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April 30, 2006

Disturbances Sectarian Say Police

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 04/29/06
Disturbances Sectarian Say Police
BB 04/28/06 Order 'Diminished' Says Trimble
BN 04/30/06 Executive Deadline Will Not Be Met, Trimble Warns
BN 04/30/06 PSNI Question 'Love Ulster' Parade Organiser
BB 04/29/06 Two Arrested Over Dublin Rioting
IT 04/30/06 British Colonel Criticises 'Fake Republicanism'
IT 04/30/06 Shell Refinery Blamed For 'Aluminium Water Pollution'
BB 04/28/06 NI Bank Customers 'Paying More'
NW 04/30/06 An Irishman Goes Back To His Roots


Disturbances Sectarian Say Police

The police said they are treating attacks on buildings in a
County Londonderry village as sectarian.

Windows were smashed in a hotel, houses and a car during
the trouble at Main Street in Garvagh early on Saturday.

There are no reports of any injuries. Two men were
arrested. One has since been released on police bail.

The owner of the Imperial Hotel said that five or six
"thugs" standing about had attacked wedding guests and that
his life had been threatened.

"It's just unbelievable what they done," he said.

"I'm getting great support from both sides of the community
but just to think that there's a small number of thugs that
will do this to businesses.

"It's not just my business there have been others over the
years, by the same element but they seem to be able to get
away scot free."

SDLP assembly member John Dallat said that the families in
the attacked houses had been traumatised.

He hoped the police would increase their cover in the town
at night, but praised them for their quick action.

"I hope this is not the beginning of a new season of
attacks on innocent people," he said.

I'm getting great support from both sides of the community
but just to think that there's a small number of thugs that
will do this to businesses

Hotel owner

Sinn Fein councillor Billy Leonard said an asthmatic girl
was living in one of the houses which were attacked.

"Purely and simply because they are easy targets, people
can come along, damage their car, break their windows, so
obviously they are very distressed," Mr Leonard said.

"Can you image that person, who had a serious asthmatic
attack in recent months, being wakened up to the sound of
breaking glass and shouting thugs?"

Meanwhile, in Londonderry 25 people were involved in
clashes on the Glendermott Road at about 0215 BST. One man
was arrested.

The crowd involved in both incidents dispersed when the
police arrived.

Police in Derry would like witnesses to contact them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/29 14:36:37 GMT


Order 'Diminished' Says Trimble

Former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble has launched a
strong attack on the leadership of the Orange Order.

Mr Trimble, an Orangeman, said some unionists had entered
into a 'Faustian pact' with elements of the Order in 1998
to bring down the Agreement.

He was speaking at the launch of a book by a Presbyterian
minister and Orangeman which is also highly critical of
those at the top of Grand Lodge.

He said it was "disappointing" to see the way senior
officials had behaved.

"It is disappointing for me as an Orangeman, which I have
been and intend to continue to be," he said.

He was speaking at the launch of The Orange Order - A
Tradition Betrayed, written by Reverend Brian Kennaway.

Mr Trimble said: "There's no doubt that the standing of the
Order in the community has diminished and there's no doubt
that the Order is now in a much more difficult position
than it was, say, a decade ago."

He said that this was partly due to the events of 1998 in
the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement, when his
enemies within unionism were lining up against him.

"They saw the Orange Order, Portadown District and the
Drumcree issue as a battering ram that they would use to
destroy the Agreement," he said.

He said the Order had been manipulated "with the intention
of creating massive public disorder and violence so that it
would have a political impact".

These comments were rejected by the DUP's David Simpson,
who ousted Mr Trimble in last year's Westminster election.

The Upper Bann MP said the former UUP leader needed "to get
a grasp of reality".

"I think that if people go back to 1998, they will see that
Mr Trimble manipulated the institution in many ways to get
the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party," he said.

The Orange Order has also rejected criticism in the book
The Orange Order: A Tradition Betrayed by Rev Brian

In a statement the Order said it "continues to have a
constructive and positive role to play in Northern Ireland
and the Republic of Ireland into the future".

"The Orange institution remains true to our foundation
principles, and any suggestions otherwise are misleading,"
the statement said.

The Protestant marching season is one of the fixed elements
of Northern Ireland life, and in recent years some parades
have led to disputes and street violence.

The government-appointed Parades Commission was set up in
1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades
should be restricted.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/28 09:48:01 GMT


Executive Deadline Will Not Be Met, Trimble Warns

30/04/2006 - 16:55:22

Northern Ireland will not have a power-sharing executive by
the November deadline set by the Irish and British
governments, former First Minister David Trimble forecast

The Nobel Laureate accused British Prime Minister Tony
Blair of threatening unionists and ignoring the failings of
republicans when he launched the blueprint to restore

Mr Trimble also claimed the DUP leadership lacked the moral
courage to make major political decisions.

