Europe take the Ryder Cup home (against all reasonable hope)!!!

And so Rory cut it fine. But he did his work when he got there (via a police ride)… Saving the best for the last… And just at the end Europe’s Martin Kaymer takes the most unlikely win in Ryder Cup history… Some pretty emotional scenes from Medinah… Salve Seve… Update: Davis Love III “Everyone was playing so well we didn’t think it would matter what order we put them out there” Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He … Read more

Parade of the Century

Its the morning after, it is raining steadily outside, it also seems to be “Raining on my Parade” from the usual suspects. But I don’t care there is still a smile on my face, my head is in the clouds and my feet are sore, the flutes are still singing and lambegs ring, the Parade of the Century lived up to expectations and more. Got up shortly after 7am, although the alarm was set for half past, suited and booted I … Read more

BNP Leader tweets about ‘fenian bastards’ following Covenant Day attendance

BNP Leader and MEP, Nick Griffin, was in attendance for the Covenant Day celebrations at Stormont today. His attendance would appear to be a rather logical development for a supremacist or an embarrassing distraction (take your pick, though the Orange Order did release a statement through the day seeking to put distance between themselves and the BNP Leader.) Alas, he did appear to get in the spirit exhibited by many of the bandsmen when producing this tweet tonight: So Ulster … Read more

“It’s a manifestation of social control by people who were able to act with tacit impunity…”

In the Christian Science Monitor, Jason Walsh has a clearer view than most of what is “deliberate, almost formalized cultural chest-thumping”. Even among many who are glad that the Troubles have ended, blame is beginning to point toward the structure of the peace process itself, specifically how it attempted to defuse the conflict into a culture war. While the Troubles’ zero-sum political conflict – between the competing ideas of a united Ireland and a United Kingdom – has ended, what remains … Read more

The Covenant had its day. A new one is needed

It’s salutary to see the scanty outside news coverage in advance of the Ulster Covenant anniversary focusing  on a  few hundred metres of territory around Carlisle Circus. The heritage of unionism seems reduced to rioting and bigotry. Many will agree, however unfairly.  For the most part it’s about just another day of tricky parades management that provokes the uncomprehending, exasperated  response from outsiders: “ But we thought that was all over.” I don’t myself accept all of Robin Wilson’s too- negative reading of the … Read more

Has the Republic disposed of the malign legacy of Charles Haughey 30 years ago?

The spotlight should not fall  exclusively on the history of the North these days. We’re told that the launch of a constitutional convention in the Republic is imminent. Doubts are rife that  it will it do the job.  Although sparked by the financial collapse, it must review the robustness of the Republic’s institutions from  much further back, to the State’s birth in revolution and internal warfare and the  “slightly constitutional” stance of the young  Fianna Fail in the 1920s which continued to inspire  the … Read more

Spanish troops mass on Catalunya’s borders…

Well,perhaps not quite, although as El Economista reports: (The) Spanish Military Association (SMA) has warned Monday that those who cooperate or allow “fracture” of Spain should “respond with all the utmost rigor” in the courts in the field of military courts by the “serious charge high treason. (Google translate gives the gist) Meanwhile in the real world Artur knows what he’s doing methinks. The FT (subscription needed but it’s free to subscribe) chronicles the events of the last few weeks. … Read more

When cherishing equal citizenship falls short on equality

Patrick Corrigan wrote on Slugger yesterday asking “Equal marriage – how long will Northern Ireland’s gay couples have to wait?”. Today the DUP lodged a Petition of Concern against the motion which is to be debated in Stormont on Monday. As Steven Agnew tweeted ” Legislation designed to protect minorities used to prevent the passing of a motion to enhance minority rights”. This on the same day that the DUP were happily celebrating the Ulster Covenant, a document which calls on … Read more

US Late Night Panel: Negative campaigning, ‘the end of whiteness’, rise of independents

Care to join us later? Our regular #MainStreetMatters panel will try to deconstruct what’s happening to America… Tonight, we’re looking at the economy, Romney and the rapid changes in demography that may condition any bounce back for the GOP, either pre or post the election… Myself and Kevin Anderson recorded this taster earlier to whet your appetite… We’ll be joined this evening by Kellyanne Dignan, Ruarai McKenna and Mel Dubnick.. Kick off time is roughly 11am BST, which is 6pm … Read more

Paisley on Carson: “we salute the man who taught us all how to be true Irishmen and women”

