Paisley: it’s now or never…

The game’s still on, but the Doc is doing his Elvis impression with a final redition of It’s now or never… But will it all end up in Heartbreak Hotel? Give us you own favoured lyrics for Northern Ireland’s latest political song and dance routine? Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK … Read more

Policing: 82 years of disaffection to end?

Sharon O’Neil reports (subs needed) an interesting perspective on yesterday’s meeting between Sinn Fein and the Cheif Constable of the PSNI from historian Eammon Phoenix:”Not since 1922 has a Sinn Fein leader discussed policing with an official representative of the Northern Ireland state. “Craig met Collins and a Catholic recruiting committee was set up in Belfast, chaired by Bishop MacRory of Down and Connor to, if you like, select suitable Catholics for the police force. At that time this divided … Read more

Policing remains an issue for disagreement.

The Irish Times has a report by Frank Millar that may hint at a sticking point for a ‘deal’ which the wider media has, thus far, neglected to mention – the devolution of policing powers.From the briefings, which Frank Millar reports are coming from SF sources, the view is that there will be no devolved policing powers until 2006 – at the earliest. Leaving aside the fact that the DUP are arguing that they, ultimately, will have a veto on … Read more

Sinn Féin and the building of consensus

The quality and range of the contributions on The Blanket seems to be rising week by week. Not long ago they carried a lengthy interview with Cheif Constable Hugh Orde and another piece with prominent Orangeman Brian Kennaway. This week, Eoin O’Broin engages with regular critic of Sinn Fein. He contrasts the need to build consensus with a political party with what he sees as the inconsistency of many of its critics amongst dissident Republicans.In particular he hints at the … Read more

“Behind the Blue Door”

In light of discussions about sectarianism, this is an excellent piece by the Community Relations Council (2003)that is well worth a read. What Is SectarianismAnti-sectarianism is a very long word – can we spell it? Paraphrasing the childhood word game underlines the strangeness of the word and our unfamiliarity with the concept. For me ‘anti-sectarianism’ is community relations in action – a positive, life affirming concept which promotes the acceptance of diversity in Northern Ireland’s divided society. This paper hopes … Read more

DUP has to swallow bitter pill

Danny Morrison remains sceptical about a deal. Here he uses the literary device of inverting the video of decommissioning scenario to a taped apology from Doctor Paisley. However, he concedes that any fear the DUP will use photographs to embarass Republicans would be outlived by “fresh and daily images of the DUP in a power-sharing executive with Sinn Fein”. Is it nearly time to get that metaphorical hat?By Danny Morrison More details have emerged on the proposals to deal with … Read more

Slowly changing landscape

Sound analysis from John Murray Brown this morning. He perceptively refers to long term development of this process, and George Mitchell’s observation that “if Mr Paisley had not boycotted the negotiations [1998] there would probably not have been an agreement”. So was the boycott a positive move to allow the Agreement to take shape, or simply a straightforward protest? Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the … Read more

Leading Article

The Times 30.11.04Power and responsibility There are no more excuses for intransigence in Northern Ireland After 40 years of violence and an utterly dispiriting sequence of derailed peace initiatives, the odds against a breakthrough in Ulster in a given week will always be slim. Expectations must nonetheless be managed, and Downing Street has been managing them hard of late. This was the Prime Minister’s task yesterday when asked about talks held in London between Hugh Orde, the Northern Ireland police … Read more

That showed them, huh?

Faced with balancing a budget that is predicted to be £28million short over the next 3 years, local political representatives today walked out of a Southern Education and Library Board meeting refusing to discuss any proposals and threatening to resign. How exactly that will change the situation faced by the SELBoard is anyone’s guess.. perhaps they think that £1Billion cheque has already been cashed? adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the … Read more

Slowly changing landscape

Sound analysis from John Murray Brown this morning. He perceptively refers to long term development of this process, and George Mitchell’s observation that “if Mr Paisley had not boycotted the negotiations [1998] there would probably not have been an agreement”. So was the boycott a positive move to allow the Agreement to take shape, or simply a straightforward protest? adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. … Read more

Sinn Féin and the building of consensus

The quality and range of the contributions on The Blanket seems to be rising week by week. Not long ago they carried a lengthy interview with Cheif Constable Hugh Orde and another piece with prominent Orangeman Brian Kennaway. This week, Eoin O’Broin engages with regular critic of Sinn Fein. He contrasts the need to build consensus with a political party with what he sees as the inconsistency of many of its critics amongst dissident Republicans. In particular he hints at … Read more

Policing remains an issue for disagreement.

The Irish Times has a report by Frank Millar that may hint at a sticking point for a ‘deal’ which the wider media has, thus far, neglected to mention – the devolution of policing powers. From the briefings, which Frank Millar reports are coming from SF sources, the view is that there will be no devolved policing powers until 2006 – at the earliest. Leaving aside the fact that the DUP are arguing that they, ultimately, will have a veto … Read more

Policing: 82 years of disaffection to end?

Sharon O’Neil reports (subs needed) an interesting perspective on yesterday’s meeting between Sinn Fein and the Cheif Constable of the PSNI from historian Eammon Phoenix: “Not since 1922 has a Sinn Fein leader discussed policing with an official representative of the Northern Ireland state. “Craig met Collins and a Catholic recruiting committee was set up in Belfast, chaired by Bishop MacRory of Down and Connor to, if you like, select suitable Catholics for the police force. At that time this … Read more

Paisley: it's now or never…

The game’s still on, but the Doc is doing his Elvis impression with a final redition of It’s now or never… But will it all end up in Heartbreak Hotel? Give us you own favoured lyrics for Northern Ireland’s latest political song and dance routine? 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

“Behind the Blue Door”

In light of discussions about sectarianism, this is an excellent piece by the Community Relations Council (2003)that is well worth a read. What Is Sectarianism Anti-sectarianism is a very long word – can we spell it? Paraphrasing the childhood word game underlines the strangeness of the word and our unfamiliarity with the concept. For me ‘anti-sectarianism’ is community relations in action – a positive, life affirming concept which promotes the acceptance of diversity in Northern Ireland’s divided society. This paper … Read more

belfast metropolitan area plan unveiled

proposals finally published amid claims not ambitious enough. aims for belfast city centre to be prime shopping area with out of town developments curtailed. 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

Bertie bursts over-optimistic bubble

Despite the optimistic noises from some parties, RTE reports that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has told the Dáil that “he cannot see short term solutions to at least two items in the Northern Ireland peace talks unless parties significantly move their positions.”[my emphasis] He also, effectively, rules out the possibility of any deal being reached by Friday, a day that had been, in some quarters, predicted as another ‘deadline’ – again. Mr Ahern also told the Dáil he could not see … Read more