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December 07, 2004

News 12/07/04 - SF: Huge Prize On Offer

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 12/07/04 Sinn Fein: 'Huge Prize On Offer' -A(5)
BT 12/07/04 IRA Vital To Closing The Deal
TS 12/07/04 Satire: IRA Refuse Paisley Photograph Demand
BT 12/07/04 Officers Prepare File On Foiled Bombing Plot
BT 12/07/04 SF Leaders Visited Adare Gunman When He Was On Run
IC 12/07/04 Opin: The Way I See It: Whenever, Whenever...
IC 12/07/04 Bringing The Truth To European Parliament
BT 12/07/04 Unionist MEPs Slam De Brun Over Collusion Conference
IC 12/07/04 Excommunication
BT 12/07/04 Council Offers Annetta Special Honour
DS 12/07/04 American Adds Flights To Ireland

QA 12/06/04 80% Do Not Want The Killers Of McCabe Released -VO
QA 12/06/04 Does Paisley Have Courage To Go Into Govnt With SF?-VO

Questions and Answers - 06 December 2004
Presented by John Bowman; Panel: Noel Dempsey, Minister for
Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Gay Mitchell, Fine
Gael MEP for Dublin; Kathy Sheridan, staff writer with the Irish
Times; Denis Bradley, Vice Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing
Board; Dr Josh Keaveny, President of the Irish Hospital
Consultants' Association

Q1: Opinion polls say 80% Do Not Want The Killers Of Garda Jerry
McCabe Released - what does the panel think? Panel and audience

Q2: After 40 years of saying no, Does Ian Paisley Have The Courage
To Go Into Government With Sinn Féin? Panel and audience respond


Morning Ireland: Fionnula O'Connor, author and Irish Times
columnist, says the signs are that this deal will unravel

Morning Ireland: Tommie Gorman reports from London on how he
believes the proposed political deal for Northern Ireland will
falter on the issue of photos of decommissioning

Morning Ireland: Mitchell McLaughlin, Sinn Féin National Chair,
says the decommissioning body is mandated to negotiate
decommissioning methods with armed groups and it is nobody else's

Morning Ireland: Speaking in Downing Street last night, DUP leader
Ian Paisley said he is prepared to do business with a man who gives
up his guns and gets elected

Morning Ireland: Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, reports on how the
DUP's demand for photographic evidence of decommissioning is the
sticking point holding up a deal in the North

Sinn Fein: 'Huge Prize On Offer' -A(5)

Unionist and nationalist politicians in Northern Ireland have the
prize of an end to militant republicanism within their grasp, a
senior Sinn Fein figure stressed today.

By:Press Association

As the British and Irish Governments waited to see if Democratic
Unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley will sign up to an historic
deal to revive power sharing, Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin
insisted that there was a huge prize on offer to all parties if
they reached agreement this week.

The Foyle Assembly member said: "Quite clearly, if we get a power
sharing agreement within the terms of the Good Friday Agreement,
there is within all our grasp the possibility of an end to militant

"If that can be followed by unionist paramilitaries, then we can
all have the possibility of a peaceful and secure future.

"That is a huge prize on offer to all of us."

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams told senior party colleagues in
Belfast last night that they could accept proposals put forward by
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

But Sinn Fein has not yet indicated how the IRA will disarm under
any peace process deal.

Mr Paisley has demanded a photograph to accompany weapons

Republicans are believed to be more comfortable with the idea of
Protestant and Catholic clergy accompanying the head of the
Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, General
John de Chastelain, to the putting of IRA weapons beyond use.

Mr McLaughlin said today that issue would have to be resolved in
talks between the IRA and Gen de Chastelain.

"It only becomes a complicated issue when politicians interfere and
tell Gen de Chastelain how to do his job," he said.

Mr Blair was today meeting Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble in
Downing Street while Democratic Unionist negotiators continued to
focus on a financial package which would underpin any deal.

It is understood the Infrastructure Investment Fund, which has been
approved by Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy, would be made
up of public and private funds.

It needs Treasury approval to go ahead.

Mr Blair and Mr Ahern are due to head to Belfast tomorrow
regardless of whether there is a deal.


IRA Vital To Closing The Deal

Pictures of arms disposal hold key

By Chris Thornton and Brian Walker
07 December 2004

The drive to secure an unprecedented power-sharing agreement
between Sinn Fein and the DUP hung on the views of the IRA today.

