The United Rugby Championship End Game: The provinces Collide

Leinster need Munster and the Bulls to slip up against Ulster and Challenge Cup winners Sharks to have any chance of topping the table and retaining home advantage to the final. This seems unlikely, as the Sharks have nothing to play for and Munster are in top form. Given their exertions against Toulouse, a win against Connacht can’t even be taken for granted. Leinster will be overtaken by Glasgow if they fail to win with a bonus point as Glasgow …

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Tribeca, be damned…

Eamonn Duffin is a local writer, Tyrone native and long term resident of Belfast. A recent graduate of the QUB Creative Writing MA, his work is soon to be featured in Belfast’s newest literary adventure, The Belfast Review. The Irish News of May 21st reports that The Cathedral Quarter Trust (CQT) has “formally objected to Castlebrooke Investments’ bid to renew four applications for its stalled development, and urged others to do likewise,” saying it believes that Castlebrooke “has no intention …

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Open sunday – politics free zone…

Street vendor with a suitcase

In addition to our normal open Sunday, we have a politics-free post to give you all a break. So discuss what you like here, but no politics. Brian O'NeillI help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not …

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Open Sunday – discuss what you like…

open sunday sign, signage, open

The idea for Open Sunday is to let you discuss what you like. Just two rules. Keep it civil and no man/woman playing. Brian O'NeillI help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily …

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Launch of Future Politics report…

Anna Mercer is the Deputy Director of Strategem. You can follow her on Twitter… There has been a lot of chat about what the first 100 days has and hasn’t achieved since the restoration of the NI Executive and Assembly. While milestones are important, the irony is not lost on bemoaning the emphasis on the PR optics that came thick and fast from the First and deputy First Ministers office, whilst using the PR opportunity that a nice round figure …

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We’re inching closer to the possibility of a new pandemic that may be worse than Covid-19…

Ben M is a Slugger reader from Dublin… Bird Flu is so often mentioned in the news many people probably tune out. If you’re one of those you may have missed some recent developments. H5N1, the strain that’s been spreading among wild bird and mammal populations around the world for the past two years, has now spread to cows in North America. It’s now been found in cows in 34 US states. This is concerning because it increases the risk …

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Should the UUP just quit rather than have the slow decline?

a yellow sign on a white tiled surface

The pathetic sight of a rain-drenched Prime Minister announcing a general election, drowned out by Labour’s 1997 election anthem “Things Can Only Get Better,” epitomised the ineptitude and incompetence of the Tory government. Closer to home, these same words—ineptitude and incompetence—have become synonymous with Unionism and it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Unionism is destined for a fate similar to that of the Tories. Just a few short months ago, the future of Unionism seemed much brighter. The DUP …

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European Rugby Cup Final: Leinster Versus Toulouse

European Cup Final: Leinster Versus Toulouse There seems to be an assumption doing the rounds in some quarters that Leinster are more or less entitled to win the European cup, and that any failure to do so will represent a monumental failure of character, coaching, and squad management. There have already been calls for Leo Cullen’s head should Leinster fail to lift the trophy and thus replicate the failure of recent seasons. Not only is this disrespectful of the achievement …

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Antisemitism – a Shield to Protect Israel?

silhouette of man

I cannot prove that I am not anti-German, or that I am not anti-Muslim. Such accusations are almost impossible to disprove. Even uttering the phrase, ‘I am not anti-Muslim’, invites people to consider, ‘Is he being truthful, or is he in denial. So how should I respond when I, like anyone who has criticised Israel, am invited to take steps to prove that I am not antisemitic. (See attached picture of sample tweets.) What is antisemitism? Even though the word …

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The rise of the anti-immigration movement in Ireland…

brown game pieces on white surface

There is something happening in Ireland (the Republic) and it is not pretty. It is the mobilisation by far-right actors of anti-immigration sentiment in response to a sharp increase (from a low base) in the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country. 5,160 asylum seekers came to Ireland in the first three months of this year, up nearly 78% on the same period last year. This compares with 4,780 in the whole of 2019, 3,670 in the whole of 2018 and …

