David Ford to stand down as an MLA

Former Alliance Party leader @DavidFordMLA is to step down from Stormont at the end of this week. Read more here: https://t.co/N1JUXn1hyO pic.twitter.com/OsBSxO330K — BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) June 25, 2018 David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Arlene Foster attends GAA Ulster Final

DUP leader Arlene Foster stood for the Irish national anthem as Fermanagh took on Donegal at the GAA Ulster final in Clones. #UlsterGAA @FermanaghGAA @officialdonegal https://t.co/TwzX0n6JEe pic.twitter.com/wIZCtjL9E2 — BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) June 24, 2018 Here attendance was welcomed by the Sinn Fein Vice President, Michelle O’Neill; I very much welcome the attendance of DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA at today’s Ulster GAA final. “I along with other Sinn Féin leaders met recently with Prince Charles in order to demonstrate … Read more

Ashcroft Poll shows a competitive Border Poll race.

Lord Ashcroft released the results of the survey he conducted which included results of how a Border Poll, North and South would go. In the South When do people think there should be a Border Poll David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Joint Statement from Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party on Human Rights post Brexit

Joint Declaration on Human Rights and Equality 1. We are strongly committed to the promotion, protection and the vindication of the human rights of everyone. We believe these guarantees should apply to all who reside in NI. 2. We firmly believe in the centrality of equality to the shared society we are working together to create. 3. We share a profound concern that “Brexit” will result in further regression on equality and rights. 4. We welcome the guarantee in the … Read more

Are we seeing the end of the DUP/Sinn Fein approach to the economy?

The Economy spokesperson for Sinn Fein, Conor Murphy had a platform piece in the Belfast Telegraph this morning about the under performance of the Northern Ireland economy over the past decade of devolution which has some interesting content in it. He argues; A proper Industrial Strategy requires rigor and an attention to detail. These are not qualities typically associated with the DUP’s decade in control of the main economic Department. DUP ministers comfortably talked the language of the business community … Read more

SluggerTV looks at the smaller parties, West Tyrone & the SDLP special conference

This month we debate the West Tyrone by-election, the SDLP special conference and the other smaller parties with Brendan Mulgrew from MWA Advocate, Andree Murphy who is an Andersonstown News Columnist and the Irish News reporter, Brendan Hughes. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Four parties issue a joint statement on Brexit.

Four party leaders representing 49 MLAs have penned a joint statement on Brexit. On 23rd June 2016 citizens voted to remain within the European Union. Despite this, the British Government intend to exit the EU in March 2019. Sinn Féin, Green Party, Alliance and the Social Democratic and Labour Party all share the common position that we should stay within both the single market and customs union and that there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland … Read more

Arlene Foster;Unionism stands for pluralism and multi-culturism. We are inclusive and welcome all.

Some of the DUP Leader, Arlene Foster’s remarks in London today; And as a unionist I see no logic or rationale for a hard border being created between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Indeed we do not want to see that at all. The only people stirring up myths of border checkpoints are those who are committed to unpicking the Union. They seek to use such imagery to advance and build support for their long-term political objective. They will … Read more

SDLP adopt a conscience policy on abortion at their special conference

At a special conference today in Maghera, the SDLP have allowed their members and representatives a conscience vote on the issue of abortion. This allows MLAs such as Claire Hanna a chance to vote for a less restrictive regime around abortion in Northern Ireland. The vast majority of the SDLP parliamentary party will likely still vote in favour of the status quo, but this does open the way for more pro-choice activitsts within the party to advance their views. The … Read more

Nationalists need to have an honest conversation about a New Ireland

Brian has already outlined the story in The Times that has been talked about today. Theresa May has been quoted as believing that a Border Poll could be winnable for the Nationalist side and I agree with her that in one attempt, Northern Ireland could be taken out of the United Kingdom via a referendum. Over the past year, Nationalism has made many gains in terms of vote share and the ability for the first time to construct an economic … Read more

