Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Features, Human Rights, National

Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors


Survivors of Ireland’s notorious Mother and Baby homes and related institutions expressed their OUTRAGE fury at the one year delay to the final report of the Mother and Baby home inquiry headed by Judge Murphy. The survivor community is elderly and dying and many hundreds have already died since the Tuam 800 story broke in May 2014 and the Government announced an inquiry.

CMABS demanded in 2014 that the Government needed to form an “inquiry of modules” where each individual Mother and Baby home was examined in relation to the aging survivors, as a matter of urgency and furthermore that an immediate Acknowledge, Apology and Redress was offered to the different groups of elderly survivors after each module.

CMABS again demands that the Government and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar immediately offer: an Acknowledgment of the horror of the Mother and Baby homes, an official Apology to the survivor community and, an interim Redress payment to the elderly and dying survivor community before any more of us die.

Paul Redmond (Chairperson of CMABS) said:

“This is yet another delaying tactic by the Government to deny survivors truth and justice. The current inquiry is already too limited and excludes many survivors and this delay will now enure that thousands more survivors are denied justice by death.”

Clodagh Malone of Beyond Adoption Ireland said:

“This is utterly shameful. Our community are heartbroken and devastated. Tears are flowing.”

Derek Leinster of the Bethany Home Survivors group ’98 said:

“Living survivors must always take priority over inquiries and reports. We need an immediate and final result for the handful of elderly Bethany survivors who are left alive. There are 227 names on the Bethany Memorial in Mount Jerome cemetery and this Government have now added more names of victims to that Memorial  by this disgusting delaying tactic.

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Ode To The Russian Revolution

after Warren Beatty & John Reed


Not the continent of tractor factories

you became. Nor the photographs of those

later killed by questions they didn’t ask.


But the banners made of bed linen

flooding Nevsky Prospect. A boy’s laughter

at an old man’s shout of “Down with everything!”

on a street packed with serious talk.

Another man vanishing into the morning

with some odd vases of valuable porcelain.

The high white letters of the crowd’s

new sounding slogans, as they move

around the corner on their way

who knows where.


Ken Doyle



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!



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.