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December 18, 2004

12/18/04 - Father McManus On Reiss Flip Flop

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

IN 12/18/04 Father McManus On Reiss Flip Flop –A
BB 12/18/04 'Cunning Photo Plan Still On Agenda'
IP 12/18/04 Opin: No Photographs, No Humiliation
IC 12/18/04 Opin: Who Will Save The Doc From Himself?
BB 12/18/04 SF Meet Colombian Lawyers
NL 12/18/04 Opin: Evading Justice Will Not Help The Colombia Three
BT 12/18/04 US Backs Colombia Three Sentences
AU 12/18/04 Listen To Me
IP 12/18/04 Interview With Bernice Swift - An Fhirinne
BT 12/18/04 UUP Peer Hits Out At Loyalist 'Scum' For Threats
IO 12/18/04 Mass To Remember Pioneering Archbishop Fulton J Sheen
IP 12/18/04 Linda Coleman: Fenian Holiday Gift Guide


Along with Reiss' other comments, you can here his comments
regarding Father McManus at this audio site:

Father McManus On Reiss Flip Flop -A

Irish National Caucus
Press Release
Capitol Hill. Friday, December 17, 2004.

Father Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish
National Caucus, released the following statement in response to
the Irish News article "Email out of context, Reiss tells loyal
order" ( which appears below statement).

"Dr. Reiss, himself, explains the context of his E-mail in the
actual text of his E-Mail. When his entire E-Mail is reported,
therefore, it is impossible to "take it out of context".I reported
his entire E-mail.He said what he said, in the way, and in the
context, he wanted. And I say all of this in the way, and in the
context, I want. But I will not flip flop, whether I am challenged
by Dr. Reiss or the Orange Order.

I have no interest in prolonging this issue with Dr. Reiss, whom I
have praised many times. However, I cannot remain silent when the
impression is given that it was I who " took his E-mail out of
context". I most certainly did not", Fr. Mc Manus concluded.

Email out of context, Reiss tells loyal order

Irish News. Friday, December 17, 2004

By Barry McCaffrey

The Orange Order says it has been assured by US Special Envoy
Mitchell Reiss that what he said was taken out of context when he
described loyal order parades as provocative and intimidatory.

Last July an email in which Mr Reiss described loyal order marches
as "foolish and malicious" and designed to "provoke and intimidate"
caused outrage among unionists.

In a correspondence to the Irish American priest Fr Sean McManus,
Mr Reiss wrote: "Dear Sean, Thanks for your note and the article.

"I misspoke yesterday when I said 'I did not understand' why
orangemen want to march in nationalist areas.

"Obviously, the idea is to provoke, intimidate and champion their

"We've seen this behaviour down through the ages, with many groups
and ethnicities.

"This is an old story that does not improve with the telling.

"What I meant to say, and what I thought was clearly implied, was
how foolish and malicious such actions were.

"I am sure you agree. Best Mitchell."

Unionist politicians, including the DUP's Gregory Campbell and
Ulster Unionist David McNarry, called for Mr Reiss to apologise.

The envoy later confirmed the authenticity of the email but claimed
that his comments had been taken out of context, despite the entire
email being printed by the Irish News.

However, after a meeting with Mr Reiss yesterday, a spokes-man for
the Orange Order said the order had been assured by Mr Reiss that
his comments had been taken out of context.

The spokesman said Mr Reiss had expressed a willingness to learn
more about the loyal orders and said representatives had raised
concerns about Protestant alienation with the US administration.

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849


'Cunning Photo Plan Still On Agenda'

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

Unlike the local politicians, President Bush's Special Envoy
Mitchell Reiss was in no mood to join in the blame game when I met
him recently at the US consulate in Belfast.

Had Sinn Fein led everyone up the garden path? Had the DUP blown it
with its unhelpful rhetoric?

Dr Reiss wasn't biting. These things happen in negotiations, he
argued, and now it's time to focus on the future.

Yet Mitchell Reiss could be forgiven for being more annoyed than
most that the devolution deal fell apart.

He was the prime architect of the "post-dated cheque" scenario,
which would have seen photographs being taken of IRA disarmament,
but their publication delayed until a new Stormont executive was

It was a cunning plan intended to blunt the humiliating impact on
republicans of publishing the photos and to provide an incentive
for the DUP to seal the deal.

