Sinn Féin, Constitutional Politics and the Rule of Law

Gerry Adams (Picture Credit: The Guardian)Six months ago, Malachi O’Doherty claimed that with his arrest over the murder of Jean McConville, Gerry Adams’ political career was as good as over; “Adams’s southern political ambitions are now dead, whatever happens next”. Just a month later, following European and Local elections that saw Sinn Féin maintain their position in Northern Ireland and surge in the Republic of Ireland, the talk turned, in Colm Keena’s words, to whether Sinn Féin “will hold the position of Dublin Lord Mayor in Easter 2016”. Maíria Cahill’s claims of her rape at the hands of a Provisional IRA member and her subsequent treatment at the hands of the republican movement have in recent weeks returned the spotlight to Sinn Féin. And that is before we even mention the “On-The-Runs” crisis which threatened to collapse the Northern Ireland in the spring. And yet, Sinn Féin seems to have been able to shake off each successive crisis  and continues to see its popularity surge according to recent polls. Continue reading “Sinn Féin, Constitutional Politics and the Rule of Law”

Sinn Féin, Constitutional Politics and the Rule of Law

What the Dogs in the Street Know: On the Runs and Hanging Peter Hain Out to Dry

Peter Hain“In Northern Ireland”, Peter Hain opined in his autobiography Outside In (pictured left), there is “always a crisis around the corner” (p.323). There is more of a feel of truth than truism to the statement, especially as the on-the-runs scandal dominated recent headlines (before being eclipsed by developments in the Crimea). I’d be surprised if a good few Irish viewers watching the BBC 2 drama miniseries 37 Days, on the slide towards the First World War, haven’t felt there is something queasily apposite in the scenes where the UK Cabinet’s attention is wrenched away from the “muddy by-ways of Fermanagh and Tyrone” and towards a developing European Crisis. Continue reading “What the Dogs in the Street Know: On the Runs and Hanging Peter Hain Out to Dry”

What the Dogs in the Street Know: On the Runs and Hanging Peter Hain Out to Dry

Guest post: Frenett on Sinn Féin's electoral success

HRinI is delighted to welcome back Ross Frennett. This is Ross’s second post for the blog and focuses on the impact of Sinn Féin’s electoral success.

Sinn Féin have won a number of seats in Dáil Éireann unprecedented in modern times. This will have knock on effects in the smoke filled backrooms of Belfast and South Armagh, not just in the halls of power in Dublin.
 
Sinn Féin is still linked in the minds of many voters to the actions committed by the PIRA during the ‘Troubles’ and Gerry Adams had to repeatedly deal with accusations Continue reading “Guest post: Frenett on Sinn Féin's electoral success”

Guest post: Frenett on Sinn Féin's electoral success

General Election 2011: Human Rights and the Party Manifestos

This election has been dominated by economic issues. Human rights issues tend to be omitted from reporting of the party manifestos. By way of rectifying that omission, the table below provides answers, derived from the major political parties’ manifestos, to 15 key human rights questions. (Zoom is on the bottom left).

Party Manifestos and Human Rights

Continue reading “General Election 2011: Human Rights and the Party Manifestos”

General Election 2011: Human Rights and the Party Manifestos

NUI Galway Lifecourse Institute to Hold Political Debate on Policies on Older Persons, Children & Families & Persons with Disabilities

An event called Future Policies: Older People, Children & Families & Persons with Disabilities, A Lifecourse Institute Election Event will take place Thursday 17th February at 8 pm in the main lecture theatre Aras Moyola, North Campus. There is no fee for this event, however, you will need to  register online in order to secure your attendance.  See here.  The Lifecourse Institute (LCI) at NUI Galway have invited the election candidates from the main political parties to set out their future policy plans for older people, children and families, and persons with disabilities.  Each of these policy areas is central to the work of the LCI.  Representing the political parties are Fidelma Healy Eames (Fine Gael); Derek Nolan (Labour); Niall O’Brochlain (Green); Trevor O’Clochartaigh (Sinn Féin); and Eamon O’Cuiv (Fianna Fáil).  Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent at the Irish Times Newspaper will chair the proceedings. Donncha O’Connell, of the School of Law at NUI Galway, will act as Rapporteur.  Each of the representatives will have the opportunity to outline their party position, followed by a question and answer session with representatives from a range of community groups and members of the public.  Professor Pat Dolan, Academic Director of the Lifecourse Institute, said “the event will provide an opportunity Continue reading “NUI Galway Lifecourse Institute to Hold Political Debate on Policies on Older Persons, Children & Families & Persons with Disabilities”

NUI Galway Lifecourse Institute to Hold Political Debate on Policies on Older Persons, Children & Families & Persons with Disabilities

Global Coverage of Ireland's shaky democracy

Yesterday’s High Court decision, Doherty v Government of Ireland has resulted in global coverage of the Irish Government’s reluctance to engage with democracy. This is a brief overview of what has been said.

The Financial Times, unsurprisingly discussed the issue together with the dire state of the country’s finances and the Government’s response to it. Reuters followed a similar pattern, mentioning the possibility of the IMF intervening should the budget not achieve the aims of organising the country’s finances to the satisfaction of the markets. The BBC put slightly more emphasis on the fact that it was a Sinn Féin councillor who succeeded in winning the case, but also focused on some of detail of Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns judgment.

The Washington Post focused on the student protests regarding student fees together with the High Court judgment. Continue reading “Global Coverage of Ireland's shaky democracy”

Global Coverage of Ireland's shaky democracy

Guest Post: Rolston on Ardoyne Riots

HRinI is delighted to welcome this post from Prof. Bill Rolston of the University of Ulster (Jordanstown). Bill is a Professor of Sociology at the School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies and Director of the Transitional Justice Institute at UU. His research focuses on popular political culture and community and voluntary politics in Northern Ireland.

Some years ago PJ O’Rourke wrote a book called Holidays in Hell. As the title suggests, he went to visit a number of countries in which there was violent political conflict, one of which was Ireland. He wrote that he had not expected to find Belfast so normal and inviting, forgetting of course to examine how much energy, time and money had gone into ensuring that the violence was corralled into a number of working class areas. He refers specifically to the fact that the news reports and photos he was used to in the US had completely distorted his expectations. It was, he said, as if you invited a photographer into your house but only let them photograph the wardrobe in the teenager’s bedroom.

I don’t normally quote right-wing commentators, but I thought of O’Rourke when I saw the footage over the Twelfth of July of the rioting in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Rolston on Ardoyne Riots”

Guest Post: Rolston on Ardoyne Riots