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August 23, 2005

McAllisters Fear For Lives If Returned

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News about Ireland & the Irish

SN 08/23/05 McAllisters Fear For Their Lives If Sent Back
IO 08/23/05 Call To Declare Loyalist Ceasefires Obsolete
IC 08/23/05 Short Strand Siege
UT 08/23/05 Blfst:Bored Kids & Drunk Teens Causing Violence
BB 08/23/05 Pensioners Traumatised By Attack
BB 08/23/05 Men Held Over Feud Deaths Freed
IT 08/24/05 Colombia VP Wants Interpol Warrant Enforced
IT 08/24/05 Paisley Close To Death Last Year - Son
IT 08/24/05 Moore Street House May Have Been Renumbered
IT 08/24/05 Irishman Dies After Fall In US Park
IO 08/23/05 Freedom Offer For Guerin Murder Suspect
SF 08/23/05 Apply For Birth Certs W/ Derry As Birthplace-SF
IT 08/24/05 Physicist From Mayo Is Crowned Rose Of Tralee


"Family fighting against deportation"

McAllisters Fear For Their Lives If Sent Back To Ireland

By Don E. Smith, Jr.
The Shopper News
August 17, 2005
Front page and page 7

Wallington - Malachy McAllister and his family, immigrants
from Northern Ireland who settled in Wallington, are
fighting deportation back to their mother country out of
fear for their lives.

A Web site supporting the McAllisters describes the family
as "political refugees from Northern Ireland who have been
residents in the United States for a number of years."
McAllister was convicted in Northern Ireland in 1983 of
serving as a lookout for the Irish National Liberation
Army, a paramilitary group separate from the Irish
Republican Army (IRA), during an attempted ambush on a
Royal Ulster Constabulary officer. He was sentenced to
prison and released in 1985. In 1988, his family escaped an
attack on their living room by British loyalists.

In a speech to the Irish American Republican Party on Aug.
31, 2004 McAllister described the events that forced his
family to flee. "My mother-in-law and three of my children
were at home that night when four gunmen, dressed in
Halloween masks, arrived shortly before 8 p.m. on a Sunday
evening," he said. "Two proceeded up the walkway to the
front door and window of our house. Then all hell broke

"One of the gunmen shot through the glass panel of the
front door into the hallway. The other loyalist gunmen
fired 26 shots from an AK-47 into the living room and when
my son, Gary, was spotted at the bedroom window, the gunmen
directed their weapons up into my children's bedrooms,
narrowly missing all three. My mother-in-law managed to
escape to the rear of the house and huddled down in a
corner. When the shooting finally stopped, my children were
found huddled together with a blanket over them for

According to McAllister, his police file and a gun used in
the attack were later found at a British loyalist
safehouse, forcing him to flee to relatives living in

Eileen Kean, president of the Mid-Jersey Chapter of the
Irish American Unity Conference, who has known McAllister
since 2000, said Canada denied him a visa, forcing him to
come to the United States, where he settled in Wallington
in 1996 as a bricklayer with his wife, Bernadette, and four
children. Bernadette died in 2004 from cancer at the age of
46. After 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security started
revoking the visas of immigrants with questionable
backgrounds. McAllister and his family fell into that

"I regret that my participation back in the '80s still
affects my family 25 years later, but there are people who
have committed crimes far more worse than mine," said

McAllister added he was horrified by the events of 9/11 and
said, "I was very much appalled and if I could, I would put
on an Army uniform and find the people who brought about
this terror to this country. And I know my children would
do that as well."

Congressman Steve Rothman, of the ninth district, and Peter
King of New York, both wrote letters asking Michael
Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,
to allow McAllister and his family to stay in the United

"Rothman feels the McAllister family are wonderful and
valuable members here and their safety is threatened. Even
after many years the danger could still be present," said
Shelly O'Neill Stoneman, an aide to Rothman.

"The McAllister family's case has garnered widespread
support of many in the Irish American community, including
groups such as the Irish American Unity Conference and the
Ancient Order of Hibernians, as well as the support of many
Congressional leaders," said Deanna Turner, national
coordinator for the Irish American Unity Conference.

"Malachy and his family are still in grave danger of
deportation. We urge the Bureau of Homeland Security and
the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to allow
this upstanding Irish family to stay in America."

According to Turner, a group that goes by the name Red Hand
Defenders or the Red Hand Commandos, recently claimed in an
e-mail sent to the "Irish Echo" newspaper that, "We won't
miss next time," referring to the McAllisters.

