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September 07, 2005

Loyalists Block Roads in Belfast

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 09/06/05 Loyalists Block Roads In Belfast
UR 09/06/05 McBrides Find Backing In Battle Against MoD
IT 09/06/05 Visit To Shankill Area Is Cancelled
SF 09/06/05 DUP Demonstrates Lack Of Leadership
IA 09/06/05 Priest Outraged At Protestant Leader
IT 09/07/05 No 'Quick Fix' To Loyalist Violence
BB 09/06/05 Man Questioned Over Lisa Killing
SF 09/06/05 McGuinness: Make Partition History
SF 09/06/05 SF Demands Clear Approach To Juvenile Justice
UT 09/06/05 McCrea: 'IRA Delivered Nothing'
IT 09/07/05 CIÉ To Examine Using Biofuels Instead Of Diesel
IT 09/07/05 Flatley To Step Out For World Record Attempt
EX 09/06/05 File Will Always Remain Open, Say Gardaí
UT 09/06/05 Paramilitaries Can't Join Police – Hain
IT 09/07/05 Greed Mentality Deplored At Funeral
IT 09/07/05 Ireland Ranked As Second Wealthiest Country
IT 09/07/05 Keep Your Brain Sharp With Seven Tips
IA 09/07/05 Irish Raise Funds For Survivors


Loyalists Block Roads In Belfast

07/09/2005 - 17:13:56

Loyalists have blocked main roads in Belfast this evening
in protest at the re-routing of an Orange parade on

So far, the Springfield and Crumlin Roads have been blocked
along with the West Circular Road.

It is expected that the blockades will lead to traffic
chaos in the north and west of the city as commuters try to
get home.


"End Impunity"

Press Notice-Pat Finucane Centre


A public meeting was held at City Hall in London on Monday
September 5 to coincide with the anniversary of the murder
of Belfast teenager Peter Mc Bride. A spokesperson for the
Pat Finucane Centre, organisers of the meeting along with
the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, explained the

"We are pressing for a change in the law which presently
allows the convicted murderers of Peter Mc Bride to remain
serving soldiers. We are making common cause with others
who feel that the British Army is above the law. We welcome
the fact that Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers will
also be speaking." Mr Shiner is representing a number of
Iraqi families whose loved ones have either been killed or
abused by members of the British armed forces in southern

The Deepcut And Beyond Families Group, campaigning for an
independent inquiry into suspicious deaths at army
barracks, are supporting this initiative to end impunity.

Speaking today Jean Mc Bride, Peters mother, said,

"I warmly welcome all those who attended on Monday night to
show their support for an end to impunity in the British
army. Soldiers who kill, who rape or who bully must face
the full rigour of the law like anyone else. Many different
people are fed up with the lies and cover-up and the
culture of impunity that exists at the Ministry of


McBrides Find Backing In Battle Against MoD

By Barry McCaffrey Irish News.

After two British soldiers were convicted of murdering a
Catholic teenager in north Belfast, the military
establishment opted to return them to the army and weather
the subsequent storm. But if the hierarchy thought the case
was going to go away, they were wrong. Barry McCaffrey

A north Belfast mother sat alongside the families of
British soldiers and the loved ones of murdered Iraqi

Despite their social and cultural differences the families
had united to demand a change in the law to ensure that
soldiers convicted of serious crimes are dismissed from the

But arguably it is the case of Peter McBride which has been
the biggest catalyst for change.

When the unarmed 18-year-old was shot dead on the New Lodge
Road in September 1992 few could have guessed that his
family would take on the might of the British establishment
in a 13-year battle for justice.

It was, and still is, a battle of David against Goliath.

But for the British military establishment Peter McBride,
and the campaign to have his killers expelled from the
army, is the story that just won't go away.

The 18-year-old was shot dead by Scots Guards soldiers Mark
Wright and James Fisher on September 4 1992. The security
forces claimed he was shot because it was feared that he
was carrying a bomb.

However at the subsequent murder trial the court was told
that the father-of-two had already been stopped and
searched by the Scots Guard patrol.

In February 1995 Wright and Fisher were convicted of murder
and sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge accused them
both of having lied under oath.

In February 1997 a high profile campaign was launched to
release Wright and Fisher and it received strong support in
elements of the British media. The campaign was also
allowed to use Ministry of Defence property.

In September 1998, less than three years after being jailed
for life the pair were released from Machinery prison and
allowed to rejoin their regiments.

In November 1998 an army board ruled that the two could
remain as soldiers because of 'exceptional circumstances'.

The following month Taoiseach Bertie Ahern backed the
campaign to have them expelled.

In June 1999, in what would be the start of a six year
legal battle, Peter McBride's mother Jean appealed to the
High Court to challenge the army's decision.

The High Court returned its verdict in September that year
and ordered the army to reconsider its decision.

While awaiting the setting up of a second army review
board, the McBrides continued their campaign.

In April 2000 Prime Minister Tony Blair's office was
embarrassed when it was forced to admit that it hadn't
replied to correspondence from the McBride family because
it had 'lost' their letter.

In November 2000 the army board again decided to retain
Wright and Fisher.

