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 19, 2006

March Ban Agreed By All Members

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

BB 01/19/06 March Ban 'Agreed By All Members'

BB 01/19/06 Orde Defends Top Officer On IRA
BB 01/19/06 Man 'Serious' After Shankill Shooting
SF 01/19/06 Acid Test For Parades Comm Still To Come
EX 01/19/06 SF Insists Sp Branch Spy Is Safe At Home
IT 01/20/06 SF Plays Down Naming Of Spy
UT 01/19/06 Murphy Attacks SDLP
BB 01/19/06 Police Vow Over Republican March
IT 01/20/06 FF & Govt Make Substantial Gains In Poll
PB 01/19/06 Irish Rep Gives Voice To New Playwrights
MS 01/19/06 A Chieftains Jam Always Jam-Packed


March Ban 'Agreed By All Members'

The decision to ban Orangemen marching along
Portadown's Garvaghy Road was agreed by all members of
the Parades Commission, its chairman has said.

Roger Poole praised the Portadown district officers
for meeting them, but residents had not made the same

It said allowing the 29 January parade through the
mainly nationalist area could damage community

Mr Poole said it was a unanimous commission decision,
which includes two members of the Portadown lodge.

They are David Burrows and Don MacKay, who are members
of the lodge, which was behind the application for the
march at the end of the month.

The commission commended the Portadown Orangemen for
their "genuine efforts to assist dialogue".

"It is our hope that an accommodation can be reached
in Portadown which will bring long term stability to
the parading issue at Drumcree," he said.

"Currently we believe that a parade along the Garvaghy
Road may serve to destabilise the situation in that

"We are committed to facilitating a process of
dialogue and mediation which I genuinely believe can
help resolve this long running issue."

He added: "We heard that the district is willing to
enter into a mediation process to seek a resolution to
this issue.

"We also acknowledge the past engagement with the
commission of the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition
and we are disappointed that they did not respond
positively to an invitation to meet the commission on
this occasion. We hope this will change in the very
near future."

'Genuine efforts'

A spokesperson for the Garvaghy Road Residents'
Coalition said the decision "was not surprising".

"Few, if any people, expected the present commission
to overturn almost eight consistent rulings
prohibiting Orange marches from the Garvaghy Road at
its first sitting.

"However, this decision does not alter the fact - the
widely held view amongst the nationalist community
that this commission is clearly imbalanced in terms of
make-up and representation."

The commission's decision comes a day after a
delegation from Portadown Orange lodge held talks with
the commission about the parade. The talks involved
the Order's David Jones.

The Grand Master of the Orange Order, Robert Saulters,
said the talks were in contravention of Grand Lodge

The commission said it recognised the "genuine efforts
on the part of the Portadown district officers" by
formally meeting the commission.

Orangemen last walked down the Garvaghy Road from a
church service at Drumcree Parish Church in July 1997.

However, the Parades Commission has since banned them
from parading down the road following objections by
nationalist residents.

The commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on
whether or not restrictions should be imposed on
controversial parades during Northern Ireland's
marching season.

New appointments, including Mr Burrows and Mr MacKay,
were made to the commission in November 2005.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/19 15:54:20 GMT


Orde Defends Top Officer On IRA

Sir Hugh Orde has defended his Assistant Chief
Constable's assessment of IRA involvement in organised

Sam Kinkaid refused to accept Security Minister Sean
Woodward's assessment that the IRA as an organisation
was no longer involved in crime.

Meanwhile, the Policing Board remains at odds with Mr

A police briefing to the board said the IRA was
involved in organised crime, but last month Mr
Woodward said the IRA is no longer involved in such

Mr Woodward wrote to the board and said there was a
distinction between the actions of individuals and the
"intention of organisations".

Board chairman Desmond Rea said this did not address
the board's concerns.

Professor Rea has made public his correspondence to Mr
Woodward over the matter.

