“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…

Why call an election here by October – By David McNarry

It is conveniently forgotten that at the time of the Belfast Agreement raging arguments roared inside unionism. David Trimble’s indomitable resolve to take politics to an all new inclusive level uprooted his own party. Supporters like myself wondered how these genuine reform approaches would be received overtime. Today the rampant republican anti -unionist behaviour has…

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…

Backtracking not Fake News – By Brian Rowan

There is something that just doesn’t add up in the explanation of the decision of the Northern Ireland Office to abandon Wednesday’s planned announcement on legacy next steps. Over the past number of days, the scene had been set; people told to be prepared for an announcement by the Secretary of State Karen Bradley and…

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…