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October 21, 2004

News 10/21/04 - Bogus MI5 Spy Tricked Victims Over A Decade

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 10/21/04 'Bogus Spy Tricked Victims In Decade Of Deceit'
IT 10/22/04 Fr. Troy: Church Apology Over Suicide Policy Sought
IO 10/21/04 Ahern 'Will Back Finucane's Decision On Inquiry'
IT 10/22/04 CS Spray Use Leads To PSNI Officer's Suspension
IT 10/22/04 PR Benefits Large Constituencies, Says Sinn Fein
SM 10/21/04 'Pressure On IRA To Disarm Dangerously Neglected'
BB 10/21/04 NI Commons Expenses Revealed –V
IT 10/21/04 Expenses Of £440,000 For Four SF MPs
IT 10/22/04 Kidnap Of Hassan To Delay UN –V
IT 10/22/04 Poetry, Theatre & Music Honour Kavanagh Year –V
IT 10/22/04 Roy Keane To Stand Trial –V
IT 10/22/04 Christy Moore 'Sad' At Welsh Ordeal

(Poster's Note: Many stories (such as the IT one below) emphasize
that Sinn Fein took over £100,000 each for expenses even though
they have never been able to take their seats in the UK Parliament
because of their refusal to swear allegiance to the Queen.

However, with a little analysis, a different story is told. To
start with, the average expenditure per MP was £118,437. So the
Sinn Fein MPs are, based on the BBC report, about average. Two of
the highest spenders are DUP MPs (though Dr Ian is the lowest –
more on that in a minute).

However, this analysis is based on the total numbers. The expenses
can be divided between travel expenses (Food, hotel & travel) and
office expense (constituency office and staff) based on the BBC
story. Obviously, the travel expenses have more of a personal
benefit and are more controllable by the MPs than office expenses.
Salaries & rents should be approximately equal for the MPs.

In the Travel category, Sinn Fein MPs are ranked in the lowest 33%
of 18 MPs in the BBC article. However, Gerry Adams had £20,000
more in staff costs than the average of the other 17. I can't tell
for sure but that might mean he has one more staff person than the

As regards to Dr Ian, he is the lowest overall, but like Adams it
appears that his staff's salaries are the cause. His salaries are
£20,000 less than the average. He probably had one fewer staff.
However, when you look at his travel related expenses they are
slightly greater than the average for all MPs and 30% more than the
average Sinn Fein expenses.

The fact the Sinn Fein has not been allowed to take their seats,
doesn't, in my opinion, reduce the cost of travel or maintaining
offices as required for a MP. So what's the big deal? Jay)


'Bogus Spy Tricked Victims In Decade Of Deceit'

A bogus MI5 spy effectively commandeered the lives of a string of
often frightened victims to pocket hundreds of thousands of pounds
during a "callous and mountainous" decade of deceit, a court heard

Robert Hendy-Freegard`s long-running "game of wickedness" revealed
a "control freak" who allegedly indulged in a string of lies to get
into either the beds or the bank accounts and sometimes both of
those he targeted.

His many promises of marriage, backed up with tales of IRA hit
squads, Polish gangsters and Russian mafia, meant a life of luxury
for him but hardship and deprivation for those tricked into doing
his bidding, London`s Blackfriars Crown Court was told.

Three were students, forced into an "astounding" life on the run
that lasted years and saw them not only sever contact with their
families but sleep in dilapidated "safe-houses", airport terminals
and cars.

For much of the time they had to endure "degrading rules", such as
never using the lavatory before him, eating and going out only when
allowed, and criss-crossing the country to keep non-existent
"rendezvous", said Godfrey Carey QC, prosecuting.

One of them, Maria Hendy, said to have been "in his thrall"
throughout the ten years, even gave birth to his two children.

The barrister maintained her "plight and penury were so dreadful
... she would have committed suicide had the opportunity presented

"She jettisoned a decade of her life and gained nothing," he told
the seven man, five woman jury trying what is expected to be a two-
month trial.

He said that yet another alleged victim, Elizabeth Richardson, was
also treated "monstrously" - made to survive on a "slice of mars
bar a day" bought with her £1 a week allowance, and forced to
forage for fresh water in public lavatories.

On one occasion, it was claimed, he even told her her father had
died from bowel cancer.

"You may think this was a wicked game and that he must be something
of a control freak," said counsel.

Hendy-Freegard, 33, of High Street, Blyth, Nottinghamshire, denies
an 18 count indictment featuring four allegations of kidnap, eight
of theft, five of obtaining a money transfer by deception and one
of making a threat to kill between 1993 and last year.


