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November 11, 2005

Adams Thanks US State Department

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 11/11/05 Adams Gets Round Ban With Live Link-Up Speech
BT 11/11/05 Islamic Lawyer Claims Ireland Is Target
IN 11/11/05 'GAA Jerseys Not Welcome'
BT 11/11/05 Plan For MPs To Address Dail Still On Table
DJ 11/11/05 McGuinness Urges DUP To Return To Powersharing
BT 11/11/05 One More Chance For Devolution, Says Paisley
DI 11/11/05 SDLP: '28 Days Better Than 90'
SF 11/11/05 Anger At SDLP Support For Internment
BT 11/11/05 PM Called Durkan On 90-Day Terror Vote
BT 11/11/05 Trimble And Durkan 'Near To Bust-Up'
IN 11/11/05 SDLP To Stage Annual Meeting
IN 11/11/05 SF 'Moving To Protect Agents Of Collusion'
IO 11/11/05 Ahern Refuses Questions On Church-State Links
IN 11/11/05 Cowen Rebukes Attack On Church/State Links
IN 11/11/05 Ahern: 'SF Not Ready For Office In South'
BT 11/11/05 Ex-RUC Woman Tells Of 'Police Brutality'
IN 11/11/05 Murdered Man's Family Call For Privacy
IN 11/11/05 Parties To Fight Ban Over Fair Decision
IO 11/11/05 North: Plea Over Fair Pension For All
IN 11/11/05 Opin: Time Running Out For Deals
IN 11/11/05 Belfast Woman's New York Poll Win
IN 11/11/05 GAA Game Goes On Sale
IN 11/11/05 Town Honours Young Irelander
BT 11/11/05 Shocking Cases Of Shot Cat And Emaciated Dog
BB 11/11/05 Stardom For Irish Traveller Girl
IO 11/11/05 Sile De Valera To Quit Politics


Adams Gets Round US Ban With Live Link-Up Speech

By Sean O'Driscoll
11 November 2005

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams spoke by live satellite
link to the annual Friends of Sinn Fein dinner in New York
last night to circumvent a US fund-raising ban.

Adams told the guests, who paid $$500 a plate to attend,
that Friends of Sinn Fein had sold more tickets for the
event than ever before because of the publicity surrounding
the fund-raising ban.

"I'd like to thank those in the US administration who made
this possible," he joked to cheers from more than 700

"I'm disappointed not to meet with old friends, meet new
friends and make a report on the process of progress since
last we met," he said.

His speech was broadcast on two giant screens on either
side of a ballroom in the New York Sheraton Hotel near
Times Square.

A team of technicians worked to carry the signal, while
Friends of Sinn Fein officials stood beside them, working
out logistics with technical staff in Ireland.

Mr Adams said that Sinn Fein's refusal to sit on the
policing board was the reason given by the US government
for refusing the fund-raising visa.

"It appears to have been at the root of the disappointing
decision by the US administration to refuse me a fund-
raising visa. Nationalists and republicans want to be
policed, we are a law-abiding people," he said.

Earlier, labourers' union boss, Terry Sullivan, made a
fiery speech attacking the US government's decision not to
give Adams a fund-raising visa.

His words were strongly supported by Bronx Congressman,
Charles Engel, described the fund-raising ban as an
"absolute disgrace".

"At the very time when Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams
are taking all kinds of risk for peace, it's absolutely the
wrong time to slap them in the face," he said.

Former Ardoyne resident, Jim Smith, a long time New York
Sinn Fein supporter, said he challenged the US envoy to
Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss, about the fund-raising
ban at an event on Tuesday night.

He said Reiss told him the ban was put in place because
Sinn Fein would not take seats on the policing board.


Call For Ban On 'Bomb Ireland' Extremist

Tom Brady, Helen Bruce
and Shane Hickey
11 November 2005

There was outrage last night after an Islamic
fundamentalist said Ireland was a "legitimate" target for a
terrorist attack.

Lawyer Anjem Choudary, who is under police surveillance in
Britain, made the comments shortly after arriving in Dublin
for a debate in Trinity College.

His remarks are being studied by gardai with a view to
possible prosecution for incitement to hatred.

Politicians called for him to be banned from public
platforms in Ireland.

Choudary claimed Ireland was a legitimate target for a
terror attack because of the Government's decision to allow
US troops to refuel at Shannon Airport. "If you are going
to allow your country to be used to refuel a US plane which
is going on a bombing raid, what do you expect our reaction
to be? This is not neutrality," he said.

"A US pilot is no different from the Irish person who
allows the plane to land. They are collaborators."

And in a veiled threat, he warned: "It is better for the
Muslim to tell you this reality so we can change this and
to make sure what is taking place in other countries will
not happen in Ireland."

Another Muslim extremist, Umran Javed, told the debate he
did not personally see an attack on Ireland as likely.

But he warned retaliation would come "swiftly" if Ireland
was to increase its support for the US.

Choudary's comments came just a day after at some 60 people
were killed in a triple bomb attack in Jordan.

He spoke only hours after the head of Scotland Yard, London
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, warned that
Dublin is as much at risk of a major terrorist attack as
other large cities.

A Government spokesman last night refused to comment on
Choudary's inflammatory remarks, and said it was a "legal
issue for the Department of Justice".

Justice Minister Michael McDowell is to await a Garda
report on the debate before reacting to the comments.

Senior Garda officers will also study his remarks to
determine if they represent an incitement to hatred.

Detectives from the Garda Special Branch's Middle Eastern
Unit kept watch at Trinity College while Mr Choudary, Umram
Javed and another Islamic fundamentalist, Abdul Rehman
Saleem, aired their extremist views.

Opposition politicians last night expressed outrage at the
decision to give Choudary a platform for his views, and
said the Islamic fundamentalist may be guilty of breaching
incitement to hatred laws.

Labour Justice spokesman Joe Costello described his
comments as "dangerous and provocative".

"This is a form of incitement to hatred. It is highly
irresponsible to state that Ireland is a legitimate target
for attack, especially given what happened in Jordan
yesterday," he told the Irish Independent.

"There is a serious question mark about somebody coming
into this country and justifying an attack on this

Fine Gael's justice spokesman Jim O'Keeffe said no-one
wanted to curb free speech, but added there was also a duty
to uphold the laws banning incitement to hatred and
advocating terrorist attacks.