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AFP announce that a UK General Election to be held on July 4th…

Elizabeth Tower, London

AFP have just reported there will be an election on July 4th. Mainstream media are waiting for an official announcement for what will be a six week campaign. This will be the first electoral contest for all major party leaders. And there will be not a little interest here in Northern Ireland. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest …

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Ireland, Norway and Spain recognise Palestine as an independent state…

It has been announced this morning that Ireland, Spain and Norway will recognise the State of Palestine, effective from 28th May. From the Irish News: The Taoiseach said that “ideally” recognition of Palestine would have been taken as part of a peace settlement in the Middle East, but said “our decision to recognise Palestine should not have to wait indefinitely”. …Shortly before Mr Harris made the announcement outside Government Buildings in Dublin, Israel recalled its ambassador in Ireland, with its …

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Nolan, or how Sinn Féin tried to shoot the messenger and missed…

African penguins on seashore beside boulder

Let me declare an interest here… I like interviewers who ask hard questions and then repeat them until they get an answer.  Stephen Nolan is one such – as is Andrew Neil. Allegedly Andrew Neil is somewhat to the political right of my good self but as long as he asks those difficult questions of those he interrogates and in a fair way, personally, I couldn’t give the proverbial fiddlers what his political views are. As a Nationalist, the boul Stephen is therefore a Themmun. I understand …

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Breathing New Life into Glenarm: A Council-Community Partnership Success Story…

Deb Biddleston is a Northern English native who moved to NI 20 years ago We often see lots of criticism of local councils in news items, none more so than Mid & East Antrim, whose recent history has been fraught with some difficulties, including having their offices raided by the PSNI. I think that often councils don’t blow their own trumpet enough, or maybe the press just chooses to ignore them, as we know bad news and scandal sells papers. …

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Iran president Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister dead in helicopter crash…

Just what we need, more instability in the Middle East. From the BBC: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been confirmed to have died following a helicopter crash in north-western Iran on Sunday, according to state media Foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others are also reported to be among the dead State media says the “hard landing” happened as hard-line cleric President Raisi was making his way to the city of Tabriz, after returning from the border with Azerbaijan Before …

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Is it time to give up on power sharing as a bad job ?

A couple of weeks back I wrote about whether or not the time had come for Alliance to adopt a constitutional position (TL;DR – it hasn’t). As is typical of articles that touch on the constitutional issue, there were quite a few comments, most of which spectacularly avoided the point and tended to rehash boring talking points and clichés from the 1970s. But there were several fair remarks which merit further discussion, so I thought I’d start with the most …

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Open sunday – politics free zone…

Street vendor with a suitcase

In addition to our normal open Sunday, we have a politics-free post to give you all a break. So discuss what you like here, but no politics. Brian O'NeillI help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not …

Read more…

Open Sunday – discuss what you like…

open sunday sign, signage, open

The idea for Open Sunday is to let you discuss what you like. Just two rules. Keep it civil and no man/woman playing. Brian O'NeillI help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily …

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The Paradoxical LucidTalk Poll: Party Fortunes and Westminster Prospects…

  Colum’s daring to hope again, Gavin’s nervous, Michelle’s wondering why, and Doug, Jim and Naomi all wear broad smiles, at least for the time it takes them to read the BT’s latest Lucid Talk poll. DUP: This is the first poll since the dramatic fall of Jeffrey Donaldson and all eyes will have turned first to the DUP figure. And it’s not good. The party has lost all the gains it had made since it fell into second place …

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Valid objections to a history of the British government’s role in the Troubles should not stand in the way of accountability

Solemn commemorations have just been  held on the 50th anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan no warning  bombings which claimed the lives of 34 people  and injured hundreds more. These atrocities were committed by loyalists  in the middle of the UWC  strike in the North which within weeks had overthrown  new  British -Irish structures and the recently formed power sharing Executive.  At the time  the Dublin coalition government which had negotiated the Sunningdale deal the previous  November was strangely passive …

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