News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

October 24, 2004

News 10/24/04 - Adair:: Pumping Gas

News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 10/24/04 Adair: From The High Court To The Forecourt!
SL 10/24/04 Drug Death Sparks UDA Row
BB 10/24/04 DUP: Decommissioning 'Must Be Seen'
SL 10/24/04 DUP Tables Motions To End RIR Speculation
SL 10/24/04 IRA Targeting Cops: Dossier
SL 10/24/04 Dodds Urges IMC Action Over Blackmail Case
SL 10/24/04 How The House Fell In For IRA Suspect
SL 10/24/04 Dissident Tightens Grip Of Terror On Antrim Town
SL 10/24/04 Hounded Out By CIRA Thugs
SB 10/24/04 Former Tanaiste Caught Up In Tribunal Allegations
BG 10/24/04 Business Tumbles Barriers In A New Kind Of Irish Unity
U2 10/24/04 Bono, Lewis: Two Men In The Name Of Love
ST 10/24/04 Bk Rev: Oh, Play That Thing - An Irishman In Jazzland
SL 10/24/04 Daniel O'Donnell's World Keeps Growing
HA 10/24/04 Hibernians Raise Funds For Meagher Statue Restoration

RT 06/24/04 Pres. Bush Interview With RTE- TV Ireland -VO

In case you missed this one:
Pres. Bush Interview with RTE-TV Ireland - From the White House,
Pres. Bush sits for an interview with Carole Coleman of RTE-TV
Ireland to discuss his visit to the country and other issues.
6/24/2004: WASHINGTON, DC: 10 min.


Adair: From The High Court To The Forecourt!

By Alan Murray
24 October 2004

Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair could soon be leaving jail . . . for a life
pumping petrol.

Former UFF 'C' company associates report that Adair's dwindling
band of supporters has been running a petrol station in Scotland
which the terror chief bought using a relative's name.

Adair's riches from extortion and drug dealing have never been
seized - although more than £70,000 in cash was taken from his wife
Gina by cops at Stranraer, when she fled the Shankill following the
killing of feud rival John 'Grug' Gregg.

Reports that Adair sunk some of his wealth into the antiques market
have been probed by police and the Assets Recovery Agency.

But, it is unknown whether any of his ill-gotten gains are about to
be seized by the ARA.

Said one former associate: "He bought a garage in Ayrshire in the
name of a relative a number of years ago and the 'peelers' never
cottoned on.

"He, 'Sham' Miller and Jackie Thompson made massive money from the
drugs, and it had to go somewhere.

"John White bought properties, had them fixed up, and then rented
or sold them. Johnny never expressed interest in that.

"But it's possible he saw the potential, and sunk money into
something outside Northern Ireland. A garage would give great cover
for money-laundering."

Adair has two major allies in Scotland already, former henchman
Gary Smith and convicted murderer Sam McCrory, known as 'Big
Skelly', who knocked about with Adair during his days as a punk
rocker in the 1980s.

McCrory, who is gay, has remained close to Adair, while Smith, who
was imprisoned for making a hoax bomb call to the Holy Cross school
in Ardoyne, rejected an offer to return to Belfast and disown

Despite the seizure of the £70,000 from his wife, cops still
believe Adair has a substantial stash of funds and investments.

Said a security source: "He may be very cautious when he gets out
of jail, because he will rightly assume that his activities will be
closely monitored.

"But he will need money to maintain the lifestyle he had become
accustomed to, and, at some stage, he will betray his hand."



Drug Death Sparks UDA Row

By Alan Murray
24 October 2004

The cocaine overdose death of teenager, Denise Larkin, has sparked
a furious row inside the UDA over drug dealing.

A veteran figure in the group has given a 'dressing down' to the
convicted rapist, who now leads the UDA in the lower Shankill.

Eric McKee, who has served prison sentences for his role in the UDA
in west Belfast, raised the issue with rapist, Charlie Calderwood,
and his right hand man, convicted killer Paul 'Gull' Hamilton last

McKee is vehemently anti-drugs and is understood to be outraged by
the death of the 17-year-old.

He was part of the 'old guard' UDA leadership and was the group's
'military commander' in west Belfast, when he was arrested by the
Stevens Enquiry team in 1990, and jailed for possessing security

Loyalist sources confirmed that he confronted Calderwood and
Hamilton, over the allegations that the UDA in the lower Shankill
has continued to provide drugs to young people in the area.

The UDA stalwart made it clear to the pair he was livid over the
teenager's death, and condemned the peddling of drugs.

Hamilton was convicted as a juvenile of the sectarian murder of a
Catholic hot-dog seller, William John Boviard, in 1976.

Calderwood, who was convicted of raping a nurse, is regarded as the
UDA's most senior figure in the lower Shankill, where Johnny Adair
previously ruled.

Under Adair's leadership drugs were freely distributed by 'C'
Company from vacant houses, earning senior figures in the terrorist
group tens of thousands of pounds a week.

But senior figures in the organisation like McKee, the south
Belfast boss Jackie McDonald and the North Antrim/Londonderry
chief, Billy McFarland, are vehemently opposed to drug trafficking.

McKee's intervention last week hasn't led to any leadership changes
in the lower Shankill, but UDA activists say that possibility
shouldn't be ruled out.

"It has hit home to some in the organisation that their nieces, or
grandchildren, could be supplied with drugs controlled by people in
the organisation.

"That has stirred some senior people into action," one UDA figure


Decommissioning 'Must Be Seen'

There must be a visual aspect to the decommissioning of IRA
weaponry, Peter Robinson has insisted.

