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"Slavic Tigers" aborted with help of "Irish Anarchists"

iosaf mac d. - Barcelona | 14.06.2008 20:05 | Analysis | Migration | World

Yesterday Irish citizens resident in Ireland were invited to vote in a referendum on the "Treaty of Lisbon". They constitute less than 1% of the total population of the EU. Its democracy is unique in that only resident citizens are allowed vote. Though being an Irish citizen as a continental European worker, I could not vote. Notwithstanding as an anarchist I wouldn't have voted anyway. Ireland is rated as being one of the richest states in the EU according to those statistics of the dreary science economics and most people including themselves attribute such prosperity to their membership of the EEC, then EC and finally EU. They even invented a name for this great wealth which oddly enough accompanied the highest income disparity and social inequality in the developed world. They called it "the Celtic Tiger".

In the last weeks the magazine "The Economist" saw an advertisement published by Mr. Lulzim Basha the minister of Foreign Affairs for Albania. It appeared alongside a feature on the enlargement of the European Union which was the principle success of former Irish Prime Minister or "Taoiseach" Bertie Ahern's presidency of the EU. Mr Lulzim set out a vision of his state as one which with foreign investment and eventual entry to the EU may enjoy prosperity and development. This would of course have allowed some Albanians to get rich. To be on the little piggies' back indeed. Modern economic theory tells us that if a few more people are on the piggies' back something called trickle down allows many other people a reason to complain about wants rather than needs. - To complain about richer oppressed working class things than simply not having water, food, jobs, or a voice - like people in the third world who thankfully don't have internet connections or else we'd never hear an end to their whinging.

Not for the first time Mr Lulzim Basha thanked the member states of the EU for the Lisbon Treaty which had eased travel restrictions for Albanian citizens in the Shengen area of the EU. Neither the UK nor the Republic of Ireland are in the Shengen area.

In the last months we have seen Albanians as well as citizens of the newest member states of the EU, Bulgaria and Romania subjected to xenophobic attacks and criminalisation in Italy. This occured against a general backdrop of right wing promotion of a new Shengen Information system. c/f

The referendum in Ireland will not stop the next stage of the Shengen process but will shelve the increased freedom of movement Albanians and other "western Balkans" might have enjoyed.

At its most simple the decision by the Irish people to reject that treaty has ensured that for a least decade the developing economies of eastern Europe and the candidate for EU membership states may not hope for the prosperity based on free market and liberal globalisation mechanisms which in her turn Ireland enjoyed. One of the richest states of the Union with less than 1% of the Union's population in effect aborted potential "Slavic Tigers" in a sadly parochial display of Euro-skepticism. We may not say either supposed Irish neutrality or sovreignity are safer this week. But we can be sure an Albanian "Luas" (as Dublin called its tram service which with EU money still came in years late and squillions over budget) is further than ever away.

The side which campaigned for a No! vote was an odd and motley crew of nationalists and republicans who at least were consistent in their sovreignity objections to the EU and also anarchists. hmmmm. Anarchists campaigning on referenda. Anarchists with their loathing of capitalism yet belief in liberty..,

In 1892 Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman planned the assassination of Henry Clay Finch, who had suppressed strikes in the Homestead Pennsylvania factory with armed guards. She remarkably went "on the game", to work as a prostitute to raise money for a gun to kill Finch with. As she wrote years later in a seminal [forgive the pun] tract of anarchofeminist literature - "They believed that by killing a tyrant, a representative of a cruel system, the consciousness of the people would be aroused".

As the Irish site "Workers Solidarity" archive informs us in a report on a lecture from 1993 - "This didn't happen".

Instead something strange has occured. There is no chance most people will agree of the societies of Eastern Europe returning any day soon to centrally planned economies. Nor are they about to organise themselves in autonomous collectives and seize their means of production. They are as trapped as we in western Europe are in the liberal free market system "for the moment". And now thanks to the Irish voters, who are less than 1% of the EU population, who are not in the Shengen area, who do not despite their fears enjoy any real "neutrality" to lose - they may not look forward to "Slavic tigers" of their own. Instead their economies will continue to be dominated by Austrian banking interests whilst their parliaments are dominated by far right or rebranded communist era politicians. In short their future is their past - that of the Austrian empire ironically without the Hungarian dual-monarchy.

It is my argument that this time Irish anarchists may have argued a parochial case well in demanding a "No" vote - but they have betrayed the better agenda of the working class and poor of eastern Europe and the populations of those states in negotiation with the EU for membership. It is my belief that anarchism is supposed to raise the struggle of the working class above local needs or wishes.

I believe that had Emma Goldman been a richer woman in 1892 she wouldn't have needed the humiliation of standing on the street finding herself incapable of luring a punter. She would have just bought that gun to shoot Finch. Or maybe that subjunctive "what would have happened if" is too generous. Perhaps if Emma Goldman had been as rich as say a contemporary Irish anarchist is, she wouldn't have wanted to get involved in workers struggle in the first place. Certainly that seems to be the impression of many observers of the current direction not only of the Irish WSM but the Irish Indymedia site whose moderation they dominate. What other explanation could there be for the recent deletion of Goldman's prostitution history as "factually incorrect" in an attempt to compare past anarchist behaviour and class identity with the spectacle of Irish anarchists siding with a US military contractor in leading the "no!" campaign. Or as another example - the musings on the lists by a WSM "editor" that though correct in removing reports on IMC Ecuador activists being targetted by police (one of whom is still in prison) - they themselves can't be proud talking about Irish indymedia at work to their colleagues - because "too many would be contributors don't speak proper".

Oh well. Irony is such a cruel word. Let's hope the poor Albanians figure out some other solution to their woes. But at least one thing is certain - Irish anarchists won't lose their prosperity to Albanians. They won't even have to think about them much. It all works out in the end.

iosaf mac d. - Barcelona


Hide the following 25 comments

2 little illustrations

14.06.2008 20:40

you have enough freedom of movement to just keep on walking by
you have enough freedom of movement to just keep on walking by

one celtic tiger will not be spawning capitalist piggies or slavic tigers
one celtic tiger will not be spawning capitalist piggies or slavic tigers

Often people who have worked in several European states thus queued at several European tax offices, talked to several European beurocrats, paid their bills and got paid their wages (or salary for richer anarchists) think they are the only real "europeans". Maybe that's arrogant of me. As I wrote in the article on Shengen Information system 2 and Sarkozy's agenda for his forthcoming presidency of Europe - most polyglots (or speakers of many languages) come from the third world or are migrants.

Anarchism is supposed to be about helping migrants. No borders. No frontiers. No flags. blaa blaa.
In this instance those lofty almost utopic goals would have been best served had the celtic tiger actually weened the little capitalist piggies of the eastern economies under Lisbon. The current mechanisms are worse. The solution Sarkozy will present this year will be much worse. Irony is a cruel word. The campaign supported by Irish anarchists included pictures of Sarkozy, as if voting No! was a good substitute for going on the game and buying a revolver and doing the old fashioned anarchist thing. They have now ensured that Sarkozy has won. These illustrations, I hope will make the point in a way which needs no words.


iosaf showing his true colours

14.06.2008 22:44

Included in what iosaf refers to as an "odd and motley crew" were all the far left parties and some of the trade unions, including the ATGWU, the Irish section of the TGWU.

