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July 16, 2005

Loyalist Bomb Injures Woman

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 07/16/05 Loyalist Bomber Injures N Belfast Woman
IO 07/16/05 Parades Forum Rules Out Talks With Nationalists
BB 07/16/05 'Scary Twelfth' Throws Up Challenges
BT 07/16/05 Another Bonfire . . . Another Rape
BT 07/16/05 OAP Attacked By Nationalist Youths
BT 07/16/05 This Loyalist Feud Goes On, But Why?
SF 07/16/05 SF Will Vigorously Oppose Compulsory ID Cards
SF 07/16/05 Castlebar Town Council Backs Fullerton Motion
IO 07/16/05 De Chastelain's Sparks Talk Of IRA Statement
BT 07/16/05 Viewpoint: Waiting For The IRA's Answers
NL 07/16/05 Film Traces Mystery Of King William Banner
BT 07/16/05 Bigger, Better- Why Cant We Just Enjoy The 12th
UT 07/16/05 US Military Keeping Shannon Airport Profitable
LS 07/16/05 Blarney In Billerica: It's Irish Fest Weekend


North Belfast Bombing

Sectarian bombers are suspected of injuring a woman in an
attack on a north Belfast home today.

A blast device was thrown at the house on Mountainview
Gardens, off the Upper Crumlin Road, at about 12.15am.

The bomb damaged an upstairs bedroom window and a car
parked outside.

Police said the woman, who was alone in the property,
needed hospital treatment for cuts and lacerations.

A spokesman confirmed detectives were examining a possible
sectarian motive for the attack.

Investigating officers have urged any witnesses to contact

The attack on the woman, a Catholic, came days after
rioting nationalists threw blast bombs at police during a
flashpoint Orange Order parade in north Belfast.

Nigel Dodds, the Democratic Unionist MP for the area,
condemned those involved in the latest bombing.

He said: "The use of blast bombs against anybody`s home or
anybody`s property or themselves is absolutely unacceptable
and deplorable.

"No right-thinking person in society would countenance such
a thing and nothing can justify it.

"Throughout north Belfast there`s a desire to see calm and
restraint rather than any further violence."

Meanwhile, sectarian thugs are also suspected of attacks on
Protestant homes in the Suffolk area of west Belfast.

A front door was kicked in and another house had a window
smashed early today.

Two men have been arrested under suspicion of criminal
damage and disorderly behaviour.


Parades Forum Rules Out Talks With Nationalists
2005-07-16 08:50:02+01

The North's Parades Forum says it is unable to trust
nationalist representatives after republicans failed to
prevent Tuesday night's violence in the Ardoyne.

Up to 100 members of the PSNI were injured in the clashes
when blast and petrol bombs were thrown by dissident

The Forum has cut all ties with nationalist residents
despite engagement by both sides in the run-up to the
Ardoyne Orange parade.

Forum Chairman Tommy Cheevers has ruled out the possibility
of future discussions unless a nationalist negotiator with
clout is found.

"That violence has damaged any future chance of dialogue
because people can't deliver in that area and they are
trying to blame that on dissident Republicans", said Mr

"There were widespread attacks throughout Belfast and
indeed right across Northern Ireland. They can't all be
dissidents", he added.

"What needs to happen is that we need to find someone,
somehow, within the Republican movement that we could
actually have a dialogue with that would be about
compromise and stop this nonsense of trying to create
apartheid," Mr Cheevers said.


'Scary Twelfth' Throws Up Challenges

By Gareth Gordon
BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent

It was a scary Twelfth of July. But only in Northern
Ireland will we think first of the blast bombs of Ardoyne
and not the much more deadly ones of London and the
revelation that young suicide bombers delivered them.

As if to confirm our place in the second division of the
new world (dis)order, the scenes from north Belfast barely
made the national television news.

The angry young men of Ardoyne were no match for the angry
young men from west Yorkshire responsible for the carnage
in the underground and the Number 30 bus in Tavistock

Not even the use of blast bombs and plastic baton rounds in
north Belfast and the discovery of a roadside bomb in
Armagh will change that.

