Gerry Adams speech

Weblogger Paul Dunne has the full script of Gerry Adams’ (known as NI’s shadow secretary of State by some) speech in Monaghan on Sunday. The speech may prove to be as important as the British Prime Minster‘s of a few weeks back. We will revisit it over the next day or two for the important more…

Political immaturity?

Ronan Fanning comments on the changing of the guard at Stormont. He clearly rated Reid above the Northern leaders: “…the fact that John Reid was neither easy to intimidate nor easy to impress perhaps best explains why he gave such offence. For, whatever divides unionists and nationalists, most of their leaders are united in their more…

Bomb discovered

It was found in a van this morning in Belfast City centre. It’s probably too early to apportion responsibility, but this later BBC report says the PSNI think it was planted by the Continuity IRA.

Weblogs: speed or haste 2

Paul Dunne delivers, or rather rams home, a sermon on the pitfalls of Google research.

Weblogs: speed or haste?

We do our best here at Letter to Slugger O’Toole to bring you bona fide comment and links to reliable on-line resources relating to Northern Ireland. Speed is a strong feature of the medium. Yesterday, for instance, we reported quickly on the change at the top in NI. However in the pursuit of the great more…

Sinn Fein issues terms

Mitchell McLaughlin told the FT that going ahead with elections in May, full implimentation of the Patten Report, and tackling number of other issues could lead to: “…a clearing of the decks and a reciprocal gesture from the IRA. What we would then see are incremental steps involving the removal of the IRA from the more…

Murphy: an man with universal appeal?

Chris Thornton reflects on Paul Murphy’s unique cross party appeal: “Paul Murphy enters Northern Ireland in an unusual position for a new Secretary of State: he is intimately familiar with the politics, pitfalls and players that await him. Perhaps that’s because Mr Murphy also left Northern Ireland in an unusual position. When he was promoted more…

Murphy: Státrúnaí úr ó thuaidh

Is é Státrúnaí Briotanach na Breataine Bige Paul Murphy a thiocfaidh i gcomharbacht ar an Dr John Reid tar éis athshuathadh Rialtais na Breataine Déardaoin. Nios mó anseo.

Assembly: reviewing the breakdown

David Ford looks at the reasons for the current breakdown: 1. “…the straw that broke the camel’s back was the failure of the republican movement to create sufficient confidence in the process by clearly demonstrating that it had made a firm choice of democracy over violence …the Agreement provides solely for sanctions against Ministers and more…

Murphy: working for the agreement

Paul Murphy told the BBC: “…he had good memories about the people of Northern Ireland and the ‘determination of everybody in Northern Ireland to see the Agreement work It is very important that we secure the achievements of the Agreement for the long-term.’” But every side is likely to have equal and opposite expectations.

Teach fuar teangach

Maigheann Pól Ó Muirí gur “‘teach fuar‘ í an teanga d’aontachtaithe an Tuaiscirt” tar eis alt le Roy Garland an tseachtain seo caite.

Murphy: blogger gets it right

This guy (or girl) got the appointment bang on, even if it was only about an hour beforehand, it was probably just enough time to run round to the bookies and get a quick bet on.

Calling time on the Armed Struggle?

Anthony McIntrye outlines the reason he believes Blair’s speech gives the IRA a way to wind-down, if not disband the organisation, in last week’s Observer. “Blair has offered them a way out. By calling not for its disbandment but for ‘the continuing existence of the IRA as an active paramilitary organisation’ to cease, he has more…


To Irish in America, for putting the Letter to Slugger O’Toole on the front of its news page.

Political comedy

No, not the latest news from Stormont, but at least the good citizens of NI are getting a chance to laugh on the grand-scale soap opera that is NI politics. Co Antrim playwright Tim Loane’s lastest play is sometimes too close to reality for comfort.

Murphy appointment: more background

According to Ian Parsley, a specialist at the public affairs consultancy Stormont Strategy, there may other, more pressing agendas at work in this appointment: “Murphy’s past as NI security minister and (sometimes outspoken, sometimes tacit) opposition to devolution may indicate that Blair’s Government feels that dealing with the security situation takes precedence to restoring devolution. more…

Murphy appointment: Alliance welcome

David Ford, leader of the Alliance party, has just told the Letter to Slugger O’Toole: “It is surprising that the PM has seen fit to move John Reid at a time of crisis like this. However, it is clear that he feels the need for a ‘safe pair of hands’. In Paul Murphy we have more…