Hain as an honest broker ?

BBC News Northern Ireland online reports “Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain has defended his ability to act as an honest broker in the peace process.” Doubts had been raised about Mr Hain’s involvement with the “Time To Go” movement and comments he made about partition during the 1970’s. Hain ‘can remain honest broker’ Ambrose Uprichard

Body recovered from Newry Canal

UTV reports that police investigating the disappearance in May 2003 of Gareth O’Connor, acting on intelligence received, have recovered a body from a blue Volkswagon car found in Newry canal. Body recovered from Newry canal. No positive identification has been made, cause of death is unknown and police have not confirmed that the Blue Golf belonged to Mr O’Connor. The family are being kept up-to-date with developments. Ambrose Uprichard

Speaking out against Ignorance and bigotry

Ireland’s President, Mary McAleese, has spoken out against homophobia during a visit to St Columb’s College in Derry writes Garbhan Downey in the Sunday Times McAleese backs gay campaignSt Columb’s is celebrating it’s 125th Anniversary and the president used her speech to address the issues of sectarianism, racism and homophobia. “Those citizens of tomorrow . . . what do they say when their friends make sexist, racist, sectarian or homophobic jibes — do they stay silent and let the poison … Read more

Homophobia still seen as a ‘respectable prejudice’ ?

Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian today takes a look at the increasing levels of violence and harassment faced by members of the Gay and Lesbian community in Northern Ireland. An estimated five homophobic murders in the past six years and homophobic incidents increased by 300% in the past year in Derry, “now dubbed the “gay bashing capital” of Northern Ireland.” Gays and lesbians under siege as violence and harassment soar in Northern Ireland .The article looks at some examples across … Read more

Rory Gallagher Honoured

The Irish Independent reports that the late, great Rory Gallagher is “the first Irish star to have a theatre named after him in his own country.” The unveiling of a plaque by his brother Donal took place at the Rory Gallagher Theatre at the end of a four day tribute festival in Ballyshannon, county Donegal.Bluesman Rory feted in home townBallyshannon already has a shrine and commemorative plaques will be running summer walking tours and there are plans to open a … Read more

Court rules in favour of Autist Child

The Belfast Telegraph this evening carries a report by Deborah McAleese on a “landmark ruling against the South Eastern Education and Library Board.” This strengthens the right of children with special needs to receive appropriate provision of services, and if refused to seek redress through the courts. Autistic boy wins ‘landmark’ case.After it was recommended that a six year old boy receive specialised schooling and as none was available in the area his parents asked for a home based package … Read more

eBay Ireland launched

eBay Ireland is now up and running after being launched on Friday! Some details at eBay Ireland Launch. No Gaelic facility as yet.From General Announcements ***Updated: Launch of new eBay.ie Site for Ireland *** 03 June, 2005 | 12:14PM BST We would like to officially extend a warm welcome to the Irish community as we launch our newest eBay site, eBay.ie! Thousands of Irish people are already active buyers and sellers on other eBay sites around the world. This new … Read more

Family deported minus 7 year old child

A row has broken out as Gardai in the ROI, during a mass deportation of Romanians, failed to include a seven year old child whose present whereabouts is unknown.Boy, 7, left behind as family deported The story has also received coverage on UTV – Search underway for Romanian boy and Boy left behind after parents deported to Romania It has been claimed that no attempt was made to locate the boy after Gardai discovered he was not at school. (UTV … Read more

Cork notes were from that bank robbery claim

Speaking at a police board meeting in Derry, it is reported on Breaking News that the Chief constable, Hughe Orde, has said that notes recovered in Cork were from the Northern Bank Robbery and had been moved across the border in an IRA money laundering Operation.Cork bank notes were from Belfast bank raid – PSNI Ambrose Uprichard

It’s That Man Again

Seems like buses, or Orange marches – nothing for ages then a bunch come along together. UTV carries a press association story that could raise a few hackles – Laird wins Hevesi backing on jobs – as it is claimed that Lord Laird has “secured the backing of an eminent American businessman to tackle alleged discrimination against Protestants in the Irish Republic.”Lord Laird said Alan Hevesi, controller of the £66 billion New York State retirement fund, will join him in … Read more

