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August 23, 2005

McShane: Coroner Battles For Riot Footage

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 08/23/05 McShane: Coroner Faces Battle For Riot Footage
AW 08/23/05 US Consul Hears Spicer Protest
BB 08/23/05 Petrol Bombs Thrown In Belfast Clash
UT 08/23/05 DUP:Loyalists Accused Of Oppressing Protestants
BT 08/23/05 SF Slams Decision To Keep Border Stations
BT 08/23/05 Police Chief Slams 'Hypocritical' UVF
IO 08/23/05 Two Men Held Over Feud Murder
BT 08/23/05 Sad Farewell To UVF Gun Victim
BT 08/23/05 Bring Flags Down, Says Police Chief
BT 08/23/05 DUP Anger At £7m Budget For O'Loan
BT 08/23/05 Opin: Gerry Adams - Power, Not Glory
DJ 08/23/05 IRA Dedication Forced Brits To Talks Table
BT 08/23/05 Portadown News Has Published Last Lampoon
BT 08/23/05 Never Mind The G-String, Here's The GAA-String
IO 08/23/05 560 Jobs Lost In Donegal
TU 08/23/05 Franciscan Friary Gets Reprieve


Coroner Could Face Legal Battle For Riot Footage

More delays in probe into 1996 McShane death

By Alan Erwin
23 August 2005

A coroner could face a legal battle over using TV footage
of a riot in Londonderry where a Catholic man was crushed
to death by an Army vehicle, it emerged yesterday.

Nearly a decade after Dermot McShane was killed, new
attempts are being made to begin the inquest into his death
next February.

David Hunter, deputy coroner for Londonderry district,
urged lawyers representing the dead man's family, the
Ministry of Defence and police to agree the scope of the
hearing and questions to be put to a jury. Up to 40
witnesses are expected to be called during the month-long

Mr Hunter also revealed at yesterday's preliminary hearing
in Derry courthouse that he had written to TV companies who
filmed the disturbances in the city in July 1996, which led
to Mr McShane's death.

As well as receiving a tape from the BBC, he said: "I have
received an offer from UTV to go and view whatever footage
they have. They also apparently have some footage from RTE.

"I'm told by UTV I can view that footage but if I wish to
use it at inquest I will have to obtain a court order."

Mr McShane was killed when a soldier drove at a hoarding
behind which he was sheltering.

His American widow Treasa was awarded £8,000 damages in
May, 2002, after the European Court of Human Rights found
the British authorities had violated her husband's right to

A catalogue of defects in the subsequent inquiry into his
death were also condemned.

Mr Hunter said yesterday that the MoD had told him no board
of inquiry was ever undertaken into the death.

The coroner attempted to get the long-awaited inquest under
way amid ongoing uncertainty over a number of other
controversial cases currently before the House of Lords.

Instead of waiting for a decision on those cases, which
include the shooting of unarmed IRA man Pearse Jordan by
police on the Falls Road, west Belfast, in 1992, he pressed
for all sides to reach agreement before a reform of the
court system in Northern Ireland is completed next March.

After being told by MoD and police lawyers they would need
four months to arrange for witnesses to appear, he said:
"It would seem to me then that certainly the latest I could
start this inquest would be the beginning of February.

"I will send to the parties before the end of September my
views on all of the correspondence, on the possible scope
and on questions that should be put to a jury.

"I will ask parties to come back to me probably within two
weeks of that to say if they are prepared to proceed on
that basis or not. Then we could have the matter listed for


US Consul In Belfast Hears Iraq Contract Protest

by Tom Griffin

The massive Iraq security contract awarded to British firm
Aegis Defense Services came in for renewed criticism
earlier this month, when the family of murdered Belfast man
Peter McBride met with the U.S. consul-general in Belfast
Howard Dean Pitman.

Aegis chief executive Tim Spicer was commanding officer of
the Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992, when 18-year-old Peter
McBride was shot dead by two soldiers under his command,
Mark Wright and James Fisher.

Wright and Fisher were convicted of murder after a judge
rejected their defense that they believed McBride, who had
just been searched by members of the same patrol, was
carrying a homemade coffee jar bomb.

The McBride family accuses Spicer, who supported the
soldiers' version of events, of lying about the case.

