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December 06, 2004

News 12/06/04 - Adams Says SF Can Accept Blueprint

News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 12/07/04 Adams Says SF Can Accept Anglo-Irish Blueprint –V
GU 12/06/04 48 Hrs To Go, Paisley Allows Deal Could Be Near -V(2)
EX 12/06/04 GRA Seeks Meeting With Taoiseach –V
IP 12/06/04 Opin: Of Sterner Stuff You're Not, Mr. Paisley
IP 12/06/04 Opin: Linda Coleman: Everything I Know About Politics
UT 12/06/04 Three Arrested In Bid To Stop Bomb Campaign
GU 12/06/04 Tensions Rise On Ulster's Newsstands
IT 12/07/04 Big Increase In Numbers With Syphilis And HIV
IT 12/07/04 Council Urges Ministers To Save Bewley's
IT 12/07/04 MacBride Memoirs To Be Published In 2005

PT 12/06/04 Irish Emigrants In Britain Revisited –VO
NW 12/06/04 Quakers Celebrate 350 Years In Ireland –VO
RT 12/06/04 Original Copy Of 1916 Proclamation –VO

The issue of Irish Emigrants In Britain Revisited - Twelve months
after Prime Time revealed the atrocious conditions in which some
Irish emigrants live in Britain, Paul Rouse returns to see if
anything has changed to make the lives of emigrants any easier

Éamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs,
and Emmet Stagg, Labour Party Chief Whip, debate the Government's
record of helping with the plight of Irish emigrants in Britain

Quakers Celebrate 350 Years In Ireland - Helen McInerney looks at
the fascinating history of Irish Quakers

Original Copy Of 1916 Proclamation Set To Fetch Record Price - John
O'Driscoll reports on the auction of the genuine 1916 document


See Video at:

Adams Says SF Can Accept Anglo-Irish Blueprint -V

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor and Frank Millar, London Editor

The Rev Ian Paisley appeared locked in a battle of wills with the
British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, last night after rejecting
tomorrow's "deadline" for agreement on the restoration of Northern
Ireland's power-sharing administration.

However, as a number of DUP MPs reportedly resumed behind-the-
scenes negotiations with Downing Street officials, the British
government was again preparing to test the republican "bottom line"
on photographic evidence of IRA decommissioning in a last-gasp bid
to secure a political breakthrough.

Downing Street refused to be drawn on Dr Paisley's suggestion that
the Sinn Féin president, Mr Gerry Adams, would be back in Number 10
for further talks with Mr Blair later today.

At the same time there was speculation in political circles in
London about a possible IRA statement timed to coincide with
tomorrow's planned visit to Belfast by Mr Blair and the Taoiseach,
Mr Ahern.

Official sources insisted Mr Blair and Mr Ahern still intended to
travel to Belfast tomorrow and to publish the joint British-Irish
proposals for restoring the Stormont Assembly and Executive,
whether or not they had secured political agreement between the DUP
and Sinn Féin by that point.

However, Dr Paisley emerged from an hour-long meeting with Mr Blair
in 10 Downing Street last night again insisting the Prime Minister
must secure the Provisional IRA's assent to the detail of the
British-Irish plan as it affects the current operations and future
status of the IRA.

And when asked about his attitude to tomorrow's deadline and the
planned prime ministerial visit to Belfast, the DUP leader told
reporters "they'll not be coming" and suggested if they did it
would be "the end" of the current process.

Dr Paisley said the issue of IRA decommissioning, and the question
of a photographic record of the process, remained the main
stumbling block to a deal, while maintaining "we've never been
closer to a settlement".

And he contributed to an apparently darkening republican mood when
he again said the IRA must "surrender" its weapons if he was to
agree to the resumption of power-sharing.

"If you sin publicly, you have to repent publicly," the DUP leader
declared: "There's nothing wrong with asking a terrorist to
surrender his weapon. And there's nothing wrong with asking a
person who has been guilty of organising mass murder through the
country, and trying to commit genocide of the whole Protestant
population of the Border, to say 'Give it up'."

