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November 15, 2005

Finucane Family Wants Full Inquiry

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 11/15/05 Finucane Family Presses For Full Inquiry
IN 11/15/05 McGuinness Challenges Paisley To Stand By Word
BB 11/15/05 DUP Talks Absence 'Is No Problem'
BT 11/15/05 DUP Denies Any Boycott Of Talks At Hillsborough
UU 11/15/05 Unionist Vigilance Needed Says Sir Reg
IN 11/15/05 Hain Welcomes Statement On 'Way Forward'
IN 11/15/05 McAleese Treated For Infection In Hospital
IO 11/15/05 Update: McAleese Discharged After 2 Days
IT 11/15/05 Fortieth Anniversary Of Nostra Aetate Honoured
IW 11/15/05 SDLP Lead On Human Rights
IN 11/15/05 Conlon’s Killing 'May Be Linked To Sexuality'
GU 11/15/05 McCausland Saw Them As His Mother's Murderers
BB 11/15/05 Police Accused Of Bias Over CCTV
IN 11/15/05 PSNI Cover-Up In Taxi-Driver Murder Case
IT 11/15/05 SF Rejects Ahern's Stance On Coalition
DI 11/15/05 Parties Hit Back At Power-Sharing Position
BT 11/15/05 Opin: Ahern Clouds Waters With SF Exclusion
DI 11/15/05 Opin: Leaders Rush To Reject SF As Partner
DI 11/15/05 Opin: New Team, Old Ideas
IN 11/15/05 Opin: Blow To Blair Is Blow To North's Big Deal
IN 11/15/05 Opin: In Gerry's Lifetime – If He Lives Forever
IN 11/15/05 Opin: Let Authorities Sort Out Paramilitaries
IN 11/15/05 Tributes Paid To Republican
IN 11/15/05 'Air Of Deep Sadness' At Death Of Teacher
BB 11/15/05 On Nov 15, 1985: Anglo-Irish Agreement Signed
BT 11/15/05 Political Five Fall In Final Shootout
IN 11/15/05 Historic All-Ireland Medal Up For Auction
IT 11/15/05 Kennedy To Sing For Ireland
MM 11/15/05 CNN’s Lou Dobbs: I Resent St Patrick’s Day


Finucane Family Presses For Full Inquiry

15/11/2005 - 08:37:32

The widow and family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat
Finucane are to meet Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot
Ahern today to raise concerns over the format of an inquiry
into the killing.

The family and Mr Justice Peter Cory, the retired Canadian
supreme court judge who recommended holding an inquiry into
the brutal 1989 UDA murder, have all rejected its terms
under the Inquiries Act 2005.

The new laws allow for sections of the probe to be heard in

The Finucanes have insisted they will not co-operate unless
all evidence is heard in public. They believe the
restrictions would hinder the independence of the inquiry,
damaging both its effectiveness and openness.

But the British government has so far resisted pressure to
have a completely public probe, raising questions over its
ability to fulfil its remit to establish whether there was
official British collusion in Mr Finucane's murder.

Geraldine Finucane has also written to senior British
judges asking them not to work with any inquiry operating
under the new legal framework.

Human rights group Amnesty International launched an
internet campaign to persuade senior British judicial
figures not to work with the planned inquiry.


McGuinness Challenges Paisley To 'Stand By Word'

By Staff Reporter

Ian Paisley has been challenged by Sinn Fein to prove
whether he is a man of his word. Sinn Fein chief negotiator
Martin McGuinness threw down the gauntlet to the DUP leader
as he met secretary of state Peter Hain and Irish foreign
affairs minister Dermot Ahern for discussions that the DUP
is boycotting.

Speaking outside Hillsbor-ough Castle, Co Down, Mr
McGuinness said he wanted Mr Paisley to show whether he
would stand by his word and enter government with Sinn Fein
now that the IRA had decommissioned its weapons.

He accused Mr Paisley of betraying his own electorate and
failing to show the new confident face of unionism he
promised following the last general election.

The talks at Hillsborough Castle yesterday, and again next
week, will be used by the two governments to judge the
positions of the various parties prior to possible renewed
negotiations on re-establishing devolution, which could be
held in the new year.

Mr McGuinness said: "For almost nine months of the last
year the British prime minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern spent many long hours trying to convince Gerry
Adams and myself that Ian Paisley would go into government
with Sinn Fein if only the issue of arms could be resolved.

"Ian Paisley told them that the only issue that he was
concerned about was the issue of arms – if that could be
resolved he was prepared to go into government with Sinn

"Ian Paisley tells us he is a man of God. I would like to
know whether he is a man of his word."

Mr McGuinness said republicans had "delivered big time" by
resolving the arms issue and had a right to inquire against
that backdrop wheth-er Ian Paisley would respond

Peter Hain played down expectations over the talks,
describing them as "stock-taking, ground-clearing

He said they would not automatically lead to political
negotiations and made it clear he was not condemning the
DUP for staying away.

"We are not doing any political party a favour in holding
these talks. They are not doing us a favour by coming," he

He said it was up to the parties to decide whether they
wanted to take the opportunity of meeting the two
governments together for talks.

He said the government had met the DUP regularly and would
continue to do so whether they joined in the current
discussions or not.

Mr Ahern said he welcomed the opportunity to meet the
parties this week and next adding: "Hopefully in the new
year we can get down to more serious discussions."

He pointed out that his government had held discussions
with the DUP and that he would be meeting them again in
Dublin on Friday.

Meanwhile, the DUP's Ian Paisley junior hit back at Mr

"Martin McGuiness wouldn't know the truth if it slapped him
in the face," he said.

"His statement that Ian Paisley must now enter government
and be a 'man of his word' is contemptible given that
Martin McGuinness could hide behind a corkscrew he is so

"The fact is no such undertaking was ever given and more
importantly there is no convincing evidence that all of the
IRA's guns have been decommissioned.

"Can McGuinness now tell us what was decommissioned and how
it was put beyond use?"


DUP Talks Absence 'Is No Problem'

The British and Irish governments have "no problem" with
the DUP's decision not to attend talks with them, the
Northern Ireland secretary has said.

The party said the governments "already knew their position
on the issues" to be discussed at Hillsborough next week.

However, Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern revealed that
the DUP would meet his government in Dublin on Friday.

Mr Ahern said the Dublin talks were "no more important"
than the "stocktaking talks" at Hillsborough on Monday.

Arms issue

"We offered that we would either meet jointly or separately
up here and this has been the way that discussions have
taken place before..." he said.

Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuiness
said the two governments had told his party that Ian
Paisley would go into government, "but for the issue of

"Ian Paisley tells us he is a man of God. I would like to
know if he is a man of his word," he said.

The other parties at the talks were the PUP and Robert
McCartney's UK Unionists.

Issues tabled for discussion included parades, policing and
restorative justice.

The SDLP and the Ulster Unionists and Alliance will hold
discussions with the ministers on 24 November

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said it was for the
DUP to "decide whether they wanted to tell the two
governments their views".

However, the DUP's Nigel Dodds called the talks "a stunt on
the part of the government to try and give the impression
that some process" was beginning.

"We have made it very clear that there can be no such
process until the issues of confidence, equality and human
rights for the unionist community, which have been sadly
lacking as part as this process, are addressed," he said.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey accused the DUP of
"play acting".

"They should be in those talks along with us and others
fighting to get as much as we can for the pro-union
community. We know that there are major social and economic
issues," he said.

UDA statement

At a news conference before Monday's talks, Mr Hain
referred to a statement made on behalf of loyalist
paramilitaries, the Ulster Defence Association, on Sunday.

The statement, read by leading loyalist Tommy Kirkham at a
Remembrance Day ceremony in Rathcoole, north Belfast,
suggested that the UDA was willing to discuss its future
with the British government.

Mr Hain said he hoped words would "be followed up by
concrete action".

"If this is a genuine political breakthrough, that the UDA
are really saying they are turning their back on violence
and murder and gangsterism and want to go down the
political road, then we are happy to take them with us," he

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/14 17:51:57 GMT


DUP Denies Any Boycott Of Talks At Hillsborough

...but party will meet this week with Taoiseach

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
15 November 2005

THE DUP'S Jeffrey Donaldson last night denied his party was
"boycotting" talks between the London and Dublin
governments and most of the political parties.

The DUP has opted not to join in talks with the Secretary
of State, but it has announced representatives will be
meeting Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin on Friday.

Mr Donaldson, the Lagan Valley MP, said: "The DUP is
already in discussions with our Government and the Irish
Government and we have already presented a 64-page document
to the Government indicating our position.

"We are not boycotting the talks."

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's paramilitary watchdog - whose
assessment of IRA activity is thought to be crucial to
hopes of restoring devolution negotiations - is to produce
a second report early in the New Year, it emerged last

Possibly within weeks of its next regular document on the
paramilitaries, expected in January, the Independent
Monitoring Commission is due to report on progress over
'normalisation' of security.

Some party political sources had said the paramilitary
report could slip into early February, but an IMC
spokeswoman said: "We are certainly working on January for
both reports at this moment in time."

Formal talks between the London and Dublin governments and
most of the parties, which got under way at Hillsborough
Castle yesterday, are expected to be 'parked' until early
in the New Year.

Secretary of State Peter Hain and Irish Foreign Minister
Dermot Ahern are to meet Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and
Alliance next week - but the DUP has insisted it will not
be attending.

