Belfast is often described as a patchwork quilt of conflicting loyalties. Most residents live on streets that are overwhelmingly nationalist or unionist. Imposing ‘peace walls’ physically divide communities one each another. This has long been the case on the Suffolk estate in West Belfast, where a small Protestant community of less than a thousand people […]
Apparently there were 43 illegal roadblocks in Belfast on Monday night. In a bar with Christmas lights on the ceiling, a hundred yards from a City Hall not flying the Union Jack, most drinkers were glued to their smart phones. The man beside me was scrolling through the #flegs hashtag on Twitter. (So was I.) His […]
What Happened to Northern Ireland’s Shared Future?
In 2005, Northern Ireland’s joint Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister at Stormont published ‘A Shared Future’. The policy, an unashamedly irenic blueprint for a post-conflict society, included plans for addressing contentious issues such as flags and emblems and parading. Every government department would have to create action plans to ensure A […]
Census Shows Changing NI
The proportion of Catholics in Northern Ireland has increased in the last decade, according to census figures released yesterday. The census shows that 48.36 per cent of the resident population are either Protestant or brought up Protestant, while over 45 per cent are Catholic or raised Catholic. The census, which was held in March 2011, […]
Pat Finucane Review ‘Shocking’
That security forces colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland during the Troubles has long been common knowledge, but David Cameron was right yesterday when he described the levels of state collusion uncovered by Sir Desmond de Silva QC as ‘shocking’. De Silva found that the men who murdered solicitor Pat Finucane at his home […]