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May 01, 2005

Battle For Foyle Hots Up

News About Ireland & The Irish

UT 05/01/05
Battle For Foyle Hots Up
IH 05/02/05 Sinn Fein Gaining As Belfast Lines Harden
TE 05/02/05 I Am Baffled: How Can Sinn Fein Get So Much Support?
SL 05/01/05 Election Special: Crunch Time For Durkan And Trimble
IO 04/30/05 Shooting Victim Tried To Escape From Killers
SL 05/01/05 Adair In Hiding?
SL 05/01/05 Northern Bank Hit By New Notes Counterfeit Scam
IO 04/30/05 Work Begins On New Dublin Bridge Link
BT 04/30/05 Police Get Alliance Party Dossier On Dirty Tricks
SO 05/01/05 Propesed Memorial For M Causes A Stir
BT 04/30/05 A Proud Role For Derry In Wartime Movie


Battle For Foyle Hots Up

Votens wPermanent tll not forgive parties who fail to grasp the opportunity
Gerry Adams is creating to bring devolution back to Stormont, a senior
Sinn Fein figure claimed today.

By:Press Association

During campaigning for next Thursday`s General and Local Government
Elections in Northern Ireland, the party`s general secretary Mitchel
McLaughlin said the clear message coming back from the doorsteps was
that people wanted their politicians to revive the political institutions.

However his rival for the Foyle Westminster seat, nationalist SDLP leader
Mark Durkan hit back that Sinn Fein was playing catch up in the political
process with others who had been demanding in recent years an end to
IRA violence.

Mr McLaughlin argued: "Given the woeful performance of the part time
British Direct Rule ministers, the only way in which the big issues of job
creation, water charges, racism and sectarianism and education and health
can be effectively and decisively dealt with is by locally elected and
accountable politicians.

"The recent initiative by Gerry Adams offers all of the participants in the
process a road map back into the Assembly and the Executive.

"People on the doorsteps will be unforgiving of any political party who for
whatever selfish or electoral reason fails to grasp this opportunity and the
alternative path forward which it offers."

Earlier this month at the start of the election campaign, Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams called on the IRA to consider abandoning armed struggle and
pursuing its goals through politics.

Mr Adams announced this week the IRA leadership had authorised an
internal debate on the Sinn Fein president`s call.

However unionists and rival nationalists on both sides of the Irish border
have responded cynically to the move, with some dismissing it as an
electoral stunt.

With devolution suspended in Northern Ireland since October 2002, Mark
Durkan said it was the failure of the Sinn Fein leadership to tackle IRA
activity which led to the suspension of the power sharing executive and
other political institutions.

"Failure by the leadership of Sinn Fein has given us two and a half years of
suspension and the series of failed deals and flawed deals that have come
with it," the SDLP retorted.

"The strongest vote for a return to the principles and workings of the Good
Friday Agreement is to vote for the SDLP in this election - the one party
which had totally upheld the Agreement.

"I have already welcomed Gerry Adams` recent statement as an admission
that the IRA have been holding back progress.

"The Sinn Fein leadership has resisted all the calls over the past number of
years for a decisive, definitive and positive move from the IRA. Not for the
first time in this process, Sinn Fein are simply catching up with the rest of

Mr Durkan is defending his mentor, former SDLP leader John Hume`s
Westminster seat in a do or die battle with Mitchel McLaughlin.

Political pundits believe the battle for Foyle is too close to call.


Sinn Fein Gaining As Belfast Lines Harden

By LnzetPermanent te Alvarez The New York Times
Monday, May 2, 2005

BELFAST Gerry Adams bounded from the parking lot and walked a few
blocks with his entourage, shaking hands, patting toddlers and, above all,
radiating his staying power.

It has been a turbulent few months for Adams and his party, Sinn Fein, the
political wing of the Irish Republican Army. First came allegations that the
IRA had engineered a $50 million bank robbery in Belfast in December.
Then came accusations that some of its members were involved in the
gruesome killing of Robert McCartney in January outside a Belfast pub,
and in covering up the crime.

But here, on his expanding political turf, Adams seemed scarcely to be
feeling the one-two punch.

"There has been a storm around Sinn Fein in recent months," Adams, who
recently appealed to the IRA to lay down its arms, said during a brief
interview on a bus bench. "But those detractors, naysayers and
begrudgers must respect the outcome of the election."

His confidence is rooted in the widely held view that Sinn Fein, despite the
recent uproar, is poised to pick up seats in local and British parliamentary
elections on Thursday, a result that would seal its political dominance
among Catholic voters, political analysts say.

