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March 14, 2005

03/15/05 – How UVF Brought Wars to Edinburgh

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Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Mar 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

DR 03/15/05 Crime Capital: How UVF Brought The Wars To Edinburgh
SF 03/14/05 PSNI Accused Of Manipulating McCartney Investigation
IO 03/14/05 'Stay Out Of Politics,' McGuinness Warns
EX 03/14/05 Sisters To Meet Hillary Clinton In Washington
IO 03/14/05 Second SF Candidate Denies Seeing McCartney Brawl
NY 03/14/05 SF President, In New York, Plays Down White House Snub
BB 03/14/05 US Snubs 'Send SF Vital Message'-V
TO 03/14/05 Sinn Fein Hit By $1m US Ban
WS 03/14/05 Rep. Walsh Calls For End Of IRA
SF 03/14/05 Council Hosts Reception For Families Of Collusion Victims
IT 03/15/05 Expert On Passage Graves Concerned About Emissions
KH 03/14/05 Centennial Celebration For Man Who Kept Houston Out Of Civil War

NW 03/14/05 Greyhound Racing In Galway - VO

Greyhound Racing In Galway


Crime Capital: How UVF Brought The Wars To Edinburgh
Mar 15 2005

TERRORISTS Loyalist thugs stalked scheme streets

THE people of Edinburgh read in their morning papers about loyalist factions in Belfast fighting a bloody feud. They didn't know the war was heading their way.

Around 1998-99, there was a lot of movement between Liverpool and Belfast. Nothing new there, except those crossing the water this time were well-known drug dealers on a mission.

For years, Liverpool had been a major city in the heroin trade. Massive amounts of the drug would head out of Merseyside all over the UK, though they had a special relationship with Glaswegians and the Irish.

Now the relationship with the Irish was about to create havoc that would end up on the streets of Edinburgh.

In the late 1990s, the Scouser drug dealers set out to target loyalist groups. The loyalists had splintered and the factions were fighting over, among other things, whether or not they should be involved in the heroin trade. The Liverpudlians reckoned the answer was yes.

One top Liverpool player explains: 'The Scousers set up special deals to the willing factions. They wanted to break into new territories. They had too much smack and not enough customers.

'Who could be better than a terrorist group with their history of smuggling weapons and network of supporters? Especially in Scotland. Glasgow and the west were tied up. But Edinburgh was there for the taking.'

Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair was now playing a lead role in the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

He was in favour of his group running drugs but was already committed, having a special relationship with a number of Glasgow players especially Thomas 'The Licensee' McGraw who he had visited in Glasgow several times'.

The breakaway Ulster Volunteer Force was a different matter. Their supporters were particularly strong in Edinburgh's schemes of Calders, Wester Hailes and Sighthill.

At first, lower ranks of the UVF from Belfast visited Edinburgh to link up with local members.

The walls covered in loyalist graffiti, it would have reminded them of back home in Belfast.

Gradually, the supply route for the drugs was set up, with heroin coming in directly from Liverpool, packaged in big haulage lorries from Ireland and often brought across the Irish Sea by fans going to watch Rangers FC.

Seasoned members of the UVF were sent over from Belfast to back up the Edinburgh men, who the leaders feared were big on enthusiasm but short on experience.

The newcomers were men who had participated in the bloody battle with the IRA and, more recently, the feud with the UFF that had killed six and injured many.

The good people of Calders, Wester Hailes and Sighthill were well used to the graffiti and the bloody sectarian fights but this was something new, something terrifying.

The drugs gang - about 50 strong - acted as if they were in some free loyalist zone.

If anyone showed opposition, they were kidnapped off the street in broad daylight and tortured. If someone broke the rules, they had their legs smashed with baseball bats.

Eventually, the drugs gang were parading the territory with rifles hanging from their shoulders.

The gang didn't just take over the drugs territory - they had taken over those streets.

