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September 20, 2005

Hoax Device Left At Catholic School

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 09/20/05 Hoax Device Left At Catholic School
SF 09/20/05 McGuinness - Church Attacks Must End
NH 09/20/05 Loyalists Cruise Ardoyne Looking For Catholics
UN 09/20/05 Ministers To Meet SF Over Progress On IRA Arms
BB 09/20/05 SF Excluded From SDLP Conference
UN 09/20/05 50 PSNI Complaints Handling Of Loyalist Riots
IT 09/20/05 Opin: North's Voice Deserves ToBe Heard In Dáil
UT 09/20/05 Murder Victim's Family Meeting With Taoiseach
IT 09/20/05 Opin: Enough Of That Anti-American Rant
BT 09/20/05 Tory Chief: Hain Is Anti-Unionist
BT 09/20/05 United Parties Call For Better Poverty Policy
BT 09/20/05 Crowd Of Women Confront Hain Re: Kelly Release
BT 09/20/05 Orde Holds 'Positive' Talks With Unionists
TH 09/20/05 War And Peace: The Journeyv
CP 09/20/05 14th Annual Cincinnati Celtic World Festival
BT 09/20/05 GAA Contest Is Likely To Be An Arresting Event
IO 09/20/05 IRL's Chief Rabbi Tribute To Simon Wiesenthal


Hoax Device Left At Catholic School

A hoax bomb has disrupted classes at a school in Armagh.

About 300 pupils at Saint Brigid's High School were told to
stay at home while Army technical officers examined a
suspect package.

School principal Enda Cullen discovered the package, which
consisted of two lengths of pipe with protruding wires,
taped to his office window.

Mr Cullen said the hoax came at a time when the school was
celebrating its best ever examination results.

"It's sad, it's tragic," he said.

"Our children want to learn. There are over 300 children
and their parents who have been discommoded by today.

"It's their learning that suffers, it's the innocent, it's
young children that are suffering from this."

Motorists were also advised to avoid the area at Windmill
Hill which had been cordoned off for a time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/20 11:31:13 GMT


McGuinness - Church Attacks Must End

Published: 20 September, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Mid-Ulster Martin McGuinness has demanded
that those responsible for spraying graffiti on three
Protestant churches and an Orange Hall in the Magherafelt
area cease this type of activity.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Over the past number of days three Protestant Churches in
the Magherafelt and Castledawson areas have been targeted
in sectarian graffiti attacks. An Orange Hall was also
targeted. It is our understanding that they were carried
out by young nationalists in the town.

"There can be no justification for this sort of behaviour.
It is unacceptable and must end. Those responsible need to
reflect long and hard upon their actions and ensure that
this sort of sectarian behaviour is ended.

"Nationalists and republicans in the Magherafelt area are
determined that these attacks will not be allowed to
continue and places of worship are not desecrated in this

"Sinn Féin have met with young people in the town in recent
days and we will continue to act to ensure that this type
of activity is ended for good." ENDS


Loyalists Cruise Nationalist Areas Looking For Catholics

(Áine McEntee,

Fears of new butcher gang after second attack in a month.

A Sinn Féin councillor says she believes a loyalist gang
intent on taking Catholic lives is roaming the streets of

This man, pictured right, narrowly escaped death as a gang
of men and a woman stabbed him repeatedly in his back as he
walked home along Brompton Park on Friday night.

Councillor Margaret McClenaghan said this was the second
time in a month that a young man had been attacked with
knives in the same street by a knife-wielding gang cruising
in a car. The first victim, aged 28, sustained horrific
injuries, losing two fingers in the attack which took place
at the beginning of August. The latest victim was stabbed
seven times in a frenzied attack.

"This is the second sectarian attack in the middle of
Ardoyne. People need to be so careful," Margaret
McClenaghan said. "He's a lucky man to be able to tell his
story because, looking at his wounds, they were very
determined to kill him.

"I think after the week we've had, we definitely have a
loyalist murder gang roaming the streets looking for a

Friday night's victim spoke to the Andersonstown News from
his home in Ardoyne yesterday (Sunday) about his ordeal. He
is too frightened to be named.

It was the first anniversary of his mother's death and he
explained that before the attack he had just left a bar
where he had gone for a drink and a chat with a friend.
Around midnight the pair were walking down Brompton Park
when they noticed a car with blacked-out windows parked in
the street.

A young blonde-haired woman got out of the car and asked
him for directions to a local club, when suddenly the man's
hooded top was pulled over his eyes and he was brought
crashing to the ground.

"While my back was turned the passenger got out, he pulled
the hood over my head, and the next thing I knew I was on
the ground being stabbed," the 29-year-old said.

