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February 07, 2006

Clash of Wills as New Talks Sputter To Life

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News About Ireland & The Irish

DI 02/07/06 Clash Of Wills As New Talks Sputter To Life
DI 02/07/06 Finucane Family To Meet Paisley For First Time
DJ 02/07/06 'Trick Or Treat' Murderer Was 'Double Agent'
DJ 02/07/06 'We'll Never Surrender Our Right To Equality'
DU 02/07/06 SF Westminister Prvlgs Another UUP Legacy
DI 02/07/06 Opin: Tired Old Message Trotted Out Again
BT 02/07/06 Opin: The IRA Must Be Consigned To Past
IM 02/07/06 Suicide Prevention: An All Ireland Approach!
RT 02/07/06 De Valera Denies Pressure To Stand Down
IT 02/07/06 Ó Cuív Reprimanded By Taoiseach
IM 02/07/06 Event: Remember The 1981 Hunger Strikers


Clash Of Wills As New Talks Sputter To Life

As the latest round of negotiations gets under way all
parties are talking tough with the DUP accusing the
governments of ‘backing the IRA’ while Sinn Féin and the
SDLP demand they ‘start the countdown’ to power sharing. -
SF calls for institutions to be reinstated before marching

By Jarlath Kearney

The British and Irish governments are pressing for
political progress in the North by April, it was announced

As an intensive round of bilateral political negotiations
commenced at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, both governments
voiced the need for movement.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley ruled out any
prospect of his party entering a power-sharing executive
with Sinn Féin in the near future.

Despite that, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams declared
there must be movement towards restoring the power-sharing
executive and assembly before the marching season.

Referring to new legislation that could emerge from
forthcoming talks, SDLP leader Mark Durkan talked tough by
claiming the British government mistakenly “thought they
could take lightly the threat of SDLP opposition” in the

Secretary of state Peter Hain and Irish Foreign Affairs
minister Dermot Ahern both insisted that any political
progress must take place under the terms of the 1998 Good
Friday Agreement.

“That is exactly what the people voted for and we will be
working under that. Obviously we will be listening to what
the parties have to say and take on board what their
documents have to say, but ultimately the over-riding
template of all of this is the template set by the Good
Friday Agreement,” Mr Ahern told reporters.

Describing 2006 as “the big year”, Mr Hain focused on the
potential for progress and said that April will be “the
initial staging post”. By that point in time, another
report from the Independent Monitoring Commission should
have been published.

Mr Hain added that an opportunity could then arise “to make
the necessary legislative changes and introduce government
amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill to deal with the
internal architecture of the power-sharing arrangement”.

This remark refers to further changes which could be
introduced as part of the legislation to enable devolution
of policing and justice powers. Despite challenges from
both Sinn Féin and the SDLP to reinstate the assembly
within a fixed time frame, Mr Hain ruled out such a move in
case the institutions became “ship-wrecked” without DUP

Questioning whether the two governments or Ian Paisley was
in charge of the peace process, Sinn Féin president Gerry
Adams demanded a time frame for the restoration of the
political institutions.

Highlighting the need for moves before the marching
seasons, Mr Adams said: “People need to have some sense
that local, accountable representatives are administering
their affairs”.

DUP leader Ian Paisley accused the Irish government of
“backing the IRA” in talks.

“There is no healing of any wounds, as far as unionism is
concerned – they are backing the IRA to get them back into
government,” Mr Paisley said.

“There was no agreement between us, there is a great gulf
because the Southern government still thinks the IRA should
be there and by right should be taking part in these
discussions and by right should be in any future government
of Northern Ireland,” Mr Paisley said.

Echoing Gerry Adams’ demand, SDLP leader Mark Durkan also
urged both governments to “start the countdown” towards
renewed devolution: “Everyone says they are up for
devolution, so the governments should start the countdown.
Unless an actual date is named, there is no meaningful
timeline,” he said.

“Failure to show determination just allows the DUP to feel
that they control the political calendar and can determine
the return of the institutions at a time and place of their
own choosing,” Mr Durkan added.


Finucane Family To Meet Paisley For The First Time

By Jarlath Kearney

Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley has agreed to
his first ever meeting with the family of the murdered
Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Mr Paisley’s meeting with the Finucane family is scheduled
to take place next Monday at Stormont. Pat Finucane’s 17th
anniversary is this Sunday.

Over recent months, the Finucanes have engaged in an
intensive series of meetings with various political and
religious leaders throughout Ireland.

