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October 21, 2004

News 10/21/04 - Adams: The Waiting Game

News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 10/21/04 The Waiting Game - By Gerry Adams MP
BB 10/21/04 Finucane Family 'Inquiry Concerns'
SF 10/21/04 Taoiseach Must Tell British To End Finucane Stalling
BB 10/21/04 DUP Have 'Mountain To Climb'
BB 10/21/04 Deals And Delays - The NI Way
SF 10/21/04 Sinn Féin Member Told Of Death Threat
PI 10/21/04 SF - Constituency Recommendations To Be Rejected
BT 10/21/04 SF 'Seeking To Destroy Our Granite Industry'
SF 10/21/04 Unionism Needs To Grasp Reality Of Process Of Change
IO 10/21/04 Community Seeks To Address Belfast Suicide Rate
BT 10/21/04 Irish Language Station To Reach 90% Of Houses
HM 10/21/04 Jefferson County, WVA: Irish Music And Dance
CC 10/21/04 Come And Take Them: River May Hold 1835-Era Cannon
BC 10/21/04 Free State Art: Judging Ireland By Its Book Covers
BB 10/21/04 On This Day - 1982: Sinn Fein Triumph In Elections –V


The Waiting Game - By Gerry Adams MP

Published: 21 October, 2004

This week saw a little flurry of media speculation around the
talk's process. This attention was sparked by remarks from both the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, and the British
Secretary of State Paul Murphy. They separately indicated some
optimism that the process could see a breakthrough in the short

I have to say that such remarks always irritate me and I always
wonder why they are made. Perhaps it's no more than the compulsion
of politicians to be positive. Perhaps it is a political instinct
to have fingerprints on a process just in case there is a
breakthrough. Whatever the reason when you hear such off the cuff
comments from either of the two governments, take it with a pinch
of salt.

Of course, a breakthrough is possible. That's what we're working
for and it will happen but better to wait until it is actually
achieved before flagging it up. The British Secretary of State also
disclosed that there were ongoing intensive discussions. There's no
great deal about that, I suppose. We have all the time been engaged
with the two governments in an effort to see the outstanding issues
resolved. But no matter how much they may pretend or present
themselves to the contrary, not all the parties are involved in
this process. That's not Sinn Fein's doing or our wish, but I'm
sure they are irked to hear public confirmation of such a process
because it reduces them to the role of spectators and that can't be

So what is happening?

I won't commit the sin I have accused the governments of, but by
following the logic of their utterances over the last number of
months it is possible to form certain conclusions. For example, in
June there were all-party discussions hosted by both governments in
Lancaster House in London. These, despite Sinn Fein protests were
brought to a halt because of the advent of theorange marching
season and because senior DUP representatives had to go to Harvard.
Obviously on business much more important than the effort to get a
breakthrough back home.

In their absence the big task for the rest of us was to try to get
a peaceful summer. We succeeded. Only just.

The next summit was at Leeds Castle. There the two governments told
the world that they were satisfied that the IRA was going to make
an unprecedented contribution to the process. The DUP appeared to
hit a wobble. It was obvious to everyone that the IRA would only
move in the context of a comprehensive agreement. As I said at the
time the IRA was unlikely to move for less than the Good Friday

So where stood the DUP? For their part they have been sending
positive signals. They said they were for power sharing. Ian
Paisley visited Dublin to meet with the Taoiseach as part of a
publicly stated desire to build good neighbourliness. All this was
positive and welcome but a month after the Leeds Talks the process
is no further on. If the governments are satisfied with what they
have proclaimed the IRA is going to do then who are they waiting
on? Obviously the DUP. And if Ministers Ahern and Murphy have said
there is going to be a breakthrough then clearly the logic of their
position is that this must be coming from the DUP. I see no
evidence of that, though it is possible.

As I understand it the DUP are seeking changes in the Agreement
which would alter its fundamentals. Regular Irish Voice readers may
know the governments have ruled this out, and I hope they are
serious about this. But I have concerns, not least because both
governments have tampered with the Agreement already. The
suspension of the institutions is one example of this. The power
which a British Minister now has, contrary to the Agreement, to
take action against Irish political parties is another example.

