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)

January 29, 2006

Bloody Sunday Parade Remembers All Victims

To Index of Monthly Archives
To January 2006 Index
To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.

News About Ireland & The Irish

UT 01/29/06 Bloody Sunday Parade 'To Remember All Victims'
EX 01/29/06 US Lawyer Criticises Delay In Nelson Inquiry
SF 01/29/06 Blair Intro Leg To End Ban On Irish Citizens
SL 01/29/06 IMC To Issue Update On IRA Activities
SL 01/29/06 Probe Goes Beyond 'King Rat's' Death
DI 01/29/06 No Monopoly On Pain
SF 01/29/06 Ferris Calls For GM Application To Be Rejected
IM 01/29/06 5-Year GMO Potato Experiment Near Hill Of Tara
SL 01/29/06 UFF Set To Be Stood Down
IN 01/29/06 Greysteel Killer’s Jail Appeal
IN 01/29/06 Assembly Worker Still Suspended
SL 01/29/06 Murdered Teenager's Family Back Sunday Life
DI 01/29/06 Army Has ‘Veto’ On House Plans
SL 01/29/06 FRU Man Prepared To Out Rogue Cops
SL 01/29/06 Book: 'One In Three Provos Was A British Agent'
SL 01/29/06 Dissidents Hit By Spy Claims
SL 01/29/06 Dail Doors Open To 'Love Ulster'
BB 01/29/06 NI's Flawed Process Offers Lesson
DI 01/29/06 Opin: Trust In Policing Has To Be Earned
IA 01/29/06 Opin: Dissidents Honor Their Heroes
IA 01/29/06 Opin: Will Adams Get Fundraising?
DI 01/29/06 Opin: Culture Now A Commodity
BN 01/29/06 Holocaust Memorial Day Marked In Dublin
RT 01/29/06 Brother Of Poet Kavanagh Dies In New York
IM 01/29/06 Rossport Five in Concert in Doolin, Co Clare
IN 01/29/06 Phoenix Park Murder Trial Infrmr Pays w/ Life
IA 01/29/06 Kevin O’Sullivan - A Great Irishman Passes
IN 01/29/06 Art Project Transforms The Walls Of Bogside
HC 01/29/06 The Pillowman: Tales From The Dark Side
RT 01/29/06 No Reports Of Irish Killed In Polish Collapse


Bloody Sunday Parade 'To Remember All Victims'

The 34th annual Bloody Sunday commemoration parade in Derry
is being held to remember all victims of the Troubles this

The organisers have widened its focus to include soldiers
and police officers as well as the fourteen civil rights
demonstrators who died on Bloody Sunday itself.

The organisers have announced that 3,500 candles will be
lit as darkness falls on Free Derry corner to commemorate
all those who died over the 35 years of violence.

The first candle will be lit by Barney O`Dowd, originally
from Co. Down but who now lives in Meath, whose brother and
two sons were murdered by loyalists thirty years ago.


US Lawyer Criticises Delay In Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

A lawyer who repeatedly warned the British government that
solicitor Rosemary Nelson was in danger from loyalists has
criticised the delay in holding an inquiry into her murder.

Ms Nelson was killed when a loyalist bomb exploded under
her car outside her home in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in March

The British government announced the establishment of an
inquiry into the murder earlier this year following an
investigation of several controversial killings by Canadian
judge Peter Cory.

However, the inquiry has said it will not be able to begin
public hearings for another year due to the large volume of
evidence in the case.

Ms Nelson's family and supporters say the RUC frequently
intimidated and issued death threats against her, while
there was also unprecedented security activity around her
home in the days before her murder.

This has led to claims that the security forces may have
colluded with the loyalists who killed her.

US attorney Ed Lynch was a friend and colleague of the 40-
year-old mother-of-three who repeatedly warned the British
authorities and the police that she was at serious risk
from loyalist paramilitaries.


Blair Must Introduce Legislation To End Ban On Irish

Published: 27 January, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has called
on the British government to immediately introduce
legislation to end the ban on Irish citizens being able to
apply for posts in the Public Prosecution Service in the
Six Counties. Mr. McGuinness made his remarks after a
Dublin born solicitor took legal proceedings after she was
told she was not eligible to apply for a legal post in the
Public Prosecution Service because of her Irish citizenship

Mr. McGuinness said:

“The decision of the Public Prosecution Service in the Six
Counties to ban Irish citizens from applying for legal
posts is completely unacceptable and nothing more than
blatant discrimination.

“We have pressed the British government consistently to
remove the bar on Irish citizens from senior civil service
posts in the north. This must also apply to the Public
Prosecution Service in the Six Counties.

“The British government know they must act to remove the
ban to take account of the new reality brought about by the
Good Friday Agreement. They should stop dragging their
heels and instigate whatever measures are required to right
this wrong immediately. It is time that they realised that
such blatant discrimination is not acceptable. It is time
for the British government to act.” ENDS

Note to editor:

A Dublin born solicitor who applied for a legal post in the
Public Prosecution Service was told she wasn’t eligible
because she wasn’t a ‘UK’ citizen. The post was designated
by the Department of Finance and Personnel as a ‘public
service’ post – which means only ‘UK’ nationals can apply.
She is now pursuing legal action.

Sinn Féin raised this issue in negotiations with the
British government.


IMC To Issue Update On IRA Activities

By Alan Murray
29 January 2006

THE British and Dublin governments will be handed copies of
the latest report into ongoing IRA and loyalist
paramilitary activity tomorrow.

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) - chaired by
Lord Alderdice - will meet in Belfast before sending their
latest report to the two governments.

The report is understood to have been completed last week
and sent for printing.

Tomorrow's meeting is not expected to delay its
presentation to the NIO and Dublin.

This week's report is the eighth to be compiled by the
four-man team, which includes ex-Metropolitan police
officer John Grieve, former Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan
and American Dick Kerr - a former deputy director of the

While the report was specially commissioned by the two
governments to gauge the commitment of the IRA to dismantle
its terrorist and crime structures, it will also examine
the continuing activities of the main loyalist terror

Loyalists say they expect the latest report to give the UVF
and the UDA "brownie-points" for beginning to terminate
their many terrorist-related activities, and tackle their
members' involvement in racketeering.

It's understood that members of the commission have
privately expressed the opinion that it appears that the
leaderships of both organisations have sent a "clear
signal" to their members that racketeering activities must

In a report published last October, the IMC said the UDA
remained active in organised crime, including drug

It said the UVF was "active, violent and ruthless",
continued to recruit and remained an extremely dangerous

In spite of concluding that the IRA was becoming more
"political", the IMC said it was too early to draw concrete
conclusions about the organisation's "changes in

Said one senior loyalist: "We're not expecting a clean bill
of health or glowing references.

"But we do think the IMC will acknowledge that the
leaderships of both organisations have genuinely given
directives to halt crime activities, and that many rackets
and threats and demands have been ended and some people


Probe Goes Beyond 'King Rat's' Death

By Chris Anderson
29 January 2006

THE inquiry into the murder of LVF boss Billy Wright inside
the Maze jail is to investigate events outside the prison
after his death.

In a letter earlier this month, the inquiry's solicitor,
Henry Palin, confirmed the probe would examine events after
'King Rat' Wright's murder as part of its investigation
into allegations of state collusion in the killing.

