More from the irrascable Brendan O’Neill, who really can’t stand the patronising attitude of some towards the Irish football team’s sojourn in the World Cup. No doubt the fact that the Irish fans were seen as the best of the tournament is only more provocation. But in terms of public diplomacy, there are some benefits to being seen as ‘cuddly’! Mark Leonard of the Foreign Policy Centre’s latest book looks at the idea from a British point of view.
Trimble continues to apply pressure with the threat of leaving his post. Wrapped in similar metaphors, Nationalist commentator Maurice Hayes calls it marching, whilst Unionist columnist Steven King sees it as walking. This discussion explores some aspects of the two competing Unionist agendas. Some musing from Paul Fitzsimmons on the long term effect of extreme views clashing. The SDLP take on Sinn Fein over proliferation of flags in the streets. On the other side following the screening of the first … Read more
With a Panorama documentary on BBC TV tonight, papers are full of stories relating to alleged collusion between the police and the paramilitaries. David McKittrick, John Ware, and David Sharrock have all written extensive articles. Rumours of the impending collapse of the peace process unless there is an increase in the confidence of the Unionist population. Pressure continues to be applied to Blair to move against Sinn Fein over alleged breaches of the IRA ceasefire. Here’s an web discussion on … Read more
Peter Robinson’s appeal against the legality of the re-election of the First and Deputy First Minister comes to a head next Monday. It could lead to the meltdown, many have talked about and few outside the growing ranks of DUP supporters have wished for. Some commentators argue that breaking democratic rules has a limited lifespan in NI. Trimble takes the initiative with Sinn Fein. Malachi O’Doherty provides an interesting take on IRA military strategy during the peace process. There have … Read more
It’s summer and trouble continues: in the streets and in the political backrooms, though the real threat to Trimble may come in form of next month’s meeting of the UUP’s executive. In Belfast Mayor Maskey intends to embrace the Union Jack AND the Tricolour. His taking office after several previously failed attempts, marks the end of protestant Belfast, according to Andy Gimson in The Spectator. Eilis O’Hanlon highlights the double spin being played around last week’s trouble in East Belfast. … Read more
The forthcoming report by Metropolitan police commissioner Sir John Stevens into the Finucane murder finds collusion between the RUC and Loyalist paramiltaries and is causing it’s first rumbles today. Meanwhile leading Unionists claim that links between the Columbian leftist paramilitary group FARC and the IRA, indicate that Provisionals may have been over there testing new weapons. The Daily Telegraph suggests this is a breach of the IRA ceasefire. Perhaps the unseasonably early runctions on the streets of Belfast may mean … Read more
A bit further from the current street action and the cost of the Holy Cross dispute becomes clear. Johnny Adair’s brother is jailed for riotous behaviour at the time. New Lord Mayor Maskey visits the Presbyterian church. One Alliance counsellor pays the price for having street murals removed. Elsewhere famous Seamus Heaney warns of the disaffection and fury of the Protestant youth. Meanwhile further afield, a rock star from the south is more concerned with development of Africa than the … Read more
Argentina leave the World Cup and England under the cool hand of their Swedish manager fight on.
Looks like Reid is standing firm on the status of the ceasefires. Meanwhile the rioting has tempted the normally anti-Republican Malachy O’Doherty to make a strong attack on Loyalist tactics.
Full time: 3:0 It wasn’t always pretty, but it should do the team no harm to score three in open play. And what about England tomorrow? Here’s a Scottish perspective on the attitude of supporters in the Celtic Fringe towards England teams.
The big match against Saudi Arabia is coming up soon. Looks like controversial journalist and ex Republic of Ireland player Eammon Dunphy will be cooling his heels for a while after a controversial week or two trying to attack the Ireland manager Mick McCarthy. He has put his head above the parapet once too often and nearly (unfairly according to some) had it shot off.
The Short Strand has it’s back to several walls whilst East Belfast loyalists’ ceasefire is being strained to the limit. Nationalists call Unionists to account for loyalist violence as Gerry Adams claims much of the violence is down to a weakness in Unionist leadership, a claim disputed strongly by Ian Paisley Junior.
Threads of the backstory to the Short Strand troubles are beginning to emerge from the Catholic and the Protestant perspective. Looks like the loyalist paramilitaries are in breaking out in many different areas. Even as the peace process ‘continues’ David McKittrick points out that this has brought a split level reality in which the middle classes enjoy a kind of peace and prosperity whilst those caught in working class areas have to put up with an acceptable degree of lawlessness. … Read more
Threads of the back story to the Short Strand troubles are beginning to emergefrom the Catholic and the Protestant perspective. Looks like the loyalist paramilitaries are in breaking out in many different areas. Even as the peace process ‘continues’ David McKittrick points out that this has brought a split level reality in which the middle classes enjoy a kind of peace and prosperity whilst those caught inworking class areas have to put up with an acceptable degree of lawlessness. Meanwhile … Read more
John Cole probes the limitations of the current ‘peace‘.
The Short Strand has seen most of the disturbances over the long holiday weekend in which there were shootings and several Protestants moved out of their homes. There will no doubt be a number of different interpretations as to the hows and the whys. Father Des Wilson suspects that the trouble is related to the Maskey’s election as Mayor. The major Unionist reaction was David Trimble’s call for a government review of the ceasefires. There has been some heated discussion … Read more
The Irish are noted for being true to their identity for generations after they have left the ‘oul sod’, but Brendan O’Neill for one thinks it is time to draw a line under sentimental attachment to the country!
The big news of the day was the amazing result for the Republic of Ireland. The result sent Ireland’s top pundit deeper into despair after his predictions of his own country’s annihilation at the hand of Cameroon and the Germans crashed and burned, very publicly! Cameroon’s 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia makes Ireland’s job crystal clear. Meanwhile in the North David Alderdice of the Alliance party explains why he backed Maskey to become the first Republican mayor of Belfast. Unionist … Read more
New Lord Mayor of Belfast
This is the first post. The rest should follow. News on politics and gossip and things regarding Northern Ireland and it’s future.