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May 22, 2005

Calm Restored After Fans Riot

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 05/22/05 Calm Restored After Fans Riot
SM 05/22/05 Prove Paisley Wrong On Agreement, Ahern Urged
IT 05/23/05 Cardinal Praises Mother's Ability To Forgive
IT 05/23/05 McAleese Begins Visit To US And Canada
ML 05/22/05 Son Gets To Bottom Of 'Mysteries'
EX 05/22/05 Baptismal & Marriage Records Back Where They Belong
TE 05/22/05 Developers Threaten Joyce's Seafront


Calm Restored To North Belfast After Fans Riot

22/05/2005 - 19:57:49

The situation is calm again in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast
following riots this afternoon.

Trouble began when rival gangs clashed after today's Rangers and
Celtic football matches ended.

About 300 people, many throwing stones, brick, bottles and golf balls,
were involved in the disturbances.

Police in riot gear, along with more than a dozen police vehicles and
a water cannon were brought in to control the crowds.

The DUP is blaming Celtic fans for the unrest.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McLenaghan, who was at the
scene, claimed that the police response was heavy-handed.


Prove Paisley Wrong On Agreement, Ahern Urged

By Dan McGinn, PA Ireland Political Editor

Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern will face calls today to stand up to
the Rev Ian Paisley in talks to restore devolution in Northern

Nationalist SDLP leader Mark Durkan will meet the taoiseach in
Dublin's Government Buildings ahead of a meeting with 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 Dr
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 Fein 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 Fein.

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

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

The West Belfast MP said London and Dublin needed to make it clear to
the DUP that they could be part of the process of change or could opt
out but they could not veto progress.

"If they do not come on board, then the responsibility falls to the
two governments to make progress with the parties who are committed to
the Agreement and to moving forward in partnership and co-operation,"
he said.

"Obviously there must be a little space to allow the Governments to
make this clear to the DUP and to prepare the way forward.

"This has to include preparations to ensure the Orange marching season
is peaceful.

"The DUP has a role to play in this. So too do the Loyal Orders but
the main responsibility lies with both governments.

"They have to ensure that people can live free from sectarian
harassment. This includes freedom from contentious parades."


Cardinal Praises Mother's Ability To Forgive

Carol Coulter

Annie Maguire, wrongly convicted on IRA bombing charges in 1976, was
yesterday awarded the Bene Merenti medal on behalf of the Pope. Pope
John Paul II awarded it to her three days before he died, and she
received it from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of
Westminster, at Sunday morning Mass at the Sacred Heart of Jesus
parish in Kilburn, north London.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said the medal, whose title translates as
"well-deserved", was awarded in recognition of her ability to forgive,
and for her work for her family, parish and community.

She was one of the "Maguire Seven" jailed in 1976 for alleged
involvement in bomb-making in her home in Willesden, north London.
Five family members, including her husband Patrick, her sons Vincent
and Patrick, aged 17 and 14 at the time, and a family friend were all
arrested following the IRA bombing in 1974 of Guildford and Woolwich.
A bomb left at the Horse and Groom pub in Guildford killed five
people, four of them soldiers, and left more than 100 injured.

Four young people, including Annie Maguire's nephew, Gerry Conlon,
were convicted of the bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Later, while visiting London to see his son and staying with the
Maguires, Gerry Conlon's father, Guisseppe Conlon, was arrested,
charged and convicted of bomb-making activities. He died in prison,
always protesting innocence.

The Guildford Four always denied any involvement in the bombing or the
IRA, and in 1989 the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions and
released them. The Maguire Seven served their sentences, with Annie
Maguire serving nine of the 14 years imposed on her. Both during her
imprisonment and following her release, she campaigned for her name
and that of her family to be cleared. In 1991 the Court of Appeal
overturned the convictions of the Maguires.

Last February, British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a public
apology to the Maguire Seven and the Guilford Four for the
miscarriages of justice.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said: "Her work for others, her strength as a
woman and a human being, her constant faith, her remarkable ability to
forgive - these are the reasons why the Pope wanted to single her out
and hold her up as an example.

