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 08, 2005

Parades to Proceed

News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 07/09/05 Parades To Proceed, Says Order
IO 07/08/05 Irish Architect Recovering After London Bombings
BB 07/08/05 Concern For Missing Irish Citizen
IO 07/08/05 Thousand Join Protest Over 'Shell Five'
IE 07/08/05 Ferris Accused Of Hypocrisy In Criticism Of London Blasts
BT 07/08/05 Books Of Condolence Opened In Province
UT 07/08/05 Blunkett Condemns Kelly Protest
IT 07/09/05 State To Purchase Great Blasket
IT 07/09/05 Bray Head Cliff Walk Reopens After Path Moved Back


Parades To Proceed, Says Order

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Tomorrow's Drumcree parade and Tuesday's Twelfth of July marches are
to proceed as normal, notwithstanding appeals from the SDLP for the
Orange Order to at least cancel its contentious parades in the wake of
the London bombings.

The Orange Order said there was considerable discussion within the
organisation about what was the appropriate course to take after the
attacks on London.

The comments from British prime minister Tony Blair and Sir Ian Blair,
commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police that people should act
normally in defiance of the bombers convinced the order all the
parades should go ahead, a spokesman for the order said yesterday.

"Organisers of individual parades will be taking action to ensure the
parades take place in a dignified manner as a mark of respect for the
victims of the bombings.

"I expect that there will be minutes of silence observed at some or
all of the parades," he added.

There is always an unpredictability factor over Drumcree, but the PSNI
hopes and expects that tomorrow's parade will pass off peacefully.
Security is scaled down again this year.

The main concern centres on Tuesday night's return Orange Order feeder
parade past the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast where serious trouble
erupted last year. That the Orange Order is determined to proceed with
this parade continues to cause community anxieties.

Nationalist residents are planning to stage a protest against the
return parade. Sinn Féin North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly
will attend a public meeting in Belfast tomorrow night to discuss the

SDLP leader Mark Durkan appealed for peace over the coming days. He
called on the marching orders not to pass through contentious areas
out of respect for the dead in London and asked residents not to
sustain protests if they "nonetheless march where they are not

"Following the carnage in London, it is even more important that we
have a peaceful marching season. At a time when streets will be filled
with funerals and grief in London, it would show no respect if our
streets were filled with rioting and strife," he said.

"That is why I am calling on the marching orders not to walk through
contentious areas over the 12th. And it is why I am calling on
residents not to sustain protests if the marching orders show no
respect and do so," added Mr Durkan.

Orangemen are again banned by the Parades Commission from parading
down the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown from Drumcree tomorrow
afternoon. The last time they did so was 1997.

PSNI chief supt Drew Harris said police were optimistic about this
year's Drumcree, although they were in a position to apply additional
resources if required.

"This year we plan to scale down the physical security measures at
Drumcree even more than last year and I believe that this will be
noticeable to most people," he said.

Martin Wall adds: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said yesterday that he
believed the IRA statement on its future intentions would not come in
the week ahead, but hoped that it would be released before the end of
the month.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Ahern said that the coming week
was "a difficult week" as it was the key week of the marching season.

"I hope and pray that everybody will be responsible in that and
particularly when we see what happened in London, people should try to
make sure that we have no troubles anywhere on this island," he said.

The Taoiseach said that hopefully after next week there would be
progress on the IRA statement.

© The Irish Times


Architect Recovering After London Bombings

08/07/2005 - 19:55:06

Architect William Walshe was tonight recovering from burns and
lacerations after being caught up in the terrorist bomb attacks in

His mother, Barbara Walshe, flew in from her home in Galway, Ireland,
to be at his bedside today as he underwent surgery at the Royal London
Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

She said: "Thankfully we knew from the beginning his injuries weren't
life threatening but he has a burnt hand, a burnt leg and lacerations
to his face."

William, 24, had left his shared home near Liverpool St station to
catch the Circle Line to Sloane Square where he worked when he was
caught in the blast.

His mum said: "He was going towards Aldgate when the carriage blew up.
He says he was in a carriage where seven people were killed and
although he can't remember much, he said someone broke the windows and
they crawled out and staggered along the line towards Aldgate station.

"He said there was screaming, people crying, people praying and the
smell of burning. He described not being able to breathe and only
being able to breathe smoke, it was very frightening."

William moved to London from Galway six years ago and has an older
brother, Gary, 29, and three sisters, Janice, 31, Barbara, 26, and
Claire, 19.

