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Who signed off the 0% and 1% rises for Northern Irish teachers?

Just spotted this protest against a pay offer of 0% for 2015/16 and 1% for 2016/17 for teachers. Sinn Fein are doing the needful and out on the protests, this time in Crossmaglen: .@mfearonsf MLA supporting colleague @barraomuiri & his fellow striking teachers in Crossmaglen today @into_ni #fairness pic.twitter.com/xW4VaDjiAs — NewryArmagh SinnFein (@newryarmaghsf) January 18, more…

Ronan Fanning and the resonances of the history of a century ago

A few years ago at a conference in King’s College London, the Irish historian Ronan Fanning who has just died could still  get hot under collar about  how the British politicians Asquith and Lloyd George exploited Irish Home Rule for their own political ends.  We were about to  enter the decade of commemoration culminating in more…

UK Government: “Clearly, any form of joint authority would be incompatible with the consent principle [of the Belfast Agreement].”

A short BBC report points to an interesting exchange today in the House of Lords where the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office and Scotland Office, Lord Dunlop, poured a bucket of cold water on the suggestion that “joint authority” could be an option if the relevant parties fail to form an Executive following more…

“The department did not know about flaws in the RHI scheme in the summer of 2015…”

The BBC has a good summary of the headlines arising from the PAC meeting this afternoon. Remember, the PAC is the place where normally the heavy lifting is currently being done in interrogating officials. Permanent Secretary Andrew McCormick was today’s star witness: A meeting with former enterprise minister Jonathan Bell to review ministerial papers in December may have more…

John Hume, a thumbnail sketch of achievement and failure

I’ve never been quite sure if we can call John Hume an unvarnished nationalist, but if we do, he was a great example of a leading nationalist who wanted to reach agreement more than attain  the goal of  Irish unity, as expressed in  his  wonderful oxymoron, “ an agreed Ireland.” While he enjoyed his hard- more…

FARREN Sean - John Hume

John Hume’s 80th Birthday – The Martin Luther King Jnr of Ireland

Bono in his song ‘In The Name of Love’ sang about Martin Luther King Jnr about how “One Man Came In Love”. Today we celebrate the 80th birthday of the Martin Luther King of Ireland, one man who came in love and preached a message of peace, tolerance and accommodation. It is a sad irony more…

Ireland must seek EU permission to make a draft bilateral deal with Britain

Dublin reaction to Theresa May’s big Brexit speech is understandably cautious verging on the sceptical.   Is more substantial content  to be expected when Theresa meets Enda in Dublin next week,  no doubt to discuss  her hopes that an open-ish border can be achieved  through  “frictionless “ trading monitored digitally  and immigration rules enforced mainly through more…

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“…it should never be forgotten that a genuinely united Ireland must be based on a free union of those living in Ireland”

The strength of positive feeling towards the economist TK Whitaker in the Irish press was extraordinary. I want to come back to that later in the week, since there may still be important lessons to draw on from the manner in which he approached matters. But, in the context of this election to nowhere we’re enduring more…

Claire Sugden

Claire Sugden will seek re-election in March

From the outgoing Justice Minister’s Facebook Page; Firstly, thank you for your kind wishes throughout this dreadful, political crisis. I am overwhelmed that you have taken time to contact me offering support and encouragement. It tells me there is hope. I never envisaged that less than a year into my mandate I would be defending more…

Theresa May’s aim of free trade with the EU outside the single market is the way to avoid a hard border. The Irish should start lobbying their EU partners now.

We will put our precious Union at the heart of what we do.. We will strengthen our relationship between the four nations of the UK..   I hope for the same spirit of unity, especially in Northern Ireland and that the parties will establish a new relationship as soon as possible..  The devolved administrations will more…

St Andrews Agreemtn

Irish Language Act debate

This morning on Nolan a debate between Conor Murphy and Edwin Poots continued over the Irish Language Act .@audioBoom Here’s the Edwin Poots interview which is trending across UK on Twitter – let me know what you think . https://t.co/jCcfs3NVmw — Stephen Nolan (@StephenNolan) January 17, 2017 The provision within the agreement states that However, more…

Solutions are negotiable, if there’s the political will

There’s something stereotypically Irish about a battle between two parties who are not competing for the same votes, were in one sense on the same side  – i.e. the same government – and will end up more or less where we are after the Assembly election. Incisive though it is, Mick’s analysis defers the subject more…

Stormont

Executive Falls; Election likely to be on March 2nd

The 5pm deadline has passed and the Executive has fallen after nearly a decade in office. The Secretary of Stare is due to speak within the next 30 mins but the election date is widely expected to be Thursday 2nd March. This gives us a 7 week campaign.

Seeley

Seeley will not stand at the upcoming election

Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA, Catherine Seeley has announced she will not be seeking re-election. Speaking about her decision she said; “Serving the people of Upper Bann as a Sinn Féin MLA over recent months has been a huge honour and privilege. “After much consideration, I have now decided that I will not be putting more…

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Simon Hamilton’s ‘sticking plaster’ solution has met with no objections from O Muilleoir’s department in ten days

At the weekend Gerry Moriarty treated the increasingly shrill rhetoric from the Minister of Finance Mairtin O Muilleoir during the past week, with scepticism. Mot least the Minister’s loud references to “sticking plaster solutions” to the RHI debacle. And if “post-truth” means repeating an allegation so often that, regardless of its veracity, the public will more…