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December 03, 2004

News 12/03/04 - Ball Back In DUP Court

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 12/03/04 Ball Back In DUP Court As Latest Draft Handed Over
BT 12/03/04 Film Footage Of PSNI Officers Leads To Row
SF 12/03/04 Suspected UDA Armed Robber Receives Bail
DJ 12/03/04 Editorial: Peaceful Weekend In Derry A Must
DJ 12/03/04 Shops To Open As 'Lundy' Police Operation Relaxed
NL 12/03/04 Apprentice Boy Riddle Solved
DJ 12/03/04 Derry 4 In Witness Appeal
BT 12/03/04 SF Claims Victory As Export Ban Is Lifted
BT 12/03/04 Killyleagh Residents Win Battle Over Wall
BT 12/03/04 Plan Launched For Integrated School
IO 12/03/04 €2.3m Donated To Cross-Border Initiatives
IO 12/03/04 PSNI Controversial Registration Process
BT 12/03/04 Ulster War Hero Hits Out At Death Camp Ignorance
BT 12/03/04 Chernobyl Children's Trips Under Threat
IO 12/03/04 Poll Shows Rise In Popularity Of Taoiseach And FF
UT 12/03/04 Council Bid To Save Bewley's –V
BT 12/03/04 Ireland's Oldest Woman Dies At The Age Of 111
RN 12/03/04 Margaret Hassan: A Martyr's Death
SM 12/03/04 The Famous Mr Ed (Sullivan)
PI 12/03/04 Irish Language Enjoying Renaissance


Ball Back In DUP Court As Latest Draft Handed Over

By Noel McAdam
03 December 2004

The DUP is again spending the weekend studying the latest draft of
the British and Irish governments' blueprint to bring back the
Assembly and Executive.

But the party has made it clear it may still not be in a position
to give a definitive 'yes' or 'no' when leader Ian Paisley meets
Tony Blair in London on Monday.

The new version of the draft document was delivered to Mr Paisley
yesterday after Sinn Fein said its negotiations with the
governments had been concluded.

Further meetings of the DUP Assembly group and 80-strong party
executive are on the cards as well as grassroots consultations.

Major difficulties are believed to remain over the photographing of
further IRA decommissioning - and when the evidence would be

Mr Paisley is sticking to his demand that the photographs should be
seen "not away in March ... but immediately after it's done" - but
the IRA has not yet made its position known.

Gerry Adams, who said last week he would only go to the IRA when he
had a comprehensive package, said yesterday it was now time for Mr
Paisley to decide.

And he hit out again at Mr Paisley's call for the IRA to "wear
sackcloth and ashes" for what they have done.

"A comprehensive deal is possible but it can only be done on the
basis of the Good Friday Agreement and it cannot be done through a
process of humiliation."

But the DUP said it would not be bounced into accepting a flawed
deal but would take the necessary time to "get it right".

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said it appeared both Sinn Fein and the DUP
were accepting the "givens" of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Whatever about the timescale or motives, this is progress we
should all welcome. It would open the way to more of us being able
to make progress under the Agreement.

"So we would encourage a final push to ensure hopes are not dashed
and that the prospects for a better era are restored.


Film Footage Of PSNI Officers Leads To Row

By Nevin Farrell
03 December 2004

A new row has erupted in Larne, this time concerning apparent
camcorder footage and photographs of police officers removing 30
UFF and Ulster Flags from a private housing estate.

In October a row flared as police moved into the religiously mixed
Walnut Hollow to take down the flags after they said they received
complaints from both sides of the community worried about the
marking out of territory.

The fresh controversy flared last night at a meeting of Larne
District Policing Partnership in Glenarm when DPP member,
Councillor Danny O'Connor (SDLP), said minutes of the previous
public DPP meeting showed that a DUP councillor said he had "video
and photographic evidence" regarding the removal of the flags by

The DUP councillor in question was not present at last night's
meeting to comment on the case but Mr O'Connor condemned the
presence of any video purporting to show police officers taking
down flags.

He said: "That type of material could actually put police officers'
lives in danger. I don't know where it came from. I know it was
produced at a public meeting and should have been given to the

"I honestly believe that if republicans had taken a video of police
taking down flags there would have been doors kicked in because it
would have been considered information likely to be of use to


Suspected UDA Armed Robber Receives Bail

Published: 3 December, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly said today
that the decision of a Belfast court to grant bail to a suspected
UDA armed robber one day after he was originally remanded, raised
again very obvious questions about the judiciary in the six

Mr Kelly said: "Republicans know only to well the biased and
partisan nature of the judiciary in the six counties. That is why
we made it an issue in the negotiations which led to the Agreement.
That is why we have devoted so much time and energy since the
Criminal Justice Review in getting this issue right. Policing and
Justice cannot be divorced if we are to create the sort of society
we are aiming for.

