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Latest posts from John Ó Néill (see all)

John Ó Néill has posted 164 times (2 in the last month).

#Villiers, re-hashing Larkin and victim typologies

Wed 16 April 2014, 3:50pm

Tweet If nothing else, Theresa Villiers statement on power-sharing contains some odd language (see the first quote Mick has cited here).  The nuances in “…there are inherent weaknesses in a system in which it is very difficult to remove one’s rulers by voting and to choose a viable alternative…” actually jar with the mother-and-apple-pie follow-up […] more »

@LMcAtackney on #Archaeology of the Troubles at #PRONI

Thu 3 April 2014, 8:53am

Tweet There is a launch tonight in PRONI’s (under-used!) building this evening for Dr Laura McAtackney‘s new book on The Archaeology of the Troubles/The dark heritage of Long Kesh/Maze prison. There are four speakers at the launch, including Laura and Professor Cahal McLaughlin of Queens’s University Belfast who will set the scene by presenting documented personal narratives […] more »

#Smithwick: are we back full circle to an untested allegation of ‘collusion’?

Wed 4 December 2013, 6:02pm

Tweet So, have the Buchanan and Breen families got any closer to the truth about how their loved ones died on 20th March 1989? After lengthy hearings in front of Judge Peter Smithwick, the substantial report yesterday included a full account of the IRA operation in which they died, supplied by the IRA itself (see […] more »

#Finucane: was Nelson a rogue or rogue agent?

Tue 3 December 2013, 4:30pm

Tweet The Attorney General is going to find it harder and harder to sell his no more inquiries, no more investigations proposal. Particularly so when the improvised methods of ‘investigation’ appear to have been little more than tactics for the British government to avoid decommissioning its own violent legacy. Far from finally drawing a line […] more »

#Panorama to show absence of very good tools to critique the state

Thu 21 November 2013, 4:55pm

Tweet Tonight’s BBC Panorama programme will detail allegations about the operation of the Military Reaction Force, or MRF, and how it killed unarmed civilians as part of its work up until 1973. The programme has identified ten unarmed civilians it believes were shot by MRF members operating undercover. It also will include a claim that a Ministry of […] more »

Human Rights Political Policing PSNI Brutality

Wed 20 November 2013, 4:17pm

Tweet The Parades Commission has given its determination on the ‘Loyal Peaceful Protestors’ march on 30th November through Belfast city centre. The purpose of the parade is given on the application as ‘Human Rights Political Policing PSNI Brutality’ and the date is to coincide with anniversary of the designated days vote in Belfast city council […] more »

#Lethal Allies: this is not collusion.

Fri 1 November 2013, 4:18pm
Lethal Allies

Tweet This is much worse. The publication of Ann Cadwalladers Lethal Allies last month by Mercier Press was always going to have a relatively predictable reception. In many ways, nationalists and republicans have largely accepted that there was participation by members of the security forces in providing intelligence, weapons and targeting information to loyalist/unionist paramilitary groups from the […] more »

High Court decides to #GivePootstheBoot

Fri 11 October 2013, 4:45pm

Tweet The High Court in Belfast has again ruled against the  lifetime blood ban imposed on gay and bisexual men by the Department of Health, not least on the grounds that it was irrational. The High Court found that: The minister has decided that MSM (males who have sex with other males) behaviour creates such […] more »

@LADFLEG versus #Facebook

Wed 9 October 2013, 1:11am

Tweet Have loyalists finally taken the fun out of Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD)? Here is LAD’s own brief timeline: founded in December 2012 at the height of the flag protests, it was unpublished and then republished in July 2013 in anticipation of further protests. After acquiring 6000 likes, it was then removed from Facebook amid […] more »

Vo Nguyen Giap, 1911-2013

Fri 4 October 2013, 3:41pm

Tweet The death has been announced in Hanoi of Vo Nguyen Giap, the self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam. His generalship at the pivotal battle of Dien Bien Phu, freeing the North from colonial rule and then later forcing the Americans to abandon their support for the various regimes in South Vietnam, was […] more »

Latest comments from John Ó Néill (see all)

John Ó Néill has commented 1,388 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Your contributions to Slugger’s Old Year/New Year Playlist?
    on 31 December 2013 at 11:46 pm

    +1 for Johnny Was, but this should be the Slugger anthem (if such a thing was to exist):

    Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh.

