here. You can donate to ‘Home Sweet Home’ by clicking here.

HSH.jpg Apollo House, 17 December 2016.

Apollo House, an unpopular architectural relic of the 1960s, has been closed for several years now. At the time of its construction, it was just one part of what historian Erika Hanna has called “a matrix of speculative office blocks, which dominated the skyline and reshaped the landscape of the city.”  Both it and the neighbouring Hawkins House have been earmarked for demolition, but in recent days the occupation of the building by housing activists has grabbed national and international attention.

The decade when Apollo House was constructed witnessed very real agitation on the issue of housing in Dublin, with the establishment of the Dublin Housing Action Committee and similar organisations…

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A Battle Fought Before: Looking at the Dublin Housing Action Committee.

This article was first published in Rabble magazine. Given the on-going occupation of Apollo House by activists, it seems right to post it here. You can donate to ‘Home Sweet Home’ by c…

Source: A Battle Fought Before: Looking at the Dublin Housing Action Committee.

Confronting Power – Part 2


An Interview with Frank Connolly

In the first part of our interview with Frank Connolly he detailed the response of the Irish news media to what has come to be known as ‘Bertiegate’. The following, second part of the interview discusses more general issues of media reporting and the inherent constraints imposed by the corporate, advertising dependent, structure of mainstream outlets.

MB: We had one particular question we wanted to ask you and that is whether you think there is an inverse relationship between good journalism and journalists who have good relationships with those in big business and in government?

FC: I think that’s another way of putting the famous phrase that journalism is about revealing things that people in power don’t want to have revealed and I think that still is a consistent responsibility of investigative journalism. And where journalism is not questioning the powerful and the rich and…

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Cunning Hired Knaves

The appointment of former secretary general of the Department of Justice Sen Aylward to the Council of Europe?s Committee for the Prevention of Torture was described by the Justice for Magdalenes group as ‘a slap in the face to women who have suffered in Ireland?s Magdalene Laundries‘. This was on account of his appearance in a United Nations Committee Against Torture examination in June, when he stated that ‘the vast majority of women who went to these institutions went there voluntarily, or if they were minors, with the consent of their parents or guardians’.

There are a few mentions of Sen Aylward in the Wikileaks cables from Ireland. They are of some relevance to Aylward’s appointment.

Welcomes judicial verdict of US client state with atrocious human rights record

From an account of a meeting held between Mitchell Reiss, the then special envoy to Northern Ireland, and Irish government…

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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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