News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

June 01, 2005

Irish To Take UK To Court Over Bombings

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 06/01/05 Govt May Take UK To Court Over Dublin/Monaghan Bombs
IO 06/01/05 US Observers Criticise PSNI Handling Of Loyalist Marches
BT 06/01/05 Parades: Why We Are On The Right Road
BB 06/01/05 US Lessons For Interface Workers
UT 06/01/05 McCord Fires Broadside At Ervine
RE 06/01/05 Police Arrest Two Over McCartney Murder
SF 06/01/05 Progress Must Be Based Upon Agreement Principles
BT 06/01/05 Court Told Of Concerns Regarding Witnesses
BT 06/01/05 SDLP Man Defends Police Intelligence
IO 06/01/05 Paisley 'Set For Talks With Catholic Leader'
BT 06/01/05 Clergymen's Peace Role Examined
BT 06/01/05 The Private War Of Tim Collins
IO 06/01/05 Ireland 'Has Highest Rate Of Waste Generation In EU'
UT 06/01/05 Lassie Finds Historic Home
BT 06/01/05 Live8:Who, What & Where Of Concerts Staged To Change World
NS 06/01/05 Jeanie Johnston Will Be In Whitehaven For Festival


Govt 'May Take UK To Court Over Dublin/Monaghan Bombs'

01/06/2005 - 12:16:40

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has threatened to take a case against the
British authorities before the European courts in connection with the
Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Thirty-three people died when loyalist paramilitaries detonated three
car bombs in Dublin and a fourth in Monaghan on May 17, 1974.

There have long been allegations that the British security forces
helped the loyalists behind the attacks.

An inquiry established by the Government has criticised the British
for failing to hand over documents and files relating to the bombings.

Speaking in Dublin today, Mr Ahern said he planned to raise the matter
one more time with new Northern Secretary Peter Hain and, if he made
no progress, the Government would consider taking a case to the
European Court of Human Rights.


US Observers Criticise PSNI Handling Of Loyalist Marches
2005-06-01 07:50:02+01

A group of US observers has criticised the PSNI for allowing known
loyalist paramilitaries to parade through Catholic areas during last
year's marching season in the North.

In a report on its observations, the New York-based Irish Parades
Emergency Committee also called for the prosecution of marchers who
deliberately displayed loyalist insignia in nationalist areas in
breach of Parades Commission guidelines.

The committee said the Orange Order, the PSNI and the Parades
Commission needed to take greater responsibility for systematic
violations of the law at loyalist marches.

It also said that Ardoyne residents, mainly young people, attacked the
police on July 12 and there could have been worse nationalist violence
and even deaths but for the intervention of republican leaders.

The Irish Parades Emergency Committee (IPEC) was formed in 1997 as an
independent human rights monitoring organization in response to the
increasing violence surrounding Orange Order parades in nationalist
neighborhoods of Northern Ireland. The committee has, for the past
seven years, trained and coordinated international observers to serve
as independent witnesses. IPEC is based in New York City but observer
teams have included people from England, France, Italy, Germany,
Switzerland, Guatemala, and the Republic of Ireland as well as the
United States.

IPEC 2004 Report: Law and Lawlessness. Orange Parades in Northern
Ireland. Summer 2004 International Observer's Report. Irish Parades
Emergency Committee and Brehon Law Society


Parades: Why We Are On The Right Road

By Peter Sheridan, Assistant Chief Constable, Police Service of
Northern Ireland

01 June 2005

The right to parade, and the right to protest, are fundamental in a
free and democratic society. It is important that we all seek to
protect those rights. But it is just as important to recognise that
rights - many of them very hard won - come with responsibilities in
equal measure.

The right to march or parade carries with it the responsibility to do
so peacefully and within the law.

Protests, too, should be peaceful and lawful.

We are standing on the threshold of another 'marching season.' This
can be a time when tensions and community tolerances in some areas are
pushed to the limit.

But, given our experiences over the past two years - when we had
generally the most peaceful season for decades - we remain optimistic.

Every year there are thousands of parades which reflect our community
traditions. The vast majority pass off without any trouble. They are
enjoyed as an expression of cultural history and identity. They need a
minimum of policing.

However, we know from experience that marches and protests can end in
violence… against the police, against neighbouring communities. They
can have a ripple effect causing trouble in other areas. People get
injured. Some have died. Property gets damaged. The prosperity and
well-being of communities are threatened.

But the last two years have proved that it is not inevitable for
contentious parades to have a violent outcome.

The fact that in the main we had peaceful marching seasons is down to
a number of things. It is down to the professionalism of the Police
Service. It is down to the proportionate and human rights-centred way
we police contentious parades. These factors are not always given the
recognition they deserve.

But it is also down to an acceptance among many of the protagonists,
whether protester or parader, that there are no winners when a march
or a protest descends into violence. There are only losers.

We have engaged with people on all sides. We have talked to District
Policing Partnerships, politicians, community and residents' groups,
the marching Orders, those who oppose certain marchers, and
individuals of goodwill.

