From British Irish Interparliamentary Body

From Gary Kent (miles from the nearest computer)

I am spending a couple of days at a stately pile near David Camerons constuency in deepest Oxfordshire with 60 parliamentarians from across these islands. This is for the twice yearly meeting of the British Irish Inter Parliamentary Body. This morning we had a general political debate which allows people to sound off on various pet issues.

The debate was framed well by Irish Woman of the Year May Blood who said that there was a fragile peace which hid deep levels of division and she appealed for increased integrated education and housing so that peace is built on rock rather than sand

Barry McElduff a new Sinn Fein member weighed in with support for a new education village on the 200 acre Lisnally site of a former British Army barracks in Omagh – dripping in symbolism. Schools would share space and services which is a move away from segregation.

  • Pete Baker
  • What a wonderful jolly. Although, speaking personally, I’d forget about listening to the anti-grammar school May Blood and Bazza (doesn’t he have a criminal record?) in favour of a nice long dander through the local countryside. My favourite is the path between Long Hanborough and Charlbury, which takes you through the grounds of Blenheim. Enchanting.

  • Garibaldy

    Anything to avoid integrated education, eh Barry

  • cut the bull

    May Blood is a woman that I believe has a genuine involvement in working class politics within unionist/loyalist areas.

    I beleive if the british government had looked towards people of her calibre when handing out finance to projects such as the Conflict Transformation Initiative the money would have reached the target areas where it is most neede.

    Sadly she was overlooked and the mayhem ensued. I think it is quite foolish and rather naive to ignore May Blood.

  • Long John Silver

    Think the commentator supporting May Blood is totallyl spot on. Those who do ignore or disparage her, and others like her, do so either through ignorance or snobbery. May is a fantastic woman, always willing to help out those who ask her to help in many very different projects.

  • Nevin

    BIIPB membership list.

  • jobs for the boys?

    Not sure why McElduff thinks this is a good idea for use of the Lisnally grounds. Omagh is well served by a load of good schools as is and many of these have had a bundle spent on them in the last 10 years, and the new college is a bit special by some accounts although I’ve never been in it myself.

    There is the fact that the construction lobby in the west would have a field day both buying up the schools that are well placed for commercial development and obviously building the new campus.

    Investing in education in Omagh would be welcomed of course but why not sell the bloody land and keep our hospital open? Schools in Omagh are fairly respectable when the choice for investment would be our healthcare.

    But then again the Land may not be the states to sell? Or is it just that if the land remains in state use people have to get paid off who have a claim to the land from pre- garrison? I’m not sure about this, any help?

  • Danny O’Connor

    Mick,what planet do you live on?Barra macgioladubh has been a member of the assenbly since June 1998-Don’t you remember him making an arse of himself in Brussels in Nov 1998-I was there.

  • Nevin

    Danny, Mick is, er, quoting Gary Kent 😉