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News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)
February 27, 2006
Alderdice Quits Alliance Party
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News About Ireland & The Irish
DI 02/27/06 Alderdice Quits Party - IMC Commissioner Leaves Alliance
SF 02/27/06 IMC Should Be Scrapped
DI 02/27/06 US Quiet On Adams Fundraising Restrictions
BT 02/27/06 Omagh Families Demand MI5 Meeting
BT 02/27/06 Spy Probe Is Not On, Insists Hain
BT 02/27/06 DNA Link To Loyalist Killings Is Revealed
BT 02/27/06 Loyalist To Discuss His Son's Death With Sinn Fein Leader
BT 02/27/06 PSNI Revisit Suspected Loyalist Murder Scene
BT 02/27/06 Family Vow To Carry On Fighting For Lisa
RT 02/27/06 Two Due In NI Court On Loyalist Weapons Charges
UT 02/27/06 Deprived Loyalist Areas 'Need More Cash'
UN 02/27/06 SF Blames Love Ulster Marchers For Portadown Riot
BB 02/27/06 Investigation Into Portadown Rioting
BB 02/27/06 Archbishop Desmond Tutu: The Go-Between
SF 02/27/06 Adams Calls On Hain To Support Efforts To Rescue TriVirix
EM 02/27/06 Let The Immigration Reform Debates Begin
DN 02/27/06 McCain Reform Gets Backing Of Immigrants
NY 02/27/06 'The More Irish ... The Better,' Schumer Says
RT 02/27/06 Dublin Riots Were One-Off Event, Says Hain
BT 02/27/06 If We Went Up The Shankill How Would They Like It?
NL 02/27/06 Dublin Riot - It's McAleese's Fault
DI 02/27/06 Not Much Love For Ulster In Wake Of City Riots
BT 02/27/06 Love Ulster Considers Return Visit To Dublin
BT 02/27/06 Yobs Are Blamed For Dublin Day Of Shame
NL 02/27/06 Donaldson: I Feared Thugs Would Kill Us
DI 02/27/06 Shocking Disgrace On Capital Streets
NL 02/27/06 Opin: Republicans Showed Their True Colours In Dublin Riot
DI 02/27/06 Opin: A Bad Few Weeks For Freedom Of Expression
BN 02/27/06 Report Shows High Rates Of Cancer Among Irish Women
PI 02/27/06 Darkest Comedy Of Ireland And Terrorism
PB 02/27/06 Bloody Fun: McDonagh's Lieutenant Of Inishmore
BG 02/27/06 'Mick' Casts Collins As A Man Shaped By Violent Forces
DL 02/27/06 Dublin Drama Festival
Alderdice Quits Party - IMC Commissioner Leaves Alliance
“At no time during Lord Alderdice’s period as speaker or
since has anyone raised this question in any form until the
Daily Ireland journalist did so.”
By Jarlath Kearney
Lord John Alderdice of the Independent Monitoring
Commission has resigned from the Alliance Party just days
after Daily Ireland revealed that he continued to be a
formal member of the party.
During an in-depth interview published in Daily Ireland
(February 17), Lord Alderdice disclosed, under direct
questioning, that he was still a formal member of the
Alliance Party. He stated that he had not addressed or
attended any Alliance Party meeting since he was made
speaker of the North’s assembly in 1998.
IMC should be scrapped
Published: 27 February, 2006
Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy has said that John
Alderdice and the other 3 members of the IMC should resign
and the Commission should be scrapped.
Mr Murphy said:
"The IMC was established outside and in breach of the terms
of the Good Friday Agreement. It is a tool for the
securocrats and the opponents of change. It is not and
never has been independent. It is politically biased, has a
clear anti Sinn Féin agenda, and its procedures are flawed.
"Sinn Féin has met with the IMC on a number of occasions
and challenged each of the members of the Commissioners on
their political bias, their lack of independence and their
failure to employ any of the normal standards of proof
required of other tribunals or similar bodies.
"When we met with the IMC, John Alderdice concealed the
fact that he remained a member of the Alliance Party. His
resignation from the Alliance Party at the end of last week
does not mean that he will suddenly cease to be a political
opponent of Sinn Féin.
"Sinn Féin has told both governments that the IMC is a
problem which they created and it is one which they must
"John Alderdice and the other three members of the IMC
should resign immediately and the IMC should be scrapped."
US Authorities Keep Quiet On Adams Fundraising Restrictions
JIM DEE Daily Ireland USA correspondent
With just over two weeks to go until Washington’s annual St
Patrick’s celebrations kick into high gear, it remains
unclear whether or not Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams will
again have fundraising restrictions placed on his entry
visa to the United States.
In December, Adams was denied a visa that would have
allowed fundraising at an event in New York city. The Sinn
Féin leader declined to attend the gathering and instead
addressed attendees on a big screen via satellite from
Canada. According to Friends of Sinn Féin, the event proved
to be a highly successful fundraiser despite the
Among several engagements that Adams has in the United
States next month is a March 16 Friends of Sinn Féin
fundraiser at the Hilton Hotel in Washington. Some recent
reports have suggested that Mitchell Reiss, George Bush’s
special envoy to the North, is leaning towards announcing
another fundraising prohibition on Adams during his
However, a Department of State source contacted by Daily
Ireland at the weekend said that no decision had yet been
reached regarding Adams’ visa. “We can’t discuss the
specifics of individual visa applications due to
confidentiality concerns,” said the spokeswoman. She said
more information might be available this coming week.
Press speculation has also mounted concerning the make-up
of White House St Patrick’s Day ceremonies. According to
some reports, invitations to meet George Bush have been
extended to relatives of the slain Dubliner Joseph
Rafferty, whose family claim that an IRA member shot him
last April — an allegation denied by the IRA.
A White House spokesman contacted by Daily Ireland refused
to confirm or deny those reports. The spokesman said any
decision about whether Gerry Adams would be invited to the
White House might not be announced until March 10. “At this
point, we haven’t had any announcements about the
President’s schedule. But, again, we’ll probably have more
to say as we get closer to the week of St Patrick’s Day,”
said the spokesman.
Last year, there was media frenzy when the McCartney
sisters and Bridgeen Hagans travelled to Washington during
St Patrick’s week to highlight the quest to have Robert
McCartney’s killers jailed. Massachusetts senator Edward
Kennedy, who met the women, cancelled a scheduled meeting
with Adams that week.
During several St Patrick’s week engagements last year,
Adams strongly condemned Robert McCartney’s murder and
urged the killers to turn themselves in. “There should be
no doubt that the people who are angriest about this
killing — apart from the McCartney family — are the
hundreds of thousands of republicans on the island of
Ireland. Because it’s our good name that is being smeared,”
he told reporters at the National Press Club on St
So far, the case of Joseph Rafferty has generated very
little coverage in the US media. It appears unlikely that
his family will garner the same level of coverage that the
McCartney sisters did. Senator Kennedy is scheduled to meet
Adams during his visit, as are senators Hillary Clinton of
New York and Chris Dodd of Connecticut.
Following his engagements in Washington, Adams is slated to
take part in St Patrick’s Day events in Buffalo, New York,
and then travel to Holyoke, Massachusetts, where he will
join Congressman Richard Neal in marching in the city’s St
Patrick’s parade on March 19.
Omagh Families Demand MI5 Meeting
Anger over alerts not passed to RUC
By Chris Thornton
27 February 2006
Omagh relatives have demanded a meeting with the director
general of MI5 in response to revelations that the
intelligence agency had a warning about the massacre that
was never passed on to police.
Some families of the 29 dead have called for "straight
answers" from Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of the
And the SDLP has said the findings of a PSNI review should
halt plans to make MI5 the lead intelligence agency in
Last week it emerged that FBI agent David Rupert, who had
penetrated dissident republican ranks, told MI5 in early
1998 - five months before the bombing - that a bomb would
be planted in Londonderry or Omagh in a Vauxhall Cavalier
That model of car is believed to have been favoured by
bombmakers because its suspension could be modified so that
it would not appear it was carrying a heavy load.
MI5 tipped off the Garda about the plot and arrests were
But the RUC was not told - and on August 15, 1998, the Real
IRA exploded the huge bomb that killed 29 and two unborn
Omagh relatives were told about the information last week.
They were told that the Garda also had key information that
was not passed north - an informant told them that a
Cavalier had been stolen to order for the Real IRA.
Stanley McComb, whose wife Ann was killed by the bomb, said
the families want to meet Ms Manningham-Buller and the
Republic's Justice Minister Michael McDowell. "We want
straight answers," he told the Sunday Times.
The dissemination of intelligence like the Omagh warning is
a crucial issue around Government plans to give MI5 primacy
over police in Northern Ireland.
SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood said those plans
should now be scrapped.
"Given that MI5 failed to account for what they did in the
past means they should have no role in the future," he
"MI5 have failed to answer enormous questions around the
single biggest atrocity of the conflict. How can this type
of organisation have any future role in the North with any
degree of public confidence?"
Spy Probe Is Not On, Insists Hain
By Noel McAdam
27 February 2006
The Government has spurned council demands for a full
investigation into the Denis Donaldson 'Stormontgate'
Secretary of State Peter Hain said the Government did not
see the need for a "costly" public inquiry.
The rebuff came after several local councils requested an
official inquiry and clarification over the role of former
Sinn Fein administrator Donaldson, who was exposed as a
With the fallout from the Stormont spy-ring allegations
continuing to mar the political landscape, Mr Hain also
reiterated it is not Government policy to comment on such
In a letter, however, the Secretary of State said: "There
was, without any doubt, paramilitary intelligence-gathering
which the police acted to prevent.
"As a result of their operation, hundreds of stolen
documents were recovered, over a thousand people had to be
warned and over £30m had to be spent on protective
The letter, written on his behalf by Mr Hain's private
secretary, said Attorney General Lord Goldsmith stated
unequivocally there was no political interference in the
decision to drop the subsequent prosecutions.
"Political considerations did not form any part, or in any
way affect, the decision. That, quite properly, was a
matter solely for the independent prosecuting authorities.
"It is not Government policy to confirm or deny such claims
as those made by Denis Donaldson, one of three persons
charged with intelligence gathering offences. The
Government does not see the need for a costly public
The three men were arrested after a police raid on Sinn
Fein's offices in Parliament Buildings in October 2002,
which led to the collapse of the power-sharing Executive
In a surprise move last December the Public Prosecution
Service dropped spy-ring charges against 55-year-old
Donaldson and two other men on the grounds it would not be
in the "public interest" to proceed.
Two weeks later, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams announced
in Dublin that Donaldson had been a paid spy for British
intelligence, and had been expelled from the party.
Later that day, the revelation was confirmed by Donaldson
himself who said he had been recruited after compromising
himself during a vulnerable time in his life.
DNA Link To Loyalist Killings Is Revealed
By Chris Thornton
27 February 2006
Important DNA evidence has emerged in the case of two
Ulster teenagers butchered by loyalists six years ago -
prompting the father of one of the victims to call for an
inquiry into why police did not act upon it before.