Mr Palin wrote: "The inquiry is required to inquire into
the death of Billy Wright to determine whether any wrongful
act or omission by or within the prison authorities, or
other state agencies facilitated his death, or whether
attempts were made to do so, and whether any such act or
omission was intentional or negligent."

And Mr Palin said these issues were not confined to matters
before the murder.

"All of the matters set out in the list of issues will be
examined and events after Billy Wright's death will be
considered to the extent that any alleged act or omission
could be seen as pointing to collusion."

Mr Palin was responding to questions whether the Wright
Inquiry would include the actions of the RUC, the coroner
and prison officers during and after the 1999 inquest into
the killing.

Wright's father, David, has expressed serious concerns over
a number of issues surrounding the inquest.

Meanwhile, solicitors acting for Mr Wright have applied to
the High Court in Belfast for leave to apply for a judicial
review of the Secretary of State Peter Hain's decision to
have the Wright Inquiry held under the 2005 Inquiries Act.

Mr Wright has also still to decide whether or not he will
take part in the inquiry.


No Monopoly On Pain

By Ciarán O’Neill

A man whose wife was killed in an IRA bombing said last
night that nobody had a monopoly on suffering in the
Northern conflict.

Giving the annual Bloody Sunday lecture in Derry's
Guildhall, Alan McBride said it was vital that everyone
accept responsibility for their actions but work together
towards creating a better future.

Mr McBride's wife Sharon was one of ten people killed when
the IRA bombed a fish shop in west Belfast's Shankill Road
in 1993. His father-in-law was also killed in the attack.

Last night, Mr McBride spoke about the “sheer hell” that he
went through in the aftermath of his wife's death.

He told the 300-strong audience how he channelled his anger
into working with young people from all sides of the

Mr McBride admitted that many people within his community
were opposed to him taking part in last night's lecture.

He said it was important that republicans work to build
confidence within the unionist community. He urged Sinn
Féin to support policing arrangements in the North.

He criticised the Democratic Unionist Party for its
continued refusal to share power with republicans.

In a strong attack on the current stalemate in the
political process, Mr McBride said he felt let down by
politicians on all sides.

“It is almost eight years after the signing of the Good
Friday Agreement and we still haven't got an assembly. This
is nothing short of shameful,” he said.

“This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency without
each side blaming the other in a process that goes round
and round but delivers nothing.

“Nothing is going to replace the Good Friday Agreement.
There are people who are saying we can move on without
others but this is not going to happen.”

The Belfast man said he believed that a “truth recovery
process” was important in the North, involving
acknowledgment and apologies from those caught up in the

“At the end of the day, much of what has happened during
the conflict was wrong and they should say so,” he said.

He said it was vital that all sides continue to work for

“The best memorial we can have to those who died is to
create a society where these things never happen again, a
society where we as republicans and unionists can share
what we have in common, and a better place for our
children,” he added.

Several other events will take place in Derry today as part
of the Bloody Sunday commemoration weekend.

The weekend will culminate tomorrow with the annual Bloody
Sunday march, which follows the route of the 1972
demonstration. The march will leave Creggan shops at

A special candlelight tribute will take place at the end of
the march in memory of all those killed during the
conflict. More than 3,500 candles will be distributed to
marchers at Free Derry Corner.


Ferris Calls For GM Application To Be Rejected

Published: 27 January, 2006

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture has called on the
Minister for Agriculture to prevent the granting of a
licence to a German company to grow genetically modified
potatoes here. Deputy Ferris was responding to a report
that BASF has applied to the Environmental Protection
Agency to be allowed grow a trial crop at Summerhill,
County Meath.

Martin Ferris said: "While no doubt Minister Coughlan will
give her usual response that this is somehow not her
responsibility, and that the relevant authorities will
assess the application on scientific and safety grounds,
she as the Minister with responsibility for the reputation
and health of Irish farming has a duty to intervene.

"If GM crops are grown here, they will inevitably
contaminate traditional and organic crops. There is no
doubt about that from research that has been conducted.
Given, therefore, the documented hostility of EU consumers
to GM food, and given the importance of the reputation that
Irish food has for being safe and of high quality, the
introduction of GM here will benefit no-one other than the
companies which are attempting to control the food system.
There is no demand from Irish farmers for GM, and no
evidence that it will benefit either them or Irish
consumers." ENDS


BASF Plans 5-Year GMO Potato Experiment Near Hill Of Tara

Sunday January 29, 2006 01:41 by Michael O'Callaghan - GM-
free Ireland Network mail at gmfreeireland dot org +353 (0)404 43885

The German company BASF Plant Science GmbH (an affilate of
the giant transnational chemicals and drugs company BASF)
has notified the EPA of its intention to deliberately
release GMO potatoes into the environment 9km south of the
Hill of Tara, on a 2 Ha plot at Arodstown, Summerhill, Co.
Meath. The site is located 2km north of the R156 road
between Dunboyne and Summerhill (approx. OS grid reference:
N 885 500). If given the go-ahead, this would be the first
Irish release of GMO crops since protestors ended
Monsanto's GMO beet trials in 1998. The Notification
submitted by BASF does not appear to include plans for any
environmental impact assessment. Farmers, environmental
groups and consumers have expressed total opposition to
this unwanted experiment which would terminate Ireland's
economically valuable GM-free status. The deadline for
related public submissions to the EPA is 5pm on 22 February

On 13 January 2006, BASF Plant Science GmbH (an affilate of
the giant transnational chemicals and drugs company BASF)
notified the EPA of its proposal to deliberately release
GMO potatoes into the environment 9km south of the Hill of
Tara, on a 2 Ha plot at Arodstown, Summerhill, Co. Meath.

The townland of Arodstown is located 2km north of the R156
road between Dunboyne and Summerhill, shown in the lower
right corner of the Discovery Series map no. 42.
Approximate OS grid reference: N 885 500.

View large area map:

View local area map:

The proposed five-year "field trial" experiment would take
place from April 2006 to October 2010.

According the the documentation provided by BASF, the GMO
potatoes in question have been modified by introducing the
following mixtures of foreign genetic material:

• genes from a wild Mexican potato variety that provides
some resistance to the late potato blight fungus
Phytopthora infestans;

• marker genes from mouse-ear cress (a plant related to
cabbage and mustard) that conveys tolerance to "Imazamox"
herbicide (which contains banned Imidazolinones);

• two vector genes from a bacterium called Agrobacterium

It appears that no environmental or health impact studies
are planned.

Following an advertisement in the Irish Independent on 26
January 2006, the deadline for related public submissions
to the EPA is 5pm on 22 February 2006.

Related documents found on the EPA web site ( )
On 27 January 2006:

• Advertisement in the Irish Independent of 26 January

• Register of GMO Users in Ireland, Notification Ref. No.

(3-page Word document)

• Summary notification format for the release of
genetically modified higher plants

According to Council Decision 2002/81/EC.

Notification number B/IE/06/01.
(4-page Word document from BASF Plant Science GMbH).

• Notification

for the release into the environment of genetically
modified potatoes with improved resistance to Phytopthora
infestans (2006 - 2010)
(52-page Word document from BASF Plant Science GmbH.)

• General information note

in relation to the making of representations to the EPA
regarding a notification under the Genetically Modified
Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations - S.I. No. 500
of 2003.
(2-page Word document from the EPA).

