Wednesday, 30 September 2009

No vote will not damage you

This weblog was honoured to support Cóir in the campaign against the Treaty. There was a fantastic response on the street earlier today. We have maintained a daily street presence in Galway. An evening canvass of course takes place and visits to Churches. Cóir have been active in the towns and cities around the country. Many thanks to all the 'NO' groups.

The Swedish premier, Fredrick Reinfeldt, has told The Irish Times that a second No vote to Lisbon would be respected and Ireland would not lose influence in Europe as a result.

Mr Reinfeldt said he hoped for a Yes vote in Ireland, but he said Sweden would respect the result whichever way the people voted and added that a No vote would stop the implementation of the treaty. “If it is a No, then we keep on with the Nice treaty,” said Mr Reinfeldt, who also downplayed claims that the first No vote had damaged Ireland’s reputation and led to a loss of its influence at EU level.
“There is a deep respect for political processes and democracies. We have had No referendums in other countries as well. It is important to see that every time we have seen that the EU has shown an openness to listen,” he said. “This will not affect the possibility of Ireland to have influence.
Mr Reinfeldt said talks have been held about what to do if there is a No vote, particularly on how to comply with the Nice treaty provision that mandates an immediate reduction in size of the next European Commission.

The Lisbon Treaty includes a clause that can overturn this provision through a unanimous vote of all 27 EU leaders. The European Council last December agreed it would invoke the clause to meet the Irish public’s concerns. But this clause is not contained in the Nice treaty, presenting the EU with an immediate legal problem if Ireland votes No.
Mr Reinfeldt said a “26 plus one option” was probably the best solution, whereby 26 states retain their commissioner and the 27th state is offered the post of high representative for foreign affairs instead. This would give all 27 countries a top EU job, while complying with the legal condition for an EU executive of less than 27 members, which is stipulated in the Nice treaty.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Ireland’s new culture war

Today is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. He is our leader and we pray to him daily and also after Low Mass. We stand under the banner of St. Michael as the Church Militant. St. Michael cast Lucifer out of heaven and thrust him down to Hell. The battle here in Ireland continues. Dublin and Brussels are not representative of the people of Ireland and the grassroots of the 'ordinary' man and woman have no faith in the political party system. It is finished. Let us have a National government of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour and people will see clearly, they are all the same.

If you voted Yes to the Lisbon treaty, and were then killed by a bus before going to confession, would you be barred from entering heaven? Those Irish who find themselves similarly vexed in the run up to the country’s second referendum on the Lisbon treaty on October 2nd would have found reassurance in Bishop Noel Treanor’s statement on 16th September that a Catholic could, “without reserve and in good conscience,” vote Yes to Lisbon.

What was notable about this was not that a bishop felt the need to give moral instruction on a political issue—a long-established practice in Ireland, though more recently a neglected one—but that he was immediately opposed by the most ardent of his flock. The bishop had “misunderstood” the treaty, said the Catholic organisation, Cóir. Lisbon, they claim, will give the European Court of Justice the right to force Ireland to legalise abortion—a threat which they have leveraged not simply to mobilise the “pro-life” vote, but also to invoke a deep cultural aversion to interference from abroad.

Cóir’s rise to prominence in the Lisbon campaign marks the re-emergence of Ireland’s culture wars, a sport once hotly contested here, but largely forgotten during the boom years. During the 1980s these wars were defined by issues of Catholic sexual morality, and there was a cosy consensus between the bishops and lay groups like the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) on one side, against the secular, liberal tendencies of a Dublin political and media “elite” on the other.

But the Catholic lobby scored a series of spectacular own goals (not least with recurrent child abuse scandals) and, along with the country’s increasing wealth and confidence, these weakened its grip on the popular culture in the 1990s. Court judgments from the EU forced a liberalising of Irish laws, and the economic boom made materialism the new creed. Ardent pro-lifers like Youth Defence, a spin-off group of SPUC, continued to wave their foetus placards on O’Connell Street, but they were barely noticed by the young women flocking to the newly opened Ann Summers outlet across the road.

But with the economic meltdown, which began in 2008, and as unemployment edges towards 500,000 (in a workforce of around 2m), Cóir has gained a new foothold for Catholic reactionaries by pitching itself at those generally disaffected, rather than merely at the conservative base. Cóir, whose name means “justice” in Irish, and which describes itself as an organisation working “to protect Irish sovereignty,” has been one of the leading voices of the No campaign in this second referendum. Unheard of before last year’s first Lisbon vote, they share an office—and many activists—with Youth Defence. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, has called them a “front” for that organisation.

Cóir has pitched its anti-Lisbon message squarely at the mainstream of sceptical opinion, those who may no longer share Cóir’s passionate feelings about Catholic sexuality morality, but feel patronised and ignored by the Dublin government, and distrust their embrace of Europe. Their most striking poster features images of three of the leaders executed after 1916’s Easter uprising, proclaiming: “They won your freedom. Don’t throw it away.” Given that martyrdom is Ireland’s most potent motif, the appropriation of these patriots by a group suspected of being a single-issue lobby was always going to raise hackles. Not to mention that opposition to Lisbon aligns them with the extreme Eurosceptics of UKIP and even—perversely—the BNP, never previously noted for their support for Irish republicanism. Former prime minister Garret FitzGerald, both of whose parents participated in the uprising, duly reacted, describing Cóir and their posters as noxious, extremist and xenophobic.

But the Irish electorate, left reeling by the collapse in house prices, pension funds and employment, is in no mood for niceties of protocol. Worries that a Lisbon “yes” vote might force Ireland to legalise abortion will play a part in getting out the “no” vote, but, if they are successful in rejecting Lisbon, it will be due to a broader fear that they have stoked.

Some of Cóir’s posters are ostensibly about money: “€1.84 Minimum Wage After Lisbon?” one screeches, based on the misleading calculation of the average minimum wage in the EU “accession” countries. “Milked Dry!” shouts another: “€200 Billion Lost in Fisheries. Farming is next.” The real concern, however, is less about money, and more about control. During the first successful campaign against Lisbon last year, a common claim was that Europe would conscript our young people into a European army. These claims all amount to the same thing: Europe is coming after our jobs, our farms, our sons—our freedom. Even when Cóir does address their core issue, abortion, they do so in terms that echo this siege mentality: the threat is not abortion per se, but that this issue will be decided for us by a foreign court. This taps into fears deeply rooted in the national psyche that have been unleashed by the present crisis, of Ireland being taken over by (yet another) alien elite: first the British, then the “developers and bankers” who are responsible for our current predicament, and next Europe.