Paul McIlwaine, whose son David was murdered alongside
Andrew Robb in February 2000, called for a new Police
Ombudsman investigation last night after he was contacted
by the detective currently in charge of the manhunt.
Mr McIlwaine said the PSNI detective revealed that a
forensic review had turned up a DNA link between his son's
body and a suspect in the case.
He called on the Police Ombudsman - who reviewed the case
last year - to conduct a new inquiry to determine why the
evidence had not been available for six years.
Mr McIlwaine said last year's Ombudsman review concluded
that police have carried out "a thorough and professional
investigation" but called on the Ombudsman "to
reinvestigate this case in light of this information".
The PSNI refused to comment on Mr McIlwaine's allegations,
saying the case is subjudice because two men are currently
David McIlwaine (18), and 19-year-old Andrew Robb were
murdered in the early hours of February 19, 2000 by
loyalists believed to belong to the UVF.
The boys' bodies were found near Tandragee.
They had been stabbed repeatedly and their throats had been
Two years ago Paul McIlwaine raised queries about the
available evidence in the Belfast Telegraph, citing police
papers he had won access to after a long court battle.
He said those papers indicated that substantial forensic
evidence, including DNA evidence, was available.
Mr McIlwaine has previously alleged that an informer for
the security forces was among the killers.
A suspect was charged a short time after the murders but he
was released months later because prosecutors said there
was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
Two years ago police told Mr McIlwaine that DNA material
was being resubmitted for review, and new files were
prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. But the
DPP concluded again that there was not enough evidence to
secure a conviction.
"We never accepted that this was the case," he said. "On
the limited evidence available to us we had a number of
human rights experts independently examine the evidence.
All felt that on the body of evidence that prosecutions
should have been taken."
Last September the case featured in the BBC's Crimewatch
programme and within weeks two men had been charged with
the murders. They are currently in custody awaiting trial.
Mr McIlwaine said the developments came after a "a senior
public figure" raised the family's case with Tony Blair.
"We recognise that this is progress but are equally
conscious that justice and truth remain largely
outstanding," he said.
"Today we are vindicated in our stand to date for justice
for David and we will not rest until all those responsible
are brought to justice.
"We are owed an explanation from the Chief Constable as to
how this occurred and exactly what action is being taken."
Loyalist To Discuss His Son's Death With Sinn Fein Leader
By David Gordon
27 February 2006
A Belfast Protestant campaigning to expose security force
collusion with his son's UVF killers will today hold face-
to-face talks with Gerry Adams.
Raymond McCord's meeting with the Sinn Fein chief will be
the latest in a series of discussions with senior political
Mr McCord last night said he is expecting criticism from
"I am a genuine loyalist as opposed to a gangster or a drug
dealer," he said.
"I have no problems with what I am doing. Lots of people
sat in the Assembly with Sinn Fein and got paid to do it.
I'm doing this for justice.
"I will be challenging Sinn Fein about issues involving
Protestant victims. The UVF have killed around 30
Protestants since their so-called ceasefire. I have never
heard a word from Sinn Fein about this."
Mr McCord's son, Raymond Jnr, was beaten to death by a UVF
gang in November, 1997. His body was dumped on the
outskirts of north Belfast. His father believes that the
killing was ordered by a UVF terrorist who worked for the
police as an informer.
PSNI Revisit Suspected Loyalist Murder Scene
By Debra Douglas
27 February 2006
Police investigating the murder of Thomas Hollran in
Carrickfergus revisited the scene on Saturday in a bid to
glean more information about his killing.
Mr Hollran (49) was found with serious injuries in an
alleyway between Cherry Walk and Woodburn Avenue last
Saturday night. The former gravedigger was taken to
hospital to be treated for serious wounds to his head and
face but died on Sunday afternoon.
Police think he travelled to Carrickfergus from Belfast on
the 8.52pm train on Saturday, arriving at the Clipperstown
train station at about 9.25pm. They believe that he walked
to the Woodburn area to visit a relative.
On Saturday night, detectives boarded the train and were in
the area speaking to local residents in an attempt to gain
They are particularly keen to speak to anyone who was on
the train that night and finished their journey at
Clipperstown station or anyone else who was in the station
They are also keen to speak to two young men who reported
the incident to a local resident.
Two men have been charged with intimidation in connection
with the murder of Mr Hollran. Two other men arrested were
released without charge.
It is understood Mr Hollran was ordered to leave
Carrickfergus last year following a dispute with loyalist
Family Vow To Carry On Fighting For Lisa
By Debra Douglas
27 February 2006
The family of Lisa Dorrian last night vowed to fight for
justice to ensure those responsible for her murder are
caught and forced to face the full rigours of the law.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph as the heartbroken family
prepare to face the anniversary of Lisa's disappearance,
her sister Joanne said the family are determined that those
behind the pretty 25-year-old's murder will be apprehended
and punished for their actions.
"The people who did this to Lisa know who they are and all
I can say to them is that they will not get away with it,"
"We are determined they will be caught and dealt with by
Last week, the police revealed Lisa's body was moved after
she was killed and possibly dumped at sea.
Although her heartbroken family still cling to a sliver of
hope they will find their precious Lisa's body, they are
now focusing more on those responsible for her murder.
"We're still hopeful we will find her body," Joanne
"Even if there is only a 2% chance, we can't let that go.
That 2% is the reason we all get up every morning and face
the day ahead.
"Two weeks ago, our number one aim was the recovery of her
body so that we could say goodbye. That is less likely now,
but still not impossible. But it does mean we are now
focusing more on those responsible.
"We know who some of the people involved are but we can't
say for sure how many more people are involved.
"There are those who did it and then there are the people
who are shielding them."
Joanne appealed for those protecting the culprits to come
"We don't know how those closest to people that did this to
Lisa, particularly their girlfriends, mothers or sisters,
can live with what they know," she said.
"They need to come forward for Lisa's sake. I would say to
them, show you have a conscience, do the right thing and
come forward now.
"How can they hear about what we are going through and not
The attractive blonde was last seen at a caravan park in
the coastal village of Ballyhalbert, Co Down, in the early
hours of February 28 last year.
Despite extensive searches of land and sea and a high
profile media campaign, the shop assistant's body has never
Last week, it was reported investigating officers received
a vital tip-off about the boat used to move Lisa's body
from its original hiding place nine days before it was
eventually searched, but Joanne said this did not concern
She said: "We know the police are doing what they can and
we're not concerned about the delay, they did what they
could in the circumstances."
A number of people have been arrested in connection with
Lisa's murder but all have been released without charge.
Two Due In NI Court On Weapons Charges
27 February 2006 09:11
A man and a woman will appear before a court in Belfast
later this morning charged with having items likely to be
of use to terrorists.
The pair, aged 41 and 39, have been accused of possessing
explosives, firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger
The charges relate to the seizure of a cache of suspected
loyalist paramilitary weapons in Belfast.
The discovery was made in Burmah Street in the south of the
city on Friday night. There were four arrests although two
men were later released.
Deprived Loyalist Areas 'Need More Cash'
The British government faced new demands today to invest
heavily in economically deprived loyalist districts.
A delegation of Democratic Unionist MPs is seeking pledges
that help would be given to working class Protestant
communities at a meeting with Northern Ireland Office
Minister David Hanson.
Deputy leader Peter Robinson, Nigel Dodds and Jeffrey
Donaldson will take part in the talks at Parliament
Earlier this month Mr Hanson announced a multi-million
pound investment package for the loyalist Village area of
south Belfast, involving new homes, business units and a
Mr Dodds, North Belfast MP, said his party had been
pressing the Government for months in a bid to secure
"The meeting with David Hanson and senior officials comes
at a crucial time as Government moves towards completing
its round of meetings and starts to formulate proposals,"
"We are addressing a range of issues covering education,
skills, training, regeneration, housing and community
"We are contending with years of neglect by those in
authority and a lack of long term strategic direction.
"The DUP has made the issue of regeneration and renewal of
deprived areas a very important element of our equality and
fairness agenda and it has featured heavily in our
discussions with Government from the Prime Minister down."
SF Blames Love Ulster Marchers For Portadown Riot
07:33 Monday February 27th 2006
Sinn Fein has blamed loyalists returning from the abandoned
Love Ulster march in Dublin for riots in Portadown, Co
Armagh, early yesterday morning.
Six PSNI officers were injured during the trouble involving
more than 100 people in the High Street and Edward Street
Local Sinn Fein councillor Brian McKeown said a loyalist
crowd had attacked customers leaving two Catholic-owned
bars in the town.
He claimed the attackers included several loyalist bandsmen
who had been in Dublin earlier in the day for the Love
Investigation Into Portadown Rioting
An investigation is under way into rioting in County Armagh
in which six police officers were injured.
One officer suffered serious facial injuries in violence
involving up to 100 people in Portadown.
The trouble began at about 0100 GMT on Sunday when the
crowd threw bricks and bottles.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson condemned the violence. But he
said that there were more positive things happening in
Portadown than there are negative.
"A lot of reports will come out that it was one set or the
other that started it and it was a spin off from Dublin. We
don't know that," he said.
"The reports coming back from the PSNI may be able to put
some light on that."
"What has happened, has happened. It should not have, but
Bricks and bottles were thrown at police during the
At one stage, a group of men attacked a woman police
officer and forced her to the ground before kicking and
A 30-year-old man has been charged with assault and
disorderly behaviour. He is due to appear before Craigavon
Magistrates Court next month.
Meanwhile, a 34-year-old man has been released on bail
pending further police inquiries.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/27 09:19:11 GMT
© BBC MMVI
Archbishop Desmond Tutu: The Go-Between
By Sean Coughlan
BBC News Magazine
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who oversaw the post-apartheid
reconciliation in his native South Africa, has now brought
victims and killers from Northern Ireland's Troubles face
to face. He talked about the experience to the BBC News
Even though we might think we're hardened to reality
television, real-life, raw emotion is still quietly
shocking, catching you unawares.
In Facing the Truth, where soldiers and paramilitaries face
the families of victims, there are plenty of these moments,
with voices catching and tears falling. It sounds like the
crying you hear at funerals, not on television shows.
Hosting these encounters is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who
led South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
where the victims and perpetrators of violence sought to
understand one another.
After recording these televised encounters, he described
the "extraordinary moments" where people faced up to the
violent events that changed their lives.
"It was unbelievable, you were humbled that people were
willing to do this," says Archbishop Tutu, describing these
emotionally gruelling meetings as both "exhausting and
"You feel so good about being human when you see how people
can be so generous and magnanimous. There is much to be won
from making yourself a little vulnerable."
In South Africa, these confrontations were part of the
process of building a post-apartheid society, as a way out
of a cycle of recriminations about the past.
And he says that the process will help individuals in
Northern Ireland who have been living for decades with
"The wound that was festering has to be opened up - it
might be painful, but it is better to lance the boil, and
cleanse it, and pour the balm - the chances of healing are
then much better than saying let bygones be bygones."
Unable to sleep
And he says that the sense of release from the past is as
great for the perpetrator as the victim.