Church Apology Over Policy On Suicide Sought

Barry Roche

The Catholic Church should apologise and ask for forgiveness from
the families of suicide victims, according to a priest who has
worked closely with bereaved families.

Father Aidan Troy, from Ardoyne parish in north Belfast, said the
church had a huge role to play in helping to destigmatise suicide.

"We have to ask forgiveness for the hurt we caused families in the
past when we, for instance, stigmatised them by the way we acted
towards them. It's a bit like the abuse issue. Sometimes we get
things wrong and the only thing to do is to say we were wrong - and
we were wrong. Now, we were wrong for good reason because we didn't
want to glorify it this_is_a_left_sq_bracketsuicide] and we didn't
want to make out that this was a great option."

Father Troy said the church also had to listen to families bereaved
by suicide. "The only experts I have found over the last year are
the families bereaved by suicide, and let them tell us how they're
dealing with it, what they want us to do by way of prayer and
celebration of liturgy."

Father Troy was speaking during a recess at the publication of a
report on young people's mental health in Cork where he praised the
research underpinning the report and welcomed suggestions that
trying to prevent suicide should not be confined to school

Father Troy pointed out that, while north and west Belfast had been
hit by a particularly bad spate of 13 suicides of young men and
women between Christmas Eve 2003 and February 14th, 2004, the
problem was continuing.

© The Irish Times


Ahern 'Will Back Finucane's Decision On Inquiry'
2004-10-21 17:12:02+01

The Taoiseach today pledged to support the family of murdered
solicitor Pat Finucane, should they not back a limited inquiry into
his killing, it was claimed today.

Mr Finucane's widow and her two sons told Bertie Ahern this
afternoon that they would not co-operate with anything other than a
full public inquiry.

The British government is due to publish proposals next month on an
inquiry into the 1989 murder - as recommended by Canadian judge
Peter Cory.

But Northern Secretary Paul Murphy has already said that parts of
the inquiry may be held in private to protect matters of British
national security.

If this happens, Michael Finucane warned his family would withdraw
and that "the Irish Government has said it will support that
position if and when it arises".

Speaking after an hour-long meeting with the Taoiseach at
Government Buildings, Mr Finucane said that the Taoiseach believes
"a proper government inquiry is the only mechanism that will
address the killing".

The dead solicitor's son added that he believed the views of the
Government had been "conveyed forcefully" to the British government
on the matter.

The Finucane family will also be meeting British Prime Minister
Tony Blair on November 2 to discuss the inquiry.

Mr Finucane said it was clear that his father's killing went to the
very heart of the British establishment.

He said: "The Army are involved, the police are involved, MI5 are

"The British establishment is very keen to keep it secret and
suppressed and this is why new legislation is being brought in."


CS Spray Use Leads To Suspension

Gerry Moriarty Northern Editor

The PSNI in Derry has suspended an officer after CS spray was
recently used during two disturbances in the city. The PSNI and the
Police Ombudsman, Mrs Nuala O'Loan, are separately investigating
the incidents.

The spray was used twice by police officers to quell trouble
involving youths in Derry on Saturday. It was employed when a man
was attacked in a car park near Victoria Street and later when
fighting broke out among youths at Waterloo Place.

Police are permitted to use CS spray in certain situations,
although all uses of the spray are investigated by the Police
Ombudsman. It is unusual that a police officer would be suspended
pending the Ombudsman's inquiry. The PSNI would not disclose the
circumstances behind its own internal inquiry nor explain why the
officer was suspended.

CS spray was used eight times in Derry since its introduction in
the summer, but only 11 times in the rest of Northern Ireland,
leading to complaints of over-use in Derry.

Local SDLP Assembly member Mr Pat Ramsey, who led a party
delegation to the city's Strand Road police station to discuss
concerns about the use of CS spray, said the police commander had
promised to review its use.

"Clearly, as a result of our meeting, they made it clear they would
examine existing levels and why there is more use in Derry as a
region than in Belfast," he said. The suspension of the officer was
strong evidence that the new policing arrangements were working, he

Derry Sinn Féin councillor Mr Paul Fleming said CS spray must be
withdrawn and claimed the SDLP had acquiesced to its use.