The DUP deputy leader said his party's position on IRA disarmament
and activity had been "clear and consistent throughout the
negotiating process".

He was responding to remarks by Sinn Fein that the DUP was seeking
to humiliate the IRA over its demand for visible decommissioning.

Sinn Fein's chairman Mitchel McLaughlin told the BBC's Inside
Politics programme that the DUP were "moving the goalposts" and
increasing the threshold in relation to an end to IRA arms and

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

Mr Robinson said the DUP had not moved the goalposts on the issue
of "building confidence regarding decommissioning and the need to
end all IRA activity whether terrorist or criminal".

"We have been very clear that the days of smoke and mirror tricks
are over and that there must be a visual aspect to the
decommissioning of IRA weaponry," he said.

"Sinn Fein/IRA is at the forefront of demands to have security
installations dismantled in a very public way with the world's
press and media being present.

"Crown forces and the Unionist community have been humiliated by
the way in which bases and stations have been demolished and by the
treatment of those who have defended our province."

He added: "Mitchel McLaughlin's remarks would appear to be
indicative of someone who is attempting to develop an exit strategy
from the process and who is only interested in disengaging from
making the commitment that Sinn Fein/IRA know must be made."

'Comprehensive agreement'

On Saturday, Mr McLaughlin said: "We have heard all the stuff about
Steven Spielberg-type coverage of IRA initiatives (on

"Those kind of things are designed to be provocative and also
designed to be counter-effective in terms of any goal of taking
arms out of the equation."

Earlier this week, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams accused the DUP
of making demands on the IRA when its own power-sharing credentials
were "unproven".

Mr 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.

The sticking points in the process 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: 2004/10/24 09:38:02 GMT


DUP Tables Motions To End RIR Speculation

24 October 2004

DUP MPs have tabled an emergency Commons motion urging the
Government to end speculation over the Royal Irish Regiment's role
in Northern Ireland.

The party is calling on Tony Blair to confirm the future of the
RIR's three home battalions, following recent suggestions they
could be disbanded.

Jeffrey Donaldson said yesterday that the motion would give the
Prime Minister the opportunity to reassure the battalion's members
their futures were secure.

"We are concerned that there is a lot of Army politics going on
here to preserve a number of mainland-based Army regiments, and we
fear this could be at the expense of the RIR's home battalions.

"We are clearly saying to the Government that the home battalions
should form a significant part of the proposed 5,000-strong
garrison that would continue to be based in Northern Ireland,
assuming the end of all terrorist campaigns.

"There are many RIR members anxious about their futures, because of
all this speculation about downsizing of a number of regiments."

The Lagan Valley MP urged Tony Blair and Defence Minister Geoff
Hoon to provide a "clear reassurance about the future of the home


IRA Targeting Cops: Dossier

24 October 2004

A damning intelligence report to police and military chiefs has
revealed that the Provisional IRA is currently targeting cops
across Northern Ireland.

Security chiefs were told of the Provo threat when they met in
Belfast recently to discuss the ongoing security situation.

Sunday Life has learnt the threat to police officers was outlined
in an intelligence report, dated October 11, 2004.

The document warned of an IRA threat to civilian workers at police
stations in the greater Belfast area.

The dossier also contained intelligence that the IRA had targeted a
recent District Policing Partnership meeting, in a Belfast hotel

Yesterday, a security source confirmed the IRA threat to police had
been passed to PSNI District Command Units across Northern Ireland.

"All DCUs have been informed of the IRA threat to members of the
PSNI," the source said.

"The threat appears to contradict political claims the IRA is about
to order an end to all activities, and that its membership would
simply melt away."

The source said DCUs had also been warned members of the dissident
Continuity IRA were actively targeting police officers in Fermanagh
and Tyrone.

The step-up in republican activity comes shortly after the NIO
approved the release of money to 'soften' security measures at a
number of police stations throughout the province.

Earlier this year, a report by the International Monitoring
Commission said although the Provos were not involved in attacks on
the security forces, they still remained active, and in a high
state of readiness.

The report said the IRA had undertaken training early in 2004, and
maintained a capability on intelligence, possible targets and


Dodds Urges IMC Action Over Blackmail Case

By Stephen Breen
24 October 2004

A senior republican, who has been accused of making a £100,000
blackmail demand, is at the centre of a bitter row between the DUP
and Sinn Fein.

The DUP's Nigel Dodds told Sunday Life he has "grave concerns"
about the case of Downpatrick republican, Ronan 'Dickie' O'Donnell.

But Sinn Fein councillor Eamonn Mac Con Midhe hit back at the north
Belfast MP - and insisted O'Donnell would be "vindicated" at his

O'Donnell (55), who worked as a Sinn Fein election agent, faces
charges of IRA membership, and is accused of being secretly
recorded making the blackmail demand to a person referred to only
as 'witness A'.

Sunday Life is aware of the identity of the alleged victim, but
cannot publish it for legal reasons.

O'Donnell, who denies the charges, is due to appear again at
Newtownards Magistrates' Court on November 12. Mr Dodds said he
would be raising the case with the Independent Monitoring

He said: "My party has grave concerns about these allegations, and
it will be one case we will discuss with the IMC.

"This man is very clearly associated with Sinn Fein, and the IMC
should perhaps make a statement on the allegations directed at him.

"If these allegations turn out to be true, they will come at a very
sensitive time, and something will have to be done about Sinn Fein.

