Region Archives: Northern Ireland

The Most Popular Drink in Stormont’s Members Bar?

As the son of a Donegal born bar manager who spent most of his working life in Belfast, I like to sit up and listen when Belfast Barman(ager) has something to say. He’s been looking at some facts and figures about what they drink in the members bar in Stormont (yep, they’ve got one)… What more…

Stormont lives: DUP and Sinn Fein agree a budget

Well, our government still stands tonight as the DUP and Sinn Fein have agreed a draft budget with the SDLP voting against and the UUP and Alliance parties abstaining on the vote. Both Sinn Fein and the DUP have the numbers to get the budget throught the Assembly. It took a while to get here, more…

Are political commentators part of the problem?

You go out put your name on the ballot, get elected and then you are faced with constant critcism from people who in most cases have never done the same thing themselves. This is something that this blog is guilty of too, aside  from a few of us, none of us have had the cajones more…

The reality of welfare reform: “it’s a horror show”

Graffiti on a Belfast Dole Office

  At the NICVA offices along the Duncairn Gardens on Wednesday, an important conference was held to open up debate about the future of welfare reform in Northern Ireland. It was one of those crisp autumn days which one likes to think of as typical of the atmosphere of cool, reasoned thinking. After heated debate more…

The Complexities of Parading – Mervyn Gibson & Sean Murray – a challenging but polite seminar

3 from back of Niamh seminar

A seminar on The Complexities of Parading was held on Wednesday evening by the Journey Towards Healing project of NIAMH Wellbeing (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health). Gary Mason hosted the conversation, with remarks from Mervyn Gibson (minister of Westbourne Presbyterian Community Church and assistant grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland) and more…

#SluggerTalks on the future potential of Northern Ireland

So today, we bring back the #digitallunch video format only this time we are calling it #SluggerTalks. Tomorrow’s will be the first in a series of two handers between myself and Shane Greer discussing some of the points raised in response to his post last week on what we might do to unlock Northern Ireland’s Tremendous more…

Sinn Fein’s social media evolution has eroded its old mystique of ‘Leadership’

Exceptionally good piece by Fionnuala O’Connor in the Irish News yesterday. To summarise, she thinks despite it’s obvious successes with social media (Gerry Adams is the most influential politician in Ireland for example), that he and the party have been over communicating: Sinn Fein is resilient, for good reason. Handling the fallout from atrocities over decades more…

O’Dowd invite to prize giving rescinded

Simon Doyle has an interesting story in today’s Irish News. The Education Minister, John O’Dowd was invited to be the guest of honour at Parkhall Integrated College at their annual prize giving ceremony. I remember when I was  in first year, my school scoring David Trimble as First Minister to come in and chat to more…

Funding bonfires – burning public money or a necessary investment in good relations?

Pitt Park 11 July 2014 Terminator 3 bonfire

Good Morning Ulster picked up on the minutes of a report from Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Partnership to the council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on Friday 17 October. Belfast – in common with many councils – provides grants to bonfire organisers to fund community programmes (often street entertainment, bouncy councils, fairground rides) organised more…

Federalism – Wherefore The Union?

I have long been of the view that a federal UK would be the eventual outworking of devolution.  Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has been calling for a constitutional convention for the last few years. Scottish Conservative Murdo Fraser outlined his thoughts on Slugger earlier this year. Why Murdo Fraser is right to promote UK more…

Disturbing…

Without further comment… Sample of Michael Harding's Hanging With The Elephant.Only 4 Ted's Mr Sheen persona our kip wud b like that. Is Urs? pic.twitter.com/T18txG86JX — Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) October 25, 2014