Monday, August 13, 2007

The name Tony Gregory was virtually unheard of outside Dublin before 1982 when he was elected to Leinster House as an independent in Dublin Central , a post he still holds . He made the headlines with the famous 'Gregory Deal' in the same year when , in return for his support , the Fianna Fail government pumped £76 million into the redevelopment of inner city housing .
By Sean Ó Donáile .
From 'USI NEWS' , February 1989.

In the parochial world of politics , Tony Gregory soon became synonymous with tweed jacket and open neck dress and still doesn't don the customary suit and tie - " People can wear whatever they like . I think those who are offput by dress have very little on their minds and should look at more serious topics rather than wasting time on irrelevant issues ."

On a more serious vein , however , I queried him on his background and how he managed to establish himself as a Leinster House 'regular' without the backing of a party machine : " I was brought up in a working class background and I didn't like the society I was growing up in . I wanted to play a part in changing it , so I joined an organisation (Official Sinn Fein - now renamed 'The Workers' Party') which I thought was a very radical party at that time . I had the experience of spending a number of years in the 'Officials' and the IRSP after that , so I was familiar with the mechanisms for contesting elections .

However , I found out that this party was radical in some ways but very reactionary in other ways , so I left and became involved in community organisations and through that to electoral politics and I was elected to Dublin City Council and subsequently to Leinster House. My reason for going forward was not just to contest and expound theories , but to win....... "



Feminists and anti-imperialists in Ireland have often regarded each other's struggles with misunderstanding , mutual suspicion , and sometimes outright rejection . What then is the relationship between them ? Eibhlin Ni Gabhann surveys the emergence of women's liberation groups in Belfast and Dublin over the past decade or so , and some of the questions they have faced .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983.

Greater social conservatism generally , and in the six counties the re-emergent questions of civil rights and partition ('1169...' Comment - the issue of partition cannot be solved by increased 'civil rights' , regardless of who obtains same from Westminster) made it far harder for Irish women to organise themselves in any corresponding movement around the same period .

Although it was often women in the north of Ireland who were dominant in the marches and protests for civil rights ('1169...' Comment - opposed to Republican women who 'march and protest' for a British political and military withdrawal) the most politicised among them found - like their American sisters - that this involvement in mass movements against the Orange State was not raising any questions about the oppression of women within that State .

So that despite the massive upsurge of militancy among working-class nationalist women in the Northern ghettos it was to be left to radical middle-class women , with their traditional hostility to nationalism , to do so . In the South , too , without the politicisation of events on the scale seen in the six counties , it was middle-class women and students who took the initiative : by 1974 , there were women's groups in the two Northern universities and in Dublin and Cork universities . These groups were in contact with one another but their mutual refusal to take any stand on the national struggle , which so many women were involved in or were affected by , effectively limited both their growth and impact.......


From 'The Phoenix' magazine , January 2003.
(Note: as a result of our recent posts on this subject , a reader asked us to locate and publish this 'Phoenix' article . We are pleased to be able to do so.)

When the Gardai were called , the scene was preserved and John O' Shea's death was treated initially as suspicious . The inquest heard that this was because the dead man had sustained a number of visible injuries to his face and neck . Following the post mortem , the State Pathologist, John Harbison, stated that the cause of death was hypothermia . He told the first day of the inquest in Kerry that his decision was heavily influenced by Garda information given to him , namely , that John O' Shea had been outside the house for several hours , half undressed . Subsequently , however , no garda at the inquest - eighteen in all gave evidence - could say who told Professor Harbison this .

In a dramatic development in the Listowel courtroom last month , the O' Shea family solicitor , Michael Finucane, requested the recall of John Harbison to clarify evidence surrounding his verdict of death due to hypothermia . Coroner Helen Lucey rang John Harbison by mobile phone in open court and four hours later he arrived after a flight from Dublin.......