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March 24, 2005

Secrecy Bill Set To Be Rushed Through

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Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents – Mar 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 03/24/05
Secrecy Bill Set To Be Rushed Through
BB 03/24/05 'Drugs Link' Man Is Ex-RUC Man
BB 03/24/05 Board Is Backing New Baton Round
BT 03/24/05 Nelson Inquiry To Have New Powers
BT 03/24/05 Plea For Trouble-Free Easter Parade
IO 03/24/05 Easter Rising Garrison Plaque Unveiled
DI 03/24/05 Family Of Hit-And-Run Victim Accuses Sinn Féin
BT 03/24/05 UVF Murder Appeal - One Year On
BT 03/24/05 Adams To Give Easter Rising Oration
BT 03/24/05 Belfast Student Dies In US Ski Accident
BB 03/24/05 Arms & Security Data Recovered
UT 03/24/05 Soccer: Police Operation For Eng V NI Game
BB 03/24/05 Resignations Over Education Cuts
BT 03/24/05 Historic Cup Dating Back To 1790 To Go Under Hammer
JN 03/24/05 Party Honors Historic Past
NP 03/24/05 “No Irish Need Apply”: A Myth Of Victimization By Richard Jensen

HM 03/24/05
Hearts & Minds -VO
NW 03/24/05
Architect David Grant -VO

Hearts & Minds in America where the White House has become a cold house for our local politicians. President Bush is pushing Sinn Fein to break its links with the IRA but what message are republicans getting from the wider American community? We talk to US Special Envoy Mitchell Reiss & to the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern.

Prime Time: special report on rogue Dublin architect - Reporter Rita O'Reilly investigates the allegations surrounding Architect David Grant


Secrecy Bill Set To Be Rushed Through

Change in law for Finucane inquiry

By Chris Thornton
24 March 2005

The controversial Bill allowing for greater secrecy in public inquiries is ready to be rushed through Parliament if Tony Blair calls a General Election, Government sources have indicated.

In spite of criticism from the Irish & American governments, human rights organisations & senior judicial figures, the Bill is ready to be fast-tracked if - as expected - Mr Blair goes to the Queen in early April to dissolve Parliament.

That would mean the new rules for inquiries, including greater powers for Ministers to keep material secret, would be in place for the planned inquiry into collusion around the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane.

Mr Finucane's family has strongly opposed the legislation. His widow, Geraldine, spoke out against it in Washington last week.

The Government is going ahead with inquiries into three other cases of alleged collusion under existing legislation. But it says it will not proceed with the Finucane Inquiry until the new secrecy measures are in place.

When Parliament is closing down for an election, Bills that have not fully passed can either be rushed through or left to die.

Any Bill not completed has to start from scratch with a new Parliament.

The Inquiries Bill was introduced last November & has progressed through the House of Lords. It was being scrutinised by a Commons committee this week.

Sources have indicated that the Government believes the Bill has proceeded far enough to get passed if the parliamentary timetable is squeezed by the election. But that means it would pass the Commons in a matter of days.

One source said there could be a scramble to get the Bill through, but said it is "well-placed" to pass.

Last week Taoiseach Bertie Ahern enlisted President George W Bush to raise concerns about the Bill with Mr Blair.

And TDs spoke against the Bill in the Dail this week as the Irish government prepared to open an inquiry into allegations of Garda collusion in the murders of RUC officers Bob Buchanan & Harry Breen.


'Drugs Link' Man Is Ex-RUC Man

A man with alleged links to drugs & loyalist terrorists who has had almost £5m of assets frozen is a former police officer.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed Colin Armstrong had to resign from the force over "neglect of duty".

The Assets Recovery Agency was granted an interim order & a receiver has taken control of assets of about £4.8m.

The assets, which include 49 properties, belong to Mr Armstrong & Geraldine Mallon from Glenavy.

The ARA alleges that Mr Armstrong was linked to drug trafficking between Belgium & Northern Ireland in 1994.

It is the agency's biggest ever seizure in Northern Ireland. The order was granted by the High Court in Belfast.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said: "He was a full time reserve officer who had to leave in August 1991.

"He was required to resign as a consequence of neglect of duty. The disciplinary charges were not in respect of any criminal activities."

ARA assistant director Alan McQuillan said their case put to the court alleged that Mr Armstrong had been dealing in all types of of illegal drugs.

"In the case of Ms Mallon, we have simply alleged that she is Mr Armstrong's partner, that she holds some of the assets in her own name, & that she is a director of some of the companies."

Mr Armstrong owns 47 houses in Northern Ireland, one in Dublin & one in France, & a number of companies, including two identified as Modern Homes (NI) Ltd & Tudor Road Properties Ltd.

It is alleged that the 38-year-old had links with the UVF, & then the LVF following the split between those organisations.

Northern Ireland Office Security Minister Ian Pearson said it was a major operation by the agency.

"This is another significant action by the ARA & clearly indicates the agency's commitment to deprive criminals of their profits," he said.

