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May 25, 2006

Observers Critical of OO Anti-Catholic Displays

News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 05/25/06 Observers Critiscise ‘Grotesque Anti-Catholic Displays’
BN 05/24/06 Orange Order Claim To Have Letter Of Support From Adams
SF 05/25/06 Gerry Adams Confirms Loyal Order Letters
BN 05/24/06 Minister Hails US Senate's Immigration Move

IM 05/24/06 Paid For Silence - Finucane Killer Serves 3 Of 22 Yr Term
SF 05/25/06 SF Calls To Organise Summit On Collusion With British PM
SF 05/25/06 British State Protecting Handlers And Agents
SF 05/25/06 Govt Must Push DUP To Address Sctrnsm Within Its Ranks
BN 05/25/06 Knife Amnesty In The North Runs Into Problems
SF 05/25/06 SF Mayor Contacts Canadian Embassy On Return To Ireland
IT 05/25/06 Irish Anti-Smoking Laws 'Toughest In Europe'
RT 05/25/06 Council Acts Against Cliffs Of Moher Traders
BN 05/25/06 New Yeats Exhibition To Open At National Library


US Parade Observers Critiscise ‘Grotesque Anti-Catholic Displays’

25/05/2006 - 08:49:19

American observers have reported "grotesque anti-Catholic
displays" during last year's Orange Order parades in the

The Irish Parades Emergency Committee, which has been
monitoring loyalist marches for more than 10 years, says
the situation surrounding parades has improved in recent

In its report on last year's parades, it notes positive
developments like the relative restraint shown by the PSNI
and Orange Order stewards.

However, it also says the anti-Catholic nature of the
parades is still evident, while loyalist paramilitary
regalia continues to be tolerated by the police.

The committee says many Orange marchers last year were
carrying UDA and UVF flans in overt displays of support for
loyalist paramilitaries.

It also says the marchers breached Parades Commission rules
by playing anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sectarian songs
while passing chapels and residential areas.

The report cites one incident where Orange supporters
dressed as Catholic nuns marched triumphantly passed the
nationalist Ardoyne area on July 12th.


Orange Order Claim To Have Letter Of Support From Gerry Adams

24/05/2006 - 18:05:47

The Orange Order has revealed that it has received a letter
from the Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, acknowledging its
right to parade.

The Order says, however, it will only believe Mr Adams bona
fides if the annual Drumcree parade is allowed down the
nationalist Garvaghy Road this year.

Three of the Loyalist marching Orders claimed Mr Adams had
written to them, acknowledging their right to parade.

But, they claim, Sinn Féin activists had been responsible
for what they called “orchestrating violence against

Gerry Adams, they said, needs to deliver on his letter as
words alone were not enough.

They want to see the annual Portadown-Drumcree march
proceed without protest.

In addition they are demanding support for the police and
that all future Nationalist protests must be non-
provocative and peaceful.

Such actions this summer, they said, would give Mr Adams'
letter more credibility and would go a long way towards
transforming the situation.


Gerry Adams Confirms Loyal Order Letters

Published: 25 May, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP MLA is in Cork and
Waterford over the next couple of days for a series of
party engagements. Speaking from Cork today, Mr Adams
confirmed that he wrote to the leaders of the four loyal
orders early in May asking to meet with them on the issue
of parades and commemorations.

Mr. Adams said:

"I wrote to the leaders of the four loyal orders in early
May offering to meet with them and to be briefed on their
view of the parades and commemorations issue. I wrote to
them again this year because the marching season will soon
be in full swing and Sinn Fein's goal is to ensure a
peaceful summer.

"We have worked at this in the host communities for many
years now and with some considerable success. I felt
meetings between myself and the leaders of the various
orders could be very helpful in this respect.

"Each year the Loyal Orders organise and hold thousands of
parades and commemorations across the north, as well as
several in County Donegal. Sinn Fein supports the right of
the Loyal Orders to organise these events. But we also
support the rights of local communities. The Loyal Orders
should speak to them and seek their support for marches. In
this way the issues around a small number of contentious
parades can be resolved.

"The fact is that the vast majority of these parades pass
off peacefully. But there are some - a small number - which
give rise each year to difficulties.

