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October 18, 2005

Delivery Team To Aid Loyalist Communities

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 10/18/05 'Delivery Team' To Aid Loyalist Communities
BB 10/18/05 Ceasefire Body To Focus On IRA Status
IO 10/18/05 SDLP Pressures Blair On Peace Process
IO 10/18/05 Taoiseach And SDLP Clash Over UVF
BT 10/18/05 Opin: Reaching Out Hand Of Friendshipv
IT 10/15/05 Physical Force Can’t Solve Problems Of Society
DJ 10/18/05 'We Have Been Let Down' - Claims Pub Owner
PJ 10/18/05 Newport's Irish History Talk On Irish Civil War
BB 10/18/05 Ocean Reclaiming Titanic Liner
UT 10/18/05 NI National Park A Step Closer
BW 10/18/05 Delta In Major Irish/US Route Expansion


'Delivery Team' To Aid Loyalist Communities

2005-10-18 11:00:03+01

The British government moved today to address the problems
of disadvantaged loyalist communities in Belfast.

Political Development Minister David Hanson announced that
the head of the Northern Ireland civil service, Nigel
Hamilton, would lead a new team tasked with organising
efforts to address the needs of problem areas.

During a visit to the Greater Shankill Community Council
and the Shankill Community Convention, he said it was
important that government efforts in addressing the needs
of disadvantaged loyalist communities benefited from better
co-ordination with services more closely connected to the

In the wake of the recent loyalist street violence and amid
repeated claims that disadvantaged loyalists were the
forgotten people of the North, Northern Secretary Peter
Hain appointed Mr Hanson to drive improvements forward.

Mr Hanson said he had established a delivery team under Mr
Hamilton to help him. It will be made up of senior
officials from the Northern Ireland departments and the
Northern Ireland Office.

An early priority, said the minister, would be to implement
the findings of a taskforce set up last year to address
concerns that government policy was not impacting on
Protestant working-class areas.

Mr Hanson said: "The delivery team will take the current
findings of the taskforce, which is due to report soon, and
ensure that real outcomes are delivered on the ground.

"Targets will be set for this work and regular assessments
against these targets will be maintained.

"I believe the solution lies in securing better engagement
and participation of local communities to ensure effective
delivery of public services."

The visit to the Shankill was one of a series of
engagements the minister said he was undertaking to hear
the views of those working in local communities suffering

"I want to experience the reality of life in areas such as
the Shankill where there are deep-seated problems. I am
keen to meet as many people as I can, and to use that
knowledge to steer the work of the delivery team," said Mr

The Department of Social Development, through the Belfast
Regeneration Office, is already investing heavily in the
areas, but there is no room for complacency, admitted the

He pointed out that £180,000 (€262,800) was being provided
to the Greater Shankill Community Council to upgrade and
extend its premises.

"Substantial amounts of money are being invested in the
Shankill and other areas, not just through mainstream
spending on health, education and social services, but also
through a range of initiatives aimed at community
development," said the minister.

The latest initiative not only follows on from the
taskforce set up last year, but a £3m (€4.4m) scheme
announced by Tony Blair to address loyalist deprivation in

Loyalist communities have long argued that nationalist
areas have benefited more from regeneration than their


Ceasefire Body To Focus On IRA Status

By Brian Rowan
BBC Northern Ireland security editor

When the Independent Monitoring Commission - Northern
Ireland's ceasefire watchdog - issues its seventh report on
Wednesday, the political focus will be on the pages that
tell the story of the IRA.

This is part one in a two-stage process which the British
and Irish governments hope will lead to a restoration of
the political institutions.

They were suspended three years ago amid allegations of IRA
intelligence gathering inside the Northern Ireland Office.

A second IMC report - its more important assessment in this
phase of monitoring - is scheduled for January next year.

By then, six months will have passed since the IRA
statement of 28 July when it ordered an end to its armed
campaign and promised to complete the decommissioning

That has now been done to the satisfaction of General John
de Chastelain's Independent International Commission on

But Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party wants absolute
proof that the IRA has gone away, that all paramilitary and
criminal activities have ended and that the organisational
structure which made those activities possible has been

All of that, in such a tight time frame, is a lot to ask

Current security assessments would suggest that the IRA
Army Council is still in place and that its financial
structures are intact.

