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September 01, 2005

DPP Meeting Cancelled Over Loyalist Protest

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 09/01/05 DPP Meeting Cancelled Over Loyalist Protest
IO 09/01/05 Boy, 13, In Court On School Arson Charge
BT 09/01/05 DUP Urges Halt To Sectarian Attacks
IO 09/01/05 McDowell Insists Gardaí Will Travel To Colombia
UT 09/01/05 Sinn Fein Protest Over Education
IO 09/01/05 “Mad Dog” In Court
IO 09/01/05 DUP Demands Compensation For RIR Soldiers
BT 09/01/05 90 Violent Crimes A Day In Province
BT 09/01/05 N Ireland Men Have Lowest Average Wage In UK
GU 09/01/05 Lord Donaldson Dies Aged 84
BT 09/01/05 TV Special Re-Examines Onslaught
BT 09/01/05 I Don't View Female As 'Prize Heifers'- GAA
GA 09/01/05 Heritage Week Events At Coole Park And Portumna


Meeting On Policing Cancelled Over Protest

By Nevin Farrell
01 September 2005

A scheduled meeting of Ballymena District Policing
Partnership in a Co Antrim village was cancelled over fears
of a loyalist protest, it emerged last night.

The policing meeting was due to be held in Ahoghill last
Thursday, but did not proceed because of simmering tensions
surrounding a loyalist revolt against the SDLP chairman of
the body.

A previous meeting of Ballymena DPP was abandoned in June
in the nearby village of Clough after around 60 loyalists
clapped their hands and shouted down the chairman,
Councillor Declan O'Loan, every time he tried to speak.

Mr O'Loan eventually had to get a hasty police escort
though the loyalist crowd amidst sectarian abuse.

Loyalists were angry at Mr O'Loan's remarks in his capacity
as an SDLP councillor when he said he was opposed to a
"mini-Twelfth" loyal order parade going along Market Road
in Ballymena in June this year.

Prominent Ballymena loyalist Billy McCaughey, a convicted
murderer, was part of the protest at Clough and he said
loyalists felt that Mr O'Loan should not be allowed into
unionist areas if he didn't want loyalists in parts of

Mr McCaughey said a protest would have been held in
Ahoghill if the meeting had gone ahead.

"It would have been the same result and the meeting would
not have been possible," he added, saying the issue is
still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Policing Board meets at the Galgorm Manor
Hotel near Ballymena area today, the first time it has
travelled to the district.

Mr McCaughey, a former police officer who was given life
for his involvement in a murder during the Troubles, said
he has been invited to attend the meeting at which Chief
Constable Hugh Orde is expected to be in attendance.


Boy, 13, In Court On School Arson Charge
2005-09-01 08:30:02+01

A 13-year-old boy will today appear in court charged with
an arson attack on a Catholic primary school in Ballymena.

Police are still questioning a 15-year-old boy in
connection with the fire at St Louis Primary School in the
Co Antrim town.

Patrols were stepped up last night after Superintendent
Terry Shevlin, the District Commander, yesterday said more
officers were needed to combat sectarian attacks on
Catholic property.

The announcement came as the Northern Ireland Office
claimed crime levels in the North had fallen to their
lowest in recent years.

The number of offences recorded by police between 2003/2004
and 2004/2005 dropped by 8% from 127,953 to 118,124 - the
lowest recorded since 1998/1999.

A classroom window at St Louis' Primary School on the
Cullybackey Road was forced open on Tuesday night and
petrol poured in and set on fire.

The blaze damaged the floor and blackened the room and
surrounding area.

A police spokesman last night confirmed a 13-year-old has
been charged with arson and will today appear before
Ballymena Magistrates Court.

The latest attack happened a day after five petrol bombs
were thrown into the canteen and library of St Mary's
Primary School in the Harryville area of the town.

A Catholic church in Harryville was targeted in recent
weeks in paint bomb attacks.

Catholic homes and property have also been attacked in the
village of Ahoghill, where police issued families with fire
blankets, and in Rasharkin.