In a number of areas, people showed a maturity and civic
responsibility which ensured that violence and disorder was kept to a

I believe that, generally, people just want to get on with their lives
and their jobs. They want their neighbourhoods left in peace. I also
believe strongly that they want to see their police out there
addressing the issues which cause them the biggest concerns: burglary;
hate crime; car theft; assaults; illegal drugs; youths causing
annoyance; road safety.

They don't want to see hundreds of police officers having to keep two
communities from tearing each other apart.

Policing contentious parades is expensive. It costs millions every
year. Because even though we always hope for the best have to plan for
the worst.

And every police officer tied up in public order duties means one less
officer available to carry out ordinary every day policing. Is that
what communities want?

Certainly, what police want to see are local people coming together
with each other and with their local police to agree what happens in
their area.

When that doesn't happen, the law states, that the Parades Commission
must make a determination. That may include, a re-routing or some
other conditions. It is our job to police those determinations.

We seek to prevent disorder. We want to resolve difficulties between
communities especially at interfaces. It is important we keep
disruption to a minimum and reassure the whole community that our aim
is to make their streets and neighbourhoods safer.

The legislation governing parades has always had provision to apply
conditions to marchers. This year it has been amended and can now be
applied by the Parades Commission to supporters of parades and related
protesters. Where a Parades Commission determination includes a
direction on supporters and/or protesters this will be upheld by the
police. We will monitor those identified as supporters under the new
legislation for evidence of any breach of a determination. Any police
action will be in line with principles of human rights.

As we approach the summer months each and every one of us who lives is
Northern Ireland is facing a challenge.

For us in the Police Service the challenge is to continue to engage
with people and to draw on all our skills to ensure that contentious
parades continue to be policed professionally and impartially, and
upholding human rights.

For others I would contend that the challenge is one of respect and
tolerance - a respect for the rights, feelings, and concerns of the
other community and on the other hand a tolerance that recognises that
we live in a democratic society that requires us to be tolerant of
traditions that we may disagree with.

This could be the year of a completely peaceful marching season if all
of us sign up to tolerance, respect and the upholding of the human
rights of others. As a Police Service, we intend to.


US Lessons For Interface Workers

Tackling the mean streets of Boston may have lessons for Belfast
community workers, say their US counterparts.

A group from New England is on a week-long visit to pass on advice for
those working in NI's interface areas.

The team is from the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-
violence, which operates in tough neighbourhoods in Boston and Rhode

Teny Gross from the institute said violence was a learned behaviour
which needed to be "unlearned".

"We first teach the staff to commit to non-violence and alternatives,
and using your mouth rather than weapons," he said.

"In America, of course, the access to guns is very prevalent.

"The other thing is sending people who were involved in crime to go
and fix their own neighbourhoods."

He said having been out with the PSNI, the group had learned that
there was improved communications between community activists on
either side of the interfaces.

"Now they have communications which before, during the Troubles,
people didn't have - people on both sides can pick up the phone and

"Communication is a huge cause of violence and it is a solution as

Mr Gross said he was "stunned" at the number of Northern Ireland
children "dropping out" of school.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/06/01 09:27:46 GMT


McCord Fires Broadside At Ervine

A paramilitary murder victim's father today challenged a loyalist
political leader to honour pledges to public talks.

By:Press Association

Raymond McCord is demanding a face-to-face debate with Progressive
Unionist Party chief David Ervine over the brutal killing of his son,
Raymond Jr.

The ex-RAF radar operator, 22, was beaten to death and his body dumped
in a north Belfast quarry in 1997.

Mr McCord has defied death threats to speak out against the Ulster
Volunteer Force men he blames for the murder.

Allegations that Special Branch blocked the original investigation to
protect two moles within the terrorist organisation are being examined
by Police Ombudsman Nuala O`Loan.

The dead man`s father been equally scathing towards Mr Ervine, whose
party is aligned to the UVF.

Two weeks ago, the PUP chief agreed to his demands after being accused
of hypocrisy over his support for another victim`s family.

But with arrangements still uncertain, he launched a new broadside

"Why the delay? We`re not talking about getting traffic barriers
moved, we`re talking about young Protestants being murdered by the

"I have no balaclavas or paramilitaries behind me with baseball bats
and guns.

"Maybe David Ervine needs permission from the hierarchy of the UVF
when it is taking so long to speak to a man whose son was murdered by

His fury was provoked by learning the PUP leader had met the family of
Lisa Dorrian, a 25-year-old shop assistant who vanished after a party
at a caravan park in Co Down three months ago.

Mr Ervine described the circumstances of her killing, which has been
blamed on the splinter Loyalist Volunteer Force, as a cesspit.

The East Belfast MLA reiterated his commitment to meeting Mr McCord`s
demands, yet could not confirm when this would happen.

It is understood the two men have spoken by phone in the last few days
without coming to any arrangement.

Noting that the issue had been dragging on for more than seven years,
Mr Ervine added: "I`m happy to meet Mr McCord publicly, but that time
would have to be chosen and a format worked out.

"I will talk to him when an opportunity avails itself."


