Loyalist terrorists and this summer’s mayhem

Summer in Northern Ireland has for a very long time been associated with heightening of sectarian problems and criminality. This year has been as bad as many for some time. Throughout this summer the media and others have held a number of organisations and individuals to account over this. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with this holding to account tends to depend on one’s social / political / sectarian position. So far we have had Ruth Patterson repeatedly criticised for …

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Thoughts on the politics of the riots

Riots are not common in mainland GB. Every time one occurs there is handwringing by the media who seem torn between denouncing it all as “mindless violence” and trying to understand why it has happened. The same occurs in Northern Ireland of course though previously during the Troubles there seemed more emphasis on understanding and nowadays there is more emphasis on condemning. Politicians are similar to the media in their reactions with the exception that any politician who attempts to …

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Loyalist terrorist found guilty of sectarian murder

Sectarian murder victim Alfredo Fusco and his bride on their wedding day Another of the bereaved families from here finally got some degree of justice today. Loyalist terrorist Robert James Clarke was found guilty of the sectarian murder of 53-year-old Alfredo Fusco in his York Road café on 3 February 1973. From the BBC report: Mr Justice McLaughlin said there “was no innocent explanation” for the fact that fingerprints belonging to Clarke were found on the door which Alfredo Fusco …

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Wikileaks: “What [Sinn Féin] cannot stand, he said, is skepticism.”

The Guardian has a good round-up of most of the significant Process™ related sections of the US Embassy cables released by Wikileaks.  But there are a few sections worth highlighting in that they corroborate elements of other accounts that have been published previously.  In particular the account by Mary-Alice Clancy. From a US Embassy cable dated 04 February 2005 5. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said that the GOI’s approach to the peace process was to “sit tight” and let Sinn Fein find its way back. Equally, …

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Farren: fulfil your obligations, then jump…

This is one of several keynote presentations made by politicians at Glencree Centre for Reconciliation‘s Summer School over the last weekend. Sean Farren re-iterates the centrality of the Belfast Agreement, and argues that the blame for vacuum lies squarely at the feet of paramilitaries. The hiatus has claimed lives and distracted politicians attention from key issues like reflating the local economy.By Sean Farren The greatest political challenge for all of us in public life in the North is to recover …

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Sinn Fein and the problem of the “two captains”…

Although others have suggested that the DUP was being set up to take pressure over its self declared unwillingness to engage with the largest nationalist political party Sinn Fein, it is the latter that continues to take the political heat this summer. Some of the damage would appear self inflicted. The last two years have seen its previously near faultless PR efforts veer off on several unseemly wobbles (sound file). Not least over the IRA’s (unnecessary?) reaction to the Police …

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Political cryonics anyone?

As the BBC have reported, the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has made his “the future of Northern Ireland” statement to the House of Commons. Announcing his intention to bring forward an emergency Bill on 20 April, with only a half a dozen clauses, to recall the Assembly on 15 May, as previously announced. He repeatedly references devolution in Scotland and Wales as role-models, but there’s not a great deal of detail so far except …

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