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February 11, 2006

SF Calls For Expanded All-Ireland Agenda

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News About Ireland & the Irish

SF 02/10/06 SF Calls For Expansion Of All-Ireland Agenda
IT 02/11/06 N/S Proj Must Figure In National Plan - Ahern
BT 02/10/06 Maskey Calls For Hain To Intervene
NL 02/10/06 Hain Refuses Call For Inquiry Into Stormontgate
EX 02/10/06 Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform
SF 02/10/06 30th Anniv Of Hunger Striker Frank Stagg
PE 02/10/06 Petition: Us/Uk Extradition Treaty
DJ 02/10/06 MP's Concern At Derry 'Knife Culture'
BB 02/10/06 Opin: Resignation poses party maths problems
GU 02/10/06 Book: Who betrayed the Lundys?
NZ 02/10/06 Bullets and blarney: The Danny Butler saga


Sinn Féin Calls For Expansion Of All-Ireland Agenda

Published: 10 February, 2006

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson Mitchel Mc Laughlin MLA
speaking from Dundalk where he is attending an all-Ireland
Infrastructure Development Conference, which was also
attended by Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern called for
action to replace the rhetoric on all-Ireland Development.

Mr Mc Laughlin said:

"I welcome the calls at the all-Ireland Development
Conference in Dundalk today by Minister Dermot Ahern for
the development of infrastructural, economic, energy,
educational and social structures on an all-Ireland basis.

"Sinn Féin has long called for this approach by both
governments. We have had numerous discussions with Irish
government Ministers on this subject and will continue to
do so. In recent months we have had similar comments from
Finance Minister Brian Cowan and British Secretary of State
Peter Hain.

"I agree with Mr Ahern that it would be better to have
local Ministers here in the North dealing with these issues
and we should continue to strive for such a situation. But
until such time as the DUP accepts this necessity the two
governments must pro-actively proceed with the
implementation and expansion of this programme of all-
Ireland Development. We've had enough rhetoric and
promises; it's now time for action. I look forward to
working with the governments in delivering on this agenda."


North-South Projects Must Figure In National Plan - Ahern

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Government departments must include ideas on enhanced
North-South co-operation in proposals for the next National
Development Plan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has

Dermot Ahern told yesterday's All-Ireland Infrastructure
Conference in Co Louth that the all-island dimension would
be a main strategic theme of the plan, due to run from

Northern Ireland Office Minister Lord Jeff Rooker told the
same conference that cross-Border co-operation was
essential to infrastructure investment projects.

"€100 billion of investment is planned over the next 10
years in the island by both governments," he said.

"But we must ensure this underpins our economic and social
development on a sustainable basis. We face many similar
challenges in both parts of the island and co-operation is
vital to ensure the improvements required."

Lord Rooker's comments reflect fresh enthusiasm at the
Northern Ireland Office for cross-Border development under
Northern Secretary Peter Hain.

In a significant speech at Stormont last week, Mr Hain
announced both governments had ordered a "comprehensive
review" of opportunities for tackling shared problems on an
all-island basis.

The review will address research and development, skills
and training, competitiveness, business development and -
significantly - trade and investment promotion on an all-
Ireland basis.

Last week's meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental
Conference in London agreed that "there is significant
potential for further co-operation on a range of
infrastructure and spatial planning issues".

Mr Ahern developed the theme yesterday, adding: "This co-
operation could take place on different levels ranging from
sharing of information to joint implementation of projects.
Where joint planning and joint implementation would deliver
strategic advantage and benefit then this is how we should
do it."

The Irish Government was "very serious" about enhancing co-
operation, he said.

"That is why our new National Development Plan, setting out
a blueprint for investment for the seven-year period 2007
to 2013, will have a strong all-island dimension.

In preparing proposals for the new NDP, Government
departments have been instructed to treat the all-island
dimension as one of the main strategic horizontal themes of
the plan."

Lord Rooker said the development of infrastructure was a
necessary part of the process in building what he called
"the right capacity".

