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September 30, 2005

Loyalist Arrested Over Bomb Attack

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News about Ireland and the Irish

IO 09/30/05 Loyalist Arrested Over Pipe Bomb Attack
DI 09/30/05 Padraigin Drinan Law Firm Shut Down
IT 10/01/05 Battle Over Pipeline 'Only Starting'
DI 09/30/05 Opin: Equality Bitterest Pill For Unionism
EX 09/30/05 Opin: Examine Ourselves Before Lecturing North
DI 09/30/05 A Week Of Backpedalling By The DUP
DI 09/30/05 Daily Ireland New Orleans School Appeal
IT 10/01/05 Ballyporeen Pub Booked For Reagan Library


Man Arrested Over Pipe Bomb Attack

30/09/2005 - 19:41:22

A man was arrested today in connection with a pipe bomb
attack on the home of a couple and their three-year-old

The explosion in Carnany Drive, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, left
two pieces of steel embedded in the living room.

Police said the man, who was detained following a search in
the area, will face charges of attempted murder.

The family were asleep when the device detonated at around
2.30am yesterday on the window sill of their home.

Detective Inspector Nick McCaw said the crime was carried
out by loyalist paramilitaries and could have proved fatal.

He confirmed two 5-inch pieces of steel entered the living
room and became embedded in the ceiling and sofa.

A car in the driveway was also damaged by the bomb, which
sent debris hurtling into the street.

One bolt was found 50 yards away, next to a community

The family were unhurt but have been left traumatised by
their ordeal.


Padraigin Drinan Law Firm Shut Down

Connla Young

Legal chiefs yesterday closed down one of Ireland's
leading human rights law firms.

Pádraigín Drinan Solicitors was instructed by the Law
Society in Belfast to cease operating yesterday morning.

In January law chiefs were forced to backtrack after
attempting to close the solicitor's firm. There was a
furious reaction to the move from scores of human rights
and welfare organisations.

During the past 20 years, Ms Drinan's firm has established
a reputation as a first stop for minority and disadvantaged
people in need of legal advice. The legal representative
has established a reputation for handling asylum seeker and
refugee cases and is one of only a handful of solicitors
prepared to take this unprofitable type of work.

News of the Law Society move was slammed by the Director of
the Rape Crisis Centre Eileen Calder last night.

"This is a terrible disaster," she said.

"The Law Society is trying to close down the only person
who does this sort of work locally. The Rape Crisis Centre
is making a public appeal to Angela Smith, who is the
minister for victims in the North, and to the Lord Chief
Justice Brian Kerr, to use their influence to have this
decision reversed. They should intervene immediately.

"At the minute we have women in prison who could be
deported and whose personal circumstances are very
harrowing and it's vital they get the support only
Pádraigín Drinan can give them.

"This woman has worked tirelessly over the years and not
for her own benefit. She is one of the poorest solicitors
in Belfast. I just don't know where people who come to us
are going to go now. This woman has done things above and
beyond the call of duty for years. What the Law Society is
doing here is a betrayal of the victims of racist and
sexual abuse, it's going to affect so many people. I don't
know what I am going to say to our women."

A spokesperson for the Law Society said they were acting on
the instruction of a recent disciplinary committee.

"The position between Ms Drinan and the independent
disciplinary tribunal was set out on March 4, 2005, when
they gave her until September 2, 2005 to find a partner of
more than seven years standing.

"As she has not done so, the Law Society is required to
ensure compliance with the order of the tribunal.
Accordingly, it is no longer possible for Ms Drinan to
continue in practice."


Battle Over Pipeline 'Only Starting'

Background: Issue may be back before the courts very
shortly, writes Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent

Five Mayo men and their relatives celebrated victory
outside the High Court yesterday, but warned that the
battle over the Corrib gas onshore pipeline was "only

The issue may be back before the courts very shortly as
Shell says it intends to pursue its case for a permanent
injunction against any opponents of the onshore gas

However, it has also been summoned to court to explain its
breach of ministerial consents for the pipeline, and there
is the outstanding issue of punitive damages.

Even as the legal wrangling continues, the two parties have
been invited to participate in mediation by Minister for
the Marine Noel Dempsey, and a public consultation is being
held on October 12th and 13th as part of the Minister's new
safety review, which is expected to be complete by mid-

"It's a bizarre scenario," Dr Mark Garavan, spokesman for
the five men, acknowledged.

