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History Repeats Itself – 2013 Dublin Bus Strike

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In the summer of 1913, James Larkin called a general strike of the employees of the Dublin Tramway Company. It escalated to this point after William Martin Murphy owner of The Irish Independent, The Evening Herald, and of course the trams, banned workers from joining or being a member of Larkin’s union, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. History would remember Larkin’s decision to go on strike as an impressive and tactical bit of timing on his part, as it coincided with the opening day of the Dublin Horse Show; one of the busiest days for Dublin’s public transport. This led to an agreement between the majority of large business owners in Dublin locking out their workforce, causing riots, civil unrest, and very poor conditions, and lasted nearly six months. Continue reading

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Opinion: Abortion Debate Highlights Political Impotency of the Younger Generation

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Abortion protest – Barcelona, Spain. Photo: David Berkowitz.

As I left my house to go to work yesterday I found, as I regularly do, junk mail crammed into my letter box. But, unlike the usual menu for takeaways or an estate agent trying to get me to sell my rented house, I found a leaflet for anti-abortion. It was well made with good eye-catching design; even the pictures of its featured politicians were Obama-ised like the famous ‘Change’ posters. I left it where it was and continued on my way. Two minutes down the street I met the man who was handing out the flyers. Now, I work in a place where daily I deal with large numbers of elderly and retired people, so take my word for it when I tell you; he was one of the oldest people I have ever seen. He was walking up driveways at the pace of a snail with a limp, and his liver spots were so numerous they could have been freckles on a ginger child. Never before have I seen the division of opinions between the old and the young so perfectly portrayed. And yet, despite this man’s obvious lack of vitality he was standing up and making an effort to involve himself in an issue he feels very strongly about. The same can definitely not be said of the majority of the young people in my generation.

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Constitutional Convention Lost in Semantics

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The Constitutional Convention met for the first time on the 1st December 2012, since then they have voted on a number of issues the government felt pertained to modern Irish life, and that they felt should be altered on the constitution. Since making their recommendations no bills have be published by Dáil Éireann, and in fact none have come under vote within the Oireachtas. One of their primary activities has been examining Article 41 of the constitution, and multiple subsections there-in. This article has been under debate for many, many years, as it makes clear the state’s position on marriage, the role of women, the protection of children, and the rights of the family. The article seems on the surface very specific, but after reading it over again and again I have begun to think think that it might be open ended than we allow ourselves to believe. The constitution has this to say about the family: Continue reading

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