"We have seen in most occasions where it has been used in Derry
that it has been misused and that the side effects are quite

"The people of Derry have no confidence in the PSNI investigating
themselves in private or that the Policing Board can hold them to

© The Irish Times


Loyalist's Taxi Firm To Reopen

A taxi firm owned by a prominent Belfast loyalist, which closed
after a number of its drivers were reportedly threatened by the
Ulster Defence Association, is to reopen.

Call-a-Cab, which employs 60 drivers and 15 staff, is owned by
former Progressive Unionist Party member Jackie Mahood.

Both of its offices were closed on Thursday, but the dispute was
resolved following background talks.

A source told the BBC that there was no threat to drivers and the
firm would be back in business on Friday.

Mr Mahood, who has survived several loyalist murder bids, refused
to be interviewed.

Bomb attack

A PSNI spokeswoman said the police were aware of an alleged
incident and were investigating the matter.

The Progressive Unionist Party is closely linked to the other main
loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, the Ulster
Volunteer Force.

In February 2001, Mr Mahood blamed the UVF for throwing a pipe bomb
into his north Belfast taxi depot.

He also claimed loyalist paramilitaries had tried to kill him
twice, because he walked away from the PUP during the all-party
talks at Stormont which led to the signing of the Good Friday

In July 2000, Mr Mahood was injured when shots were fired at his
car in north Belfast.

In November 1997, he was shot twice in the head and left for dead
in the upstairs offices of his taxi firm.

Mr Mahood's brother Bobby, 42, was shot dead along with another man
Jackie Coulter, who was a member of the UDA, as they sat in a car
in north Belfast in August 2000.

The killings were blamed on the UVF, which was then involved in a
feud with the UDA, that left seven men dead.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/21 14:55:16 GMT


PR Benefits Large Constituencies, Says Sinn Fein

Marie O'Halloran

Sinn Féin has called for the re-introduction of six and seven-
seat Dáil constituencies to prevent the "dilution" of proportional

Mr Arthur Morgan (SF, Louth) suggested that the current legislation
for three, four and five-seat constituencies "is a deliberate
attempt by the establishment to keep the marginalised,

The deputy asked if it was "merely a coincidence that there is a
proliferation of three-seat constituencies north of the Liffey,
whereas the larger constituencies are more common south of the
Liffey. "Do the people of Finglas in three-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 Dublin South, a five-seat constituency?"

He also asked "will the people of Leitrim have any chance of ever
electing another representative from the county to the Dáil".

He added that "we risk losing people's respect for the electoral
system in places such as Co Leitrim, when it is seen to be unfairly
applied in ways that prevent them from electing their chosen

Mr Morgan suggested that the current legislation and proposed
changes were a more subtle form of "Tullymandering", a reference to
the redrawing of constituencies in the 1970s by then minister for
local government, Mr Jim Tully, in an attempt to have the outgoing
Fine Gael/Labour coalition re-elected.

The Government this week accepted recommendations from the
independent Constituency Commission and will introduce legislation
to give them effect.

The Minister of State for Communications, Mr Pat "The Cope"
Gallagher, said that in accepting the commission's recommendations,
"the Government is saying that the non-partisan approach to
constituency revisions has served the country well and should
continue to be applied".

But Mr Morgan said the commission's report and recommendations
"take this State further down the road of diluting the
proportionality of our electoral system".

The number of five-seat constituencies had been cut and three-
seaters were growing steadily, the Louth TD said.

The report of the commission would inevitably "mirror the
submissions coming from Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael" and the essential
problem was that the commission was constrained by legislation to
have constituencies consisting of between three and five seats.

Mr Morgan said that the proportionality possible had been diluted
from the nine and seven-seater constituencies in the 1920s.

The proportional representation multi-seat constituency "is a
unique system that is not much practised outside of Ireland. It was
not designed with the intention of applying it to three-seat

It was important to maintain the integrity of county boundaries and
he criticised the plan to divide Co Leitrim into Sligo-North
Leitrim and Roscommon-South Leitrim.

He called for the legislation to be amended and the commission to
be reconvened to consider introducing a six-seat constituency
comprising Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon.

But Mr Gallagher, speaking for the Minister for Local Government,
said "the bottom line is that to meet the constitutional
requirement in regard to equality of representation, the commission
has to recommend constituencies that have average representation
close to the national average, even if at times this means
breaching county boundaries".

© The Irish Times


'Pressure On IRA To Disarm Dangerously Neglected'

By Alan Erwin, PA News

Pressure on the IRA to make the disarmament move that would revive
Northern Ireland's peace process has been dangerously neglected, a
senior Ulster Unionist warned tonight.

