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December 30, 2004

12/30/04 - Bishop Offers Weapons Breakthrough

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

DJ 12/30/04 Former Bishop Of Derry Offers Weapons Breakthrough
IT 12/30/04 4 Murders Blamed On Paramilitaries- 3 Loyalist 1 INLA
IE 12/30/04 McAllister To Fight On
IE 12/30/04 FOSF Raised $600k
IE 12/30/04 Cork Woman Killed By Car In Philly
IO 12/30/04 Antrim Supermarket Bomb Fuels Fears Of New Campaign
IE 12/30/04 20 Irish Missing As Four Survivors Return -V(4)
IT 12/30/04 Exhibits Aim To Enhance Appreciation Of Pearse


Former Bishop Of Derry Offers Weapons Breakthrough

Tuesday 28th December 2004

The former Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Archbishop Robin Eames, has
offered to witness IRA decommissioning in order to remove the impasse in
the peace process.

In a wide ranging interview Archbishop Eames, now the Archbishop of
Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said: "No matter what the argument may
be at the moment over detail immense progress was actually made - and
against all predictions.

"My fear is that in the present climate even that could be jeopardised."

He added: "As a realist I have to say I have learned over the years in
Northern Ireland you cannot predict too far ahead.

"I still hope that something is possible. I have to pray that it becomes
a reality because I believe that devolved government is absolutely
essential for the good of this community."

The Archbishop said he would be prepared to witness any act of
decommissioning as part of a settlement.


Only Four Murders In North Blamed On Paramilitaries

This year looks like being the quietest in terms of killings since
serious violence erupted in 1969, writes Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor.

The disappointment caused by the failure of the parties to negotiate a
comprehensive settlement which would have restored devolution has been
compounded by figures which show that 2004 was the most peaceful year of
the "Troubles".

Had the deal not become stalled earlier this month, politicians would now
be preparing for a return to local rather than British direct rule,
buoyed by statistics which illustrate that Northern Ireland is gradually
becoming a relatively peaceful society.

Figures compiled annually by The Irish Times over 35 years show that this
year, so far, only four men were killed in violence related to the
security situation. If this figure is maintained to the end of December,
then 2004 will have been the quietest year since the violence erupted in

The UVF is blamed for two of the four killings this year and it may also
have been involved in a third. The INLA is suspected of the fourth

While the killings are dramatically down on other years, the British and
Irish governments and their security chiefs know that they cannot become
complacent. Republican and loyalist paramilitary "punishment" attacks,
intimidation and exiling are continuing on a substantial scale, although
here as well there are reductions in activity.

Republican and loyalist criminality also remains a major issue, as
evidenced by the £22 million Northern Bank robbery before Christmas. The
IRA is numbered among the chief suspects for the crime, although the PSNI
has not definitively stated who was responsible. If the IRA is formally
fingered for this robbery, any chance of a political resolution leading
to an early restoration of devolution will have been blown.

The IRA was blamed for a major robbery of the Makro cash-and-carry in
south Belfast earlier in the year and it also gained significantly from
smuggling. Meanwhile, loyalist paramilitaries continued to be involved in
drug-dealing, most notably the UDA and LVF, as well as in extortion,
robberies and racketeering.

This year witnessed a peaceful "marching season", apart from one serious
incident in Ardoyne in north Belfast on July 12th, when IRA members went
to the aid of British paratroopers being attacked by local republicans in
order to prevent a potential bloodbath. There was also a significant
reduction in republican "punishment" shootings and beatings. PSNI figures
up to the end of November this year show that there were 59 republican
attacks compared with 159 by loyalists. This compares with 99 republican
and 188 loyalist attacks during 2003.

This year also saw a marked increase in violent racist attacks, with the
UVF believed to be chiefly responsible, although the organisation denied
that such attacks were authorised by its leadership.

This is only the third year since the IRA and loyalist ceasefires of 1994
that the total number of murders has been in single figures. In 1999,
seven people were killed, while the total came to nine in 1995.

