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May 01, 2006

Sectarian Tirade Probed By Police

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 05/01/06 Sectarian Tirade Is Probed By Police
BT 05/01/06 Petrol Bombers Hit Family Of Six
BT 05/01/06 IRA Blocked Deal To Resolve Hunger Strike, Says Ex-Priest
IT 05/01/06 Opin: Book Aims To Bring Orangeism Back To Core Principles
BN 05/01/06 Haughey Seriously Ill But Not In Immediate Danger
IT 05/01/06 Famine Victims Reburied In Co Leitrim
IT 05/01/06 Traders Reclaim 400-Year-Old 'Market Rights'
IT 05/01/06 Play About Court Trial Of A Traveller To Open In Galway
IT 05/01/06 Sleeping With Butter In Bogs Meant Chips Were Down
IT 05/01/06 Land In West Reaches €70,000 Per Acre
IT 05/01/06 Lakelands Dairies Head Dies Aged 46


Sectarian Tirade Is Probed By Police

College staff member referred to PPS over incident at

By Brendan McDaid
01 May 2006

A Foyle and Londonderry College staff member, who allegedly
joined in a sectarian tirade directed at a woman, has been
referred to the Public Prosecution Service, it has been

Speaking at the April meeting of the District Policing
Partnership, Foyle District Commander Richard Russell
confirmed that the incident, alleged to have occurred at
the City of Derry Airport in December 16, 2005, was being

The alleged victim voiced complaints about the police

Chief Superintendent Russell told the Catholic woman, who
attended last week's meeting in person with her husband,
that if the people responsible for the alleged abuse are
found by the PPS to have no case to answer, there will be
other avenues of seeking redress, including securing a

The Waterside woman alleged that she was abused after
intervening in an incident at the airport.

She has since lodged a complaint with police and the school
that she had been branded "probably Sinn Fein/IRA, Creggan
scum" and "SDLP scum" by another person during the
incident, claiming a bid was made to get her to identify
her child after she said she recognised one of a group of
people as being from the school where her child was a

Independent DPP board member Marie Brown suggested slapping
an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) on the person if

Mr Russell, however, said that this was unlikely to be
appropriate. He said: "Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are
meant for recurring patterns of behaviour. ASBOs are about
trying to break up a pattern of behaviour rather than as a
means of dealing with one particular incident.

"There are, however, also all sorts of non-molestation
orders and cautions and other sanctions that may apply in
certain cases, if there is a degree of guilt decided upon."

The woman told of her horror at the alleged attack by a
staff member from what she called a "multi-denominational
grammar school" and asked whether this constituted a hate

She added: "As a victim I was left very traumatised by the
events that took place.

"I went and filed a report but was told by the police
officer that this wasn't a police topic and was a matter
for the school.

"I had to push the police officer to take a second look at
my statement."

The woman said it took four months to get police to move
her case forward.

"We are talking here today about a liaison officer for
victims. At no time as a victim have I ever been approached
by police," she added.

Referring the woman to Robin Young, newly appointed liaison
officer for Foyle, Mr Russell responded: "I am not
permitted by law to talk about your particular incident, as
much as I would like to.

"Let's talk generally about that sort of an incident. In my
view, sectarian abuse of any kind is a hate crime."

He added: "It is a good point you make. Very often it takes
some time for the severity of these cases to sink in to us.

"In that particular case, once the circumstances became
known, it was treated very seriously."


Petrol Bombers Hit Family Of Six

By Lisa Smyth
01 May 2006

The grandmother of a seven-month-old baby targeted in a
petrol bomb attack in Antrim last night spoke of her relief
that none of her grandchildren were hurt in the potentially
sectarian incident.

The woman and her husband, a 15-year-old boy, two six-year-
old children and the seven-month-old baby were lucky to
escape with their lives when the petrol bomb exploded at
the front of their Alder Park home at about 3am yesterday.

Police are investigating a sectarian motive for the attack
although the victims, who did not want to be named, claimed
they did not know why they had been targeted.

The grandmother of the three youngsters and mother of the
15-year-old boy said: "Thanks be to God, no-one was hurt.
Luckily a neighbour came out and dealt with the flames
before we really even knew what was happening."

