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July 22, 2005

Ciaran Cassidy's Funeral In London

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 07/22/05 Relatives In London For Ciaran's Funeral
BB 07/22/05 Loyalist Arrests Follow Lengthy Operation
IP 07/22/05 Orange Order Inextricably Linked To Violence
BT 07/22/05 Empey Calls For Help To End Killings
IO 07/22/05 Two Held Over Parade Riot
BT 07/22/05 Fans' Buses Stoned In Dundalk
BB 07/22/05 Sinn Fein Pressing For Peace III
SF 07/22/05 Donations Legislation Needs To Be Changed
BT 07/22/05 Parties In Feud Over Blast Book
BT 07/22/05 Language Bodies Criticised
BB 07/22/05 Everest Climber Suffers K2 Setback
IO 07/22/05 Local Climber Airlifted After West Cork Fall
IP 07/22/05 Joe Cahill: The Claudia
IP 07/22/05 Edward Heath - The Best Friend We Never Had
IP 07/22/05 Remembering The Past - The Asgard
BB 07/22/05 Island Set For Puffin Spectacular
ST 07/22/05 Irish Heritage Singers To Give Free Concert
IP 07/22/05 Jude Collins In San Diego


Relatives In London For Ciaran's Funeral

By Linda McKee
22 July 2005

RELATIVES from north and south of the border were in London
today for the funeral of Ciaran Cassidy, who was killed in
the London Tube explosions two weeks ago.

Some were caught up in yesterday's transport disruption as
further attempts were made to carry out terror attacks in
the capital.

Following inquests into the deaths of some of the 56 people
who lost their lives in the July 7 explosions, Ciaran's
remains were released to his family on Monday.

His mother Veronica, who is from Enniskillen, and father
Sean, from Co Cavan, were leading mourners at a funeral
service at St Mellitus Church at Tollington Park in north

Ciaran's uncle, Brian Farry, also from Enniskillen, said he
travelled to London yesterday with his two sons and

Other relatives were caught up in transport delays after a
further series of attacks were attempted on Tube lines and
a London bus, he said.

Mr Farry, who is vice- principal of St John's Secondary
School in Dromore, Co Tyrone, said it was a relief for the
Cassidy family to be able to bury their son.

"While today will be a difficult day, once you have a
ceremony and a burial, that in a way brings its own
consolation - it's the whole concept of Christian burial,"
he said.

Ciaran had been on his way to work at Chancery Lane from
his Finsbury Park home when the Tube carriage in which he
was travelling was targeted by a suicide bomber.

As rescue workers sifted through the debris left by the
explosive attacks on three Underground stations and a bus,
his family endured an agonising wait before Ciaran was
eventually confirmed dead almost a week after going

His remains were released on Monday by coroner Dr Andrew
Reid, who made no request to retain them for further

Ciaran is survived by his mother Veronica, his father Sean,
his sister Lisa and his grandmother Bridget Cassidy, who
lives in Swanlinbar.


Arrests Follow Lengthy Operation

Three men have been arrested in Ballymoney by police
investigating serious crime.

It is understood they are being questioned at Antrim police
station about loyalist paramilitary activity in the north
Antrim area.

A number of houses in the town were searched during the
police operation.

A number of items were also removed by officers for
examination. Detective Inspector Nick McCaw said the search
followed a lengthy police operation.

"For some time we have been hearing from various members
from both sides of the community in Ballymoney about their
dissatisfaction at criminal elements attached to loyalist
paramilitaries carrying out crime," he said.

"Our investigations - as a result of reported crime to us -
have taken us down this road.

"We will use the full rigours of the law to bring those
people to justice."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/22 06:41:52 GMT


Orange Order Inextricably Linked To Violence

North Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member, Cathy Stanton, has
said the Orange Order needs to recognise that its
activities result in serious violence and cause massive
disruption to many people. Stanton's remarks come after a
week of violent incidents directly linked to the Order's
12th activities.

The past week has seen a litany of violent incidents
including; a UVF firing party at a Belfast City Council-
sponsored bonfire on the Newtownards Road. (The armed and
masked gang also read out a statement threatening to
destroy the rival LVF gang); a UDA firing party in
Ballysillan; business premises burned in the Cregagh area
as result of an eleventh night bonfire; 30 Homes evacuated
after a gas pipe was ruptured by a bonfire in East Belfast;
A taxi and its passengers attacked by loyalists in Blacks
Road and a PSNI weapon and radio stolen following an attack
on the PSNI by a crowd at a 12th bonfire.

Meanwhile, a woman was seriously sexually assaulted after a
bonfire in Bangor. Orange supporters threw missiles at
Ormeau Road residents from Stranmillis Embankment witnessed
by a Parades Commission Official; A Catholic Church was
attacked and daubed with sectarian graffiti in Ballymena;
St Matthew's Church in East Belfast faced a protest by
supporters of the Orange Order demanding the right to play
sectarian tunes outside the Church; a Catholic family were
driven out of Ahoghill and a Catholic home was fire bombed
on the Crumlin Road.

Cathy Stanton has drawn attention to the fact that in
addition to all of this, senior Orangeman, Deputy Grand
Master McMurdie, interviewed on BBC on Monday the eleventh,
regarding links between the Order and unionist paramilitary
gangs said: "They are on our side. We might not agree with
everything they do but they have been helpful to brethren
in North and West Belfast"

Stanton said: "The Orange Order have this summer embarked
upon a strategy to cause massive disruption, particularly
in Belfast. They cannot be allowed to hold the rest of the
population to ransom summer after summer. It is time that
they accepted that they have to treat nationalists with
respect and equality. Dialogue is the way forward. They
cannot be allowed to run away from this reality any longer.
The Parades Commission has to stop rewarding intransigence.