This is the new culture war. It is not explicitly Catholic, through the frontline troops are, for the moment. It is, rather, about the division between the “grassroots” and the establishment, between the people and the “elites.” It is, ultimately, between those who have given up on politics, whether in Dublin or Brussels, and those who insist that in giving up lies, precisely, the greatest danger.

Cóir’s efforts may not swing the vote on 2nd October—Lisbon is, simply, impossible to call. But this newly-emboldened guerrilla force of activists will remain a headache for Ireland’s hapless government as it faces a winter of discontent and a budget of unprecedented austerity. As many No lobbyists themselves might put it, Lisbon is just one battle—the war will go on.

Monday, 28 September 2009

...And if Ever...

Eleison Comments CXVI: ...And if Ever...

...And if ever any discussions to be held between Rome and the Society of St Pius X did seem to be arriving at a non-doctrinal "practical agreement" between them, then all Catholics wishing to save their souls would have to study the "agreement" closely - especially the fine print - to see who would in future be appointing the leader or leaders, and their successors, in the Rome-approved SSPX.

He might be given whatever title pleased either party: "Superior General" or "Personal Prelate" or "Lord High Executioner" (a personage of noble rank and title) - the name would be of no importance. Crucial would be, who was to make the decisions, and who would appoint whoever would make the decisions ?  Would he be appointed by the Pope or by the Congregation of the Clergy, or by any Roman official, or would he continue to be appointed independently of Rome from within the SSPX as now, by a 12-yearly election through some 40 leading SSPX priests (next election in 2018) ?  Yet what would the "agreement" have gotten Rome if it had not gotten them control over appointing the SSPX leadership ?

The history of the Catholic Church is littered with examples of the struggle between the friends and enemies of God - normally Church and State respectively, but no longer ! - for control of the appointment of Catholic bishops. For as any intelligent friend or enemy of the Church well knows, the bishops are the key to its future. (As Archbishop Lefebvre used to say, in defiance of all today's democratic nonsense, it is the bishops who form the Catholic people and not the people who form the bishops.)

A classic example of this struggle is the Napoleonic Concordat of 1801 by which the newly Freemasonic French State made sure that it acquired a significant degree of control over the choice of bishops in the Church in France. Promptly all pre-Revolutionary bishops were sacked who were still too Catholic, and the Church was then securely on its way to Vatican II. Similarly when in 1905 the Freemasons broke off the union of the French State with the Church, the better to persecute it, the heroic Pope Pius X profited by his unwanted new independence of that State to appoint, and himself consecrate, a mere handful of nine bishops, but their virile Catholicism so scared the Freemasons that as soon as Pius X was dead, they hastened back to renegotiate a certain reunion of Church and State, if only they could recover control of the appointment of French bishops - and Vatican II was back on track.

The pattern was repeated in 1988 when the heroic faith and courage of Archbishop Lefebvre alone saved the SSPX by his consecrating of four bishops independently of the explicit disapproval of Conciliar Rome. The same Conciliar foxes might now "give away the store" in order to regain control of the SSPX's four "ugly ducklings", and their potentially independent successors - ducklings make a dainty morsel for hungry foxes !  God bless Fr Schmidberger and Bishop Fellay, and all their successors who will maintain that Catholic independence for as long as Rome is out of its Catholic mind ! 

Kyrie eleison.

Kyrie eleison.
London, England

"The Junkie's Prayer"

Developers used 'slave labour from Poland'

NO CAMPAIGN: DEVELOPERS USED “slave labour brought in from Poland” during the economic boom, a campaigner against the Lisbon Treaty has claimed.

Úna Bean Mhic Mhathúna, who previously campaigned against the introduction of abortion and divorce, has confirmed she is involved in anti-treaty group Cóir.

She describes the Government’s Lisbon campaign as “scaremongering” and says voters are deeply disillusioned.

She told The Irish Times : “People are extremely angry at how the Government crashed the country to pay back all of that €54 billion to bail out the bankers and developers.

“Developers made money by using slave labour from Poland and placing them on minimum wage or less.”

She said the minimum wage is the issue people are talking about most at the doors.

“The €1.84 issue is very hot. The fact of the matter is it is the average minimum wage across accession states,” she said in reference to a Cóir poster which suggests that Irish workers could face a drop in pay rates.

Yes campaigners have countered that the treaty will do nothing to affect Ireland’s minimum wage of €8.65.

Social and ethical issues such as euthanasia are also being raised by voters on the door, Ms Mhic Mhathúna said.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna feels that the power balance of the EU has changed since Ireland joined.

“I remember it well in 1972. We were an equal partner and it was said that it would never be politicised, but now it is a power grab.”

If the treaty is passed, the “Constitution will be gone and the laws of the new federal Europe and the federal constitution will be superior to all member states”, she claimed.

She is confident that there will be a strong No vote on October 2nd. “Our canvass is going very well and the No vote seems to be holding up,” she said.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Vote No on October 2nd

The campaign is in its final days. Do vote on October 2nd. Vote NO! We have seen in recent days more and more people declaring they will vote No.Keep praying and canvassing! Let us ensure a big NO vote on Friday.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Difficult Discussions III

An excellent column from Bishop Williamson. 

Eleison Comments CXV

Two objections to the very principle of the Society of St Pius X possibly entering soon into doctrinal discussions with the Church authorities in Rome, help to frame the nature, purpose and limitations of any such discussions. The first objection says that Catholic Doctrine is not up for discussion. The second says that no Catholic may presume to discuss with representatives of the Pope, as though on an equal footing. Both objections apply in normal circumstances, but today's are not normal.

As to the first objection, of course unchanging and unchangeable Catholic doctrine is not up for discussion. The problem is that Vatican II undertook to change that doctrine. For instance, may, or must, a Catholic State tolerate the public practice of false religions ? Catholic Tradition says "may", but only to avoid a greater evil or achieve a greater good. Vatican II says "must", in all circumstances. But if Jesus Christ is recognizably the incarnate God, then no more than "may" is true. On the contrary if "must" is true, then Jesus Christ cannot be necessarily recognizable as God. The "may" and the "must" are as far apart as Jesus Christ being God by divine nature or by human choice, i.e. between Jesus being, or not being, objectively, God !

