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August 30, 2005

Catholic School Petrol Bombed

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 08/30/05 Catholic School Attacked With Petrol Bombs
UT 08/30/05 OO Slammed For Backing Newspaper Campaign
BT 08/30/05 Loyalists In Anti-United IRL Campaign Slammed
NL 08/30/05 Caution As Loyalists Linked To Publication
DJ 08/30/05 SF Dismiss 'Rip-Off' Tee-Shirts Charge
EX 08/30/05 SF Target Of 'Black Propaganda' From Rabbitte
DJ 08/30/05 SF: Police 'Heavy-Handed' As Loyalist Parade
SD 08/30/05 Experts Decry Rise In Irish Homicides
BT 08/30/05 Eamonn Magee: Pulling No Punches
BT 08/30/05 Disgust At Fist Fights On eBay
BT 08/30/05 MLA To Grill Orde Over Axing Of RIR Battalions


School Attacked With Petrol Bombs

A Catholic school in Ballymena has been attacked with
petrol bombs.

Five devices were thrown at the library and canteen at
Saint Mary's School in the Harryville area of the town.

Windows were smashed and damage estimated at £1,000 was
caused. The incident took place between 1500 BST on Monday
and 0900 BST on Tuesday.

A police statement said that a sectarian motive for the
attack was a key line of inquiry being investigated by

Sinn Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan has blamed
loyalist paramilitaries for the attack.

"Catholic homes, churches and businesses have all been
targeted in recent months as unionist paramilitaries
intensify their violent campaign in north Antrim," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/30 11:23:07 GMT


Orange Order Slammed For Backing Newspaper Campaign

Protestant Orange Order support for a campaign opposing a
united Ireland has shattered the impression that it is a
cultural and religious organisation, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

Sinn Fein vice president Pat Doherty launched a hard-
hitting attack on the Order after its Grand Master Robert
Saulters endorsed the `Love Ulster` campaign announced by
loyalists in Larne yesterday.

More than 200,000 newspapers were delivered at Larne
harbour in Co Antrim yesterday as part of a new campaign
urging resistance against an alleged slide towards a united

The cargo of free newspapers was brought in by boat in a
symbolic recreation of a weapons delivery to the old Ulster
Volunteer Force on the Clyde Valley ship in 1914.

The campaign has the support of loyalist paramilitaries,
victims of IRA violence and campaigners against moves to
stand down the three Northern Ireland battalions of the
Royal Irish Regiment.

A website has also been set up carrying regular news and
campaign updates.

The newspaper was put together by the Shankill Mirror, a
community organisation based in a West Belfast Protestant

John MacVicar, a board member of the media organisation,
defended the involvement of loyalist paramilitaries.

"The reality is that loyalist paramilitaries are part of
the Protestant community," he stressed.

"They along with a lot of other people were part of the
conflict we have been involved in and they need to be part
of the resolution.

"We have come out of 35 years of violence, things aren`t
going to change overnight and we need to influence everyone
in our community positively and that includes loyalist

Mr Saulters, grand master of the Orange Order, also
declared his total backing for the project.

"I would hope that Orange members will support it
wholeheartedly," he said.

"When you look back at the victims within our institution
we have grieved 304 members, and half of those weren`t
involved in security force work. They were just murdered
for being a Protestant or an Orangeman.

"I would welcome and hope that if we can get the whole
Protestant, loyalist people together, that this will be
given a great go because we need to stick together."

However Mr Doherty claimed the Orange leader`s presence at
the launch of the campaign put paid to attempts to portray
the Order as a cultural body.

"Yesterday`s event ends once and for all in a very public
way the pretence that the Orange Order is about culture, he

"It is not."


Anti-United Ireland Campaign Slammed

By Chris Thornton

30 August 2005

The involvement of loyalist terrorists in a new unionist
campaign to oppose a united Ireland was attacked by the
SDLP today.

Members of a number of Protestant and loyalist
organisations, including the UDA and UVF, were present
yesterday when the campaign was launched in Larne.