The effect within the bubble of Northern Ireland politics,
however, could be a very different thing.

On one hand the claim that dissident republicans were
behind the violence - and that senior Sinn Fein figures
appeared to be doing what they could to prevent trouble -
will ease the fears of some.

But not those with whom Sinn Fein will have to deal if
there is ever to be a political settlement.

One senior DUP source said: "The problem is if the Provos
weren't responsible for what happened then what use are
they in terms of the overall situation.

"And if they were involved and are hiding behind this cloak
then what does that say about their commitment to
exclusively peaceful means.''

'Peacefully parading'

DUP MP Gregory Campbell made it clear on Radio Ulster's
Inside Politics programme that the events in Ardoyne will
make it even more difficult to reach a deal.

He said: ''Let's say the (IRA) statement comes, and let's
say there is the usual media rush to try to proclaim this
as a tremendous move by them, and we await a testing period
of time to establish that they have gone out of business.

"And let's assume that over the winter things are much
quieter than they presently are.

"Does anybody seriously think that in a period of time
coming up to June and July of next year, if we go through
all of this and republican elements are throwing more blast
bombs at Orange marchers who are peacefully parading; that
petrol bombs are flying in Londonderry or elsewhere; people
are just going to say well the IRA have gone away and
really this is just some sort of non-descript event that
occurred and it's a blip - don't worry about it. That's

''There will be very serious repercussions for political
discussions whenever - if ever - they take place, whether
its this winter or next winter and we have to solve this
parading issue as part of the overall settlement.''

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey told the same programme: ''When
Gregory talks about having to sort out the issue of
parading, he's absolutely 100% right and hits the nail on
the head.

"Because all of these matters still have to be resolved
regardless of what the IRA may or may not say in the time

''Therefore the lesson of this conversation has to be that
what worked in Derry or elsewhere is when people sit down
and talk to each other all of our problems can be
satisfactorily addressed.''

'Pointless exercise'

The DUP leader Ian Paisley also appeared to up the ante in
his Twelfth speech in Portglenone.

He said: "There must be a complete disbandoning (sic) of
the IRA lock, stock and barrel. And I want to see that
arsenal of blood weapons destroyed and I want you to see it
and we demand it must be transparent.

"We are not looking for one photograph. We are looking for
every photograph we can get, to see that it is done and
done forever.''

That was not available last December - how likely is it

The guessing game about an IRA statement appears to be an
increasingly pointless exercise.

First it would come in June. It didn't. Then it would
probably come by the middle of July after the marching
season climaxed. Not so far it hasn't.

Some think it may be September, when minds usually turn to
negotiations so as to turn the heat up on the DUP at a time
of maximum advantage.

That might be right too (though the DUP seem fairly well
insulated) but the truth is no-one outside a fairly select
bunch of republican leaders know and they are not giving
much away.

There are other questions thrown up by the continuing
problems surrounding the Twelfth on Ardoyne.

Given Sinn Fein claims that the PSNI overreacted to the
violence of Ardoyne, how would a similar situation be
handled if and when the party finally signs up to policing.

Soon newspaper adverts will invite applications from people
wishing to become members of a new Parades Commission whose
period in office begins in December.

The present chairman, Tony Holland, is understood to have
indicated he does not wish to stand again, as have some
other commission members.

Whoever replaces them will face the same old headaches.

More and more it appears an answer will not be found to the
problem of politics without an answer being found to the
problem of parades.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/16 09:40:18 GMT


Another Bonfire . . . Another Rape

'An appalling incident, a distressing crime'

By Jonathan McCambridge, Crime Correspondent
16 July 2005

A monster who raped a teenage girl in the second horrific
sexual assault at an Eleventh night bonfire this week is
being hunted by police.

The details of the alleged assault in Newtownabbey emerged
last night and detectives want to talk to a group of men
who they believe may have witnessed the girl's ordeal.