DUP MP Nigel Dodds commended the work of the ARA but pointed out that in the agency's 18-month existence only £2m had been seized.

"Those figures indicate that all the ARA is doing so far is dealing with loose change. There needs to be a big effort to get far, far more money recovered," he said.

Mr Dodds also said there was an imbalance between those targeted, as four times as much had been recovered from loyalists as from republicans.

"A job of work needs to be done to ensure that the vast amounts of money that is sloshing about out there in terms of republican activity, as well as loyalist activity, that that is targeted," he said.

"There is massive amounts being gained through money laundering, fuel laundering, through smuggling, racketeering & so on, on the republican side as well as the loyalist side."

However, Mr McQuillan pointed out that, until recently, an individual could not be referred to the ARA if there was an ongoing criminal investigation.

He added that a key crime people wanted the agency to concentrate on was drug dealing.

"In the loyalist community, drug dealing is run by the paramilitaries & it is generally run for personal gain by a large number of people.

"So there are a large number of targets there who are all making significant amounts of money," he said.

"If you go into the republican community, the PIRA, in general, do not do drugs, so you won't find large numbers, on the same sort of scale, of drug dealers in that community.

"The issue is that you have to judge this on the longer term."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/03/24 15:46:24 GMT


Board Is Backing New Baton Round

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has backed the adoption of a new plastic baton round by police.

In a statement the board said the decision to replace the baton round with an 'attenuated energy projectile' was subject to conditions.

These include Chief Constable Hugh Orde consulting with the Children's Commissioner & other bodies.

Board Chairman Professor Sir Desmond Rea said the AEP presented "less risk of causing serious or fatal harm".

"The use of plastic baton rounds is of real importance to many people across Northern Ireland, not least those who have in the past suffered loss or harm to their family members & friends, & the board acknowledges this," he said.

Mr Rea added no baton rounds had been fired since September 2002 & that their use was recorded & investigated by the police ombudsman.

He said the rounds are not to be used as "an indiscriminate means of crowd control" but "against specific individuals" to protect the public & police officers.

SDLP board member Alex Attwood said that his party had opposed the decision.

He said there had been "inadequate medical assessments on the impact of this weapon on children".

"It is important to note that it was the board which decided this issue which confirms the central & pivotal authority of the board when it comes to policing decisions," he said.

The chief constable will have to demonstrate that he has consulted with relevant bodies at a board meeting on 7 April.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/03/24 21:25:55 GMT


Nelson Inquiry To Have New Powers

New role covers any Army & MI5 links.

By Chris Thornton
24 March 2005

The Government agreed today to widen the scope of the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry so it can examine any possible links between the Army, MI5 & the Lurgan solicitor's murder.

The shift came after the inquiry's tribunal lobbied for greater powers. The inquiry is due to open next month.

The original terms of reference said the inquiry should look at what role, if any, police played in the murder of Mrs Nelson, a defence lawyer.

The 40-year-old mother-of-three was killed by a bomb under her car on March 15, 1999.

The Red Hand Defenders, a cover name used by the UDA & LVF, claimed her murder.

Mrs Nelson had consistently alleged that police had issued threats against her through her clients. There have been other collusion allegations linked to her death.

When the inquiry was first announced last November there was immediate criticism of the limited scope.

The inquiry team - chaired by retired judge Sir Michael Morland - revealed today they had asked Secretary of State Paul Murphy to widen the scope.

"On the basis of its initial work the inquiry became concerned that its terms of reference were insufficiently wide to enable it effectively & thoroughly to discharge the task with which it has been charged," they said in a statement.

The inquiry tribunal said they were pleased that Mr Murphy agreed that they should now look at whether the RUC, the Northern Ireland Office, Army "or other state agency" contributed to Mrs Nelson's death.

Mr Murphy said the change would "make clear beyond any doubt that the actions of the Army & the security & intelligence agencies fall within their scope".

SDLP Assembly member Alex Attwood, who first raised concerns about the limit on the Nelson Inquiry's powers, said: "The Government should now move to establish a proper inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane & abandon its new tribunal legislation which won't facilitate the truth."


Plea For Trouble-Free Parade

By Nevin Farrell
24 March 2005

Police are appealing for calm during a republican band parade in Maghera on Easter Monday in a bid to prevent a repeat of St Patrick's night disorder in the town.

Chief Inspector Tom Wiggins says the trouble on March 17, which left property in the area damaged, was in part alcohol related & "did nothing for the good name of the town. It tarnished what should been a day of peaceful celebration".

He added: "I am determined to do all that I can to ensure that all events in south Derry pass off peacefully.

"This includes tackling the issue of drunkenness, which not only contributes to breaches of the peace but spoils the enjoyment of the vast majority of people who attend local events.

"I value the co-operation the police receive from event organisers & the community who want to see all events pass off without incident."

Speaking ahead of a parade by the South Derry Martyrs Flute Band Mr Wiggins said: "I urge all those in a position of influence within their respective communities to use every opportunity to promote understanding & friendship among all the people for the benefit of the whole area.

