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January 03, 2005

01/03/05 – Pipe Bomb Attack On Sinn Fein Councillor

Monthly Table of Contents 01/05
Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

BB 01/03/05 Pipe Bomb Attack On Home Of Sinn Fein Councillor
BB 01/03/05 Family Tells Of Tsunami 'Relief'
NL 01/03/05 DUP Warned On Arms Deal
GU 01/03/05 Opin: Kicking Out Prejudice
BB 01/03/05 Photos Finish 'Deal Of All Deals'
IO 01/03/05 Hopes Fading For Missing Hiker
AV 01/03/05 Cirrus Pilot Makes "Miracle" Landing In Ireland
UT 01/03/05 Kelly Meets Maureen O'Hara


Pipe Bomb Attack On Home

A pipe bomb placed outside the home of a party election worker in
County Londonderry could have caused serious injury, a Sinn Fein
councillor has said.

The device was found outside a house at Bradden Place, Kilrea, on

The man, his wife and three teenage children and several other
families who lived nearby had to leave their homes during the

The device was made safe by army bomb disposal experts.

Sinn Fein councillor Billy Leonard said the family had a lucky

"The information we have got is that there was a fuse which was
burned out," he said.

"It looks to be the genuine article, a real pipe bomb.

"Obviously we could have been looking at a fatality or injury and
that is very, very disturbing and a dreadful start to 2005 in the

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/03 09:53:56 GMT


Family Tells Of Tsunami 'Relief'

A family from Londonderry have spoken of their relief at surviving
the Indian Ocean tsunami.

John Chambers, his wife and two daughters were in a hotel in the
Thai resort of Phuket when the massive waves struck on Boxing Day.

The hotel is located on a hillside and was not damaged.

Mr Chambers said: "There were a lot of people walking around the
hotel who had been injured and whose relatives had been hurt in the
tidal waves.

"But, luckily, we stayed in the hotel that morning."

The family arrived back at their Drumahoe home on Sunday after
their three week holiday in Thailand.

Mr Chambers said: "We also saw people injured being brought ashore
on boats, one woman was given the kiss of life on the hotel jetty,

"The part of the resort worst affected was cordoned off and nobody
was allowed through so thankfully we didn't see the full extent of
the devastation."

Response 'overwhelming'

Meanwhile, Oxfam Northern Ireland said the public's response had
been overwhelming.

The charity's chief executive in Northern Ireland Brian Scott said:
"People can survive without food for days, but not without clean

"That is what Oxfam specialises in and that is the urgent need at

"This is a most unprecedented event both in terms of scale and the
fact that this is spread over such a huge geographical area is
probably unique."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/03 11:11:42 GMT


DUP Warned On Arms Deal

By Billy Kennedy
Monday 3rd January 2005

South Antrim MP David Burnside has warned that if the DUP considers
forming a government with Sinn Fein - "with a type of IRA arms
decommissioning taken place" - it too, like the Ulster Unionist
Party, will face trouble from the unionist electorate.

Mr Burnside said a few photographs do not mean that IRA
decommissioning is real - " especially not with £22 million in the
bank for shiny new armaments".

The UUP MP said his own party and the DUP should raise their sights
above and beyond a devolved Stormont administration and campaign
together to marginalise Sinn Fein, instead of splitting the
unionist vote and allowing republican candidates in through the
back door.

"Even the dogs in the street know that the republican movement
carried out Britain's biggest bank robbery, proving again its
unfitness for a share in civil democratic government.

"Seven years after the Belfast Agreement was signed, supposedly to
replace political terrorism with a commitment by all to democracy,
the republican movement retains its terrorist machine. The hard men
of the Provos are still up to their necks in crime."

"The republican movement's refusal to operate as a 'nornal'
political party is increasingly contaminating politics in Ulster
and the Irish Republic," said Mr Burnside.

He said the PSNI had no other line of inquiry into the Northern
Bank heist, but mainstream republicans, which meant the Provisional

"Is Sinn Fein to be punished, to be excluded or expelled from the
political process? The answer is no, because Prime Minister Tony
Blair's door remains open to Sinn Fein."

