Friday, 28 March 2008

Mosside April Talks

Mosside Development Group has arranged history talks for four Tuesday nights in April.

They'll take place in the community centre in the centre of the village and begin at 7:30 pm; proceedings end with tea and buns. The talks have been funded by the Rural Development Council and the Turkington Foundation

Tuesday, April 1: Alex Blair, local historian and well known raconteur - "The Ulster-Scots Tongue"

Tuesday, April 8: John Marshall, archaeologist of forgotten places - "Recent Studies in Ulster-Scots"

Tuesday, April 15: Liam Corry, Ulster American Folk Park's Agricultural Curator, "Domestic Life Through The Generations"

Wednesday, April 23: Vivienne Pollock, National Museum of Northern Ireland.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Paramilitary Influences on BEBO

I first heard of BEBO at the time of the tragic killing of Michael 'Mickybo' McIlveen in Ballymena in May, 2006. It's a social networking website that's popular with young people, some of them my relations and acquaintances.

Later on in the year I became aware of the large number of paramilitary related marching bands that were to be found in the bands section. Bebo draws attention to some of the risks faced by its members but I could find no warning about paramilitaries and their malign influences.

I emailed Sarah Gavin(youtube), Bebo's Communications Director, and I also spoke to her twice by telephone. She removed some of the sites I drew attention to but when I requested that Bebo deal with all of these sites her landline telephone number disappeared from the Bebo website. I also emailed Rachel O'Connell, Bebo's Chief Safety Officer, but received no reply.

Later on I noticed SDLP Youth's concern about Bebo so I asked Mark Durkan's office to approach NICCY, the commissioner for children and young people. The commissioner's reply doesn't fill me with confidence that action is likely to follow anytime soon.

If you'd like to check out some of these websites google with 'bebo bands' plus a selection from 'loyalist republican rfb uda uvf ira paramilitary'.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre - Official Papers 2006

These official papers from 15 November 2006 outline some of the difficulties associated with the construction of a new visitors centre at the Giant's Causeway. They also detail the extensive lobbying by Ian Paisley jnr on behalf of one of his constituents, Seymour Sweeney, the local property owner, developer and DUP member.