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March 19, 2006

SF: Govt Plans Will Be Judged On Delivery of Political Institutions

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News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 03/19/06 SF: Govt Plans Will Be Judged On Delivery of Political Institutions
ML 03/19/06 Parade Latest Of Roads For Adams
BN 03/19/06 Late Airport Arrival Also Kept Adams From Buffalo
BG 03/19/06 A New Sinn Fein Politician Meets An Old Animosity
II 03/19/06 Bush Humbles Adams After Insult To Envoy
UN 03/19/06 US Govt Warns Tourists To Ireland About Crime Increase
IN 03/19/06 Couple Deny Links To Loyalist Paramilitaries
BG 03/19/06 Immigration Bill Elicits Sharply Divergent Views
BS 03/19/06 Irish Immigrants Returning Home
IT 03/19/06 Donaldson Claims British Plotted To Save Trimble
IN 03/19/06 Plea From Relatives Of Disappeared
IN 03/19/06 Opin: Struggle For Freedom Is Story Worth Reading
IN 03/19/06 Opin: Blair’s Problems Keep Piling Up
IN 03/19/06 Opin: Wee Men Of North Get A Glimpse Of The Future
RT 03/19/06 Act Ousting Groceries Order To Take Effect
IN 03/19/06 Warning Of Bidding War If State Enters Historic Sale
IN 03/19/06 Rallying Cry To Save Building That Became The 1916 Alamo
SF 03/19/06 Dublin Parade's Easter Rising
IN 03/19/06 Thousands Hail Glorious Saint Patrick
TS 03/19/06 Irish Will 'Be The Switch That Turns The Light On'
BG 03/19/06 JFK Aide 'Irishman Of The Year'
ND 03/19/06 Pogues' Worse-For-Wear Singer Still Has It
DO 03/19/06 History Lovers Honor Influential Irishman


Government Plans Will Be Judged On Whether They Will
Deliver Political Institutions

Published: 19 March, 2006

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness today said
that his party looked forward to seeing the two governments
plans for a speedy restoration of the political

Mr McGuinness said:

"In our discussions with the two governments we have made
it crystal clear that progress had to be made in the
immediate period. This means the lifting of suspension and
a determined effort to establish a fully functioning
Executive. It also means the end of the failed approach of
pandering to the DUP.

"It is clear that big decisions now lie ahead for Ian
Paisley and his party. All of the other parties and the two
governments have stated that they wish to see the political
institutions put back in place. The DUP remain isolated as
the only party who continue to oppose progress.

"It is my view that we can collectively deliver a fully
functioning Assembly and Executive. But for this to happen
the two governments need to stand firmly behind the Good
Friday Agreement. I look forward to seeing the proposals
being put together by the two governments. These plans will
be judged on whether or not they will deliver the
institutions people voted for eight years ago."ENDS


Parade Latest Of Roads For Adams

Sunday, March 19, 2006
By Jo-Ann Moriarty

WASHINGTON - Marching in today's Holyoke St. Patrick's
Parade will be Gerry Adams, the Belfast Catholic helping
change history with the part he has played in bringing
peace to Northern Ireland.

Adams is the president of Sinn Fein - in Gaelic, "We
Ourselves" - the former political wing of the Irish
Republican Army and now the largest nationalist political
party in Northern Ireland. He is lauded as the man who
moved the IRA from bombs to ballots in its struggle for a
united Ireland.

Adams, a former IRA commander, was instrumental in getting
the paramilitary organization to surrender its arsenal of
weapons last July and disband in October, by fostering
trust in the political process.

For some, however, it is hard to shake off their image of
Adams as a frontman for terrorists with blood on his hands.
That was highlighted Friday, when Adams was detained at a
Washington, D.C., airport after attending a St. Patrick's
Day event at the White House.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., who had invited Adams to speak
at the Buffalo, N.Y., Irish Center, told the audience
Friday night Adams did not make it to Buffalo in time
because he was detained while trying to catch a flight to
upstate New York.

Transportation Security Administration officials were
unavailable for comment yesterday. A Homeland Security
official said Adams had left the Washington area, but would
give no further details.

Higgins said Adams' name and that of a traveling companion
appeared on a terror watch list, triggering a lengthy
inspection. "When I spoke with his assistant a little while
ago, their luggage was still being, let's just say,
inspected," Higgins told a crowd of several hundred Friday
night. Adams was detained for more than an hour, he said.

"Gerry Adams should not have been on a terror watch list,"
Higgins said.

Other U.S. politicians who have been involved in the
Northern Ireland political process see Adams as a
peacemaker, no matter what he might have been in the past.

"What he did with the IRA is historic," said U.S. Rep.
Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, who invited Adams to walk
the three-mile march today. "It's unbelievable. This is the
longest-standing feud in the history of the Western world.
He has brought them to the negotiating table."

U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., agreed.

"The decommissioning was a historic event toward peace,"
Kennedy said. "The Sinn Feiners have met every condition
that was understood for the implementation of the Good
Friday Agreement. Now all parties have to participate in
the Good Friday Agreement, and I don't think there are any
reasonable excuses not to."

Kennedy's note of caution was directed at the Democratic
Ulster Party (DUP), the largest of the mainly Protestant
"Loyalist" or "Unionist" parties pledged to maintaining the
political union between Northern Ireland and the United

Democratic Ulster Party leader the Rev. Ian Paisley refuses
to meet Adams or other members of Sinn Fein, which
represents mostly Catholic "Republicans" seeking a united

Paisley was the only key Northern Ireland political
official who did not accept an invitation to Washington to
participate in the capital's celebration this week of Irish
ancestry and St. Patrick.

All of Ireland - voters in Éire and Northern Ireland -
approved the Good Friday Agreement peace accord in 1998,
the blueprint for a government in which Protestants and
Catholics can share power. Some 86 percent of the
population of Éire and about 44 percent of Northern Ireland
is Roman Catholic.

In the North, Protestants and Catholics elected a
legislative assembly and an executive branch of secretaries
from all political parties. Protestant leader David
Trimble, the head of the Ulster Unionist Party, and
Catholic leader John Hume, head of the Social Democratic
Labour Party, shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 for this
notable achievement.

But Northern Ireland elections in 2002 brought in more
strident political representatives. Paisley and Adams
replaced Trimble, who had refused to publicly shake Adams'
hand but took a seat with him at the peace table, and Hume,
who rejected violence but realized there would never be
peace in Ireland unless the IRA participated in talks.

Since his election, Paisley has refused to talk to Adams,
let alone run a government with him. The new Northern
Ireland Assembly collapsed in 2003, largely over Paisley's
complaint that the IRA was still organized and armed, and
has been suspended since then. Northern Ireland is again
reluctantly ruled from London.

Rep. James Walsh, R-N.Y., said Adams was able to persuade
IRA members that everything they were fighting for was
attainable through peaceful means.

"Adams with his other leaders have taken the Republican
movement and changed it," Walsh said. "They got people
invested in democracy, and (Sinn Fein) is the fastest
growing party on the island today. They are not only good
leaders, they are good politicians."

Sir Reg Empy, head of the moderate Ulster Unionist Party,
also wants the people of Northern Ireland to govern
themselves, and sees the 1998 peace accord as an
opportunity to change the age-old torturous story of strife
between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland to one of
peace and prosperity.

"You have to look back 15 years ago and ask yourself what
you're seeing today," Empy said of the current lack of
violence and low levels of unemployment. "We have had
tremendous improvements. We have to finish this last piece.
Closing a deal is always the hardest."

Empy refers to Adams simply as "Gerry," which U.S.
lawmakers consider a good sign.

Empy told The Republican he agrees Catholics had just cause
during the late 1960s and early 1970s to fight for their
civil rights, but that the decision to rearm the IRA was

The late 19th and early 20th century had seen a vigorous
but unsuccessful campaign for Irish home rule. In 1922,
following the vicious Anglo-Irish War, the 26 counties that
now make up Éire seceded from Britain as the Irish Free
State, in a settlement that kept the six counties of
Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.

Secession led directly to the Irish Civil War in the South
as militant nationalists turned against one another in a
fight over the direction the new state should take.

By the mid-1960s in Northern Ireland, Catholics were
increasingly discriminated against by the Protestant
majority in education, employment and housing. Catholics
were being burned out of their homes. So brutal became the
civil strife that British troops were dispatched to
Northern Ireland to protect Catholics.

But in a tragic echo of the Boston Massacre 200 years
earlier, when British troops shot and killed 13 Catholics
marching for civil rights on Bloody Sunday, Jan. 30, 1972,
the fierce quest for Irish independence was reignited in
nationalists. Sectarian violence roiled for another 30
years, killing more than 3,000.

President Bill Clinton allowed Adams into the country in
1994, the year the IRA called a cease-fire that with one
break lasted until its disarmament. Loyalist paramilitary
groups joined the cease-fire six weeks after the IRA
announcement. At the time, the Sinn Fein leader's voice was
banned on television and radio in Britain by the
Conservative and Unionist Party government of Prime
Minister John Major.

