Archive | February, 2008

The Secret War that Brought the Secret to Peace

George Brock reviews Ed Moloney’s new book Paisley, Steve Bruce’s new book Paisley along with the second edition of Ed Moloney’s Secret History of the IRA while also looking at Kenneth Bloomfield’s A Tragedy of Errors, and concludes the real thanks for peace go to the spooks and spies that made it possible. It’s a more…

Now about that Irish referendum…

England Expects throws up an interesting anomaly. It seems that in a recent vote to respect the decision of the Republic’s referendum, the two Unionist MEPs (otherwise known Brussels as ‘the two Jims’) found themselves on opposite sides of the vote. Sinn Fein’s Ms de Brún does not seem to have registered in the vote more…

“somewhat distorted by political comment and controversy..”

Now that he’s just an ordinary MLA, Ian Paisley Jnr may have more latitude in expressing support for the planning application by Seymour Sweeney for a Causeway Centre.. but I’d suggest there will be some raised eyebrows in the Environment Minister’s office over his comments on the news that Mr Sweeney has requested a hearing more…

Ireland’s Cricket World Cup: not hype, just history…

Looks like a must buy: the long awaited: the DVD documentary on the Cricket World cup in the West Indies. It has intrigue, tragedy unexpected success and ultimate failure. The DVD release date for “Breaking Boundaries – Ireland’s Extraordinary Cricket World Cup” is Friday March 7th, with a charity screening at Dublin’s Sugar Club in more…

Blogger forces ‘tactical withdrawal’ on British Army?

Beano is annoyed with Matt Drudge for revealing the fact that Prince Harry is out in Afghanistan fighting in a front line situation, when a deal had already clearly been done with the BBC to keep it secret until he was safely shipped home. Drudge seems to have forced a tactical withdrawal on the British more…

Books: The Telling Year - Belfast 1972

Books: The Telling Year – Belfast 1972

What I remember of 1972 is searching through front page headlines to see who’d been killed the night before, and all but on one occasion being thankful it wasn’t anyone I knew. Even traumatic events like Bloody Sunday quickly faded as Republican and Loyalists took it upon themselves to conduct a particularly nasty game of more…

Murphy trial edges closer

A short report from yesterday which almost slipped under the radar. The trial of “good republican” Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy in the Special Criminal Court, on charges connected to alleged revenue offences, could begin in late May or early June. Mr Murphy was remanded on continuing bail until April when the case will be mentioned again.

On the anathema of overbearing political consensus…

Our friend in the north was not impressed with last week’s Let’s Talk and reckons it raises questions about the premise on which regional programmes are made. The problem is not the BBC’s per se: …do not look upon it as merely a case of bad TV. BBC Northern Ireland is only reflecting what is more…

Northern Ireland Newspeak

Newspeak was the official language of Oceania in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four. One of Oceania’s slogans was “War is Peace.”Currently there are a number of problems facing the Chuckle Coalition up on the hill. The devolution of policing and justice, demanded by SF, but rejected for the moment by Paisley and various other DUPers. more…

“I cannot prove that, but that is my conviction..”

If you had thought that Sinn Féin disapproved of anyone making allegations without producing solid evidence.. Well, apparently it depends on who’s doing the alleging and, perhaps, what those allegations are. At the launch of his party’s 20th Anniversary Gibraltar/Milltown events porgramme [sic], SF leader Gerry Adams made some allegations of his own. Mr Adams more…

“There is a growing acceptance that it is going to happen..”

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Northern Ireland First Minister, Ian Paisley Snr, has received the endorsement, and a clean bill of health, from his wife, Baroness Eileen Paisley – who wants him to continue in the role of First Minister “until he has done what he set out to and that is achieve peace and more…

A Bill of Rights: more questions than answers..?

CHRIS Thornton takes a look at the long-running debate over the proposed Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. It’s been trundling along for a decade, but may be coming to a head, as the BoR Forum prepares to report its conclusions. While most would agree that a BoR is a good thing, there’s been relatively more…

Age of Criminal Responsibility to rise to 18?

Although the Bill of Rights Forum is still in consultative mode, they’ve had their first controversial leak (subs locked), with the news of a proposal to push the age of criminal responsibility from ten up to 16, with a further view of raising it to 18. That would push NI out of line with England more…

Unity and left politics tops the poll

Following up my previous entry, Dimitris Christofias (AKEL), has been elected President of Cyprus. He has already received congratulations from Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat of Cumhuriyetçi Türk Partisi (Republican Turkish Party) – a left leaning party which has been in negotiations on rapproachement with Christofias’ AKEL for a number of years. Remembering Connolly’s claim more…

On Bertie’s last years in power…

Green Senator Dan Boyle has been talking out school it seems. Speaking on Newstalk, he suggested that Bertie Ahern is on the same limited time as his old buddy Tony Blair: “He won’t be putting himself forward as Taoiseach at the next general election. We’re now in a period of time that we have to more…

Kenya: it hasn’t gone away

I have avoided blogging on Kenya for a while. I was hoping to blog some sort of possible solution and analyse it. Thus far, however, none has been forthcoming. There have been a series of negotiations between the President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. The bones of an agreement seem to be there more…