Taoiseach on euro crisis: “I think we have to get on with what we have now…”

Oh dear…  RTÉ reports Taoiseach Enda Kenny sticking his head in the sand insisting that the status quo is perfectly adequate to deal with the eurozone crisis. Speaking in Warsaw, Mr Kenny admitted there had been a lot of discussion among eurozone leaders about where the crisis was headed, and that there would be a good deal more discussion before heads of government meet in mid October. When asked if he supports Treaty change in order to facilitate a deeper … Read more

RWC – Final Group Games…

Ok – let’s eliminate absurdites and look at the more realistic scenarios for the Six Nation Teams: 1. In Pool D – Barring losing to Fiji by 62 39 points or more Wales are through the Group of Death in second behind South Africa. 2. In Pool B – Scotland need to beat England by 8 points and restrict England to less than 4 tries to get through in second. If they do Argentina win the group, providing they secure … Read more

Gay Mitchell and the Commonwealth

Gay Mitchell may be no stranger to Slugger, but for those unfamiliar with the other candidates in the presidential election, Cormac McQuinn’s critical piece in the Daily Mail back in July provides a useful introduction to the Dublin MEP. That Slugger piece from 2006 links back to Mitchell’s address to the annual Fine Gael Collins-Griffith memorial in August 2006 on the Fine Gael website, an item which is no longer accessible (or archived) although some quotes and more comments can be read here and here. … Read more

Dana posters in Cavan…

Nice piece of virtual postering in Cavan Town… Mashup from Enda Lee… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Confessions of a US Supreme Court judge…

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Retired Justice John Paul Stevens on the moderating effects of the US Supreme Court bench, and his ‘wrong decision’ regarding the US death penalty… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Martin McGuinness: “the past is a very, very dark place for everybody.”

In response to a challenge to appear in front of the Smithwick Tribunal, Sinn Féin’s candidate in the Irish Presidential election, Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, has said that he has “no problem at all attending the tribunal”.  But he added that he has “no direct knowledge of the circumstances surrounding” the murder of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan. Earlier today, Martin McGuinness said he could not recall the incident Peter Murtagh wrote about in today’s Irish Times, threatened Frank Hegarty’s family with recounting his … Read more

Something about Mary, first Presidential candidate in Belfast (video added)

Residents of Northern Ireland may not have vote as of right, but I suspect there are more than a few Irish denizens of Belfast who’ll be sneaking back to the Donegal ranch or running down to the ma’s in Dublin to cast their unofficial ex pat vote. Anyhoo, Mary Davis is the first candidate to platform in Belfast… She’ll be at the Crescent Arts Centre this evening between 6 and 7:30pm… Update: I hope he’ll go on serving as Deputy … Read more

If McGuinness is right then an awful lot of people are lying about the past…

Brian Feeney makes a strong point in yesterday’s Irish News in which he contrasts the ‘good’ IRA (the one that spawned the mainstream political parties of the Republic), and the ‘bad’, the one operated solely by their political rivals, Sinn Fein. If there is a difference in the treatment given each, then it is surely dependent on more than just an inchoate animus within the southern media towards us rough neck Nordies. Three alternative factors immediately come to mind: The ‘Free … Read more

Making the Island’s children our first priority

There is a wonderful statement in the 1919 Democratic Programme of the First Dail  – which was eventually sidelined by Sinn Fein leaders as being too left-wing – that ‘it shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means … Read more

POTD – No Alibis

It’s fresher week Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of … Read more

McGuinness: success is just about losing well?

Martin McGuinness’ entry into the Presidential race has surely shook things up. However while some of the shriller media commentary has focused on the danger of him winning, it is past time to ask what would really constitute a victory for McGuinness and Sinn Féin. For this discussion we may need to abandon the ludicrous notion he was ever ‘in it to win it’. If you accept SF didn’t enter their star man into the contest to be beaten and … Read more

Odyssey Marine’s “Irish project”

The Irish Times’ marine correspondent, Lorna Siggins, notes an interesting addendum to the US company Odyssey Marine Exploration’s confirmation of the site of the SS Gairsoppa – and, potentially, 200 tonnes of silver.  From the Irish Times report THE US marine exploration company which has located a British wartime shipwreck with £150 million worth of silver in the Atlantic has also been surveying southwest Irish waters where there are a number of “commodity” wrecks. The Naval Service has confirmed that … Read more

Is Newt on the Ball? – Unionist support Dana!

