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October 09, 2005

EU Cash May Help Peace Process

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IC 10/09/05 EU Cash May Help Peace Process
CM 10/09/05 Protestants Feel Abandoned
IT 10/10/05 PSNI Arrests Garland At WP Ardfheis
IT 10/10/05 Ahern To Lobby For US Bill To Help Irish
IT 10/10/05 Festival Looks Back On 50 Years Of Movies


EU Cash May Help Peace Process

Oct 9 2005

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is eager to team up with Prime
Minister Tony Blair to secure vital EU funds to boost the
peace process.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said he had raised with Mr
Ahern the need for the British and Irish Governments to
make a formal request for hundreds of millions of euro to
be made available to community groups involved in peace and
reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties
of the Irish Republic.

The European Union has allocated almost one billion euro to
community groups under two Peace and Reconciliation schemes
negotiated by Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson and former
MEPs, the Reverend Ian Paisley of the DUP and John Hume of
the nationalist SDLP.

This week Mr Adams met the European Commission's Regional
Development Commissioner Danuta Hubner and Mr Blair in a
bid to advance the case for a new scheme.

The West Belfast MP said: "If both governments move quickly
I am confident that the EU Commissioner Ms Hubner will add
her considerable support to the release of funds.

"The Peace III projects will run from 2007 to 2013. They
will ensure the continuation of much of the valuable work
currently undertaken.

"However, there is a urgent need for all of the groups
involved, along with political parties to step up the lobby
to secure the additional funding that a seven year
programme will require."

Sinn Fein were told in Brussels funds were set aside by the
Luxembourg Government for a new Peace and Reconciliation
Fund when they held the presidency of the EU. The British
Government currently holds the presidency but must still
make a formal request for funding.

It is believed the PEACE III fund will be worth at the very
least 200 million euro (£140 million).


Protestants Feel Abandoned

Province feels stalemated again

Los Angeles Times
October 08. 2005 11:16PM

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -When Carla Hart sends the
children out the door of their row house on Cluan Place in
a working-class part of East Belfast, she never knows what
will fall from the skies. And it's not just the weather
she's worried about.

Once, the homemaker said, she was struck on the head by a
flying bolt. In July, her 9-year-old daughter was hit by a
marble. But at least it didn't hit her 6-month-old in a
nearby pram.

The inhabitants of the 22-house Protestant enclave say they
regularly endure a cascade of bricks, bottles and even
blast bombs from the other side of the towering barrier
wall that separates them from their Roman Catholic
neighbors. And when they summon police, she and her
neighbors complain, the officers come late, if at all - and
then ask what they did to start it.

Hart moved to the street with her husband, William, three
years ago, after the previous residents had been burned

"The Catholics are expanding,"she said. "They wanted to
take this street, and I did not want to give it up. So I
said, 'No.'"

Like white Afrikaners in South Africa facing pressure to
cede power to the black majority before the end of
apartheid, many of the 1 million Protestants in Northern
Ireland see themselves as a lost and orphaned tribe, left
to fend for themselves against an ascendant and more deft

The feeling remains despite the 1998 Good Friday agreement,
which was meant to bring peace to British-ruled Northern
Ireland and commit Protestants and Catholics to work
together in one devolved government.

Proudly loyal to Britain and the queen, and maintaining a
55 percent majority in this province, the descendants of
Scots and English who came to colonize Ireland in the 17th
century cannot understand why Prime Minister Tony Blair
seems so hard on them while, in their eyes, pandering to
the Irish Republican Army and its ally Sinn Fein.

"The Catholics are getting everything they want, and we are
getting nothing," said Hart, voicing a view widely held on
the gritty streets of Protestant Belfast. The unionist
community's anger flared into five days of riots last month
whose intensity caught nearly everyone here by surprise,
with Protestant protesters throwing projectiles and blast
bombs, setting cars and stores alight and, in some cases,
firing live ammunition at police vehicles.

The disturbances broke out at a time when an outsider might
think that the unionist side should be pleased. After years
of delay, the IRA in July formally renounced its military
campaign to unite Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic
to the south and promised to turn in its stores of guns,
ammunition and plastic explosives. On Sept. 26., the
Independent International Commission on Decommissioning
certified that tons of IRA's weapons and explosives had
been put "beyond use."

