Archive | May, 2010

R.A.A.D. all about it!

R.A.A.D. all about it!

Republican Action Against Drugs have been engaging in something of a PR drive in Strabane of late. The group, which claims to target drug dealers in republican areas has been mainly active in the north-west (i.e. Derry and Strabane) since last year, but have also claimed responsibility for a recent shooting in Newry. During election more…

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Police attacked by crowd in north Belfast

In contrast to the successful musical approach, reports from UTV and the Belfast Telegraph highlight the reality of policing on the streets of [north] Belfast. From the UTV report Two police officers have been taken to hospital following a disturbance in north Belfast.They sustained cuts and bruising to their faces and hands when they were attacked by a more…

Israeli-Turkish relations irrevocably damaged

The actions of the Israeli military against the civilian flotilla of aid into Gaza has provoked widespread international reaction. Israel is bracing itself for a wave of diplomatic repercussions in the aftermath of the interception of the small crafts where at least nine people have been killed. Perhaps the gravest consequences from the killings will more…

SDLP: I swear they are real republicans

On May 12th I posted a mocked up version of SDLP MPs making their solemn declaration/affirmation of allegiance to ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors’ It was variously described by pro-SDLP contributors as a ‘new low’ for Slugger (x4), ‘inane’, ‘masturbatory, a ‘steaming log’, ‘lowering the tone’ and even resulted in one claim more…

Does the South now have a better welfare state than the North?

Growing up as a Northern Irish and British boy in the 1950s and 1960s, it was an article of faith that the wealthy United Kingdom had the best welfare state in the world and the Republic of Ireland was a backward and impoverished place that couldn’t afford such a socially advanced system. Even after nearly more…

Four arrested in Laois in counterfeit cash investigation

Not much detail on this one yet, but the iol report notes that four men, in their 40s and 50s, were arrested in County Laois this morning “after an extensive operation, which has been ongoing for several months”.  RTÉ adds  What is believed to be a sophisticated counterfeit operation and underground bunker has been uncovered by more…

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Memorial to murdered soldiers dedicated

The News Letter has a report of Sunday’s formal dedication of a memorial at Ballysillan Avenue to three young Scottish soldiers: Dougald McCaughey, 23, from Glasgow along with brothers John and Joseph McCaig, aged 17 and 18, from Ayr. The three were lured from the city centre and murdered at the isolated White Brae off more…

one particularly vocal Palestinian protester proclaiming Palestine is still Palestine as she held a necklace. She has been her for 47 years and her sister and other relatives live in Gaza.

International Piracy?

Whilst reports at the moment are little sketchy it appears that an aid convoy to Gaza has been attacked by Israeli commandos and that there are a number of deaths. It seems that the attack also happened in International waters which would make this attack on a flotilla of boats travelling from Cypress piracy. edited more…

NI Fire Service wrong to remove Enniskillen tribute

The News Letter has a report of the Ombudsman’s investigation into the removal of a plaque commemorating the victims of the Enniskillen war memorial bombing. The commemorative plaque, a photographic montage of the people murdered, was placed in Enniskillen fire station where it remained for 19 years until September 2007. Then after an anonymous telephone more…

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Dennis Hopper 1936-2010

Actor, film-maker, photographer and artist, Dennis Hopper has died at the age of 74.  There’s a good obituary at the BBC site, and the Guardian has, or had, a selection of clips from a long career in films which began with a minor role alongside James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause [1955].  Image credit: Dennis more…

Money over sex every time is the judgement call, Mr Laws

Something new’s been emerging in the reaction to the outing and resignation of Treasury Chief Secretary David Laws. It’s the progressives who are slating him, not for once  the usual expenses crusaders of the commentariat – although it was the Daily Telegraph digging into their old CDs, who exposed him. ( Not the first of another spate more…

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But what about the boundaries, Minister?

In the two weeks grace the Northern Ireland Executive has given itself to decide the issue of local government reform, the NI Environment Minister is apparently seeking agreement from the existing 26 councils to fund the cost of that reform.  That’s an estimated £138million, according to the BBC report. But even if those councils did all agree, by Friday, more…

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ECB : There are no alternatives

European Central Bank executive member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi outlined the fiscal and monetary constraints facing EU states at the Group of 30 conference in Rabat. In it he warns of a US of future crisis, and perhaps controversially denounces Keynesianism as inappropriate. European states can’t rely on inflation to reduce their debts, fiscal austerity is more…

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Republican prisoners – meeting and protest clash but no clash

As a meeting was held on republican prisoners in the Conway Mill (chaired by Maura McCrory with contributions from Peter Corrigan, Fr Raymond Murray, Carál Ní Chuilín,  Maura Fitzsimmons, Gerard Hodgins and Brenda Downes), Republican Sinn Féin gathered for a protest march from Dunville Park to Castle Street on the same issue. RSF in their more…

Mortar bomb caused security alert at Londonderry police station

Police have said that the explosion reported at Strand Road police station in Londonderry last night was caused by a mortar bomb fired from a parked car.  From the BBC report Police said they believe it was launched from the rear of a red Vauxhall Cavalier car that was parked in Queen Street at about more…

The Dr

Paisley’s peerage is not the final verdict

Most journalists are either too young or too indifferent by now to do other than nod towards  Ian Paisley’s long-trailed elevation to the red benches of the House of Lords. At 84 becoming a life peer is more of an honour than a job. With all the charm and civility they can both deploy, he and more…