Martin McGuinness. The People’s Choice?

Irish journalist and media lecturer Harry Browne writes in CounterPunch on the presidential election, the panic gripping the Irish elites, and the reasons why Martin McGuinness may become the people’s president: “Last Monday, the Irish state paid €1.465 billion (about $2 billion) to senior unsecured boldholders in Bank of Ireland, as part of its obligation under the blanket guarantee … Continue reading

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Panic Grips The Sycophants Of The Golden Circle

Ah, the fun of watching a terrified media establishment in Ireland working itself up into a panic at the prospect of Martin McGuinness being elected to Áras an Uachtaráin by the Irish people (the ignorant, lazy and mentally unstable Irish people, according to John Waters – who probably shouldn’t have a vote in the first place, hmmm, … Continue reading

Language Rights Are Civil Rights

Seán Ó Cuirreáin, An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Irish Language Commissioner, is the person tasked with ensuring that our public services are available to the Irish speaking population in their own language (and given the hostility of some English speakers to their Irish speaking peers a monumental task it is). On Tuesday he announced the launch of a new … Continue reading

Irish Language Publishing – A Success Story

If one wants to hear “good news” stories about the Irish language, or something positive about Irish speakers, it is often better to look to our regional rather than national press. There one finds that the post-colonial mindsets of the many monolingual English speakers who control our national news media is often absent, along with … Continue reading

The Basque Country And A Peace Process That Spain Is Ignoring

There have been major disturbances in the Basque city of Bilbao following the destruction of “Kukutza”, a youth and culture centre associated with Basque Nationalist organisations, that had served the local community for some 13 years. From EITB: “Officers from the Basque regional police force, Ertzaintza, arrested 31 young people in clashes after the demolition of “Kukutza” meeting … Continue reading


I talked some time ago about the campaign in Scotland to register a new internet domain name for the Gaelic nation and the BBC reports some new developments: “The Scottish government has sought fresh backing for the creation of an internet domain for Scotland. Not-for-profit company Dot Scot Registry (DSR) was set up two years ago to … Continue reading

The Sunday Independent – The Real Threat To Irish Democracy

Today’s Sunday Independent newspaper makes for incredible reading. There is one subject and one subject only; Martin McGuinness. And one clear strategy: keeping him out of Áras an Uachtaráin by any means necessary. The vitriol directed towards McGuinness is simply astonishing. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it before, at least outside the pages … Continue reading

British Journalist Lectures The Irish People On “Democracy”. Laugh Now Or Laugh Later?

One presidential candidate, two journalists and two conflicting opinions. The first journalist is Nick Cohen, a regular contributor to various centre-left publications in Britain, including the Guardian and Spectator. In a lengthy article for today’s Observer he writes: “All the countries the euro crisis is ravaging can recall a time of dictatorial rule and revolutionary … Continue reading

Gay Byrne Claims Provisional IRA Were “Gangsters”. Sorry, That Should Read, Gay Byrne Claims Old IRA Were “Gangsters”

So, things are hotting up in the oul presidential to-an’-fro as that granddaddy of Irish media personalities, Gay “The Poppy” Byrne, wades in with his t’uppence worth of opinion (actually, being an employee of RTÉ he’s probably charging a hell of a lot more than a penny or two). According to a piece in the … Continue reading

Fulminating West Brits Go Nuts – Or Fun With Martin And Co!

Ah, only a few days into Martin McGuinness’ presidential candidacy and the Irish media establishment, those paragons of right wing, unregulated free market capitalism (Celtic Tiger? Nothing to do wiv us, gov’nor!) and wannabe English, Neo-Unionist types have gone into a frenzy of righteous indignation. The Golden Circle is imperilled! From your super, soaraway Evening Herald we have commentator-cum-television reviewer Andrew Lynch (quality…): “Nobody … Continue reading


The Irish Times carries an article on an issue that I, and many others, have been shouting from the rooftops for many years now: the importance of the Irish language to our tourist industry. I have written numerous articles about the issue, and the benefits to be accrued from language and heritage tourism, so it’s good to see it being focused … Continue reading

Martin McGuinness – Uachtarán na hÉireann?

