View Full Version : The Ireland, WTF? thread.

09-13-2010, 07:58 PM
It didn't take long for another WTF moment to emerge from Ireland.

This time, we have the Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan, TD launching this particular gem:

The Origin Of Specious Nonsense - by John J May (http://www.theoriginofspeciousnonsense.com/) (warning, the link is an ugly website with embedded music)

Charles Darwin and his modern "disciples" Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris - Daniel C. Dennet, Christopher Hitchens et al are; "The high priests of the highly improbable foisting the impossible on the impressionable."

Reason is betrayed by what eminent writers, scientists, philosophers and thinkers wrote about Darwinian evolution..

"A Hoax" "A Joke"
"A Fantasy" "An Impossibility"
"A Fiction"
"A Fairytale For Adults"
"The greatest deceit in the history of science"

- John J May

Which just drives home the fact that you don't need any experience in the area to become the most important person in charge of policy in that area in this country.

Not even a little. Which is how we have a homophobic Minister for Justice and Law Reform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermot_Ahern) (who introduced Ireland's Blasphemy law in 2010)

I applaud our amazing political system which allows completely incompetent idiots into positions of power.

Incidently, Conor Lenihan is the son for former TD Brian Lenihan, his grandfather, Patrick Lenihan, also served in the Irish parliament. His aunt, Mary O'Rourke, is a Fianna Fil TD while his brother, Brian Lenihan, Jnr, is the current Minister for Finance.

09-13-2010, 08:30 PM
The awesome @bengoldacre has just tweeted this link (http://home.thejournal.ie/science-minister-to-launch-book-debunking-evolution-2010-09/?h=f84) on the subject.

09-13-2010, 08:52 PM
The awesome @bengoldacre has just tweeted this link (http://home.thejournal.ie/science-minister-to-launch-book-debunking-evolution-2010-09/?h=f84) on the subject.

Thanks for that link! It served to remind me about this quote (http://www.herald.ie/opinion/calamity-coughlan-1890592.html) from Mary Coughlan, Tiniste (aka Deputy Prime Minister) and Minster for Education and Skills:
She announced that the IDA would be marketing Ireland as the innovation island -- "like Einstein explaining his theory of evolution".

We have smart people in government.

(note: Mary Coughlan the politican is not to be confused with the wonderful singer Mary Coughlan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meZWok6E5mc).)

09-13-2010, 09:17 PM
Just saw @daraobriain send him:
So @conorlenihanTD , are there any other of Science's great achievements you don't support? Y'know, what with you being the minister and all

09-13-2010, 09:36 PM
I'm waiting for one of the wonderful intelligent Fianna Failers to dispute the "theory" of gravity or something equally as idiotic.

09-13-2010, 10:53 PM
Apparently the internet has won, and Conor Lenihan has withdrawn from the book launch, according to tomorrow's Irish Times which had a sneak preview on tv this evening (http://www.politics.ie/education-science/138007-conor-lenihan-minister-science-launch-anti-evolution-book-13.html#post2995072). Twitter / internet win.

09-13-2010, 11:47 PM
I read the 25 page excerpt. The book isn't even interesting. Or funny! Deliberately or unintentionally. What a waste!

09-14-2010, 07:22 AM
Apparently the internet has won, and Conor Lenihan has withdrawn from the book launch, according to tomorrow's Irish Times which had a sneak preview on tv this evening (http://www.politics.ie/education-science/138007-conor-lenihan-minister-science-launch-anti-evolution-book-13.html#post2995072). Twitter / internet win.

Ha ha WIN. Some hilarious stuff in that thread too.

Irish Times link here (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0914/1224278831472.html).

09-17-2010, 06:49 PM
A man convicted of verbally abusing a Garda has been sentenced to... climb Croagh Patrick and say a few prayers.

No, really:

Man must climb Croagh Patrick after abusing garda (Read more: http://www.examiner.ie/ireland/man-must-climb-croagh-patrick-after-abusing-garda-131103.html)
By Sen P Feeny
Friday, September 17, 2010

Donegal man Joseph McElwee, 38, was outside a pub when he called an on-duty garda a "Mayo wanker" and told him to "fuck off home to Mayo". Garda Nicholas Freyne told the court the abuse continued for 10 minutes.

McElwee was charged at Milford District Court with threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, intoxication, disorderly conduct, wilful obstruction and failing to comply with the direction of a garda.

Judge Seamus Hughes told McElwee he was to do the four stations of the famous Mayo pilgrimage as a mark of respect for his fellow Irish people, especially those in the line of duty.

Judge Hughes heard how the defendant was part of a group of three who approached two members of the garda outside a pub in Rathmullan and began verbally abusing them on March 28, 2010.

Solicitor Kieran O’Gorman said his client was a 38-year-old unemployed joiner and father-of-two who had never been in bother before and had no previous history of behaviour of this nature.

Judge Hughes, who is a Mayo native himself, asked the defendant whether he had ever been to Co Mayo and climbed Croagh Patrick.

"I want you to come back in a month’s time with evidence that you did the four stations of Croagh Patrick and say a few prayers. You then might have a different impression of Co Mayo and its people."

Judge Hughes said he was very serious about the issue.

Mr O’Gorman asked the judge how his client would be able to prove that he climbed Croagh Patrick.

Judge Hughes replied that he will have questions prepared: "You’d better have the answers, and I will know whether you are telling the truth or not."

09-17-2010, 09:09 PM
^ LOL. That's awesome. :D

09-17-2010, 09:11 PM
The Judge is known for being a mentalist, and everyone wonders how on earth he got appointed in the first place.

09-29-2010, 12:22 AM
So, in case you missed it, Ireland has a whole new "holiday" created by Guinness (no, not Paddy's day, another one again) called "Arthur's Day", which was invented last year to celebrate the 250th year of Guinness. Fair enough.

This year, it happened again for some reason. It's basically another example of Guinness's genius marketing ploys. The day consisted of cheap / free gigs with major Irish acts in venues all over the country, and cheap or free Guinness.

So, basically Paddy's Day minus the actual holiday, or religious aspect, or parades and national pride... so, yeah, just the "let's get pissed in the pub and listen to music" part.

But, of course, it's really helping the image of Ireland around the world. Especially when videos like this surface showing revellers on Arthur's Day : http://www.fergalmoran.com/2010/09/makes-you-proud-to-be-irish/ (the video on the link is NSFW, but the webpage itself is SFW, just so you know.)

10-02-2010, 05:29 PM
And a longer version of that previous NSFW video of drunken "arthur's day" revellers in Temple Bar. This one is closer and you can see that one of the fuckers actually slit his shoulder open while being an utter drunken twat.

Thank you Guinness - this is just what we needed to encourage drunken idiots on another daytime drinking binge for the sake of your marketing ploy.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xf12o7_celebrating-arthurs-day-2010-dublin_shortfilms (NSFW. Male nudity.)

11-03-2010, 06:24 PM
Just catching up on this news from this evening myself, but it seems like the Union Of Students Of Ireland protest today turned into something else entirely, apparently due to a small minority, and a really bad mishandling of the situation by the Garda, who were out in riot gear.

The Journal.ie has gathered twitter updates showing the unfolding of the situation ([url=http://www.thejournal.ie/student-march-riots-how-it-unfolded-on-twitter-2010-11/]), alongside their report (http://www.thejournal.ie/riot-gardai-clash-with-demonstrators-in-dublin-2010-11/) and photos (http://www.thejournal.ie/in-pictures-the-student-protest-2010-11/#slide-slideshow1), and the RTE news report (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1103/education.html) has photos from the later scenes:



VIOLENCE BETWEEN GARDA and protesters has broken out in Dublin after demonstrators were allegedly forced out of the Department of Finance by garda in riot gear, RT reports.

The demonstrators had reportedly gathered at the Merrion Row office of the Department of Finance earlier today. A spokesperson for the Department told TheJournal.ie that a small number of protesters had gathered for a sit-down protest in the lobby of the building.

Sources at the protest suggested that it was members of leftwing political movements who led the attack on the Department of Finance, and not the students.


Eyewitnesses at the protests posted updates to their Twitter accounts.

@GrahamButler1 said:

Another charge by riot police at students. Horses charging at everyone. Crazy stuff here #studentprotest

11-03-2010, 07:01 PM
^Down with that sort of thing.

11-03-2010, 08:30 PM
Apparently it was "the socialists" that took over. Read a fair few tweets bitching about how the SWP joined the march and had their flags up at the front - people were complaining that it was meant as a march representing the students, not one representing any political party.

11-05-2010, 02:45 PM
I don't even know what to say about this:

Let them eat cheese: anger as Ireland plans handouts of cheddar to the poor (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/05/ireland-recession-let-them-eat-cheese)
Irish government's offer of chunks from EU cheese mountain prompts outrage from opposition politicians and public.

