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August 30, 2005

Keep Killers Out of Army

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 08/30/05 Keep Killers Out Of Army, Says Group
BB 08/30/05 Decommissioning Head Is To Return
RT 08/30/05 Calls Over McCausland Murder
IS 08/31/05 'Love Ulster' Campaign Sparks Criticism
IT 08/31/05 Cabinet To Discuss C3 & Concert Hall
IT 08/31/05 67 Jobs Lost As Firm Moves To Lithuania
DJ 08/30/05 Sorcha Cusack In Devlin Role At Forum
IT 08/31/05 Gaelscoil In All Counties As Leitrim Opens
IT 08/31/05 Turfcutters Unable To Keep Up With Demand


Keep Killers Out Of Army, Says Group

By Paddy McGuffin
30 August 2005

A Londonderry-based human rights group is to challenge a
legal loophole allowing British soldiers to return to
active service despite being convicted of murder, it
emerged today.

Four British soldiers serving in Northern Ireland have been
convicted of murder, all of whom were returned to active
service without loss of rank.

The campaign is to be launched at a public meeting in
London on September 5 and will be addressed by Ken
Livingstone, Mayor of London; Guardian media analyst Roy
Greenslade and Michael Mansfield QC, who represented
several of the Bloody Sunday families.

Derry-based University of Ulster law lecturer Angela
Hegarty will also address the meeting.

Commenting on the launch, a spokesman for the Pat Finucane
Centre said: "In 1992 Scots Guards Mark Wright and James
Fisher murdered an unarmed Belfast teenager, Peter McBride.
In 2001 the Army sent these soldiers, convicted of murder,
to fight in Iraq.

"The rules that allowed them to return to active service
are still in place. Until that changes, soldiers convicted
of human rights abuses will continue to be sent to Iraq and
other conflict zones.

"The Article 7-End Impunity Campaign seeks to remove the
loophole that allows military personnel convicted of
serious crimes such as murder, rape or torture to remain in

"Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
states 'All are equal before the law and are entitled
without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.'
The military should not be above the law."


Decommissioning Head Is To Return

The Canadian General John de Chastelain is expected to
arrive back in Ireland on Wednesday to recommence his work
on the issue of paramilitary disarmament.

The British and Irish governments have strengthened his
decommissioning body by re-appointing Finnish brigadier
Tauno Nieminen who resigned in 2001.

The third member of the commission, Andrew Sens, is also
understood to be ready to return to work.

The moves will increase expectations the IRA will start
disarming soon.

It has not decommissioned any of its weapons since saying
it was ending its armed campaign at the end of July.

The statement also said independent witnesses from Catholic
and Protestant churches had been invited to witness the
decommissioning process and ordered members to "dump arms".

General de Chastelain has been chairman of the Independent
International Commission on Decommissioning since the late

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/30 16:51:31 GMT


Calls Over McCausland Murder

30 August 2005 19:59

Councillors in Belfast have been asked to throw their
weight behind efforts to bring the loyalist paramilitary
killers of a 20-year-old man to court.

Craig McCausland was gunned down on 11 July in his home in
Dhu Varren Park in north Belfast.

He was the second of four people to die as a result of a
feud waged by the UVF against people in the city it
believes have links to the rival LVF.

However, his family has denied he was a member of the LVF.

Belfast councillors are due to debate on Thursday a motion
from the SDLP's Cathal Mulligan condemning loyalist
violence in the city and calling on all groups to halt it

The motion also echoes SDLP leader Mark Durkan's call to
the Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain to urgently
review the UVF ceasefire in the wake of the killings.


'Love Ulster' Campaign Sparks Criticism

Bakir Rahmanovic

ISN SECURITY WATCH (30/08/05) - A new grassroots campaign
dubbed "Love Ulster", on Monday began disseminating
newsletters across Northern Ireland aimed at denouncing
nationalist dominance over the political process.

The Love Ulster campaign will disseminate 200,000 free
newsletters across Northern Ireland, highlighting unionist
concerns at political concessions granted to Sinn Féin and
the Irish Republican Army (IRA) since the latter's
statement that it was ending its nearly four-decade
campaign of violence against British rule.