"Anne Maguire and her family suffered wrongful imprisonment for many
years. This is an experience that normally produces deep bitterness
and drives families apart. But Anne had the gift, which is not given
to everyone, of forgiveness."

Thanking family members present in the church, Ms Maguire paid
particular tribute to her late husband: "He had a lot of courage the
same as I had", she said.

Ms Maguire's parish priest, Fr Francis Ryan, said: "Annie was bigger
than the injustice she suffered, and through time and prayer she came
right in the end."

Ms Maguire, aged 69, is a mother of four, grandmother of seven, and
great-grandmother of four.

© The Irish Times


McAleese Begins Visit To US And Canada

Conor O'Clery in Seattle

President Mary McAleese received an honorary degree and delivered
the commencement address at Villanova University, Philadelphia
yesterday, at the start of an eight-day tour of the United States and

This morning Mrs McAleese will arrive in Seattle on the west coast
with a trade delegation of 29 companies drawn from the aviation and
high-tech sectors. The President is accompanied by her husband Martin
McAleese, Minister of State for Enterprise Michael Ahern and
Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan.

After being conferred with an honorary doctorate of laws at the
university, Mrs McAleese gave a personal account of the rupture in her
family in Belfast when a close cousin, Ann Dillon, who was present in
the audience, emigrated to Pennsylvania.

She and her cousin were born in Belfast within weeks of each other,
she said.

"We started school together, sat in the same class, travelled there
together hand in hand until the day she emigrated to Philadelphia at
the age of nine." The loss of a best friend was a "sudden emotional
amputation". Belfast at the time was a "cold house for Catholics", Mrs
McAleese added, noting that these were the words of former Unionist
leader David Trimble, but her own family reluctantly decided to stay.

Caitlan Dillon, the daughter of Mrs McAleese's cousin, was among
Villanova's graduates yesterday. The university was founded in 1842 by
Augustinian monks from Ireland.

Mrs McAleese's visit was the subject of a protest from the Cardinal
Newman Society, based in Virginia, which has been campaigning against
Catholic universities hosting speakers who do not adhere to strict
Vatican doctrine. The society singled out Mrs McAleese as an advocate
for female ordination and gay rights.

© The Irish Times


Son Gets To Bottom Of 'Mysteries'

Historian's examination of family has lessons for all

Sunday, May 22, 2005

By David Forsmark

An Irish-American Memoir
By Thomas Fleming
Wiley, $24.95, 341 pp.

Acclaimed historian Thomas Fleming has written popular histories of
the Revolutionary War, several controversial re-examinations of such
hallowed 20th century figures as Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt
and best-selling historical novels.

No one, however, could have guessed that his personal history, as told
in "Mysteries of My Father," would provide the material for arguably
his most gripping and powerful work.

"New Jersey" and "corruption" go together like "hot fudge" and
"sundae." The phrase recalls cliched images of fat, cigar-smoking pols
raking in the big bucks and stealing from the poor.

Fleming's family memoir takes an inside look at the ultimate political
machine run by Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague, a boss who had
presidents coming to him to curry his favor. But the picture is not
quite what the tsk-tsk tone of the stereotypical history book would

Fleming points out that the old-fashioned political machines often
were all that certain poor, ethnic communities had to stand up for

Like Homer Hickam's "Rocket Boys" (the basis for the movie "October
Sky") and Brian McDonald's "My Father's Gun," this is the story of an
important subculture going through the pressure cooker of 20th century
changes, told by a narrator who is close enough to the action to take
an inside look but enough of a nonparticipant to have the distance
required for a proper perspective.

Above all, these books tell, at their heart, the universal story of
sons struggling to make their way out of their fathers' shadows - very
big shadows, in fact, cast by larger-than-life figures.

At the center of "Mysteries" is Thomas "Teddy" Fleming Sr., who fought
bravely in the trenches of France during World War I though he had
little use for the cause. Irish-Americans at the time had no interest
in saving Britain from Germany, and they had legitimate trouble with
the argument that Germany was any more expansionist than the country
that had occupied the auld sod for centuries.

However, the war would pave the way for two fateful factors of Teddy's
life. First, he was away while most young people his age married, and
second, his heroic status brought him to the attention of the Irish
Democrat political machine that held power in Jersey City.

