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April 03, 2005

Mark Thatcher Refused Visa

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Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Apr 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 04/03/05
Mark Thatcher Refused Visa
SL 04/03/05 Fears For Birth Of New Loyalist Crime Inc.
SL 04/03/05 LVF Could Be On Verge Of A Bloody Feud
SL 04/03/05 UDA Jim Gray: I Won't Be Put In The Shade
SL 04/03/05 LVF 'Would Have Stood Down If Deal Was Done'
SL 04/03/05 Dublin Must Guarantee My Safety: Fulton
BB 04/03/05 Man Beaten In 'Sectarian' Attack
RT 04/03/05 Poll Says Govt Ahead
SL 04/03/05 New Chief Exec For UUP
SL 04/03/05 Mural's Message To Terrorists: Up Against The Wall
SL 04/03/05 The Never To Be Forgotten Trip To Ireland
SL 04/03/05 Day The 'Boys In Green' Met Pontiff
SI 04/03/05 Bono Says Pope Was Church's "Best Front Man"
RE 04/03/05 Paisley Understands Grief Over Pope
MD 04/03/05 'Rising' Above The Mob/Thriller Genre
UT 04/03/05 Clinton To Make Irish Visit


Mark Thatcher Refused Visa

Sir Mark Thatcher has been refused a visa to be reunited with his family in the United
States, his spokesman confirmed today.

The son of the former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher had hoped to make a new start
in the US after he was given a four-year suspended sentence and fined over the
botched coup in Equatorial Guinea.

But he still plans to leave Britain despite being unable to visit his Texan-born wife Diane,
44, and their two children in Dallas.

He said in a statement: "It is quite true that my visa application has been rejected.

"It was always a calculated risk when I plea bargained in South Africa.

"As a result of this decision, I shall make the family home in Europe, not the UK, and my
family will be joining me as soon as arrangements are made.

"But the children will continue to be educated in America."

A spokesman for Sir Mark said today that the visa application to live in the US had been
rejected but he could re-apply after two years.

He told the Press Association: "He has been advised against travelling as a tourist and
seeking a waiver on the plane in the circumstances and he can re-apply in two years`

In January, Sir Mark, 51, was fined £265,000 by a South African court but escaped jail
in a plea bargain deal in which he admitted "unwittingly" helping bank roll an attempted
takeover in Equatorial Guinea.

Sir Mark, who had lived in South Africa since 1995, has been staying in London with his
79-year-old mother upon his return to Britain.

He had spoken of his plan to be reunited "imminently" with his American wife and
children Michael, 15, and Amanda, 11, in Dallas, Texas.

Guinean President Teodoro Obiang`s 25 year regime had accused Sir Mark and others,
most of them British, of funding a plot to install an opposition leader as a puppet and
thus control Africa`s third biggest oil producer.

In February, Sir Mark insisted he had nothing to do with the failed plot when quizzed
about it in a South African court.

He was in court to reply to 43 questions submitted last September by Equatorial
Guinean prosecutors and read out by a Cape Town magistrate.


Fears For Birth Of New Loyalist Crime Inc.

03 April 2005

THERE are fears a new loyalist crime empire could emerge in east Belfast.

Loyalist sources claim that some of the local UDA leadership had been planning to link
up with a senior UVF figure to create a new team dealing in drugs and extortion.

"There is a family link and these people were discussing a crime venture that would
have been one of the most powerful in Northern Ireland, bringing together elements
from the two loyalist organisations," said the source.

"The individuals may go ahead with that, but there's no formal crime link possible now
between the UDA and the UVF, the 'inner council' won't allow that.

"The criminal activity that the previous leadership in east Belfast promoted is now


THE LVF Could Be On The Verge Of Another Bloody Feud

With Sticks And Stones They'll Break Your Bones But Words Will Ever Hurt Them...

03 April 2005

THE LVF could be on the verge of another bloody feud - this time with the UDA, over an
alleged 'smear' campaign.

