Loyalist feud re-opens?

News of a shooting in Belfast has just shown up on this Australian site. The BBC claim it is linked to the Loyalist feud. 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 … Read more

Loyalist spilt: Christmas illwill

Looks like the current stand-off between the current UDA leadership and Johnny Adair is building in tension. 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 … Read more

Nigel Dodds: Fornight interview

Nigel Dodds gives little away in a long interview with Robbie Meredith. 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 Twitter. But … Read more

2002: BBC round-up of the year

Brian Rowan with a round-up of the year in Northern Irish politics. 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 Twitter. But … Read more

BBC's top song of all time

It seems that the BBC’s open invitation has encouraged some of Britain’s former colonies to vie for the world title; it seems that the Irish nationalist campaign won out, just ahead of the Hindu and Pakistani candidates. 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 … Read more

Republic's good news/bad news

A self-styled fin de siècle round-up on Ireland’s fortunes and misfortunes from North Atlantic Skyline. 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

Happy Christmas….

Blogging at Letter to Slugger O’Toole will be scarce to intermittent over the holidays. Newshound I presume will be continuing a service through the holidays. In the meantime please feel free to email me, or use the comment fields to continue discussions. 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 … Read more

Census puts an end to myth?

In the Observer on Sunday Henry McDonald compared the Catholic majority by 2016 that had been the source of some speculation before last Thursday’s announcement of the final census figures, with the myth of Santa Claus: “…the straight-talking statisticians at the census office metaphorically ripped off Santa’s beard last Thursday and exposed the ‘Count the Catholics’ theory as a fake.” Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and … Read more

Future depends on the IRA

Barry White sums up the feeling of nearly all Unionists and a rising number of Nationalists: “The IRA hold the key to any political progress, by making it possible for unionists to return to devolution. Without acts of completion, and finality to their war, the alternative is indefinite direct rule, which is hardly a Sinn Fein objective.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will … Read more

Problems with economic re-unification

Sean Mac Carthaigh and Eamonn Quinn make a case for developing an all-Ireland economy now. 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

Census begs political re-assessment

It seems that after the announcement Unionist commentators have been much quicker to print their analysis of the Census results than Nationalists. The Newsletter sees it as sealing the bottom line of the Union and Graham Gudgin concludes: Nationalist expectations of a future Catholic majority have risen so high it will take more than a single census to bring them back down to earth. Sooner or later, though, there will have to be a re-assessment. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor … Read more

Stormont raid: information on DUP members

The seizure of documents in the raid of Sinn Fein offices continues to provide a drip feed of information that may prove damaging to Sinn Fein. This comes on the heels of a story in the Sunday Life speculating that there may be four IRA spies in government. 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

Donaldson calls for Unionist unity

Jeffrey Donaldson, until recently an enormous thorn in the side of his leader David Trimble is now calling for wider unity within the Unionist camp, “I think a divided unionism, not just within the UUP, in fact the greater divisions within unionism are between the two parties.” Though there is nothing particularly unusual about such a call before elections, the recent adoption of former Tory MP Andrew Hunter as DUP candidate in Donaldson’s constituency may have concentrated his mind on … Read more

Secret life of the IRA: review by Trimble

I can’t imagine James Molyneaux sitting down to read a book about the IRA, never mind write a review of one. This may not be the most enlightening piece on the IRA, but David Trimble opens an interesting speculative avenue on Unionism’s changing attitudes, both before and after this current process. Though many will argue that Trimble has had more time on his hands recently than most, it indicates that Unionists in general are seeking a more serious engagement with … Read more

Claudy bomb controversy

An inquiry (sub only) into the horrific bombing of the smally Co Derry village of Claudy in 1972 has made public that both Cardinal Conway and the British government knew of Catholic priest Father James Chesney’s involvement in the incident. A report from Susan McKay in the Sunday Herald specifically mentions the former Secretary of State Mo Mowlem as one of those who knew about the preist’s involvement. The Irish Examiner has a timeline of significant dates around the Claudy … Read more

Cenus figures no longer relevant

Sunday journalists have the advantage over their daily counterparts of having a few days to pass by before they finally commit their copy . Tom McGurk in the Sunday Business Post, has had a few days to consider the wider picture around the Census and concludes: …the whole purpose of the new politics is to end the imperative of sectarian headcounts, indeed to begin the process of finally liberating the Irish body politic from the dysfunctional, post-colonial impact of Westminster, … Read more

Census 2001: education figures

There has been a lot of contention around the change in the proportions of pupils in each sector of the education system. Here are the latest figures from the Department of Education NI, courtesy of reader Howard. 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 … Read more

A light break: and not a word about the census

To lighten the day, the latest Portadown News. 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 Twitter. But above all, remember, Play … Read more

Census 2001: Back stories

To pick up on how this story has been set up over the last few years, have a look at John Adams’ resume of opinion pieces, complete with links, and this article from Anthony McIntyre. Both look at the issue from a Nationalist point of view but, until now, that is where most of the comment and speculation has come from. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics … Read more

Census 2001: Republican disappointment

The Daily Telegraph sees the results as a major set-back for Republican strategists, something dissident Republican commentator Anthony McIntyre echoes strongly in this week’s edition of the Blanket: Nationalist number crunchers have been frustrated on two major counts. Firstly, the share of the nationalists fell considerably short of the anticipated 46%. Secondly, the unionists were more than 3% over the predicted minus-50%. Their psychological doomsday simply failed to approach the green horizon. “The big mistake of the nationalist hopefuls may … Read more