Author Archive | Soapbox

Leo

For Leo A Week is a Long Time in Politics

Eoin Neylon was President of Ogra Fianna Fail from 2014-2016, he has taken a look at the week in Irish Politics “A week is a long time in politics”. This quote is often attributed to former UK Labour PM Harold Wilson. It’s a quote that was likely ringing in the ears of Leo Varadkar this more…

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Northern Ireland’s complexity is its strength

Katy Hayward is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Queens University, Belfast The difficulty of allowing for the maintenance of the United Kingdom whilst also catering for the varied circumstances of its various parts is an acutely difficult one. Anyone trying to square this circle in the Brexit process must accept that modes of governance more…

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Time for unity among those advocating Unity

Matt Carthy is a Sinn Fein MEP for the Ireland Midlands-North West constituency  Something big is happening. Brexit has simply accelerated a debate on Irish Unity that was inevitably going to happen anyway. Irish Unity featured during the recent Westminster election campaign in a way in which it hasn’t in living memory. That is simply more…

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Election breakdown – where now for progressive politics?

It can be argued that last week’s General Election marks a turning point: a shift away from neoliberalism and towards – or rather back to – social democracy. There is talk that the age of austerity is over. The initial focus on Brexit was replaced by a genuine policy debate, based around the Labour and more…

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‘DUP Facts’: An opportunity for education

Meghan Rice holds an MA in Early Modern History with a specialism in Irish and British History from King’s College London. She is passionate about both Gaelige and Ulster Scots and has worked with various groups and individuals from both communities in Northern Ireland to help foster a better understanding of the peace process among more…

Why now is the time for voting rights outside the Irish state in Presidential Elections

Professor Colin Harvey is professor of human rights at the school of law in Queens University Belfast. Mark Bassett is a barrister in independent practice. They made a joint presentation to the Oireachtas GFA committee on the 18th May 2017. 1. Non-resident voting rights raise important questions concerning equal citizenship. This includes Irish citizens in more…

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Two coffees and a Highland wedding

To my nationalist and republican friends… I think you should reconsider your opposition to the Union, and here’s why… A friend of mine recently threw out a question which stopped me in my tracks. “Do you think there will ever be a united Ireland?” She asked. She knew I was a member of a unionist more…

Steven Agnew

Steven Agnew; “In putting people first the Green Party will also prioritise investment in our public services to ensure a fair and equitable society”

Steven Agnew is the Leader of the Green Party Northern Ireland. The Green Party is committed to putting people first. This means securing a referendum on the final Brexit deal, protecting our public services and ensuring that equality extends to all our citizens. “There is nothing to win in this process – and I am more…

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Time for civic society to engage more in our political process…

At the height of the stream of public revelations about RHI in December 2016, a press release on The Executive Office’s website declared the names of six appointments to the Northern Ireland ‘compact civic panel’. Arlene Foster described this news as ‘‘another example of us getting on with the work. It presents a unique opportunity more…

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Soapbox: Scappaticci, secrecy of the state and public trust

In his response to my criticism of Panorama’s programme on Freddie Scappaticci, or Steak Knife as he is probably better known, which was in essence that the programme had  failed to examine the possible role played in the running of Steak Knife by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) in Whitehall – and therefore ignored possible more…

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Soapbox: Scappaticci and the importance of reporting what we know, rather than what we think we know…

Ed Moloney has produced a puzzling critique (“Did Panorama Pull Its Punches?”) of my recent programme on the army agent StakeKnife (aka Freddie Scappaticci) to which your site recently drew attention. He noted that I had made no mention of Scappaticci’s first handler Peter Jones, an army sergeant said to have recruited him. The reason more…

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A partnership between Credit Unions and Belfast City Council could make £100 million available for social investment…

John Hume once said the Credit Union movement that of “all the things I’ve been doing, it’s the thing I’m proudest of because no movement has done more good for the people of Ireland, north and south, than the credit union movement.” This is some acknowledgement from a Nobel Peace Laureate but then again he was more…