"We will keep a close eye on this case, and will also watch with
great interest to see how it develops. There have been a lot of
allegations directed against Sinn Fein, and the IMC cannot ignore

But Mr Mac Con Midhe said the DUP's concerns about the case were
"an attempt to discredit republicans".

He added: "I know Dickie very well, and the majority of people in
his home town believe he is innocent, and was the victim of a set-

"Unionists blame republicans for everything - even without any
evidence. I can't believe they have concerns about this case when
it hasn't even gone to trial.

"I've no doubt Dickie will be vindicated during his trial. These
'concerns' are nothing but an attempt to discredit republicans at
such a crucial time in the peace process."



How The House Fell In For IRA Suspect

By Stephen Breen
24 October 2004

A suspected Provo bomb-plotter arrested in the Canary Islands two
weeks ago was planning to create a property empire in the region.

Senior security sources have told Sunday Life that Michael Rogan -
charged with plotting to bomb Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn in 1996
- was hoping to create a new life for himself and his partner in
Tenerife, before cops swooped.

Source claimed Rogan (pictured right), who was identified in court
in 1996 as a member of Sinn Fein's 'international department', was
due to start a tourism business on the island, before switching his
attentions to the lucrative property trade.

He was arrested after a two-year undercover operation by MI5, who
had been tracking him across Europe.

It is understood he was planning to make the Tenerife village of
Arona his new home, but he had also been sighted in the Costa del
Sol and Lanzarote.

His partner is now in hiding, and is not believed to have known
about his alleged role in the 1996 bombing.

Rogan was linked to the two Volvo cars used in the attack at Army
Headquarters on October 7 of that year.

Warrant Officer James Bradwell was killed and 30 others injured in
the first major IRA operation in Northern Ireland following the
abandonment of their ceasefire in February 1996.

After he left the jurisdiction, police named Rogan as part of a
major IRA spy ring that collected information on senior police,
soldiers and judges during the first ceasefire.

Said a senior source: "He had been staying in Los Cristianos but
moved to the quieter village of Arona because he didn't want to
draw any attention to himself.

"Rogan had been making a few inquiries about a tourism business,
but he switched his intentions to the property market.

"He was all set to establish his own business and start a new life,
but his plans were thwarted because of his arrest.

"He had been spotted in a number of resorts, but MI5 lost him for a
while before he was seen again in Tenerife, and this time they were
not going to let him get away."

Rogan appeared in Madrid's Criminal Court. He did not oppose
extradition proceedings, which means he will be handed over to
Ulster cops as soon as they can travel to Spain and complete the


Dissident Godfather Tightens Grip Of Terror On Antrim Town

24 October 2004

A feared renegade republican godfather has embarked on a teenage
recruitment drive in an Ulster town.

Senior security sources told Sunday Life the terror boss has been
swelling the ranks of the Continuity IRA with young people in

Pro-CIRA graffiti has been daubed on walls in the Rathenraw estate
and other parts of the town, as the top dissident steps up his
efforts to increase his hold in the area.

Up to 20 families who stood up to the renegade's gang have been
forced to flee, after their cars and homes were attacked.

It is claimed the thug is hoping to move some of his henchmen into
the vacant homes.

A number of people - including pensioners - have also been
viciously assaulted, and there are now fears of a mass exodus from
the town.

The terror boss has been accused of trying to create a new
interface between the Rathenraw and Stiles estates, and a Holy
Cross-style dispute between local schools in the area.

A senior source said: "The dissidents in Antrim, under the
leadership of a crazed leader, have been stepping up their efforts
in recent weeks to attract more people to their ranks.

"They have been spraying pro-CIRA graffiti on shops, walls and
churches because they want to create the impression they are on the
rise in the area.

"They want to attract more young people because if they want to
continue with their criminality and intimidation, they will need
the muscle to do it."

Local Sinn Fein councillor Martin McManus said the notorious
dissident had no support in Antrim.

Added Mr McManus: "These people are doing nothing but misguiding
young people, who I would urge to stay well away from groups like
the CIRA.

"Just when estates like Rathenraw are beginning to make great
strides forward, these people try to bring us back.

"The dissidents have created a climate of fear in Antrim because
they are trying to stir up tensions and create problems for their
own selfish ends.

"The only thing they are interested in is financial gain and
intimidation. They have absolutely no mandate or support and they
should just leave people alone."

A police spokesman said: "We would urge anyone who has information
on who may be responsible for recruiting young people into the
ranks of dissident republican organisations to contact us


Hounded Out By CIRA Thugs

By Stephen Breen
24 October 2004

This is the 'Good Samaritan' forced to flee his home - for coming
to the aid of a frail pensioner...

Distraught Philip Taylor fled from Antrim's Rathenraw estate after
Continuity IRA bully boys threatened to kill him and his partner,
Mary Curley, last weekend.

The 40-year-old's crime was simply to help an old man who had been
verbally abused and threatened by the thugs.

The gangsters also orchestrated a smear campaign against him in a
bid to justify their campaign of terror.

Mr Taylor, who had previously stood up to the dissidents, only
moved to his new home in Belfast after his partner, who has lived
in Antrim for over 25 years, pleaded with him to leave.

The move was sparked by two attacks last weekend.

On Saturday night thugs hurled missiles at his home, and tried to
attack him.

The following night the gang returned to smash the windows in his
car and issue death threats.

Mr Taylor also had shotgun cartridges pushed through his letterbox.

Around 20 families have been targeted by the renegade republicans
over the summer.

Although Mr Taylor has now left, he pleaded with other residents to
stand up to the thugs.

