Region Archives: Northern Ireland

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The expansion of the Ulster waist-line is threatening to bankrupt the Health Service in 20 years, obesity should be weighing heavily on the Health Minister’s mind; if only we had one…

Good grief Northern Ireland you’re getting bigger!  One-in-four of us has now moved up the scales to possess a “Over-30-BMI-Body”.  Given that the expansion of the Ulster waist-line is threatening to bankrupt the Health Service in 20 years, obesity should be weighing heavily on the Health Minister’s mind; if only we had one.   If we more…

SDLP leader anticipates the Con-DUP money bonus…

This just in from Colum Eastwood (see how many of Richard Bullick’s points you can spot?): The talks in London are clearly undermining the talks here.  We need a resolution to that uncertainty so that we can get on with the job of getting the deal done here. The chaotic talks between the DUP and the more…

What does the British government think its proper role is?

Until last week, remarkably little attention had be paid to how this government  views  its obligations under “Constitutional Issues”  (v) of  the Good Friday  (Belfast) Agreement: (v) affirm that whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction there shall be exercised more…

The shape of a Stormont deal is emerging. Will promised public consultation seal the deal or become yet another stalling move?

So the parties are to respond to a paper issued by the two governments today. After four months of apparent lack of close engagement by the British government in particular , talks  took on a clearer shape and urgency since the Westminster general election. The paper has been seen by Barney Rowan and summarised in more…

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Northern Ireland’s complexity is its strength

Katy Hayward is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Queens University, Belfast The difficulty of allowing for the maintenance of the United Kingdom whilst also catering for the varied circumstances of its various parts is an acutely difficult one. Anyone trying to square this circle in the Brexit process must accept that modes of governance more…

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3 SDLP Councillors quit the party

In this mornings Belfast Telegraph, Suzanne Breen reports trouble in the SDLP’s ranks as three of their councillors on Belfast City Council have quit the party. Cllrs, Pat Convery, Declan Boyle and Kate Mullan were suspended after they abstained on a motion dealing with harassment outside reproductive health facilities. Breen reports; The three who abstained more…

“Anyone for more opium?”

The empty rhetoric of the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, in Downing Street last week… Speaking at Downing Street, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said that the party told Mrs May “very directly that she was in breach of the Good Friday Agreement” over the Conservative negotiations with the DUP. …is neatly summed up in more…

UK Supreme Court rules narrowly against free abortions in England for Northern Ireland women. But in Scotland?

Support for abortion reform in Northern Ireland becomes all the more relevant after the decision of the Supreme Court last Wednesday narrowly to reject the appeal against  Jeremy Hunt the Health Secretary for England,  refusing to exercise his discretion to allow  women from Northern Ireland to have abortions free of charge on the NHS  in more…

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Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey suggests slight increase in support for Irish unity and cross-community support for abortion reform

The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey for 2016, which was carried out last year and the results of which were released today, suggests that support for a united Ireland has increased in the wake of last year’s referendum when the UK voted to leave the European Union. Support for Irish unity amongst the Catholic more…

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Bringing Northern Ireland’s political process in line with the UK

It’s exactly a year to the day since Jo Cox was murdered. The Labour MP, who represented the Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen, was shot and stabbed in the village of Birstall. People in many areas are marking this day, not by remembering her killer, but by holding events to celebrate her life. Whatever more…

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Some thoughts on running an award winning blog for 15 years…

15 years ago, near the start of June, I started Slugger. It was one of two or three blogs I started that year. One was an Irish language blog, another on theatre-in-the-round, but Slugger was the one that endured and found its focus and purpose first. It started as a Letter to Slugger O’Toole the more…

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What if #AE17b happens ?

It’s been a tumultuous week, to say the least, at the end of what had been a very boring election, with a number of historic and fascinating political developments going on. There’s been plenty of analysis of the wider political configuration on Slugger for the past while, so I thought I’d have a look at more…

“The DUP deal is in danger”

As many suspected… Sam McBride in the Newsletter reflects unease at the delay as well as DUP surface optimism that a deal is still on course.  Ken Reid of UTV tweets that a deal this week is unlikely. The delay can hardly be only out of respect for the still unknown number of victims of more…

New Sinn Féin MLA Director of Group that Discriminated against Job Applicant because of his Political Opinion

The Irish News today highlights details of the newly-appointed Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle Karen Mullan’s relevant experience for the job, mentioned in Eamonn McCann’s excellent post on the case, that illuminates David’s, somewhat limited, subsequent description of her as a “community worker in the city of Derry”. Karen Mullan is a director of Waterside Neighbourhood more…

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SDLP’s ‘unprecedented’ conversations begin

The Belfast Telegraph today reports on the first of what will presumably be a number of “unprecedented” conversations within the SDLP. The SDLP’s Mid Ulster constituency council will discuss a possible merger with Fianna Fáil at a meeting in Maghera. Local Councillor Martin Kearney said “These are normal discussions which happen after every election, “We’ve more…