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October 04, 2005

Two Arrests Over McCartney Murder

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News about Ireland & the Irish

FT 10/04/05 Police Arrest Two Over McCartney Murder
BT 10/04/05 Unionists Urged To Act Over Sectarian Protests
BT 10/04/05 Petrol Bomb Attack On Home
SF 10/04/05 Equality Can Deliver For Everyone
UT 10/04/05 'IRA Fugitives Must Face Courts', Say Tories
NL 10/04/05 Councillors Clash Over Riots
IE 10/04/05 SF Denies Exploiting Rossport 5 For Politics
BT 10/04/05 Ireland Faces Rural Crisis: SF
UT 10/04/05 Paisley Meets Catholic Schoolchildren
BB 10/04/05 Loyalists 'Must End All Violence'
DI 10/04/05 Children As A Political Backdrop
BB 10/04/05 Jobs Boost For Ballymena Bus Firm
TM 10/04/05 Turning Tragedy Into A Tourist Industryv
BB 10/04/05 BBC: What The Papers Say


Police Arrest Two Over McCartney Murder

By FT reporters

Published: October 4 2005 11:50 Last updated: October 4
2005 11:50

Police in Northern Ireland have arrested two men on Tuesday
in connection with the murder of Robert McCartney, the east
Belfast Catholic who died after a knife attack outside a
pub in January.

Police said the men were also being questioned about the
attempted murder of Brendan Devine, whom Mr McCartney was
seeking to protect when he was attacked and killed.

The arrest are the second major breakthrough in the
investigation, which became a cause célèbre after Mr
McCartney's family broke with convention in Catholic
communities to blame the IRA publicly for the killing. In
June, two men were charged with the murder and attempted

Despite initial denials by Gerry Adams, president of Sinn
Féin, the IRA's political wing, the militant organisation
announced several weeks later it had expelled three of its
members. It also said it would shoot those involved but
this offer was turned down by the family.

The sisters and fiancée of Mr McCartney have received much
media attention in their campaign for his killers to be
brought to justice. On Monday, they were honoured with an
award in Germany, for courage, vision and achievement.

In March, they were received by President George W. Bush on
St Patrick's day at the White House and later by MEP's at
the European parliament. The have also met with Bertie
Ahern, the Irish prime minister, who had promised that
extensive consultations were under way among grassroots IRA

The case, although having limited impact on Sinn Féin in
the general election in May, damaged the party's standing
in the US where Irish-American sympathisers were shocked by
the brutality of the killing and the apparent IRA readiness
to shoot the alleged killers. Mr Adams was not invited to
this year's St Patrick's reception at the White House.

Although it may be some months before the case comes to
court, officials believe the development could help break
the impasse in the investigation.

In July, the Irish Republican Army ordered an end to its
36-year campaign of armed struggle against British rule in
Northern Ireland, opening the way for the restoration of
devolved government in the province by January.


Unionists Urged To Act Over Sectarian Protests

Loyalists say they'll break gravestones of Catholics

04 October 2005

Unionist leaders have been urged to make a stand against
sectarianism in their own community after loyalist
protesters threatened to desecrate Catholic graves near

The threats to damage headstones were made yesterday as
loyalists picketed Carnmoney Cemetery in Newtownabbey while
a Catholic blessing ceremony was held.

Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey said that while he did not
believe most unionists supported the protests, all
politicians needed to act.

"I do not believe that the majority of unionists support
what happened at Carnmoney cemetery," the South Belfast MLA

"I have no doubt that many would reject these scenes of
squalid sectarianism allegedly being carried out in their

"There is a huge job of work required by those with
influence within the broader unionist community to tackle

"Certainly I believe that we all need to show positive
leadership and challenge the demonisation of each other. We
need an open and honest debate about the nature, causes and
extent of sectarianism within our communities."

Carnmoney Cemetery has been attacked on several occasions
and headstones have been smashed.

The blessing has also been picketed by loyalists in the

SDLP MLA for South Antrim, Thomas Burns, said: "People have
an undeniable right to visit relatives that have been laid
to rest in peace in the cemetery.

"They should not be expected to run a gauntlet of hate and
abuse to get there. They are not political pawns or
bargaining chips in any other process.

"It's crucial that all those with positions of influence in
the community, particularly within unionism, work to bring
these unsightly and undignified protests to an end."

UUP peer Ken Maginnis said: "It would be wrong for any
responsible unionist leader to do other than totally and
unequivocally condemn the protests that occurred at
Carnmoney Cemetery.

"People should have the absolute right to worship in peace.
It is a right that should be unimpeded from Drumcree to
Carnmoney and I'm ashamed that any of my so-called fellow
Protestants would act to hinder any church activity."


