Monthly Archives: October 2018

PUP Cllr John Kyle: “the country is drifting like a boat towards turbulent rapids with no-one at the helm”

For the second year in a row, the Progressive Unionist Party’s conference wasn’t open to the media and despite some conversations with the party, an invitation was not extended.

Extracts from Dr John Kyle’s speech at Saturday’s conference in Antrim have, however, been released, detailing the deputy leader’s analysis of the way forward regarding Stormont structures and a culture of partnership. Read more »


How historians can provide correctives to “memory wars” in dealing with the past

The Ulster-born, Oxford-based historian Ian McBride has published what I take to be the essence of his evidence to the government’s consultation on dealing with the past. He discusses the potential role for professional historians in the proposed institutions prescribed for dealing with oral history, information retrieval and identifying themes and patterns in events.  He takes for granted that Sinn Fein are winning the battle of the narratives. Read more »


Resurrection Man

A little tradition of mine is to dig out this book at the start of October.

Why? Because the autumnal elements that are all too evident suit the mood of this book perfectly. Decay, despair, dread, disgust.

Streets that are all too familiar take on multiple faces during autumn. They become places hiding secrets. Maybe two people shagging in dimly lit stairwell. Maybe a homeless person can be found wandering in areas were sodium-vapor lights offer some kind of antiseptic glow that makes their surroundings more desolate than they are.

Resurrection Man is a book for this time. Read more »


‘Any Taig Will Do’. Courts Call Bullshit On Paramilitary Crime Task Force

Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton was once literally a ‘Bobby’, patrolling the Lower Falls area of West Belfast and getting to know, no doubt, all the main names of the ‘underground’ world in that district.
In all likelihood then, the well-groomed PSNI golden boy knew full well, that none of those arrested in his old stomping ground on September 30th, (one of whom was charged with possession of a large amount of Cocaine) had any connection to the Irish National Liberation Army. Read more »


So, Who Shot The Man Questioned About The Firework Thrown At Adams Home?

That is the question that jumps out from this Irish News report (a similar story ran in The News Letter) to the effect that someone suspected of having thrown a large firework at the homes of then SF President Gerry Adams, and his consiglieri, ‘Big’ Bobby Storey last July, was the victim of a punishment shooting last Sunday.

The reports say that the victim had been questioned by the PSNI about the firework attack, which damaged the windscreen of a car parked in the drive of Adams’ Norfolk Drive home, off the Glen Road. Read more »


We shouldn’t let another attempt to deal with the Troubles legacy slip by

The submission of five former secretaries of state of both parties to the UK government’s  consultation on their draft Legacy Bill gives significant backing to the idea of an amnesty or statute of limitations.  It amplifies the call some of them and retired security chiefs made in the House of Lords last month.

If the decision was to rest with the British establishment alone, an amnesty by whatever name would have featured as a formal option for dealing with the past already, mainly to protect former soldiers and only reluctantly including the unruly Irish tribes in its ambit. Read more »


Women intimidated out of north Belfast homes speak out

Two single mothers forced out of their homes in north Belfast, one whom fled with her six-month old daughter from an arson attack, have spoken for the first time about their ordeal.

“Heartless, horrible people, I don’t understand why they did it. I refuse to carry bitterness for it because it’s only harming me further. I would never like to see anybody in this position again.” Read more »


Are dark kitchens the satanic mills of our era?

This is an interesting article which should focus the attention of those of you order food from these organisations. It beggars belief that this can happen.

Bon Appetit!


They are known as “dark kitchens”: cramped boxes, usually plonked in city centres, in which cooks prepare meals that are ordered and sent out via food-delivery apps. Britain is reckoned to have at least 70, most of which are owned and run by the delivery giant Deliveroo under the brand name Deliveroo Editions. The food that comes out of them is sold in the name of established restaurants, and innocent customers might assume it somehow still comes from their high-street premises. But no: this is a new reality of “virtual branding”, in which all that sits behind this or that logo are the bare essentials – a couple of ovens, a handful of chefs and couriers frantically delivering what they cook. Read more »


Sinn Fein’s incapacity to address the PIRA’s campaign illustrates a broader failure to make post GFA politics work…

So how long will our politicians do nothing? Well, there’s never really any such thing as “nothing”. In film, a pause in the action is often an opportunity for the audience to evaluate what’s gone before and make some thought space for what might come next. Read more »


Dublin Central Mission 1984: A Short Poem by Chris Thackaberry

Dublin Central Mission 1984


“Where’s the FUCKING sweets?”


Mothballs for Cola drops.

Boys of the book

kicking the bean ball

jumping, screaming, laughing 

for a Cola drop.


From a musty pocket-comes 

a sticky Bible tract.

BOLOX…. I wanted sweets.

The man of the book.