"From the briefing the board acknowledges that, in
certain areas, progress has and is being made," he

"But on the issues of organised crime the board is
clear that PSNI and the other agencies advised that
all paramilitary groups were still involved in
organised crime.

"This is clearly at odds with your position as stated
during the briefing and in your earlier statement of
13 December 2005."

Mr Rea also said he did not believe the breach of
confidentiality that led to the assessment to the
board being made public emanated from any board member
or officer.

He said that the board "awaits with interest" the
publication of the Independent Monitoring Commission
Report, "which will allow everyone to judge the
position based on the evidence available".

On Thursday Sir Hugh, head of the PSNI, said his
Assistant Chief Constable had his total support.

"I am very clear on the situation. Sam Kinkaid has my
total support," he said.

"He is an extremely experienced CID officer. He has
actually in his career not worked in Special Branch,
despite what some people are saying currently.

"He has given an assessment in a confidential

"What I think is right now is that we wait for the IMC
report. We have given our evidence to the IMC report,
as have many other people, and when they report I
think people will be able to form their own

Mr Kinkaid, the PSNI's most senior detective, gave a
confidential briefing to board members on Tuesday.

It is believed Mr Kincaid said there had been
significant progress in terms of ending some
activities on the part of the IRA, such as
paramilitary attacks and armed robberies.

However, he told board members that no paramilitary
group, including the IRA, has ceased involvement in
organised crime.

He said the police had seen no change in this for a

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/19 22:15:41 GMT


Man 'Serious' After Shankill Shooting

A 22-year-old man has been taken to hospital following
a shooting incident in west Belfast, the police have

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesman said
the incident happened at 1945 GMT in the Wilton Street
area of the loyalist Shankill Road.

The victim is said to be in a serious condition in

It is understood that the man has been taken for
treatment to the Royal Victoria Hospital. Police are
investigating the shooting.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/19 22:03:50 GMT


Acid Test For Parades Commission Still To Come

Published: 19 January, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd
today said that notwithstanding today's determination
by the Parades Commission, the Orange Order in
Portadown and elsewhere needed to face the reality
that 'the nationalist community in Portadown have
rights and entitlements which must be respected and
upheld'. Mr O'Dowd's remarks came after the Parades
Commission again barred the Orange Order from marching
along Garvaghy Road.

Mr O'Dowd said:

" It seems that since the appointment of two prominent
Orangemen to the Parades Commission there are those
within the Portadown district who think that turning
up to a meeting with the Commission will secure a
march along Garvaghy Road. That approach is
unacceptable and will simply not work.

" The reality is that the Orange Order in Portadown
continues to go through the weekly charade of filing
for a parade every Sunday while continuing to ignore
the genuine concerns of the nationalist community in
Portadown. Most people living in the Garvaghy Road
community realise that the acid test for this
Commission did not arise today but will emerge as the
date of the annual Drumcree march draws closer in

" It is time for the Orange Order and others to stop
playing games and acknowledge for the fact that the
nationalist community in Portadown have rights and
entitlements which must be respected and upheld. "


Sinn Féin Insists Special Branch Spy ‘Is Safe At Home’

By Dan McGinn

A FORMER Sinn Féin election worker who admitted spying
on his colleagues is safe at home, the party claimed
last night.

Sean Lavelle, from Donagh in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh,
confessed to being a special branch agent since 1980
in a statement issued through his solicitor.

His move came after Gerry Adams predicted more spying
allegations would surface in the party after last
month’s unmasking of its head of administration at
Stormont Denis Donaldson as a British agent.

But while Mr Donaldson has stayed away from his native
Belfast, Mr Lavelle was assured by Sinn Féin Assembly
member Tom O’Reilly that he was safe living at home.

In his statement, Mr Lavelle said he was pressured
into becoming a Special Branch agent after he was
arrested in 1980.