"The girl was saying 'cut the Fenian bastard' in this
really evil voice. She wasn't shouting, just talking really
calmly. Then the driver got out. My mate has cystic
fibrosis so he couldn't help me, he wasn't able, but he saw
the driver get out. But his cap fell off. He had a machete
but when the cap fell off he jumped back in.

"I don't know when I managed to break free but I punched
one of them in the nose. Then the fella and girl jumped
into the car. They didn't speed off, they drove away really

The young man was taken to hospital by ambulance and was
treated for seven stab wounds to his back and shoulder. He
received 21 stitches. The victim said he would be talking
to his solicitor about the way the PSNI handled his
incident. He said that they didn't take his blood-soaked
top for examination or take swabs of blood from his hands
which had the blood of his attacker on them.

"I was taken away by an ambulance, and when the police came
down to hospital for five minutes and took a brief
statement, they asked me if I could identify the people
that did it. I said yes. And they said, if we do catch
them, it'll be your word against theirs."

The PSNI came back to the victim's house the next day for a
further statement and also took his car.

"They said the tax and insurance was up. It was – by about
three weeks, and I hadn't managed to get it sorted."

The PSNI had not provided us with a comment as we went to

September 20, 2005


Ministers To Meet Sinn Fein Over Progress On IRA Arms

GOVERNMENT ministers, led by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are
likely to have their first detailed discussions since last
January with a Sinn Fein delegation later this week.

The move is seen as a clear sign that major initiatives on
the completion of IRA arms decommissioning are imminent.

Last January, after the Northern Bank robbery and the
murder of Robert McCartney, the Government told the Sinn
Fein leadership it would hold no further meetings until
republicans had decided on the future of the IRA.

Mr Adams is due to deliver what is being described as a
keynote speech in south Armagh on Thursday and this,
coupled with the expected meeting in Government Buildings,
is regarded as a strong indication the IRA is in the final
stages of completing the decommissioning of its weapons
arsenal or has already done so.

Meanwhile, loyalist paramilitaries involved in the violence
on the streets of Belfast urged the British government
yesterday to end its alleged suppression of Protestants in
the North. After a week of rioting that brought mayhem to
the city and surrounding towns, the Ulster Defence
Association and its military wing the Ulster Freedom
Fighters issued a statement that also backed a campaign of
peaceful roadblocks by women angered at how the authorities
have dealt with their community.

It said: "We deplore the political use of the police and
army against the majority population in Northern Ireland.

"We demand a clear and unequivocal announcement from the
British government that the Protestant community deserves
the right to live in peace without the fear of

Brian Dowling


SF Excluded From SDLP Conference

The SDLP has excluded Sinn Fein from a conference to
discuss its new campaign to promote all-Ireland

The party is holding the conference on its North South
Makes Sense campaign at Stormont on Thursday.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan invited what he described as
"democratic parties from the south" to the event to discuss
"the need for all-Ireland cooperation".

He said Sinn Fein was not invited because it was a rival
party which did not involve them in its events.

Mr Durkan said the campaign was aimed at delivering
benefits for everyone on the island.

"Our economies, north and south, face common challenges, so
it makes sense to find common solutions," he said.

He also called on the DUP and other unionists to resume
talks with his party and said unionist arguments against
north-south cooperation were "nonsense".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/20 11:21:29 GMT


50 Complaints Made Over PSNI Handling Of Loyalist Riots

08:18 Tuesday September 20th 2005

The North's Police Ombudsman has received more than 50
complaints in relation to the PSNI's handling of recent
loyalist violence in Belfast and surrounding areas.

The Ombudsman's office said the complaints had come from
both sides of the community, with loyalists accusing the
police of heavy-handedness and nationalists accusing them
of failing to remove protestors who blocked roads for five
consecutive days.

The loyalists have also accused inexperienced PSNI officers
of provoking the three nights of riots that followed a re-
routed Orange Order parade.

The PSNI has insisted that the use of petrol bombs, home-
made grenades and live ammunition during the riots showed
that they were pre-planned.

Meanwhile, the Police Ombudsman is also investigating the
firing of several hundred plastic bullets and five live
rounds by the PSNI during the loyalist violence


North's Voice Deserves To Be Heard In Dáil Debates

Unionist and Sinn Féin MPs should be allowed to speak in
the Dáil, says Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

In his role as president of the Progressive Democrats,
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael
McDowell has weighed into the debate on representation in
the Oireachtas for people in the Six Counties. His
intervention followed his meeting with Ulster Unionist
Party leader Reg Empey and an article (The Irish Times,
September 9th) from Ulster Unionist MLA Dermot Nesbitt.

