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September 02, 2005

IMC Must Act On UVF Ceasefire

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News about Ireland and the Irish

BB 09/02/05 IMC 'Must Act On UVF Ceasefire'
IT 09/03/05 PSNI Urges Leaders To Ease Tensions
GU 09/03/05 IRA Ready To Scrap Weapons 'In Days'
BB 09/02/05 DUP Witness 'Waits In The Wings'
IT 09/03/05 IRA Must Disband After Arms Move, Says Hume
BB 09/02/05 City Parade Re-Routing Criticised
BT 09/02/05 'Provo Fugitives Should Face The Courts'
IT 09/03/05 Victims' Group To Protest Over C3 At Dáil
IO 09/02/05 Ulster Faces 'Gangster State' Threat - Empey
IO 09/02/05 Shell Refuses To Waive Rossport Five Injunction
RE 09/02/05 Govts (Incl IRL) Line Up To Help After Katrina
IT 09/03/05 Dublin Patients Contract Legionnaire's Disease
IO 09/02/05 Council To Decide On 1916 Refuge


IMC 'Must Act On UVF Ceasefire'

The SDLP has urged the Independent Monitoring Commission to
report soon on the status of the UVF's ceasefire.

SDLP assembly member Dolores Kelly said the loyalist
paramilitary group's ceasefire did not exist.

At a meeting with the IMC, Ms Kelly said an SDLP party
delegation discussed the loyalist feud and attacks on

She said her party had urged that an IMC report on the so-
called ceasefire be published earlier than the planned date
of mid-October.

"The main thrust of the meeting was the UVF ceasefire that
doesn't exist and everyone else seems to be ignoring it,"
she said, adding that her party was pressing for immediate

In a recent interview, SDLP leader Mark Durkan accused
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain of acting with
"indifference" towards the UVF ceasefire.

He told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme, the
government must "stop pretending" that the loyalist
ceasefire was intact.

The Independent Monitoring Commission was set up by the
British and Irish governments in January 2004.

It is a crucial element in the two governments' plans for
restoring devolution, which was suspended in October 2002
amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering at the
Northern Ireland Office.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 15:56:29 GMT


PSNI Urges Leaders To Ease Tensions After Belfast Clash

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

The PSNI has pressed political and community leaders in
south Belfast to work to ease community tensions after
street violence there on Thursday night.

Petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown when street
disturbances broke out after loyalists in the Donegall Pass
area tried to remove flags put up by nationalists on the
Lower Ormeau Road to mark the success of the local Gaelic
football team.

Asst Chief Constable Duncan McCausland made his call after
police were also attacked while trying to intervene between
the rival sides.

"This supposedly started off because one community put one
flag up on lamp-posts and another community wanted another
flag," Mr McCausland said.

"At the end of the day, we have to move beyond that. We
have to come together, to live together, in shared space. I
think that is the critical issue, not just for Belfast, but
for the whole of Northern Ireland. The reality is if we
want to live in communities where interface violence is
going to be a daily thing, we are going to suffer as a
community as a result of that, and therefore I am calling
on everyone with any influence in that area to ensure that
we don't have, as we have had in other areas, a sequence of
running battles on different nights."

He restated a claim made by other senior officers in Co
Antrim, which has seen heightened sectarian tensions and a
spate of attacks, that police time spent maintaining calm
diverted resources away from fighting "ordinary" crime.
"The community has to realise that my resources are not

"If we are dealing with disturbances in an area, we cannot
prevent a burglar or a car thief where we cannot ensure
that we can deal with anti-social behaviour."

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly described the response of the
leaders of the UUP and DUP to what he called "the campaign
of attacks against Catholics being orchestrated by unionist
paramilitaries" as a disgrace.

He called on Sir Reg Empey and the Rev Ian Paisley to use
their "considerable influence" with paramilitaries to end
the sectarian violence. The PSNI believes loyalist
paramilitaries have been behind some, but not all, of the
recent upsurge in sectarian violence. Senior officers also
point to attacks made against Protestant targets.

