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May 30, 2005

Locals Unite Against Joyriders

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 05/30/05 Locals To Unite Against Joyriders
BT 05/30/05 Sympathy For Tragic Limavady Mayor
BT 05/30/05 Elderly In Fear After Home Attacked
EX 05/30/05 Constitution In Jeopardy If Dutch Vote No
IT 05/31/05 PSNI Now Believes Criminals Staged Robbery, Kidnapping
IT 05/31/05 Paisley's Wife Expected To Get Seat In House Of Lords
TH 05/30/05 Findlay Criticised For Sectarian Pope Joke
BT 05/30/05 Israeli And Arab Women In Ulster For Peace Talks
IT 05/31/05 Bewley's Back In Business Again
IT 05/31/05 Supplies Running Out As We Hope For A Sunday Summit
IT 05/31/05 New Monthly Magazine Is Launched In Clare
IT 05/31/05 Writers' Week Begins In Listowel
RE 05/30/05 Fairies, Farting Fire Irish Author's Imagination


Locals To Unite Against Joyriders

By Brendan McDaid
30 May 2005

Galliagh residents were today urged to unite against a gang of
joyriders amid warnings that someone will be killed unless action is

The call comes from newly elected Sinn Fein Councillor for the area
Elisha McLaughlin who blamed the youths for "an orgy of destruction"
across the estate.

Ms McLaughlin spoke out after a gang of youths stole a number of cars
and sped through the estate on several occasions over the past week.

Trees and lampposts in Linergar Park were wrecked and grasslands
churned up near Galliagh Park, where one of the cars was torched and

Ms McLaughlin said: "These young people, who have been responsible for
the vast majority of anti-social behaviour in the area, need to be
told by all the community that their behaviour is no longer

"It is no longer tolerable that people of the Greater Shantallow area
cannot feel safe in their beds without fear of their property being
either damaged or stolen.

"These latest incidents where a car was stolen then driven around the
Galliagh estate in both a dangerous and destructive manner will
eventually lead to the death of an innocent bystander and this must be
avoided at all costs.

"Not only is there a danger to the local community, but also the cost
of repairing damage or replacing property can be a great burden to
whoever is faced with the bill."

The councillor issued an appeal to those responsible to desist.

"Sit back and think of the consequences this type of behaviour has on
the community. If the vast majority of young people in this area can
act in a appropriate and responsible manner, then I feel that these
young should do the same," she added.


Sympathy For Tragic Limavady Mayor

Parties rally round after wife dies

30 May 2005

Councillors in Limavady today rallied around their new Mayor after the
tragic death of his wife less than a week after he took up office.

SDLP councillor Michael Coyle was installed as first citizen last
Monday, when he tearfully asked colleagues if his daughters Julie and
Laura could perform the duties of Mayoress in place of his seriously
ill partner, Mary.

However she died at the family home in Dungiven yesterday after a
battle with illness.

The new first citizen was still too devastated to speak to the Press
this morning, but council colleagues today paid tribute to the late
Mrs Coyle.

Former Mayor and Ulster Unionist councillor, Jack Rankin, who handed
over the chains of office to Michael Coyle just a week ago, worked
with Mary on the council's twinning committee, which co-ordinates the
town's link-up with Vigneux Sur Seine in France.

Paying tribute today Mr Rankin said: "I worked very closely with Mary
on the twinning committee and this will be very sad for the whole

"She will be badly missed and we on council will be giving Michael and
his daughters all of our support during this very sad time."

Deputy Mayor, Sinn Fein's Marion Donaghy, said that her "heart goes
out" to the Coyle family.

"People will be lining up to offer help," she said.

"This is tragic for Michael and I am not sure that there is much we
can say or do to make it any easier for him, but we will try our

SDLP colleague, Alderman Gerry Mullan, said that Michael Coyle and his
family had been very brave.

"I have every faith in Michael and think he will be a good
representative for the borough," he said.

"These past few months have been a very tough time for him and his
family and he still conducted his work in a professional manner.

"I offer my sincere condolences to Michael and his extended family and
give them my best wishes for the future."

