Archive | December, 2015

New Years Addresses by the Party Leaders

New Years Addresses are now becoming a thing that most parties here send out on New Years Eve. Here are some of the messages that our party leaders have been sending out today. (Updated with Arlene Foster address). In her first address as DUP leader, Arlene Foster says; The turning of another year is a more…

Paying Teachers 33million Not To Teach – O’Dowd’s Teacher Scrappage Scheme

Recently the Minister of Education announced a proposal, which apparently has Executive approval, to spend £33m on a scheme to allow senior schoolteachers to retire five years early, allowing 500 newly trained teachers to take up posts. This is equivalent to £13,200 per teacher, per additional year of retirement. The Department indicates that 2,350 teachers more…

NI21 Deputy Leader And Sole Councillor Resigns Party

Jonny McCarthy, councillor on Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has resigned from NI21 as of this morning. Cllr McCarthy, also deputy leader of the party for just over a year, announced on his facebook page this morning that he was leaving NI21 as he feels he “could do the job better (if) independent of the more…

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The Political Year Gone By: What I got right & wrong in 2015

PREDICTIONS: Okay it is the end of the year and one of us typically produces a piece looking over the past year and the notable political moments that defined our year. However, I wanted to change tack and look back over some of my predictions to see what I got right, but just as important, more…

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Mallon says Sinn Fein played Hume like “3lb trout”

Seamus Mallon has been speaking to Talkback (interview to be played later today on Radio Ulster) where he reflects on his career and comments on his views about his then party leader, John Hume. Speaking to William Crawley, the BBC reports; John Hume was “no fool” but that Sinn Féin leaders played him “like a more…

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Consider a donation and help keep slugger lit into 2016!

  2015 was another boom year for Slugger with record amounts of visitors. So far this year we have had nearly 800,000 visitors reading 4.3 million pages of the site. It may not always be obvious but Slugger does not get core funding of any kind. All income comes from readers donations, our warmly supported events and a more…

Parliament Buildings, Christmas tree with Paisley's portrait glaring down over the souls in the Great Hall

Merry Christmas to all of our readers.

Well here we go again, it’s Christmas time. For Slugger, it has been a brilliant year, more than 4.3million page views on the website so far in 2015 and we hosted two pub quiz’s with the ever brilliant Amnesty International’s Paddy Corrigan, a head to head debate between Naomi Long and Gavin Robinson (trended at No.4 in more…

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Almost 30% of MLAs not seeking re-election

A really interesting article by Sam McBride in the News Letter today highlight the number of MLAs standing down at the next election. In his piece McBride points out; Almost 30 per cent of MLAs elected in the last Assembly election are not even standing for election next year – and the turnover in Assembly more…

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Lord Kilclooney: “I am impressed by the way Martin McGuinness has developed in recent years”

Interesting interview from Liam Clarke with former UUP Deputy Leader, Lord Kilclooney about his relationships with former UUP leaders, his views on Same Sex Marriage and how he views the current Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness. Speaking about him he said;  The people who tried to kill me were the Official IRA, not the Provos, more…

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“How deep is Nicola Sturgeon and Kezia Dudgale’s social democratic commitment?”

I don’t share David’s view of the Spanish election result. The most remarkable thing (apart from the low turnout increased turnout, actually) is how poorly Podemos performed compared to expectations earlier in the year. The limited returns from Syriza’s pitch in Greece perhaps coloured expectations? Scotland by contrast got its play for freedom in earlier, more…

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What would BBC news look like if the rule book was thrown away?

BBC: We’ve come a long way from the days of finding our news from street vendors shouting ‘Sixth Tele’, leaving the Northern Ireland Teletext page running in the corner of the room or waiting for the next Radio Ulster bulletin to find out why a road was closed or a bang was heard echoing across more…

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The problems around an unbelievable story of rape.

UNBELIEVABLE STORY: Today I read a harrowing article about an “unbelievable story of rape”. In 2008, a young American woman reported having been raped; her foster mother was suspicious that her behaviour wasn’t befitting of someone who had gone through such an ordeal and the discrepancies in her story were noticed by the police. She more…

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Corbynism: what’s on and what’s off the table?

If straight talking, honest politics is what Jeremy Corbyn brings to the leadership of the Labour Party, then what he and those he’s promoted into senior positions have said matters. What makes moderates like me uneasy, however, and why many moderates have left the party in large numbers, is that what Corbyn and those around more…

Gerry Adams on Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy’s tax evasion: Yeah but, no but, yeah but, no but…

After the guilty verdict in the trial of, “key supporter of the Sinn Féin peace strategy”, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy on 9 charges of tax evasion, Gerry Adams, TD, declared that he had “no comment to make until the legal process has been concluded”. Following criticism of that position the Sinn Féin president has, apparently, decided more…

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The Mural Hunter and The Writing on the Wall…

By my estimates, there are around 500 to 600 murals of various shapes and sizes in Northern Ireland. Between 2008 and 2015, I visited and photographed around 400 of them, with just short of 200 of these photographs featuring in my book The Writing on the Wall: A Visual History of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, published in October more…