"I think it is very immature of the Philosophical Society
in Trinity to invite someone who wants to advocate

A spokesman for Trinity College said there was never any
question of banning Choudary as the university believed in
free speech and encouraged the Philosophical Society to
promote debate.

Choudary was speaking in favour of a motion that the
September 11 attacks in the US in 2001 were justified.

Musleh Faradhi, president of the Islamic Forum of Europe,
said: "Any terrorism act perpetrated by Muslims in
condemnable. Whether it is in a Muslim land, America,
London or Jordan, it goes against the teaching of Islam,
the Koran and the teachings of the prophet.

"We condemn it without any condition.

"There is no justification whatever for these acts. That is
the view of the main body of Muslims worldwide."

The controversy comes at time when British politics is torn
by the Commons defeat of a key clause in British Prime
Minister Tony Blair's anti-terror measures.

Mr Blair yesterday branded rebel Labour MPs as out of


'GAA Jerseys Not Welcome'

By Staff Reporter

POSTERS have been erected in a Co Antrim village, where a
sectarian campaign has been waged against Catholic
residents, stating that GAA jerseys 'are not welcome'.

The A4 pages appeared in Ahoghill on Wednesday night and
have been condemned by North Antrim Sinn Fein assembly
member Philip McGuigan. "The sentiments expressed are
disgraceful and blatantly sectarian in nature," he said.
Proclaiming: 'No GAA jerseys in welcome in Ahoghill' more
than 20 of the notices were put up in the village which at
the height of a sectarian campaign during the summer saw
several Catholic homes, a school and church attacked by
petrol and paint bombs. Mr McGuigan said the offensive
against nationalists was still being mounted. "The GAA is
an organisation that provides great service to old and
young alike in Ireland and should be left to continue to do
that," he said. Referring to another poster distributed
several months ago, he said those responsible would not be
content until every Catholic resident had left the area.


Plan For Northern MPs To Address Dail Still On Table

By Barry White
11 November 2005

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has insisted that his proposal to
allow Northern Ireland MPs to address the Dail has not been
abandoned, despite rejection by unionists.

"It is a bit in the washing machine," he said.

The main parties in the Dail also rejected his suggestion,
"changing their position from where they were" when an all-
party committee on the Irish constitution had made the same
recommendation in 2001.

"If others have changed their mind, I haven't changed my
mind," he said. "We will see if there is some other way."

Referring to his meeting on Wednesday with Sir Reg Empey,
the UUP leader, Mr Ahern expressed interest in his idea of
inviting all the parties from the Oireachtas to meet the
UUP in Belfast to "tease out" what might be agreed upon.

"I'm not hung up on this point one way or the other. I had
a commitment. An all-party committee agreed a signed report
and I was just trying to bring it forward."

The Taoiseach said he had proposed that the Northern
Ireland MPs should make an input to debates before the Dail
on the Good Friday Agreement or other relevant issues.

"It was not seen as a backdoor way of going outside the
Good Friday Agreement or undoing the constitutional
position, which was based on consent. That matter is
finished, as I said in Belfast last week.

"It was not seen as a device to have Gerry Adams floating
round the corridors of Dail Eireann. That was not what it
was about."

Mr Ahern said it would be "sad" if the Dail could have
people addressing committees about the Middle East conflict
or the Cuban crisis or Timor East but could not talk about
inviting people from Northern Ireland.

"We invite people in every day," he said, referring to 18
Dail committees.

"Great democrats, though some of them may be a bit on the
shady side."

The Taoiseach made a special appeal to unionists in his
speech to the Association of European Journalists. His
invitation to speak in the Dail was "never seen to be
divisive; never seen to be threatening; never seen to be
trying to go behind the Good Friday Agreement and never
seen to be trying to break the principles of consent".


McGuinness Urges DUP To Return To Powersharing

Friday 11th November 2005

The DUP can only deliver for their supporters by
participating in the institutions created by the Good
Friday Agreement, Martin McGuinness insisted this week.

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator said the Rev. Ian Paisley's
party had moved a long way from the politics of 'no
surrender' and 'not an inch'.

But, speaking at the launch of a book in Dublin on this
year's Magill Summer School, the Mid-Ulster MP insisted the
DUP needed to go further by participating in the
powersharing institutions established under the 1998 deal.

"They regularly meet with the Taoiseach and I welcome
that," the former Stormont Education Minister noted. "They
accept the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement and I
welcome that also.

"But the process of bringing the peace process to a
successful conclusion will be accelerated enormously if
they act on the logic of this position and move quickly to
re-establish the political institutions.

"As the violent events of this summer have shown, the
unionist community needs confident and positive leadership.
They need politicians who can deliver for them.

"There is no way to do this other than through the
institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. That is the
challenge that the DUP faces. I hope that their response is
positive and forward-looking."

The DUP and Ulster Unionists have responded cautiously
since the IRA announced an end to its armed campaign in
July and subsequently completed weapons decommissioning.

Following last month's report from the four-member
Independent Monitoring Commission that the IRA was making
"encouraging" progress, the British and Irish governments
are hoping to persuade unionists to go back into a
powersharing administration.

The DUP has, however, submitted a 64-page document
outlining confidence building measures they insist need
addressed before a return to devolution can be

Mr. McGuinness says all sides in Northern Ireland face
challenges and demands in the time ahead.

"Most of them are identified and addressed in this book but
I firmly believe that we can face into the resolution of
these issues in a spirit of confidence and optimism," the
Sinn Fein MP declared.


One More Chance For Devolution, Says Paisley

By Noel McAdam
11 November 2005

Only one more chance remains to get devolved government in
Northern Ireland right, DUP leader Ian Paisley has warned.

But there was no possibility of progress before unionists
are convinced they are getting a fair deal, he said.

The North Antrim MP also repeated a recent warning that the
next Government move after its "unconditional amnesty" will
be the inclusion of IRA personnel into the police.

His comments came at his constituency associations' annual
dinner almost exactly a year after his IRA "sackcloth and
ashes" remark which helped scupper a deal on devolution
last December.

Mr Paisley returned to the theme last night.

He said: "Those comments exposed Sinn Fein/IRA's true
intention to avoid at all costs a decommissioning process
that was transparent and would be convincing to unionists.
They have failed to be sincere.

"That failure means they will have to convince unionists
they are going to turn from their way of violence. If they
cannot do that they have no place in the future of our

Mr Paisley told the gathering, which included Chief
Constable Sir Hugh Orde, that any notion of introducing
paramilitary elements into policing by the back door would
be totally abhorrent to people right across the community.

