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March 12, 2006

UDA Tells Cops To Look After Flashpoints On Their Own

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News About Ireland & The Irish

SL 03/12/06 You Look After Flashpoints, UDA Tell Cops
SL 03/12/06 Mum's Anger At UVF Statement On Son's Murder
SL 03/12/06 Notorious Loyalist Family Linked To Taxi Death Bid
SL 03/12/06 New Probe Into Ihab Assault Allegation
SL 03/12/06 Notorious UVF Unit 'To Be Stood Down'
IM 03/12/06 New National Monument Discovered At Baronstown, Tara
SH 03/12/06 Fury Over IRA Bomber’s Holyrood Visit
SL 03/12/06 McCartneys' Mum Takes Up Campaign
SL 03/12/06 Cop Fails In Uniform Discrimination Case
BB 03/12/06 Churches Unite After Race Attack
SL 03/12/06 Opin: Some Grounds For Optimism
PL 03/12/06 Opin: Debating Illegals: A Plethora Of Nuts
SL 03/12/06 McGrady: Saint's Festival Should Be A Holiday
SL 03/12/06 How The Province Is Painting The Towns Green
FX 03/12/06 Kinky Caught Drinking Beer In Parade Car
CP 03/12/06 Retracing A Lineage To The Emerald Isle
LS 03/12/06 Filling Up On Laughter At Meehan Breakfast
HN 03/12/06 A Pacifist Born In A Battle Zone
AP 03/12/06 Celebrate The Week With Irish Authors
SL 03/12/06 All Aboard The Star Trip Enterprise
BG 03/12/06 Much Ado About Beckett
HA 03/12/06 A ‘Quiet’ Fascination
TA 03/12/06 St. Pat’s In Lake Charles


You Look After Flashpoints, UDA Tell Cops

By Alan Murray
12 March 2006

ANGRY UDA leaders in north Belfast have warned they won't
co-operate to defuse tension at flashpoints over the
'marching season'.

Senior figures in the area claim the Chief Constable has
inflamed the organisation's rank-and-file over the raid on
the Alexandra Bar 10 days ago.

"There's a marching season coming up and they [the PSNI]
are on their own as far as we're concerned," said one
leading UDA figure.

"If he [Sir Hugh Orde] calls it this way, then that will be
the way it is. But we won't come out to clear the streets
for him. He can deal with it."

Sources within the Belfast brigade claim that the specially
equipped PSNI unit which raided the Alexandra broke up
nothing more than preparations for a "retirement do'".

Said one senior loyalist: "The Thursday night gathering was
preparation for a retirement do when people were going to
be given plaques for their services to the organisation.

"That's what it was. It was to be indoors with fellas being
called up and given plaques, but Hugh Orde either acted on
faulty intelligence or wanted a confrontation. There's
going to be more of these in other brigade areas as people
retire. Does he want people to retire or does he want
things to continue?

"There's one of these planned in another part of the city
in a fortnight's time. Is he going to make the same mistake

Other sources in the organisation say they believe the
Chief Constable has caused unnecessary difficulties with
his actions, and say nothing sinister was going to take
place at the Alexandra.

"He made a big mistake and I just hope we can get things
settled down over the next few months. He has achieved
nothing and maybe set back important developments for two
months," a senior source in another Brigade area said.


Too Little, Too Late!

Mum's Anger At UVF Statement On Son's Murder

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
12 March 2006

THE mother of a UVF murder victim last night hit out
angrily at the terror group's leaders after they appealed
for anyone with information on her son's killing to contact

Ann Robb, whose son Andrew (19), along with pal David
McIlwaine (18), was butchered in February, 2000, slammed
the command staff of the UVF's Mid-Ulster brigade for
issuing a statement on the killings on Friday night.

The Portadown woman, who was only told about the statement
when we contacted her yesterday morning, said the UVF's
appeal was too little, too late.

The statement read: "Over six years later, the families are
still struggling in their quest for justice. Consequently,
the command staff has taken the decision to release this
statement in the hope that it some way it will assist in
this pursuit.

"We state categorically that the killing of these two boys
was not sanctioned by the UVF. Furthermore, we are appalled
at the killings and the ferociousness of the attacks.

"We fully support the families in their campaign for
justice and no-one should impede them in respect of that.
We urge anyone with information, no matter how trivial,
which may help the PSNI to come forward."

But Mrs Robb said: "This statement is a load of rubbish. I
am not going to change my mind about my son's killing just
because the UVF have issued statement after six years.

"The police told me it was the UVF who murdered Andrew and
David and that it was sanctioned by a prominent UVF man
from the Trandragee area.

"I have been speaking to ex-UVF men and they told me the
killings were sanctioned in Armagh and not from Belfast. I
have learned and experienced too much since my son's
killings to accept this statement."


Notorious Loyalist Family Linked To Taxi Death Bid

By Sunday Life Reporter
12 March 2006

A NOTORIOUS loyalist family were behind the murder bid on a
Catholic taxi-driver in north Belfast last week.

Security sources have pointed the finger at drug-dealing
renegade loyalists who were senior figures in the LVF
before the group was stood down last November.

Loyalist sources have also blamed the family - which has
had close links to ex-UDA boss Johnny Adair - branding them
"mavericks" intent on stirring up tensions in north Belfast
as cover to expand their criminal empire.

The taxi-driver had a miraculous escape after picking up
four men near the Mater Hospital on the Crumlin Road, last
Saturday night and driving them to Ligoniel.

A handgun was put to his head, but the weapon jammed and he
managed to break free.

The attackers ran off in the direction of the loyalist
Ballysillan estate.

The murder-bid was admitted in a call to a newspaper in the
name of the Red Hand Defenders - a cover-name previously
used by the UDA and LVF.

But the UDA issued a statement denying involvement in last
weekend's attack.

The statement read: "The individuals using this cover-name
are criminals who are motivated by self-gain.

"Those who use that name were stood down and that is a
matter of public record."

A security source said the chief suspects were "known
criminals with their own personal agenda".

Added the source: "They operate drugs and extortion rackets
in north Belfast.

"They no longer belong to any loyalist group, so they are
using the Red Hand Defenders name as cover for their

The source claimed the family had tried to ingratiate
themselves with the UDA in north Belfast, but were now
being shunned by paramilitary group.

Said the source: "At the moment, they are pariahs.

"They have only a few hangers-on with them, but they are
determined to expand their criminal empire."


New Probe Into Ihab Assault Allegation

Exclusive by Ciaran McGuigan
12 March 2006

THE Police Ombudsman was last night examining claims that
cops failed to act when loyalist hardman Ihab Shoukri
battered a drug dealer-turned supergrass in his north
Belfast home.

Shoukri - who walked free from court last week when a judge
dismissed an application to revoke his bail in the wake of
the police raid on the Alexandra Bar - was one of four men
who attacked Dessie Truesdale in his north Belfast flat,
the convicted drug dealer claims.

Truesdale claims that Shoukri's brother Andre, and two
other leading UDA man were with Ihab when they
"interrogated" him and ordered him to hand over thousands
of pounds held in a credit union account.

Truesdale fled the country after the attack in March 2003,
and still lives in hiding in England, fearing that he will
be killed by the UDA if he returns to Ulster.

Before he fled, he told cops about the incident at his
home, but claims the police failed to act on his

The claims are made in a lengthy dossier sent to Nuala
O'Loan's office last week.

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman last night said: "We
have received correspondence that sets out a number of
allegations and are reviewing that correspondence."

Truesdale believes at least one of the gang that attacked
him was a Special Branch agent, and wants the alleged agent

He told Sunday Life: "I risked my life identifying these
four men to police and gave statements that would hopefully
have put them in jail, and yet nothing is done.

"You have to ask yourself why that is.

"The reason I suspect, and I want the Police Ombudsman to
investigate, is that at least one of the four who came into
my flat that night was working for Special Branch."

A police spokesman confirmed a report of the incident at
the flat, but said no official complaint had been made at
the time.

Truesdale added: "When I went to the police I felt that I
was given the only option to flee the country. I want the
Ombudsman to look into how the whole thing was handled."


Notorious UVF Unit 'To Be Stood Down'

12 March 2006

A UVF unit behind some of the most savage killings of the
Troubles will be stood down before the end of the month,
loyalist sources have claimed.

Members of the UVF's notorious mid-Ulster Brigade, based in
Portadown, will be given their marching orders within days.

The move is understood to be the first steps towards an
overall winding up of the loyalist terror gang later this

It is understood senior UVF commanders from Belfast visited
Portadown recently and told local leaders they were
standing down the mid-Ulster brigade.

"There was no room for debate," said a source.

"It was just, 'thanks, lads, but you are no longer needed -
so on your bikes'.

"Believe me, there is a lot of anger in certain quarters in
Portadown about the move."

Sources said one UVF officer would remain in place in mid-
Ulster until July to oversee the return of weapons and
other equipment to Belfast.