Empey Calls For Help To End Killings

By Dan McGinn
22 July 2005

AN appeal was issued in Belfast last night for
intermediaries to step in and broker an end to a bloody
loyalist paramilitary feud in the city.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey issued the call as
police investigated a link between a gun attack on a house
in east Belfast to a feud between the UVF and its rival,
the LVF.

The feud has already claimed two lives.

A number of shots were fired through a bathroom window at
the rear of the house in Avonorr Drive in east Belfast
shortly after midnight.

A man in his 30s was inside at the time but was not

A dark-coloured Rover car was found burnt out in nearby
Bendigo Street one hour later.

Detectives were investigating a link between it and the

Last week Craig McCausland (20) was shot dead at the house
he shared with his partner and two children in north

His family has denied he had any link to the LVF or any
other terror group.

It was the second tragedy to hit the family - Mr
McCausland's mother, Lorraine, is believed to have been
beaten to death by members of the UDA in March 1987 near a
drinking club.

Earlier this month 25-year-old Jameson Lockhart was gunned
down as part of the feud as he worked on a building site in
east Belfast.

The attack was also blamed on the UVF.

There have been a number of other incidents, including the
shooting of a man walking two dogs on the Crumlin Road in
north Belfast on the same night Mr McCausland was murdered.

The UVF was also blamed for a gun attack on a house in east
Belfast on Monday.

Sir Reg, in whose constituency the attack took place,
called on people to step in and negotiate an end to the
violence between the rival groups.

The East Belfast MLA said: "I want to make a fresh appeal
to those who brokered an end to the last feud to come
forward once again to see if a major conflict can be

"These disputes are casting a long shadow over the area and
creating fear and tension throughout the community.

"Everybody knows that there is no future for us if we allow
gun law to take over. It must end now before more people
are killed."

Alliance Party MLA Naomi Long also appealed to both sides,
regardless of whether Wednesday night's incident was
connected or not, to end their feud before more lives were

"It is also past time that those elected representatives
who have links with loyalist paramilitaries, including the
PUP, ended their silence on the feud and make it clear
publicly that such violence is totally unacceptable and
wrong," she said.

"I would also call on the Secretary of State to review the
ceasefires of the groups involved."

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) said yesterday
it would examine the feud between the UVF and LVF.

Secretary of State Peter Hain on Wednesday gave the PUP
seven days to persuade him why the Government should not
continue to withhold Assembly allowances from the party.

His move came after an IMC report claimed the UVF and Red
Hand Commando, which is also linked to the PUP, remained
active, violent and involved in organised crime.

But PUP leader David Ervine responded angrily, urging the
Government to have him arrested if it really believed his
party had a say over what the two paramilitary groups did.

The East Belfast MLA said: "The IMC is an annoyance, a
trial by four horsemen riding Shetland ponies."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan welcomed the IMC's decision to
investigate the feud and confirmed he had also written to
Peter Hain urging him to review the UVF's ceasefire.


Two Held Over Parade Riot
2005-07-22 09:30:02+01

A man and a teenager were being questioned today about a
major riot in North Belfast that left more than 100 police
officers injured.

The security forces came under ferocious attack from a
nationalist mob after trouble flared around a disputed
Orange Order parade through the Ardoyne district on July

Blast and petrol bombs were hurled at police and soldiers
after marchers passed along the route. Two journalists and
members of the public were also wounded as protesters went
on the rampage.

With CCTV footage capturing the disturbances, questions had
been asked about why arrests were not made immediately.

But the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed today
they had detained a 22-year-old man and a 15-year-old

The pair were arrested in the Old Park area of the city and
taken to be interviewed about public order offences.


Fans' Buses Stoned In Dundalk

By Paul O'Hare
22 July 2005

A DUP Assemblyman today wrote to the Irish Republic's
police chief after buses carrying supporters of a Northern
Ireland football team were attacked south of the border as
they returned from a Champions League qualify- ing match.

Northern Ireland public transport company Translink
confirmed that windows were smashed on two buses carrying
Glentoran fans in the border town of Dundalk.

However, a spokes- man for the Gardai said they had
received no reports of any incidents.

The Glentoran fans - some of whom were showered with glass
- were returning from the game at Dublin's Tolka Park with
Irish champions Shelbourne.

East Belfast MLA Robin Newton said the Gardai should have
done more to prevent the attacks, which he claimed were
premeditated and motivated by sectarianism.

Mr Newton said: "Buses had damaged paintwork and the
windows on a number of buses were smashed. I am aware of
one case of supporters being showered with glass.

"We are fortunate that these orchestrated attacks didn't
result in much more serious injuries."

Mr Newton said the events raised serious questions and he
asked why the buses were not escorted by Gardai through

Translink has confirmed that two buses were attacked and
that a window was smashed on each.

A spokesman said there were no injuries.

Shelbourne won the match 4-1 on the night and 6-2 on

They now face Romanian giants Steaua Bucharest.


Sinn Fein Pressing For Peace III

Work carried out under the Peace II funding programme is at
risk unless more European money is put into a fresh scheme,
Sinn Fein has warned.

A Sinn Fein delegation is to meet Irish EU Affairs Minister
Noel Tracey to press for a new Peace III funding

The current Peace II programme began in 2001 but runs out
next year.

It is aimed at achieving economic renewal and social
integration in areas most scarred by the Troubles.

MEP Bairbre de Brun said her party wanted to secure
continued support for projects between 2007 and 2013.

