Monday, July 20, 2015

Molly


Click on any image for a larger version

I'm not sure this is quite what Delacroix had in mind when he painted "Liberty leading the people" at the time of the 1830 revolt against Charles X. His Marianne was almost equally well endowed but not a patch on our Molly


This is Molly as we normally think of her, wheeling her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow - from Grafton Street to Andrew Street as it happens.


This piece of street sculpture has fascinated me since it appeared on the streets of Dublin. Boobs aside, it is a most expressive and elusive piece of work.

I have strung together here just a few of the photos I have taken as I passed by. Molly can be domineering, teasing, bewildered, coy, attractive and even pretty.


Some people may feel the boobs intrusive but I have seen them defended on the basis that in those days mothers were breastfeeding all over the place and boobs were popping in and out like nobody's business.

Quite a current resonance then.


I always felt she was up for more than just pushing a wheelbarrow round the streets of Dublin. These photos show just a few of the Mollys encapsulated in this one piece of street sculpture.


This lady could be mistress of one of those nearby Georgian Houses instead of delivering fish to the door.


Here she is in her new, temporary, location in Andrew Street, outside the church that now serves as a tourist office.

This is her most assertive pose. You can feel the steel, so to speak, and this is the one I used to give her a play at being Marianne for Delacroix.


But I'd prefer to leave you with this one which has an air of gentility and serenity about it.

The background is a building currently, and conveniently, being renovated in Suffolk Street.

Molly was sculpted by Dubliner Jeanne Rynhart.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Grand-aunt Ellen


NLI Catholic Parish Registers Home Page
Click any image for a larger version

Full marks to The National Library of Ireland (NLI) for digitising their microfilm collection of Roman Catholic parish records. This will make a priceless resource available to a wider audience and all in the comfort of their own homes. And the service is still for free.

I would also like to compliment NLI on an earlier stand they took, in the face of possible hellfire and legal challenge, to release the records of those dioceses where the bishops, and one in particular, sought to limit or deny access to the filmed version of their records. I have recorded my own adventures in this saga elsewhere.

A tiny word of warning: while virtually all the parishes in the country appear on film there are a few exceptions. I don't know the reason for these. Perhaps the PP had a liver on the day. Don't despair, though, the chances are you can approach the parish office directly and you never know, it might turn out to be a well worthwhile visit. Mine did.


Exploring Murroe parish in East Limerick

Now that we have access to the digitised versions, don't think it will be all plain sailing. The clergy of the day were not uniform in the way they kept their records. In some churches, such as the pro-cathedral in Dublin, the information was entered into pre-printed templates in a ledger, and this is relatively easy to navigate. In other cases the registers are more like a child's scrawls in a copybook and it needs a very intensive effort to decode them. You may need to keep the aspirin or the panadol handy, particularly if you are searching for entries where you don't know the precise dates you're looking for.

Where you do know the date, the NLI have incorporated a very useful slider to zone in on it and they have also indicated, in a side box, the range of dates covered by the page on the screen. They have also included buttons to allow you to vary the brightness and contrast and so forth and you will very quickly see why these are a godsend.


Part of the two page spread per frame

It is important to remember that these records are not digitally searchable for names. The images have been digitised by the NLI but not transcribed.

The diocesan authorities have had transcriptions done (by FÁS and possibly for free) but these are retained by the diocesan heritage centres who charge a whack for pushing a search button and there is no guarantee that such searches are comprehensive. There are also some other providers who have compiled searchable data bases.

Even where you have the information from such transcriptions you may need to consult the originals, as I did, and this is where the great value of the images comes into play.

You will get an idea of what faces you from the image of part of a two page spread above (click on the image to enlarge).


Entry for Ellen, daughter of William Dwyer & Mary Maly/Haly

This is the bit of the page I was particularly interested in. It relates to 11 December 1844 and records the birth of Ellen Dwyer. Her parents are recorded in the diocesan transcription as William Dwyer and Mary Maly. However, the family I was trying to assemble had as their parents a William Dwyer and a Mary Haly (modern Healy). The Dwyer bit was straightforward: this is East Limerick on the borders of Tipperary which is Dwyer country. To the west of Murroe and deep into Limerick we have Maly (modern Malley) country. So the transcription was quite feasible and the transcriber was likely on his umpteenth Maly of the hour.


As above, cleaned up a bit

However, I wanted this woman for my family. Other than her mother's transcribed name she was a perfect fit for a missing piece from my family jigsaw. So I looked very carefully at the M in Maly. Could it have been a H. It certainly looked quite different from the M in what was clearly Mary. So what to do next?


