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July 05, 2005

Adams Slams Decision On NI Parades

News from the Wire Service re: Ireland & the Irish

RT 07/05/05 Adams Slams Decision On NI Parades
IO 07/05/05 DUP Suspends Member Over Newspaper Claims
IO 07/05/05 Parades Commission Re-Routes Drumcree March Again
EP 07/05/05 Stormont Needs More Power, Say UUP
UI 07/05/05 McCartney Fiancée's Belfast Home Attacked
BB 07/05/05 Council Agrees St Pat's Funding
IO 07/05/05 Focus Turns To Fuel Poverty Deaths
BB 07/05/05 U2 Win Memorabilia Court Battle


Adams Slams Decision On NI Parades

05 July 2005 22:46

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said the decision of the
Parades Commission to force three Orange Order parades through
areas where they are not welcome was the wrong decision.

Mr Adams said it had created a very difficult and dangerous
situation in Belfast.

He said Sinn Féin would challenge the decisions on next week's
Orange Order marches in the north and west of the city.

Orange marches through nationalist areas were designed to cause
offence to nationalist residents, he added.

Mr Adams said that last year a similar decision in relation to
the Ardoyne 12 July parade resulted directly in widespread public
disorder, and it was only through the efforts of republicans on
the ground that serious injuries were prevented.

He said the notion that republicans could simply deal with bad
decisions by the Parades Commission time and again is not

Earlier, a priest in the Ardoyne area called on the Taoiseach,
Bertie Ahern, to personally intervene in the dispute.


DUP Suspends Member Over Newspaper Claims

04/07/2005 - 19:42:42

The Reverend Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists tonight confirmed
they had suspended an Assembly member over allegations about his
private life.

Newry and Armagh MLA Paul Berry was suspended over claims in the
Sunday World newspaper in May that he met a male masseur in a
south Belfast hotel.

Mr Berry said he met the masseur for treatment for a sports
injury but denied any sexual act had taken place.

He threatened to take legal action.

A party spokesman told the Press Association tonight: "Paul Berry
is suspended from the DUP, pending an investigation that is

Mr Berry was regarded as one of the rising stars of the DUP when
he was elected as the youngest Northern Ireland Assembly member
in 1998 at the age of 22.

A textile worker by trade, he came to prominence as a gospel
singer, and in particular for protest songs against former Ulster
Unionist leader David Trimble.

He was a prominent supporter of the protests by Portadown
Orangemen at Drumcree against the Parade Commission's ban on them
since 1998 for marching down the nationalist Garvaghy Road.

As the MLA for Newry and Armagh since 1998, he served on the
first assembly's Health Committee.

Despite the allegations about his private life, Mr Berry still
managed to receive the most votes for a Unionist candidate in
Newry and Armagh in the British general election in May and also
retained his seat on Armagh Council in the local government

He was unavailable for comment tonight following the DUP's


Parades Commission Re-Routes Drumcree March Again
2005-07-05 08:30:03+01

The Parades Commission has once again re-routed the Orange
Order's annual Drumcree parade in Portadown, Co Armagh, this

The commission made the decision due to the order's ongoing
refusal to hold talks with the residents of the nationalist
Garvaghy Road, which is on the route of the parade.

Orangemen have been banned from marching down the Garvaghy Road
since 1997, when police officers batoned nationalist protestors
to force the parade through.

Elsewhere, the Parades Commision has allowed a contentious march
on July 12 to pass through the nationalist Ardoyne area, but with
restrictions on music and the number of people who can

The Tour of the North parade last month was attacked by
nationalist youths after being allowed through the same area.

Sinn Féin has reacted angrily to the decision, saying it could
spark further trouble.


Stormont Needs More Power, Say UUP

Northern Ireland: Waiting for IRA statement

Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain has been holding talks with
some of the province's political leaders ahead of an anticipated
IRA statement.

New UUP leader Sir Reg Empey told Hain that regardless of what
the paramilitaries say, the UK government should give local
politicians more of a role in running Ulster.

On the IRA statement, expected in response to Gerry Adam's call
for the organisation to adopt entirely peaceful means, Sir Reg
said: "We are more interested in what they are actually going to
do, and it is going to take time for people to accept they have
acted - people have had their fingers burned before."

But Empey said there could not be political paralysis while
everyone waited for republicans.

"Mr Hain needs to look at Stormont and give it a meaningful role.

"It will not be the full Monty because there is no appetite for
government including Sinn Fein and the SDLP have ruled out going
ahead without them.

"I am not talking about a talking shop and we have to have a
decision no later than the autumn," he said.

He accused ministers of having been too interested in rewarding
those who were intransigent.

"Sinn Fein has had seven years to do what it should do and
hasn't, and they continue to be rewarded for that.

"I think the government has lost sight of what it set out to
achieve a number of years ago."


Hain also met Alliance Party leader David Ford who cautioned him
against giving a "knee-jerk welcome out of an understandable
desire to get a talks process under way again".

Ford said: "The government needs to be objective in assessing its
meaning, implications and subsequent actions against a series of

He added it was "absolutely crucial that the government committed
itself to its own series of benchmarks for assessing any new
commitments from the IRA".


McCartney Fiancée's Belfast Home Attacked
2005-07-05 18:20:02+01

The home of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney's fiancée was
attacked overnight.

The McCartney family blamed local people but Sinn Féin says
loyalists were seen running off after the attack.

Bridgeen Hagan's and Mr McCartney's two young sons were in the
Short Strand home he shared with them before he was murdered in

She said she was now thinking of moving after stones and beer
cans were thrown at her house on Saturday night.