Featuring 200,000 newspapers and a website opposed to
"unremitting concessions to republicanism", the campaign
was launched by a former DUP election candidate, a
representative of the Shankill Mirror newspaper, the
relatives of an IRA victim and Orange Order Grand Master
Robert Saulters.

UDA leader Jackie McDonald took part in a symbolic launch
of a Shankill mirror edition featuring the headline "Ulster
at Crisis Point". Other members of his organisation and the
UVF also reportedly took part in the launch.

SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell said the campaign was
"deeply irresponsible" and singled out the Orange Order for
particular criticism.

"It is utterly disgraceful at a time when loyalist
paramilitaries are killing each other and terrorising the
nationalist community that the Orange Order should have
come together with them on a campaign against a united
Ireland," he said.


Caution As Loyalists Linked To Publication

Tuesday 30th August 2005

There was concern yesterday that loyalist involvement could
have a detrimental impact on the Love Ulster Campaign.

The News Letter had been told that the venture would
involve neither political parties or paramilitaries.

However, loyalist figures were among those who turned up in
dozens of cars to collect the campaign newspapers for
distribution throughout Northern Ireland.

Later, in towns such as Larne and Carrickfergus, local
people with paramilitary connections were seen collecting
or handing out papers.

The campaign organisers defended the role of certain
loyalists, noting that the campaign is committed to totally
peaceful and law-abiding principles and it was positive to
see those from the UDA or other groups involved in non-
violent activities.

However, some News Letter readers were concerned.

One man from Carrickfergus rang the newspaper.

He said: "I read about the campaign and was really
enthused. Unionism is crying out for something like this.

"But then by lunchtime there were people in Carrick handing
out the newspaper who are known paramilitaries.

"These people have been a bigger blight on the community in
east Antrim than the Provos ever were.

"I'm not sure I can back the campaign with these people

A Larne reader added: "I'm disappointed by the calibre of
people handing out the paper. No offence to some of the
others involved like Bobby Saulters.

"I think it is a great idea, as far as it goes, but
bringing in the UDA to help out is a big mistake."

But John McVicar of the Shankill Mirror, one of the chief
organisers, insisted that the paramilitaries could not be
ignored. "The reality is that loyalist paramilitaries are
part of the Protestant community," he stressed.

"They along with a lot of other people were part of the
conflict we have been involved in and they need to be part
of the resolution. "We have come out of 35 years of
violence, things aren't going to change overnight and we
need to influence everyone in our community positively and
that includes loyalist paramilitaries."

Spokesman William Wilkinson added: "The message behind the
campaign is that the pen is now mightier than the sword and
recognising that the written word is far more powerful than
violence which we totally oppose."

But SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell said the
involvement of loyalists in "a phoney campaign against a
united Ireland" was "utterly disgraceful".

He further condemned the involvement of Orange Order Grand
Master Robert Saulters.

And he said: "It is also deeply irresponsible at a time
when extremists are trying to ratchet up tensions in the
community that leaflets are being delivered claiming that:
Ulster is at crisis point.

"This type of inflammatory and alarmist action plays right
into the hands of extremists and adds fuel to the sectarian


SF Dismiss 'Rip-Off' Tee-Shirts Charge

Tuesday 30th August 2005

Sinn Fein has hit back at the SDLP after Mark Durkan's
party accused it of " cheapening the cause of Irish unity."

Derry SDLP Councillor Colum Eastwood said he was shocked to
learn that Sinn Fein was selling Tee-shirts "ripping off"
the Make Poverty History campaign.

The Tee-shirts, which are advertised on Sinn Fein's
website, bear the slogan: "Make Partition History."

Councillor Eastwood has accused the party of "engineering a
profit based, cynical and selfish stunt."

In response, Sinn Fein's Elisha McLaughlin said the SDLP's
"outburst" smacked of "cheap publicity."

However, last night, Colum Eastwood was sticking to his

"Sinn Fein has cheapened the cause of Irish unity and the
cause of eradicating third world poverty in one cynical
swoop," he insisted.

"I wonder how much of the profits Sinn Fein makes from
their Tee-shirts will be donated to the Make Poverty
History Campaign which they have blatantly ripped off.

