#GE24 candidates in numbers and charts

Stacked bar charts showing the number of candidates (split by male and female) in each NI constituency at GE2024, and another chart showing the proportion of male and female candidates in each of the 18 constituencies.

The statement of persons nominated – ‘candidate lists’ to you and me – for the General Election have been published by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland. Here’s a numeric breakdown of the people seeking your vote on 4 July. 136 candidates are running across the 18 constituencies. That’s a third more than 2019 (102), but two fewer than a previous high watermark of 138 in 2015. Just 2 parties are running in all 18 Northern Ireland constituencies: Alliance and …

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VIDEO: Sunningdale Agreement 50 Years On

Brian Faulkner resigned as chief executive of the short-lived Northern Ireland Executive, and the Sunningdale Agreement collapsed on 28 May 1974. You can now watch back a series of panel discussions that were held in Ulster University to look back at Sunningdale on Tuesday, the 5oth anniversary of its collapse. Session One – The Negotiations – Sean Donlon, Noel Dorr, Lord Paul Bew, Prof Paul Arthur (chair) Session Two – Perspectives on 1973/4 Power-sharing NI Executive – Hugh Logue, Chris …

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Pushing Boundaries: A century of change in the politics of Belfast

Nicholas Whyte delivering lecture on Belfast constituency boundaries in his role as a Visiting Professor at Ulster University.

Nicholas Whyte is no stranger to this parish. Among his interests are international diplomacy, election data, and science fiction awards … at times all three of those even manage to combine. This evening he was lecturing at Ulster University as a Visiting Professor of Politics on the topic of “Pushing Boundaries: A century of change in the politics of Belfast”. He also touched on the thorny issue of “Where is the Devenish?” You can watch back the lecture and the …

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Eamonn Mallie in conversation about his book: Eyewitness to War and Peace #imaginebelfast

As part of Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, Mark Simpson grilled journalist Eamonn Mallie about his recently published book “Eyewitness to War and Peace“. The conversation was recorded on Tuesday 19 March 2024 in Queen’s University, Belfast’s Great Hall by Alan Meban. Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about, reports from, live-tweets and live-streams civic, academic and political events and conferences. …

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VIDEO: Ulster Workers’ Council Strike: 50 Years On #imaginebelfast

Freeze frame from video of Ulster Workers’ Council Strike: 50 Years On event in Crescent Arts Centre - Connal Parr is standing at the podium - seated near him are Dawn Purvis, Carmel Gates, Harry Donaghy, Jackie Redpath and Jackie McDonald.

Last Saturday, an Imagine! Belfast Festival event looked back at the Ulster Workers’ Council Strike: 50 Years On. A decade on from his 40th anniversary conference at Queen’s University – you can still listen back to my recordings on Slugger – Dr Connal Parr was joined on the Crescent Arts Centre stage by panellists Dawn Purvis, Carmel Gates, Harry Donaghy, Jackie Redpath and Jackie McDonald. The video of this year’s event can now be viewed. Filmed and edited by Alan …

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Slugger TV – Looming Elections and Political Futures #ImagineBelfast

Filmed in front of a live audience at the Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics, Slugger O’Toole convened a panel to discuss the year of elections that await us, and the political futures of some of the key figures who will be fighting for their seats and their jobs. Back on the evening of Friday 22 March, David McCann was joined by University of Liverpool Professor Jon Tonge, Deputy Director of political consultancy Stratagem Anna Mercer, and the Belfast Telegraph’s …

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The Art of Political Speechmaking – a dying art or still a vital talent? #imaginebelfast

https://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/the-democracy-unit

Has the art of writing and delivering a political speech fallen by the wayside of a media landscape that vacuums up soundbites rather than valuing passionate prose? Next Thursday evening, some local politicians will recite elements of other people’s speeches which have influenced their own political journeys and discuss the importance of speechmaking in the current political climate. It’s part of the Imagine! Festival, and Claire Hanna (SDLP), Deirdre Hargey (Sinn Féin), Emma Little-Pengelly (DUP) and Kate Nicholl (Alliance) are …

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From Wisconsin to Belfast and Armagh: the beat of The Sullivan Squad’s drums and the Ojibwe language will feel familiar #imaginebelfast

The Sullivan family - parents and children - standing outdoors with a hand drum

Next week at Imagine! Festival there’s a chance to step outside the usual local context of the Irish language and Ulster Scots to look at an indigenous culture from northern Wisconsin. Imagine this: not everything that looks like a bodhrán and sounds like a bodhrán and is played like a bodhrán is actually a bodhrán. The hand drums brought to life by The Sullivan Squad look incredibly familiar, yet the colourful patterns on the band members clothing suggest that the …

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Remembering Baroness May Blood #NBF24