"It's a question of how much they gain, rather than whether they gain," said
Richard English, a professor of politics at Queen's University in Belfast,
who points to the party's strength on the ground and Adams's deftness in
portraying himself as a "sweet" man who wants the IRA "to go away."

At the same time, Sinn Fein's nemesis, the ardently Protestant Democratic
Unionist Party, led by a fiery anti-Catholic evangelical minister, the
Reverend Ian Paisley, also appears likely to gain seats, analysts say.
Already the largest party in Northern Ireland, it is seizing on Protestant
outrage over suspected IRA crimes to appeal to voters who are
increasingly opposed to a power-sharing deal with Sinn Fein.

The party's manifesto states that peace talks must move forward without
Adams and his party, and warns that Sinn Fein must be blocked from
becoming Northern Ireland's biggest party.

Paisley, echoing skepticism among Unionists - those Protestants who want
Ulster to remain part of the United Kingdom - has said he does not believe
the IRA will ever disband.

"A leopard doesn't change its spots," he said last week at a campaign

Predicted victories by the two hard-line parties are likely to harden
sectarian divisions and further stall negotiations on the 1998 Good Friday
accord. That pact paved the way for power-sharing between Catholics and
Protestants. Talks have broken down numerous times, most recently in
December over Protestant demands that the IRA photograph the
decommissioning of its weapons.

The two middle-ground parties that forged the Good Friday agreement are
expected to continue to lose ground in the election. In a testament to how
significantly the political landscape has shifted in eight years, analysts say
voters are seriously contemplating whether to spare from defeat the
leaders of those two parties: David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party and
Mark Durkan of the Social Democratic and Labor Party.

Trimble, an architect of the 1998 accord, shared the Nobel Peace Prize that
year with John Hume, the former head of the Social Democratic and Labor
Party. But Trimble's re-election to Parliament is in jeopardy, mostly
because of the perception that he was soft on Sinn Fein during the power-
sharing talks. Recent headlines about the IRA have only heightened
Protestant mistrust.

Durkan, who is running to fill the seat vacated by Hume on once-solid
Catholic moderate territory, faces a challenge from Mitchel McLaughin,
Sinn Fein's national chairman. But party officials called it premature to
discount Durkan and the moderates, particularly in local council elections.
They warned that visits in many Catholic areas indicated spreading
disillusionment with Sinn Fein and the IRA, though perhaps not enough to
tilt the vote. The McCartney killing has only served to underscore that
sentiment, they said.

"People have started to wake up and to see Sinn Fein and the republican
movement generally for what they are: a pretty nasty group of people who
are really intent on power more than anything else," said Alban Maginness,
a candidate of the Social Democratic and Labor Party for Parliament.

Adams, meanwhile, has run a politically astute campaign meant to assuage
the fears of some swing Catholic voters. His shrewdest move came in early
April, when he appealed to the IRA to lay down its weapons and join the
political process. The IRA, Adams said, is debating the request.

If the IRA agrees to abandon its armed struggle, he said, "it will be a huge
challenge on the British government, in particular."


I Am Baffled: How Can Sinn Fein Get So Much Support?

By JnnnyPermanent tMcCartney
(Filed: 01/05/2005)

A little while ago - when I had a slightly higher opinion of human nature - I
would have imagined that if a political party was linked to a £26 million
pound bank heist and a particularly savage murder in the months before a
general election, it would pay the price at the polls. The results in Northern
Ireland this week seem likely to prove that assumption quite wrong.

Sinn Fein - which has, of course, been linked to precisely such events - is
on especially carnivorous form: this time it intends to leave the moderate
nationalist SDLP so heavily wounded that it will never recover. To that end,
Gerry Adams - so sure of receiving an enormous majority in West Belfast
that he can blithely campaign elsewhere - has been up in Derry,
championing the Sinn Fein candidate in Foyle. This is the same
constituency where Mark Durkan, the SDLP leader, is standing: he has
been left struggling for his political survival. Meanwhile, David Trimble, the
Ulster Unionist party leader, is fighting for his seat in Upper Bann, where
the favourite is from the rival Democratic Unionist Party.

Sinn Fein's onward march fills me not just with dismay but a degree of
incomprehension. I understand that the aspiration of a united Ireland - if
achieved without coercion - is a wholly legitimate political aim, but I cannot
comprehend how someone could vote for Sinn Fein - which blatantly
practises the most extreme forms of coercion - and easily reconcile it with
his or her conscience.

