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January 04, 2005

01/04/05 - Orde To Be Grilled Over Heist

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

BT 01/04/05 Orde To Be Grilled Over Northern Job
BT 01/04/05 Call For Changes In Electoral Register
BT 01/04/05 Warning To Adair As Jail Release Looms
BT 01/04/05 RIR Jobs Axe 'To Fall On Former UDR Men'
IC 01/04/05 New Year's Day Murder Victim Was From The New Lodge
IC 01/04/05 Short Strand Youth Targeted By Gang
BB 01/04/05 Arson Attack On Orange Hall
BT 01/04/05 Cabinet Papers: IRA Men Walking Streets Of Lifford
BT 01/04/05 Cabinet Papers: Judges Clashed On Extradition
BT 01/04/05 Cabinet Papers: Paramilitaries 'May Help Get Peace'
BT 01/04/05 Cabinet Papers: Paisley Wanted 3rd Local Security Force
BB 01/04/05 Doctors Call For NI Smoking Ban
BT 01/04/05 Irish Show Jumping Star Dies
UT 01/04/05 Hoteliers Mourn Tragic Loss Of Corkman
UT 01/04/05 Euro Continues Its Rise (With Currency Exchange Rates)
BG 01/04/05 Montana: Under New Management: Fanfare
BS 01/04/05 Maeve Brennan: Homesick At The New Yorker


Orde To Be Grilled Over Northern Job

Policing Board probe response to £22m heist.

By Jonathan McCambridge
04 January 2005

Chief Constable Hugh Orde is set to be grilled for the first time
about how armed robbers were able to steal £22m from the Northern
Bank, it can be revealed today.

Mr Orde and other senior officers are expected to attend a special
meeting of the Policing Board later this month where they will face
embarrassing questions about police intelligence and their
subsequent investigation into the world's largest cash bank

However, anger has been expressed that it has taken the Policing
Board a month to set up the meeting.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that banking chiefs may decide
within the next week if they are to take the drastic step of
withdrawing all Northern Bank notes from circulation.

They are also expected to rule out the chance of offering any
reward because of the possibility of paramilitary involvement in
the heist.

So far the Chief Constable has given no public reaction to the
robbery, in which an armed gang seized £22m after taking the
families of two bank officials hostage.

The investigation is being carried out by the PSNI Crime Operations
branch as a series of fundamental questions remain unanswered by
the PSNI and the Northern Bank.

A meeting of the Corporate Policy Committee of the Policing Board
on January 20 has now been extended to include all board members to
discuss the robbery. Police will also be invited to attend.

Members are also expected to raise a number of questions about
banking practices and bank security in Northern Ireland.

A series of questions have been prepared for the Chief Constable to

They include:

:: How did such a well planned operation not come to police

:: What are the facts behind the information given to the police by
a traffic warden about suspicious activity around the bank?

:: What did the officers who went to the scene do - did they
contact the bank to check out the reports?

:: How did the numerous CCTV cameras in the area not pick up any

:: What information has raids on homes and commercial premises in
north and west Belfast been based on?

:: Do police believe the IRA were involved in the crime?

:: What steps have the PSNI taken, in co-operation with banks, to
improve security to safeguard against further 'tiger kidnappings'?

DUP Board member, Sammy Wilson, said it was "astonishing" that it
had taken a month to set up the special meeting.

He said: "Had this been anywhere else in the UK the police
authority would surely have met by now despite the holiday period."

He added: "There must be no holding back by the Chief Constable for
fear of the political consequences. If the IRA were involved then
the public has a right to know.

"The meeting with the police on January 20 will give an opportunity
to seek answers to these questions but the public have a right to
ask why it is that such a meeting cannot take place until a month
after the crime.

"Some of the money may already be spent by the criminals who must
be laughing at the couldn't care less attitude being displayed."


Call For Changes In Electoral Register

By Michael McHugh
04 January 2005

Major changes should be made to the election registration process
in an effort to boost flagging numbers of voters, a West Tyrone
councillor has said.

The call came after the government signalled its intention to amend
election law so Northern Ireland voters will no longer be required
to register every year after further shrinkage of the electoral
register was confirmed.

