Were you at that UVF commemoration on Saturday? No, me neither. But thousands were – 10,000 is the figure most sources quote. Men dressed in period costume, carrying replica weapons, marching in columns. They were inspected by Billy Hutchinson, who played the role of Edward Carson and wore a top hat. What’s sort of surprising is how […]
That UVF commemoration
Were you at that UVF commemoration on Saturday? No, me neither. But thousands were – 10,000 is the figure most sources quote. Men dressed in period costume, carrying replica weapons, marching in columns. They were inspected by Billy Hutchinson, who played the role of Edward Carson and wore a top hat. What’s sort of surprising […]
President of Ireland? Then gisse a vote
Barry McElduff is a very effective politician for a number of reasons, among which his good humour and his being a Tyrone man feature prominently. He was on the Sunday Politics show on BBC One this morning and he was talking about a subject that has potentially profound implications: who can vote for the Presidency […]
Goodbye, George Best
So. Farewell George Best, hello masked gunman. The mural of Best, who first played for Manchester United just fifty years ago, has been painted over by the figure of a masked gunman. Dr John Kyle, the former PUP leader was on Raidio Uladh/Radio Ulster last Monday morning, saying how much he objected to this and […]
Crisis? What crisis?
Crisis – what crisis? People would want to cool their jets a bit. That’s the view of this cleverly-carved little statelet’s First Minister. He’s familiar with this sort of thing, he says, and people have to keep a sense of proportion. Is he right? Wrong? It depends on how you see things. If you see […]
Learning to stay apart
I don’t always agree with Fionola Meredith but she has a worthwhile article in today’s Irish Times. Her son has just started his studies at Trinity College and she notes that the number of students from the north going south to study and vice versa is shrinking. It’s an issue that hasn’t been addressed and […]
Peter’s red herring
The Assembly the other day was a fine place for an irony-collector to be. Anxious to get off the hook of his U-turn over the Long Kesh/Maze peace centre, Peter Robinson produced from his pocket a very red herring …What’s that, Virginia? Was he ashamed of his U-turn? No, no, no. Jim Allister was attacking […]
Fresh thinking? Or…
John Coulter in the Irish Daily Star yesterday was urging the Shinners to pull a master-stroke. What they should do, John says, is concede on the flag-flying issue. Let ‘the butcher’s apron’ (his words, not mine) fly 365 days a year and in return have Peter Robinson do yet another U-turn and agree to a […]
How ‘Northern Irish’ can you get?
There’s an interesting article by Paul Gillespie in today’s Irish Times in which he uses the word ‘through-other’ as a kicking-off point for consideration of the need to break down barriers between people here in the north. He talks about the need for a Bill of Rights and a Civic Forum: ‘Their potential is heralded […]
Up for the match? Or busy boycotting such coat-trailing?
I remember Freddie Perkins. He came from Watson Park, an all-Protestant housing estate beside our farm, and he smiled a lot. He also was a pretty hand-goalkeeper. He played soccer but (pace The Ban) he also played Gaelic. I can still see him diving and punching clear one of those old-fashioned brown leather footballs. I’m […]