UDA sources say there is a "crisis" looming over efforts by a top LVF figure in north
Belfast to smear two of its leading figures, Andre Shoukri and Jim Spence.

A senior UDA source named the LVF man, and claimed he was "orchestrating a vicious
smear campaign against the two, and this cannot go unchallenged".

He refused to give details of the "smears", although newspapers have recently
suggested that Shoukri has been losing large amounts of cash through gambling, while
Spence has been repeatedly accused by Johnny Adair and his supporters of working for
British Intelligence.

Spence, who was involved in a brawl with the LVF man last year, has denied the claims.

The source added: "There is a crisis situation here and people need to realise that.

"This will not go unchallenged, something will be done about it."

The expulsion of Jim Gray by Shoukri and the four other UDA 'brigadiers' has
underlined the volatile situation.

And the brief excursion back to Belfast by Johnny Adair, who posed for a picture outside
Jim Spence's home, angered the UDA.

It is monitoring reports that the expelled former 'C' company boss could be offered
sanctuary by the LVF in mid-Ulster.

The senior LVF man could not be contacted by Sunday Life last week to answer the


I Won't Be Put In The Shade

Ousted Gray refuses to go quietly as he bids to rally support to avenge humiliation...

Exclusive by Alan Murray

03 April 2005

OUSTED terror boss Jim Gray has vowed revenge over his humiliating sacking - but
east Belfast UDA men are divided over his pleas for them to back him.

Angry Gray has told friends there will be "payback time" after his five fellow UDA
'brigadiers' booted him out on Wednesday.

But the flamboyant 43-year-old - nicknamed 'Doris Day' - failed at a meeting on
Thursday to rally enough support to overturn the decision by the UDA's 'inner council'.

The crime boss has been staying in Bangor since being kicked out as boss in east

Informed sources are warning that he has told associates he will fight the decision.

But they say the majority of UDA members in the area are "happy to see the back of

It is understood that while he still has some support in inner areas of east Belfast, he
has completely lost UDA backing in the outlying loyalist estates like Ballybeen and

"He tried to muster support at a meeting on Thursday night but there wasn't enough
muscle in the area prepared to back him," revealed a prominent UDA source in east

"People are fed-up with the thuggery meted out to ordinary people who crossed him and
his cronies.

"One man is in hospital with 42 stitches after he was attacked a week ago and bottled -
most people will be happy to see the back of him."

Gray could head off to Gran Canaria - where he holidayed recently - while the dust

He certainly has the money to start a new life abroad.

Opponents believe he pocketed around half of the £800,000 received from the recent
sale of two pubs he controlled - the Bunch Of Grapes and the Avenue One.

But some in east Belfast remain sceptical that he will accept his expulsion quietly.

One man, who is not involved in the organisation but closely studies events within the
UDA in east Belfast, said yesterday he wouldn't rush to predict that Gray was finished.

"The outer east, Ballybeen and Tullycarnet have gone against Gray but the units in Dee
Street and closer in haven't, so it all hasn't gone against him," he explained.

"He has told friends that he isn't accepting it, and that there will be 'payback time'
coming up, so it could develop into a volatile situation on the ground over the next

UDA units in east Belfast loyal to the 'inner council' have been put on standby for any
possible attack by Gray's supporters on leading members and their families.

If a challenge is mounted, the east Belfast UDA units loyal to the 'inner council' would
be expected to attempt to deal with any threat from Gray and his supporters, before
reinforcements from outside the area would be sent to assist.

"It would be like the Shankill situation with Adair. Local units would be expected to sort
it, but if they asked for help, it would be sent," said another UDA source.


LVF 'Would Have Stood Down If Deal Was Done'

03 April 2005

THE LVF terrorist group was poised to disband three months ago, it has emerged.

The loyalist gang, which has been linked to widespread criminal activity, was set to
stand down, if the IRA had agreed before Christmas to visibly decommission its arms,
and announce a end to its activities.

