Ireland seeks bailout by European Union

By Jordan Shilton, 15 November 2010

Ireland has begun preliminary talks with the European Union, with a view to securing a financial bailout to avert state bankruptcy.

Student demonstration against cuts attacked by police in Dublin

By Steve James, 9 November 2010

Over 40,000 students and young people marched through central Dublin last Wednesday, against government attacks on tertiary education.

Ireland moves closer to state bankruptcy

By Steve James, 4 October 2010

The Irish government’s September 30 emergency bailout is intended to draw a line under the country’s deepening financial crisis, but the continual injection of massive state funding into ruined banks, particularly Anglo Irish Bank, risks national bankruptcy.

European Central Bank presses Irish government for more social cuts

By Steve James, 23 September 2010

The Irish government raised €1.5 billion on the sale of government bonds this week, completing its target of raising €20 billion this year. It was able to do so only by promising yet more austerity measures.

Anglo Irish Bank fails

By Steve James, 14 September 2010

The Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised in early 2009 to prevent its immediate collapse. The Irish government is now planning to split the bank into a deposit bank and a “recovery” bank, as its losses continue to grow because of the decline of the property market.

Spending cuts in Northern Ireland to be particularly severe

By Steve James, 13 August 2010

Northern Ireland, dependent on public spending for 70 percent of economic activity, will be disproportionately hit by the cuts being imposed by the British Conservative-Liberal-Democrat coalition.

Irish government facing electoral rout

By Steve James, 14 July 2010

Both parties in the Irish government are facing electoral disaster when they finally go to the polls. A general election is due by 2012 at the latest, but the coalition government of Fianna Fail and the Greens is unlikely to last that long.

Irish unions agree to four-year strike ban

By Steve James, 28 June 2010

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions public service committee voted last week to formally agree a four-year strike ban, wholesale rationalisations in public services, unknown thousands of “voluntary” job losses and a continued pay freeze.

Britain: Saville Inquiry continues cover-up of Bloody Sunday massacre

By Chris Marsden, 18 June 2010

The Saville Report into Bloody Sunday in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on January 30, 1972, maintains the cover-up of one of the most infamous massacres ever perpetrated by British imperialism.

Trotskyism and the Bloody Sunday massacre: a record of principled opposition to British imperialism

18 June 2010

The findings of the Saville Inquiry are a political vindication of the stand taken by the Socialist Labour League, then the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Irish state bankruptcy looms as unions push through strike ban

By Steve James, 31 May 2010

Such is the perilous state of the Irish economy that the rationale for the Croke Park pact between the Irish trade unions, the government and public sector employers has already been exposed as a fraud.

Ireland: Public sector union leader demands workers accept austerity

By Steve James, 7 May 2010

In his May Day address, the general secretary of Ireland’s SIPTU public sector union demanded his members accept the four-year strike ban, pay freeze, massive redundancies and rationalisations agreed by the unions at the Labour Relations Commission in March.

Ireland: Quinn Insurance in administration

By Steve James, 20 April 2010

Quinn Insurance has been placed in administration for “serious and persistent breaches” of the solvency rules governing insurance companies.

Ireland: Public sector unions agree four-year strike ban

By Steve James, 13 April 2010

The agreement between Ireland’s public sector trade unions, the government and employers to ban strikes until 2014 gives full expression to the role of the union bureaucracy as the ally of the financial aristocracy and its plundering of public finances.

Ireland: Trade unions paved way for mass sackings at Aer Lingus

By Steve James, 23 March 2010

The conditions in which Aer Lingus’ was emboldened to sack 1,200 cabin crew were created by the trade union bureaucracy in Ireland.

Irish airline Air Lingus sacks hundreds of workers

By our correspondent, 12 March 2010

On Tuesday Republic of Ireland airline Aer Lingus announced 670 job cuts in a major attack on its workforce.

Irish unions seek new partnership with government-employers against working class

By Steve James, 6 March 2010

The Irish trade unions bear primary responsibility for the successful imposition of austerity measures against workers after the world financial crisis overwhelmed the country’s financial sector in late 2008.

Northern Ireland: Policing and justice agreement heralds assault on living standards

By Steve James, 9 February 2010

Threats and bribes from London, encouraged by Washington and Dublin, eventually convinced the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to agree to the transferring of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Executive.

