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August 24, 2005

Children Hurt in Loyalist Attack

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 08/24/05 Children Are Hurt In Loyalist Paint Attack
IT 08/25/05 Calls For End To Belfast Attacks
SF 08/24/05 SF MEP Visits Victims Of Sectarian Attacks
SF 08/24/05 Attack On Catholic Owned Pub
UT 08/24/05 Probe Into Sectarian Content Loyalist Station
IT 08/25/05 McDowell Blames SF For Colombia 3 Peace Setback
IT 08/25/05 McDowell 'Colombia Three' Remarks Anger SF
BB 08/24/05 US Contact Over 'Colombia Three'
UT 08/24/05 DPP Meeting Farce Disproves Claims- Sinn Fein
SF 08/24/05 SF Keen To See Demilitarisation Moves Completed
UN 08/24/05 Knocked Unconscious Outside His Home
ND 08/24/05 Loyalist Band Parade Causes Controversy
IT 08/25/05 Stena Bans Rangers Passenger Fans On Ferries
SF 08/24/05 No 16 Moore St Debate Red Herring & Distraction
IT 08/25/05 FF Seat Vulnerable To Sinn Féin Challenge
SD 08/24/05 Convicted Ex-FBI Agent Wants New Trial
IT 08/25/05 Trainee Priests At Maynooth Up Again This Year
WP 08/24/05 Swinford Singing Star To Be Remembered On RTE
IT 08/25/05 Fall In Listeners For Leading RTÉ Presenters
IT 08/25/05 Student Who Died In US Fall Named
MM 08/25/05 Blame Vulture Capitalism Not God For Robertson!
MN 08/25/05 Davitt Movement To Highlight Concerns


Children Are Hurt In Paint Attack

Three children, including a three-month-old baby, have been
splattered with paint during an attack at a house in north

A gang of four youths attacked three homes in Cliftondene
Gardens at about 1730 BST. Loyalists are being blamed.

The children - a girl aged six, a boy under two and the
baby - also suffered minor cuts in the incident.

Earlier, windows were smashed at a Protestant family's home
in nearby Alliance Gardens.

In the Cliftondene Gardens incident, a petrol bomb hit the
wall of a house, whilst paint attacks broke windows and
showered a woman with glass.

It is understood the two young boys are related and the
girl is a friend.

The gang escaped on foot leaving behind a crate of bottles
filled with paint. Sinn Fein said they had meant to target
more Catholic homes.

During the attacks, a Catholic mother ran outside to plead
with the gang not to throw paint at her house because her
two-year-old son was playing outside.

But the gang attacked the house anyway.

The police said they had recovered a number of "unused
paint bombs" close to the scene and have appealed for local
community representatives to use their influence to stop
these attacks.


Superintendent Gary White condemned the attacks.

"Yet again it is the most innocent and vulnerable members
of the community in north Belfast that have been affected
by the activities of those intent on ensuring that
interface violence continues," he said.

On Tuesday night, the home of an 82-year-old Protestant
cancer sufferer and his wife was attacked in Hesketh Road.

Sinn Fein councillor Danny Lavery said Wednesday evening's
attacks were sectarian.

"Paint and petrol bombs were thrown at these three homes in
a purely sectarian attack," he said.

"Sinn Fein have spoken out clearly and strongly against all
sectarian attacks including those last night in Heskith and
those today on the Ardoyne Road.

"We stand against attacks like these from whatever section
of the community they come from and will work
constructively to bring them to an end."

He urged unionist representatives to come out as strongly
and clearly against the attacks to try to end them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/24 21:38:52 GMT


Calls For End To Belfast Attacks

A long-term strategy needs to be developed to end
retaliatory violence in sectarian flashpoint areas of north
Belfast, community leaders have been urged.

Following the latest eruption of violence in Ardoyne, Sinn
Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan denounced a spate of
attacks on Catholic and Protestant homes by loyalists and

Paint bombs were thrown by youths at several nationalist
homes in the Alliance Avenue and Ardoyne Road area at 11am
yesterday. This followed six attacks in north Belfast on
Tuesday night, with the home of 82-year- old cancer
sufferer John Mussen and his wife in the loyalist Hesketh
Road also targeted by nationalist paint-bombers.

A house in Skegoneill Avenue was also targeted with a
petrol bomb with a firework attached to it, shortly before
11pm , but it failed to ignite. Half an hour earlier, a
paint bomb struck a house and a car was set alight in
Somerdale Park.

Ms McClenaghan said the attacks needed to come to an
immediate end. "All these attacks are based purely on
sectarianism," she said. "They are wrong and have no
justification whatsoever, whatever side of the community
they emanate from.

"We need to see a long-term interface strategy developed
and implemented by all relevant parties in order to resolve
the long- running issues of interface tensions."

Belfast's SDLP deputy lord mayor Pat Convery feared the
latest attacks showed violence on both sides was being co-
ordinated. "Sporadic and supposedly spontaneous rioting by
children and young people is bad enough, but I fear it is
being stepped up if petrol and paint bombs are being
systematically prepared and specific houses targeted." - (

© The Irish Times


Dublin MEP Visits Victims Of Sectarian Attacks In North
Antrim And Short Strand

Published: 24 August, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP today
visited communities in North Antrim who have been victims
of a recent campaign of violence and intimidation from the
unionist paramilitaries. Ms McDonald was joined by local
Assembly member Philip McGuigan and party councillors for a
series of meetings in Ahoghill, Ballymena and Rasharkin. Ms
McDonald will this evening visit the Short Strand area of
East Belfast and meet with local residents and Sinn Féin
representative for the area Deborah Devenney.

Speaking from Ballymena this afternoon Ms McDonald said:
"It is important for politicians in the 26 counties to show
support and solidarity with nationalists in areas like
North Antrim who are currently in the eye of a violent
campaign of intimidation and terror being waged by unionist
paramilitaries. It is very clear from my meetings today
that there is an orchestrated effort being made to drive
Catholics and nationalists out of certain areas in North
Antrim. This is completely unacceptable.

