Hearts and Minds on Dromore and interview with the DFM

Hearts and Minds tonight have the first lengthy interview with the Deputy First Minister. He doesn’t take too kindly to the question of where is Gerry? Taking the Folks on the Hill too seriously perhaps? And why Dromore, County Down is making its mark in the political map. 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 … Read more

“The subject was arrested and is pending deportation proceedings back to his country of origin.”

Newshound had spotted the report in the South Texas Monitor and the BBC have followed up. If the details in both reports are true it would appear that the Maze escaper caught with out-of-date immigration documents at a US border checkpoint in Texas could only be one of a handful of people from the list of those still on-the-run. From the Monitor report The man, whose name Border Patrol refused to release late Wednesday night, is expected to soon be … Read more

Whatever happened to Gerry Adams…

Alan McBride asks a question that has also intrigued me recently. Has Gerry Adams gone away do you know? Certainly there are members of his kitchen cabinet in critical positions of power at Stormont. But, for the moment, Mr Adams appears to have taken leave of the public scene. 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 … Read more

Economic growth and the lawyers…

There’s no figures to support this, but Orla Milligan an Associate Director at PRG, is pretty up beat about the future of the legal profession in Northern Ireland in The Lawyer. So all of you who thought that the end of the peace process meant an end to the ‘wartime’ bonanza for lawyers, can think again… 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

“little light shed on the future for post-primary pupils..”

The Assembly website notification of today’s meeting of the Education Committee warns that “Please note these timings are indicative”. However the Education minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, took the 10.00am-11.00am scheduling literally and, when the alloted hour was up, abruptly left the meeting announcing that she had “another engagement to attend” – that hour included an opening statement by the minister which lasted more than 20mins. The Committee members might have wanted to ask more questions about some of those … Read more

“Blame the popes – they started it.”

Far be it for me to get in the middle of an argument between supernaturalists.. But, with continuing calls for Wallace Thompson to “be sacked” by DUP minister Nigel Dodds, there is an interesting intervention in the Irish Times today from Brian Kennaway [subs req] on the row following the comments by Thompson on Joe Duffy’s RTÉ radio show – when he referred to Pope Benedict XVI as the Antichrist. Adds Mick has some additonal links and coments here. While … Read more

The antichrist is not a Protestant invention

Brian Kennway is not the first to note that, in general, Irish people have a rather distant relationship (and consequently understanding) with the theological intricacies of their own religions. Last week’s exchange on RTE’s Liveline between Wallace Thompson and Joe Duffy (not to mention the Plain People of Ireland) was a prompt for his piece in the Irish Times today. Paul at Never Trust a Hippie has his own more agnostic take on the same event. Both appear to have … Read more

“If others have not been consistent, that is a matter for them..”

A couple of interesting points arise from today’s Irish News report on the comments by Northern Ireland Regional Development minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, on Radio Ulster yesterday – as noted here. The first comes via a footnote to the report n An article in yesterday’s Irish News incorrectly suggested that Sinn Fein councillor Colman Burns had spoken to Mr Quinn’s family. Well if it was incorrect to suggest that, then we should go to the apparent source of the … Read more

Glórtha ón aimsir seo caite…

Deirinn daoine sna Gaeltachta ó am go ham, nach bhfuil fíor Gaeilge ag aon duine, ach rugadh iad léi mar theanga dhúchais. I láthair na huaire tagann an formhór den na cainteoirí i dTuaisceart Éireann ón bhfoghlaimeoirí in am amháin nó eile. Ach ní raibh sé mar sin i gcónaí. Rinne Colm ag Lá Nua giota beag taighde insan thaifeadtaí ag an hAcadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, i mBaile Átha Cliath. Tig leat a bheith chlisteacht le cainteoirí dhúchais ó Máire … Read more

Nationalist politicians turning their backs on Irish language…

There’s a useful translation of Eoghan op ed in La Nua doing the rounds at the moment (below the fold). You can find the original here. It reflects a large strand of thought amongst the Irish language section of civil society. He argues that the language has fared particularly poorly in the interparty negotiations, and that accordingly they feel abandoned by parties like Sinn Fein and the SDLP who had previous pledged support.Where were you, our friends in power? Eoghan … Read more

“I can’t recall if I did say it..”