Police Arrest Two Over McCartney Murder

Wed Jun 1, 2005 10:07 AM BST

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Northern Ireland police have made the latest in a
string of arrests as they attempt to break down a wall of silence
surrounding the murder of Robert McCartney outside a Belfast pub by
members of the Irish Republican Army.

"Two men aged 36 and 49 have been arrested in connection with the
murder of Robert McCartney on January 30, 2005," a police spokesman
said on Wednesday.

"The men were arrested as a result of police operations in Belfast and
Birmingham," he added.

McCartney's sisters and fiancee have mounted a high-profile campaign
to have his killers brought to justice, winning the backing of
President George W. Bush during a visit to the White House as well as
support from the European Parliament.

The 33-year-old Roman Catholic father of two was beaten and stabbed to
death by a gang of fellow nationalists that included paramilitaries
from the IRA.

Under pressure from the family, who accused the guerrilla group of
intimidating witnesses and shielding the killers, the IRA said it had
expelled three unnamed members over the murder. But nobody has been

The family says that the IRA leadership have told them personally that
McCartney was killed for no reason but rejected outright an offer by
the group to execute those responsible.

They have also criticised its political ally Sinn Fein, which like the
IRA wants to end British rule in the province. The party has publicly
condemned the murder but the family believes it could do much more to
help them.

Police have already arrested a number of people over the murder but
all have so far been released without charge. Detectives say they
adopted the classic IRA anti-interrogation technique of staring at the
wall and refusing to speak.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Progress Must Be Based Upon Agreement Principles

Published: 1 June, 2005

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin today said that the two
governments had to make it 'crystal clear' to the DUP and others that
there could be no dilution of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Resolving the outstanding issues and seeing real progress achieved in
the time ahead will undoubtedly present significant challenges for all
of us, for the British and Irish governments, for unionism and for
Irish nationalists and republicans. However these challenges need to
be overcome if the progress of the last decade is to be consolidated
and the Good Friday Agreement implemented in full.

"In their discussions with the DUP the British and Irish governments
must make it crystal clear that there will be no dilution of the
Agreement. Any future progress or any future deal will be based firmly
on its core principles. Indeed last December the DUP were forced to
accept for the first time the architecture of the Good Friday
Agreement, including power sharing, equality and the all-Ireland

"The DUP's increased mandate must bring with it a more responsible
approach to politics. They need to accept that there will be no return
to the failed policies of the past and that the days of unionist
domination are gone forever. However if they do not it is vital that
the two governments ensure that the DUP cannot be allowed to block
progress any further or to destroy a process which has achieved so
much over the past decade." ENDS


Court Told Of Concerns Regarding Witnesses

31 May 2005

Former UDA chief Jim Gray was refused bail in the High Court today
after a judge said he could not be certain that he would not flee
Northern Ireland.

Gray (47), from Knockwood Park, Belfast, was arrested near Banbridge
on April 7 along with his girlfriend Sharon Moss.

Police searched Gray's Mini Cooper car and found a bank draft for
10,000 euros and nearly £3,000 in cash and he was later remanded in
custody on charges of money laundering and concealing the proceeds of
criminal activity.

A few days earlier Gray had been ousted as Brigadier of the UDA in
east Belfast.

Today's bail application was opposed by Crown lawyer David Hopley who
said Gray had told police the bank draft and cash represented part of
the proceeds of the sale of two pubs in east Belfast, the Avenue One
and the Bunch of Grapes, which earned him £130,000.

Gray said he had saved up £10,000 as a deposit for one of the pubs but
Mr Hopley said it was the prosecution's case that the money was
obtained through Gray's criminal activities as was the proceeds of the
pub sales.

Mr Hopley said Gray denied he was funding his lifestyle through the
proceeds of criminal conduct.

"It was put to him that he was a senior member of the UDA and was
involved in serious crime, including extortion and drug dealing," the
lawyer added.

He said police launched a wide-ranging investigation into money
laundering in the wake of Gray's arrest and estate agent Phillip
Johnston and Gray's girlfriend were charged with money laundering and
granted bail.

Mr Hopley said over 100,000 documents had been seized and police had
raided council offices, planning offices and the offices of
solicitors, estate agents and accountants.

He said another person had been arrested today.

"Gray is central to this investigation and it's feared that if he was
released he would remove evidence and interfere with witnesses," said
Mr Hopley.

"He may have access to or own property in Spain and when he was
arrested he had his passport and on his own admission could have
travelled to Spain if there had been any adverse reports about him
following his standing down from the UDA."

Defence counsel Norman Hill said there was no evidence Gray was a
member of any illegal organisation and was not charged with that.

"Police are suggesting he was going on the run. From what? This is a
man who went to his bank and withdrew his legitimately held money. The
police have had six weeks and have come up with nothing."

Lord Justice Campbell said the Crown had concerns about Gray
interfering with their investigation and also leaving the

"On both grounds it seems to me there is a risk," said the judge.

"The prosecution should have more time to complete their investigation
and at this stage I refuse bail."


SDLP Man Defends Police Intelligence

By Noel McAdam
01 June 2005

The SDLP has rounded on former Police Federation chairman Jimmy
Spratt's claim that the PSNI has lost the intelligence war.

