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October 18, 2004

News 10/18/04 - Durkan: No More Bluffing or Posturing

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 10/18/04 Mark Durkan: No More Bluffing, No More Posturing
BT 10/18/04 Ahern Warning On Changes To Agreement
BT 10/18/04 Viewpoint: Ahern Lays It On The Line To The IRA
BT 10/18/04 IMC's Credibility Is Flawed: SF
UT 10/18/04 Irish To Probe 'British Incursion'
SF 10/18/04 British Army Incursion Into County Monaghan
IC 10/18/04 Short On The IRA, Al Qaida And Tony Blair
IO 10/18/04 SF TD Hints At Imminent Breakthrough In Peace Process
RT 10/18/04 Peace Process An Inspiration, Says Annan -V
IP 10/14/04 Sinn Fein: 100 Years And Counting
JN 10/18/04 Gerry Adams To Come To New Jersey


No More Bluffing, No More Posturing

Opinion by Mark Durkan
18 October 2004

During the negotiations at Leeds Castle and at Stormont last month
the SDLP held firm for the Good Friday Agreement. We faced
sustained pressure to agree to changes that would undermine the
Agreement that we negotiated and, most importantly, the Irish
people mandated

We engaged as constructively and creatively as we can with the DUP
and others. But what we will not do is ditch or dump the
Agreement's fundamentals. We are not prepared to concede changes to
it that are unworkable and make no sense. That is a reasonable
position. We make no apology for it.

Others have commented that the SDLP is being intransigent, that it
is being precious about every dot and comma of the Agreement. This
is not the case; the SDLP has always seen the Good Friday Agreement
not as a point of arrival but as a point of departure.

It has never been the SDLP position that nothing that flows from
the Agreement can ever be modified, adjusted or improved in any
way. As the strongest advocates of the Agreement, we are also the
strongest advocates of greater accountability, transparency and
efficiency in its institutions and workings.

We have put forward constructive and creative proposals for greater
accountability and collectivity.

Almost a month on from Leeds Castle, the DUP has still not
responded to us on them.

But that is no surprise, since the DUP is not really interested in
accountability and collectivity. It is control it is after. The DUP
wants to be able to veto any action of any other Minister - even
though it is perfectly proper and legal. The new devices that it
wants in the Executive and the Assembly are about giving the DUP
the last word on everything if it wants it. That is minority rule,
to turn a DUP argument back on them.

The DUP also wants to be able to block the work in the North South
Ministerial Council. Although it claims to support North South co-
operation where it makes economic sense, it failed to provide a
single example of a new area for North South co-operation and
implementation that it would support.

We are being asked to 'take the DUP at face value' when for the
first time in its history it claims to espouse power sharing. What
face does the DUP show us on power sharing on councils? In
Ballymena, Coleraine, Lisburn and Castlereagh, nationalists do not
get a look in. Peter Robinson need not think that he is any more
credible sermonising to us all on power sharing than Gerry Adams is
preaching about peace.

The two governments need to clearly state that the key to future
stability in Northern Ireland is the full implementation of the
Good Friday Agreement. Disposing of key features mandated by the
people is not a starting point for stability.

We are not trying to renege on the Agreement to deny the DUP any of
what it is entitled to according to its numbers.

Above all the DUP - and we - are entitled to the end to
paramilitarism promised by the Agreement. An end to all forms of
paramilitarism, both republican and loyalist. But what nobody is
entitled to is an end to the Agreement itself.

There has been some misplaced speculation that the SDLP has decided
on an opposition role in a restored Assembly. This stems from a
strong stand we took at Leeds Castle to oppose an emerging "deal"
which was a bad package of bad changes to the Agreement.

Faced with proposals not just to afford the DUP "drive-by vetoes"
but also to abolish the joint election to the joint office of First
and Deputy First Minister, we put the brakes on.

We told the governments that if they imposed their formula for
avoding the "DUP's nightmare" of voting for a Sinn Fein Deputy
First Minister then we could give the DUP a worse nightmare. If
neither we nor the UUP nominated Ministers, the new vote on the
whole Executive slate which the governments proposed would mean the
DUP voting for a whole SF-DUP coalition not just the First

We make no apologies for such decisive opposition to any deal which
fundamentally undermines equality, damages power sharing, prevents
North-South developments and creates gridlock in the institutions.