And he pledged the "greatest possible resistance" to
Government proposals to draw a line on criminal actions
arising from the Troubles, in what Mr Paisley argued
amounts to an "unconditional amnesty".

Mr Paisley added: "By proposing amnesties, this Government
has shown they have no consideration for the grief, pain or
misery these cold-blooded killers inflicted on their
innocent victims."

Mr Paisley said devolution was in the best interests of
Northern Ireland but it must be stable, effective,
efficient and completely democratic.

"There will only be one more chance to get things right and
ensure our province is able to go forward," he said. "On
that basis the Government must start addressing the
concerns of unionists."


'28 Days Better Than 90'

"I voted against the 90 days because I felt 90 days was an
inordinate time to keep somebody detained without charge…
My preference would be 14 but 28 is a lot better than 90."
– SDLP Belfast South MP Alasdair McDonnell


- SDLP defends terror vote -

A senior SDLP official last night defended his party's
decision to vote in favour of 28-day detention without
trial throughout Britain and the North.

It emerged yesterday that the SDLP's three Westminster MPs
- Mark Durkan, Eddie McGrady and Alasdair McDonnell - had
all voted in favour of an amendment to British prime
minister Tony Blair's controversial Terrorism Bill on

After opposing Mr Blair's proposal for 90-day detention,
the SDLP MPs supported the detention of suspects without
trial or charge for 28 days.

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood told a public debate
on policing in west Belfast yesterday that, despite being
in London on Wednesday, he was unaware of the development
and would have to look into the matter.

Speaking to Daily Ireland, the SDLP's most senior official
spokesman insisted that his party opposed the Terrorism
Bill "in its entirety".

However, the party official claimed that, for "tactical"
reasons, his party's MPs had all filed through the division
lobby at Westminster in favour of 28-day detention.

"We had been opposing the bill in its entirety, be that 14,
28 or 90 days, especially with the history of nationalists
in the North, and not just in the North but Irish
nationalists in Britain, if you look at the Guildford Four
and the Birmingham Six," he said.

"But, to make sure that the 90-day bill did not go through,
we had to vote for the amendment."

In fact, the proposal for 90-day detention fell immediately
after it had been voted down.

The subsequent 28-day amendment was won by 33 votes,
meaning that the votes of the three SDLP MPs were not
needed for its passage.

The SDLP official responded: "You have to take a decision
tactically when you're in Westminster. It was a tactical

Asked whether such tactics were compatible with apparently
principled opposition to detention without trial, the
official replied: "We stood by our principles, on the
record, opposing this in its entirety. We have been
consistently clear on this."

SDLP Belfast South MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell yesterday told
BBC radio that he would have preferred the current
arrangement of 14-day detention without trial or charge.

"I voted against the 90 days because I basically felt 90
days was an inordinate time to keep somebody detained
without charge," he said.

"All the arguments coming from the government benches that
90 days was needed before they could put charges to an
individual rung very hollow with me because, to my mind, it
had echoes of internment, albeit for a limited period.

"It wouldn't be my preference. My preference would be 14
but 28 is an awful lot better than 90. In reality, in the
House of Commons, you have to go for something with some
chance of winning."

Later yesterday, the SDLP issued a written statement to
Daily Ireland to further clarify its support for the 28-day
detention period.

The statement said: "The Terrorism Bill, as it was drafted,
allowed a detention period of three months. The government
proposed an amendment changing this to 90 days -
essentially the same thing.

"We opposed this amendment, as did the majority in the
House of Commons, as a way of recording our opposition to
the government's plans.

"Therefore, the bill continued to allow detention for three
months. We then backed an amendment by David Winnick to
reduce this to 28 days.

"While we do not want any emergency laws, 28 days is less
awful than the three months that otherwise we would have

"Had we voted against 28 days or abstained, we risked
playing right into the hands of the government and allowing
three-month detention by default.

"That would have been a crazy thing to do. It would have
been as good as voting for three-month detention.
Nationalists rightly would have criticised us had we done
this. People should remember that this was a very close
vote. Nobody knew in advance how it was going to go, not
even the Prime Minister."


Anger At SDLP Support For Reintroduction Of Internment

Published: 11 November, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy has said that
there is widespread disgust and anger at SDLP support for
the British government's latest repressive laws including
the power to intern people for up to 28 days.

Mr Murphy said:

" Irish nationalists and republicans are only to aware of
the fall out from the use of repressive powers and
arbitrary detention. Tens of thousands of people have been
detained under such powers here in the six counties. We
have lived through the years of internment without trial,
we have lived through the years of the torture centres and
conveyor belt justice. The Good Friday Agreement was about
ending all of that.

" Having fought so hard to see the Special Powers Act
removed and with it the 28 day provision which was
available in it, the SDLP comfortable in their British
parliamentary seats had no problem in voting to reintroduce
such repressive powers back into the six counties.

" The victims of this measure will be young Muslims in
England and given the experience of the past week young
nationalists and republicans here in the six counties. The
SDLP action has been greeted with disgust and anger within
the broad nationalist and republican community.

" It is now clear that the SDLP is very much part of a new
policing establishment. They already support the use of
plastic bullets and CS gas on our streets and now they have
clearly given the green light to the re-introduction of
internment as well." ENDS


PM Called Durkan On 90-Day Terror Vote

SDLP was urged to back Blair over laws

By Noel McAdam
11 November 2005

Tony Blair phoned SDLP leader Mark Durkan on the House of
Commons showdown over the 90-day terror detention, it has

The former deputy First Minister said Mr Blair made direct
contact to see if there was any way the party's three MPs
could "see their way" to abstaining.

In the atmosphere before the crunch Government defeat -
with rumours the DUP might be preparing to do a deal with
the Government over disbandment of the Royal Irish Home
battalions - the votes of Mr Durkan, deputy leader Alasdair
McDonnell and South Down MP Eddie McGrady might have made a

Mr Durkan told the BBC Hearts And Minds programme last
night he and the PM had a "grown-up, sensible" conversation
and he made clear his party would be opposing the 90-day
limit, partly as a result of the nationalist experience of
detention in Northern Ireland.

The revelation came on the eve of the SDLP's annual
conference which is to vote on holding another special
gathering - to tackle worsening community relations.

The three-day event, which opens tonight, will firmly point
the finger of blame at the DUP and Sinn Fein for "putting
party politics before people's needs", particularly on
health issues.

