I wonder how much they cared about the £12K

The launch of Eames Bradley report generated a lot of comment and controversy mostly centred on the recommendation of paying £12,000 to the families of people killed during the conflict/troubles/war. For three families the debate must have been more difficult than for most as the 28th January was the anniversary of the day their loved ones died: 1972 – Raymond Carroll (22) of the RUC killed by the IRA in Belfast 1989 – Stephen Montgomery (26) of the RUC killed … Read more

Car bomb discovered in Castlewellan

The BBC are reporting that an army bomb disposal team has discovered 300lb of homemade explosives in the boot of a car in Castlewellan, County Down. The security alert began on Tuesday after a telephoned warning of a bomb in the village. Despite the reference to a warning “to a newsroom” none of the reports have identified any organisation as claiming responsibility. Adds via NCM in the comments, some more details here The callers claimed the bomb was originally intended … Read more

BBC Bias….??

The BBC has come in for some criticism this week with An Phoblacht in its column called media view reporting on Blackouts and Blanket bans and quotes Bairbre de Brun over the BBC’s refusal to broadcast a humanitarian aid appeal for the people in Gaza. over on you tube the use of this picture in a BBC report has also brought up the issue of BBC bias with comments like these That picture of three italians giving fingers should not … Read more

“an insult to the memory of our loved ones.”

Useful correctives to “admittedly provocative” [or disingenuous? – Ed] presentations of “the reaction to the Eames-Bradley Report” can be found in the Andersonstown News and in the Derry Journal – where the daughter of murdered Donegal Sinn Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton spells out the impact of the proposals on her, and others, call for “an independent inquiry”. It might help explain why some reacted angrily to what Relatives for Justice’s Mark Thompson refers to as “reparations”. [But it’s easier to … Read more

“Still in that jungle, still digging foxholes”

Perhaps the most striking feature about the reaction to the Eames-Bradley Report was the speed with which the DUP returned to the pre-St Andrews mode of outright rejection of proposals/ initiatives on behalf of unionism, in spite of more mature responses from that very quarter- including some interesting individuals. The truth, of course, is that the ‘£12,000 proposal’ that so enraged certain elements within political Unionism did so primarily because it challenged the narrative that there exists ‘real’ victims of … Read more

Quote of the week

I apologise if it’s somewhat paraphrased, but the gist remains. Author Lionel Shriver on Newsnight Review referencing the number of plays she’s sat through in Belfast.. ..where people simply pony up the kind of stereotypes to which they themselves are constantly subjected. Pete Baker

Anglo Irish shareholders consulting solicitors

I suspect the shareholders concerned may have to wait until the Irish Financial Regulator and the Director of Corporate Enforcement decide on whether any illegalities occurred before they’ll be able to proceed.. But since the Regulator and the Irish Finance Minister knew at least part of what was going on at the bank at the time.. ANYhoo.. RTÉ tells us that two firms of solicitors are talking separately to shareholders in now nationalised Anglo Irish Bank [Including Sean Quinn? – … Read more

Eames-Bradley: Preserving the partial sanctity of the past…

Wednesday’s release of the Eames Bradley report on how do deal with Nothern Ireland’s troubled past was, as Lord Robin Eames himself noted on BBC NI’s Hearts and Minds programme last night, a poisoned chalice from the outset. Both men were determined to come out of that process with something real, rather than a bland or abstract measure that could reach an easy consensus but then be pushed into the long grass and be neglected. Their recommendation that a blanket … Read more

US seeking extradition of Sean Garland from Ireland

If you’d been wondering what was happening in the long running saga of the counterfeit US super-dollars, North Korea, and the former Irish Workers’ Party president Sean Garland [you were? – Ed], I have news.. There had been a report of that the US intended to request the extradition, in March 2006, after he had jumped bail on extradiction proceedings in Belfast – briefly turning up at an Irish Labour Party conference in Dublin. The original indictment dates back to … Read more

Join the DUP’s Flickr Group?

