We all know the feeling, we all hear the familiar words of disbelief that such and such an event happened so long ago. On this day, 28 years ago, the Provisional IRA blew up two bombs in the town centre of Warrington in Merseyside. Those of us who grew up in the North of Ireland, during what is so euphemistically referred to as “The Troubles”, grew somewhat immune to all the bad news. Even in recent years, I found myself not reacting as others around me did when a member of An Garda Síochána was murdered. I reacted with, Oh! … Continue reading Normal is always relative
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Grand Master of the Orange Institution has today cancelled the Boyne Anniversary Parades set for July 2020. “In the current circumstances, the gathering of hundreds of thousands of Orangemen and women, together with their accompanying bands and spectators, would not be responsible. “ I appreciate that our culture and traditions are very much a way of life for the Orange family, however in light of the current situation, we must prioritise the safety of not only our members, but of the entire community. https://www.goli.org.uk/post/twelfth-of-july-parades-cancelled-due-to-coronavirus The cancellation of the Twelfth of July parades is … Continue reading Twelfth of July parades cancelled
Growing up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles continues to impact your life in ways that may seem strange to others. This afternoon, my nurse was preparing to give me the Venofer injection which helps to refulate iron in my body. As she did so she was humming the tune to Harry Chapin’s Cats in the Cradle song. Immediately, my thoughts turned to the advertisement that we saw in the North for the Confidential Telephone line as part of the campaign against terrorism, I said to the nurse about it – she had no idea about what I was talking. … Continue reading A song casts a shadow from Northern Ireland’s past
It is over two-and-a-half years since the Northern Ireland Assembly last sat. In that time, many issues have come and gone, and many more are threatening the public services in Northern Ireland through the inaction of the main parties in … Continue reading Assembly gathers to pretend to care about Northern Ireland
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May has said that she doesn’t want the borders of the past on the island of Ireland. She, like many, keeps saying “But we’ve had a common travel area between the UK and the Republic … Continue reading Entering the EU legally… post #BrExit guide
Earlier this afternoon, I was encouraged by a friend on Facebook to visit Vote to Remain to pledge my vote to remain. Long term readers of this blog and of my other posts on other blogs will know of a … Continue reading Lib Dems pledge to “keep Great Britain in Europe”. What about Northern Ireland?
With a new Northern Ireland Executive in office at Stormont following the recent election, it was hardly a surprise that there would be policy changes forthcoming. The new Health Minister, Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill has taken a bold step and reversed the former policy … Continue reading Gay blood ban lifted by Sinn Féin Minister for Health
For many years when I worked in Parliament Buildings, Belfast, I attended the Act of Remembrance which was then held in the Senate Chamber. I used to get annoyed at the action (or rather inaction) of some Assembly Members by … Continue reading A first step towards respect at Remembrance in NI Assembly
The number of homophobic incidents recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland has jumped by 12% in the last year, according to figures released in August. Catríona Ruane MLA, of Sinn Féin, raised the issue of homophobic crime at … Continue reading Homophobic incidents in the North of Ireland up by 12%
The simple question for all members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive is: Do I support the achievement of political ends by purely peaceful means or by terrorism and acts of violence? Continue reading Time for the politicians to decide: in or out of the Executive?