Lessons for Nationalism: “In dreams begin responsibilities”

Tom Kelly draws on past experience and argues that Nationalists must assert practical civic values as well as their vision of a unified all island Republic, which he argues means recognising the right of Unionists to march the streets of Dublin. And he makes good use of a quote from WB Yeats along the way. For once, Jeffrey Donaldson was right – we can’t talk seriously about getting speaking rights in the Dail if there are those who would prevent … Read more

Write down “Peter Hain, MP”… they never check the references anyway..

As the Press Association.. and the BBC reports says, Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has responded to the criticism of Don MacKay’s appointment to the Parades Commission. In a letter to the SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly he stated “I believe we have the best people to do the job and the Parades Commission has my full support”. Now I know from the previous thread that some people don’t see the problem here, and in particular, … Read more

The camera never lies…

As Dublin burns… here are the pictures the bloggers held back! 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

Lord Alderdice leaves the Alliance party…

In the wake of an interview with Daily Ireland some weeks back, it seems that Lord Alderdice, chair of the IMC, has decided to leave the Alliance party. 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

Ministers broke European law…

THE BBC reports that the Stormont Executive “agreed planning permission for housing, ignoring advice that this would breach European law and cause pollution”. The Executive “favoured the worst possible environmental option when faced with a possible planning clampdown”, and Northern Ireland taxpayers now face paying a massive fine for this breach of European law. Useful background info here and here by FoTE, who brought the case. Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

Flashmob coverage comes of age…

The significance of the riots in Dublin may be less to do with politics, than with the media and the capacity of what Indymedia calls flashmob coverage to drill into detail in a way that the mainstream cannot do on their own. Blogs may have just discovered their capacity in time for the run into general election in the Republic. But expect the more progressive and forward looking end of the mainstream to have learned some lessons from this too. … Read more

Ormeau Baths Gallery to close!

The Arts Council has decided to close the Ormeau Baths Art Gallery. One concerned artist writes with an appeal to protest it tomorrow at 1pm outside the Gallery itself in Ormeau Avenue. Tomorrow is also the scheduled closure date!! Local art enthusiasts will know that the Ormeau Baths is the only Gallery in Northern Ireland that can be said an equal- in facilities, quality and sophistication- to those on the mainland or in Dublin. It has long and close links … Read more

Fallout from the Dublin riot…

HENRY McDonald thinks Saturday’s riot in Dublin will mean the postponement of the British monarch’s first visit to the Irish capital since partition, which could have happened this summer. Meanwhile, RTE reports that the Irish Justice Minister has just briefed Ministers that “gardaí had no reason to expect the violence that erupted in protest at Saturday’s Love Ulster march in Dublin”. Michael McDowell will lead a special debate in the Irish parliament later this afternoon. Interestingly, when pointing the finger, … Read more

Looking for Lisa, one year on…

IT’S a year since the murder of Lisa Dorrian, whose body has never been found. Her family have a website dedicated to trying to find Lisa’s body, and anyone with information can leave it confidentially there. Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

Whatabout… Voltaire for instance

Well at least some of the marchers got through to the gates of Leinster House, so I guess that was a moral victory of sorts. The Dublin riots are certainly not the end of history. Riots are scary and unpredictable. And hell to get caught up in. Enraged individuals take leave of their senses and become capable of things they�d never contemplate in ordinary life. But, as one of our commenters pointed out, this was small beer compared the riots … Read more

Gardai taken by surprise…

According to the Republic’s Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, the Gardai had no idea that such an action was in the offing and consequently were not ready for the riot when it took place. Amid growing criticism by Opposition TDs and Garda representative bodies about the level of Garda preparation for the event, the Taoiseach last night moved to defend Garda management, saying that they “did a great job on the day”. Bertie Ahern said garda� could have been kitted … Read more

DUP man’s sectarian attacker faces jail…

THE BBC reports that a man has been found guilty of assaulting the DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson in Belfast. The magistrate said because of aggravating factors – including the “element of hatred involved”” – there was a possibility that O’Kane, who has no criminal record, could go to prison. I bet no-one thought that when Hate Crime legislation was introduced in 2004 that the DUP would be the first party to benefit! Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

It’s All Mary McAleese’s Fault: Frazer

Today’s Newsletter contains a headline accusation from Willie Frazer that Mary McAleese and Fr. Alex Reid were to blame for Saturday’s riot in Dublin. Not adverse from using inflammatory language himself, apparently Mr. Frazer sees a link between comments attributed to both individuals and the events of Saturday in Dublin. He does not, however, say whether or not he believes his own usage of extreme language played any part in provoking the riot. Chris Donnelly

Live by the sword die by the sword?

Andrew McCann’s talking points have caused me some discomfort in the past, but today’s must cause some difficulty for those who would wish to challenge it. It’s certainly one for the normal nationalist parties to ponder on considering the planned celebration of the Easter rebellion this year. Michael ShillidayI used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t. Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday

Philip K Dick is missing

There really isn’t much more to say than that.. and I stole that line from the article.. oh.. via William Gibson who adds – “Can’t. Make. It. Up.”.. Indeed. Pete Baker

The Tipping Point?

An interesting addition to the ranks of [high profile] bloggers.. Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking explains why, despite saying that he would never have the time to maintain a blog, he’s changed his mind – Mea Culpa Pete Baker

Dodgy references for Commission member

Don MacKay’s appointment to the Parade’s Commision was already controversial, as he’s a member of the Royal Black and Orange Institution.. but it’s even more so now. SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly has stated that, despite Mr MacKay citing her as a referee in his application to the Commission, she had never been approached by him to give a reference. The NIO’s response so far, unfortunately, but not surprisingly, appears to be an attempt to ignore the situation – as the … Read more

Not in the public interest – Redux

The controversy over the abrupt ending of the trial of Denis Donaldson and two others in relation to a spy-ring at Stormont continues, with the Belfast Telegraph reporting a letter from the private secretary of the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, in response to a number of local councils requesting an inquiry into the affair. There’s a repetition of the official line that “There was, without any doubt, paramilitary intelligence-gathering which the police acted to … Read more

“We’re all in this together” – Peter Hain

Another week, another two year funding package announced by the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain [should we be reading something into that 2-year time-frame? – Ed]. This time a �59million package, the Environment & Renewable Energy Fund, that will attempt to create a market for renewable energy in Northern Ireland. The BBC report focuses mainly on the 4,000 private home-owners that the government hope will avail of grants [of between 30-50% of the cost) to … Read more

Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell has said there will be an inquiry into the rioting in Dublin on Saturday and that a full report from the Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy will be put before the Cabinet on Tuesday. I hope he can then come out and explain to the rest of us why An Garda Siochana had prepared for a low key event and that it occurred to no one in authority (north or south) that there could and would … Read more