The ex-Ulster Unionist leader, who resigned last year, said
he was not impressed by the joint plan to revive the
Assembly, which has been suspended since October 2002.

He said: “I looked very closely at the statement that Tony
Blair made when he came here and I don't see in that
anything that holds out the prospect of success.

“I think actually the Prime Minister made some serious
mistakes in his address on that occasion. He tried to hint
at some negative outcome for unionists if an administration
was not formed. That isn’t going to work.

“Even if there was some nasty thing waiting round the
corner, to threaten people in that way is

Mr Trimble said Mr Blair had failed to strike a balance
when he launched the initiative with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
in Armagh earlier this month.

He told BBC1’s Politics Show: “The Prime Minister left out
entirely the other side of the equation and what ought to
happen there.

“If republicans were committed to peace and democracy, as
they claimed, then they would have moved years ago to
support policing. They wouldn’t be going through a charade
of condemning criminality and murder when it is done by
republicans. They would be actively helping the police to
bring those responsible to justice which they have failed
to do.

“The Prime Minister forgot to focus on that.”

On the way forward, Mr Trimble said: “There is not going to
be a successful administration formed until republicans
manage to convince the unionist electorate that they have

“They haven’t done that yet and they don’t even seem to be
aware of the need to do it.”

He also sounded a note of caution in the wake of last
week’s publication of the most positive Independent
Monitoring Commission report yet.

He said: “It says the republican leadership is trying to do
certain things. It does not say they have succeeded in
doing it. I think the IMC would have been better
underlining what still remains to be done.”

Mr Trimble said he did not expect the Rev Ian Paisley’s
party to form an executive with Sinn Féin before the end of
the year.

“I actually think the DUP do not have the moral courage to
take any difficult political decision,” he said.

“They have never done it yet and I will be surprised if
they do it this year.”

Asked how desperate the DUP were to get into government,
Lord Trimble replied: “Some of them may be but on the other
hand I think their leadership has not got the moral courage
to take a decision.

“We saw that in 2004. We saw them engaging in negotiations,
talking up the prospect of agreement, but at the very last
minute they lost their nerve.”

Earlier this month, Assembly members were given until
November 24 to set up a power-sharing executive.

Mr Blair and Mr Ahern confirmed the Assembly will be
recalled on May 15 when parties will be given six weeks to
elect an executive.

If that fails, the 108 members will get a further 12 weeks
after the summer recess to try to form a multi-party
devolved government.

Should that attempt also collapse, MLA salaries will be
stopped and both governments will then work on partnership
arrangements to implement the Good Friday Agreement.


PSNI Question 'Love Ulster' Parade Organiser

30/04/2006 - 17:49:56

The man behind February's ‘Love Ulster’ rally in Dublin is
being questioned by police.

Willie Frazer was found standing outside a house in south
Armagh where, he claims, released INLA man Dessie O'Hare is

Police have said nobody at the address is wanted for

O'Hare was released under the Good Friday Agreement after
serving part of a 40-year sentence for kidnapping.


Two Arrested Over Dublin Rioting

Two men have been arrested in connection with rioting in
Dublin during a loyalist parade, Irish police have said.

The men, aged 19 and 20 years, were both arrested in Dun
Laoghaire, a port outside Dublin on Saturday.

Trouble broke out on 25 February after republican
protestors tried to stop a Love Ulster rally to remember
the victims of republican violence.

A Garda press officer said the men were being detained at
Store Street station.

During the trouble, Irish police and youths fought pitched
battles along O'Connell Street and 41 people were arrested.

The rioting saw 21 Garda officers injured.

Retailers claimed they lost 10m euro in sales after
shoppers fled the area.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/29 12:25:54 GMT


British Colonel Criticises 'Fake Republicanism'

A retired British army leader last night criticised
counterfeit so-called republicans for endangering the
future of peace on the island.

Colonel Tim Collins achieved international fame when he
made a rousing speech to British soldiers hours before the
invasion of Iraq.

At a debate in Dublin, he said there was a huge opportunity
for the Republic to extend the hand of friendship to the
unionist community in Northern Ireland. But he warned that
there was also a snake in the grass.

"It can only happen in the Republic of Ireland if you deal
with the menace of counterfeit Irish Republicanism
conceived in the back streets of Belfast," he said.

Mr Collins said he had been furious on a recent visit to
the Republican plot in Crossmaglen, in South Armagh to find
an inscription to two IRA bombers, "to two Irish patriots
from Poblacht Na hEireann (the Irish Republic)".

"When I look at the stretched white limousines driving
around the streets of Crossmaglen and the drug smugglers
and the pornographers and the counterfeiters, how dare they
besmirch the name of that organisation," said Mr Collins.

