Hidden Cultures, Public Platform

Big thanks to Rosaleen Mcdonagh and the cast of Mainstream at The Project Theatre, Dublin tonight, a very relevant socio-political play.
Many layers, many themes, many betrayals, including the betrayal of one’s own body. This play needs to be taken on tour to educate this nation about our collective cruelties, our indifference, our racism and the crimes we perpetrate on each other.
This is a brave courageous work by a fantastic playwright, who has travelled the long road of prejudice. She operates in her own uniqueness and compliments the great work of Christy Brown, Paddy Doyle, the Pecker Dunne and of course Sean O Casey.
While the work is about class, prejudice,Travellers, mainstream society written by a female playwright, it’s literary scope is universal and all-embracing. While disability is also a theme that runs through this work it is extremely intelligently portrayed and given expression of great integrity and is not reliant on any gimmicks or tricks. These are proud people, strongly portrayed by some of the finest acting I’ve seen anywhere. (Donal Toolan, John Connors, Grainne Hallahan and Neili Conroy – cast)
These characters are human beings like ourselves different and equal and their pain is like our pain. It’s a deeply humanising piece and sparks off the idea in us all that we all have a bit of a flaw. We all have our abilities and disabilities. We are all prejudice to one another.
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Cast of Mainstream – Donal Toolan, Grainne Hallahan, John Connors, Neili Conroy – Written by Rosaleen McDonagh

But Rosaleen McDonagh is a great playwright who won’t remain silent and fights that prejudice. Won’t be stereotyped. Won’t be pigeon-holed or marginalised, no matter what. She takes on feminism, male prejudice, class divide, racism, disability, traveller culture, child abuse, body betrayal and gay identity in one great lash of the pen. Excellent.
 
The centre of the work is about exclusion, prejudice and marginalisation but she manages to bring us as an audience and a public right into her fold.
I felt great coming out of this play even though its themes were dark. This playwright has kicked the door open into the light, and it’s very welcome. Anybody who has any prejudice or any doubts about the Travelling community or any ‘othered’ member of society should get to see this work.
Arts Council, Dublin City Council and all ye people out there with the public purse make sure this play gets out on a National tour – Please – for all our sakes.
This is a work of national importance.  
Outstanding honesty.

Silence is Violence

artane-demo-3Today a group of us took to the streets of Coolock at Northside Civic Centre where my motion regarding the history of the Artane Band and the Artane Industrial School was put before the North Central Area Committee. In what can only be described as a gross act of denial only one Councillor voted in favour of the motion. (Cllr Michael O Brien)

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Denial ruled the day. It was an act of shocking violence the deafening silence.  How can it be that the findings of the Ryan Report and the finding of serious Garda inquiry into child abuse, wholesale criminal and sexual violence that was perpetrated in Artane industrial school can be written out of history?
It is a great shame that the Cllrs in this instance chose to keep Ireland and it’s people in the dark and protect the Christian Brothers and their manifestation through the present Artane Band.  The people of Artane and indeed the North Central Area need now to stand up to this shameless shameful act.
The paedophiles and rapists and child abusers will take great comfort in today’s decision by this area committee and its councillors.  While we, the people who experienced this abuse in our childhood, carry a much heavier burden as a result of today’s refusal by the Cllrs to acknowledge the true and proven history of the Artane Boys Band, the Artane Band and the Artane Industrial School.
Like the dark days of the beginning of this journey for justice, we stood alone against the Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers and the orders of nuns.  Sad today, that we stood alone again at the North Side Civic Centre.


We take comfort from the many people, local residents  who we met, all of whom understood our issue and were fully supportive.
We thank you for your hospitality and we will be visiting with you again soon.
Truth and Justice are what we seek.

These two motions below were fully supported last month by all but two Councillors at the North Central Area Committee Meeting. 

Again supporting a true denial of the accurate and true history of the Artane Industrial School and the Artane Boys Band – Artane Band.  History repeats itself in the form of gross denial.  Our lives don’t matter.