Petrol Bomb Attack On Home

By Linda McKee
04 October 2005

An early morning petrol bomb attack on the home of a woman
and her 16-year-old son was the second in as many months,
neighbours said today.

The mother and son escaped serious injury after two petrol
bombs failed to ignite when thrown through the window of
their Castlereagh home shortly after midnight, according to

Officers believed the culprits used a stone to break the
window of the Laurelgrove Dale home before throwing two
devices inside. They failed to ignite. A third petrol bomb
was thrown at the front of the house causing scorch damage.

Neighbours said the family had not been living there long.
They described hearing a commotion by the arrival of two
fire engines and police.

One neighbour who did not wish to be named said: "It's the
second time it has happened. There was a bomb scare two
months ago."

Alliance councillor for the area Geraldine Rice condemned
the attack, saying: "It doesn't matter what group is behind
it, petrol bombs are lethal in themselves, it's absolutely
scandalous that anybody should be petrol bombing anybody's

Teams of crime officers examined the spot where the attack
took place.

Police condemned the attack as potentially life threatening
and appealed to anyone with information to come forward.

They are also keen to talk to anyone who may have seen a
light coloured car in the area.

They can be contacted at Castlereagh at 028 9065 0222 or
the Confidential Crimestoppers number at free phone 0800
555 111.


Equality Can Deliver For Everyone

Published: 4 October, 2005

Sinn Féin's Equality & Human Rights spokesperson, South
Down MLA Caitríona Ruane has said the full implementation
of the Equality Agenda can make a difference on the ground
for everyone regardless of background, race or any of the
other section 75 groups but warned that the undermining of
the Equality agenda by the British government and civil
service needed to be addressed otherwise society will be
blighted by deepening inequalities, sectarianism, racism
and other forms of discrimination.

Speaking at the launch of the party's newly published
Equality document Ms Ruane said:

"The reality is that inequality is still with us. Yet the
full implementation of the Equality Agenda can and should
make a difference for the most marginalised in our society.
Equality can deliver for everyone.

"The undermining of the Equality agenda by the British
government and civil service needed to be honestly
addressed otherwise society will be blighted by deepening
inequalities, sectarianism, racism and other forms of

"Nationalists are under-represented in the workforce,
particularly in the senior civil service, Catholics are
twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants and in
areas such as education, health, housing and investment,
nationalists are clearly facing an uphill battle to secure
equality of opportunity and fair treatment.

The key statistics show that the:

· Proportion of working age people who are unemployed - 5.6
Catholic and 3.3 Protestant

· Proportion of working age economically active people who
are long term unemployed -3.4 Catholic and 1.7 Protestant

· Proportion of working age people who are employed - 61.2
Catholic and 71.2 Protestant

· Proportion of working age persons in workless households
- 15.7 Catholic and 10.5 Protestant

· Unemployment differential between Catholic and Protestant
(male) (1992: 2.4) 2004: 2.0

· Proportion of children 0-15 in workless households - 21.5
Catholic and 11.8 Protestant

"At senior civil service Grade 5 and above the proportion
of Catholics is 24.8% compared to 66% for Protestants.

"It is also true that 50% of household with a disabled
member face poverty.

"The equality agenda is about ensuring that people in our
society who suffer from inequality, social exclusion and
discrimination are protected and that full equality of
treatment is achieved. Equality in all its aspects applies
to anyone facing inequality, regardless of their community
background or social condition.

"Equality legislation alone will not succeed in tackling
the deep-rooted inequalities that exist without the
political will of politicians, policy-makers and others to
grasp the nettle and comprehensively tackle the realities,
not the perceptions, about discrimination.

Sinn Fein believe that we need action now to address the
problem, including:

:: Affirmative action
:: Full Implementation of New Targeting Social Need
:: Policy commitment to eradicate disparity and inequality
within a 10 year timeframe
:: Resources
:: Monitoring
:: Political will

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin added:

"Legislative measures are only as effective as the
difference they make in securing change and in making a
difference on the ground.

