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January 15, 2005

01/15/05 – War Of Words Over SDLP Restored Govt Remark

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

IO 01/15/05 War Of Words Over Restored Government In North
BT 01/15/05 Paisley Sees Remarks As 'Genesis For A Breakthrough'
BT 01/15/05 Cross-Community Island Retreat Plan
GA 01/15/05 Major Changes For Eyre Square's Busy North-East Side
GA 01/15/05 Hollywood Stars To Film Fantasy Blockbuster In Galway
GA 01/15/05 Galway's Thoughts On 1916 Revealed In Minute Book


War Of Words Over Restored Government In North
2005-01-15 14:10:02+00

A war of words erupted between nationalists in the North today after an SDLP representative raised the possibility of restoring devolved government without Sinn Féin involvement.

South Down MP Eddie McGrady said all options should be explored in the wake of the security assessment that the IRA was behind the £26.5m (€37.8m) raid on the Northern Bank.

Mr McGrady said all aspects of the political process had to be reviewed and that included the possibility of a new coalition.

"The democratic process must not be held up by the decisions of the IRA Army Council," he added.

But Sinn Féin Assembly member Catriona Ruane accused Mr McGrady of being prepared to abandon the politics of inclusivity espoused by former SDLP leader John Hume.

Ms Ruane, who is contesting Mr McGrady's seat in the next Westminster election, said: "Many nationalists will be horrified that Mr McGrady is prepared to contemplate the politics of discrimination and exclusion.

"Sinn Féin is the largest nationalist and largest pro-Agreement party in the North and we will not allow the rights of our electorate to be undermined by the SDLP."

Mr McGrady angrily denied he was breaking ranks with the leadership of his own party.

"I totally subscribe to the principle of inclusivity but we have a situation whereby people do not want to conform to requirements of democracy," he said.

"If people want to stay out of something because they don't want to accept the rules of the game then that's their decision."

Mr McGrady said that if the Sinn Féin leadership divorced themselves from the IRA this would change the political landscape.

"They don't seem prepared to do that. They talk about their political mandate but people didn't mandate them to encourage or protect the criminal activities carried out by the IRA."


The IRA betrayed us, says McGrady

Paisley Sees Remarks As 'The Genesis For A Breakthrough'

By Deborah McAleese and Lisa Smyth
15 January 2005

DUP leader Ian Paisley today welcomed calls by a senior SDLP politician to consider excluding Sinn Fein from a Stormont coalition.

MP Eddie McGrady broke party ranks by suggesting the SDLP, UUP and DUP should think about going it alone without republicans.

Speaking on the BBC's Inside Politics this afternoon, Mr McGrady said the IRA betrayed nationalists by carrying out the Northern Bank robbery and it was now time to consider the option of a coalition that does not include Sinn Fein.

"Inclusivity is now the buzz word but it does not mean you have to stretch parameters to include everyone.

"If they want to exclude themselves by their extremism then there is very little we can do about that."

Seizing on Mr McGrady's remarks, Mr Paisley is now calling for an urgent meeting with the British Government to try and implement the suggestion.

Mr Paisley said Mr McGrady's words could be "the genesis for a breakthrough that the people of Northern Ireland deserve."

"I welcome these comments and they deserve very careful consideration. The DUP will now be seeking a meeting with the government to act expeditiously on this matter," he said.

Mr McGrady's comments come just days after John Hume called on Chief Constable Hugh Orde to disclose the evidence that led him to conclude that the Northern Bank heist was carried out by the IRA.

Mr Hume said because of the severe political consequences of blaming the IRA on the robbery, this evidence should be unveiled.

Reacting to Mr McGrady's comments, another senior SDLP party member, who asked not to be named, said: "Eddie has a good political morality which is sadly lacking in the political process," he said.

Meanwhile, in Dublin last night at an event marking the centenary of the founding of Sinn Fein, party president Gerry Adams called on all the political parties to join together and ensure the political institutions and the Good Friday Agreement are implemented.

"We know, as the leading nationalist party in the north and the largest pro-Agreement party, that there are huge responsibilities on us.

"We are up to the task but we cannot achieve this alone. So let us join with those in other parties who share our vision of a new Ireland," he said.

Meanwhile, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said that the UUP's call for a unionist electoral pact is to some extent a diversion from the real battle for unionists at the next Westminster election.

"The real contest is not between the DUP and the UUP, but between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

"The unpalatable but unmistakable reality, even after the Northern Bank robbery, is that Sinn Fein are set to virtually wipe the SDLP off the electoral map. Only the DUP stand in their way of becoming the biggest party in Northern Ireland.

"The UUP know that they cannot hope to compete with Sinn Fein and are consigned to mainly seeking to hold on in the seats they presently occupy. Every commentator knows that the UUP are in electoral retreat and can only act as a spoiler for unionists who can actually win."


Cross-Community Island Retreat Plan

By Fiona McIlwaine Biggins
15 January 2005

An old monastic island in the Fermanagh lakeland could soon be home to a modern-day cross-community Christian retreat aimed at giving local young people the chance to meet and "learn to live together".

