Tuesday, March 14, 2006

So farewell then, Res Publica

Anyone with the slightest bit of interest in following developments in the north of Ireland should head over to Res Publica at http://phoblacht.blogspot.com and make your case for its author, Deaglan, to keep it up on a regular basis, and NOT, as he is currently threatening, to abandon it and remove it from the web completely.

The Northern Ireland conflict is one of the areas where by and large, the British media tend to fall flat on their faces. I suppose that's understandable to a certain extent, given the complexity of the situation, but with a few notable exceptions (take a bow, Angelique Chrisafis), any in-depth analysis and comment on what's going on can be frustratingly difficult to come by, for those of us living outside of the six counties themselves.

The blogosphere has started to change this, with the likes of Slugger O'Toole opening up a much-needed forum for public debate. Res Publica, started just under a year ago on Saint Patrick's Day, quickly gained its own readership and provoked heated debates on anything from Ulster-Scots to dodgy Dublin hurling tactics (and yes, the occasional political piece as well). Newton Emerson of The Portadown News referred to the author of RP as "Northern Ireland's only reasonable republican", an accolade that soon became the blog's unofficial slogan.

Deep down, I'm pretty sure that RP won't be back any time soon. Being of the "better to burn out than fade away" school of thought, Deaglan likely feels that the blog has run its course. A shame, I think, as his recent move back to the north would have given a fresh new angle to future postings. If you think so too, let him know. Many of you already have.


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