The DUP are also making their own particular demands of the IRA at
a time when their newly proclaimed conversion to power sharing has
yet to move beyond the rhetoric. In fact in every local government
council where the DUP has majority power in the north of Ireland
they refuse to share power.

There is also the issue of policing. The DUP is a devolutionist
party and obviously it would like to see the powers of policing and
justice transferred from London toBelfast, but thus far it has
resisted efforts to do this. Why?

So, from all of the above there is still a mountain to climb for
Ian Paisleys party. I hope the two Ministers are right. Sinn Fein
is leaving no stone unturned in our effort to bring about a
breakthrough. The big question arising from the Ministers remarks
is what do they do if there is not a breakthrough?

How long must we wait for the DUP to come into the real world?



Finucane Family 'Inquiry Concerns'

The wife and family of the murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane
are to hold talks with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

They are to discuss the proposed inquiry into Mr Finucane's killing
with Mr Ahern in Dublin on Thursday.

The family will also raise their concerns about establishing the
inquiry under new legislation.

Mr Finucane, 39, was shot dead in front of his family at his north
Belfast home by the loyalist Ulster Defence Association in 1989.

Last month, the British Government announced an inquiry into the
murder and insisted it would not be a cover-up.

Mr Finucane's killing was one of the most controversial of the 30
years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly because of the
allegations of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and
members of the security forces.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy said the inquiry into the
murder would not be a "government in-house investigation", but
would be "entirely independent".

He said a tribunal would be tasked with uncovering the full facts
of what happened, with all the powers and resources for that job.

National security

However, he said because of national security requirements, new
legislation would have to be introduced before the inquiry began.

The secretary of state also said retired Canadian Judge Peter
Cory's report into collusion allegations had recommended the
inquiry should be held in public "to the extent possible".

At the time, Mr Finucane's widow Geraldine said her family was not
optimistic the tribunal would find out what happened nor would be
carried out in the open.

Mr Finucane's son Michael said he had "serious concerns" about what
the government was recommending.

Judge Cory was appointed by the British and Irish Governments to
examine allegations of collusion surrounding the Finucane and other
controversial killings.

He recommended a public inquiry into Mr Finucane's death.

Loyalist Ken Barrett, 41, was sentenced last month at Belfast Crown
Court to life for Mr Finucane's murder, after admitting his part in
the killing.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/21 06:09:19 GMT


Taoiseach Must Tell British To End Finucane Stalling

Published: 21 October, 2004

Commenting on the meeting today between the Finucane family and the
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice
issues Gerry Kelly said that it was vital that the Irish government
'make it clear to the British government that the years of cover up
and concealment had to end'.

Mr Kelly said; " Since the murder of Pat Finucane successive
British governments have failed to allow the sort of independent
inquiry which is acknowledged as the only mechanism which can
reveal the truth to proceed. In short they have continued to cover-
up and conceal their role in the state sponsored murder of

" The approach of the British government to the Finucane case in
recent weeks has served to reinforce fears that this British policy
of concealment is set to continue. It is vital that following
today's meeting in Dublin with the Finucane family that the
Taoiseach makes it clear to the British government that the years
of cover-up and concealment must end." ENDS


DUP Have 'Mountain To Climb'

The Sinn Fein President has accused the DUP of making demands on
the IRA when its own power-sharing credentials were "unproven".

Gerry Adams said the governments were satisfied the IRA was going
to make an "unprecedented contribution" to the process in the
context of a comprehensive agreement.

But, he said, Ian Paisley's party still had a "mountain to climb"
if there was to be a resolution.

Writing in the Irish Voice newspaper on Thursday, Mr Adams said the
DUP was demanding fundamental changes to the Agreement which were

The institutions in Northern Ireland were suspended two years ago
amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering at the Northern
Ireland Office.

Mr Adams said a deal was possible as efforts to restore devolution
continue, but he insisted the DUP would have to move.

He cited policing and justice as particular sticking points and
warned that optimistic statements from the two governments should
be taken with a "pinch of salt".

Meanwhile, a delegation of Ulster Unionists is to meet the Irish
foreign minister in Dublin later on Thursday.