Later this morning, Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine will
meet secretary of state Peter Hain. On Thursday, she will
address the Oireachtas joint committee on foreign affairs.

Mr Hain is expected to put pressure the Finucane family to
accept that any inquiry into the 1989 murder will take
place under the terms of the controversial Inquiries Act.

Daily Ireland understands that Mr Hain is effectively
offering the Finucane family an ultimatum of either
accepting an inquiry under the Inquiries Act or accepting
that no inquiry will ever be held.

The family has persistently campaigned for a full public
international and independent inquiry into Pat Finucane’s
murder. Since the killing, five of the loyalists directly
involved have been uncovered as agents of the British
security and intelligence services.

In 2001, the British and Irish governments agreed to have
the case of Pat Finucane, along with five other
controversial incidents, reviewed by the Canadian judge
Peter Cory. Judge Cory found strong evidence of state
collusion in Pat Finucane’s murder.

Last year, the British government established the Inquiries
Act to ensure that the Finucane inquiry would be held under
terms controlled by a government minister rather than an
independent tribunal.

A spokesperson for the family yesterday reiterated the
Finucanes’ determination to secure a full public
international and independent inquiry. When such a tribunal
is established, the Finucanes intend to take part, the
spokesperson said.

At last week’s British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference
meeting in London, Irish foreign minister Dermot Ahern
again called on the British government to fulfil its
commitment to implement Judge Cory’s recommendation.

That call followed Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s statement of
support for the Finucane family in the Dáil on January 31.

Dermot Ahern said: “The government continues to support a
full independent public inquiry into the murder of Patrick

“We have made clear that we want to see the standard agreed
at Weston Park and set by Judge Cory adhered to.

“We continue to share the concern of the Finucane family
that the new Inquiries Act, under which the British
government intends to have the Finucane case investigated,
will not meet these standards.

“We have raised these concerns with the British government.
The family has our full and continuing support in all their
tireless efforts over so many years to achieve the full
truth in this deeply disturbing case,” Dermot Ahern said.


'Trick Or Treat' Murderer Was 'Double Agent' - Claims John

Tuesday 7th February 2006

Loyalist mass murderer Torrens Knight was a police agent
when he carried out the Greysteel massacre, it was claimed
last night.

The UFF killer had RUC Special Branch protection before he
opened fire in the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, killing
eight people, SDLP Assemblyman John Dallat has been told.

It's also been confirmed that claims a rifle used in the
1993 atrocity was moved before officers could recover it
are being probed by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman,
Nuala O'Loan.

Mr Dallat said the information on Knight was passed to him
by a Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) soldier.

"In recent weeks a serving member of the RIR telephoned me
to say the guns were moved by a member of the Special
Branch who was protecting the identity of Knight, who was a
double agent," said the East Derry MLA.

"He went on to claim that one of the guns was used at
Greysteel while the whereabouts of the other is unknown.
"His knowledge of the event clearly indicates that his call
is genuine," he said.

Knight (36) was convicted for his part of the UFF's
horrific and random attack in Greysteel on Hallowe'en
night, 1993.

Gunmen walked into the packed pub, shouted "Trick or treat"
and opened fire.

Of the 19 people wounded, eight died from their injuries,
seven of them Catholics.

Knight was jailed for life for those murders and the
killing of four Catholic workmen in Castlerock, Co Derry,
seven months earlier.

He was released in July 2000 under the terms of the Good
Friday Agreement, supposedly having found God from his cell
at the Maze Prison.

Since then he is believed to have moved to England.

But Mr Dallat - who has been studying the case for years -
has disclosed new details of a weapons find he was told of
between the attacks in Castlerock and Greysteel.

Two high-powered rifles belonging to the UFF were
discovered by anglers on the Agivey River at Hunter's Mill,
near Aghadowey, Co. Derry.

"The find was reported to me and passed on to a senior
police officer in Coleraine who immediately organised a
search without results," said Mr Dallat. "This was a
dreadful period in East Derry when 14 Catholics and five
Protestants were murdered between 1991 and 1994.

"Much of the detail has been with the Police Ombudsman for
a considerable period of time and I am glad that now there
is an official search to find why many of those who lost
their lives were not protected."

He added that - after the Castlerock murders - a senior
police officer reassured him that the UFF gang were being
closely watched and arrests would follow.

"It was during this time that the guns were discovered.
There was no dispute that the UFF had carried out the
killings," Mr Dallat claimed.