His mother said: "We feel very lucky that he is alive. There are
people tonight who have lost limbs or even their lives.

"He is just coming round and is complaining that he has lost his iPod
and the 3,000 tunes on it so he can't be too bad."

Meanwhile, concerns were growing tonight for an Irish person who may
have been caught up in the attacks.

The Government confirmed the family of one Irish passport holder had
been unable to contact him since the blasts.

The news emerged after Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said he
was seriously concerned for an Irish citizen who has been living in
the UK for some time.

The minister said his department had been unable to locate the person
whom, it is believed, may have lived elsewhere before moving to the

As Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said al-Qaida suspects were under
surveillance in Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was
concerned that Irish citizens may have been caught up in the London

"There are one or two Irish people about whom there are concerns and
the Embassy in London is following up these cases with the
Metropolitan Police," a spokesman said.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy are working closely
to ensure that families have access to all the support and assistance
they need."

The spokesman said the Embassy was working with the Central Casualty
Bureau in London which brings together all of the emergency services,
including the London Metropolitan Police Service and the Foreign

"The helplines in Dublin and London remain open and anyone who has
already been in touch with either office and has since had news of
their friend or relative is invited to call either number again so
that they can be eliminated from our inquiries," he added.

As the hunt for information about any Irish casualties continued,
Bertie Ahern said gardaí were monitoring al-Qaida sympathisers in
Ireland as part of a massive international security operation.

Mr Ahern said he did not believe Ireland was under serious threat of
attack but he admitted security services were closely monitoring
certain people in the Republic.

"We take that very seriously, the gardai work very very closely with
international security and we do watch certain individuals very very
closely," he said.

"There are people living in the Republic of Ireland that we have to
attach huge importance to and we do.

"This week underlines that and we do that as part of international co-

The Taoiseach also said he did not believe allowing US troops to use
Shannon International Airport had left the country exposed to a
greater risk of terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, the British Embassy in Ireland has been overwhelmed with
messages of sympathy following the terrorist bombings.

British Ambassador Stewart Eldon said the kind thoughts and sentiments
of the Irish people were very much appreciated at this time.

A book of condolences has been opened at the embassy on the Merrion
Road to allow others to express their feelings in the wake of the
attacks that have left more than 50 people dead.

Mr Eldon said the compassion of Irish people had eased the shock
caused by the tragedy.

"We have been overwhelmed by the volume of calls and messages from
people in Ireland expressing their sympathy and shock following the
dreadful events in London yesterday, and who have joined with us in
expressing their profound condolences to those affected," he said.

"This has been a most terrible tragedy that has cost many lives.

"The kind thoughts and sentiments of the Irish people are very much
appreciated at this sad time."

President Mary McAleese, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid
Martin, and a host of politicians, including Enda Kenny, the leader of
main opposition party Fine Gael, signed the book of condolences.

The book of condolences was open to members of the public at the
British Embassy on Merrion Road, south Dublin, between 11am and 4pm
today and between 10.30am and 4pm on Monday July 11 and Tuesday July

The helplines for relatives who are concerned about loved ones can be
contacted on Dublin 1 800 242 548 or the Irish Embassy in London on 00
44 207 201 2501 or 00 44 207 201 2508.


Concern For Missing Irish Citizen

The Irish government has concerns that at least one Irish citizen may
have been killed in the London bombings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin and the Irish embassy in
London is working with the Metropolitan Police to follow-up the case.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said the missing person
has been living in the UK for some time.

Mr Ahern said Irish embassy staff and police have so far been unable
to contact the person.

Meanwhile, a woman from Northern Ireland who narrowly escaped the
biggest of the city's bomb attacks on Thursday has been speaking about
her experience.

The explosion at King's Cross killed at least 21 people. Police have
confirmed they have yet to recover bodies from a carriage at the back
of the train.

Joanna Taylor, originally from Ballymena, was on the train.

She said she felt "horrified" that she was on the carriage behind the
one where the bodies are trapped.

She told BBC Northern Ireland she was reading her paper when "some
sort of noise or force just appeared to be coming towards us with lots
of smoke and lots of dirt".

"All the lights went dead and the train just stopped," Joanna said.

"The initial reaction was 'what just happened?' and then we all looked
round to make sure everyone else was OK.

"It was a bit frenzied, but I don't think there was a massive amount
of screaming or yelling or anything like that."

She said news began to filter down from other carriages or from
underground workers that help was on its way.

