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December 15, 2004

12/15/04 - Hopes For Deal Dwingling

News about Ireland & the Irish

IH 12/15/04 Sign Tara Petition (Poster's Note)

BT 12/15/04 Hopes For Progress Over Deal Dwindling -A(3)
BT 12/15/04 Photos Of Little Importance With Shift In Landscape
BT 12/15/04 Liverpool Man 'Had Arsenal For UVF'
BT 12/15/04 Loyalist Drug Dealer Freed By Judge
IO 12/15/04 Finucane Killer Renewing Fight For Early Release
BT 12/15/04 Daniel Pays Tribute To Music Legend
TN 12/15/04 Memory Of The Molly Maguires Kept Alive

TV 12/14/04 The Exhibition: Edward Delaney –VO
TV 12/14/04 The Magazine: The Village -VO

(Poster's Note: From: George Trainor - Please forward to all you
know - Last month you read about the planned M3 motorway which will
threaten Tara. If you have not already signed the Protect Tara
Petition I urge you to do so now. Take a stand to ensure that Tara
remains completely undisturbed and that it is treated with the
respect due to both a national and international cultural treasure.
Your Children and grandchildren will thank you.

I also have been in contact with Fionnuala Devlin who launched the
Internet campaign after learning of the planned motorway during a
trip to Tara in May. she can be reached at
Tell her George Trainor sent you.

Any help in promoting this would be appreciated,
George Trainor, Secretary Irish Heritage E-mail Group


Recent News Articles:
Tara Protection Plan Abandoned - Frank McDonald, Environment Editor
Internet Campaign: More Than 2,000 Pro-Tara Signatures
Tara Alternative Outlined In 2000 Study - Frank McDonald,
Environment Editor
Tara Alternative Outlined In 2000 Study - Frank McDonald,
Environment Editor
Decision To Route M3 Through Tara And Skyrne Valley Must Be
Hill Of Tara Protestors Threaten Legal Action)

The Exhibition: Edward Delaney - The sculptor Edward Delaney is
particularly well known for impressive public monuments like The
Wolfe Tone Memorial at St Stephen's Green and the Thomas Davis
Memorial on College Green. Back in the 1960s these figures
represented a real departure and an exhibition of Delaney's bronzes
from that period has just opened at the Royal Hibernian Academy in
Dublin. The Edward Delaney exhibition continues at the RHA in Ely
Place until 9 January. The Panel discusses the Edward Delaney
exhibition at the RHA

The Magazine: The Village - The Village magazine has been hitting
the stands weekly since 2 October. Edited by Vincent Browne, as was
its predecessor Magill, it seeks to expose our own political,
professional and corporate malpractice – while, at same time,
keeping a sharp eye on all things international. Also between the
covers you'll find coverage of the arts, media and sport. It is
selling on average 17,000 copies every Saturday, and has set itself
an ambitious set of targets. The Panel discusses The Village


Efforts to secure final deal in North continue - The SDLP leader,
Mark Durkan, outlines his party's dissatisfaction with the proposed
final agreement for Northern Ireland

David Davin-Power, Political Correspondent, reports on the latest
efforts to secure a peace deal in Northern Ireland

Conor Hunt talks to some of the 108 MLAs of the North's legislative
assembly, who are being paid 70% of their salary even though the
assembly has not sat since 2002

Hopes For Progress Over Deal Dwindling -A(3)

Parties engaged 'in game of chess'

15 December 2004
By Chris Thornton and Brian Walker

HOPES for progress in the stalled political deal were being lowered
today as Sinn Fein and the DUP played chess over the two
governments' efforts to reignite talks.

As Secretary of State Paul Murphy and Irish Foreign Minister Dermot
Ahern were convening talks at Hillsborough, the DUP kept them
guessing about their involvement in future talks with the Irish.

And Sinn Fein announced that it was sending a relatively low-level
delegation to today's meeting, indicating that the party would not
be engaging in full-blown negotiations about the deadlock.

Mr Murphy and Mr Ahern - joined by US envoy Mitchell Reiss - were
attempting to reconcile the parties over photographs of IRA
decommissioning, but neither side appeared ready to budge.

The DUP was waiting today for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's statement in
the Dail about his position on the photographs. The Taoiseach was
attempting to wriggle out of a storm which began when he said
photographs were "unworkable" earlier this week.

