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July 06, 2005

Adams: SF Opposes Belfast Parades

News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 07/06/05 Adams States Sinn Féin Opposition To Belfast Parades
DI 07/06/05 IRA Talks Held
IO 07/06/05 Maze Prison 'A Site For Olympic Soccer'
SM 07/06/05 From Ireland, Republicans Pay Final Respects
4R 07/06/05 Belfast Based Soap Airs Community Television Service
IO 07/06/05 Yeats Letters And Essay To Be Auctioned


Adams States Sinn Féin Opposition To North Belfast Parades

Published: 6 July, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was today joined by party
colleagues Gerry Kelly, Martin McGuinness and Cathy Stanton for a
press conference in Belfast to discuss the Parades Commission
decision to force two Orange Parades through nationalist areas of
North Belfast on July 12th.

Mr Adams said:

"An extremely volatile situation has been created in North
Belfast by the decision of the Parades Commission to allow the
July 12th marches.

" The Orange Order is insisting on marching through nationalist
areas were they are unwelcome This is not simply about a march
past Ardoyne shop fronts, it is a march past three nationalist

" I understand, support and appreciate the right of the Orange
Order to march. However they need to engage in real and
meaningful dialogue with local residents in areas where concerns
have been raised about their marches. In Derry such a process of
dialogue was embarked upon and an accommodation was reached.

" Without dialogue no accommodation is possible. Dialogue
obviously presents a problem for some Orange leaders. This is not
surprising, given the history of the Order. However when
compelled to do so the Orange Order have engaged in dialogue.
When they can avoid this as in North Belfast they do so and are

" Sinn Féin opposes the two marches through nationalist areas of
North Belfast both on the morning and the evening of the twelfth.
It has fallen on us, because we represent people in these areas,
to try and marshal bad decisions taken by the Parades Commission.

" A number of factors however make this task all of the more
difficult on this occasion. Former republican prisoners have in
the past provided an invaluable service in these types of
situations. However with the arrest of Sean Kelly I won't put
pressure on any former prisoner to provide this service, although
some may well still step forward and I appreciate and welcome
that but I can understand why no one released on license would
want to risk incarceration.

" The Parades Commission decision has created deep anger in North

" Sinn Féin will seek a formal review of the decision and have
placed this into the hands of our solicitors. We will be engaging
with a wide range of opinion in the areas most affected by these
parades in the coming days.

" I am also appealing for calm and for peaceful protests against
the Parades Commission decisions. Violence on the streets will
not help anyone. It will serve the agenda of those opposed to
change and will erode further confidence in the wider political
process." ENDS


IRA Talks Held

By Colin O'Carroll

All IRA members have now been consulted on Gerry Adams' request
for the organisation to take its struggle forward by "other

Meetings to discuss the Sinn Féin president's appeal of April 6
have been held in secret locations across the country.

At the meetings, senior IRA members brought volunteers up to date
with political developments.

Volunteers were asked for their opinions on the progress or lack
of it towards republican objectives since the first ceasefire of
August 1994.

Chief among the concerns expressed by IRA members at the meetings
was the slow pace of change in the North and the virtual collapse
of the power-sharing and cross-Border institutions.

It is believed that members were assured there would be no move
on acceptance of the PSNI as part of any new deal with the
British and the Democratic Unionist Party to reinstate the

There remains deep opposition to the PSNI across the republican

One Tyrone republican said: "The feeling is that we can have no
truck with the PSNI until there's a level playing field, and that
would have to mean a political arrangement much closer to joint
sovereignty than we have today.

"I know Sinn Féin has its shopping list in relation to the PSNI
but, for many people, even obtaining all those demands wouldn't
be enough."

At the internal consultations, there has been no suggestion of
the IRA disbanding, though what future shape it would take
remains undecided.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has proposed that it become "a
commemorative organisation".

Some republicans at the consultation meetings have suggested it
continue to exist as a defence group for vulnerable Catholic
communities in Belfast. "It's okay for people to say the IRA
should go away, but who is going to protect Ardoyne or the Short
Strand if those areas come under attack?" a Belfast IRA member
asked. "Ordinary people will be coming to us for protection and
the last thing we want is to be caught in a Belfast '69 situation
with no weapons to protect our people."

Greatest unease at the meetings has centred round the issue of
decommissioning. Aa part of last December's aborted deal, the IRA
had proposed decommissioning all its weapons within a month. It's
believed that in any new deal, that proposal would be back on the
table. However, there are no indications that the IRA will bow to
DUP demands — backed by the British and Irish governments — that
this final act of decommissioning be photographed.

But there has also been a reluctance by some IRA members to
accept Gerry Adams' contention that the IRA's aims can be
achieved "by purely political and democratic activity".