A doctor from County Antrim, who was also in the city at the time of
the attack, has been talking about how he helped tend to victims of
the bus bombing in Tavistock Square, in which 13 died.

Brian Dunn, a Larne GP, was in London on Thursday for talks at the
headquarters of the British Medical Association, outside which the
bomb went off.

He and the other doctors went to assist the emergency services and
said this meant some ambulances were able to go to the other attack
scenes to collect casualties there.

"It was really only after it was all over that we sat back and thought
about the injuries and all of those people," he said.

"They were fairly harrowing scenes I think as doctors we tend not to
dwell on such issues.

"Certainly when it was all over one of the young police women broke
down in tears and I think most people the ambulance crews the doctors
and police and fire crews were all affected by what they saw."

More than 50 people have been confirmed dead and 700 others were
injured in the attacks.

Books of condolence have been opened in Northern Ireland and flags are
flying at half mast.

A minute's silence was observed for the victims of the explosions at
an EU meeting in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

Opening one of the books of condolence, Belfast Lord Mayor Wallace
Browne expressed his sympathy to the people of London.

"On behalf of all the citizens of Belfast we would like to express our
deepest sympathy to the families that have been bereaved and those
injured in the appalling attack," Mr Browne said.

"I think that because here in Belfast we have had experience of
similar attacks over the years we can empathise with the people in

Churches in Northern Ireland are being asked to pray for the victims
of the bomb attacks.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/08 16:36:19 GMT


Thousand Join Protest Over 'Shell Five'
2005-07-08 18:20:02+01

Over a thousand people staged a nationwide protest tonight to
highlight the plight of the five men jailed over their objections to a
gas pipeline in Co Mayo.

The supporters took up their pickets outside Shell garages across the
country as the row over the jailing of the men deepened

Micheal O'Seighin, Vincent McGrath, his brother Philip, Willie Corduff
and Brendan Philbin from Rossport in Co Mayo are being held in
Cloverhill prison in Dublin for refusing to obey an injunction taken
out by Shell.

"It is not good enough for the Government to wash their hands of the
Corrib Gas debacle and allow Shell to ride roughshod over the people
of Rossport," Martin Ferris, a Sinn Féin TD, said.

The five men were put in Cloverhill prison last week for obstructing
the construction of the pipeline across their land and have stated
publicly that they are determined to continue their opposition to the

Shell E & P Ireland is seeking to pump gas at high pressure from the
Corrib gas field along the pipe to an onshore refinery at Bellanaboy
in Mayo as part of a €990m project.

The jailed men want Shell to build the gas refinery offshore because
they fear that pumping unrefined gas past their homes will lead to a
health and safety risk.

The President of the High Court, Judge Joseph Finnigan, has warned the
five men that their fate is in their own hands.

The judge said it was up to the men to purge their contempt of court
to be freed from jail.

The jailing of the five men has brought national attention to the
campaign against the pipeline, which has been going on since work on
it began in 1998.

Protests took place in Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Galway,
Leitrim, Waterford, Laois, Kilkenny, Kildare and Westmeath.

Mr Ferris said over a thousand people had turned out to protest and
hand out leaflets to highlight the men's plight.

"In the interest of justice it is only right and proper that all
people concerned should show their support for the men and their
families," he said.

"They all have families and it has taken an enormous toll on them."

Mr Ferris said: "The five men should be released immediately. The
Government should initiate an independent review of health and safety
risks and institute a thorough public investigation into every aspect
of Shell's involvement in this project right back to the shoddy deal
that gave them control over the Corrib Field in the first instance."

The Kerry North TD added: "Mostly everyone I have spoken to is
revolted that a multi-national like Shell is infringing on the rights
of citizens."


Ferris Accused Of Hypocrisy In Criticism Of London Blasts

Donal Hickey

MARTIN FERRIS of Sinn Féin was yesterday accused of hypocrisy after
claiming there was no comparison between the London terror attacks and
IRA atrocities.

The Kerry North TD condemned the London attacks but said there was no
comparison with the IRA's campaigns which, he said, never deliberately
targeted civilians.

Meanwhile, Republicans were accused of "spectacular stupidity"
yesterday after they picketed a job centre in west Belfast visited by
20 European employment ministers and forced British works and pensions
secretary David Blunkett to cancel his trip. The protesters demanded
the release of jailed IRA killer Sean Kelly.