Mr Kelly said yesterday: "On a daily basis Catholics homes,
schools, businesses and places of worship are being

"As leader of the UUP, Reg Empey met the Independent
Monitoring Commission, not about the 100-plus attacks or
the five murders carried out by unionist paramilitaries,
but about the IRA. As leader of the DUP, Ian Paisley
threatens to break off contact with the Irish Government
and is not acting to resolve sectarian violence in his own

Accusing both men of a failure of political leadership, he
said: "Continued delay by unionist leaders only creates the
space and political cover for unionist paramilitaries to
continue their sectarian campaign."

Meanwhile in Ballymena, suspended Saturday-evening Masses
at the frequently attacked Harryville Catholic Church are
due to resume tonight. During July and August, the Church
of Our Lady in Ballymena voluntarily cancels its 6pm
Saturday Mass.

© The Irish Times


IRA Ready To Scrap Weapons 'In Days'

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Saturday September 3, 2005
The Guardian

The IRA is to begin dismantling its weapons arsenal within
days and decommissioning should be completed in weeks,
sources close to the British and Irish governments said

The disarmament chief, retired Canadian general John de
Chastelain, arrived in Ireland on Wednesday after a Finnish
brigadier, Tauno Nieminen, was appointed to his three-man
team in anticipation of the heavy workload over the next
few weeks.

The British and Irish governments have been anxious for
disarmament to begin since the IRA's statement in July that
its armed struggle with Britain was over and all weapons
would be "put beyond use ... as quickly as possible".

When decommissioning showed no sign of starting last month,
unionists grew irate over the government's disbandment of
the home-based battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, and
what they saw as the audacious return of republican
fugitives, the Colombia Three, to Ireland.

When decommissioning begins, weapons will be neutralised in
a series of separate decommissioning acts. Once these are
complete and all weapons have been put beyond use, General
de Chastelain will report to the governments. A source
close to the British government said the general's report
was expected "as soon as physically possible".

He is also expected to give the governments an inventory of
arms that have been neutralised, but it is not clear when
that could be published.

The IRA's arms cache is thought to include M60 machine
guns, Armalite rifles, AK-47s, handguns, explosives and
timer devices stored at various locations.

In its three previous acts of decommissioning, the IRA has
demanded confidentiality. All sides are keen to avoid a
repeat of the debacle of two years ago when General de
Chastelain emerged from witnessing the secret act of
decommissioning and, restricted by confidentiality, was
unable to provide enough detail to satisfy the Ulster

David Trimble then pulled the plug on the process which was
to lead to the restoration of a power-sharing Stormont

This time two clergymen, one Protestant and one Catholic,
will be invited to witness the final disarmament process
and afterwards state to the public they were there.

But Ian Paisley's hardline Democratic Unionist party will
not get the photographic evidence of decommissioning that
it demanded.

The Irish justice minister, Michael McDowell, said this
week that he did not expect decommissioning would happen by
"one single press of a button or by one single act of
decommissioning, at one single place." Disarmament would
involve a series of acts which would happen "in one
sequence of events" and "in fairly rapid order", he said.

The next test for Northern Ireland's political process is a
report next month by the ceasefire watchdog, the
International Monitoring Commission, examining whether the
IRA has stuck to its word not to engage in criminal
activities or recruitment since it announced the war was

But the government is under pressure to address the
outstanding issue of whether loyalist paramilitaries,
currently involved in a bloody feud, will also decommission
their weapons. The Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Hain,
has been urged to declare the that the Ulster Volunteer
Force, which is attempting to wipe out the smaller splinter
group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force, has broken its

The SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, said he was concerned that
the Northern Ireland Office was content to let the UVF get
on with its "cleaning-up operation" in the hope it was a
"prelude to something more positive."


DUP Witness 'Waits In The Wings'

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is due back from
holiday in the first week of September.

As soon as he returns, he will plunge into meetings with
the local parties on the prospects for restoring
devolution. However, the DUP have promised that they won't
be joining the queue.

The boycott of the September talks is their tit-for-tat
response to the series of announcements on dismantling
border towers and disbanding the Royal Irish Regiment which
followed the IRA statement at the start of August.

But how disinterested is the DUP? On the face of it, they
would appear to want nothing to do with any unilateral IRA
disarmament over the next few weeks.