"By the end of March the UVF in Portadown will be nothing
more than a one man band," a loyalist source said.

"The mid-Ulster Brigade is now the only UVF unit ever to
have been stood down on two occasions.

"However, this time there will be no return."

During its blood-drenched 30-year history, the mid-Ulster
UVF has been involved in several high-profile attacks which
claimed the lives of dozens of people.

Under the command of Robin 'The Jackal' Jackson members of
the mid-Ulster unit were involved in:

• The Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks which claimed the
lives of 33 people in May 1974;

• The murder of top IRA commander John Francis Green, at
Tullyash, Co Monaghan, in January 1975;

• The shooting dead of six members of the O'Dowd and Reavey
families in coordinated gun-attacks at Bleary and
Whitecross and;

• The gun and bomb attack which claimed the lives of three
members of the Miami Showband in August 1976.

Jackson's successor Billy Wright was expelled by the UVF in
August 1986 and ordered to leave the country.

Wright defied the order and set up his own unit, the LVF.

Tensions between the UVF and LVF often boiled over into
bouts of blood letting.

However, a decision by the LVF to stand down last October
helped bring an end to the long-simmering feud.


New National Monument Discovered At Baronstown, Tara

National Environment News Report
Sunday March 12, 2006 12:57
by Chris - TaraWatch 087-776-5289

TaraWatch demonstration 12.00pm Wednesday March 15th

* Update on campaign to save the Hill of Tara from the M3
motorway – 12 March 2006

A discrete national monument has been discovered in the
pathway of the M3 motorway, during investigative
archaeological excavations. It is entitled Baronstown 1, by
the NRA, and lies just on the other side of the N3, between
the hills of Tara and Skryne. It can be seen at:

A protest involving local and national activist groups is
planned for 12.00PM, March 15th, at 'Baronstown 1', a newly
discovered national monument in the pathway of the M3
motorway. Evidence regarding this site was not allowed to
be presented in the High Court case, because Justice Smyth
denied an application for cross-examination of expert

Maps, photographs and archaeological and historical
information about the site is available at

The route of the M3 motorway was given approval by An Bord
Pleanala in July 2003. During the course of building the
motorway, which will stretch 60 km between Clonee and
Kells, 38 new archaeological sites were found during
investigative test-trenching in the stretch between Navan
and Dunshaughlin. In May 2005 the Minister for the
Environment gave directions under the National Monuments
Act 2004, for the excavation and removal of these sites.
That decision is being review in the courts.

Many of the new sites lie within or near the archaeological
complex of monuments associated with the Hill of Tara,
County Meath. This complex has been extensively researched
by the Discovery Programme, an independent, but State-
funded archaeological research unit, over the last decade.

TaraWatch maintain that all of these sites, with in the
complex, are national monuments, because they are part of
the larger national monument that is the archaeological
complex of Tara. This complex is defined in relation to the
upstanding defensive features that have stood for centuries
around the Hill of Tara. To the east; sites on the Hill of
Skryne. To the northeast; Rath Lugh. To the north;
Rathmiles. To the northwest; the linear earthwork. To the
west; Ringlestown Rath.

These man-made features, taken in conjunction with the
natural features of the hills and valley in between create
a clearly defined sanctuary within, which is a national
monument. This is similar to Glendalough National Monument,
which encompasses lakes, a valley and numerous
archaeological features, taken as a whole.

Baronstown is a national monument, even aside from its
association with tara, because of the spectacular features
that lies above and below ground. Its proximity to tara and
Skryne only adds to its intrinsic value.

New Web site –

TaraWatch is pleased to announce the launch of its new web
site at The site is a WordPress
blog, which allows anyone to read and post information,
images and so on, in an effective and dynamic manner.

The Hill of Tara issue has trundled on now for about 6
years, with no satisfactory end in sight. Over the years
various groups have come and gone in efforts to lobby the
Government to alter the route of the M3 away from Tara.

TaraWatch has been set up to amalgamate and refocus the
campaign to save Tara. We are co-ordinating efforts between
activist campaigns, locally, nationally and internationally
and are working closely with local residents groups in
County Meath.

* Legal Action / moratorium

The litigant in the High Court case on Tara and the M3,
Vincent Salafia, is working closely with TaraWatch to
ensure that legal and activist approaches, though
independent of each other, work in synch. Site monitoring
and local information is being relayed to the legal team.

TaraWatch is requesting all campaigning groups and
individuals to refrain from making statements or taking any
public action with regards to Baronstown before the costs
hearing in the High Court case on March 14th. We are very
conscious of the need not to cause any allegation of
contempt of court to be made against Mr. Salafia, or to
prejudice his case in any way. We ware asking the media to
also respect this moratorium.

After March 14th, it is likely that the issue will remain
before the courts for some time, and TaraWatch is designed
to provide accurate information to the media, regarding the
legal situation and the campaign to save Tara.

We are also organising a fundraising dinner at Drimnagh
Castle, March 24th, to support his litigation fund. Please
contact Chris Murray at for more

* Online Activism Can Save Tara

TaraWatch is using online activism as a means of attaining
critical mass, and restoring the democratic deficit on the
Tara issue. The online activist mailing list already has
450 members. You can join at .

While many groups have lobbied for Tara, and fair dues to
them, none have been able to build up critical mass. With
the issue reaching crisis point, the campaign has to be
taken to a new level. Irish people throughout the world,
and people in general, are appalled when they hear what is
happening. The problem is getting the message out.
TaraWatch enables anyone, anywhere, to take action now, by:

- Signing an online petition. (19,000 signatures)

- Sending letters to newspapers. Instructions at:

- Writing to politicians. Instructions at:

- Promoting the web sites and petition above, by sending
mails and adding sites to engines and directories.

- Joining the Discussion group

- Signing up to attend events when informed

- Editing web sites like TaraWatch, which is a blog. Please
add your views, images and so on.

- Spreading the word

- Displaying the Save Tara logo

- Donating to the litigation fund, so a professional and
effective case can be completed.

* Democratic deficit.

Despite the fact that a national survey last year showed
that over 70% of Irish people survey, wanted the route of
the M3 changed, the Irish authorities have dug in their
heels, and are pushing ahead in the courts and on the
ground. Details of the survey can be found at

Instead of listening to unequivocal public, professional
and scientific opinion, the Irish authorities are pressing
ahead with the excavations at Tara and preparations for the
M3 motorway. They have abdicated their responsibility and
transferred the difficult decision-making on the
controversy to the Irish courts, under pressure from small
but powerful commercial interests such as, IBEC, the Construction Industry Federation, Meath Chambers of Commerce and private
tolls companies, who are bidding on this and other motorway
projects in Ireland.

* On the ground.

Excavations are proceeding on the 38 sites found between
Navan and Dunshaughlin. The National Roads Authority has a
web site showing the sites being
excavated. They expect to be finished some time this year.
Then road construction will begin. Four consortia are in
the bidding for the construction contract, with a preferred
bidder having been chosen. Meanwhile, land around the
massive 52 acre interchange planned for Blundelstown, 1,000
metres from the tip of the Hill, is being bought up.

The Tara Management Plan, for a visitor
center at Tara has been drawn up, but has not been released
to the public. We need people on the ground in Meath to
keep an eye on what is happening there, and to help
organize events locally.

* Media

In the media, the plan has received worldwide attention.


Associated Press,

International Herald Tribune,

New York Times, (subscription)

Washington Post,

and even China News Daily have featured the story.

Stories are archived at

* Issues at stake

Tara has become a global beacon in the struggle with
modernity, and incorporates many civil rights issues:

1. Sovereignty – What is the duty of the State to protect
the national cultural and environmental assets, owned by
the people of Ireland?

2. Citizenship. Does citizenship entitle you to take a
legal action to protect the national cultural or
environmental assets? Does it place an active duty on you
to take legal or some other action to protect these assets
against abuse by the State and private developers?

3. Privatisation – Are privately run toll roads an
economically sound idea, or is it a way of keeping certain
small interests very happy? Is it ethical for the
Government to take land from a private citizen, at below
market value, and hand it over to a toll company who will
reap huge profits from it? Is rezoning land for huge
profits anti-democratic?

4. Global warming. More roads means more cars. Is the
current policy of massive investment in private roads, and
little or none in public transport going to lead to a more
and more car-dependent State, and possible economic ruin
when the oil runs out?

5. Cultural identity. What does it mean to be Irish? Who
are we? What are our symbols? What is sacred to us? Do we
care? The same isues are being faced by peoples and nations

6. Right to the Environment. The European Convention on
Human Rights has been interpreted to recognize
‘environmental rights’. Do these apply to our right to
enjoy Tara?

7. Public consultation. The EU Environmental Impact
Assessment directives, and the theories of sustainable
development, require public consultation during the
planning of national infrastructure projects. An Bord
Pleanala has ben holding oral hearings, but many who
participate in these hearings feel they are a sham, and
that the authorities are only going through the motions,
and the Bord is only rubberstamping projects because they
are in the ‘national interest’.