Grassroots members will debate a series of motions
including a demand for new laws allowing for the immediate
removal of national, paramilitary or offensive flags or
murals from public property, particularly on arterial

A key motion, however, urges the party to "spearhead" a
campaign to address the deteriorating community relations
situation "with a view to convening a special conference to
address all relevant issues as soon as possible".

Another motion lays the blame directly for the reduction in
government services in all departments on the DUP and Sinn
Fein "because of their intransigence and their continuous
desire to prioritise party politics".

The conference is also expected to acknowledge the work of
the Parades Commission and express concern "at any attempt
to change its nature, functions or role" because such
developments would be backwards, disruptive and unhelpful.


Trimble And Durkan 'Near To Bust-Up'

By Noel McAdam
11 November 2005

Former First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First
Minister Mark Durkan were heading for a "big bust-up"
shortly before the Sinn Fein spying allegations put
devolution into a deep freeze.

According to a new book, tensions which had grown between
the SDLP leader and his then Ulster Unionist counterpart
came to a head over a proposal to allow motorists to
include flag emblems on their car licence plates.

Room 21: Stormont Behind Closed Doors, written by former
Belfast Telegraph political correspondent Martina Purdy,
reveals Mr Durkan had become increasingly irritated by Mr
Trimble apparently making "solo runs" to Downing Street.

The book, formally launched in Belfast last night, claims
Mr Durkan was "most annoyed" when he discovered his power-
sharing co-partner had written to Transport Minister
Alastair Darling on the car licences issue and then wrote a
letter himself.

"Durkan alleged that Trimble then wrote a second letter to
Darling insisting that he wanted Northern Ireland motorists
to have the choice of the Union flag as well as St
Patrick's Cross," Ms Purdy, now a political correspondent
with BBC Northern Ireland, reports.

Mr Trimble disputes the Durkan account and said his
recollection was he did not write the second letter but Mr
Durkan had "firmly cast aside" his intentions not to fight
with his Ulster Unionist counterpart.

"As they approached the first anniversary of their
partnership, Durkan prepared for battle. 'We were heading
for a big bust-up', he said."

Growing strains in their relationship are traced back in
the book to the Holy Cross dispute and the two men had a
public row over the proposed Children's Commissioner in
Belfast City Airport when Mr Durkan said Mr Trimble accused
him of "getting uppity".

By September 2002, "relations were not terribly warm"
between them when Mr Durkan's mother, Isobel, died.

Earlier, Mr Trimble had been quite sympathetic when he
heard Mr Durkan's mother was going into a hospice and
confided he had gone through the same experience with his
own mother.

But on their first day back at Stormont at a one-to-one
meeting, "Durkan was disgusted when Trimble moved on to
talk about his trip (to the Earth Summit in South Africa)
without expressing any sympathy".

Later in the day, Mr Trimble read out a formal statement of
condolences during Question Time in the Assembly written by
a civil servant.


SDLP To Stage Annual Meeting

By William Graham Political Correspondent

The SDLP's annual conference this weekend will urge both
the Irish and British governments to stand resolutely
behind the Good Friday Agreement and refuse all attempts to
dilute it. Conference opens in Belfast tonight with debates
on social development and the review of public
administration. Delegates are expected to strongly oppose
government plans for seven new super councils.

They will emphasise that new council boundaries must not
give rise to the "sectarian balkanisation" of Northern
Ireland. SDLP chairperson Patricia Lewsley will stress the
importance of getting the assembly back and working instead
of what is happening now under the direct rule ministers
who are imposing huge rates rises and water charges.

In his keynote speech tomorrow, SDLP leader Mark Durkan
will underline the importance of standing firmly behind the
Good Friday Agreement and its implementation. The main
political motion from the SDLP assembly group suggests the
governments initiate a process whereby all aspects of the
agreement will be fully implemented. Conference will oppose
any DUP attempts to rewrite aspects of the Belfast
agreement. Also a motion has been tabled which recognises
recent progress on IRA decommissioning and demands that all
loyalist and other republican paramilitary groups
immediately disarm.


SF 'Moving To Protect Agents Of Collusion'

By William Graham Political Correspondent

The SDLP and Sinn Fein are locked in a war of words over
'on the runs' legislation and whether it would cover up the
truth about collusion between the security forces and
loyalist paramilitaries.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan was accused of making insensitive
and ill-informed comments after he claimed Sinn Fein had
"negotiated an amnesty" for rogue police and British army
members which would keep them out of jail.

"That may not bother the British government or Sinn Fein,"
Mr Durkan said.

"It will certainly go down well with the army's secret
Force Research Unit that spearheaded collusion.

"But it will bother victims of state planned murder. They
have not been consulted about a word of this.

"We have seen collusion in the past between the state and

"Now we are seeing collusion on the past between

Sinn Fein and the British government – each helping the
other to cover up their dirty secrets."

However, Mr Durkan's claims drew an angry res-ponse from
Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey.

"Unlike the SDLP, Sinn Fein has always supported the
victims of state violence and collusion," Mr Maskey said.

"Many of our party members were among those targeted,
injured and killed.

"I have personally lost close friends and comrades and have
been shot myself.

"Sinn Fein continues to stand beside these families as we
have done for years.

"The hypocrisy and bare-faced dishonesty of the SDLP in
claiming that we are in collusion with the British
government in covering up the past has caused great offence
to many victims families who I have spoken with today."

Mr Maskey claimed that for many years the SDLP dismissed
Sinn Fein's claims that party members targeted by loyalists
were the victims of collusion.

Meanwhile, DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the proposed 'on-the-
run' legislation represented an amnesty for IRA terrorists
and was opposed by both the public and the police.

"This amnesty proposal goes beyond the provisions of the
Belfast agreement," he said.

Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon also expressed
disgust at the legislation and said it was "an amnesty for
terrorist criminals".

Alliance assembly member Sean Neeson said "specific
clarification" was needed from organisations hoping to
benefit from the legislation about whether people exiled by
paramilitaries would also be allowed to return home safely.


Ahern Refuses To Answer Questions On Church-State Links

11/11/2005 - 11:32:11

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has walked out on reporters who
questioned him about his defence of the church's
relationship with the State.

Yesterday, Mr Ahern defended the church's involvement in
the Irish education system and its overall role in Irish
society following stinging criticism earlier this week from
Progressive Democrats TD Liz O'Donnell.

Ms O'Donnell said the church could not be trusted to tell
the truth in the wake of the clerical child sex abuse
scandal in Ferns.