As she spoke, a child's tricycle was sitting less than a
few metres from the scorch damage at the front door of the
house, revealing the true extent of the tragedy that could
have unfolded.

The attack, which police believe was carried out by two men
on a motorbike, has been strongly condemned by Alliance
leader and South Antrim MLA David Ford.

"Whatever hatred lies behind such an attack is something
the community can do without," he said.

"I would urge anyone with information to contact the local
police urgently."

Meanwhile, police in Co Londonderry were last night
continuing to investigate a sectarian incident in Garvagh
in which one man claimed his life was threatened.

The trouble broke out in the early hours of Saturday
morning when a wedding party leaving a hotel in the town
centre was subjected to sectarian taunts and attacks.

Shortly afterwards, windows in two homes were broken and
five windows at the hotel were also smashed and the
assailants reportedly shouted at the owner of the building:
"I'll burn you out, you Fenian b*****d."

The incident has been met with widespread revulsion with
all parties united in condemnation - UUP MLA Norman Hillis
called the incident "repugnant", Sinn Fein councillor Billy
Leonard referred to the attackers as "pathetic" and SDLP
MLA John Dallat said the incident was similar to those
carried out by the Ku Klux Klan.


IRA Blocked Deal To Resolve Hunger Strike, Says Ex-Priest

By Michael McHugh
01 May 2006

Former priest Denis Bradley has backed claims that the IRA
spurned a British compromise which would have saved the
lives of a number of hunger strikers.

The former link between MI5 and the IRA for two decades
revealed in an RTE documentary to be aired this week that
the IRA had turned down a British proposal which would have
saved many of the prisoners' lives.

According to Mr Bradley, the deal accepted by the IRA after
six more men had died was similar to that offered after
three people had perished.

Mr Bradley said his information came from people involved

"The memory, and there is some dispute about this, is that
there was a phone call on a particular night direct to
Maggie Thatcher as she was on her way to a conference in
Portugal," he told RTE programme Hidden History - Hunger

"What she was offering that night was basically what the
hunger strikers settled for.

"There are some disputes around that, and I wasn't there
and I can't be authoritative.

"But the story I heard is that the representative of the
republican movement who was in the room was offered the
settlement basically on the grounds of what was ultimately
settled for."

The claims come ahead of the 25th anniversary of the H-
block protest and they support assertions made in a book by
Richard O'Rawe, the IRA spokesman in the Maze at the time.

O'Rawe said he and Brendan 'Bic' McFarland, Officer
Commanding in the Maze, had accepted concessions offered
before the fifth prisoner died only to have the deal
blocked by the republican leadership outside.

This has been denied by McFarland as well as senior Sinn
Fein figures.

Mr Bradley added: "It didn't happen and it went on. I think
at that stage about three people were dead on the hunger
strike and it went on to become more."

The feature will be shown in two parts beginning on Tuesday
on RTE 1


Opin: Book Aims To Bring Orangeism Back To Core Principles


Rite and Reason: Tradition has been betrayed in the Orange
Order and there is an increasing narrowness of vision
within the membership, writes Brian Kennaway, who has
written a book aimed at addressing ignorance of the

The membership of the Orange Order may not be as numerous
as it was in the past and it may only, in numerical terms,
be representative of a small proportion of the Protestant
community throughout Ireland, yet its impact on the whole
community far outweighs its numerical strength.

A Presbyterian statesman and moderator of the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in 1971, the
Rev F Rupert Gibson wrote: "Probably there is no human
institution claiming to be based on the Bible and
professing to maintain the principles of the reformed
faith, which has been more bitterly maligned by its avowed
foes and more falsely represented by those who profess to
be its friends, than the Orange Order."

What was true in the 1950s when Dr Gibson penned those
words is all the more true today, and this is one of the
reasons which lie behind the publication of my book.

The Orange institution has often been maligned by those who
are opposed not only to its ideals but to its very
existence. Much of this criticism arises out of a lack of
knowledge of the order's principles, but some is a result
of malevolence.

It is difficult, humanly speaking, to deal with criticism
which arises out of malevolence, for "the problem at the
heart of man is the problem of man's heart".

However, opposition which arises out of ignorance can and
should be addressed. This I have endeavoured to do.

