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Report by Una Murphy – Images by Hannah Mitchell Photographer Kevin Cooper, left, with Belfast Telegraph political editor Suzanne Breen, the empty chair for Lyra McKee and Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International An empty chair at Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre and a May Day march in the city were how trade unionists and human rights activists remembered Lyra McKee, the journalist and writer shot dead in Derry last month. Patrick Corrigan “We’re leaving a seat vacant today for Lyra and will continue to support her legacy and the interests for which she worked,” Patrick Corrigan, head of…

Film producer/director Trevor Birney speaking at the NUJ event in Belfast today By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Film producer/director Trevor Birney, who was arrested in Northern Ireland over the film No Stone Unturned, which named alleged suspects in the Loughinisland massacre, has vowed that he will keep working on investigative journalism projects despite the pressure he is under. Mr Birney, who was arrested in August last year along with his colleague, journalist Barry McCaffrey, was speaking at a World Press Freedom event in the Linen Hall Library in Belfast today. The seminar, The Media and Democracy – Why Journalism Matters!,…

The second Hillsborough Festival of Literature and Ideas takes place on Friday April 26 to Sunday April 28, 2019, with a diverse line-up encompassing poetry, prose, music, workshops and talks. Founded by The John Hewitt Society, the festival team have worked with novelist, journalist and broadcaster Ian Sansom to curate this year’s festival programme. Author Wendy Erskine Highlights include James Runcie, creator of popular ITV drama Grantchester, acclaimed novelist Janice Galloway, founder of London restaurant Darjeeling Express and star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table Asma Khan, short stories from Wendy Erskine & June Caldwell and Wuthering Nights: An Ode To Kate Bush with musicians Alana Henderson & LARKS, the new project…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan A STARK warning was issued today at a meeting in Belfast that thousands of vulnerable people may be facing eviction and major loss of earnings when welfare reform mitigation measures cease in March next year. A number of organisations, who work in the voluntary/community sector, were present at NICVA headquarters in Duncairn Gardens, including Advice NI, Law Centre NI, Cliff Edge Coalition NI, Sandy Row Community Forum, Housing Rights, Radius Housing and the East Belfast Independent Advice Clinic Kevin Higgins, Advice NI Kevin Higgins from Advice NI said: “There will be uproar when 34,000 Bedroom…

Residents opposed to building plan on community greenspace West Belfast residents group, Friends of Glassmullin Open Green (FOGOG) are holding a protest today at 6pm at the gates of De La Salle College at Edenmore Drive. The residents are opposed to the college’s plan to build a fenced off, floodlight 3g pitch, pavilion and car park on the site of the community’s only greenspace – Glassmullin Green. Residents have been campaigning for more than five years and believe the college’s plan represents a “landgrab” against the wishes of the local community. A FOGOG spokeperson said: “De La Salle’s invitation to the…

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was shot dead by the IRA in 1984 By Jonny McCambridge In 1984 Mary Travers, a gifted young musician from Belfast, had recently started work in her dream job as a teacher. With one of her first pay packets she treated her 14-year-old sister Ann to lunch in the city centre. Ann recalls: “People today take that for granted but it was a rare treat in the 1980s. I had chicken in a basket, which I thought was very exotic, and Mary had a scone. It was the only time I ever got to go…

Victims and pension fund campaigners Jennifer McNern, Paul Gallagher and Peter Heathwood (far right) with VIEW editor Brian Pelan at the launch in the Public Records Office in Belfast Images: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX The latest print issue of social affairs magazine VIEW was launched earlier this week at the Public Records Office in Belfast. Among those who attended were guest editor Alan McBride, manager at the WAVE Trauma Centre; Judith Thompson, Commissioner for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland; playwright and theatre director Jo Egan, VIEW editor Brian Pelan, VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy, VIEWdigital deputy editor Kathryn Johnston; Ann Travers, whose…

Unquiet Graves, a new documentary about the loyalist Glenanne Gang – thought to have been responsible for more than 120 killings in an area of Mid Ulster once dubbed ‘the murder triangle’ – recently premiered in Belfast. VIEW editor Brian Pelan talks to the writer and director Sean Murray I met Sean Murray at a hotel in Belfast. He was engaged in a seemingly endless round of media interviews about his new documentary Unquiet Graves which offers an unflinching look at a loyalist death squad and state collusion. It pulls no punches. Amidst the background chatter of a busy reception…

Jennifer McNern at her home in Belfast Jennifer McNern, who lost both her legs in a bomb explosion, tells VIEW editor Brian Pelan that severely injured victims have been ignored for too long. The sun is shining through the windows of Jennifer McNern’s kitchen at her home in Belfast as she takes me back to that awful day in 1972 when a no-warning bomb exploded in the Abercorn restaurant. Two people were killed and many others were injured. Jennifer, now in her sixties, was 21 years of age when she lost her legs in the explosion in Belfast city centre.…

Paul Gallagher at Queen’s University, Belfast Paul Gallagher was 21 years of age when UFF gunmen burst into his home on the Stewartstown Road in west Belfast in January 1993. They were apparently looking for former Republican prisoners who lived nearby. In a room at Queen’s University, Belfast, Paul recalled the horrific events from that day which were to dramatically alter his life. “I had just come home from a day’s work. My family and I had just sat down for our dinner around 6pm. The TV was on and The Crystal Maze was about to start. There was a…

Judith Thompson at her office in Belfast Question: When do you expect the findings from The Northern Ireland Office consultation ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past’ to be released? Answer: The consultation closed last October with 18,000 responses. We would expect to know what the findings are in the next few weeks. Q: Are you hopeful the consultation will significantly help to address what you have previously described as “a lack of progress”? A: The outcome of the consultation has to be legislation. Nothing is going to address our lack of progress other than new legislation. Q: The Commissioner…

VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy By Una Murphy Government disregard for victims and survivors cannot be tolerated. It will be judged on its actions following the public consultation on the proposed new Troubles legacy institutions. The media must make sure this is top of the news agenda. VIEW welcomes the new media guidelines on reporting conflict-related issues. Paul Gallagher, chairman of the Victims and Survivors Trust said that journalists have an “important part to play in calling out injustice and have the power to shine a bright light into the dark parts of our past”. We back the Amnesty campaign to…

Issue 51 of VIEW looks at Victims, Survivors and Legacy issues in Northern Ireland. We would like to thank our guest editor Alan McBride.Alan, who lost his wife and father-in-law in the Shankill Road bombing in 1993, is a manager at the WAVE Trauma Centre in Belfast. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust in helping to make this edition possible. To view an online version of our latest issue, go to https://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_issue_51 To download a version of our latest issue, go to https://cl.ly/592c8b542ae8 Alan McBride, manager at the WAVE Trauma Centre in…

Delegates from a number of organisations, including the East Belfast Independent Advice Centre, East Belfast Mission, Eastside Partnership, Save the Children and Survivors of Suicide attended a conference today (March 13) The conference, which was held in  the East Belfast Network Centre, 55 Templemore Avenue, was organised by the Scaffolding Project. The Scaffolding Project is a group of voluntary and community sector organisations who are working together to try and alleviate the impact of poverty in east Belfast. They also hope to bust some of the myths about poverty and to raise awareness of the reality of poverty for people…

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