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)

November 28, 2004

News 11/28/04 - SF To Meet With Blair & Orde

News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 11/28/04 SF To Discuss Demilitarisation With Blair & Orde –V(2)
II 11/28/04 Adams In Historic Talks With N Ireland Police Chief
BB 11/28/04 Bush Phones Adams Over NI Talks
SF 11/28/04 Brits Must Act On UN Human Rights Recommendations
IT 11/29/04 Primate Urges Parties To 'Grasp Opportunity'
ET 11/28/04 Ireland Woos Indian Investors
IT 11/29/04 Peatland Centre To Auction Rare Bog Pony

RT 11/28/04 United Nations Worker On Way Home To Armagh -VO

United Nations Worker On Way Home To Armagh - Bethan Kilfoil
reports on the journey of Annetta Flanigan


9 News: Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, reports on the latest
developments in the North negotiations

Sinn Féin To Discuss Demilitarisation With Tony Blair And Hugh Orde
–V (2)

Published: 28 November, 2004

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, the party's Chief Negotiator
Martin McGuinness, Catriona Ruane MLA, Gerry Kelly MLA, Ard
Chomhairle member Councillor Joe Reilly and Michelle Gildernew MP
will meet the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street
tomorrow morning. The key issue under discussion will be
demilitarisation and the need for an immediate accelerated
programme to accomplish this. The British Prime Minister will be
accompanied by the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde.

Speaking tonight Sinn Fein Party Chairperson Mitchel Mclaughlin

"There are a number of matters which need to be resolved in the
current negotiations. One of these is the key issue of

"Sinn Fein has consistently argued that there is a need for an
immediate and accelerated programme of demilitarisation. This is a
vital part of the peace process and part of the unfinished work of
the Good Friday Agreement.

"It is time for the British government to move speedily to deal
with this matter. It is a critical issue for nationalist Ireland.

"Previously Mr. Blair has told us that the responsibility for
demilitarisation rests with the Chief Constable. Sinn Féin is
meeting him with Mr. Blair in order to press the case for an end to
the military occupation in republican heartlands and to test his
commitment to bring this about. There will be no discussion on
policing issues at tomorrows meeting." ENDS


Adams In Historic Talks With Northern Ireland Police Chief

By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent
29 November 2004

The Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and the chief of Northern
Ireland's police will meet today for the first time as talks on a
new peace agreement enter a critical phase.

Mr Adams and Chief Constable Hugh Orde will break new ground by
holding talks. Mr Adams will also meet Tony Blair at Downing

Direct official contact between the republican movement and the
police has been one of the few remaining taboos in Northern
Ireland. The encounter will encourage hopes that a political
breakthrough is on the horizon.

Sinn Fein and the Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party have
for weeks been engaged in intense negotiations conducted via the
British and Irish governments.

Mr Blair and the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern hope that a deal
can be struck in mid-week. The terms of a new accord will be
complex but will centre on DUP agreement to enter government with
Sinn Fein following substantial IRA concessions on weaponry.

The timing of the Adams-Orde meeting is particularly significant
since an important part of any deal will be the transfer of
policing and security powers to a new Belfast administration. A
police spokesman said: "The Chief Constable ... has said he will
meet anyone who has a positive contribution to make towards
policing in Northern Ireland."

The next few days will see a flurry of other activity as London and
Dublin try to stitch together a new deal. Mr Paisley is to meet
General John De Chastelain, head of the arms decommissioning body,
today, and will see Mr Blair tomorrow.

President George Bush has telephoned both Mr Paisley and Mr Adams,
urging them to finalise an agreement. President Bush said he had
sought to get the two parties to the table "to get a deal done".


Bush Phones Adams Over NI Talks

US mediation to resolve the Northern Ireland conflict has been
discussed by President George W Bush and Sinn Fein president Gerry

The White House confirmed that Mr Bush spoke to Mr Adams on Sunday,
following a call between Mr Bush and DUP leader Ian Paisley on

"I told him that we may need help at the White House to deliver"
Sinn Fein's objectives, Mr Adams said.

Mr Adams is separately to meet NI's police chief in a ground-
breaking move.

The Sinn Fein leader said he thanked President Bush "for his
interest" and briefed him on the party's two objectives in the
current negotiations.

"These are to get the DUP on board for an agreement and to ensure
that the British Government's position remains faithful to the
power sharing, equality-based and all-Ireland institutions
contained in the Good Friday Agreement.

"I told him that we may need help at the White House to deliver
these requirements."

"Irish America, the Bush administration and the previous Clinton
administration have been very helpful throughout the peace process.
We look forward to a continuation of the positive involvement of
the US in the Irish peace process."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the call was made as
President Bush flew from his Texas ranch where he had been
celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.

He said the President had urged Mr Adams to provide leadership to
advance the peace process and expressed support for the agreement
proposed by Tony Blair and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern.

On Monday, while a Sinn Fein delegation meets the Prime Minister
Tony Blair at Downing Street, Mr Adams will have his first meeting
with the head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hugh Orde.

A Sinn Fein spokesperson said "demilitarisation", the scaling down
of security, would be discussed.

The party has consistently avoided meetings with the Chief
Constable up until now.

Tuesday deadline

The talks come as negotiations to break the deadlock in the peace
process come to a head.

