Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

International

“Unlike Gerry Adams & Mary Lou McDonald…”

Sun 30 March 2014, 8:56pm

Tweet In a follow-up to a previous post on his Broken Elbow blog, as noted here, Ed Moloney has “an answer to Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and other critics of the Boston archive“. Aside from myself and Anthony McIntyre there is only one other person who has read all of the interviews lodged in the Belfast […] more »

ICC T20 World Cup 2014: Ireland v Netherlands

Fri 21 March 2014, 9:00am

Tweet With two wins in their opening two games of the ICC World Twenty20 2014, Ireland are two points clear at the top of Group B with one game left.  A win against the Netherlands this morning will see them comfortably through to the Super 10 stage.  A loss will open the door to both the Netherlands and Zimbabwe – […] more »

ICC T20 World Cup 2014: Ireland v UAE

Wed 19 March 2014, 1:35pm

Tweet Having secured a nervy win against Zimbabwe in their opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 campaign in Bangladesh, Ireland’s cricketers face tournament newbies United Arab Emirates today.  With Zimbabwe overcoming the Netherlands earlier this morning, with a six off the final ball, a win would put Ireland top of the group, two points […] more »

Faint echoes from Ukraine reach home

Wed 19 March 2014, 10:25am

Tweet From Timothy Garton Ash’s piercing analysis in the Guardian. Start by abandoning the labels “ethnic Ukrainians” and “ethnic Russians”. They mean almost nothing. What you have here is a fluid, complex mix of national, linguistic, civic and political identities. There are people who think of themselves as Russians. There are those who live their […] more »

ICC T20 World Cup 2014: Ireland v Zimbabwe

Mon 17 March 2014, 2:32pm

Tweet Ireland’s cricketers have opened their ICC World Twenty20 2014 campaign in Bangladesh with a win over the nominal test-playing Zimbabwe.  But it nearly didn’t happen. Batting first, Zimbabwe set a daunting total of 163 for 5 wickets from their 20 overs.  As the ICC match report noted, Ireland had never scored more than 156 […] more »

“a challenging project for which there is no agreed international framework…”

Mon 24 February 2014, 3:43pm

Tweet Despite having agreed “a detailed timetable” at a North South Ministerial Council in October 2012 “to bring in new laws for the mutual recognition of penalty points in both jurisdictions” The Ministers agreed the detailed timetable for the drafting, passage and enactment of parallel legislation, north and south, by 31st December 2014 to allow the mutual […] more »

Sochi Olympic success

Sun 23 February 2014, 6:31pm
Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Rings Closing

Tweet Heh. Some wonderfully humorous choreography in evidence at the Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics closing ceremony.  It made me laugh out loud.  They wouldn’t have had long to arrange it… [Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA] As the Guardian live-blog adds, For anyone who slept through the opening ceremony, here’s a reminder of the failed snowflake-ring, and its […] more »

Aventas: “These scandalous attacks orchestrated by a small group of criminals and their equally criminal sponsors…”

Wed 12 February 2014, 3:15pm

Tweet As the BBC reports, Lagan Cement Group has suffered damage of more than 1m euros (£820,000) in three separate attacks. The attacks followed the announcement that Lagan was buying, subject to approval, Rooftiles in County Fermanagh from the Aventas Group. The arson attacks at Lisburn, County Antrim, Comber, County Down, and Carrigtwohill, County Cork, […] more »

Solar Dynamics Observatory: Year 4

Tue 11 February 2014, 5:00pm

Tweet Four years after its work began, and following last year’s three years in three minutes, Nasa have released another wondrous short video of a year of selected solar activity as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Video via Nasa Goddard.  Full-screen viewing recommended.  Stunning. [Credit: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. Music: Stella Maris courtesy of Moby Gratis] The […] more »

Meghan O’Sullivan: “how do we make it possible for the others to deliver on the agreement? . . . I don’t know if there was enough of that in the room this time.”

Sat 11 January 2014, 4:58pm

Tweet Whilst the Northern Ireland media continue to obsess over digest the parting shot from Richard Haass on the political parties’ failure to agree to his proposals (version 7), the co-chair of those talks, Meghan O’Sullivan, appears to have been delegated the task of addressing the media south of the border.  [Partitionists! - Ed]  ANYhoo.. […] more »

“How many times has a labour movement supported a liberation movement, only to find itself betrayed on the day of liberation?”