But this is an early assessment.

There is a security view that the IRA is continuing to
discuss its future shape; the next phase after its July
statement and September decommissioning.

The October IMC report will be read for what it has to say
about so-called paramilitary punishment attacks,
intelligence gathering, recruitment, training and matters
of this kind.

What do the trends show? Is there evidence that these
things have been switched off?

By and large the answer will be yes. The commission will
also acknowledge that "significant" decommissioning has

But it is the scheduled January assessment that will be
read for answers to the biggest questions - those questions
about the structure and intentions of the IRA.

Will it confirm that the IRA has gone away?

Will it confirm that the orders of the 28 July statement
are being obeyed?

And will it confirm that all activities have ended?

'Too soon'

Some believe the January IMC report has been put on a "very
high pedestal" - that in the real world, even January is
too soon to make definitive assessments.

The pages of Wednesday's report from the commission will
tell the story of continuing loyalist violence - including
murders linked to the feud between the Ulster Volunteer
Force and the Loyalist Volunteer Force.

But there is another story going on behind the scenes in
this community.

That feud has gone quiet. The last killing was on 15 August
and clergy and community figures are still working to bring
a formal end to this latest in-fighting.

If that can be achieved, then the LVF could move to issue a
statement it prepared last December - a statement standing
down its paramilitary organisation.

This would have been its response if the DUP and Sinn Fein
had reached a deal back then and if the IRA had moved to
end its activities and complete the decommissioning

The republican organisation has now done those things and
the LVF's planned response is back on the agenda.

But it will only happen if that feud with its loyalist
rival, the UVF, is formally closed.

The UVF and the linked Red Hand Commando are also
discussing the future of their organisations.

This debate pre-dates the feud, but the internal
discussions have not yet been brought to a conclusion.

The talking is focused on a three-page document and on
questions about the future role of the organisations,
continued recruitment, how they are viewed within the
loyalist community and the issue of dialogue, including the
question of talking to republicans.

All of this has been drowned out by the noise of the
gunfire of that feud and recent attacks on the security
forces - both the police and the army.

However, behind the scenes there is some work going on to
silence the guns, to re-focus loyalism and to somehow get
it re-involved in the peace process.

Can it match what the IRA has said and done?

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/18 11:17:19 GMT


SDLP Pressures Blair On Peace Process

18/10/2005 - 06:57:07

British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be pressed today on
his plans for moving the Northern peace process forward
amid concerns from the SDLP that he may water down the Good
Friday Agreement.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan will lead a five-strong delegation
to Downing Street to meet Mr Blair, who is facing demands
from Sinn Féin and Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists.

As the delegation headed to London, an SDLP spokesman said:
"We will be urging Tony Blair to stand strong for the
agreement and not to dilute it for the DUP.

"The more concessions he gives the DUP, the more they'll
want and the longer we'll all be stuck in suspension."

Following moves by the IRA in July to end its armed
campaign and the completion of its disarmament programme
three weeks ago, Sinn Féin has been urging the Irish and
British governments to honour peace process commitments.

Republicans want to see legislation committing the British
government to the transfer of policing and justice powers
to a future administration at Stormont and also want IRA
members who have been on the run and living abroad to
return to the North without fear of being jailed for
alleged crimes.

The DUP has submitted a 64-page dossier to Downing Street
outlining confidence-building measures they are demanding
if they are to begin contemplating going into government
with Sinn Féin in the future.

Mr Paisley's party would like a generous severance package
for Royal Irish Regiment soldiers affected by plans to
scale down security in the North, reforms on the parades
issue and an investment package for working-class
Protestant neighbourhoods to tackle deprivation.

The SDLP is concerned at reports the British government is
considering funding and recognising community restorative
justice schemes in republican areas, even though Sinn Féin
and those participating in them may not recognise or
support the police.