The year of the "Real IRA" bombing of Omagh in 1998, with 57 deaths, was
the worst since 1994, but other years following the ceasefires have been
bad as well: in 1996 there were 21 deaths, or 22 if the death of Sinn
Féin councillor Pat McGeown, who died from a heart attack, a condition
dating from the time he was a hunger-striker in the H-Blocks in 1981, is
included. The total for 1997 was 21 deaths; for 2000 it was 18; for 2001
it was 19; for 2002 it was 15; and for 2003 it was 11.

Deaths in the 1980s - and also in 1991 - often exceeded 100, while the
1970s was the bloodiest decade of the Troubles, with 1972, during which
496 people died, the worst year of all.

Eighteen people were killed in 1969, the year which is generally
considered the start of the Troubles, although there was a number of
security-related killings in the mid-1960s.

Earlier this month, the political negotiations failed effectively because
of deadlock between republicans and the DUP over photographic
verification of IRA decommissioning. In the Republic, primarily, parties
contended that the absence of a copper-fastened commitment from the IRA
to pledge itself to ending criminality was also hampering a comprehensive

In the North, the DUP appeared to be fairly unperturbed by this element
of the potential deal on offer, insisting that it would not sign off on
any deal which did not include an end to IRA activity.

In March this year Andrew Cully (47), a father of two from Greyabbey on
the Ards Peninsula in Co Down, was shot 10 times as he sat in his car in
the loyalist West Winds Estate in Newtownards.

His murder may have been ordered by a new UVF leader in the area keen to
impress his authority in north Down. It was alleged at the time that Mr
Cully was murdered because the UVF leader suspected that he had acted as
a police informer.

The UVF struck again in May, when it shot dead Brian Stewart (34) from
Donegall Road in south Belfast. Mr Stewart, who was ambushed as he drove
to work in east Belfast, was seen as a senior figure in the Loyalist
Volunteer Force.

This killing was yet another bloody episode in the long-running feud
between the UVF and LVF. It triggered a series of bomb attacks and
shootings involving the rival paramilitary organisations.

On September 29th last, Darren Thompson (22), from the loyalist Waterside
area of Derry, was shot near his home and died two days later from his

Mr Thompson was viewed as being associated with some UDA figures in
Derry, although it is understood that he was not a member.

It was unclear initially whether UVF or UDA elements were involved in
this murder, but subsequently it was believed that UVF members killed Mr
Thompson, although there was no admission of responsibility. Despite the
murder, the UVF and UDA in Derry insisted that there was no feud between
them in the city.

The revisiting of an eight-year-old feud between the different factions
of the INLA may have led to the killing in early June of Kevin McAlorum.
He was shot dead in front of horrified children and their parents at
Oakwood integrated school in south Belfast.

A major drug-dealer and former INLA figure, his enemies within that
organisation blamed him for the 1996 killing of INLA leader Gino
Gallagher in west Belfast, and his death may have been the "settling of
an old score".

Gallagher's killing was the spur for an internecine INLA feud which left
six people dead eight years ago, including McAlorum's nine-year-old
sister, Barbara.

© The Irish Times


McAllister To Fight On

The U.S. government has asked for more time to consider its next move in
the deportation case against Belfast man Malachy McAllister.

"We're only too happy to agree with that," said McAllister's attorney,
Eamonn Dornan.

Dornan said that the McAllister case would not likely be coming up for
consideration again until the spring.

McAllister, a onetime INLA member, is attempting to stay in the U.S. with
his four children, one of whom recently secured a green card through his
U.S. citizen wife.

McAllister's wife, Bernadette, died from cancer last May.

The death of Bernadette had made no difference in the government's
attitude to the case, McAllister said this week. "But I'm determined to
fight on for the kids," he said.


FOSF Raised $600k

2004 was a good year for the Friends of Sinn Fein. The group raised in
excess of $600,000 during the recent U.S. tour by Sinn Féin president,
Gerry Adams.

But the party will not be sitting on the money pending a better exchange
rate between the lowly dollar and either or both the soaring euro and

"The exchange rate is always a gamble, but we don't get into that," said
FOSF president Larry Downes.

Downes indicated that the money grossed during Adams's visit to several
U.S. cities would be used to pay bills on both sides of the Atlantic with
the balance going into the party's coffers in Ireland.


