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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 19, 2005
UVF Linked To Gun Attack
News about Ireland & the Irish
BB 07/19/05 UVF Linked To Gun Attack On House
BL 07/19/05 Police Arrest Man Suspected Of Loyalist Terror
BT 07/19/05 2 Protestant Peace Workers Fined After Rioting
DJ 07/19/05 Council In Re-Route Bonfires Bid
BT 07/19/05 DUP Attacks IRSP For Bomb Remarks
DJ 07/19/05 No Tears Will Be Shed For Heath'
BT 07/19/05 Opin: The Twelfth - Repackaged
UVF Linked To Gun Attack On House
The Ulster Volunteer Force paramilitary grouping has been
linked by loyalist sources to an attack in east Belfast.
Shots were fired at a house in Sydenham and, according to
one source, security measures at the house prevented the
gunmen from getting inside.
The incident comes during a continuing feud between the UVF
and the LVF.
Loyalists said the police have visited two bars on the
Newtownards Road and on the Shankill to advise them of the
possibility of an attack.
The shooting in Sydenham happened at a property on Victoria
Road at about 2045 BST on Monday.
Four shots were fired at the house; two at the front window
and two through the front door.
No-one was home at the time, but the owners believe the
gunmen were looking for their 22-year-old son.
He does not live there, but he had visited the house that
A short time after the attack, a car was found burning in a
nearby underpass and police are investigating a possible
The DUP's Robin Newton, who described the attack as an "act
of madness", said it may be linked to a loyalist feud.
"It could well be that someone walking along the street, a
child, an elderly person, could have been caught up in the
incident and we could have been looking at a fatality this
morning," he said.
Police have appealed for anyone with information about the
attack to contact them.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/19 11:11:52 GMT
© BBC MMV
U.K. Police Arrest Man Suspected Of N. Ireland Loyalist
July 19 (Bloomberg) -- A 46-year-old man was arrested in
the western English port city of Liverpool early today on
suspicion of involvement in loyalist terrorism connected
with Northern Ireland, police said.
The man was sought by anti-terrorism officers from the city
of Manchester, east of Liverpool, and was transferred there
for questioning, according to an e-mailed statement from
the Greater Manchester Police. Manchester officers made the
arrest, assisted by Liverpool's Merseyside Police,
according to the statement.
The man is suspected of taking part in ``the commission,
preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism,'' police
said without identifying him or providing further details.
The case isn't connected with the bombings in London July
7, police said.
The mainly Protestant loyalists in Northern Ireland favor
the continued union of the province with the U.K.
Republicans and nationalists, many of them Roman Catholic,
seek to unite the north with the republic of Ireland.
In Northern Ireland yesterday, the Democratic Unionist
Party condemned a call by a Catholic priest, Father Aidan
Troy, for the release of Sean Kelly, convicted in 1993 of
the bombing of a Belfast fish shop in which 10 people were
The leadership of the Irish Republican Army is currently
discussing an April 6 appeal by Gerry Adams, head of the
republican Sinn Fein party, for the IRA to end its ``armed
struggle'' and use political means to achieve its goal of a
Two 'Peace Workers' Fined After Rioting In Derry
Magistrate says incidents bring shame and disgrace
By Sarah Brett
19 July 2005
Two Protestant 'peace workers' were among three men who
avoided prison after being convicted of disorderly
behaviour during a riot in Londonderry.
Resident Magistrate Barney McElholm blasted the trio saying
that anyone involved in such incidents brought "shame and
disgrace" to the city.
John Andrew Thompson (39) from the Fountain estate and
Richard Jonathan George McCombe (34) from Bann Drive - both
involved with the Protestant Interface Network (PIN) -
pleaded guilty at Derry magistrate's Court yesterday to
disorderly behaviour in the early hours of July 13 when a
riot broke out at the flashpoint between the loyalist Irish
Street and the nationalist Gobnascale areas.
A third man who pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour,
unemployed Paul McGarrigle (34) from Copperthorpe in
Drumahoe, had been drinking all day and remembered nothing
of the incident, according to his brief.
All three men received suspended jail terms of four months
applicable over two years and were each fined £200.
While the police presence in the courtroom was low key,
around 15 officers in full riot gear flanked the steps
outside the court house.