In chorus with the unionist representatives, Mr McDowell
opposes speaking rights in the Dáil for MPs from the Six
Counties. Attempting to introduce a new twist to this
opposition, the PD president said that the oath of
allegiance to the British monarch, which must be taken by
all MPs before they sit in the House of Commons, could be
amended "to reflect the aspiration of Irish citizens
elected to represent Northern Ireland".

It seems the Minister did not outline how exactly an oath
to a foreign monarch, taken in a foreign parliament could
be amended to make it acceptable to Irish republicans. I
doubt if even de Valera could have devised such a formula
of words.

Of course the Minister's real purpose was not to achieve
what he purports to see as a desirable outcome - the
participation of Sinn Féin MPs in the House of Commons. No,
his purpose was to "remove the fig leaf" because he doubts
that Sinn Féin would then participate. The Minister's
intervention is yet another of his efforts to "expose" Sinn

Let me put Mr McDowell's mind at ease. He is right. We
would not participate if the oath was amended or even
removed altogether, because our abstention from Westminster
is not based on the oath. Under our party constitution,
Sinn Féin candidates in Westminster elections are pledged
not to "sit in, nor take part in, the proceedings of the
Westminster parliament". That is because we believe the
Westminster parliament has no right to legislate for any
part of Ireland.

We also recognise the reality that British jurisdiction has
not ended. In the Good Friday agreement we reached an
accommodation that, in the words of Gerry Adams when the
Executive was formed, "does not require the compromise of
principles or the diminution of vision".

Mr McDowell, Reg Empey and Dermot Nesbitt have yet to
accept the plain fact that last May some 174,530 people
elected five abstentionist Sinn Féin Westminster MPs. This
confirmed Sinn Féin as the largest nationalist party in the
North and the largest pro-agreement party. It must be
remembered that the Sinn Féin MPs were elected on the basis
that they would not sit in the British parliament. In that
respect they are not refusing to sit in the parliament that
they are elected to, as Senator Brian Hayes would have it,
rather they are fulfilling their election promises by not
sitting in the British parliament. They are elected by
Irish citizens who deserve and demand to be represented in
an Irish parliament.

The total support won by Sinn Féin in Dáil (2002) and
Westminster (2005) elections is 295,569 voters. This
compares to a mandate of 73,628 votes for the party of
which Mr McDowell is president. I suggest that the Minister
should at least treat the proposal for speaking rights in
the Dáil with the seriousness it deserves and with the
weight such a substantial section of Irish public opinion
gives to it.

In objecting to the speaking rights proposal Mr McDowell
claims that it would run contrary to the Good Friday
agreement. He suggests that parliamentary relations on this
island must be confined to the agreement's proposed
development of a joint parliamentary forum, bringing
together equal numbers from both the Assembly and the
Oireachtas, for discussions of mutual interest and concern.

The Minister's new-found concern for the implementation of
this all-Ireland aspect of the agreement is welcome.
Hopefully he will also push for implementation of other
neglected aspects of the agreement, such as the
consultative Civic Forum. However, it is spurious to
suggest that the joint parliamentary forum excludes the
introduction of speaking rights in the Dáil for Six-County

In a similar vein is Dermot Nesbitt's assertion that the
Irish Government would be acting "against its own
Constitution" if it were to grant speaking rights to
Northern MPs. In fact Article Two of the 1937 Constitution,
as amended after the Good Friday agreement, states:

"It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born
on the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and
seas, to be part of the Irish nation. That is also the
entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in
accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland."

That is one mandate for the Government to act. The other is
that following the Good Friday agreement in 1998 Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern requested the All-Party Oireachtas Committee
on the Constitution to examine the issue of Northern
representation. In 2002 the committee recommended that MPs
from the Six Counties should have "a limited right of
audience within the Dáil".

Since the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the
Constitution reported in 2002 Sinn Féin has continued to
push for its recommendations to be implemented. While we
have some reservations about the committee's report, we
believe it provides a basis for progress. Our goal is for
all MPs elected in the Six Counties, not just Sinn Féin
MPs, to have full speaking rights in the Dáil.

Dermot Nesbitt also argued against speaking rights on the
basis of good neighbourliness. I think it is good
neighbourliness for Mr Nesbitt's party colleagues who are
MPs to be offered the opportunity to address the Dáil. It
is up to them if they wish to avail of such an opportunity.

