The Constitution at 80 (179, Oct 2017)

Blasphemy. Divorce. Abortion. A women’s place in the home. Directly-elected mayors. Divorce. Voting rights. Extra powers for Oireachtas Committees. 

These are the seven issues that we, the people, will be asked to decide upon in a slew of forthcoming referendums. Before we get the posters printed and bash out the principles involved in issues of such social and democratic importance, Banter wants to ask a question: is there a better way?

At eighty years of age, our Constitution has had a good run – should we be putting our elderly and highest law through bruising and potentially transformative trials, and repeatedly polarising the electorate with ultimatums? Or is it time to start anew? How has it fared so far and what would the drafters make of its current state?  What sort of constitutional scene could safeguard and futureproof the principles of the Irish people for the next eighty years? Could we do without one? 

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Our panel to deal with these issues and more: the Honourable Ms. Justice Marie Baker (The High Court), Dr David Kenny (Professor of Constitutional Law at Trinity College Dublin) and Ruadhán Mac Cormaic (author of The Supreme Court and Irish Times Foreign Affairs Correspondent).

The details: Banter on The Constitution at 80 takes place on Wednesday October 25 at The Liquor Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. Doors open at 6pm and the event kicks off at 6.30pm. Tickets can be booked here, including a limited number of early bird tickets. Proceeds from the event will go to the FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres).

The politics of culture (177, Oct 2017)

One of Banter’s favourite Irish events is Limerick’s Make A Move festival and, as has been the case since 2012, we’re are as proud as punch to be part of this year’s happenings as well. The festival kicks off on Friday October 6 and they have some pretty awesome stuff going on over the weekend, including screenings, workshops, performances, poetry jams and much more.

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This year, we’re looking at the politics of culture and the way in which popular culture and activism have begun to come together with the likes of grime4corbyn, Black Lives Matter and other movements. It’s certainly not a new phenomenon by any means – the current Soul Of A Nation exhibition at the Tate in London demonstrates that – but it shows that there is a role for art and culture in raising awareness, bringing people together and creating an effective catalyst for change.

The talkers: we’ll be joined by Sahar Ali (poet, actor and performer), Dr Eileen Hogan (lecturer in social policy at University College Cork) and Executive Steve (Dubs Against Racism and Raidió Na Life DJ) to take in all of this.

The details: Banter at Make A Move takes place at Ormston House, Limerick on Saturday October 7 at 2pm. Admission is free.

Make sure to check out the full Make A Move programme here. Big up to Shane and all the Make A Move team for inviting us along and taking good care of us.