Aftermath

As Nigel Dodds was welcomed to the home of Gerard Lawlor, Denis Bradley called for greater protection of Catholic areas. Suzanne Breen asks if anyone cares about the fate of any of the working class of North Belfast – Catholic or Protestant.

Not Northern Ireland…

Phillip Murphy has a new definition of political opposites. According to his post on 13th July, we are either shaken or stirred!

More on the Commons statement

David Trimble leads the comment on the Government state with his own article in the Daily Telegraph this morning. He suggests that Reid’s words are a hint of positive action, but that it falls short of specific action to be taken against breaches of the various ceasefires. Towards the end he questions Sinn Fein’s commitment more…

From other Irish weblogs

Thanks to fellow blogger Brendan O’Neill for featuring the Letter at the top of his short piece on Irish weblogs. Our stats software has packed up for the rest of the week apparently, so I have no idea how many are reading it just now. If you have any comments, please send them in. Terry more…

Mixed reactions

There is some cautious optimism that today’s statement by Tony Blair will have the desired effect, though Jeffrey Donaldson holds on to the hard bottom line: “Anything that falls short of an effective exclusion mechanism is not worth the paper it’s written on,” he insisted. “Equally, the idea that we can draw a line under more…

Focus switches to Blair

Today’s expected statement from the British Prime Minister is not expected to end the on-going crisis in the political process. It looks like Blair will offer a tightening of the criteria of what constitutes a breach of the ceasefire. It is not clear whether he will commit himself to specific sanctions. Brian Walker is decidedly more…

Demographic nightmare

If both sides are to be believed then no one is to blame for the ongoing nightmare in North Belfast. Still there is something quite chilling in the latest statement from Loyalists with regard to recent violence. It is forthwrite, simple and completely unapologetic: The senior loyalist said that Mr Lawlor had been killed in more…

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

There is an inevitable gloom gathering once again over North Belfast, in the wake of the killing of Gerard Lawlor early yesterday morning. Loyalists claim the killing, but insist that it was in response to “…the onslaught against the Protestant community by the republican gunmen”. Further action is threatened if there is no abatement. That more…

From 1954…

There are some great old articles to be found on the Atlantic Monthly site. In 1954, John V Kelleher in discussing partition suggested that: “The history of the problem is nearly irrelevant to its solution. Three present factors count: religious differences, the failure of either state to create within its own borders a vigorously healthy more…

What next?

Trimble puts the responsibility for keeping law and order on Blair. And there are signs that Blair may go some way to back-up Trimble’s call for a tougher and more transparent approach to breaches of the ceasefires. Though it is clear a majority Unionist population at large holds Sinn Fein responsible for the current destablising more…

Street killing

The street violence of the last week or so claimed it’s first death yesterday; he was one of several others injured. It’s difficult to gauge exactly what triggered it off this time, but the Newsletter reports that Loyalist patience is growing thin in some interface areas.

IRA

Finally, for the first time in many years, the coverage in the media seems to be looking at Ulster Unionist problems with some degree of sympathy. Henry McDonald leads the way with a short but pithy analysis of where the epicentre of the current crisis may actually lie. “Arguably the greatest paradox of the peace more…

Counting costs

And a last word of the week to Jack Holland, who is fed up with the endless rounds of ‘whatboutery’ that we are all inclined to locked into – and nowhere moreso than in cyberspace. For a great choice of NI news links throughout the working week Newshound is the best single source.

End of Agreement?

With little left in the game for pro-agreement Unionists except electoral humiliation next May, they will likely collapse all institutions, bin the Good Friday Agreement and throw the peace process back a stage. “Assembly elections are due to be held in May next year, but unionists have warned the body could have been dissolved and more…

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Here’s an in-depth article giving good background to the Catholic-Protestant change in fortunes. It’s almost worth registering with the New York Times for!!

Trimble: Biography of an enigma

Just finished reading Henry McDonald’s biog of Trimble (US). One of those last minute impulse buys waiting for an early morning flight out of Aldergrove. And still Trimble largely remains the enigmatic creature he was before. However the book is a useful reference for some of the action we’ve had since April 1998 (though it more…

Stop, go again

The story of the peace process post Belfast Agreement seems to have been one of deadlines. Despite the apology from the IRA the UUP still intend to stick to theirs on 24th July. But, in this ‘theatre-in-the-round’, nothing is as planned and predictable as it once was in Ulster, and the main players are more more…

Census 2001: Some preliminary thoughts

There’s only weeks to go before the results of the 2001 census are announced, we’ve not heard much in recent times about the demographic timebomb that awaits the Northern Ireland electorate. Though the proportion of the electorate voting Nationalist has risen exponentially in the last 30 years, the implications are not as clear-cut as it more…

IRA apology

As you might imagine the big story of the day is the latest statement from the IRA. Most punters are predictably split on what (if any significance) it has for the ‘ailing’ peace process. The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern welcomed the statement, whilst David Trimble immediately countered it with the suggestion that “the apology from the more…

Conservative policy

Simon Heffer believes Trimble has no choice but to move rightwards. Conor Cruise O’Brien pops his head above the parapet for the first time in a while and gives more immediate counsell: “What Trimble and all other unionists should be doing right now is keeping the spotlight on Colombia and the IRA’s links with FARC. more…