"A dialogue between the Loyal Orders and Sinn Féin would be
of benefit in helping to create a better context in which
these matters can be resolved to the satisfaction of all
concerned. I received only one acknowledgement and that was
from the Imperial Grand Black Chapter." ENDS


Minister Hails US Senate's Immigration Move

24/05/2006 - 20:04:22

Today’s US Senate decision to fast-track new immigration
measures is an important and positive step, Minister for
Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has said.

Senators approved measures that give illegal Irish
immigrants a chance to gain eventual US citizenship.

Mr Ahern, who is on a lobbying visit to Washington, said
Irish Government officials will step up their efforts in
coming weeks to ensure the House of Representatives adopts
the legislation.

He said: “I warmly welcome today’s decision by the US
Senate to bring debate on the bill sponsored by Senators
Chuck Hagel and Mel Martinez to a close, thus paving the
way for its passage by the senate within the next 24 hours.

“This is a very important and positive step and will be
welcomed by the thousands of undocumented Irish in the US
and their families in Ireland.”

“Attempts will now be made to reconcile the senate bill
with the security bill passed by the house last December.

“The Government will intensify its lobbying efforts in the
coming weeks to ensure a successful outcome.”

During his visit, Mr Ahern met Niall O’Dowd and Grant Lally
of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.

The Hagel/Matinez Bill aims to regularise the status of the
undocumented and provide them with a path to permanent
residency. The bill incorporates the key elements of the
Kennedy/McCain proposals.

Mr Ahern also held talks with the chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, Senator John McCain,
Senator Chuck Hagel, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Pat
Leahy and members of the House Friends of Ireland Group.

He held lengthy discussions with the Irish Lobby for
Immigration Reform on future strategy.


Paid For Silence - Finucane Killer Serves Three Years Of 22-Year Term

National Rights And Freedoms Other Press Thursday May
25, 2006 09:44 by Mick Hall Daily - Daily Ireland May 24

Barrett’s generous relocation package for silence on state

The killer of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane has been given a
generous relocation package by the British Ministry of
Defence (MoD) in return for his silence on the extent of
state collusion, one of his would-be victims claimed last

UDA gunman and British agent Ken Barrett was freed by the
Sentence Review Commission yesterday after applying for
early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Unionist killer - British Killer - British agent

It is understood he has been relocated to begin a new life
in Britain.

Barrett had served nearly three years in Maghaberry prison
after pleading guilty to murdering Mr Finucane, who was
shot 14 times in his family home in north Belfast by a gang
of UDA gunmen.

An investigation by metropolitan police commissioner, John
Stevens, confirmed that several gang members were paid
agents of British intelligence agencies, including the
notorious Force Research Unit.

Barrett dramatically changed his plea to guilty during the
last week of his trial at Belfast Crown Court in September
2004. He was jailed for a minimum of 22 years for a series
of offences, including murder and attempted murder.

Belfast Sinn Féin councillor Alex Maskey was targeted by
the UDA triggerman in June 1988 while he was having a meal
at an Antrim Road hotel – one year before Mr Finucane’s

Another British agent – Shankill Road intelligence officer
Brian Nelson – contacted Barrett and told him of the Sinn
Féin man’s location. By the time Barrett arrived at the
hotel, Mr Maskey had already left.

In 1992 Nelson pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy
to murder and was sentenced to ten years, after being
exposed as a British agent by the Steven’s inquiry team in

Mr Maskey said Nelson – who was also involved in Mr
Finucane’s murder – had been released under similar
circumstances to Barrett. He told Daily Ireland that
Barrett’s release had been a “further act of collusion” and
that the British agent had been given a generous relocation
package in exchange for his silence on the extent of the
state’s nefarious activities.

Mr Maskey said: “Nelson had also changed his plea to guilty
in the last stages of his trial and was released during the
late 1990s. He was relocated and was given a substantial
financial package.

“There is no reason to believe that Barrett hasn’t been
given the same treatment.”

