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 04, 2005

Ludlow: Relatives Urge Actions

To Index of Monthly Archives
To November 2005 Index
To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 11/04/05 Relatives Of Loyalists Victim Urge Action
IN 11/04/05 Ludlow: A Random Sectarian Killing' – Report
BB 11/04/05 Service To Remember Murdered Lisa
UT 11/04/05 Man In Court Over Bank Raid Denies Involvement
BT 11/04/05 Detectives Still Question Leading Republican
BT 11/04/05 More Trouble In Kilcoo After Police Raids
BT 11/04/05 Dissident Link To Conference Scare
IN 11/04/05 Police Investigate Stabbing Motive
NL 11/04/05 Wilson Says Tide Turning Against SF
NL 11/04/05 McGuinness's Bid To Ransom 'Pathetic'
NH 11/04/05 Des Wilson: Persuading Pals To Call It A Day
IN 11/04/05 Opin: Feud Inaction Has Compromised Law
IN 11/04/05 Opin: Vultures Are Circling Over Blair Carcass
IN 11/04/05 Opin: Ahern's Warm Hello In North


Relatives Of Man Killed By Loyalists Urge Police Action

By Michael McHugh
04 November 2005

Relatives of loyalist murder victim Seamus Ludlow have
renewed calls for a public inquiry into alleged north/south
police collusion after an Irish parliamentary committee
published the names of four men who were suspected of the

The Barron Report into the May 1976 murder of the 47-year-
old Dundalk forestry worker found he had been the victim of
a "random sectarian killing" and identified for the first
time, under parliamentary privilege, the men who the RUC
had linked with the crime.

The report named four men - James Fitzsimmons, William
Richard Long, Samuel Carroll and Paul Hosking - in
connection with the murder.

In 1979 the DPP in Northern Ireland decided not to
prosecute them because of lack of evidence and this week's
dossier said it accepted that decision.

Mr Ludlow's nephew, Jimmy Sharkey, has been campaigning for
an independent public inquiry into the killing and said the
report strengthened his concern about the police

"This has confirmed what the family has believed for the
past 30 years. I believe it strengthens our case for an
independent public inquiry," he said.

"There are major questions to be answered about the Garda
investigation and the role of senior officers.

"It will be interesting to see what the Justice Committee
probe into it throws up."

The Irish parliament committee will looking into the matter
in the new year.

Questions to be dealt with include the loss by police of
some of Mr Ludlow's clothing as well as the failure by
anti-terrorist chiefs at Garda headquarters to authorise
the interview of four suspects despite a tip-off from the

Irish Justice Henry Barron's report said it had no clear
findings on collusion between police forces on both sides
of the border.

"The facts indicate that Seamus Ludlow was picked up by a
car near the bridge on the Dundalk to Newry road; that this
car was driven by James Fitzsimmons and contained three
other passengers ? Richard Long, Samuel Carroll and Paul
Hosking," the report said.

"Information obtained by the RUC from Hosking suggested
that it was Carroll who shot Seamus Ludlow."

"It would seem to have been a random, sectarian killing of
a blameless Catholic civilian by loyalist extremists," it

As a report published by a Dail committee, the Barron
inquiry carries full legal privilege.


Ludlow Murder 'A Random Sectarian Killing' – Report

By Staff Reporter

A Government report in the Republic into the 1976 murder of
Seamus Ludlow has not been able to clearly establish who
killed him, it emerged last night.

The 100-page probe by Mr Justice Henry Barron said the
Dundalk forestry worker's death was a random sectarian
killing of an innocent Catholic by loyalist extremists.

A special Oireachtas sub-committee is to hold public
hearings in

mid-January on the report.

The Oireachtas justice committee, which finally published
the document last night in Dublin, refused to comment on
its content or preempt the findings of the sub-committee.

The report, released under full parliamentary privilege,
states that Mr Ludlow was picked up in a car in May 1976 by
four men: James Fitzsimmons, Richard Long, Samuel Carroll
and Paul Hosking.

The report said: "Information obtained by the RUC from
Hosking suggested that it was Carroll who shot Seamus

"The inquiry has not been in a position to test the
veracity of this allegation."

