New Shelley poem, against persecution of Irishman, discovered

This video from England says about itself:

Poetical Essay: a Shelley pamphlet through expert eyes

10 November 2015

In November 2015 the Bodleian Libraries acquired its 12 millionth printed book: a unique copy of a pamphlet entitled Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things, written by ‘a Gentleman of the University of Oxford’ and printed in 1811. The pamphlet was the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), then a student at Oxford University, and now recognised as one of the great English poets of the 19th century. The acquisition is a momentous event for the public, for scholars, the University and the Bodleian Libraries. Known to have been published by Shelley in 1811 but lost until recently, Shelley’s Poetical Essay is, thanks to the generosity of a benefactor, now freely available to all in digitized form at

From the Irish Times:

Lost Shelley poem defending jailed Irish journalist unveiled

Vanessa Redgrave reads pamphlet defending former United Irishman Peter Finnerty

Fintan O’Toole

Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 18:15

A long-lost verse pamphlet by the great Romantic poet Percy Shelley, written in defence of an imprisoned Irish journalist, was unveiled on Tuesday at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Shelley, one of the greatest English poets of the 19th century, wrote Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things in autumn and winter 1810-11 during his first year as a student at Oxford.

It protests against Britain’s involvement in the Napoleonic war and in particular supports the Irish journalist Peter Finnerty, who was accused of libel by the government and imprisoned after criticising disastrous British military operations in Denmark.

Shelley’s 10-page poem was considered lost until 2006, when a single copy was discovered in a private collection. Only now, with the acquisition of this unique copy by the library, has the text been made public. The actress Vanessa Redgrave read it aloud at an event in Oxford on Tuesday evening.

Finnerty, whose name appears prominently on the title page, is thought to have been born in Loughrea, Co Galway, and was associated with the revolutionaries of the United Irishmen. He was imprisoned in Dublin in 1798 for seditious libel after he attacked judges who sentenced other members of the society to death. He emigrated to London, where he worked as a parliamentary reporter and was a member of the circle around the Irish playwright and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

In 1809, he went to Denmark to report on British military operations. His critical reporting led to him being deported back to London. Finnerty accused the powerful secretary of state for war, Lord Castleragh, of seeking to silence him, and also of having been responsible for the torture of United Irishmen prisoners in 1798. Castlereagh sued him and Finnerty was again imprisoned.

In the newly revealed Poetical Essay, Shelley attacks Castlereagh and denounces war as a time “When legal murders swell the lists of pride;/ When glory’s views the titled idiot guide”. He praises Finnerty’s supporters and asks rhetorically: “Shall rank corruption pass unheeded by,/Shall flattery’s voice ascend the wearied sky;/And shall no patriot tear the veil away/ Which hides these vices from the face of day?”

Shelley imagines Finnerty and his supports as “a powerful hand” stripping away “the guilt-stain’d veil” of corruption.

Shelley clearly intended his poem to be part of the wider campaign to raise funds for Finnerty, which also staged large public meetings in Dublin and Belfast. Finnerty was released in 1813 and returned to work as a journalist until his death in 1822. His friend William Hazlitt wrote of him that he “loved Ireland to the last, and would overwhelm any man with a torrent of [curses] who would speak disrespectfully of the sod.”

See also here.

Walt Disney corporation Star Wars damage to Irish storm petrels

This video from Ireland is called Birds of Skellig Michael.

I myself was privileged to land on Skellig Michael island. I fondly remember its puffins, razorbills and gannets.

From BirdLife:

The dark side of ‘Star Wars’

By Niall Hatch, Mon, 12/10/2015 – 06:00

Picture a nearly-uninhabited rocky island. Greenery grows where the uneven ground flattens out. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks is punctuated only by the bird calls of thousands of European Storm-petrel, Atlantic Puffin, Black-legged Kittiwake, Manx Shearwater… and the “zzznnn” of lightsabers.

The place in question is Skellig Michael, an island that lies 13km off the coast of southwest Ireland that is owned by the State. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once home to a 6th century Christian monastery made up of stone “beehive huts” for hermit monks, and now houses breeding colonies of some of Europe’s most iconic seabirds.

The most recent seabird population figures available for Skellig Michael, taken from the Seabird 2000 survey conducted more than 15 years ago, estimated the presence then of 9,994 breeding pairs of European Storm-petrel (10% of the national population) and 738 breeding pairs of Manx Shearwater.

It’s understandable why a lonely island is an attractive habitat for seabirds: For centuries, European Storm-petrel have been nesting in gaps between the huts’ stones and in adjacent stone walls, and the Manx Shearwater and European Storm-petrel colonies on the island are amongst the largest in the world.

They probably were not counting on the monastery’s ruins catching the eye of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm, who saw them as an ideal retreat for Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the Star Wars films.

On 8 September, Irish heritage minister Heather Humphreys (responsible for the Irish Film Board and Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service) granted permission for up to 180 Star Wars cast and crew members to travel to the island to shoot the new film: Episode VIII. Within hours of the announcement, they arrived on the island with masses of filming equipment, and production there lasted almost two weeks.

