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. 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

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. 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 … Read more

Negotiations: five key areas

Irish government officials have identified five key areas on which they believe substantial progress can be made. 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: 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 in the autumn, by which time it’s likely that the face of unionism could look rather different.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments … Read 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. 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

Adair: one killing too far?

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

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. 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 … Read more

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. 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’ … Read more

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 the Irish Republic. Chiefly known in Ireland for smuggling German guns into the country on the eve of the Great War, he is most famous … Read 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. 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 … Read more

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 poorest of all the UK regions.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s … Read more

Loyalist feud: a recap

David Gordon with a fairly comprehensive recapitulation of the last few months of the 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 if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole … Read more

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. 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 … Read more

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 has emphasised only negativity, that it kept on drumming into people”. This was a legitimate swipe at the Democratic Unionist Party but is relevant to … Read more

A Catholic police reserve?

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

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 and continued existence of the United Kingdom is and can no longer be taken for granted with its former sources of pride (the Commonwealth, the … Read 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 lag. Le dul in aois Ian Paisley, níl sé le feiceáil nó le cluinstin oiread agus ba ghnách. Tá seo ag tabhairt spáis do bhaill … Read 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 process thus far by their foot-dragging and begrudgery.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles … Read more

Negotiations: deal yes, but not without Unionist approval

Newshound has its top story links to a possible historic movement from the IRA. But Richard Hass warns that it will amount to nothing if it is not acceptable to Unionists. 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 … Read 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. 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