User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien

offsite link Interview with Cathal Goulding Mon Dec 26, 2016 17:11 | Cathal Goulding

offsite link Trump, Russia and the CIA Sat Dec 10, 2016 18:23 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Daniel McConnell: Happy to wear establishment blinkers

offsite link State failing in its duty to enforce law Anthony

offsite link Elaine Byrne/Fergus Finlay: Afraid to condemn their own? Anthony

offsite link Jobstown trial exposes mainstream bias Anthony

offsite link RTE: Blatant censorship and manipulation of news Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link The Neocons are pushing the USA and the rest of the world towards a dangerous crisis Fri Aug 18, 2017 04:37 | The Saker
This analysis was written for the Unz Review. First, my writing on the wall In October of last year a wrote an analysis I entitled The USA are about to

offsite link Stonewalling Washington: Trump pushes leftist view of US racism further than Obama or Clinton Fri Aug 18, 2017 04:37 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri I feel sorry for Americans ? they have such lousy leaders they feel compelled to defend. I don?t mean Trump or Obama or Clinton or even JFK

offsite link Syrian War Report ? August 17, 2017: Iran Builds Long-Range Missile Factory In Syria Fri Aug 18, 2017 01:16 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront Voiceover by Harold

offsite link A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand (Charlottesville 3) Thu Aug 17, 2017 21:58 | The Saker
by Paul Craig Roberts The liberal/progressive/left are enjoying their drunkfest of denunciation. I can?t say I have ever witnessed anything like it.  These are the people who sat on their

offsite link Abby Martin speaks the plain truth about the Zionist regime in Palestine Thu Aug 17, 2017 20:42 | The Saker
Note by the Saker: interesting interview with Abby Martin, I highly recommend it.  Please try to set aside the typical Leftist clichés and language and just listen about what she

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link Ireland?s violation of International Abortion rights: A perpetual Déjà vu. Sat Jul 29, 2017 18:49 | admin

offsite link Call for Papers: Irish Yearbook of International Law Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:54 | Fiona de Londras

offsite link Understanding the Increases in Direct Provision Allowance for Asylum Seekers Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:31 | Liam Thornton

offsite link Ireland?s Failing Abortion Law: Statutory Interpretation, Human Rights and the Detention of Pregnant... Tue Jun 13, 2017 17:08 | admin

offsite link RIA Conference on Human Rights and the Social Sciences, June 22nd. Thu Jun 01, 2017 16:59 | admin

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Ireland’s economic chickens come home to roost

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | opinion/analysis author Saturday December 01, 2012 11:29author by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáinauthor email caoimhghin at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

This article looks at the failure of successive governments to make full use of the natural resources of Ireland leading to the current strategy of heaping more and more new taxation upon the Irish people to make up for their loss of income

Since the formation of the Irish State in 1922, financial sources for the maintenance and development of the state as an independent entity have been in decline. This has arisen through Ireland’s joining the EEC in 1973 and subsequent Treaties of the EU, to successive governments’ neo-liberal economic policies that gradually reduced the role and income of the state. Contributing to these problems was the loss of fiscal autonomy when Ireland joined the eurozone in 2002.

Sources of income such as customs duties and charges, fisheries, agriculture, oil and gas, and minerals were all affected in different ways, leaving the increasing taxation of the people as the main plank of the government’s policy to extricate itself from the economic crisis. Since the banking crisis of 2008, government borrowing [1] has increased the national debt [2] from € 50.4 billion to € 119.1 billion in 2011, more than doubling it in a few short years.

Fisheries
The establishment of a customs union (a free trade area with a common external tariff) was one of the main aims of the EEC. On joining the EEC in 1973, the Irish government lost import duties as a source of income from its main trading partners. Three years later, in 1976, the EEC extended its fishing waters from 12 miles to 200 miles under the Common Fisheries Policy [3] when it was agreed that fishermen from any state should have access to all waters. Thus, while Ireland owns 23% of the fishing waters [4] in Europe, it is only allowed 3% of the European fish trade quota. [5]

Agriculture
Since joining the EEC there has been ongoing change in Irish farming [6] but “with fewer and larger farms, less employment, more specialisation and concentration of production and growth in part-time farming” yet “agricultural output remains at about the level of 20 years ago”. As a source of employment farming has been in decline for a long time, about 24 per cent in the period from 1980 to 1991 and a further 17 per cent between 1991 and 2000. Recent demonstrations by farming families in Dublin have shown the negative effect of government cutbacks, increased costs and taxes. According to a recent Irish Times [7] article, “the protest was called to highlight concerns about planned reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy and the upcoming budget. It also highlighted the margins being taken by supermarket chains at the expense of farmers. Placard messages included ‘No Cap cuts; no farm cuts; no extra costs; regulate the retailers.’”

Forestry
More short-sighted policies can be seen in reports [8] that the State is “also considering selling off some assets of the forestry body Coillte (The Irish Forestry Board)” to private investors. Coillte [9] was established under the Forestry Act 1988, and the company is a private limited company registered under and subject to the Companies Acts 1963-86. All of the shares in the company are held by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Minister for Finance on behalf of the Irish State. Profits have increased from a loss of €438K (1989) to profits of €4.2 million (2009). Moreover, the company [10] employs approx 1,100 people and owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland.

