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April 27, 2006

New Evidence To Be Heard in Parade Commission Case

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 04/26/06 Parades Case To Hear New Evidence
IT 04/27/06 The IMC Report: What It Said
IT 04/27/06 Report A 'Foundation Stone' For Powersharing
IT 04/27/06 SF Dismisses Report While Parties Raise Funds Issue
IT 04/27/06 Ahern Says IRA Now Committed A Peaceful Path
IT 04/27/06 SF Stance On Policing Must Be Resolved, Commons Told
IT 04/27/06 IRA Progress Not Enough, Vows Paisley
BB 04/26/06 Six Plead Guilty To Being In UVF
BN 04/27/06 Taoiseach Dismisses Nuclear Power As Option For Ireland
SF 04/27/06 TD Calls For Tribunals Bill To Be Withdrawn
SF 04/26/06 Towards An Integrated Regional Future - Gerry Adams Speech
SF 04/27/06 Job Creation & Dynamic Public Services Priorities For SF
IT 04/27/06 Opin: Time To Consider The Cost Of Failure
IT 04/27/06 Opin: IMC Has Given Opportunity Unionist Should Take
BN 04/27/06 House Prices Up 3.5% In First Three Months Of 2006
BN 04/27/06 Playwright's Iconic Image Adorns Commemorative Coins
LP 04/27/06 McCourt's Brother To Run For NY Govenor
WP 04/27/06 Easter Rising: Seen Through The Western People
WP 04/27/06 Kitty Brought A Little Bit Of Goodness Into All Our Lives


Parades Case To Hear New Evidence

A judge has decided to allow new evidence in a legal
challenge to the make-up of the Parades Commission.

John Duffy of Garvaghy Road, Portadown, had been granted a
judicial review into the appointment of Orange Order
members David Burrows and Donald McKay.

He is claiming Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain was
biased in favour of the unionist and loyal orders.

A full High Court hearing will take place next month.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/26 17:35:28 GMT


The IMC Report: What It Said

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

The Provisional IRA is committed to a purely political path
and has made progress in eschewing paramilitary and
criminal activity, the Independent Monitoring Commission
has reported.

The ceasefire watchdog's 10th report, released in Belfast
yesterday, however, acknowledged the IRA's leadership had a
"challenging task" in ensuring total compliance with this

The latest report covers the period from last December
until the end of February. Events since then, such as the
Denis Donaldson murder, will be examined in the next
report, expected in October.

The commission also noted efforts by loyalist
paramilitaries to examine a political strategy, but
reported that both still engage in violence, and
particularly crime. They represented a threat to the rule
of law.

Former Department of Justice civil servant Joe Brosnan,
presenting the commission's latest findings, said the UVF's
statement that it would not consider political options
until after the November 24th deadline for the formation of
a power-sharing Executive was "not encouraging".

However, he described the findings on the current state of
the IRA as "positive".

"There has now been a substantial erosion in the
[Provisional] IRA's capacity to return to a military
campaign without a significant period of build-up, which in
any event we do not believe they have any intentions of
doing," he said.

The IRA had not engaged in training, targeting or
recruitment in three months. The organisation was also
seeking to end criminality. However, it was noted that some
individuals within the republican movement, even some
senior ones, were still involved in crime for their own

The Meath truck hijacking of March 10th was an example of
this, the report claimed, and illustrated the difficulties
faced by the IRA leadership in ensuring that all its
members live up to the statement made last July that its
activities were to end.

The report pointed to "further evidence of positive
leadership on the part of Sinn Féin". It also said it
awaited proof that political efforts by David Ervine's
Progressive Unionist Party, associated with the UVF, and
the Ulster Political Research Group, linked to the UDA,
were bearing fruit.

Mr Brosnan stood by a previous IMC report which referred to
the retention of some guns following last September's
destruction of the IRA weapons.

Some weapons were held, he said, but this was done at local
level against the instruction of the leadership.

The numbers were insignificant when compared to the amounts
put beyond use, he added. This fact did not diminish the
IMC view that the IRA remained committed to a political

Loyalists were responsible for 95 per cent of shooting
incidents and 76 per cent of assaults recorded during the
review period, and not one was attributable to the
Provisional IRA, the report said.

The murder of former Sinn Féin official and British
intelligence agent Denis Donaldson on April 4th fell
outside the timeframe of the current report. "To date we
are not in a position to attribute responsibility for the
murder," the report said. Lord Alderdice, an IMC colleague,
said the commission would make public any major findings on
the murder before the next scheduled report.

The report said dissident republican groups, including the
Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, were still intent on
developing their structures and on waging a campaign of

• The full text of the IMC report is available at

© The Irish Times


Report A 'Foundation Stone' For Powersharing

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

IMC Report:

The British and Irish governments believe yesterday's
positive Independent Monitoring Commission report on IRA
activity should provide the "foundation stone" to
facilitate the DUP and Sinn Féin agreeing by the end of
November to share power in a devolved Stormont

In the Dáil yesterday Mr Ahern said the IMC report was an
"encouraging boost" to efforts to reinstate a fully
functioning Northern Executive, while Mr Blair took time
from a busy schedule to do three broadcast interviews to
highlight the "significance" of the report.

The four-member IMC team, in their report, said the last
three months had witnessed the "further dismantling of PIRA
[Provisional IRA] as a military structure" and that it was
the body's "absolutely clear view that the PIRA leadership
has committed itself to following a peaceful path".

The report did not deal with the murder of Denis Donaldson,
which will be addressed in the next crucial IMC report in
October, and possibly earlier. Mr Blair, however, said
yesterday there was no evidence that the IRA leadership
"authorised or encouraged or incited" the killing.

While there was a mixed and guarded response from the DUP,
the governments took some solace from the initial comments
of party leader Ian Paisley who acknowledged the positive
elements of the IMC findings: "This 10th report indicates a
reduction in IRA activity and a further dismantling of the
IRA as a military structure. In so far as it goes, such
movement is to be welcomed."

Dr Paisley added, however, "The report highlights what
everyone in Northern Ireland already knows, namely that the
IRA is completely hostile to the forces of law and
order.Such a continuing attitude is not the hallmark of an
organisation that is fit to serve in government." One
senior London source said the governments believed the
report should provide the "foundation stone for a deal".

Moreover, Mr Blair gave interviews to BBC, UTV and RTÉ to
stress the "significance" of the report.

"We have to be careful of putting ourselves in the
situation where for years and years and years everyone has
demanded that the IRA fulfil certain undertakings that have
been given and then when they begin to fulfil them then
don't accept that they are indeed being fulfilled," he
said. He did not believe in formally imposing an additional
"hurdle" that Sinn Féin must sign up to policing before a
powersharing government was in place.

"But obviously it is a lot easier if everyone is working
together with the proper institutions of law and order in
Northern Ireland. We know what the problems have been in
the past and again we are hopeful that this can be

"Clearly for people to have the right culture of lawfulness
in Northern Ireland it has got to be clear there is only
one law enforcement mechanism, and that is the police."

Mr Blair said the November 24th deadline for a deal set by
the two governments was "firm", and added: "If things slip
back I think that is an indication the circumstances for
making progress don't exist, but the important point is
that they haven't slipped back."

© The Irish Times


SF Dismisses Report While Parties Raise Funds Issue

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor, and George Jackson in


Reaction in North:

The IMC report highlights what everyone in Northern Ireland
already knows, the DUP said, "namely that the IRA is
completely hostile to the forces of law and order".

Responding to the publication of the report, party leader
Ian Paisley warned: "Such a continuing attitude is not the
hallmark of an organisation that is fit to serve in

He said: "All those who have the interests of democracy at
heart should be disturbed at the continuing benefits Sinn
Féin/IRA derives from the proceeds of 'discreetly laundered
assets which were previously gained illegally'.

"Political parties in the Republic of Ireland should pay
particular attention to the wealth at Sinn Féin/IRA's
disposal and the IMC's description of it as a 'strategic

Dr Paisley warned there would be "no tolerable level of
paramilitary and criminal behaviour".

"It is for republicans to give it all up and irreversibly
get on to the democratic path.

"At the present rate of transition it will be some
considerable time before they can be said to have embraced
that path."

Sinn Féin dismissed the document as a worthless and
"meaningless report from spooks and spies".

In Derry, Martin McGuinness said: "I couldn't care less
about the report. I am not giving any weight whatsoever to
what the spooks and the spies and the securocrats are
saying about a peace process which they are hostile to."

The IRA had fulfilled its commitments made last July, he

Northern Secretary Peter Hain greeted the report. "The
[British] government believes that it should make a helpful
contribution to the rebuilding of trust and confidence in
Northern Ireland which is necessary for a return to full
devolution," he said.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey recognised that the
report signalled progress where the IRA was concerned.

"However, the dog that didn't bark is the IRA-authorised
Northern Bank robbery and the failure of republicans to
return the money. The UUP calls for an immediate return of
these funds," he said.

The SDLP said it was concerned that "the provisional
movement is still using laundered money as a strategic

Party leader Mark Durkan added: "Given that the IRA is
dismantling as a military structure, what need is there for
such criminal funds? Is it to be used to give advantage to
a political party? In an Ireland of equals nobody can be
allowed to buy democracy with the proceeds of crime."

Alliance leader David Ford said criminality associated with
a political party was a political problem and could not
just be left to the criminal justice system.

"The two governments need to keep up pressure on
republicans," he said, "to address the remaining
criminality and to work with the police".

© The Irish Times


Ahern Says IRA Now Committed 'To Following A Peaceful Path'

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent
Dublin reaction:

The Taoiseach welcomed the IMC report as the most positive
one yet, saying it was a very positive boost to efforts to
restore the political institutions in the North.

In a statement yesterday, he noted that "the IRA leadership
has committed itself to following a peaceful path and has
expended considerable effort to refocus the movement in
support of its objective.

