Archive | February, 2015

Mairia Cahill honoured with James Larkin award

Mairia Cahill honoured with James Larkin award

UPDATED – WITH VIDEO Mairia Cahill was last night presented with the ‘Larkin Thirst for Justice Award’ at the Labour Party’s National Conference in Killarney. The award, named after the trade union leader and founder member of the Labour Party James Larkin, is awarded to a person who, in their personal and/or professional life has more…

#UCIHourRecord Live

Join celebrity cycling fan Stephen Fry [loving the on screen metrics! – Ed], and others, watching paralympian Sarah Storey attempt the UCI Hour Record live on the UCI YouTube channel.   The current record stands at 46.065km, set by Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel of the Netherlands in October 2003 in Mexico City.  Storey is in London’s Olympic velodrome, at more…

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Review: From Protest to Pragmatism: The Unionist Government and North-South Relations from 1959-72 (David McCann)

From Protest to Pragmatism charts the ups and downs in north-south relations as well cross-border cooperation as political capital ebbed and flowed in the Northern Ireland’s unionist government between 1959 and 1972. David McCann [Ed – name sounds familiar?] has worked his way through government archives in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and London, along with newspapers, more…

Women; they miss nothing, and here’s why

It’s distinctly uncomfortable for us men, but some women are, biologically, much more equal than we are. Of course, women can do all sorts of things that we can’t, like having babies, but this is far worse. They have better colour perception. Well, perhaps 20-50% of them do. And they can use it against us, more…

Friday Thread: The dangers of ‘willful blindness’…

Margaret Heffernan speaking at a TedX in March 2013 put her finger on a fundamental problem which is found all over the world. Willful blindness is a legal concept which means, if there’s information that you could know and you should know but you somehow manage not to know, the law deems that you’re willfully more…

Sex Ed: Just Ask Oprah

Sex Education is a topic that is hotly debated in Northern Ireland. Writing about her experiences the former Alliance party candidate, Kate Nicholl argues for a different approach to the issue. I went to a conservative, religious, rural Zimbabwean primary school, where extra-curricular classes for girls included Young Ladies Club – a place where you more…

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What colours are #thedress ?

We were told this morning that the internet had been ablaze all night with the most urgent question in the world’s history. Exactly what colour was #thedress ? Most people thought it was blue and gold; a minority saw it as blue and black. A quick check with the colour picker in Photoshop shows that more…

Simon Hamilton launches new Open Data strategy for Northern Ireland…

Forgive my native scepticism when I hear politicians talk about small changes day by day, but are reluctant to talk about numbers. However, there may be some light on that particular horizon… DFP Simon Hamilton has unveiled a strategy document for the implementation of open data as a default. It’s long on words but fairly more…

Maybe SDLP leadership “got in wrong” Alban?

The SDLP is in a bit of a pickle at the moment with its council members in Newry and Mourne appearing to have refused the party whip over the naming of a park after local man and IRA Hunger Striker Raymond McCreesh. The history of the park, the SDLP’s original support for its naming and more…

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West Belfast Business Breakfast: Making small changes day by day.

This morning I ventured over to a business breakfast in West Belfast hosted by local entrepreneur, Gerry Carlile.The event which had nearly 100 people in attendance was kicked off by the local MP, Paul Maskey who preached the need for more investment in West Belfast and cited success stories like the Kennedy Centre which operates more…

What is National Reconciliation? Stephen Hopkins Analyses Sinn Féin’s ‘Politics of Reconciliation’

Over the last few years, Sinn Féin has adopted a discourse advocating ‘national reconciliation,’ which has met with mixed responses from unionist political parties, nationalists, the Protestant churches, the wider PUL community, the media, etc. In the latest edition of the journal Irish Political Studies (March 2015), Stephen Hopkins from the University of Leicester offers more…

Amnesty NI Abortion Barriers report briefing

Briefing about NI Barriers to Accessing Abortion Services launched by Amnesty #MyBodyMyRights

The law governing abortion in Northern Ireland is one of the most restrictive in Europe both in law and in practice … It also carries the harshest criminal penalty in abortion regulation in Europe – life imprisonment for the women undergoing the abortion and for anyone assisting her. A snippet from the executive summary of more…

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The curious case of Tony Abbott #auspol

Tony Abbott, the man who helped defeat the republican referendum in 1999, the man who Paul Keating referred to as the Liberal party’s “resident nutter” and most importantly Australia’s current Prime Minister. Throughout his political career Abbott had been known to make gaffes. As Health Minister in 2004 he made the statement that “Abortion is more…