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September 19, 2005

Loyalists Blamed For Fire Bombing

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 09/19/05 Loyalists Blamed For Fire Bombing
BT 09/19/05 Fr McManus: Violence Backlash Against Equality
BB 09/19/05 Loyalist Protesters Confront Hain
IO 09/19/05 UDA Demands End To 'Suppression' Of Protestants
DI 09/19/05 Opin: Take Five: Truth must come out
IO 09/19/05 Unionists May Rejoin Belfast Policing Body
SF 09/19/05 DUP Not To Set The Pace Of Political Progress
UT 09/19/05 Hain Cautious Against IRA Arms Delay
NL 09/19/05 Harryville Priest To Speak About Attacks
NH 09/19/05 Anger Over BBC Drumcree Film
BG 09/19/05 Irish Melancholy From New And Old Wounds
BB 09/19/05 Calls For Ban After Britton Death
BB 09/19/05 Catholic Face In Loyalist Estatev
BB 09/19/05 City To Remember World War Years
BT 09/19/05 £1,000 A Pair For GAA Final Tickets
JN 09/19/05 Yonker’s Party To Benefit Hurricane Survivors
RL 09/19/04 Sun Shines, Stout Flows At Irish Fest


I shall not be moved

My son's killers won't drive me out, says fire bomb attack

By Michael McHugh
19 September 2005

A grieving mum today blamed the loyalists who butchered her
son for a fire bomb attack on her home.

Ann Robb was asleep in her Portadown home when two fire
bombs were thrown at her home shortly before midnight last

Her son Andrew was only 19 when he and another Portadown
teenager, 18-year-old David McIlwaine, died five years ago
in a frenzied knife attack by UVF members in Tandragee, Co

Ms Robb said she had been harassed at her Festival Road
home and suffered the desecration of her son's headstone in
recent weeks but vowed not to let her attackers drive her
from the area.

"They think they are brave men. There is nothing brave
about them, all they can do is try to murder women and
children," she said.

"There is no way I am moving. I have lived here from I was
three-years-old. I have lived here for 50 years."

The devices caused damage to the front door of the home in
the Killicomaine estate as well as to garage adjoining the
house. There was a lot of smoke damage. A neighbour called
the emergency services and helped Ms Robb and a friend flee
to safety.

Mr Robb's grave has been paint bombed before and his
headstone was sprayed with a UVF slogan recently as the
intimidation continued.

"I thought it was over when nothing had happened for the
past three years. I thought that was the last of the UVF
harassment but obviously not," Ms Robb added.

She said if her friend Trevor had not been there, "I would
not have survived as I am on medication and would have
slept through it.

"The Parades Commission has a lot to do with what is
happening. They allowed that parade a couple of weeks ago
for the UVF men who died during the Miami Showband massacre
and it has been bad since then."

Community workers described that demonstration as a UVF
show of strength over their LVF rivals, and it was linked
to unrest which culminated in a shooting in the estate ten
days ago.

No one has ever been convicted of murdering the teenagers.

They were attacked in February 2000 by UVF members who had
been trying to kill two LVF men earlier. The killers are
believed to have grabbed the youths when their targets did
not turn up.

There have been unproven allegations that her son's killers
were connected to the security forces.

The police re-opened the investigation last year and sent
fresh DNA evidence to the Department for Public
Prosecutions but no further action was taken.

Craigavon councillor, Ignatius Fox, lives in Portadown and
said gangsters were trying to drag the town into the mire.

"She has gone through a terrible time and I certainly
condemn this because there is no need for this in
Portadown," he said.

"We have had troubles here in the past and we thought we
had put it behind us. It would concern me that Portadown
would get into the same situation as Belfast and it is time
that people wised up as lives are at stake here."


Loyalist Violence Is A Backlash Against Equality, Says US

By Michael McHugh
19 September 2005

Irish America sees echoes of the anti-civil rights protests
of the 1960s in the recent loyalist rioting, the head of a
New York-based lobby group has said.