By 2002, the Irish-Edinburgh alliance was doing so well they started to get honorary visits from top-ranking members of the UVF. One special visitor was William Moore, the infamous Shankill Butcher.

Moore and others had slaughtered 19 Catholics during a two-year blood-fest in Belfast.

Though given 11 life sentences, he was released after 18 years. His visit to Edinburgh was the final seal of approval.

Moore's visit also sent messages. To the gang in Edinburgh, it said: 'Well done, carry on as you are.'

To the mobsters of the city, it said: 'Back off or you'll have to deal with all of us.'

The visit was also a response to a problem - 12 of the mob had been arrested.

Local people terrified by the antics of the gang and low-level drug dealers who had been chased out of their patches had provided information to the cops.

When the trial began in March 2003 at the High Court in Dunfermline, the men in the dock were a mixture of Belfast and Edinburgh players. They faced charges of drug dealing, abduction and torturing two men by setting the mon fire.

The defendants jeered at the court when they were found guilty.

Leader David McLeave was sent down for 14 years. His hard man, Barry Campbell, got six years and Campbell's younger brother Paul got 10.

Thomas Irvine, 21, was jailed for 10 years and six months. Edward Lindsay, 23, and Lee Kinghan, 21, were also jailed for 10 years each.

After the trial, Lothian and Borders Police believed they had cracked the Irish drugs problem on their streets. Local players know differently, One said: 'There were almost 100 guys in that gang and only a few have been jailed. They didn't stop dealing for one instant.'

'Those schemes have always been strongly biased towards the loyalists.

'So the team has recruited new local members and a stack of guys have arrived from Belfast.

'It's not just drugs they're into but extortion rackets and money laundering. Rumour has it they've started bringing in former Eastern bloc lassies to work the sex game.'

'Far from being finished, the Irish mob is getting stronger every day.

Those schemes are their territory now.'

'They're in Edinburgh to stay.'


PSNI Accused Of Manipulating The McCartney Investigation

Published: 14 March, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator, Martin McGuinness, has said that there is growing evidence that the McCartney family's campaign for justice is being exploited and manipulated by the PSNI to damage Sinn Féin.

Mr Mc Guinness said:

"Republicans have suspected that the PSNI is tailoring their investigation into the murder of Robert McCartney to cause maximum damage to Sinn Féin. Today's revelations that the PSNI turned away a key witness and a key suspect adds further weight to this suspicion.

"In such a high profile murder investigation it beggars belief that the PSNI would reject the offer of an eyewitness statement from a key witness and the opportunity to interview a key suspect who they claim to have been searching for.

"But this is what has happened today. It is also clear that eyewitness testimony which identifies some of those involved in the attack on Robert McCartney has been ignored and that a decision has been made not to arrest and charge those identified by the eyewitness. The normal police practice of quickly putting suspects into an identity parade has not happened despite the fact that the PSNI know who was involved and has eyewitness evidence about this.

"This underlines the fact that politics rather than justice is driving the PSNI investigation. All those who have been vocal in support of the McCartney‚s need to put some searching questions to the PSNI."ENDS


'Stay Out Of Politics,' McGuinness Warns McCartney Sisters
2005-03-15 00:00:06+00

Sinn Féin chief Martin McGuinness tonight urged IRA murder victim Robert McCartney's sisters to stay out of party politics.

The Mid Ulster MP warned the family that they could risk losing popular support for their campaign to get justice over the pub brawl killing.

As it emerged that one of the chief suspects in the inquiry is to be questioned by detectives, Mr McGuinness told BBC Radio Ulster: "The McCartneys need to be very careful.

"To step over that line, which is a very important line, into the world of party politics, can do a huge disservice to their campaign.

"In fact, it can dismay and disillusion an awful lot of people, tens of thousands of people who support them in their just demands."

Mr McGuinness also stressed that any witnesses who were in the Belfast bar on the night of the attack should contact the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan.