The Parades Commission has said there is inter-community tension in Maghera & has issued conditions to the parade.


Easter Rising Garrison Plaque Unveiled

24/03/2005 - 15:12:40

Descendants of the men & women who formed the City Hall garrison during the 1916 Easter Rising gathered today to see a plaque in their memory unveiled.

The memorial on the front of City Hall was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Michael Conaghan, who said he was proud to have relatives of the 52 heroes at the commemoration.

Lorraine Coyle, the granddaughter of Thomas Coyle who fought with the City Hall garrison, was instrumental in getting the new plaque put up.

She said: “There used to be a plaque but it disappeared, so I said surely there should be something to remember the events by.

“It’s a very proud & very emotional day for us.”

She added that it was great to see so many people with contacts to the events had turned up for the commemoration.

Derek Oman, the grandson of bugler William Oman who sounded the fall-in outside Liberty Hall & later held High Street against a British patrol single-handedly, said talking to people at the commemoration was an eye-opener.

“My grandfather never portrayed himself to be a hero, he always kept a low profile,” Mr Oman said.

“For the whole family, it’s a very proud day. We’ve gone down the road & seen how much he did contribute,” he said.

Joe Duffy, the son of nurse Bridget Davis who was one of the women in the garrison at City Hall, along with Helena Molony & Dr Kathleen Lynn, said being there was a great occasion.

“I’m delighted to see that everybody appreciates the work they did, as this part is sometimes neglected because of what happened at the GPO & other places,” he said.

He said that his mother was there when the leader of the garrison Captain Sean Connolly died & that her uniform with his blood on it was now on display at Kilmainham Jail, where she was imprisoned for a while.

The Lord Mayor said: “These were men & women who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice & to give their lives for Ireland.

“Today we are not called upon to die for Ireland – instead our task is to live & work for Ireland, to build up our society, to ensure equality for all, to welcome the stranger, to plan for future generations.

“Our commemoration today of the courage & nobility of the City Hall garrison & its outposts should give us inspiration to devote ourselves to these tasks with renewed fervour so that the Ireland which we build in the 21st century may be of itself the most fitting tribute of all to the fulfilment of the ideals,” he said.

There was also an original 1916 Proclamation which had belonged to nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell on display at City Hall.


Family Of Hit-And-Run Victim Accuses Sinn Féin

The family of a Belfast man who died in a hit-and-run incident last night accused Sinn Féin of ignoring appeals to help identify the killers.

Engineer Stephen Montgomery’s mother Josephine Milnes claimed Sinn Féin representatives could have done more to aid the family’s quest for justice regarding the attack in the city’s staunchly republican Ardoyne district.

Sinn Féin said the party had helped the family in whatever way it could.

Mr Montgomery was killed on February 13 after leaving the Jamaica Inn pub in Ardoyne in the north of the city.

Two hours later, he was found lying in the middle of the road with fatal head wounds.

The PSNI has said it was treating the death as a hit-and-run. His family claimed he had been beaten up first & then driven over repeatedly.

Investigating officers disclosed that at least three cars had been involved, according to the family.

Three men & two women have been questioned over the death but no charges were brought.

Mrs Milnes said her home had been “crawling” with Sinn Féin members when her son’s body came home.

They were saying how sorry they were for what had happened, she said.

“I asked them to help me find out who did it & whether Stephen was still conscious when he was found. I asked them for help.

“But they hadn’t heard anything & nobody in the community had heard anything.

“When they came back, it was to ask what had the police told us.

“I think they might have been protecting someone in the community & wanted to find out what we knew.”

Mr Montgomery’s brother Seán appealed for help in finding his brother’s killers.

“The republican movement, who are supposed to be our police force, could be & should be doing a hell of a lot more than what they are doing to help us,” he said.

Sinn Féin north Belfast councillor Margaret McClenaghan described Mr Montgomery’s death as tragic.

“This was a hit-and-run incident. The family are understandably going through a very difficult time.

“Sinn Féin have met with the family of Stephen Montgomery on a number of occasions & tried to provide whatever assistance is possible,” she said.


Murder Appeal - One Year On

By Jonathan McCambridge
24 March 2005

Detectives investigating a UVF-linked murder today appealed for fresh information one year on.

Andrew Cully, a 47-year-old self-employed builder from Greyabbey, was shot dead in his car at Beaufort Walk in the West Winds estate on March 24 last year.

Police believe two men shot the father-of-two up to 10 times at close range.

A police spokes- man said today: "Mr Cully was sitting in his dark coloured Peugeot 405 car - registration OIW 3962 - at Beaufort Walk, Newtownards.

"Two masked gunmen shot him at close range before escaping via an alley between 13 & 15 Beaufort Walk into a dark coloured car with a noisy engine which made off towards Blenheim Drive."

One person has been charged with murder.