She also said the church's involvement in education should
be re-examined and its finances should be independently

When Mr Ahern was questioned about the matter before a
Fáilte Ireland conference in Dublin today, he walked away
from reporters and refused to answer any questions.

His handlers had earlier told the media that he would only
speak about tourism.

The Taoiseach's defence of the church has already sparked
criticism from a number of areas.

The One in Four support group has described his comments as
"ill-timed and poorly judged", saying the good works of the
church did not cancel out the rape and abuse of children.

Labour Party TD Liz McManus, meanwhile, said Mr Ahern had
displayed an ignorance of the full implications of the
Ferns scandal.

"The Ferns Report shows a high level of depravity and
cover-up by the institutional church, as well as negligence
by the State," she said.

"The Taoiseach's response was grossly defective. It
offended the survivors of abuse. It didn't appreciate the
importance of reform when it comes to the education of our


Cowen Rebukes Attack Against Church/State Relationship

By Staff Reporter

A government backbencher's calls to end the special
relationship between the state and the Catholic Church in
the Republic were yesterday rebuked in the Dail by finance
minister Brian Cowen.

Progressive Democrat TD Liz O'Donnell yesterday launched a
scathing attack on bishops and priests and said the damning
Ferns Report on clerical child sex abuse should finally end
the cosy ties between the government and the Catholic

She added that the Catholic Church was like a secret
society which had failed to protect children and could not
be believed anymore.

But Mr Cowen yesterday told the Dail that the state's
relationship with the Church should be dispersed to include
mature dialogue with all faiths and religions.

Mr Cowen also described yesterday's calls by coalition
colleague Ms O'Donnell to cut ties with the Catholic
hierarchy as illiberal.

"The draft constitutional treaty during our EU presidency
states it is the intention of all governments in the EU to
continue with a very legitimate dialogue between the faith
communities in their societies and governments on the basis
of a mature relationship which we seek with all faiths in
this pluralist society," he said.

"I would regard it as a thoroughly illiberal idea that such
a dialogue shouldn't take place."


Ahern: 'Sinn Fein Not Ready For Office In South'

By Valerie Robinson Southern Correspondent

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern accepts that the IRA has ceased
criminal activity but insists that Sinn Fein is not yet
ready for an Irish government role.

In an exclusive interview with The Irish News, Mr Ahern,
pictured, said Sinn Fein could not enter government in the
Republic because as long as the Provisional IRA was still
in existence, the party could not subscribe to the Irish

An IRA statement in July ordered the dumping of arms and
was followed by the decommissioning of all weapons – but
the organisation did not disband.

Mr Ahern said he accepted the IRA's July statement but said
as things stood, Sinn Fein could not enter into coalition
after the next election, expected in 2007.

The taoiseach said he had insisted that Sinn Fein could not
be in government "as long as they were associated with a
paramilitary organisation, as long as the Provisional IRA
was there, because you couldn't subscribe to Bunreacht na
hEireann (the Irish Constitution) and be part of an
alternative army".

"If the Independent Monitoring Commission – and all the
security agencies – continues to indicate that paramilitary
activities have ceased for good, then that rem-oves that
stigma that I put over them," he said.

"Then you get back to normal politics. I know a little bit
about how you make a government work to deliver sustainable
policies and you can't do that with somebody who
fundamentally differs with your policies."

Mr Ahern said he remained "passionately committed" to all
aspects of the Good Friday Agreement and remained hopeful
that its institutions will up and running by the summer.

"Most people involved in the process believe that if you
don't keep going you create a vacuum. Whenever we've had
vacuums in Northern Ireland it's been dangerous for
everybody," he said.

Foreign affairs minister Dermot Ahern and Secretary of
State Peter Hain have already written to the political
parties inviting them to take part in a 'stock-taking
exercise' in the wake of the IRA's statement and the
decommissioning of the organisation's weapons.

Meanwhile Mr Ahern speaking last night rebuked calls to end
the special relationship between the state and the Catholic
Church in the wake of the Ferns Report.

Progressive Democrat TD Liz O'Donnell said the report
should end the ties between the government and the Catholic

While admitting there was disappointment at the report, Mr
Ahern defended the church, saying it was owned gratitude
for the contribution it had made.


Ex-RUC Woman Tells Of 'Police Brutality'

By Noel McAdam
11 November 2005

A leader of a new all-women group forged over alleged
police brutality was an officer in the former RUC, it
emerged today.

Mum on a mission Sonia Copeland has become group
representative of Women Restoring Unionist Culture (WRUC)
which aims to spread right across Northern Ireland.

The catalyst for its formation was the banned Orange Order
Whiterock parade and alleged "brutal and illegal" actions
by police officers in the violent aftermath which spread
through Belfast and parts of Northern Ireland.

"Our motivation was really the police brutality we could
see and the damage that caused. If you are sending in
community police officers one week and then other police
officers to hammer young people the next, there will be no
consensus on policing," Mrs Copeland said.

But the 47-year-old is also an Ulster Unionist Party member
whose husband is Castlereagh councillor Michael Copeland.

She insists, however: "My husband has no input into the
group. In fact there is no male input. The fact is if you
want a job done, get a woman to do it."

The aim of the group, which already has around 100 members
in Belfast, is to help restore confidence in the unionist

Claiming a membership of around 100 in Belfast, it met
Secretary of State Peter Hain this week and has already met
Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loane and PSNI Assistant Chief
Constable Duncan McCausland.

"We are determined to get our voice heard because there is
a widespread fear that unionist culture is being eroded,"
she said.

The Belfast-based mother of two teenagers was also a police
constable for 12 years during the height of the Troubles.

And she survived breast cancer two years ago - after being
given just weeks to live - because of an early detection.

"One woman phoned another who knew someone else in another
part of the city and we came together through that kind of
networking," Mrs Copeland said.

Mrs O'Loane's office is now examining a series of
allegations, and the group is hoping to meet Mr Hain again
before Christmas.

Among their many concerns put to Mr Hain are: the on the
runs legislation; the release of Sean Kelly; the return of
the Colombia Three and the Parades Commission, as well as
education, youth facilities and Government investment.

"Most of these women have been working in their communities
in various ways," said Mrs Copeland, who was also secretary
of the East Belfast Concerned Women's Group.

"We are now reaching out to other parts of Northern
Ireland. We want to restore confidence in the majority
community that the Government will not shun the Protestant


Murdered Man's Family Call For Privacy

By Catherine Morrison

THE family of murdered Armagh man Martin Conlon has
appealed for an end to speculation about his private life.