"Here we will have three processes running along parallel
tracks, when in fact the simplest thing to do would be to
go back to basics, and conduct an entire review of the
project. It is already running two years behind schedule,
so why not just start again and do it right?"

Micheál Ó Seighin, one of the five men who had spent 94
days in prison, speaking to The Irish Times after
yesterday's court hearing, said it was time "to go back to
the drawing board and do this properly".

"It's what I said to former marine minister Frank Fahey in
2001, and I would say it to Minister for Marine Dempsey
now," Mr Ó Seighin, a retired schoolteacher, said. "We're
not telling a commercial company how to do their job, we're
just asking that it be done properly, and if so we will co-

Mr Ó Seighin and Dr Garavan believe there is scope for such
a comprehensive review in the mediation discussions, which
are expected to begin in some days. At the same time, the
men and their supporters are resolute.

The Minister told a joint Oireachtas committee earlier this
week that an illegally-welded section of pipeline would be
dismantled by the company.

Shell has been coy about explaining why it took so long to
collapse the temporary injunction which had held the men in
prison for 94 days, while insisting that it was not put
under any pressure by one of its two Corrib partners,

A key factor was the timing of the Minister's safety
review, a company spokesman said yesterday.

"We have already suspended all onshore work while this
review is being carried out, and once it became clear that
the review wouldn't be ready till late October, we knew
that the temporary injunction wouldn't be necessary. We are
into a period when no work is being carried out anyway due
to weather conditions."

Until late this week the company had been insisting that it
could not withdraw the injunction as this would prejudice
its legal action later - even though precedents to the
contrary had been presented to it by Labour Party leader
Pat Rabbitte and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny. Senior
Statoil representatives were in Ireland this week, but
Shell says that Corrib partner meetings are a "regular

The Statoil visit came just days after a visit to Norway by
Mr Ó Seighin's wife, Caitlin, other family representatives
and Mayo TD Dr Jerry Cowley (Ind), all travelling at their
own expense. Dr Cowley believes this visit represented a
turning point. Not only did the group meet members of the
incoming Norwegian government, but also senior union
officials representing Statoil workers.

"We told Statoil in no uncertain terms that Shell was
resorting in north Mayo to the tactics it had already used
in Nigeria. We told them that Shell was giving Statoil,
which is mainly owned by the Norwegian people, a very bad
name," Dr Cowley said.

Fine Gael TD for Mayo Michael Ring, who has welcomed the
men's release, says there are serious questions to be
answered about the Government's role in the whole debacle.
Corrib is on the agenda for Tuesday's Dáil session, but Mr
Ring wants a full debate rather than statements.

"I want to pursue the role of Frank Fahey in signing
compulsory acquisition orders giving a private company a
wayleave through these people's lands for this unsafe
pipeline, and I also want to know why Coillte sold 400
acres to Shell for its terminal at a price that has never
been disclosed," he said.

© The Irish Times


Opin: Equality Still The Bitterest Pill For Old Unionism


Now what have yis got to complain about? That was my own
first reaction to the IRA announcement that full and final
decommissioning had taken place – what will the die-hard,
unreconstructed, head in the sand, old-style Unionists have
to complain about now?

The IRA is gone, their arms, ammunition and explosives have
gone, the republican movement has committed itself in front
of the world to pursue its aims and objectives in a solely
peaceful and democratic way – and to top it all, they are
bound by the Good Friday Agreement to accept the legitimacy
of the constitutional position of the Northern Ireland
state within the United Kingdom until such time as a
majority in the Six Counties votes otherwise.

If Brian Faulkner had got the half of that thirty years ago
he would have been claiming victory from the roof of
Stormont and from every treetop leading up to it.

This week Paisley is complaining that he has no faith in
the veracity of the decommissioning process, no trust in
either of the governments and no pity for the two saps who
were fooled into giving false witness to the shambles. No
doubt as time goes on he will discover other grounds for

But what really bothers Paisley's brand of Unionism is the
plain and simple fact that nationalism, Irish nationalism,
the movement towards a united and equitable Ireland has not
been eradicated.

Changing conditions have led to the demise of the physical
force tradition, but the ultimate aim of that tradition is
still there.

In fact, there is a suspicion, indeed a fear, at the back
of the mind of every old-style Unionist that with the IRA
now off the scene the momentum towards constitutional
change might even pick up and become, well… unstoppable.

In any event, they are near damn sure (not that they would
use such strong language) that the IRA did not give up the
ghost without making some kind of a secret deal with the
Brits. Yes, I'm talking sellout, here.

