Homelessness as a Measure of a Nations Collective Empathy

Challenging events visit everyone during the course of their lives. The death of a loved one, the break down of a relationship, betrayal by someone that was trusted, problems with addiction, post traumatic stress, serious illness, mental health issues or intractable financial problems amongst many, many others.

The most upsetting events often cause people to question long held views and opinions. In the end and after overcoming or dealing with the issue people tend to acquire a measure of wisdom and a deeper understanding of the world they live in and the people that live around them – many of whom may have been previously invisible to them.

Homeless people are invisible to almost everyone.

I have been homeless on three occasions in my life for various reasons. None of which I saw coming. The causes that resulted in my homelessness were composite – a series of creeping, evolving and unforeseen events which over time produced that result.  

I can therefore I think speak about the subject with a certain degree of authority. I do feel that it is important when commenting on social issues that personal experience informs the opinions expressed.

Theoretical analysis and opinions based on studying a subject or working with those impacted by an issue can help a person without first hand experience still express very valid observations or create policy or author legislation. But that too very much depends on the emotional intelligence of the person in question.

It is my opinion that in modern Ireland our politicians, commentators, policy makers, charities and agencies are populated with people who are professional wafflers with little or no understanding of the social context of many of the constituents who it is their duty to serve.

Homelessness is an unacceptable condition for even one citizen of this nation to be experiencing. I often overhear or hear first hand comments like – “junkie”, “alco”, “mental”, “gambler”, “irresponsible”, “get a job”, “work like the rest of us”, “lazy” – when people are discussing homelessness.

Life is lived on a knife edge, a slight deviation right or left on that knife edge can result in utter desolation.

Homelessness is not just the state of not having a home. It causes the afflicted to suffer myriad other side effects – humiliation, degradation, loneliness, to question self worth, hunger and the kind of pain that hurts your soul.

Men, women and children in their thousands are being allowed to wallow in this pit of despair and downward spiral and after the initial furore surrounding street deaths of homeless people the debate has become muted and an attitude of resigned acceptance has once again settled in.

The collective empathy of a nation is measured by its attitude to certain phenomena. In Ireland, the Irish pride themselves on being welcoming, friendly and generous to visitors and market that internationally to attract tourists.

How I wonder would this sit with the opinion of the young man I walked past yesterday on the Ha’Penny Bridge on a sunny day in August with hundreds of others walking past him every hour – many in Dublin and Donegal jerseys on their way to “Croker” for the game. Smiling faces, laughter, ice creams, enjoyed in the company of family and friends.

And there he sat with a plastic cup that held of few brown coins and a look in his eyes that showed that he held little or no hope. He did not look angry. He did not look sad. He looked like he had come to the realisation that nobody and no one gave a damn one way or the other and that like the very few pieces of litter that blow around what was once “dirty Dublin” – he too was simply an object to be walked around while grimacing slightly.

Dublin does not suffer from a rubbish problem like it once did, instead now it’s streets contain human litter – the discarded elements of our society that Ireland has chosen to sacrifice in favour of austerity, cow-towing to the troika and gifting tax breaks to global conglomerates.

We should as a nation be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves and may God forgive us for being the exact opposite to what we portray ourselves as.

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Ireland is the Global Per Capita Leader for Radical Islamists

Various aspects of national security in Ireland are handled by several different specialist units within the Gardaí including the Emergency Response Unit, the Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, the Special Detective Unit, Crime & Security Branch as well as G2 Military Intelligence.

However Ireland’s neutrality means that the country does not have the same military and defence budgets, as a percentage of GDP, made available to develop capabilities compared to most other countries.

Irish Intel’s Non-Existent Proactive Track Record

Dubious and bizarre characters of all kinds keep turning up on Irish shores or are in-country having become naturalised Irish citizens or having successfully acquired residency or asylum in Ireland. All of this while involved in various kinds of international military interventions, terrorist fundraising, extremism or as known proponents of radical ideologies.

It would seem that it all falls well below the radar of those who are allegedly overseeing these matters but who assure the Irish public that everything is under control and that there is very little to be concerned about. For instance, after the Paris attacks, the Irish Justice Minister said that “the latest threat assessment to Ireland does not increase… it is low,” and rejected claims that the country’s 9,500 strong Defence Force was inadequately equipped to deal with the terrorist threat. (RTE, November 18, 2015).

This statement betrays the Irish Intel communities blind-spot with respect to Radical Islamism – namely that efforts, if any, are focussed on looking inwards when Ireland has a disproportionate effect on the external activities of Islamic extremists in comparison to the size of its Muslim population.

How can Ireland’s intelligence agencies convince the international community that they are seriously capable of tackling the “jihadi growth industry” in Ireland when spectacular characters such as – Ali-Charaf Damache – The Black Flag or the ISIS recruiter currently resisting deportation or Mahdi al-Harati and his receipt of several million EURO from one of the US alphabet agencies to sponsor rebels in Libya – go completely unnoticed by them until drawn to their attention by externals?

In relation to the Radical Islamist threat we allege that Irish government policy, inertia and ignorance combined with the support and encouragement of ill informed pressure groups, biased refugee support groups and “one size fits all, up for anything” liberals has allowed Ireland to become the soft underbelly for jihadist movement, organisation and support (in particular propagandist social media accounts) in Europe.

Irish Based ISIS Recruiter Fighting Deportation Order 

Mahdi al-Harati (Centre) Irish-Libyan 
Liwaa al-Umma Founder & Alleged US Alphabet Agency Asset 

Three Serious Emerging National Security Threats 

There are three new distinct threats to the Irish State which the Irish State is inadequately equipped to tackle: Islamic Jihadists, Cyber Threats and Espionage.

Cyber Threats and Espionage because of Ireland’s large R&D sector and the massive foreign direct investment Ireland receives while acting as EMEA and in some cases Global HQ’s for many tech and pharmaceutical giants. The Cyber Warfare and Espionage Threats will be the subject of separate blog posts.

There have been arguments that Ireland needs one agency to deal with these three threats alone.

This contrasts sharply with the rhetoric of the Irish government and the downplaying of the threat posed by these newish phenomena in terms of Ireland’s security landscape.