Northern Ireland: Still searching for agreement in talks over policing

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 4 February 2010

Agreement to the transfer of justice and policing responsibilities in Northern Ireland to the power-sharing assembly at Stormont stalled this week due to widespread opposition within the Democratic Unionist Party.

Irish report indicts Catholic Church, authorities for child sex abuse

By Steve James, 19 January 2010

The Commission of Investigation report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, known as the Murphy report, was finally published late last year.

Northern Ireland Assembly gripped by crisis

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2010

The future of the Northern Ireland Assembly has been thrown into question, the result of allegations relating to the financial affairs of Iris Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland’s first minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Peter Robinson.

Irish government imposes austerity budget

By Steve James, 16 December 2009

The 2010 budget announced December 9 by Ireland’s Fianna Fail and Green Party government is a declaration of social warfare by a criminal financial oligarchy, the path for which has been prepared by the Irish trade unions.

Ireland suffers widespread flooding

By Jordan Shilton, 8 December 2009

Thousands of people were forced from their homes across Ireland last month after torrential rain caused severe flooding.

Irish unions call off general strike, offer €1.3 billion public service cuts

By Stephen James, 3 December 2009

Following two long nights of discussion, including one 23-hour session, the Irish trade unions have offered the government a package of measures designed to cut next year’s public service wage bill by some €1.3 billion.

Ireland: 300,000 public service workers strike

By Steve James, 25 November 2009

Up to 300,000 public service workers in Ireland struck November 24 against proposals by the Irish government to impose devastating spending cuts in the 2010 budget.

Irish Fianna Fail/Green coalition prepares major budget cuts

By Steve James, 24 October 2009

Ireland’s ruling coalition of Fianna Fail and the Green Party are preparing a confrontation with the working class.

Irish referendum endorses European Union’s Lisbon Treaty

By Steve James, 5 October 2009

The European Union’s Lisbon Treaty has been endorsed by Irish voters in Friday’s referendum by a majority of 67 percent of voters to 33 percent.

Ireland: Vote “No” to the Lisbon Treaty

For the United Socialist States of Europe

By Socialist and Germany, 1 October 2009

The Socialist Equality Parties of the UK and Germany call for a “No” vote in the Irish referendum on the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty on Friday, October 2.

Strikes and occupations spread across Ireland

By Jordan Shilton, 7 September 2009

Recent strikes and occupations in Ireland have involved dockers at Dublin ports, medical workers in County Tipperary, Health Services Executive employees and workers at Coca Cola.

Ireland’s “bad bank” becomes a €90 billion property speculator

By Steve James, 10 August 2009

Draft legislation on Ireland’s so called “bad bank”, the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA), makes clear that it is a vast property gamble to be paid for by the working class.

Irish government prepares more spending cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 31 July 2009

The Irish government is preparing to implement yet another round of public spending cuts, its third in the past year.

Omagh verdict leaves questions of state collusion unanswered

By Steve James, 23 June 2009

The success of a recent civil case against four people accused of the 1998 bombing of Omagh in Northern Ireland has not answered fundamental questions about the terrorist atrocity.

Ireland creates “bad bank” to rescue finance and property speculators

By Steve James, 8 June 2009

Ireland’s proposed National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) will channel state spending into the hands of the very banks and property developers whose reckless and criminal speculation has brought the Irish economy to the brink of ruin.

Irish child abuse: The Ryan Report cover-up

By Steve James, 26 May 2009

For all the details of sadistic physical, sexual, emotional abuse, neglect and brutalisation of children in Ireland’s industrial school system, the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA) is a cover up.

Ireland: Unemployment expected to reach 17 percent

By Steve James, 6 May 2009

A report released early May by the Economic and Social Research Institute states that Ireland is expected to go through the sharpest economic contraction of any industrialised country since the 1930s.

Ireland: Government unveils major budget cuts

By Steve James, 14 April 2009

The Irish government outlined its emergency budget in response to the country’s deepening economic and financial crisis on April 7.

Workers occupy car parts factories in England and Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 4 April 2009

Hundreds of workers at car parts maker Visteon have launched occupations and sit-in protests at the company’s sites in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon.

Ireland: Taxi strike, student protests after unions call off national strike

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2009

Only a 24-hour work stoppage by Dublin taxi drivers and a lecture boycott by students at University College Dublin went ahead after the Irish Congress of Trade Unions called off the national strike scheduled for March 30.

Ireland: Trade unions call off March 30 national strike

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 28 March 2009

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called off its planned one-day national strike scheduled for March 30.

