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September 08, 2005

Catholic Taxi Driver Attacked With Bricks

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 09/08/05 Catholic Taxi Driver Attacked With Bricks
BB 09/08/05 Loyalist Murder Accused On Trial
SF 09/08/05 Govts Must Uphold Rights Of Nationalist
IO 09/08/05 Paisley: Orange Parade Must Take Intended Route
BB 09/08/05 Whiterock March Re-Routing Stands
IT 09/09/05 Ahern To Meet Family Of Murdered Man
BB 09/08/05 Farc-IRA Link 'Cannot Be Ignored'
IT 09/09/05 Pres's School Visit Is 'Morale-Booster'
IT 09/09/05 Visit Lifted Welcome & Cheerful Event
SF 09/08/05 Action Required To Prevent Suicide - Adams
IT 09/09/05 SF To Focus On Health In New Dáil Term
IT 09/09/05 Protest Over Office Planned For Shannon Site
IT 09/09/05 De Valera Recast As Dictator- Conference Told
IO 09/08/05 Battle Of Boyne Visitor Centre Funding Revealed


Catholic Taxi Driver Attacked With Bricks

By Brendan McDaid
08 September 2005

A warning was today issued to taxi firms in Londonderry
after a Catholic driver was attacked with bricks at a
Londonderry interface.

Michael Doherty (30) said he was shaken up but determined
not to quit following his ordeal at the hands of a gang
near the Irish Street area on Tuesday night.

The incident is the latest in a spate of sectarian attacks
on drivers from cityside firms in the Waterside.

The North West Taxi Proprietors said today it was now
becoming almost impossible to provide taxi cover for the
whole city.

Mr Doherty had just dropped off a fare in Top of the Hill
on Tuesday night and was driving towards Altnagelvin
Hospital when he came under a hail of bricks.

The passenger window was smashed in, showering him in glass
before he escaped from the area at around 10pm.

"It's just lucky there was no-one in the passenger seat,"
he said today.

"Four or five guys just came running out with scarves over
their faces and started firing bricks at me.

"These weren't wee bricks and it was not children or young
ones throwing them.

"When they hit the window I had to swerve and hit the
island and I just avoided hitting the railings.

"I was just thinking, 'I can't get stuck here, no way'."

Mr Doherty, who only began taxiing three months ago, added:
"This was definitely a sectarian attack but I won't let
this get to me. I will keep taxiing but I would just be
more wary in future."

Mr Doherty's taxi firm have asked that their name is not

The North West Taxi Proprietors, meanwhile, today called
for community leaders to use their influence to stamp out
the attacks.

Development Officer Eamonn O'Donnell said: "Yet again a
taxi driver has been attacked while providing a very
necessary service.

"This is a very dangerous situation, not only for the taxi
drivers and their passengers but for everyone in the area,
as vehicles could lose control while under attack and
pedestrians, other road users or taxi drivers and
passengers could be seriously hurt."

He added: "The safety of taxi drivers and passengers is
paramount to proprietors and we are being forced to
constantly review the situation.

"The taxi industry provides 24-hour-a-day cover to all
areas of the city - this is a position that we are finding
great difficulty in maintaining due to attacks similar to
this latest one.

"Taxi drivers are only trying to do a job and earn a living
and they deserve the support of the whole community.

"We call on the whole community and all community leaders
to support the taxi industry and insist that we are allowed
to provide our very necessary service to the general

The PSNI have appealed to anyone who can help identify the
culprits to contact the police at Waterside on 028


Loyalist Murder Accused On Trial

A 36-year-old Portadown man has gone on trial at Belfast
Crown Court accused of 64 charges relating to LVF terrorist
activity over an eight-year period.

The court heard that William James Fulton, of Queen's Walk,
denied the charges, which include three murders and nine
attempted murders.

Three co-accused also deny charges relating to terrorist

A Crown lawyer alleged that the defendants had been
secretly recorded confessing to an undercover detective.

