As this article was written on 14 July, during reports of a fourth day of rioting involving the throwing of a pipe bomb at police officers in Crumlin Road in North Belfast and other clashes involving the use of petrol bombs in East Belfast are starting to appear in the media.

The Dublin lockout which took place from the 26th August 1913 to 18th January the following year stands as one of the most marked episodes of entrenched class conflict in Irish history.  Over 20,000 workers and 80,000 dependents were directly affected as over 400 employers locked out members of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) for refusing to sign a pledge to resign from the union and against sympathetic strike action. The city was paralysed by the dispute and saw pitched battles between scabs with police backing and picketing workers who went onto organise the Irish Citizens’ Army.

Several public sector as signalled that they are willing to fight the Croke Park 2 deal. This could set in motion a domino effectof more unions voting for strike actions.

The death of Margaret Thatcher has provoked sickening images of odious politicians praising her role in British politics. She put the “Great” back into “Great Britain”, it is claimed. On the other hand there were public celebrations in some parts of Britain (and private celebrations all over Britain) and public expressions of joy in working class nationalist districts in Belfast and Derry.

The question of the border and the National Question in the North have played an enormous role in the history of Ireland. As such the question of a Border Poll is of great importance. Not least as it is some 40 years ago since the last poll of this character was conducted. The result in 1973 was overwhelmingly against a United Ireland, but as Catholic voters boycotted the poll the reality is that the result was a foregone conclusion.

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