“Where does [Coveney] think the threat to peace comes from?”

Also for the weekend, with Brexit still hiding in as yet an amorphous form, Newton Emerson is concerned with the strange in-caution of the Republic’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs: Speaking to RTÉ from negotiations in Brussels, he said: “What we do not want to pretend is that we can solve the problems of the more…

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A Passport to Nationalist Insurrection?

I recently discovered Jamie Bryson, and as with the discovery of any hidden gem, I’ll confess I’m rapt. It’s not yet clear to me whether Jamie believes everything he says or whether he’s simply realised that hyperbole is a sure fire path to notoriety. But after his latest offering, I’d have to say the balance more…

Nolan: A Public Service Broadcaster?

Yesterday, on Twitter, the trending hashtag was #BBCPay. Today it’s #BBCPaygap. The big story, yesterday, as far as I was concerned, was the squandering of licence-payer money. The paygap was a secondary story. Important, yes, but not the main story.  The BBC thought otherwise and drove the agenda in its chosen direction. The only Northern more…

“….a need to develop a coherent, clear and warm relationship between people in the two jurisdictions”

As delivered by Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh TD in Glenties tonight at the MacGill Summer School. Edwin Poots was in the audience (see Gerry Moriarty’s report tonight), with Mary Lou McDonald (abreviated), Katy Hayward, David Gavaghan and moderated by Denis Bradley: A few years ago I travelled to Stormont with around a dozen Fine more…

“In the Autumn, Northern Ireland must have a proper Budget in place…”

As the only adult (politician) left in the room, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has intervened, for a second time, on NI Executive business and reallocated £131 million in funding to local departments [pdf file (216kb)].  From the BBC report Health and education are the major beneficiaries of £131m in additional money for more…

“School’s out for Summer Schools”: The Week In Irish Politics

So that’s it. The political term over and done with. Politicians off on their holidays and the lights all off in Leinster House. They’re all in Marbella, Magaluf or Corfu. At least that’s the impression you get any time you read the papers upon the rising of the houses of the Oireachtas for any recess. more…

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Stephen Nolan earning nearly half a million a year

The BBC has released salary details of presenters and stars earning more than 150K. As expected Stephen Nolan is the highest locally paid presenter earning a salary of between £400,000 and £449,999 a year. Nolan is famously a workaholic: The Belfast-born broadcaster presents a number of radio and TV programmes for the BBC. He presents more…

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Bigger parties running for cover as services come under the knife…

Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people are the real casualties of the current Stormont impasse. Funding cuts and restrictions across the board are causing chaos in voluntary organisations and educational institutions across the country. But seemingly the main political parties aren’t in the least bit concerned. Despite polarised politics being the cause of the problem the more…

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Review of One Man, One God: The Peace Ministry of Fr Alec Reid

For many years the labours that constituted Fr Alec Reid’s (1931-2013) life work remained behind closed doors. It had to be that way: what he was doing was much too sensitive to be public knowledge. We have known for some time that Reid instigated secret talks that helped kick-start the Northern Ireland peace process. He more…

Ireland top of the Agenda in Today’s Brexit Negotiations

Today sees Ireland take centre stage in the Brexit negotiations.  The border, along with the UK’s divorce bill and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, are the three headline areas where significant progress must be made before negotiations move towards a free trade agreement. Although Brexit Secretary David Davis has headed back more…

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Beyond a Spin of the Wheel – GPs and mental health care

The crisis facing GP services in Northern Ireland has been well documented, including in previous posts on Slugger O’Toole.  Increasing patient lists, ‘red tape’, underfunding, an ageing workforce and the compounding of health issues in deprived communities due to austerity policies, are only some of the problems faced by the service. The British Medical Association more…

Met with British Ambassador Robin Barnett today to discuss Brexit & present him with a copy of the Seanad Brexit report

White Paper: The Future of Europe: Overview

In the last decade, Europe has faced some of its most formidable challenges in the post war era. The European Union has been shaken by a wave of terror attacks across cities in several member states and the influx of refugees, fleeing war and economic stagnation, bringing into question the notion of border controls within more…

Detail from the book cover to John Lloyd's book.

Now might be a good time to start a ‘slow journalism’ movement…?

Interesting spat over the media and politics, between Denis Bradley and Stephen Nolan. My own thoughts fall into two parts: one, this is not new nor specific to Northern Ireland; and two, in insisting Nolan carry the can, the abject nature of the general news cycle gets off the hook. Any opportunity to reference John Lloyd’s more…