The parties at Stormont have a “one of ours and one of yours” culture regarding public appointments – fair nepotism, if you like. Photograph: PA

Alan McQuillan, a former deputy chief constable of the PSNI, says the level of “cronyism” in Northern Ireland’s public life creates an environment “in(...)

Stormont Parliament buildings: The problem goes beyond everyone knowing everyone else, or of our ‘elites’ being more of a brass ring than a golden circle.  File photograph: Paul Faith/PA

I must confess to a provincial thrill at Northern Ireland’s Nama scandal – and I may not be alone. Last week’s BBC Spotlight investigation featured hi(...)

 Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy (66) of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth arriving for his sentencing hearing at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts

As a young police officer, former Police Service of Northern Ireland assistant chief constable Alan McQuillan once engaged in a bizarre game of cross-(...)