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May 19, 2005

SF Has Positive Meeting With Downing Street

News About Ireland & The Irish

IO 05/19/05 SF Has 'Positive' Meeting In Downing Street
GU 05/19/05 Time To Bury Good Friday, Says Paisley
IT 05/20/05 Jesuit On US Immigrant Smuggling Charge
BB 05/19/05 Cash Boost For Boyne Battle Site
IT 05/20/05 UUP May Be Forced To Close Office In Washington
IT 05/20/05 Price Of Pint May Rise By 10 Cent In June
IT 05/20/05 Neo-Nazi Spam Bombs Govt Department Network

(Poster’s Note: Irish Govt Ministers are not the only ones receiving
German spam. I have been receiving up to 50 per day. Jay)


SF Has 'Positive' Meeting In Downing Street
2005-05-19 19:40:03+01

Gerry Adams said tonight that that a Sinn Féin delegation had enjoyed
a "positive" meeting with Tony Blair and new Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain.

He said: "We put the point to him that the elections are over,
everyone has refreshed their mandate, renewed their mandate, and now
is the time for us all to make progress.

"While there are challenges facing everyone, and Sinn Féin faces up to
those, the British government has a particular role to play along with
the Irish Government in pressing ahead with the Good Friday

Mr Adams said that the meeting had not discussed the question of when
the IRA could be expected to release its long awaited statement, and
he refused to be drawn on the timing.

"If anyone says to you that the IRA decision is expected at such and
such a time, they are talking through the tops of their heads," said
Mr Adams.

"Speculation about how long the IRA will take, or the nature of its
consultations, is not helpful and we are staying well away from it."

Asked whether they had discussed Mr Paisley's suggestion that the Good
Friday Agreement was "dead", Mr Adams said: "We didn't have a post
mortem on the Good Friday Agreement. As far as we are concerned, the
Good Friday Agreement is work in progress."

He poured scorn on the idea, floated by the DUP, that the Stormont
Assembly could be restored with its role limited to that of scrutiny.

"It just doesn't make any sense whatever," he said.

"Is the DUP saying that they are not fit for government? Is the DUP
saying that they are not able to deal with the social and economic
issues better than fly-in fly-out British ministers?"

He added: "As far as we are concerned the only way to resolve all
these matters is the agreement negotiated at Easter seven years ago.

"That's the template for the future and that's the only way to move
forward at this time in Ireland."

Mr Hain made clear that the British government remained committed to
pushing forward with the Good Friday Agreement, insisting there was
"no reverse gear in this process".

"There is no reverse gear in this process. It has got to be finding
the right gear forward to make sure that we lock in stability and
peace and prosperity," he said.

Mr Hain, who characterised today's meetings as "very positive", said
that the DUP and Sinn Fein have come out of the election "leading the
field" and now had to take their responsibilities "very seriously".

He added: "There is now a new era in Northern Irish politics and they
need to take their responsibilities very seriously to move the whole
process forward and create peace and prosperity in the long term on a
stable basis," he said.

The announcement of the IRA's response to calls for it definitively to
give up violence would be "the decisive event of the next period", he


Time To Bury Good Friday, Says Paisley

Future of agreement cast into further doubt as DUP rejects power-
sharing and Sinn Féin insists it is the only way forward

Owen Bowcott
Friday May 20, 2005
The Guardian

The difficulties ahead in reinvigorating Northern Ireland's inter-
party talks became apparent yesterday as the province's two largest
parties emerged from Downing Street heaping scorn on each other's
political positions.

Ian Paisley, the leader of the Democratic Unionist party (DUP), ruled
out any prospect of power sharing with Sinn Féin and declared bluntly
that the Good Friday agreement was now "dead".

Several hours later Sinn Féin's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness,
stood outside the prime minister's front door and warned: "The person
who needs to get real here is Ian Paisley."

With nine MPs at Westminster, the DUP is now the dominant force in
unionism and is determined to use its new strength to block what it
portrays as Sinn Féin's exploitation of the peace process.

"[The Good Friday agreement] should be given a reasonable burial," Mr
Paisley announced. "It never had the support from the unionist
community it ought to have had to make it stick. The prime minister
agreed with us it must be a new beginning. You just cannot go back and
do the same thing over and over again."

