Happy New Year to you all!
As the first day dawns in 2015 how are politics progressing in NI?
Sinn Fein ratified the Stormont House Agreement.
* progress in defending the most vulnerable against the Tory welfare and budget cuts
* progress with regard to flags, the past and parading
They admitted there was more to do at a community, political and national level to resolve these matters.
They did not get
*A bill of rights
*An Irish language act
*An inquiry into the killing of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
“we were disappointed”
” it fell short of what was needed”
Update 8/1/2015: Alliance Party ratification. The Executive
Repeated the Agreement fell short of the public’s ambitions on key issues such as parades and flags
Emphasised the importance of implementing the proposals fully and quickly.
Questioned the willingness of other parties to meet the commitments in the Agreement.
Peter Robinson said he would be recommending the document to his party executive.
“ there were no negotiations around parades”.
Mike Nesbitt said he would ask his own party to give the agreement “a fair wind“.
So no news of ratification from the Unionists!!
Dr Haass blamed his failure to reach agreement was due to the Unionists largely lacking leadership
“ And that’s not surprising because there was a feeling that change would disadvantage them. I think the republicans and the nationalists were more willing to entertain the possibility of change.”
See how Unionists/Loyalists display
The TUV reaction to the Stormont House Agreement –
Bitter complaints about involvement of the Dublin Government in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland
And there’s no point in complaining about it?
DUP Nelson Mc Causland, chair of Stormont’s culture, arts and leisure committee
*Complained about the Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon commemorations and the support people showed nearly 60 years ago after they were killed in an attack on Brookeborough RUC barracks on New Year’s Day 1957.
*Objected to the song Sean South of Garryowen which was written by Sean Costello, founder of the Irish Republlican Socialist Party.
The Wolfe Tones made this song famous throughout the world.
The air of the song is ”Roddy McCorley”
Comment: And the Orange Order want traditional marches?
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson
*Objected to a Westminster law about having the Union Flag
on new driving licences issued to motorists in Great Britain
He said that that excluding NI was “highly regrettable“.
“It is an issue we will be raising with the Department of Transport in London,”
Queries: Doesn’t he know it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
Doesn’t he know Westminster can decide where and how its laws apply?
And some might apply only to Great Britain?
Hint: That’s the big island and archipelago to the east of Ireland (north and south)
The Orange Order
The Northern Ireland Office decided not to set up a panel to resolve deadlock over a contentious Orange Order march along part of the Crumlin Road in North Belfast
An Orange Order spokesperson said “Grand Lodge
is extremely concerned and will be meeting with unionist political representatives at the earliest opportunity after the Christmas holidays to discuss the seriousness of the situation, created by a weak Secretary of State”.
Comment: Unionists/Loyalists are certainly rising to the challenge of proactively promoting the Union and supporting the Westminster Government