Friday, September 28, 2012



The Government faced another shock  yesterday as Roisin Shortall, Minister of State at the Department of Health suddenly resigned Wednesday night following last week's turmoil in the Health Department and the vote of no confidence in Dail Eireann against Health Minister Dr. James Reilly. In the debate on the no confidence motion, Deputy Shortall sharply criticised failings in the Health Department since the Government took office and pointedly did not offer personal support to Dr Reilly in her statement to the House.

In a brief statement, Deputy Shortall outlined the reasons for her resignation:

“It is with regret that I have today tendered my resignation as Minister of State at the Department of Health to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. I have also informed the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, that I am resigning the Parliamentary Labour Party whip.
It is no longer possible for me to fulfil my role as Minister of State for Primary Care because of lack of support for the reforms in the programme for government and the values which underpin it.
The public have a right to expect that decisions on health infrastructure and staffing will be made in the public interest based on health need and not driven by other concerns.
This decision comes after repeated and lengthy efforts to reach agreement on the implementation of the Programme for Government both within the Department of Health and across Government.
Róisín Shortall”.

This means there are four Labour Party deputies now resigned from the party whip as Ms Shortall joins Willlie Penrose, Patrick Nulty and Tommy Broughan already there and serious questions now arise about the leadership of Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore as the Government faces more Labour party unrest over the terms of the coming austerity budget in December. Ms Shortall is the second Labour Party Minister of State to resign from the Government since its formation.

Gilmore's unconditional support in the recent no confidence debate for the beleaguered Reilly obviously irked Ms Shortall no end and led to Wednesday's cruise missile into the Coalition camp. Many press and political commentators today have suggested that “the wrong minister has resigned”. The latest development in this saga undermines recent statements from Taoiseach and Tanaiste that the Government would run its full term of five years. 

Áth Cliath/Dublin
MeánFhomhair/September 28 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Micheal D slams US shock-jock

President Michael D. Higgins inspecting the Army Guard of Honour at Dublin Castle after his inauguration.


Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, has become a hit on Ytube for a broadcast he did in 2010 opposing Michael Graham, one-time stand-up comedian (obviously failed at that job!) who decided to become a radio shock-jock in the US espousing right-wing extremist views aligned with Sally-get-yer-gun Palin and other Tea-Party nutters in that benighted country.

Invited to do a weekly slot on desperate-for-audience Irish commercial radio “Newstalk”, Graham partnered with host George Hook to spew his vitriolic mouth lather at Irish listeners and promptly went down like a lead balloon.Unused to being opposed by intellect and reason, Graham was speechless when confronted with Micheal D. on one of the broadcasts. 

Forensically diced, sliced and wiped off the table by the redoubtable Mr Higgins, the deflation of Graham is now a hit on Ytube being enjoyed by millions. Now President Higgins, elected by the largest majority in the history of the Irish Presidency, Mr Higgins is more popular than ever and greeted with acclaim at every public event he attends.

Go n- eiri leat, a Mhichil uasal!


Áth Cliath/Dublin
MeánFhomhair/September 26 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Hulk' Hogan bats wide again...

The 'Hulk' Hogan in his usual place.


Government Ministers caught out praising
illegality :

As the Dáil resumed on Tuesday, Environment Minister Phil 'Hulk' Hogan waded in to the controversy over the letters from Clare County Council received by students applying for University and College maintenance grants threatening to withdraw the grants unless information was supplied proving that their parents had paid the so-called "household charge" introduced by Hogan earlier this year as part of the austerity programme of the Government's commitments to the EU/IMF bailout which the State is engaged in currently.

The "Hulk's" bullying attitude was apparent again as he endorsed the actions of Clare County Council as "reasonable" when they were nothing less than a crude attempt at intimidation of students and their parents in another failed attempt to extort money from families already under financial pressure from the severe economic crisis. Swift protest action by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), however, forced the Clare County Council and others who were hinting at doing the same, to back-off of one of the meanest and  most despicable attempts by the Government in trying to enforce the despised and unpopular "household charge". USI's action also exposed the clear illegality of this move which could have been easily made known to the Hulk by his officials before he made his foot-in-mouth statement in Dáil Éireann. Another example of Ministers in this Government showing absolute contempt for the people who elected them and forgetting that they are not members of a sovereign parliament like Westminster, but, subject to the sovereignty of the people under our republican Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann.