Mr Fulton is accused of murdering Elizabeth O'Neill,
Catholic council worker Adrian Lamph and Catholic taxi
driver Michael McGoldrick.

Muriel Gibson, 55, from Clos Trevithick, Cambourne in
Cornwall, denied a total of 11 charges including the murder
Mr Lamph, possessing guns and explosives, membership of the
LVF and withholding information.

Her two daughters Rain Landry, 28, of the same address
denies charges relating to explosives, arson and having a
petrol bomb, while Talutha Landry, 31, from Penrose Park in
Portleven, Cornwall, denies two charges relating to

All of the charges against the four are alleged to have
taken place between 14 December 1991 and 30 September 1999.

During police questioning both Mr Fulton and Ms Gibson
claimed they had been "bragging" in an effort to impress
the undercover police officers.

The trial continues.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/08 17:19:40 GMT


Governments Must Uphold Rights Of Nationalist Community In
Face Of Loyalist Violence

Published: 8 September, 2005

Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Gerry Adams has said that the
attacks on two interface workers on the Springfield Road
last night by a gang of up to 50 Loyalists will increase
tensions in the area.

Mr Adams said:

"The attacks on two interface workers on the Springfield
Road last night by a gang of up to 50 Loyalists attack two
will increase tensions in the area. There were also threats
made to residents living in Isadore Avenue

"This all took place in full view of the PSNI who stood
idly by and did nothing. The ambivalence of the PSNI
towards sectarian loyalist violence is unacceptable. The
PSNI response to protests on the Springfield Road is also
in stark contrast to their handling of protests by
nationalist residents.

"The Irish and British government have a responsibility to
protect people from sectarian violence and the fear of
attack and intimidation. This is rooted in the Agreement.
Yet this summer both governments have failed to protect
nationalist communities.

"Gerry Kelly will be raising this with the Irish government
when Sinn Féin meet Dermot Ahern in Belfast today." ENDS


Paisley: Orange Parade Must Take Intended Route

08/09/2005 - 17:44:10

The DUP leader Ian Paisley has warned that police in the
North may not be able to handle events if the Orange Parade
is not allowed to take its intended route on Saturday.

Senior members of the Orange Order along with leaders of
the DUP and UUP held talks with the Northern Secretary,
Peter Hain, this afternoon. Reg Empey, Ian Paisley and
others held talks by video-link with Mr Hain for about an

Mr Paisley described the talks as "full and frank". He said
that Mr Hain could not absolve himself of responsibility
for events if the parade did take its chosen route along
the peace line. He added that he was extremely worried
about Saturday's parade.

Mr Empey, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and Mr
Paisley, Democratic Unionist Party leader, said that they
are hoping to meet Hugh Orde, the North's Chief Constable,
within the next 24 hours.


Whiterock March Re-Routing Stands

A contentious Orange Order parade in west Belfast will not
go through security gates in an interface area, the Parades
Commission has again said.

The commission said it would not review the ruling on the
Whiterock parade because there was no new information.

But it said it would now allow a feeder march on the
Springfield Road at "a non-contentious part".

DUP leader Ian Paisley said the issue "could be the spark
which kindles a fire there would be no putting out".

Mr Paisley, speaking after holding talks about the parade
with Secretary of State Peter Hain, said it was "the most
worrying situation he had faced for a very long time".

Both he and the Ulster Unionist leader, Sir Reg Empey, said
they had been disappointed by Mr Hain's response.

They said the situation was now in his hands and that they
also hope to speak to the Chief Constable, Sir Hugh Orde.

Mr Hain said he has no legal authority to change the
commission's decision.

The Orange Order shelved the re-routed parade in June. It
was re-scheduled for Saturday but again restricted.

Loyalists blocked roads in north and west Belfast in
protest at the decision for the second day.

The Springfield Road was blocked at Dunboyne Park, as was
the Ballygomartin Road at the Springmartin Road.

The Crumlin Road was also closed between Hillview Street
and Cambria Street.

