The sanctity of human life is not an absolute principle.

An excerpt from the speech made by Baroness Mary Warnock in Belfast this evening. This is the first part of the argument in favour of assisted dying. The excerpt deals with- a) is it possible to have more liberal laws in favour of assisted dying, and b) the sanctity of human life is not an absolute principle. The second part of the argument will be dealt with in another thread, later threads will continue with the argument against. I cannot …

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Grim days back in 1909.

The Newsletter is reporting on remarks made by Mary McAleese last night that young Irish men joined the British army to escape poverty rather than any sense of patriotism. She referred to the “grim days back in 1909” when SIPTU’s forerunner, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, had been founded by Jim Larkin. She said that the world he had lived in back then was one where “the struggle was against starvation, disease and exploitation, where the lack of …

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A worse than budgeted for tax short fall of 8 billion euro.

Tonights’ RTE evening news gave a report on the remarks made by Brian Cowen about the exchequer returns to be published tomorrow. From the report: When asked about how government can rescue the public finances Brian Cowen said no option can be ruled out. The completed exchequer returns for last year will show a worse than budgeted for tax short fall of 8 billion euro, and he acknowledged that without corrective action the exchequer deficit for next year could be …

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A huge disconnect between US public opinion and US political leadership about the events in Gaza.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows a huge disconnect between US public opinion and that of US political leadership over the attacks on Gaza. As discussed in the video more democrats than republicans think its a bad idea , and the Chicago Sun Times reports Much more notable is the fact that Democratic leaders — including Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi — are just as lock step in their blind, uncritical support for the Israeli attack, in their absolute refusal …

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This was a youth rebellion.

Here is a small clip from an interview from a while back on Radio Free Eireann, in which Henry McDonald discusses his new book Gunsmoke and Mirrors In the two minute video of the Radio Free interview Henry also discusses why people joined the IRA. To either get back at the state, or because they were romantic republicans, they didn’t do it to get parity of esteem or an Irish language act.He also describes the last thiry years as a …

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Breaking the link with sterling.

From this evenings programme Behind Closed doors on RTE, where they take a look at what the Irish government was really up to in 1978. As the Irish government have also released papers from that year. Here we are told about Ireland joining the EMS, and breaking the link with sterling, a decision that took considerable courage. There was pressure brought on the Irish by the British not to join the EMS as it would mean that Britain would be …

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Would a short all out military campaign in 1978 have finished off the IRA?

From this evenings RTE news. We haven’t yet come to the end of the insights to be had from the British state papers released under the thirty year rule. The papers reveal a row between the then RUC and British army about how to finish off the IRA, the British military General prefered a short all out military campaign to finish off the IRA in 1978. So would a swift military campaign by the British in 1978 have finished off …

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The eagle has landed….in Belfast.

Some of you may like to know that Belfasts’ first book festival opens on February 24th until March 1st and is to be launched by Jack Higgins, aka Harry Patterson who was brought up in Belfast I would recommend that you book early. To book go here Kathleen

Another child dead in London.

Disturbing to hear that another child is dead in London of multiple injuries so soon after the baby P case. Time will tell if this case will be similar to that of baby p or if there will be another catalogue of failures this time from social services? While state agencies came in for considerable anger from the general public in the baby P case, what of the mother and the maternal instinct in these type of crimes? Update The …

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No body wanted to clean up the mess left by republicans.

I know we’ve had a number of threads concerning the release of the state papers under the thirty year rule, but RTE have a pretty good round-up of the contents of the papers released yesterday. In this report the dirty protest is described by the secret papers as a desperate attempt to gain support and sympathy from the general public. Ian Paisley also complains that Loyalist prisoners working as orderlies were being asked to clean up the mess left by …

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Informers behind the wire.

The Newsletter is reporting that THE Government had IRA informers inside the Maze and had prior warning of republicans going “on the blanket” and the dirty protests. And the republican sources said they had been threatened by the IRA Army Council with “being shot”, if they did not participate in the campaign. Kathleen

Stalin – national hero or tyrant? A re-writing of history.

According to the BBC one of Russia’s biggest television stations is due to announce later today the winer of a nationwide vote for the greatest Russian ever to have lived. A highly controversial figure who could win the contest is the former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, one of the blood thirstiest leaders of the last century, who killed many millions of his own people. Also from the report: The official line now is that Stalin and the Soviet regime was …

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The Santa Massacre.

Santa went on a killing rampage in California over the christmas holidays. A distraught man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at a Christmas Eve party and then set the house ablaze, killing at least eight people, authorities said. Several hours later, the shooter killed himself. Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, who had recently been divorced and is believed to have lost his job, knocked on the front door of a home owned by the parents of his ex-wife in Covina …

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At least Lanark way is open until 10p.m.

I got this little video from TG4, basically its a news report from the 1960’s on the role of the Irish army in the UN peacekeeping role on the island of Cyprus and the city of Jerusalem. (Theres nothing much new under the sun.) I agree with the narrator that Christmas is not a time for thinking about dissention, but wanted to ask does our soloution on this divided island offer any way forward to that other divided island, especially …

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The economic situation is unprecedented….John Hurley Govenor of the central bank.

Amid talk of pay cuts, cuts in general and emmigration John Hurley Govenor of the central bank in the republic speaks to RTE, and states clearly that the traditional model of banking is broken. He says there are many challenges to the Irish economy,and he expects it to shrink by 4% next year. Below is some video footage of report from RTE’s week in politics on the efforts to rescue the ailing economy in the republic. The document discussed in …

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His licence has been revoked by the secretary of state. Republicans protest today.

The words of Marion Price at todays white line picket on the Falls Road. More comments from Marion in the video. We’re out here today protesting about the imprisonment of Terry McCafferty. Terry McCafferty is a republican prisoner, he was six years in prison, served six years of a twelve year sentence. He was released on 21st November, which is barely a month ago. He was with his family for a couple of weeks, he then went on a holiday …

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Afghanistan – an aimless absurdity?

Brilliant coverage this evening on channel 4 news on the situation in Afghanistan. There is a report from there, looking at the links between the Taliban and criminality. In your opinion are the British in Helmand , fighting this war with two hands tied behind their backs, like the Times correspondent says? Do the rules of engagement need to change to allow troops to go after the Taliban where ever they may be. British troops actually suffer four times as …

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From our little corner of the world….

More from the Armagh concert aired on RTE on Sunday, James Galway with the Londonderry air…… They don’t dress the windows now like they did in Anderson and McAuleys or even the bank buildings, and grottos now are not as magical as they once were. People from Belfast remember christmases past on the BBC last Saturday night…… And last but not least an old Irish blessing May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at …

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