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January 27, 2006

Adams: Political Change Is Occurring

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 01/27/06 Adams: Political Change Is Occurring
IT 01/28/06 President Rejects That ‘16 Rising Was Sectarian
UT 01/27/06 Man Charged With Loyalist's Murder
KC 01/27/06 Hibernians Honors Priest For Work To Disarm IRA
BT 01/27/06 Opin: 'Penetrated' Has Become SF Brand Mark
BB 01/27/06 Stolen Donkeys Home After Ordeal
BN 01/27/06 Google Launches Tailor-Made Irish Service
IT 01/28/06 Shortage Funds Forces Chinatown Fest Cancel
IT 01/28/06 Barrier-Free Tolls To Replace M50 In 3 Years
IT 01/28/06 Sesame Street Proj Promotes Tolerance In North
WC 01/27/06 2006 AOH St. Patrick's Day Parade


Adams: Political Change Is Occurring

27/01/2006 - 17:16:31

Political change is occurring in Northern Ireland even if
its pace is too slow for some, Sinn Fein president Gerry
Adams insisted today.

After a meeting with President George Bush's special envoy
to the North, Ambassador Mitchell Reiss in Belfast, Mr
Adams said his party expected the US Government to play a
positive role in the push to revive devolution at Stormont
before the summer.

The West Belfast MP said: “We put to Mitchell Reiss our
view that US governments, under President Clinton and
President Bush, have in the past played a positive role in
the Irish peace process.

“We are looking to the US administration to pursue that
even handed and balanced approach in the time ahead.”

He added: ``While considerable time and energy will be
devoted in the months ahead to restoring the political
institutions it is important that people realise that the
situation is not static.

“Change is happening. The pace may be too slow for us but
change is happening incrementally every day.

“There is a joint Irish/British Secretariat working in
Armagh implementing all-Ireland measures across a range of

“There are co-ordinated major infra-structure projects
ongoing. And there is increasing all-Ireland co-operation
on health, education, agriculture and other matters.”


President Rejects View Of 1916 Rising As Sectarian

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent, and Barry

The President has strongly defended both the 1916 Rising
and Irish nationalism against those who claim that these
are narrow and sectarian components of Irish history.

Mrs McAleese said last night that the source of the
accusations that the Rising was an exclusive and sectarian
enterprise was probably the "tendency for powerful and
pitiless elites to dismiss with damning labels those who
oppose them".

However, those who had proclaimed the Rising were "our
idealistic and heroic founding fathers and mothers, our
Davids to their Goliaths".

The President's remarks, at the opening of a conference in
UCC last night on the Rising, mark a further move to bring
the 1916 Rising back to a central place in the official
establishment view of Irish history.

The Taoiseach's announcement late last year that the
traditional 1916 parade past Dublin's GPO is to be
reinstated for this year's 90th anniversary, came after
over three decades of dispute over how the physical force
tradition represented by the Rising should be marked, in
the light of the violence in Northern Ireland.

Mr Ahern said then: "The Irish people need to reclaim the
spirit of 1916, which is not the property of those who have
abused and debased the title of republicanism", a reference
to contemporary republican paramilitaries.

The Government Secretariat saw and approved the President's
speech in advance, in accord with normal procedure.

President McAleese received an enthusiastic reception for
her speech from the 200 or so guests at the Aula Maxima in
UCC at the start of the weekend conference.

She said that some people could not use the word
"nationalism" without putting the word "narrow" before it.
It was British imperialism, and not Irish nationalism,
which had had a narrowing effect in this country. The
outward-looking nature of Irish nationalism was "so often
frustrated by our proximity to a strong imperial power - a
power which feared our autonomy, and whose global
imperialism ironically was experienced as narrowing and
restrictive to those who lived under it." Despite the
"apparent naivety" of the words of the 1916 Proclamation,
that document's content had evolved into what was now a
widely shared political philosophy of equality and social

She said the social agenda of the Rising had represented an
unrealisable aspiration for many years - "until now that
is, when our prosperity has created a real opportunity for
ending poverty and promoting true equality of opportunity
for our people."

She had a strong impression that to its enemies, "both in
Ireland and abroad, Irish nationalism looked like a version
of the imperialism it opposed" and that it favoured "the
domination of one cultural and ethnic tradition over
others. It is easy to see how they might have fallen into
that mistaken view, but mistaken they were."