"I have waited a long time for this investigation and I
hope the investigation team are successful in gleaning why
so many innocent people lost their lives and why the UFF
ran amok for so long before finally being caught."

An investigating officer from the Ombudsman's office has
confirmed to Mr Dallat that his concerns were being probed.

"We are currently conducting initial research with regard
to the allegations contained within your draft witness
statement," he was told in a letter.

"It is possible some answers to the questions posed by
yourself may become available during the research stage.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman refused to
comment on the case.

"We never comment on whether someone has been or is an


'We'll Never Surrender Our Right To Equality'

Tuesday 7th February 2006

Unionists will 'never surrender their right to equality in
this part of the United Kingdom', the DUP's Gregory
Campbell told his party's annual conference at the weekend.

The East Derry MP, addressing an equality motion at the
Belfast event, insisted major changes were needed to the
Good Friday Agreement.

He said: "There were those who thought that what the DUP
required were some minor changes to the way Northern
Ireland was governed through the Belfast Agreement and that
we would be content to establish new institutions. They are
now realising how wrong they were.

"Nationalists and republicans are beginning to come to
terms with a major reality check.

"Those with an Irish identity, getting support and
recognition for their cultural expression, have to accept
that there is a greater number in this country who have a
British identity and a cultural expression that also needs
to get support.

"We have laid out our demands to get the level playing
field we require so that the new system of government can
be embedded in fairness and equity.

Those who try to crush our quest must also defeat equal
treatment and fair play."

Turning to wider issues, the East Derry MP said: "In
employment matters, the figures from the Equality
Commission show that Roman Catholics are much more likely
to get jobs now than Protestants.

"Numerical disadvantage for Protestants cannot continue in
the thousands of jobs in the civil service, Housing
Executive and Child Support Agency. Legalised
discrimination cannot continue in the police where there is
Protestant minority recruitment. Even Denis Bradley
recognises this."

In terms of funding, said Mr. Campbell, the Ulster Scots
culture was the "poor relation" of its Irish counterpart.

"Furthermore, many unionists do not have the same British
passport entitlements as nationalists have of the Irish

"Some loyal order parades are restricted and re-routed
while nationalist parades are not coming under the same
strictures. "Add to this the fact that a majority of the 10
worst areas in Northern Ireland for educational
accomplishment are Protestant working class areas. "Some
progress has been made in a number of these areas; however,
much remains to be done. We must not flinch, we dare not
yield and we will never surrender our right to equality in
this part of the United Kingdom."


“Sinn Fein Westminster Privileges Another Part Of The UUP’s
Legacy” Says Robinson

DUP Deputy Leader Peter Robinson has today reminded the
Ulster Unionist Party that the granting of Westminster
allowances and accommodation to Sinn Fein owes its origins
to their time as the largest unionist party. The East
Belfast MP said,

“Not for the first time, the Ulster Unionist Party is
feigning fury over the granting of Westminster allowances
and privileges to Sinn Fein.

Whenever Sinn Fein first gained access to Westminster
offices and allowances in 2001, the former UUP leader and
Cllr Empey’s former sidekick David Trimble pretended to be
furious about the Government’s plans. In actual fact, as
was revealed by the then Secretary of State John Reid in
the House of Commons whenever this issue was first debated
there in December 2001, Mr Trimble and his Party had been
widely consulted about letting Sinn Fein use Westminster
facilities and claim allowances. In fact, the decision to
grant Sinn Fein these parliamentary privileges was taken at
the Weston Park talks of July 2001, negotiations in which
the Ulster Unionist Party fully participated in. Indeed,
to the embarrassment of the then UUP leader, the Secretary
of State read into the record a letter he had received from
David Trimble showing the extent to which he was complicit
in the decision the Secretary of state had announced to
give funds to Sinn Fein.

Yet again, the UUP’s huffing and puffing is exposed as face
saving bluster. Just as they have attempted to do with the
terrorist amnesty legislation, the Review of Public
Administration and the proposed disbandment of the Royal
Irish Regiment, the UUP are trying again with Sinn Fein’s
Westminster allowances, as they pathetically seek to shift
the blame for their own dastardly deeds onto the DUP. It
will not wash. The record shows that the granting of
Westminster allowances to Sinn Fein not only originated
during the Ulster Unionist’s time as the largest party but
were also acquiesced in by Cllr Empey’s party as part of
the Weston Park deal. The UUP’s supposed opposition
today is condemned by their past misdeeds on this matter.

