OPINION Reports of children as young as 12 being coerced to riot by gangs has been the most harrowing aspect of the recent upsurge of violence in Northern Ireland. The sinister and parasitical thugs who groom young people for criminal activity must be roundly condemned, but our political leaders share part of the blame for … Continue reading Stormont’s neglect of the most vulnerable in Northern Ireland has led its children to violence
OPINION As the centenary of the partition of Ireland approaches, the streets of Northern Ireland are facing the 'worst rioting in years'. Many of those leading the violence, some of whom have now been arrested, have been strikingly young. A significant number were born after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA). What has brought this … Continue reading Hopelessness, segregation and divisive politics have driven Northern Ireland’s peace generation to violence
OPINION Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, that brought desperately-needed peace to my parents' and grandparents' generation. The centenary of the partition of Ireland is also just round the corner. Over the past week, loyalist violence and disturbances have erupted on the streets of Belfast, Derry and other cities in Northern … Continue reading On the 23rd anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, peace has never been more fragile in Northern Ireland
OPINION Ah yes, ‘tis the time of year again that the rivers of the USA are dyed green, Guinness’ marketing team goes to town and Irish politicians fly around the world, shaking hands and kissing babies. It must be St. Patrick’s day. A rather different one this year from the global drinking fests that have characterised … Continue reading Guinness, Riverdance and St. Patrick’s Day: the Irish cultural superpower lives on
OPINION How to bring together a community divided by civil war is a long, arduous and difficult process with no clear blueprint or one-size-fits-all remedy. However, there are certain policies a government can take that would be conducive to reconciling one section of its society with another. One such measure that seems blindingly obvious to me … Continue reading Why integrated education should be non-negotiable in Northern Ireland
OPINION On the 12th of January 2021 the Irish government published the 3000-page final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, their hand having been forced by the leaking of the report to media outlets. The Commission was established in 2015 to provide a full account of what happened to vulnerable women … Continue reading An unholy legacy: the Mother and Baby Homes report reminds Ireland that the Catholic Church has blood on its hands
OPINION The first week of the United Kingdom’s independent, “taking back control” status has been predictably underwhelming to say the least. Overshadowed by the devastating developments of the coronavirus pandemic, the early hiccups have been (understandably) largely passed over by the media in comparison with the more pressing health crisis. However, in Northern Ireland this new … Continue reading State of the Union: a post-Brexit Northern Ireland looks south of the border for answers
Ireland united is not a new concept. If anything, it is the actual partition of the island that to many Irish and Northern Irish citizens feels like the novelty. The centenary of that partition will be celebrated by unionists this coming May, but the significance of it will go far beyond commemoration; it will add … Continue reading United Ireland: flight of fancy or near reality?