Region Archives: Northern Ireland

“Those who the police believe ordered and implemented the murder of Kevin McGuigan are mainstream not mavericks.”

Via Newshound.  And for the, apparently, hard of understanding.  Suzanne Breen hones in on the important detail at the heart of the current political kerfuffle.  From Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Life The North has plunged into a political crisis, the Stormont institutions are on the brink of collapse, and unionist and nationalist politicians are bickering as though the more…

The Games Politicians Play

Mike Nesbitt

Not long after the murder of Kevin McGuigan and even before the PSNI’s assessment of who was involved had been announced, I remember thinking to myself that this was the excuse Peter Robinson now needed to jump ship. With the NAMA scandal whirling around him, failure to implement the Stormont House Agreement and ever-more questions more…

There are lessons from Northern Ireland for the SNP’s row over Nick Robinson and the BBC

The row between the BBC’s outgoing political editor Nick Robinson and the former Scotland first minister Alex Salmond  reminds me of experience in  Northern Ireland during the Troubles  where there was a similar lack of fundamental agreement about the political destiny of the country. Nick’s row arose out of questions he put to Alex at more…

Breaking News(?): Frank Mitchell Had Eye Surgery

Frank Mitchell headshot

At what point does a news broadcast end and the advertisements begin? In the UK this is fairly clear, usually the broadcaster will say something along the lines of “back after the break/these adverts”… in America, it can be a narrower border, it is common practice for private companies to sponsor part of the news more…

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, Finn McCool is still pulling on his cleats….

Finn McCools

Ex pat Journalist Stephen Rea ten years on from Hurricane Katrina finds companionship can work miracles (even amongst Rangers and Celtic supporters)..,. I’m the last man standing. More than a decade after Finn McCool’s Football Club played our first soccer game, I’m the sole survivor from that team still playing. August 29 is the tenth more…

A question of chairmanship

A wee Sunday thought. Under d’Hondt, and specifically section 18 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the DUP is due to be asked to nominate the new minister for Regional Development when the Assembly reconvenes after the summer break. The current chairperson of the Committee for Regional Development is Trevor Clarke, in succession to Jimmy more…

More Questions Than Answers Following UUP Withdrawal

Mike Nesbitt

So the UUP executive met today and ratified Mike Nesbitt’s decision to leave the Northern Ireland executive, on Tuesday of this coming week Danny Kennedy will resign from his position as Minister for Regional Development – but what does this mean? I have spent today discussing this at length and have concluded that I know more…

UUP leaving the executive: anti agreement unionism for slow learners

So the UUP have finally done something exciting and left the Executive (or at least will once their own party executive rubber stamps the decision). The internal unionist politics of this: both why it was a politically good idea and the potential ramifications are significant and worth a separate blog (which I may get to more…

“The real story is not the existence of some skeleton structure, but the sound of gunfire…”

It’s not the still-extant Provisional IRA structures that are the immediate cause for concern, although “stupid” questions could, and should, be asked about their ultimate purpose, it’s the involvement of those Provisional IRA ‘structures’ in the events leading up to, and including, the murder of Kevin McGuigan, and the continued denials [of that reality! – Ed] more…

The collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly can be averted

The Ulster Unionists appear to have succumbed to the revulsion many unionists feel at the very idea of sharing power with the spawn of the IRA that most of them have suppressed every day since 1998. The danger now is that they will set off a chain reaction and take the DUP with them. The  more…

Tánaiste: “This is an insidious threat to Northern Ireland’s future as a healthy, stable democracy, and therefore a threat to the whole of this island.”

Brian’s weariness at another political crisis notwithstanding, it would be a mistake to dismiss reaction to recent events as a “kerfuffle”.  There are legitimate concerns, and two men have been murdered.  The Irish Justice Minister, Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald, has asked the Garda Commissioner for a “fresh assessment” of Provisional IRA activities to take into more…

Threatening the existence of the Assembly is a victory for terrorism

Oh God, not another fundamental breakpoint founded on the highest principles, whether they’re about welfare or the IRA! Come on, get real. This kerfuffle over “IRA structures” will pass. For all their simulated outrage over the IRA or welfare, no politician – none of the leaders anyway – want to close Stormont down.  Electoral politics more…

Villiers: “My understanding is, very much in line with that of the chief constable, that a number of the organisational structures of the Provisional IRA still exist…”

Sinn Féin continue with their policy of denial [of reality… – Ed], although Gerry Kelly has come closest to acknowledging that reality according to this RTÉ report Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Kelly said based on the political evidence over the past ten years, the IRA has not been active and therefore does not exist in more…