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July 19, 2005

Collins Nominated To Lead Equality Commission

News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 07/20/05 RTÉ Head Nominated To Lead Equality Commission
BB 07/19/05 Unionist Anger Over Equality Role
UT 07/19/05 Collins Responds To Unionist Concerns
SF 07/19/05 Adams - Equality Commission Must Deliver
IT 07/20/05 Sean Kelly 'Cannot Explain' Rearrest
IT 07/20/05 Bomber Loyalists Will Find Difficult To Forgive
SF 07/19/05 Anger At Attacks On Homes In Newtownabbey
UT 07/19/05 Govt Makes End Of Racism A Priority
BT 07/19/05 Council Backs Call For Fullerton Murder Inquiry
BB 07/19/05 Party Is Urged To Sever UVF Link
BT 07/19/05 De Brun Presses Case For Peace III Funding
PJ 07/19/05 Cell Phones Rescue Irish Peace Process
IT 07/20/05 Concern Over Grafton Street Retailers
IT 07/20/05 Eyre Square Green Park Option To Be Debated
IT 07/20/05 Connemara Pony Prices Soar


Former RTÉ Head Nominated To Lead North Equality Commission

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Former RTÉ director general Bob Collins is to head the
North's Equality Commission. Unionists have reacted with
hostility to the announcement, prompting a "wait-and-see"
response from Mr Collins.

He is due to take over from Dame Joan Harbinson as head of
the commission at the end of this month.

The DUP denounced the appointment, saying Mr Collins was
not likely to command the confidence of the majority
community in Northern Ireland.

Peter Robinson, the party's deputy leader, said it was "a
scandal" that no member of the commission was directly
linked with the largest political party in Northern

This follows the party's strong opposition last month to
the announcement that former Women's Coalition Assembly
member Monica McWilliams is the new chief commissioner at
the Human Rights Commission.

For the Ulster Unionists, Dermot Nesbitt said he had no
personal animosity, but asked: "How is Mr Collins
representative of the Northern Ireland community, coming
from 30 years of working in Dublin and also continuing to
hold three other public appointments in the Irish

This prompted Mr Collins, a Kerryman, to state: "My message
to unionist and nationalist politicians is: wait and see."

He told the Press Association: "Do not make any assumptions
about me on the basis of where I come from.

"I see the role of the commission as addressing the needs
of the entire community in Northern Ireland, the real
concerns of citizens and communities, and not to address
issues on a sectional basis."

He added: "I am open to having conversations with everybody
and will be completely open and objective."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern defended the
choice and commended Mr Collins's record at RTÉ as director
general between 1997 and 2003.

"The Equality Commission is a key institution of the Good
Friday agreement," he said. "The appointment of Bob Collins
as chief commissioner will ensure that its work to protect
and promote equality is consolidated and advanced."

Also nominated yesterday to the commission by Northern
Secretary Peter Hain were four others: Prof Eithne
McLaughlin of Queen's University; Confederation of British
Industry council member Bryan Johnston; James Knox, a
policy and research officer with the Rainbow Project which
works with lesbians, gays and bisexuals; and retired
hotelier and nurse Elaine Waterson.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams he would judge the new-look
commission on its record of achievement set against the
aims of the Belfast Agreement.

© The Irish Times


Unionist Anger Over Equality Role

Unionists have reacted angrily to the appointment of a new
head of Northern Ireland's Equality Commission.

Bob Collins, a former director general of the Republic of
Ireland's national broadcaster, RTE, will take over at the
helm of the commission on 31 July.

Mr Collins stood down as the director general of RTE in
October 2003. He succeeds Dame Joan Harbison.

Both the UUP and DUP said the appointment would not serve
the interests of the unionist community.

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said the appointment
"again highlights the disregard the government has for the
views of the unionist community in Northern Ireland".

"It is a scandal that there is still not a single person
who is in any way identified with the largest political
party in Northern Ireland on the Equality Commission," he

"At a time when the government should be encouraging
greater engagement from unionists, with bodies such as the
Human Rights and Equality Commissions, they are appointing
people that are not likely to command the confidence of the
majority community in Northern Ireland."

Ulster Unionist Dermot Nesbitt said the government "as
usual, has acted in disregard of its legal obligations
regarding equality".

