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March 27, 2006

SF Insists Executive Be Restored

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News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 03/28/06 SF Insists Executive Be Restored
IT 03/28/06 McDowell Comment On SF Role Dismissed
DI 03/27/06 Hain To Publish ‘Bridge’ Towards Assembly
ET 03/27/06 Immigration Bill Advances As Protests Spread
BN 03/27/06 More Compensation For Troubles Victims
DI 03/27/06 GAA To Probe Army Camera At Club
BB 03/27/06 NI Players 'Require UK Passport'
DI 03/27/06 Candle To Remember 1981 Hunger Strikes
DI 03/27/06 Hunger Striker Looks Back
IN 03/27/06 Rediscovered Republican Who Could Not Be Bought
IN 03/27/06 UUP Tackles Rise Of Paramilitaries
IT 03/28/06 Oppposition To PSNI Taser Gun Propsosal
IT 03/28/06 Opin: Unravelling The 1916 Rising
IT 03/28/06 Opin: The Real 'Fighting Irish' Story
DI 03/27/06 Bio: ‘GAA Founder Is ‘In Danger Of Being Forgotten’
BB 03/27/06 O'Donnell To Stay On Irish Soil
IN 03/27/06 Daniel Is Staying Put Says His Mum
BN 03/27/06 Girl, 15, Found Hanging At Meath School
BN 03/27/06 Gay Byrne To Chair Road Safety Authority
IT 03/28/06 'Ulysses': Voyage Of Rare Book By Box
IT 03/28/06 State Buys Guinness Land For €1.7m
IM 03/28/06 Commemoration To Mark 350th Anniversary Of Gaelic War.
IH 03/27/06 Performance: A Caustic Brand Of Irish Comedy


SF Insists Executive Be Restored

Liam Reid, Political Reporter

Sinn Féin's chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has said
that Sinn Féin is not willing to take part in the Northern
Ireland Assembly if there is no prospect of having an
Executive up and running by the summer.

Speaking to journalists in Dublin yesterday, ahead of a
meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Government
Ministers on Thursday, he said the two governments should
scrap the Assembly in the summer if the DUP were still
refusing to agree to the election of the first and deputy
first ministers and the Executive.

Mr Ahern is expected to meet British prime minister Tony
Blair in Armagh on April 6th when they will publish the
British and Irish governments plans to reactivate the

These current proposals would set a time limit of the
autumn for an agreement to re-establish the Northern
Ireland Executive, after which the Assembly would be

Yesterday Mr McGuinness reiterated Sinn Féin's opposition
to such a move in strong terms, saying he did not believe
"there can be any halfway house between a DUP 'no' position
in the summer and a DUP 'no' position in the autumn".

"The reality is that the DUP is now isolated in some never-
never land and the sooner the governments effectively tell,
not just the DUP but everybody else that the only way
forward is the full implementation of the Good Friday
Agreement, the better," he said.

His party's position was for the governments to reconvene
the Assembly before the summer, and "make the effort to
elect the first minister and the deputy first minister and
the Executive".

"If the DUP are not prepared to play their part in all of
that, then the two governments should just get on with it.
The Assembly should effectively be abolished, the wages
should be stopped and the two governments should press on
with the all Ireland agenda." He said this was the only
sensible option.

"Let Ian Paisley explain that to the unionist people
because we know there are huge numbers of unionists in
Northern Ireland who want to see these institutions up as
quickly as possible."

He said Sinn Féin was prepared to examine the proposals the
governments would make next week, but indicated that if
they were similar to the proposals of a few weeks ago for
the establishment of a shadow Executive, they would be

"We will look at whatever the governments have put forward
but there's no sort of sensible reason for coming forward
with a repackaged proposal from the one that you saw and
that's been rejected a few weeks ago. So we're not for a
shadow Assembly simply because it's not going to work,"
said Mr McGuinness.

Yesterday members of the SDLP, who were meeting Government
officials in Dublin to discuss the Assembly, reiterated
their party's opposition to an Assembly with no Executive.

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said Sinn Féin would also have to
bear part of the responsibility if the Assembly collapses
over the party's failure to deal with the policing issue
and the ongoing issues relating to alleged criminality
involving senior republican figures.

© The Irish Times


McDowell Comment On SF Role Dismissed

Liam Reid, Political reporter

Comments by Minister for Justice Michael McDowell at the
weekend that Fianna Fáil would consider a deal with Sinn
Féin in the wake of the next election have been dismissed
by a spokeswoman for the Taoiseach.

The spokeswoman said coalition choices for Fianna Fáil were
"not a matter" for Mr McDowell.

The Taoiseach had "reiterated time and time again" that he
would not go into government with Sinn Féin because of the
party's policies on tax, the economy and the EU.

"He would, I'm sure, have no problem repeating it again to
Michael McDowell or anybody," she said. "Ultimately, the
matter of Fianna Fáil's position post-election is a matter
for the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, not Michael

The spokeswoman was reacting to comments by Mr McDowell in
the Sunday Independent where he suggested that Sinn Féin
could hold the balance of power after the next election.

According to the newspaper, when asked if keeping Sinn Féin
out of government was still a valid reason to vote PD,
given the Taoiseach's assurance that he would not go into
government with Sinn Féin, Mr McDowell said: "If Sinn Féin
got 12 seats in the next Dáil, and if they were pivotal
seats which represented the balance of power, they would be
- to use Martin McGuinness's phrase - kingmakers.

"Whatever people say in advance about what they would or
would not do, it doesn't correspond with what happens

Mr Ahern went to great lengths during Fianna Fáil's
Ardfheis to rule out either coalition or relying on the
support of Sinn Féin following the general election.

Mr McDowell's comments are believed to have angered Fianna
Fáil TDs further following last week's controversy over
comparing Fine Gael's Richard Bruton to the Nazi propaganda
chief Joseph Goebbels, a remark that Mr McDowell apologised

He also angered Fianna Fáil deputies last month during a
speech when he said the PDs would be the "meat" in any
coalition it got involved in.

"The larger party may provide the taoiseach," he said. "But
the junior party provides the essential direction of the
government. The larger party may lead. The junior party
defines the direction.

"It's not the more bulky bread which gives a sandwich its
taste. Rather, it's the meat which gives a sandwich its

© The Irish Times


Hain To Publish ‘Bridge’ Towards Assembly


Direct-rule secretary of state Peter Hain yesterday said he
hopes to publish a plan within weeks to provide a “bridge”
towards the restoration of devolved government.

And he warned assembly members that if they rejected his
scheme, he would move to block the salaries and expenses
which they continue to receive even though the assembly has
been suspended since 2003.

Mr Hain said the political process was reaching a “crunch
time” and he would not offer the North’s parties the “get-
out clause” of calling early elections.

He told BBC1’s The Politics Show: “We are planning – and we
will be announcing this in the next few weeks – to bridge
the gap between the unionists, on the one hand, who want to
go into a shadow assembly, and the nationalists and
republicans, on the other, who don’t want to do that.

“But at the end of that bridge, there is a gate. Either
that gate will open to devolved government, which is what
we want, or it will close to the assembly allowances and
pay and salaries will stop.

“There will be no get-out clause of an early election.