Myriad Weaknesses in Irish Government Policy

In particular, when it comes to tackling Islamic extremism there are myriad weaknesses in the Irish system and the approaches used have not changed much since The Troubles, despite the modern challenges and vastly different methods being used by jihadists.

The Irish government’s assessment is that the Irish security services, despite their small size, have an extremely competent counter-terrorism wing, honed over decades of tackling Irish republican militancy.

The question, however, is to what extent this expertise can now be repurposed towards dealing with militant Islamism, especially given that the threat is rapidly growing and evolving and is culturally, structurally and ideologically at complete odds with what the alleged past experience of the Irish security services has been – from which officialdom in Ireland draws comfort.

Counter Terrorism International (CTI)

Last year the Garda established the Counter Terrorism International (CTI) unit to target groups supporting extremist operations in other countries. The unit it is said works closely with its counterparts throughout the EU, with the CIA, and the National Security Agency in the United States.

Nóirín O’Sullivan is the current Commissioner of the Garda Síochána

Despite this progress, the Irish security services – even this allegedly specialized Islamist-focused unit – face significant resourcing and expertise shortfalls. Irish media recently reported the Gardai lack key counterterrorism tactics such as knowledge of the Arabic-language skills, a dedicated unit tracking jihadist social media and a de-radicalization strategy to rehabilitate returning foreign fighters (Irish Examiner, November 21, 2015).

A source told the Sunday Independent late in 2015 that: “What you have is small groups of jihadis who cannot travel directly to Turkey, for access to Syria, arriving here, receiving support and money and then transiting through Ireland to the war zones. There is quite an elaborate support network based in Dublin and other major Leinster towns which is attracting the attention of security agencies in the rest of Europe and further afield.”

As the above instances demonstrate, Irish jihadists’ alleged use of the country as a logistical and transport hub where false passports can be procured poses potential risks not only to Ireland but also abroad. Uniquely, Irish citizens do not need passports to travel to the UK, and the country is part of the EU and enjoys easy travel to the US under the latter’s visa waiver system. As a result, Islamist radicalization in Ireland does not just pose a threat within Ireland’s borders, but also to countries further afield, and Ireland has failed utterly in its responsibilities in that regard with its laissez-faire attitude to the problem.

That paper also reported that foreign intelligence agencies believe that extremists have been holding training camps in remote areas of Leinster – a province in the East of Ireland.

A Garda spokesperson recently told The Journal Dot IE, that: “In line with best international practice, we seek to promote engagement with communities to counter the threat of radicalisation and devote appropriate resources to investigate individuals who are assessed to pose a threat. A close working relationship is maintained with police and security partners in the EU and other countries in respect of developing threats and ongoing, international efforts to counter terrorism generally. It would be inappropriate, in view of ongoing operations and enquiries, to comment further on specific strategies or methodologies.”

The Islamic Jihadist Threat in Ireland 

Since 2012, it is claimed by official sources that up to 60 Irish citizens have traveled to Syria to fight for a number of different Sunni rebel groups including ISIS. The government in Ireland insisted as recently as January of 2016 that the figure was between 25 and 30. The government of Ireland often states that three of these war zone tourists have been killed. Yet a cursory trawl of records online shows at least five casualties.

  1. Irish citizen, 22-year old Hudhaifa ElSayed, who was of Egyptian origin but raised in Ireland’s County Louth, was killed with Liwaa al-Umma during a clash with Syrian government forces in Idlib province in northern Syria in December 2012 (The Journal, December 20, 2012).
  2. Another individual, 16-year old Shamseddin Gaidan, a Dublin resident of Libyan origin, was killed in Syria in February 2013 fighting with an unknown rebel group, having crossed into the country from Turkey the previous year (Independent [Ireland], February 23, 2013). 
  3. Hisham Habbash (29), a Libyan-born man who grew up in Ireland was been killed during fighting between rebels and regime forces near the northeastern town of Raqqa. (Irish Times, June 24, 2013).
  4. Jordanian-born Palestinian, 22-year old Alaa Ciymeh, who had been brought up in Ireland before returning to Jordan in 2008. He was killed while fighting for the group in April 2013 (Irish Times, May 3, 2013; Herald [Ireland], June 27, 2014).
  5. Muthenna Abu Taubah, 24, an Irish jihadi who defended the beheading of western hostages by IS blew himself up in a bomb-making factory. He died in an accident along with his best friend in the terror group’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, Syria. (The Irish Sun, June 25, 2015)

Although details of Irish involvement in more hardline groups such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, Jahbat al-Nusra, are scarce, there is evidence that Irish citizens are active with these groups. In August 2014, Irish media reported that a self-described “Irish-Nigerian” convert to Islam had been trying to recruit individuals to come to Syria via the ask.fm internet forum, an approach used by other Islamic State recruiters (Independent, August 21, 2014). In one exchange, the individual – whose online name was “Muthenna ibn Abu” – defended IS’s beheading of British aid worker, David Haines (Independent, September 14, 2014). His identity and current whereabouts are unknown.

TMGCS Counter Theory on Radical Islam in Ireland

Over the course of the last twenty four months TMGCS carried out research that commenced after the publication of our blog post Precision Guided Message (23rd July 2014). The investigation sought to provide a detailed assessment of the actual jihadi culture in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Various methods were used to collect the information that informed the conclusions drawn below including information from sources who participated in relevant events, participation in and observation of certain relevant groups, information from sources in agencies and organisations external to the Irish State, information from sources from the Middle East region living elsewhere in Europe who have been on the ground in Syria, Libya & Iraq, interviews and discussions with associates of known jihadists, observations at a number of student group gatherings as well as input from a number of other methods and OSINT.

The evidence that Ireland, as well as a key exporter of jihadists, is home to a number of Islamic State supporters who are actively providing financial and other forms of support, using the country not only as a recruiting centre, but as a logistical hub is compelling.

The headline outcome of the process is that TMGCS estimate that the actual figure of travelling Irish jihadists is closer to 125 and that, conservatively, there are 20 plus active ISIS supporters providing logistical assistance to that group from within the Irish State.