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SNAP support Artane Band Disbandment

 SNAP  (SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS)

snapheader5The group at the centre of the recent Oscar winning film, Spotlight have today issued a statement in support of our motion to have the Artane Band disbanded. www.snapnetwork.org/ 

Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), an international advocacy group for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, has come out in support of a campaign to have the Artane School of Music disbanded.

SNAP is supporting a motion by Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn for the disbandment of the music school, an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA. The band in its current form wear the original and traditional insignia and uniforms worn by the band from when it started at a time when children attending St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane were subjected to sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

Speaking from Chicago in support of councillor Flynn, Blaine said: “I believe that so much suffering and pain has been caused to those who lived through the horrors of the industrial school in Artane. They have been through enough. We should be doing all we can to prevent any further pain and suffering.”

Petition to Disband the Artane Band

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I just started a petition: Disband the Artane  Band.
It is no longer appropriate, with what we now know, about residential institutional child abuse at St Josephs Artane, that this band, should be still in existence, wearing the uniform of that institution – St Josephs Industrial School Artane, and making statements that they are proud of their history when in actual fact, the vast part of that history was engulfed in horrendous human rights breaches upon children, including child sex abuse at St Josephs Industrial school, Artane, where the band was founded.
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We who are the survivors should not have to endure the ordeal of this band in that uniform, parading around Croke Park, or any other public place. This is a constant active reminder of our ordeals and every effort should be made for this to stop.

Our lives, in those institutions, matter. What happened to us matters. We have a right to get on with our lives to recover and to heal. The Artane Band, in its present form, is a major obstacle to that process. No other band of its type would be allowed to get away with what they are getting away with. The band is still under the control fo the Christian Brothers through the Artane Music School.

If enough people sign my petition, we can make a difference.

Here’s a link to the petitionhttp://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Awo8W/zoyY/CRT_0
And here’s a link to share it on Facebookhttp://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Awo8x/zoyY/CRT_0

If there’s anyone you know who might be able to help me spread the word, please let me know. Thanks so much — I really appreciate your help!

Kind regards,  Gerard Mannix Flynn
Artistic Director,
Farcry Productions

 www.farcryproductions.ie

disband-the-artane-band

Festival of Feminism – Ennis ‘Silence+Voice’

Festival of Feminism
 ‘Silence+Voice’
 8th and 9th of October
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The Daly family from Limerick.  A family of women steeped in strength, true feminism, and republican tradition.  

  • Two days of key note speakers talking about Trauma, Silence and Voice
  • The speakers are Bríd Keenan, Belfast based expert on trauma
  • Siobhan Madden Social Researcher, Feminist Activist speaking about voice, silence, memory and knowledge
  •  Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, speaking about her Grandparents and campaign for gender equality in third level institutions
  • Mary McDermott Radical Educator and Feminist Philosopher who will speak about the interaction betweeen social and personal change
  • These speakers and key themes are interwoven with music, poetry, drama song and dance, and most importantly conversation and tea….
  •  €25.00 per individual for the two days.. plus a light lunch, plus a creche, plus ISL interpreters and for those that cannot afford it we have a limited amount of free tickets….so it would be nice to entice those on the East Coast over to the West for two days.

  • https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/silence-voice-a-festival-of-feminisms-tickets-26309500424.

Bike Stuff n’ Gadgets awards

Five Smart Projects Receive Funding to Improve Cycling in Dublin

Dublin City Council and Enterprise Ireland announced the winners of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competition at The House of Lords, Bank of Ireland, College Green this evening.

The competition, which was launched by Smart Dublin last March, sought to find smart technology solutions to help improve and scale up cycling across Dublin. The challenge generated 98 expressions of interest, 23 proposals with 14 dragons den style pitches.

Five companies were selected to receive funding of up to €12,500 and supports from Dublin City Council to research and demonstrate the viability of their smart solution.

