Author Archive | Brian O'Neill

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Spanish police attack peaceful protesters in Catalonia…

How should the Spanish government have handled the Catalan independence referendum? Option A: Do nothing. Let it go ahead and when the result is announced condemn it as meaningless and undemocratic. The world’s media would give it a passing tweet at most. Option B: Go heavy-handed. Send in police to smash up printing presses, seizing more…

education

The £105m education shortfall – behind the headlines…

The head honcho of the Department of Education says there is a rather big hole in the education budget, from the BBC: Derek Baker, the department’s permanent secretary and the man in charge of the department in the absence of a minister. Mr Baker said that the department had £24m less in cash than last year, more…

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Get your tickets for Pints & Prose. Malachi O’Doherty discusses his new biography of Gerry Adams…

Monday the 18th September – 7:15pm – The Dark Horse Bar, Belfast. Join us for a conversation with journalist Malachi O’Doherty about his new biography of the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Your host for the evening will be Alan Meban. ‘Loathed, loved, terrorist to some, brilliant political strategist to others – what do we make of more…

Surgery

People waiting less than a year in England for surgery compared to five years in Northern Ireland…

Great article by Seanín Graham in today’s Irish News about the ever expanding waiting list for medical operations in Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland patients are waiting on average five years for routine operations. This compares to less than a year in England. From the article: It emerged that one million patients are now waiting more…

stacey

You know things are bad when Stacey Dooley comes to town…

You get the feeling they must be tripping over camera crews in loyalist areas. The recent DUP/Conservative deal has turned the eyes of the UK media towards Northern Ireland. A steady stream of film crews has been making the trip recently. You know the format by now: lots of footage of explosions, the obligatory standing more…

dup-video

The DUP heartland: who are the supporters? – Video from The Guardian…

Very slick video from The Guardian, well worth a watch. From The Guardian post: East Belfast is the heartland of Protestant, unionist politics and therefore, one would believe, the natural support for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party. The Guardian travelled to East Belfast to meet the core support for the party – which has just more…

stephen-nolan

Stephen Nolan earning nearly half a million a year

The BBC has released salary details of presenters and stars earning more than 150K. As expected Stephen Nolan is the highest locally paid presenter earning a salary of between £400,000 and £449,999 a year. Nolan is famously a workaholic: The Belfast-born broadcaster presents a number of radio and TV programmes for the BBC. He presents more…

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“Politics in NI is dead, has descended into sectarian mud-wrestling” – Alban Maginness

Speaking on today’s BBC TalkBack show former SDLP MLA  Alban Maginness declared that “Politics in NI is dead, has descended into sectarian mud-wrestling”. Is he right? As the voters abandon the middle ground is our political system now just a straight sectarian headcount? People were quick to accuse the SDLP of sour grapes: It's the egotism more…