News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

April 08, 2005

Republican State of Shock at Peace Appeal

To receive this news via email, click HERE. No Message is necessary
Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Apr 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 04/08/05
'State Of Shock' At Peace Appeal
BT 04/08/05 Concern At Lack Of Evidence: Adams
BT 04/08/05 Viewpoint: IRA Must Respond Positively
IO 04/08/05 Rights Group Criticises Approval of Plastic Bullets
BT 04/08/05 Deposed Gray Is Arrested
BT 04/08/05 'Heist' Notes Obsolete
BT 04/08/05 Next Pope Will Get Irish Invite
UT 04/08/05 Inflation Falls In The Republic
AL 04/08/05 Irish Author Says IRA May Disband
KE 04/08/05 ``Bloody Sunday`` Play Has Lessons For Today


'State Of Shock' At Peace Appeal

By Noel McAdam
08 April 2005

Some republicans are in a "state of shock" over the dramatic appeal to the IRA to
embrace pure politics and give up the 'armed struggle', Gerry Adams claimed last night.

Others welcomed the initiative and some are "bewildered", Mr Adams said as he called
on IRA to "take ownership" of the debate he has asked them to undertake.

Hours after the IRA agreed to consider his remarks, the Sinn Fein President said so far
there had been a mixed response from republican activists - and he did not
underestimate how difficult the debate would be.

But he added: "I didn't say what I said yesterday to fail. I said what I said yesterday to

And he added: "I cannot, nor will not, unsay what I have said. I have set out the course
that I want other people to follow, but I realise the difficulties for IRA volunteers and the
IRA support base and I do not minimise any of that."

Mr Adams urged unionists to give his initiative a "fair wind" and asked political parties in
the Republic "which purport to be nationalist parties" to read his speech carefully.

Back in the same location where he made his self-styled "historic" address to IRA
volunteers, he said many republicans and nationalists had been "traumatised" by the
IRA's offer within the context of the collapsed Comprehensive Agreement in December
to go into a new mode.

"This is going to be a very difficult discussion for republicans to engage in. Don't think
republicans were jumping up in front of their televisions (when they heard this) and
shouting 'hallelulah'," he said.

Mr Adams said his thinking was about giving leadership rather than the elections four
weeks from today but was asked why he was flanked by key election hopefuls Mitchel
Mclaughlin and Caitriona Ruane, as well as MEP Bairbre de Brun.

"There is an election," he said. "We do what every party does."

But Mr Adams insisted his initiative was aimed at rescuing the political process and he
rebuffed the suggestion he could ask the IRA not to come back with a response until
after the lection.

"The atmosphere was getting poisonous for the last few months. If things remained
where they were, things were going to get more and morepoisonous," he said.


Concern At Lack Of Evidence: Adams

By Noel McAdam
08 April 2005

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has again voiced concern over the the failure of
witnesses to provide evidence against the killers of Robert McCartney.

And he has confirmed that he is still in contact with the McCartney sisters, who have
returned from their trip to the European Parliament in Brussels.

Mr Adams was asked yesterday if he remained concerned or was more concerned
about the McCartney case, now ten weeks after the killing on January 30.

"I am absolutely more concerned - I actually take it personally - and I remain in contact
with the family of Robert McCartney and we continue to our best as we have been
doing," the West Belfast MP said.

The sisters told MEPs, including Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun who they met and who
flanked Mr Adams at a Press conference yesterday, that a "wall of silence" remains.

But any prospect of financial help from the European institutions faded, although the
European Commission said it would continue to support peace and reconcilation in the
province including the PEACE programme which is worth around £500,000 between
2000 and next year.

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: "It is not for the commission to
interfere with the judicial inquiries and legal procedures of a member state, but the
courage, dignity and quest for truth and justice which the McCartney family embodies
deserves to succeed."

He also reiterated the commission's "vehement condemnation" of the McCartney killing
and paid tribute to the family's courage and dignity.

The sisters have said they are considering a civil action because none of the 70 or so
witnesses to the murder on January 30 has come forward to help the on-going police

"We would welcome any financial help as we have been advised this would cost us
around £250,000," they said.


