BREAKING: King Charles met by BOOS and JEERS as he arrives at Cardiff Castle in Wales with Camilla. It was his first tour as monarch. #Wales #QueenElizabeth #kingcharles #QueenElizabethII #Cardiff
International body backs Irish language role
Language commissioners from six countries have supported a similar role being established in the North of Ireland.
Members of the International Association of Language Commissioners voiced their support in a letter to the Irish language organisation, Conradh na Gaeilge.
An Irish language commissioner was a key feature of previous proposals for an Irish language act.
However, the proposals have been politically contentious.
Language laws ‘strengthen not threaten’
The power of words
Both main unionist parties have opposed a standalone act, but other parties have supported calls for one.
The International Association of Language Commissioners is an umbrella body for language commissioners in a number of countries.
Eleven commissioners from Canada, Spain, Wales, Ireland, Kosovo and Belgium have signed the letter of support.
Five of the signatories are from regions of Canada, while both the Basque and Catalonian language commissioners from Spain have put their name to the letter.
The principal role of an Irish language commissioner would be to promote and facilitate the use of the language.
They would also police the standards required of public sector bodies in delivering services in Irish.
The letter said that language commissioners brought many advantages.
“In our view language commissioners can be central in the protection and preservation of a language that is spoken by a minority,” it read.
Dr Niall Comer, from Conradh na Gaeilge, said that independent commissioners were vital in protecting language rights.
“Language rights and rights-based legislation are afforded to minority and indigenous language communities across these islands and indeed across the world,” he said.
“If anything we are the anomaly.”
A working group on rights, languages and identity has been established as part of the ongoing talks between the political parties at Stormont.
With many thanks to: BBCNI and Robbie Meredith NI Education Correspondent for the original story
I’ve never heard of any Welsh nationalism desending into violence until I got chatting to an Englishman in my local a few months back.
Please delete if not allowed, think it would be of some interest. It’s not Irish in anyway.
Talked about the north etc and he asked me had had I heard of the Welsh group know had the the Sons of Glyndwr. Here is a little copy and paste from Wikipedia.
The group first came to prominence in 1979. In the first wave of attacks, eight English-owned holiday homes were destroyed within the space of a month. In 1980 Welsh Police carried out a series of raids in Operation Tân. Within the next ten years around 220 properties were damaged by the campaign. It peaked in the late 1980s with the targeting of Conservative MPs’ homes and David Hunt, the then Welsh secretary, was a target in 1990.
Responsibility for the bombings had been taken by four separate movements: Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (the movement to defend Wales), Cadwyr Cymru (the keepers of Wales), Meibion Glyndŵr, and The Welsh Army for the Workers Republic (WAWR) whose attacks were on political targets in the early 1980s. However, Meibion Glyndŵr has been the only group to have had any claim to long-term success, although since the mid-1990s the group has been inactive and Welsh nationalist violence has ceased, at least on an organisational level. Letters claiming responsibility for attacks were signed “Rhys Gethin”, in homage to one of Owain Glyndŵr’s most prominent followers.
A reinvestigation into postal bombings led to the conviction of Sion Aubrey Roberts in 1993. A Plaid Cymru member of parliament, Elfyn Llwyd, speculated that the group was an MI5 front.
With many thanks to: Shane Meade – All that is Irish past and present.
TALKS TO REDUCE TWELFTH TENSIONS COST £22.5k
Steak dinners, 4-star hotels and first-class travel.
WALES SUMMIT COSTS:
- Four star hotel accommodation £13,500
- Flights £7,000
- Flights rescheduled £1,149.55
- Steak dinner supplement £247.40
- Buffet £436.00
- Train first class Cardiff to London £171.82
- Coach from Bristol Airport to Cardiff £688.90
- Car hire £234.61
Talks held in Cardiff in a bid to reduce community tensions ahead of the Twelfth tensions cost taxpayers an extra £1,150 because return flight times were rescheduled. Delegates incurred a £1, 249.55 fee after they changed their return flight times at the end of the disscussions in Wales, bringing the total cost of the trip to £22, 427.48.