The party was expected to raise this issue and also press
for strategies to end sectarianism and advance the level of
co-operation between governments on both sides of the

Democratic Unionist MP William McCrea accused the SDLP as
it headed to London of hypocrisy for urging Mr Blair not to
indulge his party while at the same time pushing for its
all-Ireland agenda.

"Why should the SDLP get what they want on North-South
bodies whilst unionists get nothing on parades, culture,
policing, public appointments and economic development in
unionist areas?" the South Antrim MP said.

"It is clear that the SDLP are content with concessions
such as the early release of terrorist prisoners, an
amnesty for on-the-runs, the destruction of the RUC and the
RIR and terrorist representatives in government, but it
can't abide the thought of unionists being treated fairly
and equitably.

"The SDLP will have no choice but to wake up and realise
that the DUP intends to fight for the rights of those we

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will travel to
South Africa today for meetings with senior government
figures to brief them on recent progress in the North.

He is due to make a courtesy call to South African
president Thabo Mbeki during the trip.


Taoiseach And SDLP Clash Over UVF
2005-10-18 08:40:02+01

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and a senior member of the
SDLP have clashed over their views on the UVF.

Mr Ahern said over the weekend that loyalists need space
and encouragement to come to a decision to end violence.

But the SDLP's justice spokesperson, Alban Maginness, says
loyalists have had plenty of time to consider this and in
reality they want the Irish and British governments to turn
a blind eye to their activities.

Mr Maginness accused UVF members of being involved in
murder and said they must be given an ultimatum of politics
or jail.


Opin: Reaching Out Hand Of Friendship

AHERN VIEW: Unionists have nothing to fear from Republic

18 October 2005

With politics in Northern Ireland at a standstill, awaiting
reports confirming IRA inactivity from the International
Monitoring Commission, Bertie Ahern has shown commendable
understanding of the unionist position. In his Bodenstown
address, commemorating an 18th century nationalist hero, he
stressed that there was no threat to the union from the

He was merely reiterating the pledge in the Good Friday
Agreement which leaves constitutional change to referendums
in both parts of the island, but it deserves repetition. At
a time when unionists are pondering the IRA's recent moves
and may soon be urged to resume devolution talks with Sinn
Fein, they need all the assurances they can get that their
position is respected.

Mr Ahern spoke in his usual generalities, but he made an
unmistakable appeal to "loyalists" - presumably including
paramilitary organisations. He was convinced that many
wished to play a constructive part in the "new landscape of
relationships" that were emerging, but he was not going to
rush them.

"As with the journey embarked upon by militant
republicans," he said, "I recognise that they need space,
encouragement and support to move beyond their recent
past." In other words, the Irish government is willing to
help them make the transition from paramilitarism to

The peace process still has a long way to go, but the
Taoiseach was recognising that some of the omens are
improving. Although unionist trust has been dented by
revelations about the investment of IRA funds, the
statement confirming an end to the 35-year "war" and
evidence of decommissioning must revive hope of eventual
political re-engagement.

While unionists have learned to hesitate before grasping
hands of friendship, both the UUP and PUP were cautiously
optimistic in their initial responses. Sir Reg Empey said
the Taoiseach had recognised some of the challenges facing
unionists, while David Ervine, still hopeful that his party
can influence the UVF, congratulated him on dealing with
"real world" politics.

The DUP will be difficult to convince that the IRA really
has abandoned paramilitarism and criminality, and that Sinn
Fein could be worthy partners in government. But clearly
both the Irish and British government are pushing for
another round of devolution negotiations that hold out the
promise of locally-elected politicians displacing direct
rule dictation.

Even a month ago, when the UVF was shooting at police
defending re-routing of an Orange march, talk of political
reconciliation seemed out of the question. Yet the pressure
for dialogue, from nationalists and governments, will not
relent, and surely requires unionists to think positively,
proposing solutions and abandoning any "never, never,
never" mindset.


