A response to Sinn Fein’s “Towards a United Ireland” document

Sinn Fein have launched a discussion paper titled “Towards a United Ireland” The document is available in both English and Irish with each translation coming to roughly 28 pages each. If you want to read it for yourself, here is the full version. In this post, I want to highlight some of the key passages and how I feel they could be improved in creating a more coherent offering for a United Ireland that has been lacking within mainstream Nationalism … Read more

Nesbitt “We are not here simply to be controversial. We are here to offer an unapologetic unionist perspective on the event of 100 years ago”

The UUP held an event in Dublin this afternoon to give a Unionist perspective on the Easter Rising. Here are the remarks given by the party leader, Mike Nesbitt; (I have highlighted some key passages) I hope today has been challenging, but not for its own sake. We are not here simply to be controversial. We are here to offer an unapologetic unionist perspective on the event of 100 years ago; the causes, and the lasting consequences of what we … Read more

Micheal Martin: “Real Irish republicanism is founded on generous, anti-sectarian and international idealism”

So for me (as I noted in this morning’s SluggerReport) the most interesting event of the weekend was Micheal Martin’s speech at Bodenstown (not Ballyboden as I said this morning) commemorating Wolf Tone, the father of Irish Republicanism. It’s something I’ve been keeping an eye over the last few years because I think Martin has been using this annual occasion to sharpen some of his thinking on north south relations, but more particularly his party’s response to the Sinn Fein … Read more

Fianna Fáil and its role in the North.

LEGION OF THE VANGUARD: The electoral meltdown in the Republic of Fianna Fáil in 2011 halted progress in developing party structures in the north. But Eoin Neylon who is the President of Ógra Fianna Fáil and a former member of the Willie Drennan Cumann of Queens University, Belfast looks forward to first Ogra Conference north of the border in Newry.

Republicanism cannot have any no go areas.

There has been a small Twitter row over a recent election leaflet put out by Sinn Fein’s North Belfast candidate, Gerry Kelly displaying the number of Catholics and Protestants in the constituency. The debates about the rights and wrongs of the leaflet have been argued out on Mick’s thread on the topic and I don’t propose to cover that here, but it did get me thinking about the future direction of republicanism/nationalism. I write (or ramble) about republicanism and in … Read more

Elliott launches his Private Members Bill to prevent the naming of public facilities after “terrorists”‏

Tom Elliott, UUP

Well this is always going to be controversial but the UUP MLA, Tom Elliott is launching a Private Members Bill to prevent the naming of public facilities after those convicted of terrorist offences. Speaking about his bill he says; Today I am commencing a consultation process which is the first step to introducing legislation which prohibits publicly funded facilities or entities being named after anyone who has been convicted of a terrorist related offence or membership of a proscribed organisation. … Read more

Why Sinn Fein need to show that it’s local decision makers who matter

Abstentionism….If there is ever a topic that sets tongues wagging it’s the age old debate about whether Sinn Fein will ever take their seats at Westminster. This obsession is set more so amongst commentators who have for years predicted that Sinn Fein are close to giving up their abstentionist policy when it comes to Westminster. Such an analysis ignores the very basic tenet of republicanism is to make Westminster as irrelevant as possible in Irish affairs. Since 1918, it has … Read more

Griffin on engagement with Unionism and finding common ground

Recently one of the Vice President’s of Fianna Fáil, Arthur Griffin, spoke to the youth wing of the Ulster Unionists. Writing for Slugger he recalls his experience and what he took from it. The jokes about going into the “Lion’s Den” were obvious in advance of the meeting. I was travelling with three friends from Dublin, fellow Fianna Fáil members. We were travelling to East Belfast to meet with members of the Young Unionists, the UUP’s youth wing. At 28 … Read more

UPDATED: Spotlight investigation to explore republican treatment of ‘abuse’ victim

BBC NI’s Spotlight programme tonight investigates the republican movement’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against a suspected IRA member. Maíria Cahill has waived her right to anonymity to tell how the republican movement responded to her allegations by first investigating them, then burying them and imposing a code of silence to protect the movement. She is from one of the republican movement’s most famous families. Her great uncle was Joe Cahill, one of the founders of the Provisional IRA and … Read more

So, if there is a border poll, what might a Yes Ireland campaign look like?