The mid-September filming date meant that many seabirds, including Skellig Michael’s famous breeding Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillemots and Razorbills had already finished nesting and had departed the island with their chicks.

However, thousands of storm-petrel and shearwater chicks would still have been in their nesting burrows at the time of the shoot (they don’t fledge until late September or October). Their parents spend the daylight hours out at sea, only returning to feed the chicks once darkness has fallen, thus going unnoticed by visitors.

Despite the Irish government’s conciliatory measure of appointing an ecologist to monitor the shoot, BirdWatch Ireland (BirdLife in Ireland) and other Irish NGOs contest that the approval to film was given without proper public and expert consultation and without valid scientific evidence as to the potential effects on nesting seabirds. Permission was even granted for night-time helicopter filming on and around the island, at times when parent birds would have been returning from sea to feed their waiting chicks.

“The lack of transparency in this case is particularly galling,” said Dr Stephen Newton, senior seabird conservation officer with BirdWatch Ireland. “It simply isn’t acceptable that decisions that may adversely affect one of Europe’s most important seabird colonies have been made in such a secretive way, without consultation or discussion… especially given the fact that the other island in the group, Little Skellig, is a BirdWatch Ireland reserve and that both islands are jointly designated as an IBA for breeding seabirds.”

Even if we assume the best – that no chicks or birds were affected – the risk of the accidental introduction of invasive alien predators such as the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the American Mink (Neovison vison) during the transportation of filming equipment does not seem to have been factored in.

This was not the first visit to the island by the Star Wars crew. Despite fierce objections from BirdWatch Ireland and other Irish NGOs, and concerns from UNESCO, filming took place there in July 2014 (for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) for two weeks during the seabird breeding season. Long-term effects on the island’s breeding bird populations remain unknown, but there are disturbing reports that during filming, several hundred Black-legged Kittiwake chicks were blown by a helicopter from their cliff-ledge nests into the sea, where they drowned.

The State’s failure to carry out comprehensive surveys at this and other seabird nesting sites since 2000, despite being obliged to do so by law, severely hampers any assessment of the true impact of the Star Wars filming activity. It may now never be possible to judge the long-term effects on the island’s vulnerable seabird populations.

English priest charged with making 3,100 child porn images

This video series says about itself:

Abuse of Trust

31 July 2009

Documentary about Catholic Clerical Child Abuse in Ireland. This documentary focuses on the Dublin Diocese and has interviews from survivors who describe their horrendous experiences of sexual abuse as children, Andrew Madden and Marie Collins. This also interviews the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Catholic priest Paul Clarke charged with making 3,100 indecent images of children

Police said there was no evidence of local children being involved

Lizzie Dearden

Thursday 8 October 2015 13:15 BST

A 71-year-old Roman Catholic priest has been charged with making 3,100 indecent images of children.

Father Paul Clarke, of Redclyffe Road in Urmston, but formerly of Rye in East Sussex, is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court today.

He has been charged with possessing an indecent image of a child, possessing prohibited images, and making a total of 3,100 indecent images of children.

Police searched his former residence at the presbytery of St Anthony of Padua church in Rye on 13 November last year, seizing computers and other alleged evidence.

The Rye News reported that Father Clarke resigned “suddenly” in February, having been at the church since 2009.

Dutch and Irish partridge news, good and bad

This video says about itself:

RTÉ – Living the Wildlife – Irish Grey Partridge Conservation Trust – Part 1

1 January 2013

Some may say that big Irish families are a thing of the past, but nobody has told the Grey Partridge. With up to 25 chicks they have one of the biggest families in the bird world. This didn’t keep them from becoming the rarest resident bird in the country. By 2002 there were only 7 pairs left in Ireland. Changing farm practices and over zealous shooting meant the grey partridge was on the verge of extinction.

The NPWS and the Irish Grey Partridge Conservation Trust decided to do something about this and the result was one of the most successful conservation projects in Europe. Kieran Buckley is the project manager and he has an eclectic crew helping him with his daily work. Colin goes along to meet the team and we follow their work for a breeding season.

Some really amazing things happen where orphaned partridge chicks are fostered by a bantam hen and the Minister for The Environment John Gormley arrives to release some birds back in to the wild. As a result of the conservation project the Boora Parklands are a treasure trove of different birds and animals and Colin gets his camera out to show us.

Translated from BirdLife in the Netherlands:

Partridge makes comeback in the Achterhoek region

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The beautiful farmland bird, the grey partridge, was until the mid-twentieth century seen frequently. From the population of several hundred thousand now less than 10,000 couples are left. And we are in danger of losing these last partridges. But we can turn the tide. In Aalten they prove they can: from 3 to 34 couples!

Pro-refugee solidarity in Germany, and wars making refugees

This video from Northern Ireland says about itself:

Refugees welcomeBelfast vigil message

7 September 2015

Refugees are welcome in Belfast was the clear message delivered at a vigil organised by the Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Arder Carson, and attended by hundreds of people from across all communities in the city.