Physical Force Cannot Solve Problems Of Divided Society

Martin Mansergh

Former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, now a
member of a UN advisory panel, in a lecture in Dublin in
June noted that more civil conflicts had been resolved by
negotiation in the last 15 years than in the last 200, and
that the number of violent deaths had dropped from over
200,000 a year for most of the 1990s to between 20,000 and

He called these "extraordinary achievements" (Amnesty,

Properly conducted peace processes save lives. To quote
last Sunday's Observer, here in Ireland there is no
Faustian pact. Democracy wins through. Breakthroughs in one
place encourage peace elsewhere.

The physical force tradition, whose one unequivocal success
was in 1919-21, and which plumbed many depths in more
recent times, is virtually at an end. It was never capable
of addressing the problems of a divided society or a
partitioned country.

Many people have a Manichean view of our past, either
dismissing constitutionalism or denying that physical force
ever produced any good. Ignored is the intermediate role of
passive resistance in O'Connell's campaigns, Parnellite
parliamentary obstruction, in the Land League, Sinn Féin's
policy of secession, and in the civil rights movement. Was
even John Redmond purely constitutional when he had control
of the Irish Volunteers? Cumulative progress up to 1921 was
achieved by a combination of approaches.

Outside Northern Ireland, after 80 years of independence,
it is easy to forget that Ireland was long a conquered
country, with physical force used unhesitatingly to
maintain subjection.

All countries have exercised the right to fight for their
freedom. Among the least-disputed rights, since the UN was
founded, has been the right of colonised peoples to
national self-determination. It is an extraordinary notion
that Ireland, alone among nations, was wrong ever to shed a
drop of blood in pursuit of the uncomplicated part of its
freedom and independence.

At grassroots level, the physical force tradition goes back
to the Whiteboys, if not the tories and rapparees. At elite
level, paramilitarism can be traced back to the Irish
Volunteers of Grattan's day, which pressurised the Irish
Parliament to claim legislative independence.

In June 1914 the Cork corps of Irish Volunteers, describing
themselves as "members of a permanent defence force" that
would form "a national army", added "such a force has not
been seen in Ireland since the great days of Grattan" (Cork
Archives Institute).

The United Irishmen wanted legitimately to form a secular
Irish Republic on the model of revolutionary America and
France. French aid was two-edged. Stirring up fears of
Orange extermination backfired disastrously in Wexford;
30,000 died amidst brutal carnage.

The experience inhibited open rebellion for 100 years.
Political agitation and constitutional methods, the only
options left, made slow but steady progress in the 19th
century, though small armed affrays, like Emmet's rebellion
in 1803, by Young Ireland in 1848, and the Fenians in 1867,
had lasting resonance. From Fintan Lalor on, there was a
determination not just to undo the Union, but the conquest.

National revolutions invariably start with small groups.
Seven men invited William of Orange to dethrone James II,
leading to the "Glorious Revolution". Seven men signed the
Easter Proclamation in 1916.

A little known French general, Charles de Gaulle, without
electoral mandate, on June 18th, 1940 in a broadcast from
London called for continued defiance of the Germans
following crushing defeat. He came to incarnate the
legitimacy of France. The mandate came later.

Irish republican legitimacy, though fractured in 1922, was
established in a similar way, though the condition of
Ireland in 1916 was not remotely that of France in 1940.
Its achievement was to free Ireland just sufficiently from
what a memorandum accompanying British legislation in 1920
described as "crown colony government".

Independent statehood has become a huge advantage. As Prof
Martin Jacques puts it, "an independent nation-state
remains the most important means by which peoples can
exercise control over their own destiny" (Guardian,
September 17th).

Sinn Féin points out that terrible and indefensible things
happened in the War of Independence. The difference lies in
the overall legitimacy of that earlier struggle. Southern
Protestants, like American loyalists in the early 1780s,
and European settlers in colonial Africa in the 1950s and
1960s, lost out, and there are many sad and some tragic

Yet, when the dust settled, and despite depleted numbers, a
substantial proportion of the agricultural, business wealth
and professional employment post-independence remained in
Protestant hands.