Cork Woman Killed By Car In Philly

By Ray O'Hanlon

The Irish community in Philadelphia was mourning the loss of one of its
own this week. Jeannette Fitzgerald, a 26-year-old native of Fermoy, Co.
Cork, was struck and killed by a car in the city last week.

She was coming home from work and had just stepped off a bus on Comly
Street when she was hit by the car and dragged along the street until the
vehicle struck the wall of a house.

The driver of the car was also killed.

"This was an awful shock to everyone in the community," said Tom Conaghan
of the Philadelphia Irish Immigration and Pastoral Center.

A memorial Mass was being offered this week for Fitzgerald at St.
William's church in the city. Her remains are expected to be flown back
to Ireland on Friday.


Antrim Supermarket Bomb Fuels Fears Of New Campaign
2004-12-29 19:50:02+00

An incendiary bomb was discovered in a supermarket in Northern Ireland
tonight, fuelling fears of a fresh bombing campaign.

The device was defused by army experts in the Sainsbury supermarket at
Sprucefield outside Lisburn, in County Antrim.

In the run-up to Christmas, the neighbouring B&Q DIY store was
extensively damaged by fire when a device went off.

It was one of a number of such devices planted in stores across the
province, several of which went off causing major damage.

Dissident republicans were the main suspects, although no claims of
responsibility were made.

The PSNI tonight issued an urgent appeal to retailers in Lisburn to
carefully search their premises and report anything suspicious.


Confirmed dead now almost 77,000
Fiona Mitchell reports on the rescue operation that is continuing after
the massive undersea earthquake that hit southern Asia last Sunday

Charlie Bird, Chief News Correspondent, travels through a devastated
area in Sri Lanka

Charlie Bird outlines the scale of the disaster in Sri Lanka

Anthony Murnane reports on the emotional return from Thailand of four
Irish women at Dublin Airport this morning

20 Irish Missing As Four Survivors Return -V(4)

By Juno McEnroe and Louise Hogan

TEARS of joy were shed at Dublin Airport yesterday when four young
Irishwomen caught up in the weekend earthquake in Thailand were reunited
with their families.

However, several other families face anxious waits for news of loved
ones, with up to 20 Irish people unaccounted for in parts of Southeast
Asia devastated by Sunday's disaster.

Particular concerns have been expressed for two Dublin women, Lucy Coyle
and Eilís Finnegan.

Ms Coyle was with her British partner, Sean Sweetman, on the Thai island
resort of Phi Phi when tsunamis struck. They have not been seen since.
Friends have begun hanging posters of the couple in the area.

Ms Finnegan, 27, from Ballyfermot, was also staying on Phi Phi. Neither
her family nor the Department of Foreign Affairs has been able to make
contact with her. Last night her brother Robert made a heartfelt appeal
to Phi Phi survivors to look at her photo image released to the media.
"The more people who see the picture of Eilís the more hope we have."

The missing woman had been on the beach with her boyfriend awaiting to
sail to another location when the first tsunami struck.

She had planned to fly to New York for a reunion with her family on New
Year's Eve.

The department said the cases were top priority, but stressed no one has
yet been classed as missing.

"The telecommunications system is down and it could be the case that they
were taken from a place and dropped to an island with no communication,"
a spokeswoman said.

Since establishing special helplines earlier this week, the department
has received more than 2,000 calls relating to 700 people who were in the
region affected by the tsunamis. The majority of these have been located.

Up to 20 were thought to have been hospitalised, mostly with minor
injuries. A small number of the 700 stayed on in affected areas to help
with the relief efforts, others moved to unaffected resorts, while more
returned home. Among the latter were Louise McClean, Angela Gahan, Jackie
Dunne and Adele Curry, who arrived back in Dublin yesterday shaken yet
relieved to have survived their ordeal on Phi Phi. "We were lucky because
our bungalow was beside a cliff and that gave us the chance we needed to
get up onto higher ground," said Ms Dunne. But they were surrounded by
dead bodies as they attempted to get to safety.

Irish consular officials are continuing to search hospitals in Thailand
and Sri Lanka. In addition, the department is continuing to operate its
helpline on (01) 408 2308.