"The IMC says it is not aware of current terrorist,
paramilitary or violent activity sanctioned by the IRA
leadership. It says the leadership continues to seek to
stop criminal activity by their members and to prevent them
from engaging in it.

"It also states that it is not aware of any intelligence-
related activity which is outside the aims of the statement
of July last year. Its overall assessment on the
Provisional IRA is positive."

He said the report came at a crucial time, and he hoped it
would add momentum to the initiative of restoring devolved
government in the North this year.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said the report was
"a very positive statement about the direction in which
matters are moving in Northern Ireland, and in my view it
should be seen in that light.

"The overall thrust of the report is positive, and I think
anybody - any fair-minded objective person looking at the
report - will say this is a positive report, a step in the
right direction, and only curmudgeons will say this is a
step backward."

He said he was happy that Sinn Féin spokesmen had condemned
the recent vodka robbery in Co Meath, that it was a matter
for the police, that those responsible should be tried.

"And, you know, we used to have statements from Sinn Féin
saying they weren't in the business of condemnation - now
they have it, and the reason I believe that is the case,
and that change has come about, is that people, including
myself and other Ministers of the Government and the
Taoiseach, have stood up for basic respect of the law and
have required them to clearly state what side of the line
they're on."

He believed things were going in the right direction he
hoped the initiative by the Taoiseach and Tony Blair would
bear fruit later this year.

He said by November the DUP would have to decide whether it
wanted the institutions in Northern Ireland to work "or do
they want to walk away from the whole process and say: 'Let
the two governments get on with the job'?"

Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte noted that the report
"confirms reports of ongoing intelligence-gathering
explicitly to assist the political campaign of Sinn Féin;
instances of a range of criminal activity by republicans;
and the continued exertion of IRA control and influence
within certain communities. This must remain a significant
concern, especially as some senior members of the IRA
leadership are identified as being involved."

However the report also said that there was a recognition
within Sinn Féin of the need to support the PSNI.

"But little effort is being made within their constituency
to prepare communities for a major leap on policing.
Support for the PSNI remains the major signal that the
IRA's campaign and activities are at an end.

"It will mean that any excuse to which the DUP clings to to
avoid sharing power will be null and void."

© The Irish Times


SF Stance On Policing Must Be Resolved, Commons Told

Frank Millar, London Editor

House of Commons:

The DUP and the Conservatives have signalled that Sinn Féin
will need to resolve its position on policing in Northern
Ireland as part of any agreement to restore a power-sharing
Executive to Stormont.

There was relief for the British government yesterday when
DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley welcomed the latest IMC
report as evidence that unionist pressure on the IRA to end
criminality was having an effect. There was apparent
encouragement, too, as Dr Paisley appeared to keep all
options open during a Commons debate on the legislation
recalling the Assembly on May 15th - while mocking the
November 24th "deadline" for the appointment of a new

However, during earlier Northern Ireland questions DUP
chief whip Nigel Dodds told Northern Secretary Peter Hain
it was "an absolute prerequisite to people being in
government in any part of the United Kingdom that they
support the police".

Mr Hain agreed support for the police was "the logical and
only long-term sustainable position" for parties wishing to
be in government - a position consistent with the British
government's previous acceptance that Sinn Féin will only
"sign up" and support the PSNI in the context of the
eventual devolution of policing and justice powers to the

But during the subsequent debate on Mr Hain's emergency
Bill recalling the Assembly in what he called "new mode",
Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman David Lidington
insisted Sinn Féin must meet the challenge "to support the
police, the courts and the rule of law" and move beyond the
"robust debate" identified by the IMC to show it was
"accepting the norms . . . and rules of the democratic

Mr Lidington also returned to a previous theme, telling Mr
Hain he would eventually have to address the issue of "the
status of the IRA", which Minister for Justice Michael
McDowell only recently said had resources available "for
the subversion of democracy".

Mr Lidington said he was prepared to accept the IMC view
that the IRA no longer posed a terrorist threat to Northern

However, this left everyone in the "odd situation" where
the British government said the organisation was to be
trusted while membership of it remained an offence in the
UK and the Republic. Mr Lidington said this struck him as
"somewhat inconsistent", warning Mr Hain that ministers "at
some stage are going to have to think this through". He
agreed with Sir Patrick Cormack that, alongside support for
the police, IRA disbandment would be the biggest single
gesture of reassurance to unionists.

Dr Paisley welcomed Mr Hain's Bill. He said if the IRA
"changed" from its terrorism and criminality and was to
"repent", then "they will be received in the Assembly on
the same basis as everyone else".

© The Irish Times


IRA Progress Not Enough, Vows Paisley

Last updated: 26-04-06, 21:10

The Democratic Unionist Party was in no mood to rush into
government with Sinn Fein tonight despite publication of
the latest report from the Independent Monitoring
Commission (IMC) showing the IRA was progressing along the
road to democracy.

Sinn Fein was still not ready for government as the IRA has
not completed the transition to exclusively peaceful and
democratic means, Mr Paisley made clear.

However, the Taoiseach Mr Ahern and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair both welcomed the report and called for the
devolution process to resume.

Responding to the report, Mr Paisley said indications of a
reduction in IRA activity as a military structure were to
be welcomed as it showed unionist insistence that
criminality must cease was taking effect.

It was for republicans to give up crime and terror and
irreversibly get on to the democratic path, he said.

But he warned: "At the present rate of transition it will
be some considerable time before they can be said to have
embraced that path.".

The tenth report of the IMC was its most positive yet on
the Provisional IRA and said commission members remained of
their "absolutely clear view that the PIRA leadership has
committed itself to following a peaceful path".

The last three months had seen "further dismantling of PIRA
as a military structure" and there had been no paramilitary
shootings or attacks attributable to them in the three
months from December to February.

However, the report noted that senior IRA men were involved
in criminal activity to line their own pockets and that
their leaders faced a "challenging task" in ensuring full
compliance among members on the pledge to give up both
violence and crime.

The IMC said the murder of senior Sinn Fein official and
self-confessed British agent Denis Donaldson took place
outside the period covered by the report.

Mr Donaldson was shot dead at the start of the month in the
isolated Co Donegal cottage where he had taken refuge since
being unmasked as an agent before Christmas.

IMC chairman Lord Alderdice, speaking at a report launch
news conference, said they may produce a special report on
the murder if they had something "substantial and useful to

The next IMC report is not due until October, and the
commission will be keen to establish if the murder was
sanctioned by the IRA leadership or carried out by a member
or members acting alone.

The political parties return to the Assembly at Stormont on
May 15 and have been given until November 24th to reach
agreement and form an Executive.

Commenting on the IMC report, Mr Blair said the British
government hoped there would be sufficient confidence and
trust among all sides in the North to get devolution up and
running again.

Mr Ahern told the Dail the report should pave the way for
immediate direct talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein. "It
is a very positive report. One way that the DUP can seek to
establish the bona fides of Sinn Fein is by direct

"This report allows that direct dialogue to start," he

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said his party's opposition
to the IMC was well known. He said: "As far as we are
concerned the IRA has fulfilled all of its commitments made
in its historic statement last July. It has addressed
unionist concerns and removed any further excuse for non-
engagement and prevarication."

Mr Adams added: "The onus is now on the DUP. It must decide
if it is prepared to fully embrace the peace process and
agree to the re-establishment of the political

© 2006


Six Plead Guilty To Being In UVF

Six men have admitted being members of the UVF at the
beginning of their trial in Belfast Crown Court.

The judge released them on bail pending completion of pre-
sentence reports in June when they will be sentenced.

The men, from Counties Antrim and Armagh, were found
wearing paramilitary uniforms when police raided a disused
store in Monkstown three years ago.

Two other men admitted having guns and items related to the
UVF in the store on the outskirts of Belfast.

The men had all originally denied being involved in the

They claimed they were members of a flute band, but when
they appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, all
admitted the charge.

The men are Joseph Crawford from Fairway, Richard Morrow
from Lynn Road, Dale Magill of Inverview Park, Ian Davidson
from Waterfall Road and Philip Clarke from Cairngorm Drive,
all Larne and John Rolston, from Alexander Crescent in

Two others, Colin Greer from Ards Park in Monkstown and
Robert Anderson from Chaine Memorial Road in Larne, pleaded
quilty to having the guns and UVF items.


Taoiseach Dismisses Nuclear Power As Option For Ireland

27/04/2006 - 10:49:50

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has again dismissed the idea of
nuclear power as an energy option for Ireland.

The suggestion has been put forward by a number of
scientists as a means of helping the country reduce its
dependence on oil and gas.

However, speaking at a conference on the issue in Dublin
today, Mr Ahern said he is not convinced by the arguments.

"I'm opposed to nuclear [power]," he said. "I've stressed
that in the Dáil as late as yesterday.

"I've never believed in the merits of it from an
environmental point of view or from a sustainable energy
point of view."


TD Calls For Tribunals Bill To Be Withdrawn

Published: 27 April, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human
Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, today called for the Minister
for Justice to withdraw the Tribunals of Inquiry Bill
saying it would "limit the potential to uncover the truth."

He said, "The Bill as it stands follows in the footsteps of
the British Government's similar legislation. Rather than
furthering the cause of justice which most right thinking
people would believe to be its intent, this Bill will
instead limit the potential of future public inquiries to
uncover the full truth.

"The British Government's Inquiries Act 2005 amounts to
another effort to limit the scope of future inquiries into
the cases of those murdered by state collusion. It has
rightly been condemned by a range of civil and human rights
organisations. However, we believe that the Tribunals of
Inquiry Bill published by Minister McDowell and agreed by
this government attempts to do the same.

"This Bill would effectively give the government power over
whether to establish a Tribunal of Inquiry at all, its
terms of reference and its members. It would also
effectively give the government the power to suspend or
dissolve a Tribunal for unlimited reasons and to prevent
the publication of a Tribunal's report. This is completely
unacceptable and will not instil any confidence amongst
either the general public or more crucially those who have
been specifically affected and are seeking the full truth
about events.

