UK Premier Theresa May Adopts Hardline Brexit Rhetoric With EU Leaders

AN SIONNACH FIONN

If the leaders of the European Union were expecting a more conciliatory tone from the United Kingdom at yesterday’s heads of government meeting in Salzburg, Austria, they were sorely disappointed. Instead, the UK’s crisis-ridden prime minister issued something of an ultimatum to her fellow leaders, largely dismissing the EU’s attempts to meet Britain’s increasingly strident Brexit demands. According to press reports, Theresa May warned the gathering that the British would not accept any delay in their March 2019 departure from the bloc, that there would no second referendum on the issue and that the onus was on Brussels and not London to avoid a future no-deal breakup (or bust-up). One has to wonder if she actually used this line with her fellow leaders, as predicted by The Financial Times:

Theresa May will go over the head of EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday and appeal directly to fellow European leaders…

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Mary Lou McDonald And Sinn Féin’s Approach To A Reunited Ireland

AN SIONNACH FIONN

So what are we to make of Monday’s Associated Press interview with the Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, where the Dublin Central TD seemed to put the post-1998 republican demand for a referendum on the question of Irish reunification on the long finger? Judging by the gleeful reaction of the usual suspects in the regional and national news media, unionist and alt-unionist alike, the SF president’s words certainly seemed to represent a significant change in her party’s core belief that a majority of the country’s endemic political and socio-economic ills can be traced back to British-imposed – and maintained – partition; and that to start the process of ameliorating the former you must begin with eradicating the latter.

However a less partisan interpretation of the AP discussion indicates that Sinn Féin is contemplating – or at least floating the idea – of a more pragmatic approach to…

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Four Full Episodes Of Peter Falk’s Columbo

AN SIONNACH FIONN

Having discussed my fondness for the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes, or at least some of the Victorian detective’s better cinematic and TV outings, here is a definite rainy afternoon favourite: Peter Falk’s Columbo. There is a YouTube channel devoted to the police investigator and his rumpled raincoat which features four full-length episodes from the American television show as well as innumerable clips. The four are perhaps not the best in the ten season run on ABC and then – after a long hiatus – NBC but they are still a good way to spend a few hours of chilled out viewing. And hey, it’s Peter Falk with Leonard Nimoy (Spock!), Donald Pleasence (a perennial big and small screen villain in the 1970s) and Robert Culp (a fine actor who, thankfully, seems to have had no part of Bill Cosby’s abhorrent behaviour when the duo worked together early in their…

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Drones, A Dry Summer And A Wealth Of Archaeological Discoveries In Ireland

AN SIONNACH FIONN

One unexpected result of the exceptionally dry summer in Ireland has been a plethora of archaeological discoveries around the country. Over the last few weeks a number of significant prehistoric sites have been revealed as “crop markings” in the water-starved fields along the east coast. In particular, the landscape around the Brú na Bóinne complex of ancient monuments in County Meath has shown up several new locations worthy of further inspection. The riverlands and plains of north Leinster have been a focus of settlement for millennia, and in the pre-Christian period layers of accumulated human activity gave the region a particular importance. In the Late Iron Age a major local population controlled much of the area around the Brú, with their focus on Teamhair, the sacro-political Hill of Tara. This was strongly contested by the kingdoms to the south, grouped under the title of the Laighnigh or the Leinstermen, who…

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Amazon Boss Fears Civil Unrest In A Hard Brexit Britain. British Minister Blames The Europeans

AN SIONNACH FIONN

Well, this is an interesting report. From The Independent newspaper in London, a prediction of possible “hard Brexit” troubles in the United Kingdom by Doug Gurr, the UK Country Manager at Amazon and a current advisory director with Britain’s Department for Work and Pensions:

Leaving the European Union with no deal could prompt “civil unrest” within days, the head of Amazon in the UK has warned.

Doug Gurr told a meeting organised by Brexit secretary Dominic Raab that the online retail firm was now considering this worst-case outcome as part of their contingency planning.

Mr Gurr’s remarks make Amazon UK the first company to issue such a warning, and “stunned those present”…

The claim has raised some eyebrows in the British press, and fanatical Brexiteers like the backbench Conservative Party MP Jacob Rees-Mogg have dismissed it out of hand. Who earth would the people of Britain be restless with? Maybe The Guardian has…

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The UK Is Holding The Peace Process As A Political Hostage In Its Brexit Negotiations

AN SIONNACH FIONN

There are few other British historical figures more controversial – and more reviled – in the popular culture of Ireland than Winston Churchill. Described by Éamon de Valera in a carefully worded eulogy upon his death in 1965 as a “dangerous enemy of the Irish people”, the career politician is best remembered in this country for his close association with the United Kingdom’s violent rejection of pro-autonomy majorities in four plebiscite-elections held on the island between 1918 and 1921. As the Secretary of State for War, the Secretary of State for Air and later as the Secretary of State for the Colonies his malevolent influence contributed significantly to the UK’s political and military responses to the 1916-23 Revolution. Including, most obviously, the partition of the country in December 1920, and the deployment of three infamous militia units in 1919-20: the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve (the RICSR or Black and Tans), the…

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British Government In The North Of Ireland “Riddled” With IRA Agents

AN SIONNACH FIONN

The news that Drew Harris, the Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), has been selected as the new Commissioner of An Garda Síochána has generated considerable comment as well as some controversy. A peace-brokered replacement for the infamous Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), the United Kingdom’s former paramilitary force in the Six Counties, the PSNI continues to have a mixed record in the area of cross-community law enforcement, and is still disproportionately representative of the pro-union population in the disputed region. Though, admittedly, its composition and reputation is a vast improvement on that of its disbanded predecessor, with the RUC’s dual reputation of being “97% Protestant, 100% Unionist” or “policemen by day, gunmen by night”.

Several figures have leapt to Harris’ defence in the face of this criticism, notably Andrew McQuillan, the retired Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI, who made this claim to The…

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British Terrorists Presented As Loyalist Paramilitaries With Statement On Criminality

King Rat & Co.

AN SIONNACH FIONN

There are some events, illustrative of the hypocrisy which runs through the very core of British unionism in Ireland, which simply strain patience and credulity to breaking point. One such incident occurred earlier today when the representatives of pro-union terrorism on this island nation and their fellow-travellers gathered at a press conference in the Linen Hall, Belfast, to witness the release of a statement from the so-called Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC). In other words, the umbrella name for the united militants of the Ulster Defence Association, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Red Hand Commando. With some pomp and ceremony, attended by the domestic and foreign press, the extremist gangs in the United Kingdom’s colonial holdout in the north-east of the country vowed to end rampant criminality by their members. By which they meant, no more killing of people for criminal gain, rather than in days past, when they were…

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