Peter McBride's mother Jean and sister Kelly were
accompanied by members of human rights group the Pat
Finucane Center (PFC) to the meeting, where they called on
the U.S. to review the Aegis contract in the light of
Spicer's involvement in the McBride case, and later in
several controversial mercenary operations around the

"We gave a number of documents to the consul-general," a
PFC spokesman said afterward.

"Jean McBride made the point to him that the U.S.
government would not take kindly if the Irish or British
governments were to give a major contract to someone who
condoned the murder of American citizens by soldiers under
his command. That's exactly our position on this.

"The U.S. Army has been basically trying to evade its own
responsibility, by saying that these issues were looked at
by the GAO, while the GAO has said that they didn't look at
those particular issues. The reality is that this contract
was awarded to a very controversial figure. The allegations
surrounding his activities here, in Papua New Guinea and in
Sierra Leone have never adequately been scrutinized. That
still needs to happen.

"The consul-general had already been in contact with the
State Department and with [presidential envoy] Mitchell
Reiss in advance of the meeting. He said he's going to go
through all the documents and get back to the various
government bodies, and get back to us. We're pleased with

A spokesperson for the U.S. consulate said: "The U.S.
consul-general met the McBride family at their request to
hear of their ongoing concerns about this contract. The
consul-general assured the McBride family that these
concerns would be relayed in full to appropriate
administration officials."

The McBride family and the PFC are set to step up their
campaign in the coming months in the U.S., where they have
already won the support of prominent figures including
Senators Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

However, the focus will move to London next month, where
Mayor Ken Livingstone will host the launch of the Article
Seven – End Impunity Campaign at the Assembly Room in City
Hall from 7 p.m. on Sept. 5.

The campaign will seek to change the rules that allowed
Wright and Fisher to remain in the army after a press and
lobbying campaign secured their early release.

An Army Board ruled that there were "exceptional
circumstances" justifying the retention of the two
soldiers, despite their murder conviction. The Ministry of
Defense has declined to review the decision, although it
has twice been ruled unlawful by the British courts.

The campaign takes its name from Article Seven of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that:
"All are equal before the law and are entitled without any
discrimination to equal protection of the law."

"Victims of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and
torture are not afforded equal protection of the law if the
perpetrator is allowed to return to a position where they
are responsible for protecting the public," the campaign's
launch briefing states. "Peter McBride's killers, Wright
and Fisher, served in Iraq after being allowed to continue
their military careers. This sends a disastrous message to
other soldiers that they can get away with murder. There
are grave implications for the safety of the people of Iraq
when soldiers have little if any expectation of
accountability for human rights abuses they commit."

As well as Mayor Livingstone, speakers at the London
meeting will include: Phil Shiner, a lawyer acting for the
families of a number of British soldiers killed in Iraq,
and for Iraqi victims of coalition human rights abuses;
Guardian writer Roy Greenslade; Angela Hegarty of the
University of Ulster; and prominent human rights lawyer
Michael Mansfield.


Petrol Bombs Thrown In City Clash

Petrol bombs and stones have been thrown close to the
Ardoyne shops in north Belfast, the police have said.

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

At the height of the disturbances, there were about 100
people involved from each side. There were no arrests and
no injuries reported.

There was also a stand-off involving about 50 youths in the
Short Strand area in the east of the city.

On Monday, a senior police officer said the PSNI remained
in control of north Belfast.

District Commander Mike Little was speaking as he defended
a charge that officers remained in their Land Rovers during
disturbances on Sunday night.

About 100 loyalist and nationalist youths clashed during
rioting in the Ardoyne Road and Alliance Avenue area.

Missiles were thrown and windows in a number of homes were

Chief Supt Little said children as young as six were
involved in rioting in north Belfast at the weekend.

He said the first thing officers wanted to do was separate
both sides.

Officers remained in their vehicles as he and senior
officers spoke to community representatives in an attempt
to calm the situation, he said.

Police action had to be proportionate to the situation and
officers getting out of the Land Rovers could potentially
escalate the problem, said the officer.

"Many of those involved in these disturbances are children,
some as young as six years of age. This is a very difficult
situation for police," he said.

"These young people are causing disorder on the streets of
north Belfast. I am asking parents and local communities to
take responsibility for their young people. This is not a
policing issue alone."

