November, 2013

Slán abhaile, Father Alec Reid

  How have the Churches emerged from the period of conflict here? I’m thinking about that in the wake of the death of Fr Alec Reid. They did pretty poorly, in my view. The contribution of the Protestant Churches I don’t know in any detail. There were occasions when a number of Protestant clergymen attempted […]

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The Past: what do you think?

  This blog is a little different from the usual. I’ve been asked by the BBC’s Sunday Sequence  to put together 90 seconds  (yes, you read aright – seconds) on the past and how we might best cope with it. I have some ideas ricocheting around in my head but I’d be interested to know: what would you […]

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Edwin does moral indignation

OK, here’s Edwin Poots two days ago, in a debate about the Disappeared in Stormont: “Someone is lying through their teeth. There is no desire in republicanism to tell the truth about these issues. If they cannot tell the truth about these issues, about their murky past on these issues, then how can we expect […]

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The Attorney-General’s Big Idea

  I’m listening as I type to the Nolan Show on Raidio Uladh/Radio Ulster and no prizes for knowing what they’re talking about: the Attorney-General’s call for an end to all law-suits, enquiries and the like into Troubles-related events pre-1998. A few points strike me as I listen. 1.This is no solo run by the […]

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Joe Brolly tries to change our world

Welcome to my new online abode – pull up a virtual chair and warm your hands at the internet fire… OK, social issue today. Did you watch Joe Brolly – Perfect Match (RTE1) last night? It was a terrific programme. Took us through what we know already – that Brolly offered his kidney to a club-mate and […]

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Michael D "closes the final chapter"? Or maybe not.

So – President Michael D Higgins is to visit Britain and call in on the British head of state for a chin-wag. Well, more than that, really. This is the first time the Irish head of state has made an official visit to Britain. Aren’t you excited? Much was being made of it this morning […]

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David Cameron: withering on war crimes. Well, some anyway…

Here’s David Cameron: “The information in that book is completely chilling. It’s an appalling set of allegations and of course these allegations have been backed up by the work of the journalist Anne Cadwallader who has had them verified. There are legitimate accusations of war crimes that need to be properly investigated. That is actually […]

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N21: the road to somewhere?

I remember a couple of decades ago having a conversation with a senior SDLP man. For some reason the question of organisations came up and the SDLP man said something that’s stuck with me. The best of organisations, he said,  still depends on, is made or broken by the quality of the individuals who make […]

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The men of violence

I believe in violence to achieve political ends. I should add, before some troll grabs that first sentence and uses it as a club to thump me: so do you. Why do I say that, Virginia? Bend an ear. I pay my taxes, as I’m sure do you, to Her Majesty’s Exchequer. That money is […]

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