“People have to make their minds up.

“It is a crunch time.”

Mr Hain added: “This assembly has been in existence for
nearly four years. They have all been paid not to do their
job. It has cost over £80 million (€115.7 million).

“We can’t continue like this. Everybody agrees with that.
This plan will provide that bridge between the two

“Nobody will be able to avoid taking a decision. That would
be the choice that confronts them.”


Immigration Bill Advances As Protests Spread

Staff and agencies
27 March, 2006
By Donna Smith 48 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - An immigration reform bill that would create a
guest worker program pushed by President George W. Bush
President George W. Bush won approval on Monday from a U.S.
Senate panel against a backdrop of noisy and emotional
protests in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Detroit.

The Senate is struggling to enact compromise legislation to
better secure America‘s borders while offering millions a
chance to be in the country legally, setting up a
politically bruising battle with the U.S. House of
Representatives, where the Republican majority has come out
against legal incentives.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the measure on a 12-6
vote. It goes to the full Senate later this week, where a
heated debate is expected over the guest worker program,
which critics call an amnesty for some illegal immigrants.

The committee‘s action came as President George W. Bush
warned on Monday against fearmongering on the divisive

"No one should play on people‘s fears or try to pit
neighbors against each other," Bush said. "No one should
pretend that immigrants are a threat to American identity,
because immigrants have shaped America‘s identity."

Provisions of the measure that would allow some of the
estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a chance to
legalize their status and earn citizenship will set the
stage for a bruising election-year battle with the House,
where many of the Republican majority oppose incentives for
illegal immigrants.

"A p, , ), a South C, , ) in offering the measure. He said
it was "an eleven-year journey" to earn citizenship and
candidates would have to pay a fine, undergo criminal
background checks, learn English and pay their taxes.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a
Pennsylvania Republican, called it a "a measured bill."

With his job approval rating at a low ebb, Bush is facing a
new test of his political strength during a mid-term
election year, weeks after Republicans deserted him on a
controversial deal to allow an Arab company to manage six
U.S. ports.

In Los Angeles on Monday, hundreds of mostly Latino
students blocked two major downtown freeways, chanting in
Spanish and waving flags from Mexico and El Salvador .
Traffic was snarled until police could move the students
off the road but no accidents, injuries or arrests were

In Boston, more than 2000 people gathered in the city‘s
common, waving Latin American, Caribbean and Irish flags
while marching downtown and calling for urgent immigration

"I‘m here to support the Hispanic community," said Amilcar
Gonzalez, a 23-year-old illegal janitor from Guatemala. "We
are not terrorists, we just want to work."

The House in December passed a tough border security and
enforcement bill that called for construction of a fence
along the U.S. border with Mexico and would require
employers to check the status of their workers. It would
make living in the country without proper documents a
felony and does not include Bush‘s guest worker program.

That bill has sparked hundreds of thousands of mostly
Hispanic demonstrators to protest. Thousands turned out on
Monday in San Francisco and Los Angeles and some 4,000 took
to the streets in Detroit, following a gathering of more
than 200,000 in Los Angeles on Saturday.

More than a dozen immigrants and their advocates have been
camped out on a week-long hunger strike at San Francisco‘s
federal building. "Symbolically they are putting their life
on the line because immigrants do every day," Robert Palmer
of the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition.

The U.S. public is divided between those who favor curbing
illegal immigration with tighter border security and
tougher enforcement and those who say it is essential to
bring some of the estimated 12 million illegal workers out
of the shadows with a comprehensive overhaul.

Immigrant groups, labor unions and some business groups are
pushing for broad reform, including a guest worker program.

Outside the Capitol building on Monday, an estimated 1,500
protesters joined more than 100 clergy members.

In Oakland, Calif., Fernando Suarez del Solar, who says he
immigrated legally in 1997, said the United States was
happy to accept his son -- killed in Iraq in 2003 -- into
the armed forces even though he had a residency permit, not

(Additional reporting by Patricia Wilson in Washington,
Adam Tanner in San Francisco, Bernie Woodall in Los
Angeles, Jason Szep in Boston)


More Compensation For Troubles Victims

27/03/2006 - 16:17:26

Up to 200 victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles who live
in the Republic are expected to be compensated under the
latest phase of the Irish Government’s Remembrance

The body, which began its work in July 2004, has already
paid out up to €3.5m to people bereaved or injured by
nearly 30 years of violence and has a total fund of €9m.

The Commission covers terrorist atrocities including the
Dublin & Monaghan bombings in 1974 and other blasts through
the years in Dublin Airport, Castleblayney, Belturbet and

The Commission began a new national public awareness
campaign today through the media to encourage more victims
to come forward.

A spokesman for the Commission said: “The Commission is
concerned that there are still people who are victims of
the conflict who are either unaware of the scheme or have
yet to submit their application for assistance.

“We estimate that there may be up to 200 victims out there
that haven’t come forward yet. The nature of injuries
received must be interpreted in line with the scheme.”

Funding is also available for victim support groups and for
erecting local memorials.

The Commission has four categories of payment including an
initial acknowledgement amount of €15,000 to the family of
a person killed during the Troubles.

Another €15,000 sum is available for economic hardship
suffered by the spouse and family of a victim.

If somebody injured is unable to work, they can also
receive a €15,000 amount.

If a family was displaced from Northern Ireland they may be
entitled to €15,000 or €7,500 if they were forced to move

The Remembrance Commission was established by the Irish
Government in October 2003.

Its five members comprise David Andrews, former Minister
for Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Irish Red Cross;
Conor Brady, journalist and former editor of the Irish
Times; Pat Hume, member of the board of the Northern
Ireland Memorial Fund; Paddy Mullarkey, former Secretary
General of the Department of Finance and Caitriona Murphy,
chairman of Investor Compensation Company Ltd, and former
chairman of the Labour Relations Commission.


GAA To Probe Army Camera At Club

By Connla Young

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and the Irish
Department of Foreign Affairs are set to challenge the
British army after it was revealed that a number of spy
cameras are being used to monitor a south Armagh football

Officials from Saint Patrick’s Gaelic Football Club,
Dromintee, carried out an inspection of a massive mountain
top British army spy post and have claimed that a number of
cameras are being used to monitor their facilities.

The claim comes just weeks after British army documents
discovered discarded in the district revealed that a number
of homes and the club are monitored by a spy post on
Faughil Mountain, which over looks the area.

Dromintee chairman Peter Fearon described the current
situation as “unacceptable”.

“We have several hundred young people in the club, some as
young as seven years-old,” Mr Fearon said.

“The men and women who manage underage teams have to
undergo a rigorous training course in child protection. One
of the many regulations states that children cannot be
photographed without parental permission, yet at the same
time we have a situation where children and adults at the
club are under constant surveillance by the most
sophisticated observation cameras in existence. All club
members are enraged by this espionage and demand that the
cameras be immediately and publicly removed.

