Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Fennelly reports a comedy of errors at the Department of Justice…

For those of you watching/caring, here’s the nub of the Fennelly report, published late on Tuesday (most of it after the Taoiseach went onto the Six One News), Vicky Conway: Despite it being such a serious matter and even though he was statutorily accountable to the minister and the Government, Callinan first discussed this matter with more…

“the involvement of those Provisional IRA ‘structures’ in the events leading up to, and including, the murder of Kevin McGuigan”

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So, here. With a few notable exceptions, many commentators seem to be struggling with the particulars of the current crisis… For all the inattention of the London Press, the problem hasn’t eluded the Times of London, whose leader today is pretty unambiguous. In the Guardian Mary Dejevsky’s analysis appears to miss some of the more granular political detailing, more…

“Those who the police believe ordered and implemented the murder of Kevin McGuigan are mainstream not mavericks.”

Via Newshound.  And for the, apparently, hard of understanding.  Suzanne Breen hones in on the important detail at the heart of the current political kerfuffle.  From Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Life The North has plunged into a political crisis, the Stormont institutions are on the brink of collapse, and unionist and nationalist politicians are bickering as though the more…

There are lessons from Northern Ireland for the SNP’s row over Nick Robinson and the BBC

The row between the BBC’s outgoing political editor Nick Robinson and the former Scotland first minister Alex Salmond  reminds me of experience in  Northern Ireland during the Troubles  where there was a similar lack of fundamental agreement about the political destiny of the country. Nick’s row arose out of questions he put to Alex at more…

“The real story is not the existence of some skeleton structure, but the sound of gunfire…”

It’s not the still-extant Provisional IRA structures that are the immediate cause for concern, although “stupid” questions could, and should, be asked about their ultimate purpose, it’s the involvement of those Provisional IRA ‘structures’ in the events leading up to, and including, the murder of Kevin McGuigan, and the continued denials [of that reality! – Ed] more…

Tánaiste: “This is an insidious threat to Northern Ireland’s future as a healthy, stable democracy, and therefore a threat to the whole of this island.”

Brian’s weariness at another political crisis notwithstanding, it would be a mistake to dismiss reaction to recent events as a “kerfuffle”.  There are legitimate concerns, and two men have been murdered.  The Irish Justice Minister, Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald, has asked the Garda Commissioner for a “fresh assessment” of Provisional IRA activities to take into more…

Villiers: “My understanding is, very much in line with that of the chief constable, that a number of the organisational structures of the Provisional IRA still exist…”

Sinn Féin continue with their policy of denial [of reality… – Ed], although Gerry Kelly has come closest to acknowledging that reality according to this RTÉ report Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Kelly said based on the political evidence over the past ten years, the IRA has not been active and therefore does not exist in more…

The disaster of the 1970s: truisms in need of challenge?

As I noted previously in relation to the 1983 election campaign there is a tendency in political analysis to accept truisms which are historically inaccurate or at least highly incomplete. One of the recent manifestations of this tendency (also related to the current Labour leadership campaign) is that Corbyn is going to take the UK more…

“Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing…

In the Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke highlights a significant point from the police assessment of Provisional IRA involvement in the murder of Kevin McGuigan – a point that was not included in earlier reports of that police assessment.  From the Belfast Telegraph article Police have confirmed that senior IRA members conducted an inquiry into the more…

PSNI Det Supt Geddes: “It is my assessment at this stage and my belief that people who are members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder, but we will not speculate on at what level.”

The police held a press conference today on the on-going investigation into the murder of former Provisional IRA member Kevin McGuigan Sr in the Short Strand area of Belfast last week – he had reportedly been “warned by the police that he was under threat from republicans” following the murder of former PIRA commander Gerard ‘Jock’ more…

A possible solution to the parading issue in Northern Ireland?

Lee Reynolds in transit at Belfast's Orange Parade, 12 July 2011

Alex Johnson writes for us on how he thinks the parading issue could be solved in Northern Ireland In my experience all problems have a solution. What is so often lacking in this part of the world is the understanding and guts to bring solutions into operation. I would like to suggest solutions to two more…

Happy days were here again for Beckett in Femanagh

Great to see that the  unapologetically highbrow Beckett Festival which has just ended in Fermanagh for this year, has survived the funding famine. This is quite a feat for the celebrations of such a unsentimental and enigmatic author, whose work is so at odds with the normal run of Irish summer fare. Perhaps this is more…