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  2. Comment on Surviving the job hunt-It’s a jungle out there!
    on 17 December 2013 at 12:04 am

    A couple of useful tips:

    - if you are asked for a covering letter or trying to work out how to rejig a cv, start with the list of desirable and essential criteria the job advert lists. Try and reshape your cv to match each listed essential criteria (in a covering letter, make this a checklist so you ensure whoever looks at the cv knows you meet all the short listing criteria, then concentrate on any desirable skills/experiences that might enhance your application by highlighting them)
    - be realistic, chances are every recruitment competition will be tough, if you have to go for a job that isn’t where you’d hoped you’d be, you aren’t gaining any experience by neglecting other posts you might have a better chance of winning and your cv won’t improve by repeated failed applications. To be realistic, look at the essential criteria in post you would like and take a step down to try and make up any deficiencies. It might seem like a blow to your self-confidence, but it can be presented as a bit of strategic planning in future interviews that a panel will look favourably on. Even if it requires further qualifications, your better to bite the bullet and get started now than in two years time,
    - studies repeatedly show skills atrophy after 6 months of unemployment. You also start to drop out of networks and other opportunities to get word of mouth advice and guidance. This has a impact and men, in particular, are not good at dealing with the types of mental health issues this leads to (do not underestimate the impact this has on your ability to get yourself in job hunting mode). You should bear this in mind when prioritising what you apply for.
    - lastly: there is professional help out there that you can access, so google it and use it.

    [To put this in context, I think I've interviewed hundreds of people and read thousands of CVs at this stage, as well as competing for posts, and as the Head of Lifelong Learning for a higher education institute I'm involved in various activation measures and talking to policy advisors and industry]

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  3. Comment on Northern Ireland dog food infiltration known about seven years ago…
    on 12 December 2013 at 7:55 pm

    You can put the tinfoil hats away – the resourcing issue refers to the prosecution at the time (Mick – check the moderated comments).

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  4. Comment on Northern Ireland dog food infiltration known about seven years ago…
    on 12 December 2013 at 6:33 pm

    There are FSA documents on the case online, one of which is archived here and it was reported in the press at the time. The Stormont Executive was suspended between 2002 and 2007, so there was no Minister in place and it was (presumably) run by DARD officials.

    The McCabe family were also at the centre of the Ballybay Meats dispute in the late 1980s, early 1990s and the Fianna Fáil government at the time were being pressured into holding an inquiry into public money that had went into the plant before its collapse. Central to the allegations at the time were that the McCabes were active in Fianna Fáil (eg see the Dáil debate here and that was influencing the pace of the government response).

    As far as the FSA report seems to go – the issue at the time was that the prosecution did not make a wider case against Euro-Freeze about the use of the machinery and re-labelling. That is what the reference to “nothing being done about it”. According to the Elliot report detecting “food crime” is problematic because so few cases come to light, it is actually hard to categorise the modus operandi.

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  5. Comment on “Is there anyone in SF telling Gerry Adams what he needs to hear?”
    on 10 December 2013 at 7:21 am

    Mick, that kind of brokedown beyond repair when you got to the bit about a free and independent media. You know that no serious commentator would sign up to that, it’s the kind of glib agitprop Eoghan Harris throws out when there has been a rupture of the bubble and some air has got in. Serious debate on Smithwick will only come into play when the Garda voices come out (and they are not happy at conclusions being drawn against them on untested and undisclosed PSNI claims and two discredited spooks).

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  6. Comment on “Is there anyone in SF telling Gerry Adams what he needs to hear?”
    on 9 December 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Just a small (technical) correction – Eilis is actually from North Belfast (Antrim Road), although they had moved there after being burnt out of somewhere in the Cliftonville (Manor St maybe, can’t remember where exactly). Her mother (Tess) was Joe Cahill’s sister, which is the lower Falls connection.

    Not claiming her as one of our own, just freeing the Westies from any pangs of guilt when they read that.

    Eilis knows what irritates people in Belfast, particularly republicans, which may be attractive if it tickles your political palate, but that isn’t the same as her offering particularly insightful analysis. And her circumstances – niece of Joe Cahill and sister to Gerry Adams’ secretary – gave her a certain cachet to the Dublin-based media during the Section 31 days since her byline allowed them to claim some form of authenticity to their coverage of Belfast as the analysis she was offering appeared to reinforce their own opinions. Obviously, I don’t agree with a large part of what she writes and her analysis has strayed well beyond the truthful on occasions, but I’ll leave it there rather than making any ad hominem (mulierem?) comments.