At the same time senior DUP sources cast doubt on whether a last-
minute IRA concession on the question of a photographic record of
decommissioning would be enough to produce an agreement.

In addition to photographs, the sources said the DUP would require
a full inventory of what IRA weaponry had been and remained to be
decommissioned; assurance that the IRA was "standing down" and
would thereafter comply with Paragraph 13 of last year's British-
Irish Joint Declaration in respect of all paramilitary and criminal
activity; as well as significant changes to the Belfast Agreement.

Before Dr Paisley entered Downing Street the sources also made
light of the threatened publication of the British-Irish proposals,
insisting that unionist opinion in the North would back Dr Paisley
in rejecting a government assessment of the outline of a deal which
did not carry the explicit approval of the IRA.

However, the British government continued to push forward last
night, focusing instead on what it considered Dr Paisley's clearest
commitment yet to share power with Sinn Féin, if the issue of
"paramilitarism" was dealt with satisfactorily.

Dr Paisley said: "If a man is connected with an organisation that
has guns he is a terrorist, and as a terrorist I will not do
business with him. If he gives up those guns and gives up his
partaking in crime and that is all dealt with, I can then do
business with him. I may not like him. I may not like his
principles but if he is elected and he is not a terrorist, I will
have to do business with him. I am prepared to do that although it
goes very much against my grain."

© The Irish Times


9 News: Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, assesses Mr Paisley's
latest remarks on the possibility of a political deal in Northern

9 News: Brian O'Connell, London Editor, reports on a meeting this
evening between DUP leader Ian Paisley and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair at Downing Street


With 48 Hours To Go, Paisley Allows Deal Could Be Near -V(2)

Michael White, political editor
Tuesday December 7, 2004
The Guardian

Ian Paisley last night emerged from Downing Street to warn the IRA
that he will not compromise on the need for public proof of its
disarmament, while confirming his willingness to govern Northern
Ireland in partnership with his historic enemies once they have
renounced violence.

With a peace deal to revive the stalled Good Friday process
tantalisingly close, both Tony Blair and the Irish taoiseach,
Bertie Ahern, are expected to fly to Belfast tomorrow either to
clinch agreement between Mr Paisley's Democratic Unionists and Sinn
Féin - or to publicise the terms which the two sides spurned.

Mr Blair will talk by phone to Sinn Féin leaders today as his
Northern Ireland secretary, Paul Murphy, dangles a package of
public and private funds, potentially worth £1bn, in front of the
parties. Even the DUP is now keen to emulate the economic "Celtic
Tiger" to the south.

Last night at a Sinn Féin meeting, the party's president, Gerry
Adams, gave his backing to the package as now presented by the two
governments. He is expected to hold a press conference in Belfast
today, explaining his party's position, although Sinn Féin say the
weapons issue is a matter for the Independent International
Commission on Decommissioning and the armed groups.

As leader of the DUP, the province's largest elected party, Mr
Paisley delivered a vintage performance after seeing Mr Blair again
last night. While he relished the prospect of public IRA
disarmament, the 78-year-old militant Protestant also signalled how
far he has come in his determination to end his career as the man
who brought peace.

"If a man is connected with an organisation that has guns, he is a
terrorist and as a terrorist I will not do business with him. If he
gives up those guns and gives up his partaking in crime and that is
all dealt with, I can then do business with him," he said. "My
philosophy is simple."

In terms unimaginable even a few years ago, he continued: "I may
not like him. I may not like his principles, but if he is elected
and he is not a terrorist, I will have to do business with him. I
am prepared to do that although it goes very much against my

With one eye clearly on his own wary supporters, he rubbed some
salt into the olive branch. "They need to surrender their weapons.
There is nothing wrong with asking a terrorist to surrender his

Mr Paisley made plain he wants to see photographs of IRA weapons
decommissioning - a demand that has been interpreted as seeking to
humiliate his old foes.