In November 2015, independent cyber security analysts used leaked details of Islamic State-supporting Twitter accounts to establish that between 20 and 50, active Islamic State online-based supporters were residing in Ireland (The Journal, November 23).

In another indicator of latent support for the Islamic State in Ireland, Irish Muslims responsible for organizing a ‘Not in Our Name’ protest against the terrorist group in July 2015 claimed that they were assaulted by two self-identified Islamic State supporters in an unnamed mosque in Dublin (Irish Times, July 27).

At present, the Irish government is seeking to deport a 52-year old individual (who cannot be named for legal reasons) to a Middle Eastern country (The Journal, December 29). The government has described him as “the foremost organizer and facilitator of travel by extremists prepared to undertake violent action” on behalf of Islamic State in Ireland, and of having also recruited for jihadist groups in Afghanistan (Ibid).

In a potentially related development, in November 2015, citing a security service source, Irish media reported that “a small number of Irish-based Muslim extremists” with a “central group consisting of around 12 radicals” had been sheltering British and European jihadists, including supplying them with fake passports for travel (Irish Independent, November 1, 2015). The source additionally said that Ireland was being used as a stop-off point for jihadists en route to Turkey, in order to confuse security services watching for jihadists travelling to Turkey directly (Ibid).

Excluded Groups

The research process did not include a review or conclusions drawn from the elements of Irish society who are Muslim converts, are non-Muslim or have no direct links to the Middle East but who nonetheless support certain Radical Islamist ideals and groups.

“Taliban Terry” aka Muslim Convert Khalid Kelly

This section of the jihadist infrastructure in Ireland – North and South – mainly draws support from former members or supporters of certain paramilitary organisations, other extremist groups, certain left wing independent politicians, the usual array of the psychologically challenged and a small number of official as well as un-registered “political” parties.

Derry man Eamon Bradley 
Irish fighter in Syrian civil war after arrest in Northern Ireland
and subsequently charged with terror offences
Eamon Bradley in the Middle East with a number of weapons

The Official vs the Unofficial Extremist Per Capita Statistics

At first glance, it would appear that the official and even the increased TMGCS estimates are insignificant compared to other European countries’ jihadist cultures, in particular France and Germany, and minuscule when compared to say active participants in the Syrian conflict from North African countries such as Tunisia and Morocco.

But that is the danger of stand alone numbers versus the value of statistics and analysis.

Countries with relatively small Muslim populations have sent a disproportionately large numbers of jihadis abroad. Finland and Ireland according to reports have the highest number of foreign fighters per capita – nearly one per 1,400 Muslims living in those countries have gone to Syria.

Britain and France have comparable percentages of local Muslims going to fight in Syria – just over one in 6,000 British Muslims and one in 6,666 French Muslims have gone to Syria, governments say. The figures in the Netherlands are not far off, around one in 7,700. American Muslims are going to Syria at a much lower rate, closer to one in 25,000.

CNN recently conducted a study based on data provided by twenty five national governments, from Pew Research Center and a number of other sources. That study concluded that Ireland had the second highest per capita rate of Muslims going to fight in Syria of the twenty five countries surveyed.

Percentage of Local Muslims Who Have Gone to Fight (CNN Study)

The CNN Study put the figure of Irish Jihadists at 0.07% of the overall number of Muslims in Ireland. Out of a Muslim population of around 43,000 only 25 to 30 individuals have gone to fight in Syria according to the information CNN received from the Irish government. Globally, even these incorrect figures still put Ireland in second place in terms of per capita rate of Muslims going to fight in Syria.

  1. Finland: 0.071% – 42,000 Muslims call Finland home. Roughly 30 of them have left to engage in jihadist battles in Syria;
  2. Ireland: 0.070% – Out of a Muslim population of around 43,000, 25 to 30 individuals have gone to fight in Syria according to official Irish government figures; 
  3. France: 0.0175% – Over 700 Muslims have gone from France to fight in Syria out of a population of over four million;
  4. Tunisia: 0.0319% – Out of a population of over 10 million Muslims, there are around 3,000 jihadis;
  5. Indonesia: 0.000370% – A population of over 200 million, has only seen between 30 and 60 Muslims going to fight in the conflict in Syria; 

Ireland Has An Abnormally High Per Capita Rate of Radical Islamists

Ireland is estimated to have a total Muslim population of between 45,000 and 60,000. For the purposes of developing the TMGCS statistics the median figure of 52,500 was chosen.

The result of the CNN study based on government figures was (as outlined above):

Ireland: 0.070% – Out of a Muslim population of around 43,000, 25 to 30 individuals have gone to fight in Syria according to official Irish government figures. Approximating to roughly one in 1400 Irish Muslims;   

The result of the TMGCS study based on the methods we described above is:
Ireland: 0.2761% – Out of a Muslim population of 52,500 (median value), 125 plus individuals have gone to fight in Syria and the radical Islamist process is directly supported by 20 facilitators in Ireland for a total figure of 145. One in every 362 Irish Muslims;     
If the Muslim population estimate of Ireland of 43,000 is used as per the CNN study then the figures are:
Ireland: 0.3372% – Out of a Muslim population of 43,000 (CNN Study Benchmark Figure), 125 plus individuals have gone to fight in Syria and the radical Islamist process is directly supported by 20 facilitators in Ireland for a total figure of 145. One in 297 Irish Muslims;   
Why So Many Radicalized Irish Resident Muslims?
(Excerpted & Referenced from Articles by The Jamestown Foundation)
One potential causes of Irish Muslim radicalization is the range of Islamist groups from the Arab world with strong ideological commitments to “sharia law” and to creating an “Islamic state” that are strongly entrenched in Irish Muslim communities.

These groups have prepared the ground for recruitment and re-inforced the previously slick ISIS propaganda machine while hampering attempts to combat it. Most notably, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), based in a mosque in Clonskeagh, Dublin has positioned itself as a representative of all Muslims in Ireland and consequently enjoys privileged access to the Irish government.

This group is closely tied to the hardline European Council for Fatwa and Research, run by Muslim Brotherhood figurehead Yusuf al-Qaradawi, which has sought to promote highly conservative interpretations of Islam to European Muslims.

