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July 07, 2005

Loyalist Killer Loses Release Fight

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 07/07/05 Double Killer Loses Release Fight
IT 07/08/05 Bombings Prompt Rethink On Marches
IO 07/07/05 Ardoyne Residents Offer Compromise In Parades Dispute
BB 07/07/05 Politicians Condemn London Attack
IT 07/08/05 Taoiseach And Pope Discuss North Process
PR 07/07/05 Mindless Violence
IT 07/08/05 Eyre Square Builder Also Left Welsh Project
IT 07/08/05 50,000 Turn Out To See Tall Ships
BB 07/07/05 Poet's Writings To Go Under Hammer
CB 07/07/05 Chicago: 1 Thing To Do This Weekend


Double Killer Loses Release Fight

A loyalist gunman convicted of a double killing has lost the
final round of a legal battle to be released from prison under
the Good Friday Agreement.

The House of Lords dismissed an appeal by Stephen McClean,
convicted of the 1998 murders of two men in County Armagh, for
"accelerated release".

He was convicted of the murder of two friends in a bar in

His release in 2000 was barred by NI Secretary Peter Mandelson
who said McClean must prove he was not a danger.

This was reversed by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, but
then upheld by five Law Lords on Thursday.

The Appeal Court had directed the minister to "prove, on the
balance of probabilities, that the appellant, if released
immediately, would be a danger to the public".

However, Lords Bingham, Scott, Rodger, Carswell and Brown
overruled this and dismissed a cross-appeal by McClean in which
he claimed the procedure he faced was unfair because he was not
allowed to see the details of the "danger to the public"

McClean has been told that the withheld information related to
his alleged continued involvement in the affairs of the Loyalist
Volunteer Force, and that to disclose the details would, among
other things, be contrary to the interests of national security.

Stephen McClean and Noel McCready both from Banbridge were jailed
in February 2000 over the murder of lifelong friends Philip
Allen, a Protestant, and Damien Trainor, a Catholic, who were
shot dead in the Railway Bar, Poyntzpass, in 1998.

McClean and McCready thought the bar was only frequented by

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/07 15:47:39 GMT


Bombings Prompt Rethink On Marches

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

The London bombings have prompted a rethink of planned Orange
marches for Drumcree this Sunday and on the Twelfth next week,
the Order has admitted.

Amid nationalist calls for contentious Orange marches to be
reconsidered , an Orange Order spokesman told The Irish Times:
"I'm sure they are being discussed. I know that Grand Master
Robert Saulters has been rewriting aspects of his speech, due to
be delivered on the Twelfth. It's a very difficult situation."

As tension rose in advance of the planned parade past Ardoyne on
the evening of the Twelfth, SDLP Assemblyman Alban Maginness
said: "At a time when so many have died it would just be
appalling if we in the North just fought each other over
parades." Speaking after a meeting with the Minister for Foreign
Affairs, Dermot Ahern, Mr Maginness called on Orange marchers and
nationalist protesters not to take to the streets.

Like Sinn Féin, which also met the Minister yesterday, the party
called for dialogue between both sides in an effort to resolve
the problem of contentious marches.

Mr Gerry Kelly, a Sinn Féin Assembly member for north Belfast,
said: " I called on the Minister to intervene on behalf of the
nationalist residents of Ardoyne, and he has agreed to raise our
concerns with the British government and the Parades Commission."
Mr Kelly added: "The Ardoyne dialogue group explained to the
Minister the detail of their compromise position which would, in
the short term, help ease tensions around the Twelfth parades."

According to Sinn Féin, Mr Ahern said he would convey nationalist
concerns to the Government and to the Parades Commission. A Grand
Orange Lodge spokesman explained that decisions regarding Orange
demonstrations were not arrived at by authorities in the
organisation's Belfast headquarters. Instead, authority within
the order rests with 123 districts who make decisions on
determining local parades. If such marches are reconsidered it
will involve the lodges concerned in conjunction with their local
district, he said.

