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 25, 2004

News 10/25/04 - Ferry: D-Day For Deportee

News about Ireland & the Irish

IC 10/25/80 Ferry: D-Day For Deportee
IT 10/26/04 Two Irish MEPs Intend To Reject Barroso's Commission
BT 10/25/04 Council To Press On With £5m Facelift
BT 10/25/04 Viewpoint: Stalemate May Deter Investors
IT 10/26/04 Ireland's Grandest Folly Restored -Eur700,000 Project
IC 10/25/04 Pierre Salinger: The Cigar Man

RT 10/25/04 Missing Dublin Man Found In Paris -VO
RT 10/25/04 How Brady Lived Rough Since His Disappearance -VO
RT 10/25/04 Northern Ireland Talks Expected To Intensify- VO
RT 10/25/04 Tommie Gorman Assesses The N Ireland Peace Process- VO
RT 10/25/04 6 Remote Pitcairn Islanders Convicted Of Sex Abuse -VO

See Missing Dublin Man Found In Paris - Justin Treacy reports that
Brendan Brady's family are planning a huge homecoming

See Angela Kerins, Chief Executive of Rehab Care, says Mr Brady
Lived Rough Since His Disappearance On Wednesday

See Northern Ireland Talks Expected To Intensify - Tommie Gorman,
Northern Editor, outlines the British Prime Minister Tony Blair's
comments regarding the NI peace process

See Tommie Gorman Assesses The Situation Regarding The Northern
Ireland Peace Process

See Six Remote Pitcairn Islanders Convicted Of Sex Abuse - Fiona
Mitchell outlines the sex abuse charges against six islanders

See Record breaking day at Dublin marathon - Eamon Horan reports on
this year's Dublin City Marathon


D-Day For Deportee

A local father spoke movingly last night of his hopes for justice
as his son — former political prisoner Ciarán Ferry — this week
faces deportation from the US.

Former Lenadoon man Ciarán Ferry faces a crucial court judgement
this week to determine whether he will be released from jail and
allowed to continue living in America with his wife Heaven, and
three-year-old daughter Fiona.

The ex-POW, who was released from Long Kesh under the Good Friday
Agreement, has been held at a high security Colorado jail for a
staggering 634 days as he fights efforts to deport him back to
Ireland. In December 2000, Ciarán and Heaven moved to America after
his personal details were discovered in the possession of loyalist
paramilitaries. The couple settled in Heaven's home city of
Colorado and Ciarán was 'legally in status' after he filed his
application for a green card in early 2002.

However on January 29, 2003, Ciarán attended what he believed was a
routine green card interview only to be arrested.

Due to the nature of his imprisonment, Ciarán has not had physical
contact with his wife or daughter during the entire period of his
detention. As well as constant strip-searches, Ciarán has also been
subjected to long periods of solitary confinement and lack of

This Thursday morning Ciarán will discover whether his last-ditch
application for a writ of habeas corpus – declaring his continued
detention as illegal – has been successful. Although scheduled to
take place last week, the delivery of the judgement was delayed to
permit Irish Consul General, Donal Denham, to travel to the court
from San Francisco.

Speaking exclusively to the Andersonstown News last night, Ciarán's
father, Gerry, said his family just want the ordeal to be over.

"We need to know one way or the other. Some of the indications from
America seem to be hopeful, but we've seen too much to have any
high hopes."

"Ciarán has done nothing wrong. The nature of his continued
imprisonment is an unacceptable abuse of human rights and the whole
family just hopes that the judge comes down on the side of justice
on Thursday morning," said Gerry Ferry.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney


Two Irish MEPs Intend To Reject Barroso's Commission

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

Two of Ireland's 13 MEPs are preparing to vote against the
appointment of the European Commission tomorrow in the wake of the
controversy over Italian nominee Mr Rocco Buttiglione's views and
record on the treatment of homosexuals and other minorities.

The five Fine Gael MEPs and four from Fianna Fáil have confirmed
they will vote in the European Parliament to appoint the
Commission. But Labour's Mr Proinsias De Rossa and Sinn Féin's Ms
Mary Lou McDonald have said they will vote against the Commission
unless Mr Buttiglione is moved from the justice and home affairs
portfolio before tomorrow.