That a government minister, sworn to uphold the Constitution on taking office, would, in contemptuous ignorance, declare an obvious illegality to be "reasonable" is grounds for having such individual declared unfit for office. But, such is the low standard of our current batch of politicians, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, former Leader of the Labour Party and once a respected figure on the Left, joined the controversy in similar vein agreeing with Hogan that the County Council actions were "reasonable", again showing ignorance of the law in that his Department provides the funding for the college grants and the local councils only carry out the administration and have no function or authority to delay or vary the provisions already stated in legislation.

 Ruari Quinn,(Labour), Minister for Education.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny was forced to admit to the Dáil yesterday that, as ascertained by USI and their legal advisers, County Councils were acting illegally in threatening to withdraw grants which were not funded by them but by the Department of Education. Nevertheless, there was no apology from Kenny or his ministers for the anxiety and stress caused to the students and their families by this crude attempt at bullying extortion. The so-called "household charge" is itself of dubious legality and will be challenged in the Courts. Aspects of its administration are also illegal due to serious flaws in the supporting legislation. The Government is on a loser in this and the sooner they realise this the better. In particular, the Labour members of the government should give themselves a revision course in the Constitution before they parrot the stupidity and ignorance of the likes of 'Hulk' Hogan.

Áth Cliath/Dublin
MeánFhomhair/September 20 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Afghanistan Peace Conference, Bonn, Germany, 2012


International Peace Congress 2012 on Afghanistan

 Organisations  of the German Peace Movement, as well as Afghans living in Germany, are preparing an International Peace Congress on Afghanistan

The initiative goes back to Petersberg II Protests in 2011 (documentation PII Protests)

At that time there was already the idea to convene a Peace Congress, which is being organised at the moment.

The Peace Congress "Stop the war - Roads to peace in Afghanistan" will take place in Bonn on 13th and 14th of October 2012.. The location is the LVR-Landesmuseum Bonn,(Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn), 5 minutes away from the main railroad station, Hauptbahnhof.

The entire Congress will be translated in English, as well as in Dari and Paschto.
In case you have a question or you want to apply for the congress please contact : 


The enormous cost, and waste of resources, apart from the shocking casualties
and loss of life, over 750,000 Afghan civilians killed and millions displaced, can be seen here:

Irish governments shameful collaboration with US Imperialism:

Ireland, a supposedly neutral country, has been implicated in this vicious war by successive
Irish Governments allowing the US Military to use Shannon Airport, near the city of Limerick on the Atlantic coast, as an airbase for transhipment of troops and equipment to Afghanistan and later to Iraq and other Middle East destinations such as Israel, in defiance of Irish and international law and against the will of the Irish people expressed in many opinion polls since this shameful collaboration with US Imperialism began in 2002.

The current Irish government continues the same unacceptable policy by allowing 600 armed US troops a day to pass through Shannon on their way to and from Afghanistan. Furthermore, by supporting sanctions against Iran and closing the Irish embassy there, this government seems intent on supporting the same terrible mistakes that led to millions of deaths in Iraq.

It was truly appalling that the Government of a supposedly neutral country like Ireland supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq nine years ago. It is even more appalling that the Labour Party Ministers who opposed the invasion of Iraq back then are now presiding over Shannon Airport’s use as a hub for US military occupation forces.

Irish Peace Groups, notably Shannonwatch and Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA)
have maintained a monthly protest gathering at the gates of Shannon Airport since these Imperialist wars began:

Irish police outnumber 80-year-old protester, Margaretta Darcy, at the gates of Shannon Airport
as Dennis Halliday,former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations intervenes.

Áth Cliath/Dublin
Meanfhomhair/September 18 2012