Southern Protestants today, whatever reservations some may
have about the past, have moved forward, and few have
reason to feel sorry for themselves. Few wish to be used by
outsiders for ideological purposes to shore up the unionist

Since 1922-1923 an indigenous democratic constitutional
tradition has been consolidated. Most republicans
associated with 1916, including the Pearse family and
Countess Markievicz, gave their support to de Valera's
participation in the State. It is wrong to attempt to
validate an exclusive or dominant identity between 1916 and
the Provisional IRA, where the connection to the State is
much stronger.

Northern Ireland, which for so long lacked a proper
democratic dispensation, now has one, even if part of it is
in abeyance. Its full realisation requires reasonable
confirmation of the abandonment of physical force. The
future is constitutional.

© The Irish Times


'We Have Been Let Down' - Claims Derry Pub Owner

By Claire Allan
Tuesday 18th October 2005

A well-known Derry pub owner spoke of his disappointment
yesterday following the decision to introduce an outright
smoking ban in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Gerry McCloskey of the local Vintners' Association said
he was "deeply disappointed" that months of lobbying by
vintners across the North had not led to a desired

He told the "Journal": "We had hoped to reach some middle
ground but we have been let down.

"At the end of the day the ban will be the law and we will
abide by that but we are concerned about the impact this
could have on our business.

"Businesses in the South have suffered due to the ban - and
this is something that worries anyone trying to run a
business here."

The announcement by Health Minister, Shaun Woodward, that
smoking in the workplace will be banned outright in April
2007 was met with a mixed response in Derry.

The decision yesterday afternoon followed months of
speculation about the extent of the ban.

Earlier this year, the Minister announced that he would at
least go as far as partial controls.

However, given the overwhelming health arguments, the
support of the public and his desire to protect workers
from the killer effects of passive smoking, the Minister
has now opted to go for total controls.

This will effectively mean smoking will be banned in pubs,
restaurants, hotels and throughout the entire hospitality

While the move has been welcomed by trade unions and cancer
charities, landlords have expressed their concerns that a
smoking ban could have a devastating impact on their

As well as the impact on trade, Mr. McCloskey, who owns the
Monico Bar, said he was also concerned that the increase of
a ban would only serve to encourage people to drink at
home, where, he said, they would be likely to drink more
than they would in a bar.

However, the Ulster Cancer Foundation welcomed the
announcement stating: "Today's landmark decision to
introduce smoke free legislation is a major breakthrough in
cancer prevention. It will bring significant public health
benefits to present and future generations.

"UCF has been working and campaigning on this issue for
over 30 years - this is a very historic day. We are
confident today's announcement will lead to a reduction in
the number of cancers in Northern Ireland and save many

"Those to benefit most from today's announcement are
employees within the hospitality sector - who are the most
heavily exposed workers at present but this will also
protect customers, smokers and non-smokers alike."

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions also issued their
support for the ban saying: "There can be no doubt that the
introduction of a smoking ban will be of direct and
significant benefit to the health and well-being of all our
people in Northern Ireland.

"It will allow, in the longer term, resources in the health


Newport's Irish History Talk On Irish Civil War

Lecture series: The Museum of Newport Irish History's first
talk in the Michael F. Crowley 2005-06 Lecture Series will
be held Thursday at 6 p.m. in the function room at LaForge
Casino restaurant, Bellevue Avenue.

This lecture will be given by professor William Matthews,
Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a
first generation Irish American with both U.S. and Irish
citizenship. His mother is from County Cavan and his
father's family emigrated from County Cork. Irish history
and the fight for Irish freedom has long been a part of
professor Matthew's family background -- two Matthews boys
were incarcerated with Robert Emmett in the Rising of 1803.
Over the last five years, Matthews has made yearly visits
to the Military Archives and the National Library to study
documents related to the War of Independence and the Rising
of 1916.

Matthews' talk will cover the Irish Civil War, which
followed the signing of the Treaty with Great Britain in
1922. The professor will discuss the people and factions
that brought about this terrible war.