Fr Sean McManus from the Irish National Caucus claimed
memories of the white backlash against the civil rights
movement among black people in America's Deep South had
been jogged by recent events in Belfast.

The loyalist blocking of roads and fighting with police has
been linked to deep-seated frustration about the peace

Some unionists have portrayed the Agreement as a stream of
concessions to republicanism but Fr McManus claimed their
reaction was in response to the introduction of equality
into local society.

"People in Irish America are seeing this through the lens
of US history and the problems with the civil rights
movement," he said.

"They will be conscious that once the movement started to
make progress there was a white backlash.

"The problem is that whenever there has been a system of
discrimination, anywhere in the world, where there are
attempts to change that, the people who saw themselves as
being in a privileged position unfortunately tend to think
that progress for disadvantaged groups means a reversal of
their fortunes."

Fr McManus said he was disappointed by the 'lack of
leadership' from unionist leaders.

"I find it remarkable that Reg Empey is now absolutely
breaking his neck to repeat the same mistakes of David

Sir Reg said: "It is all very well looking through rose-
tinted glasses from 4,000 miles away," he said.

"We can pontificate but we have to keep in touch with
sections of the community which are suffering greatly.

"There are no excuses for what has happened and I abhor
that and have called for people to abide by the law but I
will not abandon those people."


Loyalist Protesters Confront Hain

The Northern Ireland secretary has denied the government is
ignoring Protestants after facing a loyalist protest in
County Antrim.

Women from the Woodvale area of Belfast confronted Peter
Hain about the release of Shankill bomber Sean Kelly.

Mr Hain said there was a perception among unionists that
the government was not listening to them but stressed it
was "not a one-sided government".

Mr Hain said the DUP and UUP had made proposals which he
was taking forward.

About a dozen loyalist women protesters in Lisburn held
banners declaring "British Citizens Demand British Rights"
during a visit by Mr Hain to meet local political

Challenged about their grievances, he said: "There's
clearly a perception among unionists that the government
has not been listening.

"What I am down here to do is show that I am and we are
(listening) and we will continue to work together with a
forward agenda for Northern Ireland."

Mr Hain is also visiting the loyalist Old Warren estate in

Meanwhile, five unionists who withdrew from the Belfast
District Policing Partnership have discussed police
handling of loyalist violence with the chief constable.

Robin Newton of the DUP described the meeting with Sir Hugh
Orde on Monday as "robust and constructive".

He said they would talk to their colleagues in the coming
days to decide whether or not to rejoin the DPP.

Seven unionists withdrew from the DPP last week in protest
at police handling of trouble after an Orange Order march.

They said the partnership had collapsed since trouble broke
out after the Whiterock parade on 10 March.

The group said police had failed to engage with the
unionist community.

Several days of rioting erupted in the city after the
Orange Order was prevented from marching down a nationalist
section of the Springfield Road.

Police were attacked with petrol bombs, blast bombs and
other missiles during the violence. Dozens of vehicles were
also hijacked and set on fire.

More than 60 people were arrested by police in connection
with the disturbances.

Last week, loyalists blockaded roads in Belfast causing
severe traffic disruption during rush hour.

The city councillors and members of the DPP who put
withdrew from the DPP were Robin Newton, Elaine McMillan
and Ruth Patterson, DUP; Ulster Unionists David Brown and
Jim Rodgers; Independent Unionist Frank McCoubrey and Hugh
Smyth, Progressive Unionist Party.

District policing partnerships were set up across Northern
Ireland under reforms initiated by a commission headed by
former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten and implemented by
the government.

The partnerships are made up of councillors and members of
the local community, who work alongside the Police Service
of Northern Ireland's 29 District Command Units in trying
to meet local community policing needs.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/19 11:36:16 GMT


UDA Demands End To British 'Suppression' Of Protestants

19/09/2005 - 11:10:46

The Ulster Defence Association has issued a statement
demanding that the British government ends its
"suppression" of Protestants in the North.

