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November 29, 2004

News 11/29/04 - Critical Stage For NI Process

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 11/29/04 Critical Stage For NI Process -V(4)
BB 11/29/04 Paisley, Politics, Preaching And Poison
UK 11/29/04 British PM Press Conference (Partial Transcript)
UT 11/29/04 'Total Disarmament A Mirage'
GU 11/29/04 A Rejuvenated Paisley Eyes His Ultimate Goal
TO 11/29/04 Power And Responsibility
SM 11/29/04 Police May Asses Threats To Omagh Case Witness
SF 11/29/04 Victims Raise Collusion At EU Parliament
CT 11/29/04 Warming Up To Language Irish Once Found Uncool

QA 11/29/04 State Of North/South Relations Be In Five Years -VO
QA 11/29/04 Can Bewley's Be Saved? –VO
PT 11/29/04 Revealing Examination Of Limerick City –VO

Questions and Answers - 29 November 2004
29 Nov 2004 6:53:36 PM - Presented by John Bowman

Alison O'Connor, Political Correspondent, Irish Independent
Senator Martin Mansergh, Fianna Fail
Brendan Howlin, Labour spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and
Eoin Fahy of KBC Asset Management
Professor John Monaghan, Vice President, St Vincent de Paul

Q3: What will the State Of North/South Relations Be In Five Years?
Panel and audience respond

Q4: Does the panel think that Bewley's Can Be Saved?
Panel and audience respond

Prime Time Investigates: Limerick - Watch the Revealing Examination
Of Limerick City


See Video at:
Meetings on future of Northern Ireland
Declan McBennett reports from Belfast
Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, brings the latest news live from

Critical Stage For NI Process -V(4)

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has described his groundbreaking
first meeting with the head of Northern Ireland's police force as

The prime minister also attended the discussions between Mr Adams
and Hugh Orde in Downing Street.

Mr Adams said that he had agreed to meet Mr Orde on the "hugely
important" issue of the "demilitarisation of republican

Mr Orde said the meeting was "very significant" and a "step

Demilitarisation - the facts
:: On 1 September 1994, there were 106 army bases in Northern
:: By 29 November 2004, there were 55 bases, including 8 hilltop
:: 51 bases have been demolished or vacated.
:: There are currently 11,000 soldiers based in Northern Ireland.
:: The plan is to reduce the Army presence to 5,000 soldiers and 14
bases in the next 18 months.

The meeting came as DUP leader Ian Paisley met the head of the
decommissioning body to discuss any possible IRA disarmament.

The moves form part of intense talks aimed at reviving devolved
government in Northern Ireland.

Its political institutions have been suspended since October 2002
amid claims of IRA intelligence-gathering at the Northern Ireland

Leaving the meeting on Monday, Mr Paisley said negotiations
remained at a "very delicate stage".

He said: "If this decommissioning problem can be solved, then we
are on our way. But it is not solved at the present time."

Mr Paisley said he will meet Mr Blair in Downing Street on Tuesday.

"There are a host of things that need to be settled - we have to
wait and see what is going to happen," he said.

The British and Irish Governments had said they wanted Sinn Fein
and the DUP to have decided by Tuesday whether to sign up to a new
power-sharing deal.

Mr Blair said the talks were at a "intensive stage" and he did not
want to raise hopes.

"I think probably the best thing is for me to say very little - so
many times before, hopes have been raised and then dashed that I'm
almost fearful of raising them," he said.

"It's obvious that people would like to get a deal done - whether
that is possible or not, the next few days will tell us."

The Sinn Fein president's meeting with Mr Orde signalled a
significant departure in his party's policy.

Mr Adams said the discussions focused solely on demilitarisation,
which he said was a vital part of the Good Friday Agreement.

The talks included issues such as scaling back security
fortifications and cutting back on the Army's presence.

Mr Adams said: "We had a meeting on the issue of demilitarisation.

"The British prime minister had told us a number of things, that
this was an operational matter for Hugh Orde and that's why we met
in the format we did.

"And we did some other meetings around other issues. I think it was
a useful meeting."

