Tag Archives | Ireland

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

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  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…

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…

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…

Eurovision 2014: “I felt like tonight Europe showed that we are a community of respect and tolerance…”

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Well, perhaps…  A bearded Austrian man in a dress, Conchita Wurst, won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen on Saturday night with “Rise Like a Phoenix” – the title quote was his line from the winner’s press conference.  The 25-year-old singer also told reporters in Vienna On the theme of tolerance, Wurst told reporters in the more…

DPP: it could be “many many months” before a decision is made on whether or not Gerry Adams will be prosecuted…

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As Newton Emerson notes in today’s Irish News - on some of the coverage of the arrest and questioning of Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, in relation to the abduction, murder, and secret burial of Jean McConville in 1972. Mystery surrounds BBC claims that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) would not be bringing charges against Gerry more…

Pink is the colour, not orange or green

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                      I plead guilty. The question buried somewhere in earlier comments strikes home:  “Why do you keep banging on about Gerry Adams so much when the Giro is on? “  Now I could give an apples and pears answer, the two being in different categories.  But more…

Contrasting views of the Adams arrest for Irish Americans

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Jason Walsh grew up in the Upper Falls and witnessed as a child the horrors of the “Death on the Rock” events in Milltown cemetery. Here he presents a more authentic and reasoned assessment of recent days in the Christian Science Monitor than what the American audience is  used to.  Gerry Adams says he was never more…