The Evolution of Ambiguity…

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After an eventful couple of weeks when Colum Eastwood, Dr Brian Hanley and many others besides have been urging us all to “look at what happened” with regard to Partition and Armagh’s recent service of reflection thereof, the historian Cormac Moore takes us on a fascinating – and revealing – trip down memory lane in this week’s Irish News (Oct 27th 2021). In light of burgeoning conversations pertaining to a Border Poll and Irish Unity in recent years, Moore provides …

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What really happened in the act of Partition itself?

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“Look at what happened” urged Colum Eastwood, remarking on the service of reflection at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, adding it was “very clearly no celebration of partition”. Perhaps Eastwood is right, but what do we really mean when we ‘reflect’ on Partition? Several years ago, reflecting on his faith, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams described it as “silent waiting on the truth, pure sitting and breathing in the presence of the question mark”. Some regarded this as …

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The Way Forward: Boris Johnson having his cake and eating it too?

Earlier this week, the UK Government released its ‘Command Paper’ entitled “Northern Ireland Protocol: The way forward”. One can almost imagine the EU negotiators exhaling an exasperated sigh, rubbing their temples, and remarking: “Really? They’re opening this can of worms again?” as the authors impress upon them (and us) the need for more “urgent talks” to “find a new balance for the Protocol”. In his opening remarks, Boris Johnson laments that “[t]he impact of the Protocol has been profound economically, …

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The Irish Language Act: Once Bitten, Twice Shy…

Readers may recall my recent article in which I speculated on what the initial media frenzy led us to believe was the upcoming ILA. This was written in the immediate aftermath of the initial announcement and was published on Slugger around a day or so afterwards – by which time greater detail had emerged, with certain speculations and predictions having been subsequently laid to rest. The current ILA saga is, of course, ongoing – and will in all probability be …

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The Irish language Act: What to expect?

Blaine McCartney is a Co. Down-based writer William F. Buckley once mused that “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!”. Being a conservative of sorts himself, however, he meant that as a compliment – going on to say that the conservative yells ‘Stop!’ at a time “when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” It does not seem to have occurred him that some conservatives yell …

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Blaine McCartney is a Co. Down-based writer Yesterday, March 23rd 2021, the first anniversary of lockdown, is surely a day of mixed emotions for Nicola Sturgeon. Having yesterday been cleared of breaching the Scottish Ministerial Code, she nevertheless told reporters this morning that she wants to “leave politics to others today”. Scottish Tory Leader Douglas Ross, among others, have been happy to oblige on Twitter and elsewhere, as they proverbially rage, rage against the dying of the light at the …

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