Despite the fact that Paisley has been denouncing the
British government for selling Ulster out to the
republicans since 1968, I must say that I see little sign
of the deal around here – but that is an article for a
different day.

The end of armed republicanism has changed the political
landscape, utterly. In the North you can nearly reach out
and touch the change. It's partly psychological but also
involves a realignment of vision, a different way of
looking at things, as if mankind has just learned to walk
for the first time.

The immediate target following the completion of
decommissioning is the re-establishing of the political
institutions with a guarantee that the Unionists will not
be allowed to crash them again at a whim.

This week the two governments confirmed publicly that they
are allowing a moratorium until after the International
Monitoring Commission delivers its January report, but
after that – provided it contains no unexpected surprises –
they expect to be on the run-in to a re-assembled Assembly.

Paisley can say no, of course, and most likely will say no.
But the British government already realises that even DUP
nay-sayers can be brought around by largesse, promises of
this and that and – perish the thought – even a secret

The biggest stick to beat the Unionists into Stormont,
however, is likely to be the realisation that whatever
would come about to replace the Good Friday Agreement would
be worse for Unionists that what they have now.

One way or another, it is clear that we are on the road to
revamping Stormont. My guess is that we will have elections
to the Assembly here in March of next year. Just what we
need – more elections.

The political institutions represent one strand of the Good
Friday Agreement, but the underlying anchorage of the
Northern peace process is the inevitable movement towards
equality. And equality is the real antithesis of old-style

Unemployment in the Six Counties is still twice as high
within the Catholic community as within the Protestant
community. The much-vaunted peace dividend never really
materialised with the result that the poorest and most
deprived areas of the North never experienced the
regeneration promised in the run-up to the original IRA
ceasefire of 1994.

The Irish flag, the Irish national anthem and the Irish
language still have no official recognition in this part of
Ireland. The ethos of the civil service, of the police
service, of the fire service, of all branches of state is
still completely British, or more or less completely

Even anti-sectarian legislation means little in the Six
Counties, where thugs can come up to family cars and attack
the occupants just because they are displaying the colours
of their own county who had just won the All-Ireland
football championship.

Tackling the rampant inequality in Northern society is one
of the biggest tasks facing nationalist politicians and the
British government – and we shouldn't have to wait until a
united Ireland to achieve it. Equality should be there

I have always believed that had the Unionist government
provided total equality for the Catholic community in the
Six Counties when the Northern Ireland state was set up in
1921 the troubles that followed partition would not have
taken place.

Ironically, it is the inevitable surge towards equality now
that will probably sound the final death knell for the
Northern state.


Opin: Let's Examine Ourselves Before Lecturing Those In The

By Ryle Dwyer

THE final decommissioning of the IRA arms last weekend was
not the first time the organisation has dumped its weapons.

It did so in 1923 and again in 1962, but the difference
this time is that these weapons have been put "beyond use".
They cannot be resurrected in a few years to launch another

There was a distinct welcoming for the process, even if was
much too late.

If the IRA had acted earlier, Sinn Féin might still be in
power with David Trimble. Now, the party will have to deal
with Ian Paisley.

Nobody should be surprised at Paisley's behaviour. He has
thrived on breaking up just about every initiative for
progress in the past 40 years. He was the one who did most
to undermine Terence O'Neill, Brian Faulkner and David

People are acting as if last week's decommissioning is the
formal end of the troubles. People should recognise,
however, that the same kind of Orange bigots, who tried to
prevent civil rights for Catholics in the 1960s, still pose
a real danger. Normality is still only an aspiration in
Northern Ireland.

Bigotry is rife on both sides of the political divide, as
the man who has been living in the South found when he
visited his boyhood home in the North. His elderly mother
insisted on saying the Rosary, but, to his astonishment,
she included a prayer for the Holy Souls on both sides.
Afterwards, he complimented her on her nice gesture of
including Protestants in her prayers, much to her

She was not praying for them, she explained in righteous
anger. She was praying for his wife's people. Until people
learn to pray for each other, there is unlikely to be real
peace in the North. Right now, it is just an unholy and
uneasy truce.

We really have some nerve to lecture them, when you
consider our political set-up. All the main parties here
are proclaiming they will not go into coalition with Sinn
Féin, but we can't understand why Paisley won't go into
coalition with that party.

We should understand the Democratic Unionist position
better than anybody, because our parties are balking at
such a coalition, even though the amount of damage the so-
called republicans did down here is mild compared with the
havoc they wreaked in Northern Ireland.

