Arlene Foster seems to know what is already in an Irish Language Act

Arlene Foster spoke today at the 5 Leaders, 5 Days event, and covered a bit of controversial ground on the Irish Language. John Manley of the Irish News captured this interesting little back-pedal from the DUP leader, failing to remember that she accepted some of the blame for the perception that she was anti nationalist or anti republican (from her Irish News article published only four days previous). Mrs. Foster turned the question from John around to reference the Irish … Read more

RHI Scheme and the sector it could have helped.

On Christmas Eve, the Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley had an interesting story in the paper about the RHI scheme and the sectors that it could have helped. He reports; Deti’s delayed launch of the regional RHI in 2012 came not long after the Stormont-sponsored Agri-Food Strategy Board set out its plan to increase exports of beef, dairy, pork and poultry. The plan was supported by then First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Agriculture Minister Michelle … Read more

Publish or be damned: a party’s (very public) swipe at the Irish News

A brief ‘ICYMI’: an image appeared on Twitter at the end of last week criticising the Irish News over would-be coverage of Palestine the newspaper “chose to ignore”. Posted in the main Sinn Féin account on Thursday 8th, the image was published as a direct Twitter reply to a story the Irish News ran the same day featuring Palestinians voicing concerns over Sinn Féin meetings with Israel’s Likud party. The public broadside throws up some interesting points about the relationship … Read more

On The Doors: Sinn Fein Manifesto, Diver Interview & the Catholic Church

The next weekly instalment of On The Doors with Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley and this week we were joined by Security Correspondent, Allison Morris. This week we talked about the Sinn Fein manifesto, Labour and the Catholic Church.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

On The Doors: UUP & SDLP Manifestos plus the UTV Debate

Week Two of the On The Doors podcast with Irish News political correspondent, John Manley and former NUS-USI President, Adrianne Peltz. This week we discussed the launch of the UUP and SDLP manifestos as well as, the impact of the UTV debate. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

On The Doors Podcast; Ep 1, Week 1

Over the next four weeks, the Irish News political correspondent, John Manley and myself will be conducting a video podcast called “On The Doors” looking back over the week that was in politics. Episode One is out today & we were joined by the commentator, Adrianne Peltz. This week, we looked at trouble in the SDLP & Sinn Fein in West Tyrone, the DUP manifesto and the UUP going to Dublin to examine the Easter Rising. Our thanks go to the … Read more

Northern Ireland: When was it founded?

A policy proposal in the DUP manifesto has started a little of debate over just when Northern Ireland came into existence. In today’s Irish News, John  Manley talks with Eamon Phoenix and whilst he dismisses the DUP date of 5th May as inaccurate, he still does not have a concrete date for the foundation of Northern Ireland. Speaking to Manley he said; There is no reason to mark May 3 – or May 5 for that matter, He continued going through … Read more

Nigel Dodds Calls For The Truth Over Shankill Bombing

In a statement regarding Allison Morris’s Irish News story of prior police knowledge and inaction of the Shankill bombing, Nigel Dodds MP, DUP deputy leader, said: “The mass sectarian murder of the Shankill Bomb was one of the most heinous acts perpetrated by the Provisional IRA. It was a premeditated slaughter of innocents, an event that stands out amongst the PIRA’s more than 1800 bloody murders. Recent newspaper claims have refocused attention on this horrific act. Some of what has … Read more

Round-up of press reaction to DUP conference #dup14

So what did the Monday papers think of the DUP’s weekend conference in La Mon? In an Irish Times opinion piece under the headline of “DUP leader’s subtle message of co-operation to end gridlock” Gerry Moriarty pulled out Peter Robinson’s statement – buried in his speech – about the need for the DUP and Sinn Fein to do business together. There is still a bitter rump in the party that hates hearing that line but Robinson realised that, in the … Read more

Local press reflect on SDLP conference, support for McDonnell, abortion & other NI leaders

The Belfast Telegraph published the results of their straw poll survey of 50 delegates at the SDLP party conference on Saturday. When walking through the exhibition space outside the main hall I declined the opportunity offered to answer the interviewer’s questions. 32% of surveyed delegates did not want Alasdair McDonnell to lead the SDLP into the 2016 Assembly election. And only 36% positively did want him to, leaving 32% undecided (or unwilling to express an opinion). From the mood of … Read more

