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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Independence for South County Dublin

I don't have a vote in the Scottish independence referendum on Thursday. I have only ever been to Scotland once, in March 1989, when I attended the anti-Poll Tax demonstration that took place in Glasgow just before the tax was introduced in Scotland, a year before we got it in England and Wales; I was living in London at the time.

In a sense, the Scottish referendum is not my business. If it was, I would have been leaning towards a no. But then the campaign. Oh my. Too much terrible to go into here. But, to zoom in for a moment, George Galloway and Henry Kissinger both coming out for a No. To prove their commitment to the union George and Henry should make love (to each other) in the middle of Sauchiehall Street, with Henry, naturally, taking the active role. Afterwards Garry Glitter and Cilla Black would make one final, impassioned appeal for a No vote... Only in the event of such nightmares coming true, could the No campaign actually get worse. If I was a No voter now, the No campaign would make me want to kill myself before polling day.

And now Bob Geldof has weighed in. To speak his own language, what an orsehole.

It's set me thinking. Perhaps the Republic of Ireland should give enforced independence to South County Dublin. Think of it, no more orseholes talking in thot occent. No more Bono, or Sir Bob, or all the other Ross O'Carroll types. They could live in their own little country of South County Dublin, with a permanent Fine Gael majority government, fly the Union Jack all they want and go for endless walks on the sea front at Kingstown. 

Apologies to the people of Scotland for Bob Geldof's jaded ramblings. He represents no one in Ireland. When you vote on Thursday, as my mother used to say, don't mind that fella.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A Suggestion Regarding The Repeal The 8th Amendment Campaign

The Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign held what was, by all accounts, a lively and very well attended conference in Dublin yesterday.

The campaign will heat up considerably in the Autumn, which of course is already here. It's a crucial issue and one on which the forces of darkness, cowardice, and silliness - those responsible for Ireland's absurd abortion laws - simply must be overcome. 

My suggestion is this: wouldn't it be great if there was an anthology of poems, stories, novel extracts, and maybe some non-fiction openly in support of the Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign.  

My suggestion regarding a title for such a book is that it should simply be called 'Repeal'. To have the desired campaign supporting effect, it would need to be put together over the next few months and perhaps published just before Christmas or, perhaps more realistically, in the early New Year.

There is a precedent. In 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, The O'Brien Press published the Irish Writers Against War anthology, which included poems, stories, novel extracts, and non-fiction by over forty Irish writers, north and south, many of them very prominent.

The publicity around the publication of a similar anthology on the issue of abortion would be very useful to Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign.

I'm not in a position to bring this about. But if it such an anthology of work by Irish Writers For Repeal of The 8th Ammendment were to come into existence, both myself and my wife Susan would actively support and promote it in every possible way. 

What do people think?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

An open-letter to former Labour member of Galway City Council Nuala Nolan: challenge to publicly debate the issues



An open-letter to Nuala Nolan, (former Labour member of Galway City Council)

Dear Nuala,

You have made a public statement (via your Facebook page) which in my view in effect advocates less spending on the Arts, particularly in the context of hospitals where Arts and Health initiatives have been increasingly popular. You have gone further in additional comments on your own Facebook post and clearly said that you think that money which should have been spent on patients' treatment, is being spent on the arts.

A huge amount of good work has been done in the Arts and Health area with, on the scale of things, very little money. I have considerable experience of this myself, having work as Writer-in-Residence with Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust since 2007.

I think a full public debate of these issues would be beneficial.

I would be willing to publicly debate this and all related issues with you at a time and location that suited you. Interested members of the public would be invited to attend and ask questions. I am sure that we could between us find a neutral chairperson.

I very much hope that you will take up my invitation to publicly debate these issues.

Sincerely,

Kevin Higgins 


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Poem dedicated to Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway

Bishop Martin Drennan had said it is "morally wrong" that Amach, the LGBT group received funding for a resource centre from the Vincent de Paul Maureen O Connell Fund. There is a lively discussion ongoing over on The Galway Advertiser's Facebook page.   
Bishop Drennan is the one on the far left.
The poem below is dedicated to Bishop Drennan, and the way he might look at you. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tory Nadine Dorries MP promotes my poetry

Nadine Dorries is the Conservative Member of Parliament of Mid-Bedfordshire. She is perhaps best known a prominent opponent of abortion rights. Politically Nadine is, to be charitable, only a little to the left of Enoch Powell or Kaiser Willhelm II. But today she has taken to promoting my poetry when she re-Tweeted one of my poems. 

I think she may have done so by mistake. Read the poem and see what you think.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Doctors for Choice share my poem

Happy that my poem ‘Irish Government Minister Unveils Monument to Victims of Pro-Life Amendment’has been shared by Doctors for Choice, a campaign group I totally support.

The poem is from my collection The Ghost in the Lobby (Salmon, 2014). You can buy a copy here

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Poem inspired by Tweet from Cora Sherlock of the Pro-Life campaign

My new poem 'Renewable Energy: Cora Sherlock’s Excellent Suggestion' is published today on Chris Murray's Poethead website. I am hoping the government will quickly implement the policy advocated in this poem.

Its was inspired by the following Tweet by Cora Sherlock of the Pro-Life campaign.
Cora Sherlock is one of the intellectual giants of contemporary Irish rubbish talk. May God bless her and all who sail in her.