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December 19, 2004

12/20/04 – Archbishop Warns Of Ghettos For Immigrants

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

IT 12/20/04 Archbishop Warns On 'Ghettos Of Fear' For Immigrants
IT 12/20/04 Cyclists Say Law Must Be Enforced
IT 12/20/04 Irish To Go To Beach For Christmas Day
BT 12/19/04 Books: When The Seat Of Power Moved From Stormont

RT 12/19/04 Colombia Decision Does No Favours For Deal -A
RT 12/19/04 Paisley Jr Overjoyed At Sentence For Irishmen -A
RT 12/19/04 Republican SF Still Opposed To Any New Deal In North -A
RT 12/19/04 SDLP Angry At Concessions To Unionists In NI Deal -A

Colombia Decision Does No Favours For North Deal Prospects -
Michael McCaughan, an expert on South American affairs, discusses
the jail sentences imposed on Irishmen Niall Connolly, Martin
McCauley and Jim Monaghan in Colombia this week

Paisley Jr Overjoyed At Sentence Handed Down To Irishmen - Brendan
Wright looks at the career and attitudes of Ian Paisley Jr, who
expressed his delight at the sentences handed down to the three
Irishmen in Colombia

Republican Sinn Féin Still Opposed To Any New Deal In North -
Ruairí Ó Brádraigh, President of Republican Sinn Féin, outlines his
opposition to current developments in Northern Ireland

SDLP Angry At Alleged Concessions To Unionists In NI Deal -
Professor Brendan O'Leary, an expert on the texts of various deals
in the North, gives his assessment of whether the letter and spirit
of the Good Friday Agreement have already been lost


Archbishop Warns On 'Ghettos Of Fear' For Immigrants

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev John Neill,
has said that "Ireland of the Welcomes" must "take a deep breath".

In his Christmas message he has asked "does the welcome extended
really reach beyond those well-heeled returning emigrants and the
traditional big-spending tourists from the western world? What
about those who come to our shores with little or nothing?

"There is a price to be paid in being a welcoming and multi-
cultural society. We have to be willing to learn about the way
others live and think.

"We have to go out of our way to understand that many coming to
Ireland today have been traumatised, whether by violence, political
oppression or poverty. Unless bridges of understanding are built,
then the result will be ghettos defined by fear and violence."

He also said that "the people and the causes that stir our hearts
at Christmas don't all disappear from the scene at the end of the

"Most people are that bit more friendly and feeling quite generous
if they can afford to be! All this is good. But what then?"

In a joint Christmas message both bishops of Cork, Dr John Buckley
and Right Rev Paul Colton, said "our city eagerly awaits the
beginning of Cork's significant year as European Capital of Culture
for 2005. But before we launch into 2005, our hearts and minds, our
festivities and our lives turn to Christmas - our celebration of
the birth of Our Saviour.

"The Christmas story with its memorable and engaging ingredients
has shaped our culture for 2,000 years. The shepherds and angels,
the census in Bethlehem, the jealous politicians, an anxious father
and a young vulnerable mother, and an extraordinary baby born into
poverty - have caught the imagination of humankind," they said.

In their Christmas message, the Bishops of Kilmore, Right Rev Ken
Clarke and Dr Leo O'Reilly, noted that "2004 is nearly over. What a
year it has been! Many of us hoped and prayed for a deal in
Northern Ireland and the cementing of a stable agreement between
the various political parties. We are so near yet still so far away
. . . but not as far as this time last year!

"We trust the next few months will see further progress," they

In his Christmas message, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and
Dromore, Right Rev Harold Miller, asked "isn't it odd how one word
in a vocabulary can take centre-stage at a particular time in our
history? December 2004 has definitely been the month of

He said the Christmas story was a reminder of the difference
between "humbled" and "humiliated".