8. Draconian legislation. Every year more and more laws are
being passed which limit citizens rights and increase
Government powers, particularly in the area of
environmental law. On the other hand, Ireland has the worst
environmental record in the EU and the slowest rate of
incorporation of EU legislation, such as the overdue AARHUS
agreement. In the case of Tara, the Landscape Convention
would have made a big difference, but we are not signed up
to that either.

- The Planning and Development Act 200 limited judicial
review of an An Bord Pleanala decision to those who made

- The National Monuments Act 2004 greatly increased the
powers of the Minister for the Environment and decreased
protections for monuments. It was basically drafted by the
National Roads Authority, in response to the Carrickmines
Castle cases.

- Strategic Infrastructure Bill 2006 has just been
published and will be making its way through the Oireachtas
in the coming weeks. It severely limits the ability of a
citizen to challenge a national infrastructure project in
the courts, by limiting judicial review to certain types of
groups. It also does away with getting planning permission
from local authorities. Download a copy of the draft bill

- A new National Monuments Act is currently being drafted
by the NRA and the Department of the Environment

9. Waste of public money. The National Roads Authority has
overspent by three times the amount of money estimated to
complete the National Roads Programme under the National
Development Plan 2000-2006. It has gone from 6 billion to
18 billion and they are way behind delivery time too. It
has been described as the biggest waste of taxpayers money
in the history of the State. Se RTE Prime Time’s ‘The Money

10. Corruption. Many people are smelling rats all along the
pathway of the M3, but nobody has been able to catch one
yet. There was a flurry during the by-electin last year
when the Fianna Fail candidate stepped down because it had
reached the papers that he had bought land in Meath with
Frank Dunlop, former press secretary of Fianna Fail, who
has been a star witness in the Planning Tribunal. See RTE
‘Riley Withdraws from Election’

* Public opposition thus far

The purpose of TaraWatch is to harness all those who oppose
the current plan, and reach all those who still don’t know
about it or haven’t been given an opportunity to express
their opinion.

So far there has been significant opposition to the plan.
The M3 motorway’s route through the Hill of Tara’s
archaeological complex has been publicly opposed by:

- 70% of Irish people who voted in a national survey by Red
C Research, the results of which were reported in The Irish
Download the survey at

- The Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Mr. Pat

- The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI).

- The Heritage Council.

- The Discovery Programme, Ireland’s State archaeological
research unit.

- Top experts on Tara, Dr. Edel Bhreatnach, Conor Newman
and Joe Fenwick

- Sean Haughey, T.D., Chairman of the Environment

- The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).

- The European Association of Archaeologists (EAA).

- The Landmarks Trust, New York.

- Members of all Opposition parties in the Oireachtas and
Meath County Council: Fine Gael, Sinn Fein, Labour, Green
Party, Socialist Party, as well as many Independent members
like Senators Maurice Hayes, David Norris, Shane Ross, Joe
O’Toole, and current Chairman of Meath County Council Brian

- Mr. John Bruton, Irish Ambassador the United States, and
former Taoisaeach of Ireland and County Meath TD.

- The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society.

- The Ancient Order of Hibernians, and many other Irish
organizations worldwide.

- Writers of Opinion/Editorial in newspapers like The New
York Times, The Boston Globe, The Irish Times, The Irish
Independent, The Sunday Tribune, The Sunday Independent,
The Sunday Times and The Meath Chronicle.

- Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend.

- Hundreds of academics worldwide who signed a petition.

- Thousands of people worldwide who signed an online

- Thousands of people who have protested publicly, such as
at the march through Dublin city center in March 2004

- Thousands of people who made written objections to the
Minister for the Environment, the Environment Committee and
Transport Committee.

* In the courts

The case of Vincent Salafia –v- The Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Ireland; The
Attorney General; Meath County Council and the National
Roads Authority

The costs hearing in this case will be held Tuesday March
14th in the High Court, before Justice Thomas Smyth. The
case was dismissed on March 1 2006. Mr. Salafia had argued
that the Directions of the Minister, under the National
Monuments Act 2004 were illegal; the Act was
unconstitutional; the motorway passes through the Hill of
Tara national monument or complex of monuments; and that
newly discovered sites required that work stop, and a new
route be found. The case may be appealed to the Supreme
Court. A case is bring prepared for the EU, now that the
Irish courts have spoken.

Massive resources are being thrown into media spin and the
legal case. The NRA has invested in a glossy booklet
booklet, full-page
newspaper advertisements, and animated videos, and well as
creating scholarships to bribe academics.
Over 20 lawyers on three legal teams opposed the latest
action, and costs are estimated to be around 500,000 for
the High Court action alone. TaraWatch is the only group
supporting and fundraising for litigation. A fundraising
dinner is planned for Drimnagh Castle March 24, to support
the legal fund.

Other events are also being planned.



Hill of Tara litigation

General information and links on the Tara issue:

Online Petition:

News archive and mailing list:

Online Activism mailing list:


Please contact Chris Murray - 7 Kenliworth Square,
Rathmines, Dublin 6


Related Link:


Fury Over IRA Bomber’s Holyrood Visit

EXCLUSIVE: By Paul Hutcheon, Scottish Political Editor

A former IRA terrorist who helped bomb the Tory conference
in Brighton is to meet MSPs this week to learn about

Martina Anderson, who served part of a life sentence for
plotting a terror campaign in 12 English seaside resorts,
will visit Holyrood on behalf of Sinn Fein.

The one-time “beauty queen bomber” plans to use her
Scottish trip to get international support for a united

Last night politicians slammed the visit. Lord Tebbit,
whose wife Margaret was left paralysed by the Brighton
bomb, compared Anderson with “al-Qaeda”. Tory MSP Phil
Gallie said he was appalled that the “contemptible”
Anderson was visiting the parliament.

The main purpose of the Sinn Fein trip is to promote their
green paper on Irish unity. Party president Gerry Adams
sent the publication to interest groups and MSPs recently
and flagged up his colleague’s trip to Scotland.

Anderson, the party’s All Ireland co-ordinator, will use
meetings with councillors and organisations from civic
society to explain Sinn Fein’s policies.

But she will also visit MSPs at Holyrood on Wednesday to
talk about Ireland and to learn lessons about Scottish
devolution. The trip has not been officially sanctioned by
the parliament.

She intends to meet a cross-party selection of MSPs and
hold one-to-one discussions with other members. She also
plans to watch First Minister’s questions on Thursday.

Sinn Fein’s Scottish spokesman, Jim Slaven, said he thought
the discussions would be constructive. “We are meeting
people across the political spectrum in the parliament.
This is the beginning of a long-term engagement with
Scotland,” he said.

He added that Sinn Fein were interested in learning about
the powers of the parliament, particularly on justice, that
have yet to be devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly.

“It’s a two-way process. Martina is coming over to talk to
parties in Scotland about our view of what a united Ireland
will look like. But also we will be listening to what
people are saying about how devolution is working,” he

But Anderson’s trip to Holyrood will prove hugely
controversial because of her past connection to republican
terrorism. Recruited by the IRA as a teenager, she was
convicted in 1985 of plotting a “bomb a day” terror
campaign in London and 12 English holiday resorts.

Her most notorious involvement with terrorism was her part
in the bombing of the Grand Hotel during the 1984
Conservative conference in Brighton.

The plot to kill the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
failed but the blast killed five people and injured 34
others. At Anderson’s trial at the Old Bailey, when she was
just 23, the judge told her: “You are a hard, cynical young

Anderson spent 13 years in prison , and was the 200th
prisoner to be released under the Good Friday Agreement.
She has now renounced violence and instead tries to further
her political goals through the ballot box.

However, Lord Tebbit said he did not believe she has
changed. “These people should never have been released from
prison. Life should have meant life. Put them in the same
box as al-Qaeda,” he said. “Sinn Fein is the PR dept of the
IRA – some are in PR, some are in bombs.”

Tory MSP Phil Gallie said he was shocked that Anderson was
planning a visit to Edinburgh.

“I don’t think there’s any place in the parliament for
people who break democracy. She is a criminal. It amazes me
how individuals such as this can be brought into Holyrood.”

Independent MSP Brian Monteith also slammed Anderson’s
Holyrood trip: “Just because someone has served their time
doesn’t mean we have to forget and forgive. I have had
personal friends, who were true democrats, executed by the
IRA. I see no upside for the parliament from this visit and
am highly suspicious of Sinn Fein’s motives and those
involved in the meetings.”

A parliament spokesman said MSPs are allowed to make their
own arrangements for inviting guests to Holyrood.

12 March 2006


McCartneys' Mum Takes Up Campaign

US politicians to be told of pain of losing son

By Stephen Breen
12 March 2006

THE mother of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney will
step out of the shadows this week when she flies to
Washington to meet US senators who have backed the family's
fight for justice.