The incident occurred after the teenage girl attended the
bonfire in the Ballyduff estate where she began a
conversation with a man shortly after 3am on Tuesday

Shortly afterwards the alleged rape took place in the
vicinity of the bonfire and nearby shops.

Detectives have made an urgent appeal for anyone who
witnessed the incident to contact them as soon as possible.

They are particularly keen to speak to a group of males who
were in the area at the time - it is believed that one of
them was called Colin.

The attack took place on the same evening that a 30-year-
old woman was raped at a bonfire in Holywood.

The woman was indecently assaulted by a knife-wielding thug
between midnight and 3am.

On the same evening a woman was attacked and indecently
assaulted as she walked along the Old Holywood Road near

Newtownabbey councillor Nigel Hamilton condemned the
Ballyduff rape and warned young women to be vigilant when
they are out at night.

He said: "This is a particularly appalling incident, made
worse by the youth of the victim and the fact that it
happened in a public area.

"My thoughts are with the victim at this time as this will
be such a distressing crime and I hope she makes a full

"It is vital that anyone with any information contacts the
police and that young women are extra vigilant while they
are out and about."

Police are asking that anyone with information about the
rape to contact detectives at Newtownabbey PSNI on 028 9065


OAP Attacked

16 July 2005

Stones have been thrown at the home of an 81-year-old woman
in an apparent sectarian attack by nationalist youths in
the Unionist Irish Street area of Londonderry. The attack
comes after a gang of 60 Protestants went on the rampage
smashing windows in homes of Catholics on Wednesday morning
following the 12th celebrations.

Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Fleming condemned those
responsible for the attack.


This Loyalist Feud Goes On, But Why?

Just over a year ago the UVF and the LVF agreed to a truce
following weeks of feuding that left one man dead and
dozens of families driven from their homes. That uneasy
peace has now begun to unravel with two men shot dead by
the UVF and one man fighting for his life after being
gunned down by the LVF. As those living in loyalist
communities brace themselves for further attacks and
retaliation, Mary Fitzgerald reports on the background to
the deadly tensions between the UVF and the LVF and why
many believe this latest bout is far from over.

By Mary Fitzgerald
16 July 2005

Early evening on Eleventh Night in Belfast and the signs
are everywhere. Signs that all is not well. Signs that
things could possibly get worse. On gable walls on the
upper Shankill where graffiti still gloats over the UVF
murder of Jameson Lockhart.

On wooden hoardings that lean against as yet unlit bonfires
in areas where the UVF dominates. "LVF/IRA" reads one on
the lower Newtownards Road. "F*** the LVF" is the blunt
message at the Donegall Pass bonfire. At the site at Pitt
Park in east Belfast, just metres away from where Lockhart
died after the lorry he sat in was raked with gunfire 11
days previously, three black LVF flags and two funeral
wreaths are perched on top of the bonfire. Rumours fly that
the wreaths have been stolen from Lockhart's grave, a claim
later proved false. The mood here and elsewhere in the city
is tense and everyone talks about the latest shooting.

Just that morning three UVF gunmen smashed their way into a
house at Dhu Varren in the Woodvale area and opened fire on
20-year-old father Craig McCausland, hitting him at least
five times. McCausland, whose partner, Kathy, and her two
children, aged nine and six, were also at home at the time,
died later in hospital.

Soon after the shooting, a man escaped a murder bid by
jumping from the window of a house in nearby Woodvale Pass
as masked men tried to smash their way in.

Earlier that night David Hanley, 21, was shot several times
as he walked his dogs past a bonfire site on the Crumlin
Road. Hanley, who was hit at least once in the head,
remains in a critical condition following emergency
surgery. The LVF is believed to have been behind the
attack. In another incident blamed on the LVF, a mother and
child escaped injury early on Sunday morning when shots
were fired into a house on Silverstream Avenue and at a
nearby address.