"They will say, I wish we had done this earlier. Many of
them find it is difficult to sleep. We found in South
Africa that people who had not made a clean breast of their
past could not live with themselves, could not live with
"With the victims, holding on to your resentment means you
are locked into your victimhood - and you allow the
perpetrator to have a hold over your life. When you
forgive, you let go, it sets you free, and it will probably
set free the perpetrator."
But Archbishop Tutu does not see this as offering any easy
answers for Northern Ireland's divisions - and these
encounters are as unresolved as the political conflict.
"I've never been an optimist. I've always been a man of
hope - I am a prisoner of hope. Hope and optimism are
totally different creatures, hope holds on even when things
are seemingly doomed and dark."
And these programmes reveal plenty of the dark side. Such
as the family of Dermot Hackett sitting crying, waiting for
the appearance of former Loyalist gunman, Michael Stone -
convicted for Mr Hackett's murder. Stone became notorious
when he launched a gun and grenade attack on an IRA funeral
in 1988. He later confessed to three killings, including
that of Mr Hackett.
It's uncomfortably gripping television to watch these
people facing each other, tensely polite - with Sylvia
Hackett looking for answers for how and why and with what
information her husband was killed 19 years ago.
Michael Stone does not apologise - and cuts off suggestions
that he might feel remorse - but there are the beginnings
of an exchange, as he talks about the process of
dehumanising victims, his own separation from his
grandchildren and the recognition that the man he killed
never got a chance to meet his grandchildren.
Notorious for killing three people at a funeral in
Belfast's Milltown Cemetery, Mr Stone, dressed in a long
black coat, seems surprised that people treat him as if he
were "Freddy Krueger".
Former IRA man, Joe Doherty, who had killed a soldier, also
finds that his account of his intentions does not satisfy
Josette Foster, a soldier's widow, and Tom Caughey, injured
in an IRA attack - both of whom fail to see how Mr
Doherty's explanations balance with their sense of loss.
Asking for forgiveness
Archbishop Tutu admits to a wariness that he might have
been asked "who the heck appointed you to pontificate and
presume?". But he coaxes out the conversations - and in the
case of the encounter between a former British soldier and
the sister of the man he killed, it goes much further.
Clifford Burrage, now a bespectacled middle-aged man, was
visibly troubled by the events from 1971, when as a young
soldier in Belfast, he'd shot and killed Michael McLarnon.
Michael's sister, Mary McLarnon, was also still caught up
in that moment, explaining to Mr Burrage what it had meant
to her family and how it had affected the rest of their
Whatever ghosts were haunting both of them were laid bare
here - and Archbishop Tutu says there was a need for a
"ritual" of forgiveness.
But even though Mr Burrage was asking directly for
forgiveness, Ms McLarnon didn't feel able to oblige.
Forgiveness, and the search for some personal
reconciliation with past deeds, is at the heart of the
programmes. And Archbishop Tutu says his experiences in
South Africa have made him believe that there is no such
thing as an "evil" person.
"That's the basis of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission - that it is possible for the perpetrator of
even the most gruesome atrocity to become a better person.
Each one of us has the capacity for great good, we each of
us have the capacity to become a saint.
"I would never say this is an 'evil person', but this is a
person who committed evil deeds.
"When we're appalled by some gruesome atrocity, I would not
say that those who did this are monsters. I've said, say
the deed is monstrous. Describe it in the most sharp terms,
but never give up on the essential humanity on the
"You've got to say, there but for the grace of God go I.
None of us can say that had I been exposed to the same
circumstances and conditions that I wouldn't have turned
out the same way.
"Perpetrators don't have horns, don't have tails, they are
as ordinary looking as you and I. The people who supported
Hitler were not demons, they were often very respectable
Day of Reconciliation
But he remains equivocal about the prospect of South
Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission being applied
in other conflict zones.
In South Africa, the process has been institutionalised - a
former Boer public holiday is now the Day of
Reconciliation. And its venting of resentment and remorse
was seen as part of a final settlement.
But in Northern Ireland - as the programmes show - there is
no such agreement and there are so many disputed versions
of the truth that reconciliation remains distant.
Nonetheless, Archbishop Tutu is cheered by his experience
of the programmes - and glad that they avoided
"Some people had feared that the BBC was making 'reality
television' - but it didn't turn out that way at all. There
may in fact be something to be said for having such a
In the face of such suffering, Archbishop Tutu says he
hopes that the series will prompt people, on both sides of
the divide, to ask "why were we so stupid for so long?"
Facing the Truth, a three-part series, will be broadcast on
BBC Two, starting Friday, 3 March.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/27 11:43:07 GMT
© BBC MMVI
Adams Calls On Hain To Support Efforts To Rescue TriVirix
Published: 27 February, 2006
Gerry Adams has asked Peter Hain to support efforts to
rescue TriVirix International which went into
administration on the 21st February.
TriVirix is a high tech manufacturer of electronic
equipment for the medical industry. It is based at the
Springvale site in west Belfast.
Mr. Adams met with Peter Hain on Saturday morning.
Both he and west Belfast MLA Michael Ferguson met with
Billy Hayes the General Secretary of the CWU union which
represents most of those employed at TriVirix, along with
several workers employed on the site.
Mr Adams said:
"The medical industry is a growth industry and TriVirix is
a cutting edge manufacturer with significant potential.
Everything should be done to prevent this company from
collapsing. Invest NI should urgently step in to protect
the public investment and jobs at TriVirix and ensure that
the company can be sold as a going concern.
"There is 13 % unemployment in west Belfast. For the rest
of the city the figure is 4.8%. It is obvious that Belfast
but particular the constituency of west Belfast cannot
afford to lose the jobs at TriVirix. Peter Hain should
Let The Immigration Reform Debates Begin
Senate Arguments Start March 2
By John Black
The battle for passage of the Kennedy/McCain immigration
reform legislation bill begins in earnest next week as
members of the Senate Judiciary Committee start their
debates on Thursday, March 2.
According to Jeanne A. Butterfield, executive director of
the American Immigration Lawyers Association, although the
committee will not have an official quorum, they will be
meeting informally for an hour or so that day to begin
talking about the Kennedy/McCain bill, as well as several
other immigration reform proposals, such as the
enforcement-only approach - the Sensenbrenner Bill --
endorsed by the House in December.
"It's such a complicated issue that the committee chairman
(Senator Arlen Specter, R- Pennsylvania) will want to start
preliminary discussions as soon as possible," Butterfield
said. "There will be some debate on March 2, and some more
the week after that and the week after that. The pressure
is really on the committee to get something done. Senator
Majority Leader Bill Frist has made it clear that he wants
something brought to the Senate floor by March 27."
Although it passed the House, H.R. 4437 (the Sensenbrenner
bill) is not law. Rather, according to the Irish Lobby for
Immigration Reform, it is "one end of the bargaining table
with the Senate bill, whatever it ultimately ends up being,
at the other end."
The starting point for the committee debate next week is
Senator Specter's "Chairman's Mark" which is an amalgam of
reform legislation authored by Senators Cornyn and Kyl,
McCain and Kennedy, and Senator Hagel. According to the
ILIR website (http://www.irishlobbyusa.org/ ) while Senator
Specter's "Chairman's Mark has many positive aspects, for
the moment it also contains a modified "report to deport"
treatment for undocumented immigrants. If made into law,
undocumented people in the US would have to go back home to
their country of origin and apply for a new visa to return,
a process that could take years with no guarantee of
application approval. Pro-immigrant advocates, the ILIR
maintains, will have to fight hard to have that bill
amended positively, so that the final product is more
proactive in terms of letting undocumented people stay in
this country and work towards their permanent residency.
"It's a critical time for people looking for immigration
reform," Butterfield said. "We have to keep the pressure on
these elected officials and make our voices heard.
Remember, it's an election year and they know that people
going to the polls in November will remember how they voted
on this bill in March."
The ways for a concerned person to make his voice heard are
many, from placing a call to the Congressional switchboard
(202-224-3121) to calling Senator Specter's office directly
(202-224-4254). A complete list of the judiciary committee
members can be found on its website,
The American Immigration Lawyers Association website
(http://www.aila.org/ ) has an interactive page where you simply
type in your zip code and be linked with a page that has a
form letter of support for immigration reform that you can
have sent on your behalf to your representatives. You can
also use the link to write a letter of your own. The ILIR
website has a lot of information for getting involved on a
local and on a national level.
"If people don't let their opinions be heard loud and
clear, decision will be made for them and that's not a good
thing," Butterfield said. "Everyone needs to be proactive
ILIR Juggernaut Rolls into Queens
By Maureen Sullivan
The steady hum of activity at grassroots level is rising to
a louder and louder chorus as call after call and email
after email are bringing the plight of the undocumented
into the open and demanding the full attention of
New York State Senator Chuck Schumer heard the message and
responded by personally attending the town hall meeting of
the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) in Queens
last Friday and making his position on immigration very
clear; "I truly believe in immigration. The more Irish
there are in America, the better America is." Schumer, who
created the Schumer Visa program a number of years ago,
which provided green cards to Irish nationals, claims that
the reason why America continues to grow and prosper is
because of its "open system" where everyone has the
opportunity to make something of themselves and the
immigrants who "had the gumption to come here" who have
worked that system to their benefit and to the benefit of
America's economy and culture. "We are a country made of
immigrants," he said, "and we would become a stratified,
tired society if we did not have immigration."
Referring to the fact that the Sensenbrenner and King Bill,
which makes it a criminal offence to aid an undocumented
person, has been passed in the House of Representatives,
Schumer promised "to do everything he can to make sure that
the Sensenbrenner bill has a dagger passed through its
heart." He went on to say that "this legislation is so
absurd….if you had an undocumented immigrant dying in the
street and a doctor goes to help, under this bill, he would
be a criminal. And what about those people whose job it is
to help immigrants. What becomes of them under this bill?"
He stressed that he is in agreement that borders have to be
tightened, but at the same time he is all for "a path of
earned citizenship that would entail working hard, paying
taxes, obeying the law and showing loyalty to this great
country. Living in the shadows not only hurts the
undocumented, but hurts America as well."
Speaking about the chances of success for the
Kennedy/McCain bill becoming law, his said that "things are
uncertain in the Senate these times, so 'confident' is too
strong a word to use, but I am hopeful, very hopeful. Let's
make it our goal to see President Bush sign into law a
fair, strong and humane immigration bill."
Niall O'Dowd, Chairman of the ILIR, informed the 900-stong
crowd that since its inception on Dec 9th 2005, the ILIR
now has 3,236 members and he encouraged each and every one
of them to go to Washington on March 8th to lobby the
Government and make their voices heard.
ILIR President Grant Lally said "This is not a political
issue, this is an immigration issue," and informed the
crowd of his fellow Republicans' full support, including
Governor Pataki, Congresswoman Sue Kelly, Kevin Hanratty
from the Homeland Security Office, and Senator Sam
Brownback from Kansas who has co-sponsored the
Joe Hackett, spokesperson for the Irish Embassy in
Washington said that "Washington is sitting up because of
the lobbying efforts being made over the last two months
and assured the crowd that "the immigration issue is at the
top of the Taoiseach's list when he visits here next
The message of the evening was undisputedly to keep up the
lobbying efforts because they are getting results and while
applauding these results, Kelly Fincham, Executive Director
of the ILIR, also reminded the crowd that "you need to make
your voices louder, because anti-immigrant people are being
For further information and updates, visit
March 5th GAA fundraiser at Gaelic Park.