"This fund raising effort cheapens the cause of uniting
Ireland, which they supposedly support, and the cause of
alleviating world poverty.

"The thousands of people on this island who support Irish
unity and the campaign to end world poverty will be
disappointed by this selfish fundraising stunt.

"It would appear that Sinn Fein is willing to exploit the
serious issue of third world debt to swell the party
coffers. It is a disgrace."

Councillor Elisha McLaughlin replied: "This outburst by
Colum Eastwood exposes the lack of initiative by SDLP
politicians in that they have to spend their time searching
the Sinn Fein website to find an issue to get some cheap

"In case Colum is unaware of it - and he must be one of the
few - Sinn F»in's raison d'etre is to 'Make Partition
History' and to build a sovereign, independent Ireland of
equals that will also help 'Make Poverty History' on the
island of Ireland.

"We will also, through the efforts of our two MEPs, five
MPs, five TDs and more than 250 councillors throughout the
32 counties, continue to pressurise both governments to
increase their international aid contributions to eradicate
world poverty."


SF Target Of 'Black Propaganda' From Rabbitte

ONCE again we have the usual nonsense from Labour leader
Pat Rabbitte (Irish Examiner, August 24).

If nothing else, the comments attributed to him about Sinn
Féin show how detached Labour has become from its working
class roots under his leadership.

In his diatribe he is allowed unfortunately to make
unsubstantiated comments about how Sinn Féin is funded
without being challenged to back up his assertions.

If his claim that Sinn Féin is funded by 'criminality' that
is "obvious and well-traced" had any merit, then surely he
would have been able to provide some evidence. He can't.

He knows it is black propaganda aimed at stymieing a party
that is rapidly replacing his own in terms of meeting the
needs of the marginalised and disadvantaged a point
acknowledged by him elsewhere in the same article.

Sinn Féin, he says, "target the marginalised." I would add
to that the disadvantaged and dispossessed.

In trying to build an Ireland of equals you have to address
the needs of those left behind by the Celtic Tiger those
who have been forgotten by the establishment, which
includes Labour.

SF makes no apologies for that and is proud of its record
in representing those who up until now have had no voice in
Leinster House or elsewhere.

Of course the marginalised or disadvantaged don't have any
role in the Labour party leader's attempts to form a future
coalition with Fine Gael

After all, you couldn't have uppity people from
disadvantaged backgrounds demanding their fair share in
case it upset Enda and the Blueshirts.

Finally, just a quick question was your headline in the
same issue, 'Rabbitte in vicious attack on Martin,' meant
to be funny? I suppose it's akin to being mauled by a pet

Michael Nolan
Sinn Féin Press Office
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2


Police 'Heavy-Handed' As Loyalist Parade Attacked Claims
Local Sf Councillor

Tuesday 30th August 2005

Police have been accused of being heavyhanded towards
nationalists following an attack on a loyalist parade in
Castlederg on Saturday.

Seven police officers and two band members were injured
during disturbances at the Royal Black Preceptory parade.

One police officer was treated for a broken cheekbone while
two elderly band members sustained facial injuries after
the parade was allegedly set upon as it passed through the
mainly nationalist Ferguson Crescent area of the town.

A banner was also torn during the trouble, which a local
UUP politician claimed was instigated by "Tyrone shirted

However, Sinn Fein, who have claimed the parade should
never have been given the go ahead by the Parades
Commission, say police overreacted to the situation.

"There was a reaction to the parade but there was further
reaction then by the police when one of their officers was
struck," said Strabane District Councillor Charlie McHugh.

"The police forced their way into a public house and pulled
people out, attacking them with batons, putting them on the
ground, handcuffing them and spaying CS spay at them. At
least two people were sprayed with CS spray while they were
on the ground and people saw it happen.

"The police then received reinforcements from Strabane
before allowing the parade back up through Ferguson
Crescent further angering residents." Colr. McHugh claimed
that of the three routes through Castlederg, a loyalist
parade would be most contentious passing through Ferguson

"The Parades Commission also has a lot to answer for. I'm
led to believe that the commission's own advisor on the
ground advised against the parade passing Ferguson's
Crescent on Saturday evening.