Police today made two new appeals for information:

anyone who was in the Beaufort Walk area of West Winds & who may have seen anything suspicious, but has not yet spoken to police, to get in touch;

anyone with any knowledge of or who saw a dark coloured car with a noisy engine in the Beaufort Walk or Blenheim Drive areas & who has not yet contacted police with this information to do so.

Anyone with information is asked to call the murder investigation team at Ladas Drive on 028 9070 0319 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


Adams To Give Easter Rising Oration

By Brendan McDaid
24 March 2005

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams will deliver the main oration at the Easter Rising commemorations this weekend in Londonderry, the party has confirmed.

Sinn Fein has called for a large turnout at the event to show opposition to "attempts to criminalise" the IRA.

Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said Mr Adams will be arriving in Derry on Easter Sunday to lead the 89th anniversary march from the Bogside Inn to the City Cemetery where he will give his graveside address.

A spokesman for the family of James 'Dee Dee' McGinley, who died as a result of stab wounds sustained during a fracas in Derry, are to seek a meeting with Mr Adams when he arrives in the city.

The family have now called for a private meeting to discuss alleged links between Bart Fisher, the man charged with Mr McGinley's manslaughter, & the local branch of the Provisional IRA.

The McGinleys earlier this week refused to hold a meeting with Mr McCartney on Mr Adams's behalf, stating they would speak "only to either the IRA or Mr Adams".

Their spokesman said: "The family want to ask Mr Adams directly to bring pressure to bear on local provisionals."

Mr McCartney, meanwhile, said Sunday's march would provide a chance for republicans to gather "to pay tribute to our fallen comrades & members of the republican family who have passed away".

He added: "I am calling on all republicans to come out on Sunday & face down attempts by the British & Dublin governments to criminalise the republican dead."


Belfast Student Dies In US Ski Accident

Devastated family tells of heartbreak

By Deborah McAleese & Andrea Clements
24 March 2005

Devastated relatives of a gifted Northern Ireland student who lost his fight for life following a skiing accident in America told today of their family's heartbreak.

St Mary's University College student, Eugene Morrissey (20), died after he suffered severe head & body injuries while skiing with friends during a spring break in Morganville, West Virginia.

Eugene, who was enjoying a study year in America, was involved in the accident on Sunday but died in hospital on Tuesday.

His devastated parents, Eugene & Mary, who had travelled to America to be at their son's beside, today returned to their home at Brenda Park in Finaghy Road North in south west Belfast.

Eugene's uncle, John Morrissey, paid tribute to his extroverted & intelligent nephew.

He said: "Eugene was bright & intelligent & a good support to his parents. The family is heartbroken."

Students & staff from St Mary's, where Eugene was on a business studies course, are struggling to come to terms with the news of his death.

Eugene was taking part in a Business Education Initiative with Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, but kept in regular contact with his teachers & friends via e-mail.

A spokesman for St Mary's University College today said: "Eugene was a gifted & very popular student & his loss has caused great shock at the college."

Eugene is survived by his brothers Matthew & Jonathan & sister Jennifer.

He was a described as a "popular & vivacious" pupil at Rathmore Grammar School, which he left three years ago.

Terry Donaghy, head of upper sixth, remembered Eugene as "a very enthusiastic fellow" who had "an infectious sense of humour".

He said: "He was vivacious & always got involved & was a very genuine & good-natured lad. This really is a terrible tragedy.

"Eugene's life was full of potential & he had everything going for him."

Eugene's parents & other family members flew out to America when they heard about the accident & were with him when he died while in intensive care at the Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morganville.

Father Ferdhlimidh Magennis from St Mary's College community was also in the country to offer his support to the family.

Prayers were held at Davis & Elkins College on Monday & condolences to his family were posted on the college website.

Eugene's body is expected to be flown back to Northern Ireland within the next ten days.


Arms & Security Data Recovered

The police have uncovered a substantial arms find & a notebook containing information about the security forces.

It is believed the haul is connected to the Continuity IRA.

The police said they carried out eight house searches over the past few days as part of an ongoing investigation by the Organised Crime Branch.

During the raids - thought to be in west Belfast - they seized three vehicles, an AK47 assault rifle & five real & replica handguns.

A shotgun & a quantity of ammunition were also recovered.

They also seized component parts of an explosive device & a notebook containing personal details of security personnel.

It is understood the find is connected to two arrests for alleged extortion in the Dargan Road area of north Belfast on Monday.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/03/24 20:19:29 GMT


Soccer: Police Operation For Eng V NI Game

Security chiefs will deploy up to 1,000 police officers across Manchester to thwart soccer thugs planning mayhem around the England v Northern Ireland World Cup qualifier this weekend.

Commanders in the city confirmed the policing operation at Old Trafford would be the largest mounted at the stadium this year.

Forces from across Britain have co-operated in a bid to identify any soccer hooligans before they can go on the rampage.

Even though 31 suspects arrested this week over violence when England played Wales in Manchester in October have been ordered to stay away, senior officers will be taking no chances.