The politics of Ireland has been turned on its head with Sinn Féin’s announcement yesterday that Martin McGuinness MLA, the deputy First Minister in the North of Ireland, will run as a “Republican candidate” for the office of Uachtarán na hÉireann. The news confounded the expectations of many commentators that a lesser SF figure would enter the … Continue reading

Some More Classic Cars

A little break from the usual mix of politics and culture. Urban Speed Car Meet, a reposting from Red Stripe Adventure, for all you classic car lovers out there. Okay, me!

No Irish Wanted Here!

A familiarly depressing report from the Associated Press in relation to the recent Líofa 2015 initiative launched by the North’s minister of culture. The aim of the project is to have 1000 new fluent Irish speakers in positions of influence in the North of Ireland, and the event was notable for the number of members … Continue reading

Fascists, Neo-Nazis And The British Unionist Minority In Ireland

Interesting review in the Belfast Telegraph of Mathew Collins’ book, Hate, which charts his journey through Britain’s nationalist and Neo-Nazi movements, including the decades old links to the British separatist minority in Ireland. Journalist Henry McDonald writes: ‘Recalling his days selling race-hate literature in London’s East End, Matthew Collins says: “We took the traditional Brick Lane Sunday … Continue reading

The Propaganda Of Deed, Born Of Frustration

The propaganda of deed is an old revolutionary idea that was given new force in the violent political struggles of Latin America in the 1960s and ‘70s, and was soon replanted back to Europe (from whence it came). At its simplest it could mean that any action that drew attention to the aims being pursued by a … Continue reading

Belgium, A State But Not A Nation

Some time ago I carried out a whirlwind round-up of news relating to the political fortunes of progressive nationalist movements in Europe and North America, from the Basque Country to Québec. I retuned to Québec this week and looked at the possible lessons for our own divided province of nine-county Ulster. But my original round-trip began with Belgium, and … Continue reading

La Belle Province – Lessons From That Other Province?

Having friends amongst the Nationalist movement in Québec I’ve tried to keep an eye on the politics of La Belle Province, from cheated independence to electoral meltdowns, but its never been easy. The complex nature of politics in Québec and Canada sometimes eludes me, so its good to see that I’m not the only one – even the locals seem to have trouble. There has been … Continue reading

British Journalism And The ‘Agreed Narrative’ On News From Ireland

There is a highly critical post by the British journalist and media lecturer Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog today, where he brings the British news media to task for yet again ignoring a story from Ireland that does not suit the agreed narrative on Irish affairs promulgated by Britain’s media establishment. In this case the story is the remarkable address by the Reverend David … Continue reading

From Ireland To Iraq – The Same Army, The Same Abusers

Veteran British journalist Robert Fisk examines the use of torture by the British Army in Iraq, highlighted by the recent case of the murder of Baha Mousa and draws parallels with what he witnessed in the 1970s of the abuses carried out by the British Army in Ireland. As he writes in the Independent: ‘I had spent … Continue reading

Plaid Cymru – Regionalist Or Nationalist?

Some months ago I argued that Plaid Cymru’s greatest failure was its reluctance to apply the party’s brand of self-confident nationalism in the area of politics that it had applied so successfully in the areas of language and culture. While Plaid had undoubtedly been at the forefront of language revival and equality in Wales, far surpassing the efforts of … Continue reading

The Reverend David Latimer’s Address To Sinn Féin’s Ard-Fheis In Belfast

A quick link to Slugger O’Toole and the remarkable speech by the Reverend David Latimer to Sinn Féin’s Ard-Fheis in Belfast. Well worth viewing.