As space is limited for these talks, reservations should be
made by calling Skip Jones, (401) 683-4137. The lecture is
free for members, $10 for nonmembers. Individual
memberships are $10 per year.


Ocean Reclaiming Titanic Liner

BBC Northern Ireland's environment correspondent Mike
McKimm helped place a plaque to the hundreds who died in
the Titanic disaster. On a dive to the ill-fated ship he
discovered that the once magnificent liner is
disintegrating into the Atlantic, her resting place for the
past 93 years.

"She is falling apart" - the comments of one diver emerging
from a Russian Mir submersible after a recent dive to

And she is falling apart. I went down as a novice and was
expecting to see a grand ship in good condition. I was
there to help place a plaque to the hundreds who died in
the disaster.

It bore the message: "In memory of all those who died on
RMS Titanic. From Harland and Wolff and the people of

The liner, built at the city's famous shipyard, hit an
iceberg on 14 April 1912. She was nearly 900 feet long,
stood 25 stories high, and weighed 46,000 tons.

At 12,850 feet, at the bottom of the Atlantic, there is no
oxygen so, in theory, no rusting can take place. But I had
reckoned without bacteria.

In fact, the ship is in a terrible shape and the
deterioration is getting faster and faster.

Decks are collapsing. Any structures that remained standing
after the sinking, are now starting to topple and show
signs of being unstable.

The ship has become unsafe and some divers won't approach
certain parts because of the dangers.

Submersible pilots tell of seeing the roof of one section
ripple from the force of the sub's propellers as she glided

If there is no rust because of a lack of oxygen to make the
process work, then what is destroying the ship?

The answer, we now know, is bacteria. These micro-organisms
are eating the manganese, iron and sulphur out of the

It has the same effect as conventional rusting, weakening
the structure. Uniquely the bacteria form "homes" called
"rusticles" because of their icicle shape.


Hit iceberg on 14 April 1912 - sank next day
Wreck lies about 365 nautical miles off Newfoundland
Sank in 12,850 feet of water
More than 1,500 passengers and crew lost
About 700 survivors
Weighed about 46,000 tons

The rusticles hang in huge veils all around the ship.
Regular visitors to Titanic comment on how much more of the
ship is covered by the bacteria every time they visit the

It is bacteria that are contributing to Titanic's demise.
Because of the unique environment at this depth, few other
organisms can survive.

A wreck in a few hundred metres of water would be covered
by lots of plants and organisms and would also be rusting
conventionally but slowly.

The bacteria would find it hard going. But two and a half
miles down in the Atlantic, the bacteria have no
competition. The steel sides are theirs to latch onto and

Lori Johnston, a Canadian scientist has dived on Titanic a
number of times to study the rusticles.

"Titanic is not the only ship with rusticles but it is an
example of almost pure rusticle form."

Lori and her colleagues have been trying to get some idea
of how much steel is being eaten away.

"The microbes will eventually collapse the ship through a
natural process that has been going on for millennia.

"The research we have done so far indicates that the
bacteria are taking out .3 of a gram per centimetre squared
per day so that is a lot of iron that is coming out of the

It's estimated that about 300 kilos of steel is
disappearing from the front part of Titanic every day.

Those figures were estimations made about five years ago.
Given the spread of the rusticles, the annual loss of steel
is probably much faster these days.

One expert told the BBC that the "rusting" is exponential.
It's getting faster and faster as the rusticles spread and
start to create pits and hollows in the steel. This creates
more surface area for them to work on.

So how long will Titanic last? Lori Johnston offers some

"We predict in between 80 and 100 years you will probably
still see the U-shaped hull but all the decks will have
collapsed in."

Others put a different time on it. Some suggest that much
of the ship could collapse into itself in 20-40 years given
the present rate of collapse.

There is one benefit of the collapse. It's now possible to
see parts of the interior once hidden.

The side had fallen out of Captain Smith's quarters. He was
the captain on the ship when she hit the iceberg in 1912
and he died in the sinking.

But now his enamel bath, complete with taps, is clearly in
view. Not that important from an archaeological viewpoint,
but a curious glimpse into the human side of the great
ship. A reminder of the terrible human tragedy that is part
of the ship's history.

