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‘Wind the bobbin up Enda, Gerry and Martin and bury all your republican hubris’ – urges Brian Spencer 

”  The Ireland of 2016, the crowning year in this decade of centenaries, has degenerated into a vicious war of words. The leaders of the establishment parties smear Sinn Fein as “gangsters” and a “Mafia”. Adams, the leader of the political insurgency returns fire, calling his republican opponents the equivalent of the northern pejoratives Lundys…

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Time to ‘Trouble the Troubles?’ – Our Unfinished Peace and the need for Uncomfortable Conversations and why the truth may not set us free by John Barry…

It is commonly said that in Ireland the past is never over, that one of the characteristics of our troubled and troubling politics, especially within Northern Ireland is our long historical memories. As Oscar Wilde is said to have quipped in talking about the relationship between England and Ireland ‘The problem is the English can’t…

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Twenty Years on by Patrick McKeating

It was a day of firsts. The visit of President Clinton was the first time I heard the phrase ‘no stone unturned’. As 9 year olds we all had to write about the visit of the most powerful man in the world to our city. A boy named Christopher wrote that the CIA would ‘leave…

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Does anyone think ‘national security’ interests including use of collusion would be tolerated by the families of the French people killed in Paris? – Asks Mark Thompson of RFJ

  Understandable frustration exists surrounding the failure yet again to implement the promise of independently addressing the legacy of the past. In the Stormont House Agreement of last December there was no mention of ‘national security’ in the published paper; that was however until the proposal within that agreement, the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) and…

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Lots of Bombs and Lots of Loughs by David Gilmour

  “Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.” General “Buck” Turgidson, Dr. Strangelove   DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson opened his mouth in Westminster on Wednesday and said: “With support for the Union in Northern Ireland growing ever stronger, may I help to assuage the concerns of the Right Honourable Member for Moray…

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‘Solidarity and Resisting Terror’ – By David Gilmour

In one of the hundreds of op-eds written following the Paris attacks, the Guardian’s Lucy Mangan talks about the “need for silence” in the wake of tragedy. Silence is certainly a powerful place to begin. Anything other than silence on these occasions, often unintentionally, spirals out into something else. The attack in Paris, like the…

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Billy Hutchinson – a British Loyalist in Dublin

I’ve felt green of late. Not a political conversion, rather, the green of envy. Jealous of the energy, vision and action of the Irish unity lobby. The unionist caucus by contrast is inert and anaemic. Unionism is now the politics of Ourselves Alone, endlessly playing the grievance card. Unionism is reclusive. Unionists exhibit the traits…

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‘Not knowing your place’ – by Brian John Spencer

In 1921 the founding father of Northern Ireland Edward Carson implored unionist legislators to govern the nascent state with justice and equality for the Catholic minority. Unionists opposed a Dublin parliament because they feared injustice and inequality. In the end the unionist parliament in Belfast disposed of Carson’s dictum, treating Catholics in the very manner…