Sinn Fein has said yes to the political aspects of the deal drawn
up by London and Dublin - but there is no word on the IRA's views
of photographs of any arms disposal.

The photographs - described by Ian Paisley last week as a "maker or
breaker" - remained the central haggling point as London and Dublin
pushed to close a deal by tonight.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern aim to
announce completion of a deal tomorrow in Belfast, although the
deadline has become more flexible since DUP leader Ian Paisley
warned that he would not be bounced into a decision by the
premiers' fanfare.

Sinn Fein said the key questions over arms could be resolved "to
the satisfaction of reasonable people", but insisted that it was a
matter to be dealt with by decommissioning chief General John de
Chastelain and the IRA.

Sinn Fein's public backing of the deal raised expectations that the
IRA could follow with a statement today.

Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin insisted that the arms issue
could be resolved, but indicated that the IRA would negotiate over
the question of photographs rather than giving a direct answer to
Mr Paisley's demand.

"There will be a negotiation, which I won't be at and which Ian
Paisley won't be at, between John de Chastelain and, presumably,
the representatives of the IRA," he said today.

"I believe that they can resolve - at least in terms of IRA weapons
- this issue to the satisfaction of reasonable people."

However, Ian Paisley said yesterday that he expects an answer about
photographs from the Government, an indication that he could delay
his verdict on the overall package until Mr Blair knows the IRA's

He said his party "must have a record" of IRA decommissioning.

"Photographs must be taken of it," Mr Paisley said.

"People must see them and see that it has been done," he added.

However, both Mr Paisley and Sinn Fein said they recognised that a
historic opportunity is at hand.

Mr McLaughlin said a decade of the peace process had brought
negotiations "to the point where we now have the possibility -
which might have seemed incredible - of the Reverend Ian Paisley's
party sharing power with Sinn Fein in the North.

"I think if we can achieve that platform for the first time, we can
see that there is a peaceful and democratic way forward for all of
us and our different political aspirations," he said.

Yesterday, Mr Paisley said: "If a man is connected with a terrorist
organisation that has guns, he is a terrorist.

"If he gives up his guns, gives up his partaking in crime and that
is all dealt with, I can then do business with him. I am prepared
to do that although it goes very much against the grain."


Satire: IRA Refuse Paisley Photograph Demand

Written by Joe Dent

The IRA have said there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of any
of its members posing for portraits for Ian Paisley, despite the
fact that doing so could restore devolution to Northern Ireland.

Proposals on power sharing set out by the British and Irish
governments promised to bring an end to the two year suspension of
Northern Ireland's political institutions.

But Mr Paisley, the DUP leader who has been annoyed for over 50
years, made it clear that he would not accept the proposals until
he had received a Christmas card from the IRA with a photo of some
of its members on the front.

"And I don't want to see balaclavas either," he said. "I want
faces, smiling faces. I'm not asking for much. I have a large
fireplace with a wide mantelpiece at home and I never get enough
Christmas cards to fill it. The IRA never send me personalised
Christmas cards."

Asked if he would accept a signed photograph rather than a
Christmas card, Mr Paisley said "Yes." The IRA, however, said "No."

Meanwhile, two ex-IRA members, Sean O'Sullivan and Aodh Byrne, who
can't be named for legal reasons, said it was highly unlikely that
anyone in the IRA would consent to having his photo taken. "Let's
face it. Very few of us like having our photo taken. Members of the
IRA are no different, even when wearing balaclavas. The fact that
Mr Paisley wants to see them without balaclavas, well, it's just
not going to happen."

In an attempt to resolve the problem, Sinn Fein president Gerry
Adams said Mr Paisley could have his photograph on a Christmas card
if he wanted. He said he'd even wear a Father Christmas costume if
that would help move things along.

The DUP leader politely rejected his offer. "Damn the beast to
hell! I'd rather have a photograph of Beelzebub himself on my
mantelpiece. No! No! No! No! No! No! No!"

Mr Adams has asked republicans not to take Mr Paisley's words to
heart. "Look, the man isn't getting as many Christmas cards as he'd
like. It hurts. Don't be too harsh on him. And remember what all
this comes down to – a large mantelpiece. If only Mr Paisley's
fireplace was a little smaller. We'd all be as happy as Larry."


Anti-Terror Officers Prepare File On Foiled Bombing Plot

By Tom Brady
07 December 2004

Garda anti-terrorist officers are to prepare a file for the DPP
after armed detectives foiled a planned new bombing offensive by
the Real IRA in Northern Ireland.

