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September 02, 2005

Loyalists Throw Devices At Car Park

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 09/02/05 Loyalists Throw Devices At Car Park
BB 09/02/05 Family Lucky To Survive UVF Attack
SF 09/02/05 Unionist Response To Violence A Disgrace
BB 09/02/05 Omagh Suspect Is To Stand Trial
BB 09/02/05 'No Approach' To Weapons Witness
BB 09/02/05 PUP Criticised Over Murder Vote
IO 09/02/05 Paisley & Ahern To Discuss C3 Next Week
BT 09/02/05 Folk And Roots: Fleadh Hits Right Note


Five Devices Thrown At Car Park

Loyalists are believed to have been responsible for a
petrol bomb attack close to Donegall Pass police station in
south Belfast.

Five devices were thrown at a car park where officers leave
their cars. No-one was injured.

Earlier loyalist and nationalist youths clashed in the
Cromac Street area.

They threw stones, bottles, paint and other missiles.
Police and community workers spent most of the evening
trying to keep the two sides apart.

About 100 people gathered in lower Donegall Pass area and a
second group assembled in the lower Ormeau Road area.

Motorists were asked to avoid the area during the trouble.

Sinn Fein has claimed the trouble was prompted by a row
over GAA flags in the lower Ormeau area.

The party's assembly member, Alex Maskey, said it was a
setback for community relations.

"It appears that the system for dealing with these issues
along the interface has broken down," he said.

"If people had asked what these flags were for, then I
would suspect that we wouldn't be in this situation."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 06:36:29 GMT


Family 'Lucky To Survive Attack'

An east Belfast woman has said she and her five children
are fortunate to be alive after a petrol bombing in the
Garnerville area.

Shortly after midnight the woman's car was set alight
outside her home in Glenlea Park.

The car was destroyed and the house front door and two
windows damaged.

"I'm very, very terrified, never been more scared in my
life, all my kids were petrified," the woman, who did not
want to be identified, said.

However, she added she would not be forced out of the area.

"I'm not leaving my house, I really don't want to leave the
house," she said.

"I was born and reared and my whole family live up here and
I've done nothing wrong for this to happen to my family,
nothing at all."

The woman blamed the UVF for the attack.

Alliance assembly member Naomi Long said the attackers had
no concern for the safety of people in the area.

"This was a reckless attack in a residential area, which
could have easily caused serious injury or even death," she

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said he hoped it was
not the start of more violence in the area.

"This family clearly had a fortunate escape and those
responsible must be hunted down," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 12:37:10 GMT


Unionist Response To Sectarian Violence 'A Disgrace'

Published: 2 September, 2005

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has described the
response of the leaders of the UUP and DUP to the campaign
of attacks against Catholics being orchestrated by unionist
paramilitaries as 'a disgrace' and urged Reg Empey and Ian
Paisley Snr to use their considerable influence with
paramilitaries to end the sectarian violence.

Mr Kelly said:

"The response of both the leaders to campaign of attacks
against Catholics being orchestrated by unionist
paramilitaries is a disgrace. On a daily basis Catholics
homes, schools, businesses and places of worship are being

"As leader of the UUP Reg Empey met the IMC not about the
100+ attacks or the five murders carried out by unionist
paramilitaries but about the IRA. As leader of the DUP Ian
Paisley threatens to break off contact with the Irish
government and is not acting to resolve sectarian violence
in his own constituency.

"Reg Empey and Ian Paisley need to take their heads out of
the sand and use their considerable influence to bring an
end to these sectarian attacks.

"It is time that both began to show leadership on the issue
of sectarianism. There is a political vacuum that is being
filled, as it always is, by unionist sectarian violence.
The failure to engage in the dialogue required to get the
political process back on track is a failure of leadership.

"Sinn Féin are ready and willing to engage in getting the
political process up and running. Continued delay by
unionist leaders only creates the space and political cover
for unionist paramilitaries to continue their sectarian
campaign." ENDS


Omagh Suspect Is To Stand Trial

Omagh bomb suspect Sean Hoey has been committed for trial
for the murders of the 29 people killed in the 1998 Real
IRA atrocity.

Mr Hoey, 36, of Molly Road, Jonesborough, denies the
charges and others connected to more Real IRA attacks
including one in 2001.