The country may be a few heartbeats away from intervention by the International Monetary Fund but today the Irish government had a novel message for the public: let them eat cheese.

Brendan Smith, the agriculture minister, announced a European Union-funded scheme today that will enable the country to tuck into the EU's cheese mountain. 53 tonnes of fresh cheddar will be distributed from 15 November with collection centres in towns and cities around the country.

The minister said the scheme was "an important means of contributing towards the well-being of the most deprived citizens in the community".

"I am very conscious that many people find themselves in difficult circumstances at present and I want to commend the work of the many charitable organisations who are working on the front line to bring what comfort and relief they can," said Smith.

The initiative was immediately attacked by the opposition Fine Gael party, who called it an insult to the country, which is suffering the worst financial crisis in its history.

Brian Lenihan, the finance minister, announced on Thursday that his budget next month would cut 5.2bn from public spending, twice the amount first suggested and coming on top of swingeing cuts already made in last year's budget.

Fine Gael's agriculture spokesman, Andrew Doyle, said: "People on the breadline would rather the government's attention was on solving the economic crisis they caused and providing jobs rather than on this ridiculous announcement.

"This shows just how out of touch Fianna Fil and the Greens truly are. Maybe looking down from their ministerial Mercs, [taoiseach or prime minister] Brian Cowen, Brendan Smith et al think that all the Irish people want or need is cheese. The truth is sadly different.

"It goes to show that they think that providing free cheese will soft soap the electorate and make us all forget the mess Fianna Fil made of the country and the hardship Brian Lenihan will inflict on everyone. It won't."

In the past butter has been given out to the needy, but this year it was felt cheese was easier to distribute. The cheese has been manufactured in Ireland and will be bought by the government from the Irish Dairy Board and made available through charities.

Read the rest of the Guardian's article at the link above. Or follow #freecheese (http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23freecheese) hashtag on twitter

11-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Oh, and then there's the fact that the Government have already estimated over 100,000 people emigrating in the next four years, and have that taken into account in their Budget. Sensible from a financial point of view, sure, but perhaps not the best idea to broadcast it in statements about the budget as it kinda makes it seem like you want that many people to leave the country, so your figures work. It also kinda reads like "o hai! unemployment will drop over the next four years by this much, but only because 100,000 people will give up on the country and fuck off elsewhere instead of staying here. but look - less unemployment! RESULT!"

The Department also downgraded its individual growth forecasts for next year to 1.75% in GDP, with GNP set to grow by 1%. Unemployment would remain broadly unchanged at 13.25% at the end of the year.

This would fall to 12% by end of 2012, 11% by the end of 2013, and 9.75% by end of 2014, under the forecasts. This would be contributed to by net outward migration, which would see the number of people living in Ireland would decrease by 100,000 in the four years to 2014.

ref: http://www.thejournal.ie/bloodbath-budget-government-will-seek-e6-billion-adjustments-2010-11/

11-08-2010, 12:08 PM
In further bleakness:

If you thought the bank bailout was bad, wait until the mortgage defaults hit home (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/1108/1224282865400.html)

Christ. A piece by Morgan Kelly, Professor of Economics at University College Dublin, about the financial state of Ireland.

Alongside the economic nightmare, he also has a scary prediction that Ireland will politically swing far-right:

As ordinary people start to realise that this thing is not only happening, it is happening to them, we can see anxiety giving way to the first upwellings of an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America. Within five years, both Civil War parties are likely to have been brushed aside by a hard right, anti-Europe, anti-Traveller party that, inconceivable as it now seems, will leave us nostalgic for the, usually, harmless buffoonery of Biffo, Inda, and their chums.

And it's interesting that I'm reading Isherwood's novels about 30's Berlin at the moment, where you see something very similar happen.

But we'll see what happens out of the meetings with the EU's economic commissioner later today and tomorrow (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1108/breaking13.html).

other pete
11-08-2010, 12:42 PM
And it's interesting that I'm reading Isherwood's novels about 30's Berlin at the moment, where you see something very similar happen.

I've been (very slowly) reading AJP Taylor's Origins of the Second World War lately, and in that he takes time out to explain to his 1961 readership that, yes, believe it or not governments in the 1920s and 30s really thought massive state spending cuts were a good idea in a time of global economic stagnation. That they even equated balancing a national budget with balancing a domestic one! Somehow they concluded it was important to increase repayments on the national 'mortgage' instead of spending borrowed money wisely in tough times to foster future growth. Can you even imagine?


02-12-2011, 10:04 PM


02-13-2011, 10:36 AM
^ Amazing. Just amazing.

It's election season here. And it's all a bit tits up.

02-13-2011, 02:58 PM
Jedward for Taoiseach!!!

02-27-2011, 11:15 AM
This has been a really interesting election so far. The sitting ruling party, who have been in government mostg of all the parties, is being decimated in the election with some really high profile politicians being eliminated. The current 2nd in command (Táiniste - the next role down from taoiseach/prime minister) wash re-elected.

However, we are replacing a corrupt center right party with a more fascist slightly further right of centre party it seems.

Crazy political change though as some really liberal voices are getting in, I'd say a record number of independents, and sinn fein and labour both looking to get record seat numbers too. A very changed dáil.

we already have two out gay TDs elected, and the most prominent pro-legalization of cannabis politician too.

My own constituency is still counting as none of the candidates have passed the quota yet. We use Proportional Representation (Single Transferable Vote) which is a fairer system, but can throw surprises and makes it easier for smaller parties to get represented in the dail. Makes the count days really interesting too. At the moment my favourite candidate is in a really close battle to take the 5th seat, but everything hangs on where the transfers of each eliminated candidate go. And they're not following party lines this time around. There's also the wild card of the sinn fein candidate - impossible to call where his transfers will go. Complete wild card.

So yeah. Definite change here. But for good or bad it staying the same? Hard to call just yet.

other pete
05-31-2011, 12:53 PM
Irish presidential hopeful David Norris in row over paedophilia remarks (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/31/david-norris-ireland-paedophilia-row)

I know nothing about the guy (Irelanders care to enlighten us?) but it'll surely be a shame if these apparently lighthearted remarks a decade ago are successfully deployed to prevent Ireland from taking the quantum leap of maybe electing a gay President (Iceland having the worlds first openly* gay Prime Minister)


Senator's chance to be first openly gay president strained after resurfacing of 2002 Greek 'classic paedophilia' remarks

Controversial comments about paedophilia have come back to haunt the man who until now was on course to become Ireland (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/ireland) and Europe's first openly gay president.

The remarks were originally made in an interview nearly a decade ago, but resurfaced in the Irish press on Monday evening, seriously damaging senator David Norris's chances of succeeding Mary McAleese (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/mary-mcaleese) to the Irish presidency. He had been ahead in all opinion polls in the race until this point.

In 2002 Norris told the respected current affairs magazine Magill (http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2011/05/DNmagill1.jpg): "I haven't the slightest interest in children, or in people who are considerably younger than me.
"I cannot understand how anybody could find children of either sex in the slightest bit attractive sexually ... but in terms of classic paedophilia, as practised by the Greeks, for example, where it is an older man introducing a younger man to adult life, there can be something said for it. Now, again, this is not something that appeals to me.
"Although, when I was younger, I would have greatly relished the prospect of an older, attractive, mature man taking me under his wing, lovingly introducing me to sexual realities, treating me with affection, teaching me about life."

The republication of the comments pose a major challenge to Norris and how he handles the fallout may determine if he gets on the presidential ticket at all. Supporters of Norris admitted to being "worried" and said he would have to "clean up" the controversy if he hoped to secure a nomination.

On Tuesday morning Norris denounced the resurfacing of the 2002 interview as part of a "smear" campaign to stop his presidential bid. He said those who were circulating the nine-year-old interview should be ashamed of themselves. Norris described to RTE's Pat Kenny show how the story had re-emerged as an "inaccurate misleading misquotation".

Responding to questions from Kenny, Norris said: "I answered all the questions – on radio and in every newspaper … and now, Pat, that Magill article is being sent to all the [county] councillors in an attempt to prevent to get me from getting the nomination." He also added that he "abhorred" any sexual contact with children, and opposed paedophilia and incest in all its forms.

In an earlier statement Norris said that, in the original interview he had "engaged an academic discussion about classical Greece and sexual activity in a historical context.
"It was a hypothetical, intellectual conversation which should not have been seen as a considered representation of my views on some of the issues discussed over dinner," he said in the statement.

"People should judge me on my record and actions as a public servant, over the last 35 years and on the causes and campaigns, for which I have fought, and not on an academic conversation with a journalist over dinner. I did not ever and would not approve of the finished article as it appeared," he said.