Yet the Reiss compromise was eventually thrown back in the
diplomat's face, with the IRA declaring photos were never possible.

Interviewed for Inside Politics, Dr Reiss indicated it was
premature to believe that photographs are entirely off the agenda.

Instead, he confirmed that photography continues to feature in the
ideas being discussed by the governments and the parties to try to
break the deadlock.

It's understood there are a number of suggestions for building on
the Reiss compromise - such as ensuring that General de Chastelain
retains custody and copyright of any photographs and restricting
the publication and use of any images.

But could these suggestions be rendered academic by the IRA going
it alone? Certainly Ian Paisley appears to be concerned about the

'A side deal'

Republicans reacted with derision when the DUP leader warned them
not to decommission without photos.

But the DUP weren't the only party to raise the notion of a
unilateral IRA move with the governments during the recent
Hillsborough talks.

It seems unlikely that the IRA would want to give away its guns for
no return. But in the run-up to Irish elections in 2007, the arms
are a diminishing currency and at some stage the thought of a side
deal might well become enticing.

Moreover, it would be hard for either General De Chastelain or
British and Irish ministers to turn republicans away if complete
IRA decommissioning was on offer.

Disarmament through a unilateral move or a side deal would render
the argument over photographs obsolete.

The DUP might extend its so-called decontamination period, but
republicans would gain the high ground.

Moreover, if they disarmed under the existing arrangements a full
inventory of IRA weapons would not be passed to the governments or
made public until after General De Chastelain had finished dealing
with the loyalist paramilitaries' arsenals, a task he has barely

"Want to know how many guns and how much semtex the IRA
destroyed?", republicans might ask the DUP - "Then use your
influence with the UDA and the UVF and encourage them to get on
with it."

Republicans will no doubt be pondering all possible contingencies.

It all depends on whether they view photographs as something which
can be bartered for more concessions further down the road, or
whether they remain determined that the IRA's weapons will be put
beyond use in secrecy and that the tell-tale images will never
appear in the history books.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/18 12:11:47 GMT


No Photographs, No Humiliation

By Danny Morrison

There has been much argument over what was or was not agreed on the
issue of IRA decommissioning being photographed.

Proof that republicans never subscribed to the idea of visual
decommissioning is actually evident from a close reading of the two
governments' proposals for a 'Comprehensive Agreement'. When you
read the statement in Annex C the governments proposed the IRA
would issue there is absolutely no reference to photographs. What
it says is that, "the IRA leadership has agreed with the IICD [the
Decommissioning body] to complete this process in a way which
further enhances public confidence and to conclude this by the end
of December."

The way that enhances public confidence was the proposal to allow
two independent clerics to witness decommissioning, which is what
the IRA had agreed to.

Photographs are only mentioned in the statement in Annex D that the
governments proposed that General John de Chastelain would make!
According to paragraph 5 he would have said: "In addition, the IRA
representative has told us that the IRA will have photographs of
the weapons and materiel involved taken by the IICD, in the
presence of the independent observers."

De Chastelain would have said that the photographs would be
published when the Executive was formed next March.

The reference to photographs was obviously left out of the IRA
statement because the British knew that the IRA had never agreed to
that happening, though it appears that they were trying to bounce
the IRA into accepting the unacceptable.

The British and Irish governments thus must bear a heavy
responsibility for the impasse in political progress last week. It
is now clear that they ignored Sinn Féin warnings that visual
decommissioning from the IRA was a non-starter, yet they persisted
in including such a possible prospect. Furthermore, we now know
that the British government convinced the DUP that the pictorial
aspect was a probability – almost a given – in a separate document
on the issue which was never shown to Sinn Féin's chief negotiator
Martin McGuinness.