Speaking to Sunday Life from his new home, Mr Taylor said: "I was
determined not to leave but my partner was traumatised by the whole
nightmare and begged me to move away.

"The only thing I did was confront one of these so-called
dissidents after they threatened an elderly neighbour, and they
have hated me ever since.

"My home has been attacked on numerous occasions. These people are
nothing but cowards who are masquerading as republicans.

"They are nothing but scumbags. If it hadn't been for the welfare
of my partner I would have stayed to confront them.

"People are afraid to look out their windows . . . the decent
people of Antrim are sick to the teeth of these hoods."



Former Tanaiste Caught Up In Tribunal Allegations

24/10/04 00:00
By Barry O'Kelly

Former Fianna Fáil tánaiste, the late Brian Lenihan, and former
minister Padraig Flynn allegedly sought and received cash payments
from the planning tribunal's latest whistleblower, Jude Campion.

Campion's affidavit, seen by The Sunday Business Post, claims the
pair requested the money in cash when Campion complained to them
about former Dublin assistant city and county manager George

He claims to have paid £2,500 to Lenihan, £1,000 to Flynn and
£2,000 to former Fianna Fáil TD Liam Lawlor in 1988. He said each
of them asked for the money in cash as political donations.
Campion, an employee of arcade owner Jim Kennedy, was trying to buy
a commercial site from the council at the time.

Campion, of Carpenterstown, Dublin, claims Kennedy demanded
£100,000 to secure the site for him.

Campion said he met Brian Lenihan up to six times before being
asked for cash for Fianna Fáil funds. He said that Lawlor initially
asked for £10,000. When Campion said he didn't have the money,
Lawlor eventually agreed to take £2,000,whichwas handed over at
their third meeting.

But, despite the payment, Lawlor refused to meet Campion or return
his phone calls.

Campion said that Flynn promised to find out why Redmond was
blocking him and asked for cash in an envelope.

Campion also said gardai turned a blind eye to illegal poker
machines that were fixed to limit large payouts at Kennedy's
amusement arcade in Dublin.

Campion's testimony has been challenged at the tribunal. Counsel
for solicitor Stephen Miley has highlighted several alleged
contradictions in Campion's testimony.


Business Tumbles Barriers In A New Kind Of Irish Unity

By Charles M. Sennott, Globe Staff | October 24, 2004

NEWRY, Northern Ireland -- From the windows of a 19th-century
textile mill that long lay derelict, Feargal McCormack looked past
the Catholic row houses that once seethed with poverty and anger to
the road along the Newry canal, where car bombs went off and
snipers lurked for 30 years of sectarian violence.

McCormack remembered: "This place was a hole. People were defeated
and humiliated."

Now, the old mill is headquarters for the thriving accounting firm
that McCormack founded. The smell of cordite from gunfire has given
way to the aroma of new carpeting in scores of startup companies.
The clatter of banging trash cans that warned of arriving British
soldiers have yielded to the click of computer keyboards at
burgeoning software firms employing Catholics and Protestants from
both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic
of Ireland.

It doesn't seem to matter that the Good Friday peace agreement of
1998 has stalled, leaving Republicans and Unionists in the north
mired in political crisis. For business owners and families along
what is now referred to as "the Belfast-Dublin corridor," the
economic integration of the north and the republic is steaming
toward what many on both sides are calling the "all-island

The institutions of north-south cooperation that grew out of the
Good Friday agreement are now fostering cross-border industries,
which are thriving amid a climate of reduced violence. The pact
established not only the power-sharing government in the north,
which was suspended two years ago; it also sealed a commitment
between Britain and the Republic of Ireland to map out a peaceful,
stable future for the island as a whole, built on shared economic

After two years of negotiations that seemed to lead nowhere, many
observers believe the leading political parties and bitter rivals -
- Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and Gerry Adams's Sinn
Fein -- may be poised on the edge of a breakthrough that would
restore the power-sharing government.

But business leaders on both sides of the border say they're not
waiting around for the political squabbling to end.

"The business community in Ireland has gone beyond the politicians.
There is just too much business to do. After all, there's nothing
more natural than doing business with your neighbors," said
McCormack, 44 , whose firm, FPM Chartered Accountants, specializes
in providing a corporate link among businesses operating on both
sides of the border.

This city of 30,000 is cashing in on its location at the midpoint
of the Belfast-Dublin corridor. Local businesses are taking
advantage of cross-border development bodies like
InterTradeIreland, which was established by the Good Friday
agreement and which chose Newry as its base.

With a new highway connection and improved rail service, both
completed in the past two years, the Belfast-Dublin corridor has
become a central artery of cross-border trade by putting the cities
within two hours of each other. Gone are the border posts and
checkpoints, and the sectarian tension that came with them.

"Look at this place today," said McCormack, waving his hand over
the city and the now-tidy Catholic row houses, where people have
jobs and where families are prospering. A program to encourage
local ownership of the government-built housing has transformed the
downtown neighborhood.

"No one is talking about the past anymore," he said. "Everyone is
looking to the future."

Flourishing firms The unemployment rate in Newry stood at nearly 25
percent in 1991, when conflict still simmered. Now the rate is 4

In the past three years, greater Newry, with a population of about
90,000, has seen 1,200 new business startups, ranging from computer
software firms to the Canal Court Hotel, which has become the
center of the town and won an award as the best hotel in Northern
Ireland. Newry has created more new companies than even Belfast,
which has nearly 10 times the population.

