Northern Ireland

“Conscience” Clause enshrines homophobia into law

By Kevin Henry The attempt by the DUP to amend Northern Ireland’s equality laws to allow religious business owners to refuse services to LGBT customers if it is “facilitating” an act against their religion is an attempt to enshrine a right to discriminate into law. This attempt to drive society backwards would make it perfectly acceptable under the law for ...

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Agreeing Not To Agree, Again – The Stormont House Agreement

By Michael Cleary On December 23rd the five Executive parties and the British and Irish governments signed off on the “Stormont House Agreement”. The Agreement came at the end of eleven weeks of intense negotiations which concluded with 30 hours of continuous talks. First Minister Peter Robinson has stated that the agreement is “a monumental step forward”. Deputy First Minister ...

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Paisley’s legacy: peace or bloody division?

How will Ian Paisley, who has died at the age of 88, be remembered? As the firebrand preacher who stoked the fires of conflict in Northern Ireland or as a peacemaker and the partner in government of Martin McGuinness? Many people struggle to make sense of what appear to be entirely contradictory phases in his life. Most of the media, ...

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Haass talks failure – Sectarian politicians cannot find way forward

The scene seemed set for yet another 'landmark' deal in the history of the peace process. The negotiations continued into the early hours of New Year's Eve. Yet – despite six months of work and 33 days of negotiations and much fanfare – the talks process led by US diplomat Richard Haass failed to reach agreement between the five Assembly Executive parties on how to deal with parades, the past, flags and emblems, with only the nationalist parties endorsing the final draft proposals.

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