Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Features, Human Rights, International

by Shannonwatch

Map from CommonDreams article (April 2015) The Collapse of the Obama Doctrine: Yemen War as an Opportunity?

Map from CommonDreams article (April 2015) The Collapse of the Obama Doctrine: Yemen War as an Opportunity?

Over the years there have been regular movements of US military refuelling planes through Shannon. The government won’t tell us why they land there however. Are they refuelling US military planes just outside Irish airspace? Are they collecting cheap fuel? Are they on their way to warzones to re-fuel fighter jets?

These type of planes are currently engaged in ongoing aerial refuelling sorties in support of the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen. They began this in April, linking up with F-16s from the United Arab Emirates and with Saudi F-15s somewhere outside Yemeni airspace.
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A poem by Kevin Higgins written over three days on a trolley at University Hospital Galway A&E.

The Ninth Circle: A & E Saturday Night

after Dante Alighieri & Siegfried Sasoon


So, how are things in Hell?

An antibiotic drip

syringed into my right arm

without which I’ll expire

Monday lunchtime,

just in time for

the Joe Duffy Show.


In the next trolley-bed,

meningitis. Across

the way, a hip smashed

when she fell shutting a shed door.

Somewhere a drunk

carried in with his head

caved by a temperamental

iron bar shouts out rebel songs

with the added line:

I am not a paedophile.


This is the H-Blocks

with different jokes

and slightly less poo;

a scene from a battle

which, despite what

General Medals says

isn’t going terribly well.


Nurse agrees

there was a certain justice

in how King Charles the First

was cut down to size,

that there’s others

who’d benefit greatly

from being similarly

handed their heads.


All night a light orchestra

of gasping, groaning,

farting, beeping…


At the end of the hallway

the little room

we mostly visit alone,

some leaving behind

evidence of things even

a deranged loyalist paramilitary

should never have to think about.


Around a corner a sick baby

wails so violently on behalf of

all of us, you don’t need to see

its heaven-bound, red cheeks

to know, that for someone,

they’re all there is

in the world right now.





“you loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win”, (Leonard Cohen).


 for Jeremy Corbyn

The minute they realise

you might succeed in changing

more than the occasional

light bulb in the new

old community centre,

where the anti-apartheid

meetings used to happen;

the late Lord Lambton

climbs out from between

two prostitutes and into

the next available issue

of the Daily Express

to urge votes for anyone

but you; Earl Haig

gets up from his grave

to bang the table and tell us

you’ve not successfully

organised enough death

to properly understand

Britain’s defence needs

in the twenty first century.

The Telegraph mutters

into its whiskers about your lack

of experience – how you never once

so much as successfully destroyed a bank;

as former comedians gather

in darkest Norwich and Lincolnshire

to speak of your beige zip-up jackets.

LBC Radio exclusively reveals your plan

to give each failed asylum seeker,

and anyone who’s ever

taken an axe to a child,

their own seat in

the House of Lords;

the same day, The Spectator

gives retired General

Franco space to expose your

long term associations

with known vegetarians

and Mexican importers

of fair trade coffee.

While on Radio Four’s Women’s Hour

the former editor of the News of The World

and Dame Myra Hindley agree:

the last thing this country needs

right now is you.



Features, International

by Jamison Maeda

On any given day when you turn on your television or the radio in your car, you might hear about a fatal shooting in the US.

On July 17 a gunman shot seven people in Tennessee. Five of them, all members of the military, died from their injuries. On June 17 a gunman killed nine people at a black church in South Carolina. Eighty-two people were shot over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in Chicago alone.
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