Mr Shevlin said the new resources would enable him to mount
static police operations at vulnerable targets, such as
Catholic schools.

"This is in addition to patrols in places like Dunclug,
Ahoghill and Harryville, where there have been recent
disturbances, and patrols aimed at disrupting the
activities of those involved in the loyalist feud," he

"These are all operations that will be obvious for all to
see, but I am also deploying resources for covert

"This is an immediate response, but it is not one that we
can sustain over a long period."

Mr Shevlin said the community must play its part in
stopping the attacks.

Gordon Topping, chief executive of the North Eastern
Education and Library Board, said the attacks affected all

"The money to repair the damage and replace equipment and
materials all comes out of the one pot," he said.

"All schools and all children suffer because the funds are
limited. The vandals may as well attack the school their
families attend. The effect is the same."

Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley has condemned the
attacks in his North Antrim constituency but dismissed
criticism from nationalists that his party had not done
enough in the face of the violence.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP both said it was vital opposing
politicians worked together in the current climate to
tackle the problem.


DUP Urges Halt To Sectarian Attacks

Councillor speaks out after friend is targeted

By Lisa Smyth
01 September 2005

A DUP councillor last night correct called for an end to
attacks on Catholic homes after a life-long friend became
the latest victim of the sectarian intimidation campaign.

Councillor Jackie Mann's friend - a widow in her 50s - was
targeted late on Tuesday night when three paint bombs were
thrown at her Bleach Green Avenue home in Newtownabbey.

According to Cllr Mann, the woman, who does not want to be
identified, has been left extremely distraught by the

Mr Mann said: "My friend is very upset by what happened.

"Her daughter was standing at the kitchen window when it
was hit by a paint bomb and if the glass had broken you
would hate to think what might have happened.

"The people who did this have achieved nothing - her house
is for sale after she lost her husband very suddenly.

"They could see the for sale sign outside the house, so it
is not even as though they would be chasing her out of her

"We grew up together; she is a Catholic and I am a
Protestant but that never mattered.

"This happened because she is a Catholic and I would just
like it to stop and I know I speak on behalf of everyone in
the DUP when I say it is time for these attacks to end."

Numerous Catholic-owned homes have been targeted in recent
weeks and last week a 13-week-old baby was injured by
broken glass and splashed with paint following an attack on
his north Belfast home by a gang of hooded thugs.

The incident received widespread condemnation and prompted
police to call upon community leaders and politicians to
use their influence to bring the attacks to an end.

And in Ahoghill, a number of Catholic families have been
forced to flee their homes after a spate of paint and
petrol bomb attacks.


McDowell Insists Gardaí Will Travel To Colombia

01/09/2005 - 13:17:36

Justice Minister Michael McDowell has insisted that gardaí
will be travelling to South America as part of
investigations into the Colombia Three.

The move was announced by a Government spokesman yesterday,
but the gardaí subsequently said that such a visit was
unlikely to happen.

Asked about the matter today, Mr McDowell said senior garda
officials had confirmed to him that detectives would be
sent to Colombia as part of their investigations.

The Colombia Three - Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and
James Monaghan - fled Colombia after being convicted of
training anti-government rebels in the South American

They recently returned to Ireland and turned themselves
into gardaí before being released without charge.

Experts have predicted that they are unlikely to be sent
back to Colombia due to the lack of an extradition treaty
and the country's poor human rights record.


Sinn Fein Protest Over Education

A day of protest against education budget cuts running into
millions is being mounted today by Sinn Fein to mark the
new school year getting into full swing.

By:Press Association

Protests demanding `A Real Budget to Support Education and
Learning` are being taken to school gates today and over
the coming days and `Real Budget` stickers handed out.

Sinn Fein claim cuts could amount to £170 million over
three years.

A demonstration is being staged at Stormont while a letter
demanding proper funding is handed in to Education Minister
Angela Smith.

Sinn Fein said some of those affected by the loss of school
transport, classroom assistants and teachers would be

The party is also meeting Children`s Commissioner Nigel
Williams to discuss the adverse impact education budget
cuts were having on children and young people.