"It is also clear that local nationalists feel that a
climate has been created by the actions of local unionist
politicians which has directly fed into the environment in
which this campaign has flourished. For decades Catholics
and nationalists in areas like North Antrim have been
discriminated against at every level. It is now clear that
nationalists simply won't stand for this any longer and the
DUP in particular in this area need to wake up to that

"The DUP sit on the various Forums and Commissions with the
leaderships of the UDA and UVF. From the Third Force to
Ulster Resistance the DUP have been directly linked to
violent unionism. No nationalist believes that the DUP do
not have influence with unionist paramilitaries and no
nationalist believes that they cannot put pressure on to
have this campaign ended if that is what they actually

"It would also serve those politicians in the 26 counties
well if they travelled here to North Antrim or to the Short
Strand to see exactly where the threat to the peace process
comes from. It does not come from the Colombia Three
returning home, or any republican activity as they would
have people believe. It comes from the unionist
paramilitaries and the failure of the unionist parties to
tackle this issue head on." ENDS


Attack On Catholic Owned Pub Latest In Long Line Of
Sectarian Attacks - Sinn Féin

Published: 24 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Councillor for Dunmurry Cross Angela Nelson has
today said that an attack on a Catholic owned pub in
Dunmurry Village is part of a concerted sectarian campaign
waged by Unionist paramilitaries across the Six Counties.

Ms Nelson made her comments after the Motte and Bailey pub
was attacked with paint-bombs last night.

Speaking today Ms Nelson said: "Yesterday evenings attack
is the latest in a long line of attacks against this
specific public house, and part of a wider campaign of
sectarian harassment against vulnerable nationalist
communities right across the north.

"On the 11th August, two young men leaving the pub were
attacked as Apprentice Boys paraded through Dunmurry
Village. Since then the premises have been attacked on a
number of occasions and cars have been set alight.
Nationalists in Dunmurry are rightly querying whether or
not CCTV footage in the area has captured these attacks,
and if the PSNI are prepared to act on this information. If
the PSNI are able to arrest people in connection with
unrest in the Ardoyne, then why can't the same apply here
in Dunmurry?

"For many years now, the borough of Lisburn has been a cold
house for nationalists, both inside and outside of the
Council Chamber. Unionist politicians have a responsibility
to challenge those loyalist paramilitaries who are intent
on stirring up sectarian hatred. Indeed, they could start
by facing up to those they sit with on various parading and
community forums. Unfortunately, most nationalists believe
that unionist politicians are not up to the challenge."


Probe Pledged Into 'Sectarian' Content On Loyalist Radio

Internet authorities tonight pledged to probe any fears
about an online radio station allegedly glorifying loyalist

SDLP Assembly member John Dallat has demanded the shutdown
of a website he believes is trying to recruit teenage

The East Londonderry MLA has also urged Chief Constable
Hugh Orde to move against Loyalist FM.

The site claims to be promoting loyalist culture by playing
music and providing entertainment for the 1,080 registered

But its online jukebox contains songs where a father
implores his sons to take his gun and fight as Ulster
Defence Association men, and another portraying a 16-year-
old taking up a rifle on behalf of the YCV - the Ulster
Volunteer Force`s youth wing.

Mr Dallat said: "Given the countless massacres that
loyalist paramilitaries have been involved in, this is
obviously just about incitement to hatred and lawlessness.

"I have written to the Chief Constable, drawing his
attention to it and suggesting it was a recruiting agent
for the worst kind of paramilitaries."

The website is hosted by Preston-based firm Pogga.

Stephen Johnston, the company`s customer service
representative, stressed it was only responsible for
literature on the site.

Checks carried out with the UK-wide National High-Tech
Crime Unit assured them it was legal to carry the text as
long as it contained no incitement to violence or hatred,
he said.

Mr Johnston insisted: "We don`t host the music played.

He added, however: "We have not received any complaints
against the website, but if we did we would look into them.

"If they were valid we will take the site down."

FDC Servers in Chicago, which hosts the music played, could
not be contacted for comment.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman insisted
the force would probe any alleged online crimes.

She said: "The PSNI do not routinely monitor the internet.

"However, when a suspected criminal offence is reported to
us we will always investigate."

No-one involved with the website was available for comment,
but in its freedom of speech section Mr Dallat came under

"Nowhere on this website do we glorify any illegal
organisation - on construction of this site the management
team were specific and thorough with relation to that
point. We do not and have not at any time ever played any
role in recruiting for illegal organisations," it said.

"The only message we convey is our belief that as Ulster
citizens we have every right to be proud of our British
culture and way of life - surely Mr Dallat striving to be a
confident pluralist and non sectarian should accept our
right to this?

"We do not display or advertise any propaganda related to
any illegal organisation. LFM is run and financed by its

"We sell CD`s produced by bands from across the UK to
people from all over the world, who enjoy the cultural
music Mr Dallat so obviously abhors.

"The internet is open to everyone the same as freedom of
speech - who is the bigot here?

"A station promoting culture, not denying the violent past
the people of Ulster have endured over 30 years, including
all in the loyalist community, addressing the good and bad,
reflecting on all aspects through both song and chat?"

It also called on the SDLP man to express the same outrage
at sites supporting republican paramilitaries.

Mr Dallat insisted he would not hesitate to criticise

"There are equally shocking republican websites. One, for
example, openly encourages recruitment to the youth wing of
the Continuity IRA.

"This is about turning them into child soldiers. It is
about child abuse."


McDowell Blames SF For 'Colombia 3' Peace Setback

Conor Lally

The Minister for Justice has said Sinn Féin's leadership
- Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris - must
accept direct personal responsibility for the setback in
the peace process caused by the return to Ireland of the
so-called "Colombia Three".

He said the IRA army council, which the leadership of Sinn
Féin had "until recently [ been] personally mixed together
with", had arranged for the men to go to Colombia to train
Farc guerrillas in the use of "deadly weapons of terror".

The same people had also arranged for the men's return to
Ireland. The damage done to the peace process would take a
long time to repair. Mr Adams, Mr McGuinness and Mr Ferris
had clear responsibilities in this regard.

In his first comments on the case since news broke three
weeks ago of the men's return to Ireland, Mr McDowell said
the Irish people should consider "whether the arrival back
of these men under these circumstances is not being
undertaken with a view to damaging the process of
reconciliation" in Ireland.

"It could only have been done, because it was so fraught
with difficulty and risk, with the collusion of the top
management of the provisional movement and I'm talking
about the army council.

"Each and every member of the army council at the time
bears personal responsibility for the difficulties this has
now created . . . for the creation of trust in Ireland. I
have no doubt that it lies fairly and squarely with the
leadership of Sinn Féin which was until recently personally
mixed together with the other members of the army council
who sent them to Colombia in the first place and who made
all the arrangements to get them back."

He rejected the proposition that the three men - James
Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly - had gone to
Colombia to advance peace in any way. Anybody "who is in
any way intelligent" would agree with him.

"The great likelihood is that they were there for a
different purpose, which was to impart technology in terror
to the Farc guerrillas in Colombia."

