Hillsborough & Patten- Policing and Justice surrendered!
Events over the Easter period have once again demonstrated the clear pro-Nationalist tilt in policing within Northern Ireland. Masked Republican dissidents had the run of the place to parade triumphantly at various locations, as the PSNI kept a low profile. Contrast this with the heavy handed policing deployed against Unionists. One need only look at Easter Monday morning when Unionist residents of North Belfast were hemmed in like cattle. We also had the outrageous image of a PSNI officer actively assisting those erecting a tri-colour by holding the ladder. This comes, of course, only weeks after those who claim allegiance to such a flag murdered a prison officer in a cowardly bomb attack. Read more
Christian Politics: A Call to Action
By Dr John Coulter
My academic analysis concerning the need for an Irish Christian Party because of the secular drift in Irish society on both sides of the Irish border certainly had social media in hyper drive and resulted in a very positive live debate with myself, fellow commentator Jude Collins, and North Belfast Ulster Unionist Party Assembly candidate Rev Lesley Carroll on the BBC’s Sunday Sequence. Read more
Dr. William Mitchell is the Project Director for the ACT Initiative. This article will appear in the March edition of An Phoblact under the title of Uncomfortable Conversations.
Uncomfortable actions would speak much louder than words
It is four years since Declan Kearney called on Republicans to be courageous “and embrace the discomfort of moving outside our political and historic comfort zones.’ In his article ‘Uncomfortable conversations are key to reconciliation’ the conciliatory undertone of listening unconditionally, consideration for being apologetic and making new compromises, being willing to be persuaded and exploring how to heal divisions in our society, encouraged those of us within Unionism intent on moving our faltering process forward, to sit up and take notice. Since then, a number of engagements whereby Loyalists and Republicans have participated in uncomfortable conversations with each other have taken place. Whilst this is to be welcomed, and in fact crucial, to communities seeking to reconcile after conflict, the key element missing in Kearney’s article, the one which may engender greater confidence within Unionism and “define engagement in terms beyond what suits” Republicans, is action. Read more