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News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)
November 18, 2005
Finucane Family Warn Over Inquiry
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News about Ireland and the Irish
UT 11/17/05 Finucane Family Warn Over Inquiry
BB 11/17/05 'No Threat To Catholic Education'
SF 11/17/05 Adams Presses For Demilitarisation
DI 11/17/05 Ex-DUP Mayor Hits Out At Former Party
DI 11/17/05 Lisburn Council 'Most Bigoted' In The North
BB 11/17/05 Millions Of Cigarettes Recovered
BT 11/17/05 Ulster Jails 'Close To Breaking Point'
IO 11/17/05 Injured Police Still Off Sick After Riots
IO 11/17/05 Contraband Lands 'Border Fox' Back In Jail
DI 11/17/05 Hundreds Picket FG HQ Over Irish Language
TC 11/17/05 HFA Gets Lucky With Irish Film
BB 11/17/05 Enya Dedicates Album To BBC Producer
DI 11/17/05 Ahern Launches Clondalkin Gazette
IO 11/17/05 Small Town With A Lotta Lotto Luck
Finucane Family Warn Over Inquiry
The family and colleagues of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat
Finucane today warned the Government they will use all
legal and political means at their disposal to secure a
satisfactory inquiry into his murder.
After briefing the US Consul General in Belfast Dean
Pittman on their opposition to a tribunal set up under the
new Inquiries Act, Mr Finucane`s widow Geraldine and her
solicitor Peter Madden claimed the Government may have
breached an international agreement with the Irish Republic
by setting up an inquiry under the new legislation.
They also revealed the family is seeking meetings with the
Ulster Unionists and Rev Ian Paisley`s Democratic Unionists
and also hoping to brief key American politicians when Mrs
Finucane travels to the United States next week.
Mr Madden said: "The problem we have with an inquiry set up
under the Inquiries Act is that it gives the Government
power to take decisions which the tribunal itself cannot
"The decision-making process has been taken away from
inquiry judges to the Government and in a case like Pat`s
where the state`s role in a murder is under examination
that takes away any independence an inquiry may have.
"The setting up of the inquiry under the new legislation
also breaks an international agreement with the Irish
Government which committed the British Government to
setting up the inquiry under the terms of the 1921
"We have the support of the Irish Government in our
campaign and we believe we have US Government support.
"The family are determined this will not rest and they will
not accept second best."
Pat Finucane was gunned down in front of his family in his
north Belfast home by the Ulster Freedom Fighters in
Last year, loyalist Ken Barrett was jailed for 22 years
after admitting his role in the shooting.
However, the murder has been dogged by allegations that
members of the security forces were involved.
A team of investigators headed by former Metropolitan
Police chief Sir John Stevens, found evidence of collusion
between members of Army intelligence, the Royal Ulster
Constabulary and the loyalist hitmen.
Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory, who was appointed in
2001 by the British and Irish Governments to examine six
controversial murders from Northern Ireland`s Troubles,
recommended an inquiry.
The Government, however, has insisted the new legislation
is needed because the tribunal judges will have to handle
sensitive matters of national security.
Under the legislation, tribunals considering sensitive
intelligence material will be able to do so in private.
Controversially, ministers will also be able to direct the
Finucane inquiry and other tribunals.
The legislation has been condemned by Mr Finucane`s family,
who have warned they will not participate in any inquiry
set up under the legislation.
In a letter to a US Congressional Committee in March Judge
Cory condemned the Inquiries Act, arguing it set impossible
terms for any international judge asked to chair the
Human rights organisations and nationalist politicians have
also been highly critical.
Mr Madden continued: "If the British Government is not
prepared to do the right thing, the family are going to
continue with their campaign and will not be afraid to
embarrass them on the international stage.
"We have taken it to the human rights committee in Geneva,
we have taken it to New York and Washington and have the
support of the special United Nations rapporteur.
"Pat`s case is not going to be brushed under the carpet
with a half inquiry."
Geraldine Finucane said today`s meeting was a chance to
update the US Consul General on their campaign.
"We told them that if (President George W Bush`s special
envoy to Northern Ireland) Ambassador (Mitchell) Reiss has
any further questions when I am in the United States for a
personal visit next week that I am available," she
"We have also requested a meeting with Senator Hillary
Clinton and following on from our meeting with (Progressive
Unionist leader) David Ervine, we would hope to meet (UUP
leader) Sir Reg Empey and the DUP.