Sunday's violence followed clashes between about 400
nationalists and loyalists during several hours of rioting
in east Belfast the previous day.

One man was hurt and up to five shots were heard during
those disturbances.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/23 05:52:30 GMT


Feuding Loyalists Accused Of 'Oppressing Protestants'

Loyalist paramilitaries were told today to get off the
backs of Northern Ireland's Protestant community after two
months of feuding.

By:Press Association

Following a bitter dispute between the Loyalist Volunteer
Force and the Ulster Volunteer Force, which has seen the
latter gun down four people in Belfast, Democratic Unionist
Assembly member Edwin Poots accused the terror
organisations of oppressing Protestant neighbourhoods.

The Lagan Valley MLA said: "Loyalist paramilitaries claim
to exist because of the republican threat against their
community but the reality is that people in the loyalist
community are living in fear not from their traditional
enemy but from people within their own community.

"The ongoing feud within elements of loyalism is causing
huge damage and demoralising the unionist community.

"For decades republicans have attacked and killed thousands
of Protestants but today there is a clear reality that
Protestants could be attacked by so-called loyalists as
well as republicans.

"The murder of four Protestants, by these so-called
loyalists, has caused dismay and has totally demoralised
the Protestant community."

The first victim of the bloody feud within loyalism was
Jameson Lockhart, 25, from north Belfast, who was shot in a
lorry near a building site on the Newtownards Road in the
east of the city on July 1.

On July 11, Craig McCausland, 20, was the second person to
die after being shot at the Dhu Varren Park home he shared
with his partner and her children in north Belfast.

Stephen Paul, 28, was killed and another man wounded on
July 30 in a gun attack as they sat in a red van outside a
house in Wheatfield Crescent in the north of the city.

Michael Green, 42, became the fourth victim of the feud as
he arrived for work in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast
on August 15.

Following other attacks, rioting and the expulsion of
loyalist families from their homes, nationalist SDLP leader
Mark Durkan has called on Northern Ireland Secretary Peter
Hain to stop pretending the Ulster Volunteer Force`s
ceasefire is intact.

Mr Poots said today that loyalist paramilitaries were now
doing the work of the IRA by unleashing misery on their

"Why does the IRA need to continue their campaign of
terrorism when so-called loyalists will do the job for
them?" he asked.

"The current campaign is not about defending Ulster. It has
more to do with protection money, extortion and drug

"Whilst the IRA are using their guns to squeeze concession
after concession out of the British Government, Loyalists
have turned their guns on themselves and have turned to
criminality, extortion and drug dealing.

"As a public representative I appeal to these so-called
loyalists, who are oppressing the Protestant community, to
get off the backs of your own people.

"Instead, get involved in restoring normality to deprived
Protestant areas and divert your energy to setting up
programmes that will provide a better future for your


Sinn Fein Slams Decision To Keep Border Stations

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
23 August 2005

SINN Fein today slammed the retention of two border police
stations in Fermanagh as a "political" decision.

Unionists, however, welcomed the reprieve for the rural
bases in Newtownbutler and Irvinestown, following a police
consultation exercise - while sounding warnings that others
are set to shut.

Proposals to close six other stations - Ballinamallard,
Derrygonnelly, Kinawley, Lisbellaw, Rosslea and Tempo -
will now go before the Policing Board which will meet next

Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle
Gildernew said that the U-turn by police commanders showed
that the PSNI was failing to adapt to the new situation in
the aftermath of the IRA's recent standing down statement.


Police Chief Slams 'Hypocritical' UVF

By Jonathan McCambridge, Crime Correspondent
23 August 2005

SPECULATION that the murder of teenager Thomas Devlin was
sectarian could be stopping witnesses from coming forward,
north Belfast's most senior police officer has warned.

Chief Superintendent Mike Little also issued a strongly
worded attack on the "sheer sickening hypocrisy" of the UVF
who this summer murdered four men from the north of the
city in their feud with the LVF.

He was questioned about a series of murders and shootings
at a public meeting of the North Belfast District Policing
Partnership on the Antrim Road last night - near where
Thomas was stabbed.

Mr Little said speculation that Thomas was killed in a
sectarian attack was hindering the investigation.