Mr Hain said the "ground clearing" discussions would not
automatically lead on to political negotiations and made it
clear he was not condemning the DUP for staying away.

"We are not doing any political party a favour in holding
these talks. They are not doing us a favour by coming," he
said, adding the Government had met the DUP regularly and
would continue to do so.

Mr Ahern said: "Hopefully in the New Year we can get down
to more serious discussions."

The DUP's decision came under attack from senior Sinn Fein
negotiator Martin McGuinness who met the London and Dublin
Ministers yesterday in separate sessions, along with
delegations from the UVF-linked Progressive Unionists and
Robert McCartney's United Kingdom Unionists.

Mr McGuinness said: "For almost nine months of the last
year the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern spent many long hours trying to convince Gerry
Adams and myself that Ian Paisley would go into government
with Sinn Fein if only the issue of arms could be

He said they had emphasised that "Ian Paisley told them
that the only issue that he was concerned about was the
issue of arms - if that could be resolved he was prepared
to go into government with Sinn Fein".

"Ian Paisley tells us he is a man of God, I would like to
know whether he is a man of his word," the mid-Ulster MP

Meanwhile, senior Ulster Unionist Lord Kilclooney voiced
concern that the discussions yesterday had included parades
and policing which were part of the internal affairs of
Northern Ireland.

"To accept any role of the Republic of Ireland in the
internal affairs of Northern Ireland breaches the spirit
and the word of the Belfast Agreement," the Strangford
Assembly member said.


Unionist Vigilance Needed In Coming Months Says Sir Reg, As
Political Moves step up a Gear

Speaking ahead of bi-lateral meetings with the Secretary of
State and Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern at Stormont
on Monday, UUP Leader Sir Reg Empey said,

"As we predicted the Secretary of State and Irish Foreign
Minister have offered to meet parties on Monday and again
later in the month in bilateral meetings.

These are intended to be 'curtain raisers' for heightened
political activity in the New Year following the IMC report
in January.

The Ulster Unionist Party will be expressing to the
Secretary of State Unionist anger at the endless stream of
concessions to Republicans.

Over the coming months we will also be paying particular
attention to the developing proposals on policing. This
will be a time for Unionist vigilence as political moves
will be made to re-establishing a re-constituted Policing
Board which includes Sinn Fein."

(November 14th, 2005


Hain Welcomes Statement On 'Way Forward'

By Staff Reporter

Secretary of state Peter Hain welcomed a statement from the
Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), which provides the
political direction to the loyalist Ulster Def-ence

The UPRG said at the weekend that it wanted discussions
with the government about a peaceful way forward for

Mr Hain described the statement on behalf of the UDA, whose
ceasefire is no longer considered intact by the government,
as very important.

He said he hoped it would be followed up by constructive
action and that his deputy, David Hanson, would be making
contact with the UPRG.

He said: "If this is a genuine political breakthrough, that
the UDA are really saying they are turning their back on
violence and murder and gangsterism and want to go down the
political road, then we are happy to take them with us and
to open doors."

He said the government needed to be clear that what had
been said were the feelings of the whole UDA.

Mr Hain and Mr Ahern held talks with Sinn Fein, the
Progressive Unionist Party and the UK Unionist Party


McAleese Treated For Infection In Hospital

By Staff Reporter

President Mary McAleese was admitted to hospital yesterday
with an infection, it emerged last night.

A spokesperson said Mrs McAleese attended the Mater Private
Hospital in Dublin after feeling unwell for a number of
days, but is due to be discharged today.

"She was admitted to the Mater Private on Sunday evening
with an infection and was given intravenous antibiotics and
kept overnight as a precautionary measure," the
spokesperson said yesterday.

"She is expected to be discharged tomorrow morning. Her
official engagements for today and tomorrow have been
postponed and a decision on the diary for the rest of the
week will be made tomorrow."

Mrs McAleese had been due to attend the 20th anniversary
conference of the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas
in Chief O'Neill's Hotel in Smithfield yesterday.

A founding member of the commission, she sent a message to
the organisers saying that "unforeseen commitments" meant
she was unable to attend.

A remembrance day service at St Patrick's Cathedral in
Dublin yesterday was the last official engagement she
carried out.

It is believed to be the first time Mrs McAleese has been
admitted to hospital since taking up her second seven-year
term a year ago.


Update: McAleese Discharged After Two Days In Hospital

15/11/2005 - 11:43:14

President Mary McAleese has been discharged from hospital
in Dublin after receiving treatment for an undisclosed

Mrs McAleese was taken to hospital on Sunday after feeling
unwell for a number of days.

She was treated with antibiotics before being discharged
this morning, and is now recuperating at Áras an

A spokesperson said she was in good spirits, but would be
resting for the next few days.


Fortieth Anniversary Of Nostra Aetate Honoured

Jon Ihle

Jews and Catholics last night celebrated "a revolution
unparalleled in human history" marking an "amazing
transformation" of Catholic attitudes towards Jews over the
last 40 years, according to former chief Rabbi of Ireland
David Rosen.

Rabbi Rosen was speaking during a commemoration at Terenure
Road synagogue in Dublin of the 40th anniversary of Nostra
Aetate, a document of the second Vatican Council which
withdrew the Catholic Church's long-standing charge of
"deicide" against the Jewish people.

In his keynote address Rabbi Rosen said: "We have to bear
in mind the attitude that existed in the church before this
document which made Jews the scapegoat for the ills of
society and suspected them of collusion with diabolical
forces." He contrasted this teaching with the Vatican II
leadership of "that great hero of reconciliation, Pope John

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: "An empty secularism which
denies the importance of religious belief and practice may
in the wrong circumstances give rise to an oppressive
public culture. In the great tradition of Daniel O'Connell
we have a proper separation of church and State and the
avoidance of confessional politics."

© The Irish Times


SDLP Lead On Human Rights

By Tom Griffin

Cross-party attempt to ban abusers from British army to be
launched next week

The SDLP is set to lead a cross-party attempt to ban human
rights abusers from the British armed forces.

The move has been inspired by the Army's ongoing retention
of Mark Wright and James Fisher, the two soldiers convicted
of the murder of 19-year-old Peter McBride in Belfast in

The parliamentary campaign will be launched at Westminster
next week, less than 24 hours before Wright and Fisher's
former commanding officer Tim Spicer is due to speak at a
conference in nearby Whitehall.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan will speak at a public meeting of
the Article Seven – End Impunity Campaign this Monday 7
November at 7PM in Committee Room 6 of the House of
Commons. The Foyle MP is expected to outline plans to seek
an amendment to the upcoming Armed Forces Bill, banning
individuals convicted of serious human rights violations
from serving in the military.

"What we are arguing for is simple," Mr Durkan said this
week. "Nobody who has been convicted of serious human
rights abuses - like murder, rape or torture - should be
allowed to serve in the British Army. No other European
army allows this - and nor should the British Army. Be it
on the streets of Belfast or of Basra, the public are
entitled to know that killers and torturers are not
sheltered in army ranks."

"I became involved in this campaign because of the case of
Jean McBride. Her son Peter was murdered by two Guardsmen,
Fisher and Wright. Seeing the killers of her son released
early from prison was difficult for her to accept. But
what she rightly cannot accept is that they are back in the
Army and have served in Iraq. One has even been promoted.
It is as if the murder of her son was not even a blot on
their record at all. That is more than any family anywhere
should have to bear."

Other speakers at Monday's meeting will include Labour MP
Joan Humble, Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, solicitor
Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, the firm
representing victims of alleged human rights abuses by
British forces in Iraq, and Paul O'Connor of the Pat
Finucane Centre.

Families of soldiers who died at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey
are also expected to attend the event.

"We would hope that this would again raise the profile of
the McBride case, and bring this right into the heart of
the political establishment," Mr O'Connor said. "There must
be a change to British law to make the dismissal of any
serious human rights violator automatic. We're not just
looking at the past and at the McBride case. We're also
looking at the future and at cases that almost certainly
will arise as a result of the invasion of Iraq. The notion
of ending impunity is an idea whose time has come."

Peter McBride's mother Jean is expected to travel to London
next week, in the hope of confronting Tim Spicer over his
backing for Wright and Fisher.

Spicer, who is now the head of one of the largest private
security firms operating in Iraq, is due to speak at a
conference of the Royal United Services Institute on
Tuesday, 8 November. Mrs McBride has applied to attend the
conference, and the Pat Finucane Centre has called a picket
outside the RUSI building, next to the Banqueting Hall on
Whitehall, from 1pm on the day of the event.

The decision to retain Wright and Fisher in the Army was
last week defended by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram.

Speaking at a press conference at Deepcut barracks he
said: "The judgements made at the time have been tested
through the court of law and found not to be wanting but to
an acceptable decision."


Man's Killing 'May Be Linked To Sexuality'

By Staff Reporter

A dissident republican may have been murdered because of
his sexuality, police said last night.

Members of the gay community who knew Martin Conlon (35)
were urged to cooperate in a bid to hunt down the killers
who abducted and shot him in south Armagh.

Detectives are examining several possible motives,
including the possibility that he was the victim of a fall-
out with former associates linked to the Real IRA.

But Mr Conlon could also have been attacked last week
because he was gay, it has emerged.

