Jackass in Strabane

A couple of jackasses have been sighted in Strabane. Jackass boys in Strabane By David Wilson TWO of Hollywood’s most outrageous stars have been shopping in Strabane. Jackass frontman Johnny Knoxville and Chris Pontius, known as ‘Party Boy’ on the hit TV programme, turned heads in the Co Tyrone town’s Asda supermarket on Tuesday night. The stars of the US stunt show, which has spawned two hugely successful movies, signed autographs and posed for pictures with staff and shoppers. Asda … Read more

On line with policing

“SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams yesterday insisted that his party had already “come on line’’ with policing”, using the problems in Ballymurphy as an example: Mr Adams said that the republican movement’s problem lay with “political policing’’ and that Sinn Fein “believes in law and order’’. Mr Adams said yesterday that the disturbances had been caused by “two feuding gangs’’ and the “totally unacceptable’’ behaviour needs to stop. “This is a problem which has been caused by two feuding gangs,” … Read more

Suffer the Children

“In all classes at Edenbrooke there are children who have witnessed violence, children who have been involved in riots, children who have fathers involved in paramilitary organisations, children from broken homes, children who are on the run from other districts, children who have witnessed domestic violence, children who have lost relatives through the Troubles, children who have been rehoused after being thrown out as a result of the feud and children with autistic spectrum disorders. Some pupils are toilet trained … Read more

“To compare us with the Stickies is an obscenity.”

“The great and most recent example of the corrupting nature of ‘politics’ which is often quoted by some of our membership is the Sticks. Indeed, in the past few weeks some republicans who should know better have actually referred to some people on this platform as Stickies. Oh ye of little faith! Of course, it is easy to hurl abuse – sticks and stone may break our bones – it makes headlines in the media but it also makes this … Read more

Happy Birthday, Newshound!

The indispensable Newshound turns 10 years old today, celebrate by showing your appreciation! A chronicle of the peace process, it is a daily must-read and a gift for researchers using the web. Thank you, John Fay, and long may the Newshound continue. Rusty Nail

SF intimidation moves down south?

Councillors in New Ross Town aren’t happy with Sinn Fein’s leafletting tactics, with one FF councillor, Kevin Dwyer, seeking a public apology from the SF Chairman of the council, John Dwyer, over what he calls “a deplorable and despicable act of intimidation, […] completely underhand intimidation of members of the public and public representatives.” Michael Sheehan, FF, adds, “‘Putting fliers on doors and windows and going onto private property might have seemed like a laugh and a joke at the … Read more

The Ugly Face of Racism….Ours?

“How can anyone say that what is happening to my children is nothing to worry about when it is so clearly affecting them in a bad way? It is that attitude from the authorities that is stopping other people in the same situation from reporting what is happening to them. There is a difference between insensitive name-calling and deliberate vicious verbal abuse. In a small place like Carrickfergus where we are told there is no real problem with racism, I … Read more

Horrified….Nefarious…All in a day’s work for Hain

Peter Hain tantilisingly admits: “I have done all sorts of nefarious things as Northern Ireland Secretary that I would thoroughly have disapproved of 30 or 40 years ago.” “But I’m not going into that.” Mark Hookham reports in today’s Belfast Telegraph. Rusty Nail

The Politician’s Wife

Chris Thornton interviews Elizabeth Haywood, Peter Hain’s wife. Dr Haywood (the PhD is from Swansea University) has kept a fairly low profile for the wife of a senior Cabinet politician. As a woman who says she is determined to keep her own business – and her economic independence – apart from her husband’s political career, this is a situation that’s suited her. But she realises that is likely to change. “I’m sort of resigned to it. What I want to … Read more

Irish News goes Video

The Irish News today launches their daily online video reports today. All you need is a broadband connection to view them. The first report is on the death of Michael Ferguson. According to their report [subs needed], The Irish News today enters a new era as it becomes the first newspaper in Ireland to offer daily video news reports on its website. The service is free to all Irish News readers, who can simply log on to www.irishnews.com to watch … Read more

Globetrotter update

The transcript of last Thursday’s ‘A Conversation with Gerry Adams’ at the Council on Foreign Relations in now available. Rusty Nail

Globetrotter

Internationalist Adams was also recently in the US, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations. He said, according to the Belfast Telegraph report, that Ian Paisley would do a far better job of running the north than direct rule ministers, and that Paisley also had a greater understanding of Northern Ireland than did Peter Hain or other British representatives. He also made note of US fundraising restrictions that are still ongoing, noting that “about half” of SF’s fundraising came from … Read more

Get on the bus

From today, free travel thoughout the south*. This on the same day new taxi fares are introduced.* If you are a pensioner, a carer, a welfare recipient or have disabilities. Rusty Nail

Adams in the Desert

Tonight’s Insight, 8pm on UTV, follows Gerry Adams as he wanders through the desert. In a moment of irony, who should be at the same hotel while Adams is over in Israel telling the Palestinians and Israelis, “It’s good to talk,” but Mariead Corrigan, one of the original Peace People. Fearghal McKinney writes in today’s BelTel: But, in truth, there is not a peace process in the Middle East. They’re still some way off talks about talks. And the wall … Read more

‘Terrorism Tsar’ to check with Muslim leaders before raids?

Ronnie Flanagan is to suggest a ‘Terrorism Tsar’ (say that 3 times fast) in his report to the government on how to handle the growing Islamic Extremist threat. In the report, the Sunday Life writes, it is said “a greater emphasis on community policing is needed if effective intelligence is to be gathered”. Meanwhile, the Sunday Times is reporting that the “police have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the … Read more

UDA to get paid off, become legal?

Two stories today about the future of the UDA. In the wake of the threat against Irish diplomat Aine de Baroid, Hain is reportedly offering £1million to wind up the UDA, according to the Sunday Times. The Observer reports that the UDA is seeking to (re)gain legalisation, on the logic that it will help them “transform into a non-violent community-based organisation”. They use the IMC to support their thesis: “‘In its last report the International Monitoring Commission said that the … Read more

Defections from SF, and the IRA Army Council

Both the Tribune and the Sunday Times have the story of the resginations of Groogan and Hughes, and Bernard Fox from the IRA’s Army Council. Reasons for leaving cited as “annoyed by the party’s lack of internal democracy” (ST), and “Former H-Block hunger striker, Bernard Fox complained that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who left the Army Council last year, were effectively running it from behind-the-scenes” (Trib). Use this link for the Tribune piece if the Tribune website link isn’t … Read more

The Reason Why Hain Is Mainly on the Plane

“If I didn’t fly, how else was I going to get there? By taking the ferry? Spending three days getting there?” says Hain. Oh, and “Get a life”, too. – Jet-setter Hain flies into flak on travel Rusty Nail

You Are Talking Weeks Rather Than Months

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowan asks, “How quickly then will the Sinn Fein leadership call that special Ard Fheis – or party conference – to open the door for republicans into the world of policing?” “You are talking weeks rather than months is probably the best way to put it,” Gerry Kelly answered. Republicans move closer to playing a role in policing And what would republican participation in policing mean?, queries Rowan. “I think once you go to that … Read more

Tomlinson v Mi6

Richard Tomlinson, a former MI6 officer who has already spent a year in jail for writing his autobiography, is being harassed by the security services over the writing of a novel. He has responded by publishing the draft of the novel on the web. He says, I have already been prosecuted for breaking the OSA in 1998, when I was convicted of writing a synopsis of my autobiography, “The Big Breach”. At my trial, the prosecution witness (John Scarlett, then … Read more