Asked about power-sharing with Sinn Féin, he replied: "No, I don't see
it because I don't trust them and the people don't trust them." Any
future progress depended on complete and verifiable decommissioning by
the IRA of all its weapons as well as an end to "criminality", Mr
Paisley added. "Until we have that we don't have a safe foundation."

The new beginning envisaged by the DUP would "outlaw all who outlaw
themselves by clinging to violence". The party has been pressing the
government to recall the devolved assembly - suspended three years ago
- and allow the participation of those members "who want to support

Both the British and Irish governments are reluctant to revive the
Stormont assembly without a significant move from the IRA. The
nationalist Social Democratic and Labour party - which has three MPs
to Sinn Féin's five - has warned that it would not re-enter devolved
government without Sinn Féin also being present.

The process is in effect on hold, awaiting the outcome of a protracted
internal debate within the IRA, which is considering the request by
Gerry Adams that the republican movement renounce violence and all
criminal activities.

There is an expectation within No 10 that if the IRA's response is
positive then the DUP would enter a power-sharing executive despite Mr
Paisley's repeated public condemnations of Sinn Féin and its

Last December both parties came tantalisingly close to a comprehensive
deal but it foundered on another issue of trust - whether photographs
should be released recording the destruction of IRA arms.

Following their first meeting with Tony Blair since the election, the
leaders of Sinn Féin yesterday expressed surprise at Mr Paisley's
description of the Good Friday agreement as "dead". Mr Adams said:
"Are you serious? Well, he has the right to his opinion."

The party's president insisted that the agreement was the "only way
forward". He added: "This is, after all, an international treaty that
was voted upon by people in both states on the island of Ireland and
there isn't any other way forward."

Mr McGuinness declared: "The person who needs to get real here is Ian
Paisley. The reality is that last December he did countenance the
prospect of going into government with Sinn Féin."

· The race for the leadership of the Ulster Unionist party, which only
has one MP left at Westminster, is beginning to narrow. Earlier this
week Sylvia Hermon, the UUP member for North Down, declared she would
not be a candidate. The former South Antrim MP David Burnside, who
believes the party should merge with the DUP, has also ruled himself


Jesuit On Immigrant Smuggling Charge

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

A Jesuit priest has been charged with trying to smuggle an illegal
Irish immigrant into the US.

Fr James Pribeck was arrested with a 48-year-old Irishman on the New
York-Canadian border after allegedly trying to smuggle the man into
the US in his car.

Fr Pribeck (43) is an assistant English professor at Canisius College
in Buffalo and has a doctorate from UCD.

He has been released on bail and will face another hearing in the next
month, said his lawyer, Stewart Jones jnr.

Mr Jones said Fr Pribeck would be pleading innocent and that the case
was "on a holding pattern" while federal authorities continued their

Fr Pribeck was charged with allowing an illegal alien into the country
- a charge that carries a five-year sentence - after allegedly
carrying the man as a passenger in his car on May 1st.

He is a well-known figure in Irish Jesuit circles and keeps strong
contacts with Ireland.

The US Customs and Border Patrol has named the Irish passenger as
James Daly, who had allegedly been living in Boston intermittently
until recent years.

Assistant US attorney James Woods said Fr Pribeck was facing a serious
charge that could lead to jail time, and Mr Daly would be deported
after serving up to two years in prison if convicted.

The Irish Times was unable to contact a spokesman for the Jesuit
headquarters in Dublin.

© The Irish Times


Cash Boost For Boyne Battle Site

The Irish government has announced that a further 15m euro is to be
spent developing tourist facilities at Ireland's most famous battle

The money will be used to fund a museum and an interpretive centre on
the theme of the Williamite revolution at the site of the Battle of
the Boyne.

The Irish government announced the development plans on Thursday.

Historian Sean Collins said he hoped the Boyne Project would give the
site the recognition it deserved.


The Battle of the Boyne was fought between William of Orange and
Catholic King James II at the site outside Drogheda, County Meath, in

Every year the Protestant Orange Order celebrate William's victory on
12 July.