Viewpoint: IRA Must Respond Positively

Adams' appeal: Only an end to all paramilitarism will do

08 April 2005

To nobody's great surprise, the IRA has loftily decided to give "due consideration" to
Gerry Adams' appeal for it to abandon its so-called armed struggle and fully embrace
the political process.

Given the inextricable links that exist between the IRA and Sinn Fein, it would have
been a major upset had the organisation rebuffed the party president. The sequence of
events has been well choreographed, and now a weary public is required to await the
IRA's response which will come "in due course".

The fact that Mr Adams launched his initiative as an election campaign got under way
has not been lost on anyone. No doubt the republican movement's strategists will
already be considering whether the IRA's response should best come before or after
polling day.

Beset by problems as it is, Sinn Fein will be aiming to extract maximum electoral
advantage from this exercise. The events of recent months, have placed the party under
unprecedented pressure but Mr Adams' latest initiative might conceivably signal a way
out of the current crisis.

The problem, though, is that there have been so many false dawns during the course of
the peace process. Mr Adams describes the latest phase as a "defining moment" for
republicanism, but the public is entitled to remain sceptical.

It is only when deeds replace words that it will be possible to make a judgment as to
whether we are witnessing the long-awaited seismic shift on the part of the IRA.

Trust has been undermined by years of foot-dragging and obfuscation by the republican
movement. The IRA's failure to honour its commitments under the Good Friday
Agreement was a betrayal of those unionists and nationalists who were prepared to
take risks and give Sinn Fein the benefit of the doubt.

All the public, north and south, wants to hear now from the IRA is that it is ending all
paramilitary activity and committing itself to total and verifiable disarmament. If it is to be
worth anything, the promised statement must include a firm renunciation of criminality.

As Mr Adams has belatedly recognised, the continued existence of the IRA is a barrier
to political progress. But if the Sinn Fein president is serious about rebuilding the peace
process, he must also encourage his party to end its equivocation over support for the

The gauntlet has been thrown down to the IRA and a positive and unconditional
response to Mr Adams' appeal is vital. To put it bluntly, the position is: "They have to go
away, you know".


Rights Group Criticises Approval For New Plastic Bullets
2005-04-08 08:20:03+01

A human rights group in the North has condemned the Policing Board's decision to
endorse the purchase of a new form of plastic bullet.

The board approved the purchase yesterday, meaning the new "attenuated energy
projectile" will be available for use, if needed, during the upcoming marching season.

The new bullets are claimed to be "less lethal" than the ones they are replacing, which
killed 17 people in the North during the Troubles, including 14 children.

The Committee on the Administration of Justice, however, said the Policing Board had
held no public meetings on the matter and had sought no independent medical advice.

Sinn Féin has also condemned the approval of the new plastic bullets, saying it would
anger the nationalist community.

The SDLP also opposes the new bullets, but its two members on the Policing Board
were out-voted yesterday.


Deposed Gray Is Arrested

By Debra Douglas
08 April 2005

Deposed UDA leader Jim Gray was arrested last night on suspicion of money

The former east Belfast Brigadier - who was ousted last week - was arrested yesterday
afternoon outside Loughbrickland, Co Down.

A PSNI spokeswoman confirmed: "A man has been arrested in connection with a
serious crime investigation."

However, police sources confirmed that the arrested man was Gray following a probe
into an alleged money laundering operation led by PSNI Crime Operations Department.

Loyalist sources have claimed Gray was toppled as a result of a revolt from within his
east Belfast heartland. The 43-year-old's UDA faction has long been accused of drug-
dealing and mafia-style crimes.

The move was described by loyalist sources as an attempt to "clean up its act".

There had been speculation in the weeks before he was ousted about his position
following claims of a fresh crime spree by some east Belfast UDA members, supposedly
under his command.

It is alleged that this upsurge in criminality included the repeated targeting of a business
chain in the area.

Former associate Johnny Adair said the Gray's fall was "long overdue".

"It's no big surprise to me. It was just a matter of time before it happened to that man. It
should have happened a long time ago.

"He's nothing but a Scarlet Pimpernel who shed bad light on the UDA for many years,"
he said.


