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March 21, 2005

SDLP Set Out Unity Proposal

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Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Mar 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 03/21/05
SDLP Set Out Unity Proposals
SF 03/21/05 Do SDLP Proposals Mark Shift From Post Nationalism?
SM 03/21/05 Police Attacked, Cars Torched In Loyalist Rampage
BT 03/21/05 Residents Living In Fear As Trouble Flares
CT 03/21/05 IRA Still Needed, Say Some N. Ireland Catholics
UT 03/21/05 McCartney Sisters Accuse SF
BT 03/21/05 Viewpoint: DeLorean Debacle Still Relevant Today
WS 03/21/05 McCartney Murder Used To Increase Pressure On IRA To Disband
UT 03/21/05 Boy's Last Words Before Drowning
CH 03/21/05 BC's Irish Film Series Brings Culture To The Big Screen


SDLP Set Out Unity Proposals

Nationalists 'must embrace unionism'.

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
21 March 2005

Nationalism must embrace unionism more, the SDLP urged today as it set out its long-term strategy to build towards a united Ireland.

In a new document, the SDLP argued unionists are unlikely to begin negotiations on a united Ireland until after a unity referendum.

A future Assembly would remain centre-stage - and may need more powers - but constituencies in Northern Ireland would also send representatives to the Dail.

After a referendum, there would be a review of changes to the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Constitution "to provide for a united Ireland to be agreed between nationalists and unionists".

The paper also argued the SDLP is best placed on both sides of the border to persuade a majority in the north and work with parties in the south to build confidence "in the opportunies that unity offers".

The paper 'A United Ireland and the Agreement' said nationalism must embrace unionism more "not because the numbers tell us we must, but because our desire for a peaceful future on this island as equals and as partners tells us we should.

"Those who lecture unionists about their need to prepare for re-unification have to accept that it is not just through words but actions as well that unity will be achieved.

"It is futile talking in high-minded language about unity while at the same time engaging in the sort of underhand actions that put unionists off even the Agreement, never mind the idea of a united Ireland."

Leader Mark Durkan said the party was now seeing agreement on the date for a referendum on a United Ireland - and that Sinn Fein, the DUP and UUP already supported holding a referendum.

But the paper also admitted winning a referendum would be much more difficult "if voters know nothing of how they will be governed afterwards ..."

In a three-pronged release of the proposals, in the run-up to the expected announcement of a General Election in the next few weeks, the party said it would campaign vigorously in favour of a Yes vote on unity "while reassuring unionists of their guaranteed place in a united Ireland."

Mr Durkan said: "We seek a united Ireland that is confident, pluralist and non-sectarian. One that can ... offer a home not only to those who are Irish, but also those among us who are British."


Do SDLP Proposals Mark Shift From Post Nationalism?

Published: 21 March, 2005

Commenting on the launch today by the SDLP of a document on Irish Unity Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said that the apparent shift by the SDLP from the politics of post nationalism to the politics of Irish Unity was welcome.

Mr McLaughlin said: "The Sinn Féin demand for Irish Independence and Unity has always been up front and clear. The same cannot be said of the SDLP. During a recent election campaign the SDLP told us that we now lived in a post nationalist situation and the demand for Irish unity was no longer a realistic goal. Sinn Féin rejected this notion at the time and continue to do so.

"If today's launch by the SDLP is a genuine shift away from the folly of their post nationalist position onto the ground of Irish unity then that would obviously be a welcome move and comes a month after Sinn Féin published detailed proposals and launched a campaign for the Irish government to bring forward a Green Paper on Irish Unity.

"I also note that the Irish Minister Dermot Ahern has chosen to associate himself with these proposals. I would make the case that the campaign to achieve Irish unity would be far better advanced if he directed his energies and those of the Irish government into publishing at the earliest opportunity a Green Paper on Irish Unity which could then enjoy the support of the vast majority of people on the island who wish to see national re-unification." ENDS


Police Attacked, Cars Torched In Mob Rampage

By Alan Erwin, PA

Six cars were set on fire as a mob went on the rampage in Northern Ireland overnight.

Police were also pelted with stones by up to 50 thugs who had gathered on the Bowtown estate in Newtownards, Co Down.

A petrol bomb was thrown into the neighbouring Whitehorn area as well, although no damage was caused.

Tensions have been running high in Bowtown, a loyalist stronghold, since police raided a drinking den on Friday, seizing a gambling machine and alcohol consignment.

