Topic Archives: Society and Culture

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…

“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…

Journeys on the Scottish omnibus

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If you’re into politics then this is the happening place this week. I arrived in my native city last night and it started for me almost immediately. On the shuttle in from Glasgow airport the chaos of the universe decided to put me in the seat in front of Brian Wilson. For the uninitiated Brian more…

Sinn Féin: “In light of the need for absolute transparency in all public appointments and to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

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Earlier today the Sinn Féin MLA, and member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Caitríona Ruane, suddenly announced that she was unilaterally withdrawing from the panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable – claiming that she “[believed] that the process may have been compromised”.  Here’s the statement from Sinn Féin Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board member Caitríona Ruane more…

Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley: a religious and political life fully lived

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Paisley molyneaux

Any analysis of Ian Paisley in life or in death is tempered by one’s own views of him but also ones own view of post war Northern Ireland events: such is the extent to which the man came to define though actually rarely dominate events. There is circularity to Dr. Paisley’s life: he began as more…

Ian Paisley, a profile for Prospect Magazine from 2007…

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A version of this article first appeared in the May 2007 edition of Prospect Magazine… It’s replicated here on the occasion of the death of Ian Paisley Senior. Ian Paisley has been the single most disruptive figure in Northern Irish politics over the last 40 years. He has also been around longer than anyone else—the more…

Praying for Ian Paisley’s Soul

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I have prayed for the happy repose of the soul of Ian Paisley. Initially almost to make him turn in his grave, but then with sincerity. The Book of Common Prayer says that Christ died as a “full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world”. Note the sins more…

Lord Bannside / Ian Paisley (1926-2014)

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still from BBC eamonn mallie ian paisley interview

Born in Armagh in 1926, Ian Paisley grew up in Ballymena. Religiously he shifted from being an independent baptist preacher to found the Free Presbyterian Church after a Presbyterian church was forbidden to allow him to speak at a meeting in their church hall. Politically, his journey started by campaigning for a West Belfast Ulster more…

Why a Yes now would be taking a fling on Scotland’s health.

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In the 667 pages of the Scottish Government’s white paper, ‘Scotland’s Future’, a mere sixteen are dedicated to ‘Health, Social Care and the NHS’. The future of the NHS in Scotland, became a key battle-ground in the middle of August. Nationalist claims of privatisation and funding cuts to our National Health Service if Scotland remains in more…

What makes an #IndyRef don’t know an actual “Don’t Know”?

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This conversation recorded in a pub in Cupur by Reporting Scotland is worth leaving here if only for sake of outlining three concerns of Don’t Know voters (there’s vanishingly few of those if most of the polls are to be believed)… – One simply doesn’t know and cites the lack of information (a residual feature more…