Articles on Northern Ireland

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Massachusetts couple Marcia Hams and her partner Susan Shepard had a cake to celebrate their historic first same-sex wedding in 2004, but some bakers feel unable to oblige on religious grounds. EPA C.J. Gunther

Cakegate: a story of the clash of religious freedom and gay rights

When a baker refuses, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the right to freedom of religion comes into conflict with the right to freedom from discrimination.
There might not be much more public art like this in Belfast. Paul Faith/PA Archive

Arts in Northern Ireland may not survive the latest round of cuts

The arts scene in Northern Ireland is under serious threat as the government gives the appearance of placing less and less value on culture. The announcement before Christmas of funding cuts of up to 50…
“We must have shared and equal life”, reads a sign at the Max Rayne school in Jerusalem, hit by an arson attack on November 29. US Embassy Tel Aviv

Lessons for Israel on how shared education can bridge divided communities

Israel is a deeply divided society, a fact reinforced by separate schools for Jews, Arabs and Christians. In 1984, the Hand-in-Hand movement began working to build peace via a network of integrated, bilingual…
Stormont can learn from its southern neighbour on how to cut its deficit. Robert Young

Northern Ireland should look south to cut its costly deficit

Northern Ireland is engaged in another round of high level talks involving the British, Irish and US governments to resolve the latest political impasse at Stormont. In the shadow of these sensitive discussions…
Martin McGuinness believes it’s time for a border poll. Sinn Fein

A Northern Ireland ‘border poll’ could help pave path of peace

In the wake of the Scottish referendum, Martin McGuinness, the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, renewed his party Sinn Féin’s call for a “border poll” to decide if Northern Ireland should leave…
Australian women of different faiths gathered at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque last month in a show of community solidarity. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Terrorists can be defeated by fighting fear with co-operation

From anarchists in the 1920s and radical leftists in the 1960s, to fringe, extreme-right Christian bombers or gunmen in the United States in recent decades, or radical Islamists such as Islamic State today…
Paisley’s obsession with his legacy paid off in the end. EPA/James Fraser

Ian Paisley: from sectarian provocateur to peacemaker

Ian Paisley, the firebrand face of Unionism in Northern Ireland for decades, has died at the age of 88. While he won’t be remembered as the Nelson Mandela of Ulster, his important role in the peace process…
Irish situation is delicate enough without talk of referendums anywhere near Stormont. Joel Riley

Scottish ballot is not stoking nationalism in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s oldest joke is that a man is asked, “Are you Protestant or Catholic?” to which he replies, “Actually I’m Jewish”. His questioner responds: “Yes but are you a Protestant or a Catholic…
Balancing act: Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness speaks as First Minister Peter Robinson looks on. Paul Faith/PA

Northern Ireland ‘on-the-run’ crisis was all about elections

Northern Ireland’s first minister, Peter Robinson, threatened to resign over the issue of secret pardons granted to IRA fugitives, referred to as “on the runs” (OTRs), during the negotiation of the Good…
But just as prepared for trouble: Ulster Volunteer Force mural. Paul Faith/PA Wire

Northern Ireland has come far since 1984 partition plan

One of the more intriguing disclosures brought about by the 30-year release of UK state papers last week was a 1984 proposal to re-partition Northern Ireland. The plan found its way to the desk of then…

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