"This investigation is at an early stage. It is counter-
productive to attribute any line of inquiry. It could
hinder witnesses from coming forward and can be

Mr Little also said there had been all sorts of rumours
about police searches in north Belfast but said most of
them were "rubbish" and "urban myths".

There were claims last week that well-known UVF members
from the Mount Vernon estate were responsible for the

Mr Little also appealed for community help in solving the
UVF murders of Jameson Lockhart, Craig McCausland, Stephen
Paul and Michael Green.

"Solving these murders needs evidence and information and
we can get nowhere if we do not get help from the public."


Two Men Held Over Feud Murder

23/08/2005 - 12:27:51

Two men were arrested in Belfast today for questioning
about one of the murders in the bitter UVF – LVF feud.

The men in their 30s were being questioned about the
killing of Stephen Paul, 28, who was shot at the end of
last month.

He was gunned down outside his home off the Crumlin Road in
north Belfast.

The UVF is believed to have carried out the killing
believing Mr Paul was connected with the LVF.

A number of other people have previously been arrested for
questioning about the murder – all have been released
without charge.

The feud has so far claimed the lives of four men.


Sad Farewell To UVF Gun Victim

By Jonathan McCambridge, Crime Correspondent
23 August 2005

Friends and relatives of feud victim Michael Green (right)
attended his funeral yesterday as police stepped up their
hunt for his killers.

Mr Green's long-term partner Anne and his daughters Toni
and Brenda were among those who said goodbye to the 42-
year-old, who was gunned down last week by the UVF.

Almost 100 mourners followed Mr Green's coffin after a
private service at the family home in the Ballysillan area
of north Belfast.

Mr Green was shot dead as he arrived for work at Sandy Row
last Monday.

Police said a feud between the UVF and the LVF is a line of

Yesterday, police set up checkpoints at Sandy Row and
Abingdon Drive.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Gilchrist has appealed for
witnesses to come forward.

He said: "This is a busy street and there were lots of
people about at that time in the morning."

Mr Green, who lived at Ballysillan Avenue, was shot as he
got off a motorcycle outside Gilpin's Furniture Store.


Bring Flags Down As Marching Season Ends, Says Police Chief

23 August 2005

LISBURN'S top police officer has asked for the removal of
all flags, especially those along main roads in the city,
by September 1 to coincide with the end of the loyalist
marching season.

Chief Superintendent Ken Henning said the city should be a
welcoming place for people of all faiths and cultures and
he has called for a shared understanding between all groups
and communities.

Mr Henning said police in the city now want to consult with
those who have hoisted flags so that their safe removal can
be arranged.

He pointed to a protocol to which various agencies had
signed up last April and he said one of its principal aims
was the removal of flags from main routes by the start of
next month.

In a pledge to work pro-actively with all communities to
make Lisburn a vibrant city for everyone, Mr Henning said:
"I believe the people of Lisburn want a peaceful and
tolerant city where no-one feels intimidated and by working
together this can be achieved."


DUP Anger At £7m Budget For O'Loan

Cost of Police Ombudsman's office sparks war of words

By Jonathan McCambridge
23 August 2005

The Police Ombudsman was last night at the centre of a
political spending row after it emerged the publicly-funded
body cost £7m in a year.

The DUP has attacked the "lavish expenses and salaries" of
the Ombudsman's office but the SDLP said it had made a huge
contribution to the changing face of policing.

Accounts from the Ombudsman's recent annual report
indicated that the office, headed by Nuala O'Loan, cost £7m
in the 2003/2004 financial year.

DUP MEP Jim Allister said that questions over value for
money had to be asked.

He said: "When you consider the deficiencies in on-the-
street policing and the cutbacks which there have been in
police manpower, the spending of £7m on an Ombudsman's
office is highly questionable.

"It is difficult to see how such lavish expenses and
salaries are in the public interest bearing in mind that
the Police Ombudsman's office is not widely regarded as
performing much of a useful purpose in Northern Ireland."

But the office of the Police Ombudsman - which deals with
almost 3,000 complaints a year - defended the salaries.

A spokesman said: "Mrs O'Loan's salary is the same as that
for other senior civil servants of her grade.

"The pay and conditions quoted for Mr Wood are those of a
Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police -
the role he was seconded from.