The British and Irish governments are pressing Sinn Fein and the
DUP to agree to a new package of proposals by Tuesday.

Earlier on Sunday Mr Adams has said he believes the DUP is prepared
to sign up to a deal to restore devolution.

Before signing up, Mr Paisley wants proof of IRA decommissioning.

Mr Adams said his party wanted to be "agents of change" but, like
Mr Paisley, they also wanted a fair deal.

Speaking on the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme on Sunday, Mr
Adams said: "We can get an agreement, despite the refusal of Ian
Paisley to talk."

Mr Adams said people were "hugely sceptical" that Mr Paisley would
do a deal but added: "I think he will do a deal.

"But there is a responsibility on the British Government to press
ahead with the Irish Government on all the outstanding aspects of
the Agreement."

Later, Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin suggested the parties
were "on the verge" of making a breakthrough.

"This has been a successful peace process - perhaps one that didn't
develop as quickly as people on the ground would have hoped, but
nonetheless it has been moving steadily in the right direction,
despite all the hiccups and frustrations and disappointments.

"The final piece in bringing all-party dialogue about is this
discourse between the DUP and Sinn Fein and I think we are on the
verge of achieving that."

Mr Paisley is to meet the head of the decommissioning body to
discuss the possibility of IRA disarmament on Monday, a move which
has been welcomed by Sinn Fein.

The meeting with General John de Chastelain will come amid further
talks to try to restore devolution to Northern Ireland.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/29 00:23:31 GMT


British Government Must Act On UN Human Rights Recommendations

Published: 28 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Equality, Human Rights and Women's spokesperson, South
Down MLA Catriona Ruane has said that the British government give
Human Rights Commission greater powers after the United Nations
Committee against Torture called on the British government to
provide the Human Rights Commission with the powers to enter places
of detention.

Ms Ruane said:

"The British government should immediately comply with the
recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture and provide the
Human Rights Commission with the right to access prisons and other
places of detention where vulnerable groups are contained.

"It has been our consistent view since the Human Rights Commission
was established under the Good Friday Agreement that the lack of
powers, particularly investigative powers has deliberately
obstructed the Commission's work. We have argued this point on
behalf of the Commission in negotiations with the British
government. Without such powers vulnerable individuals and groups -
such as women prisoners being held in Hydebank in unsuitable
conditions that breach their rights or those in juvenile justice
centres or the mentally ill - cannot be independently assessed or
accessed by the Human Rights Commission.

"The fact that the UN Committee against Torture has criticised the
failure of the British government to provide the Human Rights
Commission with appropriate powers is a very positive and timely
move. Its voice, as an international human rights watchdog should
be listened to and, as a matter of urgency, fully complied with in
the interests of those in our society who need their human rights


Primate Urges Parties To 'Grasp Opportunity'

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent

The Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Seán Brady, has
warned against making the pursuit of a perfect solution to the
North's problems "the enemy of a good solution".

He continued that "a good solution can create the opportunity for
better solutions to emerge."

Speaking yesterday at a Mass to mark the reopening, following
renovations, of the St John the Baptist Church near the Garvaghy
Road in Drumcree parish, Co Armagh, he appealed "to all involved in
the negotiations to grasp the good opportunity that now presents
itself and to give us reasons to hope for new possibilities and for
a new beginning to our shared future by reaching agreement".

"For, should these hopes be once more dashed, then the only winners
will be the cynics, and the losers [ will be] the people who
believed that locally elected representatives could take
responsibility for our local situation," Dr Brady said.

Over recent years, he noted, "the people of Northern Ireland have
made a remarkable journey."


Ireland Woos Indian Investors

Monday, November 29, 2004 01:09:49AM]

BELFAST: Insisting that acts of racialism were isolated in the
country and would be dealt with sternly, Northern Ireland is wooing
foreign professionals -- including from India.

Barry Gardiner, minister for enterprise, trade and investment, who
recently returned from a visit to India to explore trade and
investment opportunities, stated: "Racism is an issue, I do not
deny that. But this is being dealt with sternly.

It is confined to a small section of society -- mainly families
that have had a history of unemployment," he said.

Gardiner, the founding president of Labour Friends of India, a
pressure group within the ruling Labour party, said Northern
Ireland is sparsely populated and would welcome professionals from
India. There have been recent reports of racist attacks against
medical and other professionals from India, China, the Philippines,
South Africa and also Portugal.


Peatland Centre To Auction Rare Bog Pony

Niamh O'Donoghue

A rare Kerry bog pony will be auctioned this week to raise funds
for the Irish Peatland Conservation Council's (IPCC) new
headquarters in Co Kildare.

The closing date for bids for five-year-old Ballycleave Heather is

The pony was donated by Mr John Mullvihill and the Kerry Bog Pony
Society and has been awarded the title of Ireland's heritage pony.

The IPCC bought the Peatland World Museum at Lullymore in the Bog
of Allen from Teagasc a year ago.

The auction is the latest in a series of fundraising initiatives to
help develop the centre. It now boasts the largest carnivorous
plant display in Ireland. The IPCC is a registered environmental
charity with 8,000 members in Ireland and abroad. It plans to
develop a national centre for peatland education, conservation and
research at the premises.

© The Irish Times

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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