In early August, DUP leader Ian Paisley referred
dismissively to "the so-called dumping of IRA arms".

He claimed this would be far from crystal clear as only the
IRA would "control any more faked decommissionings and the
supposedly independent observers will be appointed by them
alone with limited powers set by IRA/Sinn Fein".

Under such circumstances, one might assume that the DUP
would instruct any Protestant clergyman who enjoys their
confidence to stay away from such a republican stunt.

However, there have been indications that even though the
DUP would prefer disarmament on camera, it would not block
the involvement of a witness acceptable to the party.

Back in December, one clergyman who enjoyed the party's
backing was the former Presbyterian moderator, the Reverend
David McGaughey.

A former police reservist, and a strong anti-agreement
unionist, he is generally considered on the right wing of
the Church when it comes to both politics and theology.

Just before he became moderator, he ruffled some feathers
by declining to take part in ecumenical services. From a
DUP/Free Presbyterian view, he would tick a lot of boxes.

Sinn Fein say that if the DUP wants Mr McGaughey as a
witness, then Ian Paisley should simply fix a meeting with
Gerry Adams.

Republicans know full well that is not going to happen, so
maybe it should be taken as an indication that the former
moderator is out of the frame.

Certainly, he had not been approached by the start of
September. The IRA may take the view that the DUP missed
its chance in December.

However, if republicans pick a pro-peace process,
Protestant clergyman, that witness may have a harder job
convincing the broad unionist community of the magnitude of
any IRA action than would someone with Mr McGaughey's

What is interesting about the DUP's abiding interest is
that it indicates that, behind the scenes, they may not be
as negative about the IRA's initiative as they sometimes
appear on the surface.

On the Catholic side, less is hanging on who the clergyman
should be.

The latest indications are that the witness could be
someone like Father Alex Reid, who has played a key,
behind-the-scenes role for years, rather than a clergyman
who might be seen as a representative of the church

Whoever is there to witness the decommissioning, it seems
no one will be able to bring along a camera.

The Finnish brigadier, Tauno Nieminen, was mentioned in
December as a keen amateur photographer who could record
the moment the IRA went out of business for both Paisley
and posterity.

The brigadier has been re-appointed to General John de
Chastelain's team, but it is understood that he will be
kept busy verifying any disarmament, not capturing it on

So the IRA's actions will have to be taken on trust, which
is where the credibility and communication skills of any
witnesses could prove vital.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 16:59:55 GMT


IRA Must Disband After Arms Move, Says Hume

Decommissioning of arms should be followed by the
complete disbandment of the IRA, former SDLP leader John
Hume said yesterday.

"I don't just want to see the decommissioning of weapons. I
want to see the IRA cease to exist whatsoever, as well as
every other paramilitary organisation."

Mr Hume was speaking at an Ireland-France Chamber of
Commerce event in Dublin's Westbury Hotel.

The 1998 Nobel Peace Prize winner said violence had no role
in bringing divided communities together.

"Violence only deepens divisions. There is no role for any
organisation of any description if it uses violence. I want
to see them all ended," he said.

"A new Ireland will evolve in a generation, but it must be
based on total agreement and mutual respect between
Protestant and Catholic communities."

Mr Hume spoke in French about the historical ties between
Ireland and France and said the two countries should foster
stronger trade and tourism links.

"Now we are living in a smaller world and the time has come
for Ireland and France to get much closer together.

"There are very historic relations between Ireland and
France. The Irish are the biggest wandering people in the
world and before America was discovered, they wandered all
over Europe and particularly into France. I'd like to see
more French people coming to Ireland and more Irish going
to France," Mr Hume told the meeting.

The Lynch, Barton, McCarthy and Hennessy families had lent
their names to famous wines and spirits, he added, and an
Irishman, Patrick MacMahon, had served as president of
France from 1873 to 1879.

Founded in 1979, the Ireland France Chamber of Commerce
promotes business links between the two countries.

Mr Hume told delegates his first job after university was
as a teacher of French at his old school, St Columb's
College in Derry, in the late 1950s. He had also studied at
the Institut Catholique in Paris.

He wore in his lapel France's highest civilian award, the
Legion of Honour medal, which he was awarded in 1999.