The order's headquarters told The Irish Times that any review of
plans for the Twelfth would take place "at a very parochial
level" and that the Grand Orange Lodge "has no formal position"
on what should be done in response to the London attacks.

The SDLP also called on Sinn Féin and others not to criticise the
Parades Commission claiming that to do so would be to fall into a
DUP trap.

"We do not think there should be a parade along the Springfield
Road or past Ardoyne shops. But we urge people to respect the law
and keep the peace," an SDLP spokesman said.

He claimed that attacks on the Parades Commission "will only play
into the hands of the DUP's malign agenda" to destroy it.

"Without the Parades Commission we would be back to the anarchy
of the 1990s when might was right and rioting was everywhere. We
cannot fall into the DUP's trap and let that happen."

© The Irish Times


Ardoyne Residents Offer Compromise In Parades Dispute

07/07/2005 - 09:54:06

Nationalist residents in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast have
put forward a compromise proposal aimed at preventing possible
violence at an Orange Order parade on Tuesday.

The Parades Commission has allowed the contentious march to
proceed through Ardoyne in both the morning and the evening.

Local residents today offered not to protest at the outward march
if the Parades Commission agrees to re-route the return march.


Politicians Condemn London Attack

Political leaders in Northern Ireland have united in their
condemnation of the terrorist attacks in London.

Thirty eight people have been confirmed dead and 700 others were
injured in Thursday's bomb attacks on the city's public transport

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain described the attacks as a
"barbaric and sickening atrocity".

He said anyone planning any future attacks of terrorism would be
"opposed and beaten".

DUP leader Ian Paisley said it was important that people did not
give in to terrorism.

"We in Northern Ireland have passed this way many times. We have
walked down this dark road, the bloody road of separation, and we
can sympathise," he told MPs in the Commons.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said: "We in this part of
the UK have experienced first hand the evil of republican
terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder today with the people of

"Today has demonstrated yet again the evil of terrorism and the
evil of the ideologies that use terror."

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said he had sent a message of
sympathy and solidarity to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mayor of
London Ken Livingstone.

"On behalf of Sinn Fein I offer my sincere condolences to the
victims and the families of those killed and injured and to the
people of London," he said.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the attacks would "instil deep fear
among the entire London community".

"At a time when the eyes of the world are on the G8 summit and
the possibility of agreed action to address some of the
fundamental injustices in this world, it is all the more
appalling that such an awful injustice should be perpetrated on
completely innocent people."

Irish President Mary McAleese has also sent a message of sympathy
to the Queen on behalf of the people of Ireland.

She said the bomb attacks were a "vicious waste of innocent human

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern condemned the London blasts "a
black mark on society".

"This is terrorism and violence perpetrated against ordinary
people ... it's just a black mark on society, a devastating blow
against people," he said.

Alasdair McDonnell, SDLP MP for South Belfast, was in the city at
the time of the explosion.

He said: "It was a little scary, London was like Belfast in a
bomb scare multiplied 25 times - it was crazy.

"I had just got on the underground and had stepped on a train
when everything froze, they said 'sorry the train is not going
any further' and people just stampeded in their thousands out of
the underground."

It is hoped the city's transport network will begin to return to
normal on Friday.

Tim O'Toole, managing director of London Underground, said he
hoped a partial tube service would be resumed.

Anyone worried about relatives in the city can contact police on
0870 1566 344 . The Irish embassy's emergency number is 020 7201
2501 .

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/07 21:50:17 GMT


Taoiseach And Pope Discuss North Process

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent in Rome

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Pope Benedict XVI discussed Northern
Ireland, church-State dialogue and the European Constitution at
the Vatican yesterday.

After his meetings with the Pope and Vatican secretary of state
Cardinal Sodano, Mr Ahern said the Pope had expressed the hope
there would be progress in Northern Ireland in the weeks ahead
"which would allow us to go back to build the trust and
confidence we had".

He said that for him personally and as a Catholic, yesterday's
private audience was "a great honour" and "a huge personal
pleasure". It was also an acknowledgment of "the strong ties of
history and affection" between the Holy See and Ireland.

