Features

Slither

 

The day you slithered from the womb

the Doctor held you aloft, confirmed what we’d feared:

“Madam, it’s a potential Minister for Health.” And newborn you

screamed what we later understood to mean:

“bring me your perforated eardrums, your infected

urinary tracts, and I will set up a committee to look in them.”

But this most recent birth wasn’t the beginning.

Since shortly before time officially began,

you’ve dragged yourself across the top soil.

 

You were present and correct to brush the dandruff

off the Lord Mayor’s hat each time he visited

the municipal Home for Unfortunate Women

whose babies had to be flogged

to couples named Barbara and Algernon,

so as to be prudent with the Parish’s pennies.

 

You were on hand to personally present

the late archbishop with his fifth chocolate biscuit,

last time he visited the much maligned

School for The Blind, which used to be

where the town abattoir now stands.

 

And it was written

in lines later deleted from the Book of Judges

that it would be you who’d flood

our hospitals with avant-garde urologists

who instead of the traditional

(and far more costly) balloon catheter,

and ultrasonic stone disintegration apparatus,

prefer more radical treatments involving

a fishing rod

and an electric hair straightener.

 

Your upcoming marriage the usual

confidence and supply arrangement

you’ve had every other century.

Your fingers are starving worms

patiently awaiting their moment.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS

Dáil Issues, Defence, Oral Questions

QUESTION NO: 48

To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to parliamentary question number 1733 of 17 January 2017, his views on the low morale in the Defence Forces in view of the high rates of voluntary discharge; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
DEPUTY CLARE DALY .
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Dáil Debates, Justice

Worker's Rights

Tesco Picket Line Baggot Street

Tesco Ireland is the most profitable multinational retailer on the island of Ireland; generating more than €250 million in profit annually; buying up other companies for €4.3 billion and promising to pay out dividends to already wealthy shareholders. Against this retail giant are a small group of workers with 21 years of loyal service fighting to protect their incomes and their contracts of employment.

Tesco Ireland is attempting to change contracts of employment without agreement for 250 staff members employed before 1996. For the last 12 months they have intimidated and pressured those workers to leave the business and generally made their lives hell.

Why? Because, those workers have secure hour contracts, with relatively decent pay and conditions; this is the thanks you get for helping to build one of the most successful multinational retailers in the world, and it’s simply not good enough.
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