Friday, July 12, 2002

Today is known as the Glorious Twelfth for many in Northern Ireland, celebrating a history of civil and religious freedom. For others it an opportunity to break and head for the hills of Donegal, or other more tranquil spots. Of the many parades that take place each year, most pass off with little comment and more…

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Deireann Ian Malcolm: is mor an trua é nach bhfuil an dá thaobh ag Droim Crí ábalta teacht ar chomhréiteach a thaispeánfadh go bhfuil muid uilig ag fás aníos trí scáthán phróiseas na síochána.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

More criticism of Trimble in the Guardian. The leader in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph calls for Nationalists to understand the perception of the outworking of the Belfast Agreement amongst Unionist voters is vastly different to their own: “It serves no purpose for nationalist politicians to berate the unionist leadership for failing to fully embrace the Good more…

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Ciaran Irvine urges the debate on the future of the whole island to focus on what can be done with that future rather than to get caught up in bemoaning the miseries of the past.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

David Trimble seems to be at the receiving end of lectures from just about everyone these days. David Lister at The Times suggests that: “Mr Trimble, who has vehemently denied suggestions that he will stand down as party leader before the election, needs urgent help to win back Protestants who have lost faith with the more…

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Mary McAleese reckons there is a significant shift in the way that violence is perceived in the post ceasefire era. “…she said she was more hopeful about the North situation today than she has been at any other time in her life. The current focus on sectarian violence and intolerance would not have happened during more…

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

For a sense of historical perspective, Timothy Lavin hunts back through the archives of the Atlantic magazine, and unearths some real gems from: Brian Moore commenting bleakly on the future of Ulster as seen in 1970; Henry Massingham writing in the very immediate aftermath of the 1916 rising; and Padraig O’Malley on the marching season more…

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Not exactly Ireland, but Andrew O’Hagan grew up in that unsettled extension of Northern Ireland’s political and cultural norms, the west of Scotland. This piece for the London Reveiw of Books is an excellent account of what it takes to be a dissident to your own (footballing) tradition. John Lancaster kicks off his reminiscence of more…

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

The Guardian seems to like reading the Letter. They’ve listed us in their roll of favourite weblogs.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

It seems as if Johnny Adair’s outfit is something of a roll, and attracting new members from his former allies. Meanwhile DUP minister Nigel Dodds has landed a major funding package to be aimed at ‘interface areas’ that have taken the brunt of the violence over the last 18 months or so.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Tá go leor den na drochscéalta faoin ‘Peace Process’ atá fagail ann linn faoi lathair, ach leis an meid de rudai uafasach atá ag dul araidh measann Robert McMillen gur ábhar dóchais an méid atá ag titim amach i mBaile Monaidh. Agus nuacht mhaith do Mheánscoil Feirste; deontas do 5 milliun phunt agus aitheantas oifigiúil more…

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

A key piece of attitudinal research was released today. On the face of it the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2001 confirms the widespread belief that the two communities are increasingly divided on on every matter of substance around the ‘Peace Process’. The lead authors, University of Ulster researchers Joanne Hughes and Caitlin Donnelly, more…

Monday, July 08, 2002

The peace line in Belfast is multiplying and fragmenting, and it seems there is a similar multiplicity of motives for wanting them there. Of all the political ‘coups’ of the last week, Gearoid O’Caireallain regards Maskey’s wreathlaying as the most masterful strategic move of the lot. The Orange leadership at Drumcree seems to be under more…

Stormont implementation group meets…

The meeting of the pro-agreement parties at Hillsborough today seems to have had a mixed reception. Some are complaining that David Trimble is not showing it the regard he should, in leaving it to his Stormont Environment Minister Dermot Nesbitt. However this may have the more mundane (and hopeful??) explanation that this group will be more…

Intermission…

For a week from tomorrow, there will be a break in ‘transmission’ whilst I go off, get married and take a quick honeymoon. When I return the Letter will move to its new home at: www.sluggerotoole.com, and normal service will be resumed!

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Mayor Maskey decides discretion is the better part of valor (for now at least) over the commemoration of the Somme in Belfast. It may be too soon for both his own and Unionist supporters in the City. Meanwhile Mark Durkan launches his brand New Nationalism, anchored, he says, in the principles of the Belfast Agreement.

SDLP launches new logo and ‘outreach’ to unionism

The SDLP reveal their new logo today, retaining socialist red, with a slight tinge of nationalist green, and a full crescent of unionist orange. This, and its shift in language from a ‘united’ to ‘integrated Ireland’, is being seen by some as a part of longer term campaign to open up to the Unionist tradition.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

As claim and counterclaim proliferate over collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries, there is a first few tentative calls for something like a truth commission to bring the conflict to some kind of final rest. Whilst Ulster does its usual summer trick of ritually beating itself up, there may be a thread of hope more…

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

The SDLP is the subject of much speculation these days. It appears to be making overtures to Unionists by incorporating the colour orange into it’s new logo.