“I deeply regret my activities and the hurt which they
have caused to my family and to my community,” he

Sinn Féin played down Mr Lavelle’s significance,
claiming he had been an election worker but was no
longer a party member.

Republicans have faced a barrage of allegations since
Mr Donaldson last month confessed his role as a
British agent for more than 20 years. The 55-year-old,
was arrested by police in October 2002, along with his
son-in-law Ciaran Kearney and civil servant William
Mackessy, on accusations that they operated a spy ring
at Stormont which went to the heart of former Northern
Secretary John Reid’s office.

After a three-year legal battle, charges against the
three men were dropped at Belfast Crown Court last
month, with prosecutors insisting it was no longer in
the public interest to pursue the case.

In a further stunning twist, Mr Adams announced a week
later he had expelled Mr Donaldson from the party for
spying on his colleagues.

Belfast has been rife with rumours since then about
more spies in republican ranks. Several senior
republicans have been warned by police that they are
suspected of being agents and, although none has
publicly rejected the allegations, it is clear
republicans are bracing themselves for more claims.


SF Plays Down Naming Of Spy

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Sinn Féin has played down the significance of the
naming of another party worker as a British spy.

Following party leader Gerry Adams's warning of more
revelations emanating from "dissidents" in the police
and British state apparatus opposed to the peace
process, a Fermanagh party supporter was identified as
a police informer.

Seán Lavelle, who is from Donagh in Lisnaskea,
confessed to being a Special Branch agent since 1980
in a statement issued through his solicitor.

It is understood he became a source for the former RUC
Special Branch following his arrest in 1980 and is no
longer a Sinn Féin member.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Tom O'Reilly said Mr Lavelle
was safe and living at home.

"He is still living in Donagh," he said. "He is safe.
There is nothing untoward with the man."

In his statement, Mr Lavelle said: "I deeply regret my
activities and the hurt which they have caused to my
family and to my community."

Sinn Féin played down Mr Lavelle's importance,
claiming he had been an election worker but was no
longer a party member.

The naming follows the identification last month of
Denis Donaldson, a former head of Sinn Féin's Stormont
office, as a British agent.

Mr Donaldson (55) was arrested by police in October
2002, along with his son-in-law Ciarán Kearney and
civil servant William Mackessy, on accusations that
they operated a spy ring at Stormont.

The arrests led to the suspension of the Northern
Ireland Assembly and powersharing executive within

After a three-year legal battle, charges against the
three men were dropped at Belfast Crown Court last
month, with the Public Prosecution Service insisting
it was no longer in the public interest to pursue the

On Wednesday, Mr Adams predicted further revelations.

"You are going to get more alleged agents or real
agents being trotted out in the time ahead," he said
after a meeting with a bipartisan US Congressional
team in Belfast.

"You are going to get more efforts by dissident
elements within the British system to stop progress,"
he said.

"You are going to get this seized upon by the DUP and
others who are afraid of a future based on equality.
What we have to be is tenacious, resilient and patient
about moving all of this forward," the Sinn Féin
president added.

© The Irish Times


Murphy Attacks SDLP

The SDLP was today accused of encouraging unionists in
Northern Ireland to believe they could water down the
Good Friday Agreement.

By:Press Association

In the build-up to political talks expected next
month, Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy called on his rivals
to withdraw their May 2004 proposals for civic
administrators to run government departments until
devolution returned.

The Newry and Armagh MP argued: "When the SDLP first
published their proposals for British Government-
appointed commissioners to run the 10 departments
instead of locally-elected and accountable
politicians, as demanded by the Agreement, they gave
succour to those rejectionist unionists who wished to
move away from the power-sharing core of the

"This was a deeply flawed strategy and is one which is
completely unacceptable to the vast majority of
nationalists and republicans who voted for the Good
Friday Agreement.

"Despite the encouragement given by the SDLP to those
seeking to rewrite the Agreement, Sinn Fein
successfully defended the principles which underpin
the Agreement in the discussions in late 2004.

