Category Archives: Cross-border cooperation

The DUP may be paranoid, but we still have to befriend them

It should come as no surprise that beleaguered identity appears to have once again trumped economic well-being in Northern Ireland (for the moment, anyway), as inter-party talks meant to agree a return to power-sharing missed their British government-imposed deadline this … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | 1 Comment

A Presbyterian republican Ulsterwoman and the ‘sister states’ of Ireland

For the second year running my politician of the year is a Protestant Ulsterwoman. This year it is Heather Humphreys, Irish Minister for Arts, Culture, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, a Monaghan Presbyterian whose grandfather signed the 1912 Ulster Covenant and … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

Three positive things to make us feel good about Northern Ireland (and Ireland)

“Be positive, Andy” said the former Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley, when I met him at ‘Amazing the Space’, a splendid Cooperation Ireland event on the old Maze prison site last month, which brought together 3,500 young … Continue reading

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Flailing around in the fact free zone that is Brexit

We are now in the phoney war period between the Brexit vote and the British government invoking Article 50 of the European Union Treaty to begin negotiating to leave the EU. And nobody – neither citizens nor governments – knows … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Ireland, Europe and the world | 1 Comment

Can we have a bit of realism about the border, please?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am one of those rare Irish people – outside Sinn Fein – who thinks quite a lot about the border. I don’t talk about it much: there’s nothing more likely to … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 2 Comments

Between two Irelands: walking and talking from Belfast to Dublin

Earlier this month I walked from Belfast to Dublin, talking to people along the way. I tried as much as possible to avoid main roads, using back roads, green roads, hill paths and beaches. My route took me along the … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 1 Comment

My politician of the year is a lesbian loyalist from Belfast

The most impressive politician I met in 2015 was Julie-Anne Corr Johnston, a 28 year old member of Belfast City Council, representing the small left-of-centre Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), many of whose members are former UVF prisoners. Julie-Anne is a … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border cooperation, General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism | 5 Comments