Much of this opposition to Orangeism arises directly out of
the "secret" nature of the organisation which perpetuates a
membership which believes that it cannot talk about the
order other than "in lodge".

This bad situation is made worse by the inability of the
leadership to clearly articulate the ideals of Orangeism to
an ever changing world.

In an age when the only acceptable intolerance is an
intolerance of intolerance, the Orange institution by the
public display of intolerance on the part of some of the
membership, have placed the institution in a position of
being a hostage to fortune.

Because the nature and principles of the Orange Order are
not clearly understood by the leadership and the
membership, is it any wonder that those outside the
organisation have no clear view of what the institution
stands for?

Over the 200 years of the institution's existence many
people have written from the position of ignorance and
communicated to the wider world inaccuracies about the
position of the order.

This I have attempted to correct throughout this
publication, from revealing that the original
qualifications are strictly pro-Protestant and make no
reference to Roman Catholics, to the fact that the Grand
Orange Lodge of Ireland did not oppose the Belfast

In my experience of 42 years membership of the Orange
institution, what I have witnessed is an increasing
narrowness of vision within the membership. This
narrowness, or "funnel vision", is in turn reflected in the

This is seen in a narrowness of religious perspective. In
the 1950s the Grand Lodge and the institution in general
was dominated by ministers from the main protestant
denominations. This is not the case today, and the previous
list of churches recognised for the purpose of chaplains
has been rescinded.

The Rev Dr Warren Porter in his foreword states: "Anti-
clericalism, and the 'sect' mentality, ie opposition to and
criticism of, the mainline Protestant denominations, is
also an unlovely feature of some modern-day Orange

This growing sense of anti-clericalism was seen in an
interview in the Belfast Telegraph on June 30th, 1999, when
the Grand Master Robert Salters is quoted as feeling
"betrayed" by the leaders of the main Protestant churches.

This kind of unprecedented public attack indicated the
direction in which the institution was now going.

While every Orangeman, according to the standards of
acceptance, declares that he is a member of a particular
religious denomination and is regular at worship, this is
not always true in practice.

This has led to a noticeable shift in both language and
practice from faith to culture.

The major issues facing the institution in recent years
have been the relationship with loyalist paramilitaries,
violence at confrontational parades, the unwillingness to
exercise discipline and the inability of the leadership, at
various levels, to give leadership.

That these issues have been acknowledged by many to be the
problems facing the order in today's world, is most
commendable. However, the fact that the acknowledged
problems are not addressed is a serious betrayal of

Such positive leadership would not only extricate the
institution from the deluge of external and internal
criticism, but also enable it to make a positive
contribution to the Ireland of the 21st century.

I hope this publication will, as David Trimble has
expressed, "help to bring the institution back to its roots
and core principles".

Rev Brian Kennaway is former education convenor with the
Orange Order. His book The Orange Order: A Tradition
Betrayed (Methuen) was published last week

© The Irish Times


Haughey Seriously Ill But Not In Immediate Danger

01/05/2006 - 09:32:21

Former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey is reported to be quite
seriously ill, but not in immediate danger.

He is said to be comfortable at his home in Kinsealy today,
surrounded by his family.

The former Fianna Fáil leader was admitted to the Mater
Private Hospital last week for treatment.

He suffers from prostate cancer, with a number of medical


Famine Victims Reburied In Co Leitrim

Paddy Clancy

Health Service Executive chief executive Prof Brendan Drumm
has paid tribute to the victims of the Great Famine in his
native town.

He laid a wreath at a newly- sealed tomb for victims
controversially removed from their original graves in
Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. He said that some of them may
have died in 1846, the year his grandfather was born

He also drew a comparison with the wealth of their
descendants, reflected in impressive surrounding property
and cranes on the skyline, and the dire poverty that caused
the deaths of the people being commemorated.

Prof Drumm was at a special memorial service on Saturday at
a famine garden in the grounds of the HSE's multi-million
euro north west headquarters in Manorhamilton.

Seventy-three famine victims were laid to rest for the
final time more than 156 years after they died of
starvation and malnutrition in the nearby old workhouse and
fever hospital.