On Thursday morning, up to 30 people blocked part of the
Springfield Road for about 90 minutes.

Protesters say daily blockades will continue until their
preferred route of Workman Avenue rather than through the
former Mackies factory site is allowed.


Springfield Road was also blocked twice on Wednesday. There
have been a series of protests on the Springfield Road over
the last few days by loyalists angry at the decision to re-
route the parade.

The initial parade planned for June had been opposed by
nationalist Springfield Road residents.

In its determination on the march, the Parades Commission
cited "a possible adverse effect on community relations" if
the march was allowed on the Order's preferred route.

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions
on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on
controversial parades during Northern Ireland's marching

The unionist leaders held talks with Mr Hain via video link
at Stormont because Mr Hain is in England.

They were joined at the talks by senior Orangemen and North
Belfast MP Nigel Dodds.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/08 21:31:44 GMT


Ahern To Meet Family Of Murdered Man

Martin Wall

The Taoiseach is to meet the family of Dublin man Joseph
Rafferty who, it has been alleged, was shot dead by a
member of the IRA in west Dublin last April.

A Government spokesperson said last night there had already
been contact between Mr Ahern's office and the family of
the dead man. The only issue to be resolved was the timing
of the meeting. It is unlikely to take place before the
Taoiseach's visit to the US next week.

Last night's announcement of the meeting came just hours
after Sinn Féin's leader in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin,
strongly denied that any member of Sinn Féin or the IRA had
been involved in the murder of Mr Rafferty.

Earlier this week Labour leader Pat Rabbitte said he had no
doubt that the man who killed Mr Rafferty was a member of
the IRA. He drew parallels between that murder and the
killing of Robert McCartney by IRA members outside a bar in
Belfast in January.Mr Ó Caoláin yesterday said he openly
and unequivocally appealed to anyone with information to
come forward. He said the killing was an action Sinn Féin
roundly condemned and it hoped justice would be done.

Mr Ó Caoláin said he had made inquiries about the killing
of Mr Rafferty and had been "absolutely assured" that no
member of the Sinn Féin party or the broader republican
movement had any involvement.

Mr Rafferty (28) was shot dead by a gunman as he arrived at
his home on April 12th. His family has already met a Labour
Party delegation headed by Mr Rabbitte, who said he was
satisfied that the man who carried out the murder was a
member of the IRA.

He accused Sinn Féin representatives of refusing to
intervene in a dispute between two families in the south
inner city of Dublin which led to the killing.

© The Irish Times


Farc-IRA Link 'Cannot Be Ignored'

The British and Irish governments "cannot ignore" links
between the IRA and the Farc terror group, a Northern
Ireland MP has said.

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson, who is in Colombia this week,
has met with the country's vice-president and been briefed
on Farc terrorist techniques.

The Lagan Valley MP is visiting the country with members of
the south Armagh-based victims' group FAIR.

He has said three Irish republicans who fled the country
should be returned.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan were
sentenced to 17 years in jail after being convicted of
training Farc rebels, but vanished in December 2004 while
on bail awaiting an appeal.

They returned to the Irish Republic in August.

"All of the major opposition parties in the Republic of
Ireland are saying that these three IRA terrorists should
face justice," Mr Donaldson said.

"Eighty-seven per cent of people in Ireland, in an opinion
poll, support the Colombian government's demand for justice
for these three IRA terrorists."

During his visit he inspected rebel mortars and other
explosive devices that he said were identical to weapons
used by the IRA.

He also invited Colombian terror victims to visit Ireland
to lobby for the extradition of the three men.

Mr Donaldson said that as a result of the IRA training many
Colombian soldiers had been maimed or killed.

He said they wanted to "show solidarity with the victims of
Farc terrorism" and that it would put pressure on the the
Irish government if the soldiers came to Belfast and Dublin
to tell their stories.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/08 15:24:24 GMT


President's Belfast School Visit Proves To Be 'Morale-

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

President Mary McAleese successfully concluded what
threatened to be a difficult visit to Belfast yesterday
where, in very different circumstances, she met children,
parents and teachers from the Shankill and later a similar
grouping from loyalist south Belfast.

