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March 24, 2005

Inquiry To Check Army Links In Killing of Solicitors

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Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Mar 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

GU 03/24/05
Inquiry To Check Army Links In Killing Of Ulster Solicitor
SF 03/24/05 Sinn Féin Launch Easter Lily Campaign
PW 03/24/05 Sinn Fein Leader Meets With NYC Transit Workers
ZW 03/24/05 A Couple Of Irish Titles In The Wake Of St. Patrick's Day
IT 03/25/05 Ó Cuív Rejects Claims Irish Language Is Dying
IT 03/25/05 Death Of Fiddler Sean McGuire


Inquiry To Check Army Links In Killing Of Ulster Solicitor

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Friday March 25, 2005
The Guardian

The inquiry into the murder of the Northern Ireland solicitor Rosemary Nelson has been widened to consider whether the army or intelligence agencies were involved in her killing.

The inquiry, which begins next month led by the retired high court judge Sir Michael Morland, will now consider whether the government, police, army and other state agencies were in any way to blame for the car bomb attack which killed Ms Nelson or whether they facilitated her death or obstructed the investigation.

The solicitor, who had represented nationalist residents in Portadown's Garvaghy Road during the contentious Drumcree marching dispute, was killed outside her home in Lurgan, county Armagh, in March 1999 by a booby trap car bomb for which loyalists claimed responsibility.

Before her death it was alleged that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary had threatened her life.

The Northern Ireland secretary, Paul Murphy, yesterday widened the scope of the inquiry after submissions by human rights campaigners. Jane Winter of British Irish Rights Watch said she had given Mr Murphy evidence suggesting that soldiers may have been involved in the murder.

The inquiry into Mrs Nelson's death is one of four tribunals recommended by the Canadian judge Peter Cory on controversial murders in Northern Ireland.

But the government came under renewed pressure this week over its attempts to pass a bill which would allow ministers to decide what can be heard in public in future inquiries. The inquiries bill will enable any inquiry to meet in large part in secret and will give government ministers powers to direct aspects of it.

Judge Cory's recommended inquiry into alleged collusion between security forces and loyalists in the murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane in 1989 will not be set up until after the bill is passed, sparking criticism from the Finucane family of a "government controlled charade".

The judge told a Washington committee that the new legislation "would make a meaningful inquiry impossible", creating "impossible terms for any international judge asked to chair the inquiry". He described it as "an intolerable, Alice in Wonderland situation".

Lord Saville, who chairs the Bloody Sunday inquiry, has said he would not be prepared to serve on a tribunal under the new terms.

The Law Society, Amnesty International and eight other human rights groups this week issued a statement warning that any inquiry held under the proposed legislation "would not be effective, independent, impartial or thorough, nor would the evidence presented to it be subject to sufficient public scrutiny".

In order to command the trust of the public, the inquiry system must allow "close public scrutiny" and allow the relevant victims to actively participate. "The inquiries bill does not do this," they warned.


Sinn Féin Launch Easter Lily Campaign

Published: 24 March, 2005

Speaking today at the launch of the annual Easter Lily campaign in Stormont, Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said that this weekend would see tens of thousands of republicans taking part in marches, commemorations and wreath laying ceremonies across the island.

Mr Kelly said:

"This year marks the 89th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is an important time for Irish republicans. It is a time for remembering our friends and colleagues who have given their lives in pursuit of our republican ideals and goals. It is a time for reflecting on these ideals.

"We recall the words of the 1916 Proclamation - an historic document - one of the most progressive documents ever written. The Proclamation spells out the demand for social and economic justice and democracy, of cherishing all the children of the nation equally, irrespective of colour, religion, gender, ability or race, equally.

"Easter is also a time of renewal - a time when we as Irish republicans rededicate ourselves to the legitimate and achievable goals of independence and unity for the people of this island.

"The past year has undoubtedly been both a challenging and indeed very difficult, year for republicans and the peace process. We made a massive breakthrough in the elections in the 26 counties yet ended the last year with the failure once again of unionism to agree the share power on the basis of equality and respect.

"This year Easter comes with the political establishment set once again on a course of criminalizing the republican struggle and by extension our patriot dead. This weekend provides republicans with the opportunity to send a clear message that we are rightly proud of our heritage and our struggle and will not allow it to be tarnished or criminalized.

"There are over 100 commemorations throughout the island and scores more smaller events. Internationally many Irish exiles will also take part in commemorations. I am calling on people to wear an Easter Lily and to make this years Easter Commemorations and events bigger and better than ever before." ENDS

Note to Editors

In this the 100th anniversary of Sinn Féin, republicans throughout Ireland
will gather on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday to honour and commemorate
Ireland's patriot dead.