"Policy makers ignore the equality agenda by not tackling
poverty and disadvantage that exist in nationalist and in
some unionist areas on the strict basis of objective need.
Any divergence from approaching these issues on the basis
of objective need is a recipe for furthering inequality and

"It is Sinn Fein's belief that those groups and communities
who are experiencing inequality, discrimination and
disadvantage are looking for strong leadership to counter
the range of decisions that are reinforcing inequality in
our society." ENDS

Note to Editors


:: Proportion of children 0-15 in workless households 21.5%
RC - 11.8% Protestant

:: Proportion of pupils achieving no qualifications 5.9% RC
- 4.7% Protestant

:: Proportion of pupils achieving no GCSE's 6.6% RC - 5.1%

:: Proportion of working age people who are employed 61.2%
RC - 71.2% Protestant

:: Proportion of working age people who are unemployed 5.6%
RC - 3.3% Protestant

:: Proportion of working age economically active people who
are long term unemployed 3.4% RC - 1.7% Protestant

:: Proportion of lone parents of working age who are in
employment 45.3% RC - 52.9% Protestant

:: Proportion of persons of working age not in employment
who would like a job 13.0% RC - 7.8% Protestant

:: Working age economic inactivity rates 33.2% RC - 25.5%

:: Proportion of working age persons in workless households
15.7% RC - 10.5% Protestant

:: Proportion of working age adults living in work rich
households 37.9% RC - 53.3% Protestant

:: Proportion of persons of working age without a
qualification 27.8% RC - 24.2% Protestant

:: Unemployment differential between Catholics and
Protestant (male and female) 1992: 2.0% - 2002:1.9%

:: Unemployment differential between catholic and
Protestant (male) 1992: 2.4% - 2002: 2.1%

:: Unemployment differential between catholic and
Protestant (female) 1992: 1.4% - 2002: 1.6%

Source: 'Indicators of Social Need for NI', OFMDFM,
September 2004

The Department of Health report into inequalities of health
(Dec 2004) show that:

· Those areas with the worst access to health and social
care facilitates have a higher proportion of Catholics

· A person living in a deprived area (the majority of which
are catholic) is 34% more likely to die early than a
similar person living in a non-deprived area of the North.

· Lung cancer rates for all persons are 57% higher in
deprived areas than elsewhere in the North

· In areas with the worst health outcomes, there are higher
proportions of Catholics, nationalists and single people.

The 2002-03 Housing Executive figures show:

· In Belfast show that 44% of people on the waiting lists
were Catholic yet only 28% of those allocated a house were
Catholic - an 'under-allocation' gap of 16% in relation to

· In comparison Protestants represented 43% of those on the
waiting list but 64% of those actually allocated a house -
an 'over-allocation' gap of 21%.

· Across the north as a whole this differential of Catholic
under representation in housing allocation is repeated. The
percentage of Protestants on the waiting list was 47%, with
54% actually being allocated a house - an over-
representation of 7%.

· For Catholics, the figures were 40% on the waiting list,
and 35% actually allocated a house - an under-
representation of 5%.

Sinn Féin key priorities for action on the Equality Agenda

Affirmative action.

Contact compliance

Full implementation of New TSN

Political Will

Identification of disadvantage

Policy commitment to eradicate disparity and inequality
within a 10 year timeframe

A recognition that structural and endemic inequality and
disadvantage occurs against particular groups in society
because of the nature of that society

Resources must then be directed to those most in need in
order to redress that disadvantage and inequality


'IRA Fugitives Must Face Courts', Say Tories

The Conservatives will oppose moves to allow IRA fugitives
from justice to return to Northern Ireland if the courts
are unable to hold them to account for their crimes, the
British government was warned today.

By:Press Association

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary David Lidington sounded
the warning in Blackpool at the first ever Tory fringe
event involving a Sinn Fein MP.

While welcoming recent moves by the IRA to boost their
peace process credentials, the Aylesbury MP told a
lunchtime fringe debate featuring Sinn Fein`s Conor Murphy
the British government had to give the courts a role if so-
called on-the-run paramilitaries were to be allowed to
return to Northern Ireland.

While stressing his party would continue to give bipartisan
support on the peace process to the British government
where appropriate, he stated: "There are two matters, one
definitely on the agenda, the other widely discussed in the
media, where you cannot take our support for granted.

"First, on-the-runs. If the legislation you bring forward
this autumn does not contain a proper judicial process that
involves those returning to Northern Ireland appearing in
court and being held accountable for their crimes in the
normal way - we will oppose the legislation.

"Second, policing. We will not be party to any arrangement
that effectively hands over the policing of republican or
loyalist areas to those who have been active in
paramilitary organisations."

The issue of on-the-run IRA terror suspects has been a key
negotiating issue for republicans.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is expected to press
British Prime Minister Tony Blair at a meeting in London
later this week for them to be allowed to return to
Northern Ireland without being imprisoned.

Mr Lidington said last week`s announcement that the IRA had
fully disarmed and its July statement declaring an end to
its armed campaign were significant steps.

However the Conservative spokesman insisted two more
hurdles had to be cleared.

"First, people in Northern Ireland need to see clear
evidence that all forms of paramilitary and other criminal
activities, including intimidation, shootings, beatings,
robberies, smuggling, money-laundering and exiling people
from their homes, have ended for good and that the IRA has
ceased to exist as an organised paramilitary force," he
told the CHAMP fringe meeting.