Focus on the West Tyrone by-election

Tomorrow the voters of West Tyrone head back to the polls for the 7th time in 4 years (don’t worry if you are an avid voter, only one year to go until the local elections in May 2019). Usual rules apply for this by-election, polls close at 10pm with the votes counted afterwards. As you can see from the results above this is a solid Sinn Fein constituency with the party holding a double digit leads over their main rivals. … Read more

Ian Marshall makes maiden speech in the Seanad

Maiden @OireachtasNews speech: @IanMarshall_ :- “”It is a truly historic day for this house and for myself as the first Northern Unionist elected to the #Seanad and to represent the views and the opinions of the people of Northern Ireland and give their perspective.” pic.twitter.com/lJZ2daHnjD — RTÉ Politics (@rtepolitics) May 1, 2018 David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Is there something to be said for a British-Irish intergovernmental conference?

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The blame game continued in Stormont last week with arguments about who was holding progress between the DUP and Sinn Fein. We are now 14 months on without a government and we seem further away from seeing any form of functioning assembly. For both of the main parties the failure to secure agreement on some of the main outstanding issues is holding up progress in restoring devolution. Contrary to some musings that it suits both the DUP and Sinn Fein … Read more

DUP takes aim at Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar was in Northern Ireland today much to the consternation of the DUP’s  Jeffrey Donaldson who said; Leo Varadkar’s visit is another demonstration of the poor manners and disrespect which appears to be the Irish Government’s Brexit strategy. Having told unionists just over a month ago that he recognised statements and actions by the Irish government were unhelpful or intrusive, he follows this up with a visit which no local representative is informed about and none of … Read more

In summary, health professionals considered the current situation to be professionally untenable.

The delayed report of the Working Group on fatal fetal abnormality has been released today. Here are the key findings; 5. Health professionals said that, in their professional opinion, retaining the existing legal constraints would continue to place an unacceptable burden on women’s health and wellbeing. 6. Health professionals felt that they were unable to fully meet their duty of care to their patients, particularly when a woman asked for a termination in the interests of her health and wellbeing … Read more

Sinn Fein to back Ian Marshall for the Seanad

Sinn Fein President, Mary Lou McDonald has confirmed the party will back Ian Marshall for the upcoming Seanad by-election. She said; “I am pleased to confirm that Sinn Féin will be supporting Ian Marshall in the upcoming Seanad by-election. “I have met with Ian on a number of occasions in recent weeks and I have been impressed by his views on Brexit and the potential impact Brexit will have on the island, north and south.  “I believe Ian will be … Read more

SDLP to hold special conference on abortion in private

From John Manley in the Irish News; The SDLP has confirmed that next month’s special conference to review abortion policy will be held behind closed doors. The party will hold a conference on Saturday May19 dedicated entirely to abortion policy after it was decided that there would not have been adequate time to discuss the contentious issue at last weekend’s annual conference in Belfast. An hour had intially been earmarked to debate a number of motions relating to abortion at … Read more

UUP Advisor recalls how the party eventually backed the Good Friday Agreement

Final word on the Agreement 20th anniversary.The highlight of the week.An eyewitness account told to @MarkCarruthers7 on @bbctheview about exactly what happened inside the UUP room on Good Friday 1998. pic.twitter.com/PIltKjVdL7 — Mark Simpson (@BBCMarkSimpson) April 12, 2018 More here After Tuesday night’s appearance on @bbctheview I thought I would share a personal letter I wrote to Ken Maginnis after his untimely departure from the UUP in 2012. It relates back to Good Friday 1998 and I meant every word … Read more

Peter Robinson speaks to Nolan about Jim Wells comments

Just a quick catch up on this story; Mr Wells accused party leader Arlene Foster of not standing by him. “Peter Robinson made the commitment that I would return,” the South Down MLA said. “Then Arlene took over as leader and Arlene, as leader of the party officers, ignored my two written requests for that commitment to be honoured,” he added. Former DUP Leader Peter Robinson spoke to Nolan today about the topic which is worth a listen and analysis … Read more