No IRA disbandment likely in the short term

Whilst Martin McGuinness discounts a formal disbandment of the IRA, he draws attention to the other side of the equation: “People recognize that against the backdrop of ongoing attacks by the UDA against Catholics, and the failure of the British to demilitarize, that this is something that is not going to go anywhere. So that seems to have gone off the radar screen in the course of recent times.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late … Read more

End of Irish neutrality?

Well, maybe not quite yet. But this American blogger in the Republic is pleased about Bertie Ahern’s body language over attacks on his decision to allow American airplanes to re-fuel at Shannon. Update: this graphic shows which European countries will remain officially neutral. 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 … Read more

RIRA to continue war

Whatever happens as a result of the current negotiations, the Real IRA have made it clear they will not be going on ceasefire. 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

Negotiations: what chance success?

Back in October whilst we were putting together our own account of the breakdown of the Stormont crisis, the Irish World’s Belfast correspondent Peter Kelly put together his own view of where we were then and where the process might take us. Since then, most of the negotiation has taken place through bilateral meetings and behind closed doors. Little of substance has emerged since Blair’s speech in Belfast in November. The apparent disinterest amongst Unionists in the re-negotiations implies that … Read more

Republicanism: analysis good, practice wanting

Weblogger Paul Dunne breaks free of the constraints of the weblog with an acute analysis of the practical problems facing dissident Republicans. By the end he virtually administers the last rights over not just the Republican movement, but Irish politics as a distinct genre. 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 … Read more

Negotiations: next big date

The 12th February has been named as the day for large scale meetings between the two governments and all the NI parties. However David Ford, leader of the Alliance party, warned against the inherent dangers of the favoured bilateral pattern for continued negotiation: “If these meetings are going to be any value, we simply have to get away from hidden side deals being made with individual parties. For that reason, I would call for the Prime Minister and Taoiseach to … Read more

Ireland, Iraq and neutrality

Regardless of the fate of Ireland’s controversial neutral stance, a substantial number of it’s great and good have come out against a possible war in Iraq. BTW, the BBC are running a radio series called Ireland’s Neutral War, looking at Ireland’s non participation in World War II. It can be found in the Radio archive (just scroll down). 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

Derry name change: conflicting views

Newshound carries yesterday’s editorial from the Irish News on the name change controversy. It reflects the feeling of a lot of nationalists, ie that Derry is much less sectarian than it’s counterpart Belfast, and that this move will soon be forgotten. However as we reported on Wednesday, that is not the current feelings amongst Unionists. Some have seen this issue as a forewarning of how their identity might be treated in a future unified state. Indeed the feelings might well … Read more

Negotiations: confused?

First the Unionist’s will not be taking part in any negotiations. Then Sinn Fein are reputed to be waiting for some word from the British Prime Minister. The DUP are calling for a complete re-negotiation of the Agreement. And the SDLP are in trouble with everyone over their plans to further reform the police. If anything changes, we will try to keep you informed. Or better, if you hear before us, drop us a line! adminA slightly inhuman presence that … Read more

Derry name change

David McKittrick reports on unionist anger at the proposed dropping of Londonderry as the city’s official name. Indeed the issue has encouraged lively debate in this comments box on Slugger. 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 … Read more

Agreement too 'fluffy' for NI politics?

Eric Waugh focuses his direct criticism on Martin McGuinness. But what’s really interesting in his reading of the Belfast Agreement, is that whilst we may have a unique form of consociational government that theoretically enfranchises all sides of the community, the combative nature of competitive democracy may mean it just cannot work in practice. “One of the signal failures of the Agreement has been its utter inability to inspire its brainchild, the power-sharing Executive, with even the semblance of cohesion. … Read more

Women and NI

Clearly inspired by Newton Emerson’s controversial attack on the NIWC last week, Emily Jones does a round up piece on women in Northern Ireland (and elsewhere). 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

Odd spellings in Galway, Oxford and other places

In argument against a rising trend towards what he terms Mid Altantic Beige, Sean McCann weighs in on behalf odd spelling places all over the world. 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

Derry name change

Despite a last minute compromise deal put together by the DUP, the City Council backed a joint SDLP/Sinn Fein motion (subscription required) to recommend a name change: “…the SDLP/Sinn Fein motion recognised the right of everyone to use the name of the city ‘with which they feel most comfortable, be it Derry, Londonderry or Doire” However it will eventually lead to an official change from Londonderry to Derry, after due process: “…the process will now be given over to the … Read more

NI to become an integrated society?

One of the longest serving, some might say the hardest working, Ministers in Northern Ireland Des Browne, has announced the launch of what prove to be an important consultation process called ‘A Shared Future’. 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 … Read more

Warming up for elections

With all the obvious tension (amongst politicos at least) around the negotiations, there are signs that the parties are warming up for the election fight ahead. 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

Negotiations: Unionists up the ante

With the plethora of rumours of what might and might not be happening, both Ian Paisley and Jeffrey Donaldson are explicitly calling for the exclusion of Sinn Fein from the Executive, regardless of any gesture that the IRA might offer. 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 … Read more

High levels of disorder continue

Though this headline suggests otherwise, Ian Paisley only momentarily turns his considerable rhetorical firepower onto Loyalist paramilitaries. 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

Negotiations: dampening expectations

The Anderstown News supports the view expressed yesterday by Mark Devenport that the despite the hype around last week’s Downing Street meeting, there is little sign of progress: “A week is a long time in politics but from all of the straws in the wind it appears that this ‘defining phase’ may well see us no further along than we have been since the British government pulled down the shutters on the Assembly in October.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that … Read more

IRA to stand down?

This piece by Suzanne Breen appeared a few days ago and initimates that the IRA is preparing to stand down it active service units. 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