Ben, elderly soldiers and disputed killings

My dear friend Ben Lowry of The News Letter is worried again, I see. He’s concerned about legacy. Welcome to the club, Ben. There are people here who were worrying about legacy before you were born. Ben’s main thing, need I say, is that “elderly soldiers are [being] tried late in life for disputed single […]

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Bombardier : some turbulence

If you were a Bombardier worker last week and even if you weren’t, you’re probably still exhaling and saying “That was a close one.” On Friday of last week, just about all the experts as well as those employed by Bombardier in Belfast were bracing themselves for the worst. With the Trump administration slapping duties […]

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Strabane and Derry scrap the tricolour

I note where Derry and Strabane District Council have decided that at the St Patrick’s Day parade, there will be no flags or emblems. There are a number of ways you could react to this. You could say that the celebration of the feast of our national saint should not be rolled together with politics, […]

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Some good news facts and figures…sort of

It’s always nice to read a good-news story. Whether it’s a kitten rescued from a tree or Nelson McCausland discovering a native Ulster-Scots speaker, good news lifts the heart. Which is probably why the Belfast Telegraph today is trumpeting the “remarkable transformation” in Catholic unemployment in our NEN. It has more than halved, the newspaper […]

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Abortion: what’s the question?

There can be few people in Ireland who can’t tell you how many people were killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972. Most would also be able to tell you that thirteen of the fourteen died on that January day, while the fourteenth victim died a few months later. Rather less would be able to tell […]

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Five lessons we can draw from the Gary Haggarty case

  It may have been painful – no, let’s get real, it was and is painful – that Gary Haggarty should have received a sentence of just over six years for his crimes. Equally painful, in some ways, are the lessons it teaches us about the state and its concern for its citizens. There are, of […]

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Joe and the dumb nationalists in the north

When I was an impressionable teenager, I used to read Time magazine. It impressed me mightily: it could take some matter – any matter – and make what had been vague and fuzzy precise and sharp-edged. It wrote with clarity, it spoke with authority. Time was my bible. And then one week they did a […]

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Leo and Mary Lou: two new leaders

Normally when a political party replaces an ageing leader with a leader in his/prime, the expectation is that this will give the party a bounce. People will see the new leader the way we look on the first snow-drops or a tentative daffodil tip pushing clear of the soil: something new and fresh and maybe […]

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Saturday pics of the week

Pics 1-3 are by Perkin Warbeck:   Pic 1   Pic 2   Pic 3   Pic 1:  Valletta celebrated being European Culture Capital 2018 last Saturday night with a Spectacular Launch. Pic 2: . Culture Vultures from all arts, crafts and parts arrived. Pic 3: . Including this Brobdingagian  character who set speculative tongues a-wagging. Was it […]

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