People here question why the Northerners cannot sit down
and settle their differences in a Christian spirit. Even
though the gun has long been taken out of our politics, our
main parties remain as hostile to each other.

The troubles in this state essentially ended following the
civil war of 1922-23, but Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, our
two largest political parties, were established in the
following decade, essentially to perpetuate the divisions.

Fianna Fáil insisted on the inclusion of "(The Republican
Party)" after its name, as if the words in brackets were a
translation of its name.

De Valera admitted during the treaty debate that there was
only a shadow of a difference between him and Michael
Collins. That had absolutely nothing to do with partition,
though a couple of generations were brought up to believe
the civil war had been over partition, as our much-vaunted
educational system studiously ignored the teachings of 20th
century Irish history.

De Valera had sent Collins to London to negotiate the 1921
treaty, but when the Big Fellow came back with the
agreement, the Long Fellow objected and issued a statement
saying it was a matter for the Dáil cabinet. When the
cabinet accepted the treaty, he said it was a matter for
the Dáil, and when the Dáil approved it, he said it was a
matter for the Irish people. When it became apparent the
people were in favour of it, he proclaimed the people had
"no right to do wrong". He thereby exhibited contempt for

Collins showed a similar contempt in his own way. When he
was became chairman of the Provisional Government in 1922,
three IRA men were due to be executed in Derry. He
frantically tried to rescue them. When it came to
protecting those he saw as his men, he had no patience.

The Stormont government delayed on commuting the sentences,
so Collins arranged for as many as 100 unionists to be
kidnapped. The sentences of the three men were duly
commuted, but by then it was too late to call off the
kidnappings. Forty-two unionists were taken hostage later
the same day.

If the three men had been executed, would Collins have been
justified in having the 42 hostages killed?

Of course, Collins blamed republican dissidents for the
kidnapping, but he gave the order - and it was his chief of
staff, Eoin O'Duffy, who organised the whole thing.

Paisley and company have historical justification when they
express reservations about believing the IRA now. After
all, Michael Collins continued to scheme as he pretended
dissidents were behind his actions.

Collins was not content with merely kidnapping unionists,
he sent one of his men to England to kill John Ellis, the
British hangman. Ellis had already left for Derry when Joe
Dolan called at his home. Dolan produced a revolver and
insisted on searching the house. If Ellis had been there,
Dolan said he would have killed him.

Later, Collins sent Dolan to London to plan the killing of
Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, who had been advising the
Stormont government. Dolan had no doubt that Collins then
ordered the killing of Wilson, and it was this which
sparked the civil war here. In 1924 some of those who had
been closest to Collins were behind the so-called Army
Mutiny, and Eoin O'Duffy tried unsuccessfully to organise a
coup d'etat in 1932 to prevent Fianna Fáil coming to power.

When Fine Gael was founded as "The United Ireland Party" in
1933, it elected O'Duffy as its leader, but fortunately it
dumped him after he toured the country advocating fascism
and proclaiming that democracy was dead.

For all his virtues and strengths, the credentials of
Collins as constitutional democrat must be seriously
questioned. He exhibited the same contempt for democracy as
de Valera did in 1922. Both were primarily interested in
power, and the politicians, who have been invoking their
names ever since, are similarly interested only in power.

On coming to power in 1932, de Valera admitted he had
underestimated the treaty. He had admitted 10 years earlier
that his objections were only over a shadow, so the whole
treaty controversy was over less than a shadow. And that
has been the real difference between Fianna Fáil and Fine
Gael ever since.

There has never been any ideological difference. If Fianna
Fáil and Fine Gael resolved their phoney differences, there
would probably be no question of any party having to go
into coalition with Sinn Féin. Both parties are relics of a
forgotten dispute that they continue to exploit. They are
just personalities posturing for power. Before lecturing
those in the North, we should take a good look at


No More Excuses

Zoe Tunney

A Week Of Backpedalling By The DUP

MONDAY - Reverend Harold Good and Father Alec Reid,
independent witnesses of IRA decommissioning - "We would
like to say that we were not appointed by the IRA to do
this work".

MONDAY - DUP leader Ian Paisley - "It must be clearly
stated that both witnesses were approved by the IRA and
therefore were accepted by the IRA and in no way could be

TUESDAY - Ian Paisley - "They were the IRA's nominated

WEDNESDAY - DUP Upper Bann MP David Simpson - "No one is
disputing that the two men are faithfully reporting what
they saw. The question is did they see it all."

