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August 14, 2005

C3: Govt Denies Pressure From US

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 08/15/05 C3: Government Denies Pressure From US
IT 08/15/05 Kenny Challenges SF On Crime
IT 08/15/05 Find On Achill May Be Prehistoric Tomb
IT 08/15/05 Campaign Set Up To Save 16 Moore Street
IN 08/14/05 Fr Sean McManus: Towards Justice


Government Denies Pressure From US

Liam Reid and Mark Brennock

The Government has denied that there are any difficulties
between it and the United States government over its
handling of the "Colombia Three" affair.

Yesterday a Government spokesman acknowledged that the US
government was watching developments in the case closely,
but rejected weekend newspaper reports that the Government
was coming under pressure from the US.

"It is correct that the United States are following
developments in this case as are many other countries," a
Government spokesman told The Irish Times.

"There is absolutely no foundation to any speculation that
there is any difficulty in relations between Ireland and
the United States."

He said that while the US was interested in the case,
officials "understand our position".

Last Monday senior Government officials, on the
instructions of the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, briefed the US
ambassador James Kenny on the case, and the Government's
situation regarding extradition, including the legal
difficulties in the absence of an extradition treaty
between the State and Colombia.

The Tánaiste Mary Harney announced on Tuesday that a
European agreement on the transfer of prisoners could be
used to require the three men, James Monaghan, Niall
Connolly and Martin McCauley, to complete their 17-year
jail terms in Ireland.

Since the announcement, officials at the Department of
Justice and the Attorney General's office have been
examining various European and international treaties
relating to the prevention of terrorism, prisoners and
criminal law to see whether any could be applied to the
cases of the "Colombia Three".

Gardaí are also examining domestic legislation to ascertain
whether there is a potential breach of Irish criminal law
regarding the activities of the men and their return to the

The US government has been publicly silent on the issue of
the three men, with the exception of a statement last
weekend that the three men were "fugitives" and it was a
matter that "should and must" be pursued by the Colombian
and Irish governments.

The Irish Times understands that the US embassy and other
US agencies have been in close contact with their Irish
counterparts on the case in the last week.

It is believed that the US state department wants to see
the men jailed either in Colombia or in Ireland, and US
officials have been pressing the Irish Government to
examine all possible mechanisms, including international
treaties and conventions, that might see the men being
returned to prison or prosecuted.

It is also understands that the timing of the announcement
of the return to Ireland of the "Colombia Three" on Friday
August 4th caused significant annoyance and anger in
Washington and within the Bush administration.

It came less than two days after the US president George
Bush met his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe.

Terrorism topped the agenda at the meeting, which took
place at Mr Bush's ranch at Crawford in Texas, during which
they discussed Plan Colombia, a package of security,
economic and judicial reforms currently being implemented.

Following the meeting, Mr Bush said that Colombia shared
"our commitment to advancing economic growth, trade, and
democracy in the Americas."

© The Irish Times


Kenny Challenges SF On Crime

Parnell Summer School
Tim O'Brien in Rathdrum

Opposition leader Enda Kenny, has challenged Sinn Féin to
say how much money it earns from illegal oil dealing on the
Border, narcotics and bank robberies.

Speaking as he opened the Parnell Summer School in Co
Wicklow yesterday, Mr Kenny said Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris
had asked if Fine Gael was receiving money from the Shell
oil company.

"The answer is no. Let me challenge Martin Ferris now to be
equally candid with me in detailing the income Sinn Féin
has received from oil, petrol and diesel in the Border
areas, from narcotics through FARC and from the various
jobs done on post offices and banks through the years," Mr
Kenny said.

In a wide ranging criticism of Sinn Féin, Mr Kenny also
said the party had questions to answer about the
repatriation of the so-called "Colombia Three", and the
present whereabouts of the three men as well as the killing
of Garda Jerry McCabe.

Addressing his comments directly to Sinn Féin leader Gerry
Adams, Mr Kenny said: "Treat this country with some
respect. When we talk of fighting elections we do so
metaphorically. That means when we go electioneering the
vast majority of us pack up our cars with posters and
leaflets, not balaclavas, sten guns, fake Garda uniforms or
canisters of CS gas."

Mr Kenny said there was an extraordinary tolerance of Sinn
Féin activity by the media and the Government. He said if
he or any other party leader had been involved with the
"Colombia Three" they would be probably subjected to
extraordinary scrutiny.

Mr Kenny said he had deliberately chosen the eve of the
seventh anniversary of the Omagh bombing to make his
remarks and he called on the Taoiseach to reposition his
government's attitude to Sinn Féin.