"Time and again senior and well known UDA figures appear in court
receive automatic bail and if ever convicted receive paltry
sentences. Contrast this with republicans and nationalists. There
are countless cases of people spending years on remand with no
prospect of bail. There is no comparison between the severity of
sentences handed out to republicans and any other group.

"This well known loyalist receiving bail today is further reminder
for ordinary people just how much work we still need to do to
transform the current system into a system which nationalists and
republicans can have confidence in." ENDS


Editorial: Peaceful Weekend A Must

Friday 3rd December 2004

Tomorrow, thousands of Apprentice Boys, bandsmen and their
supporters will arrive in Derry for the annual 'Shutting of the
Gates' demonstration.

Above all else, it is crucial that common sense prevails in the
city tomorrow.

As everyone knows, it can take very little to ignite disturbances
before, during or after the parade.

It is, therefore, imperative that everyone planning to attend the
parade does nothing to incite trouble.

Likewise, the police service must handle tomorrow's parade in a
measured, balanced and sensitive manner.

It is essential that the day passes off peacefully. People on both
sides of the community divide need to understand that any action of
a sinister nature could have a negative impact and, as a
consequence, result in real physical and material damage being
inflicted on our city.

The last thing anyone wants is a return to the mid-1990s when a
number of the August and December parades were followed by violent
street disturbances which cost this city millions in economic terms
and countless more in terms of potential inward investment and

Derry has long been and must continue to be the standard bearer in
terms of breaking the mould in Northern Ireland.

This weekend, we have another opportunity to underscore this
distinction. Let's grasp it with both hands.

Secretary of State Paul Murphy must make a statement on the status
of the UDA 'ceasefire' following the court appearance earlier this
week of five loyalists on attempted kidnap charges.

The men - all of them well known loyalists from North Belfast -
were arrested in an undercover police operation just ten days after
the UDA announced that it was turning away from criminality.

Any lingering doubts as to the defendants affiliations were
dispelled when, as they were brought into court on Tuesday, they
were cheered by a group of 40 supporters which included prominent
UDA figures.

It is in this light that Paul Murphy must publicly state if he is
going to review the UDA ceasefire given the association between the
accused and the loyalist organisation.

On November 15 last, Mr. Murphy stated in the House of Commons that
he was recognising the UDA ceasefire because he was convinced the
loyalist group was "genuine" in its commitment to ending all
paramilitary and criminal activity.

However, this week's revelations only serve to underline just how
right nationalists have been to view the UDA "ceasefire"
announcement with deep scepticism.

Nationalists said they would judge the UDA by their actions and not
their words and this week's court appearances prove they were right
to do so.

In recent times, there has been much debate --arguably most of it
valid and justified - about the future intentions of republican
paramilitary groups. It is only right and proper that loyalists and
their activities are exposed to similar notice.


Shops To Open As 'Lundy' Police Operation Relaxed

By Joe Doran
Friday 3rd December 2004

Many Derry traders who traditionally shut up shop on Lundy's Day
because of the potential for trouble will open their doors tomorrow
for the annual Apprentice Boys' event, a leading businessman said
this week.

For the first time in years shops and businesses on Carlisle Road
will trade as normal when the city plays host to thousands of
Apprentice Boys and supporters marking the 316th anniversary of the
'Shutting of the Gates'.

The third Saturday before Christmas is one of the busiest shopping
days of the year. In recent years, however, Derry has resembled a
ghost town because the potential for outbreaks of violence deters
shoppers from entering the city centre.

Local businessman, Martin McCrossan, who owns a shop on Carlisle
Road, said he and fellow traders who normally close their doors
have this year "agreed to give it a go".

Mr. McCrossan announced the intentions of local traders on
Wednesday following a PSNI briefing of its planned policing
operation for the day.

The Chairman of Carlisle Road Traders and Professionals has called
on the public to change the perception of the city as a no go day
on Lundy's Day.

He said "I have met with the Apprentice Boys, business leaders and
the PSNI and we are all confident that the day will pass without

He added: "In the past shoppers were reluctant to come to the main
parade area on these days and this was due to a number of factors
e.g perception and threat of trouble, now however we have moved
into more peaceful times.

"I congratulate the Bogside Residents Group and the Apprentice Boys
with all the successful work that has been going on behind the

"With this in mind I encourage the public from the north west to
show solidarity with the business community and come out on
Saturday do their shopping and indeed watch the parade while it
travels along Carlisle Road, the Diamond and Ferryquay Street the
main area.

