News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

January 05, 2005

01/05/05 - UDA Wants Adair Out

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

IO 01/05/05 UDA Wants Adair To Leave North On Release
NL 01/05/05 Game Of Cat And Mouse For Mad Dog
BT 01/05/05 Uproar Over Cash For Feud Victim Families
EX 01/05/05 House Prices Still Rising But Pace Slows
BT 01/05/05 Company Boss Admits Ploughing Up Reserve
BT 01/05/05 Football Club Declares War On Its Racist Supporters
TW 01/05/05 Minister Protects Site Of Historic Prototype Submarine
BG 01/05/05 Bk Rev: Writing & Character JazzUp Oh, Play That Thing
RT 01/05/05 Comics To Play Tsunami Relief Show
UT 01/05/05 Carlsbad Pub Owner Plans Benefit Concert
WP 01/05/05 Achill Self-Catering Home Scoops Award
EX 01/05/05 Temperatures Rise In IRL As Old Reliables Weather 2004


UDA Wants Adair To Leave North On Release

05/01/2005 - 07:31:35

The Ulster Defence Association wants its former west Belfast
commander, Johnny Adair, to leave the North when he is released
from jail later this month.

Adair is serving a sentence at Maghaberry Prison for directing
terrorism, but the sentence expires this month.

The feared loyalist leader had been released under the terms of the
Good Friday Agreement, but this was revoked because of his ongoing
involvement in paramilitarism, criminality and a vicious feud
between rival UDA factions.

Adair's wife, children and associates were forced to leave the
Shankill Road area of west Belfast by the UDA leadership after the
murder of another commander, John Gregg, which was blamed on Adair.

Gina Adair, who has been diagnosed with cancer, now lives in the
English city of Bolton, where Adair's son, Jonathan, was recently
jailed for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

The UDA in Belfast has made it repeatedly clear that it will target
Adair unless he too leaves the North when he is freed from prison
this month.


Game Of Cat And Mouse For Mad Dog

By Gemma Murray Security Correspondent
Tuesday 4th January 2005

Johnny Adair, who is widely expected to be released from jail
today, is being moved round the prison system in a bid to "keep his
adversaries guessing".

According to UDA sources, the former "brigadier" was moved out of
his Maghaberry prison cell on Saturday night and is now "somewhere
in England".

The UDA now believe he has been " spirited away to either a prison
in England or back to Bolton" in a bid to diffuse tension.

Yesterday, when a reporter called at Gina Adair's home at Chorley
New Road in Bolton, a nine-year-old child was sent to the door to
answer questions. "Johnny's not back yet," she said.

Last night, a prison source told the News Letter that Adair was
still in Maghaberry.

"He is still inside. They have just moved him out of the way to
keep people guessing."

A NIO spokesman said: "For security reasons we cannot discuss the
details of the prisoner's release date."

However, a UDA source told the News Letter the organisation "were
not that concerned" about Adair, calling him a "has been". "If he
takes the road of trying to get resettled in the lower Shankill it
is up to him - but I would not call it advisable."

The source said it was understood he was no longer in Northern

"Adair has been trying to spread stories in the media for the last
six months that he will be killed as soon as he is released in
Ulster, so the pressure really was on the Government to get rid of
him as quietly as possible," added the UDA source.

In 1995, Adair was convicted of directing terrorism and was
sentenced to 16 years, but was released in September 1999 under the
terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In the summer of 2000 a feud erupted between his C Company of the
UDA and the rival group, the UVF.

The then Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson ordered him to
be rearrested for drug-dealing and paramilitary activity.

Adair was released in May 2002, but he was expelled from the UDA
over his links with the loyalist splinter group, the LVF.

He was arrested and returned to prison in January 2003 after the
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy received information he was
involved in directing terrorism, drugs, extortion and distributing

In February 2003, two members of the UDA, including its leader John
Gregg, were murdered and supporters of Adair were blamed.

Faced with death threats, more than 100 members of C Company broke
links with Adair.

About 20 of his closest followers, including his wife Gina, fled
their homes.