Mr Orde said that the meeting had been "constructive".

'Radical thinking'

He said: "We discussed security, normalisation and policing.

"The fact that the meeting happened is very significant. It is the
first time I have met Mr Adams and it was an opportunity to explain
about policing and how we have moved on."

He said the aim was to provide an "ordinary" police service to
people "across the divide".

Meanwhile, SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood said that he
believed there could be significant demilitarisation within a short

He said: "I have no doubt that people can expect radical thinking
on the time-frame for normalisation."

Early movement on the removal of watchtowers and the restoration of
normal security arrangements could be completed in less than 18
months, he said.

Speaking after a party delegation met with the Secretary of State
on Monday, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said its "main, underlying
concern is securing an end to Direct Rule, suspension and drift".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/29 12:21:10 GMT


Paisley, Politics, Preaching And Poison

By Mark Simpson
BBC Ireland Correspondent

In spite of the recent thaw in relations between Ian Paisley and
the Dublin government, the Democratic Unionist leader remains wary
about accepting Irish hospitality.

And so when Dublin's Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, invited him to
breakfast at the Irish Embassy in London last week, he insisted on
having two hard-boiled eggs, which he could break open himself.

This, he explained to Mr Ahern, was to ensure that he couldn't be

The Rev Paisley took great delight in telling this story to his
congregation at Martyrs Memorial Church in south Belfast on Sunday

He was laughing about it, so we can assume that the unionist leader
was simply having a joke at Mr Ahern's expense.

But making assumptions about Ian Paisley at the moment is a
dangerous game.

Since a health scare in the summer, question marks have been
raised about his well-being - he has lost weight and his voice
lacks the blistering boom of yesteryear

In the next few days, history could be turned on its head.

It's just possible that the man whose catchphrase is "never, never,
never" may say "yes" to power-sharing, "yes" to north-south co-
operation and "yes" to working with Sinn Fein.

That's the deal the British and Irish governments are encouraging
him to do. What they - and everyone else - do not know, is whether
the 78-year-old preacher-cum-politician will be prepared to do it.

The congregation at Martyrs Memorial were given few clues.

"Things are happening, things are moving," confided Dr Paisley, but
he offered nothing definitive.

Remarkably fit

He asked for prayer, for himself and for Northern Ireland, and then
went on to preach a 25-minute sermon entitled Christ's Sevenfold
Description of the Over-Ripe Harvest.

Since a health scare in the summer, question marks have been raised
about his well-being. He has lost weight and his voice lacks the
blistering boom of yesteryear.

But on the evidence of public appearances in recent days, he
appears remarkably fit for a man 18 months away from being an

If there is a deal, he could end up celebrating his 80th birthday
as first minister of Northern Ireland.

Clearly, the DUP will have to swallow hard before agreeing to work
with Sinn Fein

Under the rules of the Assembly, the deputy first minister would
come from the second largest party, Sinn Fein. The most likely
candidate is Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander.

What a political odd couple that would be...

If Ian Paisley decided not to take the top post, his deputy leader
Peter Robinson would take the helm.

Although the East Belfast MP is regarded as less hardline and more
pragmatic, a Robinson-McGuinness combination would be politically
remarkable too.

The IRA killed one of Peter Robinson's best friends in August 1971.

Harry Beggs, 23, was standing beside a 15lb bomb which went off at
the Electricity Board where he worked.

It was this IRA murder of his childhood pal that persuaded Robinson
to enter politics.

Clearly, the DUP will have to swallow hard before agreeing to work
with Sinn Fein. Republicans say it will be just as hard for them,
given the DUP's attitude to nationalists during the past 30 years.

Stalling option

Sinn Fein accuse the DUP of flirting with loyalist paramilitaries
and inflaming sectarian tensions.

Given all of the above, the easy option for both sides in the
coming days will be to stall.

Let the next Westminster election come and go, see how the
political land lies and then maybe, just maybe, cut a deal.

