****** Submission Deadline for Bus Connects Fri Sept 28th ******
Make a postal submission. Do not use the online survey as it can be manipulated and ignored !

The plan to re-organise the entire Dublin Bus network known as Bus Connects but really should be called Bus Disconnects has a submission deadline of Fri 28th Sept. This plan is a very thinly disguised plan to privatise the service. Already the NTA has given away 10% of the routes to a UK company which last year in the UK was voted the worst rail operator and whose CEO receives €2 million in salary.

The Dublin bus system needs to be greatly improved to be more like something you will find in mainland Europe and this would require most importantly more investment to buy more buses, new routes and increased frequency. It also needs more routes in a series of rings around the city. This plan is not doing any of this. It is NOT increasing any of these factors DESPITE the SPIN in the confusing information form Bus Connects. They say things like there will be a bus every 4 minutes on the A routes. On closer inspection the A routes each go to different areas completely, so 4 A routes means, the frequency for your A bus since you won't be using all 4, is actually 16 mins. But these times are quoted at peak hour. It disguises how they are stretching an under resourced system to do more than it can. The information is purposely mis-leading in order to spin it so that the public thinks what they are being offered is better than it is.

Additionally any area with a Dart or Luas will have significant reductions. The focus will be to serve these but total journey times will be longer and it will force more people on already over-crowded arteries at peak. For lots of people, they will need to take 2 bus or "connections" to get anywhere -even to the city centre especially from further out. This connection into a high speed backbone might work in a place like Netherlands or Switzerland where they have real and proper public transport systems, but will lead to much longer journeys at higher costs in the case of Ireland considering they don't plan to add anything into it and their only interest is to privatise it so that someone can milk the system rather than either a national or non-profit entity that might have public service as its objective. And just to be clear the NTA intends to put all these routes out to tender in the next few years.

Details for Postal Submission to National Transport Authority (NTA)
BusConnects Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign
National Transport Authority
Dun Sceine, Harcourt Lane
Dublin 2
D02 WT20
Note: The cost is the price of a stamp.

See also: Bus Connects Transport Plan Promises Much But Won’t Deliver | The Privatisation Agenda of Bus Connects Will Lead To Bus Disconnects

scéalta aibhsithe
national / rights, freedoms and repression Dé Luain Feabhra 18, 2013 11:06 byDiarmuid Breatnach
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Foreign media coverage of the reaction here

The anti-abortion movement was not cowed by the outcry over Savita's tragic death nor by the huge popular response marching in November. The Government plans legislation only to allow abortion when the woman's life is danger and the criteria for establishing that are not yet known. All opinion polls on the subject show a huge majority in favour of liberalisation of the laws -- a majority which is also rising over the years. The abortion rights movement has been publicly quiet for some time now while the opposition is loud and in public view. Can the movement for abortion rights summon the necessary militancy to achieve its objectives?


national / bin tax / household tax / water tax Dé Máirt Feabhra 12, 2013 00:59 bytwitter fan
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The long arm of the bond-holders

Press statement - Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes (CAHWT) 11 Feb 2013
Eyewitness reports of Garda violence at South Dublin County Council

19 year old protester hospitalised: plainclothes Garda ‘smashed my head on wall’

Campaigners against the property tax – who staged one of a number of peaceful protests at Councils today – have questioned why Gardai at South Dublin County Council used brutal and unnecessary force against them, including some plain clothes Gardai. Cannisters of pepper spray were also waved at locals who were manhandled and handcuffed. One is currently being kept in Tallaght Hospital for observation of his injuries.

Aaron Nolan (aged 19, now in hospital):
“I was standing in front of Shane Donnelly when one of the uniformed police pulled me to the ground. I stood up and tried to get in front of Shane again. A stocky man, with a light blue hoody, who I thought was one of the protesters, grabbed me and pushed me against the wall. He then grabbed my head with his two hands and smashed my head against the wall. I fell on the ground and when I was on the ground, he choked me with his two hands. I was dazed and unable to stand as he handcuffed me.”

Embedded Video Description: Arrests in South Dublin County Council of peaceful protesters


mayo / environment Dé Domhnaigh Eanáir 20, 2013 00:05 byNiall Harnett
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Art - a Composite of Van Gogh's 'Exercise Yard'
& Munch's 'Scream' by Prisoner Mick Connors.
An insight into prison life in Ireland, namely Castlerea Prison, Co Roscommon.

On 21st April 2010 I was convicted of assaulting a number of Gardaí in relation to Shell to Sea protests and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment. Remission for good behaviour means that prisoners will have their sentences reduced by a quarter, once you keep your nose clean. I was given credit for 2 weeks time served previously in 2009, before I was bailed out pending my appeal.

So I spent 4 months in jail from April to August in the summer of 2010.

image A few T-shirts for the Prisoners. 0.11 Mb image niall2.jpg 0.03 Mb

international / eu Dé Céadaoin Eanáir 16, 2013 20:28 byOO'C
Where we are on the 40th anniversary of joining the EEC.

This is part one of a two part series and the second article can be found here

The Political Basis of the EU:

All States and aspiring States have their myths of origin. The myth of origin of the EU is that it is a peace project to prevent wars between Germany and France - as if a tendency to go to war is somehow genetically inherited.

The actual facts are however that the first step towards supranational economic integration, the European Coal and Steel Community of 1951, was to facilitate German rearmament at the start of the Cold War with Russia and to reconcile France to that fact. The US wanted a rearmed West Germany inside NATO. This greatly alarmed France which had been occupied by Germany just a few years before.

national / eu Dé Céadaoin Eanáir 16, 2013 20:25 byOO'C

Irish Referendum Practice from McKenna (1995) to McCrystal (2012).

This is part two of a two part series. To read the first article in the series you can find it here

By Anthony Coughlan

We will fix that Stalinist body" ... Comment by the late Brian Lenihan TD on the then Referendum Commission, Autumn 2001, in the lead-up to the second Nice Treaty referendum.



And How They Fixed It:
In December 2001 the Fianna Fail Government then in office put a Bill through the Oireachtas (Legislature) amending the 1998 Referendum Act so as to remove from the statutory Referendum Commission its function of setting out in a fair and neutral manner the relevant arguments for and against any proposed constitutional amendment. This was done on the last day before the Oireachtas rose for the Christmas holidays that year, when all stages of the relevant Bill were pushed through the Dail and Seanad in one day, with two days notice to the Opposition. Because of these circumstances this move went virtually unnoticed by the Irish media at the time.

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