Mounted police, dog handlers & teams trained to spot offenders will be patrolling the city on Saturday.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Superintendent Andy Holt said: "The whole operation will be bigger than the England-Wales game.

"We have learned lessons from that & we are seeking to make sure that any mistakes are not replicated.

"But you shouldn`t read into that that we think there`s going to be more problems with Northern Ireland supporters than there was with Wales fans. With any operation things can be improved."

As many as 10,000 fans will travel across the Irish Sea hoping to see Lawrie Sanchez`s side cause a massive upset.

Three Police Service of Northern Ireland officers are flying in as well to provide intelligence & monitor how English troublemakers are picked out ahead of the return fixture in Belfast later this year.

With rogue loyalist paramilitary Johnny `Mad Dog` Adair living in nearby Bolton since he was released from jail, the possibility of him turning up at the match has also been discussed.

Security sources insisted it would be a mistake for him to make a high-profile appearance.

"The feeling is he will take himself off out of the way rather than showing up outside Old Trafford," one said.

But after working closely with the Irish Football Association to guarantee safety at international matches, the PSNI is not expecting any away supporters to cause trouble.

The police operation will swing into action on Friday night & run through until Sunday morning.

Clubs & bars throughout Manchester`s entertainment district have been advised to bring in extra door staff to cope with crowds of football fans staying for the weekend.

Evidence gatherers equipped with cameras will be drafted into flashpoint areas as another weapon in the police offensive against the hooligans.

Police refused to disclose exactly the numbers on patrol for the match.

But with big games at Old Trafford usually requiring around 400 officers, & major resources needed across the city, the figure was expected to reach 1,000.

Chief Superintendent Justine Curran, who is in charge of city centre security, said: "Spotting teams from all over the country can identify any known risk supporters that are here.

"Our job is to make it as safe & secure. It`s difficult to stop people if they intend to meet up, but we won`t tolerate any bad behaviour."


Resignations Over Education Cuts

Six members of the final Northern Ireland education board to agree major cuts have resigned in protest.

Four Sinn Fein & two SDLP councillors resigned from the Southern Education & Library Board after it voted for savings of £7.2m.

Members from each of the five education boards have resigned over cuts in services minister Barry Gardiner said had to be made.

A motion of no confidence in the education minister was passed.

The board chairman said if they did not agree to the budget the government would appoint an administrator to take over & make the same £7m savings.

A proposal from Sinn Fein councillor Brendan Lewis to force the government - not the board - to implement the cutbacks was rejected by 20 votes to seven, with three board members abstaining.

BBC Northern Ireland education correspondent Maggie Taggart said the budget shortfall for the five boards was about £30m.

"We have heard over & over again from boards that we do not want to make these cuts, that Barry Gardiner is responsible," she said.

"They are all saying this - it is not just one board or a few politicians - it is all of the boards. I have not heard one dissenting voice saying Barry Gardiner is right & that 'we have to clean up our act'."

On Wednesday, 11 board members resigned from the Western Education Board.

It voted narrowly to approve budget cuts of £5.7m affecting special needs children, road safety, school library books & maintenance.

Councillors from Sinn Fein, the SDLP & DUP walked out of an emergency Western Education Board meeting in Omagh in protest at the decision.

'Every public body'

Earlier this week, eight councillors resigned in protest after the Belfast Education Board voted for a £7m package of cuts.

The board also passed a no confidence motion in the Northern Ireland education minister, Barry Gardiner.

Members cited the "the impossible financial cuts imposed on the education system & the minister's belligerent manner toward the board".

On Wednesday, Mr Gardiner said: "The fact is that every public body would like more resources - but we all have to manage within the budgets set for us.

"I am pleased to note that four of the five education & library boards have agreed a budget, & I look forward to examining the details in the next few days."

Trade unions have warned jobs could be lost because of the cuts.

Meanwhile, the North Eastern Board voted to close Antrim's Massereene College despite a final attempt by parents & governors to apply for integrated status.

Adrian Watson of the Ulster Unionist Party, SDLP councillor Joe McBride & Arthur Templeton subsequently quit their posts on the board.

The North Eastern Board has already voted to push through cuts to school services "under severe duress", as it faces a £6m shortfall in money from the department next year.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/03/24 16:45:52 GMT


Historic Cup Dating Back To 1790 To Go Under Hammer

By Ashleigh Wallace
24 March 2005

An inscribed silver cup which is steeped in the history of Northern Ireland is to be auctioned in London today.

The cup - which resembles a European football trophy - is expected to attract bidding of up to £2,500 when it goes under the hammer at Bonhams.

Made in Dublin in 1790, the silver cup was presented to the Rev Edward Hudson by the 'gentlemen of Armagh' in 1792.

According to the inscription on the cup, the item was presented to the reverend for the part he played in helping to punish "certain nefarious criminals" in the area over 200 years ago.

At the time, the population of Armagh was a mix of Anglicans of English stock & Gaelic-speaking Irish Catholics.

