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December 16, 2004

12/16/04 - Bloody Sunday Inquiry Reconvenes

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

BB 12/16/04 Surprise Return For Bloody Sunday Inquiry
IT 12/17/04 Claims Of Flawed Evidence Dogged Colombian Trial –V(3)
SF 12/17/04 Colombia Three - Mammoth Miscarraige Of Justice
IT 12/17/04 Surprise At 17-Year Sentences For Three In Colombia
IT 12/17/04 Fine Gael Urges Investigation Of Verdict
IT 12/17/04 Ahern Raises Possibility Of Repatriating Men To Ireland
IT 12/17/04 Paisley Wants Deal On His Terms, Says Kelly
TL 12/16/04 Gioia Supports Street Renaming For Frank Carvill
IT 12/17/04 Tara Hill: Minister Says He Cannot 'Vary' M3 Route
BB 12/17/04 Pogues Track Wins Christmas Poll


Surprise Return For Bloody Sunday Inquiry

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry is to reconvene to hear the evidence from
a man known only as Witness X.

He denies telling the police in 1972 that he fired two magazines
from a rifle on Bloody Sunday.

The inquiry has been investigating the deaths of 14 civilians shot
by soldiers during a civil rights march in Londonderry in January

It was thought the tribunal had finally ended last month, after
seven years and at a cost of about £150m.

Bloody Sunday inquiry facts:
:: Lord Saville held his first hearing at Derry's Guildhall in
April 1998.
:: The inquiry began to hold public hearings in March 2000
:: The tribunal has now sat for 433 days.
:: It has heard evidence from 921 witnesses.
:: There have been 1,555 written statements from witnesses.
:: The final bill will be around £150m.
:: The final report is expected next summer.

The whole operation at the Guildhall in Derry, where much of the
tribunal took place, has been dismantled including computers and
video screens.

It is understood that computer hard drives have been destroyed
because of the sensitive information held on them.

It involves bringing back the three judges, various legal teams and
staff to hear this one witness.

Witness X is alleged to have told the police in 1972 that he was a
member of the Provisional IRA and that he fired a gun from Glenfada

Many of the people were killed in this area, and the soldiers said
they saw gunmen there.

Witness X denies this and says he has never been a member of the

A subpoena was released last January for him to give evidence, but
he did not attend because of medical reasons.

If he does give evidence this time, he will be anonymous, behind
screens and may appear via video link.

After hearing from more than 900 witnesses, the inquiry was thought
to have finished hearing evidence when Lord Saville and his two
colleagues retired to write their final report last month.

The Bloody Sunday inquiry was established in 1998 by Prime Minister
Tony Blair after a campaign by families of those killed and

Lord Saville of Newdigate and the Commonwealth judges accompanying
him on the inquiry began hearing evidence in March 2000.

The inquiry has heard evidence from leading politicians, including
the prime minister at the time, Sir Edward Heath, civilians,
policemen, soldiers and IRA members.

Lord Saville's final report and conclusions are not expected to be
made public until next summer.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/16 20:16:05 GMT


Acquittal of Irishmen overturned in Colombia - Sibylla Broadvinsky
of The Guardian in Bogota discusses the conviction of Niall
Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan and Ian Paisley

Adam Isacson of the Centre for International Studies in Washington
discusses the case in relation to the Colombian justice system

Séan Crow, Sinn Féin TD, and Ian Paisley Jnr of the DUP, debate the

Claims Of Flawed Evidence Dogged Colombian Trial –V(3)

Deaglán de Bréadún, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, examines the
events which led up to yesterday's verdict on the so-called
'Colombia Three'

Reports of a negative appeal ruling in the case of the so-called
"Colombia Three" accompanied by heavy sentences of up to 17 years
will come as a major surprise to many of their supporters.

Campaigners had grounds for believing that the verdict of "not
guilty" on the charge of training FARC Marxist rebels would be
upheld and that the three Irishmen would be coming home in the near

The prosecution case relied heavily on alleged FARC deserters whose
evidence was challenged by the defence as contradictory. In the
original verdict last April, Judge Jairo Acosta ordered that these
two witnesses be investigated for possible perjury.

The implications of such an investigation for the Colombian
security services could have been serious, especially if it were
found that the alleged deserters were in fact stooges purveying
fabricated evidence, as the defence lawyers had suggested.

The judge in the trial did not find the deserters' evidence
persuasive, but it appears that the opposite is true of the appeal.
But without reading the detailed text of the latest ruling,
speculation on the point may be premature.