Even today, ICCI’s website openly offers PDFs of books calling for adulterers to be flogged or stoned to death, thereby directly promoting the same core Islamist ideologies as the Islamic State itself, even while remaining a key partner of the Irish government.

As with other Islamist-influenced organisations in the West, the ICCI has also consistently denied that any radicalization is taking place in Ireland, greatly hampering the attempts to understand domestic radicalization or gain the support of Muslim communities.

For instance, following the November 2015 Paris attacks, the ICCI’s spokesman, Ali Selim, told Irish media that while he condemned the attacks, Irish Muslims “have not been entertaining the ideas [the Islamic State] has been trying to sell them” (RTE, November 14, 2015).

The ICCI has also sought to publicly undermine other Muslim group’s anti-Islamic State protests, for instance, refusing to join an anti-Islamic State march organized by a non-Islamist Sufi Muslim group, further undermining Irish efforts to combat Islamist radicalization (Irish Independent, July 5, 2015).

Irish Government Reaction – Withdrawal of Passports
To counter this issue the most radical action that the Irish government has taken was when it decided last year (2015) that the passports of those involved in illegal jihadi activity in Iraq or Syria would be withdrawn. Pure lip service. 
Additionally, nearly a year earlier when the UK considered introducing similar measures Nick Clegg said it was not obvious how the UK could withdraw passports from British jihadis and remain inside international law. The then deputy prime minister indicated that the idea was unlikely to work, saying that the UK would not do anything illegal. 
The British government had been examining the possibility of withdrawing citizenship from suspected jihadis returning from Iraq and Syria. However, David Cameron acknowledged that there were legal difficulties and omitted it from his package of measures to deal with the problem. 
David Anderson, an independent reviewer of terrorism, said there were significant difficulties with giving police the powers to withdraw passports from UK citizens, in effect leaving them stateless.
In Ireland, we have failed to find any instances of the policy being put into action and the most recent case running through the Irish Courts is ample evidence of the inability of the Irish judiciary to tackle what seems to amount to an open and shut case in terms of an ISIS recruiter operating openly in Dublin, Ireland.  
ISIS Recruiter Fighting Deportation Order 
Before publication we contacted a number of Islamic institutions in Ireland for comment on the findings and assertions in this article and offered them an opportunity to counter our thesis and respond with corrections or suggestions. We received no responses.
References & Sources 

The Jamestown Foundation
James Brandon, Political & Security Risk Analyst
Terrorism Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 1 January 7, 2016
Global Research & Analysis – EURASIA:Terrorism
Michael Sheils McNamee @michaelonassis michaelsm@thejournal.ie
Michelle Hennessy @michellehtweet michelle@thejournal.ie
The Journal Dot IE
Vocativ
Die Welt
France 24
El Mundo
VICE News
RT.com
The Syrian Human Rights Observatory
The Irish Times
The Foreign Policy Institute
War on the Rocks Blog
The Long War Journal
The Irish Sun
The Independent
The Guardian
The Daily Mail

How to be an Irish Politician

In Ireland politics has long been dominated by two basket case political parties called Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. They have held power for the vast majority of the time since 1932 either on their own or in coalition. Basically, they will go into coalition with anyone as long as they get into power despite everything they might have said right up to yesterday. Standby for the Fianna Fail / Sinn Fein coalition government in the 32nd Dail.

Key Characteristics of an Irish Politician

All Irish politicians share the same characteristics which Irish people love forgiving them for and they are, in order of prevalence and willingness to forgive:

1. Be a Total Lying Cunt;
2. Demonstrate Gross Negligence;
3. Display a Shockingly Obvious Lack of Qualifications;
4. Love Corruption;
5. Engage in Cronyism;
6. Subscribe to Nepotism
7. Commit Expenses Fraud;
8. Condone Tax Evasion on a Global Scale (Apple / Google / Microsoft) while at the same time be willing to jail your own constituents for not paying water charges, property tax, the TV licence or a parking fine;
9. Lie under oath;
10. A new characteristic has become very important since the peace process and is now very very popular namely be “convicted member of a paramilitary organization”. Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are rightly pissed off that Sinn Fein has the monopoly on this one.

Junior Coalition Partners Get Fucked 

Another key lesson to be aware of is that outgoing junior coalition partners never fare well at the end of term and normally get all the “stick” for the “shite” that was caused since the last election, for example:

1. The Labour party standing by to be bitch slapped tomorrow like a Conor McGregor opponent;
2. The now defunct Progressive Democrats (eradicated in 2007);
3. The lovely Stalinists in the former Democratic Left (who in a novel take on sticking to their principles simply merged with the Labour Party in 1999 who were their sworn enemies the week before);
4. Or the tree-huggers in the now extinct Green Party (last known sighting 2011).

Candidate Selection In Irish Elections

In Ireland, the following criteria are crucially important to the Irish electorate in selecting who to vote for:

1. Where’s the checkbox for Fianna Fail – fuck the policies, I hate Michael Collins?;
2. Where’s the checkbox for Fine Gael – fuck the policies, I hate Eamon deValera?;
3. Does he/she have the same surname as the last fella?;
4. Was his/her Uncle in the “RA”?;
5. Is he a massive culchie with fuck all qualifications but owns a farm with a milk quota?;
6. Is he a massive culchie full stop?;

Rules for Creating a Political Dynasty in Ireland

There are three key criteria:

  • Do you wear a flat cap?
  • Do you have a very red face?
  • Do you have a very bad comb-over?
If you have all three your entire family may get elected – this is known as the “Healy Rae Effect”

A Very Very Short Memory

In the tragic comedy that was the decade from the mid 90s to the mid noughties Fianna Fail told Paddy’s to sell houses to other Paddy’s for ever increasing and extortionate prices.

They told the banks to loan monies to single digit IQ developers and property speculators. They created tax incentives that turned out to be the perfect “How To Create A Property Bubble For Dummies” guide book.

They told the regulators to mind their own bleedin’ business and just take the big salaries and not to be worryin’ about liquidity and LTV ratios and shite like that.

The Intellectual Giants We Elect 

The Irish electorate as a result always gets exactly what it deserves.