While the Taoiseach had previously made comments regarding
the safety of the men in the Colombian prison system, Mr
McDowell said it would not now be hypocritical to send the
men back to Colombia to serve their 17½-year sentences.

"There would be an expectation internationally that
whatever remedies are provided for under international law
or domestic law would be fully used to deal with that
situation. If there is a case to be made for their
extradition to Colombia and if it's lawful under Irish law,
that is something which may well happen."

The men may also be pursued for any offences which may have
been committed under Irish law, namely travelling on false
passports. While no extradition treaty existed between
Colombia and Ireland, one could be put in place.

Mr McDowell had received a provisional report from gardaí
and will brief the Cabinet next Wednesday.

On Tuesday Colombian vice president Francisco Santos said
his government would be seeking the men's extradition. He
told The Irish Times in London Colombia would "not be
satisfied" if they were prosecuted in Ireland only for
passport offences.

© The Irish Times


McDowell's 'Colombia Three' Remarks Anger SF

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

A Sinn Féin spokesman said yesterday Gerry Adams, Martin
McGuinness and Martin Ferris were unable to comment
personally on repeated allegations of IRA army council
membership by the Minister for Justice because they are on

"They all categorically deny these allegations. This is
just Michael McDowell engaging in his usual anti-republican

Sinn Féin Assembly member Caitríona Ruane of the Bring Them
Home campaign did comment, however. Ms Ruane said she was
disappointed at Mr McDowell's remarks and accused him of
acting in a manner that was contrary to the Constitution
and prejudicial to the human rights of the "Colombia

"The Irish Government at the highest level is aware that
the case against these men was fabricated. They were never
properly convicted of training Farc in Colombia and were
not guilty of that offence," said Ms Ruane.

She was concerned that Mr McDowell appeared to be saying
that the Government could enact legislation to extradite
the three men back to Colombia. "He should take legal
advice on this matter because our best legal advice is that
they cannot be extradited," she said.

Ms Ruane said she did not agree with the suggestion of Mr
McDowell that the men could possibly be imprisoned here for
travelling on false passports. "They have already served
time in prison in Colombia which would cover any false
passport charges," she said.

The Minister's assertion that Mr Adams, Mr McGuinness and
Mr Ferris were directly responsible for the problems caused
by the return of the three fugitives, because they were
allegedly members of the IRA army council when the decision
to train Farc guerrillas was made, "was not worthy of a
response", she said.

Ms Ruane added: "This is a contrived issue. The real urgent
issue is to try and get political talks up and running by
September. Minister McDowell would be better served doing
something for the beleaguered Catholics of north Antrim. I
haven't heard much about that from him."

Dublin Sinn Féin councillor Dáithí Doolan commented:
"Minister McDowell's claim that Gerry Adams and the Sinn
Féin leadership had anything to do with the men's trip to
Colombia is just pathetic political opportunism, which I
wouldn't even dignify with a response."

He added: "Michael McDowell's blatant disregard for the
evidence produced at the trial in Colombia, which found the
men innocent of the charges levelled against them,
certainly puts a question mark over his suitability to be
Minister for Justice. Is he seriously suggesting that he
accepts the extremely dubious methods used to secure
convictions against these men on appeal? Does he believe in
secret tribunals overturning the verdict of an open court,
which heard all the evidence?

Is this the system of so-called justice the Minister for
Justice and former attorney general would like to see in
Ireland? If it is, I suspect most sensible people in this
State would be not just concerned about civil and human
rights in Colombia, but the implication of the Minister's
comments for civil and human rights in this country."

© The Irish Times


US Contact Over 'Colombia Three'

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell has said his
government has received contact from the American
government over the so-called Colombia Three.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan are
wanted in Colombia where they were sentenced to 17 years in
jail for training Marxist rebels.

The men have returned to Ireland after skipping bail while
awaiting an appeal.

Mr McDowell said both the US and Colombian governments had
expressed concern about the matter.

The former attorney general said the contact with America
had been at a "diplomatic level, between the US and Irish

He said that while no formal extradition request has been
received from Colombia, the matter should not "simply go
unaddressed" by the Irish authorities.

All legal options, including sending the men back, were
being explored to ensure the rule of law is maintained and
that Ireland's "international legal obligations" were
fulfilled, he added.

Last week, the three republicans were questioned by Irish
police after presenting themselves at Garda stations.

They were all released without charge.

The trio were arrested in Bogota in August 2001.

They were found guilty of travelling on false passports in
June 2004, but were acquitted of training the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

That decision was reversed after an appeal by the Colombian
attorney general and they were sentenced to 17-year terms.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/24 17:02:47 GMT


DPP Meeting Farce Disproves Claims, Says Sinn Fein

The failure of a District Policing Partnership sub group to
hold a meeting in south Belfast contradicts the assertion
that new policing arrangements are going well, it was
claimed today.

By:Press Association

Members of the DPP sub group were forced to pull the plug
on a meeting in the loyalist Sandy Row area after only two
members turned up.

The cancellation prompted Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex
Maskey to claim the sub group in the south of the city had
descended into farce.

"Reports of such meetings across the six counties indicate
that they are normally only attended by a mixture of PSNI
members and local political appointments," the South
Belfast MLA said.

"Contributions from the community and in particular
communities who are victims of bad policing is virtually
non existent.

"The Policing Board and the DPPs will only effectively work
when they are given the power to do so and convince,
through robust action and a willingness and ability to hold
the PSNI to account, a community growing increasingly
sceptical of the current policing arrangements and the
response of the PSNI to ongoing problems such as unionist
paramilitary activity."

Nationalist SDLP councillor Pat Convery, who chairs the
Belfast DPP group, said the sub group meeting in the south
of the city was the first of its kind to be postponed due
to insufficient turnout.

The Deputy Lord Mayor blamed the holiday period for the
failure to meet the quota of three members which would have
allowed the meeting to go ahead.

One member was unable to attend due to work commitments
while another experienced transport problems en route to
last night`s event at the Sandy Row Community Centre.

Mr Convery, who sits on the north and west Belfast sub
groups, said: "It is disappointing that the public has been

"The meeting will be rescheduled and re-advertised at the
earliest opportunity."

Mr Convery accused the Sinn Fein MLA of adopting a dog in
the manger attitude to policing.

The North Belfast councillor hit back: "Alex Maskey has a
cheek criticising people for failing to turn up for a
meeting of a body he has done his level best to undermine.

"People are crying out for a lawful society and they want
effective, accountable policing on the ground.

