Belfast Festival

Ordinarily if someone asked me to fork out a fiver to listen to some authors plug their book, I wouldn’t be too receptive. But seeing as it’s Lord Bew, Steve Bruce and Eric Kaufmann……I’ve just got my tickets.

  • France’s Friend


    How did Fresher’s Day go @ QUB?

  • jp

    I thought it was Steve Bruce Man Utd legend…..what a disappointment….unless he has suddenly started producing tomes on the religous politics of NI

  • Nevin

    Michael, here’s a quote from Kaufman’s book that you or others might like to challenge:

    “As the second Drumcree marching season approached in 1996, a propaganda war broke out between Loyalists and Republicans, and the RUC Chief Constable, Hugh Annesley, kept sides guessing as to his final decision

    Here’s part of a transcript supplied by Dick Spring’s office to me in 1996:

    “Excerpt from Briefing given by the Tanaiste to Media, Wednesday 10 July 1996

    Enright[BBC]: I have to ask you about Northern Ireland and the current situation
    there obviously is a matter that preoccupies peoples minds during trouble. What’s
    your view of the current situation and just how dangerous is it?

    Tanaiste: The current situation is very serious. I think we have all seen over the last
    number of days the inherent risks in what is happening in Northern Ireland. My request
    would be the same as has been made by the British Government and indeed by the Chief
    of Police in Northern Ireland – a call for restraint, a call for I think recognition that if
    people proceed down this line certainly the future is very bleak. We were a very short
    time ago quite optimistic about the opening of discussions and negotiations. We have
    seen a possible return to Northern Ireland at its worst in the last number of days. Coming
    up to 12th July it would be I think very important that leadership is shown, that restraint
    is shown and that we avoid plunging back into the abyss.

    Enright: Are you satisfied that Unionist leaders have done everything they
    can to calm the situation?

    Tanaiste: I think it beholds leadership on all sides to ensure that nothing is said or
    that nothing is done that creates any further difficulties. The police and the security
    forces in Northern Ireland are working under extreme difficulties, have been for the last
    number of days and nights, and I think it beholds leadership now to ensure that the
    situation is not compounded or exasperated and restraint should be called.

    Enright: Do you regret that the Government here have taken such a strong
    view on the routing of marches, do you think perhaps it was a mistake to reroute
    this march?

    Tanaiste: No. I have to say to you that the view that we have taken and the view
    that is now supported by the British Government is that you have to have [balance?] –
    the test is reasonableness. We respect the right of people to engage in marches. They
    also have to respect the right of people who do not wish marches going through their
    areas and the balance was the British Government advised by the security forces set out
    to achieve a balance and obviously balance involves compromise. And there was a
    compromise sought and my view is that that compromise should be respected. There is
    tension, there are serious risks but one would hope that people would show the restraint
    that is necessary. And if there is leadership I think the ultimate compr[om]ises can be
    worked out.

    Enright: Do you support the Chief Constable’s view that this march should
    have been rerouted?

    Tanaiste: Yes we do support that, yes.”

    It’s clear from the transcript that the Chief Constable was merely asked for advice and carried the can for a proposal which was initiated by Dublin and was more-or-less rubber-stamped by London.

    Presumably the transcript was not available to Kaufmann. I’ve passed it to CAIN and the BBC and asked them to place it in the relevant archive – without success.

  • “I thought it was Steve Bruce Man Utd legend.”

    He of the big fat head.

    I’m only going to see Duke Special this year, as Macbeth was sold out ludicrously quickly.

  • Ballygobackwards

    Bruce and Kaufmann yes, but that charlatan Bew? No thanks! A man who used his position as an “independent academic” to spin furiously on behalf of Trimble on election coverage shows and beyond.

    Indeed, I recall overhearing him at an election count in 2003 telling an English journo that the result “isn’t really a defeat” for Trimble.

  • me

    and I’ve got mine Michael….

    Will u be the good looking bloke there?

  • Eva

    Freshers at QUB? It seems they couldn’t organize their way out of a paper bag :<

  • Resolve

    I’m going to loads of the events…

    The Opening Concert – The Chieftans & Ulster Orchestra

    David Lynch Talk (hopefully he doesn’t start talking shite about transcendental meditation!)

    Bruce, Bew and Kaufmann Talk

    Florestan Trio

    Clive Stafford-Smith Lecture

    Bach B-Minor Mass @ Clonard Monestary

    It’s the last one that i’m particularly looking forward to… it has to be (at least one of) the gratest piece(s) of music ever composed, and in the setting of Clonard it is set to be an absolutely amazing evening.

  • me

    yeah I got tickets for the chieftains as well as Bews and Bruces talk, its the chieftains I’m really looking forward too. I’m also going to see macbeth in the old crumlin road jail. That ought to be good in that setting.

  • Endalife

    If anyone has a ticket to Macbeth which they are willing to part with, please email me and I will pay handsomely for it.

    Please email

    Top price will be paid.



  • bertie


    I suggest that you get someone to edit your post and take the @ out of your email address and put annother symbol in instead, with a note, otherwise you will be inundated with all sorts of crap as well as any ticket offers.

    Of course you may be interested in helping out someone transfer millions of pounds form their country for a % or be in the market for vaigra or penis enlargements! 😉