By any standards a country whose young people are forced to leave for want of a future can’t be healthy. The Troika and the European Bond Markets speculators judge the health of nations by the “success” of their austerity measures in slashing public spending and attacking services. Most working people would consider how the old, children and women are supported. Economists look at the statistics for trade, earnings and GDP. One measure looks at the scale of inequality within society.

We are publishing an extended version of a speech delivered by Gerry Ruddy at the recent Marxist Summer School in London (June 2012) attended by nearly 100 comrades, in which he outlines how Ireland came to be dominated by international capital after “independence”, confirming what James Connolly had predicted long ago, and explains how genuine national independence can only be achieved through socialism.