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December 13, 2004

12/13/04 - Paisley Ends Dublin Govt Boycott

Monthly Table of Contents 01/05
Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

UT 12/13/04 Paisley Ends Dublin Government Boycott
IT 12/14/04 Governments Battling To Save Initiative
EX 12/13/04 Council Rows Break Out Over Release Of McCabe Killers
UT 12/13/04 Duo Lose High Court Actions
PI 12/13/04 E Voting Must Not Cloud EU Referendum Debate – SF
BB 12/13/04 NI Transport System Gets £50m
BB 12/13/04 'Fresh Start' For NI Hospice
IT 12/14/04 Councillors Urge Rejection Of Tower At Canal Basin
NA 12/14/04 NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe Resigns

QA 12/13/04 Does More Than Photos Separate Both Sides? –VO
QA 12/13/04 Will the IRA Disappear? –VO

RT 12/13/04 Neesom Gets Golden Globe Nomination -VO

Q&A Panel - Eamon Ó Cúiv, Minister for Community, Rural and
Gaeltacht Affairs; Pat Rabbitte, TD, Leader of the Labour Party;
Mary Harte, Columnist and Broadcaster; Jeffery Donaldson, MLA and
Democratic Unionist Party Negotiator; Mitchell McLoughlin, Sinn
Féin Negotiator

Q1: Does the panel think that more than a photograph separates
boths sides in the peace process -Panel and audience respond

Q2: Does the panel believe that if agreement is reached that the
IRA will disappear -Panel and audience respond

Neeson gets Golden Globe nomination - John O'Driscoall reports on
this year's Golden Globe nominations


See video at:

Paisley Ends Dublin Government Boycott

DUP leader Ian Paisley tonight overturned an earlier vow to refuse
to speak to Bertie Ahern after the Taoiseach's comments on IRA
disarmament deepened.

By:Press Association

Mr Paisley`s threat came after Taoiseach Bertie Ahern appeared to
concede photographic evidence of weapons destruction was not
possible, damaged attempts to strike a Northern Ireland peace deal.

Mr Paisley said the Taoiseach had apologised for his comments.

The DUP chief, who will not sign up to any package without visual
proof of decommissioning by the Provisionals, was livid with Mr
Ahern`s remarks following talks with Sinn Fein`s Gerry Adams and
Martin McGuinness.

He declared: "We have cut off from today, all connections with the
southern government in talks.

"As far as we are concerned, he is a man that can`t be trusted."

British and Irish officials will be dismayed by Mr Paisley`s
decision, which comes amid frantic moves to stop the devolution
plan nearly agreed last week from unravelling.

After a one-hour meeting with Sinn Fein leaders, Mr Ahern said it
would be "insanity" at this stage not to find a way of settling all
the issues.

"We were happy with (decommissioning chief) John de Chastelain," he

"Then there was the issue of further witnesses, we were happy with

"We had the issue of photographs and that`s not workable so we have
to try to find some other way."

But Mr Paisley insisted the Taoiseach never before suggested
photographing decommissioning was not possible during weeks of

Until the Irish Government explain the comments there will be no
further discussions, the DUP leader vowed.

"From day one until now Mr Ahern never opposed photographs," he

"Suddenly he meets two IRA/Sinn Feiners and he comes out and says
`it is not workable`.

"So, anything that the IRA says is not workable he will bow to."

In a reference to the wife of murdered Garda Jerry McCabe, who is
distraught at the prospect of his IRA killers` being freed under
the deal, the North Antrim MP added: "He double-crossed Mrs McCabe,
he will not double-cross us. That`s the end of the matter."

Earlier, Mr Ahern stressed that decommissioning was ready to happen
but no progress would be made unless there was a comprehensive

Both the British and Irish would have been satisfied with the deal
as it was laid on the table to the DUP and Sinn Fein last week.

He said the issues regarding criminality and paramilitary activity
were "not that much different" to those set out last October.

Hopes of reaching an agreement to revive the political institutions
were shattered last week when the deal unravelled.