Yet innumerable people with a moral sense in other aspects of their lives -
who could safely be entrusted with a neighbour's house keys, say, and
wouldn't dream of breaking their marriage vows - will nonetheless vote
Sinn Fein on Thursday, and thus tacitly endorse the continuation of IRA
armed robbery, extortion, money-laundering, smuggling, assault and

Many of these voters will be convinced that Sinn Fein is creating an
unstoppable dynamic towards a united Ireland, and have evidently decided
not to worry about the ethics of how it gets there. Others will be swayed by
fear: there is still a widespread belief in republican areas of Northern
Ireland that Sinn Fein can find out not only whether you voted, but also

The fear of paramilitary reprisals corrodes and corrupts politics in Northern
Ireland at its most fundamental level, and there can be no clearer example
for it than in West Belfast, where an independent candidate called Liam
Kennedy, a professor of economic history at Queen's University Belfast, is
standing against Gerry Adams. Mr Kennedy is a softly spoken man from
Tipperary, but his slight frame has a backbone of solid steel.

His purpose in standing is to protest publicly against the vicious beatings,
shootings and intimidation meted out by the IRA and the loyalist
paramilitaries to people - including many children - in their "own"

Mr Kennedy stood once before against Mr Adams, in 1997. I interviewed
him after a Sinn Fein supporters' election meeting, in which he stood up
and asked Gerry Adams a question about the IRA assaults that leave so
many Catholic youths suicidal, traumatised or maimed for life. The glances
that Mr Kennedy received from the Sinn Fein supporters in the audience
could have blistered paint at 20 paces. Natural justice was of course not
upheld at the count: Mr Adams won the seat resoundingly, and Mr Kennedy
received 102 votes.

Paramilitary beatings and shootings have escalated since 1997, however,
and Mr Kennedy is now running a rather harder campaign. Last week he
challenged the other West Belfast candidates, and David Ervine - the
loquacious, moustachioed leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, which
is linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force - to a debate on paramilitary
violence. Although other candidates troubled themselves to attend, it
appeared that Gerry Adams was too busy to reply and Mr Ervine would
only debate the matter in East Belfast.

Mr Kennedy persisted with his campaign, and sent out thousands of
election leaflets criticising paramilitary intimidation. As The Telegraph
reports today, he also signed a contract with JC Decaux, an international
agency, to put up his campaign posters - which featured the staged image
of two men in balaclavas assaulting a victim with baseball bats - on two
Belfast sites.

He was therefore dismayed when the agency called him back a few days
later to say that the director had seen his posters and decided that on no
account could it put them on its sites, because this image was
"inappropriate" and "might cause offence". It seemed odd: this same image
has been used by the Northern Ireland Office and innumerable newspapers
without any apparent difficulty.

So to whom would it have caused such tremendous offence this time
round, I wonder? It can only be the men in balaclavas themselves, because
no victim could be offended by a poster that objected to paramilitary
toughs hammering other victims with baseball bats.

In any case, Mr Kennedy's posters can't find a site for display, while those
of Sinn Fein and the PUP are emblazoned all over Belfast. While courage is
a rare quality, it often acts like a kind of intense spotlight on those around
it. When you come across someone who has it, such as Mr Kennedy, you
really can't help noticing the shabbiness of the people who don't.


Election Special: Crunch Time For Durkan And Trimble

By Sinead McCavana and Pauline Reynolds
01 May 2005

ARE the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP facing Westminster wipe-out?

Thursday's General Election is crunch time for leaders David Trimble and
Mark Durkan, as their parties battle to halt the DUP and Sinn Fein

The two leaders are fighting for their political lives in their own backyards,
when the voters go to the polls on May 5.

Local bookies predict Mr Trimble will suffer a humiliating defeat at the
hands of the DUP's David Simpson in his Upper Bann constituency.

But, the Nobel Peace Prize winning UUP chief is a proven political survivor,
and he is defending a 2,058 majority over his DUP rival.

In the north west, Sinn Fein is confident that its high profile party chairman,
Mitchel McLaughlin, will beat Mr Durkan to take Foyle from the SDLP.

But, the SDLP has strong support in Londonderry, which has been built up
over many years by Mr Durkan's internationally respected predecessor,
John Hume.

South Belfast is another of the eight marginal constituencies, where the
political landscape could change dramatically.

It is looks like being a close run contest between the UUP's Michael
McGimpsey, the DUP's Jimmy Spratt, and the SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell.