A source close to the LVF leadership said the group would have disbanded within seven
days, if the Provos had taken the initiative.

The same source also dismissed as "complete rubbish" a recent newspaper report, that
a senior LVF figure, in north Belfast, had quit the organisation.

He said the LVF had been discussing the possibility of reacting to any IRA moves on
disbanding, as early as the autumn of last year.

"An end to the IRA's war removed the need for any loyalist paramilitary group to exist,
and the LVF recognised that," the source said.

"If the IRA announcement had come about in December, last year, as many expected,
the LVF would have followed suit within a week, and become the first loyalist
paramilitary organisation to stand down in total."

Security sources suspect that the LVF's intention to stand down may have led to
increased tensions between it and the UVF recently.

The sources claimed the recent spate of 'taxi wars', in north Belfast, was directly linked
to the possibility of the LVF standing down.


Dublin Must Guarantee My Safety: Fulton

03 April 2005

AN Army spy - who is prepared to name a former Garda officer as an IRA mole - wants
the Republic's Justice Minister to guarantee his safety before he travels to Dublin to give

The man, who uses the pseudonym 'Kevin Fulton', is expected to be the key witness in
an inquiry into alleged Garda collusion in the 1989 double-murder of RUC
superintendents Harry Breen and Robert Buchanan in south Armagh.

Four IRA gunmen blasted the two senior police officers to death near Jonesborough, as
they were returning from a meeting with their Garda counterparts in Dundalk.

Fulton said yesterday that he was prepared to reveal to the tribunal announced by
Michael McDowell his knowledge of 'Garda B', and the officer's alleged links with the

He said: "I could - and will - tell a lot more, too, but as yet neither I nor my solicitor has
had contact with the Garda or the Department of Justice in Dublin.

"I am absolutely prepared to go to Dublin and give in public the evidence, but I have to
have assurances about my safety because of very real threats to my life, and I need
watertight arrangements put in place to protect me."


Man Beaten In 'Sectarian' Attack

An assault on a man at his east Belfast home is being treated as sectarian, police have

The man opened the front door of his house in Jocelyn Street at about 0100 BST where
he was confronted by four men dressed in black and armed with sticks.

The gang dragged him into his living room and beat him repeatedly. He suffered
bruising and a facial injury as well as broken ribs.

Police said one of the attackers may have sustained a hand injury.

Detectives have appealed for anyone who noticed suspicious activity in the area to
contact them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/04/03 11:12:18 GMT


Poll Says Govt Ahead

03 April 2005 07:56

A new opinion poll indicates that the gap between the coalition and an alternative
government has grown.

The survey for the Sunday Independent shows that Fianna Fáil and the Progressive
Democrats now enjoy a 10% margin over Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens.

Support for Fine Gael and Labour dropped one point each to 19 and 11% respectively.

The PDs and the Greens remain unchanged, with Sinn Féin down one point to 8%.

The poll was conducted last Thursday among one thousand people.

It shows a sharp drop in support for the inclusion of Sinn Féin in government and
widespread scepticism about the party's response to the killing of Belfast man Robert


New Chief Exec For UUP

03 April 2005

THE Ulster Unionist Party has appointed a new chief executive - the third in just over
two-and-a-half years.

William Corry, a former businessman who was mainly based in North America, will take
over the reins tomorrow, just weeks ahead of an expected General Election.

He succeeds Lyle Rea, who quit last September after just four months in the post.

Mr Rea was appointed when Alastair Patterson stood down as chief executive, after
being charged by police in his role as a former election official.

Patterson (59) a former deputy returning officer, was given a suspended jail term in
February after admitting receiving cash and alcohol in return for electoral count

Until his appointment as the top UUP official, Patterson was best known for declaring
IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands the new MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone in April,

A UUP spokesman said last night that he could not discuss the appointment of Mr
Corry. "A press statement regarding the post will be made on Monday," he said.