"Already, co-operation is delivering a gas interconnector
by the end of the year, to complement the existing
electricity interconnector," he said.

Roads schemes, telecoms and broadband, environmental
schemes and waste management were all being developed, he

© The Irish Times


Maskey Calls For Hain To Intervene

10 February 2006

Sinn Fein is calling on the Government to intervene in the
postal crisis as the strike enters its eleventh day.

South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey is urging Trade Minister
Angela Smith and Secretary of State Peter Hain to take
action. Mr Maskey said that Sinn Fein supported the call
for an independent inquiry into management procedures at
Royal Mail.

"It is crucial that Angela Smith and Peter Hain both
intervene in the interests of the local economy because,
had we had a local Assembly, we as politicians would have
expected speedy intervention.

"The community wants to see the dispute resolved as quickly
as possible.

"We support the call for an independent inquiry into
procedures and it is important that the community and
business sectors along with political representatives unite
in securing an equitable agreement."

West Belfast DUP MLA Diane Dodds called on all sides to
increase their efforts to resolve matters. Mrs Dodds said
she has met with both the postal workers and Royal Mail and
that a way forward must be found as a matter of urgency.

"The current position cannot continue indefinitely," she

"Having spoken to the workers it is clear they don't want
to be in this situation. Royal Mail as a company cannot
allow this dispute to escalate. Any failure to act
immediately will only increase the consequences to industry
and local communities."


Hain Refuses Council's Call For Public Inquiry Into

By Elinor Glynn

Wednesday 8th February 2006

Unionist councillors in Ballymena have been left angered
after their call to the Secretary of State for a public
inquiry into the Stormontgate scandal was refused on
grounds of cost.

After receiving the response in writing from Peter Hain's
office at their monthly meeting on Monday night, there was
support from all but the SDLP to send an " expression of
dissatisfaction" by return.

While councillors were slightly appeased by some admissions
in the NIO correspondence, not least that "there was,
without doubt, paramilitary intelligence gathering which
the police acted to prevent", it was widely felt that the
letter "cheapened and devalued" their motion.

Members were also dismayed that their call for
clarification on the role of self-confessed spy Denis
Donaldson in Stormontgate was also refused.

"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 NIO
letter said. "The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, has
stated unequivocally that there was no political
interference in the decision to drop the subsequent
prosecutions; political considerations did not form any
part of, or in any way affect, the decision."

DUP councillor William Wilkinson, who put forward the
motion at last month's meeting in Ballymena, said: "The
letter concurs with the spirit of the motion if not the
substance and clarifies the police acted to prevent this at
a cost of £30m to the taxpayer.

"The political parties within this chamber are interested
about getting to the truth and that is what we hoped to get

"We have had to bear the cost of the unwanted Saville
Inquiry, the last tally for which was £163m.

"This letter cheapens and devalues our motion - this is a
matter of principle."


Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

The Irish undocumented have a new voice in the Irish Lobby
for Immigration Reform (ILIR).

The ILIR was formed to lobby Congress over the plight of
the estimated 40,000 undocumented Irish in the US.

The ILIR will be holding the first in series of countrywide
public meetings in Rory Dolan's in Yonkers, New York, on
Friday January 27.

Executive director Kelly Fincham said the meetings - which
will also take place in Pennsylvania, Boston, Chicago and
Washington - would form a key part of that lobbying effort.

"It's really important that people turn out for these
meetings as their presence sends a message that the Irish
American community is concerned about immigration reform".

"This year is going to be do-or-die for the Irish. We have
to ensure that we're represented in in Congress when they
set about tackling immigration reform; we've got to make
sure that the Irish don't get left behind."

"The ILIR is backing the McCain/Kennedy bill because it
will give the undocumented a path to a green card.

"The meetings are a way of getting that message out while
also giving people a chance to support the ILIR and learn
what the issues are. We will also be showing people how
they can help us lobby Congress".

For more information visit or call
718 598 7530.