"A lot of business has been lost in the past on these days but in
my opinion times have changed and we all welcome the good work
going on in the city. "As an added incentive shoppers in the
Carlisle Road area may call into Carlisle Stores and receive a
voucher for free tea and biscuits in one of the local cafes."

Earlier, Derry's top policeman, Chief Superintendent Richard
Russell, announced a number of minor changes to the annual policing
operation that swings into place for the event.

In a bid to make the city centre more accessible for shoppers and
traders parking will be allowed on Carlisle Road which forms part
of the main parade route.

There will also be a reduction in the use of barriers to keep rival
factions apart and a relaxing of restrictions on shoppers crossing

The commander said it was the PSNI's policy to police the event in
a way that allows life to continue as normal as possible and
encourages businesses to open.

Mr. Russell said: "This means that everyone, marchers, bands,
supporters and local people can mix on the parade route. I appeal
to all those people to resist provocative behaviour which remains
the only small irritation in a parade which has become a triumph
for tolerance between the communities in the Ccty."

Open as normal Around 22 bands and two and a half thousand
Apprentice Boys from across the North are expected to parade
through the city. The day kicks off off at 11am and will culminates
with the burning of an effigy of 'Lundy the Traitor' at Bishop

Mr. Russell said agreement between the Apprentice Boys and
residents meant little disorder plagued the event in recent years.

However, 500 officers will still be on duty to police the parade
and curtail any minor outbreaks of trouble.

"The PSNI's duty on the day is to protect life and property,
preserve order, prevent criminality and bring any offenders to
justice," said the PSNI commander, "While the level of resources
mobilised will be less than other years the numbers will reflect
the threat to public safety, officer safety and disorder."

Chief Supt. Russell said marchers and supporters will not be
allowed to drink alcohol on the main parade route that takes in
Craigavon Bridge, Carlisle Road, the Diamond and Ferryquay Street.

His officers have also been ordered to seize any illegal emblems to
prevent them being displayed in a provocative manner.

Warning In a stern warning to troublemakers, Mr. Russell said: "If
there are lawbreakers police will get the best possible evidence
and use it to prosecute the most serious offenders for the most
serious offences."

Direct talks Stephen Kelly, manager of the City Centre Initiative
(CCI), said agreement between the Apprentice Boys and Bogside
Residents' Group shows direct talks around difficult parades can
bring success.

"We hope that all parties use this opportunity to push to resolve
the outstanding issues and bring about a long-term deal," he said.
"CCI and traders have been working with the PSNI to minimise
disruption to traffic, parking, shoppers and traders and we are
hopeful of a successful and peaceful day."


Apprentice Boy Riddle Solved

By Lesley Walsh
Friday 3rd December 2004

'An unknown Apprentice Boy of Derry' has been identified by a Co
Antrim family who never knew their grandfather was immortalised in
oils by one of Ireland's most esteemed artists.

The King family of Dervock, near Ballymoney, was looking through
the News Letter this week and saw Harry Kernoff's painting "An
unknown Apprentice Boy of Derry".

The painting is to go under the hammer in a prestigious auction of
Irish art in Dublin on December 8, being listed with a guide price
of £10,500 to £14,000 or 15,000 to 20,000 Euros.

The auction includes pieces from the renowned Jefferson Smurfit
Collection which features important works by Roderic O'Conor and
Jack B Yeats.

Dan's grand-daughter, Edna King, said: "My mum saw it and she asked
us 'who do you think that is?' and we all immediately knew who it
was, "We took the News Letter to the older ones in the village and
they all said 'it's Dan King'."

Dan, who was born in Dervock on December 21, 1881, fought in both
world wars and had been a prisoner of war.

Captured in the painting in his Apprentice Boys of Derry regalia
including sash and trademark bowler hat, Mr King had been a life-
long member of the Orange Institutions.

He is pictured holding a glass of stout.

"The only thing they have changed in the painting is that they've
added the drink, maybe to cover up the badge which would have had
the name of the particular lodge he was in," Edna said, commenting
on Kernoff's artistic licence.

"It seems to have come from an Apprentice Boys magazine and I think
that the artist has just seen it as a face with a bit of

Mr King had been married to Minnie and had five daughters and four
sons, including Edna's father Edward.

He died the same year as the artist Kernoff, in 1974.


Derry 4 In Witness Appeal

Friday 3rd December 2004

Four Derry men who spent 20 years 'on the run' after they were
charged with killing a British soldier are seeking to take a case
against the RUC over their treatment and are appealing for local
people who may have witnessed the incident to come forward.

The case is being taken by solicitor Patricia Coyle with the
support of the human rights group the Pat Finucane Centre.

