Jude Collins worked for thirty years as a lecturer at the Ulster University/Ulster Polytechnic. Before that, he was a high school English teacher in Derry, Dublin, Edmonton and Winnipeg (Canada).
He is the author of eight books, including Booing the Bishop and other stories and Martin McGuinness: The man I knew. He has been a weekly columnist for The Irish News, Daily Ireland and currently writes for The Andersonstown News.
He has broadcast on TV and radio for the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Press TV and RTÉ. For the past thirteen years he has written a daily column on his blogsite www.judecollins.com
CASEMENT Park excites strong negative opinions in some unionists. For one thing, this is a park named after a man who was hanged for treason; for another it’s located on the edge of West Belfast where they say they wouldn’t feel comfortable attending an event; and for another it’s intended primarily to host games of a Gaelic nature.
"MAKE no mistake about it,” President Joe Biden said, looking into the camera. “Putin killed Navalny.” And then, as if afraid we hadn’t heard, he repeated it more slowly: “Putin. Killed. Navalny!”
EVERY time I see Joe Biden board or descend a plane, my heart is in my mouth that he’ll fall. He’s done it before and he may well do it again. The thing is, can it be prevented? Nobody likes to see their leader come a cropper
IN the wild excitement of the DUP’s decision to go back into Stormont (well, the thought of a Sinn Féin First Minister does take time to digest its way through the unionist gut), it’d be easy to overlook one vital question: what manner of man is Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the man who took two years to persuade his party they must swallow the Protocol and the Windsor Framework?
IT is a truth universally acknowledged that a political party which wishes to succeed must be in need of razor-sharp economic minds. And there is a short video doing the rounds on X (formerly Twitter) which validates this notion.
WHY is Israel so intent on killing Palestinians? You might respond to that question with a number of suggestions.
"IN this moment, we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel... We stand with Israel. We will make sure it has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack. There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse.”
AND so NEI says farewell to 2023. It was not the most scintillating of years, with strikes, economic hardship and political paralysis. A dysfunctional state doing what it does best: being dysfunctional. Here’s a 12-month list of modest headlines.
WHEN the South of Ireland joined the EU in 1972, was there blackmail involved? I ask because between 1973 and 2018, the South of Ireland received €40 billion from the EU. Was that blackmail? “Join us and we’ll give you billions of Euro – don’t join us and you won’t get a cent.”?
SOME parties have all the luck. Ask any member of the DUP. Or Sinn Féin.
OPINION polls are bad for your mental health. Where there is doubt they claim certainty, where there is growth they exaggerate, and where there is clear thinking they quickly scramble it.
IN the south of Ireland during 2022, 15 women were murdered. Their assailants invariably were men. One such case, in County Offaly, was in the headlines last week: Ashling Murphy a 23-year-old primary school teacher, went for a jog after work along a canal path. She was approached by Jozef Puska, a 33-year-old married man with five children. He dragged her off the path and killed her, stabbing the young teacher in the neck 11 times. Last Friday Puska was jailed for life.
THE recent floods were, for some people, catastrophic. Television news showed one woman in Newry struggling to rescue a few First Communion dresses from her shop. When a reporter questioned her, the water she stood in was twinned with the tears flooding down her face.
RISHI Sunak is a man on a mission: to save the Tory party’s skin and his own. The opinion polls show Labour on 46 per cent and the Conservatives on 26 per cent, so with a general election not much more than a year away, it’s squeaky bum time for Rishi and the Conservatives. As part of his mission, Rishi has opened political war on two fronts.
AS the Israeli ‘Defence’ Forces (IDF) continue the slaughter of the innocent, other countries either side with Israel (US, UK) or rage/weep as the indiscriminate bombing goes on. Is there any way a permanent settlement to the enmity between Palestinians and Israelis can be arrived at? Let’s first dig into the origins of the problem.