The political week in 5 points

Arlene Foster’s ‘olive branch’ on Irish language. Earlier this week, in an attempt to end the stand-off between Northern Ireland’s two largest parties, the DUP offered Sinn Féin what seemed like an ‘olive branch’ regarding language rights and the restoration of power-sharing. Speaking to her party’s executive, Foster suggested power-sharing be restored immediately, as well as stating “we also agree to bring forward legislation to address culture and language issues in Northern Ireland within a time-limited period to be agreed.” Given the parties negative historic stance on Irish language, this would appear to be a risky, and somewhat progressive position taken by the party, as it will not bode well in many sections of its grass roots.

Sinn Féin reject Fosters suggestion outright. Following the DUP’s softening of position in regards to the Irish Language, Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill and her party rejected the offer in a press statement given on the Falls Road on Friday. O’Neill stated that this was not a new offer by the DUP, claiming they had previously floated it during the talks, and once again reiterated the position that Sinn Féin would not be returning to Stormont until a stand-alone Irish Language Act has been agreed. 

North Korea have tested its sixth nuclear missile. North Korea have tested out its sixth nuclear missile. It is understood that the missile is a hydrogen bomb which can be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile. This is a major escalation by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and one that will certainly put pressure on Trump to de-escalate the on-going missile crisis in the Korean Peninsula.

Texans show great resilience in the face of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey has caused great destruction to South Eastern Texas; displacing 30,000 people, who now seek refuge throughout Houston, TX. Apart from the physical damage caused to properties and livelihood, the real test, like that of Katrina in 2005, is how those without home insurance begin rebuild their lives. It is estimated that around 80% of those households affected do not have home insurance. 

Nationalist community deeply offended by ignorant RTÉ map of Ireland. During RTÉ’s ‘Late Late Night Show’, a map used to illustrate Ireland’s Health crisis, omitted the six northern counties that make up Northern Ireland. For Nationalists who recognise Ireland as a 32 county state, this illustration was deeply offensive, and sparked outrage across parties. The Irish broadcaster defended the illustration by claiming the map simply “reflected the counties covered by the 2016 census”.