Long read | From Anglo-Irish to British-Irish relations: What’s next?

26 Feb

Brexit has unleashed complex and often interconnected consequences that impact on Ireland and the UK. Consequently, the context of British-Irish cooperation is now fundamentally altered. The dramatic changes that have occurred since 2016 have led to two burning core questions: how to define it now and what is the future path British-Irish relations, writes Etain Tannam (Trinity … Continued

How will they square the circle of unfettered access to Northern Ireland ports? Check it out on Tuesday

23 Feb

David Frost ( no, not that one, now deceased) According to the Sunday Times we will know the approach the UK will adopt for the next stage of EU withdrawal in a couple of days, now that the country has left the organisation and we are in the transition phase of less than a year.  The UK government are taking up a position of maximum distance from the EU procedures and laws quite different from the  erratic harder no softer … Read more

A border poll yields pride of place to good government at Stormont. Will the parties get the message?

18 Feb

We’re told it’s the most thorough survey of political attitudes in years                      (what, more than the NI Life and Times surveys?). It shows the graph has tilted over a just a little more in favour of united Ireland, confirming that those who Don’t Know or declined to answer – an  odd description of the middle ground – hold the balance.  I’m caught between concern about growing tension as the day … Read more

Fraught Anglo-Irish relations are about to get tenser

18 Feb

Leo Varadkar was attacked by some Brexiters for ‘anti-British’ rhetoric. Patrick Holden (University of Plymouth) finds that Varadkar’s language was no more emotional than that of his predecessor, Enda Kenny, though he was more outspoken about the contradictions of the British position. If Sinn Féin now enter the Irish government, Anglo-Irish tensions may continue to rise. … Continued

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit

12 Feb

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit. The success of Sinn Fein in the recent Irish general election was built on a deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the quality of social provision in health, housing, childcare and other ‘quality of life’ issues at a time of a booming economy. The party’s traditional … Continued

Asking the right questions for a better-informed public

4 Feb

Asking the right questions for a better-informed public by Allan LEONARD 28 January 2020 Representing FactCheckNI and as part of a four-person panel, I was invited to give evidence to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies. Fellow witnesses were Ed Humpherson (Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR)), Will Moy (Chief Executive, Full Fact), and Jenni Sargent (Managing Director, First Draft). This was an extension of the committee’s previous call for written … Read more

A way can be found between the EU rock and the GB hard place. But will Boris Johnson let us take it?

4 Feb

Katy Hayward We are literally at sea over what Northern Ireland’s special status with the EU will mean  in practice.   Our Brexit guru – or should I now say, our Guru on Trading Relations with GB and the EU Katy Hayward  writing in the Belfast Telegraph explains neatly why Northern Ireland is between a rock and a hard place    In  the past  Katy was keen to repeat assurances that  NI’s  different economic  relationship with the EU from GB  had … Read more

In the brave new world outside the EU, the DUP have no survival strategy for the Union

1 Feb

The quivering projection of Big Ben onto the facade of Downing St accompanied by its tinny recorded chimes while the Brexit deliverer skulked inside, said it all. Boris Johnson did not want to be visibly identified with the big moment in case it all goes pear shaped.  In former times retreats on such a scale were the result of war. That’s about best thing that can be said about Brexit; the worst is that it’s heading for a bigger reverse, … Read more

#BrexitDay-Nothing but damage

31 Jan

In Jan Carson’s The Fire Starters, there is a quote: “There is never enough silence to contain all our talking…….we continue to believe that across the sea, Europe (and also the world) is holding its breath for the next chapter in our sad story. The world is not waiting.” More than anywhere else in the UK, Brexit shifted the ground beneath Northern Ireland. It threw us down on different sides, sides that were also the battle lines that came before. … Read more

From the Kingdom to the Compound. What happened to church-related community development?

19 Jan

On a Sunday afternoon in June last year nearly 2000 people gathered at CS Lewis Square in East Belfast for an evangelistic rally organised by a partnership of six of the largest churches in the city. CS Lewis Square is an impressive example of designing and implementing civic space. It’s a testament to the imagination, vision and perseverance of the community and voluntary sector and its commitment to inter-agency collaboration. Furthermore, naming the Square after one of Belfast’s most notable … Read more

Making in progress in Northern Ireland

14 Jan

The resumption of the Assembly and Executive of Stormont is the basis for a reform of government in Northern Ireland and a change in the way our society operates. The big question is how this can be achieved. Holywell Trust conducted interviews with opinion leaders in Northern Ireland and the Republic asking how our society should change. Those 35 ‘Forward Together’ interviews were covered extensively last year by Slugger and broadcast as podcasts. They have this week been published on … Read more

2020 – A key year for climate action including within the assembly

10 Jan

Stevie Maginn is a Green Party Activist & Environmental Campaigner. 2019 was the year that the climate crisis finally became part of mainstream society thanks to the work of activists like Greta Thunberg and more locally, Youth Strike 4 Climate Belfast & Múscail. 2020 must be the year for Climate Action. The science is there, the UN International Panel for Climate Change recognises that global carbon emissions MUST peak this year, if average temperatures are to remain within 1.5C of … Read more