But the more difficult option - an agreement - is still on the

We know that Dr Paisley is cautious about what he eats. So if there
is going to be a deal, he's going to have to break the habit of a

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/29 21:44:15 GMT


British PM Press Conference (Partial Transcript)

29 November 2004

Question: You have been seeing Gerry Adams and a Sinn Fein
delegation this morning and the Chief Constable of the PSNI, how
much more time are you prepared to give Sinn Fein and the DUP to
see if they can reach a deal? Do you think the deal is still
achievable and are you prepared to stretch the deadline?

Prime Minister: We are obviously at a very intensive stage now. I
think probably the best thing is for me to say very little to you,
because we have been so many times before when hopes have been
raised and then they have been dashed, that I am almost fearful of
raising them. It is obvious that people would like to get a deal
done. Whether that is possible or not, the next few days will tell
us. But I don't think there is probably anything I can very
sensibly say to you at the moment.

Question: Could you give us some sense of what is in the document
they are actually discussing, and will it be published this week?

Prime Minister: I don't think I should really at the moment. Look
it concerns the same things as has always concerned us, the
important thing about this is it never changes in its basic
particulars that have to be ironed out. There has to be a clarity -
on the one side a commitment to exclusively peaceful means, on the
other side a commitment to power sharing. Everything else is trying
to make it work, and that is what we are doing, and I think it was
important that the meeting took place today between the Chief
Constable and the Republican leadership, and I think the more that
people are in dialogue, the better it is, but those occasions in
which I have said I thought we were just about to get somewhere,
and then we go up another cul-de-sac, have made me very wary of
getting into the business of making any predictions for this week.

Question: We have all done enough on the break stories about
Northern Ireland over the years to understand your reluctance to
make predictions there, but do you believe that there is now the
serious possibility that by the end of this year the IRA will have
renounced arms completely, and do you sense a step change in the
relationship between Sinn Fein and the DUP?

Prime Minister: That is why I am reluctant. I think all those
possibilities are there, but whether it happens or not is not
simply down to me, so let's see how the next few days go. But
obviously I think that everyone would like this to happen because
we have been so busy trying to get this done. I have lost count of
the numbers of meetings I have held on this issue over the years.
But it is a natural reluctance born of experience, that the one
time I stand up to you and say I think it is about to happen, and
then go back to the offices and find it has just unravelled, so
anyway we will wait and see.


'Total Disarmament A Mirage'

Total IRA disarmament is a mirage, it was claimed today. The
warning comes as decommissioning chief General John de Chastelain
waits for the call to negotiate his way across miles of Irish
landscape where an estimated 150 tonnes of Provisional weapons are

By:Press Association

Former west Belfast IRA man Anthony McIntyre insisted: "There are
guns outside their control and some they won`t hand over.

"The IRA know they are going to have to keep some to please people
... for a community defence."

An exact inventory of the organisation`s arms is notoriously
difficult to obtain.

According to Jane`s Defence Weekly, three tonnes of Semtex
explosive, 588 AKM assault rifles, another 400 assorted rifles, 10
general-purpose machine guns and 17 DShK heavy duty versions are
buried in secret underground bunkers.

Another 46 RPG-7 missiles, 600 handguns, 40 machine guns, 1.5
million rounds of ammunition and seven flame-throwers have also
been smuggled in.

The Rev Ian Paisley`s Democratic Unionists will settle for nothing
less than a complete emptying of all arms dumps.

But memories have dimmed in the 10 years since the Provos first
declared a ceasefire.

With the violence significantly reduced, commanders may no longer
know where every gun is stored.

The terrorist organisation also lost control of significant caches
when former quartermaster Michael McKevitt split bitterly in 1997
to form the dissident Real IRA.

Despite his outspoken criticisms of Sinn Fein since he quit the
republican movement six years ago, McIntyre, who served 18 years in
jail for an IRA murder, stressed the party can do little about
these consignments.

"Gerry Adams and company can`t be held accountable for them," he

"Anyway, Adams knows the guns are no longer any use to his project.