"Humiliation' is something done to a person - it feels
dehumanizing; we have no control over it, and it appears to give a
sinister and perverse joy to those who inflict it. 'Humbling' is
different . . . for those who have done wrong on all sides it will
mean admitting it and saying 'sorry'."

© The Irish Times


Cyclists Say Law Must Be Enforced

Frank McNally and Frank McDonald

As gardaí again appealed to motorists to slow down and take extra
care, a cycling group has urged the authorities to adopt the
"radical new approach" of actually enforcing traffic laws.

The Irish Cycling Campaign (ICC) made the suggestion as road deaths
approached the highest annual figure for three years. "We know this
would be a dramatic departure from the National Safety Council's
current policy of staging endless PR stunts backed up by an
invisible police force," said ICC spokesman Mr David Maher.

"God knows the authorities have tried everything else - how about
trying to actually enforce the law?"

Mr Maher said the number of speeding tickets issued annually has
dropped by 80 per cent since the introduction of penalty points,
saying this was "great for saving on paperwork, but tragic in terms
of lives lost".

He added: "The continuing slaughter on our roads is a direct result
of a lack of political and policing will . . . In Sweden, a
motorist can expect to pass a speed check on one in every six trips
made, while in Ireland the figure is 4,000 to one".

Mr Maher said it was "a scandal that the National Safety Council
(NSC) seems content to issue endless appeals while enforcement
levels in Ireland are so out of step with international standards".

The cyclists are also calling for a policy to restrict heavy goods
vehicles from residential areas and the appointment of pedestrian
and cyclist representatives to the board of the NSC.

Although the number of cyclists killed - 11 so far this year - is
low by international standards, Mr Maher said this reflected the
huge reduction in the numbers of people using bicycles, rather than
improved safety.

He also condemned as "pathetic" last week's suggestions by the NSC
that lorry drivers should fit extended mirrors to the left-hand
sides of cabs to eradicate blind spots.

© The Irish Times


Irish To Go To Beach For Christmas Day

Hundreds of Irish people wearing their county colours are to
converge on Australia's Bondi Beach to celebrate Christmas Day
thousands of miles away from home.

Sydney's large Irish community will enjoy a barbecue on the sands
rather than the usual turkey dinner.

Fr Alan Hilliard, chairman of the Emigrant Advice Network (EAN) and
director of the Catholic Bishops' Emigrant Agency, said the event
was likely to be a great success. "It's an example of wonderful
camaraderie, it's a great way to emphasise and share Irish cultural

Speaking about Irish emigrants around the world, he said Christmas
was tinged with sadness for some who were thousands of miles from
loved ones and unable to return home.

Fr Hilliard said Christmas Day could be an incredibly lonely time
for those who are away from home and have fallen on hard times. "It
can be a terribly lonely day, especially for people who rely on
social welfare.

"A lot of the agencies close on Christmas Day and people can be
left with nowhere to go on a day which most of us share with our

He said there was a need for information and advice for prospective
emigrants. "Ireland's changed economic circumstances in recent
times has allowed us to enjoy extraordinary levels of wealth
creation and this in turn has thankfully reduced our rates of
involuntary emigration.

"However, the development of pre-departure information and advice
and the hazards of unprepared emigration need to be constantly

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahern, travelled to London
last week to meet voluntary groups working with vulnerable Irish

He said he had gone to London "to meet the groups working at the
coalface with our vulnerable people".

"I wanted to emphasise also that this is an important area of
national policy, which is being given high priority by the

Mr Ahern said funding for emigrant services next year would be
double the amount originally allocated for 2004 "and organisations
in Britain will receive some €7m during 2005".

"This very significant figure will represent an increase in funding
of 60 per cent over 2004. It is the highest sum ever allocated to
emigrant services in Britain." - (PA)

© PA


Christmas Books: When The Seat Of Power Moved From Stormont...

By Eric Waugh
18 December 2004

Candid observers of the Northern Ireland scene, green and orange,
agree on one thing: the British want out. But the desire to escape
is more antique than many would suppose.