Sun 22 December 2013, 4:53pm

Tweet Speaking of dissent…  The death of Nelson Mandela appears to have opened the door to some potentially significant criticism of the current leadership of the ANC.  As the BBC reports, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the largest trade union in South Africa, has withdrawn its support for the ruling party of government.  From the […] more »

Northern Ireland reflections on the “real” Mandela, man and myth

Wed 11 December 2013, 12:21pm

Tweet Hooray. There is still a role for newspapers. The Guardian proves it with their balancing coverage of the early obsequies for Nelson Mandela who it might be thought is one of their natural heroes.   Restoring a human dimension after the hours of adulation and longueurs of 24/7 TV news is Simon Jenkins’ column and […] more »

Trinity academic to become first woman cardinal shock!

Sun 3 November 2013, 6:52pm

Tweet No, Not Crocodile Dundee’s soon to be ex -wife but the vice provost of Trinity College Dublin. A real Sunday flyer From the Sunday Times (£) SHE may be a woman, married, a feminist and only 49, but an Irish theologian called Linda Hogan is being tipped as the Vatican’s first lady in red. […] more »

“an unforgettable journey across the Red Planet.”

Mon 28 October 2013, 10:24pm
HRSC on Mars Express - Valles Marineris

Tweet Curiosity may have been on the surface of Mars for over a year, but ESA’s Mars Express has been in orbit around the Red Planet for almost a decade.  It’s one of a number of ways Mars is being observed, up close and personal.  And, like the Hi-RISE camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express has some […] more »

Lou Reed 1942-2013

Sun 27 October 2013, 10:21pm

Tweet Just a quick post to mark the death of founding member of The Velvet Underground, inspiration for 10,000 bands – see Brian Eno quote – singer, songwriter and general rock legend, Lou Reed, who has died of an unspecified “liver-related ailment”.  He had a liver transplant in May this year after suffering liver failure. […] more »

“The family are of the view it is vital that the police ombudsman receives this journal…”

Wed 23 October 2013, 12:39am

Tweet As I noted back in January this year, an inquest has yet to be held into the death of former senior Sinn Féin member, and informer, Denis Donaldson in 2006 – responsibility for which was claimed by the Real IRA.  And, despite a previous NI Police Ombudsman‘s finding that there had been no police misconduct here, the new incumbent launched […] more »

Time-lapse: Earth

Sat 12 October 2013, 2:58pm

Tweet As the Guardian’s GrrlScientist says, “Wow. Just wow.”  And, “Oh, I recommend “full screen” mode.” Indeed. Adds – If you watch closely you can see Ireland and the UK pass underneath at around 2mins 30secs in. Time-Lapse | Earth from Bruce W. Berry Jr on Vimeo. Video credits Music: “Manhatta” composed and performed by […] more »

Giro d’Italia 2014: “It’s a lot more than a cycling race”

Tue 8 October 2013, 3:17pm
Giro d'Italia 2014 stage1

Tweet When the BBC leaked the proposed route of the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia 2014 last week it was greeted by ritual wailing and gnashing of teeth by various representatives of the ‘excluded’ west Belfast. And with the whingeing out of the way, the official announcement was able to be welcomed with more decorum by […] more »

“Two European countries, Ireland and Norway, have already banned all eel fisheries.” – redux

Wed 11 September 2013, 6:46pm

Tweet Despite a brief flurry of activity by Sinn Féin in February this year, around the Northern Ireland Executive Minister with responsibility for regulating Eel Fisheries, Sinn Féin’s Carál Ní Chuilín’s sudden “refusal to support European proposals for a unilateral suspension of eel-fishing”, the Minister’s promised Assembly statement on the issue never materialised.  That’s possibly because, at that […] more »

ODI: Ireland v England

Tue 3 September 2013, 3:23pm

Tweet Ireland’s cricketers have set a respectable total of 269 for 7 in their 50 over One Day International at Malahide against an England side captained by Eoin Morgan and featuring former Ireland fast bowler Boyd Rankin.  Rankin picked up 4 wickets [for 46 runs] on his England debut, but a captain’s innings of 112 runs […] more »

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