That decision was condemned by Independent Assessor on
Military Complaints (IAMC) Jim McDonald, Catholic Primate
Dr Sean Brady and Presbyterian Moderator Trevor Morrow.

The following month the Dail unanimously passed a motion
condemning the army board decision.

In January 2001 the German government expressed concern
after it learned the two soldiers were stationed in Munich.

Later that year an invitation for the Scots Guard
regimental band to play at a festival in Siena, Italy was
cancelled because of the controversy.

In March 2001 the McBrides took another judicial review
against the army's retention of the two soldiers. The court
found the decision to retain the pair was correct as other
soldiers convicted of murder in Northern Ireland had been
allowed to remain in the army.

On the 10th anniversary of Peter McBride's murder his
family were evicted from the Tower of London after a
protest while Scots Guards were carrying out ceremonial
duties at the tourist attraction.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams,
Alliance assembly member Seamus Close and Labour MP Kevin
McNamara all called on Tony Blair to intervene in the case.

Later that year 20,000 Christmas cards calling for Wright
and Fisher's expulsion were sent to Tony Blair.

In June 2003 a Belfast High Court ruled there were no
'exceptional circumstances' for Wright and Fisher's

However the judges stopped short of ordering the army to
dismiss the pair.

Within hours it was announced that John Spellar, who sat on
the army board which allowed Wright and Fisher to remain in
the army, was to become a Northern Ireland Office minister.

Privately Northern Ireland Office officials admitted they
had been unaware of Mr Spellar's connection to the case.

In July 2003 IAMC Jim McDonald called on the army to set up
an independent panel to decide on the case. One month later
Belfast and Derry mayors Martin Morgan and Shaun Gallagher
announced they would boycott any function Mr Spellar

In September 2003 Peter McBride's sister Kelly stood in the
Brent East by-election in London.

While she had no hope of winning, her family's campaign
received huge media interest and the eventual Liberal Party
winner Sarah Teather backed the campaign.

Two months later Tony Blair claimed in a letter to SDLP
leader Mark Durkan that the retention of Fisher and Wright
was an 'internal employment matter' for the army.

In June 2004 IAMC Jim McDonald went further and called for
the soldiers' dismissal.

In August of that year US presidential candidate John Kerry
along with Hillary Clinton and Teddy Kennedy raised the
McBride case by calling on the US State Department to
investigate the award of a $290 million Iraq security
contract to a firm owned by Tim Spicer, the former
lieutenant colonel of the Scots Guards unit that included
Peter McBride's killers. Spicer had been prominent in the
campaign to have the soldiers released.

In April 2005 the McBrides joined with London mayor Ken
Livingstone in the launch of a campaign to seek a change in
the law for the automatic dismissal of any member of the
armed forces found guilty of human rights violations.

But perhaps more significantly the event attracted
relatives of young army recruits who died in the now
infamous Deepcut army base. Their calls for justice in
their loved ones deaths has attracted major British media

Amid additional concerns over the role of soldiers in the
deaths of Iraqi civilians, the McBride family's calls for
soldiers who break the law to be expelled from the army is
striking a stronger chord than ever. Thirteen years after
they began their campaign, the McBrides now have key
elements of the British establishment and the bereaved
families of deceased British soldiers making the same calls
for justice.

Courtesy Chris Kerr

Pat Finucane Centre


Visit To Shankill Area Is Cancelled

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Security concerns have compelled President Mary McAleese
to cancel a visit to the Shankill in Belfast today. The
President, however, plans to proceed with a visit to a
primary school in a loyalist area of south Belfast this

Serious rioting in north Belfast in recent days close to
the Shankill area, together with mounting concerns about
Saturday's postponed Orange Order Whiterock parade from the
Shankill on to the nationalist Springfield Road, are
understood to be the main current factors behind the

The President's remarks in January appearing to compare
Nazi treatment of the Jews with how some Protestant parents
instilled anti-Catholic feelings in their children also
continues to arouse unionist anger and hostility,
notwithstanding her apology for these comments.

Mrs McAleese is also meeting PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh
Orde at police headquarters in Belfast this morning, an
encounter that has raised the ire of DUP Assembly member
Ian Paisley jnr.

The President was due to be greeted by children from
Edenbrooke primary school on the Shankill Road today.
Instead she will meet some of them at the Wellington Park
Hotel in south Belfast this morning. Some parents, however,
have made it clear to the school that they will not allow
their children meet the President because of their
continuing annoyance about her "Nazi" remarks.

"Following advice regarding the current security situation
in the north Belfast area, it has been decided that
President McAleese will meet with pupils, parents and staff
of Edenbrooke primary school at the Wellington Park Hotel,"
explained a spokeswoman for the President.

Orange Order members and their supporters staged a number
of demonstrations on roads in north and west Belfast
yesterday morning and evening, protesting at the Parades
Commission ruling banning Orangemen from parading onto the
Springfield Road to their hall at Whiterock through Workman
Avenue on Saturday.

They can parade on to the Springfield Road through an
alternative link road but Orangemen say this is
unacceptable. The protests closed a number of roads at
morning and evening rush hours in Belfast yesterday,
disrupting traffic, and further highlighting how President
McAleese would have been arriving at a very difficult time.