With both sides mistrusting the other & as a result of the breakdown of social control at the time, the local Catholics formed a series of self-defending vigilante groups.

After a renowned local landlord left a bequest in his will to set up a school giving free education to children, 3,000 acres he left were said to be colonised by Protestants - resulting in Catholic squatters being evicted from the land.

The scheme, administered under Mr Hudson, proved unpopular with the Catholic population, so much so that one of the 'defenders' shot his horse from under him.


Party Honors Historic Past

Scott Earp

On Wednesday, members of the Jacksonville State University Police Department & the Jacksonville Fire Department gathered in the basement of the JSUPD headquarters for an old-fashioned baked potato luncheon. The luncheon, a part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, was held to honor the origins of the police & fire departments in the United States — in particular the affects of Irish heritage on that history.

“The Great Potato Famine in the British Isles,” explained JSUPD Chief Terry Schnieder, who was the catalyst behind the festivities, “forced a lot of Irish to leave their homelands & come to the United States. Many of them settled in the northern states, especially in the New England area.”

According to Schnieder, Irish immigrants were not particularly welcome settlers in their newfound homes. In fact, being the first ethnic group to live in the slums of the cities, they were publicly discriminated against for jobs.

“It was common practice,” added Schnieder, “for employers to have a public policy of not hiring any Irish workers. The only jobs they could get were low paying, back breaking work that no one else wanted to do.”

In the late part of the 19th & early 20th Century, police jobs were undesirable because of the low pay & lousy benefits. It was even worse in fire departments, since most of those were made up entirely of volunteers. No one wanted these jobs & thus, they fell to the Irish, who basically had few options to consider at the time.

The Irish, however, took these positions quite happily. This gave them a chance to become an official part of America, helping them to become accepted by mainstream society, & it also gave them the opportunity to give something back to their new found homeland.

“By the beginning of the 20th Century,” noted Schnieder, “Irish were not just fully immersed in police & fire departments, they were in charge of them. Their vigor & dedication helped transform the lowly professions of watchmen & fire watch personnel into the organized police & fire departments of today.”

Additionally, the Irish are responsible for many of the traditions, attitudes & institutions that are a part of modern police & fire departments. The playing of bagpipes, which is a fixture at official police & fire ceremonies & especially in the funerals of their fallen comrades, is a Celtic tradition that was implemented by Irish workers. So ingrained & enmeshed in police society is this Celtic tradition, that many larger departments, especially in the northern states, have their own bagpipe bands within the department.

One of the most famous stories pertaining to policemen & their reshaping of national & international activities, involves Irish officers & their involvement in the Olympics.

“With a strong sense of patriotic pride to their new found country,” stated a web site dedicated to history of the Emerald Society in law enforcement, “the Irish started another tradition during the 1908 Summer Olympic games held in London. Patrolman Martin J. Sheridan, of the NYPD was part of the American Olympic team. Sheridan was born in 1881 in County Mayo, Ireland & immigrated to New York in 1901 & joined the police force in 1906. During the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games, athletes from all of the countries would show their pride & march in the Parade of Nations. During the 1908 games there was a lot of animosity & bad feelings between Britain & the United States.

“Initially, Sheridan was to bear the American Flag, however, at the last moment another Irish-American teammate, Ralph Rose, was selected. It was felt that Sheridan, with strong Irish feelings, would not show proper respect toward the King of England. Protocol of the day dictated that each nation’s flag would be dipped as it passed the royal reviewing stand. Tradition has it, during the parade, Matthew McGrath, another Irish-American teammate went up to the American flag bearer & said words to the effect that if he dipped that flag he would be in the hospital that night. The flag was not dipped which caused an international incident.

“During a news conference, Sheridan spoke for the entire Olympic team; he pointed to the American flag & said this flag dips to no earthly king. The precedent was set which is still followed today during the Olympic games.”

Schnieder also noted that the term “Paddy Wagon” comes from a time when Irish were the prevalent ethnicity on the force. While many people think of it as being the van that comes & picks up law breakers to cart them off to jail, this is far from the origination of the term.

“Actually,” said Schnieder, “Irishmen were called ‘Paddies’ in that day & they would literally bring a wagon around in the morning to drive them around to their patrol area & drop them off for the day. Thus, they started calling this a Paddy Wagon.”

Schnieder, who has Irish roots, felt it was well-past time for Jacksonville to do something to observe the contributions other nationalities, cultures & ethnic groups have made on Jacksonville society. One way to do so is to observe this simple “potato party” on St. Patrick’s Day each year.

“This was really just the trial run to see how it would go over,” noted Schnieder, who suggested the turnout of around 30 people from both departments combined was pretty good. “We are hoping to make this an annual event. Next year, we will get things set up well in advance & send out invitations to people in area police & fire departments. We would like to get everyone in the area involved if possible.”

Another participant with Irish ancestry, Jacksonville Fire Chief Michael Daugherty, was also inspired by the turnout & envisioned great things for the future.