"There has also been contact from (Northern Ireland
Secretary) Peter Hain`s office."
'No Threat To Catholic Education'
The government is "not on a collision course" with the
Catholic Church over the proposed downgrading of its
education body, the NIO has said.
Education Minister Angela Smith told the BBC there was "no
threat to the Catholic ethos in schools".
The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools could be broken
up as part of a sweeping review of NI administration.
The CCMS, which runs Catholic schools, is the employer of
8,500 teachers and looks after 500 schools.
The Review of Public Administration (RPA) has proposed that
the body should be downgraded to an advisory role.
Mrs Smith said she was seeking to "reduce the
"The RPA will do that across the public sector. The
announcement will be made shortly of how we don't spend too
much money on administration and how that money gets to
"That is the intention of the RPA and that is what we
intend it to do."
She added: "I do not believe we are on a collision course
(with the Catholic Church).
"I met the bishops last night and we discussed this last
night, along with a number of issues.
"I can give them absolute reassurance, in terms of what
they are concerned about, of maintaining the ethos and the
character of their schools, they will not notice any
CCMS chief executive Donal Flanagan said to remove their
input would diminish educational standards.
"What we are saying is that our ethos adds value to
children's standards," he said.
"Teachers and ethos are inextricably linked and we want the
right to be able to appoint teachers who are committed to
the aims of a Catholic education.
"The government recognises, and nowadays almost everyone
recognises, Catholic education adds value to the learning
experiences of young children and improves their standards
Widely anticipated changes to the way Northern Ireland is
administered are set to be unveiled next Tuesday.
The review is the largest examination in more than 30 years
of the organisation and delivery of public services in the
It was initiated by the devolved executive before the
assembly was suspended in October 2002.
Many Catholic schools' representatives have written to the
government in protest at the proposed downgrading of the
The schools say they are concerned that it is a threat to
the ethos of Catholic education.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/17 15:53:39 GMT
© BBC MMV
Gerry Adams Visits Magilligan To Press For Demilitarisation
Published: 17 November, 2005
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP today visited the
University of Ulster at Coleraine where he spoke to members
of Ógra Sinn Féin and local party activists. He was met by
party colleague Councillor Billy Leonard.
After speaking at the campus Mr. Adams travelled to
Magilligan Point where he spoke to local journalists about
Sinn Féin's support for the transfer of Magilligan Prison
and the demilitarisation of local lands used as a British
Army firing range.
Speaking in the University Mr. Adams said:
"I believe that we now have a great opportunity to move
forward and build on the potential that recent initiatives
by the IRA have provided. The challenge for political
leaderships is to take risks and move beyond old slogans
and positions. Republicans have demonstrated that we can do
this. The challenge for the current leadership of Unionism
is whether they can meet the challenges of the present and
move forward with us, in trying to build a better future
for all of us, particularly our young people. That means
building an economy which creates employment for young
people; it means providing a decent level of education, for
all our children, a decent health service for all our
people and a decent home for all our people to live in.
There is enough wealth generated on this island to allow us
to do all these basic things. What is lacking is political
"There is an urgent and pressing need for a process of
national reconciliation. We need to reach out to each
other. Listen to what each other has to say. There must be
a genuine and enlightened dialogue between all of us who
share this island. It is our responsibility, especially
those of us from this generation, who have lived through
the dark days of our past to make sure we bequeath a bright
and promising future to our children. I believe future
generations will not judge us kindly if we fail to do so."
Afterwards speaking at Magilligan point the Sinn Féin
"Magilligan Prison should be closed and the nearby British
Army firing range should be demilitarised as part of a
strategic plan to maximise the development of the tourism
potential of this area. Recently Robin Masefield, head of
the Prison Service, told Limavady Borough Council that a
strategic review was underway. It seems to us very logical
that a beautiful area such as this, with a popular ferry
link to Donegal and pivotal to the Tourism Masterplan
should, for the first time ever, get the chance to maximise
its undoubted tourism potential. The removal of the prison
and its transfer elsewhere will not see any significant job
losses to the local economy. On the contrary moving the
prison and the demilitarisation of the firing range would
create the possibility of many new jobs for the area.