Speaking ahead of the day of action party education
spokesman Michael Ferguson, MLA, said the party was
stepping up its campaign against cuts which he said
amounted to £31 million this year with £33 million
scheduled for next year.

"It is estimated that the total loss of spend to education
provision could be as much as £170 million over three years
as the cost of enforced redundancies adds up," he claimed.

Mr Ferguson added: "The huge reduction in educational
spending is starting to have an impact."

He said Ms Smith and the Government needed to "get real"
with a budget that supported education and learning and
addressed historic under funding.

Meanwhile the Ulster Teachers Union hit out at the
Government warning that its new Performance Review Staff
Development [PRSD] procedure which came into effect today
could be "the straw that breaks the camel`s back".

The PRSD has been introduced at the insistence of previous
Education Minister Barry Gardiner as the process under
which all teachers and principles will be reviewed

Teachers` performance assessment will be carried out by
other teachers and principals` by members of their school
board of governors.

The union said as little money had been set aside for the
scheme teachers were in effect being asked "yet again" to
do extra work for nothing.

General Secretary Avril Hall-Callaghan said UTU members
were also "very angry" that they had not been given parity
with colleagues in England and Wales who will have 10% of
their time contractually guaranteed for planning and
preparation from today.

Calling for parity she said: "Everyone knows that in order
to teach effectively a lot of work has to go in beforehand.
You don`t just walk into a classroom and talk off the top
of your head.

"Proper planning is vital and time for that has been denied
to teachers because the minister has been unable to find
the money to implement the recommendations of the Curran
Report commissioned by her own department."


Ex-UDA Chief In Court
2005-09-01 11:20:02+01

Former Ulster Defence Association Brigadier Johnny "Mad
Dog" Adair appeared in court today charged with harassment.

The 41-year-old denies harassing Stephen McQuaid and Kerry
Thompson outside a laundrette in Bolton, Greater
Manchester, last month.

He appeared at Bolton Magistrates Court today for a pre-
trial review with a second man, William Woods, 37, who
denies two counts of harassment and assault in relation to
the same incident.

The pair were remanded into custody to appear at Bolton
Magistrates Court on September 26 for trial.

Adair, who moved to Bolton from Northern Ireland in
February 2003, spoke only to confirm his name.


DUP Demands Generous Compensation For RIR Soldiers
2005-09-01 10:50:03+01

DUP leader Ian Paisley is due to meet British Defence
Secretary John Reid in London today to discuss the
disbandment of the British army's Royal Irish Regiment.

The British government is planning to complete the move by
2007 following the IRA's declaration of an end to its armed

Unionists are bitterly opposed to the move and the DUP has
said it will be using today's talks to demand generous
compensation for the 3,000 people who will be affected.

It also wants the retention of an army unit for soldiers
who wish to remain in service or the permanent attachment
of those soldiers to a regiment on a tour of duty in the


90 Violent Crimes A Day In Province

10,000 more attacks here than in 1998

By Chris Thornton
01 September 2005

A drop in Northern Ireland's crime rate that was hailed by
the Government has masked a huge surge in violent attacks -
leading one MP to tell Ministers today that they need to
stop spinning crime figures.

Overall crime rates have hit a seven-year low, thanks
mainly to a drop in reported burglaries and vandalism.

But last year Northern Ireland put up with 10,000 more
violent crimes than in 1998, when a new system for
recording crime was introduced.

An average of 89 violent crimes - including assault,
robbery and sex crimes - happened every day during the
financial year 2004- 2005, compared to 59 in 1998-1999.

Violent crime has risen by just over 50% during that
period. In 1998-99, there were 21,452 violent offences
reported to police.

The surge reached a high of 32,735 violent crimes in 2003-
04, falling slightly last year to 32,512.

Violent crimes account for more than a quarter of the
offences committed in Northern Ireland.

The NIO released a crime statistics report yesterday
illustrating the recent drops in overall reported crime.

It also said that police cleared more crimes - which means
resolving the case, without necessarily catching the
criminal - last year and are putting more people before the

Just over half of last year's violent crimes were cleared
by police.

