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September 03, 2005

UUP: DUP's Mask Is Slipping

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BT 09/03/05 UUP: DUP's Mask Slips Over Condemning Violence
SF 09/03/05 Britain Must Stand Up To Loyalist Violence
BT 09/03/05 MP Call To Retain At Least One RIR Battalion
BT 09/03/05 I Feared For Life, Says Bullet Charge Mum
BT 09/03/05 All You Need Is LOVE?
BT 09/03/05 Making Sense: A 'LOVE' That Conquers All?
UT 09/03/05 DUP: C3 'Could Be Returned To Prison'
UT 09/03/05 Six More Irish Found After Hurricane
BT 09/03/05 Few Reasons To Honour Geldof, Says Councillor
NH 09/03/05 Army Deployed In London
VC 09/03/05 Monsignor O'Brien Laid To Rest After Mass
BT 09/03/05 Neeson And Brosnan Rivals In War Drama


'DUP's Mask Slips' Over Condemning All Violence

By Debra Douglas
03 September 2005

A DUP councillor was lambasted today for "failing to
criticise" loyalists engaged in criminality in the same
terms as republicans.

Ulster Unionist MLA Esmond Birnie hit out at Belfast
councillor Ruth Patterson for condemning Sinn Fein's
response to a number of incidents in Belfast - including
the rape of a teenage girl which was not carried out by
paramilitaries - during a television interview but failing
to criticise the PUP and loyalists.

He said: "Is Councillor Patterson implying that it is
somehow less wrong for the UVF, etc to be killing people
than for the IRA to be doing that?

"For several years, various figures in the DUP have tried
to steer that party towards a more 'centre ground'. Now and
again, however, the mask slips."

But defending her comments, Ms Patterson said: "In the
interview, I was specifically discussing the rape of an
innocent 15-year-old girl. It could be clearly seen that
this terrible story was having an emotional impact on me.

"I was then asked a purely political question and needed a
few seconds to gather my thoughts, then applied the same
terminology to both parties. No distinction was drawn."

Ex-Lord Mayor, Alliance's Tom Ekin, said Ms Patterson's
comments were "incredible". "In the chamber, the DUP were
making clear their opposition to all violence, but outside
afterwards they were fumbling."


Doolan- Britain Must Stand Up To Loyalist Violence

Published: 3 September, 2005

Sinn Féin's Dublin South East Representative, Councillor
Daithí Doolan, today called on the British government "to
stand up to loyalist violence and ensure that unionism
fully engages with the peace process in Ireland."

Speaking in London today, Cllr. Doolan, said:

"Political conflict has been an everyday reality on this
island for over 30 years leading to the loss of over 3000
lives. But the peace process, which started 10 years ago,
has given hope for the future. The recent IRA statement
gave a peace process in crisis renewed hope. This historic
initiative can not and should not be squandered by the
British government. But unfortunately the reality for
nationalists in the north has been an increase in loyalist
attacks on their communities. Over 100 attacks in 2 months
including petrol bombs, pipe bombs, paint bombs and
physical assault.

"These attacks have been at best tolerated by the British
government at worst encouraged by unionist politicians.
This is totally unacceptable. If we are to maintain the
momentum created by the recent IRA statement, the British
government must no longer tolerate loyalist violence. The
British government must stand up to unionist intransigence
and the paramilitary violence that goes with it. It is time
to let unionism know in very clear terms that there is no
alternative to the peace process."

Addressing a conference in the London School of Economics,
Cllr. Doolan outlined, "the corner stone of the peace
process is the Good Friday Agreement, yet 7 years on we
still await its implementation. The assembly and it's
executive must be re-established as a matter of urgency,
democracy has been suspended for too long."

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan, called on, "the British
government must stop tolerating loyalist violence and must
engage with the peace process with renewed energy and build
on the momentum generated by the recent IRA statement."ENDS


MP In New Call To Retain At Least One RIR Battalion

By Claire Regan
03 September 2005

THE DUP today urged the Government to retain at least one
of the three home service Royal Irish Regiment battalions
which are to be axed in less than two years.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson called on Defence
Secretary John Reid to consider keeping one of the
threatened Northern Ireland-based battalions along with the
RIR's foreign service battalion which is to continue.

