Tag Archives | Northern Ireland

“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…

Yes Alasdair, the SDLP oppose republican criminality but is anybody listening?

Signs of life in the SDLP are an interesting sidebar in the great IRA structures  kerfuffle. Alasdair McDonnell has taken up the challenge to contradict the Guardian’s Henry  McDonald’s charge below in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph, which is basically that the SDLP has played mini-me to Sinn Fein for far too long. The SDLP may have stopped 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…

Conservatives to start governing Northern Ireland?

Change coming?

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy. The most important decisions are taken by an elected government that may, or may not, have an electoral mandate from all regions and all constituencies of the United Kingdom. That’s why the Conservative government’s policies are applied in East Ham – a constituency where the Labour MP polled more…

Happy days were here again for Beckett in Femanagh

Great to see that the  unapologetically highbrow Beckett Festival which has just ended in Fermanagh for this year, has survived the funding famine. This is quite a feat for the celebrations of such a unsentimental and enigmatic author, whose work is so at odds with the normal run of Irish summer fare. Perhaps this is more…

Can we ever lay 1916 to rest?

Official Ireland’s well known discomfort over how to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising  has just been exposed over the prefiguring event, the funeral the previous year of the physical force Fenian, O’Donovan Rossa.  With the failure to consign this heritage to the past in advance,  it seems  possible that there will be a more…

In dealing with the past, both the state and its legal critics should stop playing games

 “The UK is still in breach of international law for failing properly to investigate unresolved killings, especially and most controversially where state agents might have been involved”. So  states Brian Gormally the director fo the legal lobby group the Committee on the Administration of Justice, quoting the UN Committee on human Rights, No doubt Nuala O’Loan more…

Ted Heath is the latest and most senior Tory to be named in paedophilia claims. But how do you prove a negative?

Growing up in the 1960s with a precocious interest in politics, the main UK party leaders Harold Wilson and Ted Heath were among my role models. The new term  “meritocrat” might have been invented for them . Both of them came from modest backgrounds and made it to the top.  Politically I admired Heath’s decisiveness compared to Wilson’s more…

“It is rather as if the US and Europe ended up not only accepting the right of ISIS to exist but went on to embrace Islam as their state religion…”

At The Broken Elbow, Ed Moloney responds to the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ recent claim that “the IRA was never defeated” and, in the process, provides a useful corrective to the partial, ahistorical, view held by some.  From The Broken Elbow post Adams was also responding, according to press reports, to recent remarks by British 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…