The McAllisters are awaiting to hear from the Third Court
of Appeals in Newark or the Department of Homeland Security
whether the family will be allowed to stay.


Call To Declare Loyalist Ceasefires Obsolete
2005-08-23 18:30:02+01

The British government was tonight under pressure to
declare obsolete the ceasefire of loyalist paramilitaries
accused of issuing new death threats against a murder
victim's father.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan expressed astonishment that
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy has yet to give the
assessment on the Ulster Volunteer Force - an organisation
blamed for murdering four men in Belfast since the start of

The shootings have all been linked to the UVF's vicious
feud with the splinter Loyalist Volunteer Force.

But in a separate development, Raymond McCord, the
grouping's most outspoken critic, claimed they were
planning to use the violent turf war to try to kill him.

Mr McCord blames the UVF for murdering his 22-year-old son,
Raymond Jr, in November 1997.

The former RAF operator was battered to death and his body
dumped in a north Belfast quarry.

Allegations that Special Branch blocked an investigation
into the murder because it implicated security force
informers are being investigated by Police Ombudsman Nuala

Alarmed by new warnings Mr McCord said he had received from
police and an attempt by the Ulster Defence Association to
stop a tabloid newspaper being sold, Mr Durkan claimed
loyalists were trying to take away freedom of speech.

The Foyle MP said: "On the one hand, the UVF are
threatening Raymond McCord - simply because he refuses to
stay silent about the fact that they killed his son.

"On the other, the UDA are threatening newsagents that
stock the Sunday World simply because it has published
stories about the luxury lifestyles of UDA crime bosses.

"These threats cannot be lightly dismissed. After all, the
UVF have already killed Raymond McCord's son.

"And just a few years ago loyalists murdered a brave Sunday
World journalist, Martin O'Hagan.

"It is demoralising for decent people that the Secretary of
State has remained speechless.

"He still will not say what everybody knows: that loyalist
paramilitaries have broken their ceasefires.

"Just what is it that needs to happen before the Northern
Ireland Office think that the UVF has broken its ceasefire.
How many more killings does it take?"

Mr Durkan issued his demand after Mr McCord revealed he had
received new warnings.

"Police came out to see me on Saturday to tell me they were
in receipt of information about a threat to my physical
safety," he said.

"That was the second time in a week.

"The UVF are concentrating on targeting me while this feud
is going on."

But as concern over the violence and threats deepened, the
Northern Ireland Office rejected allegations that it was
ignoring the situation.

A spokesman said: "We completely refute any allegation of
indifference towards this murderous violence.

"The Secretary of State has made it clear from the outset
that this is gangsterism masquerading as loyalism.

"Our focus is on the most effective way of bringing these
murders and violent attacks to an end.

"We believe that this will be best achieved through
effective policing and the PSNI deserve everyone's support,
particularly in loyalist communities at this time, to bring
the perpetrators of this violence to justice."


Short Strand Siege

By Damien McCarney, Andersonstown News

Short Strand residents were subjected to a weekend orgy of
violence from East Belfast loyalists in which shots were
fired into the small nationalist enclave and a pipe bomb
hurled into the district. And the Andersonstown News can
reveal that after the PSNI were informed of the existence
of the pipe bomb, it took Army Technical officers (ATO)
nearly two hours to respond.

Last night (Sunday) Sinn Féin representative for Short
Strand, Deborah Devenny said: "This needs the involvement
of the Irish and British governments, it needs to be dealt
with at a top level. "This cannot be allowed to escalate
again. This escalated in 2002 and it went on for four
months. All we want is for this to be stopped and for the
people in this area to have some quality of life."

Weekend of violence in Short Strand

Nationalist residents of the Short Strand are angry with
the PSNI and British army for leaving a pipe bomb in a
garden for almost two hours before it was made safe on
Sunday morning. The pipe bomb incident was part of a
weekend-long attack on nationalists in which five shots
were fired, a crude explosive device and a variety of other
missiles being hurled over the peace line.

A pipe bomb, measuring approximately nine inches long, with
a two inch fuse was thrown from the loyalist Cluan Place,
over the peace line, into the garden of Mr Seán McVeigh in
Clandeboye Gardens. During a lull in the attacks, Mr
McVeigh's wife discovered the device and lifted it before
realising what it was. She put it down again and phoned the

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that they received a 999 call
about the device at 1.30am and tasked the Army Technical
officers (ATO), who are responsible for removal of suspect
devices, at 1.57am, to attend the scene.