The police cleared more violent crimes last year than they
did in 1998, but it was a smaller percentage of the crimes
reported to police.

The report showed that there was big jump in all kinds of
crime between 2000 and 2001. But while police have battled
back against burglars and vandals, violent crime has risen.

Criminal Justice Minister, David Hanson, welcomed the
overall drop in crime rates as a major achievement.

"The report demonstrates reductions in the numbers of
robberies, burglaries, fraud and forgeries, sexual offences
and criminal damage which have all contributed to an
overall reduction in the crime rate," he said.

"As a direct result of the combined efforts of all the
criminal justice organisations, more crimes are being
solved, and more criminals brought to justice.

"Whilst this is a major achievement we must all continue to
work together to ensure that our communities are safer and
our criminal justice agencies are even more effective in
preventing crime and reducing re-offending.

"These figures . . . indicate that we are moving in the
right direction but we will all remain vigilant to ensure
that this downward trend continues."

But his statement did not mention the surge in violent
crime that has taken place since 1998, leading DUP MP and
Policing Board member, Sammy Wilson, to warn the Minister
that police credibility is being damaged by spin.

"I believe the public are getting sick of the spin put on
crime figures," the East Antrim MP said.

"There is a general perception that while the police and
government are saying things are getting better, the public
sees that they're actually getting worse.

"Crime statistics seem to have become very prone to this
level of spin. It probably doesn't make confidence in the
police any better to pretend that things are better when
they're not.

"The problem is that when things are genuinely improving
people don't believe it anymore."


Northern Ireland Men Have Lowest Average Wage In UK

By Lisa Smyth
01 September 2005

A senior trade unionist today called for immediate action
to address the discrepancy between average salaries in
Ulster compared to the rest of the UK.

Tom Gillen, a senior official of the Irish Congress of
Trade Unions, said people living and working in Northern
Ireland "have drawn the short straw" in relation to their
annual wage compared to the cost of living.

His comments come after a survey by the website revealed that the average salary of a man
working in Northern Ireland is less than in any other
region in the UK.

The website found that the average male salary in Northern
Ireland is £25,998, a difference of almost £200 compared to
the second lowest region in the UK - the north east of
England where the average salary is £26,174.

It also revealed that men in Northern Ireland earn almost
£1,000 less than most of their UK counterparts, including
Scotland, where the annual male salary is £27,931.

Mr Gillen said: "There is no doubt that people living and
working in Northern Ireland suffer greatly.

"We are facing brutal increases in natural gas prices, we
have a high level of fuel poverty, we are facing additional
water charges and we pay high domestic rates.

"People in Northern Ireland on average pay more for their
groceries and we also pay more for petrol and diesel than
the rest of the UK, so considering the fact that the
average salary in Northern Ireland is so much less, people
here have drawn the short straw.

"There are a number of issues that need to be addressed,
which would go some way to solve the problem, such as the
fuel poverty, high living costs and not least, the massive
funding cuts in the education sector.

"Instead, we should be addressing issues of numeracy and
literacy which can be a very debilitating factor in people
not achieving their earning potential."

Ironically, the survey showed that women in Northern
Ireland are ranked third in the UK when it comes to the
highest average annual salary, earning £22,581, which Mr
Gillen put down to the number of private sector jobs held
by women in the province.


Lord Donaldson Dies Aged 84

Paul Marinko
Thursday September 1, 2005
The Guardian

Former master of the rolls Lord Donaldson, who presided
over the trial of the Maguire Seven and was a driving force
in court modernisation, has died at the age of 84. His son
Michael said he died unexpectedly at his home in Lymington,
Hampshire, yesterday.

He was master of the rolls -the third most senior judge in
England and Wales - from 1982 to 1992 and in July this year
was among a number of senior judges who spoke out against
the government's call for judges not to block new anti-
terrorism proposals.

He came to prominence in 1976 when he presided at the trial
of the Maguire Seven, a group wrongly convicted of
terrorism offences relating to the troubles in Northern

An inquiry said he failed to appreciate that new evidence
on the last day of the trial removed the whole basis of the
prosecution case and that he allowed inadmissible evidence
to be presented to the jury.