On January 22, 2008, as he returned to Dublin from a trip to South Africa during which he had traded insults with Enda Kenny – and he had accused the Fine Gael leader of telling a “bare-faced lie” – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told reporters “The issue here is very simple. In tax law the application certificate and the tax clearance certificate are the same in law. The position taken by the Revenue is that they can’t finalise it until Mahon’s … Read more

Keeping politics in the family

Mr. Derek Conway seems to be in the process of having his political career ended for having employed his son to do nothing and has now agreed to step down at the next election. It appears that a number of MPs employ their relatives to do real work in an entirely legal and acceptable fashion. This situation also appears to pertain in Northern Ireland, again entirely properly and legally. The Paisleys’ have taken this system even further; Ian Paisley junior … Read more

Councillor.info rolling out in the west…

Slugger’s support for the www.councillor.info project is off to a flying start. This project – encouraging individual councillors to set up a personal website as a first step towards a more effective use of on-line tools – already has over 30 councillors formally signed up to it, and plenty more have told us that their support for the project is ‘in the post’. Fermanagh’s Impartial Reporter has had some early feedback (subs needed) from right around the political compass.Paul Evans … Read more

“There was no organisation specified by the PSNI..”

From the various reports, amid claims of false information being given to the investigating team, it seems that all concerned are in agreement that there has been a threat made against at least one of the main witnesses to the killing of Paul Quinn – as reported in Sunday’s Observer. Although they don’t agree on who was responsible.. for the threat, that is – naturally enough. Adds The UTV report, linked above, has been updated. Sean Woodward told the Northern … Read more

Searching for answers

Dave thinks police should have expanded search powers and less paperwork to tackle crime but Sinn Fein is expressing concern about existing arrangements. Lee Reynolds

When is a terrorist not a terrorist? In a press release from the First Ministers’ office…

THE Victims Commission is barely out of the blocks, but already (and predictably) it’s at the centre of a political row involving (predictably) loyalist victim’s spokesman Willie Frazer. According to the News Letter, the FAIR spokesman was dismayed at references to one commissioner’s husband being described on the First Ministers’ website as an ‘IRA volunteer who was killed by the SAS whilst on active service in 1984’. Frazer says his group will pull out if those killed while engaged in … Read more

A decision a reasonable Secretary of State could not have made if properly directing himself in law”

Despite his efforts to clear his name to extent of appealing a negative judgement on his appointment of two commissioners to the Parades Commission, Peter Hain will be disappointed. This judgement reiterates the judgements at the High Court nearly two years ago. It seems that Eammon McCann has been proven right in at least one regard.Lord Bingham’s conclusions are worth quoting at length: 25. Mr McCloskey was right to submit, as he did, that the commission is not a court … Read more

Alternative Lessons of Limavady

I recently blogged the decision of Limavady council to remove various “offensive” items. Mr. Donnelly produced an interesting blog from a republican perspective about the “The Lessons of Limavady” and how it illustrated unionist thinking. Whilst I do not believe in tit for tat blogging; this episode along with the recent “Cavalcade for Londonderry” counterpoised with the ongoing love in makes for an interesting time to analyse the current tactics of Sinn Fein from a unionist perspective.Clearly in Stormont the … Read more

Green Party points to absence of EPA provision in budget

The Assembly’s sole Green Party MLA, Brian Wilson, focussed on environmental issues in his contribution to the debate on the budget [which can be viewed here for now], and he made a point of identifying the absence of any provision within the three-year budget for an independent Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. Meanwhile, in a report published yesterday, the Independent Water Review Panel has recommended that just such an independent agency should be established.. and then there’s the official complaint to … Read more