Local councillors Paddy Butcher and Billy Leonard who have
led the Sinn Féin campaign in Limavady and Coleraine
Councils said they were "delighted that the Sinn Féin
President had visited the area with them and is fully
behind their campaign.
The two Councillors said:
"The potential for Magilligan, East Derry and far beyond is
immense. Sinn Féin knows that tourism and job creation are
severely impeded by the prison and the firing range. We are
happy that Gerry Adams has endorsed our campaign which is
based on the opinions of many local people. We will
continue to work for the de-militarisation of the area and
the closure of the prison." ENDS
Ex-DUP Mayor Hits Out At Former Party
"I'm glad I got out (of the DUP) when I did" – Rev Eric
A former DUP Lord Mayor of Belfast has accused his former
party bosses of giving all the top jobs within the party to
Reverend Eric Smyth's scathing attack on the DUP hierarchy
came just hours after it emerged Ian Paisley's daughter,
Rhonda Paisley, is to take a sexual discrimination case
against the party. Ms Paisley claims she did not get a
position within the DUP's policy unit last year because she
is a woman.
The job of policy officer which she applied for went to the
Armagh-based former Ulster Unionist activist turned DUP
councillor Philip Weir.
The Craigavon politician is not the only former Ulster
Unionist to now hold a prominent position within the DUP.
Others include Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, Assembly
members Arlene Foster, Peter Weir, Norah Beare, councillors
Jim Kirkpatrick and Nelson McCausland. Speaking to Daily
Ireland Rev Smyth insisted today's DUP is nothing like the
party he joined 30 years ago, and that it faces tough times
"I'm very concerned about the DUP," said Rev Smyth, who
retired from politics in May.
"A lot of the old guard are very unhappy, it's no longer
the party they joined. They just don't know what's going
"Look at Stormont, most of the boys up there are not old
DUP, they are all Ulster Unionists who could not get places
until they joined the DUP.
"I'm not happy with the direction the party is moving in.
I'm glad I got out when I did."
Rev Smyth quit politics earlier this year after serving
more than 20 years on the council.
A serving DUP councillor in the greater Belfast area who
spoke to Daily Ireland shared Rev Smyth's concerns. The
politician who insisted on not being named said there were
deep divisions within the party.
The industrial tribunal action involving Rhonda Paisley is
listed as Rhonda Paisley v Alan Ewart and others. Mr Ewart
is DUP chief executive and a Lisburn city councillor.
Also named is the DUP party officer team of leader Ian
Paisley, deputy leader and MP Peter Robinson, MPs Nigel
Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson, Gregory Campbell, Iris Robinson,
Sammy Wilson, Willie McCrea, MEP Jim Allister, party
chairman and MLA Maurice Morrow, MLAs Ian Paisley Junior,
William Hay, David Hilditch, Edwin Poots and Paul Berry.
A spokesman for the DUP said: "We are content with the
person who did get the job. It's all in the hands of our
lawyers and we are not going to be distracted by this from
the bigger issues."
Lisburn Council Is Branded 'Most Bigoted' In The North
Council is run by unionists for unionists says Sinn Féin
A Co Antrim council has been branded the most bigoted in
the North after it used public cash to produce a council
services booklet that ignores the work of its nationalist
The Lisburn city council publication entitled Putting You
in the Picture was recently delivered to every home
throughout the council area.
The purpose of the booklet is to inform ratepayers what
their cash is being spent on.
While it extols the work of unionist councillors, no
reference is made to the efforts of nationalist
representatives who make up a third of the council.
Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler believes nationalists in
Lisburn are being treated as second-class citizens.
He said: "Ratepayers' money has been used to produce a
piece of promotional material on behalf of unionists.
"The booklet is aptly named because it clearly puts
nationalist ratepayers in the picture regarding their
standing in Lisburn.
"They can now see that the council is run by unionists for
Mr Butler believes the booklet reads like an election
publication on behalf of unionists.
He added: "I will be writing to the chief executive asking
why the council is exclusively promoting unionists in an
official council publication and using ratepayers' money to
"I will also be asking why nationalist representatives on
the council are being frozen out and excluded."
The Democratic Unionist Party mayor of Lisburn, Jonathan
Craig, who wrote the foreword for the Putting You in the
Picture booklet, defended its content.
