Region Archives: Northern Ireland

“Better to criminalise rather than politicise.”

Here’s something you might have missed last week.  In an interestingly timed, if much belated, intervention in the Guardian, professor of journalism at City University, self-declared Sinn Féin supporter and, in the late 1980s, a pseudonymous contributor to An Phoblacht, Roy Greenslade channels his inner Thatcher for a call for media [self] censorship when reporting on still violent dissident republican groups.  From the Guardian article In other more…


A cautious approach to the McKay affair is right. But for the sake of Executive cohesion, O Muilleoir needs to say more or stand aside.

So rather than buckle down to the altogether tougher demands of trying the govern the place, the politicians are having themselves a jolly crisis. Far more fun isn’t it? And the more bizarre the better. But might there just be a chance that the Executive will in the end decide not to waste a good more…


“What was the basis of that belief? Where was that belief grounded?”

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Máirtín says he had no knowledge of Daithi McKay’s backchannel with Jamie Bryson until it was published last week, even though the inquiry (which was supposed to be investigating Nama) has, as yet, turned out to be little more than a power play against the then First Minister, Peter Robinson. No political party worth the name more…


Robin Chichester Clarke was the last of the gentry that treated government as part of the family business.

Robin Chichester -Clarke, the last of the old unionist gentry to hold office in either Stormont or Westminster,  died a fortnight ago at home in Norfolk at the age of 88.  His elder brother Jimmy, later Lord Moyola, (familiarly known as  “Chi-Chi,” after a notably  infertile panda) was Northern Ireland’s penultimate  prime minister in the darkening more…


Why is Martin McGuinness making a stand on ” remain must remain” the obvious loser, whatever happens with Article 50?

Martin McGuinness appears to have reverted to Brexit fundamentalism in an article in the Irish Times. He  describes  a worst case scenario, “ the biggest constitutional crisis since partition…and insists  that “Remain must mean remain.” From our perspective, what is needed now is an island-wide approach to dealing with this crisis. That is why Sinn more…


An answer to Rentoul. Referendums like terrorism can shape events, but not always in the ways expected

Alerted by Mick on the thoughts on referendums by the Independent’s political commentator John Rentoul, I took in his part 2 “Should Referendums be banned?” This is a rhetorical question which is really in  support of Rentoul’s  contention  that they make very little difference to the course of political  events. His pieces prompted my following more…


The fast sacking of Daithi McKay shows that Sinn Fein is maturing into government

There are I suppose two basic questions outstanding  about the unholy alliance between the disgraced and now former Sinn Fein MLA and Finance committee chair  Daithi McKay and the loyalist rascal Jamie Bryson. Who  originally floated the  Nama allegations which it’s suggested were accessed from an iCloud account and were not made up by Sinn Fein? Or more…


Daithí McKay resigns as an MLA and is suspended from Sinn Fein


The Sinn Fein Chief Whip, Carál Ní Chuilín has announced the resignation with immediate effect of Daithí McKay as an MLA for North Antrim. The party has also suspended him from Sinn Fein. Full statement Daithí McKay has resigned as MLA for North Antrim with immediate effect and has been suspended from Sinn Féin. His letter of more…


William Walker, Unionism’s James Connolly 


It’s hard to overstate the centrality of Pearse and Connolly to the modern Irish state and Irishness. Yeats wrote in his famous verse wrote: ‘Connolly and Pearse Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn’ Eamonn McCann wrote: “One learned quite literally at one’s mother’s knee, that Jesus had died for the human race and more…


Refugees Welcome service launches in NI

Refugees Welcome Mural - photo by Máirín Murray

SOAPBOX Máirín Murray introduces Refugees Welcome NI which matches offers of accommodation in people’s homes with refugees who need somewhere to live. Could you help with accommodation or by joining the team?


Well Mairtin it’s a start!

 From the Irish Times. EU structural and investment projects in Northern Ireland signed before the British chancellor of the exchequer’s autumn statement will be guaranteed after Brexit, the Treasury in London has said. The current level of agricultural backing, which underpins the farming industry, will also be matched by the British government until 2020. Europe’s more…


Big Ideas: Festival of Economics round-up


The four year Centre for Economic Empowerment project at NICVA is nearing its conclusion but the full attendance at today’s event can be taken as a sign of the capacity that has been built in the community and voluntary sector around economic awareness and understanding.