Progress on this issue is long overdue. It should not have
to await the re-establishment of a working Assembly and
Executive. Indeed, the absence of those institutions makes
Six-County representation in the Oireachtas even more
relevant. On February 11th, 2003, I questioned the
Taoiseach in the Dáil on this matter. It is worth recalling
his reply:

"With regard to the matter of representation, the all-party
committee has given its views on this. I agree with its
view that it would be valuable, from time to time, to have
the expertise, experience and insight of Northern Irish
politicians in specific and appropriate debates in the
Oireachtas. The Government supports making the necessary
procedural arrangements to allow MPs elected in Northern
Ireland constituencies to speak on periodic debates on
Northern Ireland, particularly on matters relating to the
Good Friday agreement."

The forthcoming Dáil term offers the Government the
opportunity to match those words with deeds.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is the Sinn Féin leader in Dáil

© The Irish Times


Murder Victim's Family Request Meeting With Taoiseach

Members of a murdered Dublin man's family are requesting
that the Taoiseach meet with them this week.

Joe Rafferty was gunned down in west Dublin last April and
his family claim he was killed by an IRA gunman who is an
active member of Sinn Fein.

However, the party denies the allegation.

Speaking after a meeting with the Greens this morning,
Esther Uzell said she`ll ask Bertie Ahern to help bring her
brother`s murderer to justice.


Enough Of That Anti-American Rant

We must ensure that a mean-spirited, myopic attitude does
not take hold in Ireland, writes Niall O'Dowd

According to his recent column, Vincent Browne would have
refused to send money or other assistance from the Irish
Government to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The reasons
he quoted were that America is a rich enough country, and
because of its involvement in the Iraq war.

That is an interesting logic, especially given that at
least 100,000 of those displaced by the hurricane have
incomes of less than $8,000 a year and are in desperate
need, so much so that 115 countries responded to their

In addition, the indigent and homeless poor of New Orleans
have as much to do with the Iraq war as Rwandan refugees
had to do with genocide. A tide of human suffering is
similar wherever it occurs.

Unlike Browne, John O'Shea of Goal, and others in Ireland,
those 115 countries were able to distinguish between the
fact of true human suffering by the poorest of the poor and
whatever beef they may have with a government seeking to
cope with a natural disaster unparalleled in their history.

The Irish money of $1 million was, of course, a token
gesture, but one deeply appreciated by a country which in a
very rare moment found itself in a time of need.

Vincent Browne would rather that Ireland, with perhaps the
closest cultural, historical and political ties of all to
the United States, was not one of those countries that
contributed. He is once again exhibiting the reflexive
anti-Americanism which has become such a part and parcel of
the Irish intelligentsia.

Under the Bush era this anti-Americanism has reached its
zenith. Now it seems that even desperate hurricane victims
should be made feel the cold lash of Irish disapproval.

In their rush to the moral high ground, Browne and others
have angered many Irish-Americans deeply, a fact reflected
in the stream of angry comments and letters my
publications, Irish Voice newspaper and Irish America
magazine, have received.

Frankly, most Irish-Americans are becoming very tired with
it, especially the spurious refrain that somehow the
attitude is not anti-American, but anti-George Bush. If it
continuously quacks like a duck, then it likely is a duck.

When helpless hurricane victims can be lumped in with this
administration and its policies, it really is time for a
rethink on both sides of the Atlantic.

If this attitude were applied in reverse it would have some
interesting consequences.

The Irish media has quite rightly trumpeted the fact that
by some criteria, Ireland is the second most affluent
country in the world.

Let's assume a virulent strain of anti-Irishism suddenly
begins to flourish in America.

Using the Browne logic, all American aid and support for
Ireland would immediately stop. The International Fund for
Ireland, which has dispensed more than €603 million on
4,850 projects to foster cross-Border peace and
reconciliation projects, would be immediately ended.

The American taxpayer has higher priorities than funding
peace efforts on the wealthy and tiny island of Ireland.

Likewise, the private initiative known as the American
Ireland Fund, which has raised more than $115 million in a
spectacular fundraising drive in the past few years, would
immediately stop funding their projects the length and
breadth of Ireland. Thousands of small voluntary
organisations would be deeply affected - but the point
would be made.

Like the American-Ireland Fund, the US-Ireland Alliance,
the Irish- American Partnership, not to mention the Ireland
Chamber of Commerce USA and the US-Ireland Council, could
all immediately shut up shop on the grounds that the Irish
are rich enough to take care of themselves.

Individual philanthropists such as Charles Feeney, who has
single-handedly played a major role in revitalising third-
level education in Ireland through personal donations close
to $1 billion, could find somewhere else to put their

The message could go out that Irish-American businessmen
and women who have contributed record sums to those
organisations in the hopes of helping Ireland must
immediately redirect their funds to the neediest in their
own country.

