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May 22, 2006

Adams Challenges DUP As Assembly Reconvenes

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News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 05/22/06 Adams Challenges DUP As Assembly Reconvenes
SF 05/22/06 SF Accuses PSNI Of Propaganda At Commemoration
DI 05/22/06 Mr Blair, Say Sorry Before It’s Too Late
DI 05/22/06 Envoy Says US Must End Its Isolationism
RT 05/22/06 McAleese Denies Scaling Back Of Work
UN 05/22/06 Conradh Na Gaeilge Slams FG’s Irish Language Proposals
DI 05/19/06 Striker’s Activist Legacy And ‘Full Of Life’ Nature Still
DI 05/19/06 O’Hara Determined To Let The Fight Go On
DI 05/19/06 Hunger Strikes History On Sale
DI 05/19/06 Ervine Third Choice Of UUP
PL 05/22/06 “Cholly" Shields: Irish Pubs Lauded
BN 05/22/06 Belfast City Airport To Be Renamed After George Best
DI 05/22/06 Cash Machine Double Payout Leads To Chaos


Adams Challenges DUP As Assembly Reconvenes

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has called for the Northern
Ireland Assembly to be scrapped if the DUP refuses to share
power with republicans.

The reconvened Assembly will try to elect a First and
Deputy First Minister today.

Even though voting to establish an Executive has little
chance of succeeding, it is part of a process for the 108
MLAs who have been recalled and given six months to
establish a working power-sharing administration.

Mr Adams has pledged to nominate the DUP leader, Rev Ian
Paisley, for the First Minister's position but urged London
and Dublin to intervene decisively if the DUP shows no
intention of forming a working coalition.

Mr Adams was accused by the DUP of a cheap stunt in backing
Dr Paisley as leader of Northern Ireland's strongest
political party for the top post, with Sinn Féin chief
negotiator Martin McGuinness his deputy.

But he insisted it was intended to send a message to
unionism that political power must be on an equal basis
with republicans, and to show his party was prepared to
accept Dr Paisley as First Minister.

Mr Adams said: "If my motion on today is unsuccessful we
will seek to return to this business at the earliest
possible time.

"Understandably there is a lot of scepticism about whether
Ian Paisley will ever lead his Democratic Unionist Party
into the Executive with the rest of us. . . . If Ian
Paisley does not play his part then its over to the two
governments to get rid of the Assembly and to proceed with
all other aspects of the Agreement.

"The best way forward however is with local politicians in
charge," Mr Adams said.

The IRA's shift away from its armed struggle influenced
Northern Secretary Mr Peter Hain's decision to revive the
suspended Stormont Assembly.

But the DUP has insisted it would keep the pressure on
republicans to prove they had quit violence for good before
going back into government.

© The Irish Times/

The move comes as Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell
visits Stormont for talks with senior representatives from
all the political parties.

He was invited by Northern Secretary Peter Hain to
emphasise the benefits devolution has brought to Scotland.

Scotland's First Minister has told members of the Northern
Assembly at Stormont how devolution had helped his country
to tackle the problem of sectarianism.

Jack McConnell said he hoped that a system of devolved
government would help both Northern Ireland and Scotland to
fulfill their ambitions.

This afternoon, the 108 Assembly Members will make their
first attempt to elect a First and Deputy First Minister.


Sinn Féin MP Accuses PSNI Of False Propaganda At Ray Mccreesh Hunger Strike Commemoration

Published: 22 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy has
dismissed PSNI claims that they were attacked by stone
throwers at a commemoration for Hunger Striker Raymond
McCreesh in Camlough at the weekend as 'false propaganda'.

Speaking today Mr Murphy said:

"Yesterday's Hunger Strike commemoration for Camlough
native Raymond McCreesh was a well stewarded and dignified
affair, to celebrate the sacrifice of the H-Block martyrs
of 1981, and in particular local man Raymond McCreesh.