DUP Assembly member Diane Dodds said a visit to the school
would be extremely "ill judged" at this time, when there
was so much tension in loyalist areas of west and north

"People in the greater Shankill were incensed at the
prospect of Mary McAleese being able to freely roam around
the area while at the same time the civil and religious
liberties of the Whiterock Orange brethren have been
completely disregarded.

"Such a prospect has helped fuel tension in the area," she

President McAleese is this morning due to visit Taughmonagh
primary school in a loyalist area of south Belfast. At the
time of writing there were no protests over this visit.
This could relate to the fact that the head of the UDA in
south Belfast is Jackie McDonald, who has met Mrs McAleese
a number of times as part of the President's efforts to
reach out to loyalism, and who may have used his influence
to try to prevent trouble.

Among today's engagements is a visit with Sir Hugh,
notwithstanding a complaint by Ian Paisley jnr, who said
the encounter would be highly political. He said the
meeting was "choreographed to help the IRA at a time when
their statement has fallen on deaf ears".

Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness said he was "disappointed"
that an opportunity to build bridges was lost by the
cancellation of the Shankill element of today's visit.

SDLP North Belfast MLA Alban Maginness said the decision to
cancel the visit to the Shankill "was unfortunate, but
probably wise under the circumstances".

© The Irish Times


DUP Response To Cancellation Of President Mcaleese Visit
Demonstrates Lack Of Leadership

Published: 7 September, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has said that the response of DUP
MLA Diane Dodds to the cancellation of the visit of Irish
President Mary McAleese to the Shankill 'demonstrates a
lack of leadership'.

Mr Maskey said:

"Mary McAleese has done more than any DUP politician to try
and build bridges with the loyalist community, particularly
in areas like North and West Belfast.

"The response of Diane Dodds to the cancellation of this
visit is a disgrace.

"Instead of trying to whip up sectarian tensions Diane
Dodds has again demonstrated a lack of leadership. The DUP
promised confident leadership but we have not seen any
evidence of it yet.

"This is not even about an Orange Order parade on the
Springfield Road because if it was then there would be
engagement and dialogue with the people living there. The
coming together of unionist political leaders, loyalist
paramilitaries and the Orange Order has nothing to do with
any perception they may be trying to create about
protestant culture being under siege. It is about using
violence and the threat of violence to oppose the peace

"Conflict resolution requires us all to try and build
bridges. There are plenty of people on the Shankill who
want to build bridges. The DUP and Diane Dodds appear to
want to do anything but engage in a process of conflict
resolution and rebuilding the peace process." ENDS


Priest Outraged At Protestant Leader

By Brendan Anderson

A catholic priest has launched a blistering attack on the
leader of Ireland's Presbyterians for not condemning
Loyalist attacks on vulnerable Nationalist families.

In a move totally at odds with the often wishy-washy inter-
church comments, Father John Burns left Presbyterian
Moderator Dr. Harry Uprichard in no doubt about his

Uprichard ministers to the Presbyterian congregation in the
Antrim village of Ahoghill, where Catholic families and
their homes have been under constant attack by Loyalists in
recent months.

When installed as moderator in June, he went on the record
as being opposed to joint worship with Catholics, adding
that it "was something I would have difficulty with."

The Presbyterian leader walked into a storm when he
returned to Ahoghill Friday after a six-week holiday.

Uprichard demurred when asked on BBC radio on Sunday if he
would send out a positive message to the attackers by
walking in the street with the Catholic Bishop of Down and
Connor, Patrick Walsh.

"I would feel comfortable walking along the street with a
bishop but I do not necessarily think that is the way to
treat the problem," he said.

Burns, a curate in All Saints Church in nearby Ballymena,
branded the Presbyterian leader as "the invisible
moderator." Burns said Uprichard hoped "all this would go
away so that he doesn't have to do anything."

"He has amazingly been able to, as it were, ignore the
elephant in his living room for the last three months. His
response has been at best inadequate and at worst entirely
lacking in true Christian judgement and true Christian
compassion," Burns said.

The priest then compared Uprichard's attitude to that of
Church of Ireland bishop Dr. Alan Harper, who spoke at
Catholic Mass in Ballymena on Sunday. Harper insisted that
words of condemnation "were not enough."

"It doesn't require any surrender of principle," he added.
"What it requires is for people to stand together, but to
be seen to stand together."

As Harper ended his message, the normally conservative
congregation rose spontaneously and gave him a standing

Later Sunday, Uprichard issued a statement condemning,
"without reservation," the sectarian attacks on Catholics
in the area.

Extra police have now been drafted into the north Antrim
area in an attempt to deal with the ongoing attacks on
Catholic schools, churches, homes and businesses.


No 'Quick Fix' To Loyalist Violence

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Northern Secretary Peter Hain has stated there is no
"quick fix" solution to loyalist paramilitary violence
after he came under pressure from SDLP leader Mark Durkan
to declare the UVF ceasefire over.

