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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

The irish referendum on abortion

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

When was the abortion referendum in Ireland?

The polls officially opened on May 25, with many Irish citizens around the world flying home to cast their votes.

Around 2,000 residents on islands off Counties Donegal, Mayo and Galway went to the polls on May 24, a day ahead of the rest of the country.

The Irish electorate voted by 1,429,981 votes to 723,632 in favour of abolishing the controversial eighth amendment to the constitution.

The Government now intends to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks in the event.

Counting began on the morning of Saturday May 26.

The result was a two-thirds majority: 66.4 per cent yes to 33 per cent no.

What happens now?

Victory for the yes side means that the only part of the United Kingdom and Ireland where abortion remains banned in almost all circumstances is Northern Ireland.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a campaigner for the yes vote, said that he hopes to pass the proposed legislation within six months.

He said: “The fact that the result is so clear that is a more than 2-1 in favour, will make it much easier to get the legislation through the Dail.”

The proposed legislation that will be introduced by the Government will allow abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan dies aged 46

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
The Cranberries vocalist was a very individual presence with a glorious talent

Even before she could talk, Dolores O’Riordan was singing. As a child she would regularly be propped up on a table at her Ballybricken, Co Limerick, home to sing for relatives. It was a uniquely affecting voice that developed into a lilting mezzo-soprano in her teenage years when she first started to write songs influenced by her early devotion to the music of Duran Duran and The Smiths.

A local band, then called The Cranberry Saw Us, were making small waves in Limerick city at the end of the 1980s. Word reached O’Riordan they were looking for a lead singer. Dressed in a shiny tracksuit and with a broken Casio keyboard under her arm, she cycled into the city to audition for them.

“Ok boys, show me what you got,” she said to the three male members of the band. Noel and Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawlor started bashing away on their instruments before O’Riordan played them a song she had just written about her first real kiss from a boy who then publicly dumped her at a local disco. It was called Linger. She got the job with the hastily renamed The Cranberries.

The beguiling mix of indie jingly-jangly guitar sounds fronted by a vocal line that soared and yelped as it bled raw, adolescent emotions was soon being listened to in record company offices in Ireland, Britain and beyond. While still teenagers, The Cranberries signed a deal with the Island Records label and recorded the debut album, Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

It was the start of a stellar career that would see The Cranberries become global sensations and sell close to 50 million records over the next 10 years. But success would bend and buckle O’Riordan.

Early years

Born Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan in 1971, she was the youngest of Terence and Eileen O’Riordan’s seven children and attended Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ school in Limerick. An alarmingly shy person – who spent many of her early live performances staring at her shoes, fearful of making eye contact with the audience – O’Riordan soon found herself as the frontperson of an ongoing global concern, striding across concert stages worldwide, the focus of attention for stadium-sized audiences.

O’Riordan was the first to admit she was unprepared for fame and ridiculously naive about how the music industry worked. She didn’t have a metropolitan background, would never have the right answers for music journalists and was annoyed to find herself a figure of curiosity in glossy magazine features. She was portrayed as if she still had straw from the farm back home in her hair, a rural ingenue lost amidst the bright lights of rock stardom.

Within a few years of doing her Leaving Certificate, she found herself on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, opening the front door to find Michael Stipe there with a present for her, singing for the pope, and duetting with Pavarotti.

Her songwriting gift was a potent ability to access her emotions and express them in chillingly lovelorn terms. What differentiated her work from her musical peers was a simplicity and a directness of approach. This wasn’t the detached, cool music heard elsewhere – O’Riordan’s biggest songs, such as Linger and Dreams, were the melodramatic emotions of her teenage diary set to music.

Movie !

Sunday, April 24th, 2016


Brooklyn !

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The world was green for St Patrick’s Day !

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

watch the video here

Paris under attack and support form other capitals

Saturday, November 14th, 2015







On TV tonight :

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

V pour vendetta On NT11 channel ! Don’t miss it !

or (my choice) In the Name of the Father   Au nom du père (Cherie25 channel). A great movie about The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Ireland and migrants

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Ireland’s record on migrants has been shameful since the State’s foundation
Hungarian refugees in the 1950s complained bitterly about their treatment and soon the vast majority had left Ireland to be resettled in the US and Canada

an article by Patsy McGarry Fri, Sep 4, 2015, published in The Irish Times

‘Last April, as the small group began their commemorative march to Dublin, it was reported that as many as 700 migrants had drowned off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean.’ Above: Ciara Blanch from Tallaght welcomes the Famine re-enactment walk from Roscommon to Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson
How quickly we forget.