Mr Ahern said: "We were very close last Wednesday. There are one or
two issues that have to be resolved and we believe it`s possible to
resolve these."


Governments Battling To Save Initiative

Frank Millar, London Editor

The British and Irish governments were battling to save their
Northern Ireland devolution initiative last night as Sinn Féin and
the DUP again rejected compromise proposals for a photographic
record of future IRA decommissioning.

As DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley prepared for fresh talks with the
British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, in London this afternoon,
tomorrow's Dáil debate was assuming critical importance to attempts
by both governments to resume negotiations in a last-gasp bid for a
pre-Christmas deal.

Without that, both DUP and Sinn Féin sources last night expected
there would be no further political movement on Northern Ireland
ahead of the British general election expected next summer.

Sinn Féin president Mr Gerry Adams appeared to dismiss the question
of photographs of any future IRA decommissioning after his lengthy
talks with Mr Blair and senior officials at 10 Downing Street

"The photographs are dead and gone and buried in Ballymena,"
declared Mr Adams in reference to the Rev Ian Paisley's recent
controversial "sackcloth and ashes" speech.

As the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, sought to restore his relations with
the DUP, Downing Street refused to say whether Mr Adams had
delivered any fresh offer during his meeting with Mr Blair. British
sources were careful not to repeat the comments by Mr Ahern which
had prompted Dr Paisley to briefly "break-off" relations with the
Irish Government. At the same time they accepted the reality that
the IRA had rejected what Mr Ahern and Mr Blair had offered last
Wednesday as a "genuine compromise" on the arms issue.

With Dr Paisley due in Downing Street this afternoon, Mr Blair's
official spokesman said he would "not give a running commentary" on
the ongoing negotiations, while suggesting they could continue into
Christmas week. However, while it remained unclear whether Mr Adams
had advanced the republican position during his meeting with Mr
Blair, there seemed little immediate prospect of any alternative
compromise working as senior DUP sources again insisted photographs
of IRA decommissioning had to be published before the DUP would
enter a power-sharing government with Sinn Féin.

The compromise advocated by Mr Blair and Mr Ahern last week - also
rejected by the IRA - would have allowed photographs to be taken at
the end of the decommissioning process, and the two governments and
party leaders to be shown them at that point, but with publication
delayed until after a new power-sharing Executive would "go live"
in March.

Meanwhile - as the focus remained on the question of arms, and
Irish Government requirements in terms of republican commitments
regarding paramilitary and criminal activity, and respect for human
rights - Ulster Unionists continued to flag their opposition to
proposals to give Northern Ireland MPs speaking and other rights in
the Dáil or Seanad.

Senior party sources say they regard this as "a potential deal-
breaker" which would "totally undermine the principle of consent"
governing Northern Ireland's current constitutional position.
However, Downing Street signalled last night that it considers this
"entirely a matter for the Dáil".

© The Irish Times


Council Rows Break Out Over Possible Release Of McCabe Killers

By Jimmy Woulfe and Seán O'Riordan

ANGRY rows broke out at two city council meetings last night as
motions were passed calling on the Government not to release the
killers of Garda Detective Jerry McCabe.

Limerick City Council passed a motion calling on the Taoiseach to
honour assurances that the garda killers would not be given early

Mayor Michael Hourigan, who tabled the motion, said the issue bred
strong emotion in Limerick.

However, former Fianna Fáil Mayor, Cllr John Cronin said the issue
of early release for prisoners had to be dealt with previously in
this country during the Civil War.

Cllr John Gilligan, Independent, who abstained, accused Fine Gael
of going on a solo run with the Mayor's motion.

"It is a question of taking a tragedy and making a political issue
out of it, attempting to wrong-foot the government on this issue,"
he said.

Cllr Diarmuid Scully, FG, said either Bertie Ahern had lied to the
McCabe family and the people of Limerick for the past five years,
or he had been outmanoeuvred and out-negotiated by Gerry Adams.

