Region Archives: Northern Ireland

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A Passport to Nationalist Insurrection?

I recently discovered Jamie Bryson, and as with the discovery of any hidden gem, I’ll confess I’m rapt. It’s not yet clear to me whether Jamie believes everything he says or whether he’s simply realised that hyperbole is a sure fire path to notoriety. But after his latest offering, I’d have to say the balance more…

Nolan: A Public Service Broadcaster?

Yesterday, on Twitter, the trending hashtag was #BBCPay. Today it’s #BBCPaygap. The big story, yesterday, as far as I was concerned, was the squandering of licence-payer money. The paygap was a secondary story. Important, yes, but not the main story.  The BBC thought otherwise and drove the agenda in its chosen direction. The only Northern more…

“….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…

“In the Autumn, Northern Ireland must have a proper Budget in place…”

As the only adult (politician) left in the room, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has intervened, for a second time, on NI Executive business and reallocated £131 million in funding to local departments [pdf file (216kb)].  From the BBC report Health and education are the major beneficiaries of £131m in additional money for more…

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Stephen Nolan earning nearly half a million a year

The BBC has released salary details of presenters and stars earning more than 150K. As expected Stephen Nolan is the highest locally paid presenter earning a salary of between £400,000 and £449,999 a year. Nolan is famously a workaholic: The Belfast-born broadcaster presents a number of radio and TV programmes for the BBC. He presents more…

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Bigger parties running for cover as services come under the knife…

Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people are the real casualties of the current Stormont impasse. Funding cuts and restrictions across the board are causing chaos in voluntary organisations and educational institutions across the country. But seemingly the main political parties aren’t in the least bit concerned. Despite polarised politics being the cause of the problem the 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…

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Beyond a Spin of the Wheel – GPs and mental health care

The crisis facing GP services in Northern Ireland has been well documented, including in previous posts on Slugger O’Toole.  Increasing patient lists, ‘red tape’, underfunding, an ageing workforce and the compounding of health issues in deprived communities due to austerity policies, are only some of the problems faced by the service. The British Medical Association 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…

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Non-life-threatening injuries and the scandal of shooting children…

I couldn’t sleep last Thursday night. I live in West Belfast and there was a helicopter hovering right above our house. The noise always reminds me of older times when military helicopters were so common that we almost didn’t hear them anymore. Yes, times have changed…. Except, it seems that I was not the only more…