"In dealing with Sinn Féin, the Taoiseach is acting in the
name of the Irish people, not simply as leader of Fianna

"No holder of the office of Taoiseach should put themselves
in the position where they can be held to ransom by the
claims of an organisation that could lie for Ireland, and
with a tenuous grasp not just on the truth but on

Mr Kenny's comments were strenuously refuted by Dublin City
Councillor Christy Burke of Sinn Féin.

Mr Burke remonstrated with Mr Kenny after the speech,
particularly on the issue of the party's involvement with
narcotics. Mr Burke challenged Mr Kenny to produce any
evidence of Sinn Féin's involvement with drug dealing and
said he would resign immediately from Sinn Féin if the
allegations were true.

Claiming that Mr Kenny had no evidence to support the
allegations, Mr Burke said Sinn Féin members were
campaigners against drug trafficking.

The Parnell Summer School runs until Friday next, based in
Avondale, the ancestral home of Charles Stewart Parnell.

The theme of this year's school is "Fixing the Boundaries:
Ireland from the margins".

Speakers include Steven King, former political adviser to
David Trimble; Paul Bew, professor of Irish politics at
Queen's University Belfast; Senator Mary O'Rourke; Fergus
Finlay, chief executive of Barnardos; Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs Conor Lenihan and Anne Fogarty of the
School of English, UCD, among others.

This morning's discussions include a contribution from Mr
King on "100 years of Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionist

© The Irish Times


Find On Achill May Be Prehistoric Tomb

Tom Shiel

Student archaeologists who are about to conclude their
excavations for the season at the Deserted Village on
Achill Island, Co Mayo, believe a mystery underground stone
chamber found on the site is a prehistoric tomb.

Teresa McDonald, director of the Achill Archaeological
Field School, describes the chamber as "an enigma". She
explained: "The chamber's walls and roof of massive
boulders have puzzled all the archaeologists that have seen

According to Ms McDonald, the soil through which the pit
was dug contained prehistoric tools, probably of late
Neolithic date, made by farmers some 4,000 years ago. While
this does not conclusively date the chamber, it strengthens
the evidence for it being a prehistoric tomb.

Excavations at House 23 on the site have revealed a built-
in fireplace, a stone bench and a drain for cattle manure.
Also unearthed was Scottish-made domestic pottery, mostly
tableware and glass bottles, which would have held
medicines and alcohol. These would have been used by the
occupants and broken and discarded in the 18th and 19th

"Such evidence helps us to flesh out the villagers'
lifestyles in a way which historic documents cannot",
excavation director Audrey Horning said.

An open day is to be held at the site tomorrow from 11am to
3pm, weather permitting.

© The Irish Times


Campaign Set Up To Save 16 Moore Street

Ruadhán Mac Eoin

A campaign was launched yesterday at a meeting in
Tailors' Hall, Dublin, to save No 16 Moore Street, the
building that served as the final headquarters of the
leaders of the 1916 Rising.

The meeting, which was hosted by the antiquities and
national monuments committee of An Taisce, was addressed by
politicians, including Joe Costello TD, Cllr Larry O'Toole,
and Tomás MacGiolla. Also present was the grandson of James
Connolly, John Connolly and his daughter, as well as
conservationists, including Damien Cassidy and Dominic

The gathering was told of the significance of the building
as well as its dilapidated state. Although it is scheduled
to be preserved in the city draft development plan, much of
the roof has been lost over the last two years.

Joe Costello, who said the building was of "huge heritage
value and huge historical significance", noted that it had
also been vandalised. The house is "dying a slow death from
exposure to the elements", he added.

The architect and designer of heritage attractions, Mark
Leslie, put the services of his company Martello Media at
the disposal of the campaign. He said there was an
opportunity to create a "very manageable and very
affordable" interpretive centre at No 16 and "its moral
value is painfully obvious". He said that at present there
was nowhere specifically dedicated to interpreting the
events surrounding Easter Week.

Mr MacGiolla said the original of the 1916 surrender note
was "still in the possession of the British military", and
it should be sought for display in a restored No 16.

Dublin MEP and TD Eoin Ryan said he was "aghast and totally
outraged that such an intrinsic part of our heritage should
be allowed to fall into disrepute". Mr Ryan's grandfather,
then a medical student, treated the wounded James Connolly
in the house after the provisional government had fallen
back from the GPO. He said he would raise it at the
earliest opportunity with Minister for the Environment Dick
Roche, who he believed "is positively disposed to treating
it as a matter of priority".