The booming economy here is along the only land border where the
British economy, which uses the pound sterling, meets a European
Union nation that trades in the Euro, the currency now used by most
of Europe. Many business people here see the currency fluctuations
less as an encumbrance to business than as a potential edge for
companies operating in Newry or Dundalk, just across the border in
the republic.

The border was the result of partition in 1922, when the republic
was created while the mainly Protestant north remained under
British rule. That boundary cut the 26 counties of the south off
from the six of the north, and it sealed the fate of Newry, which
was a booming trade center in the 19th century. Amid the
instability that came with its proximity to the border, Newry
foundered for most of the last century.

When the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland exploded into
violence in the early 1970s, Newry's location, straddling the
Ulster counties of Down and South Armagh, and the border of the
republic, put it at the center of the conflict.

British troops chased Irish Republican Army fighters who regularly
ferried weapons and explosives and money from just across the
border. Illicit trade and smuggling, combined with the lethal
ingenuity of the IRA brigades here, made the area around Newry and
South Armagh one of the most dangerous patches on earth for the
British military. In South Armagh, 123 British soldiers were killed
from 1971 to 1998, along with 45 Royal Ulster Constabulary police
officers and 75 civilians.

More than half of the Protestant minority in Newry fled in the
1970s and 1980s, and the community is now less than 10 percent
Protestant. The Catholic communities on both sides of the border
hemorrhaged through emigration, as the best and brightest shipped
off to Boston, New York, and elsewhere in search of jobs.

In the past decade, the republic's economy boomed because of tax
changes that enticed technology investment, and massive subsidies
that came with EU membership. Many Irish returned from abroad, and
more recently have been joined by immigrants from Africa and Asia.

And when the "Celtic Tiger" roared, it brought the republic
steadily closer to the economic level of the North, which had been
far richer and more productive because of its powerful industrial
base. That set the stage for integration between two more equal
partners once the political obstacles were reduced.

'Entrepreneurial energy'

The tradition of trade and shrewd business ingrained in the people
of Newry is another factor in the boom.

"That pent-up entrepreneurial energy has been unleashed, and it has
brought a true peace dividend here," said Alistair Adair, a
professor of urban planning at the University of Ulster in Belfast.
He is in Newry as part of a partnership with Harvard University to
help the town translate its recent successes into sustained

"I think Newry is a glimpse into the future of Northern Ireland, a
postnationalist reality in which the local borders are diminished
and the community sees itself as an Irish economic community within
a European economy," Adair added.

Martin Naughton, who is widely revered as one of the pioneers of
Ireland's modern economy and perhaps its most illustrious success
story, hails from Dundalk and started his business in Newry.

Naughton tells how he started a small company in Newry building
oil-filled radiators in 1973. His goal was to build the firm up to
100 employees, and he struggled through the years as "the Troubles"
swirled around him. But now he has 8,500 employees at 26
manufacturing companies from Northern Ireland to the Republic of
Ireland, and from China to Norway.

"There is a tremendous spirit in Newry. It is a special little
model, very much up in front of the new Ireland," he said. "It is a
community that illustrates a simple truth about north-south trade:
If you put two businessmen in a room, they will do business."

Newry and many towns like it have taken advantage of agencies such
as InterTradeIreland. "Newry's success is being noted and emulated
elsewhere in Northern Ireland," said Liam Nellis, chief executive
of the development body, which provides seed money for startups and
for partnerships among universities and high-tech companies in such
fields as biotechnology.

The dream of the Republican movement has always been a united
Ireland -- a vision that Sinn Fein, which is historically linked to
the IRA, has used to increase its influence on both sides of the

Now that the dream is becoming an economic, if not a political,
reality, observers say the challenge for Newry and all of Northern
Ireland is to persuade the Protestant unionist population that
these changes will not mean an end to their culture and their
affinity with and loyalty to Britain. That fear is embodied in
Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party, which has rejected any
involvement in cross-border institutions.

Bill Tosh, a Protestant businessman who grew up in Londonderry in
Northern Ireland, is now the head of the Chamber of Commerce in the
overwhelmingly Catholic town of Dundalk in the republic. Asked
about lingering fears in the north of a united Ireland, Tosh
replied: "I have no angst about that, none at all.

"What's happening before our eyes is a confederation, an economic
confederation of one Ireland but not a political nationalization. .
. . So a unified Ireland economy is coming, absolutely. But it is
happening despite Sinn Fein and all the other political parties,
not because of them," he said.

He pointed out that Catholics in the republic also harbored fears
of Protestants, that doing business in the north could label them
as collaborators, and perhaps expose them to intimidation by the
big industrialists of the north. Those worries have diminished, he
said, as the republic's economy has flourished and the British
military presence has receded.

"The suspicions that divided us are fading, but it has taken a long
time," Tosh said.

© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


Bono, Lewis: Two Men In The Name Of Love

@U2, October 23, 2004
Michelle Watson

A message of equality was repeated throughout Memphis on Monday as
Bono received the International Freedom Award and U.S. Rep. John
Lewis the National Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights

Starting with a public forum for school children in the morning,
the honorees shared their stories of struggles and victories in the
quest for civil and human rights. The message continued at a press
conference following their tour of the museum and at an awards
ceremony that evening.

The Freedom Awards, presented each year since 1991, are given to
individuals who have made significant contributions to civil
rights. Past honorees include Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King,
Thurgood Marshall, Jimmy Carter, Elie Weisel, Nelson Mandela and
Bill Clinton. The national award winner receives $25,000; the
international winner receives $50,000.