March 8th: Lobby trip to Washington.
Boston Reformers Gather
Support for DC March
By John Black
"It could mean the end of Irish American culture as we know
Through strong words, and stronger action, a group of about
100 people gathered at The Stadium Bar and Grill in South
Boston Thursday night to help develop a battle plan for
taking the fight for immigration reform to the powers that
be in Washing, D.C. on March 8.
It was the second such community meeting of the week for
area residents organizing a grass roots campaign to support
passage f the Kennedy/McCain immigration reform
legislation. The local Gaelic Athletic Association held a
meeting Wednesday at The Dorchester Function Hall. GAA
members were on hand to be part of the Thursday night
"It could be a long and rough road to get immigration
reform legislation passed, but the coalition that has been
established among us has the power to get it done," said
Jack Meehan, National Vice President of the Ancient Order
of Hibernians. "It's up to all of us to contact as many
Irish American voters as we can between now and passage of
this legislation because there are only three things that
are important to a politician - registered voters, more
registered voters and potential registered voters."
Over the course of two hours, a number of speakers took to
the podium to speak on the need for immigration reform, and
while there were plenty of stories to be heard about people
who were trapped by the system as it exists today, the
general tone of the meeting was more along the lines of
getting organized and getting the job done.
One of the major points brought up at the meeting was the
need to address the fears of undocumented people who might
want to be part of the bus trip to Washington, but who were
afraid they wouldn't be coming back if they had to show an
ID at the rally.
"This is a peaceful rally, not a protest demonstration.
I've done this kind of thing before with undocumented
people and there has never been a problem," explained Isaac
Hodes of the Irish Immigration Center. "People should not
be afraid of being arrested for taking part in the
Organizers were quick to point out, however, that taking
part in the process meant following the rules and being
respectful to everyone during the course of the rally. It
was important, they said, for everyone to remember that we
are all living in a post 9-11 world, and that making
negative statements about US foreign policy, the war, the
current administration or any other personal political
agendas would only distract from the reasons they were
heading to the capital in the first place.
"We're not going down to Washington to make demands, but to
ask a favor," Meehan said. "Remember, thes4e people have
something you want."
Before the meeting was adjourned, an announcement of an
upcoming fundraiser for the trip was made. On Sunday, March
5, fundraisers will be held in Boston and New York to raise
money for the trip to Washington and for the Irish Lobby
for Immigration Reform. The New York G.A.A. will hold its
fundraiser at the Gaelic Park Casino, 240 St. & Broadway,
starting at 3 p.m. The Boston fundraiser will be held at
IBEW Local 103 Hall, 256 Freeport Street, Dorchester. Both
events will feature music, raffles and an auction. Further
details of the fundraisers will appear in next week's
edition of The Irish Emigrant.
Got their Irish up
McCain Reform Gets Backing Of Immigrants
By Leslie Casimir
Daily News Staff Writer
In the three years he has lived in this country, Ireland
native Stephen McAlinden has missed the funerals of his two
grandmothers and an aunt.
His plight is shared by millions of fellow undocumented
workers who have made new lives for themselves here by
overstaying visas or tourist permits. They can leave
anytime, but if they try to return, they'll be red-flagged
and barred from returning to their adopted homeland.
"You can't go back home - that's the hardest part about
living here," said the 31-year-old carpenter who lives in
Woodside, Queens, a once predominantly Irish neighborhood.
McAlinden and others are pinning their hopes on legislation
proposed by Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who
vied for President in 2000 and could run again in 2008.
McCain's bill would eventually legalize as many as
11million undocumented residents and implement a guest-
"We need to have this debate among the American people,"
McCain said during a telephone conference with reporters
last week. "This is a compelling issue."
Today at 5 p.m., the senator will hold a rare town hall
meeting at 101 Sixth Ave. in SoHo to galvanize his
supporters. The move comes as the Senate prepares todiscuss
next month whether to legalize undocumented immigrants,
issue them temporary work permits or simply boot them.
Niall O'Dowd, publisher of the Irish Voice newspaper and
chairman of the new Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform
movement, said tighter security measures following 9/11 are
pushing many of the estimated 40,000 undocumented Irish
immigrants in the U.S. out of the country.
"The Irish neighborhoods are dying - we're in great danger
of losing one of the great ethnic inspirations in New
York," O'Dowd said. "And we can either cry into our beers
or we can do something about it."
O'Dowd said his group which isplanning a march in
Washington on March 8, has the political muscle to make its
case heard in the capital.
Still, McCain and his Democratic co-sponsor, Sen. Edward
Kennedy of Massachusetts, face an uphill battle. Last year,
the House passed a bill that would criminalize illegal
immigrants and build more fences along the U.S. border.
President Bush has been pushing for a temporary worker
program that would allow foreigners to work here - but for
a limited time.
"It's hard to see how you can reconcile what the Senate is
likely to do and what the House has done," said Steven
Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration
Studies, a Washington think tank that promotes tighter
immigration laws. "My guess is we won't see a major change
Originally published on February 27, 2006
'The More Irish ... The Better,' Schumer Says
By Daniela Gerson – Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 27, 2006
When Senator McCain rolls into town for an immigration
reform rally this evening, he will be joined by many of the
city's Democratic congressional representatives, but New
York's senators are not expected.
For months, national and local advocates have been
frustrated that Senators Schumer and Clinton have not taken
a public stance on the sensitive issue of changes in the
nation's immigration laws. Then last week, news got out
that Mr. Schumer had broken his silence in a speech to a
newly formed Irish group, publicly pledging to support an
earned legalization program and criticizing a House
"I love America, and I truly believe that the more Irish
there are here, the better America is," Mr. Schumer said at
a meeting of nearly 1,000 Irish immigrants in Queens on
February 17, organized by the New York-based Irish Lobby
for Immigration Reform, according to the Irish Voice. The
newspaper reported that Mr. Schumer was greeted with two
standing ovations and raucous applause.
Advocates were pleased to hear of Mr. Schumer's commitment
to a policy that would enable illegal immigrants to receive
permanent residency, but many leaders said they were upset
that he did not come forward sooner, or use a broader-based
platform to express his views.
"I'm glad to hear him say it in a small meeting. Now I'd
like it to be in a voice that all of New York could hear,"
a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Tamar Jacoby,
said, noting Mr. Schumer will play an important role
because he is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will
consider immigration in the coming weeks. "Good first step,
but now pick up the big microphone," she said.
The Irish government, which is helping fund efforts to
lobby Washington on immigration reform, estimates there are
more than 40,000 illegal Irish immigrants in America. "The
worst thing we could do," Mr. Schumer said at the meeting,
"is close the door, not only for those who want to come,
but for those who are already here."
Comprehensive immigration reform, Mr. Schumer said, should
include a way for illegal immigrants to earn permanent
legal status, but he emphasized, "It should be earned
citizenship and not a free ride ... People will have to pay
taxes and obey the law and show loyalty to this great
While immigrant advocates by and large welcomed Mr.
Schumer's position, some felt slighted by the presentation
to the Irish.
Monami Maulik, a leader of an umbrella group representing
20 organizations with about 45,000 members, Immigrant
Communities in Action, said Mr. Schumer's visit first to
Irish immigrants is "sending an unfortunate message to
immigrants of color." Noting that her coalition has been
around for more than a year, and the Irish Lobby for
Immigration Reform was created only three months ago, Ms.
Maulik said, "Schumer had obviously given the priority to
be at this Irish immigration reform campaign meeting,
whereas our coalition has been reaching out to him for a
Although members of Immigrant Communities in Action had a
long meeting with a Schumer staffer who outlined the
senator's commitment to immigration reform a week before
the speech to the Irish group, Ms. Maulik said they wanted
to hear directly from the senator.
Resentment was exacerbated when the immigrant coalition
tried to push this message at a protest in front of Mr.
Schumer's New York office. On Valentine's Day, African,
Hispanic, and Asian immigrants arrived at Mr. Schumer's
office with hundreds of cards outlining their position on
immigration reform, including their opposition to guest
worker programs. When they attempted to enter the building
to present the senator with the cards, a security guard
said the police would be called on the small delegation,
which included elderly and illegal immigrants.
Mr. Schumer's office would not comment on the incident.
"If he is committed to a permanent path to legalization,
our communities need to hear it," Ms. Maulik said. In a
conversation with a staffer, she said she was told it was
just a coincidence Mr. Schumer spoke to the Irish first.
Either way, Ms. Maulik said she would like Mr. Schumer to
join her group at a town hall meeting later this month.
"With the bill that is being put out by the committee right
now, it's looking very scary - so the time is very
critical," she said.
On Friday, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Arlen Specter, a Republican of Pennsylvania, released draft
legislation that includes a guest worker program and some
strong enforcement measures passed in House legislation
It did not include many of the measures in the McCain-
Kennedy bill, which has generally been the most popular
with New York immigrants from diverse backgrounds because,
among other things, it would enable millions of the
estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in America to gain
permanent legal residency.
At tonight's rally, scheduled for 5 p.m. at a Service
Employees International Union Hall at 101 Sixth Ave., about
1,000 people are expected to turn out in support of the
legislation. The speech is the midway point on a tour
promoting immigration reform in the major centers of Miami,
New York, and Los Angeles, and is timed to coincide with
the Senate schedule, which will take up immigration reform
Meanwhile, when the Judiciary Committee begins debate, New
York's immigrant leaders will look to Mr. Schumer, who
still has not endorsed specific legislation, to take a
"What we need to see going forward is our Democratic
senator on the Judiciary Committee speaking out often and
boldly in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and a
path to earned legalization," the deputy director for
immigration advocacy and training at the New York
Immigration Coalition, Julie Dinnerstein, said.
Dublin Riots Were One-Off Event, Says Hain
27 February 2006 13:00
The Northern Secretary has said he believes Saturday's
violence in Dublin was a bad one-off event rather than some
pattern for the future.
Peter Hain said he would not let the weekend trouble
deflect him from seeking to successfully conclude political
negotiations in Northern Ireland.
The DUP's deputy leader, Peter Robinson, has meanwhile
indicated he does not believe the postponed rally should be
restaged in Dublin.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, is
expected to receive a preliminary garda report this evening
on Saturday's Dublin riots.
The report will be brought to Cabinet tomorrow morning.
Mr McDowell has already said that he expects further
arrests to be made in relation to the garda investigation
Gardaí have been studying closed circuit television footage
from across the capital, which contains images of rioting
and looting. 42 people were arrested and gardaí expect to
make further arrests in the coming days.
Earlier today, the union representing rank and file gardaí
called for an independent investigation into the
contingency plans that were put in place by gardaí at
senior management level for the loyalist march.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, the President of
the Garda Representative Association, Dermot O'Donnell,
said his members wanted the matter referred to the Health
and Safety Authority.