Uproar Over Cash For Feud Victim Families

By Mary Fitzgerald
05 January 2005

A government victims' fund is to pay the families of those killed
in internal paramilitary feuds and those killed by the IRA-linked
Direct Action Against Drugs group, it can be revealed today.

The decision by the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund has been
criticised by some victims groups as an "appeasement to

The Belfast Telegraph has obtained a letter outlining the move
which was signed by the organisation's secretary Carolyn McCormick
and sent to victim support groups throughout the province.

"Following the recent consultation with victim support groups the
fund held strategic planning days on December 2 and 3 to look at
the issues raised by the groups," the letter says, before listing
the decisions made by the fund's board of directors.

These include:

internal feuds: the board decided with immediate effect to 'pay the
families of those killed in internal feuds';

DAAD deaths: the board decided with immediate effect to pay the
families of those killed by DAAD.

The self-styled Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD) group - a cover
name for the Provisional IRA - killed more than a dozen alleged
criminals and drug dealers in the 1990s.

Willie Frazer, of the south Armagh-based victims group FAIR,
slammed the decision to include the families of those killed in
paramilitary feuds as a "disgrace".

He said: "Given that we have lobbied the fund for ages to help
genuine victims and have been told that there's nothing available,
this appears to be nothing more than an appeasement to

The DUP's Ian Paisley Jr called for the Government to show
'proportionality' in dealing with victims' families. "If the
Government is going to assist in controversial cases like this
involving people who may be seen as questionable victims then it
must show fairness across the board and ensure that the families of
innocent victims are taken care of too," he said.

The Northern Ireland Memorial Fund could not be reached for

Since being set up in 1999, the fund, which is assisted by the
Government as well as corporate and private donations, has received
more than £6m in Government aid.


House Prices Still Rising But Pace Slows

By Ian Guider

SECOND-HAND house prices in Ireland rose by 13.1% last year,
according to new figures from the country's largest estate agents.

But the figure is below the growth rates of the past two years, the
Sherry FitzGerald survey shows. In 2002 house prices soared by 20%
and by 14.6% in 2003.

Dublin house prices continued to outpace the rest of the country,
growing by 3.4% in the final three months of 2004, compared to a
national average of 2.5%.

For the year as a whole, Dublin prices increased 16.6%, up from
12.4% in the previous year.

House price inflation has been a concern to many economists and
even the normally reserved Central Bank has indicated it is worried
about the surge in borrowing to finance property purchases.

Sherry FitzGerald's chief economist Marian Finnegan, said 2004 was
'surprisingly resilient' for the Irish property market.

"The pace of inflation did ease somewhat as the year progressed
with indications that the market was beginning to absorb the impact
of increased supply.

"That said, the very competitive interest rate environment combined
with the underlying strength of owner-occupier demand facilitated
above trend price inflation for the 12 months to December 2004."

Ms Finnegan said the increase in the threshold before stamp duty is
paid by first-time buyers for second-hand homes, announced in the
last budget, should see a continuation of growth this year, but at
a slower rate.

She said an analysis of purchases last year shows first-time buyers
are still very active in the second-hand market, snapping up more
than one-third of all properties last year.

Investors, facing falling rental yields as more people get on the
housing ladder thanks to a record number of new homes built,
accounted for 20% of purchases, roughly the same as 2003. Ms
Finnegan said the key issue for the housing market this year will
be interest rates, which she said could rise by up to 0.75%.

"Such an increase in the cost of borrowing money will limit
consumer expenditure in all sectors of the economy including the
property market and therefore limit the potential for price

She said a rates hikes and the increase in the supply of new homes
will lead to price growth slipping to 10% for 2005. "It is
anticipated that the greatest proportion of this price growth will
take place in the middle to upper end of the market with a slightly
lower level of price growth anticipated in the starter home section
of the property market."

Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan said a rise in house prices won't be
matched by employee wage hikes, making the dream of owning a home
'increasingly unaffordable' for many.


Company Boss Admits Ploughing Up Reserve

By David Gordon
05 January 2005

A Co Down businessman is at the centre of an investigation into
damage caused at a Strangford Lough nature reserve, it can be
revealed today.

