Topic Archives: Government

Big Tent Conversations at Skainos this Autumn

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The Skainos Centre at 239 Newtownards Road in Belfast will be hosting a series of discussions this autumn around “big issues affecting our community as we move forward.” The discussions look to get to the heart of matters around flags, victims and dealing with the past. Each discussion will be held in the Refresh Café more…

On abortion: Why it should be a woman’s decision…

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‘Throughout the whole Greco-Roman civilisation abortion was permitted by law. It was Christianity which revolutionised moral ideas in this matter by endowing the embryo with a soul; for then abortion became a crime against the foetus itself’. – Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex. There is one reason only a woman should have the legal right to more…

Syria: Does Ireland have the resources to deal with intra state conflict?

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It’s been an article of recent considered thought in foreign policy circles that inter state war is being replaced by intra state conflict. Today there was panic when the UN announced that forty three peacekeepers had been ‘detained’ by “an armed group”. #454288150 / gettyimages.com There are an estimated 130 Irish soldiers with the 44th more…

Cheryl Lawther – Truth, Denial and Transition: Northern Ireland and the Contested Past, Book Review

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Cheryl Lawther’s Truth, Denial and Transition: Northern Ireland and the Contested Past (Routledge, 2014) makes a timely contribution to debates about ‘dealing with the past’ in Northern Ireland, providing insights into why unionist political elites, loyalist ex-combatants and members of the security forces have consistently opposed truth recovery processes. Lawther is a Lecturer in Criminology more…

The #indyref essential count guide.

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The last major debate happened between Alex Salmond and Alastair Darling last night and commentators where flying with debates about who won (yes, some poor buggars thought Darling did win). Yet, very few people seem to know just what exactly the process for the count will be and providing the public service that we do more…

Minister green lights ‘Irish Beef’ label just as southern beef farmers lunge into crisis…

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Unfortunate timing for the Agriculture Minister’s new labelling ‘concession’ for so-called ‘nomadic beef’. In Michelle O’Neill’s own terms, here’s the ‘problem’… #168316801 / gettyimages.com I am of the strong view that the term ‘nomad cattle’ has no place on this island and following discussions with industry stakeholders and Minister Coveney in the south, I am more…

Corporation Tax powers finally set to be devolved?

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The Belfast Telegraph has a number of articles about the devolution of control over Corporation Tax: with a timeline here. From the Belfast Telegraph: Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am optimistic that we will get a positive answer from the Prime Minister. “I think that the Government wants to do this and we have more…

Stopping Islamic State in Iraq: parallels with Vietnam

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The ongoing disaster that is Iraq continues. When the Americans (with British help) invaded Iraq in 2003 I must confess to feeling it has the potential to become another Vietnam. As time has gone on that appearance has strengthened centrally in that like Vietnam the Americans would have been wiser not to invade and having more…

Gaza: listen to Warsi & UK could help wage peace, not war

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Baroness Warsi’s hard-hitting resignation letter to David Cameron has served to focus attention on the UK’s policy on the carnage in Gaza. The former Foreign Office minister says her resignation was prompted by the government’s “morally indefensible” policy – one of arming the Israelis, while pressuring the Palestinian Authority not to seek justice through the more…

Sir Hugh Orde in conversation with John Ware @RelsForJustice + Denis Bradley’s response highlighting need for 2 governments to re-engage

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Panorama veteran reporter John Ware interviewed Sir Hugh Orde in the Balmoral Hotel this afternoon in a packed event organised by Relatives for Justice as part of Féile an Phobail. Audio in four parts. [MP3 MP3 MP3 MP3] listen to ‘1/3 Sir Hugh Orde in conversation with John Ware @relsforjustice @feilebelfast’ on Audioboo For 45 more…

Listen back to West Belfast Talks Back – Gaza, LGBT rights, lights out, #indyref & Haass #wbtalksback

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Noel Thompson swapped the comfy chair in the Good Morning Ulster studio to be ringmaster at West Belfast Talks Back this evening with Danny Kennedy (UUP, Minister of Regional Development), Fr Tim Bartlett (Catholic Church), Rev Dr Leslie Carroll (Presbyterian) and John O’Down (Sinn Féin, Minister of Education) in front of an audience of three more…

1994 Ceasefire declaration recollections at Féile … perhaps next year will answer “Why did the IRA call the ceasefire?”

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Twenty years on the from the IRA and loyalist ceasefires, three journalists came together to reflect on the lead up to the summer of 1994 and the following 18 months. Brian Rowan, Eamonn Mallie and Charlie Bird (RTE’s contact with the IRA) recounted their memories of the emerging and fragile peace in an event organised more…

Iain Overton: human rights and hubris #feile2014 @amnestyni

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Iain Overton delivered this year’s annual investigative journalism and human rights lecture at lunchtime today as part of Féile an Phobail. It may also have been the first [Ed - and last?] annual honest-about-hubris lecture. But more about that later. In a change of format away from Amnesty’s previous panels of local journalists, Iain began more…