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Racism in the 2019 By elections

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[Courtesy of the Irish Times - from Twitter]

I predicted on this blog, many times between 2004 and 2008 that it was only a matter of time before racism would become a political issue to the point that parties who endorsed it explicitly would start to find figures that would start to gain popular support.  That time is now.

Firstly, like many in FG, I am embarrassed and infuriated by Verona Murphy's comments to the Wexford People - there is no "immigrant problem" in Ireland.  We have a significant problem with services and infrastructure which is the result of demographic change - immigration is only a small part of the change and compensated for in other ways. Immigrants themselves rarely create issues, tend to arrive with useful skills and the vast majority are far more productive than the average Irish person.  There is literally tons of studies proving this, so I am not going to link.  I would suggest doing a search on Springer or some reputable research publisher if…

Heanet Raspbian mirror outage

If you live in Ireland and have a raspberry pi, or many open source linux distros, you might have noticed errors with yum or apt updates over the weekend of 21-22. Well so did I and found at least 2 others on regular raspi forums experiencing the same. So I looked up Heanet and found they have a public email for their NOC, so dropped them an email. Seems they had a hardware issue over the weekend and were waiting for a part. It arrived today Monday, and they mailed to let me know that the mirror is up. So if you redirected to another mirror, you can now put it back. Thanks to Craig and Brendan at the NOC for keeping Irish Open Source users happy!

Lyra McKee (1990 - 2019) - in memoriam

On Friday the unthinkable happened, while quickly checking over the news on my phone, the top story told me that Lyra McKee had been murdered in Derry. I didn't even get the second to think "surely some other Lyra McKee" because the photo was unmistakably THE Lyra - the Lyra I'd chatted to online on social media for nearly 5 years, the Lyra who had repeatedly sent kind thoughts whenever she thought I was upset.  The Lyra with whom a couple of times we had tried to meet up while she was quickly visiting Dublin, always falling apart on the day due to messy logistics.  THAT Lyra.

As I never had the choice of disbelief, my immediate instinct was anger: she wasn't just a random bystander, I thought, but someone targeted.  Unfortunately that is a narrative that has crept into many of the press reviews of Lyra.  But as more details came out, it became patently obvious that the target of the shooting was the local police who were policing a staged riot during which local…