I’m not the only one

According to this Belfast Telegraph report, George Galloway is maximising his time, and fees, while in Northern Ireland this week by doubling up his speech-making. As well as the Belfast Festival event on the 3rd, he is due in Derry on the 4th, a delayed Gasyard Feile booking – originally scheduled for 4th August[PDF file]. Now, I’m no fan of the Bethnal Green and Bow MP and I won’t be contributing to his attendance fees.. but if you do decide … Read more

Ireland win Intercontinental Cup

That’s the Ireland Cricket team, who qualified for the ICC Intercontinental Cup tournament, held in Namibia, for the first time this year. The ICC Intercontinental Cup is contested by the top non-Test status countries and the Ireland team secured victory on Saturday, beating Kenya by 6 wickets in the three-day final. However, as this BBC report indicates, the success, and potential elevation to Test status, presents a dilemma for some of the players involved. Pete Baker

LVF disbands…

AFTER the announcement of the end of the loyalist feud between the UVF and Loyalist Volunteer Force, the directionless LVF leadership ordered all its military units to stand down from midnight. It marks the welcome end to one of Northern Ireland’s shortest-lived, but possibly most sectarian, terrorist groups. Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

More on the Ferns Inquiry report

The publication of the Ferns Inquiry report, noted here, has been followed by a number of statements from other diocese containing their own statistics on allegations of, and confirmed cases of, abuse – as well as an announcement of an inquiry focusing on the Dublin diocese, which has acknowleged a settled cases cost of €4.07m. However, despite being available, by mail, from the Department of Health and Children, according to this lengthy RTÉ report – “The report will not be … Read more

Why AA Gill hates the English

There’s an extract from The Times columnist AA Gill’s new book The Angry Island that’s worth a read. Entitled ‘I hate England’, it’s rather more nuanced and knowing than the title would suggest. “The English aren’t people who strive for greatness, they’re driven to it by a flaming irritation. It was anger that built the Industrial Age, which forged expeditions of discovery. It was the need for self-control that found an outlet in cataloguing, litigating and ordering the natural world”. … Read more

Not in the public interest?

In the Observer, Henry McDonald reports on the Strategic Investment Board’s refusal to release the economic appraisals, business strategies and other documentation, relating to the £85 million stadium development proposed for the former Maze prison site, under the Freedom of Information Act, until an assessment is made on whether to do so “might otherwise prejudice or would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.” It’s not the final word, yet, but the decision to make such an … Read more

Unionists must be tough, positive and canny

Not withstanding the large degree of disillusion amongst Unionist, Alex Kane argues that for Unionists to abandon politics just when things are starting to go their way would be extremely foolish. On a chilly December evening in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, a woman refused to give up her seat on a bus. Her name was Rosa Parks, an articulate and educated woman, but forced to work as a seamstress because she was coloured. She wasn’t the first black woman to … Read more

Paulin: searching for a peculiar heritage

Interesting review of Tom Paulin’s new book Crusoe’s Secret. Adam Piette thinks he’s trying too hard to tie some of his own literary heroes into his own peculiar political and cultural outlook. 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 and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

LVF to disband in the next week?

The Sunday Times carries some speculation that the LVF is about to disband. David Ervine says that the UVF, who’ve been prosecuting a violent campaign against the remnants of the LVF, is currently considering its own future options, “none of which include a return to violence”. 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 … Read more

What’s actually being done on Community Relations

Newt Emerson, believes simply turning on revenues for improving community relations in Northern Ireland is encouraging a lot of displacement activity that whilst it may wear the right livery is not actually encouraging anyone to take the courageous steps necessary to tackle sectarian division head on. 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 … Read more

Leviathan: is sport war (without the shooting)?

Leviathan is running a parallel sports and politics event in celebration of the launch of the Britain and Ireland site. If you are within striking distance of Dublin city centre next Thursday (3rd November) be there. It should be great crack. If you’re strapped for the €20 entrance fee then the Ger Gilroy nightly sports programme on NewsTalk is running a texting competition for free tickets. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts … Read more

And where was my invite?

Amazing the favourable coverage that can be garnered with the words “Free Food and Drink”.. ahem.. To paraphrase Samizdatista, Dale Amon – “Mick launches bid for Most Oppressed Blogger Ever” *ducks* Pete Baker

it is too early to say

John Banville, writing in the Guardian, gathers together some fragmentary moments to “provide a kind of kinetic vision, a peep-show display, of five and a bit decades in the life of a country – or two countries, depending on the shade of your politics.” Primarily a wonderful piece of writing, but also a fascinating meditation on the unnerving and invigorating effect of our own peculiar form of glasnost, identifying a current, familial, tentativeness of expression as that once cloaked by … Read more

Thuggery and mayhem: whose Rules?

Another disappointing result in the International Rules Test series against Australia. Once again I managed to miss it on radio or television as I was travelling in England yesterday and was without access to long wave radio. I’ve no doubt that the Aussies were sharpened up on their ball handing skills by their former Dublin coach. But the picture on the front page of this morning’s Irish Times says says it all/. Former Dublin goalkeeper Paddy Cullen says that Ireland … Read more

Adams: ‘War is Obviously Over’…

A tale of two Gerries – Gerry Adams has just told Gerry Kelly (the UTV show host, not the politician) that “the war is obviously over”, the first time he’s said as much. Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

Legitimate fundraising..?

THE INLA is pissed off that eBay has banned its paraphernalia from the auction website. “The INLA has been identified to us by a government agency as a group that fits into this category, and therefore will not be allowed on eBay,” was the US company’s reply to a complaint from one republican socialist, who grandly accused eBay of being “part of an effort to demonize any organization prepared to defend the interests of working class people against the armed … Read more

White Collarette Freud.

The application of Freud’s concept of the Narcissism of small difference has frequently been applied to ethnic conflict, perhaps best popularised by Michael Ignatieff. In the Irish News (via Newshound) Newton Emerson brings it home. 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 … Read more