Gladstone began the real push to loosen the bonds with his first
Home Rule Bill in 1886. But, when the third version finally got on
to the statute book in 1914, the Great War pushed it aside.

In the meantime, lurking rebelliously in the background was Ulster:
Carson and Craig having their feet firmly planted on the coat tails
of Asquith and Lloyd George to prevent their going. Ninety years on
and that situation has scarcely changed.

Under direct rule Northern Ireland is governed as a colony. In
1972, when William Whitelaw was sent over as the first colonial
governor, the natives (of whatever stripe) soon found that, as
colonials, they were not to be trusted.

As things deteriorated in 1969, one of the first precautions taken
by Whitehall had been to install a Foreign Office diplomat to keep
an eye on the struggling Northern Ireland Premier in Stormont
Castle. The office from which this watchful agent was plucked said

The Stormont offices the visiting direct-rule Ministers used were
daytime parking places only. They hung their coats on the back of
the door and secretaries laid out on their empty desk the papers
for the day. When Minister and secretary departed for the RAF plane
at Aldergrove, the office reverted to its pristine state: sans
paper, sans files, sans everything.

There was no more eloquent way to confirm to the natives that the
seat of power in Northern Ireland, so long secure and untrammelled
at Stormont, had now moved elsewhere.

Officials compelled to live here for a spell swiftly constructed
their own social circle, finding with unerring touch other Home
Counties refugees already here.

But unionist officials and former Ministers, summoned for
consultation, still had to come and go from time to time. The
sharper among them, peeking where they were not invited, began to
spot documents on direct-rule officials' desks boldly marked "UK
Eyes Only".

No one was in any doubt on this occasion how the constitutional
boundaries of the UK were being drawn: they did not embrace
Northern Ireland. It was the crowning, contemptuous snub.

Set all this beside Cornelius O'Leary's and Patrick Maume's new
study of Anglo-Irish dealings in the decade leading up to the
treaty of 1921, and one is reminded, intriguingly, how little the
fundamental attitude of British politicians and officialdom to the
Irish has changed in the century since. The domestic politics of
the larger island were always to be the controlling factor.

At the height of the Home Rule crisis in October 1913, the Liberal
Prime Minister (Asquith) sought out the Tory Leader of the
Opposition, Bonar Law, for a confidential chat. To preserve
secrecy, they chose Max Aitken's, the future Lord Beaverbrook's,
Surrey estate outside Leatherhead, Cherkley Court, Asquith
travelling down in one of Aitken's cars.

There were three abortive meetings, Asquith standing firm on 32-
county Home Rule, Law on an opt out for a six-county Ulster.

But at one stage, when Asquith asked Law whether he was prepared to
throw the unionist minority in the South "to the wolves", Law
replied with a candid: "Yes - unless we find that a majority of the
'sheep' protest."

Later, in 1919, when serious negotiations resumed after the war and
a Cabinet committee on Irish policy was set up, a federal solution
was considered; but, although coercion of Ulster was excluded,
eventual Irish unity, then as now, was regarded as inevitable.

On Christmas Eve 1920, the Cabinet heard that Michael Collins
desired peace in the "Anglo-Irish War" but refused to entertain
surrender of arms by the IRA.

Which, one reflects, is where we stand at present.

Details of the negotiation of the Treaty confirm the familiar adage
that the convert to a cause tends to become its most fanatical and
uncritical champion. The Dublin Fusilier stationed in Dublin in
Easter Week 1916 and Protestant landowner from Co Wicklow, Robert
Barton, signatory to the Treaty, and his cousin, Sinn Feiner
Erskine Childers, London-born, Haileybury and Cambridge-educated,
holder of a Royal Naval DSC, prove the point.

This is a lively account, venturing up unexplored avenues.

•Controversial Issues in Anglo-Irish Relations, 1910-1921 by
Cornelius O'Leary and Patrick Maume (Four Courts Press, £55).

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04
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