Interface; who's to blame?

Maybe that’s too big a question. What about, who started it? Or even, who continued it when they could have stopped? Although it seems from Alan McQuillan’s recent statement that the current trouble is being driven by dissident loyalists, the truth is this trouble exists in a very nasty continuum. The defence you’ll hear from more…

Meaninglessness of 'Terrorism'

Suzanne Breen’s thoughtful probing of a word that means all things to all men: “The White House works with terrorists and terrorist states – bin Laden in his mujahedin days and Saddam during the war with Iran – when it suits its strategic purposes. It entertains Provo leaders at official receptions but wants bin Laden, more…

Nationalist backroom

On the subscription based Irish News site, Brian Feeney is exercised about the forthcoming election (whenever it happens), and in particular the behaviour of the dissidents within the UUP. He writes: “..they have no intention of being satisfied with anything less than Trimble’s departure and the agreement’s collapse. What makes Trimble’s position even more imponderable more…

Policing drama

Tom Constantine warns that the pressure must be keep up for continuing reforms of the police, but that the constant rioting of the type witnessed through the summer is presenting a real threat to such reforms (more here).

TV presenter unites politicians

Eammon Holmes, Belfast born anchorman on a popular UK breakfast tv programme, has drawn support from leading members of the Orange Order and Sinn Fein for his recent attack on Belfast’s lawlessness. They all agreed that Belfast is filthy, and needs to be cleaned up fast.

Meetings, meetings and more meetings

Gerry Adams rejects ceasefire monitor, as part of a ‘Save Dave’ campaign. Another roudn of meetings is to take place: Adams-Reid; Trimble-Adams; and Durkan-Blair. Update: Trimble-Adams talks ‘useful’ “Crisis peace process talks between the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams have broken up without comment from either politician.”

Sectarianism debate

Hot off the press. In a frantic session this afternoon, the relatively mild mannered Patrick Roache was expelled from the Chamber for the rest of the sitting. One Alliance Party representative said, “it has been very heated and Mr Paisley is having a field day”. It appears he accused Gerry Kelly of being a murderer more…

Policing drama

Gerry Adams rejects the Alliance party’s initiative to bring in an independent monitor of the ceasefires. Several protestants living within the Short Strand have claimed (sub needed) that all the violence in the area is being orchestrated by loyalists. One such said: “I was brought up to respect the police, but I don’t have any more…

Cultural dialogue

Well worth the read is loyalist Billy Mitchell’s ongoing dialogue with republican Sean Smyth at the Blanket.

Unionist backroom

Duncan Shipley Dalton, viewed by many nationalists as one of the more consistently progressive voices within the UUP, may be one of several ‘Doves’ asked to leave their seats in the next election to make room for the new ‘Hawks’ David Burnside and Jeffrey Donaldson. In a recent interview with Malachi O’Doherty, the newly appointed more…

The effect of 9/11 on Ulster

Good workmanlike analysis on the reaction amongst Loyalists and Republicans to Bush’s call for a ‘war on terrorism’. It opens, with the almost brutal observation, that “Churchill once remarked that not even the cataclysm of the First World War altered the integrity of our ‘quarrel’ here.” And goes on to conclude, “…the ‘war on terrorism’ more…

Other Weblogs

Since the demise of the Daypop search, it is difficult to find other good (or even bad) weblogs that even come next to the subject of politics in Northern Ireland. However, I have just found this one on British Politics this morning by pure accident. Airstrip One occasionally has great links on Irish stories under more…

Sinn Féin agus Dílseoirí agus an Príomh-Chonstáblacht nua?

Cuireann Robert McMillan an ceist seo isteach orainn: “An ábhar dóchais é seo, nó an bhfuil na páirtithe a bhfuil baint acu le paramílitigh ag iarraidh cumhacht a roinnt ina gceantracha féin?” Mí scéal maith é go bhfuil cruinniú speisialta den Chomhairle Aontachtach le bheith ann níos moille sa mhí seo. Bfheidir gurb é Príomh-Chonstáblacht more…

Record number of immigrants

Short report from Brian Lavery at the New York Times. “Ireland recorded its highest immigration figures on record in the year to April, when 47,500 people moved into the country. Irish people returning home from abroad continue to make up the largest group of immigrants, 38 percent of the total, and more immigrants came from more…

US-Ireland business summit

Haass lays emphasis on political leaders to create the right environment for economic growth. The Sunday Business Post took the message to be “Make your own jobs”.

Unionist backroom

Trimble confesses his concern for the future of the SDLP. The First Minister and Deputy First Minister face criticism from a devolution monitoring group, over the numbers of staff in their departments. “Democratic Dialogue argued the office was growing “like Topsy” while Downing Street had a total of 190 staff and Merrion Street in Dublin more…

Crazy Keane

It’s hard to credit just how much the Roy Keane book has exercised the Irish press over the last month. Now the book is finally published there is no lessing in the volume of newsprint expended. It has even had overflow into the north, provoking an ex-member of Sinn Fein to weigh in against the more…

Flags and things

One of the more colourful events last week was the raising of Alex Maskey’s tricolour, to join the Union Jack, put there by one his predessors, Reg Empey. For some like Gearóid Ó Cairealláin, putting one up beside the other is a matter of equality, rather than in any measure republican triumphalism. Indeed some of more…

Policing drama

Looks like the new straight-talking Chief Constable is earning some new friends in un-expected places, even as the Garda Siochana come under increasing criticism. Still Sinn Fein are resisting the recent call from Professor Des Rea to join the new regional Partnership Boards, and even producing evidence that police were inactive against Loyalists during attacks more…

Castlereagh affair

Something’s cooking! American Larry Zaitschek, chef at Castlereagh on the day of the robbery is under investigation. Though he’s now in the US police are seeking his extradition, whilst his ex-wife is being held under guard. Brian Rowan gives a broad outline of the case.