UPDATED: Spotlight investigation to explore republican treatment of ‘abuse’ victim

BBC NI’s Spotlight programme tonight investigates the republican movement’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against a suspected IRA member. Maíria Cahill has waived her right to anonymity to tell how the republican movement responded to her allegations by first investigating them, then burying them and imposing a code of silence to protect the movement. She is from one of the republican movement’s most famous families. Her great uncle was Joe Cahill, one of the founders of the Provisional IRA and …

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Facebook: A Breeding Ground For Racism

UPDATED In the past twelve months racist attacks in Northern Ireland have increased by 50%. In the early hours of Sunday morning yet another home was attacked in South Belfast – an attack that the PSNI described as a ‘hate crime’. A bottle was thrown and smashed the living room window of a house owned by a Bangladeshi family on Ulsterville Avenue and a car owned by a Kuwaiti family was set alight. The attacks have been widely condemned by …

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The Nasty Face Of Nationalism

A PERSONAL VIEW by Derec Thompson Derec Thompson is a self-employed web designer originally from Belfast who now lives in Cambuslang just outside Glasgow. He was recently involved as a campaigner for a Yes outcome in the Scottish independence referendum and has consequently joined the Scottish National Party. Follow Derec on Twitter   I’ve just emerged from the first political campaign I’ve ever been involved in. The Scottish independence referendum campaign has possibly been the longest in living memory. As …

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Robinson: Will he stay or will he go?

Following yesterday’s ministerial reshuffle and the axing of Edwin Poots and Nelson McCausland, the DUP appears to be in crisis today following the former Health Minister’s appearance on the Stephen Nolan radio show. When questioned about Peter Robinson’s long term prospects as party leader Edwin Poots effectively announced the First Minister’s resignation by claiming that “Robinson stepping down is public knowledge.”   However within minutes the First Minister issued a rebuttal to local media and on Twitter denying that he …

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#BlockedbyWells ?

Only hours into the job and new DUP Health Minister Jim Wells is already a big hit on social media. Hundreds of Twitter users reported that they had been blocked by Wells as they attempted to either follow or interact with his Twitter account.  The hashtag #blockedbywells was soon trending across Northern Ireland.                         Many of the ‘blocks’ were prompted by users asking awkward questions of the Minister’s controversial …

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All aboard the gravy train

We have just gone through an election for our new councils. Little did we know that while we were being talked to about the need for balanced budgets and battling austerity that some of our very own public representatives have been jetting off around the world and it appears for a few money has been no object. Sure, as our friends over at Pantene would say, you’re worth it! Tonight we name and shame some of the councillors and their …

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Ian Paisley: “Assassinated”

Many many words will be written about the late Lord Bannside, the Revered Ian Richard Kyle Paisley. The time for debate on his legacy is later. However on a day in which the First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson said “As a leader of men, a friend of the people, a servant of the state and a voice for the truth Ian Paisley excelled and shone,” and the Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Nigel Dodds wrote “He …

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Effing Tories

David Cameron made an impassioned defence of the United Kingdom today as he began campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in next Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum. However the phrase making all the headlines is “effing Tories.” Has the Prime Minister scored a spectacular own goal? Cameron said “Because it’s an election, because it’s a ballot, I think people can feel a bit like it’s a general election. That you make a decision and five years later you can make another decision. If …

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Men Only: Stormont ‘all party’ Pro Life group revealed

Social media was ablaze last night with the news of an ‘all party’ ALL MALE ‘Pro-Life’ group at Stormont. Chaired by the SDLP’s Pat Ramsey, the group also includes Jim Wells (DUP), Jonathan Craig (DUP), Alban Maginness (SDLP), Mervyn Storey (DUP), Jim Allister (TUV), Mark H Durkan (SDLP), David McIlveen (DUP), Kieran McCarthy (Alliance) and Danny Kennedy (UUP). Despite having no female representation the group give their main point of contact as Bernie Smyth, currently involved in a court case …

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Scars

It’s still there if you look closely. Just under my chin. Can you see it? Just zoom in a bit.   Ten years ago I was at the top of my game. Money was great, family was great, loved my job, loads of good mates; it was fantastic. Then the darkness. I can’t really remember the first experience but it didn’t seem to creep up on me. It happened suddenly and I was very aware of it. It terrified me. …

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“Two lesbians living together are not a family. They are sexual perverts playing let’s pretend”

UPDATED Much was said of Belfast ‘Pastor’ James McConnell’s recent anti-Islamic comments: The story was picked up around the world and McConnell was subsequently questioned by the PSNI. First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson was drawn into the row when he gave his backing to the Pastor’s remarks and said he would not trust Muslims involved in violence or those devoted to Sharia law but would “trust them to go to the shops” for him. Both Mr. Robinson and …

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“The only thing terrifying about Belfast are the beer prices”

These days Matthew Collins is a leading anti-fascist campaigner and a Researcher/Northern Ireland correspondent  for the organisation HOPE not hate. But this wasn’t always the case. Back in 1987, aged 15, he was a Mein Kampf-reading Nazi, flogging copies of National Front Newspaper ‘The Flag’ around south London housing estates before becoming a party organiser and touted as a future leader. He was also a volunteer at the BNP’s head office and active with violent neo-Nazi street fighters Combat 18. …

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What next for Dowson?

Jim Dowson, recently described as “the evil genius of British fascism” has announced his retirement from politics and resignation from Britain First, a group he set up following his departure from the BNP. Dowson claims his resignation was prompted by family issues and his opposition to the groups tactics of invading mosques as “unacceptable and unchristian”. This is not the first time the controversial anti-abortion campaigner has absconded from a far right group in dubious circumstances. In 2010 Dowson quit …

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