A spokesperson for the PFC said: "In March 1979 4 Derry youths,
Gerry McGowan, Michael Toner, Gerard Kelly and Stephen Crumlish,
were charged with the murder of a British soldier on 14 February
1979. "The four were coerced into signing statements admitting
involvement in the murder, which was the only evidence that the
Director of Public Prosecutions could offer against the men.

"While on bail, the four men went on the run and spent the next 20
years in exile."

The spokesperson continued: "The four always maintained their
innocence and in December 1998 they were acquitted of all charges.
"Despite this, the four never received an apology and are now
seeking redress for their ill treatment at the hands of the RUC and
their subsequent forced exile.

Solicitor, Patricia Coyle, of Harte Coyle Collins Solicitors, is
now acting on their behalf."

The spokesperson added: "At the time of their trial a large number
of Derry people came forward and gave statements of alibi for each
of the men. Gerry McGowan, Michael Toner, Gerard Kelly and Stephen
Crumlish are appealing to these witnesses to come forward again as
a matter of urgency.

"Witnesses can contact either Patricia Coyle directly at 90 278227
or Alternatively, witnesses can
contact the Pat Finucane Centre at 71 268846 or


SF Claims Victory As Export Ban Is Lifted

By Michael Drake
03 December 2004

Sinn Fein believes it has played a strong part in helping to lift
the beef export ban which has deprived Northern Ireland farmers
from lucrative European markets for the past eight years.

Meanwhile MEP Jim Allister of the DUP has called on the Department
of Agriculture to ensure exports of Northern Ireland beef can
resume at the earliest possible date.

Sinn Fein party agriculture spokesperson Michelle Gildernew said:
"The impact of the beef ban was so great on local farmers we raised
the issue directly with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in
Downing Street on Monday.

"I said after that meeting I believed the case we put to Mr Blair
was irresistible and that I was hopeful of early movement in the
wake of the meeting.

" I am obviously delighted our intervention on this issue has borne
fruit and it is now important the lifting of the ban proceeds
quickly and without any further delays."

Mr Allister said he welcomed the announcement the Over Thirty
Months Scheme - it prevents older meat entering the human food
chain - is to be removed.

It will be replaced with a system which will allow tested beef to
be offered back into the food chain.


Killyleagh Residents Win Battle Over Wall

03 December 2004

Planning chiefs have admitted that a controversial 45-foot high
wall in the centre of the Co Down village of Killyleagh, is

The Divisional Planning Manager has revealed that the wall, dubbed
the Berlin Wall, is of "a character and scale" that was not
expected or approved by Planning Service.

Six months after residents began their campaign, planners have now
conceded there is no planning permission for the structure which
was built as a retaining wall for proposed housing adjacent to
Strangford View in the village.

The divisional manager Clifford McIlwaine has told SDLP MLA
Margaret Ritchie that plans submitted for the development "do not
provide for a structure of the character and scale now constructed,
and the wall is therefore unauthorised".

"The developer's representatives have argued that since the
submitted plans (for housing) did indicate retaining structures,
the wall has the benefit of planning permission. However Planning
Service does not take this view."

He told Miss Ritchie in a six-page written response after a meeting
between the Environment Minister Angela Smith, residents and
politicians, that Planning Service issued two warning letters to
the developer, Raymond Stewart from Holywood, in October, and
followed this up with final warning letters last month.

"This now leaves the way clear for formal enforcement proceedings
to take place should the developer fail to deliver a suitable
remedy within a reasonable timescale," said Mr McIlwaine.

Miss Ritchie said: "Killyleagh residents are adamant that Planning
Service must adhere to the regulations. It is now up to Angela
Smith to instruct Planning Service and the builder to take down
this wall."


Plan Launched For Integrated School

By Kathryn Torney
03 December 2004

A group of parents are due to officially launch a campaign to open
an integrated school in the Moira/Hillsborough area.

The Moira/Hillsborough Integrated Education Project will be
launched by BBC presenter John Daly at the Island Centre in Lisburn
next Friday.

The group hopes to open an integrated school in the area in
September 2006 and has already elected three office-bearers to lead
the campaign.

These parents and local community members will work alongside other
members of the steering group. All of the positions are undertaken

Group secretary Danny Judge urged local parents to get behind the

"This is a very exciting development and we would welcome support
from any parents in the area," he said.


€2.3m Donated To Cross-Border Initiatives

03/12/2004 - 13:50:20

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) today approved more than
€2.3m in support for border county projects in the Republic at its
Board Meeting in Belfast.

This brings to over €7m the funding which the IFI has approved for
counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth in

Since its inception in 1986 the IFI has supported more than 5,000
projects North and South with funding in excess of €730m.