"We are participating in policing bodies to hold the police
to account, which Sinn Fein can`t and won`t do.

"The SDLP is helping deliver the Patten proposals which
Alex Maskey and Sinn Fein refuse to do, and meantime they
offer the victims of crime precisely nothing."


Sinn Féin Keen To See Demilitarisation Moves Completed

Published: 24 August, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy and local MLA
Davy Hyland recently met with British government
representatives to discuss ongoing work to demilitarise
South Armagh.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Hyland said:

"Sinn Féin gave a broad welcome to British government
proposals to demilitarise South Armagh and other areas in
the six counties. Conor Murphy and myself recently met with
British government representatives to discuss this plan and
raise the concerns of local people concerning timeframe and
restoration of farmlands currently occupied by the Crown

"We also took this opportunity to raise once again with the
British government the widespread local anger at the
continuing deployment of the British parachute regiment in
the South Armagh area and the need to speedily remove this
regiment from South Armagh and return them to their base in

"Sinn Féin will continue to monitor closely the ongoing
work and any negative impact it has on local people.
However we are keen to see the demilitarisation process be
completed and completed quickly." ENDS


Knocked Unconscious Outside His Home

One of the broken windows in the victim's home and below
damage to his vandalised car.

By Margaret Roddy

A 58 year old Dundalk man has been forced to flee his home
after a gang of thugs attacked him in the early hours of
Saturday morning.

The man, who lives alone in Cedarwood Park, says he is now
afraid to stay in his house as it has been attacked on
numerous occasions.

In the latest incident, the man was kicked, beaten and
knocked unconscious, his car was smashed and the windows of
his house broken after youths ran riot in the estate at the

Still bruised and shaken by the ordeal which saw him losing
two teeth, the man says he is now afraid to live in the
house and has moved out to stay with his sister.

"People in the area are being terrorised. They lock their
doors in the evenings and are afraid to go out," he says.
"This has been going on for a number of years but it took
out last Friday. I've never seen a riot like it."

His nightmare began when his car came under a hail of
stones as he returned from work on Friday evening.

"I was coming home around 7.30pm and was a few hundred
yards from my house when my car was pelted with stones and
I nearly crashed into another car."

Later than evening he called to the house of a friend,
former Sinn Fein councillor, Fra Browne, who lives nearby.

"I told him what had happened earlier and said I'd be lucky
if the windows of the house weren't put in."

When the man went back to his house after midnight, he says
he found that a beer bottle had been thrown through a front
window. He phoned Fra who then called to the house.

"We were walking back towards his house as he said I could
stay with him, when a fellow came out and threw an iron bar
at us."

He says that three more youths began jeering at them and
himself and Fra decided to give chase.

"At that a gang of about twenty fellas and girls lashed
into us with stones and bottles. It was like a riot in
Belfast, I never saw anything like it."

The two men then retreated back to the Browne's house,
where he was knocked unconscious after being struck on the
head. He was kicked and thumped a number of times and had
two teeth knocked out.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance after the Gardai
arrived. On his return home, he found that windows in his
house had been broken and his car vandalised.

"This is happening every week but it all came to a head on
Friday night," he says. "I've been living here for over 30
years and it's only got like this in the past five or six

Former councillor Fra Browne, who was with the man when the
incident happened, described the situation as
"unbelievable" and feels that they are lucky to be alive.

He says that after the man had phoned him saying that his
window was broken and a gang was gathering outside his
house, he decided to walk down to see what was happening as
he knew his friend was apprehensive.

"My mother also lives near there so I was worried about her
as well."

He says that he told his friend that he could spent the
night in his house and that they sat on a wall outside
smoking for a while.

A youth then threw an iron bar at them but ran away when
they gave chase.

"As we were making our way back to the hosue, we were
confronted by a gang of around twenty and there was a full
scale riot," recalls Fra. "We were defending ourselves and
trying to get back to the house and they were throwing
bottles and stones at us."

He says that as they reached the house, his friend was
knocked unconscious and was kicked and thumped as he lay on
the ground before he managed to pull him to safety.

"This is going on every night and while the Gardai did
come, there should be a riot squad to deal with situations
like this. It was lucky that no one was killed."

Independent councillor Jim Ryan has called for greater
Garda resources to be provided to help combat anti-social

"One patrol car with three young Gardai, two of them women,
was all that was available to respond to the situation last

"I am calling on our elected representatives to make a big
noise in the Dail so that the Gardai are properly resourced
to fight crime on the streets," he says.

"Are we going to have to wait until someone is killed, as
happened to the man in Leixlip, before we are properly
protected?" he asks.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed that the incident was being


Loyalist Band Parade Causes Controversy

CLAIMS by Sinn Fein that Friday night's loyalist band
parade in Newry could see the ongoing LVF-UVF feud spilling
onto the streets of the city have been dismissed as
propaganda and an attempt to stir up trouble by a DUP

The parade, which is an annual event organised by the South
Down Defenders Flute Band, is expected to involve 40 bands
with approximately 2000 members. The Parades Commission has
ruled that the marchers are prohibited from going beyond
the roundabout at the junction of Sandy's Street and the
Downshire Road.

However, the parade has met with opposition from Sinn Fein
representatives in Newry, with Councillor Brendan Curran
claiming that many of the bands involved are linked to
various factions of the LVF and the UVF and warning that
this could provoke trouble in the light of the feud between
the paramilitary groups.

"I've been told by a prominent member of the community that
even the PSNI are deeply concerned about the potential for
danger," Councillor Curran stated. "There will be four
hours of chaos in the Belfast Road area of Newry on the
night of the parade as it will be closed to all but those
who intended on coming to the city and causing as much
chaos as possible to local people."

Councillor Curran's party colleague Charlie Casey labelled
the parade's organisers as 'faceless' and accused them of
refusing to enter into negotiations with local residents.

"Newry and its community will be dominated by this type of
sectarian bitterness for four to five hours," Councillor
Casey added.

For his part, the Mayor of Newry and Mourne, Pat McGinn of
Sinn Fein, has offered to meet with those organising the
parade in an effort to 'ease concerns'. This suggestion was
made through the Parades Commission, he told the Democrat.

Councillor McGinn's offer was rejected by Councillor Willie
Burns, who questioned why members of the South Down
Defenders Flute Band would want to meet the Sinn Fein

The Kilkeel based DUP representative, who expects to attend
Friday's parade, also hit out at Sinn Fein's claims about
the bands taking part.