Speaking to the BBC's Inside Politics programme, the DUP
man said: "It is our view that the Government should retain
a second battalion based here as part of the garrison of
5,000 soldiers in Northern Ireland."

The DUP was outraged when the Army announced last month
that the RIR's three home battalions are to be disbanded as
"there will be no military requirement" for them if the IRA
sticks to its pledge of standing down.

The decision will see some 3,000 members of the battalions,
who provide military support in Northern Ireland alone,
paid off over the next two years. It came as part of a
number of security cutbacks, including the dismantling of
security posts, set out in response to the IRA declaration.


I Feared For Life, Says Bullet Charge Mum

03 September 2005

A MOTHER-of-four who is alleged to have stored 10,000 AK47
bullets for the Provisional IRA has claimed she was afraid
for her life.

Giving evidence yesterday to Belfast Crown Court on her own
behalf, 45-year-old Bernadette McKee claimed that she did
not tell anyone about the ammunition because "I was in fear
for my life".

McKee, of Glasvey Drive, Twinbrook, denies possessing
bullets with intent to endanger life and under suspicious
circumstances on October 28 2004.

She told Judge Kevin Finnegan QC she was home weeks before
when two masked men came and "frogmarched" her upstairs
where one held her while the other hid bullets in a

She told her defence QC Frank O'Donoghue she had been
"crying and screaming" before the men left, giving her the
keys to the padlock where the bullets had been stashed and
ordering her "not to go near it" until they would come back
around Hallowe'en.

However, she added that neither of the two men nor "any
paramilitary group" had contacted her again.

McKee said that in the 15 years she had lived in Twinbrook
people had been killed and "put out" by the IRA.

Prosecution QC Ken McMahon suggested she took the bullets
"quite willingly" and received a key because "you would
keep it safely and would render it back up when they wanted
it". She denied this saying: "Absolutely not."

Judge Finnegan released McKee on bail until Monday.

At hearing.


All You Need Is LOVE?

It has been criticised because of its associations with
loyalist paramilitaries, mocked as embarrassingly outdated,
and condemned as inflammatory, but organisers of the Love
Ulster campaign say they have been inundated with support.
With plans for protests, rallies and a daily newspaper
mooted, MARY FITZGERALD finds out who is behind the
campaign and what it's all about

By Mary Fitzgerald
03 September 2005

It was nothing like a conventional newspaper launch. no
fanfare, no advance hype - except for a front page story in
one local paper that morning - and no slick campaign.

Moreover, the decision to reveal a new paper on a bank
holiday seemed a little odd and misguided. Observers were
quick to snipe that the whole effort gave the impression of
something hastily scrabbled together. But this was no
ordinary newspaper. This, organisers stressed, was the
beginning of a new unionist drive - the Love Ulster

While some wags tittered that the name sounded more like a
Richard Curtis film than a serious political project, those
coordinating the campaign were making sure no one missed
the heavy symbolism of the actual launch at Larne Harbour.

More than 200,000 newspapers were brought in by boat on
Monday morning, in a move deliberately set up to evoke the
UVF gun-running on the Clyde Valley ship in 1914. Dozens of
people, including well-known UDA and UVF figures, arrived
to meet the delivery. They milled about, some heaving
bundles of papers into delivery vans and cars, others
picking up a copy to read. In strong, bold print, the front
page headline declared: 'Ulster At Crisis Point'. Instead
of news, this 16-page special edition of the Shankill
Mirror was filled with stories and photographs graphically
detailing republican violence. There were no advertisments
to bulk out the flimsy tabloid-sized paper.

Organisers referred readers to an accompanying website set
up to carry regular news and campaign updates and talked of
follow-up protests and rallies.

"This is only the beginning," one said.

The campaign has created quite a stir, much of it negative
and hinging on the all-too-unsubtle support from loyalist
paramilitaries. Observers have noted the irony inherent in
the UDA's support for the venture, given the
paramilitaries' ongoing campaign of threats and
intimidation against the Sunday World newspaper. Others
have lamented the one-sided nature of a project focused
entirely on Protestant victims of the Troubles.