When trouble flared last night extra police were drafted in, only to be attacked with missiles. No injuries were reported.


Residents Living In Fear As Trouble Flares

By Debra Douglas
21 March 2005

Residents of a Co Down estate plagued by a weekend of disturbances are living in fear, it was claimed today.

Councillor Lynda Cleland said the Bowtown estate in Newtownards looked like a war zone after a series of weekend disturbances.

Last night trouble flared when a petrol bomb was thrown into the Whitehorn area and six cars were set alight.

Police trying to control the situation were attacked by stone-throwers in a crowd of about 50 and additional officers had to be brought in. The Fire Brigade also came under attack.

Last night's disturbances follow trouble in the area on Friday night which erupted when police carried out a search in a house under licensing laws. A gaming machine and alcohol were seized during the raid.

Alliance councillor Ms Cleland, who lives in the estate, said the weekend had been a nightmare for residents.

"People living here have been absolutely terrified - they are too afraid to leave their homes," she said.

"A handful of people are responsible for the trouble and are making life hell for everyone else here.

"Pensioners' bungalows back on to the area where most of the trouble was and the residents there are too petrified to open their front door. That is no way for people to live."

Condemning the trouble, Strangford MLA, Kieran McCarthy, said: "The majority of people who live on that estate are decent, law-abiding citizens who want to get on with life without any trouble.

"What happened there over the weekend beggars belief and it totally unacceptable."

Meanwhile, firefighters came under attack in five separate incidents across Northern Ireland last night.


IRA Still Needed, Say Some N. Ireland Catholics News Staff

While many Northern Ireland Catholics are more willing than ever to speak out against the violent excesses and criminal behaviour of the IRA, some think the paramilitary group is still needed.

"The easy assumption, of course, is that the IRA had made a fatal mistake, killing a fellow Catholic in a bar fight, threatening witnesses," said CTV's Tom Kennedy in Belfast.

"But the easy assumption may be wrong."

There is no doubt the murder of Robert McCartney, 33, has put the IRA and Sinn Fein, its political arm, under tremendous pressure.

McCartney was stabbed to death in a pub on Jan. 30 following an argument with IRA supporters.

His five sisters have been steadfast in their criticism of the IRA, saying the group has impeded the investigation by intimidating witnesses, among other things.

One stunning gaffe by the paramilitary force was to offer to shoot the four men it said were responsible for the killing -- an offer the sisters rejected, saying they preferring to let the justice system handle things.

U.S. President George W. Bush held a reception for the sisters at the White House this past week.

Sen. Edward Kennedy also met with them -- and pointedly cancelled his traditional St. Patrick's Day meeting with Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein's leader.

Adams was also snubbed by the White House on St. Patrick's Day, the first time in a decade that has happened.

The McCartneys aren't the only Catholics speaking out these days.

Paddy Murray is a former IRA bomber. He was arrested and jailed, but was released under the Northern Ireland peace agreement and returned to an organization that had changed.

Murray said he wasn't happy holding up post offices or robbing trucks carrying cigarettes.

In December, a $58 million bank robbery in Belfast was blamed on the IRA. The group has consistently denied responsibility.

However, police then broke up what they said was a money-laundering operation -- one they say could link the IRA to the robbery.

"Back in the 1970s and 1980s, they'd have been seen as freedom fighters, fighting for the country, for a free Ireland," said Helen McKendry. "But today, no: They're just hoods and gangsters."

When McKendry was 15, her mother was dragged out of her home by IRA gunmen, accused of being an informant and executed. Her body wouldn't be found for another 32 years.

"That night will haunt me for the rest of my life," Helen McKendry said.

But Kennedy notes that sectarianism remains a fact of life in Belfast, even though "The Troubles" have dramatically subsided.

Protestant communities in Belfast still have their paramilitary groups. Irish and Catholic neighbors adjacent to each other are separated by fences.

Patricia Johnson, a Catholic, lost her brother to Protestant gunmen in 1988. She believes the police never even tried to find his killers.

"The police wouldn't be seen as protectors and defending the people of this community at all," she said.

As a result, even though things are relatively peaceful, many Catholics "continue to believe the IRA is still needed," Kennedy said.

With a report from CTV's Tom Kennedy


McCartney Sisters Accuse SF

The McCartney sisters claimed today that a majority of customers in the Belfast bar near where their brother was murdered were Sinn Fein and IRA members.

The family said several republicans had been drinking in Magennis`s Bar on the night of the brutal killing and had failed to come forward with information.