Related Link:


UFF Set To Be Stood Down

UDA leaders say time for military wing to disband

29 January 2006

The UDA is set to announce that it is standing down it's
so-called military wing, the Ulster Freedom Fighters,
loyalist sources have claimed.

Senior UDA figures in Belfast have held a series of
meetings recently to discuss its future and an announcement
is expected within a few months.

Sources claim a number of UDA brigadiers favoured the idea
of disbanding the UFF immediately, in response to IRA's
announcement last summer that it was standing down its
military units.

One loyalist source said: "Now the IRA threat has
diminished some UDA brigadiers feel there is no longer a
need for a military wing within the organisation.

"Although the internal debate is far from over, it seems
certain the UFF will be stood down sooner rather than

Other sources say many UDA commanders are admitting
privately the loyalist paramilitary group's days were

Recent successes by the PSNI and the Assets Recovery Agency
had already put the squeeze on top UDA leaders in the
Belfast area.

The organisation is also facing a period of intense
scrutiny and surveillance from the intelligence services
who have been charged with bringing an end to all loyalist
paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

"By standing down the UFF they are hoping to buy themselves
some time. However, the security forces are slowly winning
the battle.

"Public opinion is also turning against the UDA and UVF and
they are loosing support in their own areas."

Sources also claim there is intense speculation in loyalist
circles that a senior UDA figure and former close associate
of deposed Shankill boss, Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair was about
to be 'outed' as a intelligence services agent.

The man is still active within the UDA and is believed to
have amassed considerable wealth through drugs and


Greysteel Killer’s Jail Appeal

By Staff Reporter

Greysteel ‘trick or treat’ killer Stephen Irwin has
appealed against a recent four-year jail term which could
result in him not having to serve out eight life sentences
for the 1993 pub massacre.

Irwin (32) was convicted last year of slashing a football
fan during the 2004 Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.

His victim needed nearly 200 stitches after being cut with
a Stanley knife.

Irwin had been out on licence after being freed in 2000
under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement but his
licence was suspended following the conviction.

At the time of the case last October, there were calls for
him to be made to serve out the remainder of his sentence .

Irwin and a second gunman shot dead eight people at the
Rising Sun Bar in the Co Derry village on October 30 1993.

Around 200 people had been in the bar when the gunmen
walked in. They were said to have called out ‘trick or
treat’ before opening fire indiscriminately.

The attack followed the IRA’s bombing of a shop on
Belfast’s Shankill Road in which 10 people, including an
IRA member, were killed.

In the Court of Appeal yesterday the Lord Chief Justice Sir
Brian Kerr directed that transcripts of a number of trial
witnesses, including Irwin, should be provided and said
when they became available his case would be listed for

It is unlikely that Irwin’s appeal will be heard before the
summer recess.


Assembly Worker Still Suspended

By Barry McCaffrey

A LEADING Orangeman remains suspend-ed from his post as a
senior Stormont security officer following controversial
comments defending loyalist violence.

West Belfast district master Billy Mawhinney, pictured, was
suspended from the assembly job last October following
comments he made about intense violence at a controversial
loyal order parade on the Springfield Road in September.

In a television interview after the gun and bomb attacks on
the security forces, Mr Mawhinney said he was “unable to
condemn” the violence.

“The loyalist response was proportionate to the police
assault on the loyalist community,” he said.

Mr Mawhinney caused further controversy when he claimed
that the stockpiling of loyalist guns and bombs was for
“defensive purposes”.

Appearing to attempt to justify the continued existence of
loyalist paramilitaries, he said: “They are sons and
daughters and fathers and brothers and they are there in
the absence of an effective policing service.”

It is understood the assembly investigation into Mr
Mawhinney’s comments is also looking at his presence on the
loyalist North and West Belfast Parades Forum, which
includes UVF and UDA representatives as well as mainstream
unionist politicians.

Mr Mawhinney is believed to have been suspended under an
‘impartiality’ clause which prevents assembly employees
from publicly expressing political opinions.

When contacted by The Irish News following his suspension,
the senior Orangeman said: “It was your article that got me
suspended” and refused to comment further.

Contacted about Mr Mawhinney’s continued suspension, an
assembly spokesman said yesterday: “The matter is still
under investigation.”


'If someone comes forward with crucial information...they
will be a hero to us'

Murdered Teenager's Family Back Sunday Life

By Stephen Breen
29 January 2006

SUNDAY Life today offers a £10,000 reward for information
leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers of
Belfast schoolboy Thomas Devlin.

Thomas's murder in a brutal knife attack six months ago
sent shock waves throughout the community.

After careful consideration and in consultation with his
parents and the police, we have offered the incentive in
the hope that someone will come forward with the vital
evidence needed to put the 15-year-old's murderers behind

The £10,000 will be paid for information that leads
directly to the arrest and conviction of Thomas's killers.

And any details on the murder that we receive at our office
will be passed straight to the investigative team.

Police will today have officers available to take calls.

Anyone with information on the killing should ring the
incident room on (028) 90700317 or Crimestoppers on 0800

Speaking to us from their home in Somerton Road, north
Belfast, Thomas's heartbroken mum and dad, Jim and Penny,
told how they hoped the reward could help bring their son's
killers to justice.

Said Jim: "We hope the cash offer can persuade people who,
until now, have been afraid to come forward with any kind
of information.

"If the reward could maybe just prompt someone to tell
police what they know about our son's killing then it would
be a worthwhile exercise.

"We will continue in our fight for justice for our son, but
people have to remember the person who murdered Thomas will
no doubt have the capacity to rob someone else of an
innocent child.

"If this initiative leads to someone coming forward with
crucial information, then they would always be a hero in
our eyes."

Added Thomas's mum, Penny: "I hope and pray that the reward
might just be enough to encourage someone to tell police
what they know about my son's killing.

"Anyone who can help put these people behind bars will be
doing a great service to the people of north Belfast and
also, to society at large.

"There are people out there who know who was responsible
for killing an innocent child and almost killing another
and I would ask them to think about the terrible
consequences of such an evil act.

"The attack on my son was both brutal and vicious and
people have to ask themselves if they want the people who
did this walking the streets.

"The police have assured us this is a priority case and we
are quite confident that we will see these evil men in

The reward comes after the Belfast Royal Academy pupil's
parents appealed directly to the partners, friends and
relatives of the brutal killers to also come forward.

The popular 15-year-old died in August, after he was
stabbed five times in the back as he walked along Somerton
Road in north Belfast with pals.

The teenager's young friend was also seriously injured in
the horrific and unprovoked attack.

Although a number of people were questioned about his
murder, no one has been charged.

A number of searches have also been carried out in recent
days in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast as police
step up their search for information.

It has also emerged that a police poster appealing for
information on the killing was recently removed from the
loyalist estate.

The prime suspects are two young men seen with a black and
white dog.


Army Has ‘Veto’ On House Plans

By Connla Young

A homeowners in Co Armagh has complained after the British
army confirmed it had an input into planning applications
in the area.

The British army's involvement in the planning process came
to light this week when south Armagh man Martin Clarke
revealed that the Ministry of Defence had held up an
application by Northern Ireland Electricity to connect his
new home in Dromintee to the electricity grid.

NIE requires planning permission to erect five electricity
poles that will carry power to Mr Clarke's new home. After
a delay of several months, the angry Armagh man was told
this week that planners had finally received approval from
the British army for the poles.