“I am grateful to the GAA in Croke Park and Armagh County
Board authorities for their prompt response to the club’s
request for support. Through them the mater is being raised
with the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is our hope that
their efforts will bring an end to this interference in the
running of our club.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said:
“We have received representations from Dromintee GAA club
and have in turn raised the issue with British

A spokesman for the British army said: “While we do not
comment on alleged operational activity, it is worth noting
that the observation towers along the south Armagh border
were built to enhance the safety of communities in the area
as well as the safety of security force personnel on
patrol. They were also built to assist in the detection and
tracking of terrorists and their equipment.”


NI Players 'Require UK Passport'

The Irish Football Association has confirmed that Northern
Ireland players are requested to have a British passport
when playing abroad.

The issue has been raised with the European soccer
authorities by Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern.

Mr Ahern said players should be allowed to use a British or
an Irish passport. However, the chief executive of the IFA,
Howard Wells, said having British papers made life simpler
for Northern Ireland teams playing away from home.

"There is not a problem about players travelling on either
passport," he said.

"The issue has been that historically, on the
administration of some matches that we have had at
international level, there has been confusion in the minds
of some Uefa officials about the fact... that some of our
players have different passports to each other.

"It is because people don't understand the differences, or
the uniqueness of Northern Ireland, in terms of our
passport issue."

Mr Ahern said: "We have written to Uefa asking them to
clarify the position, but also pointing out to them the
whole issue that was laid down in the Good Friday

"People born after a certain time on the entire island of
Ireland can have British or Irish passports - or indeed

"There are some people who wish to produce their Irish
passport in this respect."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/27 21:24:54 GMT


Candle To Remember 1981 Hunger Strikes

Initiative shows solidarity with sacrifice of men


Republicans across the country yesterday lit candles to
mark the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike.

Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army
prisoners in the Co Antrim jail began the hunger strike in
March 1981. Ten men had died by the time it was called off
in October.

Candles were lit and placed in the front windows of
republican homes across Ireland.

Bik McFarlane, the IRA officer commanding in Long Kesh at
the time of the 1981 hunger strike, said the commemorative
candle was an initiative aimed at remembering in a small
way the sacrifices of the ten men.

He said it was also a way of showing continuing solidarity
with their families, especially the mothers on Mother’s
Sunday, 25 years after the events.

“We chose Mother’s Day as the day when we are asking people
to place the candle in the window of their homes as a
particular tribute to the immediate families of those who
died and as a tribute to the courage they displayed
throughout those long and difficult months from March to
October 1981,” he said.

The first to die was Bobby Sands, who began the fast and
who was elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in an
April by-election. His death on May 5, 1981 after 66 days
on hunger strike was followed by the biggest funeral ever
seen in the North. Around 100,000 people lined the route to
Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast.

The hunger strike smashed British attempts to criminalise
Republican prisoners and kick started Sinn Féin’s entry
into electoral politics.


Hunger Striker Looks Back

1980 documentary ‘still relevant’

by Sinéad O’Neill

IT may be more than 25 years since it first hit television
screens but, for Sinn Féin assembly member Raymond
McCartney, the renowned World in Action documentary about
the 1980 hunger strike is still as fresh as ever.

The former prisoner vividly remembers the day that ITV
camera crews arrived in Long Kesh to film him and his
fellow prisoners as they began their fifth week without
food during the 1980 hunger strike.

It was the same day that Mr McCartney became the unofficial
spokesman for his colleagues after producers asked him to
appear on camera and explain the reasons behind the strike.

“Paul Greengrass, one of the show’s producers, had read a
newspaper article about the effect Bloody Sunday had had on
me,” he said.

“Because we were a similar age at the time, he contacted my
family and asked if he could interview me for World in
Action, who were interested in making a programme about
what was going on inside Long Kesh.

“He sent me in some written questions to begin with and
then he came to the prison with his crew to interview me.”

Sensing a chance to explain their campaign to the British
public, Mr McCartney’s fellow prisoners urged him to make
the most of the opportunity to show what was going on
behind prison bars in 1980.

“Prior to the beginning of the strike, we had been trying
to get publicity, and the documentary was the perfect way
to do that,” he said.

“We all felt that it was an opportunity to bring a human
perspective to what was being shown on the news and to
explain why we were fighting for recognition.”

The resulting show, entitled H-Block Fuse, attracted a lot
of attention when it aired on television, not least because
it showed the hunger strikes in a broadly sympathetic

“Up until then, the public had only ever seen us behind
closed doors but the show showed us in a very poignant and
emotional light,” said Mr McCartney.

“Whether it changed very many opinions, I don’t know, but I
think it had an impact on hearts and minds, which is what
we wanted.”

A quarter of a century later, Mr McCartney said the
documentary was still relevant. He will introduce a
screening of the programme at the Cultúrlann in west
Belfast at 7.30pm tomorrow as part of the Belfast Film

“It’s great that it’s being shown now, on the 25th
anniversary of the hunger strikes.

“It’s a hugely significant programme because it was the
first time we were interviewed on television and the first
time the public got to see what really went on in Long
Kesh,” he said.


Rediscovered Republican Who Could Not Be Bought

By Staff Reporter

A historian is aiming to rediscover the story of an
Irishwoman whose courage saved the leaders of a rebellion
in 1803 – Anne Devlin lost her eight-year-old brother and
went partially blind during the years she spent in
appalling conditions in Kilmainham Jail.

Michael O Doibhlin, who is writing a biography of Devlin,
said she held the lives of at least 50 rebel supporters of
Robert Emmet’s abortive uprising against British rule in
her hands.

“If Anne Devlin had given in during her two-and-a-half
years of hell in Kilmainham and told about the people she
knew they would have been arrested and either executed or
deported,” he said.

“And a whole level of republicanism would have been removed
and we would not have the country we have today.”

Devlin spent her final years in abject poverty in Dublin’s
Liberties due to the deaths of her secret supporters and
her husband.

“Three days before she died in 1851 [at the age of 70] she
pawned the last of her bedclothes to get a little bit of
food,” Mr O Doibhlin said.

As he placed flowers on Devlin’s grave in Glasnevin
cemetery yesterday to mark Mothers’ Day, Mr O Doibhlin said
she had been an inspiration to later rebel leaders like
Padraig Pearse.

“Eamon de Valera talked about her and said she should never
be forgotten. Unfortunately she has been forgotten,” he

Devlin, who grew up near Rathdrum in Co Wicklow, relayed
messages between the rebels at great risk to herself and
strongly resented being described later as merely Robert
Emmet’s “housekeeper in Dublin”.

“Emmet himself on one occasion said ‘She’s one of us’ when
people didn’t want to talk in front of her,” Mr O Doibhlin

“In other words, she was part of the whole set-up and she
was in on the rising.”

When Devlin was jailed she contracted erysipelas, a disease
which develops from uncleaned wounds, and went partially

Although there was no physical torture, Mr O Doibhlin said,
she was often held in solitary confinement and was put
under constant psychological pressure from those working
for the British authorities.

“At one stage 22 members of her family, including her
mother and father, were imprisoned with her.

“Her young brother Jimmy, who was aged between six and
eight, died in prison,” he said.

“The British offered her £500 – the equivalent of more than
30 years’ wages at the time – to give evidence against
Robert Emmet.”

Born to a privileged family, Emmet had sought exile in
France after the United Irishmen rebellion of 1798 before
leading the abortive 1803 uprising, which got little
further than Dublin Castle.