In his Conway Mill appeal, Gerry Adams said: "In the past I have
defended the right of the IRA to engage in armed struggle. I did
so because there was no alternative for those who would not bend
the knee, or turn a blind eye to oppression, or for those who
wanted a national republic. Now there is an alternative. I have
clearly set out my view of what that alternative is. The way
forward is by building political support for republican and
democratic objectives across Ireland and by winning support for
those goals internationally.

"I want to use this occasion therefore to appeal to the
leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann to fully embrace and accept
this alternative. Can you take courageous initiatives which will
achieve your aims by purely political and democratic activity?"

It's thought unlikely that the IRA will announce its decision on
the way forward before the Twelfth. Having considered feedback
from the internal consultation, the organisation's leaders are
expected to consider the responses before making their next move.
Any announcement on an end to the IRA campaign will be made after
volunteers have been briefed.

A formal announcement would be one of the biggest media events of
the peace process.


Maze Prison 'A Site For Olympic Soccer'
2005-07-06 15:20:03+01

A £55m (€81m) stadium on the site of Northern Ireland's Maze
Prison could stage three Olympic soccer matches in 2012 if the
project gets the go-ahead from the British government, it emerged

As Londoners celebrated the awarding of the 2012 Games to their
city, sources close to a bid to build a new 30,000 seater stadium
on the site of the jail, where 10 republican hunger strikers died
in 1981, suggested today's decision by the International Olympic
Committee could boost funding for the project.

A source told PA: "At this stage the (British) government is in
talks with the main sporting organisations in the province about
a business plan for the proposed stadium.

"If the stadium is deemed viable and approved by the (British)
government, it will be offered to the London organising committee
as an Olympics venue.

"London made a great play about spreading the Games out to towns
and cities throughout the UK and there have been indications that
the province could get two or three of the soccer matches.

"Certainly, the success of London's bid could help boost funding
for the stadium, with lottery money likely to be released to
Olympic venues and facilities."

Hampden Park in Glasgow, Villa Park in Birmingham and St James's
Park in Newcastle have already been earmarked as venues for
Olympics soccer matches.

Weymouth in Dorset has also been identified as a venue for the
sailing events.

However, right throughout the UK cities will also be preparing to
host competitors, coaches, Olympic officials and their families
in the weeks leading up to the Games.

The Republic will also hope to benefit.

Welcoming the IOC's decision, Northern Ireland Sports Minister
David Hanson offered the North's services to competitors.

"In the run up to the event, competing nations will need to
acclimatise and prepare for the Games," he said.

"We can offer competitors, coaches, administrators and friends a
warm welcome, good training facilities and a unique opportunity
to experience our wide and varied culture.

"During their stay, visitors will need to be accommodated and
entertained. In addition, the proximity of the host city will
encourage more local firms to bid for the lucrative contracts
which will be up for grabs. All this can only be good news for
the economy."

Last week his Northern Ireland Office colleague Lord Rooker
announced the setting up of a monitoring group to look at plans
to revamp the site of the abandoned prison near Lisburn in Co
Antrim where some of the province's most infamous loyalist and
republican prisoners were jailed.

As well as plans for the stadium, it is proposed the 365 acre
site will house an international equestrian centre, an
International Centre for Conflict Transformation, a zone for
industrial development and an arts centre.

The IOC's decision was welcomed by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who
offered his country's help in providing accommodation for

"The fact that the Olympic Games are coming to London will have
positive repercussions right across these islands and I would
like to assure my UK colleagues of any support or assistance that
we can provide here in Ireland," he said.

"The Irish Government has invested heavily in the provision of
high quality sports facilities, catering for a wide variety of
sports, right across the country.

"Ireland can contribute enormously to the success of the London
Games through the availability here of excellent competition and
training facilities not just for our own athletes but also for
competitors from countries throughout the world in the build-up
to 2012."


All The Way From Ireland, Republicans Pay Their Final Respects To
Man Of The Cause

By Stephen Gibbs
July 7, 2005

They don't bury many retired road workers like this in Belfast,
let alone at Botany. Only in death did outsiders see just how
much limelight Paddy Burke denied himself.

To bury the only life member of Australian Aid for Ireland, they
came from Dublin, among them his nephew Christy Burke. A
prominent member of the Republican movement, the senior Sinn Fein
man on Dublin Council was graveside to fold and present an Irish
tricolour to Bernie, Paddy Burke's son.

Another flag then went in with the coffin, and the coffin went
down with one call: "Up the RA!" It was, simply, just what it
looks like: a very long way from Scruffy Murphy's on St Patrick's

"I think it was right and fitting that he was sent off with
republican trappings of the tricolour and members of the
republican movement in attendance," Christy Burke, who arrived on
Tuesday, said.