The register has dropped by almost 150,000 since anti-fraud
measures were introduced two years ago and by almost 30,000 since
tighter controls were introduced.

Sinn Fein councillor Sean Begley said in future the Electoral
Office should have a permanent and rolling register and that the
Electoral Office should take on the task of keeping it up to date.

"I would also propose that they do mailshots to people on a regular
basis," he told a recent meeting of Omagh district council.

"We are talking about young people being targeted and making sure
that they are registered so that we have as complete a register as

"At the minute there is a cut-off date for registration of two
months before an election and I would propose that it be taken down
to 15 working days."

Cllr Begley added that it was important that central Government
provided the funding to allow the measures he had suggested to be
put in place.

"I think we should write to John Spellar and the Electoral Office
and the Electoral Commission about this. It is important that the
Office targets hard to get at groups like young people and those
living in deprived areas," he added.

Official figures released earlier this month showed a 2.6% cent
drop in numbers on the register since September, 1,047,601
potential voters.

A report commissioned by the Electoral Commission earlier this year
warned that the decline could become permanent. It said around 15%
of the adult population had not registered to vote. Denis Stanley,
the Chief Electoral Officer, issued a statement on December 1 about
the new register making clear that he plans to focus on enlisting
young people in the register and the Government made a number of
recommendations about the future of the register last month. Mr
Stanley said many of the issues covered had already been raised in
the Minister's recommendations and by the Electoral Commission.


Warning To Adair As Jail Release Looms

By David Gordon
04 January 2005

Renegade loyalist godfather Johnny Adair was today warned that he
still tops the UDA's hit list.

The chilling reminder comes ahead of Adair's release from
Maghaberry Prison.

The notorious terrorist is expected to be freed this month,
although prison chiefs are staying tight- lipped on the details.

A source close to the UDA today said the paramilitary organisation
had not altered its stance on the former head of its west Belfast

"The position hasn't changed - he's still the number one enemy.

"If he's any sense, he'll stay well away."

The source also said that the UDA still held Adair responsible for
the murder of south east Antrim brigadier John Gregg in February

Adair had been returned to Maghaberry days before the Gregg
shooting, which was carried out by members of his Shankill C
company faction.

"The Gregg murder is still a very sore point for the UDA in south
east Antrim and other areas," the source said.

A Prison Service spokesman today said: "We don't comment on
individual prisoners."

Jail chiefs are expected to facilitate a secret release due to the
ongoing threat to Adair's life.

The terror chief was sent back to jail on the orders of Secretary
of State Paul Murphy, after a feud broke out between C company and
the rest of the UDA.

His family and closest supporters were driven from the Shankill in
the wake of the Gregg murder.

His wife Gina, who has been treated for cancer in the past year, is
living in Bolton, as are loyalist associates of her husband.

Adair's teenage son Jonathan received a jail sentence in England
last year after admitting conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.


RIR Jobs Axe 'To Fall On Former UDR Men'

McNarry says cuts may start in weeks.

By Chris Thornton
04 January 2005

An Ulster Unionist Assembly member has accused the Ministry of
Defence of planning to sack up to 600 Royal Irish Regiment

In spite of Army assurances that the RIR remains "an essential
component" of security force operations, Strangford representative
David McNarry claims the MoD has "scandalous" plans to scrap the
soldiers' contracts.

Mr McNarry said serving RIR soldiers have told him the Army could
start the cutbacks in the home service units as soon as February.

And he says only former UDR soldiers will be hit. Mr McNarry claims
the contracts lined up for termination were those handed to UDR
soldiers who were transferred into the RIR when their former
regiment was scrapped.

The MLA claims Army resettlement officers have been told they could
be preparing up to 300 soldiers to change their jobs within a
single month. He said as many as 600 soldiers could be affected.

"We're talking about a quarter of the regiment. If those men and
women go it could leave us very vulnerable to any terrorist act,"
Mr McNarry said. "It would kick the bottom out of security."