The ATO then arrived on the scene at 3.15 am and declared
the area safe at 3.45am.

Mr McVeigh was angered at the delay in the response to the

"This was a killer. If it had gone off it would have done
damage. We had to do a sweep of our own gardens, to see if
there were any more devices. Even at that, we can't check
everything. There should be sniffer-dogs in here.

"Anywhere else people would be in and there would be a
sweep done, but we have to do this ourselves. There is a
contempt shown for us."

Tension has mounted in the area over recent weeks with an
increase in the number of missiles being thrown over the
peace line. The trouble escalated with the Rangers Celtic
match on Saturday followed by a reported loyalist band
competition in the Cluan area. At about 5.30pm the first of
the missiles were thrown over the peace line. Nationalists
admit that they threw missiles back when it became apparent
that the PSNI were not going to protect them.

Mr McVeigh said that the throwing of the missiles by
loyalists were orchestrated.

"My wife actually heard a man giving orders, shouting 'one,
two, three, let's go'. Then bottles, bricks, golf balls,
the usual, came over," said Mr McVeigh.

At approximately 1.00am five shots were fired into the
nationalist estate from Cluan Place. Later a crude
fireworks device, with ball bearings attached, exploded. A
Short Strand woman received minor injuries when she was hit
on the back by a rock.

Sinn Féin East Belfast representative Deborah Devenny says
that the attacks in the Short Strand demand the
intervention of the Irish and British governments.

"This needs the involvement of the Irish and British
governments, it needs to be dealt with at a top level. This
cannot be allowed to escalate again. This escalated in 2002
and it went on for four months. All we want is for this to
be stopped and for the people in this area to have some
quality of life.

"The PSNI have once again demonstrated their unwillingness
to deal with loyalist thugs intent upon intimidating the
people of this area. The PSNI have absolutely no control
over this situation.

"Furthermore, there are three security cameras in the area,
which must have recorded events over these past days. It
will be interesting to see if they are taken away and

"This community is sickened and disgusted by a week-long
siege on this district. A barrage of ball-bearings, golf
balls, bricks and bottles have rained down upon people and
property. The political leadership of unionism and the
Orange Order must face down these people. In a week when
Sinn Féin launched a dossier outlining over 85 attacks upon
nationalists in the summer months, unionist paramilitaries
continue to orchestrate and participate in these attacks."

A PSNI spokesperson said that they will examine CCTV
footage in an effort to identify those responsible. A
spokesperson for the British army was not available to
comment on the delay in removing the bomb.


'Bored Kids And Drunk Teens Causing Belfast Violence'

Nightly violence in Belfast is being caused by "bored
children and drunken teenagers", a politician claimed

By:Press Association

After another clash when rival loyalist and republican mobs
hurled petrol bombs and stones at each other at a notorious
north Belfast flashpoint, SDLP assembly member for the
area, Alban Maginness called for a end to the nightly

He said it had to be halted before someone was seriously
injured or worse.

He said: "We have a ridiculous situation where two
communities are being dictated to by bored children and
drunken teenagers.

"In other cities, their anti-social behaviour would be a
nuisance but at the sectarian interfaces in Belfast it can

Putting a stop to the trouble now would require strong
political and community leadership, he said.

"It is time to come off the fence, time to stop hiding
behind the sort of double-talk that condones or excuses
sectarian violence.

"It is time for each community to confront its own rioters
instead of whining about the other side starting it," said
Mr Maginness.

At the height of the trouble at the Ardoyne shops interface
- it went on until the early hours - an estimated 100
people were involved in violence and police had to move in
to separate the factions.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said despite the
intensity of the trouble there were no reported casualties
and no arrests.

There was a separate stand-off between rival factions in
Belfast where around 50 youths gathered at a peaceline.

They dispersed before violence erupted.

Tensions have been high in the city since the weekend when
gangs of republicans and loyalists attacked each other.

Police chiefs said children as young as six were involved
in rioting which broke out on Sunday night at the junction
of the Ardoyne Road and Alliance Avenue.

The day before, up to 400 people were involved in clashes
which continued for several hours in east Belfast.

Democratic Unionist Nigel Dodds said it was vital there was
a strong enough security presence at interface areas to
deal with violence.