He later insisted that his comments, made as Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was bracing for a fierce US backlash over the murder, had been taken out of context.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has disclosed that a second party election candidate, Deirdre Hargey, was in Magennis's pub when Mr McCartney was first attacked, and was still there when the police arrived.

But she denied seeing the brawl that led to the knife attack, which left Mr McCartney, 33, dying on the street outside.

Ms Hargey, 23, a community development worker, is due to stand in May's local government elections.

She said: "I did not witness the fracas in the bar, or the incident outside the bar." Cora Groogan is the other Sinn Féin candidate who confirmed this weekend that she was also in the bar.

Sean Hayes, a former south Belfast councillor, is also understood to have given a statement to his solicitor about being there.

All three have made statements that were today sent to Mrs O'Loan's office. She will forward them to investigating officers.

The involvement of two of the party's new generation of political representatives will cause a beleaguered and isolated Mr Adams much embarrassment in Washington and New York later this week.

He has already been snubbed three times over St Patrick's Day events on Thursday, and faces tough questioning from the Irish American lobby, which includes some of his closest supporters.

Senator Ted Kennedy called off planned talks amid alarming allegations of Provisional criminal operations.

The Sinn Féin leader has also been refused a meeting with President George Bush at the White House.

And he will not be attending the St Patrick's Day lunch hosted by Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr McCartney's five sisters and fiancee Bridgeen Hagans are also heading to America this week on the next stage of their campaign to force the father-of-two's killers into court.

As well as meetings with President Bush and Senator Kennedy, private talks have been set up with Senator Hillary Clinton.

The family believes that witnesses to the murder have been frightened into silence by the IRA men involved.

Even though the Provisionals have expelled three volunteers and Sinn Féin has suspended seven members over the January 30 attack, frustrated detectives have yet to charge anyone because no-one has agreed to testify.

However, one of the three men dismissed by the IRA over the stabbing is due to be interviewed by police.

A solicitor for the man contacted detectives today, and it is believed that they plan to interview him at a later date over allegations that he was heavily involved.

So far police have questioned 11 people over the stabbing, including another senior Provisional dismissed from the organisation because of his suspected involvement.

It is understood that Brendan Devine, an associate of Mr McCartney who survived the attack, has given a video-taped statement to police.

A PSNI spokeswoman said tonight: "It is not usually our policy to discuss any specific issues concerning witnesses in a live investigation.

"However, we can confirm that any individuals whose name and contact details were taken on the night have subsequently been contacted by members of the investigation team.

"Whether or not they chose to engage with police at that time is a matter for them."

As the pressure on republicans continued to mount, the Government, incensed by the murder and allegations that the IRA carried out the £26.5m (€37.9m) Northern Bank robbery, tonight demanded urgent action.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said: "Sinn Féin has to face facts. And the reality is that it is a crisis of its own making.

"To try to blame others, to claim that this came out of partisan political rivalry, is simply nonsense.

"There is a recognition in Sinn Féin that the IRA must wither away.

"I say that it has to happen sooner, in the interests not just of political progress but of the communities it purports to serve and which have been given a new voice by the heroic McCartney sisters."


Sisters To Meet Hillary Clinton In Washington

By Dan McGinn

THE family of murdered father-of-two Robert McCartney is to meet US senator Hillary Clinton in Washington this week to step up political pressure on Sinn Féin and the IRA to force his killers into court.

Catherine McCartney, one of five sisters who have been campaigning along with Mr McCartney’s partner Bridgeen Hagans for justice for their brother’s murder, confirmed the family would be meeting the former US First Lady privately in Washington.

They will also be meeting Senator Edward Kennedy.

The family has also been invited to the St Patrick’s Day reception in the White House, where they will meet US President George W Bush and will hold talks with his adviser on the North, Ambassador Mitchell Reiss.

Catherine McCartney said: “We have lined up a number of meetings with politicians on the 16th and on St Patrick’s Day.