"The PSNI have attempted to besmirch the memory of Ray, his
comrades and the republican community by claiming that
missiles were thrown at them from the parade. There were no
stones thrown at the PSNI. There was no need for the PSNI
to be anywhere near the march, yet they have engineered a
story which is grounded in fiction and has no basis in
fact." ENDS


Mr Blair, Say Sorry Before It’s Too Late

In the wake of the death of Richard McIlkenny, one of six
Irishmen living in Birmingham wrongly imprisoned in
England, calls are growing stronger for Tony Blair to
apologise to the surviving members of the ‘Birmingham Six’
for their wrongful and brutal treatment at the hands of the
British government

Ciarán Barnes


There were calls last night for the British government to
apologise to the Birmingham Six following the death of
Richard McIlkenny.

The 73-year-old was one of six Irishmen resident in
Birmingham who were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1975
for pub bombings in the city that killed 21 people. They
served 16 years.

The British government has never apologised for caging the
men who made false confessions after being tortured during

Last year British prime minister Tony Blair apologised to
the Guildford Four and seven others who were wrongfully
jailed for bomb attacks in England in 1974.

He said: “I am very sorry that they were subject to such an
ordeal and injustice. That is why I am making this apology
today, they deserve to be completely and publicly

Campaigners are now calling on Mr Blair to offer a similar
apology to the surviving members of the Birmingham Six –
Hugh Callaghan Paddy Hill, Gerry Hunter, Billy Power and
Johnny Walker.

Speaking to Daily Ireland last night, Mr Walker said the
British prime minister should do the “decent thing” and

“It wouldn’t do any harm for Tony Blair to say sorry,
especially in light of Richard’s death,” said Mr Walker.

“An apology won’t undo all the terrible things that were
inflicted on us, but it would be nice for our families.

“That said, I don’t think he will apologise. Tony Blair had
the chance last year when he said sorry to the Guilford
Four. He didn’t apologise to us then and I really don’t
believe in my heart of hearts he wants to apologise to us.”

Mr Walker and Mr McIlkenny were workmates in the same
Birmingham factory. After their release in 1991 the men
remained close friends.

Mr Walker said he is proud to call Mr McIlkenny a friend.

“Richard was a hardworking man who lived for his family,”
he said.

“He’s left a fantastic wife and family behind. But they
should be proud of Richard, I know I am, I’m proud to call
him a friend.”

The Birmingham Six were arrested in November 1974 less than
48 hours after the pub bombings. During their trial all six
men told how their confessions had been beaten out of them,
but the court did not believe them.

In August 1975 they were sentenced to life in prison on the
basis of the false confessions. The men were denied the
right to appeal and forced to wait until 1987 when their
case was referred to the Court of Appeal, after new
evidence emerged, before being rejected.

Public protests kept the case in the spotlight until August
1990 when forensic investigations showed their confessions
had been tampered with.

In March 1991, their convictions were quashed and they were
released after 16 years in jail onto the streets outside
the Old Bailey in London.

Richard McIlkenny was first to speak. “It’s good to see you
all,” he said. “We’ve waited a long time for this – 16
years because of hypocrisy and brutality. But every dog has
its day and we’re going to have ours.”

Following his release Mr McIlkenny, who is originally from
the Oldpark area of north Belfast, moved to Dublin. The
grandfather is survived by his wife Kathleen, his daughters
and his only son, who were all at his bedside on Sunday in
the James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown when he died.
It is understood he had been battling cancer for some time.


Envoy Says US Must End Its Isolationism

US diplomat delivers Tip O’Neill memorial lecture in Derry


The United States’ isolationism will weaken its ability to
conquer global terrorism and other major 21st-century
threats, a White House diplomat said last night.

Mitchell Reiss said he accepted that international
resentment of the US was rising, with its foreign policy in
the Middle East fuelling the superpower’s unpopularity.

Mr Reiss, President George Bush’s peace envoy for Ireland,
told how US opinion polls in favour of Washington going it
alone were at their highest since the end of the Vietnam
War in 1975.