Whether the perjury investigation will now proceed is unclear. It
is understood that a counter-appeal cannot be lodged until January
12th, when the courts resume in Colombia.

In the meantime, it is unclear whether the Colombian authorities
know the whereabouts of Niall Connolly (39), James Monaghan (59)
and Martin McCauley (42).

The "Colombia Three" affair has now dragged on for more than three
years. It began when the three men, travelling under assumed names,
arrived at Bogota's El Dorado Airport on an internal flight on
August 11th, 2001.

The trio had come from the so-called demilitarised zone controlled
by Colombia's main rebel army, the FARC (a Spanish acronym for
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).

The three were no ordinary travellers. All were Irish republicans,
and two had received jail sentences for their activities.

James "Mortar" Monaghan, was a well-known figure in republican
circles back home, who had escaped from a cell in Dublin's Green
Street courthouse in 1976 following an explosion at the building.

Martin McCauley was 19 years younger, but had in his teens been
ambushed by security forces monitoring an arms cache in an isolated
farmyard near Lurgan, Co Armagh. Another youth with him, Michael
Tighe (17), was shot dead.

The third man was Niall Connolly, 36 at the time, the youngest in
the group and the only one with fluent Spanish. He had been a
development aid worker in Latin America and was then based in Cuba.

Although the party denied it initially, he was Sinn Féin's man in
Havana. He has no previous convictions.

When they arrived at Bogota Airport from the FARC-controlled town
of San Vicente del Caguan, the Colombian military was waiting and
the men were seized.

There was little trouble penetrating the cover of both Monaghan and
McCauley, as British authorities were able to identify their
fingerprints. Connolly was more difficult: he was posing as David

The military used a forensic machine from the US embassy to examine
the men's clothing and baggage. Initially it found traces of
cocaine and explosives, but this test was adjudged illegal because
there was nobody from the Colombian prosecutor's office present. A
second test found only explosives. More tests later contradicted
this finding.

Back home the arrests caused convulsions in the peace process. They
seemed to confirm suspicions that the republican movement, instead
of taking a genuine turn away from violence, was actually leading a
double life.

Eventually, after a protracted pre-trial investigation, public
hearings in the case began at a Bogota courthouse.

The men stayed away, protesting that they could not get a fair
trial. The two basic charges were: training an illegal guerrilla
army in bomb-making techniques and using false public

The trial began in October 2002 and dragged on until August 2003.
The prosecution case encountered considerable difficulty,
particularly in producing witnesses. The charges against the
accused rested mainly on testimony from alleged FARC deserters.

One man was on a reintegration programme for ex-guerrillas, and his
whereabouts could not be traced. Another refused to come to Bogota
because he was afraid.

Eventually the first witness appeared in court but demanded
guarantees of safety for himself and his family. The court decided
to hold a special session in the city of Medellin to facilitate the
second witness.

The FARC deserters claimed to have seen the three Irishmen giving
classes in bomb-making in the demilitarised zone at particular
times. This was disputed by the defence, which produced witnesses
and documentation in support of the claim that the trio had been
elsewhere at the time.

For example, the first secretary at the Irish embassy in Mexico at
the time, Ms Síle Maguire, gave evidence that Connolly attended a
dinner she hosted in Havana for a visiting Irish parliamentary

This included Mr Jim O'Keeffe TD, Mr Ben Briscoe TD and Senator
Madeleine Taylor-Quinn, on January 17th, 2001.

The prosecution had claimed he was in Colombia at the time, giving
extramural classes rather than socialising with Irish politicians.

Videos were brought forward by the defence which purported to show
Monaghan taking part in events in Dublin and Belfast on February
7th, 21st and 22nd, 2001, when the prosecution claimed he was in
the FARC zone.

The videos were date-stamped, but the prosecution said they had
been doctored.

Employment records were also produced with a view to discrediting
prosecution claims.

Ultimately the issue turned on the credibility of the two
prosecution eyewitnesses versus the testimony and documentation for
the defence.

The Colombian establishment was in no doubt, and there were
constant references to the guilt of the three men by leading
political and military figures, a subject of bitter complaint from
the Bring Them Home Campaign.

This is a support organisation led by Ms Caitriona Ruane, who spoke
out in English and Spanish on behalf of the accused, and organised
delegations of Irish, US and Australian politicians and lawyers to
visit them in jail (she has since been elected to the Northern
Ireland Assembly for Sinn Féin).