An MoD spokesman said: "The Home Service battalions of the Royal
Irish Regiment are an essential component of the Army's support to
the police and will continue to be for as long as the police
require counter-terrorist or public order support.

"As far as the longer term is concerned, the Government has not
come to a final conclusion as to the future of the three

Mr McNarry said he is particularly concerned that former UDR
soldiers could see pension payments reduced if their contracts are

He said those soldiers were guaranteed 22 years service when the
UDR was dissolved, but said many are still three or four years
short of qualifying for a lump sum.

Mr McNarry added that he would be contacting the MoD this week to
hear their plans for the future of the regiment. "I will seek
assurances from the MoD that these men and women will be able to
see out their 22 years of service, " he said.


New Year's Day Murder Victim Was From The New Lodge

Fermanagh cops arrest a man as body of a Belfast woman is found in

The 37-year-old woman found dead in Enniskillen on New Year's Night
was from the New Lodge district of North Belfast, the Andersonstown
News has learnt.

The PSNI yesterday said they were treating as murder the death of
Kathleen Brady (née Mulgrew) whose body was found on Saturday
evening in a house in Corban Avenue in the Co Fermanagh town.

One man has been arrested.


Youth Targeted By Gang

Short Strand teenager escapes with his life

An 18-year-old youth has spoken of his ordeal after he was savagely
attacked by a group of men in broad daylight as he walked home on
New Year's Eve.

Returning along the Queen's Bridge to his Mountpottinger Road home
at around 1.45pm, Liam McDaid was approached by a group of
approximately seven men, all in their late twenties.

Describing how the assault unfolded, he said that he had not
anticipated the danger from the crowd.

"I thought that I was taking the safest route home. You wouldn't
think that it would happen in the daytime. I tried to slide past,
by the wall, but one of the men took off his hat and tried to
headbutt me. I leaned back in time and he missed but another of the
men hit me and I don't remember anything after that."

As well as being kicked about the head and punched, the teenager
was also robbed during the broad daylight attack.

"They stole £40 that was in my trouser pocket. It was the last of
my Christmas money."

Drivers who came on the scene stopped their cars while the men were
still kicking him around his head and body. One plucky driver
intervened and the group ran off in the direction of the Lower
Newtownards Road. The same driver phoned for an ambulance.

The victim sustained cuts, bruising and swelling around the whole
of his head.

"Only for the people stopping in the car they would have kicked me
to death. I thought I was near enough dead," said Liam.

The teenager, who works in the nearby train station, says he's
fearful of similar attacks in the future.

"I'd be afraid to go to and from work. This happened in daylight
and I have to walk home from work at night."

Sinn Féin Councillor for the area, Joe O'Donnell, said that the
attack was probably the actions of loyalists.

"This young man was returning home having got his hair cut in town
when he was set upon by a group, who were probably loyalists given
that they made off towards an estate in the Lower Newtownards Road.
This could have happened at any time, but on this occasion it
happened in the festive period which is supposed to be a time of

"There did not appear to be any drink involved, it was just an
unprovoked callous attack on a young man. The injuries to the head
could have ended in a more tragic way. A family could be sitting at
home today with a very seriously injured son, or even a death.

"The only reason they stopped was because someone confronted them.
The person who stopped his car to chase off the men must be
commended for putting his own safety at risk to save this man."

The PSNI said that they are aware of the incident and are
investigating the attack.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter


Arson Attack On Orange Hall

An Orange hall in County Tyrone has been extensively damaged in an
arson attack.

The fire on the Garvetagh Road in Castlederg was discovered at
about 2100 GMT on Monday.

Ulster Unionist assembly member Derek Hussey said it was a loss to
the community.

"The hall was used by three loyal order organisations, the local
pipe band, the local credit union and various other people," he

"That facility has been gutted."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/04 11:07:35 GMT


Cabinet Papers: IRA Men 'Openly Walking Streets Of Lifford'

By Ben Lowry
01 January 2005

Security references to Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams in 1974
Stormont Government papers released today show that the pair needed
no introduction to those in power.

The various references to the Sinn Fein leaders are often written
without explanation as to who they are.