When Prime Minister Tony Blair, who attends Catholic
services with his wife, Cherie Booth, took office in a 1997
landslide, he was willing to listen to a peace proposal.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has worked with Blair to
let Northern Ireland govern itself and leave open the
question of a future united Ireland.

Now Adams is asking for all political parties in Northern
Ireland to be treated the same, and that neither London nor
Dublin should allow one political party to stalemate the
peace process.

"At the cornerstone of the process is that all people and
all parties have to be treated on the basis of equality,"
Adams said. "We will not stand for Sinn Fein or any other
party to be treated in any other means."

Specifically, Adams is asking U.S. lawmakers and voters to
use their influence to pressure the British and Irish prime
ministers to set a date for the Assembly to meet.

"That is the way to move forward," Adams said.

Ahern agrees. "We are hoping that in 2006 we can make the
breakthrough ... to get the institutions up and running
again," he said on his way into a St. Patrick's luncheon
with President Bush and members of Congress.

"Tony Blair and I have already had two meetings this year.
We will be meeting again shortly," Ahern said. "All of our
effort is to try to get the assembly up and running."

One concern is that Paisley will delay participating in the
political process until Blair leaves office. Ahern did not
want to single out Paisley's role. But New York Rep. Peter
King, a Republican, was blunt.

"All the pressure should be on the DUP. They are the only
major party which has still not signed the Good Friday
Agreement, and they are the ones who are obstructing the
creation of a government in Northern Ireland," King said.

Walsh was even more direct.

"The DUP is the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike
holding back the future of Northern Ireland," Walsh said.
"They have espoused devolution. They need to go forward
with it. The barriers have been removed."

Walsh said it seems Adams' sincerity is still suspect in
the Bush White House.

"That's the way it would appear, and that's the way other
political leaders in Northern Ireland will latch on to this
to make that point," Walsh said.

"The fact is Sinn Fein did exactly what they said they
would do: They would use their good offices to deliver the
IRA and decommissioning (and) invest fully into the
democratic process, which is exactly what they've done.
They should be rewarded."

©2006 The Republican
© 2006 All Rights Reserved.


Late Airport Arrival Also Kept Adams From Buffalo

By Matthew Spina
News Staff Reporter

Two factors were at play when Sinn Fein President Gerry
Adams missed his flight to Buffalo on St. Patrick's Day:
While he received extra scrutiny because his name is on a
terror watch list, an airline spokeswoman said he also
arrived at a busy airport far later than he should have.

United Airlines' Robin Urbanski said a printout shows Adams
reached the ticket counter at 4:29 p.m. for a flight
scheduled to take off at 5:10 - the very minute the
Transportation Security Administration cleared Adams to

Even if Adams could have sprinted within seconds to his
gate at the sprawling Dulles International Airport, United
Express Flight 7321 to Buffalo was already rolling to the

Adams allowed "a very, very, very short time to go from
point A to point B," Urbanski said, especially during a
Friday rush hour.

Hours earlier, Adams had eaten lunch at the White House
during a St. Patrick's Day event involving President Bush.
But at Dulles, he required a second security screening for
reasons Urbanski would not discuss.

Most likely, it's because the names of Adams and another
member of his party appear on a federal terror watch list,
as Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, disclosed Friday when he
explained to a crowd of 700 jammed into the Buffalo Irish
Center why Adams missed his plane and had to cancel his
first visit to Buffalo.

Rita O'Hare, Sinn Fein's U.S. representative who was
traveling with Adams, said they got to the airport around
3:45 p.m., but she did not recall how long it took them to
reach the ticket counter.

O'Hare said each time they try to fly in the United States,
airline attendants punch their names into computer screens,
then freeze when the alerts flash. At that point, one of
Ireland's most popular figures waits, and waits some more,
until he can be cleared to board, she said.

That scenario played out a few days earlier when Adams
tried to fly from Newark, N.J., to Washington, D.C. But the
jetway gate closed behind him. Not in front of him.

Adams said Saturday that tedious screening checks at U.S.
airports have become an "occupational hazard" for him and
others with Ireland's Sinn Fein Party, and he has raised
the matter with officials at the White House and State

Still, he said he doubts the annoyance will end, so his
schedule when visiting the United States may continue to go
awry. But he vowed to keep his promise to Higgins to visit
Buffalo someday.

"I certainly don't blame the airport staff or anyone else.
And I have no problem with routine security checks," Adams
said, speaking by phone from a train taking him to an event
in Springfield, Mass. "What I have a problem with is the
practice of putting Sinn Fein through all of this. And also
. . . before we move, we give the State Department our
itinerary." He called the treatment unacceptable and

"We don't have anything to say about this incident because
it doesn't have anything to do with the State Department,"
said spokeswoman Janelle Hironimus, after speaking with the
department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. "Homeland
Security, according to Consular Affairs, has the discretion
to ask questions of anyone who comes through our borders .
. . so it's really the purview of Homeland Security."

Adams, 57, has been widely credited with making Sinn Fein a
professional political party as opposed to a political
front for the Irish Republican Army, which last year
discarded its arms stockpile and declared an end to its
decades-long military campaign.

"The British government and the government of Ireland both
recognize Sinn Fein as a legitimate political party with
Gerry Adams as its president," Higgins said Saturday,
stressing there is no reason for Adams to be on a watch
list. "Gerry Adams has, over the past 20 years, pulled the
Irish Republican Army away from its campaign of physical
force to achieve political ends."

After rebuffing Adams last year, the White House invited
him to Friday's traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration
but allowed him only into a gathering of hundreds of people
with Irish links.

President Bush also met with a smaller group that included
families of two men they said were killed by the IRA in
Dublin and Belfast last year, according to The London Daily
Telegraph. The newspaper described the symbolism as a
setback to Adams and Sinn Fein.

Around St. Patrick's Day, Adams visits Northeast cities
with sizable numbers of Irish Americans. Americans have
donated generously to Friends of Sinn Fein USA, a fund-
raising arm. Adams is barred from raising money during his
visits to this country.

He said he was generally pleased when Bush pledged during
the luncheon that his administration would focus on
resuming peace efforts in Northern Ireland. "I welcome
that," Adams said.

In the meantime, he is conducting this year's tour without
his luggage. When interviewed during a conference arranged
by Higgins and his staff, Adams was unsure where his bags
had ended up.

How does he go from having lunch with the president of the
United States to being delayed at the airport? "Well,"
Adams said, "I never die of boredom."



A New Sinn Fein Politician Meets An Old Animosity

Ex-IRA leader's daughter ridiculed

By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff March 19, 2006

At 26, Toireasa Ferris wondered whether she was cut out for
a career in politics. Then she went on national television
in Ireland last month, showed a little leg, and all hell
broke loose.

In the newspapers and on the airwaves, she was ridiculed as
a bimbo for wearing a revealing skirt. And as the daughter
of a former Irish Republican Army commander, she was
vilified for refusing to condemn the IRA murder of a
policeman that took place 10 years ago.

Now, Ferris is determined to seek higher office. In their
fervor to humiliate her and drive her from public life,
Ferris said last week during a visit to Boston, her critics
have convinced her she should run for the Dail, Ireland's

''I was called a slut and a tart. Some people seemed so
determined to push me out of politics, it got me thinking:
They must be afraid of something," said Ferris, who is a
Sinn Fein councilor and leader of Kerry County Council, in
southwest Ireland, and the daughter of Martin Ferris, once
one of the IRA's most senior commanders, and himself a
member of the Dail.

In many post-conflict societies, it is not unusual for
former fighters and their children to become civic leaders,
but in Ireland this transition has been marked by lingering
animosity. Twelve years after the IRA called the cease-fire
that ended widespread violence, and eight years after the
Good Friday Agreement provided a road map to a peaceful
future, there is still enormous bitterness directed at the
Sinn Fein party, long regarded as the political wing of the

That anger persists even after the IRA disarmed last year
and directed its fighters to devote all their energy to
achieving a united Ireland through peaceful, democratic
methods. Even as Sinn Fein has grown to represent most
Catholics in Northern Ireland, and become a growing force
in the Irish Republic, some dismiss the party's leaders as
apologists for terrorists.

In Washington, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was dogged
during St. Patrick's Day festivities by the families of two
dead men -- one from Belfast, the other from Dublin -- who
say Sinn Fein has not done enough to bring their IRA
killers to justice. The families of Robert McCartney and
Joseph Rafferty say that if Sinn Fein members want to be
treated as democrats, they must expose thuggish elements in
their midst.

Toireasa Ferris said she is part of a new crop of Sinn Fein
politicians -- those who want to talk about bread-and-
butter issues, like healthcare, as much as ending the
partition of the island. But she said some people refuse to
get beyond ''the politics of condemnation," in which Sinn
Fein officials are constantly attacked for past actions of
the IRA. While Sinn Fein supports the IRA, the party
insists it cannot be held accountable for the IRA's
actions, and that efforts to force it to do so are
politically motivated.

