Growing up in a scrupulously indifferent unionist homestead I had to go. The Union was at stake. Sounds like an oxymoron and it surely is – the indifferent aren’t supposed to be passionate – but all I’ve known is I’m Irish and British and I like it that way. I’m an alumnus of… Read More


  (The following address was delivered by Declan Kearney at the Desmond Greaves Summer School). The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of 1998 represented a framework of principles and political structures that helped embed conflict resolution and the fledgling Irish Peace Process. It opened a democratic road forward and established the political process to resolve the… Read More


    Former aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell thinks that the Peace process is ‘ fragile.’ Current Secretary of State Theresa Villliers is of the view that the NI Assembly risks becoming ‘deadlocked and dysfunctional.’ Not so long ago when addressing assembled Church dignitaries, she acknowledged the difficulty of ensuring that a… Read More


    In recent weeks there has been some political and other commentary regarding the potential cuts to funding for victims and survivors groups, or the inability to continue funding some groups whose Peace III funding contracts have come to an end. For individual victims and survivors there have been cuts to previous support packages… Read More


    (Speech by Independent Unionist MLA John McCallister, in Limerick to: ‘Tangible Ireland, extension of Tangible’s Leadership seminars.’) This month, across Europe, we commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. As we remember a lost generation – those who fell in France and Flanders, and further afield – we can be… Read More


    An Ulster Presbyterian is in charge of how the 26 counties of Republic of Ireland celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising. Could there be a grander irony? Let me leave this for a moment to look at Northern Ireland. The myopia of Unionism is a mortal one. A Unionism that unflinchingly supports the Union but congenitally… Read More


    Three years ago, a BBC World Service survey of 11,000 people in 23 countries claimed unemployment was the world’s fastest growing concern. While corruption and poverty ranked highest in the poll, 18% of people identified joblessness as their main worry – six times higher than the level recorded in 2009. Unemployment preoccupied people… Read More


    I thought Féile was great. Your very own garden centre prod got to meet some ex-prisoners, deep dyed shinners, and got to listen to some fascinating seminars. I thoroughly recommend it to others. You only strengthen your argument by exposing yourself to opposition and anaerobic resistance. It makes you fitter. That’s the problem with… Read More


      (The following is the transcript of the John Hume Lecture given by  Dr.  Maurice Hayes (pictured above) at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties on 20 July 2014 .)   I  Respect for the political process is not helped either by what I would call the paxmanisation of political interviewing in which politicians… Read More