Region Archives: Northern Ireland

Can wellbeing shift the political conversation?

The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (CUKT) convened a high-level Conference at the Girdwood Community Hub in Belfast Wednesday to take stock of the Trust’s joint work with QUB School of Law on advancing the case for a wellbeing outcomes framework in the Programme for Government. A feature of the conversation at the packed venue was the more…

Leave granted for a judicial review of Lord Morrow’s Prostitution law…

Another legal case, this time it’s the granting of a judicial review of Lord Maurice Morrow’s private members bill criminalising payment for sex. As our own Siobhan Fenton (writing here for the London Independent) notes: In an unprecedented case, a sex worker has taken launched a legal challenge against the laws, saying they expose sex more…

Unionists have to be nudged to talk, with the incentives of common citizenship and other common interests

Enda Kenny is surely right to be cautious about setting up an “all-Ireland forum” Better to have a “conversation” at least to start with in November.  Even so its ability to speak for all Ireland would be seriously weakened  by the absence of  unionists,  just as it would be counter- productive  for the unionists not more…

National Conversation: “This is why in respect of Northern Ireland we need the voice of Ireland…”

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At Leaders’ Questions in the Dail, Gerry Adams used his time to bring up the Taoiseach’s ‘plan’ to “bring forward about an all-Ireland forum”. An unfortunate term to use at the time since it was interpreted as a formal political proposition and easily repelled by the DUP. But Kenny’s response today indicates that he has been doing more…

Stormont Holds Its First Ever Opposition Day

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Stormont Today will be worth a watch to see a little bit of history. The Assembly held its first ever opposition day which meant that for around four hours MLAs debated topics selected by the opposition namely rural bank closures, public confidence after the NAMA revelations and Impact on Women of Changes to the State Pension. more…

Rory Finds Form to Win FedEx Cup

By winning the Tour Championship yesterday in Atlanta, and with it the FedEx Cup for the first-time, Rory McIlroy has turned a decent, if disappointing by his high standards, season into a great one.  Until the FedEx play-offs began his only win this year was the Irish Open.  The new FedEd Cup winner now heads to the more…

What will make for a good opposition at Stormont?

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The two main government parties seem to have convinced a large chunk of the media that in order to be effective as an opposition, the UUP and the SDLP must form a government-in-waiting. It suits the DUP and Sinn Fein to paint it that way in order to cover their many splits on policy. Unfortunately, it more…

Moving the IRA to peace: limitations of the agents of influence theory…

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There’s a fine line to be walked in judging the influence of largely unaccountable state actors and historic corollaries. Both Mark Devenport and Jen O’Leary today ask the question of whether state agents of influence were critical factors in moving the IRA to peace. The question is easier to ask than to answer. Devenport cites more…

The problems of Brexit are big enough without nurturing new grievances against the Brits

In his eloquent contributions to the Mount Stewart conversations, (warm thanks to Alan), Fintan O’Toole in terms stated as fact that the people had exercised an irreversible act of sovereignty in approving the Good Friday Agreement enshrined in international treaty. This had been violated by the “reckless” imposition of Brexit on the Northern Ireland.  The more…

Pledging for the International Day of Peace

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Each year, on 21st September, people throughout the world mark an International Day of Peace.  Across our planet, communities live with the impact of war and violence, but there are also many examples of mankind’s ability to resolve conflict, foster better relationships and create happier, more peaceful societies, including here, in Northern Ireland. It’s more important more…

2016/7 NI Party Conference dates

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PARTY CONFERENCE SCHEDULE – a list of the 2016/17 party conferences and gatherings most relevant to followers of NI politics. It’ll be updated with information as and when the parties decide and share their plans, and updated with links to Slugger’s conference coverage after each event.

Interview with Translink CEO Chris Conway

Thursday afternoon in the Europa Buscentre, and knowing I’ve been scooped by the Business Telegraph (the price of blogging), I meet with Chris Conway in the conference room.  We’ve met before, as I happened to be at Stormont for an Autism event on the day Translink launched Train and Bus week, but this chat has more…

Reflections on the British-Irish Association in Oxford

 A tale of two Unions: can circles be squared by a new devolution settlement?   This was written for the blog of the Constitution Unit of University College London. In the wake of the Brexit vote there has been much discussion about the possibility of Scotland and Northern Ireland, where there were Remain majorities in more…

Catch up on the Mount Stewart Conversations: diplomacy and Europe, then and now

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MOUNT STEWART CONVERSATIONS – a weekend of ideas, debate and stories looking at relationships with Europe from Lord Castlereagh’s involvement in the Congress of Venice right through to Brexit and the kind of diplomacy that will be required in years to come. Throw in live music, food, and the gorgeous National Trust gardens and walks, more…

Respect our culture…

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I for one can’t help but feel immensely proud of Belfast when tens of thousands of us can join together to celebrate culture in a way which doesn’t involve some kind of reference to warfare or create a huge police overtime bill.

Indian Summer School: Nationalism After Brexit

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THREE rising stars of Irish politics are set to come together to discuss whether Brexit will help or hinder the future prospects for a united Ireland. Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy, Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien and the SDLP’s Claire Hanna will take part in a roundtable discussion on the impact of June’s EU more…