I will confess I’m loving the Presidential election, mainly because it is of little real relevance , but close enough to home to be interesting, and not least often amusing. Now that we know the final seven, yes SEVEN, candidates I have decided that I am going to support Dana, probably as the underdog in the race as much as anything, but still with a remote chance.  It seems I am not the only Unionist thinking this way as this … Read more

UTV on the race for #Aras11

Good round up from UTV on the #Aras11 race… First prize for the most strangulated metaphor of the campaign so far goes to Senan Moloney for the reference to Martin McGuinness introducing a little bit of ‘mercury’ which could ’tilt’ the race in a new direction… Paul Clark talks to Sam Smyth from the Irish Independent who notes that Norris is sucking all the air out of the room… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers … Read more

Massaging the past for the convenience of the politics of the present…

Mark Devenport neatly removes the problem of Martin McGuinness’ past as an IRA commander one step. Instead he looks at the record of Gusty Spence, who’s activities in the early sixties almost certainly radicalised the Catholic youth of the time, helping to lay the tinder for the mass killing of the early 1970s: I talked to the acting PUP leader Hugh Smyth on “Inside Politics” and found him keen to pay tribute to Gusty Spence’s track record as a peacemaker, … Read more

Shooting helicopters (whoops, TV documentary apocalyspe)…

Okay, here’s Metafilter on a minor, but highly embarrassing mistake from ITV last night: Last night, British ITV broadcasted “Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA“, a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary. Hmmm… There’s just no way that big truck is getting hidden anywhere near Hackballscross…  The cars are American and the bandit country open out in … Read more

“Come back John Wilkes. Your work is about to be undone. Politicians are losing the plot.”

Well, some politicians.  Specifically, the Labour Party’s shadow culture secretary, Ivan Lewis, MP, who is calling for suggesting a register of professional journalists.  So they can be “struck off” if they transgress.  As Roy Greenslade comments Lewis and the cheering delegates in Liverpool need to understand the danger of their position. Look at the contradiction at the heart of Lewis’s crowd-pleasing speech. At one point he said: “In Britain, a free press is non-negotiable.” At another, when demanding “a new … Read more

Some serious Unionist thinking required…

Peter Robinson, July 2009: When I first became the leader of the DUP, I stated that one of my objectives would be to increase the confidence and understanding of the Unionist people concerning their history and heritage. My plans for the development of a Unionist Academy are at an advanced stage and will be made public soon. That pledge followed on from this promise made in June 2008: Party leader Peter Robinson yesterday revealed plans for a Unionist Academy, which will … Read more

#Aras11: Two Fine Gael Chairs use ‘casting votes’ to block Norris

Norris gets the vote from the Waterford City Council… So that’s Fingal, Laois and now Waterford… Interesting point to note that two of the councils (South Dublin and Carlow) who rejected him both did so on the casting vote of the Chairman… Given this is only for entry to another election, is this an indication of worries inside Fine Gael (Labour, who appear to be allowing individual discretion) the poor showing of their candidate, nominating what’s recognised as the weaker … Read more

Martin McGuinness plans to take a new broom to ‘pacific’ Aras tradition…

Áras an Uachtaráin - residence of the Irish President, and soon to be home to Northern Irish bees

I think this is well worth noting. Too many, it seems to me are presuming things about the Irish Presidency which rely on tradition (not least the one that says Fianna Fail’s guiding hand must be on all, but one, incumbent) but are not actually written into the Constitution. Martin McGuinness takes the trouble to point out what some of his plans are, should he be lucky enough to win the race to the Aras: “There have been some suggestions … Read more