Features

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Ken Doyle

Sep
2017
20

Features

It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden death of our friend and colleague Ken Doyle. Ken was a generous hearted and principled man who we had the privilege of campaigning with over the last number of years.

Ken was an activist for years before we got to know him.  He was very concerned with environmental issues and was an advocate for the cooperative movement.  He spent many years as a member of the Green Party and in more recent times as a member of the Woodland League, he played an active role in protecting our national forests  from privatisation.

As chairperson of the Swords anti property tax campaign he worked hard to protect his community from the austerity that was being foisted on people in the wake of the bank bailouts of 2008.  He continued in the same way as a dedicated activist in the recent movement against the water charges.

In 2014 he took up the challenge to run for his local council where he would have loyally represented his community. Over the years he lent much of his  time and support to me and his good friend cllr John Lyons.  He was a community activist in every sense and was appalled at the political decisions that created hardship and inequality for so many.  He did everything in his power to help as many people as he could who were facing hardship.

Ken had time for everyone, was a generous and kind man.  He was a great friend, father, son, husband, brother and grandfather.  It was a privilege to be able to count him as a friend.  He will be greatly missed.  We send our condolences and best wishes to all of his family and friends at this sad time. RIP Ken.

O Trudeau!

Jul
2017
06

Features

by Kevin Higgins

 

Cometh the rubbish haircuts firing tweets and ICBMs;

the people with bad teeth daring to belch their opinions in public.

Cometh also the Warren Beatty of the North,

sans the wrinkles and heavy politics, bearing

to the sisterhood of the stuffed vine leaf

and gourmet sausage

ribbon-wrapped boxes labelled ‘hope’,

‘moderation’, and ‘free trade’;

your tongue’s delicious wiggling

persuading even Lycra clad

husbands to put bikes and running shoes aside

for a moment and join the ravenous pack

of dangerous  sensibilists in drizzling a tribute

of garlic butter all over

your French speaking torso.

Your hair, a field of wheat that reminds

soon-to-be-ex Prime Ministers

of better times.

Your words, as gorgeously proportional

as the gossip from the ladies’ golf-club,

float off towards the sun.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS

Dáil Debates, Features, International

Features, National, Social Welfare

 

Minister Vardakar’s right wing posturing is an insult to working class communities. Hiding behind his false beard claims, it’s not hard to see exactly what he’s about.

The recent high profile advertisement campaign, “Welfare cheats cheat us all” launched by the misnamed Department of Social Protection and their chief of deception, Leo Varadkar, is more than empty posturing by the Tory wannabe; it is a deliberate attempt to negatively portray those members of our society who claim their entitlements to social welfare.

Every taxpayer (and everyone pays tax throughout their lifetime in various ways) contributes to a central fund to provide financial support on occasions when we need it throughout our lives. Children’s allowance, old age pensions, sick pay, disability payments, unemployment benefit and housing benefit all come from a central fund we all contribute to.

Welfare is essentially a progressive policy of a caring society, we call it welfare because most of us are concerned with the welfare of our fellow beings, and we should protect it from this blatant attempt to undermine it. Make no mistake this ‘campaign’ is a precursor and indeed an excuse to justify more neo liberal and draconian cuts to the welfare system.
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