Tag Archives | Society

“Run like a huckster’s shop” – Redux

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[No change since June 2009, then? - Ed]  Have there been any consequences…?  A BBC report that the DUP and Sinn Féin have, belatedly, agreed the outcome of the semi-detached polit-bureau Northern Ireland Executive’s June budget monitoring round was met with understandable criticism from the other NI Executive parties. Justice Minister David Ford, who leads the Alliance Party, described more…

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

“That is not a state of affairs they would expect to find in a competently run country.”

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Riffing on the row over Garth Brooks’ non-concerts in Croke Park that has consumed local media attention, in the Irish Times John McManus has some pertinent points to make about the long-running saga of who controls the former Quinn Group companies – and the accompanying campaign of attacks and intimidation. In recent weeks one consortium, Quinn Business Retention more…

Police win flag protest appeal

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As the BBC reports, the Appeals Court has overturned a High Court ruling in April that the PSNI misdirected themselves in relation to policing the flag protests in Belfast – which “led to the situation in which the police facilitated illegal and sometimes violent parades with the effect of undermining the 1998 Act, in breach more…

Gerry Adams: “this can be too easily twisted into a view that since everyone was to blame, nobody was to blame…”

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The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, has been blaming others, again, for the failure to agree a comprehensive package on, among other issues, dealing with the past – in particular, a failure to agree on the holistic approach that could be said to characterise the mechanisms contained in the Haass proposals.  But he had some interesting more…

NI Police Ombudsman: “It’s very easy to raise allegations – I think the important thing is whether there is any evidence behind it”

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Having investigated a complaint from the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams – following newspapers reports in 2006 which alleged that members of the RUC knew of a 1984 UDA gun attack on Adams in advance, or were themselves involved - the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, Michael Maguire, has published his conclusions. Dr Maguire has said he has found no evidence that police more…

Martin McGuinness: “I mean I remember, I remember, I remember…”

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Or not, as the case may be.  Faced with evidence to the contrary, the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, has admitted that he was not, as he had claimed in an interview with RTÉ’s Marian Finucane, in Portlaoise prison when “Patrick Duffy was killed and his body secretly buried”.  As the more…

“Glory be the day, Mr Yeats!”

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As the man said…  It’s tradition! Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Enjoy!

HBO’s Michael Lombardo: “Belfast is not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half of the year.”

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With so much of some Northern Ireland Executive ministers‘ time and effort [and other people's money! - Ed] focused on exploiting the international success of HBO’s Game of Thrones to promote Northern Ireland overseas, it’s perhaps unfortunate, but refreshing, that HBO’s director of programming, Michael Lombardo, has given an honest answer to a straight question – as more…

“the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned…”

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It’s worth remembering that Anna Lo presaged her first frustration with live in Northern Ireland by telling the Irish News, that “I’ve had enough of the inability of this society and its political leaders to escape from the past.” Now here’s Tom Kelly defining the real failure to respond amongst Northern Ireland’s broad political leadership, more…

The next Chief Constable… is George Hamilton

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  Having “unanimously” agreed to appoint Matt Baggott as PSNI Chief Constable in 2009 for his strong advocacy of “community-style policing”, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, or its party political members, might be said to be experiencing buyer’s regret. Alternatively, those same political parties have undermined the outgoing Chief Constable throughout his tenure by more…

The power of Nolan – too much of a good thing?

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It was interesting to see that there was as much comment on Nolan personally as about Pastor McConnell. I don’t see or hear Nolan that often but I thought he played a pretty straight bat on this one. I’m told he divides an already divided community, not on sectarian lines but between pro- and anti- more…

NI Local Government: results at a glance

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As Nicholas said, “This is an election with few dramatic changes.” But, for the record, here are the %s of all the first preference votes from the Northern Ireland Local Government elections. [Updated 462 of 462 seats allocated] Party 1st Pref. +/-*  Seats    DUP  23.1%  -4.1%  130    SF  24.1%  -0.7%  105    UUP  16.1%  +0.9%  88    more…

“staggering from crisis to crisis…”

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A very important point from Oliver Burkeman in his Guardian blog post. Institutions – from national newspapers to governments and politicial parties – invest an enormous amount of money and effort in denying this truth. The facades they maintain are crucial to their authority, and thus to their legitimacy and continued survival. We need them more…

“What has changed is that it is a clear message to the people of Northern Ireland that NI21 is a cross-community party…”

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According to a BBC report, the NI21 party executive has announced a policy change on the eve of the party’s first foray into an actual election.  From the BBC report NI21 has announced it will change its designation at the Northern Ireland Assembly from unionist to ‘other’. The party’s executive took the decision ahead of more…