He said: "Mr Butler has got his facts wrong.
"This booklet was put together by the council marketing
department with absolutely no input from any politician.
"Mr Butler should bear in mind that the SDLP chairs the
council's environmental committee which holds two thirds of
our annual budget.
"Surely this is proof that Lisburn is an inclusive council.
"I believe Mr Butler's real gripe is that Sinn Féin does
not feature in the booklet."
Millions Of Cigarettes Recovered
Three men have been arrested and millions of cigarettes
recovered during a police operation in Armagh.
The searches are part of an investigation into serious and
organised crime linked to dissident republicans, police
The searches are continuing, with police and customs
Meanwhile, in a seperate operation, police are questioning
three men in north Antrim about paramilitary activity.
They were arrested in the Bushmills area on Thursday
morning. A number of searches were carried out in
connection with the arrests.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/17 18:45:20 GMT
© BBC MMV
Ulster Jails 'Close To Breaking Point'
Crisis warning for Ulster prisons
By Brian Hutton
17 November 2005
Northern Ireland's prison service is at breaking point
because of a massive rise in inmates and imminent staff
cutbacks, it was warned today.
The prison population has reached 1,400 for the first time
since paramilitaries were released early under the Good
Friday Agreement - and the figure is rising at a staggering
rate of more than a 100 a year.
If the surge continues at its current pace, all prisons -
Maghaberry, Magilligan and Hydebank Wood - are expected to
reach capacity within a year.
Chairman of the Prison Officers' Association, Finlay
Spratt, fears that prisoners will have to be doubled up in
cells which will, he said "cause chaos on the wings".
"Management were given money to build a new facility at
Maghaberry two years ago which would give us almost an
extra 100 cells.
"But they never built it. Now there's a crisis. At the
moment we only have 1,494 cells. The prison population has
gone up 18% in the last three years while staffing levels
have gone down by about 12%. The whole thing is a total
"We pay substantial amounts of money to the management of
the Northern Ireland Prison Service and they're not up to
the task," said Mr Spratt.
A blueprint on the future of the prison service is being
drafted and is expected before the end of the year.
Any plans for a new jail would likely take years to
The Northern Ireland Prison Service said it was putting in
place a range of short-term measures to deal with the swell
"A study of future population trends is ongoing and we are
engaged in a long-term strategic review of the service,"
said a spokesman.
"The Northern Ireland Prison Service will continue to
accommodate all those committed to its care by the courts,"
The prison population is now almost the same as it was at
the time of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement,
before hundreds of paramilitary inmates were freed on
In 2000/2001, as a result of the early release scheme, the
number of prisoners had dropped to as low as 800.
That compares with a peak figure of just under 3,000, at
the height of the Troubles during the 1970s.
Since then the Maze Prison has been shut down while the
prison population has been rising at an average of at least
120 new inmates annually, over the past five years.
Figures fluctuate weekly and there are presently 725
inmates at Maghaberry Prison, 407 at Magilligan and 196 at
The Hydebank Wood total includes 27 female prisoners.
Of the so-called "separated" inmates, there are 30
prisoners on republican wings and 44 on loyalist wings.
North: Injured Police Still Off Sick After Riots
More than 20 police officers are still on sick leave after
the ferocious rioting in Belfast earlier this year, it was
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde disclosed two thirds of them
were injured when loyalist mobs plunged the city into chaos
Officers were attacked with blast and petrol bombs, as well
as live rounds, after an Orange Order march was
The rest have still to return to work following republican
street violence that surrounded a disputed Twelfth of July
parade through Ardoyne, north Belfast.
Ian Paisley Jr, a Democratic Unionist representative on the
Northern Ireland Policing Board, said he was shocked by the
severity of injuries that kept them from their duties.
But he added: "It's a miracle that even more weren't hurt
given the sustained rioting from both republicans and
The violence surrounding the marching season was the most
intense in the North for years.
Nearly 100 officers were hurt as Belfast and surrounding
towns were engulfed by several nights of street disorder.
The trouble flared over a bitterly contested decision to
force Orangemen involved in the annual Whiterock march away
from nationalist homes in the west of the city.
Loyalist paramilitary gunmen came onto the streets at the
height of the disturbances.
Police spent £3m (€4.4m) dealing with the rioting that saw
150 live rounds fired at officers.