Independent, Ms Marian Harkin, says she has not yet made up her
mind, while the other Independent, Ms Kathy Sinnott, could not be
contacted for comment.

Fianna Fáil MEPs, who are going to vote Yes en bloc, were keen to
stress yesterday that the vote was not specifically on the
suitability of Mr Buttiglione, but on the Commission as a whole.

The leader of the Fianna Fáil group, Mr Brian Crowley, said
yesterday Mr Buttiglione had stated that as a public representative
he would not support discrimination against anybody. Mr Crowley
said his group recognised that member-states nominated the people
they felt would make the best commissioners, "and we respect their
right to do that".

The party's Connacht/Ulster MEP, Mr Seán Ó Neachtáin, said he and
the others in his group had met Mr Buttiglione a few days ago. "I
questioned him about these remarks, and as far as I am concerned he
has the right to state his religious views." He had expressed those
views "perhaps not wisely" but he had been "labelled by those who
want to have a go at the Christian ethos of Europe". Mr Ó Neachtáin
said 22 of 25 commissioners had come through the parliamentary
hearings "with no question marks against them" so he believed the
Commission was deserving of support.

His Dublin party colleague, Mr Eoin Ryan, said Mr Buttiglione
"seems to have clarified the situation and said he would not
discriminate against anybody".

Mr De Rossa said he would be voting against the Commission if Mr
Buttiglione is not shifted from his current portfolio, and will
abstain if he is moved. "The issue is not his discrimination. He
has actively opposed such legislation in Italy. The issue is
whether he can carry out his business as an EU commissioner."

He said Mr Buttiglione's views were not a private matter, as he had
applied his "pro-active deeply conservative Catholic position" to
his public role in the past. "He has operated in all cases in line
with the advice he gets from the Vatican instead of the advice he
gets from the people."

The leader of the Fine Gael group, Ms Avril Doyle, said that while
her party had "registered serious concerns about the lack of
tolerance expressed in Mr Buttiglione's statements" on certain
issues, "we accept his right to his own strongly-held orthodox
Catholic views". She said the Fine Gael MEPs would vote in favour
of the Commission although perhaps Mr Buttiglione was "the right
man in the wrong job".

Fine Gael MEP, Mr Simon Coveney, said he would vote in favour of
the Commission. He said he was "not overly comfortable" with Ms
Doyle's statement that Mr Buttiglione was "the right man in the
wrong job".

"I feel there is a bit of a witch hunt going on here. He should
have been more careful in how he phrased his responses to
questions, but the inferences that have been made in relation to
him are unfair."

Ms Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin does not accept that the
opposition to Mr Buttiglione is because of his religion. She said
he had made "very offensive statements about women, single parents
and gay people"and MEPs had to decide if he was capable of
operating in the civic sphere in a way that did not "allow those
religious views to intrude". She said Mr Barroso had until tomorrow
to change Mr Buttiglione's role or she would vote against the

Independent Connacht/Ulster MEP, Ms Marian Harkin, who is a member
of the Parliament's liberal group which is divided on the issue,
said she had not yet decided how to vote. She questioned the
relevance of the European Parliament hearings on the Commission if
their outcome could simply be ignored. She said she felt Mr Barroso
had to take into account the views of the committee who voted
against the Italian.

She said the fact that Mr Buttiglione had attempted to remove
sexual orientation from a list of prohibited grounds for
discrimination in the EU charter of fundamental rights meant his
views were a public issue and not a private matter.

EU constitution: information campaign to begin

A Government information campaign on the new European constitution
will begin on Friday with the launch of a short explanatory

The Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, has acknowledged that "we cannot take
things for granted".

He told the Dáil last week, he was "apprehensive" that the public
was not aware of the benefits of the new constitution to Irish

The referendum on the new constitution, agreed during Ireland's
presidency of the EU, is likely to take place next year.

EU government leaders will formally sign the new treaty on Friday
in Rome.

To mark the occasion, the explanatory leaflet will be launched and
will be available in libraries and all public and community
buildings.A longer, more detailed leaflet will be published later.

Marie O'Halloran


DUP Call For Bradley Sacking

The DUP have called for the sacking of the vice-chairman of the
policing board Denis Bradley after he said nationalists may have to
reconsider their involvement in policing here if the current
political vacuum continues.