But the controversy continued to rage on Tuesday when the journalist who conducted the original interview contacted the Pat Kenny show live on air to defend the veracity of her article. Helen Lucy Burke rang the programme to contest Norris's claim that she had continually turned her tape recorder on and off during the original interview. Burke claimed on air that she had amended a draft of her article in Magoll before publication to allow for Norris's suggestions. She added that she still had a taped copy of the interview with the senator.

The senator is seeking a nomination from 20 MPs and senators or the backing of four city and county councils. In a fortnight's time, he will address three councils on one day, which he has described as "Super Monday". He needs the support of enough councillors and councils in order to obtain the nomination to stand for the Irish presidency. Last week in an opinion poll in the Sunday Independent 44% of those polled said they wanted Norris to succeed Mary McAleese, the current president who was instrumental in organising the Queen's historic visit to Ireland earlier this month.

Apart from being a long-standing advocate of gay rights in Ireland and abroad, Norris is a renowned James Joyce scholar who has written several works on the author of Dubliners and Ulysees. He also campaigned to save Georgian parts of central Dublin from property developers.

Ireland and Iceland being together at this forefront at these times does remind me a little of The Onion's headline from November 2008 though (http://media.avclub.com/images/products/productgroup/159/H-ObamaFront_400x400_2_jpg_400x400_upscale_q85.jpg) :)

06-26-2011, 06:09 PM
So, remember that blasphemy law that Ireland now has? Well, here's a lovely development. Apparently it is "blasphemous" that an artist exhibited a painting depicting the virgin mary in a bikini, or something like that.

Quoted from the "Catholic Lawyer's Blog" (http://catholiclawyersblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/garda-siochana-investigate-cork-university-over-blasphemous-image-of-our-lady/)

The Chief Superintendent of the Gardai in Cork has confirmed to the ACLI that there is an ongoing investigation into allegations that a proposed art exhibition at University College Cork will contain a blasphemous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and that a book will be promoted which also contains blasphemous matter. The artist will also give a talk which is likely to contravene the law given it will be about her work and book.

Under the Defamation Act 2009 section 36 (2) “publication or utterence of blasphemous matter” is a criminal offence. Numerous complaints have been made to the police following the announcement by UCC that a controversial lesbian artist, Lopez, has been invited to display her work and her book.

Bishop Buckley has spoken out in protest at the proposed exhibition saying:

“Respect for Mary, the Mother of God, is bred in the bones of Irish people and entwined in their lives. Irish Poets and culture held Mary in the highest esteem. It is regretable and unacceptable that this exhibition seeks to portray the Mother of God in such an offensive way.”

This exhibition was closed down in Santa Fe due to public outrage. Catholics are aware of the gravity of blasphemies against Our Lady, which, as Our Lord revealed to Sister Lucy, fall into five kinds:

There are five types of offences and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary :

1 – Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;

2 – Blasphemies against Her Virginity;

3 – Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognise Her as the Mother of men;

4 – The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;

5 – The offences of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images. Here, my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation . . (May 29,1930)

Lopez also promotes a blasphemous book entitled, “Our Lady of Controversy .”Irreverent” Apparitions”, making her intentions clear.

The ACLI is awaiting the decision of the Garda regarding pursuing the University and the artist in question for breaching the blasphemy laws. Given the outrage caused, evidenced by the number of complaints and protests made, and the intention of the artist and the University in promoting this work, it is unlikely that the exhibition will go ahead.

On the other hand it will make an ideal case for a prosecution, private or public, if it does.

And apparently, a file is being prepared for the office of the DPP.

(same blog, subsequent post (http://catholiclawyersblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/cork-blasphemy-case-gardai-confirm-file-to-be-sent-to-director-of-public-prosecutions/).)

Director of Public Prosecutions to decide on blasphemy case.

A senior Garda in Cork has confirmed that a file will be sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the exhibition of material which is insulting and offensive to Catholics hosted by University College Cork.

Both the Constitution and the statute law prohibit “publication and utterance” of material which outrages members of a religious organisation.

Following the police investigation the DPP will decide whether or not the case should be prosecuted in the criminal courts.


Or, more aptly.


07-25-2011, 12:10 PM
There's been a lot of news again recently here about the Catholic church abuse scandals as another report was issued recently. The Cloyne Report (http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0713/cloynetracker.html) found that the Bishop in question deliberately misled investigations (http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0713/cloyne.html) into allegations of abuse as recently as 2009, which managed to spur the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) to give a rather wonderful speech (including phrases like "the dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominates the Vatican today") that the Vatican didn't really take kindly to (http://www.examiner.ie/breakingnews/ireland/vatican-hits-out-at-excessive-reactions-after-cloyne-report-514138.html).

Friends of mine have been running a "Expell The Papal Nuncio" Facebook group for quite a while now, which soared in membership after the Cloyne report was published, and there has been a lot of pressure politically. But it's also the first time the head of government here has given a speech damning the Vatican so vehemently and openly, and is being considered a watershed moment (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0723/1224301201157.html) in relations between Ireland and the Vatican. Now it seems the Papal Nuncio (basically, the Ambassador of the Vatican in Ireland, in case you've no idea what that is.) has been recalled to Rome (http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0725/cloyne.html) for talks about the Cloyne Report.

09-10-2011, 09:54 PM
So, Norris withdrew from the Presidental race over a scandal involving writing a letter seeking clemency for his ex partner who was arrested for statutory rape in Israel in 1992 (Israel lowered the age of consent for same sex partners in 2000.) Interestingly, Norris seems to be a bit more pro-Palestine, and certainly his ex-partner is: "In more recent years Mr Nawi has clashed with the Israeli authorities for his political activities on behalf of Palestinians."

Anyways, there was a big grass roots drive to show how much public support there was and still is for Norris as a presidential candidate, with one poll showing the majority of people still wanted to vote for Norris over any of the other other candidates. So far an online petition has over 7,000 signatures to try to convince Norris to re-enter the race, and this has since translated into a physical petition being signed on the streets of cities around Ireland. With all the other candidates languishing in mediocre poll ratings, and none really capturing the public imagination, it is now looking like Norris will announce in the papers tomorrow that he will seek nomination again.

Of course, some of the councils around the country have refused to even let him come and speak, let alone nominated him to run. And he needs a certain amount of nominations from councils and/or members of parliament to be able to run in the presidential race - something that the Norris petitioners are also trying to change by saying that if a candidate gets a certain level of signatures from the general public, that they should be able to run - to break the party blocking that stops independent candidates running for the Presidency. However, the current main party in government has now relaxed its ban on party members supporting independent candidates in place of their own candidate. Apparently not: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0910/1224303848944.html

It's been a really interesting presidental race so far - even if most of the interest has been generated by Norris. A lot of the opinion is that Norris should be able to run in the election, and that the people should be able to have their say.

10-13-2011, 06:12 AM

Ryanair ‘to remove aircraft toilets’

It has been reported that Ryanair is to remove the toilets from its aircraft.

The airline has dropped its plan to charge passengers for using the on-board toilets, but it is expected to go ahead with proposals to remove two of the three toilets on each plane.

If this is the case, passengers will need to queue to use one toilet between more than 200 people.

It is understood the toilets which will be removed are to be replaced with seats.

Speaking to a newspaper, Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, is quoted as saying: “It would fundamentally lower air fares by about five% for all passengers – cutting £2 from a typical £40 ticket.”

The airline, which will carry 75 million passengers this year, has only one aircraft type, the Boeing 737-800, and under current rules, Ryanair has installed the maximum number of seats – 189 to be exact – on each plane.

Mr O’Leary added: “We’re trying to push Boeing to re-certify the aircraft for six more seats, particularly for short-haul flights. We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.”

A spokesman at Boeing HQ in Seattle would not divulge any details, only to say: “We’re always listening to what our customers need but don’t discuss those conversations or any business decisions.”

10-13-2011, 12:21 PM
For £2 it's definitely not worth it. That's a horrible sales pitch.

But then again, I have never flown with ryanair and don't intend to either.

10-13-2011, 12:50 PM
Honestly, it makes sense for the short hop flights they run where you are on board for an hour or so max. I mean, there are toilets in the departure and arrivals areas and there will still be one on the plane too. I don't see the big issue tbh. I hate their seats and constant ads more tbh and that is why I dislike their service.

What is much sadder is my local airport is served just by one airline, who announced this week they wouldn't be flying from November to April this winter. They operated at a loss last winter on all those routes. :(

10-13-2011, 05:09 PM
Honestly, it makes sense for the short hop flights they run where you are on board for an hour or so max. I mean, there are toilets in the departure and arrivals areas and there will still be one on the plane too. I don't see the big issue tbh. I hate their seats and constant ads more tbh and that is why I dislike their service.

What is much sadder is my local airport is served just by one airline, who announced this week they wouldn't be flying from November to April this winter. They operated at a loss last winter on all those routes. :(

Ah, I didn't see the short-haul flights bit.