Irish nationalism had never been narrow, she went on, but
had been a multilateral enterprise from the start. It had
been "attempting to escape the dominance of a single class
and, in our case a largely foreign class, into a wider

Many Irish nationalists were members of the Catholic
Church, "a universal church which brought them into contact
with a vastly wider segment of the world than that open to
even the most travelled imperial English gentleman". Many
of the leaders also had experience of "North America with
its vibrant attachment to liberty and democracy. Others of
them were active participants in the international working
class movements of their day."

She said that because this year was the 90th anniversary of
both the 1916 Rising and the Battle of the Somme, it had
"the potential to be a pivotal year for peace and
reconciliation, to be a time of shared pride for the
divided grandchildren of those who died whether at Messines
or in Kilmainham".


Man Charged With Loyalist's Murder

A man was today charged with the murder of a former
loyalist gunrunner.

Brian Tollet, 29, appeared in private at Glasgow Sheriff
Court over the attack on Lindsay Robb.

Tollet, from Glasgow, made no plea or declaration and was
remanded in custody, the Crown Office said.

Robb, 38, who was jailed for 10 years in 1995 for his
involvement in a UVF gun-smuggling plot, died after an
incident in the Ruchazie area of Glasgow on New Year`s Eve.

He was a member of the Progressive Unionist Party at the
time of his arrest and had represented the party in
discussions with the Government just months before being

Robb was the first Loyalist Volunteer Force prisoner to be
released early under the terms of the Good Friday
Agreement, part of the Northern Ireland peace process.

He walked free from the Maze Prison, outside Belfast, in
January 1999 and later settled in Airdrie, Lanarkshire,
with his wife.

© The Irish Times


KC Hibernians Honors Priest For Work To Disarm IRA

The Kansas City Star

Father Alex Reid, who helped disarm the Irish Republican
Army, has won the Heart of America International Peace
Award from Kansas City's Ancient Order of Hibernians.Reid
will be presented the award at the AOH Freedom For All
Ireland Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Marriott Hotel
in downtown Kansas City. Past winners include Sinn Fein
President Gerry Adams and former Irish Prime Minister
Albert Reynolds.

Tickets cost $40. For more information, call (816) 525-4866
or (816) 524-7151.

-James Hart/The Star


Opin: 'Penetrated' Has Become The Sinn Fein Brand Mark

By Anthony McIntyre
27 January 2006

It must be uncomfortable for those Sinn Fein members given
to thinking outside the loop. Unlike the drones, they are
normally stoical when dealing with the criticism frequently
thrown their party's way. But even their stoicism
evaporates to be replaced by blushes when opposition
criticism gives way to vocal and public ridicule.

One magazine, in its predictions for 2006, carries a
photograph of the two foremost Sinn Fein leaders alongside
a beaming British prime minister. The caption reads:
'Blair, Adams and McGuinness: two secret agents meet the
boss.' Even in jest the barb wounds deeply.

It is not that long ago that few would have dared incur the
wrath of Sinn Fein by ridiculing it. Being pistol whipped
on stage in front of a packed West Belfast drinking club
was enough to deter most. Punishment for the ridiculer, a
warning for the audience: a twin objective had been

These days, even touts take Sinn Fein for fools. The party
is fruit for any monkey that comes along after its leaders
sought to pretend that Freddie Scappaticci was a victim of
securocrats and had only gone off to warmer climes for
nothing more sinister than to study the Italian pizza

Denis Donaldson, a man always on the look out for a few
quid, knew an opportunity when he saw one. According to
disgruntled Sinn Fein members, on the day the spy of two
decades visited party premises at Sevastopol Street and
declared his agent status, he first walked into a
downstairs office and took receipt of his £300 expenses
cheque before making his way up to meet the Sinn Fein duo
tasked with recording his account.