"I am 100 per cent sure that none of them are mixed up with
paramilitary groups," he told the Democrat. "This is just
propaganda by Sinn Fein who are against everything to do
with Protestantism and Orangeism, every part of our
culture. This parade will be totally peaceful and is a
cultural and musical event."

Councillor Burns also criticised the restrictions imposed
on the march by the Parades Commission, stating, "They
should be given the right to parade through Newry like
other bands."

These sentiments were echoed by Newry and Armagh MLA Danny
Kennedy of the Ulster Unionists, who described the Parades
Commission decision as a 'complete joke'.

Just 15 minutes after the South Down Defenders Flute Band
starts its parade, seven bands with a total of 800 members
are due to set out from Monaghan Row out for a parade
organised by the Newry Republican Graves Committee. This
will finish in St Mary's Cemetery on the Warrenpoint Road
where a new Republican memorial to replace one which was
vandalised last year will be unveiled.

The Parades Commission has not placed any restrictions on
this march.


Stena Bans Rangers Fans As Foot Passengers On Ferries

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Stena Line has banned Glasgow Rangers supporters from
travelling as foot passengers to football games because of
the "loutish" behaviour of a number of fans travelling from
Stranraer to Belfast last Saturday.

According to Stena, the trouble broke out when some of the
500 Rangers fans returning from Saturday's Old Firm game
against Celtic began to sing sectarian songs and chant
sectarian insults.

"On this occasion, those involved in the singing were
travelling as foot passengers, which means it is difficult
to identify exactly who the culprits are. Therefore, with
immediate effect, Stena Line will not carry Rangers groups
travelling as foot passengers," a spokesman said yesterday.

"We will, however, continue to carry Rangers supporter
groups travelling in cars and coaches, as those that travel
with us on a regular basis behave very responsibly. The
Rangers fans involved in Saturday night's behaviour were in
the minority."

About 200 of the 500 Rangers supporters who travel weekly
to games in Scotland go as foot passengers. Stena said the
ferries had been able to accommodate Rangers supporters
travelling to last night's UEFA Champions League home
qualifying game because potential foot passengers had made
arrangements to travel by coach or car.

Jim McGreevey, whose mother was on board Saturday's ferry,
said she had been terrified by the sectarian behaviour.

He told BBC Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan Show: "The
supporters, they weren't even singing football songs, it
was about killing Catholics, and named Catholics that have
been shot dead."

Rangers defeated Celtic 3-1 in Saturday's game, a result
that triggered sectarian violence in north and east

A Stena spokesman said yesterday: "When travelling with
Stena Line, football fans and supporters' clubs must adhere
to strict conditions of carriage which have been designed
in partnership with the football clubs and supporters'
bodies to ensure that both supporters and the rest of our
guests enjoy their experience on board."

He added: "The same conditions of carriage, which are
distributed in advance of travel, will apply to any other
football supporters, regardless of what team they support,
and indeed any other group of passengers, should they
misbehave on board in future."

© The Irish Times


No 16 Moore St Debate A Red Herring And A Distraction -
Cllr O'Toole

Published: 24 August, 2005

Sinn Féin councillor Larry O'Toole has described the
controversy over the location of No 16 Moore St as a "red
herring and a distraction from the central issue, which is
the preservation of this important historical site".

Cllr O'Toole, who is contesting the next general election
in Dublin North East, said: "The Thoms Directory of 1917
lists Number 16 Moore St as belonging to the Plunkett
family, who were poulters, or chicken sellers, in the area.
Examination of the Thoms Directories for 1937 and 1958
confirms the ownership of the site remained in the hands of
the Plunkett family, and the building still has a sign
saying 'Plunketts' on the front.

"It is also worth recalling that Elizabeth O‚Farrell, the
courageous young woman who was a nurse with the volunteers
and carried Pearse‚s surrender order around the garrisons
in Dublin, confirmed that number 16, the present location,
was the last headquarters of the Provisional Government of

"The furore around the street numbers is a red herring and
a distraction from the central issue, which is the
preservation of this important historical site, and its
conversion into a museum in line with Sinn Féin‚s approved
amendments to the Dublin City Draft Development Plan." ENDS


FF Seat Vulnerable To Sinn Féin Challenge

The Hospira closure is a blow to Fianna Fáil's chances of
retaining two seats, as the standard-bearer for Sinn Féin
strengthens his position in Donegal South West, writes
Michael O'Regan, Parliamentary Reporter.

There was a time when Donegal South West was the most
predictable constituency in the country, with a guarantee
of two Fianna Fáil seats and one Fine Gael seat.

That changed in 1997 when Independent and anti-MMDS
campaigner Tom Gildea unexpectedly took one of the Fianna
Fáil seats. Party headquarters left nothing to chance in
the 2002 election.

Dungloe-based Pat "The Cope" Gallagher was persuaded to
return from the European Parliament and stand for his old
seat. Mr Gildea bowed to the inevitable and Mr Gallagher
joined fellow party TD Mary Coughlan from Inver in Leinster
House. Dinny McGinley from Bunbeg held his Fine Gael seat.

Ms Coughlan is Minister for Agriculture, while Mr Gallagher
is Minister of State for the Marine, a heavy ministerial
presence in a three-seater.

But Fianna Fáil's plans to consolidate its two-seat base
have come unstuck in the face of a strong challenge from
Sinn Féin's Glenties-based Pearse Doherty, at a time when
the local economy has been badly hit by a succession of job


Local sources believe that Mr McGinley's seat is safe and
that the second Fianna Fáil seat is the one most vulnerable
to Mr Doherty's challenge.

"There is no doubt that Fianna Fáil could be in trouble,
not only from Sinn Féin, but from some Independent who
might come out of the woodwork and catch the public mood,"
said Glenties-based auctioneer and former Fianna Fáil
councillor Francis Brennan.

Mr Brennan, son of the late Joe Brennan, a minister under
Seán Lemass and Jack Lynch, who represented the area for
years, said there had already been a promise of alternative
jobs. "But if they are there, why are they not up and
running?" he asked.

In the last general election, Fianna Fáil secured 42.09 per
cent of the vote, up on its 1997 figure of 38.04 per cent,
while the Fine Gael vote increased from 22.97 per cent to
25.42 per cent.

Sinn Féin, which did not field a candidate in 1997, secured
10.75 per cent of the vote. The Sinn Féin standard-bearer,
Mr Doherty secured 2,696 first preferences and has since
heightened his profile with a strong performance in the
European and local elections.

He came second to Marian Harkin in first preferences in the
North-West European constituency, and was about 6,500 votes
short of taking the third seat.