The DUP will, as we have done consistently, oppose the
Government’s motion to reinstate Sinn Fein’s Westminster
privileges. There is absolutely no justification
whatsoever for permitting the republican movement to gain
access to half a million pounds of public money whenever
the IRA is so obviously still up to its neck in all forms
of illegal activity. The Government is in essence handing
the taxpayers money over to one of the biggest criminal
organisations in the world. A political party whose
paramilitary wing still retains the proceeds of the £26 ½
million raid on the Northern Bank and is, according to the
IMC report, involved extensively in fuel and tobacco
smuggling, money laundering and intelligence gathering,
does not deserve to be rewarded in this fashion.

Unlike the UUP whose collective fingerprints are all over
the granting of Westminster privileges to Sinn Fein whilst
the IRA continues to be engaged in terror and criminality,
the DUP can and will oppose the Government’s motion with a
clear conscience and clean hands. We will not be saying
one thing about Sinn Fein allowances in the Commons and
another in private discussions. That is the approach of
the UUP and not the DUP."


Opin: Tired Old Message Trotted Out Again

Editor: Colin O’Carroll

There's a certain touching naiveté about Dermot Ahern —
dubbed “the Foreign Secretary” by Dr Paisley — in his
belief that the DUP leader might recant his weekend attack
on the President.

Mr Ahern pointed out to the media that neither he nor any
other Irish politician would contemplate using the word
“hate” and a head of state in the same sentence — even when
it comes to Elizabeth Windsor.

Secretary of State Peter Hain was under the impression that
referring to royal protocol might soften the Big Man.

Fat chance.

Among the man of cloth’s infamous quotes in a career marked
by incendiary statements was the following putdown of his
own Queen Mother for breaking bread with the Pope. They
were guilty, he told his followers, of “spiritual
fornication and adultery with the Antichrist”.

In the circumstances, some observers might suggest,
President McAleese got off easy.

Away from the histrionics, there were signs that the
British government is willing to put the doctor’s feet to
the fire.

Later this week, Sinn Féin will enjoy a financial windfall
when the British House of Commons restores its funding —
with backpay.

As if that wasn’t a big enough dunt for the DUP, Peter Hain
is moving up a gear with his all-island strategy.

Having declared the Northern Ireland economy a dead duck in
an interview with the Irish Echo, he’s now pressing ahead
with plans to integrate health, inward investment and
education strategies across the island. Like Domestos, he’s
vowing to go places where the other cross-border bodies
fail to go.

“No surrender and not an inch” were the tired messages from
the DUP conference (and, yes, Dr Paisley used those very
words) but they failed to impress the two governments, Sinn
Féin or the SDLP all of whom are pledged to move forward
without the Paisleyites. In fact Mark Durkan may have hit
the nail on the head when he said that he never bought into
the talk of the new, deal-making DUP. The lesson from the
Council battle across the North in the nineties is that the
DUP will only move when it’s told things are changing for
the better — whether they like it or not.

That’s just as well because some respected commentators
were predicting after the opening dreary day of the
Hillsborough talks that there would be no substantive
discussions until October of this year.

Civic society can’t wait around for the DUP to get real —
even if their stalling tactics are endorsed by politicians
south of the border who fear an northern executive
inclusive of Sinn Féin just as much as the DUP. That’s why
the loyalist hardliners shouldn’t be allowed to drive these
talks into the clabber.


Opin: The IRA Must Be Consigned To Past

07 February 2006

Although the political talks have got off to a slow start,
there are encouraging signs of a willingness to accept the
realities of the situation. No one imagines that there will
be an early restoration of devolution, but it is
increasingly clear that the status quo is not an option.

Within months, rather than years, the government has to
decide what to do about MLAs who are being paid for a job
they are not doing. Stormont could either be closed
indefinitely, with no prospect of an election next year, or
it could begin to prove itself as an alternative to direct

The movement that is needed from the DUP and Sinn Fein is
so massive that it is almost impossible to believe it can
be achieved in one leap. As the Rev Ian Paisley made clear
at his party conference, nothing will happen while the IRA
are still in business - and it will take more than one more
IMC report to show that their hands are clean.

