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September 08, 2005

Loyalists Attack Interface Workers

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News about Ireland & the Irish

UN 09/07/05 Loyalists Attack 'Interface Workers'
BB 09/07/05 Belfast Trouble Raised With Irish Minister
UT 09/07/05 McAleese To Meet Orde
BT 09/07/05 Policies 'Failing' Community Relations
BT 09/07/05 Viewpoint: Riots Must Be Brought To An End
SF 09/07/05 SF TDs: People Power Needed For Real Change
BT 09/07/05 Ulster's MRSA Hotspots
MC 09/07/05 Volunteers Build Emergency Radio Station
BT 09/07/05 US Katrina Inquiry A No Brainer; Bush In Charge
BB 09/07/05 Celebrations Follow Historic Win
CN 09/07/05 Danny Doyle Hosting O’Flaherty Benefit Concert


SF Accuses Loyalists Of Attacking 'Interface Workers'

08:33 Thursday September 8th 2005

Sinn Fein has accused loyalists in Belfast of attacking two
"interface workers" who were trying to prevent violence in
the west of the city last night.

Party spokesman Tom Hartley claimed the two men tried to
prevent around 50 loyalists from entering a tense area when
they were punched and kicked by the gang.

Loyalists in west Belfast have been engaged in serious
street violence in recent days and also blocked a road in
the area yesterday to protest at the re-routing of an
Orange Order parade.


City Trouble Raised With Minister

The recent upsurge in violence is to be raised with Irish
Republic Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern.

Mr Ahern is to meet delegations from the SDLP and Sinn Fein
during a visit to Belfast on Thursday.

Belfast's SDLP Deputy Lord Mayor, Pat Convery, said recent
violence would be raised with the minister.

"We will discuss a range of issues such as sectarianism,
interface violence, UVF violence and the campaign against
nationalists in north Antrim," he said.

On Wednesday SDLP leader Mark Durkan clashed with the
Northern Ireland Secretary over the state of the UVF

Mr Durkan, in a reference to UVF violence, claimed Peter
Hain had "literally let the paramilitaries get away with
murder this summer".

He said the failure of the government to declare the UVF
ceasefire invalid was "unacceptable".

Mr Hain, however, said he would not be rushed into "any
quick-fix judgements" on the ceasefire.

Also on Wednesday, the leaders of the four main churches in
Northern Ireland issued a statement condemning the recent
upsurge in attacks on Catholics in County Antrim and
rioting in Belfast.

Recent rioting also saw the Republic's President, Mary
McAleese, cancel a visit to a Shankill Road school,
electing instead to meet the staff and pupils of Edenbrooke
Primary School at a Belfast hotel.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/08 05:53:04 GMT


McAleese To Meet Orde

Irish president Mary McAleese will meet Northern Ireland's
most senior policeman, Sir Hugh Orde in Belfast today
during a trip to her native city.

By:Press Association

However plans have been abandoned for the President to
visit a primary school on the loyalist Shankill Road
because of security concerns.

Belfast-born President McAleese was due to go to Edenbrooke
Primary School to meet pupils and staff.

However, following rioting in the area which saw police
Land Rovers being attacked, Mrs McAleese`s office was
forced to pull the visit from her itinerary because of
fears that Police Service of Northern Ireland officers
guarding her could be attacked.

On Monday, masked loyalists hijacked and burnt lorries and
attacked police vehicles in the Woodvale area following
raids by the PSNI on homes.

The searches were prompted by an Ulster Volunteer Force
show of strength in the area on Saturday.

Pupils, parents and staff in the school will instead be
bussed to a south Belfast hotel today for a reception with
the President.

It was the second time this year Mrs McAleese had had to
cancel a visit to Edenbrooke Primary.

In January, she was forced to abandon plans after making
controversial comments about sectarianism in a radio
interview during ceremonies at Auschwitz commemorating the
60th anniversary of the Holocaust.

The President apologised to unionists after she said
children in Northern Ireland were raised to despise
Catholics in the same way the Nazis instilled their
children with a hatred of the Jews.

Mrs McAleese is planning to visit a primary school on the
loyalist Taughmonagh estate in south Belfast today.