"Recently it seems that the SDLP are once again
naively repeating the mistakes they have made in the

"They have opened up communication with the unionist
parties in advance of planned talks chaired by the two
governments on proposals which are less than that
demanded by the Agreement.

"Once again they are giving encouragement to those
within unionism who believe they can dilute or subvert
the rights and entitlements demanded by the people
across Ireland who voted for the Agreement in 1998."

With the British and Irish Governments planning an
intensive push to restore devolution on the back of
the latest report on paramilitary activity by the
Independent Monitoring Commission, the Rev Ian
Paisley`s Democratic Unionists this week ruled out the
likelihood in the foreseeable future of power-sharing
featuring Sinn Fein.

The party, however, confirmed it was planning to table
a 16 page document advocating phased devolution -
giving the country`s 108 Assembly members some role
short of forming their own multi-party executive.

The Ulster Unionists are also believed to be putting
together their own proposals.

In May 2004, SDLP leader Mark Durkan proposed 10
leaders from business, trade unions and community life
should be nominated by both the British and Irish
Governments to run the devolved government

The panel would have to be approved by Assembly
members on a cross-community vote at Stormont and
would cease their work once MLAs were able to nominate
their own multi-party executive.

The plan was slated by Sinn Fein, unionists and other

Mr Murphy said today that, as the lead nationalist
party, Sinn Fein would resolutely defend the Agreement
and its power-sharing and cross-border institutions.

"Unlike the SDLP we will not settle for less," he

"The SDLP now need to make it clear that their
proposals for commissioners have been binned and that
they are prepared to join with the rest of nationalist
and republican opinion on the island and defend the
Good Friday Agreement."

The SDLP`s Dominic Bradley claimed there appeared to
be confusion and contradiction at the highest levels
of Sinn Fein, which could be exploited by anti-
Agreement unionists in the forthcoming negotiations.

The Newry and Armagh MLA said: "Yesterday at a press
conference, the Sinn Fein president said `what more is
there to negotiate about? The negotiations are done.
What more is there to negotiate about? We have had
seven years, eight years, nine years, 10 years of
negotiations. What we now need to see is delivery of
all of the agreements that were reached, crystallised
in the Good Friday Agreement`.

"On the same day in a statement issued to the press
Conor Murphy said, `Sinn Fein will not countenance
settling for less that the Agreement in any future
talks or negotiations`.

"What`s going on? The Sinn Fein president says he is
not up for negotiations and a Sinn Fein MP looks
forward to negotiations.

"This sends out even more worrying signals to
nationalism when it is recalled that only nine months
ago Sinn Fein went to the ballot boxes talking about
the need for `intensive political negotiations`,
Mitchel McLaughlin on April 23, 2005.

"The DUP must be laughing all the way to the bank. The
Sinn Fein leadership is sending out signs of weariness
and weakness.

"The DUP must be thinking that they can cause further
damage to nationalism and the Good Friday Agreement
and the British, apparently already deeply embedded
within the Provisional Movement, must be looking
forward to concessions being handed to the DUP."

Mr Bradley said his party made no apology for calling
for a date to restore the political institutions nor
would it withdraw its proposal to allow civic
administrators to run the government departments

"That means ending suspension and getting the North
South agenda working again in full," he said.

"If Conor Murphy is against this, then he is for
suspension and continued British Direct Rule. Is Sinn
Fein`s policy now `Brits In`?"

Accusing Gerry Adams` party of inconsistency, the SDLP
Assembly member recalled how in October 2001 Sinn Fein
advocated British ministers taking Ulster Unionist
seats on the executive if David Trimble`s ministers

He also accused Sinn Fein of secretly renegotiating
the Good Friday Agreement with the DUP in the December
2004 talks, with measures to exclude the SDLP from

"These are the damning facts of Sinn Fein`s record,

no amount of spin can hide them," Mr Bradley said.