One of the reasons that Irish trade unionists opposed this treaty is because they believe "that the pendulum has swung clearly against workers' rights and in favour of big business"
TEEU and CPSU take opposite Views on Lisbon-

The days have long gone when pompous west-brit types like iosaf could get away with lecturing the Irish for not conforming and obeying their betters. I'm not surprised iosaf included a picture of pigs. Historically some elements within the English establishment and media used to poke fun at the Irish, and make jokes about the Irish "keeping pigs in the parlour". Clearly iosaf is following in that tradition. I suppose it is only a matter of time before he publishes pictures reminiscent of the type of simian images once favoured by "Punch" magazine.

Irish worker

I don't agree with Iosaf argument but

15.06.2008 14:08

The comment above - inplying the pigs in foto are meant to represent the irish is a malicious bit of slander. Read his comment with the photos. The piggies are the new eastern EU states. Can't u read?

""In this instance those lofty almost utopic goals would have been best served had the celtic tiger actually weened the little capitalist piggies of the eastern economies under Lisbon."


this little piggie went to work..,

15.06.2008 16:30

Of course EC read the text properly as well as understood the illustration. I made a point of identiying my nationality in the introduction of the article so that the piglet image would not be misconstrued as a reference to the Irish middle class of the 19th century but to its more usual meaning of "little capitalist piggie".

The concensus of leftwing press and politicians in Europe, ranging from the communist president of Italy to The Guardian columnists to the trade unions of the Czech Republic seems to agree with me.

It is laughable that any anarchist in Ireland might argue this vote was about less than 1% of the population of the EU somehow bravely championing the cause of all poor Europeans and that if in the process the poorest Europeans now face worse travel, work, migration and other conditions "that doesn't matter".

One of the comments above includes an insult which most English speakers might not understand. When "Irish worker" (whose working conditions and entitlements are reliant on his or her own choice of government not the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty) describes me as "a pompous west-brit type", he/she is not referring to my working life spent on the continent of Europe, my engagement with migration issues, my gaelic name nor even implying I'm from Bristol. Nope. a West-brit is a pejorative term for someone who speaks English with a RP accent and is almost always an Irish protestant and might have been educated in England. So - I speak English with a RP accent it seems to be as appropriate as the Irish Gaeilge (gaelic) I speak with a Connaught accent, my cultural background was that of an Irish "southern" protestant & I was partly educated in the fine squatting finishing schools of England. The days are past thankfully when such taunts mean anything other than shallow and racist prejudice. I stand over what I've written. I understand why friends in the Republican family voted against Lisbon, that was consistent with their platform on sovreignity. I in my turn in the past supported their analysis and opposed Irish involvement with Nice or the Single European Act.

I defy anyone to say that Irish "anarchists" were anything other than traitors to the working class of this continent to side with a US military defense contractor and regular guest on both Euroskeptic and civilian intelligence speaking engagement scene. At end the proof is who will take up the Irish vote and push its agenda in the UK. I suspect and hope sincere anarchists will dismiss any referendum as a farce and steer clear of it. I have no doubt the worst of the right and capitalist piggies will jump on the Euroskeptic bandwagon wheeled out of Ireland last week. That they somehow congratulate themselves now for "championing the poor" of either their own state (one of the richest) or of the states with whom they have no Shengen ties or little tolerance or even allow news to filter through to their local indymedia - is laughable.

All the arguments of the coalition of interests against Lisbon do not stand up to criticism.
Ireland was not effectively neutral last Thursday - it is not today.
Ireland did not exercise complete control over her sovreignity last Wednesday anymore than any state which more open than Burma/Myanmar in the modern world.
Ireland is no better place today than last Tuesday - only one thing has changed - she has identified herself as a selfish spoilt society who took all European assistance, chose to expand the union to 25 states, allowed her speculators to carpet bag the Estonian and Lithuanian economies just as they had the mediterranean coast - & now refuse to stop that process.

= Ireland is a neo-imperialist society and her anarchists are fake.


Piggies & Tigers aside - I'm offended by the word "Aborted" in the title.

15.06.2008 16:55

The rightwing who opposed Lisbon in Ireland played two cards by claiming that both abortion and conscription would be forced on Ireland. Some are now suggesting that those elements could be appeased by copperfastening the Irish constitutional ban on abortion.

Top marks to the "Irish anarchists" there, no?

Ireland is on the very short list of Europeans states (like Andorra, San Marino and Malta) who don't allow Abortion to women on mental, physical, rape or other grounds. Every year tens of thousands of Irish women exercise their right to choose in the UK. Such feminist issues one would imagine would be close to the heart of Irish anarchist political strategy, being based not on complicated institutional arrangements which apply to a population 100 times larger than their own - but simply being a question of articulation of rights and personal autonomy.

However, the Irish indymedia site which unique in the global family of indymedia sites has only ever had one female editor. She was told in the last two weeks via their email lists that her constant obstructive attitude (by opposing moderation and the blocking of the only mentally handicapped woman who ever contributed to the site) meant she should quit. Only one woman has expressed interest in being the "token girl" on the editorial team since. A devout Catholic.

Ireland's achievement has been to grow so rich so quickly, build a capitaist empire throughout the English speaking world somehow playing the "victim" rather than "culprit" card and yet behind it all remain exactly the same where it matters.

Between a woman's legs.

lovely girl

Rich lefties?

16.06.2008 11:32

"Irish anarchists won't lose their prosperity to Albanians"

I dont know any prosperous Irish anarchists, and I doubt if you know enough about Irish anarchists to be able to back up that jibe, you have not been in Ireland for many years. That falls into the same category as the usual "yer all middle class students funded by Daddy" insult constantly directed at activists. But I could name a few prominent members of certain so called "left wing" parties, e.c. will know who I mean.


To qualify "rich anarchists" for "precarious".

16.06.2008 13:24

What you took as a jibe was a comparison between general indices of wealth amongst the Irish be they anarchists or not and that amongst Albanians. Of course you're right, I haven't been in Ireland for years - I left before the celtic tiger or peace process began when employment ran at 11% and most people survived on non-capital income which was doled out mid-week and returned to landlords, supermarkets or bars by Friday night-time. One good reason why I have not returned to Ireland from Barcelona is the cost involved. You chose the user name "precarious". I remember in the run-up to Euromayday we had a debate in translation circles on which ought be the noun to properly represent "precariedad" the Spanish original which had launched the "upgrade" to the feeble English "mc job".

I suggested "precarity" rather than the American English supported "precariousness". Not only because it sounded better, I prefer "transport" to "transportation" but it also reminded the reader or listener of the word "scarcity".