On this morning’s Sunday Politics, the Bel Tel Political Editor, Liam Clarke said that a poll will appear in tomorrow’s newspaper stating that a majority of those surveyed would like to see a border poll. Clarke did not go into who would win such a poll if it is held, but I thought I would pen some thoughts I have been developing over the past few months. Last week I was in Scotland to live blog the referendum as the … Read more

Queen Elizabeth and our attitude towards the Monarchy

It is always a big occasion when the Queen pops over from Buckingham Palace to pay her subjects in this part of the kingdom a visit. Before, I go any further I must declare an interest, I am a republican and  not just in a narrow Irish sense, but I generally think that monarchies around the world are in 2014 pretty redundant. The recent example in Spain of King Juan Carlos having to abdicate because of his extravagant holidays while … Read more

Daithí McKay: Sinn Féin will not be deflected by ‘old guard’ within the police

Slugger is pleased to host a piece on the recent arrest of Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein’s Economy spokesman, Daithí McKay MLA Last week those who have opposed the Peace Process and Sinn Féin got what they always wanted – the arrest of Gerry Adams. It served a number of interests, those anti-Sinn Féin voices who have sought to undermine the Good Friday Agreement; the selfish and strategic interests of the NIO who want to distract public attention from the … Read more

Sinn Féin to make new councils work for you

In our latest installment of our series from the various political parties, Sinn Fein tell us why they deserve your vote in the upcoming elections On May 22nd we will elect people to 11 new super councils in what is the biggest shake-up in local government for over 40 years. Powers will be devolved to councils on planning, the environment, the development of local tourism and the regeneration of deprived communities. These changes will enable local representatives to allocate resources … Read more

1916 Rising and how it inspired me 78 years later.

There are a lot of pieces going around today looking back at the Rising and its subsequent impact on the direction of Irish politics. But, I wanted to tell a different story of how the Rising inspired me and impacted on my future direction and beliefs. I don’t claim that this story is indicative of anything, other than my own political values, nor do I believe it is more valuable than other stories, which I hope commentators will share in … Read more

McGuinness WILL attend events during Pres Higgins state visit to GB

Statement released by Sinn Fein tonight We also seek an agreed, united Ireland which accommodates those who define themselves as British. It is within this context that I can confirm that deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will accept an invitation to attend all events as part of the State visit. This decision by a confident republican leadership is in keeping with the transition that is ongoing within the island of Ireland and between Ireland, including the North, and Britain. There … Read more

There is nothing like a Dame-Australia re-introduces Royal Honours #auspol

When I first heard this story I must admit the song that kept going through my head was that famous Morecambe and Wise sketch ‘There is nothing like a Dame’ Last week, the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott re-introduced the Knights and Dames system that was abolished by the Hawke Labor government in the 80s. This decision has been met with ridicule and general disapproval within Australia as event Abbott’s predecessor and avowed Monarchist, John Howard spoke of his belief … Read more

Why Irish America needs to get on board with modern Ireland, or get out of the way.

Reading the memoirs of Ken Bloomfield and Tony Blair for me give two very telling insights into the politics of Irish America and their priorities in viewing the homeland. I begin with Tony Blair who noted the contradiction of certain American politicians idolising Margaret Thatcher while having an ambivalent attitude towards groups like the IRA who made it their business to kill her. This contradictory attitude is in my experience typical of some Irish Americans who while in the states … Read more

Robinson threatens to quit over Hyde Park

Following on from Nigel Dodds very annoyed performance during  Prime Ministers Questions, his boss Peter Robinson is now threatening to bring down the whole show telling the BBC that he is not prepared to continue leading an administration that is being kept in the dark about these type of issues. He is now insisting that a judicial inquiry into the 180 secret letters given to On the Runs be set up. With an election approaching, poor relations with Sinn Fein and … Read more

Whatever you do, don’t stand out from the crowd.

In an interview with Barton Creeth, the SDLP council candidate for Balmoral, Justin Cartwright made the following statement which caused a bit of a brew ha ha when he said this about whether he was campaigning for Irish unity No I’m not. I’m an economic unionist. Increasing numbers of nationalist voters are moving away from this idea of a united Ireland. There’s a reason for that, because people aren’t economically illiterate. They look at the the economy of the Republic of Ireland and they … Read more