"If he becomes part of the state he will have all the guns he

Not content with a proposal for two clergymen to witness the
decommissioning, unionists want photographic proof of the
destruction before sitting in a power-sharing cabinet with Sinn

But before General de Chastelain packs his Polaroid alongside his
hiking boots, a former priest, who once brokered secret peace talks
with the IRA, warned the DUP not to be fooled by the old adage that
the camera never lies.

Denis Bradley, now vice chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing
Board, said: "It`s a bit churlish for the DUP to demand that, as
they are the ones who are the greatest supporters of de Chastelain.
They have never questioned him before.

"Photographs can be contaminated as much as anything else.

"This is technological ignorance on the part of the DUP."

One analyst who refused to accept a deal was inevitable was Dr
Sydney Elliott, a senior politics lecturer at Queen`s University in

Just over a year ago a major push to restore devolution collapsed
when the Provisionals refused to let General de Chastelain reveal
full details of their last disarmament move.

Dr Elliott said: "The IRA was, in my view, saying to Martin
McGuinness, you cannot command us.

"To put it crudely the IRA gave him a one finger salute in October

"This year you don`t know whether Sinn Fein will carry it."

Warnings have been issued that if the IRA`s Army Council agrees to
scrap weapons stockpiles it could provoke fresh defections.

But with splinter republicans heavily infiltrated by informers,
their credibility has been too damaged to consider joining, experts

Disillusioned IRA volunteers will instead weep tears of betrayal if
their leaders agree to hand over the guns and go out of business
for good.

Even republicans who lost faith years ago accept, however, that
these numbers will be low, such is the continued trust in the
strategy of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

Marian Price, one of the bomb team that blew up the Old Bailey in
1973, loathes how Sinn Fein has pursued power over the last decade.

Gerry Kelly, another of those behind the terror attack, was part of
the SF delegation that today held an extraordinary two-hour meeting
with Chief Constable Hugh Orde in Tony Blair`s Downing Street

Still living in the heart of republican west Belfast, she works for
dissident republican prisoners and is a member of the Real IRA-
linked 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

"There will be some people who leave, go home and just close the
door," she said.

"Those who hung on in hope that their suspicions were wrong will be

"But Sinn Fein will carry the majority with them because they have
been bought off.

"People who were in jail for 20 years have come out and been given
a comfortable life. They won`t risk that.

"It will be a tragic day for republicanism though."


A Rejuvenated Paisley Eyes His Ultimate Goal

Ted Oliver
Tuesday November 30, 2004
The Guardian

Just three months ago many people in Northern Ireland were
beginning to plan the funeral of the Rev Ian Richard Kyle Paisley.

Rumours that had persisted for years about the state of his health
resurfaced and gained credence. A mysterious absence from the
political scene during the summer months added to them. When he
travelled to the talks at Leeds Castle in Kent by road rather than
air, some said he was nearing the end.

He looked frail and when, uncharacteristically for him, he labelled
two journalists "Romanists" - Paisley-speak for Roman Catholics -
for speculating about his health, his judgment was called into

His party had just won their greatest election triumph and he had
achieved one of his own main personal ambitions, the humiliation at
the polls of the Ulster Unionists. Just when he appeared to be
reaching his political zenith, his body seemed to be letting him

Suddenly everything has changed. The old Paisley has returned with
a renewed spring in his step, and that famous voice is back with
some of the vigour that has harangued a pope, prime ministers,
Sunday gamblers and bishops for so many years.

Paisley-watchers see the rejuvenation - however temporary - as a
sign that he believes he is close to achieving another of his
lifetime aims: what he regards privately as the "defeat" of the
Provisional IRA.

Ian Paisley burst on to the Northern Ireland political scene 40
years ago, leading a mob that demanded the removal of an Irish
tricolour from a shop window near Belfast city centre. The police
duly removed the offending item, sparking off riots in west
Belfast, but the incident triggered off a chain of events that
would change the face of the province for ever.

A young Gerry Adams witnessed the violence and was prompted to join
the IRA, going on to become its chief of staff and later the
president of Sinn Féin.