"Everyone is scared about what might happen next," explains
one woman standing a few streets away from where McCausland
was shot. "We've been here before and we know what this can
descend into - tit-for-tat shootings and innocent people
being killed.

"People are worried and afraid for their kids' safety," she
says, pulling her children closer. "Who knows what might

Further north in Ballysillan, around a bonfire ringed with
LVF flags fluttering from poles, the mood is one of defiant

"Another innocent person shot dead by murdering scum," says
one thirtysomething man, referring to the shooting of Craig
McCausland, whose family, and the LVF, would later insist
had no paramilitary connections whatsover.

"This is starting to get far more serious. People are
talking about revenge."

His friend agrees. "It's bad this time. The ball has only
started rolling."

It's not the first time the long-standing fear and loathing
between the LVF and UVF has spilled over into violence and
murder. In the alphabet soup of loyalist paramilitarism,
the enmity between the UVF and its splinter group runs
deep. The bad blood between the two goes back to the birth
of the LVF in 1996 when Billy Wright was expelled from the
UVF after his gang murdered Catholic taxi driver Michael
McGoldrick in Portadown. Since then residual resentments,
shifting loyalties and festering tensions have periodically
erupted into vicious and deadly feuding that has claimed
more than a dozen lives, including Portadown UVF leader
Richard Jameson, Red Hand Commando boss Jim "Jonty"
Johnston, LVF drug dealer Steven Warnock and, in May last
year, LVF member Brian Stewart.

As one loyalist source put it: "Not one of the feuds
between the UVF and the LVF has been resolved completely at
any stage since 1996 - it's like a family feud that never
really goes away."

The killing of Stewart, shot as he arrived for work at an
east Belfast industrial estate, sparked off weeks of
threats, attacks and intimidation that resulted in several
families driven from their homes in east Belfast and Co

Mediators, including Rev Mervyn Gibson, a Presbyterian
minister, and Sammy Douglas, an east Belfast community
worker, helped broker a truce between the two groups which
apparently included a "no first strike" agreement. An
uneasy peace had followed until it all began to unravel
again in recent months.

The background to the latest round of feuding is a mix of
threats, warnings and what one source described wearily as
"low-level stuff that just piled up into something more

Cars were attacked on both sides, shots were fired as
intermittent warnings and at one stage every pub in east
Belfast with UVF associations was daubed with LVF slogans
overnight. Several observers believe there was a deliberate
attempt by LVF members to ratchet up tensions between the
two groups.

A few weeks ago, a number of UVF members in the Ballycraigy
estate in Antrim were forced out of their homes by the LVF,
upping the ante until the murder of Jameson Lockhart by the
UVF on July 1.

It wasn't the first time he was targeted. Lockhart, who
lived in Ballysillan, is understood to have been friends
with two brothers from the same area who are senior LVF
members. His construction business had been attacked before
and in January, Paul Crooks, a 23-year-old from Highview
Crescent, appeared in court charged with the attempted
murder of Lockhart and two others - Gareth Kincaid and
Barry Smith. This related to an incident in Highfield
during which shots were fired at a van. The charges were
dropped following Lockhart's murder, although the decision
is not believed to be linked.

Since his murder, several of Lockhart's relatives have
received threats and a number have been forced to leave
their homes.

There is some concern that attempts at mediation between
the two groups have apparently failed in recent weeks.
"Neither side is looking for a solution at the moment,"
said one source.

There is talk of some leading figures "going to ground", a
claim dismissed by others; talk of bulletproof vests and
personal security guards; talk of this bout of violence as
just another stage in a bitter war of attrition with the
only solution, in the eyes of the UVF, the routing of the
LVF in Belfast. In a chilling warning delivered by masked
UVF gunmen at the Pitt Park bonfire on Monday night, the
organisation said it would "wipe out" the rival group.

Another worrying aspect of this latest chapter of loyalist
feuding is the relatively young age of those caught up in
it, whether unwitting victims or protagonists. All of those
killed or shot in recent weeks have been 25 or under.

