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News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)
September 30, 2005
Adams Welcomes Release of Rossport 5
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News about Ireland and the Irish
SF 09/30/05 Adams Welcomes Release Of Rossport 5
SF 09/30/05 SF MEPs Call For Mass Mobilisation At Rally
SF 09/30/05 Adams Urges Renewed Momentum
BT 09/30/05 The View From The West
BT 09/30/05 No Hope On Stormont Horizon Without Big Changes
IO 09/30/05 Founding Member Of Alliance Party Dies
Gerry Adams Welcomes Release Of Rossport 5 As The 'Only
Published: 30 September, 2005
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has this afternoon welcomed
the release of the Rossport 5 after spending 94 days in
Coverhill prison, Dublin. Mr Adams said that the release of
Micheál Ó Seighin, Vincent McGrath, Philip McGrath, Willie
Corduff and Brendan Philbin was the only sensible decision
which could have been reached.
Mr Adams made his comments after the High Court in Dublin
released the five men late this afternoon. Shell applied to
have the injunction against the men lifted and the court
agreed, although the men have refused to purge their
contempt. The men must return to court on October 25th
where they will find out if they will stand trial again.
Speaking today Mr Adams said:
"I want to take this opportunity to welcome the release of
the men collectively known as the Rossport 5. I want to
salute the courage of the five Mayo men and their families
who stood up against the might of the multinational
corporations and have emerged with their dignity intact.
"I also want to pay tribute to those people who worked
night and day to ensure that the men would not be
forgotten. For over three months they erected posters,
organized rallies and kept up the political pressure - they
are a tribute to their communities. Had there not been such
a public outcry the men might still be in jail, and there
are those who would have been quite happy for the men to
languish in prison for much longer.
"Whilst the men's release is a welcome development, the
underlying concerns regarding health and safety must still
be addressed. If Shell is serious about resolving this
matter, then they must listen to the community affected by
their plans and build their pipeline offshore.
"I also want to reiterate my call for people to attend
tomorrow's rally in Dublin. It is crucial that people turn
out in large numbers and continue their support for the
Rossport community." ENDS
Sinn Féin Meps Call For Mass Mobilisation At Rossport 5
Published: 30 September, 2005
Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald have
today urged people to 'mobilise in their thousands' at a
rally in Dublin City tomorrow to celebrate the release of
the Rossport 5 from jail and to continue the fight for the
Corrib Gas pipeline to be halted pending a full hearing of
the issues. The march will assemble at 2pm Parnell Square.
Both MEPs said that sustained pressure in Ireland and
across Europe had helped secure the men's release from
jail. They also stressed that the reasons behind the men's
imprisonment had not yet been resolved.
Speaking today in a joint statement both MEPs said:
"We want to take this opportunity to welcome the release of
the Rossport 5.
"Many Irish people are left wondering how these men could
have been kept in jail for 94 days for protecting their
land and their homes. The men should now be allowed to get
on with their lives at home with their families and
"Tremendous public pressure both in Ireland and across
Europe has helped secure the release of the men. Indeed,
the Rossport issue has been raised in the European
Parliament and even today, the men's plight was discussed
at a meeting of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians
of the Arctic Region in Oslo, Norway, through a request
from our offices in the European Parliament.
"Tomorrow's rally will now take on an added significance in
light of the men's release from prison. It will be an
opportunity for those people who worked tirelessly for
their release and for the tens of thousands of people
across Ireland who have supported the men, to come together
and celebrate. Much more work still needs to be done, and
Shell must listen intently to the people of Rossport. The
reasons behind the men's imprisonment have not been
resolved and their homes are still under threat. The Corrib
Gas pipeline must be halted pending a full hearing of the
Adams Urges Renewed Momentum
Published: 30 September, 2005
Speaking in Belfast this morning the Sinn Féin President
Gerry Adams called on the British and Irish governments to
"move speedily to fulfilling their commitments and
injecting renewed momentum into the political process".
Mr. Adams said:
"In my view the DUP accepts what has happened in terms of
the IRA putting arms beyond use. The DUP supports the IICD.