Sorry about your flightless December, ebby.

12-21-2011, 12:35 PM
Nice to see an article about LGBT teachers in Ireland getting a worldwide reach: Double lives for gay teachers in Ireland (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/12/21/uk-ireland-gays-idUKTRE7BK0MG20111221)

It points out some of the crazy statistics about education here: "More than nine in ten primary schools and half of all high schools are run by the Church. The boards of such schools are typically chaired by a parish priest and, although the state pays the teachers' salaries, the Church still has a say in enrolment and recruitment."

12-21-2011, 01:26 PM
I've no idea how to go into all of this mess, but this blog nicely gathers together most of the story: Famous Last Words - Media Transparency, Kate Fitzgerald and the Irish Times (http://3menmakeatiger.blogspot.com/2011/12/famous-last-words-media-transparency.html)

In short: Kate Fitzgerald wrote an anonymous column in the Irish Times about suicide and employers failing people with mental health issues such as depression, shortly before taking her own life. People put the column together with the suicide, and then with the employer in question, and then suddenly the Irish Times was pulling the article from their website, claiming that the author had their facts wrong.


The Irish news blog Broadsheet.ie has been rather excellent in pursuing this story, as the employer in question is a rather powerful PR / Media company here in Ireland.

Latest little tidbit of news on this story - one of the trolls in the comments of the Broadsheet.ie articles turns out to be a defamation lawyer (http://www.broadsheet.ie/2011/12/21/for-whom-the-bell-trolls/), whose clients include The Irish Times. It seems Annette For K'Bork isn't the only person who doesn't understand what an IP address is.

Kate's parents have put the whole issue best in their piece here (http://www.broadsheet.ie/2011/12/16/let-kate-have-the-final-word/) where they said "When the Irish Times found itself between a rock and a hard place, it chose to go against us and our dead daughter."

It's a really sad story, but the fallout since the article was published and then pulled, is even sadder.

There's a lot of reading between the articles linked in the blog post I linked to above, but it's worth digging through.

Oh and one of the IT editors did a post in the blogs section of their website (http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/mechanicalturk/2011/12/20/the-irishtimes-com-archive-and-kate-fitzgerald/) about the whole thing, meant as a sort of explanation, and has an actual apology in the very last paragraph:

However, unfortunate and painful though these events have been, we as professional journalists and publishers took what we believed to be the best action from an ethical and legal perspective. We believe that to have acted otherwise would not have been brave, but irresponsible. We acknowledge the hurt, bewilderment and anger felt by the friends and family of Kate Fitzgerald over what has happened, and apologise for our part in contributing to that.

01-10-2012, 04:46 PM
One of our lovely local papers here appears to have a Priest as one of its journalists. Someone on twitter managed to screencap his article (https://twitter.com/#!/ricardopresto/status/156775403040681984/photo/1/large) against the evils of fornication before it was taken off the website (but still appears in google search, and searches on the site itself. (http://www.tipperarystar.ie/news/itis_search_element_7_37716?slotSearch=true&siteId=2.14248&action=search&submitted=true&freeTextQuery=fornication&y=0&x=0) )

But the paper is also home to such wonderful, forward thinking articles like how the Dubliners were "upstaged by the Lords Prayer" (http://www.tipperarystar.ie/news/national/dubliners_upstaged_by_lords_prayer_1_3404390), or about accepting the Church's legitimate authority (http://www.tipperarystar.ie/news/local/accepting_the_church_s_legitimate_authority_1_2276891), or of course, the Handing on and receiving our religious faith (http://www.tipperarystar.ie/news/local/handing_on_and_receiving_our_religious_faith_1_3355951).

Welcome to rural Ireland, folks. In some places it really is still like the 1950's here.

other pete
01-11-2012, 03:30 PM
E-voting machines 'to be sold off' (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0111/breaking23.html?via=mr)

When the hi-tech machine was checked out it didn’t do the job that it was supposed to do so the system was flawed. They are valueless now. There may be a market for them in Irish-themed pubs across the world.


This confirms all of my fears about electronic voting - gimmie a pencil and paper every single time. It's tangible.

The Government is looking to sell, recycle or dispose of 7,500 voting machines; 154 reading units for uploading candidate details and downloading votes; 12,842 ballot modules used to store votes cast; 292 cases for carrying the units and modules; 1,232 transport and storage trolleys and 2,142 hand trolleys; 4,787 metal tilt tables the machine sit on and 918 tray attachments.


Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan this afternoon announced plans to try to sell off the State’s unused 7,500 electronic voting machines.

Earlier, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the machines, which have cost the State nearly €55 million since 2002, are now “valueless”.

In a statement this afternoon, Mr Hogan said a request for tenders will be issued by the end of this month seeking proposals for either the purchase of the equipment or for their disposal.

“I want to finally draw a line under the electronic voting project and also see that the equipment is disposed of properly,” Mr Hogan said. “Every effort must be made now to sell the equipment and get as much of these costs back as is possible in the circumstances.

He said the market is to be tested to see if there are any interested parties that may want to buy the machines. “While being optimistic we also need to be realistic. It is possible that no reasonable or acceptable offer for sale will be received.”

(continues (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0111/breaking23.html?via=mr))

Let's club together and buy them all to conduct the ULTIMATE Every Single Tori Song +/- game!

01-11-2012, 03:42 PM
Someone's going to show up with one of those on the 2086 Antiques Roadshow, prompting the presenters to tell a funny story about Ireland and laugh heartily at all the silliness olden times people got up to.

Mr Ahern told the Dáil in 2007 that by not adopting the new technology “this country will move into the 21st century being a laughing stock with our stupid aul pencils”.

01-11-2012, 03:46 PM
It's one of the more appalling stories about how shockingly run this country is. It annoys me so much every time I read about them. €55 million wasted.

other pete
02-12-2012, 09:10 PM

Gang-rape woman arrested during trial, following overdose (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/courts/gangrape-woman-arrested-during-trial-following-overdose-3017017.html)

A woman who alleged she was gang raped while pregnant was arrested and imprisoned during the trial because she refused to give evidence, it can now be revealed.

During the trial the eastern European woman was made stand directly in front of the three accused and identify each one, a highly unusual practice. The next day she left a note for her partner saying she was so terrified she could not face coming to court again.

When gardai tracked her down she was rushed to hospital after they found she had taken sleeping pills along with half a bottle of vodka.
The trial was abandoned and she was brought before the court the next day in custody. She was kept in the holding cells for the day until a jury could be sworn in for a second trial.

Last Wednesday the three men accused of raping her were acquitted by a jury after a two-week trial. The arrest of the woman could not be reported at the time because of the risk of prejudicing the proceedings.

During the trial it was alleged the woman, who was three months pregnant at the time of the alleged rape, had vodka poured over her face, before the men took it in turns to rape her. She also claimed she had been urinated on and locked in a wardrobe.
On the first day of evidence the woman was telling the court that she was trapped inside a wardrobe by some of the men before being taken downstairs and raped.
There was some confusion in the Central Criminal Court as she tried to explain which of the men had done this to her. Mr Justice Paul Carney interrupted and told her she would have to go to the dock and point the men out. The visibly terrified woman was made stand in front of the accused men.
After evidence finished for the day, a barrister in the case said privately that he was sure the woman was going to collapse during the ordeal.
The woman, who now has an infant child, was due to continue her evidence the following morning. However when the court sat, Mr Justice Carney was told by prosecuting counsel that she could not be found and a warrant was requested for her arrest.

Garda Stephen Kenny explained that they called at the woman's home at 8.30am and were told by her boyfriend that he woke up to find a note from her.
"Don't be mad, I can't go today," the note read. "I'm terrified. I love you. I will be with my friends."
Mr Justice Carney issued a warrant for her arrest and ordered that no discretion be used when executing it.

"If she has to spend a long time in prison herself waiting for a re-trial that's her fault," he commented.
Mr Justice Carney then told the jury: "The lady has chosen not to present herself today. I have issued a warrant for her arrest. There are three other cases awaiting trial. I don't have the mechanism to put you into cold storage so I will discharge you."

The next day Gda Kenny told the court that his colleagues had returned to the woman's house the previous evening and found her in a drowsy state.

She had drank half a bottle of vodka with an overdose of sleeping tablets and was rushed to hospital.
At this stage the accuseds' defence counsel raised the issue of bail. Gda Kenny said he had serious concerns about them being released as they were considered a flight risk. Mr Justice Carney interrupted, noting there was still an outstanding warrant for the woman's arrest.

Bail was refused for the men and the case was adjourned until the next morning. The woman was taken from hospital and brought before the court by gardai. The judge was told that she had been discharged from hospital and deemed fit to give evidence.
Mr Justice Carney ordered that she be held in custody until she finished giving her evidence. She was taken down to the holding cells below the court where her alleged attackers were being held. A source in the prison service insisted that the parties were kept separate at all times.