He denied this: "There is nothing wrong with a person who has been
guilty of organising mass murders throughout the country and trying
to commit the genocide of the whole Protestant population along the
border, saying 'give it up'. If you sin publicly, then you have to
repent publicly."

As head of the largest nationalist party, Sinn Féin's president,
Gerry Adams, agreed that the two sides were close to a "quantum
leap" and that Republicans were "up for a deal".

"That is why we have gone the extra mile. But with 48 hours left,
Ian Paisley has to start saying yes."

Claiming to have Catholics as well as Protestants telling him "Keep
it up, big man" in his pressure for open disarmament, Mr Paisley
told reporters: "We were never as near to a settlement."


See video at:

GRA Seeks Meeting With Taoiseach -V

By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-west Correspondent

THE Garda Representative Association demanded a face-to-face
meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern after the pressure intensified
on the Government last night to drop any proposed early release of
the IRA killers of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.

After a four-hour meeting in Adare, where Det Gda McCabe was gunned
down in a post office van robbery in 1996, the GRA also called on
Sinn Féin to withdraw its demand for the early release of the four
killers and an amnesty for others who left the country after the

The GRA said the force had been let down by the Government going
back on earlier assurances that there would be no early release for
the four.

The GRA denied standing in the way of the Northern Peace Process.

Limerick GRA national executive member, Paul Browne said: "As far
as I am concerned, the gun should not be put to the head of the GRA
or Ann McCabe in this issue. We are not standing in the way of any
peace process. It is as simple as this: the mistake was made by the
Government in putting this (early release) on the agenda with Sinn
Féin when they knew full well that it should not, in that the
government had a deal struck with the GRA and, most importantly,
with the McCabe family."

Since the Taoiseach's statement in the Dáil last week about an
early release being part of present negotiations, Mr Browne said he
had never experienced such a reaction among members of the force.

He said the Government should tell Sinn Féin that early release was
not negotiable and that it was a small price for them to pay given
the lenient sentence handed down to the four men.

"Sinn Féin must concede," said Mr Browne.

The GRA wants to meet the Taoiseach within days.

Mr Browne said some strong views had been expressed at yesterday's
meeting of the 20-member GRA Limerick executive.

"Many of us who served with Jerry feel very let down on the issue
after the assurances we were given by this Government. We are
unhappy with the fact that six months ago we met with the Minister
for Justice Michael McDowell and afterwards we expressed that we
were somewhat assured by his utterances at the time on the issue.
We now believe that these assurances were without foundation and
feel the only solution to this impasse is to meet with the
Taoiseach to put it directly to him, how strongly our members feel
on the issue," said Mr Browne.

An early release for the IRA men, he added, should never have made
it on to the negotiating table.

He said that after the meeting with the Taoiseach, the GRA will
hold an emergency meeting to discuss any possible action.

He said it may go the legal route by seeking a court injunction
against the government to block an early release on the basis of a
written commitment given in December 1999 by the then Minister for
Justice John O'Donoghue.


Opin: Of Sterner Stuff You're Not, Mr. Paisley

By Jim Gibney

So Ian Paisley thinks the IRA needs to be humiliated. Who does he
think should do it? Is he putting himself forward for the task?
Maybe he thinks the British Government should do it or perhaps one
of their securocrat agencies.

I've news for him; he'll never live long enough to humiliate the
IRA, should he live to be 100 years old.

More powerful figures than Paisley tried that many times since 1969
and failed.

Paisley's great hero, Margaret Thatcher, tried and failed to
humiliate the IRA.

Paisley would do well to remember her speech during the 1981 Hunger
Strike in Stormont, when she told the world that the IRA was
playing 'its last card'. The IRA is still with us and where is

His much loved SAS tried to humiliate the IRA and failed.