Desperation In The Ranks – Labour And The Tories In Scotland

With the debate amongst the rival candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party in Scotland becoming increasingly divisive as competing visions for the party’s future jockey for position, it seems the Labour Party may be about to follow suit. According to the Daily Record: ‘SHELL-SHOCKED Scottish Labour are planning their biggest shake-up in 100 years in a … Continue reading

BBC Alba’s Audience Soars By 100,000 Viewers In Just Three Months

Since its launch in 2008 the Scottish language television channel, BBC Alba, has spent most of its time relegated to the backwaters of satellite broadcasting (and since May 2011 on one of the cable providers in Scotland). This left it somewhat difficult for the majority of viewers in Scotland to tune in or watch it … Continue reading

Galway – The Bilingual Capital Of Ireland

A new campaign to secure official bilingual status for Galway City, with all the benefits in tourism and commerce that stems from that, is being launched by Gaillimh le Gaelige, beginning with an online survey for local residents (of course one could argue that, constitutionally speaking, all cities in Ireland have official bilingual status but that … Continue reading

Irish Language Television – Innovative, Dynamic, Irish…

Irish language television seems to be providing the most dynamic programming in Ireland these days, with the output from independent production companies and TG4 going from strength to strength. 2012 looks like it will be another bumper year of quality TV with a number of new shows in the offing, as well the continuation of … Continue reading

The Green Party – A Dying Horse In Search Of A Bullet

While walking through the woods around Binn Éadair (Howth) recently I came across a discarded election poster for the Green Party, the only man-made object it was otherwise an area of unspoiled sylvan beauty (seen the image above). I’m sure there is something of an irony here, though a deadpan one for a party that in electoral terms seems all but dead … Continue reading

Sinn Féin And The Irish Language – A Strategy For Confusion

John O’Dowd, the Sinn Féin minister for education in the Northern Executive, has refused permission for Irish medium nursery units to be established at Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche in Caisleán Uidhilín (Castlewellan, County Down) and Gaelscoil Eanna in Gleann Gormliath (Glengormley, Co. Antrim). According to the Belfast Telegraph: ‘The minister, whose party pledged in its election manifesto to … Continue reading

President Mary Lou Or Gildernew? Sinn Féin’s Options

From the Irish Independent: ‘SINN Féin is set to steal a march on Fianna Fáil by running a candidate in the presidential election. There is widespread speculation the party is set to announce former Northern minister Michelle Gildernew as its candidate at the Sinn Féin Ard-Fheis in Belfast this weekend. Ms Gildernew is the former Agriculture Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive and the MP for Fermanagh / … Continue reading

Sinn Féin And The Labour Party, Head-To-Head

The Cedar Lounge Revolution carries news on a Sunday Times poll that places Sinn Féin a percentage point ahead of the Labour Party (though, it should be said, still within the statistical margin of error): ‘What an interesting poll the Sunday Times brought us this weekend. A poll which decisively points to Fine Gael dominance, … Continue reading

An Gharda Síochána na hAlban?

A few weeks ago I wrote that the move by the SNP government in Scotland to create a single national police force was as much about creating a strong sense of a separate Scottish identity as about good policing or the proper allocation of resources and it seems that Vikram Dood in the Guardian agrees with that analysis: ‘Scotland will have a single … Continue reading

The Scottish Unionist Party?

With the news that some in the Conservative Party in Scotland want to re-brand the political grouping as a non-Tory, centre-right Scottish Unionist party, Joan McAlpine offers up some pertinent comments in the Guardian: ‘It gives a whole new meaning to the “Vote for me and I’ll resign,” approach. The campaign slogan of Murdo Fraser, the frontrunner to lead the Conservatives in Scotland, appears to be “Vote … Continue reading

The History House – Armagh’s Irish Republican Museum

Fascinating article in the Guardian on the ‘History House’, a private Irish Republican museum open to invitation-only guests: ‘In a garden in a quiet cul-de-sac in north Armagh, a nondescript brown shed contains the Irish republican version of the Imperial War Museum. The private collection contains the toilet-roll holder from the room where IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands died in … Continue reading

Our Tribe

A brief mention of an article in the Guardian newspaper focusing on the award-winning work of the Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru or the National Welsh Language Theatre of Wales, with a very fair story that stands in stark contrast to some of the discriminatory news coverage on the Welsh language that we have seen emerging from the British media in … Continue reading

The Death Spasms Of L’Ancien Régime Anglais

It’s interesting to read the Wall Street Journal’s take on the contest over Scotland’s political future that is being played out between the main Scottish Nationalist party in the form of the SNP and their British Nationalist opponents in the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. ‘The British government has ramped up its campaign against Scottish independence, … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014