She will also visit a grammar school in the south of the
city and a care home run by Catholic nuns.

Her first engagement will see her meet PSNI Chief Constable
Sir Hugh Orde and senior police officers.

However Democratic Unionists have clashed with the
nationalist SDLP on the province`s Policing Board over the
President`s meeting with Sir Hugh.

North Antrim MLA Ian Paisley Jnr queried the motive,
claiming it was blatantly political.

"The Chief Constable has nothing to report to Mary
McAleese," he said.

"He has no operational requirement to report to her and
certainly she has no right to meet with the chief constable
when policing remains in the hands of the Northern Ireland

"What is more, the decision to meet was not raised with the
Police Board.

"All sense of protocol has been abandoned and all to assist
a visit by someone who has done her best to insult the
majority of people here by likening them to Nazis."

However SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood

responded: "Mary McAleese has done more than virtually any
other citizen to try to build bridges on the island of

"People appreciate her work. They do not see her in any way
in the terms outlined by Ian Jnr."

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern will also visit Belfast
today for meetings with the nationalists SDLP and Sinn
Fein, to discuss sectarian violence and developments in the
peace process.


Policies 'Failing' Community Relations

By Kathryn Torney
08 September 2005

Government policy to foster contact between the two
communities in Northern Ireland has failed, a leading
academic claimed today.

Professor Ed Cairns, from the School of Psychology at the
University of Ulster, said that segregation may in fact be
getting worse.

Prof Cairns was speaking earlier this week at the British
Association Festival of Science in Dublin.

His comments come as chilling posters were erected in a Co
Antrim village stating those who are endangering the
loyalist ethos must be "eradicated".

The statement pasted around Ahoghill - which has seen a
wave of attacks on Catholics during the summer - urges
loyalists to "defend your village with pride".

Prof Cairns said: "Despite the recent positive headlines
associated with Northern Ireland, for many people the day-
to-day reality is that they live in a segregated - ie,
largely Catholic or largely Protestant - world.

"During the last 20 years the Government policy in Northern
Ireland has been to encourage and indeed foster contact
between the two communities. It would appear this policy
has been less than successful.

"Of course given the background of violence this is perhaps
hardly surprising.

"However now that the violence has virtually ended one
might expect things to have improved on the ground, but if
anything there is a suggestion that segregation may be
getting worse.

"While segregation remains a part of life in Northern
Ireland, the seeds of violent conflict, while dormant, lie
just beneath the surface."

Prof Cairns referred to data from a recent Young Life and
Times survey of 16- year-olds in Northern Ireland.

Almost 30% reported that they had no friends from the other
community, only 28% reported that they lived in what they
perceive to be a "mixed" area and 54% believe that in five
years' time relations between Catholic and Protestants will
be "worse" or "about the same".

In an attempt to improve the situation, Prof Cairns and two
colleagues have embarked on the first scientific study of
intergroup contact in Northern Ireland.

So far, they have found that contact works best when the
groups involved are clear that they are interacting with
members of the "other" community.


Viewpoint: Riots Must Be Brought To An End

STREET MAYHEM: It is the loyalist community that suffers

08 September 2005

What price loyalism when children as young as five are
being involved and text messages are sent to encourage
people to come and join in riots against the police?

Is it not obvious that any cause that uses such tactics to
create mayhem and injure the only force of law and order
has completely lost its way?

The physical damage for which loyalist paramilitaries are
responsible can be put right, as in north Belfast, but the
damage done to the morale of the ordinary people will take
much longer to heal.

Even those who would never dare enter those wrecked streets
feel diminished and depressed by the sight of masked youths
throwing bottles and petrol bombs.

The police have been forced to defend their tactics, which
are usually aimed at containment rather than confrontation.
They claim to know best, and cannot be blamed for the
consequences of the current political vacuum, but letting
rioters do their worst for hours, before issuing a warning
of a sterner approach, hardly inspires public confidence.

The trouble in Woodvale was sparked by an illegal UVF show
of strength, followed by a successful search for a gun and
paramilitary clothing. Some retaliation was predictable,
but the level of violence and organisation was not. Is it
not possible to warn vehicles to stay away, rather than be
hijacked and burned, and to issue loudspeaker appeals to
parents to confine their children or risk them being

Text messages can be traced and those responsible must be
brought to account for them.

