Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Peace Process

Boston College tapes unlikely to lead Adams to gaol but suggest any truth process is pointless

Tue 25 March 2014, 10:45pm

Tweet The arrest and charging of Ivor Bell has been covered already on Slugger and below Mick has mentioned the fact that Gerry Adams has made himself available to questioning by the PSNI. Although the McConville family remain hopeful many have suggested that it is inconceivable that Adams will be prosecuted. Adams has repeatedly denied […] more »

McGuinness’s Al Jazeera interview: Terrorism, conflict and a popular peace

Wed 19 March 2014, 9:39am

Tweet This is a fascinating encounter between Martin McGuinness and a canny and formidable interlocutor from Al Jazeera Mehdi Hasan… To keep it simple, the programme is split into two sections, one to do with the wartime stuff, and the second part on the journey towards peace. more »

Hyde Park bombing suspect will not be prosecuted

Tue 25 February 2014, 8:49pm

Tweet The BBC are reporting that John Downey who was arrested and charged with killing four soldiers in the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing will not be prosecuted because he was given a guarantee he would not face trial. Downey was arrested in 2013 at Gatwick whilst en route to Greece. From the BBC: ..over […] more »

Sisyphus and the diaphanous rewards of NI’s ‘peace process’?

Thu 6 February 2014, 12:16pm
Sysphus rewards

Tweet   Original copy is at SMBC Comics…  “Keep pushing lads/lasses… let’s take it to the next level?” more »

Cartoon – away from Home, Alone 2

Sat 28 December 2013, 7:05pm
Richard Haass cartoon, Brian John Spencer

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White vans of Sri Lanka, and the lessons of failing to make political agreements stick…

Thu 14 November 2013, 9:06am

Tweet Leena Manimekalai, director of White Van Stories talked the Jon Snow last night about the full scale abductions currently ongoing in Sri Lanka, despite a much lauded ‘peace process’… Of the film she notes, the social instability it gives rise to “there is so much of hope, [in spite] of despair, there’s waiting, and […] more »

BBC Spotlight on how the peace process continues to cover for the ‘bad’ UVF

Wed 30 October 2013, 9:40am

Tweet Spotlight last night, if you missed it, is well worth a catch up.  Ostensibly about the resurgence of the UVF, particularly in east Belfast, in the process it also exposed some of those poisonous foundations of the Peace Process™ era. Stephen Dempster claims he spoke to two dozen people all of whom were too afraid […] more »

UK’s strongest constitutional card may be the very mildness of the loyalty it invokes…

Fri 1 February 2013, 11:19am

Tweet John Lloyd argues that the moment for unity is over. I’m not sure I agree with him in that regard, in the sense that the moment has never yet appeared. Thus far, Sinn Fein’s call for a border poll has only served to emphasise a growing political distance between Northern Ireland and the south. […] more »

Northern Ireland’s modest and timid ambitions for peace

Thu 31 January 2013, 9:30am

Tweet Malachi O’Doherty points of a long term pessimism that often seems to want to long tail conflict rather than tackle the heart of it. He points to the problem of Belfast’s walled interfaces, in the context of past fatalism: What was routine back then was the conviction that Northern Ireland’s problems could not be […] more »

Stormont’s inaction driving the handcart back towards the brink of the past?

Thu 3 January 2013, 7:52am

Tweet Or predictions thread for the year to come is still a work in progress, but you don’t need a crystal ball to tell you the shenanigans at the year end suggest that already Stormont’s institutions are having some difficulty staying in touch with where the politics of the street is moving. Alan Murray notes in […] more »

Peace Process Parallels: Northern Ireland and the Middle-East

Fri 30 November 2012, 12:35pm

Tweet In the wake of the UN decision to recognise the state of Palestine (albeit not as a full member of the UN) it seems timely to return to the question of parallels between the peace process here and in the Middle East, most recently highlighted on Slugger in relation to remarks by former US […] more »

The NI peace process has lessons for Israel and Hamas

Thu 22 November 2012, 12:47pm

Tweet Richard Haass President Bush’s envoy to Northern Ireland and now head of a  leading foreign affairs advisory board,  has a piece in the Financial  Times (£) headlined “Israel should learn from Northern Ireland.” The first lessons are not those touted by the former paramilitaries but those learned  by the governments.  As he has said before, […] more »

Bored with the blather…

Thu 2 August 2012, 12:57am

Tweet IF you’ve ever sighed with exasperation or clenched your teeth with frustration every time you heard someone say “we are all to blame” for the Troubles, you may find Malachi O’Doherty’s latest column somewhat cathartic. The peace process patter that has evolved in our political discourse may be natural and second nature to those […] more »

Shotgungate: a visual comment

Sat 28 July 2012, 1:58am
Geeet offa mah land

Tweet With the news that DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots sent a few shotgun rounds across the bow in order to warn off a few no good intruders doing the round I had to put this riveting imagery to cartoon. I further felt the shotgun imagery was readily applicable to the Poots blood donor controversy […] more »

The Rising of the Undead

Fri 27 July 2012, 1:23pm

Tweet Disparate republican militant groups have announced a coming together under a single leadership that has breathed new life into the IRA, promising to bring murder, anarchy and terrorism back to Northern Ireland. Here’s my illustration. more »

“What we have learned is that hearts and minds are fluid. And they do change”

Fri 22 June 2012, 10:41am

Tweet No better man than Malachi O’Doherty for a sweet and powerful valedictory for a very long and sometimes politically tough Peace Process™ era, and the programme that brought us some of the most memorable commentary of that era… And in the process he also praises the decency, for the most part, of politicians who […] more »

India and Pakistani Peace Process: “Stuff like this doesn’t happen overnight…”

Mon 16 April 2012, 5:15pm

Tweet One of the thing about our (and other) Peace Process is that it is hard afterwards to distil what made things work. Here for instance, the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement was apparently borne of the work of a lot of people who previously could not agreement amongst themselves on anything much. Ahsan Butt […] more »

#BostonCollege and the clash of law with the covert politics of peace…

Fri 6 April 2012, 12:33pm
Boston College logo

Tweet The Boston College tape court case is reaching an interesting pass, though it’s unlikely to be the final decisive stage. The circuit court hearing is worth listening to (takes about 45 seconds before anything happens) for a number of reasons. One, it’s an, albeit brief court room drama featuring what must be the most […] more »

Hearts and Minds: Paramilitaries and ‘the table of accountability’

Mon 27 February 2012, 6:15pm

Tweet John Howcroft talking to Noel Thompson argues that the UDA in north Belfast is now accountable for its actions, tough it is not clear from the interview as to how and to whom… A genuine step forward, or just another quid pro quo… more »

Lessons from Northern Ireland: Rise above the fatalism generated by your own “sui generis” conflict…

Thu 26 January 2012, 12:06pm

Tweet H/T Mary FitzGerald on Twitter… This is a fairly impressive array of academic, political and government voices which looks at what lessons might be drawn from our much feted Peace Process, recorded in May last year… Most worthy of note are Jonathan Powell (keep hard power on so the insurgents cannot get comfortable, but […] more »

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