The banner is one thing but the New York parade has always raised eyebrows

The St Patrick’s Day parade in New York has always been controversial. In the 1980s and 1990s, while Northern Ireland was in the middle of the Troubles, NORAID would walk in the New York parade and collect money for the IRA. In 1983 Michael Flannery, who organised NORAID, was chosen as grand marshal. The decision lead to a number of politicians boycotting the event that year. The New York parade has a long history of being anti LGBT. It was …

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“Fair employment and equal opportunities legislation are built upon open and transparent practices, free from political interference…”

The, at best, ill-considered comments by Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald yesterday, on potential candidates from within the PSNI to succeed George Hamilton as Chief Constable, have prompted a sharp reminder from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland to the NI Policing Board of its responsibilities under equality legislation to recruit in a non-discriminatory way. The Equality Commission has expressed its concern about the recent comments made by the Sinn Féin President about the appointment of a new Chief …

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Slugger TV reviews the political year of 2018

Slugger TV: Episode 21 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. Panel this month are Alan Meban, Andersonstown News columnist Andree Murphy and Commentator, Martin McAuley.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Did Peter Robinson blunder into the border poll debate too early?

Coming late to the Peter Robinson speech at Glenties and its aftermath, I’m struck by two elements of it, one of which has been hardly picked up. In the text I was offered, the discussion of a border poll which overshadowed the rest of it didn’t appear at all. Tommie Gorman of RTE has explained. I chaired the Friday evening session (27 July) in the Glenties Highlands Hotel where Peter Robinson was the guest speaker. The references to a united Ireland …

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“almost in the space of trying to undermine confidence in the new Garda Commissioner…”

To Brian’s pointed question about Leo, Mary Lou and Drew, I’d add another. What does Mary Lou’s Dail offensive tell us about SF’s attitude to the new and fairly (as far as we can tell) appointed Garda Commissioner and the mechanism of the southern state? Like their attack on the Special Criminal in the week the Hutch-Kinihan feud began (ie, in the first week of the last southern General Election) it perhaps suggests the SF leader is bound to an …

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Mary Lou McDonald: Intergovernmental Conference needed, not a shadow Assembly that gives “a veneer of accountability to direct rule”

Speaking at QUB this evening, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald once again dismissed the idea of a transitional Assembly during the ongoing political stalemate, saying that it would give “a veneer of accountability to direct rule”. Instead, she said the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference should be convened to “produce … a pathway to bring forward the legislation and resources to secure these rights and implement the agreements”.

Sceptical, not cynical about “the long drawn out attempt to breathe life back into the Stormont arrangement”

Whilst on Saturday Brian highlighted the question of “the prospect of Sinn Fein’s return to Stormont as Mr Adams’ parting gift”, today Ed Moloney posits another, equally plausible scenario… You know, a cynic might suspect that the whole thing, at least the long drawn out attempt to breathe life back into the Stormont arrangement, was staged or timed so that the breakthrough would happen just when Sinn Fein want to present a new, Adams-free image to the electorate down South, one …

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Mary Lou McDonald looks forward to working with the DUP and promises no return to the status quo at Stormont

Sinn Féin’s new party president, Uachtarán Shinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald paid tribute to her friend and mentor Gerry Adams and spoke of a desire to double the size of the party while changing how it operates. She also spoke about looking forward to working with the DUP and promised that there would be no return to the status quo at Stormont.

Michelle O’Neill to become Vice President of Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein’s Northern Leader, Michelle O’Neill is set to become the Vice President of the party under Mary Lou McDonald as President. The new team will take over on February 10th at the special Ard Fheis in Dublin. Her remarks below; “I am honoured to be nominated as the new Leas Uachtarán of Sinn Féin. I look forward after the Special Ard Fheis to work with our new party President Mary Lou McDonald and wider national leadership team. “We are …

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Mary Lou McDonald faces battle of margins as FG and FF set to scrap over every loose seat