Sir Reg Empey and Michael McGimpsey are leading the delegation
which to meet Dermot Ahern and are expected to discuss the current
political process and ongoing negotiations.

Outstanding difficulties

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy said the British and Irish
Governments still faced some "very difficult" issues in bridging
the gap between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Speaking on Wednesday after meeting Mr Ahern in Dublin, Mr Murphy
said both governments were determined to continue their efforts.

He said he hoped the outstanding difficulties could be resolved
within weeks rather than months.

Earlier this week, Mr Ahern said he hoped for an improvement in the
political situation but could not guarantee it.

Sticking points

The sticking points have included the method of electing a first
and deputy first minister, a date when the assembly can control
policing, and whether or not 30 assembly members can challenge
ministerial decisions.

At the conclusion of intensive political talks at Leeds Castle in
Kent last month, Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern said
the thorny issues of IRA disarmament and future paramilitary
activity appeared to be resolved.

However, the two governments were unable to get the Northern
Ireland Assembly parties to sign up to a deal over power-sharing
after unionists and nationalists clashed over future devolved

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/21 12:27:12 GMT


Deals And Delays - The NI Way

By Brian Rowan
BBC Northern Ireland security editor

On this day a year ago, General John de Chastelain was in the
company of the IRA.

It was to have been another of those days in the peace process.

The IRA would say and do something, as would the governments and,
on the basis of all of that, David Trimble and the Ulster Unionist
Party would go back into the power-sharing government with Sinn

It was 21 October 2003 - the day on which de Chastelain and his
American colleague Andrew Sens last witnessed the IRA put "arms
beyond use".

But the two men from the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning (IICD) were restricted in what they could say
because of a confidentiality agreement with the IRA.

A sequence, leading to the restoration of devolution, had been
carefully choreographed but things got out of step.

We had guns (decommissioned by the IRA) but still no government.

Trimble said he had not heard enough from de Chastelain and Sens,
so he put the deal on hold.

But, in elections since, the DUP took the lead role within unionism
and became the main player on that side in the business of deal-
making - not any old deal this time, but, if it works, something
that could be viewed as the deal of all deals.

Why? Because of who and what it will involve. The plans are:

:: to remove the IRA and its guns from the stage;

:: to bring about a power-sharing government involving the DUP and
Sinn Fein;

:: to scale down the Army's presence in Northern Ireland to that of
a peace-time garrison;

:: to transfer policing and justice powers into the hands of local
politicians and,

:: to win republican support for the new police service and
structures in Northern Ireland.

The process is not there yet, but there is a belief that it will
get there.

The question is whether it can be done before the next Westminster
election or whether it will have to wait until afterwards.

No-one is talking out loud on this, but, in the background, there
is now a whisper that the out-working of any new deal may come
later rather than sooner.

Some of the biggest issues are unresolved and according to one
source: "The last few days have helped clarify the problems, and
clarify just how difficult it is going to be to resolve them."

This is not to say that the political towel has been thrown in.

Another source spoke to me of "considerable progress" being made
since the Leeds Castle talks - this in terms of clarifying and
having "more certainty" about the IRA position.

There was still "more work to be done" but the process had not
reached an "insurmountable obstacle".

"Movement on one area could bring generosity on another," the
source said.

So a deal in weeks rather than months is still what is being worked
on, but this long, long negotiation is running out of time.

Some weeks ago in those talks at Leeds Castle, the British and
Irish Governments were given an outline of the likely IRA
contribution in the context of a "comprehensive" deal being

It was a spoken assessment, given by Gerry Adams and Martin
McGuinness - two men in positions to know how the IRA leadership,
its Army Council, thinks and acts.

The governments seemed satisfied that something big - bigger than
anything before - was now on offer, but writing in the New York-
based Irish Voice newspaper this week, Adams poses this question:

"If the governments are satisfied with what they have proclaimed
the IRA is going to do, then who are they waiting on?"

Adams then answers his question that it is "obviously the DUP".

He continues: "If ministers (Dermot) Ahern and (Paul) Murphy have
said there is going to be a breakthrough, then clearly the logic of
their position is that this must be coming from the DUP.