"We shall be looking to the Independent Monitoring
Commission and others for evidence that the move from
paramilitarism to peaceful politics is genuine, permanent
and irreversible.

"Second, we expect republicans to accept the legitimacy of
the police and criminal justice systems, north and south,
and encourage full co-operation with them.

"I recognise that this would require an important
ideological change from the republican movement but I do
not see how it can be right to have people serving as
ministers in Belfast, or for that matter in Dublin, if they
refuse to support the police and the courts."

Mr Lidington said it would be difficult for many in
Northern Ireland who had suffered at the hands of the IRA
and his party to come to terms with the latest

He recalled the IRA attack on former Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet during the 1984 Tory
Party conference in Brighton which killed five people and
also the murders by republicans of MPs Ian Gow and Airey

The Conservative spokesman said there could be no place for
republican or loyalist paramilitarism and he condemned
recent loyalist rioting.

He also said loyalist organisations should follow the IRA
by decommissioning all their weapons.

Ulster Substitute Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson,
who with Ulster Unionist Assembly member David Burnside
also took part in the debate, said scepticism about recent
IRA moves was understandable,

"There is only so much credit that can be given to an
organisation for eventually, unwillingly giving up weapons,
years after they had agreed to - weapons that they should
never have had and could have rid themselves of at any
point in our recent history," he said.

"If it is the case that this is the IRA saying their
violence is over for good, then there is no one in Northern
Ireland who wouldn`t welcome this.

"However the whole community is sceptical because so often
before republicans have promised so much but let everyone

The Lagan Valley MP claimed an opportunity was missed last
week when the announcement of full IRA disarmament was not
accompanied by an inventory of the weapons destroyed.

"People worry why there has to be such secrecy," he said.

"Does someone have something to hide?"

Mr Donaldson said the DUP would not be bounced into forming
a devolved government featuring Sinn Fein on the back of
the Provisionals` recent move.

The DUP, he insisted, would stick to its pledge to voters
that paramilitarism would not be allowed to corrupt
democracy at Stormont.

"If it transpires that the weapons are beyond use, those of
us who have sought to maintain the decommissioning issue at
the top of the agenda have been vindicated," he said.

"The potential for a Northern Ireland free from the threat
of the IRA may prove realisable but our recent history
indicates why IRA words are of little value and why it is
essential that we proceed towards a better future on the
basis of absolute confidence and certainty."


Councillors Clash Over Riots

By David Young
Tuesday 4th October 2005

Belfast city councillors traded angry words last night
during a debate on last month's loyalist riots across the

A fiery debate ignited when Alliance member Mervyn Jones
proposed a motion condemning the destruction and calling on
council to support the PSNI's effort to maintain law and
order in the city.

DUP cllr Ian Crozier promptlytabled an amendment stating
that the violence obscured the "real grievances" of the
unionist community and called for an investigation of all
those guilty of wrongdoing during the riots - including,
according to him, the police.

This amendment was defeated, with the SDLP, Sinn Fein and
Alliance members all claiming that the unionists were
trying to make excuses for the violence.

Alliance's Naomi Long hit out at the decision of the
unionist members to opt out of the District Policing
Partnerships after the riots, while Sinn Fein's Michael
Brown criticised unionist leaders for creating the
political climate that made violence inevitable.

The SDLP's Alban Maginness accused the DUP of " acting like
Sinn Fein" in making excuses for violence and heavily
criticised Ulster Unionist Jim Rodgers for calling the PSNI
"scum" in the wake of the riots.

The unionists' response was just as forthright, with the
DUP's Ruth Patterson claiming that the Parades Commission's
decision to re-route the Whiterock parade ensured there
would be trouble.

"The dogs in the street knew that was the wrong decision,"
said cllr Patterson.

Jim Rodgers, who has resigned his position as Belfast DPP
chair following the riots, said he called only certain
police officers "scum", namely those that called him an "
Orange b******" as he drove past them in east Belfast.

He went on to say that the decision to opt out of the DPPs,
bodies he described as "only talking shops", was not merely
a knee jerk reaction to the police's handling of the riots.
"For some considerable time my confidence for police has
been on decline," he said.

After the DUP amendment fell, the Alliance motion was
passed without opposition.


Sinn Féin Denies Exploiting Rossport Five For Political Gain

By Paul O'Brien, Political Reporter

SINN FÉIN has rejected claims it exploited the plight of
the Rossport Five to target Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and
gain political ground in the Mayo constituency in the

Mr Kenny, speaking on RTÉ on Sunday night, accused the
party of launching an "insidious campaign" against him,
adding: "It has been brought home to me that this is
because of the fact that Fine Gael stood very strongly out
against the secret deal done by the Government with Sinn
Féin and the IRA for the release of the killers of Det
Garda Gerry McCabe from Castlerea Prison."