The judge, Dr Jairo Acosta, listened to everything with an
impassive expression.

After the trial months passed with no sign of a verdict.

There were allegations of political pressure, but the judge
protested from behind a desk piled with papers and documents that
his workload did not permit him to get around to it.

Eventually the verdict was issued on April 26th this year and the
men were found not guilty on the FARC training charge but given
sentences of between two and four years on the passports charge.

The verdict was seen as a gesture of independence by the Colombian
judiciary, in the face of pressure from the military establishment.

The Irishmen were subsequently released on bail and went into
hiding in Colombia. The verdict on the main charge was appealed by
the Colombian Attorney General and the men are now reported to be
facing up to 17 years in prison.

There is understood to be provision for a counter-appeal. We have
not heard the last of the "Colombia Three".

© The Irish Times


Colombia Three - Mammoth Miscarraige Of Justice

Adams: Anger and outrage Colombia 3 decision

Published: 16 December, 2004

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has expressed anger and outrage
at decision in respect Colombia 3.

Mr Adams said: "This is a grievous miscarriage of justice, which
will come as no great surprise given the record of Human Rights
abuses by the Colombian government."

Caitriona Ruane, Spokesperson for the Colombia Three Bring Then
Home Campaign, speaking after news of the verdict against Martin
McCauley, Jim Monaghan and Niall Connolly said:

"This is a huge blow to the families of these three men who never
expected this decision. Coming in the mouth of Christmas it will be
an especially difficult for the 8 children of the three men.

"Today's decision by the appeal court in Colombia is a miscarriage
of justice of mammoth proportions. These three Irish men spent
three years in prison before being found innocent by a court which
examined all the evidence, or lack of evidence, against them.

"That decision has now been overturned in what can only be regarded
as a political decision by the Colombian courts.

"I am calling on the Irish government, at the highest level, to
intervene to defend the rights of Jim Monaghan, Martin McAuley and
Niall Connolly. The campaign to free the Colombia Three will now be
intensified. We will be involving human rights and civil liberty
groups across the world in a determined effort to expose the
injustice done today and to secure the safe return of these three
Irishmen." ENDS


Surprise At 17-Year Sentences For Three In Colombia

Deaglán de Bréadún, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Mark Duffy in
Bogota, and Mark Brennock in Brussels

The 17-year sentences imposed by the Colombian appeal tribunal on
three Irishmen on charges of training FARC rebel guerillas have
come as a major surprise to the Government, the men's families and
campaigners for their release.

The Colombian court yesterday sentenced the three men to terms of
17 years and over, as well as imposing heavy fines.

The men were arrested in Bogota's El Dorado airport in August 2001
and charged with training the FARC in bomb-making. In the original
trial last April, Judge Jairo Acosta not only cleared the men of
the terrorist charge but ordered that two key prosecution witnesses
be investigated for perjury.

However, in a 144 page judgment yesterday, three appeal judges
ruled that Niall Connolly (39), from Dublin, and James Monaghan
(59), from Co Donegal, should each serve 17 years and six months in
jail while Martin McCauley (42), from Lurgan, Co Armagh, is to
serve 17 years.

In addition, Connolly and Monaghan are fined $245,000 each while
McCauley is fined $212,000. After serving their sentences and
paying the fines, they are to be deported from Colombia.

The men had left Bogota's La Modelo prison and gone into hiding as
they awaited the appeal ruling. It was unclear last night whether
the Colombian authorities were aware of their whereabouts and how
quickly an arrest warrant for the three men could be implemented.
They are believed to be still in the Bogota area.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern, described the
sentences as "very severe".

Speaking in Brussels last night, he raised the prospect of
repatriation if the men exhausted all legal avenues and remained in
jail. The Government would make representations to the Colombian
Government "to see if there is any way we can get some alleviation
in relation to the issue". He acknowledged that "none of these
issues are helpful in respect of the evolving peace process".

However he played down the significance of the court decision in
terms of what it showed about the level of IRA activity. "The
incidents this court case referred to happened some time back," he

However it seems inevitable now that the issue will surface in some
form as republicans react angrily to the heavy sentences.

The Sinn Féin president, Mr Gerry Adams, expressed "anger and
outrage" at the sentences. "This is a grievous miscarriage of
justice, which will come as no great surprise given the record of
human rights abuses by the Colombian government," he said.