The woman spent the day in the cells until 2pm when Gda Kenny told Mr Justice Carney that he believed she would still turn up if she was released. Mr Justice Carney agreed to release her.
Ellen O'Malley Dunlop of the Rape Crisis Centre criticised a trial process as making the complainants "feel they are the ones on trial and not the accused".
"This system in our opinion is very imbalanced and needs radical reform. As a result Ireland has one of the highest attrition rates for rape and sexual assault cases in Europe," she said.
"One of the main reasons for this high fallout rate is because complainants decide not to put themselves through what they say is a re-victimising experience of a court process."
- Conor Gallagher

02-12-2012, 10:33 PM
Wow... that is insane. I feel so terrible for her, what in the hell is wrong with the judge? :(

02-14-2012, 01:28 PM

04-23-2012, 05:32 PM
So, one of the most popular national radio presenters, Ray D'Arcy, got quite irate after a recent story about one of our lovely TDs, Michelle Mulherin, made a bizarre speech in the Dáil mentioning that "the grace of God is so liberating and provides so many options to get the best out of life despite our fallen nature, (http://www.newstalk.ie//2012/news/fine-gael-td-fornication-the-main-cause-of-unwanted-pregnancies/)" and the absolute winner:

“Abortion is murder, therefore sin, which is the religious argument, is no more sinful, from a scriptural point of view, than all other sins we don’t legislate against, like greed, hate and fornication. The latter, being fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country.”

Now, I'm not a fan of Ray D'Arcy, but I like him a little bit more now after he told listeners “the Catholic Church, in many ways, has fucked up this country (http://www.thejournal.ie/no-apology-no-retraction-ray-darcy-on-catholic-church-f-bomb-426129-Apr2012/)”. Of course, the Church has demanded an apology (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/church-demands-a-full-apology-for-darcys-fword-accusation-3088278.html) and a retraction.

Ray D'Arcy has since apologised for using the word "fucked" live on air in the middle of the day, but refuses to apologise about the statement. I also didn't realise that he's atheist.

Someone put together a quick little list of some of the "highlights" of the child abuse scandal, showing why no apology to the Church is necessary. Well worth looking over: http://cliquezici.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/apology-heres-why-the-catholic-church-can-shove-its-demand-for-an-apology/

Anyways, the speech from Mulherin was during a discussion about a proposed bill to allow women to have abortions here in Ireland in certain circumstances, following on from a ruling nearly 20 years ago in what is known as the X Case.

She's also maintaining that "we have too many one-night stands", yet denies she is old-fashioned (http://www.herald.ie/news/weve-too-many-one-night-stands-says-td-3088051.html).

And the current focus on abortion again in this country was kicked off by these four women, who all had to travel to the UK to have an abortion, (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2012/0417/1224314815319.html) despite planning the babies, and looking forward to motherhood, but whose babies were diagnosed as being "incompatible with life" for medical reasons and wouldn't live outside the womb. They got together and started talking to TDs, and then spoke in the Dáil facilitated by the National Women's Council of Ireland and Clare Daly, the TD who proposed the bill on abortion that was defeated that day. Some of the women were then on the Late Late Show here on Friday night, and mentioned that one of the politicians at the meeting wasn't particularly nice. Cue very little surprise when it turned out to be homophobic, Youth Defence and Cóir ally Ronan Mullen, who makes Michelle Mulherin seem like a light Catholic by comparison. After the meeting he said to the husband of one of the women, “You’ve got a bigger agenda here James, don’t you?”. He denies lacking compassion (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0423/1224315051088.html).

Oh, the many myriad joys of this country.

04-23-2012, 07:28 PM
One person emailed the show, accusing D’Arcy of taking part in a “media wide agenda” against the Catholic Church.

Yeah, it was the media who made them rape children! :rolleyes:

Good on Ray D'Arcy for not fully apologizing. BTW, is he gay?

04-23-2012, 07:44 PM
^ Nope! He's straight, by all accounts, and engaged to a woman who he has had a child with.

05-18-2012, 09:23 PM
Apparently, if Bono actually paid tax in Ireland, the Capital Gains tax he would have paid on his earning from Facebook shares sales today would be more than the new household and water taxes combined.

Something about that really just irks me.

05-18-2012, 10:09 PM
Bono is a pathetic, hypocritical pig. Unfortunately, he will never die in an unfortunate plane crash. This only happens to talented artists.

05-19-2012, 12:11 PM
Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore): Let me repeat that. Bono made 1.5 billion dollars this morning. Then gave a speech at the G8 summit calling for more aid to Africa.
5:49 PM - 18 May 12 via Twitter for iPhone (https://twitter.com/Scott_Gilmore/status/203527762634489858)

Oh lolz.

I know more money isn't the answer for Africa, and it's way more complex an issue than that, but putting this in the context of super-rich Bono not paying any taxes to a struggling Ireland and it gets even more bewilderingly hilarious. Especially when the tax he would have paid on his earning from this week would have covered two taxes the government here are introducing which will affect every household in the country regardless of their financial status.

05-20-2012, 12:45 PM
I'm reminded of that episode of South Park where it's revealed that Bono is actually a giant piece of shit.

05-20-2012, 01:08 PM
Tourists are often surprised by just how hated Bono is here. And not in the usual Irish people hating on success kinda way.

other pete
06-11-2012, 04:24 PM
To its unending credit, Ireland does have this national meme, that will never ever get old:

https://p.twimg.com/AvB88w6CIAEI-X2.jpg (https://twitter.com/mr_klaster1/status/211806565844525056/photo/1)

06-11-2012, 05:19 PM
Ajkdksd. Is that in Poland?

06-11-2012, 05:27 PM
^ aww bless.

EDIT: And yep, that's in Poland.

There's also a video going around of Irish fans singing the theme tune to Home And Away in response to some chants from Croatian fans. As you do.

The Eucharistic whatsit is happening here at the moment, this week's tweeter for the @ireland account on twitter is a Priest. But, he did post this wonderful nugget which made me laugh a lot:

1932 in the Phoenix Park 1m pilgrims.
1979 Pope John Paul II 1.25m.
2012. 20,000 in the RDS. Small is beautiful. #IEC2102

Oh the times they are a-changing, slowly but surely.

07-11-2012, 01:50 PM
My facebook is clogged up with reports that Lennox, the bull-terrier, was put down (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18794360) :(. Why, though? Did he bite/kill someone (even though I still don't think that's enough cause to put a bull-terrier down). The articelss just state that he was a "threat," but they don't specify how.

07-11-2012, 02:00 PM
Pit Bulls are apparently a banned breed in the uk and northern ireland. edit: link (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/homeandcommunity/inyourhome/animalsandpets/dogs/dg_180098)

What is a ‘type’ of banned dog?

A dog type is not a breed. Whether your dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.

If your dog matches many of the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a banned type. This is because dogs with these characteristics are more likely than other dogs to cause severe harm if they attack.

It won’t matter what type or breed a dog’s parents were. (Cross-bred and mongrel dogs can have the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier.)

Pit Bull type dogs
Pit Bull types may include the following dog breeds:
American Staffordshire Terriers
Irish Staffordshire Terriers
Irish Blue or Red Nose
Some kinds of American Bulldogs have been found to be Pit Bull types.


If your dog is a banned type, it can be seized even if it isn’t acting dangerously


Once seized, your dog will be kept by police until a decision is reached on whether it needs to be destroyed or released. This could take several weeks or months. You won’t be allowed to visit your dog.

07-11-2012, 02:11 PM
Btw, one of the first things I saw when I got off the bus in Cork was a massive anti-abortion billboard reading ABORTION TEARS HER LIFE APART!, featuring a nice blurry pic of what I supposed to be an in-utero fetus. I had a giggle, thinking of this thread.

07-11-2012, 02:13 PM
Btw, one of the first things I saw when I got off the bus in Cork was a massive anti-abortion billboard reading ABORTION TEARS HER LIFE APART!, featuring a nice blurry pic of what I supposed to be an in-utero fetus. I had a giggle, thinking of this thread.

Yep. That campaign from Youth Defence is funding up to its eyeballs, but "represents women" or something. They've not appeared in Galway just yet, but they started in Dublin and are putting up billboards all over the country. There's a major campaign to complain about the misleading information and emotive twisting of the facts that are on those billboards.

07-11-2012, 02:23 PM
I did note the deliberate use of the female pronoun. It reminded me of the antis' new(ish) thing here ... going on about sex-selective abortion and how it's so mean to women. They did this whole OMGSHOCKING undercover filiming thing on private abortion clinics catering to certain ethnic groups who are prone to aborting wanted/planned pregnancies when the fetus is discovered to be female, totally failing to note the problem is not abortion per se, but strongly patriachal cultures that only value male children because they've taken most opportunities and rights away from women, rendering them a burden on any family.