Mr O'Donnell said he would contact the authority to ask it
to investigate if the lives of gardaí were put in danger,
adding that he believed there was not enough gardaí on the
streets of Dublin on the day.
Gardaí had no advance warning: McHugh
Meanwhile, the gardaí have defended the force's handling of
the Love Ulster parade and say they had no advance
knowledge that protests on that scale were planned.
Speaking yesterday, the Assistant Garda Commissioner, Al
McHugh, said intelligence did not indicate there would be
violence on such a scale.
Mr McDowell said he accepted that gardaí had no advance
knowledge that rioting was planned.
He added there would not be a public inquiry, but said the
force needed to learn from what had happened.
Retailers in Dublin city centre estimate the riots in the
centre on Saturday will result in them losing millions of
A number of shops and offices were damaged and looted
during the violent protests.
If We Went Up The Shankill How Would They Like It?
By Ben Lowry
27 February 2006
Standing at the door of his upmarket wedding outfitters,
David O'Neill watched with alarm as teenage rioters looted
"This trouble has nothing to do with the (Love Ulster)
march. The rioters are scumbags," said Mr O'Neill, the 25-
year-old manager of Blacktie near O'Connell Bridge.
"They are phoning their friends, telling them to come in
and have a go at the Gardai."
By this stage on Saturday afternoon, 3.15pm, a small
minority of the troublemakers wore Celtic scarves or
Earlier, a more overtly republican crowd had surged at
police and thrown missiles, close to where the Love Ulster
group waited in Parnell Square.
What did Mr O'Neill think of Orangemen and Unionists
descending on the Irish capital?
"It didn't bother me," he said emphatically.
Another bystander, 30-year-old Clara Gill from Longford,
was also welcoming: "They should be allowed to march and
raise whatever issues they have to raise."
But Des Keane (55), from Finglas, claimed that even
apolitical people had been inflamed by the march route past
the General Post Office building on O'Connell Street, site
of the 1916 Easter Rising.
"We think the marchers will play provocative songs outside
Peter McArdle (45), a Sinn Fein member from Ardee in Co
Louth, made this point more strongly.
Draped in Tricolour and wearing a green cap, looking like
some tourist salesman, he said: "If we went up to march on
the Shankill with our Tricolours and rebel bands, how would
they like it?"
As Mr McArdle spoke out, a man warned that the trouble was
a foretaste of what might happen if the Queen was to visit
Dublin. But Mr McArdle insisted that he would not object to
a royal visit.
The Love Ulster marchers never got down O'Connell Street,
but the trouble soon spread to streets near the Liffey,
where foreigners watched in bemusement.
Thommaso Galimberti, recently arrived from Milan to improve
his English, said: "I do not know the reason for this. It
is very strange."
Outside MacTurcaills pub, Neil Davies, a 54-year-old rugby
fan from Swansea, said that he had attended every Wales
game in Dublin for 10 years, and never before seen trouble.
"It is something that is normally associated with the
North," he said, with minimal concern.
Later on in the media, public and political reaction was
hostile to the rioters, and generally supportive of the
Love Ulster right to march.
Back on the streets of Dublin, there was an unexpected
footnote after the marchers had dispersed - a car with
Monaghan number plates drove out of Parnell Square playing
Frazer - It's McAleese's Fault
By Gemma Murray
Monday 27th February 2006
RESPONSIBILITY for the orgy of violence unleashed on the
Love Ulster rally in Dublin on Saturday was laid yesterday
at the feet of Irish President Mary McAleese and the Rev
Love Ulster campaigner Willie Frazer, who made the
accusation, said republican rioters shouted Nazi insults
and made Nazi salutes.
He also insisted that campaigners from Families Acting for
Innocent Relatives (FAIR) were "more than likely to return
He said the "damning words" of Mrs McAleese and later Fr
Reid had reignited republican hatred.
In January last year in a live radio interview marking the
60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, President
McAleese - who grew up in Ardoyne, north Belfast - claimed
Northern Ireland Protestant children were taught to hate
Roman Catholics in the same way Nazis despised Jews.
Then, last October, Fr Reid - the priest who witnessed IRA
decommissioning - compared the unionist community to Nazis
for past treatment of Catholics.
Fr Reid's remarks were made at a public meeting in south
Belfast, also attended by the Rev Harold Good, the
Protestant decommissioning witness.
Last night, Mr Frazer said: "I blame the words of Mary
McAleese and Fr Reid for the reaction on the streets. They
played a major part in it. They were responsible for it.
"The people there shouting the Nazi insults and the Nazi
salutes, that came from the incident with Mary McAleese and
Fr Reid. They have apologised, but never come out and said
they were wrong."
President McAleese said yesterday: "The unnecessary
violence which erupted in Dublin city centre is totally
Mr Frazer said that although the violence was blamed on
Republican Sinn Fein, he knew they did not have the numbers
or the capability to organise the large-scale riot.
He said: "Sinn Fein can deny it all they want. Apparently,
rioters were in buildings and had everything just waiting
for the parade to come down.
"They had petrol bombs and blast bombs. Their intention was
to come out among the parade. When the gardai caught on to
what they were doing, their numbers went from 200 to 2,000.
"The gardai did a good job, but they were obviously quite
unprepared for what took place. They had never faced the
like of it. " The so-called rioters were stealing from the
shops and robbing people on the streets."
Mr Frazer, whose victims' group will meet senior
representatives of the DUP and UUP in coming days, said he
would advise them not to negotiate with republicans.
Not Much Love For Ulster In Wake Of City Riots
It seems that looters are the only winners after the Love
Ulster march failed to get off the ground on Saturday as
violence erupted when protesters gathered to demonstrate
against the Dublin parade
COLIN O’CARROLL Daily Ireland editor in Dublin
Dublin’s O’Connell Street looked very different on
Saturday even before the Love Ulster circus rolled into
For those of us who don’t get down to Dublin as often as we
would like and who avoid the treacherous one-way system in
the city centre, the aspect of the main thoroughfare empty
of traffic and covered in construction equipment and
material as it is pedestrianised was an unfamiliar scene.
Among those who knew the parade was planned, there was a
palpable sense of anticipation – a very familiar atmosphere
to those who have covered parades and the subsequent riots
in the North.
Those who came just to watch found convenient doorways to
huddle in and the very Dublin turn of phrase and humour was
The protesters had gathered close to the parade assembly
area, where it was expected there would be some kind of
blockade to try to prevent the loyalists going down
O’Connell Street past the shrine of modern Irish
republicanism that is the GPO.
After some slogan-chanting, it all turned sour very
quickly. It was hard to see exactly what incident set it
off but, given the aggressive mood of the protesters and
some in the Garda riot squad, it would not have taken much
of a spark to ignite the violence. People then streamed
down O’Connell Street, with the more active rioters pulling
down fencing around the construction areas as barricades to
halt the march and the advancing gardaí.
There was ammunition aplenty to aid their cause, with
granite slabs to be used for paving standing stacked along
the road, diggers and dumpers parked where the workers had
left them after knocking off, and any god’s amount of the
usual detritus associated with a building site.
All of this and more was thrown at the riot police as they
moved in spurts down the road, while those not involved
sought shelter or fled. Some gardaí yelled contrary
instructions so some people went running from one place to
the other, until some gardaí or others showed some common
sense and let them through the riot cordon.
The heavy mob just screamed in people’s faces through their
balaclavas, which seem to act as a mental security blanket
Shutters then came down, although some shops left it a bit
too late and got a cracked window for their troubles.
Some innocent shoppers got worse than that if they were a
little slow on the uptake or just elderly. One man who
looked to be in his 60s was felled by an errant lump of
granite, which whacked him full on the head. He was last
seen in the care of an ambulance crew, which took a great
risk to get through as a fire engine had earlier been
Of course, the ironic incidents common to all riots were
A gentle-looking old woman stopped a younger one in a side
street and implored her: “Don’t go down there, daughter.
There’s trouble.” The old woman then launched a torrent of
verbal abuse at those involved.
During a slight lull in the action, a big rangy man, was
cheerfully hurling lumps of concrete at the shields of the
riot squad. A more sensible citizen approached and pleaded
with him to desist, telling him to go on home.
The big fellow halted mid-hurl and cheerfully told him with
a gap-toothed grin: “I have no home to go to.” He then
completed the arc of his throw with great gusto.
For some, it was a day out. This was true of the tourists,
who would have outnumbered locals by around two to one on
Video and cameras and phones were being pointed everywhere
as a hard core of perhaps 100 rioters fought with gardaí
until the rioters were eventually pushed across the bridge
and dispersed in the side streets towards Trinity and
Grafton Street. Many wondered aloud at the scene in front
of them. Bizarre interpretations of the political history
that had brought the events to pass could be heard.
One street trader shouted at the hordes of visitors to the
city, some fleeing, some staying to watch: “Welcome to
Dublin, city of culture” as he hurriedly packed up as the
riot turned to looting.
Several shops were now being broken into purely for reasons
of theft, with opportunistic thieves making off with
expensive clothing and footwear. An off-licence also
suffered a pillaging.
Many thieves were caught as the gardaí made charges. There
is a suspicion that a good portion of the arrests made on
Saturday were made up of these people as there was little
sign of many of the rioters getting lifted.
By 4pm, the worst was over and businesses started to count
the cost of the damage and disruption. Among Dubliners, the
general feeling appeared to be that it was all wrong. That
is, the decision to allow the parade — which is seen by
even liberal-minded people as provocative — was wrong. Then
the reaction to it was wrong, and legitimate protest was
hijacked by extremists who played into the hands of the
loyalists and gave them just what they wanted. All this
then played into the hands of those who simply wanted to
loot and wreck.
Some in the crowds voiced the view that is perhaps a
symptom of another problem entirely in the Republic of the
Celtic tiger – the simultaneous creation of an underclass
of the dispossessed in a two-tier society in which they
have no stake and that they therefore simply want to
As Willie Frazer of the Love Ulster campaign says he is
willing to go back to Dublin, it is high time for people on
all sides of this equation to take a long, hard and level-
headed look at just what is going on in the big picture, as
Saturday’s violence served no good purpose for any
Love Ulster Considers Return Visit To Dublin
By Noel McAdam
27 February 2006
Organisers of Saturday's Love Ulster rally today said they
were considering another protest in Dublin despite the
Unionists have demanded a full inquiry into the
disturbances over the march which left central Dublin
looking like a battlefield.
But the Republic's Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, who
was today due to receive a Garda report on the violence,
said there was no need for a public inquiry.
His rebuff came as victims groups who organised the
Saturday parade, supported by the Love Ulster organisation,
were due to meet to consider their next move.
And it emerged they have not ruled out a return visit,
possibly within the next month.
Organiser Willie Frazer said: "We don't want to see Dublin
wrecked again but at the same time we cannot let these
"It seems the Dublin City Council and some of their
politicians would want us to go back and, if we did, it
should be in about a month or so. But there were some
people there who had never been over the border before and
say they will never go back."
With the Dublin Cabinet tomorrow due to discuss the
disturbances - estimated to have cost £7m - Ulster Unionist
leader Sir Reg Empey today called for a full inquiry.