Republicans To Mark The 30th Anniversary Of The Death Of
Hunger Striker Frank Stagg

Published: 10 February, 2006

This weekend marks the 30th Anniversary of the death of
Republican PoW Frank Stagg on Hunger Strike in Wakefield
Prison. A series of events will be taking place to mark
this important republican event.

On Saturday republicans will assemble outside Wakefield
Prison for a short commemoration which will be addressed by
former Republican PoW Roseana Browne.

On Sunday former Hunger Striker and Republican prisoner
Gerry Kelly will speak at a commemoration at Frank Stagg’s
graveside in Ballina, County Mayo at 11.30am

Also on Sunday in Belfast a mural on Dunville Street
marking the 30th Anniversary of Frank Stagg’s death and the
25th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike will be unveiled
by Sinn Féin Councillor and former political prisoner Paul
Butler at 3pm.

On Monday at 11am in the Edinburgh Suite in the Europa
Hotel in Belfast , Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will be
joined by other Sinn Fein leaders along with former Hunger
Strikers from Long Kesh, Armagh and English Jails to launch
the programme of events to commemorate the 25th Anniversary
of the 1981 Hunger Strike when 10 republicans PoWs lost
their lives. A exhibition will be on display and the media
are invited to attend.

Speaking today in advance of these events former IRA O/C in
Long Kesh Brendan McFarlane said:

"This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger
Strike when ten of our comrades died confronting British
attempts to criminalise us and the entire republican
struggle. We will also in the coming year remember with
pride Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan who died on Hunger
Strike in the 1970s in British prisons.

"The National Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee has put
together a series of events, commemorations and debates
throughout the island and beyond as we remember the events
of 1981 and the British government policy which led to

"Republicans are rightly proud of the sacrifices made in
the past and in particular in the prison struggle. We are
also looking to the future and are as determined now as we
were 25 years ago to press ahead in the coming years to
deliver on our republican objectives and goals of Irish
unity and independence." ENDS


Petition: Us/Uk Extradition Treaty

To: US Senate, US Executive Branch

A Threat To Irish-Americans: The New U.S./U.K Extradition

(By Jerry Boyle)

On March 31, 2003, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and
U.K. Home Secretary David Blunkett signed a new treaty
providing for extradition between the two countries of
persons accused of crimes. The new treaty, which has yet to
be ratified by the U.S. Senate, marks an unprecedented
departure from two centuries of American extradition
practice. America has

always been a refuge for those fleeing tyranny overseas,
and a "political offense exception" to extradition has been
an essential element of every one of our extradition
treaties since Thomas Jefferson refused extradition of an
opponent of the French Revolution.

Although the new treaty pays lip service to the political
offense exception, it removes that essential protection for
those seeking refuge on our shores. Worse, it subjects U.S.
citizens to extradition based solely on unproven
allegations by the British government. Any American active
in Irish affairs faces potential detention, and
transportation to the United Kingdom, without any proof of
guilt, and without judicial review. Never before in its
history has the United States government subjected the
liberty of its citizens to the whims of a foreign
government. In summary, the new treaty:

1. Eliminates the political offense exception for any
offense allegedly involving violence or weapons, including
any solicitation, conspiracy or attempt to commit such

2. Transfers responsibility for determining whether the
extradition request is politically - motivated from the
courts to the executive branch;

3. Allows for extradition even if no U.S. federal law is

4. Eliminates any statute of limitations;

5. Eliminates the need for any showing by the United
Kingdom of facts sufficient to show the person requested is
guilty of the crime charged -- mere unsupported allegations
are sufficient;

6. Allows for ‘provisional arrest’ and detention for 60
days upon request by the United Kingdom;

7. Allows for seizure of assets by the United Kingdom;

8. Allows for extradition for one offense, and then
subsequent prosecution in the UK for an unrelated offense
(thus eliminating the time-honored ‘rule of specialty’);

9. Applies retroactively, for offenses allegedly committed
even before the ratification of the treaty.

No Irish-American activist is safe if this treaty passes.
While the most immediate threat is aimed at those who
reject the Good Friday Agreement, this treaty is a threat
to political activists across the board. In fact, the
treaty appears to be an effort by the U.K. government to
set the stage

for the breakdown of the G.F.A. , allowing extradition for
alleged behavior occurring years ago by activists and

Attorney General Ashcroft appears to be trying to slip this
treaty through the Senate without fanfare, similar to the
strategy used with Joseph Doherty. No more Joe Dohertys!