She said the party had held discussions with "groups
working on the ground, tackling disadvantage, the legacy of
the conflict and on conflict resolution and peace building,
often with the support of EU peace funding".

"The current Peace II extension will end next year and this
will place much of this important work at risk unless plans
for the future are made now," she added.

Peace developments

Last month, EU commissioner Danuta Hubner announced
Northern Ireland would receive a further £97m in a two-year
extension of Peace II.

The extra funding followed sustained campaigning from
various groups in Europe and Northern Ireland.

Beginning in 2001, the Peace II initiative followed on from
the five-year Peace I, which distributed 500m euros. Peace
I was established in the wake of peace developments in

Peace II covers Northern Ireland as well as the border
counties in the Irish Republic.

Groups applying for Peace II grants must demonstrate their
proposals will address the legacy of the Troubles and show
how they will promote reconciliation and mutual

More than 5,300 projects have been funded by the programme.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/22 05:50:30 GMT


Donations Legislation Needs To Be Changed To Prevent
Parties From Hiding Significant Donations

Published: 22 July, 2005

Responding to the latest annual report from the Standards
in Public Office Commission, Sinn Féin TD Arthur
Morgan said the legislation covering donations needed
to be changed to give an accurate reflection of what is
raised by political parties.

Deputy Morgan said, "I don't believe for one minute that
Fine Gael or the PDs received no donations whatsoever in
the course of the last two years and the Labour party
didn't receive any donations in the last year – nor do I
believe for one moment that Sinn Féin was the largest
beneficiary of donations out of all political parties for
the last two years. It is not a credible position and
it calls into question the value of the process that is
conducted in relation to the donations statements parties
have to submit to the Standards in Public Office

"Unfortunately because the levels under which political
parties DO NOT have to publicly declare a donation are set
so ridiculously high, at over €5000, a real picture does
not emerge of what parties are receiving in donations from
individuals and corporations. Are we seriously expected
to believe the Joe Higgins' Socialist Party receives more
money in donations than Fine Gael, the PDs and Labour put

"Sinn Féin is still the only party to fully make our
accounts available to the general public. We have
nothing to hide in relation to where we receive our
funding and how we spend it. We would call on other
parties to do the same and not hide behind
legislation, which allows you hide significant donations
from the general public and to pretend you are not in
receipt of donations at all.

"The legislation needs to be changed to lower the level
over which parties are obliged to declare a donation." ENDS

Note: SIPO statement says, "In the case of Sinn Féin, all
of the donations were made by party TDs, MPs or MLAs"


Parties In Feud Over Blast Book

SF and SDLP are urged to end row

By Deborah McAleese
22 July 2005

A FEUD between Sinn Fein and the SDLP in Down Council
continues to simmer over the opening of a book of
condolence for the victims of the London bombing.

The ceremony was postponed by council chairwoman SDLP
councillor Carmel O'Boyle because of the large number of
local people on holiday over the twelfth fortnight.

However, vice-chairman Sinn Fein councillor Eamonn McConvey
claimed the delay was because Mrs O'Boyle was on holiday
and did not want him to be the first person to make the
formal declaration of sympathy on behalf of the people of
the district.

Sinn Fein said the move was an "orchestrated abuse of power
to suit the SDLP" and accused the party of using the
bombings as a "lever to snub" the party.

Relations between the two parties are now particularly low
and the DUP has called on both parties to resolve their

DUP councillor William Walker said: "This feud needs to be
resolved. Sinn Fein need to respect the chairwoman like the
rest of us do. I have total confidence in Carmel O'Boyle as

"However, the SDLP also need to accept that this situation
would not have arisen if they had not insisted on
introducing the d'Hondt system. If they had not Sinn Fein
would not hold the vice-chair position and this row would
not have taken place."

Mr McConvey said: "Since Carmel O'Boyle took office she has
tried to exclude me from carrying out a number of official
engagements in my role as her deputy.

"The book of condolence is a prime example. It makes little
or no sense to wait weeks before launching such an

SDLP councillor Peter Fitzpatrick said: "I do not recall
Sinn Fein being so keen to see a book of condolence opened
after Canary Wharf."


Language Bodies Criticised

Financial failings under scrutiny

By David Gordon
22 July 2005

TAXPAYER-funded Irish language and Ulster Scots bodies have
been officially rapped for past financial management
failings, it can be revealed today.

The accounts for Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots
Agency have finally been published for 2000, their first
year of operation.

And they throw light on early shortcomings in the control
and oversight of public expenditure.

The most serious problems were at the Ulster-Scots Agency
and were exposed by the Belfast Telegraph late last year
following a leak of confidential documentation.

They involved "basic" financial control failings, covering
such areas as hospitality and travel expenses.

The newly-published accounts also reveal deficiencies at
the official Irish language body Foras na Gaeilge over the
administration of grant payments in 2000.

The accounts are accompanied by a joint report from the
Northern Ireland Comptroller and Auditor General, John
Dowdall, and his counterpart in the Republic, John Purcell.

Their key points include:

• An internal audit of the Ulster Scots Agency in 2001
found that internal controls were "largely non-existent"
and "even the basics of regularity and propriety were

Mr Dowdall and Mr Purcell express "concern" at this finding
and state that the boards of public bodies are "required to
ensure that controls are in place".

• Both the Ulster-Scots Agency and Foras na Gaeilge issued
grants in 2000 without the payment arrangements having been
formally approved by higher authorities. This was in breach
of the legislation governing the two bodies.

• Foras na Gaeilge also did not have "substantiating
documentation" in the year for grants worth £720,000.

