Archive | May, 2013

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Ann Travers: “a peace and reconciliation centre where they expect victims of crime to go to in a prison”

Ann Travers was interviewed today by David McCann and Kerri Dunn, presenters of the weekly On the Record politics show that is broadcast on Lisburns 98FM community radio station. You can listen to her interview in two parts. listen to ‘Part 1 of @lisburns98's interview with @AnnTravers2 by @KerriDunn & @dmcbfs’ on Audioboo listen to more…

In praise of… Jim Allister

“..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon…” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932) The controversy over Jim Allister’s SpAd Bill has thrown a different light upon a settlement more…

My Top 14 cross-border co-operators in Ireland

Since this is my penultimate ‘Note’ before I stand down as director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies, I am going to use it to nominate my personal Top 14 cross-border co-operators, one for every year since the Centre was founded in 1999. There is no doubt that the pioneers of cross-border cooperation are more…

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The Second Coming of Paisley by Richard Lawrence Jordan: Book Review

In The Second Coming of Paisley: Militant Fundamentalism and Ulster Politics (Syracuse University Press, 2013), American historian Richard Lawrence Jordan provides us with some insights that are relevant for today – both for understanding the Rev Ian Paisley, and for coming to grips with unionist perspectives on religion and politics. With a title like The more…

“Obama may do things you progressives find distasteful, but at least marvel at how thoughtful and torn up he is about it all…”

With growing domestic political difficulties – the continued fall-out from Benghazi, the IRS caught targeting political opponents, the increased invocation of the 1917 Espionage Act against troublesome journalists, to name but three issues – US President Barack Obama is probably looking forward to his short June break at Lough Erne.  In the meantime, though, take more…

@rustyrockets on #Woolwich

Superb piece of writing from Russell Brand on his blog reflecting on his own response to the killing of Drummer Lee Digby in Woolwich, social media and how to respond to it. Set aside whatever preconceptions you might have based on Brand’s comedy or acting or writings and give it a proper read. Brand walks more…

Reconciliation without truth is the new game in town. But will anyone play?

Steven McCaffrey reports on a new proposals from Mitchel McLaughlin, in which dealing with the past he suggests be detached from the idea of truth: The party’s Mitchel Mclaughlin said republicans would prefer a South African style `truth and reconciliation’ commission, but now accepted that splitting the two elements into a twin-track process could help more…

A Lions tour – predict the first test team please.

So it was just a bad dream for Rory Best – in the Lions squad…and I reckon a test starter. How about the other 14? Rules are simple. I need the names of the fifteen starters in the first test on June 22nd. 1 point for every correct name. Here’s my guess: 15 Halfpenny 14 Bowe more…

Harry Fitzsimons arrested in Senegal

As the BBC reports A west Belfast man has been arrested in Senegal in west Africa. It is understood Harry Fitzsimons was detained in the capital Dakar last month. Earlier this year Italian police issued an arrest warrant for Mr Fitzsimons in connection with an alleged mafia money-laundering operation in Calabria in Italy. The report more…

20130426 INCORE Colombia

Derry proposals for Colombian peace

In September 2012, peace talks were announced between the Colombian Government and the guerrilla group FARC. There have been several rounds of negotiation, now taking place in Havana, Cuba. INCORE at the University of Ulster saw a potential in investigating the lessons, good and bad, from the Northern Ireland peace process, in this 15th anniversary more…

ODI: Ireland v Pakistan

A four from the last ball of the game by Kevin O’Brien saw Ireland secure a draw in Thursday’s rain affected One-Day International against Pakistan [Duckworth-Lewis applied].  Ireland’s 275 for 5 included 103 runs from 107 balls by Paul “that kid is a freak” Stirling.  Going into today’s second ODI in the two game series, Ireland were confident of an upset against more…

Paisley, Question Time & Keeping up with the Jones’

Ian Paisley Jnr has caused a bit of a storm following his appearance on BBC Question Time earlier this week. His views on gay marriage (video clip here) provoked a twitter backlash (featured in yesterday’s Irish News) and led to several on air clashes with fellow contributors and members of the audience. What Paisley Junior more…

UK City of Culture rocks for Radio 1 Big Weekend

  I’ve  just been watching the video stream of Day Two of the Radio 1 Big Weekend in Derry for a few hours, on and off. (I fess up. My daughter is an executive producer of the event.  For variety during the cultural initiation I opened up other windows to sound off in Slugger about political reform; more…