Devastated Kathleen McCartney (63) will be joined in
America by daughter Catherine and the murder victim's aunt,
Emily Hamilton, to tell influential politicians they
believe Sinn Fein are still harbouring people involved in
the killing.

Robert's mother has never spoken publicly about her son's
horrific murder, leaving the campaigning to her daughters
and her son's partner, Bridgeen.

Catherine McCartney told Sunday Life her mother had decided
to travel across the Atlantic to highlight the pain she has
suffered since losing her son.

Said Catherine:"Martin McGuinness implied this week that
our family has an axe to grind and my mum wants to show
that she certainly has no axe to grind.

"My mum lost her son in a brutal murder and she is a very
private person, but she feels she has to go to the United
States for Robert.

"She doesn't know what to expect and this sort of thing is
all new to her. If she does meet someone from Sinn Fein,
she will outline how she has been robbed of a loving son.

"We want to tell the US authorities that we feel Sinn Fein
is still harbouring people who had a role in Robert's

It's also believed the family will meet US President George
W Bush for the second year running.

The family only received the invitation from US special
envoy to Northern Ireland Mitchell Reiss last Thursday and
will travel to America on Tuesday, for a five-day visit.

Also in attendance at the St Patrick's Day celebrations
will be Sunday Life columnist Alan McBride, who lost his
wife in the 1993 Shankill bombing, and the family of Joseph
Rafferty, who was killed in a Dublin housing estate last


Cop Fails In Uniform Discrimination Case

Green, white and gold claim 'over-sensitive'

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
12 March 2006

THIS is the "over-sensitive" Ulster cop who has failed in a
bid to have the police dump their GREEN, WHITE and GOLD

Taxpayers will have to cover a £10,000 legal bill after
Constable Philip Crawford lost his extraordinary case
against Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde.

Crawford - a cop since 1983 - accused the Chief Constable
of "political and religious" discrimination over the colour
of the police uniform, at an Industrial Tribunal hearing in
Belfast, last December.

He claimed the police-issue green pullover, white shirt and
gold badge were representative of "Sinn Fein and the IRA".

But the tribunal panel's chairman, Duncan Buchanan,
concluded last week that Crawford's claim was "over-

Crawford, who is now appealing the tribunal's decision,
told Sunday Life: "I have read the ruling at great length
and there are a number of issues I disagree with.

"I have now sought legal advice and I will write to the
tribunal panel to inform them of the discrepancies I feel
are contained within the report. This is not over yet."

Crawford was initially told he could be forced to pay the
hearing's legal costs, but Mr Buchanan ruled it was "not
appropriate" to make an order for the cover of costs.

Crawford, who represented himself during the hearing, made
his first complaint in April 2002 after the new police
uniform was introduced.

Although police bosses took a decision to introduce a gold
insignia, the colour was changed to silver after the
Policing Board introduced the PSNI's new crest.

The tribunal also heard evidence from Assets Recovery
Agency boss Alan McQuillan, who helped oversee the
introduction of the new uniform during his time as
Assistant Chief Constable.

But Crawford went ahead with his case because a number of
the jumpers with the gold insignia were - and remain - in

At the time of hearing, Crawford said: "I was angry and
frustrated when I saw this uniform. I think the colour-
scheme is representative of Sinn Fein and the IRA and it
causes offence and injury to my feelings when I see it
being worn."

But Mr Buchanan concluded: "We accept the evidence that the
choice of the colour gold in combination with green and
white had not been decided upon as an act of appeasement.

"Like the claimant, officers such as Mr McQuillan had
police colleagues murdered by IRA terrorists and would have
been no less likely than the claimant to have been angered
by such events.

"We do not doubt the sincerity of the claimant's views, but
due to the overall lack of reaction to the colour
combination we feel he is over-sensitive and has not been
altogether consistent.

"We are satisfied the claimant was not unlawfully
discriminated against by the respondent on the grounds of
his religious belief or political opinion.

"Indeed, we have not found any facts from which the
tribunal could infer that the respondent had committed an
unlawful act of discrimination. We therefore dismiss this

He added: "Also, the decision to change from gold to silver
was made purely for aesthetic reasons. This has been
emphasised clearly and concisely by the respondents
witnesses and we accept their evidence."


Churches Unite After Race Attack

Members of Protestant churches have attended Mass at a
Catholic church in east Belfast which was vandalised in a
suspected racist attack last week.

Racist slogans were daubed on the walls of St Colmcille's
Church on the Upper Newtownards Road and excrement was
smeared on seats.

On Sunday, representatives of local Presbyterian, Methodist
and Church of Ireland congregations attended Mass.

A Presbyterian minister said it was a show of opposition to
hate crimes.

Reverend Richard Hill from Garnerville Presbyterian Church
said racism was a "very grave problem".

He said the churches wanted to "show our solidarity with
our friends and neighbours" in St Colmcilles "to say that
racism is not acceptable".

It's wrong, it's got to stop," he said.

Parish mission

"We're meeting together as a group of churches in the area
during Lent, to look at hate crimes, to look at how we, as
a church, can respond."

The attack was reported to police at about 2000 GMT on

The parish priest, Father Paddy Delargy, said the attack
was racially motivated.

He said a small section of society seemed unable to accept
those from other countries.

The church, which has Indian and Filipino members, is
currently hosting a parish mission.

The attack was condemned by local politicians.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/12 13:31:23 GMT


Opin: Some Grounds For Optimism

12 March 2006

HOPES that the substance of the Independent Monitoring
Commission's latest report might breathe new life into the
stalled political talks have still to be realised.

Yet behind the scenes there is no doubt that the context of
political debate is changing in a manner that gives some
grounds for optimism.

The IMC report declares that the IRA no longer "presents a
terrorist threat" and there is some evidence that all of
the loyalist paramilitary groups, to a greater or lesser
degree, are actively contemplating political rather than
terrorist futures.

Unionists, deeply suspicious of republican intentions,
remain to be convinced that the IRA has given up
criminality for good, and there is the matter of
unequivocal support for the Police Service, without which a
power-sharing devolved government is inconceivable.

While criminality remains an issue, loyalists are also
gradually coming to terms with the reality that the only
way forward is through the democratic process.

A legacy of social deprivation across the divide means
communities are crying out for effective leadership.

The Government must do all in its power to assist genuine
community activists who are trying to lead this process
with limited experience and resources.

Real community development that makes a difference to
ordinary people on the ground will reap the biggest

Ireland's call binds us all together

WHAT a difference a fortnight makes.

Two weeks ago, Dublin was ablaze at the prospect of a
handful of loyalists parading along O'Connell Street.

Yesterday, 49,250 people leapt to their feet at Lansdowne
Road only to see an Ulster Protestant in a green jersey
(one Andrew Trimble) bundled into touch just a yard short
of Scotland's line.

Seamus Heaney famously described Lansdowne Road as the only
place where you could find Dubliners and Ballymena
solicitors standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

The sinews that bind both parts of this island together are
never stronger than when sporting reputations are at stake.

Now bring on England, the Triple Crown and the Six Nations!


Opin: Debating Illegals: A Plethora Of Nuts

Sunday, March 12, 2006

In the same week a new study concluded that up to 12
million illegal aliens are living in the United States,
their nutty apologists came out of the woodwork:

In seeking advice on how to deal with the crush of illegals
in Suffolk County, N.Y., Executive Steve Levy organized a
conference that rightly included the Federation for
American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Numbers USA, two
quite legitimate groups diligently working the problem.

Critics smeared both, likening them to another group they
do not like - the Sachem Quality of Life Organization - and
intimated that all are hate groups. The far-Left Southern
Poverty Law Center chimed in, smearing FAIR as previously
being on "the cusp" of being a hate group.

As the debate unfolded on Capitol Hill over tougher
immigration rules, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., warned
that Republicans want a massive hunt for illegals, turning
the country into a "police state."

Mrs. Clinton was speaking to hundreds of the newest wave of
illegal Irish immigrants - members of the Irish Lobby for
Immigration Reform - who took buses from New York City to
Washington for the debate. The lawbreakers demanded
"action"; the euphemism of the hour - "earned-
legalization." It's amnesty.

Criminalizing illegal immigrants is wrong, Clinton said.

It's the kind of "logic" that will tear this republic


McGrady: Saint's Festival Should Be A Holiday

12 March 2006

EVERYONE in Northern Ireland should be given a day off on
Friday to mark St Patrick's Day, SDLP MP Eddie McGrady has

The South Down MP is stepping up his campaign to have March
17 declared a national holiday in the province.

Mr McGrady, who represents the patron saint's reputed
burial place of Downpatrick and whose home overlooks the
site of Patrick's first church at Saul, has already tabled
one early day motion in the House of Commons demanding that
it is made a public holiday.

