img_1260.jpg

‘Loughinisland Report – what next?’ by Brian Rowan

On his twitter account on Sunday Chief Constable George Hamilton posed a what next question – what should now happen as a follow-up to the Police Ombudsman (PONI) Report on the Loughinisland shootings of 1994? Hamilton said he looked forward to PONI action “pursuing those guilty of collusion…[and] where reasonable suspicion exists arrest and interview…

img_0960-1.jpg

The Victims Haven’t Gone Away You Know by David Gilmour…

Almost two decades have passed since the ceasefires that would give birth to peace deals, since politicians shook hands and desperate citizens signed ‘yes’, since weapons were condemned to rust and since prisoners were absolved to become civilians. In that time we have even managed to reform the police and engage in power sharing, but…

IMG_4070-0.jpg

Will Stakeknife bring the house down?

By this time next week we should know the shape of the Stakeknife investigation. Already, there has been one delay in the announcement. It had been expected today (Thursday June 2). The waiting is for the new political members of the Policing Board to be in place. Those nominations have now been made: DUP 4…

IMG_2952-0.png

‘A terrible ignorance’ – By Brian John Spencer

Easter, 1916 – a terrible beauty was born. It had a dark and little seen twin; a terrible ignorance of the people of the North. South of the border, the Easter Rising is almost universally acclaimed. A singular understanding of history imposed, and a singular way of being Irish understood. Professor Michael Laffan wrote: “When I…

IMG_2297-0.jpg

How right Leon Uris was when he said of Ireland: “There is no future: just history repeating itself.” Brian John Spencer reflects…

George Bernard Shaw portended Northern Ireland as “an autonomous political lunatic asylum”. How right he was. I’m not sure that was the creator’s intention, however. The ideals of Easter 1916 are well known, but the ideals of Edward Carson were just as high; he wanted every Irishman to enjoy the rights and liberties enjoyed by…

Seeing through a shut eye

  In the 1960s Gerry Fitt, the icon of Northern nationalism, identified the Achilles heel of unionism – its professed devotion to ‘British standards’. These ‘British standards’ of fairness, opportunity and equality didn’t apply to the Catholic minority. As long as this discrepant thread existed and was picked at, the unionist monopoly was doomed. Fitt…

IMG_1653.JPG

‘The North Began’ declared Eoin MacNeill… Brian John Spencer asks ‘Amidst 1916 celebrations has the South forgotten?’

A torrent of letters, books and articles have discussed the Easter Rising and Ireland at the one hundred year milestone. As a northern protestant* I welcome the breadth of the debate and the courtesy that is afforded the non-orthodox voice. However, much work remains. The northern Catholic is semi-eclipsed, and the northern protestant remains entirely…

IMG_0961-0.jpg

‘The Class of 1916’ by Brian John Spencer

The rebels of 1916 came from all ranks of society, but a majority were lower-middle-class. In a time of high unemployment, the vast majority of the rebels were employed. David McWilliams wrote, “most were from the class that Marx would describe as the hated petit bourgeois.” The Irish rebellion of 1916 was a moment precipitated…