In the aftermath of the Belfast Boots store robbery, Mr Spratt - now a
DUP councillor - said it appeared police were "incapable" of
preventing crime.

But Policing Board member Alex Attwood said the DUP was "playing on
people's worse fears and misrepresent the facts" at a time when crime
was being reduced.

The west Belfast Assembly member said: "The DUP have a narrow agenda.
They have little to say when crime figures are reducing.

"They say little about the successes of intelligence-led policing
which no doubt includes the recent closing down of fuel smuggling
plants, and extortion racket in north Belfast in the last two weeks
and many other policing operations.

"The intelligence function of the PSNI is greatly changed but is now
best suited for the policing of the future and success in reducing

"The DUP as usual play on people's worse fears and misrepresent the
facts. The vast majority see through their game."

Mr Attwood denied there was any irony in the DUP attacking the police
while the SDLP defended it.

"The Special Branch of the old RUC is no more and a new system of
intelligence gathering is in place which complies with Human Rights
standards, conforms with best international practice and has seen a
significant number of agents deactivated," Mr Attwood said.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde also rejected Mr Spratt's criticism and
insisted the PSNI intelligence operation is "fit for purpose".


Paisley 'Set For Talks With Catholic Leader'
2005-06-01 09:50:09+01

The Rev Ian Paisley could have face to face talks with the head of the
Catholic church in Ireland, it was confirmed today.

The Democratic Unionist Party leader, who was once thrown out of the
European Parliament for verbally attacking the late Pope John Paul II,
will be involved if the groundbreaking talks with the Archbishop of
Armagh Dr Sean Brady go ahead, East Derry MP Gregory Campbell said.

The meeting would be a follow-up to a letter Mr Campbell wrote to the
Archbishop after Dr Brady called for Unionist assurances on a
commitment to power sharing and equality during an address in Milan
last month.

Mr Campbell said today: "I had a meeting with Mr Paisley this morning
and he is happy to have a meeting, as we have done in the past, with
political and religious leaders.

"The only people we don't have meetings with are Sinn Féin because of
their attitude to violence."


Clergymen's Peace Role Examined

By Ashleigh Wallace
01 June 2005

A new book exploring the role played by two leading religious figures
in the Northern Ireland peace process has been launched in Belfast.

'Friendship Towards Peace' examines the relationship between Catholic
priest Fr Gerry Reynolds from the Clonard ministry and Presbyterian
moderator Rev Ken Newell.

Launched at Queen's University in Belfast yesterday, the book was
written by historian Ronard A Wells and centres on the journeys for
peace and reconciliation undertaken by both men.

And according to the author - a professor of History in America who
has written previous books on religion, peace and conflict in Northern
Ireland - the book also focuses on friendship between the priest and
the minister.

Prof Wells said the relationship between Fr Reynolds and Rev Newell
showed that "people can transcend their communities of origin" and
that "narratives of justice and forgiveness can have positive social

He added the relationship between the two men, which motivated many
people from both sides of the political divide to join the journey for
peace, had "huge public implications about what it means to be a
Christian in Northern Ireland".

Friendship Towards Peace also details the result of Fr Reynolds and
Rev Newell's friendship - the Clonard-Fitzroy Fellowship - which was
honoured with a peace prize in 1999 for work on justice and
reconciliation at grass-roots level in Belfast.

The book, published by the Columba Press, is priced at £6.99 and is
available from bookshops or by logging on to


The Private War Of Tim Collins

His rousing speech to the troops on the eve of the Iraq War made
Belfast-born Colonel Tim Collins a national hero and earned him
plaudits from the White House and Prince Charles. No one imagined he
would become one of the more unlikely casualties of the war, with
allegations of war crimes and questions over his command style
resulting in the ignominy of two high-level investigations. Now,
having being cleared of all charges, Tim Collins is back with an
explosively controversial memoir. He talks to Mary Fitzgerald about
Iraq, the battle to clear his name and why he left the army.

01 June 2005

Dusk. Twenty miles from the Iraq border in Kuwait. The men of the
Royal Irish Regiment, faces sandpapered raw by a dust storm that has
just died away, gather in a half-circle in the courtyard of the camp.
Their commander strides over, stands in front of them and begins to
speak. "We are going to Iraq to liberate and not to conquer," Tim
Collins intones, his Belfast accent rolling over the words. "We will
not fly our flags in their country ... The only flag that will be
flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them."

What follows is an eve of battle speech that is less Dulce et Decorum
Est, more an acknowledgement of the nasty, brutish and morally
complicated nature of war. Using biblical references, Collins evokes
Iraq's ancient past and goes on to speak of dignity, respect, decency,
and what it is to take another human life. Tread lightly, he tells his
men: "If you are ferocious in battle, remember to be magnanimous in

Little did Collins know at the time but his words would cause a
sensation back home, leaving commentators groping for comparisons
ranging from Henry V at Agincourt, Lincoln at Gettysburg and Churchill
after Dunkirk. Prince Charles wrote a letter telling how moved he was.
President Bush pinned a copy of the speech on the wall of the Oval
Office. Even some of those opposed to the war lauded Collins' honesty
and contrasted his eloquence to the gung-ho rhetoric and hubba-hubba
approach of his US counterparts.