The campaign has received the backing of historians
including Prof Dermot Keogh of UCC. A working group has
been set up and plans to arrange a meeting with city
manager John Fitzgerald and the owners of No 16.

© The Irish Times


>>>>>> Feature: Towards Justice

The veteran Washington-based lobbyist Father Sean
McManus gave the annual Damian Walsh lecture last
week. The address, as part of the West Belfast
festival, told of his experiences as President of
the Irish National Caucus.

When I first went to America on October 2, 1972, it
was my hope that I would be able to help inform
Americans about the problem in Northern Ireland.
Little did I realize that living in America would
actually help me to better understand the problem
in Northern Ireland. I learned to understand the
importance of a written constitution, a Bill of
Rights, separation of Church and State, freedom of
speech, freedom of assembly, etc., etc. But I
learned, too, that a good Constitution doesn't
matter much if the State has a double standard,
systematic discrimination and a racist/sectarian
police force.


Thus it was really in studying the Black Freedom
Struggle in America that I really came to better
understand the problem back home in the wee North
(and, of course, because I was a Catholic from
Northern Ireland I intuitively understood the
oppression of Blacks in America).

I keep telling Irish-Americans that while it may be
important to understand the Fenian Rising of 1867
and Easter Rising of 1916, if they really want to
understand the problem in Northern Ireland they
must also understand the history of their own
country. To understand the wisdom of Blessed Martin
Luther King when he said things like: "Now we must
say that this struggle for freedom will not come to
an automatic halt, for history reveals to us that
once oppressed people rise up against that
oppression, there is no stopping short of full
freedom." (MLK in "Love, Law and Civil
Disobedience, page 3).

And to understand Frederick Douglas (1818-1895) the
former slave and one of the first great African-
American leaders when he said in 1857 (the year
before the Fenian Brotherhood was launched in
America): "The whole history of the progress of
human liberty shows that all concessions yet made
to her august claims have been born of earnest
struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no
progress; those who profess to favor freedom and
yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops
without ploughing ."

(Martin Luther King, of course, was committed to a
nonviolent struggle, whereas Douglas was not so

Some of you may have seen the movie Mississippi
Burning with Gene Hackman, about the assassination
of the three Civil Rights workers in 1964 -- James
Chaney, a young African-American from Mississippi,
and Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, two young
white Jewish-Americans from New York.

Those young martyrs for The Cause were set up by
the police and turned over to the Klu Klux Klan.
One of the killers, Edgar Ray Killen was just
sentenced in June 2005, 41 years after the murder.
On January 10, 2005, the Washington Post mentioned
that the former Secretary of State for Mississippi
had lost the election for governor because back in
1989 he had pressed for an investigation into the
assassination. ("Reopened Civil Rights Cases Evoke
Painful Past".)

That would have shocked American readers, but not
someone from Kinawley. Would all British and
Unionist leaders have won elections had they kept
pressing for investigations into State-collusion in
the assassinations of Damien Walsh, Pat Finucane,
Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson, and so many others?
In Mississippi, as in Northern Ireland, there was a
hierarchy of victims.


I want you to reflect on this: In 1964 the Civil
Rights Act was passed in America, and in 1965 the
voting Rights Act was passed. I keep telling Irish-
Americans that those two Acts, morally speaking,
did for African-Americans what the Good Friday
Agreement did for Catholics in NI. Yet at that very
same time, the awful J. Edgar Hoover -- the
original SECUROCRAT -- decided to use the full
force of the FBI to destroy Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. and his Movement. Many Americans today find
that fact hard to believe but no Catholic from NI
would have difficulty in believing it.

Previous to 1964, J. Edgar Hoover had not bothered
too much about Martin Luther King; after all, he
didn't need to.. African-Americans were a true
minority, voiceless and without power, like the
Catholics in the North in the 60's. When President
Johnson left The White House in 1969, the FBI had
3,300 Black informants. By the end of Nixon's first
term (1972), Hoover's FBI had 7,500 Black
informants. Kenneth O'Reilly, who has written a key
book on Hoover's campaign of harassment against
African-Americans, says it well: "When the FBI
stood against the Black people, so did the
government." (Racial Matters: The FBI's Secret File
on Black Americans, 1960-1972, page 357, The Free
Press, 1989).

The famous journalist, I.F. Stone said in reference
to the assassination of Medgar Evers in Jackson,
Mississippi, June 12, 1963, "The FBI lives in
cordial fraternity with cops that enforce white
supremacy." His assassin, Byron De La Beckwith,
although tried twice in the 1960's was not
imprisoned till 1994 --- 31 years after the murder.
Does any of that sound familiar?