"That's the first time I can recall a parade being allowed
through there at that time of the evening," he added.

Fellow Strabane District Councillor and West Tyrone UUP MLA
Derek Hussey, who took part in Saturday's march, condemned
attack as sectarian bigotry.

"Our preceptories and bands suffered assault from a gang of
Tyrone shirted thugs who emerged en masse from a local
public house and attacked the head of the parade,
attempting to remove the district bannerette.

"It was during this attack that our 75 yearold district
master was assaulted resulting in an ambulance being called
and the victim transported to hospital.

He added that it was distressing to see members of one of
the bands, young girls aged 9-16, "in tears, totally
traumatised and overcome by the events".

"Those involved in this disgraceful affair are obviously
responding to a republican campaign of vilification of
unionist culture. Saturday's shameful scenes in Castlederg
demonstrated total religious and cultural intolerance to
the point of blatant sectarian bigotry encouraged by local
republican propaganda."

Colr. McHugh hit back at the UUP assemblyman, claiming that
the organisers of the loyalist parade had shown no respect
for the nationalist community of Castlederg.

"If Derek Hussey expects the Nationalist people of
Castlederg to be herded into one corner of the town while
he and others go parading through then he should face

"They have consistently refused to speak to nationalists
and residents groups through the years but that will have
to change."

Colr, McHugh also rubbished the allegation that the
attackers were wearing Tyrone shirts.

Four men were due to appear at Omagh Magistrate's Court
yesterday in relation to the disturbances.


Experts Decry Rise In Irish Homicides

DUBLIN, Ireland, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A spate of recent
killings has prompted fears that Irish society is growing
increasingly violent.

The Irish Echo, an Irish-American weekly newspaper, said
five slayings within 10 days led a prominent Dublin
psychiatrist to say that Ireland was undergoing a "moral

The most recent slaying victim, Frances Ralph, a 46-year-
old mother of three, was stabbed to death while waiting for
a taxi with her husband in the town of Naas in county
Kildare last week.

Police say it was an apparently unprovoked and random

There have been 32 homicides in Ireland so far this year,
just four less than were reported for all of 2004.

Patricia Casey, a professor of psychiatry at University
College Dublin, told the Sunday Business Post that a
growing culture of "individualism" in Irish society was
contributing to the apparent crime spree.

Criminologist Paul O'Mahony, meanwhile, said the figures
for violent deaths came as no surprise and that they had
been on the rise since the mid-1990s.

"The rate will continue to grow and, in all probability,
get worse," he said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All Rights


Pulling No Punches

After winning his toughest battle yet, straight-talking
Belfast boxer Eamonn Magee tells Janet Devlin of his hopes
for the future

30 August 2005

Eighteen months after doctors told him he'd never walk
again, boxer Eamonn Magee ran the Belfast Marathon for

"Well, it was more of a trot, really," says Magee, "but I
did it in four hours 12 minutes, along with my three

"After my accident, they told me I'd never walk properly
again, let alone fight, but I've done both."

I'm talking to Magee, who is dressed in a trendy green T-
shirt and baseball cap, in a city centre cafe.

Despite a fearsome reputation for being a real tough nut,
I'm surprised to find him smaller, and better looking, than
I'd expected, and rather sweet and shy.

"He's a real softie," says his partner Maria (26), who has
accompanied him to the interview. "People take him up all
wrong sometimes."

She's a pretty brunette, likeable and chatty, but refuses
to say more about the softer side of the fighter nicknamed
The Terminator.

"I like to keep out of the limelight," she says. "Eamonn is
the talker - he has more than enough to say for everyone!"

The 'accident' to which the couple refer was a savage
assault Magee suffered following a children's row over a
snowman. A man has been charged in connection with the
incident. The boxer suffered a broken leg, a fractured
knee, and the possibility of life in a wheelchair.

But five months ago, he got back in the ring and defended
his WBU welterweight title against Danish challenger Allan
Vester, putting him down in the third round.