Now both men are pivotal to the negotiations that seem likely to
see Mr Paisley's Democratic Unionists sitting down in government
with the republicans of Sinn Féin.

It seems certain now that the IRA will have decommissioned all its
weapons by the end of this year and issued a declaration that its
war is over and it is no longer a fighting force.

At that stage, Mr Paisley's own success in securing such a united
unionist majority against the Good Friday agreement will force him
to compromise his own deeply held convictions.

Those who know him well say that he would have liked to have seen
every IRA volunteer dead or led off in chains. His political
success has forced the IRA and Sinn Féin to move quicker and
further than they would have wanted in order to achieve their next
big aim - to develop their political presence in the Irish Republic
with a sizeable bloc of seats in the parliament.

In the euphoria that followed the signing of the Good Friday
agreement, Ian Paisley and a few others spotted the glaring flaw in
the agreement: the failure to nail down decommissioning.

That final act is imminent, and Mr Paisley's renewed energy shows
that he is confident of it.

He will almost certainly bluster, asking how we know for certain
that no more arms or explosives are hidden, but he knows and the
younger members of his party are insisting that this is their best,
possibly their only, chance to claim victory over the IRA.

Almost as importantly, they will be able to say that they have
achieved something David Trimble's UUP never managed. In fact they
are already saying it and claim that the UUP, like the SDLP, is
dead in the water.

Mr Paisley may decide to leave the post of first minister to his
long-time deputy, Peter Robinson. Actually to sit in a new Northern
Ireland executive with Sinn Féin might prove a pill too bitter for
him to swallow, but there seems to be no doubt that Ian Paisley
will remain the driving force within his party until age or death
finally overtakes him.


Power And Responsibility

There are no more excuses for intransigence in Northern Ireland

After 40 years of violence and an utterly dispiriting sequence of
derailed peace initiatives, the odds against a breakthrough in
Ulster in a given week will always be slim. Expectations must
nonetheless be managed, and Downing Street has been managing them
hard of late. This was the Prime Minister's task yesterday when
asked about talks held in London between Hugh Orde, the Northern
Ireland police chief, and Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president.
Tony Blair affected an air of weary detachment and acknowledged
that "all the possibilities are there" before insisting: "Whether
it happens or not is not up to me."

"It" would be an historic deal between Northern Ireland's two
largest political parties, encompassing the decommissioning of IRA
weapons and the resumption of power sharing along lines set down
six years ago in the Good Friday accords. Mr Blair's weariness may
be genuine; his apparent detachment is not, for the prize of such a
deal, all bleak precedent apart, is perhaps closer than it has ever

For the first time since the elections last year that put the fate
of the Province in the hands of the Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic
Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, both groups appear willing in
principle to make the concessions necessary for an over-arching
agreement. At Mr Blair's request, President Bush has intervened
with phone calls to Mr Paisley and Mr Adams over the weekend,
urging them to turn their hints into actual compromises.

If they do, there is hope that a deal would hold: it is the
defining paradox of recent developments in Northern Ireland that
republicans are likely to have more faith in an agreement with
their hardline Unionist rivals than one reached with David
Trimble's moderate, and now weakened, Ulster Unionist Party.
Meanwhile, at the governmental level, London and Dublin have
expressed their willingness to consider a "peace dividend" of as
much as £1 billion in public funds to go towards much-needed
infrastructure projects that the DUP and Sinn Fein agree have been
delayed by sectarian strife. They may have had a hand in the
strife, but their agreement on anything is welcome.

Mr Paisley's willingness to trust potentially unreliable partners
is to be lauded. The effect has been instructive. He has conquered
a lifetime's aversion to talks with Dublin, and although the
elimination of the IRA as a terrorist organisation remains his —
and London's — chief, non-negotiable goal, he has shown a
willingness to contemplate its continued existence as "an old boys'
association". Mr Adams's meeting with Mr Orde likewise breaks new
ground, but a firm and unambiguous commitment from Sinn Fein to
full and transparent decommissioning by the IRA is now long
overdue. To demand that weapons destruction be properly recorded,
and not just witnessed, is entirely legitimate.