Last night, three suspects were being questioned by detectives
under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at
Letterkenny and Clondalkin, Dublin garda stations.

Two are from Letterkenny and Inchicore in Dublin, while the third
has addresses in Ballymun, Dublin and Mullingar.

They all face the possibility of being charged with membership of
an illegal organisation and can be detained without charge for up
to 72 hours.

Meanwhile, garda ballistic experts last night were examining eight
timers that were taken from a suspect car stopped by detectives at
Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, on Sunday evening. The car was being
driven from Dublin to Donegal and gardai believed the timers were
to have been used in bomb attacks in the North later this week.

The new campaign by the renegade republicans was aimed to coincide
with the final stages of the talks on a new peace deal in the North
and intended to embarrass Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA.

The campaign was to have been launched by a rump faction of the
Real IRA, a group of around 15 to 20 members centred around a
hardline dissident republican in Derry and based in Derry-Donegal
with back up from a small core of logistic supporters in Dublin.

Detectives are also poring over a quantity of documentation, mainly
relating to firearms, and discovered during searches of the homes
of sympathisers in Dublin, Donegal and Westmeath.

The garda operation was led by Assistant Commissioner, Joe Egan,
who is head of the security and intelligence branch, and Special
Branch Detective Chief, Phil Kelly. The PSNI has stepped up
surveillance on dissidents in the North


SF Leaders Visited Adare Gunman When He Was On Run

By Tom Brady
07 December 2004

At least three high-profile members of Sinn Fein visited garda
killer Kevin Walsh while he was on the run in the wake of the
murder of Detective Jerry McCabe.

The Sinn Fein leaders met Walsh in hiding in Co Cavan as they were
carrying out an internal inquiry into the McCabe murder during an
armed robbery attempt that had not been sanctioned by the ruling
army council.

The inquiry, which lasted a few months, concluded that the botched
robbery in Adare, Co Limerick in June 1996 was a go-it-alone
operation by the IRA's main Munster unit although it had the prior
approval of the then officer commanding the Provisionals in the
South and their principal intelligence officer.

The commanding officer, a Belfast man then living in Ballybough in
Dublin and later in Tallaght, was subsequently kicked out of the
republican movement as well as the intelligence officer, who as a
member of Sinn Fein had been a councillor in the midlands.

Walsh and the four other members of the unit charged either with
the murder or possession of firearms were also delisted as IRA

But they were later restored to the republican family when they
were convicted and jailed in Portlaoise prison as part of a deal
worked out with Sinn Fein figures who promised to push for their
early release as part of peace negotiations.

wo suspects still on the run and wanted by the gardai in connection
with Adare remain outside the republican fold.

One is currently hiding out in Nicaragua while the other is living
in northern France and Spain and both are expected to benefit from
any deal for "on the run" terrorists.

According to security sources, the Sinn Fein figures made repeated
visits to see Walsh in an effort to establish the facts behind the
Adare shooting and reach agreement on his status after his arrest.

The real significance of those discussions was that they
represented a victory for Sinn Fein over the IRA for the first time
in winning approval for the expulsion from the movement of those
involved in the Adare affair.

One security source said last night: "If those discussions had
taken place five years previously there is no way that the IRA
leadership would have allowed the Sinn Fein people to push them out
of the movement.

"It is ironic to see Sinn Fein leaders now accepting the gang
members so willingly and claiming that the success of the peace
deal depends on agreement on their early release from jail."

Walsh (46), from Patrickswell, Co Limerick, is believed by gardai
to have fired the fatal shots at the patrol car where the two
gardai sat with their Uzi sub-machine gun lying in the back seat.

The terrorist was arrested by gardai in March 1998 when they raided
an IRA safe house at a farm in Mullagh, Co Cavan. He had dyed his
hair black and begun wearing glasses and was carrying a .38 pistol
in a holster when arrested by the emergency response unit while an
AK47 rifle lay nearby.


Opin: The Way I See It: Whenever, Whenever...

"If you closed your eyes you would think you were listening to a
member of the Democratic Unionist Party. The conspiracy theory was
there. The unionist language of IRA/Sinn Féin featured

That prescient observation was made in An Phoblacht by Sinn Fein's
Jim Gibney. He was writing in November 2003 about Bill Lowry, the
former head of the Special Branch in Belfast, long before Lowry was
the guest speaker at last weekend's DUP meeting in Ballymena. And
what a wonderful meeting that was!