Mr Durkan told Mr Hain when he met him at Stormont
yesterday that his failure to "specify" the UVF - rule that
its cessation was no longer intact - was allowing the
paramilitary organisation literally "get away with murder".

Since July 1st the UVF allegedly murdered four people in
the UVF/LVF feud, engaged in numerous other attacks and
orchestrated rioting in north Belfast this week.

Mr Durkan made his comments on a day when the four main
church leaders also met Mr Hain at Stormont to also press
for action to end sectarian attacks and "the restoration of
law and order on our streets".

Yesterday Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness also appeared to
support speculation that the IRA is currently in the
process of decommissioning in the company of Gen de
Chastelain's decommissioning body and a Protestant and
Catholic cleric.

Mr Durkan said he asked Mr Hain was his failure to specify
the UVF showing "favour" to the paramilitary organisation
or "fear" of the UVF. "It is not good enough for the
Secretary of State to shrug his shoulders and wring his
hands on the UVF," he said.

"We argued that by not specifying the UVF the secretary of
state was damaging his own credibility and undermining the
morale of decent people. How can the NIO expect people to
stand up to the UVF if he does not?"

Mr Hain said his concern was to stop the violence and he
would not be rushed into precipitate action. "My concern is
to stop the murder and the crime . . . you do not
necessarily do that by quick procedural fixes."

He said specifying the UVF was an option which he was
considering but his priority was to work with the police
and British army "to stop the violence and the murder and
the mayhem".

Meanwhile, against speculation of imminent IRA
decommissioning Sinn Féin's chief negotiator Mr McGuinness
said yesterday that the coming weeks "will be interesting".
He believed IRA disarmament would happen as pledged, and
Gen de Chastelain should be left to get on with his work.
He also called on DUP leader Ian Paisley to deal directly
with the UVF, UDA and LVF to try to persuade them to end
their campaign of violence.

The four main church leaders told Mr Hain that the "present
level of violence on our streets is totally unacceptable".
The Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates, Archbishops
Seán Brady and Robin Eames, Presbyterian Moderator the Rev
Harry Uprichard and Methodist President the Rev Desmond
Bain said the spate of sectarian attacks throughout the
summer were immoral and wrong.

"Attacks from any source on churches, schools, halls,
homes, the elderly and the young cannot be justified,
excused or accepted. Apart from their criminality such
actions are immoral. At this tense time we appeal to
everyone who has influence in this community to join with
us in this condemnation, to reach out to those of different
communities and to refrain from any word or action which
will increase the fears so many are feeling," they said.

© The Irish Times


Man Questioned Over Lisa Killing

Detectives investigating the murder of Lisa Dorrian have
questioned a man in his 20s, police have said.

The man was arrested on Tuesday and later released pending
further inquiries, a PSNI spokesperson said.

The 25-year-old Bangor shop assistant was last seen alive
at a party on a caravan site in Ballyhalbert, County Down,
at the end of February.

The police are looking at the possible involvement of
members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force in her killing.

In July Prime Minster Tony Blair pledged his support in
helping to locate her body.

Her family have already offered a £10,000 reward for
information leading to the recovery of her body.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/07 20:23:45 GMT


Make Partition History

Published: 7 September, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator, Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness
MLA speaking at the unveiling of a 'Make Partition History'
campaign banner outside the Sinn Féin Sevastopol Street
Office on the Falls Road has said that the national rally
on September 24th will give people from across Ireland the
opportunity to make a very strong statement in support of
Irish unity.

Mr McGuinness said:

"On Saturday 24th September a Rally for Irish unity will
take place in Dublin. Following the end of the IRA's
historic initiative an opportunity has been created for us
to build on the increasing momentum for Irish unity and to
rally the Irish people behind the slogan, Make Partition
History. It is an opportunity we should not miss.

"Sinn Féin are encouraging people from all walks of life to
come along and enjoy the Carnival and Rally on September 24
to show that the desire and demand for Irish unity amongst
the ordinary Irish people is as strong today as it ever

"Our goal is the reunification of our country and an end to
British jurisdiction in it. We are confident it will be

"The campaign to 'Make Partition History' is also about
building the momentum for an Ireland that is different from
the rip-off Ireland and dodgy dealings of successive Irish
governments and the discrimination and stalemate of
northern politics. It is about the demand for a future that
rejects the negatives politics of selfish interest where
everyone is valued equally and has an equal place in our
society." ENDS


Sinn Féin Demands That Michael McDowell Clarify His
Approach To Juvenile Justice

Published: 7 September, 2005

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform presented
proposals today for additions to the Criminal Justice Bill,
which Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Aengus Ó Snodaigh
said, "amounted to a turnaround in the governments approach
to children."

According to Deputy Ó Snodaigh, "the Minister plans to
lower the age of criminal responsibility and to introduce
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. The net effect of this will
be to widen the criminalisation of children.

"Under the Minister's proposals the principle of
restorative justice which underpins and is enshrined in the
Childrens Act 2001 would be replaced by a penal approach.
The Minister must now clarify his approach to juvenile
justice. The Ministers proposals would also require
sizeable resources yet the government has already failed to
fully resource and implement the existing provisions of the
Children's Act.