Amongst the projects approved today was €633,000 for the
International School for Peace Studies in Messines in Belgium. The
16th Irish and the 36th Ulster Divisions fought side by side at the
battle of Messines in July 1917.

Other projects approved today were a holiday centre for
disadvantaged people in Bundoran, Co Donegal to be run by the
Bundoran St Vincent de Paul Conference, which will receive
€390,550. The total cost of the centre is €2m, of which €1m will be
provided by the St Vincent de Paul national body.

The IFI also approved €227,875 towards the €911,500 cost of a
Tyrone/Donegal cross border initiative designed to remove barriers
to rural economic development.

The Teach Bán Centre for Peace Building in Downings, Co. Donegal
will receive approximately €350,000 towards developing a community
outreach programme.

In Sligo, the Harbour House Hostel is to receive €200,000 towards
the €783,000 cost of upgrading its accommodation.

In Leitrim and Fermanagh, funding of €138,850 will go to the Green
Box/Kingfisher Cycle Trail to develop two related green tourism
products on a cross-border basis.


PSNI Pressing Ahead With Controversial Registration Process
2004-12-03 12:00:01+00

The PSNI is pressing ahead with a process of asking all officers to
register their membership of semi-secret organisations like the
Orange Order, the Freemasons and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

A number of police offices have taken legal challenges against the
measure, claiming it infringes their right to privacy.

However, the PSNI said it was pressing ahead with the process

The Patten Report on policing reform in the North had recommended
that all police officers declare their membership of certain
organisations as a means of ensuring public confidence.


Ulster War Hero Hits Out At Death Camp Ignorance

Almost half do not know where Nazis slaughtered a million people

By Andrea Clements
03 December 2004

An Ulster war hero today called for the upgrading of modern history
in local schools after a poll revealed nearly half of Britons have
never heard of Auschwitz.

Speaking after the BBC poll, which showed 45% had never heard of
the Nazi death camp in which one million people died, Sir John
Gorman, a lieutenant in the Irish Guards during the Second World
War, spoke of witnessing the "barbarous" treatment of prisoners at
Sandbostel concentration camp.

Among women and the under-35s, the figure is even worse, with 60%
pleading ignorance.

The BBC commissioned the survey, which interviewed 4,000 people in
advance of Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, which marks the
60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Sir John, a former UUP MLA, said: "War is a part of life that young
people are going to have to be prepared for.

"The idea that war is going to disappear is wrong - they have got
to expect it.

"Just being dismissive of war and contemptuous of those who fought
is not a sensible way to act."

During the last few days of the war the Irish Guards had arrived at
Sandbostel on the Baltic Coast.

"We were trying to do something to keep some of the dying people

"A hole had been dug to put dead bodies in.

"The people running the camp behaved in a barbarous way."

The SDLP's Justice spokesman Alban Maginness said he was
"flabbergasted" by the widespread ignorance.

He said: "Auschwitz is a monument of man's inhumanity to man and a
monument of intolerance and genocide.

"The fact so many people are unaware of its existence is a shocking
indictment of the way modern history is taught in our schools."

The BBC is screening a number of special programmes, including a
live event on Holocaust Memorial Day.

The centrepiece is the BBC2 series Auschwitz: The Nazis and the
'Final Solution', described as the "definitive" account of what


Chernobyl Children's Trips Under Threat

By Ciaran O'Neill
03 December 2004

The leader of Belarus has denounced projects which bring hundreds
of children from the nuclear-ravaged country to Northern Ireland
each year for life-saving holidays.

Several groups organise and pay each year for children from
Belarus, the area worst affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
in 1986, to visit the province for stays of up to one month.

Medical experts have claimed that the children, all of whom have
ongoing health problems as a result of the Chernobyl disaster,
benefit greatly from their time in Ireland, with some doctors
claiming the trip adds years on to the children's life expectancy.

However, fears were growing today that the trips could be axed
following recent comments by the Belarus President Aleksandr

In a speech last week, Mr Lukashenko was reported to have claimed
that the trips to Northern Ireland and other western countries were
'corrupting' the minds of children from Belarus.

The hardline Belarus leader claimed that the children returned from
the foreign trips 'completely different people'.

"Only in extreme cases should we allow our children to leave the
country," he said.

Members of the Chernobyl Children's Aid group, which brings 120
children from Belarus to Derry, Tyrone and Donegal each summer,
were today preparing to contact local politicians to gain support
for their efforts to ensure that the trips continue.

It is understood that the Republic's Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern
is to highlight the concerns of the groups involved in the holiday
projects through the European Union.