More than 1,000 petrol bombs and 167 blast bombs were also
thrown at security lines.
With loyalists blaming police for provoking the riots,
relationships remain seriously damaged.
Some shops on the Shankill Road, the heartland of
Protestant west Belfast, still refuse to serve officers.
But earlier in the summer it was republicans who went on
the rampage, injuring another 100 police men and women.
Officers were attacked as they pulled out of the flashpoint
Ardoyne shopfronts after the July 12 Orange parade.
Baton rounds were fired in a bid to drive back the mobs.
The continued impact of the rioting emerged in a briefing
Sir Hugh gave to the Policing Board.
He said: "I can confirm that there are still a total of 21
officers on sick leave.
"Seven officers as a result of disturbances on July 12 and
14 officers as a result of the Whiterock disturbances."
Joe Byrne, an SDLP representative on the authority, hit out
at the extra strain the rioting has placed on police
He said: "Sometimes people only focus on the financial
costs and ignore the human cost of injuries to officers.
"That also has an impact on the complement of officers
available for normal duties.
"Given that quite often some district commanders are
operating under tight budgets and human resources any
officers needlessly out of duty has a knock on effect."
Although sickness levels within the force have fallen,
police said nearly 110,000 working days were lost due to
illness in 2004.
During the same period 1,210 attacks on officers related to
the security situation in the North were recorded.
But from 2001/02, when officers each averaged nearly 24
days off on sick leave, the figure dropped to just under 15
days last year.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said:
"Attendance levels are a key organisational issue for the
"We have a managing attendance policy which we plan to
revise to ensure it's fit for purpose and to further
deliver increased attendance."
Contraband Lands 'Border Fox' Back In Maximum Security
17/11/2005 - 21:26:27
One of Ireland's most notorious prisoners was transferred
to the maximum security facility at Portlaoise today
following what the authorities described as a breach of
Dessie O'Hare, known as the Border Fox, was caught with
contraband in his clothing by prison officers.
The former Irish National Liberation Army leader had just
returned to the open prison section at Castlerea from
temporary relief when the discovery was made.
O'Hare, who was sentenced to 40 years in jail in 1988 for
kidnapping and mutilating Dublin dentist John O'Grady, was
being released from short periods in preparation for his
A prison service spokesman said O'Hare was in the open
section of Castlerea Prison on the basis of trust.
"He was transferred from Castlerea Prison this morning to
Portlaoise, " he said.
"He had been out on temporary release and when he returned
yesterday he was searched by staff and found to be in
possession of contraband."
Hundreds Picket Fine Gael HQ Over Irish Language
Anger as leader Enda Kenny calls for Irish language to be
made a non-required subject for students after Junior
Several hundred Irish language supporters picketed Fine
Gael headquarters in Dublin yesterday in response to party
leader Enda Kenny's vision for Irish language teaching
Mr Kenny came out and addressed the crowd, which included
hundreds of second-level students, members of young Irish
group Na Gael Óg and language group Conradh na Gaeilge.
As he attempted to explain his position he was greeted with
chants of "Nil an ceart ag Éanna!"
Mr Kenny had called for the development of a national plan
to encourage the language's future development ahead of his
party's conference last weekend.
He said the education system was failing to develop Irish
and that it was time to overhaul the curriculum by making
the language non-required after Junior Certificate exams in
"We must acknowledge that compulsion, as a political engine
to revive the Irish Language, has failed," he said.
"Forcing students to learn Irish is not working and is
actually driving many young people away from any real
engagement with this beautiful language."
Many other people say the proposals will lower the status
of the language in society, along with the learning of
languages in general.
Daithi O'Connell of Conradh na Gaeilge said the protest had
"The position of Enda Kenny would bring a collapse in the
language. The policy of making the language non-compulsory
is not about offering choice to students. If a student
wants to be a biologist and is forced to choose between
Irish and biology, he'll obviously have to choose biology.
That's just not acceptable."
Sinn Féin Irish Language spokesperson Francie Brolly gave
his support to the protest, saying that Mr Kenny's
proposals were disingenuous and that they would hurt the
"This is a cynical, popularist policy by Fine Gael. They
can dress it up with the language of love and appreciation
of Irish, but in practical terms it will badly affect the
"Sinn Féin haven't used the language as a political
football and has genuinely attempted to promote it as an
end in itself. The Fine Gael policy statement is
disappointing. It is doing the opposite."
