News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

July 25, 2005

Loyalists Threats Against Sinn Fein

News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 07/25/05 Loyalist Threats Against SF Rep
BB 07/25/05 Loyalist Row Drives Out Residents
SF 07/25/05 Tolerance Of Unionist Violence Challenged
DI 07/25/05 UVF At Crisis Point As Loyalist Feud Continues
BB 07/25/05 Sinn Fein In Number 10 Discussion
IT 07/26/05 Empey Leads UUP In Discussions With Blair
BB 07/25/05 Final Pieces Prepared For 'IRA Jigsaw'
IO 07/25/05 Adams: Republicans Working To IRA Conclusion
SF 07/25/05 Keeping Rossport 5 In Jail Totally Unacceptable
SF 07/25/05 DUP Opposition To Equality Commission Sectarian
DI 07/25/05 'Major Concerns' Over MI5 Role
SF 07/25/05 Adams Welcomes Plans For Suicide Taskforce
BT 07/25/05 Orange Order Accepts Burrows Resignation
NY 07/25/05 A Woman Who Found A Way To Write
IT 07/26/05 Guinness's Contributions Highlighted In Book


Loyalist Death Threats Made Against Sinn Féin

Published: 25 July, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Kathy Stanton as this
afternoon described as 'sinister' loyalist death threats
made against leading republican Martin Meehan.

Mr Meehan was visited by the PSNI today and told that they
had received information that he would be assassinated
within 24 hours. Several other unnamed people are also
under threat.

Speaking this afternoon Ms Stanton said:

"These latest threats against my party colleague from
unionist paramilitaries is a sinister development. This is
undoubtedly part of a wider trend of intimidation by
loyalists aimed at the nationalist community.

"Over the past number of months there has been a continuous
and orchestrated campaign of intimidation directed towards
the nationalist community in Belfast. Homes have been
attacked, people assaulted and now an escalation of intra-
loyalist feuding. All of this leads nationalists to believe
that these gangs are operating with complete impunity.

"The threats against Martin Meehan reinforce the need for
vigilance within the wider nationalist community in these
tense summer months. Those who continue to coat-trail and
march triumphantly through catholic areas must also bear
some responsibility for the continuing escalation of
sectarian tensions." ENDS


Loyalist Row Drives Out Residents

Removal men have been clearing out one of the houses in
east Belfast where the occupants have been forced out as
part of the loyalist paramilitary feud.

Earlier, a crowd of up to 100 UVF and UDA men gathered in
the Garnerville area to prevent LVF members, who had been
forced out, from moving back.

Police have also been present in the area all day, and say
they have not lost control of the estate.

A woman who was moving out of the house said it was a "very
difficult time".

A number of families left the estate, Glenlea Park, at the

DUP East Belfast MP Peter Robinson said those involved
should take a step back.

We can only do something if there is a complaint or if
there is an offence detected

Chief Superintendent Wesley Wilson

"The responsibility to enforce the law rests with the
police and there is a duty on people not to take the law
into their own hands," he said.

Chief Superintendent Wesley Wilson said police were
monitoring the situation and were gathering evidence.

"At this moment in time, police are there both to deter any
offences being committed and to reassure the public that we
are there to deal with anything that happens," he said.

He said paramilitaries were not in control of the estate,
which is near the PSNI's training college, and that police
were not just standing by watching people being put out of
their homes.

"We can only do something if there is a complaint or if
there is an offence detected," he said.

"We haven't seen any offences today, otherwise we would
have made arrests and we haven't received complaints from
members of the public as yet."

One resident said she welcomed what was happening in the

"Yesterday people were feeling very edgy because they
didn't know what was going to happen," she said.

"These fellas walked in and told everybody 'we are going to
give you back your estate'.

"That's exactly what they've done - they've got a lot of
support here for what they've done."

'No trouble'

The police said they were called to the area after reports
of large numbers of people on the streets, but there were
no reports of any trouble.

A senior loyalist source told the BBC that UVF members went
to the area on Sunday night and warned those with LVF links
to leave.

Meanwhile, a fire has caused extensive damage to a taxi
depot on the Ballysillan Road in north Belfast at about
0300 BST. Two other properties were also damaged.

A blast bomb landed in the garden of a disabled man's home
in the Westway area of Ballygomartin at about 0400 BST. No-
one was injured.

Two lives have been claimed in the dispute between the
paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer
Force groupings.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/25 21:44:23 GMT


Tolerance Of Unionist Violence Challenged

Published: 25 July, 2005

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has
said that the reaction of both the PSNI and the unionist
political establishment to ongoing unionist paramilitary
feuding and the sight of hundreds of UVF members mingling
with the PSNI and British Army after forcing members of a
rival gang from their homes in Garnerville demonstrates
again the ambiguity which is continually displayed towards
loyalist violence.

Mr Maskey said:

"For decades the unionist political establishment have
turned a blind eye to the activities of the various
unionist paramilitary gangs. This attitude has been
repeated again throughout this latest feud as night after
night attacks have taken place across North and East
Belfast with minimal comment from either main unionist

"The historic tolerance and in some cases encouragement of
unionist paramilitary gangs is intolerable. The sight of
hundreds of UVF members pictured mingling with the PSNI and
British Army after forcing members of a rival gang from
their homes in East Belfast is just the latest episode in
this ongoing saga. The behaviour of the PSNI in Garnerville
today contrasts sharply with their attitude towards
nationalist residents in Ardoyne on July 12th.

