Diarmuid O Donnabháin Rossa –
Honour and love to the name ,
There is nought in it mean or ignoble
It speaks not of serfdom or shame .
They chained him , they starved him , they scourged him ,
They tried every devil-spent plan :
To blacken the heart of the hero ,
To shatter the mind of the man…….
ECONOMY IN CRISIS – An Historical Perspective…….
By any standards the economy of Ireland , North and South , can be described as being in a sorry mess with crisis , recession and imminent bankruptcy the most constant themes of economic discussion , intermittently over the last decade and ceaselessly in the last three years . In this article , Peter Graham surveys the factors which have produced this economy , and the historical role of foreign and native Irish capital.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1982.
On the industrial scene , significantly , from the 1930’s right up to the 1960’s , the only really successful development was when state investment created the semi-state bodies such as the Irish Sugar Company, the Milk Board, Aer Lingus and Irish Shipping. Private capital again failed to respond to the challenge of nominal political independence , and the Free State economy remained tied virtually completely to Britain .
Throughout the period as well , the possible political consequences of massive unemployment , poverty , rural decline and economic stagnation – the ‘breeding ground’ for revolutionary upheaval – were avoided by the traditional release valve of almost continuous emigration on a massive scale .
The establishment of the Industrial Development Authority in 1958 marked the beginning of a new era . Where Irish capital had failed , now foreign capital was to be attracted by every possible means – economic protectionism was abandoned and , by tax concessions , grants and the outlay of public funds , foreign capital – particularly American – was wooed into a desperate 26-County economy . Certainly , foreign capital taught the native variety a lesson in industrialisation , as through the 1960’s and early 1970’s – at a massive cost borne by the taxpayer themselves – foreign industrial development brought with it for the first time the hint of industrial prosperity…….
The hostile treatment of these prisoners can also be related to the ‘ New World Order ‘ : the fact that hooded and manacled men are seen on TV screens in Guantanamo Bay, having been flown half way across the world without a trial or even being charged , means that many people have forgotten the meaning of Justice , Democracy or Human Rights or are at least willing to turn a blind eye .
There has been no mass movement to demand that those men be freed or at least charged and tried in a court of law and there is little or no outcry against the treatment of our own republican prisoners and their families here .
This is the main difficulty that the prisoners , their families and supporters face – how to separate the impact on ordinary people of ‘the war on terrorism’ from their right to demand that there is at least a right to due legal process and to be treated in a humane manner . Bernadette McAlliskey said recently that while she didn’t agree with the ideological position of republican prisoners in the 1970’s , 1980’s , 1990’s and up to today , that did not stop her standing with their families and friends to demand that they be treated with dignity and respect…….