Children from Edenbrooke Primary School on the loyalist
Shankill in west Belfast met the President at the
Wellington Park Hotel on Malone Road in the south of the
city yesterday morning, after she was forced to cancel a
planned visit to the school.

Memories of her comments in January appearing to equate
almost Nazi-type sectarian sentiments with Protestant
parents, together with UVF-orchestrated rioting on the
Shankill and tensions over an Orange Order parade on
Saturday, left her with no option but to cancel that visit
to Edenbrooke school.

However, President McAleese was able to visit the primary
school on the loyalist Taughmonagh estate where the
dominant paramilitary force is the UDA. She received a
friendly welcome from Jackie McDonald, the so-called UDA
brigadier in south Belfast, which helped to ensure that the
visit went ahead without protest.

Principal of Edenbrooke school Betty Orr welcomed President
McAleese to the Wellington Park Hotel, where among the
special guests was the Northern Ireland soccer manager
Lawrie Sanchez. Several parents refused to allow their
children attend, but over 20 children sang and performed on
African drums for the President.

President McAleese, accompanied by her husband Martin, paid
tribute to Mr Sanchez and the Northern Ireland team. She
said the "lovely welcome" from the children, parents and
teachers meant a lot to her. She was meeting the "children
of neighbours' children" because she was reared close to
the Shankill in north Belfast.

"One of the great hopes that I have is that these children
and every one of the children who walks the city's streets
will grow up in love and respect for one another," she

Mrs McAleese said the children's "fantastic" parents and
teachers wanted their talents to shine and grow in an
atmosphere of harmony and peace. She also spoke on how
diversity must be viewed in a positive, constructive light.

"I would not like to grow up and always be in the company
of people who thought like me, acted like me, and believed
exactly the same things as me. To be very different is
something to be grateful for because that is the world that
God gave us," added President McAleese.

The President then drove to Taughmonagh Primary School
where she was greeted by school principal Janet Douds and
UDA leader Mr McDonald, an occasional golfing partner of Mr

She toured the classes and sat and chatted with the
children who also sang for her. Ms Douds said of the 177
pupils at the school only one was prevented by her parents
from meeting the President. "I have been here over 15 years
and I never ever dreamed that we would have the Irish
President in the midst of Taughmonagh Primary School. It
has been wonderful for the children ," she added.

Mr McDonald said President McAleese's presence was a
"morale-booster" for the Taughmonagh estate and the school,
which is in the middle of a rebuilding programme and needs
funds for computers and a library.

He said the President could not have travelled to the
Shankill when Orangemen were being prevented from parading
to their Whiterock hall on the nationalist Springfield Road
through the normal Workman Avenue route on Saturday.

But there was no such difficulty or issue in Taughmonagh,
added Mr McDonald.

President McAleese yesterday also visited the Aquinas
Grammar School and the Nazareth House Care Village on
Ravenhill Road in east Belfast.

© The Irish Times


Visit Lifted By A Welcome And Cheerful Event - That Winning

Gerry Moriarty, in Belfast

President Mary McAleese had a good day in Belfast
yesterday. That was down to an odd combination of
formidable school headmistresses, the UDA and that match -
not the va-va-voom-Henry game, the va-va-voom-Healy one.

The President had several engagements in the city, and
wherever she went the story of that wonder winning goal by
Northern Ireland's David Healy against England on Wednesday
night cheerfully intruded.

First she met the PSNI chief constable Sir Hugh Orde
yesterday morning. Sir Hugh had to take so many calls of
"commiseration" from "sympathetic" Northern Ireland fans
that the "phone wires nearly melted", said the President.
She was thrilled that the goal lifted so many hearts, but
"I don't think [ Orde's] heart lifted when he saw that

Her second engagement was with more than 20 children from
Edenbrooke primary school in the loyalist Shankill. For
well-reported reasons that encounter took place in the
Wellington Park Hotel in south Belfast.