"Nationalists and republicans have seen enough of unionist
politicians double standards and double speak when it comes
to their attitude towards the unionist paramilitaries.
Their position is based upon blatant hypocrisy and needs to
be challenged once and for all if we are to move forward
into a future which is based upon equality and respect."


Paramilitary feud escalates

Loyalist paramilitaries who forced families to flee their
homes warned tonight they will not relent until a rival
terrorist organisation is crushed.

Scores of Ulster Volunteer Force men staged a vigilante-
style occupation on the streets of Garnerville, east
Belfast, as police and soldiers stood by.

Up to six households were ordered to quit the housing
estate as part of a bitter feud with the rival Loyalist
Volunteer Force.

And a source close to the UVF declared: "Things have come
to a head, enough is enough.

"This will not stop until these drug dealers disband."

The fighting has already claimed the lives of two men shot
dead by the UVF.

Security chiefs fear more bloodshed because a bitter feud
over control of the drugs trade in the greater Belfast

In the north of the city a taxi depot was set on fire and
houses blast-bombed in attacks linked to the dispute.

But it was across the city at Garnerville, just yards from
the Police Service of Northern Ireland training college,
where the UVF moved en masse against its enemies.

Witnesses said up to 300 men identified a number of houses
and flats where suspected LVF associates lived.

After the occupants fled last night large crowds were still
on the estate today to stop a return.

Neighbours of those ousted refused to condemn the hard-line

One woman, aged 72, said: "All we want is protection and to
get our community back to what it was.

"Those men on the street have been really nice, they speak
to us as they go by.

"The only ones I feel sorry for are the wee children who
have had to leave and lost their friends."

For others, however, the UVF show of strength provoked

The Reverend Richard Hill of Garnerville Presbyterian
Church urged calm.

He said: "A lot of residents were terrified at what might
happen. People are hoping the situation will calm down

David Ervine, leader of the UVF-aligned Progressive
Unionist Party, said he believed the action was due to the
feud but insisted he had no further insight.

Mr Ervine, who held talks with Northern Ireland Secretary
Peter Hain today, added: "It`s important that the police
are present."

The Democratic Unionist MP for East Belfast, Peter
Robinson, demanded the paramilitaries step back and close

He said: "Justice or the interests of unionism will not be
served by kangaroo courts or lynch mobs on the streets of

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey likened the evacuation
to the routing of former loyalist terror boss Johnny "Mad
Dog" Adair`s supporters from their west Belfast power base
in February 2003.

The East Belfast MLA urged peacebrokers to get involved
before further killings take place.

He said: "It seems the UVF made a decision similar to the
UDA (Ulster Defence Association) made with Adair, that they
were going to finish it once and for all.

"I`m calling for mediation because somebody is going to get
killed and it seems to be beyond the ability of police to
control them."

With police facing demands to disperse the loyalists, the
district commander called for calm.

Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine said: "We are very much
aware of the concerns of the local community.

"These situations, as we often say, cannot be resolved by
police alone.

"But let me assure you my officers are on the ground and
are working hard to resolve the tensions."

Earlier a taxi depot was set on fire on the Ballysillan
Road, north Belfast.

No-one was injured, but the office and neighbouring
properties were badly damaged.

Less than a hour later, a blast bomb exploded outside a
house on Ballygomartin Road in the nearby Westway area.

The device caused minor damage to the property and a fence.

Both attacks were linked to the UVF-LVF feud which has been
raging for nearly a decade.

Billy "King Rat" Wright, who was later shot dead inside the
Maze Prison, formed the splinter LVF in 1996 after a row
with UVF bosses.

The blast bomb exploded in the driveway of a disabled man`s

Samuel McIlwaine hit out at the gang responsible, stressing
he had no paramilitary connections.

"I`m a Christian and this device was just thrown
irresponsibly by these people. They don`t care where it

"What they are doing is Satanic work. It`s pure evil."

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein claimed veteran republican Martin
Meehan has been warned by police that loyalists were
planning an imminent assassination attempt against him.

His party colleague, North Belfast MLA Kathy Stanton said:
"This is undoubtedly part of a wider trend of intimidation
by loyalists aimed at the nationalist community."


NEWS ANALYSIS: UVF At Crisis Point As Loyalist Feud


A decade after announcing its ceasefire, the Ulster
Volunteer Force is at crisis point. The group's involvement
in the murder of more than 20 people since 1995 - the
majority of whom have been Protestants - has led to
increasing pressure on the British government to declassify
the group's ceasefire. Its political wing, the socialist-
oriented Progressive Unionist Party, is also feeling the

Silent on recent UVF murders and in the grip of a financial
crisis, it now has just one elected assembly member and two
councillors in the North.

For those connected to both groups, the future seems bleak.

In 1994, the UVF was viewed as the loyalist paramilitary
organisation most committed to laying down its arms.

Fast-forward 11 years and October 13, 1994 — the day the
UVF declared its ceasefire — seems a lifetime ago.

Many of its commanders, who are plagued by rumours that
they are informants, have been only too happy to give in to
the urges of the organisation's gunmen.

The spectre of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, the group that
broke away from the UVF in 1996, continues to pose problems
for the UVF.