Mr Justice Barron said he had no evidence that Mr Ludlow
had any republican sympathies which might have led to him
being targeted by loyalist subversives.

Mr Justice Barron said his job was made more difficult as
documents were lost, destroyed or misplaced and key
witnesses were ill, dead or unable to remember important

The report makes no clear findings about allegations by the
Ludlow family of collusion by police forces on both sides
of the border.

Mr Ludlow's nephew, Jimmy Sharkey, said he could only
briefly consider the report but reiterated his family's
call for an independent public inquiry with powers to
compel key witnesses. Justice minister Michael McDowell
welcomed the report and said he looked forward to examining
recommendations made by the sub-committee after its public

He offered his sincere condolences to Mr Ludlow's family.


Service To Remember Murdered Lisa

A remembrance service is to be held later for murdered
Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian.

Lisa, 25, was last seen at a party on a County Down caravan
site in February. Her body has never been found.

Police believe members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force,
which said on Sunday that it was standing down, may have
been involved in her killing.

The service is to be held in the Church of the Holy
Redeemer in Ballyholme, Bangor, on Friday evening.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that a forensic scientist
looking at the cases of the Disappeared will also be able
to work on Lisa's case.

The forensic scientist is being funded by the British and
Irish governments to help locate the remains of five people
abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA during
the Troubles.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said the police would
be able to use the scientist to undertake other work on an
independent consultancy basis.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/04 06:56:14 GMT


Man In Court Over £26.5m Bank Raid Denies Involvement

A 23-year-old man from County Down has been charged at
Belfast Magistrates Court with the £26.5 million Northern
Bank robbery last December.

Dominic James McEvoy, of Mullandra Park, Kilcoo, Co Down,
was also charged with falsely imprisoning bank employee
Kevin McMullan and his wife Karen in their home at

Loughinisland, Co Down, and possessing a firearm to commit

Detective Inspector Sean Wright said when McEvoy was
charged yesterday he replied: "I had no involvement in the
Northern Bank robbery or the kidnapping."

During cross-examination the inspector said the case
against McEvoy was based on circumstantial and forensic

The court was heard that it was alleged McEvoy`s DNA was
found on a hat at the McMullan home but he was was said to
have told police: "I did not leave any hat at the scene.

There is, I understand, a DNA profile of another person on

the hat and I do not know how police can scientifically say
that person did not leave the hat at the scene."

McEvoy was also said to have told police that he was not a
member of the Provisional IRA.

McEvoy`s solicitor submitted there was not sufficient
evidence to remand him on the charges but the Magistrate Mr
Ken Nixon said he accepted the prosecution`s submission to
the contrary.

He remanded McEvoy in custody to appear again by video link
on December 2.

As the defendant was being taken down to the cells a large
group of men in the public gallery started to applaud and
shouted out encouragement.


Detectives Still Question Leading Tyrone Republican

39 bags of property taken away

By Jonathan McCambridge and Michael McHugh
04 November 2005

Police were last night still questioning a leading Tyrone
republican - one of four suspects still in custody over the
Northern Bank robbery.

Police raided the Dungannon home of Brian Arthurs (40), a
Sinn Fein member, early yesterday morning. A 43-year-old
suspect was also detained in Coalisland.

Brian Arthurs was previously named in court as a former
commanding officer of the East Tyrone Brigade of the IRA.
He was also an IRA commander in the Maze prison.

His brother Declan was shot dead by soldiers along with
other seven other IRA men as they prepared to bomb
Loughgall police station in 1987.

Officers seized a car and dozens of bags containing cash,
cheque books, clothes and computer equipment from his

His wife Paula told the Belfast Telegraph: "They took 39
bags of stuff, documents and every scrap of paper in the
house, including receipts as well as clothes, the computer
and a car.

"I can't understand why they can't leave us alone. My
children deserve a better life, it has to stop.

"Republicans have given everything and still we get this
kind of abuse."

Sinn Fein representatives immediately complained about
"heavy-handed" and "political" policing over the latest
arrests, mirroring a storm over raids yesterday in Kilcoo,
Co Down.

