Audit Report on Ireland’s Debt launched

Today, a team of researchers from University of Limerick led by Dr Sheila Killian, released the results of an audit of Ireland’s debt. The audit, commissioned by NGOs Action from Ireland (Afri), Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) and the trade union UNITE, will provide a credible and explanatory picture of Ireland’s debt. The audit was carried out by Dr Sheila Killian, Dr John Garvey and Francis Shaw.

Continue reading “Audit Report on Ireland’s Debt launched”

New Proclamation, read at Afri Event in Arbour Hill, Easter Monday

25.4.11 Dublin. Actor Donal O’Kelly as a bondholder, reading a satirical version of the 1916 Proclamation, which cedes Irish sovereignty to international bondholders, alongside Andy Storey reading the actual Proclamation at an Afri event at Arbour Hill on Easter Monday. Photo by Derek Speirs



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IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of the Markets and not of the dead generations from whom she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to our interests and strikes for her enslavement to debt. Continue reading “New Proclamation, read at Afri Event in Arbour Hill, Easter Monday”

Campaigners call for debt audit

Press Release, 3 March 2011

A number of prominent Irish academics, writers and activists have backed a campaign to audit Greece’s public debt, amid suggestions that such an audit might also be required in Ireland.  Greek campaigners are calling for an independent and international Audit Commission to find out why the debt was incurred and the uses to which borrowed funds were put.  There is a widespread belief that much Greek debt was used for wasteful or corrupt purposes and that the cost of repayment should not be borne by the Greek people.   Among the Irish figures supporting the Greek debt audit campaign are writer Fintan O’Toole and former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday.  International supporters of the campaign include renowned linguistics professor and writer Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Ken Loach. Continue reading “Campaigners call for debt audit”

What Ireland can learn from the Global South

New Publication from Afri

PRESS RELEASE, 31 December 2010

A campaigning group is calling for the cancellation of Irish bank debt on the grounds that it is unjust and unsustainable, and for a renegotiation of the EU-IMF ‘bail out’. The call will be made at a press conference (taking place at 12 noon in the Central Hotel, Dublin, on Friday 31st January) to launch an Afri Report entitled ‘The IMF and Ireland: What We Can Learn from the Global South’.

Action from Ireland (Afri) claims the loans from the EU and the IMF will be used to repay the bondholders (mainly European financial institutions) who lent to those Irish banks that have now crashed and burned, and whose liabilities the Irish state has recklessly guaranteed. Afri chairperson Andy Storey said that “these debts were not incurred to run Irish public services but by private speculators chasing a quick buck – why should ordinary Irish citizens now pick up that tab?”

He accused the Irish government of acting as debt collectors for foreign banks. Afri, he said, has extensive experience of the negative impact of the IMF, especially in Developing Countries, and, based on this experience, is well placed to warn of the danger of accepting diktats from such international institutions. Continue reading “What Ireland can learn from the Global South”

Human rights group calls for suspension of Corrib gas project

PRESS RELEASE, 18 January 2010

Human rights organisation Afri is calling for a suspension of all work on the Corrib gas project in Erris, County Mayo, pending an independent and comprehensive investigation of its safety, human rights, economic and environmental dimensions. Afri is asking people to sign a petition to that effect, which will be delivered to the government next month. The petition will be launched by former UN assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday in Buswells Hotel at 11.30 on Monday January 18th.

Afri chairperson Andy Storey noted that “local people oppose the project because of the dangers it poses to their health and safety, and the way in which the policing of the project has violated their human rights. People throughout Ireland have also objected to the project on the grounds that Shell and its associates are reaping the full benefits of this gas find while the Irish people – the true owners of the resource – are left with almost nothing.” Continue reading “Human rights group calls for suspension of Corrib gas project”

Afri and the Lisbon Treaty

Justice and peace organization Action from Ireland (Afri) called for a NO vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum. Afri argues that the Treaty further militarises the EU and that it would have a negative impact on developing countries.

Afri has particularly highlighted the Treaty’s provisions for ‘permanent structured cooperation’ (PSC), which mean that sub-sets of EU countries can pursue their military agendas under the EU banner. Afri chairperson Andy Storey commented as follows on the PSC provisions: “Consider the case of Afghanistan, where a number of EU states currently operate under the NATO banner. If PSC had been available it is quite conceivable that it would have been invoked to establish a specifically EU presence in that country. And if that had occurred, then the German commander who recently called down an airstrike that slaughtered untold numbers of Afghan civilians would have been representing the EU. In other words, he would have been representing us. The prospect of an EU force representing all EU citizens, including Irish people, murdering civilians in the name of ‘anti-terrorism’ is one that should worry us all.”

The Treaty, Afri points out, says that ‘a more assertive union EU military role … will contribute to the vitality of a renewed NATO.’ “This is the same NATO, a nuclear-armed military alliance, that is bombing civilians in Afghanistan: do we really want to contribute to its renewed vitality?” asked Mr Storey

Mr Storey also pointed out that, under Lisbon, the range of tasks that EU forces may perform is extended. EU forces, post-Lisbon, may be deployed on: ‘military advice and assistance tasks…, including… supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories’. But, according to Mr Storey, “claiming to be assisting a third country government to combat terrorism through the provision of military advice and assistance could realistically mean autocratic rulers being facilitated to suppress opposition; French troops, for example, have routinely performed this function for their client regimes in Chad, Rwanda and other African countries.” The Treaty encourages countries to spend more on the military – at a time when the global military budget in 2008 was already an obscene $1,400 billion.

In terms of developing countries, the Treaty commits the EU ‘to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade and on foreign direct investment, and the lowering of customs and other barriers’. Mr Storey noted that “these free market policies are what got large parts of the world into our present economic mess to begin with, and the EU is seeking to lock countries into these policies and deny them the right to pursue alternative policies.” Elsewhere, the Treaty says that ‘all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited’ so a poor country could not try to deal with a financial crisis by imposing capital controls (as Malaysia did successfully in the late 1990s) without facing EU sanction. “At a time when the damage done by the unregulated movement of capital is apparent to everyone, the EU wants to give that free movement the status of holy writ” Mr Storey argued.

Famine Walk 2009 – Brief report and pictures

The 21st Annual Famine Walk took place from Doolough to Louisburgh County Mayo on Saturday, May 30th 2009. As has been the case on all but one of the previous walks, the weather was good for hundreds of people who took part in the walk, the theme of which was: Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand.

Local shuttle buses ferried walkers from Louisburgh to Doolough in the now familiar pre-walk routine. At the lakeside Afri Chairperson, Andy Storey, introduced the walk leaders: Philip Ikurusi from Niger Delta; Choctaw Gary Whitedeer as well as Mary and Willie Corduff from Rossport. Extracts from the writings of Frederick Douglass were performed by Donal O’Kelly and Sorcha Fox before walkers began the ten-mile trek back into Louisburgh.