Region Archives: Ireland

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So, erm, if everyone agrees on how to deal with #RHI, why is Northern Ireland spending £5M on an election?

Sinn Fein, consummate news managers that they are, announced their massive U-turn on the form of inquiry needed for the RHI scandal little more than an hour after the media had recorded Martin McGuinness’s farewell interview. It was obvious which one was going to grab the lead, but the U-turn is the far bigger political news. What more…

Martin McGuinness addresses 2016 Sinn Fein ard fheis (Friday night) in Convention Centre Dublin

Martin McGuinness to stand down at the next election

The former Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has announced he will stand down as an MLA at the next election. His statement is this; “Last year, Gerry Adams and I confirmed that we had a plan in place for transition to a new leadership. For my part, it was my intention to step aside in 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…

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…

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…

The varying costs of the last southern election per constituency…

CHEAP SEATS: One of the advantages the big parties in #AE17 is how the scale of their operation drains costs.  Karl Brophy has tweeted this fascinating breakdown of costs from the last Irish election… Spend per seat won in € for #ge16 AAAPBP 44,460FF 38,361FG 55,377SF 28,269Greens 73,396.Soc Dems 63,529Labour 154, 816 — Karl Brophy more…

“a strategy which now views the very presence of devolved government in Northern Ireland as a bargaining chip with the Government and with the DUP.”

In the News Letter, Sam McBride provides an astute assessment of the “profound consequences” of Sinn Féin’s decision to resign Martin McGuinness from the Northern Ireland Executive Office.  From the News Letter article   Mr Adams now appears to envisage yet another round of ‘crisis talks’ in Belfast in attempt to extract further concessions from 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…

“The whole issue has, unfortunately, become party political…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Conservative MP, Laurence Robertson, who chairs the House of Commons Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs, asks some pertinent questions about the ‘crisis’ over the RHI scheme. What would [Arlene Foster’s] resignation achieve? Who would take over? Would this stabilise the workings of the Assembly and the Executive, or throw it more…

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Ireland Post-Brexit: A Conference

Since the people of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union there has been a lot of discussion about what the decision means for UK/Irish relations…and for Ireland itself.  I’ve asked some of Ireland’s most prominent Europhile and Eurosceptic speakers to discuss whether Ireland’s future should be inside or outside the EU. The more…

Irish State Papers: The Anglo-Irish Agreement, Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA

In part 1 of 2 reports RTÉ’s round-up of the newly released confidential Irish State papers from 1986 includes a couple of items worth highlighting in relation to the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement.  First up is an account of a meeting in Belfast in April 1986 between David Barry, of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Anglo-Irish division, and solicitor PJ McGrory more…