However, he insisted: “It is hard to imagine how any
scenario in which an isolated, disengaged US would be a
better friend and ally, would better promote global
prosperity, would more forcefully endorse democracy, social
justice and human dignity, or would enhance peace and

“Just as in the Second World War and during the Cold War,
we need friends and allies. No one country can defeat the
transnational threats we face today.

“Terrorism, infectious disease, environmental pollution,
weapons of mass destruction, narcotics and human
trafficking — all these can only be solved by co-operating
with other states.

“America must remain connected to the world,” he said.

Mr Reiss’ message came as he delivered the annual Tip
O’Neill memorial lecture at the University of Ulster in

He conceded to guests at the Magee campus that Washington
had created new enemies and antagonised allies over the
past few years.

“If others mistrust us or actively work against us, we know
it will be more difficult to secure the peace and spread
prosperity; that it will be more challenging —
diplomatically, financially and militarily — to sustain and
promote a liberal international order that benefits
hundreds of millions of people around the world.

“The history of the last century demonstrates that, when
the United States retreats from the world, bad things

“The US rejected the League of Nations and turned inward in
the 1920s and 1930s, contributing to the Great Depression
and the onset of the Second World War.

“After the Vietnam War, a weakened and inward-looking
America prompted countries to develop their own nuclear
weapons programmes, emboldened Islamic fundamentalists to
attack American interests, allowed Vietnam to invade
Cambodia, and the Soviet Union to occupy Afghanistan,” he

The diplomat insisted that his government must do a better
job of reaching out to others.

Central to that strategy is for the United States to remain
engaged with the rest of the world, he said.

“It should not indulge the temptation to live in splendid
isolation because it would not be so splendid.

“For one thing, it would devastate the American economy.
Foreign direct investment stood at over $1.5 trillion [£532
billion; €783 billion] last year and was responsible for
close to seven million jobs. Without foreign visitors,
America’s tourism industries and our nation’s universities
would both suffer mightily.”

He emphasised the US capacity to be an enormous force for
good, regardless of Washington’s popularity.


McAleese Denies Scaling Back Of Work

22 May 2006 09:14

The President, Mary McAleese, has strongly denied a report
that the community outreach work carried out in Northern
Ireland by herself and her husband, Dr Martin McAleese, is
being scaled back.

President McAleese, speaking at the University of Notre
Dame in the US, said the outreach work 'was as strong as
ever and getting stronger'.

Whilst avoiding any direct comment on an ongoing
investigation into an alleged misappropriation of funds
destined for a community project in Belfast, the President
said she would be very concerned but would not let herself
be 'paralysed by every setback'.

On the issue of asylum seekers in Ireland, the President
said that while some may feel aggrieved, 'we operate within
a legal framework and that legal framework has simply got
to be applied and applied fairly'.


Conradh Na Gaeilge Slams FG’s Irish Language Proposals

22/05/2006 - 11:04:33

Fine Gael is coming under fire from the body that promotes
the Irish language over its call for Irish to be scrapped
as a compulsory subject in secondary schools.

Conradh na Gaeilge is staging a protest outside Leinster
House this morning to highlight its opposition to the

It says Fine Gael's suggestions are anti-Irish, anti-
academic and anti-European and says it will be calling on
voters to transfer their support at the next election to
parties that support the language.


Striker’s Activist Legacy And ‘Full Of Life’ Nature Still

Twenty five years ago this weekend Raymond McCreesh from
Camlough in South Armagh and Patsy O'Hara from Derry City
died on hunger strike in Long Kesh at the age of 24. We
look at the their lives and the momentous events
surrounding their deaths

By Mick Hall

“Ray McCreesh had the ability to instantly switch from
being very serious to being full of humour," says Breandán
Lewis, a childhood friend of the south Armagh hunger
striker. “He possessed an energy both serious and light. I
can only describe him as being full of life."

The familiar publicity poster of the young republican icon
laughing for the camera was taken in December 1975, when he
was just 18 and six months before being arrested after a
dramatic shoot-out with British paratroopers.