Emerging from talks with Assistant Chief Constable Duncan
McCausland and Police Commander Mike Little, the North
Belfast MP also said there was clear evidence that very
young children were involved in some of the rioting.

"I would back calls for parents to ensure that they are not
only aware of where children are but are also aware of the
activities that they are engaged in," he said.

"While CCTV is having an impact, it is incumbent on the
police to ensure that prosecutions are forthcoming. Those
involved in this type of activity must be held responsible
for their actions."

Mr Dodds said he had also raised the issue of attacks on
houses in Twaddell Avenue and the need for people to be

"I would urge the police to use the evidence gathered from
CCTV cameras to ensure future prosecutions are brought,"
the former Stormont Social Development Minister continued.

"It is vital that interface areas are not left bereft of
security because police resources are targeted exclusively
on the so-called loyalist feud."

A male juvenile was arrested in North Belfast tonight
following fresh disturbances.

Police said he was detained in the Limestone Road area when
officers were called in to deal with youths stoning in the
area. The area was later reported calm.


Pensioners Traumatised By Attack

A couple in their 80s have been left traumatised by an
attack on their home in north Belfast.

The front window of the house in Hesketh Road was smashed
and paint thrown inside.

Two other houses were also attacked in the incident which
follows disturbances in north Belfast on Monday night.

John Mussen, 82, who is suffering from cancer, said he was
not able to explain to police why his home had been

Luckily neither he nor his wife were in the front room when
a jar of paint came smashing through the window.

Local people living on the Protestant side of the interface
area said they saw three youths in Celtic football jerseys
drive in and out of the street and target the three homes.

The gang are reported to have been driving a Red Laguna.
They hit a parked car as they escaped.

Speaking after visiting the homes, the DUP's Nelson
McCausland described the attack as "blatantly sectarian and
designed to ensure the continuation of unrest in the area".

"This area has had to endure these type of attacks over a
long period of time," he said.

"Tonight's attack is a deliberate attempt to ensure that
tension in the area remains high. It is blatantly sectarian
and clearly well organised."

On Monday night, petrol bombs and stones were thrown close
to the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast.

Dozens of officers moved in to keep rival groups of
nationalists and loyalists apart.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/23 21:34:32 GMT


Men Held Over Feud Deaths Freed

Two of three men being questioned about the murders of two
men in north Belfast killed as part of a loyalist feud have
been released without charge.

A man is still being questioned about the death of Stephen
Paul, 28, who was shot at Wheatfield Crescent on 30 July.

Another man being held over the murder of Craig McCausland
on 11 July has also been released without charge.

Meanwhile, two men have been arrested in connection with a
gun attack on a taxi driver in County Down on Saturday.

The driver, who is in a stable condition in hospital, was
attacked in the Westwinds estate in Newtownards at about
0030 BST as he sat in his car.

Both murders and the attack on the taxi driver have been
linked to the continuing feud between loyalist
paramilitaries, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Loyalist
Volunteer Force.

Mr McCausland died after three men burst into his Dhu
Varren Park home and shot him.


The man in his 20s who was being questioned in connection
with the murder was arrested on Tuesday morning and
released on Tuesday evening.

Earlier on Tuesday, it emerged in court that Mr McCausland
had been facing charges of burglary and theft.

The man being questioned over Stephen Paul's murder is in
his 30s.

Paul had survived a murder bid in Bangor in January 1999.

It is understood that he had served a number of jail terms,
including one for seriously assaulting his partner.

Paul had received numerous death threats over the years and
had moved house on several occasions.

His was the third killing in the feud, which has claimed
four lives.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/23 20:34:06 GMT


Colombia VP Wants Interpol Warrant Enforced

Joe Humphreys in London

Colombia would "not be satisfied" if the three men who
fled the country after being convicted of training Farc
terrorists were prosecuted in Ireland only for passport
offences, Colombia's vice-president has said.

Speaking to The Irish Times in London, Francisco Santos
said his government would continue to seek the extradition
of the "Colombia Three", even if they were punished under
the Irish criminal justice system for using false

Calling for the enforcement of an international arrest
warrant for Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James
Monaghan, he also said gardaí should investigate those who
helped the three to flee Colombia and re-enter Ireland.

"I am pretty sure some people in Ireland were involved in
helping them escape justice in Colombia, in making them
international fugitives. Are the police going to ask them
about that? Are they going to look at records of
travelling, phone calls, credit cards, to build a case of
where they were, and who was with them? We think the police
should pursue that line of action."