We the undersigned object in the strongest terms to the
wholesale sellout of our United States Constitutional
rights at the behest of a foreign government.


The Undersigned


Mp's Concern At Derry 'Knife Culture'
Friday 10th February 2006

Derry MP Mark Durkan says a worrying knife culture is
developing in the city.

The SDLP leader spoke out following the recent stabbing of
two men in Derry's city centre.

He described Tuesday night's incident at Strand Road as

"While, thankfully, it did not result in any loss of life,
the fact is it very easily could have.

"The growing number of incidents in which knives have been
used will send a shiver down the spine of very many Derry
people, particularly parents.

"It is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly and
collectively by all relevant agencies in our city."

This is a view shared by local Sinn Fein councillor Tony
Hassan who says urgent action is needed to reverse the
growing knife culture.

"In the past few weeks, right across the North, we have
seen several tragic deaths and injuries inflicted by
knives" he said.

MP's Concern At Derry 'Knife Culture'

Friday 10th February 2006


"These attacks seem to be part of a growing culture in
which people, especially young men, carry knives or other
similar objects.

"Despite the growing number of reported attacks, I am aware
that many more incidents go unreported. It is, therefore,
becoming a major problem. "If we are to stop these deaths
and injuries, we need to address the growing culture as to
why people feel the need to carry a knife .

"Not only do we have the victims of these attacks suffering
horrible deaths or injury, but the people who carry out
these attacks face the prospect of spending many years in

"I am calling on bodies such as local councils, schools and
churches to make a provision for secure bins to be made
available where knives can be deposited so that they are
taken off the streets.

"We also need to educate young people that carrying a
weapon is not cool or macho."


Opin: Resignation poses party maths problems

By Mark Devenport

BBC Northern Ireland political editor

Paul Berry's resignation from the DUP is a deeply personal
matter. But will it have any wider political consequences?

Mr Berry withstood the immediate impact of the Sunday World
story about his meeting with a male masseur at a Belfast

Mr Berry never denied meeting the man, but strongly
contested the nature of the encounter. He said it was for
the purposes of a sports massage.

After the story was published Mr Berry stood as his party's
candidate in the Westminster election for Newry and Armagh.

His vote slipped slightly, but only by 1%. At this point
the DUP was still standing by their man.

But later the party launched disciplinary proceedings
against the assembly member. Mr Berry retaliated with a
legal action of his own.

This was the action which came to an end in Northern
Ireland's High Court on Friday with Mr Berry agreeing to
pay a portion of the DUP's costs.

Mr Berry has made it clear that he intends to continue to
represent Newry and Armagh as an assembly member and to
remain as a member of Armagh council.

Random interviews conducted by the BBC on the streets of Mr
Berry's home town of Tandragee reveal some disquiet, but
also a fair degree of appreciation of the young
politician's work for his area.

Mr Berry denies that the nature of his meeting with the
masseur was sexual and has brought legal proceedings
against the Sunday World for carrying such claims.

These proceedings are still active, limiting the discussion
of the social and sexual implications.

Scandals related to homosexuality have caused consternation
to the Liberal Democrats.

So it's easy to imagine how much stress the allegations
caused both Mr Berry's family and his erstwhile party

Ironically, the DUP conference has just taken place at the
same hotel where Mr Berry met the masseur.

It was picketed by evangelical Christians demanding that
the party take an even tougher stance against civil
partnerships involving gay couples.

Even though the protestors think the DUP is getting too
"liberal" it's hard to imagine the day when an openly gay
DUP candidate could stand for election.