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The chosen companies and their smart solutions are:

 

  • Ambie introducing BikeLook which monitors bicycle usage and deters and detects bicycle theft

 

  • Fluidedge introducing Liberty Bell, a bell that allows cyclists to record actual or perceived obstacles to aid safe cycling in Dublin

 

  • Hindnseek presents a low power device attached to a bicycle that generates real time data with can be integrated with other data sources

 

  • Limeforge Ltd. offers the See.Sense Tracker providing a ‘find your iphone’ like capability allowing cyclists to easily track their stolen bikes

 

  • M2C Smartcharge Ltd. introduces a tracking, logging and data harvesting system for use with bicycles in an urban area aiding the cyclist in predicting the ease of a journey, safety along the way and creating a secure parking facility and the end of the journey

 

Commenting at the announcement Dublin City Council’s Chief Executive, Owen Keegan said “A key aspect of our Smart Dublin initiative is to test new ways for the Dublin Local Authorities to pilot and understand the possibilities of using innovative technologies to solve city challenges.  We are genuinely impressed with the level of ideas that were presented through the SBIR process and look forward to working with these entrepreneurs to pilot and hopefully scale their products using Dublin as a test bed.”

Kevin Sherry, Divisional Manager, Enterprise Ireland commented “Enterprise Ireland is excited to work with Dublin City Council on this initiative, and we congratulate the phase one winners on their innovative solutions which will improve the cycling experience and safety of bicycle users in urban areas.”

David Timoney, Dublin Cycling Campaign who are supporting the initiative added “There are real opportunities to use these new low cost innovations to better understand cycling patterns and experiences.  This in turn will allow for more evidence based decisions by the City on cycling infrastructure. The data will hopefully strengthen the already strong arguments for increased transport spends on cycling.  Furthermore solutions to address cycle theft in Dublin through smart tracker devices have the potential to dramatically reduce bike theft levels currently estimated at a staggering €20,000 per annum in Dublin alone.”

The companies have three months to develop their solution to pre-prototype stage, after which some will be selected for further funding (up to €25,000 each) to complete their prototype solutions.

ENDS

 For further information contact:

Jamie Cudden, Smart City Programme Manager, Dublin City Council M 087 783 5411

Notes to the Editor:

Details of the successful proposals are:

Ambie: BikeLook is a smart city solution to monitor bicycle usage and to deter and detect bicycle theft. Using low power radio (Bluetooth Smart) to track bicycles in the city. Bluetooth trackers’ effectiveness is usually limited by the radio range between the sensor and a mobile phone, but through strategic location of listening posts at bicycle parking, junctions and on street sweepers, the opportunity exists to monitor the volume and direction of cycle traffic in the city.

 

Fluidedge: ‘Liberty Bell’ – A smart bicycle bell that allow citizens who cycle record actual or perceived obstacles to safe cycling in Dublin. Hotspots are highlighted in real-time and authorities are alerted to poor road conditions or poor behaviour by other road users.

 

Hidnseek: A low power device attached to a bicycle that has the ability to generate real time data which can be integrated with existing data sources and information to create an overall accurate picture of the cycling experience in Dublin. The device can measure GPS co-ordinates, speed and environmental conditions using the low cost sigfox network.

 

Limeforge Ltd – See.Sense: The See.Sense Tracker will provide a ‘find your iphone’ like capability using LPWA and GPS, allowing cyclists to easily track their stolen bike anywhere across the city. At the same time, our patent-pending use of sensor technology enables the crowd sourcing of real-time data about cyclist’s journeys over a wide range of variables. Two variants will be created – one for use on personal bikes and one for integration into city bikes alongside our ICON intelligent bike light.

 

M2C Smartcharge Ltd: A tracking, logging and data harvesting system for use with bicycles in a metropolitan area. The system will endeavour to aid the cyclist in predicting the ease of a journey (front end), safety along the way with geographic analysis (Journey Safety) and create a secure parking facility at the end of the journey (destination management)

_________________________________

 

Smart Dublin is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve city challenges and improve city life.