"It (counterfeiter republicanism) can only be confronted by
a confident new Ireland enjoying an entire breadth of its
complex historical path."

Mr Collins was speaking at a debate organised by the
Philosophical Society in Trinity College, Dublin on
Ireland's forgotten heroes and its debt to history.

He paid tribute to the Irish soldiers from both sides of
the Border who had served in the first battalion of the
Royal Irish Regiment which he commanded in Iraq.

He said they all had a shared pride in serving in an Irish
regiment and said it was very true when Kipling wrote:
"Irishmen moved to the sound of guns like salmon to the

Mr Collins said the problem in the relationship between the
two peoples on the island of Ireland had to be addressed
first by the Irish government.

"I cannot tell you of the lack of sophistication in the
politics of Northern Ireland. It is so backward, it is
almost beyond help. The hand of friendship needs to come
from this direction," he said.


© The Irish Times/


Shell Refinery Blamed For 'Aluminium Water Pollution'

The local water supply in North Mayo is being polluted by
aluminium run-offs from a Shell gas refinery, it was
claimed today.

Around 100,000 tonnes of peat had been removed to create a
site for the Corrib gas field in Bellanaboy and activists
claimed it has led to the exposure of aluminium deposits.

Shell to Sea spokesman John Monaghan said the aluminium was
running into the local river and on to Carrowmore Lake,
which is the main source of water for the Erris region.

"Shell are supposed to manage the surface water off the
construction site but they haven't done that. So since last
October you have this very high aluminium content water
running off the site into the Bellanaboy River and into
Carrowmore Lake," he said.

Due to long-running problems with phosphate pollution from
local agriculture, most locals have not drunk the tap water
from the local supply for many years.

Mr Monaghan said the aluminium discharges had made the
problem even worse.

"Since Christmas, people had noticed something funny and
had stopped drinking it. They suffered itching in the
shower and saw a blue colour in the water in their baths.

"We don't know if it's directly associated with the
aluminium but people are not drinking this water," he said.

At a Shell to Sea demonstration outside the Custom House in
Dublin, protesters offered cups of muddy-coloured water
taken from pools near the proposed refinery, Carrowmore
Lake and the local water supply.

There were no takers for the yellow-coloured water.

Mayo County Council is monitoring the lake on a daily
basis. It says treated drinking water is safe for human
consumption and that there are no excess levels of
aluminium in it.

Mr Monaghan said the council was failing to acknowledge the
evidence from its own monitoring results such as on
February 1 when the level of aluminium in the water was
251micrograms per litre, far in excess of the maximum level
of 200.

"When the evidence of their own figures says the opposite,
we cannot understand how they maintain their stance," he

The construction of the gas refinery has been suspended
since last year along with all of the Corrib gas field
project. Shell agreed to suspend the work and withdraw an
injunction against five protesters from the local area,
known as the Rossport Five, who have spent 94 days in jail.

A report from an independent mediator Peter Cassells is
expected shortly but the Rossport Five are not taking part
in the process.

© The Irish Times/


NI Bank Customers 'Paying More'

Bank customers in Northern Ireland appear to be paying
higher charges than those in Britain, a report has said.

The Competition Commission said it may be due to a lack of
proper competition between the big four NI banks.

A so-called super-complaint over the charges was lodged
with the Office of Fair Trading and the commission has been
investigating bank services.

It said customers may be paying higher charges and getting
lower rates of interest than they should.

The level of charges imposed by the big four Northern
Ireland banks - Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, First Trust
and Northern Bank - on current accounts sparked complaints
by consumer groups.

A super-complaint was lodged by the Consumer Council and
Which? magazine about 17 months ago.

In an interim report, the Competition Commission said
despite change by some but not all of the Northern Ireland
banks, competition between them may not be fully effective

It also noted a low level of switching of accounts and that
if one bank increased its charges the others tended to
follow and prices converged to similar levels.

In a statement, Steve Costello of the Consumer Council said
the report was an "indictment of the anti-competitive
behaviour of the big four banks".

"It is powerful evidence that people here pay more and get
less on their personal current accounts," he said.

Ulster Bank strongly believes that the personal current
account market in Northern Ireland has never been more

Ulster Bank statement

"Consumers deserve fair, competitive banking that works for
them, not against them.

"The banks must change this shameful treatment of customers
now before they are forced to change."

The commission says it will be taking further evidence
before it publishes its final report.

In a statement, Ulster Bank said it "strongly believes that
the personal current account market in Northern Ireland has
never been more competitive".