One of the three main Senate Office Buildings on
Capitol Hill is called the Russell Building in
honor of U.S. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia,
who served in the Senate for almost 40 years, from
1932 to 1971. On Sunday morning, September 15,
1963, one of the worst atrocities of the American
Civil Rights Movement happened in Birmingham,
Alabama. The Klu Klux Klan bombed the Sixteenth
Street Baptist Church, killing four young girls,
aged between eleven to fourteen. In advising the
FBI about the bombing, Senator Russell mentioned
"the possibility that Negroes might have
perpetrated this incident to keep emotions at fever
pitch." (Racial Matters, page 111). Does any of
that sound familiar?

By the way, the lead bomber, Bob Chambliss, used to
describe himself as 100% percent Irish. He was not
imprisoned till 1977 -- fourteen years after the

A 1980 Justice Department report states Hoover
blocked prosecution of the KKK in 1965, and in 1968
shut down the investigation without filing charges.
One of the reasons Hoover shut down the
investigation was that the FBI had an informant in
the KKK who worked directly under Bob Chambliss.
His name was Gary T. Rowe, and Hoover described him
as the best undercover agent "we've ever seen."
Does any of that sound familiar?

Kenneth O'Reilly says in regards to the FBI record
in Birmingham in those days that the FBI could have
stopped the anti-Black violence and the
assassination of Blacks "if they had chosen to act
on the extraordinary intelligence they held on the
collusion between the Klu Klux Klan and the city's
law enforcement community. Aware of the planned
violence weeks in advance, the FBI did nothing to
stop it and had actually given the Birmingham
police details knowing full well that at least one
law enforcement officer relayed everything to the
Klan." (page 86).

Does any of that ring a bell?


WHEN I arrived America, I naively thought that the
obvious constituency to lobby would be the Left
Wing of the Democratic Party and Catholic Bishops.
While I knew the English and Irish Bishops did not
have a great record in standing up for Irish
justice, I felt there was a chance the American
Bishops might show some guts. And, furthermore, you
see, on November 30,1971, the World Synod of
Bishops, meeting in Rome, had issued a very
important document "Justice in the World" in which
they declared: "Action on behalf of justice is a

In August 1979, the Irish National Caucus led a
successful campaign to have a ban put on the sale
of U.S. weapons to the RUC. Later on in January
1981, Archbishop Hickey of Washington and Bishop
Thomas Kelly, Secretary General of the US Catholic
Conference, met in The White House to urge
President Reagan to continue the ban on military
aid to El Salvador.

I wrote to them, urging them to also urge President
Reagan to continue the ban on the sale of US
weapons to the RUC.

On February 6, 1981, Archbishop Hickey responded
saying, "Bishop Kelly and I will be in touch with
our counterparts in Northern Ireland to seek their
advice in this vexing question. Our intervention
will depend on their response."

Bishop Kelly responded on January 29, 1981 and said
"We have known of your position [on the RUC] for
some time. In the case of El Salvador, we have been
encouraged to take what action we have taken by the
local hierarchy. We have not, at this time,
received such encouragement from the Irish
hierarchy on the subject you have brought to our

I waited, and waited to hear back from Cardinal
Hickey, about the response from the Irish Bishops
but since Cardinal Hickey died last October, I
guess I will not be hearing from him. So much for
my hope that the American Bishops would do the
right thing.

Earlier on we had a number meetings with the Office
of International Justice and Peace, a section of
the Department of Social Development and World
Peace, of the US Catholic Conference. The then
Advisor on European Affairs was Edward Doherty, a
layman, and a Brit to his fingertips. He was
lecturing us on violence and when it was pointed
out that on his blazer he had a badge of the
American War College, and that that could hardly be
described as a nonviolent organization he simply
said it was "a very professional organization."

Later on he wrote in 1979, "It is the Provos who
are mainly responsible for the violence in Northern
Ireland and this is recognized by every careful and
impartial observer. After due consultation with the
Irish bishops, and in recognition of the efforts
being made by the governments and church bodies
directly concerned, we [the US Catholic Conference]
had concluded that there is no appropriate basis
for public intervention in the problems of Northern
Ireland, either by this conference, or any branch
of the United States government." (Letter, to
Caucus member, dated October 17, 1979, on the
official stationery of the United States Catholic

Do you think for a moment that he would have made
such a statement without checking with the Irish
Embassy, and probably with the British Embassy?

And that, too, was essentially the position of big-
name Irish-American politicians, like Teddy
Kennedy, Tip O'Neill, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and
Hugh Carey. And it WAS the position of the Dublin
Government, no matter what some would now try to
tell you.

