Topic Archives: Politics

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…

Ukrainian crisis: it hasn’t gone away

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The conflict in Gaza seems to have largely pushed that in Ukraine off international consciousness. The Guardian, however, reports that the Ukrainian government have been making steady gains against the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. The west has become somewhat quieter about the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH 17 over the more…

Panti Bliss: Before I die I want to get married in Belfast!

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But how long will she have to wait? Happy Belfast Pride! On Thursday, Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, paid the city a visit to give the Amnesty International Pride Lecture. Alan in Belfast has a full audio-recording of the lecture here, but meanwhile here’s a little taste of what Panti told us before the sell-out lecture at more…

Wilfred Mitchell: We need to expand Belfast City Airport

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A RECENT snap poll conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses for Northern Ireland (FSB NI) has confirmed that the majority of local small businesses would like to see an increase in destination routes, as well as airline providers, from George Best Belfast City Airport, conveying evident support for expansion at the airport. Due to more…

“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…

John McTernan: For Labour hope needs to beat fear

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Next up in our 2015 general election series is former advisor John McTernan on what Labour needs to do to win next year.   There is no real secret to winning elections. Be united, have popular ideas and connect to the public. As Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘It’s not easy, but it is simple.’ more…

#VinB takes some time to consider the question of a United Ireland…

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Normally I wouldn’t necessarily flag this up, but it is worth watching Vincent Browne programme on TV3 tonight. It starts at 23.15 BST) and amongst [planned] guests will be Sinn Fein’s Dublin MEP Lynne Boylan, Mark Cosgrove of the UUP, our own David McCann and chaired by journalist Justine McCarthy… I don’t think TV3 is more…

Murdo Fraser: A Federal Future? #indyref

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There is nothing new about the idea of federalism in Britain. Early last century a Cabinet sub-committee was tasked with drafting a Bill for a federal UK, in an attempt to deal with the Irish question. Federalism has long been a Liberal, then Liberal Democrat, objective. In recent months the idea has attracted more interest, more…

Ireland’s Media War of 1914: the Bachelors Walk lessons

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Basil Fawlty was wrong: the message this year is Do Mention The War.  Just remember that there are two wars to mention: a century ago, the Great War broke out in Europe, but at the same time (to my mind) Ireland’s war of independence was temporarily postponed. Irish media outlets – then as now – were a crucial political thermometer, more…

Lord Ashcroft: The Tories need to show that it matters who wins.

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As we approach the general election next May, Slugger will be hosting a series of articles looking at the chances of each of the main parties next year. Writing for us on the Conservatives is the former Deputy Chairman and pollster, Lord Ashcroft. Since I stepped down as the Conservatives’ Deputy Chairman in 2010 my more…

Nelson McCausland misled Assembly over a meeting which had no apparent or measurable effect…

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Getting accused of ‘misleading the Assembly’ is problematic for any minister. So it is for Nelson McCausland in the majority report of his department’s oversight committee. The minority report (composed entirely of MLAs of his own party) takes his view that he had merely ‘inadvertently misinformed’ them. The committee chair, Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey laid more…

Belfast’s Burning – VICE News reports from Lanark Way

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An outsider’s view of eleventh night bonfires from VICE News. Jake Hanrahan based himself at the Lanark Way bonfire, interviewing those building the dizzyingly high tower of pallets as well as those who came along to the structure burn. Near the end of the ten minute video report [8:50] one lad seems to surprise the more…