Northern Ireland

Sectarian parties will exploit Scottish referendum

The question of an independence referendum in Scotland has provoked rumblings on both sides of the sectarian divide here. Peter Robinson has said that Unionists must not “stand idly by”, but instead do what they can to convince the Scottish people to remain within the Union. On the other hand, Martin McGuinness has welcomed the SNP’s move and suggested that they would like to see a similar vote on a united Ireland take place in the near future – perhaps in 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising.

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Release Brendan Lillis

Brendan Lillis is a West Belfast man who is currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Prison despite a campaign that he be released on compassionate grounds. At the time of writing it has been reported that he has been moved from prison to an outside hospital, but he remains a prisoner.

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East Belfast riots: Stop ALL Sectarian attacks

Two weeks ago, rioting took place around the Catholic Short Strand enclave in predominantly Protestant east Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown and shots were fired in some of the worst rioting in the area for a decade. The PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) used water cannon and plastic bullets.

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Northern elections: historic low turnout – a rejection of Assembly parties

The recent elections took place as the North faces into the deepest cuts to public spending in its history. The Executive parties have agreed to slash £4 billion from the budget over the next four years. Peter Robinson said this would be Northern Ireland’s first “bread and butter” election. However, the only significant reflection of this was in the historically low turnout.

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Socialist challenge in Northern elections

On May 5, people in the North will turn out to vote in elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly and local councils. The backdrop to these elections will be the passing of a four year budget containing enormous cuts to public services, privatisation of state assets and wage cuts for public sector workers.

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Northern Ireland: Assembly parties agree on CUTS, CUTS, CUTS

The cuts are coming – and the parties in the Assembly are not standing in their way – they have agreed that they will implement them, not oppose them. One after another, all the parties in the Assembly Executive are queueing up to identify where cuts can be made – cut education spending, privatise the Housing Executive, close hospitals, sell off Belfast Harbour, increase household rates for ordinary workers, cut civil service workers pay, introduce water charges…

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Tory cuts bloodbath must be resisted

A savage attack has been launched on working class people in Northern Ireland. The Comprehensive Spending Review announced by the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition government on 20 October represents around a 6.9% cut in public spending in the North over the next four years. This amounts to some £4 billion in revenue spending, and a 40% reduction in capital spending (on roads, hospitals and other public projects).

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Riots expose reality of sectarianism

Fierce rioting erupted in Ardoyne after an Orange Order parade on 12 July and continued for three days. The period before, over and after this year’s Twelfth was also marked by rioting in other areas and a number of gun and bomb attacks. There was trouble across Belfast - including the New Lodge, Broadway, the Markets, Short Strand, Ormeau Road-and in Derry, Armagh, and Lurgan.

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