He would also do well to remember Thatcher's predecessor, Roy Mason
of Labour, who made similar declarations about the demise of the

Strutting about Belfast's Royal Avenue in a safari suit in 1976 as
if he had just walked off the set for It Ain't Half Hot Mum, he
told the media that he was squeezing the IRA 'like a tube of

I saw some of the results of his squeezing the tube of toothpaste
as I walked around Crumlin Road Jail in 1976-'77.

In front of me in the yard was Kieran Nugent, a redheaded kid from
the Lower Falls. He refused to wear a prison uniform and started
one of the most heroic and remarkable prison struggles in the
history of Ireland's long struggle for freedom. His actions led to
the struggle opening many new fronts and growing in strength.

On the landing above me was Kieran Doherty, one of the ten men who
died on hunger strike. Across the landing was Mickey Devine,
another of the Hunger Strikers.

In my cell on the Ones was Tommy Donaghy, from Kilrea in County

He served 14 years in jail, was on the blanket protest, was
released and was an active republican until loyalists, with the
help of the crown forces, shot him dead in August 1991.

In my cell on the Twos in 1977 was Gerry Hanratty, a teenager who
spent a short time with me before being released. He returned to
prison several more times over the next ten years in Ireland,
Germany and finally England, where he was sentenced to 35 years
before being released as a result of the Peace Process.

This Christmas, as I have done many times, I will visit Johnny and
Maggie and Nora. Johnny was in the Crum in the 1940s; loyalists
shot him in the early '70s because he was still an active
republican, with the active support of Maggie. Now in their 80s,
they still are.

Nora last Christmas gave me £10 for a drink. Her generosity towards
republicans and the struggle started in 1970. She opened her house,
her heart and her purse. Her commitment to a united Ireland hasn't
diminished with the passing of time.

These are just some of the people who I have had the great
privilege to meet and work with in the struggle over the last 30
years. There are tens of thousands of people like this across this
island. They are either in the IRA or are supporters of the IRA or
are Sinn Féin voters.

Does Ian Paisley think he has it within him to humiliate such brave
and selfless people?

I think not. You need to be of sterner stuff, Mr. Paisley, and you

A look at Mr. Paisley's personal record in times of great challenge
doesn't lend itself to the caliber required for the job he has in

He is 78 years old. He was young enough to join the British Army to
fight Hitler as a 'boy' soldier during the Second World War. There
were many who did. Did he? I don't think so.

He fanned the flames of bigotry in the 1960s, which led to many
people's deaths in the North. He rabble roused loyalists when still
a young man. Did he join the UVF or the UDA? I don't think so.

If he disapproved of illegal forces, did he join the 'B' Specials,
the RUC, the UDR? I don't think so.

Why didn't he personally take the fight to the IRA to try to
humiliate them on the battlefield, instead of using his pulpit to
urge others in the British forces to do it?

Come to think of it, why didn't his close lieutenants, Robinson and
Dodds, or his sons Ian or Kyle, not join one of the many British
Army regiments in the field fighting to humiliate the IRA?

Is it the case that Paisley et al have more of a penchant for the
Dad's Army theatrics of war, like leading farmers to the top of the
hill to wave firearms licenses at his command or parade around
wearing red berets?

This removed, I don't want to tempt fate, but if there is a deal I
know where I will be the day the new Executive is formed. I will be
sitting on the same seat in the Assembly's gallery from where I
watched Martin McGuinness and Bairbre de Brún declare themselves
Ministers in the last Executive.

The intake of breath around the gallery was audible, as shocked
unionists, particularly DUP supporters, realized the reality of
Sinn Féin's power at the ballot box when Martin became Minister for

This time around, there is no escaping for the DUP the democratic
imperative of voting for Sinn Féin Ministers.

Humiliation? I don't think so.