Yet today's Roman authorities claim that the doctrine of Vatican II represents no rupture with Catholic dogma, but rather its continuous development. Unless then - which God forbid ! - the SSPX is also abandoning Catholic dogma, it is not discussing with these authorities whether Jesus is God, it is not putting up Catholic doctrine for discussion, rather it is hoping to persuade any Romans with open ears that the doctrine of Vatican II is gravely opposed to Catholic Doctrine. In this respect,  even were the SSPX's success to prove minimal, it would still consider that it had been its duty to testify to the Truth.

But the Romans may reply, " We represent the Pope. How dare you presume to discuss with us ?"  It is the second objection, and for all those who think that Conciliar Rome is in the Truth, the objection appears valid. But it is the Truth that makes Rome and not Rome that makes the Truth. Our Lord himself repeatedly declares in the Gospel of St. John that his doctrine is not his but his Father's (e.g. Jn.VII, 16). But if Catholic Doctrine is not in Jesus' power to change, how much less is it in his Vicar's power to change, i.e. the Pope's !  If then the Pope, by his God-given free-will, chooses to depart from Catholic Doctrine, to that extent he has laid aside his Papal status, and to that extent only  --  he is still Pope  --  he puts himself and/or his representatives beneath whoever remains faithful to the divine Master's Doctrine.

Therefore the same status in discussion that the Pope lays aside insofar as he departs from the Truth, any Catholic acquires by being faithful to that Truth. As Archbishop Lefebvre once famously said in front of the Roman authorities interrogating him for his dissension from Pope Paul VI, "It is I who should be interrogating you !"  To stand for God the Father's Truth is the pride and the humility, the vocation and the glory of the Archbishop's little SSPX. If discussions with Rome meant the least danger of the SSPX being untrue to this vocation, that is when there should be no discussions.                                                              

Kyrie eleison.
London, England

Sunday, 20 September 2009

I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains

I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow, 
That have no treasure but hope, 
No riches laid up but a memory 
Of an Ancient glory. 
My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born, 
I am of the blood of serfs; 
The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten, 
Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,
And, though gentle, have served churls; 
The hands that have touched mine, the dear hands whose touch is familiar to me, 
Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles, 
Have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers, 
I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone, 
I that have never submitted; 
I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people's masters,

I that have vision and prophecy and the gift of fiery speech,
I that have spoken with God on the top of His holy hill.

And because I am of the people, I understand the people, 
I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire: 
My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers, 
My eyes have been wet with the tears of children, 
I have yearned with old wistful men, 
And laughed or cursed with young men; 
Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it, 
Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free, 
Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full, 
Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailors 
With their writs of summons and their handcuffs, 
Men mean and cruel!

I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak, being full of vision;
I speak to my people, and I speak in my people's name to the masters of my people. 
I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains, 
That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer, 
That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God, 
God the unforgetting, the dear God that loves the peoples 
For whom He died naked, suffering shame. 
And I say to my people's masters: Beware, 
Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people, 
Who shall take what ye would not give. 
Did ye think to conquer the people, 
Or that Law is stronger than life and than men's desire to be free?
We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held, 
Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

They've Got Some Neck!


An excellent poster highlights a very important point. Let us make a summary. The people of the 26 counties are being asked to vote again on the same Treaty they said NO to last year. They certainly have some neck to ask the people to vote again. The so-called guarantees promised by the elite are not legally binding, nor are they included in the Lisbon Treaty. They are a politician's promise.

They do have some neck to ask us to vote again but then again the Irish people are being treated like fools by a political elite who have failed them.  Vote No on October 2nd.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Struggling parents turn to soup kitchens

Do continue to carry out your corporal and spiritual works of Mercy. To live out the Social Teachings of the Church and the Gospel of Christ. It is not good enough or Catholic enough to be silent and do nothing. Let us remember the Gospel According to Saint Matthew

31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. 32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. 34 Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. 37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? 39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? 40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. 44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? 45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

46 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting

Cash-strapped parents are turning to soup kitchens to feed their families, it was revealed today.
Dublin-based charity Crosscare said rising numbers of the recently unemployed were calling at its centres to pick up basic foodstuffs with their children.

Director Conor Hickey said the agency, which traditionally serves hot meals to the homeless and elderly, had not seen such demand since the darkest days of the 1980s recession.
“Increasingly we’re seeing people come to the door saying they just need bread or milk,” he said.
“These are people who are new to this area of poverty, people who were the main breadwinner and have now lost their jobs.”

Demand from families was highest in Crosscare’s Holles Row branch in Dublin city centre, Mr Hickey said.
“The recession is going to hurt a lot of people but it’s the people at the lowest end of the socio-economic scale that it’s hurting the most.”
Mr Hickey said the charity was relying on public donations to boost its coffers.
“Crosscare is determined that no-one who needs help will be turned away,” he said.

“But we’re getting static funding coming through. We’re not getting any Government increase so we’ve less money and more demand.”
Across the Liffey at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin’s north inner city, Brother Kevin Crowley said demand for free meals and food parcels had doubled in the past year.
“We have seen a rise in families and I think it’s very worrying for people,” he said.
“We had a man who had lost his job and it was his first time to be out of work.

“He has a mortgage on his house and three or four children and he had to come to us for food.
“It’s very embarrassing for people, that’s one of the reasons why we don’t ask any questions because we know how difficult it is for them to have to come to a place like this.”
Brother Kevin said he did not think the problem was unique to the capital.
“It’s probably highlighted more in Dublin because of the cost of living, but I think it’s probably all over the country.”
Meanwhile, St Vincent de Paul said it had experienced a rise in demand of up to 27% in some branches this year.
“Most of the calls come from single parent families and families with young children who need help with food costs and energy bills,” a spokesman for the charity said.
“What’s happening in the economy has certainly contributed to that increase.”

Cóir posters "cut-through"

Their posters are excellent. Well done to Cóir.

WHETHER THEY are professional graphic designers or enthusiastic amateurs, what the creative types behind every Lisbon Treaty poster are praying for is the Holy Grail of any political campaign: "talkability", writes MARY MINIHAN

Happily for No campaigners Cóir, their posters have achieved what designers call "cut-through" in an increasingly-crowded platform, not only with its posters' contentious messages - "€1.84 minimum wage after Lisbon?" - but also with the unconventional appearance of its playful-looking pink heart-shaped cut-outs.