“We will meet Mitchell Reiss and then have arranged a private meeting with senators Kennedy and Clinton.

“We will also visit with an ad-hoc committee on human rights in Northern Ireland which has met people like Geraldine Finucane, the wife of Pat Finucane.

“Our focus during this visit is simply to get justice for Robert.

“But we will also be telling President Bush, the senators and congressmen that if we succeed in getting justice for my brother that will have an impact on other cases similar to ours.”

Sinn Féin and the IRA have been under intense pressure over the past six weeks since the murder to make those responsible face the allegations against them in court.

In a series of statements Mr Adams insisted that Sinn Féin is firmly behind the family’s quest for justice and truth.

But Mr Adams has stopped short of advising witnesses to go to the police because of his party’s reluctance to acknowledge the PSNI as a legitimate police service.

The McCartney family and police have, however, expressed concern about the lack of information coming from around 70 people who were in the bar despite the Sinn Féin leader’s appeal.

Catherine McCartney said the revelation that Ms Groogan was present in the bar also sent out mixed signals from Sinn Féin about their approach to the family’s appeal for justice.

“We are very clear that giving a statement to your solicitor to pass on to the Police Ombudsman is not really good enough,” she said. “Statements should be given directly to the police or the Police Ombudsman because they have the proper investigative skills.”


Second SF Candidate Denies Seeing McCartney Brawl
2005-03-14 17:20:06+00

A second Sinn Féin election candidate was in the Belfast pub where IRA murder victim Robert McCartney was attacked, it emerged tonight.

As Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams braced himself for a fierce US backlash over the murder, the party disclosed that Deirdre Hargey was still inside Magennis's Bar when police first arrived.

But she denied seeing the brawl leading to the horrific knife attack which left Mr McCartney, aged 33, dying on the street outside.

Ms Hargey, aged 23, is a community development worker who is due to stand in May's local government elections.

Ms Hargey, who has given a statement to her lawyer, insisted: "I did not witness the fracas in the bar, or the incident outside the bar."

Cora Groogan, another Sinn Féin candidate, confirmed this weekend that she was in the bar.

With Sinn Féin facing unprecedented pressure over the murder, the link to two of the party's new generation of political representatives will cause a beleaguered and isolated Mr Adams huge embarrassment in Washington and New York later this week.

He has already been snubbed three times for St Patrick's Day events on Thursday and faces tough questioning from the Irish-American lobby, including some of his closest supporters.

Senator Ted Kennedy called off planned talks amid alarming allegations of Provisional crime operations.

The Sinn Féin leader has also been refused a meeting with President Bush at the White House.

And he will not be attending the St Patrick's Day lunch hosted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert.

To compound the crisis engulfing the republican leadership, Mr McCartney's five sisters and fiancee Bridgeen Hagans are also heading to America this week on the next stage of their campaign to force the father-of-two's killers into court.

Alongside meetings with President Bush and Senator Kennedy, private talks have been set up with Senator Hillary Clinton.

The family believe witnesses to the merciless murder have been frightened into silence by IRA men involved.

Even though the Provos have expelled three volunteers and Sinn Féin has suspended seven members over the January 30 attack, frustrated detectives have yet to charge anyone because no-one has agreed to testify.

Nuala O'Loan, the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, has offered to take statements from those refusing to deal with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Her staff, who expect to receive accounts from those in Magennis's on the night Mr McCartney was battered and stabbed to death, were still waiting for the first to arrive tonight.


Sinn Fein President, In New York, Plays Down White House Snub


Published: March 14, 2005

erry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, arrived in New York today on his annual St. Patrick's Day trip to the United States and played down a White House snub only to face a new and potentially more damaging one - from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the party's most prominent supporter in American politics.


Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Adams said it was a disappointment not to be going to the White House as he has in recent years but cautioned against reading too much into it.