Opin: Linda Coleman: Everything I Know About Politics

Well, this is going to be a short column. If I put the title of
this article on a blank book, and never filled in the pages, that
would pretty much sum up how much I know on the subject of
politics. It could then be added to the lists of World's Shortest
Books, in between "Catholic Members of the Orange Order," and
"Great Civil Rights Leaders of the British Empire."

When I signed up to volunteer for my congressman, I thought I knew
how politics works. Elections are like job applications, I thought,
with U.S. citizens as the bosses and the politicians as the
potential employees. We put the resumes on the table, we compare
the accomplishments of both applicants, we look at the issues, we
watch them debate and we cast our vote.

I had only a vague idea of the machinations and power brokering
going on behind the scenes.

I had heard of gerrymandering, of course, but never experienced the
full weight of it until Tom DeLay and his friends came along and
stretched our district from a neat contiguous block of
neighborhoods into an impossibly narrow string, carefully and
convolutedly drawn to favor Republicans over Democrats.

Still, I didn't think it mattered. As long as a congressman brings
money home to the district, I'd vote for him, even if he called
himself a member of the Flying Purple People Eater Party. Is it
just me, or have party labels become irrelevant?

Apparently, it's just me.

So I still have a lot to learn about politics. But I did take a
crash course in organizing a campaign and got a tidbit of useful
information that we can apply towards our work in getting our
politicians to support our work for peace and justice in Ireland.

It's called GOTV. No, it's not a TV channel. That's the first thing
I thought of when my congressman's aide asked me if I knew about
GOTV. I told her I didn't get cable. She explained that the
initials stood for "Get Out the Vote," and sent me to a weekend
seminar to learn more about it. There's a strategy to getting out
the vote for a candidate that we can use to get out our information
about Ireland.

In our congressional race, GOTV was the final push running up to
Election Day. Working with the Precinct Chairs in our district, we
went through every precinct, dividing registered voters into three
groups: those who would vote with us, undecided voters, and the
people who told us in previous polling that they were voting for
the other guy. The ones who wouldn't vote with us were dropped off
the list. In the final weeks of a campaign, it's too late for
persuasion. Persuasion material went to the people who were still
undecided, but the bulk of our effort at the end of the campaign
went towards getting our voters to the polls. We sent them
postcards about early voting, knocked on their doors, offered rides
to the polls and kept after them until they cast their votes.

We activists for Ireland can use the same strategy to organize the
campaign I call GOTWAPAJIOI—Get Out the Word About Peace and
Justice in Occupied Ireland.

If you're in the U.S. and you're reading this article, consider
yourself a Precinct Chair. Your precinct consists of your 2
senators, and your member of Congress. (Not valid in the District
of Columbia. For those readers in the democratic no-man's land of
D.C., check out the website and join the
campaign for your full representation).

Your precinct also includes the President, Vice President, the
President's envoy to "Northern Ireland," and whoever gets confirmed
as Secretary of State and Attorney General. (D.C. residents can
help with those folks). Add to that your local media and you've got
your "precinct" in place. If you campaigned for John Kerry, add him
to your list. Remember, he promised to make Ireland a priority—
don't let him off the hook just because he didn't make it to the
top. He's still in the Senate, so tell him to get back to work for

Now, take a look at your list. Is there anyone on your list that
you've talked to personally and received favorable feedback? Is
there a powerbroker on your list, like Peter King? Those are your
"voters," the ones who will sign a congressional letter for you,
the ones who can carry our message to the White House. Take care of
those people; send them all the action alerts and invitations to
special events (and don't forget to send a thank-you note when they
follow through). If you have limited time to spend on activism,
concentrate your efforts on this list.

The local and national media should always be on your "undecided"
list. Be sure to respond to anything you see in the media that
misrepresents the Republican Movement. Add to your list the people
you have not met personally (probably the President and Vice
President are on that list) and make sure they get invitations to
any upcoming events, like the collusion tour. If your
representative (or President) can't attend, maybe they'll send a
staff member.

