In 2016 are the SDLP drinking in the last chance saloon?

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The rise of the Democratic Unionist Party over the last decade and a half has harmed the older Ulster Unionist Party. On the nationalist side, the same thing has happened, but the change has been much more pronounced. Colum Eastwood, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, has committed himself and his party to more…

First Leaders’ Debate – Where to now?

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Politics is a fast moving game. What’s done is done and you have to get on with things. After the first Leaders Debate last night on TV3/Newstalk all the Leaders will be pondering what they have to do for the next time. Here at Slugger O’Toole we are all heart. So Johnny Fallon has some more…

TV3 Vote 2016: Post leaders’ debate chat…

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POST DEBATE CHAT: Join David and Mick after the live on TV3 Leaders debate from 10.30 onwards. You can watch here on Slugger or bounce over to Blab.im and put in your own tuppence happenny worth…

Orange, green…time for a new idea on ‘the border’ in between?

An excellent piece by Belfast Barman recently asked why, since the dream/ threat of a United Ireland allegedly defines our politics in Northern Ireland, we rarely hear the details of how exactly it would work discussed by those in favour or the precise, alleged horrors of such a thing debated by those strongly against. In more…

Is this the end of the line for Joan?

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Today’s Independent is not happy reading for the Labour leader, Joan Burton. A poll in her Dublin West constituency finds her struggling to hold on to her seat with the election just two weeks away. The results are; Leo Varadkar (FG)  and Paul Donnelly (SF) on 20% each. Jack Chambers is on 17% for Fianna more…

Fatal Foetal Abnormality Amendment falls 59 to 40.

Late last night the Assembly voted down an amendment proposed by Stewart Dickson and Trevor Lunn to allow a termination in the case of fatal foetal abnormality. Here is a link so you can seek how each MLA voted on this issue, but here are some interesting votes. In terms of party leaders,  Arlene Foster, Colum more…

#GE16 Cork SC: Still a hard core engine of the political mainstream…

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Cork South Central Current TDs Jerry Buttimer TD (Fine Gael), Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney TD (Fine Gael), Micheál Martin TD (Fianna Fáil), Michael McGrath TD (Fianna Fáil), Ciaran Lynch TD (Labour) Total seats in 2016 General Election: 4 The population of this constituency has been reduced by just over 17,000 with parts of Bishopstown, Glasheen, more…

SDLP to vote against Justice Bill amendments

New leadership team and a new raft of MLAs fueled speculation that there might be a change in policy from the SDLP on this issue. Particularly since the new leader was stressing the “progressive” elements of his platform. However,  the party has decided to stick to it’s current policy and vote against the amendments to more…

#GE16 Wicklow – Sinn Féin to power through one of Ireland’s more motley fields…

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Wicklow Current TDs Stephen Donnelly TD (Social Democrats), Anne Ferris TD (Labour), Billy Timmins TD (Renua), Minister of State, Simon Harris TD (Fine Gael), Andrew Doyle (Fine Gael) Total seats in 2016 General Election: 5 This constituency remains unchanged by the most recent review and consists of the county of Wicklow and a couple of thousand more…

Should bonfires be licensed or negotiated with individual communities?

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BONFIRES OR VANITIES: Claire Hanna of the SDLP contextualises the party’s Environment Minister’s proposals to licence bonfires (any and all of them). Her key point is that compliance with the law as it is currently practised cannot rely on negotiated outcomes in which ‘the community’ decides what’s fair.

A surprising mutual appreciation for Pink Floyd at the end of a gun…

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Funny the things you notice when someone is standing in front of you with a gun. On this particular occasion (because there were many) I noticed three things. Firstly, this person was about the same age as me. Secondly, he looked really pissed off. Thirdly, and I don’t know why I looked at his hands-oh more…