Ulster Museum Mural's Message To Terrorists: Up Against The Wall...

By Pauline Reynolds
03 April 2005

IT MAY at first appear sinister - but this huge mural tells paramilitaries that they stand

Young human rights campaigners have interwoven images to make a bold statement
urging terrorists to put violence behind then.

The artists - two from the Shankill in Belfast and two from Galway - have used
'snapshots' of symbols of conflict, which are now 'decommissioned' and put in their

And, set apart from this, is the image of two gunmen.

The 20ft x 8ft mural was painted at the Ulster Museum and forms part of the Conflict:
The Irish At War exhibition.

And the artists have used images from this showcase, to form the backdrop to the
paramilitary characters.

They've also taken inspiration from the Throne of Weapons exhibition, on tour from the
British Museum.

It was created on the theme of guns exchanged for tools, after the end of the civil war in
Mozambique in 1992.

The Belfast mural was managed by 80:20, a non-governmental human rights
organisation, which works, in the main, with young people.

Northern Ireland co-ordinator, John Johnston, explains: "I would agree that some might
find it sinister, but they need to take it in the context of the two exhibitions, already at the
museum," he said.

"There is a recognition that a lot of the weaponry exhibits have been put beyond use,
but there are issues which are current and constant -the paramilitaries.

"They are present at the moment and the message this mural is sending out, is that they
too must confine themselves to the history books."

The mural was the work of Dylan Haskins and Dan Carey from Presentation College,
Bray, Co Wicklow; Sharon Rose McClure, Shankill Alternatives Restorative Justice
Project, Craig Chapman, Castle High School, Belfast and John Johnston.

The exhibition runs until September.


The Never To Be Forgotten Trip To Ireland

03 April 2005

POPE John Paul II will be remembered by former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly as a
vibrant and inspirational man.

And he said the two-month period leading up to the Pontiff's visit to Ireland in 1979 was
the "happiest time of his life".

Dr Daly was one of the organisers of the three-day trip, which drew half of the Catholic
people of Ireland to his open-air Masses.

During preparations, he met with the Holy Father in the Vatican and spent several hours
with him.

"It was the first time I had spent four or five hours with a pope," said the bishop.

"He was so young and vibrant then - very, very inspirational."

Dr Daly described the historic visit as one of the most significant events of the 20th
century in Ireland.

Speaking in an interview with the Irish News yesterday, he said it was worth
remembering how John Paul II was different from his predecessors.

"Before then, the pope had been a very one-dimensional figure in newspapers and on
television," recalled the bishop.

"Now there was a pope who had lived under Nazi occupation, lived under Soviet
occupation, and who could speak to people in a language they could understand. No
one had seen a pope in the flesh before, and no one had actually heard a pope speak
English so articulately before.

"They were memorable times. The country was in a state of great excitement - there
was a sense of euphoria and joy."

Bishop Daly also recalled the disappointment felt when a planned visit to Armagh was
called off the day before it was to be announced.

News had filtered through to the Vatican of two deadly IRA bomb attacks.

Lord Mountbatten and three others were killed in a blast aboard their boat in Co Sligo,
and on the same day, 18 soldiers were killed in a bombing ambush in Warrenpoint.

"When that news came through late in the afternoon, it cast a cloud over the event,"
said Dr Daly.

"We knew the Armagh visit would be very serious politically, and would be very unlikely
to go ahead.

"So, we moved to the 'fallback' position of Drogheda."

But the cancellation did not affect the impact the visit had on the bishop.

"It was a very inspirational time, very exciting and uplifting," he recalled.

"I would say the two months before the visit were the two most exciting months of my


Day The 'Boys In Green' Met Pontiff

03 April 2005

AN Ulster bishop has recalled how he helped make a magical 'match of the day' happen
- between Pope John Paul II and the Republic of Ireland's giant-killing soccer side.

For Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Anthony Farquhar, was a key 'player' in
arranging the historic meeting between Ireland's 1990 World Cup stars and the pontiff.