There is speculation that the gunman responsible for
shooting David Hanley is only 16 and those who killed
Jameson Lockhart just a little older.

As one source put it: "The guys involved in this are too
young to remember any split between the UVF and the LVF,
they're too young to know what it was like then and that's
a real concern."

For now though, those living in loyalist areas in Belfast
and elsewhere hold their breath amid fears of imminent

"I think we're in for a bloody few weeks," one source said.
"Those two deaths will not be the last."


Sinn Féin Will Vigorously Oppose Compulsory ID Cards

Published: 16 July, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou
McDonald has said the party will "vigorously oppose the
imposition of British identity cards in the Six Counties
and state identity cards in the 26 Counties." She said the
Irish Government "should be demanding that these cards are
not introduced in the Six Counties never mind the 26

Speaking in Dublin today she said, "The British government
wants to impose a system whereby everyone will be required
to carry a state identity card. The power of the state over
every individual would be greatly increased while the so-
called 'security services' would control a bank of
information that hitherto they have only dreamed of.

"This plan will place information on all persons under
British government jurisdiction in one place. The dangers
if anyone broke into that system from outside are obvious.
But the power that will be put in the hands of the State
itself is even more worrying

"In Ireland we know all too well how information is passed
from British state forces to their loyalist paramilitary
surrogates, something which has resulted in many deaths.
For over 30 years people in the Six Counties have been
subject to some of the most intense surveillance in the
world. It is not acceptable that Irish citizens in the Six
Counties would be forced to hold these cards.

"The Irish government now claims that if this card is
introduced by the British then the 26-County state may have
to follow suit. This is totally unacceptable. They should
be demanding that these cards are not introduced in the Six
Counties never mind the 26 Counties.

"Sinn Féin will vigorously oppose the imposition of British
identity cards in the Six Counties and state identity cards
in the 26 Counties." ENDS


Castlebar Town Council Backs Fullerton Motion

Published: 16 July, 2005

Castlebar Town Council backed a motion submitted by Sinn
Féin councillor Noel Campbell calling on the Irish
government to initiate steps for a full, independent
inquiry in to the murder of Cllr. Eddie Fullerton. The
motion read as follows:

"That this Council supports the ongoing call from the
family of the late Cllr.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 in to the circumstances surrounding
his murder and furthermore calls on the Irish Government to
insist on full cooperation from the British authorities to
assist the Fullerton family in their quest for truth and

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Campbell said, "All
parties supported the motion which indicates to me the
gravity of Councillor Eddie Fullerton's case. With similar
motions being passed in councils all over the island, the
Fullerton family's demand must now be met." ENDS


De Chastelain's Return Sparks Talk Of IRA Statement

16/07/2005 - 08:41:14

There is speculation the IRA could issue a statement on its
future intentions before the end of the month.

The speculation has been sparked by the recent return to
Belfast of General John De Chastelain - the Chairman of the
Decommissioning Body.

An internal debate is believed to be ongoing within the
Provisional movement to decide whether democratic means are
the only way forward.

It is thought the IRA will not announce complete
disbandment but will instead convert to an organisation
that would be one of remembrance.


Viewpoint: Waiting For The IRA's Answers

PEACE PROCESS: Only the end of IRA will satisfy unionists

16 July 2005

How much longer will the world have to wait for the IRA to
decide to abandon violence for good? And if that is its
decision, will it mean an end to all forms of paramilitary
activity, as defined by the British and Irish governments?

These questions have been hanging in the air since last
April, when Gerry Adams issued his pre-election appeal. It
must have won Sinn Fein many votes, but since then the
silence has been deafening. How long does it take the
military wing to answer to the politicians, when they say
political progress is impossible as long as the IRA remains

Gerry Adams has been talking again to Bertie Ahern, and Gen
de Chastelain is in residence, so something must be
happening. For republicans, it must be satisfying to know
that everyone is waiting for the IRA's verdict, while for
unionists it is galling to have attention focused on an
illegal, unaccountable force which was to have abandoned
violence eight years ago.