Mr Blunkett said he felt that protesting for the freedom of a mass
murderer the day after the London bombings was inappropriate. Mr
Ferris, meanwhile, came under a barrage of criticism from listeners to
Radio Kerry yesterday.

"People seemed horrified that Mr Ferris should reject any comparison
with IRA activities. There was huge reaction, with people ringing and
texting in for two hours," said Treasa Murphy, producer of the
station's current affairs programme, Kerry Today.

"About 95% of callers condemned his comments as hypocritical. Some of
the calls came from people who had lived in Britain during the 70s and

"These people were very angry and said they had to endure the backlash
Irish people in England received at the time in the wake of IRA
bombings there."

Mr Ferris described Thursday's atrocities as a disgrace, saying he was
"totally shocked and horrified that such an indiscriminate attack on
innocent civilians could take place". He pointed out many Kerry people
were in London and hoped they were unharmed.

Mr Ferris, who served 10 years in Portlaoise Prison for his part in
the Marita Ann gunrunning in 1984, was forced to defend his
condemnations after being accused of hypocrisy.

Mr Ferris said the London bombings were a deliberate, pre-meditated
attack against ordinary working class innocent people. The Birmingham
bombings were wrong, he said, and the IRA had apologised, but he would
not condemn any IRA action because it was always aimed at the British
establishment and the British military presence in Ireland.


Books Of Condolence Opened In Province

By Maureen Coleman
08 July 2005

BOOKS of condolence were being opened today across Northern Ireland in
the aftermath of the London terror attacks.

In several towns and cities, including bomb-hit Belfast and Coleraine,
flags on council property were flying at half mast as a gesture of
respect for the victims of yesterday's explosions.

Council representatives throughout the province were also planning to
write letters to the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone to express their

In Belfast, a book of condolences was opened at the City Hall this
morning to allow people to pass on their messages of support and

Lord Mayor Wallace Browne said the people of Belfast had suffered at
the hands of terrorists and understood what the people of London were
going through.

"We just want to express our sympathies to them following this
appalling act of terrorism," he said.

"I have already passed on my sympathies to the Mayor of London on
behalf of the people of this city."

The book of condolence is expected to remain open for a week.

In Coleraine, where a 500lb IRA bomb exploded in November 1992, a book
of condolence was also being opened in the Town Hall and flags on the
building were flying at half mast.

A similar book is expected to be opened in Omagh next week following a
council meeting.

Sinn Fein chairman Michael McAnespie said it was a "very sad day" for
London and that people everywhere could understand the pain and fear
felt by the victims.

"We feel a lot of sorrow for everyone involved," he said.

In Fermanagh, Sinn Fein chairman Stephen Huggett said it was too early
to say if a book would be opened, but he said he would be writing to
Mr Livingstone to pass on the condolences of the people of Fermanagh.

"As a Londoner myself I am keenly aware of how the people will be
feeling today," he said.

"What happened yesterday is highly regrettable."


Blunkett Condemns Kelly Protest

David Blunkett tonight condemned republican protesters in west Belfast
whose demand for the release of a jailed IRA killer prevented him
making a visit as part of an EU ministers conference.

By:Press Accociation

He made clear that he felt that protesting for the freedom of a mass
murderer the day after the London bombings was inappropriate.

European Union ministers went to a job centre in Springvale where
around 60 republicans gathered to demand the release of IRA bomber
Sean Kelly who was returned to jail by the Government last month for
involvement in terrorist activities.

As the group, waving banners and wearing Sean Kelly T-shirts, jostled
with police, the Work and Pensions Secretary had his plans to join the
EU ministers cancelled at the last minute on security advice.

He did go ahead with a visit to a jobs scheme in the loyalist Shankill
Road area of west Belfast with the EU ministers attending a two-day
conference in Belfast Mr Blunkett is hosting as part of the UK
presidency of the European Union.

The two visits were to allow the visitors to see at first hand how
people usually marginalised in the jobs market are being equipped for
the world of work.

Kelly was one of two IRA men who planted a bomb in a Shankill Road
fish and chip shop in 1993, killing nine innocent civilians and his
accomplice Thomas Begley.

He was given nine life sentences but was released from prison in 2000
as part of the Good Friday Agreement early release scheme.

Mr Blunkett said of the protest: "I think all of us have to weigh what
we do, what we say, in the light of the particular circumstances of
the moment."

He added: "I think it doesn`t take me to have to tell the people of
Ireland or the United Kingdom how to think about that presentation

Pressed at a news conference to express his feelings more forcefully,
he responded: "I don`t have to tell the British or Irish people what I
think because I think they can draw their own conclusions."