"Sinn Fein is beginning a process of consultation with
groups and organisations who are demanding public inquiries
and as such are likely to be affected by the Bill. We are
sending a copy of the Bill and an outline of our main
concerns to the Human Rights Commission, the Irish Council
for Civil Liberties and groups like Justice for the
Forgotten, An Fhirinne and the Eddie Fullerton campaign
seeking their views on the Bill as it appears the Minister
has failed to engage in meaningful consultation before
publishing his Bill.

"In this regard I would call on the Minister to withdraw
the current Bill pending the conclusion of such a
consultation process so that the main issues of concern can
be addressed by all interested parties." ENDS


"Towards An Integrated Regional Future" - Gerry Adams Derry

Published: 26 April, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP today gave the opening
address in Derry to a Sinn Féin organised conference
"Towards an Integrated Regional Future".

The conference is looking at the adverse impact of
partition and the failure of the British and Irish
governments to plan for growth in the North West region. In
his remarks Mr. Adams commented on the DUP's recent
attendance at the British Irish Parliamentary meeting in
Killarney and on today's IMC report.

The conference is being attended by Sinn Fein
representatives from throughout the North West, including
Donegal, Derry, Strabane, west Tyrone and County Derry.

The party has some 41 local Councillors within this region,
as well as two MPs and 7 MLAs.

Mr. Adams focused on the need for the Irish government to
produce a strategy to achieve a United Ireland. He said: We
believe that the economy of this island, our health and
education systems, our environment, every aspect of our
daily lives, can be dramatically improved by ending
partition and reuniting the country.

However, 'tackling inefficiencies within the two systems
north and south does not need to wait on Irish unity.
Combating the problems faced by the Border Corridor Area
and its regions, including the North West, can begin now'.

The Sinn Fein President explained how building on the all-
Ireland architecture of the Good Friday Agreement can make
a substantial difference. These structures are 'designed to
reduce duplication of services and maximise efficiency the
potential and real benefits of re-integration in such key
areas of governance are clearly evident'.

And in this context he welcomed remarks by the DUP Deputy
Leader Peter Robinson in Killarney on Monday.

Mr. Adams said:

"The attendance by a DUP delegation to the British-Irish
Parliamentary Body is a welcome development, as is Peter
Robinson‚s expression of willingness to share power.

In particular, his comments supporting co-operation and
'harmonious interaction' between north and south appear to
indicate a more positive and realistic approach by the DUP
to the imperative of building stronger all-Ireland

There is much media attention today on the report by the

Sinn Féin's opposition to this body is well known.

As far as we are concerned the IRA has fulfilled all of its
commitments made in its historic statement last July. It
has addressed unionist concerns and removed any further
excuse for non-engagement and prevarication.

The onus is now on the DUP. It must decide if it is
prepared to fully embrace the peace process and agree to
the re-establishment of the political institutions.‚

Full Text of Mr. Adams remarks - Check against Delivery

Towards an Integrated Regional Future

Let me begin by welcoming all of you here today, and
congratulating and commending all of those involved in
putting together this innovative and important conference.

Ten days ago in this city and across this island we
celebrated the vision and the courage of the men and women
of 1916.

Among those who led and died in that great enterprise was
James Connolly.

He accurately foresaw the disastrous political and economic
impact partition would have.

Partition a Disaster

Today, partition continues to undermine the economy,
infrastructure and the life opportunities of the people who
live on this island.

But no more so than within the Border Corridor Area which
is characterised by:

High unemployment

Poor educational facilities and low educational attainment

Rural isolation

Inadequate health systems

Poor communications, high energy costs and weak transport

The Border Corridor Area is the poorest region in Ireland.

The North West is the poorest area of the poorest region.

Access to services are bad and the start up, retention and
sustainability of small and medium businesses is severely
compromised by the dislocation resulting from partition.

You cannot therefore understand these myriad problems if
you don't set them in the context of partition.

A Strategy for a United Ireland

How then do we tackle this?

Sinn Féin is a republican party.

We believe that the economy of this island, our health and
education systems, our environment, every aspect of our
daily lives, can be dramatically improved by ending
partition and reuniting the country.

That is why we are promoting the need for the Irish
government to produce a Green Paper which sets out how this
can be achieved.

The core of this paper - the five key elements of it are:

There is a responsibility on the Irish government to take
the lead and bring forward a strategy to achieve national
self-determination, Irish re-unification and national

The British Government should address this democratic
imperative by becoming persuaders for Irish unity and by
developing policies to end partition and end its
jurisdiction in Ireland.

Now is the time for Irish people to engage on the shape,
form and nature that a re-united Ireland will take.

There is a need for widespread consultation at home and

And every effort must be made to engage with unionist
opinion and to consider, discuss and engage with them about
the nature and form a new Ireland will take.

When this campaign was launched last year we pledged to
take this issue into every part of Ireland and indeed

One way we have tried to do this is through motions to
local councils. Already five councils in the north;
Fermanagh, Magherafelt, Moyle, Omagh and Strabane have
supported it. Regrettably the SDLP in Derry voted against,
while in Belfast their Councillors abstained. Nonetheless,
the debate has been very useful and we continue to promote
the imperative of an Irish government having a political
strategy to achieve Irish unity.

All-Ireland Agenda

But we also believe that tackling inefficiencies within the
two systems north and south does not need to wait on Irish

Combating the problems faced by people living in the Border
Corridor Area and its regions, including the North West,
can begin now.

The all-Ireland architecture of the Good Friday Agreement
provides a basis for doing this.

Its all-Ireland Ministerial Council, the Implementation
Bodies and Areas of Co-operation are all designed to reduce
duplication of services and maximize efficiency.

The areas of co-operation and the implementation bodies
cover areas as diverse as Health, Education, Transport,
Environment, Agriculture and Tourism; as well as Intertrade
Ireland, a Food Safety Prevention Board, Foras na Gaeilge,
and others.

The potential and real benefits of re-integration in such
key areas of governance are clearly evident.

And this is no more evident than within the Border Corridor
Area where Regional Integrated Area Plans are obviously
required to maximise the potential for growth.

For example, health provision is in crisis across Ireland.
Doesn't it make sense to mould the two health departments
into one?

In the North West would it not make sense for the health
service to use the existing facilities in Derry and
Letterkenny and elsewhere in this region?

How many patients, with serious illnesses like cancer, have
to travel each week, sometimes several times a week, for
treatment to hospitals in Belfast or Dublin because it has
been argued that the population size in Derry or north west
Donegal doesn't warrant a particular health facility?

But if taken as one health region the north-west could
demand and secure greater specialised facilities!

Or take transport as another example.

It can take over 4 ? hours to travel from Derry to Dublin,
and on occasion 2 hours to reach Belfast. This seriously
hinders business development. The promise of a full
motorway link in two decades time is unacceptable.

Derry's rail line does not provide any direct link with
Dublin and a travel time in the 21st century of almost two
hours to Belfast, only 70 miles away, is symptomatic of the
neglect that this area has endured.

Why can't we have an all-Ireland road strategy which links
our major towns and rural areas and enhances the potential
for every area, however isolated, to secure economic
investment and jobs?

Why can't we have a North West Regional Economic
Development Strategy? And a North West Regional Economic
Authority? Or proper investment in cross-border
Telecommunications and Energy? Or equivalent bodies
covering other parts of the border region?

Why can't we have a common all-Ireland agricultural policy
which would benefit farmers throughout the island,
especially in negotiations with the EU.

And there is room for significant expansion of these areas
of co-operation and implementation. Energy and
strategic/infrastructural investment, education and youth,
sport and recreation, waste management, policing and
justice and rural development, are just some of the areas
of governance which can be improved.

In fact there is no facet of life on this island which
cannot be improved by adopting an all-Ireland approach.

The Way Forward

Today's conference sees Sinn Féin, with others, continue
the work of developing strategies and policies which can
positively change the future of the North West Region, and
of Ireland.

This is important work.

It is part of a process of continuous debate and
consultation, of strategising, with a view to securing
active support for a united Ireland while achieving
positive change in the here and now.

So, there's lots of work to be done in the time ahead.

In a few weeks time the Assembly will meet for the first
time since it was elected three years ago.

A process has been put in place to restore the political
institutions if the DUP are up to the challenge.

The attendance by a DUP delegation to the British-Irish
Parliamentary Body is a welcome development, as is Peter
Robinson‚s expression of willingness to share power.

In particular, his comments supporting co-operation and
'harmonious interaction' between north and south appear to
indicate a more positive and realistic approach by the DUP
to the imperative of building stronger all-Ireland

There is much media attention today on the report by the

Sinn Féin's opposition to this body is well known.

As far as we are concerned the IRA has fulfilled all of its
commitments made in its historic statement last July. It
has addressed unionist concerns and removed any further
excuse for non-engagement and prevarication.

The onus is now on the DUP. It must decide if it is
prepared to fully embrace the peace process and agree to
the re-establishment of the political institutions.

Unionism today knows that an Integrated Regional Plan - a
holistic approach - is the future for the North West.

That's the way to save jobs and create new jobs. That's the
only way to create the wealth necessary to provide the
resources our society will need for our children, our sick
and our aged. " ENDS


Job Creation And Dynamic Public Services Are Key Priorities
For Sinn Féin

Published: 27 April, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP is in
Waterford City today to launch the party’s all-Ireland job
creation and enterprise document. He will be accompanied
by the party’s representative for the city, Councillor
David Cullinane. During his visit he will meet with the
local Chamber of Commerce, Students and Director of
Waterford Institute of Technology and local Trades Union
representatives. Mr. McGuinness said that creating high
quality jobs and dynamic public services would be key
priorities in government for Sinn Féin.

Mr. McGuinness said:

“Sinn Féin is a republican party. We are the only all-
Ireland party. Through the Assembly, the Dáil and the all-
Ireland bodies, Sinn Féin has successfully promoted
economic development in an all-Ireland context. Our goal is
to see a united Ireland, which delivers real social and
economic change.

