Decommission the Victims Commission

The news that Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson will not have her contract extended caused a mild flurry of media attention when announced last week. Of course, even a cursory look at the teacup’s storm would have recognised that Ms Thompson had already had her four-year term extended and another extension was unlikely. But what’s the…

Give yourself permission to step back from the toxic

The past few weeks in this wonderful place we call home have been incredibly difficult for various reasons. The disappearance and then discovery of Noah Donohoe was an emotional trauma which at its heart sees a devastated mother and family but extends to a population in grief. The passing and funeral of Bobby Storey has…

Complex Victimhood

There are lots of things this “peace process” has thrown up I didn’t expect but these past few months have surely surpassed them all. Did you think 22 years after the signing the Good Friday Agreement that a former prisoner in a wheelchair would have to be expressing remorse to strangers before he would be allowed access to a…

Taking a stand against oppression

In the US we are seeing events echo our experience of conflict. It is impossible for us to sit in Ireland and not recognise police brutality and state impunity, its intent and form. The first White question asked about George Floyd’s death was “what had he done”? When announcing that he had “tried to pass counterfeit money” and that he had “resisted police officers” the…

Unspoken rules and double standards

At the weekend there were two twitter exchanges that are worth noting for unspoken rules regarding public conduct. The first occurred on the anniversary of the killings at Loughgall in 1987. Those SAS extra-judicial killings and ambush are viewed very differently across our community spectrum, but at the heart of their legacy is a contest as to the efficacy of the police…

My World Cup Tale

The phone rang at 6am. My housemate answered it, then screamed, “Lads, some people didn’t turn up for their flight. If we go to the airport we can get to the match. Grab your passports, I’m phoning the taxi.” “Great, right behind ya. Wait, I don’t have a passport”. “Doesn’t matter, come on.” I pulled…