Billy Hutchinson – a British Loyalist in Dublin

I’ve felt green of late. Not a political conversion, rather, the green of envy. Jealous of the energy, vision and action of the Irish unity lobby. The unionist caucus by contrast is inert and anaemic. Unionism is now the politics of Ourselves Alone, endlessly playing the grievance card. Unionism is reclusive. Unionists exhibit the traits…

The carnival that preceded the ruin of Easter 1916 

How can there be a carnival on a battlefield? That’s what Dublin was for the ordinary people of the city during the Easter week of 1916. Just as the Rising was for Ireland simultaneously “terrible” and a “beauty” so it was for the people of the tenements a place of high ecstasy and horror, a…

Ulster Said Yes, will the rest?

There’s no rural-urban split, no conservative Ireland versus liberal Ireland, said Una Mullally and Fintan O’Toole, just modern, democratic Ireland. Ireland’s equal marriage referendum rolled in on an irresistible wave of optimism, breaking and unleashing euphoria around the island and across the diaspora. It was infectious and invigorating to witness the event. It upended the…

What is the alternative to sacrificing the McConville family in the interest of ‘the greater good?’ – asks Eamonn Mallie

    Despite the thousands and thousands of words written and spoken about the arrest of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams no one asked the critical question: should justice for the orphaned McConville family of 1972 be sacrificed in the interest of permanent peace for the children yet unborn? Of the IRA Gerry Adams said: “while…

‘You’ve got to accentuate the positive eliminate the negative’ (with apologies to Johnny Mercer)

    The pomp and circumstance of the Irish Presidential visit to the United Kingdom has paled into memory. The carefully choreographed receptions, visits and content speeches in various locations made for comfortable viewing. The headline-grabbing attendance of the Deputy First Minister who paid due and courteous deference to the Monarch in her home has…

Sinn Fein’s Mitchel McLaughlin warns Governments – ‘Political crisis’ is possible over “reckless behaviour of mainstream Unionist parties”

    I was reflecting on the stalled Haass proposals and the stark warning he issued during evidence to the US Congressional subcommittee of foreign relations. Dr Haass told the hearing that without further progress, division and alienation would increase and the North would no longer be held up as an example of peace-building. Equality…