Leader of the DUP on Limavady Borough Council, George Robinson, also
expressed his sadness.

He said: "I contacted Michael last night to express our sincere and
heartfelt condolences on behalf of the party and informed him that we
will be there for him at this trying time."

Mary Coyle's funeral tomorrow will leave her late home at Priory Lane
in Dungiven for 11am Mass at St Patrick's church before interment in
the adjoining cemetery.


Elderly In Fear After Home Attacked

By Brendan McDaid
30 May 2005

Elderly residents living in sheltered accommodation in Londonderry
have been left petrified after their home was attacked, Sinn Fein said

Residents of Alexander House on Bishop Street were targeted in the
latest incident at the interface with the Fountain estate.

A hail of stones were pelted at the home on Thursday evening.

Sinn Fein Councillor for the area Gerry MacLochlainn said he hoped the
attack did not herald a new campaign to raise tensions leading up to
the marching season.

Councillor MacLochlainn said: "Many of the elderly residents of the
sheltered accommodation were terrified.

"This area has been relativity quiet over the past while, and
community workers on both sides have worked hard to ensure that
problems that have occurred have been resolved swiftly."

Mr McLaughlin added: "I would call on both the community workers and
political representatives to intervene immediately so that this attack
will be the last in the area."


Constitution In Jeopardy If Dutch Vote No

By Paul O'Brien

THE future of the European Constitution could be at serious risk
should the Dutch follow the lead of the French and reject it in a
referendum tomorrow, Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said

"It has to be acknowledged that, if the French referendum started a
rolling No with the Dutch [tomorrow] and so on, it would cause us
severe difficulty," he said.

Almost 55% of French people who voted rejected the constitution in
Sunday's referendum. Opinion polls predict that the Dutch will
similarly reject it.

The constitution cannot take effect unless ratified by all 25 member
states of the EU by November 1 next year. There is provision made
that, if four-fifths of countries ratify it, the matter would be
referred to the European Council for consideration. Other than review,
however, there is no clear "Plan B" for what would happen to the
constitution at that point, although several European leaders,
including Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, have rejected the possibility that
it might be renegotiated.

While a number of member states are simply seeking parliamentary
approval for the document, several others, including Ireland, are
seeking public approval by way of referendum, thus increasing the risk
of rejection. However, the Taoiseach insisted yesterday that the
Government would hold a referendum despite the French result. However,
the Green Party, which has yet to take a formal position on the
constitution, labelled that position "absurd."

Party chairman John Gormley TD said that pressing ahead with
ratification when the French had said No, and with the Dutch expected
to do likewise, was "completely illogical." He urged Mr Ahern to
follow the example of British prime minister Tony Blair, who has
called for a "period of reflection."

Fine Gael, too, urged caution, despite the fact that it supports the
constitution. The party's foreign affairs spokesman, Bernard Allen TD,
said no decision should be made on the timing of a referendum until
European leaders assessed the implications of the French vote.

"The constitution will benefit the people of Ireland and make the EU
more efficient. However, Europe must face up to the political reality
in which it finds itself," he said.

"We want the EU heads of government to make a considered assessment of
the implications of the French result and of the result of the
impending referendum in the Netherlands."

Sinn Féin, which opposes the constitution, said the ratification
process should be scrapped in its entirety.

"It is all very well to say that the Government are just going to push
ahead, but what are they going to push ahead with?" asked party
chairperson and MEP Mary Lou McDonald. "The constitution has been
rejected in France, so it does not have the unanimous support which it
requires to come into force."


PSNI Now Believes Criminals Staged Robbery, Kidnapping

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Police investigating the kidnap-robbery at the main Belfast branch
of Boots now believe a criminal gang rather than paramilitaries is

Two families in west Belfast were held hostage at the weekend as two
employees at the city-centre store were ordered to steal the money.
The amount stolen is now said to be £118,000 (€173,500). The cash was
packed into sports bags and handed to members of the gang responsible
near a branch of the Alliance and Leicester Building Society, a short
distance from the store, on Saturday morning.