And Mr Blunkett insisted the protest had not caused much disruption to
his day.

"I had planned to go to the Shankill which I did. I planned to see the
trainees from Springvale, which I did - and they were kind enough to
give me a Celtic clock, which I treasure."


State To Purchase Great Blasket

Martin Wall

The Government is to purchase the Great Blasket island - An Blascaod
Mór - Minister for the Environment Dick Roche announced last night.

The deal involves buying out a number of landowners and will cost €1.7

The Department of the Environment also set out details of a management
plan for the island.

The plan will involve the development of a new pier, cafe and public

Houses remaining in private ownership on the island, outside of the
core village area, may also be refurbished for residential use.

The last inhabitants on the island, off the Kerry coast, were
evacuated in the early 1950s. The State has had plans to buy An
Blascaod Mór for more than 15 years.

In 1989 former taoiseach Charles Haughey announced plans for the State
to buy the 450- hectare island to develop it as an historic national

However, the legislation drafted to carry out the plan was ruled
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1999.

In 2002 the current Government decided in principle to open
negotiations with landowners on the purchase of their property.

Mr Roche said last night that the purchase of An Blascaod Mór marked
"the culmination of many years of effort on the part of the State to
protect an important element of our national cultural, historic and
linguistic heritage".

"The Government has now decided that we need to take forward the heads
of agreement and the first step will be to complete the purchase of
these land interests on the island over the next number of months," Mr
Roche stated last night.

The island management plan sets out principles governing ownership,
development and tourist access. A new pier will be built on An
Blascaod Mór and the existing pier on the mainland at DúChaoin will be

The core village on the island will be conserved and consolidated in
its present ruined state.

The principal landowner will be allowed to develop a cafe with new
public facilities. These will be the only new structures permitted.

The plan states that houses that remain in private ownership outside
of the core village area may be refurbished for residential use.
However, no new buildings will be allowed. Any refurbishment will also
have to be in accordance with State requirements, planning legislation
and local area plans.

"Existing grazing rights will be retained, as the natural habitat
requires the continuation of some grazing", the plan states.

The State will control the stocking rate on the island. Initially
there will also be restrictions on the number of paying visitors to
the island, with no more than 400 allowed per day. The plan says that
this move is to protect the fragile nature of the natural heritage and
the ruins on the island.

© The Irish Times


Bray Head Cliff Walk Reopens After Path Moved Back From Coast

Joe Humphreys

One of the most picturesque cliff walks on the east coast will
officially reopen today following the completion of remedial works
aimed at saving the cliff from slipping into the sea.

The five-kilometre Bray to Greystones cliff walk, which attracts
thousands of walkers to north Wicklow, was recently declared a no-go
area by Wicklow County Council due to erosion to a narrow pathway on
the southern slopes of Bray Head.

The local authority has since acquired land from a local farmer, which
enabled it to move the path several metres away from the coast.
Drainage and a new hard-core topping is also being installed on the
walkway as part of a €140,000 works programme, funded by the
Department of the Environment.

A lobby group, Friends of the Cliff Walk, has campaigned for the
improvements. More than 200 people turned up at a recent meeting on
the subject, according to Greystones councillor George Jones (FG).

"There is a great deal of passion about the walk locally. People
realised the value of it. There is probably nothing on the east coast
that is comparable to it."

He noted Wicklow County Council was looking at plans to develop a more
extensive coastal walk, from Bray to Arklow, with the hope of creating
a major tourist attraction for the county.

The environmentalist, Eamon de Buitlear, is to lead today's walk,
which departs from the Bray Head car park, off Raheen Park, at
11.30am. The walk coincides with the opening of the Bray Summer Fest.

Mr Jones said the cliff walk, which closely follows the east coast
railway line, was popular with hill-walkers, families, tourists and
bird-watchers. "The views from it are immaculate, especially on a good
day. There is plenty of flora and fauna, which makes it very
attractive for visitors to the county. You could have hundreds on the
walk every day, and you would always meet a couple of Germans or
Italians or Americans on it."

Friends of the Cliff Walk has succeeded in getting Wicklow County
Council and the two local town councils to reserve some money in their
estimates for the maintenance of the amenity.

Under a proposed second stage of improvement works, new railings,
fences and signage will be installed, and another parcel of land will
be acquired, which would allow the walk come closer to Greystones

© The Irish Times
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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