As master of the rolls he did win admiration for slashing
backlogs and introducing computerisation.

One of his last battles was over the government's ban on
hunting with dogs. "I have no strong views about hunting -
but I have very strong views about freedom and the right of
choice, and I think the evidence is very strongly in favour
of the hunting people," Lord Donaldson said.

John Francis Donaldson was educated at Charterhouse and
Trinity College, Cambridge, and called to the bar in 1946.
He was made a QC in 1961, a high court judge in 1966 and
lord justice of appeal from 1979 to 1982. He was famous in
court for sucking boiled sweets and wearing his judicial
wig at an angle.

His wife, Dame Mary, was the first woman lord mayor of
London, from 1983 to 1984, and died in October 2003. He
leaves a son, Michael, and daughters Margaret-Ann and


TV Special Re-Examines Onslaught

A year when IRA terror hit London

By Linda McKee
01 September 2005

Three decades ago, London reeled under the onslaught of a
cell of fanatics intent on visiting maximum terror on the
civilian population.

The culprits were four IRA terrorists hiding out in

And throughout 1974 and 1975, the cell carried out more
than 40 terror attacks across the capital.

Tonight, a 90-minute history special on Channel 4 recreates
the year in which London was hit by the most ruthless IRA
bombing campaign it had ever experienced.

The reconstruction in The Year London Blew Up: 1974 reveals
how the activities of the IRA gang were eventually brought
to a halt after they held an elderly couple hostage at
gunpoint for five days in what became known as the Balcombe
Street siege.

The gang was responsible for the pub bombings for which the
Guildford Four were wrongly convicted.

And they assassinated right wing TV personality Ross
McWhirter, as well as bombing the flat of the former
Conservative Prime Minister Ted Heath.

The reconstruction intersperses survivor testimony with
drama-documentary, supported by a full chronology of the
year on the Channel 4 History website.

The feature-length documentary is based on archive footage,
accounts from the IRA bombers and interviews with key
players including Lord Peter Imbert, the chief police
negotiator with the republican group, as well as the
stories of victims and eye-witnesses.

The producers summarise: "The city and its people reeled
under the impact of this sustained attack, but finally
found the resolve to face the onslaught and finally defeat


I Don't View Female Fans As 'Prize Heifers' Says Under-Fire GAA Chief

Colm Keys and Helen Bruce
01 September 2005

GAA president Sean Kelly last night said he was surprised
to have been accused of regarding female fans as 'prize

He was responding for the first time to a furore caused by
his assertion that well-dressed ladies should be paraded on
the Croke Park pitch before big games.

His views, in programme notes for last Saturday's All-
Ireland football quarter-final replay against Tyrone,
sparked accusations that he viewed female fans as "prize

Ladies' Gaelic Football Association head Helen O'Rourke
accused Mr Kelly of treating women like animals at a
country fair.

Mr Kelly, chairman of the integration committee charged
with bringing the women's and men's associations together
said female GAA supporters were a "wonderful sight for sore

"The thought struck me that we should have a 'Queen of
Fashion' at big days in Croker," he said in his notes.

"Select the best dressed of the ladies, march them around
the field after the band and then present the winner with
her prize - a day at the races, or a day in the bog, two
tickets for the All-Ireland, etc."

But the top female Gaelic organisation described his
remarks as "condescending" and an "insult".

Mr Kelly wrote: "At the drawn game, I took a good look at
the women. They are now coming to matches in their droves,
more power to them. They go to great trouble to dress up
for the day in their county colours - all matching from
head to toe. Some of the women build around the official
jersey in a most imaginative and, may I say, attractive
way. Others design their own concoctions. Wonderful sights
for sore eyes."

Helen O'Rourke responded that women were more interested in
playing football in Croke Park than being paraded in a
fashion contest.

"He sounds like he's talking about putting a county parade
rosette on a prize heifer. It's antiquated and I thought
those days were long over.