Police have appealed for anyone who saw anything at the junction of
Fountain Street and Wellington Place on Saturday to come forward. No
member of either family was hurt, but some are said to have been
highly traumatised by the incident.

At one of the crime scenes in Ashton Park, a gang member is reported
to have been disguised as a postal worker.

At the other hostage scene, police have asked for anyone with
information about a car which was parked outside the house at Iveagh
Street with the engine running just after 7am on Saturday. Children
were also held hostage at one of the homes targeted by the gang.

The Boots robbery took place just 200m from the Northern Bank where
£26.5 million (nearly €39 million) was stolen in January.

Det Chief Insp Ian Gilchrist said he was not looking at paramilitary
involvement as a main line of inquiry at this point in the
investigation. "There's in the region of possibly six to 10 persons
involved in the crime," he said.

© The Irish Times


Paisley's Wife Expected To Get One Of Four DUP Seats In House Of Lords

Frank Millar, London Editor

The DUP is expecting to increase its parliamentary strength at
Westminster further with the appointment of at least four members to
the House of Lords.

Despite being the majority unionist party, with nine MPs to just one
Ulster Unionist, and the fourth largest party in the Commons, the DUP
is still without representation in the Lords.

However, party chiefs are satisfied that this anomaly will be ended
with the announcement of a new list of working peers next month or in
early July.

There is speculation that the former Ulster Unionist leader David
Trimble might be made a peer in Queen Elizabeth's official birthday
honours list, due on June 11th. Buckingham Palace and Downing Street
confirmed that "working peers" are dealt with separately.

That suggests a further possible delay before prime minister Tony
Blair resolves an issue on which the DUP has been pressing since its
first landmark victory over the UUP in the 2003 Assembly elections.

DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley's personal list of nominees is believed
to be topped by his wife, Eileen, along with long-time friend and
party president Jim McClure. Two others being tipped for peerages are
DUP chairman Maurice Morrow and former Conservative MP Andrew Hunter,
who took the DUP whip in the last parliament.

There is also speculation that a larger list of DUP nominees might
include two former Ulster Unionist MPs - the Rev Martin Smyth, and
William Ross, who lost his seat in 2001.

© The Irish Times


Findlay Criticised For Sectarian Pope Joke

Copyright © 2005 Newsquest (Herald & Times) Limited. All Rights

A CHORUS of criticism began yesterday over remarks made by one of
Scotland's leading lawyers about the late Pope John Paul II.

Speaking in Larne, Northern Ireland, Donald Findlay QC asked an
audience of Rangers Football Club supporters: "It's very smoky in here
tonight – has another f****** Pope died?"

The first minister declined to comment personally last night but a
senior aide expressed his dissatisfaction and said: "Ministers have
made it quite clear on a number of occasions that sectarianism has no
place in a modern Scotland."

However, Mr Findlay defended his comments and said it was ridiculous
that certain subjects were taboo with regards to humour.

Yesterday, there was support for him as well as condemnation from
people who said he had failed to learn from a mistake in 1999 when he
was filmed singing sectarian songs.

A spokesman for the Glasgow archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church
said: "This is yet another lamentable lapse of judgment on the part of
someone who should know better."

If any complaints are made to the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland
about Mr Findlay's comments, he will then face an investigation.

However, Mr Findlay was supported by Ayesha Hazarika, a second-
generation Indian comedian from Glasgow who was named young achiever
of the year at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards last week.

"I'm not a fan of censorship. Most things are fair game for comedians
and rightly so. I'm a Muslim and sometimes in my routine I poke fun at
my own religion. Religion and politics are traditionally areas of
satire, as are all big institutions."

Mr Findlay said his after-dinner routine usually contained obscenities
and he would joke about religions, including the Protestant faith.

"At the same event I cracked jokes about Ian Paisley. Are we really at
the stage that there is a list of things that you cannot make jokes
about?" he said.


Israeli And Arab Women In Ulster For Peace Talks

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
30 May 2005

Arab and Israeli women are in Northern Ireland for talks about ending
the Middle East conflict.