Adams was known because in July 1972 he had been flown to talks in
London between the IRA and then Secretary of State William

In the newly-declassified 1974 briefings, there are several
references to McGuinness as a terror chief, and a mention of Adams
attempting to escape the Maze.

McGuinness, who admitted to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal last year
that he was second in command of the IRA in Londonderry in January
1972, is described in a 1974 security report as "operations officer
of the Provisional Army Council".

In a security meeting at Stormont on February 13, the Government
was told that McGuinness had been arrested by Gardai on February 11
near Buncrana.

There is no note of what happened following this arrest, which may
have been partly in response to a striking mention of McGuinness in
a memo from Ivan Cooper, the Civil Rights activist who became
Minister for Community Relations.

In a memo to Brian Faulkner dated January 31 1974, he wrote: "My
main concern is that IRA men are openly walking the streets in
Lifford without any apparent action being taken by the Garda.

"For example, I find it hard to understand why Martin McGuinness
can have a meal at the Inter County Hotel, Lifford and not attract
the attention of the Garda who use the premises socially."

Mr Cooper said RUC sources told him that their intelligence had
identied arms dumps in the Republic but no action was taken.

On January 30, 1974, an Army paper to the NIO rejects suggestions
from the Republic that IRA activity in the south is the result of
the ineffectiveness of security forces in the north.

An Army note records: "Except for short forays into the province,
these terrorists spend the rest of their time, 95% or more, in the
Republic (Martin McGuinness and John 'Jack' Brogan are typical

A month earlier, a briefing records that "four detainees including
Gerry Adams unsuccessffully attempted to escape (prison) on
Christmas Eve".


Cabinet Papers: Judges Clashed On Extradition

By Ben Lowry
01 January 2005

A top Irish judge clashed with the Lord Chief Justice of Northern
Ireland over extradition, allegedly because of political opposition
in the Republic, newly revealed Cabinet papers claim.

The Commission on Law Enforcement, which was established with
British and Irish experts on December 27 1973 to examine "the legal
complexities" for trying terrorists on the other side of the border
to where they were caught, swiftly ran into disagreement.

It was asked to report as "a matter of extreme urgency".

The four British members included Lord Scarman, one of Britain's
most distinguished judges, the Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice
Lord Lowry, and Brian Hutton, then Senior Crown Counsel Northern

The Irish members included Mr Justice Walsh, a judge of the Irish
Supreme Court.

A memo prepared by a British official called GW Watson records that
at the first meeting on January 16 at Hillsborough House, Sir
Robert Lowry received backing from Mr Justice Walsh in his reading
of the Irish Extradition Act.

Sir Robert (later Lord Lowry) found that the alleged difficulties
faced by the Irish in extraditing political offenders applied to
extradition to other countries and did not in fact apply to cross-
border cases.

But the memo reports that at a dinner during a commission meeting
in Dublin in February, Mr Justice Walsh is said to have taken Sir
Robert aside and explained that "there was no point in continuing
to discuss extradition since he could assure him that it was
politically quite unacceptable and would never be implemented by
the Irish Government".

Sir Robert is said to have made it clear that he would not be party
to a report which said that there were legal difficulties about
extradition if that were not the case.

"He would insist on a report outlining the true legal positions,
recognising that for political reasons extradition might not

Sir Robert is said to have relayed this conversation to an Irish
delegate, Mr TA Doyle, who is reported to have expressed complete
agreement with the view put forward by Sir Robert.

As the disagreements deepen, British officials record the Irish
position with barely-disguised frustration.

On February 28 memo, an official writes: "The one ray of hope
(although frankly I discount it) is that when the Irish review the
meeting at the end of last week they may conclude that the
publication of their case would be more embarrassing than its
withdrawal and thus they will begin to accept our point of view on

But when the Commission reported at the end of April, the British
and Irish teams issued separate conclusions on extradition.

Elsewhere in the British memos, the Irish delegation are described
as taking "less seriously the need for 'extreme urgency' in
producing a report" and having a "certain cavalier" attitude to the
facts of a supposed British/Irish agreement over the need for an
interim Commission report.

