Author Archive | Barton Creeth

Graffiti on a Belfast Dole Office

The reality of welfare reform: “it’s a horror show”

  At the NICVA offices along the Duncairn Gardens on Wednesday, an important conference was held to open up debate about the future of welfare reform in Northern Ireland. It was one of those crisp autumn days which one likes to think of as typical of the atmosphere of cool, reasoned thinking. After heated debate more…

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An app that reduces food poverty and waste

On Monday night, before visiting the opening of the South Belfast Foodbank, I met up with Carla McSorley, FoodCloud coordinator at Business in the Community Northern Ireland. FoodCloud is a new mobile phone application started by two students at Trinity College Dublin that pairs up businesses looking to unload excess food with charities that can more…

Bruce Gardiner-Crehan, centre, with fellow South Belfast Food Bank workers

Churches band together to open food bank in south Belfast

Tonight at the Mornington Community centre along the Ormeau Road a group of staff and volunteers gathered to open up south Belfast’s first food bank [first Trussell Trust food bank in south Belfast]. The atmosphere was calm. Bruce Gardiner-Crehan, who helped develop the food bank and now acts as one of its lead coordinators, watched more…

Graffiti on a Belfast Dole Office

It’s time we actually debate welfare reform

After weeks of debate about welfare reform in Northern Ireland, it must be said that we haven’t actually debated welfare or reform. In fact, the argument, at its core, has been about power and responsibility, which, at this point, neither the DUP or Sinn Féin seem to want. We desperately need leadership and we’re not more…

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Why is the Left so nonchalant about anti-Semitism?

The number of hate crimes against Jews living in the UK has doubled since the beginning of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. In Europe, where violence and violent rhetoric against Jews is much higher than the UK, anti-Semitic attacks have become so frequent, that they have inspired a new wave of Jewish emigration to Israel. more…

The Sudanese Community Association Northern Ireland

Ramadan in Belfast

It’s a muggy Saturday evening in south Belfast and the summer sun, covered by dense cloud, is just setting. Out in front of Shaftesbury Leisure Centre, just off the lower Ormeau Road, children are running in circles around their parents squealing joyfully. Approaching the centre, women wearing pink, red and yellow hijabs push prams past more…

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The Twelfth: ‘it ain’t all burger vans and bouncy castles’

On Saturday I attended one of the flagship Twelfth demonstrations in Markethill, County Armagh, at the invitation of Orangeman and Ulster Unionist mayor of Craigavon, Colin McCusker. The day was arranged through a friend of mine who comes from a Catholic background in North Belfast. Our intention was no greater than to enjoy a day more…

"Elected members and officials and participants in local government are probably amongst the most public spirited people you can get in Northern Ireland" —Derek McCallan (picture, Guild Hall, Derry by Gregg Clarke)

May could be the most meaningful local election in forty years

  Meet NILGA’s Derek McCallan, a rare political optimist in Northern Ireland who argues that the coming election in May offers extraordinary opportunities for change in local communities. He tells me that councillors are the most public spirited people you can get and that May could turn out to be the most meaningful local election more…

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If you want change, this is not the election to boycott: a response to Alex Kane

In today’s Newsletter Alex Kane argues that by not voting, he’s sending a message: “the Assembly isn’t working, the Executive is dysfunctional, we have farce rather than government, the parties don’t care.” This is a really strange argument against voting in council elections—especially since this is an election about the transformation of local government. As more…

Me at Dublin Web Summit 2013

The Last Story of Reverend Robert Bradford

  In a journalism climate adverse to costly, time-intensive investigations, Belfast writer Lyra McKee is hoping to defy the odds by using the power of the internet to crowdfund her book about the last weeks of murdered South Belfast MP, Rev Robert Bradford. D emocracy depends on good investigative reporting. When society loses its muckrakers, more…