"In 1996 the United Nations Committee reporting on Ireland
expressed concern at the low age limits in this
jurisdiction. Following this the government made a
commitment to raise the age of criminal responsibility to
12 years. Provision for this was made in the Children Act
2001. The States own recent report responding to the
earlier UN reprimand points to the provision in the
Children Act for raising the age of criminal responsibility
to 12 years as progress. The State's report fails of course
to mention the Ministers intention to lower that commitment
to 10 years and 7 for serious crimes. The Minister appears
hell bent on following a poor British example rather than
looking to some of our more progressive European
neighbours." ENDS


McCrea: 'IRA Delivered Nothing'

The Democratic Unionists will refuse to share power with
Sinn Fein because the IRA has failed to hold out any
prospect of disbanding its terror structures, the
Government was warned tonight.

By:Press Association

As Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain met the
nationalist SDLP at Stormont in his first meeting with a
political party since the summer, the DUP`s Rev William
McCrea said the IRA had delivered nothing since making its
July statement declaring an end to its armed campaign.

"While the Government may be easily fooled and bought by
words, the DUP will not be following that path," the South
Antrim MP said.

"Unlike previous unionists in the Ulster Unionist Party,
who fell over themselves to get into power with IRA/Sinn
Fein, the DUP will not be joining with the IRA and their
fellow travellers in Sinn Fein as a result of a statement
and secret decommissioning.

"The unionist community is not convinced that the IRA is
out of business because they have not gone out of business.
They have offered no prospect of disbanding their terror

"It is time the Government realised that the only way to
ensure real democracy is by moving on with democratic
parties in the province.

"Sinn Fein can never be considered democratic so long as
the community remains convinced that they are allied to a
subversive terrorist organisation that works to its own
agenda to suit its own ends. Unionists are no longer fooled
by their forked tongues and fancy tricks."

Speculation has been mounting that a statement from the
Independent International Commission on Decommissioning is
imminent confirming a fourth act of disarmament by the

Unionists have been criticial of the Government`s decision
to pull down Army watchtowers in republican heartlands and
publish a plan for other security cutbacks on the back of
July`s IRA statement.

In particular, they have denounced as premature the
announcement that three Northern Ireland based battalions
of the Royal Irish Regiment will be disbanded if the
Provisionals honour all their pledges.

The IRA ordered its units in July to dump arms and end
their armed campaign.

However the DUP remains sceptical.

The Rev Ian Paisley`s party, which attracts the most
support in Northern Ireland, has warned the Government how
it handles the peace process and especially how it treats
RIR soldiers will determine what political progress will be

Mr McCrea accused the Government of rolling over since the
IRA statement and pandering to republicans at every

"Instead of moving forward with the democratic parties in
Northern Ireland, the Government has instead launched into
a programme of security destruction across the province,"
he said.

"The cowardly and shameful way law abiding citizens in
Northern Ireland have been treated is nothing short of a
national disgrace."


CIÉ To Examine Using Biofuels Instead Of Diesel

Tim O'Brien

CIÉ chairman John Lynch has ordered an investigation into
the use of biofuels and hybrid electric/diesel engines in a
bid to cut the company's soaring fuel bills.

CIÉ currently spends €34 million a year on diesel and
although the company buys its diesel 18 months in advance,
costs in 2005 have risen 40 per cent above 2004 levels.

A preliminary report prepared for Mr Lynch has warned that
next year prices are expected to be double what the company
paid in 2003. Now engineers at Dublin Bus have been asked
to look at the possibility of using biofuel or hybrid
engines across the three State transport companies, as a
cheaper alternative to diesel.

In the past the CIÉ group's favoured position in being
exempt from most of the State's excise duty has made
biofuel an unrealistic proposition. But with rising prices,
a range of alternative fuels is now being examined.

The move would also improve Ireland's greenhouse gas
emissions and help achieve a current EU directive to secure
2 per cent of our fuel from alternative renewable sources.
Engineers will also look at the prospects for future
developments in the areas of biomass. Biomass is organic
material such as decomposing waste which releases gases
which can be captured to provide energy.

The most immediate option being examined by CIÉ is
biodiesel, a blend of diesel and vegetable oil which could
be used in diesel engines without modification. Biodiesel
is widely used around the world. It is used in American
army vehicles and by public bus companies in France.

Biodiesel is more environmentally friendly than regular
diesel in that when the crops are growing they consume
carbon and the oil has fewer emissions than regular diesel.
It also reduces engine wear, is biodegradable and

Another option being investigated is pure vegetable oil
which would require only minor modification to the engines
of the vehicles. Vegetable oil is used to power a bus fleet
in Gratz, Austria.

Hybrid vehicles would require a new fleet according to CIÉ
and this would be a longer-term option for the company.

© The Irish Times


Flatley To Step Out For World Record Attempt

Barry Roche, Southern Correspondent

Riverdance star Michael Flatley will put his best foot
forward this Saturday when he will take part in a Cork
European Capital of Culture attempt to break the world
record for the largest ever number of people to dance in a

The organisers of the Céilí Mór yesterday confirmed that
Flatley will start the world record attempt at the Grand
Parade and South Mall in Cork when some 10,000 people are
expected to join hands for the biggest ever Siege of Ennis.

