Region Archives: Ireland

“….a need to develop a coherent, clear and warm relationship between people in the two jurisdictions”

As delivered by Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh TD in Glenties tonight at the MacGill Summer School. Edwin Poots was in the audience (see Gerry Moriarty’s report tonight), with Mary Lou McDonald (abreviated), Katy Hayward, David Gavaghan and moderated by Denis Bradley: A few years ago I travelled to Stormont with around a dozen Fine more…

“School’s out for Summer Schools”: The Week In Irish Politics

So that’s it. The political term over and done with. Politicians off on their holidays and the lights all off in Leinster House. They’re all in Marbella, Magaluf or Corfu. At least that’s the impression you get any time you read the papers upon the rising of the houses of the Oireachtas for any recess. more…

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Review of One Man, One God: The Peace Ministry of Fr Alec Reid

For many years the labours that constituted Fr Alec Reid’s (1931-2013) life work remained behind closed doors. It had to be that way: what he was doing was much too sensitive to be public knowledge. We have known for some time that Reid instigated secret talks that helped kick-start the Northern Ireland peace process. He more…

Ireland top of the Agenda in Today’s Brexit Negotiations

Today sees Ireland take centre stage in the Brexit negotiations.  The border, along with the UK’s divorce bill and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, are the three headline areas where significant progress must be made before negotiations move towards a free trade agreement. Although Brexit Secretary David Davis has headed back more…

Detail from the book cover to John Lloyd's book.

Now might be a good time to start a ‘slow journalism’ movement…?

Interesting spat over the media and politics, between Denis Bradley and Stephen Nolan. My own thoughts fall into two parts: one, this is not new nor specific to Northern Ireland; and two, in insisting Nolan carry the can, the abject nature of the general news cycle gets off the hook. Any opportunity to reference John Lloyd’s more…

“Rainy Days Back In Fashion”: The Week In Irish Politics

Another week, another glimpse of ‘new politics’ at work in Dáil Éireann. The Green party’s Waste Reduction Bill, (co-sponsored by Labour as the Greens are short on number in the chamber), passed to committee stage late last night. It did so with the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats and a host more…

Orangemen on parade in the Province of Connacht on 9th of July 2017

That time again…

No doubt over the next few days there will be television and newspaper coverage (and not forgetting the boul Facebook of course) that will once again portray Orangemen as evil and wicked two headed demons from the netherworld, whose sole reason for existence is to tramp poor Catholics into the mud. It is the perspective more…

“it is tempting to conclude that SF has no strategy…”

From yesterday’s Irish News, Patrick Murphy, once again, making direct contact with the head of the nail. While the DUP’s future role in Westminster is far from predictable, it is easy to understand. Sinn Féin’s strategy, however, is less clear. Indeed it is tempting to conclude that SF has no strategy, other than to prolong more…

“What a load of rubbish”: The week in Irish politics

“What a load of rubbish!” – This is a common refrain from many a voter when listening to politicians rattle on. This week though, there was no denying that their assessment was on the money, literally. Talk of waste charges dominated the political dialogue in and around Dáil Éireann in recent days. Talks of increased more…

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Should the Republic of Ireland Stay in the EU?

Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett has written a detailed report for the UK think-tank Policy Exchange entitled After Brexit, Will Ireland be Next to Exit? He argues that Ireland should seriously consider whether or not it stays in the European Union, and he appears to favour an Irish exit. The issues raised by Bassett certainly deserve serious deliberation. more…

“six months later nothing seems to have replaced that philosophy beyond aggressively taking on the DUP…”

Ahead of the likely suspension of open party political hostilities briefings to the media for the summer, the News Letter’s Sam McBride has an interesting piece in search of a Sinn Féin strategy.  [There’s a strategy?! – Ed]  Just tactics… From the News Letter Long forgotten are the days when Martin McGuinness warmly recalled how more…

The Case for the Republic of Ireland to Leave the EU

Former Irish diplomat, Ray Bassett, has written a 41-page analysis for the UK think-tank Policy Exchange, entitled: After Brexit, Will Ireland be Next to Exit? The huge choice facing Ireland is whether, given the circumstances, the country can live with the likely post Brexit arrangements and so stay a full member of the European Union; or more…

A new approach to deadlock in Northern Ireland

  A unique coincidence of events Standing back, it’s easy enough to see why the latest Assembly crisis is the longest and most intractable for over a decade. Unusually in recent times and in sharp contrast to the heady days of the Good Friday Agreement, this breakdown is set against background of momentous upheaval which more…

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The Week in Irish Politics

After a roller-coaster first week in office, the new Varadkar administration would have viewed their second week as a cake walk by comparison. With both sides of the house still smarting from a row over judicial appointments, they were all keen to move on. “We definitely do not want to cause a needless election” seemed more…

Resorting to law for violating impartiality won’t end political deadlock but fresh Westminster legislation now just might

It always happens, doesn’t it, that when political deadlock becomes tighter, legalistic arguments become more obsessive. It’s a hoot to claim that the once great  hero of the GFA  and now  the great scapegoat for all that’s gone wrong anywhere, anytime Tony Blair, conned the poor innocent parties to the St Andrew’s Agreement over an more…