Daily Ireland May 24 2006


Ó Caoláin Calls On Taoiseach To Organise Summit On Collusion With British PM

Published: 24 May, 2006

Sinn Féin leader in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, this
morning called on the Taoiseach to organise a Summit with
the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, with the sole
purpose of getting to the truth about British collusion
with loyalist paramilitaries. The Cavan/Monaghan TD made
his comments during Leaders Questions in the Dáíl, which
coincided with the 15th Anniversary of the murder of
Donegal County Councillor, Eddie Fullerton by loyalists,
and came a day after the only person convicted in
connection with the killing of Pat Finucane was released
from prison.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “On this day 15 years ago Donegal
County Councillor Eddie Fullerton, a member of Sinn Féin,
was shot dead in his home in Buncrana. Yesterday, Ken
Barrett, the only person convicted for the murder of human
rights lawyer Pat Finucane was released after serving three
years and whisked away by the British Ministry of Defence
to a secret hideout outside Ireland. Last Sunday marked the
12th anniversary of the shooting dead of Martin Doherty as
he courageously prevented the bombing of the Widow
Scallan’s pub, not far from here in Pearse Street. And last
week we marked the 32nd anniversary of the Dublin and
Monaghan bombings in which 33 people died.

"It is now widely accepted that the perpetrators were
acting as agents of the British armed forces in the North
of Ireland.

"In March of this year the Dáil unanimously passed a
resolution calling on the British Government of Tony Blair
to establish a full, independent public inquiry into the
murder of Pat Finucane. The British have rejected that
unanimous Dáil motion. Tony Blair has rejected your

"In the case of Ken Barret, a deal was done and a guilty
plea ensured that there was no trial and no exposure of the
central role of British forces in the murder. The same
thing happened with the other British agent involved in the
Finucane murder – Brian Nelson. So collusion is ongoing.
The British are protecting their agents. Isn’t it clear
that your efforts to move Tony Blair have so far failed and
you need to step up those efforts? An item on the agenda
is not enough. This must be internationalised.

"Will you now demand a special summit meeting with the
British Prime Minister solely focused on the issue of
collusion and use that opportunity to demand before the
world’s media that this inquiry be established? Will you
place this issue on the EU and UN agenda?

Deputy Ó Caoláin also called on the Taoiseach to establish
full public inquiries into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings
which claimed 33 lives and the murder of Eddie Fullerton.


British State Protecting Handlers And Agents

Published: 24 May, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice issues Gerry Kelly today
said that following on from the release of British Agent
Ken Barrett and revelations from former RUC members
concerning the UVF in Mount Vernon that there is an agenda
at work to protect not just those members of unionist
paramilitaries who were working for the British State but
more significantly those who were handling them in the
ranks of the Special Branch and MI5.

Mr Kelly said:

"Since the allegations of widespread British State
involvement in the murder campaign against Catholics was
first revealed by republicans we had seen three Stevens
inquires, numerous investigations by outside bodies
including the UN and the Ombudsman yet no former or serving
member of the Special Branch, MI5 or British Military
Intelligence have been arrested, questioned or charged.

"Yesterday's early release of British Agent Ken Barrett and
revelations made on BBC last night by former RUC member
Trevor McIlwrath concerning the involvement of Special
Branch Agents in the murder of innocent Catholics with the
full knowledge and support of their handlers it is becoming
increasingly clear that there is an agenda at work not just
to protect those members of unionist paramilitaries who
were working for the British State but more significantly
those who were handling them in the ranks of the Special
Branch and MI5.

"The British State continue to operate a policy of
concealment and cover-up. Evidence of this is the British
government's plan to give primacy for intelligence
gathering to MI5 one of the organisations implicated in the
murder of citizens here. This is unacceptable and the
sooner the British government face this reality and face up
to their involvement in the murder of citizens the better."


Government Must Push DUP To Address Sectarianism Within Its Ranks

Published: 24 May, 2006

Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh
said the Irish Government must use all its influence to
demand that the DUP address sectarianism within its own
ranks. Welcoming minister Noel Treacy’s condemnation of
disgraceful comments, made by DUP leader on Ballymena
council Roy Gillespie, in relation to murdered teenager
Michael McIlveen Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “Unionist
political leaders need to follow the example of those young
people from their own community who have crossed community
boundaries and sympathised with nationalist neighbours.”

He said, “I welcome the minister’s condemnation of the
disgraceful comments from DUP Councillor Roy Gillespie in
relation to murdered teenager Michael McIlveen. Michael
was the third young catholic to be murdered in similar
circumstances since the DUP became the largest unionist

“Unionist political leaders now need to follow the example
of those young people from their own community who have
crossed community boundaries and sympathised with
nationalist neighbours. With that in mind the Irish
Government must use all its influence to demand that the
DUP address sectarianism within its own ranks. That party
is guilty of playing to the most sectarian elements in the
unionist community and this must change if sectarianism is
to be combated.

