Archive | January, 2008

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.

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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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.

When is a terrorist not a terrorist? In a press release from the First Ministers' office...

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 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 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 more…