Meanwhile, the Independent Monitoring Commission has
delivered its verdict on the loyalist feud, presumably
concluding that the UVF has been responsible for four
murders. No one will understand if the government maintains
the fiction that the UVF, whose leaders are well known, is
on any kind of ceasefire. Equally important is that real
penalties must follow the de-specifying of the paramilitary
organisation. Harsh words are not enough.

This is hardly the background that Secretary of State Peter
Hain would have wanted, as he returns from holiday to
attempt to restart the devolutionary process.

Nothing can or will happen, until the IRA deigns to act on
its promises of decommissioning, and even then there must
be the strictest scrutiny _ and evidence provided - of
exactly what guns and explosives were permanently "put
beyond use".

If there is any hint of equivocation, all bets will be off.
Only when the evidence is produced, and evaluated, will the
politicians - and people - feel able to respond.


Ballad Of The Rossport Five

It is David versus Goliath as residents of Mayo try to halt
Shell's efforts to bring Ireland's gas ashore. They say the
oil giant's plans are unsafe - and five protesters are now
in jail. David McKittrick reports

07 September 2005

"Come all ye who love liberty, and listen to my tale,
Concerning honest Rossport men, now languishing in jail,
Because they stood up for their rights,
and would not bend the knee,
To the mighty Shell - who can go to hell,
if they won't go out to sea!"

The men held in Ireland's Cloverhill prison now have not
only their own title - the Rossport Five - but their own
ballad as well, which lauds their gallantry and decries the
energy giant Shell as an "ignoble predator".

Energy development can often generate controversy but the
issue of a new gas pipeline in north Mayo, a beautiful and
unspoilt part of Ireland's western seaboard, has turned
into a bitter and protracted struggle.

On one side is the Irish government and Shell, who are both
intent on making the most of a large underground gasfield
40 miles off the Co Mayo coast.

The Corrib field is 237 million years old and lies more
than 3,000 metres beneath the seabed. Its discovery in 1996
was welcomed as a significant new source of energy, and the
government happily struck deals with Shell and other
companies for its exploitation.

In international terms the field is classified as small to
medium, but since this means it contains a bit under one
trillion cubic feet of gas it was seen as a highly welcome
addition to Irish resources.

Detailed and complex plans for bringing the gas ashore were
drawn up, all subject to government approval and various
stages of planning permission. There was plenty time for
local consultation. Yet somewhere along the line the whole
process went pear-shaped, in a classic example of how an
enterprise can be favoured by cosmopolitan Dublin yet can
arouse opposition in the rural west.

The government was content with Shell's plans but people
around Rossport, where the pipeline is to come ashore from
the Atlantic, lodged strenuous objections. They claimed
Shell was riding roughshod over their wishes, ruining the
landscape and installing a dangerously experimental new
system. All of this is strongly denied by Shell, which
insisted it was adhering to the most rigorous standards of
safety and co-operating closely with the Dublin

Now a determined pressure group has sprung up, campaigning
at home and abroad for support in what it characterises as
a David and Goliath struggle. The most determined of all
are the Rossport Five, the local men who have been jailed
indefinitely for contempt of court over their opposition to
Shell's plans. Yesterday they spent their 70th day behind

As the morass deepened all work on the project has ceased.
The five would be released if they purged their contempt
and promised not to interfere with work on the pipeline,
but they have refused to do so. The anti-pipeline campaign
has a credible set of martyrs in the five, Micheal
O'Seighin, Vincent McGrath, his brother Philip, Willie
Corduff and Brendan Philbin. These are, by universal
consent, not born troublemakers: three of them are small
farmers, living on bogland, while two are retired teachers.

A man who visited one of them in jail said: "I knew I was
in the presence of somebody who had backbone. That is a
scarce commodity and when somebody stands up like that we
all have a responsibility to stand with them. "

Their campaign has won the support of others who agitate in
other fields. One contributor at a Dublin protest meeting
enthused: "It's good to see everybody from every left-wing
and liberal group in Dublin here."