One memo notes "a slightly disturbing feature was a determined
attempt on the part of the Irish delegation" to interpret the terms
of reference as requiring the commission not to recommend the most
effective means of dealing with fugitive offenders from a legal
point of view, but of recommending means of implementing three main

"We could not shake them from this during the morning, but after
lunch the mood improved perceptibly." The author wonders if the
consumption of food and wine explained the improvement.


Cabinet Papers: Paramilitaries 'May Help Get Peace'

By Ben Lowry
01 January 2005

Paramilitaries could be brought into policing to help secure cross-
community acceptance, a top-level memo suggested in 1974.

In a Stormont paper that includes suggestions that have taken 30
years to move into the mainstream, Maurice Hayes wrote in July 1974
to Ken Bloomfield, offering "some preliminary notes on policing".

Hayes had been assistant secretary in the recently collapsed power
sharing Executive and Bloomfield permanent secretary.

In the three-page memo, Mr Hayes talked of the need for Catholics
to join the police. He wrote: "One way might be to recruit the
people most likely to do the shooting."

He added: "The classic profile of the policeman in any society is
an authoritarian personality, some degree of commitment, some
element of training, and some desire to impose his values on others
- and Long Kesh is full of them."

The 1974 papers show that Hayes, who was 46 during the loyalist
strike, and Bloomfield, who was 43, are the outstanding young
public servants of the era.

Barely a top-level meeting was not attended byBloomfield, who was
later knighted after he became head of the Northern Ireland Civil

Hayes held a number of other roles in the 1970s, including chairman
of the Community Relations Commission. He often crops up in the
1974 papers, from advising against an interface fence put on land
reserved for the Belfast Urban Motorway (which became the Westlink)
to receiving Orange Order complaints about alleged BBC bias.

One of the newly-released files is devoted to memos from Hayes to
Bloomfield which detail political developments in the Republic, in
observations that are often converstational in style.

"(The Irish Labour Party) is suffering the ideological tensions
which afflict all partly socialist policies in the British
political culture," Mr Hayes wrote on April 19. "If they are not
successful in government, the public dismisses this as inept
administration, and turns in relief to those who seem born to


Cabinet Papers: Paisley Wanted A Third Local Security Force

By Ben Lowry
01 January 2005

Ian Paisley demanded the creation of a third local security force
in 1974, because entry qualifications for the UDR and RUC Reserve
were too restrictive.

Newly unclassified local Government papers show that the DUP leader
was part of a delegation of "loyalist leaders", as the unionist
politicians are described in a memo, who met Secretary of State
Merlyn Rees at Stormont.

The June 25 meeting came a month after the men led loyalist workers
in the strike that collapsed the power sharing executive.

Bill Craig, the UUP MP and Ulster Vanguard leader, told the
gathering that there would be "massive support for a local unpaid
force under Government control which would allow room for
initiative by local commanders".

The memo records: "Dr Paisley said it was not a question of
reviving the B Specials; rather it would be a force recruited on a
wide community basis, attested and approved by the local police,
kitted out with some simple uniform and equipped with slow-firing

Mr Rees raised the risk that any such third force would be drawn
from one section of the community. "For example, how would
Andersonstown be policed?" he asked.

Winding up, Mr Rees saw "much merit" in a third force but warned of
a similar force being set up and controlled by the IRA.

Herbert Heslip, UUP MLA for South Down, recounted an incident in
Rathfriland in which he visited the scene of a car bomb. An Army
patrol refused to recognise his Assembly pass and made him lean
against a wall. "He was threatened in abusive and vulgar language
and a soldier fired a shot which hit the wall."

Mr Rees promised to look into the incident.


Doctors Call For NI Smoking Ban

All workers in NI deserve the right to a smoke-free working
environment, the British Medical Association has said.

As civil servants return to work in smoke-free buildings on
Tuesday, doctors applauded the NI civil service decision to ban
smoking in government departments.

But they said that all employees should enjoy the same health

They urged NI Health Minister Angela Smith to implement a smoking
ban similar to that in the Irish Republic.

BMA Northern Ireland council chairman Dr Brian Patterson said that
the government should not delay any longer.