"It is time for Sinn Fein to back the Agreement and
the SDLP`s strategy for getting it all implemented.
That is the only way forward.

"But perhaps Conor could clear up one important
question for the Irish people: do Sinn Fein back the
Good Friday Agreement as overwhelmingly endorsed by
the majority of people on the island or do they still
back the failed and farcical comprehensive agreement
negotiated with the DUP?

"That`s the question Sinn Fein needs to answer.
Perhaps Conor would be better served clearing that up
rather than confusing himself even more than he
already is."


Police Vow Over Republican March

Police in Glasgow have warned troublemakers to stay
away from this weekend's Republican parade.

About 300 protesters tried to clash with marchers in
last year's Bloody Sunday commemoration parade.

Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable Kevin
Smith said the racist, sectarian and paramilitary
abuse was unacceptable.

The parade by Cairde na hEireann (Friends of Ireland)
is due to start at 0930 GMT on Saturday.

Parade reforms were proposed after a review by ex-
police chief Sir John Orr.

Parades can be blocked if there have been offensive
chants, threatening or drunken behaviour, or marchers
expressing support for paramilitary organisations.

Mr Smith said police would crack down on any
troublemakers who tried to replicate last year's
clashes, which led to three arrests.

"Unfortunately, the parade last year was a difficult
one with a significant number of counter protesters,
many of whom were clearly intent on attacking and
disrupting the parade," said Mr Smith.

"To be perfectly frank, many of those involved in the
procession and many of those who came to protest about
it did not come out with any great credit.

"Racist, sectarian and paramilitary abuse being hurled
was the norm, with a number of bottles and other
missiles being thrown, only adding to the

'Important date'

He added: "There is a simple message here. If you come
to take part in the procession or to protest, do so
peacefully and lawfully."

Jim Slaven, of Cairde na hEireann, said: "We expect
the march to be peaceful and we believe that all
participants will conduct themselves with dignity and
respect for the victims of Bloody Sunday.

"This is a very important date in the Irish
community's calendar in Scotland."

A spokesman for Glasogw City Council said: "We granted
permission for the event after careful consideration
of our policy on public processions."

Flags and emblems

Ian Wilson, Grand Master of the Orange Lodge in
Scotland, said his organisation was not involved in
last year's trouble and had no intention of counter-
protesting at the march.

"The parade is legal and while we are out of sympathy
with the political aspirations of a Republican march,
this is a democracy and they are entitled to express
their view lawfully," he said.

"Counter-demonstrators are also entitled to protest
but it has to be peaceful. What happened last year was
a disgrace.

"I would encourage the police to be more robust in
dealing with some of the paramilitary flags and
emblems which were being illegally flaunted by
Republican marchers last year."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/20 00:19:34 GMT


FF And Government Make Substantial Gains In Poll

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

The Government, the Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil have
all made substantial gains in public support in the
wake of last month's Budget, according to the latest
Irish Times/ TNS mrbi opinion poll.

The potential alternative coalition has made no
effective gain since the last poll in September, with
Fine Gael support slipping slightly by one percentage
point, although Labour has gained two points.

The state of the parties is: Fianna Fáil 37 per cent,
up three points since the last Irish Times/TNS mrbi
poll last September; Fine Gael 24 per cent, down 1;
Labour 16 per cent, up 2; Sinn Féin 9 per cent, down
1; Green Party 4 per cent, down 1; Progressive
Democrats 3 per cent, down 1; others 8 per cent,

Core support is Fianna Fáil 36 per cent, up 5; Fine
Gael 18 per cent, unchanged; Labour 12 per cent, up
two; Sinn Féin 7 per cent, down 1; Green Party 3 per
cent, down 1; Progressive Democrats 3 per cent,
unchanged; others 7 per cent, unchanged; undecided 15
per cent, down 5.