If we have to tread warily on this ground, it's easier to
comment on the mathematical consequences of Mr Berry's

Both Sinn Fein and the Alliance argue that by reducing the
DUP's Assembly team from 33 to 32, Mr Berry's resignation
will reduce the party's entitlement to ministerial places
in a future executive.

According to this calculation the DUP, which had been
expecting to get four seats, would be reduced to just
three. Sinn Fein, which had been due to have two ministers,
would now get three.

This is all pretty academic as the chances of a power
sharing executive being restored anytime soon are, by
common consent, practically zero.

However, the government had been intending to do a similar
sum when it reconstitutes the Policing Board on April 1st.

This was due to see the DUP team on the board increase by
one to four, whilst Peter Hain intended to keep two seats
warm for Sinn Fein, with the assumption being that they
would go to independent nationalists if republicans refused
to take them.

However, Alliance maintains that the Berry resignation has
thrown this all up into the air.

They say the DUP should get just three places whilst, if
Peter Hain sticks to his plan, he should be keeping three
places warm for Sinn Fein.

Alliance points out that if this happens the board will
become even more of an unelected quango than ever, as the
elected politicians will only hold seven places on the 19
strong body.

This, Alliance says, will contravene the wishes of the
police review team led by the former Conservative minister,
Lord Patten. DUP sources brush off the argument.

They believe they will still get their four places.

Government sources acknowledge that the mathematical change
has caught them unawares.

They are currently close to finishing interviews for the
independent members of the board.

Then they will invite the parties to put forward their
political nominees. And will the DUP have four or three?

Officials won't answer that until nearer to April Fool's
Day, which is the deadline for the new board to be formed.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/10 19:23:08 GMT


Book: Who betrayed the Lundys?

Roy Foster hails Derek Lundy's honest and personal
appraisal of Northern Ireland's endemic neuroses, Men That
God Made Mad

Saturday February 11, 2006
The Guardian

Men That God Made Mad: A Journey Through Truth, Myth and
Terror in Northern Ireland

by Derek Lundy
368pp, Jonathan Cape, £18.99

The title of Derek Lundy's absorbing book - part history,
part memoir, part reportage - comes from one of GK
Chesterton's more than usually silly jingles: "The Great
Gaels of Ireland, / The men that God made mad / For all
their wars were merry, / And all their songs were sad."
There is nothing merry about the way the people of Northern
Ireland wage war upon each other, and there is little music
in Lundy's account either.

But it projects the experience of the province through a
fascinating and thought-provoking prism: the view of a
Canadian writer, whose parents emigrated from Belfast when
he was a child, but who has episodically returned to visit
relatives, write about the place and trace his family. And
his name says it all.

When Andrew Bonar Law, a British Conservative leader from
Ulster Presbyterian stock, came to Belfast in 1912 to throw
party support behind the unionist movement against Home
Rule, he addressed his audience with a metaphor they
instantly understood: "You are a besieged city. Does not
the picture of the past, the glorious past with which you
are so familiar, rise again before your eyes? The timid
have left you; your Lundys have betrayed you; but you have
closed your gates." The reference was to the Siege of Derry
in 1689, when the governor of the city, Robert Lundy,
supposedly tried to abandon the city to the Jacobites and
was expelled by his Protestant brethren. His name became a
synonym for a traitor to the Protestant cause, and he may
be an ancestor of the author of this book.

Or maybe not. In an effective recurring irony, Derek Lundy
is constantly asked if he is a relation, and his reply
varies with the circumstances of the inquiry. "I said I
didn't know, but it was possible". . . "It was extremely
unlikely, I said". In the hardline Protestant pubs around
his grandmother's house in Cadogan Street, he learned that
the name still carried resonance. Sadly, the same cannot be
said for the next ancestor he traces - the New Light
Presbyterian minister William Steel Dickson, a political
radical who was lucky to survive the 1798 rising, and who
kept his United Irishman beliefs to the end. The third
family member whose life is delineated here is Billy Lundy,
born in 1890, Derek's grandfather - a tough Protestant
worker in the shipyards, who ran guns for the Ulster
Volunteer Force before the first world war and epitomised
the entrenched bigotries from which Derek's father and
uncle escaped by emigrating to the New World.

