Tanistry: Irish History – Let’s talk about being Irish in Northern Ireland. I’d like to take a break from the regular content to have another brief chat about one of the most common discussions in the Tanistry Community-the way in which Irish people in Northern Ireland ought to feel or be seen by other Irish individuals. I’ll first and foremost state prior to the rest of this article that it’s my extremely staunch belief that all heritage, history and tradition on this island ought to be respected and preserved in one way or another; I’ll never really advocate for anyone’s heritage or identity to be attacked or undermined for the sake of another tradition’s supremacy. Long-time followers of Tanistry will be aware that I come from a traditionally Protestant Unionist background in East Belfast, and I’m well aware of the attitudes some of the more zealous people of North East Ulster have toward all things Irish-this at first made me somewhat insecure in my identity as Irish and made it difficult to share my passion for Ireland’s history. However, over the past number of years I have come to the decision that it is completely and utterly abhorrent that anyone ought to be anything but completely and proudly open about an Irish identity in Northern Ireland-in whatever capacity it may be. We all know that I avoid modern politics like the plague on my blog-I even have a rule permitting continued discussion of the Troubles for fear of it devolving into sectarian headcounts, and I refuse to publish articles about the period for fear of belittling those who lived through it. I continue to see many people in Northern Ireland feel marginalised or “secondary” in their Irish Identity to that of the British Unionist identity, something which doesn’t make sense to me. Of course, there are political and cultural institutions in Northern Ireland which directly attempt to undermine, insult or outright eradicate any vestige of Irish Culture or Identity wherever they can-but it is my opinion that these institutions have only as much power over you as you allow them. Should you feel a little awkward about using your Irish name, rather than the anglicised version? No, you shouldn’t. Should you “save face” and try to find a happy compromise with those around you so that your “Irishness” doesn’t step on anyone’s toes? Absolutely not. Are you any less Irish due to the fact that you live in Northern Ireland? No, you’re not. I’m staunchly of the opinion that a man born and raised in the bogs of Galway is any more Irish than a man raised in the heart of East Belfast. I believe anyone who was born and raised on the island of Ireland who identifies with Irish History and Heritage has the right to call themselves Irish, whether they live in Cork or Carrickfergus. Those who would go so far as to suggest that North East Ulster is inherently less “Irish” than the rest of Ireland has some reading to do, seeing as the northernmost province of Ireland was Gaelic Irish for longer than anywhere else on the island. An overwhelming majority of towns, villages and cities in Ireland have Irish roots, and the existence of other cultures and heritages within Northern Ireland do not eradicate this fact. Those who would suggest that Northern Ireland’s place within the UK are simply allowing bigots to write their identity for them. I’m of the opinion that Northern Ireland is only ever going to become “more Irish”-regardless of what squiggles on maps say. I believe that due to a continuing upsurge in adoration and engagement with Irish Culture and Heritage, more people identify with Irish history on this island than ever before. But does this mean that those out there-including those within the Tanistry Community-ought not to be allowed to be Irish and British, or simply British? Of course not. Ireland and Britain have been interacting for thousands of years. There are countless people with Brittonic ancestry in Ireland, just as there are countless people with Irish ancestry and Britain-and beyond. To rob these people of their identity for the sake of political point sco

Man accused of murdering police officer mounts legal challenge over internet access

Alleged convicted killer Brendan (Yandy) McConville is a former Sinn Féin councillor

A dissident republican jailed for the murder of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll has won High Court permission to challenge an alleged denial of access to online resources for his degree studies.

Brendan McConville claims the Prison Service failed to ensure he can safely use computer facilities to complete an Open University course in criminology and psychology.

The 48-year-old was granted leave to seek a judicial review after a judge ruled he has established an arguable case.

Lord Justice McCloskey indicated a full hearing should now take place before the end of the year.

McConville, from Craigavon, Co Armagh, is serving at least 25 years behind bars for the murder of Constable Carroll 10 years ago.


A second man, 28-year-old John Paul Wootton, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was handed a minimum 18-year term for his part in the assassination.

Constable Carroll, 48, was the first police officer to be killed in Northern Ireland after the formation of the PSNI.

Constable Carroll, 48, who was executed by the CIRA in March 2009

He was ambushed and shot dead by dissident republicans as he responded to a 999 call at Lismore Manor, Craigavon in March 2009.

A circumstantial case involving DNA evidence helped to secure the murder convictions, including gun residue on a coat linked to McConville recovered from a car said to have been used by the killers.

He is among 40 republican and loyalist inmates held within a separated regime at the high security HMP Maghaberry.

The court heard he is in the final stages of a Bachelor of Science honours degree in criminology and psychology studies.

Proceedings were brought against the Prison Service for an alleged failure to provide access to the necessary internet resources.

Counsel for McConville said his client was in segregation at Maghaberry for safety reasons.

He argued that it was irrational for the authorities to say the convicted killer can use the facilities by simply leaving the separate regime.

According to McConville’s legal team it amounted to a difference in treatment.

Lawyers representing the Prison Service rejected assertions that he was never offered use of the education suite, stressing it is located in a special unit open to all within the jail.