He had found Pope Benedict "a very nice, kind, gentle man" who
spoke with familiarity about senior Irish church figures. He had
commented, for instance, that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin - who
served for many years at the German College in Rome - had very
good German.

He also spoke of his "very good friend" Cardinal Desmond Connell,
with whom he had served over many years on Vatican congregations.
And he had spoken of the Catholic primate, Archbishop Seán Brady,
and the papal nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazarotto.

Mr Ahern met the Pope for about 20 minutes and Cardinal Sodano
for over half an hour. Afterwards he visited the tomb of Pope
John Paul II, where he laid a bouquet and said a prayer.

He then hosted a lunch for members of Irish religious
congregations in Rome.

The Pope had also expressed "huge appreciation" for Ireland's
efforts and the contribution of Irish people in helping the
developing world, whether in matters of health and education, or
in fighting for human rights.

They had also discussed the the EU's constitutional treaty, Mr
Ahern said. There was "no question of renegotiating" the treaty
or of including a reference to God in it. "Ireland tried hard" to
have such a reference included, but that was "firmly ruled out".

The Taoiseach and Pope Benedict discussed the Government's
initiative to encourage more structured dialogue between church
and State. The Government has written to all Christian churches
and other faith communities in Ireland, detailing its proposals
in that regard. It follows a Cabinet decision last week to set up
such structures, in line with article 52 of the European
constitutional treaty.

The Government secretary, Dermot McCarthy, said yesterday the
churches and faith communities had been advised of a three-strand
proposal. This would involve: ongoing contact at an official
level, probably with a designated civil servant in the Department
of Taoiseach initially; separate informal meetings - with an
agreed agenda - between each church/faith community and relevant
Government Ministers, to take place at irregular intervals; and
an annual plenary meeting which would be attended by all
churches/faith communities and which would be addressed by the

Mr McCarthy said the Government intended to be flexible so as to
accommodate the spectrum of different expectations of all
religions when it came to their dealings with the State.

© The Irish Times


Mindless Violence

07/07/2005 20:14

Making sense out of madness

The horrific scenes in central London today, where a confirmed 41
people have lost their lives, and in which hundreds have been
injured, a toll which may well rise over the course of the
forthcoming hours, are a reminder of the sheer madness which is
part of everyday life in 2005.

Terrorism is the most cowardly and mindless form of using force,
since it targets innocent people going about their daily lives,
irrespective of their age, gender, race or creed. In no religion
and in no society can anyone justify the taking of innocent lives
in such a random and brutal manner.

If these people (?) are Islamist hardliners, then how do they
justify the inclusion of Moslems among their victims? Where in
the Quran is the murder of women and children ever justifiable?
These are not freedom fighters, nor is their cause worthy of
anything but contempt because a hero, a fighter, a militant does
not hide behind the deaths of civilians. He who kills women and
children is a coward and a traitor to his cause from the outset.

Terrorism however is nothing new. Jewish terrorists fought the
British military in Palestine sixty years ago, Irish terrorists,
some funded by NORAID, especially popular in New York, blasted
people through shop windows on the British mainland during a
decade of violence, long before the likes of bin Laden turned the
tables and began attacking US interests, after, that is, the USA
aided and abetted Islamist fundamentalist terrorism in
Afghanistan to use against the Soviets.

Now the dog bites the hand of those who reared it and those who
spit into the wind find out that you reap what you sow. Whatever
the form of terrorism and wherever it is perpetrated, all of the
events cited above are examples of the mindless killing of human
beings by human beings, none of these acts being justifiable for
one moment.

This is why a substantial part of the world's population was
against the illegal attack on Iraq (and indeed, under
international law, there was no basis for an attack against
Afghanistan, however understandable it was at the time). Why?
Because it gave any wannabe terrorist the justification he needed
to match an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. After all, how
to answer the question: What is the difference between a British
or American civilian being murdered in New York or London or an
Iraqi civilian being murdered in Baghdad? How to justify the
wanton slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis?