He won a county council seat in the Glenties electoral
area, although he was outpolled by Fianna Fáil's Brian Ó
Dómhnaill. Young, articulate and able, he personifies a new
breed of Sinn Féin candidate.

Fianna Fáil may bank on the profile and experience of its
two TDs to save the two seats. Ms Coughlan, whose uncle and
father represented the constituency, was first elected to
the Dáil in 1987. Mr Gallagher was first elected in 1981
and was equally successful in every election he contested.

Will it be enough though to stop Mr Doherty in a Border
constituency, particularly in the aftermath of the IRA
statement embracing democracy?

© The Irish Times


Convicted Ex-FBI Agent Wants New Trial

BOSTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Jr.
cited "utterly explosive" statements of a former Mafia
driver in his request for a new trial on racketeering

Colombia: Ireland mulls trio handover (August 11, 2005) --
Irish Ambassador to Mexico Art Agnew said his country is
contemplating ways to hand over to Colombia three Irishmen
convicted on terror ... > full story

Colombian 'trio' return to Ireland (August 5, 2005) --
Three members of the Irish Republican Army convicted of
training leftist rebels in Colombia have returned to
Ireland, officials said Friday. Niall ... > full story

Senior Citizen Bandit may be Bulger (July 15, 2005) --
Police in Southern California think an elderly man who
robbed three banks in the past week might be legendary
South Boston gangster James Whitey ... > full story

Jailed gangster to be government witness (July 12, 2005) --
A 71-year-old gangster serving a life sentence will be the
key government witness in the prosecution of a retired FBI
agent in Miami on a murder ... > full story

Colombia: Alleged IRA in Cuba? (July 11, 2005) -- Three
members of the Irish Republican Army convicted of training
leftist rebels in Colombia may be hiding in Cuba, said an
Interpol official in ... > full story

Connolly, 65, who retired from the FBI in 1990, was
sentenced to 10 years in Boston for his conviction on
racketeering and other charges for warning longtime
informants in 1995 that they were about to be indicted.

Connolly was accused of warning James "Whitey" Bulger,
Stephen "The Rifle" Flemmi and New England Mafia godfather
Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme.

Connolly cited claims in FBI documents by onetime
Philadelphia mob driver Roger Vella that -- while in jail -
- Salemme admitted he lied during Connolly's trial and the
government knew he lied, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald

Among Vella's other claims was that former Massachusetts
Senate President William Bulger financed his serial killer
brother's flight from the law.

Connolly was awaiting trial on charges that he helped
Bulger and Flemmi in the 1982 gangland slaying of a Miami

Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All Rights


Trainee Priests At Maynooth Up Again This Year

John Downes

A total of 19 trainee priests are set to enter the
national seminary in Maynooth this year - the second year
in a row the number has shown a small but significant rise
after a period of a crisis in vocations.

This has prompted cautious hopes that the life - and death
- of the late Pope John Paul II could have a lasting effect
on the number of young Irish men choosing to join the

In all, about 25 young Irish men are expected to enrol as
first-year trainee diocesan priests either here or in Rome.

This figure includes students at St Patrick's College,
Maynooth and the Irish College in Rome, and represents the
only significant increases in 20 years.

However, with 28 for last year, the figure for the total
number of trainee priests remains a long way behind
previous generations. For example, 20 years ago, there were
169 first-year trainee priests throughout the country.

According to the national co-ordinator for vocations for
the Catholic Church, Fr Kevin Doran, there are many reasons
for the increases of the past two years. The pope's death
had led to a significant interest in vocations, he said.

"There was a heightened awareness, not just in the sense
that people were aware of it at the time, but there was a
lot of replaying of what he had said during his life and an
opportunity to listen again to other things he had said,"
he said. "I would like to think it has had some effect."

Fr Doran added that he was hopeful that the increase in
vocations would continue "slowly but surely" in years to

Similarly, Msgr Dermot Farrell, president of St Patrick's
College, welcomed the "continuing growth in the number of
students studying for the priesthood as good news for
Catholic communities throughout the country".

The 19 first-year seminarians at Maynooth are due to begin
their studies on Saturday, and will continue for up to
seven years. They bring the total number of seminarians at
the college at the start of the academic year to 75,
compared to 63 last year.

Speaking from Rome, the vice-rector of the Irish College,
Fr Albert McDonnell, also acknowledged a "gradual but
steady" increase in the number of people entering the

The college expects to have two new seminarians from
Ireland this year, out of a total of five who would be
arriving to either commence or continue their studies

It was not possible to "talk about a typical seminarian",
he said. But, whereas in the past many went straight from
school, increasingly those entering the priesthood have
spent time in university or the world of work before
deciding to do so.

Fr McDonnell also pointed out that, as the assessment
process for entrance to the priesthood takes time, the true
effect of Pope John Paul's death may not be visible until a
year from now.

"I'm sure a lot of people thought about (a vocation) in
that context," he said. "But it is next year that we would
see it if it is to have an impact. Most people think it
probably will."

© The Irish Times



Swinford Singing Star To Be Remembered In RTE Show

By Marian Harrison

Almost forty years after his death the story of Swinford
born singer star John Feeney will be told in a RTE
documentary, Townlands. The man famous for "When it's
Moonlight in Mayo" was the leading Irish-American tenor of
his era. The singer left Mayo for the land of dreams in the
1930's becoming a huge radio star. During his thirty-year
professional singing career in the U.S. he recorded fifty
records as well as performing in concerts and films.
Contracted to the same record label as Bing Crosby and
Louis Armstrong. Feeney, whose musical training began with
the Marist Brothers School Choir, made recital appearance
at some of the most prestigious venues including Carnegie
Hall and Town Hall in New York, The Boston Symphony Hall
and Philadelphia Academy of Music. During a pre-war visit
to Ireland, he broadcast on 2RN and topped bills at Dublin
Theatre Royal, The Olympia, The Cork Opera House and the
Limerick Savoy Theatre.

After retiring from singing, Feeney returned to his
homeland in the 1960's, where he died in 67. His wife Maura
(Ruddy) from Ballina was determined that the singer who was
a star with US audiences would be recognised in Ireland and
entrusted Harry Bradshaw with boxes of her husband's
records, tapes and memorabilia over a decade ago.

Townlands will feature archive footage of Feeney as well as
some contemporary interviews with family and friends. His
records will also be broadcast on the show, which will be
shown on RTE One tomorrow (Wednesday) at7pm.


Fall In Listeners For Leading RTÉ Presenters

Paul Cullen

Leading RTÉ broadcasters have suffered sharp falls in
audience as the State broadcaster loses further ground to
local radio in the latest listenership statistics.

