Tag Archives | NI Executive

Who is responsible and what’s at stake in the Assembly standoff

David McKittrick emerges from retirement to pass a magisterial verdict on the Assembly in the Newsletter, while the paper has just run a long and fascinating interview with David Trimble by Alex Kane. His view of the history since 1998 is not a million miles from the familiar saying that Sinn Fein were  clever enough more…

“Those who the police believe ordered and implemented the murder of Kevin McGuigan are mainstream not mavericks.”

Via Newshound.  And for the, apparently, hard of understanding.  Suzanne Breen hones in on the important detail at the heart of the current political kerfuffle.  From Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Life The North has plunged into a political crisis, the Stormont institutions are on the brink of collapse, and unionist and nationalist politicians are bickering as though the more…

“The real story is not the existence of some skeleton structure, but the sound of gunfire…”

It’s not the still-extant Provisional IRA structures that are the immediate cause for concern, although “stupid” questions could, and should, be asked about their ultimate purpose, it’s the involvement of those Provisional IRA ‘structures’ in the events leading up to, and including, the murder of Kevin McGuigan, and the continued denials [of that reality! – Ed] more…

The collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly can be averted

The Ulster Unionists appear to have succumbed to the revulsion many unionists feel at the very idea of sharing power with the spawn of the IRA that most of them have suppressed every day since 1998. The danger now is that they will set off a chain reaction and take the DUP with them. The  more…

Tánaiste: “This is an insidious threat to Northern Ireland’s future as a healthy, stable democracy, and therefore a threat to the whole of this island.”

Brian’s weariness at another political crisis notwithstanding, it would be a mistake to dismiss reaction to recent events as a “kerfuffle”.  There are legitimate concerns, and two men have been murdered.  The Irish Justice Minister, Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald, has asked the Garda Commissioner for a “fresh assessment” of Provisional IRA activities to take into more…

Threatening the existence of the Assembly is a victory for terrorism

Oh God, not another fundamental breakpoint founded on the highest principles, whether they’re about welfare or the IRA! Come on, get real. This kerfuffle over “IRA structures” will pass. For all their simulated outrage over the IRA or welfare, no politician – none of the leaders anyway – want to close Stormont down.  Electoral politics more…

Villiers: “My understanding is, very much in line with that of the chief constable, that a number of the organisational structures of the Provisional IRA still exist…”

Sinn Féin continue with their policy of denial [of reality… – Ed], although Gerry Kelly has come closest to acknowledging that reality according to this RTÉ report Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Kelly said based on the political evidence over the past ten years, the IRA has not been active and therefore does not exist in more…

“Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing…

In the Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke highlights a significant point from the police assessment of Provisional IRA involvement in the murder of Kevin McGuigan – a point that was not included in earlier reports of that police assessment.  From the Belfast Telegraph article Police have confirmed that senior IRA members conducted an inquiry into the more…

PSNI Det Supt Geddes: “It is my assessment at this stage and my belief that people who are members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder, but we will not speculate on at what level.”

The police held a press conference today on the on-going investigation into the murder of former Provisional IRA member Kevin McGuigan Sr in the Short Strand area of Belfast last week – he had reportedly been “warned by the police that he was under threat from republicans” following the murder of former PIRA commander Gerard ‘Jock’ more…

Anti- austerity arguments are not limited to Sinn Fein, but a proper debate about the real impact of cuts is needed.

Anxiety and anger over budget plans including welfare cuts continue on both sides of the water. Amid the attacks on George Osborne for “ Tory austerity” in his  plans to cut public  spending  by a further £20 billion or 40% for unprotected  areas, a rough comparison of public spending as a share of GDP  suggests more…

“Still, there are words for the sort of reception meted out, and the most polite are ‘low’ and ‘key’.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… or, rather, as far away from the ranch as you can reasonably get…  For the benefit of those concerned about accountability and the democratic process…  Liam Clarke has some points to make about Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, and the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness’ recent, more…

NI Public Appointments Commissioner: “Despite all the supportive talk in principle I don’t see any change in the public appointment process.”

When the previous Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland, Felicity Huston, stepped down from the role in 2011 she, pointedly, wished whoever her successor would be “the best of luck”, noting that She said there were difficulties asserting her role as a regulator at Stormont. “People recruit people who look like them, sound like more…

How to get Martin McGuinness off the hook

Despite the mockery that  greeted it, Arlene Foster’s “phantom budget” has, in the now familiar  phrase of financial crises, “kicked the can down the road,” even as Robinson and McGuinness have been ramping up the rhetoric in the game of chicken.   This has bought time. However, it’s now clear that quite a big road  block more…

As austerity is set to continue whatever, it’s time for civil society to call for a halt in the game of chicken over the budget

The silence from local economists and business people has been deplorably deafening about the game of chicken being played out in the Assembly over the budget and the welfare Bill. Rather than mixing it with the politicians they can perhaps be forgiven for turning to bigger pictures and hoping that the Assembly will do likewise. more…

Abortion pressure continues slowly, slowly

Two interesting blasts from non-natives in the abortion debate have appeared in – can you guess?  Yes! –  in the Guardian and the Independent. In the Indy, London-based Siobhan Fenton has been combing the statistics just out, to find that  that 828 women who had abortions in England and Wales  last year gave Northern Ireland more…

“A Battle A Day” Is Creating A Political Wasteland

“It will always be a battle a day between those who want maximum change and those who want to maintain the status quo”. Recognise the quote? It came from Gerry Adams’ speech calling for the IRA to permanently abandon violence in 2005. Just a few days before the 2007 Assembly Elections that restored devolved government, more…

Not all the zombies are politicians. This is also civil society’s failure

Not so long ago, Northern Ireland  politics were conducted in a seething cauldron. Today they’re in zombieland.  Nobody seems to know what sort of situation is facing  Northern Ireland in the  forthcoming days, weeks and months. Your starter for 10. Is it bailout, surrender or just staggering on?   At home, nobody can be bothered even to more…