Almost half of the men murdered by the UVF in the last ten
years have been perceived as having had LVF connections.

The latest dispute has been unlike previous feuds.

Although the UVF has not suffered any fatalities, it has
little reputation left.

Graffiti branding the organisation child-killers has been
painted around its Shankill Road power base. This would
have been unthinkable ten years ago.

The relatives of its Protestant murder victims have been
vocal in their condemnation of the UVF. Again, this would
not have occurred at the height of the Troubles.

Senior loyalists, all of them former UVF prisoners, have
spoken openly in recent weeks about the problems both the
paramilitary organisation and the PUP are facing.

Last Tuesday, ex-UVF man Bobby Morton, who was sentenced to
15 years in jail in the 1980s for possession of weapons,
said his former paramilitary colleagues should "use
dialogue" to end the UVF feud with the LVF.

He said the last thing the loyalist community needed was
another funeral.

A day later, PUP leader David Ervine, who was jailed in the
1970s for possession of explosives, accused the British
government of trying to push his party out of politics
after financial impositions were imposed on the party
following recent violence.

Last month, ex-PUP north Belfast assembly member Billy
Hutchinson, who was jailed for taking part in a sectarian
murder, said the party was facing critical times ahead.

Morton, Ervine and Hutchinson doubtless want the peace
process to work but do the UVF rank and file?

The families of those murdered by the organisation since
its ceasefire answer this question with an emphatic "no".

"The UVF are nothing more than a criminal gang," said
Raymond McCord, whose son was bludgeoned to death by the
UVF in 1997.

"They are more interested in running drugs, doing robberies
and extorting money than peace.

"They call themselves the defenders of Ulster but they are
a disgrace to the Protestant people they claim to serve."

On July 10, the UVF murderd Craig McCausland, a 20-year-old
Protestant with no paramilitary connections. His family was
also scathing in its criticism of the UVF.

His aunt Cathy McIlvenny said: "The UVF shouldn't be
allowed to use the battalion's name — that was men that
fought for their country.

"These are cowards that go in the middle of the night with
masks over their face and shoot people in their bed."

In response to mounting criticism, David Ervine has claimed
the PUP has no influence over the UVF. He said he would
have been arrested if his party had such influence.

He has also said that the ongoing feud with the LVF is
going to get much worse, a prediction endorsed by those who
have tried but failed to broker a settlement between the
warring organisations.

"I am the leader of the PUP," said Mr Ervine.

"If I have broken any laws or rules, I would like to be
arrested and charged now.

"It is against all the tenets of natural justice that
people who are not responsible for what paramilitaries do
are punished.

"I am willing to meet the secretary of state and lay before
him the reality of life within the leadership of the PUP
who, in some people`s eyes, seem to be responsible for all
of the things that are wrong in this society."

Loyalists are predicting that the feud will end only when
the UVF has wiped out the LVF's Belfast battalion.

The UVF needs to be careful that, in the process, it does
not destroy the PUP, the small political party that has
given the organisation its sole respectable voice.

Some loyalists are claiming that this is exactly what the
UVF is trying to do — killing two birds with one stone.


Sinn Fein In Number 10 Discussion

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were in
Downing Street on Monday, the BBC has learned.

The meeting, which was not publicised, came amid
speculation over an imminent statement by the IRA on its

Meanwhile, new UUP leader Sir Reg Empey has said the
unionist community is "almost bored stiff" with statements
from the IRA.

He was speaking after holding his first meeting with Prime
Minister Tony Blair since taking over as leader of the UUP.

"The only thing that is going to matter is what the
republican movement actually do," Sir Reg said.

"Are they once and for all prepared to commit themselves
and give the undertakings that should have been given and
held to many years ago?"

The IRA is expected to make a statement soon about its

The Ulster Unionist leader said everyone in Northern
Ireland knew that republicans were "up to their neck" in
criminal activity.

At the moment what they say is going to be very secondary
to what they do

Sir Reg Empey

He said if that is ended then "we begin to go into
territory that is new and different and fresh".

"But at the moment what they say is going to be very
secondary to what they do," Sir Reg said.

Republicans had been given opportunity after opportunity
and had let people down each time, he said, adding that the
UUP would reserve judgement on the latest IRA statement.

He said if it was inadequate, then the political process
should not remain paralysed because of republicans.

Sir Reg, who led a six-strong UUP delegation to the Downing
Street talks, said the current terrorist threat to the UK
and the loyalist feud in Belfast were also discussed.

The feud sent out a "dreadful signal" to the rest of the UK
while it was facing the threat of terrorism, he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/25 18:35:42 GMT


Empey Leads UUP In Discussions With Blair

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Sir Reg Empey has led his party in talks with British
prime minister Tony Blair for the first time since his
election as Ulster Unionist leader last month.

The UUP delegation said the talks, requested by Mr Blair,
centred on the political process and the expected IRA
statement on its future. Although the question of
contentious loyalist parades was on the agenda, The Irish
Times understands this will be addressed in future meetings
with government officials.

One talks source said the July 7th London bombings had
changed the context for the discussions on the political
situation and any IRA commitment to a purely political

Sir Reg also insisted that it is not the wording of any
imminent IRA statement that matters, but the course of
events that follows.