Attendees also enjoyed four-star accommodation, dined on steak and buffet dinners and used first-class rail travel between London and Cardiff. Senior police officers, politicians and community representatives travelled to the Welsh capital in May for the weekend-long talks. It was hoped the discussions would improve relations between loyalist and republican communities. But despite the talks, ccommunity tensions have flared over the parading season with parts of Belfast hit by ssuccessive nights of rioting following the Twelfth. A total of 36 people traveled to Cardiff for the discussions on May 17, including representatives from all the main political parties. The bill has been shared between the Northern Ireland Office and the PSNI.
Accommodation at the four-star Mercure Hotel cost the taxpayer £13,500. It included bed and breakfast for three nights, the use of a conference room, lunch on the Friday and Saturday night. Those attending were all informed that any individual costs were to be paid by themselves, according to a Freedom of Information request. The guests incurred a service charge of £247.40 after ordering steak on two evenings, while a buffet dinner cost £436. Police on Tuesday night were unable to disclose whether the accommodation and food bills included drinks. First-class train fares from Cardiff to London Paddington cost a total of £171.82, a return coach from Bristol Airport to Cardiff cost £688.90 and car hire cost £234.61. Flights to and from the talks cost more than £7,000 in total. The majority of flights appear to have been to Bristol Airport at a cost of £3,878.44. A further two return flights to the US cost £1,649.39, return flight between Belfast and London Stansted cost £180.68 and a return flight between Heathrow and Belfast City cost £192.50.
Last month it emerged that delegates including Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly were given mobile phone numbers for some of the north’s top-ranking officers during the Cardiff talks. The contact details – including those of two assistant chief constables – were shared so that issues aa raising during the marching season could be dealt with swiftly. The talks were attended by Assistant Chief Constables George Hamilton and Will Kerr, tipped as a possible successor to Chief Constable Matt Baggott. Loyalist community representatives who took part included UDA leader Jackie McDonald and Winston Irvine of the UVF-linked PUP. Senior nationalist Sean ‘Spike’ Murray and former moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Rev Norman Hamilton, also took part. The discussions were led by facilitators from the University of Ulster and Stanford University in California.
With many thanks to : Brendan Hughes, The Irish News
Email : b.hHughes@iris news.com
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TIME TO LET VESTIGIAL POLICING BOARD GO
The obvious solution is to abolish the policing board and had its role over to Stormont‘s 11-member justice committee, which has a rotating chair and a membership reflective of each party’s assembly strength.
AT THE end of last week’s police, political and paramilitary get-togeather in Wales everyone reaffirmed their ccommitment to the PSNI, the Police Ombudsman and the Policing Board. The inclusion of the policing board on this list stood out like a vestigial tail on an X-ray of the peace process. “Ah yes, “you might have thought to yourself. “I remember when we evolved that to stop ourselves falling over.” But what on earth is it for now?
The question is worth asking because the policing board cost £7.2 million last year, down a fair whack on the £8m figure for previous years but still a significant sum by any measure and staggering sum for the quango, the main function of which is to hold eight meetings a year. The policing board does a bit more than hold those eight eight semi-public iinterviews with senior PSNI officers. Its 19 board members also meet in private committees to discuss topics such as finance and human rights (what a joke). The policing board has has a long list of statutory responsibilities ranging from public consultation to hiring and firing the chief constable. Its ultimate function is “to secure an effective and accountable local policing service”.
However, prior to the policing board’s creation in 2001, almost exactly the same functions were preformed by a very similar panel called the Police Authority. Chances are you do not remember the Police Authority because nobody gave two hoots about these oversight arrangements until the question arose of Sinn Fein joining it. That is why the Police Authority became the policing board and the policing board was allowed to spend £8m a year. It seems incredible to recall the angst we went through while Sinn Fein danced around the chairs it now sits in so comfortably. The principal innovation of the policing board was to replace a Police Authority that had been nominated entirely by the secetary of state plus 10 MLAs nominated by their parties according to assembly strength.