In the days after the statement, the British government
announced radical plans for demilitarization in Northern
Ireland - a move unionists view as premature at best and a
betrayal at worst. They see the disbandment of the British
army's Royal Irish Regiment as a move that will harm
unionist culture.

William Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Love Ulster
campaign, told ISN Security Watch that unionists were
"shocked at the speed of the [British] concessions [after
the IRA statement]".

Wilkinson, who works for a support group for victims of IRA
violence, said he believed there was a reason for unionists
to distrust the British government, which he accused of
"negotiating aspects of the current process behind our
backs and over our heads".

The head of the exclusively Protestant Orange Order has
backed the campaign, which says Northern Ireland is at a
crisis point, with a clear need for a movement to oppose
the creation of a unified all-Ireland state.

Wilkinson feels that the Irish government is being given an
increasing role in Northern Ireland, and notes that the
British government, as far back as 1991, had said it had no
"strategic or economic interest" in remaining in Ireland.

Now unionist activists are taking matters into their own
hands, without confronting or criticizing mainstream
unionist politicians. "We are not pointing the finger at
our politicians, but seek to complement them," Wilkinson
said, adding that "both parties [the Democratic Unionist
Party and the Ulster Unionist Party] have voiced their
opposition to the current process of appeasement".

The Love Ulster pamphlets were landed at the port town of
Larne in a symbolic re-enactment of the 1914 landing of
guns at the port, intended for use by the old Ulster
Volunteer Force to resist pre-World War I plans for
devolved government or "Home Rule" for Ireland.

Wilkinson insists the re-enactment is merely symbolic.
However, the reported participation of loyalist
paramilitaries in distributing the pamphlets may cause
nationalists to see differently.

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) vice-president
Alasdair McDonnell said the involvement of loyalist
paramilitaries in a "phony campaign against a united
Ireland" was "utterly disgraceful".

The SDLP said the campaign was a disgraceful attempt to
spread fear and a sense of crisis.

(By Simon Roughneen in Derry/Londonderry)


Cabinet To Discuss 'Colombia Three' And Concert Hall

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

The Cabinet will today consider plans for the
redevelopment of the National Concert Hall and hear a
report on the "Colombia Three". It will be its first
meeting since the summer holidays.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell will brief his
colleagues on the return to Ireland of the three men
convicted of training Farc guerrillas in Colombia last

He is expected to report on whether there is any prospect
of extraditing the men to Colombia, jailing them here
arising from their Colombian convictions, or of they being
charging here with other offences.

Minister for Arts John O'Donoghue is expected to put to
Ministers a plan for a major redevelopment of the National
Concert Hall (NCH) at Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin.

The development favoured by the NCH would include a three-
venue performance centre, including a new auditorium with
2,000 seats, the refurbishment of the existing 1,200-seat
auditorium into a 900-seat venue, and a smaller hall
catering for 400. It would cost some €100 million, and
would be facilitated by the planned move next year of UCD
facilities to the Belfield campus.

Mr O'Donoghue may also put to colleagues proposals for the
development of new facilities at the Abbotstown sports
campus, currently the site of the National Aquatic Centre.

These include natural and synthetic pitches for GAA
football, hurling, soccer and rugby, an indoor training
centre for 35 sports and medical sports facilities.

While there was a protracted dispute between the two
coalition parties over the Taoiseach's initial plan to
build a national stadium at Abbotstown, there is no dispute
over the proposal to build these additional facilities at
the site.

The Government has already agreed in principle to provide
these facilities. Mr O'Donoghue said in June he would put
details of the development to Cabinet after the summer, and
some sources believe a decision could be taken as early as

The Cabinet will also decide today or within weeks on the
appointment of a Defence Forces ombudsman, who will take
over the work of the forces' internal complaints system.
The appointment comes after repeated assertions by Defence
Forces' representative bodies that members were reluctant
to report bullying.

