Region Archives: Ireland

Arlene Foster spoke no empty words. The road to renewed cross community cooperation may run through Dublin and Brussels

Arlene Foster’s demarche surely marks a truce or even peace  between the Irish government and the DUP in the squabbles over Brexit. It will also  consolidate Dublin’s  improving  relations with Westminster. All this is welcome. Neither wants a hard land border on the island or trade barriers between the Republic and Great Britain. It was more…

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” Change should not be allowed to weaken the relationships so painstakingly put together across these British Isles. “

DUP Leader Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster MLA speaking at the inaugural Killarney Economic Conference this morning. Whilst the referendum was a vote by the British people, the ripples that flow from the referendum result will be far reaching with long-term implications for people well beyond the shores of the United Kingdom.  And I appreciate and more…

David Stevens Memorial Lecture and Presentation of CRC Award for Exceptional Achievement, Parliament Buildings, Belfast, Northern Ireland. @NI_CRC #CRWeek15

Time for nationalism to provide representation based on an expansion of the future for ALL the people of Northern Ireland

So Brian’s cartoon made the News Letter’s editorial yesterday. I’ve only ever cited a leading article on a handful of occasions but this is worth noting… On one hand, it’s just a statement of what ought already to be obvious. But after a year of Sinn Fein propaganda, a lot of people seem to have been more…

“As with the hardest essay questions, there is no right answer but many wrong ones.”

Writing in the Guardian, “former Downing Street Brexit spokesperson”, Matthew O’Toole [no relation – Ed] has some intelligent, and interesting, things to say about “the psychology of imagined identity” here, and the task facing the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, as well as the UK Prime Minister in the next phase of more…

Reconciliation statue Photo by Amanda Slater

Courage of Kingsmills Victims Defied Sectarian Divide

Much ink has been spilled about the sorry Barry McElduff/Kingsmills loaf saga. Susan McKay’s analysis in Tuesday’s Irish Times is one of the most insightful, but bleak, contributions. It’s worth reading her full text, which brings her to this conclusion: The absence of reconciliation has never been more starkly apparent, and as usual, those most more…

What are we to make of the expert opinion that British intelligence reports of the past are being withheld for reasons that are ” increasingly random?”

The Guardian’s expert on the history of intelligence Richard Norton Taylor writes the following in an article on intelligence withheld  or released. Documents held back this year include files relating to the Scott inquiry into the arms-to-Iraq affair, a file on allegations of sexual abuse at the Kincora boys’ home in Belfast which the former army information officer more…

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“This is such a mess for Sinn Féin against the background of the party’s calls for respect and equality…”

Interesting coda to the McElduff saga… John Manley writes “according to Mr [Brian] Feeney, Mr McElduff ‘got off lightly’…” “This sanction was very lenient,” he told The Irish News last night. “He has done this sort of stuff before and been warned against it but still continues to play the clown.” The Irish News columnist more…

Making friends with the cat next door

One of the most disappointing things to come out of recent NI political history was Sinn Féin’s much-vaunted, but quickly forgotten, Unionist Outreach project. In theory, this had a lot of potential. In practice, it was like a toddler trying to make friends with a cat. To make friends with a cat, you have to more…

irish passport cover

Where do we put Ulster’s Irish passport office?

Holding an Irish passport has become quite the statement. Since the Brexit vote applications have surged for a number of reasons including re-asserting an Irish identity in Britain and the north respectively. Also by Britons that want to hold on to their European Union citizenship. Dagmar Schiek, Professor of Law at Queen’s University Belfast said that more…

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New Books for the New Year from Ó Tuama; Deeds and McManus

With a New Year comes new beginnings – or so the tyranny of the New Year’s Resolutions industry would have us believe. Resolutions can be a source of frustration rather than liberation, but there are few among us who do not give at least some pause for thought on how we might live better in more…

Some Predictions for 2018

Presidential Elections There will be more than one hat thrown in the ring along with that of Michael D. One party will break rank and expect the others to follow. Already conversations are taking place within Fianna Fáil about possible candidates. Expect the niceties of ‘we all think Michael D is doing a great job’ more…

AG-15-60A Imported milk prosecution

1986: Enforcement of prohibition on liquid milk imports into NI (but not buttermilk) #20YearRule

A slim green file AG/15/60A (selective scans) released under the 20 Year Rule and available to peruse at the Public Records Office deals with the vexed issue in 1986 of milk being illegally imported across the border from the Republic of Ireland and sold in Northern Ireland shops. Buttermilk wasn’t covered by the same import more…

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End of Ms O’Neill’s probationary year, whilst SF leadership may be ready to “unbrick” the Stormont car…

It’s nearly a year since Sinn Fein (in the singular knowledge that their then leader in the north was dying) collapsed Stormont into yet another seemingly interminable period of non-government by negotiation. In what amounts to her New Year message in the Irish News the present appointee to that position Michelle O’Neill slightly extends that more…

“Any political party that vetoes the re-establishment of the Northern Assembly until further human rights are recognised (or not) is putting the cart before the horse.”

As Newton Emerson pointed out in Saturday’s Irish News, Northern Ireland’s first human rights commissioner, and erstwhile “father of an all singing, all dancing Northern Ireland Human Rights Bill“, Professor Brice Dickson, has had something to say about ‘red lines’ and a ‘rights-based’ society.  From the Irish News article Northern Ireland’s first human rights commissioner, more…

CENT-1-20-69A May 1991 talks Paisley toilet DUP wordprocessors

1991: Negotiating a Strand 2 talks venue + complaints that Paisley was locked out of his toilet #20YearRule

One single buff-coloured file, three or four inches thick, contains the stapled minutes of NIO meetings with political parties in May 1991 as they negotiated about the strand one, two and three talks. While perhaps the single most frustrating file I’ve flicked through in PRONI over the last couple of years, the level of detail more…

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Poll records another jump in support for Irish Unity

A new poll out today conducted by Ireland Thinks for the Irish Daily Mail has recorded a jump in support in voters in the South f0r Irish Unity. Ireland Thinks interviewed a random sample of 1,144 adults aged 18+ by telephone between Thursday 14th December and Friday 22nd December 2017. This group carried out a more…