MP Michelle Gildernew said: "They have been heavy-handed.
This is not the behaviour of an accountable police force.
It is disgraceful."

After a 10-month probe into the Northern Bank robbery,
police made made a series of arrests in a 36-hour

Police believe up to 30 men planned the robbery just before
Christmas, which involved taking two bank employees'
families hostage.

Cash seized in Co Cork last February was linked to the
raid, but virtually all of the missing millions has not
been recovered.

A month later the Northern was forced to replace all its
£10, £20, £50 and £100 notes with new notes carrying a
different logo.

Although the Provisionals have always denied carrying out
the raid, detectives believe senior IRA men were involved.


More Trouble In Kilcoo After Police Raids

By Lisa Smyth
04 November 2005

Trouble broke out for a second night in Kilcoo, scene of
this week's Northern Bank police raids.

For the past two nights, the village's Dublin Road has been
closed after reports that youths were stoning cars and last
night, one vehicle was set alight.

South Down MLA Jim Wells said the trouble was caused by
republican youths protesting against the arrests over the
Northern Bank robbery.

"I thought we had seen the last of the republican no go
areas but it is quite clear that they can still go in and
take over an area with complete impunity," he said.

"The police have the manpower to go in and return the area
to normal but for the past two nights, this hasn't

"I have been contacted by a number of local residents who
are intimidated by this trouble and they are also annoyed,
particularly members of the Protestant community, that they
can't go about their ordinary business."

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have said that the raids were heavy-
handed and unpopular in the nationalist village.


Dissident Link To Conference Scare

By Lisa Smyth
04 November 2005

Police were last night investigating the possibility that
dissident republican paramilitaries were responsible for a
security alert at the Waterfront Hall.

Thousands of delegates were evacuated as a result of the
security alert, which was later declared to be a hoax.

The British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) event was
forced to relocate to nearby St George's Market after a
telephone warning was received at about 11.15am.

The three-day event was then moved to the Ulster Hall where
Senator George Mitchell presented the final keynote

In an anonymous telephone call made to the Belfast
Telegraph several hours after the original telephone
warning, a caller claiming to represent the Continuity IRA
said: "The Continuity IRA claims responsiblity for the
evacuation of 2,000 delegates from the Waterfront Hall. The
event has seen Belfast being sold as a normalised zone
which is good for British investment. We remain of the
belief that Britain has not control over Irish affairs and
holding events of the BSCC in Belfast does not gloss up a
failed agreement."


Police Investigate Stabbing Motive

By Catherine Morrison

POLICE were investigating a motive for the stabbing of a
27-year-old man in east Belfast last night.

The man was walking in an alleyway close to Strand Close,
in the Mountpottinger area, at around 7.45pm when a male
attacker stabbed him in the abdomen.

The victim was taken to hospital but his injuries are not
believed to have been life-threatening.

It is understood that he lives

in the Short Strand area but is originally from north

Police said they were keeping an "open mind" on the motive
for the attack but people in the area claimed that it was

Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey expressed shock.

"This was certainly unexpected because it has been fairly
quiet around here in recent weeks – there has been a lot of
work going on behind the scenes to keep a lid on things,"
he said.

"Local people are saying that the attackers came from the
lower Newtownards Road area and then ran back up that
direction after the stabbing. People are worried that this
may increase tensions in the area."


Wilson Says Tide Turning Against SF

Friday 4th November 2005

The tide is turning on Sinn Fein/IRA, the DUP claimed last

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said that while many fights
still lie ahead in the effort to end "the culture of
concessions to republicans which developed during the days
of David Trimble", progress for unionism was being made.

In recent weeks there have been positive developments,
including: * decommissioning on a large scale, which would
not have happened had it not been for DUP insistence on

normalisation, he said. "In three years during which the
IRA had their prisoners released, were put into the heart
of government three times, given promises about OTRs and
demilitarisation, the Ulster Unionist Party succeeded in
getting only a handful of guns from republicans," he added.

* the Irish government denying Sinn Fein all-Ireland
parliamentary arrangements which they were demanding
through speaking rights in the Dail.

* Gerry Adams complaining about eco- nomic packages offered
by the Government to unionist areas in West Belfast.