"Do I interpret that as a movement by this administration away from the peace process?" Mr. Adams said. "No, I don't. This will not be worked out in the White House, this will not be worked out here...this will be not be worked out anywhere else except back on the island of Ireland."

Senator Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat, announced that he was canceling a scheduled meeting with Mr. Adams later this week in Washington, and a spokesman said he had taken the action because of the "ongoing criminal activity and contempt for the rule of law" by the Irish Republican Army. Sinn Fein is the political wing of the I.R.A.

In reaction, Mr. Adams said, "Sinn Fein has worked closely with him in the past. On this occasion, we believe that he has been badly advised."

Mr. Kennedy's reference was to a series of events in recent months that Mr. Adams conceded had put Sinn Fein "on the back foot."

First, a hoped-for settlement of political differences that might have restored the power-sharing government of Catholics and Protestants set up by the 1998 Good Friday agreement ended in December in a dispute over whether the I.R.A. would permit verification of its disarmament by photography.

Then, the I.R.A. was accused of masterminding a pre-Christmas $50 million bank holdup in Belfast, and police turned up evidence of the illegal laundering of additional millions by the I.R.A. in the Irish Republic.

In the most damaging development, a 33-year-old father of two from a staunchly republican working class Catholic neighborhood, Robert McCartney, was stabbed to death on Jan. 30 by I.R.A. thugs in a downtown Belfast pub who then intimidated the estimated 75 witnesses into silence.

Six key people, however, departed from the traditional code and refused to remain silent - Mr. McCartney's five sisters and the mother of his two children. It is they, and not Mr. Adams and the leaders of the other Northern Ireland political parties, as has been traditional, who will be going to the White House on St. Patrick's Day.

Also, Mr. Adams this year cannot legally raise funds, in the past a major source of money for the Irish republican movement.

Mr. Adams told the New York gathering that he hoped the I.R.A. would disband but warned that forcing them to do so in humiliating fashion ran the risk of creating a more radical replacement.

"No one wants the I.R.A. to go back to war, and in my view people want to see the I.R.A. leaving the stage in a dignified way," he said.

A longtime Sinn Fein backer, Representative Richard E. Neal, also a Massachusetts Democrat, said that he would be meeting Mr. Adams but that his message this year would be harsher.

"I'll tell him the problem is you cannot allow paramilitaries to roam freely and then announce that you have a democratic society," he said in a telephone interview from Springfield, Mass.

"I am going to reiterate to him that if the republican movement becomes so diminished that instead of a nationalist organization, you have morphed into the mob, where street beatings become day-to-day events, you're going to lose much of the support you got for the negotiations and the Good Friday agreement."

Another Sinn Fein backer in Congress, Representative Peter T. King, said he would be keeping his date with Mr. Adams out of concern that Sinn Fein remain part of the peace process, a position he said was in keeping with what the Bush administration told him was its own stance.

But, in a telephone interview from Washington, Mr. King, a Republican from New York, added, "For the peace process to go forward and for Sinn Fein to have the input that it deserves, it is time for the I.R.A. to stand down. There is no constructive purpose being served at this time by the continued existence of the I.R.A."

Saying that the peace process had already produced valuable dividends, he said, "It is almost time for the republican movement to declare victory. All that's holding up the finale is the I.R.A."

Mr. Adams said that the Northern Ireland peace agreement had been a triumph of American foreign policy and that it needed continued backing from the United States to succeed. Appealing for support, he said, "I think our record speaks for itself. There was a conflict. There is no longer a conflict. It isn't a perfect peace, but it is a peace process."


Haas warns Sinn Féin over IRA links - Robert Shortt, Washington Correspondent, reports as Ted Kennedy cancels a planned meeting with Sinn Féin Leader, Gerry Adams


US Snubs 'Send SF Vital Message'-V

Sinn Fein's time as the IRA's political wing has to be wound up, a former US envoy to Northern Ireland has warned.

