Orange Order rates relief: £8.12m. (Twaddell policing costs: £24m, and counting… )

OO Rates

At the NI Assembly on Monday, Christopher Stalford received an answer to an assembly question directed at Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, the Finance Minister, as to the rates relief statistics for Orange Halls. The response tells us that since April 2006, the Orange institution has saved an estimated £8.12 million by being exempt from paying rates. During this time, more…

#EURef: Count & Results – What we can expect…

Is the EU a liability on the ballot papaer?

The referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU referred to as “Brexit”, has lead to unprecedented Irish interest in UK politics. Given that Ireland and Britain share so much – historically, culturally, politically and economically – it’s not surprising that many here have been watching the campaign so closely. While we have had 9 more…

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland through to last 16

IFA logo

Despite losing to world champions Germany earlier today, Northern Ireland’s footballers have secured a place in the last 16 of the UEFA European Championship 2016.  There they’ll face either France or Wales. A heroic performance by NI’s freelance keeper, Michael McGovern, kept the ball out of the net on all but one occasion and the more…

CRC Award for Civic Leadership for Fr Martin Magill and Rev Steve Stockman – Relationships as the Foundation for Reconciliation

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The Community Relations Council (CRC) this week presented its annual award for Civic Leadership to Fr Martin Magill of Sacred Heart in North Belfast and Rev Steve Stockman of Fitzroy Presbyterian in South Belfast. Magill and Stockman are outspoken advocates of Christian peacebuilding, regularly making the case in their writing and broadcasting that part of more…

Eastwood: The inevitability of reconciled political unity is no more.

Colum Eastwood MLA

Colum Eastwood spoke at the SDLP Youth Conference last Saturday with some interesting comments about Nationalism and Irish unity. I have bolded some of the more noteworthy references. Beginning by referencing the poor Nationalist result last month he said; The recent election also threw up questions beyond, what can at times, be the bubble of more…

The left wing case for leaving the EU…

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On Tuesday the 14th I had the opportunity to speak at a debate on the European referendum in Queen’s Students’ Union, hosted by the Socialist Party. Over 150 people packed the room to hear arguments which were completely different from those reported every day in the mainstream press. The “Brexit” debate has been correctly described by more…

Remain in Northern Ireland still looks on top. Will the DUP heave a sigh of relief if it wins?

The arguments continue right down to the wire. The referendum has cut across the unionist/nationalist divide and – (nothing unusual here) – has split unionism. What is rarer is the DUP’s failure to press home their traditional case with the traditional fervour, suggesting they have doubts about it themselves, as Stephen McCaffery argues in The Detail. Sammy more…

17 reasons to leave the EU

17 reasons to leave the EU Leaving the European Union would: 1 – Restore UK freedom & sovereignty and disentangle us from `ever closer political union` – politicians have given sovereignty away to undemocratic EU institutions such as the unelected European Commission who are effectively the EU Executive and wield the power. Sovereignty & liberty more…

And so #LOLCats strike back in the name of, Remain… #CatsAgainstBrexit

Benson prefers expert veterinary care just as he prefers expert economic forecasting #CatsAgainstBrexit pic.twitter.com/PwEyEPW5G9 — Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) June 20, 2016   Now he's been helped through the arguments, Slammers today declared himself one of the #CatsAgainstBrexit pic.twitter.com/ZwhMh7uYSD — Rich Nelmes (@nelmes) June 20, 2016 He's done his sums, and leaving just doesn't add up more…

The Lions of Lyon to the Princes of Paris

mcauley

In restaurants, on the Metro, in the stands, the (Northern) Irish were unbeatable. They sang everywhere, all the time. A mix of contagious high spirits, irony and most of all lots of self-effacement they lit up the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Thursday after having already given it all in the streets of the city. If more…

#EURef and seeing sense on the matter of national sovereignty…

Is the EU a liability on the ballot papaer?

A Chartered Accountant by professional qualification, Robert Jenkins has over 30 years’ EU-related business experience. He has also been active in Conservative politics, and is the author of Tony Benn, A Political Biography. The UK’s EU Referendum is fundamentally about national sovereignty, but there is little understanding about the EU and how it affects this. more…