“She could have lived the rest of her life in comfort, she
wouldn’t have had to work. But she didn’t identify him,” Mr
O Doibhlin said.

In research for his book, he discovered that, contrary to
popular belief, Devlin had four children rather than three.

After discovering the relevant birth record on microfilm in
the National Library, he was allowed to photograph the
original in St Catherine’s Church in Meath Street, which
named Anne Devlin as the mother of the male child.

“It appears he died after his Baptism,” Mr O Doibhlin said.

He said that while Devlin often complained about being
ignored in the street by the men she had protected, there
was a good reason for this.

“For much of her life, she was being followed by the secret
service,” he said.

“Nobody could acknowledge her publicly but they did a lot
to help her secretly.”

This included getting her a job as a housekeeper for an
elderly lady and possibly arranging her marriage to horse-
and-cart driver William Campbell, who was 13 years older
than her.

She was later given a job in the laundry at St Patrick’s
Hospital in Dublin where she was paid three times the going

But she spent her final years wracked with pain from the

disease contracted in Kilmainham Jail and struggling to
earn a living from her own laundry business.

Robert Emmet was executed for high treason in Dublin on
September 20 1803.

The rebel leader’s corpse, to all intents and purposes,
disappeared and the whereabouts of his final resting place
is one of the abiding mysteries of Irish history.


UUP Tackles Rise Of Paramilitaries

By Keith Bourke

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey has said unionist parties could
have done more to prevent the rise of loyalist

The Ulster Unionist also revealed he has been in talks with
loyalists in recent months to try to persuade them to
abandon violence.

As the party met for its annual general meeting at the
weekend, he said discussions with both the UDA and UVF had
been going on since last autumn.

In January the Independent Monitoring Commission said both
loyalist groups were still involved in violence.

Sir Reg said he was trying to change that and mainstream
political unionism had a key responsibility because of
things that happened in the 1970s.

“All of us could, in my opinion, have done more to prevent
the rise of loyalist paramilitaries,” Sir Reg said.

He said the UUP was making no secret of what it was trying
to do.

“We are trying to create circumstances where there is
sufficient confidence in that community to move away from
the old ways.”

In his first speech to the Ulster Unionist Council’s AGM
since becoming leader nine months ago, Sir Reg also
attacked his rivals, accusing them of accelerating
concessions to republicans rather than stopping them.

Despite heavy losses to the DUP in last year’s Westminster
and local government elections the East Belfast assembly
member insisted his party was more resilient than some
critics and rivals believed.

He told delegates in Belfast: “It would be easy – too easy
in fact – to take pot shots at the DUP.

“But the fact is that their failure to deliver is having an
impact on all of us.

“Neither this party, nor the pro-Union electorate at large,
can take any satisfaction when the DUP drops the ball.”

The former Stormont economy minister accused republicans of
acting in bad faith in the peace process by maintaining
links to criminality.

He also claimed Tony Blair’s government had yielded to
republican threats to return to violence and the result had
been a massive loss of unionist confidence in the process.

Sir Reg acknowledged his party had a huge task ahead of it
but insisted that work had begun.

In a reference to the party’s much-criticised election
campaigns, he said: “There will be no more ‘Simply
British’. No more ‘Decent People’.

“No more making it up as we go along. No more cabals
running the show.”

Meanwhile, the UUP selected one of the party elders as its
new president.

John White, a former East Derry constituency chairman, was
elected unopposed after Lord Rogan stood down citing
pressure of work as a member of the House of Lords.

Five of the six party officers were returned again – Kenny
Donaldson, Johnny Andrews, Joan Carson, Peter Bowles and
Basil McCrea – while Terry Wright replaces May Steele.


Oppposition To PSNI Taser Gun Propsosal

Lives could be lost if police officers in Northern Ireland
are issued with 50,000-volt Taser guns, it was claimed

Politicians and human rights campaigners have urged the
Policing Board to extend the period of public consultation
on the controversial move from two to 12 weeks.

Last year 61 people were killed in the US after being shot
with the stun guns and experts have expressed concern about
their impact on vulnerable groups.

SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood said more time
should be set aside to consider the matter when the board
meets in Belfast tomorrow.

The West Belfast MLA said: "There has not been enough
consultation and there is not enough evidence to justify
their introduction. We want to see a less lethal option."

Mr Attwood said safer alternatives included water cannons
and CS spray.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland
programme director, claimed groups such as children, the
disabled, pregnant women and the mentally ill were
particularly at risk.

He said: "Our research in the US shows that Tasers can
kill. Arming all PSNI officers with a potentially lethal
device that delivers a 50,000 volt electric shock, causing
the subject to collapse in 'intolerable pain', would not be
a wise or welcome move.

"There should be no consideration of such a move without a
full, public inquiry into the safety of Tasers and their
potential impact on policing here."

A new report by the pressure group revealed 152 people have
died in the US after being shot since 2001. Most of those
who died were subjected to multiple or prolonged shots.

But DUP Policing Board Ian Paisley Jnr said Tasers were
designed to protect the public from suspected criminals.

The North Antrim MLA said: "I approve of any weapon that
can be used under properly controlled circumstances to
protect people and protect property.

"If the police went out with olive branches and gym shoes
Amnesty International would be opposed to them."

Mr Paisley said the issue was an operational matter for the
PSNI and not one for the board.

© The Irish Times/


Opin: Unravelling The 1916 Rising


The Easter Rising is not just a set of violent events that
unfolded during an April week in 1916. It is also a
continuing source of inspiration for some and revulsion for
others, an arena for passionate argument and bitter

Every major political party in the Republic, with the
exception of the Green Party, can trace its history to the
Irish Volunteers or the Citizen Army, which staged the
rebellion. Each of them claims at least a share of its
legacy. The Unionist parties in Northern Ireland, on the
other hand, tend to see it as an act of profound betrayal.
These historic divisions have in turn determined the way
the State has commemorated the Rising: celebrating it in
times of relative peace, more or less ignoring it in times
of conflict. This year, on the 90th anniversary of the
Rising, the State will revert to the practice of having an
annual military parade to mark the event. The decision to
do so suggests a belief that the Rising can again be
regarded as an uncontroversial focus of national unity. The
response to the decision suggests that this is, as yet, a
vain hope, and that the debate will continue.

Today, we publish a special 16-page supplement on the
Rising that is unlike anything ever presented on the
subject by any Irish newspaper. It aims not to contribute
to that debate, but to inform it. When an event is as
contested, as mythologised and as resonant as the Rising
has been, it is easy to assume that everyone knows what
actually happened. Yet it is fair to suggest that far more
energy has gone into debating the meaning of the Rising
than into telling the story of the most dramatic week in
the last two centuries of Irish history. Moreover, even
those who are well-informed about the Rising in general
will probably not have had access to the most important new
source of information: the hundreds of personal statements
by eye-witnesses which were collected in the late 1940s and
early 1950s by the Bureau of Military History and that have
recently become available in the National Archives.

Our supplement uses some of these statements, and other
contemporary accounts by witnesses and participants, to
construct a day-by-day account of what happened. We have
tried to give readers a flavour of what it was like to live
through the Rising, of the hope and excitement, the anger
and bewilderment, the terror and suffering.

