McDowell live in the Seanad

Michael McDowell is making a statement to the Seanad (live) on the Supreme Court’s judgement last week and that has led to one previously convicted rapist Mr A potentially to be freed under a subsidiary judgement from the High Court. Session to continue to 8.15. 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

Between a meme and a hard place…

El Matador flags up an interesting story on how Tim O’Reilly has served a cease and desist order (details here) on an IT group in Cork for using a conference brand name already coined and claimed by him. The whole stink raised by the controversary has brought a conciliatory post from Tim (via Bohanna) at his own blog laying out what he sees as some of the paradoxical issues around his own service marked brand, Web 2.0:O’Reilly: …neither CMP or … Read more

Quote of the week…

AFTER a man was shot by an electric stun gun (also known a taser) recently in Belfast, a PSNI spokeswoman said: “The victim remains shocked by his experience”. Nice. Belfast Gonzo

Bizarre. Indeed

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State’s legal representative, on behalf of the NIO, on behalf of etc.. is at the Court of Appeal today. Contesting the High Court ruling on the appointment procedure followed by the NIO, and the Secretary of State, which resulted in Don MacKay and David Burrows appointed to the Parades Commission. The appeals may end today and the decision is expected to be reserved.. but, according to this Belfast Telegraph report, things may not be going well … Read more

Mr Hain?.. about the PUP member on the Policing Board..

The initial political focus has, rightly, been on how the attempted murder of Mark Haddock will affect the UUP/PUP Faustian pact – should it be proven to have been carried out, as is most likely, by the UVF. The UUP leader Reg Empey has been defending that pact on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback today, where Alex Kane also appeared and interestingly, given his Newsletter article, backed Reg Empey’s stance. But there is, of course, the position of the other high-profile … Read more

UUP’s cause for concern…

Although it was written for last Saturday, Alex Kane’s Newsletter column is probably even less welcome today in Cunningham House that it was back then. It speaks for itself.By Alex Kane The decision to bring David Ervine into the Ulster Unionist’s Assembly Group has given me more cause for concern, and more pause for thought, than almost anything that the party has done since 1995. Ervine remains leader of the PUP. The PUP is the political voice of the UVF. … Read more

Welcome to the Maze!!

Owen Bowcott has the details of the plans for the redevelopment of the Maze (aka Long Kesh) Prison site announced by David Hanson yesterday: The 360-acre development, near Lisburn, Co Antrim, is scheduled to include a 42,000-seat sports stadium, a multi-screen cinema, an upmarket hotel, restaurants, an indoor equestrian centre, an “international centre for conflict transformation” and, possibly, an ice rink. But the final decision to go for what in effect will be a Lisburn based plan over a rival … Read more

South using North as a dumping ground?

Interesting snippet from Hansard sent to us by reader Leslie: Between March last year and February, 14,619 tonnes of waste from the Republic of Ireland were legally moved to Northern Ireland, with a “significant proportion” eventually ending up in Great Britain. However, estimates suggest that between October 2002 and the end of 2004, 250,000 tonnes of household waste from the Republic was illegally dumped in Northern Ireland. Leslie also asks. Is this an unintended outcome of the pastic bag tax? … Read more

The Challenge of Change

Newry and Mourne District Council are organising this Challenge of Change conference next week, ‘exploring the concept of diversity in a society still struggling with division’. The Three Day Convention, organised by Newry and Mourne District Council Belfast City Council, and Louth Council County Council, will be facilitated by Mediation Northern Ireland. To provoke creative thinking it will move between Newry and Belfast bringing together politicians, business people, public servants, the community, voluntary and faith sectors. Delegates will explore concepts, … Read more

Loach defends ‘anti-British’ Palme d’Or winner…

CANNES’ Palme D’Or winner Ken Loach has been accused of having an anti-British agenda, after critics claimed his film ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ was the “most pro-IRA film ever” and is “designed to drag the reputation of our nation through the mud”. In the Daily Mail, Ruth Dudley Edwards writes that Loach’s purpose is to “encourage direct comparisons between the Ireland of 1920-22 and present-day Iraq”. “This, of course, requires the portrayal of the British as sadists and … Read more