Superintendent Derek William-son, the detective heading the
inquiry, said: "I am following a number of key lines of
inquiry in this murder which will incorporate Mr Conlon's
possible connections with paramilitary organisations and
also allegations of involvement in criminal activity.

"One other line of inquiry surrounds Mr Conlon's sexuality
and the possibility that there may be a homophobic motive.

"I would therefore ask that anyone with information about
Mr Conlon's life and associations, including those within
the gay community, also come forward and tell police what
they know.

"I cannot rule out the possibility that any of these
motives are what led to his brutal murder."

The victim, who lived at Railway Street in Armagh, died in
hospital after being found unconscious near the village of
Keady last Monday.

He had been freed from Port-laoise prison in the Republic
last year, one of six men jailed in March 2001 after
pleading guilty to training people in the use of firearms.

His body was discovered at Farnaloy Road close to the
Madden estate outside Keady, about a mile and a half from
where his car, a silver Volkswagen Passat, was found burned

Detectives returned to the scene yesterday to stage a
partial reconstruction in a bid to piece together the
circumstances surrounding the murder and identify new

A car similar to Mr Conlon's was used at three different
sites where people may have been in the areas seven days

"The reconstruction is an attempt to jog people's memories
and to find new witnesses. I appeal to anyone who was in
the areas of either Greenpark, Farn-aloy Road or Madden
Road on Monday evening last at any time between 5pm and 7pm
to come forward and speak to police," Mr Williamson said.


'He Saw Them All As His Mother's Murderers'

When Craig McCausland was gunned down by loyalist
paramilitaries this summer, he was more than just another
innocent victim of the Troubles. His mother was also killed
by them 18 years ago. So has anything changed in Northern
Ireland? Angelique Chrisafis reports

Tuesday November 15, 2005

The Guardian

All his life Craig McCausland hated paramilitaries. He
loathed their gold jewellery, their Mercedes cars that
smugly cruised the working-class Protestant streets of
north Belfast. He hated their "junior wings" in the primary
school playgrounds. He lobbed stones at the windows of
their flashly decorated homes.

When he was two, his mother Lorraine was battered to death
with a breeze block by a loyalist paramilitary gang at an
after-hours drinking club. She was a 23-year-old single
mother who ran a mobile shop. As a child, his family
recalls, it never made sense to him how the "defenders of
the faith" could kill an innocent Protestant woman and get
away with it. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time,
detectives told her family; the men that killed her were
"psychopaths", they said. It was 1987, the height of the
Troubles, after all, and she was not the only woman whose
battered corpse was mysteriously found dumped after a drink
at a loyalist club. Following a familiar pattern, everyone
knew who killed Lorraine, but no one was ever charged.

So during this year's Protestant marching season, masked
loyalist paramilitaries burst into 20-year-old Craig's
house and shot him dead in front of his girlfriend and her
two children, it seemed history was playing a sick joke.
The Ulster Volunteer Force, Northern Ireland's oldest
loyalist paramilitary group, was deep in a murderous feud
with breakaway loyalist drug dealers, the Loyalist
Volunteer Force. Craig's killers were UVF gunmen and his
murder was put down to the feud - another LVF scumbag
cleared off the street. The only problem was that Craig,
according to police, his family and the LVF, wasn't a
member. He was just an unemployed labourer on jobseekers'
allowance. Wrong place, wrong time again, just like his
mother. And, in the cruellest twist, Craig also left a two-
year-old son.

That was only one part of the horror his murder has left.
It was his girlfriend's children, aged six and nine, who
were splattered with blood when the gunmen came back to
finish Craig off as he lay dying on the stairs. Those awful
minutes when they tried to stem his wounds with towels from
the laundry basket have left their scars.

Craig's murder is more than another grim statistic of the
Troubles; it is a telling example of how, in many ways,
Northern Ireland has not moved on - and how trauma is being
passed on now to a third generation. Even as delegations
from Iraq, Bosnia and Macedonia are trailed around Belfast
to learn from this model peace process, the real curse of
the Troubles - the way paramilitaries have been allowed to
utterly rule communities - continues, 10 years after the
first ceasefires.

All his life, Craig's family did everything to stop him
becoming a victim like his mother. His grandparents moved
him and his five-year-old brother out of their working-
class north Belfast estate because they didn't want them
pointed out as orphans of a gruesome crime. The boys were
sent to one of the city's few integrated schools, where
Protestant and Catholic children were taught together.

Their grandfather was a part-time member of the Ulster
Defence Regiment, the locally recruited branch of the army.
"He had no time for paramilitaries. He was an independent
man who believed in law and order," says Craig's aunt,
Cathy McIlvenny, who runs a hairdressing salon on the
Shankill Road. "When Lorraine was murdered, it left the
whole family numb. No one talked about it, there were no
photographs of her up because every time my father saw
them, he broke down. All my parents focused on was bringing
up these boys never to get involved with, or associate
with, so-called paramilitaries."

Craig continually asked questions about his mother, and
whether he had seen her in her coffin. But her body was so
battered she was unrecognisable and the coffin had to be
closed. "Many of his questions were never answered because
we didn't know the answers," Cathy says. All they knew was
that on a Saturday night in March 1987 Lorraine had gone
for a drink at the local community centre, which was run by
the Ulster Defence Association, Northern Ireland's biggest
loyalist paramilitary group. Her half-naked body was found
face down in a nearby stream the next morning. "Her
injuries were horrific. Her liver was split in half, her
skull fractured several times and her lung had exploded.
She was beaten with a breeze block and a gas canister by a
gang of more than three people," Cathy says.

There was a trail of blood from the community centre to her
body. The UDA never claimed the murder as a sanctioned
killing, but everyone believed their members were to blame.
The 20 people allegedly in the club at the time said they
saw nothing. Her father placed an advert in the Belfast
Telegraph offering a £1,000 reward for information.
"Strictly confidential. Genuine. Someone knows - please
help." No one came forward.

Like every working-class teenager in Northern Ireland,
everywhere Craig looked while growing up he saw
paramilitaries. "He hated every one of them, he had no
respect for them," says Nichola McIlvenny, Craig's cousin,
who remembers how their group of friends would be
constantly harassed by paramilitaries. "There is nowhere to
go when you're 14 or 15, so you stand in an entry, talking,
drinking something, and the UVF or UDA threaten to shoot
you for standing there. They sell dope to the kids on tick
on a Friday or Saturday saying they don't have to pay until
next week. They give them more and more and when they owe
£250 or £300, and they can't pay it back, the
paramilitaries tell them the choice is to get shot, beaten
or join their organisation. In playground scraps, if one
kid says they are from the junior wing of a paramilitary
group, the other kid feels he has to club together with
another group for protection. You either have to idolise
them or keep away."

Craig resented the local hardmen telling him what to do. He
would smash their car windows and throw stones at their
houses. "It became a game of point-scoring," Nichola says.
"He saw them all as his mother's murderers." Never good at
school and angry at the world, Craig dabbled in anti-social
behaviour and petty crime. At 15, the local UVF told him he
had a choice: either they gave him a beating or he joined
their organisation. If he had politely turned them down, he
would simply have been battered in an alleyway at an
arranged time. Instead, says Nichola, he answered back "in
a right cheeky way," and was shot in the leg and forced to
leave north Belfast.

For five years, he lived in the east of the city where he
had his son Dean with a girlfriend. He did a short spell in
a young offenders' institution for a minor offence, but
after his son was born vowed to sort himself out. Then,
early this year, his grandfather had a stroke. Craig needed
to help the family care for him, but it meant returning to
north Belfast.

"He kept a very low profile," Nichola says. "He tried to
stay in his house or got lifts everywhere. He never used
any of the local taxi firms. He never went out to the
shops, he never had a drink at any of the bars, which were
all owned by the UVF or UDA. He didn't want to be seen."

Craig moved in with his new girlfriend, Kathy Gibson, an
English care assistant, and her two children.

On July 10, at the height of the Protestant marching
season, as red, white and blue bunting criss-crossed the
streets, and children put the finishing touches to the 60ft
bonfires that celebrate Protesant King Billy's victory at
the Battle of the Boyne, Craig went for a drink with
relatives at a neighbour's house. He went home before
midnight, slightly drunk, and sank into a deep sleep. Kathy
woke first when the fierce hammering on the front door
began. He leaped up, dragged his jeans on and went to
answer the door. By then, the children had come on to the
landing in their pyjamas. When Craig was halfway down the
stairs, two men burst in and fired a volley of shots. They
ran back out but their getaway driver asked if they had
"done him right". All three then came back in and opened
fire again for good measure.

Craig had been shot five times. He had been hit in the neck
but was trying to speak. Kathy grabbed a towel from the
laundry basket to stem the blood from his wounds and the
children tried to help. They were sent to their father's
house nearby, covered from head to toe in blood, talking
about what happened as if they had been watching a
Hollywood film. The night-time panics and bed-wetting began

At the time of Craig's death, Belfast's latest loyalist
feud was in full swing and the UVF and LVF wanted dead
bodies to keep up their scores. Hours after Craig was
killed, another man in his neighbourhood had to jump out of
a first-floor window as masked men tried to smash down his

The next night, the UVF staged a show of strength at a
council-sponsored bonfire in Belfast. Five masked men in
combat fatigues got up on to the DJ's stage and fired a
volley of shots into the air.

"Here, when you see there has been a shooting on TV, you
think, 'Live by the gun, die by the gun'. We would have
been guilty of thinking like that too," Cathy McIlvenny
says. "But we knew he wasn't a paramilitary because of the
way his mum was killed."