Michael McGimpsey accused Prime Minister Tony Blair and the rival
Democratic Unionists of blundering by shifting the focus on to
attempts to re-draft the Good Friday Agreement.

After talks with the new Irish Foreign Secretary, Dermot Ahern, Mr
McGimpsey urged London and Dublin to turn up the heat on the

He said: "Republicans have got away in the smoke with the side-show
of cosmetic changes to the agreement taking centre stage.

"This is weak leadership. The focus must return to what the IRA
must deliver in order to break the deadlock."

Mr Blair and Irish Premier Bertie Ahern are believed to have
secured an unprecedented commitment to begin dismantling the IRA's
war machine at last month's Leeds Castle summit in Kent.

That bid to end the two-year suspension of the Stormont power-
sharing administration and return devolution to Belfast broke down
over attempts by Ian Paisley's DUP to make major changes to how the
Executive and Assembly operate.

Both Sinn Fein and the nationalist SDLP resisted plans to make
Ministers more accountable to the 108-member parliament, branding
it an attempt to impose unionist majority rule.

Mr McGimpsey, who was joined in Dublin by party colleague Sir Reg
Empey, said the Irish Government agreed with their assessment that
the process could not continue to drift.

"We cannot have for much longer the shambles of 108 Assembly
Members elected to an Institution that does not function," the
South Belfast MLA said.

"The biggest problem remains with the IRA and their intentions.

"It is not clear that the two governments have tied down any
concrete commitments from Republicans on acts of completion, and
the Sinn Fein transition to exclusively peaceful and democratic
means is still a work in progress."

Mr McGimpsey's warning came amid rising confidence of an imminent
breakthrough in the process.

But the optimistic noises from both the British and Irish provoked
an irritated response from Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.

He said: "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."

The West Belfast MP said a successful outcome was still possible,
but shifted the onus onto Mr Paisley's party.

"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," he said in an article for the
Irish Voice newspaper in the United States.

"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 still a mountain to climb for Ian Paisley's party."


"The local MP claiming the lowest amount was Ian Paisley":

How MPs spend millions in expenses every year:

NI Commons Expenses Revealed -V

Northern Ireland's MPs claimed an average of £118,437 in expenses
last year, according to figures published by the House of Commons.

The DUP's Iris Robinson topped the list of Northern Ireland's 18
representatives, as details of the expense claims for the 659 MPs
were made public for the first time on Wednesday.

MPs are paid a £57,000 salary and can claim twice as much again for
living and office expenses.

Strangford MP Iris Robinson received a total of more than £139,000
last year, in contrast to her party's leader, Ian Paisley, who
claimed the lowest in the province and the seventh lowest in the
Commons with just over £79,000.

All four Sinn Fein MPs claimed in excess of £100,000 in expenses
and allowances, even though they do not draw their salary as they
do not swear the oath of allegiance.


Second home - up to £20,902
Office space - up to £19,325
Staff costs - up to £77,534
Plus stationery and travel costs

Among Northern Ireland Office ministers, Barry Gardiner was easily
the most expensive at £135,451, while Secretary of State Paul
Murphy received £107,777.

MPs are supposed to give receipts for bills of more than £250. This
is the first time that detailed breakdowns have been made available
to the public.

Expenses claims are also made for travel at home and abroad and for
staff and stationery, at 57p a mile for cars or for first-class
rail fares.

Details of the expenses over the past three years have been kept
secret until now, but are being published ahead of changes to the
Freedom of Information Act in January.

MPs also get a pension of up to 1/40th of their final salary for
each year they pay in - twice as much as many schemes.

An MP can retire on £28,742 a year after 20 years in the Commons.
They also receive a pay-off of up to £57,485 if they are defeated
at a general election.

(Poster's Note: Change your font to Courier New to line up columns)
Northern Ireland MPs' expenses April 2003 - March 2004

Member Flat/ Constit Staff Members
Hotel Office costs travel

Adams, G 18,268 18,798 84,263 5,653
Beggs, R 16,807 17,763 64,273 14,883
Burnside, D 7,480 18,787 67,867 28,419
Campbell, G 15,773 18,799 63,925 25,083
Dodds, N 20,331 18,767 64,243 26,295
Doherty, P 18,320 18,797 60,982 3,344
Donaldson, J 13,279 18,696 64,012 15,560
Gildernew, M 18,400 18,654 67,738 7,153
Hermon, S 18,592 14,395 64,657 17,427
Hume, J 3,300 18,799 64,093 6,475
McGrady, E 10,850 18,786 63,447 20,918
McGuinness, M 18,581 18,799 64,272 7,707
Mallon, S 20,301 18,799 64,273 12,499
Paisley, I 20,333 4,773 40,417 11,222
Robinson, I 19,801 18,799 64,103 28,119
Robinson, P 19,710 16,495 63,690 16,529
Smyth, M 9,425 10,201 62,030 13,990
Trimble, D 16,618 14,095 64,273 15,286

