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.
LAD is the sigh of the long dis-empowered - the muzzled moderate - now empowered through social media. They are Northern Ireland's unofficial Opposition, resistance and counter-factual against sectarians who stalk the streets and political office.
Here's the problem. Not only is there is no political opposition against dysfunction in the Northern Ireland Assembly. There's also no civic opposition against dysfunction on the streets of Northern Ireland. The best and the moderates lack all conviction. The worst are full of riotous passion.
Forty years on, the bereaved family members of those killed, as well others who were seriously injured in the shootings, are still struggling to piece together the truth of what happened - and why. No-one has ever been held accountable for these cold-blooded killings, carried out by the State, of some of its own citizens.
Firstly, Northern Ireland is not your normal western liberal democracy. As Mick Fealty said, there exists two worlds in Northern Ireland. One is progressive, cosmopolitan, tolerant, ambitious. The other is a minority that extorts, blackmails and wields arbitrary power over a moderate majority. The politicians are complicit with these economic vandals and thugs.
The illicit activities of Britain's undercover services has once again jumped to the top of the news schedules.
Britons lionise their Second World War veterans more than other veterans because they fought for what Britain and what the world is today, including its neighbour, Ireland. We, the Irish, live in a better world because of them, and it's about time that we acknowledged this as so.
Confidentiality is incredibly important in this area of healthcare. The law governing abortion is extremely tight in Northern Ireland, and very few women meet the legal requirements for termination which is why many women have to travel to other parts of the UK.
Because I'm from Northern Ireland, support the Union with Great Britain and identify myself as a cultural Protestant, I can't be a proper Irish person. That my friend is racism, jingoism and xenophobia - defined.
The context is this. The most cynical and sinister elements in NI society have been very violent and vocal over the last year, at huge cost to the local economy and at huge damage to the reputation of the province.