Unionist silence over Loyalist killings?

Brian Feeney excoriates the under-performance of Unionist MPs in speaking out over the lawlessness of Loyalist paramilitaries.

Republican endgame?

Snapshot accounts of a political party’s fortunes are notoriously fickle, for instance many people wrote the DUP off after the anti Agreement group lost the argument in the referendum on the Belfast Agreement. However Jack Holland reports on what he thinks is a low point for Republican Sinn Fein.

DUP argues for smaller government

Peter Robinson has argued that though devolved government hold potential benefits for NI, 108 MLAs was effectively more that it could afford. He suggested instead downsizing to 72 members.

Loyalist feud: threats and funerals

It looks like some of Johnny Adair’s closest supporters have fled for Scotland from the very area that 150 families associated with the rival UVF were evacuated just over 2 years ago. The funerals of the two UDA men presumed to have been killed last Saturday by Adair’s C Company takes place today.

Shamrockshire Eagle

Paul Dunne used to blog on a daily basis and now produces an issue once a week. And this time he is blogging with some (nationalist) gusto!

Loyalist feud: Adair isolated?

After warnings were issued to Johnny Adair’s remaining allies within the UDA, the jailed breakaway leader of C Company appears to have been completely isolated.

Sinn Fein/DUP back channel?

Sinn Fein cheif negotiator Martin McGuinness seems to have outed an unofficial channel of communication between the harder line DUP and his own party.

Negotiations: Haass calls for realistic movement

Richard Haass has hit the ground running. In the Irish Independent, he both asks for a bold move from Republicans and a generous response from Uniionists

Delay in posting…

Sorry for the delay in today’s blogging. We’ve had problems with web access here at Slugger central. We will now resume

Government reform: councils jostle for position

Over government, according to some commentators, is an ongoing problem in Northern Ireland. However, during the hiatus in the Executive, local councils are talking about clawing back more power towards themselves and away from devolved departments and quangos.

Policing drama: business needs stability

Tom Kelly goes back in time to put the business case (subscription needed) for a full backing of the PSNI: “If the police are not given full community support to rout these remnants of paramilitarism and their structures now, we are likely to face decades of criminality similar to that faced in the Republic of Ireland 30 years ago. At that time the splintering of the republican movement into various factions in the early and late 70s which bequeathed a … Read more

Negotiations: US has landed

Richard Hass’s return to NI, signals Washington’s effort to push party’s towards a substantial agreement.

More Lords for NI?

One perhaps unforeseen consequence of the reform of the House of Lords could be increased representation for Northern Ireland there.

Loyalist feud: where next?

Speculation continues on just how close we are to major bloodshed in a feud that has done little more than simmer since autumn. The Daily Telegraph reports a call from Ken Maginnis to re-introduce internment to head off the worst possible effects of a possible escalation.

Decommissioning: lack of balance?

Sinn Fein MLA, Gerry Kelly suggests there is a lack of balance to recent calls from various unionist and British government sources for the disarmament of the IRA: “This is why we get the briefings, the anonymous sources, the planted articles. This is why we get the singular focus on the IRA at a time when the loyalists are killing people. This is why a senior loyalist PUP politician recently stated that the issue of loyalist decommissioning has never even … Read more

Loyalist feud claims two more

Despite a period of calm, the retaliatory feud continued at the weekend with shooting of John Gregg and a junior associate after they returned from a football match in Scotland. The Examiner has picked up a rumour that he was set up by a fellow Glasgow Rangers supporter. Suzanne Breen believes it is now only a matter of time before the next round of killings resumes. The dead man apparently issued a warning, only hours before his death, to Johnny … Read more

Book review: the speckled people

Warm review of the autobiography (The Speckled People) of Irish writer Hugo Hamilton, who grew up out-of-place in a trilingual family in the 50s and 60s.

Sinn Fein's changing support base

Due to appear shortly on the Irish Echo site, this piece from Eamon Lynch takes a critical look at recent claims that the government has removed 200,000 voters from the electoral list in Northern Ireland. On Sinn Fein’s base support he comments: “The party casts a wider electoral net today than ever before, a fact evidenced by poll victories and a post-cease-fire influx of first-timers and moderate nationalists. Tossing red meat to the base is gradually less important too because … Read more

Ireland splits over Iraq

John Fay, editor of NI Newshound newsfilter site, talks (subscription needed) about the unease he feels at a growing anti-American sentiment in the Republic. However, he contrasts this with the actions of the Irish government: “As an American, I accept that Irish people have the right to decide what nations they side with as they see fit. However, for many Irish Americans, the fact that many in Ireland would choose not to support the U.S. is stunning, if only because … Read more

Why an IRA stand down makes sense

Interesting argument in favour of an IRA stand, from a Republican point of view. Plus an rundown of the last week from Paul Dunne, picking up on this article by Brian Feeney that we missed here on Slugger.