That little bit of deceit was what put Paisley's ego over the top.
Falsely assuming that the IRA had agreed to visual decommissioning,
he made his infamous speech about humiliation, repentance,
sackcloth and ashes (and, later, threw in a hair shirt for good

Paisley must have known the reaction his speech would have caused
among republicans. He may have calculated that it would cause major
division in the IRA and ultimately force the IRA to 'renege' on
what he assumed it had agreed to - filmed decommissioning. That
certainly would have got him off the hook of sharing power with
Sinn Féin under the Belfast Agreement, which is what he would have
been signing up to. However, despite what commentators, observers
and politicians assert about Paisley being prepared to share power
with republicans, I still cannot ever see it happening, for it
would represent such a reversal of character.

The publication of the document has also shown that the SDLP was
lying when it said that Sinn Féin had agreed to a DUP veto over the
nomination of specific ministers. In fact, the amended method of
electing the Executive rather than easing things for the DUP has
made it more embarrassing.

Under the former system it would have had to vote for only one
member of Sinn Féin, Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister.
But under the latest proposals the entire Executive would be
nominated and then there would be a collective vote. This led to
David Trimble jibing at Paisley: "That instead of voting for one,
they will vote for four [Sinn Féin ministers]. I'm sure that's

There is little doubt that, as Gerry Adams said last week, there
would be a battle a day inside such an Executive, as the DUP
resisted change and progress. Paisley confirmed just that on Radio
Ulster's 'Sunday Sequence' when it was clear that rather than
promote the smooth functioning of government (to which the DUP
would have to pledge itself, according to Annexe E) he would treat
particular fellow ministers with hostility.

His objective would be to frustrate the work, find fault with Sinn
Féin and have it driven out of the Executive. Under those
gerrymandered circumstances he would be more than willing to sit
with the SDLP, the DUP's master voice who joined the confederacy
calling for IRA photographs.

The irony is that the DUP appear to prefer the sectarian
satisfaction of keeping Sinn Féin out of government rather than
relieving the unionist community of the negative consequences of
direct rule.

All of which begs the question I have heard many republicans ask:
why bother? Certainly, Sinn Féin being in power in the North and
South and working the systems towards social and economic harmony,
as a means of working towards unity, appears to be the most viable
strategy available.

But can't it continue to consolidate its support and ready itself
for power in the South (should it want to be in government; should
the pretexts blocking it be removed)? Can't it lobby and press the
British government to implement changes on a range of issues,
including policing and a Bill of Rights, which the British have
already conceded in principle?

Meantime, the IRA, presumably, will examine whether there is merit
in doing a side deal with the two governments.

The nationalist community might be angry and temporarily
frustrated. But it remains stoic, and morale is high because the
IRA made the right decision. No photographs, no humiliation. Let's
move on.


We Say

Who Will Save The Doc From Himself?

Did Ian Paisley really make his blood and thunder speech at
Ballymena because he wanted to sabotage the deal in the making?

That's not very likely because under his leadership the DUP was set
to seal a historic deal.

The party which made its name in lording it over Catholics and
vowing to smash Sinn Féin was on course to make the mother of all
U-turns by joining republicans in a powersharing government.

The peace train came off the rails not because Paisley or his
lieutenants changed their minds but because the Doc couldn't help
himself from spewing out more bile and vitriol against the
'Barbarians at the gate'. After 40-plus years of castigating
Catholics, it was just beyond the DUP leader to keep his
considerable trap closed for a few more days.

Thus came the rabble-rousing speech. The fault didn't lie with the
architects of the new agreement but with Paisley's lack of
experience in peacemaking. After all, this is a chief negotiator
who hasn't yet brought himself to shake hands with Bertie Ahern yet
never mind discuss demilitarisation with Martin McGuinness.

And did the IRA only refuse to have photos taken of the final act
of decommissioning because of the Big Man's demand for humiliation?
Not so, though he certainly vindicated their stance. The reality is
that the IRA had long ago ruled out gifting Paisley photos he could
have reproduced on every election-time t-shirt just below the word
'SURRENDER' and above the legend, 'Vote DUP'.

The makings of a breathtakingly comprehensive deal are still there.
If someone in the DUP can gag the DUP leader between now and the
weekend, we could still make a momentous breakthrough.


SF Meet Colombian Lawyers

Two Sinn Fein assembly members are travelling to Colombia to meet
the lawyers of three republicans convicted of training Marxist

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan were sentenced
to 17 years after an appeal court reversed their acquittals on the

Gerry Kelly and Catriona Ruane are to arrive in Bogota on Saturday.