"I am surprised that Mr Allister believes the Police
Ombudsman's Office is not widely regarded as performing
much of a useful purpose.

"Independent research indicates that 78% of people in
Northern Ireland believe the Police Ombudsman's Office
helps ensure that the police do a good job."

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood accused the DUP of
trying to score political points at the Ombudsman's

He said: "The Police Ombudsman's office and other bodies
have been areas of the greatest change in the north.

"The powers and resources of the Ombudsman have been
central in demonstrating the changing standards in the
policing world."


Opin: Power, Not Glory

Gerry Adams receiving the Nobel Peace Prize is as likely as
hell freezing over, writes Steven King, but he has won a
decisive sectarian battle in the peace process

23 August 2005

Imagine the scene: 'Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses,
Peace Prize Laureate, Your Excellencies, Ladies and
Gentlemen, The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to
award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 to Gerard Adams for
his contribution to European democracy, Irish peace and
international human rights.'

For those for whom these words would represent their
ultimate nightmare, fear not: Gerry Adams receiving the
Nobel Peace Prize is about as likely as hell freezing over.

It's not only that the Nobel Committee will think twice
before doling out yet more cachet - and cash - to our
little province, though think twice it will.

Those high-minded Scandinavians could be forgiven for
regarding us as an ungrateful lot. Betty Williams and
Mairead Corrigan split soon after their award in 1976. John
Hume's greatest work was behind him by the time his turn
came in 1998. Only David Trimble went on to greater things
- before the voters concluded he had put peace before

No, the main reason Gerry Adams is not in line for a Nobel
gong – leaving aside for a moment whether he deserves one
and Garret FitzGerald's dictum about stopping a war you
should never have started not making you into a peace party
is instructive in that regard - is that international
attention has dramatically shifted away from our peace

In part, that is because what constitutes 'world opinion'
believes the Government's spin that everything here is
hunky-dory nowadays.

Perhaps more appositely, Northern Ireland is on the western
fringe of Europe, and Europe is not where it's at these
days. For the US State Department, the UN, and most other
internationally-focussed bodies, Europe which had been the
primary focus from the start of World War II until
September 11, 2001, now lags a poor third behind the Middle
East and South and East Asia.

Our 'war' might have been the ugliest, most bloody conflict
in western Europe since 1945 but it is a teddy bears'
picnic when set aside issues like the rise of Islamofascism
and big power relations between India, China and Japan.

Gerry Adams can well live without the Nobel prize. Ian
Paisley might be pressing his squalid claim to a seat on
the Privy Council and Mama Doc's debatable claim to a seat
in the House of Lords - much to the amusement of Labour
backbenchers – but it is Gerry Adams that has won a
decisive sectarian battle in the peace process.

Is it either right or honourable to pick up gongs in
exchange for RIR P45s, some in the DUP constituency of
voters will be asking?

The process has travelled a long way since the electorate
was promised that a mandate for the Big Man would "stop the
rot" and mean "no more concessions to the IRA".

So far there have been no sightings of Gerry Adams in

The Governments' demand for photographs has vanished and
who believes the OTRs will be fugitives from justice for
much longer?

Unionism is appreciably weaker in the process than it was
previously. Between 1998 and 2003, David Trimble's
vulnerability paid dividends for unionism.

Now that the DUP have bought into the process, though,
there is no loyalist hard cop. The cost to the Prime
Minister of disregarding the DUP is negligible.

Is it any wonder violent attacks on Catholics are

Danny Morrison claimed in 1986 that "the armed struggle
will continue until the last British soldier sails out past
the Isle of Man", adding that he doubted it would take 15

Prophecies of unity by 2016 should be taken with equal
shovelfuls of salt.

A goodly number of troops are staying permanently; perhaps
not as many as previously expected, but a larger contingent
than Northern Ireland would expect on a pro rata basis.

Nevertheless, the DUP, thusfar at least, has been unable to
break the linkage in the public consciousness between
republican words one day and governmental action the next.

The inadequacies of the IRA statement of July 28 are
blindingly obvious.

Are all the arms going? What is the function now of the
IRA? Will it still recruit? Is the IRA definition of
criminality the same as everyone else's?

Yet, seemingly, London has thrown caution to the wind. The
political fruits for Sinn Fein are there for the picking.