"When we receive Irish freedom, Paddy will have been a part of
it. I'm very honoured to be his nephew and as a Sinn Fein
councillor to have delivered the reading this morning and been
here for the folding of the flag."


AdvertisementAmong more than 700 mourners who packed St Brigid's
Catholic Church at Marrickville were other Sinn Fein members who
had flown to Sydney to pay their respects.

For his family there was the original letter from the president
of Sinn Fein, sent to Paddy Burke at Canterbury Hospital shortly
before he died.

Addressed with the salutation "Paddy a Chara", the letter was a
final and formal recognition for Mr Burke's years of fundraising
and helping with local logistical matters such as Gerry Adams's
own Sydney tours.

"I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for your
commitment to this struggle through all the difficult years and
your unwavering support for the peace process," Mr Adams wrote.

"You were never a person who sought the limelight, or public
recognition, being quite content to be rewarded by the success of
AAI's work. Please be assured of our gratitude for your continued

At the bottom, handwritten, was this: "Stay well chara!! Thanks
for all your efforts. Gerry Adams."

Dublin-born Patrick Joseph Burke had been what Dubliners might
call a chiseller and a gurrier as a young man - or in Australia,
a bit of a rogue. But when he died, aged 72, of emphysema last
Thursday, he was far from alone.

Burke had been devoted to his wife Rosaleen, with whom he
migrated to Australia in 1964 and raised Bernard, George,
Stephen, Patrick and Kelly, before her death devastated him 22
years ago. The other great love of his life was "the cause".


Belfast Based Soap Airs On Nvtv Free-To-Air-Community Television

'Life', the first Belfast based television soap to be produced by
a local independent production company will be broadcast on NvTv
on Wednesday July 6 from 5pm.

With a cast from Belfast's Andersonstown, the Markets, Short
Strand and Ardoyne, the show is the first foray into television
drama for Belfast man Stephen Bradley of Veetoo. He said: "I've
produced news documentaries for BBC and UTV but this is my first
time producing and directing drama."

The soap takes reality television as its storyline. In the summer
of 2005, 2000 Belfast families apply to be featured in a reality
television show, competing for the chance to win a prize of
£100,000. The winning family is documented all day, every day,
for six weeks. If they abide by the rules, they receive the prize
- fines of £500 are deducted for cursing, physical brutality or
interaction with the film crew.

"The appearance of someone purporting to be the gay guardian
angel of the homophobic live-in aunt doesn't help matters," said
Bradley. "The tension rises as the prize money goes down the

The cast and crew are all from Belfast and include actors Stephen
Patrick Hannah, Moya O'Hara and Rosena Brown.

NvTv is broadcasting a terrestrial picture, so a conventional TV
aerial is needed, with television sets tuned into Channel 62
(Frequency 799.276MHz).

Stephen Bradley's background is in advertising photography in
Belfast and Atlanta, where he shot advertising and annual report
campaigns for Coca Cola, Citbank, UPS, LA Times and Newsweek. His
Belfast based multimedia company Veetoo provides video production
and web design services for local and US clients.



Yeats Letters And Essay To Be Auctioned

06/07/2005 - 19:23:05

A collection of letters and an essay penned by one of Ireland's
greatest poets, William Butler Yeats, is to be auctioned.

The album, which includes an annotated, working manuscript of The
Tragic Theatre and 18 signed letters written by Yeats, is
expected to fetch between €90,000 and €120,000 at the Sotheby's
sale in London.

It is understood several Irish buyers have contacted the
auctioneers eager to snap up the highly sought after personal
letters and writing.

Philip Errington, literature expert with Sotheby's, said the lot
had attracted universities, institutions, and individuals as it
was unusual to get work of such major importance.

"It is one of the most important groups of manuscripts to have
ever appeared at auction in recent times," he said.

"It will appeal to collectors of modern Irish literature and we
have had conversations with institutions who would like to add
this to collections."

A number of Irish and American buyers are believed to have joined
the race to buy the collection.

Mr Errington said the writings offered one of the best insights
into the mind of Yeats since the 387 page Great Vellum Notebook
was sold in 1990 for £180,000.

The album contains 18 letters from Yeats to his friend Sydney
Cockerell along with several other personal letters, and a
picture of Irish playwright Lady Gregory.

Yeats's essay, The Tragic Theatre, was first published in the
periodical The Mask in 1910 and discusses his conception of
tragedy in theatre along with many annotations and changes.

The edition on sale next week is 25 pages in black ink, fully
annotated and signed.

The collection was put together by Cockerell and maintained as
part of a private collection for several decades. It will go
under the hammer next Tuesday as part of the Literature and
History Sale.
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