The court was told that Thompson, a storeman at Altnagelvin
Hospital and McCombe, an unemployed scaffolder, both worked
with PIN, an organisation that attempts to steer young
Protestants away from sectarian related incidents.
At around 2am on July 13 a police patrol was tasked to a
riot between rival factions numbering around 30 from each
Police moved in to separate the two groups at which point
the three defendants were recognised by officers and
Defence solicitor Emma O'Hare said Thompson and McCombe had
been at a house party when they became aware of the
incident close by.
"They were concerned that members of their community would
be involved so they went to the scene to try and identify
them and take them out of the situation."
Ms O'Hare said it was "an uncharacteristic incident" in
which the three men became embroiled.
Passing sentence Mr McElholm said he viewed the matter
"very, very seriously" and would be imposing suspended
sentences because of the serious nature of the
Meanwhile, UPRG spokesman David Nichol said he had
"absolute confidence" in Mr Thompson's ability to carry out
peace work in Protestant communities.
He added that Mr Thompson would be used in any future
situation over the coming months where his expertise was
Council In Re-Route Bonfires Bid
Tuesday 19th July 2005
Derry City Council is taking steps to prevent traditional
bonfires being burned on council property.
The local authority wants to encourage those behind
'Eleventh night' bonfires and fires on August 12 and 15 in
the city to go elsewhere.
Only one loyalist bonfire was burned on council ground on
the eve of the Twelfth of July this year.
Council staff were responsible for the clean-up operation
following the fire on its property on Church Road.
The aftermath of similar celebrations in the city often
costs the ratepayer tens of thousands of pounds a year.
A spokesman for Derry City Council said the clean-up
operation following fires on non council owned property is
the responsibility of the owners of the lands on which it
He added: "Derry City Council is working with other bodies
to re-site bonfires from council property."
Meanwhile, a Waterside resident has expressed her fear
after youths began preparing a bonfire on council-owned
soccer pitches in Clooney Estate.
The fire will be lit on August 12 - the eve of the
Apprentice Boys of Derry's 'Relief of Derry' celebrations
in the city.
In a letter to the 'Journal', the homeowner claimed that
despite consultation with Derry City Council and the PSNI
over fears of a bonfire in the area, both are still
permitting one to be built.
"The bonfire is sited around an area where approximately 10
Roman Catholic families live, mostly pensioners, and their
fears and concerns have not been taken into account.
"Why can't the powers-that-be not insist that this bonfire
be sited in another area, where it will not cause concern
and offence to Roman Catholic residents, such as Lincoln
Courts or the bottom area of Clooney Estate/Bonds Street
etc?" the resident added.
DUP Attacks IRSP For Bomb Remarks
Party is accused of hypocrisy
By Brendan McDaid
19 July 2005
The DUP today lashed out at the political wing of the INLA
after they condemned al-Qaida for its suicide bombing
attacks on London.
In a statement issued by the Irish Republican Socialist
Party, Political Secretary John Martin condemned the
attacks on "soft targets" and hit out at al-Qaida for
targeting "ordinary, working people".
The DUP today branded the comments "the height of
Mr Martin had said: "The IRSP totally condemns the London
bombings. Ordinary working people going about their daily
routines were blown to smithereens by young suicide bombers
presumably influenced by religious fanaticism.
"These were not legitimate targets. There was no military
or political objectives in the bombing, just slaughter.
"Al-Qaida are not a liberation movement but a
fundamentalist loose grouping of organisations who would
impose a reactionary and backward philosophy on all who
they would control."
Mr Martin said that some people would try to justify the
attacks by pointing to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan
and Iraq and continued "imperialist aggression all around
the world", but added: "While we support the struggle for
national liberation in Iraq and believe that armed struggle
there is justified, we do not believe that individual acts
of terror such as the London suicide bombings are the way
"The victims bore no responsibility for the actions of the
British ruling class or the British government in Iraq.
"The people of London, like the people of Iraq, didn't
deserve to be punished for the crimes of the British or
Iraqi ruling class."
Responding, DUP MP Gregory Campbell branded the IRSP and
other political parties hypocrites.
He said: "It would take considerable hypocrisy to beat Ken
Livingstone who also made similar statements about the
London bombings, given his previous statements and meetings
with Gerry Adams.