Earlier in the Week, Fianna Fáil minister for Education,
Mary Hanifin, said the statement was "mere electioneering".
She said: "This is particularly disappointing at a time
when Irish is recognised as an official language in Europe
and attitudes towards Irish have never been more positive."
A Fine Gael spokesperson last night defended Mr Kenny's
position, saying the party leader had a genuine love for
"Everyone accepts the present system is not working. Enda
Kenny is trying to do for the Irish language what
Riverdance did for Irish dancing. He is trying to create a
mood of positivity for those actually wanting to learn it,
instead of imposing a burden on young people wanting to
learn something else," he said.
HFA Gets Lucky With Irish Film
Published On Thursday, November 17, 2005 10:34 PM
By Carmen E. James
Perhaps feeling left out of Boston's Irish-steeped culture,
Harvard has brought a taste of it home to its conspicuously
un-Irish campus with a little help from Magners Irish
Though the tasty beverage itself is not appearing, Magners
is the main sponsor of this week's seventh annual Irish
Film Festival at the Harvard Film Archive (HFA) and Brattle
Theater. The festival may not have quite the thrill of a
Dublin pub crawl, but it promises its fair share of
exciting events—notably an appearance by Irish director
Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda"). With more than 30 features
and short documentaries, Magners celebrates the impressive
and wide-ranging talent of Irish filmmakers.
Jim Lane and Peter Flynn started the festival, which began
as an academic event featuring Irish films produced since
the 1920s, while at Amherst College. It included panels and
guest speakers, but at the end of the day, most of the
people who attended were Irish-Americans interested in
seeing movies from their own cultural background. The
special program was so successful that despite what Flynn
refers to as "the whole nightmare that it was" they decided
to make it an annual event.
Now under Flynn's direction, the festival has gained
financial stability due to sponsorship from Magners.
Magners has also allowed the festival to widen its
demographic appeal to Bostonians in general as well as its
traditional audience of Irish and Irish-American
moviegoers, hoping that viewers will be drawn to the
festival's unique cultural spin on cinema. Flynn credits
Boston as particularly open to cultural festivals, citing
local events like the French Film Festival and the Armenian
Despite having widened his target demographic, Flynn
insists that the festival is still "first and foremost
catered to Irish and Irish-American consumers" as a way to
celebrate Irish culture and accomplishments. He also lists
more discerning viewers with a taste for non-mainstream,
art-house movies as a secondary audience.
The selection process for the festival begins by submitting
a call for entries, which is how Flynn and his team find 90
percent of the movies shown. There are then three
independent judges who spend hours watching and
deliberating over the movies to decide which films will
appear at the festival. The festival also offers four
awards: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short
Fiction/Animation, and the Director's Choice Award.
Some of Flynn's favorite films from this season include
"Song for a Wagging Boy," which he describes as an
"emotional wringer," as well as "Adam and Paul," which he
calls "very funny but, in the end, tragic."
According to Flynn, a festival like this should be of great
interest to the Harvard community. He points out that "as
our culture becomes increasingly closed off to outside
influences it becomes increasingly important to learn how
other people create art."
Flynn asserts that, "they work very hard over there in
[Ireland] to make films," with little money and resources,
yet the films they produce are exceptional and emotionally
Regardless of the cultural context, such a lesson about
creating great art from very little is a unique gift for
which Harvard should thank the Flynn, the festival, and,
indeed, Magners. That Irish cider ain't bad either.
—The Magners Irish Film Festival will run at the HFA and
Brattle Theater from Nov. 17 through Nov. 21.
Enya Dedicates Album To BBC Producer
Enya has dedicated her latest album Amarantine to the BBC
Northern Ireland producer who introduced her individual
ethereal singing style to a worldwide audience.
Tony McAuley, who died at his home in the Glens of Antrim
in June 2003, gave the Irish singer her television break
when she recorded the music for The Celts series.
Enya subsequently released the soundtrack from the series
as her debut album, The Celts, in 1987.
The singer, who is Ireland's best selling solo musician,
said McAuley had played an integral role in bringing her
music into the public domain.