Richard Haass was speaking in New York after an event attended by Gerry Adams during his St Patrick's Day US trip.

Mr Haass said snubs by the White House and leading Irish-American Senator Ted Kennedy sent an important message.

"No-one as yet is ruling out dealing with Sinn Fein, but with the passage of months or even years, that could very well happen," he said.

"Gerry Adams does not want to become Yasser Arafat. He does not want to become someone who's unwilling to choose, (like) in Mr Arafat's case, between the olive branch and the gun.

"Mr Adams and, more broadly, the republican movement, has to make the choice 100% to play by democratic rules, to play a political game only."

Mr Haass was the special envoy to Northern Ireland in George W Bush's first administration and is now the head of a New York-based independent foreign policy think-tank.

Mr Adams told the invited audience that the Sinn Fein leadership was determined to see the political process succeed.

"I haven't heard anyone saying we want to go back to conflict - that's the key," he said.

He said that despite any political "jockeying" or "nervousness", the "strength of the process is in the popular will of the people back home and the Sinn Fein leadership is totally wedded to making it a success".

The breakfast event was held on Monday after leading Irish-American politician Ted Kennedy said he would not meet Mr Adams during his St Patrick's Day trip to the US.

A spokeswoman for Senator Kennedy said he had cancelled a meeting because of the IRA's "ongoing criminal activity".

The move came as Sinn Fein faced increasing pressure over IRA involvement in the killing of Robert McCartney in Belfast.

Mr Adams said he was "disappointed" and Mr Kennedy had been "badly advised".

He said his party was committed to the peace process and was confident they would work with Mr Kennedy in the future.

Mr Kennedy and Mr Adams had been due to meet on Thursday.

Mr Adams has also been denied a meeting with President Bush at the White House. Instead, Mr Bush will play host to Mr McCartney's sisters.

Mr McCartney, 33, was stabbed to death after a row in a bar near the city centre on 30 January.

It is anticipated that Mr Adams will face tough questions in the US over the killing and over alleged IRA involvement in the £26.5m Northern Bank raid.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/03/14 17:42:48 GMT



Sinn Fein Hit By $1m US Ban

By Tim Reid

SINN FEIN is set to lose up to $1 million (£520,000) in donations from the United States by the end of this year, and at least $100,000 during St Patrick’s Day celebrations this week, after being banned by President Bush from fundraising in America.

A study of Sinn Fein’s American accounts, which must be lodged every six months with the US Department of Justice, shows that the fundraising ban will rob the party of one of its biggest sources of legitimate income. Since 1995, when President Clinton lifted a ban on Sinn Fein fundraising in the US, Friends of Sinn Fein, its American fundraising arm, has generated about $7 million, according to its accounts.

British and Irish security sources say that through unofficial groups, Sinn Fein has raised between £15 million and £20 million since 1995. There is no suggestion that Friends of Sinn Fein has filed anything other than accurate accounts.

Sinn Fein sought to suggest yesterday that Gerry Adams, had voluntarily abandoned his annual St Patrick’s Day fundraising in the US. However, Bush Administration officials said that Sinn Fein had been told several weeks ago that its leaders should not apply for a fundraising visa.

Part of the money covers the expenses of Sinn Fein’s New York and Washington offices, but most is repatriated.


Rep. Walsh Calls For End Of IRA

WASHINGTON The head of a key Irish group in Congress said the Irish Republican Army should "go out of business," due to its recent spate of alleged misdeeds.

The new position by Representative James Walsh, chair of the 100-member Friends of Ireland, marks a remarkable shift in official and popular support for Northern Ireland's Republican movement.

Walsh's criticism of the I-R-A mirrors that of Long Island Congressman Peter King. Walsh says he'll make the case later this week to Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, the political group affiliated with the I-R-A.

King is calling for the I-R-A to disband.