The group's third and final tranche of posters is expected to focus on the "right to life" issue in the context of the guarantees secured by the Government from its European Union partners. A Cóir spokesman said it had spent about €51,000 on posters so far.

Chris Cawley, co-founder of advertising agency Cawley Nea, who says he will be voting Yes, says the Yes side's posters have been "terribly disappointing" while Cóir is leading the No pack.

"Most eyecatching, yes. First in, yes. But much more significantly, the content of what's in the posters is focused. There's passion, there's intent and tragically, there's intelligence behind it," he said.

Timing is everything, he says.

"My 19-year-old daughter came back home a couple of Sundays ago saying 'did you know Dad the minimum wage is going to be €1.84?' I just thought how in the name of God did the Yes side let the No guys get out first?"

This is how Cóir insiders claim it's done: A team of volunteers aged 19 to 40 get together to whittle down a huge number of ideas they have been e-mailing to each other. The genius of the group, they say, is a young female graphic designer who is currently volunteering from her home in Dublin. One night last year, after she had put her children to bed, she made herself a cup of coffee and the idea for the "three monkeys" poster popped into her head.

She appears to be on a roll again this year, having placed a photograph of an indignant giraffe with the slogan "Vote again? They've got some neck" on a long, slim poster.

Before the final designs are selected, Cóir volunteers take to the streets of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick armed with clipboards and A4-sized poster samples to ask passersby which poster "speaks best to you".


Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Impression of the Stigmata of St. Francis

Two years before his death, while at prayer on Mount Alvernia, St Francis of Assisi received from God the grace of having impressed on his hands, feet and side, the likeness of the Sacred Wounds of Christ. Blood flowed at intervals, until the day of the Saint's death in 1226. Today we remember this Feast.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Hammerklavier Sonata

Eleison Comments CXIV: Hammerklavier Sonata

Music, history and theology are closely intertwined, because there is only one God and all men were created by Him to go to Him. History relates their actions amongst one another according as they go to Him or not, while music expresses the harmony or disharmony in their souls as they make their history towards Him or not. The music of Beethoven (1770-1827), taken as dividing into three Periods, is a clear illustration.

His First Period containing the relatively tranquil works of his masterly apprenticeship to Mozart (1756-1791) and Haydn (1732-1809), corresponds to the last years of pre-Revolutionary Europe. The Second Period containing most of the glorious and heroic works for which Beethoven is best known and loved, corresponds to the French Revolution's spreading of upheavals and wars throughout Europe and beyond. The Third Period containing profound but somehow puzzling masterpieces, corresponds to Europe's attempting after the Congress of Vienna (concluded in1815) to re-construct the old pre-Revolutionary order on post-Revolutionary foundations - a puzzle indeed.

As Beethoven's Third Symphony, the "Eroica" (1804), by first giving full expression to his heroic humanism of a new world, was the pivotal work between the First and Second Periods, so his 29th Piano Sonata, the "Hammerklavier" (1818), was the pivotal work between the Second and Third Periods. It is a huge piece, lofty, aloof, admirable, yet strangely inhuman...The first movement opens with a resounding fanfare to be followed by a wealth of ideas in the Exposition, a climactic struggle in the Development, a varied Recapitulation and an again heroic Coda, features all typical of the Second Period, yet we are in a different world: the harmonies are cool, not to say cold, while the melodic line is rarely warm or lyrical. The brief second movement is hardly more friendly: a stabbing quasi-Scherzo, a rumbling quasi-Trio. The third movement, Beethoven's longest slow movement of all, is a profound and almost unrelieved lament, in which moments of consolation merely highlight the prevailing mood of virtual hopelessness.

A pensive introduction is needed to make the transition to the Sonata's last movement, normally swift and uplifting, but in this case swift and grim: a jagged main theme is worked over, slowed down, turned back to front and upside down in successively ungainly episodes of a three-part fugue. To the slow movement's raw grief is responding raw energy in a musical struggle more brutal than musical, with the exception again of one brief melodic interlude. As in the "Grosse Fuge" string quartet movement, Beethoven is here foreshadowing modern music. "It is magnificent", the French General might have said, "but it is not music".

Beethoven himself climbed down from this Mount Everest of piano sonatas to compose in his last ten years some more glorious masterpieces, notably the Ninth Symphony, but they are all somehow overcast. The hero's uninhibited exultation of the Second Period is a thing mostly of the past. It is as though Beethoven had firstly basked in the godly old order, secondly stridden forth to conquer his human independence, but thirdly been driven to ask:  What has it all meant ?  What does it mean to make oneself independent of God ?  The horrors of modern "music"are the answer, foreshadowed in the "Hammerklavier".  Without God, both history and music die.

Kyrie eleison.
London, England

Some Music

'No' campaigners are correct in regard the so-call guarantees on Lisbon

People on the street and on the door ways are well aware that the 'guarantees' on Lisbon are not binding. They are  a politicians promise to sell the Treaty of Lisbon. The fact that the Taoiseach of Ireland has admitted in public this to be the case vindicates 'No' campaigners.

The Christian Democrats have pointed out that an Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has scored an own goal on a recent Prime Time programme where he admitted that the so-call guarantees on Lisbon were not binding. “The game is up on Lisbon. Taoiseach  Brian Cowen has finally and publicly confirmed on the 'Prime Time' programme RTE 10th September 2009 that the so called ‘legal guarantees’ are not worth the paper they are written on, and could be overturned in the future,” said Michael Sheehan of the Christian Democrats.

“When pressed by Miriam O‘Callaghan, the presenter, who suggested that down the line, the heads of State of Europe will change and move on to be replaced by new personnel, and the guarantees could be overturned, Mr. Cowen acknowledged that for ‘that to happen it would require the unanimous agreement of the heads of State of Europe.’

“So now we know.  The guarantees could be overturned.  They’re useless. The NO campaigners are right. This government or any future government, without ever going back to the Irish electorate, could agree amongst themselves and the political bosses of Europe, that the so called 'guarantees' on taxes, workers rights, abortion, euthanasia, family rights and the Irish commissioner, could be overruled or discarded at will.

