Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly
The Border: smart or dumb?

Prof Luke Drury’s challenge to people to think as “engaged citizens in a smart society” in 21st-century Ireland has interesting implications for how w(...)

Had the Civic Forum survived it might have headed off trouble over the flags protests. Photograph: Reuters

The community and voluntary sectors have been key players in the peace process in Northern Ireland during the past 20 years, their organisations and g(...)

A woman walks past a union flag attached to a shuttered shopfront on the Shankill Road in west Belfast last  December following violent protests over restrictions on flying the flag from Belfast City Hall. “If anyone is in any doubt about how conflict disrupts business, just ask Belfast’s hard-pressed merchants.” Photograph: Reuters

Just how accurate is the cliche that we live in an ever-more globalised world? As technology allows more human activity to take place across borders; (...)

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth  meeting then president Mary McAleese  at Áras an Uachtaráin in May 2011. “Relations between the two states have never been better, a closeness symbolised by the queen’s hugely successful visit.”   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The mischievous streak in me likes the word “collaboration”: it is a subversive word. I believe in the obvious – that the road to peace out of any con(...)

Understanding the change in Ian Paisley has thrown even the most astute commentators off course. How did the demagogue whose constant rant was: “Never(...)

Retiring head of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies Andy Pollak has called for an increased focus on practical North-South co-operation.

Andy Pollak, who is standing down as head of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies in Armagh, has warned that the British and Irish governments are losi(...)

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin speaking at the annual Easter Rising 1916 Commemoration at Arbour Hill, Dublin, on Sunday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Micheál Martin has always taken more interest in the North than the average Fianna Fáil politician. Long before he became party leader, h(...)