Houlihan to the rescue

Well, I decided to see if I could find that shape elsewhere in a context where it might be clearly identified as a H. One small problem was to find sufficient other entries by the same flamboyant priest who entered the original. Finally I found it. H as in Houlihan. No question. She was mine. Grand-aunt Ellen.

And she's the one who, thirty-one years later, married James Meehan and their descendants are today living on the old homestead in Cappanahanagh.

So thank you National Library of Ireland, and, Bishop Clifford, may you choke on your porridge.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yeats & Howth


Pat Liddy
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In this decade of celebrations, including the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats, some serious effort is being put into claiming the poet for the Northside, well, part of him, at least.

Yeats's connections with Howth are tenuous enough. He lived there for three years in his late teens. He has the odd reference to the area in the odd poem. But that seems to be it.

Nevertheless that did not deter local TD and Minister for Culture, Aodhán Ó Riordáin, from organising a Yeats walk in Howth earlier today.

Our guide was the ubiquitous Pat Liddy (above).


An enraptured Aodhán Ó Riordáin

Aodhán (above) contented himself with what he referred to as the "housekeeping" ...


No rest for the wicked

... and, of course, him being a Minister, keeping in touch with the powers that be.


Pat's portable Public Address System

We had assembled at Howth DART station where Pat had given us an introduction and we had then wended our way up what he called the "sloping road" to St. Mary's Abbey. The abbey was originally founded when the monastic settlement on Ireland's Eye became too dangerous a location for the monks with the advent of the Vikings.


A smouldering Ireland's Eye

Pat was quick to draw our attention to the fact that they were probably still out there on the Eye (above), though God knows what there is now left to pillage. An alternative explanation is that this is just the remains of the other day's fire still smoking itself out.


Balscadden House?

Following this the group split up, with the fitter members doing the trek around to Balscadden House where Yeats lived for that briefest of brief periods.

I went back to Findlaters for the poetry readings but not before taking a distant shot in the direction of the house. And no, it's not that big house. It appears that all I got of it was the greenhouse at the extreme right of shot.

I missed the house because I didn't know what I was looking for and I'm not enough of a literary type to have wondered about it previously.


The real Balscadden House
Photo: Collette Gill

However, you can see the whole thing above (including the greenhouse), thanks to Collette Gill, who was also on the walk and who knew what she was at. Collette's focus is normally more on Clontarf/Raheny where she will be remembered particularly for her trojan work on commemorating the 1014 Battle of Clontarf all through last year.


Findlaters: initial confab

Back at Findlater's, it's first things first, with Fiach Mac Conghail, looking more like he was planning the actual Rising itself, rather than just sorting out his reading of Easter 1916.


Aodhán and the four readers

The first reading was by Fiach Mac Conghail who read Yeats's Easter 1916. This is a well known poem and I suppose the line that always stays with you is A terrible beauty is born.

The next was from Joanna Siewierska who took her life in her hands and recited rather than read her favourite poem, In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz. Joanna is of Polish origin, has just completed her Leaving Cert, and is Deputy President of the Irish Second Level Students Union (ISSU). Her poem was gently delivered and very evocative.

The third contribution was from Laura Harmon, orignally from Cork but now in Dublin, who is currently President of The Union of Students in Ireland (USI). She also did a daring read, The Lake Isle of innisfree. It is a poem that I like despite its being hackneyed to death on school curricula and elsewhere. I actually lived on Innisfree very briefly way back in the distant past. I have heard W B Yeats reciting the poem (on radio) and it was woeful. He declaimed rather than recited it, but I suppose that was the style of the day. Laura's reading was much softer and intimate and a pleasure to hear.

The fourth and last contribution was from Brigid Quilligan, Director of the Irish Traveller Movement and herself a Minceir. She read The Stolen Child which she said transported her back to her youth every time she came in contact with it.


The Stolen Child

My own connections with Howth do not go back as far as Yeats - a mere seven decades. And my then tenuous connections with the artistic world never blossomed, though had I sat for a real artist like Gordon Brewster, who knows what might have become of me.

Mention of Gordon does, however, remind me of a further minor, but not entirely irrelevant connection. It was through the Yeats family that Gordon met his wife to be, a young lady from the North Strand who they asked him to teach to draw. At that time he was living in Strandville, not far from the house where WB had briefly lived some forty odd years previously.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the Cocoa, well heralded by Aodhán, and the drink the Great Man drank as he wrote. This was served after the readings. I didn't get round to sampling it, but then I'm a Horlicks man myself.