"We will be looking, over the next period of time, to see
what they actually do," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"Do they give up all their weapons, do they stop criminal
activity, do they disband or stand down their army? Those
will be the things that people will be looking at. I
suspect people will not be convinced by anything they might
say but it will be by their actions."

Privately, many in the party are sceptical of Sinn Féin's
and the IRA's positions. "We've been in this position so
many times before," said a well-placed source. "How long is
it since the IRA said it would decommission in a manner to
maximise confidence?"

Many Ulster Unionists are convinced Shankill bomber Seán
Kelly was rightly re-imprisoned by Northern Secretary Peter
Hain, who said intelligence reports showed him to have been
involved in paramilitary activity.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson also pressed the British
government not to release Mr Kelly, despite a campaign for
his release in the run-up to an anticipated IRA statement
on its future.

Mr Donaldson said Mr Hain's decision to rearrest Mr Kelly
had been the right thing to do.

He said he was confident Mr Hain would not have put him
back behind bars if he did not believe he had become re-
involved in terrorism and was a danger to the community.

"Unsurprisingly, Kelly's reimprisonment has met with much
republican condemnation, mostly from Sinn Féin members but
also, disgracefully, from Fr Aidan Troy," said the Lagan
Valley MP.

Mr Donaldson went on: "The Secretary of State should not
bend in his view that Seán Kelly is a risk to society and
ensure that he serves the remainder of his sentence. It
would be utterly inconceivable that Seán Kelly is not
forced to see out what is left of his sentence for
murdering nine people on the Shankill Road in 1993. The
government must neither prepare for nor react to the
supposedly imminent IRA statement by being lenient on Seán
Kelly's sentence. Kelly's victims have endured enough pain
and suffering without the government adding to it with
another sop to Sinn Féin/IRA."

In Belfast, the SDLP met Mr Hain for talks. Deputy party
leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said afterwards: "The SDLP
wants all paramilitaries to go away and everybody to accept
the rule of law. That must apply as much to the IRA as the
UVF. We are very anxious to ensure that the IRA ends its
involvement in organised crime, dangerous illegal dumping,
intimidation and covering up for their own members. These
are the things that affect nationalists on the ground.

"The SDLP wants all paramilitaries off our backs so that
our communities can get off their knees, so that we can get
the people's Good Friday agreement off the ground."

© The Irish Times


Final Pieces Prepared For 'IRA Jigsaw'

An IRA statement outlining its future intent is expected
within days. BBC NI security editor Brian Rowan and BBC NI
political editor Mark Devenport outline the steps toward
that statement and its implications.

By Brian Rowan

BBC Northern Ireland security editor

I think we are now dealing with the final pieces of the
jigsaw and whether or not they can be slotted into place.

There is this renewed expectation that we are going to get
this statement.

There certainly is a possibility of it coming this week.
Crucial final discussions are taking place within the IRA.

That consultation within the IRA is now over and it is now
a decision for the IRA leadership to come up with the words
to describe its new position.

Reports of the resignations of Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams,
Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris from the IRA army
council are a side issue.

Whatever label you attach to Gerry Adams and Martin
McGuinness, they are the two most significant leadership
figures across that broad republican movement.

This statement has to be crystal clear - if it requires a
dictionary to understand, then Tony Blair will put it in
the bin

It will have been their thinking that prompted that debate
within the IRA and their voices will have been crucial
within that debate.

In the same way that after the 11 September attacks speeded
up the movement towards decommissioning, Gerry Adam and
Martin McGuinness will have to ensure that off the back of
the London attacks that they get the IRA to the right side
of the political lines.

That is why the statement has to be crystal clear. If it
requires a dictionary to understand, then Tony Blair will
put it in the bin.

There are a number of interesting little pointers: General
de Chastelain and Andrew Sens - his colleague on the
decommissioning body - have remained in Dublin.

The other thing we should watch out for over the next day
or two is for any developments over the case of Sean Kelly.

Kelly - the Shankill bomber - was recently returned to jail
after the secretary of state suspended his early release

Up to this point, he has not made an application to the
Sentence Review Commission. I imagine over the next days we
might get some indication that that application is now
being made.

What then happens is that a three commissioner tribunal
from that commission is set up, they look at what evidence
is provided by the government and make a judgement on it.

By Mark Devenport

BBC Northern Ireland political editor

Unionist cynicism has grown just as the waiting time for
this IRA statement has grown.

If the statement was to come out in the course of the next
week that would have the benefit for people like Tony Blair
could be around in order to give a reaction to it.

At the time of the 11 September attacks, people said that
this would have speeded up IRA decommissioning and made it
more definite

It would also give a bit of a run-up time to any report
from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) in the

Unionists will be saying - as UUP leader Sir Reg Empey has
said - that it is action and not words that count and it
will be the IMC that will verify this.

There is a logic to the IRA moving a little sooner rather
than later because the IMC will not have anything to verify
if the IRA move comes just before they are about to report.

Tony Blair is keen to grab hold of anything that he could
portray as good news, given the terrible events which have
been happening in London.

There has been a little bit of a knock-on effect from the
London events, in as much as I am sure the IRA would not
want any initiative from it to be drowned out in the news
or slip-streamed into a side story to what al-Qaeda is
doing across the world.

Simply from the point of view of news management, that must
have figured in the IRA's thinking.

