Archive | July, 2011

EU flag

Euro crisis: “this is not a crisis about the euro”

So sayeth the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, writing in the Guardian.  And he should know!  From the Guardian article Astonishingly, since our summit the cost of borrowing has increased again for a number of euro area countries. I say astonishingly, because all macro economic fundamentals point in the opposite direction. It more…

Discussing e-books on BBC Radio Ulster Saturday Magazine

You never know where a blog posting will end up — on the back of my praise for Libraries NI making available e-books for loan via the Overdrive mobile application, I was asked to participate in a discussion on BBC Radio Ulster’s Saturday Magazine programme, presented by John Toal. The panel included Helen Osborn (Director more…

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Ballyclare Riot Arrest & Charge Watch: Day 22

 To Ballyclare journeyed I earlier this week, reviving memories of the summer of ’94, when I spent a few months visiting the bars and clubs of rural Antrim and Down replenishing cigarette vending machines, including in the Ballyclare region. Ballyclare’s loyalists are clearly fond of their flags, and it took little time to mentally tally more…

Norris goes from hero to zero

Front runner in the Race to the Aras has suffered an effectively fatal blow to his campaign with the news that he wrote  a letter to an Israeli court pleading for clemency for his former partner who was awaiting sentencing having been found guilty of statutory rape of a 15 year old Palestinian boy. The more…

Charges brought in Laois counterfeiting operation

It’s taken a while, but four men have finally been charged in connection with the sophisticated counterfeiting operation and underground bunker uncovered in a joint operation by Europol and gardaí in Ballybrophy, Borris-in-Ossory, County Laois, in May last year.  From the Irish Times report A former leading member of the Provisional IRA and prison escaper was one more…

“every discussion of the experience of west Belfast there is going to be blinkered”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Malachi O’Doherty takes a critical look at that “plenty for all” Feile.  From the Belfast Telegraph article The story of what west Belfast experienced through the Troubles is complex and amazing, but it is filtered at the Feile through a determination to defend the reputation of the IRA, the organisation that brought much more…

BLOG: Join the Sluts

Tomorrow sees not just Belfast Pride, but the first SlutWalk in Ireland.  London, New York and Toronto have all had women take to the streets in a 21st century version of Take Back the Night. But Belfast isn’t quite as liberal as those other cities.  Even New Dehli’s SlutWalk is gaining more momentum than Belfast’s. more…

EU flag

Euro crisis: Just when you thought you were out…

Signs, perhaps, that the markets remain less than convinced about last week’s eurozone leaders’ agreement on debt. Yesterday Italy was forced to pay more to borrow than just one month ago. Credit agency Moody’s has warned it may downgrade Spain’s rating.  All three credit agencies have a negative outlook on the country’s rating as the Spanish more…

Babe to brat in 30 seconds flat…

If anyone ever had any doubts that the media is a fickle beast, the latest episode in the continuing saga of ‘Rory mania’ illustrates it well. In the space of effectively a few days, Rory McIlroy has gone from being a media darling with continual headlines proclaiming sainthood, to being labeled a spoilt brat. His more…

Orange ratchet up tension in Portadown with Drumcree march breach

Having introduced a weekly Wednesday night protest march to accompany the pre-existing weekend protest march, Orangemen in Portadown have attempted to ratchet up the tension in Portadown following recent sectarian rioting by breaching a Parades Commission determination and marching to the edge of the Ballyoran estate. Interestingly, Suzanne Breen had noted in the Sunday World more…

Back to square one…………

Yesterdays Belfast Telegraph featured comment from David Hagan, a member of a Loyalist Flute band on the Shankill Road, the Regimental Band Association and a Committee member of the Confederation of Ulster Bands. Note: The Confederation of Ulster Bands is an umbrella body for a number of localised band associations from across Northern Ireland, with more…

London Olympics 2012: the countdown is over for us

My campaign to get some London Olympic 2012 tickets for NI fell  at the first hurdle, see below http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/06/29/pt-brits-required And the last couple of days have seen the beginning of the countdown to London 2012. The BBC being unable to report on any tangible benefits for Norn Iron have rightly asked the question, several months more…

Martin McGuinness: “I have been in contact with the PSNI at the top level to register my dissatisfaction and annoyance…”

In a post yesterday, noting the major search operation across Northern Ireland and the arrest for questioning of 5 men in connection with the murder of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr, I linked to a UTV report quoting “the Deputy First Minister”, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA. “We have to continue to support police in more…