The group, who were flying in yesterday, will visit Enniskillen, Derry
and Belfast during their six-day visit.

The ten participants will meet with Northern Ireland community leaders
to learn about conflict resolution ahead of Israeli's upcoming pull
out from the Gaza Strip.

The group will be based at the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen and the
trip is organised by Vital Voices, an international women's group
closely associated with Senator Hilary Clinton. Vital Voices organised
a similar trip for Arab and Israeli women in 2003.

Stella O'Leary, the president of the Irish American Democrats, is also
helping to organise the visit and participants will be guests as a
dinner hosted by the Fermanagh University Partnership Board.

The trip comes as violence has flared up in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian militants fired missiles at Jewish settlements in recent
days and Israel forces responded with helicopter fire.

The recent violence stems from Israel's expected withdrawal from the
Gaza Strip and Palestinian anger that no definite date has been set.


Bewley's Back In Business Again

Olivia Kelly

Bewley's Grafton Street Cafe will resume serving its famous
breakfasts this morning for the first time since its closure last
November - but with a crucial difference.

Customers entering the cafe from 7.30am can look forward to a
breakfast of scones, bagels and croissants, but no rashers, sausages
or even fried eggs.

The traditional fried breakfast has been replaced by granola and a
choice of porridges, what Campbell Bewley marketing director James
Healy describes as a "very modern healthy breakfast".

Respect for tradition has been observed with the return of the
Bewley's Cafe Theatre under the artistic direction of Michael James
Ford. The theatre reopened yesterday with a specially commissioned
show Coming Up Roses, presented by Finnish theatre group Rakastajat,
which was originally invited a year ago, before the closure was

The show was scheduled to begin at Bewley's last week, but had to be
postponed because of delays in construction.

Temporary premises were provided by the Gaiety Theatre.

"We're very grateful to the Gaiety who looked after us brilliantly at
the weekend, this place was still a bombsite," Ford said. "This is a
great show to open up with and the place was packed, so I have high
hopes for the future of the theatre."

The play "gives a whole new meaning to the word bizarre", according to
RTÉ producer Kevin Reynolds, but the reopening of the theatre was

"There's no other lunchtime theatre in the city and it's run on
clippings of tin, every sell is a hard sell, but it is incredible

Soup, a sandwich and the show costs €14.

The relaunch of the theatre brings the phased reopening of Bewley's
almost to completion. Cafe Bar Deli - a Mediterranean- style
restaurant with beer and wine licence and with several branches in
Dublin and countrywide - opened in the famous Harry Clarke Room and on
the first floor last week.

Mackerel, a fish restaurant on the second floor, seating about 50
people, opened last Thursday.

The coffee roaster, the centre- piece of the front-of-house cafe, will
open tomorrow along with a full retail counter. Bewley's tea and
coffee expert Paul O'Toole will be on hand for advice and

"We hope to become fully operational during this week," Mr Healy said.

"Last week we started opening at 5.30pm and this week, it started at
noon, but now we'll be opening from 7.30 each morning. Already the
numbers coming through the door have been huge, it has been chaotic at
times, but the staff are coping very well."

© The Irish Times


Supplies Running Out As We Hope For A Sunday Summit

Everest Diary/Grania Willis: Plans, as they do so often on big
mountaineering expeditions, have changed. After weeks of waiting, we
had expected to leave for our summit push on Everest yesterday.

But team leader Russell Brice called a meeting last Sunday to tell us
that our departure for the top had been delayed or potentially
cancelled altogether.

Brice had decreed the weather windows of May 21st/22nd and 28th/29th
to be too narrow and too dangerous for his Himalayan Experience
(Himex) clients, but we were all geared up for a crack at the summit
in the early part of June.

Originally, we had been aiming for the summit on June 3rd or 4th -
leaving from advanced base camp (ABC) yesterday.

Then it looked as though we might be going a day early for a summit
bid on June 3rd or 4th.

But, on Sunday morning, the Himex boss summoned us all to meet under
the prayer flags. It was crunch time.