He said yesterday: "It is disappointing that, once again,
I'm having to ask the Government to make it a public

"St Patrick's Day will be celebrated in communities across
the world on Friday, but the exception is here, and in his
own home town, where it is not an official holiday."

The MP wants to see all schoolchildren given the day off.

Mr McGrady has already won backing across the parties for
his call, with support from an unlikely source - DUP leader
Ian Paisley.


How The Province Is Painting The Towns Green

By Kathleen Mullin
12 March 2006

GREEN BEER alert! All over the world - from Japan to
Montenegro - millions of people are preparing to celebrate
the life of St Patrick. Sunday Life's guide lets you know
what is happening near you.

Armagh and Down host an international 10-day St Patrick's
festival, with more than 80 events.

In Armagh, the highlights include a concert in the Market
Place Theatre, a Saint Patrick's treasure hunt, special
walking tours and a classic cycle race.

Downpatrick has a musical feast with something for
everyone: a Grand Cross community concert featuring Irish,
Scottish and bluegrass music takes place at the Great Hall
in Downshire Hospital on Wednesday; Blazin' Fiddles and
Mick Hanly are in concert at the Down Arts Centre on
Thursday; and Sean Keane will be on the same stage on St
Patrick's night.

There will also be a carnival in the town on St Patrick's
Day featuring Hugo Duncan's BBC radio show broadcasting

Click for full details.

In Belfast, St Patrick's Day kicks off with the traditional
carnival followed by a multi-cultural concert at Custom
House Square (1.30pm).

More musical treats follow later at the Waterfront Hall,
where the Ulster Orchestra will join legendary traditional
group Altan and the acclaimed Scottish group Capercaille.

The Queen's Island Victoria MVC Annual concert will include
mezzo soprano Carolyn Dobbins and The Mulvena Academy of
Irish Dancing.

For something a bit different, comedians Ed Bryne and Jason
will be at the Whitla Hall to tickle funny bones on
Thursday and the Queen's Film Theatre will be showing Irish
films for just £1 on St Patrick's Day.

In the North-West, a carnival will take over Londonderry
city-centre from 1pm on Friday, leading up to a performance
from popular singer Frances Black and guests in Guildhall

Those in the Coleraine area can enjoy the five-day St
Patrick's Festival, running from Wednesday.

One of the highlights is the Evening Celebration at the
Riverside Theatre featuring Gerry Anderson, Malachi Cush,
the Hempsey Harp School and singer Mary Dillon.

For full details, click

Elsewhere, notable events include Slemish bus trips from
the Ecos environmental centre in Ballymena, from where
local radio station Seven FM will be broadcasting live.

The Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh will hold an
American wake - re-enacting the hours before emmigrants
left for America.

And the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Holywood will
host a unique festival of music and crafts for the day.

Main parades are in: Belfast (12.45pm); Armagh (2.30);
Downpatrick (2.30); Newry (noon); Enniskillen (3.00);
Strabane (2.30); Portadown (1.30); and Londonderry (2pm).


Candidate For Texas Governor Caught Drinking Beer In Parade

DALLAS (AP) - An independent candidate for Texas governor
rode in a St. Patrick's Day parade car Saturday with his
trademark black hat and burning cigar - plus a beer in his
hand, an apparent violation of the state's open container

Kinky Friedman's spokeswoman acknowledged that he drank
from a can of Guinness handed to him. Photographs taken by
The Dallas Morning News showed Friedman, who wasn't
driving, holding the beer and appearing to take a drink.

State law prohibits opened alcoholic beverages in the
passenger area of a motor vehicle. The Class C misdemeanor
carries a maximum fine of $500.

Dallas police didn't cite Friedman, and Lt. Rick Watson
said Friedman can't be ticketed after the fact because it
wasn't witnessed by an officer.

"Guinness is the drink that kept the Irish from taking over
the world. It would be unthinkable not to have a Guinness
during a St. Patrick's Day parade. In fact, it would be
spiritually wrong," Friedman said in a statement issued by
spokeswoman Laura Stromberg.

Friedman was serving as grand marshal in the parade while
volunteer supporters helped gather signatures to get him on
the November ballot. He needs 45,540 signatures by May 11
from registered voters who skipped the primaries.

©2006 Associated Press.


Retracing A Lineage To The Emerald Isle

By Jim Smith
Connecticut Post Online

Along a calm estuary on the River Shannon sits the remains
of Carrigafoyle Castle once owned by Garrett FitzGerald,
the 15th and last Catholic Earl of Desmond. You might say
the castle still towers over the flat countryside around

England's Queen Elizabeth I was ridding Ireland of any
Catholic leadership. When her navy arrived in 1580 a band
of Irishmen and allied Spainards manned the castle's stout
hundred-year-old walls, which guarded the mouth of the
Shannon on the western coast. Her majesty's new artillery
pieces breached the walls and all 69 defenders were hung on
the spot.

Three years later Elizabeth's troops caught up with
FitzGerald. The first swing of a sword nearly severed his
right arm. "I am the Earl of Desmond!" he shouted. With the
next swipe the swordsman cut off his head. Elizabeth
ordered it impaled on London Bridge then sent Protestant
royalty to take over his lands.

Three hundred years later Mary Ann Finucane of
Ballylongford, County Kerry, married Sam Hutchinson Jr.
whose parents came from County Down in the north. They
married in America. Their first son's youngest daughter
gave birth to me.

So many of us can trace a recent lineage back to the
Emerald Isle. I stood, virtually in the shadow of the old
castle, on the granite steps leading into the water where
Mary Ann most certainly began her journey here.

Michael Finucane's bar is in the middle of the tiny village
of Ballylongford, across the street from the poet Brendan
Kennelly's bar. As Michael drew a Guinness slowly from the
tap, first for me and then my wife, he observed that
"you're from the States, aren't you now?" He asked why we
were so far off the major tourist paths.

"Mary Ann Finucane was my great grandmother," I said.

He reached across the bar, shook my hand and said with a
big smile, "Cousin!" He welcomed us warmly. With the last
sip of the dark brew he took us down the street to a dock.

"Be careful Jim," he said, "These steps can be slippery."
1843 was carved into the granite. We walked down a dozen
steps to the gently lapping water of the estuary. "Here is
where your Mary Ann left from" in a skiff, he said, then
pointed to the broad river "for a ship waiting out there."
Anyone from Ballylongford who made the Atlantic crossing
left from those steps.

Back in his bar I asked about the large portrait on the
wall of a mustachioed man in uniform holding a rifle.

"That's The O'Rahilly. My grandfather bought the bar from
him. O'Rahilly died in the Easter rising," said my cousin.

Yeats wrote: "Sing of the O'Rahilly/ That had such little
sense/ He told Pearse and Connolly/ He'd gone to great
expense/ Keeping all the Kerry men/ Out of that crazy
fight;/ That he might be there himself/ Had travelled half
the night."

The O'Rahilly joined Sinn Fein, became editor of the
nationalist newspaper "An Claidheamh Solias," helped unload
rifles from the German ship Asgard at Howth. He believed
Easter 1916 was the wrong time for the rebellion and drove
throughout Kerry, Cork, and Tipperary urging his comrades
to stay home. But he showed up at the Post Office in
Dublin. As he led a charge outside firing his Mauser
pistol, The O'Rahilly was shot and killed. Patrick Pearse
and James Connolly were captured and executed. Their heads
were not impaled, however, on London Bridge. Eamon de
Valera and Michael Collins lived for another fight and
established the Irish Free State. The British kept Ulster.

Which is where we drove after the good evening with Michael
Finucane, to Downpatrick where Ann Cleland married Sam
Hutchinson. They left for America while Ann was pregnant.
She gave birth on the way in 1856 to Sam Jr. I've tried to
imagine leaving your homeland, pregnant, enduring a long,
rough voyage across the ocean.

Sam married Mary Ann April 4, 1883 in America. They had
Herb, who named his youngest daughter Ann Cleland
Hutchinson. She grew up and married James A. Smith. They
brought me into the world nearly a century after the
original Ann Cleland came here, new babe in her arms.

She and her family left the town where St. Patrick is
buried. It is a simple grave, with a faded cross on a large
slab of rock. He died, mostly likely, in 461. I wonder what
he would have thought of Christians persecuting Christians
for 800 years prompting millions to flee his adopted

James H. Smith is editor of the Connecticut Post. You can
reach him at 203-330-6325 or via e-mail at


Filling Up On Laughter At Meehan Breakfast

By Michael Lafleur, Sun Staff
Lowell Sun

DRACUT -- U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan's 11th annual St.
Patrick's Day Breakfast filled yesterday morning with
jokes, revelry and honors for Brendan and Claire Durkin of
Lowell, named Irish Man and Woman of the Year for 2006.

The running joke throughout the event, which drew nearly
550 people to the function hall at Lenzi's Millhouse in
Dracut, was Meehan's fund-raising prowess. The Lowell
Democrat has the largest campaign war chest in Congress.