By:Press Association

A Northern Ireland policing chief provoked uproar today after
warning that hard-won Catholic support for the force may end unless
the political deadlock is broken.

Unionists demanded Denis Bradley`s resignation for claiming
painstaking reforms to the service were in peril because a new
peace deal had yet to be struck.

With Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
trying to get all sides in Belfast to reach a settlement that would
restore devolution, Mr Bradley insisted a breakthrough was needed
within a fortnight.

Otherwise, nationalist officers who signed up as part of a major
overhaul to the overwhelmingly Protestant force may have second
thoughts, the Northern Ireland Policing Board vice chairman

Catholics sitting on the district partnerships which hold chief
constable Hugh Orde`s men and women to account could also withdraw,
he added.

He said: "The broad nationalist consensus will find it very
difficult, in my opinion, to live under direct rule.

"Some of these people who have taken the burden over the past two
years, who have been abused verbally by Sinn Fein, and attacked by
others, have a right to their concerns.

"I wonder, will they continue to take the strain and should they
take the strain?"

If unionists and republicans cannot strike a deal that would revive
the Stormont power-sharing arrangements, direct rule should be
replaced by a form of joint authority from London and Dublin, Mr
Bradley argued.

The former priest, who helped broker talks between the IRA and
British Government during the early days of the peace process, has
been an influential figure in the ongoing attempts to transform
policing in Ulster.

With Sinn Fein still refusing to endorse the service, his
relationship with republicans in his native Derry has grown
increasingly fraught.

Incensed unionists launched an all-out assault on him following his
latest analysis, claiming he was trying to force them into a
political settlement.

The DUP`s Ian Paisley Jr, who sits on the Policing Board alongside
Mr Bradley, claimed he should be removed from the authority.

"The disgraceful comments are a licence to dissident republicans to
attack and kill police officers," the North Antrim MLA said.

"He ought to either retract these words or else he should have the
decency to resign from the Police Board.

"Dennis Bradley is attempting to go native with republicans. He has
deliberately created a situation where now his support for the
police is conditional upon republicans getting their own way.

"I have asked the Secretary of State to consider Bradley`s comments
and determine in light of them if he is fit to remain on the Police

Mr Paisley`s party colleague, senior DUP negotiator Nigel Dodds,
was equally scathing.

The North Belfast MP said: "It is not Dennis Bradley`s job to be
making any comment whatsoever on the status of the political
process in Northern Ireland.

"We have heard for years how politics and policing should be
separate. Dennis Bradley ought to heed that advice."


Council To Press On With £5m Facelift

25 October 2004

Craigavon Borough council is pressing ahead with a £5m facelift for
the Civic Centre - even though the building could be obsolete in
five years.

The borough council will cease to exist by 2009, with the review of
local government reducing the number of Northern Ireland's district
councils from the current 26 to seven.

And the predictions are that Armagh City will be the headquarters
of the mega-council being planned for the south of the county.

But despite these predictions, Craigavon's policy and resources
committee recommended on Tuesday night that the £5m scheme should

The recorded vote went along unionist-nationalist lines, and is
certain to be ratified at the full council meeting on November 1.

Indeed, one unionist councillor suggested that the issue didn't
need to go to full council, as they were all invited to Tuesday's

But Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd retorted: "It has to be ratified, and
you'll have to vote with the Press present."

Nationalists wanted the facelift restricted to health and safety,
plus essential changes to accommodate the disabled, and this would
have more than halved the costs.

But the voting went 12-5 against them.

Six DUP, four UUP and two independent unionists supported the
motion to go ahead, while three SDLP and two Sinn Fein voted

The biggest single expenditure is the problematic roof, which has
been leaking almost from the start when the building was completed
in 1983.


Viewpoint: Stalemate May Deter Investors

25 October 2004

More than two years since the suspension of the Assembly Northern
Ireland is still awaiting the restoration of devolution. And to
judge from the way the current negotiations are going, it could be
a long wait yet.

Despite sporadic bursts of optimism by Ministers north and south,
the reality is that there is no sign of an accommodation between
the two main players, the DUP and Sinn Fein. Regrettably, it looks
as though Northern Ireland will be saddled with direct rule for a
little longer.

Although the public does not appear excessively exercised about the
impasse, the continued political uncertainty does exact a price on
Northern Ireland and, in particular, on the economy.