    As to ‘getting’ the south – her professional success in the Dublin media clearly suggests she does ‘get’ the south. But the whole Vincent Browne thing from last week has got way overblown. The influence of Browne’s show has dropped dramatically since it has collapsed into a rut for the last year. It’s viewing figures have supposedly dropped to something less than a third of what they were two years ago (I looked for hard data to link for that but it isn’t easy to find – he was getting 400,000 in early 2011 and I’ve heard it is down to 100-120,000). I did a straw poll the next day at work (all ‘southerners’, none pro-SF as far as I know) – any that tuned it turned over as soon as they realised that Vincent was going to [their words] “start his spluttering” (they actually said ‘start that shit’ then clarified it). It’s been clear for a long time now that (a) no serious member of the government will go on the show, and (b) that it has a small number of set-piece routines that it defaults to. It’s strength was in giving extended air time to different voices and people will specialist opinions who would directly challenge analyses being offered from within government departments. Now, senior government figures won’t appear and fewer and fewer alternative voices appear and the shows format has completely stagnated. Maybe they should put Eilis on it.

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  7. Comment on Smithwick: “the evidence keeps pointing back to the desire of the IRA to acquire information as to how the British Security Services had gotten advance warning of the IRA ambush on Loughgall Police Station…”
    on 6 December 2013 at 12:02 am

    There’s not much can be said about it, Mick. It’s like a blank scrabble tile. No record of what the ‘signals’ were or any overheard chatter. Remember, the final proposed collusive act is at an unknown time, by persons unknown. That’s handy for building a story around it.

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  8. Comment on Smithwick: “the evidence keeps pointing back to the desire of the IRA to acquire information as to how the British Security Services had gotten advance warning of the IRA ambush on Loughgall Police Station…”
    on 5 December 2013 at 10:12 pm

    All of which is pretty much irrelevant. The tribunal had a brief to examine allegations of collusion by a Garda in Dundalk in the deaths, the “our friend” of Keeley/Fulton. Not only was he found not to be a credible witness, like the only other ‘intelligence’ source to be properly tested, Ingram/Hurst, but the whole idea of a visual confirmation was needed by the IRA was introduced as the theory to explain away the obvious flaws. If the IRA knew the car, even knew Breen was known to have used it, knew it was in Dundalk (which they had under observation) and the routes it used, there is no need for a visual confirmation as it fills in a non-existent gap.
    That isn’t to say that the other evidence about Garda activity might not be true (some has already gone through the courts). But in this case, again, the clear problem with so many processes now, legal or simply narrative, is that these ‘intelligence sources’ which have become so central to the widely believed narratives about the last 40 odd years, just turn vampire-like and fall apart when exposed to daylight. Which raises huge problems for anyone trying to make sense of the past.

    C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre

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  9. Comment on Former Labour Party chair applies to defect to Fianna Fail…
    on 3 December 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Mick, did you catch the exchange of tweets from earlier in the year that is doing the rounds?

    Colm Keaveney T.D. ‏@Colm_Keaveney 18 Jan
    A surreal moment in my political career: being defended & praised by the leader of Fianna Fáil: To laugh or to cry?

    John Fitzpatrick ‏@JFTAXI 18 Jan
    Meself I’d say its me enemies enemy is me friend, or he see’s you as a possible defector to FF. You Need to watch out. @Colm_Keaveney

    Colm Keaveney T.D. ‏@Colm_Keaveney 18 Jan
    @JFTAXI The only way that I’ll ever make that journey would be on Charon’s ferry!

    Think Labour members are going to slaughter him every time he stands in the Dáil (word is that Keaveney will be shunted into standing as an MEP for FF). As it is Galway East goes to a 3 seater next time out and Keaveney would have a lot of work to do to mobilise either the FF dynasties behind him or shake off the abuse he will get for moving to FF from his previous supporters.

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  10. Comment on Human Rights Political Policing PSNI Brutality
    on 21 November 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Gendjinn, in fairness to CS, the Alliance didn’t make a written or oral submission to the Parades Commission over Castlederg although the DUP, UUP and TUV did – which highlights their failure to make a submission over the November 30 parade despite their apparent public opposition to it.

    It is also correct that the PC can’t ban, but can only place restrictions. However, based on the recurring precedents, it could have elected to exclude the city centre part of the route (i.e. City Hall to North Street) and confined the parade to the latter section (in the Shankill). This is a regular tool it uses (eg Twaddell, Drumcree). I think greater representations from the political parties might have strengthened its hand in that regard. In that respect, submissions from the Alliance, the SDLP and any unionists who genuinely do feel like challenging the parade organisers (notable ‘new politics’ darlings NI21 don’t appear to be stepping up to the mark either) could well have had an influence on decision-making.

    If there is any trouble from the participants in the parade, I doubt the SDLP, NI21 or Alliance will be slow to jump in front of a camera and condemn it.

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