My actual favourite political poster in Cork was a wonderfully random A FINNISH ANARCHIST SPEAKS thing that seemed to be fly-posted everywhere.

07-11-2012, 04:26 PM
Pit Bulls are apparently a banned breed in the uk and northern ireland. edit: link (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/homeandcommunity/inyourhome/animalsandpets/dogs/dg_180098)


Reminds me of Lennox, (http://www.facebook.com/TheLennoxCampaign) who apparently was euthanized this morning.

Lennox is a loveable 7 year old family member. He's an American Bull dog Labrador cross that the family have owned since he was a little pup. As responsible dog owners that also foster for numerous Northern Ireland dog shelters his family had Lennox as a young pup Micro chipped, Neutered, DNA Registered, Pet Safe Registered, Insured and Licensed every year with the Council without fail. On Wednesday the 19th May 2010 he was taken from his family home by Belfast City Council as they believe he falls under the dangerous dogs act for Northern Ireland. The Council, without seeking any proper professional guidance declared Lennox to be a breed of "Pit Bull Type" and so they wish to kill him simply because he has the appearance of said breed. The Belfast City Council took Lennox from his loving family home using a wrongly addressed warrant and using copyright ADBA (American Dog Breeders Association) breed standards guide which the Council were never authorised to use, in doing so the Council broke international copyright laws and for doing so have been issued with a 'Cease & Desist' order from ADBA Inc. Lennox has never attacked anyone or anything yet the Council have removed him from his home where he lives his human family, his kennel mates and various foster dogs. Belfast City Council are pressuring Lennox's family to sign him over to them to be destroyed however we feel the need to fight his case, he cannot speak but we will be his voice! If this was a human we would declare this racism. We ask every kind hearted compassionate person for your support, don't let them murder him. This may be our dog today but it could be your best friend tomorrow! Please visit Lennox's main website for further ways in which you can help and for his full story. Thank you for your continued support.

08-23-2012, 03:51 AM

From May 2010, an exchange between Michael D Higgins (who was elected President of Ireland last year) and Tea Party-loving radio guy Michael Graham on Irish radio.


08-23-2012, 09:44 AM
^ that's the guy I've voted for ever since I could vote. He lives near me and his kids went to school with my, and I've never been prouder than when he was voted in as president. He's always been my favourite politician in this country. There's not many with his intellect, his oratory skills, and his empathy. He is awesome.

edit: this is one of my favourite speechs from him from the later part of his Dáil career:


I was lucky enough to hear him speak to a crowd of theatre, music, art and other creatives a few years ago, which absolutely blew my mind too. He's so intelligent and articulate, and genuinely passionate. He's absolutely wonderful and I'm so happy that he is representing the whole country now.


/end gushing over a politician.

08-23-2012, 04:33 PM
Well done. Bravo!

08-23-2012, 06:40 PM
I could listen to him forever!

11-19-2012, 03:01 PM
This is a great bit of insight into the messed up history behind one of Ireland's most fervently catholic groups. The people who vocally protest against abortion, homosexuality, and contraception, amongst other "evils". The Charles Haughey mentioned in it went on to become Taoiseach (prime minister)... http://bocktherobber.com/2012/11/youth-defence-the-forbidden-love-child-of-left-and-right/

12-28-2012, 04:59 PM
Oh man. This is doing the rounds at the moment, and manages to make me love and hate it equally. On the one hand, it's a pretty damn perfect look at the mood of a lot of Irish young people at the moment, (e.g. of all the people I used to know and hang out with here in Galway, there's 2 left. The rest have moved to the capital or emigrated further afield, so that side of it really resonates) but on the other hand you do wanna just shake him and tell him to sort himself out and cop the fuck on.


(Chances are you'll need subtitles unless you're used to Irish accents. But the video is using this poem by Dave Tynan: http://www.thisgreedypig.com/home/literature/just-sayin-2/ So, you can follow it there. You'll still probably need footnotes about some of the things mentioned, but still.)

It's one of the few times where the discussion in the youtube comments is almost as interesting as the video itself.

12-28-2012, 08:33 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean, and I think the reference is apt in a small way, but it basically is a list of things to try and pull at heartstrings. It totally kinda works on one level - it's definitely not something I wanna see if I'm drunk and emotional at xmastime when all the folk who had resurfaced for xmas had just left again... oh well. Colour me susceptible!

02-03-2013, 07:07 PM
Dear old Catholicism and its love for women : http://www.thejournal.ie/margaret-died-of-her-slave-related-injuries-a-magdalene-daughter-shares-her-story-780887-Feb2013/?utm_source=shortlink

A woman posted a short timeline on twitter of her mother's life as a woman raised in a Magdalene Laundry in Dublin

02-03-2013, 07:43 PM
That is just one of the most soul-destroying things I've ever read. A deliberate, cynical waste of a woman's life. She was literally a slave to the state and the church. They put her in when she was TWO? WTF?

02-03-2013, 09:19 PM
That is just one of the most soul-destroying things I've ever read. A deliberate, cynical waste of a woman's life. She was literally a slave to the state and the church. They put her in when she was TWO? WTF?

Yep. Children were put into the laundries too. Some were illegitimate, some were unable to be cared for and it was thought they'd be looked after there, and were sent there by social workers, or priests, or judges. Others were thought to be immoral older girls or teenagers. If a child was being abused at home, the child was sent to the laundries, not the abuser.

Technically, "industrial schools" were for children and the "laundries" for the "fallen women" and whatnot, but there was no real difference, and the people were often all housed in the same building even. If I remember right, one of the former inmates spoke about being put into the industrial school setting as a teenager, but that it was basically the Magdalene Laundry (I've heard a fair few women speaking about being brought up in that system.)

This post gives a good background on how the laundries were basically state sanctioned too: http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamwall/williamwall/Ice_Moon_Blog/Entries/2011/7/18_The_Economy_of_the_Magdalene_Lundry.html

The format is horrible on that page, and the blog post's best points here:

[...] if we see the Catholic Church as a structure founded upon the creation of wealth and the maintenance of class-structures, then the Magdalene laundries and Industrial Schools come neatly into focus in their economic reality.

The Magdalene laundries, for example, took children and young women and used their labour to produce wealth for the convents (and therefore the Church), but also serviced the economic needs of other parts of the church. They washed and repaired clothes, church vestments, altar cloths etc. From time to time they also had contracts with the state – in one operation, for example, they laundered the clothes from Mountjoy Prison.

Ireland’s social services were sub-contracted to the Churches until very recently. Ireland was an economic wilderness for most of the twentieth century, sending vast numbers of its young people to emigrate. It also had the highest birth-rate in Europe. The surplus children of large poor families were absorbed into the system of slave-labour or indentured servitude operated by the church through the church-run industrial schools and the Magdalene laundries. The state was prepared to pay for this service [...] and so these institutions had another stable revenue stream in the form of child-support from the state.

The horrific evidence of sexual and physical abuse tends to dominate talk of these institutions. But in some ways this tends to obscure the abuse of slavery or servitude itself, even though it is insisted upon by the survivors who habitually describe themselves as having been slaves. While the physical and sexual abuse was widespread, the slavery or servitude was universal. Every poor boy or girl who found himself or herself in the tender care of Mother Church became a slave or an indentured servant, whether it was because of her parents’ inability to support them, because a social worker or a judge or a doctor consigned them there, or simply by being born within the walls of a Magdalene laundry. The ‘Maggies’ were slaves and could expect to spend their useful working lives inside. At least the boys could expect to be rejected by the system in due course, probably because they were physically more dangerous as they got older and therefore less useful as workers. It seems too, that the boys received more of an education, again reflecting the reality of society as a whole where poor girls could expect to become domestic servants either as workers or wives. Thus I tend to use the term ‘indentured servitude’ for what the boys experienced. There was little difference as it was experienced day to day.

Seen in this light it is clear that the abuse was a by-product of the slavery itself. We know very well how black slaves were treated by their masters. When you own a person body and soul you are entitled to use the body as you desire. There were decent slave owners who treated their slaves with restraint, just as there were nuns and priests and brothers who did not brutalise the children in their care. Nevertheless, in both cases the rights of property were paramount. There seems also to have been, in some industrial schools and laundries, a by-trade in sexual abuse, whereby the children were lent out at weekends or for holiday period to people [who] paid for the service either in money or influence. And of course, it goes without saying that all the systems of power that surround predatory sexuality and repressed sexuality developed in these institutions. After all, having lost every right as citizens, these children only had their bodies to trade for kindness or nourishment. But this entire apparatus is familiar to us already from the institution of slavery. The ancient insult in calling a person a ‘slave’ stems precisely from the fact that a slave, by definition, could never hold any of himself back, not even his thoughts, because there is nothing like grinding labour and abuse to take possession of a free mind.