The looming pressures of next year's election make this window of
opportunity for Ulster a narrow one, but a similar chance may not
present itself for years. It must be seized.


Police Chiefs May Asses Threats To Omagh Case Witness

By Gary Kelly, PA

Northern Ireland police chiefs could be called on to assess the
security risk to an FBI agent due to testify in a £14 million civil
action brought by relatives of victims of the Omagh bomb.

A judge at Belfast High Court called on lawyers acting for the
relatives to decide whether to obtain a security assessment on
potential threats to David Rupert who is under the protection of
the FBI.

Mr Rupert last year gave evidence before the Special Criminal Court
in Dublin which helped secure the conviction of former Real IRA
Chief of Staff Michael McKevitt.

A lawyer for the families is seeking permission to enable Mr Rupert
to give evidence by videolink from the United States.

Mr Justice Morgan expressed surprise that the PSNI had not been
called on to make an assessment.

"It would be the practice to have an evaluation from the relevant
security service. These are readily available and provide pretty
compelling evidence in relation to applications of this sort."

The families' lawyer, Lord Brennan QC, argued that Mr Rupert was
now at greater risk after giving evidence in Dublin against
McKevitt last year.

He added that even if the PSNI said they could exercise adequate
security it was plain that Mr Rupert would not come to Northern
Ireland to give evidence.

The families of the 29 people killed by a Real IRA bomb in the Co
Tyrone town in August 1998 launched a civil action against those
they believed to be responsible in August 2001.

It had been hoped that the trial would begin next month but it now
appears there will be a considerable delay.

Lawyers acting for the suspects, McKevitt, Seamus Daly, Seamus
McKenna, Liam Campbell and Colm Murphy are currently seeking Legal
Aid for their clients.

All five are serving prison sentences in the Irish Republic.

McKevitt is appealing against his 20-year sentence for directing
Real IRA terrorism and his lawyer Frank O'Donoghue QC today asked
for an adjournment of between six and nine months while his appeal
is being heard.

The other defendants objected to the trial going ahead until they
obtain funding for legal representation.

Lord Brennan told the court: "It would be very unfortunate indeed
if these defendants were engaging in a concerted action to delay or
frustrate the proper conduct of this case."

He is seeking transcripts of the various legal proceedings held
against the five men in the Irish Republic.

Mr Justice Morgan issued an order that there should be a further
hearing to decide whether these transcripts should be handed over.

He added that he was not minded at this stage to grant legal aid to
any of the defendants.

The court is expected to meet again by the middle of next month.


Victims Of British State Terror Travel To Brussels To Raise The
Issue Of Collusion At The European Parliament

Published: 29 November, 2004

Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald, speaking at a
press conference with victims of collusion have said that over 50
relatives of those killed as a result of collusion will travel to
Brussels to raise the issue of state murder at the European

Speaking at a press conference in Belfast today along with
relatives of those killed by the British state, Bairbre de Brún

"The policy of collusion between British Intelligence agents and
loyalist death squads remains one of the most damning indictments
of the British presence in Ireland. In the mid-1980s, the British
government adopted a policy which gave them greater control of
these death squads. The unionist paramilitaries were re-organised,
resourced and directed by the British intelligence services to
ensure that their targeting, to quote a British intelligence
report, was 'more professional'.

"The loyalists were armed with modern weapons. In December 1987
over 300 weapons were brought into the north of Ireland, with the
full participation and knowledge of British Intelligence. British
Intelligence updated and organised loyalist intelligence documents
to ensure that the Unionist death squads would be more efficient.

"Hundreds of people were killed, and many more injured and maimed,
in a campaign of state-sponsored murder. The policy of collusion
has never been reversed. The British agencies which executed this
policy remain in place today.

"The policy of employing the loyalist death squads was endorsed at
the highest political level. The British government has never
accepted its responsibility for the deaths which resulted from this

"Tuesday 7 December, over 50 relatives of those killed as a result
of collusion will travel to Brussels to raise the issue of state
murder in Ireland at the European parliament. Sinn Féin, as part of
the EUL/NGL group, are facilitating this visit and we support the
families absolutely in their demand for the truth and for justice."