Praise indeed for a speech delivered off the cuff and without notes.
So how did he do it?

"Come the moment, come the historical context, you find words. You
just do," he says. "I was conscious that I was asking young men to
take human life and that's a big step. My full expectation was that I
was going to lose men, I might even become a casualty myself. It was a
leap into the unknown and I wanted to prepare them for that."

A cynic might argue that Collins' stirring oratory provided those
behind the invasion with a ready-made poster boy in the face of a
deeply unpopular war, a dashing hero who could win the battle for
hearts and minds at home and abroad - something Collins himself

"I think events had rushed to a point where people needed an
explanation of why this war was happening and they weren't getting
it," he says. "In some regards, people felt what I had to say fitted

"What I had to say was spontaneous, it came from nought and it should
have been lost to the desert winds but it was picked up, reported and
appeared to satisfy a need in society."

Not surprisingly, the former SAS man became the darling of a media
desperate for heroes. All shades, swagger and rugged good looks, with
an ever-present cigar clenched between his teeth, Collins was straight
out of central casting and the tabloids couldn't get enough of 'Our

Tales of his derring-do abounded. The kukri knife that swung from his
belt - a memento of his time with the Gurkhas in eastern Nepal. The
blood-spattered machine gun that hung on the wall of his office in
Canterbury - a trophy seized from a leader of the notorious West Side
Boys during a hostage mission in Sierra Leone. A more recent addition
to the family mantelpiece was an upturned hand hacked off a toppled
statue of Saddam Hussein. Collins gleefully told the papers he planned
to use it as an ashtray.

No one then expected the image of Tim the hero to unravel the way it
did, but already his detractors within the army were muttering darkly
about war crime allegations and accusations that all was not well
within his beloved Royal Irish Regiment. Two separate inquiries were
launched. The hero soon became the villain. Collins, it appeared, had
been hoist by his own petard.

That was more than two years ago now and the Tim Collins that sits in
the bar of Belfast's Europa Hotel seems in many ways a very different
man. Having been exonerated on all charges and subsequently promoted
to colonel, Collins left the army in April last year, walking out the
day he received an OBE for distinguished service. The close-cropped,
salt-and-pepper hair is the same, as is the flinty-eyed no-nonsense
stare, but much of the swagger seems to have been packed away with his
combat fatigues.

Unafraid to puncture the mythology that has grown up around him, he
bristles at the hero tag and dismisses his much reported nickname
'Nails' as a media invention. He looks relaxed in a cream linen suit
and open-necked shirt, the sleeves of which ride up to reveal a copper
bracelet and green wristband inscribed with the words, Support Our
Troops. The man of whom the former Speaker of the House of Commons
Baroness Boothroyd swooned: "He really is quite a man, a proper man",
draws the stares of more than a few women of a certain age in the
hotel lobby. Two women approach, cooing that they saw him on an RTE
chat show, before scolding him for wearing green socks.

Collins is here to talk about his new book - Rules of Engagement. Part
memoir, part stinging indictment of an army he feels has lost its way,
it details Collins' disenchantment with the organisation to which he
devoted 22 years of his life. He feels let down and believes certain
individuals in the top brass were out to get him, but says betrayal is
too strong a word.

"I think there were people out to get me. It was clear to me that no
stone was left unturned to try to damn me in some way. They tried
everything to try to nail me but they came away empty-handed," he

"I think people felt I was getting too big for my boots. I think there
was a great deal of professional jealousy and not a small amount of
sheer incompetence involved. It wasn't all malice but when that bond
of trust is gone, it's like a bad marriage. You realise it's over and
you have to separate. There is nothing to gain by hanging on."

Furthermore, he believes his experience points at a wider malaise
within the army, writing in his book of the need for some sort of
high-level cull. He is unapologetic and characteristically blunt when
asked about this: "There are senior officers who, frankly, have passed
their sell-by date long since. My simple message to them is ask
yourself are you defending the nation, or are you defending government
policy? If you're defending government policy, you're on the wrong

And what of Iraq. More than two years on from the invasion, with the
country wracked by insurgency and lawlessness, does he still believe
it was the right thing to do?

Collins picks his words carefully. "I'm glad that Iraq has been
liberated. I think that needed to happen. However, I regret the lack
of preparation and I'm suspicious of the motives behind that lack of

"But the invasion has happened and we now need to get fully behind the
international community and do everything we can to collectively make
Iraq a better place."

He becomes more animated when talking about his lengthy stint with the
Royal Irish, following in the steps of his grandfather and an uncle.
Referring to himself as 'chieftain' of the regiment, a role he clearly
relished, he says he is proud of the unique Irish identity of what he
refers to as 'Britain's Foreign Legion'.

"You have Gurkha and Fijian soldiers who end up speaking with Irish
accents. It's so inclusive, it's like a big mobile Irish pub."

The genial tone evaporates, however, when the name of Paul Cochrane is
mentioned. One of the investigations into Collins' style of command
centred partly on the suicide of Cochrane, an 18-year-old RIR soldier,
in 2001.

