Many words can be used to describe 2020. Unprecedented, extraordinary, dismal. But if we look at 2020 another way, in terms of the political world, could we describe government inaction as the price we have paid for a year that we would rather forget? In our own nation, our Northern Ireland Executive fell short of our expectations in some regards, albeit our expectations were never that high. The year started with a return to our mandatory coalition and the doors of the assem
How do I talk about a topic that has made me feel uncomfortable when I have seen it on the news or heard politicians describing my place of higher education as a ‘cold house’ for Unionists? How do I talk about a topic that so many people with a similar background as me feel is a sensitive issue yet don’t feel like we are listened to when we voice our concerns? How do I talk about a fragile issue that, as far as I can see, is brushed over by such a highly regarded institution?
Three months ago, in late March at a time of complete lockdown in our region and beyond, I reviewed what I thought were the most important challenges facing our Northern Ireland Executive when they had just returned to the power sharing table. There were many challenges that I outlined to say the least, and to my surprise or maybe lack of disbelief, I have to admit that even our politicians maintained a largely strong and united Executive, despite what they had to tackle. Whi
Three weeks into UK Lockdown and no exit strategy is in place. The economic and mental health effects are beginning to surface with an economic recession imminent; long term economic effects will be nearly impossible to mitigate; and people are struggling with the new reality that will inevitably have severe impacts on mental health. Whilst the media attention is focused on all the above effects, there has been little attention paid to the effects this has had on university s
At the start of 2020, NI had the pleasure (some may disagree) to witness our Executive return to government, just three years after power-sharing collapsed. A lot has changed and under the quiet nature of a wintry January, a power-sharing deal was agreed, albeit by the British and Irish governments with NI political parties signing up to it whether willing or not. Some would argue they had little choice as both national governments seemed to want to resolve the issue once and