Precarity and precarious working conditions are not only defined by low income relative to mean average in your economy. It also includes the availability of income. When I left Ireland as I've just written many people survived on the dole. There is no dole in Albania. When I argued the word "precarity" for Euromayday I also went through Eurostatistics for simple foodstuffs and housing costs with a fine comb. Someone on employment assistance in Ireland (or in the UK job seekers allowance) could afford and can still afford to get on a Ryanair or Easyjet flight and visit Barcelona, get drunk and fly home again. On average cost of living in the north of Europe is three times higher than that in the south. You can afford to visit me. I can't really afford to visit you. Bulgarians and Romanians with 32% of the average income between you and I before we even make allowances for poverty can't afford to go much further than the Danube.

Albanians can't afford to visit anyone.

Poverty and Wealth are relative. Irish anarchists enjoy one of the highest human development indices on the planet. Albania is at the bottom of the heap. The Irish enjoy a high life expectancy at 32nd position in the UN. Albania is just behind at 34th place. Where would you rather grow old
without social services or libraries?

I could go on. But I don't want to jibe you more. Poverty is relative. Income disparity is higher in Ireland than Albania. I grant that. Look at this map I put on indymedia ireland at Christmas 2005

You probably feel very poor amongst rich Irish people, poorer than a poor Albanian feels at home in Albania. But you have jobs and wealth all around you. You are in European terms and global terms "rich". If you are an "anarchist" you are most probably in global terms a "rich anarchist".


1 more important thing about Irish anarchists & their local poor or migrants

16.06.2008 14:03

If people don't accept that in relative terms even the poorest in Ireland are richer than the poorest of Europe, or take my word for it that most Irish anarchists who visit me or on either grants or dole - then maybe they will consider the work done by Irish Anarchists to champion their local poorest.

In 2004 the cathedral of Barcelona was occupied by non-regularised migrants. The co-ordinating assembly drew support from many but "trotskyists" were most prominent with their established ties to South American labour movements. In the next stage of the campaign the anarcho-syndicalist CNT and squatter assemblies housed the migrants for their hunger and thirst strikes. We were well aware of the disparity in birth rates, access to education & detention rates between "us poor" and "them".

Compare and contrast.

In 2006 non-regularised migrants occupied the protestant cathedral of Dublin. Outside people chanted unchallenged about "sending the west-brit protestants and afghani taliban home". The protest negotiations saw RAR or "residents against racism" prominent. If any of them belonged to any political faction, & their most prominent spokeswoman belongs to none - it was the excellent but so far small republican Eirigi. Oh, yes, Irish anarchists were there and wrote about it - but the WSM played no direct part. Likewise no squats. Likewise no food distribution. "Food not Bombs" in Ireland has always been the concern of non-platform non WSM anarchists. But they in contrary to principle 6 of the indymedia global articles of unity have dominated indymedia ireland, imposed a heirarchy, excluded women and from their deletions of both IMC Ecuador and IMC Antwerp appeals - quite obviously disparaged other indymedia collectives or their respective communities (anarchist or otherwise).


Just a note

16.06.2008 15:40

The author is an Irish exile who lives in spain, who has been recently banned from indymedia ireland for all sorts of abuses, including harrassing volunteers with abusive personal emails and threatening text messages. He is a total walter mitty and all of the various claims that he makes about Irish anarchists are invented because some of them are involved in

For example, this claim:

"If any of them belonged to any political faction, & their most prominent spokeswoman belongs to none - it was the excellent but so far small republican Eirigi."

Is just a bizzare bit of walter mitty make believe since Eirigi did not emerge in public until after that event. Every single claim made in any of his posts should be treated as total lies.


Re: WSM & Abortion

16.06.2008 16:01

Just to clarify:

The Lisbon Treaty would not have progressed the fight for abortion rights in Ireland, this is a myth invented by right-wing groups advocating a No Vote. It is simply untrue.

The fight for abortion rights has been a central element of the WSM's activity since its inception and WSM members have been heavily involved in many women's rights campaigns since then. For a brief look at what we have published on the subject, please see

At present WSM members are involved in Choice Ireland, a direct action pro-choice group. See

There is also an article in the most recent issue of our bi-annual magazine, Red & Black Revolution (Issue 14), which details the history of the abortion rights movement and our involvement in it. Unfortunately this article isn't online yet, but a hard copy of the mag can be purchased at Freedom Press in London. Or email the WSM and ask us to hurry up and put it online. Consumer pressure is the best solution :-).

Ben Compton - WSM (Personal Capacity)
- Homepage:

Plain People of Ireland, add to the momentum, for fairer distribution of wealth

16.06.2008 16:33

The Lisbon Treaty: Outcome: No, Ireland and the Island of Ireland by inference, do not accept that Ireland lose a commissioner and take a step down. Demographics may determine who steps into Ireland status shoes e.g. Romania, but we say No.......'Does our experience not count'. Is there no Meritocracy for the Nation State that has struggled, changed, battled corruption culimination in the Mahon Tribunal yet to yield decisions. The Mahon Tribunal has brought into the media the integrity of many politicians and the outcome, I have no doubt, will impact on the callibre of people in Government, in our professions, going forward. Ireland ought to be proud of this.

Then: The Peace Process starting with the Belfast Agreement and now culiminating in a showing of Forgiveness, ostensibly seen in the relationship between Mr. Gerry McGuinness and the Revd. Ian Paisley. This provides a far reaching agenda in the way it will be interpreted by other war stricken countries. This is about Hope. I think of the old Irish saying 'Water finds its own level' perhaps the No vote is just about this.

To the Plain People of Ireland - let us keep the cool head. Worldwide markets are in turmoil but they have been before. We face a new diversity but let it embraced.

We don't want a two speed Europe. Why would we have wasted so much time seeking the Unity of Ireland with the backing of the US, the UK (and questionable how much real input re. Peace from Europe).

Taoiseach Cowen thankfully paid reference to our Constuition and then went on to utter the profound words about being in uncharted waters..........

Michelle Clarke

Quotation Mahatma Gandhi
'Live as if you are going to die tomorrow and learn as if you are going to learn for the rest of your life'

Related Link:

Jack Russell - Social Justice and Ethics

Choice Ireland Member

16.06.2008 19:31

Choice Ireland has many members, a few of whom are in many groups and
that would include the WSM in Ireland. I am a member of Choice Ireland
and also the first female member of IMC to be banned In Ireland by the editorial
collective after bringing up the issue of equality of access and more women editors.

This has happened over two years and has resulted in bannings of community
voices based in a rule 13 instituted by Chekov+Co. As a result I joined IMC womyn
and IMC as a feminist outreach person and brought the issues of inequality
of access to NYC , BCN and the Global LRC/women list.

There has been, since I have written for indymedia Little parity of esteem for women
who do not advocate a strict socialist position or are not a member of an anarchist
group. this is a fact and can be researched through use of the archive and
search engine. I have been boycotting the site since April 16th when
three writers had received bans from people who assume that we all share
a similar viewpoint on control issues. Bans include I.P blocking and three day to
three month periods.

Choice Ireland Member

St. Patricks cathedral,Barcelona,Global IMC & disaffiliation of IMC ireland

16.06.2008 20:18

I suppose having led people into commenting on my residence outside of Ireland and taunting them with the St Patricks cathedral occupation, I should spell out why physical location means nothing to Irish activism.