The difficulty of course is that given the fluidity of
events in London, if you were to time an initiative for a
particular day, you just do not know what events will

At the time of the 11 September attacks, people said that
this would have speeded up IRA decommissioning and made it
more definite.

This does have an impact, in the sense that it reiterates
the view that there is no room in the mainstream of
politics for the use of violence.

Republicans will clearly want to differentiate themselves
from what is taking place elsewhere.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/25 09:19:16 GMT


Adams: Republicans Working Hard Towards IRA Conclusion
2005-07-25 20:40:09+01

Republicans are working hard to enable the IRA to respond
to calls for the terror group to abandon the armed
struggle, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said tonight.

With both the British and Irish governments waiting for the
IRA to publicly announce whether they will heed the call to
embrace democracy for good, Mr Adams said a statement from
the organisation was only part of the process.

Speculation has mounted in the last few days that a
statement is imminent.

Mr Adams said tonight: "Our focus is on a positive result
and we are working very, very hard and I can tell you on
behalf of the Sinn Féin leadership that we are totally and
absolutely committed to moving this process ahead.

"One, but only one, part of this is the IRA conclusion to
the internal consultation process and I repeat what I have
said before they need the space to conclude that."

The Sinn Féin leader also insisted that Unionists had a
part to play in moving the peace process forward.

"The rest of us in the Sinn Féin party, and the other
political parties, Unionism generally and the DUP in
particular, and of course both governments need to be
facing up to the challenge," he said.

It is understood senior Sinn Féin representatives have been
involved in talks in Downing Street today.

Unionists have warned the British government must
rigorously examine the IRA's involvement in criminality
even if the terror group comes out with a positive
statement on its future this week.

After a meeting in Downing Street with British Prime
Minister Tony Blair Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey
issued a warning not to allow Republicans to distance
themselves from their criminal operations.

It is understood that the IRA may talk about its members
ending active service and instead forming republican clubs
when a statement is issued.

Unionists are adamant that all involvement by the IRA in
paramilitary and criminal activity must be brought to a
complete end.


Decision To Keep Rossport 5 In Jail Until October Is
Totally Unacceptable - Ferris

Published: 25 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Marine and Natural Resources
Martin Ferris TD has slated today's court decision, to keep
the five men from Rossport, Co. Mayo in jail. Deputy Ferris
said the decision is "totally unacceptable."

Speaking today, he said:

"The travesty of injustice continues. Despite the fact the
Minister has indicated that the pipeline being built by
Shell & Statoil in Mayo did not have the required
permission the judge has sent the five men back to jail
today. The judge even refused to listen to the case put
before him. This is an absolute disgrace. These five men
are in jail for simply protecting their community against a
hazardous pipeline. These men should never have been in
jail in the first place and should be released immediately.

"The behaviour of the judge today raises serious questions
about the men's incarceration. Because of his action's they
could now remain in jail until October, which is totally

"Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for the men‚s release,
for the pipe line to be moved off shore and we will also
highlight the deeper injustice of how the government of the
day managed to simply sell off one of the greatest
resources this state has to foreign companies. Now these
same companies hold a community to ransom."

In conclusion Deputy Ferris called on, "all political
parties to come out and demand the release of the Rossport
5 and support the Shell to Sea campaign and end to this
terrible injustice." ENDS


DUP Opposition To Equality Commission Driven By

Published: 25 July, 2005

Responding to the news that the DUP MP Gregory Campbell is
to raise concerns about the make up of the Equality
Commission in the British House of Commons, Sinn Féin
Spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, South Down MLA
Caitríona Ruane accused the DUP of peddling myths about the
nature of inequality here and said that their opposition to
recent appointments to the Equality Commission are driven
by sectarianism.

Ms Ruane said:

"The opposition of the DUP to the Equality agenda is driven
by sectarianism and their comments about recent
appointments to the Equality Commission are bordering on
the racist.

"The opposition to the equality agenda is built upon myths,
lies and half truths.

"The facts speak for themselves. 70% of people living in
the 10% most deprived wards, as measured by the Noble
Index, are Catholic. Catholics are more likely to be
unemployed, are less likely to be in senior civil service
grades, are more likely to be on Housing Executive waiting
list, and have a poorer health profile.

"The DUP don't want to accept this because it would mean
that they would have to acknowledge the role of unionism in
the systematic discrimination of the state against
nationalists. It would also mean that they would have to
accept that resources allocated on the basis of need and
need alone would skew resources towards the most
disadvantaged in our society, who even in the 21st century
more likely to be Catholic.

"The DUP need to stop telling lies to their own community
because it does no-one any good. If anything Gregory
Campbell taking the issue of Equality to the British House
of Commons will expose their lies and expose their
sectarian driven agenda to ridicule.

"The DUP are obsessed with peddling myths about the true
nature of disadvantage, discrimination and unemployment in
the Six Counties. There is no question that many in the
protestant community are disadvantaged but the reality is
that on every single indicator that Catholics face greater

"The real test for the Equality Commission is whether it
can deliver on the task of tackling discrimination and
inequality. In part that means taking on the policy makers
and those in key decision making positions." ENDS

Note to Editors

The unemployment rate for Catholic men is 9 per cent
compared with 5 per cent for Protestant men. Among women,
the unemployment rates are 6 per cent for Catholics and 3
per cent for Protestants. A higher proportion of Catholic
than Protestant working age men and women are classified as
economically inactive. 24 per cent of Catholic men are
economically inactive compared with 18 per cent of
Protestant men.

