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From: Problems: Articles
Date: January, 2012
By: Eamon Dyas
Title: Minimum Wage, Part One
The document entitled “Ireland Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality” is one of the seminal documents relating to the bailout agreement between the Irish Government and the Troika. It is dated 8 December 2010 and identifies the areas of the Irish economy targeted for reform by the Irish Government as well as providing the timetable for such reforms. As such the document provides one of the means by which progress is measured by the Troika each quarter to ensure that the Irish Government is keeping to its side of the agreement for the bailout. Item 3 of the Memorandum is called “Structural Reform” and is listed as one of the “Actions for the first review (actions to be completed by the end of Q1-2011)”. Because it touches upon one of the few areas in Irish industrial relations in which the Trade Union movement continues to have a direct influence what it says provides an important insight into the political and economic thinking behind the Irish bailout and the direction which a fulfilment of those bailout terms will take the movement in Ireland. Unsurprisingly, what the IMF, the EU, the ECB and the Irish Government have come up with in terms of this agreement displays a consistent viewpoint in which the Trade Union movement continues to be marginalised. This is an unavoidable implication of Item 3 where it states......

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: December, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: 90th Anniversary Of . . . What ?
This month sees the ninetieth anniversary of the signing of the 'Treaty' under duress. The Constitution and the Government set up under that Treaty in accordance with British constitutional usage and within Imperial parameters is increasingly being described as the founding of Irish democracy. In this scenario the 1916 Rising, the 1918 Election, the Declaration of Independence are air-brushed out of the Irish constitutional story. The new version of Irish constitutional history takes British law as its source, instead of asserting the beginning of a new law and a new constitutional departure in purely Irish terms.

Micheal Martin, having led historical Fianna Fail to the verge of extinction, made a speech at a 'Civil War' commemoration in which he accused Sinn Fein of "hijacking history" in justification of its campaign of "senseless murders". The event which was being commemorated is the death of anti-Treatyite Denis Barry on hunger-strike in 1923. Martin said that Sinn Fein was "only belatedly recognising the validity of constitutional republicanism" (Irish Times, 21 Nov.)

A few days after Martin's speech, Margaret O'Callaghan, a history lecturer at The Queen's University, told the audience at a conference at Athlone military barracks that was chiefly concerned with counter-insurgency techniques, that De Valera, the founder of Fianna Fail, had "fomented Civil War" in 1922-3...

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: November, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: The 30th Amendment And The Rule Of Law
Celia Larkin, who was formerly a political adviser of Bertie Ahern and is now a journalist, has written, in opposition to the proposed 30th Amendment to the Constitution to allow the Dail to set up Committees of Inquiry, that what is proposed: "is a lethal concentration of power in the hands of untrained and, perhaps, in the future, partisan individuals. The potential for McCarthyism is enormous". And she says that, though the public is fed up with the Tribunals—

"at least the tribunal investigators were/are trained legal professionals, separate from the political system and shielded, career wise, from the impact of public opinion. They are, as the Constitution originally stipulated, independent of the political system. T.D.s and Senators are utterly dependent on that system and on public opinion… We've been screaming about the lack of relevant qualification of appointees to State boards, yet we're asked to believe that getting yourself elected to the Houses of the Oireachtas is qualification enough to investigate and pass judgment on the actions of any individual in the State?" (Sunday Independent, 23.10.11).


Who was responsible for the extravagant misconduct of the Tribunals that led to the Amendment proposal? Why, the legal professionals...

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: October, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin
Is Sinn Féin set to assume the leadership of Irish Republicanism following Fianna Fáil's disastrous General Election and inept handling of the Presidential campaign? Martin McGuinness's entry into the Presidential race is a bold move suggesting that even in the new era of peace and reconciliation Sinn Féin is prepared to defend its record of support for the armed struggle.

The contrast with Fianna Fáil could not be more stark. That party has accepted the media's view that it is a "toxic brand". Its leader refused to stand a candidate and, worse still, solicited a chat show host to "sort of" represent it. After a few days preening himself Gay Byrne decided it would be too much trouble: a humiliating rejection for a once great party.

The cause of Fianna Fáil's collapse did not begin with the Presidential election; or the last General Election; or even when the IMF/EU was called in. Its provenance can be traced to events, which long preceded that date. The character of a political party—no more than a person—is not revealed by the mere fact of experiencing a crisis, but by how it deals with it.......

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: October, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: A President Unpartitioned?
"'This is the Republic of Ireland 2011—not Northern Ireland'. The Taoiseach will forgive me if, by way of introduction, I adapt this line from his celebrated speech on church-state relations because it sums up the reasons why Martin McGuinness is unfit to be President…"

That is the opening of Professor Emeritus Ronan Fanning's contribution tot he anti-McGuinness election campaign in the Sunday Independent of 25th September. Fanning dismisses the raking over of details of the Northern war by other anti-Sinn Feiners on the ground that this will not damage McGuinness's prospects with voters who have come on the scene since McGuinness became the most effective Man of Peace of our time and place. McGuinness, he says, can only be damaged by "clinical" opposition, and therefore he deplores "rabid denunciation".

Here is the "clinical" case...

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