Flatley will be joined on stage by acclaimed composer
Micheál Ó Súilleabháin before the dancers gather on seven
stages stretching from the Grand Parade to the South Mall
to dance their way into the record books.

Cork City Council and Triskel Arts Centre, supported by
Cork 2005, are involved in organising the event. Triskel's
PR manager Alma Kilmurray yesterday appealed to Cork people
to join in the fun.

"We've been overwhelmed by the response. We have over 6,000
people signed up already and we're confident we'll reach
the 10,000 mark," she said.

The event will start at noon with classes to ensure novices
get familiar with the steps. Organisers plan to start the
record attempt at 3.30pm when dancers will have to dance
the Siege of Ennis continuously for six minutes.

The record is currently held by 6,791 people who Irish
danced for five minutes in Dublin, Ohio during a festival
in 1998. Officials from the Guinness Book of Records will
attend the event.

© The Irish Times


File Will Always Remain Open, Say Gardaí

By John Breslin

THE file on the killing of Seamus Ludlow remains open,
officially. However, it is unlikely a murder committed
three decades ago is top priority for detectives in the
Border region.

Mr Ludlow's death in May 1976 was one of the controversial
killings investigated by Mr Justice Henry Barron, also
tasked with probing the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Justice Barron, whose report has not been published despite
being passed to the Taoiseach in October, looked at both
the murder and the subsequent investigation. A spokesman
said the Taoiseach's office is working to "bring the report
to the Government in the near future."

A garda spokesman said yesterday: "A file will always
remain open. The case has not been closed but it was dealt
with under the Barron inquiry."

He said, over time, the amount of resources given over to
an investigation was likely to be reduced.

Nuala O'Loan, the North's police ombudsman, has taken an
interest in the case. She met with the family, was given
documents by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and
accessed some garda material.

A spokesman for her office said: "We would have some areas
of concern about the murder investigation. However, we took
the view that an investigation, particularly an
investigation into the focus of the Ludlow family concerns,
were outside our jurisdiction. We would have to begin by
focusing on matters in the Republic."

Two men, Paul Hosking and James Fitzsimons, a former UDR
member, who admit they were present when Mr Ludlow was shot
dead and who gave written statements to the then RUC in
1998, believed they would be charged in connection with
either the murder conspiracy or withholding information.
They were surprised when no charges were brought.

Samuel 'Mambo' Carroll, the man suspected of carrying out
the shooting, has publicly denied being involved. Carroll,
who admits he had connections with loyalist paramilitaries,
has also publicly agreed he was a suspect in the 1976
murder of Sinn Féin president Marie Drumm.

The fourth suspect is Richard Long, a former UDR man who
later served time in connection with the death of a man in
Comber, north Down.


Paramilitaries Can't Join Police - Hain

The prospect of convicted paramilitaries serving as
community police officers was dismissed by Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain.

By:Press Association

As unionists and nationalist politicians raised concerns
about reports that former IRA and loyalist prisoners could
become community police officers in Northern Ireland as a
result of negotiations involving the Government, Mr Hain
moved to dampen the speculation.

"There is absolutely no question of a bomber one day
becoming a community support officer the next," he said
ahead of talks with the nationalist SDLP.

"There is no question of that at all.

"Community support officers in Great Britain have played an
enormously constructive role and that`s why we are rolling
them out by the thousands.

"I think they can play a very constructive role in Northern
Ireland communities, with genuine community policing with
all the citizens and residents of their communities seeing
the representatives of law and order on their streets in
and around their neighbourhood all of the time.

"That is what has worked very successfully in Great Britain
and I think it can work here but you`ve got to have people
with integrity who are committed to maintaining the law."

Last Thursday Northern Ireland`s most senior policeman,
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde laid down a marker on the
issue, insisting he would oppose anyone with a criminal
conviction serving in the police.

The chairman of the province`s Policing Board, Professor
Desmond Rea, also expressed unease among some of his
colleagues at suggestions that ex-paramilitaries could have
their records wiped clean and be allowed to serve as
community officers.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said ahead of today`s meeting with
Mr Hain the Government would be well advised not to do
anything which would undermine the vision for policing set
out in a report by former EU commissioner Chris Patten.

Noting the Patten Report had opposed any ex-paramilitary
becoming a community officer, the Foyle MP warned that it
would set a very dangerous precedent to go against what was
originally envisaged by the police reform commission.

Ulster Unionist Policing Board member Fred Cobain has also
warned that his party would withdraw from policing
accountability bodies if special arrangements were made to
allow republicans to serve or participate in policing
structures. Sinn Fein has refused to endorse policing
reforms in the province, arguing they do not go far enough
for their community.

The SDLP is the only nationalist party to support the
reform and participate in policing structures.

After his meeting with the Northern Ireland Secretary, Mr
Mark Durkan reiterated his party`s opposition to any future
role for paramilitaries in the police.

"The SDLP stood strong for all of Patten," the Foyle MP

"Patten was clear that people with serious criminal or
terrorist backgrounds should not be in the police.