Ireland: Government to impose draconian austerity measures with opposition support

By Steve James, 16 March 2009

Ireland’s Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has warned of more savage cuts than expected in the emergency budget scheduled for April 7.

Northern Ireland: Anxiety over “peace process” following shootings of soldiers, police officer

By Julie Hyland, 11 March 2009

The media has been filled with near apocalyptic warnings of the potential breakdown of the Northern Ireland “peace process” following the shooting of two British soldiers.

Ireland: KPS unlikely to maintain production at occupied Waterford facility

By Steve James, 6 March 2009

Workers occupying the Waterford facility at Kilbarry, Ireland, face being left high and dry by its sale to KPS Capital.

Ireland: Buyout by KPS would be a defeat for Waterford occupation

By Steve James, 25 February 2009

Receivers for the failed Waterford Wedgwood company are reportedly on the brink of a deal with venture capitalists KPS Capital. Acceptance of the KPS take-over would represent defeat for this brave and determined initiative and should be opposed.

Ireland: over 100,000 march against government in Dublin

By Chris Marsden, 23 February 2009

Up to 120,000 marched through Dublin on Saturday, in a massive protest against government attacks on working people.

ICTU protest in Dublin: Workers angry over pension levy, jobs and wages

By Elaine Gorton, 23 February 2009

A reporting team from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers taking part in Saturday’s 100,000-strong protest in Dublin.

Ireland: Waterford occupation continues as protests grow against cuts and closures

By Steve James, 10 February 2009

Workers are continuing to occupy the Waterford Wedgewood crystal factory in Ireland as protests over the economic crisis spread.

Ireland: Workers occupy Waterford crystal factory

By Steve James, 3 February 2009

Two hundred workers have occupied the historic Waterford Crystal plant and visitor centre at Kilbarry, Ireland.

Ireland: Anglo Irish Bank taken into state ownership

By Steve James, 27 January 2009

The Irish government was forced to take the Anglo Irish Bank into full state ownership on January 15. The move came as fears that a collapse of the bank, one of Ireland’s largest lenders, would bring down the entire economy.

Irish economy disintegrates

By Steve James, 19 January 2009

Ireland’s “Celtic tiger” economy has been thrown into reverse by the global financial crisis, with US PC maker Dell and Waterford Wedgewood closing their facilities, while the Tara zinc mine in Navan has also threatened mass job losses.

Irish banks bailed out as economy unravels

By Steve James, 31 December 2008

Already severely impacted by the global economic crisis, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan announced December 16 that up to €10 billion would be necessary to help recapitalise three of Ireland’s banks.

Irish government imposes harsh budget cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 22 October 2008

Barely two weeks after an unlimited guarantee was offered on all bank deposits, the Irish government has announced severe funding cuts for public services.

Irish government organises massive support package for banks

By Jordan Shilton, 6 October 2008

The Irish government announced on September 30 a plan to guarantee all deposits in the country's six major domestic financial institutions, a move whose cost could approach the sum the US will make available to bail out Wall Street.

BBC reveals how Britain’s spies monitored Omagh bombers

By Steve James, 2 October 2008

According to a BBC Panorama programme, “Omagh--What the Police Were Never Told,” the British government’s intelligence monitoring service, Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), was actively monitoring mobile phones used in the 1998 car bombing of Omagh, Northern Ireland, in which 29 people died.

Irish government neglect flood victims and infrastructure

By Jordan Shilton, 19 September 2008

This summer saw unprecedented rainfall throughout Ireland, resulting in a number of flash floods across the country. The resulting chaos and damage to infrastructure and people’s homes were largely due to the chronic under-funding of public infrastructure.

Irish government prepares public spending cuts, lay-offs

By Jordan Shilton, 18 August 2008

An article in the Sunday Business Post on July 27 revealed that the Irish government is to initiate severe cuts to public spending over the coming months. The article, written by political editor Pat Leahy, was based on a leaked memo that instructed each government department to identify projects greater than the value of 10 million euros that could be deferred.

Economic troubles mark the end of Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger”

By Jordan Shilton, 14 July 2008

For nearly two decades, Ireland has been hailed as an example to the rest of the world for what can be achieved by a small country in terms of economic growth. The prosperity enjoyed by the “Celtic Tiger,” it was claimed, benefited the Irish population as a whole. It was cited by the Scottish National Party to bolster its call for independence from Britain.

