Region Archives: Northern Ireland

Unionism isn’t ready for a deal anytime soon

Stormont is staring into the political abyss. It already was I hear you say, but over the past week the tone of compromise that gave a faint flicker of hope has all but disappeared. Unionism has marched right into a cul-de-sac nudged along by the current leader of the Orange Order who has about as more…

Micheal Martin

Micheál Martin signals his TDs to get out and hunt for SF votes…

You’d think that lagging 7 points behind Fine Gael in the latest B&A face-to-face poll would induce panic in the ranks of Fianna Fail, but I’m not picking that up. If anything, Micheál Martin looks like a man who has taken time out to carefully examine the battlefield. I’m not sure I buy everything in Stephen Collins’ piece lauding more…

The serious business of statistics

When something you hear makes you burst out laughing, you know it’s time to write a blog. In this case, I was listening to “the biggest show in the country” on the subject of Boris Johnson and his peddling of the myth that once Brexit is achieved there will be £350m a week available for more…

Environmental Governance Failure in Northern Ireland: High Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

By Ciara Brennan, Ray Purdy and Peter Hjerp Recent scandals including the RHI debacle and the discovery of illegal dumping on a massive scale (most notably at the Mobuoy Road ‘super-dump’) have catapulted Northern Ireland’s environmental governance failures into the public eye. The divergence from what can be considered ‘good’ environmental governance is clear and the more…

Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey to step down as Deputy Leader of the Green Party

South Belfast MLA, Clare Bailey is to step down as Deputy Leader of the Green Party. Clare has been deputy leader since November 2014 and will remain an MLA within the party. Speaking about her decision she said; “I have been given and gained so much as Green Party deputy leader across the past three more…

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CSSC research shows complexity and diversity of controlled education

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) launched its baseline assessment of the controlled schools sector in Northern Ireland on Monday 18 September. Controlled schools are non-denominational and firmly set within an ethos embedded in Christian values. They are open to pupils of all faiths or none, and account for 558 or 48% of all schools more…

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If not loyalists, who else will do this job?

I’ve rarely heard such a lack of political sensitivity as Jim Wilson telling Stephen Nolan that, in applying to the British government to be deproscribed, the Red Hand Commando wants their ‘place in the sun’. What a disturbing way to put it. But at the same time, Wilson’s interview on the Nolan Show tells us more…

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Where “shared memory” and “story” meet lies something valuable

I was lucky enough to be asked by Youth Action Northern Ireland to present a workshop at their two-day Islands of Innovation conference/symposium attended by young leaders (18-35) yesterday in Belfast. The key purpose was to “explore what Britain and Ireland could look like in 2021, consider how they can contribute and assess what decisions more…

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The Irish border as a Brexit bargaining chip: A rejoinder to Legatum

The Legatum Institute’s ‘Special Trade Commission’ published a paper this week on the subject of Brexit and what it terms ‘the Irish border issue’. Citizens on the island of Ireland need to take note of this for two main reasons. First, Legatum is one of the most influential think tanks in London on the subject more…

Belfast Lord Mayor & SDLP Councillor Nicola Mallon opens the SDLP Conference 2104. Ramada Hotel, Belfast.

Nichola Mallon is the new Deputy Leader of the SDLP

Nichola Mallon has become the new Deputy Leader of the SDLP, the position was vacant after the former Deputy Leader, Fearghal McKinney lost his seat at the 2016 Assembly Election. Speaking about her election she said; “This is a critical moment for our politics. “The challenge we all face is to forge a society based more…

Onwards and inwards

One theme that comes up disappointingly often in politics, and Northern Irish politics in particular, is the strategic retreat into metapolitics. If you fear that you’re losing the argument, change the subject so that the argument is now about how well or badly the argument has been conducted. This is particularly powerful if the original more…

Ten more years! Ten more years!

Having been billed in advance as ‘significant’, there’s been a noticeable absence of applause from the usual suspects for the recently re-announced, but yet to be revealed, Gerry Adams’ Sinn Féin’s 10 year plan for leadership change a “process of generational change”.  [Do those ‘suspects’ know who they are? – Ed] Probably… [And does ’10 years’ more…

Lord Mayor’s dinner: but who was graceless?

Disclosure:  I’m a member of the Alliance Party.  I am also a born-again evangelical Christian. The first I heard was Naomi Long citing Matthew 6:5-6 on Facebook, concerning not praying in a manner to be seen by others.  It was later that day that I heard the full story:  Nuala McAllister had decided not to more…