Indicators such as economically inactive rates, the
'official' unemployment figures and also at the levels of
long-term unemployment, long-term illness and incapacity,
and others such as the Noble index of deprivation and
indicators of poverty and ill health all correlate. The
statistics show that unemployment, ill health and poverty
are a bigger problem for the Catholic community.

The monitoring statistics released by the Equality
Commission in December show that the Catholic share of the
workforce is still below the Catholic proportion of the
economically active population. In the Public sector 55.1%
of the overall composition is Protestant and 39.8% Catholic
while in the Private sector the protestant share is 55.6%
protestant and 39.4% catholic.

The composition of the private sector with 26 plus
employees also show a pattern of Catholic under-
representation. Harland & Wolff employs 12 Catholics and
235 protestants and Shorts Brothers employs only 14.8%
Catholics as against some 85.2% Protestants.

The same pattern of under-representation is replicated
among government departments, particularly at senior civil
service grades. The 2nd Report of the Justice Oversight
Commissioner published June 2004 shows that that less than
1 in 4 senior civil servants is Catholic. Across the NIO as
a whole, Catholics make up only 28% of the workforce.

At senior civil service grades (5+ and 6/7) there is
systematic under representation with less than 25% of all
senior grade civil servants coming from a Catholic
background, ranging from 15% in the Employment, Trade and
Investment Department, 13% in Regional Development to 33%
in Education. Given recruitment trends over the last 30
years it would take until 2057 to achieve fair

The Health Department report on Health Inequalities
published in May last year show that people living deprived
area are a third more likely to die prematurely; 25% more
likely to die as an infant; 15% more likely to get cancer;
and 25% more likely to be admitted to hospital.

The Housing Executive figures for 2002-03, show that in
Belfast the percentage of Catholics on the Housing
Executive waiting list for a house was 44%, yet only 28% of
those actually allocated a house were Catholic - an 'under-
allocation' of 16%. Protestants represented 43% of those on
the waiting list, but 64% of those allocated a house - an
'over-allocation'‚ of 21%.

For the same period (2002-2003) across the north as a whole
the percentage of Protestants on the waiting list was 47%,
with 54% actually being allocated a house - an over-
representation of 7%. For Catholics, the figures were 40%
on the waiting list, and 35% actually allocated a house -
an under-representation of 5%.


'Major Concerns' Over MI5 Role

By Jarlath Kearney

A decision by the British government to give MI5 control
of intelligence-gathering in the North has prompted Police
Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan to voice "major concerns".

In an exclusive and in-depth interview with Daily Ireland,
Mrs O'Loan expressed significant unease about the
implications of the security service's enhanced role.

She said MI5 primacy over intelligence could "diminish"
confidence in the North's policing accountability

Former secretary of state Paul Murphy announced through a
parliamentary statement in February 2005 that "the security
service will assume for Northern Ireland the lead
responsibility it has had for national security
intelligence work since 1992 in Great Britain".

Mr Murphy said the transfer of control over all
intelligence-gathering away from the PSNI Crime Operations
Department would be completed by 2007.

Crucially, he added: "The powers and responsibilities of
the Policing Board, the Police Ombudsman and the Oversight
Commissioner to oversee policing are not affected by this

Mr Murphy's statement means that the British government
will not extend the Police Ombudsman's remit to cover
investigations of alleged MI5 malpractice.

Nuala O'Loan said yesterday that Mr Murphy's parliamentary
announcement could jeopardise accountability over the
running of agents and intelligence-gathering.

While noting "there is some level of discussion due to take
place" with the British government over the issue, Mrs
O'Loan also revealed that her office had not been consulted

"The police complaints system, I think, is enhancing
confidence in the police. If it undermines, if it removes
part of the ability of the police complaints system and
current accountability mechanism to do that, then it is
possible that confidence will be diminished," Mrs O'Loan

"My concerns are around accountability. If there is less
accountability of those who are running informants and if
we look at the history of informants and the extent to
which they may or may not have been engaged in crime, there
is a serious issue. There must be proper accountability for
that," she added.

Following May's Westminster election, Paul Murphy was
transferred from his post as the North's secretary of state
to become chairman of the Intelligence and Security
Committee at Westminster.

Mrs O'Loan's comments follow similar remarks by police
oversight commissioner Al Hutchinson in June. Speaking to
Daily Ireland after publishing his 13th oversight report,
Mr Hutchinson said an enhanced role for MI5 would "risk
undermining the progress of the Patten recommendations if
[it] does not have proper accountability".


Adams Welcomes Confirmation Of Plans For Suicide Taskforce

Published: 25 July, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, MP for West Belfast has
welcomed the confirmation from the Department for Health
that the Minister Shaun Woodward has given approval for the
development of a Regional Strategy for the Prevention of
Suicide in the north of Ireland. The confirmation came in
correspondence from the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Henrietta
Campbell to Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Kathy Stanton.

Mr Adams said:

"We have now received confirmation that the Minister for
Health has approved the creation of a Taskforce on suicide.
The main responsibility of this Taskforce is to oversee the
development of a Regional Strategy for the Prevention of
Suicide in the north of Ireland. This group is due to
report in the autumn and a costed regional action plan is
scheduled to be produced by the end of November. Whilst I
wish to see this work done speedily, it must also be done
sufficiently and not superficially."

