A Classic Republican perspective

With the focus of media largely playing on the main protagonists at Stormont, it is easy to forget there are many other views beyond the tight (and not so tight) choreography inside and outside the Assembly chamber. Thanks to Badgers Radio for this transcript of a speech by Des Dalton published on the Republican Sinn more…

Policing drama

About 15 years ago I spoke to a member of the RUC who was then based on the Loyalist Shankill Road. He said his job fell into two distinct roles. In Nationalist Ardoyne, he was a soldier; frequently lying flat out in someone’s front garden dodging bullets. Whereas on the loyalist Shankill, he could be more…

Secret Life of the IRA

The book that most people have been awaiting all summer has finally arrived. We first picked up on it back in July when the author was interviewed by Jack Holland. Ed Moloney’s book aims to be the definative work, hoping to displace Tim Pat Coogan’s The IRA from that role. It remains to be seen more…

Loyalists getting left behind?

At the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998 the paramilitary’s political representatives were some of its staunchest supporters. So, David Gordon asks, what happened? Includes good coverage of the three main groupings; UDA, UVF and the LVF. BTW thanks to Airstrip One for the mention for the Letter.

Struchtúr agus scoilteanna i measc na ndílseoirí

Deireann Eoghan Ó Néill: “Ba é an t-ionsaí ar Jim Gray i mBéal Feirste Thoir, an tseachtain seo caite, an chéad ionsaí ar Bhriogáidire de chuid an UDA ó cuireadh struchtúr na mBriogáidirí ar bun ag deireadh na 1970í agus is cinnte go n-imreoidh an UDA díoltas fola ar an LVF i ngeall ar an more…

DUP agus Sinn Fein chun leas a bhainfidh as

I mbun an abhair, maígheann Robert McMillan; “Tá an bharúil ag scaipeadh fríd Rialtas na hÉireann agus Rialtas na Breataine féin nach fiú Trimble a shábháil. Ní raibh sé ábalta barúlacha a mhúnlú i dtreo a pholasaithe féin agus chaill sé an cath ina pháirtí féin.”

Local reaction

The Belfast Telegraph letters page has long been colonised by Unionist correspondents who feel bitterly let down that Sinn Fein were ever let into government. Yesterday however, several pro-Agreement or even ambivalent voices, for the most part took the floor. However the tone seems unrelentingly dark. Wes Holmes suggests that there is a vicious circle more…

Unionist paradox(es)

David McKittrick looks darkly at the future ahead. He opens by suggesting that the recent motion passed at the UUC has: “…no obvious wriggle room, it commits Trimble and his Unionist ministers to resigning immediately from the power-sharing executive unless the IRA not only disarms but actually disbands by January. It also demands a halt more…

Orange meets Green

Brian Kennaway, former convenor of the Orange Order’s education committee spoke to the annual gathering of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Whilst suggesting that the two organsations had much in common, he also dealt with the obvious differences: “Tolerance does not mean the acceptance of the other person’s point of view, but the acceptance and more…

Bloody Sunday account unearthed

Thanks to Paul Dunne at Shamrockshire Eagle for this previously unpublished account of the events of Bloody Sunday. It was reproduced in the London Review of Books last July, alongside his own more recent account of appearing before the Saville Inquiry in the Derry Guildhall. I had read this at the time and had convinced more…

No minister

Looks like the minister for roads in Northern Ireland may face prosecution for blocking one of them.

Nationlist backroom

Brian Feeney beleives the UUP is on track to rip up the whole Belfast Agreement. He quotes Gerry Adams: “Even if by some Santa Claus intervention the IRA disbanded by Christmas, it is not enough for unionists. There are that many conditions in this UUP policy it would be impossible unless we ceased to be more…

Narrow middle ground

Henry McDonald paints a grizzly picture of the path the UUP appears to have chosen, suggesting that not only is it prejudicial to their own success, but that it can only weaken the position of their closest allies in the peace process, the moderate nationalist SDLP: “Mark Durkan looked visibly drained by the news from more…

What happened to the middle ground?

Presumably substantially written before the UUP deadline was set last weekend, this Adrian Guelke article in the latest Fortnight magazine still manages to read like a political postmortem. However he formulates a number of interesting questions for mainstream Unionism. Not least, what has happened to the middle ground since the Belfast Agreement? He returns to more…

Best weBlogs

Here’s the Guardian’s selection of the best and the good.

Loyalist Feud?

Rosie Cowan adds detail to this growing story. One senior paramilitary speaking about controversial paramilitary leader, Johnny Adair told her: “…the chances of someone trying to kill Adair, who has survived several republican and loyalist murder attempts, were extremely high. ‘That would be a nightmare, because it would turn him into a martyr, like Billy more…

Beyond doomsday?

Chris Thornton explores Sinn Fein’s current thinking in the aftermath of last weekend’s UUC meeting. In the subscription only Irish News, Brian Feeney puts the current situation more bluntly: “Concentrating on the scheduled collapse of the Stormont executive on January 18 has obscured the size of the swing in sentiment against power sharing in the more…

Cash crisis

Bush to cut funding under the Civic Link programme in Northern Ireland?

Other parties

Paddy Roche, who was recently excluded from the Assembly for remarks made about a fellow MLA, has announced he will be standing down for the next election. The fervent wish of a small but growing number of Trade Unionists is for the British Labour party to organise in NI. Trade Unionist, Andy McGivern travels to more…

Policing drama

Sinn Fein have condemned recent attacks on police recruits. Whilst not encouraging anyone to join the PSNI, Gerry Kelly told the Newlsletter that: “I am making it directly clear now that there should be no intimidation or threats against new recruits.” He went on: “People should not participate in a police force which falls short more…