And they accused Sinn Fein members of forming a conspiracy of silence to protect those who killed father-of-two Robert McCartney.

"It seems that that bar was more or less full of Sinn Fein members and IRA members than originally we thought," Gemma McCartney said.

"We thought at the start maybe that they were blood related which was what was preventing people coming forward - ties of loyalty to each other."

The family said it had become apparent over the last few weeks that a wall of silence had been built up by a number of republicans who had been drinking in the bar.

The McCartney sisters accused Sinn Fein election candidate, Cora Grogan, of telling lies and failing to come forward with vital information.

They claimed a taxi driver had taken Ms Grogan to another bar in south Belfast and heard her describe the events inside Magennis`s Bar.

The family told RTE radio that it was inconceivable to think that republicans who were in the pub on the night of the murder and failed to come forward were potential governmental officials who could sit on the policing board.

The sisters also claimed the police investigation was being stifled even though the Sinn Fein leadership had called on anyone with information to come forward.

"No-one has gone to the Ombudsman. Yes, people have went to their solicitor with notes ... and a prepared statement so, in effect what`s happening here, is they are being told yes to go forward but say nothing," Ms McCartney said.

The sisters spent last week in the United States in a bid to drum up support for their fight for justice.

The family held dozens of media interviews and met with US senators such as Ted Kennedy, John McCain and Hillary Clinton and had talks with President George W Bush.

The McCartney family vowed to continue the campaign by organising a national petition, holding rallies outside Magennis`s pub in Belfast and visiting senior members of the European Parliament.

An European Parliament spokesperson said, however, that the Parliament is unaware of any plans by the McCartney sisters to address their campaign for justice in either Brussels or Strasbourg.

A decision on whether any of the sisters will stand in the upcoming elections in Northern Ireland is expected in the coming weeks.


Viewpoint: DeLorean Debacle Still Relevant Today

Shattered Dream: Death of a salesman who haunts Northern Ireland.

21 March 2005

For all his flamboyance, John Zachary DeLorean will primarily be remembered as an opportunist who took the British Government for a ride and squandered a huge amount of taxpayers' money.

With the gift of hindsight, it is easy to see why the proposal to manufacture sports cars in west Belfast was hopelessly ambitious. There was no history of automotive production in the area, and transportation costs made the cars uncompetitive.

To compound matters, the sports car sector was in recession in the US when the futuristic gull-winged vehicle made its debut. The debate continues as to whether the project would have worked had more money been thrown at it, but the Thatcher Government of the 1980s wisely decided enough was enough.

But why was the Callaghan Government of the late 1970s so easily seduced by the DeLorean dream? As the then Secretary of State, Roy Mason, admitted, it was the belief that the creation of a factory employing thousands of people in west Belfast would be a "hammer-blow" to the IRA.

Desperate times required desperate remedies and the Government ignored warning signs such as the refusal of the Republic and other countries to play host to DeLorean. Ultimately, a total of £77m went down the tubes in what the Parliamentary Accounts Committee described as one of the gravest cases of misuse of public resources.

That said, the DeLorean episode has to be set in context. The Sunningdale agreement had collapsed, unemployment stood at 15% and the terror campaigns by the IRA and loyalist paramilitaries were at their height.

Northern Ireland was in a fragile and vulnerable state, and economic prosperity was seen as one of the paths back to stability. DeLorean took advantage of a government which was prepared to foot the bill in the belief it would help secure peace.

The missing element in this unhappy saga was accountability. Financial controls were not tight enough.

Lessons should have been learned and some were. But it is worrying that the PAC has in recent years been able to unearth continuing evidence that taxpayers' money is being wasted in certain public sector projects in Northern Ireland.

DeLorean is dead and nothing can bring back the millions which he washed down the drain. But the very name should act as a reminder to Ministers and civil servants of the need for utmost vigilance when it comes to the disbursement of public funds.


Northern Ireland:
McCartney Murder Used To Increase Pressure On IRA To Disband

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland
21 March 2005

The feting of the family of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney by the Bush administration is a cynical exercise in political manipulation. McCartney’s murder has been seized upon by the US, British and Irish governments to step up pressure on Sinn Fein to back the demand for the Irish Republican Army to disband. Sinn Fein, which officially denies any ties to the proscribed IRA, has long been considered the political wing of the republican paramilitary organisation.