Source: House of Commons figures
This table does not include details of other costs relating to
staff travel, stationery and IT expenses.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/21 16:22:06 GMT


Expenses Of £440,000 For Four SF MPs

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Sinn Féin's four Westminster MPs each claimed more than £100,000 in
British parliamentary expenses last year despite the fact that they
have not taken up their seats, new figures show.

Between them, the Sinn Féin president, Mr Gerry Adams, the party's
chief negotiator, Mr Martin McGuinness, the West Tyrone MP, Mr Pat
Doherty, and the Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP, Ms Michelle Gildernew,
received almost £440,000 in expenses and allowances last year.

Ms Gildernew was highest on the Sinn Féin list taking more than
£115,000 in expenses, with Mr Adams receiving more than £109,000,
which was £1,000 less than Mr McGuinness's overall claim. The
expenses for all of Westminster's 659 MPs were disclosed for the
first time yesterday under the UK's freedom of information
legislation. They cover allowances such as staff costs, travel and

Sinn Féin has office accommodation at Westminster, but its MPs
refuse to affirm the oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth required
to take their seats in the House of Commons.

Mr Doherty, who received more than £104,000 in expenses, said: "In
line with party policy and Westminster regulations, any monies
claimed were used to finance our constituency services and promote
the peace process in England.

"Sinn Féin campaigned for many years to be allowed to access
facilities at Westminster in line with our substantial electoral

"These facilities are used to provide a constituency service for
our constituents and when our MPs are in Westminster, we obviously
also lobby for support for the peace process and Irish unity," he

"We maintain a full-time presence in London and our MPs use the
facilities available to us at Westminster regularly. The release of
these figures is a welcome move towards greater transparency within
the political process generally," said Mr Doherty.

The highest Northern Ireland expenses claimant was the DUP MP for
Strangford, Ms Iris Robinson. She received more than £139,000,
which was £17,000 more than her husband and deputy DUP leader, Mr
Peter Robinson.

Second-highest was the DUP MP for North Belfast, Mr Nigel Dodds,
who received more than £136,000 in expenses.

The expenses of the DUP leader, the Rev Ian Paisley, were the
lowest of Northern Ireland's 18 MPs. He managed on just over

© The Irish Times


Video: Joint appeal made for release of Iraq hostage

Kidnap Of Hassan To Delay UN -V

Jimmy Walsh

The abduction of Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, combined
with the recent attacks in the high security Green Zone, would have
reprehensibly further delayed the possibility of United Nations
personnel going back to Baghdad, the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr Dermot Ahern, told the House.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations had recently emphasised
to him the need for the strongest security measures to guarantee
the safety of UN personnel in that country.

Speaking on a motion condemning the abduction of Ms Hassan, the
Minister said that her husband was hoping to speak to people in
Iraq whom he believed would have significant influence in relation
to her fate.

Dr Mary Henry said the fact that such a good woman had been taken
captive showed the deplorable chaos that Iraq had descended into.

As a parliamentary body they should ask the forces occupying that
country to redouble their efforts to restore law and order there.
She had been told that civilians, particularly women, found that it
was impossible to go anywhere in safety.

The Leader of the House, Mrs Mary O'Rourke, described the abduction
of Ms Hassan as a heinous crime.

In this particular case it was dreadfully wrong that a woman who
had worked for the Iraqi people and who had put her heart into
their welfare, should be so abused in this way.

It was worrying that there had been no word back from those who
were holding her as to why she had been taken.

Mr Paul Bradford (FG) said that kidnappings were always dreadful.

But he thought that this one was more shameful because of Ms
Hassan's background in Iraq. Her being taken hostage was now an
international story; and reports from Iraq had spoken of a protest
being mounted at a hospital in Baghdad against her abduction.

These people in Iraq had been trying to send out the wrong message,
which was a powerful one, that Ms Hassan should be released by her
captors immediately.

© The Irish Times


See video at:

Poetry, Theatre And Music Honour Patrick Kavanagh Centenary Year -V

Rosita Boland

The centenary of the birth of the poet Patrick Kavanagh was
honoured in Dublin's City Hall yesterday.