Don't believe a word of it

I started with Pat so I'll finish with him here making a (finger) point which seems to be received with some degree of scepticism, by his nearest neighbour at least.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gordon Brewster - In Memoriam


Gordon at work

Remembering Gordon Brewster who died on this day in 1946.

Gordon was Chief Cartoonist with Independent Newspapers and subsequently head of the Art Department in the first half of the 20th century.

One of my proudest moments was to give a talk on him in the National Library of Ireland last November in the presence of three generations of his descendants.


Background material here

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David Hedigan - In Memoriam


L-R: Niall O'Donoghue, David Hedigan RIP, Felix Larkin

On this day, Bloomsday, last year, David Hedigan did a Joyce reading at Niall's Martello Tower in Killiney. It was not only Bloomsday but his wife, Susan's, birthday.

It is fitting to remember David today, he died on 30 March 2015, RIP.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Attribution


The Swastika Laundry in Lansdowne Road in the 1960s
Click image for a larger version

Those who know me know that I have a very open attitude to sharing information. I have a website and some blogs for a number of years and people are welcome to use the material I have compiled. I have done a whack of research on family and local (Killiney) history over the years and I have made the results available through illustrated talks and extensive background pages on my website. I am normally thrilled to see my stuff appearing on other people's sites.

So no problem there. I really only have two conditions (and expectations) when people use or draw on my stuff. I would like, and am entitled to, some credit for the material, and all I'm talking about here is a mention of the source. And I do not like people, either explicitly or implicitly, claiming that my material is in fact theirs.

I think that is a very reasonable attitude and I have put a Creative Commons notice on my blogs and website so that people are aware that they are free to use the material for non-commercial purposes, provided they credit it to me and do not mess it up.

Anyone who has asked me about material has found that I am not only happy for them to use it, I am prepared to help them and put in some extra work myself if this is needed.

So I have got a bit pissed off on a very few occasions over the years about what I consider unreasonable use of my material, the most recent of those being yesterday. I thought then that I would mention these few in a blog post, just to get it off my chest once and for all.

Old Dublin Town

This is a very interesting website and the webmaster has put a huge amount of work into it and deserves a lot of credit for assembling such a vast range of relevant material. I have only two gripes here.

Two of my pictures appear on the site without any indication of where they are from. The first is of the Swastika Laundry (above) on a page dealing with the laundry. And the second appears on a page dealing with Nelson's Pillar. There is no mention of where these came from though both are on my site. The first appears in my Signs of the Times section, and the second in an extended slide show on Nelson's Pillar.

My second gripe concerns a video which appears on the Nelson's Pillar page and which is viewable either on the page or on Youtube. The soundtrack is The Dubliners on Nelson but the visuals consist almost 100% of pictures from my slideshow. The Dubliners are given credit, not on the page but on Youtube, but I am not mentioned.

Ballybrack Parish

I lived in the parish for about twenty years and only left after getting married in this fine church. The parish subsequently acquired a chapel of ease in Killiney village. This is St. Stephen's and it is a beautiful little church. Imogen Stuart was the artist in residence for its construction and fitting out and she did a fabulous job. I took some photos on visit to Killiney some years later and they can be seen on my site. Imagine my surprise when in more recent times I was checking out some material in the parish newletter online only to find the complete set of my photos up on the parish site without any mention of where they came from. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, they are now gone off the parish site, swept away in a site revamp.

Dublin, the old days and ways

This interesting Facebook site appears to be of relatively recent origin and consists of a group of people who have an interest in Dublin's history and photographs relating to it. I don't know why it is a closed group, but as the only way I could check it out was to apply to join, I did just that. After a slight hiccup with the admin I was admitted and started checking out some of the rare old photos. I fairly quickly came upon a piece about a grand uncle of mine complete with a photo of his old premises in James's St. I was well into the text when I started feeling there was something familiar about it and then realised that it was actually a piece I had written for the Pues Occurrences blog in 2010. It appeared here without any attribution and one could be forgiven for thinking that the admin who posted it had written it himself.

Being the neurotic that I am, I posted a comment giving a link to the source of the text and photo. I also gave a link to a page on my site dealing extensively with a bridge, across the Grand Canal at Fatima, which had been referred to in the discussion on the post. And I also linked to a page on my site which gave a lot of background to a talk I had given on my grand uncle some years back.