The Irish government has already spent 15m euro on purchasing and
repairing the site.

Mr Collins said the site was of extreme historical importance to both
unionist and nationalist traditions on the island of Ireland.

"I suppose in many ways the Boyne can be seen as the Ganges to every
good Orangeman or brethren," he said.

"It is a very historical site, indeed it was the key battle in which
traditions in Ireland are based on both sides."

Orange Order members from the Shankill area in Belfast attended the
project's official launch, which was carried out by Irish Foreign
Minister Dermot Ahern.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/05/19 20:30:30 GMT


UUP May Be Forced To Close Office In Washington

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

The Ulster Unionist Party may shut down its Washington office
because of its collapse in popularity in Northern Ireland.

The party is currently deciding whether to keep a representative in
the US after the party was left with only one MP following the British
general election.

It has been represented in the US for the last 10 years by Scottish
woman Anne Smith-Porter and last year held its first fundraiser in New
York. Ms Smith-Porter said no decision had yet been reached, but said
the office was likely to stay open until the end of June, when the
party's quarterly expenditure on its Washington operation runs out.

The party does not have to pay any rent in Washington, courtesy of Ms
Smith-Porter's employer, Tony Cullen Foster, a businessman originally
from the North.

Ms Smith-Porter said that as the UUP now only had one MP, there was a
sudden loss in income for the party.

She also said that she had not heard of any DUP plans to open a US

The party uses its Washington base as a platform to counter Sinn Féin,
which has a much larger presence in the US and collects hundreds of
thousands of dollars every year.

The SDLP has long talked about setting up a US office. Deputy leader
and newly elected MP Alasdair McDowell has long been a supporter of
the move.

© The Irish Times


Price Of Pint May Rise By 10 Cent In June

James Fitzgerald

The price of a pint of Guinness looks set to rise by around 10 cent
from next month as Diageo announced yesterday that it would be upping
its price to publicans by 4 cent.

Traditionally, when the breweries put up their prices, the retailers
follow. With VAT, the rise is likely to be 10 cent.

A Diageo spokeswoman said last night the increase is being put on to
recover costs that have increased in the last 12 months.

"We will continue to invest in our products," she said.

The increase will come into effect on June 1st and will cover all
Diageo's beer products, including Guinness, Smithwick's, Carlsberg,
Harp and Budweiser.

Last night, a consumer group condemned the proposed increase and
called on publicans not to make their own addition to the rise.

"This is very short-sighted of Diageo and it would be a disastrous
step for publicans to take the usual step to add to that increase,"
said Dermott Jewell of the Consumers' Association of Ireland. "It will
not benefit them. The only thing it will do is drive more people away
from pubs," he added.

News of Diageo's latest price increase comes just a day after the
announcement of the establishment of the National Consumer Agency,
which has enhanced powers to fight against unjustified price rises.

"It just proves how ridiculous the situation we have at the moment is
and it illustrates how badly we need a strong consumer agency," said
Mr Jewell.

"Diageo have shown how poorly they value the consumer and I think that
the consumer will just not take this any longer. The market is far too
expensive already and everyone can see that," he said.

© The Irish Times


Neo-Nazi Spam E-Mails Bombard Government Department Network

Liam Reid

Government departments have been inundated with spam e-mails
containing neo-Nazi messages in German following the infection of a
number of computers in the system with a virus.

The "worm" causes infected computers to send messages to all e-mail
addresses it finds on an infected machine. The e-mails contain links
to neo-Nazi websites.

The e-mails are almost impossible to stop as they contain no malicious
code. Some e-mail accounts, including the personal addresses of
Ministers, have been inundated with up to 20 e-mails a day.

Most are in German and contain phrases such as "foreigners preferred",
"mass tax evasion from foreign workers" or "Germans will be cheated
when they go to the doctor".

They also contain links to various right-wing political groups,
including the National Democratic Party in Germany.

Civil servants have been advised to delete the messages and that the
address of the sender line is also likely to be fake.

The e-mails, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of the end of
the second World War, first began to appear in mail boxes over the
weekend. It is apparently the first case of such widespread e-mail
spam being used for political propaganda.

© The Irish Times
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