Tag Archives | Northern Ireland

“is Gerry the Genius sure he has thought all this through?”

In today’s Irish News, Newton Emerson asks the impertinent question… Remarks by Mike Nesbitt about cross-community voting distracted from what should have been the major story of the week. Northern Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill has said her party will not return to the executive with Arlene Foster as first or deputy first minister until more…

Tony Blair has made the case for a rethink on Brexit and Northern Ireland will need a new financial deal. Is anybody listening?

Hurtling at us like a comet but unnoticed by the local worthies is the prospect for repatriating powers direct from Brussels to Stormont, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay. Among them are powers over agriculture and energy, which in Ireland are linked or integrated north and south. How they’ll be divvied up is  hasn’t  even been examined. more…

Advert in Tyrone local paper for Vote Leave

Sinn Fein has abandoned the idea of Irish Independence for the EU

The recent blog post of Free Church of Scotland Minister Rev David Robertson ( @theweeflea ) on his conversion from being a Pro SNP Scottish Independence supporter to a person who would now vote “No” in any second Scottish Independence referendum has triggered some fierce debate.  I could not help but see the parallel between more…

Explaining politics to a (nearly) five year old

It will be a good 12 years before my eldest child can vote, but already she, along with her younger sister, has come with me to the polling booth on two occasions. The third is looming large on the horizon. Quite possibly, it is only the children who get a day off due to their more…

“I don’t have to be a Sinn Féin republican.”

Despite the efforts of the former Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim, Daithí McKay to reinvent himself [move along now… – Ed], some of his supporters appear not to be prepared to let it lie. Having resigned from the party over its handling of the Jamie Bryson coaching scandal, and its anointing of Daithí McKay’s successor, former Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney is standing in more…

Pressure for special treatment for soldiers would kill any chance of agreement on the past. Obviously.

Flaws in the system of investigation into charges of  British army  misconduct “on the battlefield “   have been dramatically exposed in the disgrace of the solicitor Phil Shiner. In the Commons and in the press, it has reinforced calls for Theresa May to speed up the promised reform of how human rights law applies to more…

Fine Gael on Sinn Féin: “We couldn’t work with them”

Something to keep in mind when criticising others…  There was a bit of a kerfuffle following Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s mid-term non-answer to a question on the potential for any future coalition involving Sinn Féin.  The Irish Examiner records Enda Kenny saying While strongly ruling out doing any deal with Fianna Fáil, Enda Kenny said “depending more…

Good news, Gerry! The Human Rights Act is here to stay

Another of Gerry Adams’ sticking points for returning to the Assembly seems about to disappear. The on- off on sequence of the May government’s  commitment to a new British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Right Act now looks permanently off the agenda and not just delayed until after 2020, according to  Daily Telegraph more…

“if Sinn Fein fails to increase its vote and share of Assembly seats under Michelle O’Neill’s leadership…”

With a stagnating vote evident in the last NI Assembly election – just 8 months ago – and a reduced number of seats available this time out, in the Belfast Telegraph Anthony McIntyre highlights a potential problem for Sinn Féin in their election gamble. There is nothing complicated about the DUP pitch: despite the democratic veneer, the more…

The Supreme Court rules that devolved assembly consent is not legally required for Brexit. But the political battle is only just beginning

. So  the Westminster Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50 – but on what exactly and how often until Brexit is achieved?  The battle has only just begun. It’s  bad news for nationalists everywhere.  The Court ruled that the consent of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly of Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly more…

“we have stripped away the overgrowth of decades of ill-informed comment, half truths and deliberate misrepresentations which have all too often masqueraded as established facts.”

Given the many lurid conspiracy theories that have been constructed over the years around the abuse at the Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast, it’s worth highlighting the findings of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 on that issue in particular. While the BBC mentioned it in a longer more…

In a slow and secret transition within Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, still in charge, appears to be setting high targets for negotiations on the Assembly

At a Sinn Fein conference on a united Ireland in Dublin,  Gerry Adams has claimed Brexit  is a “ hostile action” that  will “destroy the Good Friday Agreement”,  although adding that  “special status” would not take Northern Ireland out of the UK. Is this to be a sticking point in any talks to restore the more…

UK Government: “Clearly, any form of joint authority would be incompatible with the consent principle [of the Belfast Agreement].”

A short BBC report points to an interesting exchange today in the House of Lords where the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office and Scotland Office, Lord Dunlop, poured a bucket of cold water on the suggestion that “joint authority” could be an option if the relevant parties fail to form an Executive following more…

Ireland must seek EU permission to make a draft bilateral deal with Britain

Dublin reaction to Theresa May’s big Brexit speech is understandably cautious verging on the sceptical.   Is more substantial content  to be expected when Theresa meets Enda in Dublin next week,  no doubt to discuss  her hopes that an open-ish border can be achieved  through  “frictionless “ trading monitored digitally  and immigration rules enforced mainly through more…

Theresa May’s aim of free trade with the EU outside the single market is the way to avoid a hard border. The Irish should start lobbying their EU partners now.

We will put our precious Union at the heart of what we do.. We will strengthen our relationship between the four nations of the UK..   I hope for the same spirit of unity, especially in Northern Ireland and that the parties will establish a new relationship as soon as possible..  The devolved administrations will more…