She was treated to a warm welcome, but not as warm as that
accorded to the North's manager, Lawrie Sanchez, who was in
the audience. Reporters' notebooks rapidly diminished in
size as children and adults grabbed pages for Lawrie to

"Fáilte romhat, a Uachtaráin," said Betty Orr, principal of
Edenbrooke school after the excitement died down a little.
She praised Sanchez and his footballers, and also noted how
both she and the President were John Wayne fans.

In a powerful metaphor about strength and good
neighbourliness, she recalled the film The Quiet Man.
"There's a lovely scene of John Wayne filmed in a bar where
the men of Inishfree discover who he is. They say to him,
'The men of Inishfree bid you welcome'," she said.

And she added: "Then it comes to Squire Danaher, who is not
a bit best pleased, who says: 'There is one man in
Inishfree, the best man in Inishfree, who doesn't.' Well,
let me tell you, we are the best of the Shankill, and we
bid you welcome."

Then it was on past the Union Jacks and Red Hand of Ulster
flags of "Loyalist Taughmonagh" to the local primary
school, where the first to greet her with a big hug was
Jackie McDonald, head of the UDA in south Belfast. No
protests here.

The mood was easy and relaxed, reflecting the feelgood
factor caused by the match. Another strong woman, Jackie
Douds, principal of the school, was delighted with the

One day the President and her husband Martin might be
welcomed on the Shankill, said Jackie McDonald. "The people
of the Shankill have been through an awful lot and that
will be a decision for them. But hopefully Mary's
personality and Martin's sincerity will work wonders for us
all to move in the right direction," he said.

© The Irish Times


All-Ireland Strategic Action Required To Prevent Suicide -

Published: 8 September, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, West Belfast MP, has today
welcomed the launch of a campaign today by the Children's
Commissioner in north of Ireland on the problem of suicide
and self-harm. The Sinn Féin President attended the launch
at the office of the Children's Commissioner.

Mr Adams said:

"Sinn Féin believes that the Children's Commissioner in the
north and the Ombudsman for Children in Dublin, working
together, can make a significant contribution to the
development of an all-Ireland strategy for suicide

"Government statistics for the north which I have recently
obtained show that the number of people who have taken
their own lives over the last 35 years by suicide, exceeds
the number of people killed during those years of conflict.
When taken with available statistics in the south, these
combined figures prove Sinn Fein assertion that suicide is
one of the greatest national disasters facing Irish society

"Sinn Fein has proposed the development and implementation
of a community-based, fully resourced, regional suicide
prevention strategy for the north of Ireland. We have also
proposed that both governments make suicide prevention an
area of co-operation on an all-Ireland basis, and in this
way promote a strategic approach to suicide prevention
across the island."

"The Irish government is today launching a 10 year strategy
on suicide prevention and the British government is
committed to producing a strategy position in the next 2
months for the six counties. Both of these efforts have
emerged only after intense lobbying by relatives and
campaign groups and will be judged on their merits,
especially their ability to deal with this issue in a
holistic way. In particular, we will examine closely
whether the necessary resources are made available and how
this strategy is likely to impact on suicide prevention
across the entire island." ENDS

Note to Editor

Sinn Fein participated in a conference the Children's
Commissioner held earlier this year about young people and
their experience of suicide and self-harm. Then in March
05, a Sinn Fein delegation met with the office of the
Children's Commissioner, Nigel Williams, to discuss the
party's proposals in relation to suicide prevention.

In May 05, Gerry Adams wrote to the Children's Commissioner
again and asked him to meet with his counterpart in Dublin,
Emily Logue, Ombudsman for Children, and develop a joint,
all Ireland approach to advocacy for children and young
people on the issue of suicide. The response from both
Williams and Logue was positive.