“This caused me a major inconvenience. NIE did a survey and
got permission from the landowners and it was referred to
the planners.

“I was told that they then referred the matter to the
Ministry of Defence in London, where it was probably left
in a corner somewhere. This job should have been done in
September but I'm still waiting to get into my new home. I
was very surprised to learn that the hold-up was caused by
the British army,” he said.

Newry and Mourne district councillor Anthony Flynn said he
was concerned at revelations that the British army had a
say in approving planning applications in south Armagh.

“It appears to be a fact that the British army have the
veto over planning applications in south Armagh, and I am
led to believe that this does not happen in any other area
throughout the Six Counties,” said Mr Flynn.

He said he would seek full clarification on the issue at
the council’s next planning committee meeting.

The Sinn Féin councillor added: “It is essential to learn
how far-reaching this veto is. People are asking have the
British army an input to all planning applications
including housing, which in effect is a veto,” he said.

A spokesperson for the British army maintained it had no

“Just like other public bodies, utility companies and local
councils, the MOD is one of many consultees on planning

“Any objection that the MOD has must be fully within the
current planning legislation and therefore the MOD has no
power of veto on planning applications in Northern
Ireland,” said the army spokesperson.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment’s
Planning Service said: “The Craigavon divisional planning
office routinely consults Defence Estates on all
applications for overhead powerlines.”


FRU Man Prepared To Out Rogue Cops

Ex-Army officer says he can prove Garda/IRA contact

29 January 2006

A FORMER Army intelligence officer says he can prove
allegations that a Garda officer was in regular contact
with the IRA and passed sensitive information to the

Martin Ingram says that, if he is allowed to assist the
inquiry set up to investigate the murders of two senior RUC
officers, he will corroborate the evidence of former IRA
man 'Kevin Fulton', who claims he saw the former Garda
officer meet with a senior figure in the organisation.

Justice Peter Smithwick is making preliminary arrangements
for the inquiry into the 1989 murder of Chief
Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan
as they returned from a meeting at Dundalk Garda station.

Fulton told Canadian judge Peter Cory that he met the Garda
officer when he travelled to a border location in the late
1980s with a senior IRA commander.

Fulton told the judge: "On one occasion in the late 1980s,
I was with my senior IRA commander and another individual
in my car. I knew the other individual to be Garda B.

"I was introduced to Garda B. I knew that Garda B, who was
stationed at Dundalk, was passing information to the
Provisional IRA."

Fulton said that, after the Breen and Buchanan murders,
another IRA man told his senior commander that Garda B had
phoned the IRA to tell them that the officers were at the
Dundalk station.

Ingram, who served as an intelligence officer with the
Force Research Unit (FRU) from 1980 to 1984 and from 1987
to 1991, is currently gagged by the Ministry of Defence.

But the co-writer of Stakeknife: Britain's Secret Agents in
Ireland, told Sunday Life that, if Justice Smithwick felt
his testimony was important to his inquiry, he would be
prepared to give evidence - provided his legal difficulties
with the MoD were overcome.

He said: "As a soldier, I was aware of a number of gardai
who assisted the military and the RUC to check car numbers
or addresses of terrorists living in the Republic and I
have no intention of naming or identifying those officers.
They helped in the fight against terrorism and saved lives.

"But there were a few gardai who worked for the other side,
who I have no qualms about exposing and I became aware that
Garda B was helping the IRA.

"I know that, because I saw intelligence documents about
this garda.

"Freddie Scappatticci was meeting him regularly, because
Freddie was both the second-in-command of the IRA's
internal security unit and also a member of the
organisation's general headquarters staff and liaised with
Garda B to discuss more general matters.

"I will never divulge details of Garda officers who
provided information to thwart terrorists and save lives,
but I am fully prepared to out rogue police officers like
Garda B and I can corroborate what Kevin Fulton says about
this officer's contacts with the Provisional IRA."

Justice Smithwick recently met DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson in
his Lagan Valley constituency to update him about the
preparations for his inquiry.

The MP met the families of the two murdered officers
earlier this month to brief them of the judge's plans.


The third force

Book: 'One In Three Provos Was A British Agent'

By Sunday Life Reporter
29 January 2006

UP to 30pc of the IRA's membership were on the payroll of
British Intelligence.

That's the startling claim made by intelligence expert and
author Nigel West.

West - the former Tory MP Rupert Allason - suggests that,
in the run-up to the IRA's 1994 ceasefire and the peace
process that followed, a staggering one-in-three Provos was
working for the British.

West claims they were being controlled by the shadowy
intelligence unit the Joint Services Group (JSG) and its
forerunner, the Force Research Unit (FRU).

The claim of 30pc penetration of the IRA is made in West's
new book, which reveals the secret stories of his A-to-Z of

In a reference to the Joint Services Group, West claims:
"This organisation played a big role in the penetration and
elimination of the Provisional IRA.

"By the time the peace process has been initiated, it was
estimated that up to 30pc of the Provisionals' membership
were on the British payroll."

Throughout the Troubles, the republican movement was
plagued by agents working for the Security Services while
also being card-carrying members of the IRA and Sinn Fein.

They included:

• Eamon Collins - a former IRA man who was battered to
death in Newry in January 1999;

• Gregory Burns, John Dignam and Aidan Starrs - murdered
and dumped by the roadside in south Armagh in July 1992,
and, most recently;

• Denis Donaldson - Sinn Fein's head of administration at
Stormont who was unmasked before Christmas.

• West's Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence is
published by the Scarecrow Press. (£45. Hardback)


Dissidents Hit By Spy Claims

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
29 January 2006

DOZENS of dissidents have resigned from Republican Sinn
Fein over the outing of a former republican as a British

Sunday Life can reveal that Fermanagh-based members of the
dissident republican party left after RSF president Ruairi
O'Bradaigh refused to answer questions about the activities
of double agent Sean Lavelle.

It is understood members approached O'Bradaigh after it
emerged that Lavelle was close to a former top RSF man, who
was also believed to be an informer.

It is also believed O'Bradaigh refused to discuss the names
of other suspected agents within his ranks and those in the
Continuity IRA.

Lavelle, who was believed to be close to the veteran
republican, was a former Sinn Fein election worker in the
early 1980s.

But he also remained close to those in RSF, after their
split with Sinn Fein in 1986.

He confessed to being a Special Branch agent earlier this
month, and is now believed to be in hiding.

And a senior security source told us Lavelle only admitted
to spying on his colleagues after he was warned mainstream
republicans were set to unmask him.

The source also claimed that senior Sinn Fein figures have
obtained a list containing the names of other suspected

It is understood they are currently in the process of
interviewing the suspects.

The republican initiative comes after Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams predicted more spying allegations would surface
in the party after the dramatic unmasking of its head of
administration at Stormont, Denis Donaldson, as a British

Said the source: "People aren't happy about the Lavelle
issue, and the fact that O'Bradaigh and his clique are
keeping quiet about the whole thing.

"The people who have left are committed republicans, and
they will probably just keep themselves to themselves now.

"There's no doubt Lavelle was close to a very senior member
of RSF who many believe was an informer, and they want to
know what went on and what was said between the pair.

"It was the Provos who were going to unmask Lavelle and
that's why he decided to come forward.