I took it, from the blue line on the left of my comment, that comments were moderated, but imagine my surprise when I exited the page later to find I was no longer a member of the group. Fortunately I still had a copy of the page open and took a screen shot which you can peruse here.

The discussion was lively and shaping up well and I was looking forward to participating in it and talking to some of the people who had actually crossed the bridge while it was still there. If you're really excited by this little adventure of mine you can see an annotated version of my exchanges with the admin here.

It was a truly weird conversation as far as I am concerned. Remember, I am the injured party here. He is behaving like I have injured him and then to rub it in he offering me personal advice. I understand he is a hairdresser by profession and, in this case, he would clearly be better confining his attentions to the outside of other people's heads.



So there you have it. Anonymous testimony to the worth of my work all over the internet.

Friday, May 29, 2015

What Constitution?


Catherine Murphy, TD
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I see it all as very straightforward.

RTÉ wanted to publish some details of an arrangement Denis O'Brien had with IBRC (formerly Anglo Irish Bank). Neither O'Brien nor IBRC wanted the information published, on the grounds that it would damage his/their commercial interests, and they got a court injunction prohibiting RTÉ from publishing it.

Clear so far.

Catherine Murphy, TD, subsequently stated in the Dáil (Irish lower house of Parliament) that O'Brien had been getting significant loans at below market rates and, as IBRC was owned by the State, that this amounted to a massive taxpayer subsidy.

O'Brien's lawyer immediately requested most of the media not to publish Murphy's remarks as either the information was already injuncted or he would obtain an injunction to prohibit publication (I haven't seen the letter so I don't know its precise wording).


Tweet of original article by Irish Times at 16:50 28/5/15
Live link

Most of the media reacted by pulling any copy which contained the controversial information. For example, the Irish Times had already published it online but quickly pulled the item and a sanitised version was not issued until some seven hours later. This is the paper that not so long ago consciously broke the law to protect its sources.


Broadsheet.ie's response
Live link

Broadsheet.ie, on the other hand, stood its ground. It also revealed that it had received a legal letter from the O'Brien camp.


And Peter Murtagh, of the Irish Times, did the clever thing late last night and tweeted a link to the Dáil transcript on the Oireachtas website.

Personally, I think the issue is still very clear. Words spoken in the Dáil are guaranteed absolute privilege under the Constitution as is their reporting. Therefore no lawyer or judge can stop the media reporting Murphy's words in parliament. And that includes RTÉ.

The injunction, whatever its merits otherwise, is not relevant to the reporting of Parliament and the constitutional guarantee trumps any court decision. The only relevance of the existing injunction in this case was whether Murphy would give any weight to it in deciding whether or not to say her piece in Parliament. Once it was said it was protected.

So I'm still very clear on the matter (though admittedly I am not an authority in this area).

What disturbs me is how the bulk of the media immediately ran for cover when they got the legal letter. These are the organs on which we depend to defend our right to information and our freedom of speech. If they can be upset that easily they are clearly not up to the job.

Some politicians have called for the Dáil to be recalled to debate the matter, but it seems to me that it is not a matter for Parliament at this stage. It is a matter for those media who have buckled under a piece of legal blustering and fallen down on their duty to report faithfully what goes on in Parliament. Such reporting has a specific constitutional guarantee, for God's sake.

It is up to Parliament itself to deal with the issue of whether if feels Murphy's statement constituted an abuse of privilege or not.

I would be very interested to see the justification, if any, for the issue of the legal letter and to see its precise wording. I would also like to see whatever legal advice the media got which led them to pull their copy. There is something not very right going on here and it needs the light of day shone on it fast.

Brian Lucey has an interesting nuance in his latest blog post. The implication is that if this were to become a regular occurrence and people's reputations were being destroyed by false accusations rather than by revelations in the public interest, something would have to be done about it. Possibly, but that's for another day.


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

HEAD 7


Click any image for a larger version

Following the passing of the same sex marriage referendum the next stage will be the drawing up and implementation of the required legislation.

One of the controversial aspects of the campaign was the position of religious ministers as solemnisers of civil marriages. At present, in the Roman Catholic Church, for example, the religious ceremony has the corresponding civil ceremony tagged on to it, so to speak. From the couple's point of view, this simply involves them signing the civil register in the sacristy after the religious ceremony. The priest is a registered civil solemniser and so the marriage is thereby recognised and recorded by the State. In my day we all knew that the couple adjourned to the sacristy "to sign the register", but I am sure very few of us, me included, ever fully appreciated the niceties of what was happening.