The UDA claimed last week's loyalist riots in Belfast and
surrounding areas were a response to "severe provocation"
and the "political use" of the police and soldiers against

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

Last week's riots followed a contentious Orange Order march
that was banned from the nationalist Springfield Road in

Loyalist paramilitaries, including the UDA, were accused of
orchestrating the violence, which saw petrol bombs, home-
made grenades, fireworks and live ammunition fired at the

Dozens of PSNI officers were injured, but unionists and
loyalists have accused them of causing the disturbances by
acting with aggression and arrogance towards the Orange
marchers and their supporters.

Unionist politicians have also claimed the violence was
caused by a perception that loyalist culture is being
eroded by the peace process, while nationalists are being


Opin: Take Five: Truth must come out

BY Colm Ó Broin

The past week in the North has been one of the most bizarre
in many years. We have had attacks on the security forces
and equivocation from politicians – unionist politicians,
that is.

The Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party
hesitated to condemn the violence, which included the
attempted killing of members of the PSNI and British Army.
They have since said that they will not co-operate with the
district policing boards. What a turnaround from the

The root cause of this current crisis lies in the way
unionism sees the events of the past 40 years. In effect,
they were sold a pup, one that they were more than glad to
buy into.

They were told by the British and Irish governments and the
media that the IRA was evil incarnate, while the RUC and
British Army were the forces of law and order, protecting
democracy from terrorism. This message only confirmed what
they already thought. The political and media establishment
were simply preaching to the converted.

Condemnation of loyalist violence was always an
afterthought and was usually placed in the context of
republican activity (a process that has been seen yet again
this week).

The reaction of the unionist community to the peace process
is not that hard to understand, given the assumptions they
have about the conflict.

If the IRA are terrorists, then why should its members be
released from prison?

Why should the DUP speak to Sinn Féin when, for years, the
British government said it would not negotiate with

If the RUC are noble defenders of democracy, then why
should they be changed? And if Northern Ireland is a
British as Finchley, why should the Republic's government
have a say in its affairs and why shouldn't the Union Jack
fly from every flagpole?

This all makes sense as long as you carefully ignore issues
such as collusion, discrimination and the inconvenient fact
that about 40 per cent of the people in the North don't see
themselves as British.

So, how to move on from here?

There are campaigns on both sides of the community looking
for justice and recognition for victims of political
violence. These campaigns focus entirely on the actions of
the "other" side and have little if anything to say about
violence from their own community.

Unionism will not compromise unless their assumptions about
who was right and who was wrong during the Troubles are

The only way this can be done is to have a truth and
reconciliation commission. The truth about everything that
went on during the Troubles must come out. Catharsis is
never easy but it pays off in the long run.

Colm Ó Broin is a journalist with Daily Ireland's sister
paper Lá.


Unionists Considering Rejoining Belfast Policing Body

19/09/2005 - 12:12:37

The unionists who withdrew from the local District Policing
Partnership in Belfast last week are considering rejoining
the body following talks this morning with PSNI chief
constable Hugh Orde.

Seven unionists withdrew from the body last week in protest
at the PSNI's handling of recent loyalist violence
throughout the city.

They accused the police of acting with aggression and
failing to engage with the unionist community.

However, they said they were considering rejoining after
what they called a "robust" meeting with Mr Orde this


DUP Must Not Be Allowed To Set The Pace Of Political

Published: 19 September, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator, Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness
has said that the two governments must not allow the DUP to
set the pace of political progress.

Mr McGuinness said:

"The leaders of unionism and the Orange Order are harking
back to the old days of unionist domination that are gone
forever. There will be no going back. The future must be
built on equality for all and respect for all. Collectively
we need to challenge the cancer of sectarianism that is
eating away at our society.

"The two governments must not allow the DUP to set the pace
of political progress.

"After the Westminster election the DUP told us there was a
new confident unionism. Yet when we look at the events of
recent days and weeks and the summer of sectarian violence
we see the opposite. Continuing negative leadership form
unionist leaders serves only to further demoralise their
own community. Unionist communities deserve better.

"Poverty and deprivation must of course be tackled right
across society. We can best do this by working together.
But this must be on the basis of delivering equality. This
means genuinely targeting social need rather than
perpetuating myths and misleading analysis about where and
why deprivation exists.