The MP said the Government appeased republicans because it feared a
return to IRA bombings on the mainland.

"Our once proud and effective RUC, neutered by the Patten report,
is led by Hugh Orde, a chief constable who is politically correct
and weak. Orde wants the republicans to sit on the policing board."

Mr Burnside described Stormont as "the Mary Celeste of civil

"Northern Ireland needs stronger more accountable local government.

'We should be uniting to get the powers of local government
increased when it is reformed and reduced in number from the 26
district councils," added Mr Burnside.


Opin: Kicking Out Prejudice

Football has the power to unite this troubled island

Henry McDonald
Sunday January 2, 2005
The Observer

Alexander Blaney, Bohemians FC's first chairman, was once described
as having 'a huge scrotum and a huge memory'. Being, like Blaney, a
former pupil at St Malachy's College, Belfast, I can empathise with
his first affliction. Serving out seven years in an exclusively
boys school that instilled vigilance against the evils of lust,
there were few opportunities to relieve oneself of this post-
pubescent handicap.

Unlike Blaney, though, I never got the chance to play for the
school soccer team. Never mind the lack of talent between 1977 and
1984, the beautiful game was an unofficial pastime at one of
Northern Ireland's premier grammar schools. The official team games
were Gaelic football, hurling and basketball; soccer was a 'west
Brit' DIY sport played out on the Big Field under the shadow of
Crumlin Road jail at lunchtime or break. So one of the unexpected
joys of this Christmas has been the discovery that my old college
actually produced a man who helped found one of Ireland's oldest
soccer clubs.

Blaney started his senior career at St Malachy's and then moved on
to another institution that helped shape my life in the mid- to
late-1970s - Cliftonville FC. He then left the north Belfast reds
for the reds of north Dublin, becoming Bohs' chairman in 1890. His
story is contained in a new book about pre-partition Irish soccer,
which has great relevance in the twenty-first century as football
north and south tries to map out a future amid failing gate
receipts and growing public indifference.

A group of forward-thinking ex- managers/players have come up with
radical proposals aimed at saving the club game. They include the
creation of an all-Ireland premiership with the top six sides from
north and south competing against each other island wide. They also
envisage two promotion leagues - north and south - to allow smaller
clubs to enter the top flight. Garnham's book is a reminder of how
difficult that task will be.

The author's main thesis is that partition did not inevitably
entail the deep and wounding split in the sport after the two
states were established in 1921. Other sports, such as rugby and
cricket, have remained organised on an all-Ireland basis.

Paradoxically, like partition itself, the roots of the schism
Garnham argues were already deeply embedded in the game before the
official division of Ireland. In Belfast, thanks to rapid pre-war
industrialisation soccer, was becoming as much a business as
textiles, linen or shipbuilding.

The northern game was moving towards professionalism in line with
developments in England and Scotland. Crowd figures in Belfast
boosted the coffers of the major clubs. In 1914 20,000 turned up to
watch Glentoran beat Linfield in the Irish Cup Final. In the same
year the Glens reported a £600 profit despite a costly summer tour
of Eastern Europe just prior to the war's outbreak.

By contrast, Garnham notes that the southern game was still
suffused with the spirit of the gentleman amateur. Indeed, reading
the Dublin press of the period there are constant complaints about
the northern-based Irish Football Association's business acumen.
Dublin also resented the fact that only six Irish internationals
were played in the capital between 1882 and 1914, with few
southern-based players being picked for the national side.

The Home Rule crisis did undoubtedly play a part in fomenting
divisions within association football. In 1912 a huge anti-Home
Rule rally was held at the Oval with 1,000 unionists forming up to
make a 'living Union Jack', while Celtic Park became the venue for
the drilling of the Irish Volunteers and mass meetings in favour of
Home Rule. In Belfast, the IFA was accused of turning a blind eye
to sectarian attacks on Belfast Celtic players and supporters while
in Dublin soccer drew hostile fire from hard-line nationalists
including Sinn Fein's founder, Arthur Griffith, who described it as
'racy of the land of Infallible and Almighty England'.

