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May 23, 2005

Attempts to Wreck Peace Process Cannot Succeed

News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 05/23/05 Attempts To Wreck Peace Cannot Succeed
BT 05/23/05 US Visa Refusal Not Policy Change
BT 05/23/05 Celtic Drama Ignites Riot
BT 05/23/05 Crack Down On Rioters, MP Urges Police
IO 05/23/05 Taoiseach Urged To Stand Up To DUP
SF 05/23/05 McDonald Opens Major Homelessness Event
BT 05/23/05 Laird Vows To Upset Dublin Conference
SM 05/23/05 Racist And Gay Crimes Soar
BT 05/23/05 Appeal For Funds To Tackle Suicide
UT 05/23/05 Clinton To Address Dublin Fundraiser
BT 05/23/05 De Valera's Grandson Bans Town's Famous Name
IO 05/23/05 O'Connell Monument Refurbishment Completed
IO 05/23/05 McAleese Continues North American Tour
UT 05/23/05 Ireland To Introduce Postcodes
GM 05/23/05 Famous Gun Will Return To Scene Of Crime


McGuinness - Attempts To Wreck Peace Process Cannot Be Allowed To

Published: 23 May, 2005

Speaking ahead of a two day visit to Washington and New York, Sinn
Féin Chief Negotiator, Martin McGuinness said that DUP attempts to
wreck the peace process must not succeed.

Martin McGuinness said,

"Enormous progress made over he last ten years and that progress must
now be consolidated and built upon. We need to resolve out-standing
issues and see the Good Friday Agreement implemented in full. This
presents challenges for all of us, for the British and Irish
governments, for unionism and for Irish nationalists and republicans.

"In December, the DUP accepted, for the first time, the architecture
of the Good Friday Agreement. Forward movement must now be firmly
grounded in the core principles of the Good Friday Agreement,
including power sharing, equality and the all-Ireland institutions.

"In their discussions with the DUP the British and Irish governments
must make clear that there will be no dilution of the Agreement. There
is a particular responsibility on the Irish government to adopt a more
assertive and active role in this process. They are a sovereign
government and a co-equal partner with the British government. They
need to defend the agreement, to protect the rights of Irish citizens
and to develop a pro-active all-Ireland agenda.

"The DUP's increased mandate must bring with it a more responsible
approach to politics. They can join in the process of making peace and
despite their record of bigotry and intolerance we will work with
them. But there will be no return to the failed policies of the past.
The days of unionist domination are gone forever. The DUP cannot be
allowed to block progress or to destroy a process which has achieved
so much over the past decade." ENDS


US Visa Refusal Not Policy Change

By Noel McAdam
23 May 2005

The American State Department has made clear the visa refusal to
senior Sinn Fein figure Rita O'Hare does not mean a shift in policy.

The formal denial to Ms O'Hare, who has represented Sinn Fein in
Washington for almost a decade, could have been interpreted as a
potential toughening by the US authorities ahead of the IRA's
anticipated reply to Gerry Adams's initiative.

Along with many other Sinn Fein members, Ms O'Hare has to apply for a
waiver for each visit to the US because of her past alleged
association with the IRA.

Among the rules of the procedure to gain each waiver is a requirement
for a detailed itinerary, including all places to be visited. But it
is understood Ms O'Hare made an unauthorised diversion to Florida, for
a meeting with Irish-American business leader Bill Flynn during a
recent US visit.

A state department spokesman said, however, the decision did not
represent a change in policy.

Ms O'Hare had been due to travel to New York and Washington this week
with senior negotiator Martin McGuinness.

"Huge concern has been expressed by our friends in the US at the
decision and many members of Congress have voiced their protest to US
Envoy Mitchell Reiss and the State Department," said Mr McGuinness.


Celtic Drama Ignites Riot

18 police officers injured as mobs clash

By Debra Douglas
23 May 2005

Serious sectarian rioting returned to the streets of north Belfast
yesterday as a dramatic day for Scottish football led to clashes
involving a 200-strong mob at an Ardoyne flashpoint.

Eighteen police officers were injured when the trouble flared within
minutes of Celtic losing their league title to Rangers.

One PSNI female officer was partially dragged from her vehicle and hit
over the head with a bottle while a male colleague needed hospital
treatment for a serious foot injury.

Police said fighting involving 200 people broke out on the Crumlin
Road, close to the Ardoyne shops, shortly before 4pm - just after the
final whistles blew in the two Scottish title deciders.