"Sinn Féin want to see immediate political progress. We
want to see the momentum maintained and increased.

"However, if the DUP is unwilling to break out of its
negative cycle and begin to show the positive leadership
which the political process and also their own community
require and deserve, then the two government need to push
ahead with the full implementation of the Agreement. In
particular they must deliver on the equality agenda and
begin at last to make a difference to deprived and
disadvantaged communities." ENDS


Hain Cautious Against IRA Arms Delay

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain today warned the IRA
against any further delay in disarming.

The Provisionals have been under pressure to seal their
arms dumps ever since declaring in July they had abandoned
violence for good.

With General John de Chastelain, the Canadian head of the
international decommissioning body, believed to have
returned to Ireland, speculation has grown that a move to
get rid of IRA guns and explosives is imminent.

Mr Hain insisted he did not know what the timetable was for
a move that could restore unionist confidence in the
political process and allow a return of the power-sharing
administration at Stormont.

But he stressed: "What is important is that it`s not done
too late.

"What is most critical is that it`s real and credible, and
people in Northern Ireland sceptical about decommissioning
in the past are able to be satisfied that this is for

Unionist politicians who last week withdrew from the
Belfast District Policing Partnership met with the PSNI
Chief Constable today to express their concerns at the way
police had handled the recent loyalist street violence.

Afterwards they said there would be no immediate return to
the DPP - certainly not before they had another meeting
with Sir Hugh Orde in a few days.

Democratic Unionist Party Assembly member Robin Newton
said: "It was a full and frank discussion about the
problems, in particular in west Belfast."

He said there had been some straight talking between the
seven unionists who had withdrawn from the partnership and
Sir Hugh and a recognition that there was a need to get
things regularised again.

"The Chief Constable was anxious that we go back onto the
boards. We indicated we have not resigned but have
withdrawn and will hopefully resume out positions on the
boards," said Mr Newton.

He said the politicians needed a few days for discussion
among themselves and would then return for a second meeting
with the Chief Constable at which they hoped the West
Belfast PSNI commander would be present.

Depending on the result of that meeting they would decide
whether to return to their positions.


Harryville Priest To Speak About Attacks

By Elinor Glynn
Monday 19th September 2005

The parish priest of a Roman Catholic church in Ballymena
which has been repeatedly paintbombed in recent weeks is to
speak of his experiences at a specially invited forum.

Viewed as an 'inspiration in the face of adversity' by
Larne's Inter Church Tuesday Group, the Rev Paul Symonds of
the Church of Our Lady in Harryville will be their special
guest in the Elim Church Halls tomorrow.

The chapel at Larne Road in Ballymena made headlines around
the world in the 90s when loyalists picketed Saturday night
Masses for months on end.

This summer it was back in the news after a spate of
sectarian paint bomb attacks which saw Presbyterian
congregations from throughout the town rally round and help
repair the damage.

A statement issued in advance of tomorrow's meeting in
Larne said: "At this time when there is a growing sense of
hopelessness and despair over community tensions throughout
Northern Ireland, Fr Symond's experience and endurance in
the face of adversity should surely be an inspiration to
all of us."

Fr Symonds remains modest, maintaining that the support for
his congregation in word and deed which was readily
forthcoming from all sectors and creeds in Ballymena
following the sectarian attacks is what is truely

While his talk was originally to have centred on the
Reformation based Agreed Statement of 1999 to which the
World Federation of Lutherian Churches, the Roman Catholic
Church and Methodists have signed up to, Fr Symonds is
prepared to speak about the Harryville attacks.

"This invitation was extended to me some time ago before
recent events but will now be focusing on my experiences of
the past months," he said.

"The theme of the group this year is 'Growing Together in
Christ' and that is what has happened in Harryville, for
out of the negative attacks there have come many positive

"There has been a great ' growing together'," said Fr

Tomorrow's meeting is the first in a new season of
gatherings for the cross-community group which includes
Larne clergy and lay persons from various Christian

Aimed essentially at pulling down barriers of distrust
between the two communities, the group seeks to create
avenues of understanding through discussion, friendship and
the power of prayer.