"Mainstream republicans are now working their way through
this list and it will be interesting to see what develops
over the coming weeks."


Dail Doors Open To 'Love Ulster'

By Alan Murray
29 January 2006

THE Republic's justice minister has agreed to meet
Protestant victims of IRA violence taking part in a rally
in Dublin.

Michael McDowell said he would open the doors of the Dail
to relatives of those killed and injured in Provo
atrocities immediately after next month's 'Love Ulster'

The parade will travel from Parnell Square along O'Connell
Street and Dawson Street to a rally outside the Dail on
February 25.

More than 1,000 people are expected to take part in the
event organised by groups representing victims of
republican violence.

Families who lost loved-ones in the Kingsmills massacre,
the Shankill bombing and at La Mon will be among those who
will meet Mr McDowell.

He confirmed the meeting in an email to DUP MP Jeffrey
Donaldson after both discussed the rally following a TV
programme they'd been interviewed for.

Mr Donaldson said he appreciated Mr McDowell's gesture and
hoped the rally would pass off peacefully.

He said: "I am delighted the minister has agreed to meet
the relatives of IRA victims in Northern Ireland after the

"They have very real concerns about IRA activity in the
Republic and the need for the Irish government to co-
operate with investigations into the large number of
unsolved IRA murders that were planned and executed in the
border area.

"That is the main issue we want to raise with Mr McDowell."

Willie Frazer of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives
(FAIR) - one of the main organisers of the event - said he
expected over 1,000 people would travel to Dublin.

He said: "We want to restrict the numbers to around the
1,000 mark, although I would imagine the number attending
will be greater than that because of the interest."

Eight loyalist bands will travel with the relatives and
details are being worked out with the Garda about where
coaches can be safely parked near the assembly point at
Parnell Square.

Added Mr Frazer: "We are liaising with the Garda and there
are no problems.

"Many more bands wanted to participate in the parade but we
have restricted the number to eight - that should provide
enough music and colour for the day.

"We do not want to bring Dublin to a standstill, nor cause
offence, and we hope we will be allowed to walk peacefully
in Dublin to convey the message about how our relatives
died at the hands of the IRA."


NI's Flawed Process Offers Lesson

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

When he heard I was based in Northern Ireland, Abdel Aziz
al-Rantissi gave me a look I can only describe as forlorn.

"When it comes to Sinn Fein," he said, "the Americans
recognise a difference between them and the IRA.

"But when it comes to Hamas, they refuse to recognise any
difference between us and the al-Qassam brigade. Why is

Our discussion took place in the spring of 1998 during a
short reporting trip I made to the Gaza strip.

There were a variety of answers to Mr Rantissi's question,
not least the complete absence of any pro-Hamas lobby in
the US Congress.

But what was probably more interesting was the fact that
Hamas's number two was even thinking in these terms.

Abdel Aziz Rantissi isn't around any more to comment on
Hamas's adoption of a twin-track "suicide bomb and ballot
box" strategy.

He was killed in an Israeli air strike back in the spring
of 2004.

A previous attack had claimed the life of his leader Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin.


But, in the wake of Hamas's resounding victory in the
Palestinian elections, I wondered what Rantissi would have
made of some of the comparisons and contrasts being drawn
between his movement's journey and the evolution of Irish

Both movements built their base through assiduous
grassroots activity.

Both movements overwhelmed more moderate opponents who have
arguably grown complacent after enjoying a long period of
political dominance.

Will both movements find that political success brings
responsibilities and the need to abandon some of their long
held beliefs?

The journey of Hamas may pose some similar challenges to
that thrown up by the journey of Sinn Fein

Mark Devenport

That said, the contrasts are just as striking as any

We have already noted the lack of US domestic political
sympathy for a Clintonian policy of constructive engagement
with Hamas.

Moreover, it is manifestly unfair to draw any parallels
between the SDLP and Fatah.

Last time I checked John Hume had not presided over an
armed militia of former terrorists, nor did he lead a
corrupt authority.

Nevertheless the journey of Hamas may pose some similar
challenges to that thrown up by the journey of Sinn Fein.

How should the international community balance its
condemnation of violence and its insistence that Hamas must
change its commitment to the destruction of Israel with the
pragmatic desire to reward a greater political emphasis
with a degree of recognition?

The former Northern Ireland talks chairman, Senator George
Mitchell - who also played a role as a would be peace
broker in the Middle East - told BBC Radio 5 Live that the
election results provided Hamas with an opportunity to
prove that it could change.

President Bush's Special Envoy to Northern Ireland,
Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, told Inside Politics that Hamas
is "currently not a partner for peace".

But he added that "what is clear is that if they change
then we are willing to talk to them".

It seems unlikely that the US will take the lead in this
process, but - in a role reversal from the days of Bill
Clinton annoying John Major over Sinn Fein - the European
Union seems better placed to proffer an olive branch.

So far as Northern Ireland is concerned the USA has
regularly played the role of well intentioned "honest

But in other areas of conflict - not least the possibility
of opening up serious negotiations with non-Islamist Sunni
insurgents in Iraq - the US would be well advised to look
to Northern Ireland.

Local politics may appear in the doldrums but when it comes
to Palestine, Sri Lanka or Iraq our flawed but nevertheless
relatively successful process of conflict transformation
still has a few lessons to provide.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/29 12:13:36 GMT


Opin: Trust In Policing Has To Be Earned


US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland thinks that Sinn Féin
will soon lend its support to the PSNI. “I believe it’s
only a question of when, not if,” he said in a speech at
the PSNI training college in east Belfast. Mr Reiss went on
to say that when the time comes that all the parties have
signed up to the new policing arrangements the PSNI “would
have to build trust and confidence across the community”.

While it’s rather refreshing that a man of Mr Reiss’s
standing and authority can acknowledge that the PSNI has a
trust and confidence problem, we rather fear that Mr Reiss
is putting the cart before the horse.

For it is only when the PSNI has won the trust and
confidence of the nationalist and republican people of the
North that Sinn Féin can take the historic step of joining
the Policing Board.

Events of recent weeks and months have shown all too
clearly that the PSNI has a long way to go before it can be
said to be the modern, non-partisan, professional police
force that the entire community is crying out for.

Political policing is more prevalent today than it ever
was, Special Branch remains a malign and cynical force
which still considers its primary role to be one of
fighting republicans.

Now that the gun and the bomb have been taken out of Irish
politics, they have adjusted their tactics and their
weapons of choice today are the exquisitely-timed leak and
the stage-managed media opportunity. Skilfully applied,
these weapons can have a more devastating impact on the
peace process than any car bomb ever could.

It is our belief that if Sinn Féin were to back policing,
baleful elements within the force would do all in their
power to ensure that the marriage of Sinn Féin and the PSNI
was a short one.

How on earth the PSNI is supposed to “build trust and
confidence”, as Mr Reiss recommends, when its most
influential and powerful department is hell-bent on
ensuring that republicans never take up the reins of power,
is not entirely clear to us.

And were Sinn Féin, as Mr Reiss hopes, to take its place on
the Policing Board while the burning Special Branch
question remains unresolved, then only trouble lies ahead.
And if Sinn Féin’s first attempt to jump on board the
policing train ends in failure, then a resolution of the
issue will be a much longer way off than it is now.

