Archive | February, 2003

New blog site

The new site is available now. We will be moving it to this address soon, so there is no need to adjust your bookmarks.

Slow blogging

Apologies for the short hiatus in blogging on Slugger O’Toole. We hope to bring you the new design and news of a new project shortly.

Negotiations: five key areas

Irish government officials have identified five key areas on which they believe substantial progress can be made.

Negotiations: game off?

Mark Devenport finds Gerry Adams’s downbeat remarks at the weekend inscrutable, but weighs the consequences of further inaction before the May election: “If republicans decide, as Gerry Adams indicates, that the time is not right to reach agreement, they will risk alienating London, Dublin and Washington in the uncertain hope of achieving a better deal more…

Adair: Scottish exiles

Ruaridh Nicoll casts a Scottish eye on the new arrivals from Ulster. Meanwhile the Scottish media are turning their attention on Loyalist activities more generally. As the group disperse throughout Britain the UDA have threatened to track down John Gregg’s killer whereever he settles.

Adair: one killing too far?

Henry McDonald tells an epic story of how Johnny Adair may have tempted fate once too often.

Fianna Fail: dangers of organising in the north

John A Murphy warns Fianna Fail that acting on a recent motion to organise in Northern Ireland may do little to further the party’s political ambition, and undermine confidence in the Belfast Agreement.

UDA unites after funeral

It is reported that the funeral of John Gregg has united all factions of the UDA, and that the feud is over in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile in a scenario that strangely echoes a motif from ancient legend, John White has vowed to return from Scotland.

Book review: Erskine Childers

This looks a like a good read. The biography of a fascinating historical character, Erskine Childers: “Born in England but raised in Ireland, he fought for Britain in the First World War, before joining Sinn Fein and then the IRA. He was executed by the Irish Free State, but his son eventually became president of more…

Iraq, Paxman and a Prime Minister

A slight digression, but this piece by emigre Cork academic Kieran Healey is worth a read on the grilling of Tony Blair on the BBC last Thursday.

Northern Ireland economic still below par

Gary McDonald reports (subscription) on the continuing under performance of Northern Ireland: “It will take ‘another generation’ for Northern Ireland’s economy to move away from its reliance on the public sector, forecasters warned yesterday. Although the north’s economy should grow ‘slightly faster’ this year than in 2002, the region’s economic activity rate will remain the more…

Loyalist feud: a recap

David Gordon with a fairly comprehensive recapitulation of the last few months of the feud.

Portadown News

We don’t always get the chance to pass by Portadown-on-the-web, but this week’s issue is one of the best yet.

Loyalist feud: political leadership needed?

The Times is not renowned as a leading criticism of Unionism, but it seems the dangers of the Loyalist feud has led it to make this rather stinging criticism of the leadership in Unionism: “Responsibility rests with local politicians. David Trimble complained yesterday about “some in the Unionist leadership which over the last few years more…

A Catholic police reserve?

Sharon O’Neill reports that most of the new recruits to the part time Police Reserve will be Catholic.

Book review: Nationalism, devolution and the UK

This work by Ulster academic Arthur Aughey takes a longer distance look at the changes in the UK since in 1997 and what it might imply for the British identity. Reviewer Stefan Wolff remarks: “…the recent devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has created a degree of uncertainty in which the very more…

An DUP agus Sinn Féin le bheith ag obair le chéile?

Síleann Robert McMillan go bhfuil an greim den fear mhór ar a pháirtí fein ag éirí lag: “Tuairiscítear go gcaithfidh gach ráiteas a eisítear ar son an DUP dul fríd oifig lár an pháirtí. Ach ó tharla gur thug Hay an chaint, tchím féin é mar chomhartha go bhfuil greim grise an pháirtí ag éirí more…

Negotiations: troop reductions?

The Andersonstown News articulates a Republican view of what’s required from the negotiations: “A bold move, such as withdrawing 5,000 troops immediately and closing down their surveillance watchtowers (or relocating them to areas like Rathcoole and the Lower Shankill which are racked by violence) is needed from the security brass who have undermined the peace more…

Loyalist feud: nearing the end

The BBC’s Brian Rowan suspects that the end is nigh for the low level conflict that threatened to rip the UDA apart. Last night’s flit from the Lower Shankill and the defection of 100 members of Adair’s C Company may have sealed the end of the rogue outfit.