Since the outing of Denis Donaldson, 'penetrated' has
become something of a Sinn Fein brand mark. But agent
infiltration is par for the course. Just over five years
ago, the late journalist Jack Holland sat in my living room
while he and I conversed on his book Hope Against History.
I expressed the view that his was one of the few narratives
to puncture the peace process myth that the Provisional IRA
had settled for an honourable compromise. Without
equivocation, he had written that the organisation had been
defeated. Even if the template intellectually underpinning
the Good Friday Agreement had always been considered a
victory for the British and a defeat for republicans, it
was easier to pretend in 2000 that the achievement of an
all-island Republic remained a work in progress. By 2006 no
amount of shifting goalposts can conceal the paucity of
such suggestions.

Interested to know why I agreed with his assessment,
Holland pressed me to detail my thoughts on the reasons
behind the IRA defeat. I explained that the array of forces
ranged against it was too strong and the leadership was
forced to settle up on terms devised by the British state
as far back as 1973. It had more of the failure about it
than a sell-out. He demurred.

Some time earlier he had co-authored the book Phoenix. It
was a biographical account of Ian Phoenix, a RUC
superintendent killed in the 1994 Mull of Kintyre
helicopter crash. Having accessed the personal notebook of
Ian Phoenix, Holland rapidly immersed himself in the detail
of IRA susceptibility to penetration. It quickly emerged
that a central player in Belfast who met at least one or
another senior republican leader on a daily basis was in
the pay of Ian Phoenix. The RUC had extensive knowledge in
advance of the bulk of the IRA's Belfast operations. Those
they decided not to thwart, they allowed proceed in order
to protect their agent. In Holland's view it was impossible
for the IRA to avoid defeat if penetrated at that level.

Ostensibly, the IRA sussed out many agents in its ranks.
But few seem to have occupied positions of leadership. Who
today would say with certainty that any of those foot
soldiers put to death for informing were in fact guilty?
The IRA's word on the matter can no longer mean anything,
the lie having come to define republicanism in its current
form. The families of those 'executed' for alleged
informing carried the mark of Cain within republican
communities. Yet their loved ones may have been sent to
walk the plank by senior figures who hoisted the Jolly
Roger rather than the tricolour.

Republicans with any sense of justice should demand a cold
case review. Many killed as informers may have gone to
their grave as loyal comrades while some of those who had
them killed were certainly not.

Dr Anthony McIntyre is the editor of the website The


Stolen Donkeys Home After Ordeal

Four female donkeys stolen from a field in County Down have
been discovered safe and well.

The animals, two of which were in foal, were taken from a
field at Banbridge belonging to the family of their owner,
Patrick McDermott.

The animals were found on Friday just five miles from their

Last November, four donkeys in foal which were stolen in
County Armagh, were discovered in County Limerick and
returned to their owners.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/27 18:25:57 GMT


Google Launches Tailor-Made Irish Service

27/01/2006 - 18:47:41

Internet search giant Google today launched a specific
Irish division of its news site.

The new portal draws information from around 100 different
news sources in Ireland ranging from news websites to
national and regional newspapers.

Google said the launch demonstrates its commitment to
investing in the local markets where it operates.

A spokesman said: “Google News Ireland uses the latest
technology to help people keep up to speed with the day’s
events in the country, and with the latest comment and

“It makes it easy to search for the same story on different
news sources.”

The Ireland version of Google News is available at .

There are now over 30 editions of Google News available in
over 10 different languages in countries such as Argentina,
Germany, Japan, India, Mexico, Spain and Korea.


Shortage Of Funds Forces Chinatown Festival Cancellation

Paul Cullen

Dublin will have no official celebration of the Chinese
new year this weekend after funding and organisational
problems forced the discontinuance of the city's Chinatown

In spite of the success of Chinese new year festivals held
in the north inner city in 2004 and 2005, organisers have
decided not to go ahead with this year's celebration.
Sunday marks the beginning of the "Year of the Dog" in the
Chinese calendar.

Dr Catherine Chan-Mullen, of the Irish Chinese Information
Centre, said they had decided to "give the festival a rest"
this year until funding problems had been sorted out.

Dublin City Council provided the festival with financial
and administrative backing over the past two years, but
declined to provide ongoing support. Dr Chan-Mullen is
hoping the council will reconsider its position and provide
funding next year. More support from the Chinese business
community and from companies with business links in China
was also needed.

Last year's festival budget was about €550,000, of which
€70,000 came from the council's Dublin City Development
Board. The rest came from admission fees, stallholders'
fees and other sponsorship. Peter Finnegan, director of the
board, said the festival had been run "on a wing and a
prayer" and the board had ended up bearing the
administrative burden.