There will be many opportunities in The Irish Times for
columnists and contributors to make value judgments about
the Rising, but the supplement makes just two such
judgments. One is that the Rising cannot be understood
without remembering that Europe was in the midst of perhaps
its greatest catastrophe, the first World War, and that the
actions and reactions of those on all sides were shaped by
that central fact. The other is that the Rising was not
just seven men who signed a Proclamation, but the thousands
of Irish people who participated in it as combatants on
both sides and the tens of thousands who were civilian
witnesses or victims. In remembering those realities, we
may yet find ways to remember the Rising without
reanimating the bitterness it evoked.

© The Irish Times


Opin: The Real 'Fighting Irish' Story

Fintan O'Toole

In a very interesting letter to this newspaper last
Thursday, the New York-based publisher Niall O'Dowd took
issue with my criticism of Martin Cullen for having
welcomed members of the 69th Infantry regiment of the US
army back from Iraq.

His letter is worth considering because it reveals very
neatly an often unacknowledged seam of militaristic
sentimentality in Irish-America. In the run-up to the
invasion of Iraq, Niall O'Dowd strongly attacked Irish
critics of the war as being anti-American and assured us
that there was a "reasonable chance" that "Iraqis may well
welcome the advancing American army as saviours". Instead
of reflecting on his own misjudgments, he still seems to
think that the stars and stripes is the same flag as the
Irish tricolour.

He writes that: "The Fighting 69th is emblematic of the
history of the Irish in America. Indeed, if O'Toole walks
into the Dáil, he will see the battle flag of the regiment,
which was presented by John F Kennedy to the Irish nation
on his visit in 1963. The history of the regiment during
the American civil war, when thousands of Irish-born
soldiers died in service to the union army in the battle
against slavery, will always ensure that the regiment,
which annually leads off the St Patrick's Day parade in New
York, has a unique place in Irish-American culture. Martin
Cullen was entirely correct in attending a ceremony
honouring this regiment."

The first striking aspect of this appeal to Irish pride in
the achievements of a unit of the US army is the logic that
any regiment which fought against nasty people in the past
gets a free pass in the present day. This is an interesting
line of thought for the friend and publisher of Gerry
Adams. The British army's Parachute Regiment fought with
great distinction and heroism against Hitler's armies.
Logically, Niall O'Dowd would be very happy for an Irish
minister, on a visit to London, to welcome its members home
from Iraq.

Since the logic of his position is that the shooting of
civilians in Iraq is of little consequence when placed in
the context of the second World War, he presumably has no
hard feelings about Bloody Sunday either. His history is no
more subtle than his logic. It is unquestionably true that
the Fighting 69th left its blood all over the battlefields
of the American civil war. It fought with such reckless
courage, indeed, that it was all but wiped out. In May
1863, its commander, Thomas Francis Meagher, wrote to the
War Department to tender his resignation because the Irish
Brigade "no longer exists". But it is simplistic to say
that these troops were motivated purely by a hatred of
slavery. Some were certainly in favour of emancipation, but
most fought to establish their own rights to be regarded as
patriotic Americans. Many of the New York Irish were
disgusted by the emancipation of the slaves - a disgust
made clear by murderous attacks on the black community in
protest at conscription. The blood sacrifice of the
Fighting 69th and the Irish Brigade in the civil war did,
however, create a racial stereotype of the Fighting Irish
which was useful for both militant Irish republicanism and
American imperial adventures. Niall O'Dowd does not choose
to recall the involvement of the Fighting 69th in the
Spanish-American War of 1898, a naked land-grab in which
the US first declared its imperial ambitions beyond the
continental landmass by seizing Cuba, Guam, the Philippines
and Puerto Rico. Nor, curiously enough, does he recall its
glorious participation in the US invasion of Mexico in 1916
and 1917, when the Fighting Irish went south of the border
to punish Pancho Villa. Both of these wars would have been
worth his attention in the context of the invasion of Iraq.
The war on Spain was launched on a concocted pretext; the
invasion of Mexico was intended to capture a notorious
"terrorist", Pancho Villa, who escaped.

The latter episode is especially instructive. At a time
when blood sacrifice was in the air, both the American
authorities and the Clan na Gael leader, Daniel Cohalan,
appealed to the stereotype of the Fighting Irish. As
Matthew Pratt Guterl writes in his book The Colour of Race
in America, 1900-1940: "The War Department, looking for
volunteers to chase down Pancho Villa, placed
advertisements in Irish-American weeklies depicting an
Uncle Sam desperately in need of 'the fighting race'.
Sacrifice and martyrdom emerged in Irish-American rhetoric
as potent, racially regenerative experiences. 'No men of
any race,' suggested Cohalan, 'have shed their blood more
freely or even recklessly than have the men of our own

The whole Fighting Irish myth is a product of national
stereotypes, feeding on an image of the Irish as reckless,
irrational, bull-headed and bloodthirsty - perfect cannon
fodder, but in need of guidance and direction by more
refined minds. It is also, as Niall O'Dowd must know from
his honourable involvement in the peace process, a
stereotype that fed a murderous cult in which dying for
one's country is the highest of all callings. If it has a
vestigial legacy in Iraq, it is an inheritance of shame,
not to be honoured but to be left behind.

© The Irish Times


Biographer – ‘GAA Founder Is ‘In Danger Of Being Forgotten’

Call for a national programme of events to mark anniversary
of Michael Cusack


Michael Cusack, the founder of the Gaelic Athletic
Association (GAA), remains a forgotten figure in the
centenary year of his death, it was claimed yesterday.

The Co Clare teacher, who died in 1906, established what
would become a multi-million euro amateur sporting
organisation with a worldwide network of players, clubs and

However, long-time Cusack scholar, Brother Sean McNamara
believes the colourful nationalist is in danger of being
forgotten and called for a national programme of events to
mark the 100th anniversary of his death.

“We should be ashamed of ourselves. We must honour heroes
in our history like Cusack because it is us who are
enjoying his legacy to the fullest.

“It would be fitting if every GAA club remembered Cusack in
its own way in his centenary year.”

Brother McNamara (78) also criticised the unkempt state of
Cusack’s grave in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery and his
omission from the Encyclopaedia of Ireland in 2003.

The Ennis-based Christian Brother has written and lectured
on Cusack since the 1960s.

He has just published The Man from Carron, a biography of
Cusack, and is organising local centenary events in Co

He is to donate his collection of research material on
Cusack to Ennis Library later this year.

“It would be very difficult to think of life in Ireland
without the GAA, such is its influence on society and
Cusack is the man,” he added.

Cusack Park – the 17,000-seater stadium named in honour of
Cusack in Ennis – is being sold but a new facility will
also bear his name.

The Cusack Stand at Croke Park was officially re-opened
after renovation in 2002. The stadium’s Canal End,
originally built in 1949, will be soon named after Cusack’s
ally and co-founder Maurice Davin.

Cusack, who was born in 1847, founded the GAA in Hayes’s
Commercial Hotel, Thurles in 1884 with Davin.

