THERE has been little media mention of Ireland’s involvement in the developing EU integrated defence policy. This will lead to an eventual EU army and I welcome the Republic’s participation – especially as SF support it. However, one word of caution.
While intense negotiations were going on aimed at restoring the Stormont executive, the department of health caused considerable dismay after it announced that the training budget for specialist nurses was being cut by £1 million.
ONCE again thuggish, intimidating loyalist elements strut around large parts of the north erecting paramilitary flags in mixed areas and sensitive interfaces to deliberately create an extremely intimidating, fearful, antagonistic atmosphere and cause as much division and offence as they possibly can.
After a few hours of shocked silence from Sinn Féin on Monday Gerry Adams’s ambivalent response to the DUP-Conservative deal indicated that the party would go back into a Stormont executive, the only question was when.
The creation of new jobs, whether or not a devolved administration is in place at Stormont, is always a key priority, so there will be a warm welcome for yesterday's announcement that a US software firm is to recruit 170 employees in Belfast.
Now we know the DUP's price for propping up Theresa May's Conservative government but the issue is what will be the long term cost of a deal forged out of the prime minister's desperate bid to cling to office.
In political terms, yesterday's Anglo-Ulster Agreement (what else can we call it?) represented good news for the DUP, possibly offered some short-term respite for social and economic problems here and, perhaps most significantly, left Sinn Féin between a rock and a hard place.