Magee (34), from Ardoyne, trains eight hours a day, every
day of his life. He eats what he likes, smokes around eight
cigarettes a day and likes a drink. "I've never made any
secret of that," he says.

He comes from a family of boxers - four boys, all fighters,
who have contested every title in the world between them.

At the age of five, his mother encouraged him to enter the
gym at the Sacred Heart parochial hall in Ardoyne, where he
was judged talented but mouthy.

On the eve of the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 he quit boxing
after the Irish selectors instructed him to fight someone
he'd already defeated. Not to put too fine a point on it,
he told them to "shove it up their a***".

The same year, he was shot in the leg in an IRA punishment
attack, which he says he "didn't deserve"; he was involved
in a pub brawl after a Celtic-Rangers match in 1994; and
two years later he was hit by an RUC plastic bullet in

However, if Magee was a bit of a handful outside the ring,
he proved to be even more trouble inside it.

In 260 amateur fights, he was beaten only 11 times, and in
his professional career he has been beaten only four times.
He is a Commonwealth champ many times over, has fought 11
major title bouts, and has never been floored.

Legendary ex-boxer Barry McGuigan describes him as "being
on the fringes of world class" and he is generally regarded
as the best boxing talent to come out of this island since

In October or November this year, he will be defending his
welterweight title and is, as usual, supremely confident
about the outcome.

"I am 100% sure that I'm going to win, whoever I face," he
says. "I am afraid of nothing and no one. I don't even get
a flutter when I step into the ring. For me it's like going
to the office.

"I train from morning to evening every day because you
never know when that phonecall is going to come, and in the
six weeks before a fight I stay off everything ... and I
mean everything.

"I like to think I'm one of the smartest fighters around. I
enjoy getting people to make mistakes, then taking
advantage of that. I use my brain.

"I'm hard-headed and very determined and I love a
challenge. I even love the fact that everyone is out to
beat me - because I love to prove them wrong."

By this time, I'm persuaded that the Magee tribe are
blessed with not only the most robust of constitutions, but
a gene that would rather lie down and die than give in,
back down or accept defeat.

But Magee is a fighter's fighter, not a media-pleaser or a
headline-chaser, and he admits he has had his difficulties
with the Press.

"I tell it the way it should be told; I tell it from the
heart, but straight-talking doesn't always go down well,"
he explains. "Sometimes I even know they won't like it and
I enjoy doing it anyway.

"I can't help it. I get it from my mum - she's just the
same! Anyway, if I didn't do it that way, I wouldn't be

But he admits that he is older and wiser nowadays.

"I regret nothing, but you don't have to live in the past
all the time. In my younger days I had a temper and it's
amazing how many people come up to you and have a poke at

"But I have mellowed and I'm a bit breezier - now when
someone tries to have a go I have learned to turn my back
and walk away."

Magee has been involved in charity work since he became a
world champion, but it's a side of him the public rarely

His Belfast Marathon run raised money for the Chest, Heart
& Stroke Association (which he supports particularly
because funds stay in Northern Ireland), and he works for
children's cancer and disabled charities.

"Being a world champion has put me in the picture for this
sort of thing and I am happy to be able to give something
back," he says.

"You only have to ask me once and I am there. I raised
£5,000 to send a handicapped child and his family to the
Special Olympics, where he won five gold medals. Mind you,
I had to jet-ski from Larne to Stranraer for that and it
nearly killed me!

"I helped get equipment for a boxing club in Ardoyne - me
and Maria walked up and down the Falls Road with buckets -
and I did a sponsored walk in Tandragee recently for
another good cause.

"The great thing is that boxing has opened a lot of doors
for me. I can do a lot of things and meet lots of
interesting people along the way."

Magee has two sons who both box: Francis (15) and 11-year-
old Eamonn jnr, who is a southpaw like his dad. Both could
have a future in professional boxing. But not daughter

"I don't care whether she wants to do it or not, she's not
doing it," says Magee. "Anyway, there's no money in it for
girls. I'd like to see her, and both my sons, getting a
good education."

As for the champ himself, he reckons he has another two or
three good years at the top, and after that he would like
to go into training and management.