Breandán and his family members featured in the original

“I can remember vividly when it was taken. Ray had been
talking politics at my family home. The tension then broke
with some light-heartedness and his image was captured,"
says breandan. The McCreesh and Lewis families first met
within Irish language circles and remain close today,
living in the same village of Camlough, Co Armagh. Seven
generations of the McCreesh family had lived in the area.

Ray McCreesh attended Camlough Primary and St Coleman's
Secondary school in Newry. Breandán, now a local Sinn Féin
councillor, went to the same school but was three years
older. At St Coleman's McCreesh is said to have shown an
intense interest in Irish language and history, being
described as "very conscious of his Irishness". He later
became a fluent native speaker during his incarceration at
Long Kesh prison. A keen sportsman, he played under-16
minor football for Carrickcruppin GAA club.

After studying fabrication engineering at Newry Technical
College, he began working at Gambler Simms Steel Ltd, but
decided to leave, believing his personal security was being
compromised by taking the same route through loyalist
countryside each day. He returned to working on a milk
round, which covered the Mullaghbawn and Dromintee areas of
the south Armagh border, a job he had first started aged

His involvement in republican activism at this point was
already deep. In 1974, he was promoted to the IRA's first
battalion South Armagh aged 17, after joining the Fianna in
1973. His milk round gave him an intimate understanding of
the local terrain and an insight into the movements of
state forces.

“Although he spoke freely about politics with people he
respected, he talked nothing of his military involvement,"
Breandán says.

“He was committed, knew the seriousness of his situation
and from the outset maintained an inner composure which
precluded all such talk. He rarely drank and kept a low
profile. It resulted in him never really being suspected by
the police and army.

"When he was captured, people around Camlough were
surprised at the extent of his involvement."

Late on the evening of June 25, 1976, McCreesh and three
other volunteers set out to ambush a covert military post
opposite the Mountain House Inn on the main Newry to
Newtownhamilton Road, near the town of Sturgan. After being
dropped of by a volunteer in a commandeered car, McCreesh,
Paddy Quinn and Danny McGuinness, made their way across
fields, towards the post. The car made its own way towards
the ambush point, being parked there to draw the soldiers'
attention. As the driver returned to join the others who
were walking down the hillside following the line of
hedgerows, he spotted paratroopers closing in on their

“The driver was armed only with a short Sten gun," explains
Paddy Quinn.

“He fired it in their direction and all of a sudden the
field around us was being cut up with bullets."

The driver was shot three times as paratroopers opened up
with SLRs and light machine guns. Even so he managed to

"Myself and Ray zig-zagged across fields towards a
farmhouse. There were bullets flying everywhere. The house
was empty and there was no car in the drive. Instead of
taking off on foot we waited on Dan, who was hiding in a
bunker beside the quarry on the hill where we were
ambushed. He had been watching us from the hill and saw the
amount of tracer bullets fired at our position. He thought
we were dead, so he just stayed there.

“After several minutes a helicopter landed at the back of
the house and as we made our way to the front, another
landed, blocking our way. Paras got out and began firing
through the windows, shooting up the house. We fired back
and there was a stand-off."

Shortly afterwards a local priest, Fr Peter Hughes, arrived
at the scene and attempted to negotiate a surrender.

“I can remember Ray remember asking: ‘Should we fight our
way out of here?' I told him we would have no chance and if
we surrendered we'd live to fight another day."

The men agreed to surrender. As they walked from the house
a paratrooper began firing.

“We went back inside. The NCO began cursing the soldier,
saying he had orders to get us out before dark. We walked
out again and were taken away by the RUC to Bressbrook
barracks. We were interrogated and beaten for three days.
Dan McGuinness was captured at the quarry the next day."

After nine months on remand in Crumlin Road jail, McCreesh
was tried and convicted, in March 1977, of attempted
murder, possession of a rifle and ammunition, and IRA
membership. He received a 14-year sentence, and lesser
concurrent sentences, after refusing to recognise the

In the H-Blocks he immediately joined the blanket protest.
He refused his monthly visits for four years, right up
until he informed his family of his decision to go on
hunger-strike on February 15, 1981, this year. He also
refused to send out monthly letters, writing only smuggled
‘communications’ to his family and friends.