In a regular GOTV effort, the deadline of Election Day would force
you to take the diehard nay-sayers off your list, concentrating
your efforts on getting your own voters to the polls. But with our
GOTWAPAJIOI campaign, there's no deadline. We've been at this since
1798 and we'll keep after it 'til we're done. Let's say there's
someone on your list who thinks Ian Paisley is a great man, that
the IRA are "terrorists," and has a portrait of the Queen displayed
prominently in the office. Mark that person "undecided."

Well, that's it. That's everything I know about politics. If I find
out anything else, I'll be sure to pass it along.


Three Arrested In Bid To Stop Bomb Campaign

Gardaí have arrested three men in an operation aimed at preventing
republican dissidents launching a major new bombing campaign.

A car travelling between Dublin and Dundalk was stopped by armed
gardaí in Edgeworthstown.

Gardaí say they found eight bomb timers inside the car.

House searches were also carried out in Dublin, Donegal and


Tensions Rise On Ulster's Newsstands

New nationalist paper is on the way as Belfast Telegraph plans
morning edition

Dan Milmo, media business correspondent
Tuesday December 7, 2004
The Guardian

Takeovers, new formats and controversial changes in editorial tone:
it reads like a recent history of national newspaper titles. But
this contest is taking place in Northern Ireland, and is one of the
closest battles on UK newsstands. Fresh bite is added by an
ambitious new entrant, which has brought accusations of unfair
state aid and triggered a minor political row.

As in the national market, readers have a choice of size and
political stance. Inevitably it is the latter that gives the
Northern Irish market, and its latest bout of competitive tension,
more edge than anywhere else in the UK.

The biggest seller, the Belfast Telegraph, is an evening title that
follows a moderately unionist line and sells around 94,600 copies a
day. It is planning a tabloid-sized morning edition to revive sales
that have fallen 13% year-on-year. The News Letter has rediscovered
its staunchly unionist voice since it was bought this year and
sells 28,800, down 5% on last year. The largest nationalist title
is the family-owned Irish News, with a stable circulation of just
over 50,000.

A controversial new addition is imminent. The Daily Ireland is a
nationalist paper set to hit newsstands in the Republic and
Northern Ireland in February next year. It will be published by the
Belfast-based Andersontown News Group, whose titles include the
Andersontown News and Gaelic language publication Lá.

Mairtin O'Muilleoir, managing director of the Daily Ireland and a
former Sinn Fein councillor, is confident that it will generate
sales north and south of the border. Ten dedicated staff are
working on the project, with a further 30 to be hired before
February. "We are on the cusp of new beginnings in Ireland and it
is a wonderful opportunity for a newspaper with our proposition,
which is positively nationalist, pro-peace process and all
Ireland," O'Muilleoir says. "Often you see products looking for a
market but we have a market crying out for this product."

The Daily Ireland's threat to sales of existing titles is not the
main cause of concern to rival publishers.

The issue is funding. Answers to parliamentary questions earlier
this year revealed that the Andersontown News Group and a
subsidiary, Preas an Phobail, received at least £730,000 from
government bodies since 1999.

It also emerged that the Daily Ireland has applied for funding from
government agency Invest Northern Ireland. An independent
assessment of the application has been completed but its findings
are confidential, Invest Northern Ireland said yesterday.

Unionist politicians have led protests in the House of Commons but
opposition straddles the political divide in the province. The
Irish News, the publication under most threat from the project, has
said it will consider legal action if government aid is awarded to
the Daily Ireland.

Noel Doran, editor of the Irish News, describes the newspaper's
stable sales as a herculean achievement given the market
conditions: "This has taken a considerable amount of effort and
resources to achieve." It is investing £12m in new presses as part
of a switch next year from a "Berliner", or midi, format to a
tabloid size. The Irish News backed the Good Friday agreement but
fears a backlash from one of its benefits. "You could argue that a
grant culture has evolved since the Good Friday agreement. An awful
lot of organisations have access to public funds. It is just
accepted that public money will be available for a wide range of
projects. I just think it's deeply questionable that this whole
process should be extended to the newspaper industry."

