Lecture – Rory Montgomery: ‘The Good Friday Agreement and a United Ireland’

The former Irish ambassador to the EU, Rory Montgomery, delivered his inaugural lecture as honorary professor of practice at the QUB Mitchell Institute on Tuesday evening. His topic – The Good Friday Agreement and a United Ireland – had a contemporary feel as the civic conversation intensifies around whether to and how to hold border polls. The 45 minute lecture was followed by half an hour of questions from the audience moderated by Professor Christopher McCrudden.  While Belfast Agreement …

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Queen’s at Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics…

This year’s Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics will run from 22-28 March and will explore the theme ‘The State of Us’ with more than 100 online events, 16 of which are being run by Queen’s staff. All Queen’s events are free to attend. Kicking off the Queen’s events this year is a special panel discussion with some of the key journalists and academics who, for the past few years, have been guiding us through all things Brexit. The Guardian‘s Lisa …

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The creeping reality is dawning of what extending Article 50 means

  To clear my head, I’ve done a round up of expert comment of where we are and what might be done, with 51 days to go to Brexit. Most of it implies or supports an extension of Article 50. But  the heavy squeeze on Mrs May  is on with a vengeance. The EU don’t look like granting it unless she drops  options they’ve already  rejected  And that excludes the options  in her Commons mandate.  So  this week, back empty …

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Soapbox: Housing Then and Now – Conference on 15 June in Dungannon, 50 years on from Caledon sit-in

HOUSING THEN AND NOW – one day free conference in Dungannon on Friday 15 June examines the housing allocation system in the 1960s, civil rights marches, the formation of the NI Housing Executive, and the present day challenge of how to provide social housing which is not divided on religious grounds with input from activists, academics and the students of today.

“To change the riverflow of history”: Constitutional pasts and futures @UCDdublin #GFA20

“To change the riverflow of history”: Constitutional pasts and futures @UCDdublin #GFA20 by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News 8 May 2018 Political and legal scholars, peacemakers and peacebuilders convened at the Royal Irish Academy to review and discuss potential constitutional relationships between Ireland and the United Kingdom, especially vis-a-vis Northern Ireland and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the import of Brexit.

The next big Brexit issue- the future rights of EU/Irish citizens in the North

Another big Brexit theme has been overshadowed by the border conundrum – the future of citizens’ rights in Northern Ireland.   The contention is  that many of these will go unprotected when the UK withdraws from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the rulings of the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg, a key UK government aim. The Charter has greater force than the non-EU European Convention on Human Rights which is written into UK law as the Human Rights …

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“Brexit has become a central question in the identity conversation and that is dangerous”

In a commentary  “Brexit and Northern Ireland” on the EPC discussion paper( see below) the  legal academic Chris McCrudden  asserts the primacy  of the Brexit question and laments the  “ tone deafness” of the UK government to  Northern Ireland’s interests. But while he rightly sees the need to set priorities in the interparty talks, he doesn’t discuss here the reasons given for SF’s withdrawal from the Assembly such as an Irish Language Act and the legacy and other  issues  SF insist …

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The European Economic Area is looking more attractive as a Brexit solution but it aint perfect

It’s going to be a long haul. Perhaps we shouldn’t pay too much attention to the megaphone diplomacy – Junker’s claim that May was living in another galaxy, May accusing unnamed Commission bureaucrats of interfering in the British election. But it isn’t a good start. On balance May has come off slightly worse in early reactions without doing her any harm at all in the court of public opinion. Attention is turning back to an outcome that was  identified almost …

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What would be your single economic response to the issue of working poverty? #cgeni

This was one of the questions asked at this morning’s NICVA Centre for Economic Empowerment conference on Generation X and Working Poverty. Working households now make up the majority of those in poverty. Low pay, the rise of part-time and temporary working, high costs of housing and childcare all contribute to the growth. But what practically can government or organisations or individuals do? 26% of NI employees are paid below the Living Wage (£7.45/hour). This is the highest proportion in …

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3,722 dead between 1966 and 2007…

There seems no better way to mark the end of a profoundly tragic period in Irish history, than to re-produce a list compiled within The Irish Times today, of all of those who lost their lives between the three murders of June 1966 and the two victims of March this year. Update: Since the blog entry here can only cope with victims up to October 1979, I’m going to post the second half under a separate entry: 1966 JUNE: 11th: …

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“nothing sinister”?

Three men who assaulted Jeff Commander in September 2005 after he intervened in a row arising from the murder of Robert McCartney have been given conditional discharges. Originally charged with unlawful and malicious wounding, which they had denied, Samuel Edward Caskey, Sean Clinton, and Patick Magee today pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They have been given conditional discharges for 18 months. Another man, Gerard Leonard, 33, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession …

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