But the five are no serial malcontents: they are viewed as
principled stalwart country men, described by one local as
"really very strong people, men of great character, part of
a community revolt against Shell" .

Rossport is one of those areas, to be found in the west of
Ireland, where dramatic views and spectacular beaches exist
off the usual tourist trail. In the words of Brid
O'Seighin, daughter of one of the imprisoned men: " It's an
isolated part of north Mayo, quiet and rural, not visited
by many tourists - or indeed by many politicians either for
that matter. It's a beautiful part of the country with
clean, sweeping beaches.

"I love living there. Everything was absolutely grand until
Shell arrived, that was five years ago. Shell moved in with
jeeps and trucks and diggers and all the destruction

Any such project is bound to have an effect on the
environment, especially in such an idyllically unspoilt
area. The exacerbating factor in north Mayo, however, is
that most in the area believe it will receive no particular
advantage from the project, even though it has an overall
costing of €900m (£610m).

The gas is scheduled to run through the area to an onshore
refinery where it will be processed and then run through to
the national grid. Campaigners claim the refinery will
provide only a handful of jobs, and that gas in Mayo will
be no cheaper than anywhere else in the country. "There is
absolutely no local or regional benefit," insisted a
campaigner. " We get all of the trouble and no advantages."

Shell presents the project as being of strategic national
importance to the overall Irish economy. It describes it as
one of the largest-ever private inward investments in the
country, with the potential to supply 60 per cent of Irish
gas needs.

But the sharpest and most acute issue of the campaign is
that of risk. In most cases, the gas from undersea fields
is refined and treated at sea or at the shoreline before
being piped inland. In the case of the Corrib field the
refinery is to be sited six miles inland.The authorities
have given Shell permission to run its pipeline across the
property of several dozen landowners. Most have consented,
though some say they regret doing so.

Te Rossport Five went to jail in June for refusing to stop
breaching a court order restraining the obstruction of the
work. They claimed the pipeline was designed to take
pressures of 345 bar, which is about four times as high as
a normal gas supply line.

In addition to pressure, the five maintain that untreated
gas straight from the sea is more dangerous than refined
gas, claiming there have been lethal explosions in other

One of the five told the court the pipeline was 70 metres
from his home and he was "living in fear" for his safety.
Another said he was stressed and not sleeping at night.
Shell took out orders for their committal, and they have
been in prison ever since.

The protesters have founded the Shell to Sea campaign,
highlighting the demand that the company should treat the
gas before piping it ashore. Perhaps that would defuse the
controversy but it would also cost Shell millions, and the
company is set against the idea.

Shell argues that safety standards are high, a spokesman
saying yesterday that the pipeline would be three times as
thick as others and, though it could, it would never carry
pressures as high as 345 bar. He added: " What matters in
terms of pipeline safety is how well designed, constructed,
operated and maintained the pipeline is. It is designed and
will be built and operated to world-class standards."

The campaigners face a formidable array of forces, most
obviously the partnership between the Irish government and
Shell. Very large sums of money are at stake. Yet their
crusade has produced deep historical resonances for many
Irish people. One of its first rallies, for instance, was
in Castlebar, where a century and a quarter ago, the Land
League was formed to take on landlords. "I hadn't expected
it," said a local man interested in history, "but the
speakers made a surprising number of references to the

The campaign has also, whether consciously or not, taken on
a significance which has lifted it from a local issue
centring on safety and the environment to a much wider
stand. A woman who visited one of the five men said he told
her: "This is much bigger than us being in prison and it's
not about us getting out of prison. It's about what kind of
country we want to live in."

The woman proclaimed to a rally: "This touches on
everything from environment, health and safety to political
corruption and the whole question of democracy. They are
the burning issues that people are constantly coming up
against in this country."

The campaign is certainly tapping into some existing
concerns. Although the Fianna Fail party is the most
popular in the Irish Republic and heads the present
government, some of its major figures have been tainted by
previous corruption scandals. A previous energy minister,
Ray Burke, has served time behind bars for personal
corruption. There is absolutely no evidence linking Shell
and corruption, but there is a generalised Irish distrust
of multinationals.