European powers to continue with Lisbon Treaty despite Ireland “No” vote

By Steve James, 16 June 2008

The major European powers, led by Germany and France, have made clear they will seek to defy Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in the referendum held June 12. In a 53 percent turnout, 53 percent voted “No” while 46 percent voted in favour.

Vote “No” in the Irish EU referendum

12 June 2008

The Socialist Equality Parties of Britain and Germany call for a decisive “No” vote in today’s referendum in the Irish republic on the European Union’s Lisbon “Reform” Treaty.

Northern Ireland: The significance of Paisley’s resignation and Adams’s regret

By Steve James, 5 April 2008

Ian Paisley’s decision to resign in May this year from his office as First Minister of Northern Ireland has been greeted with great regret by those he has spent his entire political career denouncing.

Northern Ireland: More evidence of MI5’s network of informers and provocateurs in the IRA

By Steve James, 13 March 2008

According to the Observer, shortly before taking him into “protective custody,” it was MI5 itself that warned Roy McShane that he was in danger of being exposed as another British spy close to leadership of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Omagh bombing trial: Hoey cleared, but little else clarified

By Steve James, 19 January 2008

Eleven months after his trial concluded, Sean Hoey, an electrician from South Armagh, Northern Ireland, was acquitted of all charges connecting him to the March 24, 1998 bombing of Omagh. Arrested in 2003 during a huge police operation involving 200 officers, Hoey is now a free man.

Ireland’s “Green” coalition: Environmentalists and Fianna Fail unite

By Steve James, 14 August 2007

Green parties worldwide are already synonymous with spectacular renunciations of principle. Policies advocated, perhaps for decades, are dropped within hours of entering government. In return for some minor adjustments of environmental policy, Greens have assumed responsibility for aggressively advancing the interests of their own capitalists.

Northern Ireland: Apparent suicide and destruction of records mark opening of Billy Wright inquiry

By Steve James, 26 June 2007

John Kenneway was found dead in his Northern Ireland prison cell on June 8. Shortly after his death in Maghaberry Prison, the Northern Ireland Prison Service announced its regrets. The Northern Ireland Prison Ombudsman launched an investigation, in line with normal procedures.

Fianna Fail wins Irish election

By Steve James, 2 June 2007

The ruling Fianna Fail in Ireland did better than expected in the 24 May general election to the Dáil Éireann. The outcome has been proclaimed a triumph for residing Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, who is now the first Irish premier since Eamon de Valera to win a third term in office.

Irish election likely to be close

By Steve James, 23 May 2007

The outcome of tomorrow’s Irish general election is thought too close to call.

Beyond the hyperbole, what next for Northern Ireland?

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 10 May 2007

The ceremonial opening of the power-sharing Executive at Stormont, with Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness sitting alongside Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), is portrayed as a fairy tale ending to the Northern Ireland peace process. In fact, it is more akin to a business agreement between two hostile parties charged with opening up Northern Ireland PLC to global investors.

Sinn Fein endorse Police Service of Northern Ireland and MI5 operations

By Steve James, 7 February 2007

Sinn Fein’s special convention on January 28 gave its backing to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland criminal justice system.

Northern Ireland: The arrest of Kevin Fulton and the Omagh bombing

By Steve James, 1 December 2006

The arrest of former British spy Kevin Fulton has implications that go beyond its impact on the current trial of Sean Hoey at Belfast Crown Court. Hoey, from South Armagh, has been in jail since 2003, and faces 58 charges relating to the Real IRA bombing of the town of Omagh, Northern Ireland, in 1998, which killed 29 people and was the worst atrocity of the Troubles.

Ireland: “Bertiegate” corruption allegations against Taoiseach Ahern

By Steve James, 21 November 2006

Leaks from the Mahon Tribunal into alleged planning corruption in the early 1990s focus on Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Bertie Ahern.

Ireland’s unions cement 10-year pay and public spending agreement

By Steve James, 1 August 2006

Ireland’s trade unions, employers and the Fianna Fail-led government have agreed to a new 10-year national pay and public spending agreement, “Towards 2016.”

How deep does the state penetration of Sinn Fein go?

