Topic Archives: Politics

Cahill demands full disclosure from Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein

If you missed it, it is well worth watching Mairia Cahill on Vincent Browne last night… It’s an extraordinarily well conducted interview by Browne who stays focused the whole way through. Ms Cahill seems to start pretty nervously which provoked a few (mercifully few) Twitter to talk about doubting her story. Other still questioned the timing more…

Fianna Fáil: Doomsday is not here

Michael Martin is a capable, hardworking politician. Martin is not a complacent politician. He knew despite May’s good local election results that a significant job of work was still to be done. He has not risen to such lofty political heights because he is a man prone to fits of panic. His party’s members are. more…

Why the party membership could be our political salvation.

If we could have a term to describe the attitude of some supporters of political parties in Northern Ireland it would be people who like to indulge in “drinking the kool aid.” This term means to simply take the party line without question or any critical comment. The idea that your party is exceptional and more…

#CahillScandal: Are we validating rape as normal pyschosexual behaviour?

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Ed Moloney correctly notes that what Mairia Cahill outlined on Tuesday night’s Spotlight was (and remains) a scandal. If you doubt it, ask yourself why up to 13 individuals tried and failed at the High Court to have their names removed from the programme? The picture painted by Cahill is of Sinn Fein corporately acting on the more…

Gerry Adams’ ‘delinquent’ story on the Cahill case?

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UPDATED Alleged ‘abuse’ victim Maíria Cahill took to Twitter to reject a statement issued by Gerry Adams via the Sinn Féin website. Adams was reacting to allegations made on BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight: In his statement Adams said: In the Spotlight programme, broadcast last night, Mairia Cahill made an accusation relating to a meeting with more…

Jonathan Powell: The Lessons of Northern Ireland

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Following the launch of his new book ‘Talking to Terrorists,” former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell, writes exclusively for Slugger about the lessions he learned from his time working on the Northern Ireland peace process The Northern Ireland negotiations were the most difficult and frustrating challenge I faced in my more…

Nesbitt on Unionist unity and the Westminster election

Ahead of the UUP Conference on Saturday, Irish News political correspondent, John Manley sat down with the party leader, Mike Nesbitt to discuss Unionist unity and the upcoming Westminster elections. Let’s begin with the UUP target seats for the upcoming election that Nesbitt thinks are ripe for his party He identifies DUP-held South Antrim and more…

The Queens University Border Poll – semantics, sectarianism or substance?

As many of you may be aware, the Sinn Féin students at Queens University in Belfast have succeeded in gaining sufficient votes to trigger a “united Ireland Poll” among the student body. This matter seems to have energised parts of the mainstream media to an inordinate degree, particularly the Belfast Telegraph. Personally I am all more…

And the irreplaceable Willie Hay remains irreplaceable, apparently

The news on Mitchel McLaughlin not getting the seat Peter Robinson once promised him, in two Tweets… One, if Mitchel ain’t getting it, no one is… McLaughlin didn't get the post then as expected? @mickfealty this truly is a farce of a govt http://t.co/Wlf30E34dk — Katie-o (@kateyo) October 13, 2014 Two, some context… Unionists causing more…

Shirlow on the gap between slowly shifting attitudes and political positions

Peter Shirlow has to deal with politicians and so cannot afford to sound completely exasperated or polemical. Informed  by his detailed work in the communities  he discusses the perceived gap between public attitudes and the starker political  positions in the Belfast Telegraph, in the light of the recent LucidTalk poll commissioned by the paper. I would only add more…

Course on ‘Remembering a Decade of Change & Violence in Ireland, 1912-1922,’ with Johnston McMaster & Cathy Higgins

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A seven-week education and training programme on ‘Remembering a Decade of Change and Violence in Ireland, 1912-1922,’ will be delivered by Rev Dr Johnston McMaster and Dr Cathy Higgins each Tuesday from 21 October to 2 December at the Lansdowne Hotel, 657 Antrim Road in Belfast. The evening begins with tea/coffee/sandwiches from 6 pm and more…

Two Gallants

This week a messianic nationalist party of still dubious respectability came within 600 by-election votes of cementing beyond doubt its credentials as the main electoral threat to the senior coalition partner. (more…)

On Jonathan Powell – a vision is needed for talking to terrorists

I haven’t yet managed to read Jonathan Powell’s new book: Talking to Terrorists: How to End Armed Conflicts”,  but potted  versions like this one in Prospect magazine  delivers his thesis with his usual crispness. “In democracies we cannot kill all the terrorists, so we will have to talk to them at some stage! And just in more…

PUP conference review – in favour of opposition; against welfare reform but critical of Sinn Féin

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This year’s Progressive Unionist Party conference [party website down!] was held in the Dunsilly Hotel outside Antrim. About 80 delegates were present, around 40% were women, some of whom were obviously now making a big impact on party policy and direction. The audience seemed a little younger than previous years. It was good to see more…

“Are you going to pay your water charges, Gerry?”

To pay or not to pay water charges was the question of the week for the southern wing of Sinn Féin.  In the north, things are completely different…  Under pressure from former MEP Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the party’s candidate in today’s by-election in Dublin South West, Cllr Cathal King, had majored heavily more…