Perhaps inevitably, the IRA's statement was delayed until
after the controversial Twelfth parades, but now there is
no excuse. Apart from the blast bomb violence at Ardoyne,
for which the Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility,
and attacks on the police in the wake of the Londonderry
parade, the marching season has been relatively quiet, with
few interface clashes.

Whatever the IRA says, it must be clear and unequivocal, if
it is to have any credibility. And it must spell out the
nature of its new, non-violent role and its abandonment of
all paramilitary activity - including training, beatings,
exiling and, crucially, criminality.

Few unionists accept that the IRA will go so far or, if it
does, that it will keep its word. There have been too many
broken promises, from governments as well as paramilitaries
on both sides, for anyone to accept statements at face

Time will be needed to prove a change of heart, and new
openness on decommissioning must accompany it. Will the IRA
agree to photographic evidence this time, and when will it
be published? Presumably the two governments are urging the
utmost transparency in their contacts with Sinn Fein.

Most of all, it is what the IRA do, as opposed to what they
say, that will decide whether political progress can be
made and a future DUP-Sinn Fein executive is even
conceivable. Trust has to be built from nothing.


Film Traces Mystery Of King William Banner

Saturday 16th July 2005

IT'S known as the Londonderry of the south and a new TV
documentary looks at secret Orange history there. Danny
from Bandon will be shown on TG4 next Tuesday. The film
traces the history of a mysterious 17th century King
William banner which was smuggled backwards and forwards
between Bandon Co Cork and Bangor, Co Down. Londonderry man
Tony Crowe from the Apprentice Boys of Derry is also
featured in the film by Nua Media as he travels to the West
Cork walled town to make links between the Maiden City and

The fascinating documentary looks at the origins of the
historic William of Orange banner which is once again
exhibited in a West Cork museum. It also examines the
traditional marching tune Danny from Bandon. The Williamite
banner made the journey back to Bangor and after some years
in Northern Ireland was then carried by a clergyman down to
the Cork town again. Bandon was known historically as
"Protestant and proud" and was established by the great
Earl of Cork, Richard Boyle in 1608. The Earl was reputed
to have arrived from England with no more than £20, a
diamond ring and a gold bracelet amongst his possessions
and then took over hundreds of acres of the fertile
agricultural land of West Cork.

The area is still a strong favourite with English visitors
and many have made their homes there. Traditional musician,
Nollaig Casey, narrates the Bandon story on the Irish
language TV channel, as well as playing the traditional
march Danny from Bandon, often heard at Orange
demonstrations in Northern Ireland.

The Hamilton Flute Band from Co Londonderry also assisted
the film makers in recording music for the documentary.

Filmed in both Londonderry and Cork, the narrative explores
many similarities between the two walled towns built at the
time of the plantations of Ulster and Munster.

The town walls of Bandon in West Cork were once reputed to
been thicker, stronger and higher than Londonderry's walls.
Bandon castle was burnt down in the Troubles around
partition and the surviving daughter of the Bernard family
is confronted on screen by the nephew of the IRA leader who
was responsible for the arson, as well as the capture of
Lord Bandon.

Jennifer Bernard is the much more composed of the two and
questions him closely on his uncle Sean Hales' role in the
destruction of her ancestral home.

The documentary will be broadcast on TG4 on Tuesday at 8pm.


Bigger, Better ... Why Can't We Just Enjoy The Twelfth

By Barry White
16 July 2005

Every year I walk to the Lisburn Road, past all the houses
from which the owners have fled, to see if Belfast's
Twelfth procession has lost its appeal for marchers or

And my verdict is that it hasn't, in fact - it's getting
bigger and arguably better. (Lord Laird, Mr Ulster Scot,
had hired a couple of horses to go with his 1798 uniform -
he says his family were on both sides - and on the way back
he was throwing sweets from a galleon.)

