No it's not some "Blairite jargon" for
the current political 'Troubles' in Ulster. I'm talking about the relationship
between politics and people with disability in Northern Ireland. From my
perspective and for many others it appears that there is no relationship between
people with disability and politics in Ulster, apart from the political terror
that left many innocent civilians with disabilities. For many able-bodied
people it is easy to forget about the struggle faced by disabled people in the
politics of daily life, no not Northern Ireland party politics, the politics of
going down the street; crossing the street or entering buildings. [Read on.
Follow this link].
Craig P from Co Armagh
addresses the issues that concern people with disabilities living in Ulster.
Food for thought for everyone, particularly those of us who are thoughtless or
selfish able-bodied folk.
OPEN FORUM is designed to stimulate vital debate concerning the
future of our nation and people. We favour
debate as a means to inciting thought, no subject is taboo. Some viewpoints may,
therefore, differ from our own. This article from Paul Mellor in South
Antrim looks at Orange parades.
Orange parades – a way
out of the hole?
I write as someone who still enjoys
attending the Orange Order's 12th of July parade in Belfast. The colours and the
tunes still stir up some emotion buried away somewhere inside. However, as
magnificent a spectacle as the parade is, I really feel the time has come for
the Orange Order to face reality. I think they should make the necessary changes
that could result in the Twelfth parade being promoted as a tourist event, in
just the same way that the West Belfast and Ardoyne festivals, (despite being
exclusively republican in outlook) can still be promoted by Belfast City Council
as something worthy of bringing visitors into the city to attend. [Read
on. Follow this
This reply is from David Hoey, a London-based Ulsterman, a corporate
public relations and marketing consultant, and an occasional adviser to the
Apprentice Boys of Derry. It is provided as a contribution to a public
discussion on the Parades issue in Northern Ireland.
Parading in Northern Ireland
getting out of a hole that is deeper than it first appears!
AN ARTICLE by
Paul Mellor (Issue 30, Ulster Nation), Orange Parades – a
way out of the hole? suggested that repackaging parades as tourist
events offered a panacea to problems of opposition to this most simple
expression of Protestant culture. If only it were that simple. It is not the
intention of this article to advise the best course of action with regard to
parades. Instead, I will highlight a few realities that should be taken into
account in considering what the best course of action might be. [Read
on. Follow this
"ULSTER" OR "NORTHERN
ULSTER NATION wishes to stimulate debate on the
future of our homeland. Open Forum opens up our columns to various points
of view. Andy C from North Belfast opens up the debate by arguing for an
independent ‘Northern Ireland’ rather than an independent Ulster. He is
answered by John Jenkins and Ulidian from East Antrim.
OUR COUNTRY'S FUTURE could best be secured by way of independence. However, I
differ in two ways from Ulster Nation - firstly we should have
independence within Europe and secondly, I believe in independence for Northern
Ireland and not for Ulster.
Northern Ireland is my country - my identity is Northern Irish. Division and
ultimately conflict creeps in when many perceive themselves as being Northern
Irish within the United Kingdom whilst others see themselves as Northern Irish
within an All-Ireland context. Let's agree on what can unite us and not get
involved with the boring British-Irish dispute which divides and brings us into
conflict with one another. [Read on. Follow this
article was interesting, original and thought-provoking. We concur with
him that independence is the way forward for our people but we believe strongly
that the new state when it is formed should be called ‘Ulster’ not ‘Northern
Ireland’. The term ‘Ulster’ embraces our ancient past which stretches back
all the way to CúChulainn. ‘Northern Ireland’ excludes this. We feel that
the state founded in 1921 should never have been given that geographically
inaccurate title. This serious misjudgement introduced and maintained an Irish
dimension which could have been avoided. [Read on. Follow this
BIRTHRIGHT, CULTURE AND HERITAGE
OPEN FORUM opens our columns up to
different points of view. As we favour debate as a means to inciting thought, no
subject is taboo. Some viewpoints may, therefore, differ from our own. Stephen
Moore, from South Antrim, looks at identity, birthright, culture,
heritage and religion.
Birthright, culture, heritage and
OTHER COUNTRY in the world would harbour such an apathetic and unpatriotic
people who would reject their country's national flag? In the United States,
homes, businesses, churches and schools proudly fly their national flag. I -
like them - will never be ashamed of my national flag and will always hold dear
to my faith and heritage, at the same time respecting diversity. I will never
find myself in some sort of identity limbo where I find myself attracted to and
adopting foreign cultures more so than my own, because I am ashamed or afraid of
showing pride in who and what I am. I find it easier understanding and accepting
different cultures and religions because I know exactly what I am and where I
come from. This allows me to understand how others feel about their cultures -
because I feel exactly the same way about mine. People throughout Ulster reject
their birthright, their culture and religion. They find themselves in the middle
of nowhere in an identity crisis - clinging to differing aspects of a variety of
foreign cultures - and never truly feeling at peace inside. [Read on.