This was one of the most exasperating aspects of
our work in the early years. We had to fight not
only the British Embassy, but also the Irish
Embassy (especially when Sean Donlon was
Ambassador, 1978-1981), the leadership Catholic
Church and big name Irish-American Catholic

On October 27, 1976 -- just six days before the
Presidential election -- the Irish National Caucus
organized a meeting with Jimmy Carter in
Pittsburgh, Pa. and got him to say "it is a mistake
for our country's government to stand quiet on the
struggle of the Irish for peace for the respect of
human rights and for unifying Ireland..."

It is now well known that Garret FitzGerald, who
was then Irish Foreign Minister, instead of
welcoming Carter's statement, spent a lot of time
forcing Jimmy Carter to back off his commitment.
The Boston Globe reported: "Irish embassy officials
protested vehemently to Carter aides. Carter, under
pressure, agreed to send a telegram of
clarification. According to the Irish government,
the Carter aides agreed to send the telegram only
on condition it not on be released publicly in the
United States." ("Hub priest denies he backs IRA",
Monday Morning, April 18, 1977).

On the following St. Patrick's Day, 1977, the Four
Horsemen -- Kennedy, O'Neill, Moynihan and Carey --
issued their first St. Patrick's Day statement
essentially saying the problem in Northern Ireland
was the IRA and the second problem was Irish-
Americans supporting the IRA. So we had gotten the
new American President Jimmy Carter, a devout
Protestant from the Deep South, stating the problem
in terms of human rights, and Garret FitzGerald got
the Four Horsemen, all good Catholics from the
North East, stating the problem in terms of
terrorism. What's wrong with that picture?

Since that time, I have been haunted by this
thought: What might have happened if FitzGerald had
not been so useless on the North? And yet, some
elements in the Irish media would still try to
pretend that FitzGerald was the real originator of
the Irish peace-process.

Now, fast forward from Pittsburgh in 1976 to New
York, Sunday, April 12, 1992. Essentially the same
type of "usual suspects" that gathered to hear
Carter in Pittsburgh now gathered to hear Candidate
Bill Clinton make his Irish pledges. I remember
turning to Conor O'Clery of the Irish Times and
saying, jokingly, "The only one missing is Garret
FitzGerald." I said that because I was deeply
conscious that the thing that mattered the most was
whether Albert Reynolds would welcome Clinton's
statement or whether he would try to force Clinton
to back off, as FitzGerald forced Carter to back
off. Reynolds, God bless him, welcomed Clinton's
interest. And, as they say, the rest is history.
But one thing is certain. If Albert Reynolds had
joined British Prime Minister, John Major, in
opposing Clinton's involvement, President Clinton
would have had to back off. Albert Reynolds
deserves enormous credit. I shall be eternally
grateful to him -- and to President Clinton.

Now I am happy to put on record that I believe the
Irish Embassy, ever since Albert Reynolds, is doing
excellent work on the Irish peace-process. And that
truly pleases me, as I really see it as the final
ending of the Irish Civil War. (Even though I fear
that could change if a crazy man like Michael Mc
Dowell ever came to power).


It has been said that Irish-Americans are too far
removed to understand the Irish problem. Well that
may be true to some degree. But it is also true
that distance can give perspective, whereas
sometimes being too close to something can actually
distort perspective. I see -- despite the problems
-- huge and wonderful improvements in the North,
and it gives me great joy. And I'm so grateful to
the brave men and women in Ireland and Britain who
made it possible.

One of Martin Luther King's favorite quotes was
from the Abolitionist preacher, Theodore Parker,
who said: "The arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice".

I believe that arc is bending towards justice in
Ireland, and that there is no going back.

Now let me conclude by giving you one of my own
favorite quotes, from Walter Brueggemann, an
American Protestant and a distinguished Old
Testament scholar: "In Biblical faith, the doing of
justice is the primary expectation of God."

As we enter the post-conflict era, we must
rededicate ourselves. We must realize that while
there is no peace without justice, there is no
justice without peace -- and that there is neither
justice nor peace without forgiveness.

In his "Message for World Peace Day", 1977, Pope
John Paul urged that, "The deadly cycle of revenge
must be replaced by the new-found liberty of
forgiveness". And this is what it means when we say
that, ultimately, peace is a gift from God. Because
without forgiveness no peace is possible, no matter
how good or just the political structures are.

So let us work for justice and pray for peace in
Ireland, and let us all dedicate ourselves to
forgiveness. Thank you.

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