Open Sunday – discuss what you like…

open sunday sign, signage, open

The idea for Open Sunday is to let you discuss what you like. News events we have missed, or links to good stories you read during the week. 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. …

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Open sunday – politics free zone…

open sunday

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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Look North! The North Belfast Festival 2023 Launches…

Look North – The North Belfast Festival takes place over the weekend of the 24 to 26 February 2023 celebrating the heritage and creative talents of North Belfast. The festival programme is jam-packed with a wide range of activities and interests showcasing and celebrating North Belfast’s rich heritage, cultural, creative and literary talents, with appearances from local authors, artists and young people, though it is not limited to the area. It includes talks, walks, poetry readings, panel discussions, music, tours …

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Mid week moan – go on, get it off your chest…

As the name suggests, it is a chance to get it off your chest and have a good aul rant. You can discuss what you like. 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 …

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A Cordon Sanitaire between the EU and UK…

aerial photography of forest

Recent discussions about the Protocol in Northern Ireland have focused on the problems it poses for the DUP. But from an EU perspective it seeks to solve a far larger problem for the EU as a whole. Much of the analysis of Brexit has been in terms of it being an English nationalist project. What has been missed is the extent to which it is also a political libertarian project. Much of the driving force behind Brexiteer ideology has been …

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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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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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The political Unionist cake is not growing. Only who wins the bigger slice alters.

cake, cheesecake, cinnamon sticks

A publication for Church leaders recently headlined ‘the rise of the ‘dones’; a growing number of people who are ‘done with the Church.’ They have not abandoned their faith but have ‘de-churched.’ Attendance figures bear this out. One interviewee commented: ’they have heard it all and are tired of the same routine; being lectured to without any meaningful engagement or participation.’ Church scandals have played their part. The situation resonates with Northern Ireland as political parties exhibit a ‘this is the way mentality’; that …

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Germany agrees to send Leopard 2 Tanks to Ukraine…

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has bowed to considerable pressure and agreed to send Leopard Tanks to Ukraine. He has also agreed not to block other countries from sending their Leopard Tanks to Ukraine. The U.S. plans to Send M1 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine. It can be hard to independently verify data but Ukraine claims to have destroyed an insane amount of Russian equipment and soldiers. I am no Eisenhower, so I don’t fully understand the focus on tanks. It seems …

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Mid week moan – go on, get it off your chest…

So the new forum does not seem to have caught on. I think people just prefer to keep the discussion on the main site, and that’s ok with us. So what we will try to do is have a few more open threads. So today, I introduce mid-week moan. As the name suggests, it is a chance to get it off your chest and have a good aul rant. You can discuss what you like. If it is popular, we …

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Offer of help with truth recovery process at Irish Council of Churches centenary service

The Irish Council of Churches (ICC) — an all-island body with membership from Protestant, Orthodox, Reformed, and independent church traditions — marked its centenary with a joint service of worship at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. With the theme of “Celebrating our Reconciling Vision of Hope”, the special service also marked the 50th anniversary of the Ballymascanlon Talks, which led to the establishment of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting (IICM), the means by which the ICC continues to engage and collaborate with …

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Rather than keep slagging off the DUP over the Protocol, let’s recognise their better points

Nerves on all sides are stretched like skins on a drum waiting to see what emerges from the forthcoming Protocol negotiations.  Every cautious word is parsed and construed for signs of progress or the lack of it. Make no mistake a big push is on for a positive outcome on two fronts; to end the deadlock in the relations between the UK and EU and to come up with enough to restore the DUP to the Assembly. Never mind the …

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The question arises in 2023 about the state of ecumenism and what precisely is meant by being ‘one’?

several assorted-color glass frames

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is observed annually from January 18-25, based on the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21), culminating in the feast of the Conversion of St Paul. The question arises in 2023 about the state of ecumenism and what precisely is meant by being ‘one’. It seems to me that the idea of organic unity is a pipe dream and we should not waste time pursuing it; as long ago …

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Ireland, I believe, is ready to move on. Wither unionism if England loses interest?

brown and white concrete building during daytime

Brexit and the resulting impasse around the protocol have tended to put the focus on the DUP and the failure of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement (BGFA) institutions to operate properly. For unionists the issue is a perceived diminution in the constitutional link with Britain. For nationalists it is another sign of the failure of Northern Ireland to function properly and the need to remedy that by preparing for a united Ireland. However, as our esteemed editor, Mick Fealty, …

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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. News events we have missed, or maybe you just want a good rant. 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 …

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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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We Need to Talk About The Harmful Kinds of ‘Influencer’

Increased awareness of how content by dangerous, high-profile misogynists like Andrew Tate has an impact on society, and especially young people, has perhaps drowned out awareness of other harmful types of harmful social media personality further below the radar. Specifically, social channels like TikTok are being flooded with low-end grifters posing as respected influencers. Some of them are very close to home and may well be pulling in attention or even money from people you know right now. For example, …

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This reflective view from the Taoiseach and the Irish Government will be welcomed…

In an interview with the BBC the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that he regrets the protocol being imposed on Northern Ireland without the support of unionists and nationalists. This intervention, which is probably a more reflective approach from the Irish Government, will be welcomed by many people in Northern Ireland given that the protocol talks between the UK Government and the EU are at a critical stage. The intense pressures on the health service, on hospital waiting …

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Introducing the Slugger Forum….

three crumpled yellow papers on green surface surrounded by yellow lined papers

The Sunday Open posts have been popular, so I know there is demand for a more open space to chat. I also note that sometimes we don’t cover an issue, and posts can easily go off-topic. I have created a forum for Slugger at https://forum.sluggerotoole.com It is a different system than Hyvor, so you will need to register a new account on the forum, but it just needs your email and password, so it is pretty simple to sign up. …

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A United Ireland will have to include Unionists – so let’s get on with the difficult task of including them…

an abstract painting of purple and blue colors

I will be surprised if I see a united Ireland in my lifetime (I am in my early seventies). But the direction of travel is unmistakable. The history-changing reasons have been well rehearsed: the growth of the Catholic population – and particularly the young Catholic population – in Northern Ireland; the new confidence of Sinn Fein-led northern nationalists; the emergence of the Republic of Ireland as a prosperous, successful, liberal country at the heart of the EU; and the decline …

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