The question of an independence referendum in Scotland has provoked rumblings on both sides of the sectarian divide here. Peter Robinson has said that Unionists must not “stand idly by”, but instead do what they can to convince the Scottish people to remain within the Union. On the other hand, Martin McGuinness has welcomed the SNP’s move and suggested that they would like to see a similar vote on a united Ireland take place in the near future – perhaps in 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising.
Trying to fit in with the angry mood of ordinary people against bankers’ bonuses, bailouts and other windfalls of the rich, Tory chancellor George Osborne in his budget speech called tax evasion and avoidance by the wealthy “morally repugnant”.
Andrew Allen from the Waterside in Derry was shot dead on 9 February in Buncrana by the paramilitary group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD). The shooting of Allen has brought the issue of paramilitary activity and anti-social behaviour into sharp relief in Derry.
The huge multinational Tamboran wants to begin massive exploration for natural gas in Ireland, drilling 1,600 wells in Fermanagh and Leitrim using the dangerous hydraulic fracturing technique, or “fracking” as it is more commonly known.