A new series of conversations on the future

Holywell Trust’s third series of Forward Together podcasts is launched today. As with the previous series, the focus is on how to make progress in Northern Ireland and heal our divided society. In these latest podcasts we consider some of the ideas that emerged from previous interviews – which were edited together into the book, ‘Lessons from the Troubles and the Unsettled Peace’. Unfortunately, recent events make these ideas even more relevant for urgent consideration. Suggestions discussed further in the …

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Tony Blair to face OTRs’ grilling by MPs

The Commons Northern Ireland select committee delving into the undergrowth of the On the Runs controversy have won one major battle but lost a separate skirmish with the NIO. Tony Blair has surrendered to their pressure and will appear before them next Tuesday. However, Theresa Villiers and the Northern Ireland Office are being unnecessarily defensive in refusing to allow officials who were directly involved in the letters scheme to give evidence alone. At very short notice – and after the civil service …

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“This may involve kicking over a lot of creatively ambiguous rocks…”

And belatedly, here’s Newton Emerson from the Irish News last weekend (£): PETER Robinson settled for a “judge-led review” from David Cameron into the on-the-runs letters, for reasons that may involve kicking the issue into the long grass until after May’s elections. However, Westminster’s cross-party Northern Ireland Affairs Committee was not mollified and has now announced its own parliamentary inquiry, with a far wider remit than Cameron’s wig-adorned paperwork exercise plus the power to compel evidence and witnesses. This may …

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