The only member of his family to see him during those four
years in Long Kesh two or three times was his brother Fr
Brian McCreesh, who occasionally said Mass in the H-Blocks.

“He was a jolly lad, but stubborn," remembers Paddy Quinn.

“It was no surprise when he put his name forward for the
hunger strike."

One of the most controversial aspects of McCreesh’s hunger
strike involved allegations that the NIO and prison
officials had drugged him, in order to confuse the
protester during the last week before he died. The
intention, many believe, was to pressurise the McCreesh
family to intervene and take him off the protest. After 50
days of fast, family members, including Fr Brian McCreesh
and were called to the prison hospital at the request of
the prison doctor. They were told by a medical officer that
McCreesh had been given the last rites by a Catholic
priest, which had left him “shocked and frightened”. Fr
Brian McCreesh was said to be suspicious of this, knowing
that his brother was a deeply religious man and would have
taken comfort from the sacrament. The prison doctor then
claimed that the hunger striker seemed to have replied
“yes” when asked if he wanted him to save his life.

When questioned by family members Raymond was dazed and
incoherent, although he slowly came round and reasserted
his determination to carry his protest through.

Ray McCreesh died over a week later, 61 days into his
protest, on May 21, 1981.

“It was a very dark time, and we have never really got
over,” says Breandán Lewis.

“People in Camlough gathered to say the rosary every night.
Others involved got in political activism. When Raymond
died, the emotional impact was immense and it was long-

The response in the prison was of sadness and

Paddy Quinn said: “The more brutality you received the
deeper you dig your heels in. Raymond’s death gutted us,
but it made us more determined.”


O’Hara Determined To Let The Fight Go On

By Eamonn Houston

The familiar image of 1981 hunger striker Patsy O’Hara
grinning broadly dominates the gable of a house in the
Bishop Street area where the O’Hara family lived.

Belfast artists put the finishing touches to the mural last
week. It bears the message ‘let the fight go on’ in line
with defiant self-sacrifice O’Hara made with nine others in
Long Kesh prison in 1981.

The name of Patsy O’Hara is known to everyone in his home
city. The former INLA leader in Long Kesh and Michael
Devine were the two hunger strikers to die from the city.

His mother Peggy and family will watch as the monument and
mural are officially dedicated on Bishop Street to mark the
anniversary of his death on Sunday.

O’Hara, like many others, became politicised by the Civil
Rights movement and Bloody Sunday, when 14 unarmed
civilians died as a result of a British Paratroop massacre
in the Bogside on January 30, 1972.

O’Hara would later write of the October 15 1968 Civil
Rights demonstration: “The mood of the crowd was one of
solidarity. People believed they were right and that a
great injustice had been done to them. The crowds came in
their thousands from every part of the city and as they
moved down Duke Street chanting slogans, ‘One man, one
vote' and singing ‘We shall overcome' I had the feeling
that a people united and on the move, were unstoppable."

It was in 1975 that Patsy O’Hara’s burgeoning political
beliefs would lead him into the ranks of the Irish National
Liberation Army.

In 1979 he was arrested for possession of a hand grenade.
His imprisonment would end in his leaving the Long Kesh
prison in a coffin after 61 days of refusing food.

O’Hara’s prison protest began with the blanket men. When
O’Hara’s mother Peggy learned of her son’s decision to join
the 1981 hunger strike she thought the political status
demands of the prisoners would be met before death.

She said: “There is no use in saying that I was very vexed
and all the rest of it. There is no use me sitting back in
the wings and letting someone else's son go. Someone’s sons
have to go on it and I just happen to be the mother of that

She was photographed at the weekend beside the new mural in
memory of her son.

Patsy O’Hara’s prison writings reveal a committed socialist
republican, determined to see his protest through to the

"We stand for the freedom of the Irish nation so that
future generations will enjoy the prosperity they rightly
deserve, free from foreign interference, oppression and
exploitation. The real criminals are the British
imperialists who have thrived on the blood and sweat of
generations of Irish men,” he wrote.