In a statement, released through their solicitor, they
asked for privacy.

Mr Conlon (35) was abducted from a friend's house and
killed on Monday.

Police said he was confronted by two masked men,
incapacitated with a stun gun in front of three young
children, and bundled into his car, a silver Volkswagen

Less than half an hour later, he was found four miles away
lying unconscious on a roadside near the village of Keady.

Police said they were keeping an open mind about a motive
but there has been speculation that Mr Conlon, pictured,
was killed by dissident republicans.

He had recently been released from Portlaoise jail after
being arrested at a Real IRA training camp and reports
suggested his murder may be linked to a fallout among
dissident republicans.

However, last night, his family hit out at allegations that
Mr Conlon had been involved in criminal activity recently.

"We, the family of Martin Conlon, are calling for an end to
media speculation into our son and brother's private life
as well as allegations that he was involved in recent
criminal activity," they said in their statement.

"These reports serve no purpose other to fuel unfounded
gossip-mongering and they deflect public attention away
from the brutality and callousness of Martin's murder.

"We would like to see the media directing its attention
towards those who murdered Martin and the investigation
into his death."


Parties To Fight Ban Over Fair Decision

By Suzanne McGonagle Newry Correspondent

NATIONALIST members of Newry and Mourne District Council
facing the prospect of a five-year ban from public office
after being found guilty of wilful misconduct by the local
government auditor are to appeal the decision.

Sinn Fein and SDLP councillors are to fight the decision to
dismiss them and force them to pay a £10,000 surcharge.

Their decision to appeal comes after the local government
auditor found them guilty of wilful misconduct for their
refusal to grant victims' group Fair permission to use
Newtownhamilton Community Centre.

Fair had applied to use a committee room at the centre for
the purpose of giving advice and help to 'innocent victims
of the Troubles'.

Legal advice obtained by the council urged members to
consider whether it was treating Fair less favourably than
groups with different political leanings by refusing the
use of the centre on political grounds.

In spite of this, 17 councillors still voted against
allowing the group to use the hall.

As a result, William Frazer of Fair took the council to
court and won the case claiming discrimination.

UUP councillor Danny Kenn-edy later complained that the
council should not be liable for a substantial legal bill
and asked the local government auditor to investigate.

Auditor Alfred Knox concluded that councillors had not
acted properly and the verdict, which was appealed, was

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein last night confirmed that their
councillors would be appealing the decision in the High

The decision affects 14 sitting representatives after one
SDLP councillor and one Sinn Fein resigned.

Sinn Fein's Davy Hyland also stepped down to concentrate on
his assembly duties.

Sinn Fein's Terry Hearty last night said: "Yes we are going
to appeal it, we have 21 days to do so. We definitely will
be appealing it."

The SDLP said that its councillors were "adamant that at no
time did they act wilfully and argue that the reverse is
the truth".

SDLP group leader Michael Carr, who is not among the 17
councillors, said: "Much time and consideration was given
to each and every decision made on the application.

"There were many issues relating to public safety and
public disorder and councillors received many
representations from both sections of the community,
including unionist councillors lobbying them to oppose the

"While the rights and wrongs of the decision can be argued,
what is beyond dispute is their integrity and honesty, but
that is precisely what the auditor has attacked in his

"That is why the ruling must be appealed and, for the sake
of all public representatives and the role they play, it
must be overturned."


North: Plea Over Fair Pension For All

11/11/2005 - 10:35:20

The British government today faced fresh demands in the
North for a pension which all citizens would be eligible
for and could afford to live on.

The call was made as Help the Aged hosted a seminar at
Stormont involving representatives from the British
government, pension groups as well as private, public and
voluntary organisations.

Mervyn Kohler, head of public affairs at Help the Aged,
argued: "A citizen's pension is the only option currently
on the table that would ensure that no older person is
subjected to the indignity of poverty in later life.

"Help the Aged supports the concept of a citizen's pension
set at a level that allows pensioners to enjoy a decent
quality of life as opposed to subsistence.

"A citizen's pension based on residency and not
contributions would remedy the complexity and unfairness of
the current system and help reduce the shocking numbers of
pensioners living in poverty.

"For this to happen the British government needs to
demonstrate strong leadership by making some radical

Help the Aged's seminar is taking place as the British
government awaits the Pension Commission's report on the

In September Adair Turner, chairman of the Pensions
Commission, told the TUC's annual congress in Brighton
there would be no easy choices when he makes his eagerly
awaited recommendations later this year.

Campaigners believe if present policies continue, pensions
could become substantially smaller compared to average

By 2050, average pensioners could receive about 30% less
relative to average earnings than they do at the moment.

Help the Aged have called for a citizen's pension which
would award people a pension which meets their needs by
virtue of residency rather than National Insurance

The charity believes this would protect people with broken
work records such as women who have had children, carers
and disabled people and also those who have not been able
to build sufficient entitlement like the low-paid self-

However in August former Work and Pensions Secretary David
Blunkett ruled out the idea, fearing it would lead to an
influx of pensioners from Europe.

He told a meeting in Sheffield: "We can't give people a
pension automatically. I think people really would blow at

"We would have the reverse of the Costa del Sol. Instead of
everybody going to Spain in retirement, they would all come
to Britain."

Mr Kohler noted the Pension's Commission's final report was
due to be published on November 30.

He said: "We hope that the Commission's report and the
subsequent (British) government response will take the bold
steps needed to tackle the pension problem and provide real
benefits for pensioners today as well as pensioners

The participants in today's seminar included social
security expert Professor Eileen Evason as well as Assembly
members Fred Cobain and Billy Bell of the Ulster Unionists,
Sinn Féin's Francie Molloy, former DUP Social Development
Minister Nigel Dodds, Alliance's Sean Neeson and Mary
Bradley of the SDLP.


Opin: Time Is Running Out For Last-Time Christmas Deals

By Newton Emerson

Remember how you felt last week when you realised there
were only eight weeks left to Christmas? That's exactly how
the British and Irish governments felt last month when they
realised there were only three months left to January – and
that all-important end-of-the-IRA report from the
Independent Monitoring Commission.

The frenzy of political and security activity we are now
witnessing is a direct result, as Mummy and Daddy try to
wrap something up for everyone – as long as they've been
good. If the IMC report was due out tomorrow it would find
that political loyalism is hopeless, the IRA is awash with
stolen money and dissident republicans won't go away until
somebody puts them away.

