Politics

Rape allegations and IRA paramilitary justice

Group’s culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland’s spotlight after new sexual assault accusations. Mairia Cahill claims republicans tried to cover up her rape allegations against an IRA figure [Getty Images] Maintaining law and order in Belfast during the violent days of the Troubles – the 30-year-long conflict in Northern Ireland – was […]

Scotland’s new SNP leader takes the reins

Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party’s Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK. Nicola Sturgeon poses with supporters of the ‘yes’ campaign in Perth, Scotland in September [EPA] Glasgow, Scotland – When the Scottish National Party meets for its annual conference next month, members will have plenty to celebrate. Defeat in September’s referendum […]

Calls Grow for Investigation into Argyll and Bute council

Calls are growing for a formal investigation into Argyll and Bute council in the wake of the collapse of one of the biggest community buy outs in Scotland. Last week, it was confirmed that Castle Toward on the Cowal peninsula will be sold on the open market after Argyll and Bute rejected a community bid […]

How would an indyref Yes affect Northern Ireland?

Would Northern Ireland “end up like West Pakistan” if Scotland says “yes” in September? Could Scottish independence presage a return to the Troubles? These are just some of the concerns being voiced by Unionist leaders in Northern Ireland ahead of the upcoming referendum. Protestants in Ulster have long celebrated their links with Scotland, so the […]

Rev Ian Paisley, statesman?

In likely his final TV interviews, political firebrand the Rev Ian Paisley makes obvious how he wishes to be remembered. Is he kidding himself, wonders Peter Geoghegan IAN Paisley has come a long way since 1949. That year the novice preacher began a mission in Belfast’s docklands and joined the anti-Catholic Union of Protestants. Nowadays, […]

Tensions ratcheting up in Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland – The Good Friday Agreement in 1998 brought Northern Ireland’s bloody conflict to a close, but signs of division remain 15 years later. In the capital Belfast, Catholic and Protestant communities are separated by euphemistic “peace walls”, most children attend segregated schools, and major questions around the past and future remain unresolved. A […]

A Model for Belfast Regeneration?

The amount of vacant land in Belfast city centre is equivalent to the size of 265 football pitches, according to the Forum for Alternative Belfast. If this space was used efficiently, at least 50,000 more people could live within 20 minutes walk of central Belfast without the need for high-rise buildings or the destruction of […]

Belfast Unrest – the View from the Interfaces

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 […]

Book Review: The Oil Road

The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello. These are straitened times for BP. The oil giant faces a slew of civil and criminal suits arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. In October, Azerbaijan’s autocratic president Ilham Aliyev chastised the company for its failure to meet production targets […]

Kosovo Goes it Alone

Mother Teresa Boulevard is a street pregnant with symbolism. At one end of the wide, pedestrianized thoroughfare that runs through the centre of Pristina, an imposing statue of Albanian hero Skanderbeg stands in the shadow of Kosovo’s parliament building. A couple of hundred metres south sits the Communist-era Grand Hotel. When war broke out in […]

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