Archive | March, 2011

I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum

Newly elected Louth TD Gerry Adams has distributed his party baubles: Mary-Lou is Deputy leader and Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform. Aengus Ó Snodaigh is Spokesperson on Social Protection and Party Whip Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is Spokesperson on Health and Children. -he used to be Sinn Féin Dáil leader and party spokesperson on the more…

vote4change

Planet of the apes?

  After a 30 year absence from electoral politics the IRSP have announced they will be fielding 5 Council candidates. (though one has been running as an independent recently) Unfortunately their greeness seems to have resulted in the same strap line as that of the Conservatives and Ulster Unionists a mere 10 months ago – more…

“It is unacceptable for the Minister and his Department to suggest…”

Possibly related to the point Mick was making…  The former leader of Sinn Féin in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, TD, has taken exception to part of a statement by Irish Health Minister, James Reilly, TD, committing the Irish Government to work in partnership with their Northern Ireland counterparts on the development of a new radiotherapy more…

“the reports will be published after the Assembly elections…”

As the BBC reports, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, has announced the dissolution of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) and the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). The IICD archive is to be held at Boston College, as Kevin Cullen reports Thomas E. Hachey, executive director of the Center for Irish Programs more…

Any good new ideas for cross-border cooperation?

Every two or three years the Centre for Cross Border Studies comes close to running out of money. The begrudgers on the Slugger O’Toole website may not believe it, but a small ‘stand alone’ research and development centre in an innovative but untrendy area like cross-border cooperation is always between 6 and 36 months from more…

#AE11 Open thread: South Down (#sdo11)…

Okay, we’re going to run a series of open threads on a number of constituencies throughout the campaign. I’ve picked up South Down first partly because of John McCallister’s uncharacteristically undisciplined outburst last week. When you consider there is a boundary change in the north of the constituency that could take 2k Unionist votes out more…

Stories and Plays

…if University education were universally available and availed of, the country would collapse in one generation

The words of Brian O’Nolan, variously Brian Ó Nualláin, Myles na gCopaleen, Myles na Gopaleen and, of course, Flann O’Brien. That O’Nolan was referencing his own dissolute student days at UCD only mildly distracts from the prophetic undertone of his words: I paid no attention whatsoever to books or study and regarded lectures as a more…

A momentous day for Ireland and the eurozone

Spelling out  the full horror of it,  Robert Peston  describes a crisis even deeper than publicly admitted. The one glimmer  of hope is that the rich States of  the EU  and other major investors  now admit they are intimately implicated. Rather than presenting themselves as strict but magnanimous bailers out of little Ireland, they are gradually being forced to recognise their more…

Michael Lowry

Moriarty: Nach scannal mór é?

Michael Lowry held the floor of the Dail for a hour early Tuesday evening, as part of statements on the Moriarty Tribunal.  Much earlier in the day, there was an interesting intervention from poll topping Louth TD Gerry Adams in which he criticising the tribunal for the huge legal cost (with precious little tangible product more…

Duffy – a promising Nefyn folk singer…

Here we go: Duffy singing “Ar lan y môr” from the soundtrack of new Welsh film “Patagonia”. (Coming to the flix soon…) Not bad but Cerys is better – the Bob Dylan treatment…..Cool… Katherine is, like all Clannad… But I still reckon Mine’s the best… Not really – Siân knows how it goes.. For those more…

“We don’t approve of young children engaging in this type of activity…”

The Belfast Telegraph has an update from the Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre in Mullaghbawn, south Armagh – where children, some of primary school age, were photographed in October wearing balaclavas, combat jackets and trousers, dark glasses and berets, and brandishing replica weapons including AK47s and Armalites.  From the Belfast Telegraph update The Ti Chulainn centre in south more…

“What will be the end of this sorry saga?”

With tensions rising across Europe, Irish Life and Permanent suspended trading earlier today amid speculation that it would have to sell its profitable pensions and investments business, Irish Life, and its fund management business, Irish Life Investment Managers, after the publication of the bank stress test results tomorrow. That publication is also expected to result in further more…

“Is Scappaticci getting to that time of life when he wants to talk about his role in the conflict…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Alan Murray asks some pertinent questions ahead of the Smithwick Tribunal’s public hearing stage.  From the Belfast Telegraph article What Hurst [‘Martin Ingram’] has told Judge Smithwick so far about Stakeknife’s role along the border and whether it has relevance to his tribunal we are not allowed to know. What we do know more…

Introducing Broadsheet.ie (if you’ve not already met them)…

Great fun and often insightful political site keeping a watch on the comings and goings at Leinster House… Stories include: – Michael Lowry’s Facebook page… – Houses that look like TDs… – Meet Adolf Kitler… – Angry Birds Take on the Arab Spring… – Mulley ends the punk awards and more are born… – And more…

Click image for an interactive map showing how the world has moved to abolish the death penalty, 1961-2011

World turns against death penalty

Fifty years ago only ten countries had completely abolished the death penalty. In 1977, the year Amnesty International took up the cause, just 17 countries were death penalty-free. Since then, there has been a sea change.  As documented in Amnesty’s report on Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, published this week, 96 countries have now more…

McNarry apologises for Nolan outburst…

Interesting. Ken Reid reports that even though technically speaking David McNarry was right in suggesting Basil McCrea and John McCallister were unforgiveably breaking ranks on a party line (in suggesting the matter of Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister was not important to them), he has apologised for his outburst on Stephen Nolan’s show last week… more…

Sinn Fein ‘flip’ from small ‘d’ to big ‘D’ First Minister…

Just putting together that last piece, I belatedly discovered Sinn Fein has resumed the capital D spelling of the Deputy First Minister (compare December and more recently, where Deputy First Minister or generic references to the First Ministers is commonplace. Not sure exactly when it was changed, but it  now applies to official documents and more…