But in a Protestant community long cynical about IRA
concessions, the decommissioning was met with suspicion.
The Rev. Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist
Party, had wanted a public turnover of weapons, saying that
the IRA deserved to wear "sackcloth and ashes" for its role
in political violence over the last four decades that left
3,600 people dead.

Nothing of the kind happened, and even the commission said
that it essentially had taken the word of the IRA that all
the munitions had been turned in.

The province seems to have reverted to its old state of
stalemate, with Protestant political leaders saying they
will resist any calls to reinstitute joint governance with
Sinn Fein. Last month's riots were also like a bad
flashback - to the 1960s, when the modern "troubles"began.

"I had to deal with 6-year-old kids rioting out there,"
said David McNarry of the Ulster Unionist Party, speaking
of how disheartened his community is with the peace
process. "I doubt very much if there would be a majority
again supporting a referendum (to endorse the Good Friday
Agreement) if it took place tomorrow. There certainly
wouldn't be a majority of unionists. . . . Unionists see
their British identity under threat."

If upheavals like last month's riots are what it takes to
get the authorities' attention, some community leaders
believe, then they may well happen again.

"Someone comes at you with something, even if you're a
pacifist, you will have to defend yourself to try to keep
yourself alive or to keep whatever it is you believe in
alive,"Jim Wilson, a community activist for the Progressive
Ulster Party, said. "And that is what slowly but surely is
happening to us. If we don't get together as a people, then
we're lost."

------ End of article

Los Angeles Times


PSNI Arrests Garland At WP Ardfheis

By Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

The Workers' Party Ardfheis, which was held for the first
time in Belfast at the weekend, was dominated by the PSNI
arrest of its president, Seán Garland, in relation to
alleged international counterfeiting offences, writes Gerry

Mr Garland (71), from Navan, was arrested on Friday at a
Belfast restaurant. He was released on court bail on
Saturday evening but not in time to deliver his
presidential address to the ardfheis, which instead was
read by ardchomhairle member Dessie O'Hagan.

He was released pending his potential extradition to the
US. The US authorities claim he and others bought, moved
and either passed as genuine or resold high- quality
counterfeit $100 notes.

The US government is further claiming that Mr Garland
"arranged with North Korean agencies for the purchase of
quantities of notes and enlisted other people to
disseminate" the money, known as "superdollars".

A defence lawyer for Mr Garland told Belfast County Court
on Saturday that his client "strongly protested" his

Three sureties of £10,000 each were lodged to enable Mr
Garland's release on bail. It is understood that the US
authorities have 65 days in which to lodge papers in the
North for Mr Garland's extradition.

Workers' Party members took time off from their conference
to stage a protest outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday.
The party's general secretary, John Lowry, said the arrest
was "politically motivated".

"This has caused intense anger and happened because of our
opposition to the Iraq war and because we challenge US
policies. We have raised the matter with the Taoiseach's
office and the Department of Foreign Affairs. We hope to
meet the Taoiseach shortly about this attack on an Irish
citizen," added Mr Lowry.

He said the Workers' Party would now mount a legal and
political campaign to have the extradition threat against
Mr Garland lifted.

In his speech, Mr Garland accused the provisional
republican movement of injecting a virulent poison into
Irish society which would take years to heal and cure. He
denounced republican and loyalist violence and said there
was now a historic opportunity to rebuild the party and
unite the working class throughout the island.

Mr Garland three times described IRA decommissioning as a
"surrender" of weapons. "It seems that many commentators
are treating this surrender of arms as a watershed for the
Provos without recognising the reality of this surrender,"
he told delegates.

"The Provos have made a virtue out of necessity. For over
two decades now, it has been clear that the Provos were
desperately seeking a way out of the morass into which many
of them had blindly and stupidly entered," he added.

Mr Garland said that over 36 years Sinn Féin and the IRA
were "spawned and nurtured" by church and state. "We cannot
begin to measure the depths in human misery. . . that they
have brought upon the people of Ireland and indeed many
other places. They injected a virulent poison into an
already sick society." He added, "We well recognise that
the Provisional IRA were not alone in feeding the hate,
despair and terror which Northern Ireland has endured over
the decades from loyalist terrorists, ultra-leftist
gangsters parading as socialists and republicans and indeed
from our own tradition, where the Official IRA had in its
ranks elements who sought to murder and inflict terror on
innocent people."

Mr Garland said that the "panoramic march of capitalism can
only be halted by the power and organisation of the working
class" throughout Ireland.