Please see below for a list of the main commemorations - dates, locations
and speakers.

Main Commemorations

Easter Sunday:

Dublin City -- Assemble 1.30pm Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square and
March to GPO. Main Speaker: Martin McGuinness MP

Belfast -- Assemble 1pm, Beechmount Avenue. Main speaker: Martin Ferris TD

Derry City -- Assemble 2.30pm at the Bogside Inn, Westland Street march to
City Cemetery. Main Speaker: Gerry Adams MP

Tyrone -- (Carrickmore) Assemble 3.30pm. Main Speaker: Pat Doherty MP

County Waterford -- (Killrossanty) Assemble 3pm. Main Speaker Mary Lou McDonald MEP

Fermanagh -- (Tempo) Assemble 2.30pm at Doon Lane. Main Speaker: Michelle Gildernew MP

Monaghan Town -- Assemble 3pm, O'Hanlon Memorial, Clones Road. Main Speaker: Gerry Kelly

Galway -- (Conamara) Assemble 3.30pm. Pearse's Cottage, Rosmuck. Main Speaker: Bairbre de Brún MEP.

Armagh (Newry City) -- Assemble 12.30pm at Patrick Street. Main Speaker: Conor Murphy

Armagh -- (Crossmaglen) -- Assemble at 10.30 am, Rangers Hall. Main Speaker: Matt Carty

Cavan -- (Kilnavart) Assemble 12 noon Kilnavart Cemetery. Main Speaker: Sean McManus

Cork (Bandon) -- Assemble 12.30pm, Republican Plot, St Patrick's Cemetery. Main Speaker: Toireasa Ferris

Cork City -- Assemble 2.30pm National Monument, marching to St Finbarr's Cemetery. Main Speaker: Sean Crowe TD

Derry - (The Loup) Assemble 2.30pm, Ballyronan Road and march to grave of Brigadier Seán Larkin. Main Speaker: Arthur Morgan TD

Donegal -- (Drumboe) Assemble 2pm, Johnston's Corner, Stranorlar. Main Speaker: Alex Maskey

Down -- (Castlewellan) Assemble 4pm at Lower Square march to monument. Main Speaker: Caitriona Ruane

Drogheda -- Assemble 11am St Peter's Church to the Halpin/Moran monument, Marsh Road. Main Speaker Martina Anderson

Dundalk -- Assemble 3pm Market Square, march to Republican Plot, St Patrick's Cemetery. Main Speaker: Martina Anderson

Kerry -- (Tralee) Assemble 3pm, the Pike Man, Denny Street. Main Speaker: Gearoid O hEara

Limerick City -- Assemble 12.30pm Munster Fair Tavern. March to Republican Plot, Mount St Laurence Cemetery. Speaker: Killian Forde

Mayo -- (Achill) Assemble 10am, Dookinella. Main Speaker: Rita O'Hare

Wexford Town -- Assemble 11.45am Crescent Quay, parade to Republican Plot. Main Speaker: John Dwyer

Easter Monday:

Armagh City -- Assemble 2pm Irish Street. Main Speaker Conor Murphy

Down -- (Downpatrick) Assemble 6pm Scotch Street, proceed to Republican Monument. Main Speakers: Caitriona Ruane/Alex Maskey

Meath -- (Ashbourne) Assemble 11.30am at church and march to Republican Plot. Main Speaker: Joe Reilly

Monaghan -- (Clones) Assemble 1.30pm, The Diamond. Main Speaker: Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Easter Tuesday

Co Antrim (North Belfast-Ardoyne) Assemble 1pm Elmfield Street. Main Speaker: Gerry Kelly

Toomebridge -- Assemble 4pm. Main Speaker: Barry McElduff


Sinn Fein Leader Meets With NYC Transit Workers

People's Weekly World Newspaper, 03/24/05 16:48

NEW YORK — Gerry Adams, member of parliament from Northern Ireland and the president of Sinn Fein, the political party of the Irish republican movement, addressed a capacity crowd of trade unionists and guests at a local union hall here March 14. Having been escorted into the hall by the kilted pipers of Transit Workers Union Local 100’s “Transit Pride” band, Adams was greeted by a thunderous ovation.

The occasion of Adams’ visit was Local 100’s annual “Quill–Connolly” commemoration, which celebrates both the life of the famous socialist and Irish republican leader James Connolly and the life of legendary TWU leader Mike Quill.