Officers in riot gear moved into the area to keep the rival factions
apart and then came under sustained attack themselves. Bottles, bricks
and golf balls were thrown. Two water cannons were deployed to the
area but not used.

Superintendent Gary White, PSNI operations manager for north Belfast,
said last night that the situation remained "calm but tense".

He added: "I would urge those with influence within the community to
work with police in an effort to eradicate this unnecessary and
unwanted behaviour.

"The community in north Belfast does not want to return to the dark
days of the past and those with any influence within the community
must do all they can to assist the PSNI."

Superintendent White said police would be using footage from nearby
CCTV cameras to try and identify those responsible for the trouble.

DUP North Belfast MLA Nelson McCausland claimed the trouble was
started by nationalists who were angry after Celtic lost the Scottish
League title by conceding two late goals to Motherwell.

He said a house in Twaddell Avenue was attacked and a window broken,
and that beer bottles were thrown into the area from the nationalist

Mr McCausland said he was concerned about the possibility of more
violent clashes.

"This was a sectarian attack and the latest in a series of incidents
that have gone on over the last number of weeks.

"It is worrying that at this early stage in the summer there is
evidence of such a propensity for violence.

"If violence kicks off at this stage it does not augur well for the
near future," he said.

DUP councillor William Humphrey said: "This community and the police
were attacked by a mob - people were using bottles and other missiles
in an unprovoked attack on a community with a large elderly

Sinn Fein councillor Margaret McClenaghan said it was lucky nobody had
been killed.

She said: "The police response was very much in your face and there
were 12 to 15 Land Rovers facing residents on the nationalist side,
while stones and golf balls were being thrown from the loyalist side.

"When dealing with this kind of situation, you do not go ham-fisted
into it. You have to take stock. When the police arrived, they tried
to push the nationalist crowd away."

Yesterday's clashes came after a series of sectarian incidents in
recent weeks in north Belfast.

Condemning the rioting, the SDLP's Alban Maginnis said he hoped it was
not a preview of what is in store for the summer. He said both sides
of the community had to "do their bit to dampen down tensions".

Post-match trouble also flared at Limestone Road and elsewhere in the
city. Police responding to disturbances closed security gates at
Lanark Way.

Meanwhile, Celtic manager Martin O'Neill has refused to be drawn on
growing speculation that he is about to take a break from football to
look after his wife Geraldine, who has cancer.

Speaking after the defeat that cost his side the title, he said he had
no comment to make on his future. A number of newspapers yesterday
reported that O'Neill will announce after next weekend's Scottish Cup
Final between Celtic and Dundee that he is taking a year out of


Crack Down On Rioters, MP Urges Police

By Maureen Coleman
23 May 2005

The police must prosecute those involved in sectarian rioting in north
Belfast, the area's MP Nigel Dodds said today.

Eighteen police officers were injured in clashes involving a 200-
strong mob at an Ardoyne flashpoint.

The trouble flared after the Scottish Premier League matches
yesterday, which saw Celtic lose the league title to Rangers.

Mr Dodds said he was planning to meet senior police officers in the
area to discuss the managment of the situation and to ensure it was
"nipped in the bud" in the run-up to the marching season.

And he said he would be asking the police to use the CCTV in the area
to prosecute those responsible.

"I have no doubt that the trouble was started by nationalists emerging
from the bar at the Ardoyne shopfronts, who then attacked a number of
homes in Twaddell Avenue," he said.

"I want the police to use CCTV footage to find out who was responsible
and to prosecute them.

"A number of nationalist homes were attacked this weekend, which I
unreservedly condemned.

"I have no idea if these incidents were linked but the whole scenario
is quite worrying, especially with the summer coming up."

Sinn Fein councillor, Margaret McClenaghan, accused the police of
being heavy-handed in dealing with the situation.

"The whole thing became chaotic very quickly and the arrival of the
police did not help," she said.

"There is no excuse for that type of behaviour."

Condemning the violence Security Minister, Shaun Woodward, said:
"Public disorder of this kind involving young people, many of whom
were drunk, cannot be tolerated."


Taoiseach Urged To Stand Up To DUP

23/05/2005 - 07:11:09

Bertie Ahern will face calls today to stand up to Ian Paisley in talks
to restore devolution in Northern Ireland.

Nationalist SDLP leader Mark Durkan will meet the Taoiseach in
Government Buildings ahead of a meeting with British Prime Minister
Tony Blair in Downing Street on Wednesday.