Collins was cleared of any wrongdoing. The Cochrane family, however,
remain highly critical of the former commander, I begin, but he
interrupts me. "For which they have no right to be whatsover," he
snaps, hunching forward, his eyes flashing with anger. He launches
into a tirade about libellous allegations being run in the media. "I'm
sick and tired of being libelled. It's that simple."

It is an astonishing and oddly revealing outburst, something Collins
appears to realise almost as soon as he finishes. "It's sad when any
teenager takes his life," he continues after a pause. "Of the two
brief times I met him, he was a promising soldier with everything to
live for and absolutely no reason whatsoever to take his own life."

So, what now for Tim Collins? Wooed in the past by the Conservative
party and the UUP - rumours swirled that he was headhunted to run
against Jeffrey Donaldson - the 45-year-old doesn't rule out a
political career in the future.

"I don't think I have the life skills yet to be a consummate
politician," he explains. "I would want to be the best, serving my
constituency to the best of my abilities. Because I've spent my life
in the army, I don't think I have the life skills or enough knowledge
of the issues that affect common people. But I never say never for

Would that involve the UUP or the national stage?

"It will become apparent when I see it, if I see it.

"I wasn't surprised when the UUP made that approach to me because they
saw me as someone who was committed to peace, someone who had
applauded their courage in taking the leap of faith towards extending
the olive branch to the other community.

"We won't have peace until everyone jumps together, takes risks and
gives a little. We cannot have a solution where somebody wins, because
for that to happen someone else has to be defeated."

Should we expect to see him popping up in television studios as
another one of those ubiquitous 'military commentators'?

He chuckles. "If it turns a coin, I'll have to. At the moment I'm
looking at some TV projects with various companies. Maybe I'll remain
a sometimes author and political heckler. Whatever it is I end up
doing, I'll know it when I see it."

Does he fear forever being in the shadow of those larger-than-life
lines he spoke in the Kuwaiti desert that March evening? Will he
always be the guy who gave that speech?

Collins shrugs. "Like all these things it will fade into history. It
may be that for as long as the need for explanation as to why that
invasion happened exists, then my words will have resonance and
longevity. But in ten years time I shouldn't think anybody will
remember it. The obituary writers will probably bring it back whenever
I fall off my perch."

And the hero tag?

"I'm not a hero - I'm just a guy who worked hard to do my job well."

÷Rules of Engagement - A Life in Conflict, by Tim Collins, Headline,

What he thinks about...

÷The Royal Irish Regiment

"What makes it unique is its great sense of Irish identity drawn from
the wider Irish diaspora. The fact that the regiment is able to take
that, recognise and celebrate it so firmly in the wider world is what
makes it special.

"We set ourselves high standards but like the black man in the Deep
South you feel you have to work that bit harder to be that bit better.
Perhaps we needn't feel that way, but we are different and because we
exaggerate and celebrate that difference we have to prove ourselves
that little bit more."

÷Deployment in Iraq

"Coming from Northern Ireland where we had things like the Holy Cross
dispute, we understood the bitterness and, frankly, the pettiness of
neighbourhood disputes. Because that's ultimately what any conflict
situation is - a neighbourhood dispute writ large. We were able to
bring an understanding and an empathy to situations that perhaps other
soldiers didn't have."

÷Northern Ireland

"I can never really forgive those involved in criminality and murder.
Those who want to drive their particular outlook forward at the point
of a gun have no valid place in our society.

"I was shocked by Holy Cross. I thought the venom poured out towards
the children was despicable and unforgiveable. On the other hand, I
saw known IRA men, who I know have no children, posing as parents.
They were orchestrating it from their side in the same way it was
being orchestrated from the other side. If the vehicle you end up
using is small children, then you've got moral bankruptcy."

÷The war on terror

"We need to find some way of figuring out who we're fighting, what are
we fighting for and how and when will we know if we're winning. My
concern is that this is just a visceral reaction to what happened on
9/11 - the idea that someone needs to pay for this and you'll do. We
have to look at 9/11 and ask ourselves why did a group of people, a
culture, feel motivated to attack another culture. What was going
wrong? What injustice was happening to force them to make that attack?
You've got to take risks for peace."


Ireland 'Has Highest Rate Of Waste Generation In EU'

01/06/2005 - 07:48:22

A study by the EU's Eurostat agency has reportedly found that Ireland
has one of the worst records of all member states when it comes to
waste generation.

Reports this morning said the study found that Ireland had the highest
rate of waste generation of the 25 member states in 2003.

Eurostat also reportedly found that the level of waste generation in
Ireland had risen by 42% between 1995 and 2003, when it was actually
falling in most other EU states.

This morning's reports said Ireland produced 50% more waste than
central Europeans in 2003 and 100% more than eastern Europeans.


Lassie Finds Historic Home

Lassie looked right at home today on the hectic film set in the
majestic grounds of a historic house.

By:Press Association

The well-groomed collie wandered the gardens of Killruddery House in
Co Wicklow, built in the 1820s, as filming on the new €10.2 million
(£6.9 million) Lassie movie was under way.

