“The events of 1641 transformed Irish history and, as a result, can be justly said to have transformed British and world history as well.”

The BBC notes the online publication of controversial historical accounts of the 1641 rebellion in Ireland. It’s the result of a three-year project, led by researchers at the Universities of University of Cambridge and The University of Aberdeen and Trinity College Dublin, in which 19,000 pages of the original depositions were transcribed. From the 1641 depositions website Traditionally the rebellion was thought to be sufficiently explained as an inevitable response to the plantation in Ulster.  Nowadays most scholars see that as an oversimplification and … Read more

“More tea, Eamon?”

In the Irish Times Miriam Lord has a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ report from the main Irish political parties’ consensus meeting yesterday on the budgetary measures needed to get the economic situation under control.  From the Irish Times The Taoiseach has an idea. “Right lads. Boutros Boutros Gormley wants harmony. I’ll sing the verses and you two can join in on the chorus. What’ll we sing?” They start to snigger when they think of Gerry Adams locked outside in the cold. (Although this … Read more

Open thread: ‘Spending Review’

Mick is unable to give the coverage this deserves; discuss, add links, comments etc on the ‘Coalition’ review of finances below. Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com

Irish Times: “For Ireland’s political class the prospect of another [EU] treaty referendum is nightmarish”

Whether the European Commission succeeds in introducing its proposed directly levied EU taxes, including a possible EU-wide value-added tax (VAT), in the face of opposition from a number of national governments, remains to be seen. But we’re still looking at interesting EU times ahead… In agreeing new sanctions for countries in breach of EU budgetary rules, France and Germany are now calling for a permanent bail-out facility for Eurozone countries, before the current one expires in 2013. As the Irish Times reports … Read more

“the task of the forensic historical psephologist is not an easy one”

A perennial ‘hot topic’ amongst Slugger’s more excitable commenters is the alleged demographic imperative.  At one point even some of the local political parties were endorsing what they regarded as the inevitable… As a topic for discussion I find it neither enlightening, nor enlightened.  Culture and identity are not that simplistic. I’ve previously noted Brendan O’Leary, from the University of Pennsylvania, speaking at the British-Irish Studies annual conference in Dublin, ahead of his appearance on the International Representative for west Belfast’s recent whistle-stop World … Read more

Car crash TV – Ivan Yates style…

Former Fine Gael hotshot Ivan Yates had a bit of a car crash on Brendan O’Connor’s show on Saturday night. In brief – most people know him now as a bookie and a well-paid broadcaster on Newstalk where he is a vocal opponent of the current government (aren’t we all). He was a TD for 21 years and also Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for a few years in the 1990s. In the course of the interview Yates repeated most of the general criticisms of … Read more

Guido casts a cold eye on Anglo

Political blogger extraordinaire, Guido Fawkes has set the cat among the Dáil pigeons this evening with fascinating results. Guido has obtained and published a list of foreign Anglo-Irish bondholders as of the close of business tonight. The blogger states: Every child in Ireland is being bequeathed a huge debt at birth to protect the interests of foreign, mainly German, bondholders – why? Guido was once a bond trader, it was always understood that sometimes the bond issuer defaults. That is the … Read more

Slugger’s site moderation

Just a quick reminder: Slugger has a comments policy. Personal insults, smears and rudeness are not supposed to be tolerated here and we try to stay on top of this with the ‘delete’ key as much as we can. Normally, Mick picks up a lot of this kind of thing, applying his patience and charm (virtues that not all of us are blessed with). But Mick’s away at the moment and not able to get involved. We know that a … Read more

OFMDFM’s aspiration for the future – “why bother?”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Eamonn McCann picks up on the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust’s criticism of the “simplistic view” of culture and identity evident in the OFMDFM’s Cohesion, Sharing and Integration proposals. [added link] From the Belfast Telegraph article Policy could be aimed at bringing reality into alignment with existing aspirations, imagining what might be and asking: why not? The CSI document seems designed to bring aspirations down to the mundane here-and-now, asking: why bother? Conventional politics are constructed around a communal … Read more

Cowen: “I believe the pursuit of the national interest and the common good must have priority”

With Sinn Féin proposing some more taxes and borrowing here, it’s worth looking at what’s been happening there. On Saturday 9th October RTÉ noted Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s intial lukewarm response to Green Party leader John Gormley’s call for an all-party consensus on a four-year budget plan. Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he would welcome a political consensus on the budgetary measures needed to get the economic situation under control. However, he said it was up to the Opposition parties to put … Read more

There is a Better Way? Is there?