"I want to give something back to the young fighters
because I know what they are worth - so many fighters get a
raw deal, with someone else making all the money, not them.

"My manager Mick Callahan has been straight and fair with
me, and I have a great trainer in John Breen, who also
looks after a lot of talented young guys at his gym above
the Monico Bar in Belfast.

"I have my eye on Paul McCloskey, Kevin O'Hara, Stephen
Haughin and Martin Rogan - they all have great potential."

But Magee still has at least one fighting ambition of his
own - a drop down to light welterweight and a rematch with
Manchester's IBF kingpin Ricky Hatton, who Magee put on the
canvas for the first time in his career in 2002, but then
lost the match to on a unanimous points decision.

"You know, he walked away from that fight with £1.2m," says
Magee. "I can't wait to fight him again, but don't get me
wrong: the money would be nice, but I'd fight him for

"Ricky and I are great friends - I go to all his fights and
we enjoy a drink together afterwards - but that's all
forgotten when you get into the ring: you just set out to

"Afterwards, when it's all over, the fighting is forgotten
and it's all hugging and kissing. That's the way the sport
is. But when I won I'd still know I was better!

"I reckon I've a few good years in me yet. No one else will
tell me when it's time to go. I'll decide that for myself.
But I'd like to go out a champ."


Disgust At Fist Fights On eBay

Auction site rapped over Travellers fist fight DVDs

By Linda McKee
30 August 2005

Online auction house eBay was facing criticism today over
an attempt to sell violent footage of bare knuckle
Traveller fights in Ireland.

The shocking camcorder footage is on sale to the highest
bidder on the world-famous website.

Some DVDs advertised in recent weeks were billed as a
"must-have piece of unlicensed boxing history".

One was placed by a Northern Irish vendor, who said it
contained "hard-hitting action within the Travelling

After the Belfast Telegraph alerted eBay to two of the
items, they were removed from the site.

An eBay spokesperson said: "These items contravene eBay
listings policy and our customer service teams ended the
auctions as soon as the Belfast Telegraph alerted us to

But within days, more items had been posted in fresh

One DVD advertised yesterday was described as: "Over two
hours of Gypsies punching the hell out of each other and
shouting stuff that you won't be able to understand!"

A Traveller's support group in Belfast said it did not
condone the sale and was concerned that eBay could
effectively be profiting from an illegal event.

Calling for eBay to vet the material sold on its site, Sinn
Fein spokesperson on human rights, Catriona Ruane, said
members of the Travelling community were not the only
people to be exploited in this way.

A group of students in America had made a fortune selling
footage worldwide of homeless people fighting on a DVD
called 'Bum Fight', she said.

"We are against the exploitation of violence in any way,"
Ms Ruane said.

"I think eBay should have more responsibility. They
shouldn't be selling racist incitement to hatred."


MLA To Grill Orde Over Axing Of RIR Battalions

By Ashleigh Wallace
30 August 2005

A north Down MLA today revealed he plans to "take the Chief
Constable to task" over plans to disband the home regiments
of the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR).

Alex Easton (DUP) said his condemnation of the proposals
has won the support of the members of the North Down
District Policing Partnership.

He also said he plans to ask Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde
how the PSNI would cope post-disbandment if another
loyalist feud broke out.

He said: "I am encouraged by the support of the North Down
District Policing Partnership to a motion that I laid down,
declaring our opposition and condemnation of the decision
to disband the home battalions of the RIR.

"If district policing partnerships are as valuable as the
Government makes out, and it really is about local people
shaping local policing and security matters, then this
support for the RIR should have considerable weight."

Mr Easton, also a councillor, spoke of the "significant and
intense" deployment of RIR troops across north Down, adding
the safety and security of members of the public should not
be subject to "political manoeuvrings".

He said: "Let's face up to it - the RIR are invaluable to
the police.

"Already we do not have enough visible police patrolling,
so what on earth will it be like when the police cannot
call upon the RIR for assistance?"

Saying he intended to raise the matters with Sir Hugh, Mr
Easton added: "I expect some definitive answers from the
Chief Constable."

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