Tag Archives | Negotiations

Brendan Duddy deserved a Nobel Peace Prize too

Coming soon after  so much painful reappraisal that accompanied the death and burial of Martin McGuinness, a tribute from Peter Taylor to a man who was unambiguously a peacemaker, as reported in the Irish Times.   Broadcaster Peter Taylor – who revealed Mr Duddy’s role as an intermediary between the IRA and the British government more…

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With little of substance separating SF and the DUP, a war over manners stands proxy for NI politics…

Interesting editorial in the Irish Times musing on the subject of Sinn Fein’s true intentions re the restart of institutions, and concluding that: Although the DUP is showing signs of a willingness to engage, the noises coming from Sinn Féin are less positive and there are doubts about the party’s real intentions. One widely held more…

Brendan Duddy RIP. A peace maker in real time

It is remarkable, in an age of sophisticated  back channels and espionage  replete with digital  and satellite communications, how a modest domestic background figured so  significantly in the moves which eventually led to the ceasefires – and all the more effectively for it. The problem was how to establish  trust when contacts had to be more…

“Brexit has become a central question in the identity conversation and that is dangerous”

In a commentary  “Brexit and Northern Ireland” on the EPC discussion paper( see below) the  legal academic Chris McCrudden  asserts the primacy  of the Brexit question and laments the  “ tone deafness” of the UK government to  Northern Ireland’s interests. But while he rightly sees the need to set priorities in the interparty talks, he doesn’t more…

On Brexit, the Irish are caught between two opposing forces, but at least they’re showing more invention and concern about the North than the British and northerners themselves

The ritual opening shots in the Brexit campaign must leave the Republic feeling caught in a trap in a dialogue of the deaf between two opposing forces. So much, so sadly predictable, in spite of all the warm words- although the crudeness of the exchanges is perhaps surprising. It’s pretty clear that the Irish government more…

On Enda’s fondness for the precedent of German reunification, be careful of what you wish for

 The Irish government are entitled to congratulate themselves on their achievement in persuading the EU 26 to declare that if the North joined the Republic the new state would automatically inherit the Republic’s membership. Dublin hastens to add that this incorporates the  consent principle enshrined in the GFA and they are opposed to an early more…

Out of respect to the voters, the governments and parties must spell out in detail where they stand on the Assembly by next week. Otherwise the election is an insult to democracy.

Although only one of 13 MPs  to deny Theresa May the green light for calling a Westminster general election, Mark Durkan MP surely got it right for  Northern Ireland.    I was not asking for an election last week or the week before; I was arguing that any move to an election in the near more…

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Arlene’s statement on Irish may be crucial to the defusing of the nasty culture bomb that is blocking NI democracy 

One of the most depressing milestones in the pre Christmas crisis was Paul Given’s pointless and counterproductive cutting of the tiny Liofa bursary fund for funding poorer kids to attend Gaeltacht courses in the summer colleges in Donegal (predominantly attended by kids from NI). Even for those of us determined to resist the casual vilification more…

Left to themselves, the parties won’t agree. The time has come for the governments to bring forward solutions which involve the people directly

Observed from London, the political atmosphere at home is surreal.  The volume of comment on the talks is in inverse proportion to hard information. Expectations of agreement by Good Friday are so low that  the local media can barely be roused from torpor. Emergency action for feeding the Stormont cats occupied more space in the more…

Bertie’s separate agenda should include warming Theresa May’s ear about the Human Rights Act

Following in Bertie Ahern footsteps what should the  two governments negotiate about bilaterally as the Brexit talks proceed? In the Irish Times Noel Whelan argues that “ Ireland and UK must renegotiate Belfast Agreement” The EU has been described as a cornerstone of the Belfast Agreement. This is more than just constitutional flannel. The agreement more…

Identity politics is the enemy of good government. Can they be reconciled?

Banging on so much about culture and identity politics is like debating the Resurrection with a famine victim, at best a momentary distraction, at worst an insult. In politics and too much comment,  political rhetoric is easy  macho stuff.  It produces a quick high and the tunnel vision born of  long-term self-satisfaction, while the practical more…

The Assembly crisis is costing £300 million a year in Health alone

The Belfast Telegraph has an exclusive on the depth of the health crisis. It shows the real world  gap between the obsessive zero sum game that dominates politics and the practical need for regional government  of some sort. If the RHI scandal broke the Executive, will the long-term health scandal remake it? Northern Ireland’s health more…

At last! The British and Irish governments have produced an agreed plan to put to the Assembly parties from Monday 3 April

Not before time, a detailed talks plan agreed between the two governments has been presented to the Assembly parties and will form the basis of talks over a 10 day period beginning tomorrow.  Brian Rowan, former security correspondent and Assembly candidate, has got sight of it and has summarised it in EamonnMallie.com   As I’ve been more…