Mary Lou McDonald said:

"Over the last 30 years collusion between British state forces and
unionist death squads was a daily reality. This resulted in some of
the worst incidents of violence including the Dublin/Monaghan

"The British government continues to hide the truth about these
terrible events. They refused to assist the Barron inquiry. They
continue to resist the Pat Finucane Inquiry. The British are afraid
of the truth.

"We are hosting this first ever visit to the European Parliament by
the families of the victims of British state terror." ENDS

Note to Editors

Pauline Davey and Theresa Slane, two of the 50 relatives who will
travelling to Brussels also attended the Press Conference.

Pauline Davey Kennedy SOUTH DERRY

Pauline Davey is the daughter of Sinn Fein Magherafelt Cllr John
Davey. He was a 58-year-old family shot by the UVF on February 14th
1989 - two days after killing of Pat Finucane.

John Davy a veteran republican interned without trial in both the
50's and 70's was murdered as he return home to his family in
Guladuff. He had received numerous death threats including one on
the morning of his murder.

The year before John's murder he survived an attack carried out my
Michael Stone.

In June 1989 DUP 'politician' Rev Willie McCrea used parliamentary
privilege to make unfounded allegations of complicity in the murder
of Kenneth Johnston. Similar to the case of Pat Finucane.

John's name was later found among UDA documents found in an
intelligence factory - with the words 'dead as a doornail' beside
his name.

Pauline has campaigned tirelessly for the truth, like many other
family members she has been to Dublin/Leinster House, London,
America and now Brussels in the past 12 months to lobby

Theresa Slane BELFAST

Theresa Slane's husband Gerard was murdered in his West Belfast
home September 23rd 1998. The father of 3 was murdered by UDA/UFF
gunmen who

burst into his home in the early hours.

Gerard, who tried to fight attackers down the stairs, was shot as
Theresa protected her 3 children in the bedroom

The UDA claimed that Gerard was involved in the murder of another
man - an allegation that was dismissed at the inquest.

Gerard's case featured in the trial of UDA/British Army double
agent Brian Nelson. A picture taken 5 years before the murder in
the RUC/British Army Castlereagh holding centre appeared in a UDA
magazine following Gerard's death.

In 1991 Loyalists put a door with the words 'Hallo Goodnight Gerard
- UVF' along with the registration of the family car on top of a
bonfire in Cupar St, that was visible to the family and all other
residents of Bombay Street.

Theresa has constantly has been constantly involved in fighting for
the truth about those who killed Gerard and has been with An
Fhirinne in Dublin and London and now in Brussels (she also took
part in the making of our collusion video).


Warming Up To Language Irish Once Found Uncool

By Tom Hundley
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published November 29, 2004

DUBLIN -- From George Bernard Shaw to Samuel Beckett, from William
Butler Yeats to James Joyce, the Irish have long been masters of
the English language. It's the Irish language that has them

English has been on a 700-year march across Ireland, relentlessly
pushing the Irish language, or Gaeilge, toward oblivion. These
days, Irish survives as an everyday language mainly in a half-dozen
scattered regions on Ireland's sparsely populated western edge.

Yet statistically speaking, the Irish language is in good shape. It
may even be undergoing a renaissance of sorts.

According to the Irish government's 2002 census, 1.57 million of
the island's 4 million inhabitants say they can speak Irish--up
from 1.43 million in 1996.

But experts say the number of people who are truly fluent in the
language and use it on a daily basis is much smaller, 150,000 to

Still, this is better than Gaeilge's Celtic language cousins in
Scotland, Cornwall and on the Isle of Man. The number of Scottish
Gaelic speakers has dipped below 60,000 and continues to decline,
while the last native speaker of Cornish died in 1891 and the last
native speaker of Manx died in 1937.