"We developed the concept of a festival because we want the
city to celebrate a diversity of cultures. However, we're
not in the business of running festivals and we didn't have
the resources to continue the commitment."

The 2004 event, which attracted up to 100,000 to
Smithfield, was so successful it caused health and safety
concerns about overcrowding. The following year, the
festival was moved to Collins Barracks and admission fees
were levied, but the event still attracted up to 50,000.

Several smaller-scale events are being held. There will be
a Chinese lion dancing event at St Stephen's Green tomorrow
afternoon, while the Chinese Irish Cultural Academy will
give a performance of Chinese dance at Chief O'Neill's
hotel in Smithfield at 1pm. On Wednesday, there will be a
lecture on Chinese new year customs at the United Arts Club
in Dublin.

© The Irish Times


Barrier-Free Tolls To Replace M50 Plaza Within Three Years

Liam Reid, Political Reporter

The controversial West Link toll barrier on the M50 is to
be removed within the next three years and will be replaced
with a new barrier-free tolling system along the whole

The new system, which will be implemented by the National
Roads Authority (NRA), will mean that the entire road will
be tolled, with toll charges based on the amount of the
route used.

The decision by the Government followed the collapse of
talks between the NRA and the bridge's operator, National
Toll Roads (NTR).

Under the plans, the State will buy out the right of NTR to
operate a toll plaza on the road, in a compensation package
that will be worth about €500 million to the company
between 2008 and 2020.

From 2008, NTR will have no role in the operation or
setting of tolls on the route and will instead receive
either a lump sum or an annual payment, based on the amount
of traffic using the bridge in 2007.

Minister for Transport Martin Cullen last night welcomed
the development as a very positive outcome for users of the
M50 and said the current tolling arrangements do not
represent value for money for consumers. He said the new
proposals provided "certainty on timing, certainty that the
bottleneck that is the M50 toll plaza will go, and
certainty that we can move to barrier-free tolls".

In a statement last night, the NRA said the West Link toll
barrier would be removed by 2008, on completion of the
first phase of the M50 upgrade between the Red Cow and M4
junctions on the route. The upgrade is aimed as easing
congestion along the route which will see freeflow
junctions and an extra lane in each direction on the road.

The toll plaza will however be replaced with a new barrier-
free tolling system for the entire route. "The future
tolling rates to be set for barrier-free tolling on the M50
will require the completion of a toll/demand management
study and the outcome of the statutory processes for the
making of a toll scheme," the NRA said.

The money from the new tolls will be used towards the
upgrade of the M50 and the payment of compensation to NTR.

In a statement last night NTR said it fully supported the
move towards open road tolling, but it was awaiting a
formal response from the NRA to its own proposals on the

An electronic tolling expert has already been commissioned
to advise on the type of system to be introduced.

Legislation to enforce the system will also be required.

The new system will involve electronic identification of
cars using chips or other technology, and for people to
then pay online or at pay points, such as in garages,
before or after using the road.

© The Irish Times


'Sesame Street' Project To Promote Tolerance In North

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

The American Ireland Fund is to give $1 million to Sesame
Street to produce 26 shows that teach tolerance to Northern
Ireland children.

The fund, a US-based charity, announced the funding this
week, citing 2002 research from the University of Ulster
which found that many Northern Ireland children as young as
three years old have sectarian beliefs.

The programme is part of Sesame Street's global outreach to
politically troubled countries that has seen specially
designed shows for children's television in Kosovo,
Palestine and Israel.

The show's makers are to negotiate with the BBC and other
broadcasters for the Northern Ireland rights to the show.

Sesame Street's New York-based producers had hoped to make
a Northern Ireland show for several years but the new
funding will allow it to go ahead.

American Ireland Fund spokesman Kieran McLoughlin said that
Sesame Street had already secured about 40 per cent of
funding and that the fund's finance had secured the
project. Mr McLoughlin said that some of the segments in
the show will be made in Northern Ireland and will be shown
on DVD in Northern Ireland schools after the shows begin
broadcasting there in 2007.

The Sesame Street organisers will be co- operating with the
Northern Ireland Pre-School Playgroup Association to help
bring the programme to the youngest audience.