As Toireasa Ferris spoke with a reporter at the Boston
Harbor Hotel, the water over her shoulder provided a
dramatic and ironic backdrop: 22 years ago, a fishing
trawler laden with $1 million worth of weapons bound for
the IRA sailed out of Boston Harbor; her father was
arrested after he collected that arms shipment off the
coast of Kerry. He spent 10 years in prison, emerging as
one of the leading IRA figures to argue it was time for the
fighters to let the politicians take control of the
republican movement.

When Toireasa Ferris appeared on ''The Late, Late Show,"
Ireland's most-watched talk show, she described how
difficult it was for her and her five siblings growing up
while their father was in prison. The host, Pat Kenny,
asked her to condemn the IRA men who shot and killed police
officer Jerry McCabe in a 1996 robbery in County Limerick,
but Ferris refused, saying she sympathized with the McCabes
but would not single out one death in a conflict that cost
more than 3,000 lives.

Ferris speaks three languages and has two college degrees,
but she was derided in some press accounts as stupid. Eilis
O'Hanlon, a columnist in the Sunday Independent of Dublin,
dismissed Ferris as ''breathtakingly fatuous," and said the
young politician symbolized how ''a movement which
positioned itself as a serious-minded and credible
alternative to mainstream Irish politics" had descended
''into pantomime and farce."

''Once their appeal could be summed up by the whiff of
cordite," O'Hanlon wrote. ''Now it's glimpses of cellulite
that they most have to worry about."

O'Hanlon's sister, Siobhan, now an adviser to Adams, was an
IRA member who served four years in prison, and their uncle
was Joe Cahill, the IRA's former chief of staff --
suggesting how deeply personal this can get.

Ferris said the attacks on her were sexist and politically
motivated. She said she got letters of support from many
ordinary people, even those who said they were not Sinn
Fein supporters.

''The only thing that really disappointed me in all of this
was the silence of women's organizations," said Ferris.
''The skirt I wore was not short, but even if I had chosen
to wear a short skirt, what's the problem?"

She said when her Sinn Fein colleague Mary Lou McDonald, a
member of the European parliament, put on weight recently,
McDonald was vilified in the press for being fat. ''Mary
Lou is pregnant," she said. ''These attacks are ugly and

In Ireland, it seems, everything is personal. And so it is
for Toireasa Ferris, as she withstands the brickbats and
looks to higher office. To paraphrase what her party leader
once said about the IRA, she isn't going away, you know.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


Bush Humbles Adams After Insult To Envoy

Sunday March 19th 2006
Lara Bradley And Jim Cusack

THE Bush administration's isolation of Sinn Fein-IRA was
complete in the US yesterday, when a humiliated Gerry Adams
was forced to take a six-hour train journey after he was
detained by armed airport security officers because his
name was on an international terror list.

The incident happened less than 24 hours after Mr Adams had
taken the highly unusual step of publicly criticising
President Bush's special envoy to Northern Ireland.

In a scathing attack, Mr Adams had said: "I don't have any
high regard for Mitchell Reiss's input in this process. If
it is he who is advising the president, then it's very,
very bad advice."

Yesterday, without even a change of clothes or a
toothbrush, the hugely embarrassed Sinn Fein president
boarded the early morning train from Washington to
Springfield, Massachusetts, for a marathon journey. The
alternative was a 90-minute flight, but Mr Adams could not
be sure he would not have faced similar problems getting
through airport security.

Last night, his luggage had still not been returned to him
after it was taken away and thoroughly searched by US
security officials at Dulles Airport, Virginia.

A quick shopping trip may have been required this morning,
as he is due to take part in the St Patrick's Day parade in
Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Mr Adams was travelling with Sinn Fein's Washington
representative Rita O'Hare, his close advisor Richard
McAuley and another man when he was detained at Dulles

Homeland Security declined to comment for "privacy
reasons", other than to say Mr Adams was "routinely going
through standard security screening and he had a very
thorough secondary screening. He was never arrested and he
was never detained from the department's perspective".

The official declined to explain why Mr Adams faced
"secondary screening", but Mr Adams' travelling companion
told friends it was because the Sinn Fein leader's name was
"security tagged".

The embarrassing incident put the cap on Mr Adams' worst
ever St Patrick's Day visit to America.

He had earlier been informed that the family of murdered
Dubliner Joseph Rafferty intended taking legal action
against Sinn Fein, and had faced a pointed snub from US
President Bush who declined a private meeting with him at
the official White House St Patrick's Day reception.

Earlier, a ban on fund-raising, imposed as a part of Mr
Adams' visa conditions, had forced Sinn Fein to hand back
$100,000 in ticket sales for a gala breakfast the Sinn Fein
leader attended in Washington.

Mr Adams was described as "clearly bitter" about the frosty
reception he received from Mr Bush, but he told one
reporter, "at least I got a free breakfast."

It is understood that both Mr Adams and Ms O'Hare's names
appeared on the international terror list and the pair were
detained for so long in airport security that they missed
their plane.

The Sinn Fein president was described last night as
"certainly not happy" but "resigned" to the inconvenience.

He told US reporters it "seems very unfair", but conceded
that the security officers were "only doing their job".

Congressman Brian Higgins telephoned US envoy Mitchell
Reiss yesterday to discuss the detainment of Mr Adams, and
said he will be making a "strong statement" to Mr Reiss
about the matter.

He said it was "reasonable to conclude" that Mr Adams'
outspoken remarks about Mr Reiss and his subsequent
detention were "more than a coincidence".

Mr Adams had been due to speak at the Buffalo Irish Centre,
in upstate New York, at Mr Higgins' invitation. More than
600 guests paid six dollars each to attend the St Patrick's
Day event.

A full schedule of Mr Adams' travel arrangements had been
submitted to US authorities several weeks previously. He
arrived at Dulles Airport at 3.30pm and was scheduled to
board the 5.30pm flight, which would have arrived in
Buffalo an hour later, but he was detained for several
hours in security. At 9pm, the Sinn Fein president
complained to friends that his luggage had "still not been

Congressman Brian Higgins, at whose invitation Mr Adams was
visiting Buffalo, first heard about the incident in a call
from Ms O'Hare on Friday evening.

He said: "Rita called and said there was a problem at the
airport. We called the State Department, but by that stage
the flight had already gone. They were taken aside for
extra screening. Two of the four, including Gerry, came up
on the terror watch list. Our government is restricting his
travel. He was detained for an inordinate period of time.
His treatment was insulting and undermining."

Mr Adams' being on a "terror-watch list" may stem from the
18 months he spent in prison in 1982 on an IRA membership
charge. Chief of Staff at the time, he was charged but
acquitted after the IRA incinerated 12 people at the Le
Mons Hotel in east Belfast in February 1978.

© Irish Independent &


US Government Warn American Tourists To Ireland About Crime
Increase Here

13:29 Sunday March 19th 2006

The American Government is warning travellers to Ireland to
take extra care due to the increased incidence of crime.

The latest travel advice issued by the US State Department
says the rate of violent crime in Ireland is increasing.

It notes incidents of violence towards foreigners and
tourists, including those who appear to be members of
racial minority groups.

It says there is a high incidence of petty crime and credit
card fraud, and explains how thieves target rental cars and
tourists, particularly in Dublin.

They also warn travellers against attending public
demonstrations, reporting several incidents of how
Americans have experienced physical and verbal abuse as a
result of disagreement with US policy on the war on


Couple Deny Links To Loyalist Paramilitaries

By Sharon O’Neill Chief Reporter

A CO ARMAGH couple who had £3.6 million in assets frozen
have strenuously denied their wealth is derived from the
proceeds of drug, fuel and cigarette smuggling.

Earlier this month the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was
successful in obtaining court orders allowing them to take
control of properties and other assets held by Mark and
Beverly McKinney from Portadown, including a hau-lage
company based in the town, MMK International Transport Ltd.

ARA argued in Belfast’s High Court that the firm was used
to smuggle drugs fuel and cigarettes.

Under the same order the assets of Anthony James McNeill,
also from Portadown, were frozen as part of an
investigation into money laundering.

In a statement the couple denied any wrongdoing and links
to paramilitarism, insisting they have been the subject of
“wild and inaccurate speculation”.

“Neither Mark McKinney, Beverly McKinney or their company
have any links to loyalist or other paramilitaries, whether
it be the LVF, UVF or any other organisation,” a statement

They confirmed that Anthony O’Neill’s position as a sub-
contractor was terminated three weeks ago.

“We accept no responsibility for any links that Mr O’Neill
may have, or for the investigation that is currently
ongoing into his affairs,” the statement added.

“We are absolutely clear and unambiguous in stating that
neither we personally nor our company have received or
laundered any money for or on behalf of any paramilitary
organisation whatsoever.

“We categorically deny suggestions that either we as
individuals or the company has been involved in the
smuggling of fuels, cigarettes or drugs.

“The seed capital for the business came from our own
resources and hard work.

“Mr Mark McKinney has previous minor conviction from some
15 years ago like many in his community, his past is his
past and remains so.

“‘He wishes to state adamantly that he has never been a
member of the UVF or the LVF as alleged.

“As a business person generating employment in the greater
Portadown area, he has obviously come into contact both in
a social and business sphere with people who may have such
associations but he is clear and adamant that he has not
been a member of any proscribed organisation.”



Was this land made for you and me?

Immigration Bill Elicits Sharply Divergent Views

By Christine MacDonald, Globe Correspondent March 19,

A contentious debate over immigration this month in
Washington is echoing in Boston and around the country.

Immigrant and interfaith groups plan to march down Tremont
Street on March 27, the day the US Senate is expected to
vote on a bill dealing with the country's illegal immigrant
population, now estimated at nearly 12 million.

The US House of Representatives already has passed its own
bill that would expand the fence along the US-Mexico border
and increase and expand the legal penalties for living in
the country illegally and for aiding illegal immigrants.

It has drawn particularly vehement fire from advocates of
immigrants who say the measure, if passed, would
criminalize priests, social workers, and others who help
illegal immigrants. People who work with immigrants would
have to see documentation proving that the immigrants are
in the country legally before they could provide services
to them.

''It would, in essence, criminalize acts of goodness and
kindness," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
whose group is helping to organize the Boston rally.

About 100,000 people protested the House bill on March 10
in Chicago and groups have staged smaller protests in
recent weeks in Washington and around the country. In East
Boston's Maverick Square, an interfaith group called for a
more immigrant-friendly reform this month. The Boston City
Council, meanwhile, weighed in March 8 with a resolution
that noted that one in every four Boston residents is an
immigrant and ''recognizes the dignity of all our immigrant
residents, regardless of their immigration status."

Groups that support the House bill's emphasis on stepped-up
enforcement, meanwhile, are using Internet chat groups and
e-mail newsletters to urge members to call Washington about
the bill being crafted in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The House bill is only one vision of what could become law.
Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, the Judiciary
Committee chairman, has filed his own bill that would
establish a temporary worker program and add high-
technology security measures at the border. And a bill
filed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Arizona Republican
John McCain would provide immigrants opportunities to
become citizens, and would have the US work with foreign
governments to reduce the immigrant flow.

Once the Senate passes its bill, the two chambers of
Congress would have to work out their differences before
presenting a version to President Bush for signing.
Noorani, whose group supports the Kennedy-McCain bill, said
spending billions more on expanding enforcement is an
unrealistic approach, given that stepped-up border policing
in recent years has not been effective.

According to a study published March 7 by the Pew Hispanic
Center, illegal immigrants now make up about one in every
20 US workers, or nearly 12 million people. Efforts to slow
their entry have shown little effect and, the study
concluded, have had the unintended consequence of
persuading people who are in the United States illegally to
stay longer instead of risking movements back and forth
across the border.

On the other side of the debate, Robert Casimiro of
Weymouth, president of the Massachusetts Coalition for
Immigration Reform, said the country should focus on
securing the borders and deporting immigrants already in
the country illegally.

''When the government gets that done, maybe we can talk
about a guest worker program," said Casimiro, who supports
the House bill but remains skeptical that lawmakers will
provide the necessary funding and enforcement to make a

''It won't mean a thing unless they get serious about it --
unless they back it up with funding and a commitment from
the executive branch," said Casimiro.

He said his group has nearly 250 Massachusetts residents on
its mailing list.

One of those on the list is Thomas White, a live-in
supervisor of a Beacon Hill condominium building who is
concerned that illegal immigration is threatening the
country's security and way of life.

''We don't know who is coming over our border," White said.
''If we don't have protection of our border, we have no

Business leaders have long maintained that the country's
economy depends on immigrant workers. The American Hotel
and Lodging Association and the National Restaurant
Association reiterated this view last month in a joint
letter to Congress urging lawmakers to pass a measure that
would address national security without curtailing the flow
of immigrant workers its members rely on to head off ''a
mounting labor shortage." The letter went on to state that
''foreign-born workers are necessary to help fill the jobs
where no Americans are available."

But White isn't buying the argument. He said he has nothing
against immigrants but fears the growing illegal population
is taking middle-class jobs and driving down wages.

''I'm a Christian man and I know that I'm supposed to
extend my hand outward to my fellow human beings," White
said. ''But if you had 10 or 20 people storm into your
house, how would you feel?"

William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal
Immigration, a political action group based in Raleigh,
N.C., that states it has members in 50 states, said what's
needed is enforcement of existing immigration law, noting
that the federal government has essentially abandoned
efforts to police companies that employ illegal workers.

''Under George W. Bush, there were zero complaints filed
[against companies] last year," said Gheen, who believes
lax enforcement has emboldened illegal immigrants. He said
''75,000 illegal aliens marching down the streets, out in
the open, is utterly ridiculous," referring to the March 7
march in Chicago to protest the House bill.

According to press reports, illegal aliens and immigrant
advocates, who took to the streets chanting, ''We are not
criminals, we are workers," actually numbered about 100,000
people. It was one of several marches across the country
this month to voice support for more immigrant-friendly
legislation. In Washington, thousands of Irish immigrants
and Irish-Americans, clad in green and white T-shirts,
rallied on Capitol Hill on March 8. In Los Angeles,
meanwhile, Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony has said he would
order the priests he supervises to defy any law that would
require them to ask for immigration papers before providing
help to anyone.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


From the Baltimore Sun

Irish Immigrants Returning Home

Booming economy in Ireland, post-9/11 crackdown persuade
many to leave the U.S.

By Ellen Barry
March 19, 2006

NEW YORK -- Up and down the hills of the Woodlawn section
of the Bronx these days are signs that things are changing.
White paper fliers flutter around storefronts, listing
furniture for sale. On a Friday night, the bars on Katonah
Avenue have a hollow feeling.

The Irish are going home.

Here in a vest-pocket neighborhood at the northern edge of
the borough, they have lived for generations in an
improbable Irish village. Spices are flown in for Irish
bacon, which is cured in the basement beneath the butcher
shop. Grocers stock Original Andrews Liver Salts and Chives
Bramble Jelly.

One of the unexpected effects of the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks has been the departure of waves of Irish
immigrants from the United States. They say the U.S.
crackdown on illegal immigration, coupled with a booming
Irish economy, has eliminated the advantages that drew them

Ten years from now, say activists pushing for immigration
reform, there won't be Irish neighborhoods in New York.

"Watch the various airlines heading for Ireland," said
Adrian Flannelly, chairman of New York's Irish Radio
Network, "and you can see the same type of grief and sorrow
that there has been in the worst days of our history, where
[immigrants] would leave everything behind them.

"The Irish in America are as old as America itself," he
said. "In that sense, this is a disgrace."

The Irish government estimates that 25,000 of its citizens
are living illegally in the United States. Immigration
reform groups say the number is as high as 40,000.

The push to change U.S. immigration law came from Ireland,
where politicians were hearing complaints from voters whose
relatives were living here illegally, said Niall O'Dowd,
chairman and founder of the Irish Lobby for Immigration

"There's nowhere in the world where Irish citizens are more
marginalized than the United States," said O'Dowd,
publisher of the weekly Irish Voice.

The Irish-born population in the United States has been
dwindling for years, from 251,000 in 1970 to 169,827 in
1990, according to the census. It has fallen sharply over
the past four years, most notably in 2003 and 2004, when it
dropped from 148,416 to 127,682.

The shift is felt most acutely in neighborhoods such as

James Carroll woke up here 11 years ago, on his first
morning in America. He threw open the window of an
apartment on 231st Street, and the first voices he heard
were Irish. It dawned on him gradually that, after escaping
the small-town society of the Irish countryside, he had
found that life re-created in the Bronx.

The storefronts speak volumes: Down the road from Rory
Dolan's pub is Ned Devine's, Sean's Quality Deli ("All
Things Good and Irish"), the Celtic Kitchen, the Hibernian
and Aqueduct North, which is named after the huge public
works project that in the 1890s first drew Irish laborers
to the neighborhood.

Ellen Barry writes for the Los Angeles Times.

Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun Get Sun home delivery


Donaldson Claims British Plotted To Save Trimble

Former Sinn Féin official Denis Donaldson who was unveiled
as a British spy last year has claimed he was sacrificed in
a secret service plot to preserve the political career of
then Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble.

The former aide to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams
sensationally admitted last December that he had been a
British spy for over 20 years.

The former prisoner was famously photographed with his arm
around Bobby Sands in an iconic image that went round the
world during the 1981 IRA hunger strike.

Mr Donaldson is pictured in today's edition of the Sunday
World newspaper which discovered his whereabouts at a
secluded cottage in the Donegal gaeltacht.

He told the paper: "The plan was to collapse the
institutions to save Trimble - David Trimble was trying to
out-DUP the DUP and in the end the DUP swallowed him up.

"The whole idea was to get Trimble off the hook and get
republicans the blame. "But it didn't work because Trimble
is history now." He added:

"There was never a spy ring at Stormont." Donaldson also
said he had no idea how documents relating to the private
details of British Army Chief of Staff, hundreds of prison
officers and other individuals came to be found in a
holdall in his west Belfast home.

The former political aide told the newspaper he was not in
contact with any of his former party colleagues. Mr
Donaldson denied being in hiding and said he simply wanted
to be left alone.

© The Irish Times/

Denis Donaldson, 56, is staying in a run-down cottage in
Donegal without running water or electricity.

It is understood the 19th Century property is five miles
from the nearest village and there are no occupied homes

He immediately fled his west Belfast home, and had not been
seen until being tracked down by an Irish newspaper this


Plea From Relatives Of Disappeared

By Sharon O’Neill Chief Reporter

RELATIVES of the ‘Disappeared’ last night issued a fresh
plea to end their years of agony, just hours after raising
their plight with US president George Bush.

The daughter of Co Armagh man Charlie Armstrong – murdered
almost 25 years ago – lobbied senior US politicians for
their support.

Also in Washington to meet the president was the sister of
Seamus Ruddy, right, who was killed in France in 1985.

Their first meeting with Mr Bush came after discussions
about their cases with his special envoy to Northern
Ireland, Mitchell Reiss.

Mr Armstrong, left, a father-of-five, was last seen leaving
home to take an elderly neighbour to Mass in Crossmaglen in
August 1981. His unlocked car later was found abandoned
just over the border in Dundalk.

The IRA has been blamed for his murder.

Mr Armstrong was not one of the nine people the republican
organisation admitted abducting and secretly burying during
the 1970s and 1980s, who became known as the Disappeared.

Last night Mr Armstrong’s daughter Anna McShane said she
hoped her meeting with Mr Bush would prove to be a defining
moment in the search for her father’s remains.


Opin: Struggle For Freedom Is Story Worth Reading

The Thursday Column
By Jim Gibney

Last Thursday, March 9 was Bobby Sands’s birthday. He would
have been 52.

His birthday was marked at a gathering in Belfast at the
launch of a new book dedicated to his life and times.

The book, Nothing But An Unfinished Song: Bobby Sands, The
Irish Hunger Striker Who Ignited A Generation took its
author, Denis O’Hearn, six years to produce.

It is a biography of Bobby’s short life. He died at 27
after 66 days on hunger strike on May 5 1981.

The author goes beyond the image on the wall mural of Bobby
Sands on Belfast’s Falls Road, painted and maintained by
his comrade Danny Devenny; behind the prisoner who has
become a revered icon, a national and international symbol
of resistance and freedom.

The icon is personalised in this the 25th anniversary year
of the hunger strike.

Through the book you get a sense of the boy, the youth, the
adult, the man. Here you see the son, the brother, the
husband, the father.

The use of the word ‘song’ in the book’s title is well
chosen. Bobby loved singing. He was a born entertainer. He
was also passionate about soccer, cross-country running and

Born in Rathcoole, surrounded by countryside, he explored
nature and, in particular, bird life.

As a teenager he grew his hair long, Rod Stewart-style,
sang Rod’s songs; his favourite Mandolin Wind.

Girlfriends from his youth describe him as charming, caring
and gentle.

One word never far from the lips of those who help portray
this book’s subject is ‘enthusiasm’.

‘Happy go lucky’ Bobby loved life.

He was very much his mother and father’s son. The first
born, he grew up in a loving home. His qualities, those of
his parents.

With such traits his life should have revolved around the
stability of a family, home and job rather than the life
Bobby chose, that of an IRA volunteer.

In his early life he could be ‘stubborn’, especially in the
face of intimidation.

At the point of a loyalist gun he refused to leave his job
as an apprentice coach builder or leave his Rathcoole home
when stabbed by loyalists.

With maturity determination, replaced stubbornness.

It is his life in the IRA, in prison, which defines him. He
spent nearly a third of his life behind bars. At 19 he
married in jail. His first son was born while he was there,
as was his second son who tragically died at a week old.

When free his boundless energy saw him organising IRA
operations in Twinbrook, housing campaigns, producing a
local paper, Liberty and events for the elderly and young,
Irish classes. Nothing was too small or big for his helping
hand. He led by example and inspired those around him to

The greatest challenges he faced were in the dungeons of
the H-Blocks. There his bravery and determination shines –
entombed with hundreds of others, naked but for a blanket,
starved, brutalised, living in their own excrement,
sleeping on a urine-sodden mattress, sharing the cell with
maggots infesting putrefying food.

In these fetid conditions Bobby the writer emerges. He left
a compelling written account of those horrendous days.

The book also recalls the first hunger strike in 1980 which
involved three women in Armagh Jail and seven men in the H-

One of the women, Mairead Farrell, was later shot dead by
the SAS in Gibraltar.

Bobby’s death-bed scene is heart rending. It conjures up
similar scenes for the families of Francis Hughes, Raymond
McCreesh, Patsy O’Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin
Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Tom McElwee and Mickey Devine.

The book is a reminder of the brutality of Thatcher’s
regime as it played out in the cells of the H-Blocks and
Armagh Women’s Jail.

A reminder too of the Titanic battle which the prisoners
won, the election of Bobby as MP, Kieran Doherty and
blanket man Paddy Agnew as TDs and the lasting impact of it
all on the freedom struggle.

This story, and more, can now be told where it unfolded in
Long Kesh. The prison has been preserved.

You can stand in the cells where Bobby and the other hunger
strikers died and momentarily share their world.

You should do so.

(Visits to the prison can be arranged through Coiste na
Niarchimi, Belfast 028 9020 0770)


Opin: Blair’s Problems Keep Piling Up


The problems just keep piling up for Tony Blair. At the end
of a difficult week which saw him rely on the Tories to win
his contentious school reform vote, the British prime
minister has become embroiled in a much more damaging

The Labour party yesterday admitted it received £14 million
in secret loans prior to last year’s general election. This
revelation followed questions over the nomination of
wealthy donors to the House of Lords.

Mr Blair has been forced to deny allegations of cash for
peerages and has instigated a review of party funding.

He had little choice but to take some form of action after
the party treasurer, Jack Dromey, disclosed that he had not
been informed about the secret loans.

The revelations are damaging for Mr Blair who famously
declared his party, which had lambasted the Tories over
sleaze, would be “purer than pure”.

Several years on from that declaration, Labour may not have
done anything illegal but the overall impression is of a
leadership with too great an interest in money and too
little concern about issues such as openness and

The problem is that when financial matters are not open and
subject to independent scrutiny, then the system is
vulnerable to abuse.

There is a legitimate public interest in where political
parties get their money and the dangers of failing to
disclose sources of funding are obvious.

Under the current rules, the Labour party did not have to
declare loans taken out at commercial rates.

However, failure to do so displayed a worrying attitude to
the spirit of openness which should be at the forefront of
all political financial matters.


Opin: Wee Men Of North Get A Glimpse Of The Future

By James Kelly

HAS Ireland reached an historical turning point? It was
good to hear Taoiseach Bertie Ahern this week say so. He
says we are witnessing what can only be described as
“political climate change” in the wake of the Good Friday
Agreement – a new era of peace and prosperity on the island
and adds: “as we move Ireland out from the shadow of the
gunman, politics must move on, for the overwhelming
majority of the Irish people have consistently rejected
violence and sectarianism”.

This was a timely utterance on the eve of a different St
Patrick’s day when Protestant and Catholic, united at last
to celebrate the feast day of a humble man and a self-
confessed sinner who slaved on the Antrim hillsides,
escaped but came back to bring Christianty to our shores.
And in passing is it not time the authorities here in the
north ended the shame of holding out against the clamant
desire that this great day should be declared a national
and public holiday in unity with the rest of the island?

Isn’t it strange too that the whole dramatis-personae of
politics here, with a few exceptions including old man
Paisley – he sent his son – should fly off to Washington
and other world capitals to join in the worldwide
celebrations of Pats day.

Unfortunately at the White House in Washington, where some
progress towards the implementation of the peace process is
impatiently awaited, little new is heard except the old
blame-game and a recital of all the twists and turns which
have landed us with an impenetrable political log jam, with
Paisley and Sinn Fein implacably opposed after both head
the poll in that unfortunate misbegotten general election
when half the population stayed at home in disgust.
President Bush who insists that he is the “honest broker
and confidential adviser” to London, Dublin and the
political parties involved, is clearly tired waiting for
the local politicians to move from their entrenched
positions. London and Dublin agree and Secretary of State
Peter Hain, who is also in Washington, is forcing the pace
for a now-or-never return to devolution in the coming

Mr Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy, was sent over to
Belfast to find out what is holding up the unfinished
business of the Good Friday Agreement in which the United
States played such an important role. Before returning to
Washington he told William Graham in an exclusive interview
with this newspaper that he considered the present impasse
was temporary and said: “It was easy to become obsessed
with the Byzantine detail of the negotiations and lose
track of the larger picture.”

I like that reference and repaired to the Oxford dictionary
where Byzantine is defined as a “system or situation.
Exceedingly complicated, typically involving a great deal
of administrative detail characterised by deviousness or
underhand procedures”.

‘Underhand and devious’? Does that not ring a bell?
Testifying before a house of representatives sub-committee
on international relations on his return to Washington,
Reiss told congressmen that the DUP refusal to work with
Sinn Fein was preventing progress on policing in the north.

“Why should Gerry Adams take the difficult step to have his
party endorse the police service, a step some of his
followers oppose? Why should Gerry Adams give away the last
card he has to play unless he is going to have some
guarantee that this step will lead to the full restoration
of local government?” he asked.

While he praised Adams for leading the republican movement
away from violence he said the journey was “not complete”,
noting that the Belfast bank robbery was still unsolved and
Robert McCartney’s killers had not been brought to justice.

Well that was Washington on St Patrick’s day AD 2006.

The wee men from the north flew over and were shown the big
picture of the future. And when the ball was over they flew
back. Was it to be ‘1690 and all that’ or a new beginning
as we move out from the shadow-of-a-gunman?

The US president told the political leaders to get on with
the peace process.

So is it to be back to the bogs with Dr No, who was not
listening or a resolute step forward in a changed political


Act Ousting Groceries Order To Take Effect

19 March 2006 07:22

A new act abolishing the controversial Groceries Order will
be signed into law today.

The Competition Act 2006 comes into effect from tomorrow
and will see an end to the order which banned selling goods
at below cost price.

The Groceries Order was first introduced 18 years ago to
prevent small shops being driven out of business by large
supermarket chains.

Last March, the Consumer Strategy Group recommended that
the Order be scrapped and replaced with more competitive

A review was undertaken by Minister for Enterprise Trade
and Employment Micheál Martin and, despite calls from
RGDATA and a number of FF backbenchers for its retention,
it has now been replaced.

Minister Martin said the single most important reason for
getting rid of the Order is that it has kept prices of
groceries in Ireland at an artificially high level by
allowing suppliers to dictate price.

Our competition laws, he said, are not designed to protect
competitors. They are designed to protect competition.

The new Act also governs unfair price discrimination and
bans 'hello money'.


Warning Of Bidding War If State Enters Historic Sale

Memorabilia goes to auction in ‘Independence Sale’

By Valerie Robinson Southern Correspondent

THE Irish state could create a bidding frenzy if it becomes
involved in the high profile sale of historical items, a
museum curator has warned.

Pat Cooke, chairman of the Irish Museums Association, was
referring to next month’s auction in Dublin which will
include the original words and music to the Irish national
anthem, expected to fetch between E800,000 and E1.2

Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh has described as
“scandalous” the planned auction, which takes place during
Easter Week on April 12.

Two auction firms – Adam’s and Mealy’s – are set to put
under the hammer some 400 lots, including last letters of
executed signatories of the 1916 Proclamation Sean Mac
Diarmada and Tom Clarke, manuscripts of Padraig Pearse and
Thomas MacDonagh, a tricolour believed to have flown from
the GPO in 1916 and Michael Collins’s typewriter.

Also on sale is the first communication indicating that the
26 counties were to become a free state – a telegram from
the Duke of Devonshire informing the Irish secretary of
state, WT Cosgrave, that the King had just agreed to give
Ireland independence.

Mr O Snodaigh has called on the government to intervene
with emergency legislation to prevent the “sell-out of our

“The state has the legal authority to declare an historical
site a national monument. It also has the power to issue
compulsory purchase orders on lands in certain
circumstances,” he said.

“Similar powers should be put in place for historical items
such as those about to be sold off.”

However, Mr Cooke, who manages Kilmainham Jail and the
Pearse Museum, has argued that the existence of a vibrant
private market for heritage goods supported rather than
inhibited the objectives of museums.

He said there were “countless items of memorabilia” in
homes throughout Ireland and if the state became involved
in the issue it would be competing with “people with really
deep pockets”.

Mr Cook, who published an article on the sale of historical
documents in the autumn edition of History Ireland, said
the state and the private market should “complement each
other in protecting the patrimony”.

He said that in an era where collectible heritage ranged
from the earliest archaeological evidence to the near
contemporary the private market ensured that artefacts were
safely “conserved in private hands” rather than placing
museums under pressure to collect countless items.

Next month’s ‘Independence Sale’ is being described as
possibly the “most significant” ever held in Ireland.

Stuart Cole, Director of James Adam and Sons, said: “Many
of the items consigned for auction are one-offs.

“Previously unseen and entirely irreplaceable, they derive
from important Irish families directly involved in the
Easter Rising and the battle for Irish independence.”

A handwritten letter by Padraig Pearse asking volunteers to
surrender recently fetched 10 times its estimate at Adam’s,
making E700,000.


Rallying Cry To Save Building That Became The 1916 Alamo

Forgotten last refuge of Easter Rising volunteers

By Valerie Robinson

Campaigners are battling to have 16 Moore Street in
Dublin’s city centre preserved as a museum to mark its
importance as the last headquarters of the 1916 provisional
government – and they’re looking to Northern Ireland for
support, writes Valerie Robinson

THE 1916 Easter Rising was a watershed in Irish history,
sowing the seeds for the War of Independence, the 1921
Anglo Irish Treaty, Civil War and the creation of the

But few perhaps realise that the rebellion breathed its
last gasp not in Dublin’s GPO but in Plunkett’s butcher’s
shop at 16 Moore Street, just around the corner.

Padraig Pearse and other members of the provisional
government, who had held the British defence forces at bay
for a week after the rising was launched on April 24,
recorded on a piece of cardboard in the premises their
decision to hold peace talks.

In the years that followed, the role played by Moore Street
in the creation of today’s Ireland lay forgotten as civil
war, the Republic’s economic struggles and the Troubles
took precedence in people’s minds.

But the National Graves Association (NGA) is now calling on
people in the Republic and Northern Ireland to help make a
successful push to have the building preserved and
transformed into a museum to mark one of the most dramatic
periods in Irish history.

The organisation, which maintains countless republican
graves and monuments throughout Ireland, wants members of
the public to make submissions to Dublin City Council
before Friday March 24 calling for the preservation and
restoration of 16 Moore Street and the adjoining buildings.

Spokesman Matt Doyle described the premises as Ireland’s
Alamo. Irish people have often been remiss in preserving
relics of the past, he said, but have now been given an
opportunity to save a piece of history for future
generations – and just in time for the 90th anniversary of
the 1916 Rising.

“The recent media hype about how the country should honour
the men and women of Easter Week has developed into a
political board game. Let us mark the 90th anniversary by
saving the Irish Alamo,” he said.

“The National Graves Association is now calling on
Catholic, Protestant and dissenter to submit
representations in support of listing 16-17 Moore Street
[to the city council]. Honour the Men and Women of Easter
week. Save 16 Moore Street.”

As the British forces laid siege to the GPO it was decided
that the rebels should evacuate the blazing building. Under
machinegun fire many made their way to 10 Moore Street and
from there, using pickaxes and hammers, they burrowed their
way to number 16.

Irish Volunteers founder The O’Rahilly was already lying
dead just yards away on Sackville Place, a poignant last
message to his wife lying on his body. The site is marked
with a plaque bearing the letter’s words.

Elizabeth O’Farrell, a nurse who had been at the GPO, later
wrote: “Volunteers who had worked hard through the night,
burrowing from house to house toward the top of Moore
Street. After breakfast, Mr [James] Connolly and three
other wounded men were carried through the holes, all the
others followed.

“Mr Connolly was put in a bed in a back room in 16 Moore
Street. The members of the provisional government were in
this room for a considerable length of time (PH Pearse, J
Connolly, J Plunkett, TJ Clarke and Sean MacDermott), where
they held a council of war.”

The men voted three to two to surrender, with Pearse rec-
ording their decision to hold peace talks on a piece of

It was Nurse O’Farrell who carried Pearse’s offer to
negotiate to the British commander, Brigadier General Lowe.
Carrying a white flag, she also accompanied Pearse when he
handed himself over to Lowe.

The combatants then surrendered en masse, handing over
their weapons to the British and gathering in the nearby
front garden of the Rotunda Hospital where they spent the
night before being transferred to places of detention.

The NGA plans to erect a bronze and granite memorial in the
garden over Easter.

The three-storey building at 16 Moore Street and its part
in the final days of the rising lay forgotten until 2000,
when NGA members learned it had been earmarked for
development since 1998 under an integrated area plan for
the city centre.

Dublin City Council later issued a compulsory purchase
order on the premises after becoming unhappy at delays by
developers in getting the work started, sparking a debate
about its future – would it be preserved or demolished?

The NGA sought support from city councillors to save No 16
from demolition by designating it a protected site and
transforming it into an Easter Rising museum.

But letters to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern only received “the
usual two-line reply”, while President Mary Mc-Aleese wrote
that she could not intervene in matters within the remit of
the government, courts and local authorities.

In September 2004 Mr Doyle gave a guarded welcome to a
motion passed by the city council calling for the building
to be turned into a museum.

His group’s campaign re-ceived its greatest boost yet last
December when a report by architects Shaffrey and
Associates and urban historian John Montague, and
commissioned by Dublin City Council, recommended the
preservation of 16/17 Moore Street.

“The fact that the building one visits today is essentially
that which was occupied by the rebel leaders means that No
16 itself is of intrinsic importance to any interpretation
and presentation of the historic events of Easter 1916,”
the report said, calling for the 18th century prem-ises,
now empty and boarded up, to be made into a museum or
commemorative centre and added to the state’s list of
protected structures.

The statement is a far cry from a claim by the council’s
planning department in Nov-ember 2002 that “No 16 is of
limited historical importance”.

On December 5 the local authority adopted a motion calling
on the environment minister, Dick Roche, to “de-clare 14-17
Moore Street as a National Monument”.

The council is now seeking written submissions from the
public on the buildings’ future.

Submissions can be sent to Niamh Lambert, Administrative
Officer, Planning Department, Civic Offices Wood Quay,
Dublin 8.

“Sixteen Moore Street is an important part of our history
and must be saved. Everyone in Ireland should have a say
about its future,” Matt Doyle concluded.


Dublin Parade's Easter Rising

Ireland to celebrate 1916 rebellion for 1st time in 37
- Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dublin -- Everybody loves a parade, right?

Well, here in Ireland's capital, it depends on whom you

After an absence of 36 years, there will be a military
parade here on Sunday, April 16, to commemorate the 90th
anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916. The parade was
suspended after widespread conflict broke out in Northern
Ireland in the summer of 1969, and the Provisional Irish
Republican Army said it was carrying the mantle of the 1916
rebels. The Irish government was loath to do anything that
might suggest legitimacy for the IRA, such as a parade
celebrating a group that killed people.

These days, with the conflict in the north reduced mainly
to one of politics, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced
last fall that the Easter Rising parade, with full military
trappings, would resume. Some accused Ahern of political
opportunism. Others say it is obscene to celebrate the
fanatical brand of nationalism that inspired the Rising's
leaders. Some say it borders on self-loathing for Ireland
to ignore its revolutionary roots.

And many others say, hey, chill out, it's only a parade.

For the traveler, however, the attraction of being in
Ireland these days is to listen to the debate. And for all
the majesty of the Cliffs of Moher, the serene beauty of
the lakes of Killarney and the haunting vista of William
Butler Yeats's grave under Ben Bulben, there is nothing
quite so intriguing as an Irish argument.

The parade will step off from Dublin Castle, the onetime
seat of the British administration, which is worth a visit
in itself. It will wind down Dame Street, to College Green,
before bearing left up O'Connell Street, past the General
Post Office, which was rebel headquarters. At the GPO, the
Proclamation of Independence will be read out, as the
Rising's leader, Padraig Pearse read it to a bewildered few
who happened to be about on Easter Monday, at four minutes
past noon, after the rebels seized the post office.

The GPO, one of the city's last great Georgian buildings,
is worth a visit. Though it is a busy post office, the
Rising is its inescapable legacy: Outside, the walls have
pockmarks from bullets fired during the five days the
rebels held the building; inside, the walls are lined with
a series of 10 portraits that show various events during
the Rising. Ahern recently announced plans to convert the
GPO into a national monument, so its days as a working post
office are numbered.

Also worth a visit is Kilmainham Gaol, where 15 of the
Rising's leaders were executed by British firing squads.
Those executions reversed Irish public opinion, which had
initially been opposed to the rebellion, and eventually led
to a more popular, more successful revolution that won
independence for 26 of Ireland's 32 counties.

But it was what later happened in the other six counties,
which make up Northern Ireland, that made the Irish
Republic reluctant to celebrate what for the Irish is their
battle of Lexington and Concord.

President Mary McAleese, a native of Northern Ireland,
touched off controversy in January when she gave a speech
suggesting that the Rising gave rise to the affluent,
secular and increasingly diverse society that Ireland has
become.But she seemed to acknowledge that her speech would
provoke arguments throughout Ireland's sitting rooms,
kitchens, and pubs.

"In a free and peaceful democracy, where complex things get
figured out through public debate, that is as it should
be," she said.


Getting there
From San Francisco, many airlines offer one-stop flights to
Dublin, via London and other European cities.

What to do
Dublin Castle, Dame Street. 011-353-1-677-7129, Guided tours, 10 to 4:45 p.m.
weekdays, 2 to 4:45 p.m. weekends and holidays. Adults 4.50
euros ($5.42 US), students and seniors 3.50 euros ($4.22),
children under 12 2.50 euros ($3).

General Post Office, O'Connell Street. 011-353-1-705-7000, Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Road. 011-353-1-453-5984. Guided
tours 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily April-September (October-
March, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5
p.m.) Adults 5 euros ($6.03), seniors 3.50 euros ($4.22),
children and students, 2 euros ($2.41).

For more information

Dublin Tourism, Tourism Centre, Suffolk Street. 011-353-1-


Thousands Hail Glorious Saint Patrick

By Maeve Connolly

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU: Downpatrick, Co Down was one of the towns that held a parade to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Pictured at the start of the parade is the great man himself PICTURE: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

TOURISTS and locals celebrated St Patrick’s Day together in
towns around the north. Two pipe bands from Co Monaghan and
Co Tyrone led a parade through Lurgan and a large crowd
watched as the colourful floats followed a circuit from St
Peter’s Club to St Peter’s Church.

Entertainment was also provided at the Co Armagh club and
children enjoying their school holiday made the most of a
bouncy castle and face painters.

More than 30,000 people were estimated to have joined in
the celebrations in Newry city yesterday.

Sinn Fein councillor Charlie Casey said it was “one of the
best parades in Newry in a long time in terms of the number
of people in the parade and those watching it”.

“There was a light drizzle at the start but it stopped and
although it was cold, the people enjoyed themselves. There
was a great buzz in High Street where there were lots of
different stalls and bands were playing music every hour on
the hour.”

The parade did not begin until 2.30pm in Armagh, giving
people enough time to sample a bowl of Irish stew before
wrapping up warm and lining the route from Palace Demesne
to the Mall.

In Ballymena, the rain held off and allowed more than 1,000
people to follow in St Patrick’s footsteps and climb
Slemish, with the odd stop to catch their breath along the

Some even rested their legs on the stone structure known as
St Patrick’s Chair before making their descent down the
steep slope.

Legend has it that St Patrick tended livestock on the
mountain after being kidnapped and brought to Ireland.

Meanwhile, traditional music seeped out of Enniskillen pubs
yesterday as patrons with shamrock pinned to their lapel
enjoyed a pint as the 3pm parade wound its way through the
town to the delight of children.

The job of leading the parade to St Michael’s Church fell
to St Michael’s Scouts, who were followed by St Michael’s
Band and Coagh Pipe Band.

In Blakes of the Hollow, punters had gathered early in
preparation for an evening of music and an employee said “a
much bigger crowd than usual” had enjoyed the horse racing
earlier in the day.

Old-time dancers also came out in force last night at
Cavanarragh Hall and Milltown Manor in Tempo where there
had been a band parade in the afternoon.


March 19, 2006

Irish Will 'Be The Switch That Turns The Light On'

All invited to celebrate at today's St. Patrick's Day

By Brett Clarkson, Toronto Sun

Or, if you don't speak Gaelic, a hundred thousand welcomes!

Toronto's 460,000-strong Irish community is hoping the rest
of the city's diverse cultures will join them in
celebration of the emerald isle with today's 19th annual
St. Patrick's Day parade, set to begin at noon.

"Last year we had, I'd say, close to 300,000 spectators on
the streets watching the parade," Eammon O'Loghlin, a
member of the St. Patrick's Parade Society, said.

"We have over 100 entries in the parade, a lot of things
for families. It will will be a lot of fun."

O'Loghlin, a member of the parade's organizing committee,
said the parade will be a great day out for families.

"It's really a family affair, and we invite all the 165
different ethnic groups in this wonderful city of ours to
come and join the Irish," said O'Loghlin.

Because this year's St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday, the
celebrations lasted through the weekend, with the St.
Patrick's Parade Society's Grand Marshal's Ball taking
place at the downtown Hilton last night.

Hundreds of members and friends of the Irish community last
night feted parade grand marshal and radio personality Erin
Davis, as well as special guests Sheila de Valera, a
cabinet minister in the Irish government, and Mitchel
McLaughlin, Sinn Fein's national chairman.

Members of the Irish community -- which numbers an
estimated four million people in Canada -- say it's a good
time to be Irish, and that the Irish have great reason to
be proud of their homeland.

"Ireland today -- the government of Ireland -- they've done
a wonderful job over the last 20 years," O'Loghlin said.
"The economy is booming. They've invested a lot of money in
infrastructure and education."

"I'm glad to say that we are the envy of all the member
states of Europe," De Valera said at the gala, referring to
Ireland's surging economy.

Gerry Crowe, a retired high school teacher and humanitarian
who is this year's recipient of the Irish Person of the
Year Award, was asked to describe the Irish character.

"Flamboyance! A joy! Whether you're down or up, you have to
turn on the switch and be beautiful and loving and caring
to one another," he said. "You have to be the switch that
turns the light on."


JFK Aide 'Irishman Of The Year'

By Susan Chaityn Lebovits, Globe Correspondent March
19, 2006

WESTON -- Charles U. Daly's Weston home office could easily
be a museum. From candid shots of him with John F. Kennedy
and Mikhail Gorbachev to personal letters from eminent
government officials, it is packed with pieces of history
that have touched his life.

Daly, 78, who worked for the late president and then headed
his presidential library, will be honored as Irishman of
the Year by the Friends of the Kennedy Library Tuesday.

Given annually since 1986, the award is said to honor
Kennedy's belief that each person can make a difference and
that everyone should try.

Born in Ireland, Daly moved to the United States when he
was 12. His brogue is long gone, other than the occasional
word. ''That's what the Navy and the Marine Corp will do
for your accents," he quipped.

With a bachelor's in international relations from Yale and
a master's in journalism from Columbia, he entered politics
by way of Capitol Hill. From 1959 to 1960, he served in
offices of then-Senator John F. Kennedy and Congressman
Stewart Udall, the Arizona Democrat who served much of the
'60s as secretary of the interior.

When Kennedy was elevated to the White House, Daly was
recruited to work as one of his staff assistants.

He readily admits failure in one of his assignments:
persuading Congress to accept a black member of the
Cabinet; that wouldn't happen until the Johnson

Anything involving race relations was a tough sell in those
days, and Daly that in the push for civil rights
legislation, he and his colleagues sometimes went beyond
arm-twisting to twisting the truth.

He recalled an instance in which they persuaded a
congressman to mislead his constituents about the outcome
of a poll. Although the survey showed 75 percent of the
white people opposed, ''we discussed it and decided that
the congressman would tell the people in the district that
they were 75 percent for it, and the vote went OK." Daly
declined to name the congressman.

A big moment for the Daly family came when Kennedy arranged
for children of staff members to become White House ushers
when they turned 12.

''My son Douglas turned 12 the week before Kennedy went to
Dallas," Daly said. ''There's a picture of him staring at
Kennedy in awe."

Later, both of Daly's sons were invited by Lyndon Johnson
to accompany him on Air Force One to California. ''Now I'm
going to tell you what life is going to be like after the
White House," Daly said he told his sons. Then he handed
them a pair of bus tickets for their return home.

Daly served as director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential
Library and Museum from 1988 to 1994 and then as executive
director of the Kennedy Library Foundation until 2001.

Tom McNaught, deputy director of the foundation, said
Daly's award is long overdue. He credits Daly with helping
to establish the Profile in Courage Award and endowments of
research fellowships in civil rights, the presidency, and
other public policy matters. Under Daly's stewardship, the
library entered the computer age, and its endowment grew
from $8 million to $20 million.

Daly now is on the board of directors of the American
Ireland Fund, which supports arts, education, and
reconciliation programs. He also serves on the board of the
Independent News and Media, an international communications
group based in Dublin and serves as its special adviser on

Daly said he initially joined the Ireland Fund to help
pursue a peaceful resolution to the conflict between
Catholics and Protestants. He also wanted to dissuade
Americans from donating to IRA-linked organizations. ''Many
people were being lied to as they thought they were giving
money for hospital beds," he said.

Daly said he was particularly pleased with the fund's
efforts to promote tolerance, such as its $1 million grant
for an Irish ''Sesame Street."

''I don't believe that the way forward is more killing . .
. that sort of approach to problems led to a lot more
bloodshed and not much progress," said Daly, who was
awarded a Silver Star in World War II and a Purple Heart in
the Korean War.

Asked about the war in Iraq, Daly said, ''The lies in
Vietnam are tiny fibs compared to what led us into this

Daly spends three months a year in Bantry, Ireland, where
he has a home.

In addition to his older sons from his first marriage to
the late Mary de Burgh Daly, he and his wife, Christine
Sullivan -- who had served as appointments secretary for
House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neil -- have two sons, Charlie, a
junior at Weston High School, and Kevin, an eighth-grader
at Weston Middle School. The couple, who are 23 years apart
in age, have been married for 18 years.

Susan Chaityn Lebovits can be reached at

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


Pogues' Worse-For-Wear Singer Still Has It

By Rafer Guzmán
Newsday Staff Writer
March 18, 2006

The Pogues, the band that invented the enduring genre of
Irish folk-punk, kicked off their first U.S. show in more
than 15 years just in time for St. Patrick's Day Thursday
night with "Streams of Whiskey," and it was as good a
manifesto as any. On its face, the jaunty Irish jig is
about a fanciful meeting with Brendan Behan, the IRA
terrorist turned playwright. But singer Shane MacGowan
wasn't much concerned with politics or literature.

"There's nothing ever gained by a wet thing called a tear,"
MacGowan ruminated in his slurred, gargly voice. "When the
world is too dark, and I need the light inside of me/I'll
walk into a bar and drink 15 pints of beer."

Few rock singers - living ones, anyway - are as synonymous
with alcoholism and substance abuse as MacGowan. Throughout
the 1980s, as the band proved that punk rock could be
played with a tin whistle as well as an electric guitar,
MacGowan fashioned himself into an almost mythological
version of the hard-drinking, hell-raising Irishman. He was
the classic causeless rebel, picking fights with anyone who
looked like an authority figure, even if that person was
merely minding the pub door.

The Pogues released a handful of landmark albums, including
"Rum, Sodomy and the Lash" (produced by a kindred soul,
Elvis Costello), but MacGowan's behavior eventually caught
up with him. He developed a heroin habit to complement the
alcohol and wound up missing a string of high-profile gigs
(as the opening act for Bob Dylan) and his bandmates let
him go, though they've reunited occasionally in recent

The rest of the Pogues soldiered on, and Thursday night it
was obvious the years without MacGowan had served them
well. Thanks mainly to Jim Fearnley's accordion, Spider
Stacy's tin whistle and Terry Woods' trilling mandolin, the
seven musicians formed a tightly knit unit that sounded
more like a traditional Celtic group than a bunch of rowdy
punk rockers. (The band has plans to release a live CD and

At 48, MacGowan is noticeably worse for wear, puffy in the
jowls and midsection, and waddling rather than walking.
Still, his charisma was palpable. Though Stacey and other
band members took turns on lead vocals (allowing their
singer to slip away and refill his cup with who knows
what), only MacGowan could really galvanize the crowd.

Though his snarl has softened, he still found the emotional
core in his vulgar, beautiful songs. On "The Old Main
Drag," he described the romance of discovering London as a
youth ("With a fiver in my pocket I went down to the 'dilly
to check out the scene") and the disillusion that comes
with age ("I know that I am dying and I wish I could
beg/For some money to take me from the old main drag").

The evening closed with the band's best-known song,
"Fairytale of New York," a duet between two down-and-out
lovers. Ella Finer, daughter of banjo player Jem Finer,
took the part made famous by the late Kirsty MacColl. At
the end, swirls of fake snow showered the couple while they

THE POGUES. The Dylan Thomas of punk returns. Thursday
through tomorrow at Nokia Theatre Times Square. Seen

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.


History Lovers Honor Influential Irishman

Civil War hero's funeral re-enacted in Wilmington

The News Journal

WILMINGTON -- Their ranks were a bit thin, but the banter
among members of the procession of 75 mourners that made
their way down Market Street on Saturday afternoon was
conspicuously upbeat.

But then, the re-enactment of Gen. Thomas A. Smyth's
funeral -- complete with a horse-drawn, flag-draped hearse
-- was less about bereavement and more about celebrating
the state Civil War hero's contributions to the nation.

The Irish-born Smyth, a Delaware resident for seven years
before his death, is believed to be the last Union general
killed in the war. He was shot by a Confederate soldier and
died on the same day Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at the
Battle of Appomattox in Virginia, ending the Civil War. He
is buried in the Wilmington & Brandywine Cemetery.

In the late 1950s, the Friends of Ireland in Delaware first
began honoring Smyth yearly with a wreath-laying ceremony
on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick's Day. The Sons of
Union Veterans revived the practice in the 1990s and this
year joined the Grand Lodge of Masons in Delaware and the
Wilmington Memorial Day Committee to re-create the funeral
in recognition of the 200th year of the lodge, of which
Smyth was a member.

"He's probably one of our greatest heroes in Delaware to
come out of the Civil War," said James R. Hanby Sr.,
commander of the Appomattox camp of the Sons of Union
Veterans and senior warden of Granite Corinthian Lodge. "He
was an Irishman, and came and lived in Wilmington before
the war, and when the war broke out, he was one of the
first to enlist to repay his adopted country. We definitely
owe him a great debt of gratitude."

For the members of Delaware's sizable Irish-American
community, it was an opportunity to celebrate their
heritage and shed light on a man who, despite the bottom-
of-the-barrel social standing in which Irish-Americans
found themselves at the time, went on to earn great
respect, said Tom Herlihy of Wilmington, a member of the
Eureka-duPont Lodge of Masons in Delaware.

"The Irish at that time were perhaps the lowest level of
the social strata, and for an Irishman to rise to the rank
of general and be recognized as a good soldier was quite
substantial," he said. "And the fact that he went into
Masonry was also unusual for an Irishman at the time."

And it is perhaps a healthier way to recognize the
contributions of Irish-Americans to the nation than by
tipping another Guinness, said John Flaherty, a member of
the Sons of Union Veterans and the Wilmington Memorial Day

"He was Irish-American, a Mason and a hero, and I think
it's important to carry on that memory and to share it with
the larger community," he said.

Contact In-Sung Yoo at 324-2909 or


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