YESTERDAY - DUP spokesman - "The party wants to move on".

DUP softens its position

A Democratic Unionist Party spokesman has said the party
"wants to move forward" following their meeting with the
two independent eyewitnesses on decommissioning.

After a week when the DUP criticised the decommissioning
process, accused the British and Irish governments of a
cover-up and called into question the independence of the
eyewitnesses, the party indicated they want to move away
from the issue.

The DUP leadership yesterday declined to comment after the
crucial meeting with Fr Alex Reid and Rev Harold Good.

As the unionist community waited to hear the party's
response to how the clergymen clarified vital points of
contention, the DUP members who attended the meeting drove
away without speaking to the waiting media.

However, when Daily Ireland contacted DUP headquarters
shortly after the men emerged from the meeting a
spokesperson insisted the party "wants to move forward".

The spokesperson also suggested the unusual silence, which
came at the end of a week of arranged press conferences and
prepared statements, was deliberate to allow the party to

The spokesperson said: "Have you seen any of the people who
were at the meeting talking to any other TV or radio media?

"Well, take that as a deliberate move, the party wants to
move on."

When pressed on whether the silence should be taken to mean
the DUP were re-considering their entire position on the
decommissioning issue, the spokesperson said: "I do not
want to comment further."

He refused to discuss the detail of the meeting which was
attended by DUP leader, Dr Ian Paisley, deputy leader Peter
Robinson and MP for Upper Bann, David Simpson.

But speaking last night to the BBC, Mr Simpson said the DUP
was not questioning the integrity of the two churchmen, but
that his party still had concerns over what the two clerics
had seen.

Reverend Harold Good last night told Daily Ireland he felt
all points had now been clarified between both parties.

"They clarified to us that they did not question our
integrity," he said.

He said there was no acrimony expressed by the DUP and he
described the meeting as "good-natured".

The former President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
also said the DUP sought clarification about who asked them
to act as independent witnesses to the decommissioning

He would not divulge his answer but said there was "mutual
clarification" on both sides.

Earlier in the week, the DUP clashed with the Ulster
Unionist Party, who declared they were satisfied with the
word of the two clergymen.

SDLP chief negotiator, Sean Farren, said it is time for the
DUP to stop "manufacturing grievances around the
decommissioning process."

"The DUP are looking for problems where there are none,"
said Mr Farren.


Daily Ireland New Orleans School Appeal

Daily Ireland is launching an appeal to help raise money
for the children of New Orleans.

By raising funds for the hurricane hit city we hope to
channel donations into their schools, where children are in
dire need of uniforms, books and other essentials for when
they return to study at the start of 2006.

Over 800 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina and
1200 children are still missing.

The Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Centre (AHEC)
played a crucial role in the aftermath of the hurricane and
its CEO, Dr Brian Jakes, said the reality of the hurricane
was only sinking in to people now.

"Nothing like this has ever happened in our history, people
have lost everything," Brian Jakes said.

"A lot of what our people and particularly our young
children are going to be facing, has never been dealt with

"One parish at the mouth of the Mississippi, Plaquemines…
half of it is gone. The Gulf of Mexico has reclaimed it.

"Our Mayor is repopulating the city of New Orleans.

"People are coming back to see what's left of their lives
and they are shocked. They got out of here with the shirts
on their backs and survived, but nothing they owned did.

"81,000 businesses were eliminated in the state of
Louisiana because of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"We estimate that 25 per cent of our population will never

The people of New Orleans are slowly and carefully trying
to pick up the pieces of their lives in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina, which hit their shores with
unprecedented force on August 29.

As the hurricane gathered pace into a Category 5 storm, by
August 31, 80 per cent of New Orleans was under water.

Over 800 people died in the state of Louisiana as a result
of Hurricane Katrina.

Initially it was hoped that New Orleans had weathered the
worst of Katrina, but within hours of the storm passing, it
emerged that several key levees had been breached, causing
floodwater to pour into the low-lying city.

The situation quickly deteriorated as it became apparent
that thousands of people had been unable to evacuate or had
chosen to stay put.

Now people are slowly returning to their homes, although
the elderly and children are being asked to stay away while
a toxic mix of gasoline, oil, debris and water is pumped

For some, the shock of seeing the sheer scale of
devastation has been just too much and many people have
decided to leave New Orleans forever.

"The sheer devastation and the look of absolute shock on
people's faces when they go back is unreal. You can see
them thinking - this was my home, and it's under 12 feet of
water," the CEO said.

