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Posts Tagged ‘ Dail Eireann ’

Armed 19 Year Old Arrested For Attempting To Enter Leinster House

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A 19 year old man has been arrested after he tried to enter Leinster House carrying two knives and a sword this afternoon.

The incident occurred at approximately 4.30pm. Continue reading

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Flanagan Unveils Cannabis Regulation Bill

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Independent TD Luke Flanagan has unveiled details of the Cannabis Regulation Bill 2013, which he will present to his Dáil colleagues on November 6.

The unveiling came at the launch of NORML Ireland , a group which seeks to gain recognition for the rights of people to peacefully pursue activities relating to cannabis without unwarranted intervention by the authorities. Continue reading

Proposed Seanad Abolition Masks True Problems

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This Friday, you’ll be asked to take part in a referendum, voting for or against the abolishment of Seanad Éireann, Ireland’s second House of the Oireachtas. It’s an issue which has dulled some and bored others, and unsurprisingly split the country’s political parties once again. It’s hard to know what the right choice is. On the one hand you have an unelected body whose relevance is hard to ascertain, and on the other, a chance to save some money and rid Ireland of a few more politicians, one which undoubtedly appeals to many people.

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Dáil Mourns Tuck Shop Loss

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TD’s and other visitors to Dáil Éireann will now have to stop elsewhere on their way into work to indulge their sweet tooth. Following the latest reports which indicate that Ireland is back in recession, Leinster House is also feeling the squeeze as ‘An Siopa’, the Oireachtas tuck shop, is set to close tomorrow.

The glass structure, located just inside the main gates of Leinster House off Kildare Street, cost around €1.3 million to construct under the reign of Bertie Ahern, €500,000 over budget. The shop was run by Rehab Enterprises as part of its SMILES Newsagents chain, with other locations including RTÉ, Vodafone Headquarters and the AIB Bank Centre.

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Humanists Offer Fresh Alternative To Traditional Ceremonies

HAILast month, a bill was passed through all stages in the Dail here in Ireland that will allow ‘celebrants’ to carry out humanist wedding and funeral ceremonies in Ireland.  The Humanist Association of Ireland has been campaigning for this bill to be passed for over a decade and they hope that it will be signed into law by the President before the summer. Before the bill was passed couples that sought a humanist ceremony would have had to combine it with a civil ceremony but now couples can legally be married by humanist ‘celebrants’. Announcing the breakthrough on their website, the HAI said, “This is a major victory for the Humanist Association of Ireland which has been campaigning for this change for the past decade…In addition to wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, Humanist celebrants conduct naming ceremonies to celebrate the arrival of a child into a family. They also conduct funerals that aim to balance the sense of loss with a celebration of a life ended.” Continue reading

Crippled Irish Political System Requires Total Revamp

eire“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner,”

-James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty.

It has been stated and stressed many times over the course of the past few years, in various ways and with various examples to illustrate the point: Ireland’s political system is a frustrating failure. Our politicians are almost universally reviled as people who will say anything to get elected, promptly forgetting about such promises when the votes are tallied and their place in government has been cemented for another few years. If the people are accused of apathy then it’s hard to blame them. At this stage the whole process is a farce, a joke, to the point where much of the electorate feels alienated and simply doesn’t bother joining in anymore. Why, they ask, when elections feel like a sham – merely replacing the people sitting in Dáil Éireann rather than the policies they enact. How many thought they were getting away from cronyism and the political policies saddling the majority with the mistakes of the minority when Fine Gael was last elected to government? And how many simply sighed when they finally realised it was really Fianna Fáil in a different guise sitting in Leinster House spinning the same tired old yarn? Continue reading

Adams Must Decide How History Will Remember Him

If the truth will have its way, another sad chapter of Northern Ireland’s violent history may finally be closed, should the testimony of an ex-IRA volunteer be joined to that of former IRA man, Brendan Hughes, and other former members who told their stories to the Boston college project whose aim it was and is to create and collect a repository of oral history concerning the Troubles.

Major pressure is to be heaped upon Gerry Adams in the Dáil following an interview given to the Sunday Telegraph by Dolours Price, a former member of the feared inner sanctum. Price, who was married to actor Stephen Rea, has remained disillusioned by the peace process and what she sees as Adams’ betrayal, and gave the Sunday Telegraph an interview concerning what she told the Boston project. The 61-year-old, who now lives in a quiet suburb in Dublin, has claimed that not only was Adams in the IRA but it was on his orders that victims were ferried across the border, a bombing campaign against a series of targets in mainland Britain, including the Old Bailey, as were the kidnappings of those viewed by the IRA as traitors, including one Jean McConville.

The allegations against Adams are nothing new. The family of Jean McConville in particular have always maintained the Sinn Féin leader’s role in her execution during the early 1970s on the basis of accusations concerning repeatedly relaying information to the British army through a radio in her home. Adams resolutely denies any involvement in the young woman’s death which has in some manner come to represent the atrocities committed by the IRA during the Troubles alongside the Omagh bombing. And until now no real hard evidence could be put forward to stick on Adams. Even when combined with the testimony of Brendan Hughes released by the Boston College after his death as per his agreement in the book ‘Voices from the Grave’ which offers a starkly different story to the one which Adams has always painted (namely his active involvement in the IRA), the proof is circumstantial and those who criticise him have a potential bias, being former IRA men and women who felt betrayed by a former leader. Unsurprising, really, when considering that the Troubles and the truth rarely go hand in hand.

The response from Adams hasn’t really been surprising. The solid, hard evidence mightn’t be there but public opinion will quite possibly mount against Adams, alongside political pressure from his colleagues in the Dáil who wouldn’t mind having a different scapegoat in the public eye (James Reilly, we’re looking at you). So really, at the heart of it, Adams will decide his own destiny. Despite the Good Friday Agreement which finally ended the Provo’s long armed campaign in the North, a page cannot be truly turned to a new side while the major players on both sides of the coin are not only publicly active in the present but shadily skirting their past. A new dawn is on the horizon with a new generation but the truth must out first. While he keeps his mouth shut, no one wins. The families of the disappeared want to know who and what caused their loved ones to die and is a constant and horrifying reminder of those thirty years of fear and violence.

Eventually, the truth will come out. Whether through legal wrangling or the passage of time and the deaths of those who told their stories, the contents of the Boston College project will be revealed, and new evidence will undoubtedly come to light. Two corroborating oral witnesses could be dismissed. Many more will surely not. And who knows what other dark secrets are yet to be revealed from within the depth of those archives. Adams and his image would do far better if he revealed any secrets he might be hiding about his past now, under no pressure and of his own accord. History, they say, will be the judge of us all. Adams must decide what it will say.

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