As a recent survey by The Economist suggested, the economic future
of the province depends on the ability of the peace process to
produce stability. Investors will remain hesitant until a lasting
political agreement is secured.

The economy has made major strides forward in recent years, and
unemployment is now at a record low of 4.7%. But we are still far
too dependent on the public sector, leaving us vulnerable to cuts
in public spending and the downsizing of the Civil Service.

Last week's announcement of 660 new jobs as a result of an
expansion by Northbook Technology is particularly welcome, but such
boosts are unfortunately all too rare nowadays.

How different things would be if a new deal could be struck between
the parties. Much hinges, of course, on a complete end to all
paramilitary activity.

But as the various parties and organisations take stock, the spin-
offs for the economy of a lasting peace must not be ignored.


Ireland's 'Grandest Folly' Restored After Eur700,000 Project

Frank McDonald, Environment Editor

The Browne-Clayton monument in Carrickbyrne, Co Wexford -
described by architectural historians as Ireland's grandest folly -
has been fully restored with support from the World Monuments Fund
and Wexford County Council.

The 95 ft (29 metre) granite column, a local landmark visible for
miles around, had been in "severe danger of collapse" after being
struck by lightning in December 1994. It is located off the N25
roughly half-way between Wexford and New Ross.

The only commemorative column of its kind with an internal stairway
- as Nelson's Pillar had in Dublin - cost nearly €700,000 to
restore over the past two years. This included a meticulous piecing
together of its Corinthian capital, which alone weighs 32 tonnes.

Built in 1839 by Gen Robert Browne-Clayton, it was modelled on
Pompey's Pillar in Alexandria to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon
in Egypt in 1801. Browne-Clayton was a local landowner who served
with British forces in the campaign.

After the 1994 lightning strike, a joint restoration group - the
Wexford Monument Trust - consisting of the World Monument Fund,
Wexford County Council and An Taisce - arranged for a survey and
interim infilling of the breached column.

Under the supervision of Mr James Howley, of Howley Harrington
Architects, the damaged capital was dismantled in September 2002
with the aid of an outsized crane. Each carefully numbered piece of
granite was then laid out on the ground.

The shaft of the column, which stands on the side of a hill, was
stabilised to prevent collapse. A later phase involved cutting
replacement stones, straightening and rebuilding the damaged part
of the shaft and finally replacing the capital.

Substantial donations came from the Robert Wilson Challenge, which
is administered by the World Monuments Fund, and Wexford County
Council, with other funding from the Department of the Environment,
the EU, the Heritage Council and private donors.

The World Monuments Fund has worked with local communities to
rescue more than 400 important sites in 80 countries, including
such iconic monuments as Angkor Wat, Petra and the Valley of the

Headfort House, Co Meath, is to be its next project in Ireland.

© The Irish Times


The Way I See It

Pierre Salinger: The Cigar Man

Of all the memories I have of arrests – and there are quite a few –
probably the most abiding is of Pierre Salinger, the former press
secretary of President John F Kennedy, nonchalantly puffing a huge
Cuban cigar as he was hoisted into a jeep in Springfield Road
barracks before being sent to Castlereagh for interrogation!

Salinger, who died last week from heart failure at the age of 79,
was a great journalist and broadcaster. It was at a Sinn Féin press
conference in 1979 that he was arrested under the Emergency
Provisions Act by the RUC which claimed that he and his crew were
in Belfast to film an IRA checkpoint.

The incident occurred in early September 1979 on the Whiterock
Road, a week after the IRA had killed Lord Mountbatten in Sligo and
18 paratroopers at Warrenpoint. Following those attacks the
Republican Press Centre on the Falls Road, where I worked, was
inundated with requests for interviews and background briefings.

When we met he and I immediately hit it off even though I was a
novice publicity officer to a revolutionary party and he had been
press secretary to a US President. I knew Salinger was quite famous
but not the detail of his life.

As a naval commander at just 19 he was decorated for bravery for
saving the lives of 15 sailors stranded on a sandbar in Okinawa in
1944. Later, as a journalist who was researching corruption in the
Teamsters Union, he was hired by Robert Kennedy who, as a lawyer to
a Senate committee, was also inquiring into labour racketeering. It
was Robert who introduced Salinger to his brother John, then
Senator for Massachusetts.