Colombia's attorney general said the men may have fled, but Ms
Ruane said she does not trust the authorities.

The men vanished while on bail awaiting the court of appeal
decision on Thursday.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern expressed surprise at the verdict
but refused to criticise the Colombian legal system.

"To end up with 17 years seems like a very harsh position but I'm
not getting into the business of criticising the (Colombian)
judiciary," he said.

"I'm working on the basis of asking the executive to speed up the

There are reports the Colombian authorities have asked Interpol for
help in tracing the men.

Colombian Attorney General Luis Camilo Osorio is reported to have
told Reuters news agency on Friday that they would try to establish
where the trio had gone.

"We know they left the country, but we will try to find out what
country has received them in order to see that justice is done," he

However, Ms Ruane, who has long campaigned for the men's release,
said she did not trust the claim that the trio had fled from

She said she had no idea where the men were but she intended to go
to the country on Saturday.

"The last time I saw them was the night we took them out of jail in
June," she said.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has said the verdict was
"outrageous" and a "grievous miscarriage of justice".

The men, who had been accused of being IRA members, were found
guilty in the April trial of travelling on false passports.

They were acquitted of training Farc guerrillas, but the Colombian
attorney general appealed against that decision.

A judge had ordered the men to remain in the country pending the
outcome of the appeal.

Airport arrests

Hardline Ulster Unionist MP David Burnside said the affair proved
that Sinn Fein was "not fit to be in the government of Northern

DUP assembly member Ian Paisley Jr said the "decision has far wider
ramifications than what's happening in the judicial system in

McCauley, 41, is from Lurgan in County Armagh, Monaghan, 58, is
from County Donegal and Connolly, 38, is from Dublin.

The three had been detained at Bogota's El Dorado airport in August
2001 as they were about to board a flight out of the country.

Their arrest led to speculation that Irish republicans had formed
links with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

The main charge against them was that they had been teaching the
rebels urban terrorism techniques.

The Irishmen strenuously denied this, saying they were in the area
to monitor the fledgling peace process as well as being eco-

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/18 09:52:19 GMT



Evading Justice Will Not Help The Colombia Three

Saturday 18th December 2004

THE sentencing of three Irish republicans in Colombia to a prison
term of 17 years for training FARC terrorists in the South American
country is a verdict which could have serious ramifications for the
Northern Ireland political process.

The three accused - Niall Connolly, James Monaghan and Lurgan man
James McCauley - faced serious charges after their arrests in
Colombia in suspicious circumstances, travelling on false

Predictably, the Sinn Fein leadership has reacted angrily to the
sentencing and the Irish government has been thrown into a spin
over how it should react to what could become a very embarrassing
situation, especially as the three men have gone missing and are
believed to have fled Colombia.

Republican supporters of the so-called Colombia Three would need to
do more than argue about the need to protect the human rights of
the accused in the volatile South American state, for the men's
case will not be helped if they persist in evading the judicial
authority in Colombia.

Significantly, the Colombian government has called in Interpol to
help in the search and, should Connolly, Monaghan and McCauley turn
up in either Northern Ireland or the Republic, no doubt extradition
papers will be lodged for their return to Bogota, either to face a
further court appeal or begin a long prison sentence.

Such a scenario would produce real dilemmas for Prime Minister Tony
Blair and Irish premier Bertie Ahern, both anxious to keep Sinn
Fein on board in the political dialogue here, almost at any cost.

Pressure to ignore decisions of the legal and judicial system in
another country, particularly one where the United States
Administration has been involved in cleaning up terrorism and the
extensive drug trafficking cartels, is one that would be better
avoided in both London and Dublin.

The full story of what these Irish republican activists were doing
in Colombia has never been told, but, despite their denials, strong
evidence has been produced which reveals that they did have some
connections with the FARC movement.

In their own long-term interests, and in the interest of justice,
they would be well advised to re-appear before the Colombian


US Backs Colombia Three Sentences

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
18 December 2004

The Chairman of the House of Representatives International
Relations Committee has welcomed the sentencing of the Colombia
Three and said that there was "no benign explanation" for their
presence in Colombia.