The trademark intellect of me aul pal Bertie Ahern is one of the better examples. Having listened to highly qualified advisers on the looming disaster in 2007 he stated that:

“sittin’ on the sidelines, or on the fence, cribbin’ an’ moanin’ is a lost opportunity – in fact I don’t know how people who engage in that don’t commit suicide”

Bertie never liked using the letter ‘G” at the end of any of the words that required it – he also didn’t like fiscal policy, prudent management or regulation. He loved a pint though and going to watch the Dubs at Croker and sure what the fuck is wrong with that?

The Upside-Down Rule

Outgoing Prime Ministers in Ireland seem to get all worked up about the peons in the electorate when they complain. They are incredulous that after laying waste to the electorates lives over the previous four years that there may be some negativity in the air.

Under the Fianna Fail watch from the late 90’s up until 2011 :

1. A Property Bubble of epic proportions was created;
2. Property prices crashed;
3. The population was universally left in negative equity;
4. Massive job losses ensued in the construction sector;
5. There was massive emigration;
6. Hundreds of ghost estates across the country;
7. Rampant cuts to already poor public services;
8. The banks insisted that their losses be covered by the electorate;
9. For good measure so did the bond holders supported by the European troika, the tripartite committee led by the European Commission with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund;
10. The Irish peoples elected representatives bent over on behalf of the the Irish public;
11. The Irish public got to pay for the bank’s losses, the bond holders losses, the elected representatives salaries, saw their salaries cut or stagnate, prices increase, taxes increase, their life savings wiped out, their homes mostly worthless and then …
12. With the money that the banks received from the Irish public the banks started to pay lawyers to evict the Irish public from the homes which they could no longer pay for.

Under the Fine Gael / Labour watch:

1. The Irish public got to pay even more for the bank’s losses, the bond holders losses, the elected representatives salaries, saw their salaries further cut or stagnate, prices increase further, further tax increases, further stealth taxes introduced, widespread slashing of public services, removal of key benefits from the old and disabled;
2. And the government told the people that this was a recovery;

But the beautiful Enda Kenny demonstrated it perfectly last week when he stated that his constituents were – “All-Ireland Champion Whingers”

What Will Happen Tomorrow?

What does it look like the Irish public is going to do tomorrow Friday, 26 February 2016 in the election for the 32nd Dail? Well – vote for the same shower of cunts all over again of course. Well they fucking deserve them.

I stand for a United Ireland – the 26 counties should join the 6 in Northern Ireland and re-enter the UK – vote for BREXIT and declare war on Germany. What the fuck – it couldn’t be any worse than what we have now. And sure the army will provide full employment and we might get to actually win a war for once.

The Growth of Disharmony & Social Chaos in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is a small country with a population less than that of the metropolitan areas of Manchester & Liverpool combined. The next Irish general election will take place in 16 days from now on Friday, 26 February 2016 for the 32nd Dáil (Irish Parliament).

 

After economic meltdown in the late noughties, the subsequent bank bailouts, the collapse of the housing market, the widespread personal debt crisis, rampant homelessness, endemic poverty and the imposition of radical austerity on the ordinary citizens of Ireland by the European troika*, the country has splintered economically, socially and politically.

* European troika, the tripartite committee led by the European Commission with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, that organised loans to the governments of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus in return for saving the bond holders

In the centenary year of the 1916 Uprising, Ireland in 2016 looks very like it did a century ago. Consider the events of the last week along a range of social issues including the erosion of civil liberties, organised crime, extremism, xenophobia, republicanism, the refugee crisis and law & order.

The Erosion of Civil Liberties – Two Special Criminal Courts 

The recent extreme rise in violent crime nationally and gun violence between organised criminal gangs has been used by the Fine Gael party to ridicule legitimate opposition to the illegal practises of the non-jury Special Criminal Court apparatus.

Fine Gael attacked Sinn Fein for their plans to abolish it if ever elected, Fine Gael on the other hand have pledged, if reelected, to institute a second such court to clear up the backlog of cases currently before it.

Article 38, 3.1 of the constitution states “Special courts may be established by law for the trial of offences in cases where it may be determined in accordance with such law that the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice, and the preservation of public peace and order.” hence the legal basis for a court that flies in the face of normal practise whereby one is tried in front of a jury of one’s peers.

Primarily used in the past for dealing with Republicans, since the Good Friday Agreement the court has been used more and more for organised crime, while still trying dissident Republicans for their various misdeeds. Fine Gael are linking Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy’s conviction at the court to Sinn Fein’s desire to get rid of it.

The Special Criminal Court in Ireland has been criticised by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, for its procedures and for being a special court, which ordinarily should not be used against civilians.

Among the criticisms are the lack of a jury, and the increasing use of the court to try organised “ordinary” crimes rather than the terrorist cases it was originally set up to handle. Critics also argue that the court is now obsolete since there is no longer a serious terrorist threat to the State. Under the law, the court is authorised to accept the opinion of a Garda Síochána chief-superintendent as evidence that a suspect is a member of an illegal organisation. The Sinn Féin political party have been critical of the Special Criminal Court.

The Impact of Immigration, the Refugee Crisis & Rising Islamophobia

Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, began in Germany last year, largely in response to the European refugee crisis. Pegida attempted to hold a rally at the GPO in Dublin on the 9th Feb. 2016. Similar marches were held in Warsaw, Prague & Dresden – the one in Dublin turned violent:

“All-Out War” between Rival Criminal Gangs 

The deadly feud between the Christy Kinahan cartel (Spain) and associates of Gary Hutch started when Gary Hutch was shot dead in Spain last September. After months of simmering underworld tension, the feud exploded when a north inner city gang (6 men – 3 in SWAT uniforms with AK-47s) connected to Gary Hutch opened fire in the Regency Hotel, Dublin. The Kinahan cartel held a war council in a south inner city pub over the weekend and struck back quickly.

Despite a massive Garda presence in the city they murdered Eddie Hutch last Monday the 8th Feb, 2016 in a revenge attack. Yesterday, it emerged that just hours after Hutch was murdered, Gardai arrested ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and his cousin Liam Roe after a short car chase that started in Crumlin and ended in Cork Street. Thompson had his clothes seized by Gardai after they spotted blood on his tracksuit and runners.

