Loyalist feud?

Speculation grows of a major feud, this time primarily between the LVF and the UDA. Rosie Cowan suggests that Johnny Adair may also be getting drawn off-side of his own organisation, which may lead to a serious split in that organisation.

Nationalist backroom

Danny Morrison on Unionist speculation over the exclusion of Sinn Fein. “When the first IRA cessation was announced in August 1994 loyalists jubilantly painted on gable walls that the IRA had surrendered. Unionists, such as Sir Reg Empey, claimed that the cessation represented a major defeat for republicans and that in the Good Friday Agreement more…

Unionist dilemma

Paul Bew in the FT today says: “Mr Trimble’s critics have one big weakness: they do not have a clue what to do next. They dream about a form of devolution that denies Sinn Féin a place in the administration of the province. That was always implausible. It became inconceivable as soon as Sinn Féin more…

Policing drama

It seems that all parties have accepted the legitimacy of the policing board, all but for Sinn Fein. Even implacable opponents like the GAA have lifted their ban on Northern security forces from playing the game, and it is to be symbolically swept away in style next month in a competitive match between the Garda more…

Ceasefire monitor

Henry McDonald reports that Sinn Fein were on board for the introduction of the proposed new post, until the IRA finally vetoed it.

Unionist backroom

Despite Duncan Shipley Dalton’s decision to quit politics, Ronan Fanning notes there are passionate and strident voices within the UUP willing to sell the benefits of the Belfast Agreement but that Trimble may not have the stomach for such strident advocacy. In the short term, Trimble seems confident of getting a positive outcome to next more…

Bertie bowl

Looks like the GAA might be in danger of losing €60million, because of the failure to build a national stadium for the proposed joint Irish-Scottish bid for the soccer European Championship: “..the GAA’s chances of still getting the money have not been helped by the association’s outright rejection of the Taoiseach’s request that Croke Park more…

Policing drama

Alex Attwood launches an offensive against Sinn Fein. Blair says Policing levels are crucial. Anthony McIntyre highlights the dilemma one man finds himself in; under threat from Loyalists and Republicans over what appears to be a dispute between families and cannot, on principle, go to the police.

Ceasefire monitor

Despite the rejection of the Alliance party proposal for a ceasefire monitor by the IRA, it looks like it might go ahead regards of the thoughts of the Republican movement. Though as the Examiner points out, “Whatever transpires, it is highly unlikely that anybody other than the Northern Secretary will have the ultimate decision on more…

The trouble with interfaces

Interesting piece from from BBC correspondent Brian Walker. The meeting in question is a yearly coming together of politicians, community workers and various classes of academics and is held under confidentiality rules. He highlights one particularly interesting thought: “…community workers on both sides of the west Belfast peaceline believed that ever higher peace walls, now more…

Unionist backroom

Unionist commentator Steven King, who has had an interesting, if very indirect, public tennis match with Peter Robinson in the last few weeks (see here and here), raises some important points in last night’s Belfast Telegraph. Addressing the dissidents in the UUP, he suggests that they as a party have to play a winable game, more…

Policing drama

Trimble comes out with a victory to hand his party on 21st September, the Police Reserves are to stay. Blair pledges his backing for the Police Service. David Ford of the Alliance party renews his support for an independent ceasefire monitor, saying: “There is an assumption that uncomfortable truths are being swept under the carpet more…

Sectarianism debate

There’s a fairly comprehensive write-up of the debate we first reported here, in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph. The original motion from Gerry Kelly Sinn Fein, condemned all forms of sectarianism, but without naming any practical means to tackle it. This was followed by amendments from Ian Paisley DUP and then Esmond Birnie UUP and Alex Attwood more…

Interface; who's to blame?

Maybe that’s too big a question. What about, who started it? Or even, who continued it when they could have stopped? Although it seems from Alan McQuillan’s recent statement that the current trouble is being driven by dissident loyalists, the truth is this trouble exists in a very nasty continuum. The defence you’ll hear from more…

Meaninglessness of 'Terrorism'

Suzanne Breen’s thoughtful probing of a word that means all things to all men: “The White House works with terrorists and terrorist states – bin Laden in his mujahedin days and Saddam during the war with Iran – when it suits its strategic purposes. It entertains Provo leaders at official receptions but wants bin Laden, more…

Nationalist backroom

On the subscription based Irish News site, Brian Feeney is exercised about the forthcoming election (whenever it happens), and in particular the behaviour of the dissidents within the UUP. He writes: “..they have no intention of being satisfied with anything less than Trimble’s departure and the agreement’s collapse. What makes Trimble’s position even more imponderable more…

Policing drama

Tom Constantine warns that the pressure must be keep up for continuing reforms of the police, but that the constant rioting of the type witnessed through the summer is presenting a real threat to such reforms (more here).

TV presenter unites politicians

Eammon Holmes, Belfast born anchorman on a popular UK breakfast tv programme, has drawn support from leading members of the Orange Order and Sinn Fein for his recent attack on Belfast’s lawlessness. They all agreed that Belfast is filthy, and needs to be cleaned up fast.

Meetings, meetings and more meetings

Gerry Adams rejects ceasefire monitor, as part of a ‘Save Dave’ campaign. Another roudn of meetings is to take place: Adams-Reid; Trimble-Adams; and Durkan-Blair. Update: Trimble-Adams talks ‘useful’ “Crisis peace process talks between the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams have broken up without comment from either politician.”

Sectarianism debate

Hot off the press. In a frantic session this afternoon, the relatively mild mannered Patrick Roache was expelled from the Chamber for the rest of the sitting. One Alliance Party representative said, “it has been very heated and Mr Paisley is having a field day”. It appears he accused Gerry Kelly of being a murderer more…