Denis Bradley: The Church Needs a Consultation of the Unfaithful

Writing in today’s Irish News, former priest Denis Bradley argues that what the Catholic Church needs to renew itself is a ‘consultation of the unfaithful.’ Reflecting on how aging priests, a lack of vocations, and vows of celibacy are symptomatic of a deeper malaise, Bradley rightly acknowledges that in recent years the Church has attempted more…

Leo Varadkar paper speech at QUB

Leo Varadkar: “we need to build more bridges and fewer borders”

LEO VARADKAR delivered a robust but polite lecture at Queen’s University Belfast this morning, his first public engagement in Northern Ireland in his new role as Taoiseach. The artfully crafted speech quoted local poets and Winston Churchill as well as ending with a positive story that echoed something he’d recently heard Jeffrey Donaldson say in more…

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The DUP heartland: who are the supporters? – Video from The Guardian…

Very slick video from The Guardian, well worth a watch. From The Guardian post: East Belfast is the heartland of Protestant, unionist politics and therefore, one would believe, the natural support for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party. The Guardian travelled to East Belfast to meet the core support for the party – which has just more…

Trouble with Referendums: who is accountable for its delivery?

Nick Cohen makes a point I shared privately with several Leave friends during the EU Referendum campaign last year: Vote Leave dissolved as soon as the contest was won. The referendum thus dispensed with the most basic democratic requirements. The winners were not accountable for the promises they made. In their history of the campaign, more…

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Sir Jeffrey’s cunning border plan

The other day, the Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP suggested on twitter : A country that uses electronic toll tag systems on 11 of its main roads can’t claim there isn’t a technological solution to a Brexit border Sir Jeffrey’s observation appears to be an attempt to suggest that the problems presented by a more…

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Report examining Brexit and a United Ireland launched

The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement launched a report today entitled  Brexit and the Future of Ireland Uniting Ireland & Its People in Peace & Prosperity.  The report examines issues around Brexit and the a United Ireland and is a lengthy document. Here are some of the key recommendations from more…

Belfast City Council to discuss bonfire motion

Belfast City Council will hold a special meeting tonight at 6:30pm to discuss a motion on bonfires brought by Sinn Fein. The text of the motion is as follows; “This Council is opposed to rogue bonfires where they present a threat to life, to property, to the environment, where they cause damage to public amenities and more…

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Slugger TV: Episode 4

Slugger O’Toole: Episode 4 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. Latest Slugger TV looking back at the political year so far with Jamie Pow from Northern Slant and Dr. Katy Hayward from Queens University, Belfast.

Education & Inequalities: Progress for Working-Class Protestant Boys; No Movement on Greater Catholic Inequality

In June, the Department of Education published the 2015/16 Qualifications and Destinations of NI School Leavers report, which outlines the academic performance of our pupils according to a range of criteria, including school types, gender, relative poverty and religious background of pupils. After the publication of the 2014/15 report 12 months ago, I wrote this more…

The limited case for Kevin

The limited case for Kevin

The Irish Times for which he once wrote and even more significantly the Jewish Council of Ireland have mounted a limited  defence of  Kevin Myers. As I labelled him a disgrace for the bonkers claim that two BBC presenters won bigger contracts because they were Jewish, I’m very happy to carry here the case for more…

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Redeeming ‘North-Southery’ from Complacency

Complacency about the peace, about power-sharing, about cross-border cooperation, about, even, EU membership has allowed the unthinkable to happen. Such things that we have cherished and, indeed, brandished around the world as a sign of success have become playthings, tossed lightly up in the air in acts of outrageous political hubris. One after the other more…

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Scenario Two: Nothing But The Single Market: Overview

Scenario two in the white paper, presents a much different picture of the future of Europe than that of scenario one (or what we recognise today). Under this scenario the EU recognises its failure to form a broad consensus on many of the critical issue facing the continent. Having found that issues such as migration, more…

Reek Sunday claims its price again

The Irish Times reports that thirteen people, including a ten year old boy, had to be rescued from Croagh Patrick yesterday during the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage. I climbed Croagh Patrick a couple of months back in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, and in memory of one of my wife’s ex-colleagues who more…