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24 June 2004 Edition

This is why we're protesting

24 June 2004

This weekend, George W Bush will visit Ireland - but he won't be receiving the traditional welcome given by the Irish people to a United States President. It's no wonder people are unhappy. In preparation for his trip, the Gardaí are mounting their largest-ever security operation, which has already clocked up massive costs. The citizens of Clare, where he will land, have been placed under a state of virtual martial law. The right to peaceful protest has been severely curtailed by a government that has refused to acknowledge many Irish people's legitimate complaints and concerns about the visit. Free article

We're not anti-American, just pro-humanity

24 June 2004

This weekend, tens of thousands of people will take to the streets in a demonstration that some commentators will describe as anti-American. There will be Americans on the march and there are Americans supporting the march from the United States but the media will ignore all this and describe it as simple anti-Americanism. Free article

Making republicanism relevant - This is our time

24 June 2004

Standing on the shoulders of giants was a recurring theme at this year's Bodenstown commemoration, which took place last Sunday. For the first time in a long time, republican Joe Cahill could not attend the celebrations, due to illness, and both Deirdre Whelan, who chaired the proceedings, and main speaker Gerry Adams, marked his absence. Annie Cahill was there, however, and laid the first wreath of the ceremony. Free article

Remand prisoners' human rights abused

24 June 2004

Irish people have a long history of struggles to improve jail conditions. In the context of the peace process and promise of the Good Friday Agreement, the harassment and intimidation of prisoners and their families seems out of step, almost unthinkable. Free article

Dublin & Monaghan relatives seek justice in Europe

24 June 2004

Relatives of those killed in the 1974 Dublin & Monaghan bombings are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights. At a press conference last Saturday, Justice for the Forgotten spokesperson Bernie McNally said the group had been left with no other option after the outrageous refusal of the British Government to co-operate with the Barron Inquiry, the Oireachtas Committee hearings and the inquests into the 34 people who died as a result of the bombings. Free article

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Democracy at its purest! EU Constitution draft agreed

24 June 2004

The clichés and superlatives were in full flow last weekend as the leaders of the 25 member states agreed a new draft of the EU constitution. Bertie Ahern paid tribute to those who helped, saying "a ship that has been docked safely today", while Romano Prodi proclaimed that the new constitution was "democracy in its purest sense". Given that only ten of the 25 states have proposed holding a referendum on the constitution, one wonders just where Romano Prodi found the pure democracy in a treaty that has yet to have any democratic tests applied to it. Free article

Unions get the dregs

24 June 2004

A record sixth partnership agreement and an unprecedented final 29-hour negotiating session yielded a new wage agreement between 26-County employers and workers last weekend, in what was probably the most subdued union-employer engagement of the last 20 years. The resulting agreement, made possible through a fudge by the coalition government on the how and when of Aer Rianta's break up, has little actual detail. Aer Rianta privatisation was at the top of the union agenda, yet the situation at An Post and CIE was inexplicably not. Free article

Tallaght Trolley man

24 June 2004

Much was made this week in the media of the poor unfortunate man in Tallaght Accident & Emergency Ward who got off his trolley (so to speak) to relieve himself and on returning, found that the trolley was to be the temporary resting place for another patient-in-waiting. Although it sounded almost like an urban myth such was the telling and re-telling of the saga, with interchangeable details regarding what happened to him post-trolley takeover, the incident did actually take place. However, it did not happen this week or last week. Free article


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