Sorry, all those who have been hoping that foreign holidays
and higher education would kill off the Orange tradition.
The bandsmen often outnumber the lodge members, and the old
retainers' cars - one painted like a Union Jack - may be
fuller, but there are still lots of junior baton throwers.

They're not going away, so maybe we should accept that we
have to live with - and even enjoy - the Twelfth as a
bizarre cultural event. The banners commemorating British
imperialism are still there, but it's far less formal, with
funny wigs and, this year, pigtails to go with the spiky
harlequin hats.

(One banner said "Duke of York; hero of 1826". Does anyone
know why?)

On a day like Tuesday, there was a lot of drink taken,
often from bright blue bottles, and redistributed. But
everyone stayed on their feet, where I was, and the bands
were well worth their fees, with fancy drumming sequences
and one bass drum, I swear, bearing a website address.

If I hadn't turned on the TV for the half-time score at
Ardoyne, I would have said it had been a great day out for
anyone who likes seeing people enjoy themselves. But if you
feel threatened by a culture that expresses itself by
displaying its colours on the public roads, you'll find it
easy to resent.

There must be an answer to the Ardoyne question, so that
the Ligoniel Orangemen can get to and from Clifton Street
without the ritual riot. If marching is out, why not
armoured buses, or cars, or stretch limos? Anything to save
police injuries, overtime, and the tourist industry.

(Now that we're wondering who does the brain-washing of
Muslim extremists, maybe we should look nearer home.)

I know the point of the Twelfth is to emphasise that there
is still a unionist majority, even if republicanism is
rising, but there's more to it than that. There's
comradeship, greeting old friends and, above all, the
musical accompaniment, often Scottish. Next year, try it
and see how the other half enjoys itself, on the one day
when there is no political divide.

• Poor David Trimble, now we know how the Good Friday
negotiations got to him. Interviewed for "On the Ropes", he
told John Humphrys that after weeks of crisis talks, he
went to a hole in the wall and - gasp! - couldn't remember
his Pin number, for days.

But he has no regrets, although he confirmed that the
Agreement was never signed - just voted on, with Sinn Fein

Could that not be when things started to go wrong? If he
had walked out, more often, the Agreement - and the UUP -
might be in a better state.

He settled for a deal based on a unionist-nationalist
carve-up, because there seemed to be no alternative. And
when everyone was free to interpret it differently, the
ultras came out on top. End of story, probably.

• No more plastic bullets at Ardoyne, the new name is
Attenuated Energy Projectiles, with tips made of SpongeBob
so as not to hurt anyone. They go with Discriminating
Irritant Projectiles (stink-bombs?) and the official
estimated cost for developing them is £4m, compared to
£1.5m on the old ones?


American Military 'Keeping Shannon Airport Profitable'

Dublin Airport Authority has revealed that Shannon Airport
is only being kept profitable as a result of its use by the
American military.

153,000 troops have passed through Shannon this year at a
cost of €18m to the US Government.

The DAA has confirmed it has told management at Shannon to
address business challenges facing the airport.

Shannon has been left out of Aer Lingus` latest new route


Blarney In Billerica: It's Irish Fest Weekend

The Lowell Sun

BILLERICA -- The Billerica Irish-American Festival is
coming home this year in honor of the town's 350th
anniversary., It started last night and continues through
the weekend.

Festivities run from noon to 11 p.m. today and

from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow, said club President Bill

The festival has been held at the Tsongas Arena the past
three years but came back to the club's Middlesex Turnpike
location in honor of the town's anniversary, Morris said.

"We expect to draw quiet a few I would say rough guess
25,000 to 30,000 this weekend," he said.

Music today includes Kathy and the Irish Americans, Erin's
Melody, O'Shea Chapman Dances, the Silver Spears, and Wild

Tomorrow's lineup includes Derek Warfield and the Sons of
Erin, O'Shea Chapman Dancers, and the John Connors Band.
Warfield was formerly the front man for Wolftone's, Morris

Admission is $10 each for people 13 years old and older.
Visitors who are 12 years old and younger are admitted

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