When O’Hara died on May 21 1981, Derry was plunged into
street violence and mourning.

There were claims that the prison authorities had abused
his remains.

His funeral was one of the largest witnessed in his home
city equalling those of the victims of Bloody Sunday.

O’Hara’s cortege was flanked by 34 INLA men and women as it
made its way from his home to the city cemetery.

At the graveside a spokesman for the Army Council of the
INLA said: “Our comrade did not die solely for the five
demands of the political prisoners.

“He recognised that if the prisoners are criminalised, then
the struggle for Irish freedom is criminalised.

“This is the reason why Patsy went on hungerstrike, and
along with his comrades in death, Bobby Sands, Francis
Hughes and Raymond McCreesh, courageously confronted the
Thatcher regime and her loyalist lackeys."

In an atmosphere of overwhelming tension in Derry, the INLA
spokesman said that the organisation would not respond to
O’Hara’s death wildly and emotionally.

Speaking at O’Hara’s graveside, Bernadette McAliskey of the
National H-Block/Armagh Committee castigated the Catholic

“As the cortege left the Long Tower church this morning,
personally I could not help but cast my mind back to a time
in 1969 when there was no ambiguity on the part of Catholic
hierarchy as to the position of young men like Patsy

“It is tragic, in this time in our history, that the Irish
people, who for centuries have defended their church and
their religion, should be, by and large, so sadly abandoned
by it in their hour of greatest need.”

In recent years O’Hara’s legacy would find expression in
prison cells in Turkey where many political prisoners went
on hunger strike over their status.

In his much changed city, free of the political turmoil
that had gripped it in O’Hara’s youth, his image on the
mural on Bishop Street a new monument in his memory stand
as reminders of the sacrifice the young Derry man made
during the depressing days of 1981.


Hunger Strikes History On Sale


A CD book tracing the history of the 1981 hunger strike was
launched yesterday on the Falls Road.

An Stailc Ocrais – A History Of Hunger Strikes In Ireland
was compiled by nine young relatives of republican ex-

Aged between ten and 18, they come from all over Belfast
and worked on the project since the beginning of the year.

Working in conjunction with republican ex-prisoners
organisation, Coiste na nIarchimí and Falls Community
Council the young people researched the history of hunger
strikes in Ireland from the days of the Brehon Laws up
until 1981.

The project began as a booklet but on completion of this,
the script was recorded on to a CD by the young people, who
themselves, play the role of narrators throughout the

Accompanied by background music, the CD is a wonderful
compliment to the booklet.

Dominic Adams, Coiste’s youth development worker, said:
“This is a great achievement by these young people. Each of
them has had the experience of having a close relative
imprisoned and it was this, which motivated them.

“They gave up their spare time and worked long hours
researching and recording their findings.

“They wished to learn more about the hunger strikes and the
reasons for their relative’s imprisonment.

“This project is a tribute to their willingness to do just

“The booklet and CD are a must have for all young people
who wish to learn more about the hunger strikes – not just
in 1981 but throughout Irish history.”

The CD is available from Coiste na nIarchimí at 028 9020


Ervine Third Choice Of UUP

By Ciarán Barnes

The Ulster Unionist Party asked two sitting assembly
members to join their assembly group before convincing
Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine to come on
board, it was revealed yesterday.

Reports last night suggested those two politicians were
Seamus Close of the Alliance Party and Mark Robinson of the
Democratic Unionist Party.

When the assembly reconvened on Monday, Mr Ervine
officially registered as a member of the Ulster Unionist

This will give the UUP an extra seat on a Stormont
executive at the expense of Sinn Féin.

Victims campaigner Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond was
murdered by the PUP-linked Ulster Volunteer Force, met
senior Ulster Unionists at the start of the week to
register his disgust at the move.

He said that, before the meeting, Belfast East assembly
member Michael Copeland had told him Mr Ervine was the
Ulster Unionists’ third choice.

“Copeland told me that Ervine was third choice and that two
other MLAs had been asked but they got cold feet.