Likewise, the Taoiseach's economic advisory board, a group
of influential Irish-American businessmen and women, could
immediately end their advisory role. Last week in New York,
Bertie Ahern paid tribute to their considerable assistance
in bringing jobs and economic opportunity to Ireland. Under
the Browne criteria they would immediately disband - after
all, Ireland is so rich now it does not need their help,
and they are merely another arm of the Great Satan.

Third World relief organisations such as Goal and Concern,
which receive major funding from the American government,
as well as many private contributions from the US, could
also take their requests for funding elsewhere.

Perhaps they could go to those notoriously stingy new
generation of Irish-based millionaires and billionaires
who, with a very few honourable exceptions, refuse to share
their good fortune with the less fortunate.

On the political front, US assistance on issues such as the
peace process might be curtailed on the grounds that
Ireland is rich enough to solve its own problems.

The contributions of men like Bill Clinton and Senator
George Mitchell, the hard work and decency of the special
envoys appointed by President Bush, would be better served
by directing their energies elsewhere. Likewise, Senator
Edward Kennedy's current efforts to find a way to make
thousands of Irish undocumented legal could be set aside.

On a personal level, of course, I would have to stop
meeting many of the Irish organisations that come to
America every month seeking assistance from the Irish-
American community for worthy causes back home. Last month
I would have cancelled seven meetings in all, mainly small
community-based ventures in Ireland, admirable projects
all, which have not succeeded in getting funding from home

There are many more powerful people in the Irish-American
community who are similarly inundated. Many take time out
of their hectic schedules to sit, listen and help, often
donating funds from their own pockets.

It is a pleasure for them to do so. They know the enormous
contribution that the Irish made to America and are proud
that they are able to give something back.

It seems the reverse is rarely, if ever, acknowledged in
Ireland. Even the heartbreaking scenes from Hurricane
Katrina are not enough to disturb the orthodoxy as outlined
by Vincent Browne that nothing in America should ever be
offered assistance, not even the poor and the desperate in
their hour of need.

I feel it is time to send a warning that Irish-Americans
have almost had enough and that, while fully understanding
the anti-Bush sentiment in Ireland, something else
altogether has begun to creep in.

It is a mean-spirited and myopic attitude that everything
American is bad, that the homeless and helpless can be
included in that, and that Ireland has no obligation
whatever to help in dire times of need. Americans deserve
better than that from their oldest friends.

Niall O'Dowd is founder of Irish America magazine and the
Irish Voice newspaper in New York

© The Irish Times


Tory Chief: Hain Is Anti-Unionist

Ancram slams actions during talks process

By Chris Thornton
20 September 2005

Secretary of State Peter Hain was accused today of being
"insensitive" to unionists by a former minister who once
chaired the talks process in Northern Ireland.

Michael Ancram, now deputy leader of the Conservatives,
says Mr Hain's "anti-unionist and pro-republican baggage"
has compounded the perception that unionists have not been
treated fairly by the Government.

Mr Ancram says he has rarely spoken out about Northern
Ireland since leaving Belfast in 1997.

But the senior Conservative says his "growing frustration"
at the Government's handling of the peace process has
driven him to speak out in an article in today's Belfast

He says that in spite of current hopes that the IRA has
ended its campaign and will dispose of its weapons, "the
facts are there for all unionists to see - that since 1998
the republicans have seen many concessions made to them,
not least the release of their prisoners, while the
unionists have seen no tangible concessions from the
republicans at all".

Mr Ancram says the treatment of David Trimble's UUP was
clear to the average unionist.

"The republicans would be feted and rewarded for empty
words while unionists would at best get an ungracious nod
of acknowledgment for concessions made and delivered on
their side," he says in the article.

Mr Ancram was political development minister at the NIO
from 1993 until Labour came to power in 1997.

In that time he saw the IRA ceasefire instituted and break
down, and he was deeply involved in the negotiations that
eventually led to the Good Friday Agreement

Mr Ancram says last week's loyalist violence was
"reprehensible" but says the unrest indicated "backgrounds
that it would be unwise to ignore".

He says that if the Government demonstrates even-handedness
between nationalists and unionists that is "genuine and is
given prominence, then real progress is still possible".

Mr Hain also came under fire from the DUP.

Assembly member Arlene Foster said his comments in a
Belfast Telegraph interview - calling for unionists to "get
real" about the benefits of the peace process - showed "he
has no understanding of unionist concerns".

She also said the comment "calls into question whether he
can deliver future arrangements of which unionists can be a

"Of course the recent violence has been unacceptable and
should be condemned," she said. "It has achieved nothing
for the unionist cause - quite the contrary.

"However, this Secretary of State comes from a government
which engaged with Sinn Fein/IRA to resolve 'the causes of
conflict' and turned over democratic and moral standards in
the process."