"In short, either Bertie Ahern is a liar, and morally unfit to be
Taoiseach, or he is an incompetent not up to the job. Either way,
we must now ask, what other concessions have been sought by the
IRA, what other unpalatable surprises has the Taoiseach in store
for us," said Cllr Scully.

Former rugby international, Gerry McLoughlin, an Independent member
of the council also abstained.

He said he was a close friend of former Detective Garda Ben
O'Sullivan who was wounded in the Adare attack on June 7, 1996 in
which Detective Garda McCabe was killed.

"I think the Government should have proper discussions with the
McCabe family and not go back on assurances that were given," said
Cllr McLoughlin.

Two Independent members abstained and the other 15 members drawn
from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and Independents supported the

At a meeting of Cork City Council, Sinn Féin accused Fine Gael of
politicking by seeking support for a motion calling on the
Government not to release the killers of Detective Garda Jerry

FG leader in the council, Cllr Kevin Murphy, described Bertie
Ahern's decision to release the killers as a retrograde step.

"It looks as if it's the tail wagging the dog. The GRA (Garda
Representative Association) said they would go to court and that
would be a serious step if it were to happen," Cllr Murphy said.

His party colleague, Cllr Michael Creed, said he was "uneasy" about
the release.

"I have huge difficulty with common criminality creeping in under
the cover of IRA Republicanism. The IRA issued a statement after
(the death of Jerry McCabe) saying it was not an official act. I
did not like the way in which Government spin doctors contrived to
present Mrs McCabe as a stumbling block."

Sinn Féin Cllr Martin Hallinan accused FG of trying to garner votes
in Limerick and of "whipping up hysteria" to gain political

Several FG members shouted across the floor at him saying these
comments were "outrageous."

Fine Gael won its motion on a vote of 17-11.


Duo Lose High Court Actions

A leading loyalist and a former republican prisoner have lost High
Court actions over the British government's refusal to pay for the
installation of security systems at their homes.

Applications for judicial review brought by Sammy Duddy, the north
Belfast spokesman for the Ulster Political Research Group, and
Paddy Murray, chairman of the Rathenraw Residents Assocation in
Antrim, were dismissed by Mr Justice Girvan.

He held that in each case the Secretary of State had to strike a
balance between the risk to their lives and the practical use of
resources and had not erred in his decisions.

Mr Duddy was advised by police in December, 2002, that he was at
risk of attack by the IRA and the following July was told of a
threat from dissident republicans after his medical records at the
Royal Victoria Hospital were accessed.

Shots were also fired at his home when his dog was killed and last
January a bomb was planted at the Prisoners Aid Office in York Road
where he works.

On October 21, 2004, police again visited Mr Duddy and told him of
a possible attack within 24 hours - this time by a loyalist
paramilitary group.

Mr Justice Girvan said a reassessment had been made and Mr Duddy
was officially informed that the Secretary of State had "concluded
that the steps taken by the PSNI are both reasonable and
appropriate... and that physical home protective measures should
not be provided by the Northern Ireland Office at this time."

In the case of Mr Murray, who was jailed for 23 years for
possessing explosives and released under the Good Friday agreement,
the judge said it appeared that he had been subject to a
considerable number of ongoing attacks

and threats by loyalists, including a pipe-bomb attack on his home
and a bomb under his wife`s car.

The latest threat came only last month, said the judge, when police
told him that they believed dissident republicans intended to
abduct him in the near future.

Mr Murray`s lawyers argued that he was entitled to admission to the
Key Persons Protection Scheme but the judge said: "If manpower and
funds were unlimited the applicant`s house could be fully fortified
and the house guarded throughout the day.

"However, funds are not unlimited nor is unlimited manpower

Substantial diversion of funds would have a major impact on
government bugetary considerations.

"Budgets of other departments, many of which deal with matters of
health, safety and the lives of others, would be affected.

"The Minister was advised that many other cases could be affected
by his approach in this case and this factor was one that he could
reasonably take into account."