The Government has doubled its donation to the disaster fund to €2
million. Aid agencies Trócaire and Concern between them are donating the
same amount.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern last night renewed his appeal to
people with relatives in southern Asia to contact his department if they
have heard news from them.

Information regarding missing people in Thailand is available at and


Exhibits Aim To Enhance Appreciation Of Pearse

James Fitzgerald

A Dublin museum which celebrates the memory of Patrick Pearse has added
a new exhibition which aims to give a wider, more rounded view of his
life and times.

The exhibition at Hermitage House in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham, where
Pearse ran a school, emphasises the influence of his unusual family
background, which eventually led to him assuming the role of a leader of
the 1916 Rising.

Included in the new exhibition is some work by his English father, James
Pearse, a stone-carver and sculptor. The original, hand-written
manuscript of a pamphlet James Pearse wrote, entitled "England's Duty to
Ireland as it Appears to an Englishman", published in 1886 in support of
Parnell and Home Rule, is on display in the exhibition.

There is also information about James Pearse's first family, with the
discovery of two extra daughters by his first wife.

From 1910, Pearse ran St Enda's School in Hermitage House, which embraced
the Irish language, culture and folklore.

Patrick Pearse was very close to his brother, Willie, who also taught in
the school, and the museum now houses a collection of Willie Pearse's
sculptures. Willie Pearse's work was greatly admired by his teacher at
the Metropolitan School of Art, Oliver Sheppard, the leading Irish
sculptor of his generation.

Another new addition to the museum is a rare example of the kilted
uniform worn by many of the boys in St Enda's.

It seems that this Gaelic revival costume, which Pearse favoured among
his pupils (although he never wore it himself), made quite an impression
on Dublin society.

Writing in his autobiography, former government minister Tod Andrews said
of the kilt: "A number of the boys in St Enda's wore kilts. This they
probably hated doing, and for that reason were all the more ready to
resent derogatory remarks about them - remarks which no Dublin boy could
resist making, and I made them . . . I seemed to be always involved in

For many, Patrick Pearse will always be remembered most for his role in
the Easter Rising, and the museum has recently put on display a
handkerchief made in 1972 by republican prisoner Micky McAteer while he
was in Long Kesh.

The handkerchief is embroidered with the familiar profile of Pearse and
his famous words: "Life springs from death, and from the graves of
patriot men and women spring living nations."

The curator of the museum, Mr Pat Cooke, received a complaint about this
new exhibit from someone who felt that it was inappropriate to display
the work of a republican prisoner, a complaint Mr Cooke rejects.

"History doesn't stop and Patrick Pearse is still a live ingredient in
recognising it. Pearse is a very important part of how Northerners and,
particularly, republicans define themselves," he said.

According to Mr Cooke, while Pearse was fascinated with the myths and
legends of Irish stories, he was a "shy, aloof character who adored the
Irish peasantry from a distance".

Certainly, founding an elitist, fee-paying boarding school in south Co
Dublin is not exactly the work of a Marxist. But St Enda's was
revolutionary in other ways.

Pearse felt that the conventional education system was devoid of
understanding and did not treat children as individuals, "but like a
piece of machinery that performs an appointed task".

Pearse set up St Enda's School in Cullenswood House, Ranelagh, in
September 1908. With his brother, Willie, his assistant headmaster,
Thomas MacDonagh, and his mother and sisters, Pearse wanted to embrace
the individual traits of each child and believed that self-expression was
more important than cramming for exams. The school moved in 1910 to the
impressive Hermitage at St Enda's Park in Rathfarnham.

For all his talents, Pearse was not good with the financial side of
running a school, and St Enda's was always teetering on the edge of

After Easter 1916, when four of the teachers at St Enda's (Patrick and
Willie Pearse, MacDonagh and Con Colbert) were executed, the school was
kept going under the headmastership of MacDonagh's brother, Joseph. But
it had lost its visionary founder and it was forced to close in 1935.

Pearse's sister, Senator Margaret Pearse, lived in the building until her
death in 1969, and it then passed to the State.

The museum is open in January daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2.30
to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

© The Irish Times

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

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