The remains included adults and children, some still
cradled in their mothers' arms when they were discovered
five years ago.

Locals were furious when they were unearthed during the
2001 construction of the offices.

They were removed from the site for investigation by
archaeologists in Limerick. But when the study was
completed a year later there was not a suitable place for
their reburial. The remains were left in a container for
five years as their fate was decided.

They were returned earlier this year to Manorhamilton after
a campaign led by a residents group headed by former local
Irish Countrywomen's Association chairwoman Rose McPadden.

© The Irish Times


Traders Reclaim 400-Year-Old 'Market Rights'

Lorna Siggins

King James I may not have anticipated purchasing fresh
falafels when he approved a market for Tuam in north
Galway, but that 400-year-old right has been reclaimed as
part of a national campaign by casual traders.

Toby Simmonds of the Real Olive Company in west Cork said
he was delighted with the response to the campaign
initiated just a week ago to copperfasten unused market
rights in towns and villages before today's deadline.

Under the Casual Trading Act 1995, which was introduced in
June 1996, "market rights" granted by the British crown
over a four-century period which remain unexercised for a
period of 10 years can be "extinguished" by local

The Irish Association of Market and Street Traders called
on communities last week to set up temporary stalls or
pitches in towns and villages which may not hold regular
markets before the end of April. Traders were advised to
ensure that their brief activity was witnessed or
photographed and documented.

Galway city market traders Flo Wagemakers, Mick and Susanna
Silke, who normally sell falafels and pancakes outside St
Nicholas's Church, set up stalls with colleagues in
Clarenbridge, Ballinasloe, Woodford, Kinvara and in Cong,
Co Mayo, last week.

The group also traded briefly in Galway city on Wednesday
to reclaim the mid-week market, and were given a warm
welcome by Tuam Chamber of Commerce when they set up last
Thursday in Tuam.

"This is not just about the right to sell lovely fresh
produce and crafts. It is about ensuring that towns and
villages still have their own identity," said Mr Silke. "So
many of our urban areas are beginning to look like British
towns with similar shopping chains."

There was a similar response in many counties, apart from
several "blackspots" in the northeast and northwest, Mr
Simmonds said.

Chef Darina Allen joined the calls to protect farmers'
markets. "I really feel very strongly that we should be
doing all we can to save these markets. Every town should
have a farmers' market where the customer has a choice of
buying good food in season if she or he wishes," she said

© The Irish Times


Play About Court Trial Of A Traveller To Open In Galway

Michelle McDonagh

A controversial play about a Traveller accused of murdering
his father will open tomorrow in Galway "uncut" despite a
Garda request to have the language toned down.

The Tinker's Blade by Abú Productions tells the story of 12
jurors from different social backgrounds locked in a jury
room to decide on whether a Traveller is guilty of murder.

Director Liam Heffron has received a number of phone calls
about the play's content.

Some venues were reluctant to host the production and two
actors have turned down a role which involves the
expression of anti-Traveller sentiment.

Producer Dylan Quish was advised to "tone down" the content
of the play when he met local gardaí.

Defending the production loosely based on the movies 12
Angry Men and Saw, Mr Heffron said he abhorred political
correctness and the fact that people are afraid to air
their real thoughts.

While he claimed the content is not anti-Traveller, he
admits an extract taken out of context would look pretty

"The jurors are made to face up to their own inner
prejudices before they find the accused guilty or
innocent," he said.

The Tinkers Blade opens in Leisureland, Salthill, Co
Galway, tomorrow and runs until Saturday, May 6th. Tickets
are available from 087-9311666.

© The Irish Times


Sleeping With Butter In Watery Bogs Meant Chips Were Down For Iron Agers

Seán Mac Connell, Agriculture Correspondent

Experts now believe that the practice of burying butter in
Irish boglands was linked to the burial of ritually-killed
humans and other artifacts as part of a kingship and
sovereignty ritual.

It had been believed that butter was buried in bogs to
conserve it for future consumption but a review of the
finds by experts has found that most were located on
important land boundaries.

A re-examination of bog bodies has led to the conclusion
that their execution may have been linked to the
inauguration of a king as depicted on an Iron Age cauldron
from the Gundestrup bog in Denmark.