"It would take even more hypocrisy for Sinn Fein to make
similar statements, which they have done.
"But it would appear the IRSP are trying to beat them all,
given that over the decades the INLA have excelled in
killing working class people, and now, for reasons best
known to themselves, they wish to condemn this particular
assault in which people were killed, but not the assaults
of which they were guilty."
No Tears Will Be Shed For Heath'
Tuesday 19th July 2005
THE BROTHER of a teenager shot dead on Bloody Sunday has
said "no tears would be shed" in Derry at the passing of
the then Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.
Heath, who was in power during one of the most volatile
periods in the North's political history, died on Sunday
night aged 89.
In 1972 the Conservative Party leader made the decision to
impose direct rule on Northern Ireland weeks after the
events of Bloody Sunday in Derry.
His decision to intervene in the North's politics by
suspending the Stormont parliament and the conduct of
soldiers on Bloody Sunday meant that Heath was criticised,
both during his life and now following his death, by both
nationalist and unionist politicians.
John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was killed on
Bloody Sunday, said no tears would be shed at Mr. Heath's
"He treated the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday
with contempt and the Inquiry with contempt. He took the
truth to the grave with him and showed no feelings at all
for the families when he gave evidence to the Inquiry," Mr
"He was given a second chance to tell the truth and clear
his soul after Widgery with the second Bloody Sunday
Inquiry but he certainly didn't take that opportunity. Many
a better person connected to Bloody Sunday, including Mrs.
McKinney who passed away on Sunday, has died since then and
Heath is not fit to lick their boots."
Speaking last night Sinn Fein MLA Mitchel McLaughlin agreed
that the former Conservative Prime Minister would always be
remembered as the man who oversaw the events that led to
the massacre of innocent civilians in Derry.
"It was ironic that Ted Heath should die on the same
weekend as the last of the mothers of the Bloody Sunday
victims. Nancy McKinney, the mother of Willie McKinney,
passed away on Sunday and I extend my condolences and those
of my party to the McKinney family," he said.
"Whilst Mrs. McKinney will be remembered by all with pride
for the dignity with which she and all the other mothers
and families displayed over the years since Bloody Sunday,
Ted Heath will be remembered by the people of Ireland for
the contempt with which he treated the families of the
Bloody Sunday massacre and the people of Derry.
"It was Ted Heath who set the parameters for the Widgery
Tribunal when he instructed the British Chief Justice when
he appointed him to carry out an Inquiry to remember that
they were fighting a 'propaganda war' as well as a military
one. There never was any intention on the part of the Heath
government to disclose the truth of what happened on Bloody
Mr. McLaughlin added that right up to the end the former
British PM showed "nothing but contempt" for the search for
"Even his appearances at the Saville Inquiry were
contemptuous. Unfortunately, Heath's contempt denied all of
the mothers of the victims the dignity of knowing the truth
had finally been told before their deaths," he said.
SDLP Leader Mark Durkan said that many would remember Ted
Heath as the Prime Minister who supported internment
without trial. "They will also remember his government's
role in Bloody Sunday and his own role in the cover-up
afterwards," he said.
"At the time, he was dismissive of the Irish government,
but he came to recognise at Sunningdale, as so many others
have since, that the Irish government has a legitimate role
and that the two governments have to work together for a
political solution to the north's political problems."
Sir Edward Heath retired from Parliament in 2001 after
serving more than 50 years in the House of Commons.
Opin: The Twelfth - Repackaged . . .
By Lord Laird of Artigarvan
19 July 2005
For the unionist population of Ulster the Twelfth is the
equivalent of the Fourth of July in the United States or
'Le quatorze juillet' (Bastille Day) in France. It is a day
of celebration, a family day out and one of the best
cultural events in the world - an event with tremendous
Because of the nature of our politically, religiously and
culturally divided society, some sections of the community
- as is evidenced by Exploring the Marching Issue: Views
from Nationalist North Belfast, published last year by
Island Pamphlets - are still uncomfortable with the Twelfth
festivities and have some difficulty in coming to terms
Republicans - especially between 1994 and 2002 - have
cynically exploited and manipulated the fears and anxieties
of our nationalist neighbours to advance their narrow and
selfish political agendas. By doing so, they continue to do
us all a great disservice by fostering division and
Apart from the disgraceful rioting in Ardoyne and
Londonderry, and some unpleasantness in Dunloy, happily,
for the third year in a row we have had a very good
Twelfth. Spending a very modest amount of public money has
assisted in creating an appropriate atmosphere for a
peaceful Twelfth by repackaging the event and highlighting
its non-contentious and non-confrontational nature.
