Tag Archives | Northern Ireland

More Brexitref alarms: could a Corbyn government deliver Irish unity?

When we’re taking about Brexit fears, Newton Emerson in the Irish Times has an outlier scenario that’s sounds plausible but is full of holes.   He imagines the possibility of an early UK election out of the post-referendum chaos regardless who wins, with the Conservatives in worse disarray than Labour. Jeremy Corbyn gets SNP support more…

Cartoon – A ‘black spider’ memo for OFMDFM on Justice

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Tuesday May 24 had a busy afternoon. Sinn Fein announced its executive team. Prince Charles, known for his letter writing, visited Portadown and the Orange Museum as part of #RoyalVisitNI. Then news broke that the loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson  had written a letter to OFMDFM suggesting he be considered for the position of Justice Minister. Like the Justice portfolio, more…

Ten years after Cory: has the human rights case been lost?

The Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ) have just published a long delayed report on a conference held  two years ago  to review the state of accountability for covert policing for the controversial  UK Investigatory Powers Bill,   against the background of  what went on during the Troubles. They began by noting that the UK more…

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

Somme: May Trench Raid – death of a great great uncle

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Tonight is the one hundreth anniversary of the death of my great great uncle during a German bombardment of the trenches after a succesful trench raid by the Ulstermen – a talk was recently held in the Masonic Hall (the old Tamlaght  / St Lukes Church of Ireland Church Hall), Coagh on Private Robert Sands and other men from more…

Sinn Féin’s partitionist approach to united Ireland referendum(s)…

… or an attempt to avoid ‘stupid’ questions about the party’s stated commitment to campaign against the fundamental principle of consent – that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to exercise their right of self-determination.  Those are the options from a comparison between the commitments on Irish unity Sinn Féin presented to the people more…

#ae16 Elections ebook now available

Hot off the press – why spend ages searching for the Northern Ireland elections website on wifi, when you can download all the most relevant bits to your Kindle, phone or tablet for less than £3? Each constituency chapter contains: A map A description of which local government districts intersect with the constituency Basic demographic more…

Do we need the “old ” IRA to contain the “new”?

Gang activity labelled “dissident republican” is spreading and is proving very difficult to check.  What is the connection between the killings in Dublin and the fatal shooting taxi driver of  Michael McGibbon? Perhaps the most chilling aspect of McGibbon “ punishment shooting “  was that, rather than go the the police – or even Gerry more…

President Obama jumps the Sinn Féin shark…

One of the benefits of being a US President in your final year in office, as well as getting to decide who can and can’t come to your party, is the freedom to say what you really think – even if President Obama continues to appear to be mis-briefed on shared, as opposed to integrated, education more…

News of investment in NI may be good enough to be true

Wow! 36 deals worth £392 million secured in the first quarter of 2016 I admit I don’t really understand what the figures mean and how much accrues to people who live and work in northern Ireland. Still, it seems like good news for the professional classes in high tech. In the first quarter of 2015, more…

Time to admit the reduced role of dealing with the past

In the Sunday Times (£) a review by the historian and failed candidate for Canadian PM Michael Ignatieff of a book  lets a little air into the deadlocked subject of Dealing with the Past, “ In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies” by David Rieff presents arguments to counter our prevailing orthodoxies of more…

Mark Cousins: “In the middle of the joy, modernity and new tolerance that we have, we have to allow a bit of space to acknowledge that creature from the Black Lagoon, that sense of, ‘Wow, did we really do that? Were we that inhuman?’ Yes, we were.”

The Guardian’s eminent film critic Peter Bradshaw, briefly and favourably, reviews film-maker Mark Cousins’ “meditative tribute” to his hometown, “I am Belfast”- a “valuable, heartfelt tribute to a city”. …there is much food for thought. He notes the fact that images of the Titanic, created at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, are everywhere in the city since more…

“This is not an abortion war, completely not”. Facebook trolls lay off

This is an exclusive interview with an Ulster woman of a very different character. Deborah McAleese’s interview in the Belfast Telegraph with a housemate of the young woman convicted of self aborting  is  searing, very hard to read. Oddly  the impact was less in voice on the Nolan show ( substitute ) because the housemate was  composed more…

Northern Ireland: When was it founded?

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A policy proposal in the DUP manifesto has started a little of debate over just when Northern Ireland came into existence. In today’s Irish News, John  Manley talks with Eamon Phoenix and whilst he dismisses the DUP date of 5th May as inaccurate, he still does not have a concrete date for the foundation of Northern more…

The Brexit debate showed how for once, it’s not really about us.

While all involved should be congratulated for staging it, goodness knows what the public made of the streamed Brexit debate. The horrible truth is that we are required to say  yes or no to a question which admits of no clear answer.  No one knows the cost of “uncertainty,” or the advantages of going it more…