His accusation was supported by Education Minister Mary
Hanafin, who said the issue had been "undoubtedly jumped
upon by politicians for their own purposes."

But Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh yesterday denied that
this was the case.

"Sinn Féin's interest in the Corrib gas field is not new.
For years, we have consistently called for a radical review
of the terms governing mineral exploration here," he said.

"Enda Kenny's pathetic attack on my party (on Sunday)
clearly indicates how desperate he is to save face from
what has been a disaster from his point of view.

"Instead of standing up for the community of Rossport and
surrounding areas against Shell aggression,

Enda chose to side with the multinational. And now that his
position has been exposed, he once again lapses into that
old Fine Gael tradition of trying to shift the negative
focus onto republicans."

Mr Kenny had been perceived as being indifferent to the
fate of the Rossport Five, despite attempting to find a
legal mechanism to resolve the row.

The perceived unwillingness to intervene was the main
reason given by protestors who picketed his Castlebar
office in August.

While Mr Kenny believes Sinn Féin was behind the campaign
against him, he had previously blamed

Independent TD Jerry Cowley for orchestrating that picket,
and demanded an apology from him.

A spokesman for Mr Kenny yesterday said that the Fine Gael
leader had been alluding to the summer-long campaign
against him in his remarks on RTÉ, and not just the office
picket. That campaign had begun "in parallel" with Sinn
Féin's increased involvement in the Rossport saga, he


Ireland Faces Rural Crisis: SF

By Michael Drake
04 October 2005

Ireland is facing a rural crisis, Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de
Brún said today.

"This crisis will only be tackled if there is a greater
awareness of the realities of rural life and greater unity
among the different and at times competing interests," she

"Division allows our rural communities to be manipulated
and played off against one another.

"People want to see a level playing field for their produce
on thesupermarket shelves, agreements honoured and proper
services provided to ensure sustainable rural communities."

Ms de Brun said Sinn Féin was working in Europe to ensure
the framework for delivering money through rural
development programmes was correct.

"We want to see a genuine partnership between all of the
rural stakeholders and the European institutions," she


Paisley Meets Catholic Schoolchildren

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain and the Rev Ian
Paisley today met pupils at a Catholic primary school in
the Democratic Unionist leader's constituency which was
targeted in a sectarian attack during the summer.

By:Press Association

Mr Hain and the North Antrim MP met pupils and staff at the
St Louis Primary School in Ballymena which was targeted in
August as they prepared for the start of the academic year.

The school was just one of a number of Catholic properties
in the North Antrim area targeted in the wave of sectarian

Mr Hain paid tribute to the pupils and staff at the school
for getting back to business as quickly as possible after
the attack.

But he also stressed the need for loyalist paramilitaries
to get rid of their weapons and end all violence.

"Violence does not pay and political progress will only be
made when paramilitaries leave the stage," he said.

"The IRA has decommissioned its arms, the loyalist
paramilitaries must now do so too.

"We condemn utterly their vicious assaults, sectarian
attacks and their murder attempts on the police. They will
not succeed."

The Northern Ireland Secretary said attacks on schools like
St Louis could not be justified.

He also welcomed plans to merge St Louis with St Mary
Primary School, building a new school by September 2007.

Mr Paisley and Mr Hain joked with pupils during the visit
about their love of football and other interests.

Afterwards the DUP leader called for loyalists who engage
in violence to be shunned by the entire community.

"I have no sympathy with them whatsoever," the North Antrim
MP said.

"The vast majority of people in Ballymena would have no
sympathy with them at all.

"What we have to do now is to see how these people are
isolated and that they know that all sections of the
community are opposed to what they are doing."


Loyalists 'Must End All Violence'

Loyalist paramilitaries must end their violence and allow
democratic politics to move forward, Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain has urged.

Mr Hain was speaking on a visit to St Louis's Catholic
Primary School in Ballymena, which was targeted by
sectarian arsonists in August.

He was accompanied by the local MP, DUP leader Ian Paisley.

Mr Hain said: "Violence does not pay and progress will only
be made when paramilitaries leave the stage."

Both men strongly condemned loyalist threats to desecrate
Catholic graves at Carnmoney Cemetery in Newtownabbey on

'Medieval throwback'

Mr Hain said the threat was a "medieval throwback to a past
of violence and bigotry".

Mr Paisley said that those behind the threats had "no
respect for the living or the dead", adding that no words
of condemnation were strong enough.

They were speaking on a visit to St Louis's Primary School,
more than a month after it was attacked by arsonists.