The Apprentice Boys of Derry have clearly shown what can be
achieved with the Maiden City Festival. Originally
organised to ease tension in the build up to the annual
Apprentice Boys' Relief of Derry celebrations in early
August, the festival is now in its eighth year. It has
proved to be a splendid opportunity for the Protestant and
unionist community of the city to explain and share their
culture to and with their Roman Catholic and nationalist
Over the past six or seven years the festival has
transformed the atmosphere in the city almost beyond all
A family-friendly atmosphere, and the positive contribution
of Ulster-Scots cultural activity to the proceedings, were
conspicuous and inter-related features of this year's
Twelfth celebrations across Northern Ireland.
In Belfast, clowns and stilt walkers, superb Lambeg
drumming and fifing from the Mid-Antrim Drummers and Fifers
aboard the Ulster-Scots float, and a youthful William and
Mary, accompanied by their entourage, handing out sweets to
children, all contributed to a marvellous atmosphere along
the procession route.
In the Field, the display of Scottish dancing by Bright
Lights was one of the highlights of the day, attracting an
appreciative - even enthusiastic - audience. The
Appalachian music of the Low Country Boys was also a
stunning success. Champion piper Robert Watt and British
accordion champion Emma Culbert offered further musical
variety and were extremely well received.
Impartial observers have readily conceded that they have
never encountered a better atmosphere in the Twelfth
demonstration field in Belfast.
There were two re-enactment groups in the Field. The Best
of Times, the Worst of Times, from the Anglo-Scottish
Borders, brilliantly recreated the world of the Border
Reivers at the end of the seventeenth century while members
of my own lodge, and our American guests, recreated the
Battle of King's Mountain, where Ulster-Scots settlers from
the Carolinas and East Tennessee inflicted a crushing
defeat on the British, in October 1780; and the Battle of
Saintfield, where the United Irish routed the York
Fencibles, in June 1798. Men called James, David and John
Laird fought in the Battle of King's Mountain in the ranks
of the Ulster-Scots rebels. Interestingly, my brother
James, my son David, and I, John, were in attendance at
this year's Twelfth. Although I wore the uniform of an
officer of the York Fencibles on the Twelfth, in 1798 there
were Lairds on both sides. Such matters are not simply
interesting; they highlight the astonishing complexity of
the past. We ought to be very wary of brutal simplicities.
As far as I can ascertain, there was a positive Ulster-
Scots presence at each and every one of the 19 Twelfth
demonstration venues. Twelfth festivities were accompanied
or preceded by a variety of festivals, summer schools and
events exploring the vibrancy of Ulster-Scots and Orange
culture, acknowledging their contribution to our rich
cultural diversity and explaining its meaning to those
outside the Ulster-Scots and Orange family and from
different cultural traditions. These ventures play a vital
role in fostering the spirit of tolerance and
This invaluable work - harnessing the experience of the
Maiden City Festival and extending the benefits of that
experience to the rest of Northern Ireland - was largely
the product of the voluntary effort and enthusiasm of
Ulster-Scots cultural activists with comparatively meagre
resources at their disposal, because our culture is not as
generously funded as other cultures. As yet, we do not
enjoy parity of esteem or funding which is our right. That
The advantages of a celebratory, not a contentious Twelfth,
a peaceful Twelfth and a Twelfth that everyone can enjoy
are obvious to intelligent people. Among these are:
There is considerable economic benefit to Northern Ireland.
The event becomes a tourist attraction rather than a
deterrent to tourists.
Public expenditure is not squandered on police over-time
and the settlement of criminal damage claims.
People are not killed, injured or driven from their homes.
The expenditure of comparatively modest amounts of money
can create the appropriate atmosphere for a peaceful
Perhaps it is time that those who control the public purse
should note our success and treat Ulster Scots culture in a
fair and equitable way.