Engineering firm boss Ken Cooke has admitted to The Belfast
Telegraph that he ploughed up low tidal land, prompting a probe by
the Department of the Environment.

Mr Cooke is denying any wrongdoing but the DoE today described the
damage as "extremely serious".

Environmental groups have also condemned the ploughing, which is
believed to have destroyed up to 15 acres of eel grass, a vital
food source for the Lough's internationally important population of

Strangford Lough is one of Northern Ireland's most sensitive
environmental locations and is a designated Area of Special
Scientific Interest (ASSI).

Mr Cooke - from Newtownards firm Cooke Bros - told the Belfast
Telegraph that he has already been cautioned by a DoE investigation

The businessman said he and an associate took tractors and ploughs
onto the shoreline area on two days over the festive period to
clean classic plough sets. He claimed farmers do the same thing.

"There were no signs on the slipway to say you couldn't do it and
somebody else had been in ploughing before we went down," he said.

"Horses are allowed on it. There are also jet skis on it and people
digging up lugworms. Why should I be any different?"

A DoE spokesman said an investigation is continuing, with a view to
deciding whether prosecution proceedings should be initiated.

The DoE spokesman said: "EHS views the damage to the ecology of the
shore at Island Hill as extremely serious.

"It will take many years for the ploughed beds of eel grass to
fully recover.

"Grazing wildfowl such as brent-geese from Arctic Canada depend on
this plant for food in winter.

"Invertebrates such as ragworms and cockles will have been killed.
Wading birds such as knot and oyster catcher depend on these. Their
recovery may take a few years also."

The National Trust stressed that permission for the ploughing was
neither sought nor given.

"We want to send out a clear message that this sort of activity
will not be tolerated," he added.

Castle Espie manager, James Orr, today said a "significant amount"
of the eel grass has been destroyed.


Football Club Declares War On Its Racist Supporters

Ballymena vows to ban the bad boys.

By Nevin Farrell
05 January 2005

Officials and fans of an Ulster football club engulfed by a racism
storm have taken major strides to repair their image which they
said was tarnished by a handful of mindless 'supporters'.

A row erupted after the big December 27 Irish League derby match
between Ballymena United and Coleraine when a small number of
people in the home section made racist chants when the away team's
black South African player Bryce Moon touched the ball.

Ballymena United's loyal supporters have strongly condemned the
behaviour and said the trouble was not caused by Showgrounds
regulars but by the "one-game-a-season- brigade" who only turn up
for the annual festive showdown with their biggest rivals

And to demonstrate that Ballymena's mainstream support is not
racist, fans at the first home match since the racist debacle,
displayed a 15ft wide banner which declared: 'True BUFC fans
against racism'.

The club has already vowed to ban the chant culprits if they are
identified and at Monday's Loughgall match, Ballymena fans were
handed hundreds of specially printed leaflets which reiterated the
warning to anyone engaging in racism, sectarianism or other types
of abuse.

The message, from Chief Safety Officer Adrian Scullion, said: "I'm
sure you are all aware of the recent bad publicity which has
surrounded our club due to the words and actions of a few mindless

"Ballymena United Football Club recognises that everyone has the
right to follow his/her own direction in life. We will endeavour to
ensure that an environment exists to actively encourage all members
of the community to feel welcome at the club.

"The club views racial, religious or sexual abuse/harassment of
this nature to be totally unacceptable. Any infringement of the
above policy statement may result in a total ban from Ballymena
United Football Club and any matches that the club are involved in.

"I am aware that this does not apply to true supporters and I would
appeal for your help as we attempt to eradicate this type of
behaviour from our sport," the leaflets pointed out.

Cash was also collected at the January 3 Loughgall game towards the
Irish League's Kick Racism out of Football initiative.

In a further gesture, genuine United fans say they will write
personally to Bryce Moon criticising the actions of the minority
and pledging that he will receive a warm welcome when he next plays
in Ballymena.

Ballymena's DUP mayor, Hubert Nicholl - a big United fan who was at
the controversial Coleraine match - also condemned the racism.

He said he regularly hosts receptions for people from across the
globe in Ballymena and they always comment on the friendliness of
the local people.