Certainly to perpetrate similar acts, such as today, does not
right the wrong and all deaths of human beings, whoever they are
or wherever they may be, are tragedies. Murder is murder, whether
it is called freedom fighting, terrorism or collateral damage.

The fact is that international terrorism is here and here to
stay. It can strike as and when it wants, where it wants and
today's attack was a message to the G8 leaders: We are here.

What next?

Today's attack is another clear sign that the power of the
individual to combat a state is real and therefore somewhere down
the line, there has to be a process of dialogue opened to set out
the game and to establish the rules.

The more sophisticated the authorities become, the more
sophisticated the terrorists will get, and so begins a downwards
spiral of catch as catch can, so simply combatting terrorism is
not the final solution. The final solution is one which cuts off
the terrorists' only supply line - operationals willing to take
part in such acts of violence, even if it means giving their own
lives in the process.

These individuals join because they receive more money than
sitting around unemployed and because they believe in the cause.
Take a cause away from a terrorist organization and you are left
with a bunch of common criminals. Dealing with the social issues
behind these issues, finding out what is behind the cause and
what trade-offs would relieve the pressure, while a real process
of dialogue takes place (probably in secret) seems to be the only
way to approach the problem.

The problem is real, it is here, it is something we do not have
to live with because it is unacceptable that innocent people
cannot go about their daily lives in safety and security. Mankind
has striven for too long to lose this basic freedom.

Those who engage in terrorism, be they Islamist fundamentalists
or military pilots blasting the limbs off six-year-old children
are the ones who attack our freedom and they would do well to
redress their differences in the name of Humanity.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


Eyre Square Builder Also Left Welsh Project

Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent

The owner of the company which walked off the €9 million Eyre
Square refurbishment site in Galway has been issued with a
default notice for unfinished work in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Pembrokeshire Housing Association (PHA) has confirmed that it
issued the default notice earlier this week to Samuel Kingston,
trading as Kingston Construction, following the suspension of
work by the company on a £1.3 million housing scheme in Neyland.

The notice gives the company two weeks to return to the site to
finish the scheme or the PHA will terminate the contract. The PHA
said it had tried to alert Galway City Council to the situation
with Kingston Construction in early June.

However, Galway City Council says it has no record of any contact
from the PHA, but is now in discussions with it.

The PHA engaged Mr Kingston's company in mid-2003 on an 18-month
contract to build 17 housing units with a completion date of
March 2005.

Nigel Sinnott, director of technical services with the PHA, said
the contract was part of a schedule agreed with various
contractors for the housing association's annual building
programme of about 60 to 80 new houses. However, only 50 per cent
of the work had been completed by March, and Mr Kingston reported
cash-flow problems.

Mr Kingston also cited cash-flow problems in Galway in April when
more than 30 Irish and Polish employees walked off the site over
non-payment of wages.

The PHA had paid him some 50 per cent of the £1.3 million sum at
this point, and tried to assist him with the cash-flow situation.

Mr Kingston suspended the work at the beginning of May and then
proposed that extra funds be paid to him to finish the job.

The PHA subsequently learned that a number of subcontractors
employed by Mr Kingston's company on the site had been contracted
to a separate company.

This company, registered as Kingston Development Pembroke Ltd,
went into voluntary liquidation last month owing an estimated
£500,000 to various creditors.

Mr Sinnott said that PHA had advised Mr Kingston that he could
enter into adjudication into liabilities, but this offer was

Malcolm Fraser, solicitor for Mr Kingston's company in relation
to the Eyre Square project, said he had no comment to make on any
other matters.

Galway City Council, which is taking legal advice over the
company's departure from the Eyre Square site in the early hours
of June 27th, has said it was unaware of the Pembrokeshire

The company concerned was a different legal entity, operating as
a sole trader in a different jurisdiction, a spokesman said.

The city council has rejected claims made by Samuel Kingston
Construction Ltd earlier this week in relation to breach of
contract, and has said it is willing to go into arbitration.