"The new chief commissioner I do not know and I bear him no
personal ill will, but I am bound to say that this
appointment, together with recent appointments to the Human
Rights Commission, does not at first impression engender
confidence from the unionist community.

"I simply ask how is Mr Collins representative of the
Northern Ireland community, coming from 30 years of working
in Dublin and also continuing to hold three other public
appointments in the Irish Republic?"

However speaking from Turkey, Mr Collins said: "My message
to unionist and nationalist politicians is wait and see.

"Do not make any assumptions about me on the basis of where
I come from.

"I see the role of the commission as addressing the needs
of the entire community in Northern Ireland, the real
concerns of citizens and communities and not to address
issues on a sectional basis.

"I am open to having conversations with everybody and will
be completely open and objective."

'Solid foundations'

Mr Collins was born in Killarney, County Kerry, and grew up
in Adare, County Limerick.

He was educated at CBS, Adare and at UCD where he obtained
a BA degree in philosophy and a masters degree in business

He held a number of posts in the broadcasting company which
he joined in 1975, including director of television and
director of corporate affairs.

Mr Collins was appointed RTE's director general in 1997.

His appointment was welcomed by the chief executive of the
commission, Evelyn Collins.

"We will look forward to building on the solid foundations
laid under the leadership of Dame Joan Harbison," she said.

The commission is an independent public body established
under the Good Friday Agreement to work towards eliminating
discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/19 16:04:06 GMT


Collins Responds To Unionist Concerns

The incoming head of Northern Ireland's Equality Commission
tonight insisted he was coming to the role with an open
mind despite unionist concerns about him.

By:Press Association

Following criticism of the British government`s appointment
of the former director general of the Irish Republic`s
state broadcaster RTE, Co Kerry-born Bob Collins urged
unionist and nationalist politicians to make no assumptions
about him as he prepared to take over the job.

Democratic Unionist MPs Peter Robinson and Gregory Campbell
and Ulster Unionist equality spokesman Dermot Nesbitt
queried his suitability for the post.

But in his first interview since his appointment, Mr
Collins, who was in Turkey for his son`s wedding, told the
Press Association: "My message to unionist and nationalist
politicians is wait and see.

"Do no make any assumptions about me on the basis of where
I come from.

"I see the role of the commission as addressing the needs
of the entire community in Northern Ireland, the real
concerns of citizens and communities and not to address
issues on a sectional basis.

"I am open to having conversations with everybody and will
be completely open and objective."

The new Equality Commission chief was born in Killarney in

the Irish Republic and grew up in Adare, Co Limerick.

He served as the director general of RTE between 1997 and
2003 when he stepped down to pursue other interests.

Mr Collins had been with the company since 1975 where he
served in a number of roles including director of
television and director of corporate affairs.

The new chief commissioner succeeds Dame Joan Harbison who
steps down in July.

Nationalist and unionist politicians in the province have
been critical of the commission, claiming it has failed to
address their constituents` concerns.

Mr Collins` appointment by Northern Ireland Secretary Peter
Hain angered Democratic Unionist deputy leader Peter
Robinson who said after the recent appointment of former
Women`s Coalition MLA Monica McWilliams as the head of the
Human Rights Commission, it was a further sleight against
the unionist community.

"At a time when the Government should be encouraging
greater engagement from unionists with bodies such as the
Human Rights and Equality Commissions they are appointing
people that are not likely to command the confidence of the
majority community in Northern Ireland," the East Belfast
MP complained.

"This perverse strategy is not only likely yo antagonise
unionists but will merely increase their sense of
alienation with such bodies.

"We now have a situation in the province where the chief
commissioners for neither the Human Rights nor Equality
Commission have a background in the unionist community.

"With the latest appointments, the Equality Commission will
have an uphill task to persuade unionists that it is
serious about tackling their concerns."

Ulster Unionist MLA Dermot Nesbitt said: "The new Chief
Commissioner I do not know and I bear him no personal ill
will, but I am bound to say that this appointment, together
with recent appointments to the Human Rights Commission,
does not at first impression engender confidence from the
unionist community.

"I simply ask how is Mr Collins representative of the
Northern Ireland community, coming from 30 years of working
in Dublin and also continuing to hold three other public
appointments in the Irish Republic?"

Mr Collins insisted his background in RTE had given him the
qualities needed to head the Equality Commission.