Mr Santos described as a "step forward" the fact that
gardaí had interviewed the three in Dublin last week. "But
it's just a beginning. What we are asking is, 'What is
happening with the Interpol arrest warrant?' I don't know
how the legal system works in Ireland, but in Colombia if
there is an arrest warrant, then you arrest them and then
you do the rest of the process after that."

The DPP is to decide whether Connolly will be charged with
passport offences after being questioned by gardaí.

He was the only one of the three who was travelling on an
Irish passport when the men were arrested in Colombia in
2001. The other two had UK passports. All were convicted in
Colombia of using false passports and later received 17-
year sentences for training Farc terrorists.

Asked whether Colombia would be satisfied if the men were
punished in Ireland for passport offences alone, Mr Santos
replied: "No, we would not be satisfied. I would have to be
very clear and very frank. They did a lot of damage in

"They taught a technology that we had never seen that
killed many Colombians. We think that's too little of a
punishment, considering also that that crime might not have
jail time."

He added that Colombia was examining all legal options that
would secure the extradition of the three men, including
the signing of treaties to which Ireland would be party.

"We are working in building the case. We are looking at
precedent. We are looking at really old treaties. We are
looking at the UN Convention Against Terrorism and Security
Council resolutions. We are looking at a whole array of
legal and political possibilities. So, sooner rather than
later, I think the government will get the extradition

"We want them in Colombia. We want them to pay their jail
term in Colombia. We understand obviously the difficulties.
We also understand this was not a problem of the Irish
Government. I think they were blind-sided.

"But we as a community of nations, and especially
democracies like Ireland and Colombia, should confront
terrorism with the strictest and most expeditious and most
rapid and most politically full actions."

Mr Santos renewed his attack on Irish politicians and
lawyers who had lobbied him in Bogota on issues relating to
the case, but who had not spoken out against their "fleeing

He singled out for particular criticism Catriona Ruane of
the Bring Them Home Campaign and Fianna Fáil senator Mary
White, who had previously rejected Mr Santos's claim of
"double standards".

Ms Ruane answered the criticism yesterday by saying "people
in glass houses should not throw stones. He stands over a
country with one of the worst human rights records in the

Asked about Mr Santos's plea for gardaí to investigate
those who helped the men escape, Ms Ruane said: "I think
it's irrelevant how they got home. I am just glad they are

"I don't know who assisted them to get them out of
Colombia. The Taoiseach has said this whole issue is a
matter for the gardaí and the Irish courts and I think Mr
Santos should respect the legal system in Ireland. It's a
matter for Ireland, not Colombia."

Mr Santos however said arguments about human rights abuses
were a "smokescreen". He was in London en route to Colombia
from the Netherlands, where he met lawyers at the
International Criminal Court to discuss his country's
controversial justice and peace law.

He rejected suggestions that the law would give an amnesty
to human rights abusers, adding: "It is not a perfect law,
but it really opens a way to how to deal with peace and
justice at the same time."

© The Irish Times


Paisley Close To Death Last Year, Son Tells Congregation

Democratic Unionist Party leader the Rev Ian Paisley was
close to death when he was seriously ill last year, his son
has said.

The veteran politician spent 10 days in hospital last
August having tests for an undisclosed illness, rumoured to
be either prostate cancer or a leaking heart valve. Dr
Paisley (79) and his family had refused to discuss his
medical problems or his condition.

However his son, the Rev Kyle Paisley, a minister in his
father's Free Presbyterian Church, confirmed at the weekend
that the North Antrim MP nearly died last year.

He made the comments as he introduced Dr Paisley to his
congregation at a service on Saturday to mark his 14th year
as minister of his church near Lowestoft, Suffolk. Dr
Paisley usually preaches at the church every year, but was
unable to visit last summer because of his illness.

His son told worshippers: "This is a special service for me
inasmuch as last year my father was very, very ill. He said
he was at death's door and it was a very trying and testing
time for him and my Mum and all our family.

"I believe that he was saved because people prayed for him.
He still has God's work to do and is looking 10 years

The Rev Paisley (38) refused to comment further about his
father's health. "We have not really said anything about
it. The family has never given any details because we feel
it should be kept private."

Speculation about Dr Paisley's health has increased in
recent years as he has reduced his workload and his number
of public appearances. Last year he stood down after 25
years as an MEP but insisted he had no plans to step down
as DUP leader or head of the church.

