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Pensions, Reparations and Reintegration: Parallel Processes for Injured Ex-Combatants and Civilians

by Luke Moffett and Kieran McEvoy (School of Law and Mitchell Institute, Queen’s University Belfast) While talks remain on-going about the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly, Secretary of State James Brokenshire has apparently confirmed to the Victims and Survivors Forum that a public consultation on dealing with the past will go ahead more…

Environmental Governance Failure in Northern Ireland: High Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

By Ciara Brennan, Ray Purdy and Peter Hjerp Recent scandals including the RHI debacle and the discovery of illegal dumping on a massive scale (most notably at the Mobuoy Road ‘super-dump’) have catapulted Northern Ireland’s environmental governance failures into the public eye. The divergence from what can be considered ‘good’ environmental governance is clear and the more…

Ulster Scots now being ‘weaponised’

I’ve been following with interest the coverage of the Ulster Scots Agency’s funding plan since the story was first brought to light earlier this week in the Belfast Newsletter – and subsequently refried by other outlets. It was clear from the outset where the story was going as the Ulster Scots Agency CEO used a more…

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Article 50: Will Northern Ireland feature?

There can be little doubt that any of the political theatre surrounding this week’s delivery of Article 50 was intended for a domestic British audience. However  EU Council President Donald Tusk was moved to remark that it was “a sad day”, a sentiment, no doubt with resonance elsewhere, which went beyond his rather dry tweet more…

Who’s afraid of an Irish Language Act?

The publication of a report by a committee of Council of Europe experts into the failure by the Stormont Executive is the main story on the BBC NI News bulletins and website this morning.   Coming on the heels of a ‘brutal’ election campaign during which the Irish language was propelled into the centre of more…

What the DUP have done….

I attended a meeting in Belfast on Monday night, no ordinary gathering either.  It was a meeting called by Finance Minister and Sinn Féin candidate Mairtín Ó Muilleoir to facilitate a conversation between the Irish language community about the current political situation and the threat it poses and/or the opportunity it presents. Irish language activists more…

The Irish Language Act can better NI society, cynicism will destroy it

Two years ago the Cultúrlann hosted a group of Gaidhlig psalm singers from Lewis.  The renditions by the singers from the Bach Presbyterian Church of age old hymns in Gaidhlig was a reminder of our common Gaelic culture, a shared heritage which could not be sundered by petty religious spite. Spite seems to be order of more…

Fake News and the Assembly Elections

How does the saying go – fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!    If one positive thing emerged from the 2016 US Presidential Election, it’s the focus on the phenomenon of the influence of Fake News on the electoral process.  It’s difficult to assess the level of impact but more…

The Irish language hasn’t gone away you know

I’m back at work though suffering with a cold, flu or ‘man-flu’.   I don’t like feeling congested at the best of times.  Being back at work at the start of a cold and wet January doesn’t brighten my mood. This is all put in perspective by Martin McGuinness who has serious health issues, it more…

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Ireland Post-Brexit: A Conference

Since the people of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union there has been a lot of discussion about what the decision means for UK/Irish relations…and for Ireland itself.  I’ve asked some of Ireland’s most prominent Europhile and Eurosceptic speakers to discuss whether Ireland’s future should be inside or outside the EU. The more…

Will this Drag Draghi Down?

Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, was previously Governor of the Bank of Italy. He served in that role from December 2005 to October 2011. He assumed his role at the ECB in November 2011. During his tenure at the Italian Central Bank he will have been aware of some ‘issues’ at more…

William III as a Roman Emperor

“Rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated…”

It is the 11th of July, and tomorrow is not just the 12th; it’s the ‘Twelfth’. And with the Twelfth comes the annual reams of highly predictable media and social media commentary. The world will be told that the entire occasion is a sectarian hate fest. A ‘throw back’. An anachronism whose participants are nothing 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…

#GE16 – FG *will* win more seats than FF…

Another dramatic Irish election, with the exit polls proving to have underestimated the substantial fall in support for the government parties. Fianna Fáil have lurched back to within 1.2% of Fine Gael as largest party, 24.35% to 25.52%, and overnight the two were both on 28 seats. That’s the sort of margin where you can more…

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Money and (Better) Public Services?

I was on the Nolan Show this morning, performing my usual role as defender of the idea of small state/low tax economy. The discussion was to have focused on whether it might be a good idea for us to collectively pay more tax to fund ‘better public services’. You can listen to the debate by more…

Will they toe the line together?

Referendum & devolution: 3 different pictures

The elections this May are almost certain to see the return of familiar faces of both nationalism and unionism. Of course I’m referring to the elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, whose electorates will go to the polls on 5 May and then again most likely later in the year for the more…