The Foyle MP will be joined at today's meeting by SDLP deputy leader
Dr Alasdair McDonnell and Assembly members Dolores Kelly, Alex Attwood
and Dominic Bradley.

Last week after a meeting with Mr Blair, Democratic Unionist leader
Paisley claimed the Good Friday agreement was dead and should be given
a decent burial.

However, Mr Bradley, who is the Assembly member for Newry and Armagh,
said: "Ian Paisley says the Good Friday agreement is dead. The SDLP
will be urging the Taoiseach and Tony Blair to prove him wrong.

"They must be clear that the DUP's mandate does not override the will
of the Irish people, north and south.

"The two governments must stand behind the Agreement and press ahead
with its implementation."

Mr Bradley said this did not just mean pressing ahead with moves on
human rights, equality, cross-border institutions and the scaling down
of security - but also lifting the suspension of devolution and
getting the Agreement operating again.

He also urged the governments to be as resolute on the issue of
paramilitary crime, forcing loyalist terror groups and the IRA to end
involvement in paramilitary and criminal activities.

Last month Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams called on the IRA to consider
abandoning armed struggle and embracing the democratic alternative.

The Provisionals have begun that debate but the DUP has insisted that
devolution should not be kept waiting for republicans to reach the
same democratic standards as others in the peace process.

The DUP wants changes to the way devolved governments in Northern
Ireland are set up, with a voluntary coalition replacing the current
system which forces them into government with Sinn Féin.

The SDLP, however, has rebuffed the DUP's overtures to form a
voluntary coalition with them which would freeze Sinn Féin out of
ministerial office, insisting that they will only stick by the
principle of inclusivity in the Agreement.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams last night also insisted the only way
forward was through the Good Friday agreement.


Mary Lou McDonald Opens Major Homelessness Event At European

Published: 23 May, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald
has this morning gave the opening address at a major conference on
homelessness at the European Parliament in Brussels. Ms McDonald said
that Sinn Féin "regards the delivery of adequate levels of appropriate
social housing as key to the resolution of the homelessness crisis".

The day long conference was organized by the Sinn Féin MEPs office in
conjunction with FEANTSA (the European Federation of National
Organizations working with the Homeless and is entitled: 'What action
is Europe taking to tackle homelessness'?

Speaking this morning Ms McDonald said:

"There are more than 65 million people living in poverty within the
European Union today. Approximately 3 million people in the "old" 15
member states of the EU are homeless - figures for the newly enlarged
EU are much higher. These are the cold statistics. But behind these
statistics are 3 million individual stories of accumulated social
problems, 3 million personal tragedies, untold hardships and
bureaucratic obstacles.

"According to the Simon Community's most recent annual report
published last year, not one of the 400 homeless people who used the
Dublin Simon Community's Shelter in the previous year were housed by a
local authority. This is directly the fault of central government
which is not making adequate funding available to local authorities to
increase their stock of social housing.

"Today's conference goes some way towards understanding the problems
associated with homelessness and how we can collectively begin to
address it. Sinn Féin regards the delivery of adequate levels of
appropriate social housing as key to the resolution of the
homelessness crisis. This has been proven to be the case in other
states. By appropriate social housing, we mean housing to meet the
needs of different types of households including single males and
separated fathers whose needs are currently not being met through
local authority social housing allocation programmes.

"In January of this year, a migrant worker found herself living on the
streets in Coleraine, and became so ill that she had to have both legs
amputated. This is the stark reality of the situation and governments
must deliver for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society."

Note to Editor: The day long conference is being held at the European
Parliament in Brussels today and is being attended by over 100 people
from approximately 30 countries, including representatives of the
European Parliament, Commission, national parliaments and NGO
organisations from across Europe.


Laird Vows To Upset Dublin Conference

Cross-border bodies will be targeted

By David Gordon
23 May 2005

An outspoken unionist politician has lobbied his way onto the list of
speakers at a high-powered Dublin conference on cross-border bodies.

And UUP peer Lord Laird has vowed to use the occasion to launch an
attack on the record of the north-south institutions since their
formation in 1999.

He also intends to spell out his opinions on internal problems at one
cross-border body, Waterways Ireland, which has its headquarters in

The conference on Friday is being hosted by the University College
Dublin's Institute for British-Irish Studies.

Speakers will include Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, as well as senior
representatives from cross-border bodies set up under the terms of the
Good Friday Agreement.

Lord Laird contacted the organisers to press for an alternative view
to be heard at the event. He was added to the programme as a guest

"There is no point in them sitting down there congratulating
themselves on how well they have done," he said.

