Archive | April, 2017

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How the Irish government pulled off a Brexit coup

Denis Staunton has an excellent piece in the Irish Times about how Enda Kenny achieved so much success, so quickly with the Brexit negotiations. Whilst some were waxing lyrical about Spain’s aggressive stance over Gibraltar, Ireland pretty much went back to basics, quietly in the background working with officials and quietly pushed forward its agenda. The more…

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European Council guidelines argue “flexible and imaginative solutions will be required”

The European Council have published their guidelines for the Brexit negotiations that will now take place. Readers of the site will be happy to know that Northern Ireland does get a mention Then there was also this BREAKING: EU27 leaders have accepted Ireland’s declaration that in the event of unity referendum Northern Ireland wd automatically more…

On Enda’s fondness for the precedent of German reunification, be careful of what you wish for

 The Irish government are entitled to congratulate themselves on their achievement in persuading the EU 26 to declare that if the North joined the Republic the new state would automatically inherit the Republic’s membership. Dublin hastens to add that this incorporates the  consent principle enshrined in the GFA and they are opposed to an early more…

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The dead are rising from their graves in West Belfast…

  It’s all in a day’s work.  Every day is different in community pharmacy and the stories we hear could not be made up.  Terry Maguire relates an unfortunate, frightening and bizarre night one of his patients had. Wet clay patches dappled his oversized anorak, his reddened face was muddied and his greying, thinning hair; more…

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Moving on and forgetting the old soldiers of the Provisional IRA…

If you missed this from Shane Paul O’Doherty a week or so back, then it’s worth catching. You should try and read the whole thing. But I think this paragraph is worth highlighting… The IRA from the period 1969-2005 is the first version of the IRA where the leadership has distanced itself from the armed more…

Westminster’s reply to the SNP’s case for remaining in the single market was taken seriously after all. So why did May allow Sturgeon to claim she’d been ignored?

Here’s a strange thing. There we were, led to believe  that Theresa May had dismissed almost with  contempt Nicola Sturgeon’s  carefully  considered case for the UK, or at least Scotland,  to remain within the single market. It turns out it wasn’t like that at all. We know that because the Scottish Government itself has just more…

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People Before Profit to campaign against “Tory-Brexit”

Interesting article from the Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley on the People Before Profit MLA and Westminster candidate, Gerry Carroll’s views on Brexit. From the article Many commentators attributed the decline in the People Before Profit representative’s vote to his pro-Brexit stance. But now Mr Carroll has said he will fight the general election more…

A cache of UVF guns from Canada found in Oxford St, Belfast, April 1981.

On legacy, Mrs May seems determined to play a cute political game of her own

This is interesting… Soldiers and police officers who served during the Troubles in Northern Irelandshould not be prosecuted in relation to historical killings and torture, a Westminster committee has said. The House of Commons defence select committee said a de facto amnesty granted to republican and loyalist paramilitaries under the 1998 Good Friday agreement should more…

The EU summit’s declaration on a united Ireland exposes British isolation

EU prepares for post-Brexit united Ireland membership Summit endorsement would raise fears over fragmentation of UK The Financial Times  is getting  excited about today’s  EU summit endorsing special treatment for Ireland  in the Brexit negotiations and raises “ fears for the fragmentation of the UK “ The Irish Times political editor Stephen Collins is equally more…

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The Citizens’ Assembly has spoken: We must repeal the 8th Amendment.

  Over the past weekend the Citizens’ Assembly in Ireland finished hearing testimony and voted on the issue of abortion. The results were surprisingly and emphatically pro-choice, and they represent a resounding success for this experiment with deliberative democracy. Democracy was meant to be deliberative. The idea was that citizens, motivated not by selfish or more…

It’s all a bit of a mess

I decided to get over my FOMO and steer clear of social media when I was off for a week over Easter. Given I hadn’t heard any news or picked up a newspaper I allowed myself two minutes on Twitter – only to find that we were heading for yet another election. Seriously Mrs May! more…

Amnesty for soldiers and police officers appears imminent after the election. And the effect on prospects for restoring the Assembly?

The government appear to be on the brink of taking the legacy of the Troubles out of the hands of the Assembly. The only  question remains if they would entertain an agreed counter proposal from the Assembly parties . You can work out for yourself  the prospects of that The Times (£) are reporting that more…

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Orange Order; We believe it is in Northern Ireland’s vital interests for as many Unionist MPs as possible be returned to our mother Parliament

The Orange Order has issue a statement today urging the Unionist parties to show “unity of purpose” The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland recognises the critical importance and huge significance of the forthcoming General Election. As the United Kingdom commences the process of exiting the European Union it is essential a purposeful and stable Government more…

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John Bruton; “The terms for Brexit, as set out so far by Mrs May, will do incalculable damage to this island, politically, emotionally and economically”

Some interesting evidence from former Taoiseach, John Bruton today; “While I believe it may seem impossibly optimistic today, I believe conditions can be envisaged in which, eventually, the UK voters might either decide, either not to leave the EU at all, or to decide, after it has left, to rejoin. Ireland should try to keep more…