Welsh is the only Celtic language besides Irish that appears to be
thriving, with 582,400 Welsh claiming to have some knowledge of
their ancestral tongue, according to the 2001 census. Despite
having to share its small island with the most rapacious of modern
languages, Irish has withstood the English onslaught mainly because
Irish language study is a mandatory part of the national school
curriculum through 12th grade.

For generations of Irish students, language study was drudgery--no
more exciting than the Roman Catholic catechism, another mandatory
school subject. But in the last decade or so, Irish has become more

"What has happened is that Irish has become cool and trendy. You
could call it the yuppification of the language," said Padhraic O
Ciardha, an executive at TG4, a state-sponsored Irish-language TV
station that began broadcasting eight years ago.

O Ciardha, who is from the Irish-speaking area of Connemara, on
Galway Bay, learned English as a second language.

"When I was a kid in the '60s and '70s, Irish was very uncool. When
we'd go into Galway, we'd speak in a whisper. Irish was the badge
of the rural, the backward, the culturally repressed part of
Ireland," he said.

A language rediscovered

But as Ireland transformed itself from one of Europe's poorest
countries into one of its most prosperous, as it reversed a
century-long trend of population decline, and as it sought a sense
of its own individuality in the age of globalization, the Irish
rediscovered their language.

Over the past 20 years, the number of schools in which Irish is the
language of instruction has increased tenfold, and some of the
schools are far beyond the Irish-speaking enclaves on the country's

"In Dublin, it's become a kind of yuppie totem to send your kid to
one," O Ciardha said.

In a global economy where English is king, why bother with an
obscure language spoken by no one beyond the country's borders?

"Because it's part of our human heritage," said Jeosamh Mac
Donnacha, an Irish language scholar at the National University of
Ireland's Galway campus. "We should be just as concerned about
preserving a language as we are about preserving historic

The Irish language reached its peak in the 14th Century, when it
was spoken throughout Ireland, in most of Scotland and in parts of
western England.

"That lasted until the Irish aristocracy lost power and English
became the language of politics, the court and eventually the
marketplace," Mac Donnacha said.

"The final big blow was the famine of 1845," he said. "Most of the
people who died or who immigrated were the poorest, and they were
the Irish speakers."

Eamon de Valera, the father of modern Ireland, dreamed of an
independent island united by a revived language. But de Valera, who
was born in New York, first had to learn the language.

When the Irish Free State came into existence in 1922, the new
constitution defined Irish as the "national language," with English
"equally recognized as an official language."

The new government confidently adopted an education policy designed
to replace English with Irish. They underestimated the power of the
English juggernaut.


Irish language remains a prerequisite for university matriculation.
The words of the national anthem are in Irish, but for most
citizens, Irish was something that was beaten into them in school--
and promptly forgotten after graduation.

The language also lost some of its luster when, in the 1970s, it
became associated with the violent nationalism of the Irish
Republican Army. Many IRA members learned the language in British

These days, no one expects Irish to supplant English, but Irish has
found its niche in a country that seems increasingly comfortable
with its bilingualism.

"Irish has been stabilized," Mac Donnacha said. "The education
system has shown it can produce competent bilingual speakers
generation after generation. I think it's safe to say the Irish
language will be with us for many years to come."

TG4, the Irish-language TV station that broadcasts from Connemara,
has seen its market share quadruple in the past five years. In
Northern Ireland, the Belfast-based Irish-language weekly La moved
to a daily format last year and now circulates throughout the

"The tradition of reading the Irish language is only beginning to
develop," said La editor Ciaran O Pronntaigh, noting that most of
the paper's sales are in Dublin and Belfast, and that Irish is the
second language for most of its readers.

Last week the Dublin government asked the European Union to add
Irish to its list of 20 official working languages.

The action is more than symbolic. As English expands into all
corners of the globe, Mac Donnacha predicted that other small
countries may want to take a lesson from the Irish.

"I believe that if 150 years from now you go to Holland or Denmark
or Finland, you'll find that they will be facing the same
difficulties with their language that we are having now," he said.

Or as a popular Gaeilge saying puts it, roughly: "If you're not
big, you'd better be clever."

Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune

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