Children from Watoto D'Afrika, an educational outreach program,
kicked off Monday morning's public forum with an African dance that
had Bono tapping his foot to the beat. The group teaches history
lessons to African-American children through song and dance and has
graduated more than 2,000 students since its inception 15 years
ago, with no pregnancies, no arrests, and many of the children
moving on to higher education.

Rep. Lewis, D-Ga., who was born to sharecroppers in Alabama, was a
key figure in the movement for civil rights. He recounted how,
despite his parents' warnings not to, "I got into trouble. But it
was good trouble. It was necessary trouble. And I wasn't the only
one getting in trouble."

In 1961, Lewis participated in the Freedom Rides to protest
segregation on interstate buses and was severely beaten by mobs.
From 1963 to 1966 he was chairman of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee, which organized sit-ins. He participated in
the March on Washington and the historic Selma March that became
known as Bloody Sunday.

"I believe that violence, that war is obsolete," Lewis said. "Hang
in there. Don't give up. Don't give in. Keep your eyes on the
prize. Walk with the wind. And let the spirit of freedom, courage
and justice be your guide."

Lewis also talked about growing up on a farm. He said the chickens
on the farm, along with his brothers and sisters and cousin, would
be his congregation. "And I would preach to these chickens. But I
am convinced that some of these chickens I preached to tended to
listen to me much better than some of my colleagues listen to me
today in the Congress."

When Bono, wearing jeans and a burgundy velvet jacket, arrived at
the podium for his speech, he declared, "My name is Bono, and I am
one of John Lewis' chickens."

Bono was also amused about speaking at the Temple of Deliverance,
which he said in a deep, ominous voice. "More like the Temple of
Delinquents. That's something I've spent some time in. And by the
looks of some of you, you probably have too, so be careful when you
laugh at me."

But Bono quickly turned to the topic that has been close to his
heart for 20 years: Africa. He told the children about his trip in
1985 when he and his wife, Ali, visited Ethiopia and he had to turn
down a man who wanted him to take his child back to Ireland with
him so the child could live.

"In that moment I became the worst thing of all: a rock star with a
cause," Bono said. "Except it isn't a cause, is it? Six and a half
thousand Africans are dying a day of a preventable, treatable
disease for a lack of drugs you can get at any pharmacy for $1 a
day. Six and a half thousand people, everybody in this room or
more, dying in Africa every single day for the stupidest of
reasons: money. It's not a cause; it's an emergency.

"We have the technology. We have the life-saving medicines. We have
the money. All we're lacking is the will."

Bono encouraged the students to get involved, to make a difference.

"To all the students who are here, to the people who write the next
chapter in the history of this city and this country, I want you to
think about the idea that this generation can put this right," he

The two honorees left the Temple of Deliverance for a private tour
of the National Civil Rights Museum, opened in 1991 to chronicle
the civil rights movement in America. Reporters, photographers and
fans stood outside hoping to catch a glimpse of Bono. They got
their wish about an hour later as he, Lewis and others walked onto
the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, where the Rev. Martin Luther
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

"To walk through this museum...tells something about the distance
we've come, the progress we've made, and the distance we still must
travel," Lewis said later at the press conference, "not only to
make America a better place, but to make our world, this little
planet we call Earth, just a little bit better.

"If Dr. King could speak to us today, and he was speaking to us,
Bono, from all these wonderful pieces of history that we walked
through just a few minutes ago, he would tell us over and over
again that war is obsolete, that violence is obsolete, that the way
of peace, the way of love is the better way."

When asked how being on tour next year will affect his work with
DATA, Bono said, "This stuff feels to some very removed from being
in a rock and roll band, but it's not. If rock and roll means
anything, surely it's liberation, and spiritual liberation,
political liberation, sexual liberation, whatever. It's always been
associated with liberation, and they are not at all antagonistic,
being in a band and doing my political work.

"U2, our audience, are very smart, active people. When we did a
tour for Amnesty International, they doubled their membership.
People who come to our shows want to get off -- we are a rock and
roll band -- but they also want to get involved, and I'm very
excited to be starting back touring again next year. It's going to
be good.

"This is who I am also, and it started with me, as I said, reading
about Martin Luther King as a 24-year-old, and he changed the
direction of my life. And to come to the Civil Rights Museum now at
27 years old," Bono said jokingly, "is an amazing thing. But the
circle is not complete because the work has just started. And when
Martin Luther King talked about the dream, he was not just talking
about the American dream, he was talking about something much
bigger. He was talking about equality in the rest of the world.

"People are suspicious of Americans. People are suspicious of
Europeans. I've told President Bush, I've told Tony Blair, I've
told Jacques Chirac...get those drugs to the people who need them,
and it will change the way they see us."

He had praise for Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who Bono said has done
amazing work on AIDS.

"This year, there is money being debated in the United States
Congress on AIDS. The administration put forward $3.1 billion this
year, and the House has cut it back to $2.8 billion. We're trying
to get Sen. Frist to hold the line for the Senate and push that
money back up. I'm sure he will try."

Bono also promised to work with whoever is in the White House.

"We'll work with Democrats, Republicans. I have no allegiance to
one party or the other," he said. "I'm Irish, and I keep thinking
people are just going to walk up to me and just go, 'Could you just
go home? This is not your country. Stop giving us advice about AIDS
and Africa.' But I'm here, and I'll tell you whoever sits in the
White House, I am going to make their life misery on this question,
and I'm going to be reminding them.

"President Bush is doing great work. He's done landmark initiatives
on AIDS. And Sen. Kerry has promised the same and I believe him.
But I'll tell you, I know where they park their cars, and we will
haunt them."