As the Durkins were entering the hall to assume their seats
on the dais at the front of the room, Sun columnist and WBZ
radio host Paul Sullivan, the event's master of ceremonies,
called out, "You got a rare treat. You're here
complimentary at a Marty Meehan event."

The event's featured speaker was retired Army Gen. Wesley
Clark, who noted that he was pleased to be able to present
an award to a World War II veteran such as Brendan Durkin,
80, who participated in the infamous Battle of the Bulge,
receiving two Purple Hearts for the two times he was
wounded there. Claire Durkin is 79. The well-known couple
has seven children, 15 grandchildren and five great-
grandchildren with another on the way.

"Claire and Brendan, thank you very much for your service
to America, your community and your church," Clark said.

State Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat, noted
during his presentation of a state Senate citation to the
couple, that "In politics, you learn one thing very
quickly. You don't say anything bad about the Durkins."

State Rep. David Nangle alos presented the couple with a
citation from the state House of Representatives.

Other speakers yesterday included the Rev. John Hanley, of
the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, pastor of St. William
Church in Tewksbury and former pastor of the Durkins'
neighborhood parish in Lowell, Sacred Heart Church, now

As is his tradition, Meehan also included the British
Consul-General in Boston, John Rankin, and Irish guests,
who this year were Connla Lawlor, sales director of the new
all-Ireland newspaper, the Daily Ireland, based in West
Belfast, and Pearse Doherty, a member of the Sinn Fein
political party.

Joe Sullivan, founder of Sullivan Brothers Printing in
Lowell, also gave remarks about his friend, Brendan Durkin,
who worked at the company for six decades.

The couple's oldest son, Brendan Jr., a Lowell police
sergeant, spoke for the family.

"They are everything that we want in a community, in a
country," Meehan said of the couple. "They have meant so
much to me, my family and this community."


A Pacifist Born In A Battle Zone

By Julie Muhlstein
Herald Columnist

The Rev. Barry Keating came of age in a battle zone.

You'd never know it to look at him. In an office lined with
books - J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the Bible and "The
Da Vinci Code," religious history and "Memoirs of a Geisha"
- Keating has the look and demeanor of a scholarly

Today, he is pastor of Maplewood Presbyterian Church in
Edmonds, where he's been for eight years. In another time
and place, the Northern Ireland of his youth, he was a
witness to hate, violence and uneasy reconciliation.

Those experiences left their mark and formed Keating's
life. He is now focused on peace.

Michael O'Leary / The Herald

The Rev. Barry Keating, who grew up in Northern Ireland, is
now pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian Church in Edmonds.

Born and raised in Protestant East Belfast, Keating will
speak at a St. Patrick's Day Mass for Peace at noon Friday
at Plymouth Congregational Church, Sixth Avenue and
University Street in downtown Seattle. The main celebrant
will be Seattle's Catholic archbishop, Alex Brunett.

Troubles is a huge understatement for the decades of strife
between Northern Ireland's mostly Protestant Unionist
community, associated with British rule, and its Roman
Catholic Nationalists, long oppressed and bent on
reunification of the island. The island was split in 1922,
and Northern Ireland became part of the United Kingdom.

Not simply explained, the dissension goes back centuries
and centers on whether part of Ireland should be ruled by
Britain. Fighting was reignited in the 1960s and escalated
after "Bloody Sunday," Jan. 30, 1972, when 14 people were
killed by British troops after a civil rights march in
Derry, Northern Ireland.

For years, the paramilitary Irish Republican Army countered
with bombings and other killings.

Peace service

The Rev. Barry Keating, pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian
Church in Edmonds, will speak at a St. Patrick's Day Mass
for Peace at noon Friday at Plymouth Congregational Church,
Sixth Avenue and University Street, Seattle.

With violence raging during his teenage years, Keating
became involved with Protestant and Catholic lay people in
a Belfast-area peace movement through the Corrymeela
Reconciliation Community. The violence "never really
stopped" until 1994, when peace treaties were signed,
Keating said.

He went to college at Queens University in Belfast and
briefly played professional soccer in England before
studying theology. Keating was ordained a Presbyterian
minister in 1980. Working as a prison chaplain, he served
for a time in Long Kesh, or the Maze Prison, where IRA
inmates were held. Ten of them died in 1981 when they
conducted a hunger strike at the prison.

In his talk Friday, Keating will explore aspects of

"How do we move on? It's not that we ignore 500 years of
British domination or brutal terrorism. And it's not that
all Protestants can go home. There have been Keatings in
Ireland for 1,000 years," he said, explaining that the
British used Presbyterians in Ireland as a "buffer between
the Catholics and the ruling Anglicans."

"National governments are not great about apologizing," he
said, but there have been examples of horrible wrongs
acknowledged. "One model is the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission in South Africa," he said.

In the 1970s, Keating said, he saw an amazing example of
forgiveness in the mother of a Catholic boy slain as he
left Mass in Belfast.

"She got the names and addresses of all these people who'd
had somebody killed - police officers, mothers, relatives
of IRA people killed by accident as they were carrying out
attacks," he said. "They became 'the cross group.' They
came together to carry crosses.

"They became a powerful group in Ireland," he said.
"Forgiveness has a power to it."

In the Edmonds area, Keating lives with his wife, Nancy,
and their daughter, Shea. He is far from Belfast, where the
new peace is intertwined with the difficulties of finding
political solutions to old divisions.

Here, we're concerned with our own war in Iraq, where
peaceful solutions seem impossible to achieve. Keating sees
parallels with the situation that ripped apart his

"The Middle East of today was created out of European
colonialism," he said. "We are still reaping the whirlwind
of colonialism there, and the American influence is another
Western power."

Keating is wary of mixing patriotism and religious fervor,
or of any government claiming to have religious
righteousness on its side.

"I watched it in Ireland," he said. "The rest of the world
has a lot to learn from the Irish situation."

Columnist Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460 or


Celebrate The Week With Irish Authors

By Diane La Rue
Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:09 AM EST

Why not celebrate St. Patrick's Day this week by reading
Irish authors?

Before I visited Ireland last year, I decided to read
fiction by Irish authors to get into the mood of Ireland.
First I read “The Maid's Tale” by Kathleen Ferguson. This
book won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for fiction
in 1995.

Brigid Keen spent her childhood in an orphanage run by
Catholic nuns and then lived and was educated in a convent
school. The tone of this novel is very quiet and sad, with
Brigid being practically invisible to all of those around
her. With no prospects of marriage, Brigid ends up working
as a housekeeper for Father Patrick Mann, a local priest.
She spends all of her time caring for Father Mann and is
little more than a servant.

She longs for a real friendship with the women of the
parish, but they only use Brigid to get closer to Father
Mann. After an entire lifetime of caring for the priest, he
eventually becomes physically and mentally ill. Brigid
tried to hide this ailment from everyone, but his true
condition is eventually discovered. Father Mann is sent
away and Brigid is turned out into the streets with no
place to live. The treatment of this faithful and true
servant of God is a disgrace, and Brigid had to decide how
to start over again at midlife. It is heartbreaking and
uplifting at the same time.

Next I read “The Chisellers” by Brendan O'Carroll. This is
the second novel of a trilogy about Dublin mother Agnes
Browne, set in the 1970s in a working class neighborhood
called the Jarro. Agnes is a widowed mother of seven
children, struggling to make ends meet.

Agnes is a good mother who loves her children deeply. Her
oldest son, Mark, is a hardworking carpenter. Another son,
Frankie, is a skinhead, who hangs with a bad crowd. Rory
dropped out of school and works as a hairdresser's
apprentice, and Dermot is the athletic golden boy. His twin
brother, Simon, is not as lucky. He stutters and has a lazy
eye; he is not a good student and is often teased. Her only
daughter, Cathy, is set to be the first and only Browne to
attend secondary school. The baby, Trevor, is a slow child;
what we probably call dyslexic today.

The tenement that the Brownes have lived in all their lives
is set to be demolished. Agnes has to deal with this
relocation, her children#'s unhappiness and a French man
who has eyes for her. How she juggles all of these
situations makes for a humorous, touching and delightful

A historical fiction book by popular Irish author Roddy
Doyle, “A Star Called Henry,” is set in Ireland during the
Irish Rebellion of 1916. Henry Smart had a hard-scrabble
life, and following a family tragedy, he ends up a soldier
in the Irish Rebellion.

Henry interacts with real historical characters, such as
Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera, as well as interesting
fictional characters such as teacher and rebel-with-a-gun
Miss O'Shea and Granny Nash, who aided Henry in his attempt
to free Ireland from British rule by trading him
information for precious books.

The battle at the Dublin General Post Office between the
IRA and the British Army is an amazing scene. Henry moves
from one difficult situation to another, and it's exciting
to see how he gets himself out of each one.

