Region Archives: Northern Ireland

As a Christian I would vote ‘yes’ to gay marriage…

"Rainbow flag breeze" by Benson Kua. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainbow_flag_breeze.jpg#/media/File:Rainbow_flag_breeze.jpg

Christians in Northern Ireland haven’t had the best of press lately; ‘gay’ cakes and court cases, same sex marriage and even one would-be MP who wanted to bring back corporal punishment. Nolan (BBC1  20th May) even interviewed Joshua Feuerstein, who most right wing American Christians would consider to be far right wing. But the Christian more…

Should MLAs merely serve the pure technology of the law, or seek to change it?

Ashers Bakery

Following on from yesterday’s, here’s some additional thoughts, in which I argue that we all may be getting a little too comfortable with letting judges frame law instead of our elected “Lawmakers” at Stormont… listen to ‘Is law taking primacy over democracy in NI?’ on audioBoom Most recently there has been the recent Asher’s cake row, of more…

Government of Ireland’s Plans for 2016 Commemorations

easterproclamation

The School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s and the Community Relations Council, in conjunction with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Community relations, today hosted a briefing on the Government of Ireland’s plans for commemorations in 2016:  Ireland 2016: Centenary Programme, presented by John Concannon, Director of the 2016 Programme. The programme, which more…

In Prince Charles’ visit there is richer significance than a handshake with Gerry Adams

It was probably inevitable but the UK coverage of Prince Charles’ handshake with Gerry Adams  exaggerated its significance.  The heavy lifting for reconciliation was done by the royals when the Queen and Prince Philip shook hands with Martin McGuiness in the Lyric Theatre, opening the door to a filmed audience as DFM last year. Prince Philip’s more…

Cllrs Jenny and John Palmer quit the DUP

The DUP - From Protest to Power

The Councillor at the centre of the Red Sky debacle had announced that she will leave the DUP along with her husband, John, who is also a Councillor in Lisburn. The news was broken by BBC Spotlight who will be airing an interview with Cllr Palmer tonight on BBC One at 10:45pm. Here is some more…

Mike Nesbitt on Gavin Robinson, David Simpson, good grace and polls

07 Mike Nesbitt

In the aftermath of the Westminster Election the UUP are now back in the House of Commons. Writing for Slugger, the Ulster Unionist Party leader, Mike Nesbitt writes for us about election night and hits back at the DUP’s David Simpson. UK-wide, the 2015 General Election has been defined by the Conservative’s outright win, the more…

Sinn Fein reps will attend events during the visit of Prince Charles

A noteworthy announcement from the Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams tonight which confirms that party representatives will attend a number of events during Prince Charles visit to Ireland. Speaking about how the party made its decision and the symbolism of it Adams said; The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle meeting in Kilkenny yesterday discussed the upcoming more…

The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants, edited by Burgess and Mulvenna – Book Review

contested identities

Edited academic collections are often technical and specialized – appealing to academics, but offering little to other readers interested in the topic. The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants (Palgrave 2015), edited by Thomas Paul Burgess (UCC) and Gareth Mulvenna (Queen’s) is an exception to this trend, as it draws in an eclectic range of contributors more…

Gerry Kelly: “The letter with the figures said it all because it dealt with anti-sectarianism and that’s the way I am…”

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly is still squirming on the sectarian hook the party hoisted him on during his failed campaign in North Belfast during the UK parliamentary election. [Petard? – Ed]  Pardon you… After his party colleague, Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA, [Good heavens, you’re the Culture Minister?! – Ed], tried, and failed, to blame the Electoral more…

“I think [UK Government] will take the power [of welfare] back themselves, I think they will legislate for it”

Domino Cascade

Stop to draw breath in Northern Ireland politics and someone sneaks out and tinkers with the chain of teetering dominoes. To be fair the Stormont House Agreement dominoes were falling quite smoothly until the Monday morning after Sinn Féin’s ard fheis when their U-turn on welfare reform was announced and the party stuck a hand more…

#Marref Soapbox: Séamas’s story – ‘Can we talk?’

faithinmarriageequality

Séamas de Faoite writes in favour of the Marriage Referendum and relates his own experience to illustrate the ongoing anguish faced by young gay people in their decision in how and when and to whom they can ‘come out’.  ‘Can we talk?’ – it was the refrain of one of my preferred comedians, the ever polemic Joan Rivers, more…

SDLP needs a real political debate and not another micromanaged succession…

SDLP Logo

After last night’s The View it’s hard to know whether to go with MacBeth’s “…art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?” for Durkan, or the Carry on Cleo, “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy…” route for Alasdair. Neither would quite be fair to either man. It’s hard, despite more…

Why the old Protestant/Catholic atheist gag isn’t funny anymore

A lot of us don't do church

A couple of evenings ago I attended a discussion in the Old Chelsea Town Hall in London. It was an ‘election dissection’ debate with four panelists representing left and right opinions. They tried to answer why the outcome of the UK election was so surprising. They discussed the failure of Labour. They discussed the success more…