“On St. Patrick’s Day,” said Daugherty, “everyone is Irish. Still, the point of this is not who is of Irish descent & who is not. It is about honoring our past & celebrating our future.

“We are all in this together, police & fire, & I think it is important that we come together periodically to show our solidarity. We are all brothers.”

Enjoying the sites & sounds of the holiday, police officers stood side-by-side with firefighters, consumed potatoes & swayed to Irish folk music. For one moment in time they were all one department, one nationality, one people. Schnieder & Daugherty are hopeful this mutual celebration will help bring the departments closer so when they meet in a time of the public’s need for safety officers, they will be a stronger unit because of the bonds created here.

About Scott Earp Scott Earp is a staff writer for The Jacksonville News.
Contact Scott Earp Phone: 256-435-5021


“No Irish Need Apply”: A Myth Of Victimization By Richard Jensen


Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming “Help Wanted—No Irish Need Apply!” No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for female household workers occasionally specified religion or nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because they provided a reliable supply of an essential service.

Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, “No Irish Need Apply,” purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America & was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad & confronts & beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, & is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish—on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out.

Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, & their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War these fears had subsided & there were no efforts to exclude Irish immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs & politics. The NINA myth justified physical assaults, & persisted because it aided ethnic solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as a powerful memory.


The Irish American community harbors a deeply held belief that it was the victim of systematic job discrimination in America, & that the discrimination was done publicly in highly humiliating fashion through signs that announced “Help Wanted: No Irish Need Apply.” This “NINA” slogan could have been a metaphor for their troubles—akin to tales that America was a “golden mountain” or had “streets paved with gold.” But the Irish insist that the signs really existed & prove the existence of widespread discrimination & prejudice. 1

The fact that Irish vividly “remember” NINA signs is a curious historical puzzle. There are no contemporary or retrospective accounts of a specific sign at a specific location. No particular business enterprise is named as a culprit. No historian, 2 archivist, or museum curator has ever located one 3 ; no photograph or drawing exists. 4 No other ethnic group complained about being singled out by comparable signs. Only Irish Catholics have reported seeing the sign in America—no Protestant, no Jew, no non-Irish Catholic has reported seeing one. This is especially strange since signs were primarily directed toward these others: the signs said that employment was available here & invited Yankees, French-Canadians, Italians & any other non-Irish to come inside & apply. The business literature, both published & unpublished, never mentions NINA or any policy remotely like it. The newspapers & magazines are silent. The courts are silent. There is no record of an angry youth tossing a brick through the window that held such a sign. Have we not discovered all of the signs of an urban legend?

The NINA slogan seems to have originated in England, probably after the 1798 Irish rebellion. Throughout the 19th & 20th centuries it was used by English to indicate their distrust of the Irish, both Catholic & Protestant. For example the Anglican bishop of London used the phrase to say he did not want any Irish Anglican ministers iin his diocese. By the 1820s it was a cliché in upper & upper middle class London that some fussy housewives refused to hire Irish & had even posted NINA signs in their windows. It is possible that handwritten NINA signs regarding maids did appear in a few American windows, though no one ever reported one. We DO have actual newspaper want ads for women workers that specifies Irish are not wanted; they will be discussed below. In the entire file of the New York Times from 1851 to 1923, there are two NINA ads for men, one of which is for a teenager. Computer searches of classified help wanted ads in the daily editions of other online newspapers before 1923 such as the Booklyn Eagle, the Washington Post & the Chicago Tribune show that NINA ads for men were extremely rare—fewer than two per decade. The complete absence of evidence suggests that probably zero such signs were seen at commercial establishments, shops, factories, stores, hotels, railroads, union halls, hiring halls, personnel offices, labor recruiters etc. anywhere in America, at any time. NINA signs & newspaper ads for apartments to let did exist in England & Northern Ireland, but historians have not discovered reports of any in the United States, Canada or Australia. The myth focuses on public NINA signs which deliberately marginalized & humiliated Irish male job applicants. The overwhelming evidence is that such signs never existed.

Irish Americans all have heard about them—and remember elderly relatives insisting they existed. The myth had “legs”: people still believe it, even scholars. The late Tip O’Neill remembered the signs from his youth in Boston in 1920s; Senator Ted Kennedy reported the most recent sighting, telling the Senate during a civil rights debate that he saw them when growing up 5 Historically, physical NINA signs could have flourished only in intensely anti-Catholic or anti-Irish eras, especially the 1830—1870 period. Thus reports of sightings in the 1920s or 1930s suggest the myth had become so deeply rooted in Irish-American folk mythology that it was impervious to evidence. Perhaps the Irish had constructed an Evil Other out of stereotypes of outsiders—a demon that could frighten children like the young Ted Kennedy & adults as well. The challenge for the historian is to explain the origins & especially the durability of the myth. Did the demon exist outside the Irish imagination—and if not how did it get there? This paper will explain how the myth originated & will explore its long-lasting value to the Irish community as a protective device. It was an enhancement of political solidarity against a hostile Other; & a way to insulate a preindustrial non-individualistic group-oriented work culture from the individualism rampant in American culture.