" Under the old regime, such money would automatically have
been earmarked for his own supporters," said Mr Wilson.

* restorative justice schemes being reeled in.

"While we need to wait to see the exact terms of the
arrangements for the schemes, it would seem that after a
concerted effort by the DUP on the Policing Board and
through Parliamentary questions and the Northern Ireland
Affairs Committee, the Government is going to insist on
police involvement in the initiatives," Mr Wilson said.

"Sinn Fein/IRA are being denied their objective of the
Restorative Justice Scheme acting as an IRA alternative to
policing and justice in republican areas.

"We intend to ensure that the years of comfortable
pandering to Sinn Fein/IRA are coming to an end."

* and reports that the administration in Washington is to
stop Gerry Adams fundraising in America.


McGuinness's Bid To Hold Bush To Ransom 'Pathetic'

Friday 4th November 2005

Sinn Fein was mocked yesterday for " making hollow threats"
against the US in a row between the party and the most
powerful nation on earth over Gerry Adams' visa rights.

Martin McGuinness expressed concern at newspaper reports
quoting US State Department sources as saying there could
be a visa restriction on the Sinn Fein leader, who is due
to visit New York later this month for an annual
fundraising dinner.

The Mid-Ulster MP said Mr Adams would pull out of the visit
if restrictions were placed on him.

It is believed that if limits are put on the Sinn Fein
leader's activities in the US, it will be because of the
party's continued refusal to support law and order in the

Ulster Unionist MLA David McNarry said it was refreshing
that Washington was finally seeing Sinn Fein "for what they
really are". "The IRA walked away with £26 million from the
Northern Bank and should be prevented from carrying out
their fundraising activities in the US," he said.

"Just because President Bush won't roll out the red carpet
for Sinn Fein, their chief negotiator has resorted to bully
boy tactics and issuing hollow threats. Just who does
Martin McGuinness think he is? His attempt to hold
President Bush to ransom is pathetic. "There are 26 million
reasons why Sinn Fein must not be allowed to carry out
their fundraising activities in the United States. Sinn
Fein have milked naive Irish Americans for too long."

But Mr McGuinness was unrepentant, and warned that Irish
republicans would resist any attempt by the Bush
administration to link the visa conditions with Sinn Fein's
refusal to endorse Northern Ireland's system of policing.

He said: "These fundraising events allow supporters of
Irish unity to contribute to Sinn Fein's political
programme to achieve this through peaceful and democratic

"Such support is entirely legitimate and, indeed, necessary
in demonstrating that politics works.

"The US has played a pivotal role in the creation and
evolution of the peace process. "An even-handed approach
has been the hallmark of success in this. All parties have
been treated equally.

"However, any attempt by the State Department to dictate
Sinn Fein policy on policing is misguided and will do
nothing to help in the resolution of this key issue."


Opin: Des Wilson - Persuading Your Former Pals To Call It A

(Des Wilson,

The fuss about the UVF and the LVF talking about going out
of business was interesting, even if not very credible. Any
changes in these organisations, or the UDA and Red Hand,
are simply a matter of an adjustment of British armed
forces in Ireland.

All these organisations are part of British forces, some
set up by the London adminstration, some set up locally and
infiltrated by London's local agents. So what is really
happening when UVF and LVF and UDA and Uncle Tom Cobbley
all say they are disbanding or disarming or disappearing or

Well, after the republicans decided they do not need war
any more London administrators have decided they do not
need some of their one-time local allies any more. So they
are trying to get back to the situation where armed force
is seen to be in their official rather than their
unofficial hands. To do this they have to do a certain
amount of cleaning up of their official armed forces –
hence the adjustment of the RIR and UDR and suchlike, they
have been diluting these, getting them into the general
military mix, maybe getting them off to Afghanistan or

(Remember what they did with the old UVF when it had served
its purpose in Ireland? They were sent off to the Somme).

They are also trying to persuade their unofficial armed
forces to declare a cessation – hence the persuasive words
to the UVF etc and the words of praise when they obey
orders. And any killing initiatives within official or
unofficial armed forces will be discouraged rather than
encouraged as they were in the bad old days. The days of
yore are going by and such adjustments have to be made.

