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Content about Ireland

April 1, 2015

"Record number of migrants expected to drown in Mediterranean this year" says the headline of a Guardian article (*). It is the word "expected" that I have a problem with. Who is expecting and why?

...

Almost five in every 1,000 children born in the UK die before the age of five.

The mortality rate in Ireland for children under five is 4.6 deaths per 1000 births, almost double that in Iceland, which was the lowest recorded at 2.4 deaths per 1,000 births in 2014.

Malta has the worst record with 7 deaths per 1,000.

In Ireland there were 17,699 babies born in the first quarter of 2014. The total number of births in 2013 was 68,930. That is 317 dead children before reaching the age of 5.

"Record number of migrants expected to drown in Mediterranean this year" says the headline of a Guardian article (*). It is the word "expected" that I have a problem with. Who is expecting and why?

...

Almost five in every 1,000 children born in the UK die before the age of five.

The mortality rate in Ireland for children under five is 4.6 deaths per 1000 births, almost double that in Iceland, which was the lowest recorded at 2.4 deaths per 1,000 births in 2014.

March 13, 2015

Saturday 21st of March is the UN INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST RACISM. On this day people around the world will show their opposition to all forms of racism and discrimination. 21st of Marchis an important day to raise the voices of anti-racism and stand in solidarity with all sections of the society.

Saturday 21st of March is the UN INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST RACISM. On this day people around the world will show their opposition to all forms of racism and discrimination. 21st of Marchis an important day to raise the voices of anti-racism and stand in solidarity with all sections of the society.

February 25, 2015

Not the elephant in the room anymore: Direct Provision System and Deportations

Do you remember the story of Somali asylum seeker Mohamed Sleyum Ali? Irish Times reported it: In March 2014 he was deported from Ireland, attacked and left to die within hours of his arrival in Tanzania…

One day he was in Dublin, soon after he was fighting for his life.

What do you think of this story?

Suspicious?

Horrific?

Sad? 

Unbelievable?

Not the elephant in the room anymore: Direct Provision System and Deportations

Do you remember the story of Somali asylum seeker Mohamed Sleyum Ali? Irish Times reported it: In March 2014 he was deported from Ireland, attacked and left to die within hours of his arrival in Tanzania…

One day he was in Dublin, soon after he was fighting for his life.

What do you think of this story?

Suspicious?

November 20, 2014

For many years only a small group of people and a few organisations have campaigned for ending the Direct Provision System (DPS). Their voices, along with the voices of asylum seekers were constantly and conveniently ignored by the governments of the past 15 years. Even the demands for some very limited reforms did not trigger any actions by the governments and asylum seekers were simply abandoned in this extremely dysfunctional system.

For many years only a small group of people and a few organisations have campaigned for ending the Direct Provision System (DPS). Their voices, along with the voices of asylum seekers were constantly and conveniently ignored by the governments of the past 15 years. Even the demands for some very limited reforms did not trigger any actions by the governments and asylum seekers were simply abandoned in this extremely dysfunctional system.

November 17, 2014

‘Immigration control’ demands. as a response to economic crises and rising unemployment are not new. In the past and current times, immigration control has been repeatedly debated in many countries with pro-immigration control argument coming from both the reformist-central left and right wing neoliberal circles.

(Part 2 of a series on Racism - For Part 1 click)

‘Immigration control’ demands, as a response to economic crises and rising unemployment are not new. In the past and current times, immigration control has been repeatedly debated in many countries with pro-immigration control argument coming from both the reformist-central left and right wing neoliberal circles.

November 17, 2014

‘Immigration control’ demands. as a response to economic crises and rising unemployment are not new. In the past and current times, immigration control has been repeatedly debated in many countries with pro-immigration control argument coming from both the reformist-central left and right wing neoliberal circles.

(Part 2 of a series on Racism - For Part 1 click)

‘Immigration control’ demands, as a response to economic crises and rising unemployment are not new. In the past and current times, immigration control has been repeatedly debated in many countries with pro-immigration control argument coming from both the reformist-central left and right wing neoliberal circles.

November 14, 2014

Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen the legal route to challenge the Direct Provision System (DPS) in Ireland and try to get a ruling to prove that it breaches human rights. This is NOT because I think the Direct Provision System is in accordance with human rights, Hell No! But because I don’t trust the state to ever give such a ruling on Direct Provision System.

Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen the legal route to challenge the Direct Provision System (DPS) in Ireland and try to get a ruling to prove that it breaches human rights. This is NOT because I think the Direct Provision System is in accordance with human rights, Hell No! But because I don’t trust the state to ever give such a ruling on Direct Provision System.

