Region Archives: Northern Ireland

Slugger approach to political debates lauded in The Irish Times

Over the past few months Slugger’s attention has been looking towards the South. At the moment there are some really interesting policy debates going on in Dublin and there is (in my opinion) a radical shift in the political dynamic happening. It has always been my view that our unique approach can really add to more…

Bring me the head of John the Baptist! NI Opera’s Salome: a collision of religion and sex … in Belfast

Giselle Allen as Salome

Oliver Mears rejects the notion that opera has to seen as elitist, incomprehensible and alienating. NI Opera’s artistic director explained to me that the four-year old company choose “the most dramatic” works to perform to challenge people’s preconceptions and prejudices, and always sing in English. listen to ‘Oliver Mears from @NIOpera talking about #SalomeBelfast coming more…

An Insight into the Belfast Arts Scene at the 4 Corners Festival

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The 4 Corners Festival opened up some insights into the Belfast arts scene this morning at a prayer breakfast at Willowfield parish church in East Belfast. Five speakers and performers shared what’s happening in their corners of the city in an aim to inform, inspire and set the scene for the rest of the festival. more…

A deferred educational revolution prefered to evolution…

Ah, the forces of conservatism are everywhere! It has been revealed by the biggest show in the country that no fewer than eleven primary schools have received warnings for tutoring their pupils for the proliferant 11+ exams… Maggie Taggart in yesterday’s Newsline interviewed the head of one Primary school head who explained that the schools more…

4 Corners Festival Opens with Art Exhibition

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The annual 4 Corners Festival got under way tonight with the launch of an art exhibition, ‘20 Artists: Religion and Spirituality’ at the Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts in North Belfast. The exhibition is curated by Bronagh Lawson and features works dealing with contemporary spirituality. (Image: Bronagh Lawson with Jonathan Abernethy-Barkley, assistant minister at more…

The Flag Dispute – Anatomy of a Protest seminar – what, who, where, how and why? +audio +video

The Flag Dispute - Anatomy of a Protest report

The researchers from QUB’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice behind The Flag Dispute: Anatomy of a Protest report [PDF] held a seminar in Queen’s University this morning. [Gladys Ganiel blogged in detail about the report when it was published in December.] Two of the six researchers behind the report introduced more…

New York Times: 36 hours in Belfast

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The New York Times have created a rather snazzy travel video of Belfast. It makes Belfast look REALLY good. I would want to visit and I live in Belfast. I know we complain a lot, and God knows we have a lot to complain about. But sometimes it takes outsiders to show us what we have. The more…

Donaldson in review

It is a pity that coverage of the Donaldson review has focussed on his comments on the number of hospitals in Northern Ireland relative to its population.  It is true that he remarks on this, but his report is a lot broader than considering whether skills are being spread too thinly across too many hospitals more…

Why Sinn Fein need to show that it’s local decision makers who matter

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Abstentionism….If there is ever a topic that sets tongues wagging it’s the age old debate about whether Sinn Fein will ever take their seats at Westminster. This obsession is set more so amongst commentators who have for years predicted that Sinn Fein are close to giving up their abstentionist policy when it comes to Westminster. more…

Politics In The Pub – Inaugural Event

Politics in the Pub

This is something that Mick Fealty “encouraged” me to do, and I think it’s a great concept so I’ve picked it up and ran with it. I hope for it to become a regular event but for now, let’s just get the first one out of the way Wednesday 4th February 7.30pm Hudson Bar – more…

Does Northern Ireland have too many hospitals?

South Western Ambulance WA07RYP 612

A recent report into health services in N Ireland has said that there are ‘too many hospitals’. The report also has a lot to say about the organisational structure of the NHS here. This isn’t the first time that hospital provision here has been questioned; decades ago, an MP in the old Stormont described N more…

Stranmillis launch their Spring Lifelong Learning programme

Dublin tourPicture Gavan Caldwell12/4/14

One of the benefits of working from home is the possibly of sneaking off to the cinema etc. when things are quiet. Each year I am also tempted to do some of the lifelong learning courses at Queens or Stranmillis.  Unfortunately reality gets in the way and I seldom make it away from my digital shackles. more…

Never use memory (or lack thereof) to justify cruelty: Holocaust Memorial Day 2015

20150127 HMD Keep Memory Alive

For the Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, in cooperation with the Institute of Conflict Research, held a seminar event: “The Ethnics of Memory and Community Recovery”. The speakers were Daniel Greenberg and Lord Alderdice, chaired by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin. Lord Alderdice provided a distinction more…

The Election Debates and the Northern Ireland ‘Difference’

Nick Robinson: inclusion of NI politicians in the election debates a step too far?  Pic: Tom Page

Northern Ireland is politically different from the rest of the UK, according to the BBC’s Nick Robinson. That’s why, he argued this morning on the Today Programme, broadcasters are confused by the Prime Minister’s insistence that if the Scots/Welsh Nats are including in the proposed television election debates, Northern Irish parties should be included too. more…