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July 27, 2006

Ballymena Parade Restricted

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 07/27/06 Republican Parade In Ballymena Is Restricted
IN 07/27/06 Shoukri’s Home Is Attacked By UDA
IE 07/27/06 Larry Z Gets The Call
IE 07/27/06 Dublin Aid To U.S. Groups Tops $1m
IT 07/27/06 Shannon Five Hope Verdict 'Sends A Message'
IN 07/27/06 Opin: Unionists Still Refuse To Have Open Minds

BT 07/27/06 Opin: Criminality And Justice Left Spinning
IT 07/27/06 US Family Bequeaths Killarney Land To State


Republican Parade In Ballymena Is Restricted

By Debra Douglas
27 July 2006

The Parades Commission last night placed restrictions on a
controversial republican parade in Co Antrim.

The Friends of William Orr parade, due to take place in
Ballymena on August 9th, will not be allowed to pass
through certain areas and is restricted to the nationalist
Fisherwick estate. There are also music and timing

The ruling came after the Commission met with a range of
political representatives as well as the parade organisers.

Speaking after the meeting, Parades Commission Chairman
Roger Poole said: "It is very clear to the Commission that
the proposed dissident republican parade in Ballymena has
very little popular support and that last year's parade
served to increase tension in the town.

"Considering recent events in Ballymena, the Commission has
judged it appropriate to restrict the parade."

Tensions have been simmering in the town since the brutal
murder of Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen in May.

Last year, a wave of loyalist paramilitary firebomb,
paintbomb and graffiti attacks on churches were directly
linked by police to controversy over the parade, which
marks the anniversary of the introduction of internment.

Tension gripped the town of 30,000, which has a substantial
Protestant majority.

The parade was first held by young nationalists who wanted
to hold a parade instead of an Internment Night bonfire,
which ended in violence in the past.

This year's parade is prohibited from entering Cushendall
Road, Dunclug Park, Frys Road, Broughshane Road and
Fisherwick Gardens.

Bands will play a single drumbeat. The parade will proceed
to the end of Fisherwick Crescent and disperse by 7.30pm.


Shoukri’s Home Is Attacked By UDA

By Barry McCaffrey

The UDA has attacked the home of ousted north Belfast
‘brig-adier’ Andre Shoukri. The house at Clare Heights in
the Ballysillan area was targeted by mainstream UDA members
on Monday night, with loyalist sources warning that
tensions in the area were at “boiling point”.

Shoukri (29) is currently on remand in Maghaberry prison
awaiting trial on extortion and blackmail charges.

It is understood that a close associate may have been the
target of the attack.

Security glass is believed to have prevented the attackers
from breaking into the house.

The address was given by Shoukri during court appearances
this year.

There have been minor clashes between Shoukri supporters
and the mainstream UDA since the north Belfast loyalist and
his brother Ihab were expelled by the organisation in June.

Last month there was a tense standoff in Ballysillan
between allies of Shoukri and UDA members loyal to the
organisation’s inner council.

That dispute is understood to have followed an attemp-ted
attack on a leading mainstream UDA member who once stood
trial in England charged with carrying out freelance
contract killings.

Andre and Ihab Shoukri came into open conflict with the
UDA’s ruling inner council after they refused to accept

The expulsions have caused serious internal difficulties
within the UDA, with its south-east Antrim ‘brigade’
understood to have been opposed to the decision.

It is understood to be considering splitting from the
mainstream organisation as a result of the dispute.

The UDA is understood to be anxious to avoid another
internal feud at a time when it is involved in talks with
the British and Irish governments over funding to ‘retrain’
members in the event of an end to paramilitary and criminal

However, loyalist sources last night admitted that tensions
were now extremely high in north Belfast and that further
confrontations were “inevitable”.

“Things are very tense and the attack on Shoukri’s house
looks as if it is just the start,” a senior loyalist said.

“People are holding their breath to see what happens next.
The majority of the UDA in north Belfast is now loyal to
the inner council and has had enough of these people.

“They have refused to go away, so it looks as if it will
come down to force to push them out.”

The continuing tensions are believed to have been discussed
at a meeting of the UDA’s so-called inner council


Larry Z Gets The Call

By Ray O'Hanlon

Larry Zaitschek got the call he most wanted last weekend.
His son was on the other end of the line.

New Yorker Zaitschek is facing charges in Northern Ireland
stemming from the St. Patrick's Day, 2002 break-in at the
Castlereagh interrogation center outside Belfast.

But the Belfast High Court has separately ruled in favor of
Zaitschek having greater contact with his seven-year-old
son, Pearse, who has been living with Zaitschek's estranged
wife in the British version of the witness protection

"I spoke to Pearse for thirty minutes. I was over the moon.
All I heard was 'Daddy' when the call first came through,"
Zaitschek, 38, told the Echo.

