“We had been invited to come and show our support for the talks process but explicitly asked to leave our issues at the door.” By Kellie Turtle

Civil society engagement with the current talks process has been minimal to say the least. When word got round last week that there was to be an official civil society session at Stormont with party leaders and British and Irish government representatives I like many was keen to be in attendance. I represent the women’s…

AMNESTY WAR – By Brian Rowan

  For more than two years the government has allowed the question to hang – the issue of some amnesty or statute of limitations for soldiers who served here in the conflict period; Let it hang, even though they knew that for soldiers alone it was not and is not deliverable. APRIL 2017 The starting…

STORMONT TALKS GO UNDER THE RADAR – By Brian Rowan

What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday, Stormont was in the spotlight; the beginning of new negotiations attracting attention from the main news outlets interested in what the governments and the other parties to these talks had to say about this latest salvage operation on the political hill.  It’s an initiative shaped by the…

POLITICS OR WASTELAND? – By Brian Rowan

Will the results of the latest elections here change anything when the talking begins again today? Secretary of State Karen Bradley and Tanaiste Simon Coveney will meet before a lunchtime round table involving all the parties to these talks; new talks on old ground that will decide whether Stormont is to function again or be…

NEW TALKS – OLD GROUND – By Brian Rowan

  The new talks schedule was set out at Stormont on Friday. May 7th will be the starting date for a negotiation sandwiched and squeezed between two elections. By the end of May the governments will review progress. There is also to be a British-Irish intergovernmental conference within 24 hours of the talks commencing, with part…