Category Archives: Northern Ireland

Cover Ups and Collusion: The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church’s fall from grace in recent years has been anything but low key. Revelations of clerical abuse and cover ups have shaken the church, and its congregation, to its very core. While the cases of Priests carrying out abuse on young members of their diocese is the most sickening aspect of these revelations, it is closely followed by how certain factions of the Catholic Church acted in covering up these incidents. As the world’s largest Christian faith, Catholicism is relied upon by over 1 billion people around the world, and for the most part, it offers genuine solace, reassurance, comfort and support to all its followers, playing a pivotal role in communities all over the world, not least here in Ireland. However, the actions of what are a small minority within the church have lead to worldwide scandals and disgrace.

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‘The Twelfth’: Celebration or Provocation?

The arrival of the summer season in Northern Ireland brings with it the high-point of another season – the ‘marching season’.  Union Jacks on lampposts, kerb-stones painted red, white and blue, and enormous bonfires, often featuring the Irish tricolour at their peaks; each year throughout the end of June and the beginning of July we witness mass preparations for the 12th July celebrations.  ‘The Twelfth’ is a Protestant celebration in which marching bands and Members of the Orange Order commemorate the victory of King William of Orange over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.  While on one hand this annual event can be seen as a community-driven and family orientated celebration, from a nationalist point of view it is often considered to be contentious and provocative. Click here to keep reading

Our Education is the Most Important Thing – Or is it?

When I was growing up my parents always emphasised that getting a good education is what’s most important, a message that in recent times has been somewhat contradicted by our politicians.  As universities in England can now charge tuition fees of up to £9000 per year, many potential students feel that they will effectively be priced out of attending the colleges at which they had previously aspired to study.  However, while the Cameron-Clegg coalition has raised fee caps in England, the same measures have not yet been taken in Northern Ireland. Click here to keep reading

From Paramilitaries to Power Sharing: Ex-Militants in Politics

For many years now Sinn Fein has been intrinsically linked with the IRA.  Indeed it is widely recognised that Deputy First Minister and Sinn Fein MLA Martin McGuinness is a former IRA leader.  Therefore the political involvement of those who once actively supported terrorist organisations is nothing new within the Northern Ireland Assembly.  However, while many men and women who were once contributing to the republican armed struggle against British occupation are now fighting their cause through the medium of politics, a recent appointment within Sinn Fein has received almost unanimous condemnation. Click here to keep reading

Peace Project in Derry City: A Bridge Over Troubled Water?

Saturday 25th June 2011 represented an extremely important day in the evolution of Northern Ireland’s once troubled and divided Derry City.  Once the scene of arguably the most publicised event in Northern Ireland’s troubled past, Bloody Sunday, the ‘Maiden City’ has come a long way in the past twelve months.

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