Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


When Brand met the Belfast Orange, or why the comedy of new media helps us unlearn…

Fri 15 November 2013, 11:00am

Tweet There’s an interesting conference at the University of Ulster coming up on the 10th December, which seems to be asking some of the right questions about social media, its uses in protest and the implications for democratic politics. The event blurb notes: Over the course of the last twelve months, Northern Ireland has witnessed […] more »

#Flegs Protest: Blocking the highway is only one way you can be convicted…

Thu 31 January 2013, 12:48pm

Tweet For me this was the most straightforward and relevant contribution on last night’s Nolan. Peaceful protest is fine this audience member says, but who is informing the young people who are getting involved about what is and what is not legal. Obstructing the highway has been a focus (because it is probably the most […] more »

A Northern Ireland that cannot govern itself will always be brittle and unstable

Tue 15 January 2013, 9:19am

Tweet Okay, Nuala McKeever’s piece for the Belfast Telegraph put me in mind of the paper we pulled together and published ten years this May on, as it happens, the future of unionism: This is not about making unionism more yielding. A ‘long peace’ will not be an easy peace and unionists will often need […] more »

“…a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day”

Mon 7 January 2013, 3:23pm

Tweet So, now it is the SDLP who are getting it in the neck from the flag protesters. Patsy McGlone (who has said nothing on the matter, so far as Slugger is aware, but who is unfortunate enough to live in a UVF dominant part of the world) has had a bullet in the post. […] more »

“Not always possible to align the democratic and the retail calendars…”

Tue 11 December 2012, 12:33pm

Tweet First sign of any sort of kick back on the Alliance, the SDLP and Sinn Fein came from President of the Chamber last night, Joe Jordan who criticised the timing of the vote (rather than the vote itself), and the widespread unrest in and now way beyond the city.. It fell to Mairtin O’Muilleoir, […] more »

Unionist violence after flag vote…

Mon 3 December 2012, 9:29pm

Tweet AS predictably as night follows day, unionist protesters have turned to violence after tonight’s City Hall vote to restrict the flying of the Union Flag to designated days. Trouble erupted in and around the City Hall itself, but is right now spreading to other areas, noteably East Belfast. A number of police have been […] more »

Talking to Occupy Belfast camp in Writer’s Square

Mon 24 October 2011, 2:30pm
Occupy Belfast Writers Square

Tweet Following on from my earlier Occupy Belfast – rebels without a cause? post, I spoke to Gerry Carroll at lunchtime today, sheltering under a pagoda set up beside the impromptu Occupy Belfast camp in Writer’s Square opposite St Anne’s Cathedral. Gerry from the @OpOccupyBelfast camp in Writer”s Square /cc @OccupyBelfast (mp3) About ten tents […] more »

Occupy Belfast – rebels without a cause?

Wed 5 October 2011, 9:10am
Occupy Belfast Fist poster

Tweet Occupy Belfast are reclaiming the ‘O’ word in these neck of the woods as they organise a protest “to show solidarity with workers and young people fighting against austerity and for a better future across the world, and to tell our politicians that the fight is coming to them”. Over the weekend, there were […] more »

POTD – Meditation

Sun 7 August 2011, 7:33am
Meditation and petition5891

Tweet at Cornmarket more »

No Free Presbyterian protest lodged against Belfast Pride Parade this year

Wed 20 July 2011, 4:07pm
belfast pride logo

Tweet Now in its 21st year after its first “run through the city centre” Belfast Pride has a week of activities (and a growing set of events on the fringe) surrounding the Saturday afternoon parade through Belfast city centre. This year only one group has registered a protest with the Parades Commission. So unless the […] more »

Photograph of the Day – William and Victoria

Sun 24 October 2010, 3:07pm
William and Victoria

Tweet Ulster Says No (neigh)to the cuts. Taken at yesterdays ICTU organised rally which, by my estimation, had at it’s peak between 3500- 4000 people in attendance,  (though the umbrellas made it difficult to guage). The building site that is Royal avenue also played it’s part in making it difficult to count the numbers. more »

Republican protest doesn’t need or seek permission

Sun 25 July 2010, 9:55pm
Lurgan republican prisoner protest via sceal on

Tweet This afternoon saw a large enough gathering of republicans in Lurgan (500+ seems a reasonable estimate). For those attending their intention was to demonstrate support for republican prisoners and protest against the conditions/regime they face in gaol. It also exposed an entirely different issue, a problem that could present an increasing challenge to the […] more »

Date and venue set for round 2

Thu 22 July 2010, 11:28pm

Tweet Greater Ardoyne Resident’s Collective (GARC) spokesman Mairtin Og Meehan has confirmed the group’s intention to stage a protest at the Apprentice Boy’s parade past Ardoyne on August 14, reports the newsletter. ABOD Ligoniel Walker Club have sought permission for a parade with one band and up to 90 participants, with August 4 the date […] more »

“This story could end very badly indeed”

Tue 20 July 2010, 11:55pm

Tweet The No Wash protest in the Long Kesh during the late 70s and early 80s never really created an impact outside groups already sympathetic to republican prisoners. No matter how hard families, committees and republicans tried the prison struggle did not influence broader public consciousness until well into the 2nd Hunger Strike. So it […] more »

Cui bono? Not those protesting for sure

Wed 7 July 2010, 8:17pm

Tweet Over a period of months a diverse group have been turning up at the gates of Magheraberry prison in support of republican prisoners. The day after the most recent protest what was described as ‘an elaborate hoax’ bomb was found near the gaol. The next day a similar device ‘later declared an elaborate hoax’ […] more »

A farce within a force

Sat 26 June 2010, 7:44pm
Picture via belfastjj on Twitter

Tweet With today’s protest against DUP/SF proposed legislation to restrict the right to public assembly the PSNI earlier demonstrated how they will try and curb the current right to legal Public Assembly anyhow. Last year the PSNI successfully prevented éirígí’s protest against Armed Forces Day in Belfast by blocking protestors as they made their way […] more »

Belfast – a tale of three protests

Fri 25 June 2010, 8:51pm

Tweet Belfast is protest central tomorrow – for the leftie, libertarian, socialist, republican or just plain serial moaner you are positively spoilt for choice. In the best traditions of protest, you will have to choose because three protests take place separately and are essentially competing. You could join the protest against the DUP/SF drafted bill […] more »

In solidarity?

Wed 9 June 2010, 9:03pm

Tweet Joe Higgins, Irish Socialist Party MEP, is sponsoring a march and rally in Dublin as part of a ‘Europe-wide week of solidarity and protest’ something he initiated within his European political group (nothing arranged north of the border that I can see). The poster advertising it states the rally has been endorsed by; Socialist […] more »

Republicans, prisoners, parades and conflict

Thu 3 June 2010, 6:50pm

Tweet I previously noted the Independent Hunger Strike Commemoration parade that applied for permission from the Parades Commission and how this was at least one reason RSF refused to support it. Last week’s parade in support of Republican prisoners in Belfast, organised by RSF, didn’t apply for permission and was allowed to take place unhindered […] more »

Justice Minister is ‘cross’ community when it comes to republican prisoners

Thu 20 May 2010, 10:43pm

Tweet A SF delegation recently visited Magheraberry to investigate complaints from Republican Prisoners which have resulted in growing protests on the streets. SF MLA Raymond McCartney reported a very positive engagement: “A range of issues were raised by the prisoners. They included complaints about a number of punitive actions such as the use of strip […] more »

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