Yet even after partition the Belfast-based IFA tried to maintain
unity with their Dublin counterparts. In 1922 Linfield offered to
play a charity match in Dublin in order to foster reconciliation.
As late as 1950 the IFA continued to select players for the now
Northern Ireland team from both sides of the border. A residue of
pre-partition co-operation, the notion of sport above politics
still survives in cross-border projects such as Dunfield and the
recent moves to establish a new north-south competition.

It would be Utopian to imagine an all-Ireland international side in
the near future, especially given the current polarisation of
northern society. However, the concept of an all-Ireland
premiership is not so fanciful or unrealisable. The overarching
story of Garnham's Association Football is one of a tragedy that
could have been averted. Perhaps 2005 is the year to begin healing
that terrible wound inflicted on Irish club soccer in the early
twentieth century.

· Association Football and Society in Pre-partition Ireland is
published by the Ulster Historical Foundation, £8.99


Photos Finish 'Deal Of All Deals'

BBC Northern Ireland security editor Brian Rowan looks back over a
year in which the "deal of all deals" collapsed over the issue of
how to prove that IRA arms had been put beyond use.

It was one of those "nearly" years.

A 12-month period in which the IRA signalled its endgame as part of
a negotiation which almost produced the deal of all deals.

In the end, it did not happen.

The big political push to get Ian Paisley and the Provisional IRA
over the line faltered and failed on the issue of photographic
proof of decommissioning.

But everything else, it seems, was in place.

As part of a comprehensive agreement involving power-sharing
politics, new policing arrangements and sweeping security changes,
the IRA was prepared to leave the stage, and to instruct its
members not to engage in any activity that might endanger any new

Within the space of a few weeks, all of its weapons would have been
"put beyond use".

This would have happened in the company of General John de
Chastelain and Andrew Sens of the Independent International
Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

Two church witnesses would also have been present, and would have
been allowed to speak publicly to confirm the extent of

'Totally hostile'

The IRA saw this as a way of enhancing public confidence, but Ian
Paisley and his Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) wanted more.

They wanted photographs as visual proof of decommissioning and this
was the straw that eventually broke the back of the "deal of all

In the fall-out, Martin McGuinness said the IRA had always been
"totally hostile" to the idea of photographs and he said this was
known inside the negotiations.

But the British and Irish governments had written photographic
proof into their proposed comprehensive agreement and this had
raised DUP expectations.

By the end of the year, there was still a stand-off on this issue -
there was no deal, no new power-sharing government, no
decommissioning and no sign of either side blinking.

But what this negotiation left behind was a picture of what is now
possible if this final, difficult obstacle can be cleared.

The historic worth of the IRA offer is that it means an end to
"physical force republicanism".

In response to that, the process of demilitarisation - meaning
troop withdrawals and army base closures - was to have been speeded

This was discussed in new ground-breaking meetings involving Gerry
Adams, Martin McGuinness and the Northern Ireland Chief Constable
Hugh Orde.

'New beginning'

And, separate from this, and as part of what was going on inside
the political talks, republicans were also moving ever closer to
endorsing the policing service and its structures.

We still do not know exactly when this will happen but, when it
does, then the "new beginning" envisaged by Chris Patten and his
commission on the future of policing will become all the more real.

Doing the big deal also means involving the loyalists, and the
British Government opened up a new dialogue with them and also
moved to recognise the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) ceasefire.

The UDA began to speak a new language.

It promised to leave criminality behind, to work to re-build
disadvantaged communities, to talk to the de Chastelain commission
about decommissioning and to support the moves towards a new
political agreement.

There are those within the UDA leadership who mean it and those who
do not.

And, in terms of this organisation's future intentions, the jury is
still out.

Some may see the past 12 months as marking another political
failure, but this is much too simplistic.

The foundations are now there for a very different and once
unthinkable agreement.