"It is obvious that women who play football and come to
matches are there because they love and are interested in
the game. We have 100,000 members and every one of those
aspires to play at Croke Park, not to be paraded around at
a fashion show.

"It's in very poor taste. I couldn't believe it. I was very
disappointed when I read the programme and I think he must
have been watching too much of the Rose of Tralee. It
sounds like a country fair."

Speaking to the I rish Independent last night, Mr Kelly
insisted his remarks were "a harmless bit of fun and should
be taken in the context and spirit in which they were

He was surprised any offence could be taken and defended
his record on promoting the affairs of women in the GAA.

"Nothing I said was derogatory towards ladies. In fact it
was quite the opposite. I think it is wonderful to see so
many ladies now attending GAA games in their county
colours. I was merely complimenting that."

He added: "There is never a problem or a big deal made
about best dressed ladies at race meetings. It's part and
parcel of any festival. I was complimenting the standard of
fashion at GAA games now and suggesting how it could be
acknowledged in a light hearted way. I didn't think offence
would be taken four days after the game."

Ms O'Rourke said she felt his comments set back equal
opportunity moves to integrate men's and wom-en's sporting

"Fashion is not the reason women come to Croke Park . . .
We had to wait up to 10 days before the GAA agreed to our
match last weekend and this article has undermined the
interest women have in the sport.

"All we want to do is play football. I found it quite
insulting because we have to struggle so hard for our

She conceded: "He might have been joking, but there is too
much of those kind of sentiments around that are seriously


Heritage Week Events At Coole Park And Portumna

By Una Sinnott

A varied programme of events is planned at Coole Park next
as part of Galway's celebrations for National Heritage

An audiovisual exhibition will take place in the Coole Park
Visitors Centre on Sunday September 4 and Sunday September
11. Entitled Coole Park Through the Eyes of Me and Nu, the
event features memories of growing up in Coole Park by the
granddaughters of Lady Augusta Gregory, and places a
particular emphasis on the literary and artistic visitors
to the estate.

A literary walk through the park, accompanied by a member
of the Friends of Coole group, will also take place on
Sunday September 4. The walk will begin at the visitors'
centre at 3pm.

A bat walk will take place in the park on Friday September
9, with members of the Galway Bat Group providing
information on some of the park's most elusive wildlife.
The walk will begin at the visitors' centre at 7.30pm.

The morning of Saturday September 10 will feature a variety
of art and nature activities for children aged 10 to 12,
with participants exploring the woods and working with
natural materials with community art facilitator Emily
McCullagh. The event will take place from 11am to 1pm and
advance booking is essential as the number of places is

A walk through the woods, accompanied by ranger Rob Steed,
will take place on Sunday September 11 at 12 noon. Further
information on all events is available from the Coole Park
Visitors' Centre at (091) 631804.

Drama, music, and dance all feature in a programme of
events taking place at Portumna Castle and Gardens next
week to celebrate National Heritage Week.

Events in Portumna will kick off on Sunday September 4 with
performances taking place from 4pm to 6pm including
traditional music and dance with John Ryan and friends.
World medallist step dancers Jenny Hogan, Jane Hannigan,
and Eadaoin Ryan will also entertain the crowd, while
children can look forward to a puppet show with a heritage
theme from Haley Aldous and Ute Duggan. Face painting will
also be available and all events are free.

Activities at the castle on Friday September 9 include a
drama workshop with the Cups and Crowns Educational Theatre
Company, primary school classes, and Exercises and games
based on the theme of 'History -- looking to surroundings'.
All events will take place between 1pm and 3pm.

The highlight of the programme for Sunday September 11 is
On Yonder Hill, a one-man show by Mark Lyon. Mr Lyon
portrays a fictional early 1900s first generation Irish-
American tenor who lives his life, and that of his Irish
emigrant father, in story and song, weaving historical fact
with fiction. The O'Sullivan sisters, Laura and Aideen,
will provide a musical interlude on harp and fiddle at the

The play takes place from 3pm to 5pm, and admission is
free. Further information on all events is available from
Portumna Castle at (09) 9741658.

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