Soapbox: Connal Parr on Mythmaking, Identity and Ulster Protestant Cultures

Dr Connal Parr is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Humanities at Northumbria University. His research emphasises the interconnectedness of history, politics, and culture. His book ‘Inventing the Myth’ viewed local political developments and recent history through the prism of dramatists and writers and was inspired by his doctoral research. On the evening of Tuesday 22 May, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs generously sponsored an event on the themes of my book Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the …

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Why both picking popular political battles AND policy matters

listen to ‘Milliband, Roosevelt, the Consumer and the difference between policies and promise’ on Audioboo This is a very short snippet from BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme which involves a discussion of a proposal from Labour’s Ed Miliband to use consumer power to ‘put manners on’ big business when it comes to anti competitive practices (see this excellent Coffee House post by Stewart Wood). By the end it segues into a question of practicability. Steve Richards – one time editor …

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Late night stroll with Niall Ó Donnghaile around Short Strand

Niall Ó Donnghaile

To get a different perspective on the Eleventh Night and the Twelfth Day, I went for a late night walk with Niall Ó Donnghaile around Short Strand about half an hour before midnight. While some young folk were congregating around the Mountpottinger/Albertbridge Road junction, the area was largely deserted – the only noise being the PA belting out music in Pitt Park, about a hundred yards away over the wall. Now a Sinn Féin councillor, and this year Belfast’s Lord …

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Five minute guide to building a bonfire

Bonfire in King George V Playing Fields in East Belfast

Three years ago as part of an organised tour that looked at the history around 1690 and then took in bonfires, parades and even the field, I ended up in King George V Playing Fields after midnight to witness the big East Belfast bonfire. Late this afternoon I talked to Rob about the construction effort that has gone into this year’s bonfire at that site. The guys were putting the final pallets on the top and ‘decorating’ the bonfire with …

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