Should the IFA adopt its own national anthem?

Recently we had the disgraceful but in some ways predictable behaviour of some fans (but at least it was a minority) at the Northern Ireland versus Republic of Ireland match during the playing of the National Anthems. I was always taught that no matter how you feel about a country, or its government’s policies, you should always respect the national anthem. However, at the same time – why do the Irish Football Association still continue to use God Save the … Read more

An insider’s view of Northern Ireland’s first Citizens’ Assembly

Catherine Leonard is a recent graduate from Ulster University’s Master of Science degree in Communications and Public Relations and was one of the eighty members of the Citizens’ Assembly that met over two recent weekends to examine the policy area and bring forward recommendations around social care for the elderly.

Northern Ireland’s business community has united as never before to make sure it is heard and the consequences of crashing out of the EU next March are understood.

Stephen Kelly is the Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI, he writes for Slugger about why the Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union should be supported. A community has found it voice. Reluctant, yet determined, Northern Ireland’s business community has united as never before, to make sure is heard, and that the consequences of crashing out of the EU next March are understood. Some may have been frustrated that Northern Ireland’s businesses and their representatives have been too quiet, but we … Read more

The case for lighting city parks

  Emmet McDonough-Brown (Alliance Party, South Belfast) In Belfast we are hugely fortunate to enjoy high quality, award-winning parks and outdoor spaces. In the south of the city, we think of places like Botanic Gardens, Ormeau Park, and Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park as beautiful places to spend time enjoying the outdoors. Next month, I will be asking Belfast City Council to consider options for lighting our city parks with the intention of opening them for longer during the … Read more

We talk about the brain drain as though we’re concerned but we don’t actually try to solve it!

Belfast City Airport frontage

Jonny McCormick is the Director of Rosseau Ltd and runs a podcast called Spoke. In the true nature of a soapbox post, this is a ‘one perspective’ rant – but I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’m saying so please do let me know what you think in the comments! We constantly hear about the brain drain in Northern Ireland. How our talented young people (and increasingly people of all ages) are leaving to find work and opportunities … Read more

What would paddy Devlin make of a SDLP/Fianna Fail merger?

Over recent months we have seen continuous speculation and briefing by SDLP & Fianna Fail members who wish to promote the idea of a FF-SDLP merger. SDLP members have two key challenges to face should they seriously consider a merger with Fianna Fail, firstly how does Fianna Fail resonate with its labour values and secondary are Fianna Fail just too toxic due to their record of scandal. The SDLP has always had a labour bone in its body, the politics … Read more

Eastwood: Michael D Higgins A President For Us All

The SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood writes for us about why he’s backing Michael D. Higgins for a second term as President of Ireland As we enter into the final week of the presidential campaign, I wish to fully reaffirm my own and the SDLP’s support for the re-election of President Michael D Higgins. As a party, we have been privileged to know and to work with Michael D Higgins over the course of some 40 years. Throughout that period he … Read more

Belfast’s feminist film festival to host 4 days of films, discussions, panels across the city

“We want these important films to reach a new audience in Belfast and promote discussion about the things that affect women’s lives here and around the world every day.” Belfast’s feminist film festival – WANDA – proudly presents a second edition of exciting, diverse, new and retrospective films directed by women. Over four days the festival will feature films, panels, and a quiz at locations across the city such as Queen’s Film Theatre, Black Box, Beanbag Cinema, and the Accidental … Read more

What it feels like as a small business owner staring into the face of Brexit

Jonny McCormick is the Director of Rosseau Ltd and runs a podcast called Spoke.  I’m an eternal optimist. I always think things are going to go my way – that the chips will fall in my favour. The few times I’ve played the lottery I’ve been convinced I’m going to win. Every time I’m boarding an international flight I think I’m going to be bumped up to First Class. I remember the day before the 2016 Presidential election saying that … Read more

Public Goods can help keep farmers farming

By John Martin of Nature Matters NI For the first time in nearly half a century an Agriculture Bill has been brought forward in Westminster. The Bill outlines a significant change in the direction of farm support in England, moving from a system focused mainly on area based payments to payments for public goods such as clean water, fresh air and recreational opportunities. The proposals do not apply to Northern Ireland but there is no doubt that post-Brexit we will … Read more