It stars Peter O`Toole and Oscar nominee Samantha Morton.

Ed Guiney, the producer from Element Films, said: "We are 10 days in,
we are shooting here for three-and-a-half weeks then we are off to the
Isle of Man for a few weeks, then we are back here for another week.

"Shooting is going really well, we have a great crew, a lot of cast
coming in from abroad, but a lot of local cast also."

Director Charles Sturridge, who wrote the script based on Eric
Knight`s classic 1938 novel Lassie Come Home, took a short break from
filming to give Irish Arts Minister John O`Donoghue a tour of the set
in the massive house.

Mr O`Donoghue said: "The single biggest attractor of visitors to
Ireland is film.

"The making of film in a country is not just about the spend while you
are making a film. It is also about the amount of publicity which a
country gets arising out of the making of the film."

The cast includes seven-time Oscar nominee O`Toole as the Duke of
Rudling, Morton as Sarah Carraclough, Peter Dinklage as Rowlie, Jemma
Redgrave as Daisy and young Hestor Ogder as Cilla.

O`Toole, famed for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, is due to join the
cast on the Co Wicklow set over the next few days.

The production in Ireland will employ about 175 crew members, 55 cast
members and over 1,000 extras.

The film is set on the eve of World War II in a Yorkshire mining town
where the Carraclough family fall on hard times and are forced to sell
their dog, Lassie, to the Duke of Rudling. Lassie is determined to
return home despite being taken 500 miles away to a castle in

The movie, which is planned to be released before Christmas, will see
Lassie confront many dangers on her return to her family, including
escaping a dog pound.

There will be various shoots for the film in Dublin city centre,
including Clancy Barracks and Pease Street Station, which will be
reconstructed as a 1930s British train station.

Killruddery House, which dates back to 1820 and is owned by the Earl
and Countess Meath, was also used for the shoot for the film Far And
Away and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Mr Guiney said: "The film is set in Scotland and Yorkshire so
obviously we can find a lot of similar locations, like where we are
today, Killruddery House is standing in for a Scottish castle."

The producer said the film has been in the planning stages for about
three years with intensive work over the past six months.

He added: "The three dogs who play Lassie come from America and they
had to be put into quarantine six months in advance of filming."

The male dogs, Carter, Mason and Dakota, who are all aged about two
years, are being trained on set by the company Birds And Animals,
which have also worked on the Harry Potter movies.

Ireland was chosen as the prime shooting destination, with the film
makers taking advantage of a tax incentive for filming on locations
around the country.

Mr O`Donoghue said the Irish Film Board had agreed to locate a film
commissioner in Los Angeles in the US to meet major production
companies to encourage more films to Ireland.

The plucky collie became a firm favourite with audiences from the
first film, Lassie Come Home, in 1943 starring Elizabeth Taylor.


Live8: The Who, What And Where Of The Concerts Staged To Change The

01 June 2005
London: Hyde Park

Britain has the pick of the artists playing Live8. They range from
original Live Aid acts who have stayed at the forefront of pop music,
such as Sting, Madonna, and Sir Elton John, to newer stars including
Robbie Williams and Coldplay.

Sir Paul McCartney, whose microphone didn't come on until halfway
through his rendition of "Let It Be" in the original Live Aid, will
have another chance this year. REM will also play, as will Annie
Lennox, who was too ill to participate in the original Wembley gig.

The two architects of Live Aid, Midge Ure, former frontman of
Ultravox, and Sir Bob Geldof will also play. Another blast from
British pop's past comes from The Cure.

Younger bands are represented by The Killers, from Las Vegas, and
another US band, Scissor Sisters, as well as the darlings of the
modern British alternative rock scene, Snow Patrol, Razorlight and
Kaiser Chiefs. Joss Stone, the teenage singer from Devon, will make a
soul contribution.

There will be one very obvious difference from the concert in 1985.
Wembley couldn't be used this year, but the organisers have secured
another famous (and arguably better) pop venue - Hyde Park. The royal
park was the scene of the Rolling Stones famous concert in 1969 and
has subsequently staged the annual Party in the Park. A capacity crowd
of 150,000 should be possible.


Mariah Carey (hosting), Coldplay, Madonna, Sting, REM, U2, Robbie
Williams, Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof , Stereophonics, Elton John,
Keane, Dido, The Cure, Annie Lennox, Muse, Razorlight, Scissor
Sisters, Snow Patrol, Joss Stone, Velvet Revolver, The Killers

Berlin: Brandenburg Gate

Germany's venue is the Brandenburg Gate, the poweful symbol of the
Cold War in Germany. It was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II of
Prussia and completed in 1791. The gate was modelled on the ceremonial
entrance to the Acropolis and topped with a copper statue of the
goddess of Peace - although the Nazi regime was to adopt the gate as a
symbol of the Third Reich.

Its closing in August 1961, when East German troops began building the
Berlin Wall, came to represent the division of the German people. Its
reopening in December 1989, days after revellers tore down sections of
the Berlin wall, equally represented the end of hostility and the
rebirth of the united Germany. The gate, which was restored in 2002,
is a very powerful icon for Germans and attracts hundreds of thousands
of revellers each year during new year celebrations.