In South Down, veteran MP Eddie McGrady is fighting off Colombia Three
'Bring Them Home' campaigner, Catriona Ruane, of Sinn Fein.

Mr McGrady has held the South Down seat for the SDLP since 1987, when
he ousted the Ulster Unionist, Enoch Powell.

In East Antrim, the UUP's Roy Beggs clung onto his seat in 2001, seeing off
the challenge of the DUP's Sammy Wilson, with just 128 votes to spare.

But, this time a buoyant DUP are very confident that Mr Wilson will unseat
the veteran Ulster Unionist MP, who has represented the constituency at
Westminster for the last 22 years.

Neighbouring South Antrim will be also be hotly contested between the
DUP's Willie McCrea and hardline Ulster Unionist, David Burnside, the
sitting MP, who is defending a 1,011 majority over his rival.

This will be round three of their personal battle.

Gospel singing Rev McCrea took the seat in a tightly contested by-election
in 2000, before Mr Burnside took revenge at the 2001 General Election.

In Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley plans to hold for the SDLP, the seat
held by Seamus Mallon for the best part of the last 20 years.

But, he faces a tough test from high profile Sinn Fein MLA, Conor Murphy.

In North Down, the Ulster Unionists were triumphant in 2001, when Lady
Sylvia Hermon toppled the UKUP leader, Robert McCartney, securing a
7,324 majority.

But, Mr McCartney's decision not to stand this time is good news for the
DUP's Peter Weir, who poses a serious challenge to the sitting MP.

In the other 10 constituencies - six held by a DUP candidate and four by
Sinn Fein - the sitting MP is in pole position to win once again.


ALL: Alliance Party
SDLP: Social Democratic & Labour Party
DUP: Democratic Unionist Party
UUP: Ulster Unionist Party
SF: Sinn Fein
CON: Conservative Party
WP: Workers Party
VYRDT: Vote For Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket
SEA: Socialist Environmental Alliance
IND: Independent


Shooting Victim Tried To Escape From Killers

30/04/2005 - 19:52:13

The victim of a fatal gangland style shooting on the outskirts of Dublin
managed to drive away from his attackers while wounded, it emerged

Andrew Glennon, of Forlawn Drive in Blanchardstown, died in hospital after
being ambushed by a four man gang, two of whom police believe were

The 30-year-old was confronted by the gang as he walked along Huntstown
Wood, Bramblefield, at around 4.30am.

He was shot in the upper body and head but managed to run to his car,
which was parked nearby, and flee his attackers.

The victim, who was known to police, drove to Little Pace Road in Clonee,
Co Meath, where he was treated at the scene by an ambulance crew before
being taken to James Connolly Hospital where he died at 5.30am.

The gang was pursued on foot by an off duty police officer who heard the
shots but they managed to escape.

Detectives believe people who were attending a house party in the area
may have witnessed the attack and have appealed for information.


Adair In Hiding?

'Mad Dog' denies he got a serious kicking from his erstwhile chums

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
01 May 2005

EXILED terror chief Johnny Adair last night denied claims that he was
badly beaten up by two other exiled UDA 'Bolton Wanderers'.

Rumours were rife in Adair's native Shankill this week that he was involved
in a bust-up with former comrades 'Fat Jackie' Thompson and Sham Millar.

UDA sources in the area claimed that Adair got the "hiding of his life".

Said a UDA source: "The word on the Shankill is that 'Daft Dog' got a real
pasting from Fat Jackie and Sham after he was slagging them.

"They told him that he was no longer in charge of 'C' company and that he
wasn't at home anymore, before laying into him.

"These boys are big lads and they would have only had to sit on Adair to
cause him real pain."

But when we contacted the ex-terror chief in his Bolton bolt-hole, he denied
that he had received a humiliating beating from the pair.

He claimed the exiles - who each weigh around 20 stone - were "knocked
flat-out" during a recent row.

He refused to say if he was involved in the clash, but said they "deserved

Said Adair: "These guys never laid a finger on me.

"They were the ones who recently ended up on the floor after they were laid
flat-out during a fight.

"I'm not going to say who was responsible for giving these two bullies a
humiliating beating, but all I know is that they deserved it.

"I have no contact with these thugs and I don't know why people are saying
they gave me a hiding - I haven't a scratch on my face.

"Since they received this beating they have been lying very low, but
Johnny Adair is certainly not afraid of them.

"They are the people who ended up on the floor.