Davin was elected president and Cusack became the

Later Archbishop Croke, Land League founder Michael Davitt
and Charles Stewart Parnell were patrons.

Cusack resigned his official role within two years but
remained active in the organisation for the rest of his

James Joyce is believed to have based The Citizen character
in his novel Ulysses on Cusack.

Cusack died on November 28, 1906 at the age of 59 in a
Dublin hospital.

The GAA boasts over 3,000 active clubs in every continent
and its Croke Park headquarters was attended by 1.32
million supporters in 2005.

Four soccer and two rugby internationals next year could
push attendance past the two million barrier.


O'Donnell To Stay On Irish Soil

Irish crooner Daniel O'Donnell has dispelled rumours that
he is set to quit Ireland for a home in the sun.

The Donegal-born singer, who has amassed a legion of fans
throughout the Emerald Isle, was quoted in the Sunday
People as saying: "I'm leaving Ireland."

But when the 44-year-old was asked by the BBC if he
intended to head for pastures new, he simply responded:
"No, I'm afraid not."

The easy-listening star, who has an MBE for his services to
music, stressed that his heart remains in the west coast of

"It's amazing, really, these things can be written without
any grain of truth at all. It's ridiculous. I don't know
why newspapers write these things. I don't know how they
continue to get away with it. It's pointless," he said.

"We do intend, in the near future, to sell the house we are
living in, or put it up for sale.

"But we didn't feel there was any need to make a big
announcement about that, because we are only selling it to
build a smaller house. That's the sum total of the whole

From humble beginnings as a teenager on the Irish country
music scene, O'Donnell has amassed a fortune over the
years, as well as a world-wide fan-base.

Until his marriage to wife, Majella, in 2002 he lived with
his mother in the Donegal village of Kincasslagh and
regularly hosted tea parties for thousands of fans - many
of whom were in their 60s and 70s.

He has a second home in Tenerife but his main home is still
at Cruit Island near Kincasslagh, where he also owns the
Viking House Hotel.

O'Donnell makes no secret of his deep affection for his
native home in songs such as Home to Donegal and My Donegal

He says his only move in the near future will be out of his
current six-bedroomed house, which has been recently
renovated, and into a smaller home.

"It really is too big... for us. We just decided we would
put it on the market to see if there would be any interest.
Our intention is to build, or even buy, another house, a
smaller house, at home.

"The reality of it is that we're living in Donegal and we
will be living in Donegal. If we go to Tenerife for a
period in the winter time, I still am living in Donegal.
How many other people chose to go away and spend winter
months in warmer places?

"Over the years, since I started touring, I have probably
spent less time at home than anybody that lives in Ireland.
But I always feel I am living at home.

"My roots are in Donegal and that's where I feel that my
home is."

So in the words of one of his more famous songs: "My heart
will lead me back home to my Donegal." And that is where he
intends to stay.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/27 10:25:30 GMT


Daniel Is Staying Put Says His Mum

By Keith Bourke

Daniel O’Donnell’s mother last night rubbished claims that
the star intends to leave Ireland for good.

It had been reported that the Donegal crooner plans to
relocate to Tenerife, where he has just bought a mansion
with his wife Majella.

The couple recently opened the doors of their new house to
Hello magazine.

Julia O’Donnell said that her son has no plans to leave his
Donegal home behind him.

“It was an awful thing to hear on Mother’s Day. Daniel
won’t be leaving Donegal for good. He loves it too much,”
she said.

The speculation was sparked by the news that the
millionaire is to put his seven-bedroom Cruit Island
mansion up for sale.

“Daniel will be putting up the house for sale but he’s not

“The house is just too big for him considering the amount
of time he gets to spend there,” she said.


Girl, 15, Found Hanging At School

27/03/2006 - 20:56:33

A community was in shock tonight following the death of a
15-year-old girl at a community school in Meath.

The teenager was found hanging in the toilets of Boyne
Community School in Trim by fellow students.

The school was closed by lunchtime and all students were
sent home.

Local Fine Gael councillor Peter Higgins said he was
shocked and horrified by the girl’s death. He extended his
deepest sympathies to her family.

“I’m horrified for the family and I’m horrified for the
people in the school.

“It’s a very well run school,” he said.

There were fears among teachers in the Trim area that the
death of the girl may lead to a copycat effect.

Mr Higgins urged students to seek help if they were
struggling with problems like bullying, low self-esteem or

“It’s so important for kids who have problems to tell
someone and confide in them. There is help available,” he

The level of suicides in Ireland is now one of the highest
in the world, with between 450 and 500 people taking their
lives each year.

The number of suicides among 15 to 24-year-olds is the
fifth highest among the 25 EU member states.


Gay Byrne To Chair Road Safety Authority

27/03/2006 - 16:27:10

Legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne is to spearhead the
Government’s drive to cut the number of people killed on
the nation’s roads, it emerged today.

The former Late Late Show host was unveiled as chairperson
of the new Road Safety Authority (RSA) by Transport
Minister Martin Cullen.

“I am delighted Gay Byrne has taken on the task of working
with us on road safety,” Mr Cullen said.

“Gay is a serious person for a serious job. He has earned
the recognition and respect of the Irish people. Gay is
hard working and committed, always giving 100% in
everything he does.

“Gay Byrne’s career has been characterised by
courageousness and professionalism, skills that are needed
as we seek to bring about a sea change in driver behaviour.
His appointment underlines the seriousness that this
Government is giving to road safety and to bringing an end
to carnage on our roads.

“The team we are putting together in the RSA, with Gay as
Chairman and Noel Brett as CEO, is dynamic, focussed and
determined. I look forward to working with them and
everyone at the RSA.”

Minister Cullen said that the process of establishing the
RSA is nearing completion and confirmed the full membership
of its board will be named next week.

“The RSA will have the legislative and financial muscle to
co-ordinate and advance the road safety agenda,” he said.

“Its remit will be critical, be it through formulating
strategies, advising Government, the testing of drivers and
vehicles, road safety research and data collection, driver
education and the promotion and awareness of road safety in
general,” he added.


'Ulysses': Voyage Of Rare Book By Box


A first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, found at the
bottom of an old cardboard box, is expected to make up to
£10,000 (€14,542) at auction in Salisbury, Wiltshire, next

The book still has its original blue dust jacket and is
number 564 of the first 1,000 copies. It is printed on
handmade paper and was published by Shakespeare and
Company, the celebrated Paris book shop, in 1922.

Liz Merry, a book specialist at Woolley and Wallis where
the book will be sold on April 5th, said: "It was among a
lot of old books which came in from a local private house.
They were all packed into 28 old cardboard boxes and,
without exaggeration, this was at the bottom of the last

"This edition is very scarce in good condition because the
wrappers are very delicate . . . The owner had no idea how
it was acquired by the family."

© The Irish Times


State Buys Guinness Land For €1.7m

Orna Mulcahy, Property Editor

The honourable Garech Browne, a member of the Guinness
brewing family, has sold over 1,600 acres of his Wicklow
estate, Luggala, to the Government for €1.725 million.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Dick Roche last night announced the purchase of an area the
size of Phoenix Park from the 5,000-acre Luggala estate. It
will provide a significant new extension to the Wicklow
Mountains National Park and open up further tracts to the

The price paid is less than €10,000 an acre - the going
rate for land with no development potential.