Heritage Minister Protects Wreck Site Of Historic Prototype

By David Prudames

Image: shows a photo of a very small submarine on the surface with
a small group of sailors on the casing of the vessel.

Holland no.5 was launched in 1902, but foundered off the coast of
East Sussex in 1912. Courtesy Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

The wreck site of a prototype submarine built at the turn of the
20th century and containing one of the first periscopes has been
given legal protection by the Heritage Minister, Andrew McIntosh.

Coming into effect on January 4, the order protects the final
resting place of the Royal Navy's Holland no.5 from being damaged
by unauthorised interference from divers.

Image: shows a photo of the cramped interior of Holland 1, on show
in Gosport at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

Inside Holland no.1, the Royal Navy's first submarine. Photo: Jon
Pratty. © 24 Hour Museum.

"The Holland no.5 played a short but significant role in the
evolution of the British submarine and the survival of this boat
gives a unique opportunity to study the technology of the time
including the possible prototype of the submarine periscope,"
explained Andrew McIntosh.

"Only two of the Holland submarines survive today. The Holland no.5
is thought to be intact and in good condition," he added.

"I am pleased that this order will preserve the wreck site allowing
proper study of the vessel and preventing any vandalism by trophy

Image: shows a photo of the underside of the hatch of the Holland

For some early submariners, this was the only way out. Underside
view of the hatch to the submarine's outer casing, Holland 1. Jon
Pratty. © 24 Hour Museum.

Built by the Holland Torpedo Boat Company and launched by the Royal
Navy in May 1902, Holland no.5 was the last of five prototype
submarines built after the British Admiralty decided to evaluate
the submarine's potential as a weapon in the 1890s.

The vessel cost what was then a vast £35,000, but in August 1912
she foundered and was lost.

In 2000, the wreck was discovered off the coast of East Sussex and
following a survey scan in April 2001, the Archaeological Diving
Unit confirmed it as Holland no.5

The Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites advised the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport that because of its
historic significance the site was a strong candidate for

Under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, the Secretary of State has
the power to designate wreck sites which are considered worthy of
protection from unauthorised interference on account of their
archaeological, historical or artistic importance.

Once such a site has been designated, it is a criminal offence for
a person to interfere with it except under the authority of a

Bob Mealings, Curator of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in
Portsmouth, told the 24 Hour Museum that alongside its predecessors
Holland no.5 occupies a significant position in the modern history
of submarine craft.

The Holland series of prototypes, he said, "represent a culmination
of advances throughout the late 19th century, based on the designs
of John Holland."

Irish American inventor John Holland discovered a way to combine
electric power and the internal combustion engine to create
underwater propulsion and sold his designs to many of the world's
navies, including the United States of America.

His system was so successful and important that it would remain at
the heart of submarine technology for half a century.

"In many respects," added Bob Mealings, "there's no great change
until the 1950s when you get the first nuclear submarines."

The most significant of the Royal Navy's Holland craft now has
pride of place in the collection of the Royal Navy Submarine

Holland no.1 was launched in 1901, but was lost in the Solent in
1913 while being towed to the breaker's yard. In 1981 she was found
again and raised from the seabed a year later.

The historic vessel then underwent a painstaking conservation
process, before being opened to the public in 2001.

Royal Navy Submarine Museum
Haslar Jetty Road, Gosport, PO12 2AS, England
Open: Open every day (except December 24-25): 10.00 - 17.30 (April
- October) - 16.30pm (November - March).


Book Review: Crisp Writing, Unforgettable Character Jazz Up 'Oh,
Play That Thing'

By Julie Hatfield, Globe Correspondent January 5, 2005

Oh, Play That Thing, By Roddy Doyle, Viking, 378 pp., $24.95

Five years after novelist Roddy Doyle brought us the fearless,
inimitable IRA assassin Henry Smart in his best-selling novel ''A
Star Called Henry," he brings back Henry, who has crossed the pond
to make a new life of petty crime in America.