The White House statement welcoming the IRA's arms-dumping
contained a significant ideological rebuff: "We understand
that the IRA and its members will no longer have any
contact with any foreign paramilitary and terrorist

The days when Gerry Adams received welcomes in the US
comparable to that of Nelson Mandela the day he walked out
of Victor Verster prison are over.

Osama bin Laden's claim that he takes his inspiration from
the politico-military mix pioneered by the republican
movement did not escape American attention.

But even though Gerry Adams can expect a certain amount of
froideur internationally for the foreseeable future, his
ambitions closer to home are slowly being realised.

It is worth recalling that before 1994 the number of Sinn
Fein voters in the 26 Counties was miniscule. In 2005, even
before last month's statement, Sinn Fein's credibility was
such that only half of those polled believed the IRA robbed
the Northern.

The same proportion believed Sinn Fein should be in the
next Southern government.

Post-July 28, can republicans be forgiven for believing the
sky is the limit, or at least that perhaps 20 Dail seats
are within their grasp?

The Colombia Three imbroglio has taken some of the shine
off Adams' star and many, many people still know in their
hearts that where Sinn Fein rules it does so with an iron
fist, but the keys to the lock on Sinn Fein in a Dublin
government are beginning to turn.

Power, not prizes, is what motivates Sinn Fein. The DUP
could learn from their single-minded approach.


IRA 'Dedication' Forced British To Talks Table - Says

Tuesday 23rd August 2005

The IRA's "dedication, tenacity and sacrifice" brought the
British government to the negotiating table, Martin
McGuinness told a republican commemoration in Derry at the

The Mid-Ulster MP, who made his remarks at the unveiling of
a monument to IRA volunteers and republican activists in
the Creggan Estate on Sunday evening, said their
"sacrifice" helped create the conditions which can
"hopefully bring this conflict to a successful conclusion
through purely peaceful and democratic means."

The Derry republican told a large gathering at Central
Library: "It is important that the Volunteers of "glaigh na
h...ireann and republican activists commemorated with pride
on this monument should be remembered for exactly who they

"They were ordinary men and women who, when called upon,
made extraordinary efforts and sacrifices to free their
country from the yoke of British occupation and complete
the journey begun by great Irish patriots such as Emmett,
Tone, Pearse, Markievicz, and Connolly.

"They were not born into conflict but like so many of their
contemporaries came to the realisation that they could not
realise full civil and human rights without full national

"They witnessed the violent reaction by the State - firstly
the Unionist regime at Stormont and subsequently the
British State itself - to the simple demands of the civil
rights campaign.

"Hard decisions were forced on a their generation here in
the North of Ireland. Would they accept passively as the
previous generation had done - the position of second-class
citizens in our own country - or assert our right to
justice, equality and peace through armed resistance?

"Many at the time, including those volunteers and activists
remembered on this magnificent monument, took a conscious
and courageous decision to oppose British occupation by
either joining or actively supporting Oglaigh na hEireann.

"Although massively outnumbered and faced with forces
equipped with much superior firepower, these volunteers and
their comrades fought the might of the British Army and
other State forces to a standstill over thirty years. "It
was their dedication, tenacity and sacrifice that enabled
the republican leadership to bring the British government
to the negotiating table. They helped create the conditions
whereby we can hopefully bring this conflict to a
successful conclusion through purely peaceful and
democratic means.

"Through their actions and sacrifices, the conditions were
created in which the leadership of the IRA was able to make
their momentous announcement on July 28." Mr. McGuinness
added: "As magnificent as this monument is, the true
monument that we must build to the memories of those
remembered here with pride will be concluding this struggle
and the building of a 32 County, sovereign, independent,
Ireland of equals without losing any more of our finest and
bravest volunteers and activists.

"Each and everyone of you here can help make that a reality
by giving your continued support to the Sinn FÈin
leadership in our efforts to push this struggle to its
ultimate conclusion by ending British governmental
interference in any part of our country. "So, go away from
here tonight rededicated to the struggle and build that
final monument to these brave volunteers and all of those
from every corner of Ireland who paid the ultimate
sacrifice to secure our freedom and the freedom of future

"I hope that the families and comrades of our fallen
volunteers and activists will accept the thought and effort
put into the erection of this monument as a small
recognition of the esteem in which their comrades and the
entire republican family holds them."