Organisers, however, insist they can't keep up with demand
and interest, claiming to have received numerous requests
for papers from supporters in England and elsewhere. So
what is 'Love Ulster' all about and who is behind it?

The project itself has been little under a month in the
making, hence the rather rushed nature of its launch.

"The idea had been bandied about for a while but we only
actually decided to go for it about a month ago," says
Willie Frazer of Fair, a south Armagh-based victims' group.

The faces behind the project include members of the
Shankill Mirror board; senior Orange Order figures such as
Grand Master Robert Saulters; William Wilkinson, a DUP
member who ran unsuccessfully for the party in May's local
government elections, and representatives from different
victims groups.

"The Shankill Mirror was initially approached to do a few
articles about IRA victims," says Frazer. "They came back
to us shortly after that and asked us if we would be
interested in a countrywide campaign. We all sat around the
table and decided what shape it would take."

Frazer paints the campaign as something of a people's
revolt in the face of recent political developments -
manoeuverings organisers believe are nothing more than a
stream of concessions to republicans. It's about uniting
against 'the slide towards a united Ireland,' as Frazer
puts it.

"People are disillusioned and worried about the way things
are going. They haven't seen any reaction coming forth from
politicians. There was a cry from the people for something
to be done and this is the response."

Apart from the newspaper and website, campaign organisers
hope to distribute thousands of posters throughout Northern
Ireland. The main campaign poster is eyecatching in a
heavily stylised agit-prop way, incorporating a mish-mash
of cultural and historical references.

Brian Kingston of the Shankill Mirror says both newspaper
and poster were designed in-house but he won't be drawn on
where it was printed and how it was financed. "I'm not
going to discuss our business operations. It came from our
own reserves," he says.

"This has not been done to make money but neither is it
just something to grab the headlines for one day."

In recent years the Shankill Mirror has received grant aid
from the Department of Social Development and Finance and
Personnel plus Invest NI.

Willie Frazer is a little more forthcoming: "The paper was
paid for by the Shankill Mirror, the rest so far has been
through a few donations from individuals and business

There appears to be some indication that this week's
edition is a trial run for a daily paper with the same
heavy political slant. William Wilkinson doesn't rule that

The sight of known loyalist paramilitaries helping
distribute the paper in towns such as Larne, Antrim,
Carrickfergus and Derry may work against the campaign's
ambitions for the future. Organisers appear to have a
rather ambiguous stance when it comes to dealing with
paramilitary support.

Despite claiming in advance that they were opposed to
loyalist paramilitaries and did not want them to play a
part in the new campaign, those spearheading the project
stood by while prominent UDA figures such as south Belfast
leader Jackie McDonald were filmed and interviewed while
helping to offload the shipment of papers.

Pressed on this at the launch, John MacVicar, a board
member at the Shankill Mirror, retorted that paramilitaries
were "part of the Protestant community".

Willie Frazer is unapologetic and does not believe it will
damage the credibility of the campaign. "We won't allow
that to happen," he says. "But it is a little ridiculous
that Jackie McDonald seems to be acceptable enough to play
golf with Mary McAleese's husband and acceptable enough to
sit with MPs, but if he's seen lifting a bundle of papers
connected to a victims' organisation then it's the end of
the world."

William Wilkinson says their approach is to include all
those within the Protestant community - as long as they
sign up to the campaign's raison d'etre.

"Our position is to represent the breadth and depth of our
community. What we're trying to do is provide a broad
coalition and move this forward.

"Our hope would be that individuals there on the day
entered into the same spirit of the initiative as we have -
that it is an alternative, it is a voice, it is an exercise
in what we consider to be participative democracy. If
someone can't fully subscribe to the aims and objectives of
the wider campaign, then they should question their

Many remain to be convinced. Within hours of its launch,
the campaign website descended into a slanging match with
posters from other loyalist and republican sites engaged in
sectarian and racist abuse.

Orange Order Grand Master Robert Saulters has come under
attack for his involvement, though he insisted he was
acting in a personal capacity.

Interestingly, no political party has rushed to support the
project, so far the response from unionist politicians has
been distinctly guarded and lukewarm.

