Weekly Updates

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22nd January 2018

Almost 20 years ago Gilbert & George’s exhibition in the Ormeau Bath Gallery caused controversy and was picketed by protesters. And the intervening two decades has not diminished their desire to be provocative and challenging. They are back in Belfast this week to unveil their new exhibition, SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for Belfast in the MAC. It opens on Thursday evening and Gilbert & George will be in the MAC on Friday for a book signing.

2. Address the Haggis

Thursday is Burns Night, and the historic and cultural link between Scotland and here means there will be plenty of events where you can Address the Haggis and have a few drams of whisky. Among the celebrations will be a Rabbie Burns Lunch in the Black Box as part of the CQAF Out To Lunch Festival.

3. Dealing with the deficit

Most appearances of a Permanent Secretary in front of a Parliamentary Committee are simply routine sessions to give updates on budgets and policy development. But, with no government or Ministers in place in NI, the Head of the Civil Service, David Sterling, will be appear at the Northern Ireland Affairs committee on Wednesday to discuss the rather heavy title Devolution and democracy in Northern Ireland – dealing with the deficit.

4. Talk Talk

Every new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has a baptism of fire to some extent, but Karen Bradley has certainly been given a difficult task. 12 months without an Executive, failing talks and little sign of Sinn Fein and the DUP doing a deal. However, talks will reconvene this week and perhaps the new year could bring about a new, positive attitude from all involved.

5. Judy Blue Eyes

For more than 50 years Judy Collins has been making music and captivating music fans all over the world. She’s made sings from some of the most eminent songwriters and performers her own. She will be in Dublin this week to perform at St Patrick’s Cathedral as part of Tradfest 2018, where you can expect such great songs as Chelsea Morning.

6. Debating the 8th

The date for the referendum on the 8th Amendment has not been set yet by the Government in Dublin, but the debate around this issue dominates the political discourse. With Micheál Martin setting out his position last week, and Leo Varadkar beginning to make his views on the matter, it would seem that this referendum will not be fought along the traditional party lines.

7. Draw the line

Drawing may have been something that you did as a kid, or perhaps you still doodle in the margins of your notebook when the meeting you are in is not quite stimulating you. But if you’d like to learn more about drawing cartoons and what it takes to take that doodle into a book, then you should head over to the Linenhall Library this morning where local cartoonist, PJ Holen will lead a workshop.

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