“He also told me the Ulster Unionists were setting up a
victims group and had earmarked an office. Copeland told me
I was the man to head this group. He asked me to keep quiet
about Ervine joining the Ulster Unionist group.

“Then Reg Empey and Danny Kennedy came into the room and he
said nothing nothing more about it,” said Mr McCord.

He added: “I won’t let anybody buy my silence. All I want
is justice for my son.”

On Wednesday, DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson
repeated Mr McCord’s claims in the House of Commons. He
said the Ulster Unionists were “now into bribing victims”.

Contacted yesterday, Mr Copeland said he was in a meeting
and could not comment.


“Cholly" Shields: Irish Pubs Lauded

Monday, May 22, 2006

The comments of the visiting "Brit" so named in the "Out
with Sara" column (May 4) regarding the Irish pubs in our
area requires a wee response. Clearly lamenting their
existence as part of the exciting downtown Harrisburg
scene, he says most of the "cool" bars in Dublin are
"trying to escape from the old stereotypes."

Perhaps it's simply that some bars in Dublin are attempting
to distinguish themselves from the many wonderful
centuries-old pubs scattered throughout that fair city.

And presumably, such stereotypes to be escaped include an
Irish pub with a warm and friendly wait staff; comfortable,
relaxed and cozy surroundings; and traditional Irish music,
beverages and fare.

The fine Irish pubs in Harrisburg like McGrath's, Ceoltas
and Molly Brannigans do in fact reflect the style of the
owners -- who are Irish or of Irish descent. Their
heartfelt desire to recreate a traditional Irish pub
atmosphere for the enjoyment of the people now flocking to
our downtown should be celebrated, not disparaged.

Perhaps our one-night British visitor should recognize that
it may be he who is "seeing through tinted glasses" when it
comes to his dislike of Irish-theme pubs that serve to
share with us the many fine qualities of traditional Irish

-- CHARLES D. "CHOLLY" SHIELDS, President, Central
Pennsylvania Chapter Irish American Unity Conference


Belfast City Airport To Be Renamed After George Best

22/05/2006 - 07:17:24

Belfast City Airport will be renamed after football legend
George Best today.

On what would have been his 60th birthday, a special
ceremony has been arranged to unveil the new signs.

It is the latest and grandest tribute yet to the Manchester
United icon, who died last November.

His family have given their full blessing to the complex in
east Belfast, close to where the star grew up, being
rebranded George Best Airport.

On Saturday a special celebration of his life was held in
the nearby Cregagh estate where he honed his ball skills.

Hundreds of fans attended the event, where a new mural
depicting Best in his prime replaced a paramilitary image.


Cash Machine Double Payout Leads To Chaos

Up to 150 people queue at faulty ATM

By Ciarán Barnes

There were chaotic scenes at a west Belfast cash machine
yesterday when it began paying out double the money

Up to 150 people queued to take cash from the faulty Bank
of Ireland machine at the Kennedy shopping centre.

A fight broke out at one stage between a pensioner and
teenager after the youngster skipped the queue.

Arguments raged over people putting more than one cash card
into the machine. The cash machine was emptied after two

The PSNI arrived at the scene a short time later, causing
the crowd to scatter. An eyewitness to the cash bonanza
described it as “mayhem”.

“People were fighting and arguing with each other,” he

“The traffic into the Kennedy centre was bumper to bumper
even though the place was closed. It was madness. People
were coming from as far away as north Belfast to use the

It was the third time this month a Belfast cash machine had
paid out double the requested amount.

Last week, a Bank of Ireland machine on Great Victoria
Street attracted a queue of more than 100 eager to benefit
from an unexpected cash windfall.

At the beginning of May, customers using Ulster Bank
machines on Royal Avenue received extra cash.

A Bank of Ireland spokesman said the machine had been shut
down as soon as the bank became aware of the problem.

“All ATM transactions are traceable and the bank will
decide in due course what action to take,” he said.

The bank has said it will not try to recover extra cash
given to customers who used its faulty Great Victoria
Street machine last week.

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