New twist to Troubles pensions saga
The long and sorry saga over the prospect of pensions for victims of the ‘Troubles’ has taken a new twist.
The long and sorry saga over the prospect of pensions for victims of the ‘Troubles’ has taken a new twist.
Thousands of the corporation's production workers earn just £16,000 a year, making it a poster child for inequality.
Last Friday night, Linfield and Celtic met at Windsor Park. Celtic FC had turned down their allocation of tickets for the match and a number of bars in west Belfast showed the match on their premises on large screens for Celtic supporters.
Here's your starter for ten. What's the difference between news presenters Fiona Bruce and Huw Edwards, news anchors Mishal Husain and John Humphrys, and sports presenters Clare Balding and Gary Lineker? The answers, respectively, are in the region of £200,000, £400,000 or, in the case of Balding and Lineker, an extraordinary £1.5m pounds.
In the famous words of the Victorian writer Walter Bagehot, in order for the monarchy to survive: "We must not let in the daylight upon magic." Walter's concern was that the mystique of royalty could be punctured by anything which afforded the masses overly...
St Patrick's Church in Donegall Street in Belfast requires millions of pounds of restoration work. Father Eugene O'Neill said the time has come to "refresh the fabric" of the distinctive building. "It's a stone building and it has 140 years of Belfast soot and dirt and...
"Open borders are a human right", announced a placard I saw at a protest in London last week when the Policy Exchange think tank awarded Australian Prime Minister Turnbull the Disraeli Prize.
Ever since I was made aware that folks from the city on the Foyle favoured different names for their home town ("Do you come from Derry?" "Yes, I come from Londonderry"), I have believed that people should be called whatever the heck they like. So I have...
Now the Twelfth demonstrations and parades have passed off peacefully, people can look forward to the rest of the summer. Praise is due to the Orange Order leaders, as well as politicians and community workers, in ensuring that this year's parades had...
One of the great tragedies of evolution - in my opinion - is that the domestic dog never developed the ability to speak. I've often thought this and I imagine that every other dog owner has, at one time or another, wished that theirs could talk.
'Beautiful'. It's not the word that most people would immediately link with Belfast. If you took one of those word-association tests, a few other Bs might come to mind, like bleak, barbarous, or bombed. Or even Bigotsborough, as the writer James Douglas famously...
Yesterday, I was the speaker at the Orange demonstration in the Co Antrim village of Broughshane. With just 11 lodges in Braid district, it is a small demonstration, but we had a thoroughly enjoyable day and the village was crowded with Orange brethren, bands and...
Over the past three weeks, Belfast City Council has had what could be described as a few 'Bonfire of the Inanities' moments.
Proof that we are now officially into the Silly Season - a major news outlet reports that someone has spotted the face of Casper the Friendly Ghost on the kneecap of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Oh to be in Northern Ireland now that summer - and nobody else - is here. I love this place during the holiday season. I know I'm going against received opinion, against years of the thrill of the great exodus.
I was in combat last week in Glenarm with Danny Morrison, Sinn Fein’s legendary propagandist, at Summer Madness, a Christian youth festival.
The Twelfth of July is a pivotal part of our summer, whether you like it or not. For some people it is the time to make sure that they are as far away from Northern Ireland as possible.
I'm just back from a mammoth journey. Belfast to Liverpool on the ferry (eight hours), followed by a 230-mile drive (five hours) down the M6, M50 and M4 from Merseyside to Cardiff to help my son, Finn, move out of his university halls of residence, and then all the way back again.
Is President Trump mad? Not mad in the American sense of raging, angry, seriously aggrieved - though he frequently appears to be all three of those things, and then some. No, I'm simply asking - along with a lot of other people both in the US and around the globe -...
I’m tired hearing Sinn Fein politicians lecture us about the importance of a “rights-based approach” to everything, including language and culture, because I know very well that they don’t really believe what they are saying.
The tragic case of little Charlie Gard, the desperately ill baby boy whose parents have spent months fighting to take him to America for treatment that may or may not save his life, would touch any heart.
When I first heard of the scale of the cash coming here as a result of the DUP deal with the Tories, my immediate reaction (shameful, I know) was, 'Let's just split it, Arlene'.
Multi-millionaire Adele fell foul of some fans after she had to cancel a couple of Wembley concerts.
Texting makes you walk silly. Sorry, sillily. Scientists have discovered that people adopt "an increasingly cautious step strategy" while texting and walking at the same time. In common parlance, that means they walk very slowly indeed and tend to...
I felt sorry for Theresa May during the turbulent month of June because she was so widely blamed for having the wrong kind of personality. The Prime Minister had a bad election campaign, seeming arrogant, aloof and unable to connect with people - so...
