February, 2021

PAT + JUDE TALK ABOUT THE DUP + PARAMILITARIES, WHY DERRY +STRABANE ARE POOR, +DRUGS – LEGALISE ‘EM?

Derry-Strabane is one of the most impoverished areas in the UK – yet it has had John Hume, Mark Durkan and Martin McGuinness representing it.  Have they done a good job for their electorate? And finally, drugs. Yummy-yummy. No, seriously – should drugs be legalised and government controlled? The War Against Drugs has been raging […]

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Nicola Sturgeon vs Alex Salmond

To say Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are not best mates right now would be to state the obvious. Salmond was tried  in March 2020 on 14 charges of sexual assault, including one attempted rape, involving 10 women. Some of the complainants were Scottish National Party (SNP) officials, others worked for the Scottish government. He […]

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Border poll? Get a grip, says Michael McDowell

It would be unfair to describe Michael McDowell as a failed politician.  He was one of those who founded the Progressive Democrats in the 1980s; he got elected to the Dáil several times; but in the 2007 general election he led his party to near-complete wipe-out, losing his own seat as well as virtually all […]

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The FF Fifteen by Joe McVeigh

Fianna Fail TDs willing to speak to Sinn Féin: Jim O’Callaghan/Barry Cowen/John Lahart/Joe Flaherty/James Browne James Lawless/Marc MacSharry/Paul McAuliffe/James O’Connor/Willie O’DeaPadraig O’Sullivan/Niamh Smyth/Robert Troy/Cathal Crowe/John McGuinness I would commend the Fianna Fail Fifteen for declaring their willingness to exploring the possibility of FF engaging with SF in talks about the formation of a future government. That is surely a more democratic approach than refusing to talk […]

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Does Party Politics in Northern Ireland matter in a UK General Election? by Jan Erik Mustad

Erik Mustad, University of Agder After the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, party politics in Northern Ireland has mainly focused on power sharing. However, with a changed political landscape and the two large Westminster parties looking more to the nations, perhaps the Northern Irish parties ought to matter more in Westminster. In post Devolution Northern Ireland focus […]

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PAT + JUDE TALK ABOUT VACCINE ENVY, ARLENE AND THAT PESKY SEA BORDER, AND SALMOND v STURGEON

Has the UK just produced the first fruits of freedom? Its vaccination  rate far outstrips that of the EU. What’s going on? Arlene Foster says that unionist will take a legal case against the Irish  protocol, saying it drives a “coach and horses” through the Act of Union and the Good Friday Agreement. Will she win over Boris,  who did the dirty deed? Finally, is the Scottish independence movement about to be holed  below the waterline? Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of lying in  parliament about the Alex Salmond matter. Salmond was charged with all sorts of sexual misdeeds but has emerged vindicated.  Is this the  famous split that will damage the SNP in the May general election? You know where the answer lies. The hand of enlightenment is on your shoulder. Press the button below…

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Death of Hugh Lunney (O’Lunney) by Fr Sean McManus

God rest the noble Irish soul of Hugh Lunney. Hugh was from Swad (Swanlinbar)—the part of the parish of Kinawley, Fermanagh, that is in County Cavan. So, Hugh and I had this in common: not only was our country divided by England’s undemocratic Border, so too was our historic parish, which has had an ecclesial presence since the Sixth Century. The last […]

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Michael D Higgins and imperialism

This blog first appeared as a column in The Andersonstown News Is the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, an imposing figure? Well, if by ‘imposing’ you mean ‘tall’, he obviously isn’t. Most past presidents would have towered above him, even perhaps the two Marys. But Irish people don’t elect presidents on the basis of their height. Michael D had two hard acts to follow […]

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‘Miracle On St David’s Day’ by Gillian Clarke

“All you need to know about this poem is that it is a true story. It happened in the ’70s, and it took me years to find a way to write the poem.” ‘They flash upon that inward eyewhich is the bliss of solitude’(from ‘The Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth) An afternoon yellow and open-mouthedwith daffodils. […]

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