"That is why we have pushed for getting police officers
guilty of collusion crimes out of the police.

"And it is why we do not want people who have committed
paramilitary crimes in the police."


Greed Mentality Deplored At Funeral

John Fallon

Ireland needs to rid itself of the greed mentality
afflicting the country since the advent of the Celtic
Tiger, a priest said yesterday at the funeral of an 82-
year-old man found dead in suspicious circumstances last

Fr Malachy Hallinan, parish priest at the Church of the
Sacred Heart, Westside, Galway, made his remarks at the
funeral of Mick Creighton, whose body was found in his
apartment in Mullingar on Sunday.

Mr Creighton, a retired engineer with Westmeath County
Council, was buried in Rahoon Cemetery on the outskirts of
Galway city.

Several hundred mourners, many of whom travelled from
Mullingar, heard Fr Hallinan say that while the Celtic
Tiger had brought many good things to this country, there
was also a downside. "We need to wake up to some of its
realities, not least the greed which has changed our way of

He added that the deceased was a person who made a huge
contribution to his community and remained active up to his
death. Mr Creighton is survived by his sisters: Mary,
Kitty, Nina and Dympna; and brothers Paddy and Andrew.
Gardaí have renewed their appeal for help in tracking down
his attacker.

They have appealed to anybody who may have seen Mr
Creighton between 11am on Friday and 5pm on Sunday to
contact them. They are also appealing to anyone who may
have seen something suspicious in the Castle Street area of
Mullingar over the weekend to contact them at 044-84000.

© The Irish Times .


Ireland Ranked As Second Wealthiest Country

Joe Humphreys

Ireland has passed out both the United States and Japan,
in terms of development and risen to eighth place in a
prestigious world table for human development.

The 2005 Human Development Report, published by the UN
Development Programme yesterday, found Irish people to be
the second wealthiest in the world, with a GDP per head of
$37,738 (€30,384).

However, it also showed that among the world's wealthiest
countries, Ireland was one of the most unequal, with the
third-highest level of poverty in 18 industrialised
countries surveyed.

When all factors were taken into account Ireland rose two
places to eighth in the Human Development Index,
leapfrogging the US, Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands but
falling behind Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Norway was ranked first in the index, a leading global
measure of quality of life in 177 countries.

Since 2002, Ireland has risen 10 places in the ranking of
economic performance, life expectancy and health and
education standards.

Minister for Social Affairs Séamus Brennan said Ireland
should be "justly proud" of the progress it had made
although "it must be acknowledged that we still have ground
to make up in improving life expectancy, educational
attainment and adult literacy".

The report included a section entitled: Two tales of Irish
poverty which questioned the accuracy of "relative poverty"
indicators in rapidly growing economies like Ireland.

It noted that social transfers had risen substantially in
Ireland "so pensioners, for example, saw their living
standards improve markedly though they still lagged behind
rapidly rising incomes resulting from employment and

"Whether this represents 'pro-poor economic growth' remains
debatable," the report stated.

Mr Brennan remarked that Ireland had achieved "significant
progress in the whole area of social development" and "the
outcomes detailed in this report underline the validity of
the Government's approach".

A spokesman for the Minister also pointed out that the
report was working predominantly off figures from 2003, and
since then there had been increases in social welfare rates
under two budgets.

The report estimated that 15.2 per cent of Irish people
lived in poverty. Only Italy and the US had a higher
poverty rate among 18 industrialised countries surveyed.

In addition, Ireland had the second highest rate of
illiteracy, after Italy, with 22.6 per cent of the
population lacking functional literacy skills.

The report also cited relatively low levels of investment
in education and health in Ireland. Some $2,367 per capita
was spent on health in 2002 compared to $5,274 per capita
in the US.

In general, the report found Ireland to be one of the most
unequal countries in the developed world, with the richest
10 per cent of the population having 9.7 times more wealth
than the poorest 10 per cent.

Of the top 30 most developed countries in the world, only
the US, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Portugal were said to be
more unequal.

The report warned that in very unequal societies, economic
growth "may have little impact" on reducing poverty, adding
"far more attention should be paid to creating conditions
under which the poor can increase their share of future
national income gains".

The 20 least developed countries in the world were all
African, with Niger, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso coming
in last on the index.

The report called on developed countries to increase their
commitments to overseas development aid at next week's UN
summit in New York, noting that Ireland still lagged behind
the UN spending target of 0.7 per cent of GNP.

© The Irish Times


Keep Your Brain Sharp With The Magnificent Seven Tips

Vikki Burns

If you've ever felt that your brain is not working as
well as it used to, help may be at hand. At the BA Festival
of Science, scientists explained seven things you can do to
help you stay sharp into old age.

"The human brain of all ages is plastic, that is, it is
shaped by what you do, what you learn and what you think,"
said Prof Ian Robertson of Trinity College Dublin. "There
is strong evidence that, particularly in the over-50s, the
degree to which you retain your mental faculties depends on
a number of simple behavioural factors."

The first major factor is aerobic exercise. "This has
profound effects on the brain, especially in the over-50s,"
he explained. "There is strong evidence now that both the
functioning and the structure of the brain are influenced
strongly by the degree to which you are aerobically fit."