Sinn Fein would claim they have nothing to prove, but
realistically they must know that the continued existence
of the IRA remains a millstone around their necks - in both
parts of Ireland. As long as their politicians are linked
to an active private army, still withholding some guns and
still involved in criminality, democratic parties will shun

Arguments rage over the credibility of the claims against
the IRA and the counter-claims against the MI5
intelligence-gatherers, but the reality of the continuing
IRA threat cannot be denied. If it wants to retain its
power, in any way and at any level, Sinn Fein cannot be in
government, nor can it have a role in policing.

Before devolution can be restored, trust must be restored,
with unionists convinced that the IRA has been consigned to
the past and republicans that power-sharing will be a
permanent feature of Assembly life. Both will take time,
but the first steps must be taken at the talks, if progress
is to be made.

Firstly, the issue of IRA guns must be dealt with, or it
will return, again and again. John De Chastelain's
decommissioning body should be freed to provide an
inventory of the arms that have been destroyed, so that it
can be compared with previous estimates.

A clean bill of health for the IRA would put the DUP
leadership on the spot. According to a newspaper poll, 39%
of DUP delegates would willingly share power with Sinn
Fein, after a "quarantine" period.

So much distrust is around, progress will be slow. In such
circumstances, a two-phase return to devolution within
strict time limits might be the best, and only, way


Suicide Prevention: An All Ireland Approach!

At their National Congress in Dublin this afternoon, Ógra
Shinn Féin launced a nationwide suicide prevention
campaign. This campaign will focus on the dissemination of
information and the demand for an all Ireland approach to
suicide awareness. It will also lobby the Irish and British
governments to ensure that suicide prevention receives the
priority, the funding and resources it requires.

Published: 4 February, 2006

At their National Congress in Dublin this afternoon, Ógra
Shinn Féin launced a nationwide suicide prevention
campaign. This campaign will focus on the dissemination of
information and the demand for an all Ireland approach to
suicide awareness. It will also lobby the Irish and British
governments to ensure that suicide prevention receives the
priority, the funding and resources it requires.

Announcing details of the campaign Ógra Shinn Féin National
Executive member from Derry Andrea O’Keane said:

“People taking their own lives or attempting to take their
own lives is a major social issue on the island of Ireland.
It is estimated internationally that 1 million people take
their own lives every year. Ireland has the second highest
suicide rate in Europe, this rate has increased by more
than 25% over the last decade. Suicide is the biggest
killer of young people in Ireland therefore it is
imperative that Ógra begin campaigning and disseminating
information on this issue.

“There were 577 reported deaths by suicide in the year
2003-2004, a greater death toll than the number of people
killed in road traffic accidents over the same time period
and although statistics are strikingly high amongst young
men, suicide transcends class, gender, and age, ethnic or
religious background. It is suggested that the death toll
from suicide over the last 35 years may be even greater
than the number of people killed as a result of the
political conflict.

“Ógra Shinn Féin’s campaign will focus on the dissemination
of information and the demand for an all Ireland approach
to suicide awareness. It will also lobby the Irish and
British governments to ensure that suicide prevention
receives the priority, the funding and resources it

Speaking at the Congress Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP
commended their campaign on suicide awareness and
prevention. The Sinn Fein leader also revealed that the
Minister of Health Mary Harney has yet to formally reply to
repeated requests from him to meet on the issue of suicide

Mr. Adams said:

“Ireland has the second highest incidence of suicide in
Europe. That is a startling and depressing statistic which
disguises the human cost in lives lost and of families
bereaved and left grieving.

It is the biggest killer of young people in our country.
That makes suicide a national disaster. Our country
urgently needs a national plan to address this crisis.

In the 26 Counties the government established a Suicide
Task Force some years ago which has seen welcome progress
being made. In the north we need a regional plan for
suicide prevention.

But the issue of suicide also needs to be tackled on an
all-Ireland basis. Specifically it should be made an area
of co-operation under the auspices of the North-South
Ministerial Council.

In that context I welcome meetings between the Health
Minister Mary Harney and the British Health Minister Shaun

However, I have yet to receive a formal response from the
Minister of Health Mary Harney to repeated requests from me
for a meeting to discuss this issue. I first asked for a
meeting with her in May of last year and my office has been
in regular contact with Ms Harney’s officials since then.

Concern about suicide is greatest in local communities.
Alongside the anguish of bereavement, there is a growing
sense of burn-out. Families do not receive the support they
need to cope with the strain of someone who is feeling
suicidal, or with the aftermath of someone who takes his or
her own life. Many other parents carry a sense of dread,
worrying about the fate of their own children.