One classroom was destroyed and 10 others were damaged.

School principal Liam Corry said the children were
"thrilled" to meet the two politicians.

"Mr Hain expressed his disgust at some of the things that
happened at the end of the summer, but I think he realised
that we're all moving on in these schools and we just want
to leave all that behind us," he added.

At the end of August, extra police were put on guard
outside Catholic churches and schools in the town, as
sectarian attacks increased.

St Louis's Primary School was attacked just one day after
nearby St Mary's Primary in the Harryville area was petrol

Thirty police officers were involved in Operation Striker,
which covered 50 Catholic-owned properties, churches,
schools and GAA sports grounds.

Vehicle checkpoints were set up in Ballymena, Ahoghill and
Portglenone, while mobile patrols covered other locations.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/04 11:49:07 GMT


Children As A Political Backdrop

Anne Cadwallader

What balderdash that was about Lawrie Sanchez "upstaging"
President Mary McAleese. When he first arrived on the scene
last Thursday, the Shankill Road children gathered to meet
her didn't even know who he was.

The puzzled kids had to be repeatedly prompted by their
teachers before they gave him a half-hearted round of
applause. Poor scraps didn't have a clue who they were
clapping. Only after exhortations did they finally give
Sanchez a weak cheer.

Once they realised he was the Northern Ireland soccer
manager, I grant you, they grabbed a few pages from
reporters' notebooks and asked for autographs.

I always find it faintly disturbing when children are used
as a backdrop for the political messages of their elders,
such as the little tableau on Thursday.

On many, many VIP visits, I have witnessed children, their
lips blue with cold, having Union flags thrust into their
tiny hands as they fight against the downdraught of some
royal personage's arriving helicopter.

I think we overestimate the sense of occasion kids have
when "important people" descend on their school or club. I
was forced myself, at about ten years, to dress up "nice
and neat and get that hair tied back" for a royal visit in

As Queen Elizabeth passed us all by in a millisecond, her
face invisible in the back of some black Rolls-Royce or
other, I had a keen sense of my intelligence being
thoroughly insulted.

Having said that, President McAleese's visits are generally
very different. She takes her time and goes out of her way
to make children feel special.

And, of course, she is elected. She is not president of
Ireland by some coarse accident of birth.

I can understand the outrage felt by many Ulster Defence
Association victims at photos this week of her embracing
Jackie McDonald but I was equally amazed that he was more
understanding about her "Nazi" comments last February than
the Democratic Unionists and the Ulster Unionists.

Maybe not so amazed, however, when you accept that the UUP
and DUP were never scandalised in the first place. They had
been waiting for years in the long grass for the woman from
Ardoyne to put an elegantly shod foot wrong.

When she did, they joyously adopted phoney expressions of
scandal. Never mind her immediate abject apology. Never
mind the horror she obviously felt, deep in her soul, when
her badly chosen words were misunderstood.

What she had said, let us remember, was that some
Protestant parents teach their children to hate Catholics
rather like the Nazis taught their children to hate Jews.

She explained, of course, that, in using these words, she
had implicitly assumed her audience would understand her
exact criticism of Catholics who did likewise.

She was right that the words were clumsy but Mary McAleese
is no bigot. She is also factually correct.

If the police are to be believed, children as young as five
were involved in last week's loyalist rioting on north
Belfast's Crumlin Road. A 13-year-old was recently charged
in connection with intimidation in Ahoghill, Co Antrim.

No less a person than Assistant Chief Constable Duncan
McCausland said his officers had given the five-year-old,
who was seen throwing stones, a good telling off before
taking him home to his parents. Sounds to me like the
parents deserved more of a telling off than the kid.

What about all those little boys proudly wearing their
Orange sashes on the Twelfth? Don't tell me they are not
being imbued with a sense of hostility towards Catholics as
they listen to the drums pounding and the pipes squealing.

I have a particularly nasty memento from Portadown. A
baby's bib reading "Born to shit on the Garvaghy Road". No
doubt, as soon as the child wearing this garment was old
enough, its parents would have explained the joke. Ha ha.

There is also a wealth of academic evidence that children
are imbued with sectarian attitudes. Take, for example, the
1999 research Sectarianism, Children and Community
Relations in Northern Ireland by Paul Connolly with Paul
Maginn of the University of Ulster.

It concluded: "It is reasonable to assume that children,
from about the age of three, are able to develop an
understanding of the categories of 'Protestant' and
'Catholic' and to apply negative characteristics to these."

Then there is the 2002 research carried out for the
Community Relations Council, Too Young to Notice? The
Cultural and Political Awareness of Three to Six-Year-Olds
in Northern Ireland.