The SDLP's primary concern is securing the full and faithful
implementation of the Agreement and all that entails, including
inclusive power sharing government in the North, strong durable all
Ireland institutions, completion in ending paramilitarism and
completion in the Patten vision of policing. That remains our

But in any restored Assembly we all have different options as to
what roles we undertake. We have made no decision on them now. But
we are clear that when the time comes we will make the right choice
for the right reasons and we will play a strong and positive role.

The SDLP approaches negotiations as we approached participation in
the Assembly and the Executive. We did not hold things up for
others nor did we hold things back for ourselves. We want to see a
positive outcome. The outstanding issues around accountability and
the stability of institutions can be resolved.

Six and a half years since the Agreement was signed and two years
on from suspension, people have the right to demand an end to the
bluffing and the posturing. Enough rubicons have been crossed,
enough choreography contrived, enough conundrums solved. What the
SDLP wants to see and what the people of Ireland need to see is
positive movement towards the full implementation of the Agreement.


Ahern Warning On Changes To Agreement

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
18 October 2004

Changes to the Good Friday Agreement cannot be at the expense of
its fundamental principles and protections, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
has warned.

Referring to without naming the DUP, he said he had sought to
facilitate an outcome which would allow people to accommodate
themselves within the Agreement.

In his annual Wolfe Tone commemoration speech at Bodenstown, Mr
Ahern said the next few weeks offered an opportunity to copper-
fasten peace and stability.

But he added: "There can be no return to the failed ways of the
past and there can be no eroding of the fundamentals of the
agreement. Majoritarianism is dead and gone."

Ahead of a fresh attempt to reach closure on the outstanding
issues, Mr Ahern also signalled that failure to reach a deal now
will mean continuing direct rule for another year.

The parties are likely to switch into election mode for the run-up
to the expected Westminster battle next year if a deal to restore
devolution proves elusive.

A potential agreement on a timetable which could include
decommissioning, demilitarisation, a winding up of the IRA and the
transfer of policing and justice powers has been mooted.

But these and other issues including the accountability of
Ministers, election of the First Minister and Deputy and
arrangements for North South bodies are still being debated.

Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin said yesterday it was now
"common ground" between the parties that if a package could be put
together on the basis of the Agreement the IRA was prepared to take
"another initiative".

In his Bodenstown address Mr Ahern said many of those involved in
paramilitary activity now accepted the time had come to "draw a
definitive line" under the conflict.

And he added that "in any well-constructed democratic society",
support for the police was "naturally expected from all those who
hold public office".

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said however the transfer of
policing and justice will be entirely dependent on the confidence
the community has in how those powers are to be exercised and in
those who will exercise them.


Viewpoint: Ahern Lays It On The Line To The IRA

Way ahead: Democratic path is the only route for republican

18 October 2004

After all the brouhaha over Dermot Ahern's comments about Sinn
Fein, the Taoiseach has taken the opportunity of the annual
commemoration at Bodenstown to steady the Fianna Fail ship.

He says the possibility of Sinn Fein participation in government in
the Republic cannot be speculated about until the IRA has fully
disarmed and disbanded.

Despite the Taoiseach's remarks, the debate will continue over
whether the new Foreign Affairs Minister was off message or had
been sput up to encourage republicans when he said it was "only a
matter of time" before Sinn Fein would be in government in Dublin.

But in reality, nothing has changed. Sinn Fein has an increasing
share of the vote, north and south of the border, but cannot expect
to secure a place in government unless and until the IRA completes
the decommissioning process.

An end, once and for all, of all paramilitary activity by the IRA
would transform the situation. If Sinn Fein can become a completely
constitutional party, relying solely on its mandate, then the path
to a role in government will open up.

The other question, as far as Northern Ireland is concerned, is
whether the DUP and Sinn Fein can do business. Although the gap
appears to have widened since Leeds Castle, the Taoiseach insists
that a "small window of opportunity" still exists.

Certainly, Mr Ahern's acceptance of the need for certain changes in
the operation of the Good Friday Agreement is a helpful
development. Core principles would not be endangered by improved
mechanisms, such as the introduction of tighter controls on the
powers of individual ministers.

But while the debate continues, a British General Election is
drawing ever closer, and as Mr Ahern says, parties will drift back
into "political positions" if a deal is not secured quickly. In a
bid to concentrate minds, the Irish Government appears to be
setting a deadline of the end of this month.