SF To Focus On Health In New Dáil Term

Martin Wall

Sinn Féin has said it will focus on the continuing crisis
in public health services as its main priority for the new
Dáil term.

Party leader in the Dáil Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said
yesterday it would oppose plans put forward by Minister for
Health Mary Harney to allow the development of new private
facilities on the grounds of public hospitals.

He also criticised Fine Gael and the Labour Party for
presenting as much of an alternative to the Government as
"Tweedledum does to Tweedledee".

The Fianna Fáil party in Cavan and the Fine Gael/Labour
Party in Mullingar were attempting to hide the fact that
there was little difference between them.

As a priority in the new Dáil term, Sinn Féin would be
"challenging the Fianna Fáil/PD Government on the
continuing health service crisis, and on the plans of the
Tánaiste to privatise hospital services".

Mr Ó Caoláin said the largest area of concern raised to him
and most other deputies over the summer related to health
services. People were not only concerned about waiting
lists and A&E services, but also about issues such as MRSA.

There had been no improvement in the health services under
Mary Harney and inequities between those who could afford
to purchase healthcare and those who had to rely on public
services had worsened.

He said Sinn Féin would also pursue the issue of securing
representation for MPs from Northern Ireland in the

Mr Ó Caoláin said people sometimes suggested that the party
wanted Gerry Adams to be allowed to speak in the Dáil.

However, the party wanted to advance an all-Ireland agenda,
and wanted to see all 18 MPs from across the political
spectrum share their views with the members of the

Sinn Féin also called yesterday for the immediate release
of the so-called Rossport Five.

It said they were the victims of a conspiracy between the
Government and Shell to deprive the people of valuable
natural resources.

© The Irish Times


Protest Over Office Planned For Shannon Site

Marese McDonagh

Plans by cross-Border body Waterways Ireland to build a
regional office in Carrick-on-Shannon are under review
following a storm of protest from residents.

More than 2,000 local people have signed a petition
opposing the siting of the building on the banks of the
river, saying it would obscure the view of the river.

They claim it would remove the last remaining riverside
green space on the Roscommon side of the town.

The objectors say the town is in danger of becoming known
as "Carrick-No-Shannon".

Waterways Ireland, which is proposing to build "a quality
landmark building" at the waterfront location, says it will
now consider its options following a highly charged meeting
attended by an estimated 300 people.

"The idea of this week's public consultation was to garner
the views of the public," said Eanna Rowe, spokesman for
the body which has responsibility for 1,000km of navigable

"There would be no point getting people's view and then
ploughing ahead when 300 people at a meeting were dead set
against the building."

Mr Rowe said Waterways Ireland would take on board the
views which were expressed and would decide "sooner rather
than later" on whether to proceed with the project and
lodge a planning application with Roscommon County Council.

The proposed site is at Cortober, which is in Co Roscommon,
just across the border from Leitrim.

The 1,000sq m building, which comprises two floors, a
terraced roof and underground parking, would use only a
quarter of the site, with the remainder to be developed as
a "high-quality amenity area" which would include a
riverside walk, said Mr Rowe.

Damien Duignan, a spokesman for the residents, said there
had already been too much development along this stretch of
the river.

"If they want to promote the Shannon, surely they should
let the people see it. We don't want them to steal the
river away from us."

He said generations of people from the town had learned to
swim at this spot.

Despite the overwhelming opposition to the project, Mr Rowe
said only 20 people had availed of the opportunity to
inspect a model of the building which was on display for
three weeks.

Chairman of Leitrim Tourism Joe Dolan, who is proprietor of
the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, said people were
opposed to the project "because we would like to see the
river kept green".

While architecturally the proposed Waterways Ireland
building was first class, it would remove a key amenity
from the town, he added. "It is the right building in the
wrong place."

Mr Rowe said the Office of Public Works had investigated
seven sites and had deemed this one the most suitable for
environmental, access and financial reasons.