It found that 51 per cent of all three-year-olds were able
to demonstrate some awareness of the cultural/political
significance of at least one event or symbol, rising to 90
per cent of six-year-olds.

Five and six-year-olds, it said, showed differences in
terms of their preferences for particular combinations of
colours and football shirts. When it came to using
sectarian terms, seven per cent of five-year-olds did and
15 per cent of six-year-olds.

A survey in June 2002, also carried out for the University
of Ulster, found three-year-olds already disliked each
other's cultural icons. Ninety per cent of six-year-olds in
both communities showed an understanding of the political
significance of flags, while one in five understood the
meaning of rival sectarian soccer teams.

Among the respondents was a Catholic four-year-old who did
not like Protestants because they were "bad people" and
said all Protestants wanted to kill Catholics. A Protestant
six-year-old told the survey's authors that Catholics were
"bad" and "smashed windows."

Now, where do you think all those children learned that?
The schools can hardly be blamed. Their peers in the
playground? That's no answer because their peers must
learned it from somewhere.

If some parents are criminally irresponsible in preventing
their children adopting sectarian attitudes, it is
heartening to see other responsible adults stepping into
the breach.

In Derry this week, an initiative is under way to prevent
nationalist youths attacking the beleaguered Protestant
Fountain estate.

The Community Restorative Justice group is holding a public
meeting to set up a nightly rota system to watch out for
attacks, with others at the end of a phone network ready to
be called out at times of incipient trouble.

If that isn't loving your neighbour, I don't know what is.

The parents of the young people responsible will then be
visited by clergy and others to be asked if they need help.
If nothing else, this might at least make parents aware of
their children's sectarian assumptions. If, however, they
share those assumptions, what hope is there?

Anne Cadwallader is a freelance journalist, broadcaster and
author of Holy Cross: The Untold Story.


Jobs Boost For Ballymena Bus Firm

About 170 new jobs are to be created by a County Antrim bus
manufacturer over the next three years.

The £15m investment by Wrightbus will take the Ballymena-
based company's workforce to more than 1,000 people.

The firm has enjoyed sustained success over the last 15
years, turning into one of the UK's major bus suppliers and
exporting around the world.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said it was a "very
significant" investment and a boost for Ballymena.

"By taking the proactive step of investing in innovative
research and development, Wrightbus will be able to
safeguard its position as one of the leading independent
manufacturers of public transport vehicles in the world,"
he said.

"This is the type of investment that is needed in the local
economy to allow Northern Ireland to compete successfully
in the fiercely competitive global marketplace."

In the early 1990s, the company employed fewer than 200

The company is renowned for investing heavily in research
and development.

One of its innovations is a hybrid electric bus
specifically targeted at the export market.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/04 12:27:52 GMT


Letter From Northern Ireland

Turning Tragedy Into A Tourist Industry

The Hard men of Northern Ireland are conducting tours of
Belfast's trouble spots

By Chris Thornton / Belfast

Alan Lewis / Photopress Belfast MOVING PICTURES: Tourists snap a mural of I.R.A. hunger striker Bobby Sands

Tuesday, Oct. 04, 2005

The residents of divis Tower celebrated this summer when
the British army closed the observation post that had taken
up the top two floors of their drab apartment block in West
Belfast for more than 30 years. Not Joe Lavelle. As his
guided tour passed on the road below, soldiers used to wave
on cue when passengers pointed their cameras from the open
top of their double-decker bus. Now, as a mark of the peace
that's slowly settled over Northern Ireland, the troopers
and their fortified outpost are gone. "It's like going to
Paris and not having the Eiffel Tower," sighs Lavelle.

There's more tourism than terrorism in Belfast these days.
In parts of the city where even the army used to fear to
tread, camera-toting visitors now arrive in a steady
stream, and former combatants are among a range of people
figuring out how to make a legitimate buck from the mayhem
they once caused. Companies set up by ex-republican and ex-
loyalist prisoners offer firsthand accounts of the bad old
days in their warring neighborhoods. The onetime enemies
will even — quietly — share clients. "Thousands of people
are coming here every week," says Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín
from the Irish Republican Army prisoners' group, Coiste, as
another bus passes along the Catholic Falls Road. "They're
not coming here for fishing. Not everybody wants to lie on
a beach."

Onboard one of Lavelle's buses last week, 40 people
listened attentively to the quieter parts of Belfast's
history, like the building of the Titanic in a local
shipyard. But their necks craned whenever they passed a
temple of recent turbulence, like police stations
surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, and the West
Belfast peace line, a barrier that has separated Catholic
and Protestant neighborhoods longer than Berlin was divided
by its wall. Their guide, Bren-dan McKernan, laced fact
with a heavy dose of blarney. He recited the alphabet soup
of Irish paramilitary groups just as the bus passed a fast
food restaurant. To the i.r.a., i.n.l.a., u.d.a. and
u.v.f., he added kfc. "Their leader was known as the
Colonel," he deadpanned. "They were responsible for a lot
of stomach injuries." Another guide eases nerves by
repeating that passengers have nothing to fear, then asks
them to pick up their bulletproof vests at the back of bus.
He always gets a laugh.

