Tag Archives | Ireland

The “what ifs? ” of our past play a part in dealing with it today

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The row over former taioseach John Bruton’s regret that the Easter Rising ever happened goes on. Will historian Diarmaid Ferriter have the very last word? In his latest sally in the Irish Times, Ferriter attacks the exaggerated use of the counterfactual, the “what if” school of history. His argument to  Bruton is basically simple –look, more…

“to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

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In the absence of any further explanation from Sinn Féin for Caitríona Ruane’s dramatic flouncing off the NI Policing Board selection panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable on Monday, her party colleague on the Board, Gerry Kelly, MLA, has attempted to defend her actions. “If the process is wrong and particularly if the belief [is] more…

Ireland v Scotland – 3rd ODI Live

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With Ireland’s cricketers having already won the first two games in the three match ODI series against Scotland, the Scots are only playing for pride today at Malahide.  They’re chasing a total of 242 to win after John Mooney made 96 runs from 77 balls to put Ireland on 241-9 from their 50 overs in the first innings.  Live coverage via more…

Ireland v Scotland – 2nd ODI Live

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After a convincing victory in the first game of the three match ODI series against Scotland, Ireland’s cricketers are chasing a total of 222 in the second game for a series win at Malahide.  Scotland were put in to bat and made 221 all out from 49.5 overs.  Live coverage via CricketIrelandTV on YouTube. Update Ireland more…

Much can be learned from comparing Salmond and Redmond’s destinies

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John Redmond (1856 - 1918)

  One month away from Scotland’s Moment of Truth, it is worth reflecting how eerie the symmetries and coincidences of history can sometimes be.  Followers of Irish and Scottish affairs know this to be a bumper year for anniversaries in both countries.  A millennium ago the celebrated Battle of Clontarf was fought just north of Dublin – a crucial more…

“The only thing terrifying about Belfast are the beer prices”

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These days Matthew Collins is a leading anti-fascist campaigner and a Researcher/Northern Ireland correspondent  for the organisation HOPE not hate. But this wasn’t always the case. Back in 1987, aged 15, he was a Mein Kampf-reading Nazi, flogging copies of National Front Newspaper ‘The Flag’ around south London housing estates before becoming a party organiser more…

Irish Republicanism needs to be more Levesque and a little less Salmond on a border poll

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À la prochaine fois!, (until next time) declared the separatist premier, Rene Levesque as he conceded defeat on the night the 1980 Quebec sovereignty referendum failed. Standing like a proud general with his supporters weeping as their dream of an independent francophone Quebec went up in smoke, Levesque knew that while his objective of achieving 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…

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…

“Glory be the day, Mr Yeats!”

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As the man said…  It’s tradition! Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Enjoy!

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…

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…

“this month you will see a kind of victory for the Eurosceptics…”

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EU flag

Ahead of the EU-wide parliamentary elections, a much needed overview from BBC Europe editor Gavin Hewitt of the state of the European Project and its extant political trilemma.  From Gavin Hewitt’s article Unless the polls are very wrong, sometime next weekend Europe will learn that at least a quarter of the seats in the next more…

From the Derry Journal archives…

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A short piece of “nostalgia” from the Derry Journal archives, May 19, 1989. “The SDLP leadership has lost its way,” claimed Derry Sinn Fein councillor, Mitchel McLaughlin, commenting yesterday on SDLP Leader John Hume’s invitation to the Unionists to engage in talks without an agenda, but within the context of Northern Ireland. Colr. McLaughlin said more…

Words, and actions…

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At the launch of his party’s “26 counties” local government manifesto, the Sinn Féin party president, Gerry Adams, TD, declared Sinn Féin will expose corruption and root it out of public life once and for all. [Unless 'good' republicans are involved... - Ed] He also claimed Sinn Féin will also advocate on behalf of whistle-blowers more…

Sinn Féin: “What happened was done with British cabinet approval…”

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A few days ago on Eamonn Maillie’s blog, Brian Rowan gravely informed us that, rather than the wild paranoid ramblings of a party desperate to distract attention from their threat to “review” their support for policing if the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, was charged as a result of the investigation into the abduction, murder more…