“We knew we could not trust the guarantees. They are nothing more than political promises, made by politicians for political purposes. This clarification by Mr. Cowen confirms why the Irish electorate in their wisdom, should give a resounding No to Lisbon and send a clear message to the political establishment, both at home and abroad,” concluded Mr Sheehan..

To see the Prime Time section go to,null,230

Sunday, 13 September 2009

No to the treaty of Lisbon. Stop the EU power grab

€1.84 wage ridiculous? Think GAMA

This particular poster has generated debate among people. It is far from ridiculous to suggest that if the Lisbon Treaty is passed, the minimum wage will be this low. This Treaty will ensure big business a right to provide cheap labour from abroad. Irish workers will suffer.

Voters assessing Media attempts to ridicule Cóirs minimum wage poster should consider the case of the Turkish construction giant GAMA: only 5 years ago the company employed Turkish workers on Irish construction projects for as little as €2.20 per hour!

Migrant workers were required to work up to 80 hours weekly and were housed in prefab camps provided by GAMA.
Ultimately, back pay was issued due to strikes by Turkish & Irish workers and because GAMA realised that a report from the Department of Labour's inspectorate was steering it towards significant trouble with the Garda fraud squad and the Irish Revenue Commissioner.

It was never established, however, that the wages were illegal and subsequently the 2008 Rüffert case* would indicate that such companies were and are within their rights to employ people under such conditions of pay. Crucially, the Lisbon treaty, under Protocol 27 copperfastens those rights


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Vote No to Lisbon Treaty on October 2nd




Attacking 'Alive'

Last time round Alive newspaper was also attacked by the Pro-Lisbon Treaty lobbyists.

IRISH MEPs have called on the Catholic Church to take a stand against the monthly newspaper Alive for publishing an advert claiming the Lisbon Treaty could lead to the detention of children of mild alcoholics.

At the launch of the Europe for Ireland campaign in Brussels yesterday, Marian Harkin MEP said the claims made in the advert were “disgraceful” and “deliberately constructed to frighten people”.

“I have had calls from carers who read this and are worried the treaty could lead to children being taken into care and for the seizure of possessions from people suffering from depression or alcoholism,” said Ms Harkin.

The advert, which was placed by the anti-Lisbon group Éire go Brách, alleges that under the treaty “the EU could seize elderly people’s savings and homes and can take children off people who suffer from mild forms of alcoholism or depression, or who do not own a family home”.

It also quotes a paragraph that it claims is contained in Article 6 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights – a new rights charter that will be made legally binding if the treaty is ratified. In fact, Article 6 of the charter simply states that “everyone has the right to liberty and security”.

Éire go Brách is a Cork-based group opposing the treaty. The group’s campaign director Máire de Faoite said the paragraph quoted in the advert in Alive was contained in an explanatory note on the charter, which was contained in a consolidated version of the EU treaties. She denied the group was scaremongering by selectively reading different EU texts to spread irrational fears that would confuse the public. The group’s website claims the treaty would make Ireland a subject province of an EU empire, force abortion on Ireland and create an EU immigration plantation that would destroy Irish identity.

Ms Harkin said the church should take action to ensure that Alive is not being distributed in the porches of any of its churches.

Fine Gael MEP Mairéad McGuinness said the advert was scandalous, and the church needed to take on any groups that made statements in its name.

A spokesman for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said the only official publication provided by the church was the magazine Intercom . He said removing unauthorised material from church property was a matter for parish priests, and was something that many already undertook to do.

Fr Brian McKevitt, managing editor of Alive , said it was interesting that liberals who proclaim to be in favour of freedom of speech often want to silence criticism. He said he would not comment on the veracity of the advertisement’s claims. “People have to judge for themselves the advert, like they do for adverts for plumbers in other newspapers,” he added.

Alive describes itself as a Catholic monthly newspaper which is a response to pope John Paul II’s call for “an evangelisation that is new in its fervour, new in its methods and new in its expression”. It had a circulation of 359,000 per month, with copies delivered door-to-door or left in churches.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

15 Things a Distributist May Do

Fr.Vincent McNabb
(An Open Letter to J.—B.—, A Young Gentleman with Desires)
You say you are at sea with a pen; and that anyhow, Fleet Street, not to say Little Essex Street, is in no need of recruits. You feel that Distributist modelling and designing has been well and truly done; but that the modellers and designers will have wasted their brains if some simple folk like you don’t attempt to carry out the designs. You ask dramatically, ‘Don’t tell me what to think for I subscribe to G.K.’s. But tell me what to do.’
I will therefore set down fifteen things, any one of which would be good to do. They shall be fifteen for two reasons. Because if I set down the hundred and one things you might do, it would fill a whole issue and not just one article in G. K.’s. Fifteen gives a choice such as a man has, say, in choosing a cravat, a livelihood, or a wife.
I will not begin at the beginning. I will begin anywhere and go on anyhow. But, indeed, when things have come to such a state of social untidiness as they are at present, a beginning can be made anywhere and anyhow. The one things necessary is to begin.

1. If you have a mantelpiece, remove everything from it except perhaps the clock. If you are fortunate enough to have no mantelpiece, remove from the walls of your home all pictures and such like, except a crucific. This will teach you the Poverty of Thrift. It may be called an empiric approach to Economics.

2. Clean out your own room daily. Clean it if possible on your knees. This will teach you the Poverty of Work. It will also prevent paralysis of the knees. But a paralysis which has reached the knees will soon reach the hands and the brain, if not the tongue.

3. For forty days or more—say, during Lent—do not smoke (and neither grouse about it nor boast about it). This will also improve your eyesight. It will also improve your insight into the tangled economics question: (tobacco) combines and how to smash them.

4. Buy some hand-woven cloth. Wear it. Buy some more. Wear that too. Remember the noble advice on how to eat cucumber, cut it into two parts (equal or unequal). Eat one part. Then eat the other. Your home-spun will instruct you better than the Declaration of Independence will instruct you on the dignity and rights of man.

5. Buy boots you can walk in. Walk in them. Even if you lessen the income of the General Omnibus Company, or your family doctor; you will discover the human foot. On discovering it, your joy will be as great as if you had invented it. But this joy is the greatest, because no human invention even of Mr. Ford or Mr. Marconi is within a mile of a foot.