CCA Founder Sheila Rodgers said she feared Mr Lukashenko would
follow his comments through with action.

"We sincerely hope that there is a mind-change by the President on
this issue," she said.


Poll Shows Rise In Popularity Of Taoiseach And FF
2004-12-03 10:30:06+00

The Taoiseach's popularity has risen considerably in the past nine
months, according to an opinion poll carried out for the Irish

The newspaper said 61% of respondents to the survey were happy with
Bertie Ahern's performance in government, an increase of 18
percentage points since a previous poll in March.

Thirty-seven per cent of respondents also said they would vote for
Fianna Fáil at the next general election.

Elsewhere, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny was given a satisfaction
rating of 46%, up from 32% in March, while Labour Party leader Pat
Rabbitte's popularity was put at 42%, down from 46% in March.

Twenty-one per cent said they would vote for Fine Gael at the next
election, while 13% said they would vote Labour and 9% said they
supported Sinn Féin.

Support for the Green Party, the Progressive Democrats and
independent candidates was put at 6% each.

Two in five people said, however, that they are not opposed to Sinn
Féin becoming a coalition partner in the next government.

The pre-budget poll of 1000 people was carried out at the beginning
of November.


Belfast's Crown Bar saved unlike Dublin's Bewley's - Brendan Wright
reports from the Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast, which was saved
with UK government heritage funding when it was faced with closure

Council Bid To Save Bewley's

A motion is being brought before Dublin City Council on Monday in a
last ditch attempt to save Bewley's cafes.

21,000 signatures have been gathered to protect the landmarks
establishments, which have been part of the capital`s streetscape
since 1840.


Ireland's Oldest Woman Dies At The Age Of 111

By Allison Bray
03 December 2004

Ireland's oldest person, Margaret Dolan, died peacefully among
family yesterday at the age of 111.

Maggie, as she was affectionately known by friends and family in
her native village of Corofin, Co Galway, was born on July 27,

A non-smoker and teetotaller, Maggie believed that being young at
heart kept her going, said her niece Christine Naughton, who was at
Maggie's side when she passed away.

"She didn't act the old person at all. She was always young at
heart," she said. "Her faith was very strong and she took a real
interest in people and the world. She loved reading and was still
able to read up to a few years ago when her eyesight failed."

A removal service will be held at 5pm tomorrow at St Colman's
Church, Corofin, followed by a funeral mass on Sunday.


A Martyr's Death

Cynthia D. Bertelsen

Bertelsen, of Blacksburg, worked in several developing countries
with humanitarian aid programs for 15 years.

The photo of her holding the malnourished Iraqi baby still haunts
me. And the word martyr rises up, resting naturally on my lips.

In that photo I see a saint.

Margaret Hassan, born Irish, born Catholic, died a tragic, painful
and lonely martyr's death somewhere in Iraq, likely at the hands of
men belonging to the extreme radical group called Base of Jihad.
Margaret Hassan lived the message of the Gospel, manifesting Jesus'
words "What you did to the least of these you did to me." Never
mind that she converted to Islam and lived for 30 years with her
Iraqi husband in the Islam-permeated culture of Iraq.

In a message describing Hassan's life work as CARE's country
director in Iraq, her grieving family used the words "working for
the poor and vulnerable." These words jump out, pulsating with
power, for these are the very words that Catholics hear
occasionally in regard to Catholic social justice teaching.

On the morning that masked gunmen abducted her, Hassan defended the
poor and vulnerable once again when she told her captors to stop
pistol-whipping her driver and bodyguard, saying that she would go
quietly with the terrorists. When word of her capture spread in
Baghdad, scores of paraplegics hit the streets in protest, because
Hassan had helped to re-establish a hospital for these people the
previous year. And Muslims around the world also decried her
capture and urged her release. Even al-Zarqawi, a notorious
terrorist topping the U.S. list of most-wanted, asked her captors
to release her.

Sad to say, her captors did not release her, but instead videotaped
her death by a gunshot wound to her blindfolded head. Hassan's
barbaric and needless death epitomizes the horror unfolding every
day for people in Iraq. In the meantime, here we sit comfortably in
our orderly little lives, consuming madly, buying gim-cracky knick-
knacks at crafts fairs and eating more food than we need, talking
about moral values as we stuff Big Macs into our mouths and drain
liter bottle after liter bottle of Coca-Cola down our throats.

