Tag Archives | Government

Theresa in the Wonderland of the Hallett review

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The plainly rushed Hallett Review and the British government response to it raise as many questions as answers. They expose not a carefully planned discreet operation but a terribly improvised muddle in which the  left hand ( the  PSNI)  did not know the full de facto amnesty effect of what the right hand ( the more…

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

Intercept evidence could convict terrorists, says former SoS Murphy

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As a  curtain raiser to Lady Justice Heather Hallett’s  review of OTRs’  “ administrative scheme” due out tomorrow (Thursday), the mild-mannered former Labour secretary of state Paul Murphy has told the separate  inquiry into the affair by the Commons Northern Ireland Select Committee that more convictions might have been obtained if the rules of evidence more…

Why is Irish nationalism neutral on Scottish independence?

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Martin Mansergh is a splendid relic of an old Anglo-Irish tradition, a Tipperary landlord, one of a very rare breed of Fianna Fail intellectuals, an adviser on the North to successive Fianna Fail Taoisigh, a minster who never quite fulfilled his promise possibly due to his background, a historian and son of Nicholas, one of more…

“That is not a state of affairs they would expect to find in a competently run country.”

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Riffing on the row over Garth Brooks’ non-concerts in Croke Park that has consumed local media attention, in the Irish Times John McManus has some pertinent points to make about the long-running saga of who controls the former Quinn Group companies – and the accompanying campaign of attacks and intimidation. In recent weeks one consortium, Quinn Business Retention more…

Police win flag protest appeal

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As the BBC reports, the Appeals Court has overturned a High Court ruling in April that the PSNI misdirected themselves in relation to policing the flag protests in Belfast – which “led to the situation in which the police facilitated illegal and sometimes violent parades with the effect of undermining the 1998 Act, in breach more…

“We need a politics of recognition not identities”: Professor Rick Wilford

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“We need a politics of recognition not identities”: Professor Rick Wilford Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings 17 June 2014 As part of his retirement from Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Rick Wilford was invited to present a lecture: “Two cheers for consociational democracy?” The Senate Chamber of Parliament Buildings provided a most appropriate setting for his review more…

Gerry Adams: “this can be too easily twisted into a view that since everyone was to blame, nobody was to blame…”

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The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, has been blaming others, again, for the failure to agree a comprehensive package on, among other issues, dealing with the past – in particular, a failure to agree on the holistic approach that could be said to characterise the mechanisms contained in the Haass proposals.  But he had some interesting more…

Now it’s the PSNI in the dock. Chaos over the past deepens as political deadlock over Haas agenda continues

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At last the clash has come between accountability and transparency and “national security” over dealing with the past. After the unhappy period of Al Hutchinson we have a Police Ombudsman in the assertive tradition of Nuala O’Loan. Michael Maguire who was also Hutchinson’s successor as Police Oversight Commissioner probably knows where quite few bodies are buried more…

Tourism figures for 2013 bring us down to earth

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The figures for tourism to Northern Ireland in 2013 out last week show a more modest reality than the hype suggesting it’s just about the most visited place on the planet. The numbers visiting from overseas amounted to just 9,000.  Home holidays and short trips and family visits accounted for most of the rest. It’s not more…

The next Chief Constable… is George Hamilton

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  Having “unanimously” agreed to appoint Matt Baggott as PSNI Chief Constable in 2009 for his strong advocacy of “community-style policing”, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, or its party political members, might be said to be experiencing buyer’s regret. Alternatively, those same political parties have undermined the outgoing Chief Constable throughout his tenure by more…

The British goverment must set a better example before the case for an amnesty is properly heard

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Adrian Guelke a  South African a  Queen’s academic and a leading authority on post-conflict resolution joins the growing list of reputable figures calling for an amnesty. He criticises the two governments for lack of involvement (although the unfortunate  Eamon Gilmore can’t be faulted for trying almost right up  to the moment of his resignation as Labour more…

Irish and English election results so different, so much the same

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Similar trends and outcomes are apparent when the British and Irish elections results are compared. They are of course part of a common European picture. But the immediate effect on the coalition governments  at Westminster and in Leinster House differs. The Irish coalition is rocking. The Irish Times is even speculating that pressure from Labour may more…

NI Local Government: results at a glance

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As Nicholas said, “This is an election with few dramatic changes.” But, for the record, here are the %s of all the first preference votes from the Northern Ireland Local Government elections. [Updated 462 of 462 seats allocated] Party 1st Pref. +/-*  Seats    DUP  23.1%  -4.1%  130    SF  24.1%  -0.7%  105    UUP  16.1%  +0.9%  88    more…

Personal memories of Sunningdale and the UWC strike – the lost opportunity for a generation

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Although I couldn’t attend the conferences they’ve sparked off vivid memories. This was a time when not only Northern Ireland seemed ungovernable but Britain too. At the Sunningdale civil service college in Berkshire we in the media were stuck in the conference annex for days because of the difficulty of getting taxis during the three day week, then in full more…