It may well turn out to be the meeting when Paisley blew the
prospects of a settlement and exposed himself to all and sundry as
incapable of negotiating, showing diplomacy or tact.

Not only did Paisley deliver his speech to the faithful on Saturday
night, but he repeated it outside the door of 10 Downing Street two
days later.

In relation to the DUP demand for a visual dimension to IRA
decommissioning, Paisley said, "The IRA needs to be humiliated. And
they need to wear their sackcloth and ashes, not in a backroom but
openly. And we have no apology for the stand we are taking."

No one in the party – or in the alleged 'pragmatic wing' –
demurred. Anyway, how could Peter Robinson have objected? After
all, several months ago he told the BBC's Inside Politics programme
that he wanted to see the IRA piling its weapons on a pyre and
destroying them before the cameras of CNN as a flute band marched
around the fire. Not wanting to humiliate republicans, indeed!

After the Leeds Castle talks in September Paisley said, "The IRA
must be finished with once and for all. Sinn Féin must be a new
party." Asked if he would talk to Gerry Adams if the IRA disbanded
he replied: "Not as a Sinn Féiner."

Yet, last Friday Paisley appeared to contradict those earlier
remarks. He said that if a deal is to be done with Sinn Féin he
will have to "bite his lip" and "do a great deal of swallowing".
However, these little conciliatory phrases can not undo the damage
of his speech in Ballymena. He has, in the public and in grassroots
republican perception, made the humiliation of the IRA synonymous
with the publishing of photographs of IRA decommissioning.

Typically, that great SDLP strategist, Alex Attwood, came out in
support of this demand and thus gave Paisley a huge fillip for his
London meeting tomorrow night when he is to give Tony Blair his
answer on a deal. Is it any wonder the nationalist electorate
continues to reject the SDLP?

Ex-Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Lowry also addressed the
meeting in Ballymena with language and attitude which confirms and
is representative of the political bias of the Special Branch.

Three years ago, Lowry, as President of the Superintendents'
Association, criticised the then secretary of state, John Reed, in
relation to the name change of the RUC to PSNI. He said, "Our
membership consider that you have stolen our organisational soul."
He was against inquiries into 'historical' allegations of RUC
collusion with loyalists. He was asked again about this on radio
this week. "The IRA came as thieves in the night and murdered and
maimed. The Special Branch and the RUC were trying to stop that.
There's no doubt it was a dirty war. But they [the IRA] were the
ones planning to kill. We were pulled into it. Everything we did
was a response to the violence of the terrorists."

On October 4, 2002, Lowry, as head of Special Branch in Belfast,
organised the raid on Sinn Féin's offices at Stormont which led to
allegations of IRA spying, the collapse of the power-sharing
executive and the suspension of the Assembly, the restoration of
which has been the objective of the current round of talks.

The obsession with humiliating republicans on camera was evident
even then because the raid was filmed by UTV, thanks to a tip-off
from the Special Branch. The charges against a number of
republicans arrested in a fanfare of publicity around the same time
were later reduced and their trial on lesser charges is pending.

Bill Lowry resigned in November 2002. Incredibly, he claimed that
MI5, with whom he had closely worked, wanted rid of him to appease
the IRA and cover up Sinn Féin's involvement in 'espionage'. The
DUP called for an inquiry into his alleged mistreatment and Lowry
complained to the Police Ombudsman.

Nuala O'Loan's office carried out a thorough investigation and in a
detailed and convincing report rejected his allegations.

At Ballymena, Lowry described Sinn Féin as "dogs", with which "if
you lie down you will rise with fleas". He said that he couldn't
watch MPs Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams on television without
seeing blood dripping from their hands. He described them as "the
devil incarnate". Thus the effect of his intervention was to
reinforce the position of those in the DUP most opposed to doing a

On Monday night Paisley has to say Yea or Nay.

A Yes, but... is really a No. To survive, unionists know they will
ultimately have to do a deal with nationalists.

Whenever, whenever, whenever!


Bringing The Truth To European Parliament

Collusion group set to address MEPs and picket British Embassy

More than 40 people who have lost relatives as a result of
collusion between loyalist death squads and British security
agencies are to address the European Parliament today.

The An Fhirinne group will then hold a demonstration outside the
British Embassy in Brussels calling on Tony Blair to ensure any new
peace deal fully incorporates the collusion issue. The
Andersonstown News will be accompanying An Fhirinne during their
two-day stay in Brussels.