And what of the future? Well, scientists estimate that in
about 250 years Titanic will have gone.

She will not outlast the great wooden ships of the past or
provide an exciting find for archaeologists in 2,000 years'

In a couple of centuries she will have reverted back to
iron ore - a vast isolated deposit on the Atlantic seabed.
And all because of bacteria.

A curious end for a ship that became a legend even before
she sank.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/18 11:27:31 GMT


NI National Park A Step Closer

Northern Ireland's first national park moved a giant step
forward today when the British government announced
legislation for its creation would be brought forward next

By:Press Association

A Draft Order in Council for the creation of a national
park in the Mourne Mountains area of Co Down would be put
before the House of Commons next autumn, Northern Ireland
Environment Minister Lord Rooker said.

The Mournes will be the pilot area but there is potential
for the creation of further national parks covering the
Glens of Antrim, Lakes of Fermanagh, The Sperrin Mountains
and Strangford Lough in Co Down.

Creating national parks was not just about conservation,
said the minister. "It is not about ossifying the
landscape. It is about development being managed.

"It is about supporting communities in an integrated way so
that any designated area has life and vibrancy."

Lord Rooker said it was clear there was a public desire for
the establishment of national parks in Northern Ireland.

"We are going to get on and do it," he told an
environmental conference in Belfast.

"We are here to take things forward and not wait for the

He revealed national parks would not be run centrally by
Government but be administered by a national parks

A 10-year strategy for protecting the environment in
Northern Ireland was launched at the conference.

The minister told representatives from the farming,
industrial, environmental and education sectors that he and
his ministerial colleagues wanted their views to form part
of the 10-year initiative.

The British government has identified waste management,
sustainable development and recycling as the pillars of its
environmental policy for the coming decade.

Lord Rooker started a consultation, running until January,
on a new waste management strategy.

"The new proposals will provide a robust framework for
meeting our waste management needs and improving our use of
resources," he said.

The British government faces the prospect of multimillion-
pound fines if it fails to meet tough waste management and
environmental protection targets set by the EU which become
operative in 2010.

The minister went on: "Waste is one of the dragons we must

slay to become a sustainable society.

"Recycling contributes to the economy and through
diversification of use encourages new business and

David Dobbin, chairman of the CBI in Northern Ireland,
called for an all-island approach to the environment.

He told the conference: "Air moves freely on both sides of
the border and water does the same. We must approach
protecting the environment in the same way."

Looking to the future, Richard Rogers, chief executive of
the Environment and Heritage Service, said: "Our vision is
that in 10 years our environment will be both well
protected and highly valued by the whole community.

"The agency is dedicated to working with others to achieve

"It is vital we succeed, for the sake of the whole
community and for future generations of people in Northern


Delta In Major Irish/US Route Expansion

Tuesday, October 18 13:01:25

Delta Air Lines today said plans a significant expansion of
its transatlantic scheduled daily services into Ireland for

The airline said it will offer a new daily scheduled
service out of New York's JFK Airport to Dublin and
Shannon. The carrier will also add additional daily
services out of Atlanta to Dublin and Shannon.

It added that the expanded service will more than double
Delta's seat capacity in peak season, adding an approximate
110,000 extra seats in peak season.

When the expanded service schedule is in place next year,
Delta Air Lines will operate a total of three daily flights
from the US to Ireland: one daily non-stop scheduled flight
from Atlanta into Shannon and one daily non-stop scheduled
flight from Atlanta into Dublin. The airline will also
operate its new non-stop flight from JFK to Dublin, which
will travel on to Shannon before returning to New York.

The move was welcomed by Tourism Ireland, who said the
expansion is good news for Ireland's tourism industry.

"It is particularly gratifying that a carrier with such
long-standing and hands-on experience of transatlantic air
services into these shores is expressing such confidence in
Ireland as a travel destination. Indeed, the expansion
being undertaken represents the biggest route service
increases to any destination within the route network
served by the airline," said Tourism Minister, John

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