We, and our children, balloon up with fat, and experts tell us that
there's an obesity crisis looming. In today's Iraq, children cannot
grow because not enough calories exist for anything but body-weight
maintenance. U.S. soldiers shoot wounded Iraqis dead instead of
offering them aid. Pregnant women and babies die every day in a war
that did not have to be. Aid agencies cannot bring much-needed food
and medicine into a country crippled already by years of sanctions,
and now razed by a war and terrorism that daily spiral out of

Our government entrenches itself more and more in the culture of
violence and death as yeah-sayers move into powerful Cabinet

What moral values are these?

The loss of people like Margaret Hassan should remind us of what
moral values really mean, a deep concern for the poor and
vulnerable, all the poor and vulnerable. Even unto death.

Peace be with you, Margaret.


The Famous Mr Ed

December 4, 2004

Rising stars knew they'd made it when they got on Ed Sullivan's
show. Steve Packer reminisces.

Before Rove, before Daryl Somers, before Bert Newton, before Johnny
Carson, there was Ed Sullivan. In the United States, from 1948 to
1971, Sullivan was the "sultan of Sunday night", broadcasting an
hour of variety live from what is now New York's Ed Sullivan
Theatre, where David Letterman now does his show.

It is hard to over-estimate The Ed Sullivan Show's influence on
popular culture. It had audiences of up to 75 million, crossed all
boundaries of age, race and social status, and helped unify the
nation. For two tumultuous decades, Americans went to church on
Sunday morning and watched Sullivan on Sunday night. It was TV's
original, stalwart mix of celebrity chats, comedians, novelty acts
and music.

The biggest draw was the music. Sullivan, a New York-born Irish-
American, had been a newspaperman and was already 44 years old when
his TV show began as The Toast of the Town (the name changed in
1955), but he had an exceptional ear for new talent.

"You know you've made it when you appear on the Sullivan Show" was
probably the original saying of its kind. And we're talking Elvis
Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, James Brown,
Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Jackson 5, the Bee Gees and so on.

Most importantly, Sullivan, who died in 1974, was willing to resist
the pressures of racism and promote artists he admired no matter
what colour they were - and he wasn't restricted by his
conservative preferences. Anything resembling rock'n'roll was
curtly introduced as "something for the young people", loosened by
the 1960s to "something for the kids", with his distaste not so
much concealed as immaculately restrained.

But it was all strictly the business of entertainment, of which he
became America's unofficial ambassador. In his suit and tie, he
looked like an ambassador. Or an undertaker. Or imagine an Easter
Island statue of Richard Nixon. He moved like a man after a head
transplant, whose donor noggin might topple at any time, and his
enthusiasm went as far as a deadpan "we've got a rilly big shew
tonight" week after week. Comedian Alan King remarked: "Ed does
nothing, but he does it better than anyone else on television."

Much of the show's best music has now been issued as a nine-DVD
series, Ed Sullivan's Rock'n'Roll Classics (Eagle Eye Media,
distributed by Rajon). While there are serious flaws, every volume
is studded with stunning performances and myriad details to recall,
discover, marvel at or mock.

When introducing the Supremes, Sullivan forgot their name and had
to make do with "the girls". When he told America that Presley was
a fine, decent boy and "thoroughly all right" at the end of his
third and final appearance in 1957, Sullivan was effectively the
Pope depriving the Devil's music of its greatest perpetrator. (On
the other hand, he had "Elvis the Pelvis" filmed from the waist up
to avoid offending sexually sensitive viewers.)

The volume Elvis Presley and Other Rock Greats is only 43 minutes
long (most give you an hour for your $24.95), but half of it is
Presley doing what other rockers have tried to live up to ever
since. The other volumes are mainly themed smorgasbords: Chart
Toppers '65/66/67 and '68/69/70, Legends of Rock, Rockin' the
Sixties and Love Songs. There are also The British Invasion, Motown
feast The Soul of Motor City and a 40-minute Temptations and
Supremes collection. Sadly, some songs have been truncated or

It has been said of Sullivan that he could brighten a room just by
leaving it. But, oh, what company he kept.


Irish Language Enjoying Renaissance

By Tom Hundley
Chicago Tribune

DUBLIN - (KRT) - From George Bernard Shaw to Samuel Beckett, from
William Butler Yeats to James Joyce, the Irish have long been
masters of the English language. It's the Irish language that has
them stammering.

English has been on a 700-year march across Ireland, relentlessly
pushing the Irish language, or Gaeilge, toward oblivion. These
days, Irish survives as an everyday language mainly in a half-dozen
scattered regions on Ireland's sparsely populated western edge.

Yet statistically speaking, the Irish language is in good shape. It
may even be undergoing a renaissance of sorts.

According to the Irish government's 2002 census, 1.57 million of
the island's 4 million inhabitants say they can speak Irish - up
from 1.43 million in 1996.

