#InConversation Podcast with Michael McCoy. From the Ormeau Road to Tokyo and other tales…

Michael is a regular in the comments, I thought to myself a chat with a Belfast guy who now lives in Japan would make a great podcast. Originally from the Ormeau Road in Belfast, Michael McCoy has lived in Japan for the past 30 years where he works as an executive coach. In this conversation, we discuss growing up in Belfast in the 1970s as well as getting his take on Brexit and what we need to do to stimulate …

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A passion for social justice: Tribute to Anne MOORE

Anne Moore will be remembered for her passion for social justice. I met Anne during my employment as a policy officer for the Alliance Party as I sought out the views of a valued stakeholder, NICVA, where she served as public affairs officer. Anne and I had plenty of enjoyable conversations and discussions on official as well as unofficial business matters—we would frequently diverge to global and philosophical perspectives. I regret that we didn’t continue such conversations as our careers …

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Northern Ireland’s future demands new energy and ideas from the BBC

Denis Bradley writing in the Irish News The atmosphere that has been nurtured on BBC Radio Ulster and Foyle since the peace process has driven away more voices than it has attracted. Only the most vocal of our politicians are regulars. Most clerics avoid it like the plague. Key personnel in many of our most important institutions never appear, most likely out of fear. Many do not feel equipped to partake in an atmosphere that is not always conducive to …

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The Forgotten Troubles 1920-1922: The Derry Riots 1920…

On 12th August 1969 Derry City exploded into violence and running battles that would eventually become known as the Battle of The Bogside after the Annual Relief of the City Parade held by the Apprentice Boys. This rioting lasted for three days and is widely seen as the start of the Troubles or Northern Ireland conflict. What is less well known, however, is that almost fifty years previously, in June 1920 Derry saw a far bloodier spate of communal rioting …

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Introducing #TheReset – how we can react positively to the challenge of Covid-19? A new project from Slugger in partnership with the Ulster Bank…

We are living through historic times. Never has the Lenin quote ‘“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”  been more apt. We are witnessing considerable changes to our way of life – the way we work, the way we learn, the way we shop, the way we spend our free time. Some of this change will be negative, but some will also be positive. Slugger is launching a new project around how we can …

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Féile Discussion: British or Irish or both? Unionism, Protestantism and the national question …

The Virtual Féile is well underway, with events continuing through Sunday. Monday, I took part in a lunchtime discussion on unionism around the theme of ‘British, or Irish or both: unionism, Protestantism and the national question’. It was chaired by Prof Jennifer Todd and my conversation partner was Prof Christine Bell. The conversation was framed in this way: Until the late 19thcentury, it was commonplace for unionists and Protestants of all varieties to see no problem in identifying as Irish. The …

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The challenge of Infrastructure…

In 1948, just 3 years after the end of World War 2, the NHS was born. At a time of deep financial uncertainty. In 2020, another time of deep uncertainty, the NHS has led the way. Just like in 1948 a dramatic change in direction is possible post Covid19. Health service reforms need to happen, education as well, but suddenly the pressing need is our economy and infrastructure to support future growth. At the end of May our Alliance council …

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Remembering John Hume

Since news of John Hume’s death emerged yesterday (3 August 2020), there has been an outpouring of obituaries and tributes to the man who is considered the architect of peace in Northern Ireland. These were immediate, as is the case with obituaries of key figures in society, and Hume has not been a well man for some time. Obituaries play a key role in how individuals and their legacies are remembered after their death, and can be considered as sites …

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Hume’s origin story: fighting injustice at every corner…

It is incumbent upon us all to remember what propelled a young teacher in Derry into frontline politics and change the face of Northern Ireland forever. The young teacher was John Hume, born into a working-class catholic family he had been given opportunities not afforded to generations before and attended Queen’s University Belfast. In the words of that other Derry giant (Gerry Anderson) his generation of queens’ graduates [para] “went away to university, learned about the country they lived in …

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