One panel event at the recent Look North! The North Belfast Festival reflected on the legacy and impact of Baroness May Blood’s life and work. Remembering May Blood – with Betty Carlisle, Paul Caskey, Eileen Weir and Duncan Morrow (chair). Filmed by Alan Meban on Sunday 25 February 2024. Photo credit: Allan Leonard @MrUlster Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about, reports from, …

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Looming Elections & Political Futures – Slugger’s event on 22 March at #ImagineBelfast

DUP's Ian Paisley (Junior) trying to tally the European election ballot papers (which must be placed upside down after verification) back in 2009 - photo by Alan Meban @alaninbelfast

The next 12 months will be fertile ground for election nerds. So we’re convening a panel of experts on Friday 22 March to discuss which way the political wind is blowing as part of this month’s Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics. The next United Kingdom general election must be held no later than 28 January 2025. The deadline for the next Irish general election is 22 March 2025. Both polls are likely to see big political swings and will …

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Previewing the 10th Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics (Monday 18 to Sunday 24 March) #ImagineBelfast

What do you get if you mix policy and politics, expertise mixed with challenge, with the space to think and ask questions? The answer is probably something like Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics, now in its tenth year. Top enterbrainment as the festival strapline phrases it. Running between Monday 18 and Sunday 24 March, there are a hundred or so films, talks, gigs, walking tours, exhibitions, panels, workshops and theatre shows. Climate Improvement Districts // Tuesday 19 at noon …

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DUP Conference report #DUP23

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s speech to conference (YouTube) in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in south Belfast was long and steady. (At five thousand words, it had a higher word count than any of the last six addresses by leaders to their main annual conference.) It was subtle in how it underlined certain issues, but avoided saying anything incendiary, or taking any serious potshots at other parties. This was not a speech that intended to light any fires. Instead it was about …

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Lost Boys: Belfast’s Missing Children

Tonight sees the premiere in Belfast of a new film Lost Boys: Belfast’s Missing Children which throws a spotlight back onto a series of unsolved disappearances during the Troubles nearly 50 years ago. Two boys, described as having learning difficulties, were last seen waiting on the Falls Road to catch a bus to school in November 1974. Thomas Spence and John Rodgers vanished. To date, they haven’t been traced, alive or dead. There was certainly a lot going on in …

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WATCH: Is Better Possible? Prof Jon Tonge’s assessment of GFA legacy and his ideas for reform #JHISS23

Jon Tonge being filmed speaking at the 2023 John Hewitt Summer School in Armagh

As well as joining the panel in Slugger’s The State of Us discussion at last week’s John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh, Professor Jon Tonge delivered a talk asking ‘Is Better Possible?’ at this point in Northern Ireland’s history, 25 years on from the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. He looked at some of the positive statistics as well as the more negative ones around the institutional uptime. He compared the local situation with other countries enjoying consociational government, and looked …

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The state of us! Slugger’s panel at the John Hewitt International Summer School #JHISS23

John Hewitt International Summer School banner decorated with butterflies

The John Hewitt International Summer School is back in Armagh towards the end of July. And Slugger O’Toole is running a panel at 7pm on Tuesday 25th. Details on how to sign up to attend in person on the John Hewitt Society website (ticketsolve). If Northern Ireland had a mother, she might stop it at the front door and say, “The state of you! You can’t go out looking like that.” It’s easy to find fault and criticise the Northern Ireland …

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WATCH: Bertie Ahern in conversation with Dr Giada Lagana (IACES)

The Irish Association of Contemporary European Studies (IACES) hosted a live-streamed conversation with Bertie Ahern from the Royal Irish Academy on Monday 8 May 2023. The former Taoiseach reflected on the subtle European dimension of the April 1998 negotiations which led to the Agreement, the importance of EU membership on British and Irish coordination, and the subsequent EU support for the peace process. He also talked about the potential for the DUP to return to Stormont and was asked about …

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WATCH: The Legacy of the Agreement #GFA25

The Linen Hall has organised a series of events looking at the Origins and Legacies of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The first was held in the library on Monday evening and featured a panel of young MLAs (the criterion was that they had to be under 40 years old) being interrogated by Seamus McKee. Nearly half the population of Northern Ireland today were under 18 or hadn’t even been born when the Agreement was signed and endorsed by referendum. You …

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WATCH: Witness Seminar – the Peace Train Organisation

The Peace Train Organisation (PTO) ran seven trains between Dublin and Belfast from 1989–1995, and a one-off special train that ran from Holyhead to London in June 1991. It received support from a broad range of civil society: trade unions, churches, business communities, the media, arts organisations, as well as political figures from many parties across Britain and Ireland. At a time when security alerts were both disrupting journeys and dissuading passengers from using the Enterprise train services, the Peace …

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