When less than two dozen Afghani non-regularised migrants occupied the cathedral where i had gone to chapel as I child in a week which end with several of them threatening to hang themselves with bell ropes on the organ loft where I studied as a teenager - I naturally took an interest. I arranged a series of phone calls in Urdu, Farsi and Pashtun language between the co-ordinators of the Barcelona cathedral protests and those within the cathedral of Dublin. The phone calls which came to over two hours duration included appeals to Sheik who by then was hospitalised to call off the "thirst fast". In addition the assemblies of both non-regularised migrants and Islamic migrants of Barcelona and Spain issued declarations in support of the Dublin protesters and lobbied the Irish state. The anglican church issued a statement in support of the protesters demands whilst outside one of the individuals with long standing IMC global activism behind him, who has joined me in a campaign to disaffiliate indymedia ireland recorded over 9 hours of interviews and audio, which was placed on the IMC Radio network.

Meanwhile Chekov - who has popped up his little gurgles to defend his IMC and alliance with Irish Libertas and is the epitomy of a "rich Irish anarchist" continued to subvert indymedia ireland. I believe that was the year you finally accepted a female on the moderation team, Chekov. Correct me if I'm wrong. I believe that was the year Anthony was moderator - he only swapped with "editor" Terence to become moderator this year, no? I believe that was the year you cross-examined a female contributor over a sexual assault committed by one of your team & finally accepting her complaint saw him excluded.

Chekov wants to talk about exiles. Again it is a charged word in Irish English. Chekov wants his list on indymedia ireland to talk about a " an amicable split " during the last fortnight. Yet his team who have exactly copied every reason Indymedia Belgium was disaffiliated can not accept its guidelines subvert open publishing, Chekov's behaviour subverts non-heirarchial organisation and worst of all his blocking of the only spokesperson for serious brain injury to ever show the nobility to use indymedia ireland and describe her suffering ought shame any social activist.

Will you want links? chapter and verse? phone records? written afadavits and transcripts from migrants, asylum seekers, founders of the indymedia ireland site, insulted members of other indymedia collectives?

Or do you just do what you've been asked to do. Step down and out of the collective or face disaffiliation.


Mark G. Residents Against Racism, founding member Eirigi. "Chapter & Verse"

16.06.2008 21:11

if you didn't delete Eirigi so much Chekov you'd know who they were. Mark's interview was at "was" being the operative word. Hey - you've even alienated the female anarchist video maker who Mark brought into the cathedral to film the men.
She doesn't post anymore does she? Indeed she invented the term "chekovmedia" and is one of the "walter mitty types who want your version of the site ended or disaffiliated for exactly the same reasons Belgium IMC was. Dunk did the audio files (IMC radio, ex IMC oxford and like me occassional IMC Barcelona) ou've told him he should fuck off for supporting my campaign as well. You refused to meet a representative of Barcelona IMC.

But it's nice to see you have wheeled out a WSM boy to tell us you're all for women's choice.
Top marks there Mr Feeney. We are convinced.

Every time someone touches article 6 of the principles of unity which you have undoubtedly thrashed - you pop up as "indymedia spokesperson".

"------All IMC's recognize the importance of process to social change and are committed to the development of non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian relationships, from interpersonal relationships to group dynamics. Therefore, shall organize themselves collectively and be committed to the principle of consensus decision making and the development of a direct, participatory democratic process] that is transparent to its membership.---------"

Less than five days ago you wrote those principles were flawed. Naturally you've ignored them for years. Less than one month ago you told your only female colleague to leave the collective. Less than three months ago you said a woman who had written about her brain injury was mentally instable and comparable to a schizophrenic. You then barred her partner, I don't know if that was for being a republican or her partner, older than you or what. But you barred and defamed him nonetheless. Less than one week ago one of your colleagues deleted an appeal from IMC Ecuador for solidarity with one of their imprisoned activists whilst one of your buddies justified harsher moderation and more deletes because he's ashamed to admit to his workmates he runs indymedia ireland. What a contrast! Less than one week ago a former editor said your attitude amounted to "put up or shut up" and was "clearly heirarchial". Less than one month ago you told a founding editor he was acting the prick for defying your vision of an improved indymedia which despite catering for a fraction of the readership IMC UK attracts needs more than double the guidelines and for some strange reason only 4 of its WSM editors attend meetings and invent rules.

How many times and ways do we have to tell you we want our indymedia ireland back?

You go and run your own site. Run it on your software "oscailt". It will look just like "anarkismo-net" or WSM Ireland. Everyone will admire you. And people from working class areas whose protests you have stopped will have their voice back like those poor undereducated people who couldn't spell well enough who thought mobile masts were bad for them until you told them you had studied it, knew better and they had to be deleted. Was that because they were undereducated? women? socialist republicans? What happened to your Tara coverage? What happened to Rossport? Oh yes- they were barred and deleted.


Why your link does not work

17.06.2008 01:52

"Mark's interview was at "was" being the operative word."

do some research. That story was downgraded, i.e. collated, a perfectly normal action.

The comment was not hidden, but you will have to search for it, there were a lot af articles and updates published on about that hunger strike. and have a look through May

Tired browser


17.06.2008 10:59

iosaf mark g is not a member of eirigi, he remains a member of sinn fein. if you can't even get a basic fact like that right than who would trust the rest of your disinformation.

note for readers - is choosing to allow their site to be used as a forum for a nasty personnel vendetta against some of the people involved in the sort of carry on above has been going on via the irish site for years now - if anything made the mistake of having far too much tolerance for a couple of wingnuts who main agenda seemed to be causing disruption by sowing misinformation and conflict like the above i have no involvement in the running of but i read it regularly and have being watching this sort of stupidity on it for far too long


Published May 2nd 2008- at NYC

17.06.2008 11:56

I have boycotted the site since the banning of a woman writer, after two
years of article deletion, sidelining on women's issues; and at this point
being disallowed comment on the lists regarding gender/disability issues.

re : the current editors, I have written once and received once a response
to and by Mr Feeney regarding issues of access, apart from the exchange on the
open list which preceeded my ban. I take issue with editors who
attempt to control and direct community process by neatly boxing
issues into convenient little eye-catching headlines whilst failing
to encourage gender parity on the site.

I have voted for the creation of a woman friendly, community accessible site
and not for a future devlopment of Oscailt tech. I have suggested Dada.

(C Murray-IMC Womyn.IMC Feminist Outreach and IPWWC)

C Murray
- Homepage:

None of the reasons why IMC Ireland should be disaffialiated are denied.

17.06.2008 13:44

Clueless - there are in fact 2 "Mark G's". I think you've confused one who's still about with the other who went to prison. Still other affiliations of individuals you have offered no rebuttal of the most serious allegations. Because you can't. Chekov can't deny what he put his name to.


Explaining IMC Ireland to other collectives includes explaining the tier of "editors". Elsewhere they just move HTML around and collate articles on the central column which are published as the work of the site unless specifically the work of some other group or rarely an individual.

IMC Ireland operates with an unknown number of editors who have power to delete contributions to the right hand open publishing column and promote material (often their own) to the central column. They also have the right to monitor IP's and then block those IP's and issue "named bans of contributors".

