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 and had to leave the chamber when he refused to rescind it. Otherwise it seems to have been a relatively sedate affair, with Ian Paisley …

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Policing drama

Gerry Adams rejects the Alliance party’s initiative to bring in an independent monitor of the ceasefires. Several protestants living within the Short Strand have claimed (sub needed) that all the violence in the area is being orchestrated by loyalists. One such said: “I was brought up to respect the police, but I don’t have any respect for them now,” a homeowner said. “I’ve been living here for 20 years and, in the last four to five years, I’ve seen a …

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Cultural dialogue

Well worth the read is loyalist Billy Mitchell’s ongoing dialogue with republican Sean Smyth at the Blanket.

Unionist backroom

Duncan Shipley Dalton, viewed by many nationalists as one of the more consistently progressive voices within the UUP, may be one of several ‘Doves’ asked to leave their seats in the next election to make room for the new ‘Hawks’ David Burnside and Jeffrey Donaldson. In a recent interview with Malachi O’Doherty, the newly appointed editor of Fortnight magazine, Mark Durkan ruled out a pro-agreement electoral pact with the UUP: “Yes, the two parties are the planks which support the …

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The effect of 9/11 on Ulster

Good workmanlike analysis on the reaction amongst Loyalists and Republicans to Bush’s call for a ‘war on terrorism’. It opens, with the almost brutal observation, that “Churchill once remarked that not even the cataclysm of the First World War altered the integrity of our ‘quarrel’ here.” And goes on to conclude, “…the ‘war on terrorism’ has given fresh impetus to our old quarrel and has been bad for local community relations”.

Other Weblogs

Since the demise of the Daypop search, it is difficult to find other good (or even bad) weblogs that even come next to the subject of politics in Northern Ireland. However, I have just found this one on British Politics this morning by pure accident. Airstrip One occasionally has great links on Irish stories under its general heading of Foreign Affairs, one I’ll keeping an eye on. If anyone has any more they recommend, let me know! And one more: …

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Sinn Féin agus Dílseoirí agus an Príomh-Chonstáblacht nua?

Cuireann Robert McMillan an ceist seo isteach orainn: “An ábhar dóchais é seo, nó an bhfuil na páirtithe a bhfuil baint acu le paramílitigh ag iarraidh cumhacht a roinnt ina gceantracha féin?” Mí scéal maith é go bhfuil cruinniú speisialta den Chomhairle Aontachtach le bheith ann níos moille sa mhí seo. Bfheidir gurb é Príomh-Chonstáblacht Sheirbhís Phóilíneachta Thuaisceart Éireann an post póilíneachta is dúshlánaí san Eoraip. Dúirt beirt chomhaltaí den Bhord Póilíneachta, a bhí ar an bhord agallaimh, Fred Cobain …

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Record number of immigrants

Short report from Brian Lavery at the New York Times. “Ireland recorded its highest immigration figures on record in the year to April, when 47,500 people moved into the country. Irish people returning home from abroad continue to make up the largest group of immigrants, 38 percent of the total, and more immigrants came from England than anywhere else. Emigration fell for the third consecutive year, to 18,800 people. A census in April found the Irish population at 3.9 million, …

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US-Ireland business summit

Haass lays emphasis on political leaders to create the right environment for economic growth. The Sunday Business Post took the message to be “Make your own jobs”.

Unionist backroom

Trimble confesses his concern for the future of the SDLP. The First Minister and Deputy First Minister face criticism from a devolution monitoring group, over the numbers of staff in their departments. “Democratic Dialogue argued the office was growing “like Topsy” while Downing Street had a total of 190 staff and Merrion Street in Dublin 205.” Barry White says that nationalists should get used to the idea that the whole agreement will be subject to re-negotiation, whether the DUP comes …

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Crazy Keane

It’s hard to credit just how much the Roy Keane book has exercised the Irish press over the last month. Now the book is finally published there is no lessing in the volume of newsprint expended. It has even had overflow into the north, provoking an ex-member of Sinn Fein to weigh in against the ‘fallen hero’ in a most unlikely defence of Linfield Football Club. Mick McCarthy may not be above criticism over his handling of the Keane affair …

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Flags and things

One of the more colourful events last week was the raising of Alex Maskey’s tricolour, to join the Union Jack, put there by one his predessors, Reg Empey. For some like Gearóid Ó Cairealláin, putting one up beside the other is a matter of equality, rather than in any measure republican triumphalism. Indeed some of the immdiate heat seems to be leaving the issue fairly speedily. Unionists should not get too hot under the collar counsells the Newsletter in its …

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Policing drama

Looks like the new straight-talking Chief Constable is earning some new friends in un-expected places, even as the Garda Siochana come under increasing criticism. Still Sinn Fein are resisting the recent call from Professor Des Rea to join the new regional Partnership Boards, and even producing evidence that police were inactive against Loyalists during attacks on Catholics in East Belfast. Then again it is possible that the Minister for Education could find himself in court facing a civil action brought …

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Castlereagh affair

Something’s cooking! American Larry Zaitschek, chef at Castlereagh on the day of the robbery is under investigation. Though he’s now in the US police are seeking his extradition, whilst his ex-wife is being held under guard. Brian Rowan gives a broad outline of the case.

Policing drama

McQuillan’s statement, since condemned by Reg Empey for lack of balance, encourages McGuinness to attack anti-agreement Unionists. Meanwhile, the long term corrosion in civil society continues, David Gordon asks, ‘Who’s in charge?’. A Police Federation spokesman warns of the longer term consequences. John Reid states, there is no alternative to continuing Police reform. Update: Crime wave in Derry continues.

The world and Northern Ireland

Fair play to David Trimble. As Eammon McCann points out in his column in last night’s Belfast Telegraph: “To adapt an ancient remark – Typical! Given the choice between saving the planet and saving the Ulster Unionist Party, Trimble takes the easy option…” Just across the North Channel, the whole event was seen in vastly different terms. Yes, there was a healthy dose of scepticism, but right from the beginning both media politicians were much more willing to engage intelligently …

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New mayor's new flag

Alex Maskey’s been re-decorating his parlour in City Hall (more).

Unionist backroom

David Trimble enjoys an unpressured meeting with Cyril Ramaphosa before coming back to the hothouse that is Northern Ireland. More speculation on the upcoming meeting of the UUC here and here.

Interface

As a relative calm comes back to the interface areas, the weighing up of an impossible summer for residents on both sides of the peace wall. John Reid gets a rough ride after seeing both sides at Short Strand, as David Ford called here. He calls for people to rise above the blame game, though Orde believes that Loyalists are behind the majority of the violence.