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14 Nov 2010 20:40


World: Northern Ireland political icon Gerry Adams: Ireland needs my help

  • We need more voices that will stand up against the consensus for cuts – more voices that will stand up for ordinary people. We need new politics. We need a political realignment. A change of government without a change in policies will be worthless.
  • Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams • Revealing his plans to leave Northern Ireland politics to run for parliament in Ireland’s mainland. It’s ironic that he says “voices” so many times in this quote. Adams’ voice was famously banned from British television in the ’80s due to his party’s ties to the Irish Republican Army. Adams has long been an advocate of making Northern Ireland a part of Ireland proper, but his reasons for running for Irish parliament are largely economic – he plans to run largely in opposition to the deep cuts current leadership is making in the country. We covered some of the country’s problems earlier today. source

15 Jun 2010 22:02


Music, World: How long did U2 have to sing “Sunday Bloody Sunday”?

  • As protest songs go, the U2 hit has been very effective. One of the band’s earliest and most-well-known hits, the most affecting lyric in the entire song is “how long, how long must we sing this song … how long, how long …” Today, Bono and company got their answer, as Britain finally acknowledged that Bloody Sunday – a key conflict with Northern Ireland – was the fault of their government. Some pop culture math for you guys:

About the conflict

  • 38 number of years since the
    historic incident took place source
  • 13 people were killed during the incident; another died months later
  • 14 more people were injured (not counting the man who later died)
  • 5,000 number of pages in Britain’s latest report on the incident
  • » What happened? During a civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland, soldiers that were part of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a number of civilians. The British government  – which initially said in a discredited 1972 report that the victims were armed with weapons and bombs – has long been criticized for the incident, which led to years of conflict and disruption in the region.
  • » Today’s findings: In a new analysis, the British government found that the civilians had done nothing wrong, were fired on first, didn’t have any weapons, and weren’t even provoking the soldiers before they fired. Representatives for the soldiers say many things were overlooked, but that hasn’t stopped David Cameron from offering an apology.
  • » What happens next? Despite the long passage of time, the soldiers involved in the incident could still be prosecuted for murder or lying to the inquiry, giving the report some real bite.

How long did U2 sing this song?

  • 28years since they first played the song live (12/01/1982) source
  • 682 number of times they’ve played the tune live
  • yes they played the song in Belfast back in 1982
  • yes they have dedicated the song to other things
  • » Key performance: During a performance in Denver in 1987, Bono spent much of the song railing against Irish-Americans who didn’t understand the nature of the conflict: “I’ve had enough of Irish Americans who haven’t been back to their country in twenty or thirty years come up to me and talk about the resistance, the revolution back home. And the glory of the revolution, and the glory of dyin’ for the revolution. Fuck the revolution! They don’t talk about the glory of killing for the revolution.” (There’s more, be sure to read the full quote.) The brutal ripping of those railing against Northern Ireland, immortalized during “Rattle and Hum,” was so perfect that it led to the band not playing the song for a number of years.
  • » Will they sing it again? Good question. Strangely enough, they’ve yet to release a statement regarding the song which literally was their meal ticket for a number of years and did more to draw attention to the incident than any other single entity. Bono must be having an off day. He was recently injured and stuff.

Footnote: A lasting message

  • That’s an incident, the most famous incident in Northern Ireland and it’s the strongest way of saying how long? How long do we have to put up with this? I don’t care who’s who – Catholics, Protestants, whatever. You know people are dying every single day through bitterness and hate, and we’re saying why? What’s the point?
  • U2 drummer Larry Mullen • Pointing out in a 1983 interview that the message of the song isn’t just limited to Northern Ireland and the events of that day. “Let’s forget the politics, let’s stop shooting each other and sit around the table and talk about it,” he said. Say what you have to about U2, but they’ve certainly lived this message, no matter how rich Bono has gotten and how reflective his shades are. source

11 Jan 2010 09:21


World: May + December = Romance, controversy in Northern Ireland

  • 19 the age of Kirk McCambley, who was getting some lovin’ at a pretty young age
  • 60 the age of cougar Iris Robinson, who moonlights as Northern Ireland’s first lady
  • bad the effect this could have on the fragile peace between Catholics and Protestants source

15 Mar 2009 10:13


World: Who’s upsetting the peace in Northern Ireland?

  • 300 sepratists and “a few nutters and idiots,” police say source