6. Find another young Distributist, with our without University education, but with brains and feet1. Invite him to use his feet by tramping with you across any English county, say, water-logged Staffordshire during the summer holidays. Invite him to use his brains by standing on his feet, but not on his dignity, in market-places, telling the village-folk what is the matter with Staffordshire. This will lead him to tell them what is the matter with himself.
If you will keep at it for three weeks or a month, your advice on How to Save England will be more valuable, though, I admit, less valued than that of the entire Board of Directors of the Old Woman of Threadneedle Street.

7. If you fail to find a fellow-tramp, or if you covet the heroism of the dug-outs in a time of peace, spend your summer holiday as a farm-hand. You will not be worth your keep; but it will be worth your while. If Babylondon has not befogged your ‘intellectus agens’—your active intellect, in the noble phrase of Scholasticism, you will gradually see the Poverty of Work. This is the other empiric approach to Economics.

8. If through the machinations of Beelzebub or his fellow-devil Mammon, your house is in suburbia, plant your garden not with things lovely to see like roses, or sweet to smell like lavender; but good to eat like potatoes or French beans. At the end of two years you will have done three things: (1) You will have a higher appreciation of yokel-intelligence; (2), you will have a wider knowledge of Natural History (especially of slugs and the like); and (3), You will have a sardonic scorn for the economics of our present Sewage System. In other words you will have had the beginnings of a liberal education.

9. I will not approach a matter or your reputation. If you take the advice offered, you may be accounted a fanatic. But fanatic or no fanatic, here is the advice. For twelve months, if possible, or at least for twelve days, do not use anything ‘canned’, neither canned meat nor canned music.
This will throw you back on what is called Home Produce. This in its turn will show you the right expression to put into your singing of Rule Britannia.

10. I will now appeal to the artist that is within every one of us. Art, as you know, is the right way of making a good thing. There is no right way of making a bad things. Not only something, but make something—a cup of tea, a boiled egg, a hatpeg (from a fallen branch), a chair!
This heroic attempt to make something will enable your friends to practise their wit by saying you have only made an ass of your yourself. In order to hear this gibe stolidly, read up about ‘the ass’s colt at the crossways.’

11. Talk your young architect friend into spending two weeks of his holiday making an abode (formerly called a house1). He is thinking in terms of Brick-combine bricks, Timber-combine timber, Steel-combine steel, Cement-combine cement, Building materials-combine building materials. Drag him out into England that still grows oak, elm, ash, beech, fir, larch, etc. Give him a wood axe, a hatchet, and adze, and a few tools. Tell him from me that if in two weeks and for less that 100 pounds you and he cannot make an abode more spacious and sanitary than ninety per cent of the dwellings in the Borough of Westminster or St. Pancras, your should be certified. This may be called the Strain Test, enabling you to know whether he has brains enough to be your friend, even if he has brains enough to be an architect.

12. Set down for the information and inspiration of young Distributists one hundred answers to the usually despairing question: ‘How can I get out of London?‘ Begin with the simplest answer: ‘Walk out.’ You may find that some of your most promising Distributists will walk no more with you. Do not be despondent at this; because it may make your own Distributism more sea-worthy.

13. As you are not yet married, and as marriage is the fundamental state of life as well as the unit of the Commonwealth, make up your mind whether your are called to this state. If you make up your mind to marry, do not marry merely a good wife: marry a good mother to your children. A wife that is a good mother to your children is the Angel of the House; the other sort is the very devil.

14. Before asking her hand and her heart, tell her how to test you. Advise her to ask herself not whether you would make her a good husband, but whether you would make a good father to her and your children. A wife that is not a house-wife, and husband that is not a good house-band are heading for Admiralty Probate and Divorce!

15. If you do not feel called to the state of marriage vows, there is another state of vows—where mysticism and asceticism prove themselves the redemption of Economics.

But—well—God-speed you, as they say in lands of the old culture.
note 1. Do not believe X.—, who says they are not to be found. The truth is that X.— has lived so long in stunt circles for the last six months that he has become prematurely infantile.)
note 1. The word house is now becoming obsolete. Collections of flats are not a house. For the moment the genius of the English language seems unequal to the task of giving these collections a name.

Vote NO to Lisbon

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Same Bad Treaty?

It is the same Treaty that we rejected in June 2008. The "guarantees" are as good as a politician's promise!!
Q. Has the Lisbon Treaty changed?
A. Not at all. Not a word or a comma. If it had all EU member states would need to ratify it again and that’s not happening.

Q. Does that mean we will vote on the same treaty in October as we previously rejected in June 2008?
A. Absolutely.

Q. Who says so?
A. The EU Council; Judge Frank Clarke of the Referendum Commission; The British Foreign Secretary David Miliband; The office of the EU Presidency. Everyone but the Irish government and other Yes campaigners.
Q. So what are the government saying?

A. They are insisting that because the EU Council have issued what the government is referring to as “guarantees” that the concerns of the Irish people in relation to the Treaty have been met.

Q. So what are these guarantees?
A. Well that’s the nub of the matter. They are actually not guarantees at all. As pointed out above, the EU and the Referendum Commission agree they don’t change the treaty at all. Judge Frank Clarke was careful not to describe them as “guarantees” – he called them statements.

Q. What do these statements refer to then?
A. They refer to issues which concerned the government’s research found concerned voters in relation to the treaty, such as abortion, taxation and defence. (For more on this go to

Q. Are they legally binding?
A. Not in EU law. And that’s what matters. Because these statements are not part of any treaty they can’t actually be enforced. The EU Courts don’t even have to consider them.
The government has made a huge fuss about lodging the statements with the United Nations but the UN can’t enforce EU law, or make EU member states accept that such statements have any legal value.
Lodging the statements with the UN is really just a stunt – as journalist Vincent Browne remarked, they may as well have been lodged with Leitrim County Council. Not that Leitrim Co Co isn’t a worthy body – just that, like the UN, they can’t make the EU enforce something that isn’t EU law.
The fact remains: they are not legally binding and not legally enforceable.

Q. So they are about as useful as a politician’s promise?
A. Yes, and just as easily broken!

Q. Sort of like the government’s and the opposition’s statements saying they would respect the wishes of the people on Lisbon last year?
A. Exactly!

Happy Birthday!

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Constitution and Tax Concerns

Very important information here in relation to the referendum on October 2nd. The posters are generating great debate on the streets, on the door step, and via the internet.  It is the 'No' campaign who are out there canvassing doors, handing out leaflets on the streets. Many 'undecided' voters will vote No.