Everything that is now happening is designed to remove
those stumbling blocks. Consider, for example, the sudden
interest in solving the murder of Portadown teenagers
Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine – a crime that could have
been addressed with equal enthusiasm at any point during
the past five years.

If the notorious double stabbing was ordered by a top-level
UVF informer, as both bereaved families allege, then this
case will blow the lid off loyalism in mid-Ulster. The UVF
is under even more pressure in its main strongholds of
Belfast and east Antrim, thanks to an impending ombudsman's
report into the use of informers. Unless the authorities
can demonstrate that loyalism has been dealt with then it
will be difficult to reconcile that report with a
favourable IMC report. So the decision now facing everyone
in the UVF is brutally simple. Either join the PUP, enter
witness protection, or go to jail. Similar choices now face
the UDA, especially since the convenient demise of Jim

This week north Belfast 'brigadier' Andre Shoukri and
members of his entourage were arrested, unlike every week
for the past seven years, when they were not arrested. It
is strange that 'brigadier' Andre Shoukri should be in
custody while 'brigadier' Jackie McDonald hobnobs with the
great and the good – unless the authorities are blatantly
taking sides in an internal paramilitary power struggle,
which of course is exactly what they are doing.

A credible loyalist political project must be in place by
January, so that the organisations due to be bought off
with 'community funding' can be ruled respectable enough to
administer the cash.

However, it is the IRA's respectability that faces the real
cash crisis.

Sinn Fein is bleating like a wounded lamb over the Northern
Bank investigation, claiming that the arrest of 'senior
republicans' makes it even more impossible for the party to
participate in policing.

But this puts the cart before the horse.

In fact it is impossible for Sinn Fein to participate in
policing while the Northern Bank robbery remains unsolved.

The post-9/11 era has rendered far more than car bombs
obsolete – money laundering, counterfeiting and financial
subversion are key battle fronts in the War on Terror,
while a 'failed state' in western Europe – partitioned or
otherwise – is America's ultimate nightmare.

Sinn Fein will not be trusted with any real power, north or
south, for as long as it is implicated in organised crime.

Hence the unsubtle pressure placed on Gerry Adams over his
US fundraising visa. Hence too the urgency for Northern
Bank arrests before further talk of devolving policing and
justice powers.

Will Sinn Fein get the usual lengthy grace period to waffle
its way out of its own mess? Not this time.

Either Gerry signs up to policing by January or all bets
are off. Luckily the Sinn Fein leader is a man with
deadlines of his own.

He spent much of last week claiming to have founded the
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. If Mr Adams
wants to reinvent his entire life before campaigning for
the Irish presidency then he needs to be rid of the IRA
more urgently than anyone.

Even the dissident republicans know that time is running

The recent upsurge in Continuity IRA activity is their last
hurrah before a one-way trip to Mountjoy and Maghaberry.
They should count themselves lucky that the NIO isn't
planning to dispose of them the same way it disposed of the

Add in some on-the-run legislation that looks suspiciously
like a half-baked truth and reconciliation commission and
it seems that almost every loose end we might still trip
over really could be tied up by January – just in time for
Ian Paisley to read the IMC report, have a good laugh and
chuck it in the bin.


Belfast Woman's New York Poll Win

By Marie Louise McCrory West Belfast Correspondent

A west Belfast-born woman has fought and won a high-profile
election in the US to become a county legislator.

Andersonstown native Kate Browning (nee Maguire) has become
one of 18 legislators for Suffolk County, New York.

The 46-year-old ran in the election as a member of the
Working Families Party and will have to give up her day job
as a school bus driver.

A two year term will now see the former St Genevieve's
pupil take on the full time job as a county legislator.

Mrs Browning will represent the third legislative district
which is made up of 11 towns, including Shirley, where she
lives with her husband, Steve and children Aoife, Sean and

The new legislator said she was overwhelmed when she
learned she had won the seat with 57 per cent of the vote.


Joystick Junkies In For Treat As GAA Game Goes On Sale

By Keith Bourke

The eagerly awaited Playstation 2 game Gaelic Games:
Football (£39.99) hits the shelves this morning.

Japanese electronic giant Sony released the Gaelic football
game for its PlayStation 2 console to keep Irish joystick
junkies happy and football fans have been clamouring for a

David McIlveen, manager of Game, Donegall Arcade, Belfast
was expecting early queues this morning.

"There's been a massive interest. In our store we've had
hundreds of advance orders and in our shops in Omagh,
Derry, Newry and Enniskillen there have been thousands of
orders for the new game. We're opening early to meet the
demand," he said.

The Omagh store had a midnight opening last night due to
the interest in the game.

"It's been absolutely incredible. We've had over 1,000 pre-
orders. With kids doing 11-plus exams, their parents will
be coming to the shop to try and get their copy as quickly
as possible," Ronan Mullan, manager of Game, Omagh, said.

Players will get the chance to guide their county through a
championship season – and win a virtual Sam Maguire.

It follows a range of other lucrative formats covering
soccer, rugby, golf and even fishing – but this is the
first time a company has produced a GAA title for a video
games console.

The game has been developed by Australian software company
IRGurus and uses tricks previously employed on its popular
Australian Rules titles.

IRGurus has to take between 40 and 50 photographs of every
stadium to accurately recreate each ground featured in the

Video footage was also used to capture all stands,
backgrounds and anything else unique to that particular
stadium. Croke Park and Fitzgerald Stadium, two of the most
complex stadia to feature in the game, each took over 200
hours to re-create.

Gaelic Games: Football features all 32 county teams, plus
London and New York in their latest strips.

Fans will get the chance to recreate dozens of moves from
soloing, handpassing, tackling and shooting in one of 11
photo-realistic stadia, including Croke Park, O'Moore Park,
Semple Stadium, Casement Park and Pearse Stadium.

The rough an tumble nature of the game has been
incorporated with a 'mud and bandage' feature.

The game's manufacturers also worked closely with the GAA
and all the jersey manufacturers to get the latest designs
for each county's strip.

The jersey was then recreated for a 3D model using all the
county crests and logos.

IRGurus had to use motion capture to re-create all of the
moves in the game. They sourced local gaelic football
players, based in Australia, to capture the movements,
kicks, catches, handpasses and solo-runs.