One of those heading off to Brussels to take part in the protest
and speak with Members of the European Parliament is Laura Hamill.

Laura's husband, Patrick, was murdered by the UFF at the family
home in Forfar Street off the Springfield Road in September 1987.
Patrick Hamill's killers used the CCTV camera-lined Lanark Way as
an escape route. No explanation has ever been given to the Hamill
family as to why the security gates at Lanark Way were opened on
the day of Patrick's murder and why his killers were never caught
on camera.

Laura Hamill is convinced the loyalists who murdered her husband
colluded with elements of the British security services. And she
maintains that the collusion issue, which has never been adequately
addressed, remains a crucial aspect of the ongoing political

"The An Fhirinne visit to Brussels is being hosted by Sinn Féin
MEP's Bairbre de Brun and Mary Lou McDonald," explained Laura.

"It's through their efforts that we have the opportunity to address
the European Parliament. European politicians seem aware of the
collusion issue without knowing it in any great detail. It is this
that we're hoping to change – we want to make them understand the
British government worked hand in glove with loyalists to murder
our loved ones."

An Fhirinne members will protest with pictures of their murdered

"Forty people standing with photographs of murdered relatives is a
powerful image," added Laura Hamill.

"It's something that is hard to ignore, even for politicians who
are in reality far removed from what is going on in Ireland.

"We're hoping that through our efforts MEPs from countries all over
the continent will then apply pressure on the British government to
admit their part in the murders of scores of innocent people."

For a full report on An Fhirinne's Brussels visit see Thursday's
Andersonstown News.

Journalist:: Ciaran Barnes


Unionist MEPs Slam De Brun Over Collusion Conference

By Simon Taylor
07 December 2004

Northern Ireland's two Unionist MEPs have attacked Sinn Fein Euro-
MP Bairbre de Brun for organising a seminar in the European
Parliament on alleged Government links to killings by loyalist

In a rare joint statement, UUP member Jim Nicholson and the DUP's
Jim Allister accused Ms de Brun of trying to "spread anti-unionist
propaganda in the Parliament".

Jim Nicholson said that in the past Northern Ireland MEPs had
always worked "together for the good of all our people".

There had been an understanding with Ian Paisley and John Hume not
to use the Parliament as a "venue for airing our own local
grievances", Mr Nicholson said.

But he said that Ms de Brun had chosen to "open a Brussels branch
of the Sinn Fein grievance factory".

Jim Allister said that many MEPs had reacted with "disgust" at the
"hypocritical attempt to rewrite history".

He claimed most people in Europe saw Sinn Fein as a "mouthpiece for
terror" which was responsible for a "litany of vile atrocities over
thirty years" and a "pioneer of modern terrorism".

The Unionist MEPs have prepared a leaflet for people at the
hearing, based on the original invitation issued, stating that the
IRA murdered over 2,000 people and listing a series of bombings and
shootings since 1972. It also cites killings going back to 1971
which happened on this date - the day on which the hearing is being

The hearing, entitled "Peace must be built on truth", is being
hosted by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group of 41
MEPs to which Sinn Fein belongs.

Speakers include Bairbre de Brun, the Republic's Sinn Fein MEP Mary
Lou McDonald and two people whose relatives were killed by
paramilitaries. Over 50 people who lost loved ones are also
expected to attend.

Commenting on the event Ms de Brun said: "Both the survivors and
the families of those murdered through state collusion have the
right to be heard in the European Parliament.

"The visit to the European Parliament is vitally important, not
only to the families who are coming, following their visits to
Dublin, London, and the US, but also to members of the European
Parliament, in giving them an understanding of this crucial aspect
of the peace process."



Falls Road priests warn of the ultimate Catholic Church sanction
after communion wafers are dumped under pews in Saint Paul's Church

Priests at Saint Paul's Church on the Falls Road last night warned
that parishioners found discarding communion wafer under their pews
face the ultimate punishment – excommunication.

The warning came after hosts were found lying on the floor of the
church on several occasions after Mass during the past fortnight.
Last night St Paul's priest Fr Mulholland told the Andersonstown
News: "Many [parishioners] are distressed and upset that this is
happening in their church. It has happened three or four times."

Priests at a Falls Road church say that excommunication faces
parishioners found discarding communion wafers.

The warning comes after a number of hosts were found on the chapel
floor at St Paul's church over the last few weeks. So critical is
communion to the foundations of the Catholic faith that anyone who
discards it away carries the ultimate penalty of being thrown out
of the Church.