Mr McLoughlin said he was impressed by Sesame Street's work
in South Africa, where it is educating children about Aids
and the shows include a character that is HIV positive.

The funding was announced just after a new documentary
about Sesame Street's global programme had its premiere at
the Sundance Film Festival in Utah last weekend. It shows a
version of Sesame Street in Egypt in which the puppets
encourage education for girls.

The Israeli-Palestinian edition encourages children to set
their political affiliations aside and work together on fun

The documentary, entitled The World According to Sesame
Street, describes how the show avoids anti- American
feeling around the world and is seen as a positive
influence by both sides in political conflicts. Editions of
the show have been created in nearly two dozen countries,
including China, Japan, Mexico, Poland and Portugal.

© The Irish Times


2006 Ancient Order Of Hibernians St. Patrick's Day Parade
Friday, 27 January 2006

Mt. Kisco, NY - The A.O.H. Division 16, and Ladies A.O.H.
Division 16 are proud to announce that the 16th annual St.
Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday March 11,
2006 at 2 p.m. on Main St. in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

The celebration is northern Westchester County’s
traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade. A solemn mass will
be held prior to the parade at St. Francis of Assisi Church
at 11:30 a.m. in Mount Kisco, NY.

The parade will start on Main St. and Moore Avenue and end
at South Moger Ave. and Green St. in Mount Kisco, NY. The
parade Grand Marshall will be Owen F. O’Hare. Owen has been
a member of the A.O.H. since 1993 and is an employee with
the Bedford, NY Central School district. Owen has been a
member of the Mount Kisco,NY Fire Department, since 1963,
and currently serves as President of the Board of
Directors. For twenty-two years he owned Armonk Market
North in Mount Kisco. Owen has also served on the Mount
Kisco Leonard Park Committee.

The Hibernian of the Year will be William F. McCormack.
William is a Detective and twenty year veteran of the
N.Y.C. Police Department. He has served as President of the
New York State Shields, a non-profit organization that
supports the families of law enforcement officers slain in
the line of duty throughout New York State. William is also
a volunteer fireman with the Bedford Hills,NY Fire
Department, having previously served with the Harrison Fire
Department. The Friend of the Hibernians will be Richard
Lange, owner of Lange’s Little Store & Delicatessen in
Chappaqua,N.Y. Richard has regularly supported many area
groups with food donations such as the Chappaqua F.D.,
local church groups, the Ladies AOH, and people in need. He
has also supported youth athletic teams over the years and
volunteers with Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise. In
2005 he was honored by the Chappaqua Rotary Club with its
Community Service Award. The Installation of the Grand
Marshall will be on January 29, 2006 at 3 p.m. at the
American Legion in Mount Kisco, NY. The parade will feature
over sixty marching groups such as military reenactment
groups, military marching bands, antique cars, antique NYC
Police cars, Irish bagpipe bands and dancers, and many
community organizations. The AOH is pleased to announce the
following new groups will be participating in the parade
this year, O’Rourke Academy of Irish Dancers, RMP
Association- antique NYC Police cars, Westchester Co.
American Red Cross, and Northern Ireland Children’s

On Saturday March 11, 2006 at 7 p.m. the Division will host
the annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the American Legion
in Mount Kisco, N.Y. The admission is $40 per person and
will have hot food, drinks, and musical entertainment. In
honor of the annual “Hibernian Hunger Project” the Division
will collect canned food to donate to a local food pantry
in remembrance of the Great Hunger in Ireland.

The A.O.H. Division 16 is a non profit organization formed
on September 13, 1891 and is comprised of practicing Roman
Catholic men and women of Irish descent living in the
northern Westchester County area. The A.O.H. has donated
over $120,926.00 to area community organizations since

A journal will be printed to help underwrite the expenses
of the parade. To place an advertisement in the journal
please contact Dana John Hickey at 914-666-6531 or email- . The parade is more than an ethnic
celebration; it is also an event which is a source of pride
and enjoyment for all area residents. Several thousand
people line the streets to enjoy the parade march. The
result is a benefit to area businesses and a positive image
for our northern Westchester community. For further
information or an application contact President Dana John
Hickey at 914-666-6531, email- , or
visit our website at .

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