These core figures show that a quarter of those who
were undecided last September now have a clear
preference, and most of these have gone to Fianna
Fáil, with some to Labour.

The poll was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a
national quota sample of 1,000 people at 100 sampling
points throughout all constituencies in the State.

The boost for the Government, the Taoiseach and Fianna
Fáil comes after a well-received Budget. The current
heavy advertising signalling the imminent coming to
fruition of the more than one million SSIA accounts
may also have created a feel-good factor from which
the Government has benefited.

Satisfaction with the Government has risen 9
percentage points since September to 46 per cent and
is the highest for a year.

Some 46 per cent are dissatisfied, down 12 points and
8 per cent have no opinion, up 3 points.

This is mirrored by the satisfaction rating for the
Taoiseach which is up 9 points to 56 per cent. Some 37
per cent are dissatisfied, down 10 points, and 7 per
cent have no opinion, up 1.

Satisfaction with the Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, is
up modestly from 38 to 40 per cent. Some 29 per cent
are dissatisfied, down 2, and 32 per cent have no
opinion, up one.

Satisfaction with the Labour leader, Pat Rabbitte, has
risen 4 points to 48 per cent since September, with 25
per cent dissatisfied, down 1, and 27 per cent have no
opinion, down 3.

Mr Rabbitte's improvement and the two-point increase
for his party come soon after his intervention in the
debate about immigrant labour, in which he suggested
the influx of foreign workers was displacing Irish
workers, and that the reintroduction of a work permit
system should be considered for east Europeans. Labour
has a particularly good showing in Dublin, where many
marginal seats are based, and it has a comfortable
lead over both Fine Gael and the Green Party in the

Some 39 per cent are satisfied with the performance of
the Tánaiste and PD leader, Mary Harney, down 1 point,
52 per cent are dissatisfied, up 2 points and 9 per
cent have no opinion, down 1.

The approval ratings for the Sinn Féin and Green Party
leaders remain virtually static. Some 40 per cent are
satisfied with the performance of Gerry Adams, up 1
point; 35 per cent are dissatisfied, down 1, and 26
per cent have no opinion. Sinn Féin's support level at
9 per cent has fallen back to levels achieved in
February 2003. It is marginally higher than the
general election result of 2002.

In relation to Trevor Sargent 32 per cent are
satisfied, down 2; 24 per cent dissatisfied, up one,
and 44 per cent have no opinion, up one point. Green
Party support at 4 per cent has remained almost static
since the last election.

© The Irish Times


Chomsky Warns Against 'Armageddon Of Our Own Making'

Joe Humphreys

America's unilateral policy on nuclear defence is
increasing the likelihood of "an Armageddon of our own
making", the controversial US academic Dr Noam Chomsky
told a Dublin audience last night.

Speaking at a lecture in UCD hosted by the Literary
and Historical Society, Dr Chomsky warned that the
Bush administration was ignoring not only the wishes
of the American people but the advice of US military
analysts pursuing a "space wars" programme.

If a planned "first-strike weapon" showed any sign of
success China would almost certainly increase its
warhead capacity, he said.

Dr Chomsky, who was speaking on the theme of "The
Question of Survival", also accused the US of shooting
down a recent proposal, supported almost unanimously
at the UN, to control the spread of nuclear materials.
As a result, its recent posturing over Iran was
regarded by the rest of the world as a cynical attempt
to convert the Non-Proliferation Treaty into "a
convenient implement of US foreign policy".

Meanwhile, in an RTÉ Prime Time interview broadcast
last night, Dr Chomsky suggested Ireland would be
foolish to accept American assurances that no
prisoners were being transported through Shannon by
the CIA. "Governments lie all the time," he said. "It
really doesn't matter whether there are prisoners or
not [ in Shannon]. Suppose the planes are refuelled at
Shannon and then carry prisoners for what's called
rendition - rendition is just a fancy word for torture
- well then, the Irish people have to ask themselves:
'do we want to participate in torture?'."