Mr Lowry told the ardfheis that "there never was any
justification whatsoever for the armed campaign of the
Provisional IRA" but nonetheless welcomed the disarmament.

"The experience of the last 30 years in Northern Ireland
has left many people deeply embittered and has left a deep
legacy of mistrust and division which may take generations
to overcome. Nonetheless, we welcome this act of disposing
of weapons and call upon all paramilitary organisations to
do likewise," he said.

Mr Lowry said priority issues for the Workers' Party would
include the consolidation of peace and an end to all
paramilitarism and an anti-sectarianism strategy.

© The Irish Times


Ahern To Lobby For US Bill To Help Irish

By Liam Reid, Political Reporter

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern is to travel to
Boston, New York and Washington next month as part of a
lobbying campaign for the introduction of laws regularising
the situation of an estimated 25,000 undocumented Irish
nationals working illegally there.

Mr Ahern is expected to meet Irish community groups and
Irish-American politicians to discuss the issue at the
beginning of next month.

His officials are also finalising details of a planned trip
to Washington at the end of November, during which he is
expected to meet US congress members currently debating
legislation on the issue.

Mr Ahern is expected to stress the cross-party support in
Ireland for a Bill sponsored by senators Edward Kennedy and
John McCain, which would create a temporary worker status
for illegal immigrants, providing them with a basic legal

The Kennedy McCain Bill is facing some opposition within
the House of Representatives, and there are concerns that
many of the provisions could be diluted.

All parties in the Dáil came together last Thursday to
issue a motion in support of the Bill.

Almost every party in the Dáil has in recent years
supported efforts to ease the situation of illegal Irish
immigrants in the US, many of whom arrived in the US in the
1980s on holiday visas and remained there.

A number of politicians, including representatives from
Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, have travelled to the
US to discuss the issue.

Since the September 11th, 2001, attacks, there has been a
clampdown on illegal immigrants in the US.

Undocumented Irish living in the US have been unable to
visit Ireland because they risk not being able to return to
their US homes and businesses.

They have also had serious difficulties accessing medical
and other services.

© The Irish Times


Festival Looks Back On 50 Years Of Movies

By Olivia Kelleher

Cork's 50th film festival got under way with a nostalgic
gala opening night at the Opera House, writes Olivia

The festival continues today with a screening of The
Exorcism of Emily Rose, based on the story of Anneliese
Michel, a German college student who believed she was
possessed by multiple demons, including Lucifer, Nero,
Judas Iscariot and Adolf Hitler.

Homeless people will share their stories this evening as a
short documentary film is shown as part of the festival.
People Places Things centres on the personal stories of
five homeless people in Cork city.

It was entirely produced by residents and service-users of
Cork Simon Community - most of whom had no experience of
film or documentary-making. They performed all the creative
and technical roles , acquiring and learning the skills as
the production progressed.

People Places Things also includes poetry and music from
members of the homeless community. The director of the
documentary, Cork Simon Community's settlement manager Hugh
Bradley, says "the word 'community' is used frequently in
Simon. This is the most I've seen it in action; not just
among the crew, but the way it has worked wherever we went
to film: people haven't been defensive - they've been like,
'come in, how can we help, what can we do?'"

People Places Things will be screened at the Triskel Arts
Centre, Tobin Street, Cork, this evening at 5pm.

Other highlights of the festival programme include Oscar-
tipped Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, starring Joaquin
Phoenix, and Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown. This year's
festival provides an expanded programme of feature,
documentary, animated and short films, all to be shown over
eight days.

Documentaries feature heavily in the programme, including
GuinnessSize me, Ireland's answer to Morgan Spurlock's
Supersize Me, in which the American film-maker charted his
attempts to live solely on fast food from McDonald's.

In the Irish version, Chris Kelly and Robert James do
something similar with Guinness - a week without food
living, solely on porter.

The festival is also a platform for Irish film and each
year there are premieres of Irish features. There is also a
special focus on local filmmakers through the festival's
"Made in Cork" programme.

This year's list of features includes Stoned, a take on the
life and death of Rolling Stone Brian Jones, and the Morgan
Freeman-narrated documentary March of the Penguins.

Beloved Enemy, a 1936 film based on the life of Michael
Collins and recently restored by the Irish Film Archive,
will also be premiered.

© The Irish Times

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