This morning, Sinn Féin launched it’s proposals for, essentially, raising revenues rather than making cuts. While there will be the usual knee-jerk dismissal in many quarters, they have at least published their strategy (which can be read here). Some cuts are being suggested, including a 15% pay cut for Stormont salaries, an end to renumeration of committee chairs plus a pay freeze for higher paid civil servants. Implementing the RPA with the projected cost savings of 400m is also included, … Read more

GAA: the Nation’s desire to live her own life, to govern her own affairs.

A question in the Assembly from Michelle McIlveen to Nelson McCausland suggested that Unionists are effectively barred from joining the GAA. While I’m delighted another DUP member has taken the time to read the GAA Official Guide, something many members have never done, I’m surprised they seem surprised to find an Irish cultural and sporting organisation doesn’t have a Unionist ethos. Both McIlveen and McCausland call for the GAA to change its rules. For those of us with experience of … Read more

Political Innovation no6: Citizen-control of personal information

This is a cross-post by William Heath – originally posted on the Political Innovation site here. If the big political innovation of the moment is to give power back to people, then a good place to do it is with personal data. Whose data is it anyway? Whose health, whose education, whose identity, whose shopping history, bank details, travel plans, creditworthiness? Yet all these personal details, which affect us, are stored on hundreds of state and private-sector databases. If I … Read more

All Ireland football? No. Our wee Province.

Lets get parochial. It seems only a few weeks ago Cork took Sam back to the Rebel County – maybe because it was just a few weeks ago? However, from now on down Down fans (mourning Mournemen?) and the rest of us get to forget the defeats and look forward to next year. Provincial football draws were made tonight! As Slugger is clearly an Ulster blog, I’ll only note the fixtures for the Anglo-Celt cup: Preliminary: Donegal v Antrim 1st … Read more

Images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat…

Some odd resonances around the globe this week, from Peru to Palestine via Banna Strand. Today, Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa was named as the recipient of this year’s Nobel prize for literature. Vargas Llosa has travelled a pretty scenic route from supporting Fidel Castro, to an unsuccessful presidental campaign in 1990, a Cervantes Prize in 1995 and, latterly, a comfy chair among the Peruvian centre-right. In the announcement of the award, the committee cited his cartography of structures of power and … Read more

Storyful: “There is no such thing as a scoop, just a story before its inflection point.”

Here’s a locally scribed manifesto for the future of the news from Mark Little (et al) from Storyful which puts its finger on a ‘reporting failure’ which manifests itself all over ‘big journalism’ (here and abroad): We believe every story starts with a single voice, not a conversation in a newsroom. There is no such thing as a scoop, just a story before its inflection point. Storyful’s golden rule is there is ALWAYS someone closer to the story. Real-time storytelling … Read more

“Ireland and Greece have no choice than ‘to do fairly dramatic things in as clear a manner as possible’.”

The BBC notes that credit rating agency Fitch have downgraded Ireland’s credit rating from AA- to A+ citing the recently announced cost of rescuing the Irish banking system. RTÉ adds The agency said it was cutting the rating to ‘A+’ from ‘AA-‘ due to what it called the greater than expected costs associated with the Government’s recapitalisation of the Irish banks, especially Anglo Irish Bank. The agency has put a negative outlook on the rating, meaning a further downgrade is … Read more

“sympathy is not the same as unequivocal support”

Pete has noted coverage of ESRC Northern Ireland 2010 Westminster Election Survey. The report came with shock and awe coverage: Newsletter: ALARMING new figures show that 14 per cent of nationalists sympathise with dissident republican terrorists. UTV: The survey by the University of Liverpool shows that 14% of the nationalist community have some “sympathy for the reasons” why groups like the Real IRA, the Continuity IRA and Óglaigh na hÉireann continue their campaign of violence. BBC: Fourteen per cent of … Read more

That’s the end of that

Back in July Chris noted the CAS dismissal of the IFA case over Daniel Kearns representing the Republic. At that point only a brief press release was available. As this finally ends any doubts on player eligibility and for completeness – here, at last, is the full CAS judgement and the arguments presented. Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com

“not quite Irish enough”

The Irish Times today gives space to a perennial whinge.  Freelance journalist Darach MacDonald complains that, living in Northern Ireland, he is “now deemed by geography to be not quite Irish enough” to vote in the forthcoming Irish presidential election – even though he could stand, and take office if elected. But, rather than extending the franchise, there is a more obvious solution to the apparent contradiction. Introduce a residency requirement for the office of the President of [the Republic … Read more