Elaborating on comments he made at a speech in Dublin
on Wednesday he said it was "an open question" as to
whether the Government had committed "a war crime" by
allowing troops to stop at Shannon en route to Iraq
but it had certainly committed "a major crime".

In the question and answer session after last night's
speech, Dr Chomsky urged that wealthy people had
greater responsibilities beyond the poor. "The West
has become more civilised," he added, pointing out
that the Iraq war was the first "colonial war" which
was preceded by massive protests. While such protests
did not stop the invasion they represented a huge step

© The Irish Times


NYC's Irish Rep Gives Voice To New Playwrights In
Reading Series, Starting Jan. 27

By Kenneth Jones
19 Jan 2006

The Irish Repertory Theatre will launch a "New Works
Reading Series" to support — as the title suggests —
new plays and emerging playwrights in 2006.

Off-Broadway's Irish Rep is mostly known for its
revivals of classic works by Irish writers or plays
with Irish or Irish-American content. Its current
mainstage show is Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's
Profession, a well-reviewed, extended production
starring Dana Ivey.

The first of the monthly readings in the series is
From These Green Heights by Dermot Bolger. The reading
is 3 PM Jan. 27 at Irish Rep's home on West 22nd

As part of its mission statement, The Irish Repertory
Theatre "encourages the development of new works
focusing on the Irish and Irish American experience,
as well as a range of other cultures."

From These Green Heights "is a darkly poetic play
tracing 40 years in the life of a family living — and
barely surviving — in north Dublin's notorious
Ballymun council estates. The seven towers of
Ballymun, long a ravaged symbol of urban despair in
Dublin, have been demolished since the summer of 2004
as part of Ballymun's regeneration project."

Bolger's timely play was produced at the Axis Art
Centre, Ballymun and received The Irish Times/ESB
Award for Best New Irish Play of 2004.

Playwright Dermot Bolger was born in Dublin in 1959
and has worked as a factory hand, a library assistant
and a publisher. His nine novels include "The Family
on Paradise Pier," "The Journey Home" and "Night
Shift," which received the AE Memorial Prize. His
debut play, The Lament of Arthur Cleary (1989) won the
Samuel Beckett Award.

Bolger's other plays have been produced by The Gate
Theatre (later filmed by RTÉ Television) and The Abbey
Theatre (where he was playwright-in-association). A
former Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, and a
published poet, Bolger also ran Raven Arts Press until
1992, co-founded, and is currently executive editor of
New Island Books.

Kara Manning, Irish Rep literary manager, hopes that
the reading series will "give playwrights, both
emerging and more established, the invaluable
opportunity to develop their new work in a supportive,
safe environment and will also introduce some Irish
playwrights, especially those who might not yet have
the New York recognition they merit, to an American

Irish Rep is run by Charlotte Moore, artistic
director; Ciarán O'Reilly, producing director; and
Patrick A. Kelsey, managing director.

Additional readings are scheduled for Friday, February
24; Friday, March 24; Friday, April 28; Friday, May
26; Tuesday, June 27; Tuesday, July 25; Tuesday,
August 22; Friday, September 29; Friday, October 27;
Friday, November 17; and, Friday, December 15.

All readings are at 3 PM and are located at The Irish
Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street).

Tickets are free and the reading is open to the
public. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling the Irish
Repertory Theatre box office at (212) 727-2737 or via
email at For more information visit .


A Chieftains Jam Always Jam-Packed

Web Posted: 01/19/2006 12:00 AM CST
Jim Beal Jr.
San Antonio Express-News

A Chieftains concert would seem to be a simple thing.
After all, the Irish band, led by piper Paddy Moloney,
has been together for 43 years, has released more than
40 albums and has been touring in the United States
for 32 years.

So, set up a few microphones and let 'er rip, right?
Uh, not exactly.