By Ulrich Rippert in Germany:

Refugee crisis in Europe: Popular support for migrants confronts official inhumanity

9 September 2015

Recent days have seen a powerful wave of solidarity and support for refugees arriving in Germany and Austria. Many people have been profoundly shaken by the horrific images of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean and reports of migrants suffocating by the dozens in traffickers’ trucks.

Millions are shocked and appalled by scenes of exhausted families with small children confronting barbed-wire fences, and people being herded into detention camps where they are held for days without adequate food or sanitation. People across Europe were outraged when Hungarian police attacked defenseless asylum seekers with batons, stun grenades and tear gas.

Last week, it emerged that Czech authorities were stamping registration numbers on refugees’ forearms, recalling the methods employed by Nazi concentration camp officials. The report unleashed a storm of protest.

Subsequently, solidarity committees sprang up in dozens of cities and towns to collect clothing, food, medicine, toiletries, toys and other items. Aid was coordinated via the Internet. Doctors and nurses offered free medical examinations and care.

An unemployed teacher who called on colleagues via Facebook to organize German-language courses and other programs for refugees was overwhelmed by the number of volunteers who came forward. An Internet platform is now offering accommodation for refugees.

Twenty thousand refugees arrived in Munich last week after a long journey across Hungary and Austria and were then taken by train and bus to other locations. When they disembarked, they were welcomed by committees formed to distribute water, lunches and toys and to offer translation assistance and other support.

These extraordinary events have revealed the immense chasm that separates the sentiments of broad masses of people from the reactionary obsessions driving state policy and official public opinion. For weeks, the politicians and media sought to stir up hostility against the refugees. Right-wing professors such as Herfried Münkler of Berlin’s Humboldt University insisted that the population was terrified of the refugees. Münkler called for the ditching of “moral no-go precepts.”

Over the past two years, the German political and media establishment has worked relentlessly to convince the people that the horrors of World War II and Nazism should be forgotten. President Joachim Gauck joined other top officials in insisting that Germany had to get over its past, abandon its post-World War II policy of military restraint, resume its place as a global power with military force at its disposal, and be prepared to use that force around the world. The outpouring of public support for the refugees shows how little support this vile campaign has generated among the working masses.

When refugees held up their arms to news cameras to show the registration numbers stamped on them by Czech officials, large numbers of people decided they could no longer stand by in silence. Too great was the horrific association with the crimes of Nazism.

Asked why she had joined a welcoming committee for refugees and waited for hours at train station for their arrival, one elderly woman replied: “Before I burst into tears in front of my TV, I’d rather come here and help these long-suffering people.”

In her traditional summer interview, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a tactical adaptation to this mood, spoke of a “culture of welcome in Germany.” This was merely a maneuver. The German government is working feverishly to restrict the right of asylum and deport the majority of the refugees as soon as possible.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke for all governments in Europe when he said in Brussels last Friday: “If we give the refugees the impression they are welcome, it will be a moral defeat.”

The sympathy and support of broad layers of the population for the refugees is to be welcomed. But it is necessary to transform such elemental feelings of solidarity into a politically conscious struggle. This requires working through the issues underlying the refugee crisis.

How is it to be explained that 25 years after the end of Stalinist East Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall, walls and fences are being erected across Europe, secured by barbed wire and guard dogs? Why, 70 years after the end of World War II, are people once again forced to flee their homes to be herded into camps and treated as concentration camp prisoners?

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the major capitalist powers, led by the American ruling elite, felt liberated from the constraints placed on them by the existence of the USSR. One of the central conclusions they drew was the belief that they could expand the use of military violence to achieve their geo-strategic aims. Their first victims were the energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Decades of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq under the pretext of a “war on terror” ruined these countries and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. This was followed by the US/NATO war for regime-change in Libya, which overthrew the government of Muammar Gaddafi and transformed the country into a “failed state,” torn apart by constant fighting between rival militias. Then came the Syrian civil war, set in motion, armed and financed by US imperialism and its regional allies with the aim of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and installing a pro-Western puppet regime in Damascus.

The constant threat of death and destruction that is driving hundreds of thousands of people to undertake the desperate flight to Europe is the result of these crimes of imperialism. The rise of the terrorist militia ISIS and the wars in Iraq and Syria are direct consequences of the destruction of Iraq by the US and the support given to ISIS and similar Islamist militias in Syria by US imperialism and its allies.

The refugee crisis has exploded any notion that the imperialist powers can unleash savage violence in the Middle East without consequences at home. The world is coming face to face with the global interconnectedness of modern society. What has been revealed is the irrationality of an international capitalist order that divides the world into national states and rich and poor countries.

The defense of the refugees requires a political struggle against imperialism and war. The working class in Europe and internationally must unite and take the fate of society into its own hands.

On Monday afternoon, several hundred refugees broke through police barricades and tried to enter the main office for asylum registrations in Berlin. The attempt to enter the building, the State Office for Public Health and Social Affairs (LaGeSo), was a desperate protest on the part of refugees frustrated with their treatment at the hands of the official bureaucracies in Germany: here.