The spokeswoman for the Bring Them Home Campaign, Ms Caitríona
Ruane, also a Sinn Féin MLA, said: "We will be taking this to the
international forum because there is absolutely no justice in

But Democratic Unionist MLA, Mr Ian Paisley Jr, said: "I believe
the representation I made directly to the Colombian authorities has
not been in vain. On reflection the Colombian justice system has
found these men guilty and has punished them."

He added: "Sinn Féin/IRA has yet to answer questions about the
exact nature of their trip to Colombia. This sentence sends a
strong signal to terrorists and criminals that international
terrorist trips will last for more than just a few weeks."

Fianna Fail's Senator Mary White, who visited Colombia seven times
to visit the men in jail in Bogotá, said members of the men's
families were extremely distressed.

It is understood that there is provision for a counter-appeal but
that this cannot be lodged until the courts in Colombia resume on
January 12th.

© The Irish Times


Fine Gael Urges Investigation Of Verdict

Mark Hennessy

The Government must investigate whether the Colombian decision to
sentence three Irishmen to 17 years in jail was carried out
according to fair legal rules, Fine Gael said last night.

Mr Jim O'Keeffe, the party's justice spokesman, said the Government
should take up the case of the three men if the legal process was
shown to be unfair.

"However, it must be an objective assessment. We do not need
propaganda from the prosecution. Nor do we need propaganda from the
Colombia Three's supporters here," he said.

"At the first trial, the major charges against these three men were
dismissed. Under Irish common law that would be the end of the
matter as far as the major charges were concerned.

"But it appears that the process in Colombia was different, the
major charges were reinstated on appeal by the prosecutors and
heavy sentences imposed," Mr O'Keeffe said.

"However, these three men were obliged to obey the law of Colombia
and were subject to its judicial procedures. If the judicial
process is found to be unfair, the Irish Government should take up
the issue with the government of Colombia. If, on the other hand,
the process was found to be correct, different considerations would
arise," he said.

Fianna Fail's Senator Mary White, who visited Colombia seven times
to see the men in jail and to witness the trial, urged the
Government to raise the matter immediately with Colombia.

The three men had been in hiding awaiting the appeal outcome when
they were acquitted of the charge of aiding terrorists: "They have
not been in contact with their families since then."

The mother of Mr Martin McCauley, she said, was extremely
distressed: "She has found the last few months to be even worse
than before. She had been able to speak to him beforehand.

"If the Colombian authorities want to find them then there is
little doubt but that they will find them. This is a very shocking,
very troubling judgment."

© The Irish Times


Ahern Raises Possibility Of Repatriating Men To Ireland

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern, last night
expressed surprise at the Colombian verdict, described the
sentences as "very severe" and raised the prospect of repatriating
the men to serve their time in Ireland.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Ahern raised the prospect of repatriation
if the men exhausted all legal avenues and remained in jail. The
Government would make representations to the Colombian government
"to see if there is any way we can get some alleviation in relation
to the issue". This could include efforts to seek the repatriation
of the prisoners.

The Minister acknowledged that none of these issues were "helpful
in respect of the evolving peace process". However, he played down
the significance of the court decision in terms of what it showed
about the level of IRA activity. "The incidents this court case
referred to happened some time back," he said. The most recent
report of the Independent Monitoring Commission on the level of
violence had shown a "dramatic reduction in illegal activity by the
IRA". He said that, from the Government's own information, he
expected the next IMC report to show IRA activity further reduced
and possibly not taking place at all.

"The lower court completely exonerated these men and now this court
gives a very severe sentence. The second aspect is the severity of
the sentence. It's very severe sentencing."

He had met the families of the "Colombia Three" earlier this week
and was particularly conscious of how they would feel about the
outcome so close to Christmas.

On to the question of making representations to the Colombian
authorities, it been emphasised time and again that the Colombian
courts were completely independent of the government, "and we have
to accept that".

© The Irish Times


Paisley Wants Deal On His Terms, Says Kelly

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Mr Gerry Kelly, of Sinn Féin, has criticised the DUP for its
refusal to accept the willingness of the IRA to tackle unionist

Mr Kelly said: "Last week the IRA set out clearly its willingness
to deal with concerns within unionism, including the issues of arms
and activities, in the context of a comprehensive deal."

He said the Rev Ian Paisley did not want the IRA to deal with
weapons and paramilitary activity, unless it did so "exclusively on
his terms and in a way which involved an unachievable process of

He said it was bizarre that Dr Paisley was now demanding that the
IRA did not deal with the issue of its weapons.