"I see no evidence of that, though it is possible."

Adams wrote this article after his party held intensive talks with
British and Irish officials on Monday and Tuesday of this week -
talks which involved the prime minister's chief of staff Jonathan
Powell and Michael Collins from the Taoiseach's office.

The DUP is also in constant contact with officials of both

The governments have said the contacts will continue, but we don't
know for how much longer and we don't know if there is enough time
left to piece together this deal before the next Westminster

This time it will take several months for any agreed sequence to
play out.

As the talking continues, the Independent Monitoring Commission
(IMC) - a kind of ceasefire watchdog - is preparing to make its
second report on continuing paramilitary activity.

The four commissioners will meet in Belfast on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday before passing their findings to the British and Irish

According to one source, it will show a "gentle diminution" in IRA
activity since the IMC last reported in April.


But the most important report from the Commission will be the one
that follows any new deal, because it will be that document that
will be scrutinised for confirmation that all IRA activities have

The IMC's second report - the one going to the governments this
weekend - may be used by some politicians to ask questions of the
IRA and about its future intentions, but it will not be a deal

Just a few days ago, there was a lot of speculation that a deal was
imminent and, as the intensive contacts continued, we were told
this could be "a week to watch".

So far, the week and the talking has confirmed the problems that
still exist and that still stand in the way of that deal of all
deals being done.

The negotiators have not yet had their last roll of the dice, but
they know, that in terms of trying to find a winning combination,
time is running out.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/21 08:01:27 GMT


Sinn Féin Member Told Of Death Threat

Published: 21 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has said that
he is very concerned after a party member in Portadown was visited
by the PSNI and informed that an attempt was to be made by on his

Mr O'Dowd said: "This man is a member of Sinn Féin in Portadown. He
was visited at his home by the PSNI and informed that an operation
was underway by a group who they refused to name to procure weapons
and use them to kill him.

"The information given to the man by the PSNI was incomplete and
has left many unanswered questions. Given the situation within
loyalism we can only presume that this death threat and murder plot
is emanating from one of the unionist paramilitary gangs.

" Over the past number of months there has been a fairly sustained
unionist campaign against Sinn Féin members, particularly in areas
like North Antrim. This information is suggesting that this
campaign is now going to focus on republicans in other areas. I
would urge republicans to remain vigilant in the face of these
threats." ENDS


SF TD Calls For Constituency Commission Recommendations To Be

Thursday, October 21

Speaking during an Adjournment Debate in the Dáil last night Sinn
Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government, Arthur
Morgan TD called on the Government to reject the latest
Constituency Commission report saying if implemented it would
dilute "the proportionality of our electoral system". The County
Louth TD said the proliferation of three seat constituencies was a
"subtle form of tullymandering" which would result in the loss of
the respect of the electorate.

Deputy Morgan said, "The recommendations in the constituency
commissions report take this State further down the road of
diluting the proportionality of our electoral system. This is most
starkly illustrated by the decision to divide County Leitrim
between the two proposed new constituencies of Sligo/North Leitrim
and Roscommon/South Leitrim, but it is part of a much more
fundamental problem.

"For the third consecutive commission, the number of five-seat
constituencies, has been cut, while the number of three-seat
constituencies grows steadily.

"Do the people of Finglas in 3 seat Dublin North-West have the same
opportunity for putting their chosen party or representative into
Leinster House as the people in leafy Dundrum in 5 seat Dublin
South? Is it merely a coincidence that there is a proliferation of
3 seat constituencies north of the Liffey whereas larger
constituencies are more common south of the Liffey? Will the people
of Leitrim have any chance of ever electing another representative
from the county to the Dáil? Is the legislation restricting
constituency size to three, four and five seaters a deliberate
attempt by the establishment to keep the marginalised marginalised?
Perhaps this would be best described as a more subtle form of
tullymandering which is being implemented over a longer time-frame.

"Though I expect the Government to dismiss concerns being raised by
referring to the independent nature of the commissions this is not
good enough. The essential problem is that the commission is
constrained by legislative act to have constituency sizes between
three and five seats.