It has also acknowledged the integrity of the two Church
witnesses and says it accepts what they say. Indeed DUP
spokespersons are now at pains to point out that they are
not casting aspersions on the integrity of Rev Good or Fr.
"In reality it is only a few days since the IICD report and
the eyewitness testimony of the two Churchmen. The DUP and
unionism generally needs a little space to absorb the
enormity of what has happened. But there can be no
prevarication, no unnecessary delays.
"For their part the two governments need to move speedily
to fulfilling their commitments and injecting renewed
momentum into the political process. The goal should be the
re-establishment of the Executive as quickly as possible
and before British Direct Rule Ministers take more
decisions on health and education and transport and
investment which will adversely effect the people of the
Vandals attack Paisley's church
Vandals have caused damage put at more than £1,000 to the
DUP leader Ian Paisley's church in east Belfast.
Twelve windows were smashed at the Martyrs' Memorial Free
Presbyterian church on Ravenhill Road. The attack was
discovered by the church caretaker.
Mr Paisley said it was the latest in a series of attacks on
the church and said the police had been "totally unable" to
safeguard the building.
"These attacks have now become a very serious matter," said
Mr Paisley, who is the Free Presbyterian Moderator, said
that a number of months ago almost £11,000 worth of damage
was caused to the windows of the church.
"Continually, from that time, there have been windows
"Today we counted fourteen windows shot through. One of
these was a heavy security window in my office.
"So far the police have been totally unable to safeguard
the building or prevent these attacks. The press have
failed to report them.
"On one of these occasions paint was thrown at the gates.
Obscene lettering was placed on the pillars of the church."
Mr Paisley said he had informed the local police and the
assistant chief constable for Belfast.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/30 16:37:00 GMT
© BBC MMV
The View From The West
In the concluding part of our series focusing on Ulster's
troubled Protestant communities, Ruth Dudley Edwards gauges
the mood in rural areas where, she reports, the sense of
betrayal is palpable
By Ruth Dudley Edwards
30 September 2005
THEY'RE quare and cocky and confident at the moment, said a
Fermanagh Protestant about young republicans. (In rural
areas, particularly near the border, few want to be quoted
by name if they are saying something even slightly
contentious. Although these days they don't expect to meet
the fate of murdered relatives, friends and neighbours,
they are fearful of more subtle persecution.)
It is a typical comment from those increasingly embittered
by the triumphalism that is accompanying Sinn Fein's
'greening of the west'.
"The younger of the tribe are in-your-face," said a south
Tyrone policeman, "and it's increasing tension by the
The PSNI is already perceived as a political tool and
bargaining chip, and there is real fear that the government
has already agreed that in exchange for Sinn Fein coming on
the policing boards, known terrorists and criminals will be
allowed to join. Even the older generation of republicans
are becoming more provocative. "Won't the uniform look good
on me?" smirked one notorious Provo to a policeman the
In the past, although most rural Protestants saw the GAA as
exclusive and aggressively nationalist, they now see it as
republican. Indifference has been replaced by hostility.
"Once," said a woman from a loyalist enclave, "we'd have
wanted Tyrone to beat Kerry in the Gaelic football final.
Now, because of the way their supporters carry on these
days, we were mad keen for Kerry to win last weekend. We
begrudged Tyrone their victory."
GAA followers from the south are reported to be civil, but
locals to have moved from being unfriendly to downright
abusive and sometimes violent.
After last Sunday's match and the noisy cavalcades with
their blaring horns and people beating their fists on the
tops of cars caught in traffic jams, in Cookstown,
Dungannon and Omagh, there were fights between loyalist and
republican youths until well into the small hours.
There is much alarm at what is happening to land prices
west of the Bann. "Republicans have funny money," said a
farmer. "They're buying land all over the place at inflated
prices, particularly in Prod areas." Land he thought worth
£4,000 per acre has gone for £16,000.
Orangemen have reason to believe it has been a republican
strategy to take over pockets of housing on parade routes
in order to justify protests. Now, Protestants fear that
apparently unlimited resources will be used in towns and
villages to advance the republican project and bring
confrontation to hitherto peaceful places.