"I come to this post with experience of showing detachment
and objectivity," he said.

"Much of my career was spent in public service broadcasting
and I had to bring editorial objectivity to every issue I
dealt with on a daily basis.

"I bring no baggage. I bring no preconceptions.

"What I do bring to this role is complete openness to the
issues facing the Equality Commission and a commitment to
work with other commissioners on concerns expressed by
whomsoever in Northern Ireland.

"I will meet with everybody including the political parties
and other organisations."

Mr Collins paid tribute to his predecessor, saying he had
considerable respect for her work as head of the

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain also appointed four
new commissioners today.

They include Professor Eithne McLaughlin of Queen`s
University and CBI council member Bryan Johnston.

He also appointed James Knox, a policy and research officer
with the Rainbow Project which works with lesbians, gays
and bisexuals, and retired hotelier and state registered
nurse Elaine Waterson, who has previously served on the
boards of the Housing Executive and the Northern Ireland
Tourist Board.

Mr Collins and the new commissioners were warned by Sinn
Fein president Gerry Adams they would be judged on how they
fulfilled the objectives for equality in the 1998 Good
Friday Agreement.

Nationalist SDLP equality spokesperson Patricia Lewsley
said the commission had a lot of challenges ahead of it,
including tackling higher rates of unemployment in the
Catholic community, lower pay among women and hate crimes
against ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians.

Democratic Unionist MP Gregory Campbell said the commission
would also need to address disadvantages faced by members
of the unionist community seeking work.

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said Mr Collins had
done an outstanding job as the director general of RTE,
steering it through a period of change.

He continued: "The Equality Commission is a key institution
of the Good Friday Agreement.

"The appointment of Bob Collins as Chief Commissioner will

ensure that its work to protect and promote equality is
consolidated and advanced.

"The outgoing Chief Commissioner and commissioners are to
be commended for their valuable contribution since the
establishment of the commission. I wish those appointed
today every success in their future work."uality


Adams - Equality Commission Must Deliver

Published: 19 July, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has said that "the
litmus test for the North's Equality Commission remains,
"whether the Commission now demonstrates the will and the
courage to fulfil the objectives set out for it in the Good
Friday Agreement."

Mr. Adams said:

"The Equality Commission has not delivered on the promise
heralded by the Good Friday Agreement.

"The Equality Commission was given very specific powers and
the status needed to hold policy makers and public bodies
to account by ensuring that proper equality scrutiny was
complied with to prevent and address direct or indirect

"However the Commission has rarely taken issue with the
unacceptable status quo and litigation is usually viewed as
the non-option.

"Sinn Féin's support for the Equality Commission is
grounded in the need to bring about a more equal society.

"However the Commission has not fully embraced the task of
championing the equality agenda in the robust way
necessary, particularly with regard to implementing
meaningful change in key equality areas where policy makers
still pay lip service to equality legislation.

"The key challenge facing the new Commission therefore is
the task of tackling discrimination and inequality. In part
that means taking on the policy makers and those in key
decision making positions. Sinn Féin will judge the
effectiveness of this Commission on whether it delivers on
the mandate provided to it under the Good Friday
Agreement." ENDS


Kelly 'Cannot Explain' Rearrest

Susan McKay

Shankill bomber Seán Kelly claims he is unable to apply
to be released from prison because he does not know why he
was sent back there last month. Kelly, given nine life
sentences for the 1993 IRA bombing, was freed on licence in
2000 under the Belfast Agreement.

Northern Secretary Peter Hain ordered his rearrest on June
18th, the day after violence in Ardoyne at a controversial
Orange march, and he was returned to Maghaberry prison.

Under the terms of the agreement, prisoners who were
granted early release but were subsequently rearrested must
apply to the Sentence Review Commissioners to challenge
their detention.

The Northern Ireland Office has claimed that Kelly has
broken the terms of his licence, and denies that the
rearrest was in any way politically motivated.

This means he stands accused of supporting a specified
organisation, becoming re-engaged with terrorism or
becoming a danger to the public.

Kevin Winters, Kelly's solicitor, said yesterday he
required clarification of the specific grounds on which his
client was rearrested.