The campaign received a boost in recent months when it was
revealed that consultants brought in by the government were
not independent, as had been claimed, and in fact had
connections with Shell. Criticisms of the juxtaposition of
the party and the company draw much applause at the protest
meetings, for example when Brid O'Seighin lambasts "the
state-corporate two-step". Another campaigner, Maura
Harrington, raised laughs when she asked: "Would you buy a
high-pressure gas pipeline from that crowd?"

Relations between the Rossport campaign and Shell are now
terrible. Either the five men or the company could make
moves that might start to defuse the dispute but much pride
is involved. Contributions at meetings are peppered with
indignation, with Shell and the authorities blamed not just
for alleged risks and physical damage but also for their
allegedly insulting conduct of the whole affair. One
campaigner said: "It's the insult to the people of north
Mayo, an insult to people and place," said one campaigner.
" It shows the disrespect they have for the men of the

Shell adopted a conciliatory tone yesterday. "We want to
see the men out of prison and returned to their families,"
said a company spokesman. "We are greatly concerned that
they have been totally misled about the safety of the
pipeline and while their fears are real, the basis for them
is not.

"We believe that what is needed most at this time is calm
and reasoned dialogue between Shell and the landowners. We
would like to use such an opportunity to put all the facts
before them.

"It's a difficult situation for all, especially for the
families of the men; we are all trying hard to find a
solution," he added.

The campaign has generated much support but has not
actually swept the country and has yet to put Shell under
enough pressure to force a climbdown. But it has been a
public relations setback for the company, and for the
moment work has been stopped. The dispute will not be
easily settled, for an agreed outcome will need to
reconcile commercial concerns and the determined stance of
men who have become the pride of Mayo.


TDs Set Priorities For Dáil Term: People Power Needed For
Real Change - Sinn Féin TDs

Published: 8 September, 2005

Sinn Féin TDs meeting at Leinster House today set out their
priorities for the forthcoming Dáil term. Calling for
people to attend the National Rally for Irish Unity on 24
September and the national demonstration in support of the
Rossport Five on 1 October, the Sinn Féin Dáil leader
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

"People power is needed to bring about real political
change. It will not come about through the kind of
political window-dressing we have seen earlier this week.
The Fianna Fáil party in Cavan and the Fine Gael/Labour
Party in Mullingar were attempting to hide the fact that
there is little real difference between them. In the past
these parties in Governments have pursued virtually
identical policies. The joint communiqués from Enda Kenny
and Pat Rabbitte offered about as much an alternative to
the present Government as Tweedle-dum does to Tweedle-dee.

"It is popular participation in bringing about change that
will yield results. It was only campaigning and lobbying by
people demanding decent childcare that finally put this
issue on the agenda of the Government. It remains to be
seen whether or not they actually deliver as we heard only
promises from the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party meeting
in Cavan.

"The frustration of people with the conservative political
parties and their enthusiasm for a different kind of
politics can be seen in the groundswell of support for the
Rossport Five. It has been seen in the thousands who took
to the streets to fight for a rights-based Disability Act.
It was also seen in the huge numbers who took to the
streets in anti-war demonstrations."

Deputy Ó Caoláin called on people to turn out in large
numbers in Dublin on 24 September to support the Rally for
Irish Unity. He said:

"This rally celebrates the 100th anniversary of the
founding of Sinn Féin, a landmark that other parties have
ignored, even though several of them claim the mantle of
Sinn Féin. We welcome them all to participate in Dublin on
24 September in our rally on the theme 'Make Partition

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Energy and Natural Resources
Martin Ferris TD called on people to support the
demonstration in support of the Rossport Five in Dublin on
1 October. He said:

"It is a national and international scandal that these five
men are still in prison. They are the victims of a
conspiracy between the Government and Shell to ride
roughshod over the community in Rossport and to deprive the
Irish people of valuable national resources. Shell should
withdraw its injunction and the Government should revisit
its entire policy on natural resources. The men should be
released immediately."

Sinn Féin party whip and spokesperson on Justice, Equality
and Law Reform Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the TDs were setting
out priorities for the new Dáil term. He said:

"We will be challenging the Fianna Fáil/PD Government on
the continuing health service crisis and on the plans of
the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children Mary
Harney to privatise hospital services.

