There’s a knock at the door, it’s the Police… what next?

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In the last days and weeks Northern Ireland has been hit by many bomb alerts and security alerts, many of which have turned out to be hoaxes. I doubt that many people living in the rest of the United Kingdom have any idea what this is like.

Imagine a family with young children, who are asleep at the time of the alert, being roused by a knock on the door from the Police. No, we don’t want to speak to anyone here – but there is a bomb alert at the bottom of your street. We need to evacuate you.

Where do you go?

Well fortunately, in many cases local Councils open up leisure centres, or community centres to assist you. But until that alert is over, you cannot go home.

This is happening across Northern Ireland more and more, and we don’t really hear about it from our friends across in England, Wales, or Scotland. Be glad that you have not had this curse on your communities. Hopefully, the criminals, for I will not dignify them with the word ‘terrorist’ will learn that we do not want to go back to the days of violence, of mob rule, and where everyone here cannot go about their daily lives without the risk of that being disrupted.

Recent incidents include:

 

Is St Patrick to be expunged from the Union Flag?

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Seems that St Patrick is to be expunged from the Union Flag…

Seems that St Patrick is to be expunged from the Union Flag…

Now any observer of flags in Northern Ireland will tell you that there are many variations in the flags that are seen around the Province. But this one, first seen by me on a Facebook page, is a new one even for me.

It is placed on a page somewhat dedicated to so-called Loyalism that appears to have sprung up following the decision by Belfast City Council to fly the Union Flag from City Hall on the designated Flag-flying Days. Most of these pages want to see the Union Flag replaced, that is hoisted once more on City Hall, not replaced by a new design such as the one above.

It now appears that anything Irish is not wanted in the Union Flag – so St Patrick’s Cross has been removed, and the Six-Pointed Star and Red Right Hand of Northern Ireland, ensigned by a Royal Crown placed in the centre. Whilst I agree that it does seem an anomaly that when most of the Kingdom of Ireland left the United Kingdom, St Patrick’s cross remained wholly in the Union Flag, I am not convinced that this Flag will bring any more loyalty to the UK as left.

What does anyone think?

Originally published on Gyronny Herald.

Gather for peace, democracy, and justice – Lib Dems call for support

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Michael Carchrie Campbell, chair of the Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats today urged support for the ICTU NI-organised assembly at Belfast City Hall tomorrow from 1pm to 1.15pm to show our publici abhorrence at the murder of PC Ronan Kerr.

Michael said:

I will be attending the assembly at Belfast City Hall at 1pm on Wednesday 6th April 2011 to show my abhorrence of the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr. The assembly is being organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Northern Ireland.

 

I urge all members of the public to attend and let us all stand firm to show those responsible for Saturday’s atrocity and the many recent and ongoing security alerts across Northern Ireland that they are acting not in our name.

Northern Ireland deserves better

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Liberal Democrats Yes to Fairer VotesTogether with activists from Yes to Fairer Votes members of the Liberal Democrats in Northern Ireland will be attending the event at Belfast City Hall at 1pm.

Last May three of Belfast’s four MPs were elected on a minority mandate, without the support of a majority of their constituents. More than 70,000 votes were wasted, cast for a candidate who never stood a chance of representing their supporters.

Local party chair, Michael Carchrie Campbell said:

Today I am proud to be attending with party colleagues the event that shows that Belfast is joining fifty towns and cities across the country to help win an historic victory for all voters in the United Kingdom. It’s an argument we can’t afford to lose.

The choice in May is between change and business as usual. In Belfast the status quo is not an option.

Further updates to come.