And, when it works, that deal will be better than anything that has
gone before.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/03 10:52:09 GMT


Hopes Fading For Missing Hiker

03/01/2005 - 08:55:05

Hopes are fading for the welfare of a Swedish man who has been
missing in the McGillycuddy Reeks in Co Kerry for almost a week.

22-year-old Olaf Jansenn disappeared while on a hiking holiday in
the mountain range last Tuesday. He last contacted his family by
text message on the evening of his disappearance.

Rescuers have been searching for him ever since and are due to
resume their efforts at first light today.

More than 200 people helped in the search operation yesterday and
managed to cover 150 square kilometres in the MacGillicuddy Reeks.

Today's search will concentrate on a smaller area, but most of the
volunteers will have to return to work tomorrow and Kerry Mountain
Rescue is appealing for anyone in the area to be extra vigilant
over the coming days.


Cirrus Pilot Makes "Miracle" Landing In Ireland

By Mary Grady
Newswriter, Editor

A Cirrus SR22 being ferried across the Atlantic ran out of fuel
and sputtered to a stop just seconds after landing at Shannon
Airport in Ireland late on Friday, The Canadian Press reported
Saturday. The safe landing was "a great miracle story at the end of
2004," as well as a feat of airmanship, Royal Air Force rescue
squad member Michael Mulford told the CP. "[The pilot] must have
judged it right down to the last turn of the propeller," Mulford
said. (There were perhaps other considerations.) The pilot had
taken off from Newfoundland, and reported that the right fuel tank
had started to leak about 400 miles from the Irish coast. The
rescue squad had been preparing for a possible ditching in the
wintry North Atlantic. Strong tailwinds were cited for helping the
airplane make shore. A Nimrod search-and-rescue aircraft, equipped
for a sea rescue, followed the Cirrus to its landing.

The airplane had been forced to descend from about 12,000 feet to
4,500 feet after heavy rain and snow showers caused icing on
control surfaces. The exhausted pilot, whose name was not
available, was taken to a hotel for a rest. "He was sweating. It's
only natural coming across like that," airport spokesman Paul
Phelan told the Canadian Press. Cirrus spokeswoman Kate Andrews
told AVweb yesterday that ferry pilots are contracted by the
aircraft owner, not by Cirrus, so she had no information on the
flight. "We're delighted that the pilot and airplane are OK," she
said, and noted that the glass cockpit in an SR22 is a great aid to
the pilot when dealing with difficult situations. "It can provide
so much information, on fuel burn, calculating distance to the
airport, and so much more," she said. Andrews also said it is
customary to fit out aircraft with supplemental fuel tanks before
crossing the North Atlantic, but she had no information about this
particular flight.


Kelly Meets Maureen O'Hara

Gerry Kelly meets Maureen O'Hara in a special programme broadcast
on Sunday January 2 at 6.25pm on UTV.

Maureen O'Hara is undoubtedly the biggest Hollywood film star ever
to come out of Ireland.

Born in Dublin in 1920, Maureen Fitzsimons was just 14 when she
began her acting training at the Abbey Theatre. At 17 she got her
first leading role in a new play, but never got to play the role,
because she got the opportunity to make a screen test in London.

This screen test was seen by actor Charles Laughton who signed
Maureen up instantly. This was to be the start of her glittering
film career. It also meant that she would have to change her name,
which she did, to Maureen O'Hara.

Maureen starred with some of Hollywood's most famous leading men
including Tyrone Power, Rex Harrison, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda,
Sir Alec Guinness, Errol Flynn and of course John Wayne.

Her film credits are many, but the best-remembered are Jamaica Inn,
Miracle on 34th Street, Hunchback of Notre Dame, How Green Was My
Valley and of course The Quiet Man.

Maureen currently spends most of her time in the U.S., but returns
home to spend a few months every year in Ireland, which she still
considers to be home.

She recently published her long-awaited autobiography, 'Tis
Herself', and Gerry Kelly met up with her in Dublin to talk about
her life, loves and memories.

Monthly Table of Contents 01/05
Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

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