Proposed exemption - click for larger image

Bringing in civil same sex marriage created a potential problem for the Church. In fulfilling his civil function a priest would now be performing a marriage which, while it would only involve a heterosexual couple in this case, did include in its remit the marriage of same sex couples. This led the Church to threaten to withdraw their priests from the solemnising of all civil marriages if the same sex marriage referendum was passed.

Even worse, the Church feared that the inclusion of same sex unions in the civil definition of marriage might result in their members being obliged to solemnise such unions on behalf of the State. So the Government promised them an exemption and this is reflected in Head 7 of the proposed draft legislation above.


Bert & Ernie to top cake - click for larger image

However, the whole area of exceptions has the potential for opening up a can of worms as illustrated in a recent case in Northern Ireland where a bakery refused, on religious grounds, to supply a cake with a pro same sex marriage slogan on it. The bakery has been found guilty of infringing equality legislation. This has made the church in the south very nervous as the solemnisers' exemption is simply being proposed in law and is not enshrined in the constitutional amendment.

This all provoked me into wondering what other exceptions might need to be provided for. And what other, even tenuously related, issues might be lying around which could be tidied up by tagging them onto the proposed legislation. There is a tradition in Government of tagging even unrelated outstanding issues onto legislation which happens to be going through the Oireachtas. The Attorney General's people don't like this as it leads to very confusing legislation afterwards but it is not always their call.

Now would be the time to sort all this out as the relevant legislation is about to be rushed through the Oireachtas before the summer break.

Bakeries and other such product and service providers would be one area for consideration.


Gerry's teddies - click for larger image

But what about Gerry Adams's same sex teddies. What if Gerry were to turn up before a solemniser with Tom in one hand and Ted in the other and ask that solemniser, politely one hopes, to perform a union. What then?


Modest double bed - click for larger image

Or, leaving same sex aside and just considering creature comfort, and possibly even a bit of heterosexual hanky panky, what about those old folk in Father Scully House who are currently denied double beds?

I'm sure the list is endless.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Áine


Áine Bean Uí Shúilleabháin
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Sadly, Áine died this morning.

So I finally have to forgive her for her one indiscretion that I know of personally.

In the early 1950s she revealed to me that there was no Santy Clause. I don't remember if I was devastated or if I'd had my suspicions, but it is an event that I still remember. Mind you, she must have been very convincing as I had received an actual letter from Santy himself only a year or two previously.

But then, you could always believe Áine. A feisty woman with a great sense of humour and a twinkle in her eye, but straight as a die.

I got to know Áine when she was our next door neighbour at No. 41 Orwell Gardens in the early 1950s. We were staying with my granny then, and my mother and Áine became friends and, as I remember, attended the Rathmines Tech together for a period.

The Ó Súilleabháins were the cause of me going to Coláiste Mhuire after my ignominious rejection by Synge Street.
.


No. 41 Orwell Gardens, as it is today (2011)

After we moved to Ballybrack, I still had contact with the family through Áine's husband Donnchadh, who was General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge and Secretary of the Oireachtas (now Oireachtas na Gaeilge to distinguish it from the national parliament). Donnchadh died unexpectedly in 1989. I also maintained contact with her daughter Bríd through our common involvement with the theatre and beyond.

Sad to say, I did not keep up any regular contact with Áine, all my own fault, though I did meet her a few years back and she was in fighting form.

She was 96.


Church of the Holy Child, Whitehall

Sympathies to Bríd, Gerry and family.

May she rest in peace.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Where is it ? No. 37


Click image for a larger version

To see all the quiz items click on the "Where?" tag below.

To see all the unsolved quiz items click on the "unsolved" tag below.

Update - almost immediately

Damn him. He's done it again. Felix Larkin gets the prize. The cheque is in the post.


But I have solved the mystery. He is the only person who reads my blog and when I post one of these quiz items he races out of the house and walk the streets of Dublin till he finds the answer.

Well done Felix.


Google Street View. Shadow is of Pepperpot Church

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Michael Edwards 2015



Click any image for a larger version

Michael Edwards has done it again. And this time the exhibition in the Donaghmede Shopping Centre has a slight change of style.


This year we have a series of exhibitions each from a different photo club. Currently on display are photos from St. Benedict's club in Kilbarrack. The standard is very high and there are some really fabulous shots.


The scheme works as follows. The studio invited 6 camera groups to exhibit for 4 weeks each. The public will view and vote for 10 out of each group. At the end they will exhibit the top ten from each group and these will be judged for The Michael Edwards Trophy 2015 and finalists 1 to 10.

