Brian Walker

After the funeral of the age, back to the reality of today

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The greatest public obsequies in history are over. The hangover begins now. The death of the Queen allowed millions to think of the nation as a big family which could unite at such a time.  Every nation or a distinct …

Brian O’Neill

Would you want a 4 day work week?

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Today was an odd day. I took the opportunity to visit a friend in Castlewellan. On the way down, most shops were closed. Ballynahinch and the other towns I drove through were very quiet. The general vibe was a bit …

Gladys Ganiel

Book Review: ‘Unholy Catholic Ireland’ by Hugh Turpin

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Unholy Catholic Ireland: Religious Hypocrisy, Secular Morality, and Irish Irreligion by Hugh Turpin (published this week by Stanford University Press) is a must-read book for anyone interested in the changing role of religion in Ireland. Unholy Catholic Ireland responds to …

Brian O’Neill

Open Sunday – discuss what you like…

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The idea for Open Sunday is to let you discuss what you like. News events we have missed, an interesting article you have read, recommendations for a good podcast, book or tv show. Or maybe you just want a good …

Brian O’Neill

The poorest Irish have a standard of living almost 63% higher than the poorest in the UK…

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Interesting article about income inequality from John Burn-Murdoch over in the FT. From the article: Starting at the top of the ladder, Britons enjoy very high living standards by virtually any benchmark. Last year the top-earning 3 per cent of …

Brian O’Neill

Some good news. Home heating oil and petrol prices are coming down…

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Back at the start of August, home heating oil was £399 for 500 litres. It is always a dilemma to know when to buy oil, so I decided to wait and see if the price dropped any further. Instead, the …

Willie McCarter

The Queen, The President and The Island of Ireland Peace Park, Messines

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On Nov 11 1998 as Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland my wife and I had the very great privilege of witnessing the opening of the Island of Ireland Peace Park together with its Round Tower at Messines in …

Brian O’Neill

Themmuns Vs Ussuns census results out next Thursday. Give your predictions…

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The most eagerly awaited census results since the Census of Quirinius are out next Thursday. Exact time confirmed – latest Census results for NI will be announced at 9.30am on Thursday next week. 🕤 — Mark Simpson (@BBCMarkSimpson) September 15, …

Brian Walker

The monarchy and its rituals may be valued and even enjoyed. But do not exaggerate their impact or confuse them with harsher realities

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Marking the evolution of the British state has long been planned as part of the great festival of mourning now under way; but into what precisely is far from clear. The new King’s hectic tour of Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff …

Brian O’Neill

Nationalism’s position of confidence, not subservience…

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We live in interesting times. Did you ever think you would see the day that Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey would deliver a message of condolence to the new UK King? Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly – Sinn Féin’s Alex …