We must first ask if the 19th century American environment contained enough fear or hatred of the Irish community to support the existence of the NINA sentiment? Did the Irish-American community constitute an “Other” that was reviled & discriminated against? Did more modern Americans recoil in disgust at the premodern Irish immigrants? The evidence suggests that all the criticism of the Irish was connected to one of three factors, their “premodern” behavior, their Catholicism, & their political relationship to the ideals of republicanism. If the Irish had enemies they never tried to restrict the flow of Irish immigration. 6 Much louder was the complaint that the Irish were responsible for public disorder & poverty, & above all the fears that the Irish were undermining republicanism. These fears indeed stimulated efforts to insert long delays into the citizenship process, as attempted by the Federalists in 1798 & the Know Nothings in the 1850s. Those efforts failed. As proof of their citizenship the Irish largely supported the Civil War in its critical first year. 7 Furthermore they took the lead in the 1860s in bringing into citizenship thousands of new immigrants even before the technicalities of residence requirements had been met. 8 The Irish claimed to be better republicans than the Yankees because they had fled into exile from aristocratic oppression & because they hated the British so much. 9

The use of systematic violence to achieve Irish communal goals might be considered a “premodern” trait; it angered many people & three bloody episodes proved it would not work in conflict with American republicanism. In 1863 the Irish rioted against the draft in New York City; Lincoln moved in combat troops who used cannon to regain control of the streets & resume the draft. In 1871 the Irish Catholics demanded the Protestant Irish not be allowed an Orange parade in New York City, but the Democratic governor sent five armed regiments of state militia to support the 700 city police protecting the one hundred marchers. The Catholics attacked anyway, & were shot down by the hundreds. In the 1860s & 1870s the Molly Maguires used midnight assassination squads to terrorize the anthracite mining camps in Pennsylvania. The railroad brought in Pinkertons to infiltrate the Mollys, twenty of whom were hung. In every instance Irish Catholics law enforcement officials played a major role in upholding the modern forms of republicanism that emphasized constitutional political processes rather than clandestine courts or mob action. In each instance the Irish leaders of the Catholic Church supported modern republicanism. 10 After the [End Page 406] 1870s the Irish achieved a modern voice through legitimate means, especially through politics & law enforcement. Further enhancing their status as full citizens making a valuable contribution to the community, the Catholics built monumental churches (which were immediately & widely praised), as well as a massive network of schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages & other charitable institutions. 11

Regardless of their growing status, something intensely real was stimulating the Irish Catholics & only them. The NINA myth fostered among the Irish a misperception or gross exaggeration that other Americans were prejudiced against them, & were deliberately holding back their economic progress. Hence the “chip on the shoulder” mentality that many observers & historians have noted. 12 As for the question of anti-Irish prejudice: it existed but it was basically anti-Catholic or anti-anti-republican. There have been no documented instances of job discrimination against Irish men. 13 Was there any systematic job discrimination against the Catholic Irish in the US: possibly, but direct evidence is very hard to come by. On the other hand Protestant businessmen vigorously raised money for mills, factories & construction projects they knew would mostly employ Irishmen, 14 while the great majority of middle class Protestant households in the major cities employed Irish maids. The earliest unquestioned usage found comes from the English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, using the phrase in Pendennis, a novel of growing up in London in the 1820s. The context suggests that the NINA slogan was a slightly ridiculous & old-fashioned bit of prejudice 15 Other ethnic groups also had a strong recollection of discrimination but never reported such signs. The Protestant (Orange) Irish do not recall “NINA signs. 16 Were the signs used only against Irish targets?

An electronic search of all the text of the several hundred thousand pages of magazines & books online at Library of Congress, Cornell University Library & the University of Michigan Library, & complete runs of The New York Times & The Nation, turned up about a dozen uses of NINA. 17 The complete text of New York Times is searchable from 1851 through 1923. Although the optical character recognition is not perfect (some microfilmed pages are blurry), it captures most of the text. A search of seventy years of the daily paper revealed only two classified ads with NINA—one posted by a Brooklyn harness shop that wanted a boy who could write, & a request for a couple to take charge of a cottage upstate. 18 Unlike the employment market for men, the market for female servants included a small submarket in which religion or ethnicity was specified. Thus newspaper ads for nannies, cooks, maids, nurses & companions sometimes specified “Protestant Only.” “I can’t imagine, Carrie, why you object so strongly to a Roman Catholic,” protests the husband in an 1854 short story. “Why, Edward, they are so ignorant, filthy, & superstitious. It would never do to trust the children alone with one, for there is no telling what they might learn.” 19 Intimate household relationships were delicate matters for some families, but the great majority of maids in large cities were Irish women, so the submarket that refused to hire them could not have been more than ten percent. 20

Richard Jensen, Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002) 405-429
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