Archive | September, 2013

McCann meets…..Michael Copeland MLA

Last week, I sat down with East Belfast UUP MLA, Michael Copeland. We talked about his entry into politics, the flags protests and the performance of the PSNI. I want to apologise first for the audio but here are some quotes that I thought were interesting On the Executive’s performance in tackling underachievement; Thus far more…

More #Twaddell: DUP, dupes and duplicity.

The onus is now upon nationalism to show leadership and to respond positively to this genuine attempt to reach accommodation. They must face down the elements in their community who wish to drag Northern Ireland back. So says DUP ‘leader’ Peter Robinson, but presumably not in reference to his party members who were advocating burning more…

The Robinson Allister spat in the context of the Hass talks

Last week’s spat between Peter Robinson and Jim Allister has been analysed in some detail. One of the best contributions has been by Sam McBride pointing to how it demonstrates the difference that it makes allowing ministers to be questioned without knowing the questions in advance. Prior to that as McBride says: “For years, question more…

Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens

A little bit of politics at the Belfast Festival – turning a theatre into a parliament

A few events touching on politics from the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s which runs from Thursday 17 to Sunday 27 October. Pending Vote is the Irish première where the theatre becomes a parliament and the audience have remote controls to vote to decide the future of our community and the evening’s performance. Lyric more…

PUP-Is there anyway back in from the cold?

The PUP has not had a very happy post-Good Friday Agreement existence. Since 1998, they have suffered an electoral decline that would make David Trimble blush. Yes, Northern Ireland’s voice of Loyalism has been out of sorts and out of political influence since it lost its last remaining assembly seat in 2010 when Dawn Purvis more…

The Mary McAleese Question: Presidential Voting Rights for the North

UPDATE: The Constitutional Convention delegates have overwhelmingly supported the motion to extend franchise to Irish citizens resident in Northern Ireland (73% in favour, 20% against, 1% 7% Undecided/ No Opinion.) The question regarding all citizens resident outside the State was also passed by a margin of 78%, 21%, 1%.) Whilst Richard Haass is busy meeting more…

minif

#WillieFrazer dresses as Abu Hamza for court

                                      Sometimes, there just aren’t words (and no, I’ve no idea who Jamie Bryson is dressed as). Certainly, Newt thinks he has a point:   As usual, the real problem with Willie Frazer is that he has more…

McCann meets….Belfast Mayor, Mairtin O’Muilleoir

 On Tuesday I sat down with the Mayor of Belfast, Mairtin O’Muilleoir. We discussed a variety of issues from why he joined Sinn Fein to his view of the recent flag disturbances. Here are some key quotes; On his business background; While I have enjoyed creating businesses and being involved in business….I think it has more…

Malin-Mizen (1)

Slugger on the roads

Strabane – where I’m running through next week – has had its local ‘Strabansky’ amend the de rigueur ‘Join the IRA’ scrawl…. (I owe this to Emma Walsh.) And this may be as good a moment as any to point out that I’m running the length of Ireland, 1st-12th October, for cancer charities – if more…

Italian lessons required for Stormont

From Upworthy: Mr. President (of the House of Deputies), beyond the thousands of excuses and quibbles, we’re talking here of matters of the heart, of feelings, of emotions. Because a kiss and a hug have not and will never hurt anyone. In fact, they are part of what contributes most to making us human. We more…

wind

‘To the winds our sails: Irish writers translate Galician poetry’: Book Review

This 2010 anthology collects five poems each from ten Galician women. Irish poets translate four per poet from an English-language crib, with the remaining one rendered into Irish itself. The results reveal some of the revived enthusiasm and energy emanating from this northwestern corner of Iberia, with its alleged ancient ties to the Celtic lands, more…

Scotland’s Commissioner to investigate Gerry Kelly’s attendance and speech at Castlederg parade

With the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards, Douglas Bain, having recused himself from the investigation of the complaints that Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly’s attendance and speech at the controversial Castlederg Parade in August this year was in breach of the code of conduct for MLAs “by glorifying terrorism and damaging community relations”  [Is he washing his hair? – more…