Slugger O'Toole

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Profile for Mr Ulster

Allan Leonard. Working for a cohesive Northern Ireland society. Responsible for the development and launch of the Troubled Images project at the Northern Ireland Political Collection, Linen Hall Library; this exhibit travelled worldwide. Received a MA degree in Irish Political Studies from University College Dublin, and a BA degree (with Distinction) in International Relations from Boston University. Views expressed here may not represent those of current or previous employers or associations.

Latest posts from Mr Ulster (see all)

Mr Ulster has posted 54 times (1 in the last month).

The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided

Sat 5 April 2014, 11:45am
20140404 A Love Divided

Tweet Based on a true story, “A Love Divided” chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where Protestant-raised Sheila refuses to send her children to a local Catholic school. She flees with her two young girls, leaving her husband Sean confused and frustrated. “A Love Divided” was shown at Culturlann, as […] more »

Not a cosy conversation: Victims and survivors conference

Wed 26 February 2014, 1:18pm
20140225 CVS

Tweet The Commission for Victims and Survivors (CVS) convened a conference “to listen to as many voices as possible” in forming its advice to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, the CVS Commissioner Kathryn Stone explained. The event was well attended by a couple hundred delegates, representing the broad spectrum from […] more »

Learning Together: NI21 Party Conference

Wed 20 November 2013, 3:02pm
Logo NI21

Tweet Learning Together: Maximising Common Education NI21 Party Conference by Allan Leonard for Northern Ireland Foundation 16 November 2013 At the NI21 inaugural party conference at the Europa Hotel, I chaired a fringe meeting to explore how shared and integrated education could be increased in Northern Ireland, and what potential role NI21 could have here. […] more »

Jobs and Freedom for Northern Ireland

Fri 30 August 2013, 7:45am

Tweet Sponsored by the US Consulate Belfast, the Washington-Ireland Programme and Politics Plus, Chris Lyttle MLA hosted a remembrance event at Parliament Buildings for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, “I have a dream”. Chris recalled his experience as a participant in the […] more »

Hasan Turan (Kirkuk Provincial Council) visit to Northern Ireland

Sun 18 August 2013, 8:41am
20130818 Hasan Turan NI

Tweet “Terrorists tried to divide us, but we are now stronger together”: Hasan Turan (Kirkuk Provincial Council) visit to Northern Ireland by Allan Leonard for Forum for Cities in Transition 16 August 2013 On the back of the political assassination of a fellow member of Kirkuk Provincial Council, its Chairman Hasan Turan travelled to Northern […] more »

The fate of peace: President Obama in Northern Ireland

Wed 19 June 2013, 3:37pm
20130617 Obama NI square

Tweet My marriage is a transatlantic union between a Midwesterner and a Belfast-born Northern Irishwoman. Fittingly, my wife and I were delighted to receive tickets to hear another Midwesterner, President Barack Obama, at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. With DJ Pete Snodden playing music by American artists, and the 2,000+ crowd performing a Mexican wave, one could […] more »

Derry proposals for Colombian peace

Sun 26 May 2013, 4:49pm
20130426 INCORE Colombia

Tweet In September 2012, peace talks were announced between the Colombian Government and the guerrilla group FARC. There have been several rounds of negotiation, now taking place in Havana, Cuba. INCORE at the University of Ulster saw a potential in investigating the lessons, good and bad, from the Northern Ireland peace process, in this 15th […] more »

Expressing Identity — Addressing Division: CRC Annual Policy Conference 2013

Fri 24 May 2013, 7:50am
20130520 CRC Intercultural Cities

Tweet Expressing Identity: Addressing Division Apologies for tardy posting; thanks for Mick for posting snippet by Eamonn McCann: This year’s annual policy conference of the Community Relations Council (CRC) was held in Derry-Londonderry, a fresh change from the usual Belfast venues. Indeed, the Maiden City has demonstrated leadership in community relations for many years. In […] more »

Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography. Discuss.

Sun 19 May 2013, 1:41pm
20130517 Belfast Exposed

Tweet To mark its 30th anniversary, Belfast Exposed has organised an extensive exhibition of photographic work, displayed both at its premises on Donegall Street as well as at The MAC. The exhibition — Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography — “focuses on the growth of new, fine art documentary practices, more often produced for the […] more »

Political Drama: What Drama?

