Round up of republican critics…

THE man you love to hate, Kevin Myers, gives us either a cynical or uncharitable view (depending on your own political outlook) of the IRA statement. Meanwhile, Tommy McKearney believes the IRA statement throws down many challenges to republicanism. Republican critic Anthony McIntyre believes little has actually changed, except that the IRA may now be used to quell republican dissent. On the other side of the fence, Eric Waugh believes there are many implications for republicanism if it is to … Read more

Hain to withhold information from Sentence Review Commission

The Sentence Review Commissioners’ assessment of Secretary of State Peter Hain’s decision to revoke the early release licence of Sean Kelly.. and his sudden change of mind.. is unlikely to provide any surprises. Since Hain has now indicated that he will not make available to the Commissioners all the information on which he initially based his decision, they’ll have nothing on which to assess whether the conditions of the licence were breached.From the linked report – Having seen the statement … Read more

Planets are like buses..

You wait around for ages.. and then two turn up at the same time.. The slightly larger one – more here – found by the NASA-funded team snatched the headline from the slightly smaller one – which has a moon. Although they should probably start referring to orbiting bodies like this in a more accurate way.. Large Kuiper Belt Objects Found? or.. Large Trans-Neptunian Objects Found? Not quite as sexy a headline, is it? Now.. what’s the status of that … Read more

Round up of republican critics…

THE man you love to hate, Kevin Myers, gives us either a cynical or uncharitable view (depending on your own political outlook) of the IRA statement. Meanwhile, Tommy McKearney believes the IRA statement throws down many challenges to republicanism. Republican critic Anthony McIntyre believes little has actually changed, except that the IRA may now be used to quell republican dissent. On the other side of the fence, Eric Waugh believes there are many implications for republicanism if it is to … Read more

Planets are like buses..

You wait around for ages.. and then two turn up at the same time.. The slightly larger one – more here – found by the NASA-funded team snatched the headline from the slightly smaller one – which has a moon. Although they should probably start referring to orbiting bodies like this in a more accurate way.. Large Kuiper Belt Objects Found? or.. Large Trans-Neptunian Objects Found? Not quite as sexy a headline, is it? Now.. what’s the status of that … Read more

Hain to withhold information from Sentence Review Commission

The Sentence Review Commissioners’ assessment of Secretary of State Peter Hain’s decision to revoke the early release licence of Sean Kelly.. and his sudden change of mind.. is unlikely to provide any surprises. Since Hain has now indicated that he will not make available to the Commissioners all the information on which he initially based his decision, they’ll have nothing on which to assess whether the conditions of the licence were breached. From the linked report – Having seen the … Read more

Blogger’s take on IRA announcement…

IRA is one of Technorati’s top tags at the moment. If you read down through them you’ll get a decent idea of how the world’s bloggers are interpreting the news. In Sri Lanka for example the Tamil Tigers are being urged to follow their example. 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

More news from the Bible Belt…

IN Ballymena a group of young Presbyterians has carried out a “random act of kindness” and scrubbed unionist graffiti from two Catholic churches in the demographically-shifting town. The spate of recent unionist attacks on Catholic churches and property – and the threat of a resumed Harryville picket of the Church of Our Lady – was ostensibly in response to a proposal for the first ever republican parade in Ballymena – which the Parades Commission placed severe restrictions on yesterday. Belfast … Read more

“My god, it’s full of stars”

Via thon Newsblog, a light diversion – “You are free to speculate, as you wish, about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of 2001“, Stanley Kubrick… or, for a less philosophical approach, the lego version is still online. Pete Baker

A decade of slow painstaking progress…

Nigel Morris in the English version of the Independent has a potted history of the times since the ceasefire, and some of the most significant announcements by Sinn Fein and the IRA in that time. It contains the apology to the victims of IRA violence on the 16 JULY 2002 (30th anniversary of the Bloody Friday bombings). We offer our sincere apologies and condolences to their families. There have been fatalities among combatants on all sides. We also acknowledge the … Read more

Bertie: “will there be a united Ireland?”