"For each two weeks we put off this decision, we allow yet another
person to die. This is not acceptable and is morally wrong when it
could easily be prevented," he said.

"Health Minister Angela Smith has recognised that there is
incontrovertible evidence that passive smoking kills but still
continues to delay in putting an end to this situation. We do not
need further consultation. The time for action is now."

Dr Patterson said there was a "groundswell" of public opinion that
smoking should be banned.

Dr Peter Maguire, deputy chairman of the BMA's Board of Science and
an ardent campaigner for a ban on smoking in enclosed public
places, said civil servants in Northern Ireland would now enjoy
safer workplaces.

"This is great news for a section of Northern Ireland's workforce,
but for a large proportion of the remainder, there is still no
respite from breathing in deadly tobacco smoke," he said.

"These people are being forced to smoke tobacco through passive
inhalation and only legislation will give them the opportunity to
enjoy the same healthier environment that the minister for health
will be enjoying now that 2005 has arrived."

Dr Maguire said if the government had "the courage to take the same
radical step as the government in the Republic of Ireland did" then
employees could have the opportunity to work in a safe and healthy

The smoking ban in all Northern Ireland government departments came
into effect on 1 January. The ban sees smoking facilities removed
and staff forbidden to light up on site.

Prisons are exempt from the ban.

Since the end of March, smoking has been illegal in workplaces,
including pubs and restaurants in the Republic of Ireland.

It was the first country in the world to introduce such a
nationwide ban.

In 2004, it was revealed Northern Ireland could be the pilot area
for a smoking ban in workplaces across the UK.

It is believed discussions have already taken place between
ministers at Stormont and officials of the Department of Health in

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/04 07:24:26 GMT


Irish Show Jumping Star Dies

By Brendan Farrelly
04 January 2005

Former international showjumper Paul Darragh (51) has died suddenly
at his home in Co Meath.

A member of Ireland's famous three-in-a-row Aga Khan winning team
from 1977 to 1979, he represented the country at a host of
international events.

Mr Darragh, who ran Waterside Stud near Ashbourne, Co Meath, died
yesterday and is survived by his wife and three children.

The Dublin-born rider was a member of the "Dream Team" of the 1970s
which also included Eddie Macken, James Kernan and Capt Con Power.

His senior career took off when he partnered Nuxer, renamed PJ
Carroll, to become speed champion of the world with almost 100 wins
to his credit.

But he is best remembered for his partnership with Heather Honey.
Together they played a significant role in Ireland's three-in-a-row
Aga Khan Cup victories.

Equestrian Federation of Ireland president Avril Doyle said he was
a huge loss to showjumping.

Mr Darragh was instrumental in pushing for Eddie Macken to be
brought back into the Irish Olympic team.

More recently he concentrated on training riders and among his
former pupils was Princess Haya of Jordan.


Hoteliers Mourn Tragic Loss Of Corkman

The Irish Hotels Federation has expressed shock and sorrow at the
news of the tragic death in a climbing accident of Gerry O'Connor,
former owner/manager of the Blarney Park Hotel.

Mr O`Connor died after falling several hundred feet while mountain
climbing in County Kerry.

A post mortem is to be carried out today on the body which was
taken to Tralee General Hospital.

Mr O` Connor was found by the rescue team who were searching for
the Swedish tourist still missing in the area around Carrantouhill.

The Irish Hotels Federation President Richard Bourke said Mr
O`Connor was a highly regarded member of the National Council and a
former President of the Federation.

Live mid-market rates as of 2005.01.04

1.00 EUR Euro = 1.335270 USD
1 USD = 0.748915 EUR

1.00 GBP United Kingdom Pounds = 1.892250 USD
1 USD = 0.528473 GBP

1.00 GBP United Kingdom Pounds = 1.417050 EUR
1 EUR = 0.705693 GBP

Euro Continues Its Rise

The Euro is expected to continue its rise against the dollar and

Ulster Bank is also predicting an increase of half a percentage
point in European Central Bank Interest rates.

This would lead to higher mortgage and loan repayments.

