Region Archives: Northern Ireland

Ceasefires and moving on from the political beachheads of 1994…

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The trick is to keep moving. If you stop, if you start thinking, you lose your focus. You lose your concentration. You’ll be a casualty. The idea, the perfect idea, is to keep moving. – Dwight D Eisenhower, June 1944 The primary locus of last night’s documentary was the IRA‘s ceasefire of September 1994. Although it only lasted more…

Some thoughts on my first trip to Croker.

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“Fancy coming to Croke Park with me this Sunday?” This was the question my Dad posed to me last week. After looking around to see if he was talking to someone else it dawned on me that he was actually asking me. Me! The youngest of his children who has shown no interest in sports, more…

Big Tent Conversations at Skainos this Autumn

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The Skainos Centre at 239 Newtownards Road in Belfast will be hosting a series of discussions this autumn around “big issues affecting our community as we move forward.” The discussions look to get to the heart of matters around flags, victims and dealing with the past. Each discussion will be held in the Refresh Café more…

On abortion: Why it should be a woman’s decision…

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‘Throughout the whole Greco-Roman civilisation abortion was permitted by law. It was Christianity which revolutionised moral ideas in this matter by endowing the embryo with a soul; for then abortion became a crime against the foetus itself’. – Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex. There is one reason only a woman should have the legal right to more…

Two Ceasefires and a Coming Out: A Memoir

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I’ve been thinking about coming out. There have been a few horror stories doing the rounds recently: Vicky Beeching’s harrowing life and those of Lyra McKee’s friends. It’s made me think about how it was for me, all those years ago. If I’m honest, it was a banal tale set against a bizarre backdrop. Maybe more…

Cheryl Lawther – Truth, Denial and Transition: Northern Ireland and the Contested Past, Book Review

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Cheryl Lawther’s Truth, Denial and Transition: Northern Ireland and the Contested Past (Routledge, 2014) makes a timely contribution to debates about ‘dealing with the past’ in Northern Ireland, providing insights into why unionist political elites, loyalist ex-combatants and members of the security forces have consistently opposed truth recovery processes. Lawther is a Lecturer in Criminology more…

Investment bubbles: houses, cars and tulips

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This is not really a typical slugger topic but I thought it would be interesting to look at parallels with the housing bubble in Northern Ireland (and even more so the RoI). Keep that in mind if you find what I am writing too tedious. I have a major interest in classic cars. I have more…

Gerry Anderson dies: “We have lost our jester…”

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I remember coming home in the summer of 1988 to work on a number of summer schemes in Belfast, Lisburn, Ballynahinch and Holywood with an English colleague who’d never been to Northern Ireland before. My one insistence of the day was that I had to listen to Gerry Anderson at 10.30. It was like shot more…

Minister green lights ‘Irish Beef’ label just as southern beef farmers lunge into crisis…

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Unfortunate timing for the Agriculture Minister’s new labelling ‘concession’ for so-called ‘nomadic beef’. In Michelle O’Neill’s own terms, here’s the ‘problem’… #168316801 / gettyimages.com I am of the strong view that the term ‘nomad cattle’ has no place on this island and following discussions with industry stakeholders and Minister Coveney in the south, I am more…

Corporation Tax powers finally set to be devolved?

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The Belfast Telegraph has a number of articles about the devolution of control over Corporation Tax: with a timeline here. From the Belfast Telegraph: Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am optimistic that we will get a positive answer from the Prime Minister. “I think that the Government wants to do this and we have more…