Hours before Craig was killed, a local man, David Hanley,
was shot several times by the LVF as he walked his dogs
past a bonfire in north Belfast. Like Craig, he was not a
paramilitary. It seemed to have been a case of mistaken
identity. Left blind and unable to walk by the attack, he
has contemplated suicide.

The McCauslands don't know why Craig was killed. They
wonder whether a UVF commander bore a grudge over Craig's
rude refusal of his order to join the organisation, and
used the cover of the feud to have him murdered.

Four months on, several people have been questioned but no
one has been charged. As often in Northern Ireland,
everyone on the street says it's obvious who did it but no
one has been caught. The family say witnesses are too
frightened to come forward.

After the feud's death toll reached four and many families
were forced from their homes, the LVF last month announced
its members had been "stood down". But the LVF is a small,
peripheral group and bigger loyalist organisations remain.
"When people keep getting away with murder, how can
anything else in Northern Ireland move on?" says Cathy. "My
mother always had a fear that what happened to Lorraine
would happen again."

It was not until two years ago, when her mother was dying
of cancer and said she would be seeing Lorraine again soon,
that the McCauslands sat down and talked about her murder.
Lorraine's father went to the police ombudsman, Nuala
O'Loan, and asked her to investigate the police handling of
the case.

When Craig was killed and the family were again faced with
bringing up another two-year-old boy who could never
understand the murder of his parent, they refused to stay
quiet. They wrote to every party on Belfast council for
help. The only person who didn't reply or come to meet them
was David Ervine, the leader of the Progressive Unionists,
the political arm of the UVF, who had killed Craig. Ervine,
who once served five years in the Maze on explosives
charges, is credited with trying to steer the UVF away from
violence. If he doesn't have the courage to help them, the
family says, then there is no hope.

Ervine told the Guardian: "What can I possibly do for them?
They want justice for the murder of their loved one and I
understand that. But what elements of justice can I deliver
for them? Justice is a matter for the police and the
courts. Should I storm into the middle of the UVF and
demand the killers be handed over? It would be easy but
it's highly unlikely to succeed."

Craig was one of four people killed by the UVF in its six-
week summer murder spree. The government's ceasefire
watchdog, the Independent Monitoring Commission, blamed the
UVF for the murders in a special report in September. But
the Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain did not move to
declare the group's ceasefire had broken down until later
that month, after UVF men had opened fire on police and
army with automatic weapons and crossbows during the worst
rioting in a decade.

The McCauslands want to meet Hain but he has so far
declined to see them. He wrote to the leader of the
Alliance Party, David Ford, saying "a meeting at such an
early stage in the police investigation would offer [the
family] little benefit."

Ford says: "This is typical of the way the government
currently operates in Northern Ireland. They are utterly
lacking in any moral fibre."

At Craig's funeral, where his favourite Dido and Coldplay
songs were played, his friend Johnny Sloan said they had
both discussed leaving Northern Ireland to get away from
paramilitaries. "Craig had friends everywhere who loved
him. We had talked of getting away from it all. Now I wish
we had".


Police Accused Of Bias Over CCTV

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson has accused the police of
bias for not using CCTV cameras in west Belfast.

Cameras are in place in the north, south and east of the
city. But in west Belfast, the PSNI do not operate a police
monitored CCTV system.

Mr Robinson accused republicans of blocking the crime
prevention cameras when they should encourage their use.

But Michael Ferguson, Sinn Fein, said CCTV cameras were
part of a "history of collusion and murder" in west

Mr Robinson said: "There has been a feeling that they
(cameras) are used for other purposes. But Sinn Fein has to
get real on the issue.

"Mr Adams has said the war is over. Therefore, he should
not be worrying about who is watching what is going on in
west Belfast.

"He should be encouraging this technology in west Belfast
to reduce the crime statistics."

'Not acceptable'

However, Mr Ferguson said using such cameras would not be
acceptable to the people of west Belfast.

"West Belfast is probably one of the most spied-upon
communities in Europe," he said.

"We already have three huge military installations in the
west of the city: Springfield, Grosvenor, Woodbourne.
People just ended a campaign to have a huge spy post taken
off their homes in Divis Street.

"The history of CCTV, cameras and spying is the history of
collusion and murder in west Belfast."

He suggested that Belfast City Council might follow the
example set by Derry City Council and employ a private
company to install and use CCTV equipment.

In a statement, the PSNI said CCTV was "just one option
within a much larger anti-crime strategy which may, or may
not work in particular areas, or for particular crimes".

The decision on where CCTV cameras should go could only
take place following consultation with all community
groups, the statement said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/15 09:58:34 GMT


PSNI Accused Of Cover-Up In Taxi-Driver Murder Case

By Bimpe Fatogun

THE family of a Co Tyrone taxi driver gunned down three-
and-a-half years ago has accused the police of protecting
an informer connected to the murder.

Brian 'Barney' McDonald was shot dead by two gunmen as he
arrived to pick up a fare at a snooker club in Donaghmore
near Dungannon just before 11pm on April 17 2002.

The 52-year-old, who was hit by four shotgun blasts, died
at the scene.

It was widely reported that the Provisional IRA was
responsible for the killing but at the time Sinn Fein
assembly member Francie Molloy ruled out the organisation's

No-one has been charged with the crime.

However, his brother-in-law Kieran O'Donnell said the
family believe police know who carried out the murder but
are refusing to move against the person.

Mr O'Donnell accused police of protecting the murderer from

He said: "One set of police are telling us that there
wasn't a checkpoint on the road that day and another come
along and say that there was.

"Now we know that there wasn't because family members were
up and down the road that night."

Mr O'Donnell claimed the family have been told various
files – including one on an individual they believe was
tied to the murder – have gone missing.

"We said there was an individual who should be looked at
and they said 'Sorry, that person's record has been
destroyed'," he said.

"I know that certain people were involved in getting Barney
to go to Donaghmore that night. Police know who that person

"They are protecting people because they have got a source,
someone there who they want to protect who has done favours
for them in the past in some organisation."

He claimed the family has received no information in the
three-and-a-half years since Mr McDonald's murder, despite
having a number of meetings with Dungannon CID officers
investigating the case and the Serious Crime Review Team
who have since taken it over.

Mr O'Donnell did, however, say that information they
originally received about an untraceable 'pay as you go'
mobile telephone number which was thought to be the last
call received by Mr McDonald has disappeared from evidence.

"I am 52-years-old and I have been involved in the
Troubles. I know what's what and what's going on is that
police know who killed Barney and they're protecting that
person," he said.

A police spokeswoman said any complaints about the
investigation should be addressed to the Police Ombudsman.


SF Rejects Ahern's Stance Of Ruling Out Coalition

Dan Keenan and Frank McNally

Sinn Féin has dismissed the Taoiseach's stance that he
will not contemplate coalition with the party after the
next election.

Martin McGuinness said yesterday he believed Bertie Ahern
may have tried to steal the headlines from Fine Gael after
its national conference at the weekend.

He forecast Sinn Féin would make gains in the next Dáil
election, and said Mr Ahern may have to do business with
his party to form a government.

On Sunday the Taoiseach ruled out making arrangements with
Sinn Féin to allow Fianna Fáil back into government after
the next election on the grounds that Sinn Féin policies
would damage the economy.

Yesterday Mr Ahern said a Fianna Fáil-Sinn Féin coalition
would be impossible because the monetary policies of the
two were "fundamentally different".

He suggested that Sinn Féin's fiscal, economic, and
European policies were "totally at variance with everything
I've spent my entire political life doing".

Speaking at Hillsborough, Mr McGuinness said: "In the
aftermath of the next general election in the South, Sinn
Féin's representation will be quite significantly increased
in Dáil Éireann.

"Then all the parties will have to decide what to do vis-à-
vis the formation of a government."

He asked rhetorically: "Will we be players in that? I think
given the way things are moving forward it's looking very
likely that we're going to be. Will Bertie talk to us in
that context? Absolutely."

Earlier, the Minister for Foreign Affairs stood by his
leader's comments. Dermot Ahern said: "The Taoiseach has
made it clear from day one in relation to Sinn Féin moving
into the political process exclusively from a democratic
point of view in principle.

"The Taoiseach has made it quite clear time and time again
that when it comes down to hardball economics and social
policy right across the spectrum in the Republic, Sinn Féin
are on a different side of the spectrum to my party.

"Themselves and the Labour Party are the only ones to have
said they are going to increase corporation and capital
gains tax. This is antithesis to the process that my party
set out in the Republic in the past number of years.

"[Their stance on] Europe is completely opposite to my
party's. Again, Sinn Féin in their recent election
manifesto in relation to private property; the ownership of
private property being against society.

"I mean there is no way we could ever go into coalition
with a party that would say that."

Asked for his response to unionist accusations of
Government double standards over its call for coalition at
Stormont including Sinn Féin, Mr Ahern explained: "You are
dealing with two political landscapes, North and South.

"The political landscape [in the Republic] has been a
stable democratic society for decades, and a recent report
by Forfás has said that one of the reasons why we have a
stable society in the Republic is because we have had
stable and accessible government. In relation to the North
it's a completely different scenario."

Northern Secretary Peter Hain said he "agreed completely"
with Mr Ahern's assessment.