The challenge had been deferred to allow time to consider a report into learning opportunities for separated inmates and a potential complaint to the Prisoner Ombudsman.

But in court today Lord Justice McCloskey confirmed he was granting leave to apply for judicial review.

Following the ruling McConville’s solicitor, Gavin Booth of Phoenix Law, said: “My client is challenging the refusal to allow him access to the computer suite for the purposes of degree work, which requires online material.

“Hopefully this will give all prisoners the same rights, entitlements an access to education provisions.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=411517822943565&id=413880698678704

Follow this link to sign the petition in support of their innocence: (2)-: https://www.change.org/p/ccrc-the-craigavon-2-deserve-justice-now?recruiter=110931870&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial.pacific_post_sap_share_gmail_abi.gmail_abi&fbclid=IwAR3He8-3PTKSuAI77mNLoWcyiMyor2qRBgFwoEuEsF3Bb-ot3BWb9Zpzrno

(3)-: https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/08/22/the-struggle-to-get-one-flawed-conviction-reviewed-shows-the-uk-justice-system-isnt-working-properly/?fbclid=IwAR1hTOCt8or5yKyPBmm–o6g68bUNsDZW4Mo1x-bK1Of2nLIZ0vrN6_suWY

A man accused of brutal sectarian assault accused released on Bail

A Co Down man charged in connection with a brutal sectarian assault on a Catholic man in Kilkeel following a night out has been released on bail.

Gary Chambers 34, (right) with his younger brother. He is a Professional Golf player and was privately schooled and should have been educated to know a lot better

Gary Chambers (34), was charged with four offences arising from an attack on well-known contractor Paschal Morgan (pictured below with his partner) on July 14th this year. Mr Chambers from Sabbath Hill, Ballymartin, appeared at Newry Magistrates Court yesterday charged with inflicting GBH (grievous bodily harm) with intent, robbery, using disorderly behaviour in the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel and attempting to cause criminal damage to gates and doors of the hotel.

Mr Paschal Morgan with his wife, Rachel

None of the facts surrounding the charges were opened in court yesterday but it was reported at the time that Mr Morgan (48), a father -of- two, was attacked on the Greencastle Road as he walked home from the hotel.

PICTURED: A photograph of Paschal Morgan taken after the sectarian attack by Mr Chambers

He was left with brusing to the front of his brain, shattered eye sockets and cheekbones and a suspected broken Jaw. Mr Chambers was released yesterday subject to a series of bail conditions. He is due back to court on November 27th. In court yesterday Darren Duncan, defending, told District Judge Eamonn King he was consenting to the prosecution seeking a six-week adjournment.

Freeing Mr Chambers on his own bail of £250, Judge King told the defendant it was important that he understood the “whole pile” of bail conditions as any breach “could result in you being held in custody until the matter is delt with”. Due back to court on November 27th Mr Chambers must reside at his home address, observe a curfew, not to consume or have alcohol or be on licenced premises, is barred from contacting his alleged victim or any witnesses and is prohibited from entering Kilkeel, save for a few hours on a Sunday when he can visit his grandparents but he must be accompanied by his mother “at all times”.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story 

Follow this link to find out more about Gary Chambers:https://instagram.com/garyc751?igshid=1cu2visvoul7s

Arrests made as INLA photo circulates on social media

The RUC/PSNI made two arrests shortly after the photo was circulated on various platforms this week

There has been widespread condemnation of a photo believed to be of the INLA circulating on social media.

The PSNI made two arrests shortly after the photo was circulated on various platforms this week.

The photo shows five INLA members wearing balaclavas, four of whom are carrying weapons. It’s believed to have been taken in Londonderry.

DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst called for a crackdown on the group ‘before they become more dangerous’.

Cllr Dale Pankhurst
A photo from the 1980s? Unfortunately not. This photo was taken last night. @JulianSmithUK must move quickly and remove the INLA’s ceasefire status. They must be cracked down on before becoming even more dangerous.

1:52 PM – Oct 16, 2019
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138 people are talking about this

Police have blamed the group for an increase in paramilitary attacks in the north west of Northern Ireland.

A 19-year-old Strabane man arrested by detectives investigating criminality linked to the INLA was released on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a 57-year-old-man arrested in Londonderry as part of the same investigation remains in custody.

Mobile phones, documentation and other electronic devices were also seized by police during three searches.

Part of the operation was linked to an investigation into shots being fired following the death of former INLA prisoner Michael McElkerney in May this year.

“Part of [the] operation also relates to an investigation into an incident on May 20 this year in the Divis area of Belfast, when an individual recklessly used an automatic weapon to fire a series of shots into the air in a heavily populated area,” said Detective Inspector Tom McClure.