"We were aiming for the 3rd and 4th, but the forecast is now saying
the 4th and 5th", Brice said, as his audience of 18 climbers and four
guides clung to his every word.

"There are two things I can do. I can say the expedition is over and
get you back to Kathmandu by the 9th, or I can say let's wait and we
can try for the 4th and 5th. But that's our last try."

There was a stunned silence as the import of this message sank in.

If the weather changed, as it had done consistently since we embarked
on the apparently endless wait for a weather window, we would be
leaving advanced base camp in a downward rather than upward direction.

But Brice's next words cheered us considerably. "The forecast we have
is the best any of us have seen up to now. It's the very first time
the jet stream has been pushed aside.

"The winds will be less than 10 knots, but the temperature will still
be in the region of -22. We can't expect anything better than -20."

Supplies of everything, including gas for cooking and heating, are now
at a critical level. But New Zealander Brice is not a quitter.

"We are now right down to the end of our supplies", he said, "but a
little bit of discomfort means we can stay a few days longer. It'll be
minor discomfort for major gain, but this is our last chance.

"There are no other scenarios. If we go, we go in two days and we give
it our best shot." Brice says that the extra wait is now costing him
$7,000 a day.

The Sherpas have already put $150,000 worth of oxygen bottles in place
up the mountain.

If next weekend's weather window closes, that and thousands more
dollars worth of tents and equipment will have to be stripped off the
hill without any of us having got past camp II.

Many teams have already abandoned the effort. With permits to stay in
Tibet expired, they've simply had to call it a day. They have headed -
not for the hills - but for home.

Tents have vanished overnight and yak bells are now a daily
accompaniment to the sound of life at 6,400 metres.

The bottom half of ABC has been returned to the glacier.

But it is patience rather than permits that has expired in other
teams. Tired by the waiting and numerous setbacks, they've pushed on
up the mountain and been beaten back by the weather.

The weather hasn't got the better of everyone, however. The Norwegian
team members, who went for one of the earlier windows and returned
with their tails between their legs, are now celebrating a triumphant
return from the summit.

All five team members and their five Sherpas summited in the early
hours of Sunday morning before the winds got up.

The team has been in the Himalaya since early March, climbing Island
Peak in Nepal as a warm-up for the big one.

Sickness and, in one case, lack of time, reduced their numbers from 12
to the quintet that stood on the top of the world on Sunday.

The expedition was led by Jon Gangdal, who was making his fourth
assault on the world's highest mountain.

Gangdal suffered a life-threatening liver infection after his 2003
attempt, but has finally realised his dream.

The only non-Norwegian member, Swede Mattias Karlsson, was first of
the five to summit at 6am and, incredibly, was back down at ABC by
2.30 that afternoon.

I can't hope to emulate that feat, but I leave for the North Col
tomorrow with five days' climbing ahead of me, culminating in my final
summit bid - God speed - next Sunday morning.

The Grania Willis Everest Challenge 2005, supported by The North Face,
SORD Data Systems, Peak Centre Ireland and Great Outdoors, is in aid
of the Irish Hospice Foundation and the Friends of St Luke's Hospital.

Donations to the fund can be made to The Grania Willis Everest
Challenge, Permanent TSB, Blackrock, Co Dublin, account number
86877341, sort code 99-06-44. Visa card donations to 01-2303009.

© The Irish Times


New Monthly Magazine Is Launched In Clare

Gordon Deegan

The first of two glossy monthly magazines aimed for markets in the
midwest was launched in Ennis last night.

Inside Clare is the first of two publications being produced by
Dublin-based New Century Publishing. Inside Limerick is to follow
later this summer.

Managing editor Paddy Madden said: "There is an opening for a good
local magazine in both Clare and Limerick. We are not setting up in
opposition to anyone. Our stories will be softer and there will be a
special focus on lifestyle and entertainment."

Mr Madden said the first edition had a print run of 12,000 copies. "We
feel that it is very important that we sell quality writing and once
you get past the aesthetic values of the magazine, the writing has to
stand up. We have top-quality writers in Cormac McConnell, Cathy
Mullan and Aodhán Madden."