02-04-2013, 12:11 AM
It really is. I've an aunt on my dad's side who was raised in one of those places, (she was born out of wedlock - ultimate sin) and went from there to becoming a nun, as there was no other real route. Except she became a nun in New Zealand, and eventually got to the point where she was working in community projects and out in the world. She made contact with my family in the 80s which is when her half-sisters and half-brother first learned of her existence. She retired back to Ireland a few years ago and one of the sisters refused to acknowledge her at all, and one has welcomed her into her life, the reaction of the other two siblings are quite mixed. I've heard my own mother come out with phrases like "she can't be going around asking to be introduced as anyone's sister. There are people alive who still remember her mother and it would shame her memory."

As if somehow the memory of someone who is dead more than a decade is still worth more than the actual life and family of someone who is here. It still shocks me to realise those reactions are still so ingrained in people of a certain generation here.

02-04-2013, 12:58 AM
This is long, but worth a listen. Gives a good overview into the Laundries:


fyi. The last one closed in 1996.

(It's not easy stuff to listen to, I know, but these are stories that still are being ignored and brushed under the carpet here.)

02-05-2013, 03:59 PM
So, the report into the Magdalene laundries was finally published today: http://www.idcmagdalen.ie/

The Government considered the circumstances of women and girls who were admitted to the Laundries at its meeting on 14 June, 2011 and decided that it was essential as a first step to fully establish the true facts and circumstances relating to the Magdalen Laundries. A number of actions were agreed. This included the setting up of an Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries, to clarify any State interaction, and to produce a narrative detailing such interaction. The Committee, under the independent chairmanship of Senator Martin McAleese, submitted an interim progress report on 25 October, 2011 and their final report was published on 5 February, 2013.

Here's the .pdf of the executive report if you're interested: http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Executive%20Summary.pdf/Files/Executive%20Summary.pdf

The main force behind the investigation was the wonderful Martin McAleese (who is a Senator, but better known as the husband of our previous President, Mary McAleese) who reported today that more than 2,500 women who were incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries were sent in directly by the State. Apparently that figure is lower than the actual number would be because of the problem of missing records. Typical.

However, the report basically shows that the State cannot try and say that these institutions were private affairs, or that women who were in them entered them voluntarily.

The total estimated number of women and girls put into these insitutions between 1922 and 1996 is over 10,000.

From the article in the Journal today:

“The large majority of women who engaged with the Committee spoke of the deep hurt they felt due to their loss of freedom, they were not informed why they were there, they had no information on when they could leave and were denied contact with the outside world, including their family and friends.” The report also notes that the Gardaí “brought women to the Magdalen Laundries on a more ad hoc or informal basis.”

Records from two of the laundries - Galway and Dun Laoghaire - are mostly lost / missing / destroyed, so that means the figures really only show the numbers of the other 8 institutions combined.

The Irish Times article is a bit more detailed: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0205/breaking6.html

The committee found a wide range of reasons women and girls entered the 10 religious run laundries operating in the State between 1922 and 1996.

Reasons include: referrals by courts, mostly for minor or petty offences; by social services; from industrial and reformatory schools; rejection by foster parents; girls orphaned or in abusive homes; women with mental or physical disabilities; poor and homeless women and girls placed by their families for reasons including socio-moral attitudes.

Women and girls referred from industrial schools and non-State agencies would not have known why they were being sent or how long they had to stay in the laundries, the report finds. Those referred by officials in criminal justice and social services would have been told reason and duration.

Apparently the first laundry opened in Dublin in 1767.

The current Taoiseach issued an apology for the way the women were treated, but didn't give a full state apology - probably beacause then the government would be admitting complicity and would be open to being sued? I'm not sure.

02-14-2013, 09:05 PM
A very different sort of WTF, here's a brief introduction to some of the slang in Ireland. Mostly Dublin centric, but sure, that's how it goes:


02-15-2013, 01:57 PM
I didn't understand half of that!

02-15-2013, 02:09 PM
I work with a lot of Irish people, so I'm familiar with some of those. "What's the craic?" is a personal favourite. But a lot of those are new to me as well. I guess my co-workers are too sick of the bewildered looks and have toned their dialect down a lot. Aw well. Love the vid.

02-15-2013, 03:41 PM
It does give an attempt at translation, though with just one or two words. But not everyone would use those phrases all the time.

02-15-2013, 03:54 PM
The translations were very helpful! Although I do think the "translation" of "I'm starving" was a bit of a pisstake. ;)

02-15-2013, 09:33 PM
Suddenly a lot of things my friend marcus says makes sense.....

other pete
03-12-2013, 09:14 AM
County Mayo looks like a toothless crone spitting islands into the west.


Just thought I'd put that out there.

05-31-2013, 07:34 PM
Things that get a Garda Escort in this country:


06-19-2013, 07:34 PM
This is the most Irish thing I've read in a long time, and pretty succinctly shows up everything that is wrong with this country:

Asked if there were plans to legislate on forced marriage, the Department of Justice said it was a matter for the Department of Social Protection which said it was a matter for the Department of Justice or the HSE. The HSE referred queries to the Department of Health, where a spokesman said forced marriage was not a matter for that department.

(HSE = Health Service Executive)

From this article on a case about forced marriage in Ireland: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/judgment-points-to-legal-lacuna-on-forced-marriages-1.1434012

uncanny hats
06-20-2013, 11:51 PM
Clare Daly...

I wish we we could borrow Clare Daly in the US, for just one day *swoon*


06-21-2013, 09:51 AM
She's one of the few politicians who is in politics for the right reasons. I miss having good orators who are passionate about what they speak about - listening to her I'm reminded of a young Michael D Higgins, who is my favourite ever politician here. Although he was Labour, he was more representative of old Labour when they were actually somewhat socialist.

Though, Ireland has a new party now! Yeay! http://www.enterpriseparty.ie/about/
Oh wait, they're yet another centre party virtually indistinguishable from the others.


other pete
06-27-2013, 04:50 PM
Youth Defence 'baby killers' billboard bus, apparently outside a rape crisis centre in Dublin (http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/06/27/opposite-the-dublin-rape-crisis-centre/).

Because that will really help keep abortion criminal? A terrible argument, made terribly.

06-27-2013, 07:30 PM
They are odious people.

07-05-2013, 12:29 PM
Ireland doesn't have a huge number of famous women throughout our history. Especially not many who were feminist, first female member of the UK parliament, a socialist national republican revolutionary leader and one of the first female member of cabinet in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_Markievicz). So, it makes it even more galling when you see some idiot interviewed on the news get her name wrong and her gender wrong:


[via: http://www.breakingnews.ie/discover/remember-when-constance-markievicz-gave-his-life-in-the-fight-against-taxes-599547.html]

In case you missed this gem from last night's television news, it's a little bit of brilliance.
Tom D'Arcy was one of the protestors who successfully forced the cancellation of an Allsop distressed properties auction yesterday.
In his speech to RTÉ News afterwards, he recalled the glorious sacrifice of brave soldier Constance Markievicz, who surrendered his life to eradicate taxation, apparently.

We're not quite sure who he's talking about.

Countess Constance Georgine Markievicz, on the other hand, was a famous feminist, one of the first female cabinet ministers on earth, and a noted member and supporter of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Citizen Army, Irish Republican Army, and Cumman na mBan.

She also died in 1927, not 1916, and in hospital, not in combat.

Oh well. Close enough.

07-06-2013, 10:43 AM
This is quite a depressing read: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/conned-a-german-view-of-ireland-1.1454115

‘Conned’: a German view of Ireland
Last week, the German newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ published an article about the ‘conning’ of Ireland – over several decades – by its political masters. We talk to the writer, reprint the article and add some footnotes of our own

01-15-2014, 08:53 AM
O’Donovan calls for crackdown on internet browsers and payment systems which facilitate illegal activity (http://www.finegael.ie/latest-news/2013/odonovan-calls-for-crackd/index.xml)

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O' Donovan has called for tougher controls on the use of open source internet browsers and payment systems which allow users to remain anonymous in the illegal trade of drugs, weapons and pornography. Deputy O’Donovan has written to the Oireachtas Communications Committee, of which he is a member, asking it to investigate the matter.

“An online black market is operating which protects the users’ anonymity and operates across borders through the use of open source internet browers and payments systems which allow users to remain anonymous. This effectively operates as an online supermarket for illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and pornography, where it is extremely difficult to trace the identity of the buyers. We need a national and international response to clamp down on this illicit trade.

“I have written to the Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, John O’Mahony TD, asking that this matter be examined by the Committee given the severity of the issue. I believe that the Committee should invite relevant agencies including the Gardaí, Customs and officials from relevant Government departments to participate.