There was a lack of invoices, inspection reports and
audited accounts to demonstrate that the funding had been
used by groups for the intended purposes.

• The two Auditor Generals also raise a legal query over
overseas spending by the Ulster-Scots Agency. They believe
that the legislation which established the body restricted
its promotional work to the island of Ireland.

The Ulster-Scots Agency has funded a number of foreign
trips including a £50,000 visit to the USA in April 2001,
which involved most of its board members, as well as a
photographer and five musicians.

The two state auditors have received assurances from both
the language bodies that the shortcomings in their first
year have been addressed, with new controls and procedures
put in place.


Everest Climber Suffers K2 Setback

The NI man who conquered Mount Everest two years ago has
suffered a setback in his attempt to reach the summit of K2
without assistance and without oxygen.

Terrence 'Banjo' Bannon's team had hoped to reach the peak
at the end of July but ran into problems.

If successful, he will be the first Irish climber ever to
get to the top of the so-called "mountain of mountains".

As a solo climb, on one of the world's most treacherous
peaks, the Newry man's K2 attempt is his toughest

He said they hoped to reach the summit when they could find
a suitable "weather window" within the timeframe of their
climbing licence which is granted by Pakistan.

Speaking to BBC Northern Ireland from K2's base camp at
17,000ft, he said they had experienced "bad luck and

We were totally exhausted and it jeopardised our summit

Terrence 'Banjo' Bannon

"About two weeks ago, we were just getting established...
when we came back to Camp 1 it was gone because of an
avalanche," he said.

"The same situation happened again, when we went off for
the summit two days ago, when we got to Camp 3 it was gone.

"Our stash - our tent, gas stoves, food and equipment - was
all buried underneath the snow."

It took a very long time for the team to dig through the
snow to get to the buried equipment, he said.

"We were totally exhausted and it jeopardised our summit

"Because the weather is so bad here - it just changes in
minutes - there is a Polish-Bulgarian expedition in the
same time-slot as ourselves and they are struggling to get

"This is because there are 160mph winds and they are
actually fighting for their lives at the minute."

Dangerous feat

Banjo said his team were "relatively safe" at K2's base
camp, but higher up it was predicted that new ferocious
winds "are just going to rip the mountain apart".

Over the years, K2 has been called the "savage mountain"
and "a death trap".

Fifty-one years ago on 31 July, two Italian climbers, Lino
Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, braved wind, rain and
storm to climb the second highest - and arguably - most
dangerous mountain in the world.

Despite improvements in technology, the mountain is
considered as dangerous today as it was then. It has a much
higher rate of fatalities than Everest.

Two years ago, Mr Bannon and his team-mate New Zealander
Jamie McGuinness, 37, reached the top of the world's
highest peak, Everest, on 31 May.

It was the first time a team from Northern Ireland had
reached the summit and followed the success of an Irish
team earlier in the month.

Speaking at the time of that conquest, he described it as
"a great sensation", but admitted that there were setbacks
as he neared the top which made him think he might have to
turn back.

It took the pair nine hours to climb the final 500 metres
of Everest, using oxygen supplies and head torches to guide

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/22 08:58:37 GMT


Local Climber Airlifted To Hospital After West Cork Fall

22/07/2005 - 09:01:02

A local climber has been airlifted to safety after being
injured in a fall on Hungry Hill near Castletownbere in
West Cork yesterday evening.

The man, who works as a volunteer with a mountain rescue
team, was climbing with friends when the accident happened.

He was rescued by helicopter at around 3am this morning and
taken to Cork University Hospital.

The nature and extent of his injuries are unknown.


The Claudia

In 1972, 29-year-old Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
made contact with leading Irish republican Joe Cahill
through the Breton artist and sculptor Yann Goulet. The
purpose of the approach was an offer of material assistance
to the IRA whose struggle against British occupation of the
Six Counties was reaching a new intensity.

Yann Goulet was an interesting figure in his own right. A
leading member of the Separatist Movement in Brittany
during the Second World War, he had many narrow escapes in
the struggle against the German forces occupying France.
Goulet was eventually imprisoned and went on hunger strike.
On his release, his political activities again led him to
be hunted by both Germans and French. Condemned to death in
his absence, Goulet fled France for Ireland.

In relation to his dealings with Ireland and Irish
republicans, Muammar Gaddafi insisted on dealing only with
Joe Cahill, whom he respected and believed he could trust.
Joe's nerve in appearing at a Belfast press conference
while on the run, and his high international media profile
following his deportation from the United states, had drawn
the attention of the Libyan leader.

Of the initial meeting with a Libyan representative Joe
Cahill said: "Jack McCabe, the IRA's Quartermaster General,
and I eventually met him and we talked through an
interpreter. The emissary told us that Gaddafi was very
interested in the Irish question, would like to help and
would like to meet me and whoever else came with me."

Not a lot came of the initial contact as the IRA leadership
appeared to have other irons in the fire in relation to the
acquisition of arms. However, contact with the Libyans was
eventually re-established through Yann Goulet and
arrangements put in place for Joe Cahill to go to Triploi,
the Libyan capital.

The IRA put two teams into place, one making arrangements
for a four-man group to travel incognito to Libya; another
setting about providing passports.

Cahill flew out of County Cork to France in a small four-
seater private plane.

At another small airport in France he was picked up and
taken by car to Paris. With three others Joe Cahill then
set off for Rome. From Rome the group flew to Tripoli where
they were met by Libyan officials.