"The whole point of cross-border bodies was to build a political
consensus, which they have demonstrably failed to do.

"They afforded a golden opportunity to the Dublin authorities to show
generosity to unionists. Instead, they acted like an imperialist
country with no regard for unionist opinion.

"It has simply proved my father and grandfather right ? you cannot
trust Dublin with our culture, background and future."

Lord Laird resigned last year as chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency
claiming its funding was being squeezed at the behest of Dublin.

He intends to speak on Friday "in great detail" on the controversies
over claims of bullying at Waterways Ireland.

The peer also said he would be "only too pleased" to answer questions
on the criticism he has faced over his past travel expenses at the
Ulster Scots Agency - including taxi bills for return trips to Dublin.

"I will simply say that it cost £47m to set up cross-border bodies
without them doing anything. I would question the mindset of anyone
ignoring that sum and asking about me coming to Dublin and spending
money on a taxi," he added.


Racist And Gay Crimes Soar

By Alan Erwin, PA

Race hate incidents reported to police in Northern Ireland surged by
nearly 80% during the last year, it was revealed today.

Homophobic crimes also more than doubled as attacks fuelled by hatred
reached alarming new levels.

Even though figures published today showed overall crime in the
province to be at its lowest in six years, the taunts, abuse and
assaults on ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians has risen
relentlessly. Both Chief Constable Hugh Orde and his assistant, Judith
Gillespie admitted the increase was intolerable.

Mrs Gillespie said: "Whilst we welcome the fact that vulnerable
communities are reporting these incidents more, the fact that they are
happening at all is unacceptable in any society and it is one area
that we will be increasingly focussing attention on.

"A considerable amount of effort has gone into reaching out to
minority groups and the increase in the number of incidents reported
is at least a reflection of the growing confidence those communities
have in reporting such incidents to police. But we can still do more.

"We are in the process of introducing a new hate crime policy which
aims to ensure that minority and vulnerable groups are protected,
perpetrators detected, incidents prevented and victims supported."

The Police Service of Northern Ireland's annual statistical report
showed the number of racial incidents increased by 360 (79.5% to 813
between 2003-04 and 2004-05.

A total of 634 racial crimes were recorded over the last 12 months
with a clearance rate of just under 16%.

Most of the attacks in Belfast were centred on the south of the city
where Asian and black communities living in the loyalist Village
district have been especially vulnerable. Other towns scarred by
racism have included Craigavon, County Armagh, Dungannon, County
Tyrone and Ballymena, County Antrim.

The figures for attacks against gays and lesbians were equally

During the last year, the number of homophobic incidents increased by
125 (176.1%).

A total of 151 crimes were recorded with an overall clearance rate of
22.5%. Nearly half of the crimes were made up of woundi or assaults.

Londonderry alone accounted for 35% of all homophobic incidences, with
parts of Belfast also showing worrying rates.


Appeal For Funds To Tackle Suicide

By Mary Fitzgerald
23 May 2005

More resources and funding are required to tackle rising levels of
suicide and self-harm among Northern Ireland's youth, the Commissioner
for Children and Young People said last night.

Suicide - particularly among young males - has become a major problem
throughout the province in recent years, but it has proved
particularly acute in north and west Belfast.

There were at least 15 suicides in west Belfast in a three-month
period this year, with seven deaths in a single week.

Thirteen young men in the north of the city took their lives in a two-
week period at the start of 2004, and just last week a north Belfast
man committed suicide nine years after his brother took his own life.

Nigel Williams said there was a crisis in mental health services and
called for further resources to tackle the problem.

He said: "I am extremely concerned that the mental health of our
children and young people is provided with the right resources at the
right time."

Mr Williams said he was aware of several voluntary and community
groups providing valuable services but added that the lack of
resources available was a major concern.

"Too many of the projects in the community, which deal with the real
distress felt by children and young people, rely on short-term
funding," he said.

"Each project waits every year to see if funding is renewed, and the
people working to support the mental health of our young people worry
that the lifeline they are providing may be cut off."


Clinton To Address Fundraiser

Bill Clinton is to address a fundraiser dinner in Dublin today, to
launch the Republic's suicide prevention programme.

The programme will be run by Rehab Care and is aimed at young people.

In 2003 there was at total of 444 suicides, 80% of which were aged
between 15 and 24.