More state assets
In the same article, [11] plans to sell off other state assets such as parts of Bord Gáis (Gas Board) and ESB (Electricity Supply Board) and “its 25 per cent shareholding in Aer Lingus” were also being considered.

According to Sinn Féin’s deputy leader and spokesperson for public expenditure and reform, Mary Lou McDonald, [12] “Both the ESB and Bord Gáis are wealth generating self-financing companies that have invested heavily in first world energy infrastructure across the island and created thousands of good jobs benefiting hundreds of thousands of families over the decades”. She added, ““Fine Gael and Labour’s decision to treat the profitable elements of these companies as a cash cow for bank debt reduction makes no economic sense and reflects the kind of short term policy and political decision making that got us into this economic mess in the first place.”

Mining
The extent to which the Irish Government has bent over backwards to attract foreign investment in mining - and in the process delimit its share of potential income - can be seen in an extract from a Government Report [13] titled ‘Land of Mineral Opportunities’, [14] published in May 2006. “Tax incentives relevant to exploration and mining in Ireland include:

*No State Shareholding in the Project and No Royalties are Payable to the State.
*Immediate write-off of development and exploration expenditure
*Corporation Tax of 25 percent (reducing to 12.5% for downstream manufacturing)
*Capital Allowance of up to 120 percent
*Expenditure on rehabilitation of mine sites after closure is tax-deductible
*There are no restrictions on foreign investment in Ireland,
*There are no restrictions with capital repatriation from the State.”

Oil and Natural Gas
Over the past 15 years gas and oil [15] have been discovered under Irish waters in the Atlantic [16] Ocean. However, the government’s “Minister Ray Burke (later jailed for corruption) changed the law in 1987, reducing the State’s share in our offshore oil and gas from 50% to zero and abolishing royalties. In 1992, Minister Bertie Ahern reduced the tax rate for the profits made from the sale of these resources from 50% to 25%.” In May of this year [2012], an article [17] by economist Colm Rapple stated that a committee that included 12 TDs [MPs] and senators from Government parties and nine from the opposition thought that “the terms at which we give away rights to potential offshore oil and gas reserves are far too generous. […] They want far tougher terms applied to all new licences.”

2016
So how will the government square this dismal history of giveaways with the upcoming centenary of the 1916 Rising in 2016, an attempted revolution which was initiated with a proclamation [18] read out in the centre of Dublin declaring “the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.”

This declaration was followed up in 1922 with The Constitution [19] of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) Act, 1922 which stated in Article 11 that “All the lands and waters, mines and minerals, within the territory of the Irish Free State hitherto vested in the State, or any department thereof, or held for the public use or benefit, and also all the natural resources of the same territory (including the air and all forms of potential energy), and also all royalties and franchises within that territory shall, from and after the date of the coming into operation of this constitution, belong to the Irish Free State”.

The future?
There seems to be no limit to the government’s sticky fingers. The National Pensions Reserve Fund [20] has seen its total value reduce from €24.4 billion in 2010 [21] to € 15.1 billion in 2012 with €20.7 billion of the fund [22] spent on preference shares and ordinary shares in Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland since 2009. As the government props up the banks and pays off unsecured bondholders, it is likely that the forthcoming significant national commemorations will refocus the Irish people on past conceptions of national democracy. Chicken, anybody?

[1] http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/kfidaukfcwoj/

[2] http://www.ntma.ie/business-areas/funding-and-debt-mana...tion/

[3] http://www.tcd.ie/longroomhub/iehn/online/reviews/macla...j.php

[4] http://www.shelltosea.com/content/irelands-natural-reso...urces

[5] http://noelharrington.com/?p=821

[6] http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0717/1....html

[7] http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1009/....html

[8] http://www.thejournal.ie/it-makes-no-economic-sense-sal...2012/

[9] http://www.coillte.ie/aboutcoillte/about_coillte/coillt...tory/

[10] http://www.coillte.ie/aboutcoillte/about_coillte/

[11] http://www.thejournal.ie/it-makes-no-economic-sense-sal...2012/

[12] http://www.thejournal.ie/it-makes-no-economic-sense-sal...2012/

[13] http://www.mineralsireland.ie/Publications.htm

[14] http://www.mineralsireland.ie/NR/rdonlyres/A99AD796-540...i.pdf

[15] http://www.shelltosea.com/content/gas-oil-robbery

[16] http://www.marine.ie/home/community/education/lessonpla...e.htm

[17] http://colmrapple.com/?cat=7

[18] http://www.thurles.info/2011/04/24/easter-proclamation-...blic/

[19] http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/E900003-004/

[20] http://www.nprf.ie/Publications/2012/NPRFQ12012Performa...e.pdf

[21] http://www.nprf.ie/Publications/2011/NTMAResultsAndBusi...0.pdf

[22] http://www.nprf.ie/home.html

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is a prominent Irish artist who has exhibited widely around Ireland. His work consists of paintings based on cityscapes of Dublin, Irish history and geopolitical themes (http://gaelart.net/). His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/.

© 2001-2017 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy