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March 01, 2006

Bush Criticized As Adams Visa Still Up In Air

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News About Ireland & The Irish

IE 03/01/06 Bush Criticized As Adams Visa Still Up In Air
IE 03/01/06 Judiciary Panel To Tackle Immigration
IE 03/01/06 Disturbed Pentagon Investigates Iraq Spicer Shooting Video
BN 03/01/06 DUP To Block Return To Good Friday Devolution Deal
IT 03/02/06 Ahern, Blair Try To Speed North Progress
BN 03/01/06 Ahern Gives 'No Pandering' Pledge On Assembly Restoration
UT 03/01/06 Durkan To Meet Taoiseach Tomorrow
BB 03/01/06 MI5 'Did Not Retain Omagh Advice'
IT 03/02/06 Orde Accused Of Evading Bomb Issue
EX 03/02/06 Bush's Meet-And-Greet With Troops 'A Gross Insult'
IT 03/02/06 Opin: Tánaiste At Fault On Orange Bias Claim
BN 03/02/06 Youth Group Calls For Pub Closures On St Patrick's Day
IM 03/02/06 Ógra Shinn Féin Remember Bobby Sands
IT 03/01/06 Amazon.Com To Create 450 Jobs In Cork
IT 03/01/06 Environmentalist Loses Challenge To Route Of M3
AC 03/01/06 Celtic Night: Midsummer Nights Dream Comes To Life
KY 03/01/06 AOH Pardon Request For A Legendary Molly Maguire
IT 03/02/06 Minute's Silence For All Killed In Rising In 1916
IT 03/02/06 Natl Libr Gets Important Collection Of Joyce Manuscripts
IT 03/02/06 Bishop Wants Parade To Ban Women's Group
FB 03/01/06 Irish Short Film Six Shooter Shortly Available On Itunes


Bush Criticized As Adams Visa Still Up In Air

By Ray O'Hanlon

With just a couple of weeks to go before St. Patrick's Day
the Bush administration has yet to make a definitive
decision as to how Gerry Adams will be able to spend his
time on U.S. soil.

Adams is expected for a week of engagements in New York
City, Buffalo, Washington, D.C. and Holyoke, Massachusetts.

But whether he will be allowed take part in fundraising for
his party remained in extreme doubt this week.

Also uncertain was the degree to which the Sinn Féin leader
will be welcomed at the White House on March 17.

The continuing standoff between the administration and Sinn
Féin - centered on the party's refusal to take part in
policing as it is currently constituted in Northern Ireland
- has prompted criticism of the White House from Irish
American political leaders and activists.

In a letter to President Bush, the Unity in Action
Committee, an umbrella group for a number of organizations,
described the administration's position on fundraising as
"galling and mystifying" - this because policing reform was
currently the subject of delicate negotiations between Sinn
Féin and the British government.

The letter pointed out that the Patten recommendations on
policing, "a compromise position to begin with," had only
been 75 percent implemented and this by the British
government's own analysis.

"However, new legislation that establishes control and
accountability under shared, democratic power sharing,
could go a long way to changing the ethos of abuse,
political opportunism, and pro-unionist power. Policing has
always represented unionist political power over the
nationalist community," the letter to Bush stated.

"The U.S. has, in the past taken a positive role in the
Irish peace process. Today, it is becoming a souring and
petty influence. We find the current U.S. position counter-
productive, one-sided, and focused upon hearsay and
innuendo, while at the same time ignoring real unionist
violence," the letter added.

"The U.S. government should be a force for democratic
progress, not exclusion," it argued.

The letter went on to state that a visa denial would be a
repudiation of efforts by Irish republicans who persuaded
the IRA to totally decommission and adopt exclusively
political means to progress its goals.

"It would also constitute an open affront, not only to
Irish Americans who supported the political path, but also
shows a complete lack of understanding of the nature of the
nationalist community and their patience with the whole
political process."

The letter concluded: "Sinn Fein is the largest nationalist
political party in Northern Ireland. Doesn't their mandate
and efforts to move the peace process forward count for
anything in the United States, a nation established upon
democratic principles? This issue is of vital interest to
the members of our various organizations and we would
appreciate a prompt clarification."

The letter was signed by Ned McGinley, national president
of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Robert Linnon, Gerald
Lally and Brendan Moore for the Irish American Unity
Conference, Paul Doris, Gerry and Julie Coleman of Irish
Northern Aid, Frank Durkan of Americans for a New Irish
Agenda, Joe Jamison of the Irish American Labor Coalition,
Stephen McCabe, Patrick Doherty and James Cullen of the
Brehon Law Society, Sean Cahill of the Irish Parades
Emergency Committee and Deanna Turner for the Irish
Deportees of America Committee.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, the
administration's special envoy to the peace process.

The uncertainty and angst generated by the standoff has
also resulted in criticism from congressional politicians
on both sides of the aisle, the latest broadside being from
Buffalo congressman Brian Higgins.

Higgins, a Democrat and member of the Ad Hoc Committee for
Irish Affairs, has himself written Amb. Reiss expressing
opposition to the denial of a fundraising visa.

"In the past year, Gerry Adams has advanced the reality of
peace in Northern Ireland by leading the unprecedented
decommissioning of the Irish Republican Army and by
beginning negotiations to restore a power-sharing regional
government," Higgins wrote Reiss.

"Restricting Mr. Adams' free movement and work in the
United States, at such a critical point in the
implementation of the Good Friday accords, threatens the
advancements by Sinn Féin and the recent movement towards
lasting peace. The denial of a full visa weakens Mr. Adams'
ability to negotiate back home in Ireland by calling into
question his support here in the United States."

Should Adams be denied a fundraising visa - no difficulty
is anticipated with regard to Adams actually visiting the
U.S. - Higgins wrote that he would like to see an
explanation as to why Adams was "being denied the United
States' support at this important moment in the peace

This story appeared in the issue of March 1 - 7, 2006


'Hear' we go

Judiciary Panel To Tackle Immigration

By Ray O'Hanlon

After more than a year of expectations, raised and dashed,
the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet this week to
debate the thorny issue of comprehensive immigration

The committee will convene Thursday morning on Capitol Hill
and will focus its initial views on a revised draft of an
earlier bill drawn up by Senator Arlen Specter, the
Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the 18-member panel.

The aim of the hearing, which could extend beyond a single
day, will be to mark up the Specter bill and pass it to the
full Senate for a vote, possibly by the end of March.

The bill itself has prompted frowns and nods of approval
from Irish reform advocates and at first glance comes
across as being something of an eclectic hodge-podge of
proposals aimed at tackling a growing immigration crisis
made plain by the presence in the U.S. of millions of
undocumented and illegal immigrants.

"It's a bit schizophrenic," commented New York-based
immigration attorney Eamonn Dornan.

The Specter bill is frontloaded with border security
proposals that seemingly draw directly from the House of
Representatives bill crafted by Reps. Peter King and Jim

However, it is in the final third of what is in excess of a
300-page document that the Specter bill addresses the
crucial questions for an estimated 40,000 undocumented

In its current form the bill would make it a criminal
offense to be illegal or undocumented, but it then offers
possible relief in the form of a conditional non-immigrant
work authorization that would allow travel in and out of
the U.S. and does not have a time limit.

This program would be open to undocumented or illegal
immigrants who have been in the U.S. since before Jan. 4,
2004, the date on which President Bush delivered his first
major post-9/11 speech on immigration.

A condition of qualification for work authorization would
be agreement to settle back taxes with the IRS.

Significantly however, Specter's bill does not include a
path to so-called earned legalization as envisaged in the
McCain/Kennedy reform bill.

The Specter bill does advocate an additional guest-worker
program virtually identical to that favored by President
Bush. It would mean a three-year temporary work visa
renewable for a second three-year period.

Thursday's hearing is the opening round in what promises to
be a strenuous debate and observers caution that what
eventually emerges from Congress could yet include an
earned legalization amendment.

The reform debate is opening even as the public clamor
mounts from interested parties including the Irish Lobby
for Immigration Reform which last week held the latest of
its town hall meetings in San Francisco and is planning a
bus cavalcade and lobby day in Washington, March 8.

Meanwhile, the Irish reform campaign is set to get a boost
Sunday, March 5 at Gaelic Park in New York where a
fundraising rally aided by the GAA will begin at 3 p.m.
Admission is $20 and all proceeds will go to ILIR.

This story appeared in the issue of March 1 - 7, 2006


A closer look

Senator Charles Schmer received a letter saying the U.S.
Department of Defense was "disturbed" by the video.

'Disturbed' Pentagon Investigating Iraq Shooting Video

By Ray O'Hanlon

The Pentagon has mounted an investigation into the contents
of a video taken in Iraq which apparently shows employees
of Aegis Defense Services shooting at Iraqi civilians.

And in a letter to New York's Sen. Charles Schumer, a top
Pentagon official said that the U.S. Department of Defense
was "disturbed" by the scenes in the video.

Renewed controversy has swirled around the role of Aegis in
Iraq after the

video, posted on a Web site put together by former Aegis
employees, showed gunfire being directed at Iraqi civilians
driving on Baghdad area highways.

Aegis is run by former British army officer Tim Spicer who
separately remains a controversial figure in Northern
Ireland as a result of his defending the actions of men
under his command who fatally shot Belfast teenager Peter
McBride in 1992.

Aegis, a private security company, operates in Iraq under
contract to the U.S. Department of Defense. The Iraqi
mission is being funded to the tune of $293 million, a sum
awarded by the Pentagon in May 2004.

In a letter late last year to Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, Schumer urged the Department of Defense to direct
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart
Bowen, "to conduct a thorough investigation of these
troubling new allegations concerning Aegis."

Schumer wrote Rumsfeld that while Aegis had initiated an
internal investigation into the shootings, this was
"plainly insufficient."

It was self evident, Schumer stated, that a contractor with
so much to lose should not investigate itself.

The video shows four separate clips in which automatic fire
is directed from the rear of an SUV.

In one of the clips, a Mercedes car traveling behind the
SUV is hit and rams into another car stopped on the road.
People are seen running from the car struck by the Mercedes
- but nobody gets out of the Mercedes itself.

Another clip shows fire being directed, seemingly at
random, at the street surface and then directed at a car
again driving behind the SUV. The car pulls in to the side
of the road and this time a man gets out.

Yet another clip clearly shows bullets striking the hood of
a car and it lurching to halt. Nobody is seen getting out.

At one point a spent bullet round appears in the video
camera lens inside the SUV. Voices speaking English are
also heard inside the SUV.

The four clips are accompanied by a soundtrack of the Elvis
Presley song "Mystery Train."

In his letter, Schumer stated that Aegis's conduct, both
before and after receiving its Pentagon contract, had been

"As you know," Schumer wrote Rumsfeld, "I weighed in with
four U.S. senators against awarding this security contract
to Aegis because I believe that the firm's checkered
history and the dubious human rights position of its
founder and chief executive, Tim Spicer, make them
unsuitable to receive massive sums from the American

"The new allegations, along with already existing concerns
about the integrity of Aegis, make me once again question
whether the decision to award a multi-million dollar
contract to this firm was appropriate."

The four senators referred to by Schumer are Hillary
Clinton, Edward Kennedy, Chris Dodd and John Kerry.

Schumer pointed in the letter to the shooting of Peter
McBride and the fact that two members of the Scots Guards
regiment, commanded at the time by the then active Lt. Col.
Spicer, were subsequently convicted of murder.

"Yet Mr. Spicer has repeatedly defended the actions of the
two soldiers...and argued for their release [which later
occurred]. Moreover, the Boston Globe reported that Mr.
Spicer was involved in illicit arms deals in Sierra Leone
after retiring from the British military," Schumer wrote.

"The combination of these activities leads me to conclude
that the government's awarding of a massive security
contract to an individual and a firm with a history of
supporting excessive force against civilians is extremely
troubling," he stated.

Schumer concluded by saying that he was looking forward to
the "commencement of the Special Inspector General's

That investigation is now underway but is instead being
carried out by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation
Command, or CID.

The response to Schumer, dated Feb. 16 and signed by
Bernard P. Ingold, deputy Chief Legislative Counsel at the
Department of the Army's Investigative and Legislative
Division, thanks Schumer for his letter to Secretary
Rumsfeld "regarding the recent video purporting to show
Aegis Defense Services LTD (Aegis) employees shooting at
Iraqi civilians without provocation."

Ingold writes: "Let me assure you that we are as disturbed
as you at the content of the video. Aegis was hired to
protect U.S. personnel working on the reconstruction of
Iraq and no U.S. personnel have been injured or killed
under security provided by Aegis. However, the protection
they afford should not come at the expense of Iraqi

The letter added that CID was reviewing the "tapes of the
incident" and also an internal investigation by Aegis "in
order to determine if there is potential criminality that
falls within their investigative purview."

The letter stated that the Special Inspector General for
Iraq Reconstruction did hot have jurisdiction to
investigate "violent criminal activities by armed security
contractor personnel in theater" - hence the CID role.

The letter to Schumer further stated: "We also understand
your concern regarding the overall suitability of Aegis to
receive government contracts, particularly with regard to
allegations surrounding British Lieutenant Colonel (Lt.
Col.) Tim Spicer, president of Aegis. We have received many
letters from Irish Americans stating that his support of
the two British soldiers who killed an unarmed Irish
civilian while under his command should disqualify him from
receiving government contracts.

"However," the letter continued, "Lt. Col. Spicer had not
been convicted of any crimes, nor have the allegations of
illicit arms deals with Sierra Leone ever been proven or
resulted in any indictments. In addition, neither Lt. Col.
Spicer nor Aegis is included on the list of parties
excluded from federal procurement.

"Therefore, the army presently has no basis under which to
bar or suspend them from receiving contracts in Iraq or

The letter additionally pointed to other areas in which
Aegis was either up to, or close to, Defense Department
requirements for contractors. It stated agreement with
Schumer's contention that it was "essential that private
security personnel working under U.S. government contracts
conform to and respect the rule of law."

And Ingold concluded: "We appreciate your interest in the
Aegis contract and the army's reconstruction mission in
Iraq. We will keep you informed regarding the results if
the CID investigation once it is complete."

A spokesman for Schumer told the Echo that the senator had
taken positive note of the tone and content of the letter.

It had not been "perfunctory," the spokesman said.

He said that Schumer was now keenly anticipating the
results of the CID investigation.

This story appeared in the issue of March 1 - 7, 2006


DUP To Block Return To Good Friday Devolution Deal

01/03/2006 - 14:52:27

The Democratic Unionists will veto any attempt to go back
to the type of devolution which existed in the North under
the Good Friday Agreement, a senior member of the party
warned today.

As Sinn Féin travelled to Dublin to discuss British and
Irish government plans to revive the Northern Ireland
Assembly, Democratic Unionist MEP Jim Allister accused
Gerry Adams’ party of adopting the same belligerent
attitude in talks as republican protesters who opposed the
loyalist "Love Ulster" rally in Dublin on Saturday.

He also told Queen’s University’s Democratic Unionist
Association in Belfast if there was to be a return to
devolution it would have to be a radical departure from the
previous model at Stormont.

Mr Allister said: “Generically devolution is desirable, but
not essential.

“In the Belfast Agreement form it is patently unacceptable,
inherently unstable and destructive of unionist interests.

“We saw that on the three execrable occasions when it was
foisted upon us - ministers running departments as
fiefdoms, shutting hospitals at will, abolishing the 11
plus in pique, and all in defiance of the elected Assembly.

“Malevolent direct rule has nothing to teach Sinn Féin as
to how to abuse ministerial office.

“Little wonder that the DUP is resolute that we’re not
taking Ulster back to such misery.

“We do have a veto and we will use it!

“No, if there is to be devolution, then, it must be on a
fresh and radically different basis, where the Assembly,
not the ard fheis, has the final say on ministerial

Talks sources indicated last night that British Prime
Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern have been
working on a road map to devolution which will be put to
the Northern Ireland Assembly parties in the coming weeks.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain will sound out the
province’s politicians at meetings on March 8 on
legislative changes to the way the Assembly will operate in
the future in the event of there being a return to power

These could be included in the Northern Ireland Bill
currently winding its way through Parliament.

It is believed proposals will then be put to the parties on
the path back to devolution.

But while British government sources insist London and
Dublin have yet to agree the exact shape of these
proposals, nationalists and unionists suspect they will
involve a shadow Assembly with the 108 MLAs returning to a
debating chamber or to possibly scrutinise the work of
British ministers through committees.

The DUP has advocated a Shadow Assembly as part of a two-
phase return to devolution.

However, Sinn Féin and the SDLP have been more critical of
the proposal.

Ahead of their meeting with Mr Ahern, Sinn Féin’s Martin
McGuinness said the Shadow Assembly was unacceptable and he
has called on both governments to take a firmer line in
defence of the Agreement against what he called negative

Mr Allister said today if other parties weren’t interested
in securing durable and workable devolution, then the DUP
should signal it was moving on without them.

“Why mark time for the insatiable and irreformable Sinn
Féin or an SDLP incapable of recognising opportunity?” he

“ We can devote all our energy to better integrating the
North within the UK and with an uncertain government
majority in place and maybe a hung Parliament again in
prospect, opportunity beckons.”


Ahern, Blair Try To Speed North Progress

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

The Taoiseach and British prime minister will outline
agreed proposals to make political progress in the North as
early as next week, having concluded much earlier than
expected that talks between the political parties are
making no headway.

Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern will announce how they intend
to proceed next Wednesday after a meeting in Downing

The speed with which they have decided to move has
surprised observers, coming just a month after they said
they hoped inter-party talks would reach a deal this year
to re-establish the North's power-sharing institutions.

There is considerable speculation that their joint plan
could involve the restoration of the Northern Assembly in
"shadow" form, with a subsequent deadline for full
restoration conditional on agreement to re-establish the
power-sharing executive as well.

The DUP has been urging London to re-establish the
Assembly, but does not want a deadline set for the re-
establishment of the other institutions.

However, yesterday Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said the
Assembly should be closed and salaries to its members
stopped if the DUP refused to engage meaningfully in talks.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said yesterday
that the two governments wanted to do things by agreement,
"but as always in these things if we can't get agreement we
might have to make a call. That day is getting closer than
we perhaps anticipated earlier, given the fact that we are
not having the type of engagement perhaps that we would

The DUP is refusing to contemplate any participation in
power-sharing institutions with Sinn Féin at this stage.

Mr Ahern said yesterday that "the two governments are fast
coming to the view that we need to make decisions as to how
we are going to proceed very soon.

"The Taoiseach and the prime minister will be meeting next
week and part of what we decide as a strategy will be
discussed in advance of that meeting and at that meeting.
We are looking at options to bring matters to a head. You
can take it that Peter Hain and I have discussed ad nauseam
how we will proceed. We have a number of options. No
decisions have been made so far."

Mr Adams yesterday led an 11- member Sinn Féin delegation
to meet the Taoiseach, Minister for Foreign Affairs and
Minister for Justice. They expressed opposition to
restoring the Assembly in "shadow" form, a point they will
make to Mr Blair, whom they will meet in Downing Street

The Taoiseach will meet an SDLP delegation in Dublin today
in advance of next week's efforts to force the pace of

Mr Adams said after yesterday's meeting that he had "grave
concerns that the Government are prepared to contemplate
DUP proposals to put in place a shadow assembly. We ruled
that out very, very firmly because it won't work. It's a
sop to the DUP."

Such "pandering" to DUP proposals would encourage that
party not to compromise.

"He [ the Rev Ian Paisley] is not going to move if he
doesn't feel any incentive to move."

He called on the governments to ensure the lifting of the
suspension of the institutions of the Belfast Agreement and
to hold a new Assembly election by early summer. If that
didn't happen, the Assembly should be abolished.

"Let's be clear about this: the Assembly doesn't exist. The
emperor has no clothes. It isn't as if there is an Assembly
up and galloping there. It never met."

What was needed was to put all the institutions in place,
not just a shadow form of the Assembly, he said.

© The Irish Times


Ahern Gives 'No Pandering' Pledge On Assembly Restoration

01/03/2006 - 18:59:12

The Government tonight insisted that it would not pander to
the demands of any single party ahead of the restoration of
the devolved institutions in the North.

After discussions with a Sinn Féin delegation, Foreign
Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said the onus was on all
parties to engage with each other rather than shadow box.

As speculation grew that options for a Shadow Assembly had
been tabled, Mr Ahern revealed the British and Irish
governments were considering a range of ideas to move
things forward.

“There will be no pandering to anyone, but we are looking
at options to try in effect to bring things to a head,” Mr
Ahern said.

“While all the parties will blame the two governments for
not doing something, ultimately if we do not have
cooperation from all the parties it leaves us in a very
difficult state.”

While Government sources insist London and Dublin have yet
to agree the exact shape of proposals for a shadow
Assembly, it is suspected they involve the 108 MLAs
returning to a debating chamber or possibly scrutinising
the work of British ministers through committees.

Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin president, said his party had very
grave concerns about the proposals, insisting it was not up
for discussion.

“We ruled that out very, very firmly,” Mr Adams said.

“We ruled it out because it won’t work. It is a sop to the
DUP and what we need to do is to move forward on the basis
of the Agreement and get the institutions back in place.

“And if that doesn’t happen, move ahead anyway making as
much progress as the governments are capable of making on
all the other issues.”

Sinn Féin faced claims from nationalist SDLP that
republicans had been in negotiations with the DUP in 2004
for a deal which would see the devolved institutions


Durkan To Meet Taoiseach Tomorrow

SDLP Leader Mark Durkan will lead a party delegation to
Dublin to meet with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, tomorrow.

By:Press Association

The meeting will take place in Government Buildings Dublin
at 1.30pm.

Party colleagues Alasdair McDonnell, Eddie McGrady, Alex
Attwood and Dolores Kelly will join Mr Durkan at the

At the meeting the SDLP raise the need to implement the
Good Friday Agreement, not he flawed ‘Comprehensive
Agreement’, the need for the full restoration of the
Agreements institutions, not the shadow assembly agreed by
Sinn Fein and the DUP in 2004.

The party will also raise its continued opposition to any
further role for MI5 in the North.


MI5 'Did Not Retain Omagh Advice'

The senior officer in the Omagh bomb case "does not believe
MI5 withheld any intelligence from the PSNI".

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said the lead detective
confirmed this to him.

After a police briefing to Omagh relatives last week,
questions were raised about whether MI5 failed to pass on
tip-offs from an American agent.

David Rupert said dissident republicans planned to carry
out bomb attacks in Londonderry or Omagh, but Sir Hugh said
this involved a different unit.

Sir Hugh Orde was addressing the final public session of
the current Policing Board.

New members are expected to be appointed to the board on 1

The chief constable refused to confirm if MI5 held back any
information months before the 1998 atrocity in which 29
people died.

The SDLP said failure to directly answer the question "will
not reassure people".

SDLP board member Alex Attwood said: "The truth of the
matter is there may have been intelligence prior to the
murders that wasn't shared.

"We will never know if that might or might not have avoided
that awful tragedy."

'State of the inquiry'

Speaking at Wednesday's board meeting, Sir Hugh said he
would not comment on reports about whether MI5 passed
information to police prior to the bombing.

"It's the view of the senior investigating officer
(Superintendent Norman Baxter) - who I spoke to only two
hours ago - that the security services did not withhold
intelligence that was relevant or would have progressed the
Omagh inquiry."

Dissident republican suspects investigated in April 1998
were from a different cell than those involved in the Omagh
bomb plot, said Sir Hugh.

"There's no evidence to link these two units," he said.

The chief constable confirmed senior officers had met with
the Omagh bomb victims' families last week to brief them on
the state of the inquiry.

Last year, County Armagh man Sean Hoey was the first person
charged with murder in relation to the bombing.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/01 16:36:26 GMT


Orde Accused Of Evading Bomb Issue

Gerry Moriarty

The SDLP has complained that PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh
Orde failed to answer fully questions put to him at
yesterday's meeting of the North's Policing Board about the
Omagh bombing.

Sir Hugh said that MI5 did not withhold intelligence that
could have advanced the police inquiry into the Real IRA
bombing of August 1998 that claimed the lives of 29 people,
including a woman pregnant with twin girls.

But Sir Hugh did not contradict a comment by Omagh
families' representative Michael Gallagher last week that
MI5 held back important information from the RUC's Special
Branch four months before the bombing.

The April 1998 bomb attack was disrupted by the Garda as a
result of intelligence provided by David Rupert, the FBI
agent whose evidence at the Special Criminal Court in
Dublin in 2003 helped to jail Real IRA leader Michael
McKevitt for 20 years, senior sources said.

Sir Hugh told the Policing Board yesterday that the Real
IRA unit responsible for the Omagh bombing was different
from the unit whose planned April bomb attack in 1998 was

When SDLP board member Alex Attwood attempted to elicit
whether MI5 had withheld intelligence about the disrupted
April attack from the RUC, Sir Hugh replied, "It is the
view of the senior investigating officer [Det Chief Supt
Norman Baxter] that the security service did not withhold
intelligence that was relevant or would have progressed the
criminal Omagh inquiry."

This answer, however, did not address the claim that the
then RUC was deprived of information about the planned
April attack. Mr Attwood said the question remained open.

© The Irish Times


Bush's Meet-And-Greet With Troops 'A Gross Insult'

By Pat Flynn and Paul O'Brien

THE White House views Ireland as a de facto 51st state of
the US, it was claimed last night, after it emerged that
President George W Bush rallied US soldiers during a
stopover at Shannon Airport yesterday.

Mr Bush's meet-and-greet with his troops was "a gross
insult" to Ireland's sovereignty and policy of neutrality,
peace activist Ed Horgan said.

"Donald Rumsfeld (US Defence Secretary) did this in the
past and it is a gross insult to Irish sovereignty," said
Mr Horgan.

Green Party TD John Gormley said the incident was "further
evidence of Irish Government collusion" in the Iraq war.

"It would appear from President Bush's appearance that
Ireland is seen as a de facto 51st state of the US," Mr
Gormley said.

"This Irish Government still pays lip service to the idea
of neutrality, while at the same time giving free reign to
the US military in Shannon."

He also questioned why the security for Mr Bush's stopover
exceeded the initial garda presence at the Love Ulster
parade in Dublin on Saturday.

More than 500 personnel from the garda, army and air corps
were drafted into Shannon on Tuesday, in an operation
estimated to have cost more than €300,000.

Mr Bush was due to travel to India after refuelling at
Shannon. His official jet, Air Force One, and its twin, Air
Force Two, arrived at the airport more than an hour ahead
of schedule at 12.20am, and he spent 80 minutes on the
ground, during which he met and "rallied" more than 200 US
troops, bound for the Middle East, in the main terminal.

Security personnel will be on high alert again this weekend
as the presidential planes are due to refuel at Shannon on
their return from India.

Mr Gormley claimed the Government's priorities were skewed.

"They seem more interested in protecting a man who has made
the world a more dangerous place by engaging in a counter-
productive and destabilising war in Iraq, than in
protecting our own Irish citizens. There can be no doubt
also that the appearance of President Bush in Shannon,
along with American troops, increases the likelihood of an
attack on this country from terrorists."


Opin: Tánaiste At Fault On Orange Bias Claim


In her response to Saturday's events in Dublin, the
Tánaiste has failed to recognise that the basis of
Orangeism has echoes in other organisations and religions,
writes Brian Kennaway (The Rev Brian Kennaway is former
convenor of the education committee, Grand Orange Lodge of

The most disturbing event of recent days in Dublin has not
been the fascist response to a loyalist march, which to
some extent was predictable, but the remarks attributed to
the Tánaiste, Mary Harney, describing the Orange Order as
"a sectarian and bigoted organisation" (Irish Times,
February 28th). For someone in Ms Harney's position to use
such intemperate and ill-informed language is inexcusable.

The Loyal Orange Institution of Ireland has two fundamental
documents within which it discloses its core values. The
first and oldest of these is the Basis of the Institution:

"The Institution is composed of Protestants, united and
resolved to the utmost of their power to support and defend
the rightful Sovereign, the Protestant Religion, the Laws
of the Realm, and the Succession to the Throne in the House
of Windsor, BEING PROTESTANT; and united further for the
defence of their own Persons and Properties, and the
maintenance of the Public Peace. It is exclusively an
Association of those who are attached to the religion of
the Reformation, and will not admit into its brotherhood
persons whom an intolerant spirit leads to persecute,
injure, or upbraid any man on account of his religious
opinions. They associate also in honour of KING WILLIAM
III, Prince of Orange, whose name they bear, as supporters
of his glorious memory."

The second is the Qualifications of an Orangeman, which
although subject to change over the 200 years of the
institution's existence contains phrases which often give
rise to ill-informed comments such as those of the

". . . he should strenuously oppose and protest against the
errors and dangerous doctrines of the Church of Rome - he
should, by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that
church, its encroachments, and the extension of its power -
but he should abstain from all uncharitable words, actions,
or feelings towards any Roman Catholic; and scrupulously
avoid countenancing [by his presence or otherwise] any act
or ceremony of Romish Worship."

Because of the language cited in The Qualifications, the
institution has often been accused of being "anti-
Catholic", "sectarian" or "bigoted". Yet this language is
not dissimilar from that of the institution's Catholic
counterpart, the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Would Ms
Harney equally regard the AOH as "a sectarian and bigoted

When you consider the language used in the doctrinal
standards of the churches, the language of the
Qualifications appears quite moderate.

The Westminster Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian
Church speaks of the Pope as "that Antichrist, that man of
sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself, in the
Church, against Christ and all that is called God" (Chapter
25). The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Churches
(Church of Ireland), make reference to the Mass as
"blasphema figmenta sunt, et perniciosæ imposturæ" -
"blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits".

Similarly the Methodist Church in its foundation documents,
Standard Doctrines of the Methodist Connection, which
include John Wesley's Sermons and Notes, also makes
reference to the Church of Rome. In his Sermon 38 "Caution
against Bigotry" (Mark 9:38,39), while not specifically
naming the Roman Catholic Church, it is obvious that he is
making reference to that church when he says:

"Of such a church which we account to be in many respects
anti-scriptural and anti-Christian; - a Church which we
believe to be utterly false and erroneous in her doctrines,
as well as very dangerously wrong in her practice; guilty
of gross superstition as well as idolatry; - a Church that
has added many articles to the faith which was once
delivered to the saints; that has dropped one whole
commandment of God, and made void several of the rest by
her traditions; and that, pretending the highest veneration
for, and strictest conformity to, the ancient Church, has
nevertheless brought in numberless innovations, without any
warrant either from antiquity or Scripture."

In this respect therefore the present Qualifications of an
Orangeman, of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, cannot be
judged to be any more "anti-Catholic", "sectarian" or
"bigoted" than the doctrinal standards of the three main
Protestant churches in Ireland.

This theological attitude to other churches is not
exclusively Protestant - in the broadest sense of that
word. The Roman Catholic Church has long held to a position
of the exclusivity of its own truth. This is to be seen in
the often quoted Papal Bull:

"By faith it is to be firmly held that outside the
Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation". (Pius
IX - D. 1647)

Lest we should be tempted to believe, as some would have us
believe, that this is "old hat", and we are living in the
glow of Vatican II, this exclusivity is reinforced in the
most recent Catholic Catechism and the Dominus Iesus
document of 2000 which regards all other churches as
"defective" in some way or another.

If the Tánaiste is to be honest she must recognise,
according to her own use of language, that the label "a
sectarian and bigoted organisation" could be used of many
organisations, including the churches. The use of such
language in today's society, by a leader of Government, is
both insulting and offensive to many, like myself, lifelong
members of the Loyal Orange Institution of Ireland. Perhaps
the Tánaiste should get out more and meet some of us and
not willingly accept the caricature of generations of

© The Irish Times


Youth Group Calls For Pub Closures On St Patrick's Day

01/03/2006 - 18:42:48

The country’s largest youth work agency has called for pubs
to close on St Patrick’s Day.

Youth Work Ireland believes the drinks industry and
retailers must show a commitment to responsibility in
relation to sales to all people, particularly when
combating serious alcohol misuse on the national holiday.

The organisation wants all retailers and off-licences to
co-operate fully with the Gardai.

“The drinks industry has long claimed they are willing to
act responsibly to combat alcohol abuse, this is a real
chance for them to show it,” said Michael McLoughlin, the
organisation’s director of central services. “Closure of
outlets for some or all of St. Patrick’s Day would be
highly symbolic.

“The Government’s Strategic Task Force on Alcohol has
flagged the importance of availability and supply in the
area of alcohol abuse.

“While the law makes no provision for it and it is only one
part of a strategic approach to the issue, responsible
behaviour by retailers and off licences would have a
significant impact on the spectacle that St Patrick’s Day
has become.

“Failure of these organisations to take a lead will expose
a real lack of commitment to responsibility in this area.”


Ógra Shinn Féin Remember Bobby Sands


national miscellaneous press release Wednesday March
01, 2006 20:00 by The Pen - Ógra Shinn Féin osf6county at
yahoo dot com 4 - 5 James Street Omagh Co. Tyrone 028 82 25
30 40

25 Years On

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin today held a vigil in Omagh
town Centre to remember the day which Bobby Sands commenced
Hunger Stirke 25 Years Ago.

Ógra Activists holding a vigil in Omagh

Members of Ógra Shinn Fein in West Tyrone held a vigil in
Omagh Town Centre on Wednesday March 1st to remember the
date which Bobby Sands commenced Hunger Strike. 12 members
of Ógra Shinn Féin held posters of Bobby Sands while others
bore the message ‘Remember Bobby Sands’.

Approx 2,000 students leaving 3 schools in Omagh Town
passed the vigil and many were asking for more information
on Bobby Sands showing that 25 Years on, many young people
are still captivated by the story of the 1981 Hunger

The PSNI were present at the vigil and recorded the names
and details of the Ógra Shinn Féin members involved.

Commenting on the event Barry McNally of Ógra Shinn Féin
said, “This event is the first of many which Ógra Shinn
Féin in the west Tyrone area are going to be holding in
relation to the 25th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike.
The event was a success and had the intended effect. Many
young people were asking Who Was Bobby Sands? 25 years ago
Bobby Sands commenced Hunger Strike and many of the young
people asking question today, like myself, were not even
born at the time of the 1981hunger strike. So it is an
encouraging sign to see them being so fascinated by the
sacrifice of Bobby Sands and the hunger strikers of 1981.

“However I would question the need for the PSNI/RUC to be
deployed in such numbers in the centre of Omagh during the
vigil. 7 members of the PSNI / RUC were present at the
vigil. Another carload of 4 PNI/RUC were situated a short
distance away filming the proceedings on a hand held video
camera. Ógra member’s details were taken. The PSNI/RUC have
seen from many times before that their intimidation doesn’t
work, and it will fail once again.” Mr. McNally concluded

Related Link:


Amazon.Com To Create 450 Jobs In Cork

Last updated: 01-03-06, 16:33

Internet retailer will create 450 jobs at its
new customer service centre in Cork.

The centre will support Amazon's British and French web
sites as well as supporting for the company's German web
site during peak periods. Amazon is one of the largest
online retailers in the world, with revenues of more than
$8.4 billion in 2005.

"Amazon's decision to locate their new call centre in Cork
is significant in terms of the number of positions created
and will enhance Ireland's reputation as a base for the
most sophisticated global digital media companies," said
the Minister for Enterprise Michael Martin.

The centre will be located at the Airport Business Park in

"Cork offers Amazon the ability to provide our customers
with multi-lingual support, something that is critically
important as we continue to grow our business," said Jim
Adkins, director of European customer service for

© 2006


Environmentalist Loses Challenge To Route Of M3

Last updated: 01-03-06, 16:41

Environmentalist Vincent Salafia today lost his challenge
to the routing of the proposed M3 motorway near the Hill of
Tara in Co Meath.

Mr Salafia argued that the route would interfere with the
historically and archaeologically important valley around
the hill.

At the High Court in Dublin today, Judge Thomas Smyth said
there was no evidence to support Mr Salafia's belief that
the valley was a national monument.

"None of it bore out the belief that there is a national
monument that exists, has been damaged or is likely to
exist or likely to be damaged," he said. He said Minister
for the Environment Dick Roche had been correct to give
permission for archaeological work to begin on the motorway
last May.

The court heard that archaeologists working on the section
of the M3 between Dunshaughlin and Navan had discovered 38
sites of interest within 1.5 kilometres of the route, but
none of them were designated as national monuments.

In a two-and-a-half hour judgement, Judge Smyth said Mr
Salafia's two-year delay in taking the legal challenge
against the state was unjustifiable.

The campaigner told the court that he had been unable to
take part in the oral hearings on the motorway held by an
Bord Pleanala because he was pre-occupied with the campaign
to prevent the route of the M50 motorway going through
Carrickmines Castle in Dublin.

"As an explanation or excuse for delaying bringing judicial
review proceedings in court... I find this defence wholly
unconvincing," said Judge Smyth.

He said that whether a person was a concerned citizen or a
professional protester, the obligation to act promptly
remained, and he criticised Mr Salafia for appearing to do
nothing but write letters about the motorway to newspapers.

He said it was completely unrealistic for Mr Salafia to
tell the court that the motorway could be completed on time
with a changed route.

He added that the preferred route supported by Mr Salafia
had been ruled by experts to be archaeologically
unacceptable and alarming. Mr Salafia's legal team had
argued that Mr Roche had used the wrong section of the
National Monuments Act in making his decision to allow
archaeological work to go ahead and also that the act
itself was unconstitutional.

But Judge Smyth said Mr Salafia had failed to demonstrate
that the balance struck between the protection of national
monuments and the permission to build roads was
constitutionally invalid. He said it was significant the
constitutionality of the act was being challenged by
someone living outside the Tara /Skyrne area.

He ruled that Mr Salafia was not locus standi (entitled to
be heard) and said it seemed wholly inappropriate to seek
to unravel the whole affair some years after the route had
been selected.

Mr Salafia, who is studying for a masters in law at Trinity
College Dublin, expressed disappointment at the judgement
but made no further comment.

The judgement was welcomed by the local businesses in the
Meath area and the National Roads Authority. "I think it's
an appropriate judgement, it highlights the hard work and
expertise that's gone into road planning by the National
Roads Authority," said its senior archaeologist Daire

The Dunshauglin Chamber of Commerce said the M3 motorway
was urgently needed to relieve the chronic traffic
congestion on the existing N3 route through the town.
"People are getting up at all hours, they're spending
unnecessary hours in cars. It's bad for their family life,
their community and their health," said president Adrienne

She said the High Court judgement against Mr Salafia was so
emphatic that she would be very surprised if he appealed it
to the Supreme Court.

© 2006


A Celtic Night: Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream Comes
To Life In Modern Version

David M. Bresnahan
March 1, 2006

David M. Bresnahan has over 30 years of experience in
journalism, public relations, and broadcasting. He has
authored several books, hosted talk radio programs, owned a
radio station, on-line newspapers, and other businesses. He
provides affordable press release writing and distribution
services to small businesses. He also owns Freedom Barter

Shaker Heights, Ohio -- The works of Shakespeare are often
challenging for teens, so one teen has created a modern
version of a Midsummer Nights Dream that is expected to
help teachers introduce the classic tale.

A Celtic Night (ISBN 1-932802-94-0) has a March 28, 2006
publication date. It is 160 pages and priced at $5.95 by
publisher Fresh Writers Books
( ) and distributed by
Independent Publishers Group.

Author Bridget O'Dwyer, 17, is an active high school senior
at Shaker Height High School. Her father emigrated from
Ireland, and when O'Dwyer was 15 she went to Ireland to
spend six months with relatives she had never met.

She entered the 2005 Fresh Writers book proposal contest,
and won the coveted prize of a book publishing contract.
Her proposal was judged alongside entries from 15 other
students in northeast Ohio.

"Bridget decided to combine her love of Shakespeare and
Ireland. She noticed that many Shakespeare plays have been
given a modern treatment. For example, West Side Story is
based loosely on Romeo and Juliet," explained publisher
Bill Jelen. "No one has done a modern retelling of A
Midsummer Night's Dream, so Bridget's proposed a story
about a 15-year-old Irish-American girl who travels to
Ireland and encounters Irish fairies in the woods with her
schoolmates one night."

O'Dwyer said she hopes that this book will make the
Shakespeare tale more easily understandable to teens.

Charles Kelly, an English teacher and drama advisor at
Shaker Heights High School, praised O'Dwyer as a strong
creative writer and thinker. Jelen said he selected her
proposal based on her strong activity record and writing

"Bridget is adventurous. Not many 15-year-olds leave home
to spend a semester abroad. She has also shown creativity,
taking the Fresh Writers program to areas not contemplated
by us. She approached the administration at Shaker Height
High School and is getting high school credit for putting
together and executing her own author tour from Cleveland
to Buffalo to Syracuse," said Jelen.

The book is appropriate for the teen audience. It will be
popular with teen girls in middle school and high school.
Middle school English teachers will find it helpful to use
A Celtic Night to introduce their students to A Midsummer
Nights Dream.


Pardon Request For A Legendary Molly Maguire

Robin Mackintosh

(Poster’s note: Go to the above web site to see this story
on a video.)

(CBS 3) HATFIELD, PA Ghosts from a violent time in
Pennsylvania’s past are coming out of history and are
involved in a request for a pardon, for a member of the
legendary Molly Maguires.

The Molly Maguires was a group of workers in the state’s
coal region, north of Philadelphia in the 1800’s.

Dozens of member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who
meet at the Hatfield American Legion, will be heading to
Harrisburg Thursday to for a pardon board hearing.

With them they will bring a sculpture of a man with his
head covered, hand bound and feed tied, representing, what
the sculptor says is the Molly Maguires and the cruel coal
mines of the 1800’s.

“I want people to be really aware of the reality of the
hanging, and to know what happen. I think was an unfair
trial,” said sculptor Zenos Frudakis.

The sculpture will stand on the steps of the State Capitol
as the great, great granddaughter of executed Molly Maguire
leader John “Yellow Jack” Donohue pleads for a pardon from
a three member board 130 years after her ancestor was
hanged for murder on the so-called “Day of the Rope.”

“Yellow Jack” Donohue was convicted for killing Morgan
Powell,” said historian Howard Crown who wrote book about
The Molly Maguires and says prejudice against the Irish was
common in Pennsylvania in the 1870’s.

Others have invested interest in the pardon of Donohue,
including the Ancient Order Of Hibernians division in

“We hope to march in the Jim Thorpe parade, stand before
the jail where Jack Donohue was hung and when we turn and
do our memorial ceremony hopefully we’ll have a smile on
our face someday noting that his name has been cleared,”
said Jack Schneider Ancient Order Of Hibernians.

If the posthumous pardon has been granted by the board and
signed off by Governor Ed Rendell this will be only the
second time in history in the state of Pennsylvania.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


Minute's Silence For All Killed In Rising In 1916

Stephen Collins, Political Correspondent


A minute's silence for all who were killed in Dublin during
the 1916 Rising will take place after the military parade
to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the event has passed
the GPO on Easter Sunday.

The proposal to have a minute's silence was made by the
Labour Party representative on the all-party steering
committee on the 1916 commemoration, Liz McManus, and it
was accepted by the Government and the other political

It will honour all who died in 1916, the members of the
Irish Volunteers, the Citizen Army, policemen, British
soldiers and civilians. Ms McManus also proposed that the
contribution of the Citizen Army should be recognised in
the parade by having its banner, the Starry Plough, carried
alongside the Tricolour and this was also accepted.

"We had a very useful meeting and our concerns were
addressed," said Ms McManus. "I had been worried about a
partisan approach designed to promote Fianna Fáil, but the
Government was embarrassed and had to involve the rest of

She said it was agreed to produce a brochure recording the
names of all who died in Easter week along with an essay
about the event.

The military parade on Easter Sunday will involve 2,500
members of the Army, Navy and Air Corps, Army and Garda UN
veterans and a fly-past by the Air Corps. It will start at
Dublin Castle and pass along Dame Street, College Green and
O'Connell Street. There will be a reading of the
Proclamation outside the GPO with appropriate military

Northern MLAs will be invited to join Ministers, TDs, the
judiciary, diplomats and other dignitaries on the reviewing
stand for the parade. The British ambassador has also been
invited .