But a priest must receive permission from none other that the Pope
to administer any sacrament to the culprits.

Last night Fr Patrick Mulholland said many of the faithful had been
upset and distressed by the discovery of communion wafers under the

"Many are distressed and upset that this is happening in their
church. It has happened three or four times," he said.

"In the last few weeks a number of sacred hosts have been
discovered lying under seats after the weekend Masses," says a
message in the most recent issue of the St Paul's parish bulletin.

"This deliberate action is necessarily motivated by an obscene
disrespect for the blessed sacrament or hatred for the Church.

"We would like to remind everyone that no-one is obliged to receive
Holy Communion every Sunday. To those who have committed this
supreme act of sacrilege we would like to inform them of the

"One who throws away the consecrated species… incurs (automatic)
excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

"This means anyone who has perpetrated this act may not receive ANY
sacrament until they have been to see one of the priests who must
then contact the Vatican to receive permission from the Holy Father
to grant absolution and thereby lift the penalty of

Fr Mulholland said he was at a loss as to who might be responsible.

"We really don't know who is doing this. It happened after a
funeral and then after Mass on Sunday," he said. "Children up to
confirmation age normally received communion by mouth and there's
nothing to suggest this is a child."

He said it was the duty of every Catholic to immediately recover
the host.

"You must retrieve it because it is Christ, the Lord is really and
truly present in the host," said Fr Mulholland.

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon


Council Offers Annetta Special Honour

07 December 2004

The Mayor of Armagh has offered to host a civic reception to mark
the safe return of hostage Annetta Flanigan to her home in Richhill

It is understood that Mayor Eric Speers and the City Council would
be happy to honour Annetta for the courage she showed during her
terrifying time as a hostage in Afghanistan.

The Ulster Unionist councillor today extended a warm welcome home
to Ms Flanigan who was held captive for several weeks.

Mr Speers said: "For the Flanigan family having Annetta home will
be the best present they've ever had.

"I am sure that they will be sharing some emotional times in these
first few days of her being reunited with her nearest and dearest."

"We cannot imagine what Annetta has gone through but can only be
thankful her ordeal is over. I am sure she has been left
traumatised by the experience but it is a cause for rejoicing that
her freedom has been secured without her being directly harmed."

He paid tribute to all those who worked behind the scenes and took
risks to try and bring this nightmare to an end.

"It is obviously an enormous relief for the Flanigan family who
have had a terrible time of anguish and anxiety which they have
borne with wonderful courage and dignity," he said.

Mr Speers said the community had rallied in support and their
thoughts and prayers had been with the family.

"Our hearts have gone out to them but even those of us who remember
Annetta from when she lived locally could not begin to imagine the
awfulness of what she and her family have had to endure.

"We wish them well this Christmas and I would like to add my own
warm welcome home to this remarkable lady," he said.


American Adds Flights To Ireland

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

By Guy Tridgell
Staff writer

American Airlines will offer direct service to Dublin from O'Hare
International Airport beginning in May.

The airline, announcing the new service Monday, said it hopes to
take advantage of the tourism boom in Ireland while also catering
to the Chicago area's vibrant Irish-American population.

The first of what will be one departing and arriving flight each
day is scheduled to take off May 1.

American Flight 92 will depart O'Hare daily at 7:35 p.m., arriving
in Dublin at 8:55 a.m. the next day; American Flight 93 will leave
Dublin for O'Hare at 11 a.m., arriving in Chicago at 12:50 p.m.

Passengers will ride in Boeing 767-300 aircraft, with 29 business
class seats and room for 182 travelers in the main cabin.

American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, also will begin flights at
the same time between Boston and Shannon, Ireland.

Irish airline Aer Lingus already offers nonstop service between
Chicago and Dublin.

At an event promoting the new flights, Chicago Ald. Ed Burke (14th)
predicted the Dublin service will be popular in Chicago, a city
noted for its Irish heritage.

"There is an old American axiom that you can never go home again.
For the Irish, you must always go home," Burke said. "It is fair to
say American Airlines will find success and support from Chicago's
Irish community."

An estimated 1 million Americans visit Ireland each year. According
to the Chicago Office of Tourism, 52,000 Irish visited Chicago last

Dublin will be American's eighth European destination from O'Hare.

Transportation writer Guy Tridgell may be reached at or (708) 633-5970.

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