O'Muilleoir is unrepentant: "Is it entitled to a government grant?
The government should be coming down to west Belfast and giving us
a medal for the jobs we have created." He cites commercial
confidentiality when asked where the Daily Ireland's £3m budget is
coming from but says a "considerable" amount has been pledged from
US investors.

On the other side of a market divided by sectarian or political
loyalties, the Belfast Telegraph and News Letter are interested
bystanders in the Daily Ireland row. But Jean Long, chief executive
of Local Press, the owner of the News Letter, says government aid
should be open to everyone.

"We will be keeping a very close eye on this situation and if they
succeed we will most certainly seek funding on a similar basis."

If the Good Friday agreement brought an unlikely threat to the
Irish News in the form of increased government subsidies for the
province, it also damaged the News Letter. Under previous owner
Trinity Mirror it embraced the peace settlement, softening its
staunch unionist stance and alienating a core constituency of
readers: supporters of the Democratic Unionist Party, now the
biggest unionist political grouping in Northern Ireland.

A management buyout at the beginning of the year brought a dramatic
shift in tone, signposted by an editorial calling on protestants to
"fling off the burden of guilt that they have been required to
shoulder over recent years". The News Letter was accused of
fomenting division within Northern Ireland and of launching a
"wrong-headed" campaign. Ms Long says the circulation decline has
stabilised since June and a newspaper long regarded as the sick man
of the Ulster market has found its voice again.

"We want unionism to be positive and confident and we want people
to be proud of their culture and their rich heritage. That's the
editorial policy and we do not apologise for that."

Strong words aside, the most aggressive move by an incumbent comes
from the Belfast Telegraph. It has drawn up plans for a tabloid-
sized morning edition, partly in response to problems with
availability outside Derry and Belfast.

Edmund Curran, editor of the Telegraph and a veteran of the Ulster
newspaper business, believes that there is room for three regional
newspapers even if competition ratchets up next year.

"This is one of the most crowded markets in Europe for newspapers.
People value their newspapers here and read them closely, partly
down to the background of Northern Ireland and its twin cultures."

National newspapers have added to the crowd. The Mirror outsells
the Irish News and News Letter and the Sun also performs strongly,
leading Mr Curran to doubt the Daily Ireland's chances.

"It's one thing for those involved in the Daily Ireland to say that
they have a constitutional voice unrepresented in the media at the
moment. It's another to produce a newspaper that actually attracts
a broad enough readership to be viable."


Big Increase In Numbers With Syphilis And HIV

Christine Newman

The incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is rising
among young people and could be linked to alcohol abuse, the
director of the National Disease Surveillance Centre (NDSC) said

Dr Darina O'Flanagan presented the NDSC annual report for 2003 to
the Minister for Health and Children, Ms Harney.

The report stated that STIs continued to rise and notified numbers
in 2002 were the highest for any year on record. They increased by
8 per cent from 9,703 in 2001 to 10,471 in 2002.

The report said the increase in 2002 was likely to be associated
with an increase in unsafe sexual behaviour. Dr O'Flanagan said the
reason for this was not clear.

"But there has been a lot of concern about alcohol consumption. I
think most people are aware of the dangers of STIs but, of course,
with alcohol they lose all inhibitions. Chlamydia is just rising
and rising. This is a major cause of infertility in young women and
they need to be aware of the consequences and need better testing,"
she said.

Ms Harney commented: "GPs tell me the incidence of prescribing the
morning-after pill for the teens has increased and in many cases
they can't remember what they did the night before. There is
serious abuse of alcohol and we need to deal with it."

