IRA break with decommisioning body

The IRA has broken contact with the disarmament body. As Cathal, a reader of the letter, has suggested, this may simply be a case of one suspension in return for another. Brian Lavery reports in the New York Times: “A British government spokesman for Northern Ireland said the statement was ‘not entirely surprising’ because the I.R.A. withdrew cooperation from the arms inspectors after the previous suspension. ‘This is nonetheless a matter for regret,’ he added.” Trimble’s reaction. A snub to … Read more

Adams speech: policing

Adams sketches the Sinn Fein position on policing: “We are arguing for the Good Friday Agreement vision of policing to become a reality. And that means the British government moving beyond its Weston Park position. It also means that the Irish government and the SDLP need to assert this as a matter of the unfinished work of the Good Friday Agreement. An acceptable policing service is crucial for all sections of our people in the north. It is also in … Read more

Independence for NI?

Paul Fitzsimmons outlines the way in which independence might be acheived through a four point implimentation plan.

Portadown News

This week’s edition. Check out this little gem. It’s advice from the US War Dept to its soldiers in Ulster during the last World War. We well may be coming back to this again over the next week or so.

Another Irish subject blogger

We’ve just had this weblog brought to our notice, by Emily at Hawk Girl. It seems to be written by a conservative Irish American in New Mexico. Much of the Irish content seems focused on comment and links to the Sunday Independent.

Belfast loses out on Culture bid

Despite some raised hopes, the dour view of Belfast’s chances won the day, and the BBC announces that the City has not been shortlisted for European City of Culture.

United Ireland: a European model

Henry McDonald is on the bank of the River Saar, one of the natural boundaries between Germany and France. He muses on the possibilities of using the European context to provide the Belfast Agreement with a stable framework. “The buildings on the French side are shabbier, the paintwork faded, graffiti more commonplace than over in Germany. The two peoples cling on to their distinctive national characteristics through culture, sport, cuisine and so on. The idea, however, that these differences could … Read more

Derry sporting success

Whilst the new secretary of state held a reception for the victorious Armagh and under 21 Derry Gaelic football teams at Stormont last night, Derry City fans were still celebrating the rehabilitated fortunes of their own soccer club and their victory in the FAI Cup.

Bloody Sunday: order to shoot ringleaders

“General Sir Robert Ford, 78, told the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that he suggested the best way to help maintain law and order was to “shoot selected ringleaders” among the Bogside’s rioters.” More here. Story in the Independent.

War is over

Martin McGuinness tells documentary makers that his war is over. Update: More on the BBC. Trimble welcomes remarks.

Church in crisis

Malachi O’Doherty on the need for the Catholic church embrace radical action in the face of recent revelations.

Adams speech: Blair

Adams refers to Blair’s recent speech at Belfast Harbour: “Mr. Blair’s speech last week, understandably, was portrayed in the media as no more than a call for the IRA to disband. He is bound to understand why that has angered republicans. But it was a serious and detailed speech and I said at the time that it deserved a considered response. And having looked at it carefully I do see some positive elements. “Mr. Blair recognised that Catholics had been … Read more

Unionist backroom: selling the agreement?

UUP representative says that the North South bodies come closer to recognising Sir James Craig’s vision of normalised relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic than stepping stones on the way to a united Ireland.

Tábhacht dhaonáireamh na Sé Chontae

Tá an Mhatamaitic an-tábhachtach i saol an pháiste agus níos tábhachtaí fós i saol pháistí na Sé Chontae. Níos mó le Robert McMillan in alt a scriobh sé anuraidh.

Republican backroom: dual consent

Just as a few months ago much of the comment on Letter to Slugger O’Toole reflected the overwhelming press interest in Unionism, we are now going through a spate of articles by and about Republicans. Danny Morrison believes he has a scoop.

Exclusion motion fails

A conservative motion to oust Sinn Fein from their Westminster offices failed in the House of Commons yesterday.

Adams speech: expectations

He touches on the expectations that have been raised by the peace process for Republicans: “Our task in the decade ahead is to provide the leadership needed to challenge the status quo. Our goal must be to exercise the political will and resolve to ensure that the voices of the neglected and deprived in our society are given their rightful place in decision making in the future. “This is the New Ireland we are struggling for. An Ireland of equals. … Read more

Call for Republican leadership

Paul Dunne has a compendium of responses to Adams. But the most interesting thing I’ve read to date was written in anticipation of, rather than in reponse to Saturday’s speech. John Lloyd has consistently made the case for the Trimble’s position, however he chooses to concludes this longish and largley predictable article (subscription needed) by suggesting Republicans could play a key role in bringing the process to a successful conclusion: “There is a role that no republican or nationalist has … Read more

Adams speech: all Ireland policies

He goes on to outline the issues to be addressed through social policies: “Across the island there are over 1 million people who are education poor. One in four Irish adults have some form of literacy problem. In this state over 54,000 thousand families are on local authority housing waiting lists. In the six counties it is estimated that 2000 people die prematurely every year because of poverty and that over a quarter of households in the North are enduring … Read more

Irish post-famine boom put it ahead of Germany

Winner of this month’s Bizarre Headline Award, this article (requires registration or subscription for readers outside Europe) begins with the apparently startling revelation that: “IRELAND was the seventh richest country in the world in 1870, according to new research. Far from being the economic backwater that is commonly portrayed in history books, the country enjoyed a boom in the late 19th century on a par with the modern Celtic tiger.” This conclusion arises from the work of two academics, Frank … Read more