Many rural Protestants report republicans rubbing it in
that they believe they are the masters now, though this
merely stiffens the resolve of those who refused to be
murdered into a united Ireland.
In localities that had more than three decades of what they
saw as ethnic cleansing, there has been deep shock at the
closing of nine border police stations (described memorably
by the Fermanagh MP Michelle Gildernew as 'spy stations').
For isolated Protestants, there is a sense that real
policing is disappearing. "All that local knowledge will
go," said one. Hence the horror that greeted the news that
the RIR will not remain to hold the line against the enemy.
The sense of betrayal is palpable.
It was no surprise to me to have a Tyrone friend speaking
darkly of perfidious Albion and quoting Kipling's 'Ulster
The blood our fathers spilt, Our love, our toils, our
pains, Are counted us for guilt, And only bind our chains.
Before an Empire's eyes The traitor claims his price. What
need of further lies? We are the sacrifice.
It is not just that they believe that Tony Blair is
sacrificing unionists to republicans, it is that they
believe he is cynically sacrificing the law-abiding to the
lawless. Blair may consider himself a devout Christian, but
to the hundreds of thousands of fundamentalists, bible-
thumpers, rednecks or however you want to describe them, he
has chosen Barabbas over Jesus.
To Jim Dixon, a survivor of the 1987 Enniskillen bomb, the
1998 Good Friday Agreement was well-named.
As he put it in an article in the News Letter, "government
and religious leaders...put the Son of God on the cross and
let out the murderers."
The Rev Desmond Bain, leader of the Methodist church, was
enthusiastic about decommissioning, quoting Isaiah on
swords being beaten into ploughshares. He was answered by
Thomas, a Tyrone businessman, who quoted to me Isaiah 59.6
and 7: "Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall
they cover themselves with their works: their works are
works of iniquity, the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed
innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
wasting and destruction are in their paths."
Peter Hain is unlikely to understand, but if you deal in
moral absolutes, you deal in moral absolutes.
In many congregations in little churches and halls,
compromise with the wicked is seen as ungodly. As Ian
Paisley well knows, these people are the bedrock of the
DUP. What will they do and where will they go if he is seen
to sell out to the forces of darkness?
When they watch loyalists rioting, there is an apocalyptic
sense in many such people that those who supped with the
paramilitary devil deserve to suffer the consequences. It
is a view shared even by elements of moderate Protestants
who would never have voted for a paramilitary and are
outraged that Catholics vote for murderers.
Many of these, who dislike the bigotry of the Paisley wing,
nonetheless defected to the DUP because they believed they
could block the stream of concessions to republicanism.
After the dismantling of the watchtowers, the release of
Sean Kelly and so on, they realise that Paisley has, if
anything, less clout than had David Trimble.
When the next stream of concessions comes in the wake of
decommissioning, Protestants west of the Bann will see the
future as one in which they will have little protection in
their towns and villages from being increasingly dominated
by ruthless, corrupt terrorists and their apologists.
÷Ruth Dudley Edwards is the author of The Faithful Tribe:
An Intimate Portrait of the Loyal Institutions published by
There's No Hope On Stormont Horizon Without Big Changes
By Eric Waugh
30 September 2005
WE are told the republican guns are gone. Now what about
the minds? Decommissioning minds is even less verifiable.
Note that one sentence in the republicans' statement nine
weeks ago which sears the mind. "We reiterate our view," it
said, "that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate."
No remorse there; no consciousness of evil intent, of
dragon's teeth sown. But, say the politicians of a new
generation, particularly those living outside Northern
Ireland, it is a long time ago. It is a time for new
But the victims still grieve. They still ache in wind and
limb. With every breath, those who lost loved ones relive
the agony they cannot forget.
For them, though the IRA may put down its guns and bombs,
even stop robbing banks, there can never be, in any
plenitude, a new beginning.
A younger generation might need reminding of the enormity
of what was done.