"In particular to identify those involved in the
disturbances," he said, "because our information points to
the involvement of mainstream republicans.
"Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) would not have had the
capability to mount such a demonstration on its own. There
was clear evidence of widespread preparation for violence
and the denials of republicans ring hollow," he said.
Ruairi O Bradaigh of RSF, however, denied his party had
orchestrated the mayhem which failed to prevent the 600-
strong parade taking place past Leinster House after
marchers were bussed across the city.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams condemned the mayhem as
"reprehensible" and insisted his party members were urged
not to protest.
As the remainder of the 43 arrested were today due to begin
appearances in Dublin Criminal Court, it emerged further
arrests are expected after gardai study closed circuit
television footage from various points of the city.
Gardai said they had no advance knowledge of the level of
protests planned. Assistant Commissioner Al McHugh said
intelligence did not indicate there would be violence on
such a scale.
Mr McDowell said there would not be a public inquiry, but
said the force needed to learn from what had happened.
Retailers in Dublin city centre estimate the riots will
result in them losing millions of euro. A number of shops
and offices were damaged and looted during the violent
Yobs Are Blamed For Dublin Day Of Shame
By Tom Brady
27 February 2006
Criminal thugs were today blamed for the rioting that left
a trail of violence and mayhem in the centre of Dublin.
And senior Garda officers suspect some of the rioting may
have been orchestrated by paramilitaries.
Detectives will now pore over video footage to establish if
identifiable republicans were masterminding some of the
violence, prompted by the intended Love Ulster march.
But officers were adamant most of the frontline rioting was
carried out by thugs who converged on the city centre in
anticipation of trouble.
Many had texted accomplices to join in and gardai said they
had no doubt a lot of the violence was "opportunistic".
However, a criminal investigation will be stepped up today
as city centre traders brace themselves for a £7m mop-up
The violence caught gardai by surprise as intelligence
indicated the protest planned by Republican Sinn Fein
(RSF), the political wing of the Continuity IRA, would be
Senior officers had held meetings with members of RSF as
well as organisers of the Love Ulster march, the loyalist
victims' group, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives
(Fair), and Dublin City Council.
But the 300 gardai deployed for the parade that was due to
march up O'Connell Street to Leinster House were caught off
guard by the rioting.
Another 200 gardai were rushed to the scene but ready-made
ammunition available as a result of building work boosted
the arsenal of the rioters who were already well armed with
petrol bombs, hammers and golf balls.
Special Branch detectives had kept a close watch on RSF
protesters who had gathered earlier to confront the Love
Ulster marchers and on a small group of Irish Republican
Socialist Party supporters present.
Anti-terrorist officers said last night they were satisfied
the vast majority of those protesters had stayed put and
had not participated in the violence.
But they were investigating if other dissident republican
paramilitaries and members of the Provisional movement were
involved in orchestrating some of the attacks and
encouraging the young thugs to shower missiles on the
A total of 41 arrests were made but only one of those had
any known connection with paramilitaries - all had Dublin
Many were juveniles and released after questioning. But 13
were brought before Dublin District Court on charges
including public order offences, assault, criminal damage
Two of those charged were Lithuanians.
All of them ranged in age from mid teens up to 30.
Gardai have also questioned a man from Fortlawn in west
Dublin about an attack on RTE chief news correspondent
Charlie Bird and a file will be prepared for the DPP.
Senior officers said last night they expected a large
number of others to be arrested after they studied the
video and CCTV footage of the event.
While they were satisfied much of the violence was
opportunistic, they were also hoping further inquiries this
week would pinpoint the level of preparation by those who
were planning on trouble and organising weapons such as
Justice Minister Michael McDowell yesterday said: "These
thugs have to be faced down and they will be brought to
"In my view, all right-thinking Irish people should not
lose their moral compass and get into finger pointing.
"It is the thuggish, fascist element in Ireland that is
intent on polarising Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland
and dividing Irish people, one from another, who are the
real culprits in this."
Fourteen people, including six gardai, were treated for
their injuries in hospital but were later discharged.
Dozens of others were treated for minor wounds at the
I Feared Thugs Would Kill Us
By Gemma Murray
Monday 27th February 2006
LEADING Sinn Fein activists were among the rioters baying
for blood, the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson said yesterday.
The Lagan Valley MP, who travelled to Dublin to speak to
the rally, said the presence of members of Dublin Sinn Fein
left serious questions to be answered. He also admitted he
had feared for his life as the rioting escalated.
"I think Sinn Fein will have to ask some questions here,"
he said. "If the leadership have lost control of these
people, then they need to ask themselves are these the sort
they want in their party? "What does it say about their
commitment to democracy if they have within their ranks the
fascist thugs who were on the streets of Dublin yesterday?"
Mr Donaldson said the mobs were making Nazi salutes and
shouting Nazi insults.
"That is a bit ironic, isn't it?" he said. Mr Donaldson,
who met Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell as the Love
Ulster campaigners were bussed out of the Republic for
their own safety, said: "There is no doubt my life was at
risk, but we were given every protection by the gardai.
They gave us full cooperation and placed themselves in the
"I think they and the people of Dublin have now seen naked
sectarian hatred from republicans and they have been
exposed for what they are. They have done their cause no
"The republicans had prepared an ambush on O'Connell
Street. There were a lot of women and children present in
our rally who were the families of victims of IRA
terrorism. It is clear they would have all become targets
of this republican mob.
"If the parade had gone ahead I believe people would have
lost their lives, and we were not prepared to put anybody's
life at risk."
Mr Donaldson said the message from republicans to unionists
was clear - they are not wanted south of the border.
"This was an extreme element of republicans who have
disowned the very ideals which they claim is at the very
heart of their republicanism," he said.
"Their national flag claims that they represent the green
and orange traditions, yet they cannot tolerate having
unionists about the place.
"I think they would rather drive us out of the island than
have us in a united Ireland. They have caused serious
damage to their own cause.
"They denied us free speech and our civil rights which
ought to be a part of any democracy. It is clear that these
people are not interested in democracy."
Mr Donaldson said any plans to return to Dublin for a rally
would be discussed with the Garda Siochana. He said nothing
would be done to put a life at risk. "No-one wants anyone's
life to be placed at risk, and we certainly do not want the
gardai to be placed in the position where they are exposed
to extreme violence," he said.
"If republicans cannot tolerate having a unionist about the
place in Dublin, then I think it is not that we are giving
in to fascism or their bullyboy tactics, but that we will
act responsibly even if they don't."
Secretary of State Peter Hain condemned the riots as
"disgraceful". "People should be able to go about their
lawful business without fear of intimidation," he said.
Shocking Disgrace On Capital Streets
Editor: Colin O’Carroll
The riots that scarred the face of the capital on Saturday
afternoon were a shocking disgrace. Those involved should
hang their heads in shame. It is to be hoped that those
behind the destruction and, more importantly, those
involved on attacks on gardaí and citizens will be brought
to book and made accountable for their despicable actions.
Nothing can justify the violence that turned the city
centre into a battlefield and resulted in a number of
injuries, to say nothing of the terror brought to ordinary
people going about their business on a Saturday afternoon.
Those dissident republicans who organised the protest will
say that the Love Ulster march through the city was not an
act of remembrance but a calculated act of provocation by a
group that was happy to welcome loyalist paramilitaries on
Many nationalists and republicans will have sympathy with
that view but they will be appalled by the readiness of the
protesters to direct their venom at the gardaí and members
of the public. What this had to do with a protest about the
Love Ulster parade is beyond us and it is beyond every
sensible person who had hoped that such scenes were a thing
of the past.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said dissident republicans had
initiated the violence and had quickly been joined by local
Not everyone has been as measured in responding to the
violence. Opposition parties have called for an inquiry
into the apparent state of unreadiness of the gardaí, as if
somehow the gardaí can be made to shoulder some of the
blame. Nothing should be allowed to detract from the
central truth — the blame lies with those who think they
can bring violence to the streets of Dublin and get away
with it. If the gardaí were ill-prepared or ill-equipped,
that is something that should of course be reviewed but
senior officers and the government are perfectly capable of
dealing with the matter. Garda Assistant Commissioner Alan
McHugh said many of the rioters had been drinking in city
centre pubs before the violence erupted — even accurate and
up-to-date intelligence is not capable of predicting the
actions of drink-fuelled louts.
Love Ulster is playing the wounded innocent this morning.
But far from being a blameless victim, the group planned
the march in the full knowledge that it would provoke a
reaction. While the right to demonstrate cannot be taken
away because of the possibility of a counterdemo, the
nature of the loyalist group is such that it should have
been told at a very early stage that its provocative parade
in Dublin was not conducive to peace and good order. Any
rerun, and rerun there should be, should come with a
declaration from Love Ulster that loyalist paramilitaries
will not be welcome to join its ranks. Such a commitment
would surely undermine the republican dissidents — who
organised the foolish protest that swiftly degenerated into
a full-scale riot on Saturday — should they try to bring
counterdemonstrators onto the streets again.
Opin: Republicans Showed Their True Colours In Dublin Riot
Monday 27th February 2006
REPUBLICANS have one simple tactic when they do not get
their own way - they resort to violence.
Unionists in Northern Ireland have suffered for years at
the hands of violent republicans.
The headstones in cemeteries all over the Province are a
testimony to the suffering caused by republican murderers
who waged a vicious campaign against people with whom they
In Dublin on Saturday, unionists wanted to stage a peaceful
and lawful march to highlight the suffering inflicted on
Sensibly and properly, they worked with the Dublin
authorities to ensure that their plans were acceptable.
However, republicans do not like anyone to be reminded of
the evil deeds they have carried out.
They are absolute masters at airbrushing parts of history
that do not fit with their strategy and rewriting it so
that gullible people are taken in by the new version.
The republican history of the last 35 years in Northern
Ireland is very different to the truth.
When they are confronted by the truth, republicans resort
to intimidation and violence in the hope that they can make
it go away.
The disruption of the unionist march and the violence that
followed was disgraceful but not unexpected.
The scenes of republicans running riot and causing mayhem
in the main thoroughfare of a European capital city were
The Garda seemed surprised at first by the ferocity of the
attack on their ranks but they bravely regained control,
although not without suffering casualties.
Republicans have used terrible violence to gain political
advantage in Northern Ireland and unfortunately they are
perfectly capable of doing the same in Dublin or any part
of the Irish Republic to get what they want.
The thugs who embarked on Saturday's orgy of violence do
not care about democracy, the security forces of the
Republic or the economy.
Bertie Ahern should take note.
A Positive Result
THE atmosphere in Dublin yesterday was in marked contrast
to the terrible scenes the previous day.
The physical aggression yesterday was contained on the
pitch at Lansdowne Road as Ireland comfortably outplayed
Wales, who were last year's Six Nations Champions.
Several thousand Ulster fans made the trip to Dublin for
the big rugby game.
It was a good day for Dublin and a good day for Irish
In two weeks, Scotland, who beat England in a nail-biter on
Saturday, travel to Lansdowne Road for what should also be
a big day for rugby fans.
Opin: A Bad Few Weeks For Freedom Of Expression
Do you believe in freedom of speech? Do you believe in
freedom of expression? For everybody? Well, you probably
think you do. But are there exceptions to your rule?