- (PA)

© The Irish Times


City Parade Re-Routing Criticised

The decision to route a postponed Orange Order parade
through a disused factory site has been criticised.

The Whiterock parade was delayed by the Order in June, in
protest at putting it through the former Mackies site
instead of allowing it through Workman Avenue.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the Parades
Commission's decision to re-route it caused him "anguish".

Nationalist Springfield Road residents had opposed the
parade, due to take place next Saturday.

In its determination on the parade the commission cites a
possible adverse effect on community relations if the march
was allowed on the Order's preferred route.

"The commission has cause to believe that should the parade
process the entirety of its notified route, there will be
an adverse effect on community relations and a potential
for public disorder," it said.

Mr Dodds said the decision "rewarded intransigence and the
threat of violence".

"Over the summer the Orange Order and others have displayed
absolutely no violence or provocation," he said.

"The Order and its followers have been subjected to intense
violent attacks but have not even responded in time."

He said the effort to achieve this was being "cast aside by
the Parades Commission through this disgraceful decision".

The Orange Order has said that it will not comment on the
ruling until after it has met to discuss it.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 15:35:40 GMT


'Provo Fugitives Should Face The Courts'

Alliance wants deal for freedom

By Chris Thornton
02 September 2005

IRA fugitives should be forced to show their face in court
before being allowed to stay in Northern Ireland, Alliance
leader David Ford proposed today.

Mr Ford said he has written to the Prime Minister calling
for changes in the plans to allow people who are on the run
- known as OTRs - back into the UK.

He also urged the Government to link the return of OTRs to
the lifting of threats against people who have been exiled
by IRA threats.

As part of the deal to secure wholesale decommissioning by
the IRA, the Government is expected to unveil legislation
for dealing with OTRs by November.

Previously published proposals said fugitives wanted for
terrorist crimes - like Maze escapee Liam Averill and Sinn
Fein's US representative Rita O'Hare - would be allowed
back in Northern Ireland.

Their return would have to be rubber stamped by a judicial
hearing, but under existing proposals they would not have
to appear at the hearing.

"These are republicans who are suspected of serious acts of
terrorism but have never faced a court and those who have
fled from prison," Mr Ford said.

"People are being asked to accept that they be allowed to
return freely to Northern Ireland."

He said the "ability for OTRs to avoid a court appearance
is a major weakness in the scheme".

"An appearance in court would give some limited recognition
of the offences committed, and may give some victims a
limited sense of justice," the Alliance chief said.

He added that there "should be a requirement that the
Secretary of State certify that the threats against those
'exiled' have been lifted by any organisation wishing to
avail of the OTR legislation for its members.

"It would be perverse if some paramilitaries were able to
return to their homes in safety while those innocent people
who have been forced out by paramilitaries are not," Mr
Ford said.


Victims' Group To Protest Over 'Colombia Three' At Dáil

Dan Keenan

South Armagh-based victims' group Fair is to organise a
protest outside the Dáil over the return to Ireland of the
Colombia Three".

William Frazer, director of Families Acting for Innocent
Relatives, travels to Colombia today with DUP Lagan Valley
MP Jeffrey Donaldson to meet victims of the Farc rebel
group's campaign.

They plan to speak with senior government, military and
diplomatic figures during a series of meetings next week.

The group will also meet families of victims of the Farc
which, it alleges, has been assisted in its campaign by the

Mr Frazer told The Irish Times last night he hopes to host
a return visit, perhaps next month, which will entail a
protest at Leinster House and meetings with MPs at

He said: "The trip was originally organised at the
invitation of several contacts in Colombia. We felt it was
a great opportunity to develop links with terror victims in
a worldwide context.

"Our aim is to establish a world network of victims'
organisations, seeking justice and working in the interests
of those innocents affected by terror."

"People in large parts of Colombia have suffered greatly at
the hands of terrorists, just like the minority border
community in Northern Ireland," he said.

"We are assured that we will be shocked by what we see and
that the similarities between Provisional IRA techniques
and Farc techniques are non-coincidental. I trust this
visit will be beneficial to victims in both countries."

