April 21, 2016

John F. Kennedy's Texas speech on the Catholic Religion (1960)

JFK speaking at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas, September 12 1960 (speech in full here and at bottom)

Today, American politics is hugely varied religiously. In 1960 it was very different. 

Today Congress is run by a Catholic and a Mormon, the president is a black- Christian, on the Supreme Court sit six Catholics and three Jews.

April 06, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - John Kyle

John Kyle is A Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) councillor at Belfast City Council. He is contesting the Stormont Assembly Elections 2016.

April 05, 2016

A narrative account of the Easter Rising 1916

The seven signatories to the Irish Proclamation

Read my account of Sunday April 23 1916 here. The rebels are thrown into chaos by Eoin MacNeill's countermanding order, which read:
‘Owing to the very critical position, all orders given to Irish Volunteers for tomorrow, Easter Sunday, are hereby rescinded, and no parades, marches, or other movements of Irish Volunteers will take place. Each individual Volunteer will obey this order strictly in every particular.’

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Thomas "Dixie" Elliott

I was born in Rickmansworth England in 1957. My Mother is a Catholic and my late Father was a Protestant. My Father was working over there at the time and my Mother later joined him. They returned to Derry when I was two years old. I went to Saint Joseph's Secondary School where I was really only ever good at art. I became involved in Republicanism at the age of sixteen and was jailed in 1976 at the age of nineteen. I was sentenced to twelve years in 1977 and went on the Blanket Protest, where I remained for four and a half years until it ended after the second Hunger Strike in 1981. I spent nine years out of the twelve year sentence in jail and was released in 1985. I was married in 1988 and it was around this time that I left Sinn Fein. I'm an artist and I also write. I have finished two children's book's as yet unpublished which I've illustrated myself and I am presently writing an adult novel which could be best described as being a cross between Puckoon and An Beal Bocht by Flann O'Brien.

April 04, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Mick Fealty

Mick Fealty was born in Belfast and raised in the religiously mixed community of Holywood in Co Down. In his early adult years he worked extensively in schools across Ireland and Britain and western Europe. For much of the last twenty years he has lived in England working as a qualitative researcher and consultant advising companies and third sector organisations on digital engagement as well as finding time to be the founding editor of what some have suggested is NI’s ‘blog of record’, Slugger O’Toole.

April 03, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Alan Burnside

Alan Burnside was born in North Belfast in 1947. He lived on the front of the Woodvale Road from 1953 to 1973 opposite the original Holy Cross Primary School. From 1969 the immediate vicinity of his family home was a scene of frequent public disorder (even today) and occasional murders. His home and the adjacent houses have since been demolished to create a sterile barrier. Alan's education was at Boys’ Model, Methodist College Belfast and Queen’s University for a BSc(Econ). Following ten years in the NI Civil Service, most of it as a Departmental press officer, Alan was in the NI Housing Executive Information Service for 18 months, then three years in the Belfast office of the CBI. The combination of experience as a press officer and the business credibility developed in the CBI encouraged Alan to launch a public relations business in 1982. He is now semi-retired and working mainly at Westminster.

April 02, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Anthony McIntyre

Anthony McIntyre grew up in South Belfast until, aged 16, he was first imprisoned. Anthony moved to West Belfast upon release from imprisonment and he is now a denizen of Drogheda.
Anthony gained a first class honours degree in politics from the Open University and a PhD in history from Queens. He has effectively relinquished the doctorate, having lost all faith in academia to stand up for anything other than academic careers. A doctorate is more like a bell to warn people, “beware, academic approaching.”

April 01, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Shane Kenna

Shane Kenna is a Doctor of History. Shane holds a PhD in Modern Irish History from Trinity College, Dublin and has written extensively on the subject of Irish Republicanism. He has a particular interest in Fenianism and the Irish question in the early 20th century.
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