“A Star Called Henry” is a portrait of life for the Irish
at that difficult period in history; the poverty and the
politics and everything in between. It's not a pretty book
and the language can be very rough, but it's exciting and

The last book I read was actually written by an American.
“Fork in the Road” by Denis Hamill is the story of American
screenwriter Colin Coyne who goes to Ireland to research a
screenplay. He meets a pickpocket named Gina when she
attempts to steal his wallet.

Coyne can't get Gina out of his mind and thinks she would
be a great subject for his screenplay. He tracks her down
and soon becomes involved with her family and the
Travellers, a gypsy-like band of people that live in
Ireland. At first, Coyne tells himself that this is just
research for his screenplay, but the two eventually become
romantically involved. She later becomes pregnant with his

He returns home to America with a pregnant Gina and her 4-
year-old daughter, Brianna, to complete his screenplay. The
relationship between Gina and Colin's family is strained,
and Gina becomes homesick. As Colin becomes closer to his
stepdaughter, the pair becomes more estranged. The ending
is sad, yet not unexpected.

This is a book that stays in my mind. I never knew anything
about the Travellers and when I got to Ireland and actually
saw one of their small trailers by the side of a country
road, I was very intrigued. The character of Gina is one of
the most complicated ones that I can recall. This book is
not for everyone; it is a very gritty portrayal with a lot
of profanity, but it still haunts me to this day.

I bought all of these books at a used book sale, but each
are available at Reader Rosemary Radley e-
mailed me two book suggestions that fit into this Irish
fiction category: “Mina” and “Bread and Dreams” by Jonatha
Ceely. These tell the story of Mina, who pretends to be a
boy named Paddy, and after she loses her family to the
Irish famine, ends up a cook's apprentice in an English
manor. “Bread and Dreams” continues Mina's adventures as
she goes to America to find her brother.

Many thanks to Rosemary, and keep those recommendations

Diane La Rue's lifelong goal is to read a book a week. If
you have any suggestions for books she should read, please
e-mail her at


All Aboard The Star Trip Enterprise

New PC game is based on the Belfast-Dundalk train

By Pavel Barter
12 March 2006

A NEW PC game hopes to become a 'sleeper' hit - by
recreating the Belfast-Dundalk rail route.

The game - Irish Enterprise North - took two years to make
as its creators travelled the 55-mile journey,
painstakingly transforming the route into computer imagery.

Dale Stewart of software firm Making Tracks said: "We
caught the Enterprise, visited each station and even drove
to all the bridges and other landmarks to make sure we
could depict them accurately."

Gordon Mackenzie, who also worked on the project, added:
"It's not like building a real railway because you have to
create the countryside either side of the track."

Major buildings in Belfast have been digitised, while
stations such as Great Victoria Street, Portadown, and
Newry are uncannily realistic.

While the train enthusiasts couldn't capture every house or
tree, they did manage to create familiar landscapes by
taking thousands of photos and hours of video footage.

Said Dale: "We mapped the landscape using satellite images
and took photographs from a light aircraft in order to
capture ground texturing and colours."

The game is not just for Anorak-wearing trainspotters.

Players can release the brakes, increase the speed, blow
the horn, drive the train and see the entire route from the
driver's perspective. Train fans will be spotting Irish
Enterprise North in shops in the near future as an add-on
for Microsoft's Train Simulator series.


Much Ado About Beckett

Not for nothing, this centenary

By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff March 12, 2006

DUBLIN -- Given the choice -- which he isn't, given that
he's been dead for 16 years -- would Samuel Beckett
celebrate his 100th birthday in France, where he lived for
more than half a century and wrote his eclectic oeuvre, or
here in Ireland, the land of his birth and the place that
produced in him the angst that made for such great art?

An absurd question -- of course. But to understand Beckett,
you have to start here. And given how fond he was of the
incongruous, what better time to travel to Ireland than for
the centenary of his birth on April 13.

As it happens this year, that date is Holy Thursday, when
the Roman Catholic Church marks Jesus' Last Supper with his
Apostles. It's also Passover, when Jews celebrate the
Hebrews' liberation from slavery in Egypt. And it is just a
few days before Ireland resumes, after a 35-year hiatus, a
parade to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916, when a
band of patriots took on the British Empire in a quixotic
rebellion that ultimately succeeded because it so
spectacularly failed.

Impending doom, everywhere. Beckett would love it.

There are Beckett centenary events in Paris, London, Tokyo,
and New York. But where better to be than in Dublin, which
hosted Beckett festivals in 1981 and 1986, to celebrate
Beckett's 75th and 80th birthdays. He died in 1989, 20
years after being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

If Paris was Beckett's studio, Dublin was his canvas.

''In all his work," observed his biographer, Anthony
Cronin, in ''Beckett: The Last Modernist," ''there is a
city by the sea, a small coastal plain and mountains behind

That would be Dublin.

The granddaddy of all Beckett commemorations will be a
symposium here April 5-9 at Trinity College, where Beckett
was a student, teacher, and pretty good cricket player. The
list of speakers is eye-popping, from Cronin to poet Paul
Muldoon to actress Fiona Shaw to playwright Frank
McGuinness, to writer Declan Kiberd.

But that's not all. The Gate Theater will stage his work
simultaneously with the Barbican in London (''Endgame,"
along with poetry and prose readings, will be on at The
Gate during the symposium). Films of Beckett's works will
be shown at the Irish Film Institute. And there will be
exhibits at the National Gallery of Ireland, the Royal
Hibernian Academy, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the
Douglas Hyde Gallery at Trinity. Radio Telefis Eireann,
Ireland's national broadcaster, has commissioned radio and
TV plays.

Beyond a roundtable talk about Beckett and the visual arts
on April 9, the National Gallery has scheduled a Beckett
exhibition from June 15-Sept. 17, appropriate because he
spent so much time there during his Dublin days.

The streets of Dublin, meanwhile, will be infused with
Beckett's characters, as street performers play out scenes
from his work. Jenny Holzer, an American artist, will
project quotations from Beckett's writings onto Dublin
landmarks, so you can literally read the writing on the
wall of Ireland's greatest nonliteralist.

One of the best things about Beckett in Ireland is that
unlike James Joyce, he hasn't been crassly commercialized
or overexposed. Here in Dublin, everybody lies and says
they have read all of Joyce (a few questions about
''Finnegans Wake," which Beckett helped Joyce produce, will
force the truth: They know the song of the same name). But
even in the pubs, hardly anyone claims to have read all of
Beckett, though everybody is familiar with ''Waiting for

Perhaps that is because while Beckett was from Ireland, he
was not necessarily of it. Like Yeats, Wilde, and Shaw, he
was a Protestant from the Anglo-Irish tradition. Born in
1906 and coming of age during the country's most tumultuous
era of the 20th century, it was not the fervent nationalism
in his homeland that shaped him as an artist as much as his
experience with totalitarianism under the Nazi occupation
of his adopted home. Nonetheless, Ireland is central to
Beckett's consciousness, and to understanding the man.

There was nothing Left Bank about Beckett's youth. He grew
up in Foxrock, an affluent suburb in south County Dublin.
Cooldrinagh, his family's sprawling Tudor-style home, is
still there at the corner of Brighton Road and Kerrymount
Avenue. There are many Foxrock characters in Beckett's
writing. Mr. Farrell, the persnickety railroad station
master in the Foxrock of his youth, is Mr. Barrell in ''All
That Fall." If much of Dublin has changed almost beyond
recognition in the last 15 years, Foxrock has not. It is
remarkably like what it was a century ago, the bastion of
Dublin's well-to-do.

Something that also has not changed is the Dublin
Mountains, which aren't really mountains, and which Beckett
and his father, Willie, tramped through regularly. If there
is one treasure that visitors to Dublin probably ignore
most it is the Dublin Mountains, which lie just beyond the
city. Head out the Glencullen Road, toward Three Rock
Mountain and Prince William's Seat, and you'll be retracing
Beckett's steps, places and memories that surface so often
in his writing.

There are nonliterary ways to commemorate Beckett. You can
play a round of golf at Portmarnock, the famous links
course just north of Dublin. Beckett, who played the
courses at Portmarnock and Royal Dublin often in his youth,
at one point carried a handicap of 6, something he probably
didn't brag about to his avant garde buddies.

Walking through the archway at the Front Gate into the main
quadrangle at Trinity, you will see the same things -- gray
cobblestones, patches of verdant grass, the imposing
Campanile -- that Beckett did when he first went there in
1923. In the previous seven years, starting with the Easter
Rising, Ireland had gone through a rebellion, a war of
independence, and a civil war. But it all touched Beckett
lightly, primarily because of his privileged background.

Trinity's walled campus is an urban oasis smack in the
middle of Dublin's southside. Tourists flock to the Book of
Kells in the Old Library. Less sampled is a walk to The
Pavilion, a pub overlooking the College Park cricket pitch.
Beckett liked his pints, but usually avoided the more
famous literary pubs around Grafton Street, preferring the
working-class pubs of Pearse Street and Westland Row.