Wed 24 April 2013, 10:52am
20130417 Political Drama IMG_2009

Tweet As part of its 15th anniversary celebrations, Stratagem hosted a political drama film and discussion event at The MAC. Stratagem Director, Quintin Oliver, explained how he was motivated by a gift request from his son for a box set of the West Wing series. “He said it would be educational. I realised it was […] more »

Latest comments from Mr Ulster (see all)

Mr Ulster has commented 44 times (2 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Art of the Troubles at the Ulster Museum
    on 16 April 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for the head’s up, Alan. Here is a full review from one of my interns:

    Prohibition on taking photos of exhibit arcane; thankfully I found most relevant images from artists’ own websites.

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  2. Comment on The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided
    on 5 April 2014 at 3:19 pm

    @SonofStrongbox I can see how that happened, as the “special position” was not removed from the Irish Constitution until 1973.

    Wikipedia claims that deValera fought against a formal establishment of the Catholic Church as the state religion, but for me in practise the establishment is real and remains (e.g. education).

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  3. Comment on Pilot offers a ‘smoke in the cabin” scenario for #MH370 on G+….
    on 18 March 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for this posting; plausible scenario. And perhaps the Maldivians are even closer to the truth (sighting ‘low flying’ jumbo near time of ultimate disappearance):

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  4. Comment on President Obama in trouble at home for his remarks on the desirability of Catholic schools?
    on 21 June 2013 at 10:39 am

    As an ardent supporter of the separation of church and state, I’m not going to give any credence to an organisation named — I think US President Kennedy sorted this out during the 1960 campaign (and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny more recently, “I am a Catholic. I am also Taoiseach for all the people of Ireland.” (sic))

    “Yet almost all controlled or state schools have a strong Protestant clerical presence on the management board. It’s part of the deal struck after Sir James Craig lost his long battle to keep state education in Northern Ireland free of direct religious interference.”

    This is the crucial point.

    When I suggested to Alliance Party representatives that the party propose the removal of automatic clerical representation on controlled school boards, I was told, “But some of them are actually liberal in their views.” Hmm.

    Likewise, once on a fact finding trip to Scotland, I met local politicians who wanted to reduce funding for Catholic schools. When they told me the state schools have church ceremonies as part of their schoolday activities, I asked the politicians if they would remove that. When they replied “certainly not”, I asked why a devout Catholic family would rationally want to send their children to such schools.

    They also said that their Protestant ceremonies were creating challenges in places like Glasgow, with increasing intake of Muslim children. Go figure.

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  5. Comment on Expressing Identity — Addressing Division: CRC Annual Policy Conference 2013
    on 26 May 2013 at 12:10 am

    Hi Brian, apologies for presuming you’d recognise my head and shoulders profile photo. I’ve updated my Slugger profile.

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  6. Comment on Political Drama: What Drama?
    on 24 April 2013 at 11:42 pm

    @wildturkey Your alternative American political fiction made me smile. Of course, the crucial phrase is “the british see the writing on the wall”. I recall the splits between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill in regards to the spoils of WWII, i.e. America wasn’t fighting to restore the British Empire. Ah but if only the writing on the wall was so clear all those centuries ago…

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  7. Comment on Political Drama: What Drama?
    on 24 April 2013 at 11:36 pm

    @Mister_Joe Indeed your point was made by Neil McKay (in the UTV clip provided above), that making fictional political drama for Northern Ireland would be particularly challenging because many of its characters “have had previous lives”.

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  8. Comment on Good Friday Agreement codifies civic rules of the Northern Ireland game
    on 11 April 2013 at 7:41 am

    @SirIkeBroflovski Cities are a good place to start. My professional work includes an initiative called the Forum for Cities in Transition that is based on the premise that those who have gone through deep societal conflict (or who are still dealing with it) are in the best position to assist other cities in the same situation.

    We have had some excellent and encouraging results from city-to-city collaboration, e.g. police exchanges between PSNI and Kosovo Police.

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  9. Comment on Good Friday Agreement codifies civic rules of the Northern Ireland game
    on 10 April 2013 at 12:29 pm

    @Nevin Thanks for the further RSA Ireland link; my link to parent RSA website was taken from that RSA Ireland page.

    BTW what does acronym JCSS represent? Links?

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  10. Comment on For Everyone – the main points from Alliance’s blueprint for a shared and better future
    on 1 February 2013 at 11:49 am

    @DC 30/1/2013 1230 “It seems a bit strange in this day and age that religious organisations pretty much hold key influence over the running of schools…”

    Was ever thus, and don’t forget that the (whole) primary and (vast majority) secondary school system in the Republic is owned and controlled by churches.

    Attempts were made in 1930s by original Northern Ireland Parliament to secularise school system here, but defeated by both Presbyterian-controlled schools as well as by the Catholic Church.

    At least the law in the Republic forbids employment discrimination in schools. I remain mystified how it can still be allowed in Northern Ireland.

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