The Sinn Féin President said that this presented a huge
opportunity to re-orientate the approach of Health
Departments in Belfast and Dublin:

"The approval given to develop a regional strategy for the
prevention of suicide in the six counties has been long

"It wasn't so long ago that families bereaved through
suicide were being told that a strategy already existed or
that a strategy wasn‚t needed.

"It is vital now that the opportunity for the creation of
an all-Ireland approach to suicide prevention is not lost.
That is why I am writing to the Minister for Health to
raise further concerns about the way forward. I am still
awaiting the meeting I requested with his counterpart the
Tanaiste and Minister for Health, Mary Harney in Dublin, to
discuss suicide prevention.

"The development of a strategic response to suicide
prevention across the north must be part of an integrated
strategy for preventing suicide and self-harm throughout
Ireland. I hope that the Minister for Health in Belfast and
his counterpart in Dublin will agree to do just that." ENDS


Order Accepts Burrows Resignation

By Noel McAdam and Michael McHugh
25 July 2005

PORTADOWN Orange Order leaders have accepted the dramatic
resignation of District Master David Burrows, it was
confirmed today.

A resignation letter, in which Mr Burrows indicated he
wanted to stand down "for personal reasons" was accepted at
en emergency meeting of district leaders.

His former deputy Nigel Dawson has been appointed acting
Grand Master until October, when all positions in the
district have to be reappointed.

There was disappointment in local Orange ranks, however,
over the departure of Mr Burrows, who had only officially
taken over from the late Harold Gracey for seven months.

Mr Burrows had also been acting District Master since the
death of Mr Gracey and was effectively in charge during the
months in which Mr Gracey was ill.

"It's terrible and just points the finger at us again after
a period in which we felt the Drumcree issue had been put
back on the agenda," a senior official said.

"David had done a very good job and it was hoped he would

Spokesman for Portadown District, David Jones, said Mr
Dawson would be acting District Master until the election
takes place in October.

Mr Jones confirmed that the former District Foreman, Reggie
Tedford, would be taking over Mr Dawson's role as deputy
District Master in the interim.


A Woman Who Found A Way To Write

Published: July 24, 2005

MY mom always wanted to be a writer. In 1926, when she was
18, she applied for a job at The Washington Post. An editor
there told her that the characters she'd meet as a reporter
were far too shady for a nice young lady.

Skip to next paragraph

Columnist Page: Maureen Dowd But someone who wants to
write will find a way to write. And someone who wants to
change the world can do it without a big platform or high-
profile byline.

Besides raising five kids in high heels, my mom wrote with
a prolific verve that would have impressed one of her
idols, Abigail Adams.

In her distinct looping penmanship, learned from the nuns
at Holy Cross Academy in Washington, she regularly dashed
off missives to politicians. I'd often see form-letter
responses on her table from the White House or Congress.

She loved Ronald Reagan and when he landed in a firestorm,
she'd write to tell him to buck up. She also appreciated
Bill Clinton - his sunny style, his self-wounding
insecurity and his work on the Ireland peace process - and
would write to compliment him as well. (Literally catholic,
she liked both Monica and Hillary.)

She wrote to any member of Congress who made what she
considered the cardinal sin of referring to Edmund Burke as
a British, rather than Irish, statesman.

In 1995, after reading a newspaper analysis suggesting that
Al Gore was not sexy enough to run for president, Mom
swiftly dashed off a note reassuring the vice president
that he was sexy and that he'd done a great job as host of
Pope John Paul II's visit to Baltimore.

She carefully addressed it, "The Honorable Albert Gore Jr.,
Home of the Vice President, Observatory Circle; 37th Street
and Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C." The
letter was returned a few days later, stamped "Addressee

It was an omen.

She wrote her last name in black marker on the bottom of
the Tupperware she used to bring food to anyone in her
building or sodality or family who was under the weather or
having a party. On holidays, plates of food were always
handed out to those in the building who had to work or
might be lonely before she served her family.

When her dinner rolls stuffed with turkey and ham were
snapped up at my first cocktail party, as the expensive
catered cheese wheel and goose pâtés went untouched, she
told me with a smug smile: "Simplicity pays."

Mom - a woman who always carried a small bottle of Tabasco
in her purse - wrote out hundreds of recipes, adding
notations of her own, including Mamie Eisenhower's Million
Dollar Fudge (1955), which she deemed "Rich as Croesus, but
oh so good," Mrs. Nixon's Hot Chicken Salad and Barbara
Bush's High Fiber Bran Muffins.

In the middle of her recipe cards, she wrote down a quote
that appealed to her: "The Talmud says, If I am not for
myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, who am I? If
not now, when?"

When my mom still hoped I would transcend takeout, she'd
write away for booklets for me: "150 Favorite Pickle
Recipes From Iowa," "Confessions of a Kraut Lover" from
Empire State Pickling and "How to Cook With Budweiser,"
including a chocolate beer cake.

Without ever mentioning it to anyone, she constantly wrote
out a stream of very small checks from her police widow's
pension for children who were sick and poor.

She didn't limit her charity to poor kids. When 6-year-old
Al Gore III was struck by a car in 1989, she sent him a
get-well card and a crisp dollar bill. "Children like
getting a little treat when they're not feeling well," she

She had a column, "Under the Capitol Dome," in the National
Hibernian Digest. In 1972, she chronicled her debut, at 63,
as a protester.