We Believe Her

By SDLP Youth On Sunday past, we watched a very uncomfortable Michelle O’Neill, the Vice President of Sinn Féin on BBC Inside Politics, when being questioned about the Máiría Cahill case. Upon being asked if she believed Máiría Cahill’s account of the abuse she suffered in the 1990s, at the hands of an IRA member, Ms O’Neill replied, “it’s not for me to say that I believe her.” In recent years, Sinn Féin have positioned themselves as the political defenders … Read more

The right to a fair trial can be in danger if individuals go to court without legal representation

The disadvantages faced by individuals who go to court without a lawyer can jeopardise their right to a fair trial. This is the finding of a two-year Nuffield Foundation study by Ulster University on ‘litigants in person’ in the civil and family courts in Northern Ireland, which examined the experiences of individuals who represented themselves in court. There has been considerable concern over the rise in the number of litigants in person across the UK, although this research shows that … Read more

Now, this is your chance to share your ideas for a better Belfast.

#MyBelfastIdea by Ciarán Fox, Director of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Three weeks after the fire which gutted the Bank Buildings owned by Primark the people of Belfast are starting to galvanise in support of the city’s traders and retail core. As a profession, architects immediately recognised not only the devastating damage to a listed building but also crucially the risk to our thriving city. Today RSUA, as the voice of architecture in Northern Ireland, is launching a public … Read more

Did peace make a difference to domestic violence?

Last year, an incident of domestic violence was reported to the PSNI around every 18 minutes each day in Northern Ireland. In 1992, a previous study on domestic violence in Northern Ireland, led by Professor Monica McWilliams and Joan McKiernan highlighted the serious consequences of domestic violence for women and children during the Troubles particularly given the availability of guns at that time. It also showed how the conflict limited access to police thereby increasing the power and control of … Read more

Fianna Fáil and its discontents – the Eurosceptic opportunity

By Aidan Harkin At the time of writing Fianna Fáil (FF) is struggling to re-assert itself as the prominent force in Irish politics. The 2016 election was a moment of promise for FF who experienced considerable gains from its disastrous 2011 election performance, resulting in a difference of only six seats between them and the governing party Fine Gael (FG). This rise coupled with the implosion of the Irish labour party has meant both FF and FG now co-exist uncomfortably … Read more

When you are not seen as equal in the eyes of the law, it is difficult to feel equal in society and in the workplace. I hope that today will be instrumental in helping to change that inequality.

Denise Hart is Chair of Glee@PwC in Northern Ireland I’m the Chair of Glee@PwC in Northern Ireland, the firm’s UK-wide diversity network, so it’s no surprise I feel passionately about LGBT issues and equality. But back in August of 2017, when the Northern Ireland High Court ruled Marriage Equality as a devolved matter and LGBT equality felt further away than ever, I sent what could have been a rather career limiting email to the regional chair of PwC NI. I was … Read more

Women Won’t Wait: Campaigners for Women’s Rights and Equality Speak Out about the Impact of Stormont Stalemate

The results of a survey released today by the Women’s Resource and Development Agency reveal the impact of having no government at Stormont on women’s community organisations and campaign groups. 80% of those surveyed said they have continued to lobby decision makers in the 19 months since the collapse of the Executive, but the majority felt that it is now much harder to make progress on the issues that affect their organisations and communities. The 48 respondents to the survey … Read more

I believe so strongly that we have a massive case to be heard. This is about a way of life. We cannot go back to any form of hard border.

I’m a 50 year old Derry Girl, teacher of Drama and English in a local all girls’ grammar school and mother of two teenage daughters. I’ve lived in Derry all my life. My parents instilled in us a deep love of Donegal, its wild and often soft scenery, its simplicity and the gentle, unassuming people. Every Sunday we made the pilgrimage to Bridgend and then on to Rathmullan for the Football Special; Ballyliffin for the 70s delight of Chicken Maryland … Read more

The long and winding road to Irish unity

“Of its nature this is a long-term policy, requiring patience, understanding and forbearance and resolute resistance to emotionalism and opportunism. It is not the less patriotic for that” TK Whitaker, Note on North-South Border Policy, 11 November 1968 There is no denying that the idea of a United Ireland has more momentum now than ever before. Out of the Brexit chaos, and the Stormont vacuum, it tempting to ask: is the time for patience is coming to an end? And … Read more