Billy Wright: a biography

There has been some controversy over a recent biography of former LVF leader, Billy Wright. The Down Democrat has a useful review of the book itself.

Trimble: personal paradox

Trimble is believed by some to be ‘inwardly conflicted’, with his personal feelings diverging drastically from his pragmatic approach to ‘achieving the possible’ within the currently split body politic of Northern Ireland. In the Ha’aretz piece he articulates some of this ‘conflict’: “It is an embarrassment that we have to deal with the likes of more…

Loyalist split continues

At this stage it is words rather than actions. Johnny Adair and his close colleague John White, defend themselves against that accusation that the organisation had made much progress since their departure.

Trimble regrets 'pathetic' remark

But apparently none of the rest of his attack on the Republic of Ireland at a meeting of the UUC last March. In fact he’s gone one better: “If you took away Catholicism and anti-Britishness, the state [Republic of Ireland] doesn`t have a reason to exist” Though many took great affront at the original remark, more…

Trimble: peace facts

There are some interesting ‘peace facts’ quoted: “Since the peace accords, foreign investors have taken a greater interest in Ireland, and the country is enjoying an upswing in building and commercial development, the likes of which has not been seen for decades. The rate of unemployment, particularly in the Catholic community, has gone down significantly, more…

Reaching agreement: policing

Seán Mac Cárthaigh believes that St Patrick’s day has been set as the unofficial deadline for the successful conclusion of the interparty talks. This would accord with Hillary Clinton’s planned visit to Enniskillen at around that time. However he also believes that the task of reaching consensus at that time is deeply problematic, particularly with more…

Trimble: reviewing the process

In a piece we’ll come back to several times today, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz draws some revealing thoughts on the peace process from the leader of the UUP David Trimble: “If you are going to have a stable political structure, then you are going to have [to have] some way in which that 30-40 percent more…

Loyalist suspicion

Jim Dee talks to members of a Loyalist community on the very edge of South Belfast, and finds little but suspicion of Sinn Fein and their motives.

Stormont crisis: hidden invitation?

Interesting interpretation on events around the time of the suspension of the Assembly, by Republican Tommy McKearney. Again thanks to the Badger’s Radio. This interview with McKearney in July 2000 provides another view of Sinn Fein’s political motivations.

NY Post boycott?

Niall O’Dowd editorialises on the New York Post editorial we covered earlier.

McCann on Cahill

Eammon McCann on another book review, this time for the Sunday Tribune, kindly reproduced in The Blanket. Of the book he is, frankly, disparaging. But the interest lies less in the book and more in McCann’s view of the life of Joe Cahill; one of the last republicans to have been born before the partition more…

Mark Durkan: interviewed

I was out at a conference yesterday, so the blogging was not as comprehensive as I would have liked. Gail Walker explored the human angle on Mark Durkan in Thursday’s Belfast Telegraph.

McClarty on loyalist violence

David McClarty one of the Unionist representatives on the recent South African trip defends his decision to talk with representatives of Loyalist paramilitaries in the face of accusations from Alban McGuinness of hypocrisy.

From Basingstoke to Lisburn

Andrew Hunter, currently MP for the Hampshire town of Basingstoke, is making overtures to the voters of Lisburn. The DUP may see his defection to them from the Conservative party as part of its strategy to push their credentials as a mainstream Unionist party, and decisively take a position, which has been held, historically, by more…


I owe this one to Newt at the Portadown News. The Irish Independent in its editorial on Thursday said: “Earthquakes and floods are rare indeed in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. Malfunctioning traffic lights are about the nearest that favoured location ever comes to a disaster.” But in less that 24 hours flooding in the area was severe more…

Policing drama: discrimination

Jude Collins feels like no one is listening. No one who is Unionist that is; he has something approaching a cult following amongst some online nationalists. This week he poses a series of rhetorical, questions. But of all of them, point one is by far the most enlightening: “At the rate of 400 recruits a more…


Anthony McIntyre is critical of the public splitting of Sinn Fein, the political party and decision makers on the IRA Army Council, in his reveiw of Eammon Maille and David McKittrick’s Endgame in Ireland.

American opinion shifting?

Further thoughts on the subtle change in the attitudes of Irish American, particularly with regard tot he Republican movement. As over fifty percent of the Letter’s readership is in the US, please let us know if this accords with your own understanding of the situation in the comments field.

Three men shot

Ian Graham reports on multiple punishment shootings in South Armagh, Co Down and Co Antrim.