American Irish history

Geoffrety Ward on a new novel, Paradise Alley, set at the time the New York riots of 1863, which followed the imposition of the National Conscription Act. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using … Read more

Stormont crisis; ways ahead

The Times calls for caution in ending the local institutions, but says that in the end: “There may be no alternative to Dr Reid assuming full powers, acting much as a proconsul, cracking down on republican and loyalist terrorism with full force and pursuing as enlightened a political agenda as is practical. Matters may have to get much worse before they can conceivably become better.” The Scotsman agrees: “We may require another bout of direct rule to cool the Unionist … Read more

Stormont crisis; embarassing details

The BBC’s Mark Davenport says Friday’s search of Sinn Fein’s offices at Stormont “appears to represent if not the end of the Agreement then certainly the end of this phase of the peace process.” Today’s Daily Telegraph editorialises along classic Anti- Belfast Agreement lines: “It is clear that Gerry Adams and his colleagues have looked Mr Blair and Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, in the eye and seen that the maintenance of the process has become for them an end in … Read more

The raid and its consequences

An article in the paper version of today’s Sunday Independent, the Assembly is likely to be suspended this Thursday, when David Trimble will cite this intelligence gathering activity at Stormont by Sinn Fein as sufficient reason for withdrawing from the Executive. Henry McDonald describes how it would happen. Though it seems clear that Tony Blair will not allow that to happen, without a major initiative coming before then. David Lister provides more detail on the raid in and those arrested. … Read more

Several views…

For one Republican view, see Paul Dunne’s verdict. And Gerry Adams. For the other side: a purely anti terrorist operation! adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need … Read more

The Raid on Sinn Fein

A man was arrested this morning, as the plot thickens. Sinn Fein themselves clearly believe this is a politically motivated move to support the First Minister David Trimble. Gerry Kelly: “It’s about blackening Sinn Fein to let David Trimble off the hook – it is politically unbelievable.” The First Minister himslef did little to dispel such a notion: “David Trimble said it would have ‘grave implications’ for the future of the power-sharing government at Stormont. He said he suspected IRA … Read more

IRA linked to Castlereagh breakin

Ananova reports Police believe they have evidence of a link. There’s more detail from UTV. Police deny this was connected to a raid on Sinn Fein’s Stormont office this morning. But the heat is being turned up on both Sinn Fein and the IRA. Jude Collins reacts to the conjecture around this and the Colombian story from a Nationalist point of veiw. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on … Read more

Weblogs captured by the Right

Interesting article by James Crabtree of Vox Politics on the phenomenon of blogging which suggests that commentators of the right have cornered the market in the US, creating large networks of compelling knowledge, which by and large goes poltically unchallenged. I’m not sure Letter to Slugger O’Toole actually fits into neat categories of Left and Right, any more than the politics of Ulster in general does (see here and here for context). But there is a wider world of weblogging … Read more

Colombia coming to a head

Three men, believed to be intimately connected with the IRA, face the judge today in Colombia charged with giving aid to the leftist guerilla organisation FARC. Apparent inconsistencies in two separate forensic tests will be at the heart of the three men’s defence. Rosie Cowan outlines the evidence for and against: Prosecution: evidence of explosives residue on the three men’s clothing; a Farc defector, the former driver of one of the Marxist guerrilla group’s leaders, says that the three were … Read more

Adair

David Gordon has been running a series of articles this week, focused on the Loyalist paramilitaries. On Wednesday he focused on the charismatic figure of Johnny Adair. Newshound reproduces an article from last Sunday’s People newspaper suggesting that Adair is planning to move his operations over to Glasgow. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay … Read more

Political compass

This may have nothing much to do with Northern Ireland politics but it’s an interesting exercise, even if you have done it before. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if … Read more

Real IRA Split over ceasefire

The Real IRA may be preparing to declare a ceasefire, though it’s not likely to happen without some serious internal dissention. Tom Brady reports: “The ceasefire option is being strongly mooted by Michael McKevitt, who is due to face trial next January on charges of directing a terrorist organisation. Opponents to the plan are led by the group’s director of operations, Liam Campbell, who has now been forced out of the Real IRA wing at Portlaoise prison.” “Prison authorities were … Read more

Policing drama

Duncan Shipley Dalton is not happy with the UUP’s threat to withdraw from the Policing Board: “Unionists do not have sole political autonomy and our influence is constrained by political reality. If we continue down this self-obsessed path of boycott, resignation and abstentionism then we may simply find that the Policing Board and the rest of the government of Northern Ireland will simply go on without unionist influence. But, it (the government) will most surely go on.” adminA slightly inhuman … Read more

British Labour and NI

The Newsletter makes a passionate plea for Blair’s Labour Party to organise in Ulster: “We cannot vote for the Labour Party and we cannot vote against it. Instead, we have to accept the jurisdiction of a party which promotes political inclusiveness in these six counties of the UK yet deliberately excludes the good people of this Province from its affairs. There have been knowing nods and winks in the past from people in high places about righting this obvious injustice … Read more

Bizarre headline of the month

Has got to be Tory quits for Paisley’s party in today’s Daily Telegraph (thanks to Newshound). Whatever you make of his political viewpoint, there is no doubt that Mr Hunter has a passion for Northern Ireland politics. It may be this rather than any disquiet with Ian Duncan Smith’s leadership that has prompted this most unusual twist in the convention career path of a Tory politician. He has been on the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee since … Read more

Secret Life of the IRA

Steven King asks how some of the revelations in the Moloney book will go down with Sinn Fein’s wealthy backers in the US, highlighting in particular the emotive issue of human bombs and the leftward swing in Republican poltics immediately after Gerry Adams asumed leadership in 1986. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off … Read more

British Labour to organise in Ulster?

One MP would like to see it happen. More from Eric Waugh, who claims: “Some 50 Labour MPs now support an end to the Northern Ireland boycott, a group led by Kate Hoey and Harry Barnes, and supported by Frank Field, Gwyneth Dunwoody and Nick Raynsford– and, of course, Lord Fitt.” adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments … Read more

Yes, oh Lord, but not yet

With the news that the Claudy bombing case is to be re-opened, Gary Kent’s verdict on the idea that a series of enquiries be opened up into atrocities and injustices in Northern Ireland. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me … Read more

Secret Life of the IRA

The controversy over this book trundles on and is likely to do so for some time. The focus of a lot of the initial press interest is Gerry Adams and his alleged role in the disappearance and death of widowed mother of ten, Jean McConville. Professor Paul Bew reviews it within a wider historical, even though he begins by suggesting that Adams emerges from the pages of the book smelling of “rotten cabbage”, primarily because of the accusations around Mrs … Read more

A Classic Republican perspective

With the focus of media largely playing on the main protagonists at Stormont, it is easy to forget there are many other views beyond the tight (and not so tight) choreography inside and outside the Assembly chamber. Thanks to Badgers Radio for this transcript of a speech by Des Dalton published on the Republican Sinn Fein website. It outlines the classic revolutionary Republican case against partition: “…it put in place a state, whose foundations were naked sectarianism, discrimination and bigotry, … Read more