Walsh said he'll tell Adams that the I-R-A should go out of business because it's hurting the peace process.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Magherafelt Council Chairperson Hosts Reception For Families Of British State Collusion Victims

Published: 14 March, 2005

The Chairperson of Magherafelt District Council, Patsy Groogan today hosted a reception for An Fhirinne, the campaign for truth on collusion at the Council Offices, Ballyronan Road, Magherafelt.

Speaking at the event, Cllr. Groogan said:

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome representatives of the campaign for truth on collusion, An Fhirinne to this reception in recognition of their campaign efforts. It is important that all those families affected by the policy of collusion have their voices and personal testimonies heard.

"Indeed many families in the Magherafelt District Council area have suffered directly as a result of the British state's policy of collusion between British intelligence agents, the RUC and unionist death squads over the past 30 years. Today, we especially remember two elected members of Magherafelt District Council, councillors John Davey and Bernard O'Hagan, who were murdered as a result of this policy, which ensured a most vicious onslaught against republicans and nationalists across south Derry and north Antrim in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"The families demand closure and peace of mind, and I pledge my support to the families in their search for truth and justice. We are mindful that many other families have suffered and lost loved ones, as a result of the conflict in the six-counties.

"There are people who do not want to contemplate or admit that the British Government were complicit in state sanctioned murder. It is important as we continue to move through a period of conflict resolution that the voices of all of those who suffered in any way are heard. The families of those murdered at the hands of the British state deserve to have their voices heard also.

"I assure everyone gathered here today of my continued support for your campaign for truth and justice." ENDS


Expert On Passage Graves Concerned About Emissions

Elaine Keogh

The megalithic passage graves at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth could be damaged by "the polluting effect" of emissions from an incinerator proposed by Indaver Ireland for Co Meath, according to Dr George Eoghan, the world's leading expert on the complex.

In a handwritten statement to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing into objections to granting a waste licence for the incinerator, Dr Eoghan said he was particularly concerned about the megalithic art at the three tombs which "constitutes Europe's greatest assemblage, a virtual open-air gallery".

The incinerator is proposed for a greenfield site at Carranstown outside the footprint of the Boyne Valley.

The role of the EPA to enforce breaches of waste licences was questioned yesterday by Brian Hanratty, of the No Incineration Alliance (NIA). He said "it is not effective in protecting the public's interest from both a health and environmental perspective".

The requirement for companies to carry out "on-going monitoring of their own operations" must be called into question.

Conor Jones, for Indaver Ireland, said there would be €1 million worth of equipment in an emissions-monitoring laboratory. While there would be continuous dust monitoring, there was no technology to measure for dust particles known as PM 10 and 2.5. The hearing has already been told these are pollutants linked to respiratory problems.

He also said there would not be continuous monitoring of dioxins, but it would be sampled over a period of a fortnight, and the data sent to a UK laboratory.

Cross-examined by the NIA, he said it could be two weeks before results would be known, but if there was a breach of the dioxin level the plant would be immediately shut down.

He said a specialist Turn Key contractor would be appointed to construct the plant. This would be built "to a performance specification laid down by Indaver. This contractor will be managed by our Belgian colleagues who have experience of construction of these facilities."

This process was described by Pat O'Brien of the NIA as "a pig in a poke, and there should be technical experts here for Indaver to answer specific questions from the community".

© The Irish Times


Centennial Celebration For Man Who Kept Houston Out Of Civil War

11:33 AM CST on Monday, March 14, 2005

From 11 News Staff Reports

Area residents headed to Hermann Park Sunday for the centennial celebration of the unveiling of the Dick Dowling statue.


A centennial celebration of the unveiling of the statue of the man who kept Houston out of the Civil War was held Sunday.

Many credit Dowling with saving Houston from becoming a battlefield during the Civil War.

As a Confederate commander during the battle of Sabine Pass in 1863, Dowling directed an attack that repelled a U.S. Naval escort bringing troops to invade Texas.

Sunday's event was one of many leading up to celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Thursday.

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