'Heist' Notes Obsolete

By Jonathan McCambridge
08 April 2005

Old Northern Bank notes are obsolete after today following an historic three-week
replacement programme.

Shops, post offices and building societies will no longer accept the notes from the close
of business this evening.

It is understood that up to 80% of old notes have been taken out of circulation in the
past three weeks.

However, anyone who still has old notes can take them to one of the Northern Bank's
95 local branches and exchange them for new notes.

Amounts below £500 can be exchanged for new notes.

Amounts between £500 and £1,000 can be changed but you will have to produce
photographic ID.

Amounts over £1,000 will have to be lodged into an account.

The replacement programme followed the Northern Bank robbery - believed to be the
world's biggest cash heist - and involved the transfer of £240m of new notes.

The Northern Bank decided to replace its entire stock of banknotes to restore public
confidence following the theft of £26.5m from its Belfast headquarters in December.

It is the first time in the world a bank has replaced all its notes.

The bank unveiled new £10, £20, £50 and £100 notes featuring a new logo, different
colour, new serial number prefix and a new dateline.

Bank machines across the province have been dispensing the new notes for three

The Northern Bank printed £240m of the distinctive new notes at a cost of £5m to
ensure that large numbers of stolen notes do not filter back into the local economy.

Police set up a special command room in Belfast and extra resources were deployed at
banks to ensure the process ran effectively.


Next Pope Will Get Irish Invite

By Alf McCreary in Rome
08 April 2005

The Irish hierarchy hopes to invite the new Pope to Ireland when he is elected to
complete the process begun in 1979 by the late Pope John Paul II.

Bishop John Magee, the Newry-born cleric who was the late Pope's secretary from
1978 to 1992, told the Belfast Telegraph at a reception in the Irish College in Rome last
night that the proposal was under "active consideration".

He said: "Pope John Paul II had hoped to visit us again but his illness grew steadily
worse. It would be most fitting if we were to extend the invitation to the new Pope to
continue the process."

He said that he had asked Primate Archbishop Sean Brady if the committee which had
been formed to host the second visit for Pope John Paul II would be disbanded, but the
Primate had indicated that the initiative should be kept alive.

Dr Magee, who is now Bishop of Cloyne, said: "In November last, Archbishop Brady and
I spoke to the Holy Father about returning to Ireland and he replied 'yes, yes, yes'.

"Sadly this was not to be."

Archbishop Brady, at the same reception, told the Belfast Telegraph: "It will take a while
for a new Pope to settle in but we hope that he'll come to Ireland.

"That is part of an unfinished agenda but it will depend on the new man and his

Bishop Magee, who was appointed the Pope's secretary on the day after he was
elected, said that he had always kept in touch with Irish affairs.

He said: "More than two decades after he visited, he asked me 'What happened to that
huge cross at Drogheda?'

"I told him that it had been moved to the Belfast to Dublin Road and had become a
shrine. He replied that he would be pleased to come to Ireland again, providing that
road took him further North.

"He was so keen to go to Armagh to share the heritage of St Patrick."

Bishop Magee said that in the death of Pope John Paul II, he had lost "a brother, a
father and a friend".

He said: "We dined together, we talked together, we swam and even sang together.

"He was a lovely person and I miss him so much, he was like a member of my own

He said that during the Pope's last days, he was aware of the crowds in St Peter's
Square who were praying for him.

He said: "He told an aide 'I set out to meet the people and they have now come to me. I
thank them'."


Inflation Falls In The Republic

Inflation fell slightly last month but prices went up.

CSO figures for March show the most significant price rises were in clothing & footwear,
housing, hotels and eating out.

There were price drops in food, non-alcoholic drink, and house furnishings.


Irish Author Says IRA May Disband

Friday, April 08, 2005
By Rhoda A. Pickett
Staff Reporter

After decades of fighting, the Irish Republican Army may be in its last days, an Irish
Catholic civil rights activist told a small group Thursday in Mobile.

Don Mullan, an Irish filmmaker and author, made his comment said after speaking to
the group at the Dotch Community Center in Trinity Gardens.

After studying a proposal Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein presented to the IRA this week, "I
think that the IRA may very soon be disbanding," Mullan said.