“It is Sinn Féin’s view that we need to see collective
action to address the issue of sectarianism. We need to
see the Good Friday Agreement fully implemented and
specifically we need to see unionist politicians share
power equally with their nationalist and republican
neighbours for the first time since the foundation of the
northern state.” ENDS


Knife Amnesty In The North Runs Into Problems

24/05/2006 - 16:33:24

A three-week knife amnesty has gotten under way in the
North but already it has run into trouble.

Unlike England, Scotland and Wales, knife-owners have been
asked to deposit their weapons in civil recycling sites
rather than police stations.

There are about 1,000 knife-related crimes in the North
every year and the amnesty is part of a government and
police campaign to reduce injuries.

The Stormont justice minister David Hanson said the legal
age for purchasing a knife is to be raised from 16 to 18

Penny Holloway, whose son Thomas, was killed near his north
Belfast home last August, said it was an important first

The SDLP and Sinn Féin have both welcomed the move while
saying it was no alternative to tackling sectarian

Unions, however, are angry they were not consulted about
knives being disposed at recycling sites and not police


Sinn Féin Mayor To Contact Canadian Embassy On His Return To Ireland

Published: 25 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Mayor of Monaghan Pat Treanor has expressed his
disappointment at the decision of an official in St. John's
airport in Canada to refuse him entry to the country.
Councillor Treanor, who is on his way back to Ireland, said
he will contact the Canadian Embassy on his return and he
is confident that the matter can be resolved.

The Monaghan Mayor was leading a cross party delegation to
Prince Edward Island, which is twinned with County
Monaghan, for a series of engagements with the Irish
community on the island. Councillor Treanor had been in
Canada twice in the last twelve months in his capacity as

Councillor Treanor said:

“Obviously I am very disappointed that I cannot fulfil the
engagements that had been arranged by the people of Prince
Edward Island, which is twinned with County Monaghan. In
my role as Mayor of Monaghan I have visited Canada twice in
the last year, most recently for St. Patrick’s Day, and the
engagements were very successful.

“It is my intention to contact the Canadian Embassy on my
return and I am confident that this matter can be resolved.
I hope that I will be in a position to return to Canada
before the end of my term in office.”ENDS


Irish Anti-Smoking Laws 'Toughest In Europe'

Ireland has the toughest anti-smoking measures in Europe, a
study has found.

A study of tobacco controls in 30 European countries ranked
Ireland as number one, with 74 points out of 100, while
Britain finished a point behind in second place and Norway
was in third place.

It examined the effectiveness of smoking bans, advertising
bans, health warnings, public information campaigns and
cessation treatment.

The anti-smoking group Ash Ireland said the result of
study, published in the scientific journal Tobacco Control,
was not surprising.

"We have taken some very important health related decisions
on tobacco in recent years. The leadership shown by the
Government has been crucial and with the support of non-
governmental organisations, the trade unions and especially
the Irish people, we have made immense progress," said
chairman Prof Luke Clancy.

The Irish ban on smoking in pubs and other workplaces is
now two years old and has inspired a number of other
countries, including Scotland and Norway, to follow suit.

The Office of Tobacco Control has found that 98 per cent of
all indoor workers now report that their work atmosphere is
not smoky, while compliance with smoking ban is running at
95 per cent.

Research from Harvard University has showed significant
improvements in the health of bar workers in the last two
years, compared to those in Northern Ireland where the
smoking ban is not due to come into effect in 2007.

But Ash Ireland is concerned that the Government's failure
to increase the price of cigarettes in recent budgets is
contributing to a rise in the number of young smokers and a
fall-off in the number of people quitting.

© The Irish Times/


Council Acts Against Cliffs Of Moher Traders

24 May 2006 22:31

Clare County Council has started legal proceedings to
remove traders and buskers from the Cliffs of Moher.

The council has sent solicitors' letters to 16 traders
informing them that it is seeking Circuit Court injunctions
to stop them trading at the Cliffs.

The traders have expressed anger at the council's move, and
say they will fight the injunction in order to protect
their livelihoods.


New Yeats Exhibition To Open At National Library

25/05/2006 - 09:51:04

A new exhibition dedicated to the life and works of
legendary poet William Butler Yeats is due to open at the
National Library in Dublin today.

The exhibition includes many items acquired by the National
Library that have never before been seen in public.

It is due to be officially opened this afternoon by
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O'Donoghue in the
presence of Yeats's son, Michael, and other members of his

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