The two seats reserved for Sinn Fein from the outset became totemic of the entire ‘recognition of policing’ debate, which started with SDLP policing board members being attacked by the IRA. The politics of those two empty chairs grew to seem important, as by extension did the policing board itself. Yet once Sinn Fein recognised policing in 2007 the basis of this importance evaporated and a new logic applied. The devolution of policing and justice was inevitable, under an executive minister overseen by an all-party assembly committee. So what was the point of the policing board? Its direct-rule origins were evolutionary dead-end. Now that we are in this situation the logic has become almost circular. The policing board falls under the remit of Alliance policing and justice minister David Ford, who has assumed the secretary of state’s former role of appointing the nine independent board members.
His last appointee was Alliance party member Brice Dickson. Even if these people are independent, why have them? The obvious solution is to abolish the policing board and hand its role over to Stormont’s 11-member justice committee, which has a rotating chair and a membership reflective of each party’s assembly strength. Like the policing board, the justice committee already conducts research, reports, consulatations and inquires. It can summon senior police officers to hearings, hold meetings open to the publc and set up sub-committees to examine specific policing issues. With a few resources there is no reason why it cannot do everthing the policing board does more efficienty and with more authority. Authority is no small matter. The policing board is the lawful body for holding the PSNI to account. It is supposed to set police priorities, policing performance targets and annual and three-year policing strategies yet evidence that it exercises this kind of direction over senior officers is scant. A common criticism of the Police Authority was that the RUC simply ignored it and that problem may be recurring under the pressure of the past year’s public order problems. With its fancy harbour-side offices and half-appointed panel of of worthies the policing board looks like the sort of peace process quango serious people stopped talking to seriously some time ago. Replacing it with regular grillings at Stormont would go a long way to re-asserting the authority of politics and polcing. The money is no small matter either. Closing the policing board would save Mr Ford (the so-called justice minister) twice as much as all his civil legal aid reforms combined.
With many thanks to : Newton Emerson, Irish News
Email : email@example.com
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TALKS IN WALES EVIDENCE OF ‘POLITICAL POLICING’ : LOYALISTS
‘Their political policing strategy has had disastrous consequences over the past four months – John Wilson.
A GROUP set up by loyalist flag protesters has branded plans byconsequences the PSNI/RUC to hold talks in Wales with politicians and community represdestroyed s ahead of the marching sseason as evidence of “political policing”. The Ulster People’s Forum (UPF) last night said it had not received a request to take part in talks and would have turned down an invite if asked.
“The UPF view is that the PSNI have been clear their job is policing and we feel they shouldl stick to this remit as their political policing strategy has had disastrous consequences over the past four months with relationships in some loyalist areas almost detroyed to the point of no return,” forum chairman John Wilson said. It emerged this week that the PSNI/RUC in conjunction with Univeristy of Ulster academic Duncan Morrow, has invited representatives of pilitical parties to Cardiff next weekend to discuss policing issues ahead of the summer marching season. Tensions continue in parts of Belfast around loyal parades including Ardoyne and outside St Patrick’s church in Donegall Street.
Policing reached crisis point during the winter as loyalists blocked roads and attacked police and Alliance politicians in the wake of the decision by Belfast City Council to stop flying the Union Flag every day. The UPF was formed weeks after the flag protests started in December with leading protesters Jamie Bryson and Willie Frazer emerging as spokesmen. This week PSNI/RUC chief constable Matt Baggott said the meeting was an attempt to build relationships “with a veiw to this summer’s parading”. It emerged last night that neither the Orange Order or represtatives of nationalist residents’ groups in flashpoint districts had been invited to attend the Cardiff event. Mr Wilson of the UPF conceded that the number of flag-related protests was well down compared to previously but blamed police tactics which he described as “political policing”. “There are a lot of people out there with wives, familes and jobs and they can’t afford to be arrested or questioned.” Orange Order grand chaplain the Rev Mervyn Gibson confirmed last night he had been invited to attend the talks through a church group with which he is involved but he declined because of a prior engagement. He confirmed that the Orange Order itself had not been invited to attend the talks.
With thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.