"What we have here north of the Border is constitutional
power-sharing. Nobody is seriously suggesting that power-
sharing shouldn't be part of the future self-government of
Northern Ireland. What happens south of the Border is
voluntary power-sharing by parties that choose to exercise
it. I think it's good that real politics and policies are
bursting out from underneath the constitutional
disagreements that have dominated this island of Ireland
for so long."

© The Irish Times


Parties Hit Back At Ahern's Power-Sharing Position

Zoë Tunney

Political parties in the North and South have reacted with
scepticism and indignation to remarks made by Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern that his party would never share power with
Sinn Féin.

In remarks published yesterday, Mr Ahern said he would lead
Fianna Fáil in opposition rather than form a coalition
government with Sinn Féin.

Deliberately separating Fianna Fáil's form of republicanism
with that of Sinn Féin, Mr Ahern cited economic policy as
the main reason why he would not support a Dublin-based
government involving Sinn Féin.

"Even a radical overhaul of Sinn Féin economic policy would
have little real credibility after 35 years of Marxism," Mr
Ahern said.

"I believe Sinn Féin are agents of poverty and

"I believe the very notion of Sinn Féin in government would
lead to a flight of investment, which is untenable in a
small, open economy.

"For the good of the country, we cannot accept those
policies in government.

He added: "A practical republican programme delivering real
benefits for ordinary people would be impossible with Sinn
Féin in government.

"In such circumstances, I would lead my party into
opposition rather than contemplate coalition with Sinn Féin
or an arrangement for their support in government."

Martin Ferris, the Sinn Féin TD for Kerry North, said it
was not a question of whether Fianna Fáil would share power
with his party but rather whether Sinn Féin would actually
want to enter government with Fianna Fáil.

"The people will vote for who they want to see in power,"
Mr Ferris told Daily Ireland.

"Our first priority would be to put our mandate to the
people, and the second is to be elected on it.

"We would only enter into a coalition government with
parties in line with our policies.

"We would have to agree a programme of government.

"It's a question of whether Sinn Féin would want to share
power with Bertie Ahern and his party."

Mr Ferris criticised Mr Ahern for making distinctions in
republicanism and for attacking socialist ideals.

"Bertie Ahern is a self-proclaimed socialist and he
considers himself a republican but, since their time in
office, Fianna Fáil have managed to drive a bigger wedge
between the richer and poorer in Ireland, which goes
totally against everything republicanism stands for," he

Democratic Unionist Party MP Nigel Dodds accused the
Taoiseach of double standards.

"Bertie Ahern has ruled out, in categorical terms, any
prospect of Sinn Féin in government," he said.

"I have little doubt that the same Bertie Ahern will be at
the forefront of pressure from Dublin on unionists to
accept what they will not."

Irish justice minister Michael McDowell told his
Progressive Democrat colleagues at a function to celebrate
their party's 20th anniversary that Sinn Féin was a real
contender in the next Leinster House election.

"No matter what is said, Sinn Féin's plan is to get the
balance of power and to use it to control the next
government," he said.

"And, if they have the seats, they will do it. Their
ambition is power."


Opin: Ahern Clouds Waters With SF Exclusion

15 November 2005

Bertie Ahern is such an experienced politician that he must
have known that his rejection of Sinn Fein as future
coalition partners would undermine his support for
devolution in Northern Ireland. Why should unionists be
expected to share power with a party which he believes "are
agents of poverty and disadvantage"?

It makes no sense, and provides the opponents of the Good
Friday Agreement with the best argument, from the highest
quarter, for rejecting the whole concept of enforced power-
sharing. The only explanation for the Taoiseach's full-
frontal attack on Sinn Fein is that it should help his own
party, Fianna Fail, in its battle for working-class votes.

That is where the next election in the Republic, in 2007,
will be decided. Sinn Fein is making steady progress as the
only all-Ireland party, hoping to double its
representation, but Mr Ahern is attempting to rubbish its
policies, as well as re-claim republicanism.

Here, however, he and his Ministers insist that the Good
Friday Agreement institutions are set in stone and
unalterable. The four largest parties, including Sinn Fein
- currently second to the DUP - must form the Stormont
executive, or direct rule will continue. Sinn Fein can be
excluded in the Republic but must be included in Northern

The double standard is so obvious that political observers
in Dublin have little doubt about its origin. By ruling out
Sinn Fein as a coalition partner, Mr Ahern has weakened its
electoral appeal and has spiked the guns of the PDs, his
present partners, who threaten to campaign on the basis
that a vote for Fianna Fail is a vote to have Sinn Fein in

Another interesting aspect of the Taoiseach's thumbs down
for Sinn Fein is the reason he gives for its
unacceptability. Not because it is in league with an
illegal private army - which is still in being, despite
decommissioning its weapons - but because of its economic

Even a radical overhaul, which has been mooted, would have
little credibility, he said, "after 35 years of Marxism".
The very notion of Sinn Fein being in government would lead
to a flight of investment, untenable in a small, open

That would appear to be that, but many - including Fine
Gael leader Enda Kenny - are not convinced. He accused Mr
Ahern of going "behind the people's backs" in the past,
something that Sinn Fein could well emulate. Both parties
are past masters of pragmatism, when there are votes at
stake. As the two governments try to prepare the way for
devolution, Mr Ahern has muddied the waters badly. Even in
its divided state, how can Northern Ireland easily accept a
coalition that no southern party would contemplate?


Opin: Leaders Rush To Reject Sinn Féin As Partner

Damien Kiberd

It is becoming a whole lot clearer what the next general
election in the Free State will be about — it is antipathy
to Sinn Féin.

Leading politicians, who sense a public mood, are beating
each other up in order to distance themselves from Sinn
Féin and its alleged economic policies.

At the 20th anniversary celebrations of the foundation of
the Progressive Democrats last weekend, party leader Mary
Harney said that she "would never serve in any government
if it was dependent on Sinn Féin, and neither would my

Harney expressed concern at the notion that either Fianna
Fáil or Fine Gael — short of an overall majority in Dáil
Éireann — might cobble together an arrangement with Sinn
Féin that would see the major party reliant on Sinn Féin

Harney referred to Sinn Féin politics as "daft, anti-
European". Party founder Des O'Malley said that the
"challenge now is to confront and see down that [Sinn Féin]
threat and not allow its evil philosophy to prevail".

Michael McDowell, the justice minister, warned that Sinn
Féin wanted to "control" the next (Southern) government and
could be allowed to do so if allowed to co-govern by Fianna
Fáil or Fine Gael.

"Their ambition is power and they will ruthlessly seek out
a partner to that end, even if that involved a radical
change of stance or personnel in that partner," he said.

Bertie Ahern is no slouch either in this respect. He
granted an "exclusive" interview to yesterday's Sunday
Independent in which he said that Sinn Féin's presence in
government would provoke a flight of foreign capital and in
which he described Sinn Féin as "agents of poverty and

It is absolutely unclear how Sinn Féin could be held
responsible for any poverty or disadvantage either north or
south of the Border but clearly Bertie perceives that there
is advantage to be gained by linking the image of Sinn Féin
to economic marginalisation and exclusion.

The Sunday Independent reported that the Taoiseach had said
that he would lead his party into opposition rather than
share power with Sinn Féin or in "any arrangement for their
support in government".

His approach to Sinn Féin is entirely identical to that of
Harney, McDowell and O'Malley. And it runs completely
contrary to his (alleged) insistence that the Ulster
Unionists and Democratic Unionists should, by executive
fiat, be coerced into sharing power with what he clearly
sees as a Marxist entity.

"Even a radical overhaul of Sinn Féin economic policy would
have little real credibility after 35 years of Marxism,"
said the Taoiseach. He added that he believed that "the
very notion of Sinn Féin in government would lead to a
flight of investment which is untenable in a small, open

Ahern added that, "although there are other parties and
individuals with whom Fianna Fáil has significant policy
differences, I believe the public concern relating to the
potential economic damage of Sinn Féin's policies justifies
this stance".

In other words, both Fianna Fáil and the Progressive
Democrats would not touch the Sinn Féin party with a
bargepole. The Labour Party has made its position clear on
this issue too. It does not want any truck with Sinn Féin.
And it seems highly unlikely that Fine Gael would want any
dealing with Sinn Féin as well.

Sinn Féin has, of course, invited this odium upon itself.
It has managed to permit to be leaked (without formal
rebuttal) details of a botched-up economic policy that
would see it increase the rate of corporation profits tax
in the South by five per cent, to increase the rate of
capital gains tax to an unspecified level, and introduce a
new income tax rate of 50 per cent for high earners. The
policy is broadly social democratic in character but it is
absolutely unclear why Sinn Féin seeks to dangle before the
Southern electorate — accustomed as it is to substantial
budget surpluses — the need to raise taxes in a way that is
sure to penalise enterprise and choke off economic growth.

At the same time, the major Southern parties are moving
swiftly to reclaim the "lost terrain" of Irish
republicanism. Bertie Ahern has announced plans to restore
the annual commemoration of the Easter Rising with the army
of the state involved in a march past the GPO. Enda Kenny,
the Fine Gael leader, is actively celebrating the 100th
anniversary of the foundation of Sinn Féin, claiming
ownership rights to the legacy of Michael Collins. Sensing
the bizarre mood that has engulfed the politics of the
South, the British government has decided to give out
empire medals to minor celebrities and public figures south
of the Border.