Interesting how they use language in all this. Republicans
and nationalists are ordered to change and are punished
even when they do; London's supporters, the UVF, LVF, UDA,
Red Hand etc, are asked to change and whether they change
or not are praised by church and state and promised money
by the sackful.

Throughout all this carefully staged and scripted affair
one has to remember that London's Irish supporters remain
armed to the teeth. What London is doing is reducing the
effectiveness of one layer of its armed opposition to the
republicans. From now on it will rely more on its official
armed forces, the police and their army, including their
various secret forces.

How many of the thousands of unofficial guns held by the
London's supporters will be allowed to stay in their hands
remains to be seen. Guns in loyalist hands are harmless if
they say they are; guns in anybody else's hands are deadly
no matter what they say. That is the official attitude.

It is a measure of the self-confidence of republicans and
nationalists that they know they can face all these people
without war. For them war is a last resort, for London and
such governments it has always been a first resort. It
takes a lot of self-confidence to be able to look London's
people in the eye and say, you need guns, we don't.

Faced with such self-confidence the best the London
administration is prepared to do is reduce the armaments of
its official and unofficial forces. That is the process in
train at the moment.

The way public speakers are using language about all this
is interesting. When those who oppose London's policies
have to do anything, they are threatened, they are told
that there will be prison, fines, loss of jobs, refusal of
jobs, and, as one of the major unionist representatives put
it, "fires which will take a long time to put out". And all
this soon becomes the language of ordinary political and
even church life.

But when London's supporters are required to do something,
they are asked, it is recommended that they should do it.
And when they make the slightest move towards decent
behaviour church and state and business world unite to
praise them, to say how courageous they are, how much they
are contributing to the peace of the community. There is
even talk – or at least there used to be until people
realised the sheer waste and indolence of the regime that
is just passing out in the northeast – of the "work ethic".
The work ethic, if you please. Of a regime which laid waste
the economy of Ireland's northeast by sheer indolence and

Oppressive regimes go through phases. They deny they ever
did anything wrong. They say that if they ever did anything
wrong everybody did the same. And they say whatever they
did, it was the right thing to do. And anyway other people
did it too, and those whom they oppressed did it most of

At present we are watching people of the old passing
unionist regime going through denial of this kind. They are
denying they ever did anything wrong and those who say they
did do anything wrong are whingers, liars, simpletons or

That phase will pass but it will pass only after we have
set up strong laws to stop oppressiveness, efficient
policing to enforce them and competent courts to judge and,
if necessary, penalise those who break them. After that
comes persuasion to be civil.

At this moment in our political history in Ireland's
northeast the passing regime realises very well what it
did. The trouble is that it still believes it was all right
to do it.

And that attitude is going to take some education to mend.

November 4, 2005


Opin: Feud Inaction Has Compromised Law

By Eye of Newt

Let us hope that the cure is not worse than the disease.

In April, just before the loyalist feud began, the US State
Department numbered the LVF's active membership at "perhaps

To defeat this mighty terrorist force the government of the
United Kingdom has permitted another terrorist force to
commit at least four murders, attempt 15 more, place whole
neighbourhoods under open mob rule and orchestrate
widespread public disorder. Throughout the UVF's campaign
against the LVF it continued to receive official
recognition, official funding and hence – by implication –
official approval. In the process the government
compromised not just the rule of law

but several of the institutions required to maintain it.

The Independent Monitoring Commission is now a laughing
stock after three of its reports were ignored in quick
succession. The PSNI simply lied when it said that loyalist
mobs could not be tackled without a complaint from the

The official status of ceasefires is clearly and completely
meaningless. The use of assembly allowances as a backroom
bargaining chip has even undermined devolution itself,
turning the presumed goal of the exercise into an own goal
– and these are only the plain and undeniable facts.

The slightest speculation makes things much, much worse.

To what extent was all this obvious choreography arranged
in advance, for example? Was the UVF merely allowed to
conduct the feud or was it actively encouraged to do so?

Is it a coincidence that all these loyalist loose ends are
finally being tied up just before publication of the
ombudsman's report into UVF informers?

