Thursday, 15 November 2012

Truth and Lies in Gaza

Palestinian baby killed by an Israeli air strike

Tonight, Gaza is burning and its people are dying. The citizens of southern Israel are living in bomb shelters. At the time of writing, 22 people have been killed since the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) launched Operation Pillar of Defence yesterday with the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the military commander of Hamas.  Nineteen of the dead were Palestinians, including four babies and a pregnant woman. Three Israeli civilians were killed today by a rocket attack on the Israeli town of Kiryat Malachi, 25km north of Gaza; a four-year-old boy and two babies were also wounded in this attack. Ominously, the IDF has moved its troops south in case a ground invasion of Gaza is ordered.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church: The Gay Hippie Defence

Palatable Answers

Since the 1980s, revelations of widespread sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests and the cover-up of such crimes by Catholic bishops have shocked the world. Practising Catholics were especially appalled. Many asked themselves how so-called servants of Christ and upholders of traditional values could commit or conceal such evil. For some conservative Catholics, the most palatable answer is that the Church has been infiltrated and corrupted by liberalism. Unfortunately, such an analysis has been given partial credence by last year’s John Jay College report on the “causes and context” of the abuse crisis in the US Catholic Church.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

On Abortion

Pro-life protest outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast
Since the opening of a Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast this month, abortion is back in the news in Ireland. The clinic, which offers first-trimester abortions only in cases where the health of the mother is at risk, was picketed on its opening day by both Free Presbyterians and devout Catholics. Other than a disgust of homosexuality, nothing else could bring such sworn enemies together.

Growing up, my parents and teachers told me that since life begins at conception, abortion is murder. As an adult, I have come to realise that such reasoning is faulty.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Who Is That Dashing Lefty?

Thanks to Marty Cullen for this!

On the Ulster Covenant

The Ulster Covenant
[T]here’s no denying that as Ian Paisley kick-started the Troubles, without Edward Carson there might not have been an Easter Rising. - Ruth Dudley Edwards

London hears the Irish gun more keenly than the voice of Irish reason. For decades it had steadfastly obstructed the patient and courteously expressed nationalist demands for Irish self-government, but almost overnight yielded to the threat of violence from the Ulster loyalists. - Kevin Myers

The Ulster Covenant contributed to the cycle of violence that resulted in the Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. - Eoghan Harris

Though I like and admire Ruth Dudley Edwards, it is not often we find common ground in the subject of Irish history. Moreover, to find myself nodding in agreement with Kevin Myers and Eoghan Harris on any subject - let alone Ireland - is a little disconcerting. Yet all three are right about the Ulster Covenant.

In Defence of Eric Hobsbawm

Eric Hobsbawm
 Less than a day after his death, some right-wing commentators have dubbed Eric Hobsbawm the David Irving of the Left. This is a distortion of which Irving himself would be proud.


Hello. My name is Alfie Gallagher and I'm a left-of-centre Sligoman. I'm not sure what I'm doing here or how long this blog will last, but let's see how it goes, shall we?