“The group are a priority for due to the level of threat, risk and harm they pose to our communities and the breadth and depth of their criminality,” he said.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story 

The DUP are ‘unhappy’ with the new Brexit deal

An official statement that was released by the DUP

Anthony_Belfast and Aine Seanlaoich ☘ liked
Patricia MacBride
The DUP may be holding out to make a better deal. But that better deal is one that saves face for the DUP, it’s not a deal that is in the interest of business and agriculture in the north.
7:22 AM · Oct 17, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

Clifford McCall 🇪🇺🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇮🇪
Replying to
I totally agree with you one thing for certain the DUP will be remembered by history as the party that was for the union and then was the reason for the break up of the union
Replying to
Well said, the DUP are actively against giving NI a competitive advantage within the UK.
Mr C Gervin
Replying to
Nail head. The DUP dont care about us, they dont care about the assembly. They’re the worst sort of bluffers.
Show more replies

Deal Or No Deal? The DUP Are Saying ‘NO’

A copy of the letter from Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker
· 1h
🇪🇺🤝🇬🇧 Where there is a will, there is a #deal – we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal.
Stephen Travers

The DUP says ‘No

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds and Arlene Foster had been in talks with the government

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said it is sticking to its position that it cannot support Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan, in spite of a deal being struck between the UK and the EU.

The deal was agreed on Thursday before a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

Earlier, the DUP said it “could not support” the prime minister’s revised Brexit plan for Northern Ireland.

Its support is seen as crucial if the deal is to win approval in Parliament in time for his 31 October deadline.

The party said early on Thursday: “We could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.” Image copyright @BBCJayneMcC@BBCJAYNEMCC Report

Live: Brexit latest as PM heads to EU summit
New Brexit deal agreed, says Boris Johnson
In full: The revised withdrawal agreement text
Consent issue at heart of DUP’s concern
But a few hours later the prime minister tweeted: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control.”

‘Consent is the cornerstone’
The UK and the EU have been working on the legal text of a deal but it will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments.

Speaking in Brussels, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier described the consent proposal in the agreement as “a cornerstone of our newly agreed approach”.

“Four years after entry into force of the protocol, the elected representatives of Northern Ireland will be able to decide by simple majority whether to continue applying relevant union rules in Northern Ireland or not,” he said.

Boris Johnson was in talks with the DUP at Downing Street on Wednesday Image copyrightDAN KITWOOD

The prime minister will join European leaders in Brussels later for a crunch EU summit as efforts continue to win support for his Brexit deal from MPs at home.

No 10 said there were no plans for the prime minister to meet the DUP on Thursday.

It looks like the party’s 10 MPs will vote against the proposed deal if it comes to the Commons on Saturday, which could make the Westminster arithmetic.

‘Disaster for Northern Ireland’
Speaking in Londonderry, the Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith said “we’ve abandoned nobody” when asked if his government had decided not to rely on the DUP’s votes.

“I want to make the case for every MP to get this deal over the line on Saturday to make sure we bring this chapter of Brexit to a close,” he told BBC News NI.

Sinn Féin’s vice-president Michelle O’Neill tweeted that a veto on the Northern Ireland plans must not be included as part of a Brexit deal.

Image copyright@moneillsf@MONEILLSF Report

Ulster Unionist MLA Steve Aiken said Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal keeps Northern Ireland in the EU “to all intents and purposes”.

He told the BBC’s The Nolan Show: “If you were a leave voter in Northern Ireland you’d be asking yourself: ‘Is this what I voted for?’

“This has been a disaster for Northern Ireland – the only way we can get out of it is to stay [in the EU].”

Mr Aiken is the only contender for the soon-to-be-vacant leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

Alliance Party leader and MEP Naomi Long said she wanted the prime minister to put the deal to the public in a referendum.

“What we need to do is get this right, not just get it done,” she said.

“If the DUP are not willing to provide the arithmetic to get a deal through Parliament then I think Boris Johnson would be right to go to the public.”

The Stormont role would not be the unionists’ veto demanded by the DUP – instead the arrangements could be approved by a straight majority.

Pro-EU parties have a narrow majority at Stormont.

The Brexit deal would involve Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the UK.

Anti-Brexit protesters were held at several points on the Irish border on Wednesday Image copyrightAFP

It would continue to follow EU rules on food safety and product standards.

The DUP has already accepted that Northern Ireland would have to align with some EU rules to avoid a hard border.

Northern Ireland would also leave the EU customs union.

But EU customs procedures would still apply on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain in order to avoid checks at the border.

Stormont would have to approve those arrangements on an ongoing basis.

Approval would involve a straightforward majority, which would keep the special arrangements in place for four years.

The issue of the Irish border has been the most contentious in the Brexit talks

Alternatively, if the arrangements are approved by a majority of nationalists and a majority unionists they would remain in place for eight years – that would incentivise a cross-community consensus.

If the Northern Ireland Assembly voted to end the arrangements there would be a two-year notice period, during which the UK and the EU would have to agree ways to protect the peace process and avoid a hard border.

There is no fallback position in case the two sides cannot find a solution.

If a vote was not held – by choice or because the assembly was not sitting – then there would be no change and the special arrangements would continue.

The EU believes that replaces the backstop – which would have lasted “unless and until” an alternative was found – with arrangements that are sustainable over time and are democratically supported, as requested by the UK.

With many thanks to: BBC News England for the original story