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 the UK on the night) with the help of Chambre Public Affairs and our year end review with MCE Public Relations. Also want to give a big shout out to Queens School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy for their help with the last pub quiz.

Our writers have produced hundreds of articles to the thousands of  readers of our website. We covered every conference of all the parties in the Assembly this year (led by Alan Meban) and have interviewed most of the major party leaders to boot.

I mention all of this to say a big thank you to our writers, but more importantly thank you to our readers for sticking with Slugger for another year.

Whether you praise us or criticise us, from all of us behind the scenes we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

On social media we will be posting some of our favourite moments from 2015, so do look out for that, but from us enjoy the holidays.


  • mjh

    Many thanks to you, Mick and the team for another year of stimulating reading. Merry Christmas and an electoral New Year.

  • eac1968

    Merry Christmas to all at Slugger. The insights you provide, plus the sparring with other commentators, have been great in 2015, and I look forward to more and better in 2016.

    Nollaig Shona do gach.

    Biddin ye all a blythe yuletide

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    eac1968 I presume that your “blythe yuletide” is intended as a so-called Ulster Scots (sic) greeting. Mar eolas duit: Blythe derives from Middle English bliþe (“joyous, kind, cheerful, pleasant”), and further back, Proto-Germanic blithiz (“gentle, kind”). Its cognates include the Old Saxon bliði (“bright, happy”), the Middle-Dutch blide, the Dutch blijde, and Old-Norse bliðr (“mild, gentle”), as well as the Old High German blidi (“gay, friendly “) It has no cognates outside the Germanic Languages.
    Yule is much more straightforward it is the modern English for the Old English words ġéol or ġéohol and ġéola or ġéoli. The former being the festival the latter the month.
    As my granda would say: yis dinnae ken whit yer bletherin aboot.
    Nollaig shona agus athbhliain faoi mhaise. Or if you prefer Blythe Yultide at least bíodh a fhios againn cad é atá a mhaoímh againn!

  • chrisjones2

    And thanks to you all for the Joy of Slugger!!

  • Has been a pleasure to be a newbie Slugger writer in 2015. Many thanks to all. Happy Christmas.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Jake, with your linguistic knowledge I’m surprised you didn’t realise Ulster Scots is a Germanic language / dialect, as indeed English is. So I’m not sure your comment makes a lot of sense …?
    Surely we should respect all aspects of our linguistic culture, whether Gaelic, English, Scots or whatever. The “sic” after Ulster Scots is surely part of an attitude towards mutual respect and tolerance we’re trying to leave behind. No one is superior here.

  • sk

    It’s not a language, MU.

    It’s proffered by unionists because “themmuns have a language, so we need one too” and as such it’s treated with the contempt it deserves.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Merry Christmas to everyone on Slugger. I hope you all have a good break over the next few days.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Attention to detail, sk – try reading it again.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Also, I find the concept of a dialect deserving “contempt” as nonsensical as it is illiberal.

  • John Collins

    Happy Christmas to all. Lean ar agaigh leis an comhra san Bliain Nua. SK tabair omos don tanga Ullain/Albain le do thoill.

  • Anglo-Irish

    May I wish all of you a happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.

    It is my first year on Slugger and it’s been enjoyable, there can’t be too many other forums where a thread started to wish everyone a Merry Christmas could develop into a row within six posts!

    Brilliant! That isn’t a criticism, it’s a praise. : )

  • Robin Keogh

    Wishing everybody a Gerry Christmas and Mary Lou Year 😉
    Nollaig Shona agus ádh mór sa bhliain

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    Mainland Ulsterman I was not in any way disparaging the dialect which my grandfather spoke to me first and foremost as I give the heap a hoak an him awa drawin dung for the praties. I believe the hijacking of this rich linguistic heritage by politically motivated individuals does us all as disservice hence the sic after Ulster Scots, a misnomer, in my opinion, invented by people with little or no knowledge of linguistics who wuddnae ken a hirchin frae a tae in the arse. Nollaig Shona and a genuine Blythe Yuletide tae aa

  • David Crookes

    Many thanks, David, to you and Mick and the whole team for your work on Slugger.

    Happy Christmas to everyone. May God bless you all, including the atheists among youse.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Could not agree more Jake. I was at the re-dedication of that significant south Antrim poet and “United man” Jimmy Orr’s memorial at Ballycarry recently. I’d have been most interested to hear his views on those “Ulster-Scots” activists who have appropriated the dialect he spoke and wrote in for their own political agendas, should such a thing have been possible.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    MU, it’s not the dialect that deserves the contempt, but the crass politicisation of that dialect. Have you ever come across Gellner’s “Nations and Nationalism” where the politicisation of culture is brilliantly described as a parasitic activity that hollows out the values of the culture for short term appropriation to the demands of something whose agendas are entirely differently aligned? Worth a read…..

    Oh, Happy New Year, incidentally.

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    A Sheaan, a chara. Remember Orr! Remember also Jemmy Hope the journeyman weaver and his wise words:
    “These are my thoughts, nor do I think I need
    Perplex my mind with any other creed.
    I wish to let my neighbour’s creed alone,
    And think it quite enough to mind my own.”
    I would love to know their thoughts. Also those of Thomas Davis the Belfast man and rhyming weaver, buried at Milltown Cemetery in the heart of the Falls. He equally would eschew the ‘twisted agendas’ of the Scots-Ulster activists.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    There was a good documentary recently about Ulster Scots, James Orr in particular.

    Thon beardy fella from the Hole in the Wall Gang was the presenter and he interviewed Scots speakers and Scottish politicians e.g. Alex Salmond who strongly criticised the cultural hijacking.

    I agree with you entirely and I think this politicisation of the language (or dialect) is a disgrace and will cost us culturally speaking in the long run.