Anger Over BBC Drumcree Film

(Bimpe Fatogun, Irish News)

Nationalist residents at the centre of the Drumcree dispute
have accused BBC Northern Ireland of carrying out a "PR
job" for the Orange Order in a documentary.

The programme, Behind Orange Lines, followed Portadown
Orangemen for a year and was screened on Monday.

Film-maker Iain Webster said it showed "earnest Protestant
men and women who want to be understood".

"They see themselves as victims of a clever campaign by
republicans to vilify them. And they know that in the past
they've fallen into every trap," he said.

However, Breandan Mac Cionnaith, spokesman for the Garvaghy
Road Residents Coalition, said members were considering
reporting the programme to regulators for failing to show
"both sides" of the dispute.

"No-one was approached to appear in the programme or even
asked what they thought about the issues," he said.

"It showed only a very partisan view of what Drumcree has
been about. It made no mention of the up to 10 or 12 people
who have died as a result of what happened at Drumcree.

"It was a great PR job by the BBC on behalf of the Orange
Order. For the BBC to broadcast a programme about one of
the issues that was one of the most volatile periods in the
last 10 years at a time like this is unbelievable."

A spokeswoman for the BBC said the programme was not meant
to be a "hard news" look at the issues.

"Behind Orange Lines is an observational documentary
depicting a year in the life of a Portadown lodge and its
members," she said. This style of filming, with no script
and no narrator, seeks to provide a different kind of
perspective but ultimately leaves it up to the audience to
make its own judgment."

September 19, 2005


Irish Melancholy From New And Old Wounds

By James Carroll September 19, 2005

RECOVERY AND setback, accomplishment and catastrophe,
optimism and dashed hopes -- these, apparently, are the
melancholy facts of the Irish condition. I speak
politically and personally. An ultimate breakthrough to
peace seemed to take place last month with a formal -- if
long overdue -- renunciation of violence by the IRA. The
British government responded by beginning the dismantling
of its military structure in Northern Ireland. The movement
from uneven truce to declared peace by the most
recalcitrant Catholic fighting force seemed to fulfill the
dream begun decades ago when Derry activist John Hume
invited the Irish (and Irish-Americans) to march to a
different drummer.

But some drummers remain the same, and, alas, so do some
marchers. In recent days, terrible ''sectarian" violence
has once more wreaked havoc in Northern Ireland, this time
in Belfast, where Protestant mobs rioted when authorities
prevented them from taking their insulting ''Orange"
parades near Catholic neighborhoods. Dozens of police and
civilians were wounded, as paramilitaries attacked with
assault-rifles and grenades. Unemployed Protestant workers,
at the mercy of transformed economic forces that bypass
their kind of labor, focused resentment on the local enemy,
with particular anger directed at the so-called Good Friday
peace accords, which, on the Catholic side, had reversed a
dynamic dating back to the so-called Easter Rising of 1916.

That seems a long time ago, but in Ireland memory is
elastic. The Orange parades, after all, celebrate
Protestant triumphs of the 17th century. For Irish
Catholics, history is defined not by triumph, but by
tragedy, even if the memory of its worst instance is
clouded. The mid-19th century famine, induced by policies
set in London, decimated the Catholic population (more than
a million starved or died of disease in a five-year
period), and set in motion the great Irish emigration (with
2 million leaving in the 1840s and 1850s).

But the ''hunger," as Catholics prefer to call it (a famine
is an act of God; this disaster was an act of the British)
did more than that. Coming in waves across years, the
famine stamped multiple generations with its horrors, with
results that were as much psychological as physical.