”The last decade has been a time of enormous economic
growth in this state. During this time, more and more
businesses emerged, more jobs were created and life
improved for many people - although there are many
questions about quality of life issues and the widening gap
between rich and poor. There is a fundamental issue of how
we use the wealth we now enjoy.

”The peace process played a critical role at a critical
time in enhancing the opportunities for economic progress.
It changed how people looked at Ireland, it changed
politics and it opened up many opportunities. These are
all things we need to build on in the time ahead. And of
course the restoration of the political institutions will
be vital to ongoing economic development right across the

“Sometime over the next 18 months the electorate will
choose a new government. Sinn Féin is about making our
vision for Irish society a reality and as part of this we
are setting out our policy platform for bringing this about
on issues like Irish unity, public services and today we
are talking about enterprise and job creation. This is
about offering a real alternative to that of the other
parties who are only variations on the current government
strategy which is failing to deliver.

“Sinn Féin is involved in politics to bring about change in
the here and now. We want real improvement in the lives of
the people we represent throughout Ireland. Our policy is
about building a just economy, dynamic public services and
an enterprise culture that would see business development
across the island.

“Central to our enterprise policy is small business
development and encouraging new entrepreneurs throughout
the island. The fact is that locally owned enterprises are
crucial to the growth of the Irish economy. They provide
the majority of employment and are more geographically
dispersed and regionally balanced than foreign-owned
enterprise. In the last six months the departure of
foreign owned companies from Ireland for cheaper labour in
Eastern Europe and the Far East has been a recurring
industrial theme. Locally based enterprises, rooted in the
community are an important safeguard against the vagaries
of international capital.

“Among our key proposals are all-Ireland schemes for
Research and Development, entrepreneurship, enterprise
clusters and networks such as those in Waterford IT and the
South East, education and training along with a single
currency and tax regime on the island. We would establish
one stop shops to assist small businesses, introduce tax
incentives for firms carrying out Research and Development,
streamline regulatory requirements and eliminate red tape.
We would also ensure that colleges build local
relationships with businesses and deepen those already
existing. Here in Waterford Sinn Féin has been to the fore
in supporting the demand for University Status because it
will be key to long term job creation.

“For the first time ever these national strategies would
bring together government, employers, unions and third
level instructions to plan the coming years of growth.

“Business also needs infrastructure for sustainable
economic growth and we believe that there is a central role
for the public sector particularly in the transport,
telecommunications, energy and education sectors. We need
to urgently invest in these sectors to guarantee years of
high quality job creation in Ireland.

“I believe that politicians, employers and workers all
share some common ground, especially in the recognition
that we all have a responsibility to do what we can
together to meet the many economic and social needs we
face. That is my message here in Waterford today.”ENDS


Opin: Time To Consider The Cost Of Failure

Northern Ireland's political parties are set the
challenging task over the next seven months of agreeing to
restore the power-sharing Executive, following publication
yesterday of the International Monitoring Commission's
positive report on paramilitary violence.

Its key finding is that the leadership of the Provisional
IRA "has committed itself to following a peaceful path".
While the report does not cover the recent murder of Denis
Donaldson in Donegal, it finds no evidence of IRA training,
engineering, targeting or recruitment activity.

This is good news, which must now set the scene for serious
political bargaining. Tony Blair told RTÉ yesterday that
between now and November there is ample time to determine
whether a real will to make political progress exists or
whether things will slip back because it is not there. The
November 24th deadline is pitched on that fundamental
political evaluation. The Government supports this analysis
and believes the time has come to reach a deal.

It is a sensible approach, as Mr Blair and Mr Ahern will by
then have exhausted their remarkable joint search for a
settlement. On the evidence presented yesterday the
Provisional movement has made a fundamental political
commitment to abandon violence, even if serious issues
about illegal assets, localised criminality and thuggery
remain. The IMC has done a fine job of scrupulous reporting
in its 10 reports so far.

The alternative to an agreement has also been spelled out
bluntly. Northern Secretary Peter Hain warns the 108
Assembly members there will be no redundancy package if
agreement fails. There is the danger that the North's
political class and culture will be lost for a prolonged
period, amid definite indications of a public indifference
bred by endless prevarication and bickering. Interest
groups and civil society in the North need to take the
likely democratic and economic costs of failure seriously
in coming months and exert pressure for a settlement.
Whatever the weaknesses of the Belfast Agreement it is
surely better than a relapse into prolonged direct rule.

The two major parties in the North face particular
challenges between now and November. The DUP must decide
whether it is willing in principle to share power with Sinn
Féin, assuming the IMC's assessment of its peaceful intent
is borne out. Dr Ian Paisley's hint yesterday that he would
demand further conditions about IRA disarmament indicates
he still wants to delay making this decision, while Peter
Robinson's wing of the party is more clearly ready for
serious bargaining.

The IMC report deals explicitly with policing, the central
question facing Sinn Féin as it prepares for these
negotiations. The report believes the Sinn Féin leadership
is willing to engage in policing if it is devolved but says
the issue is unresolved within its membership. Normal
politics should be able to deliver a bargain in which
power-sharing and policing are exchanged. It is a challenge
to which both of these abnormal parties should now respond
with vigour and determination.

© The Irish Times


Opin: IMC Has Given Unionists An Opportunity They Ought To Take


If the picture of the IRA painted yesterday by the
monitoring commission holds, it will be hard for the DUP to
refuse to do business with Sinn Féin, suggests Gerry
Moriarty, Northern Editor

The IRA as a leadership-run paramilitary and criminal
organisation has gone away, you know - this was the central
thrust of the 10th report of the Independent Monitoring
Commission (IMC) published yesterday.

Persuading all individual IRA members to comply with the
instructions of P O'Neill may be slightly more problematic,
but the main message in the report was that provisional
republicans have well and truly abandoned the battlefield.

If the situation remains the same or has improved by
October - when the next critical IMC report on paramilitary
activity comes out - then there is a reasonable possibility
that there could be agreement on a DUP/Sinn Féin-led
Stormont administration by November 24th, the deadline for
a deal set by the British and Irish governments.

A maxim of this long-running peace process is that it is
for Bertie Ahern to deliver the IRA through Gerry Adams and
for Tony Blair to deliver the DUP through Ian Paisley. With
the IRA decommissioning and declaring an end to its "armed
campaign" last year and now with this "most significant"
IMC paper to date, it is clear the Taoiseach is fulfilling
his part of the contract. But Tony Blair's attempt to bring
the highly unpredictable DUP leader aboard the power-
sharing train is proving a tricky business.

There are still many pundits who insist the Doc will
"never, never, never" treat with Sinn Féin, regardless of
how much the IRA eschews violence and criminality. But
senior British government people reply that no, this is not
the case: that Dr Paisley is deliverable, that DUP MPs
travelling to Killarney and Peter Robinson talking about a
settlement that meets the demands of "Planter and Gael"
isn't just for show.

But the DUP still requires considerable coaxing. And that
was why Mr Blair - who, with John Prescott and some of his
other under-achieving cabinet colleagues, must have many
pressing matters to concern him - took considerable time
out yesterday to provide interviews to the BBC, UTV and RTÉ
to stress the importance of this IMC document.

And despite the mostly justified positive British-Irish
governmental spin there are still some unanswered questions
in the report. It is a given that if the murder of Denis
Donaldson, which the IMC has yet to examine as it occurred
outside the time-frame covered by this latest report, is in
any way linked to the IRA leadership then it is curtains
for a deal. The line from Dublin and London remains that
there "is no evidence to link the IRA leadership to the

And while the IMC says the leadership is trying to wean its
more recalcitrant members away from criminality it also
refers to the IRA looking "to the long-term exploitation of
discreetly laundered assets which were previously gained
illegally". Asked were these assets being used to support
Sinn Féin, IMC chairman Lord Alderdice would say only: "We
are talking about the republican movement . . . we are
monitoring that . . . we are not in a position to say
anything further about that."

Dr Paisley in his response yesterday laid some stress on
this element of the report. If that is still a loose end,
so to speak, in October will he be satisfied to leave this
issue to the Garda, PSNI, the Criminal Assets Bureau and
the Assets Recovery Agency in the North? Which brings us to
an applicable question that Progressive Unionist Party
leader David Ervine likes to put to the DUP, which roughly
goes: "Does Ian Paisley want every Provo shoplifter to be
put away before he will do business with Sinn Féin?" Here,
it should be noted, he is not referring to that old
Northern joke of shoplifter as a euphemism for bomber, as
in someone who literally "lifts" shops, but to petty crime.

While the focus on the IRA may be understandable, because
that's where the North's political future will be
determined, here is a line in the report which should not
be overlooked, especially by unionists: "None of the
republican incidents are attributable to PIRA as an
organisation. Loyalists caused 95 per cent of the
casualties of shootings and 76 per cent of the casualties
of assaults over that period."

Unionists often say they have no influence over loyalists.
Yet John Hume and the SDLP with success took it upon
themselves to persuade Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to
end the IRA "war". The report therefore raises the
question: why won't Ian Paisley do the same with the

The distinction between what some individual IRA members do
and what the IRA leadership says they should do (or not do)
is fairly well drawn in this IMC report. If that situation
holds in October then Dr Paisley will be hard-pressed to
find reasons for not going into an Executive with Sinn
Féin, although find them he will if he is so minded.

The fact is the real push to create a power-sharing
government in Northern Ireland 3½ years after the last one
collapsed began in earnest yesterday with the publication
of the IMC's report. "This is the foundation stone for a
deal," was how one senior London figure described the
document yesterday.

The IRA has a responsibility to make this opportunity work,
but so has the DUP, the governments agree. If Dr Paisley
plays for too much then the danger is that ever so slowly
more IRA members will peel away to the dissidents and
younger people who never really knew the Troubles will be
sold the line that unionists don't want a Fenian about the
place. The DUP has gained political power but there is a
historic responsibility that they mustn't lose sight of as
well, and in fairness there are many in the party who are
alert to the dangers of missing this chance.