Fair has been pressing for the return of the "Colombia
Three" to Bogota since the men arrived back in Ireland last

The group has called for the three men, Niall Connolly,
Martin McCauley and James Monaghan, to be sent back to
Colombia, where they were accused of training Farc
guerrillas and sentenced to 17 years in jail.

© The Irish Times


Ulster Faces 'Gangster State' Threat - Empey
2005-09-02 16:30:04+01

Northern Ireland needs to guard against becoming a gangster
state, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey warned tonight.

At the launch of a new campaign by his party opposing any
role in the future for ex-paramilitaries in the North's
police service, the former Stormont Economy Minister warned
republican and loyalist terror groups were increasingly
morphing into criminal gangs.

And he also told Young Unionists in Lisburn concern was
mounting that a blind eye was being turned to republican
and loyalist criminality.

"In May 2004, £1m (€1.5m) of goods was stolen from Makro.
In October 2004 £2m (€3m) worth of cigarettes was stolen
from a Belfast warehouse. In December 2004 £26.5m (€39m)
was stolen from the Northern Bank," the East Belfast MLA

"The police have down-scaled their efforts in finding those

"Paramilitaries are involved in drug dealing, armed
robbery, prostitution, money laundering, benefit and tax
fraud, racketeering and massive counterfeit operations.

"Turf wars and fights for control of estates have increased
dramatically. The situation is getting out of hand and this
summer proved to be one of most sectarian and paramilitary
driven summers of recent years."

Sir Reg said the British government was saying little on
the subject and he also accused the Police Service of
Northern Ireland being in defensive mode.

"We have an opportunity to lead the debate and set the
agenda on this important issue," the UUP leader told his
party's youth wing.

"A straw poll of friends and family, when asked what their
number one fear was for Northern Ireland, said mob rule. As
a friend who lives in England said 'It's getting like
Corleone (the family in Mario Puzo's Mafia novel the
Godfather) over there'."

The Ulster Unionist leader restated his party's opposition
to any move by the British government to allow ex-
paramilitaries to serve in the police regardless of past

He warned: "The threat of expunging terrorist records to
permit them to become police officers, civil servants and
teachers all point to a high risk of corrupting society and
hand ultimate control to the gangsters.

"Those with a paramilitary background have been provided
with the opportunity to change by using exclusively
peaceful and democratic means as a way of achieving their

"There is no excuse, no justification for society allowing
itself to be further corrupted.

"This is an issue where we all have to make a stand in the
defence of democracy otherwise the enormous sacrifice of
recent years will have been in vain."

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said after a public meeting
of the North's Policing Board in Ballymena, Co Antrim he
would oppose any moves to allow anyone with a criminal
conviction to join the PSNI.

Policing Board chairman Sir Desmond Rea also said he shared
some of his colleagues' concerns about the reports that
such a move was being considered.


Shell Refuses To Waive Rossport Five Injunction

02/09/2005 - 14:49:44

Energy giant Shell today rejected calls to waive a High
Court order in a bid to secure the release of five men
jailed for protesting against the company's controversial
gas pipeline in Mayo.

The company said it had already made a number of
concessions to the Rossport men and could not consider
asking for the injunction to be lifted.

A spokesman for Shell said work had been halted both on the
onshore and offshore sections of the line from the Corrib
gas field. He also claimed 220 workers had been laid off as
a result of the delay in works.

He said this had given the men the perfect opportunity to
purge their contempt, which the President of the High Court
had suggested.

"SEPIL has already made a number of concessions such that
there is no reason for the men to remain in prison," Shell
said in a statement.

"The President of the High Court has stated that the ready
solution to freeing the imprisoned men would be for them to
purge their contempt of the High Court order. The company
continues to explore all other possible avenues that would
allow them to do so."

Opposition party leaders, Pat Rabbitte of the Labour Party
and Fine Gael's Enda Kenny, had called on lawyers on both
sides to examine previous cases were an injunction had been
lifted or contempt purged.

But Shell said while their legal team would meet with the
men's lawyers to discuss a possible way forward the
injunction had been granted in order to protect work in the

"The injunction is necessary in the event of any party
obstructing our work at some future date, even if the
current concerns of the landowners are addressed," the
company statement went on.

"It is precisely for this reason that SEPIL cannot consider
waiving the injunction or the protection which it affords
the company in the future."