E-Voting : E Voting Must Not Be Allowed To Cloud EU Referendum
Debate - SF

Monday, December 13

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today said that the
possible introduction of Electronic Voting for the Referendum on
the EU Constitution should not be allowed to detract from the very
serious issues which are at stake.

Ms McDonald was responding to reports that the Government is
continuing with tests on E Voting with a view to its implementation
in time for a future EU Constitution Referendum. Ms McDonald said
that the debate on E Voting 'must not be allowed to cloud the EU
Referendum debate'. She further called upon the government to
either 'scrap electronic voting or get it right'.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms McDonald said:

"In its current form, the Electronic Voting System is fundamentally
flawed. The Government found this out to its cost, and the cost of
the taxpayer in the run up to the recent EU elections.

"If reports are correct that the Government is still insisting that
there is no need for a paper trail with E-Voting, then once again
they have failed to heed all the warnings regarding this system. An
inordinate amount of money has been spent on E Voting, and we are
still no further forwards in verifying the accuracy of the system.

"A system that instils public confidence is required, not one which
remains divisive. What we do not need is a European Constitution
Referendum campaign dominated and clouded by a debate on E Voting.
A clear focus is required in the run up to any referendum on an EU
Constitution, which has clear political and socio-economic
implications for Ireland. This government should either scrap
electronic voting or get it right.

"Sinn Féin will do all its in power to ensure that the referendum
campaign focuses on the real issues - namely further diminishing
sovereignty, increasing EU militarisation and threats to public


NI Transport System Gets £50m

Almost £50m is to be spent on improving Northern Ireland's public
transport system.

Transport company Translink said the money would be used to buy
more than 300 new buses.

The latest investment comes just weeks after a boost for the

The first of 23 new trains, costing a total of £80 million, went
into service in recent weeks

The first new "Metro buses" are scheduled to be delivered towards
the end of 2005.

They will comply with the latest European Commission emission and
noise targets, said the company.

Translink Chairman Dr Joan Smyth said the investment "marks the
latest milestone in the regeneration and transformation of Northern
Ireland's public transport services".

"We believe this financial support to be largest single investment
for buses in the history of Citybus and Ulsterbus," she said.

Translink Chief Executive Keith Moffatt said the new fleet would be
the most modern and technologically advanced available.

"Fitted with features like digital CCTV, anti-lock brakes and air-
conditioning, these state of the art buses will have a significant
impact on the delivery of a modern, safe, high quality public
transport system," he said.

"They will effectively reduce the fleet age and will clearly play a
key role in maximising growth in patronage in line with Regional
Transportation Strategy targets."

Such commitment and investment is vital to encourage more people
to use public transport and reach the targets set out in the
Regional Transportation Strategy

Alan Walker

General Consumer Council

The vehicles would allow the significant increase in low-floor
buses to benefit passengers with disabilities, the elderly and
parents with children, said Translink.

The General Consumer Council, which represents passengers, said it
welcomed the new buses.

The council's Alan Walker said that along with the new trains, it
would make public transport a more attractive option.

"However, punctuality is key for passengers and we must ensure that
alongside the new vehicles that more bus priority measures, such as
bus lanes, are introduced to provide the maximum benefit for
passengers," he said.

"Such commitment and investment is vital to encourage more people
to use public transport and reach the targets set out in the
Regional Transportation Strategy.

"In doing so, bus lanes must be respected by car owners and
enforced by government."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/13 12:38:41 GMT


'Fresh Start' For NI Hospice

The Northern Ireland Hospice is looking forward to a 'fresh start'
in 2005, leaving past troubles far behind.

Its new chief executive, Judith Hill, is due to take up her
position in March.

It follows a period of two years, from the year 2000, when the
hospice faced internal difficulties and disagreements.

Former chief executive Tom Hill was appointed to the post in
October 2002 after he had been suspended, then sacked, as the
charity's administrative director.

He was also awarded substantial damages after an independent panel
found he had been unfairly dismissed.

Ms Hill is a former chief nursing officer who worked in palliative

She chaired the review of palliative care services in Northern

Her appointment marks a new beginning for the hospice.

