Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Irish Churches Peace Project Conference featuring Terry Waite – Questions and Reflections

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The Irish Churches Peace Project (ICPP) held a major conference to mark the closing stages of its programme, 26-27 March at the Hilton in Templepatrick. The conference featured as keynote speakers former hostage Terry Waite, Rev Emmanuel Murangira of Rwanda, and Rev Dr Johnston McMaster of the Junction’s Ethical and Shared Remembering Project. Waite, reflecting more…

Basil’s call to arms issued to a small room of cats (who may be reluctant to be herded) #tweetupni

Basil McCrea addressing Slugger tweetup

At Thursday night’s Slugger O’Toole Tweet Up in the Hudson Bar, Basil McCrea took the opportunity to deliver a more elaborate speech than the informal remarks I’d expected. (Earlier in the evening Máirtín Ó Muilleoir also stopped by for some casual craic.) The NI21 leader has been unusually quiet for a protracted period, though answered more…

After almost 70 years, the murder of Patricia Curran casts a long shadow

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Magna est veritias et prevailabit (Great is Truth and it will prevail) —Cicero (?) (Photo: Belfast Telegraph, Patricia Curran at centre) In the early hours of 12 November 1952 the body of Patricia Curran, the daughter of a judge, was ‘discovered’ by her brother, Desmond, just off the driveway to the family home at The more…

Ireland – a world innovator in deliberative democracy?

In December 2012 with the creation of the Convention on the Constitution, Ireland became a world innovator in deliberative democracy. Like similar international deliberative forums on constitutional reform (British Columbia, Ontario and the Netherlands) the Convention included randomly selected citizens. However unlike them it also included politicians from both parts of the island. Meeting over more…

Dave Duggan’s DENIZEN – a dissident republican addresses the court – drama performed in an actual courtroom

Dave Duggan denizen cover square

The word ‘denizen’ conjures up the notion of a citizen, yet perhaps one with fewer rights or living somewhere that isn’t home. It’s also the title of Dave Duggan’s new play, a courtroom drama written in verse which opens in the north west this weekend and will be performed in two courthouses. Interviewed last week, more…

Adams and child abuse: “if you keep telling a lie often enough, sometimes people believe it”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-24348798

An exclusive story in today’s Sunday Independent features an interview with the son of IRA murder victim Brian Stack. Speaking to Mairia Cahill,  the woman who first exposed the cover up of sexual abuse within the Republican Movement, Austin Stack details a host of horrific revelations. Austin Stack claims that Gerry Adams does not “grasp the more…

Profiling “cheeky sod” Nigel Dodds: Radio 4’s take on “possibly Britain’s least well-known Westminster leader”

Nigel Dodds Radio 4 Profile

Listening back to Radio 4’s recent Profile of Nigel Dodds is an opportunity both to find out more about the DUP’s deputy leader, and to discover what mainland Britain makes of Northern Ireland politics and politicians. It is clear that the BBC struggled to find material, and lengthy contributions from Diane Dodds and the News more…

Ex Sinn Fein Councillor’s stormy valedictory to Newry and Mourne

Post by Gabriel Curran. The other thing required of a politician is a thick skin, both with the electors and within the twists, turns and machinations of party whips. I’d heard of Councillor Brendan Curran’s stormy exit from Newry and Mourne Council earlier in the week, but was reluctant to blog it without a clear more…

“Sinn Féin’s purported defence of social welfare recipients will play well to their galleries”

Noel Whelan in his Irish Times column notes a cooling in Washington towards the leader of the Sinn Fein this week: …there was a sense that Gerry Adams was feted and focused on less during this year’s St Patrick’s festivities and exchanges than in previous years. The situation with his on/off/on again meeting with the US state more…

Simon Hamilton: We should improve how government works: smaller but smarter, cheaper but better

Simon Hamilton addressing NICVA conference on public innovation - NICVACEE

Speaking at NICVA’s Innovation – development, design and delivery conference to launch their Fostering Innovation Through Public Procurement report Simon Hamilton said that “Innovation in Public Services’ wasn’t an oxymoron. We should have vision and look to a future that is better. The DFP minister’s vision is that NI’s public services should be amongst the more…

Apathy about politics is the new politics of Northern Ireland, it seems.

Liam Clarke has been raiding the University of Edinburgh’s Academy of Government recent survey for insight on Northern Ireland, and he’s come up with what on the face of it are some surprising figures: The latest figures to show the decline in our political dynamic is a survey from the University of Edinburgh. It showed more…