Congressman Henry Hyde, who chaired hearings in April 2002 on the
IRA's involvement with Farc, said that the Colombia courts had
provided "appropriate punishment" for the men, for training
terrorists who target innocent civilians and traffic in deadly

In a statement issued today, Congressman Hyde said that "there
never was a benign explanation on why two IRA explosive experts
using false passports were wondering around the jungle with known
members of the narco-terrorist guerrilla group, Farc."

He was referring to two of the men, James Monaghan and Martin
McCauley, who have previous convictions for IRA involvement.

He added: "The Colombian court decision may provide the answer and
appropriate punishment for training terrorists who target innocents
and traffic in deadly drugs to Americans and Europeans alike."

The International Relations Committee is Republican-controlled and
has a strong influence on shaping the House of Representatives'
attitudes to global politics.

During the April 2002 hearings, several Congressmen, most notably
Massachusetts Democrat William Delahunt, had questioned the
legality of the arrests.

Yesterday, Congressman Delahunt said that he had no idea as to
whether the men were innocent or guilty, but said that he
questioned the Colombian legal system.


Listen To Me

December 19, 2004

Everyone has at least one subject they find hard to discuss. Make
your opinion count without tears, tantrums or fisticuffs. By Joanna

For one person it's sex, for another it's religion. And in the wake
of 9/11 and the Iraq war, tricky topics such as violence and
terrorism have become part of our daily conversations, whether we
like it or not.

Many people find it hard to talk about sensitive issues, or may
have a particular subject which for them is taboo. Mine used to be
Irish politics.

As an Irish-Catholic child with a father from Belfast, growing up
in London had its moments – especially during the period
euphemistically described as "the Troubles". It was a time when the
conflict in Northern Ireland switched to the British mainland, with
the IRA launching bomb attacks in England during the 1970s and

At one time or another, each member of my family experienced racial
and religious prejudice. Explaining your position on the situation
was often futile, and for me it became easier to avoid the subject
altogether. This tactic proved successful for over a decade, but in
the early 1990s my self-imposed silence on "the Troubles" was
broken at a friend's party in Los Angeles by a man named Frank.

Breaking The Silence

Frank claimed Irish ancestry (thanks to his Galway-born great-
grandmother) and, according to him, what he didn't know about the
political situation "over there" would fit on the back of a lottery
ticket. He dominated the conversation with rhetorical nonsense,
historical inaccuracies and blatant misinformation.

Instead of biting my lip, I had to speak out. But when I politely
attempted to correct his definition of the difference between a
nationalist and a republican, he promptly shouted me down with,
"What would you know about it, you're a Brit!".

My initial reaction was to wish for a huge hole to swallow me up
and spit me out in the safety of my hotel room. Then I remembered a
conversation I'd had with a close friend a few days before. In his
opinion, you have to air your views – even if they cause offence –
because that's the only way to encourage debate and promote change.
It isn't so much what you say, as how you say it. Swallowing hard,
I announced that I was, in fact, both Irish and Catholic, and that
half of my family lived in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, while
those facts didn't qualify me as an expert, I had first-hand
experience of the issues in question and an opinion, which deserved
to be heard.

Frank's "chairmanship" over the discussion ended promptly – he lost
his audience and decided to change the subject to whether or not
Charles and Di would break up.

One problem is that many people, while taught by their parents how
to "play fair", and told that if you can't say anything nice, don't
say anything at all, are not taught how to discuss tricky topics.

Margot Trinder is a Melbourne-based psychologist and a peace and
education coordinator for

the Australian Psychological Society. She says that part of the
problem is the natural hierarchy which exists within groups of

"Whether it's friends or family, the dominant individuals tend to
voice their opinions easily, while the quieter ones don't, even if
they don't agree with those opinions," explains Trinder.

Other reasons why some people keep quiet include a desire to fit
in, reluctance to challenge the views of someone close and fear of

But, according to Trinder, saying nothing can be damaging. "If a
person is sensitive and they don't talk about

a difficult issue they feel strongly about, they may start to
generalise and feel bad about everything in life," she says.

"Saying nothing can also add to the general levels of stress and
frustration, which many people have to cope with in day-to-day
life," she says.


