Region Archives: Ireland

A plea to Gerry Adams from a Falls Road boy

In recent times we often hear the narrative that has been orchestrated so carefully by apologists for Sinn Fein – namely the huge personal risks that Adams and Mc Guinness took for peace. I do not believe that such an argument is credible. The people that really took the risks for peace down the years more…

Three things we know about Brexit..

Nicholas Whyte reports on three things we now know about Brexit: According to Barnier the British are talking about a Canada type model, no sector by sector deals and no passporting for the financial sector. The Irish border issue is serious and as yet has no solution (which is why the Taoiseach has been upping more…

Brexit and the border is widening the gap between London and Dublin and depressing further the chances of a return to Stormont

It has started to happen. Will it continue?  Can it be reversed? The politics of Brexit  is openly dividing the UK and Irish governments and further polarising the DUP and Sinn Fein,  making a return to the Executive less likely than ever.  Predictably Brexit is increasingly becoming domesticated as the new big theme  in a more…

Gerry Adams and Robert Mugabe have something in common

How ironic that the eras of Mugabe and Adams are drawing to a close at roughly the same time. Both are men of blood. Both remained in office for unhealthily long periods of time, reflecting the essentially undemocratic nature of their political machines and their origins in armed insurgency. It now turns out that neither more…

A crunch on the border is not in Ireland’s interests

“What we want to take off the table, before we even talk about trade, is any idea that there would be a hard Border, a physical Border, or a Border resembling the past . . . Then we’d be happy to move on to phase two.” “The UK insists that the issue cannot be tackled more…

20110910 Gerry Adams

Fresh start for Sinn Fein, or a case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”?

And so tonight, Gerry goes. Or does he? Henry McDonald writing yesterday: …sources within the mainstream Irish republican movement and veteran Adams-watchers believe the 69-year-old will still hold the centre of power in Sinn Féin from behind the scenes long after his official successor is elevated to the top post. Having survived as head of his party more…

Brexit is in a mess, but not irretrievably

Want to know where we really are on Brexit? In  three words, in a mess. Can we get out of it?   Possibly at the eleventh hour, 10 pm on Friday 19 March 2019, just like the Good Friday Agreement in fact. Nothing  is agreed until everything is agreed. As so often – like the Stormont more…

Enniskillen 30 Years On: Geraldine Smyth on Forgiveness and Mercy in the Public Square

An article by Joe Humphreys in today’s Irish Times marking the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bomb bears the headline: ‘Thirty years after Enniskillen: Can forgiveness transcend terrorist atrocities?’ Humphreys highlights the well-known words of forgiveness offered in the bomb’s immediate aftermath by Gordon Wilson, whose daughter Marie died in the atrocity. He also recognizes the words of more…

Real work to restore the Executive has yet to begin. For the public to make an impact, proposals and pressure from the governments are essential

As a comparative outsider I’m struck by how most commentators are obsessed with speculating about political positioning and identity narratives. This has produced numbing negativism and  despair  rather than the energy needed to approach the daunting but practical problem of trying to restore the Executive.  Being case hardened and calloused, they endlessly refine their own explanations for more…

ESRC Festival NI 2017 programme

SOAPBOX: Can the economy be Irish? #ESRCfestival

SOAPBOX – The OU’s Dr Leslie Budd recalls economist George Shackle’s observation that to be an economist one has to be an anthropologist, political scientist, mathematician, philosopher, and sociologist with an interest in economics. It is these characteristics that are vital in creating a narrative and conversation about Brexit. Irish storytelling could help address the more…

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Sinn Féin moves towards a change in abortion policy

Responding to questioning from journalist Amanda Ferguson yesterday Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has confirmed that he supports women’s right to choose. Sinn Féin’s Vice-President Mary-Lou McDonald has also made it clear that whilst she respects her party’s current policy (Repeal the Eighth Amendment & enact legislation on the grounds of rape, incest, and fatal foetal more…

To solve the Catalan crisis, pay homage to Britain

The Catalonian campaign for independence is a phenomenon of our times,  like the Scottish. They both claim they are ancient entities enjoying sufficient cohesion to go it alone and find their own balance between globalisation (the great big world now closer to all of us than ever) and self sufficiency ( provided it comes under more…

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This Halloween spare a thought for the forgotten turnip…

As we approach Halloween, we should remind ourselves that as a people who have fought and continue to fight to preserve our rich cultural heritage protecting cultural traditions going back hundreds of years, it is with irony that one observes this week a cultural tradition that the Irish exported to the United States, now being more…