Coir has come under the spotlight in recent days as a result of their posters which campaigns for a NO vote in the upcoming Lisbon referendum. The posters inform the general public about halving of the Irish voting power in Europe, the fact that most Europeans would vote against the treaty if they got the chance and the threat of small farmer’s livelihood.

Minister Michael Martin has accused Coir of spreading lies and myths. Maria Buckley from Athlone would like the opportunity to defend the organisation whose only concern is the welfare of our country and its citizens.

Maria said “All of our posters contain facts and have been checked and rechecked over the past year by legal experts and authorities on EU law. Some of the posters contain facts from Eurostat the official EU statistics office.  These facts are available on our website

“The posters attracted the wrath of the YES side from both the government and ‘Ireland for Europe’. One poster in particular displaying ‘minimum wage €1.84?’ drew huge attention. I can tell you that this figure was the average minimum wage of the EU accession states and, as stated previously, were obtained from Eurostat” she said.
Ms Buckley said Cóir welcomed scrutiny and debate, and most of all, wanted to engage the public in finding out the facts about the treaty for themselves. She continued “The YES campaign has only mudslinging and smears for their campaign because they cannot refute the truth… They are deliberately avoiding debates on the content of the Treaty as their slogans are repeated vacuous mantras which have no substance.”

“The figure of €1.84 should resonate with a lot of hardworking families already hard pressed to make ends meet. If Lisbon passes the European Court of Justice will have the power to overrule our constitution, and they are already driving down wages by allowing cheap labour to be brought in from abroad to undercut Irish workers. The ECJ has already ruled in 3 other cases against workers striking for fairer wages (Laval, Ruffert and Viking). This will show you the already present mindset of the ECJ in its continual favourtism towards bigger corporations and its contempt for workers.” Maria said

Maria stated that “Not once in the past week has the YES campaign contradicted or even attempted to contradict the poster on the voting structure if Lisbon passes, simply because it is true. Yet they use clichés like ' Yes will make us stronger' how can they back up this claim? They cannot. In fact a Yes vote will put us at bottom end of the influential line with the reduction to 0.8.% of voting power, let’s talk plainly - we would reduce our voice to a bare whisper.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Difficult Discussions II

Bishop Richard Williamson
5 September 2009

Eleison Comments CXIII

What is the best outcome one may hope for, and the worst outcome one may fear, from the "doctrinal discussions" due in theory to begin this autumn in Rome between the mainstream Church and the Society of St. Pius X ?  In practice the doctrinal gulf between Rome's Conciliarism and the Society's Catholicism is so fundamental (can or cannot 2 and 2 equal both 4 and 5 ?) that the "discussions" may not even begin. However, supposing that representatives of Rome and of the Society sit down together on two sides of one table, what is to be hoped for ?

Short of a stupendous miracle of God, there is, humanly speaking, no hope whatsoever of the Romans abandoning their devotion to Vatican II, that Council whose letter mixes the religions of God and man while its spirit is definitely the religion of man. For over 40 years the churchmen controlling Rome have been possessed by the conviction that God's religion needs to be adapted to modern man, and nothing indicates that they are collectively about to abandon their deadly "combinazione", on the contrary. See for instance the Pope's latest Encyclical, "Charity in Truth".

Therefore the most that can be hoped for on the side of the Romans is that to the Catholic Truth laid before them by the SSPX, a handful of them will react positively, most likely in private  --  may they save their souls !  On the side of the SSPX, at best it will have witnessed to the Truth at the summit of the Church where it most matters, and even if on those heights it does little to no apparent good, still one may hope that an open account of the "discussions" presented afterwards to all Catholics of good will may reinforce their grasp of that doctrine by which Catholics are Catholics, and strengthen their Catholic common sense that, naturally and supernaturally, 2 and 2 make 4 and nothing else.

What we may fear on the contrary is that this primacy of doctrine may be blurred amidst the charms of the Roman autumn. "He who lies down with Roman dogs gets up with purple fleas", says a proverb (invented by a friend). The temptation for the SSPX, especially if Rome waves both the stick of further condemnation as well as the carrot of recognition in front of the still scorned donkey's nose, will be to glide over the doctrinal gulf and settle for some kind of "practical agreement" whereby the SSPX, already being very nice to Benedict XVI, would, for instance, be granted juridical status within the mainstream Church in exchange for an at least tacit understanding to stop attacking its Conciliarism.

However, any such understanding would be the beginning of the end, not of the defence of the Faith but of the SSPX's defence of it, because as old-fashioned Communism knew,  it should never fight Catholics over doctrine, where Catholics are strongest. Rather its strategy was to propose any kind of practical agreement whereby the Catholics would pass over the doctrine and just co-operate in action with the Communists. As Communism always knew, the rest would follow...                                        
Kyrie eleison.

London, England

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Brian Cowen interview:Late Late Show

‘Powers stripped in Lisbon treaty’

Cóir have been making this valid point in their excellent campaign against the Treaty.

Ireland will not be able to ensure choice for EU commissioner if country votes yes, say experts

Ireland will not have the final say in choosing its European Union commissioner if the Lisbon treaty is passed, say legal experts campaigning against the treaty.

They claim the wording has been changed to allow member states only to “suggest” their choice of commissioner to the European council, as opposed to the power to “propose” their nominee under the Nice treaty.

Anthony Coughlan, secretary of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre and a lecturer in social policy at Trinity College Dublin, claims the change in wording is significant. “Amendments are not made to treaties for no reason,” he said. “Every word makes a difference.

“In a legal sense, the words ‘suggest’ and ‘propose’ have very different weight. A right to propose is basically a right to decide. The right to suggest is crucially different. A suggestion can be turned down by the commission president.”

Coughlan said the new wording effectively means that if Lisbon II is passed the commission president can reject the Irish government’s nominee for commissioner and insist that another candidate be put forward.

Garret FitzGerald, the former Fine Gael leader and a supporter of the treaty, agrees that the change in wording gives the commission president this power, but believes this is a positive amendment.

“This will give the commission president at least the theoretical capacity to turn down the member state’s choice of commissioner,” he said. “It’s a power that is unlikely to be used because the commission would be very sensitive about upsetting a member state by rejecting their chosen candidate. But it would make governments think more carefully about who they are putting forward.