He said he had written to the NIO, the Northern Secretary,
the PSNI and the Sentence Review Commissioners, and that
they had all replied. "But we still haven't got the
substantive reasons." Despite this he is preparing an
application, and said he hoped it would be heard within a
few months.

The case has become politically explosive. Sinn Féin has
described Kelly's detention as "internment". Party chairman
Mitchel McLaughlin said Kelly was "a champion of the peace

The DUP said he should never have been released. North
Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said Kelly must remain in prison.

In Dublin, the Government, waiting for a long-anticipated
IRA statement, has "conveyed Sinn Féin's concerns" to the
British government and is clearly worried about the
implications for the peace process.

Ardoyne priest Fr Aidan Troy, who believes Kelly is
innocent, said last night he was shocked by the unionist
reaction to his comments. "It has been pretty awful the
abuse I've been subjected to. My concern is for justice,"
he said. Security sources claim there is evidence Kelly has
become involved in IRA activities in north Belfast since
his release.

© The Irish Times


A Bomber Loyalists Will Find Difficult To Forgive And

If Seán Kelly is back in the IRA, Alan McBride will be
deeply disappointed. Susan McKay reports on the controversy
over the reimprisonment of a Shankill bomber.

Kelly murdered McBride's young wife, Sharon, and her
father, Desmond Frizzell, when he bombed Frizzell's fish
shop on the Shankill Road in October 1993. Ten people died
in the no-warning blast.

McBride campaigned for a Yes vote in the 1998 referendum on
the Belfast Agreement. "I didn't like the fact that the
prisoners were going to be released," he said, yesterday.
"But I knew I had to live with it for the sake of peace.

"I pushed hard for the agreement and invested a lot of
emotion in it.

"Kelly got his second chance. A lot of prisoners,
republican and loyalist, have done great things in the
community since they got out, but if he's gone back to
terrorism, he deserves to be back in prison," he said. "The
government needs to come clean, though. They need to say
what they have on him. If the situation isn't transparent,
Kelly can be presented by Sinn Féin as a kind of folk

Kelly, who was given nine life sentences in 1995, was
released just five years later, in July 2000. The judge at
his trial described the Shankill bomb as "one of the most
outrageous atrocities endured by the people of this
province in the last quarter of a century".

Kelly and his accomplice, Thomas "Bootsie" Begley, had
carried the powerful bomb into the shop on a Saturday
afternoon, when the Shankill Road was, inevitably, packed
with shoppers. It exploded almost immediately, killing
Begley along with nine local people, and injuring nearly 60

Unionists were outraged when Sinn Féin president Gerry
Adams carried Begley's coffin. Republicans would have been
outraged had he declined to do so.

Kelly, who was rearrested in Belfast on June 18th on the
orders of the Northern Secretary Peter Hain, is a figure
about whom feelings are just as polarised.

"It is a blatant injustice. Seán Kelly was a champion of
the peace process," said Sinn Féin chairman Mitchel
McLaughlin, who led a picket demanding his release in Derry
last Saturday. The DUP MP whose constituency includes the
Shankill, Nigel Dodds, said Kelly should "never have been
let out in the first place".

The IRA claimed the Shankill bomb was intended to kill
loyalist paramilitary leaders who had been using rooms
above the shop for meetings. In republican circles, the
bombers were regarded as having shown great courage in
attempting to do this.

Shankill man Raymond Elliott was one of those who, in the
immediate aftermath of the bomb, dug with their bare hands
in the rubble to find the dead and the injured.

"It haunts me yet," he said. ... "I am still seeing a
psychiatrist every six weeks. Kelly should never have got
out. I wouldn't be responsible for my actions if I met him.
I wish he could see what he did. These do-gooders who talk
about forgive and forget. I'll never forget what I saw that

Relatives of the victims claimed Kelly sneered at them as
he was led from court to begin his sentence.

Weeks later he wrote to a nationalist newspaper reiterating
the IRA's claim that the bomb was intended to kill UDA men.

"I deeply regret the loss of innocent life," he said.

Michelle Williamson, whose parents, George and Gillian,
were among those murdered, was devastated when she learned
Kelly was to get Christmas parole in 1998. She handcuffed
herself to the prisoners' exit at the Maze prison in an
attempt to confront him.

In a letter to Kelly, Williamson said he had shown no
mercy, and she believed he was without remorse. She said
she would never forgive him.