When I lived in the Dublin suburb of Dun Laoghaire in 1997
and 1998, one of the great simple pleasures was walking the
East Pier with my wife and sons. We would watch the ferry
from Wales, which the old folks still call the mail boat,
slide into or out of the harbor. Watching the mail boat is
something Beckett did often. There has been considerable
academic debate about the ''creative revelation" that
Beckett had in 1946 while visiting Ireland. In the interest
of keeping the deep and profound somewhat shallow and
brief, let's just say the relevation led Beckett to replace
omniscience with uncertainty in his writing. Many assumed
that revelation came to him on the pier in Dun Laoghaire,
because in ''Krapp's Last Tape" there is a vivid
description of waves crashing over a granite causeway.

Beckett later told friends the revelation took place as he
stood on a small jetty in Killiney Harbor, a few miles
south of Dun Laoghaire. Both places are worth visiting, if
only to see what Beckett saw.

Beckett wasn't as bitter about Ireland in general and
Dublin in particular as, say, his friend Joyce. But after
leaving it, he found it increasingly difficult to return
for visits. He had a difficult relationship with his
mother, and he dreaded his annual visit to Foxrock.

Beckett believed the Dublin of his time -- poor and
conservative and insecure -- sapped the creativity of many.
He once assured Martin Esslin, the theater academic and
critic, that he had nothing against Ireland. Then why,
Esslin asked, did Beckett live in Paris? Beckett replied,
''Well, you know, if I were in Dublin, I would just be
sitting around in a pub."

Contact Kevin Cullen, the Globe's former Dublin bureau
chief, at

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


A ‘Quiet’ Fascination

By Jason Mohr - IR Staff Writer - 03/12/06

Jon Ebelt IR Staff Photographer - The movie ‘The Quiet Man’
has affected Carroll College professor Murphy Fox on
several levels as he draws comparisons to the life stories
of his father and aunt. Fox explains the movie’s influence
also spills over to the national stage. ‘It’s marked
Ireland in a lot of ways,’ he said. ‘It’s loved and hated.’
Murphy Fox remembers how the movie, “The Quiet Man,” moved
his father and his aunt to tears. Hank Burgess recalls
eagerly anticipating the film, when it showed 54 years ago
at Helena’s long-gone Marlowe Theater.

The John Ford classic is a fictionalized account of an
American returning to his Irish birthplace. It was the
first Hollywood production in Ireland, starring John Wayne
and Maureen O’Hara. It depicts pastoral scenes — green
fields, sheep, rock walls, villages — in southwest
Ireland’s County Mayo.

The film also struck a powerful nerve in America’s — and
Montana’s — Irish. It also spawned much of the island’s
modern tourism industry.

“It was so deep into the culture, the tradition, the
people, the brogue and the faith,” says Burgess, a former
Carroll College literature professor.

Fox, a Carroll College anthropology and sociology
professor, has taken a critical look at the film, joining
other scholars at the National University of Ireland-
Galway’s fall conference, “Contemporary Reflections on ‘The
Quiet Man.’”

Fox sees in the film a timeless fantasy, an exploration of
post-traumatic stress syndrome and a sidestep of Ireland’s
complicated political past.

“It’s marked Ireland in a lot of ways,” Fox says. “It’s
loved and hated.”

Fantasy, trauma and John Wayne

In the storyline, Wayne’s character, Sean Thornton, wants
to return to his ancestral home after life at a Pittsburgh
blast furnace and in a boxing ring. But once in Ireland, he
can’t buy the solace he’s seeking.

O’Hara’s character, Mary Kate Danaher, has her own
problems: She’s living under the thumb of a tyrannical
brother, and faces a limited future as a 30-year-old

The two eventually fall in love, though not without
complications, including a memorable fight scene and angst
over an unpaid dowry.

The movie depicts pints of porter at the pub, horse-drawn
“jauntin’ carts” and John Wayne one-liners.

But the film — based on a 1933 story that appeared in the
Saturday Evening Post by author Maurice Walsh — is more
complex than meets the eye.

Wayne’s character expresses a universal fantasy for “a
house in the woods,” Fox says. Injured and dying soldiers
from the American Civil War to the Vietnam War all shared
that vision, as do probably many of us today.

Fox also wonders if the movie is an American dream or an
American nightmare?

To him, the movie explores post-traumatic stresses, like
fighting a war or leaving one’s homeland. His father fought
in World War II, which, in addition to old Irish roots,
could explain his attachment to the film. Fox’s aunt
emigrated from the Emerald Isle to Reno, Nev., in the

The nostalgic homecoming isn’t what it is always cracked up
to be, Fox says.

And except for a passing comment about the Irish Republican
Army and a reference to Thornton’s father and grandfather,
the movie sidesteps the era’s political tension.

According to the story, some of the characters participated
in the 1916 Easter uprising. The tale is set in a time when
the Irish Civil War gripped the country, galvanizing around
charismatic leaders Eamon de Valera or Michael Collins.


Republic Pictures would only finance “The Quiet Man” after
Ford made a successful Western for the production company.
He did so with “Rio Grande,” the third part of what movie
buffs call the Cavalry trilogy.

Fox is a fan of “The Duke,” having talked to the legendary
actor a few times growing up.

A Navajo friend and Cheyenne elder both told Fox they, too,
liked Wayne. The Westerns he starred in were often set on
or near reservations, employing tribe members during hard

“The Quiet Man” would similarly help Ireland.

Like Orvis-clad, R.L. Winston rod-clutching Easterners
splashing into Montana’s rivers, Americans in the grip of
“Quiet Mania” are ridiculed in Ireland, Fox says.

But those tourists provide an economic shot in the arm.

Ireland was a cheap buy in the 1950s, when the tourists
floodgates opened. Fox visited the country as a college
undergrad in 1972, when he said there were few cars and a
pint of Guinness cost 34 cents.

Today, replica buildings provide a setting for an annual
“Quiet Man” festival. Fifty-four years after it was
fictionally created, Cohan’s Bar, will become a real place.

More recently, Fox has shepherded Carroll College students
to western Ireland for the past six years. At the National
University of Ireland-Galway, students watch “The Quiet
Man” for a culture class.

Millstone, milestone

Meanwhile, the movie continues to perplex the Irish — and
perhaps modern viewers.

You may wonder what century they’re in, as you watch Wayne
drag O’Hara through a field toward the end of the movie.
“Here’s a fine stick to beat a lovely wife,” a townsperson
says to Wayne.

Some Irish critics have disparaged some of the Irish
actors, who drink a lot and speak a raft of country

But Fox says those actors were the country’s finest. They
were essentially speaking lines of Irish Renaissance
playwrights, he says. Director Ford’s method was to let
actors learn their lines and sketch out potential scenes
before filming.

“They were not forced caricatures,” Fox says. “Ford let
them have their way.”

Fox isn’t as obsessed with the movie as a Cork
mathematician he knows about, who has examined every frame
of the movie and identified all but one person in the

But he’ll play a role in Irish filmmaker Se Merry Doyle’s
documentary about the movie, with a working title of
“Millstone or Milestone.” Fox was filmed this fall,
appropriately in front of Ford’s ancestral home.

Though it’s been more than half a century, “The Quiet Man”
still resonates. It was voted the best Irish movie of all
time in 1996.

“In the end, there’s still a tremendous industry built up
around Ireland and ‘The Quiet Man,’ ” Fox says. Asians are
among the biggest fans these days, he says.

Burgess says he and his wife didn’t get to Ireland for
another 40 years. But they eventually visited the village
of Cong, where the movie was filmed, avoiding the tourist

Burgess says he liked the movie’s depiction of now-lost
Irish traditions, like the village matchmaker. The movie
brought into focus a culture he lived and breathed in
Anaconda as a boy.

“It was uplifting. The most memorable part of the movie was
the magnificent scenery,” says Burgess, with a lilt in his
voice. “We talked about it after the show and we were
thrilled to death.”


St. Pat’s In Lake Charles

Join St. Patrick’s Day activities in Lake Charles when
Acadians and all their friends turn green. Friday, March 17
events include: the Tavern on the Green after hours
celebration hosted by the Christus St. Patrick Foundation,
6-9 p.m., in the Gray Plantation Clubhouse (admission fee)
and the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with Danny O’Flaherty
and Danny Doyle, Piper Rick Zursluh and Irish dancers, 7:30
p.m. in the Lake Charles Civic Center (free to the public).
Contact the Celtic Nations Heritage Festival, (504) 756-
4532 .

Saturday, March 18, get your pooch into the Irish spirit.
Parade with your dog, 9:20-10 a.m. at the Charlestown
Farmers Market, 1911 Old City Hall on Ryan Street. Entry
fee is $5 per dog. Hot links on a bun will be available for
lunch for a small donation.

For tourism info, attractions and more, contact the
Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800)

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