They regularly delete solidarity appeals from other IMC's (in defiance of article 10 of the principles of unity).

Their problems are not discussed on that site because.......(you'll love this)'s against the guidelines to comment on editorial matters.

Their problems are not really discussed in an open and frank way (in defiance of unity principles) on their lists either - because those lists are moderated by the same clique who nominate editors and bar contributors.

Who are they barring? I hear you wonder. Coz if it's just Hank and the the space aliens of the holy bible maybe they're right!

Alas, no - in the last 6 months they've deleted over 180 comments for "Buletin Board". That's when comments refer to each other almost as a Q&A or conversation. Rather like this thread in fact. Or another use of that guideline is to protect the clique's articles from criticism, yet technically it is not on their publishing guideline list. So thus whereas BB can see a critic removed it also is useful to "shoot down" their opponent's articles. In the future we will publish a cross section of such arbitrary and injust moderation on the indymedia network as part of the arguments to disaffiliate the site.

But aliens must come into it!? you whine.

OK - They've deleted all articles relating to Scientology and the global campaign against it. They've also managed to block IP's belonging to other IMC's in Europe. & at present on their email lists contributors vye to get past their list moderator to join a "transparently democratic debate". (That's the principles of unity I'm quoting there.)

Who is this noble chap (since we know there are no girls) who moderates with the wisdom of Solomon the submissions to this collective list in the hope of influencing the heirarchy of editors?

: He's a former editor, still has editor password, and also runs the list for Oscailt (the imc ireland software platform used by Bristol since the cops ran off with their server) he swapped roles with another chap without asking anyone before hand.

What's the thing with the womyn?

: Amazing as it seems for several years IMC ireland has popped up on IMC womyn lists and recorded an incredible amount of accusations of gender bias. For the first four years it had no female "editor" but finally after lots of attention turned the way of IMC Ireland (which didn't even have a gender and sexuality section) they found one woman willing to take the crap.

Quite recently she went to Beirut on a short visit. Just before she went most western financial institutions lifted Lebanon up a notch of stability. As soon as she arrived a confrontation which would lead to the most recent power sharing agreements in that state. But before hand 87 people would die. Our colleague found herself in east Beirut whilst in Ireland her "peers" on the IMC list told her she had put herself in trouble, had nobody but to blame for herself and they wanted free use of her photographs. No sooner had she returned to Ireland she was told to leave the collective for obstruction. She had chosen poorly it appears in agreeing with a wide group of people that IMC ireland breaches global principles of unity and has caused profound hurt to a former contributor whose only sin was to write in a disjointed way, something she had explained quite articulately resulted from irreversible brain injury which has left her housebound for many years.

These problems ought to have been identified a long time ago. IMC Ireland has been so errant, or in the words of a member of the Barcelona tech team, a feminist and moderator of that site who visited Ireland on an "investigative mission" - ..."it is so weird and obviously not an indymedia except for its use of the name and logo, not even its presentation seems like indymedia but some slick design conscious agency. How did this happen in our name?"

As I've written and nobody can defy the facts - there are ample reasons why the site has broken articles 10 and 6 of the global principles of unity. There are serious reasons to suspect it has broken the rules on identification of users. There are suspicions that its heirarchial core have circumvented the prohibition of non-profit through promotion of their own contributions to Irish media and software.

These are very serious allegations.
Each one comes with email proofss from their lists.
Yet they want to just discuss "a split"? an "amicable spilt"? OR as always censor their critics.

Thankfully the world pages of IMC UK are not going to be silenced.


Why Lisbon was rejected

18.06.2008 14:18

The reason we rejected the Lisbon Treaty is explained clearly in the following comment posted on the Irish site.

This thread was posted, was it not (?) to discuss that,
Or was it just posted merely to have a go at the Irish indymedia collective (?)

Bren (Member of the Irish Socialist Party)


No Bren, the intention of this article was to explain Lisbon & Albanians.

18.06.2008 21:23

If I had voted I would have followed a Republican conscience and voted No! I told others to in a comment to an article of March 25th 2008 entitled "Will the Lisbon Treaty change anything?" by Chekov Feeney (the Irish media correspondent of the commercial magazine "The Village", WSM member and long standing editor of Irish Indymedia)
I pointed out that the Treaty offered no :-

* right to a job.
* right to a house.
* right to self-determination.
* right to pension.
* clause of automatic expulsion of any member state which slips further from liberal democracy & becomes like a d-i-c-t-a-t-o-r-s-h-i-p.
which considering almost all of them have been before in the recent past is not so silly to presume they could be again.., The absence of a right to self-determination disallows the consideration of Serbia & Kosovo in a future EU a simple result of the creation of the "protectorate" of Kosovo which now that I've come to think of it compromises the vision of the original Treaty of Rome of a Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Urinal as well as rubbishing the rights of minority populations within the EU as defined now pursuing their further nationalist agenda.


Though as an anarchist I wouldn't have voted thinking the exercise to be a farce and contrary to the declaration of the 1st international.


& as an non-resident Irish citizen, unique amongst the member states of the EU, I wasn't invited to vote either by post or at my embassy. - So even if I had wanted to vote I couldn't have.


I didn't attempt to say why people voted nor why they should have voted. I merely pointed out the fact that Shengen Travel freedoms granted to Albanians under a ratified Lisbon are now suspended due to the Irish vote.


Oh yes. Bren, this thread turned into a discussion of IMC Ireland when members of that heirarchial collective and the afore mentioned Chekov began to insult me. Chekov even thought to explain who I was, despite the fact that I've contributed to indymedia UK for longer than he has had a job or volunteer position in Irish commercial media or Irish indymedia.

So I was given an opportunity to explain why that collective is in breach of several of the global priniciples of unity. Which of course will help whoever is bothered to read them understand the illegitimacy of Chekov's current proposals to fork Indymedia Ireland into two tiers or heirarchies and two sites.

Perhaps you missed all that.
so read it again :-

- Homepage:

(((i))) anarchist running mates

19.06.2008 11:02 contributor Ms Kathy Sinnet contributor Ms Kathy Sinnet

This is a picture of the shambolic right that the anarchists at indymedia are
associated with. Ms Sinnot is a regular contributor to

No where else on the globe.....................

(UKIP/LPR and rightists loonies)

it's not cricket!

Irish Anarchists? Dont get me started?

19.06.2008 17:26

From Insofa

“At its most simple the decision by the Irish people to reject that treaty has ensured that for a least decade the developing economies of eastern Europe and the candidate for EU membership states may not hope for the prosperity based on free market and liberal globalisation mechanisms which in her turn Ireland enjoyed”

For sure that really is a statement that deals with simplicity at it most basic. However like most simple statements it’s not very illuminating either. Seems more like a bitch at anarchists. Not much bile for your fellow republicans, who as far as I’m aware got as hell of a lot more profile that that media shy anarcho bunch. Its an argument pretty light on substance or political insight, but I sense that’s the deal on this thread

"Certainly that seems to be the impression of many observers of the current direction not only of the Irish WSM but the Irish Indymedia site whose moderation they dominate. What other explanation could there be for the recent deletion of Goldman's prostitution history as "factually incorrect" in an attempt to compare past anarchist behaviour and class identity with the spectacle of Irish anarchists siding with a US military contractor in leading the "no!" campaign…..The campaign supported by Irish anarchists included pictures of Sarkozy, as if voting No! was a good substitute for going on the game and buying a revolver and doing the old fashioned anarchist thing. They have now ensured that Sarkozy has won. These illustrations, I hope will make the point in a way which needs no words."