IAs we await the confirmation whether or not Mary Lou McDonald was the only candidate for President of Sinn Fein, our own Patricia McBride tipped Michelle O’Neill for Vice President on RTE Drivetime last evening. So it looks like two women at the top. Or rather front of house. Power up to now has rested almost exclusively with the parties shadowy ‘leadership team’. Neither women can expect to be let too far off the party’s halter. Nor are they likely …

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Arlene Foster spoke no empty words. The road to renewed cross community cooperation may run through Dublin and Brussels

Arlene Foster’s demarche surely marks a truce or even peace  between the Irish government and the DUP in the squabbles over Brexit. It will also  consolidate Dublin’s  improving  relations with Westminster. All this is welcome. Neither wants a hard land border on the island or trade barriers between the Republic and Great Britain. It was just that Dublin’s priority was elevating no hard border to a position of veto over the UK government’s whole strategy, while the DUP had a …

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Mary Lou to pick up Gerry’s legacy or just to orchestrate his long good-bye…

Given the previously cited ten-year transition, sceptics will doubt the reality of Adams’ departure. In fact, he’ll likely melt back into the collective leadership of Sinn Fein. With only Sean Murray left on the Ard Comhairle, the military men now mostly sit back in the shadows. Their names are not widely known to the public but they are familiar to senior members in other parties from the periodic bouts of negotiations that might almost have been engineered to give them …

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Fresh start for Sinn Fein, or a case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”?

And so tonight, Gerry goes. Or does he? Henry McDonald writing yesterday: …sources within the mainstream Irish republican movement and veteran Adams-watchers believe the 69-year-old will still hold the centre of power in Sinn Féin from behind the scenes long after his official successor is elevated to the top post. Having survived as head of his party longer than five British prime ministers, six Irish premiers and five US presidents, Adams will use the televised speech to set out a timetable for …

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Fine Gael on Sinn Féin: “We couldn’t work with them”

Something to keep in mind when criticising others…  There was a bit of a kerfuffle following Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s mid-term non-answer to a question on the potential for any future coalition involving Sinn Féin.  The Irish Examiner records Enda Kenny saying While strongly ruling out doing any deal with Fianna Fáil, Enda Kenny said “depending on the result you gave as a member of the electorate, politicians have to work with the result, so, Sinn Féin seem to be converted …

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Gerry Adams’ White House ‘controversy’: “Quite apart from being bumptious, paranoid and absurdly self-pitying…”

In the Irish News Newton Emerson highlights the unintended consequences of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ intemperate outburst following his recent misunderstanding with security at the White House.  From the Irish News GERRY Adams could have been pragmatic and diplomatic about being locked out of President Obama’s St Patrick’s Day reception and simply laughed it off. It is all too believable that the White House has the same hapless jobsworths in its security hut as everywhere else – and that has …

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Sinn Féin decommission “Booby Sands” leaflet

As the BBC Trending report notes As unfortunate typos go it could have hardly been worse. The Republic of Ireland is currently a few days into a general election campaign that is taking place amid the backdrop of the hundredth anniversary of the Easter 1916 rising. In one campaign leaflet, Mary Lou McDonald, the deputy leader of Sinn Fein – the fourth-biggest party in the last Irish parliament – wanted to be quoted invoking the spirit of one of the …

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Denis O’Brien, Dail Privilege & why it’s not so simple

The thorny question of parliamentary privilege has been bubbling away under the surface in Ireland for a while now. It is set to become a central issue with the case Denis O’Brien will take against an Oireachtas committee. At the moment it is very ‘street cred’ to oppose anything O’Brien says or does. However, we do perhaps need to be a little bit more careful about the conclusions we jump to. Whether or not we like the individuals involved or …

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Enda Kenny making some odd gestures during budget debate

From our colleagues at the Journal.ie and video from Gavan Reilly. The gestures of Enda Kenny whilst Mary-Lou McDonald was speaking during the budget debate caught peoples attention. I did some research on hand gestures and what we can subconsciously mean when we do these things according to this body language expert it clenching your fists can mean; It can signify unyieldingness, like a more intense version of palms facing down. Clenched fists with thumbs tucked-in indicate discomfort. This person …

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