At the black-tie awards ceremony at the Cannon Center that evening,
Lewis thanked Bono for being a brother.

"Thank you for all that you do around the globe to build the
beloved community," he said, referring to King's global vision of
people committed to nonviolence, a world of brotherhood and
sisterhood in which poverty and hunger are not tolerated.

"Too many of us -— black, white, Hispanic, Asian and Native
American -— are being left out and left behind," Lewis said. "We
continue to poison the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the
food we eat. Our challenges do not end at our own shores. There is
no higher human right than the right to grow up in a society free
of violence and war. There is no greater civil right than peace."

Bono, wearing a black jacket, a burgundy shirt and a black tie,
hopped up to the podium after receiving his award.

"Walking on a stage after John Lewis is like the Monkees going on
after the Beatles," he said.

He was obviously humbled to be included with such a key figure of
the civil rights movement.

"I'd be honored to be anywhere with John of the
greatest Americans who ever sat down at a lunch counter in Memphis,
that's for sure. One of the greatest Americans who ever marched
across a bridge in Selma, one of the greatest Americans who ever
walked the halls of Congress: John Lewis. I am proud to be on a
stage with him."

Then Bono broke into an impromptu Monkees impersonation: "And when
I saw your face doo doo doo doo I'm a believer."

He then told this audience of adults the same thing he had told the
children earlier at the Temple of Deliverance: 6,500 Africans dying
every day of AIDS isn't a cause, it's an emergency. And the
audience quickly caught on. Every time Bono would say, "It's not a
cause," the crowd would respond: "It's an emergency."

The first time the audience responded, Bono said, "Amen, I'm black.
Wow," as someone in the audience shouted "Preach Bono!"

And preach he did. The speech truly became more like a sermon,
talking about prophecy and scripture and African-American

In the mid-1960s, Lewis took a trip to Africa. "When (he) got back
he wrote a letter to the SNCC and he said in it, 'I am convinced
more than ever that the social, economic and political destiny of
the black people of America is inseparable from that of our
brothers in Africa,'" Bono said. "Wow. There's a prophetic
utterance if I ever heard one."

"When I was a kid, I started reading the speeches of Dr. King, and
I never stopped. Dr. King reminded us of the story of the prophet
Jeremiah. Jeremiah, he said, looked back and saw evil people often
prospering and the good and righteous people often suffering.
Jeremiah knew that was an injustice. 'Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician here?'"

Centuries later, Bono said, that question mark was "straightened
into an exclamation point" in an African-American spiritual, which
the audience recited with him:

"There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul."

"Today, in Uganda, or in Ethiopia, there is a dying woman who
asking her god, 'Is there a balm in Gilead?' Well God hears her,
but do we? Because we too know the answer...there is no balm in

Quietly he repeated, "There is no balm in Gilead.

"The balm is here, and we have got to get it to Gilead."

© Watson/@U2, 2004.


An Irishman In Jazzland

October 24, 2004


Written in a combo jazzed-up sassy poetry -- rhythms part Irish,
part New York street, part Chicago South Side blues -- Roddy
Doyle's new novel Oh, Play That Thing tackles nothing less than
what America was and what it meant to the surge of post-World War I
and Depression-era immigrants.

The book is about outsiders -- immigrants, African Americans, and,
later, the people lost in the Great Depression, the wave of
invisible poorwashed from plains to ocean like loose mud. It is
about being someone with hope in his heart.

And Doyle writes with a voice that rings like a note crying out of
a burnished cornet. You'd swear Louis Armstrong himself was telling
you the story. But it isn't Armstrong -- though he figures
prominently in the book; it's Henry Smart, Irishman on the lam,
Doyle's hero from A Star Called Henry (the first volume of a
trilogy of which Oh, Play That Thing is the second).

Henry is fresh to America after a life in Ireland as an Irish
Republican Army assassin. There is a price on his head and it
appears it has followed him to New York, where he sets himself up
in the advertising business, carrying a sandwich board. But Henry
is ambitious. He carves out a territory and does well enough to
hire kids to carry his boards, but he soon learns that all the
territories are spoken for, his boys get smacked by thugs with
baseball bats, and soon Henry is told to leave town.

Oh, Play That Thing
By Roddy Doyle
Viking. $24.95.

And all the time Henry keeps an eye open for the wrong Irish face,
someone from Dublin sent there to put a bullet in his head; the
other eye he keeps open in hopes of finding his wife, Miss O'Shea,
the woman he married in the previous volume -- she is a few years
older than Henry, was once his schoolteacher, and is a fiery rebel
as well. They have a daughter, Saoirse, whom Henry has not seen.

Henry travels the Northeast and Midwest before landing in Chicago.
He finds work in the stockyards and lives in a boarding house where
he rents a mattress. But Henry doesn't have much need for the room
or the mattress, for he spends his off hours walking the city. He
discovers the city's music, the blues and jazz played in black
clubs or black-and-tans (places that allowed mixed crowds on
certain nights, when blacks and whites could share the same space
and even dance together, so long as they didn't sit together or
arrive together). Henry is comfortable among African-Americans,
seeing them as another version of himself, people on the outside
taking their licks and just trying to get by.

One night he hears the young Louie Armstrong and it is like a
calling from God. Henry cannot help himself. He has heard the sound
of his new country and he seeks out Armstrong and signs up as a
priest in the new religion of music.

But the clubs are run by gangsters, for Prohibition is in full
flower. Armstrong will play only on his terms and Henry becomes the
"beard" Armstrong needs in order to play his music. Henry Smart
becomes Louis Armstrong's white man, the key to what independence
Armstrong can find.