As we pointed out in this column seven days ago, the Free
State is not suffering from a substantial budget deficit.
Its problem is not how to finance itself. Its coffers are
overflowing with tax remitted by multinational
corporations, by people dabbling in property investment, by
builders. Its central problem is how to apply investment
capital effectively. Over recent years, it has set aside an
entirely inadequate five per cent of gross national product
per year for investment but managed to spend only four per
cent. Given the huge overruns on public infrastructure
projects, it has got only a limited return for its outlay.

There is a cumulative infrastructural investment deficit of
about €150 billion (£101 billion) south of the Border. The
economy requires massive investment in education, in health
and in transport. Instead of examining ways in which this
sort of investment can be secured (and not necessarily
through bloated public spending), Sinn Féin appears to be
exploring ways of penalising the Southern electorate
through higher taxes. Perhaps this is unfair comment but I
have not heard any senior party figure move in recent days
to quell the leaks that have been published as "the gospel"
in the Southern media. The party is being depicted as a
"tax-and-spend" party and without any rebuttal.

The manner in which Sinn Féin's economic policy is being
depicted in the Southern media suggests that the party is
hell-bent on improving the cash flow to the Dublin
exchequer in a way that will cause European Central Bank
governor Jean Claude Trichet to look on in awe but that
will scarcely impress anybody else.

The application of the surplus being thrown up by the
Southern economy is a matter of much more pressing concern.
Sinn Féin's economic policy-makers do not appear to grasp
that reality.

Damien Kiberd is a writer and broadcaster. A presenter for
NewsTalk 106 in Dublin, he was previously editor of The
Sunday Business Post.


Opin: New Team, Old Ideas

Editor: Maria McCourt

While much of Enda Kenny's "agenda for change" outlined
this weekend was standard pre-election fare, his broadside
on the Irish language was an echo of the forelock-tugging
Fine Gael of the 1970s.

No one can argue with the party's ambitious plans to
improve childcare or boost educational prospects but, by
putting the boot into An Ghaeilge, Fine Gael is out of tune
with an increasingly self-confident Irish people.

When it comes to republicanism, Fine Gael doesn't seem to
know whether it's coming or going.

It honours the IRA's most ruthless (and most efficient)
hatchet man Michael Collins but yearns for the trappings of
the Empire he assailed; it leaps upon the Sinn Féin
centenary bandwagon but bursts a blood vessel at the
prospect of Sinn Féin MPs getting speaking rights on Dáil
committees; it re-brands itself "the United Ireland party"
but has no policy to bring about said objective.

It seems similarly confused now in relation to the Irish
language. In March this year, Enda Kenny called for a
review of the requirement to use Irish in the Leaving
Certificate. Eight months later, Mr Kenny calls for the
requirement on Irish to be scrapped. We are told by Fine
Gael that such a move will elevate Irish to a new status.

In reality, of course, the Fine Gael-ending of the
requirement in Irish would be the first backward step in a
remarkable renaissance of the Irish language over the past
decade. The Official Languages Act, full recognition for An
Ghaeilge as an official working language of the EU, robust
planning policies in the Gaeltacht to protect the language
and the creation of an all-Ireland body to promote Irish
under the Good Friday Agreement are just some of the
remarkable steps Irish has enjoyed in recent years.

The way to tackle the shortcomings in the present
unsatisfactory method of teaching Irish is not, as Mr Kenny
suggested, to ban it from the classroom. Rather the
solution is to ensure everyone is taught An Ghaeilge as a
living, spoken language rather than as the dry subject
matter of textbook and grammar primer.

Concrete policy positions from Fine Gael-Labour have been a
long time coming. Given the dismal performance of the
Fianna Fáil-PD coalition, one would have expected a rash of
challenging policy positions. Instead, pride of place is
given to an assault on the Irish language which may have
played well in the putative police state Fine Gael reigned
over 30 years ago, but which, in the multi-lingual Ireland
of 2005, is a non-starter.

Getting policing right

The Independent Group of Newspapers' infamous "Gerry Adams
ate my hamster" school of journalism is in full flight this
weekend with more baited-breath reportage warning against a
Fianna Fáil-Sinn Féin coalition.

Recently, we've also been treated to stories about the
calamity which would befall the North if CRJ schemes were
part of the new policing architecture in the North. How
strange that our media guardians weren't so exercised about
the shortfalls of policing when those entrusted with
upholding the law were torturing and murdering those who
safety and wellbeing they pledged to uphold.


Opin: Blow To Blair Is Blow To The North's Big Deal

By James Kelly

The outlook for poor old Neverneverland was always
uncertain come the Big Deal scheduled for January, but it
has not been helped by the shattering blow to the prestige
of Prime Minister Tony Blair in his defeat on a major
policy bid to retain suspect terrorists for 90 days.

By a dramatic twist of fate Blair, who with Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern is heavily invested in swift moves to
reestablish devolution to Northern Ireland, now finds
himself on the ropes facing demands for his resignation and
threats by his own left wingers, 49 of whom joined the Tory
and Liberal opposition on the crucial vote and threaten to
oppose him on other vital issues.

The Scotland Yard chiefs, who have not covered themselves
with glory over the handling of the menace of terrorism,
convinced Blair that extraordinary measures were needed to
defeat the horror of suicide bombing including three months
detention of suspects. But his passionate defence of the
police demand, backed by opinion polls, met with unexpected
resistance at Westminster especially from Tories, suspected
of being more concerned with hopes of the sudden prospect
of an undreamed of collapse of a Labour government at war
with itself.

Labour governments have always suffered embarrassment from
the activities of sore head left wingers who have spent
their lives in opposition "agin the government" and then
find themselves in the new role of lobby fodder for a
Labour administration.

Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan managed to control the
unruly elements one way and another but Tony Blair, who has
been accused of adopting a presidential role in cabinet,
may find it harder to rein in some of the new outspoken
backbench MPs. His position is further complicated by the
supporters of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown
who is expected to succeed to the role of premier when
Blair has agreed to step aside in two years time.

What happened last week at Westminster was described in the
Daily Mail as "a spellbinding piece of parliamentary
theatre, a moment of huge political significance".

No doubt they were licking their chops for they have been
gunning for Blair day after day for months with monotonous
regularity. It is ironic that Northern Ireland parties who
might suffer from the backlash of Blair's sudden removal
from the scene, should have contributed to his humiliation.
The DUP and SDLP in what has been described as an unholy
alliance joined in the voting lobby against Blair.

DUP boss Ian Paisley literally bit the hand that fed him
and his wife in time for the Big Deal with a thankless
whoop to reporters shouting "Blair's authority has gone".

He described the ninety days detention proposal as

The SDLP leader Mark Durkan said he met Blair and they were
open and honest about their opposition as nationalists and
the prime minister understood.

There had been talk of all sorts of deals with the DUP but
the SDLP were not involved in any deals. He said they did
not like voting against the prime minister but it was a
principled stand.

Meantime, Blair has been meeting the police and security
services to consider the implications of the cut in
detention of terrorist suspects from 90 to a mere 28 days.

Blair was reported to be unapologetic for his stand and
insists that the public at large will agree that parliament
has behaved in a deeply irresponsible way in face of the
ever present menace of a new and deadly form of terrorism.

Tories boasting that they have defended 'Magna Carta' and
'Habeas Corpus', may have difficulties when they return to
their constituencies to defend themselves against the
charge that in pursuing party political advantage they have
"gone soft" on the new battle against an insidious form of

In the wake of the London tube bombings and the daily
catalogue of suicide bombings in Baghdad and other
locations they may find that the Tory leadership, including
the new aspirants have cheered too soon.


Opin: In Gerry's Lifetime – If He Lives Forever

The Monday Column

By Roy Garland

Gerry Adams expects to see Irish unity within his own
lifetime. This might entail a fairly long wait but he
claims to detect signs already that, "a debate has started
within unionism" on the issue. But I can see no indication
whatever of such a debate. For most unionists Irish unity
means the final defeat, surrender and humiliation of an
honourable tradition and they will not consent to it.

Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP got it right when he said
Irish unity had become a sectarian battle cry "scarred into
the memory and psyche of a generation of our unionist
neighbours as something negative; something the unionist
community fought against and in many cases died to stop".
The language of invitation was not used but rather attempts
were made to intimidate with bombs and bullets. The legacy
of this suffering could prove well nigh impossible to
eradicate for future generations. Yet despite the vicious
onslaughts, most unionists want better relationships but
this is a far cry from territorial unity.

It is also questionable if Sinn Fein ever really wanted to
see true unity as this could never be achieved through
coercion. Whatever shape the future takes, it is accepted
that unity could only be achieved through consensus. But no
unionist can remain a unionist and seek Irish unity and
independence for that would be a contradiction in terms.

Even for many nationalists unity is not a pressing matter.
In fact many Catholics are wrongly designated as
nationalists when in fact they are no such thing. Some
unionists may describe themselves as republican but not in
the Sinn Fein sense. Sinn Fein-style republicanism is
another contradiction in terms given the heralded affinity
with the Sinn Fein of 100 years ago. Sinn Fein leader
Arthur Griffith accepted the concept of a dual monarchy,
which makes it all very confusing. Nor is Ourselves Alone
nationalism compatible with true republicanism.