November 12, 2014

 ‘Immigration control’ is one of the forms of racism – among other forms – that specifically targets the workers. Firstly, it targets the ‘local’ workers by pretending to be on their side and protecting their wages and working conditions and in the process tries turning them agains migrant workers. Secondly, it targets the ‘migrant’ workers by accusing them of ‘stealing’ jobs from the local workers and ‘lowering wages’. A detailed and open minded look into the arguments of ‘immigration control’ defenders will reveal that these arguments are as ridiculous as suggesting that “the workers of Kilkenny are stealing the jobs of workers in Waterford”.

October 29, 2014

A few days ago, Ukip leader Nigel Farage was debating the 'immigration issue' as part of a panel on UTV in front of a live audience in the studio. At one point, when he was challenged by other guests on the panel on how the country benefited from immigration and migrants, he replied "the rich liberals in central London benefited from immigration by having cheaper chauffeurs and house maids, the corporations benefited from low-wage workers".

#NigelFarage

September 20, 2014

Asylum seekers could have decision on status ‘in weeks’. Main purpose of new legislation is to cut time spent in direct provision”, says Minister Fitzgerald in a statement about a forthcoming bill. Let's be clear on one thing. The direct provisions system is not going anywhere according to the proposed changes. The question is, what happens to the - more than 90% - applicants who are refused the status of refugee? That's where deportations may well be coming into play... Or, is it "back to the old direct provision system" for refused applicants who will continue to spend many years, filled with long appeals and disbelieving court hearings...

Asylum seekers could have decision on status ‘in weeks’. Main purpose of new legislation is to cut time spent in direct provision”, says Minister Fitzgerald in a statement about a forthcoming bill.(1) 

September 17, 2014

For seven years I have worked with asylum seekers. These years were an eye opener for people like me who had no real first-hand experience of what the whole 'asylum seeker' concept was about. Throughout these years I have learned many things about the conditions of asylum seekers in Ireland and about the realities of faraway places they came from.

The debates on asylum seekers are usually conducted in a 'negative' tone and asylum seekers are seen by the state, political powers etc. a problem that needs to dealt with. It seems, the establishment - as per the popular phrase - can't think outside of the box of discrimination, racism and a 'no-solution' approach.

For seven years I have worked with asylum seekers. These years were an eye opener for people like me who had no real, first-hand experience of what the whole 'asylum seeker' concept was about. Throughout these years I have learned many things about the conditions of asylum seekers in Ireland and about the realities of faraway places they came from.

September 6, 2014

Minister Fitzgerald should be kinder to herself. There is really no need for her to suffer the level of 'shock' she is experiencing at the moment due to 'reports of direct provision prostitution'. To remind her, we shall repeat the call: Don't be shocked, don't ask for another report. Just address the urgent and undeniable issue of Direct Provision System.

Minister Fitzgerald should be kinder to herself. There is really no need for her to suffer the level of 'shock' she is experiencing at the moment due to 'reports of direct provision prostitution'. To remind her, we shall repeat the call: Don't be shocked, don't ask for another report. Just address the urgent and undeniable issue of Direct Provision System.

June 3, 2014

As the international mergers, acquisitions and takeovers happen; multinational corporations compare (purposefully so) apples and oranges and come-up with propaganda to win the political and public battle against workers and trade unions. The jargon they use sounds scientific. It seems as if the numbers and figures they are presenting are undeniable facts and as if these are objective and independently verified figures.

As the international mergers, acquisitions and takeovers happen; multinational corporations compare (purposefully so) apples and oranges and come-up with propaganda to win the political and public battle against workers and trade unions. The jargon they use sounds scientific. It seems as if the numbers and figures they are presenting are undeniable facts and as if these are objective and independently verified figures.

Trade union officials need to take note of these. Surely this is not the first time they had to deal with such things.

May 30, 2014

Bausch & Lomb says 200 jobs must go to save Waterford plant. “Contact lens maker is also seeking 20% pay cuts to bring subsidiary in line with other divisions. Management at the contact lens plant in Waterford warned staff it may be forced to close the entire operation with the loss of all 1,100 jobs if the substantial cost reductions are not implemented immediately.

Bausch & Lomb says 200 jobs must go to save Waterford plant. “Contact lens maker is also seeking 20% pay cuts to bring subsidiary in line with other divisions. Management at the contact lens plant in Waterford warned staff it may be forced to close the entire operation with the loss of all 1,100 jobs if the substantial cost reductions are not implemented immediately.”

April 5, 2014

I must admit that I was wrong when I - being unusually pessimistic - thought that there will be only around 50 known faces at today's “Our Water Is Not for Sale” conference.

I must also admit that I was worried that this conference may turn into an inward looking debate without the outcome of a renewed commitment and activism by people to fight the water charges and all other cuts.