Interview With Bernice Swift - Spokesperson For An Fhirinne

By Roy McCann

Irish Northern Aid has adopted the collusion campaign by the
relatives group, An Fhirinne (Irish for The Truth) as one of the
charities it supports.

An Fhirinne was established by the victim's families to expose the
British Government's organization and direction of Unionist death
squads in their murder campaign of Irish nationalists and
republicans during the last 35 years of conflict in the six

On a current tour sponsored by INA, An Fhirinne's Bernice Swift
spoke to supporters in San Diego and was kind enough to give the
following interview to The Irish People.

Irish People: Can you provide some background to the campaign by
An Fhirinne and your involvement in it?

Bernice Swift: An Fhirinne is the anti-collusion campaign set up
throughout the six counties in the North of Ireland. A few people
got together in support of the families who were victims of state
sponsored murder and violence throughout the six counties. These
people decided to support the families and bring them along to a
platform where they can highlight their quest for the truth about

My involvement is as a project manager with the group called
Firinne in Co Fermanagh, which bases me with a good foundation,
therefore I am fully aware of the issues, and experiences that have
directly affected victims of state violence. I come informed, with
sympathy, humility and understanding for the victims and their
families in their quest for truth and justice.

IP: Can you give us an idea of the extent of collusion that
existed between the British Government and Unionist death squads?

Swift: The British Government and Unionist death squads colluded
to ensure that people were targeted, that intelligence files were
updated at all times and that people were assassinated who posed a
threat to the occupying forces and British invasion in Ireland.
The Brits had agents who worked in the highest ranks in the Ulster
Defence Association in updating intelligence files and taking
people out for assassination. The British and loyalists colluded
with other groups in South Africa and imported deadly arsenals of
weapons that increased their capacity to kill by 300 percent.

IP: Is it possible to gauge the number of people directly affected
by the policy of collusion?

Swift: We have throughout the six counties thousands of people who
have been bereaved as a result of the state orchestrated murder
campaign. Not only the people who have been directly affected, but
also we have people who have been indirectly affected also. It's
not just about individuals, it's about communities. It's about
society in general. So the healing has to be for everybody.

IP: What impact has the Stevens, Cory and Barron report into the
murky world of British collusion had on your campaign.

Swift: The revelations about collusion, the proof and evidence
that has already come from the various reports politicizes people
and undermines Britain's claim to legitimacy. Therefore, the Brits
are being exposed and we just await public inquiries into the
atrocities that the reports have alluded to.

IP: Have you or the victim's families any faith that the British
Government will repent and wear their sackcloth and ashes over the
policy of state murder?

Swift: Well, we are not going to stick our head in the sand on
this issue. We are going to work tirelessly and further expose the
Brits and the true nature of their dirty war within Ireland. And
yes I do believe that something will happen from where they're
ruling as to their true role as major protagonists throughout the
conflict in the North of Ireland.

IP: What is it that An Fhirinne and the victim's families want
from the British Government?

Swift: One word. Truth!

IP: Has there been any recognition by the British Government of
their role in the conflict?

Swift: To date, there has been absolutely no acknowledgement from
the British Government. They are the only protagonist that has yet
to acknowledge their role in the conflict. We have talked with
independent experts in the field of truth and they state that
acknowledgement is the first step in any truth and reconciliation
process. We still await an acknowledgement from the British
Government and An Fhirinne is working to demand this
acknowledgement from the British Government.

IP: What are the aims and objectives of this current US tour and
what do you hope to accomplish?

Swift: Our aims and objectives are to inform, educate, create
awareness and initiate debate with the Irish American community and
others who are interested and want to hear what collusion is about.
We are on a whistle stop tour throughout the US. It's fast and
furious. What we hope to accomplish is support and funding from
the people interested in getting behind the families and supporting
them in their quest for truth and justice. We have to go to lots
of places and lobby in government, which will involve a lot of
travel and time. So, any support that we can obtain from friends
in the US will be greatly appreciated.

IP: How can people support your campaign in the US?