It was only logical that the city's most eligible bachelor and the
most popular single girl would be thrown together by their friends.
Kitty Dolan was a pretty socialite who still was available only
because her fiance had fallen fatally ill.

What even her friends and family did not realize, however, was that
Kitty saw her beau as a ticket out of what she thought of as low Irish
life and society.

Like the politicians, Kitty saw the potential in Teddy and how she
could use it to her ends. Unlike them, however, Kitty had wholesale
changes in mind for her husband, while the political machine gave him
a job that perfectly suited his abilities, personality and skills -
and immersed him in the life that Kitty so despised.

The war hero and the tragic figure seemed like the perfect couple to
the outside world, but there's no loathing like self-loathing, and
when Kitty turns it outward, it's breathtaking in its intensity. When
their children were old enough to recognize it, they were not merely
caught in the crossfire of a contentious marriage, but Kitty also
tried to enlist them as combatants.

Fleming presents his parents, warts and all, but also with affection.
While showing Kitty as the aggressor, he refuses to take sides, as
each person reacted in the exact wrong manner to make amends - perhaps
because each was so ill-suited for the other and not prepared to

By the time the usually taciturn elder Fleming -?hen a county sheriff
and arguably the second-most powerful man in the nation's most
effective political machine - tearfully exclaims to his sons, "You're
all I have," the reader's heart will be as broken as if it were his
own family's trauma.

"Memories of My Father" shows the inside of ethnic politics, such as
how genuine grievances become excuses for corruption though the
justification of "It's our turn to get ours now." This manifests
itself in vote-stealing (the author personally was responsible for
keeping his deceased grandmother on the absentee voter roles for
years), heavy-handed patronage and outright theft.

Fleming also takes shots at the notion of "hyphenated Americanism,"
noting that no matter how much reverence is expressed for the Old
Country, after a generation, immigrants invariably become so
Americanized as to be completely alien to those in the country they

This book has enough subplots for at least another couple of hundred
pages. If he had chosen to, Fleming could have serialized his and his
family's life like the great memoirist Tobias Wolfe. He takes a hard
look at the role of the Catholic Church in the Irish immigrant culture
of the time, and the author's Navy experiences during the fall of
China undoubtedly could have filled more than just one chapter.

"Mysteries of my Father" is a uniquely American memoir and a story as
old as Genesis. As Father's Day approaches, this heartfelt, powerful
and ultimately loving book is an ideal gift for the reader on your

Reviewer David Forsmark is a freelance writer who lives in Flushing.
© 2005 Flint Journal. Used with permission


Parish Baptismal And Marriage Records Back Where They Belong

I HAVE read with some astonishment and much disbelief the recent spate
of letters to the Irish Examiner concerning the alleged movement of
the Cloyne diocesan baptism and marriage records.

All the letters contain the same inaccuracies and misinformation.

As explained by Msgr Denis O'Callaghan (Irish Examiner letters, April
20), the parish records are the property of the individual parishes,
and this fact pertains in all other dioceses in Ireland. They were
microfilmed and placed for the benefit of individual researchers who
would view them on a microfiche machine at the National Library (NL)
in Dublin.

For separate parishes in the diocese of Cloyne, one was expected to
produce a letter from the parish priest in order to get a reader's

One then had to book a microfiche machine (probably queuing for hours
or days) and spend more hours or days trying to trace even one
individual name, with the result that one had to make numerous visits
to the NL.

If you lived down the country like I do, this arrangement was very
costly in time and money.

'Professional genealogists' based in Dublin (some of whom worked for
the NL) saw an opening for profit to be made from the use of these
private parish records and exploited this niche market for many years,
servicing thousands of foreign requests to trace their roots. This is

With the advent of computers and technology, heritage centres were set
up countrywide to computerise parish baptism and marriage records
(most parishes did not possess death records).

Mallow parish was chosen as the centre for the 46 parishes of the
diocese of Cloyne, covering most of east and north Co Cork.

This project, which is ongoing for a number of years now, has enabled
Mallow parish to employ a large number of people to index and
computerise the parish records.