The rise in the value of the Irish currency would hit exporters,
but is good news for those travelling to the United States or


Under New Management: Fanfare, Drums Mark Inauguration Ceremony

Lee State Bureau

HELENA - Amid the bleating of Irish bagpipers and the beat of an
American Indian drum, Brian Schweitzer was sworn in Monday as
Montana's 23rd governor.

Speaking shortly after the inauguration, Schweitzer, 49, invoked
the memories of his Irish and Ukrainian great-grandparents who
homesteaded in Montana almost a century ago, arriving with little
more than their dreams and faith in God.

"They dreamed of being at the front of the line," Schweitzer said.
"Let's remember that we take care of every Montanan, those
Montanans who will not make it to the front of the line, the
Montanans who can only dream about the next generation."

Schweitzer, a farmer-rancher from Whitefish, is the first
Democratic governor since Ted Schwinden left office in 1989. He
picked Republican John Bohlinger, a state senator from Billings, as
his running mate for lieutenant governor.

The ceremony, which included the inaugurations of 10 other state
officials including Bohlinger, took place in the Capitol rotunda,
and the crowds pushed wall to wall and looked down from balconies
two stories overhead.

The ceremony began at 10 a.m. with the kilted drum and bagpipe
corps of the Anaconda chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a
centuries-old Irish and American group formed to defend the Gaelic
lifestyle of Ireland from attack. Schweitzer is a member of the
Kalispell chapter.

The crowd was dotted with cowboy hats and American Indian

Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfeet Nation led the crowd in a
prayer in English and in his native Piegan language after an a
cappella trio sang "America the Beautiful." Old Person called
Schweitzer a "warrior" and he and other members of the Blackfeet
tribe performed the song usually reserved to honor young soldiers
going to war as part of their blessing for Schweitzer.

American Indian themes punctuated the ceremony. Schweitzer
specifically recognized the first Montanans in his speech.

"To those people who have hunted and fished our rivers for 400
generations, I say welcome to the front door of the Capitol of the
state of Montana," he said. "Today is a day for the least and the

As he closed his remarks, drummers from all of Montana's tribes
began singing and playing the Southern Cree Drum from the Rocky Boy
Indian Reservation, home of the Chippewa-Cree tribe. The sound,
crashing off the tiled floor of the rotunda and the marble pillars
and stairs, thundered through the rotunda. Schweitzer walked over
to the drum and began beating it with the other men, with Bohlinger
standing close behind.

"It was mentioned to us that he might (join us)," said Harlan
Gopher, head of the Chippewa-Cree drum group, who added that the
group sang an honor song with no specific words meant recognize

Also sworn in were Attorney General Mike McGrath, Auditor John
Morrison, Secretary of State Brad Johnson, Superintendent of Public
Instruction Linda McCulloch, Supreme Court Justices Jim Nelson,
John Warner and Brian Morris and Public Service Commissioners Brad
Molnar and Bob Raney.

Public Service Commissioner Doug Mood will be sworn in later.

The ceremony included other happy news: Schweitzer announced that
Bette Bohlinger, wife of the new lieutenant governor, has survived
a near-fatal bout with a sudden and acute form of blood cancer.
Bette Bohlinger has been undergoing aggressive chemotherapy at a
Billings hospital since her diagnosis Nov. 30.

Bohlinger spoke directly to his wife, who was watching the ceremony
through a closed-circuit television channel linked to her hospital

"We love you and we thank God for what we think is a miracle in
your healing," Bohlinger said.

Twice in the past month, Bette Bohlinger appeared at the verge of
death, but now, Bohlinger said in an interview after the ceremony,
she has recovered and will be moving with him to Helena permanently
this spring when she is well enough.

"We thank all of you for carrying Bette in your prayers," Bohlinger
told the crowd. "I just can't thank you enough."


Maeve Brennan: Homesick At The New Yorker By Angela Bourke

I'm a sucker for a good biography, particularly one of a relatively
unknown or forgotten female figure. Give me Katherine Routledge in
Easter Island or the Mercury 13 members of the astronaut corps and
I'll happily collapse on the couch to read for hours. Angela
Bourke's biography of writer Maeve Brennan is the perfect subject
for me and a book that I looked forward to reading. What I've
learned about this direct and dynamic writer is fascinating, but
also very, very sad. I'm an Irish American interested in women
writers but I had never heard of Brennan. I have to wonder just how
many other people are as equally unaware of her as I was.