Swift: Irish Northern Aid has been very kind in adopting the An
Fhirinne campaign. I would recommend people becoming members and
getting behind the victim's families in this very important issue.
People can show their support by getting actively involved in the
political battle that we are all engaged in. They can simply write
letters to newspapers, Congressmen, and Senators. They can
participate in radio phone-ins, attend studio debates on the issue
wherever they see it arising and use it as a foothold to highlight
our situation and help us to obtain the truth about collusion.


UUP Peer Hits Out At 'Scum' For Threats

Foreign workers forced to flee after incident

By Claire Smith and Andrea Clements
18 December 2004

An Ulster Unionist peer has condemned the 'scum behaviour' of those
who forced Polish workers to flee North Antrim.

It is believed the group had arrived in Northern Ireland within the
last fortnight to work at a livestock factory in the Bushmills area
over the Christmas period.

But after a threatening phone call to the accommodation they were
staying in they left the town.

In the House of Lords this week Lord Laird spoke out about the

He said that hopes to boost Bushmills as a tourist attraction had
been damaged as a result.

"I want to say in the strongest possible terms that whoever made
the threatening call from a local public phone box is furthering no

"The Protestant cause, the Unionist cause, and the case for Ulster
Scots are all damaged by this sort of scum behaviour.

"It is the very opposite of Ulster Scots historical heritage to
treat people as anything other than totally equal and welcome in

He added: "Our desire is to live in a multicultural society of

It is believed to be the first racist incident of this type to hit
the North Antrim town.

A PSNI spokesman said police were aware of allegations in relation
to the incident.


Mass To Remember Pioneering Archbishop

17/12/2004 - 18:00:28

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto and US ambassador in
Ireland James Kenny will attend a Mass in Terenure College's Chapel
on Sunday to remember the 25th Anniversary of the death of
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen.

Archbishop Sheen was one of the first priests to use television for
religious education and teaching in the US. He pioneered religion
on television with weekly broadcasts of a half-hour program, "Life
Is Worth Living, which attracted 25 million viewers in the US and
won an Emmy award.

A campaign is now being spearheaded in Ireland and the US to
persuade the Vatican to declare the archbishop a saint.

Bishop Sheen died in 1979 at his home on the Upper East Side of
Manhattan at the age of 84.


Linda Coleman: Fenian Holiday Gift Guide

By Linda Coleman

Whenever I feel the lure of the shopping mall this time of year,
all I have to do is pull out the journal I kept in 2001 when I was
the co-owner of a kiosk in the mall. Leafing through its pages,
the horror of it all comes back to me—the noise, the infernal loop
of Christmas music, children daring to scream and throw temper
tantrums despite the fact that Santa Claus has the whole world
under surveillance and knows exactly which children have been less
than acquiescent about being made to go shopping on a Saturday

I had the misfortune of being located right next to a kiosk selling
radio-controlled model cars and trains. Kids would scream for
these things and parents would buy them, even with Christmas right
around the corner. One child actually fell on the floor, kicking
and screaming that he "neeeeeded" a radio-controlled car right
there and then. His little brother took up the cause, too, crying
that he, too "needed" a radio-controlled car. Unbelievably, the
mother heaved a sigh and gave in to their demands, buying two
radio-controlled model cars for the kids.

I know, I know—"it takes a village," but I kept my mouth shut about
the two little villagers-gone-wild, and successfully stifled the
urge to yell over to the mother, "Hey, lady, thanks a lot for
helping create the next generation of Ian Paisleys, who expect to
get everything they want handed to them just because they can yell
louder than anyone else!"

This year, Ian Paisley wants pictures for Christmas, specifically
pictures of the IRA. Like a boy after a toy car, he's throwing
quite a tantrum to get his hands on photos of his favorite
Volunteers, which prompted me to come up with this holiday gift
guide for everybody on your list with an interest in Irish
politics. If it's pictures they want, give them pictures—a whole
year's worth!