Even if some form of territorial unity were possible within
Gerry Adams's lifetime, by that stage it might seem an
irrelevance. Come to think of it, formal territorial unity
is fairly irrelevant already given better relationship
here, between the parts of this island and between our
islands. Today's world is an increasingly interdependent
one – a process that is likely to continue. Few hanker
after the deprivations that might accompany independence.

In any case, without the border and the Brits to whinge
about, where would Sinn Fein be? They would have lost their
raison d'etre and perhaps much of their support. Gerry
Adams claims Sinn Fein is also about equality but their
focus remains set on unity. I have often wondered how Sinn
Fein could be serious about uniting Catholic, Protestant
and Dissenter in any case. Having stopped bombing and
shooting unionists some still speak belligerently and seem
to want to shove Irish unity down people's throats.

The perception of being cajoled into something against
people's will could be a major obstacle to unity. People
will resist whatever appears to be thrust upon them and
given our violent past the best contribution Sinn Fein
could make might be to sit tight and say nothing. If Sinn
Fein really wants unity they should stop trying to force
history, support policing and law and order and reach out
the hand of friendship at every conceivable opportunity
without pre-condition.

Adams commendably urges republicans to engage fully with
unionists but this does not necessarily entail any
willingness to respect the needs and sensitivities of
unionists who are to be manipulated into situations of Sinn
Fein's choosing. To link engagement with any predetermined
outcome would undermine the impact of any such engagement
between our estranged peoples.

Dialogue can change people but it cannot change them in any
predetermined direction. It can open minds but this
capacity is weakened when participants stick to pre-set
agendas. This has been a major bugbear in the peace
process. Despite words to the contrary, Sinn Fein seems
unable – publicly at least – to envisage outcomes that are
not predicated on achievement of Irish unity and unionist
defeat. This increases unionist stubbornness. When Adams
urges supporters "to drive forward the united Ireland
agenda" he abysmally fails to appreciate the negative
impact such words have on unionists after the years of



Opin: Let Proper Authorities Sort Out Paramilitaries

By Susan McKay

In the good old days of pre-Troubles Ulster Protestants
with a grievance used to write to the Queen. It is unlikely
that Her Majesty took the trouble to reply but the notion
was there that you could apply to the highest in the land
to get your wrongs set right.

This weekend, the UDA has demanded a meeting with the prime

It revealed indignantly that it had been demanding this for

It wants "to discuss the future".

So the UDA is willing to get 'suited up' again. According
to a statement read out on Sunday by Tommy Kirkham, it is
"open-minded and waiting on contact".

At the same time UDA sources were sending out warnings
about progress being put at risk because of UDA leaders
being brought before the courts.

It is true that if Andre Shoukri is wearing his suit before
a judge in court, (to face charges of blackmail and
intimidation), he can't simultaneously appear in it to meet
General de Chastelain.

He's had quite a while to fit in the chat on
decommissioning, though. The courts have not been unkind to
the current leaders of loyalism. Nor have the police, nor
the NIO.

All summer long, the UVF was left to terrorise its former
comrades in the LVF, until that organisation put its hands
up and said (not for the first time) that it was all over.
Latterly, the secretary of state announced a meaningless
sanction against the UVF but essentially, it was given a
free hand.

However, the Assets Recovery Agency and the PSNI appear now
to be actively pursuing those in charge of defending God
and Ulster these days.

Various figures are under investigation or before the
courts for, among other things, intimidation, blackmail,
running brothels, extortion, drug dealing and armed
robbery. Not forgetting attempted murder, sectarian attacks
and riotous behaviour.

In other words, pretty much the whole gamut of serious

The leaders of loyalist paramilitarism are, in fact,
serious criminals.

So why would the prime minister want to meet them?

He doesn't meet the gang leaders of inner city Britain to
discuss 'the way forward'. One clue lies in the gathering
at which the UDA made its statement.

This was the UDA's annual Remembrance Day commemoration at

The UDA gathers to commemorate its 'fallen soldiers' who
died fighting for Queen and country, the same as all the
other ex-servicemen commemorated at ceremonies all over the

The trouble is, that although the UDA's military campaign
largely consisted of the sectarian murder of Catholic
civilians, Tony Blair must admit some truth to its claims
upon him. The British did use the loyalist paramilitaries
as a 'gloves off' element of the security forces. It did
collude with the killers and it is still concealing the
extent of that collusion.

The Inquiries Bill is just the latest manifestation of

Now that the IRA has called a halt to its campaign and
given up its weapons, the loyalists have become a nuisance.

In the heady, early days after the Good Friday Agreement
the PUP and the UDP, parties which came directly out of
paramilitarism, promised a new sort of unionist politics
which was meant to bring hope and self-esteem to the
loyalist working classes. The days of providing cannon
fodder were over, they said. Former paramilitaries would
rebuild their shattered communities. It didn't work.
Loyalists preferred the old sectarian certainties provided
by Paisley.

May Blood, baroness and veteran community worker, talked to
the SDLP about the Shankill at the weekend. She said the
people there were "absolutely demoralised" and "had
convinced themselves that they were on their knees". There
were two groups in loyalist communities, "good people and
the so-called loyalist paramilitaries".

She slammed the lack of political leadership. The problem
for deprived Protestant areas wasn't that Catholic areas
got more money. It was the failure of Protestants "who have
not got the capacity to turn funding into real outcomes".

There is ample evidence for her claims, though the DUP
continues to feed the loyalist sense of grievance against
Catholics, with predictably destructive results. Much of
the money which has been put into loyalist areas in recent
years has been pocketed by the paramilitaries. 'Discussing
the future' is a euphemism for looking for more.

They must not get it.

They have to stop. They have to hand over their weapons.

If they won't let the police, the ARA and the courts sort
them out.


Tributes Paid To Republican

By Suzanne McGonagle

THE funeral of veteran republican Willie John McCorry was
held in Belfast yesterday.

Mr McCorry, who was in his eighties, died in hospital on
Friday following a long illness.

The father-of-five, who was from the Stewartstown Avenue
area of west Belfast, had served as the chairman of the
National Graves Association since 1970.

Mr McCorry was interned in the Curragh in the 1940s and in
Long Kesh in 1971.

His funeral was held at St Oliver Plunkett Church, in
Belfast, yesterday followed by burial at Milltown cemetery.

Liam Shannon, from the National Graves Association, last
night described him as a "steadfast republican".

"He was very well known and affectionately known as Willie
John – that's how everyone knew him as," he said.

"He was very much a steadfast republican who was a great
lover of all things Irish, be it the GAA, singing or the

"Willie John was a stalwart of the National Graves
Association and was a very good visionary person.

"We always regarded him as a safe pair of hands. He will be
greatly missed by all his family and friends – sorely

Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey last night said that
there was a "deep sense of loss" following Mr McCorry's

"Willie John McCorry gave decades of selfless service to
the republican cause in Belfast and indeed throughout the
country," he said.


'Air Of Deep Sadness' At Death Of Teacher

By Simon Doyle

The sudden death of a long-serving teacher and matriarch of
a well-known GAA family has created "an air of great
sadness" at her former school. Vera McGuckin, one of the
longest serving members of staff at St Patrick's College,
Maghera, died on Saturday after a short illness.

Principally a mathematics teacher, Mrs McGuckin took early
retirement last year after 30 years at the school where she
also taught religious education.

She was on the teaching staff of St Mary's girls school in
Maghera in the early 1970s, which later amalgamated with
the boys school to form St Patrick's College.

Her husband Adrian, who is also a mathematics teacher and a
senior member of staff at the college, is considered the
architect of St Patrick's dominance of schools gaelic
football in the eighties and nineties.

One of her sons, who is also named Adrian, is the captain
of Ballinderry Shamrock's Gaelic football team, of which
her other son Ronan is a member.

Adrian Jr was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the
1990s and it was feared that his promising football career
would end prematurely. News of the diagnosis was said to
have hit his parents hard.

He later overcame the illness to lead his club side to both
Ulster and all-Ireland championship titles.

Ballinderry Shamrocks GAC committee members and players
expressed their regret about Mrs McGuckin's "untimely

St Patrick's principal Anne Scott last night paid tribute
to her colleague.

"She was a very caring, pupil centred teacher," Ms Scott

"She was also very caring to young members of staff and in
guiding new teachers starting out.

"It is quite a large school and young teachers can be
overwhelmed by the size. She was a steadfast figure for
young teachers."

A large amount of pupils, staff and members of the school's
board of governors will attend Mrs McGuckin's funeral
today, Ms Scott said.

For those unable to attend, the school is holding a prayer
service to coincide with the Requiem Mass.

"It has numbed the school, the entire school is in

Whilst we knew that she was ill, we never expected this
outcome," Ms Scott said.

"Every child from third year upwards, about 900 pupils,
would have gone through her hands. There is an air of deep
sadness about the school."

Mrs McGuckin's funeral will leave her late home to St
Patrick's Church, Ballinderry for 11am Mass today.

Burial will take place in the adjoining cemetery.


On Nov 15, 1985: Anglo-Irish Agreement Signed

Britain and the Republic of Ireland have signed a deal
giving Dublin a role in Northern Ireland for the first time
in more than 60 years.

Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said it brought
new hope of ending the violence in Northern Ireland.

But Treasury minister Ian Gow - one of Mrs Thatcher's
closest political allies - has resigned in protest at the
deal which is also opposed by the Ulster Unionists.

