Author Archive | Pádraig Belton

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How To Write It: A Brexit Breakup Note

The Prime Minister sits at her desk, which fits awkwardly, not like when she peered over it to banish Osborne. She’s put it off till now, but really, she’s got to write it: her Brexit Breakup Note. Larry, sensing the moment is not good, cowers from the leopard-print shoes with which he’s had his own more…

Overseen on automobiles parked by Queens University Belfast, by @SophieLong01

Down for the count…

Something interesting is afoot in Northern Ireland. Voting turnout is up sharply, at 64.78% the highest since 1998 and Good Friday, for yesterday’s second Assembly election in ten months. (This yielding the hash-tag #votetilliboak–the last a local synonym for the act of retching orally). We won’t know until Saturday, but for the DUP this cannot more…

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Irish Post Awards – Watch Them Live Here

If you fancy giving the Irish Post’s 2016 Awards a quick gander, there’s an online webcast here. The Irish Post tells us that the late Sir Terry Wogan will be posthumously honoured with a lifetime achievement award.  London’s mayor Sadiq Khan will give the keynote. Other awards will go to Republic of Ireland manager Martin more…

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Apple-EU tax bill open thread…

So the European Commission has ruled that Apple must pay Ireland €13bn in unpaid taxes, which Dublin will appeal and likely will have broader consequences for Irish-EU relations. I’d be keen for your thoughts. I only have two or three, so far. The fracas between the EU and Ireland over Apple’s tax bill—what we here more…

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The cautionary tale of Pat Hickey: How the Olympics Got Seduced by Money, and Lost its Way

Ireland and Europe’s most senior Olympic official sits arrested in Rio, on charges of ticket scalping.   Meanwhile, pizza restaurants and small clothing shops receive threatening letters from the Olympics, telling them not to tweet the Games That Must Not Be Named.  (Lawyers say ‘I don’t think that’s what the law says’.) It’s all a sign of more…

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Funny Olympic Facts

Whatever your views on the monarchy and Ireland, I think we can all be united by a brief pause of mathematical surprise that HM Queen Elizabeth’s 2016 personal medal tally is precisely 50 golds, 50 silvers, and 50 bronzes.

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Barbers, Car Dealers, Printers: The “Olympic” Small Businesses Around Ireland and the World, and How They’re Watching Rio

DUBLIN.  When Farrell O’Boy launched his Olympic Cars in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, he thought he’d chosen ‘a strong name, and people would remember it’, says Danny McCabe, today its sales manager. Across the Irish Sea, Antonio Leto had emigrated from Sicily and worked as a barber when he set up his own shop, Olympic Barbers, more…

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Five quick Brexit observations

1. I’m increasingly willing to see the split verdict as wise: offered stay in EU as-it-is versus get out utterly, the GB public says: make another option. 2. Overheard yesterday in Dublin: ‘So the English are knocked out of Europe twice in one week. Once by Iceland, once by people who shop there.’ 3. #CelticPride: This was found more…

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BREXIT: A possible way forward

This is something of a work in progress, for which I’m extremely grateful for thoughts. A fantasy PM would use Thursday’s result to get a programme for savage EU reform and a two-circle Europe, get a UK political mandate for that, then use it to checkmate both Juncker and Nicola.  Here’s how: First, we need to keep mind more…

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REVERSE, REVERSE

Just the very quickest of thought experiments:  So, I’d be grateful for help in thinking this through. Namely, whether a pro-Remain party (maybe Labour under Jarvis or Chuka, or maybe a reborn Libs), or two, might find themselves with the seat balance after an Autumn snap election.  Standing, say, on a ‘Let’s Not Leave’ platform. Or, for more…

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#DemDebate Live Blog – (Kicking off at 2am BST)

My good friend Ollie has been kind enough to offer to live-blog this evening’s US Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders, from New York City where he will be attending it for us. The debate starts at 9 pm, 2 am for many of our British and Irish readers. He’ll introduce himself here in more…

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Easter ’16, Once Again

DUBLIN—Here in Ireland, this weekend, Yeats’s terrible beauty becomes a centenarian. It might have had a letter from the Queen, were history different. It is a pleasing sign of recent Irish social change that 1916 is not being commemorated as a good-and-evil struggle, one with Ireland on the side of the angels—and evil Britain receiving more…

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Slugger on the roads

Strabane – where I’m running through next week – has had its local ‘Strabansky’ amend the de rigueur ‘Join the IRA’ scrawl…. (I owe this to Emma Walsh.) And this may be as good a moment as any to point out that I’m running the length of Ireland, 1st-12th October, for cancer charities – if more…

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Alderaan reasons

Fair play this chap, outside Leinster House dressed as a Stormtrooper, whose placard reads ‘Abolishing the Senate did not work out well for Alderaan.’

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Fada Fail

Odd things about the world – Aer Lingus, just like Iarnród Éireann, can’t deal with the Irish-language fada. Where this gets ironic: British Airways (below) can.