The Ógra Shinn Féin Suicide prevention campaign being
launched today is aimed at increasing awareness about this
problem, particularly but not exclusively among young

Related Link:


De Valera Denies Pressure To Stand Down

07 February 2006 20:22

Junior Minister Síle de Valera has categorically denied
that any pressure has been put on her to resign her post.

Minister de Valera is standing down as a TD at the next
election, and there has been widespread speculation that
the Taoiseach was anxious to free up her post for a
backbench TD who will be contesting the election.

But this evening she told RTÉ's Five Seven Live programme
that no pressure had been exerted on her by the Taoiseach,
and that no single individual in the party had mentioned
the subject to her.

The Minister suggested that 'mind games are being played
here', although she did not specify by whom.

There has been a two month delay in appointing a new junior
minister to replace Ivor Callely, who resigned on Budget


Ó Cuív Reprimanded By Taoiseach

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent, and Lorna Siggins
in Galway

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has sharply reprimanded Minister
for the Gaeltacht Eamon Ó Cuív for orchestrating last
month's revolt by Fianna Fáil Galway West party members,
who objected to instructions from the party's headquarters.

The FF selection convention, chaired by Minister of State
Tony Killeen, was aborted after delegates bridled when they
were told to select only three general election candidates.

The Galway West comhairle Dáil cheanntair has now sought a
meeting with party general secretary Seán Dorgan in an
attempt to reconvene the convention.

The party's national constituencies committee ruled last
week that the two sitting TDs in the constituency, Mr Ó
Cuív and Minister of State Frank Fahey, would be selected
automatically and other contenders would be "interviewed".

The Taoiseach and Minister for Finance Brian Cowen, who
chairs the party's National Constituencies Committee, were
both furious with Mr Ó Cuív, blaming him for organising
much of the dissent. Unusually, Mr Ahern expressed his
unhappiness directly to the Galway West Minister last week,
several sources have said.

"There was no doubt but that the people who were talking
loudest at the convention were Ó Cuív's people. Cabinet
ministers should not behave like this," one source told The
Irish Times.

Mr Cowen's annoyance was still evident when he chaired last
week's Dublin South East selection convention when he
pointedly referred to the need for the party to do its
business "with dignity". Furthermore, another party source
said, "he made the point that members had to respect the
authority of the ardchomhairle.

"Nobody listening to him was in any doubt that he was
talking about Galway West."

The Galway West comhairle Dáil cheanntair agreed that
headquarters should be asked to hold the convention again,
after a heated meeting attended by up to 300 party members
on Monday night. Galway West TD and junior Minister Frank
Fahey said yesterday he would "personally favour" being
selected by party delegates at a convention, rather than
automatic selection by headquarters. "However, I do
acknowledge that we have party rules and that agreement
should be reached," he told The Irish Times.

Party strategists believe Fianna Fáil should run three
candidates in the fiercely contested constituency, though
they are keen to keep the ticket open until Fine Gael and
the Progressive Democrats make their final choices.

It is understood the comhairle Dáil cheanntair delegation
intends to suggest that three candidates be selected at a
reconvened convention and that a fourth candidate be added
by the national executive.

The constituency's additional contenders last weekend were
councillors John Connolly, Mary Hoade and Séamus Walsh and
former councillor and member of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Val

© The Irish Times


Remember The 1981 Hunger Strikers

Twenty five years ago on 1st March 1981 IRA prisoner Bobby
Sands began to refuse food in protest at attempts by
Margaret Thatcher and the British government to criminalise
the republican struggle. Those involved in the Hunger
Strikes of 1980 and 1981 were ordinary men and women who in
extraordinary circumstances and with the support of people
throughout Ireland defeated this policy.

Before the Hunger Strike was to end in October 1981, ten
young Irishmen were to die in defence of the principle that
theirs was a political struggle and that like Terence
MacSwiney before them, they would not be criminalised.
During that momentous year the Irish people elected Bobby
Sands MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone and the people of
Cavan/Monaghan elected Kierán Doherty TD.

The legacy of the 1981 Hunger Strikes is still unfolding
but the aims for which these young men gave their lives are
still being fought for today. The struggle for a republic
based on the principles of the 1916 Proclamation continues.

Sinn Féin in North County Dublin invites you to hear the
Uncensored story of the 1981 Hunger Strike:

Tuesday 28th February 2006 @ 7.30pm in the Milestone,

Speakers: Former POWs from the H-Blocks and Armagh Womens

Sinn Féin TD and former POW Martin Ferris

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