Catholicism and women's rights

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:05

íosa Críost-Ríobhca

During the current Labour leadership election, Rebecca Long-Bailey (RLB) admitted to holding religious objections to abortion rights based on her Catholicism. Whilst this has not seemed to affect her voting record on this issue, it is concerning that many on the left were so quick to jump to the defence of RLB and Catholicism in general, with some even painting those that voiced concern about the influence of Catholic belief in politics as anti-Irish.

Anti-Catholic sentiment in the UK remains a live issue in the North of Ireland as well as in parts of Scotland, and this is certainly rooted,

As early as possible, as late as necessary

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:01

Ruth Cashman

Our reproductive rights include the right to dignity, information, and bodily autonomy and integrity. In a world where so much of the framework of sexism has been control of women’s sexuality, body, and reproduction, our right to make autonomous decisions about our own body and reproduction is central to our right to physical and psychological integrity. We know that under capitalism there is a limit to the choice and control we have over reproduction, but we push for the greatest possible bodily autonomy. In some places we have seen steps forward in reproductive freedom, most recently the

The Third Irish Revolution?

Published on: Wed, 30/05/2018 - 11:39

Sean Matgamna

Have you heard the ultimate “Irish” joke? In a referendum on a united Ireland the Protestant Unionists of north-east Ulster campaign for “no” on the grounds that the South is too liberal. The people no longer fear God, maybe scarcely believe in God, and refuse to listen to their spiritual advisers.

The two-to-one vote on 25 May to rip up the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution — entrenched there by a referendum in 1983 — was a great empowering and liberating event for the women of Ireland, Mná na hÉireann. Legislation to allow abortion will soon follow.

The yes vote in the referendum on

TV fictions and AWL reality

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:03

Sean Matgamna

An open letter to Ashok Kumar

It’s been said before, and it will bear saying again. If everything published by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty in the last five decades were to disappear, and if future historians of socialism had to rely on what our political opponents said about us, then the historians would find it impossible to make political sense of the story.

On the one hand we are people who do, and have always done, everything we can to help workers in their struggle against employers and governments. We throw everything we have into that.

We preach working-class revolutionary

Notes on early Irish history

Published on: Mon, 17/04/2017 - 16:53

Sean Matgamna

Ireland has a singular history. Unlike England, it was never part of the Roman Empire. There was trade with the Roman Empire most importantly with Roman England, and Ireland was culturally influenced by the Roman Empire. For instance, a Roman script replaced the primitive and clumsy Ogham script. In the period of the final decline of Rome, the Irish joined the other barbarians in raiding Roman and immediately post-Roman England for loot, including slaves. Among those slaves was, famously, the future Saint Patrick. Legend has it that Irish raiders penetrated east as far as what is now

Underground tomb found at Irish “mother and baby” home

Published on: Wed, 08/03/2017 - 08:45

Rosalind Robson

A Commission appointed by the Irish government to look into the mass burial of infants at a former “mother and baby” home has confirmed “significant quantities of human remains” have been found in the grounds of the home. The Commission was appointed in 2015 after historian Catherine Corless found death certificates for babies born at a home in Tuam, County Galway, but no burial records.

The commission will look at how these babies died, whether they can be identified, and how dead bodies were disposed of, at up to 70 other similar homes. The statement from the Mother and Baby Homes

Greek "communists" oppose civil partnership law

Published on: Tue, 05/01/2016 - 14:55

Theodora Polenta

“Is sex dirty? Only when it's being done right”, Woody Allen

On Tuesday 22 December, the Greek Parliament ratified the Civil Union Agreement for Same-Sex Couples. The new legal framework for co-habiting couples is also a limited step (forward towards the abolition of discrimination for the LGBTQI community.

The legislation makes the termination of civil partnership more difficult and provides rights to “civil partners” over inheritance, social security rights (pensions), and taxation. The government has yet to move to legislate for political marriage between persons of the same sex or the

No truth without freedom!

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 11:03

Karl Marx

Karl Marx wrote in favour of free speech, free criticism, and free expression in these passages of an article of February 1843, “Comments on the latest Prussian Censorship Instruction”

“According to this law,” namely, Article II, “the censorship should not prevent serious and modest investigation of truth, nor impose undue constraint on writers, or hinder the book trade from operating freely.”

The investigation of truth which should not be prevented by the censorship is more particularly defined as one which is serious and modest. Both these definitions concern not the content of the

Priests Who Don't Believe in God? (1993)

Published on: Fri, 29/08/2014 - 13:25

Sean Matgamna

"Must The Priest Believe?" — in God! — would, I thought, as my eye first flicked over the programme page, be a satire or a skit.

But no, it was a serious edition of Joan Bakewell's "Heart of the Matter", provoked by the case of a Church of England priest, Anthony Freeman, unfrocked for publishing a book explaining why he no longer believes in God.

He doesn't want to be sacked either — he thinks he should continue as a priest! The exclamation mark embodies my own incredulity — but possibly my ideas about these things are old-fashioned. There are quite a number of such Church of England priests

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