Portadown News Has Published Last Lampoon

By Marie Foy
23 August 2005

THE satirical website newspaper The Portadown News is to be

Its creator Newton Emerson has decided to call a halt to
the popular spoof journal after being offered a new
newspaper column.

The scathing website, which lampooned politicians and
paramilitaries and takes a wry look at Northern Ireland
politics, started as a hobby but now has 10,000 online

Mr Emerson said: "It's been four and half years, 200
issues, a newspaper column, a TV sketch and a book - and
that's as far as it goes." Mr Emerson, who also has a
column with the Irish News and the Irish Times, added: "I'm
35 and it's basically time I got a proper job.

"I want to take this chance to move on while the website is
still popular.

"These things have a shelf life and nearly five years is a
long, long time for something like The Portadown News.

"I will miss it, but lately I have been starting to feel it
is more and more difficult to keep up the quality without
repeating myself. There is only so much you can do and I
think I have done most of it."

In 2002 Mr Emerson left his job with a computer firm in
Dunmurry after the Andersonstown News complained that he
was compiling the comic website at the company offices.

The complaint was made after the newspaper was targeted in
one of his articles.

Political commentator and journalist Malachi O'Doherty paid
tribute to the publication.

"I think it is indispensible and it is a tragedy we are
losing it," he said.

"None of the other satirical papers have been up to the
same quality," he added.


Never Mind The G-String, Here's The GAA-String

By Liam Horan
23 August 2005

Gaelic football and hurling fans are splashing out to buy
the women in their lives the latest merchandise ? skimpy
thongs in their county colours.

A website selling the special county g-strings has revealed
that 90% of those buying the sexy gear are men.

"Cork and Kilkenny thongs have been selling best all
summer, and our biggest customers are men. They are giving
them as gifts to their wives and girlfriends," said Larry
Ryan, who runs the site

"I thought initially that women would buy the gear for
themselves, because women are now following the GAA in huge

"But nine out of every 10 thong or hot-pants purchased are
bought by men."

The top-selling item is the Rebels thong which cheeky Cork
fans are snapping up in huge numbers.

The Kilkenny hot pants, dubbed Cats, is the second best-
seller, but Mr Ryan revealed that sales of Kerry thongs
rocketed after the All-Ireland champions defeated Mayo in
the All-Ireland quarter-final.

"One Dublin fan clearly had a hunch that this was going to
be a busy year for his team, because he ordered six Dubs
thongs in May.

"What surprised us is that they were in three different
sizes," added Mr Ryan, who follows Tipperary. is powered by www.spreadshirt. ie, which allows
fans to design their own gear in the colours of their
favourite teams.

The thongs cost from €14.99 and the hotpants are €16.


560 Jobs Lost In Donegal

23/08/2005 - 11:42:40

A US-based pharmaceutical firm has announced the closure of
its plant in Donegal, with the loss of 560 jobs.

The Hospira company is moving its operations to Costa Rica
and the Dominican Republic and has confirmed that all of
its Donegal workers will be made redundant when the plant
closes in about 18 months time.

Officials have said the Hospira plant in Sligo will not be


Franciscan Friary Gets Reprieve

Aug 23, 2005

The Irish Franciscans have given a reprieve to their friary
at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal, which had been threatened with
closure because of the absence of vocations.

However the fate of a second house seems doomed with their
decision to transfer and not replace its guardian.

Vicar provincial Fr Sean Collins said the chapter wanted to
retain a presence in the north of Ireland and it had been
decided that Rossnowlagh monastery, which is popular with
visitors from Northern Ireland, was to have two new priests
assigned to it.

Rossnowlagh's oldest resident, Brother Paschal Williamson,
84, said he was convinced it would always be a place of
worship and he prayed daily that it would be saved.

However, the future of the Franciscan friary in Wexford
looks grim after it was announced that its guardian Fr
Padraig Coleman was to leave after three years and will not
be replaced.

Wexford will continue to have three priests for the moment,
but its long-term future is in doubt and the mayor of
Wexford, Tommy Carr, said he was "shocked and concerned" at
the withdrawal of the guardian.

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