"The proportionality possible under the PRSTV system in place in
this state has been diluted substantially through the selective
redrawing of constituency boundaries and the reduction in
constituency size in terms of members elected from nine and seven
seat constituencies of the 1920's when the system was instigated to
today's five, four and three seaters.

"Proportional Representation with a Single Transferable Vote
(PRSTV) using multi seat constituencies is a unique system and
practiced hardly at all outside of Ireland. It was not designed
with the intention of applying it to three seat constituencies. The
number of members returned per constituency is a crucial component
of the Irish electoral system. The higher the number of members
returned per constituency the greater the proportionality of the
system "I am asking the Minister to amend Section 6(2)(b) of the
Electoral Act of 1997 to allow for the formation of six and seven
seat constituencies. This would restore the positive attributes of
the PRSTV system, in terms of local accountable representatives and
voters being able to make inter and intra party choices. I would
ask him, as a member elected in a five-seat constituency, if he
accepts that the larger constituency size adds the quality of extra
proportionality to the electoral system as a whole?

"Specifically I would ask the Minister considering the importance
of maintaining the integrity of county boundaries to reconvene the
Constituency Commission, after introducing the aforementioned
legislative changes, to consider the possibility of establishing
one six seat constituency comprising the three counties of Sligo,
Leitrim and Roscommon. The Government needs to recognise that we
risk losing the respect of the people in places such as Leitrim for
the electoral system when it is seen to be unfairly applied in way
which prevents them from electing their chosen representative to


SF 'Seeking To Destroy Our Granite Industry'

Mourne firm in quarry lease row

21 October 2004

A Kilkeel company has accused Sinn Fein of attempting to signal the
death knell for the Mourne granite industry.

S McConnell and Sons are dismayed that Sinn Fein is objecting to
the firm's application for an extension of their lease at the
Thomas' Mountain quarry above Newcastle.

The lease, held by the well-known Kilkeel stonemasons, ran out this
year, prompting Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke to call for the
restoration of the site to complement Down District Council's
planned Granite Trail at the Bogie Hill.

Last week, Mr Clarke met with representatives of the National Trust
at their Saintfield headquarters to discuss the future of the
quarry, and voiced his opposition to the renewal of McConnells'

He said: "At the meeting it was explained that McConnells had
applied for an extension of the lease as they have yet to extract
their full quota of granite under the terms of the original

"This application is now being considered by the Planning Office,
whose decision will have a major bearing on whether or not the
National Trust will extend their leasing agreement.

"Sinn Fein is fundamentally opposed to any extension of the
quarrying licence for the site on Thomas' Mountain as it would
prevent the restoration of the site.

"With work on the Granite Trial along the Bogie Line due to start
soon, there is a unique opportunity to develop mountain walks that
are inter-linked and are sympathetic with the natural

However, S McConnell and Sons have accused Sinn Fein of hypocrisy.

Managing director Norman McKibben described the party's stance as
"farcical in the extreme".

"We find it strange firstly that a party that is proud of its
socialist principles and claims to support ordinary working class
people wants to put working men out of a job, and secondly that
they are willing to promote the history and heritage of an industry
they are at the same time attempting to shut down.

"This comes at a time when countries in the rest of the world,
including China and Portugal, are promoting their stone industries.

"We are facing strong competition from government-backed companies,
yet here we seem to want to close the industry down."

Mr McKibben continued: "Instead of sounding the death knell for the
Mourne granite industry, would it not be better to allow people to
visit a real working quarry and see how the stone is quarried?

"We are very aware of conservation and this is not an intensive
quarrying operation. We are attempting to conserve a traditional
cottage industry."


Unionism Still Needs To Grasp Reality Of Process Of Change

Published: 21 October, 2004

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said that it was
ironic that the UUP should this afternoon be in Dublin meeting with
the Irish government exactly one year on from the day that they
lost their nerve and pulled out of a deal which would have seen the
political institutions restored.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Exactly one year ago today David Trimble reneged at the very last
minute on a deal and a sequence which would have seen the political
institutions restored.

"It is ironic that one year on the UUP, now in the position of the
minority unionist party, are in Dublin meeting with the Irish
government presumably with the intention of seeing a deal agreed
allowing the same political institutions to be re-established.