© The Irish Times


House Prices Up 3.5% In First Three Months Of 2006

27/04/2006 - 11:26:49

Average house prices are increasing at their fastest rate
in six years, according to the latest house price index
published by the ESRI and Permanent-TSB.

The two organisations said average prices had increased by
3.5% in the first three months of this year, the fastest
rate of increase since the same period in 2000.

This means that prices have risen by 12.1% in the past

The average price paid for a house in Dublin has now
reached €384,000, compared to €249,000 in the rest of the


Playwright's Iconic Image Adorns Commemorative Coins

26/04/2006 - 18:10:28

The iconic image of playwright Samuel Beckett features on
new limited edition collector coins launched today as part
of the celebrations of the centenary of his birth.

Beckett is featured with a scene of his most famous work,
Waiting for Godot, on the €20 gold coin and the €10 silver

The Central Bank confirmed the coins – including the first
gold euro collector coin issued by the institution – will
go on sale from next Tuesday.

John Hurley, governor of the Central Bank, said the
institution was delighted to be part of the extensive
centenary celebrations.

“The design of these coins serves to commemorate Samuel
Beckett as one of Ireland’s leading literary figures.
Beckett’s face endeavours to capture his distinct dramatic
pose,” Mr Hurley said.

“Equally dramatic is the depiction on the coins of his most
famous work, ’Waiting for Godot’. The haunting quality of
the two figures under the tree is echoed in Beckett’s
portrait. I have no doubt that both of these beautiful
Beckett coins will be very popular with the public.”

Around 20,000 of the €20 gold coins and 35,000 of the €10
silver coins will be minted. The coins were designed by
Emmet Mullins who won a national design competition held in

At the launch, Michael Colgan, director of the Gate
Theatre, said: “I have no doubt the coins will be very
popular with Beckett enthusiasts as a treasured memento of
this unique tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest writers.”

In 2003, the bank issued a coin to mark the Special
Olympics, while a coin was also issued to mark the
accession of 10 new countries to the EU.

The Beckett €10 silver coin will cost €32 , while the €20
gold coin will be sold for €50.


McCourt's Brother To Run For NY Govenor

MALACHY McCourt, writer, actor and brother of one of
Limerick’s most famous author’s, Frank McCourt is to run
for Governor of the State of New York if he receives Green
Party nomination.

Malachy was born in New York but spent some of his
childhood living in Limerick as is chronicled in his
brother’s world famous memoirs, Angela’s Ashes.

Malachy, whose campaign slogan is "Don’t waste your vote,
give it to me”, is seeking to become the Green Party runner
at his party’s New York State convention on May 20.

Some of the issues he will be addressing in his campaign
include ridding New York of nuclear energy, disbanding the
national guard, promoting peace and abolishing the death

"It is quite clear in the Bible ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,” he
stated in an official press release announcing his
intention to run this week.

Malachy is also a supporter of the Irish Lobby for
Immigration Reform campaign, which seeks to allow illegal
Irish immigrants permanent residency in the US.

Malachy is also in favour of women’s rights to choose
abortion and is also pro gay rights. He has boycotted the
Manhattan St Patrick’s Day parade in the past for its
exclusion of homosexuals.

His attitudes have found an enemy in the conservative
Catholic League who have come out against the candidate.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said of
Malachy’s decision to run for governor; "It is not certain
whether his hatred for all things Catholic rivals his
hatred for all things American, but by running on the Green
Party line, we expect he’ll be given ample opportunity to
strut his stuff.”

Also according to the Catholic League, Malachy McCourt was
quoted in 2004 as saying, "Bush is against abortion and
he’s the best argument for it”.

From the early 1970s, Malachy worked on various radio
programmes. He has worked as an actor on a number of soap
operas and has acted in such films as The Devil’s Own and
Green Card. He is the author of eight books including A
Monk Swimming, which is about his childhood in Ireland and
he has also written a play entitled A Couple of Blagguards
collaboratively with his brother Frank.


The Easter Rising: As Seen Through The Pages Of The Western People

By: James Laffey

News of the 1916 Rising was slow to reach the West of
Ireland but when it finally did it had a seismic effect on
public opinion, writes James Laffey

THE First sign that something was awry in Dublin came on
Tuesday morning, April 25th, 1916, when neither letters nor
newspapers arrived in Ballina. It was only then that the
people of the town became aware of the grave events that
had taken place in the capital city during the previous 24
hours. But details of the Easter Rising were still sketchy,
to say the least.

The Western People admitted in its edition of Saturday,
April 29th, that it was unable to offer any definitive
information on the events in Dublin.

“We have not the means of knowing at this writing how
matters actually stand, for all communication with the
metropolis by rail or newspaper or letter has been
absolutely cut off since Monday, and we are perforce
living, as it were, on a desert island...there have been so
many rumours born of the wild excitement of the moment that
one cannot well say how near they approximate to the truth,
or if they have any foundation in fact at all.”

The confused state of affairs was reflected in some of the
information that was published in that first edition after
the Easter Rising. It was claimed that 25,000 men - ten
times the actual figure - had “assembled in great force in
the city” and seized a number of key public buildings. The
newspaper went on to report that 10,000 soldiers “armed to
the teeth with rifle and cannon’ were landed in Dublin on
Wednesday, April 26th, and a gun boat had been brought up
the Liffey to shell Liberty Hall.

The information deficit in the West of Ireland had not been
helped by the cutting of the Midland rail-line between
Dublin and Mullingar. The Western People reported that no
trains were travelling from Dublin and it had now reached
the stage where “the wildest rumours of every kind have
been in circulation”. Even the news on casualty figures was
woefully inadequate. Official reports were stating that the
number of deaths did not exceed ten or twelve, five of
these being soldiers.

One of the few parts of the country from where the Western
People had received reasonably accurate information was
Galway. The newspaper’s North Galway reporter had forwarded
a “special dispatch” on the two o’clock train from Tuam to
Ballina on Friday, April 28th, four days after the Rising
began in Dublin. The reporter revealed that news had
reached Galway of an attempt to land arms in the south of
Ireland, resulting in the arrest of Sir Roger Case-ment.
The dispatch also contained details of a minor skirmish
involving Sinn Féin supporters in Oranmore as well as a
more serious incident at Carranmore, between Loughgeorge
and Oranmore, which resulted in the shooting of a
policeman. There were also ominous reports coming from
Athenry where 1,500 Sinn Fein members had marched on the
Department’s Model Farm before leaving in the direction of
Gort. The presence of such a large contingent of Sinn Fein
personnel in the Athenry area was undoubtedly the reason
for another incident that was reported in the dispatch from
the industrious North Galway reporter - shelling had been
heard in Galway city on Wednesday afternoon. The shells had
been fired from a light cruiser in Galway Bay and they had
been “hurled through the air in the Athenry direction”.

But it would be several days before a clearer picture of
the events in Dublin and elsewhere would emerge. One can
almost sense the bewilderment and fear that pervaded the
West of Ireland as one “wild rumour” after another emanated
from Dublin.

“The Volunteers have been called upon to surrender within a
time limit, and if they refuse the streets of Dublin, it is
to be feared, may run red with blood,” noted the Western
People’s editorial. “This would be a tragic ending to a
tragic movement, tragic in the sense of the infinite harm
it has already done the country and the resultant harm
which must follow.”

The newspaper was quick to point the figure of blame at Sir
Edward Carson whose gun-running expeditions on behalf of
the Ulster Volunteers had provoked “treason and

“If he had been properly dealt with as a conspirator
against the safety of the realm what happened in Dublin
this week would have been made impossible...The interests
of Ireland have been gravely imperilled by what has taken
place; another tragic moment in our fate seems to have

News from Dublin was more readily available by the time the
Western People hit the streets on Saturday, May 6th, 1916.
At that stage, the rebels had surrendered and some sort of
normality was beginning to return to the streets of Dublin.
Eyewitness accounts were also beginning to filter back to
the West of Ireland.

One of the first people to escape the carnage in Dublin was
Mr Waters, of the Provincial Bank in Ballina, who
miraculously managed to leave the city on the evening of
the Rising. He told the Western People that everything had
been normal in Dublin up to 12 noon on Easter Monday when
he saw a company of Lancers being fired into as they passed
down the street. Mr Waters eventually managed to depart the
city after he was granted a permit by the Volunteers who,
at that stage, were in “almost complete possession” of

Others were not so fortunate and they remained trapped in
the capital for the entire duration of the Rising. A
Moygownagh man, named McAndrew, told the Western People
that he had got out of the city on Monday, May 1st, and had
cycled all the way to Ballina. He said his experience was a
very frightening one - “between fires and crashing houses
and people being shot down.”

Another man from Ballina, Mr Robert Hunter, of Crofton
Park, had been staying in Clontarf when the Rising occurred
and he reported a “stiff fight” on Howth Bridge. He said
the greatest inconvenience suffered by the residents of
Clontarf was a scarcity of food and provisions. For some
days no meat could be procured and the price of foodstuffs
went up tremendously.

Mr Hunter revealed that he had visited O’Connell Street
after the Rising and found it to be “nothing but a mass of
smoking ruins”. All the dead bodies had been removed off
the streets but carcasses of several horses were lying
about in the vicinity of the Parnell monument.

“It was an experience,” said Mr Hunter, “that I would not
like to undergo again, and I was very glad when I got my
heels out of the city.”

There was certainly no celebration of the Easter Rising in
the edition of the Western People on May 6th. Indeed, the
opposite was the case: the rebellion in Dublin was
condemned as a “mad enterprise” that had bequeathed a
“legacy of misery” to the city of Dublin.

“Ruined homes, broken families, countless orphans - this is
the saddest part of the affair, and where the real pity of
it lies, and most of all in relation to the poor, many of
them being now without their bread-winners.”