Whilst the world and his wife is waiting on the regular knife edge that any march through north Belfast brings, Ian Paisley writes of his hero Carson on the actual date of the Convenant: Carson’s idea for the future of his country did not tally with that held by men like Pearse or Connolly. His leadership was that of a man who was loved by the people, but in the end cast aside by his colleagues. He remains in the … Read more

#DigitalLunch today: Crashing systems…

We’ll have the live feed here up and running just before 1pm… to get an idea of what we mean by crashing systems, have a look at the event page over on Google Plus… All across the world, systems are crashing. In banking we’ve seen debt slicing and long haul internal systems like that of RBS/NatWest/Ulster Bank literally falling apart. In Europe post war notions of solidarity are being stretched to bursting as sovereign nations argue over the degree to … Read more

The Excitment is Building!

Only two sleeps to go till the big parade, and I’m starting to get quite excited about it.  It has only been the last two weeks that it has dawned on me this is likely to be a special occasion, one to remember for the rest of my life.  I still remember the Tercentenary Celebrations in 1990, the Belfast parade that year was extremely impressive, I had a bit of a role in it that time too, however the highlight of that year was taking part in … Read more

Rankin Armstrong takes over the reins as editor of the News Letter

The News Letter has appointed Rankin Armstrong as its new editor. Darwin Templeton left the role (for UTV) nearly 12 months ago and since then Johnston Press has conducted an exhaustive [Ed – you mean exhausting?] search, including at least two rounds of interviews which included candidates from the newspaper group’s English operation. Most recently the paper’s deputy editor, Rankin has spent around 40 years in journalism, spending time in the Irish News and Belfast Telegraph as well as local weeklies … Read more

Permanent Cantons or Effective Government?

Newton Emerson, writing in today’s Irish News, speculates on the future direction of Northern Ireland’s political spectrum: A poll published last weekend shows Alliance overtaking the UUP for the first time, on 13 per cent compared to the UUP’s 10 per cent. The SDLP is on 9 per cent. The poll had a small sample but the trend is unmistakeable. We are now heading towards a three-party system of DUP, Sinn Fein and Alliance, perhaps by the end of the … Read more

Obama may drink Guinness more convincingly than Romney, but…

…thankfully there is more to an American election than sinking pints with Everyman… Kevin Anderson and I have just had a warmer before our late night live panel tomorrow night at 11pm our time… 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

Rochdale Pioneers: “Those who said no to us, can’t have their way forever…”

Just had a heads up that the film about Rochdale Pioneers is showing in the Strand Picture House in Belfast [handy for DUP and UUP headquarters – Ed] tonight… Aye, it were grim up north (of England)… It’s worth mentioning that next week’s #DigitalLunch lunch features Tony Hawks’ Moldovan Movie which you can stream and donate to… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media … Read more

Irish Government launches help for SMEs next week…

So good news at last for small business in the Republic. Just like small business in Northern Ireland, they’ve been starved of capital even as European taxpayers have been stuffing the banks full of cash… Silicon Republic reports… The Irish Government is set to open the microfinance scheme from next Monday for businesses and sole traders that employ 10 people or less that have been refused credit by the banks. Via the fund, businesses will be able to apply for … Read more

Equal marriage – how long will Northern Ireland’s gay couples have to wait?

  When David Hockney published his etching In the dull village in 1967, the UK government was busy passing the Sexual Offences Act to (partially) decriminalise homosexuality in England and Wales. It was another fifteen years before Northern Ireland caught up – with the passage of the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982, and that was only after Jeff Dudgeon took a case to the European Court of Human Rights. In 2012 the campaign for LGBT equality has moved on. … Read more

“We stared at this patch of sky for about 22 days…”

As the BBC’s spaceman, Jonathan Amos, notes, the Hubble Space Telescope team have released an updated version of their stunning Ultra Deep Field image – the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) – and they have seen further than ever.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team] From the text accompanying the above image The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small area of space in the … Read more

The Challenge of Turning Goodwill into Cooperation

Regular readers of this ‘note’ will know that I have certain obsessions which keep re-surfacing: the need to upgrade the Belfast-Dublin rail line; the exhortation to Northern Irish people to fully enjoy both their identities, Irish and British; the need for more people-to-people cooperation across the border; and the imperative for the public sectors in the two Irish jurisdictions to work more closely together to provide joint services for the benefit of both their peoples. It is to this last … Read more