The Rise of Far Right Groups & Reactionaries

Members of Identity Ireland were attacked in Dublin last week while travelling on the Luas (light rail system).

A group of men dressed in black masks armed with baseball bats and iron bars attacked several members of the group.

  

Spokesman for the group Peter O’Loughlin said ““The most worrying aspect was some tweets sent out by some politicians.

A Labour councillor, I think she was a councillor, sent out a tweet saying ‘ha ha ha…Karma is a bitch’. That is a Government party you are talking about. I haven’t heard anything from the likes of Joan Burton. Fianna Fáil nothing. Sinn Féin – nothing.” The attack received little coverage in the MSM.

Anger at Politicians Favouring the Elite & Imposing Additional Taxes on the Poorest 

Richard Bruton, Fine Gael politician and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in the current Irish coalition government came to Kilmore, Coolock in Dublin to canvass last year. Bruton has been knee deep in scandals involving state corruption (IBRC, TTIP), illegal assistance to businessmen (Siteserv / Denis O’Brien) and presided over swingeing cuts to benefits for those most in need (cuts to single mothers’ allowances). His reaction to legitimate questioning demonstrates the contempt in which Irish politicians hold their constituents.

General Increase in Extreme Crime – The Kearns Assassination / Kenneth O’Brien Dismemberment 

Detectives suspect the “professional hit team” who murdered Darren Kearns last month received a phone call from an associate who had been stalking him and described it as a highly organised murder that involved the use of two cars at very short notice.

 

Kenneth O’Brien’s torso was recovered from the Grand Canal last month and was originally connected to a dispute with Eastern European gang members.

Strained Relations with the EU over US Tax Arrangements 
(lifted in its entirety from David McWilliams article)

There are two Irelands: commercial Ireland and bureaucratic Ireland. For many years, their interests were aligned. The commercial angle revolved around Ireland having trade links with the EU but with Anglo/American tax policies for capital; the bureaucratic angle involved being pro-European.

They complemented each other. Bureaucratic Ireland wanted to curry favour amongst Europeans at the top table, while never really standing up for the citizens of the country. So when, for example, the citizens voted against EU treaties, we were admonished by bureaucratic Ireland to vote again. This is not the stuff that democracies are made of.

But now, for the first time in years, a conflict exists between commercial Ireland and bureaucratic Ireland.

Commercial Ireland, the Ireland of business, might have to, very quickly, exercise some critical thinking and restraint over bureaucratic Ireland. Commercial Ireland lives in the real economy, the one that buys and sells, makes profit, employs people, pays wages and is largely held in some way responsible for what it does.

Bureaucratic Ireland inhabits the never-never land of the Dublin-Brussels corridor, which is entirely populated by civil servants and technocrats who have no reason to worry about commercial Ireland because their wages don’t depend on commerce. There is no relationship between competence and reward in bureaucratic Ireland.

Consider the Central Bankers, Department of Finance heads and regulators whose incompetence helped destroy this economy. Who lost their job? Did anyone lose pensions? No, they were largely rewarded for their failures. At least the politicians were voted out, but the top civil servants remain unscathed.

The Centenary Year 

In 2016, in these complex times, the politicians of Ireland would do well to remember the words of Jim Larkin – “You may succeed in your policy and ensure your own damnation, by your victory”

   

Looking for Two Angels – Holy Angels Plot, Glasnevin

Yesterday, on the 9th anniversary of my father’s passing – my mother and I placed a wreath on his grave in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland Cemetery in ‪‎Clonsilla‬. We then travelled to ‪‎Glasnevin‬ Cemetery and did the same on the grave of my paternal grandparents Brigid and John.

Finally, we crossed the road to the Holy ‪Angels‬ plot where my twin ‪sister‬ and ‪brother‬ – Carol Anne Penrose (10 days old – 15th May 1969) & Alan Raymond Penrose (1 day old – 5th May 1969) are laid to rest.

My mother lost her babies after a full term pregnancy. The good people of the ‪Catholic‬ Church took them, baptised them without her at Westland Row and buried them ‪‎anonymously‬ in mass graves along with 50000 other babies whose mothers never got to hold them or ‪‎grieve‬ for them at a place where they knew they rested.

In 2005 this was at last partly corrected. The previously sunken and unkempt plot was replaced with communal headstones, gardens and seating areas on the perimeters of a small area of unmarked graves.

In her address at the dedication of the restored plot to the hundreds of people in attendance, then President of Ireland Mary McAleese recognised that in the past many children had been “buried in oppressed silence between dusk and dawn”. She said that too often the loss experienced by parents was not acknowledged and that “clinical insensitivity accompanied the eerie silence”.

The ‪‎President‬ referred to her own ‪grandmother‬ who lost a ‪daughter‬ shortly after birth but continued to speak of her 50 years later. Mrs. McAleese added that the newly restored plot was a deserving resting place for the 50,000 children.

Yesterday we corrected my mothers children’s entries in the ‪birth‬ records database at the ‪‎genealogy‬ office, located the exact spot where they are (only possible recently after the Catholic Church released the records) and made arrangements to replace their ‪anonymous‬ location with single identifiable locations for both Carol and Alan. My ‪mother‬ is the strongest person I know.

On the Holy Angels Plot, Christy ‪Kenneally‬ read one of his poems, which has been inscribed there on a stone monolith – it is beautiful and heart breaking and a fitting tribute to all the ‪children‬ who rest there. ‪

I did not die young
I lived my span of life
Within your body
And within your love
There are many
Who have lived long lives
And have not been as loved as me
If you would honour me
Then speak my name
And number me among your family
If you would honour me
Then strive to live in love
For in that love I live
Never ever doubt
That we will meet again
Until that happy day
I will grow with God
And wait for you.

Peace.

The "good Dr." Ali Selim – Muslim Brotherhood Mouthpiece & Arrogant Pedant

Wahhabi Salafi Islam was the “mainstream” Irish Muslim view according to “Dr.” Ali Selim in an interview given in August 2010. Selim has always been strident in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood’s fundamentalist Salafi interpretation of Islam. An assertion that the majority of Irish Muslims subscribe to this interpretation is simply not true but mirrors a model that has been replicated time and again in other European countries where the “Brotherhood” has infiltrated Muslim communities.