McCartney, a 33-year-old father of two, was stabbed to death outside a Belfast bar on January 30. His friend Brendan Devine was also seriously injured in what was reportedly a non-political argument with alleged IRA members. Both men were stabbed repeatedly, jumped on, battered with sewer rods, and left for dead.

It is further alleged that one IRA member returned to the bar to collect potentially incriminating closed circuit television tape and that other IRA members have intimidated witnesses to the killing.

The murder generated a wave of revulsion in the Catholic Short Strand area of Belfast. It received unprecedented attention in the media and within political circles internationally, culminating in the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day invitation for a personal audience with President George W. Bush extended to McCartney’s five sisters and his female partner.

The intervention of the Bush administration has nothing to do with genuine concern at the personal tragedy suffered by the McCartney family and everything to do with winding up the IRA. Bush made this demand central to his St. Patrick’s Day speech, and leading Democrats, including Senator Hillary Clinton, as well as former Republican presidential contender Senator John McCain were on hand to endorse his stand.

Commenting on the event, Britain’s Northern Ireland secretary, Paul Murphy, expressed satisfaction over how the McCartneys had been used to change the “political landscape,” particularly with regard to Irish-Americans, by having “personalised the issue of criminal activity.”

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern added that inclusive government in Northern Ireland was possible only when there was “definitive closure to paramilitary capability and activity, including all forms of criminality.”

For their part, the McCartneys said they believed that Bush “had a very good understanding of what our campaign is about” and was fully behind them.

Pressure has been exerted on Sinn Fein to wind up the IRA ever since last November’s collapse of negotiations to restore the devolved government established by the 1998 Northern Ireland Agreement. Without the disbanding of the IRA and Sinn Fein’s endorsement of the reformed Royal Ulster Constabulary, now called the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), resumption of the power sharing executive is excluded because of opposition from the Protestant Democratic Unionist Party.

All of the parties and governments that signed onto the 1998 “Good Friday Agreement,” with the exception of Sinn Fein, seized on accusations of IRA involvement in the December 2004 robbery of Belfast’s Northern Bank to intensify pressure on Sinn Fein to agree that the IRA must cease to exist. McCartney’s murder the following month was likewise seized upon by London, Washington, Dublin and the unionist parties in Northern Ireland, which calculated that allegations the IRA had turned on its own to further a criminal agenda would ensure the organisation’s demise.

Sinn Fein has attempted to placate these governments with promises to end the activities of the IRA, hoping thereby to establish its credentials as a full partner within the power-sharing structures established by the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Fein insists that the names of those thought to be involved in the killing were handed over the PSNI ombudsman, reversing the party’s previous policy of non-collaboration with the RUC, and it has suspended several of its members.

The McCartneys were invited to Sinn Fein’s 100th anniversary conference, where they were given a standing ovation. Sinn Fein leader Jerry Adams sat beside them, and the entire event was broadcast on TV.

Adams responded to the McCartneys’ presidential invite to the White House with a warning that the issue was being utilised for political ends and a reaffirmation that Sinn Fein was making every effort “to create the conditions in which the IRA ceases to be.” Adams added, “It is my conviction that we will be successful.” His deputy, Martin McGuinness, accused the police of “unprecedented and incredible delays” in questioning key suspects and witnesses in order to damage Sinn Fein.

The IRA has been thrown further into crisis by reaction to the McCartney killing. It was forced to reverse its initial policy of protecting its members, and suspended from membership three people said to be involved in the killing. It then published an offer it had made to the McCartney family to shoot the individuals whom they held responsible for the killing.

This attempt to appease popular anger badly misfired. Spokesmen for the British, Irish and US governments lined up to insist that such summary justice only confirmed the IRA’s criminality and to demand that it now accept “the rule of law.”

By far the greatest damage facing Sinn Fein and the IRA comes from the hostile stance taken by Washington. Nothing exposed Sinn Fein’s fraudulent utilisation of certain socialist phrases more fully than its long-standing reliance on influential sections of the US ruling elite to provide it both with funding and political leverage against Britain.

During the 1990s, Sinn Fein made clear that it was ready to abandon its terrorist campaign against Britain and take its place in the Northern Ireland state apparatus, where it would help create the political stability necessary to attract global investment. In return, the Clinton administration cultivated Sinn Fein as an instrument through which US imperialism could exert its political influence within Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein is now being threatened with permanent withdrawal of its proffered status of legitimacy if it does not toe the line. Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, made the administration’s position clear to the BBC. “It’s time for the IRA to go out of business. And it’s time for Sinn Fein to be able to say that explicitly, without ambiguity, without ambivalence, that criminality will not be tolerated.”