"We're touring with 14 people this time," Moloney said
via telephone from Florida. "I'm going through hell
seeing what we can cut back on to fit the show into 2
1/2 hours."

Chieftains concerts have evolved into revues featuring
lots of music, dancing, singing, featured guests,
local musicians and dancers and, now and again,
surprise guests.

This time around Moloney and his cohorts, Matt Molloy
(flute), Sean Keane (fiddle) and Kevin Conneff
(bodhran, vocals), will be joined by Irish harpist
Triona Marshall, dancers/musicians Jon and Nathan
Pilatzke, Cape Breton quartet the Cottars and
guitarist/singer Jeff White.

The Chieftains

Where: Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Also featuring: Lots of special guests

Tickets: $27.50-$77 at Ticketmaster outlets

The tour will stop Tuesday at the Majestic Theatre.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets cost $27.50-$77 through
Ticketmaster. Local Celtic musicians and dancers who
would like to join the Chieftains extravaganza for a
grand finale jam session are asked to join the group
at sound check at 6 p.m. to work out a song or two.

"We will always be traditional Irish musicians,"
Moloney said. "That's who we are. We invite people to
come join us. I still have a few ideas up me sleeve.
For those unfamiliar with Irish music, one of the best
things is to see us in concert. You don't have to be a
fan of Irish music to like the show. It's different.
It's exciting."

Moloney's excitement about the Chieftains, and life
itself, is infectious. The definition of garrulous,
Moloney can cram as much material into a telephone
interview as a concert. And that's a good thing for a
musician whose daughter is an actress in New York,
whose son is a rocket scientist in Houston ("He's the
first Irish rocket scientist," Moloney proudly
proclaims), who fronts a band that's collaborated with
an array of stars from Sting to Paul Simon, from Van
Morrison to Mick Jagger, and whose band has won six
Grammy awards.

The Chieftains' latest CD, "Live From Dublin: A
Tribute to Derek Bell," pays tribute to the harpist
who died in 2002. It has been nominated for a Grammy

"We've received 22 nominations and we've won six,"
Moloney said. "I have a bookshelf at home with seven
shelves so I have room for one more Grammy. I thought
we were going to win for 'Down the Old Plank Road: The
Nashville Sessions' (a disc that featured country and
bluegrass performers) but the Dixie Chicks got in the

"Live From Dublin" also is a star-studded recording
that features former Chieftains as well as guests.

Moloney also has earned some individual awards. The
British Academy of Composers and Songwriters presented
him the Gold Badge of Merit, and he also was inducted
into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

"Roger Daltrey and myself were awarded Gold Badges,"
Moloney said. "I always get a bit nervous with hall of
fame awards, but I was honored. We did a tour of
Ireland for two weeks in November. We've done Ireland
for 44 years. I was afraid people were going to say,
'Oh, we're not going to pay to see you anymore,' but
we could have done two weeks in Dublin. That's

Another thing Moloney finds gratifying is the
Chieftains are attracting a younger crowd these days.

"Most of us in the band have hit the 60 mark," he
said, laughing. "The invitation is always out for any
musicians who play Irish music to come join us. A lot
of those musicians are young, and that's saved Irish

The Chieftains also feature younger performers in the
show. The Cottars, from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, fuse
singing, hot licks and dancing. The quartet is two
sets of siblings, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Fiona
MacGillivray, 16; her brother, multi-instrumentalist
Ciarán MacGillivray, 18; guitarist Jimmy Mackenzie,
18; and his sister, fiddler Roseanne Mackenzie, 16.
The Cottars are working the road with their U.S. debut
CD, "Forerunner" (Rounder).

So what's next for the Chieftains? A two-CD set, "The
Essential Chieftains," is slated for release in the
spring; there's talk of a Broadway show; and Moloney
will be at the Grammy awards Feb. 8, where he'll hang
out with collaborator deluxe Ry Cooder. The man with
the pipes still has tricks up his sleeve.

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?