The ball is in the IRA's court, and the Taoiseach has usefully re-
iterated the key principles. Democracy and private armies do not
mix, and there remains no conceivable justification for maintaining
paramilitary groupings. P O'Neill could not get it clearer than


IMC's Credibility Is Flawed: SF

By Chris Thornton
18 October 2004

The ceasefire watchdog that could be the lynchpin of any political
deal has had its credibility fatally compromised, Sinn Fein has

The attack came after the Independent Monitoring Commission and the
PSNI admitted that they wrongly identified a dead Bangor man as a
paramilitary victim.

Michael O'Hare had been identified as a UDA murder victim in the
IMC's very first report, issued in April. The group's third report
is expected to be issued this month.

Mr O'Hare, who was found dead after a fire in a flat in Bangor in
March 2003, was listed as one of 12 paramilitary victims in the

A man has been charged with his murder, and the Attorney General
had already indicated that there was no paramilitary involvement by
clearing the case to be heard in front of a jury.

Mr O'Hare's family queried the claim. After months without public
comment, IMC member John Grieve, the former head of the
Metropolitan Police's anti-terror branch, and PSNI Assistant Chief
Constable Sam Kincaid apologised to the family two weeks ago.

The PSNI confirmed that the apology was given, but said the meeting
was private.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said the blunder undermined the IMC's
claims to independently sift intelligence provided by the British
and Irish governments.

The report had also crucially blamed the IRA for the kidnapping of
republican Bobby Tohill, leading to the imposition of financial
penalties on Sinn Fein.

"At the time the IMC report was published, Sinn Féin denounced its
contents and exposed a series of inaccurate sections," Mr Kelly

"Other political parties accepted it as gospel. Now the PSNI and
IMC have themselves acknowledged the report was based on inaccurate
information. The fact is the IMC has no credibility and this news
further exposes this unrepresentative British securocrat tool.

"Those who jumped up and down and were quick to try and use the
shoddy IMC report as a basis to attack Sinn Féin should reflect
long and hard on their reaction given the gradual exposure of the
report as lies. The IMC has no positive role to play."


Irish To Probe 'British Incursion'

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has been asked to
investigate what has been described as a British Army incursion
across the County Fermanagh border into County Monaghan.

Residents in Clones claimed a party of British soldiers was
observed a short distance from Clones town, south of the border.

Pat Treanor, a member of Clones Town Council and Monaghan County
Council, says a full explanation must be sought from the British
authorities over the incident.


British Army Incursion Into County Monaghan

Published: 18 October, 2004

Clones Councillor Pat Treanor hit out at the latest British Army
incursion over Clones town and surrounding area on Sunday 17th Oct
at 5pm. The large helicopter flew up to two miles into County
Monaghan and then over Clones town on its return to Co. Fermanagh.

Cllr Treanor said : „This was a totally illegal and provocative
incursion into County Monaghan by the British Army. It is
particularly outrageous at the present time, when serious efforts
are being made to bolster up the Peace Process. People are rightly
suspicious and concerned by this incident. I have reported it to
the local Gardaí and have asked for an investigation.

"My 12-year-old daughter, Cáit, and two of her friends were playing
at Bishopscourt, about a mile out of Clones. They were able to
describe a large green helicopter with camouflage colouring, flying

Cllr Treanor said that he has contacted Deputy Caoimhghín Ó
Caoláin, who will raise the issue with the Dublin Government. He
has also contacted the Sinn Féin representative on the
British/Irish Intergovernmental Body, Arthur Morgan, who will also
attempt to raise it at a meeting in Wales today.


Short On The IRA, Al Qaida And Tony Blair Oct 18 2004

Firebrand Birmingham MP Clare Short recently found herself at the
centre of yet another controversy when she claimed the IRA had
never targeted civilians.

The Ladywood MP also described militants as fighting for a "just
cause" in an interview with Dubai-based newspaper The Gulf News,
but condemned the use of violence and attacks on civilians.

Ms Short issued a statement saying she had been misquoted in the
interview but today The Birmingham Post prints previously
unpublished extracts of that interview, giving her views on the
IRA, the war in Iraq, Camp X-ray and New Labour.

The former Secretary of State for International Development, who
resigned from Tony Blair's Government following the Iraq war, said
terrorist group al Qaida's anger was "justified", but condemned
their tactics as immoral and profoundly wrong.

"I think the killing of civilians is always wrong, all Mohammad's
teachings said that was wrong, but I think the cause is just," she

"I understand their anger completely. And I understand, I come
from, my father came from Northern Ireland, and as you know, in
Irish history, starting off in the resistance to colonialism,
there's been a use of force.