Emerging from talks with Tony Blair yesterday, DUP leader Ian
Paisley declared that if Mr Ahern repeated to the Dail this morning
what he had told him personally, a meeting with Irish Foreign
Minister Dermot Ahern and Paul Murphy over the talks deadlock would
go ahead.

But the Taoiseach's spokeswoman said today that he would not make
an apology.

"An apology is not expected or required," she said. Mr Ahern would,
however, be making a statement about his rift with Mr Paisley.

Today's Dail debate was expected to increase pressure on
republicans to break the deadlock by registering widespread support
for photographic evidence and an IRA pledge to end all forms of

Progressive Democrat and main opposition Fine Gael TDs were
expected to express anger over the suggested release of the four
killers of Garda Jerry McCabe.

In Downing Street yesterday, Mr Paisley rejected himself as a
witness of IRA decommissioning. "No, no," he said. "The man in the
street says 'seeing is believing' and he must see it, and see it he
will, by the grace of God."

Mr Paisley looked forward to a longer meeting with Mr Blair next
week, but Downing Street were unable to confirm it. Number 10
insists that the momentum of efforts to strike a deal will be kept
up into the New Year if necessary, before the Prime Ministers
concede that the opportunity has been lost.

Republicans met Mr Reiss last night at one of his first engagements
in a two-day visit.

He is also due to hold talks with murdered Belfast solicitor Pat
Finucane's widow Geraldine, and representatives of the Orange


Photos Of Little Importance With Seismic Shift In Contours Of
Political Landscape

By Steven King
15 December 2004

The peace process is taking on strange new forms. When the DUP
solemnly commits itself to "tackle all sectarianism, racism and
intolerance" (annex E of the Comprehensive Agreement), you know the
contours of the political landscape have changed. Either that or an
LVF consignment of happy pills has fallen into the wrong hands.
When Gerry Adams informs us that "you cannot be a criminal and a
republican activist", though, you could be forgiven for tending to
the latter conclusion.

Perhaps what Gerry meant to say was that you cannot be a Sinn Fein
activist and be a republican. Whichever it is, we are told that
these unlikely partners would have shaken on a deal if only Gerry
would give Ian a couple of photos to put in his album. Were that
the case, the DUP broke on the wrong point.

Bluntly, the key issue in Northern Ireland politics today is not
photographs but the future status of the IRA in the context of a
Sinn Fein-DUP agreement. Under the terms of the DUP's bargain with
the IRA, the terrorist organisation is not required to disband. On
the contrary, it will still be allowed to recruit. But what will
its precise role be? What is the status of the IRA's so-called
Green Book in these circumstances? And if it is not going to
provoke violence, what other activities will it engage in?

There is talk of the IRA becoming an "old comrades association" but
since when did the IRA confirm this? Not that these have been
burning questions for the Paisleyites. For them, the only
outstanding issue was "humiliation".

Did the DUP leader troop up to his heartland and, in the relaxed
company of friends, allow himself the luxury of a demagogic
outburst? Hardly. Rather, the calculated assumption of the real DUP
leadership (Paisley-Dodds) is that any deal with Sinn Fein/IRA will
be so unpopular with the great bulk of their supporters that it
could only ever be sold by portraying it as an action replay of
King Billy's victory at the Boyne.

So, once Mitchel McLaughlin had concluded that photographs of
decommissioned weapons would be a form of humiliation, Big Ian
seized a golden opportunity to drive home the message that it was
very much a humiliation, and an entirely justified one at that.

Some in the DUP second row no doubt winced but, not for the first
time, Mr Paisley demonstrated his fine sense of political timing.
His lieutenants had lost the run of themselves and the Big Man had
to rescue the position.

His only disappointment was that he could not prevent the Prime
Minister from coming to Belfast and publishing the Comprehensive
Agreement. For, as Dr Clifford Smyth, Ian Paisley's biographer,
pointed out last Sunday on Radio Ulster, the DUP had conceded
ground never previously conceded by unionists and achieved no
safeguards not already provided for in 1998.

Nevertheless, the details men in DUP had charged ahead. In
particular, the devolution of policing and justice powers fills
many people with apprehension, if not dread. It is only acceptable,
if at all, when it is absolutely clear that the IRA has truly
become inert. But is that the DUP's position?