"You are like a disease in my bones and the only cure is
justice," she wrote. "To say I hate you does not begin to
describe how I feel about you."

She campaigned to have Kelly kept in prison, but stopped
because of the destructive effect it was having on her own
health and well-being.

Since his release in 2000, Kelly has been a ubiquitous
figure at Sinn Féin events as well as at riots involving
republican youth. Unlike other notorious IRA ex-prisoners,
including the Brighton bomber, Patrick Magee, he has not
given interviews about his past. Nor has he publicly
discussed his views on the peace process. When approached
by journalists, he has walked away. "Different strokes,"
said McLaughlin.

"Seán demonstrated his commitment to peace on the streets
as part of a team of stewards at contentious parades. He
has been lifted because he is a hate figure to unionists
and this has been done to appease them."

Unionists regard Kelly's presence during riots in north
Belfast as evidence that he was a trouble-maker. Sinn
Féin's Free Seán Kelly leaflet has a quotation from a PSNI
chief inspector on its cover, regarding Kelly's role in a
riot in June.

"There is nothing to suggest he was breaking the law. No
further investigations are being pursued," he is quoted as
saying, five days before Kelly was rearrested.

The PSNI has since stated that these comments related
solely to Kelly's role in street disturbances. The leaflet
is illustrated by a photo of Kelly as a family man, holding
a baby and with his small children beside him.

Alan McBride reckons Sinn Féin should use "a bit of savvy"
in relation to Kelly. "Given his profile, maybe appearing
at interface riots isn't the best use of him," he said.

McBride said it would give him "no satisfaction" if Kelly
was found to have re-engaged with the IRA. "It would prove
to me that the peace isn't working," he said.

© The Irish Times


Anger At Attacks On Nationalist Homes In Newtownabbey

Published: 19 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Newtownabbey councillor Breige Meehan has
expressed outrage at the attacks on nationalist homes and
vehicles in Newtownabbey last night. Three homes were
attacked and a works van belonging to a recently deceased
man was destroyed.

Cllr Meehan said:

"These attacks are despicable. Across the greater North
Belfast area and Newtownabbey there has been an increasing
number of attacks on nationalist homes and property carried
out by unionist paramilitaries.

"For many nationalists this has been going on for years.
For many families this is the final straw.

"Thankfully no-one was seriously injured. The trauma and
stress of people having to live with this sectarian
campaign of attack and intimidation is unacceptable. The
more so as it comes in the middle of the Orange Order
marching season when the Orange Order are reinforcing
sectarian attitudes particularly in their refusal to treat
nationalists with common courtesy.

"Unionist political leaders, church, community and civic
leaders as well as the Orange Order have a responsibility
to bring these sectarian attacks to an end. The failure to
take on sectarianism within their community is an
abdication of that responsibility." ENDS


Govt Makes End Of Racism A Priority

The Government today made the elimination of racism one of
its top priorities in a new strategy for achieving equality
among all ethnic groups in Northern Ireland.

By:Press Association

The strategy developed by Northern Ireland Office Equality
Minister Jeff Rooker`s officials will be carried forward in
conjunction with the Racial Equality Forum.

It also vows to offer equality of protection, equality of
service provision, participation, dialogue and capacity
building to ethnic minorities.

But while the minister insisted its launch could not be
more timely, coming so soon after the London terror
attacks, Sinn Fein expressed concerns that dialogue with
interest groups up until now had not been strong enough.

As the strategy was laid before MPs, Mr Rooker said the
London attacks were an attack on everyone.

He argued: "The bombs did not discriminate and people of
all faiths and all racial groups have been victims.

"At this time, we should remember that communities in the
United Kingdom have more that unites them than divides them
and the Government is determined that the atrocities will
not be allowed to create tension between our communities.

"Our vision for Northern Ireland is of a society in which
racial diversity is supported, understood, valued and
respected: a society where racism in any of its forms is
not tolerated and where we live together as a society and
enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection."

Mr Rooker said the publication of the racial equality
strategy would enable Government and all sections of civil
society to tackle inequalities in Northern Ireland and to
open up opportunity for all.

It would also be used to eradicate racism and hate crime
and to initiate actions to promote good race relations.

The minister pledged Government, working with the Racial
Equality Forum, would lead by example.