After a five or six-day wait for Gaddafi who was away from
the capital, the group were eventually taken to a military
barracks for a meeting with him. Cahill was impressed by
Gaddafi's grasp of Irish affairs and the situation in the
Six Counties. Although he had good English he refused to
speak it and spoke through an interpreter instead. He said
he did not understand why the IRA delegation spoke in
English, the language of the state they were fighting. He
agreed with the cause of a United Ireland and offered to
help the IRA. Cahill made it very clear that there could be
no question of having any strings attached to the help
being offered. However, no such probe arose and Gaddafi was
genuine in his offer of assistance. Cahill then gave a
detailed list of what the IRA was seeking in terms of
weaponry it felt would make an impact on British forces in
the Six Counties.

A man known merely as 'the German' organised the leasing of
the Cyprus-registered boat called The Claudia. Initially,
its cargo was to contain 40-tonnes but the Claudia headed
out to sea with only a small quantity of five tonnes. The
reason for the reduced shipload was that the Libyans were
concerned about the ship and its reputation and had done
some investigating into its history. They discovered that
The Claudia had a notorious international reputation and
had been involved in other smuggling operations

It was decided that Joe Cahill and two of his colleagues
would make the journey back to Ireland on board the vessel,
as this would be their safest route home. The captain was a
man by the name of Hans Ludwig Fleugel, and his brother was
the first mate.

Of this aspect of the operation Joe Cahill said: "I have no
idea what the finer details were that lay behind the
acquiring of the ship. What I do know is that we left it
entirely up to the German. Our people had met the Libyans
before I went out, and it was decided that a boat should be
moored outside Libyan territorial waters and the stuff
could be transported at sea. After I had met Gaddafi, we
arranged that a radio signal from The Claudia, by this time
just outside the limits, would let us know when to give the
Libyans the go-ahead to head out to sea with the arms.

"When the people on board the Claudia could not make
contact, they headed into Tripoli, which they should never
have done. It was never intended that the boat would go
into Triploi. That was to be the safeguard for the Libyans,
but the ship arrived in the harbour and there was a bit of
a panic. The Libyans were fair enough. They said they would
load the ship where it was. However, for reasons which I
did not discover until years later, they did not supply all
they said they were going to supply."

The boat reached the Waterford coast but the republicans
were frustrated when they were forced to stay at sea for
another 24 hours due to adverse weather conditions. Equally
frustrated were the awaiting groups at Helvick Head,
watching out for The Claudia. The group on land had trouble
of their own, as they were unable to establish radio
contact with the vessel due to the same technological
difficulties the boat experienced in Libya.

A launch boat had to make numerous trips in and out to sea,
watching for sight of The Claudia so that they could safely
escort her into the harbour. To explain the trips in and
out, the "fishermen" said that they were having engine
trouble and were trying to fix the problem. Unfortunately,
one local was over helpful and wanted to help fix the
engine. The men asked the friendly local man to go and
source a new lead for them to keep him out of harm's way.

The land operation had its headquarters in a house
overlooking Helvick Harbour. An Abbeyside man was Officer
in Command and there was also an active service unit to
escort the arms to dumps. In all, there was a 50-person
plus team involved in the onshore operation.

On 28 March the watchers in the harbour spotted The Claudia
and the launch was dispatched to meet her. The objective
was to bring Clareman Denis McInerney to shore so that he
could lead up the land operation by ensuring that the arms
were brought to safety, and to bring walkie-talkies on
board to establish contact between all parties as radio
contact was impossible.

The arms were to be brought in with the help of a trawler
and some specially made rope nets, which local Volunteers,
who were staying in the house overlooking Helvick Harbour,
had put together. These nets were designed to carry the
weight of the arms shipment.

The people on board the launch informed the crew that all
was clear on shore and there was not even a sign of a
customs man around. While McInerney headed back to shore,
one of the members of the launch, Gerry Murphy, stayed on
board The Claudia.

Seán Garvey from Kerry, Joe Cahill and Gerry Murphy from
Waterford were talking about the success of the operation
when they noticed three ships from the Irish Naval Service
— two minesweepers, Gráinne and Fola, and the fishery
protection vessel, Deirdre. These boats had been following
the gun smuggling operation. Earlier fears on the part of
the republicans about a possible sighting of a submarine in
the Mediterranean had been correct, as a submarine was
spotted off the Island in Helvick.

With the help of newly-acquired radios The Claudia crew
warned the people on the launch of the impending danger. So
sudden and unexpected was the appearance of the Navy that
the republicans had no chance to carry out a pre-arranged
plan to scuttle the ship if there was a danger of the
weapons being captured. Enough explosives had been provided
to rip open The Claudia's hull, but they were not in a
state of preparedness when the 26-County Navy struck.

The launch quickly tried to get ashore to warn the people
waiting there. A package was thrown over the side as it
tried to reach land. They were able to contact those on
shore through the walkie-talkies that they had brought on
board. The Navy vessels opened fire on the launch and
numerous tracer bullets were rained down on them. The
launch halted only when a rubber dinghy from one of the
minesweepers pulled up alongside it and fired two shots at
close range.

The people waiting onshore had to abort the operation and
set about helping the active service unit to get away. They
were escorted through fields to a safe house, where they
laid low until things had quietened down a few days later.

The OC waited until a number of people gathered on the pier
and headed down, along with a local fisherman, pretending
to be an onlooker unaware of what all the fuss was about.
The other members of the operation then slipped in the back
way to Murray's pub where a party was taking taking place,
as the owners had returned from honeymoon.

The Gardaí and Navy were all around the area. An armoured
tank was placed opposite Murray's pub, with its gun
pointing out to sea.

Two trucks were on their way to Helvick to collect the arms
when they were stopped outside of Dungarvan by an armed
Garda/military checkpoint. The drivers said that they were
on their way to Waterford Co-op to collect powdered milk
and the Gardaí let them pass through.