PUP leader David Ervine believes that while the sentiments
behind 'Love Ulster' may be valid, it has quite a way to go

"In many ways, I think the whole thing is an old, tired
idea," he says. "I don't blame people for feeling they have
to do something but my own personal opinion is that our
community suffers from a degree of political cowardice.

"That said, this campaign has started telling us that we
need to rally and maybe that will develop into something
more intellectual. Let's wait and see, wish it well and
hope that it brings about debate. It may yet provide a
valuable role so I wouldn't besmirch it."

Steven King, a former UUP adviser, takes a more sceptical

"I'm all for loving Ulster but you have to love all of
Ulster, not just one community," he said. "You're claiming
to love Ulster and basically putting two fingers up to 40
or 45% of the population. It's a funny kind of love, isn't


Making Sense: A 'LOVE' That Conquers All?

By Lindy McDowell
03 September 2005

AFTER a couple of weeks holiday, it's almost reassuring to
get back to the routine insanity that is Northern Ireland.
For a start the Love Ulster Campaign. What the hell is that

When I first heard people talking about Love Ulster, I
assumed they meant that big rave thing they hold out near

But no, this wasn't deejay Lisa Lashes headlining at
Shane's Castle. This was "Ulster at Crisis Point"
headlining a special issue of the Shankill Mirror and being
distributed in Co Antrim by a so-called brigadier from that
well known watchdog of Press freedom, the UDA.

The aim of the campaign as far as I can work out, is to
take a stand against a supposed slide towards a united
Ireland. I say "supposed" because never in the time that
I've been alive anyway, have the chances of a united
Ireland been more remote. And for that we have to thank,
not the leaders of loyalism, but the leaders of
republicanism who after a dirty 30-year terror war, have
succeeded in dividing the people of this land in way the
Boundary Commission could never have envisaged.

Love Ulster's secondary aim seems to be about providing a
voice and forum for debate for unionists. This is not
necessarily a bad thing. I've argued myself in the past
that the unionist case needs to be better projected.

The obvious problem with the Love Ulster project however,
is the involvement of scumbag loyalist paramilitaries.
Members of the UDA and UVF are reported to have been seen
helping distribute the paper.

According to one Love Ulster spokesman the involvement of
these boys is justifiable: "The reality is that loyalist
paramilitaries are part of the Protestant community. They,
along with a lot of other people, were part of the conflict
and they need to be part of the resolution. We have come
out of 35 years of violence, things aren't going to change
overnight and we need to influence everyone in our
community positively, and that includes loyalist

This is the sort of drivel that's regularly spouted by
those on the republican side. It won't wash though with
your average unionist who views loyalist paramilitary
organisations with horror and disgust. And wouldn't touch
with a 40 foot flagpole anything touched by them.

The organisers of Love Ulster have rightly sussed that
there's a big constituency out there who may indeed love

What they appear to underestimate is the complete and utter
contempt so many of those people feel for the boys who use
the name of Ulster as a cover for their sordid gangsterism,
criminality, terror and murder.


Colombia Three 'Could Be Returned To South American Prison'

Three Irish men who fled Colombia after being convicted of
training FARC rebel guerillas could be returned to south
America to serve their sentences if the political will
existed, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP MP for Lagan Valley, insisted if the
Irish Government wanted alleged IRA members James Monaghan,
Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly extradited they could do

He rejected claims that an attempt to have the Colombia
Three sent back to South America was a lost cause.

"It isn`t in the slightest. If the Irish Government had the
will to do it they could do it," he said.

"We support the demand of the Colombian Government that the
three OTR`s [on the run`s] if you might call them that,
should be returned to complete the sentences that were
passed by the Colombian courts."

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell told a Cabinet
meeting this week that no extradition warrant for the men
had been issued by Colombian authorities.

James Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley appeared
at Dublin garda stations over a fortnight ago for voluntary
questioning about how they fled from a 17 year jail term
and arrived back in Ireland.

Mr Connolly was later arrested on a charge of obtaining a
false Irish passport and detectives sent a file to the
Director of Public Prosecutions.

The whereabouts of the three men, who were convicted in
their absence of training FARC terrorists in Colombia, has
been unknown since one of them appeared on Irish television
on August 5.

