The GFA brought peace – but paramilitaries haven’t gone away

The Good Friday Agreement ended the bitter conflict, but failed to eliminate the poison of paramilitarism. In the latest Forward Together podcast interview recorded before the loyalist street riots protesting against the Brexit Protocol and the latest paramilitary shootings in Derry, Duncan Morrow considers the limitations of the GFA. Northern Ireland remains overshadowed by paramilitaries that claim a political motivation, yet are engaged in criminal enterprises that include the drug trade, protection rackets and loan sharking. Can the GFA now …

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Derry breathes a sigh of relief as Ulster University plan to move 800 places to Magee…

It’s been a debate rumbling on since the 1960s and has been subject to many slugger posts over the years. Including the lack of strategic thinking over the long-term viability for our health service. The post graduate entry medical school at Magee is set to take students in September this year (according to UU’s website at time of posting) but it has been blighted by delays and began as a project in the early noughties. 20 years in Derry (policy) …

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#TheReset Podcast – Steve Bradley on the future of Derry…

Steve Bradley is a regeneration consultant, you can follow him on Twitter. Steve is a very popular writer on Slugger with some of his posts getting over 40k readers, you can view an archive of his posts here. In this podcast, we discuss the future of Derry and the Northwest. In particular, we discuss: The future of Ulster University in Derry or lack thereof The potential for an independent University How Covid-19 will affect Derry, in particular, fewer people having …

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Hume’s origin story: fighting injustice at every corner…

It is incumbent upon us all to remember what propelled a young teacher in Derry into frontline politics and change the face of Northern Ireland forever. The young teacher was John Hume, born into a working-class catholic family he had been given opportunities not afforded to generations before and attended University. In the words of that other Derry giant (Gerry Anderson) his generation of queens’ graduates [para] “went away to university, learned about the country they lived in and came …

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“Most people believe social care should be free, but there’s a lot of confusion out there”

Social care must be reformed. If it wasn’t clear before the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become tragically obvious over recent weeks. So this is an opportune time to hear in the latest Holywell Trust Forward Together podcast from Deirdre Heenan, professor of social policy at Ulster University and joint author nine years ago of a major study into Northern Ireland’s health and social care system. “The vast majority of people accept and want the NHS to be free at the …

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SOAPBOX: Why university staff are striking…

Dominic Bryan, is a Professor at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. You can follow him on Twitter. Staff in Northern Ireland at Queen’s University, the University of Ulster and the Open University, myself included, are on strike again. Staff at Universities all over the UK are on strike again. This is the second time in a year and the third time in three years. It is utterly frustrating that we are back in …

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Ulster University and where to find 100 more doctors?

  It has been an argument raging on for 50 years, it briefly united Unionist and Nationalist elected reps in a period of violent division but it has yet to be resolved; a University for our second city. When the Stormont government attempted to shutdown the Magee University College (as it then was) campus and divert its resources to the New Ulster University in Coleraine which was recommended by the Lockwood Report. The City rose up in unity with Brian …

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Northern Ireland Social Science Festival launches programme…

Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are again coming together to launch a packed programme of talks, workshops, plays and interactive activities that showcase the range and quality of social science research being carried out in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland ESRC Festival of Social Science kicks off across Northern Ireland in various venues from 2 – 9 November 2019. The UK-wide Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council, and aims to open up …

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Brexit, Borders and Beyond: Marxism as a Guide in Turbulent Times (watch back)

Last night, the very room in The MAC which hosted the launch of NI21 six years ago to the day, was the venue for a panel discussion on Brexit, Borders and Beyond: Marxism as a Guide in Turbulent Times. Mary Davis, John Barry and Costas Lapavitsas contributed to the well-attended event that was organised by Ulster University’s School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences in association with Reclaim the Agenda and Slugger O’Toole.

Fifth NI Peace Monitoring Report shows a Northern Ireland stuck in neutral, sometimes in reverse #NIPMR

A look through the fifth NI Peace Monitoring Report, written by a team of academics at Ulster University and published today by the Community Relations Council. The answers in the 200 page report are not all positive as the team make their assessment of the state of the economy; political progress; the sense of safety; wealth, poverty and inequality; and cohesion and sharing.

Soapbox: The challenge to keep the peace process flowing forward

Peter Osborne is chair of the Community Relations Council and a member of the Peace Monitoring Report advisory group. He can be followed on Twitter at @OsborneTweets. The latest Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report [PDF] speaks into a space that hasn’t been as uncertain in a generation. While there were two steps forward and only one step back, a sense of confidence, hope and ambition defined the process; and confidence empowered progress no matter how slow at times. In recent …

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Ulster Uni’s new Belfast Campus Shows it isn’t Serious About Magee Expansion. So it’s time for Derry to Look Elsewhere

Last week’s A’Level results not only signalled the start of the annual scramble to secure a place at University. They also pointed to a worrying development for the long-promised expansion of Magee campus in Derry. Student Numbers Falling Figures from UCAS (the University and Colleges Admissions Service) show a 4% fall this year in applications to go to University – the first such decline in five years.  All parts of the UK are reflecting this drop, and the figures also …

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Magee or not Magee – Time for for a graduate entry medical school in Derry / Londonderry?

  There is definite support in Derry for Ulster University’s proposal for a graduate entry medical school at Magee campus.  After 53 years of exasperation that the city does not have a full sized university, actual excitement for such ideas is always tempered by fear that it will not happen.  But at least the city’s response is definitely positive – unlike the apparent reactions in Belfast and Coleraine. A medical school in Derry should be a no brainer.  There are …

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Cuts lead third level education down the path of the privileged

Eugene Tinnelly is a founder member of the Student Poverty Alliance Group. He writes for us about the cuts in higher education Education should be free. Whether it be primary level or third level, your access to education should not be determined by what’s in your wallet but instead, by what’s in your brain. People will say that’s an idealistic way of looking at it but tell that to the people of Denmark who receive universally free education. Unfortunately the …

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Join Ed Miliband and address a public meeting of Heenan-Anderson Commission on Thursday 22

Members of the Heenan-Anderson commission will have their listening ears on as Labour leader Ed Miliband joins them to hear from local individuals and groups in a public meeting on Thursday 22 January in the Ulster University Belfast campus from 10am to 12.30pm. The Labour leader will also deliver a keynote address. [Ed – bet he doesn’t mention One Nation!] The commission – launched by the Shadow Secretary of State Ivan Lewis back in November – are keen to views …

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