On Thursday morning of last week, P. O'Neill issued his actual
statement. The gaps between it and the "agreed" text appended to
the Comprehensive Agreement were immediately obvious.

It soon emerged that since Leeds Castle the Republic's Government
had been attempting to persuade the Republican Movement to forsake
criminal activity. Yet, at the end of these lengthy discussions,
the IRA refused to agree even to this measly concession to the
values of civilisation.

Nevertheless, from Thursday through to Monday, despite the fact
that the PD element in the coalition in Dublin had gone into
rebellion on the point, the DUP remained "unperturbed".

What does this all tell us about the DUP? It appears the advanced
deal-makers wanted to keep the focus on transparency because they
hoped that the Governments would conjure a formula to deal with
that issue.

Those who are not actually seeking a deal at this time, the DUP
majority, are equally happy to keep the focus on transparency,
hence the on-off farce about today's meeting with Dermot Ahern.
Why? First, because they suspect that it is too late for the
Governments to work that particular piece of magic and, second,
because a win here would put them back on King Billy terrain.

All this makes perfect sense in terms of the DUP and its internal
machinations. But what do the people of Northern Ireland think
about the fact that but for two photographs, in two months' time
the DUP would have come to an agreement on the devolution of
policing and justice, including the future of Special Branch, with
the leadership of a movement that only last week refused point
blank to agree on "the need to uphold and not to endanger anyone's
personal rights and safety"?


Liverpool Man 'Had Arsenal For UVF'

15 December 2004

An "exceptionally dangerous" Liverpool loyalist found with an
arsenal of UVF weapons and ammunition at his home has been jailed
for eight years.

Sentencing Alan Clair, Mr Justice Butterfield said: "It is plain
from the evidence that you had an interest and allegiance to the
Ulster Volunteer Force."

He said that it was "chilling" that the weapons were for use in the
killing and maiming of people.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday that police officers raided
Clair's home in St Matthews Close, Walton, Liverpool, on June 17
this year.

"There they found a small arsenal of weapons and a large quantity
of ammunition. They also found a good deal of military
paraphrenalia relating to the banned loyalist paramilitary
organisation, the Ulster Volunteer Force," said David Turner, QC,

A search revealed a sub-machine gun with a magazine and box of
bullets, a metal ammunition box containing 300 rounds of ammunition
and a holdall containing were three sawn-off shotguns, two pistols
and two imitation SA 80 assault rifles.

The officers also found a further 150 bullets and cartridges.

Police also found a blue UVF beret with Clair's name written
inside, a black woollen hat with a UVF 1st Liverpool battalion
badge and a white uniform belt with a UVF buckle.

When interviewed 49-year-old Clair accepted responsibility for the
weapons and ammunition but denied being a member of any military
organisation except the signals unit of the TA when a youth.

He said the Loyalist movement had made an impact on his life and he
had been brought up on it as a child and became a member of the
local Orange Lodge and the Liverpool Volunteer Flute Band in which
he plays the drum.

Clair, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to
possessing articles for a purpose connected with the commission,
preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism. He also admitted
nine firearm offences but denied being a member of a proscribed
organisation and that charge was ordered to lie on the file.


Loyalist Drug Dealer Freed By Judge

By Staff Reporter
15 December 2004

A drug dealer who admitted making and possessing information on
suspected republicans has been freed on a suspended three-year jail

Belfast Crown Court Judge Patrick Lynch QC told 27-year-old Gordon
Hutchinson yesterday he was satisfied he only operated on the
fringes of loyalist paramilitaries who had used him.

Suspending Hutchinson's sentence also for three years, Judge Lynch
added he was also satisfied Hutchinson had no intention himself of
using the information.

The court heard that the names, addresses and vehicle registration
numbers of the suspected republicans were found on the back of an
envelope during a search for drugs at Hutchinson's Merion Drive
home in Lurgan in September last year.

Prosecuting lawyer Gary McCrudden said while Hutchinson was known
to police to be on the fringes of loyalist paramilitiaries he was
not suspected of being "an intellegence gatherer, or intellegence
officer, or intellegence collator".

Defence QC Seamus Tracey, describing the information as "low grade"
said that much of it was found to be incomplete or inaccurate.

The court also heard that earlier this year Hutchinson was given a
two-year suspended jail term for possessing cannabis and having the
Class C drug with intent to supply.