They were first arrested four years ago and were initially
acquitted of charges of training FARC rebels. They were
sentenced to 17 years in jail last December following an
appeal by Colombia`s state prosecutor.

Their re-appearance came a week after the IRA`s July 28
pledge to end its 36-year armed campaign and pursue its
aims through peaceful means.

Mr Donaldson is due to meet with Colombian Vice President
Francisco Santos next week to forge closer links and push
for the men`s extradition.

The DUP MP said the men were fugitives from justice and had
to serve their sentences.

"We will be urging the Colombian Government to bring to
Northern Ireland and indeed to Dublin some of the victims,
some of the people who have suffered first hand as a result
of IRA technology being used by FARC," he said.

It is hoped the trip will help build links between victims
groups in Colombia and in Northern Ireland.


Six More Irish Found After Hurricane

Sources in New Orleans have confirmed that six more Irish
people who were missing in the wake of the hurricane that
hit the city have been located.

They have been brought to Dallas in Texas and are due to
fly back to Ireland tomorrow.

Earlier, three men from Dun1dalk were confirmed to be safe
and well after being located at the city`s Superdome

However, the Department of Foreign affairs has confirmed
that `one or two` people remain unaccounted for.


Few Reasons To Honour Geldof, Says Councillor

03 September 2005

BOB Geldof's knighthood may scupper attempts to award him
the Freedom of Dublin this month.

The issue has even divided the Ahern brothers, Taoiseach
Bertie and Maurice, who are not singing in harmony.

Most Dublin city councillors are eager to cosy up to the
Live 8 organiser and bestow the award by the end of the

But opposition from within political parties means it's
proving difficult.

Factions within the council are against the move, claiming
Sir Bob has done little for the capital over the last few

Bertie Ahern has endorsed Bob Geldof as the next recipient
of the Freedom of the City Award for his work in the Third

But his brother Maurice Ahern, the Fianna Fail party leader
on Dublin City Council, has expressed reservations.

He admitted that if Geldof's British knighthood was
factored into the Freedom of the City honour, he didn't
feel that the Fianna Fail group "would be too happy with

However he refused to be drawn further. "It's a very
special award and you want to be sure whoever you choose
deserves it," said Mr Ahern.

"When I was thinking of the award I couldn't find someone
absolutely outstanding who we should give it to."

The north Dublin councillor said he would be pushed to
think of "a number of reasons" why the anti-poverty
campaigner should get the honour.

Bob Geldof was nominated for the award 10 years ago, but
even then councillors felt he hadn't done enough, he said.

"That was the trouble the last time, they thought he'd done
nothing for Dublin rather than crucify it."

Other council insiders, however, feel that Fianna Fail's
reluctance to give Sir Bob Geldof the award has another

They say FF fears Geldof might use the awards ceremony to
hit out at the Government's failure to uphold its
commitment to contribute 0.7pc of Gross National Product
(GNP) to overseas development aid.

The newly appointed Lord Mayor, Catherine Byrne, said she
is trying to talk all parties "into some general consensus"
but added that it may prove to be a difficult task. "I'd
like to have some sort of decision as soon as possible,"
she said.

"I have contacted most party leaders in the council but
there are still a few I have to talk to."

The award would honour the work Sir Bob Geldof has done to
raise awareness of famine in Africa and his plight to
cancel Third World debt.

Fellow anti-poverty campaigner Bono and his band U2 have
previously been given the Freedom of the City award.

Bono memorably brought spring lambs to the Green when U2
were honoured.


Army Deployed In London

(by Paul Donovan, the Irish Post)

A little discussed element of the shooting of Brazilian
Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station has been
the role played by the British army. It must have come as a
shock to many to learn that soldiers from the Special
Reconnaisance Regiment were involved in the operation. This
unit was set up in April to combat terrorism and it was the
first time that it has been engaged actively.

The regiment was formed from 14th Intelligence Company
known as "14 Int" of the Det (Detachment), a unit set up to
gather intelligence covertly on terrorist suspects in
Northern Ireland. Its recruits are trained by the SAS.

The level of involvement of the soldiers is unclear with it
first being reported they were working purely in a
surveillance role and then that they may have been on the
bus following Mr De Menezes to the tube station.