Legislation to appoint such an ombudsman was enacted last

A decision will be taken within a fortnight on the
Government's new target date for reaching the State's UN
commitment to give 0.7 per cent of GNP in overseas
development aid each year.

This follows the abandonment of the 2007 target, which was
announced by the Taoiseach at the UN Millennium Summit in

The Taoiseach will travel to New York in mid-September to
address a follow-up meeting to the 2000 summit. He is
expected to then announce the year by which the Government
expects to meet the 0.7 per cent target.

© The Irish Times


67 Jobs Lost In Buncrana As Shirt Firm Moves To Lithuania

George Jackson

The managing director of Buncrana's last shirt-
manufacturing plant announced yesterday that the company
would cease its operations at the end of the year with a
loss of 67 jobs and transfer its production to Vilnius in

Seán Tighe said it was no longer cost-effective to produce
shirts and blouses at the Clubman Omega factory at
Lisfannon, on the outskirts of the Co Donegal town.

"We had hoped to do our premium brand here in Lisfannon,
but in the last 18 months in particular costs have risen
very sharply and the consumer prices have dropped, so the
equation simply doesn't add up any more."

The company has been operating in Buncrana since 1985, and
five years ago employed 185.

"We manufacture 8,000 shirts and blouses a week, but we
lost a major order for 3,500 shirts per week because of the
September 11th attacks in New York.

"We had an agreement with the Thomas Park company to supply
them with 3,500 shirts a week in their new store which was
to have opened in the World Trade Center on September 17th,
just six days after the Twin Towers collapsed. Needless to
say, they didn't open the store and the order was lost.

"But the main reason is the high cost of production here
compared to Lithuania. Over the last five years wages have
risen by 62 per cent, and over the last 12 months the price
of clothing fell by 16 per cent."

Mr Tighe said the news of the closure was given to the
employees yesterday morning.

"We will, with the Government and with the various State
agencies, seek to secure jobs elsewhere for the workers
facing redundancy.

"But the fact is that it takes about a quarter of the cost
to produce a shirt in Lithuania than it does in Ireland.

"That is mostly due to wages, but there are indirect taxes
as well.

"We outsourced some of our production to Lithuania a few
years ago and that has worked very well.

"There comes a point where it just doesn't work any more,
and that point has come now for us. If I had been asked
five years ago about our future I would have said we would
be very strong at this time, but costs have risen here,
particularly over the last five years, that we simply
cannot compete and the consumers are looking for cheaper
and cheaper prices." He said 12 jobs would be retained in
the factory's design and distribution section.

© The Irish Times


Sorcha Cusack In Devlin Role At Forum

By Erin Hutcheon
Tuesday 30th August 2005

Like most Irish people, Sorcha Cusack will never forget the
events that occurred in Derry on January 30, 1972.

A university student at the time, Sorcha vividly remembers
returning home to find her mother weeping after discovering
that 13 people had been shot in Derry.

"My mother had been very sick at the time of Bloody
Sunday," explained the Irish actress.

"And I remember her weeping when I arrived home. She kept
saying '13 of my people have been shot this afternoon.'

"She was distraught. "My mother was born and bred in Derry,
and she often talked about it. "Her reaction to the news of
Bloody Sunday really affected me that day and left me
shocked. I'll never forget it.

"But because my mum was from Derry I always felt a special
association with the city and had a real feeling of what
the place was like."

Sorcha will proudly take to the stage of the Millennium
Forum next month, to play the part of Bernadette Devlin in
'Bloody Sunday - Scenes from the Saville Inquiry.'

The show is being brought to Derry by the Tricycle Theatre
Company which previously produced the acclaimed documentary
'The Colour of Justice - The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.'

Sorcha revealed how excited she was to be playing the role
of Bernadette Devlin.

"There are many roles in the show which people won't
identify with on an individual level, such as the
soldiers," she said.

"However Bernadette is a woman who had a big public profile
and (English) people recognise her from the newspapers and

"Because she was so well known it was important to me that
I portray her image absolutely correctly, and capture her
spirit and mind.

"I think this was also true for the person who played
Bishop Daly."