Not really sure what your hitting at here. Sometime’s a picture say a thousand words and sometime a reference to a picture says fuck all……

So lets see
A vague attack on WSM for coming out in support of a No vote, or the fact that because a US funded individual (the aforementioned military contractor label won't even go far enough!!) came out calling for a No vote, you feel anarchist's should have taken their ball and went home. Actually the games up I suppose. At last someone has uncovered the “irish WSM” for the neo con’s they are. I had thought about joining myself but there it was staring me in the face all the time. But hold on, wasn’t it a member of WSM that picked up on the background of the shadowy Libertas group that facilitates you mentioning of Libertas as being a US funded org. Indeed Chekov himself authored the piece. Perhaps Libertas IS WSM!!! (for the conspiracy minded I’m JOKING)

Or perhaps, even though it as little less exciting, something else be more reflective of the reality. There are some major differences ongoing about irish Indymedia, I’m not privy to it myself but seems to be about moderation and seems to have spilled over on to several of the lists I’m involved with. I’m partially interested but when folks start bad mouthing I get less interested. Its not how I ‘do’ politics

However separately and in a way that I get no sense of solidarity about, you really want to have a go off WSM. No worries, WSM is big bold and ugly enough to look after itself, but if you gonna level political criticisms don’t tie them up with a personal slag match.

I really like to here an expanded version of how anarchists and WSM in particular have fucked over albanian’s working class. That’s a pretty convoluted and ahistorical notion of reality. Even me ‘a fake anarchist’ (just because I’m irish it seems) am not really convinced that irish anarchist's actually affect or worry centralized structures of power that much!! but cheers for the big up anyway.


This article is no longer on the newswire of IMC UK.

19.06.2008 21:08

Nobody is reading your comments. & continuing to harp on or slag off iosaf or misrepresent his opinions or motives can only be considered an abuse of this site.

So :- this is the 23rd comment. Generally IMC UK articles on the open publishing "non-promoted" newswire don't even clock up 6 comments. That's a great achievement in some small way. You've been flared and provoked and don't have the tactical sense to see it.

In the immediate future there may appear a lengthy analysis of all the breaches of global principles of unity by the current team in control of (((i))) ireland - or if you prefer - the current good writers of the Irish WSM. You'll be as welcome to troll that article with comments as well.

it's up to you.

Nobody is stopping you.

gurgle ribbid

Read or not Read

20.06.2008 12:47

I'm not trying to troll

It's totally find for iosaf to have the opinions, but the guy has turned internal working issue of Ireland indymedia, which i said already i know little to nothing about, in to a public pronoucement about irish anarchist generally and WSM in particular. Again an opinion with no substantive back up.

What are his motives as they are desperately unclear in the article. irish anarchist are a really small component in the Irish political landscape, and the only anarchist campaign was a leafleting and postering one by the WSM. It didn't even have a media campaign from what i can make out.

I feel the article is mis representative of the reality of what many anarchists are doing, it is sectarian and is more importantly implies that an anarchist group (WSM) has some vested interest in controlling irish indymedia. That to me is political slander. and if your goping to slip such accusation into artilce on any indymedia then you should have the courage to follow the argument/slander through with those it ios about.

WSM is an organisation of genuinly committed community activist and anarchists, and a such i find the tone of the article somewhat disturbing. That the UK indymedia site can carry such allegations is a matter for itself but it doesnt really do anything but sow seeds of mistrust. I have a very good relationship with many Uk and European activist and anarchists, as does the WSM. So i do feel personlly slighted by a sideways attack on UK indymedia pionted out by other anarchists invovled in the seomra spraoi social center.

So i think iosaf has a right to his opinions, and can publish cynical insinuations on UK indymedia if he likes from Barcelona, but anarchist like myslef will have to pick up the pieces from political rumours in dealings with readers of this article.

i'm not worried that readers arent seeing this comment but maybe you could pass it on to iosaf, whoever they are, as it seems most anarchists in Dublin dont know who he is or why he feel empowered enough to critique what 'irish anarchist's' actually do....

your solidarity etc


The Papacy, Lisbon and the Irish Vote

30.06.2008 12:06

Seamus Breathnach // June 29, 2008 at 2:31 p.m.

The Papacy,
Lisbon and The Irish Vote

Today Saturday 28 June, 2008, in the centre of O'Connell Street , Dublin, there was great rejoicing coming from a shop that was obviously religious. The shop (broadcasting hymns and exhibiting chalk statutes etc.) exhibited a large poster in the front window to demonstrate that a Novena offered up by the Church to enlighten the people of Ireland to vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty had been answered. What has been most suspect in the recent Lisbon election is the hidden number of the Novena-faithful. What is confusing is how so many of the faithful could vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty so definitely, while their leader, Pope Benedict XVI, could be so circumspectly in favour of a United Europe. It might be remembered that the Pope’s guarded idea of unity comes ‘after’ rather than before the Irish vote! How can such ambivalence and apparent contradiction be explained?

Perhaps some relevant facts about THE IRISH might not be out of place :

1. Since the Middle Ages a Papal colony calling themselves Catholics and forming ‘a middle nation’ (i.e. Between native pagans and ‘real’ Norman English) took over Ireland. These colonists , in contrast to the repressed Gaels, consttute the modern ‘Irish’, and on behalf of the Papacy have governed Ireland vi pulsa and ‘by the grace of God’ (of the Caesarean variety) ever since.

2. Through the Papacy the diocesan Bishops and Parish Priests sperad their control over the island and dislodged the secular native pagan Chieftains. These dioceses and parishes have always formed the most conservative and at times reactionary collective mind in Europe; for it is a mind that has been totally indebted to the Papacy for its very existence and has , in return, submitted to becoming the most perfect instrument of imperial Christian propaganda world-wide.

3. Accordingly, in the Lisbon Vote, we witness the Irish (middle nation) turning its collective back -- or ‘apparently’ turning its back -- on its own leaders, and notwithstanding net receipts of some 32b euros, without which the Irish would still be swinging out of a Castle-cum-Cathedral culture, the pack voted a resounding ‘No’ to Europe. Much of this bonus money went wisely towards the creation of an Irish middle class, hitherto practically non-existent except for that tight parochial swathe of people that lived primarily off Church/State construction and allied services. In the absence of an Irish middle class, secular resistance to the rule of the Parish Priest is unknown in Ireland, and even if the Euro has helped enormously in this direction, as a class, it is still, perhaps, the last and certainly (barring Northern Ireland) the least and the pettiest bourgeois formation in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the Irish , for the second time , took Europe’s money on the pretext of having a shared affection and appreciation for it , but once the money was spent, like women of an unflattering variety, they Irish ran to the protection of their more enduring master. What tune were they listening to -- such that they could ‘apparently’ divorce themselves from their entire secular leadership? One might recall how , after the Nice Referendum , the Department of the Taoiseach, made the following statement:

‘I warmly welcome this extremely important decision of the Irish people. We can now ratify the Treaty of Nice and the truly historic enlargement of the European Union can go ahead. The Irish peoples decision was made following extensive debate -- a deeper debate than any we have had since our initial decision to join the EEC. 