I must admit that I was wrong when I - being unusually pessimistic - thought that there will be only around 50 known faces at the “Our Water Is Not for Sale” conference in Dublin on 5 April 2014.

I must also admit that I was worried that this conference may turn into an inward looking debate without the outcome of a renewed commitment and activism by people to fight the water charges and all other cuts.

April 3, 2014

On April 10th 2014, Human Rights Ireland is calling for contributions and engagement on Direct Provision System to mark the 14thanniversary of it. A statement published by Human Rights Ireland says, “On April 10th 2014, direct provision will be 14 years old. On this date, Human Rights in Ireland will dedicate 14 hours (from 7am to 9pm) to discussing direct provision: its impact on people, law, physical and mental health, politics, art, pain, human rights and asylum processes. Over the last number of years, we have had a number of such events, and it has contained a mix of different contributors, but has tended to been overly focused on academics and the NGO community.”

January 30, 2014

Should racism sometimes be ignored as part of the wider fight against it and not be given any air, social media etc. time?

Specifically, should we speak, write and share articles about the newly formed National Independent Party in Ireland, what should be our response to it?

Should we ignore certain racism?

Should racism sometimes be ignored as part of the wider fight against it and not be given any air, social media etc. time?

Specifically, should we speak, write and share articles about the newly formed National Independent Party in Ireland, what should be our response to it?

Unfortunately (and fortunately) this question does not have a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.  Furthermore, under what circumstances should racism be ignored, if at all, and not be ignored?

January 27, 2014

People of Ireland have already been robbed of millions of Euro for the privatization of water and the establishment of the Irish Water company. Before Irish Water has delivered even a drop of clean-safe water, they have flooded us with scandals that continue to cost us millions. For health, education, public transport, even fixing the old and leaking water system there is no money - as we are told repeatedly - but there are millions available for some dodgy consultancy services to tell Irish Water how to rob our free-natural resource from us and how to charge us for this robbery.

January 23, 2014

The Irish Times published an article by Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, titled “Trade missions are not the place to raise human rights”.  In his article, Mr. Bruton responds to the criticism of the Irish government not raising the human rights issues during the Irish trade mission to Gulf States Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.

Response to Richard Bruton: Trade missions are the place to raise human rights

January 14, 2014

A new political party has officially been launched in Ireland. The National Independent Party (NIP), defining itself as “similar to UKIP” of Britain, has been formally registered as a political party on 14 January. This date may well mark the beginning of an escalating racist debate on race, ethnicity, migrants, asylum seekers and the wider immigration issue; a scene we know so well from the political agenda and actions of UK’s UKIP.

A new political party has officially been launched in Ireland. The National Independent Party (NIP), defining itself as “similar to UKIP” of Britain, has been formally registered as a political party on 14 January. This date may well mark the beginning of an escalating racist debate on race, ethnicity, migrants, asylum seekers and the wider immigration issue; a scene we know so well from the political agenda and actions of UK’s UKIP.

January 13, 2014

Jim Cusack of Irish Independent reports that “the barrister wife of former Fianna Fail minister Barry Andrews received more than a €1m for briefs from the Attorney General's office to fight asylum applications in the past five years.”

Jim Cusack of Irish Independent reports that “the barrister wife of former Fianna Fail minister Barry Andrews received more than a €1m for briefs from the Attorney General's office to fight asylum applications in the past five years.”

“There is no money in the country!”

December 24, 2013

Suddenly, there is a social media storm created by some angry customers and Marks & Spencer finds itself right in the middle of it. Various media in the UK and around the world report that “UK retailer faces boycott after report claiming Muslim employees can refuse to serve alcohol and pork.” Celebrity Atheist Richard Dawkins joined in the debate and attacked M&S over this issue.

Suddenly, there is a social media storm created by some angry customers and Marks & Spencer finds itself right in the middle of it.

Various media in the UK and around the world report that “UK retailer faces boycott after report claiming Muslim employees can refuse to serve alcohol and pork.”

December 8, 2013

Our world is an exciting, upsetting, joyful and a hopeful place. There are disasters, wars, oppressions and exploitations in a lot of places but there are also fight-backs, humanity, resistance and revolutionary struggle as well.

At times, it seems that all good things are lost and struggles are defeated. But nothing -fortunately- is just black and white. Defeat and victory seem to be co-existing in many places.

But a struggle goes on everywhere.

Our world is an exciting, upsetting, joyful and a hopeful place. There are disasters, wars, oppressions and exploitations in a lot of places but there are also fight-backs, humanity, resistance and revolutionary struggle as well.

At times, it seems that all good things are lost and struggles are defeated. But nothing -fortunately- is just black and white. Defeat and victory seem to be co-existing in many places.

But a struggle goes on everywhere.