Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Politics

Jon Snow and Peter Hain appearing on 1 May, the opening day of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Tue 15 April 2014, 10:39pm
CQAF 2014 programme sunflower

Tweet While there’s lots of great stuff going on in the 15th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival from 1-11 May, there are a couple of political events on the opening day that might interest some Slugger readers. Having heard Jon Snow speak before in Belfast, I can strongly recommend the opening event on Thursday 1 May […] more »

‘Silver Liberties’, Sinn Féin and the Ciste

Tue 15 April 2014, 10:04am

Tweet One of the artistic injustices of the Troubles has been righted this week with very little fanfare indeed.   Down at the Ulster Museum, an artwork, entitled ‘Silver Liberties’, by Lancashire born artist, Conrad Atkinson, has been hung this week.  Back in 1978, it was the piece, created to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, […] more »

“That’s the only way I can put,” he said “they sleep with the victims.”

Mon 14 April 2014, 12:43pm

Tweet I was struck by Michael D Higgins’ interview with the BBC’s Fergal Keane: He said he could not ask the families of victims to put the past behind them. Society could not afford to wipe out the memory of violence, he said. “I think that there is very significant work to do,” he said. […] more »

“Post-nationalist Ireland has arrived.”

Sun 13 April 2014, 5:21pm

Tweet [Once more into the breach then - Ed]  In yesterday’s Irish News, Patrick Murphy posited three theories to explain what he describes as “the latest dismantling of Irish political and cultural nationalism.”  That would be Martin McGuinness, et al, at Windsor Castle in white tie and tails, and the GAA deal with Sky.  From the […] more »

What makes a good local Councillor?

Sun 13 April 2014, 12:40pm

Tweet Over the coming weeks hundreds of people will be seeking a job with an interview panel of thousands asking questions about their ability to deal with local problems, create jobs and run local services. But, this year will be a little bit different as local councils take on a lot more powers. Speaking about […] more »

Art of the Troubles at the Ulster Museum

Sat 12 April 2014, 3:12pm
Print

Tweet The Ulster Museum’s Art of the Troubles exhibition is now open and runs through the summer until 7 September. A variety of styles, “sides” and periods exhibited: sixty works from fifty artists. Reactions to atrocities, depictions of politics (a particularly grim triptych by Joseph McWilliams of Sammy Wilson, Ian Paisley Snr and Peter Robinson) […] more »

After the Visit, the greater epiphany?

Sat 12 April 2014, 12:28am

Tweet 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 […] more »

Michael D and the Queen are just “what you need on occasions like this…”

Fri 11 April 2014, 5:02pm

Tweet There’s a ton of good comment on Nuzhound re Michael D’s state visit to the United Kingdom [makes a change from the single transferable column much in evidence at home this week - Ed]. It’s hard to know what to leave out of John Spain’s column for IrishCentral, so here goes: The plain people […] more »

Friday thread: Perhaps ‘War’ brings a properly social benefit after all?

Fri 11 April 2014, 3:54pm
Morris War

Tweet Today’s Friday thread is a talk delivered yesterday at the RSA in London by Ian Morris, author of a new book which posits the controversial idea that, over time, war is actually good for us, not necessarily as individuals but as societies. The presentation is fairly short but it was around this part I […] more »

Row over GAA tops at University of Ulster

Fri 11 April 2014, 2:10pm

Tweet Jim Allister recently asked the Stormont Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry to: “outline any discussions he has had with the University of Ulster regarding concerns that the proliferation of GAA tops on campus leads to an intimidating atmosphere for many students” Jim has apparently been approached by unionist students complaining about the “chill […] more »

“Merely reflecting this majority view is the easiest form of leadership….”

Fri 11 April 2014, 1:34pm

Tweet So for those of you itching for a blog which takes Peter Robinson to task for poor leadership, here’s Warren Little with a usefully proportionate analysis of a missed opportunity: So here we have a golden, gilt-edged, how-could-it-possibly-go-wrong opportunity for the unionist leadership to step beyond the traditional tribal boundary. God knows they don’t […] more »

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition (except for opening stuff and jobs announcements)

Fri 11 April 2014, 8:20am

Tweet What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Lady MacBeth, Act V, Scene 1         Hard to disagree with an essential core of Newton Emerson’s criticism of Peter Robinson, ie that as a leader he’s more tactical than strategic. He is right too that […] more »

McGuinness trying to assure ordinary unionists that he recognises their Britishness?

Thu 10 April 2014, 11:16am

Tweet Can’t have been easy for Martin to that Royal Banquet. He’s never struck me as the Black Tie type. But clearly there was method in his constituional madness. One, not going would have been a step back from the last time. Doing it, as Tom Kelly points out allows them to project a statesman […] more »

Whatever you do, don’t mention the war dead…

Thu 10 April 2014, 11:05am

Tweet Not sure quite what Mary Warnock was thinking when she wrote this, but you have to chalk this up to a propaganda victory to Sinn Fein… Of course, we cannot overlook the horrors of the Orange marches, nor the continuing hatred between Catholics and Protestants. As the Irish President noted just a few days […] more »

Scotland, “England” and the post colonial struggle for warmth and freedom between porcupines…

Thu 10 April 2014, 8:32am

Tweet Melanie McDonagh writing in London based Evening Standard thinks Michael D “…isn’t so much a foreign dignitary; more like a friendlier version of Alex Salmond”. Aha, now it would be tempting to go with the ‘well if Scotland was independent…’ line, but it’s probably better to point out that as President Michael D is […] more »

Where does ‘Guns and Government’ leave victims of the Peace Process’s ‘self regulation’?

Wed 9 April 2014, 9:49am

Tweet Seems to me there’s a lot of unpick from last night’s Spotlight, but I think this from Catherine McCartney on Facebook is worth sharing more broadly… Ingram’s comment on ‘self regulation’ encapsulates the government’s covert policy re paramilitary criminality. I have said this over and over, this policy led to Robert’s murder, (who wasn’t […] more »

John Barry: “We need legislators, not negotiators…”

Wed 9 April 2014, 7:24am

Tweet I had an interesting chat today with John Barry. A fellow Dubliner but a far more interesting and indeed public character than that may suggest. John is a Green Party candidate in the forthcoming Council elections standing in the Abbey ward of the new North Down and Ards Council. He was co-opted onto the existing […] more »

Knock Euro election hustings #nieuro (+audio)

Tue 8 April 2014, 10:12pm
Knock PCI hustings

Tweet Nine parties sent candidates or representatives to the European Election hustings organised by the Peace Group in Knock Presbyterian Church in East Belfast tonight. listen to ‘#nieuro Euro hustings at Knock Presbyterian Church – candidate 60 second summary at the end’ on Audioboo A little under 200 people turned up to hear a three […] more »

Quebec says ‘Non’ to PQ govt after less than Two years.

Tue 8 April 2014, 4:28pm

Tweet It is 3,000 miles away and no, I am not arguing for a moment that you can transplant the political musings of the francophone province of Quebec on to our situation, but this election is a genuinely interesting one to watch. Scandals, divisions and student protests drove the last Liberal government from office after […] more »

“a claim on behalf of Mr Green against Sinn Féin has been registered with the Fair Employment Tribunal…”

Tue 8 April 2014, 3:03pm

Tweet When Sinn Fein’s political director at Stormont, Leo Green, failed to appear at the party’s Ard Fheis in February, both Mr Green, whilst confirming that he was no longer their northern political director, and the party were keen to play down suggestions of a dispute.  As Liam Clarke noted at the time Green said he had renewed […] more »

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