"At the annual general meeting of the hospice last week, they
launched their report for last year, calling it 'a fresh start' and
that is how we see it," she said.

Ms Hill said she intended to build on the "excellent services that
people really value" and take it forward, strengthening it, but
extending the hospice's work to a wider range of people.

"Our main focus in the adult hospice has been with cancer patients
and we want to see if we can broaden out and become involved with
others who might benefit from the specialist expertise that
hospices can offer," she said.

Developing services

She intends to work alongside colleagues within the statutory
services to agree how best the hospice can take part in plans for
developing palliative services.

"Funding is difficult and the department has always had to balance
priorities," she said.

"Certainly we have had agreement now that adult hospice will get
50% of services funded and agreed with the boards. But hospice does
have to raise something like £5.5m a year. So this is a big

Turning to the issue of the children's hospice, she said it
certainly had a future.

"I chaired the review of palliative care services in Northern
Ireland," she said.

"We had a special chapter on the needs of children. The focus was
on supporting children in their homes or as close to their homes as
we could. That still would be the emphasis," she said.

"I will be wanting to talk with the council and with the supporters
of the hospice to see how we can be fulfilling that regional
strategy for children."

Despite difficulties at the hospice, Ms Hill said there was a
positive attitude at last week's annual general meeting.

She said the report was called a "fresh start" and people saw it as

"Team building is a major part of any chief executive's role," she

"I would see myself continuing to do that as we take the service

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/13 12:21:30 GMT


Councillors Urge Rejection Of 32-Storey Tower At Canal Basin

Olivia Kelly

Dublin city councillors are calling on planners to reject a
proposal for a 32-storey tower block on the former U2 rehearsal
studio site at Grand Canal Basin, Dublin.

The tower, if built, would reach 108.25 metres and be one of the
tallest buildings in Ireland, twice the height of Liberty Hall and
only just under 15 metres shorter than the Spire in O'Connell
Street. The application, submitted by Candourity Ltd, a subsidiary
of Treasury Holdings, proposes 150 residential apartments, a
restaurant and a night-club on the site, which is adjacent to the
old Boland's Mills.

Councillors from all political parties last night voted to
recommend refusal of the application on the grounds that it was
totally unsuited to the residential area. "For a community like
this, this proposal is hugely out of place," Cllr Daithí Doolan
(Sinn Féin) said. "It's outside any plans for high-rise in that
area, it's absolutely atrocious and it brings no benefit to the
local community."

Labour's Cllr Dermot Lacey said he agreed that a 32-storey building
was "not on" in an area of predominantly single-storey and two-
storey houses.

The plans will now be considered by the planning department, which
two weeks ago approved the building of a 32-storey tower near
Heuston Station.

© The Irish Times


NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe Resigns

Administrator Sean O'Keefe, who over the past three years led the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration through an aggressive
and comprehensive management transformation and helped the agency
through one of its most painful tragedies, resigned today.

In his resignation letter to the President the Administrator wrote,
"I will continue until you have named a successor and in the hope
the Senate will act on your nomination by February."

"I've been honored to serve this President, the American people and
my talented colleagues here at NASA," said Administrator O'Keefe.
"Together, we've enjoyed unprecedented success and seen each other
through arduous circumstances. This was the most difficult decision
I've ever made, but it's one I felt was best for my family and our

O'Keefe, 48, is NASA's tenth administrator. Nominated by President
George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he was sworn into
office Dec. 21, 2001. It was the Administrator's fourth
Presidential appointment.

After joining NASA, Administrator O'Keefe focused his efforts on
successfully bringing financial credibility to the agency and
eliminating a $5 billion budget shortfall for the International
Space Station program. He introduced a number of innovative
management and budget reforms. He led all federal agencies in the
implementation of the President's Management Agenda, which is
designed to make government more responsive and efficient. In three
of the original five categories on the Agenda, NASA's performance
is at the highest standard.

The tragic loss of seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle
Columbia as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere during STS-107 on
Feb. 1, 2003, focused the nation's attention on the future of
America's space program.