Disgust In Dingle As De Valera's Grandson Bans Town's Famous Name

By David McKittrick
23 May 2005

The town of Dingle, one of Ireland's best-known tourist attractions,
has been plunged into controversy by a government edict which means
its name no longer officially exists.

Under new rules to promote the Irish language, Dingle must now be
known by the Gaelic name An Daingean, prompting local fears that its
thriving tourist industry will be harmed.

Many of the hundreds of thousands of tourists to the west of Ireland
each year visit Co Kerry and, in particular, the Dingle peninsula,
which is regarded as one of the Irish Republic's areas of outstanding
natural beauty. Apart from its celebrated scenery, it is known as the
home of Fungie the Dingle Dolphin, who is particularly friendly
towards visitors. Some also remember it as the setting for Ryan's
Daughter, starring Sir John Mills and Robert Mitchum.

But the town's charming, catchy name has fallen victim to a new
measure allowing only the Irish language version of place names on
road signs in areas such as Dingle.

It is in a Gaeltacht area, a district where the Irish language is
commonly spoken and officially encouraged.

Although most residents speak or support the Irish language, they fear
that a valuable marketing point will be lost.

Michael O'Shea, a local councillor, says: "The name of Dingle is known
all over the world and is worth a lot to the local economy.

"Changing it is a major mistake. It's causing confusion throughout the
area. The townspeople and especially the business people are up in
arms about this. They're against it big time."

Declan Malone, the editor of The Kerryman newspaper, said: "Dingle as
a name and brand name is extremely well known. People are loathe to
lose it. There would be a fondness for the language but that doesn't
necessarily override the economic realities.

"People driving in this direction and not seeing Dingle on the
signposts are going to be wondering, where the hell is it. People are
wondering whether they are going to lose revenue. The dolphin is a
very big attraction, but 'The An Daingean Dolphin' doesn't have the
same ring to it."

Jim Wilson, an American living in Dingle, said: "Every businessman I
talk to is upset about it. They're not for this at all."

The council has asked whether the name Dingle could be used on
signposts outside the Gaeltacht area.

But the government minister responsible, who is being accused of an
excess of linguistic zeal, is unlikely to back down. He is Eamon
O'Cuiv, whose famous grandfather, Eamon de Valera, was one of the
founding fathers of the Irish state and a strong advocate of the Irish


O'Connell Monument Refurbishment Completed

23/05/2005 - 12:25:53

Dublin City Council has completed the cleaning and conservation works
to the O'Connell Monument on O'Connell Street.

The refurbished O'Connell monument is set to be revealed over the
coming week.

Work on removing the scaffolding got underway today.

The works have tackled damage caused by environmental erosion, air
pollution, bird droppings, graffiti and decay. Other damage such as
the bullet holes in the O'Connell Monument from the 1916 Rising will
not be repaired or restored.

The cost for the works on all eight monuments in the O'Connell Street
area will be in the region of €300,000.


McAleese Continues North American Tour

23/05/2005 - 09:04:47

President Mary McAleese is to visit a charity set up by Microsoft
billionaire Bill Gates in Seattle today as part of her official visit
to the US and Canada.

She is visiting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds
HIV/Aids programmes, before being guest of honour at a dinner hosted
by the Irish Professionals Network.

The president is being joined in Seattle by a delegation of 29 Irish
aeronautical and technological companies, and will attend a number of
business events hosted by Enterprise Ireland.

She is also being accompanied on her trip by her husband, Dr Martin
McAleese, and Michael Ahern TD, Minister of State at the Department of
Enterprise, Trade & Employment.

Mrs McAleese has already visited Philadelphia, where she received an
honorary degree from Villanova University.

Ms McAleese said she was privileged to receive the degree from the
university set up in 1842 by two Irish Augustinian priests, John
Rosseter and Matthew Carr.

Some of the university's past alumni include sporting legends Sonia
O'Sullivan, Ron Delaney, who won gold for Ireland in the 1500 metres
at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and Eamonn Coghlan, who set the
indoor mile world record in 1983.

Tomorrow, Mrs McAleese is meeting the Mayor of Seattle and visiting
the Matt Talbot Centre, a drugs and alcohol treatment centre, before
addressing the World Affairs Council.

She then travels to Vancouver, Canada, before returning to Dublin on


Ireland To Introduce Postcodes

The Republic's Minister for Communications has announced that a
postcode system will be introduced in Ireland within three years.

It means a code of numbers, or numbers and letters, will be added to
every address.

An Post has described the move as `unnecessary`.

Ireland`s Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey says the planned
national postal code system will result in a more competitive economy.

