It's St Patrick's weekend in Northern Ireland, and the lawnmowers are limbering up. For a week or two, now, the rainfall has slowed, the birds have been singing for nesting territory, and underpinning their chorus is that lower, guttural sound: the growling of the First Lawnmowers of Spring.
On 18 September the inhabitants of Scotland go to the polls to decide whether to end their 300 year union with the United Kingdom and instead become an independent state. Whatever the result of this historic vote, a lack of strategic thinking means the vote looks set to raise more questions than it will settle.
Silent Grace is an award-winning 2004 film, directed by filmmaker Maeve Murphy. It documents a disturbing chapter of Northern Ireland's nonviolent dirty protests and hunger strikes by republican female prisoners in 1980 that were never made public.
With French influence, but Northern Irish upbringing and genealogy, Stiofan Cairns' debut book, Adventures in Sectarianism is that of a helpless victim in Northern Ireland's cultural myopia.
Very few know why the Defamation Bill does not apply to Northern Ireland, an outrageous decision that has created a gaping loophole in the government's attempts to reform the UK's libel laws.
Twenty-five years ago today, loyalist gunmen sledge-hammered their way into the Belfast home of lawyer Patrick Finucane and shot him dead in front of his wife and young children. By anyone's definition, this was a murder with collusion written all over it. Yet, twenty-five years on, the UK government still refuses to establish an independent public inquiry into his death. The Finucane family and the public are denied the full truth.
Nigel Farage is frequently described as a "populist" and "man of the people" (although seemingly only by his critics), but last week he did something uncharacteristically un-populist...
When Tony Blair claims it is religious or cultural difference that will fuel 21st century wars, not the ideologies that caused past wars (The Observer, January 26, 2014) he shows only a skewed notion of religion's place in society and history. He projects a narrow idea of what it means to be religious, and diverts attention from other, more systemic problems.
Perhaps LAD can replace the 'Loyalists Against' with 'Laughing At' and make all those who make our society unbearable the subject of derision. They have certainly made us chuckle for the past thirteen months and there's no reason to think that all-inclusive mockery would be any less amusing.
So my year as 'Musician In Residence' in Derry-Londonderry, the UK City of Culture has come to an end. I have mixed feelings.
We're stuck in some sort of sick, brutal and dispiriting Cold War stalemate; Paralyzed by mutual recrimination and mistrust and under a constant threat of extra-political exchange. Contrary to what James Joyce said, we're still an "outcast from life's feast."
The talks chaired by American diplomat Dr Richard Haass have come to an end without a firm resolution with no significant unanimous deal being agreed upon by the five main Executive parties...
Decision Day for Northern Ireland's politicians has arrived. For months now, they have gathered at round-table talks chaired by retired US diplomat, Dr Richard Haass, to tackle some of the region's thorniest problems: flags, parades and the past...
Terrorists are filling a position made vacant in the minds of some of our most disaffected young men by a society that will bail out miscreants in suits but starve our youth of investment, care and any hope for the future. Nelson Mandela inherently knew what his contemporaries fail to grasp, if you have nothing, there's nothing left to lose.
The Mayor of Lisburn, the third largest city in Northern Ireland, Margaret Tolerton has refused to open a book of condolence after the recent passing of Nelson Mandela meaning that unlike those in Belfast City Council and Derry City Council, the people of Lisburn City will be unable to formally pay their respects to this much respected man.
People of Northern Ireland resist this while you can. Loyalism is sending Northern Ireland to hell in a handcart and you can't do anything about it. By their formula, they have the whip-hand over you and you can say absolutely nothing.