So, clearly, that trust and confidence deficit that Mr
Reiss has flagged up needs to be dealt with before, and not
after, republicans move on the policing issue.

That is not a dogmatic political stance, that is the belief
of the ordinary people on the ground who are sick to their
back teeth of watching elements within the PSNI do their
damnedest to destroy the peace process.

Nationalists and republicans in the North will not suddenly
start supporting the PSNI tomorrow just because Sinn Féin
tells them to. They will start giving that support when the
PSNI proves that it has earned it. That being the case,
it’s over to you, Mr Orde.


Opin: Dissidents Honor Their Heroes

INTERESTING to note the guests at the Cumann Na Saoirse
Irish Freedom Committee dinner on Friday, January 27 at the
Astoria Manor in Queens. This dinner is the closest
equivalent to the dissident Republican Oscars.

And the honorees are:

Mary Holt Moore, the second female grand marshal of the New
York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, who will receive the
Pearl Flannery award, named after the wife of the late
founder of Cumann Na Saoirse Michael Flannery.

Flannery, who was also founder of Irish Northern Aid,
started Cumann Na Saoirse because of his opposition to the
peace process. The blurb notes that Mary’s grand uncle,
John Kevin O’Reilly wrote, “Wrap the Green Flag Around Me
Boys” and fought in the GPO in 1916.

Our next honoree does not appear to have such a close Irish
connection. Karen Ingentron Lewis is being honored
apparently because she is the wife of Al “Grandpa” Lewis
from The Munsters television show, who was himself honored
a few years ago.

Karen’s work on Irish issues is a trifle light, it seems,
from her resume, but hey, the wife of one of the Munsters
is bound to be a celebrity, right? “Page Six,” anyone?

The third honoree is a bit surprising. Larry Kirwan of
Black 47 will receive the Michael Flannery Spirit of
Freedom Award. Kirwan is also an accomplished playwright
and writer, but quite how he got mixed up with Cumann Na
Saoirse is not clear from his biography.

All in all a great night, full of the kind of people who
will set Ireland free from the center to the sea any day
now. No ifs, ands or buts.


Opin: Will Adams Get Fundraising?

THE big question already being asked is whether Sinn Fein
leader Gerry Adams will get his fundraising visa stamped to
come to the U.S. around St. Patrick’s Day, given the fact
that he was refused fundraising rights during his proposed
visit last November.

Sinn Fein have traditionally used St. Patrick’s Day as a
major occasion for the party to get out and about in
America, and fundraising has been a major aspect of the
trips. Indeed, in the past Sinn Fein have had as many as
six or seven reps from coast to coast during the period.

It is important to note that there is no possibility of
Sinn Fein members being refused visas. Rather it is the
fundraising issue that is at stake.

Given that the last ban hardly helped matters, it seems
likely that this time the powers that be in the Bush
administration will change their minds and allow it this

Bruton, Adams, May Meet

GERRY Adams is set to address St. John’s University
students on March 14 in New York, and there is a nice
symmetry to that given the incredible amounts of Irish
Americans who have graduated from there over the years,
including civil rights legend and Mayo-born Paul O’Dwyer,
one of Adams’ heroes.

Adams is also expected at the Washington dinner of the
American Ireland Fund on March 16. Doubtless he may run
into former Taoiseach John Bruton, now EU ambassador to the

Bruton earned fame or infamy, depending on your point of
view, with an elongated and very harsh attack on Adams from
the podium at this dinner when he was taoiseach a few years

There will also be a morning reception on St. Patrick’s Day
for the Northern Irish and Irish party leaders, plus a
meeting between Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and President Bush.
‘All in all it promises to be an interesting St. Patrick’s
season, as new efforts to get the peace process underway
will take place.


Opin: Culture Now A Commodity

Concubhar Ó Liatháin

“Fumbling in the greasy till” was how WB Yeats described
Ireland’s merchant class nine decades ago in his landmark
poem September 1913.

That line came to mind when I heard of the campaign being
mounted in Dublin by the city council to restore Grafton
Street – now a thoroughfare polluted by British multiples,
fast-food outlets and mobile-phone shops – to its former
glory of back in the “rare oul times” when it was replete
with haberdasheries and bookshops and the like.

It’s a good idea, even if a bit late in the day. It’s also
touching to see the city waking up to its heritage and no
doubt the Dublin media will get behind this campaign to
save their street from Miss Selfridge and Superking.

The talk is of introducing laws such as exist in Paris to
ensure that a building that has served as, for example, a
boulangerie for several generations can only be sold to a
shopkeeper who will guarantee that the shop’s character
will not be changed.

One of the benefits of this policy is that shop rents have
been deflated. Given that a holding of 3,000 square feet
(280 square metres) on Grafton Street now nets €1 million
(£680,000) per annum, a rack rent that is up there with the
most expensive in the world, there’s no wonder that the
small shopkeeper has stopped fumbling in the till for a
meagre living in favour of watching the millions come into
the bank account. Now Dublin City Council wants to shout

Less enlightenment has been shown by the Dublin
“intelligentsia” in respect to another campaign to preserve
the character of communities in the west with a unique
characteristic that, dare I say, is far more valuable than
Grafton’s greasy tills. Howls of protest have greeted the
imposition of a language rule that compels developers to
reserve a percentage of housing units in a new development
for Irish speakers capable of passing an oral exam carried
out by the local authority.

This has been described as a form of racism by some media
commentators, columnists who have never resisted in forcing
their anti-Irish language views down our throats.

Without taking one iota from the campaign to restore and
preserve areas such as Grafton Street, I would be heartened
if I felt that the same concern was being shown to a
community language in Connemara, Corca Dhuibhne and Gaoth
Dobhair that is under threat, as is now being demonstrated
in relation to buildings and shops in Dublin. If the so-
called elite set more store by the preservation of shops
where they can spend their cash on luxury goods than they
do on a language because their wilful ignorance of it
restricts them from buying holiday homes in a Gaeltacht
area, then Yeats’ words ring as true today as they did in
1913 “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone/ It’s with O’Leary
in the grave.”


Holocaust Memorial Day Marked In Dublin

29/01/2006 - 11:31:42

Ireland's Jewish community says it is more important than
ever to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day this year.

A number of speakers will address this evening's
commemoration in Dublin - the theme of which is the
children of the Holocaust.

But Jews are saying that is especially crucial this year in
the light of recent statements from Iran.

Yanky Fachler, whose relatives perished in concentration
camps, says he cannot understand why anyone would deny the
Holocaust occurred.

“I don’t believe that we have to stand up and try to
convince people [who deny the Holocaust]. They have
agendas”, he said.

“Only when we can eradicate racism, xenophobia, anti-
Semitism and all other forms of intolerance will the true
lessons of the Holocaust be learned,” he added.


Brother Of Poet Kavanagh Dies In New York

29 January 2006 08:08

Tributes have been paid to Peter Kavanagh, the brother of
the poet Patrick Kavanagh, who died in New York yesterday.

Mr Kavanagh, 89, had worked as a Professor of English
Literature in the United States and was the custodian of
much of his brother's work.

His remains will be brought to Iniskeen in Co Monaghan for

Noel O'Grady, a close friend, said Peter Kavanagh was
passionate about protecting his brother's work.

RTÉ Arts Producer, Seamus Hosey, said if ever there were a
keeper of the sacred flame, it was Peter.


