Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Dr. Eireann Kerr: the law worse than an ass

The conviction of Dr. Eireann Kerr raises more questions than it answers and brings the law into disrepute. Dr. Kerr was in 2013 a 30 year old anaesthetist working in Altnagelivn. On a work night out she became grossly intoxicated and attacked a police officer biting his finger and calling the police officers peasants before more…

Two’s Trouble: Double Acts in Irish History

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Barring one slip up in Celtic Park, the Republic of Ireland soccer team’s latest campaign has so far seen the shrewd marshalling of limited resources by two generals rather than one. The team’s defensive and occasionally offensive strategy underpinned by a positive psychology begs the question whether O’Neill and Keane might be the latest in more…

Jim Wells: Has he damaged the DUP? UPDATED

Wells

Any hopes that the DUP had that last night’s ill-judged comments by Health Minister Jim Wells would be quickly forgotten appear to be fast receding. If anything the ‘apology’ by Mr. Wells betrays ignorance on the part of the Health Minister more than anything else. Sadly the PSNI have now confirmed that they are now more…

Raise a glass to Hubble! – Redux

Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Image - Westerlund 2

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 25th Anniversary in space today, 24th April, with the release of this wondrous image of the giant star-cluster, Westerlund 2, in the stellar nursery, Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.  [Image credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund more…

A Terrible Beauty is Born!  Post – Conflict Fiction & Responding Creatively to the Past.

Scene of the Murder of Lord Justice Maurice Gibson and his wife Cecily killed in a PIRA bomb explosion at Killeen, Newry, Co. Down. Various shots of the scene and detective putting on his bullet proof jacket at the scene.

We can all think of memorable novels that have had their conceptual and narrative core located within ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland. Still more material has been mined through adaptations of autobiographies or memoirs from ‘combatants’ of the conflict. Plots have generally been driven by tense dénouement involving betrayal and counter -betrayal by security forces more…

Belfast Bikes: gearing up for a spoketacular revolution?

Belfast Bikes bike rack

It’s been 25 years or more since I last rode a bicycle when I was a teenager. Cycling proficiency is a dim memory of riding along a road painted onto the tarmac playground with an arm stuck out to indicate I was about to turn. It doesn’t take long to walk across Belfast. Yet the more…

Senator George Mitchell Recommends Integrated Education – Queen’s Conflict Transformation Spring Festival

Mitchell

Senator George Mitchell was back in Belfast yesterday to deliver Queen’s University’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s third annual Harri Holkeri Lecture on ‘Reflections on Brokering Peace in Divided Societies.’ Mitchell shared memories and insights about his role in brokering the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, before fielding questions from the more…

“…there is no debate because there can be no debate”

Charlie Hebdo

This from Belfast emigre Robert McLiam Wilson, via Henry McDonald: “I am feeling a touch of shame today. Cancelling such an event in the face of putative menace in a city that endured a 30-year torture of self-immolation seems worse than pusillanimous. Belfast? Seriously? This is not the city I remember. This cancellation says, with more…

Quote of the day: Having your future now *and* eating it later?

Just this from John Stewart on the Today Programme on BBC Radio Four this morning when questioned about Hillary Clinton running for the Whitehouse: I don’t think anybody knows who’s going to win. Wait. Do you know? Are you from the future? If so, I would like to bet on some games. What happens with more…

Queen’s Institute for Conflict Transformation’s Spring Festival of Events, 22 April-28 May – Featuring Senator George Mitchell and Baroness Nuala O’Loan

spring festival

Queen’s University’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s (ISCTSJ) Spring Festival of Events gets underway tomorrow with Senator George Mitchell delivering the third annual Harri Holkeri Lecture on ‘Reflections on Brokering Peace in Divided Societies.’ The former US Senator is best known in these parts for his role in chairing the more…

Devaluing parliamentary privilege as vital tenet in a democracy…

Great piece by a very measured Mick Clifford on what constitutes an abuse of Parliamentary privilege in Dail Eireann. Takes for an example the ways in which two TDs – Mick Wallace and Claire Daly – who have each made important contributions to investigations into Garda practice have strayed across a crucial line: Filtering is more…

#SluggerDaily Report: Two wee dugs called the SNP and Scottish Labour…

listen to ‘#SluggerReport Daily – Scotland's Biggest Winners and Losers…’ on audioBoom This morning’s #SluggerReport Daily on Scotland, keep an ear out for my two wee dug’s theory towards the end… iPhone users can hear the ‪#‎SluggerReport‬ LIVE every weekday at 10am only on the Periscope app. This is a ‘redux’ version which you can more…

“Today, I hold fast to all tenets of mistrust…”

The novelist Howard Jacobson on the virtues of art and literature over politics and politicians… It doesn’t follow from what I say that we should hand over the reins of political power to artists. They wouldn’t make a better job of it. But we would all make a better job of thinking about politics – more…

New abortion proposals published…

The Department of Justice in N Ireland issued a call for members of the public to discuss whether abortion should be allowed here in cases of ‘lethal’ foetal abnormality or for pregnancy following rape or incest, as I indicated here. The DoJ indicated that they did not wish to open the debate around abortion beyond more…