"We will be working for the full restoration of the Good
Friday Agreement and advancing the all-Ireland agenda,
including the call for Six-County representation in the

"We will be developing a comprehensive Sinn Féin manifesto
well in advance of the General Election and in consultation
with people throughout the country." ENDS

Note to editors: Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is available to speak
to the media at 10:45am outside Kildare Street gate at
Leinster House.


Ulster's MRSA Hotspots

By Linda McKee
08 September 2005

Rising rates of superbug infection in Northern Ireland have
been blamed on "conveyor belt medicine".

Research by the University of Ulster has revealed that
levels of MRSA infection are directly linked to fast
patient turnover and high bed occupancy - and most of
Northern Ireland's hospitals are exceeding recommended bed
occupancy limits.

MRSA hotspots include Belfast's Mater Hospital, which had
the highest level of infection in 2002/3, followed by
Belfast City Hospital.

Both had high occupancy rates - 94.8% and 85.5%
respectively - well in excess of the National Audit
Office's limit of 82%.

Turnover of beds in each hospital took around half a day on

Brian Cunningham, from the university's faculty of life and
health sciences, said part of the problem was a lack of
acute hospital beds in Ulster.

"As a result there are high bed occupancy rates in
hospitals and the interval between one patient being
discharged and another being put in the bed can be short -
in the worst cases less than 10 hours," he said.

"If you have a shortage of nurses or cleaners then you
wonder if the interval between one patient being discharged
from the ward and another being put in the same bed is long
enough for proper anti-infection measures to be put in

The problems stem from the 1980s when nursing recruitment
fell and some hospital trusts began outsourcing cleaning
services, he said. More recently, systems have been
introduced to increase numbers of patients treated in

"We have ended up with a production line-type service," Mr
Cunningham said.

"Managers and doctors feel under pressure to meet
Government targets and are treating more patients and
treating them faster.

"But patients should not be treated in such a way. They can
get complications and have to stay in hospital, putting
more pressure on beds.

"Essentially the NHS is now like a car which is being
driven too fast and is beginning to fall apart."

The shock news comes as leading international scientists
gather at the University of Ulster's newly-opened £14.5m
Centre for Molecular Biosciences to review the latest
research into how to detect and deal with superbugs such as
MRSA, BSE, E.coli and cryptosporidium.


Volunteers And Astrodome Resident Families Build Emergency
Radio Station

Submitted by editor on September 7, 2005 - 1:34pm.

Source: Prometheus Radio Project

With FCC Go-Ahead, Only Astrodome Bureacracy Keeps
Technicians from Saving Lives

Contact: Professor Tish Stringer,, (713) 478-
Contact: Hannah Sassaman,,

Relief volunteers and Independent Media organizers in
Houston, Texas, in collaboration with residents displaced
by Hurricane Katrina, have gotten permission from the
Federal Communications Commission and the City of Houston,
Texas to build a 30 watt radio station to serve the people
and families currently living at the Houston Astrodome and
adjacent buildings. But a lack of final permission from
officials at the Astrodome is keeping the station from
going on the air.

The radio volunteers, led by a community media publishing
group called Houston Indymedia, are working with volunteer
professional engineers and technicians from all over the
United States to get this station on the air. The FCC acted
on Saturday to approve the station, and quickly, the City
of Houston gave the project a letter of offical support.
The Prometheus Radio Project, a not-for-profit organization
that builds Low Power FM radio stations all around the
United States, has worked throughout the weekend to
facilitate the legal and timely launch of this radio

"Families are putting up notices on the walls to find lost
parents and children, and then crying themselves to sleep
at night, as they start to let the weight of the past week
bear down on them," said Hannah Sassaman, an organizer at
Prometheus. "This station will provide critical information
for people putting their lives back together, as well as
the comfort and power of programming made by local Houston
volunteers and Astrodome residents. We need to cut through
this red tape and start delivering information to these

The Houston Indymedia volunteers, who produce a radio
program on Pacifica radio station KPFT, are moving their
whole studio to the Astrodome and working with volunteers
from as far away as Portland, Oregon to get the station on
the air right away. Besides official permission from the
Astrodome, they'll need more equipment – radios for all the
potential listeners – to make it possible.