"I think it's always wrong to target civilians. I think that's
because even when you understood the IRA, they never targeted

"I mean, that is a terrible deterioration, a moral deterioration
that's taken place. But I understand the anger and the demand for
action, and it isn't good enough for the world to say state
violence is okay and non-state violence is not okay."

She spoke in more detail about Northern Ireland, and asked how
Britain could have forgotten the lessons it learned dealing with
the IRA.

Ms Short accused Tony Blair of engaging in "a whole series of half-
truths and deceptions" in the run-up to the Iraq war, and expressed
fears that the United States could target Iran next.

She said: "People in Britain, in particular, understand about
terrorism because we have been through Northern Ireland.

"A long history of the use of force in Irish history, but the
resurgence in violence from the late 1960s on. And Britain's first
reaction was to have a very harsh Prevention of Terrorism Act and
internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

"The effect of that was to increase the recruitment to the IRA. And
then Britain changed its policy and went to try to create justice
on the ground, in terms of employment, housing and fair treat-ment
of people, and the security response was restrained and careful.

"It took time, but then it was looking for an opportunity to talk
and get a settlement. Talking to the Irish government, creating an
atmosphere of justice.

"Here we are now, at the end of the use of violence in Irish
history. So in Britain of all places don't we understand the
conditions that create the use of terrorist violence?

"I repeat, it is always wrong to kill innocent civilians, by state
actors or non-state actors. That thing that the al Qaida
organisation seems to be willing to do is just profoundly, morally

"But their anger is justified. And the duty of the world, if it
doesn't want to see more and more anger and bloodshed and violence
and mayhem, is to provide justice in another way and then get the
whole world to co-operate to stop those who would kill innocent

"We're not going to do that, so it's going to get worse. That's
what I believe."

The mood in the Cabinet had been "very worried" in the run-up to
the Iraq war, she said.

"People kept saying, we must have a Palestinian state and we must
go through the UN.

Blair kept saying yes, of course, yes. "Then it got to the crunch,
and there is a crisis sense in the country and the Labour Party is
falling apart.

"And he has got difficulty getting the vote through the Commons, so
people pull together to protect the Government. But there was never
a united agreement to support the policy."

Asked if Mr Blair had lied, she said: "I think he engaged in a
whole series of half-truths and deceptions.

"And as these leaked documents which came out just a few weeks ago
show, he gave his word to support Bush in military action for
regime change, more than year before the action.

"So at the same time as he was telling his party, Cabinet,
Parliament and country that we wanted to avoid war, we would
proceed through the UN, were determined to get the implementation
of the road map (for peace in Palestine), he had already given his
word to Bush. That is now clear."

It was possible that US President George Bush would make the
situation worse, she said.

"I don't believe a rational US, even a rational US with a neo-
Conservative policy, would target Iran. Because they are bogged
down in a quagmire, very dangerous for them, in Iraq.

"And if they were going to open up even more anger in a
neighbouring country, it is dangerous for everybody.

"I personally think it is unlikely but nobody can be complacent."

She added: "I think it'd be a disaster. It would cause even more
instability, even more anger, even more disorder in the Middle
East, even more suffering for the people of the region. Increasing
the turmoil and the danger, that's what an attack on Iran would

She was not certain whether Tony Blair would support an attack, she

"How would Tony Blair react if America did it? His record says he
would support them. The country wouldn't."


SF TD Hints At Imminent Breakthrough In Peace Process

18/10/2004 - 10:57:49

Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan has hinted that there may be a
breakthrough in the Irish peace process in the coming days.

Speaking at a meeting of the British-Irish Inter-parliamentary Body
in Wales today, Mr Morgan said: "I hope that in the next days we
will be in a position to welcome a breakthrough in the situation in

The North's political institutions remain suspended because of the
failure of Sinn Féin and the DUP to reach a deal on power sharing.

The DUP has refused to budge in its demands for changes to the Good
Friday Agreement that Sinn Féin and the SDLP believe would lead to
a return to unionist majority rule.


(See Video - 1 News: Brendan Wright reports from Derry at the end
of the UN Secretary-General's five-day visit to Ireland )

Peace Process An Inspiration, Says Annan -V

18 October 2004 14:16

The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has said the Northern Ireland
peace process is a source of inspiration to the rest of the world.

Delivering the annual Tip O'Neill lecture at the University of
Ulster in Derry, Mr Annan said that the world could learn from the
peace process in the North.

'Your efforts to create a better world for your children have been
a source of inspiration and hope to people in many other countries.
If the world is to learn lessons about how to manage the transition
from troubles and violence to peace, surely it can learn some of
them from you,' said Mr Annan.

