On “The Conversation,” my friend and colleague Donald Beaudette and I discuss the lessons that the United States can learn from the process of reforming the police in Northern Ireland.
Read it here.
According to the Irish Times, the High Court will rule on Monday on whether there is a “validly constituted Seanad” that can sit and pass laws.
This is an interesting question dealing with Article 18 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, and pits members of the Seanad against the outgoing taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who maintains that the 49-member Seanad is not empowered to legislate. He further argues that the taoiseach has discretion over when to advise the president to convene the Seanad.
These issues might seem arcane–because they are–but if the Seanad cannot convene on Monday, then important pieces of legislation such as the Offenses Against the State Act will lapse. Depending on your view on that act, that could even be a good thing (Sinn Féin, for example, always opposes renewing it, though the party has agreed not to oppose the renewal this year.)
We will see on Monday how the High Court will rule.
And they’re not green, white, and orange.
In an obscene tweet yesterday, Gemma cited a murder in South Africa and then claimed that “multiculturalism” is the problem.
In many of Gemma’s racist tweets proclaiming that “Ireland belongs to the Irish,” she has been able to at least nominally pretend that she is concerned with upholding the legacy of Patrick Pearse, who declared the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland in the Proclamation of Poblacht na hÉireann in 1916. Most people identified those statements as racist, anti-immigrant screed, but there was at least a veil of patriotism with the invocation of Irish history.
She cannot make the same claim for the tweet above. Her rhetoric directly accuses African people of being egregiously violent, as if all black people are out committing murders and rapes–and, moreover, that no white people commit murders and rapes. [Side note: I have written extensively on sexual assault in Ireland, and I will testify: almost all of the sex crimes committed in Ireland have been by white men who were citizens of Ireland.]
She condemns “multiculturalism” as being the cause of these murders, and warns that if Ireland continues to embrace diversity, all of these “scary” African people will come to Ireland and rape and murder Irish people. This fear mongering invokes an old racist trope that Americans will recognize: the idiotic idea that black men are all looking to rape (and possibly murder) white women; it is trying to make you afraid of people of color.
This particular tweet is especially disgusting, though, because it blames crime in South Africa on African people. It suggests that people of color are the source of “60 murders and 100 rapes” per day in South Africa, and that they are therefore the source of crime in Ireland. In blaming “multiculturalism,” however, she conveniently forgets that she is violating her own principles: if “Ireland belongs to the ‘Irish'” (and she has a narrow, blood-and-soil definition of who qualifies as Irish), then shouldn’t South Africa belong to the “native” South Africans? All of those white people running around South Africa are the descendants of European imperialists. The white people are the purveyors of “multiculturalism” in South Africa; the white people are the immigrants or descendants of immigrants (better known as colonizers).
Gemma is stupid but she’s not that stupid. She full well knows that the white people in South Africa are the descendants of imperialists, which is why her tweet lays bare her racism. There is no argument that can suggest that black people are the purveyors of “multiculturalism” in South Africa. All Gemma is really saying here is that she hates people of color and doesn’t want them in Ireland.
Gemma O’Doherty has always been a racist. She has apparently lost her desire to veil her bigotry in a cloak of patriotism.
At long last, investigators have located the gun that assholes from the so-called New IRA used to murder the journalist Lyra McKee over a year ago in Derry.
Police reform is an urgent issue in the United States right now, and I hope that reformers might look to the PSNI for an example of how it can be done successfully. This police force is far from perfect. But, it has continued the investigation into the tragic murder of Lyra McKee for over a year, dealing with a community that historically does not trust the police.
The fact that the PSNI has uncovered this gun, and that people are willing to talk to the police from the Catholic community in Derry says a lot about the success of turning the sectarian RUC into the (mostly) non-sectarian PSNI.
Domestic violence is a euphemism for assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and/or murder or one’s intimate partner.
In Ireland, as around the world, cases of “domestic violence” have increased dramatically as the coronavirus pandemic forced people into lockdown. Today’s Irish Times is reporting that the gardaí are committed to protecting victims of domestic assault. Women and children have been trapped with their abusers for months now, and calls to helplines have increased by 60 percent!
This is an unacceptable state of affairs. The gardaí can and must do better to lock up the abusers. But the problem doesn’t start or end with punishment. Society must do more to teach abusers–most of whom are men–that their wives, girlfriends, and children are not their property. Men do not have the right to assault their partners and kids with impunity, yet it seems that when some men are threatened with impotence (in this case as the result of the pandemic) they try to repair their fragile sense of masculinity by abusing the people they allegedly love.
Ireland can do better. So can the world.
Let’s march against domestic violence.