"It will set the pace to promote racial equality through a
strong public policy agenda," he said.

"Ultimately, however, sustained and deeper progress depends
on political stability. It will require leadership at
political, civic and community levels."

However Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey said there
needed to be better engagement with those involved in
racial equality.

The South Belfast MLA argued: "A well-intentioned policy
will have no credibility as a strategy for change unless
this shortcoming is addressed.

"Racism and intolerance are two of the biggest challenges
facing our society.

"Fundamental to the success of any strategy must be an
honest look at how we develop policy and crucially how we
implement and monitor the impact of policy."


Council To Back Call For Fullerton Murder Inquiry

SF support for family campaign

By Sarah Brett
19 July 2005

Derry City Council are set to back a motion from Sinn Fein
for a full independent public inquiry into the UDA murder
of Donegal councillor Eddie Fullerton.

Pat Ramsey MLA, leader of the SDLP bloc, today indicated
ahead of Thursday's meeting that his party would support
the motion, thereby pushing it through on the nationalist
majority council.

However, there was some confusion over whether notices of
motion could be ratified at the final meeting before the
council's summer break.

Given the go-ahead, Sinn Fein Councillor Maeve McLaughlin
will make a motion for the council to support "the ongoing
call from the family of the late Sinn Fein councillor Eddie
Fullerton, member of Buncrana Urban District Council and
Donegal County Council, for a full independent public
inquiry chaired by a person of international repute into
the circumstances surrounding his murder.

"Furthermore, that this council calls on the Irish
Government to insist on full co-operation from the British
authorities to assist the Fullerton family in their quest
for truth and justice."

Mr Ramsey said today that his party were on record as
saying that there was "something seriously wrong"
surrounding the circumstances and subsequent investigation
into Mr Fullerton's death in 1991.

"It is only proper and fitting that somebody be brought to
book," he added.

Last month the Republic's Justice Minister Michael McDowell
said he remained "open to the idea" of an inquiry into
murder of Mr Fullerton.

Mr Fullerton's family - backed by Sinn Fein - has been
campaigning for a public inquiry into the case, amid claims
he was shot dead in 1991 because he was about to expose
allegations of corruption and collusion between the RUC,
the Garda and the British military.

Pressure for the case has mounted after a recent inquiry
upheld corruption allegations against gardai in another


Party Is Urged To Sever UVF Link

The Progressive Unionist Party has been urged to "firmly
disown" loyalist paramilitaries, the Ulster Volunteer

Alban Maginness, SDLP, made the call as the funeral took
place of Craig McCausland, 20, the second person to die in
the UVF/LVF feud.

His family blames the UVF. He died after being shot in Dhu
Varren Park, north Belfast, early on 11 July.

His family deny he had any involvement with the Loyalist
Volunteer Force.

The LVF said he was not known to them.

Mr Maginness said PUP leader David Ervine could not
continue to "dodge the issue or explain violence away".

"The simple fact is that the UVF is engaged in murder and
the planning of murder.

"Yesterday, they may have been consulting on their future,
but last night they were smashing their way into a house to

He called on the two governments to put pressure on
loyalist paramilitaries to stop.

In response, Mr Ervine said that he did not need "lectures"
from Alban Maginness.

At Mr McCausland's funeral, mourners heard Presbyterian
minister Ken Doherty say that the 20-year-old had
"everything to live for".

He said that his murder was "an evil deed" which left a
family devastated.

Mr McCausland, a Protestant, is the second member of his
family to have been murdered by loyalists.

The body of his 23-year-old mother, Lorraine, was found in
a stream on 8 March 1987 near a loyalist club in Tynedale
where she had been drinking.

She had been beaten with a concrete block, and it was
reported at the time that it was believed she had been
killed by the UDA.

Last week, three men burst into the home Mr McCausland
shared with his partner and her children and fatally
wounded him.

Earlier that night, another man, David Hanley, was shot
several times as he walked two dogs on the Crumlin Road
near Glenbank.

A short time after the killing of Mr McCausland, in nearby
Woodvale Pass, a man escaped another apparent murder bid by
jumping out the window of a house as a number of masked men
were attempting to smash their way in.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/19 16:35:49 GMT


De Brun Presses Case For Peace III Funding

By Sarah Brett
19 July 2005

Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun has visited the North West as
part of a campaign to continue the Peace funding programme.