"People have lost everything. Absolutely everything. The
thing that has been the most alarming is how are we going
to come to grips with the reconstruction that has to take
place in order for us to move forward."

In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, the Southeast
Louisiana AHEC played a crucial role in saving lives of
those left stranded by Katrina.

They sent out food and water parcels to people and also co-
ordinated the international relief effort through the use
of a battery operated radio.

Although the entire state has been devastated by the
hurricane, the urgency is on the government to rebuild its
educational establishments. In the months ahead, money will
be needed to buy school uniforms and basic school supplies.

With the help of Daily Ireland, the Southeast Louisiana
AHEC would to like to raise as much money as it can for the
children of New Orleans.

Channeling the funds through the Southeast Louisiana AHEC
means your donations will help buy essential basic reading
and writing materials as well as uniforms.

The Southeast Louisiana AHEC has a catchment area of 15
parishes and 13 of those parishes were designated 'disaster

When hurricane Katrina struck Brian Jakes remained in
AHEC's office, just outside the city of New Orleans, co-
ordinating relief efforts.

"We happened to have radio communication, a battery powered
radio, and I heard a parish just north of us, Bogalusa,
just pleading for help," Brian said.

"I phoned Coca Cola and got them to stop putting coke into
their bottles and instead fill their cans with water.

"So we got an 18 wheel lorry to them with water. We run a
food bank too and we also sent a lorry with 20 pallets of
food that we distributed to the needy. We were very
fortunate that we could help."

The AHEC performed many tasks in the wake of the hurricane
not least co-ordinating the international relief effort.

At the moment the New Orleans clean-up operation after
Katrina and Rita is shifting up into top gear.

Children have been relocated to other schools in, Houston,
Tennessee and Wisconsin.

According to Dr Brian Jakes the schools relaxed their
administration requirements so that children could be
enrolled until New Orleans dries out.

"For the most part children are immune to the horror of
what took place here, but there will be a day of reckoning
for them I'm sure when they return.

"New Orleans will emerge stronger and different, but remain
a favourite destination for tourists. The good parts of New
Orleans are going to survive I think, and the parts that
were bad hopefully won't. It's an opportunity for us, one
we want to be part of."

If you would like to help by donating to the school fund,
simply click the button below to donate by Paypal or credit
or debit card. You can also send cheques, made payable to
'Andersonstown News Group New Orleans Fund', to 2
Hannahstown Hill, Belfast BT170LT, Northern Ireland.

PLEASE NOTE: All donations are in Pounds (£) sterling. The
current exchange rate for £10 is $17.66 US, $23.19
Australian, $20.57 Canadian and €14.65 Euro.


Raising The Bar: Interior Of Ballyporeen Pub Booked For
Reagan Library In California

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

The complete interior of the Ronald Reagan pub in
Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary has been sold to a wealthy
Republican supporter and is being moved to the Reagan
Library in California over the next few weeks.

Irish-American businessman Frederick Ryan jnr has confirmed
that the bar will be moved to a new building that also
houses Mr Reagan's presidential aircraft.

The bar is due to open on October 22nd and President Bush
will open the building the next day.

The bar will look out on to the nose of the former Air
Force 1 aircraft, according to Mr Ryan, who made a snap
purchase of the bar from its previous owners, John and Mary
O'Farrell, during a visit to Ballyporeen the week after Mr
Reagan died last year.

He had travelled to see the bar and discovered it had shut
down as the O'Farrells were planning to make more room for
their family.

"They had planned to sell off the contents at auction, but
I told them that I wanted to keep everything together and
ship it all to California," Mr Ryan said. He said their
asking price was "very considerate".

While the exterior of the building will remain in
Ballyporeen, all the pub contents will move to the Reagan
Library in Simi Valley, California, including the two bar
counters, the wallpaper, furnishings, alcohol bottles and
memorabilia of the president's visit to Ballyporeen in

The exterior of the bar has been recreated at the new
library building, which will also house a Reagan motorcade
and helicopter.

Mr and Mrs O'Farrell have agreed to be at the Reagan
Library to pull the first pints on October 22nd.

Mr Ryan, a former Reagan adviser and now chief executive of
Allbritton Communications, said he rang Nancy Reagan from
Ireland to tell her of the purchase. "At first I think she
thought I must have been drinking, but she is delighted
with the idea.

"I don't know how many times the president talked about his
visit to Ireland and how much it meant to him," he said.

© The Irish Times

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