Particularities of the Irish temperament -- the mordant wit
that hides a profound emotional reserve, the ingratiation
that may disguise resentment, a longing for trust in
tension with the fear of it -- are echoes of the famine
trauma. If this is little acknowledged, it is because the
overwhelming response of survivors and their progeny, even
as most of them entered the diaspora, was denial. A vast
silence settled over the true Irish past, and that, too,
was disguised by the lovely ballads, the Pat-and-Mike
jokes, and the myth of leprechauns. Irish love songs are
sad, as the saying goes; it's the battle music that has an
up-beat. And the much-prescribed medication for this
condition is the pint.

The Irish are never surprised by setbacks. But the Belfast
retreat into violence last week has a special poignancy
because of a statistic announced, also last week, by the
government in Dublin.

The population of the Irish Republic in April 2005 was put
at 4.13 million, the highest it has been since 1861, when
the post-famine collapse of Ireland was underway. The new
population statistic indicates that a century-and-a-half's
emigration has effectively ended, a triumphant reversal of
the ancient pattern, as the island nation, with its booming
economy, is finally able to support the men and women who
are born there. From an actuarial point of view, the Irish
famine ended only this year.

What a glorious turn in the story this would have been were
it matched by the solidification of peace in the North. End
of emigration. End of the IRA. Yet Protestant factions have
a grievance to nurse, even if it is rooted in illusions, so
there is no end yet to sectarianism. Protestant aggression
is sure to generate fresh Catholic defensiveness, and the
old tribal drums beat on. I recall a political cartoon of
long ago: A figure perched on a tombstone saying, ''Here I
am the last man alive in Ireland, and I can't remember
whether I'm Protestant or Catholic."

As an Irish-American, proudly in possession of an Irish
passport, I offer these reflections from within the
wrenching problem. I recognize the self-defeating
melancholy as my own. The phantom pain is familiar to me,
evidence that the hidden wound of history is far from
healed. But all of this is simply the Irish version of
human woundedness, what makes us understand Earth itself as
a place of exile, the vale of tears.

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.


Calls For Ban After Britton Death

A former motorcycle team owner has called for road racing
to be banned in the wake of rider Richard Britton's death
at a meeting in Kerry on Sunday.

PJ O'Kane sponsored Britton for several seasons and said
that he had been left "devastated" by the rider's death.

"The only place you should race motorbikes is on a
circuit," said the Garvagh businessman.

"These courses should not be raced on at all. The sooner
that they ban road racing the better."

Enniskillen rider Britton died after crashing in the 250cc
race at Sunday's inaugural Ballybunion road races.

Eyewitness reports said that Britton's bike had seized on
the first lap of the race and it is believed he died
instantly after coming off his machine.

O'Kane said that the mounting tally of road racing deaths
was not acceptable.

"In a recent meeting in the Isle of Man, there were six
deaths in one week and I don't think it was even reported
in Northern Ireland."

However, the Garvagh man acknowledged that, despite the
huge risks involved, the sport is likely to continue.

"The riders want to do it. Darran Lindsay has been hurt
more times than enough but still comes back and races.

"It's just in the blood and it will probably go on no
matter what anybody says."

O'Kane described Britton as a "role model for any young
fellow in any sport".

"His family loved him so much and I don't know how they are
going to cope.

"He was a real family man. He loved his wee boy and his
wife and father and mother."

Story from BBC SPORT:
Published: 2005/09/19 08:35:53 GMT


Catholic Face In Loyalist Estate

A Catholic war hero has replaced a paramilitary death
figure on the wall of a staunchly loyalist estate in east

An Ulster Freedom Fighters mural depicting a soldier with a
skull's head, and a silhouette of the grim reaper in the
background, stared out from a wall in Tullycarnet for many

However, it has been replaced by a portrait of award
winning World War II sailor James Magennis, to mark the
60th anniversary of VE Day.

Magennis, from the nationalist Falls Road in west Belfast,
is the only Northern Ireland man to have been awarded the
Victoria Cross.

The highest British decoration marked his courage in
attaching limpet mines to the Japanese cruiser, Takao, in
Singapore harbour in July 1945.

George Fleming, who has written a book about Magennis, said
initially the hero was well received on his return to
Northern Ireland.

"James Magennis was a Catholic and when he returned at the
end of the war he was feted wonderfully, because people
collected a lot of money for him," said Mr Fleming.