"It's only a little bit of a land" Mr Browne told The Irish
Times yesterday, "but it's of some strategic importance.
It's something I've wanted to do from the very beginning,"
he said. "It will have no effect on Luggala."

The tract of land brings the total area of Wicklow
Mountains National Park to 17,650 hectares.

The land purchased links the two previously separated main
blocks of Wicklow Mountains National Park, giving a
continuous area of national parkland along the spine of the
Wicklow Mountains from the Feather Beds on the Dublin
border to Baravore, just short of Lugnaquillia mountain.
The land runs from the Sally Gap and is bordered by the
Military Road (R115) on the east and the Carrigvore-Gravale
ridge on the west.

Mr Browne, who once managed the Chieftains, is believed to
have first offered the land to the State many years ago but
the OPW did not proceed with the deal.

However Mr Roche, as a local TD, is believed to have
pursued the issue and concluded a deal with the peer, who
divides his time between the fairytale gothic house at
Luggala and homes in London, Paris and India. He is married
to Princess Purna Harshad, daughter of the maharajah of
Morvi. The couple, who count U2, Mick Jagger and Séamus
Heaney among their friends, are known for their hospitality
at the Wicklow estate, where a housemaid is reputed to have
once cleaned a Magritte painting using Vim.

The Luggala lands are part of the Wicklow uplands, an area
of European importance for habitats and species under the
EU Habitats Directive.

The lands contain a mixture of blanket bog, wet heath and
dry heath habitats. This area is important for many bird
species, including merlin, peregrine falcon and grouse.

The deal with the Government comes a decade after Mr Browne
successfully blocked an attempt by the OPW to build an
interpretive centre at Luggala.

The OPW had spent around €2 million, most of it in EU
funding, on the foundations for the centre which then had
to be demolished at considerable cost.

This acquisition consolidates existing public access to the
area, which includes the ridge from Sally Gap to
Mullagcleevaun via Carrigvore, Gravale and Duff Hill, which
is very popular with hill walkers.

The Minister said yesterday that he is particularly pleased
at the "extremely positive role" that Garech Browne has
played in the acquisition of this land.

"It is a vital acquisition as up to now the Wicklow
national park has been two separate blocks - now it will be

© The Irish Times


Commemoration To Mark 350th Anniversary Of Gaelic War.

National History And Heritage Event Notice Monday
March 27, 2006 22:11 by Craobh Gal Greine - Craobh Gal

Cogadh na dTóraithe
Cogadh na nGael in aghaidh Chromail
350ú cuimhne 1652 – 1659

Commemoration at National Monument, Cork City on Sunday 2nd
April 2pm to mark

Craobh Gal Greine is a Irish Cultural society based in Cork
open to all Irish Nationalists. The society, promotes,
Irish language, culture, history, nationalism, etc. It is
non political, except on the issue, that we support the
absolute freedom of Ireland both from English occupation
and the European Union.

A commemoration to mark the 350th anniversary of the Gaelic
War against Cromwell, is to be held on the 2nd April 2006,
at the National Monument in Cork City.

Between the years 1652 - 1659, English Troops murdered over
500,000 Irish men, women and children. Another 100,000
(possibly as high as 250,000) Irish people, mainly children
were sold into slavery to places like Barbados and the
Caribbean. There was about 30,000 Irish soldiers sent into
exile as wild Geese and another 50,000 became known as
Toraidhe (Tory's) who fought a guerrilla war against
English colonialism. The English also forced over 500,000
Irish from their homes into the barren regions of Connacht
and Clare as part of the Plantations and Extermination
project. But in the midst of all this chaos, the Irish
fought bravely against English tyranny and killed possibly
as high as 100,000 English soldiers and Colonists in the

Craobh Gal Greine have decided we will mark the occasion
with a commemoration, so the suffering of our ancestors
will not be forgotten, in our generation. The commemoration
coincides with a period in history, when 1000 Irish boys
and 1000 Irish girls between 12 and 14 were taken from the
vicinity of Cork city and sold into a life of slavery.

Republican Sinn Fein in Cork is invited to lay a reed to
show the continuity of the fight against English occupation
then and today.

Our long term project is to get a monument erected to mark
this period of our history in Cork, and this is to get the
ball rolling, and get people interested.

Here are just a few notes on the events of the period that
we will be commemorating.

The Gaelic War against Cromwell was one of the most
fiercely fought battles against the tyranny of English rule
in our island. With the unfortunate death of Eoghan Rua O
Neill and the renewed attacks by the English against the
Gaelic Confederates, during the period of 1652 – 1659 the
Gaelic clans were at severe war against the English
planters and Crown Forces. With most of the country being
dispossessed of their territorial lands and being forced
into the province of Connacht, the Gaelic warriors became
known as Tory’s from the Gaelic word ‘Toraithe’.

Once Cromwell landed in Drogheda in 1649 and slaughtered
over 3,500 people committing desperate war crimes against
the Irish people the resistance was slowly changing from
open warfare to precision raids against the English
garrisons. In 1650 the Irish made a strategic mistake by
placing Fr. Mac Mahon in charge of the Irish forces at
Scarrifhollis instead of Henry O Neill, which resulted in
3,000 Irish warriors being killed, and both O Neill and mac
Mahon being executed. In 1651 5000 Irish died in the siege
of Limerick with many Irish leaders were executed along
with a further 800 Irish soldiers. While moral in the
country had already being low from the Confederate wars
which saw the population of the country reduced by over
616,000 people out of the 1.6million people, worse was to

While most of the records of the war were destroyed in 1922
through the bombing of the Four Courts, there are still
some important events still in record from the period. The
O Byrnes, O Tooles and Kavanaghs put up a huge resistance
in the Wicklow mountains against the English troops coming
from Dublin and in 1652, 4,000 of the English cavalry
searched the mountains and burnt all the crops of Irish
farmers in the surrounding countryside. The English along
with executing 14 priests burnt 300 men women and infants
to death in a house in Wexford. Sean O Fhiona O
Conchurbhair a great Irish chieftain was executed in Kerry
along with twelve of his brethren. In Carrickmacross 15
Tories were killed while holding out in a cave and another
five were executed upon their surrender. Murtagh Cullen a
leading Tory pregnant wife was put to death after they kept
a priest refuge. In Cork and Clonmel over 200 Irish were
put to death, yet there was some success with a Tory army
in Connacht killing over 270 English soldiers near
Inishbofin, but many locals including a number of priests
were killed in reprisal.

In 1653 the O Sullivans and O Driscolls were two of the
most senior tribes in Cork and Kerry that led a continuous
war against Cromwell plantations. Feiritear an Irish
chieftain along with a Bishop Egan and Fr. Tadhg O Connor
were hanged in Killarney, while Phelim O Neill, one of the
most important Gaelic chiefs in Ireland at the time was
executed along with many of his troops. The O Flaherties in
Galway seized Galway town and destroyed much of the Crown
Forces around Connacht but late in the year Eamonn mac
Morogh na Maor chief of the clan was captured in a cave in
Galway, and killed. Many of the chiefs of the smaller clans
loyal to the O Flaherty’s were also executed as a warning
to the people of the district with a further 200 executions
in Cashel. Fr. Donogh O Kennedy a Jesuit priest was
executed along with his brother Eamonn and father Colonel
Dermot O Kennedy. Both Col. Edward Fennell and Lt. Col.
William Bourke were hanged in Cork and a further 200
executions took place in Dublin.