Northern Ireland: the Donaldson affair and the threat to democratic rights

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 19 January 2006

The exposure of Denis Donaldson, one of Sinn Fein’s leading figures in the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly, as a British intelligence agent of 20 years standing tears a hole in the democratic facade behind which politics in Northern Ireland and Britain is conducted, and reveals the real attitude held by the British government and an array of its intelligence agencies to democratic rights. Secondly, it reveals an astonishing level of intelligence penetration of Sinn Fein and the IRA, which raises disturbing questions on their conduct over decades. The near-silence of the British media on this question serves to emphasise its own indifference to such fundamental issues affecting democratic rights.

Northern Ireland spy scandal: Questions Sinn Fein must answer

By by Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 22 December 2005

The exposure of leading Sinn Fein official Denis Donaldson as a British spy raises profound questions.

Northern Ireland: loyalist riots point to unresolved social and political tensions

By Steve James, 19 September 2005

The eruption of orchestrated rioting in some predominantly working class Protestant areas of Belfast is a sharp indicator of the social and political tensions being generated within the “new” Northern Ireland.

Irish smallholders jailed for opposing gas pipeline

By Steve James, 30 August 2005

For almost eight weeks, five men have been incarcerated in Dublin’s Cloverhill jail for opposing compulsory acquisition orders taken out for the construction of a multi-billion-euro gas pipeline and terminal.

Ireland’s dilemma after rejection of European Union budget

By Steve James, 30 June 2005

The Irish government has been placed in enormous difficulties by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s offensive in Europe against social welfare and the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Leading government figures have been forced into criticism of British policy after Blair prevented ratification of the EU budget this month, fearing its implications for the Irish economy and agricultural producers in particular.

Northern Ireland elections: deepening polarisation and the collapse of the Ulster Unionist Party

By Steve James, 10 May 2005

Britain’s May 5 general election included polls for 18 Westminster seats in British-ruled Northern Ireland. The results exposed deepening sectarian polarisation between nationalist and unionist voters. They also confirmed the virtual collapse of the traditional party of the Northern Irish bourgeoisie, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and triggered the resignation of the UUP’s leader, David Trimble.

Northern Ireland: McCartney murder used to increase pressure on IRA to disband

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 21 March 2005

The feting of the family of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney by the Bush administration is a cynical exercise in political manipulation. McCartney’s murder has been seized upon by the US, British and Irish governments to step up pressure on Sinn Fein to back the demand for the Irish Republican Army to disband. Sinn Fein, which officially denies any ties to the proscribed IRA, has long been considered the political wing of the republican paramilitary organisation.

New push by Britain and Ireland for IRA disbandment

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 7 March 2005

Recent weeks have seen intense pressure placed on Sinn Fein by London and Dublin, backed by Washington, to accept not only the disarming of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) but its disbandment.

Northern Ireland: New efforts to revive power sharing at Stormont

By Steve James, 24 November 2004

The British and Irish governments are trying to revive the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly, now in the third year of its fourth period of suspension since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

Northern Ireland: British government announces inquiry into Pat Finucane’s assassination

By Steve James, 27 September 2004

After 15 years, the British government has announced that it intends to hold an inquiry into the assassination of Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane. The announcement was made by Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy, a week after the loyalist killer, Ken Barrett, pled guilty to his part in Finucane’s murder at Belfast Crown Court.

Ireland: election results record decay of Fianna Fail

By Steve James, 30 June 2004

The European and local election results in the Republic of Ireland have further exposed the advanced stage of decay of the main Irish business party, Fianna Fail. Expressing widespread political alienation with the government, Fianna Fail lost over 20 percent of their local constituency seats, and a European seat.

Ireland votes to curtail citizenship rights

By Steve James, 19 June 2004

The Irish Fianna Fail government of Bertie Ahern, currently holding the presidency of the European Union, has won a referendum vote to remove Irish citizenship from the children of immigrants.

Northern Ireland: Reports detail Britain’s collusion with loyalist murder squads

By Steve James, 26 April 2004

Four reports by Canadian judge Peter Cory into collusion between state authorities and the killers of two human rights lawyers, a Catholic worker, and a pro-British Protestant loyalist were finally published on April 1.

Slain Irish soldier’s mother condemns Iraq war

By Julie Hyland, 23 March 2004

The mother of the only Irish soldier to be killed during the occupation of Iraq has attacked the US-led war.

Canadian judge calls for investigation into Britain’s “dirty war” in Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 4 March 2004

The British government is trying to avoid publication of a series of reports calling for public inquiries into four of the most notorious killings during Northern Ireland’s “Troubles.”