The bomb placed at the La Mon House Hotel, standing in the
fields on the eastern outskirts of Belfast on February 17,
1978, weighed some 45lb. At its core was a travel alarm
clock and a pound of explosive in a steel container.
Attached to the container were gallon cans of petrol: at
The IRA's infernal flamethrower was hung by a meat hook on
the security grille covering a window of the restaurant
where the Irish Collie Club, that high-grade strategic
target in the "armed struggle," was holding its annual
dinner dance. It was designed so that the explosive would
ignite the petrol and propel a fireball into the room.
When it exploded, those inside fled screaming, their
flaming clothes turning them into human torches. Twelve
died, their remains unrecognisable to rescue workers.
Others sustained injuries from which they still suffer.
The UVF was blamed for the bombing of the Tramore Bar on
North Queen Street in Belfast, locally known as McGurk's,
in which 15 died three weeks before Christmas 1971. Of
course the hands of the hard men on both sides drip with
the blood of the innocent.
The difference is that the loyalist gangs never commanded
the political support necessary to qualify them for
Government: most unionists refused to vote for them.
Nationalists, on the contrary, have voted for Sinn Fein/IRA
and continue to do so in increasing numbers, often
preferring them to the SDLP, whose hands are both
principled and clean of violence.
Accordingly, we find ourselves in the situation where, if
the Assembly is restored, those who claim that the evil La
Mon atrocity, and others like it, were "legitimate", would
wish to sit once again in Government, taking the policy
decisions which would rule our lives.
This is a factor in the notable distaste with which the
prospect of restoring the Assembly is viewed by many. Most
Northern Ireland businessmen and women, for example, do not
give a fig now whether the Assembly sits or not.
They say in a survey it makes no difference to them, one
way or the other. It is a damning verdict. No doubt the
critics among them - three out of four - argue that the
Assembly is poor value for money.
It is costing a £1m a month - more - to keep Stormont
ticking over in its current siesta of three years'
standing. The cost is £2m if you add in the retainers paid
to our MLAs and other bits and pieces.
Would you believe that the long-vacant office of the First
Minister and his Deputy still has a staff of 398 and an
additional budget of £74m a year? And this in a set-up
which provides for ten other Departments of State - for a
place with a smaller population than Birmingham's.
The CBI would cut the Departments from 11 to six, the
education boards from five to one, the health boards from
four to one, the district councils from 26 to seven and
take a cleaver to the quangos.
I would add that the number of MLAs (108) should be halved
and a means found to strengthen the current crazy machinery
of government by introducing (a) Cabinet solidarity among
Ministers and (b) a structure allowing for a formal
Government and an Opposition which would subject it to
To avoid reproducing the sterile Stormont division between
an indefinite Orange Government and a Green Opposition,
nationalists and republicans would require to "do an SNP" -
or a Plaid Cymru: (ie:, formally support a status quo of
which they disapprove, while simultaneously working to
This would have the advantage of muting the sectarian
battle, allowing serious political debate upon the issues
which matter day to day and encouraging voting across the
Resuming on the 1998 model promises only disillusionment
Founding Member Of Alliance Party Dies
30/09/2005 - 12:28:35
One of the founding members of the North's Alliance Party,
Basil Glass, died today.
Mr Glass, who was 79, represented South Belfast in the
Stormont Assembly of the 1970s and was a member of the
Alliance negotiating team in the talks which culminated in
the Sunningdale Agreement in 1973.
Alliance Party leader David Ford expressed his sadness at
"Basil played a leading role in the foundation of the
Alliance Party. He will be remembered for his commitment to
reconciliation, in its widest scope, not just for
Alliance," he said.
Mr Ford added: "Within the Alliance Party, Basil helped
build its solid foundations. He was also heavily involved
in working on behalf of the community of south Belfast,
where he served as councillor and Assembly member in the
The entire community owed Mr Glass a great debt for all his
public activities, he said, adding that the party would
sorely miss him.
Mr Glass was also a well known Belfast solicitor and after
retirement from politics he became a Master of the Supreme
Court and from which he retired a few years ago.
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