This is believed to show the inauguration of a king in a
ritual which closely corresponds to the Irish tradition.

According to the current edition of Archaeology Ireland,
the bog burials involving human sacrifice in the early Iron
Age can now be seen to be part of a wider practice of
ritual deposition of bog butter, quernstones and a sickle
from one site.

"These are reminders that a central function of the
marriage of the king and the earth goddess was to ensure
the fertility of the land and the wellbeing of the people
who were dependent for survival on reliable yields of corn,
milk and milk products," according to Eamon P Kelly keeper
of antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland.

Mr Kelly was one of a team which reviewed the bog butter
finds, most of which dated from the Iron Age through to
medieval times.

Nine samples of Irish Iron Age bog butter were all found on
or in close proximity to boundaries, five near barony
boundaries and three near parish boundaries.

The report said the location of butter samples would seem
to be linked to the wider practices of depositing an
extensive range of weapons, personal ornaments, bridle
bits, leading pieces, yokes, cauldrons and feasting

"It may be noted that one of the samples of bog butter was
found in the same bog as an Irish Iron Age bog body, in the
townland of Baronstown West, Co Kildare," said the report.
It said a mapping project of bog butter finds is currently
being undertaken by the National Museum.

© The Irish Times


Land In West Reaches €70,000 Per Acre

Seán MacConnell

The price of agricultural land which hit a record breaking
€70,000 per acre in the west, is unlikely to drop despite
the uncertainty in farming, the new president of the IAVI
has said.

John Dawson, who took over the presidency of the Irish
Auctioneers and Valuers Institute last week, said there had
been an exceptional growth in the agricultural property
market in recent years. He was speaking against the
background of a spectacular price of €70,000 an acre being
paid for 11.5 acres of land at Kilconly, eight miles north
of Tuam, Co Galway.

While the local auctioneer involved, Martin Tyrell, was at
pains to point out there was no major development potential
for the land, it sold for €785,000.

Mr Dawson, who runs his real estate business in Tullow, Co
Carlow, said the price of land looked set to increase
especially as 40,000 acres had been taken out or earmarked
for road schemes over the next few years.

"As the economy grows, land values will grow accordingly.
If the economy slows down, then I think there could be a
cooling-off period in the agricultural market but in the
long term I do not see prices plummeting," he said.

"Land will always be a scarce commodity and scare supplies
always command value," he said in an interview in the Irish
Farmers Journal.

"Although profits are declining in farming, there is still
no major desire from farmers to let go.

"Amid challenging times, there has been no major increase
in the amount of land made available for letting or a rise
in the number of land sales in this region which means
farmers are still holding on," he said.

Auctioneers across the country are reporting major interest
in farmland but many say that those who are buying land now
are seldom full time farmers.

Most are either part time farmers, hobbyists or people in
the building trade who are seeking land with an eye to
developing it later for building purposes. Agricultural
land in Kildare is currently making €50,000 an acre and the
price paid for the Tuam land is thought to be a record not
only for the west but for the entire country.

© The Irish Times


Lakelands Dairies Head Dies Aged 46

Seán Mac Connell

The death has taken place of Ed Prendergast, chief
executive of Lakelands Dairies. He was 46 years old.

The late Mr Prendergast, who was appointed chief executive
of Lakeland Dairies in 2001, had been ill for some time.

A native of Cappoquin, Co Waterford, and of a dairy farming
family, he lived in Julianstown, Co Meath.

He joined Lakeland from HJ Heinz Corporation having
previously served as finance director with Cadbury
Schweppes Beverages in Athy, Co Kildare.

At Lakeland Dairies, he oversaw a process of expansion
whereby the co-operative acquired a number of other
companies including Bailieboro Foods, Pritchitts and Nestlé

Tributes were paid to him last night by the chairman of
Lakelands, Mike Mangan, who said he had made an outstanding
contribution to the growth and development of the company
and the wider dairy industry.

Mr Prendergast had an intense interest in sports and
particularly in rugby.

His funeral will take place tomorrow from St Mary's Church,
Julianstown, following 11am Mass to Moore Church Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Phoebe, and sons Kevin, Peter
and Patrick, mother, brothers and sister.

© The Irish Times

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