The humanitarian catastrophe that has befallen Haiti beggars belief. The powerful earthquake that struck on 12 January left many thousands dead, with estimates running to 200,000 and more. The flimsy slum dwellings in Port-au-Prince, the capital, collapsed, as did public buildings, including schools and hospitals. Many thousands are still missing and more are badly injured.
Local resident and anti-racist activist Paddy Meehan condemned last night’s attacks in the Village area of South Belfast.
Mr. Meehan called for “an immediate end to all sectarian attacks against Protestant homes and Catholics living in the Village. It is important that local communities unite, across the sectarian interface, to stop all attacks. Communities must stand up and isolate racists and sectarians on both sides.”
The first Assembly to complete a full term has been criticised as being “a right-wing consensus between all the parties and has failed the needs of ordinary people.” Paddy Meehan of the Socialist Party claimed “The politicians in the Assembly have left nothing for workers and young people but a four year budget of £4 billion cuts and a return to mass unemployment.
After six weeks of rain in which there were only two dry days, many parts of Fermanagh were under water in the early weeks of December. The county, which is divided diagonally by Upper and Lower Lough Erne, saw many of its tributary rivers burst their banks and flow over fields and roads criss-crossing the countryside. The lough itself rose from about 45.8 metres to 48.2 metres flooding large areas of farmland leaving families living on raised positions cut-off as water engulfed their access roads and made them impassable. My own great-aunt had to be evacuated as her home in Innisroosk was cut off once again making sense of a townland name signifying an island. Many other families suffered this experience as inadequate infrastructure failed in the face of exceptional rainfall.