Maybe Ian Paisley isn't on your Christmas list this year, but
there's probably someone you know who would like the 2005
Republican Resistance Calendar, commemorating Sinn Féin's
centennial and the 100-year struggle for Irish independence. It's
probably safe to say that this calendar is not available at any
shopping mall, so forget the hassle of finding a parking space and
waiting in a long line at the cash register—get your calendar today
at Irish Northern Aid's newly revamped Homefront Library, now
capable of processing your orders online! Irish Northern Aid
purchased a bulk order of these calendars from Sinn Féin and
they're available for $15 each. You can buy the calendar and all
your other favorite republican items

There are more photos available at Sinn Féin's online bookstore

On offer this year is an archival photo of Bobby Sands' funeral
cortege en route to Milltown Cemetery. This black and white
photograph measures 10 x 8 inches, and is printed on high quality
Fuji archival paper. The inscription reads "Vol. Bobby Sands
R.I.P 1981." It's a lovely tribute to Bobby Sands and the 90,000
people who filled the streets that day, and the perfect gift for
the top activist in your unit— your own top volunteer who's worked
so hard this year planning projects and keeping everybody else
motivated. There is also a color photo of Joe McDonnell's funeral,
inscribed "IRA Salutes Volunteer Joe McDonnell," and a wonderful
photo of a boy waving the Tricolor in celebration of the 1994 IRA
ceasefire. All photos framed and mounted behind glass and are
priced at $33.56 (25.00 Euro).

Last time I perused the Sinn Féin bookstore, I also noticed that
there are still copies of Brendan Anderson's book "Joe Cahill, A
Life in the IRA," ($33.56, 25.00 Euro), which are autographed by
Joe Cahill. This collector's item is another wonderful gift for
the activist who's been especially good this year!

Is there someone on your gift list who's interested in everything
you have to say about Irish politics, but is not quite ready for a
"Brits Out" bumper sticker or a "sniper" key ring? Someone who's
looking for a bit more education about the occupation of the Six
Counties before diving headlong into your latest letter-writing
campaign? Give the newcomer on your list a copy of "Before the
Dawn," by Gerry Adams. In his first autobiography, Gerry takes the
reader on a walk in his shoes, from the innocence of childhood to
the awakening activism of his youth, and the realities of life on
the run as he grows into community leadership and politics. This
wonderful first-hand account of life in Occupied Ireland is
available for $12.95 at the Homefront Library, along with his
follow-up book, "A Farther Shore: Ireland's Long Road to Peace"
($25.00). In the second book, Gerry gives a candid (and often
quite humorous) account of the negotiations leading up to the Good
Friday Agreement. These two books will set your new activists on
the right path with information that they never heard on the
Nightly News.

So what do you do about the people on your list with too much
"stuff?" My family and close circle of friends are pretty sure
George Carlin was talking about us when he came up with the comedy
bit "A Place for my Stuff," and have declared a moratorium on
Christmas presents. Instead of cheese logs, paperweights, candles
and other knick-knacks, we now give charitable donations in lieu of
more "stuff," and give cards with information about the
organization we donated to. If you have people like us on your
list who are cutting down on the "stuff" in their lives, consider
giving to one of these organizations:

Children of Ireland Group
Terry Ryan formed this non-profit group in 1999 for the purpose of
supplying community centers in the North with educational resources
and sports equipment, to keep Ireland's children away from drugs
and gangs. Give a gift membership to a friend, and they will
receive updates throughout the year by email.

Ciarán Ferry Legal Defense Fund
Ciarán Ferry has been illegally imprisoned 685 days, at this
writing. It would be a wonderful Christmas present to have him
home for the holidays—check the website for latest action items,
and consider giving a donation to his legal defense fund at this
address: P.O. Box 740071, Arvada, CO 80006-0071.

Don't forget your favorite radio stations this holiday season!
Where else but Jay Dooling's show Irish Aires (KPFT-FM) or the
Ambrose Lane Show (WPFW-FM) can you hear about Ciarán Ferry or the
An Fhirinne tour? Pacifica Radio affiliates are just about the
only places to hear reports like this, so keep your favorite shows
on the air with a generous donation in lieu of the usual Christmas
"stuff." You can donate to DC area WPFW-FM at
and support Irish Aires at this link:

If I left off your favorite cause or gift item, don't rant, don't
rave, and please don't throw yourself to the floor in a flailing
fit. Just post a message on the Irish Northern Aid online bulletin
board and tell everybody what's on your list this year. Happy
shopping, everybody!

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

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