Archive | Irish politics

Gay Rights and the Growth of Conservative Evangelical Christianity

It has become a familiar debate in the media, not least on BBC Radio Ulster. Last week, when filling in on the Stephen Nolan show, William Crawley moderated a conversation about civil partnerships for people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) community. The guests were some of the usual suspects: Non-Subscribing Presbyterian  minister […]

The Europeanization of Party Politics in Ireland, Book Launch – Has the EU Encouraged Reconciliatory Politics?

Queen’s University recently hosted the launch of a new book edited by Dr Katy Hayward (Queen’s) and Dr Mary Murphy (University College Cork), The Europeanization of Party Politics in Ireland: North and South (Routledge, 2010). At the launch, some of the academics who contributed to the volume presented their perspectives on the impact that the […]

The Irish Catholic Church & the Civil Partnerships Bill: What’s ‘Morally Wrong?’

Why are the Irish Catholic bishops complaining about the Civil Partnerships Bill, which is being debated this week in the Dáil? The bishops’ criticisms have not been welcomed by government ministers, who say they have taken great pains to make sure it does not undermine marriage or the Irish constitution. The knee jerk assumption is […]

David McWilliams: Review of the Outsiders

Irish economist David McWilliams takes to the stage this week at the Abbey’s Peacock Theatre in Dublin for a rather unorthodox theatrical offering – a 90 minute monologue on what’s wrong with the Irish economy, why our political leaders and civil servants aren’t getting Ireland out of the mess, and what might be done to […]

Norman Hamilton Takes Presbyterian Post: Moderating a Shared Future?

Norman Hamilton was installed as the new moderator last night at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. A pastor for the past 22 years at Ballysillan Presbyterian, in a tough part of north Belfast, Hamilton can speak from experience about the urgent need for improved community relations. In his first speech as […]

Social Justice Ireland & ‘An Agenda for a New Ireland’

Earlier this week, the NGO Social Justice Ireland (SJI) published ‘An Agenda for a New Ireland,’ a 250-page socio-economic review of what went wrong in Ireland, what hasn’t changed, and what state and citizens might do to improve living on this island. The entire text of the document is available on-line. The Irish Times’ Jamie […]

Atheism in the Public Square: Marginalised or Militant?

Are atheists marginalised in our public conversations, even in the largely secular West? Last week, atheists had their first ever official visit to the White House. Sixty representatives from the Secular Coalition for America met with officials and discussed issues ranging from child medical neglect, military proselytizing, and faith-based initiatives. USA Today reports that ‘this […]

Evangelicals & Gay Rights in Ireland: Evangelical Alliance’s Surprise Support for Civil Partnerships Bill

One issue that is sure to bring Christian voices out in the public sphere is gay rights. The overwhelming impression that one gets is that Christians are opposed to extending gay rights, particularly when it comes to marriage or civil partnerships. A surprising exception to this has been the Evangelical Alliance in the Republic of […]