At the same time in Stradbally, a local man out doing a
spot of salmon fishing was surrounded by armed Gardaí as he
came ashore. He thought they were the bailiffs, while they
thought he was involved in the Helvick operation. Once the
Gardaí realised the mistake, the sergeant, a man with a
thick Cork/Kerry accent, bought one of the fresh fish.

Back in Helvick on the night in question, one of the sharp-
eyed Irish sailors had spotted the object being thrown over
the side of the launch. A Navy diver was sent down in the
following days but came up with nothing.

Local salmon fishermen spotted the mystery object and
marked it with a buoy. A trawler then used a grappling hook
while passing it and brought it on board. The object, two
suitcases tied together with rope, contained a black box,
which had great deal of money, £40-£50,000, in it, as well
as a list of contact names and addresses throughout Europe.
Also inside the box were the false passports, which had
been used to go to Libya.

The money would have been a big loss to the IRA if it had
fallen into the wrong hands, as it proved very important in
organising future operations.

Also inside the cases were three copper plates, which had a
man on camelback on them, a statue of the Arc De Triomphe,
and a dagger, which Gaddafi had given to Joe Cahill.

These objects never found their way back to Joe Cahill's
possession and can be found in and around the Ring area.
Some items of clothing belonging to Joe Cahill were among
the contents of the cases. His suit and a pair of shoes
were cleaned and brought up to him for his appearance in
the Special Court some time later.

The black box containing the money, passports and contact
names, was carried up the pier by a crew member of the
salmon trawler, known as having no republican connections
and straight past the 24-hour guard that had been in place
since The Claudia had been caught. This money, the
passports and the list of contact details were handed back
to the IRA, three weeks after The Claudia incident, in
Fraher Field, Dungarvan.

The first journalist on the scene of The Claudia's capture
was John A Murphy, then working for the Cork Examiner,
accompanied by photographer Rory Wyley from Dungarvan.

The Claudia was arrested in Helvick and brought to Cobh,
where it was searched and unloaded. Much to everyone's
surprise, it was released. Joe Cahill, Seán Garvey and
Gerry Murphy were all arrested in Cobh. The crew members of
the launch, Ger Walsh and Donal Whelan, along with Denis
McInerney, were brought into Helvick Pier and arrested

On 21 May 1973, Joe Cahill was sentenced to three years
penal servitude. Denis McInerney from County Clare and Seán
Garvey from Kerry each received a two-year sentence. Donal
'Duck' Whelan and Gerry Murphy, both from County Waterford,
received suspended sentences of two years. Ger Walsh was
acquitted in the case.

Both Gerry Murphy and Donal Whelan were suspended from
their jobs. Gerry Murphy worked for the County Council
while 'Duck' Whelan was a headmaster in Kilmacthomas
Vocational School. He was suspended for seven years.
Although his job was continually advertised no one ever
applied to fill the position. When the seven years were up,
there was one application from 'Duck' himself and he was

During the trial, the court heard that the Claudia's cargo
hold and lifeboats contained 250 rifles, 246 bayonets, 850
rifle magazines, 243 pistols, more than 20,000 rounds of
ammunition, ten anti-tank mines, 500 high-explosive
grenades, gelignite, TNT explosives primers, Carter fuses,
electric fuses, and material for making booby traps.

In a speech from the dock of the court Joe Cahill said:
"All my life I have believed passionately in the freedom of
my country. I believe it is the God-given right of the
people of Ireland to determine their own destinies without
foreign interference and, in pursuit of these aims and
ideals, it is my proud privilege as a soldier of the Irish
Republican Army, just as I believe it is the duty of every
Irish person, to serve or assist the IRA in driving the
British occupation forces from our shores.

"If I am guilty of any crime, it is that I did not succeed
in getting the contents of The Claudia into the hands of
the freedom fighters in this country. And I believe that
national treachery was committed off Helvick when the Free
State forces conspired with our British enemies to deprive
our freedom fighters of the weapons of war."


Edward Heath - The Best Friend We Never Had


"Sir Edward will be remembered with particular affection in
Ireland." This was just one of the plaudits heaped on
former British Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath who
died this week aged 89. This particularly gushing eulogy
delivered by Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern is in stark
contrast to any analysis Irish republicans would have of
Heath's years as Tory leader and in government between 1970
and 1974.

Maybe we remember the little things like Internment,
Operation Motorman, Bloody Sunday, direct rule, British
dirty tricks and the exclusion of republicans from
political negotiations.

Sometimes it takes something as simple as the death of a
failed politician to highlight the gulf in society today
between establishment thinking and the ordinary households
who have to live with the consequences of the decisions of
former political leaders.

For both the British and Irish people Edward Heath was a
Prime Minister who blustered lots but delivered little. He
was in his personal and political life a mass of
contradictions that make him today an oddity among
political leaders of the last 30 years.

In a personal capacity Heath's achievements are impressive,
winning a scholarship to Balliol Oxford, travelling to
Europe in the 1930s, seeing first hand the downside of
fascism in Germany and Spain, fighting in World War II and
finishing the war as a lieutenant colonel and then being
elected to parliament in 1950.

He became an accomplished musician and sailor, captaining
the winning Admiral's Cup Team for Britain in 1971 when
also serving as a Prime Minister. It is rare to see any
contemporary political leader with such a public work/life
balance, though George Bush's endless holidays are an

Heath was the first Conservative leader chosen by secret
ballot and the first to come from more humble origins than
some of his aristocratic predecessors. Heath's election was
for practical reasons and in this he was very much a
product of a liberalising British political society.