Belfast magistrate Desmond Perry said the south Armagh man
had a case to answer on 58 charges.

He dismissed three others. A date for the trial has not yet
been set.

The charges which were dismissed were connected to an
attack in west Belfast.

"The Crown invited me to look at the cumulative effect of
the huge quantity of evidence that the defendant was the
man who manufactured these 14 devices, the most devastating
of which decimated the centre of Omagh and resulted in the
tragic deaths of 29 innocent people," the magistrate said.

"I am satisfied there is a case to answer."

Mr Hoey stood expressionless in the dock and shook his head
mouthing the word "no" when asked if he had anything to

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 10:47:16 GMT


'No Approach' To Weapons Witness

A DUP-nominated witness to IRA disarmament has not yet been
approached to play a role in any expected arms move, the
BBC has learned.

It is understood a former Presbyterian Church moderator was
asked by the party in December to be the Protestant witness
to IRA decommissioning.

However, the Reverend David McGaughey has not so far been
approached to play a role in any future decommissioning.

An IRA statement in July formally ordered an end to its
armed campaign

The BBC understands that last December, the DUP viewed Mr
McGaughey as a suitable witness to IRA disarmament.

However, the political deal under discussion at that time
broke down amidst disagreement over DUP demands for
photographic evidence.

The IRA refused to allow photographs but agreed to a
Catholic and a Protestant clergyman being present to see
the decommissioning process.

It is believed the DUP would like their nominee to play a
role in coming weeks but Mr McGaughey has not been

An informed source said: "If they don't get this witness
thing right, it will be taken as another sleight and they
(the IRA) will have bowled the ball short."

Mr McGaughey, who was the Presbyterian moderator in the
mid-1990s, attracted controversy when he said he would not
take part in ecumenical services.

'Strong unionist'

He is considered a strong unionist who was opposed to the
Good Friday Agreement.

In the 1950s, he was a reservist in the former Royal Ulster

Earlier this week, the retired Canadian General, John de
Chastelain, returned to Ireland.

His commission has been strengthened with the reappointment
of a third member, the Finnish brigadier Tauno Nieminen.

That is being widely interpreted as a signal that the
commission believes it will be busy in the coming weeks.

Before leaving Ireland in July, General de Chastelain and
the other commissioner, Andrew Sens, met an IRA
representative, heightening expectation that movement on
decommissioning would follow soon.

The senior Sinn Fein negotiator, Martin McGuinness, said
the DUP pulled out of last December's deal.

He said: "If Ian Paisley wants to try to influence this
issue then Gerry Adams is prepared to meet him or to
authorise a senior Sinn Fein delegation to meet with the

"If the DUP are concerned about this issue then they should
have no problem explaining their position first hand.
Otherwise this is an issue for the IRA and the IICD"

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 12:29:40 GMT


PUP Criticised Over Murder Vote

The aunt of a north Belfast man killed during a loyalist
feud has criticised the PUP leader for not supporting a
council motion condemning his murder.

David Ervine left Belfast City Council chamber before the
vote on a motion condemning the killing of Craig

Cathy McIlvenny said Sinn Fein members supported her
campaign for justice.

Mr McCausland, 20, was murdered on 11 July by three men who
burst into his home at Dhu Varren Park.

Sinn Fein councillors remained in the chamber during the
debate but abstained from voting.

Ms McIlvenny, who was in the public gallery during the
debate, said: "What would concern me... was the fact that
David Ervine decided to leave the chamber and didn't take a
vote on the motion that was put forward.

Meeting agreed

"I'd like David Ervine to condemn Craig's murder. If he
can't do it through his political grouping, then as a
person, just to condemn it as a murder."

Afterwards, Mr Ervine agreed to a meeting with the
McCausland family.

Asked if he condemned the murder, Mr Ervine said he could
"condemn anything you want me to condemn".

"In real terms, you would have to worry about whether I
meant it or not," he said.

"I condemn all of it, it's tragic, it's shameful and I can
tell you, eleven years after ceasefire, no one is more
wounded and gutted than me and people in the Progress
Unionist Party who, I think, have risked life and tried
really hard."

Mr McCausland's family had written to city councillors
asking for their help in bringing his killers to justice.

His death was linked to loyalist feuding, however his
family and the police said he was not a member of any
paramilitary organisation.