The exhibition is run in association with the shopping centre and sponsored by Dublin City Council, who, incidentally, are doing great work promoting culture all round the city and right through the year.

So, if you're in the area, do drop in, checkout these great photos and leave your vote.


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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Liberation Day



HAPPY LIBERATION DAY
Click any image for a larger version

Yesterday, 9th May, was Liberation Day in the Channel Islands. This is when islanders celebrate the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945. The islands were unique in being the only part of the "British Isles" to have been occupied by the Nazis during WWII. The occupation had its brutal elements and the Nazis turned the islands, and Jersey in particular, into a huge fortress with massive surface and underground defences, mostly built by very badly treated POWs.

So the people of Jersey, the island with which I am most familiar, had much to celebrate on this day in each year following the end of WWII. This year was special as the 70th anniversary and it was seen as marking perhaps the end of those celebrations in which aging survivors of the occupation could take part in any numbers.

So I tweeted my friends in Jersey a happy Liberation Day and I meant it. What follows refers to Jersey alone.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS

It seemed a good day, without hopefully spoiling the party, to recall some unfinished business left over from the liberation. There was an opportunity then to revamp the whole system and also free the islands, and Jersey in particular, from a much more embedded occupation dating from previous centuries.

The island is a Crown Dependency, which means it is directly governed by the Queen who appoints its principal officers. It has appropriated much of the nomenclature of a modern democracy but its structures remain essentially feudal. Asserting one's human rights under the present system is somewhat haphazard in its results and can depend very much on the proximity of one's association with the ruling clique.

The montage above is of Philip Bailhache, the more prominent of the Bailhache brothers, both of whom have held most of the island's major offices over recent decades. Philip, a former Bailiff and currently Senator and Foreign Minister, is seen as the puppetmaster though it is clear that there are others pulling his strings.

His most recent contribution to good governance on the island was to try and sabotage the current inquiry into decades of child abuse and cover-up, an area in which he is seriously conflicted himself.


REVOLVING DOORS

This is Philip's brother William. Currently Bailiff, he was previously Attorney General during a period when many prosecutions of alleged child abusers were either dropped or refused. His period in office at that time will hopefully come up for review in the course of the current inquiry into child abuse on the island.


ONE MIKE THAT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF TODAY

The policing function on the island is complex. Each of the twelve island parishes has its own police force and it is only in more recent times that an all-island force has been developed to any significant degree. There are serious contraints on the all-island force, including political ones, and recent years have seen these exercised aggressively by the establishment when it illegaly sacked the police chief and smeared the senior investigating officer as their inquiries into earlier child abuse were getting too close to the bone.

A more compliant central policing régime was then recruited, the current head of which is Mike Bowron (above), renowned for chatting to ordinary people in the street and ignoring them when they come as supplicants to his office. The wide discretion available to the policing function in Jersey (there is no separate independent prosecution function) means that whether you are charged with an offence or not frequently depends on who you are.

The reference in the caption is to Philip Bailhache, then Bailiff and Speaker in the States (Parliament), turning off the microphone of the then Health Minister, Stuart Syvret, as he tried to raise the question of child abuse in the House on an earlier Liberation Day.


PROTECTING MORE THAN DATA

Emma Martins is the Data Protection Commissioner. Her principal contribution to the island to date seems to have been (i) to support the "Gang of Four" in their effort to have Stuart Syvret brought before the courts (another partial institution) for publishing information which was clearly in the public interest and (ii) to have Stuart's blog taken down from Blogger/Google on spurious legal grounds.


HAUT DE LA GARENNE - a misdemeanor, move on

It would be unfair to leave out Emma's daddy, John Nettles aka Bergerac, whose BBC TV series was set in the island and was shooting footage at Haut de la Garenne (the notorious centre of child abuse) while there were still children resident on the premises. BBC have recently called off a rerun of the series in the face of public protest. In recent times Nettles has attempted to downplay the significance of the centre. I really couldn't leave him out as Emma has declared that she frequently takes her daddy's advice.

The above are most of the tweets I tweeted yesterday for Liberation Day.


I couldn't finish, however, without recalling this event from the obverse of the liberation coin. Arising directly from his principled conflict with this deficient system of administration and justice, Stuart Syvret has already done a few stints of porridge and may yet come to do more.

So let us wish a happy LIBERATION PHASE 2 to the people of this beautiful island.

Note: you can see all the tweets here. You may have to click "Show photo" to see individual images.