Region Archives: UK

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…

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…

The #indyref essential count guide.

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The last major debate happened between Alex Salmond and Alastair Darling last night and commentators where flying with debates about who won (yes, some poor buggars thought Darling did win). Yet, very few people seem to know just what exactly the process for the count will be and providing the public service that we do 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…

Labour’s difficulty pulling ahead

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The latest opinion polls show Labour’s small lead seems fairly consistent but it remains too small for them to have any confidence in achieving a majority. Ironically despite their currently pathetic level of support the most likely scenario remains the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power. At one level this failure of the Labour more…

Gaza: listen to Warsi & UK could help wage peace, not war

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Baroness Warsi’s hard-hitting resignation letter to David Cameron has served to focus attention on the UK’s policy on the carnage in Gaza. The former Foreign Office minister says her resignation was prompted by the government’s “morally indefensible” policy – one of arming the Israelis, while pressuring the Palestinian Authority not to seek justice through the more…

Iain Overton: human rights and hubris #feile2014 @amnestyni

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Iain Overton delivered this year’s annual investigative journalism and human rights lecture at lunchtime today as part of Féile an Phobail. It may also have been the first [Ed - and last?] annual honest-about-hubris lecture. But more about that later. In a change of format away from Amnesty’s previous panels of local journalists, Iain began more…

Panti Bliss: Before I die I want to get married in Belfast!

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But how long will she have to wait? Happy Belfast Pride! On Thursday, Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, paid the city a visit to give the Amnesty International Pride Lecture. Alan in Belfast has a full audio-recording of the lecture here, but meanwhile here’s a little taste of what Panti told us before the sell-out lecture at more…