“I also intend to raise the matter in the Dáil with both the Ministers for Justice and Communications, with a view to seek assurances that an EU-wide response is developed to respond to the operation of open-source internet browsers which protect anonymity in order to facilitate illegal online activity.

“Law enforcement agencies in the United States have recently taken action to address this issue, however it appears the solution was temporary as replacement browsers quickly appeared to ensure the continuance of the illegal trade. This proves the need for enhanced international co-operation and engagement to ensure that those involved in these activities can be brought to justice and that sites of this nature are dealt with appropriately.”

Yeah, down with Firefox! :rolleyes:

01-15-2014, 04:34 PM
Oh, Irish politicians don't understand the internet. Not so long ago we had a senator bringing up the Very Serious Issue about people being Raped On Facebook. And Sexting. And how thing kind of thing is going on and has to stop.

No, seriously. "This kind of thing has to stop" :


Of course, our drag doyenne has already parodied it in a video made by a friend of mine:


We also had a politician who thought his locality was perfect for Cloud Computing because sure, haven't we loads of clouds here in Ireland.

There's a hashtag on twitter pointing out all the idiocy from politicians in ireland about the internet. Yet we are the european home of Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google.

01-15-2014, 04:43 PM
In other news related to that drag performer. The guy behind the character was on one of those saturday night talk shows here last weekend and laid into some of the crazy evangelical catholics in a short section of the interview, naming two people specifically (who are utter gowls).

However, the national broadcaster has edited out that segment from the version on their online player because of the murder of someone not mentioned on the show who was a member of one of those organisations. Apparently it's standard practice. What? Twitternet is going mental about the censorship seeing it as yet another instance of the fucking Iona Institute of catholic bullys having anything negative said about them taken off the air.


EDIT: apparently it's because John Waters, one of the columnists named, took issue with being called homophobic. Apparently, being against gay people getting married isn't homophobic? Calling a homophobe homophobic is apparently just not on. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/rte-cuts-part-of-show-after-legal-complaint-from-waters-29921034.html

note: this John Waters is like the alternate hell version of the film maker John Waters. Just fyi. He is also, incidentally, one of Sinéad O'Connor's ex-husbands. Because Ireland is that small. He's a vile man.

The Iona Institute (http://www.skepticink.com/humanisticas/2013/03/23/is-the-iona-institute-a-bigoted-hate-group/), in case you are wondering, are a bigoted religious group.

05-20-2014, 10:57 PM
The latest mini storm in a teacup here is around this article about the inappropriateness of the fact that two new naval ships here in Ireland were named after Irish writers: The State has no right to take the names of Beckett and Joyce in vain (http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/the-state-has-no-right-to-take-the-names-of-beckett-and-joyce-in-vain-1.1801715?page=1) "Until the State learns how to treat its diaspora, it should not have the audacity to name ships after great exiled Irish cultural figures. After all, it wouldn’t even give Joyce a lift home when he was dead"

Yeah, that subtitle is particularly galling. There were two Irish diplomats stationed in Zurich when Joyce died and neither attended the funeral, nor did the State assist on Nora Barnacle's request to have his body brought back to Ireland to be buried.

To make it clear why this matters, let’s broaden the picture to include a great Irish writer who tried to live and work in Ireland. John McGahern’s second novel, The Dark, was the first Irish novel to tackle parental and clerical child abuse. It was published in 1965 and banned by the Censorship Board, and McGahern lost his job as a national-school teacher.

A national literature is the people talking among themselves. Yet the State consistently tried to suppress that conversation.
In the full years of its glory, the Censorship Board was banning 70 books a month. It’s an astonishing list, including most of the best works of 20th-century Irish literature. Liam O’Flaherty, Seán Ó Faoláin, Kate O’Brien, Oliver St John Gogarty, Maura Laverty, Walter Macken, Frank O’Connor, Benedict Kiely . . . It banned Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy in 1958 and Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls in 1960. And this is not ancient history: the last book was banned in 1998, and, as bans lasted 12 years unless renewed, the last bans ran out only in 2010.

The author is a guy I vaguely know to chat to on Twitter, and used to see around town here a lot when I was a waiter and he was just finding his feet as an author and would be in my work a lot writing. He currently lives in Berlin after being unable to continue to live and work in Ireland. The article also touches on the whole issue of the diaspora (of which Joyce and Beckett were members.)

But this is part of a larger problem; the State has not yet earned the right to be associated with its diaspora. As Pat Collins’s excellent documentary, What We Leave in Our Wake, points out, one in every two Irish people born in Ireland since 1800 emigrated. Ireland is a failed state that dumps its young on the doorsteps of other nations.

The moment I was forced out of Ireland, in 2007, I lost my vote, and so the State lost all interest in me. The only time the domestic State got in touch was when I was invited to the Irish Embassy in Berlin, for the launch of the Gathering.

I went with high hopes: the Gathering was, potentially, a spiritually meaningful and healing event, in a country that (after the collapse of Catholicism and the failure of the materialism that replaced it) was in a perilous spiritual situation.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke. He didn’t say, “I’m sorry we couldn’t look after you better”. He didn’t say, “I’m sorry the State we have built is not yet good enough for anyone of ambition to achieve those ambitions there”. Instead, the gist of his speech seemed to me to be: come to Ireland, give us as much of your money as possible and then f*** off again.

That is exactly my issue with that whole "the gathering" shite, which of course is being sold as having been a success as tourism numbers were up that year.

And that bolded statistic is something I need to look up, but that's pretty galling when seen written down like that.

(incidentally, the author's replies to comments on the article as almost as good a read in themselves. As are his novels, which are some of the best satirical works about contemporary Ireland.)

06-03-2014, 10:09 AM
I didn't know whether to post this here or in the Catholicism WOW thread, but in short, the bodies of almost 800 babies are buried in a mass grave in my county. It's been all over the news here for the last few days, and seems to be hitting the international press now also.

It was a workhouse called "The Home" in the 1800's, and was taken over by the Bon Secours nuns in 1925 for a "mother and baby home" for "fallen women". The article that Irish Central have running is deeply affecting: http://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/cahirodoherty/Galway-historian-reveals-truth-behind-800-orphans-in-mass-grave.html

Almost 800 children died at the home between 1935 and 1961.

A local health board inspection report from April 1944 recorded 271 children and 61 single mothers in residence, a total of 333 in a building that had a capacity for 243.

The Irish Independent article (http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/church-to-meet-over-memorial-for-800-babies-at-mass-grave-30321303.html) has this:

The home was closed in the 1960s but in 1975 two boys were playing close to the site when they discovered partially broken concrete slabs covering a hollow – a disused septic tank, which had been in use prior to the 1920s when the building was a workhouse.

The boys broke the concrete and discovered a hole "filled to the brim with bones".

The site is located at what was a mother and baby home, run by the Bons Secours, from the 1920s until the 1960s.

Catherine Corless, a local historian and genealogist, was researching the home when she discovered death records for 796 children, ranging from infants to children up to the age of nine.

There was a high infant mortality rate over the 40-year period, with many of the children believed to have died from infectious diseases and possibly malnutrition. But there is no record of their burial.

So the grave has been known about since the 1970's, but I guess they didn't know how many children were buried in it until that archivist started to look into the details of the home.

06-03-2014, 10:28 AM
Culture of life!

06-03-2014, 11:51 AM
The story has travelled across the water it seems and has made the Washington Post today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/06/03/bodies-of-800-babies-long-dead-found-in-septic-tank-at-former-irish-home-for-unwed-mothers/

According to documents Corless provided the Irish Mail on Sunday, malnutrition and neglect killed many of the children, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. Infant mortality at the Home was staggeringly high. “If you look at the records, babies were dying two a week, but I’m still trying to figure out how they could [put the bodies in a septic tank],” Corless said. “Couldn’t they have afforded baby coffins?”

06-03-2014, 11:55 AM
That is horrifically sad. How bad does the care have to be that infants are dying that often and that quickly?

fox in socks
06-04-2014, 11:25 PM
the whole deal with the magedelene asylums is just so vile. also, babies are precious until they're born apparently. especially to "wayward women".

06-04-2014, 11:46 PM
Been reading about this in the last couple of days and it's bone-chilling, to think these kids were systematically underfed or neglected until they died and others sold on in some big adoption racket. It's essentially little different to the Victorian baby-farming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Dyer) model, with corrupt, greedy individuals being replaced by a massive church-state apparatus and the mothers retained for bonus slave labour. Oh and Victorian baby-farmers when caught were actually punished (generally executed) for their crimes.

06-05-2014, 11:44 PM
For a long time I I have wanted to reply to the statement, "Well if you didn't want to have a child, then don't have sex," with, "Oh right. a child is a punishment." And this story, which literally turns my stomach, proves to me that yes, they do believe that children are punishments for having intercourse.