To date the MOD has said the soldiers will be co-operating
with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
investigation but it will be interesting to see how long
this continues. If the IPCC probe into areas that the army
do not want exposed then they could withdraw co-operation
as has happened on occasion in Northern Ireland.

The direct deployment of soldiers on the ground in Britain
is further evidence of the anti-terror tactics first
deployed in Northern Ireland coming home. Army units like
14 Int have a murky past going back to the 1970s. Former
army and MI6 operative Fred Holdroyd has told how
surveillance units transformed into killer units operating
beyond the law. These operations later led on to the
collusive network built up with Loyalist paramilitaries to
target leading Republicans for execution.

The army unit responsible for much of the collusion
structure was the Force Research Unit. Belfast solicitor
Pat Finucane was one of the victims of these completely
lawless actions. As noted here before it is one of the
enduring ironies that former Metropolitan Police
Commissioner Sir John Stevens, who was sent to investigate
the Finucane murder, finished up bringing shoot to kill
back to the streets of London.

The very brief history of what happened as a result of
these SAS assisted surveillance units being deployed in
Northern Ireland offers a salutary lesson for Britain. Once
the army become involved in policing matters – under the
guise of preventing terrorism – the whole terrain changes.
Maybe this was what Tony Blair meant when he glibly
referred to the rules of the game changing regarding
combatting terrorism.

The deployment of the SRR on the streets of London is a
matter of real concern. The Northern Ireland experience
shows what can happen if such operations are not properly
controlled and monitored.

It is vital now that the IPCC inquiry unveils exactly what
the soldiers were doing on the day that Mr de Menezes died.
Beyond that there needs to be a debate in Parliament as to
the extent and terms of engagement of the British army on
the streets of London and other cities.

End military impunity from the law

It seems a good time with the British army being deployed
on the streets of London to look at the laws under which
they operate.

The Article 7 – End Impunity Campaign has just such a goal.
The campaign has come out of the refusal of the Ministry of
Defence to remove from the army the two soldiers who were
convicted of the murder of Belfast teenager Peter McBride
in 1992. After completing their sentences the two Scots
guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher resumed their army
careers going on to serve in Iraq and other parts of the

The campaign is based on Article 7 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights that states that "All are equal
before the law and are entitled without any discrimination
to equal protection of the law." The campaigners argue that
the victims of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and
torture are not afforded equal protection of the law if the
perpetrator is allowed to return to a position where they
are responsible for protecting the public.

Given recent developments the Article 7 campaign would seem
like one that it is in all of our interests to support.

September 3, 2005

There will be a conference at heald 7pm on 5 September in
the Chamber at City Hall when London Mayor Ken Livingstone,
Michael Mansfield QC, Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade,
human rights lawyer Phil Shiner and Professor Christine
Bell from the University of Ulster will address the
impunity question.

This article appears in the September 3, 2005 edition of
the Irish Post.


O'Brien Laid To Rest After Mass

More than 1,000 gather at San Buenaventura Mission on

By Kevin Clerici,
September 3, 2005

Monsignor Patrick Joseph O'Brien, the revered Irish priest
who led the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura for 24
years, was buried Friday after services attended by the
archbishop of Los Angeles and more than 1,000 other

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and dozens of local clergy were
among those who gathered for Friday's two-hour Mass,
filling the historic downtown mission, an adjacent
courtyard and an auditorium where services were televised
on a 10-foot screen. Later, O'Brien was buried at Santa
Clara Catholic Cemetery in Oxnard.

He died Sunday in a Ventura hospital of chronic lung
disease at the age of 74.

"He was the one I always turned to for leadership in this
part of the archdiocese," said Mahony, who in 1995 bestowed
on O'Brien the rare honor of protonotary apostolic, a
designation approved by the pope.

Bishop Thomas Curry, O'Brien's supervisor and longtime
friend, recalled a man of great kindness, patience and
unyielding passion for those less-advantaged.

Curry asked Friday's mourners to respond to O'Brien's death
by coming together, drawing parallels to the tragic
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf

"We come together during a week of great destruction, both
in our country and in our church," he said.