The newspaper reflected on the negative impact of the
Rising in Co Mayo where there was little buying or selling
of stock at fairs beyond purely local transactions. No
buyers had attended the fair at Balla on the previous day
and a similar scenario was expected to unfold at the “great
Ballina fair” of May 12th.

“If the indirect losses, as we may call them, total up to a
very formidable figure already, the direct losses are
appalling in their character. Capt. Purcell, head of the
Dublin fire brigade, estimates the damage done to property
in the city at two million pounds, inclusive of losses of
stock. How the capital can ever recover from the setback it
has received looms into a very serious proposition.”

The editorial was scathing in its condemnation of those in
the Sinn Fein party who had fraternised with the German
government in advance of the Rising.

“ is best and most charitable to say of them that
their failure has come as an open blessing rather than as
one in disguise, because we can conceive of no greater
misfortune that could befall us than that our lives and
liberty should be placed at the mercy of a despot whose
crimes against other small nations in the war cry aloud to
Heaven for venegance.”

The dissatisfaction in the county at the events in Dublin
was also evident in a report from Charlestown in which it
was stated that news of the surrender of the Sinn Fein
forces had been greeted with “much jubilation”.

“The local band paraded the town, accompanied by the Boy
Scouts, carrying at their heads a Belgian flag, and the
streets of the town were brilliantly illuminated with
electric lamps. Since the first intelligence of the revolt
was received the people of the district viewed the affair
with equanimity, but condemned it in vigorous terms.”

But for all the condemnation of the Easter Rising there
were subtle hints at a change in attitude amongst the
general public. The edition of May 6th carried numerous
reports of wholesale arrests throughout the region. In
Claremorris, Mr Peter O’Rourke, a native of Co Sligo, and a
well-known commerical traveller had been brought before the
local magistrate on a charge of prejudicing his Majesty’s
relations with foreign powers. The reporter noted that Mr
O’Rourke was “an exceedingly popular man on the road” who
had been arrested as he boarded the train in Claremorris.

Meanwhile the arrest of another well-known man in
Claremorris, hotel proprietor, John T. Jordan, was
described as causing a “terrible sensation”.

In Cong, Colum O’Leary, a well-known Gaelic League
organiser, was taken into custody, while in Kiltimagh, John
Corcoran was charged with attempting to cause sedition or
disaffection among the civil population.

But the greatest number of arrests took place in Westport
when 98 Volunteers, headed by the Boy Scouts, marched
through the streets of the town on Sunday, April 30th, only
hours after the rebels surrendered in Dublin. Some of the
men displayed rifles and although they were not arrested on
the spot they were rounded up on Monday morning. A total of
ten men were arrested: Messrs Gannon and Gavin (teachers in
the Brothers schools); Thomas Ralph, railway porter; Thos
and Michael Derrig, J. McDonagh, Michael Duffy, J. Ruddy,
Owen Hughes, Aughagower, and M.J. Ring, Drumindoo. The
newspaper reported that the men were conveyed to Castlebar
jail by a force of 40 armed police.

The public outrage that had been evident in the immediate
aftermath of the Rising was clearly abating and questions
were now being directed at the military who were making
summary arrests all over the country. There was also
sympathy in some quarters for the rebels and one article in
the Western People of May 6th reflected the changing mood.
It was penned by a correspondent of the Press Association
who had witnessed the deportation of the first batch of
prisoners to England.

“There were certainly a few amongst them who would be
classed as intellectuals - tall, clean cut looking men,
whose avocations in life were probably to be found in the
professions. It was a mixed crowd, representing almost all
classes of the community. But the most surprising thing of
all was their demeanour, notwithstanding their miserable
condition, firmly stamped upon their faces. Some went
jauntily below, while others, with set lips and stern
faces, walked between the onlookers, looking to neither one
side nor the other.

“There was a striking incident when a young Sinn Fein
officer, who could be not much more than 20, came on board.
He was wearing the full uniform of the Irish Volunteers,
with cap, Sam Browne belt, and pack. Standing six feet in
height, with a clean, open countenance, he calmly folded
his arms and stood on deck in the glare of the light of an
officer’s electric torch. There was no evidence of fear
written upon his face; it reflected nothing but
determination...It was impossible not to admire the youth’s
dignity of bearing.”

*** ***

By the time the next edition of the Western People appeared
on the streets on May 13th the situation in Ireland had
changed dramatically. Twelve of the leaders of the Easter
Rebellion had been executed by court martial and fears were
rising of further death sentences being imposed on Sinn
Fein members.

News of the executions in Dublin were compounded by the
ever-increasing military activity throughout the West of
Ireland. The newspaper reported that 800 military personnel
were now stationed in Castle-bar following the arrival of
reinforcements earlier in the week. Special troop trains
had conveyed to the town half a battalion of the North
Stafford-shire Regiment, and 250 men of the 16th and 17th
Lancers, together with machine guns, light artillery,
armoured motor cars and transport. It was noted that all of
the men had taken part in quelling the recent Dublin

“The arrival of the soldiers created a great stir in the
town, and big crowds have watched them drilling on the
Mall...The arrival of the military was kept a dead secret,
even from the police.”

The reinforcements were badly needed in Castlebar as the
number of republicans in the county jail grew with every
passing day. Westport continued to be one of the hardest
hit towns in the region with the arrest of 18 men on the
morning of May 10th. They were conveyed to Castlebar Prison
where, it was stated, they would be tried by court marital.
It was said that they did not comply with the Lord Lieu-
tenant’s Proclamation and failed to hand up their arms.

There were also “sensational developments” in
Ballaghaderreen with the arrival in the early hours of May
11th of a detachment of troops. They arrested more than 20
young men and commandeered the local St Mary’s Hall as
their headquarters. It was reported that a vigorous search
was made in the various houses visited by the military,
resulting in the seizure of six or seven “antiquated”
rifles and two Irish volunteer uniforms.

“Though the raid was not wholly unexpected it came as a
great surprise to many people,” noted the reporter. “No
resistance was offered to the operations of the military,
who were heavily armed.”

The arrests continued apace. In Castlebar, Mr John Hoban, a
blacksmith from Linenhall Street, who was said to be a
commander in the local corps of Sinn Fein Volunteers, and
Mr Mike McHugh, a foreman in Heverin’s drapery
establishment, were arrested in their beds. On the same
morning, May 10th, police and military forces visited Balla
and arrested Dick Walsh, Pat Fallon, J. Reilly, M. Golding
Jnr and P. Keville. It was claimed that the arrests in
Balla and Castlebar were the result of a recent “seizure”
of arms in Balla.

The spotlight was also beginning to belatedly fall on some
of the men who had been executed in Dublin. The edition of
May 13th carried a detailed report of the midnight wed-ding
of Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford, who were married at
Richmond Barracks before Plunkett was sent to his death in
the stone-breakers yard at Kilmainham Gaol. The same report
also noted that Ms Gifford’s sister was married to another
of the executed lead-ers, Thomas MacDonagh, who was the
father of two young children - a boy, aged three years, and
a girl, aged 18 months. Elsewhere in the newspaper, a
headline proclaimed the latest news from the capital: ‘Four
More Shot --Eamonn Ceannt among the executed’.

The editorial of the same edition reflected the sense of
unease and anger that was starting to sweep the country.

“The executions which have taken place in Dublin, where
twelve of the leaders of the recent rising have been shot,
have begun to cause beyond doubt a very grave reaction of
feeling in the country...Disaffection may be stamped out
for the time but can never be crushed by the application of
extreme force. The tragedy that has taken from us so many
young lives leaves after it a benumbing sense of sorrow.
They risked all for ideals which they believed to be right,
and they fought with wild courage and bravery, as their
most bitter enemies, like the ‘Daily Mail’, admit. It is
this which makes the sacrifice they have given go down
deeper into one’s feeling when we think it over...”

The cells in Castlebar Prison were already beginning to
empty as the Western People hit the streets on May 13th,

1916. The British Government --in its wisdom - had ordered
the immediate deportation of countless republican suspects
who were arrested in the wake of the Easter Rising. The
West-port men who had refused to hand in their arms were
among the first to be sent to Richmond Barracks in Dublin
for transportation to Wandsworth Detention Barracks. A
total of 25 men with Westport addresses were included on a
long list published in the Western People of May 20th.
Among the names was that of Joseph Ring, who would later
become a key figure in the War of Independence and a
founding father of An Garda Síochána. Ring, who was killed
by Irregular forces during the Civil War, was granduncle of
current Mayo Fine Gael T.D., Michael Ring.

Others who were deported to England were John Corcoran,
from Kiltimagh, and Peter O’Rourke, the popular commercial
traveller who had been arrested in such dramatic
circumstances at Claremorris Railway Station. There were
also large contingents from Cliffoney in Sligo and Athenry
in Galway.

The British Government was already sowing the seeds of a
bitter harvest. Pressure was mounting for self-governemnt
in Ireland and the Western People’s editorial of May 20th
could hardly have been more unambiguous: “Whatever may be
the outcome of all that is being said and written, one fact
stands pretty clear, that Dublin Castle rule will have to

The die had been cast.

THE first to arrive in Castlebar from the metropolis were
Sergeant Maher, R.I.C., and Mr. T.J. Drum, of the C.D.
Board staff, both of whom went to Dublin for the Easter

It appears that early last Friday morning they made their
way [out of the city] and into the suburbs, and after
several exciting adventures succeeded in passing the cordon
of military drawn around the city, and keeping to the canal
bank, they ultimately reached Clonsilla, where they got a
train for the West on the following day. They arrived home
on Saturday evening and had a cordial reception from
numbers of friends. Interviewed by our representative, they
stated that at the time of their departure from Dublin
fierce fighting was going on in different parts of the

The next to arrive in Castle-bar was Mr Thomas Murphy, the
well-known contractor. He arrived by the evening train on
Monday, and informed our representative that when he left
Dublin on Saturday morning the fighting had not concluded.
He was staying in Wynne’s hotel, and when Liberty Hall was
shelled the vibrations were such that the large bay windows
in the hotel completely fell out as if cut by a razor.