Top of the bill will be the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, who toured with
his long-awaited album Smile last year.


Brian Wilson, a-ha, Crosby Stills & Nash, Lauryn Hill, Bap, Die Toten
Hosen, Peter Maffay

Paris: Eiffel Tower

The organisers could not have chosen a more iconic building for the
Paris venue for Live8. The tower, images of which were beamed around
the world as the globe celebrated the new millennium has been visited
by more than 216 million people since it was completed in 1889.

Britain's Craig David will headline along with Jamiroquai. But the
French pop music scene will be represented by the enduringly popular
crooner Johnny Halliday.

Now aged 62, Halliday has been performing since the late 1960s, but
this may well be biggest show of his career. The nation's links to
Africa will be highlighted in the performance of the Senegalese
drummer and singer Youssou N'Dour, who collaborated with Neneh Cherry
on the song "7 Seconds". And the rich French Afro-Caribbean scene will
be represented by Manu Chao, the singer and guitarist who is one of
the driving forces in the French-Spanish, ethno-punk band Mano Negra.


Craig David, Jamiroquai, Johnny Halliday, Placebo, Youssou N'Dour,
Andrea Bocelli, Calo Gero, Kyo, Yannick Noah, Axelle Red

Rome: Circus Maximus

The concert is to be staged at the Circus Maximus, the ancient
chariot-racing stadium in the centre of Rome dating back to the 6th
century BC.

It is said to have once had 300,000 seats, although today's capacity
is lower.

The concert crowd will be treated to a performance by Duran Duran, the
band best known to British audiences among the line-up. Some of
Italy's best-known stars have agreed to perform.

Vasco Rossi, whose aggressive rock sound has won over Italian
audiences since the mid-eighties, is due to perform, as is the
seventies veteran Zucchero, who is massive in Italy. The singer, whose
real name is Adelmo Fornaciari, but has been using the nickname
Zucchero, which means Sugar, since he was a child.


Duran Duran, Faith Hill, Vasco Rossi, Zucchero, Irene Grandi,
Jovanotti, Tim McGraw, Nek, Laura Pausini

Philadelphia: Museum of Art

The city that hosted the American side of Live Aid in 1985 will once
again provide the stage for a vast line-up of acts. Will Smith , the
American star of Men in Black, is to compere the show, which will be
held at the Museum of Art, which houses 300,000 works of art but also
has a concert venue.

The acts who have already agreed to play span the decades, from
performers dating back to the 1970s to newly formed bands. The
headlining acts will include Stevie Wonder, the soft rockers Bon Jovi
and the rapper from Queen's, 50 Cent, who has taken the music world by
storm after being signed by Eminem in 2002.

The American indy rockers Maroon 5 have also said that they will take

Last time Phil Collins performed in Philadelphia after rocking up a
storm at Wembley, taking the Concorde. That option is, of course, no
longer available


Will Smith (hosting), Kaiser Chiefs, Bon Jovi, P Diddy, Stevie Wonder,
50 Cent, Maroon 5, Sarah McLachlan, Rob Thomas, Keith Urban, Jay Z


Majestic: The Jeanie Johnston Which Will Be In Whitehaven Later This
Month For The Town's Maritime Festival

By Andrea Thompson

ORGANISERS of Whitehaven Maritime Festival say they have landed a real
coup for the town in the shape of a £2 million tall ship.

The Jeanie Johnston is coming from Ireland specially for the event. It
will join three-masted schooner Kathleen And May, Liverpool square-
rigger the Zebu, and French brigantine Jean de la Lune, to give the
festival its best-ever display of historic vessels.

It is the first time that the harbour has ever boasted as many tall
ships and they are set to be among the biggest attractions for the
200,000-plus people expected to visit the festival next month. Gerard
Richardson, deputy chairman of the festival, secured the Jeanie
Johnston's visit with Liam Kavanagh, who was chief officer on The
Endeavour when it came to Whitehaven last year. He is now a senior
office in charge of the Jeanie Johnston, which is in the process of
being bought by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority for 2.7
million Euros, equivalent to around £1.8 million.

Mr Richardson said: "It is a real coup for Whitehaven. It is the first
time the harbour has hosted four tall ships. I'm delighted that the
harbour will be full. It will be a spectacular sight and one to

The Jeanie Johnston was built at Blennerville in Tralee, Ireland, to
commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ireland. It
was a replica of a barque built by John Munn in Quebec in 1847.

The original ship had carried over 2,500 starving emigrants from
Blennerville to the New World between 1848 and 1855, in the immediate
aftermath of the Irish famine.

The replica was commissioned as a millennium project to celebrate the
historic links between Ireland and North America.

The vessel is due to arrive in Whitehaven the day before the three-day
Maritime Festival which starts on Friday, June 24.

Tall ship enthusiasts will have the chance to sail on her from Dublin
to Whitehaven. Prices start from £250. For more information, visit

Whitehaven Maritime Festival is a flagship event in the national
SeaBritian 2005 celebrations and will be filmed throughout the
weekend, with highlights show on a giant plasma screen on the
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