"The FCC, the City of Houston, and the people living at the
Astrodome want this station to go on the air," says Rice
University professor and Indymedia organizer Tish Stringer.
"But the Astrodome staff won't let the station launch until
we have enough radios for all the families. We have the
radios ready to go, and all the equipment too. We're ready
to start delivering this essential service."

The telecommunications industry and the grassroots media
justice community are mobilizing to build communications
infrastructure for the displaced people of the Gulf. But
some broadcasters wish there had been more options for
emergency relief before the storm and its aftermath hit.

Tom Hanlon, a volunteer with a property owners' association
in Baton Rouge that has been waiting 5 years for their Low
Power FM radio license to come through, said this about the
exodus from New Orleans to Baton Rouge: "A lack of accurate
information, coupled with the time spent tracking down
false rumors, did more to delay the mobilization of Baton
Rouge than any hurricane. We need more LPFM stations in our
cities to help with these crises in the future."

To donate to the Houston project, please call the
Prometheus Radio Project at 215-727-9620, or visit them
online at, or visit


Bush Launches Inquiry And Puts Himself In Charge Of It

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
07 September 2005

President George Bush's political agenda - indeed his very
standing as his country's leader - was on the line as
Congress returned yesterday with anger and embarrassment at
the botched response to Hurricane Katrina stretching across
normal party divides on Capitol Hill.

The next three months, political analysts say, could decide
whether Mr Bush acquires premature "lame duck" status. It
is essential he shows he is in command of the storm relief
effort. Otherwise, they warn, his legislative plans,
including further tax cuts, a contentious reform of
immigration rules, and cuts in the Medicaid healthcare
programme, will be in ruins.

As the country went back to work after the Labor Day
holiday which traditionally signals the end of summer, the
President was everywhere visible at the helm. After
chairing a cabinet session, Mr Bush held talks with
congressional leaders on the hurricane crisis, before
meeting representatives of charities leading the relief

The White House also announced that Vice-President Dick
Cheney would travel to the region tomorrow - the latest in
a procession of leading officials to inspect the

Mr Bush tried to distance himself from the blame game
already in progress. "I'll lead an investigation of what
went right and what went wrong," he insisted.

Even so, the President faces an uphill climb at best. Even
before the hurricane struck, his approval ratings had
slumped to under 45 per cent, the lowest of his presidency.
New polls show that two-thirds of Americans believe the
federal government, which he heads, was at fault, both
before and after the disaster.

Senator Hillary Clinton, a probable presidential candidate
for the Democrats in 2008, has urged the creation of a
bipartisan blue-riband commission, similar to the
bipartisan 9/11 panel, to examine the handling of the
hurricane tragedy.

The petrol price increase in the wake of Katrina, from an
average national level of $2.30 to more than $3 (£1.60) a
gallon, is also menacing for the White House. Unless
swiftly reversed, higher petrol costs will feed into prices
across the economy. Most economists expect at least a
temporary faltering in growth in the final quarter of the

"We must ensure that the national nightmare that was
Katrina never happens again," said Joe Lieberman, the
senior Democrat on the Senate's Government Affairs
Committee which is planning hearings on the disaster. "My
feelings went from concern to grief to anger, and then to
embarrassment," Mr Lieberman said, expressing a sentiment
shared by Republicans as well as Democrats.

The debacle has made a mockery of claims that a new and
efficient system had been put in place after the 9/11
attacks to tackle national emergencies - of which a
hurricane-provoked flood of New Orleans was near the top of
every list.

Indeed, such is the frustration and anger on Capitol Hill
that Mr Leiberman's inquiry will be only one of several to
be held into the calamity. All are bound to bring fierce
criticism of the government.

Barbara: 'Victims poor anyway'

Barbara Bush, the former first lady, courted controversy by
pointing out that many of the people forced out of their
homes by Hurricane Katrina "were underprivileged anyway".
Mrs Bush, who joined her husband, George, on a tour of the
Houston Astrodome, said: "And so many of the people in the
arena here were underprivileged anyway, so this is working
very well for them. What I'm hearing, which is sort of
scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so
overwhelmed by the hospitality."