The middle part of the book is all about Prohibition-era Chicago
and the birth of the South Side sound, but it is also about what
men must do to maintain their dignity, their art, their lives, in
the face of an organized society determined to use them without
honoring them.

Henry is reunited with his wife and child in Chicago and the three
of them settle into family life, except that Henry continues to
help Armstrong.

But Louis is hungry and the two of them end up in Harlem, where
Henry feels safe, until a series of ventures leads to his taking
one too many chances and he is recognized by the wrong Irish face.
It looks like curtains for Henry, but with help he escapes and goes
on the run with his family.

They become part of the hordes riding the rails; it is the heart of
the Depression. At this point the narrative speeds up and huge
chunks of action and time are spit out. Pushed to the brink by
their poverty, Henry and Miss O'Shea and their child resort to old
solutions and their legend grows alongside that of Bonnie and Clyde
and other Depression-era criminal saints. The family becomes
separated again, and Henry spends years searching for his wife and
daughter, seemingly a half rumor behind finding them. The book
rushes to its end in Monument Valley, Utah, with John Ford wanting
to film Henry's story.

Louis Armstrong, of course, is a real character, as are filmmaker
Ford and actor Henry Fonda, who show up late; but another more
prominent character, known for most of the book as Olaf's half-
sister and later called Florence Grattan-McKendrick, is clearly
modeled after evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. She seems by turns
wise, insightful, demonic, angelic, but always sexy and imbued with
a gravity that allows her to do anything. She is at once one of the
most important characters and yet her true self seems lost in the
language of her creation. She is a series of riffs, insightful to
the point of representing the chorus, but if so, then the chorus
sings in ad slogans. She is dangerously close to being a deus ex

This is Doyle's rambunctious tale of the 20th century's immigrant
America. If a country could reinvent itself, it was a snap for a
man to reinvent himself. And American reinvented itself with every
wave of immigrants.

Like the hoboes who criss-crossed the land on trains and set up
Hoovervilles and gathered around open fires where a big pot
bubbled, everyone brought something to the stew -- if you did, you
ate; if you didn't, you watched. The Depression made watchers of
those who had already tossed in their onion, their carrot, their
labor and hopes.

Randy Michael Signor recently moved to Seattle with his wife. His
fiction appears regularly in literary magazines.


Daniel's World Keeps Growing

By Joe Oliver
24 October 2004

Daniel O'Donnell was celebrating last night after his new album
gate-crashed the Top 10 in the British charts.

The Donegal crooner was the week's third new entry - leapfrogging
over the likes of Scissor Sisters, Usher and Marilyn Manson.

The album, Welcome To My World, is dedicated to the memory of Jim

"This year marks the 40th anniversary of Jim's death and I was
determined to pay my small tribute to a great artist," said Daniel.

"He really was a superstar - one of the very first in the country

"During the 1960s and 1970s, Jim had 26 chart hits, which was

But Daniel's success with the new album is further proof of his own
international appeal.

He performs to more than 300,000 people every year, from Carnegie
Hall to the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall to Wembley

He is also one of the few performers on this side of the Atlantic
to have successfully cashed in on the lucrative American market -
something even Robbie Williams couldn't achieve.

Kincasslagh's most famous resident is planning something special
next month to mark the second anniversary of his marriage to

The couple tied the knot in the Donegal village on November 4,

They spent part of their honeymoon in Branson, Missouri, and Daniel
and Majella plan to return there for a sell-out series of 18

But local fans will have a chance to catch up with their idol when
he returns to Belfast's Waterfront Hall on December 15.


Hibernians Raise Funds For Statue Restoration

By The Helena IR - 10/24/04

The statue of Thomas Francis Meagher with sword in hand astride a
horse that is the signature piece of art on the front lawn of the
Montana State Capitol will be restored thanks to the division of
the Ancient Order of Hibernians that bear his name.

The Meagher Division raised $9,000 for the restoration of the
statue, which will be matched by a like amount from the specific
funds dedicated to caring for artwork on the Capitol grounds. Such
care is the responsibility of the Montana Historical Society.

"We are thankful to the Meagher Division for their work in raising
these funds," Society Director Arnold Olsen said. "We work as hard
as we can to maximize the funds that are available to us as
guardians of the state's history and heritage, and we work with the
private sector whenever we can to help get the job done."

Pete McHugh of Helena, who was in charge of the fund-raising
project for the Meagher Division, said its success was a tribute to
people who take pride in Montana's past.

"We got the job done, and the Helena community really stepped
forward on it," McHugh said. "We also got support from places like
Anaconda, Butte and White Sulphur Springs, as well as from people
outside of Montana who wanted to help out on the project. This is
the kind of thing that makes you feel good about being a Montanan."

Olsen said that preliminary assessment of the statue, cleaning, and
application of protective wax coating were done this summer. It was
discovered that several pieces of the statue were missing or
severely damaged, and those are being researched and recreated,
with completion of the project set for early next summer.

McHugh said one of the reasons the Hibernians stepped forward to
take on the project was to get the statue restored for next year's
commemoration of the 100th anniversary of its dedication.

"We are going to have a big celebration with lots of events on July
5 next summer that we think will bring thousands of Montanans and
people from Ireland and other places across the world here to honor
Meagher and Montana," McHugh said.

Meagher led a remarkable life as a leader of the Irish insurrection
for which he was deported from the country, a general in the
American Civil War, as an orator, and as acting Territorial
Governor of Montana.

--- News

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