"Waterways Ireland is very welcome to Carrick but there has
been considerable residential development in this area.
This is the last green gap and it would be shameful if it
was lost. It is now the only point on that approach to the
town where you can still glimpse the river and the boats,"
said Mr Dolan.

The project is also being opposed by Carrick-on-Shannon
Chamber of Commerce and the Inland Waterways Association.

© The Irish Times


De Valera Recast By History As Dictator, Conference Told

Mary Carolan

Historians here have distorted the historical record for
the past 30 years by propagating the State's
"reinterpretation" of its foundation which involved Eamon
de Valera being painted as "a dictator" and Michael Collins
as a constitutionalist protecting democracy, a leading
Scottish historian has argued.

This reinterpretation was propagated "not because it was
good history but because it was politically expedient to do
so", said Dr John Regan of the University of Dundee.

The imposition of a democratic narrative on the formation
of the State demanded the generation of a historiography
venerating the State and sometimes indulging in the
rhetoric of achievement "without fully bringing to bear
rigorous historical faculties". The modernisation of Irish
history had faltered after 1970.

Addressing a conference at University College, Dublin,
marking the 30th anniversary of the death of Eamon de
Valera, Dr Regan said the degree of consensus on approach
and interpretation which exists here on some of the most
contentious of historical issues was "both striking and

He said the problem with Eamon de Valera was that, until
his death, he personified, if not the "republic" of Easter
1916 then at least the aspiration to its fulfilment.

He said de Valera had traded on that view for most of his
life and had skilfully employed the rhetoric of eventual
unification despite being a southern Irish nationalist who
accepted the political reality of the Border.

However, the metaphor of de Valera as the republic had
proved most enduring and his reputation had only begun to
decline in the public imagination when that metaphor no
longer met the needs of national identity here.

He believed it was the onset of violence in the North in
1969 that began to challenge the illusory nature of post-
independence nationalism in the South.

Dr Regan said the parameters of the Northern conflict -
defined by the mid-1970s on the issue of militant
republicanism's lack of a political mandate and the State's
defence of democracy - were projected on to the southern
civil war and southern state formation of the 1920s.
Collins became a constitutionalist protecting democrats,
and de Valera a dictator.

© The Irish Times


Battle Of Boyne Visitor Centre Funding Revealed

08/09/2005 - 15:03:42

Funding of €15m for a new visitor centre at the Battle of
the Boyne site was announced today.

A visitor and exhibition centre, new walkways and a peace
garden will be built over the next three years, bringing
total spending on the project to date to €30m.

The Battle of the Boyne site, where the Protestant King
William of Orange defeated the forces of the Catholic King
James II of England in 1690, is commemorated each year by
Orange Order marches on July 12.

The site on the banks of the River Boyne near Drogheda was
developed under the auspices of the 1998 Good Friday

Minister for Foreign Affairs and local TD Dermot Ahern said
the Government recognised the historical importance of the
Battle of the Boyne for many in the unionist community.

"In the Good Friday Agreement, the Government committed
itself to actively promoting and developing respect,
reconciliation and mutual understanding between the
different traditions on the island of Ireland," he said.

"The preservation and appropriate development of this
historic battle site is a powerful and tangible expression
of that commitment."

Mr Ahern said it was vital that the battle's political
legacy was fully understood by all traditions on the

"The wide-ranging consultation process has ensured that the
implementation programme reflects sensitively and
appropriately the huge historical importance of the site,
particularly for the unionist tradition on the island and I
want to emphasise the importance and centrality of this
consideration for the Government."

The Battle of the Boyne site, which was bought by the
Government in 1999, has been open to the public each summer
since 2002.

More than 20,000 visitors were received at the site last

Mr Ahern today also hosted a workshop of experts from world
battle sites like Gettysburg in the US, Culloden in
Scotland, Waterloo and Flanders in Belgium and Hastings and
Bosworth in Britain.

Mr Ahern said today: "All these tragic locations that have
shaped history. We can learn from their experience of
developing these sites which, in a sense, stand as
monuments to a bloody past that should never be repeated."

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