Rossport Five in Concert in Doolin, Co Clare.

Event Notice Saturday January 28, 2006
By Niall Harnett –

Clare Shell to Sea 086 8444966

8pm, Sat 11th February, The Russell Cultural Centre,

The Rossport Five and some of their friends are coming to
Doolin to play music with local musicians at the Russell
Cultural Centre, Doolin and to talk to the local and wider
community of North Clare and beyond about their ongoing
fight against Shell and the Irish Government.

Come and hear the lads talk about their experiences and the
continuing Shell to Sea campaign. Enjoy a glass of wine and
listen to the Shell to Sea traditional group of Micheál
O'Seighin on whistle, Vincent Mc Grath on accordion and Ray
Corduff on banjo who'll be joined by a host of local
musicians for a night of music and talk, song and dance.

Admission Free, refreshments available.

All welcome.

For photo report of last summer's Shell to Sea fundraiser
in Doolin, click on link here below.

Related Link:


On This Day/January 28 1937

Phoenix Park Murder Trial Informer Pays With His Life

By Eamon Phoenix

JOHN Muldoon (1865-1938) was a leading MP and member of the
Irish Home Rule Party before its extinction in the 1918
general election.

A native of Dromore, Co Tyrone he became one of Ireland’s
leading nationalist King’s Counsel and was a close
confidant of the nationalist leaders, Parnell and John

In a special article in this newspaper in 1937 he recalled
the impact and sequel of the Phoenix Park murders, carried
out by the Republican splinter group The Invincibles.

The atrocity in 1882 embarrassed Parnell but it did not
deflect the Liberal prime minister, Gladstone from his
‘mission to pacify Ireland’.

Muldoon wrote:

“When Parnell won the Land Act of 1881, a revolutionary
measure in the estimate of those days, he was at the height
of his power and popularity in Ireland. He spoke for the
entire country and the farmers – so long deprived of
redress – reposed perfect faith in him.

“However the Irish leader was in favour of ‘testing’ the
act before he would advise the farmers to rush into court
and his policy led to sharp differences with Mr Gladstone
who piloted the act through the House of Commons.

“As a result of rising unrest on the land, Mr Parnell was
arrested in October 1881. It was within a month of
Parnell’s arrest that the Invincible Society was launched
in Dublin.

“James Carey – a town councillor in Dublin,

a builder, a plodding, harmless sort of person as he
appeared – was a prominent member.

‘‘He was the paymaster of the members and when a murder was
to be carried out he planned the crime and directed his

“When the under-secretary in Dublin Castle, Thomas Henry
Burke, was to be killed

in the Phoenix Park, James Carey was the architect in

“On the fatal day in May 1882 he was, according to a prior
arrangement, to identify Burke and to signal to the
assassins in the park by the display of a white
handkerchief that the victim was located. And Carey did his
work without a hitch.

“The resulting assassination of Burke and the chief
secretary Lord Frederick Cavendish by means of surgical
knives, caused bewilderment, confusion and consternation

“John Mallon – a shrewd, capable man and a native of Meigh,
Co Armagh – was then head of the detective department in

“As a result of his efforts in February 1883, over 20 men
were placed under arrest in connection with the crime.

“Informers came forward, among them

James Carey. Carey went into the witness box for the crown.

“In the upshot, five men were executed and others sent to
long terms of imprisonment.

“At the end of the trial, the authorities

spirited Carey with his family on a ship bound for South

“On the journey, a Donegal immigrant Patrick O’Donnell
became friendly with Carey who was using the cover name of
Mr Power.

“When a son of Carey’s made an indiscreet remark, O’Donnell
realised that Power was none other than James Carey.

“O’Donnell drew his revolver and fired three shots at Carey
who died immediately.

“Patrick O’Donnell was arrested when the vessel reached
Port Elizabeth and brought back to London for trial.

“Despite spirited defence by Sir Charles Russell (the Down
man who became lord chief justice of England as Lord
Russell of Killowen), O’Donnell was found guilty and
sentenced to death.

“The execution took place at Newgate Jail.”


Kevin O’Sullivan - A Great Irishman Passes

THIS column would be remiss if it did not note the passing
of Kevin O’Sullivan, a great Irish American who died on
January 9 at Mount Sinai hospital in Manhattan. Kevin, the
son of Kerry parents, resided in Long Island, and huge
crowds turned up for his wake and funeral.

Kevin was always a committed supporter of Irish causes, but
his real legacy is in the O’Sullivan Children Foundation.
If you ever turn on PBS you will see so many programs,
especially those for kids, funded by the foundation.

Kevin’s extraordinary philanthropy had a sad origin. Three
of his own four children, Kevin, Colleen and Terence,
predeceased him at a young age.

Kevin was a huge hit in the media world. He rose from
modest circumstances to become president of ABC Films and
ABC International Television. In 1973 he acquired the
rights of ABC films (including the all time hit Dallas) to
create a worldwide television distribution company.

Kevin was a committed Irish American who was always
available to help out on Irish issues. We have a
particularly strong memory of sitting with him at the White
House some years back when Bill Clinton was hosting an
event for the Irish.

Kevin, like all of us, was bursting with pride that at last
the Irish had been made welcome in the most important venue
of all. May he rest in peace.


Art Project Transforms The Walls Of Bogside

By Seamus McKinney

ONE of Derry’s emerging tourist attractions, the Bogside
murals which go to make up the ‘People’s Gallery’, should
be completed later this year.

Fourteen years after they painted their first mural Bogside
artists Tom and William Kelly and Kevin Hasson have won
international acclaim.

The nine murals completed so far have been seen throughout
the world and have become as much a part of Derry’s
heritage as Free Derry Wall and the city’s siege history.

A fixture of any tour of the city, the nine murals attract
thousands of visitors each year.

Mr Kelly said 4,000 tourists visited them in their Bogside
studios last summer to learn more about their work.

This year the artists intend undertaking the tenth and
final mural to complete what has been called the People’s

All murals will also be refurbished in preparation for new
spotlighting on what has become a must-see attraction.

Mr Hassan said Derry’s new art phenomenon started almost by

“There was a lot of graffiti on the murals and the Housing
Executive was going to pebble-dash them when we decided to
do the Petrol Bomber to mark the 25th anniversary of the
Battle of the Bogside in 1994,” he said.

The first mural, depicting a young boy in a Second World
War gasmask, was taken from a picture by British photo-
journalist Clive Limpkin’s book The Battle of the Bogside.

This was followed by a mural showing Bloody Sunday victim
Jackie Duddy being carried from the Bogside accompanied by
retired bishop Dr Edward Daly waving a blood-stained

In the 10 years since then the artists have gone on to
depict the key elements of the Troubles-related history of
the Bogside through murals facing onto Rossville Street
where many of the events occurred.

These have included Bernadette Devlin (McAliskey), the
Bloody Sunday victims, hunger striker Raymond McCartney,
Annette McGavigan (a 14-year-old girl shot dead by the
British army), Operation Motorman, a peace mural and a
Mural depicting the leaders of the civil rights movement.

With the huge interest generated by their work the three
men have taken touring exhibitions throughout Europe,
Australia, Canada and the US.

Mr Kelly said that while Northern Ireland’s cultural
establishment has been slow to support their work they have
found success by public acclaim.

He said people voted with their feet by visiting the
Bogside to see the murals among the area’s other landmarks.