While we have read many accounts of that awe-inspiring moment when
an immigrant arrives on Ellis Island to make a new and better life,
not nearly as much has been written about all the not-so-awesome
moments following the landing. What happens in the gritty streets
of New York's slums and back alleys as the poor immigrants try to
make their way in the new world? For most new arrivals, including
Henry -- accepted into the United States in 1924 under an assumed
British citizenship (because he is wanted in his native Ireland) --
it is not a pretty or an easy life. Henry proceeds straight to the
Lower East Side and takes a job wearing a sandwich board
advertising electric razors, spectacles, fountain pens, and
cafeterias. Soon the entrepreneurial young man moves from walking
the streets under his own board to buying a bunch of them and
hiring other young men to wear them.

The only problem is that the Mafia already owns the sandwich-board
business, along with the bootlegging business and just about every
other moneymaking venture in the neighborhood. The novel is packed
with the color of the '20s, from hard liquor and speakeasies to
narrow escapes from gangsters. Doyle sets the scenes with spare,
strong language. In explaining how a woman friend saves Henry's
life in one situation, Doyle writes, ''The scream. I looked.
Mildred. Behind Johnny No. Standing, heels apart a foot or so. I
couldn't see her face. She had a gun."

When New York becomes too dangerous, Henry grabs a train
(literally, on its underside) and moves to Chicago, where he
discovers jazz and a contemporary, the young Louis Armstrong. It is
here, in Doyle's description of this new music and of Henry's
experiences with Louis, where the author's poetic language shines.
Henry takes a job handling boxes in a packing house with fellow
immigrants: Poles, Lithuanians, and Slovaks. Every night he goes
out to hear the music he'd never heard before: American jazz. ''It
was furious, happy and lethal; it killed all other music. It was
new, like me," he says. And then there's the trumpet man, Louis:
''He was dancing now as he played, as if his legs were tied to the
notes that jumped from the bell of his horn."

Louis needs a white unofficial manager, and Henry is there at the
right time. When they're short on cash, they rob houses and then,
always running from the law, they return to New York, this time
Harlem. All of Henry's activities are set amid historical
happenings of the period. Sacco and Vanzetti are executed on the
day he is introduced to Louis, for example, and the black man's
take on the Wall Street crash is different from the white's. Doyle
writes, ''The . . . crash was weeks-old news but it hadn't been
heard yet in Harlem; if heard, it hadn't been felt. No colored man
ever jumped out a window cos his pockets went empty on him.
Wouldn't be room on the sidewalk."

Henry has a true love who comes in and out of the story, and a
daughter, whom he loves as well. But his ribald and shabby
lifestyle doesn't mesh with family life, so most of his time is
spent alone, or with Louis, or a variety of women.

Doyle doesn't waste words in setting a scene. For example: ''We
were dead here. A hotel room was the perfect place of execution.
I'd known and done a few. One way in and out, a gunshot easily
lost, someone else's mess." Sometimes, he pares it right down to
one- or two-word sentences that tell it all, sharply. The shorter
his sentences get, the more punch they seem to have. Example: ''I
saw him. Joe. The corner. The hat. Fedora, like my own. Gone."

The action is fast, the language authentic and earthy. Henry has a
lot of cool moves, many with the ladies, and he comes up with
possibly one of the best pickup lines ever heard in a singles bar.
When he meets a woman of questionable morals, she tells him her
name is ''Dora, on Mondays. --What do they call you on Tuesdays? I
asked her. --Why? --I'd like to know your name when I wake up
beside you."

Henry Smart may not be admirable, but he is unforgettable.


05 January 2005

Comics To Play Tsunami Relief Show

Many of Ireland's top comics are to perform in aid of the Irish Red
Cross Tsunami Appeal at Dublin's Vicar St on Sunday 16 January.

The event will also raise money for the Irish Sri Lanka Trust Fund.

The Comedy Circus, to be hosted by Barry Murphy, will feature
stand-up comedy, sketches and music.

Des Bishop, Aprés Match, Mario Rosenstock, Tara Flynn and the
Camembert Quartet are among the acts that will perform at the gig.

The event's organisers will also host an auction on the night and
are seeking donations of items worth in excess of €150.