Northern Ireland: Discussions aimed at rescuing Good Friday Agreement

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 20 February 2004

Discussions have begun between all the major political parties in Northern Ireland and the British and Irish governments on a review of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The review will centre on the extent to which the far-right pro-British loyalist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Ian Paisley can carry out its stated policy of excluding Sinn Fein from power in a revived Northern Ireland Assembly.

Northern Ireland loyalists turn to race violence

By Steve James, 6 February 2004

A series of racial attacks in Northern Ireland point to organised efforts by Ulster loyalist paramilitaries to purge Protestant areas of non-whites.

Ireland: Barron report confirms British collusion in 1974 Dublin bombings

By Steve James, 23 December 2003

The Irish government has approved the publication of a report into the origins of bomb attacks in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974. Thirty-three people were killed in the atrocity, the single most bloody event in the entire period of the “Troubles” in Ireland, and the lives of hundreds more were marred by injuries to themselves, friends and family members.

Irish budget hands millions of euros to business

By Niall Green, 11 December 2003

In his seventh budget as Minister of Finance, Charlie McCreevy continued the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat coalition government’s policy of offering tax breaks to big business while starving public services of investment. Increases in indirect taxation, which hit the poor hardest, have also been announced.

Northern Ireland: Unions derail opposition to Bombardier job cuts

By Steve James, 11 December 2003

A weeklong strike by workers at Bombardier’s Belfast aerospace plant, part of a months-long dispute, has been derailed by the combined efforts of the trade union bureaucracy and the Northern Ireland Labour Relations Agency (LRA).

Northern Ireland elections: Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein gain support

By Steve James, 3 December 2003

Elections for the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly resulted in predicted gains in support for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein.

Northern Ireland election: An attempt to rescue the Good Friday Agreement

By Steve James, 26 November 2003

Today’s second election for the Northern Ireland Assembly is another desperate effort to resuscitate the constitutional arrangements established under the power-sharing Good Friday Agreement of 1998 (Agreement).

Northern Ireland: Adams offers to disband IRA as new elections are called

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 7 November 2003

More than a year after the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly and six months after scheduled elections were cancelled, new elections have finally been called by the British government for November 26, 2003. It is highly unlikely that those elected will immediately take up their seats, as no clear Agreement has been reached between the various contending parties and governments to allow the assembly to be revived. Rather, the vote will be a trial of strength before the planned review of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement due to begin in December.

Deepening poverty and inequality in Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 24 October 2003

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which incorporated republican Sinn Fein and the IRA into the structure of British rule in Northern Ireland, was supposed to create a framework within which an era of “peace and prosperity” for all would dawn. Instead, five years later, a new report has been compiled revealing that poverty is more prevalent than either in the UK or in the Republic of Ireland, and both Catholics and Protestants are deeply affected.

Northern Ireland: Human rights redefined on sectarian lines

By Steve James, 20 August 2003

Underlying the tensions in and around the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), are two conflicting conceptions of human rights. These in turn reflect the gulf between the hopes of working people initially attached to the Northern Ireland “peace process” and its essential divisive and sectarian content.

The “Steak Knife” affair and Britain’s dirty war in Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 9 August 2003

After months of claims, counterclaims, denials and fresh accusations, it now seems highly likely that the one-time second in command of the Provisional Irish Republican Army’s (IRA’s) internal security was for many years an agent of British intelligence.

Irish government prepares airport and transport privatisation

By Steve James, 30 July 2003

Ireland’s state-owned airport company, Aer Rianta, is to be broken up and eventually privatised.

Ireland: Health care cuts claim child’s life

By Steve James, 11 July 2003

Two-year-old Róisin Ruddle from Limerick died July 1 shortly after being sent home from Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Dublin because of a shortage of nursing staff.

Ireland: Ulster Unionist Party could split

By Steve James, 28 June 2003

David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and First Minister of the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly, narrowly won a majority in his own party to avoid a rejection of the April 2003 Joint Declaration of the British and Irish governments. At a special June 16 meeting of the party’s leading body, the 860-strong Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), Trimble defeated his long-standing opponent Jeffrey Donaldson by 54 to 46 percent.

Hundreds of jobs cut in Belfast

By Steve James, 16 June 2003

Two of the Northern Ireland’s oldest and most famous manufacturing companies, Short Brothers and Harland and Wolff, have announced drastic cuts in their workforces.