"Violence no longer has a place. But the British have a responsibility, too, to disarm their
armies and dismantle their barracks. And the IRA must be allowed to disband without

The Associated Press reported that Adams asked Irish Republican Army members to
rely exclusively on politics to accomplish their goals. The Associated Press reported that
Adams said that he expected IRA members to begin internal discussions about
transferring their support to Sinn Fein.

Mullan, of Dublin, Ireland, made his comments following a luncheon sponsored by the
Bay Area Women's Coalition. The coalition presented several people with its Men and
Women of Valor Award. Mullan was scheduled to be the luncheon's keynote speaker,
but his flight from Pennsylvania was delayed for more than hour and he arrived after the
luncheon ended.

About 20 coalition members, Trinity Gardens residents and Quest for Social Justice
board members remained to hear him.

Mullan also spoke to students and faculty Thursday evening at Spring Hill College.

Mullan centered his speech on the similarities between the modern civil rights
movement in the United States and the struggles between the Irish and British in Ireland
and Northern Ireland.

Mullan said that during the late 1960s, many Irish Catholics found their inspiration to
protest from the blacks who were battling racial injustice in the South, recalling Rosa
Parks and the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as heroes.

"We've had the longest colonization in the history of the world that dates back to the
12th century," Mullan said of the British presence in Ireland. "We could look at apartheid
in South Africa and look at the American South and we could feel the echoes of our own

Mullan wrote a book, "Eyewitness to Bloody Sunday: The Truth," about the day in
January 1972 when 13 were killed during a civil rights march through the streets of
Derry, Northern Ireland. He has also made a film about the book.

Mullan went on to stress that the struggles faced by the poor are the same everywhere.
He also acknowledged that some of the same Irish who left Ireland and came to
America during the 19th century, treated blacks and Native Americans in much the
same way that the British had treated the Irish.

"If there is a God, we will be judged on love," Mullan said. "We will not be judged by
what we have. We will not judged by the badges we wear, but the quality of our hearts."

Mullan was born and grew up in Derry. He lives in Ireland, were he works as a freelance
journalist, writer and broadcaster.


Entertainment ;
``Bloody Sunday`` Play Has Lessons For Today:

29 Hours,15 minutes Ago

[Entertainment News] LONDON, The creators of a new play about the marathon inquiry
into Northern Ireland's "Bloody Sunday" killings 33 years ago say the incident holds
important lessons for British peacekeeping forces today.

The Saville Inquiry is the longest -- seven years and counting -- and costliest, at 155
million pounds, in British legal history, and was set up by Prime Minister Tony Blair as
part of his drive to bring peace to the province.

Now millions of words in inquiry transcripts have been condensed into 78 pages of
script by Richard Norton-Taylor, security affairs editor at the Guardian and author of a
series of plays based on historic real-life courtroom dramas.

"Even though we are talking something that happened over 30 years ago, the lessons
are clear -- that even highly trained and disciplined British troops can get involved in
very dangerous shooting matches against civilians," Norton-Taylor said.

"This is a running problem, and military commanders in Britain are increasingly
concerned that they are being asked to be policemen, whereas soldiers are trained to
shoot to kill and it's a very difficult mix," he told Reuters.

"We've seen the consequences in Iraq, where a number of British solders ... have been
charged or face the prospect of being charged for the abuse, murder and injury of Iraqi

Three soldiers have already been jailed for abusing Iraqi detainees and families allege
that six relatives were killed by British troops in unprovoked attacks in southern Iraq
between August 2003 and January 2004.

On January 30, 1972, paratroopers opened fire on unarmed Catholic demonstrators in
Northern Ireland's second city of Londonderry, killing 13 people and prompting dozens
to join the IRA's violent campaign against British rule.

A 14th victim later died from wounds. The soldiers said they had shot at people armed
with guns or nail bombs.

Trials Score Theatre Success

The play is part of a series by Norton-Taylor that includes the investigation into the
racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and the Hutton inquiry into
the suicide of British weapons scientist David Kelly.

Kelly killed himself after being exposed as the source of a BBC report that claimed Blair
had hyped the weapons threat from Iraq to justify war.

Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Apr 2005
To receive this news via email, click HERE. No Message is necessary

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?