There will be a wreath-laying ceremony in Kilmainham Gaol
in the morning, a reception for relatives of those who took
part and a Government reception at Dublin Castle that

The Government has approved a stamp to commemorate the 90th
anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in the summer of
1916 in which thousands of Irishmen from North and South
took part. A ceremony will be held at the war memorial in
Islandbridge in July .

Meanwhile, councillors in Derry have backed commemorations
to mark the anniversary which could include a controversial
parade through the city.

Nationalists say the move is designed to mark one of the
most pivotal events in Irish history, but unionists claimed
next month's events will isolate the Protestant community.

SDLP councillor Pat Ramsay tabled an amendment to the
original Sinn Féin motion, which was passed yesterday. He
called for the need to cherish all children equally to be
the central theme of the commemorations.

He also said leisure centres and museums should be free for
young people on the day. "The 1916 Rising was a hugely
important part of our history and it cannot be airbrushed

© The Irish Times


National Library Gets Important Collection Of Joyce

Terence Killeen

The National Library has acquired an important collection
of previously unknown James Joyce manuscripts, following on
the purchases of the Léon documents in 2002 and a Ulysses
manuscript in 2000.

The latest documents, which consist of six sheets, date
from the very first stages of the composition of Joyce's
last work, Finnegans Wake, in early 1923. They have been
bought from a private collector, believed to be based in
France, through Sothebys at a cost of €1.17 million. The
purchase was funded by the AIB Group under the Tax Credit

Commenting on the purchase, Dr Luca Crispi of the National
Library said that this was an extraordinary acquisition,
which would come as a major surprise to Joyce scholars. The
documents were highly significant, he added, and would give
rise to much speculation and debate.

The small quantity of these manuscripts belies their
importance for Joyce studies: the six sheets all deal with
some of the primary "characters" and "events" with which
the writing of Finnegans Wake began: the figures of the
Irish princess Isolde and her Breton lover Tristan, of the
Four Old Men, who are linked to the Four Masters and the
Four Evangelists, and of St Kevin.

The documents have several features which distinguish them
from most other Finnegans Wake manuscripts: for instance, a
substantial portion is written in the hand of Nora Joyce, a
very rare phenomenon in Joyce's manuscripts. The fact that
Nora was involved in such an early stage in the writing of
Finnegans Wake may suggest a degree of creative
collaboration which was hitherto unsuspected.

Another striking aspect of these documents is the very
different portrayal of the characters depicted than is to
be found in the finished work. In these manuscripts, Isolde
(or Issy) and the Four Old Men are far more human figures
than they later become. The text is much clearer than in
later developments: there are scarcely any of the verbal
distortions that for most readers form the principal
feature of Finnegans Wake.

Isolde is an enchanting, childlike creature, with many
entertaining tricks and turns (such as cleaning the chimney
by setting fire to copies of The Irish Times and sending
them whooshing up the flue, or lisping a childish version
of the Lord's Prayer) which do not appear in subsequent
drafts or in the final Finnegans Wake. The Four Old Men,
also, have elements of pathos, senility and loneliness that
are only fitfully apparent in the finished work.

Another exciting aspect of this discovery is the presence
of a poem by Joyce in part of the text. The surprising
aspect here is that this is a different poem from one which
appears in another, already known draft of closely related

At the very least, this new acquisition shows that Joyce's
conception of the work was extremely open and fluid at this
stage and that the book could have gone in a number of
directions. This purchase will fuel speculation and debate
as to these possible courses and recourses.

These exciting new manuscripts are now on display at the
James Joyce and Ulysses at the National Library of Ireland
exhibition. They will remain there until Friday, March
10th, when the exhibition closes.

© The Irish Times


Bishop Wants Parade To Ban Women's Group

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

A New Jersey bishop has begun a campaign against the
inclusion of America's largest feminist group, the National
Organisation for Women (Now), in one of New Jersey's
largest St Patrick's Day parades because of its support for
women's reproductive rights.

At least 18 priests have written protest letters to the
organisers of the Morristown parade, calling on them to
reconsider the inclusion of Now after Bishop Arthur J
Serratelli wrote his protest letter to all priests in
Morris County, where the parade takes place.

In his letter, Bishop Serratelli, whose diocese includes
nearly 400,000 Catholics, said Now's support for "abortion,
birth control and reproductive rights" was against the
teachings of St Patrick.

The parade organisers have refused to remove Now, which has
marched in the parade since 1992 accompanied by a small
shamrock-decorated float which includes no political

Now marched in 2000 when the previous bishop, Frank J
Rodimer, was grand marshal of the parade. In his recent
letter, Bishop Serratelli asked priests in Morris County to
express concerns that Now would be marching.

Robert Nace, of the Morristown Friendly Sons of St Patrick,
which helps to organise the parade, said Now had always
complied with the parade's strict rules against
distributing political messages.

© The Irish Times


Irish Oscar®-Nominated Short Film SIX SHOOTER Will Shortly
Be Available To Download From Itunes


Irish Oscar®-nominated short film SIX SHOOTER will shortly
be available to download from iTunes.

Martin McDonagh’s short film SIX SHOOTER, together with
this year's five Oscar® nominated live action shorts, will
soon be available to purchase from .

The Oscar-nominated short films are also being theatrically
distributed by Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures,
in 14 cinemas across the UK and the US before the Oscars
ceremony this Sunday March 5th.

“We’re delighted to see Irish film reaching as wide an
audience as possible. This will be the first time that an
Irish short film has been available from i-tunes. SIX
SHOOTER was been a phenomenally successful project and we
wish Martin and all involved every success at the Academy
Awards this Sunday.” said Simon Perry, CEO the Irish Film

The Irish short film SIX SHOOTER, directed by renowned
Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, is an imaginative black
comedy boasting an impressive cast of Irish talent
including Brendan Gleeson (STUDS, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO) in
the lead role and Ruaidhri Conroy (HART’S WAR, WHEN THE SKY
Aisling O’Sullivan (THE ACTORS, THE WAR ZONE) in supporting
roles. The film was shot on location in Wicklow, Waterford
and Roslare.

SIX SHOOTER was produced by Missing in Action Films, Funny
Farm Film & Television and Fantastic Films and co-financed
by the Irish Film Board, Ireland’s national screen agency
and Film Four Lab, the experimental division of Film Four
dedicated to working with first time writers and directors.
SIX SHOOTER is the first collaboration between BSE/IFB and
Film Four Lab with the aim of developing new film talent.

The short films will also be made available on other
platforms including the Shorts TV channel for mobile

Further Information
Louise Ryan
Tel: +353 91 561398
Fax: +353 91 561405

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