The “good Dr.” Ali Selim – MB Mouthpiece & Arrogant Pedant 

Ali Selim meanwhile is also known for his infamous comments on Bin Laden in a RTE Prime Time programme on Radical Islam in 2006 in which he declined to judge the now dead criminal as he had not personally met the terrorist mastermind. This was only a prelude to other disturbing views repeatedly expressed by the oh so “intellectual” and “reasonable” Selim that have shocked Irish society.

A file photograph of Ali Selim at the Centre for Islamic Studies in Clonskeagh

In 2003 on the Late Late Show on a program on violence in the name of Islam when asked Selim was hesitant in condemning the 9/11 attacks and gave a qualified answer.

In 2009 Selim on RTE’s “Does God Hate…?” series when asked about the practice of stoning women who have committed adultery in Islamic countries he was loathe to condemn the barbaric practice outright and instead declared that it was symbolic; small comfort to those in Iran and Somalia and elsewhere who have suffered this horrific fate and at total odds with the opinions of civilised society.

Yet he continues to be hauled out for comment by the main stream Irish media for a trite sound bite whenever Muslim matters are being discussed.

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland 

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (the Clonskeagh mosque in Dublin and the largest mosque in Ireland) is a reactionary, conservative mosque that is apparently linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. It seems to be the main Muslim Brotherhood centre in Ireland, and one of the main Muslim Brotherhood centres in Europe.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist organisation devoted to the ideology of Radical Islamism. The Clonskeagh mosque will clearly be of no help in the struggle against this twisted interpretation of Islam.

The Dubious Opinions of Sheikh Hussein Halawa

The “Centre” is run by Sheikh Hussein Halawa (who will not speak English when interviewed (18 years in Ireland)), wants Sharia law, insists on Halal food in all Irish schools and separate buildings and gymnasiums for his followers.

Because he can’t speak English, allegedly, it is always very hard to cross-examine him and interpret his normally evasive answers. He claims to condemn terror, but does not condemn Palestinian terror as he does not consider it to be terror. He also seems vague on whether Muslims carried out 9/11 and other acts. He revealed his anti-Israel prejudice when he criticised Obama for allegedly supporting Israel (If only that was true).

When asked about attacks against journalists and cartoonists who have allegedly demeaned Allah he stated that these people should be “held accountable” – in some vague, but threatening way – for their actions.

When interviewed he never condemns the application of Sharia Law in Pakistan, Iran, Gaza, Sudan, Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

He was quoted by Eoghan Harris in the Sunday Independent on 17 Oct 2004, as saying that he would like to see Ireland as an Islamic state. Halawa wrote a letter on 31 Oct 2004 denying that he ever said this. But “I have never made such a statement” is not much of a denial. I would like to see him go further and state clearly that he is opposed to an Islamic state because he believes in freedom of religion for all.

Hussein Halawa was invited to read from the Koran at the Nov 2004 Irish presidential inauguration in yet another example of mis-guided and mis-informed Irish liberal fools setting the agenda for the nation.

A US diplomatic cable in 2005 is sceptical about Halawa it “welcomes Halawa’s public statement condemning the 7/7 attacks and terrorism in general, but remains unconvinced that Halawa will take strong steps to fight extremism. Despite Halawa’s statement, and the center’s reputation as a moderate mosque in Dublin, we retain some suspicions about his activities and can confirm that there are known extremists that frequent ICCI”.

Hussein Halawa says homosexuality is a disease, June 2011, and does not oppose the death penalty for activist gays.

The Arrest of Ibrahim Halawa at al-Fateh during the “Day of Rage” MB Protests 

The Sheikh is the father of Ibrahim Halawa, who was 17 when he was arrested along with two of his sisters in 2013 for attending a protest in Cairo. His sisters were later released, but despite campaigns calling for his freedom, he remains in prison today. The young man was arrested by the Egyptian army as he took refuge in the Cairo al-Fateh mosque while Muslim Brotherhood protesters staged a “Day of Rage” outside.

Demonstrators took to the streets after their elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted from power in a military “coup”, leading to a crackdown ordered by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the country’s president.

It is feared young Halawa, who it is alleged was on his summer holidays in the Egyptian capital when violence flared, will face the death penalty. It has always been puzzling as to why the young man and his two sisters chose to travel for a “holiday” to Egypt at one of the worst periods of civil unrest in the country in recent history.

The legal proceedings against the young man have been repeatedly delayed since 2013. Campaigners seeking the release of young Ibrahim and other advocacy groups including Amnesty International claim the teenager has described “experimental torture techniques” to his family in messages sent from jail, where he recently spent his 20th birthday.

The young man is a victim of the extremist ideologies of his father the Sheikh and Selim – who both remain in very comfortable surroundings in Ireland – far from the filth, degradation and torture – being endured by young Ibrahim. A classic Muslim Brotherhood model and outcome.

Sheikh Halawa is an extremist and has hosted and continually seeks to host a leading Muslim cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has stated that pregnant Israeli women and children were “legitimate” targets, that suicide-bombing attacks on Israelis are ‘martyrdom in the name of God’, advocates the death penalty for homosexuals and supports “honour” killings of women and children

Some Background on the Clonskeagh Mosque
(Courtesy of Mark Humphrys)

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) in Clonskeagh, Dublin has links with Dubai. The ICCI was built and funded by the ruling family of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a country with an appalling human rights record (“Laws prohibit criticism of the government, ruling families, and friendly governments”).

President Mary Robinson and the Deputy Ruler of Dubai officially opened the centre in 1996. Has Mary Robinson ever condemned the lack of freedom in Dubai? Not to my knowledge.

Links to Muslim Brotherhood: The Muslim Brotherhood the totalitarian Islamist organisation, linked to Islamic terror and oppression is linked by almost all writers on the matter to the ICCI. Shaheed Satardien says the ICCI is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mary Fitzgerald: “Many Muslim Brotherhood members I met recently in Cairo asked me if I knew Sheikh Halawa after hearing I was from Ireland.”