Yesterday Ms de Brun spoke at a Peace III seminar hosted by
the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative and attended a lunch
hosted by the BBI in the Gasyard, in addition to a civic
reception hosted by the Mayor, Lynn Fleming.

Speaking from Derry yesterday Ms de Brun said:

"This is part of a series of meetings with people and
groups 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. Sinn Fein have identified the
need for a Peace III programme and this programme of
outreach is part of a number of on-going initiatives and a
wider campaign to secure a Peace III programme and a bottom
up approach to its design and delivery.

"We have had a number of constructive engagements around
Peace funding and it is clear that there is an identified
need for continued support to cover 2007 to 2013.

"While we still have concerns about how strongly the
British Government will pursue the case for a Peace III, we
were encouraged that Ministers at least understand the need
for continued peace funding and that laying the grounds for
a successful programme means you don't leave planning to
the last minute."


Cell Phones Rescue Irish Peace Process

By Stacy Kosko

Mobile phones are normally used for socializing and casual
communication. In the summer of 1996, they helped to
preserve the shaky peace process in Northern Ireland -
showing how simple communications technology can build
bridges between hostile communities and firm up peace
agreements when they are most vulnerable.

In August 1994, an IRA ceasefire formally ended the 35-year
conflict between Protestants and Catholics. But the peace
process suffered a new crisis in July 1996 after the police
prevented a Protestant parade from marching through a
Catholic part of town.

The result was widespread rioting and another breakdown of
communications between the Catholic and Protestant
communities, and between the government and people.

Using funding from the government, the Belfast-based
Community Development Center, provided activists on both
sides with a brand new technology: cell phones. Between
mid June and the end of August, participants built a 'phone
tree' of networked volunteers. They kept their phones on
'round the clock, monitoring the situation and keeping the
police, government agencies and other volunteers abreast of
escalating tensions. This allowed them to discredit rumors
before they could erupt in violence.

The volunteers also used cell phones to contact political
leaders and asked them to contact their counterparts on the
other side, in an effort to synchronize their conflict
prevention efforts.

The volunteers were also able to contact the police, and
ask them to delay sending in the riot police, which always
created new tension. This allowed time for social workers
and community development officials to intervene.

Phones also allowed the mediators to call government
agencies, such as the local Housing Executive who would
immediately fix broken windows, helping to calm frayed

The experiment proved so popular that over 700 phones were
being used by 2000, and the project extended beyond Belfast
to Londonderry/Derry and Portadown. An evaluation of the
project by the Community Relations Council concluded that
these mobile, low-cost communication tools had helped to
encourage the involvement of community networks in the
peace process. Many observers and experts have concluded
that this pressure from communities played a decisive role
in finally ending violence in Northern Ireland.

Cell-phones are much more widely used today than they were
in 1996. They are particularly popular in countries where
the central government is weak and communications are
difficult. This suggests that they could be widely used in
conflict prevention and mitigation.

At the same time, the Belfast experiment was not without
its problems. Some of the volunteers came under a lot of
strain from the pressure, and some were even assaulted by
members of their own community for communicating with 'the
enemy.' Police also began to demand too much of these
volunteers, and sometimes did not intervene when they were

One of the biggest problems was funding. When funding for
the Community Development center expired, the CDC's phone
network also collapsed. In a sense, the phone experiment
was also a victim of its own success. As the violence
receded, locals saw less need for the networks and it
became even harder to secure funding.

As always with conflict prevention, it was hard to
demonstrate the impact. Nonetheless, Neil Jarman, director
of the Institute for Conflict Research in Belfast, writes
that the money would have been well spent if it prevented
even one outrage.

** This article was adapted from a story called 'Managing
Conflict by Phone: The Mobile Phones Network in Northern
Ireland,' by Neil Jarman. It is one of more than 60
appearing in People Building Peace II: successful stories
of civil society, available through Lynne Rienner
Publishers Inc at


City Manager Concerned Over Quality Of Grafton Street

Arthur Beesley, Senior Business Correspondent

Dublin city manager John Fitzgerald has expressed concern
about the quality of retailer moving to the south city as
some international fashion chains avoid Grafton Street in
favour of Henry Street and shopping centres in the suburbs.