The elaborate service also was marked by several light
moments: a tribute to O'Brien's patented smile, hardy
chuckle, sense of humor and penchant for thriftiness and

Drawing the day's biggest laugh was close friend Kevin
McAtee, who took the podium and said O'Brien, an avid
sports fan and card player, would have disapproved of all
the attention.

"If he were here today," McAtee said, "he would have been
thinking, 'All these people, no collection. Pity.' "

O'Brien came to the United States from his birthplace in
County Clare, Ireland, in 1956. He was named pastor at the
mission in 1981.

He was the driving force behind a new school building at
the mission, McAtee said, and a regular contributor to
social and civic organizations throughout the county.
O'Brien also was one of four deans in the Catholic Church's
Santa Barbara pastoral region, which includes Ventura
County. Before serving as pastor, O'Brien was regional
director of Catholic Charities for the Santa Barbara-
Ventura counties region.

Gladys Posakony was not surprised by Friday's turnout. Some
parishioners arrived three hours early.

"He was what a priest should be," Posakony, a former parish
secretary who worked with O'Brien for nearly eight years,
said in an interview. "This is a great loss."

Three large, flat-panel televisions in the mission
courtyard provided coverage of the services for the
overflow crowd, many of whom were children from the
mission's Holy Cross School. Classes were canceled for the

Sarah Apodaca was among hundreds gathered in the mission's
Serra Center auditorium, where services also were

Police blocked off Main Street in front of the mission for
the services.

"He was extremely devoted to his calling and very
conscience about costs," said Apodaca, who was O'Brien's
cook from 2000 to 2002, "but he always had a smile and a
kind word."

The services featured dancers from the Claddagh School of
Irish Dancing in Ventura. Before the Mass, the Crooked Hat
Singers, an intertribal drumming group, sang prayers of the
Kiowa and Ponca tribes, said lead singer John Rutherford, a

"Monsignor O'Brien was always supportive of Native American
causes," Rutherford said.

O'Brien was the oldest of six children. Two of his three
brothers -- Martin and Michael -- are priests, and both of
his sisters -- Kathleen and the late Clare -- became nuns.

He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law John and
Mary O'Brien and their six children, who traveled from
Ireland for the services.

Inside the funeral program was a photocopy of a handwritten
note by O'Brien found in his study after his death.

It was a prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

"Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my
intellect and all my will ... Dispose of it all according
to Thy will. Give me Thy love and grace. For this is enough
for me."


Neeson And Brosnan Rivals In War Drama

By Claire McNeilly
03 September 2005

WHAT do you get if you cross an Ulsterman with an Irishman?

'Seraphim Falls', apparently.

At least, that's the case when Ballymena-born actor Liam
Neeson meets Navan-born Pierce Brosnan in the forthcoming
psychological action film set during Civil War-era America.

David Von Ancken makes his film directorial debut with the
movie, which he also co-wrote the script for with Abbey
Everett Jaques.

Neeson will play 'Carver', an army colonel who vows to kill
Brosnan's character 'Gideon' and pursues him across

Filming for 'Seraphim Falls' is to start in October in New

Neeson, who is already in line to play American Civil War
president Abraham Lincoln in a Spielberg blockbuster,
recently came back from his first field visit as an
Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland.

Upon his return, he called for more to be done to help the
hundreds of thousands of children in Mozambique affected by
the deadly AIDS pandemic.

"Find out how you can help these children. I intend to use
my status as a well known person to talk about their lives
and what we need to do to ensure these children have the
possibility of remaining free of the virus, and have the
treatment, care and support they need," he said.

The star of big screen hits such as Schindler's List, Star
Wars and the Phantom Menace, used his trip to visit the
UNICEF-funded Munhava Health Centre in Beira.

There he learned about the charity's Prevention of Mother
to Child Transmission programme.

He also visited Beira's Central Hospital, where he
discovered more about the treatment on offer to children
leaving with HIV/AIDS.

Neeson, who is UNICEF Ireland's longest-serving ambassador,
became the face of the charity's Change for Good campaign
when it was launched seven years ago.

He also spearheaded the Movie Action for Children project
where film stars, directors and producers donated
memorabilia for an auction for UNICEF's HIV/AIDS

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