"Unfortunately, the corporation at the time refused him the
Freedom of the City. Magennis went back to sea again, they
thought they would never see him again.

"He landed home in 1949 after his service was over and
that's really when the trouble began. At that time there
was a split with Eire... Magennis really wasn't wanted by
both sides."

'Better understanding'

Frankie Gallagher of the Ulster Political Research Group,
which provides political analysis for the Ulster Defence
Association, said it was not particularly strange to have
such a mural in a loyalist stronghold.

He said: "When you know local history, it is not such a
strange thing to happen. One of the challenges of this
mural is education, it's about learning local history.

"We spend all our years learning about English Tudors and
all the rest of it and we don't actually know what happened
to each other across the divides.

"With taking this type of approach we are going to end up
with a better understanding of each others' perspectives
within each others' communities.

"The surprising thing about this mural, as well, is that
our friends in west Belfast were actually the first people
to think of the whole idea about James Magennis up on the
Springfield Road, the Highfield interface. It was about
trying to create an understanding about a shared history."

He said the mural ended up in Tullycarnet because of the
recent trouble in north Belfast.

A six-foot high memorial to Magennis made from Portland
stone and bronze stands at the front of Belfast City Hall.

It was erected in 1999, 13 years after his death.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/19 10:22:45 GMT


City To Remember World War Years

Belfast is to remember the contribution made by the city
and the experiences of its people during the two world

The Belfast Remembers event at City Hall on Monday pays
tribute, in words and music, to those who left to fight and
those who did their bit at home.

From the horrors of the Somme to the terror of the Blitz,
it recalls the years 1914 to 1918 and 1939 to 1945.

Sinn Fein councillor Alex Maskey said the event would help
people remember the sacrifices made in wartime.

"This is an important opportunity for the people of Belfast
to come together and remember and reflect upon the impact
of the two world wars on the lives of all our people," he

"Belfast Remembers will remind us of the great sacrifices
and enormous contribution made by everyone from this city
during both world wars."

Authors Brian Barton and Philip Orr will read from their
work on Belfast in wartime, alongside recitations of
poetry, readings from letters written by young soldiers in
the mud-filled trenches of the World War I and details of
the Blitz and evacuation.

A programme of music and song has been put together under
the direction of Brian Connor, and compere for the evening
is Anne Hailes.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/19 06:14:41 GMT


£1,000 A Pair For GAA Final Tickets

By Brian Hutton
19 September 2005

Tickets for Sunday's All-Ireland GAA football final between
Tyrone and Kerry are fetching more than £1,000 a pair on
the internet, it emerged today.

Online auction house eBay was today advertising dozens of
tickets for sale at up to 13 times their face value, as
anxious fans seek out any avenue leading to the big event.

One Derry ticket 'tout' is offering a package, including
two tickets for the Cusack stand and two nights bed and
breakfast at a five-star hotel, for £2,000.

The magnificent 80,000 seater Croke Park will be filled to
capacity for the decider - the first time in 19 years that
the counties have clashed in an all-Ireland final.

Thousands of Tyrone fans are already scrambling for
tickets, amid complaints from the O'Neill county's board
chairman Pat Darcy that allocation has been "totally

The Red Hand men are one of the best-supported counties in
the country, with up to 10,000 loyal followers travelling
to matches even in the early stages of the championship.

County boards and clubs throughout the country are given a
quota of tickets each for the final, and any left over are
then redistributed to both counties competing.

But demand is so great that many, who fear being left
disappointed, are turning to unofficial sources in a bid to
secure a seat.

There has been much criticism in the past of ticket
'touting', with calls for tighter regulations from the GAA
and also for legislation to put an end to the practice.

Among the sellers on the eBay auction site, one claims that
proceeds from the sale will go to a charity, while another
is apparently fundraising for a newly-formed club in

However, most vendors are expecting to pocket a huge profit
with wildly inflated prices for the much sought after

One 'optimistic' Armagh fan, who had bought two tickets and
accommodation in the expectation that the Orchard county
would be in the final, is seeking consolation to the tune
of around £620.