Eamonn Dubh O Reilly one of the most notorious and
successful Tory’s was executed along with Fr. Tadhg
Moriarty, Fr. William Tirry of Tipperary. Fr. Bonaventure
Carens were executed in Killarney while the most famous
Tory of the period Blind Donogh O Derrick and Irish
Chieftain John Byrne were executed. In 1954 the Tory’s
managed to seize one of the English war ships that was
transporting them to Barbados and killed all the English
onboard. The reprisal was the English who were transporting
300 Irish slaves to Barbados place all of them upon a
desert island and let them starve to death in cruel

In 1655 several Tory’s including Daniel Mulachy of Kildare
were killed along with Edward Hetherington a Tory leader
who was pursued after he took the lives of seven English
soldiers. The Irish on the continent who were transported
from Ireland as wild geese (at least 40,000) took to war
against the Waldeness who supported Cromwell, while
maintaining a good supply of weapons onto the west coast to
maintain a resistance against the English. In 1656 the
English seized Donogh O Derricks wife and transported her
to Barbados while in the same raid executing four Tory’s,
while in Waterford they killed a further two Tory chiefs.
The English starved Fr. John Carolan to death while Fr.
Patrick Archer was executed after 210 English soldiers
drowned tear Timoleague. In 1657 three of the most senior
Tory’s in the country were executed, they being Henry
Archer, William Shaffe and Daniel Kennedy. In all about
400,000 Irish people lost their lives during the Cromwell
conquest with a further 100,000 plus being transported to
slavery in Barbados and the Caribbean islands. The Irish
were disposed of most of their lands and had to flee to
Connacht during a severe winter without their crops. The
English who had a scorch earth policy destroyed most of the
forests in the country and reduced the cattle population
from 4,500,000 to 1,200,000 in an attempt to starve the
people to death


Performance: A Caustic Brand Of Irish Comedy

By Brian Lavery The New York Times
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

DUBLIN At some point in each episode of his reality
television series, Des Bishop is sure to walk onto the
stage of a grimy pub in a rough neighborhood, beam out at
the crowd and say exactly what it doesn't want to hear.

In Belfast, he told a bristling Protestant audience that
they are more like their hated Catholic neighbors than they
like to admit.

In Southill, an area of Limerick known for boarded-up
houses and burned-out cars, he boasted that his show would
support the area by attracting tourists whom locals could

Maybe because a camera was present, the crowds refrained
from hurling glasses at Bishop, a 30-year-old American.
Instead, they laughed. As he kept spouting jokes and
insults, they kept on laughing.

It seems that all of Ireland has been watching his stand-up
comedy and caustic brand of reality TV. His satire contains
no-holds- barred discussions of class divisions,
immigration and the drinking problem. He encourages and
sometimes forces people to confront their hypocrisies.

Over coffee in a Dublin hotel, Bishop spoke of himself in
an unexpectedly mild voice. "I did always see myself as
some sort of an agitator," he said.

Like African-American comedians who joke about racism, he
helps take the sting out of prejudices here.

"It's humanizing," Fintan O'Toole, the critic and Irish
Times columnist, said of Bishop's work. "He allows people
to emerge from the stereotypes, and to play with those
stereotypes themselves."

Bishop's TV series, which recently had a six-week run on
RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster, earned impressive
ratings by offering an honest glimpse inside groups that
are usually ignored.

The cameras followed him as he lived in tough housing
projects, ran stand-up comedy workshops for residents and
showcased the results in a performance by his trainees,
usually in a shabby pub, with Bishop as the uncompromising
M.C. It is a gritty comedy version of "American Idol."

While living in those areas he took part in some bizarre
customs, like hunting rabbits with flashlights and mangy
greyhounds (and cooking the catch for dinner); throwing
appliances out the windows of abandoned tower- blocks, and
amateur boxing (in which he broke a rib).

For some, Bishop hits a raw nerve rather than the funny

After an episode about Knocknaheeny, in Cork, politicians
and news organizations accused him of overemphasizing the
area's deprivation, and of exploiting hardship for laughs.
One Cork newspaper printed a full-page demand that he
apologize; call-in radio shows argued it for two days
before banning the subject. (He replied that politicians
had previously been happy to ignore that deprivation and
that he gave people in the area a voice.)

"I wanted to do stuff that's in some way conscious of an
issue," he said. "I did cherish the day when I would be
able to stand up and really make some serious points. I
didn't see it coming this fast, though."

Bishop has lived in Ireland since he was 14. He was
expelled from school in Queens, New York City, for unruly
behavior and his immigrant father, who had family in
Ireland, enrolled his son at a boarding school in Wexford.
He later attended the state university in Cork, where he
gave his first comic performance.

Since those years, the country has experienced a quiet
social revolution, stoked by economic growth, cultural
openness and newfound national confidence. When he arrived,
thousands of young Irish were emigrating each year, and sex
scandals had yet to loosen the Catholic Church's grip on
public morality.

"I was given the tiniest little taste of the old Ireland,"
he said.

He speaks in a broad New Yorker's accent but slips easily
into the subtle Irish regional brogues. He also knows
Ireland astutely enough to tackle its foibles head on.

When he camps in a rough neighborhood, residents take to
him, crediting him with living in areas that many people
avoid even in daylight.

Bishop said he forswore alcohol at 19, when he realized he
was becoming an alcoholic.

Those experiences, and the volunteer work he does at
addiction centers and prisons, strongly influence his
frequent live performances.

"Ireland was booming in the late '90s, and that's when I
was coming into my own as a comedian who was doing what he
wanted to do, rather than just looking for laughs," he
said. "Issues of inequality were just out there, and those
were the things that started to run in my mind."

That perspective is one reason Bishop likes to boast about
the off-camera successes of his current TV show. For
instance, his workshop students in the notorious Ballymun
neighborhood in Dublin continued running comedy nights
after the cameras left. The best comics became warm-up acts
on Bishop's national tour.

But he dislikes being branded an activist. "Fundamentally,
my job is to make people laugh," he said. "I find it a
bonus that there are certain elements that have a greater
use than just making people laugh. It's just like a little
reminder, refreshing people's minds a little bit."

And laugh they do. His current tour included 21 consecutive
nights at the 1,000-seat opera house in Cork, a city of
barely 150,000. Every performance sold out.

At more than 6 feet tall and with a big impish grin, he
enjoys a loyal following among admiring Irishwomen, and
others who appreciate his anti-establishment attitude.

His popularity is not as keen outside Ireland. Bishop's
DVDs are watched in Irish bars in New York, but he would
like to perform there more.

"In people's perceptions, I'm still the outsider, as much
as I am an Irishman now in my mind," he said. "Which is
fine by me, because I like being the Irish-American. That's
what I am, you know?"

Copyright © 2006 The International Herald Tribune

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