Mr Annan held what was described as a 'successful and useful'
meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Farmleigh in Dublin on

Mr Annan and Mr Ahern discussed a number of international issues,
including the latest developments in Darfur and the situation in


Sinn Fein: 100 Years And Counting

Joanne Corcoran

What is it the state gives you when you reach 100 years of age
nowadays? 100 euros? 1,000 euros?

Well, Sinn Féin members are a little more generous than that.
November 2005 marks the 100th anniversary of Sinn Féin and its
members are planning a yearlong birthday party to celebrate.

Caitríona Ruane, MLA for South Down and well known for her work
with the Colombia Three and for being a director of Féile an
Phobail, has been appointed chair of the SF100 committee and is the
person charged with running the show for next year.

"It's a momentous occasion for Sinn Féin and Ireland," Ruane said,
when we met her last Tuesday. "We're marking 100 years of struggle
under the banner of Sinn Féin and we want the whole country to
celebrate with us."

While the actual anniversary falls in November 2005, the party
plans to kick of the festivities and commemorations this December,
with a calendar marking the major republican events of the last
century. And the celebrations will run until February of 2006,
leading right into the 25th anniversary of the Hunger Strikes.

The organization needed for such a lengthy schedule is mind-

"We're using the Féile model at the moment," Ruane said. "At the
Féile you'd have an official committee that organized the big
events and then you'd have local events going on as well. The
official SF100 committee is going to be organizing maybe ten or 12
big national events, and then we're really encouraging groups
throughout Ireland, from Sinn Féin cumainn to communities,
universities, schools and trade unions, to organize a whole series
of events on their own."

Among the biggest events planned by SF100 will be a massive
birthday celebration in November and mass rallies in each of the
four provinces.

But it has hundreds of other ideas that it's currently examining as

"We're going to have some themes running throughout the whole 14
months, like reminding people of the contribution of women
republicans in the last 100 years, and looking at contributions
they'll be making in the years ahead," Ruane said. "We would also
like to recognize the growing ethnic diversity of our nation and
celebrate the contribution these new communities have made and will
make in the future."

The committee is also thinking about organizing a dinner, an
auction, a film or theatre festival, debates throughout Ireland,
commissioning a piece of music or a song, an official stamp,
concerts, a sporting event — you get the picture. In addition, it
will be producing booklets, commemorative coins, DVDs and videos,
and it will have its own website to mark the occasion.

Significantly, 2005 will also see the relaunch of An Phoblacht,
which will be celebrating the fact that it is the longest running
political paper in Ireland.

But Caitríona is adamant that people will have to stand on their
own two feet when organizing local events.

"We will give advice, but myself and Deirdre MacManus will be
running the main events, which are going to need most of our
attention. So Sinn Féin Cúigí will be asked to appoint
representatives and they will work with us as well as the cumainn
in the planning of events."

MacManus, the new committee's organizer, was the first Director of
Féile an Phobail.

"This year will be about building Sinn Féin while looking back at
where we came from," Ruane said "We've come so far, and we have so
much potential for the future. We'll be celebrating that for the
next 14 months."

A century of struggle

The founding date of Sinn Féin is generally accepted as 28 November
1905. On that date, the first annual convention of the National
Council was held in the Rotunda, Dublin. Edward Martyn was
President of the Council and Arthur Griffith (author of The
Resurrection of Hungary, 1904) outlined the Sinn Féin Program,
subsequently published as The Sinn Féin Policy.

Pre-1916 Sinn Féin was Griffithite and dual-monarchist, but as an
umbrella group it included republicans. Griffith wanted to frame a
policy that would be more principled than Home Rule parliamentary
policy. It urged the withdrawal of Irish MPs from Westminster,
stressed economic self-reliance and protectionism and the
development of Irish industry and education, but fell short of the
full demand for Irish independence. 1916 changed all that and Sinn
Féin became a republican organization.

From 1917, the establishment of the Republic was Sinn Féin's aim
and in 1918 this was endorsed by the vast majority of the
electorate of Ireland, and Dáil Éireann was established.

The British Government's response was war and a political plot to
partition Ireland. Under the leadership of Sinn Féin the Irish
people were united during the Black and Tan War and Ireland's
demand for independence was recognized throughout the world. But
that leadership was divided when a section of it supported the
Treaty of 1921. Partition, Civil War and destruction followed.

The supporters of the Free State left Sinn Féin in 1922 to form
Cumann na nGael. In 1926, de Valera left to form Fianna Fáil. Sinn
Féin stood firm for the Republic from then until the 1950s.