Commenting on the development of the game, Mike Fegan, CEO
of IRGurus, said:

"From the beginning we wanted to emulate the excitement of
Gaelic football. We started at the very beginning,
photographing Gaelic football stadia in Ireland, attending
a multitude of games and then surrounding ourselves with
football fans to help us capture the spirit of the game.
The development of Gaelic Games: Football was a great
experience for our team."

Working with Foras na Gaeilge and the legendary Micheal O
Muircheartaigh, who will provide the game's commentary,
Sony has developed the first game of its type to be
produced in bilingual format with Irish and English user

Although the game may not be a first-generation Irish
product, it has been officially licensed by the GAA.

President Sean Kelly said it would bring the GAA to a new
market by putting it on an international stage along with
other games.

"We are delighted that the game will be available for the
Christmas market and I know there are many thousands of GAA
fans who have been patiently awaiting the game's arrival,"
Mr Kelly said.

Ireland already has the highest level of per capita
Playstation ownership outside of Japan.


Town Honours Young Irelander

By David Wilson

The birth of one of Dungiven's most famous sons is to be
commemorated this weekend in the Co Derry town.

Young Irelander, John Mitchel was born in Camnish near
Dungiven 190 years ago. A practising lawyer, Mitchel
founded the Nation and the United Irishman, in 1848,
calling for rebellion against Britain. He was sent to
Australia on a charge of sedition after helping organise
the Young Ireland revolt of 1848.

Escaping to the US in 1853, he became acknowledged leader
of the Irish-American nationalists and editor of the Irish
Citizen. He returned to Ireland and was elected to
parliament shortly before his death in 1875.

The John Mitchel Commemorative Committee will unveil a
memorial stone at 1pm tomorrow in Camnish. Historian Aidan
Hegarty will be available to sign copies of his Mitchel
biography from 2pm in the Castle Function Room. An
exhibition of artefacts will be on display throughout the
day followed by a folk night in St Canice's GAC.


Shocking Cases Of Shot Cat And Emaciated Dog

By Claire Smith
11 November 2005

Concern is mounting after two incidents of animal cruelty
in Co Antrim.

A young boxer dog was taken into Ballymoney Dog Pound after
being found on Altirichard Road emaciated and starved.

Meanwhile, police have also reported that a cat had to be
put down after being shot by a pellet gun in Rasharkin,
causing the elderly owner grave distress.

Karen Mitchell, environmental warden at Ballymoney Borough
Council, said: "Finding this poor boxer is honestly the
worse case of cruelty I have ever seen in my whole career.

"The dog is only five or six years old and should weigh
around 40kg. However through starvation and neglect, this
animal is only a third of that, a staggering 14kg.

"George, I've nicknamed him, is that thin you can put your
two hands together around his back end and can even see
every rib.

"He was found by a kind lady along the Altirichard Road,
who took him in and gave him food and water. If she hadn't,
George would have definitely died within the next few more

Inspector Charlie Cassells said: "We want to catch the
persons responsible."

The number to call is 2766 2222 or Crimestoppers in
confidence on 0800 555 111.


Stardom For Irish Traveller Girl

By James Helm
BBC News, Dublin

Huge trucks rumble through an industrial estate in Dublin.

Two dilapidated caravans sit by the roadside. For Winnie
Maughan, the young star of an award-winning film, this is

She lives in one of the caravans with her mother and some
of her nine brothers and sisters. To fetch water for the
kettle, or for a wash, they must cross the busy road to a
tap on the other side.

The day we visited the caravan it was Winnie's 13th
birthday, and she was opening a present from the director
of Pavee Lackeen. It means "the Traveller girl" and, in an
unromantic way, it tells the story of the daily lives of
Winnie and her family. It mixes fact and fiction, but
mirrors many of her experiences.

Cut from that run-down, litter-strewn corner of Dublin, to
a glitzy awards ceremony a couple of miles away. Big names
from TV and film are there - actors, actresses, presenters
and directors.

Sinead Cusack, the Irish actress, announces the Irish Film
and Television Award for Best Film, and the winner is...
Pavee Lackeen. To loud applause, Winnie, in her best frock,
goes up on stage with the English director, Perry Ogden.


Perry was introduced to Winnie by her brother, whom he met
while carrying out research at the youth courts in Dublin.

Trips to film festivals in Venice and London have followed,
but she is taking it all in her stride, describing it with
a shrug of her shoulders, as if they were simply trips to
the local shops.

She says she "hates" the film because of how she looks in
it, and pulls a face at the huge movie posters which
feature a big photo of her. Her mother, Rosie, says the
film-making process was "mostly fun, and we'd laugh at it.
But we didn't realise it would go this far".

This was Perry Ogden's first film. A former fashion
photographer, he produced, directed and shot the movie for
a little over 297,640 euros (£200,000) - small change in
the world of film. He knows the experience may change the
lives of Winnie and her family. He hope it helps them.

"There's a potential there for all sorts of things.
Winnie's an incredibly bright and curious girl and she
could do many, many things in her life," he says.

At Pavee Point in Dublin, members of the Traveller
community are keen to see the film. A former church in
north Dublin is a meeting point for Travellers, a base
where they can gather to discuss issues.

There has been a Traveller community here in Ireland for
centuries, and estimates of its current size vary - some
put it at around 30,000. Many now live on permanent sites,
or in houses. As in the UK, their presence has often
produced tensions with what they call the "settled

Dream home

According to Winnie Kerrigan, who runs a cultural programme
at Pavee Point, it remains a proud and tightly-knit
community, retaining its own culture and language, despite
profound social changes. Ireland may have seen startling
economic success in recent years, but Travellers, she says,
still suffer poverty, ill-health and discrimination.

So will this tale of life on the margins of one of the
world's wealthiest countries change anything for its
central characters? Winnie Maughan and her family hope the
film might bring them what they dream of: a house nearby.

They want to move off the roadside, with the trucks going
by night and day, and think Pavee Lackeen might put
pressure on the city's authorities, who in the past have
offered them housing elsewhere in the city.

They preferred to stay in the area they regard as home.

"It's not right," says Winnie. "No way - it's not right
Travellers living by the side of the road. Look at how many
houses there are in Dublin."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/11 11:31:05 GMT


Sile De Valera To Quit Politics At Next Election

11/11/2005 - 07:58:36

Fianna Fáil TD Sile de Valera has announced her intention
to quit politics after 30 years.

Ms de Valera, the Minister of State at the Department of
Education, said last night that she would not be contesting
the next election for personal reasons.

The 52-year-old Clare TD said she initially intends to
study for a PhD in psychology.

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