RTÉ and the Irish press report fairly regularly about the workings of the Troika and the discussions Enda Kenny (leader of Fine Gael) and Michael Noonan (Minister of Finance) hold with European Union and the IMF, although the edited highlights and the “communiqués” don’t mention the small print. As many people behind on the mortgage will have found out to their cost over the last few years, the devil is in the detail.

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.

The flurry of articles in the Irish press over the last few days attacking the Croke Park Deal should not come as any surprise. However, it is noteworthy that these ladies and gentlemen chose the days after the referendum vote to start putting the boot in. After all, it would have been highly inconvenient and counterproductive to attack a large section of the voters who might draw the conclusion that the government parties Yes campaign was merely trying to set the austerity programme of the last few years into stone.

The Irish Times reports that as soon as the result of the referendum on the treaty appeared to be in the bag, Enda Kenny was on the phone to Angela Merkel presumably for a pat on the head as he reported on the completion of his mission. However, an Taoiseach and to a much greater extent Eamon Gilmore should be concerned about the concentration of No votes in the working class areas of Dublin and the border areas in the North West.

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