Archive | September, 2010

Pressure on Cowen mounts, as the case is made for an election

Now that the depth of Anglo’s pit has been divined (though have AIB and Irish Nationwide been stress tested enough?) the Irish Economy blog makes a cogent case for a November election before the budget. The question of whether the government had a mandate to introduce unpopular measures would disappear. And despite regular claims from more…

Enda caught in the middle between Eamon and Brian…

Despite the poor showing in the polls, Fianna Fail have one secret, get-out-of-jail-free card they can play against both Labour (soaring ahead at 33% in the latest Ipso-MRBI poll) and Fine Gael (now level pegging at 24% with Fianna Fail). They’ve been in government for so long, they have acquired the knack of being plausible. more…

Brian Lenihan: “It is an urgent and immediate priority to reinforce international market confidence…”

With, as Robert Peston put it, the Irish economy “hideously and perilously balanced between recovery and Armageddon” the Irish Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, has confirmed that the Anglo Irish Bank bailout will cost between €29.3 billion and €34.3 billion. Additionally AIB and Irish Nationwide will also require more money from the State. The development will push Ireland’s deficit more…

Neil offers the first of our pitches for an award in the Media category. What do you think? Challenge it, riff off it, or offer an alternative. Send a pitch to editor@sluggerotoole.com, with a title and a 100 word description of why you think it is important.

Slugger Awards (Media) Pitch: Challenge your own community Award?

Neil offers the first of our pitches for an award in the Media category. What do you think? Challenge it, riff off it, or offer an alternative. Send a pitch to editor@sluggerotoole.com, with a title and a 100 word description of why you think it is important.

UUP banner logo - slightly cropped

South Belfast UUP dump another of their Westminster candidates…

I cannot think of another political party that would spend the money and effort on a candidate in one election, only to dump them in the next. And Paula Bradshaw could be forgiven for wondering whether Reg Empey meant it when he promised the Ulster Unionist party would prioritise bringing women into the Assembly party. more…

Killing Joe O’Connor

Ten years have passed since the Provisional IRA murdered RIRA Volunteer Joseph O’Connor in Ballymurphy. It was 1999 that Mo Mowlam gave a green light for the Provos to maim and murder their own people, when she classified the murder of young Charles Bennett – alleged to have been killed to keep him from exposing more…

Croeso i Montgomerieshire…

Things hotting up nicely for the weekend. Catherine and Katherine introduced golfers, wives and 13,000 others to Welsh song at a gala last night. Tiger has been here before – not sure he enjoyed it much though… – Nice quote from his caddie for that week in 1995, when beset by food poisoning he tried to more…

Bill Clinton’s Big [Economic] Ideas for NI…

Or, as I think I heard it described on the fawning UTV report, his “special insight” on developing the local Northern Ireland economy, ahead of next month’s one-day US economic forum on NI.  According to the BBC report Mr Clinton said new jobs could be created through greater investment in renewable energy and rebranding the local more…

IFA: Court case for Irish, ‘understanding’ for English

One thing Slugger loves is a blog on football allegiances, so here you go… Today English teenager Adam Barton withdrew from the northern ireland football squad facing Italy and the Faroe Islands in the European qualifiers. Yesterday the north’s manager had declared: If players don’t want to represent Northern Ireland, it doesn’t matter how good more…

NAMA takes on £3.35bn (€4bn) loans linked to NI assets

The BBC notes that “Nama, the bad bank agency set up by the Irish government, is to take over loans originally worth around £3.3bn linked to assets in Northern Ireland.”   RTÉ gives the figure revealed today by Peter Stewart, the head of Nama’s advisory committee on Northern Ireland, as a “qualified estimate” of £3.35billion [pdf file] (€4billion) more…

PUP interim leader, Dr John Kyle

PUP to debate cutting paramilitary ties this evening (Update – and didn’t)

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowen previews tonight’s meeting of the PUP. Dawn Purvis resigned as leader and member of the PUP in the immediate aftermath of Shankill loyalist Bobby Moffett’s murder in May – “a public execution sanctioned by [UVF] paramilitary leaders”. Dr John Kyle stepped in as interim leader, a bit like a more…

Slugger Awards logo

Slugger Awards: Call for media category pitches…

Right, so now we’re going to get serious about crunching down the new categories for this year’s Slugger Awards. Unlike previous years we want you to set down what makes a good politician/good journalist/member of civil society. We already have a long list of qualities people think would make politics better. But as our resident more…

Learning from a green town on the Irish border

I’d like to return to the theme of energy cooperation in Ireland. This month’s belated row over the purchase (announced in July) of Northern Ireland Electricity by the Irish government-owned Electricity Supply Board – which, interestingly, saw Peter Robinson and his DUP Minister for Industry Arlene Foster take different positions – is a small storm more…

Parading, the Hillsborough Agreement and the return of the Clever Device

The Hillsborough Agreement seems much longer than seven months ago. For months the DUP had stalled in accepting the devolution of policing and justice and Lord Morrow and Gregory Campbell gloated over Sinn Fein suggesting that P&J would not be devolved in the lifetime of the current assembly and that it might take six years. more…

Gerry Adams, memory man

Danny Morrison dilates on failing memories and sportingly includes his old mucker. Can the sharp witted Danny have forgotten the elephant in the room? Don’t all shout at once.. “I have known Gerry for almost forty years and there is no way would I ever enter him for a ‘Memory Man’ competition Adams said: “It more…

A flawed start for Ed, as David’s mask slips

It maybe an oldie’s prejudice but I just can’t warm to him. Why is that although we’ve overturned old taboos about gays and women, Ed Miliband seems a bit of a shit for upsetting the natural order of things by taking on and besting big brother? Because I think he still seems defined by his more…

Garda Commissioner agrees with MI5 assessment

As RTÉ reports  Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has said that he believes an attack by dissident republicans in Britain is a strong possibility. Commissioner Murphy said he agreed with the assessment of the British Home Secretary and the head of MI5 in the UK that the level of threat from dissident republicans was now moderate more…