Finucane Killer Renewing Fight For Early Release

14/12/2004 - 14:27:51

A loyalist hitman who murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane is
planning a new legal fight to be released within months, it emerged

Even though Ken Barrett received a life sentence in September for
the killing, it was thought he could be freed next March under the
terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

But the 42-year-old assassin has been told he does not qualify for
the early release scheme because he is not in a Northern Ireland

Barrett, who has amassed scores of dangerous enemies among his
former loyalist paramilitary associates, was transferred to
London's Belmarsh Prison because of threats against him.

The decision by the Sentence Review Commission which runs the
release programme means he may be forced to serve the minimum 22
years behind bars recommended when he pleaded guilty to murder.

But his solicitor Joe Rice claimed today that the body had made an

"They misdirected themselves in law and effectively didn't give him
an opportunity to have his application fully and properly
considered," he said.

"Ken Barrett continues to be a sentenced prisoner under the regime
applicable to Northern Ireland.

"He's still very much part and parcel of the Northern Ireland
criminal process.

"We now have instructions from him by telephone that he wishes to
appeal this decision."

It is expected that a three-member panel from the Commission will
be asked to review the decision.

If that goes against Barrett, his legal representatives will
consider launching a Judicial Review bid at the High Court in

Under the early release programme, terrorists convicted before the
April 1998 Good Friday Agreement who had served at least two years
in prison were considered for release.

The scheme, which saw some of Northern Ireland's most notorious
killers walk free, is one of the most controversial strands of the
peace process.

Barrett, an Ulster Defence Association commander, gunned down Mr
Finucane in front of his family at their north Belfast home in
February 1989.

He had already been behind bars for well over a year when he
sensationally admitted the shooting at the start of his trial.

Mr Finucane's son, Michael, today declined to comment on Barrett's


Daniel Pays Tribute To Music Legend

By Eddie McIlwaine
15 December 2004

Daniel O'Donnell will play homage to a country and western legend
for a packed audience at the Waterfront Hall tonight.

For it is 40 years since Gentleman Jim Reeves was killed in a plane
crash, flying from Nashville to Arkansas.

And O'Donnell, who was only a toddler when Reeves died at 41, has
recorded an anniversary tribute album of the superstar's favourite
songs which is in the shops for Christmas.

"I grew up listening to his smooth, gentle voice and it is a
pleasure now to put songs like Welcome to My World and Distant
Drums on my own CD," he said today.

"I've never met anyone who had a bad word to say about Jim Reeves.
He really was a gentleman. It should be a special occasion at the
Waterfront as I know there will be people in the audience who
actually saw Gentleman Jim in the flesh when he visited Northern

Reeves arrived here a few years before his death and played the
Flamingo Ballroom in Ballymena, now a Sunday School and the
Pavilion at the end of the pier in Portstewart.

He has always been a huge favourite down the years with songs like
Four Walls, Bimbo ? and his version of White Christmas is reckoned
by some pop music critics to be better than Bing Crosby's classic

Another singer who will be remembered at the Waterfront tonight
will be the late John Greer, the balladeer and Downtown Radio
presenter who was rated by Gentleman Jim's widow Mary to have a
singing voice which bore an uncanny resemblance to her husband's.

Daniel will be accompanied down on Laganside tonight by his wife
Majella. The couple are heading home to his native village
Kincasslagh in Donegal where they were married in the chapel in
which he will be singing for the congregation on Christmas Eve.


Memory Of The Molly Maguires Kept Alive

By Marigrace Heyer
Coalcracker writer

JIM THORPE, PA. - Their wives and families huddled on the steps
outside the Carbon County Prison waiting for word that the four men
were dead. They had said goodbye to them the night before in their

By 10:45 a.m. June 21, 1877, a day that would long be remembered as
Black Thursday, it was over and they waited to collect the bodies
of their loved ones to take home for a proper burial.

Three hundred people, including reporters from the New York Times
and The Philadelphia Inquirer, crowded into the main cellblock to
watch the execution of four members of the Molly Maguires convicted
of murdering two coal mine bosses. Even though the sun poured
through the skylight and warmed the slate block floor, there was a
chill of death in the air as Alexander Campbell, John Donohue,
Michael Doyle and Edward Kelly, shackled with chains, walked to the
gallows specially constructed to accommodate four people and end
their lives at the same split second.