The Today programme asked Mr Ahern [mp3] the big one this morning: “Prime Minister, do you think there will be a united Ireland in your lifetime?”. Leaving aside the fact that they failed to address him as Taoiseach, here is his unedited answer… I, I hope we, we can move to a situation where the co-operation, ahh, on this island, on things that make sense to co-operate on, like we’re doing at the moment on tourism, on matters of trade, … Read more

Bitterness will not heal the wounds

Beth McGrath, daughter and sister to two victims of the Shankill Road bombing talks about how their loss has affected her and gives her views vis a vis the IRA statement. Although pragmatic and measured, her belief is that bitterness is not the answer and will not help move the peace process on nor ease her own personal grief. FRom someone who has experienced violence and loss so directlt these words are rather inspiring and brave.By Noreen Erskine BBC News … Read more

What the papers say…

WHAT do you think of the front pages this morning? On days of such significance, newspapers often try that little bit harder to produce something memorable that catches the imagination. Mike Philpott takes a quick look at how the Press treated the IRA statement. Was the coverage good for you too? Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

Ambiguity lives on

[Via Newshound] Noted author [A Secret History of the IRA] and journalist Ed Moloney warned of the dangers of a contrived divorce between Sinn Féin and the IRA back in April. He’s read yesterday’s statement.. and argues that the cautious optimism expressed by both governments disguises “the failure of the governments to achieve its main stated goal: the beginning of the withering away of the IRA.”I’ll excerpt part of Ed Moloney’s article – but go read the whole thing Evidence … Read more

End of war, but no repentance…

Kevin Toolis’s piece in January arguably kicked off an avalanche of criticism that set Sinn Fein on course to a nightmare PR period in the immediate aftermath of the Northern Bank robbery. Today he remembers the murder of Judge William Doyle after Mass at St. Brigid’s in Derryvolgie Avenue: ironically, the chosen time and place for several murders by both the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries down through the years. Toolis notes a lack of remorse in the IRA closing of … Read more

Good start, outcome uncertain…

Excellent, grounded analysis (subs needed) from Frank Millar. After suggesting there is a new ground on which people can play politics, he punches through any complacency with a round of searching questions, that provide a more uncertain view of how the game might play out in future. Gerry Adams is right about one thing at least: history will not judge kindly anyone who plays politics with a real choice between peace and conflict on the island of Ireland. Yet the … Read more

After 3,700 funerals…

David McKittrick, one of the veterans from the worst days of the troubles casts an elegiac eye back over the bloody road travelled by the IRA and its one time fierce opponents the Loyalist paramilitaries: Unless something goes horribly wrong, it [IRA statement] has the potential to go into the history books as one of the most decisive of all the “historic” moments that the last decade has seen. It was a statement that has been keenly awaited for years. … Read more

Hain lays out the timeline…

Peter Hain in the Guardian is interesting. He is clearly in the believer camp – well I guess he has to be, it’s now his plan. He insists this is no Groundhog Day event. He cites two reasons: “One is its clarity and lack of conditionality. The other is the degree of internal consultation that followed Gerry Adams’s call last April for the IRA to step away from physical-force republicanism and to embrace democracy”.This not a trivial point. Some suggest … Read more

Sinn Fein special website…

Sinn Fein have upped their game online with this peace process special site. It has statements from them, the two governments and other players. We’ve no idea how long it will be up there, but we hope that whatever replaces it will keep some of the simplicity of this one. 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 … Read more

Swings and roundabouts

Congrats to Linfield on a major achivement last night. Manager David Jeffrey’s reaction was a treat – listening on Radio Ulster, it was joyous to hear real passion and pride in local football. Contrasts nicely with the sour-faced moaning of Everton – having benefited from the stacking of the games resources that have hit Irish clubs badly in the past decade, they’re now concerned that UEFA might screw them by allowing them to play Liverpool… life’s tough. Aaron Scullion