“The open-topped double decker tour buses are a fairly
common site in the Bog now,” Mr Kelly said.

His colleague Mr Hassan said their work has also become an
educational resource.

The three men are in huge demand from schools, colleges and
universities for lectures about their work and experience.

To complete the People’s Gallery the artists intend
dedicating the final mural to the memory of people who
played a key role in the Bogside during the Troubles.

Residents of the area have been asked to put forward the
names of people they think should be included.

So far four names have been selected but there will be room
for two or three more, according to Mr Kelly.

“The ones we have selected so far are John Hume, Martin
McGuinness, Paddy Walsh (who crawled from cover to help the
dying Paddy Doherty on Bloody Sunday and who passed away
last year) and Bridget Bond (a Bogside hero of the civil
rights movement),” Mr Kelly said.

He said the artists had chosen the name The People’s
Gallery for their work as it was the people of the Bogside
and Derry who inspired it, paid for it and to whom it was

“It’s simple – we would not be here without the support of
the people,” he said.

Mr Hassan revealed that the artists intended formally
launching the People’s Gallery with a major unveiling
ceremony later this year.

They are currently considering who should be invited to
performing the ceremony.


The Pillowman: Tales From The Dark Side

With The Pillowman, the Alley Theatre invites you to Martin
McDonagh's nightmare

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

How many hot-button subjects can one play encompass?

The Pillowman's lineup includes child abuse, censorship,
police brutality, the role of suffering in inspiring art
and the link between disturbing art and real-life violence.

Chiefly, though, The Pillowman is about man's primal need
to tell and hear stories — especially those terrifying
tales that explore the darkest corners of human existence.

Martin McDonagh's London and Broadway sensation makes its
regional theater debut with the Alley Theatre's production,
opening Wednesday.

Set in an unnamed totalitarian state, The Pillowman depicts
two detectives, the sardonic Tupolski and the explosive
Ariel, brutally interrogating a writer named Katurian about
the bizarre content of his stories. Most involve the
mutilation or murder of children; several are similar to
real-life crimes being investigated.

The detectives are holding the writer's mentally impaired
brother, Michal, in an adjacent room; they quickly
demonstrate they are not above torture, or worse, to get
the answers they want.

As the "investigation" unfolds, Katurian is called upon to
recite several of his macabre tales. One tells of parents
who conduct a horrible experiment on their two sons —
torturing one son each night while telling his well-treated
brother in the next room that the screams he hears are only
nightmares. Is the tale true? Does it explain what disabled
Michal and sparked Katurian's violent fables?

That's just the beginning of McDonagh's roller coaster of
black comedy and horror. The play keeps folding in upon
itself, with stories within stories, "real" action mingling
with fantasy and dark revelations about the pasts not only
of the tormented brothers, but their inquisitors, as well.

The Pillowman drew virtually unanimous raves in London,
where it won the 2004 Olivier Award as best play, and on
Broadway, where it was a 2005 Tony nominee as best play.

"Brace yourself for a play of extraordinary power and
stunning theatrical bravura," Michael Coveney wrote in
London's Daily Mail.

In the New York Times, Ben Brantley deemed it "a
spellbinding stunner ... the season's most exciting and
original new play."

McDonagh was born in London but spent childhood summers
with his grandparents in western Ireland and later visited
his parents there when they retired. Thus, this English
playwright rose to fame in the 1990s with earthy
tragicomedies set in rural Ireland: the Leenane Trilogy and
Aran Islands Trilogy. Of the six plays, the best known is
The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which was a Broadway hit in
1998 and won several Tonys.

If The Pillowman marks a decided change of pace, that's
partly because McDonagh began it before any of them. It
grew out of short stories he intended as ideas for
screenplays. Years later, after completing his two Irish
trilogies, he returned to those early stories and began
constructing a framework for them — the story of their
author, Katurian.

The play's title comes from Katurian's tale about a six-
foot creature made of fluffy pink pillows. The Pillowman
appears to children fated to have miserable lives, and
persuades them to kill themselves, in ways that will look
like accidents. But who will free the Pillowman from the
burden of his painful existence? The figure's plight is not
unlike that of Katurian, with his double burden of caring
for his damaged brother and spinning tales of unspeakable
sadness and suffering.

With its haunting echoes of Kafka, Borges and the Brothers
Grimm, The Pillowman became the most talked about new play
of recent years.

During the New York run, several publications ran articles
describing play goers alternately convulsed with laughter
and gasping in shock, as well as those who fled before the
first act's conclusion. At least one heart attack was

Naturally, a play so widely celebrated and abounding in hot
buttons was bound to inspire backlash. That was best
represented by Charles Isherwood's follow-up review in the

While acknowledging McDonagh as a "masterly storyteller,"
he voiced reservations: "From the thickets of ghoulish
incident can be extrapolated a teasing manifesto
proclaiming meaninglessness as a prime virtue in
entertainment ... In the end, McDonagh treats the serious
themes that hover at the edges of the play like unwelcome
guests, banishing them to the murky shadows."Most critics
and play goers, however, have disagreed.

"I've loved this play ever since I first read it two years
ago," says Alley artistic director Gregory Boyd.

"Great as it is on the page, it is really revealing itself
to us in the rehearsal room, as something much more subtle.
It is so unlike anything else and so much of the theater.
And it offers so much for the actors."

"There's some storytelling in all McDonagh's plays," Boyd
says. "But here it's the central event. Katurian's stories
lead one to another, then back again. The play just keeps
surprising you and that's a rare thing these days."

McDonagh seldom gives interviews. But in a rare one with
the New York Times last spring, he echoed Katurian, saying
that his work has no agenda — that he just wants "to tell a
good story."

Whatever else one might say about The Pillowman, it surely
achieves that goal.


No Reports Of Irish Killed In Polish Collapse

29 January 2006 15:31

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it has no reports of
Irish citizens among the dead or injured after the roof of
a building collapsed in southern Poland.

Poles, Czechs, Germans and Belgians are among the
casualties after the roof collapse at a gathering of pigeon
fanciers from throughout Europe.

Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, has declared three days
of mourning for the 66 people who died in the collapse of a
roof at an exhibition centre in the southern city of

Officials believe no more people will be found alive and
have stopped the rescue operation.

Some 150 people were injured when the roof collapsed on a
gathering of pigeon fanciers from throughout Europe.

Temperatures in the area dropped to -15C overnight making
it more difficult for rescuers to search the rubble. Hot
air was blown into the collapsed structure last night in a
bid to help any survivors.

More than 1,000 police, firefighters and soldiers were
involved in the rescue operation and workers from local
mines helped search the rubble of the building which was
only built in 2000.

Regional authorities have now brought in heavy machinery to
start removing debris.

A fire brigade spokesman said heavy snow on the hall roof
appeared to have caused the catastrophe. But a spokesman
for the building's management company maintained that
snowfall was regularly removed.

Severe weather leaves up to 200 dead in Poland

The region is experiencing its coldest winter in several
decades and like other parts of Europe, temperatures have
fallen to as low as -30C.

The severe weather has killed almost 200 people in Poland,
disrupted transport and highlighted gas supply problems.

This latest accident comes less than four weeks after 15
people were killed in neighbouring Germany when the roof of
a skating rink collapsed under the weight of snow.

To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.
To January 2006 Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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