Perhaps the Irish will always need a second bite of the cherry to really savour it. In the meantime ,however, the strength of of those opposed to the Treaty would have us believe that the Irish will is implacably written in Tablets as enduring as the Ten Commandments.

4. Sinn Fein/IRA , lately come from the very limited and horrifically reactionary streets of Catholic Belfast, is the first of such voices to sing ‘No’ to Lisbon, and is, ironically, the only elected voice among the promoters of a ‘No’ vote. For those who do not understand Sinn Fein/IRA , it would be fair to say that, despite their oft-quoted guff about ‘Marx’, dating from the time when they were underdogs fighting the RIC from the strongholds of Belfast, they really enjoy the same relation with the Church/State as , perhaps, the Franco regime did back in the ‘30s, their only claim to an ‘educated’ or an informed political consciousness being dependent upon the Catholic priests who have shunted them from the barricades to the benches of Parliament. People should not be too surprised at this: it has long become part of the universal church’s appeal to allow its faithful, especially in South America and Cuba, to give voice to their appalling social conditions, knowing full well that by the time they come to power they shall be ‘defined in’ to the system with minimum persuasion -- just as Sinn Fein are being co-opted in just as we speak. That they were ever ‘outside’ the capitalist system in any real Marxist sense is a debate for another day. Indeed, there are some who believe that their real grievance, though dressed up in the rhetoric of Liberation Theology is not about the ‘working classs truggle’ -- and was never about anything more than a neurosis for more ‘Catholic Emancipation’. Nevertheless, however anxious Sinn Fein/IRA is to distinguish their party in the Republic of Ireland, they would on their own make preciious little of a persuasive difference. Moreover, the erstwhile ‘Marxist’ party had little hope of making allies with others.

So, with whom were they allied? The only real ally Sinn Fein/IRA ever had in Ireland was the Church. But rather peculiarly, they joined with a total outsider -- a chap called Declan Ganley, (whom no one had ever heard of before Lisbon.) Ganley is an impressive performer, who keeps the identity of his backers under an Opus Dei-like seal. For all the world he has a stride not dissimilar to that of Oswald Mosley, and when he revealed himself as the declared leader of a groupless-group interestingly called ‘Libertas’, he was quick to disarm the little Irish curiousity there was by assuring one and all that he was a ‘good Catholic’ he is. Whereever Mr Ganley is from originally, or whatever interests he represents, one can be fairly sure that he does not habitually speak the Gaelic language that Gerry Adams is so keen to have Northern Protestants speak, or , for that matter, that he ever played hurling for Oughterard. On the face of it, however, this was the man with whom Sinn Fein appeared to hatch the plot of the ‘No’ vote -- a plot that emanated from the most opaque if conservative location in the mysterious Catholic spectrum.

5. Again one got whiffs of the Franco regime when each debate started. ‘One’s children had to be protected’, was the spiel; ‘democracy (sorry ‘greater democracy’) was at stake’, and Europe’s democracy had to be protected by the ever so democratic Irish. Having spent monies in large quantities, Declan Ganley (the ‘Business-man’ -cum- ‘Good Catholic’) garnered the ‘No’ vote at a time when, by any standards, the government canvassed as if they couldn’t care less -- an attitude that was picked up by most journalists, including Bruce Arnold of the Irish Independent, who rightly excoriated them on this very point. The point is: the government were so lacklustre in their business that one went so far as to wonder why they were so ill-organised.

Ostensibly , then, the ‘No’ campaign concerned itself with negative fears, while the Government did very little that was either meaningful, impressive or, indeed, had the ring of authenticity about it.

So, what, one might ask , were all these fears?

There was the amplified fear of Ireland being dragged into war on Europe’s behalf, even though the US, flying out of Galway, had been engaged in an illegal war for years -- a fact which people , including the ‘No’ voters, temporarily forgot. Then there was the sexual promiscuity - fear , even though no one dared mention ‘clerical pedophilia’ as a suitable object of European reform. As all Irish people know only too well, the damages arising from clerical pedophelia are paid almost exslusively by the Irish taxpayer -- hardlhy a cause for rejoicing even in the most hallowed circles!. But this also was never mentioned due to a temporary loss of memory. On the part of the ‘No’ campaigners. And there was also a set of assorted ragtag sources of distemper, some legitimate, like the fishermen's griveance and , to a lesser extent, the farmers.

6. Behind all this was an ongoing daily saga for months and years respecting the utter squalor of Irish public life. The squalor was shared incestuously and jointly by the RCC and its aweful hand-maiden, the so-called secular Republic. This debilitating squalor-fest remained in fateful counterpoint with the paralysed anger of the Irish people for years. The managerial effrontery of their leaders. Religous and secular, was suffocating. Even as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Pope Benedict XVI’s new Dublin broom, was preaching a hand-in-glove crusade with Premier Bertie Ahern against Irish crime, the whole Church/State ensemble collapsed into a cadence which saw Premier Bertie Ahern ignominiously leave office and, of course, with the people voting a decisive ‘No’, not just to Lisbon, but to the incredible squalor that had plagued the Irish Chruch/State since the days of C.J. Haughey, Dermot Morgan’s church ridicule ‘Father Ted’ and the Church/State coverup of significant clerical pedophelia. The vote was an angry vote, a vote to redeem the democratic process, not just from Lisbon, but much more significantly from the mediaevalism and mediocrity of the Irish State, over which they , the people , had no control whatsoever. One might be forgiven for thinking that it was a ‘curse-on-both-your-houses’ kind of vote, a curse on the Irish Church/State ensemble and a curse on its connection with the Lisbon Treaty.

Nevertheless, it is hardly conceiveable that Sinn Fein/IRA, on their own, or coupled with the ‘dark horse’ Declan Ganley -- from whom they are not as ideologically dissimilar as their representations would lead one to believe -- could have delivered the ‘No’ vote. Something else was needed. And that something else was Opus Dei, that body of good and pious souls who shunt incessantly between Premier’s Office and Archbishop’s tent. These men (and women), a lot of them, adept at table mannners on the Brussels-gravy train, and living high off the civil service hog of the ‘Yes-Minister’ variety, are never to be underestimated; they are, in effect, experts at calculating ‘who’ should the Church/State needs most to be in office as well as ‘who’ shall remain in office. Such matters are their raison d’etre. They knew what was possible , what was achieveable and what was desirable. They also knew how to achieve it.