Administrator O'Keefe directed significant changes in the Space
Shuttle's safety and management programs. He was a key architect of
the President's new Vision for Space Exploration, announced in
January during a historic speech at NASA Headquarters in

The new Vision for Space Exploration led a transformation of NASA
and has positioned the agency to meet the challenges of safely
returning the Space Shuttle to flight, completing the International
Space Station, exploring the complexities of our home planet, and
going back to the moon, on to Mars and beyond.

"The President and Congress have demonstrated their faith in us. We
need to seize this opportunity," added Administrator O'Keefe. "NASA
has a new direction that will push the boundaries of technology,
science, space flight and knowledge, and will inspire new
generations of explorers for years to come and secure this great
nation's future."

Encouraging students to study mathematics, science and technology
has been a priority for the Administrator. In April 2002, he
unveiled a new Educator Astronaut Program, in which a select few of
the most outstanding teachers would be chosen to join NASA's
Astronaut Corps. The new Educator Astronaut candidates were
introduced in May on Space Day and are in training at NASA's
Johnson Space Center in Houston.

During his tenure, Administrator O'Keefe realized a number of
significant mission triumphs, including Cassini's exploration of
Saturn and its moons, the recent successful hypersonic test flights
of the X-43A and the historic landing of the twin Mars Exploration
Rovers Spirit and Opportunity on the Red Planet in January.

"NASA is the only agency in the world where its people are allowed
to dream big and then work to make those dreams come true. Who
wouldn't treasure the opportunity to be a part of pioneering
history?" added the Administrator. "I'm humbled by the dedication
and determination of the NASA Family and their commitment to the
future of exploration. I wish each of them the very best. I am
confident in their ability to carry out what we've started,"
Administrator O'Keefe concluded.

Administrator O'Keefe first joined the Bush Administration as the
Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, overseeing
the preparation, management and administration of the Federal
budget and government wide-management initiatives.

"The extraordinary opportunities you have permitted me to assume
these last four years have been experiences of a lifetime," the
Administrator wrote in his resignation letter. "In the most
challenging moments during my service I have drawn considerable
strength, resolve and determination to do what's right by the
standards you set every day."

From 1989 to 1992, Administrator O'Keefe served as Comptroller and
Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Defense. President
George H. Bush appointed him as the Secretary of the Navy in July

Before joining then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney's Pentagon
management team, he served on the United States Senate Committee on
Appropriations staff for eight years, and was Staff Director of the
Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

His public service began in 1978 when he was selected as a
Presidential Management Intern.

Administrator O'Keefe is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public
Administration; a member of the Committee on Climate Change Science
and Technology; and a Fellow of the International Academy of

During his academic postings, he was a Visiting Scholar at the
Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge, England; a member
of the Naval Postgraduate School's civil-military relations seminar
team; and conducted seminars for the Strategic Studies Group at
Oxford University.

Administrator O'Keefe served on the national security panel to
devise the 1988 Republican platform and was a member of the 1985
Kennedy School of Government program for national security
executives at Harvard University.

In 1993, President Bush and Secretary Cheney presented him the
Distinguished Public Service Award. He was the 1999 faculty
recipient of the Syracuse University Chancellor's Award for Public
Service; recipient of the Department of the Navy's Public Service
Award in December 2000; and has been awarded honorary doctorate
degrees from several prestigious educational institutions. In March
2003 and 2004, he was recognized and honored by the Irish American
Magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish Americans.

He is the author of several journal articles and contributing
author of "Keeping the Edge: Managing Defense for the Future,"
released in October 2000. In 1998 he co-authored "The Defense
Industry in the Post-Cold War Era: Corporate Strategies and Public
Policy Perspectives."

Administrator O'Keefe earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1977 from
Loyola University in New Orleans and his Master of Public
Administration degree in 1978 from The Maxwell School of
Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, N.Y.

For more additional information about Administrator O'Keefe and
NASA, visit:

Monthly Table of Contents 01/05
Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

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