One of the shells started a fire, and in Mr Murphy’s own
words, “the whole block of beautiful houses bounded by
Liberty Hall, Hopkins and Hopkins and Wynne’s Hotel, were
quickly burned to the ground.”

Mr Murphy lost all his luggage, and, with hundreds of
others, was given shelter and food in the Custom House by
the military. Talking about the effect of the shells, Mr
Murphy said: “In Eden Quay the Volunteers erected a
formidable barricade across the street, composed of carts,
boxes and huge piles of paper which they seized in the
‘Independent’ office. The exact range must have been
signalled out to the gunboat in the Liffey, for a shell
came shrieking through the air. When the smoke cleared away
there wasn’t a sign or a vestige left of the barricades or
the unfortunate men guarding it.”

On Saturday the military authorities gave him a pass to
Belfast. He alighted at Drogheda where he secured a motor
car, which conveyed him to Mullingar and from whence he
came on to Castlebar.

The next Castlebar man to arrive home was Mr Larry Kelly,
foreman of Lavelle and Co’s establishment. Early on
Saturday morning he evaded the military cordon beyond the
Botanic Gardens, and following the canal bank, reached
Enfield, but found that no train would be likely to run to
the West for several days. Borrowing a bicycle from an
Enfield gentleman, he set off for Castlebar, and all went
well until he reached Roscommon, where the police arrested
him on suspicion. Protests were of no avail, and he was
detained in custody until the Castlebar police were
communicated with, and of course they verified the state-
ments made by Mr Kelly, who is a prominent member of the
National Volunteers. After being released Mr Kelly
continued his journey on the bicycle and reached Castlebar
on Tuesday morning.

Mr Dixon-Addey, a member of the Congested Districts Board
staff, Castlebar, arrived back from the city on Wednesday
evening. He had many exciting adventures to relate. He
happened to be in the General Post Office when the Sinn
Feiners entered it. The order “hands up” was given, and
after being searched, all civilians were allowed their

Mr Addey brought back several souvenirs, including a copy
of the Proclamation posted up announcing the establishment
of an Irish Republic. He had several narrow escapes from
death, a stray bullet penetrating his coat and vest.

Mr Joe Winters, a shop assistant, who was attending the
annual conference of the Irish Drapers’ Assistants’
Association, had several narrow escapes from bullets.

Mr Paddy Bourke, a member of the well-known firm of Bourke
and Sons, Castlebar, arrived home on Wednesday evening from
Galway. He states that all approaches to the city are
guarded by police and military, and that all day on Tuesday
chara-a-bancs and motor cars were conveying prisoners from
the direction of Athenry into Galway.

• Western People, May 6th, 1916


Kitty Brought A Little Bit Of Goodness Into All Our Lives

Kitty Turnbull, Foxford and Kilrush, Co Clare

1929 - 2006

ON a blustery April afternoon, as a few lonely rays of
sunshine sparkled in a sombre spring skyline, we laid to
rest the great-hearted warrior that was Kitty Turnbull.

On the same day ninety years earlier a group of Irish
rebels declared an independent republic at the GPO in
Dublin. The Easter Rising began at 12 noon on Easter
Monday, 1916; Kitty Turnbull’s Funeral Mass began at 12
noon on Easter Monday, 2006. The timing was entirely
coincidental but the irony would not have been lost on
Kitty, who always regarded herself as something of a rebel.

Indeed, as an avid student of Irish history, she would have
been highly amused at the unlikely parallel in timing. It
was one of those quirks of fate that must have had her
smiling mischievously as she looked down from Heaven on the
large crowd in St Michael’s Church. Her noble life had come
full circle.

As young girl in Co Clare in the 1930s, Kitty would have
grown up in the shadow of the political upheaval spawned by
the Easter Rising. Clare was de Valera’s county and the
young Kitty Walsh was born into a strong political
tradition in the town of Kilrush.

Co Clare was to occupy a cherished place in her heart and,
even in old age, she would travel to her home county every
summer where, in her own words, she would “pretend she was
a teenager all over again”. She devoured the Clare Champion
whenever she could get her hands on it and she took immense
satisfaction from her native county’s success on the
hurling fields in the mid-1990s. Indeed, she famously
remarked that she spent the entire duration of the 1995
All-Ireland Final in the Convent Chapel, across the road
from her home in Foxford, praying for Clare’s deliverance
from the curse of Biddy Earley!

Her parents, Patrick and Eileen Walsh, owned a small
grocery store in Kilrush and Kitty was in contact with the
public from a very early age. It was one of the features of
her life that was to remain utterly constant during her 77
years. She was a ‘people person’; a gregarious, fun-loving
woman who was never happier than when she was in the
company of others. Her joie de vivre was infectious and she
brought immeasurable joy and happiness into the lives of
everyone she met on her journey to Heaven’s Gate.

It could be said that she was born to be a teacher. Her
love of people and education made her the perfect candidate
for a place in Mary Immaculate College in the late 1940s.
Her first posting was to Cloughbrack National School, a
small school - since closed - at the ‘butt of Nephin’ in Co
Mayo, a county she had never set foot in up to that time.
Kitty was only assigned to the school for a very short time
but she had many happy memories of those days in
Cloughbrack. True to form, she remained in contact with
several of her former pupils from the school right up to
her death.

But it was in the town of Foxford that Kitty Turnbull would
gain her deserved reputation as one of the great teachers
of her generation. She began teaching in the Boys’ National
School in the 1950s and remained in her post up to the late
1980s, when she opted for early retirement to look after
her terminally-ill husband, Frank. Her loss to the school
was immeasurable.

Teaching was to be much more than just a profession for
Kitty Turnbull. It was a vocation, a wondrous craft that
transcended mere blackboards and copybooks. She was a truly
inspirational teacher, charismatic and knowledgeable in
equal measure. When she stood before a classroom of
youngsters, voice raised to the roof and hands
gesticulating vigorously, there was simply no-one to beat
her. Her daily performances in front of countless classes
of wide-eyed children were the stuff of legend; a heady mix
of erudition, passion and creativity delivered with the
innate skill of a natural-born orator. Many a reunion of
erstwhile school-friends was dominated by anecdotes of
Kitty Turnbull and the things she would say and do.

She had an unerring ability to connect with her young
pupils and to command their full attention, through
respect, rather than fear - although fear played its part
too! Mrs Turnbull - as she was forever known to her former
pupils - was a formidable force when she was standing
before a classroom, waving the dreaded ‘bata’ in the air.

But when she had to enforce discipline she did it in a fair
and reasonable manner. Nothing was ever personal or
vindictive with Kitty Turnbull; she was too kind and too
gentle for anything like that.

Her deep love of her pupils was reflected in the interest
she continued to take in their lives long after they had
left the bosom of her classroom. She had an extraordinary
talent for remembering the names and faces of the hundreds
of youngsters who had passed through her classroom during
four decades of teaching. And she became firm friends with
many of her former pupils. As her son, Senan, recalled at
her Funeral Mass, she would often remark that some of the
biggest rascals in her classes - the ones who gave her all
those grey hairs --were now her best friends.

She delighted in their company and loved nothing better
than to learn of the success of a former student. Indeed,
Kitty must have spent more money on congratulatory cards
that anyone else in the country. She was always sending
cards or writing letters to one student or another and for
many she was the last remaining link to their hometown.


IF it were only for her peerless proficiency in the
classroom Kitty Turnbull would be deserving of a lengthy
and glowing obituary. But teaching was only one aspect of
her long and multi-faceted life. She performed so many
other roles in her adopted community of Foxford that one
would find it impossible to enumerate them all. She was a
fundraiser, a campaigner, a confidant and a spokesperson.
She was a thorn in the side of the establishment, a rock of
support for the bereaved, a fearless voice for the
underprivileged and a tireless collector for countless
worthy causes.

She was ubiquitous; always pursuing some new mission or
cause. It was as if there was the energy of ten people
packed inside her sprightly frame. No-one could possibly
match Kitty Turnbull when it came to community development
and charity work. She was simply in a different league.

Her community work on behalf of the town of Foxford was
extraordinary. She was a member of the local Community
Council for many years and was indefatigable in her pursuit
of a better deal for the town. Every campaign and crusade
that was run in Fox-ford from the late 1950s to the present
day had Kitty Turn-bull at its helm. There was the closure
of the railway in the 1960s, the provision of a better fire
service in the 1980s and the closure of the local branch of
the Bank of Ireland in the 1990s. Kitty was involved in
them all and was often the first person to take to the
local and national airwaves to highlight a grievance in the

She was an exceptionally able ambassador for the people of
Foxford; an articulate and cogent spokesperson who believed
fundamentally in everything she said or did. There were no
half measures with Kitty. She didn’t just grasp the nettle;
she usually choked the life out of it. And she was
certainly not a woman for quietly reversing out of
political or social debates. She was a bit too spirited for

But there was another side to the character of Kitty
Turnbull that was readily acknowledged by the many people
she encountered over the years - even those with whom she
crossed swords. If she took a stand on an issue it was
because she believed wholeheartedly in what she did. She
may not have always been right but her motives were never
anything other than pure. There was a sincerity and an
honesty about Kitty Turnbull that won her countless
admirers. She was a woman who always spoke from the heart;
she was not someone who sought refuge in cant or hypocrisy.
Integrity and innate decency were the by-words by which she
lived her remarkable life.

At her Funeral Mass, the chief celebrant, Mgr John Doherty,
described Kitty as “a woman who cared”. And so she was. She
cared deeply about her adopted town and its people.
Sometimes, maybe, she cared more than she should but that
was the type of woman she was. In an age of indifference,
she was one of an old generation who cared deeply about her
fellow man.

