Topic Archives: Society and Culture

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…

What Northern Ireland might learn from Rory McIlroy… (ie, sidestepping vanity, becoming the thing you want to be…)

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There’s an odd typo in one of the few press releases to make it through Sinn Fein’s unofficial (and largely unreported embargo on letting any substantial work past through its hands at OFMdFM). In only its second effort of the First and deputy First Minster talk about McIlroy’s “rich vain of form.” Maybe it’s because more…

Derrylin to host hunger strike commemoration

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The 2014 National Hunger Strike Commemoration has been announced to be in Derrylin Co. Fermanagh this year complete with buses to the event. Diane Woods the niece of local IRA murder victims Thomas and Emily Bullock told the Belfast Telegraph she felt sick at the prospect. From the Belfast Telegraph: A gang of up to more…

Are we slowly waking up to the pressing need to deal with child sexual abuse?

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Something interesting is happening in the territory of child sexual abuse. The arrests over the last few days indicate a few rather disturbing patterns… Police forces across the country have arrested 660 suspected paedophiles including doctors, teachers and former police officers in the biggest operation for more than ten years targeting online child abusers. A more…

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

UPDATED #ShinnersList not a secret and not an amnesty…

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So, the #ShinnersList is real, legal but not an enforceable amnesty… The police had realised they had made a mistake, but the assurance to the County Donegal man was never withdrawn. “Nothing in law or logic” explained their failure to rectify the error, Lady Justice Hallett said. “The administrative scheme was kept ‘below the radar’ more…

Gove, Cameron and the old four year Switcheroo…

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Here’s a classic case of where the polling mechanism breaks down. The question presumes there’s a meaningful difference in interest between Michael Gove and his boss, the British Prime Minister. I’m not convinced there is any such difference. I saw the Indy going to town on the salary loss, but to be frank, career progression more…

“That is not a state of affairs they would expect to find in a competently run country.”

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Riffing on the row over Garth Brooks’ non-concerts in Croke Park that has consumed local media attention, in the Irish Times John McManus has some pertinent points to make about the long-running saga of who controls the former Quinn Group companies – and the accompanying campaign of attacks and intimidation. In recent weeks one consortium, Quinn Business Retention more…

Changing the conversation about the media … do you feel the hand of vested interests? #xss14

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Friday morning at Xchange summer school began with a two hour session looking at how to change the conversation about the media. Denzil McDaniel was joined on the second hand sofas by former journalist and spin-doctor Lance Price, digital investigative journalist Steven McCaffery and ex-newspaper editor, columnist and commentator Nick Garbutt. It was Lance Price’s more…

Time for an urgent review of all Northern Ireland’s oversight bodies

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When the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland (PONI) recently accused the PSNI of refusing to provide his office with information relating to certain investigations, he acted on his interpretation of a set of facts. The police had their own, alternative interpretation, insisting that they have a legal responsibility for the care and management of all more…

Police win flag protest appeal

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As the BBC reports, the Appeals Court has overturned a High Court ruling in April that the PSNI misdirected themselves in relation to policing the flag protests in Belfast – which “led to the situation in which the police facilitated illegal and sometimes violent parades with the effect of undermining the 1998 Act, in breach more…