Said Bishop Farquhar:

"I watched the Ireland versus Romania match, with the famous 5-4 penalties win, in the
Irish College in Rome on the Monday night.

"A phone call came through from the team on Tuesday morning to ask if there was any
way they could meet the Pope?

"Archbishop Brady of Armagh was rector of the Irish College in Rome at the time. So,
he and myself went over to the Vatican and just knocked on all of the doors we could
think of!"

Bishop Farquhar said that the meeting took place in a packed audience hall - with the
Republic side, led by manager Jack Charlton, on a raised platform.

Added the bishop: "His secretary came over to me and told me to get the goalkeeper
(Packie Bonner) to the front. I told Packie, but he gave me a look as if to say: 'Now
bishop, a joke is a joke!'.

"The Pope came over, went straight past me, and took Packie by the two hands and
smiled, saying: 'You are the goalkeeper'.

"He was happy meeting Packie because he had kept goals himself for his university

"Then he turned around to Jack Charlton and said: 'You are the boss'!"

He always had a marvellous sense of humour and a lovely warmth to him."

Bishop Farquhar added that he had met the Pope several times

"He showed a wonderful sense of concern for people who had suffered in the Troubles
here - those who cared for them and those who ministered to them."


Bono Says Pope Was Church's "Best Front Man"

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Pope John Paul II was the "best front man" the Roman Catholic
Church ever had, U2's ownfront man Bono says.

The men, both named as nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, campaigned
together to end world debt.The lead singer of the Irish rock band once famously gave
the Pope his trademark wraparound sunglasses to puton during a meeting, dubbing him
"the first funky Pontiff".

"A great show man, a great communicator of ideas even if you didn't agree with all of
them, a great friend to theworld's poor which is how I got to meet him," Bono said in a
statement on Sunday.

"Without John Paul II its hard to imagine the Drop the Debt campaign succeeding as it
did," Bono said,referring to an activist movement which seeks to convince wealthy
nations to cancel the debts of the world'spoorest countries.

The Pope met Bono, along with other pop stars, aid workers and economists, in 1999 to
push for rich nationsto write off third world debt by the year 2000 and demanded to
know why the West was dragging its feet.

"How could you turn this man down?" Bono said at the time.

A fan of popular culture, the Pope once invited Bob Dylan to perform for him at a church
congress in Bolognaand joined the Eurythmics, Alanis Morissette and Lou Reed at a
concert in Rome in aid of debt reduction.

In January last year at the Vatican, the pontiff even presided over a performance of
breakdancers from hishome country of Poland.


Paisley Understands Grief Over Pope

Sun Apr 3, 2005 10:22 AM BST

DUBLIN (Reuters) - A leading Northern Irish Protestant, who once called the Pope the
"anti-Christ", says he understands how Catholics feel over his death.

"We need to learn that everyone on Earth no matter what position he holds or the claims
he makes or the support he has must come to death and eternity," the Reverend Ian
Paisley said on Sunday.

"We can understand how the Roman Catholic people feel at the death of the Pope and
they are entitled to express their sorrow and grief," he added in a statement.

In 1988, Paisley, the leader of Northern Ireland's protestant Democratic Unionist Party,
shouted "Anti-Christ!" as the Pope began a speech to the European Parliament on unity
in Europe.

Members of parliament shouted to drown out his insults, threw paper at him and tore a
crude orange banner from his hands that read: "Pope John Paul II, anti-Christ".

The Pontiff smiled briefly at the outburst and resumed his speech, which was again
interrupted, this time by a round of applause.

Paisley was wrestled out of the European Parliament chamber. He later said he could
not have caused a greater commotion if he had detonated explosives in parliament, and
claimed Europe had not changed since the Reformation.

Viewed with bemusement overseas and often dismissed by outsiders as a throwback
from another age, the "Big Man of Ballymena" nonetheless commands significant
support in the heartlands of Northern Irish Protestantism.