After all, Opus Dei has kept power in church-laden hands ever since 1922, the only conceiveable ripple in their seamless success being the enigma as to how in the 1930s De Valera managed to dislodge Cumann Na nGaedhael after a decade of faithful Church-service. Some will tell you that it was the 1937 Constitution and the Special Position given by Dev to the Catholic church, or alternatively, perhaps it was due to the special position given by the Pope to Dev in return for drafting the Constitution in accord with Papal principles. Others , of course, will mention the Eucharistic Congress and how the State put the Church’s needs first, a bit like the O’Briens of medieval Munster giving the only decent castle they had in Cashel to the Pope’s legate, when they themselves slept on the mountain side ; others still will recall the new Constitution’s ban on secular divorce and the Vatican’s concern to gear Irish fertility towards the American missionary market ; others will recall the gradual monopoly of the hospitals and the schools secured under Fianna Fail hegemony, while others still will reflect upon the censorship laws and a raft of repressive Catholic legislation that kept writers in the doghouse and the religious in powerful positions extending to every nook and cranny of the so-called Republic. Indeed, the Church also needed someone they could trust to ratline the Nazis, someone who would keep that aspect of Irish neutrality secret.

For our present purposes , it really doesn’t matter; what matters is that everyone in the Republic of Ireland knows as a matter of fact and lifestyle, that all elections are won by the Church of Rome and its legion of 'good Catholics'. Indeed, whoever fights the ‘secular’ elections, the Angelus will still be broadcat nationally from the nation’s ecumenical, multicultural radio and television station, RTE. So, if Frianna Fail didn’t cowtow to the Roman Church, there are always other brethern among the rank and file of all the other parties to perform the same or a similar sergice. Indeed, Opus Dei has them championing at the bit to emulate Fianna Fail in serving the Church and, in consequence, manage Ireland soley towards that covetted if inglorious end.

7. The relevant question here is not so much WHETHER Opus Dei tapped into all the Church's liege parties that were ‘ostensibly’ for the Lisbon treaty, but in respect of which all their followers found just cause to abandon them entirely -- but rather ‘HOW’ did Opus Dei do it without sending out a religious alarm. The answer to this question lies in the most peculiar allignment between the Catholic Church, its episcopacy and the leaders of all the political parties. It is as if they were knowingly caught in a bind and the best way , not to be outflanked by the super-catholic Sinn Fein/IRA for permanent Church favour, what panned out was the best compromise for all concerned.

8. Regarding this ambivalence of the political party leaders, practically every commentator will tell you frankly that the government ran a shambles of a campaign. (The press is also part of the religious culture that obtains throughout the warp and weft of Irish life. They , too , indulge in theatre, by prying, but not prying deeply or relentless enough. In this respect, if it had not been for members of the British media, Catholic pedophelia in Ireland would never have been revealed!) The parties openly went through the theatre of criticizing each other for not being in earnest about returning a ‘Yes’ vote. Notoriously, some of them even broadcast the fact that they had not read the Treaty. Put it all together and you get Holy Roman Irish theatre - and on reflection, it all weighs in the balance. The Government and the ‘opposition’ parties threw the election to allow the Vatican to pronounce its veto on the European Community. Barusso probably was the safeguard to allow the theatre to have full effect and, at the same time, secure a second bite at the cherry for the Catholic Irish.

9. What all these things taken individually point to is a rather impoverished cultural and intellectual society, a society not at all informed in the proper areas and sadly if curiously lacking in the hard questions when it comes to the nub of secular politics. Who, for example, is Declan Ganley? What are his American interests? Why should being a ‘good Catholic’ require mention if not to cover a trail that might open up greater questions? And why spend over a million Euros on saying ‘No’?

10. Taken together, however, they offer us the true contours of a much more sinister reason for the ‘No’ to Lisbon vote. After the election the triumph of the most reactionary religious and conservative cabals in Britain and throughout the Roman Catholic world is not insignificant. Neither is it insignificant with what lack of conviction all the Irish parties portrayed their alleged desire for a ‘Yes’ vote. On reflection, it can well be argued that the whole Irish campaign was a Holy Roman stratagem, designed to allow the government to appear to be secular and in favour of secular Europe, but which in effect had compromised the election, prefering to obey its Roman masters while relying upon the secular authorities in Europe to reward them further. What the Irish really want, is what the Pope -- now victorious on his own terms -- is quick to tell us; the Pope now wants a unified Europe, but one unified in Christianity. We are back with Charlemagne and the vicious Papal plots against the secular powers of Europe -- where Islam and the Turks are demonised and he crowns Europe as the home of Christianity. Of course the Irish want what the Pope of the day wants; to think otherwise would be outside the ken of either Irish or Polish realpolitik. Which brings us to the Pope’s eulogy for the Irish in Europe, as the softener for having controlled the Irish vote through Opus Dei , the Jesuits and the Redemptorists.

The Pope needed a ‘No’ vote in order to tell Europe that Catholic Europe is still in contention and that he is the head -- the pro-active and conspiratorial head of that Church. Coupled with the Poles’ fervently praying for a ‘No Vote’ and congratulating the Irish, the Novena in O'Connell Street echoes the truth of what had happened. The Irish government, ever ready to do theatre, did what the Pope and Opus Dei wanted. There was nothing senseless about the Irish vote, no more than there was anything senseless about the notice asserting the triumph of the Novena in O'Connell Street.

11. In his speech concerning Ireland’s contribution to spreading the Roman message (the Irish love such assurances), the Pope unfortunately omits some salient facts. He doesn’t mention, for example, that the triumph of the “Irish’ (for which read the Anglici Norman colony in Ireland) Church occasioned the burning to death of native Gaelic Chieftains for saying that there never was a Jesus -- for saying no more, in effect, than what modern-day scholars of the calibre of Francesco Carotta (War Jesus Caesar?) or Joseph Atwill (Caesar’s Messiah) are saying. Secondly, it is in this context that Ireland’s so-called Golden Age of Christianity consisted no more than of really trying to re-sell to Europe that which Europe had already in its wisdom discarded (Christianity). And thirdly, if the Irish played such a Christian role in Europe as the Pope conveniently imagines, or if they had been so ‘Saintly and Scholarly’ rather than an unquestioning colony of liege lackeys of the Papacy, why did Benedict XVI’s predecessors draft Laudabiliter,a Papal Bull that delivered Gaelic Ireland bound hand-and-foot to Henry the 11 to Christianize?

12. Finally, what the Lisbon ‘No’ Vote demonstrates is that Ireland is as impressionable as it is manipulable by the RC Church. Over the decades and centuries it has developed little by way of distinct colonial cultural roots conducive of an enduring or intellectual environment, or , indeed, an environment independent of the Vaticanal or Jesuitical control. Perhaps, after 1,500 years of uninterrupted and unquestioned priestcraft, one should not expect too much from a significantly insecure community and one that is totally lacking in secular and political innovation.

Some people joined Europe — not so much to reform it — but to be reformed by it. I am one of these!But if this cannot be achieved, then Europe might well conceive of moving ahead without a Papal veto on every secular step taken to improve communal life. As James Joyce, Dave Allen, Dermot Morgan and thousands of ordinary Irish people have demonstrated in the past, confronted with such religious intransigence moving out of Catholic Ireland is not always an undesirable option.

Seamus Breathnach

Seamus Breathnach
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