Lady Penelope decides

With all the fuss about spies in the IRA, this little piece in the Sunday Life went almost unnoticed. Lady Sylvia is said to be denying rumours that she is set to leave the UUP. The potential break-up is of course related to the UUP/PUP agreement which she says caused her ‘deep distress’. It may or may not be related to the statement from Alliance’s David Alderdice who recognises that her last election victory was due in no small part … Read more

Test the Nation hits Ireland

Looks like RTE has decided to run with an Irish version of the highly popular and successful BBC Quiz programme. The channel is advertising a three hour long Test the Nation for Monday 5th June, which will put questions to a studio audience- as well as registered viewers nationwide- about events which occurred in Ireland in the past 20 years. Visit the website to register, where you can also take a mock test to get a flavour for the type … Read more

UUP/UVF to blame for shooting?

The speculation is mounting that the paramiltary organisation linked to a member of the Ulster Unionist Assembly party committed this afternoon’s shooting in Mossley. Shall we await with baited breath the imminent announcement of an emergency IMC Report? What prospect is there of fines being introduced for the political party in question? And are those pigs flying outside my window?? Chris Donnelly

Allister’s ambitious target

Jim Allister has been trying to earn his wages this week. He has submitted three policy papers arguing that Northern Ireland should receive £1billion of the £6.2bn EU spending earmarked for all of the United Kingdom. The reports cover the future of Structural Funds, Peace III and support for East-West initiatives. Interestingly, the economic issues it highlights are the sames as George’s thread: 1.2.1 An underdeveloped private sector Of Northern Ireland’s 53,770 VAT-registered businesses, 31 per cent are agricultural and … Read more

Loyalist agent shot in Belfast…

THE top loyalist shot in north Belfast is said to be Mark Haddock, the alleged UVF commander and Special Branch agent. Haddock, who faces an attempted murder charge, was bailed last week. Belfast Gonzo

End of Soviet Unionism?

It seems Northern Ireland’s economic prophets of doom are out and about again with First Trust Bank’s latest Economic Outlook and Business Review saying the current economic situation could be as good as it gets. Meanwhile, the Sunday Times has described the growth in public spending in parts of the UK as so rampant that it is resulting in the “sovietisation” of swathes of the country. Northern Ireland is leading the way in the reliance on the public sector stakes, … Read more

Conradh comes off the political fence

Conradh na Gaeilge (aka, the Gaelic League), the primary membership organisation for the promotion and propagation of Irish, is now organising a campaign to ask people not to vote Fine Gael, since it’s adoption of a policy to change the compulsory status of Irish in the Republic’s school system. Gearóid O Cairealláin is all for it. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and … Read more

Faux pas of the month?

I missed this one at the time, but Newton Emerson didn’t. At some point on last Monday’s Radio Four’s Today programme Mitchel McLaughlin was, …asked to explain exactly what Sinn Féin had achieved for its supporters, media-disaster Mitchel spluttered for a moment before blurting out: “The degree of uncertainty and the lack of confidence in the unionist community!” Oops. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the … Read more

you couldn’t make it up..

The other reason for Martin McGuinness’ press conference this morning was to officially relay the decision of the SF MLA grouping on whether they would be taking their places on Hain’s Committee the new Restoration of Government Committee. The answer, it would appear, is ‘yes’ – while also calling on the DUP to participate on the committee at a leadership level. Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph reports that the DUP will push the Secretary of State’s deadline, of today, further into … Read more

McGuinness: a million per cent certain…

Martin McGuinness, on the heels of Brian Rowan’s report in the Belfast Telegraph has categorically denied being a spy, and has even accused certain elements within the DUP of promoting the idea. Though it has come to Slugger’s notice that private speculation is not confined entirely to that quarter. Gregory Campbell’s only comment was that he didn’t know, and that no one would likely ever know for certain. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on … Read more