Parties Unite In Call For Better Anti-Poverty Policy

By Marie Foy
20 September 2005

A cross-party plea for urgent action to fight social
disadvantage and exclusion in Northern Ireland has been

Assembly members of all shades took part in a special event
at the old Belfast Poor House, Clifton House yesterday
correctto demand Government produces a better anti-poverty

"Disappointing is one word I could use to describe the
Government's draft strategy," said Fred Cobain, Ulster
Unionist MLA.

"Appalling is another. People living in poverty do not get
the services they need in areas like education, pre-school
provision, warm homes and advice services."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan accused the Government of dropping
initiatives taken by the devolved Assembly to combat
poverty which affected all of society.

"We are not into poverty rivalry - 'our poverty is worse
than your poverty' - that is no way to tackle the problem.
That is why you in the voluntary and community sector are
right to unite together to challenge the Government to
reduce the scourge of poverty in Northern Ireland."

Alliance MLA Eileen Bell added: "We as local politicians
need to work with you on the ground to make sure Lord
Rooker listens and develops a strategy for children and old
people and single parent families and other people living
in poverty."

Sinn Fein MLA Kathy Stanton said there was a strong
tendency to blame people for their poverty rather than to
look at the causes, such as the unfair tax system.

"Government has shied away from any radical and meaningful
policies and has not provided a budget to tackle poverty."

Nelson McCausland, DUP Assembly member, commented: "Poverty
is not limited to unionist or nationalist communities - it
affects all communities.

"People in the Falls and Woodvale share common difficulties
and these problems need a comprehensive, not a piecemeal
approach. It needs to be moved up the Government's priority


Crowd Of Women Confront Hain About Kelly Release

By Ashleigh Wallace
20 September 2005

A crowd of around 20 women accosted Secretary of State
Peter Hain in the centre of Lisburn yesterday.

Mr Hain spent the morning viewing regeneration projects in
the Bridge Street area of the city before stopping at the
Lisburn Linen Centre.

And it was while he was inside the centre that a group of
around 20 women congregated, demanding to know why Shankill
bomber Sean Kelly had been released from prison.

As the women stood outside the centre waiting to speak to
him, the Secretary of State told the Press: "In the
troubles and riots of last weekend, Lisburn was pretty well
riot-free because of the strong community links and the
hard work put in by the council."

When asked if he planned to speak to the protesters
outside, Mr Hain replied: "I've been talking to people all
of this morning and I want to obviously learn and find out
what is in people's minds.

"The events of 10 days ago and last week have been
cathartic for Northern Ireland, in that we don't want to go
back to this kind of thing."

As he left, Mr Hain was approached by Catherine McCartney,
who asked why a decision had been taken to release Kelly
from prison.

After exchanging words with the Secretary of State, the
Woodvale woman said: "I asked him why he released Sean
Kelly and I asked him why he last week branded Protestant
people as thugs.

"He didn't answer my questions. I am not satisfied by what
he said.

"Today's protest is about Protestant women uniting. The
IRA's war is over without a single bullet being handed over
and now, in our areas, women and children are being beaten
by the police, the bully boys."

She added: "There are people here today from north, south,
west and east Belfast and we are not going to take it any


Orde Holds 'Positive' Talks With Unionists

Meeting followed walkout from Policing Partnership

By Claire McNeilly
20 September 2005

A meeting between unionists who walked out of Belfast's
District Policing Partnership (DPP) and Sir Hugh Orde was
last night described as "very positive and constructive" by
the Chief Constable.

Seven politicians withdrew from the DPP last week in
protest at the police handling of recent violence in
loyalist areas of the city.

However, in the wake of the meeting with a delegation of
unionists, Sir Hugh said it had been a success.

"My meeting today with the delegation of unionists from
Belfast's District Policing Partnership was very positive
and constructive," he said.

"We discussed issues of importance to the delegation. We
also discussed issues of importance to policing. We as a
police service have reiterated our commitment to playing
our part in building positive policing relationships. I
believe we have now moved forward," he said.

Mr Orde also stressed that the PSNI would strive to meet
the needs of the whole community in Northern Ireland.

"I and my officers are listening to communities in Belfast
and across Northern Ireland. My district commanders are
engaging with communities through District Policing

"DPPs are the forums in which local policing issues can and
should be addressed and local commanders can be held to

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood welcomed the news that
the meeting had been a success.

"The SDLP very much hopes that the unionist parties will
return to the Belfast DPP sooner rather than later. This
would be a useful step. When too many in loyalism, unionism
and the Orange Order have behaved irresponsibly this would
be a more responsible step," he said.

