ireland and society - lecture 5 - northern ireland

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Front cover of a programme for a Unionist demonstration What is unionism? A belief in the constitutional connection between Britain and Ireland. Unionism as an organised movement dates from the home rule crisis of 1885-6. Formal Irish unionist organization emerged in 1885-6 in the wake of a revitalized Orangeism and Conservatism which represented a reaction to the Land War.

Unionist response to Home RuleThird HR Bill (1912-14)Mass political mobilisationUlster Solemn League and Covenant signed on Ulster Day 1912UVF founded

The Government of Ireland Act (1920)

Offered two Home Rule parliaments: one parliament for the 6 counties and another for the 26 counties

It made provision for ultimate Irish unity

Only local powers were granted

Ultimate power remained in London

Local Government (Emergency Powers) Act Introduced to the Northern parliament on 2 December 1921Enabled the government to dissolve any local council which withheld recognition and co-operation and to replace it with a government appointed commissioner

Electoral ArrangementsProportional Representation was abolished by legislation on 11 Sept 1922 It imposed a declaration of allegiance upon members and officials of local authoritiesEnabled the reversion to old electoral areas and in some cases the redrawing of new, local electoral areasMeant that unionists would be able to dominate local governmentThe number of nationalist controlled councils achieved in 1920 were reduced by half

The Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act 1922 Introduced on 15 March 1922Introduced draconian emergency powers to search, arrest and detain without warrant, impose stiff penalties and indeed to suspend civil liberties when deemed necessary.Initially passed for one year only, it was renewed annually until 1928, was renewed in that year for five years and in 1933 became permanent, until its abolition in 1972.

People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social)are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living that is regardedas acceptable by Irish society generally.

As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities that are considered the norm for other people in society.

(2007) National Action Plan for Social Inclusion2007-2016

POVERTY LINE 60% of median disposable income

Food poverty is defined as suffering from one of the following deprivation experiences:

Missed a meal in the last two weeks due to a lack of money

Cannot afford a meal with meat or vegetarian equivalent every second day

Cannot afford a roast or vegetarian equivalent once a week

no matter which measurement of poverty is used, Ireland lies in the worst third of the EU 27 for its performance in tackling poverty and for income inequality. p.95

despite some progress since the 1990s, there is now a clear rise in consistent poverty over 2008-9 The data for relative income inequality show that the increasing equality often celebrated is illusory; rather, income inequality is deeply embedded and the Celtic Tiger did little to shift it. p.98.

Since the 1980s the bottom deciles share increased by a mere 0.11 per cent, while that of the top decile increased by a very significant 1.34 per cent. [Social Justice Ireland] conclude that the gap between the top 10 per cent of households and all the rest of society has widened over these years. p.99

while the crisis has hit all classes, Riain (2009) observes a disastrous collapse in working-class employment. There are growing differences between the position of those with third-level education and those without. p.101

Those for whom the principal economic status of the head of the household is home duties (primarily female carers and lone parents), unemployed and low paid workers, comprise almost three quarters of poor households

The Celtic Tiger period saw a significant redistribution of income from workers to businesses in the 2001-06 period it fell to 56.4 per cent of GDP, from 78 per cent in the 1960-70 period. p.102.

Unemployment leaves people stressful and unhappy loss of self-esteem, fatalism and loss of control over daily life.

[There are] huge implications of long-term unemployment, with people working through a cycle of loss similar to bereavement (disbelief, anger, depression, acceptance) eventually adjusting to a life cycle of unemployment. p.104

Unemployment leaves people stressful and unhappy loss of self-esteem, fatalism and loss of control over daily life.

[There are] huge implications of long-term unemployment, with people working through a cycle of loss similar to bereavement (disbelief, anger, depression, acceptance) eventually adjusting to a life cycle of unemployment. p.104

[Women] are the real losers [since 2008], bearing the brunt of cuts in public services, on which they are more reliant.

Women do 86 per cent of child supervision, 69 per cent of playing with and reading to children, 82 per cent of care to adults, 80 per cent of cooking, 86 per cent of cleaning and 70 per cent of shopping. p.105

Poverty compounds this inequality of care.

THE WINNERS

The average pay of CEOs in the largest 21 companies was 1.1 million in 2007, and actually rose to 2.1 million in 2009 a 46 per cent pay increase. p.118

2007 Bank of Ireland wealth report:

5 per cent of the population owned two-thirds of Irish wealth.

The gross wealth of the top 1 per cent was 100 billion.

Excluding property 1 per cent owned 34 per cent of Irish wealth. p.119