"He was very important... a great, great friend who got us
involved in the first project which was The Celts," she
"We had a wonderful time at the BBC, because firstly we
were asked to write the music for one episode, but when we
had put forward a few pieces, the director, David
Richardson, said he wanted us to write the music for the
six episodes, which was a great compliment."
McAuley also played an instrumental role in the careers of
Paul Brady, the Chieftans and Van Morrison.
In the past, Enya has performed her songs in English,
Gaelic, Welsh, Spanish and even Elvish (for the Lord of the
However, her latest album, to be released on 21 November,
has stretched her linguistic singing repertoire to the
fictional language of Loxian.
After trying to sing the track Water Shows The Hidden Heart
in English, Gaelic and Latin, her co-writer Roma Ryan
suggested she tried it in Loxian.
"(When) we worked on Lord of the Rings, Roma was working on
writing the lyrics in Elvish because of Tolkien's fictional
language," she said.
"So when we went to work on the album she suggested,
because we were working on this one song and we had great
difficulty deciding on what the language was going to be,
she suggested creating a fictional language called Loxian,
which was absolutely so exciting."
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Enya is the joint
78th richest person in Ireland with an estimated fortune of
100m euros (£70m).
She was also the world's biggest selling artist in 2001.
However, despite her fame and success the Donegal singer
says she still gets excited about creating original music.
She said: "I have a great love of music always had, and to
put together this album and kind of lose yourself in the
music is really interesting, to be creative and not think
of the commercial side of the music, to focus on what you
want to say in a song, so the extra bonus is the success."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/17 13:01:23 GMT
© BBC MMV
Ahern Launches Clondalkin Gazette
As it comes to the end of its most successful year ever,
the Andersonstown News Group is gearing up for more
progress with an exciting shake-up of top positions and the
launch of a new title.
Among the high-flyers moving to new positions in the
community newspaper group - which has just celebrated its
ninth annual Aisling Awards extravaganza - are veteran
Irish language journalist Concubhar Ó Liatháin and former
Daily Ireland Editor Maria McCourt.
"Last night in Dublin, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern launched the
Clondalkin Gazette, the third title in the ambitious Dublin
newspaper group in which we are a founding shareholder,"
said Andersonstown News Group managing director, Máirtín Ó
"That puts the perfect seal on a tremendous year for those
across the country who admire the dynamic style of
reporting forged by the Andersonstown News Group and Daily
The Dublin launch comes in the same week as Daily Ireland
opened its Dublin office.
Moving up in the Andersonstown News Group are: Andrea
McKernon, a veteran North Belfast news reporter, takes over
the helm at the North Belfast News.
"It's a great challenge to be editing North Belfast's
biggest newspaper and my intention is to take the paper to
new heights," she said.
Maria McCourt moves from her position as Editor of Daily
Ireland to take up the reins at the South Belfast News.
"I've enjoyed my time at Daily Ireland and am looking
forward to driving forward the South Belfast News," said
the new editor.
Cork campaigning journalist Concubhar Ó Liatháin has been
appointed Editor of the daily Irish language newspaper Lá.
Small Town With A Lotta Lotto Luck
17/11/2005 - 19:25:59
A town in Donegal was dubbed one of Ireland's luckiest
tonight after two winning Lotto jackpot tickets were sold
there on the same day.
Two lucky punters were celebrating after scooping over 1m
euro each in the midweek draw – after buying tickets within
hours of each other in shops just yards apart.
Two of the three winning tickets of Wednesday's €3.04m
jackpot were sold in Buncrana, a town with a population of
just over 5,000 people, on the day before the draw.
One was sold in the Post Office on Upper Main Street, while
the other was sold in a supermarket on the Cockhill Road.
Stephen Bradley, 25, from Buncrana, said: "I can't believe
it, it's amazing.
"The thought that two millionaires are walking around the
town is incredible.
"There's plenty of rumours but no-one seems to know for
certain who the winners are yet."
The third winners of the jackpot prize, a married couple
from Dublin, have already collected their cheque for
The couple, who did not wish to be named, bought their
ticket in Newsfare on the North Circular Road in Phibsboro
just before the draw took place.
"At 7.30pm I realised that I had forgotten to play my
weekly Lotto," the man said.
"I rushed into Spar in Phibsboro and managed to play my
numbers just in time before the terminal closed down for
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