Destroying the LVF was always an end that could justify
dubious means but dubious means were never the only option.

The lesson the Northern Ireland Office will doubtless take
from recent events is that peace processing works, even
with loyalists. But the lesson it could just as easily take
from those same events is that force works, especially with

So, why did the state surrender its monopoly on force so

The identity of the LVF's members has hardly been a mystery
and their movements and activities have surely been
monitored around the clock for years.

It is inconceivable that the organisation is not also
riddled with informers.

Because the testimony of a senior police officer is
sufficient to secure a conviction in a terrorist case and
because any informer can be ordered to turn Queen's
evidence, the LVF could have been defeated through due
process alone.

So the horrendous compromises involved in putting these few
dozen gangsters out

of business were not only lethal, immoral and dangerous but
also completely unnecessary.

The great irony of the peace process is that it is managed
like this to avoid upsetting unionists – yet nothing upsets
unionists more. Number 10 and the NIO feel obliged to treat
loyalism as a form of retarded republicanism, granting it
identical concessions, albeit several years later and with
simpler instructions.

Hence a cooperative UVF-PUP combination must get all the
same goodies as a cooperative IRA-Sinn Fein combination,
including a licence to kill its own 'dissidents'. But alas
those two combinations don't open the same lock.
Republicans have a political project within a constituency
that has problems with the rule of British law. Loyalists
have no political project within a constituency that has no
problems with the rule of British law. So the UVF must put
its new-found official credibility to other uses.

At best this might mean more tribal posturing like the
'Love Ulster' campaign.

At worst it will mean entrenching a criminal organisation
far larger and more dangerous than the one it has just
wiped out.

As the political establishment congratulates itself this
week it must be remembered that four men are dead.
Meanwhile a further body count mounts over similar moves to
'politicise' the UDA.

Is it too outrageous to hope that all the awkward people
marked for death could be arrested, charged, convicted and

Beginning with the absurdly obvious assassination of Billy
Wright in the Maze prison, suppressing the LVF has involved
a needless surrender of every civilised principle. One tiny
gang of homicidal psychopaths has dragged us all down to
the gutter – and for what?

The LVF could have been defeated by legal action or, in
extremis, military action. Instead the government tendered
out its convenient killing to a paramilitary group with no
democratic potential, a huge criminal empire and a growing
weakness for shows of strength.

How many more people will die as a result?

Perhaps dozens.


Opin: Vultures Are Circling Over Blair Carcass

The Friday Column
By Andy Wood

It's not the end – it is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." (Relax Tony,
but not too much).

With those words in 1942 Winston Churchill signalled that
the Allied victory at El Alamein marked a turning point in
the war. A warning that Hitler's regime would, later rather
than sooner but absolutely certainly, get its come-uppance,
that a seemingly invincible military machine would, two and
a half years later end up throwing phantom armies into
battle while its citizens dusted off their white sheets and
said: "genug".

Everything passes sooner or later – the trick is to
recognise the moment when the tide starts to turn.

Time to fast-forward to May 2 1997. Talk about "a bright
new day" – it seemed the whole country was en fete, as New
Labour promised, if not the earth, then at least a
stakeholder share in it.

New Labour's battalions seemed as invincible as Hitler's
panzers – the British establishment (if not the world)

And now? All I can say is "all changed – changed utterly"
and "how time flies when you're having fun".

Can it really be only a handful of months since Tony
secured a third term in office?

Pinch yourself – yes, it is and if he went to the wire he
could go for another four and a half years. But he won't –
not because he doesn't dream of it – after all, four
successive general election victories would be some
achievement. But because, put simply, he's running out of
energy and troops. The green benches of the Commons and the
red seats of the Lords are littered with rejects, has-
beens, never-weres and yes, even enemies.

A sizeable number of Labour MPs who long ago junked the
words of The Red Flag for Things Can Only Get Better are
now humming a growling, grumbling chorus of "How long oh
Lord – how long?".

The departure of David Blunkett (which would probably have
happened some time ago if his critics hadn't 'aimed off'
for his blindness) is an immediate short-term blow to

Worse and more damaging to his prospects are the questions
it put on people's lips.

