Sinn Féin Town Hall meetings: louder than words

The really good ideas are often the simple ones. Blindingly simple, so when you see them in action, you kick yourself and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” On the other hand, there are simple and really good ideas that, even had you thought of them, you’d have been incapable of translating them into […]

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Five things we know about the Shankill Butchers

Stephen Nolan’s show ‘Shankill Butchers’ on BBC last night didn’t so much bring fresh revelations about that loyalist 1970s gang as confirm what most of us have been thinking for a long, long time. Five things struck me while watching it. 1. The Shankill Butchers were terrorists. That might seem obvious when the word is […]

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Five things we know about the Shankill Butchers

Stephen Nolan’s show ‘Shankill Butchers’ on BBC last night didn’t so much bring fresh revelations about that loyalist 1970s gang as confirm what most of us have been thinking for a long, long time. Five things struck me while watching it. 1. The Shankill Butchers were terrorists. That might seem obvious when the word is […]

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Closure be damned

My life has been blessed. The nearest I’ve come to the death of a loved one in the Troubles was in the Omagh bomb, where a distant cousin died. So I can’t begin to understand how much pain families feel when a family member is killed through the wanton violence of others. Nor can I […]

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Closure be damned

My life has been blessed. The nearest I’ve come to the death of a loved one in the Troubles was in the Omagh bomb, where a distant cousin died. So I can’t begin to understand how much pain families feel when a family member is killed through the wanton violence of others. Nor can I […]

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Even-handed reporting and Scottish sectarianism

George Galloway – what an idiot, eh? He went onto a reality show where he dressed up as a cat and slunk about pretending to lick cream from a bowl. How can you take someone like that seriously? Which is just as well, because you might have been tempted to take seriously his criticisms of […]

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Even-handed reporting and Scottish sectarianism

George Galloway – what an idiot, eh? He went onto a reality show where he dressed up as a cat and slunk about pretending to lick cream from a bowl. How can you take someone like that seriously? Which is just as well, because you might have been tempted to take seriously his criticisms of […]

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Holding their cultural and moral noses…

Two politicians – one based in the north, one in the south – spoke publicly yesterday and got a mocking reception. The first was Nelson McCausland, the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, who said the Belfast Festival should have more sacred music on its programme. He got a fairly frosty interview on BBC Radio […]

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