The historian David Irving was last week given a three-year
jail term by an Austrian court. His crime was to make
remarks that were regarded as a form of “Holocaust denial”.
The remarks made by him in Austria were made 16 years ago
and related to a period of history that took place between
1933 and 1945 — in other words, the event to which he was
referring took place 60 years ago. Irving is 67 years of
Irving backtracked at his trial and declined to stand over
the comments he made many years ago. He declined to stand
over much of his scholarly work as a historian. He is
almost certainly a closet Nazi sympathiser and one cannot
have much regard for him. Nevertheless, the Austrian
courts’ move against him smacks of gross hypocrisy. The
Austrian establishment is full of well-off families who
live in big houses that were simply stolen from Jewish
families after the Anschluss in 1938. It is not something
you talk about in Vienna these days. But in pursuing Irving
through the courts, they may simply be salving their
It has been a bad few weeks for freedom of expression. A
number of cartoonists/ graphic artists based in Denmark
have had to go into hiding because of the rage they have
provoked in the Islamic world. One of their number sought
to link Islam with violence by depicting the prophet
Muhammad with a hand grenade in his hat.
Now, there is an inescapable link between the prophet
Muhammad and violence. It is recorded that, when the
Archangel Gabriel told Muhammad that he was to become a
prophet, Muhammad informed the citizens of Mecca that this
was the case but to little if any effect. When his work as
a prophet showed signs of failing, he simply decamped to
nearby Medina and raised an army, which he used to conquer
Mecca. The whole spread of the Islamic faith was achieved
through the use of violence.
There are people in the Islamic world who think that it is
wholly improper for a graphic artist or cartoonist to draw
a link between Muhammad and violence and that, as a
consequence, the cartoonist should be killed. I do not
agree. Western newspaper editors have been involved in
equivocation about all of this, making excuses for Islamic
intolerance. They say that the Danish newspaper that
published the “cartoons” should have considered the
consequences in the Middle East and suppressed the images
that caused offence.
But there is a fundamental issue at stake here. Either we
believe in freedom of speech or we do not. If we do believe
in the right to express your views freely, then we should
defend that right.
The Islamic militants who would punish the Danish artist
with the loss of his life have no regard for what we in the
West refer to as the “freedom of the press”. On Thursday
last, they murdered three journalists, including an Iraqi
woman TV reporter, outside Samarra. Reports from the scene
of the crime suggest that the people who did the killing
cried “Kill the journalists” as they went about their work.
Why should we in the West defend Islam against the
depredations of George Bush and Tony Blair just because we
regard the Anglo-American strategy in Iraq as a modern form
of imperialism? Clearly both Bush and Blair are wrong in
what they are doing but we should not blind ourselves to
the fact that Islamic fundamentalists would rob us of most,
if not all, of our liberties if they got the chance.
There is an old saying that history is always told through
the eyes of the victor. Irving is being sent to jail,
partly because Austria — the birthplace of Hitler — lost
the war. Austrians freely tell you that Hitler was a
German. They insist — somewhat preposterously — that
Beethoven was Austrian.
Nobody bangs on these days about Stalin or Mao Zedong, both
of whom murdered huge numbers of people. Indeed, the “new”
Labour Party is riddled with people who defended old-style
Stalinist politics to the death during their earlier
political careers. Does it matter that Stalin murdered 20
million people or that he displaced the entire population
We are happy, apparently, to have past supporters of Stalin
sitting in cabinet with Tony Blair and possibly with Bertie
Ahern in the future. The card-carrying communists of
previous eras who sit alongside Blair do not run the risk
of being prosecuted like Irving.
As if to prove all of this, new Labour has enforced laws
that mean that a fanatical Islamic cleric can be sent to
jail for seven years for inciting hatred, as happened in
This raises the question: If new Labour had been in power
some years ago, would it have prosecuted Enoch Powell over
his famous “rivers of blood” speech?
Seven years is a long stretch — double the sentence given
out to some killers here in Ireland. I very much doubt that
this professor of classics — as Powell was — would have
been hauled into court and accused of incitement to race
The need for clarity on the issue of free speech is
pervasive. In recent days, Ken Livingstone, the London
mayor, was suspended from office for four weeks because of
an off-the-cuff remark made by him to a journalist.
He likened the Evening Standard journalist to a
concentration camp guard.
The journalist was Jewish and the matter assumed great
importance. But you have to ask if it is right that a
democratically elected mayor of a city the size of London
should be debarred from exercising his functions because of
an intemperate remark made to a reporter.
Here in Ireland, we have had similar problems in the past.
The government set up something called — believe it or not
— the Committee on Evil Literature in the 1920s. This
apparently monitored the reading habits of many people.
More recently, we have seen the spectacle of republicans
being banned from TV and radio under section 31 of the
Broadcasting Authority Act.
Now, whatever views you may have concerning this piece of
legislation, it is interesting to note that, at the height
of the Troubles, the Fine Gael party no less was involved
in voting pacts at local level with the very people who
were debarred from RTÉ.
Damien Kiberd is a writer and broadcaster. A presenter for
NewsTalk 106 in Dublin, he was previously editor of The
Sunday Business Post.
Report Shows High Rates Of Cancer Among Irish Women
27/02/2006 - 10:33:31
Irish women are more likely to die from cancer than those
in most other western European nations, according to a
report published today by the Women's Health Council and
the National Cancer Registry.
The report says cancer is the second most common cause of
death among women in Ireland, with around 3,500 women dying
from the illness every year.
It also says the incidence of most types of cancer
increased among women between 1994 and 2001.
The Women's Health Council and the National Cancer Registry
are calling for the establishment of nationwide breast and
cervical cancer screening programmes in an effort to tackle
Speaking at the launch of today's report, Lindsay Sharpe
from the National Cancer Registry said the higher incidence
of cancer among Irish women could be down to a number of
factors, including smoking, poor diets and low levels of
She also said the higher death rates could be caused by
slower diagnoses and a lack of accessibility to cancer
Darkest Comedy Of Ireland And Terrorism
By Toby Zinman
For The Inquirer
Gore! Hilarity! More gore! More hilarity! Even more gore!
(As one character, soaked in blood, bemoans, "Worse and
worse and worse this story gets.") Martin McDonagh's Irish
plays specialize in carnage-spattered, darkest comedy -
most recently The Pillowman and, before that, The Beauty
Queen of Leenane and The Cripple of Inishmaan. The
Lieutenant of Inishmore is finally receiving its brilliant
American premiere after a great success in London four
The plot centers on the self-appointed lieutenant of
Inishmore, "mad Padraic," a rabid reject of the Irish
Republican Army and an extreme member of an extremist
splinter group. In scene one we discover that his beloved
cat, "wee Thomas," has been bashed to a pulp while in his
father's care (this is the first of the dead cats we will
meet in the course of the show - much praise to the prop
designer, surprisingly not credited in the program). In
scene two, we meet Padraic about to slice the nipple off a
man hanging by his feet. And we're off.
Add an adorable teenage girlfriend who has paramilitary
fantasies and a rifle - and can blind cows at 60 yards
(getting the idea?). There are various other folks of
varying degrees of stupidity and untamed quasi-patriotism.
All the fanatics love cats, so the "cat-brainer" comes in
for some grief. His retort: "Is it happy cats or is it an
Ireland free we're after?"
The cast - some of whom were in the original U.K.
production - is uniformly superb, delivering the comedy
without ever playing it for laughs. They evoke the rural
community, the desperate politics, the half-baked schemes
and the crooked passions with such humanness that we can
see the pathos under their self-intoxication. The
performances are subtle where it would be easy to be gross,
and Wilson Milam's direction, builds a crescendo of meaning
scene after scene after scene - separated by Irish freedom
ballads or ferocious drumming.
"Four dead fellas, two dead cats," sighs a survivor, "So
all this terror has been for absolutely nothing?" to which
Padraic's father replies, "It has." This audacious play is
about terrorists and the absolute futility of terroristic
acts committed by self-deluded fanatics who blow up chip
shops because the army barracks are too hard to get into.
For all the Irishness of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, it is
impossible not to see its relevance as extending far beyond
those borders. McDonagh uses comedy as a moral weapon and
the audience is likely to leave grinning but shaken.
The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Written by Martin McDonagh, directed by Wilson Milam,
scenery by Scott Pask, costumes by Theresa Squire, lighting
by Michael Chybowski, sound by Obadiah Eaves, music, Matt
McKenzie, fight director, J. David Brimmer. Produced by
Atlantic Theatre Co.
The cast: Domhnall Gleeson (Davey), Peter Gerety (Donny),
David Wilmott (Padraic), Jeff Binder (James), Kerry Condon
(Mairead), Andrew Connelly (Christy), Dashiell Eaves
(Joey), Brian D'Arcy James (Brendan).
Playing at: Atlantic Theatre, 336 W. 20th St, New York.
Through April 9, 2006. Tickets: $60. Information:
Telecharge: 800-432-7250 or http://www.telecharge.com/ .
Bloody Fun: McDonagh's Lieutenant Of Inishmore Opens Feb.
27 In U.S. Premiere
By Kenneth Jones
27 Feb 2006
From Left: David Wilmot and Kerry Condon in The Lieutenant
photo by Monique Carboni
Irish terrorist Padraic is so fringe, so violent, so nasty
that he's worthy of his own one-man splinter group, spun-
off from the already bellicose IRA.
In the New York premiere of Martin McDonagh's The
Lieutenant of Inishmore, a darkly comic satire of
terrorism, Padraic (pronounced "Porick") turns out to have
a tender heart underneath his voracious appetite for
defending Irish purity: He is destroyed when it turns out
his kitty cat, Wee Thomas, has been murdered.
Audiences at preview performances at the Off-Broadway's
Atlantic Theater Company have been horrified by the
torture, gunplay and gore in this U.S. premiere of the
Olivier Award-winning play.
But they've also howled with laughter to witness the
deadened characters' view that human losses are excusable,
but pussycats are precious. (The final 10 minutes of the
play provide what many will likely consider the most
satisfying comic payoffs on a New York stage this season.)
Opening night is Feb. 27, at ATC's home in Manhattan's
A hybrid U.S. and U.K. cast introduces American audiences
to McDonagh's work, which began previews Feb. 8.
Performances continue to April 9.