But experts say the number of people who are truly fluent in the
language and use it on a daily basis is much smaller, 150,000 to

Still, this is better than Gaeilge's Celtic language cousins in
Scotland, Cornwall and on the Isle of Man. The number of Scottish
Gaelic speakers has dipped below 60,000 and continues to decline,
while the last native speaker of Cornish died in 1891 and the last
native speaker of Manx died in 1937.

Welsh is the only Celtic language besides Irish that appears to be
thriving, with 582,400 Welsh claiming to have some knowledge of
their ancestral tongue, according to the 2001 census. Despite
having to share its small island with the most rapacious of modern
languages, Irish has withstood the English onslaught mainly because
Irish language study is a mandatory part of the national school
curriculum through 12th grade.

For generations of Irish students, language study was a drudge - no
more exciting than the Roman Catholic catechism, another mandatory
school subject. But in the last decade or so, Irish has become more

"What has happened is that Irish has become cool and trendy. You
could call it the yuppification of the language," said Padhraic O
Ciardha, an executive at TG4, a state-sponsored Irish-language TV
station that began broadcasting eight years ago.

O Ciardha, who is from the Irish-speaking area of Connemara, on
Galway Bay, learned English as a second language.

"When I was a kid in the `60s and `70s, Irish was very uncool. When
we'd go into Galway, we'd speak in a whisper. Irish was the badge
of the rural, the backward, the culturally repressed part of
Ireland," he said.

But as Ireland transformed itself from one of Europe's poorest
countries into one of its most prosperous, as it reversed a
century-long trend of population decline, and as it sought out a
sense of its own individuality in the age of globalization, the
Irish rediscovered their language.

Over the last 20 years, the number of schools in which Irish is the
language of instruction has multiplied tenfold, and some of the
schools are far beyond the Irish-speaking enclaves on the country's

"In Dublin, it's become a kind of yuppie totem to send your kid to
one," O Ciardha said.

In a global economy where English is king, why bother with an
obscure language spoken by no one beyond the country's borders?

"Because its part of our human heritage," said Jeosamh Mac
Donnacha, an Irish language scholar at the National University of
Ireland's Galway campus. "We should be just as concerned about
preserving a language as we are about preserving historic

The Irish language reached its peak in the 14th century when it was
spoken throughout Ireland, in most of Scotland and in parts of
western England.

"That lasted until the Irish aristocracy lost power and English
became the language of politics, the court and eventually the
marketplace," said Mac Donnacha.

"The final big blow was the famine of 1845," he said. "Most of the
people who died or who immigrated were the poorest, and they were
the Irish speakers." Eamon de Valera, the father of modern Ireland,
dreamed of an independent island united by a revived language. But
even de Valera, who was born in New York, first had to learn the

When the Irish Free State came into existence in 1922, the new
constitution defined Irish as the "national language" with English
"equally recognized as an official language."

The new government confidently adopted an education policy designed
to replace English with Irish. They underestimated the power of the
English juggernaut.

Irish language remains a prerequisite for university matriculation.
Lawyers and judges are required to have a working knowledge of the
language, and up until last month, so too were the police. The
words of the national anthem are in Irish, but for most citizens,
Irish was something that was beaten into them in school - and
promptly forgotten after graduation.

The language also lost some of its luster when, in the 1970s, it
became associated with the violent nationalism of the Irish
Republican Army. Many IRA men learned the language in British

These days, no one expects Irish to supplant English, but Irish has
found its niche in a country that seems increasingly comfortable in
its bilingualism.

"Irish has been stabilized," Mac Donnacha said. "The education
system has shown it can produce competent bilingual speakers
generation after generation. I think it's safe to say the Irish
language will be with us for many years to come."

TG4, the Irish-language TV station that broadcasts from Connemara,
has seen its market share quadruple in the last five years. Sports
and a soap opera called "Ros na Run" are the most popular fare.

In Northern Ireland, the Belfast-based Irish language weekly La
moved to a daily format last year and now circulates throughout the

"The tradition of reading the Irish language is only beginning to
develop," said La editor Ciaran O Pronntaigh, noting that most of
the paper's sales are in Dublin and Belfast, and that Irish is the
second language for most of its readers.

Last week the Dublin government asked the European Union to add
Irish to its list of 20 official working languages.

The action is more than symbolic. As English continues to expand
into all corners of the globe, Mac Donnacha predicted that other
small countries may want to take a lesson from the Irish.

"I believe that if 150 years from now you go to Holland or Denmark
or Finland, you'll find that they will be facing the same
difficulties with their language that we are having now," he said.

Or as a popular Gaeilge saying puts it, roughly: "If you're not
big, you'd better be clever."

© 2004, Chicago Tribune.

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