“It would act as a useful check to make sure governments put forward high-calibre candidates. It’s important that we have good people in Europe and I think this change is an improvement in that regard.”

A spokesman for Micheal Martin, the minister for foreign affairs, denied that the change would weaken Ireland’s ability to choose a commissioner: “There would be no change in the way we would nominate our commissioner post-Lisbon treaty if the vote is yes.”

Billy Timmins, Fine Gael’s campaign director, said the “No” side was playing on words. “It makes no difference whatsoever,” he added.

A number of other antiLisbon campaign groups have also voiced concern about the change in the wording. “Our ability to put forward who we want to represent us as commissioner has been weakened,” said Patricia McKenna, a former Green MEP and spokeswoman for the People’s Movement. “You can’t just say there’s no difference between the words ‘propose’ and ‘suggest’. If there is no difference, why not leave it as it was?”

Under the Nice treaty, the wording of the text concerning the appointment of EU commissioners reads: “The council ... shall adopt the list of persons whom it intends to appoint as members of the commission, drawn up in accordance with the proposals made by each member state.”

The Lisbon treaty states: “The council ... shall adopt the list of the other persons whom it proposes for appointment as members of the commission. They shall be selected on the basis of the suggestions made by member states

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Pilgrimage to Knock

Saturday 12 September 2009
- Mass at the Mass Rock
near Cloonfad at 12 noon
- Stations of the Cross
at the Shrine in Knock at 3 pm

St Pius X

September 3rd is the Feast of Pope St. Pius X.
Pope St. Pius X, Pray for us.

St Vincent's 'Catholic' Secondary School,Cork

Update: 4th September, 2009

The girls’ former school issued a statement yesterday, signed by principal Donnchadh O Briain, distancing itself from the event.
"The board of management of St Vincent’s Secondary School wishes to state in the most clear and categorical terms that the school has no involvement whatsoever in the reported event and its organisation"

They will be losing support because of this. +353 21 4307252 to articulate your view to them.

Guests at a debs ball will have a wider choice than normal tonight when they are presented with free condoms when they sit down to eat.
The organisers, who have just graduated from a Catholic girl’s school on Cork’s northside, placed dozens of contraceptives on tables in the function room of the Montenotte Hotel in preparation for the ball.
More than 70 couples are due to attend the dinner dance, which has been arranged by a committee of former students of St Vincent’s Secondary School. Most of the guests are aged between 17 and 19.

Organisers have supplied a single condom for each couple as part of the formal place setting.
A spokesperson for the debs committee confirmed they discussed the issue and first planned to offer condoms to guests as a joke – possibly in a surprise bag.
But she said it was then decided to place the contraceptives, as well as flavoured lubricating gel, on the tables in an effort to promote safe sex.
"It is a responsible thing to do. People are going to be drunk and things will happen," she said.
A spokesman for the four star hotel said he was not aware of the initiative but said it is a matter for the organisers of what is essentially a private event.

Andy Walker, the health promotion manager of the HSE South, said it’s a good idea "in principle".
He stressed that sexual health experts would not encourage sexual activity among teenagers over the age of consent.
"But if young people are sexually active then condoms are the minimum precaution," he said.
However, Mary Crilly, the director of the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork, urged caution.
"I appreciate what the organisers are trying to do but I don’t think throwing condoms on the table is the right approach," she said.
While some parents will say such an initiative might encourage sexual activity, Ms Crilly said using condoms "in this day and age is the sensible approach".

But she said a wider discussion around sexual relations should take place first.
"There should be a wider discussion first to let people know the ground rules – and not just throw condoms on the table.
"There is huge excitement at debs balls. People are having a great time, getting drunk and things happen.
"But this sounds like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. And it might put pressure on young girls who don’t want to be sexually active. Condoms on the table? It’s the wrong time and wrong place."


Wednesday, 2 September 2009



Cóir ,who are of course campaigning against the Lisbon Treaty have excellent posters. Fianna Fail launched their Yes campaign with slogans like "Ireland Needs Europe" and "We’re Stronger with Europe". Ireland is a full member of the EU regardless of Lisbon Treaty being passed. Leaving the EU would be a matter for the Irish people. Ireland is in Europe. We can trade with other countries, we can holiday, we can support a Europe of Nations. This poster contains great humour but highlights a very serious message.

Poster : Milked Dry!

Did you know that we’ve lost more than €200 BILLION in fish extracted from Irish territorial waters to the EU? While Yes campaigners suggest we should vote in favour of the bad deal that is the Lisbon Treaty in gratitude for funds received from the EU, they are careful to gloss over what we’ve lost.

€200 BILLION. It’s an enormous sum – and that figure comes from the EU’s own statistical agency, Eurostat. The amount we’re losing continues to grow as our right to fish our own waters was given away by a foolish and short-sighted government.
Journalist Tom Prendiville wrote that: “Every year, roughly two million tonnes are fished in Irish coastal waters. However, Ireland's share of the catch is miniscule and therein lie the current difficulties. While Ireland produces 40 per cent of the edible fish, the country's fishermen are only entitled to catch less than ten percent of that. The rest is fished by foreign trawlers.”
We’re an island nation, with a huge natural resource yet our fishing industry has been utterly destroyed. It should also be noted that the Treaty of Rome didn’t expressly allow the EU to share our fishing waters – they just took that implied right after the Irish people had agreed to sign up to the treaty.
Now it is the turn of our farmers.  Last year there were mass protests when EU Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, conducted negotiations which farmers said would slash farm incomes and lead to mass rural unemployment.
The problem is that Mandelson no more gives a fig for Irish farmers than the EU does for our fishing industry, And we’re losing jobs and incomes as a result.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Cóir volunteers are busy putting up their various posters around the cities and towns. Irish EU Commissioner, Mc Creevy is correct when he said that an electorate would reject this Treaty. Vote No to the same Treaty we rejected in June of 2008.

Poster : Europeans would vote NO

Everyone knows that the people of Europe – with the exception of the Irish – have been denied a vote on the Lisbon Treaty. Cóir has argued that the elite in Brussels don’t want to give the people of Europe a vote on the treaty because they know what the result would be: a massive rejection.

Irish EU Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy agrees. Here’s what he said “On the other hand, all of the [political leaders] know quite well that if the similar question was put to their electorate by a referendum the answer in 95 per cent of the countries would probably have been No as well”.