"Both unionist parties have in recent weeks been engaged in
dialogue with the Irish government and we obviously welcome this.
However both parties still need to come to terms with and grasp the
process of change which is required and which the Good Friday
Agreement demands." ENDS


Community Workers Seek Measures To Address Belfast Suicide Rate
2004-10-20 07:40:03+01

Community workers in the North have called for urgent action to
address the rising suicide rate in Belfast.

The call follows the third suicide in the west of the city in the
space of a week.

The latest victim was the brother of Sinn Féin assemblyman Fra
McCann, who just last week had called for more action from the
British government to tackle the high suicide rate.

Thirteen people also took their own lives in north and west Belfast
in January and February of this year, including one young man who
hung himself from Holy Cross chapel in Ardoyne just hours after the
funeral of a friend who had also killed himself.

Community workers in the area say voluntary groups working with
young people at risk are not receiving enough support from the

The most recent figures available put the suicide rate in the North
at 26 per 100,000 of population, compared with a British figure of
15 per 100,000.


Irish Language Station To Reach 90% Of Houses

21 October 2004

Irish language TV station TG4 will be capable of being beamed into
nine out of ten Ulster households next Spring, North Antrim Sinn
Fein Assemblyman Philip McGuigan has said.

Welcoming the move he said the development was confirmed in writing
by minister Angela Smith.

Mr McGuigan said: "While I welcome the announcement that coverage
of TG4 is to be extended to 90% 'in the very near future' its
implementation is long overdue."

The plan to broadcast TG4 from transmitters inside Northern Ireland
goes back to the Belfast Agreement, which called on the British
Government to work to explore the scope for achieving more
widespread availability of Teilifis na Gaeilige in Northern

Mr McGuigan said: "In the six years since the Agreement was signed
coverage of TG4 has only risen from 30% to 54% of the households in
the six counties. 90% of households should be receiving TG4 in the
Spring of next year."

But he added: "If BBC can be accessed by 100% of people in the six
counties, then so should TG4.

"It is also imperative that the poor quality RTÉ that some citizens
receive in the North, particularly in parts of north Antrim, is

"There is a particular onus on the Irish government to ensure Irish
citizens in all 32 counties of this island receive their national
TV station."



Thursday October 21, 2004

Irish Music And Dance


HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - The sounds of the Emerald Isle will color
Jefferson County, W.Va., green this weekend.

And that's no blarney.

Upper Potomac Irish Weekend workshops, concerts and jam sessions in
Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown, W.Va., will showcase Irish music
and dance from Friday, Oct. 22, through Sunday, Oct. 24, director
Joanie Blanton said.

"It's going to be a blast. You can't help but have a good time
around Irish music," she said. "People love Irish music. It stirs
their passions. It's very danceable. It's a very visual tradition.
It's one that captures a lot of people's imaginations."

Irish musicians and dancers will lead workshops and participate in
jam sessions at the Hilltop House Hotel in Harpers Ferry on Friday
through Sunday. On Saturday, the six guest music instructors -
including fiddler Brian Conway, pianist and flute player Brendan
Dolan, vocalist Julee Glaub, accordion player Patty Furlong, piper
Eliot Grasso and flute and whistle player John Skelton - will unite
on stage at Shepherd University's Frank Center for the Performing
Arts in Shepherdstown for the festival's showcase concert. Jam
sessions after the concert in the hotel's pub might run into the
wee hours, Blanton said.

She said she chose an Irish theme for the first-ever Celtic weekend
because the many networks within the tight-knit Irish music and
dance community could help spread the word about the event. On a
personal note, Blanton saw the Irish festival as a way to celebrate
her 50th birthday year with a Celtic bang.

"It's sort of my change of life festival," she said. "Irish music
is one of my absolute favorites."

New Yorker Brian Conway, 43, would say the same.

The award-winning Sligo-style fiddler said he's been playing Irish
music since age 10, when his Irish parents encouraged him to take
up the fiddle. Named after a county on Ireland's west coast that
produced renowned fiddler Michael Coleman and a number of other
fiddle players at the turn of the recent century, Sligo is "a
driving style," Conway said. "It's lively. It's got a lot of lift
in it. It's sophisticated."

