15 | 09 | 2019

Housing has often been the arena in which class consciousness and militant action has been instilled in the hearts and minds of the Irish youth. This struggle is ever present in the North. Segregation of housing in urban centres of Derry and Belfast remains an obstacle to social cohesion and the unity of class action from both Nationalist and Unionist communities. Stormont, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) has largely excluded the working class from its benefits, with the 1998 agreement only serving to build limited cross-sectarian relations between careerist political entrepreneurs.

Ireland’s Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are 21-23% higher than the global average. Our ammonia pollution is expected to continue to increase year on year. Methane, which cows produce 70-120kg of annually, is 23 times more damaging to the climate than CO2. To put this into perspective, a steak dinner for 2 can generate the same greenhouse gas emissions as a flight from Dublin to New York. Globally, agriculture produces more greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation sector. 70% of Irish Nutrient Pollution, which harms water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive, is caused by Agriculture. Regardless of all of this, our livestock farming is set to grow, pushing agriculture to account for almost half of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, through Dáil Éireann initiatives; Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025.

In the past, young people were able to receive a home from the local authority which led to localized construction projects. Most people in Ireland lived in homes built by their local corporation or council, the same model existed in the United Kingdom where local authorities constructed mass local housing. Seems simple, right? Today the waiting list for housing is over 80,000 while almost 10,000 people, a third of which are children languish in homelessness. So what changed to create this horrible reality?

The World Federation of Trade Unions, representing more than 97 million workers in 130 countries of the world expresses its support and solidarity with the pilots of Ryanair who decided to go on 48 hours strikes in the next week after the collapse of the collective bargaining.

We totally support the fair struggle of the pilots, who through their strike, reminds to their employers and to the owners of the company that their airplanes cannot fly without the pilots and the coordinated works of the Ryanair workers.

Gardiner, a trade unionist himself, said: “Ryanair is in the High Court today seeking an injunction to prevent strike action from taking place this Thursday. This comes as no surprise given the airline refuses to provide its pilots with adequate pay and conditions and has long resisted attempts by its workers to unionise.

Gardiner continued: ‘’Trade union legislation in Ireland is heavily weighted in favour of the employer class, allowing them to drag trade unions through the courts for spurious reasons any time workers seek to take industrial action. Allowing employers to take unions to court in this way clearly plays into the hands of unscrupulous employers like Ryanair, who will do virtually anything to prevent their workers from being able to bargain collectively and are facilitated by a judiciary that is frequently hostile to the interests of working people.

The Workers’ Party has led criticisms of Permanent TSB for implementing United States legislation which for decades has imposed an economic embargo on trade and travel between the United States and Cuba. The Party says it had restrictions placed on its bank transactions by PTSB last week, because the bank transfer – between two Irish bank accounts – related to Cuba. 

The Workers’ Party have called for all ferry companies to accept foot and bicycle passengers, in light of the urgent need to decrease the country’s carbon emissions. The call comes as both Irish Ferries (on their Epsilon sailings to France and the UK), and Brittany Ferries (on their Santander crossing), introduce car-only ferry sailings, which completely exclude passengers traveling by rail, foot or bicycle.

‘Spoiling a ballot’ is the act of defacing one’s electoral ballot so as to invalidate it, meaning that the vote is not counted.

This proposes the question, why would someone spoil their ballot? Is it ever the correct action to take?

The north of Ireland’s European elections had a turnout of 45.41%, and in the south, 49.7%. this means both sides of the border less than half of those registered to vote didn’t vote (not even considering those not registered!). this could be for a number of reasons. According to Pew Research Centre, a study of those who didn’t vote in the American elections in 2016 found that the biggest reason for not voting was dislike of candidates and campaigns, and the second biggest reason was that they were simply not interested.

One of the newly elected EU representatives for the Midlands-West of Ireland is Maria Walsh. At only 31 years old, she is notable for her youth and the fact that she is one of only a few LGBTQ+ members of the European Parliament. Her victory might be seen as a positive step for Ireland’s queer population, and indeed it would be heartening to see, if the party she represents were not one of the worst in Ireland for the LGBTQ+. Fine Gael has attempted to liberalise its views on sexuality and certain social issues in recent years, and Taoiseach Varadkar himself is a gay man. Despite their overtures to the gay community, they enact policies that harm the most vulnerable in Ireland, which are often overwhelmingly queer and trans people.

We can’t wait until a referendum on unity has been called or our island has been brutally repartitioned by a hard border.

“People across the island deserve to have detailed information on how it would all work and the comfort of knowing that we are prepared for all eventualities. 

The following speech is from the general secretary of the Connolly youth movement at the communist party summer school in Benburb

Comrades, old and new.

It is and has always been in the interest of every movement in history to reach out to the young people within their communities and politicize them. Our task here in Ireland is no different. As a member of the Connolly Youth Movement for four years, I have contributed to an on-going discussion on the strategies, tactics and approaches needed to politicize, organise and capture the imagination of young people. We made mistakes and we have tried again, from these mistakes and the collision of our ideas being put into practice in our conditions we have drawn conclusions and from those conclusions learnt more innovative and interesting methods of succeeding. This is one small element that I think has been refreshing for many people who join – not simply an admission of making errors, but our collective ownership and learning of these errors to the benefit of our organisation.

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