Between them, Gerry Ryan, Marian Finucane, Pat Kenny and
Joe Duffy have shed tens of thousands of listeners,
according to the Joint National Listenership Research
(JNLR) survey, to be published today.

There is good news for two of RTÉ One's flagship news
programmes, Morning Ireland and the News at One, which have
recorded increases in listenership. Five Seven Live, in
contrast, lost almost 20,000 listeners.

Today FM expanded its share of the national audience, from
9 per cent to 11 per cent, while Matt Cooper, the presenter
of the station's drivetime programme, saw his listenership
grow by 17,000.

The station's chief executive, Willie O'Reilly, welcomed
the increase in Cooper's audience, the largest since he
took over the slot from Eamon Dunphy.

He said: "Matt is a young journalist with a great future in
front of him. This shows he has made the transition from
print journalism to radio successfully."

In Dublin, Dunphy, now with Newstalk 106, also gained
listeners; his breakfast programme is now heard by 24,000
listeners daily, up from 13,000.

Newstalk's share of listeners in the capital grew from 4
per cent to 6 per cent, and drivetime presenter George Hook
also increased his audience from 21,000 to 26,000.

Sources at Newstalk said they were delighted at the
station's figures, and described them as the ideal
springboard for a national talk-radio licence.

RTÉ last night sought comfort in the fact that it still
broadcasts the 10 most listened-to programmes, and 18 out
of the top 20 programmes. A spokeswoman also expressed
delight at big increases in listenership for some weekend
programmes: the wildlife programme Mooney Goes Wild added
43,000 listeners; and Saturday View grew by 23,000.

Nationally, the audience share held by all RTÉ stations
fell by 2 per cent, to 41 per cent. Local radio's overall
share remained unchanged at 48 per cent.

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland distributed the JNLR
figures to radio stations yesterday, but for the first time
imposed an embargo on their publication until today.
However, The Irish Times has obtained the figures from
industry sources. RTÉ last night said it regretted that
other stations had broken the embargo.

These figures cover the period from July 2004 to June 2005,
when Marian Finucane's weekday show was still running on
RTÉ Radio 1 and Ryan Tubridy was working for 2FM.

Finucane, who begins a new weekend show shortly, saw her
audience tumble from 372,000 to 355,000 in the previous 12-
month period. However, her replacement, Ryan Tubridy, also
lost listeners on 2FM, where his audience dropped from
244,000 to 217,000.

The biggest loser in this set of figures is Gerry Ryan, who
dropped 40,000 listeners to 352,000. An RTÉ spokeswoman
said Ryan's show was the third most popular in the country
and that he was competing against 30 other broadcasters.

The most popular radio show remains Morning Ireland, with
487,000 listeners, up 15,000.

Pat Kenny's 303,000 listeners represents a drop of 9,000,
while the News at One added 3,000 listeners, to 326,000.

© The Irish Times


Student Who Died In US Fall Named

James Fitzgerald

The Irish student who died after falling off a cliff in
Yosemite National Park in California on Monday has been

Shane Kinsella (21), from Dublin, was hiking with three
friends when the accident happened at about 4pm local time
(midnight Irish time). It is thought he had reached the top
of the Yosemite Falls when he slipped and fell down a steep

Mr Kinsella's body was recovered on Tuesday by Yosemite
National Park rangers and rescue personnel using a search
and rescue helicopter.

"He was posing for a photograph near the lip of the
waterfall when he slipped, was unable to recover, and fell
over the 1,430-ft waterfall," said a Yosemite spokeswoman.
Foul play is not suspected.

"Mr Kinsella's body was recovered in a pool at the bottom
of Upper Yosemite Fall on Tuesday morning," she said.

His body was taken to a mortuary at the nearby Mariposa
County Sheriff's office.

Mr Kinsella and his friends had hiked the 6km trail (3.7
miles) from the valley to the top of the falls. It is
thought he was in the US for the summer on a J1 student
working holiday visa and that he was travelling with
friends through the park.

His friends are believed to have returned to Ireland while
members of his immediate family travelled to the US

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said
its officials from San Francisco were assisting the family,
as was the consular service. The department will now help
the family to make arrangements to bring Mr Kinsella's body

This is the fifth accidental death in Yosemite National
Park this year and the second in the past week. According
to a local source, on average 10 people die in the park
each year.

Yosemite is one of the most famous national parks in the
US. The 2,000km area (1,242 miles) is renowned for its
spectacular waterfalls, mountains and forests and attracted
almost 3.3 million visitors last year.

© The Irish Times


Blame Vulture Capitalism, Not God, For Pat Robertson!

by William Hughes
(Tuesday August 23 2005)

"Religious fundamentalism is one of the evils that is
menacing the world. The Rev. Pat Robertson, who wants the
U.S. to kill Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez, is an
example of that madness. Another fundamentalist ideology,
however, which goes mostly unnoticed, is "Vulture
Capitalism!" It is a religion for many fanatics who worship
Money as a God. Unchecked "Vulture Capitalism" poses the
greatest threat to our planet and humankind."

On August 22, 2005, Rev. Pat Robertson, a Christian, knee-
jerk supporter of the Bush-Cheney Gang and a lackey for
Israel's Ariel Sharon, publicly insisted that the U.S.
should assassinate Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. The
incendiary remarks were made by the founder of the so-
called "Christian Broadcasting Network" on his program
known as the "700 Club." What kind of Christian is it that
suggests on a public television show before a nationwide
audience that a leader of another sovereign country should
be murdered? Hasn't Robertson ever heard of the Ten
Commandments? I also believe that the-not-so-Reverend
Robertson is giving God a bad name.

This is exactly what Robertson said: "We have the ability
to take him (Chavez) out, and I think the time has come to
exercise that ability. It's a whole lot cheaper than
starting a war...It's a whole lot easier to have some of
the covert operatives do the job and get it over with." [1]
This is the same Robertson who has seen no evil in the
unjust Iraqi War. The same can be said with respect to his
views of Israel's Apartheid Wall, its attack on the USS
Liberty and its unjustified killing of activist Rachel
Corrie.[2] None of the above has shown up on Robertson's
blurred moral radar screen.

