Published 57 minutes ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing The exclusively Christian-focused religious education (RE) taught at primary schools in Northern Ireland is unlawful, the High Court has ruled. A judge held the curriculum breaches human rights as it does not approach religious education in an "objective, critical and pluralist manner". The verdict came in a legal challenge by a father and daughter to the current syllabus in controlled primary schools. Proceedings were brought against the Department of Education. The challenge was on behalf of a seven-year-old girl who attends a school in Belfast. Mr Justice Colton said the "unlawfulness identified requires a reconsideration of the core curriculum" in how it sets out the teaching of religious education (RE) and the provision of collective worship. The child's lawyers argued that the complete focus on … [Read more...] about Christian-focused RE in Northern Ireland primary schools ‘unlawful’
Aaron mceneff northern ireland
By Jayne McCormack Published 1 day ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Related Topics The Troubles Controversial legislation aimed at ending Troubles legacy prosecutions has passed its stages in the House of Commons, despite ongoing political opposition. The bill offers a conditional amnesty to those accused of killings and other Troubles-related crimes. It will proceed to the House of Lords in the autumn to face further scrutiny. No MPs from Northern Ireland support the bill. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the bill would "help families and victims move forward". The Conservative Party's working majority of 73 means it can comfortably pass the legislation without relying on other parties in parliament. On Monday, it passed its third reading by 282 to 217 votes, with Labour, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party), SDLP (Social … [Read more...] about NI Troubles: Legacy bill passes Commons stages
Published 10 hours ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Growth in the economy appears to have slowed in the second quarter of 2022 and businesses confidence is weakening, a new survey suggests. The NI Chamber and BDO surveyed 263 companies in late May and early June. A majority of those were still trading positively. However inflation is starting to hit business performance and expectations. The chamber said wages were a "very strong driver" of pressures with rising utility and fuel costs also featuring. Just over 50% of businesses still expect turnover to grow in the next 12 months but that compares to 70% in the final quarter of 2021 and 60% in the first quarter of 2022. More than 90% of respondents agreed that the UK could go into recession if current economic conditions persist. 'Adapted well' The survey has been tracking business attitudes to Brexit … [Read more...] about NI economy: Growth slowed in second quarter, survey suggests
Published 9 hours ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing A musical based on the life of the former SDLP leader John Hume has been awarded a £50,000 grant by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The production, entitled Beyond Belief, is set to premiere in 2023 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The musical is being produced by the John and Pat Hume Foundation with The Playhouse in his native Londonderry. Sixty-six grants worth £2m have been awarded to groups across NI. Tim Attwood, the foundation's secretary, said: "The Hume Foundation partnership with The Playhouse on Beyond Belief is a natural one as they have a deep commitment to promoting healing, understanding and reconciliation. "We are excited that The Playhouse, with Beyond Belief, will develop an inspiring, creative and emotional work telling the story of John Hume's journey … [Read more...] about John Hume: Musical on SDLP founder’s life awarded grant
By Nuala McCann Published 31 May 2012 Share close Share page Copy link About sharing A library book has been returned to Navan library in the Republic of Ireland ... 80 years late. A mystery borrower slipped the book discreetly through the letterbox at the county library at the weekend. It was checked out in 1932. County librarian Ciaran Mangan said he was just delighted to see it back. ''It was an item that had been out on loan effectively since it was published and put into stock and the system in 1932," he explained. "As good Christians, we decided we would waive the fine if the person appears in person and confesses to having returned the book." There are no details on the original borrower because the library's computerised records only date back to 1994. However, someone may have had their conscience pricked because the overdue book is a pictorial record … [Read more...] about Oops I forgot – library book returned after 80 years
By Rebecca McGirr Published 8 hours ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing A ghostly image of County Antrim's Dark Hedges taken by a Belfast man has won a global photography award. Paul Killeen was crowned overall winner of the World Landscape Photographer competition , which had over 1,600 entries. His black and white photograph, titled Souls Tied, depicts two birds flying into the centre of the well-known site. He said he was "shocked and honoured" to have won for the image, taken on the morning of a friend's funeral. One of the judges described the image as "a brilliant winner". Another judge, Verity Milligan, said: "Just the woodland, the mist and the dancing birds. Magical. A special image and a worthy winner." Mr Killeen's shot won out ahead of 8.655 other images, the Belfast Telegraph reported. For him, there is a special meaning behind the … [Read more...] about Dark Hedges image wins World Landscape Photographer competition
The British opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has said there is no going back on Brexit, in a speech on Monday night. Instead, he offered a new slogan as part of a drive to ensure Britain thrives: "Make Brexit Work". "There are some who say 'we don’t need to make Brexit work — we need to reverse it'," the Labour leader told the Centre for European Reform (CER) . "I couldn’t disagree more." "Let me be very clear. Under Labour, Britain will not go back into the EU. We will not be joining the single market. We will not be joining a customs union." It represents a major policy shift for Starmer — who in the run-up to Brexit called for a deal to be put to a second referendum, and lauded the benefits of the free movement of workers, now consigned to the past. It also further distances the country's current direction from the fiery debates and deadlock in the aftermath of the 2016 referendum, with the two largest parties firmly wedded to the UK's departure from the … [Read more...] about Brexit damage: Is EU exit now hitting UK’s economy harder than COVID?
Irish PM Enda Kenny has warned Theresa May that any pact with the DUP must not put the Good Friday Agreement at risk. In a call with the Prime Minister, Mr Kenny spoke of his concern that talks between the Conservatives and DUP over a "confidence and supply" agreement could harm the peace process. The 1998 Good Friday accord commits the UK and Irish governments to demonstrate "rigorous impartiality" over differing political traditions in Northern Ireland. Mr Kenny told Mrs May a Conservative-DUP deal would "challenge" this commitment and raised concerns that there are no longer any Irish nationalist MPs in Westminster after the SDLP lost all three of its seats. :: How a government is formed when there is no majority Advertisement Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 0:46 Foster: DUP will act in the national interest Earlier, DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would meet Mrs May for … [Read more...] about Irish PM Enda Kenny warns Theresa May over deal talks with DUP
Theresa May's bid to do a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to save her premiership has been plunged into uncertainty. In a move that could jeopardise her frantic attempts to remain as Prime Minister, the DUP is accusing Downing Street of announcing a deal on its MPs voting with the Tories in the Commons before an agreement has been reached. After the PM sent her Chief Whip Gavin Williamson to Belfast to negotiate a deal to keep the Conservatives in power, No. 10 said the DUP had agreed to the principles of an outline agreement. But in a dramatic twist just before midnight on Saturday, Sky sources said No.10's account of the talks had been issued in error and the DUP had not yet reached any agreement with the Tories. "The DUP today (Saturday) held discussions with representatives of the Conservative Party in line with Arlene Foster's commitment to explore how we might bring stability to the nation at this time of great challenge," the party said in its own … [Read more...] about Sky sources: Downing Street made statement on DUP deal in error
Published 23 minutes ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid have resigned from Boris Johnson's cabinet. The chancellor and the health secretary are key roles in government and the roles will need to be filled. But while the prime minister considers who to appoint to these crucial jobs, he'll be wondering who is staying and who is going. Intentions clear: staying in the cabinet New Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi New Health Secretary Steve Barclay New Education Secretary Michelle Donelan Deputy PM and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab Home Secretary Priti Patel Defence Secretary Ben Wallace Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng Foreign Secretary Liz Truss Scotland Secretary Alister Jack Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis Environment Secretary George Eustice Leader of the House Mark Spencer Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries … [Read more...] about Government resignations: Who is staying, who has gone?