He says it will be good for business and the consumer, by improving

The Communications Workers Union is welcoming the announcement, saying
it will make the job of postal workers easier.


Famous Gun Will Return To Scene Of Crime

Museum buys pistol reportedly used to kill a Father of Confederation

By Timothy Appleby
Monday, May 23, 2005 Updated at 5:55 AM EDT
From Monday's Globe and Mail

Hamilton — Going, going, gone to the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
With the rap of an auctioneer's hammer, the Smith & Wesson six-shot
revolver reputedly used in Canada's only political assassination was
sold for $105,000 yesterday and is heading back to the National
Capital Region, where it was seized 137 years ago.

"It's nice that it's going back to Ottawa, it's an important piece of
Canadiana," said Kemptville auctioneer Eugene Ursual, who placed the
winning bid on behalf of the museum, located in Gatineau, Que., just
across the Ottawa River from Parliament.

"Now it's preserved for history."

The .32-calibre pistol believed to have dispatched Thomas D'Arcy McGee
-- an Irish expatriate and father of Confederation -- with a single
shot in 1868 wasn't just any old murder weapon. Its 28-year-old owner,
Patrick James Whelan, said it wasn't a murder weapon at all, and went
to the gallows bitterly protesting his innocence.

Thickening the mystery, the pulverized bullet that lodged in the door
frame of Mr. McGee's Ottawa home, after piercing the back of his head
and taking out some teeth along the way, has been mislaid.

Unsophisticated ballistic checks in 1973 connected revolver and
bullet, but a recent inquiry to the Ontario Archives found that the
keepers of the precious slug are unsure exactly where it is.

What seems certain is that the weapon auctioned off yesterday at a
Hamilton hotel did belong to Mr. Whelan -- a Fenian sympathizer dubbed
"The Tailor with the Red Whiskers" during his sensational murder trial
-- and that he had it in his pocket, fully loaded, when police
arrested him 24 hours after Mr. McGee was felled.

Equally beyond dispute is that the murder of the outspoken Mr. McGee,
MP for Montreal West, was a major event. With no witnesses to the
killing on the doorstep of his Sparks Street rooming house, a $2,000
reward for information was posted the day he died.

Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald was among those who helped rush
the dying Mr. McGee to hospital. His huge funeral, held on his 43rd
birthday just nine months after Confederation, was the first state
funeral held in the new Dominion of Canada.

Mr. Whelan's execution, carried out in a snow storm at Ottawa's
Carleton County Jail, was another milestone: Canada's last public
hanging. (He was buried in an anonymous grave on the grounds and his
ghost is said to haunt the old jail, now a youth hostel.)

"McGee's death had the same effect on Canada that the Lincoln
assassination did in America," said Wendy Hoare of Jeffrey Hoare
Auctions Inc., which organized yesterday's auction. "It tended to
unite the country."

A reformed Irish nationalist who became a passionate advocate of
Canadian unity, Mr. McGee was already a fixture in public life when he
was slain.

Poet, journalist and compelling orator, his disdain for his former
Fenian comrades was the core of the prosecution's case against Mr.
Whelan during the eight-day trial, which Mr. Macdonald attended every

Mr. Whelan consistently denied committing the murder, but before he
was hanged he admitted knowing "the man who shot McGee," while
refusing to name him.

And in a further twist, the Catholic, nationalist-leaning Mr. Whelan
was defended at trial by a very different type of Irish expatriate --
Toronto lawyer John Hillyard Cameron, a Protestant and Grand Master of
the Orange Lodge, well-known for its hatred of all things Fenian.

Whatever Mr. Cameron's motives, he failed in his task as defence
counsel. Mr. Whelan was convicted chiefly on the basis of an
incriminating, post-arrest conversation he had with another prisoner.

Until yesterday, Mr. Whelan's gun -- serial number 50847 -- belonged
to auto mechanic Scott Renfrew of Dundalk, Ont. He could not be
reached for comment, but Ms. Hoare said the pistol had been with one
family for more than 100 years, handed down between generations.

And despite speculation the auction might attract well-heeled American
gun-lovers willing to pay top dollar for the historic pistol and whisk
it south, Mr. Ursual said it appeared all four bidders were Canadian.

The lack of U.S. interest may have been a boon for the victorious
Museum of Civilization, which will place Mr. Whelan's six-shooter on
display: Mr. Ursual said he had only been authorized to go as high as

As for the extra $5,000, he said, "I think we can work it out."
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