When it suits.

Last April a small group completed a 155km walk from Strokestown, Co Roscommon, to Dublin, in memory of 1,490 people offered assisted passage to Canada by landlord Maj Denis Mahon as he cleared his lands during the Famine.

In 1847 they were frogmarched by his bailiffs along the banks of the Royal Canal to Dublin, where they boarded ships for Grosse Île in Quebec. Among the 1,490 was widow Mary Tighe (whose husband, Bernard, had already died of hunger), her brother and her five children.

They boarded the Naomi in Dublin, and by the time they arrived in Quebec, just two of the family survived: Daniel (12) and Catherine (nine).

Of the 1,490 of Maj Mahon’s tenants who boarded ships in Dublin, 700 died en route to Canada. Or almost half.

Last April, as the small group began their march to Dublin, it was reported that as many as 700 migrants had drowned off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean. The resonance was not lost on the Strokestown walkers.

One of their number, Carolin Callery, recalled, on arrival in Dublin how, as they set out on April 20th last, she got a text telling her about the drowned 700 off Libya. It was “gut-wrenching”, she said, adding that “while exploring our past, we are always conscious that the experience is someone else’s present”.

Such sentiments were not lost on Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Speaking a month later to the crew of LÉ Eithne as they prepared to leave Cork to help rescue migrants in the Mediterranean, he highlighted Ireland’s historic familiarity with such tragedies.

“It is in our history and personality, and in our DNA, in Ireland, having dealt with coffin ships after the time of the Famine and the Great Hunger. The humanitarian personality of Ireland is extraordinary,” he said.

That may well be so, but Ireland’s, at least official Ireland’s, record in dealing with migrants/refugees has been shameful.

Jewish groups

After the second World War, Jewish groups in Dublin had great difficulty in securing refugee status for Jewish children to come to Ireland. In 1948 the Department of Justice offered a ludicrous explanation: “It has always been the policy of the minister for justice to restrict the admission of Jewish aliens, for the reason that any substantial increase in our Jewish population might give rise to an anti-Semitic problem.”

Then taoiseach Éamon de Valera overruled the department and 150 Jewish children were brought to Ireland.

In 1956 a group of 530 Hungarian refugees (how quickly that country forgets its own history too!) fleeing the Soviet invasion were accepted into Ireland and accommodated at an army camp in Knockalisheen, Co Clare.

The Irish government made the barest provision for them and considered their presence temporary. The Hungarian refugees complained bitterly about their treatment and soon the vast majority had left Ireland to be resettled in the US and Canada.

In 1973, after the president, Salvador Allende, was deposed in Chile, a group of Irish people lobbied for the acceptance of a quota of refugees from that country. At the time, Ireland and Luxembourg were the only members of the then EEC that had not accepted any Chilean refugees.

A Department of Justice memo of April 1974 expressed reservations about accepting such Chileans, due to their possible Marxist background. It was also felt that Ireland was not as cosmopolitan as other western European countries, and so “the absorption of even a limited number of foreigners of this kind could prove extremely difficult”.

This view was substantiated by reference to the Hungarian refugees who, it was claimed, had “failed to settle down” in Ireland and had re-emigrated to other countries.

Chilean refugees

Few of the 120 or so Chilean refugees who were eventually accepted by Ireland in the 1970s remained. They too experienced great difficulties.

As of February 16th last, there are 7,937 asylum seekers in Ireland, 55 per cent of them for five years or more. They live in inadequate conditions of forced dependency while allowed a weekly pittance and condemned to a limbo of unknown duration.

In the current migrant/ refugee crisis in Europe, Ireland has, to date, agreed with the European Commission to accept a quota of 600 of the estimated 40,000 being dealt with at the time of agreement, while separately arranging to resettle 520 refugees from outside the EU.

Germany has since said it will accept 800,000 such refugees this year, Austria 80,000, and we whinge when German chancellor Angela Merkel tells a press conference, as fact, that “some countries . . . are not participating in common European asylum policy; for instance, Britain, Ireland and Denmark”. Ireland of the Welcomes, how are ya!

Meanwhile, as with our ancestors and their children, desperate people and their children die as they try to escape horror for a better life.

Are we about to disgrace ourselves again?

The wind that shakes the barley

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

a film that also stars Cillian Murphy -from Peaky Blinders :

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Back from Dublin !

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Philomena : a touching movie

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

go and watch this movie in its original language version :

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Philomena with Stephen Frears and Judi Dench