Finance to run this project had to be got from somewhere, so the
diocese had to take back possession of what is church property (which
was being exploited for commercial gain in the NL) and utilise the
financial proceeds of a family history research centre to fund the
ongoing costs of the project.

This is happening all over Ireland and one will have to pay for such a
service in Galway or Tipperary or Dublin as in Mallow.

Mallow Heritage Centre is to be congratulated for the energy and
commitment they have put into the computerisation and dissemination of
the parish baptismal and marriage records. They have also computerised
the 1901 census, the 1828 Tithe Applottment Records, Griffiths
Valuation of the 1840s, and are in the process of computerising the
1911 census, gravestone inscriptions and national school roll-books as
they become available.

So not alone are the parish baptism and marriage records still
available, they are available to a greater degree than heretofore and
Mallow Heritage Centre includes a broader choice of records. Who would
travel all the way to the NL in Dublin (a day trip to Dublin from
Mallow has an overall cost of over a e100) to sit at a microfiche
machine for hours or days with inconclusive results and migraine, when
you can email or write to Mallow Heritage Centre and get your request
processed easier with more conclusive results and for less cost.

If you employ a 'professional genealogist' to do the work, you will
end up paying a lot more.

I have dealt with Mallow Heritage Centre on a number of occasions and
found the staff there to be very courteous and helpful, and extremely
knowledgeable. The contributors to your letters page on the subject
need not worry as the parish records are still available. Some of your
correspondents on this matter seem have got their information mixed
up. The state (civil) records for births, deaths and marriages,
covering the period from 1864 to the present, have recently been moved
from their repository in Mallow to the Registration Office in Cork

One cannot now do any research in Mallow on the state records for the
20 registration districts of north Co Cork unless one makes an
appointment to do so at the office in Cork city (Mondays only, waiting
list applies). Neither Mallow Heritage Centre nor the church
authorities have any function in this move. Perhaps the letter-writers
on the subject of the Cloyne diocesan records will direct their
frustration this time to the state authorities responsible for the
removal of the registration books on births, deaths and marriages for
north County Cork.

The parish registers of Cloyne belong to the parishes of Cloyne and
the Mallow Heritage Centre is the official and agreed repository for
the computer copies.

I must again congratulate Msgr Denis O'Callaghan and the highly
efficient staff of the centre for making these records widely
available at such a reasonable cost.

Colin O'Callaghan
Co Cork


Developers Threaten Joyce's Seafront

By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
(Filed: 23/05/2005)

Lovers of literature are fighting proposals for a huge development
that will dominate a picturesque Victorian seafront which inspired
James Joyce's classic novel Ulysses.

Joyce enthusiasts, artists and more than 1,000 residents are
campaigning against a £100 million complex of shops and 180 flats on
the shoreline of Scotsman's Bay, Dun Laoghaire, outside Dublin.

The plan involves reclaiming five acres of the coastline for a 10-
storey building that will extend 200 yards into the sea, dwarfing
Regency and Victorian crescents.

Describing views of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire's imperial name) in
Ulysses, Joyce wrote: "Woodshadows floated silently by through the
morning peace … Inshore and further out the mirror of water whitened,
spurned by lightshod hurrying feet."

The port, which was created by the great Scottish engineer John
Rennie, has an emotive place in Irish history. It was the scene of
great heartache as the main harbour for the emigration of hundreds of
thousands of people to America.

More recently its beauty has attracted many celebrities. Bono, the
Edge, Enya, Chris De Burgh, Sinead O'Connor and Van Morrison all own
homes in the area.

This week 1,200 people took to the streets to protest against the
development. It was the largest march through the town since the
withdrawal of British troops in 1922.

"This is nothing short of national vandalism," said Bob Waddell, the
chairman of the residents' association.

Despite the objections, Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown county council
seems certain next month to approve the complex, which will include a
swimming pool, wave pool, flumes, restaurants, ice and roller rinks
and a major concert venue.

Niamh Bhreathinach, the Labour mayor of Dun Laoghaire and a former
education minister, said: "The Victorian past makes an interesting
contribution to our history but what we are creating is a living
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