Archive | January, 2013

National Crime Agency: What’s in a name?

The local row over the UK’s new National Crime Agency (NCA) isn’t going away.  But let’s try to address the issue in a less hysterical manner… Firstly, the body that the NCA needs to be compared with, in terms of the powers to be available to it here, is the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).  From the more…

The Centre Roars Back with New Funding and a New Shared Blog

Nearly two years ago I wrote a ‘Note’ saying that the Centre for Cross Border Studies had 15-18 months funding left, we were starting to feel a little nervous, and were appealing to our readers and supporters for some good new ideas for cross-border cooperation in Ireland. In the event we generated most of those more…

Ceannaire an PUP, Billy Hutchinson

Gaelscéal – It is a poor wind that blows well for no one

Is olc an ghaoth nach séideann maith do dhuine éigin Tá an PUP ag baint úsáide as conspóid an bhrataigh chun tús nua a chur le gníomhaíocht an pháirtí agus chun dul  i dtreo nua, a scríobhann Anton Mac Cába Tá na círéibeacha faoi cheist bhrat na Breataine ó Thuaidh ag tabhairt seans don Pháirtí more…

Dolours Price and the human cost of armed revolution…

Very good piece from Kevin Myers in the Indo yesterday: Like many of their generation, they [the Price sisters] were hellbent on achieving the utterly unattainable: a united Ireland by force of arms. I knew a couple of their IRA Andersonstown colleagues, Mairead Farrell and Sean McDermott: intelligent and likeable, yet driven by a fearsome more…

US Gun Control or why policy detail matters…

P O’Neill with a great spot off Cspan on the gun control debate. It’s a snippet from the Senate Judiciary Committee: O’Neill comments: Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, thinks he has scored a massive point by showing that the Washington DC murder rate went up in the years after a gun ban was introduced. more…

Northern Ireland’s modest and timid ambitions for peace

Malachi O’Doherty points of a long term pessimism that often seems to want to long tail conflict rather than tackle the heart of it. He points to the problem of Belfast’s walled interfaces, in the context of past fatalism: What was routine back then was the conviction that Northern Ireland’s problems could not be solved. more…

An Phoblacht title banner Feb 2013

Declan Kearney on unionism, compromise, and building reconciliation as the next stage in the peace process

Sinn Féin’s Declan Kearney is back in the February issue of An Phoblacht with a bit of a lecture for unionism as well as an extended call for inclusive talks to advance reconciliation as the next phase of the peace process. It’s an issue that also contains Gerry Adams response to Kilsally’s blog post on more…

Adams apology worse than no apology at all…

Aside from the obvious tragedy involved, it’s interesting to witness the contrast between how north and south treat the killing of a policeman on active duty, and the importance of national colours. Every official building in Dublin had the tricolour flying at half mast. By all accounts, the atmosphere in the Dail was pretty tense, more…

St Catherines

The Silence of Lost Worlds and the Fate of the Middle East’s Christians

Monasteries are very quiet places indeed. Garrulous as I am beyond the normal Irish capacity for such things, I am not someone obviously identifiable as a great lover of silence. At the Community of the Resurrection, even here in the heart of West Yorkshire’s network of densely populated post-industrial valleys, the daytime silence between the more…

“This vote now draws a line under this issue…”

Or not, as the case may be.  ANYhoo…  A Conservative Party backed proposal to redraw UK parliamentary constituency boundaries has been defeated in the House of Commons.  As the BBC reports MPs voted by 334 to 292 to accept changes made by peers, meaning the planned constituency shake-up will be postponed until 2018 at the more…

Empowering Communities: Live Blogging this morning…

Digital Lunch will be live in this window from about 1pm… Here’s a warmer/explainer for the seminar I’m at this morning in the beautifully renovated Crumlin Road Gaol (it really is stunning folks) from Gordon Hector of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation who along with the Building Change Trust have funded and organised a sensemaking exercise more…

Has David Ford even read the Patten Report?

Alliance Party leader David Ford must have watched last December as British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a public apology for the unchecked, extra-judicial and murderous activities of the Force Research Unit (or FRU) in Ireland. Cameron lamented at the time that, “The collusion demonstrated beyond any doubt… is totally unacceptable”. The issue with collusion more…

“Ireland has the potential to generate far more wind energy than we could consume domestically…”

Apparently, Ireland is to become Britain’s off-shore wind farm…  That seems to be the gist of the complaint from opponents to wind farms in the Irish Midlands, as reported in the Irish Times. Andrew Duncan, spokesman for the Lakelands Wind Information Group in Co Westmeath, said: “It seems to be an Irish solution to a British more…