In introductory remarks, Roger Toussaint, president of Local 100, noted that Connolly’s writings are studied all over the world. He recalled reading Connolly as a young man in his native Trinidad. Toussaint said that he and Connolly “both came from small islands that had spent too much time under British imperialism.”

Among the other labor leaders on hand were AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, New York State Federation of Labor President Dennis Hughes and NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.

Labor historian Josh Freeman put the event in historical context, pointing out that James Connolly saw the connection between the Irish freedom struggle, union struggles and the struggle for socialism. Freeman said that Mike Quill shared this broader view.

Adams thanked the crowd for the warm greeting saying that he was delighted to be a guest of TWU and felt very much at home speaking before a group of trade union friends. Adams said that, like Quill and TWU, Connolly had a broad vision, seeing beyond pay and working conditions.

Adams recalled the years that Connolly had spent in the U.S. as a union organizer, eventually returning to Belfast to organize and lead the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. He also founded the “Irish Citizen Army” in 1914. For a time, he united Protestant and Catholic workers in a powerful movement.

Adams also commented on Connolly’s dedication to the cause of women’s equality. Connolly was deeply struck by the conditions of Irish working women, and what he came to see as their double oppression. Connolly called these women “the slaves of slaves.”

Connolly was later to lead the Citizen Army into the Dublin General Post Office during the 1916 Easter uprising. Adams asked his audience to read the “Proclamation” issued by the Irish rebels on that day, pointing out that although it was issued some 90 years ago, it called upon men and women to participate as equal partners in the Irish freedom struggle.

When the rebellion failed, Connolly and other leaders were called criminals. Adams compared the attacks and slanders directed at Connolly and the other Irish patriots to the vitriol currently being heaped on Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army.

When you are fighting for equality there are always elements that will resist you, Adams said. He believes that the present difficulties will be overcome and the Irish people will go forward to freedom and to peace, and, without apology, to build the type of society that Connolly and Quill fought for.

Adams closed his remarks with words written by Irish martyr Bobby Sands, “Let our revenge be the laughter of our children,” bringing the cheering audience to its feet as he left the stage.

Gbono @


A Couple Of Irish Titles In The Wake Of St. Patrick's Day

Mar 25 2005 12:00AM By

Born in 1920 in Ireland, Maureen O'Hara knew from an early age that she wanted to be an actress. She began her training at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in her early teens and launched her movie career at 17 when she appeared in "Jamaica Inn" with Charles Laughton.

In her autobiography "'Tis Herself" (Simon & Schuster, $13), written with John Nicoletti, O'Hara shares the ups and downs of an acting career that has spanned more than six decades.

Her striking beauty accented by fiery red hair, piercing green eyes and a feisty Irish temperament took her to the top of Hollywood's star list and earned her roles in more than 60 films. Her credits include such classics as "Miracle on 34th Street," "The Quiet Man," "The Parent Trap," "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" and "The Red Pony."

O'Hara worked with some of the most powerful directors and best-known leading men of her time. John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Errol Flynn and Alec Guinness are just a few of the individuals she worked with and shares anecdotes about.

Woven throughout her story are O'Hara's relationships with several of these men who had a profound impact on her career. She sets the record straight on her lifelong friendships with Ford and Wayne, whom she considered one of her best friends.

Her first two marriages were far from successful, but on O'Hara's third trip to the altar, she wed "the love of her life," Brigadier General Charles Blair. The founder of a successful aviation company, Blair and his new wife settled on the island of St. Croix. This period of matrimonial bliss was cut short after only a decade, when Blair was killed in a plane crash. In a startling disclosure, O'Hara writes she now believes her husband may have been assassinated.

An engaging blend of behind-the-scenes stories and frank observations, "'Tis Herself" is now available in a trade paperback. Currently, O'Hara divides her time between Ireland, St. Croix and the U.S. mainland. Occasionally, she can still be coaxed out of retirement when the right part comes along.

She concludes her memoir with, "I dreamed as a little girl in Dublin of growing into a wonderfully eccentric, cantankerous, and sometimes mean old lady who thumps her cane loudly to get what she wants and to express her thoughts. I've already been known to use a cane ... the thumping is still to come."


Edited by Michael P. Quinlin, "Classic Irish Stories: Tales from Ireland and Other Green Shores" (Lyons Press, $9.95) features 19 stories that delve into the Emerald Isle's past and trace the history of the Irish abroad.

From ancient legends translated by Lady Gregory, William Larmine and T. Crofton Croker to short masterpieces by Liam O'Flaherty, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Butler Yeats and Sarah Orne Jewett, these works portray the entire emotional spectrum of what it means to be Irish.