The bank said it had "radically overhauled" its personal
current account charges last year, insisting that it
listened and responded to "customer need".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/28 11:17:32 GMT


Stranded Whale Successfully Refloated Off Kerry Beach

29/04/2006 - 16:30:01

The whale that got stranded on Inch beach in Co Kerry this
morning has been successfully refloated.

It has now rejoined its pod further out in Dingle bay.

Volunteers had been keeping the pilot bull whale wet and
protecting it from the elements as experts set up a special
pontoon to get it back into the sea during high tide.

The giant mammal was lifted onto the pontoon by rescuers,
with the help of locals and tourists, and towed out to sea
until it had recovered enough to swim off on its own.


An Irishman Goes Back To His Roots

Brian O'Doherty gets a show in Dublin.

By Peter Plagens
Newsweek International

May 8, 2006 issue - For more than 30 years Brian O'Doherty
has lived just off New York's Central Park in a landmark
building built about a century ago with sunlit two-story
studios especially for artists. His wife is the renowned
American art historian Barbara Novak, and he paints on an
easel bequeathed to him by the pioneer American modernist
Stuart Davis. So it's perhaps no surprise that when asked
what his Irish roots have to do with his career as an
artist, he answers, "Nothing, I hope." But O'Doherty was
born in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon, in 1934 to a
mother whose family included the notorious rebels the
Brennan boys. Sent off to boarding school "to become a
man," he was initiated in the national pastimes of fighting
bullies ("I got clobbered, but he didn't pick on my mates
again") and rugby ("I was good at 12, so they sent me in
against 15-year-olds, and I got beaten up there, too").
When British troops opened fire on Roman Catholic
demonstrators on Bloody Sunday in 1972, O'Doherty responded
by adopting the name Patrick Ireland for his art work until
all British troops leave the country. How, then, can
Irishness possibly be irrelevant to his art? "When I came
to America in 1961," says the silver-haired, handsome and
loquacious O'Doherty, "I was trying to reinvent myself as a
New York artist."

Now the ever-evolving artist returns to Ireland in the form
of "Beyond the White Cube: A Retrospective of Brian
O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland," at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh
Lane (through Aug. 27). When he left Dublin in his 20s,
O'Doherty was already a medical doctor, his art training
confined to private lessons from a painter of nudes. With
some of his early works, he employed his first pseudonym:
Sigmund Bode (the first name from Freud and the last from a
19th-century German museum curator). In the United States,
O'Doherty quickly became an art critic for The New York
Times, with frequent appearances on the morning news show
"Today." He served as editor of the prestigious art
magazine Art in America (where he wrote many of its
articles under the nom de plume Mary Josephson), and as
head of the visual-arts program at the National Endowment
for the Arts. "I was only part-time, too, because I didn't
want to give up being an artist," he says. Under his own
name, O'Doherty also wrote two well-received books on art:
"American Masters: The Voice and the Myth" and the highly
influential "Inside the White Cube," which argues
persuasively that the convention of the antiseptic art
gallery has determined the meaning of modern art almost as
much as the art itself. Somehow, he also found the time to
author a couple of novels—one of which, "The Deposition of
Father McGreevy," was nominated for the Booker Prize in

At first glance, O'Doherty's visual art is as variegated as
the rest of his remarkable career: conceptual art (e.g., an
electrocardiogram of Marcel Duchamp taken during a dinner
party in 1967), serial line drawings derived from the
ancient Celtic alphabet of lines known as Ogham, room-size
installations he calls "rope drawings" and, currently,
large, colorful, geometric abstract paintings. In an art
world where narrow specialization is greatly prized, and
where resentment builds easily against a man who wears too
many hats—artist, critic, editor, administrator, professor—
O'Doherty has taken his lumps. Said one reviewer: "Ireland
has seen so much cerebral art, has studied it so well and
absorbed it so completely, that his own work often seems to
be a sort of scholar's synthesis."

But there's always been method in O'Doherty's anti-madness.
The EKG signaled his determination to get a handle on
Duchamp's wry intellectualism, which had paved the way for
the then dominant minimal art. (The dadaist elder
statesman's first question after the electrodes were
removed was "How am I?" He died only a few months later.)
In the Ogham drawings, O'Doherty sought not only a Celtic
root for reductive visual art but a bridge to making it
universal, too. The installations of cat's-cradle-like rope
configurations—which O'Doherty/Ireland has been
constructing since the 1970s—expanded it again into an
enveloping, but austere, physical space.

His recent paintings have put that philosophical restraint
back onto the traditional format of the flat canvas
rectangle. With a fluidly lovely paint application and
lyrical color sense, his pictures express a quiet, deep and
well-deserved artistic joy. In front of one of those
paintings, O'Doherty leans back in his studio chair and
says with a smile, "I'm an artist. Just an artist." Yes,
but in the end we suspect that being Irish somehow has a
whole lot to do with it.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

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