Tag Archives | Republic

The British goverment must set a better example before the case for an amnesty is properly heard

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Adrian Guelke a  South African a  Queen’s academic and a leading authority on post-conflict resolution joins the growing list of reputable figures calling for an amnesty. He criticises the two governments for lack of involvement (although the unfortunate  Eamon Gilmore can’t be faulted for trying almost right up  to the moment of his resignation as Labour more…

Irish and English election results so different, so much the same

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Similar trends and outcomes are apparent when the British and Irish elections results are compared. They are of course part of a common European picture. But the immediate effect on the coalition governments  at Westminster and in Leinster House differs. The Irish coalition is rocking. The Irish Times is even speculating that pressure from Labour may more…

Personal memories of Sunningdale and the UWC strike – the lost opportunity for a generation

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Although I couldn’t attend the conferences they’ve sparked off vivid memories. This was a time when not only Northern Ireland seemed ungovernable but Britain too. At the Sunningdale civil service college in Berkshire we in the media were stuck in the conference annex for days because of the difficulty of getting taxis during the three day week, then in full more…

After the Adams arrest there is a way through, you know

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The IRA is gone, it’s finished.” I want to make it clear that I support the PSNI.” My reading of Gerry Adams’ statement on his release with his anger only just held in check, is that he wants to limit the damage while capitalising on the circumstances. Snap reactions are notoriously unreliable. But the events more…

If Gerry Adams was ever immune, that immunity has now been lifted. What next?

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The Adams arrest raises acute questions about a comprehensive approach to dealing with the past I discussed just before the news broke. Depending on the outcome, the prospects could go either way. The cry of selective or one sided justice from one side produces an inevitable echo. Justice all round is unlikely to become better served, neither are truth or political relations. If the more…

After the Visit, the greater epiphany?

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What we saw in Windsor Castle this week was a delayed act of official reconciliation that should have taken place fifty years ago but was held up by the Troubles. It was in reality the unfinished business of closing a sequence of turmoil that began over a century ago, whose shadow is finally lifting only more…

Faint echoes from Ukraine reach home

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From Timothy Garton Ash’s piercing analysis in the Guardian. Start by abandoning the labels “ethnic Ukrainians” and “ethnic Russians”. They mean almost nothing. What you have here is a fluid, complex mix of national, linguistic, civic and political identities. There are people who think of themselves as Russians. There are those who live their lives more…

United Ireland’s struggle against gay rights wins RTE damages

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  Is it defamatory to accuse opponents of same sex marriage of homophobia? Or are they fairly exercising their consciences in declining to recognise equality with heterosexuals?   Irish Times columnists are on opposite sides of an argument which is part of the Republic’s slow emergence into the modern era. Sadly though the columnists haven’t gone head more…

Trinity academic to become first woman cardinal shock!

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No, Not Crocodile Dundee’s soon to be ex -wife but the vice provost of Trinity College Dublin. A real Sunday flyer From the Sunday Times (£) SHE may be a woman, married, a feminist and only 49, but an Irish theologian called Linda Hogan is being tipped as the Vatican’s first lady in red. There more…

The Glenanne story proves the time for frank admissions is overdue: further prevarication over collusion implies Briitsh government cover-up

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Like most of the atrocities of the Troubles the story of the Glenanne gang isn’t unfamiliar  Suzanne Breen for one gave a detailed account of the 1976 Kingmills and Reavey brothers  massacres in January 2011 based it would seem on  “ imminent” HET reports. Of the Reavey murders she stated as a matter of established  fact: more…

The decline of traditional patriotism in Britain and Ireland

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Remember the great closing episode of Blackadder from the trenches of the Great War where the artful dodger meets his nemesis at last   : “ We need a futile gesture?” The “futile gesture” being that he was to lead his men over the top to be mown down by the German machine guns.  But it more…

The Maze is part of a shared past

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Malachi O’Doherty is magnificently right.  The best result for the Maze project would have been/ still should be  to provide  an unsparing and comprehensive account of the Troubles, murders, conspiracies and weasel politics, including the narratives without which it is a meaningless recitation of horror. Conflict resolution could come in the last gallery just before the more…

Hesitant moves towards Anglo-Irish understanding in the State papers of 30 years ago

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The release of British State papers for 1983 as reported by John Bew in the Irish Times reveals the rocky road at the beginning of the journey towards the Anglo-Irish agreement of 1985. Thatcher was irritated by FitzGerald’s preachiness as he tried to build some trust after Haughey’s disastrous first administration.  While FitzGerald was deeply frustrated by more…

Let’s praise David Cameron for creating a brilliant showcase

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First of all there was the simple pleasure at Lough Erne looking wonderful, an English friend saying  “didn’t Enniskillen look beautiful” and even the rain staying off, mostly.  I admit I was chuffed to see Jon Snow presenting lakeside “fresh in from Iran.. on a beautiful Fermanagh evening.” And never mind Obama. Unfashionable as it more…