Archive | November, 2002

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.

Blair and Ahern

Blair and Ahern are to set aside current schedules to have an emergency summit.

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 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.

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 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 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. 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.

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 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 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.

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 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 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 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 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.”

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.

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.

The Abbey and the Gate

In trying to define the term canard, weblogger Kieran Healey rambles comically off the point.

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.