Speaking at Belfast City Hall following Wednesday's talks in
Hillsborough hosted by the two governments, Mr Kelly called on
Dublin and London to proceed with implementation of "the process of

Meanwhile, in Brussels last night, the Taoiseach and the British
Prime Minister met on the margins of the EU summit to discuss the
continuing impasse. A Government source said that the two had
"taken stock" of the recent intensive negotiations.

Dr Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy, continued his series of
meetings yesterday. He said the progress made since the all-party
talks at Leeds Castle in Kent last September was "almost
unimaginable". He said the comprehensive agreement was still on the
table. "I think we're all trying to figure out how we can get past
the finish line here." Dr Reiss admitted there was a danger that
things could "stagnate or slip backwards.

"That's why the governments are working so hard, that's why
President Bush asked me to come over here this week to see if all
of us - London, Dublin and Washington - along with all the
political parties can try and make sure that this thing actually

Dr Reiss confirmed he held meetings with the Orange Order and Mrs
Geraldine Finucane, widow of the murdered Belfat solicitor Pat
Finucane, along with members of her family. Referring to the Orange
meeting, Dr Reiss said he wanted to listen rather than talk. He
confirmed Mrs Finucane had approached Dr Reiss's office in
Washington earlier this year regarding a meeting and that this was
his first opportunity to hear of concerns about the inquiry called
by the British government into the murder.

The family have said they will no co-operate with the inquiry,
elements of which are to be conducted in secret. Referring to the
political situation, Dr Reiss said: "If you're not optimistic,
you're in the wrong business here."

On the question of IRA decommissioning, he said: "Our position is
that we're in favour of photos but against humiliation. I think
that on that basis we're trying to find a way forward."

© The Irish Times


Gioia Supports Iraq Vet Street Renaming

By James DeWeese

Flanked by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (l.), City Councilman Eric
Gioia (c.) announces plans to introduce legislation to rename a
stretch of Woodside Avenue at 59th Street for Frank Carvill, who
died while serving in Iraq. The move would reverse an earlier
Community Board decision to reject the renaming. Photo by James

Frank Carvill - a longtime immigrant advocate and a founder of
Woodside's Emerald Isle Immigration Center - may get a street named
for him after all.

City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside) announced Monday that he
intended to submit legislation to rename the corner of 59th Street
and Woodside Avenue Frank Carvill Way in honor of the New Jersey
Guardsman who survived both World Trade Center attacks before
volunteering to serve in Iraq, where he was killed last summer.

Community Board 2 narrowly voted down a similar proposal on Dec. 2
after opponents pointed out that Carvill was neither born nor
raised in Woodside and argued that a collective war memorial to all
the area's Iraq war dead would be more meaningful and fitting.

Gioia, who was joined by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson
Heights) and Siobhan Dennehy, executive director of Emerald Isle,
the group that initially proposed the renaming, disagreed.


"Frank Carvill is not just a hero to Irish Americans or new
Americans," said Gioia, who said he would submit the bill to the
City Council Wednesday, skirting the board's no vote. "He is a hero
to all Americans."

Carvill, who was 51 when he died, worked as a paralegal for the
Port Authority at the World Trade Center. He helped found the
Emerald Isle Immigration Center, which for 16 years has worked with
immigrants of all nationalities from its Woodside and Bronx
offices. Although he disagreed with the war in Iraq, he volunteered
to go out of a sense of duty, Dennehy said. Carvill had been slated
to return to the United States on June 4 - the day he was killed by
a roadside bomb - but gave up his seat to a fellow servicemen who
had to rush home for a death in the family.

"If that isn't a hero, I don't know who is," said Crowley, a
personal friend of Carvill, who had assisted with his early
campaigns and remained active in Woodside. "The day we run out of
streets to name after our heroes is the day we have to worry about
this nation."

Dennehy said colleagues at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center were
dismayed by the community board's initial decision but heartened by
the lawmakers' efforts.

"We would like to preserve Frank's memory here," Dennehy said after
discussing his commitment to immigration reform and tireless work
as a volunteer treasurer at Emerald Isle.

But Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley said the board had
never opposed the idea of memorializing Carvill and his
contributions to the area but had merely suggested finding a more
"fitting" tribute, such as a plaque in Memorial Park or adding his
name to the veterans' memorial at St. Sebastian's Church.

Conley took issue with a press release circulated by Gioia's office
before the announcement indicating the lawmakers were going to
"reverse (the) community board snub."

"This is demagoguery at its worst that it's being played out this
way," Conley said. "To say the community board snubbed a war hero
and somebody who gave so much to Woodside is just reprehensible."