"There are many other responsible initiatives that unionism
should take but recognising lawful authority and returning
to the DPP would be a step in the right direction."

However, Belfast's Deputy Mayor and DPP chair Pat Convery
criticised unionists for walking out of the Partnership. He
said the politicans who withdrew from the organisation are
playing a "dangerous game for temporary populist

"Today the unionist representatives are claiming their
withdrawal has been a success since they now have a meeting
with the Chief Constable. They seem to forget there was
such a meeting less than 24 hours before the unleashing of
paramilitary violence at the Whiterock parade."

"They tell us they are doing this because communication has
broken down with the police, especially in west Belfast.
How does withdrawing from the main communication channel
improve communications?"


War And Peace: The Journey

NEIL COOPER September 20 2005

'YOU ARE Now entering Free Derry" goes the legend. The
paint is always fresh on the gable end it's proudly
emblazoned on, even if the Rossville flats it stood beside
have long since been demolished. Both are symbolic
reminders of what became known as the Battle of Bogside,
when, for two days in the summer of 1969, Irish
nationalists took on the police, army and opposing unionist

A memorial close to William Street lists those who died
during the confrontation, one of 1000 flashpoints that have
marked The Troubles.

From Bogside to Bloody Sunday in 1972, and Bobby Sands, the
IRA prisoner who starved himself to death in 1981,
historical events have slipped into a contemporary

Such events have fuelled the fire of young men caught in
the crossfire for several generations. In some respects,
the IRA's recent pledge to disarm has rocked Catholic
communities far more than any bomb blast. The recent murder
of Robert McCartney, seemingly by people from within his
own community, has made explicit a festering criminality
that has exploited the ongoing situation for its own
nefarious ends.

Last weekend's Loyalist riots, too, the worst sectarian
violence in Belfast for several years, suggests that, while
political legislation is one thing, The Troubles are far
from over.

"People have had their identity rocked," according to
Andrew Doyle, whose debut play, Borderland, attempts to
tackle this huge issue via two brothers caught in the
historical crossfire. "For years people have been told that
they've been involved in a just war, which can utilise the
Armalite in one hand and the ballot box in the other. Now
they're being told suddenly that violence isn't the answer.
Some people can't deal with that, so what happens next
partly explains why people are so ready to pick up the gun,
because of issues of personal identity."

Far from condoning such everyday tragedies, Doyle is using
his own up-close-and-personal observations of living in
Derry's stridently nationalist Brandywell district to
explore the situation's very human face. While he grew up
in the English Midlands, Doyle's mother is a native of
Derry, who returned home after years on the British
mainland. Doyle followed after university.

"All my family are here," he says, "and I remember it from
visiting as a child. But, while I know the town well, I
never lived here, and was never immersed in the culture of
the place."

The paradox of familial intimacy and emotional distance
gives Doyle the same unique perspective on his homeland
fellow playwright Martin McDonagh tapped into with his
altogether more playful Leenane plays. Rather than subvert
rural absurdism in the manner of McDonagh, however, Doyle
has created a grittily serious rites of passage tale set
shortly after the decommissioning statement, but prior to
the McCartney slaughter.

"I wanted to explore the idea of how death can be
redefined," he states flatly, "and how it can be
romanticised in a political context. Because, from what I
have seen on my own doorstep, if death is romanticised it
can be a dangerous thing. To say that if someone disagrees
with you politically then you'll kill them, that pulls the
rug from under the whole idea of justified violence and
justified murder."

Doyle is quick to point out, however, "that members of the
Catholic community were gunned down by British forces in
1969 is indisputable and was a serious breach of civil
rights, as was the fact that, despite there being a
Catholic majority in Derry, a Protestant minority
controlled everything, but in a way these issues were
hijacked and became something else".

Doyle also points out that it's elements of the left who
have been guilty of romanticising the cause. For any
silver-spoon-fed rebel without a cause, terrorism, or
freedom fighting if you prefer, gave them something to
believe in. In the post-1968 counter-cultural years and
beyond, and even as the IRA became the bogeyman of the
British establishment, for an intelligentsia attracted to
clandestine plots in late night rooms, the fetishisation of
radical chic became just the thing.

Borderland is Doyle's first full-length play following a
vignette performed as part of a mixed bag that was 7:84's
Global Response project. That piece came out of the
company's summer school for writers, which Doyle was
invited to attend after sending the company an early draft
of Borderland. He chose 7:84 specifically because of what
he saw as their political credentials, and also because,
being based in Glasgow, they were fully versed in the
Catholic/Protestant divide.