Yonkers' Pub Hosts Party To Benefit Hurricane Survivors


(Original publication: September 19, 2005)

Lovers of Irish music got an earful yesterday, along with a
chance to contribute to the ongoing relief efforts for
Hurricane Katrina victims during a benefit party filling
the outdoor area of Rory Dolan's pub on McLean Avenue.

And if they enjoyed the fiddles, accordions and step
dancing — not to mention the socializing — it didn't mean
they'd forgotten the dire straits of those left homeless by
the hurricane.

"It's a good cause and we love Irish music, so it's a good
way to donate," said Colleen Lee, 28, a nurse from Queens,
who came with a friend from Queens and one from Yonkers.

The event was a day — and night — of music, food and drink.
Proceeds were going to the American Red Cross, including
donations collected at the door and profits from selling
hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers.

Proprietor Rory Dolan said many Irish-Americans have been
eager to find ways to help.

"The say the States have been good to them, and they want
to give back to America," he said. "That's the way I feel,
too. I've been here 19 years."

Dolan said he began planning the benefit in the days after
Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast and New Orleans
was devastated by floodwaters.

The musical acts on the bill included Black 47, Eileen
Ivers, Some Nerve and Good Clean Fun. The musicians donated
their time and dozens of businesses, even some from
Ireland, offered prizes to be raffled, Dolan said. The
grand prize was two round-trip tickets to Ireland, courtesy
of Aer Lingus, plus a week's car rental and two nights in a

Inside a party room in the bar, people signed messages to
the victims on a large poster from St. Barnabus High School
in the Bronx that was going to be sent on to the Gulf

"God loves you and so do I," read a message signed "Mary

Trish Lacy of Hastings-on-Hudson wrote a message of

"You guys are tougher than me," she wrote. "Keep the
faith!! You are in my thoughts and prayers always! Hang

The 34-year-old New Castle recreation supervisor said that
even after donating a $100 check to relief efforts early
on, "I've felt selfish and guilty over the past couple of

The party at Rory Dolan's was a perfect opportunity to do
more, she said.

"I made it a point to be here," she said.

Among the guests was Mayor Phil Amicone, who praised Dolan
for the benefit.

"He's really good at getting people together to help," the
mayor said.

Noting that the musicians and local businesses had also
contributed to the cause, he said, "That's the same kind of
spirit that this city has always had — to help people who
need help. And it's a nice party."


Sun Shines, Stout Flows At Irish Fest

By Ramsey Al-Rikabi
Times Herald-Record

Hamptonburgh – It was a chance to enjoy the skirl and
rattle of the Ancient Order of Hibernians bagpipers and
drummers, the Irish step dancers of the Sheahan Gormley
Dance School and the Celtic rock of Black 47.

And, of course, a Guinness or two, or seven.

The weather couldn't have been better. Yesterday marked
the second time in 12 years that the Orange County Irish
Heritage Festival was blessed with sun for both days of

The event's organizers estimate 3,000 people came out
this year, almost double the number from just five years
ago. Proceeds will go to help victims of Hurricane Katrina,
as well as Port Jervis-area residents still dealing with
the aftermath of April's floods.

"The truth is, everyone's a little Irish," said Nancy
MacDonald, one of the organizers. So many people with Irish
heritage have moved to Orange County in the past couple of
decades that, MacDonald said, "it was about time Orange
County got a little green," with its own festival.

Yesterday started with a Mass under a pavilion here at
Thomas Bull Memorial Park. The picnic tables were pews, the
stage the altar. Mary Anne and Michael Garay of Bullville
were honored as Irish Americans of the Year for their
dedication to "faith, family, community and heritage."

John and Linda Lovell of Middletown parked their lawn
chairs near the pavilion later in the day, when the crowd
was starting to thicken. They came, they said, because they
couldn't miss Black 47.

"I wish they had authentic Irish food here," John said,
apparently not impressed with the corned-beef sandwiches
and soda bread. "They do have authentic Irish beer,

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