Sorcha has already completed a run of the show in London
but says she is especially pleased to bring the show home
to Ireland.

"Derry is THE place where we want this to be seen," she

"I suppose we want to see what the reaction will be from
the people of the city.

"We've had a great response to the show in London and most
of the national papers have given us four and five star

"It can often be the case that people in the U.K. are a bit
jaded about the history of Northern Ireland and don't fully
understand it. "With this show the audience has truly been
shocked and amazed to see this piece of history
encapsulated into one evening.

"I feel it's important that the show has come out.

"We're making people more aware of what happened at the

Our director Nick Kent already has experience with a show
like this as he also directed 'The Colour of Justice - The
Stephen Lawrence Inquiry' which was also brought out before
the findings of the Tribunal were revealed.

"The show is not a dramatisation of the Tribunal, it is
100% factually correct. Each word that is spoken is taken
verbatim from the transcripts."

'Bloody Sunday --Scenes from the Saville Inquiry' has won
critical acclaim since it first opened in London.

'The Times' newspaper described it as " devastating" while
the 'Daily Telegraph' said: "We can't praise this
enthralling production too highly."

Since March 2000, the Saville Inquiry has heard evidence
from more than one thousand witnesses. 'Bloody Sunday -
Scenes from the Saville Inquiry' is a dramatic overview of
some of that evidence.

With a cast of 23 this reconstruction moves swiftly from
painful eyewitness accounts of how people died, to the
cross-examination of the soldiers who fired.

'Bloody Sunday --Scenes from the Saville Inquiry' will run
in the Millennium Forum on Friday, 16th and Saturday, 17th

Tickets are now available from the Box Office. Telephone 71
264455 for bookings and enquiries.


Gaelscoil In Every County As Leitrim School Opens

John Downes

From tomorrow, every county in the State will have a
Gaelscoil with the opening of the first one in Co Leitrim.

Gaelscoil Liatroma in Carrick-on-Shannon will initially
have 62 pupils and three teachers.

Another three schools - Gaelscoil Uí hEarcáin, Finglas,
Dublin; Gaelscoil an tSlí Dála, Ballaghmore, Co Laois
(operating under joint Church of Ireland and Catholic
patronage); and Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Lucan, Co Dublin -
are also due to open this month, bringing the total at
primary level to 157.

The number of students learning through Irish will be more
than 30,000 when the 6,000 students at secondary level are

According to the principal of Gaelscoil Liatroma, Caitríona
Nic Chonchradha, many parents were becoming aware of the
benefits of a bilingual education for their children. She
said the new school envisaged taking on more students and
at least one more teacher next year.

However, Ms Nic Chonchradha said not all parents in the
county would be able to travel to Carrick-on-Shannon.
Although the Department of Education tended to favour
extending existing Gaelscoileanna, she said new schools
needed to be built around the country.

"We should, as parents, have a right to look for an Irish-
language education for children within a reasonable

Nóra Ní Loingsigh, acting director of Gaelscoileanna, the
co-ordinating body for schools that teach through Irish,
yesterday welcomed the fact that every county now had a

However she said provision of an all-Irish education at
second level was set to become an issue in the future.

© The Irish Times


Turfcutters Unable To Keep Up With Demand

Anne Lucey

A turfcutting co-op which was expected to go out of
business when the ESB power station it supplied closed two
years ago, cannot keep up with demand.

Oil prices have lead to a boom in demand for turf in south
Kerry, where 15,000 tonnes have been cut this year, said
Dan Barry, chairman of Iveragh Co-op.

Some 25,000 tonnes were machine-cut annually on the
peninsula during the power station era at Deelis, near
Cahirciveen. This could have been matched this year had the
current demand been anticipated, Mr Barry said.

Turf is selling for about 60 a tonne. A trailer costs about

Mr Barry said there were plans to invest in a turf-bagging
plant. The co-op has also purchased additional bog. "We
foresee a situation where people will be able to walk into
a shop and buy a bag of turf in the same way they can now
buy a bag of coal."

There have been many job losses in Cahirciveen in recent
years with the closure of several factories and the power

© The Irish Times

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