But did they escape? One of the strengths of this book is
the author's ability to face unpleasant continuities, and
his constant, needling presentation of alternative views.
Thus the variant possibilities for Robert Lundy's action
are given their full due, and Dickson's political analysis
is seen as far less simplistic than the traditional view of
1798 as a Protestant-Catholic proto-nationalist love-fest.
In this, as in his analysis of the historical use of the
Siege of Derry, Derek Lundy is much indebted to Ian
McBride's pioneering books (McBride's recent study of
radical Presbyterian culture actually took for its title
one of Dickson's sermons, "Scripture Politics"). Lundy
likes to find sources and interpretations that query
received wisdom. But some entrenched opinions remain as
obdurate as ever, and his explorations end in contemporary
resegregated Northern Ireland, where Derry is a Catholic
city, Cadogan Street has been unofficially reassigned to
Catholic students at Queen's University, and prejudice is
something that always belongs to the other side.

The most thought-provoking parts of the book concern the
ambivalences of identity, territory, presentation,
appearance; mooching around Belfast, he is acutely
conscious that his beard and untidy hair suggest a "Fenian"
identification, and there is a chilling account of his High
Noon-style reception in local pubs before he announces that
he is "Maud Lundy's grandson, back from Canada". Then the
welcome, the backslapping, the warm kitchen comforts of
ethnic self-reference - mixed in, as he realises through a
growing haze of free alcohol, with unguarded statements of
gut-wrenching bigotry. In another memorable scene, the slew
of references suggested by a Sunday walk to Paisley's
church on Ravenhill Road read like an early Van Morrison
song. The writing throughout is terse, idiomatic and
arresting, and the control of the material impressively

But does it gesture towards a way out of "madness"? Another
ancestor who recurs is the author's father, who died about
10 years ago: in a sense, this book is a moving homage to a
parent who was never sufficiently known. Alexander Lundy,
born (like the Irish state) in 1921, emigrated to a new
life and shed the baggage of bigotry, but apparently
retained a savage antipathy to the narrowness of life left
behind. "It's not quite true to say he was without
prejudice; he disliked Northern Irish Protestants and
Catholics equally - their closed little minds and mealy-
mouthed hatred. Even after we emigrated to Canada, he could
not abide the assumptions of brotherhood and shared
prejudice that other emigrant Prods, with their Orangy
Freemasonry, tried to hang on him." Successful in his
adopted country, he still became prey to debilitating
depressions, and some moving passages in this book suggest
a deep communication difficulty between father and son.

Elsewhere the author sees the Northern Irish state as an
exemplary neurotic personality: anxious, obsessive
behaviour, sociopathic traits, lack of moral responsibility
and social conscience, episodic psychosis, losing contact
with external reality. Much the same could be said of the
Irish republic during its long thrall to what Conor Cruise
O'Brien christened "sacral nationalism", identifying
religion and national identity as an exclusive tribalism.
Lundy suggests that education and the cultivation of
intelligent scepticism about household gods may show some
way forward in the north, as they arguably have done over
the last generation in the south.

Yet one of his most depressing recent encounters is with a
complacent Queen's student renting his grandmother's old
house. She piously denounces loyalist paramilitaries
carrying out punishment shootings, implies that the IRA and
its splinters no longer exist, and claims that she couldn't
live off the Stranmillis Road because of the unionist
insignia painted on kerbstones and hung out of windows
(invisible to Lundy, and most other people). "In her own
pleasant, new-generation way she seemed as bigoted as any
old-timer; she thought Protestants were vicious and
prejudiced (as many of them are) but Catholics were non-
sectarian normal people." And he is honest enough to see
that his own irritation with her may indicate "the pull and
rasp" of his own tribal identification.

