Other News

Health Feature – Health Service Under Attack

There is a sense of crisis across the Health Service in Northern Ireland. In the last few weeks the Belfast Trust has announced plans to close 152 beds at the City Hospital and Royal Group of Hospitals from November. The Northern Trust has halted more complex surgery at the Mid-Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt and Whiteabbey Hospital in Newtownabbey. All such surgery will now be concentrated at the Antrim and Causeway Hospitals. Parking charges are to be introduced at the Antrim and Causeway sites. There is a clear threat to the future of Accident and Emergency services at the Mid-Ulster and Whiteabbey.

By Ciaran Mulholland, AMICUS (Unite) Health Services Branch (personal capacity)

No to water charges!

The politicians in the Assembly are now openly speaking about imposing water charges on householders in April 2011. This additional bill will be in the region of £369 a year – but once they are introduced they will go like the gas and electricity prices and increase once they are […]

United action needed against sectarian riots

The nights of rioting which took place in East Belfast, beginning on the evening of Monday 31st August, brought into sharp focus many of the underlying issues which exist in Northern Ireland. They demonstrated that, eleven years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, we still live in a deeply divided society with huge social problems, problems which the politicians in Stormont are incapable of dealing with.

By Daniel Waldron

Fight the Assembly’s privatisation agenda

 The Socialist can reveal plans by the Assembly to privatise public services leading to billions of taxpayers money being given away to private companies, cuts to services and attacks on workers rights and conditions.

By Owen McCracken

In its first 10 years of existence, the Assembly has handed over a staggering £1.3 billion of Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts to private companies. If the Assembly gets its way the role of PPP in Northern Ireland is set to grow significantly, with Professor Allyson Pollock of the Centre for International Health Policy predicting a massive future bill in excess of £10 billion after contracts currently in the pipeline are signed. Since this February alone, more than £90 million has been spent on outsourcing contracts, mostly to private consultancy firms – a massive waste of public funds. (See below).

Beyond the Troubles?

August 31, 1994, and the IRA’s announcement of a ceasefire, will go down as an historic date in Irish history. The ending of the IRA campaign was quickly followed by pressure from working class communities on the loyalist paramilitaries, the UDA and the UVF, to likewise call a halt. Six weeks later they also called off their campaigns.

Does this mean that after 25 years, over 3,350 dead and ten times that number injured, the Northern Ireland Troubles are over?

By Peter Hadden, 1994