Shell said case history had been examined in a bid to reach
a compromise. But lawyers for the company said they did not
see sufficient parallels with the Corrib gas pipeline


Governments Line Up To Help After Katrina

Fri Sep 2, 2005 12:48 PM ET

(Adds comment from U.S. State Department, Canada)

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina has devastated New
Orleans and other parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing
hundreds of people and possibly thousands, and drawing
pledges of support from all over the world.

The State Department said by early Friday local time, 44
nations and international organizations had offered help,
ranging from medical teams and tents to cash donations.

These included offers from Australia, Belgium, Britain,
Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France,
Germany, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico,
the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, the
United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, NATO and the Organization
of American States.

A State Department official said a needs assessment was
being done and it would probably become clearer today which
offers would be accepted.

The United Nations has offered to help coordinate
international relief. Following is a detailed list of aid
offered by governments.


EUROPEAN UNION: Offered to send experts but there has been
no request for assistance, the European Commission said. EU
countries are ready to give the United States oil if it
requests help, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said
on Friday. But British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said
this was not what the EU had in mind when it discussed how
to help.

FRANCE: Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said France
was ready to offer support, telling TF1 television: "We
have rescue teams based in the Caribbean and we are
naturally ready to provide aid to the Americans, and that
is what we have told them."

GERMANY: Has offered mobile units to provide clean water,
military hospital facilities and medical aid.

IRELAND: A Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said:
"We have been contacted by the families of about 40 people
in the affected area but that wouldn't be a comprehensive
figure because there may be others who have not yet been in
touch". New Orleans is home to many Irish Americans and
nationals who have a big business presence in the city.

ITALY: Has offered to "immediately" send aid and evacuation
specialists, Italy's civil protection unit said.
Authorities have prepared two military transport planes to
fly amphibious vessels, pumps, generators, tents and
personnel to New Orleans and other areas. They were
awaiting word from U.S. officials, the unit said.

LUXEMBOURG: Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, in a veiled
criticism of the handling by U.S. authorities of the
hurricane, said the disaster showed the need for a strong
state that could help poor people. "You see in this example
that even in the 21st century you need the state, a good
functioning state, and I hope that for all these people,
these poor people, that the Americans will do their best,"
he told reporters at an EU foreign ministers meeting in
Newport, Wales.

RUSSIA: Has offered to help with rescue efforts, but is
still awaiting a reply from Washington. "From the first day
of the tragedy we offered our help to the U.S. government.
Above all with heavy transport planes, which can be loaded
with helicopters and generators -- as there is no
electricity in the area of the catastrophe," Defence
Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters on Friday.

SPAIN: Expects to receive a formal request on Friday to
release gasoline stocks to the United States and is
prepared to grant it, an Industry Ministry spokesman said.

SWEDEN: The Rescue Authority said on Friday it was on
stand-by to supply water purifying equipment, healthcare
supplies and emergency shelters if needed, but had not yet
received a request. "We must know if they need such things,
but it doesn't seem to be clear what is needed," said
Rescue Authority spokesman Mats Oscarsson. Four Swedes were
missing in the New Orleans area, the Foreign Ministry said.


AUSTRALIA: "We're going to provide A$10 million and the
bulk of that money, if not all of it, will go to the
American Red Cross," said Australian Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer. "I know you can make the argument that
America is a well off country, the world's biggest economy,
but remember their non-government organisations depend on
donations from private citizens in America to provide the
relief efforts." The Australian government said there may
be up to 24 Australians trapped in Louisiana in the
aftermath of Katrina.

JAPAN: Will provide $200,000 to the American Red Cross to
assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese Foreign
Ministry said on Friday. Japan will also identify needs in
affected regions via the U.S. government and will provide
up to $300,000 in emergency supplies such as tents,
blankets and power generators if it receives requests for
such assistance, the ministry said.

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Armed Forces, responding to
requests by the United States Texas Army National Guard,
has sent three Chinook helicopters to Fort Polk, Louisiana,
to help in relief efforts. The government said the Chinooks
will help to ferry supplies and undertake airlift missions.