Real violence does some-times intrude. When the embers of
the Troubles flare up, as they did during loyalist riots
last month, the number of gawkers drops off. "But a week
later we're pointing out the burn marks on the walls to
them," says Lavelle. In that sense, the Troubles tourism
mirrors the odd resilience of Northern Ireland's stuttering
peace process. Last week, after a panel of international
witnesses confirmed that the i.r.a. had finally disposed of
its immense arsenal as unionists had long demanded, the
unionists' leader, Ian Paisley, seemed unable to accept yes
for an answer. He implied he would keep stalling efforts to
revive a power-sharing government in Belfast, because he
didn't trust the i.r.a. Many other unionists fear his
perpetual intransigence is losing them ground.

But the reality of Ulster today is that no matter what
Paisley does, no one expects any more serious violence.
Instead, people are planning more constructive ways to
harness the power of the past: turning part of the Maze
Prison, where 10 republican inmates starved themselves to
death in 1981, into a museum; trying to build a hotel on
the site of a recently demolished police station; perhaps
erecting a visitors' center where back-packers can come to
write messages on the peace line. "This wall's not coming
down in the foreseeable future," says William Smyth, a
former loyalist prisoner.

"What we want to do is get something from it for the area."
He thinks Belfast can only benefit by making money out of
making peace.


What The Papers Say

Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at what is making
the headlines in Tuesday's morning papers.

The fate of George Best as he lies in intensive care in a
west London hospital is a matter of front-page speculation
in many of the papers.

The Sun claims that the former Manchester United star
"doesn't care if he lives or dies".

The paper also claims that George Best has told friends he
doesn't expect to live to see his 60th birthday in May.

Although his condition is now improving, the Mirror says
the former footballer was "close to death", but reports
that his illness is not alcohol-related.

The Belfast Telegraph says that in recent years, Best's
life has become "a series of public humiliations and sordid

But James Lawton in the Irish Independent says that even if
Best has made a "long and wearying joke of so much of his
life", the man behind the "roistering, sad legend" still
deserves our sympathy.


Loyalist threats to desecrate Catholic graves in Carnmoney
are met with widespread disgust across all the local

Describing the situation as "a stain of sectarian
bitterness", the Belfast Telegraph asks, what these people
think they can possibly achieve by such threats, other than
to sicken those of all faiths and none at such inhuman

"Just when you think you've seen and heard it all, the
hydra of sectarianism grows another head on its already
corrupt body", says Daily Ireland , calling on the
Protestant and unionist community to "reject these bigots".

The News Letter believes that the "deeply offensive"
sectarian scenes at Carnmoney could not have had the
support of any self-respecting Protestant with a pride in
their own religion.

But Susan McKay, writing in the Irish News , thinks that
mainstream unionism must bear some responsibility for the
Carnmoney situation.

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, she says, the monster
appeals to its creator not to denounce it: "Remember that I
am thy creature."

In the same way, she argues, "there is no point in the DUP
claiming it doesn't know the rabble descending on the
graveyard at Carnmoney. These lost souls are its people."

'New frontier'

The Independent leads with a report on "Europe's new
frontier", as the EU launches membership talks with Turkey
in an historic gesture aimed at reconciling Europe and the
Muslim world.

The paper says that 30 hours of wrangling in Luxembourg
ended with a decision to embark on the EU's most
controversial expansion yet.

It was feared that a rebuff to Turkey might lead it to turn
away from western ideals.

But the Irish Times notes that Turkey stands many years
behind Europe's standard of social, educational and
equality policies - and adds that Turkey must make further
strides towards liberal democratic norms.


Finally, the Times reports how a medical researcher who
risked his life by swallowing a potentially deadly
bacterium has just won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Convinced that peptic ulcers were caused by the bacterium
Helicobacter pylori and not stress, as commonly assumed, Dr
Barry Marshall deliberately infected himself with the bug.

A week later, he started vomiting and suffering painful
symptoms of gastritis, which he cured with antibiotics,
completing one of the most significant medical
breakthroughs of the past 50 years.

But his wife, Adrienne, was not impressed with the bug
swallowing and its effects.

"That's a very Barry thing to have done," she said, adding,
"He's always being stupid; bad jokes, puns, that sort of

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/04 07:31:41 GMT

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