Dr O'Flanagan said there was a dramatic increase in syphilis in the
30 to 39 age group, which peaked in 2002 among homosexual men.
However, the general trend for STIs was highest among young people.

The report also showed a 10 per cent increase in the number of
newly diagnosed HIV cases. In the report, Dr O'Flanagan said
serious consideration should be given to making HIV a mandatory
notifiable disease using anonymous identifiers to safeguard
confidentiality. She said it was a very sensitive issue. A decrease
in the quality of data on HIV in 2003 was a cause for concern. In
10 per cent of cases they did not know the risk factor.

Asked if HIV and TB infections were being brought in from outside
the country, the director said it was a common feature in most
European countries.

There was about a 60 per cent uptake in voluntary screening. It had
been shown that if it was made easy for people to obtain screening
and made clear it would not affect them if they stayed in the
country, they would go for screening, she said.

Ms Harney said it was important not to create fear and feed those
who wanted to stir up racism.

© The Irish Times


Council Urges Ministers To Save Bewley's

Joe Humphreys

Dublin City Council has urged the Minister for the Environment,
Mr Roche, to establish a national trust to protect threatened
heritage buildings like Bewley's Oriental Cafes.

A motion passed by the council last night also called on Mr Roche
and the Minister for Finance, Mr Cowen, to examine "as a matter of
urgency" their existing powers so as to ensure the immediate
preservation of the cafés, which closed last week after 120 years.

The Lord Mayor, Mr Michael Conaghan (Lab), who proposed the motion,
bemoaned the absence of a national trust, saying it was the norm in
cities throughout Europe to protect landmark buildings which were
characteristic of those cities. Members of the campaign to save the
Bewley's cafés were in the public gallery to hear the debate,
during which several councillors criticised the management of
Bewley's for allowing the outlets to close.

Cllr Eric Byrne (Lab) said the company had in recent years moved
away from the "wonderful ethos" of Victor Bewley. Long queues at
the cafés meant that by the time you reached the cash register
"your fry was swimming in solid grease", he said.

But Cllr Tom Stafford (FF) said the closures had much to do with
stringent health and safety regulations in the city that "do not
allow for old buildings." He added he was familiar with the café
business and "there was no value for money in Bewley's over the
last five to seven years". A proposed amendment to the motion,
proposed by Cllr Bill Tormey (FG), calling on the council to
purchase Bewley's, and preserve it as a "national heritage centre",
was rejected.

The council also agreed to invite the Minister for Justice, Mr
McDowell, to address the chamber in January on the Lord Mayor's
Commission on Crime and Policing.

© The Irish Times


MacBride Memoirs To Be Published In 2005

Joe Humphreys

The memoirs of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Seán MacBride are to
be released for publication to mark the centenary of his birth.

Ms Caitríona Lawlor, a former personal assistant to MacBride, who
was made sole beneficiary of his papers upon his death in January
1988, said she decided to make the records public "as a
contribution to commemorating him".

In a letter to The Irish Times today, Ms Lawlor said she "always
welcomed students who are looking into various aspects of Seán
MacBride's career".

However, "as a tribute to the growing interest in Seán MacBride's
role during the first half of the 20th century, I have decided to
release for publication his memoir, albeit incomplete, which offers
an accurate in-depth chronological account of MacBride's
contribution to the development of this nation".

Ms Lawlor says she had agreed with an agent to have the book
published in Autumn 2005.

Ms Lawlor, who worked for MacBride from January 1977, said the
revolutionary-turned-peace campaigner had made her the custodian of
his archive. "He did trust me and I don't think it's wrong for me
to release the memoirs at this time as a tribute. There has not
been an accurate in-depth account of his contribution to date."

MacBride, who was born in Paris in 1904, founded the republican
party Clann na Poblachta. A former chief of staff of the IRA, who
later served in senior positions in the UN, he was reputed to have
been the only person to have been awarded both the Nobel and Lenin
peace prizes.

© The Irish Times

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