Dr Paisley blamed "Romanists" in the media for spreading
lies about his health last year.

In an article last September in his church magazine
Revivalist, he claimed he was now "wonderfully healed".

Dr Paisley was able to joke about his health with his son's
congregation in Suffolk.

"I feel in perfect health. In fact I feel a little too well
sometimes and I have to say to myself, 'You are no longer
15, you are in your 80th year and you have to be careful'.

"What keeps me going is I have a message that transformed
my own life. God has given me a job to do. I believe I have
work to do."

© The Irish Times


Historic Moore Street House May Have Been Renumbered -

Tim O'Brien and Ruadhan MacEoin

Controversy over the preservation of No 16 Moore Street
deepened yesterday after Dublin City Council said the
building may not have been number 16 at the time of the
Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916.

The council confirmed that a renumbering scheme in Moore
Street in the 1930s could mean that the last headquarters
of the leaders of the Easter Rising may in fact be the
building now known as 18 Moore Street.

Yesterday, Minister for the Environment Dick Roche formally
asked the council to list the building currently known as
16 Moore Street for preservation.

Martin Kavanagh of the council said architect Gráinne
Shaffrey of Shaffrey and Associates, and urban historian
John Montague, had been asked to determine if the current
number 16 was the house occupied by the rebel leaders, as
part of their survey of the building.

Mr Kavanagh said initial research by the council into
numbering changes had thrown up the possibility that the
building at the centre of the controversy was not the one
used by the 1916 leaders.

"There is a danger that this is the case," he said. "There
is an indication, from what we have found, that there may
have been a change in numbers on the houses on Moore
Street." He said Ms Shaffrey and Mr Montague are expected
to report in a week or so.

The council also has old photographs showing the facade of
houses in Moore Street, including the current numbers 16
and 18, in rubble. It believes the present front of the
terraced buildings could date from the late 1920s.

While there is no doubt that the 1916 leaders did take
refuge in a house on Moore Street, the main battle took
place in the GPO and the actual surrender in Parnell
Street. Critics have suggested that the GPO would make a
better setting for any proposed commemorative museum.

However, the National Graves Committee rejected the
possible confusion yesterday, describing it as "a council

Spokesman Matt Doyle said the building had been carrying a
plaque "for decades" attesting to its being the last
headquarters of the 1916 leaders.

A vast number of academics had accepted the building as the
last headquarters "of the provisional government", he said.

© The Irish Times


Irishman Dies After Fall In US Park

James Fitzgerald

An Irishman in his early 20s was killed in the United
States yesterday after he suffered a fall in Yosemite
National Park in California.

The man, who has not yet been named, was hiking with three
friends in the Yosemite Falls area of the park just after
midnight Irish time. It is thought that as they paused to
take pictures at the top, he lost his footing and fell down
a steep incline.

Last night, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed
that an Irish national had been killed in Yosemite and that
the matter was being looked after by the park rangers
service. A department spokeswoman said there was no
question of foul play.

She added that Department of Foreign Affairs officials
based in San Francisco have become involved and that the
consular division in Dublin is assisting the man's family
at home.

Yosemite is one of the most famous parks in the US and
attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Park
rangers said the Irishman's death was the third such death
in the park in the past two weeks. Two hikers were killed
following separate accidents in the Nevada Falls and Vernal
Falls areas of the park.

According to local sources, an average of 10 people are
killed each year, mostly climbers suffering falls or hikers
getting lost.

© The Irish Times


Freedom Offer For Guerin Murder Suspect

23/08/2005 - 17:39:38

One of the chief suspects in the murder of Veronica Guerin,
who was jailed for drugs offences, has been offered
temporary release from prison, it emerged today.

Patrick Holland has been given the chance to leave the high
security Portlaoise Prison, Co Laois, where he has served
seven years, to visit a special unit in Dublin to prepare
for freedom.

The move comes four days after the 66-year-old career
criminal known as "Dutchy" petitioned President Mary
McAleese to have the remaining eight months of his sentence

Legal representative Giovanni di Stefano said Holland
deserved the chance to reintegrate into society.

"He has been offered by the Governor of Portlaoise Prison
temporary release to the training unit in Dublin allowing
him the freedom to reintegrate within society," the London-
based lawyer revealed.

