IRA: war is over – but not just yet

Looks like the Guardian may have jumped the gun. In recent days there has been feverish speculation within certain political inner circles about a possible act of completion by Christmas. But in this case it seems someone has jumped before the IRA. More from UTV and The Examiner. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay … Read more

Blair and Ahern

Blair and Ahern are to set aside current schedules to have an emergency summit. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on … Read more

IRA: war is over?

It seems like the IRA believe that their day has come. The fact that the Guardian’s chief political correspondent has signed his name to an article on that paper’s front page seems a significant enough omen in itself, (though check the updates for the latest on this story). “…the IRA will announce a comprehensive act of weapons decommissioning – in effect giving up its secret arms dumps.” And the story that might have otherwise have been NI’s only big headline … Read more

Vote early, vote often

Great story on the once venerable Irish tradition of vote stealing. However, it looks like it’s all over now. Update: from the BBC. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if … Read more

The importance of trade

The subscription only Irish News reports on President Mary McAleese’s emphasis on building cross border trade partnerships: “…synergies between our respective indigent business sectors, to send fleets of consumer goods both ways across the border, to spread the benign embrace of jobs and prosperity widely as never before. The transition from a culture of conflict with all its wastefulness and woundedness to a culture of peace, prosperity and consensus is unfolding little by little. “In this context, the one factor … Read more

Derry name change?

SDLP councillor suggests Sinn Fein’s recent motion was: “…only a matter of putting the boot into the SDLP. I think on the whole that the people of this city will be relieved that a motion aimed at further heightening tension in this city, creating further alienating and marginalisation of the Protestant people, has not gone through.’’ More on the Letter. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical … Read more

McCartney enters talks

Long term anti agreement politician Bob McCartney seems to have conceded that simply bringing down the Assembly will not change the institutions set up under the Belfast Agreement. On the face of it, this is pretty much an acceptance of Brian Feeney’s analysis at the time of the collapse of the Assembly in early October. It’s also possible McCartney is testing the waters for a possible entry to the talks by his long time allies in the DUP. adminA slightly … Read more

Policing drama

Brian Walker considers the possibility of break through over the latest crux – policing. He also reckons that St Patrick’s Day is to be the new Good Friday, as a deadline for a fresh agreement. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background … Read more

Derry name change

Reader Ian makes an observation on the Derry name plebiscite issue. He states that he is in favour changing the official name from Londonderry to Derry, but: “The argument in favour [of the plebiscite] is that the people should decide, and not accepting this is ‘anti-democratic’. But do people follow this through? Should 80% of the population of Derry (which notably would also be the proportion in an all-Ireland state) get to make 100% of decisions? Was not the problem … Read more

DUP: the jolly party

Susanne Breen’s sketch of the DUP is irrepressively optimistic about its future. “The message was there are no DUP dinosaurs. This is a modern, dynamic party. The DUP was written off after the Belfast Agreement. The road had been long and hard, said Peter Robinson, ‘but the dark days and tough times are in our rear view mirror.’” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You … Read more

Ireland importing wood for hurleys

Makers are now importing almost half of the ash needed to produce the 250,000 hurleys sold annually in Ireland, mostly from Scotland and Wales. A big increase in the sport’s popularity over recent years means demand for sticks now far outstrips the supply. More in the subscription only Irish Post. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy … Read more

Forum for Peace and Reconciliation.

The delegations at the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation include Fianna Fail, SDLP, Fine Gael, the Labour Party, Sinn Féin, the Progressive Democrats, the Alliance Party, the Green Party, independent Dail deputies, the Women’s Coalition, independent senators, the Socialist Party and the Workers Party. In the chair is Senator Maurice Hayes, a former Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, who also served on the Patten Commission on Policing. There are no Unionist parties in attendence, although the Irish Independent has a short … Read more

Democratic accountability needed

Eric Waugh mulls over the growing cynicism of local people with regard to politics, asserting that it’s the low level of official political discourse that has brought it into disrepute. Greater accountability is the answer: “If the Executive is to fill the role of government it must behave in public with the spirit of a Cabinet, not like a committee of tomcats. If the Assembly is to fill the role of a parliament it must have an Opposition. If Ministers … Read more

Derry name change?

Having had their motion defeated in council, Sinn Fein move on to the second phase of what increasingly looks like a concerted strategy, especially in view of the fact that Sinn Fein refused to support an SDLP compromise motion allowing both names. The latest is a call for a local plebiscite on the potential name change. Although, as the Daily Telegraph pointed out yesterday, the power to change the name officially lies with Westminster, there is little doubt that such … Read more

Is the DUP pro-agreement?

David Trimble raises a question we firsted noted in September; is the DUP substantively pro- or anti-Agreement? “There will be no tearing up of the Agreement if Robinson gets his way. The basics will remain the same. The Robinson wing of the DUP has accepted the politics of inclusion, the DUP is effectively a pro-Agreement party – albeit one that cannot be trusted to deliver good partnership government or benefit for unionism.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments … Read more

Voluntary sector feeling the squeeze

Conal McFeely argues that voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland has a key role in regenerating urban communities, but that “there is a failure of government structures to get resources to local groups that effectively address the challenge of rebuilding areas of weak community infrastructure in Northern Ireland.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to … Read more

One sided forum needs Unionists

Sean Farren of the SDLP has called for Unionists to partake in the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation which begins proceedings in Dublin Castle on Wednesday. At this stage the body is being looked upon as a sounding board rather than a means for developing new proposals to bring back to the negotiating table. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know … Read more

No change on monarch's religion

Former shadow Northern Ireland spokeman Kevin McNamara has had a bid to repeal the Act of Settlement, which prevents Catholics or members of the royal family who marry Catholics from succeeding to the throne, rejected by Tony Blair. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a … Read more

The Abbey and the Gate

In trying to define the term canard, weblogger Kieran Healey rambles comically off the point. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole … Read more

School, guns and informing

Interesting piece from Danny Morrison on the origins of his distrust of authority, in the very early days of the troubles – via the Badger’s weblog. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this … Read more