Review of Topical Poetry Book

Senator Maurice Hayes, former Ombudsman in NI, voices his approval in a review of the re-issued, from 1998, long poem about the North, “Pity for the Wicked” By Brian Lynch in the Irish Independent – A tract for the times – Lynch’s poem on the North [registration site]He concludes : ” Satire, although proper and necessary does not have to be right. Poets have a relatively poor track record as legislators. The situation in Northern Ireland, which has improved remarkably … Read more

Rumblings of discontent

Forget that silly game this afternoon where overpaid grown men run about after a piece of air-filled leather and hug and kiss each other in front of millions – THE final everyone should be talking about is tonight in the Ukraine. The Guardian’s media correspondent, Owen Gibson, takes a look and reports Discord in Ireland over Eurovision failure.”Irish eyes won’t be smiling tonight after the country’s failure to qualify for the Eurovision song contest led to bitter recriminations and left … Read more

Trouble in North Belfast

Petrol bombs, paint bombs and stones used in multiple attacks in North Belfast last night – as reported by Breaking News – Police appeal after sectarian attacks – a night when cars were burned and houses attacked in a number of what the police believe to be connected incidents. Ambrose Uprichard

As Bill Shankly would say – it’s more important than that…

Jude Collins in Daily Ireland uses Football analogies in his musings on the results of the recent elections – Who’ll be relegated next season?Interesting parallels between battling teams and managers and one point that hasn’t had a lot of attention. Similarly, the Sinn Fein vote in Derry increased dramatically two weeks ago – to a record high, in fact – and this while under media and political blitzkrieg from all quarters. Ambrose Uprichard

The Guardian’s thoughts….

The Guardian has a savage cartoon, House of Cards, by Martin Rowson on Northern Ireland power sharing and Owen Bowcott takes a look at apparently irreconcilable positions by the DUP and Sinn Féin in Time to bury Good Friday, says Paisley Update:Ahern rejects Good Friday Agreement review Ambrose Uprichard

Progress on McCartney Case

Gemma Murray, security correspondent in the Newsletter, reports that McCartney Family Tell Of Police Progress. Comments made by Paula McCartney after her meeting with Mitchell Reiss, President Bush’s special envoy to Nothern Ireland, reflect a growing optimism that justice may be done after the murder of her brother.”“Judging by their [the police’s] language and tone, they seem a lot more confident. Obviously I cannot be any more specific than that, but that’s where the ground lies now. “More witnesses have … Read more

Nine out of Ten support wind Farms.

The British Wind Energy Association website carries a press release Nine out of ten people in Northern Ireland back wind farms, says new poll that looks at attitudes across Northern Ireland to wind farms and claims there is widespread popular support, which seems stronger in the South and West of the province.”Other findings of the poll, which interviewed 500 people in regions across Northern Ireland, revealed that: * Two-thirds of Northern Ireland people (66%) agreed that they would be happy … Read more

PSNI foil loyalist extortion plot.

UTV carries a Press Association story, Guns seized in Belfast, which reports that police have seized a number of weapons and ammunition in North Belfast. House searches followed the arrest of five men last night in connection with an attempted blackmail/extortion plot against an Antrim businessman. Ambrose Uprichard

A Look at Our DUP MPs

The ever excellent Newshound carries a Suzanne Breen look, from the Sunday Tribune, at the 9 newly elected DUP MPs in Red-necks and rabble-rousers. Or is the DUP human after all?The article has moments of humour as well as political assessments , for example when discussing Nigel Dodds: Nigel Dodds reckons new babies won votes for Mark Durkan and Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy. Wife Diane is warned that, if Sinn Féin threatens to snatch North Belfast next election, she … Read more

Identity Card issue shifts focus to national identity.

The Belfast Telegraph’s Brian Walker takes a look at the thorny issue of the introduction of ID cards to the United Kingdom in New ID cards storm on way. The UK, Ireland and Denmark are the only EU countries without ID cards and the proposed intoduction of ID cards in the UK could cause major problems unless Ireland simultaneously introduces them. Ambrose Uprichard