Paula McCartney, Mr McCartney's sister said police CCTV footage
showed that only local people were in the area at the time of the

Sinn Féin said however that a number of homes in the area were
attacked by loyalists after the local "mini 12th" parade.

The party's Deborah Devenny said women walking home witnessed the
attack and saw loyalists running off towards the protestant
Castlerea Road area.


Council Agrees St Pat's Funding

Belfast City Council has agreed for the first time to fund the
2006 St Patrick's Day outdoor celebration.

The council said it was aiming to address the controversy that
has surrounded the event for many years.

It was determined to provide an inclusive event which could be
enjoyed by everyone in the city, whatever their background, it

The decision was made at July's monthly meeting of Belfast City
Council. The new funding will be £70,000.

In February, councillors voted not to grant £30,000 to help fund
this year's St Patrick's Day parade.

Councillors decided not to overturn an earlier decision to refuse
grant aid to the parade organisers.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the council said the outdoor
event - organised previously by the St. Patrick's Carnival
Committee - had proved contentious.

We look forward to working with not only the Carnival Committee
but all of the people of Belfast over the months ahead to deliver
an event which all can enjoy, not only in 2006 but in future

Alex Maskey

Sinn Fein

However, the council said it had a series of discussions with the
Carnival Committee and hoped with substantial council involvement
the event would be as inclusive as possible.

Councillor Alex Maskey, chairman of the policy and resources
committee, said: "This is a major step forward.

"For too many years, the council has felt unable to support the
organisation of a major St Patrick's Day event in the city

"Now we look forward to working with not only the Carnival
Committee but all of the people of Belfast over the months ahead
to deliver an event which all can enjoy, not only in 2006 but in
future years."

However, DUP councillor Nelson McCausland said his party would be
seeking assurances that there would not be Irish tricolours
flying at the event.

"What the city council is hoping to have next year would be an
event free from that plethora of tricolours we saw outside the
City Hall this year," he said.

"There is still quite a way to go and a lot of assurances will
have to be obtained and arrangements made to ensure that we have
an inclusive event rather than an Irish nationalist event."

The council agreed the event should be held in Custom House
Square and be run as a pilot and will "be evaluated

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/05 21:41:53 GMT


Focus Turns To Fuel Poverty Deaths

05/07/2005 - 07:06:47

The British government will today be put under intense pressure
to take action to stop the deaths of over 2,000 people in the
North each year because of cold-related illnesses linked to fuel

Social development minister David Hanson is to be confronted by a
cross-party delegation backing the newly-appointed director of
National Energy Action Northern Ireland, Pat Austin.

Mr Austin said the time had come to end the shocking situation of
so many deaths.

The fact that all the main parties were supporting a call for a
radical new approach to fuel poverty highlighted the importance
of urgent action, he said.

Mr Austin said, according to figures from the minister's own
department, last year 2,050 people in the North died from cold-
related illnesses, 1,361 of them older people.

He said: "There are 33% of households living in fuel poverty in
Northern Ireland compared to only 9% in England.

"In Scotland, the figure has been dramatically cut from 35% to
13% following a concerted effort by the Scottish Executive, who
made a simple commitment to give every pensioner in Scotland a
central heating system".

The purpose of the meeting with the minister was to "begin a new
chapter in the long and difficult fight against the utterly
unacceptable levels of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland", added
Mr Austin.

The delegation includes elected members of the Ulster Unionists,
Sinn Féin, Alliance and SDLP.

The Democratic Unionists have sought their own meeting with Mr

The minister will be pressed to commit to a new approach to
tackling fuel poverty, including the urgent need for a
cost/benefit analysis of the extension of the Warm Homes scheme
to include all those of pensionable age.

Mr Austin said he was extremely grateful to the political parties
for their support.

"The sheer level of suffering and fatality caused by fuel poverty
in Northern Ireland is quite shocking.

"When you look at the figures here in comparison with England or
Scotland, it is quite clear that there is much work to be done,"
said Mr Austin, expressing the confidence that the will existed
to tackle the problem.


U2 Win Memorabilia Court Battle

Rock band U2 have won their court fight for the return of
memorabilia - including a Stetson hat - which they accused a
former stylist of stealing.

Judge Matthew Deery at Dublin's Circuit Court ordered Lola
Cashman to return the items, which also include earrings, within
seven days.

He said he believed Bono's testimony that he had not given her
the items which she tried to sell at auction.

After the verdict, Bono said they had brought the case out of

Ms Cashman, who worked as U2's stylist in the 1980s, wrote an
unauthorised book called Inside the Zoo, which upset the band.

When she attempted to put the memorabilia - which she said had
been given as gifts - up for sale she was contacted by U2's

She then began legal proceedings for defamation in London's High
Court, which were put on hold for the Irish proceedings.

Bono said: "This case was brought very reluctantly, in the
context of a larger dispute which we never invited.

"The point of principle involved was of much greater significance
to us than any item of memorabilia."

Neither Ms Cashman nor any band members were in court to hear the

Judge Deery said he found Ms Cashman's version of how she had
been given the items at the end of a US tour doubtful,
particularly her description of Bono running around in his
underpants backstage.

"It seems to me that Ms Cashman's version of events, the giving
of the hat, is unlikely to have occurred," he said.

Bono had told the court he would not have given away the items,
valued at £3,500, which he considered had iconic status,
particularly the hat.

Judge Deery said he did not accept her claim that U2 had brought
the case solely to stop the defamation proceedings, but
recognised the outcome will substantially affect the other case.

"It would seem odd if the group were to make a provision to
pursue a claim of this nature if the subject was not of
importance to the band," he said.

He will decide on the issue of costs on 12 July.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/05 16:54:37 GMT
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