"I see this as a positive development in the manner upon
which the Minister of Justice has finally taken notice of
the facts surrounding the conviction of Mr Holland and
perhaps, it is hoped, the use of the Special Criminal

"This offer shows a willingness on then part of the Irish
Government to recognise the possibility of having erred and
trying as best as possible to right a wrong."

Holland was jailed for 20 years at the Special Criminal
Court in Dublin in November 1997 for possession of
cannabis. On appeal the sentence was reduced to 12 years.

In a sensational twist during Holland's trial a police
officer told the court she believed he had gunned down
Veronica Guerin as she sat at the wheel of her car on the
Naas Road on the outskirts of Dublin.

But now after serving seven years in Portlaoise, home to
some of the country's most ruthless gangsters, Holland has
called on President McAleese to cancel the last eight
months of his sentence. He is due for release in April

His legal team have outlined what they believe are a series
of irregularities in the conviction. They also claim
Holland's sentence was too severe and have highlighted his
good behaviour during his seven years in jail.


Apply For Birth Certificates With Derry As Birthplace -
Sinn Féin Urges Parents

Published: 23 August, 2005

Derry City Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has encouraged
parents within the city council area to register their
newborn children under the city name place of their own

Cllr. Fleming said: "It has come to my attention that not
all parents are aware that they can register the birth
place of their children under the city name place of their
own choosing. After being contacted by a constituent
concerning this issue I contacted the relevant Officials
and was assured that if parents request Derry or Doire as
the registered place of birth it must be adhered to.

"At present a child's birthplace, if born within the
council area, will be recorded as Londonderry unless a
specific request is made otherwise. If parents so wish
their child‚s birthplace can instead be registered as Derry
or Doire.

"I would encourage parents to exercise their right to
choose the name of their child‚s birthplace and I would
also expect that council staff will be properly informed
and prepared to facilitate any such requests that may be
forthcoming." ENDS


Physicist From Mayo Is Crowned 2005 Rose Of Tralee

Kathy Sheridan in Tralee

Bookies favourite Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin from
Carnacon, Co Mayo, was crowned the 2005 Rose of Tralee in
the Dome last night.

Aoibhinn, who holds a theoretical physics degree from
University College Dublin, had planned to continue her post
graduate studies in biophysics but said last night she
would defer that for a year.

The fluent Irish speaker and sean nós singer charmed the
crowd with her rendition of Summerfly, the song made famous
by Maura O'Connell.

Aoibhinn was comfortable before the cameras, having been a
child star of sorts on Talent on the Telly at the age of

After the result was announced she said what she needed was
a cup of tea. "I'm in shock. It's like a dream. I really
paid no attention to the odds."

In fact she claimed all the attention from the bookies was
as a result of her nine uncles placing bets on her all
week. One of her uncles, Francis Hughes, described her last
night as "a grand girleen. Sure she couldn't miss it."

Over two evenings the roses proved a show that had been
written-off as dated, patronising and irrelevant, contained
more wit, life and talent than an entire season of You're a

Many of the roses made light of their considerable academic
accomplishments, one did a samba, another a belly dance, a
few did jigs, one sang opera (gloriously), while others
tried their hand at jazz, ballads and a few hilariously
tuneless home-made ditties.

They bantered with host Ray D'Arcy who treated them as
buddies rather than the proverbial lovely girls of Father
Ted fame. In the Dome before the show went on air, D'Arcy
raised a laugh by appealing to the 2,000 strong audience
(of which about 1,300 paid €40 a head) to show him love for
the sake of his mother watching at home in Kildare. The
night before, he asked them to welcome him like a long lost
cousin or brother. Either way, they deemed him a hit, the
right man for a new era.

It was the end of an exhausting thrilling and emotional
road for a bunch of women thrown into a situation where for
a few days, merely stepping off a bus causes crowds to
gather. "You get up in the morning and get a clap from 30
men. You have little kids crying because you signed an
autograph," says Clare's Blathnaid O'Donoghue (the opera
singer), explaining how far from their grounded lives these
girls are briefly lifted.

Leitrim's Pamela Bourke, who provided added value in being
a lock-keeper's daughter (and a mean version of Mack the
Knife), laughs wryly about the day all the Roses met : "It
was 'I'm a physicist' and 'I'm a doctor' and 'I'm a lawyer'
and 'I'm a molecular biologist' and there was me - 'Oh, I'm
a lock-keeper's daughter'. Your little arts degree begins
to look a bit lame."

© The Irish Times

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