In the 1950s the republican party was back in public consciousness
when it elected TDs and MPs on both sides of the Border. Sinn Féin
was involved in forming the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s
and another split came in 1969. But the party continued, standing
alongside the nationalist people of the Six Counties who were under
vicious repression from British forces.

A strong party developed in the Six Counties from 1981 onwards and
the Sinn Féin vote climbed higher. The ten republican Hunger
Strikers who died in that year instigated a new era. But much more
struggle and sacrifice was to come.

As part of the development of the party, the policy of abstention
from Leinster House was ended in 1986. In 1992, the document
Towards a Lasting Peace in Ireland was published and the Peace
Process commenced.

Sinn Féin is central to that process, advancing the demand for
Irish re-unification and national democracy.

It is the only All-Ireland party and has five TDs in Leinster
House, four abstentionist Westminster MPs, 24 Members of the
Assembly in the Six Counties, two MEPs, and 232 seats on local
councils throughout Ireland.

With a century of struggle behind it, Sinn Féin is today the
fastest growing political movement in Ireland, with the youngest
and most active membership and with support among the Irish
Diaspora unmatched by any other political party.


Sinn Finn Head To Come To Area

By Sulaiman Beg
The Journal News
(Original publication: October 18, 2004)

Those looking for a firsthand account of the Northern Ireland peace
process can get an update from one of the key players next month
when Gerry Adams speaks in Montvale, N.J.

Adams, president of the Sinn Fein political party, which is allied
with the Irish Republican Army, will speak at The Porter House
restaurant and bar on Nov. 3.

George Leahy, president of the Rockland County Ancient Order of
Hibernians, the group organizing Adams' visit, said it was
important that many of Rockland's estimated 48,000 Irish and Irish-
American residents see and hear Adams speak.

"He's always been an individual for the common person," said Leahy
of West Nyack. "He came up the hard way. This is a world leader. He
struggled his whole life to bring peace to Northern Ireland."

Adams was held in a British prison in 1971 along with thousands of
others suspected of, but never charged with, terrorist crimes. He
was jailed again in 1978 on charges of membership in the
Provisional Irish Republican Army but was released because of a
lack of evidence.

Adams is no stranger to Rockland. He spoke at Irish-American
Cultural Center on Convent Road in Blauvelt two years ago and
marched in the 1995 St. Patrick's Day parade in Pearl River, on one
of his first trips to the United States.

Sinn Fein supports an end to British rule in Northern Ireland and
the reunification of the province with the Irish Republic. Conflict
between supporters and opponents of British rule, who line up
largely along religious lines separating Protestants and Catholics,
has claimed more than 3,000 lives during the past three decades.

Pat Hogan, president of the AOH's Division 3, said many Irish and
Irish-Americans pay as close attention to Ireland's politics as
they do the United States'.

"It's important to hear what he says," said the Pearl River man who
was born and raised in County Offaly. "It's hard to get news about
the Good Friday Agreement. You can't get it from the news media
here. But he's the main negotiator."

Hogan said Adams was stopping by the area because he was going to
be at a Friends of Sinn Finn dinner the next day in Manhattan.

"Gerry Adams made a personal commitment," said Orangetown
Councilman Denis Troy, a member of AOH Division 3. "He is very
persistent in trying to achieve the overall goals in Northern
Ireland and human rights for the minorities in Northern Ireland. He
has made significant efforts to bring the nationalist, loyalist and
union parties together and accept the reality that the only
practical solution is co-existence in a government that represents
all the people."

Troy said the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which calls for power-
sharing between supporters and opponents of British rule, was a
"major step forward." But, Ian Paisley, the 78-year-old evangelist
whose Democratic Unionist Party represents most of Northern
Ireland's British Protestant majority, "refuses to sit down at the
table," disrupting peace talks.

"Through the last 30 years, he has been a supporter of violence
against the nationalist parties," he said, adding that in the past
couple of weeks Paisley has met with the Irish government. "That's
a big step for him."

Paisley has blamed the IRA for the Good Friday agreement stalemate,
saying the group has not lived up to the deal, including the IRA's
refusal to disarm.

Send e-mail to Sulaiman Beg

If you go -

Who: Gerry Adams.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
Where: The Porter House, 125 Kinderkamack Road, Montvale, N.J.
Tickets are $50. For more information, call Pat Hogan at 845-735-
7724 or George Leahy at 845-353-2161.

--- News

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