"The City Hall is usually dominated by politics, but today it's
dominated by something else starting with 'P'," said the Lord
Mayor, Mr Michael Conaghan.

The 'P' in question was poetry, and the date in question, the 21st,
was chosen for the commemoration because nobody was quite sure when
Kavanagh was born.

From 1 p.m. onwards people gathered for two hours of theatre,
readings, music and map-reading. As each person arrived they were
handed a map of the hall to help them navigate their way from
entertainment to entertainment.

In the first half-hour there were several events happening
simultaneously. Upstate Theatre Company performed scenes from The
Green Fool in one corner; Castleblayney Players performed Tarry
Flynn in another; Gene Carroll, in yet another corner, told stories
from Inniskeen. In the middle of all this, brothers John and Tommy
McArdle worked the room, inviting people to "request a poem", which
the brothers read aloud with gusto.

"The rural poems are the most popular," said Tommy. "Shancoduff,
Spraying the Potatoes and Stony Grey Soil."

"I came along today because I had a great English teacher in the
Bower in Athlone, Josephine Maloney, who loved Kavanagh," said
Margaret Hassett. "She refused to teach us any Kavanagh until we
had read The Green Fool, and then we were all hooked."

A number of writers and actors read their favourite Kavanagh poem.
Among them was Darragh O'Malley, son of Hilda O'Malley who had
inspired one of Kavanagh's most famous poems, Raglan Road.

"My mother asked him one day could he not write about anything
except potatoes and grey soil, and he gave her a look and said
'I'll surprise ye yet'," said O'Malley.

"As a Monaghan person, it's great to be celebrating anything,
anywhere," quipped the actor and writer Ardal O'Hanlon, who read
Pegasus. "As a struggling writer myself, I like the idealism in it
- and the trademark gallows humour."

Music was supplied by the Cullen Harpers of Farney Castle. The MC
for the proceedings was Father Tom Stack.

Other people who participated in the celebrations were broadcaster
Mary Kennedy, who read In Memory of My Mother; Monaghan-born writer
Pat McCabe, who read Advent; actor Mick Lally, who read The
Christmas Mummers; and poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, who read Epic.
Poet Paul Durcan paid the tribute.

"Today Inniskeen has come to Dublin," said Emily Cullen, curator of
the Kavanagh centenary celebrations.

But not everyone was convinced that was so. Eyeing the four
harpists on stage in their long dresses, one bystander muttered:
"What did Kavanagh ever have to do with harps? It's more like

© The Irish Times


See video at:

Roy Keane To Stand Trial -V

Manchester United captain Roy Keane is to stand trial early next
year for an alleged assault on a 16-year-old boy.

Keane, who denies the charge, will appear at Trafford Magistrates
Court at the end of February. The 33-year-old is alleged to have
clashed with the youth near his home in the affluent Manchester
suburb of Hale, on Saturday, September 4th. The Republic of Ireland
midfielder, who was not present at yesterday's hearing, had his
bail extended.

© The Irish Times


Christy Moore 'Sad' At Welsh Ordeal

Daniel McConnell

Singer Christy Moore yesterday claimed his two-hour detention at
the Welsh port of Holyhead on Monday was "saddening and

The singer and his driver were stopped, then separated and
questioned, while entering Britain for a number of shows.

The singer was not carrying photographic identification at the time
and was surprised and angered by the port authorities' handling of
the matter.

In a statement he said yesterday: "My driver and I were stopped and
held for two hours at Holyhead last Monday, under the Prevention of
Terrorism Act 2002. My driver and I were held separately in two
interrogation rooms. I found the whole experience threatening. I
was questioned about the contents of my briefcase."

Despite initial reports to the contrary, the singer's van, which
was full of musical equipment, was not searched.

"I was questioned about lyrics of songs and I was asked a lot of
personal questions about members of my family and my children and
about my home. At no time was I given any explanation as to why I
was being held and interrogated in this manner," he added.

He said the fact that Irish people are still being treated this way
on their way to the UK is very "saddening".

"I had hoped to deal with this matter out of the public domain. But
seeing as it has become a news item, I feel the need to offer my
side of the story. I found the whole affair quite frightening."

It is understood his driver tried to contact the Minister for
Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern, to resolve the issue. The
Department confirmed that officials were aware of the incident and
that the Minister had contacted the singer.

The British Home Office last night said it was aware of the
incident but could not comment.

© The Irish Times

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