Nesbitt on Unionist unity and the Westminster election

Ahead of the UUP Conference on Saturday, Irish News political correspondent, John Manley sat down with the party leader, Mike Nesbitt to discuss Unionist unity and the upcoming Westminster elections. Let’s begin with the UUP target seats for the upcoming election that Nesbitt thinks are ripe for his party He identifies DUP-held South Antrim and Upper Bann as seats where the UUP is most likely to prosper, but admits that success elsewhere is likely to rely on a pact of … Read more

Ian Knox Exhibition – ‘Lifelines and Deadlines’

Ian Knox is truly one of those elusive artists. Few aren’t familiar with his work. Irish News readers see him frequently and until Hearts and Minds was pulled his work was regularly before much of Northern Ireland. But his formal appearances have been infrequent, if not entirely absent. This Wednesday marks a break as Ian Knox opens a rare solo exhibition at Belfast’s Crescent Arts Centre. Lifelines and Deadlines will include a selection of his original work for the Irish … Read more

#Finucane: was Nelson a rogue or rogue agent?

The Attorney General is going to find it harder and harder to sell his no more inquiries, no more investigations proposal. Particularly so when the improvised methods of ‘investigation’ appear to have been little more than tactics for the British government to avoid decommissioning its own violent legacy. Far from finally drawing a line around the issues connected to the murder of Pat Finucane, further research has now shown that the background given by de Silva on Brian Nelson and … Read more

Update-When Manley met Robinson – Irish News finally gets an interview

Yesterday was a historic day (in media terms anyway) as  Peter Robinson gave his first interview in five years to the Irish News. Why Robinson decided to freeze out the provinces top selling newspaper I don’t know but the papers political reporter, John Manley said that there was nothing in the DUP Leader’s demeanour to suggest relations were frosty. So we can only assume that the fences have been mended and Robinson will be giving more interviews to the Irish News … Read more

When Manley met McDonnell-we now have some criteria for success or failure.

 In today’s Irish News, John Manley has an in-depth interview with the SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell. I have in an earlier piece tendered my views on the party’s future prospects and this is the part of the interview that I want to focus on in this piece but the entire interview is worth a read. In his talk with McDonnell, Manley probed the SDLP leader about his electoral ambitions are for the party under his stewardship. Either it was a … Read more

PUP Conference encouraged to be self-critical; recognises another marginalised community & adopts pro-Equal Marriage policy

The PUP conference left Belfast this year and headed to Brownlow House in Lurgan. More motions, more members speaking up to propose or support those motions, more women, more men in suits and ties, more delegates than recent years with lots of new faces from the new Mid-Ulster branch. If was a conference that valued protest but was told to concentrate more on politics. Co-operation and cross-party dialogue was necessary to deliver solutions. PUP Belfast city councillor Dr John Kyle … Read more

More decline in North-South relations?

Today’s article by Simon Doyle in The Irish News highlights again the continuing decline in everyday interaction between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. A new taskforce set up the the Department of Employment and Learning has revealed that less than 1 per cent of students at universities south of the border are from Northern Ireland. This trend has continued a decline that has been going on since 2004 despite the fact that it is cheaper to study in the … Read more

‘Dead tree’ columnist stereotypes bloggers as “articulate, intelligent … socially awkward misfits with zero personality”

Allison Morris’ column in Wednesday’s Irish News [paywall] starts with the observation that Twitter and Facebook now give “misogynists, racists, bigots, stalkers and lunatics … a potential global audience”, before taking a pop at bloggers who last got lightly toasted in her February 2012 column. Bloggers and those with a large ‘online presence’ can come across as articulate, intelligent and well informed when reading a post they have spent days obsessing over. However, when you meet them in the real … Read more

Interview with Noel Doran as Irish News widens circulation gap with Belfast Telegraph

Every six months, the Audited Bureau of Circulations publishes figures for newspaper sales. The July-December 2012 were released at lunchtime. A newspaper might sum up the results in simple terms: it’s a good day for the Irish News, an okay day for the News Letter and bad day for the Belfast Telegraph. Other surveys will suggest figures for the number of readers (ie, heads not copies) each newspaper has on a daily or weekly basis, with an in-built margin of … Read more

Micheál Martin: “If the Executive is not making progress on child poverty, or economic inactivity, or sectarianism”

Okay, so one of the good things about a political crisis in Northern Ireland that it draws a multiplicity views on our general situation (riots will always divide opinion). Not all of that has been bad by any means. Allan Massie in the Scotsman is generally sanguine about Northern Ireland’s future, if not David Cameron’s. But it’s brought the leader of Fianna Fail back on the local news pages too. In an op ed in today’s Irish News Micheál Martin … Read more