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Remembering and learning at the same time

I found it by accident. My great aunt didn’t speak in much detail of her two brothers who were both dead except to say that they were soldiers who had died during World War One. In fact this was not quite right. One brother, Thomas, a sergeant in the Inniskilling Fusiliers died in action on…

Marching, Brian Rowan

MARCHING – MORATORIUMS – and LAST MINUTE MEETINGS

  Every word will be scrutinised – when the fine detail of the north Belfast marching formula is revealed. This is not just about unblocking a parading route from the Woodvale up part of the Crumlin Road – and it is not just about marching and protesting. Think of the policing money that runs down…

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‘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…

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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…

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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…

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‘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…

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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…