"No one has ever put me on the floor.

"I'm not worried about what people are saying."

Heavyweight loyalists Thompson and Millar fled to the north west of
England in 2003 shortly after the feud killing of UDA thug John 'Grug'

Thompson, who has close links to Manchester's drugs gangs, is believed
to have fallen out with Adair in a row over cash.

The roly-poly loyalist, who received a 16-year jail term in 1993 for plotting
to murder and possession of weapons, was targeted by the UDA last year,
who placed a bomb under his car.

Millar had been acting as a loan shark in his adopted home, and was also
involved in a car-washing business.


Faking it!

Northern Bank Hit By New Notes Counterfeit Scam

By Bill Smyth
01 May 2005

THE new Northern Bank notes are only hot off the presses - but already
criminals are cashing in on forgeries!

The bank issued £240m of replacements, in March, in a bid to thwart the
gang that stole £26.5m from their HQ, in December, from gradually slipping
the cash back into circulation.

But, according to traders in Fintona, Co Tyrone, fake versions of the new
notes are already doing the rounds.

A spokesman for the Northern Bank confirmed the bank had been alerted
to the possibility that forgeries were already circulating.

"We more or less expected it," he said.

"These hoods don't waste time, and of course they'd been hoping to cash
in, literally, on the fact people would initially be unfamiliar with the new

"We have incorporated a number of sophisticated features into them,
including the watermark - which is very difficult for the forgers to
reproduce, so I doubt if they'd bother.

"Fake notes are generally crude, so anyone should be able to identify them
by the feel. Our notes have raised printing in places, but on the duds it will
be uniform or flat.

"I mean forged banknotes aren't new. They've been around as long as the
genuine article, so the advice to everyone is be vigilant.

"If it feels funny - it could well be 'funny money'."

In Tyrone, Charlie McConnell of Fintona Autospares is certainly on the

"I had a new blue 20 in my hand just four days after the weekend they came
out," he said.

"It was handed to me by a customer, I'm sure innocently. But, it felt funny,
and I decided to check it.

"When I ran the detector pen across this suspect Northern £20 note, up
came the characteristic black mark straight away - indicating it was a fake.

"The customer was as gobsmacked as I was. He said he knew where he'd
got it, and was going to take it back there."

Charlie noted the bogus note's serial number, and alerted other businesses
in the village.

A barmaid in the nearby Eccles Arms said they too were aware of the
problem, and were checking every new Northern Bank note's serial
number, and marking it with their detector pen before accepting it.

A spokesman for the police, said the service would urge the public and
traders to be on their guard against counterfeit currency, in relation to all
types of notes, with the exception of the new plastic ones.


Work Begins On New Dublin Bridge Link

30/04/2005 - 18:41:05

A new pedestrian bridge on the River Liffey was put in place at Dublin's
Docklands today.

Located to the east of the Talbot Memorial Bridge, the Docklands
pedestrian bridge, the first section of which was craned into position today
and will link the north and south quays.

Following a further five to six weeks of construction work, the bridge is due
to be officially opened in mid to late June.


Police Get Alliance Party Dossier On Dirty Tricks

By Chris Thornton, Political Correspondent
30 April 2005

THE Alliance Party has passed a dossier on dirty tricks allegations to the
police, party leader David Ford has confirmed.

Following revelations in yesterday's Belfast Telegraph about a disputed
leaflet asking Alliance supporters to "lend" their votes to the UUP, Mr Ford
also appealed for voters across Northern Ireland to send his party
information about the leaflet.

His party has made a complaint to the Electoral Commission about the
leaflet, distributed by a group called Concerned Citizens for a Shared
Future, because they say it is designed to look like an official Alliance

But they have asked police to investigate if the document could lead to
election spending breaches.

Concerned Citizens for a Shared Future is not registered with the Electoral
Commission, which means they are not allowed to spend more than £5,000
on an election campaign.

The group's post office box is registered to an East Belfast company, Circle
Creative Communications.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed yesterday that Circle Creative
Communications also produced a series of election documents for the
Ulster Unionist Party.

A UUP spokesman said the link was a "bizarre coincidence" and
categorically denied any involvement with the disputed leaflet.

Circle Creative Communications says information about Concerned
Citizens for a Shared Future is confidential.

Mr Ford said the leaflet is part of a dirty tricks campaign designed to help
the Ulster Unionist party and nothing to do with Alliance or the cause of a
shared future.

