The working class enclaves in inner-city Belfast have soaring poverty and joblessness rates. Once the voice of hardline unionism, the DUP has become increasingly mainstream and is seen to represent these communities less and less, with a similar process happening on the other side of the political divide.
For a majority, the so-called political 'silent majority' can be a pretty lonely place sometimes. For anyone with any knowledge of Northern Irish life, it goes without saying that this time of year can be a dire state of affairs...
The faded words 'Teenage dreams, so hard to beat' will soon be gone completely. The tribute to John Peel that was spray-painted onto a busy motorway f...
Are Barack Obama and other world leaders in danger? In short, no. Attacking police patrols in rural Fermanagh in an attempt to create 'liberated zones' is in a totally different league to attempting to kill world leaders. A direct attack on the summit is unlikely for two reasons.
In Northern Ireland, there is already curriculum covering relationship and sex education, but, difficulty comes in the lack of consistent implementation. This must be addressed urgently by the Education Minister, John O'Dowd.
On Monday, there will be a vote on an amendment to the Children & Families Bill to include Sex & Relationship Education in the national curriculum. If the amendment is carried, it will go into the bill. Why is it so important?
Once again it's time for Colombia to look to the lessons of Ireland to avoid leaving the door open to splinter groups that form between the gaps of demobilisation, decommissioning and duplicity.
Belfast. The capital of Northern Ireland. Indeed, a home from home some may say. Intrigued, admittedly, by the rumoured mass drinking culture within this renowned city, I visited last week, duty free alcohol in one hand and a 'wee' Irish phrase book in the other.
Like any country with a reputation for extremism, it's history will always be judged on the actions of extremists. The usual saying that history is judged by the victors does not yet apply to Northern Ireland, as it sometimes seems that the state of conflict has never really ended in the minds of much of its population.
Sir David Bell, vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, recently smacked down the employability demands. In a riposte he said that it was vital that academics resisted such pressure in order to protect traditional courses; adding that the demands risk undermining the intellectual integrity of degrees.
Throughout the UK, our students' unions democratic structures are being attacked, more often by their university rather than their elected student officers. It's time to tell QUBSU that they can't simply ignore the rules.
The next few weeks will be pivotal for the future of student activism within QUBSU, Belfast, ULU and London. We will not let them abolish our unions, nor will we let them sell our unions bit by bit to private companies, which may as well be the same thing.
Fifteen years ago Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and other statesmen mediated the un-mediatable and created the Northern Ireland that we know today. Some see the bargain as a grand failure. The creation of a parochial sectarian state suspended in a form of purgatory with a bloody history and no future.
While it would be wrong to suggest that the Irish are big fans of Thatcher, the majority want to see her off with respect. And a great many Irish have done so. Including the current Taoiseach Enda Kenny and current President Michael D Higgins.
From my favourite clifftop vantage point, I can see the peninsula of what is finally beginning to feel like my home-town. It's an ever-changing view, but today it's calm: I can see the snow-topped haziness of Islay in the distance, far beyond.
The popularity of the women's game has grown remarkably over the past 10 years, demonstrating a change in attitude and culture around the female version of the game. This is backed up by findings revealed this month that shows the number of registered girls' football teams has grown in the past decade by 15% in England.