Archive | July, 2015

Aperture opens at Corrymeela

It is a rare occasion that a Slugger writer gets to report on Alan Meban. Corrymeela Executive Director Colin Craig chaired a discussion this afternoon which asked the question, “Are we done with the Good Friday Agreement?”, also featuring Alan McBride and Gerry Kelly. Our Alan linked the Good Friday Agreement with his then church’s more…

“Still, there are words for the sort of reception meted out, and the most polite are ‘low’ and ‘key’.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… or, rather, as far away from the ranch as you can reasonably get…  For the benefit of those concerned about accountability and the democratic process…  Liam Clarke has some points to make about Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, and the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness’ recent, more…

Ireland map

The resources to end austerity In Ireland

Economist, Michael Burke writes for us looking at the economics of austerity and how they compare in Northern and Southern Ireland The claim from supporters of austerity is there is no money left and that therefore TINA, there is no alternative policy. These assertions are false. Table 1 below shows the level of output in more…

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What Cecil says about us

The tragic death of Cecil the Lion has been making headlines around the world this week, writing for us, Zimbabwean born, Kate Nicholl argues that the event tells us a lot about how modern society reacts to tragedy  If social media has taught us anything in the past few days it’s that Trophy hunting is more…

Irish ambassador’s latest move in the Republic’s role in the campaign to keep the UK in the EU

The FT (£,unfortunately) reports a strategically timed interview with the Irish ambassador to the UK , the Yeats-loving Dermot Mulhall. Remember when the Irish people reversed their “ wrong” answer in the first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? It was the bold Dermot who fund the way through, apparently. Now he’s recommending that the UK follows more…

Ireland map

In the gloom of Summer a debate about Irish unity has begun

Brian noted a piece written by Aaron McKenna on The Journal.ie about why Irish unity is a fundamentally bad idea. Responding to his piece, Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy sets out his view about why unity is a good idea. Regardless of your views on either, I am personally half way between them on this issue, more…

Reality checks of north-south comparisons should be welcomed

This piece by Aaron McKenna , businessman and columnist in the Journal.ie is not holy writ but it does make some interesting north-south comparisons. The UK government spends 24% more per head in Northern Ireland than it does in England, some £10,876 for every person in the province. If we got Northern Ireland tomorrow, that more…

Sinn Fein suffering for the want of a visible plan (cunning, or otherwise)?

It’s still not clear who Martin was going to see in Washington, or why he had his picture taken on the wrong side of Pennsylvania Avenue opposite the White House. However at home Brian Feeney is not impressed: …Sinn Féin’s problem is more profound. They’ve lost direction. They’ve forgotten their raison d’etre in the north. Flying more…

End of the line for Irish Water?

Radio Producer and Presenter John O’Donovan argues that its time to wind up Irish Water. Eurostat , the EU statistics agency has today decided that the Governments spend must remain on the states exchequer balance sheet. This means we will face into an additional €500 million added to the national debt, the assumption up to more…

The feral nature of the UK’s long term housing policy

I keep waiting for someone in the Labour Leadership contest to pick up on housing as a key issue. That they haven’t is probably as much a reflection of the fact that its a classic wicked problem (with tenticles that reach far into economic policy). Angela McGowan of the Den Danske Bank nails the wickeness more…

Lord Steel of Aikwood

Lord Steel: “Belligerence and stridency are now the order of the day in Edinburgh …”

The deterioration of Prime Minister’s Questions to a weekly exchange of insults isn’t the only negative aspect of UK political life that Lord Steel has noticed. Belligerence and stridency are now the order of the day in Edinburgh as well. [Ed – Slugger readers might recognise those traits in Stormont too?] Lord Steel of Aikwood more…

West of the Bann

The West wants in: Why are roads so poor West of the Bann?

When I was completing my review of the News Letter during the 1960s and 70s, I remember reading countless complaints from politicians like Harry West about the poor state of the roads in the west of Northern Ireland. We did have the building of the M1 in the 1960s which promised a new era of more…

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Do urban Gaeltachts produce a compromised Irish?

The creation of urban Gaeltachts in Belfast and other Irish cities should be regarded as one of the greatest language revitalisation projects ever undertaken. As a leading University of California linguistics professor puts it, ‘I know of no parallels to this achievement anywhere else in the world’. The urban Irish-language movement has largely coalesced around more…