Her work on behalf of numerous charities - local, national
and international -

was done selflessly and unobtrusively. She was the main
fundraiser in Mayo for UNICEF, the excellent children’s
charity that has done so much for underprivileged
youngsters all over the world. She was also a great
supporter of the Missions and organised many collections
and special events to aid the work of missionary nuns and
priests in the Third World. She was the local agent for
Africa and Far East magazines for many years, seeking the
assistance of her young students in delivering the
magazines door-to-door.

And there was no better fundraiser than Kitty Turn-bull.
She managed to combine gentle cajolery with good-natured
coercion as she tracked down former pupils who knew better
than to say ‘no’ to the redoubtable Mrs Turnbull. But there
was also a belief amongst people in Fox-ford that if Kitty
Turnbull was doing the fund-raising it must be a worthwhile
cause. People trusted her in a manner all-too rare

That inherent trust manifested itself in so many different
ways. She was a confidant to individuals and groups from
all walks of life. Senan Turnbull humorously recalled that
often when opposing factions were at loggerheads in Foxford
they might both be seeking the advice of his mother - with
neither side knowing what the other was doing.

Kitty was always discreet in her dealings with people and
there was many a person over the years who turned to her in
times of trouble. They always found a kind and caring
companion who was never judg-mental. She was as comfortable
with the sinners as she was with the saints. Indeed, one of
her most common sayings was: “It is not for mere mortals
like me to judge.”

Her later years were to be dominated by a project that was
to be the acme of all of her magnificent work on behalf of
the people of Foxford. The publication of Foxford: Through
the Arches of Time in October 2003 was to be one of Kitty
Turnbull’s finest moments.

The book was her brainchild and she surrounded herself with
a diligent local committee who each brought their own
expertise to the project. But it was Kitty who pulled all
the pieces together. She must have worn out a few pairs of
shoes travelling from house to house in the Foxford area as
she collected material for the book. She visited libraries,
museums, nursing homes and even travelled as far as the
Sisters of Charity in Dublin in her quest for information
on Foxford in former years. Her kitchen became a sort of
‘war office’ for the committee as meetings were held with
increasing regularity as the launch day approached.

Kitty became the public face of Foxford: Through the Arches
of Time. It was not a position with which she was entirely
comfortable - she preferred to let others step into the
limelight - but she was determined that the book would be a
resounding success. She agreed to appear on Mid-West
Radio’s Michael Commins Show as part of the pre-publication
promotion and she was the designated speaker at the launch
in the Woollen Mills Visitors Centre on October 25th, 2003.

The launch of Foxford: Through the Arches of Time was a
truly unforgettable event. Even in Kitty’s wildest dreams
she could not have predicted the enormous crowd that turned
out on that memorable evening. It was her crowning moment
in a life that had been devoted to the service of her
adopted community. And it was richly deserved. There was
no-one in Foxford, other than Kitty Turnbull, who would
have had the vision or the tenacity to bring the project to

She remained active in her community up to a few months
before her death. She was a member of the Foxford Social
Services Committee and was also one of the driving forces
behind the Tuesday Club, which was established as a weekly
social gathering for elderly people in the Fox-ford area.
In her later years she was always deeply concerned about
the welfare of older people and she spent many long hours
visiting elderly townspeople in their homes or nursing
homes. The fact that some of those whom she was visiting
were actually younger than herself never even crossed her
mind. Kitty was always a person whose mind was a few
decades younger than her body.

One of her final campaigns in Foxford was the naming of the
town’s new road in memory of Mother Morrough Bernard, the
foundress of the Providence Woollen Mills. Kitty was
utterly devoted to the famous nun and never tired of
reminding people of the critical role the Cork woman had
played in the development of the town.

Kitty had married into a Woollen Mills family following her
arrival in Foxford and she was deeply aware of its
importance to the town. Her husband, Frank, was the son of
a Scottish designer who had been brought to the Woollen
Mills by Mother Bernard in the early years of the mills.
Indeed, it might be said that Kitty herself was the Mother
Morrough Bernard of her generation.

Yet for all her work in the social and political spheres
there were two guiding lights that dominated Kitty Turn-
bull’s life - her family and her religion. She was a
diligent and caring wife, mother and grandmother, and she
loved nothing more than to be in the company of her beloved
family. The death of her daughter, Lourda, last September
was a bitter blow from which Kitty never really recovered.

Yet she never lost her faith in God. She was a deeply
religious woman, attending Mass in the local St Michael’s
Church every morning. Her attitude to religion was as
inspirational as the rest of her life. She was not an
overt-ly pious woman; her relation-ship with her Maker was
essentially a private affair and she would be loath to
force her religion on anyone. She might be perturbed if
someone had turned away from God but she would be more
likely to pray for them rather than berate them.

But there was no doubting the depth of her religious
devotion. She had many, many friends in the religious
orders - both nuns and priests - and she was a great woman
for keeping in contact with clergy who had moved from
Foxford. There are priests and nuns all over the country
who lost a loyal and trusting friend when Kitty Turnbull
passed to her eternal reward.


Kitty Turnbull possessed such an indomitable spirit that it
was simply impossible to imagine the town of Foxford
without her. And, so, we convinced ourselves that she would
go on forever; an enduring, constant feature on an ever-
changing landscape. She had survived a serious health scare
in the 1990s to return stronger and more tenacious than

But Kitty would have been the first to remind us that she
was, indeed, a mere mortal. We only ever had her on loan
from Heaven.

Her final illness was borne with the sort of courage and
dignity that were the hallmarks of her life. She passed
gently into that good night in the early hours of Easter
Saturday, April 15th, utterly at peace with the world from
which she was departing.

News of her death evoked tremendous sadness in the town of
Foxford and the surrounding region. Yet her Funeral Mass on
Easter Monday would have been what she wanted - a
celebration of all the rich and wonderful ingredients that
she brought to the table of life. There were tears shed,
but they were tears of joyous nostalgia rather than bleak
despair as family and friends recalled Kitty’s many
unforgettable antics.

The crowds at the removal of the remains and the Requiem
Mass were amongst the largest ever seen in Fox-ford and
comprised people from all walks of life. Her remains were
removed from her home on Lower Main Street on Easter Sunday
evening to St Michael’s Church on Chapel Street, a journey
that she had made on numerous occasions during the last
half century.

Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated by Mgr John Doherty
(Gurteens), a close friend of Kitty’s, who was assisted by
Fr Chris Ginnelly (Foxford), Fr Joseph Gavigan (Foxford),
Fr Joseph Caulfield (Carracastle), Canon Michael Joyce
(Swinford), Fr Dermot Burns (Straide), Fr Sean Doherty, Fr
Donal Dorr, Fr Michael Jordan and Fr. Heribert Wolfe.

The reading of the scripture was performed by Kitty’s son,
Declan, and the Prayers of the Faithful were read by her
grandchildren, Gina Colley, Karen Lambe, Sorcha Turn-bull
and her neighbour, Paddy Naughton. The offertory gifts were
in keeping with the simplicity of Kitty’s life. A copy of
Foxford:Through the Arches of Time, was brought to the
altar by her former student, James Laffey, with whom she
wrote the book. A framed picture - signifying her great
work as a teacher and bearing the legend ‘To teach is to
touch a life forever’- was presented by another former
student, Frankie Devaney, with whom Kitty served on
numerous committees in Foxford over the years. The bread
and wine were brought to the altar by her grandchildren,
Nathan Colley and Aideen Lambe.

The eulogy, read by Kitty’s eldest son, Senan, captured the
essence of a unique woman who meant so much to so many
people. Senan recalled the many campaigns that his mother
had spearheaded - from the housing of Travellers in the
1960s to the fundraising drives for cancer awareness in
recent years. He said there were many aspects of her life
that her family had only learned of in recent days. She had
run private adult literacy classes in her own home, helping
to give people a second chance at education. She had been a
confidant to many people who were suffering hardship in
life, helping them to find light at the end of the tunnel.

Senan said the family had been deeply touched and moved by
the tremendous outpouring of sadness and community support
in the days since Kitty’s passing. They had cried and
laughed in equal measure as they heard story after story
from people who had encountered their mother at different
moments in their lives.

The chief mourners were Kitty’s children, Senan, Dympna
(Colley), Imelda and Declan; nine grandchildren; sisters,
Tess (O’Dowd), Sr Mary-Margaret (Salesian) and Florrie
(O’Connell); in-laws, nieces, nephews and relatives. She
was predeceased by her husband, Frank, in 1991 and
daughter, Lourda, in 2005.

It was Kitty’s wish that mourners would sympathise with the
family before her remains were removed from the Church.
And, even in death, the irrepressible Kitty got her own
way. Her final journey from St Michael’s Church to Craggagh
Cemetery took the unconventional route of Lower Main Street
and Providence Road, passing each of the landmarks in
Kitty’s wonderful years in Foxford. There was the Boys
School on Chapel Road where she taught for three decades;
the terraced house on Lower Main Street where she reared a
fine family and where the key was always in the door; and
the Woollen Mills, which was home to her beloved Mother
Morrough Bernard, a woman that inspired Kitty like no
other. A Guard of Honour - comprising past and present
teachers from Foxford National School - accompanied Kitty
on her final journey through the streets of her precious

She was laid to rest in Crag-gagh Cemetery to the haunting
strains of Trasna na dTonta [Across the Waves], played
expertly on the violin by Seán Lavin, the Principal of Fox-
ford National School and another former student who, like
countless others, learned the tune from Kitty many years
ago. It was a fitting, final farewell to a proud Irish
woman who lived an exemplary and inspirational life; a life
that was perfectly encapsulated in the words of her son,
Declan, at her Requiem Mass:

I shall pass this world but once

Any good therefore that I can do

Or any kindness I can show to any human being,

Let me do it now...for I shall not pass this way again.

May her noble and compassionate soul enjoy Heaven’s
abundant rewards.

Ní bheith a leithid ann arís.

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