"What was he doing reappointing him in the first place
after he misused his position as home secretary?"

And "has Blair learnt nothing from the Mandelson affairs?"

Put another way – has our prime minister lost the ability
to form shrewd character judgments, to hold together and
run a team of often-conflicting egos for the good of the

Losing Blunkett again suggests the answer can only be

What we are seeing is a government which is behaving more
like the disaster-prone Major administration than one with
a huge Parliamentary majority and still in the salad days
of its third term of office.

Nor is it as if Tony can put this all behind him when he
retires to the family flat at the top of 10 Downing Street
– his other half has managed to gather quite a few scandals
of her own: the involvement with the Australian

con-man who offered to pay the costs when Cherie bought two
flats in Bristol, one for son Euan and one to let; the fees
she pockets from lectures and talks about her life as wife
of the prime minister; her collection of 17 watches from
the Italian prime minister Berlusconi; her ability to
hoover a shop when invited to take a few goodies and her
predilection for associating with loopy gurus. To which can
be added the Blair's combined capacity for ligging in
glitzy holiday homes. Even if she doesn't know any better
(and the frequency with which she lays herself open to
criticism suggests she's never going to learn) he should.

Know better, that is.

Meanwhile, the vultures are circling. Vultures over
Westminster? Not as improbable as it sounds now they've
picked the carcass clean in Sheffield Brightside.


Opin: Ahern's Warm Hello In North

By Staff Reporter

Aday after taking a battering in the Dail over his hugely
ambitious transport plan, Bertie Ahern was probably
relieved to deal with a more appreciative audience on the
northern side of the border.

However, while his E34.4 billion scheme received a mauling
from a highly sceptical opposition, the fact is that
northern politicians can only

look on with envy at such a lavish investment in transport

Under the plan unveiled this week, it is estimated that
almost E10 million will be spent on transport in the
Republic every day for the next 10 years.

The sheer breadth of the strategy is remarkable.

Dublin, which has major traffic difficulties, will benefit
from seven new Luas links, two metro lines and an
integrated underground station.

In addition, a commuter rail service from Cork city to
Midleton is due to become operational in 2008 and the
historic rail line between Ennis, Co Clare and Athenry, Co
Galway will be reopened.

A particularly forward-looking element of the strategy will
be a 350-mile Atlantic Corridor which will link key cities
in the west, including Letterkenny, Sligo and Galway.

It is hoped this high speed route will drive economic
growth in the region, where road links have been
notoriously poor.

There is no doubt that if these ambitious plans come to
fruition, they will represent an exciting and far-reaching
modernisation of the roads system in the Republic.

Given the vast sums of public money involved, the
opposition parties are right to subject the government's
plans to forensic examination.

Delivering such a complex scheme on time and on budget will
be a tall order but each stage must be carefully planned,
managed and scrutinised to ensure not a penny of taxpayers'
money is wasted.

Nevertheless, the boldness of this plan has thrown into
sharp relief the lack of meaningful investment in Northern
Ireland's transport infrastructure over many years.

Once the south was a byword for potholes, bottlenecks and
slow-moving farm vehicles, while the north could boast of
its dual carriageways and bypasses.

Now the north is in danger of becoming the poor relation as
the south powers ahead with its plans to create a transport
system befitting of the 21st century.

To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.
To November 2005 Index
To Index of Monthly Archives

Links to News Sources Frequently Used Here:

(Irish Aires News is not responsible for
content of external internet sites.)

BBC Northern Ireland
Belfast Telegraph
Daily Ireland
Derry Journal
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Financial Times
Galway Advertiser
Ireland Online
Irish Abroad
Irish Aires News Search
Irish American Magazine
Irish American Information Service
Irish Echo
Irish Emigrant
Irish Examiner
Irish Independent
Irish News (free access in Nov 05)
Irish People
Irish Times
Irish Voice
News Hound
News Letter
Northern Ireland Office
Sinn Fein News
Sunday Business Post
Sunday Life
Times Online
Ulster Herald
Ulster-TV Headlines
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
Wild Geese Today
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?