"It's my favorite kind of Irish music," he said.

Conway, who works full-time as an assistant district attorney in
Westchester County, N.Y., has entertained audiences throughout
North America with traditional Irish music infused with his modern-
day talent and imagination. He counts the tunes "Bonnie Kate" and
"Jenny's Chickens" among his favorites, he said.

The Irish American newspaper, Irish Echo, named Conway's "First
Through the Gate" the 2002 CD of the Year.


Come And Take Them: River May Hold 1835-Era Cannon

Expedition to recover pieces from Texas Revolution

By Mike Baird Caller-Times
October 21, 2004

Historians, environmentalists, university scientists and state
archaeologists will examine a 300-yard stretch of the Nueces River
on Tuesday in search of two 169-year-old cannons believed dumped
there during the Texas Revolution following a raid on Fort
Lipantitlan in November 1835.

The fort, three miles west of Old San Patricio was occupied by
about 60 Mexican soldiers, and Ira Westover, second in command at
Goliad shortly after Texans took over that city, led the raid.

Historians are convinced the 5-foot cannons seized by Westover's
troops remain at the river bottom. They were placed there to keep
Mexican soldiers from capturing them during the border conflict.

"If these cannons are recovered that would be a big deal in Texas
history," said Claude V. D'Unger, environmental scientist. He was
involved with a group that researched and recovered artifacts at
the site of Fort Lipantitlan years ago. But at the time the team
didn't have access to a magnetometer, a scanning device that
identifies non-ferrous metal.

Now, Steve Hoyt, marine archaeologist with the Texas Historical
Commission, has agreed to bring two boats, a five-foot
magnetometer, probes and diving equipment to scour waters
identified by aerial photography as the most likely cannon resting

The equipment will be used in part to survey about 140 feet of
riverbank areas and could uncover other artifacts left by settlers
during the revolution, historians said.

"We believe one of the cannons is Mexican," said Bill Havelka, 70,
retired farmer and a member of the Nueces County Historical
Commission. "We're hoping it's not bronze or brass, so the scanning
equipment will pick it up."

He and Geraldine McGloin, 65, chairwoman of the commission, agree
that one of the cannons is iron. It belonged to her dead husband's
great-great-grandfather, James McGloin. He was a Mexican citizen
and impresario who held a contract with the Mexican government to
help bring Irish settlers to the region.

Written accounts tell historians there may also be muskets and
ammunition tossed into the river. "We're hoping to find a glob of
good stuff," Havelka said.

Charlie Spiekerman, biologist and consultant now in charge of the
San Patricio County Historical Commission, got the search for the
cannons rolling. He contacted the Texas Historical Commission in
Austin. "There was no talk about 'if'; it was just 'when' we would
search," Spiekerman said.

All parties met Oct. 8 at Old San Patricio to review aerial photos
taken by Jeff Janak, pilot and Sinton Airport manager.

They drove to the Fort Lipantitlan area, about three miles west of
Old San Patricio, and found the biggest problem was finding where
to launch a boat.

"The area where the cannons were dumped is very overgrown,"
Spiekerman said. The crew was able to identify a possible launch
location on private land. They talked with landowners, who agreed,
and interviewed local residents with fishing experience along that
stretch of the river to learn about obstacles, Spiekerman said.

Two 16-foot flat-bottom boats with 15-horsepower engines will be
launched about 8 a.m. Tuesday. The lead boat will tow the
magnetometer behind it in the water. It's about 30 pounds, five
feet long and a foot wide and will float atop the water.

If the search team locates the cannons in the riverbed, they will
be considered the property of the state, and the Texas Historical
Commission will obtain the necessary permits to recover them. The
location would be marked with buoys and archaeologist Hoyt would
use 10-foot-long probes to better identify them before diving to
take a look.

"If necessary, a small dredging system will be used to go through
sand and silt to get to them," Spiekerman said.

The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is one of few
Texas museums approved as an artifact repository, and it has a lab
to conserve the artifacts if any are found.

"We don't get to say what happens," McGloin said. "But we view them
as our cannons, so we're politicking."