 

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. It supports sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.

 

Dublin Cycling Campaign The Dublin Cycling Campaign is an independent, voluntary cycling advocacy group that has been working to improve the city for all cyclists since 1993 www.dublincycling.ie

 

What is Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)? SBIR refers to the public procurement of research and development on new innovative solutions before they are commercially available. It involves different suppliers competing through different phases of development, while the risks and benefits are shared between the procurers and the suppliers under market conditions.

Response to Lord Mayor Brendan Carr

September 15th 2016

Press Statement from Dublin Independent councillor Mannix Flynn

Mannix Flynn, an Independent councillor in Dublin City Council has today hit back at Dublin’s Lord Mayor over claims that his calls for the disbandment of the Artane School of Music are “upsetting the vast majority of Dubliners”.

In an article in one of today’s newspapers, Brendan Carr, the Labour Lord Mayor, was quoted as lambasting Flynn over his motion: “[Flynn is] raising the issue over the way kids were treated years ago, but the impact he’s having on the kids in that band at the moment is something that any city councillor should be ashamed of”.

In a statement issued today, Flynn has called on Cllr Carr to withdraw his remarks and separate his opinions from that of the Lord Mayor’s office, a title which should remain impartial and unbiased.

“If Cllr Carr would take a moment to discuss the matter with me he would understand that the Artane School of Music, in its current form, has evolved out of misery and brutality forced upon innocent children who attended St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane.

“It is not accurate for Cllr Carr to insinuate that I am out to cause hurt to any of the children involved in the current band. The debate is much deeper than that.

“While the Lord Mayor has every right to call on crowds to cheer on the band at Sunday’s All-Ireland final, he is quite wrong in congratulating the band’s 130-years of ‘proud association with the GAA and Croke Park’. Those who attended St Joseph’s School and who were in the band attest to the monstrosities they and other boys endured during their time there. The band was more often than not an escape from the degradation and neglect other boys suffered as they undertook menial chores on a day-to-day basis. Being in the band meant you could at least wash occasionally and couldn’t be beaten on the face, but it did not exempt you from the sordid sexual abuse that was rife in the school.

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1969 – Artane Boys Band travel to America to raise funds.  They are in blazers and not the usual uniform as the band room had been burned down.  Former band member Patrick Walsh (Irish SOCA) is in the front row aged 15 years.  The notorious Brother Joseph O Connor  (Joe Boy) took this photo, Shannon Airport.    

 

“I have come under criticism for raising this issue but if you were a child who endured any amount of time in an industrial school, you would be reminded of the horrors that took place every time the Artane band took to the pitch on match days.

“And I’m not alone. This week, members of Irish SOCA  (Survivors of Child Abuse) came out in support of my cause. Like me, these were men forced into industrial schools and some of those were even in the band in Artane and experienced first-hand the exploitation and manipulation of children by the religious.

“Will the Lord Mayor acknowledge that his apathy and indifference to their suffering is causing much hurt?”

ENDS

New Motion lodged on Monday 12th September to Dublin City Council:

That this monthly meeting of Dublin City Council, mindful of the shameful legacy of institutional abuse in industrial schools documented in the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse, call on the Artane School of Music to disband as a matter of human rights.

The School of Music is an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA, yet encompasses the original and traditional insignia and uniforms that hark back to an age of chronic sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

The Artane Boys Band was used as a front to hide the gross inhumanity that took place at St Joseph’s School in Artane and other industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers at home and abroad. The harrowing memories of these institutions for abuse victims are regularly flaunted without care or recognition at national sporting events in Croke Park in the form of the present Artane band.

A disbandment of the trust would sever all ties with the former industrial school and its brutal history and in doing so, would acknowledge the ongoing collective suffering of so many.