Ireland’s Wednesday Night!

Sounds like both Irish sides are doing well. Austria has only just edged ahead of a fighting NI side 3-2, and the Republic is just barely managing to stay ahead of the Faroes. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Towards a pre-emtive foreign policy?

Given the international nature of the discussion and topics here this week, it seems a timely moment to post my report on a debate held in London by Intelligence Squared. The subject: the merit of pursuing a pre-emptive foreign policy. It was a fascinating experience, and used a form I’d love to transfer to a venue in Belfast and/or Dublin on subjects nearer to home.It is easy to forget just how informal public discourse has become in these days of … Read more

Re-shuffling the dail: unplugged

Who was it that was talking about Cork Langers? Well here’s a skit on the recent Dail re-shuffle. Political incorrectness gone mad – it’s not for the faint hearted! Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Adams in conversation…

Gerry Adams with an unusually lengthy and detailed interview in radical website Bellaciao with economist Paul de Rooij.On governance: The un-elected and unaccountable ’Northern Ireland Office’ [NIO] is a particular example of the need for urgent change. The NIO runs the six-counties almost as a private fiefdom. British Direct Rule Ministers fly in for a few hours a week, very often simply to rubber stamp decisions pre-formulated by Senior NIO officials. And too often, those who work within and for … Read more

What about Loyalist guns?

The Derry Journal asks what stratagems have been put in place to handle the surrender of Loyalist guns? Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Sinn Féin and DUP agree deal must come soon…

Jeffrey Donaldson and Martin McGuinness agree that a settlement must be made by the end of the month. Whether they will agree to agree remains to be seen, in what looks like an end point (of all end points?) in what must be the dullest game of chicken in political history. Note: on 21st of December last year Tony Blair told us this review would be “short, sharp and focussed”. Ho hum – and on it goes… Mick FealtyMick is … Read more

Ahern: Sinn Féin in government

Dermot Ahern, the new man at Iveagh House, has conceded that the likely growth of Sinn Féin’s representation in the Dail at the next election will bring them into a government position.He declined to go into further detail, but it seems a significant row back from Bertie’s assertion that whilst associated with a non-state military body they could not take government posts, a few years ago. It might also be read as a sign of optimism in Dublin at the … Read more

Progressive politics or feudalism?

Tom Kelly runs a measuring stick over the various institutions that have developed out of the consensus of the Belfast Agreement and wonders if it’s simply to accommodate the interests of politicians at the expense of the people they propose to represent.By Tom Kelly If you are old enough to remember comedian James Young, you are probably much older than you have admitted to friends. Young’s humour was distinctly northern and his characters were intended to convey our differences with … Read more

US deports former paramilitaries…

Belfast Telegraph journalist Mary Fitzgerald on the way US anti-terrorism laws have led to the deportation of former prisoners released under the terms of the Belfast Agreement. Much hinges on Immigration judge Rose Peters’s ruling earlier this year that Sean O’Ceallaigh’s conviction for the killing of two British soldiers was ‘purely political’. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest … Read more

Beheading and the role of video…

David Vance links to a Mark Steyn piece on the killing of Ken Bigley. Regarding public taste and decency it’s right on the edge. It’s not in the least surprising the Daily Telegraph pulled its publication. In parts, it is every bit as offensive as the Billy Connelly quote, which provoked Eilis O’Hanlon’s ire last weekend.But he argues that in the UK and Ireland that we’ve been missing the effects elsewhere of the fate of other hostages. And in particular … Read more

Bush in cruise control?

For those of you waiting for another big ‘hanging chad’ finale in the US Presidential election, you can relax. According to the latest composite poll in the Washington Post, Bush is shrugging off the slight gains Kerry made after the first of the three set piece debates. Today it stands at 51%-45% in his favour. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is … Read more

Vacuous noise of political biography

Alex has clearly had an overdose of Unionist biographies recently. He comes up with a nice line in bumptious hyperbole in tribute to the acres of print spilled during our recent, prolonged spell in the horse latitudes of politics.My dozens of dedicated readers will be delighted by the news that I, too, have been approached by a publisher, keen to produce an intimate biographical portrait charting the up and ups of my predestined path from obscurity to the front pages … Read more

Beyond religion roadshow…

Malachi O’Doherty and Robbie Meredith have been trying to raise the standard debate on religion belief and disbelief in Northern Irelnad with their Get Thee Behind Me, Jesus show in Derry and Larne recently. Amongst the most interesting questions they ask, is:”whether Protestants and Catholics, with their very different religious conditioning, arrive at different perspectives on the world, even after they’ve come out of their religious background and shaken off the indoctrination – if they ever do”. Shades of Russell’s … Read more

Ervine: ground breaking IRA move

David Ervine reckons there is a serious move coming from the IRA. He warns Loyalists that in the wake of such a measure that they will be in the spotlight, rather than the IRA. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

O’Connor horse tests positive…

A horse ridden by Cian O’Connor previous to his Gold medal winning exploits at the Greek Olympics has tested positive for a sedative. O’Connor now faces an uphill struggle to retain his status as Olympic champion. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Did Bush wear an ear piece or not…

Just picked this up from David Steven’s etecera blog. It’s all supposition and likely to remain so as it can’t be verified or conclusively refuted after the fact. Kerry has just endured several days of bad press when he pulled a pen out during the debate, and rumour had it was an attempt to consult crib notes. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media … Read more

After 300 years, finally a new parliament for Scotland..

It’s been a long time coming, but today the new Parliament buildings in Edinburgh have been officially opened, with some signs that the ongiong controversy over building costs may be put to one side after dominating the news agenda over Scottish devolution for the last four or five years. It’s actually been open for business about a month. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider … Read more

SDLP blocks Unionist for senior post

There’s very little background provided with the headline of this story so it’s hard to know what substance lies behind it, but apparently the Nationalist dominated Newry and Mourne Council has voted to keep out one of its few Unionist representatives from a senior post with the local strategy partnership. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking … Read more

England’s first Irish theme pub…

I just found this story about the first Irish theme pub in Britain, which began in Liverpool (where I spent my first year in Britain) in 1984.It opened just after I left. Perhaps surprisingly there weren’t many Irish pubs in Liverpool compared with Manchester, Leeds or Birmingham back then, even though a large proportion of the population considered themselves of Irish origin. There were plenty of reminders of home in the familiar paramilitary slogans on the streets. The Orange Order … Read more

Cheap Irish travel, in Britain….

We have a old friend who visits from Liverpool every year. He’s planning to come down to Dorset (ie Slugger central) again this November. However, he won’t be taking his usual direct route to by Virgin Trains. He’ll be flying from Liverpool to Dublin to Bournemouth. It’ll be cheaper and it’ll get him a lot quicker. He reminded me too of the campaign to restore the Liverpool Irish Centre. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers … Read more