Maeve Brennan was born in Dublin in 1917 and came to Washington DC
with her family in 1934. (Her father, Robert Brennan, was Ireland's
first Ambassador to the U.S.) While her sisters and brother
eventually settled into the traditional roles of their gender and
social background, Maeve became a very unexpected maverick. Bourke
herself can not explain exactly why she did not marry at a
predictable age and raise a family as her sisters did, only that
Maeve had her heart broken while in college which might have led
her to strike out further than her siblings. Regardless of the
reason, Maeve ended up in New York, first writing for Harper's
Bazaar until she landed at The New Yorker in the early 1940s. She
remained a columnist and writer for the magazine for thirty years
recording her own observations of city life while simultaneously
writing fiction that reflected her own Irish upbringing and
actually bordered on memoir. She did eventually marry, but as her
friend and coworker, writer William Maxwell wrote, "It may not have
been the worst of all possible marriages, but it was not something
you could be hopeful about." Maeve lasted with St Clair McKelway
for several stormy years before eventually divorcing. She never
married again.

She did keep writing, though through heartbreaks, divorce,
loneliness and eventual mental illness. Her columns for the
magazine were under the guise of the "the Long-Winded Lady" and
consisted of breezy send-ups of society and social tradition while
also touching on Maeve's own feelings about travel, holidays and
home. Her fiction was always about life in Ireland and could be
both biting and heartwarming when detailing the lives of people in
a country that still clung stubbornly to traditions steeped in the
church and strict convention. When she traveled home to visit her
family -- all of whom except her brother returned to Ireland --
Maeve always stuck out among the more conservative Irish women. She
did not attempt to fit in however, which might be the hallmark of
her life; Maeve Brennan never for a moment thought about trying to
fit in anywhere.

Bourke has an excellent subject in Maeve Brennan and from the level
of detail in the book she has clearly done voluminous research. She
states at the beginning that because Maeve's life was so influenced
by her upbringing it was necessary to write several chapters about
her parents and their lives before Maeve was born. As both Brennans
were heavily involved in the struggle for Irish independence I
found this early section to be fascinating. But after continuing on
to read about Maeve I began to think that she was a bit short
changed by the author. I honestly think that Bourke found the lives
of Bob and Una Brennan to be more interesting than that of Maeve.
Or perhaps there was just more information to draw on when writing
about them. Regardless of the reason, the sections on Maeve seemed
to be packed with unnecessary details about characters who appear
and disappear for only a page or two (and truly contribute little)
whereas there are bombings and political intrigue aplenty when
writing about her parents. Ultimately I think this book should have
been split in two separate volumes to give both generations
justice. Rather than suddenly ending the story of her parents and
shifting to Maeve's life, Bourke would have had the luxury to
explore their marriage further and to also provide more information
on Maeve's own personal life which also seems to occasionally
receive the short shrift.

This is probably the only book that will ever be written about the
Brennan family, however. They were unique and unusual people,
particularly Maeve, but they are not the kind of marquee names that
typically receive a great deal of attention in the publishing
world. I ended this biography with questions, which is not
necessarily a bad thing as it does mean the subject kept my
interest until the end, but it is also certainly frustrating. I
would like to know more about Maeve's relationship with the critic
Walter Kerr whom she apparently was engaged to, and I'd like to
know what happened to her husband. But from what Bourke has
suggested, the answers to most questions about Maeve Brennan can be
found in her own writing. So instead of lamenting the absence of a
longer biography, I think I will turn instead to recently
republished collections of Maeve's own work. Maybe there I will
find out how this bold and amazing woman could choose to live such
a sad and overwhelming life and why she had to live it so alone.

Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the New Yorker: An Irish Writer in Exile
by Angela Bourke
Counterpoint Press
ISBN: 1582432295
333 Pages

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

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