DUP takes aim at Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar was in Northern Ireland today much to the consternation of the DUP’s  Jeffrey Donaldson who said; Leo Varadkar’s visit is another demonstration of the poor manners and disrespect which appears to be the Irish Government’s Brexit strategy. Having told unionists just over a month ago that he recognised statements and actions by the Irish government were unhelpful or intrusive, he follows this up with a visit which no local representative is informed about and none of … Read more

SDLP to feed a key NI perspective into the EU’s negotiations with the UK?

So what to make of the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland? To get the big one out of the road first, no one is going back to war. In fact of all the parts of the UK Northern Ireland is probably the calmest and the least hysterical, and as Newton Emerson put it last night, least embarrassing. There’s been no substantive response from the administration. The Executive has yet to meet and figure out how it will respond. Sinn … Read more

Donegal Republicans Received County Council Funding to Commemorate PIRA Members

It has emerged that after a full page advert appeared this week in a local paper across Donegal commemorating the deaths of IRA men since 1921 that these events have been partly funded by Donegal County Council. The Council funds had been supposedly earmarked for commemorations dealing only with the Dublin rising. The adverts listed names of IRA men under what was termed ‘Republican roll of honour Tir Chonaill command’ alongside Dublin rebellion figures. The logos of Donegal County Council, … Read more

Amnesty joins calls for an investigation into Hooded Men case

Earlier this week the Irish government announced that it would ask the European Court to revise its previous judgement on men who said they were tortured during the Troubles. This follows on calls from parties such as Sinn Fein who had pressed the government to support the groups bid for another examination of their case. This afternoon the group met with Former Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg at the Stormont hotel to raise their … Read more

Martin criticises Nesbitt and Kenny over talks and role of Irish government

Interesting report in today’s Irish News about comments from the Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin and the UUP leader, Mike Nesbitt. The paper reports comments from Nesbitt last week saying he was provided with assurances that the Irish  government “would respect the principle of the three-stranded approach”. “However, the other two strands involve north-south and east-west relations and clearly you cannot consider those matters without input from the Irish government,” the UUP leader said. However, speaking at the Fianna Fail commemoration … Read more

[Updated] Did Blair’s ‘Tonyish’ deal keep the Irish Government in the dark…

And in the Guardian… The ex-minister said that not only was the Fianna Fáil led administration – which lasted until 2011 – unaware of the letters, ministers in Dublin had rejected a similar proposal from republicans: “While Sinn Féin brought up the issue of the ‘on the runs’ regularly with us, we never had any information about the existence of these letters and I think that is the case for all of the cabinet back then. “Clearly they went and … Read more

Gilmore: Two governments may intervene over #Haass

Eamon Gilmore is to give an interview to the Sunday Politics on the failure of the five parties to agree a deal during the Haass talks. I have been critical in the past of the lack of involvement of the two governments throughout the entire process but instead of criticising Gilmore for showing upto the party late, I will just be grateful that he showed up at all. In the interview Gilmore spoke about an urgency that needed to be … Read more

Update-Mr Allister-you don’t realise when you’ve got a good thing.

Dr Richard Haass was in Dublin this week briefing the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny about the progress he was making on talks here. Responding the TUV leader, Jim Allister questioned why the Irish government were even involved in these talks. He said How do people believe that discussions with a foreign government will help to ease Loyalist fears about their identity and sovereignty and why have the DUP and UUP agreed to such a process? I don’t actually dislike Jim Allister. … Read more

From Arkiv to Haaas. A way out of the deadlock for dealing with the past

  It’s heart warming to find  some of the ideas I’ve been grappling with being taken forward with real authority and integrity. As reported in the Newsletter  a  firm and positive set of  proposals for dealing with the past has been submitted to the Haass talks by a group of historians calling themselves Arkiv. The idea that dealing with the past is a task that can be agreed and dispatched within a given period is not simply an insult to the … Read more

Henry Patterson on ‘Could Dublin have done more to stop the IRA’

Professor Henry Patterson had this interesting article in the Irish Times on Friday about the Irish government’s failure to tackle the Provisional IRA from 1970 onwards. Here I must declare an interest, Henry Patterson is my supervisor, but this is something I have written about myself. Patterson has recently written a book on this subject called Ireland’s Violent Frontier which looks at the border security policies of the British and Irish governments during the Troubles. In his book and in … Read more

Irish inquiry calls for expulsion of Israeli officer

The Irish Times reports that Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Dr Zion Evrony postponed a planned appearance at an Oireachtas committee today to answer questions about the aid flotilla controversy, citing “unforeseen circumstances”. However it also reports today that a leaked report from an inter-agency group including the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Taoiseach and the Garda has recommended the expulsion of an Israeli embassy security officer. It made the recommendation after concluding that … Read more