CELTIC MIST IS ROLLING IN FAST
So there’s a Celtic bid to bring the 2020 European Championships to Ireland ( Republic of ), Scotland and Wales. Squinter has to say he’s all for it – but what about Our Wee Pravince? First its big cousin Scotland does the dirty and launches a bid to exit the UK, ignoring all the sword-dancing and Ulster-Scots pleas for friendship, and now this. Jings, crivvens, help m’boab!
Ah yes, says a correspondent on Twitter, but this has all only come about because Noel”n” Alan doesn’t have a single stadium that’s up to scratch. Squinter’s response to that is, yes, that’s very true – if it came to a choice today between playing a major international soccer match at Windsor or at Lenadoon pitches the West Belfast option would doubtless win out. But then Windsor’s being upgraded at a cost of £28m from a pit to a doss-house – by 2020 it will hold 20,000 Protestants instead of the current 12 ( no, not 12,000, 12 ).
Ulster probably didnt want to go to that particular party anyway, even if their big disloyal pal Scotland is dead keen. Last time the Celtic nations included Our Wee Pravince was in last year’s ill-fated Celtic Nations Cup and Ulster’s sole meaningful contribution was to send a crowd of drunkards down to Dublin to sing UDA songs and watch the Republic beat their boys 5-0. And that’s as un-Celtic as you can get.
NOT IN OUR NAME NO TEAM G.B.
|England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland fans against the formation
of a Great Britain Football Team for the 2012 Olympics
|Home | Press Releases | How You Can Help | Q&A About NoTeamGB | Our Supporters | Photos | Twitter | Contacts|
FANS GROUPS OPPOSE GB OLYMPIC TEAM
1st October 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
JOINT STATEMENT FROM:
The Association of Tartan Army clubs (ATAC – Scotland)
FANS GROUPS OPPOSE OLYMPIC TEAM
Fans groups representing all of the home nations’ teams today released a joint statement, stating the opposition from ‘real football fans’ on the formation of a GB football team for the 2012 Olympics.
Spokesman Tam Ferry said:
“What is clear from discussions with our members, the real fans of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland do not wish to be footballs in this political stunt. As fans, we are proud of our individual teams and countries and enjoy the friendly rivalry with our close neighbours. The four British Football Associations have a privileged and unique independent status within world football as the founding fathers of the game and due to saving FIFA from bankruptcy in 1947. For many years now there has been pressure from the International Football community to merge under one team, with one FA and with single membership of FIFA and UEFA.”
“The Olympic Football competition is a low profile Under 23 competition that no-one in this country has ever shown any interest in. Who can remember the winners? None of the fans groups want to be a part of anything which might jeopardise the future of our national teams.
We back the SFA and FAW stance against the forming of an Olympic Football team and would ask the FA and the IFA to ignore the unwelcome political pressure and remove their backing for an Olympic Football team for the 2012 Olympic games.”
FSF England Spokesman Malcolm Clarke added;
“The FSF is opposed to a single UK team in the Olympics. We believe that such a team would be an entirely artificial entity given the existence of separate teams from each of the 4 countries in the UK in all other forms of International football, which is a tradition of very long standing which fans from the 4 countries wish to retain. We share the fears of fans from the other UK countries that this precedent might be used to challenge the separate existence of those teams in the future, notwithstanding the assurances given by FIFA that this will not happen.”
AONISC Spokesman Philip Smyth continued:-
“The Amalgamation of Official NISCs is opposed to the concept of a United Kingdom representative team participating in the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament.
We feel that such a move would undoubtedly lead to increased lobbying for an end to the present individual representative status of the four British Associations, a scenario which International fans throughout the Home Nations would be opposed to.”
FSF Cymru Spokesman Paul Corkrey concluded;
“The Olympic side has our best wishes but it could mean the death of a country’s football team and the Welsh should not have to pay that price.”
The 4 home nations fans organisations met at a historic first meeting in May 2006 at Hibernian’s Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh to discuss ‘common issues’. The meetings will continue on an Annual basis and the fans groups are in constant contact, dealing with issues that affect all International football fans.
|Produced by TartanArmy.net 2011|
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