An entire exhibit could be built around the artifacts and school
curriculum can be developed, McGloin said. "But we can't have an
exhibit without an artifact."

Contact Mike Baird at 886-3774 or


Free State Art: Judging Ireland By Its Book Covers

Virtual Exhibit: Summer 2004

The Irish Free State established by the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921)
following the War of Independence (1919-1921) pursued a project of
cultural nationalism which among other aims focused on reviving the
Irish language. The Cumann na nGaedheal government established An
Gúm, the publications branch of the Department of Education (later
Oifig an tSoláthair/the State Publishing Agency) in 1925-1926 to
supply textbooks and fiction in Irish for the educational and
recreation needs of the newly independent Ireland. An Gúm, to
fulfil its publishing mandate, cultivated both original authors and
translators. In addition to organizing literary competitions for
original novels, plays and short stories in Irish such as Mícheál Ó
Siochfhradha's collection of short stories Soineann's Doineann, it
commissioned translations of European and American authors, such as
Iain Áluinn, a 1931 translation of Neil Munro's novel of the
Scottish highlands John Splendid (1898). In addition to rendering
foreign authors in Irish, An Gúm also translated English language
texts by Irish authors such as Mícheál Ó Flainn's translation of
Dómhnaill Ó Corcordha/Daniel Corkery's The Threshold of Quiet in
1931 as Log an Chiúinis.

The aims of this display are to preserve these covers, to make them
available to a wider audience, and to celebrate the achievements of
An Gúm. The visual art of the Irish Free State has received much
critical attention and scholars have focused on topics as varied as
paintings, sculptures, coins, and stamps. Art critic Brian P.
Kennedy notes "The visual evidence of Ireland between 1922 and 1949
can tell us much about the Irish Free State and can enable us to
place ourselves more vividly and imaginatively in the history of
the period" (Brian P. Kennedy, "The Irish Free State 1922-49: A
Visual Perspective," Ireland: Art into History, Dublin, Town House,
1994). In an effort to expand our understanding of the Free State,
this virtual exhibition displays dust jackets that accompanied An
Gúm publications and reclaims this "lost" art.

This exhibit consists of An Gúm covers recently acquired by the
John J. Burns Library of Boston College as a gift from John W.
O'Gorman (Class of 1953). The O'Gorman gift includes the library of
the Goody Glover Gaelic Society library that promoted Irish
language and dancing in Boston in the 1950s and conducted classes
at a private house in Joy Street on Beacon Hill. The dust jackets
displayed here are from the Irish Collection of the Burns Library
and from private collections in the Boston area.

Prepared by Brian Ó Conchubhair. Acknowledgements: Philip O'Leary,
Mike Cronin, David Horn, Ed Copenhagen, Ross Shanley-Roberts,
Shelley Barber and Mark Esser.


See video at

On This Day - 1982: Sinn Fein Triumph In Elections -V

Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Provisional IRA, has won its
first seats in the elections to the new Ulster Assembly.

Gerry Adams, vice president of Sinn Fein, took the Belfast West
seat. It is the first time his party has stood for election since
the Troubles began.

Mr Adams, 34, made clear that being elected would not stop the
IRA's campaign of violence.

"The IRA have said that while the British army is in Ireland they
will be there fighting" he said.

As he emerged from City Hall in Belfast, where the votes were
counted, he was met by chants of 'murderer' and 'scum' from members
of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Former IRA 'brigade' commander Martin McGuinness was elected to a
seat in Londonderry.

The seats gained by Sinn Fein are at the expense of the Social
Democratic and Labour party (SDLP), traditionally a voice for Roman
Catholics in Ulster.

'Dead as a Dodo'

Referring to the creation of the Ulster Assembly the leader of the
SDLP John Hume said: "It's dead. It's dead as a dodo. There is no
possibility of cross-community partnership; there is no possibility
of devolution of power".

The elections were called to introduce a power sharing executive to
Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, said it
would be a while before the full implications of the results were

"We shall have to wait and see how it gets on. We are not going to
change the situation in Northern Ireland quickly and I think we
shall have to persevere. Every solution put forward in recent years
has had great difficulties" he said.

The date of the first meeting of the 78-seat Ulster Assembly is yet
to be announced.

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