The fire-and-brimstone preacher, whose party supports Northern Ireland's ties to Britain,
opposed the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that gave Catholics a role in running the
province's affairs.


'Rising' Above The Mob/Thriller Genre

By John B. Moore / Daily News Correspondent
Sunday, April 3, 2005

"Empire Rising," like Thomas Kelly's first two pieces of fiction ("The Rackets" and
"Payback"), stick to the grimier s of black and gray in painting New York.

Though characters may frequent expensive restaurants and a swank hotel room or
two, they are far more accustomed to the backroom bars and dingy tenements where
most of their business is conducted.

With his third novel, Kelly proves that "The Rackets" and "Payback" were not simply
flukes of brilliant writing. The characters are just as powerful in "Empire Rising" and the
story even stronger.

Taking place towards the beginning of the Depression in 1930's New York, "Empire
Rising" centers primarily around two worlds -- the Mob funneling men to work on the
Empire State Building and the even-more corrupt lawmakers in Tammany Hall
assigning those building contracts.

Among those men scaling the building with hardhats each morning is Michael Briody,
an Irish immigrant brought to his new address by the IRA. The book is also populated
by fellow Irish immigrant Grace Masterson, an artist living just outside of poverty thanks
to her boyfriend Johnny Farrell, the mayor's main conduit to the gritty criminal world.

Having worked construction himself in a prior life, Kelly is deft at describing the
emotions of accomplishment and pride that the workers put into the building that has
pretty much captured the attention of all of the characters. That attention to detail is just
as important as Kelly describes perfectly the mood and temper of a Depression-era
New York, sandwiched between Prohibition, food lines and the growing-awareness of

Construction isn't the only theme that plays into all three Kelly novels. The story of a
blue collar guy now moving in more affluent circles in the political world was first
introduced in "The Rackets" with Jimmy Dolan, a former construction worker now
serving as the advance man for the mayor. Like Dolan, in "Empire Rising" the blue
collar guy made good is Farrell, who grew up with the local leader of the Irish mob
Tough Tommy Touhey. Despite the surface-level similarities, the characters of Dolan
and Farrell couldn't be more different.

Kelly has the knack of telling a similar story from completely different angles, each
just as fascinating as the other. More so than his other books, "Empire Rising" has an
appeal beyond being just a great political/mob thriller, with a larger emphasis on the
love story this time around.

For the third time in under a decade, Kelly has turned in a incredibly gripping tale of
passion, greed and backstabbing set in the gray underworld of New York, while
managing to sidestep the cliches and cookie-cutter characters that would seem a given.

With "Empire Rising," Kelly has finally re-invented the Irish mob novel for a whole
new audience, making him the Irish-American equivalent of Mario Puzo.


One-On-One With Sinead O'Connor

The pop star who puts a spin on old-school roots reggae

By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Covers of songs made popular by the likes of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Burning Spear,
Junior Murvin, Israel Vibrations and Max Romeo will comprise the forthcoming roots
reggae album from Irish pop star Sinead O'Connor.

O'Connor. I had wanted to make a roots reggae album for about ten years now

O'Connor was in the island this past week working with producers including Sly Dunbar
and Robbie Shakespeare, Phillip 'Fattis' Burrell and Collin 'Bulby' York, putting together
the finishing touches to the album, which is still untitled.

According to O'Connor, the project was one that she had envisioned for a long time and
working with the famed duo of Sly and Robbie was like a dream come true for her.

"I have been dying to work with these guys for a long time. Ever since I met up with
them five years ago while I was working on a project with Adrian Sherwood, I knew from
then that I had to do something with them. I had wanted to make a roots reggae album
for about ten years now," O'Connor told SunDay Lifestyle in an interview at the Music
Works recording studio in Kingston early last week.