The second factor is mental stimulation. A study published
by the Journal of the American Medical Association has
shown that cognitive decline can be reduced by performing
relatively simple mental training exercises, said Prof
Robertson. Even crosswords and other puzzles are likely to
be beneficial, he said.

New learning was the third factor identified. "The more you
learn, the more you can learn," said Prof Robertson. "We
know that new learning can have profound physiological
effects on the brain."

Reducing levels of stress was advice number four, as high
and prolonged levels of stress have been shown to have
negative effects on memory, he said.

The fifth tip was to stay socially active. "Evidence shows
that people who maintain a lot of rich social interactions
maintain their mental sharpness for a lot longer," said
Prof Robertson.

Improving dietary habits was the sixth factor that Prof
Robertson identified. "Healthy eating, particularly of both
darker fruit and vegetables and oily fish, has profound
effects on the rate of cognitive decline later in life," he

Finally "think young" was the seventh piece of advice. "If
you think of yourself as old at 60, which isn't really
justified any more, then you will behave as though you're
old and you will do fewer of these seven things that can
have such positive effects."

© The Irish Times


Irish Raise Funds For Survivors

By Georgina Brennan

Irish Americans across the U.S. are joining forces to raise
money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

As the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks
approaches, in New York, the families of those victims are
offering help and support to hurricane survivors suffering
the same kind of losses.

"We realize that our pain is something that we can help
heal by giving back. It's time to give back," Valerie
McGee, a member of World Trade Family Center whose husband,
Brian McGee, died in the attacks told the Associated Press.

"Families are scattered. People you can't find. Same as in
New York," she said. "People never saw or heard from their
loved ones again."

The coalition of September 11 families is now starting
another relief drive for the families of Katrina victims.

Joe Downey, whose firefighter father, Chief Ray Downey, was
killed on September 11, is already down in New Orleans with
36 other members of New York emergency personnel sent to
the hurricane region last week.

"This is really heartbreaking," said Roscommon native
William Doyle, who lost his son, Joseph Doyle in the World
Trade Center.

He says he feels for the families of victims.
"Unfortunately, they aren't getting the help that the 9/11
families got."

On September 30, at Hibernian House in Rockland County, the
Ladies AOH of Division 3, along with AOH members from
around New York, will host a fundraiser to help the victims
of Hurricane Katrina. The direct recipient of this aid will
be AOH Division 1 in New Orleans.

"Our fellow AOH members down there are under water and need
all the help they can get. Martin Fogarty has been in touch
with them and they and their community have pretty much
lost everything. We told them that we were doing a
fundraiser and they are greatly appreciative of all our
efforts," Carmel Reilly told the Irish Voice.

AOH National President Ned McGinley told the Irish Voice
the relief effort was only beginning for his organization.

"We are having a telephone conference with our members and
we are hoping New Orleans will be represented. We have
about 200 members in New Orleans and surrounding parishes,
we are hopefully going to start getting some help down
there to them," McGinley said.

Calling it the Hibernian Disaster Relief Effort, McGinley
said a website would soon be created to coordinate AOH
members' activities to fundraise for victims of the

"That money will be allocated to help our members, Catholic
Charities, the Red Cross and Irish immigrants in need of
help. Right now money is the only thing they need.

"If more people go down there to help they only end up
becoming more mouths to feed needing more water to drink.
If we give them a chance to clear the place out, then we
could go down and help to rebuild," McGinley added.

McGinley said he was thinking that the Thanksgiving holiday
might mark an exodus of volunteers heading south to help
people move dirt and debris from their homes to start the
rebuilding process.

"There's nothing like someone to help you move furniture
from your basement," he said. "After the pumping is done we
may have to help people find houses. It's really only
beginning now."

Fiona Ferry, the 4-year-old daughter of Irish deportee
Ciaran Ferry, has launched an online auction on eBay to try
to make a difference to help animals that were stranded or
hurt in Hurricane Katrina.

Fiona and her mother Heaven visited New Orleans last year
to take their minds off the nightmare their family was
going through, and they had planned another trip back this

Meanwhile in New York, six bars clubbed together to donate
$1,000 each to the Red Cross for Hurricane victims.

"We didn't do it for the publicity. They need help," said
Eamon Maher owner of Eamonn's in on East 45th Street.

His business partner John Mahon is a co-owner in five other
bars, Channel 4, PJ Moran's, Langan's, Pig and Whistle on
Third and Pig and Whistle on 47th.

"Each of the bars contributed $1,000 and we were hoping
other Irish bars would join in, and the Irish community
would help the victims," said Eugene Wilson from Channel 4.

Rory Dolan's in Yonkers will hold a benefit for Hurricane
Katrina relief on Sunday, September 18 from 1 p.m. There
will be a barbecue, live music and raffles through the day
until late.

All the proceeds will go to American Red Cross Hurricane
Relief. And last Sunday at Gaelic Park, over $2,000 was
raised to benefit Katrina survivors. New York GAA Chairman
Seamus Dooley auctioned off his All-Ireland hurling final
tickets for this Sunday.

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