Sinn Fein’s own record makes nonsense of Adam’s warning that the McCartneys must not allow themselves to be politically manipulated. The family’s embrace of Bush as an ally in its campaign for justice is a politically misguided and deplorable spectacle, given the criminal and bloodstained character of his administration as evidenced in its ongoing brutalisation of the Iraqi people. But in the final analysis, it is further evidence of the political miseducation resulting from the domination of bourgeois nationalism over the Catholic working class in the north of Ireland.

Through its hostility to a socialist program based on the international unity and political independence of the working class, and its historic reliance on the support of sections of the American and Irish bourgeoisie, Sinn Fein bears major responsibility for the disoriented response of the McCartneys. In turning to Washington, the family are only echoing Sinn Fein in its embrace of US imperialism’s role as the guarantor of the constitutional arrangements established under the Good Friday Agreement.

The events surrounding the murder of Robert McCartney prove that it is not enough to oppose the worst excesses of the IRA, whilst accepting the bourgeois nationalist political framework of republicanism—including the illusion that the Northern Ireland agreement provides the basis for meeting the elementary democratic and social aspirations of working people, whether Catholic or Protestant.

Outrage over the brutal slaying of Robert McCartney and sympathy with his family’s plight should in no way prevent working people from opposing the course on which they have embarked. But equally, it in no way implies that support be extended to Sinn Fein, which is only anxious to renew its friendly relations with Washington, London and Dublin; or to the IRA, in the mistaken belief that it constitutes an anti-imperialist force. Everything depends on working people—Catholic and Protestant—adopting a socialist and internationalist perspective in opposition to all of the political defenders of British and American imperialism and capitalist rule.


Boy's Last Words Before Drowning

A young boy told his friend he loved him minutes before he was cruelly swept out to sea, an inquest heard today.

By:Press Association

Jordan Murdock, 14, drowned after he fell into the harbour at Killough, County Down, on January 11, 2004.

His body was found washed up on the beach a short distance away three weeks later by a woman out walking her dog.

His three friends tearfully recounted to the Belfast hearing how they had tried to save the stricken teenager as huge waves crashed against the harbour walls during a force eight gale.

David Hackett who was playing on the pier along with Jordan, Padraig Crane and Steven McManus, said he heard someone shout that Jordan had fallen into the harbour.

He said: "I saw Jordan in the water. He shouted `Someone jump in and help me`."

David plunged into the icy waters and as he began making his way to his friend Jordan said: "I love youse."

David added: "He started panicking and I grabbed his hand, I was trying to bring him over to the rocks."

Just as the two friends were within a few feet of safety a 10ft wave buffeted them breaking them apart.

David said he made another desperate effort to save his pal but another wave again separated them.

He added: "I looked back towards the bay but Jordan had gone."

The coastguard mounted one of the biggest air and sea search operations in recent years.

When the operation was called off a few days later volunteers from the area continued to comb the sea and shoreline for Jordan`s body.

Another friend, Steven McManus, told the inquest that Jordan had been messing about hanging off the end of the pier trying to dip his feet into the treacherous waves.

He said: "I saw him lose his grip and fall into the water.

"Even Jordan was laughing at first but we saw he was slowly getting pulled out. I tried to grab him but he said he couldn`t reach me."

Coastguard vessels from Newcastle and Ardglass and a lifeboat from Portaferry and a rescue helicopter from Dublin were on the scene almost immediately and spotted Jordan`s jacket at nearby Coney Island.

Later they found his black woollen hat.

Richard Newell who co-ordinated the search operation said: "It was probably one of the biggest searches that I have been involved in in 15 years.

"It was a really tremendous response from the public, the number of people who came and were prepared to work under those conditions to help."

Deputy Coroner for Greater Belfast, David Hunter, said that no-one should reproach themselves in any way for what had happened to Jordan.

He said: "It seems to me that the young men who were with Jordan did all they could to help him and I want to commend all of them.

"I know how unforgiving and how dangerous the sea is. The currents around the north coast are very strong and when someone gets caught in them the chances for survival are very slim."

Mr Hunter commended all those involved in the search operation and expressed sympathy to the family.

"I hope that today will help to bring some closure for them," he said.

Mr Hunter found that Jordan had drowned after falling into the harbour and being carried out to sea.