SOUTH KOREA: Has pledged aid and is waiting for a U.S.
response, a government official said. "We have sent our
intention to offer recovery aid," a Foreign Ministry
official said on Friday.

SRI LANKA: Donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

CANADA: offered to help in any way it can and the navy is
preparing a ship full of emergency disaster relief supplies
to be sent when a request comes.

VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the
United States, offered to send cheap fuel, humanitarian aid
and relief workers to the disaster area.

(For more news about emergency relief visit Reuters
AlertNet email:; +44 207 542 2432)

(Compiled by Matthew Bigg in London)


Hospital Sanitised As Two Patients Contract Legionnaire's Disease

Eithne Donnellan, Health Correspondent

The water system of a Dublin hospital has been "flushed
out" after two long-stay patients with intellectual
disability were found to have contracted Legionnaire's
disease, it was confirmed yesterday.

The two who became infected were residents of a unit at
Stewarts Hospital in Palmerstown which provides residential
and day services for people of all ages with special needs.

The Health Service Executive (HSE), which provides funding
for the hospital, said one of the infected persons had
fully recovered and the second had "almost recovered".

It declined to state their ages for reasons of patient
confidentiality, but it is understood both have physical
and mental disabilities. They did not require admission to
an acute hospital.

The families of other residents in the hospital have been
informed and the HSE said there was no cause for public

"A person diagnosed with Legionnaire's disease is not a
threat to others around them as the bacteria are not spread
from person to person," a HSE spokeswoman said.

The cases are understood to have come to the attention of
the HSE eastern region's department of public health in

Its staff in public health medicine carried out what the
HSE spokeswoman said was a "thorough investigation" of the
cases, in conjunction with HSE environmental health
officers and the hospital.

She added that Legionella bacteria, which cause
Legionnaire's disease, are found naturally in the
environment, usually in water and soil, and most people
exposed to it do not become ill.

"The bacteria can grow in warm water, like the kind found
in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large
plumbing systems, or air-conditioning systems. People get
Legionnaire's disease not by ingesting water, but only when
they breathe in a mist or vapour (small droplets of water
in the air) that has been contaminated with the bacteria.

"There are clear guidelines on flushing and cleaning of any
water systems to combat any possible contamination.

"Following the investigation into these cases, the water
systems have been fully flushed and sanitised, and all
best-practice public health protection measures have been
fully implemented," she said.

A spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed the cases and said
the hospital had been in contact with families of other
residents of the same unit to reassure them there was no
cause for concern.

The HSE said its eastern area sees a small number of cases
of Legionella infection each year: three cases in each of
2003 and 2002.

Legionnaire's disease can cause a potentially fatal form of
pneumonia. In 2003, an independent report into the death of
a woman who contracted the disease while a patient at
Waterford Regional Hospital said all hospitals should
immediately begin regular monitoring of air and water
quality to reduce the risk of patients contracting
hospital-acquired infections.

© The Irish Times


Council To Decide On 1916 Refuge

02/09/2005 - 16:47:17

Dublin City Council will decide next week whether to save
the last refuge of the 1916 Easter Rising leaders.

Labour Cllr Dermot Lacey has tabled a motion for Monday
night's monthly meeting calling for No 16 Moore Street to
be listed as a protected building.

Several leaders of the Rising used the building as a final
refuge before surrendering and being executed by the
English forces.

The dilapidated house is now owned by the Carlton
Development Group, which had planned to develop a large
site around Moore Street into a retail centre.

Dublin City Council has said that although the building is
not listed for its architecture, it can be preserved
because of its historical significance.

Cllr Lacey said today: "We cannot allow development to
disregard our heritage, we should be doing all we can to
preserve and protect this building."

The former lord mayor's motion calls for recognition of the
location's importance in the foundation of the state.

It also requests that the leaders of the Rising to be
honoured and the vision contained in the 1916 Proclamation
be reclaimed.

Cllr Lacey called on the Council and Heritage Minister Dick
Roche to do everything they can to preserve the building.

An Taisce's Antiquities and National Monuments Committee
has called for the site to be converted into a museum.

Many of those who sheltered in the building in the dying
hours of the Rising - including James Connolly, Padraig
Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Joseph Plunkett - were later
executed by the British for their role in the rebellion.

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