Plans are under way to establish Cleenish Renewal Centre on Cleenish Island in Lough Erne, a cross-community centre with a Christian ethos that would bring young people together from across Northern Ireland and beyond.

Fermanagh District Council has contributed a maximum sum of £3,000 to Bellanaleck Community Partnership that will go towards updating its economic appraisal of the project; which is to be submitted to the Department of Social Development as part of a funding bid.

The group has been working on the project for a number of years, hampered at times by changes in funding rules that have meant reassessing the scheme.

But it now proposes to develop a 68-bed hostel, a 12-pitch caravan park, conference, dining and kitchen facilities, and is working towards a June deadline.

Back in the sixth century, St Columbanus studied at the monastery founded by the holy man Sinnel on Cleenish Island in Lough Erne.


Major Changes For Eyre Square's Busy North-East Side


Tomorrow sees the start of major renovation works on the always busy northwestern side of Eyre Square which will see new pathways, seating, disabled car parking, and a re-oriented taxi rank.

From the offices of the Galway Advertiser, Dunnes Stores, and across to Zhivago's, Supermac's, etc, the new pathway, already installed around most of the east side of the square will be extended. This will involve pedestrians having to walk on the roads on specially designated areas, separated from the traffic. There will be temporary access provided to the buildings affected.

As part of the works four disabled parking spaces will be provided and there will be some seating provided in the area. The works will also result in vehiclular access to Rosemary Avenue from Eyre Square ended. That part of the avenue between the two Dunnes stores will become a pathway. Vehiclular access to the avenue will be from Eyre Street only. Pedestrians will still be able to access the avenue from Eyre Square and Eyre Street.

The works will also result in the re-orientation of the taxi rank. When this section of the square is completed the taxi rank will begin at Dunnes Stores and the Galway Advertiser offices. It will queue back to the Bank of Ireland and Cuba* then turn around the new central island begin constructed, then queue back towards Richardsons and down the east side of the square towards Garvey's. All works are due to be completed in March.

However the works have resulted in the city's best known trader Gerry Devaney moving from his traditional spot across from Supermacs to Rosemary Avenue. In previous discussions with the Galway City Council, Mr Devaney said he would only move to Rosemary Avenue, which many people use to get to Dunnes Stores and Roches, but not any other area of the square as "they were not feasible for us".

Following many meetings with City Hall, Mr Devaney won his right to trade in Rosemary Avenue. "Last Friday we agreed that we would move to Rosemary Avenue," he told the Galway Advertiser. "In every other meeting they said they would never put us here but on Friday they agreed . We will stay here until the end of March and then we will be moving down to the north west of Eyre Square, near our old trading spot. We will be meeting them in February to discuss that."

Mr Devaney said this was a "a very happy conclusion" and has thanked officials involved in the meeting "for the respect they gave us and letting us trade here". Mr Devaney has also thanked Dunnes Stores. "Dunnes have been very good to us," he said, "wishing us well, and taking down two glass advertising signs on their wall to make room for us."


Hollywood Stars To Film Fantasy Blockbuster In Galway


Scream star Neve Campbell and Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange will be spending this summer in the Aran Islands filming the first Hollywood blockbuster to be made in the west for decades.

The pair will be starring in the € 15million fantasy film The Mermaids Singing which is based on the bestselling book by Lisa Carey.

The film will also be shot in other areas around the county and is a welcome boost for locals in the film and acting industry.

The project was brought to Ireland following representations by the Irish Film Board which first pitched for the project two years ago.

Filming is expected to begin on the Aran Islands and Galway coastline in early summer and part of the production will also be shot in Romania.

Jessica Lange is best remembered for her steamy scenes with Jack Nicholson in The Postman Always Rings Twice, while Neve Campbell made her name as the victim of a series of knife-wileding maniacs in the Scream movies.

When filming in Galway it is believed the stars will be staying in Galway city or in Ashford Castle.

The movie is about a young girl who returns to the enchanted island where she was born.

The film will be directed by Robin Swicord and is being produced by New Films International.


Galway's Thoughts On 1916 Revealed In City Hall Minute Book


The differing views adopted by Galwegians in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising can be seen in a book of minutes from the era currently on display in City Hall.

The book is a volume of minutes of the meetings of the Galway Urban District Council from November 7 1912 to December 14 1916. Yesterday it was displayed open at the page recording the minutes of the May 4 1916 meeting.

Dublin, Galway, Tyrone, Wexford, and Louth took part in the 1916 Rising which began on April 23 of that year. The Galway rebellion was led by Liam Mellows and with some 600 volunteers, he occupied Athenry and held positions in Oranmore and Craughwell. However, following the Rising's collapse in Dublin, Mellows disbanded the volunteers.

The minutes for the May 4 meeting recall a proposal by a Mr Young on the recent "Sinn Féin Rebellion" [Sinn Féin actually played no part in 1916] expressing "utmost abhorrence" at the "deeds just perpetrated". However a large blue X marks the proposal indicating it was rescinded some time afterwards. This illustrates the change in public mood from hostility to admiration and respect for the volunteers.

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005
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