Outside the inquest Jordan`s uncle, James Murdock, said the family was still traumatised by what had happened.

He said: "People say time will heal but the family are still devastated, his mother and father won`t get over Jordan.

"They are still trying to rebuild their lives because they`ve got four girls. It`s still very hard and I know that they will never get over it."


BC's Irish Film Series Brings Culture To The Big Screen

Series highlights history with pride

By Clare Murphy
Published: Monday, March 21, 2005

The Battle of the Bogside, Headrush, Blind Flight, and You Looking at Me? are all titles which inspire thought of the next action thriller coming from the studios of Hollywood. But Bruce Willis shouldn't worry.

The Boston College Center for Irish Programs fifth annual Irish Film Series, which began Feb. 27 and will continue through April 4, features extraordinary celluloid perspectives of the culture. In the past, BC has shown over 50 contemporary Irish, British, and American films and this year's series promises to be the best yet. This series was developed in conjunction with West Newton Cinema, an independently owned and operated theater showcasing contemporary and cutting-edge American and international films. The movies offer a glimpse of Ireland's present, while incorporating its intricate past.

The series, depicting the actual people and events of current day Ireland, conveys the rich history and beauty of Ireland. The country's past is brought to life through excellent acting and storylines that make jaws drop. Cinematography lends a tangible quality to the Irish people through an understanding of locations and homes.

The 11 films in this year's series touch upon several aspects of the Irish culture. These elements include God, love, family, and daily living.

With the union between the University's Center for Irish Programs and West Newton Cinema, the films being shown this year are, "Cutting-edge contemporary films, which - especially in March - are an alternative to another stereotype," said Robert Savage, co-director for the Irish Studies Program and film series curator.

The stereotypes he refers to come with the commercialization of St. Patrick's Day, which stirs images that purport to be typical depictions of actual Irish living, but fails to capture the ever elusive spirit of Irish heritage.

Although St. Patrick's Day is meant to celebrate the Irish heritage - and who isn't Irish on March 17? - few people actually discover what present day Ireland is actually like, or even how it got that way. The film series changes this.

Having gotten pleasing publicity in The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and The New York Times, as well as other local papers, the series has drawn a variety of movie goers, including families and those of all ages, seeking Irish heritage.

In addition, the fresh, modern movies received extremely positive feedback from the crowd. Movies that project a sense of humor are also among the top tier of picks.

All of the movies in the series are carefully and deliberately chosen. After the Irish Studies Program screens several movies from Irish directors, it decides which it will show. The program obtains screenings of the movies by contacting the directors, as well as through word of mouth among the film industry producers in Ireland.

In the past, the directors of the movies have come out to discuss their films with the audience after the film's showing. This year, Colm Meany, a star of The Boys and Girl from County Clare had a question and answer session with the audience after the showing of the movie on Feb. 27.

The series began this year with the United States debut of The Boys and Girl from County Clare. In this 2005 movie, two estranged brothers have a chance to rediscover their pasts as members of rival bands in 1970s Ireland.

The Halo Effect is the story of a small restaurant owner who struggles with gambling debts and loan sharks, while still trying to maintain a business and community. It is an emotional movie which pulls the audience through a weaving pattern of the restaurant owner's desperate actions as he tries to keep himself alive from the cronies of the loan sharks who have no mercy.

The friends of the owner are a diverse group of adults who are all struggling with their own demons. The film's depiction of the owner's actions for one week - and his life - come down to a card game of Snap.

"Halo Effect is a great movie. I would definitely recommend it. I loved the characters and their depth. Seeing the movie on St. Patrick's Day made the day even better," said Jennifer Seleman, A&S '07.

Black Day at Black Rocks (2000) will be playing in Devlin 008 tonight at 6:30 p.m. It tells the story of the day in a small Irish community, Black Rock, when the town's citizens discover they are going to be providing a home to 30 asylum seekers.

On March 27, Holy Cross will be shown at the West Newton Cinema. The film is set within the actual event of the 2001 Ardoyne Road dispute in Belfast. In this fight, the rights of Catholic Ardoyne area school girls were questioned as they had to walk through predominantly Protestant Glenbryn to reach their grade school.

On April 4, the series comes to a close with the showing of Failte Mr. President. This movie tells of President Reagan's visit to Ireland in 1984. Including the unexpected protests receiving the president in Ireland, this film depicts an element in the breaking down of relations between Ireland and the United States. It is just one more facet of the Irish history shown in this series


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