‘Who says the two year limit on prison sentences for Troubles offences excludes the security forces?’ – Asks CAJ’s Daniel Holder

The early release scheme for prisoners convicted of a “scheduled offence,” part of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, meant that they were all released within two years. Furthermore, the legislation – the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 – provided that anyone later convicted for a scheduled offence committed before April 1998 would serve a maximum of…

‘No Quick Fix in Stormont Crisis’ – By Brian Rowan

That picture pose on the steps of Parliament Buildings yesterday told the story of the day. There is a new spring in the Sinn Fein step.   Within this smiling frame, Gerry Adams and Michelle O’Neill stood at the front. Moments earlier, the party’s northern leader had said a few words – making the point…

‘The Long Wait that Paid Off’ – By Clare Bailey

I think my Green Party team and I are justified in our claims to be a little more tired than other candidates and agents following the events of Friday night and into Saturday morning.  The South Belfast count was the last to be wrapped up and it was around 4am on Saturday morning before my…

‘Questions for the Opposition’ – By Colm Dore

This election raises questions for the out-going Executive, but also questions for the out-going Opposition. Much Opposition criticism of the Executive appears to deny the basis upon which the Executive functions. The Executive is based on nurturing a post-conflict relationship between the leaders of the Irish nationalist and Unionist communities. The SDLP say that, with…

‘Conservative/Unionist priority is immunity for those who designed and implemented political/military policies during Troubles’ – By Gerry Kelly

Picture by @AntrimLens Several years ago Sinn Féin set out our view that the most effective truth recovery mechanism was an International Independent Truth Commission set up by a reputable international body such as the United Nations. That remains our view but the British Government have consistently rejected it. Despite that we have engaged with…

‘Mike Nesbitt may be left feeling that he has been trying to put clothes on an invisible man’ – By Terry Wright

Some faded campaign posters, re-cycled from the Fresh Start election of May 2016 appeared within days of the announcement of the election.  Election literature has been arriving through the letterbox to lie scattered like a packet of spilled jellybeans.  There is more than a passing irony in both situations. Spin and evasive point scoring dominates…

‘Nothing about us without us’ – By John Kyle

On 17th September 1997 David Trimble, flanked by David Ervine and Billy Hutchinson, returned to the George Mitchell talks in the full glare of the world’s media thus rescuing talks which were teetering precariously on the brink of collapse.   This was not the only important contribution that Loyalist parties made to the negotiations which…