O'Connor, who made headlines in the 1990s when she tore up a photograph of Pope
John Paul II during a performance on the Saturday Night Live television show, is
renowned for her somewhat controversial persona.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, the now 36 year-old singer shot to instant fame and recognition
in 1990 when her cover of the Prince-penned Nothing Compares to You hit the number
one spot on the American pop charts. The song subsequently topped the charts in more
than 21 countries around the world. "I was quite surprised that that song took off the
way it did. I am still quite shocked about it. But it did change my life in a lot of ways,"
said O'Connor.

Ranked among the most distinctive and controversial pop music stars of the 1990s and
sporting a shaved head and a shapeless wardrobe, O'Connor asserted herself not as a
sex object but as a serious artiste.

Her parents divorced when she was eight, and her mother, who she claimed abused
her, was killed in a motor vehicle accident 20 years ago. After being expelled from
Catholic school, O'Connor was arrested for shoplifting.

She was then sent to reform school. After finishing boarding school, she performed in
coffeehouses and supported herself financially by delivering singing telegrams. It was
her studies at Dublin College of Music that helped to shape her musical aspirations.

"I went to London when I was 17 years old.

Up until then Irish music was my biggest influence. I discovered the music of John
Lennon and Bob Dylan when I went to London. I then encountered Rastafarians and
their music became the biggest influence on me," O'Connor explained.

Her debut album The Lion and the Cobra released in 1987, was hailed as one of the
most acclaimed debut albums of that year. It spawned two radio hits, Mandinka and
Troy. "I was pregnant with my first son when I was recording my debut album. He is now
18 years old.

He was born three months after the album was released. Making records is like giving
birth to a child," said O'Connor. From the beginning of her professional career,
O'Connor was a controversial media figure. During interviews to promote her debut
album, she defended the actions of the IRA, which resulted in widespread criticism from
many corners. She even earned the wrath of fellow Irish pop stars U2, whose music she
termed as bombastic.

The tabloids took further notice of her when they gave widespread coverage to her
romance with black singer Hugh Harris, as well as her outspokenness to politics. In the
US, she became the target of derision for refusing to perform in New Jersey if the
American national anthem was played before her appearance.

She earned the wrath of industry personnel including actor and singer Frank Sinatra. He
threatened to 'kick her ass'. She even withdrew her name from the Grammy Awards
despite earning four nominations. Weeks after ripping up the Pope's photo, O'Connor
performed at a Bob Dylan tribute concert in New York, where she was booed off stage.

Asked if she regretted tearing up the Pope's photo, O'Connor said, "No I don't regret it.
You don't make such a bold statement and then regret it afterwards. The main
consequence for me for in that scenario was that I got to be myself."

O'Connor's decision to record a cover of the Prince recording Nothing Compares to You
came as a result of some coercing by her manager at the time. 'My manager brought
the song to me and he convinced me to sing it. I was a bit hesitant, but I just did it then,"
said O'Connor.

The album that contained Nothing Compares to You was I Do Not Want What I Haven't
Got. It was a big seller going multi-platinum worldwide. O'Connor hasn't had similar
commercial success since then. "I deliberately went to make a strange album after that
one. I wasn't concerned about putting out another record that was going to be as big or
as successful as that record," she said.

Since she arrived in Jamaica, O'Connor said she was having a good time. "I love it
here. It's my first time coming to Jamaica. I was hoping to work with Sizzla on this
record. But apart from Sizzla, I would love to work with Buju Banton. I am strictly a roots
person," O'Connor concluded.

Now a mother of three, O'Connor spent the last five years concentrating on raising her
children. She took a brief retirement from the music industry, suffered a nervous
breakdown and she even attempted committing suicide. Two years ago she released
the two-disc album She Who Dwells.


Clinton To Make Irish Visit

The former US president, Bill Clinton is to make another visit to Ireland next month.

He is flying in to boost a major campaign for suicide prevention.

He has agreed to lend support to rehab care, after hearing that 444 people have taken
their lives here in 2003.

Table of Contents - Overall
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