Mr Ford said many people have told the party they had received a leaflet
printed in Alliance colours of yellow and blue, headed 'Thinking of Voting

It was clearly intended to confuse Alliance supporters, he said.

"The publishers hide behind a PO Box number and urge Alliance
supporters to vote for the Ulster Unionists, wrongly claiming that the UUP
supports Alliance ideals such as a shared future."


May 01, 2005

Propesed Memorial For M Causes A Stir

The Sunday Tribune (no link) reports that plans to put up a memorial to the
Kerryman who inspired the character "M" in the James Bond films and
novels is causing a stir in his home village of Sneem and especially with
Sinn Fein.

William Melville emigrated to England in the 1860s where he joined the
London Metropolitan Police, going on to directly confront the Fenian
movement as a member of the force's special branch. He was also the
handler of spy Sidney Reilly, the inspiration behind Ian Fleming's Bond

The Sneem Parish News is now calling for a memorial to Melville while the
Integrated Rural Development (IRD) committee in the town has also
discussed the issue as a way of raising Sneem's profile as a tourist

"William Melville was by any account an amazing character. A lot of men
and women left this country when times were hard and prospered in
foreign lands. Melville is among the most successful and interesting of
these Irish people. The restoration of the Melville home is one of a number
of measures that could benefit the town from a tourist standpoint," said
local IRD director John V O'Sullivan.

However, Sinn Fein councillor from Listowel, Robert Beasley said he
couldn't see his party supporting the use of council funds to commemorate
the exploits of a former British agent.

"There are plenty of our people who gave their lives and liberty in the cause
of Irish freedom who deserver recognition," he said, going on to compare
anti-Fenian British spies with the "deplorable Littlejohns".


A Proud Role For Derry In Wartime Movie

A new movie featuring cameo appearances by John Hume and American
fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, tells the story of the arrival in
Londonderry in 1944 of the USS Mason - and the brave crew who helped
end segregation

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
30 April 2005

THERE is a scene in the new US war movie, Proud, in which a group of
black navy officers visit a Londonderry pub in 1944. A man in a peaked cap
and shabby farmer's jacket brings them over a pint of Guinness and then

If you freeze frame the shot, you might make out that this shy Derry farmer
is ultra hip fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger.

It's a surreal moment in the film, an unexpected snippet of celebrity
spotting and it sums up the low-budget appeal of a movie made by friends
and family of its creators, Mary Pat Kelly and Ally Hilfiger, a daughter of
Tommy. The film is being shown at Robert DeNiro's Tribeca film festival in
lower Manhattan.

The Hilfiger family flew into Derry for the filming of Proud, with Tommy
scouring the city's thrift stores looking for World War II era clothes for the

One jacket he picked up was so shabby he didn't give it to any of the
extras, but wore it himself for his cameo when they ran out of clothes.

The cast has other notables. John Hume plays a Londonderry man who
welcomes the sailors to the city. Stephen Rea uses all of his slow,
methodical delivery as a farmer who offers to help the sailors escape to the
Irish Free State, where they can dodge a US military machine that is
massively unfair to black recruits.

The cast stands out for other reasons. This was to be acclaimed actor
Ossie Davis' last movie. Recognised as one the best black actors of all
time, his contribution was recalled at this year's Oscars. Here, he plays an
elderly veteran recalling the events in Derry to his grandson.

Proud, the true story of the USS Mason, shows that blacks did achieve
internal equality on the only African American manned vessel in the US

We also learn of a black journalist who was on board when it sailed into
Derry, its first foreign port. He followed the sailors as they disembarked
(against the wishes of their white superiors).

In a Norfolk Journal and Guide article headlined: "Irish First to Treat USS
Mason Crew as Americans", he writes that the people of Derry were the
first to recognise the black crew as equals. (During the war, there were
officially 100,000 black US sailors, but all but the 150 on the USS Mason
were used for low status land-based jobs).

What is most striking about Proud is the internal contradictions within the
navy that would take 50 years to rectify. Here was a crew fighting the Nazis
creed of racial superiority who had to sit at the back of the bus when they
returned to the US.

Film-maker Mary Pat Kelly had longed to highlight their story ever since
she wrote a magazine article about US military stationed in Northern

Originally from Chicago, she had long been interested in Northern Ireland
since working for Good Morning America.

Sitting in her apartment in the upper west side of Manhattan, she recalls
how she wanted to break away from Northern Ireland politics and show a
side of the area not seen in the constant rotation of depressing news in the
1970s and 80s. She made a documentary on the USS Mason's journey to
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