Talking about crowd sourcing, it looks like after sitting on its proverbial new media ass since 2003, someone in the DUP is off again in the right direction. Not only has finally set up a proper Flickr account, it’s got a group in which it which it invites people from outside the party to take part. It’s close to a point I made in my video contribution to the SDLP’s recent party conference… Make yourselves as open as possible to … Read more

Constituency profiles for the Republic…

Here’s a handy thing for the upcoming council and European elections in the Republic… John at Irish Election has blogged the constituency profiles put out by the Oireachtas… it’s pretty basic stuff and not a patch on the detailed profiles put out by Sammy Morse for the 97 Assembly elections… Here’s his South Antrim profiling for instance… But it’s a start… The Limerick Blogger how both their constituencies are polar opposites in comparison to one another… For Donegal North East … Read more

“and he’s opposed to her because she’s a woman with power….”

On the Nolan show this morning there was an interesting little exchange between John O’Dowd and Nelson McCausland. From John O’Dowd. Nelson is not opposed to Catriona Ruane on the basis of her educational stance – he’s opposed to her because she’s a republican – and he’s opposed to her because she’s a woman with power.. Full interview here Kathleen

“You cannot have partial stories..”

Yesterday Brian noted Michael White’s identification of the problem with the Consultative Group proposals to deal with the “toxic debt” of the past. It’s there also in my own post on the proposed Legacy Commission, and more explicitly in this previous post. the groups he’s pointing to as being necessary participants [] include those responsible for the amnesiacs deal – and those who would have a vested interest in continuing to tip-toe round the past. On Hearts and Minds last … Read more

All Catholic Grammars to pull out of the ‘Ruane Plan’…

On the front page of today’s Irish News is the story Sinn Fein’s Education Minister has fought long and hard to prevent from coming to pass: All Catholic grammar schools are set to hold new entrance tests in place of the 11-plus after the executive failed to agree to proposals to ban academic selection. A total of 25 Catholic schools, including the Newry grammar that Caitriona Ruane sent one of her daughters to, are expected within days to match plans … Read more

“Buy American” clause prompts global trade war fears

It looks like the concerns expressed on Stormont Live by economist Mike Smyth were well founded. The US Stimulus Bill passed by Democratic Party representatives, 11 of them joined Republicans in opposing it, contains a “Buy American” clause for public infrastructure projects. Alex Singleton identifes the old protectionist problem at the Telegraph blog and concerns of a trade war are already being expressed by the Canadian government and by the European Commission – the US Chamber of Commerce are also … Read more

…almost exactly 56 years ago…

The anxiety and frustration created by the Stena Voyager incident is a reminder of our vulnerability at sea, even on our local pond which can suddenly turn into a funnel of fury during a storm. These passengers were lucky there was no storm, unlike the passengers of the Princess Victoria, almost exactly 56 years ago. And whatever the improvements in design, ships doors will remain vulnerable, as the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster grimly reminds us. Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist … Read more

Hasta La Vista Blaggy ——- So Soon Old, Too Late Smart

I thought that Blagojevich played Harry Reid like a Stradivarius. As it turns out, this did not mean that Blagojevich was all that smart, just that our Senate Majority Leader was dumber than retarded dog drool. Blagojevich managed to maneuver in the endgame like Rommel but since the ill-fated Serb spent the past six years pissing off everyone in the Illinois legislature, the only thing standing between him and a bum’s rush to the chamber door was the solitary vote … Read more

British Army’s “smug” attitude over NI success led to US criticism of UK’s Afghan ops…

IN an extensive interview just published by the Economist, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has accused British armed forces of being “too complacent” and “smug” after its experiences in Northern Ireland and Bosnia. He said: “You are only as good as your next success, not your last one. You can never rest on your laurels and I think we may have done that. If you go around and ask enough Americans you will … Read more

“Following consultation with my advisers..”

With the semi-accountable, and semi-detached, polit-bureau unable, or unwilling, to agree to place certain dishonourably leaked confidential papers on the agenda for today’s Northern Ireland Executive meeting, one of the two Ministers involved was always likely to have something to say. As it was Gregory Campbell had another appointment, and so the NI Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, emerged from the meeting to blame the DUP – despite the fact that, as Mark Devenport puts it, “in truth the … Read more


NOnot another Lisburn caption O wind your necks in.. Kathleen