With bookmakers, mobile phone and gift shops and a
convenience store under the Spar brand now on Grafton
Street, some of the more established retailers on the
street complain privately that the quality of the offering
in the city's premier shopping zone has gone downmarket in
recent times.

Grafton Street, which has the fifth most expensive rents in
the world, has also missed out on the arrival into the
Irish market of leading international fashion chains such
as H&M and Zara.

As some of the biggest developments go to new ventures such
as the Dundrum Town Centre in south Dublin, Mr Fitzgerald
said the council was trying to encourage property owners to
see the potential in the city centre for developments of
that kind.

"We are concerned about the quality of retail development
on the southside at the moment," he said.

Asked whether he had been contacted about the trend by
other retailers on Grafton Street, Mr Fitzgerald said there
was "a lot of concern".

He held out the possibility of the city council creating a
special planning zone on the street but said it was
reluctant to interfere in the market.

Instead, the council is encouraging property owners to
consolidate their holdings on Grafton Street and its
hinterland to provide international fashion chains with the
the space they require.

Mr Fitzgerald said the capacity for new retail space in the
city centre was the equivalent of 2½ times the Dundrum
centre, a high-end development which has attracted some
international chains that have so far failed to locate
stores on Grafton Street.

He said the council was very aware that there was pent-up
demand among international retailers to obtain space on
Grafton Street and Henry Street.

"To meet this demand, developers, particularly in the
southside, need to consolidate larger sites. In the north
city, there is a need to develop a broader range of new
cafes and restaurants and new pedestrian linkages," he

With Dublin now the third most popular European weekend
break destination - behind London and Paris - the concern
about the quality of the offering on Grafton Street comes
amid a spending boom and a 37 per cent increase since 1991
in the number of people living in the city centre.

A "retail cores" framework plan introduced yesterday by Mr
Fitzgerald is designed to link the Grafton Street and Henry
Street zones "to ensure they retain their status as the
primary retail location in the State".

Other framework plans are designed to facilitate the
redevelopment of the areas around Heuston Station, the
Smithfield markets area and the Poolbeg area near Ringsend.

As part of the retail plan, city council officials want
developers to provide space in the areas straddling Grafton
Street between Dawson Street and South Great George's

"At the moment Grafton Street is very linear. It's a
straight line and nobody is turning right or left," said
Alan Taylor, economic development officer with the city

© The Irish Times


Eyre Square Green Park Option To Be Debated

Lorna Siggins and Ciarán Tierney

An appeal to Galway City Council to abandon the
controversial refurbishment of Eyre Square in favour of an
enclosed green park is expected to be debated by the local
authority tonight.

City manager Joe McGrath will also respond to a series of
questions lodged by councillors over the €9 million
project, which was suspended when Samuel Kingston
Construction Ltd, the main contractor on the refurbishment,
walked off the site late last month.

It subsequently emerged that the owner of the construction
firm had been issued with a default notice by Pembrokeshire
Housing Association in Wales over unfinished work on a

Business and tourism representatives have welcomed
confirmation this week that emergency works have been
completed in the city-centre square, including securing the
site, cleaning it up and erecting a "more presentable"

Mr McGrath said work was "advancing" towards the next
phase, which involved appointing a new company to finish
the project.

The city is currently hosting the second week of its annual
arts festival and bracing itself for an influx of visitors
for Galway race week which starts next Monday.

However, former mayor Cllr Catherine Connolly (Lab) has
appealed to the city council to allow the square to become
an enclosed green park. This would be the least disruptive
and least costly solution to the problem, she said this

About 5,000 people have signed a petition supporting this
solution, which was conducted on a non-political party
basis, she said.

© The Irish Times


Connemara Pony Prices Soar

Lorna Siggins

Breeders of Ireland's only native pony cannot keep up
with demand for the horse among parents of young children,
according to the Connemara Pony Breeders' Society.

The society, due to hold its annual show on August 18th,
says sales of the pony have never been healthier.

"Six years ago, colt and filly foals were selling from £100
to £200 in the October sales," says Padraic Heanue, manager
of Clifden Pony Sales. "Last October, we got €5,300 for one
foal and, on average, foals are fetching from €1,600 to

Worldwide co-operation between Connemara pony societies
will be the conference theme at Clifden on August 16th, two
days before the show.

© The Irish Times

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