Conley said that after careful review the board's land use
committee asked the Emerald Isle Immigration Center to consider an
alternative memorial but received no response.

The night of the vote, representatives from Gioia's office
circulated a letter in support of the renaming, but no one
testified in favor of the initiative.

At the Dec. 2 community board meeting, 12 members voted to rename
the street, 11 opposed the initiative and four abstained.
Abstentions count as no votes, but Gioia said the fact that there
were more votes in the affirmative indicated support.

"I respect the community board's view, I thank the community board
volunteers for volunteering their time, but I vehemently disagree,"
Gioia said.

Reach reporter James DeWeese by e-mail at or
by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

©Times Ledger 2004


Tara Hill: Minister Says He Cannot 'Vary' M3 Route

Tim O'Brien

The Minister for the Environment has said it is not within his
power to significantly vary the route of the proposed M3 motorway
through Co Meath.

Commenting as members of the Oireachtas Committee on the
Environment visited archaeological sites in the Tara/Skryne valley
yesterday, Mr Roche said his role in the current controversy was to
decide on the method of preservation of archaeological artefacts.
"But to vary the route is not my decision" he said.

Under the National Monuments Amendment Act the Minister has the
power to direct how individual archaeological sites are preserved,
including the authority to insist they remain in situ.

While the Minister added the route selection had been "confirmed by
Bord Pleanála", critics of the road scheme say he could effectively
block it by insisting that each archaeological site remain intact
and in the ground.

Earlier yesterday Mr Michael Egan, corporate affairs director of
the National Roads Authority (NRA), answered questions from the
Oireachtas Environment Committee as they toured the area.

Mr Egan told Mr Eamon Gilmore TD that the NRA was hoping to
archaeologically excavate and record findings at each site so far
identified in the Tara area.

Should a "show-stopper" be discovered - and the Minister wants it
preserved in situ - the National Monuments Act provided for the
specific section of the motorway to be varied. This could "include
putting the road over a monument or around a site without reference
to moving the entire motorway or going through the planning process
from start", he said.

The process involves the planning authority preparing a report for
Bord Pleanála which would then decide if a new environmental impact
assessment for the specific section was necessary.

Mr Egan said it was "not unlikely" that such a show stopper would
be encountered but he said it could be handled without changing the
route "from one valley to the next".

However, Dr George Eogan, professor of Celtic Archaeology at UCD,
who was also on the site visit, said that Tara "is defined as a
landscape" and the area could not be seen as a collection of
separate archaeological sites.

Insisting that "Tara" incorporates the Hill of Tara and the Hill of
Skryne as well as the surrounding landscape, Prof Eogan said it was
comparable to the pre-historic sites at Loughcrew and at Brú na
Boinne .

"The Tara complex is a term we must use. It is the same size as Brú
na Boinne which was accepted as a world heritage site by UNESCO,"
he said.

Dr Edel Bhreathnach, who edited a history of Tara which is to be
published next spring, agreed that Tara should be described as a
landscape. Dr Bhreathnach said she and other archaeologists were
refused permission to attend the visit by Oireachtas members. The
Minister is not expected to announce his decision on the
preservation of the artefacts until early next year.

© The Irish Times


Pogues Track Wins Christmas Poll

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl,
has been voted favourite Christmas song in a poll by music TV
channel VH1.

The track, which went to number two in 1987, beat the original Band
Aid single - recorded in 1984 - into second place.

Wham's Last Christmas, also released in 1984, polled at number
three and Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody - first released in 1973 -
was at number four.

Current chart-topper Do They Know It's Christmas? came in at number


1. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues/ Kirsty MacColl
2. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
3. Last Christmas - Wham!
4. Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
5. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid 20
6. All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
7. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
8. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
9. Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon
10. Stay Another Day - East 17
Source: VH1 online poll

The re-recorded charity single by Band Aid 20, widely tipped to be
this year's Christmas number one, has already sold more than
600,000 since its release on 29 November.

Also in the top ten were Bing Crosby's White Christmas, at number
eight, and John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War is Over) at number nine.

However Sir Cliff Richard failed to make the top 10, despite a
string of Christmas hits including Millennium Prayer and Mistletoe
and Wine.

The poll of 10,000 people was conducted online. Fairytale of New
York gained nearly a quarter of all votes cast.

Singer Kirsty MacColl died four years ago at the age of 41 when she
was hit by a speedboat while scuba diving off the coast of Mexico.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/16 15:33:14 GMT

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

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