Celebrations Follow Historic Win

Celebrations went on late into the night after Northern
Ireland's historic 1-0 win over England.

Motorists drove through the centre of Belfast sounding
their horns and the sound of cheering could be heard in the
streets long after the match finished.

It was the first time that Northern Ireland had beaten
England in Belfast for 78 years.

Police praised the fans' behaviour with no trouble reported
before, during or after the match. No arrests were made.

Late into the night, fans were toasting the golden goal by
Leeds striker David Healy which turned football form on its

However, speaking on BBC Radio Ulster on Thursday, Healy
remained modest about his goalscoring achievement.

"It's one of those where you get your head down, hit it as
hard and low as you can, and thankfully it went in," he

"I was hoping it was going to go in, but when you actually
see it hitting the back of the net, that's when you know
you've done something special.

"I'm sure I'll take a lot of credit today, but there were
11 warriors out there last night."

Celebrations may be a little louder in the County Down
village of Killyleagh, which is Healy's home town.

Local councillor Eddie Rea said he was going to try to get
Down District Council to invite Healy and the rest of the
team for a civic reception.

He pointed out that the last Northern Ireland man to score
against England back in 1980, Terry Cochrane, was also a
native of the town.

Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez put the shock 1-0
World Cup qualifier victory over England down to the belief
of his players.

"I said to them it was about belief to win - when they went
out one or two did not believe but by half-time I believed
it," he said.

"We were magnificent in the second half and the best team

Sanchez said the Group Six success surpassed his FA Cup
heroics with Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers.

"This has got to top it - for a small nation in world
footballing terms to beat a team of the calibre of England,
and their best team," he said.

"The fans were also magnificent and we played with an extra
man - they raised the team, they believed in the team and
the team gave it back in bundles."

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said it was a
"spectacular and well deserved win", DUP leader Ian Paisley
said Northern Ireland had shown they could "beat the best",
and Alliance Party sports spokesman Michael Long said the
fans had "showed the positive side of local football".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/08 08:09:20 GMT


Danny Doyle Hosting A Special Benefit Concert

Date: 2005/09/02 Fri PM 10:36:56 EDT
Subject: O'Flaherty's New Orleans Rescue Concert

An urgent plea from Danny Doyle:

Dear Friends Of Irish Music, your help is desperately

Because of Hurricane Katrina, Danny O'Flaherty, the
internationally acclaimed musician-singer ("A treasure-
house of Gaelic culture." Times-Picayune) has probably lost
his home and most certainly lost his business, O'Flaherty's
Irish Pub in the French Quarter, New Orleans.

Danny and his family are safe and sound, but for the
foreseeable future his livelihood is gone:

"My lifelong goal remains a commitment to the Celtic people
and culture. There is no greater accomplishment than to
pass on the traditions of our common ancestors. Through
community outreach activities like my educational programs
and concerts at O'Flaherty's, I aspire to instill in
children and adults alike a pride in our rich heritage."
Danny O'Flaherty,

I am organizing a benefit concert in Washington DC for
Danny O, and would ask you, if you can, to buy a ticket or
tickets. Many on this e-mailing list may not live in or
near DC and will not be able to attend the concert, but you
may care to contribute something. It would help Danny
O'Flaherty greatly, and get him back on his feet doing what
he does so well.

Thank you for helping a fine artist in this time of need.

Please make checks payable to Danny O'Flaherty and send
them to me:

Danny Doyle
10836 Moore Drive
Manassas, VA 20111-2925

I will get them to Danny O right away. Tickets are $25
each, or whatever you can spare.

O'Flaherty's New Orleans Rescue Concert

A Host Of Irish Talent

Seamus Kennedy
Danny Doyle
Liam Maguire
Ronan Kavanagh
Johnny Jump Up, etc.

Great Raffle Prizes! Auction of Irish Arts &Goods!

Sunday, October 30th, 5 - 9 PM
Ireland's Four Provinces
3412 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington DC. 20008

Ticket enquiries:
Four Provinces Pub: 202-244-0860,


Danny Doyle: 703-361-8884

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