Project Fear? Don’t think so

“Project Fear”. This reductionist argument has become the unionist response to the growing debate on Irish unity. Drawing on English Brexiteer propaganda it is astonishing that political unionism believe that this is how to engage with Brexit.  In the context of the majority in their artificial statelet wanting to remain the attitude is so nuts,…

Commemoration signals continued legacy outrages

The first two weeks in February are always marked by commemorations of some of the most horrific incidents of our conflict. Because of the proximity of the dates of these incidents these weeks after St Brigid’s Day always bring pause to reflect. The commemorations are as varied as they are connected. Commemorating the New Lodge Six is an opportunity to reflect on…

Clara and Emma – our Heroes

There are very few places anywhere named after women. In Belfast we have load of Victoria places. A hospital, a shopping mall, a university. We also have a bridge named after Queen Elizabeth. Of course those named venues are not really about the women they are named after. We all know it is about their position, the reign of empire and monarchy. …

Declassified files and political vetting

New Year files being declassified feel a lot less like history. This year it was disconcerting to read disclosure of NIO briefings from 1990 refer to friends and colleagues being named along with their organisations. The Committee on the Administration of Justice was the subject of one of the documents, a document we know was shared with MI5 and Task Coordinating Group.…

The gift of complexity

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose”. A quote from Ecclesiastes (or The Byrds). When faced with political drift, in a climate of political chaos, it is difficult to determine what season we are in. In this time of political climate change, we just don’t know what political coat to put on. Since the collapse of the devolved…

A snapshot of some of ‘18

2018 was the year I began to recover from an operation to remove most of a brain tumour, accommodate the changes that has meant for me and begin to re-find my courage.  While not easy there was reward in remembering what is most important. Love, health, patience and generosity. Luckily for me I was on the receiving end of lots of that, for…

A Fermanagh Christmas Carol

As she approached her door, Eblene Fostrooge thought she saw a strange figure appear on her doorbell. But she knew that Mr Holyneaux was long departed. She blamed the vision on the mince pie consumed earlier at the Loyal Orange Ladies Christmas Carols Service.  It had been a wasted afternoon, as she needed to attended to formality, but in her heart only big politics mattered. She muttered to herself that Christmas…

Corbyn Disappointing in Ireland

As Brexit chaos unfolds one thing has become clear. Jeremy Corbyn is a disappointment to those Irish people who thought he might be different to all other British political leaders that have gone before.  It all began with promise. While campaigning for the Labour leadership in 2015 he came to Féile An Phobail and was given a hero’s reception. Possibly…

The more things change…

I opened up my search engine and there was a Google Doodle of a woman I didn’t instantly recognise. Me being a pretty aware feminist and all had to check out who this sister was. And it was Edith Cavell. Still I drew a blank. So, a few clicks later and now I know she was a famous…