The Conservatives saw in Heath an ability to take on
Labour's Harold Wilson whose modernising platform was
welcomed by an increasingly younger electorate. Wilson had
narrowly won the 1964 election, returned with a landslide
majority in 1966 giving Heath his first of three-out-of-
four Westminster elections losses.

In 1970, Heath won his only election after a late swing by
disillusioned voters pushed Labour out of office. A
radicalised electorate was disillusioned, not just with the
Wilson's government progress on social equality but with
their inability to deal with the growing economic malaise
undermining the British economy.

Twenty-plus years of post-war economic growth was winding
down, neither Wilson or, as it turned out, Heath had any
understanding of how to revitalise the British economy.
Wilson's half-hearted welfarism and industrial
interventionism was spending millions with little return.

Heath was elected on what was now a monetarist platform
promising no more handouts for lame duck industries and a
tougher line with trade unions. Within a year his
government had bailed out Rolls Royce and a shipbuilding
company on the Clyde.

His encounters with trade unions were massively
miscalculated resulting in a huge decline in industrial
output, power cuts and a three-day week. Heath called an
election in early 1974 on the platform of "who governs?"
The resulting hung parliament showed that he clearly
didn't. A second election in October 1974 was only
marginally more conclusive and Labour took power with a
four-seat majority. Within a year Heath was ousted by the
Tory elite who once thought he was to be their saviour.

It is here that perhaps the only common ground exists
between Heath and Irish republicans, his and our unending
dislike of his usurper Margaret Thatcher.

So what about Heath and Ireland? In his autobiography he
writes of visiting Ireland with his friend and future
Stormont Prime Minister Robin Chichester Clarke in 1960.
Heath wanted to travel to Dublin but a fearful Clarke would
only deign to smuggle him across the border to Donegal,
covered by a blanket in Clarke's car.

Heath writes of his concern about nationalist rights but
his record in office was one of acquiescing to unionist
demands for more troops, for internment without trial and
then in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday endorsing the
beginning of a 30-year cover up of the events on that day.

It is on Ireland and his years as Tory leader that we can
see the contradictions and failure of Heath clearly. He
sacked his close friend Enoch Powell after his 1968 'Rivers
of Blood' speech. The two never spoke again, yet he never
really took on his other friends like Chichester Clarke to
whom he allowed more troops come to Ireland knowing full
well that they would be used to subdue and persecute
northern nationalists.

Interestingly the chapter on Ireland in his autobiography
gives only a few lines to the talks between republicans and
his government. He doesn't seem to realise that like many
other British leaders and before and after him he was to
make the mistake of trying to cut a deal on Ireland that
would exclude republicans.

But Heath's tenure in government was a busy one. We are
told his experience of 1930s and wartime Europe filled him
with a hatred of dictatorships and fuelled his desire to
have Britain in the European Union. He had no problem
though with unionist hegemony; with their desire for a
militarised police state and then he began a policy of
British dictatorship in Ireland, garnished in the polite
description of "direct rule".

Heath also allowed the restarting of arms sales to the
South African Apartheid regime. Was this not another

After 1975 when Thatcher was elected leader, Heath returned
to the backbenches, where he stayed until 2001, capping off
51 years of continuous representation. In 1997 as 'father
of the house' in Westminster he was instrumental in the
election of the first woman speaker, Betty Boothroyd.

He remained an outspoken critic of Thatcher and his
"rejoice, rejoice" quips after her ousting in 1990 has been
given repeated airings in recent days. In 1992 he described
her as "rabid and bigoted" with a "minute mind".

He was one of the most regular attending MPs during his
time at Westminster, refusing to retire to the Lords, yet
did little as Tory leader to cherish democracy not just in
Ireland but Britain too.

Heath once described himself as the best friend Ulster ever
had. He wasn't a friend of Ulster or Ireland. He was and
remained delusional about, not just his role in Ireland
but, as a British leader. He might have been a nice man,
but he was a bad politician guilty of the very failings to
which he claimed to be opposed.

Heath will be remembered for Bloody Sunday role -

Sinn Féin General Secretary, Mitchel McLaughlin has said
that Ted Heath will always be remembered as the British
Prime Minister who oversaw the events that led to the
massacre of innocent civilians on the streets of Derry.

McLaughlin said: "It is ironic that Ted Heath should die on
the same weekend as the last of the Mothers of the Bloody
Sunday victims. Nancy McKinney, the mother of Willie
McKinney, passed away yesterday and I extend my condolences
and those of my party to the McKinney family.

"Whilst Mrs McKinney will be remembered by all with pride
for the dignity with which she and all the other mothers
and families displayed over the years since Bloody Sunday,
Ted Heath will be remembered by the people of Ireland for
the contempt with which he treated the families of the
Bloody Sunday massacre and the people of Derry.

"It was Ted Heath who set the parameters for the Widgery
Tribunal when he instructed the British Chief Justice when
he appointed him to carry out an Inquiry to remember that
they were fighting a 'propaganda war' as well as a military
one. There never was any intention on the part of the Heath
government to disclose the truth of what happened on Bloody

"Right up until the end Heath showed nothing but contempt
for the search for the truth. Even his appearances at the
Saville Inquiry were contemptuous. Unfortunately, Heath's
contempt denied all of the mothers of the victims the
dignity of knowing the truth had finally been told before
their deaths."


Remembering The Past - The Asgard

By Shane Mac Thomais

On 24 April 1914 the unionist paramilitary Ulster
Volunteers successfully imported into Ireland 10,000
Manlicher rifles, 9,100 Mauser rifles and 2,000,000 rounds
of ammunition all purchased in Hamburg, Germany. The
purpose of the importation was to oppose by violence any
introduction of Home Rule for Ireland.