Mary Fitzgerald: “Many Muslims in Ireland speak of the ICCI as the “Ikhwani” mosque, an Arabic-language reference to the Muslim Brotherhood”.

In 2007 the Clonskeagh mosque hosted two extremist speakers: Saudi cleric Salman Al Awda (or Salman al-Audah or Salman Al-Aouda), one of the 26 Saudi scholars who issued the fatwa in 2004 calling for holy war against the Americans in Iraq. “There is no doubt that the Jihad against the occupation is a duty of those who are capable of it.” And this man was invited into Ireland by Halawa and permitted to enter by the Irish authorities. He visited Clonskeagh in 2007. The moderate Shia Ali Al Saleh said that this cleric had recently written an article in a Saudi newspaper describing Shias as “non-Muslims”.

Egyptian cleric Wagdy Ghoneim (or Wagdi Ghoneim or Wajdi Ghunaim), supporter of suicide bombing. “Those young people who explode themselves to kill the Jews were not committing suicide but jihad.” He was denied entrance into Canada for being a member of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. And yet he was let into Ireland. And invited by the Clonskeagh mosque. He visited Clonskeagh in 2006 and 2007.

The UN list of people associated with al-Qaeda includes two people in Ireland. Oddly, both of them worship at the Clonskeagh mosque.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been banned from entering the country after his latest attempt to meet with Irish Muslims at the centre. The 84-year-old Egyptian is head of the European Council of Fatwa and Research. The ECFR is a private Islamic foundation whose headquarters are at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Dublin.

Members of this Muslim Brotherhood fanatics congregation at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) in Clonskeagh, Dublin celebrated the kidnapping and murder of Irish aid worker Margaret Hassan and mourned the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Mainstream Media Blinkers

Again and again on the front pages of the Irish “media” we see his family (never his father but his sisters) complaining that their brother is still held by the Egyptian authorities and threatening to sue the Irish government for not securing his release.

And time and again we see TV air time devoted to the basic fact of his incarceration but without any of the context that led to that event. Selective PC informed reporting typical of the Irish main stream media.

Acknowledgements

Mark Humphrys
Dialogue Ireland
The Irish Times
Lucinda Creighton 
The Irish Independent
Jihad Watch
Amnesty International

"Finchie Cova" Open Letter to ISIS on behalf of Paddy

So after the past few weeks of shite that’s been floating around on Facebook I’ve tried to stay out of it. But I can’t, not anymore. Finchie needs to speak.

MY OPEN LETTER TO ISIS 

What’s the craic lads! I don’t think we have officially met. Finchie here from Ireland, we are that non-aggravating, laid back post-English island to the West of the bullshit.

So how’s yourself? Been busy I hope.

I see from the shallow media outlets and the “copy & paste” fear posting on social media that ye have been up to your neck in it the past few months. Good for you!

Sorry to be bothering ye boys while ye are busy planning the world’s biggest burning man festival in the name of Alan (or what ever he’s called) but something has come to our attention in the past few days that we need to have a quick “chat” about.

What’s this I hear about ye adding us to a list of countries called “The Global Coalition” in some mad 80’s themed propaganda video? Ah lads come on will ya, shtep down from the 3 legged horse now for a second and rewind the cassette cuz I think ye got it wrong.

First of all, lads we’re only here for the craic! We have been through too much shite-hawking over the past couple of thousand years to be goin all “rouge and shit” and joining in fights we clearly don’t want to be part of.

It’s like when a fisht fight breaks out in primary school between Vince and Iano Kelly. Most of us just watch, shout a bit and kick a bin to make noise or whatever, but we don’t bother getting involved (well Vince is English so any sly opportunity for a shneaky kick to the shins and we’re all over it) we couldn’t be arsed with the whole thing, we’re simply too laid back.

Now keeping that in mind let me let you in on a few tips if you do decide to come over here and piss in our cornflakes. Don’t judge us on the actions of the lads across the pond. We don’t like that craic. I get that ye have yer fight an all, but don’t drag us into it, we don’t give a left bollock for Alan and what he tells ye to do. Sharon’s law (or whatever it is) won’t work here. I know a Sharon, and she’s a cunt. We don’t like her either.

Don’t bomb our shit. We just finished building it back after breaking free from the very enemy you also have on your hit list (if you want tho you can destroy Leitrim, absolute shitehole lads I’m not joking).

We have more than one army. One official army actually went training in north Cork recently to prepare for your arrival. And yes north Cork is exactly like Damascus, especially Fermoy on a Friday night.

We also have a few non-official, highly secretive, multi-talented armies all with the same name (you get used to it after a while) who hate each other but have one very important thing in common … all mad bastards. Let that sink in.

By the way the unofficial armies are all trained in guerrilla warfare. Meaning you’re fucked. Like actually fucked. Unless you want to buy weapons, then some of them will turn a blind eye to “the cause” and sell ya a few AKs while you visit.

Don’t even think about blowing up Leo Burdocks!!!

Consider this your harshest warning! If any single pub is damaged during your short stay here, we will consider this an act of war!!! We praise our God Arthur (Guinness) and we will strike down on you with great vengeance and furious anger if you attempt to destroy our drinking patterns during a time of crisis!

On a final note, remember these and you should be fine:

1. “Offies” close at ten;
2. Don’t leave the immersion on;
3. PM me for Bono’s address;
4. Don’t bomb shit when the Toy Show is on;
5. Start with Leitrim;
6. If you’re looking for virgins you won’t find any on Harcourt Street;
7. Get a Tesco clubcard. Trust me;
8. If you want to blow up a stadium, go to Dalymount please;
9. Go to a water protest, they don’t judge you for where you’re from, just if you pay or not;
10. Finally, if asked for change, eyes down and keep fucking walking!

So ISIS it’s good to meet you. Do yourself a favour and us – stay where you are. You don’t want to come here, we’re not bothered with the issues you have. But if you do, we will beat the shit out of all of you using mammies wooden spoon, Kilkenny hurlers and the bouncers from the copper faced Jack’s.

Yours Unintentionally
Finchie and the rest of Ireland

EDIT: Offaly, Offaly too!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: 

Mr. Finchie Cova;
Republished entirely from The Irish MIRROR ;