Topic Archives: Society and Culture

There Is No Alternative! (to Casement Park development plan)

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A fairly desperate argument from lawyers for the Northern Ireland Planning Service in Belfast High Court today, during the judicial review of the planned £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast.  As the BBC reports The judge heard that DCAL have contributed £62.5m of the £77m cost of rebuilding the stadium as part of a project involving more…

The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit

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At the frontline during the UN Climate Summit

Where does the Climate Change Summit sit in the context of a Post-2015 Climate Agreement? When the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, took to the streets of New York with 300,000 climate change demonstrators – in parallel with one hundred protest actions around the world – he was signalling a decisive new phase more…

Labour Party: “Making no progress on welfare has financial implications. It is not a cost-free choice…”

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As Mick mentioned, the repeated attempts to blame the fallout from the Northern Ireland Executive’s deadlock on Welfare Reform on “the right wing Tory/DUP austerity agenda“, or “the British Tory Government“, or, more frequently, “a cabinet of Tory millionaires“,  have been dealt a blow by clarification of the Labour Party’s position by the Shadow NI Secretary of more…

Miliband: Stormont parties must carry on with welfare reform…

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It’s well worth watching Stephen Walker’s interview with Ed Miliband in Manchester for last night’s Newsline. It’s not good news for Sinn Fein who’ve been counting Macawberlike for something to turn up with regard to their hold out on the negotiated welfare reform deal: “The Labour leader said his party would abolish what he calls more…

Northern Ireland. We’re happy, happy, happy, apparently…

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I loved the report on UTV last night where they went to Antrim town to interview the happy inhabitants there: ‘Happy? Sure there;s nothing here!” Phew, that’s what I thought too. At guess I would say there’s two factors. One, people in Northern Ireland still adhere to family and friendship structures in a way that’s more…

How to get nominated for Seanad Eireann (in one easy lesson)…

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Interesting insight into just how odd the electoral mechanism to the upper chamber in Dublin is, and just what an insiderly game the business of public appointments is. The Arts Minister, Heather Humphreys, has defended a decision to appoint Fine Gael’s Seanad by-election candidate to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) more…

Ivan Lewis (shadow SoS) sets up Heenan-Anderson commission to address worklessness & intergenerational poverty

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Ivan Lewis

English MPs with an interest in Northern Ireland are coming along like buses today. Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis delivered a speech to the Labour party conference in Manchester this afternoon. He joked that the city was home “to three institutions in serious decline … the Tory party, more…

Celebrating Louis MacNeice in Carrickfergus

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macneice flyer

The anniversary of the birth of the poet and playwright Louis MacNeice was marked on 12 September with a celebratory event in Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre. The event was titled ‘Beyond the Hawthorn Hedge, the Sound of Bugles,’ and was hosted by local historian and author Philip Orr. It included an engaging lecture by more…

IndyRef: A new dispensation

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The returning officer for Fife declared at 06.09am and he stated that 114,148 votes had been cast for YES, but 139,788 for NO. That put NO over the winning line. The Better Together campaign had triumphed by a margin of 55% to 45%. On a turnout of 86% that means that 1.6million people in Scotland more…

“to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

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In the absence of any further explanation from Sinn Féin for Caitríona Ruane’s dramatic flouncing off the NI Policing Board selection panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable on Monday, her party colleague on the Board, Gerry Kelly, MLA, has attempted to defend her actions. “If the process is wrong and particularly if the belief [is] more…