In London Eoin MacNeill met with some Anglo-Irish
Protestants including Roger Casement, Alice Stopford Green,
and Maura Comerford, and provoked by the success of the
unionists they decided to respond in kind.

Three months later, on 3 July, the Asgard began a voyage
that would see her sail into the pages of Irish history. On
board Erskine Childers, Molly Childers, Mary Spring Rice
and Gordon Shephard sailed the rifle-laden yacht for 21
days which took them right through the entire British Naval
Fleet, then under review by the King of England at Spithead
and weathering at least one severe storm

In Dublin, about 20 members of the IRB under the command of
Cathal Brugha were sent to Howth early on the morning of
Sunday 26 July with instructions to hire boats and
generally look as much like tourists as possible. Their
business was to receive the yacht, moor her and, in the
event of any police interference, to deal with it. The
Irish Volunteers met on Sunday morning at Father Matthew
Park in Fairview, totalling 800 in all. They were told they
were about to go on a route march to North Dublin.

Just 48 hours before Austria served an ultimatum on Serbia,
the Asgard, with Molly at the helm, sailed into Howth. On
the pier the Irish Volunteers, who had been kept in
ignorance of their purpose there until the last moment
broke ranks in their excitement. As the Volunteers began to
unload the rifles a coastguard cutter was seen approaching
and rifles were instantly raised by the IRB, and the
cutter's crew, conceding that caution was the better part
of valour, restricted themselves to firing rockets to alert
a far too distant HMS Porpoise. Within half an hour the
unloading was complete and the newly-armed Volunteers
formed up to cheer the yacht out of the harbour. Two days
later the Asgard and its occupants were in North Wales
reading in an alarmed British Press about the landing of
guns in Dublin.

Sadly, the gun running was not without further incident. On
their way back to Dublin the Volunteers were accosted at
Clontarf by police and a battalion of the Kings Own
Scottish Borderers. Ordered to surrender their arms, the
leaders, Thomas MacDonagh and Darrell Figgis cleverly
argued while their men melted away one by one into the
fields with their weapons, saving all but 19 of the rifles.
The Scottish Battalion withdrew towards their barracks in
Dublin followed by a growing, jeering crowd. At Batchelor's
Walk on the Liffey Quays the soldiers came to attention and
fired randomly into the crowd of civilians, killing three
and wounding 38.

Of the 1,500 guns purchased by Darrell Figgis in Antwerp,
Childers brought 900 to Howth. The other 600 and a portion
of the ammunition were placed on Conor O'Briens yacht which
sailed into Kilcoole on the 1 August 1914. Two years later
in the streets of Dublin, the Howth rifles could be heard
announcing Ireland's cry for freedom.

On Sunday 26 July 1914, 91 years ago, the Asgard sailed
into Howth Harbour.


Island Set For Puffin Spectacular

Summer is still at its height but birdwatchers are already
being warned that it's their last chance this year to see
the puffins on Rathlin Island.

Stephanie Sim of the RSPB said the puffins always leave the
County Antrim island in the next few days.

"It's a little bit sad when they do go, because it means
that summer is winding down," she added.

She said the views of the puffins at an RSPB-run vantage
point on the island can be "spectacular".

"Last year it was quite incredible. We saw the puffins
'beaking' before they left.

"Quite simply, they hit each other's beaks repeatedly as a
fond farewell, and the couple part until next spring, when
they meet up again on the cliffs to rear their young.

"It can be quite thrilling, if not emotional, watching them

More than 250,000 birds can be seen at the cliffs from the
RSPB viewpoint at West Light on the island.

The bird charity has also organised activities and
children's games on Saturday and Sunday.

Located off the north coast of Antrim, Rathlin is only 14
miles from the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.

It can be reached by ferry from Ballycastle.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/21 14:52:48 GMT


Irish Heritage Singers To Give Free Concert

The Irish Heritage Singers will give a free concert on
Tuesday evening at Wilder Park in west suburban Elmhurst.

The concert is part of the Elmhurst Park District's "Music
Under the Stars" series. Members of Noel Rice's Academy of
Irish Music will join the Irish Heritage Singers onstage to
perform traditional music.

The Irish Heritage Singers, under the direction of Chuck
Kessell, are the resident choir of the Irish American
Heritage Center at 4626 N. Knox in Chicago. The group is
known for preserving and expanding Irish and Irish-American
vocal traditions and has performed for two Irish presidents
among its many concert appearances in the United States and

Show time is 7 p.m. Wilder Park is north of St. Charles
Road on South Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst. Call (630)


Jude Collins In San Diego

San Diego Irish Players Theatre Group
Proudly Presents

An Evening With Jude Collins

Irish Author, Broadcaster, Political Commentator,
University Lecturer and Writer of weekly column in "Daily
Ireland"; Author of The Garden of Eden All Over Again
(2002), Only Human and Other Stories (1998), Booing the
Bishop (1995), and regular broadcaster on Radio 5 Live and
Radio Ulster.

Event Program

Select readings from his books
Analysis and update on Ireland's Peace Process
Special book signing of Jude's highly acclaimed latest
Novel…"Leave of Absence" (2005)

Books and CDs Available

The Blarney Stone Pub and Restaurant
502 Fifth Ave, San Diego CA 92101
Wednesday July 27th, 7.00-9.00pm
Donation at Door

Jude will be appearing in other west coast cities in July

For Further Information: Contact Roy McCann (951) 377-6319

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