During the development of the piece, Irish journalist Nell
McCafferty was brought in to relate her experience of the
Bogside. Also co-opted as a piece of living research was
civil rights activist Eamon Melaugh, who runs Cain
(Conflict Archive on the Internet), the University of
Ulster's comprehensive online history of The Troubles.
Melaugh, an uncle of Doyle's, was one of the young
activists occupying the Rossville flats during the Battle
of Bogside. It was Melaugh, too, who organised a temporary
ceasefire between British troops and the IRA so the kids
could leave school safely.

"There was one time," Doyle says, "an IRA gunman jumped
into my auntie's garden. She said she had 10 kids so could
he move on, please? If you're immersed in that sort of
thing on a daily basis, I suppose it just becomes natural
to deal with it like that."

Such extreme situations don't happen much outside Doyle's
front door today, where most of the fresh graffiti is Real
IRA or Continuity IRA. He does, however, observe that, far
from communities integrating as politicians might be
willing them to do, there is actually more segregation than

"That's down to people's sense of identity again," Doyle
asserts. "People are sick of the conflict, but they also
have to try to find out who they are again."

Despite recent setbacks, Doyle remains optimistic for the
future, and cites no lesser figure than Wolf Tone, the
founding father of Republicanism, to back up his hopes.

"A lot of people forget," he says, "that Wolf Tone said
that the working class on all sides have to unite. So if
you pursue a sectarian line and still claim to be
Republican, that's not on. That's incoherent, and it isn't
what Republicanism is about at all."

Borderland is on at the Paisley Arts Centre, Thursday to
Saturday, then on tour.


14th Annual Cincinnati Celtic World Festival

Cincinnati Folk Life presents the 14th annual Cincinnati
Celtic World Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Coney
Island, I-275 and Kellogg Avenue (Exit 72).

Hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on
Sunday. Entertainment will be presented on five stages.

The McGing Irish Dancers, Caledonian Pipes and Drums, Irish
Bards, and Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club will be
some of the featured entertainers. "The Irish and How They
Got That Way," a musical by Frank McCourt of the Irish-
American Theater Company, will be presented. Admission $9,
$8 ages 65 and older, $2 children, free ages 4 and under
and active military members. (513) 533-4822. (More in
Thursday's TimeOut.)


GAA Contest Is Likely To Be An Arresting Event

PSNI and Garda battle with NYPD and The Met

By Brian Hutton
20 September 2005

It sounds like an old joke - the one about the PSNI and the
Garda competing in the International Police Gaelic Football

But four years after the GAA changed its controversial Rule
21, which barred members of the security forces in Northern
Ireland from playing Gaelic games, the Tom Langan Perpetual
Cup is a reality.

Launched yesterday, the inaugural competition will see both
police forces from either side of the border, as well as
the London Metropolitan (Hendon Gaels) and New York Police
Department pitted against each other on the pitch.

Both the PSNI and Gardai have played each other a number of
times in the past few years, both in Dublin and in Belfast,
but this is the first time that all four police teams will
come together for a formal contest.

Gardai spokesman Ray McHugh wouldn't be drawn on who was
shaping up as favourites, but he admitted that the PSNI
shocked the Gardai, when the forces first clashed a couple
of years ago.

"They very nearly overthrew the Guards against the odds,"
he said.

"And no doubt, a few years down the line, they are even
more adept."

Presumably, a big security presence is expected, among the
players and supporters at any rate. However, the tournament
is open to the public.

A PSNI spokeswoman said that they were delighted to be
taking part in the contest.

"The fact that we are able to participate demonstrates the
considerable advances which have been made at various
levels," she said.

"We are looking forward to a competitive tournament and
wish all participants every success."

All teams automatically qualify for the semi finals, of
course, which will be played on Friday, September 30 at the
Gardai GAA grounds in Westmanstown on the outskirts of

The final is to take place the following day, and the two
losing semi-finalists will also play out a curtain raiser
on the Saturday.

The trophy is dedicated to former Mayo and Garda Club
player Tom Langan, who was one of the stars of the forties
and fifties.


Ireland's Chief Rabbi Pays Tribute To Simon Wiesenthal

20/09/2005 - 13:16:38

The chief rabbi of the Jewish community in Ireland has paid
tribute to Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal, who died in
Austria this morning at the age of 96.

Wiesenthal, who lost 89 relatives in the Holocaust, is best
known for helping to track down numerous Nazi war criminals
following the Second World War.

He spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-
Semitism and prejudice against all people.

Ireland's chief rabbi, Dr Yaakov Pearlman, described him as
a hero and said his death was a great loss to the Jewish

"He wanted people to know that the Nazis were not able to
kill millions of people and simply get away with it," he
said. "That was his driving force."

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