"While other nations have cultivated visual arts, architecture or even cuisine to define their civilizations, this race of storytellers has always used language to express the deepest dimensions of their cultural identity," Quinlin writes in the introduction. He then explains why the works that appear in this collection truly do define this "identity."

Filled with both well-known and not so familiar literature, "Classic Irish Stories" offers an ideal way to deepen your understanding of what the St. Patrick's Day celebration is really all about. There's more to it than green beer, a big parade and singing "Danny Boy"!


Bob Walch is a freelance writer out of Monterey. He can be reached by e-mail at His opinions are not necessarily those of the Register-Pajaronian.

©Register-Pajaronian 2005


Ó Cuív Rejects Claims Irish Language Is Dying

Marie O'Halloran

Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has rejected Opposition claims that the Irish language could be dead in 100 years. He also staunchly defended the decision to make it mandatory to translate official documents into Irish.

"A lot of documents - 90 per cent - are in English only and are not read and nobody complains about the costs of printing and editing. There are 600 documents a year that have to be translated into Irish and suddenly it becomes a big problem," he said.

The Minister was ending a debate over two days on the Irish language, which was conducted mainly in Irish and which culminated in a row between Mr Ó Cuív and Labour TD Eamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire), who strongly criticised the Government's approach to Irish.

Mr Gilmore also derided the decision to decentralise Foras na Gaeilge from Dublin to Gweedore, Co Donegal, and said that some of the Irish language fraternity seemed to think that everything to do with Irish should be on the western seaboard. The language belonged to the entire nation and not just the west.

Mr Ó Cuív rejected the criticism and said there was no reason for Foras not to decentralise. He did not understand the mentality "that everything has to be in Dublin".

The Minister said less than 1 per cent of Oireachtas business was conducted in Irish and criticised those who felt that if someone spoke in Irish the language was "being pushed on them".

In other EU parliaments the issue was not treated like this. "The usual thing is that people will speak English if an English-only speaker is in their company."

Earlier Mr Gilmore said there was a danger for the future of the Irish language because of increasing pressure on it. The Language Commission report published last week said many minority and regional languages were under pressure and 90 per cent of them would be dead in 100 years. "Irish could be one of them," said Mr Gilmore.

"The language is in danger despite the investment by the State which has failed in its efforts through the education system. Some €500 million is spent a year on Irish, and pupils get 1,500 hours of tuition in Irish but when they finish school they are not fluent."

Mr Ó Cuív dismissed this. An analysis carried out in 1955 on the Gaeltacht showed there were 55,000 native speakers and that figure had hardly changed since then.

© The Irish Times


Death Of Fiddler Sean McGuire

Seán Mac Connell

One of Ireland's most influential traditional musicians, Seán McGuire, has died in hospital in Belfast.

His recordings of Irish traditional fiddle music had a major impact on the tradition from the 1950s, when his first records were released.

He was born in Belfast on December 26th, 1927, into a musical family. His father, John, played piccolo, concert flute, whistle and fiddle.

At the age of 12 Seán began his fiddle playing and while a teenager he was first violinist with the Belfast Youth Orchestra. He turned down an invitation to join the Belfast Symphony Orchestra because he felt more at home playing traditional music.

He became an all-round musician playing the piano, guitar, concert flute, whistle and uilleann pipes. In 1948 he joined the Malachy Sweeney Céilí Band and played alongside his father, John, and another fine musician Johnny Pickering. He formed the Seán McGuire Céilí Band, playing all over Ireland and England and made a number of solo, group and céilí band albums. He later played with the Four Star Quartet.

He brought traditional Irish music to audiences all over the world playing with Gael Linn, and in the 1960s and 1970s he toured with his friend, accordionist Joe Burke, and with the Dubliners' Barney McKenna.

His versions of Irish tunes, especially the reel The Mason's Apron, played at breakneck speed, using techniques which were not used before in Irish fiddling, was an awe-inspiring trademark of a true craftsman.

In Belfast in the 1980s he gave classes at the Clonard Traditional Music School, run by the McPeakes, and later the Andersonstown Music School.

In 1983 cancer of the throat forced him to withdrew from public performance and he had a tracheotomy.

He recovered and in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, in 1988, performers from across the globe joined to celebrate his birthday with a special concert.

Last January he suffered a stroke and was admitted to hospital in Belfast where he died yesterday.

Tributes were led by Mary Cloake, director of the Arts Council, who said he had challenged the boundaries of traditional fiddle playing.

A special obituary Late Session programme will be broadcast on Sunday night on RTÉ Radio One at 10pm.

© The Irish Times

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