He added: "What I don't want to happen is that Inside Clare becomes
another Hello! magazine because we believe that everyone is a
celebrity and has something to say and Inside Clare will give people a
podium to express their opinions."

Editor Anthony Galvin said: "The first edition has sold out in a
number of outlets and we have a target of a steady circulation of
between 7,500 and 8,000."

© The Irish Times


Writers' Week Begins In Listowel

Anne Lucey

The 35th Listowel Writers' Week begins tomorrow in the Co Kerry
town. Writers are as diverse as Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko and
local up-and- coming writer, Billy Keane, son of the late John B
Keane, the festival's founder member and playwright.

A publican and newspaper columnist, Keane will launch his debut novel,
The Last of the Heroes, on Thursday.

More than 50 events are scheduled over the five days, including
readings by Carol Ann Duffy, Roddy Doyle and Colm Tóibín, and "a
crime- writing event" by Lawrence Block and Ken Bruen. Journalist
Robert Fisk will deliver this year's Dr Séamus Wilmot memorial lecture
on Saturday.

The late west Limerick bilingual poet Michael Hartnett will be
remembered in a poetry symposium on Saturday. There will also be
plenty of drama, film, workshops, art exhibitions and a children's

© The Irish Times


Fairies, Farting Fire Irish Author's Imagination

Mon May 30, 2005 11:58 AM GMT-04:00
By Jodie Ginsberg

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Eoin Colfer planned to write a small picture book
about a lost leprechaun, but it became a fast-paced adventure about a
child criminal mastermind, a fairy police squad and a farting dwarf.

Four books and six million sales later, Colfer is finally coming to
terms with the success of his "Artemis Fowl" series.

"The lead character was not a classic hero ... He was very much out of
the normal teen fiction mold and I thought that maybe he wouldn't find
an audience," he said in an interview.

"My first two books had been about a guy called Benny and Benny was
... a small bit mischievous and I got flak about that, and I thought
if Benny's getting flak, Artemis is going to be buried."

Instead, Colfer's stories about the serious kid with a brilliant
criminal brain; Mulch Diggums, a flatulent dwarf; and the LEPrecon
(Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) took him to the top of
bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

His first book sparked a bidding war for the film rights before it was
even published. They finally sold for what his publishers say is
"rumored to be a million dollars." Colfer, a former school teacher,
heard the news while on playground duty.

"Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception," published earlier this month, is
eighth on the bestseller list at online bookseller Amazon in the UK.
J.K. Rowling's latest Harry Potter instalment, which hasn't been
published yet, is at number one.

"I think at the moment we're definitely on the crest of a wave, which
is due largely I think to people like Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling,
these people who've brought good children's literature back to the
forefront of the media," Colfer said from his home in Wexford, on
Ireland's east coast.

"I think it's going to last for a long time now, this renaissance, and
hopefully all those kids that are reading are going to grow up and
keep reading," he told Reuters.


Colfer is slowly adapting to life as a full-time, and well-known,
author. He likes being able to call himself a writer, but has found
fame slightly more difficult to handle.

"I love going to the pub and people say 'What do you do?' and I say
'Well, I'm a writer'."

Increasingly, though, he has less and less time to write books and
spends more and more time answering fan mail.

"I don't think about that and I don't really acknowledge it in a way,"
he said, when asked what it is like to be well known -- in 2005, he
got an entry in "Who's Who."

"I'm determined to go on with normal life and that's what's nice about
living in a small town in that you can kind of do that."

Colfer has also branched out into adult literature. As well as working
on a film script, he has penned a short crime story that has been
accepted for publication in a collection.

"That's my first toe in the water of adult fiction so I'm excited to
see how that goes," he said, adding: "If this is successful, I think I
would like to do a full crime book but I still want to reach the one
or two kids' books a year target."

That might mean he will have to write faster or take on an assistant
to answer letters, not least because Colfer is working with two
friends on a musical, based on an old Irish legend.

"Because of my involvement there'll be a lot of fart jokes ... Irish
dancing, plus fart jokes -- I think (it will be) a sure fire hit."
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