Tickets for the show, which begins at 8pm, cost €25 and can be
purchased at Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

Donations to the Irish Red Cross can be made on 1850 50 70 70 and
to the Irish Sri Lanka Trust Fund via Account No 04970044, Sort
Code 931160 AIB South Richmond Street.


Carlsbad Pub Owner Plans Benefit Concert

Musicians to help tsunami victims

By Elena Gaona
Union-Tribune Staff Writer
January 5, 2005

CARLSBAD – Restaurant owner and musician Ned Giblin said he felt he
had to do something for tsunami victims, even though he hasn't
visited the countries that were hit and doesn't know anyone there.

So he's doing what he knows best – playing music – and helping
organize a benefit concert Sunday.

"You can always pick up the phone and make a donation. But grief is
rather helped by getting together and helping each other out," said
Giblin of Carlsbad, who with his wife, Brenda, owns Tom Giblin's
Irish Pub and Restaurant.

"What really gets us is the children. You see a bleakness on their
faces now," he said.

Proceeds from the event, which will be held from noon to 6 p.m.,
will benefit UNICEF, the worldwide relief agency that specializes
in helping children.

The concert will feature performances by bands and artists playing
a range of styles, from Irish music to punk rock and alternative.
In addition to Gib-lin's band, Brehon Law, performers – all of whom
will donate their time – will include Matt Hensley of Flogging
Molly, The Plug Uglies, Faceless, The Clay Colton Band, Skelpin,
and Kitchen Fire.

Giblin, a native of Ireland, said the local Irish-American
community wants to help as their ancestors were helped in the 1800s
during the famine in Ireland.

"There was a time when we were in need and others came to our aid,"
he said.

Local restaurants will set up food booths at the pub and donate
their proceeds.

Dozens of North County merchants, including surf-shop owners and
attorneys, are donating items and services to be auctioned off or

David Lally, also an Irish native and a band mate of Giblin's, said
people were just waiting to get involved.

"You feel a disconnect sometimes in San Diego. I was frustrated I
couldn't get on a plane and go help," Lally said. "This is a
tangible way to help."

The pub is at 640 Grand Ave., between Madison and Roosevelt
streets, in the Carlsbad Village area. Its parking lot will be
fenced off for the event.

The suggested minimum donation for admission is $5. Donations will
be tax-deductible and go to UNICEF for the estimated 1.5 million
children affected by the tsunamis in India, Indonesia, Thailand,
Burma and Sri Lanka.

More information is available by calling (760) 729-7234.

Elena Gaona: (760) 476-8239;


Achill Self-Catering Home Scoops Award

By: Cróna Esler

THE winners of the first-ever Gulliver Ireland Tourism
Accommodation Awards were announced last month, with Noreen Walsh's
Self-Catering House, on Achill Island, taking the honours in the
Self-Catering Accommodation category for the Ireland West Region.

Castlebar-based Noreen, together with her family, bought a house in
the Keel area on the picturesque Achill Island some six years ago,
with a view to renting it out as a self-catering guesthouse.

Having met all the relevant criteria, the family were in a position
to put their house on the Bord Fáilte website and have since
maintained their standard of excellence to hold their position on
the site. The Walsh's were also given the opportunity to place
their house on the Gulliver Ireland website, in association with
Bord Fáilte.

The Gulliver Ireland Tourism Accommodation Awards were established
this year to recognise the online marketing excellence demonstrated
by Hotels, Guesthouses, B&Bs and Self-Catering accommodation
suppliers, particularly through their association and co-operation
with Gulliver Ireland.

The announcement of these awards were made as, which
is owned by Gulliver Ireland, reported that online bookings through
this site and the many associated and affiliated websites have
risen by 40% this year, with 265,000 bed nights booked online since
January. Noreen and her family knew nothing of the award until she
received a call from the company last week and was subsequently
sent a beautiful leather-bound atlas of Ireland and a certificate
marking the award. The database of Gulliver Ireland, which is
headquartered in Killorglin, Co Kerry, contains all approved
accommodation providers on the island of Ireland, regardless of
size or location. The system processes bookings for almost 10,000
member properties from the Internet, Tourist Offices and the
International Contact Centre. It functions as Ireland's national
tourism information database and powers, among others, the Fáilte
Ireland website,