As for Venezuela, although oil rich, it is one of the
poorest countries in South America. Hugo Chavez, a
populist, and ex-Army officer, is its elected president. He
has valiantly attempted to come to grips with the social,
economic and justice problems that have long plagued that
suffering nation. Almost 85 percent of its people languish
in grinding poverty. Because Chavez has refused to bow to
pressures from ruthless International Bankers, he has been
targeted for abuse, and possibly, assassination.[3]

Is there any doubt that fundamentalism, religiously
inspired by the likes of the bigoted Robertson, is a curse
on our country and on Mankind? Why do we allow these
extremist religious types to separate us from each other?
Why can't we have a spiritual theology that brings us all
together? [4]

Yet, there is another example of a flawed ideology, that is
indeed, more threatening to the world and to its future.
Unfortunately, it is mostly overlooked and it isn't seen as
the ultra-evil that it really is! I'm talking about Vulture
Capitalism! [5] It is a grasping materialistic system that
is related to by many as a religion which shouldn't be
questioned; its ethic holds that Money, and its vast
accumulation by any means necessary, is worshipped as a

Vulture Capitalism is a fundamentalist ideology with
political, economic and religious aspects. Some of its more
fanatical adherents are members of what is generally known
as: The Bush-Cheney Gang; Tony Blair and the UK
Establishment; International Bankers, Big Oil, the Zionist
Cartel and the U.S.'s Military Industrial Complex. Its
movers and shakers remain in the background. [6] They are
so powerful that some of these entities, standing alone,
are more powerful than even some nation-states. Each has
its own separate objectives, which many times cross over
with the nefarious plots of others. People are pawns for
them. Morality and the Natural Law are irrelevant to their
devilish schemes.[7] In my opinion, these groups represent
a real threat, not only to our Republic, but to life on our
planet. Only strong nation-states, in the hands of their
own people, can meet the awesome challenges of these
globalists - opponents of humankind. [8]

Getting back to the deranged Robertson, I met one of his
soul brothers, a few years back - the Rev. Ian Paisley. [9]
He's the fiery Protestant preacher/politico from Belfast,
in the north of Ireland. His bete noire is the Catholic
Pope of Rome, whom he considers the "Antichrist." Unlike
Robertson, however, Paisley does has a sense of humor. He
once made me wait until he preached at a church service in
Baltimore, Maryland, before granting me an interview. He
failed to warn me, however, that he was going to read 32
verses from the Bible as part of that two-hour process.

Absent the massive crime of British Imperialism in Ireland,
I'm convinced that Paisley, as we know him today, would not
exist! The Brits created him, along with a partitioned
Ireland, that pitted indigenous Catholics (Nationalists) in
the South, against Protestants (Unionists) in the occupied
Six Counties of the North. In the South of Ireland, (mostly
Catholic) a 26- county state dominated by arch conservative
RC clerics took form, where the hypocrisy of the ruling
Bishops was quite evident.[10] Naturally, the Protestants
in the North wanted no part of a state ran by RC clerics.
The clerics always made sure their narrow minded interests
came before the cause of Irish nationhood. Fortunately,
things are finally, but slowly, changing for all the Irish
people, both Green and the Orange, as the insidious evils
of British imperialism begin to fade from that bloodstained

So where do people like Pat Robertson and Ian Paisley come
from? Surely, not from God - but from the religion of the
Vulture Capitalists. For instance, absent the ultra Right
Wing politics of that late fraud and hypocrite Ronald
Reagan, who single-handedly repealed FDR's "New Deal", not
to mention the politics of Bush I and Bush II, Robertson
would be mostly invisible and without a public platform.
Hate mongers, like him, can't exist in a vacuum. I think,
however, that if you take a closer look at Robertson, and
also around the world at the religious fundamentalists that
are instigating violence and/or enmity between peoples, you
will notice that, at some level, their wires are being
pulled from behind the scene by political operatives. Their
horrific schemes, many of which are cleverly disguised
"false flag" operations,[11] represent the direct interests
of the divide-and-conquer ruling cliques who are the real
rulers of this planet.





[4]. "What God Wants" by Neale Donald Walsch.


[6]. "Conspirators' Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee
of 300" by Dr. John Coleman.


[8]. Chalmers Johnson's "The Sorrows of Empire."


[10]., and also,



Davitt Movement To Highlight Concerns

report by Stephen O'Grady

DISILLUSIONMENT with the effectiveness of public
representatives at both local and national level has played
an integral part in the formation of the Davitt League,
which may in time take on a major role in Irish politics.

Founder member Maura Harrington spoke about the failure of
the workings of democracy to safeguard people's concerns at
the league's launch in the Imperial Hotel, Castlebar, on
August 16, the anniversary of the foundation of the Land
League in 1879.

"What we all witnessed on Friday last was a debased
exercise in democracy which was bereft of any moral
courage," she commented on the emergency meeting of Mayo
County Council when a motion calling on Shell E&P Ireland
to process the Corrib Gas Field at sea was rejected. "It is
the abandonment of democratic exercise by the main
political parties which has led to this."

Micheal Ó Seighin, Willie Corduff, Brendan Philbin, Vincent
McGrath and Philip McGrath, the so-called Rossport Five,
are to be the patrons of the Davitt League, which
incorporates a six-point People before Profit charter.

The charter states that (i) Ireland's natural resources
belong to the Irish people for the benefit of the Irish
people; (ii) public amenities are not for the generation of
profit for a few; (iii) equitable taxation is a basic
right; (iv) democracy in planning is a basic right; (v)
Irish neutrality is non-negotiable for profit; (vi) a
multi-cultural Ireland respects all its people equally.

Ms Harrington indicated that it is planned to incorporate
people's movements throughout the country into the Davitt
League by October 21, the anniversary of the first meeting
of the National Land League in 1879.

"This, by its very nature, is political because the act of
politics is to represent the people who vote for their
representatives. When representatives who have been elected
in good faith by the decent exercise of franchise, and when
that good faith does not appear to be repaid, then you have
a political problem and we would hope to go some way
towards offering a political solution," she added.

Sinn Féin councillor at Mayo County Council, Gerry Murray,
urged people to maintain the focus on the issues which have
come to light as a result of the Rossport Five controversy
after the five men are released.

He spoke about the Irish facilities and public utilities
which have been relinquished during the past 20 years,
highlighting the crisis in farming which he traced back to
the World Trade Organisation, and the delegation of public
tools like group water schemes to private corporations.

"This is more than a local issue, it is a national and
global issue," he commented.

Mayo Independent Dáil deputy, Jerry Cowley, placed special
significance on the People before Profit charter. "This is
the core issue, and through the Davitt League people can
make a strong statement that things are not right," he
said. "The issue has moved from the land to our natural
resources, but these are being given away before we can get
at them ourselves. It's time to reclaim what is ours."

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