While I was reading Men That God Made Mad, the playwright
Gary Mitchell had been forced into hiding by the anger of
"his" Protestant community because he had the temerity to
write about them; yet, as he remarked in a despairing
interview, the people who threatened his life never went to
see his plays, believing that such activity was essentially
identified with the other side. For all the come-together
rhetoric of the past few years, an appropriation of each
other's culture is a pretty unlikely scenario. Lundy's book
tells - among other things - the story of a family who have
recurrently realised the importance of compromise and self-
questioning; the sad thing is how little place was left for
them in their native province, then and now.

· Roy Foster's The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It
Up in Ireland is published by Allen Lane.


Bullets and blarney: The Danny Butler saga

By Maurice Smyth

Danny Butler arrived in 1991, on the run from British
police. He landed on his widowed sister's doorstep in
Auckland's St Heliers with his older son, a boy in shorts,
and his pregnant girlfriend, Bernadette Daly.

His sister let them stay but on her terms. Separate
bedrooms - she was a convent-educated girl.

And so began the captivating story of New Zealand's first
Irish asylum-seeker, a man who claimed to be on the run, in
fear of his life.

When Butler was finally bundled out of the country in 1997,
so much of his story was left untold. His case was entwined
with intrigue, both political and personal. And there
remained the question: was his life really in danger?

The first casualty of the Butler story was 20-year-old
Daly. Butler's sweet nothings to her quickly turned sour
when he told her she had to leave. His wife Colette was on
the way from Belfast with their other son. Daly had no
option but to pack her bags.

She had fallen in love after hailing a cab Butler was
driving in Belfast. Falling for a married man - she often
met his two small sons in the cab - meant she ended up in a
tiny flat on the other side of the world, alone until her
daughter was born.

When his wife arrived, Butler rented a house in Remuera for
his family. Colette knew he was leading a double life but
she, too, was blinded by love and ignored it.

The boys went to school and made good progress. Their
mother took menial work. Butler never worked during his
time here and kept both households - Daly went on to have a
second daughter to Butler - on his wife's wages and
taxpayer benefits.

He set about seeking refugee status on the grounds his name
was on a terrorist bullet back home, but he was economical
with the truth, as bail-jumpers are inclined to be.

It wasn't his first time to New Zealand. He had earlier
visited his sister, a successful businesswoman, but there
was no love lost.

Growing up, they were a close Catholic family living in a
Protestant neighbourhood - a recipe for disaster in
Northern Ireland. They were eventually forced to move,
under threat of loyalist torching.

"I looked up to him as a kid sister but as I grew older I
realised he wasn't like other people. He was a liar and a
user and as a 12-year-old I once had to stand up to him
when he started getting aggressive with our mother," says
his sister, who asked not to be named.

She had ended up in New Zealand via Australia. She had been
shipped out, at 17, to a relative in Sydney because her
parents didn't want her to grow into adulthood in a divided
city, but she was unimpressed and crossed the Tasman.

Her father, a merchant seaman who'd visited New Zealand,
talked about how much he liked Auckland.

When his sister married in Christchurch in 1983, Butler
wasn't invited, though his younger brother Tony was.

Tony's arrival meant it would be a day to remember.

Tony Butler lived in Windsor, just outside London, and, in
cop-speak, had "previous". He had done time in Belfast for
having an Armalite rifle, with intent to endanger life.

The immigration people at the border didn't know - but
British authorities did. They told the Security
Intelligence Service and it became a wedding from hell
because at that time, Prince Charles, Princess Diana and
Prince William were on tour.

Security chiefs feared Tony, 30, was here for a hit on the
royal family. They arrested him at his sister's home in St
Albans a few hours before a royal walkabout in Cathedral

His father and mother, out for their only daughter's
wedding, stood by in dismay. Then the story took a macabre
turn. Some time after his return to Belfast, Tony was given
"a Maltese kiss".