After Bloody Sunday, when British soldiers fired on a
Catholic demonstration in Londonderry, Northern Ireland,
killing 13 people, Mom went to the Kennedy Center in
Washington to picket the British ambassador, who was going
to a performance of the Royal Scots Guards. She proudly
wore her green Irish tweed cape and waved a placard
reading, "Stop killing innocent civilians."

"The triumph of the evening," she wrote in her column, "was
when the British ambassador had to be taken in through a
basement door."

She wrote me relentlessly when I moved to New York in 1981
with everything from fashion tips ("Hang your necklaces
inside your blouse so your bra will catch them if the clasp
breaks") to strategy on breakups ("Put all his pictures in
a place you won't see them, preferably the trash") to
health tips ("I hope you will never take a drink when you
are unhappy. It would break my heart to think you had
become a jobless derelict, an easy prey for unscrupulous
men, me dead, and a family who held you in contempt because
you had tossed aside your beauty, youth and talent.").

Columnist Page: Maureen Dowd Mom was not famous, but she
was remarkable. Her library included Oscar Wilde, Civil War
chronicles, Irish history and poetry books, as well as
"Writing to the Point: Six Basic Steps," and the 1979 "Ever
Since Adam and Eve: The Satisfactions of Housewifery and
Motherhood in the Age of Do-Your-Own-Thing.'"

As her friend Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The
New Republic, eulogized her last week: "She was venerable
without any of the fuss of venerability; worldly, but
thoroughly incorruptible; hilarious, but ruthlessly in
earnest; unexpected, but magnificently consistent; wicked,
but good. She could be skeptical and sentimental in the
very same moment. She set things right just by being in the
midst of them."

When I told her I was thinking of writing a memoir, she
dryly remarked, "Of whom?" And when reporters just starting
out asked her for advice about journalism, she replied
sagely: "Get on the front page a lot and use the word
'allegedly' a lot." The daughter of a manager of an Irish
bar named Meenehan's, with a side entrance marked Ladies'
Only, she grew up in a Washington that was still a small
Southern village with horses and carriages. As a child she
saw the last of the Civil War veterans marching in Memorial
Day parades, and as the wife of a D.C. police inspector she
made friends with her neighbor, Pop Seymour, the last
person alive who saw Lincoln shot at Ford's Theater. (He
was 5 and saw the president slump in his box.)

Intensely patriotic, a politics and history buff, in her
life she spanned the crash of the Titanic to the crash of
the twin towers, Teddy Roosevelt to W. One of her big
thrills came in 1990 when she went to the White House
Christmas party with me and President Bush gave her a kiss.
On the way home, she said to me in a steely voice, "I don't
ever want you to be mean to that man again."

As my mom lay in pain, at 97 her organs finally shutting
down, my sister asked her if she would like a highball.
Over the last six years, Mom had managed to get through
going into a wheelchair and losing her sight, all without
painkillers or antidepressants - just her usual evening
glass of bourbon and soda.

Her sense of taste was gone, and she could no longer speak,
but she nodded, game as ever, just to show us you can have
life even in death. We flavored her spoonful of ice chips
with bourbon, soon followed by a morphine chaser.

Peggy Dowd died last Sunday at 6:30 a.m. I'm not sure if
she was trying to keep breathing until the 8:30 a.m. Mass
for shut-ins or Tim Russert's "Meet the Press."

I just know that I will follow the advice she gave me in a
letter while I was in college, after I didn't get asked to
a Valentine's Day dance. She sent me a check for $15 and
told me to always buy something red if you're blue - a
lipstick, a dress.

"It will be your 'Red Badge of Courage,' " she wrote. And
courage was a subject the lady knew something about.


Guinness's Contribution To Dublin Highlighted In New Book

Ali Bracken

The social history of St James's Gate brewery and the
contribution made by the Guinness company to the welfare of
its staff and the wider community are discussed in a book
published in Dublin last night.

The Goodness of Guinness: The Brewery, its People and the
City of Dublin by Tony Corcoran, a Guinness employee for 38
years, was launched in the Liberties College.

The title is as much a testament to the good work of the
company as to the quality of the stout.

Finbar Flood, former managing director of Guinness and
chairman of the Labour Court, wrote the foreword and
launched the book yesterday, the feastday of St James.

Mr Flood said: "This is a timely book. People forget what
it was like before the Celtic Tiger . . . Guinness's had a
social concern. Multinationals today have very little
loyalty to their employees and the community."

Alan Dukes, former Fine Gael leader and the author's
brother-in-law, was among the guests. "I know the story of
Guinness's history from my wife [ Fionnuala], who also
worked for Guinness. My wife was moved that he dedicated
the book to their mother," Mr Dukes said.

"My mother's name McEnnis, translates to Guinness. So in a
sense, I am a Guinness," joked Mr Corcoran.

Mr Corcoran's book was published by the Liberties Press.

"We believe in one drink, Guinness the almighty. Makers of
cans and beer. Of all that is drunk and un-drunk. We
believe in one brewer - Arthur, the only son of Guinness,"
Mr Corcoran read from an anonymous e-mail received by the
Lord Mayor's office recently.

© The Irish Times
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?