The legend of the Molly Maguires, a band of Irish immigrant coal
miners who fought for better working conditions in the coal fields
of northeastern Pennsylvania, has been told in hundreds of books
and articles. They have been described as everything from ruthless
murderers who used treachery to further their goals to heroes who
fought for justice. Their defenders say they were framed by the
establishment - namely, Lehigh Valley Railroad founder, Asa Packer,
and the coal company bosses who wanted to squelch the fledgling
labor group. It is generally acknowledged that the Molly Maguires'
battle was the beginning of organized labor unions in the United

On June 21, 1997, at the county prison which was closed as a jail
in 1995 and reopened as The Old Jail Museum, the four men were
remembered in a Memorial Mass attended by 100 of their descendants
and members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Inc.,
Alex Campbell Mauch Chunk division, who sponsored the service. They
called it "Day of the Rope."

The Rev. John Hilferty, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Jim
Thorpe, celebrated the Mass at an altar set up in the exact spot
where the gallows stood 120 years before. A Celtic cross was
suspended over it from the second tier of cells.

Claiming the men were "unjustly accused and unlawfully condemned,"
Hilferty compared the discrimination levied against the Irish
immigrants to that which is in existence today against certain
ethnic and racial groups.

"Irish need not apply" was a common scenario faced by the Irish
immigrants who came to this country to escape the treachery of 19th
Century Ireland.

"Each time we hear (racial and ethnic slurs), an 'Irish need not
apply' sign appears in the window," said Hilferty. "We need to
speak out when injustice occurs and see all people created in God's
image equally as His own."

Reading from a newspaper account of the execution, Hilferty said:
"Four men, shackled like wild animals, steel manacles on their
hands and feet, were taken from their nearby prison cells and led
to the gallows of death which had been erected on this very spot."

The priests asked the four men to kneel and all were given
absolution. After the priests left the platform, the sheriff and
his deputy removed the chains and slipped the ropes and the hoods
over their necks.

Campbell was the first to climb the gallows. He and Kelly and Doyle
were convicted of the 1875 murder of mine boss John P. Jones of
Lansford. Doyle was next followed by "Yellow Jack" Donohue, who was
found guilty of the murder of Summit Hill mine boss Morgan Powell
in 1871.

Campbell proclaimed his innocence to the last moments of his life,
and placed his hand on the wall of his cell, declaring its imprint
would remain as a sign of his innocence.

His grand-nephew, Patrick Campbell, who wrote about his ancestor in
his book, "The Molly Maguires Story," attended the Mass. "I never
liked this place (the jail), but today we humanized it in a
beautiful service," Campbell said."

Jim Chambers of Philadelphia said the story of his great-
grandfather, Yellow Jack Donohue, who lived in Tuscarora, was a
family secret for many years. "They didn't talk about it," Chambers
said, but his interest was sparked several years ago and he visited
the prison and subsequently met some third cousins in the Tamaqua

Thomas McBride, who owns The Old Jail Museum and offered it for the
service, said, "I've asked myself a thousand times, 'Why did I buy
this jail.' Today - this is the answer."

The Old Jail Museum has attracted more than 25,000 visitors from
the United States and 43 countries since it opened two years ago.
Many of them want to see the "Hand on the Wall" in Cell 17 left by
Alexander Campbell.

Last March, PBS filmed scenes in the jail for its documentary, "The
Irish In America," which will air in October.

After Black Thursday, three more Molly Maguires were executed in
the Carbon County Prison. Thomas P. Fisher was hanged on March 28,
1878 and on Jan. 14, 1898, James McDonnell and Charles Sharpe faced
the hangman's noose.

The guilt of the Molly Maguires has been a subject of debate for
more than a century. Where they working men struggling to support
their families and improve their working conditions? Or were they
ruthless killers bent on destroying the wealthy class they believed
held them hostage with oppression and injustice?

In his "Hard Coal Dockets" published in 1994, Carbon County Judge
John P. Lavelle says: "Historians feel the Molly Maguire trials
were a surrender of state sovereignty. A private corporation
initiated the investigation through a private detective agency. A
private police force arrested the alleged defenders, and private
attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them. The state
provided only the courtroom and the gallows."

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