When JFK decided to run for the presidency in 1959 he made Salinger
his press aide, and after his victory White House press secretary.
There, Salinger was a reformer and adopted a media-friendly style,
encouraging Kennedy to hold open and regular press conferences,
live on television for the first time.

He sat in on cabinet meetings and inner briefings. About the failed
US invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis
(depicted in the film 'Thirteen Days') he wrote about observing
Kennedy and acquiring a grasp of the pressure of individual
leadership and the loneliness of command.

After Kennedy's assassination he left politics and went into
business for a few years but later returned to work in Robert
Kennedy's election campaign in 1968. He was only ten yards away
from Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated. He went to live in
France (his mother was a French Catholic, his father a Jew),
returned to journalism and by 1978 was working for ABC News out of

It was Tuesday, September 4, when we met up for a press conference
in the Ballymurphy Community Centre. However, within minutes a
helicopter soared above the Whiterock Road, Saracens and jeeps
arrived and sealed off the area. Joe Austin, PRO of Belfast Sinn
Féin, was being interviewed by Salinger when the Brits and the RUC,
accompanied by plain-clothes detectives and a British army
intelligence officer, burst through the doors. They told everybody
to stop what they were doing.

"Separate the press from the others," said a Superintendent. In
those days I was not that well-known and so I was taken out of the
hall as press with Pierre Salinger, his crew and Basil McLaughlin
(photographer for the Andersonstown News) and addressed as being
one of the 'gentlemen' who had fallen into bad company. Only when
they checked my NUJ card, heard my accent and saw my address was I
taken to the side like any decent 'Paddy' and called, "Right, you!"
Behind us we left Joe Austin, Richard McAuley and some 'Republican
News' staff all of whom were separately arrested.

In Springfield Road barracks the cameras of the film crew, their
videos (which contained an interview with Taoiseach Jack Lynch),
Basil's cameras and film were all seized and it was decided to send
us to Castlereagh. The two French men were terrified and were
visibly shaking. As we were being taken out of the barracks and
into the yard, RUC men shouted at them, "Who beat you at Waterloo,

Salinger was surrounded by fairly aggressive Scottish soldiers,
strolled past them with real poise and puffed at a huge Punch Punch
Cuban cigar, which takes about 50 minutes of devoted time to smoke!
(I read somewhere that he originally took to smoking cigars in
order to appear more mature and authoritative when as a teenage
naval officer he commanded 25 older men.)

Basil, the two French men, I and four RUC men were put in the back
of another jeep, which was only insured for five. Basil pointed out
a badge on the lapel of one of the RUC men – 'USC [Ulster Special
Constabulary – the B Specials] L.O.L 1970'.

In Castlereagh I was put in the next cell to Pierre Salinger and
joked with him not to break. He said the US Consul in Belfast was
on his way in to see him. During questioning as well as being asked
about the press conference I was asked, "Do you take drugs…Have you
shit yourself?" Meanwhile, Basil McLaughlin, as he remarked in last
Thursday's 'Andersonstown News', was being physically abused, with
RUC officers almost breaking his fingers whilst forcibly taking his

Pierre Salinger was released after 12 hours, his arrest having
seriously embarrassed Whitehall and been a huge story across North
America. On Wednesday morning before I was released I was kept
standing in a bare room for about ten minutes before a detective
said, "You'll be glad to know you stood for Lord Mountbatten." My
time in the room had included the two minutes silence held from 11
o'clock for Mountbatten, the civilians killed with him, and the
paratroopers. Joe Austin and I were released first and Richard
McAuley the following day. But they kept Basil for four days!
Obviously one of those older and more sinister men that Diplock
judges use to refer to!

Salinger wrote many books about his career and also several novels.
Though he later went back to live in the USA he said he would leave
if George Bush – who was "not fit to be President" – was elected.
And so four years ago he went back to southern France and along
with his fourth wife ran a bed-and-breakfast inn.

His eldest son Stephen visited him before his death and says that
his eyes twinkled when he gave him a box of Punch Punch cigars.
"His vocabulary was limited to only a few words.

"That was okay, because among the few words he could still remember
and words every son wants to hear, he said, 'I love you.'"

He was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery, as he had requested,
close to the graves of the two Kennedy brothers.

--- News

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?