With all the troubles going on in the world, all the political upheavals and — in the UK — Brexit, a hung parliament, the controversy over the deal between the Conservatives and the DUP and the tribal standoff in Northern Ireland over restoring the...
It's heartening that the Conservative Party is trying to work out what mistakes it made and several of their MPs have suggested they should adopt some of Jeremy Corbyn's campaigning methods, especially in attracting youth.
During the next two months thousands of people will take their summer holidays, and Church members will worship in many places abroad.
If you’re a regular reader of this column you’ll know I don’t broach politics on this page. There are other columnists far more suited for political commentary than me who do it really well, so I steer well clear and try to keep my subjects light-hearted each week, from reminiscences of the past to anecdotes from the present.
There is a certain poetic justice in the Tory government's sudden decision to permit Northern Irish women to access free abortions on the NHS in England. That's because it is a direct result of Theresa May's pact with the notoriously anti-abortion DUP.
The agreement between the DUP and the Conservative and Unionist Party is good for the United Kingdom, providing stability as we enter the Brexit negotiations and protecting pensions for senior citizens throughout the UK.
We waited and we waited. And then we waited some more. A week after the longest day of the year it seemed like an even longer day around Stormont Castle yesterday.
Not since the 1996 Brits when Michael Jackson flung wide his arms and, with the wind blowing up his cassock, delivered a presumptuous portrayal of himself as the Messiah, have we seen an onstage performance of such singular conceit. Until...
It's final exams week at Stormont - and still no one knows if the parties will pass. But going on the evidence yesterday, the graduation gowns can be kept in mothballs for a while yet.
Less than three weeks ago, at the Belfast election count, Gerry Adams was flashing novelty socks featuring Animal, the demented hairy orange drummer from The Muppet Show.
A new book by royal biographer Penny Junor reports to tell Camilla's side of the story of the Diana-Charles-Camilla triangle which gripped and - to a small extent - shaped the nation as we know it today.
Was life really better years ago or are we looking back with rose-tinted glasses? A UK animal charity, Spana, has found that half of adults over the age of 50 think that life was better in the past - only 19% like it better today. But there are pros and cons in this...
There’s a ridiculous sentence in many a book that makes me want to hurl it at the nearest wall. “Little did he/she know”, it begins, “that he/she would end up marooned in an igloo in the Arctic/married to Donald Trump/on Death Row/Pope.”
With all the awful news that surrounds us everyday, sometimes the only thing to do is to escape for a while to remind ourselves of the beauty that exists in the world around us. A simple walk outdoors, somewhere peaceful, always works wonders for me.
The end of the Methodist Conference in Belfast last Sunday marks the completion of this year's series of annual gatherings of the main Churches. Most Church members, from my experience, pay little attention to such detailed business of their Church at large, and...
If only I'd known a while back when we were moving house and needed to put some furniture into (expensive) storage that Belfast City Council apparently can keep the stuff for you for free.
Last week, Hitler came to town. Or so you might have thought, given the levels of hysteria on social media and elsewhere. Actually, it was only the journalist and author Douglas Murray, here to promote his best-selling book, The Strange Death of Europe:...
Last week, Tim Farron resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats. He had been hounded by some journalists about his own personal Christian faith and, in particular, about his views on sin and sexuality.
In New York, the city's Public Theater has just finished a run of the great Shakespeare tragedy Julius Caesar, set in the modern day with one of the foremost military and political leaders in human history depicted as a bloke with a bouffant hairdo and long red tie.
Sometimes we see too much, read too much, know too much. Those images of that inferno at London's Grenfell Tower will stay with most of us forever, etched into our memories. Those silhouetted faces at the window, the woman who Facebooked live from...
In the latter years of his life, my husband used to greet breathless announcements of new developments and events with the philosophical words: "'Twas ever thus!" In old age, you see the same themes of life returning as if in a cycle.
Well, I finally found something on which I agree unreservedly with Gerry Adams. We liked Animal, who came to fame in the 1970s TV puppet comedy series The Muppet Show.
This week Rev Bill Mullally, the outgoing President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, appealed to politicians at Stormont and Westminster "to meet each other halfway for the good of all".
Happy Father’s Day weekend to all the dads out there; I hope you’re all being spoilt rotten by your adoring kids! I’m finally back in Belfast after having spent most of the year so far looking after my 85-year-old dad in England, so I won’t be seeing him this weekend. However, there are seven other offspring to take over where I left off, so he’s in good hands. When I told dad I’d be...
What planet does the Presbyterian Church in Ireland live on? Because it doesn't appear to be the same one that I occupy. When it comes to benighted attitudes to women and gay people, it may as well be on the dark side of the Moon.