The IRA considered the attention in New Zealand was such
bad PR he was set upon and his nose was bitten off. It
couldn't be reattached.

A graft using skin from his head was all surgeons could do,
leaving him grotesque. He was put out of his misery when
loyalist terrorists shot him dead in an inner-city Belfast

But back to Danny Butler, who didn't have any direct IRA
links but did have criminal convictions. In 1990, he and
two others were charged with possession of ammunition.

Butler was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

He was freed on bail pending an appeal but didn't hang
around to hear the court's finding (the appeal was
dismissed). Instead, he jumped on a plane for Auckland with
his lover and one of his sons.

New Zealand was led a right old Irish stepdance for six and
a half years until the night he was placed on a flight out,
with a police escort.

He had unsuccessfully applied for refugee status on the
grounds that the Irish People's Liberation Organisation
(IPLO) would shoot him if he returned. The reason why
remains arcane.

The IPLO, terrorism bit-players but serious drug runners,
had disbanded years earlier, reamed out by the IRA because
of their drug links.

Butler's appeals to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority
and the courts were eventually all dismissed. When an
immigration official called to serve a final deportation
order in November 1997, Butler waved him away with a small

Soon police and the Fire Service had the street cordoned
off, and journalists were swarming.

After a 10-hour siege, he agreed to fly to Dublin, where he
told one newspaper he would have a "running chance". But,
he said, "You will read my obituary. Say a prayer for us.
We'll need it."

What has become of Butler since that dramatic departure?
Things have changed - but he's still alive.

His family have long since severed all connections with
him. His sister has no communication. His son Tony, a
construction worker in London, politely refused to be
interviewed as he didn't want to speak his father's name.

Danny jnr, who was with Butler the night he arrived in
Auckland, did talk from his home in Galway city where he
holds down two jobs and is married to a local girl. The
couple have two small children.

After he and his father returned to Ireland, says Danny
jnr, they were on the move for some time.

"I have no idea how many beds I slept in until I got my
life sorted out and left him. But I've never forgotten my
years in New Zealand and I would love to return and settle

He's quietly working on it and saving hard, hence the two

His father has matched up with Daly again and they are also
living in County Galway with their two Auckland-born

If Butler's fears of an IPLO bullet were ever serious, they
must have diminished. The former paramilitary has long
since disbanded, discredited.

Colette is married to an American, living in Boston.

Galway isn't large but Butler and Danny jnr have never
bumped into each other. What would happen if he knocked on
the door and asked to see his grandchildren?

"I would call the police and ask for a restraining order,"
says Danny jnr, matter-of-factly.

For New Zealanders who helped Butler, time has given them
the opportunity to contemplate. Father Terry Dibble,
chaplain to the Marist Brothers in Ponsonby, was one of the
first people the Butlers turned to for help. He knew Danny
was a fugitive, and of his double domestic life.

"He was a survivor and I left him to his own devices. But I
felt desperately sorry for the plight of his wife and two
sons and did what I could for them. I admired how the boys
achieved at school, despite their home situation."

John Mahony, who taught the boys at Sacred Heart College,
found himself involved in the family's last days in
Auckland and is still so scarred by the experience he
doesn't want to talk about their time at school, probably
the happiest days they'd known.

The story was played out in street theatre the likes of
which is rarely seen here, sad as a temperance wake.

The Danny Butler Saga

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Jailed for five years on charges of unlawful imprisonment
and possession of a firearm.

Arrested on charges of possession of ammunition in
suspicious circumstances. Jailed for 18 months, but
released on bail pending an appeal.

Skips the country, bound for New Zealand with his lover and
his eldest son.

August 1991
Applies for refugee status after New Zealand authorities
uncover his criminal past and tell him they will not extend
his visitor's permit.

October 1991
Butler's case is raised in Parliament by MP Ian Revell.

January 1992
Butler's wife and youngest son join him in New Zealand.

December 1992
The Refugee Status Appeals Authority rejects Butler's claim
for asylum.

Butler finally leaves New Zealand after losing cases before
the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

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