Samuel Kingston Construction Ltd has instructed its solicitors to
"take such action as is appropriate" to recover damages from the
city council for its "breach of contract", a charge the city
council denies. A council spokesman said the contract awarded to
the company for Eyre Square was not based solely on financial
grounds as the tenders had had to meet a number of criteria.

The company had previously worked for Waterford City Council, and
this was taken into account by the design team who recommended
awarding the contract to the company.

Negotiations are taking place to seek an alternative contractor
to finish the refurbishment.

However, the earliest date for resumption of work on the project
is expected to be September-October due to tender and costing

© The Irish Times


50,000 Turn Out To See Tall Ships

Barry Roche, Southern Correspondent

The River Suir may not have been at her sparkling best beneath
a glum dark sky but the Waterford quays never looked so lively as
an estimated 50,000 plus people thronged the promenade and city
centre yesterday for the second day of the Tall Ships.

Supt Dave Sheehan reckoned that Waterford had never seen such a
crowd with thousands lining the streets all the way down from the
Hill of Ballybricken to the South Quay to see the crews of the
ships parade through the city.

"You couldn't swing a cat on Barronstrand Street, it was that
crowded," said Supt Sheehan as he went to check on the numbers
using the park-and-ride facilities dotted around the perimeter of
the city.

Yesterday saw the arrival of two more of the larger Class A
sailing ships, the former whaling barque, Artemis, from the
Netherlands and the 109-year-old French barque, Belem.

The two vessels moored up river alongside some of the other
larger vessels such as the Norwegian beauty, the Christian
Radich, the Portuguese Sagres, Pogora from Poland and the giants,
the US Eagle and the Russian Kruzenshtern.

Among the many visitors enjoying the sight were French family,
Phillipe and Rosemarie Plaksine and their daughters, Charlotte
(14) and Margaux (11) from Aix-en-Provence.

"We are staying in Cashel and we decided to come down to see the
ships - they are very impressive - it's a pity that it isn't
sunny as they would look even more beautiful," said Rosemarie.

Also enjoying the day were Gerald and Peggy Landers and their
friends, Denis and Mary Doody - all from Killarney - who had
visited some of the ships and were just enjoying the atmosphere.

"We were on six of the ships - all the big ones and they were all
very impressive, spick-and-span and spotless," said Gerald,
adding that they were also impressed because none of the
restaurants had raised their prices for the festival.

One of the warmest welcomes was reserved for the sailors of the
Indonesian naval ship, the three masted barquetine, Dewaruci,
adopted by Waterford following the tsunami disaster. The
organisers were preparing for even larger crowds for the
fireworks display tonight and the Parade of Sail down the river
on Saturday morning.

© The Irish Times


Poet's Writings To Go Under Hammer

Letters and an essay by one of Ireland's greatest poets, William
Butler Yeats, are to be auctioned.

The collection, which includes a working manuscript of Tragic
Theatre, is expected to fetch up to £80,000 at the Sotheby's sale
in London.

Sotheby's Philip Errington said the lot has attracted
universities, institutions and individuals.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, inscribed by the Dublin
writer to his friend the artist Arthur Power, will also be
auctioned and is expected to reach somewhere in the region of
£15,000 to £25,000.

Several lots of works by Oscar Wilde will also be offered to
collectors including a first edition of An Ideal Husband and a
number of photographs of Wilde.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/07 06:24:50 GMT


10 Things To Do This Weekend

By Margaret Littman

PARTY: Celebrating the culture of the Emerald Isle doesn't have
to be relegated only to St. Patrick's Day. Get in the spirit at
the IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL with music from Michael
McDermott, Hothouse Flowers and others, a children's tent, an
Irish American idol contest and even a mashed potato eating
contest. July 8, 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., July 9, 12:00 p.m. to
12:00 a.m., July 10, 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tickets are $12,
children under 12 are free. 4626 N. Knox Ave., 773-282-7035, ext.
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