BEYOND BLEAK – By Brian Rowan 

    For the second day running Alliance MLA Stephen Farry found the words to describe the Stormont standoff. On Monday he talked about trenches getting deeper over the summer months. Then,  24 hours later, he spoke of a situation that is now “beyond bleak”. Farry was speaking on a day when Simon Coveney met…

STORMONT: STILL UPSIDE DOWN – By Brian Rowan

      The penny still hasn’t dropped. An Executive before an agreement is putting the cart before the horse. There should be no surprise about how swiftly and emphatically Sinn Fein dismissed the latest Arlene Foster proposal to form an Executive immediately and then, within a time-limited period, to bring forward legislation to address…

Majority opposes Brexit, overall unionist majority at Stormont gone. NI politics in completely new construct – By Brian Rowan 

  The weeks of the summer have changed nothing. There is no new plan. No new thinking. Read the latest statements from British Secretary of State James Brokenshire and Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney after their meeting on Tuesday. Brokenshire’s priority “to see the restoration of the devolved institutions” – his comment that, “Urgent…

‘GHOST HOUSE’ – By Brian Rowan

  That two-word description above was a reference to Stormont – the words chosen by an MLA to describe the corridors of Parliament Buildings that he walked a few days ago. He was chatting on the phone afterwards; a conversation in which there was no suggestion of any likelihood or possibility of an agreement to…

TEA MAKER and PEACEMAKER – By Brian Rowan 

    You listen in the company of Harold Good and you learn. On Tuesday as part of this year’s Féile an Phobail programme of conversations the churchman talked us through some remarkable meetings and moments; stretching from the 1950s right up to recent times. He spoke of his father’s solo-run to meet with a republican…