As the Walsh family are based in Castlebar, Noreen employs a lady
from Keel to look after the house for her. Ms Adrianne O'Gorman,
who runs the local fish-shop in the area, does a tremendous job of
ensuring that the house is kept in immaculate condition all year

"There are certain standards that have to be met at all times in
this business and Bord Fáilte can do a spot-check at any time to
make sure that the house is up to scratch. Adrianne does a great
job for us and I've only good things to say about her," voiced

All accommodation providers using Gulliver Ireland to market their
premises were considered for the awards and winners were chosen
based on a number of criteria, particularly for effective online
sales management, a skill which is becoming ever more vital to
tourism enterprises of all sizes.

Dr Stewart Stephens, Managing Director of Gulliver Ireland
commented that over the last few years, great developments have
been made in the domestic tourism sector in the area of Internet
sales and marketing. According to Mr Stephens, properties of all
sizes are embracing technology and taking advantage of the many
online tools and sales channels available.

"This awards scheme was set up to recognise the efforts of the many
accommodation providers who have accepted the challenge of
marketing themselves in this new and ever-changing online
environment. We also hope to show others in the tourism industry
what is possible if they effectively harness the online marketing
tools to attract more visitors to their properties," he said.

Continuing, he praised the work that is being carried out by Noreen
Walsh. "This is a great example of what can be achieved when a good
product is well marketed online. The results it has achieved
through Gulliver Ireland, by consistent availability management,
simply reflect their overall focus in this area," opined Dr
Stephens. The awards were broken down into eight geographic regions
with four category awards in each region. Aside from the Walsh's
Self-Catering House winning an award, the Ardla B&B on Fr Griffin
Rd in Galway also claimed a prize, as too did the Inishmore
Guesthouse at the same address and the Park House Hotel and Eyre
House in Galway city. The Sligo Park Hotel also won their section
in the North West Region.


Temperatures Rise In Ireland As Old Reliables Weather 2004

By Catherine Shanahan

MAD March winds, the sunny south east and a white Christmas - Old
Man Weather breathed new life into tired clichés in 2004.

After years of only dreaming, the nation finally woke up to the
Christmas Guinness had predicted - snow - despite temperatures
being on average one degree higher during most of December. In fact
the snowfall was all the more surprising given it was the mildest
December recorded since 1988 at many weather stations around the

Rainfall totals for the month were below normal, except in parts of
the northwest and north. Those blessed with the least number of wet
days lived in Kilkenny; in the wild and wet of Mayo, Belmullet had
22 days of misery compared to just nine in the south east. Nearby
Rosslare recorded 70 hours of sunshine and the highest monthly
temperature of 13.5°C on December 22 (its highest December value
since 1994).

But then, the south east was merely following the pattern it had
set during the year - the number of wet days came in at 120 - 80
less than in the northwest.

Nationally, according to Met Éireann, it was warmer and sunnier
everywhere, bearing out warnings of global warming. Annual mean
temperatures were above the 1961-90 normal for the eleventh
successive year, ranging between half a degree and one degree
higher generally.

Apart from the months of July and October, every month of 2004 was
warmer than normal. The highest temperatures of the year coincided
with the bank holiday on August 1/2, rising above 25°C in many
places and over 27°C at Birr.

The year's lowest temperatures were measured during late January
and late February in Kilkenny - air and ground temperatures of -
7.7°C and -15.6°C - the lowest such values at the station for
around 20 years.

Sunshine totals for 2004 were above normal everywhere, although not
as high as 2003. February and March were exceptionally sunny months
and were the sunniest on record in places. Cork Airport measured 16
hours of sunshine on June 15, the highest daily value of the year
and the highest value at the station since it opened in 1962.

May and November were the driest months relative to normal, while
March and October were very wet, especially in the south. The
heaviest falls during the year occurred during the second half of
October, leading to significant flooding in parts of the south and

The strongest winds of the year at many stations were measured on
March 20, but Belmullet recorded the highest gust of the year, 73
knots (84mph) on February 3.

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

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