Author Archive | Mick Fealty

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Eight biomass burners go up in flames in Fermanagh

I honestly thought (£) this was from The Ulster Fry when I first saw it… Funny, and yet not funny at all, Gareth McKeown reports… “A shed, approximately 20m x 12m, was on fire and contained approximately 14 tonnes of woodchip and eight boilers,” he said. “Firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, however a large quantity more…

Seamus Mallon

“You simply cannot exclude the Irish government from process of obtaining a resolution, if one is possible..”

Seamus Mallon on RTE’s News at One yesterday had some interesting views here. I’m picking it up from just after the headline quote above: Northern Ireland itself, it’s political structures have been a series of conveniences, if you like to put it that way. The state itself was formed under a contrivance with the creation of more…

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Windfall Tax Could Save Northern Ireland Millions from the Cash-for-Ash Scheme

Various media have reported that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) may cost “up to £490million”. A windfall tax would recover much of that money for Northern Ireland, without disrupting the scheme for genuine users who are using the scheme to conserve energy. Leaving aside the political questions about the RHI, the main question exercising many more…

Effects of the Stormont crash on bedroom tax mitigations…

One of the notable features of that interview with the ‘naughty ministers’ on Newsline a couple of nights ago was Paul Given’s reference to the effect of forestalling of a functional budget, which follows Sinn Fein’s hasty (and unplanned) withdrawal. Here’s Digital View on the bedroom tax: A screening report published by the Department for more…

Early election is a big advantage to the two larger parties…

Worth watching this periscope from Bill White and Basil McCrea from last night. Two main points: there’s a surfeit of votes in the Referendum of June over the last Assembly election of May. Bill speculates that if that comes out, then it may make a significant difference to the outcome. Given that was a larger more…

So what’s to come next?

A reader (and retired civil servant) writes The Secretary of State has it within his gift to determine the timelines and actions to follow. So my suggestion is this …no immediate election, a (potentially prolonged) period of Direct Rule. That might be dressed up by the NIO, as putting manners on the local political parties, more…

TK Whittaker dies…

Arguably the most significant northerner to have shaped the southern state, TK Whittaker, has died. Fintan O’Toole writes: TK Whitaker was the greatest of Ireland’s conservative revolutionaries. He wanted things to stay as they were and, in a culture ravaged by mass emigration, people to stay where they were. He grasped the great paradox of more…

And the other significant party statements of the day…

Some highlights from the party leader’s statements, and top marks to Mike Nesbitt for getting his out earliest: This is Sinn Fein letting the DUP off the hook.   The public mood clearly indicates they want the facts of the RHI debacle exposed.   To move straight to an election without this taking place is farcical.  They more…

On the matter of a leadership vacuum…

A reader writes: I think this is much more serious than people realize.  Sinn Fein can’t go back into power with an unreformed DUP, and the latter could even come back with less of an electoral wound that SF, who knows. But the reason I think this is very serious is this. I’ve argued for more…