The production, directed by Wilson Milam, features Jeff
Binder (The Lion King and Side Man on Broadway) as James,
Kerry Condon (Lieutenant of Inishmore at RSC at Stratford
and the Barbican Pit in London; HBO's "Rome") as Mairead,
Andrew Connolly (CBS's "Celtic Riddle," HBO's "Vendetta")
as Christy, Dashiell Eaves (James Joyce's The Dead and The
Sound of Music on Broadway) as Joey, Peter Gerety (HBO's
"The Wire," Henry V at the Public Theater's Delacorte,
Never Gonna Dance on Broadway) as Donny, Domhnall Gleeson
(Lieutenant of Inishmore at Garrick Theatre, London's West
End) as Davey, Tony Award nominee Brian d'Arcy James (Sweet
Smell of Success and Titanic on Broadway) as Brendan and
David Wilmot (Lieutenant of Inishmore at RSC at Stratford
and the Barbican Pit in London) as the title officer,
Kerry Condon, Domhnall Gleeson and David Wilmot are
appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association
pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and
According to the Atlantic, "Martin McDonagh's scorchingly
black comedy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is set in 1993 in
County Galway on the rocky island of Inishmore, off the
coast of Ireland. Padraic is a terrorist with no feeling
for those he blows up, but has an obsessive attachment to
Thomas, his beloved cat. But someone has killed poor wee
Thomas. Was it an accident or an execution? Either way, the
death must be concealed before 'Mad Padraic' returns from a
stint of torture and bombing. Otherwise the recriminations
will be horrifying."
The production is presented in association with commercial
producers Randall L. Wreghitt and Dede Harris. Wreghitt
took McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane to Broadway in
1998 following its ATC bow Off-Broadway. The production
snagged four 1999 Tony Awards.
Atlantic continues its relationship with McDonagh, after
presenting his critically-acclaimed Beauty Queen of
Leenane, which received four Tony Awards, and the Drama
Desk Award for Outstanding New Play in 1998.
The Lieutenant of Inishmore was first performed at the
Royal Shakespeare Company, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-
Avon, April 11-Oct. 12, 2001. This production transferred
to the Barbican Pit in London from Dec. 20, 2001–Feb. 23,
2002, and moved to the Garrick Theatre in London's West End
from June 21–Nov. 2, 2002.
The play is part of McDonagh's trilogy of Aran Island
plays, which also include The Cripple of Inishmaan and The
Banshees of Inisheer.
The play won the 2003 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and
was nominated for the 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre
Award for Best Play.
The design team includes scenic designer Scott Pask (The
Pillowman, Sweet Charity), costume designer Theresa Squire
(Orson's Shadow, Atlantic's Bald Soprano and The Lesson),
lighting designer Michael Chybowski (Wit, A Skull in
Connemara), sound designer Obadiah Eaves (Atlantic's
Celebration and The Room). Fight direction is by J. David
McDonagh received the Olivier Award for The Lieutenant of
Inishmore. His play, The Pillowman, won the Olivier Award
for Best Play and an Evening Standard Award nomination for
the National Theatre production, while the Broadway
production won a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for
Best Play (Foreign) and Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk
and Tony nominations for Best Play. His first play, The
Beauty Queen of Leenane, received a Best Play Tony
nomination in 1998 and was the first in his Leenane
Trilogy, which also includes A Skull in Connemara and The
Lonesome West, for which he received his second Tony
nomination for Best Play. The Cripple of Inishmaan, the
first of his trilogy of Aran Island plays, opened at
Britain's National Theatre and transferred to the Public
Theater. Other works include Suicide on Sixth Street, The
Retard Is Out in the Cold, Hangmen, Dead Day at Coney and
An American director, Milam directed the RSC Stratford,
Barbican Pit and Garrick Theatre productions of The
Lieutenant of Inishmore. He also directed Patrick Marber's
Closer in San Francisco and The Wexford Trilogy at the
Tricycle. His production of David Rabe's Hurlyburly for the
Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic and Queen's theatres,
London, was nominated for two Olivier Awards including one
for Best Play. In New York, Milam directed Killer Joe at
the Soho Playhouse in 1998, and the staged reading of The
Glory of Living for New Plays at the Public Theater. He is
a founding member and artistic director of The Hired Gun
The Lieutenant of Inishmore plays Tuesday through Friday at
8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM and 7 PM.
All tickets are $60 and are available by calling Telecharge
at (212) 239-6200 or visiting Telecharge.com.
Atlantic Theater Company is located at 336 West 20th Street
(between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).
For membership information, wheelchair seating, and/or
group sales call (212) 691-5919, ext. 102.
For more information, visit http://www.atlantictheater.org/ .
Born of chaos
'Mick' Casts Irish Leader Michael Collins As A Man Shaped
By The Time's Violent Forces
By Anna Mundow February 26, 2006
Mick: The Real Michael Collins
By Peter Hart
Viking, 485 pp., illustrated, $27.95
Michael Collins was born in 1890, the youngest of eight
children, on a farm in West Cork. He was killed 32 years
later in an ambush during Ireland's Civil War. At the time
he was commander in chief of the Irish Free State Army,
which was fighting those opposed to the 1921 Treaty that
Collins and other representatives had negotiated with the
Death made the famous revolutionary a legend: ''The Big
Fellow" became the fallen hero, the lost leader. Slum
dwellers and aristocrats alike filed past his body in
Dublin; the hat through which the fatal bullet passed
became an object of forensic obsession, and a country road
became Ireland's ''grassy knoll" as subsequent generations
continued to ask ''Who really killed Michael Collins?" and
''What if he had lived?"
In his absorbing new biography ''Mick," Peter Hart pledges
to view Collins in the context of the Irish revolution and
not the other way around, an inversion of which he finds
previous biographers guilty. ''This conflation of Michael
Collins's life with the Irish revolution . . . makes the
Story a fairy tale. . . . His only purpose is patriotism.
His life embodies the revolution of which he was both
creator and creature."
This is unfair to writers such as Margery Forester
(''Michael Collins: The Lost Leader," 1971) and Tim Pat
Coogan (''Michael Collins: A Biography," 1990), but Hart
does have a point. Instead of venerating Collins, he
situates him in an extraordinary time when events were
shaped not solely by individuals but by disparate, chaotic
forces, not the least of which was violence itself. The
author previously of ''The IRA and Its Enemies," Hart has a
lively, confident style and demonstrates clear mastery of
his facts while maintaining a refreshingly dispassionate
Employing a variety of primary sources, including
newspapers and government archives, Hart first reconstructs
Collins's upbringing and education, then his early life in
London, where he initially worked for the British postal
service. There are fine descriptions of the massive
colonial bureaucracy that unwittingly trained
revolutionaries like Collins and of the Irish athletic and
cultural societies that Collins joined and often dominated.
Here we catch glimpses of ''the Collins touch: the direct,
acerbic and morally superior critique of those who didn't
live up to his standards"; of the man's energy, impatience,
discipline, charm, and, critically, his ability to exploit
divisions within a group to his advantage.
Collins became a radical revolutionary, Hart observes,
''when Irish self-government seemed on the verge of
realization," the Home Rule bill having passed in
''September 1914, amid the widespread expectation that
self-government would come into being at the end of a short
The war, however, was not short, and in the meantime the
1916 Rising in Dublin, the execution of its leaders, and
the threat of conscription being extended to Ireland in
1918 stoked nationalist fires.
The year 1916 may be when Collins and history intersected,
but rebellion was underway when he returned to Ireland,
avoiding conscription into the British Army and eager to
prove his worth as a soldier in the Irish Republican
Brotherhood and the Irish Volunteers. He played a minor
part in the failed Rising but gained status and political
experience from his subsequent imprisonment. In 1918 he
became secretary of the National Aid Association and
Volunteer Dependants Fund in Dublin, which ostensibly
assisted those affected by the Rising but which Hart
describes as ''in reality a vast American subsidy to the
Hart's clear vision penetrates the murk of the War of
Independence (1919-21), the Treaty negotiations of 1921,
and the Civil War (1922-23), clashes that Collins was seen
to embody but that are portrayed here as having their own
momentum. By the time that Collins created the Volunteers'
intelligence section in 1919, Hart observes, ''the [IRA]
gunmen were starting their own war." His observation that
''in the second half of 1919, and especially in early 1920,
it was the IRA that was doing most of the shooting and
[Irish] policemen who were doing most of the dying"
challenges the familiar image of Collins's elite squad
executing meticulous reprisals against the crown's lethal
agents: In 1922, Collins wrote that ''we did not initiate
the war nor did we choose the battleground." But Hart
insists that ''declaring a secret war on the police was a
very political decision." Collins was, in his view, ''above
all, a rationalist" who cunningly juggled the forces of
violence and moderation.
Numerous volumes have been devoted to the treaty that
created the Irish Free State excluding Northern Ireland,
but here again Hart compresses tortuous events to great
effect. Descriptions of the Irish delegation haggling with
old hands like Lloyd George, Winston Churchill et al. over
sovereignty, allegiance, the use of ports, and, of course,
the thorny northern province convey a growing sense of
exhaustion and despair. Meanwhile Eamonn de Valera, the
president of a nation that did not yet exist and who
rejected the treaty with which his plenipotentiaries
returned, materializes here as more enigma than villain and
his relationship with Collins as something other than crude
''What drove Collins into these conflicts was his desire to
acquire or exercise power, or else his fear that someone
was going to take it away," Hart writes of him in 1919.
That description no longer seemed to fit the man who
returned from the London negotiations in 1921. In his most
statesmanlike speech he declared that rejection of the
treaty would mean war ''until you have beaten the British
empire. . . . I would not be one of those to commit the
Irish people to war without the Irish people committing
themselves to war." Once again, however, events overtook
politics: ''The creature was loose" in the form of the IRA
''that Collins had done so much to create, to arm and to
protect from civilian interference" and that would kill him
on Aug. 22, 1922.
Hart's cool description of that fateful ambush is a fitting
conclusion to a book that succeeds in desmystifying a
legend and portraying a formidable revolutionary whose
influence outlived him. A postscript would have
accommodated that point and some useful speculation. How
would Ireland have developed, for instance, with Collins --
portrayed here as secularist, even anti-clerical -- as head
And what would that have meant for Northern Ireland, the
most enduring legacy of the Collins era?
Anna Mundow, a freelance journalist living in Central
Massachusetts, is a correspondent for the Irish Times. She
can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dublin Drama Festival
05-Mar-2006 to: 12-Mar-2006
Dublin Drama Festival 2006 runs from 5th-12th March.
The Dublin Drama Festival is the main highlight of the
theatrical year for amateur actors. Theatre-goers can enjoy
an eight-day festival of performances from an eclectic
selection of plays.
The Dublin Drama Festival has competitors from all four
corners of Ireland. The Festival will open with a
performance of John B. Keane's Sharon's Grave presented by
the Shoestring Theatre Company in County Cork. Groups from
Dublin, Wexford, Down, Tipperary and Cork will compete
throughout the festival.
A wonderful collection of plays will be performed at
Liberty Hall Theatre for the Dublin Drama Festival. Frozen
by Byrony Lavery put on by the Estuary Players from Dublin
and The Weir by Conor McPherson will be presented by
Ballycogley Players Wexford.
The Dublin Drama Festival will culminate with the Thurles
Drama Group from Tipperary performing The Mai by Marina
Carr. This Dublin Festival provides opportunities for
young and old to be involved in the theatre.
Amateur Drama is very popular throughout Ireland with over
600 amateur drama groups representing about 25,000
individuals. Many successful playwrights and actors began
their careers in Amateur Drama including John B. Keane and
This year's adjudicator, Lynne Parker will certainly have a
tough decision on her hands. Lynne is the Artistic Director
and co-founder of Rough Magic Theatre Company. Senator
David Norris will officially open the Festival on Sunday
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