The 20-year-old's partner and her two children, aged nine
and six, were in the house when the was murdered.

Although there have been arrests, no-one has been charged
over the murder.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/02 08:10:16 GMT


Paisley And Ahern To Discuss Colombia Three Next Week

02/09/2005 - 07:41:03

Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley is due to meet
the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, early next week to discuss
issues surrounding the Colombia Three.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and Jim Monaghan are
currently on the run from Colombian justice after being
convicted of training anti-government rebels in the South
American country.

They recently returned to Ireland and turned themselves in
to Gardaí before being released without charge.

Experts have predicted that they are unlikely to be sent
back due to the lack of an extraditon treaty with Colombia
and the country's poor human rights record.

The DUP has expressed anger at the lack of action and has
effectively accused the Irish Government of providing a
safe haven to men it describes as "terrorists".


Folk And Roots: Fleadh Hits Right Note

Neil Johnston

02 September 2005

Congratulations, Letterkenny.

That's my heartfelt message to the Co Donegal town which
last weekend hosted the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil for the
first time.

Irish traditional music's showpiece was back in Ulster
after 25 years and it was a triumphal return.

All the hard preparatory work put in by the fleadh
committee was rewarded as over 150,000 musicians and music
fans from all over the world poured into Letterkenny revel
in the music and craic.

"We are very pleased with the way it went," said fleadh
chairman Paddy Tunney.

"Organising an event of this size is a huge undertaking,
and the feedback from our visitors has been very positive,
which is very encouraging for all of us who have been

"One happy musician said to me that it had been 'a clinking
weekend', and that just about sums it up, in every sense. I
think we've shown that we can do it."

It now remains to be seen if, as is the usual custom,
Letterkenny is chosen to be the host venue again next year.
That will be decided by CCE's governing body within the
next couple of weeks.

Back to the music now, and, with the sun splitting the
heavens on Saturday it was your archetypal fleadh, with a
dozens of outdoor sessions going on simultaneously along
Letterkenny's traffic-free Main Street.

The biggest names drew the biggest crowds, and there, in
the throng in the street, playing in her home county, was
the Altan fiddler Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh.

As I drifted on from that session, which was being recorded
by RTE, a group of no less than six fiddle players,
including that fine bowman Martin McGinley from Buncrana,
were just launching into their first set of tunes.

Then those of us who had not been glued to television heard
from the pubs that Tyrone had drubbed the Dubs, and
northern joy was unconfined.

Unfortunately, the weather turned nasty on Sunday, but the
sweet music rolled on regardless. And roll on next year's
All-Ireland - hopefully in Letterkenny again. They did us

Now, looking at the musical action lined up for this
weekend, I see that we have a choice of tasty attractions
on offer.

First of all, there's the sixth annual Gig 'N' The Bann
festival, which got under way in Portglenone, Co. Antrim
last night and continues until Sunday.

Tonight's concert features Galway traditional singer Sean
Keane and, also from the west of Ireland, that hard
swinging outfit, the Gypsy Jazz Quartet.

And headlining tomorrow night's concert in the Old Shirt
Factory - their first northern gig for quite some time -
will be those tearaway trad rockers, Four Men And A Dog.

Long time fans of the Dogs might like to know, by the way,
that on this occasion the four regulars will be joined by
one of the band's co-founders 15 years ago, namely Co
Limerick accordionist Donal Murphy.

For full details of this and other festival events check
out its official website www.gignthebann. com or phone &
2582 0150.

Also on this weekend, as I reported last week, is the 14th
annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival at the
Ulster-American Folk Park outside Omagh.

A passel of hot pickers from the USA, Europe and Ireland
north and south have been lined up for this yearly hoedown
by the banks of the Strule, and the usual crowds of 'old
timey' music buffs are expected to attend the various
concerts, open air sessions, master classes and lectures.

Further info is available on the website

And finally, the Real Music Club at Belfast's Errigle Inn
is up and running again after the summer holidays, and
making a welcome return to the club next Thursday is the
excellent Mississippi-born singer songwriter and guitarist,
Steve Forbert. Tickets are available in advance either from
the Errigle, Virgin Megastore or Hector's House.

Forbert also appears at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in
Newry next Tuesday night at 9pm.

Neil Johnston

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