Never mind the Diplocks

It appears that there is no end to the SoS’s generosity in the aftermath of the Historic Statement. Suspected terrorists are to be given the right to jury trial, at precisely the moment when the right is to be withdrawn from certain ODCs. Down south, the policy has, of course been moving in the opposite direction, with the minister hinting that it’s not only terrorism, but organused crime which concerns him. Of couse the policy may yet change, not least … Read more

It’s showtime!

It looks like they were serious after all. I must admit I was beginning to doubt them, but according the Irish Echo, the Daily Ireland (by which presumably they mean its principals) has issued its much anticipated writ against the Minister for Justice. Given that the case could presumably have been brought in the Republic, some may find their faith in British justice particularly heartwarming. The article goes on to describe the paper’s circulation as “far more than its detractors … Read more

Hold the Mayo

One of the concerns most frequently expressed in the Republic about the provisional movement has been the possible corrosive effect of the importation to the south of the tactics adopted by them in the North. Noel Dempsey’s initiative aimed at ending the dispute over Shell’s Corrib gas pipeline, appears to have failed to convince the protestors. The response has a certain wearily familiar ring to it. Jimmy Sands

Observer now officially popular.

Let it not be said that Slugger is not gracious. I was one one of many who expressed skepticism at Daily Ireland’s recent circulation claims. It is therefore only right to congratulate all concerned as ABC today have approved the figure announced a few days ago by the publisher. Of course were one minded to nitpick one could point out the contribution made by bulk sales to achieving five figures, or to the decidely earthbound monthly trend. But that would … Read more

Food for thought

Daily Ireland, in association with Piat d’Or apparently, has a suggestion as to how the more aspirational element of its readership may wish to while away the marching season, namely the dinner party. To make matters more interesting they have come up with some fun themes that they believe will appeal to their readers: “A murder mystery party: Murder mystery games are easy to plan and great fun to play. Tell your guests to come to the party in character, … Read more

Habemus SoS

Peter Hain draws the short straw. In fact, given his own life experience, it will be interesting to see how it affects some of the more controversial items in his in-tray. Jimmy Sands

A Letter to Timothy

Thanks to Pat McLarnon for bring this piece from the always excellent Eoghan Harris to my attention. Given his kind words about Slugger it is the least we could do. Jimmy Sands

Libel Update

As you may know, the use of the libel laws in NI politics has been a subject in which I have been taking an interest. I have been attempting to clarify the position in relation to some of the stories which may have slipped through the cracks. Many thanks to the SF press office and Alex Maskey MLA who have taken the time to update me on the McDonnell libel action: Writs has been served on A mc Donnell and … Read more

An immodest proposal

One advantage of owning a newspaper is that if you have a radical proposal you want to float into the mainstream, at least one outlet will pick it up. Sir Anthony O’Reilly has an idea for NI’s economy which may be worth a second glance at least. Jimmy Sands

One down…

According to the Sunday Times (via Newshound) the police are off the hook with respect to allegations of involvement in the murder of the late Rosemary Nelson. It does not appear however that the report will be entirely uncritical. Jimmy Sands

In other news…

In a busy news week, the much trailed dissolution of the British parliament has fallen into the background. Of local interest will be the fate of much criticised Inquiries Bill. Although the election would appear to allow a face-saving retreat by the government, the Guardian believes they are well placed to force it through, although today’s press briefing gave little away. Jimmy Sands

Victim Of The Month Club

Much as we like to believe we eschew the idea of a hierarchy of victims, inevitably some campaigns catch on better than others. The causes of, for example the Finucane and NcCartney families are obviously meritorious in their own right, but have both drawn strength from their ability to attract the support of those with an interest in causing damage to those (allegedly) responsible. Bearing this in mind, it is intriguing to see the Sunday Business Post taking up the … Read more

Eire Nua Nua?

I have been accused of unfairness towards Daily Ireland. In the spirit of fair play it is only right to record that aside from the McCartney bashing it does include this interesting critique by Mark Langhammer of the SDLP’s recent unification proposals and which appears to highlight a significant lacuna in the plan. Jimmy Sands

Perle’s Before Swine

Earlier this year, some of you may remember how Michael McDowell managed to cause something of a stir with this speech. Although something of a tour d’horizon, much attention was focused on his decision to compare Ireland’s newest daily newspaper, the Daily Ireland, with a German nationalist publication of an earlier era. What veterans of the latter publication made of the comparison is not recorded, but it certainly led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Poleglass. So it … Read more

Hands across the water

After a week in which relations became somewhat strained between Sinn Fein and some of its erstwhile friends in the US, how timely it is that Daily Ireland offers the party’s most prominent non-member an opportunity to let the healing begin. Jimmy Sands