In a letter, Mr Gow told Mrs Thatcher the government's
change of policy on Northern Ireland would "prolong and not
diminish the agony of Ulster."

The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed by Margaret Thatcher
and Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald at Hillsborough
Castle in County Down, Northern Ireland.


It sets up a framework for regular conferences between
British and Irish ministers to discuss matters affecting
Northern Ireland.

However, if a devolved government were established in
Northern Ireland, matters transferred to its power would no
longer fall under the remit of the conferences.

That is being seen as an inducement for unionists who want
to remain part of the United Kingdom and keep Dublin at

But, for the first time, the British Government has
officially committed to promoting legislation for a united
Ireland if a majority is in favour.

The deal has been met with anger and bitterness by the
majority loyalist community in Northern Ireland.

The 15 Ulster Unionist MPs have accused Mrs Thatcher of
treachery and have said they will resign unless a
referendum is held on the agreement.

However, opposition leaders at Westminster have pledged
their support and the government seems certain to secure a
big majority when the deal comes up for approval.

Irish MPs also have to approve the agreement which will be
reviewed after three years.


Political Five Fall In Final Shootout

By Claire McNeilly
15 November 2005

BILLED as the biggest soccer match of the year, the
Children in Need clash between BBC Northern Ireland and
some of Ulster's leading politicians ended in a nail-biting
penalty showdown last night.

Captained by Stephen Nolan, the BBC panel narrowly won the
five-a-side match after a dramatic shoot out resulting in a
4-3 scoreline.

The match, which kicked off in the Queen's PEC in Belfast
at 5.30pm and drew large banner-waving crowds, was
commentated by leading sports pundit Jackie Fullerton.

Northern Ireland's favourite housewife May McFettridge had
her work cut out as referee when she had to discipline both
Stephen Nolan and Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff following an

Lining up for the BBC were Stephen Nolan, producer Mike
Lee, Sunday World's Jim McDowell, presenter William Crawley
and researcher Cameron Mitchell.

The opposing team comprised ex-mayor of Belfast Martin
Morgan, Alliance leader David Ford, the UUP's Jim Rodgers,
the SDLP's Alex Attwood and Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff.

Alliance party leader David Ford said he was pleased with
how his fellow politicians had played.

"It was an absolutely outrageous match and the Nolan team
cheated the whole way through. It was a draw at full time,
but they beat us on penalties," he said.

"However, I feel the politicians showed they could work
together as a team and achieve an excellent result against
difficult odds."

A jubilant Jim McDowell said: "We've only played one game
but we're not beat yet!"

The Sunday World editor also commended the opposition on
the night.

"It was a tough game and fair play to the politicians -
they didn't have any substitutes and they were great," he

"I took the first penalty for the BBC and missed, but the
rest of the team were every supportive."


Historic All-Ireland Medal Up For Auction

By Bimpe Fatogun

A PLEA has gone out to help bring a medal from the first
ever All-Ireland football final back home.

The winning medal from the 1887 game is going under the
hammer at one of the world's most famous auction houses

Descendants of Limerick player Malachi O'Brien are putting
it on sale at Sotheby's in London with a price tag of

Limerick County Board has asked for the help of the general
public in making sure that the oldest remaining All-Ireland
football medal is not lost to the country.

Malachi 'The Little Wonder' O'Brien was a famous player
with the team that won that first final – played 21-a-side
between the Commercials club of Limerick and Young
Ireland's of Dundalk, Co Louth – in Clonskeagh almost 118
years ago.

The GAA had been founded in 1884 and in the early years of
All-Ireland competitions counties were represented by club

Mr O'Brien was reputedly man of the match in the 1887

His medal passed through generations of the family,
eventually becoming the prized possession of his grand
nephew, Matthew Malachy Doran, who died in Northampton in
England last year.

GAA officials in Limerick say they do not have the funds to
buy the medal from the 1-4 to 0-3 victory – one of only two
All-Ireland senior football successes the county has

"If anyone has the power to buy it and put it in the city
museum or somewhere like it, that would be fantastic,"
county board chief Denis Holmes said.


Kennedy To Sing For Ireland

Ali Bracken

Singer-songwriter Brian Kennedy has been chosen by RTÉ to
represent Ireland in next year's Eurovision song contest in

Under new selection plans announced by RTÉ, Kennedy will
sing a song chosen by the public and written by a
songwriter living in Ireland.

This change in format follows Ireland's disappointing
result at last year's Eurovision, which saw Joseph and
Donna McCaul fail to qualify for the semi-finals after
winning RTÉ's You're A Star competition.

RTÉ is now calling on songwriters to submit compositions
that will complement Kennedy's voice.

Four songs will be shortlisted by a selection panel, and
performed by Kennedy in a one-hour television special in
early spring. The public will then vote to choose a song.

Kennedy has had three Top 30 albums in the Irish charts
simultaneously and has performed and recorded with Van
Morrison, The Corrs, Tina Turner, Paul Brady and Sinead

He has also performed in Riverdance and presented TV and
radio programmes. Kennedy has also written two novels, the
second of which, Roman Song, was launched last week.

A long-time "secret fan" of the competition, he said this
newest opportunity should open up many more doors to him.
Compositions for the contest should be entered by December

© The Irish Times


Dobbs: "I Resent Those Kinds Of Holidays" That Have
"Nothing To Do With Celebrating America"

During a discussion on immigration assimilation and
multinationalism on the November 10 edition of CNN's Lou
Dobbs Tonight, host Dobbs said of St. Patrick's Day and
Columbus Day: "[P]eople [are] celebrating a distant history
and their lineage ... that has nothing to do with
celebrating America, and I find that astonishing. Frankly,
I resent those kinds of holidays." Dobbs continued: "[T]his
is a country that is so focused on the differences among
our 300 million citizens, we don't celebrate enough our
commonality, our similarities, our bond. And I become very
sensitive to this."

Dobbs's guest, City University of New York professor
Stanley A. Renshon, author of the new book The 50%
American: Immigration and National Identity in an Age of
Terror (Georgetown University Press, October 2005),
disagreed with the first statement, saying, "I think it's
perfectly all right for people to have connections to their
ancestors and to their own countries." But then, concurring
with the latter statement, he said: "We make a lot of room
for ethnic holidays, but we don't make room for America."

Apparently Dobbs doesn't "resent" all holidays: In December
2004, as Media Matters documented at the time, Dobbs argued
that the seasonal greeting "Happy Holidays" excludes
"everyone who is celebrating Christmas" and argued that
there is nothing wrong with people of faith celebrating
their own holidays:

DOBBS: But as we celebrate each one of those [holidays] --
and each of us in this very diverse society does celebrate
-- my Jewish friends say to me "Happy Hanukkah," I say to
them "Merry Christmas," none of us is offended. I don't
understand the reluctance to use Christmas.

The U.S. government recognizes eleven federal holidays,
including Columbus Day; according to the Congressional
Research Service, each federal holiday "emphasizes
particular aspects of the American heritage that molded the
United States as a people and a nation." St. Patrick's Day
(March 17), a holiday celebrating Ireland's patron saint,
is not a federal holiday; however, March is Irish-American
Heritage Month, as proclaimed by the U.S. Congress in 1995.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, "Because many
Americans celebrate their Irish lineage on St. Patrick's
Day, March was picked as Irish-American Heritage Month."
The president annually proclaims March as Irish-American
Heritage Month.

From the November 10 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

DOBBS: Well, joining me now to discuss our nation's growing
immigration and assimilation issues, the growing problem of
dual citizenship, author Stanley Renshon. His new book is
called The 50% American: Immigration and National Identity
in an Age of Terror. It is good to have you with us.

RENSHON: Thank you for having me.

DOBBS: The idea that there is a diminishing national
identity, to hear Peter Spiro [a University of Georgia law
professor who made the comment in an earlier segment on the
program] say that, I mean, that just slams into your ear?

RENSHON: Well, he is one of those people who believes that
it's rather easy to be a citizen of this country and a
citizen of another country, and there is no inherent
conflict between the idea. But it's really a wrong premise.
Some kinds of identities are really incompatible.

DOBBS: For example?

RENSHON: Well, for example, it's very hard to be an
observant Jew and an observant Muslim. You have to be one
or the other. It's very hard to be a person who is attached
to the American national culture, and at same level be
attached to a different culture.

DOBBS: But you know, one of the things that screams at me,
every St. Patrick's Day, every Columbus Day -- and I'm
going to get lots of e-mails and letters for saying this --
but I see people celebrating a distant history and their
lineage, presumably, that has nothing to do with
celebrating America, and I find that astonishing. Frankly,
I resent those kinds of holidays.

RENSHON: Well, I don't. I think it's perfectly all right
for people to have connections to their ancestors and to
their own countries. We have attachments, and it doesn't
bother me at all if someone remembers back when they were
Irish and so forth. But most of that ethnicity is really
symbolic ethnicity. It's really about wearing a shamrock or
having a glass of green beer.

DOBBS: Well, let me explain to you why I don't like it, and
I have just a visceral reaction to it, and that is that
this is a country that is so focused on the differences
among our 300 million citizens, we don't celebrate enough
our commonality, our similarities, our bond. And I become
very sensitive to this.

RENSHON: You should be, and I think that is an absolutely
correct observation. We make a lot of room for ethnic
holidays, but we don't make room for America.

— J.M.

Posted to the web on Monday November 14, 2005 at 1:05 PM

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