GRAHAM MARTIN

The Connected, Divided Island

Extract from Point.51 Issue 2, November 2019

In Dublin, Belfast, and the towns in between, people on both sides of the border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland worry about the return of a "hard border" – and the possibility of armed conflict with it.

"On a rainy Saturday in March, I take a train to Dublin and walk from Connolly Station to the General Post Office, the seat of the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland. The GPO remains a working post office, but in a concession to its historic status, it now includes a museum and a gift shop packed with tourists browsing through souvenir mugs and figurines commemorating the heroes of Irish history. Meanwhile, a crowd gathers for a protest march organised by the National Housing and Homelessness Coalition, an umbrella organisation of activists, trade unions, and left-leaning political parties."

Except from  The Connected, Divided Island, written by James Graham

The General Post Office in Dublin, the seat of the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule.
Graham Martin for Point.51

"As the march turns onto Eden Quay, the heart of Dublin’s gentrified Docklands area, a young man in a studded leather jacket bearings the words “Free Palestine”, punches the air with his fist, while another activist uses his phone to broadcast on Snapchat. “This is a crisis, it’s only going to grow ... people need to wake up!” he says, as fellow marchers parade past a young couple kissing next to a double-decker bus, and a pair of shoppers in pom-pom hats and Adidas trainers, with a chihuahua keeping pace beside them.

During the protest, I speak to Tony MacCartháigh, a man in his fifties with a neat beard and glasses, who tells me that he’s been to “at least three protests”. Tony argues that the crisis is a natural consequence of the neo-liberal structure of Ireland’s economy. The shortage of housing, he believes, is “driven by profit”. And the politicians, he asserts, “are the biggest landlords”."

Except from  The Connected, Divided Island, written by James Graham


Using Format