The court ruling means a phone call every three weeks. A
review set for September could mean greater contact such as
Zaitschek receiving school reports and possibly exchanging
videos with his son.

Zaitschek, who has not seen Pearse in four years, faces
possible extradition as a result of the charges leveled
against him. He is paying close attention to the debate
over the revised U.S./U.K. Extradition Treaty.

"There have been no hints of any move to arrest me as of
yet. Everyone is of the opinion that they (the PSNI) are
waiting for the new treaty," Zaitschek, who has denied the
charges against him, said.


Dublin Aid To U.S. Groups Tops $1m

By Ray O'Hanlon

For the first time ever, the Irish government has announced
aid for U.S.-based immigrant support groups topping a
million dollars.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said Tuesday that
grants totaling $1.183 million would be distributed among
14 U.S.-based organizations and centers in the coming
fiscal year.

The total represents a 29 percent increase over last year's

"Government funding to the Irish immigration centers in the
U.S. continues to rise very significantly," Ahern said in a

He said that the information and advisory services that the
Irish immigration centers offered were of particular value
to the undocumented Irish whose welfare remained an issue
of deep concern to the government.

"We will continue to attach the highest priority to
representing their interests in the critical period ahead,"
Ahern pledged.

For the first time, aid money will be distributed to
entities beyond the established Irish immigration and
pastoral centers.

Ahern announced a grant of $10,000 for the memorial in
Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, to commemorate Irish-born
U.S. soldiers who died in the Korean War.

Money is also heading to the Irish Emigrant and the
Northern Ireland-focused Newshound websites. Each will
receive €5,000.

Since 1990 the Department of Foreign Affairs has allocated
over $6.8 million to the immigration centers in the U.S.


Shannon Five Hope Verdict 'Sends A Message'

By Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

Five anti-war protesters who were found not guilty this
week of criminally damaging a US military aircraft at
Shannon airport said yesterday the verdict should "send a
message" to the governments in Dublin, London and

On Tuesday, a jury of five men and seven women at Dublin
Circuit Criminal Court reached a unanimous decision on day
12 of the trial, which took place after two previous trials
had collapsed.

The five - Ciaron O'Reilly (46), Nuin Dunlop (34), Damian
Moran (26), Karen Fallon (35), and Deirdre Clancy (36) -
said "the conscience of the community" had spoken.

Ms Clancy said the verdict probably reflected public
opinion on the war in Iraq. "I want to salute the jury.
They made a strong statement, a statement I hope will be
heard . . . These were ordinary Irish people. They had no
agenda." She added that the jury understood that the five
were not "the lunatic fringe".

Mr O'Reilly said the verdict ought to send a message to the
Government over its "complicity" in the Iraq war and called
on the refuelling of US military aircraft at Shannon to
cease immediately. "Can they now ignore a group who have
been selected at random from the public? If they do ignore
them, our response will be non-violent action to the
deepening Irish complicity in the war."

This might include non-violent action to force the closure
of Shannon airport, he suggested.

A spokeswoman for the US embassy said it was "very
disappointed" with the verdict and would "discuss the
implications of the case with Irish government officials
once we have more information".

© The Irish Times


Unionists Still Refuse To Have Open Minds

The Thursday Column
By Jim Gibney

“The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered
an end to the armed campaign. The IRA leadership has also
authorised our representative to engage with the IICD to
complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use…
we believe there is now an alternative way to end British
rule in our country. There is now an opportunity to
mobilise the considerable energy and goodwill which there
is for the peace process.”

Thus spoke the leadership of the IRA one year ago tomorrow.

Responding to this momentous and unparalleled decision in
the history of the struggle for Irish independence Gerry
Adams said it was a “bold and brave leap”.

He urged people, particularly unionists to “think beyond
the moment” to consider “not the leap itself but the place
it takes us”.

In the history of the last 40 years of conflict there are
probably two defining points for this generation of
republicans, the hunger strike of 1981 when 10 prisoners
died in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh and last year’s decision
by the IRA to end the armed campaign.

History teaches us it takes time to assess the impact of
great human upheavals, events or decisions.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the hunger strike.
Today we can clearly see the political impact of the hunger
strikers’ deaths.

Their deaths put the struggle for Irish independence onto a
new plateau onto a higher moral plane. The manner of their
deaths instilled in people an awesome regard which remains
to this day.

The protesting prisoners defeated Thatcher’s
criminalisation policy, secured political status for
political prisoners, reawakened interest around the world
in Britain’s occupation of Ireland, generated a tidal wave
of support for Irish republicanism and fundamentally
influenced how the republican leadership conducted the
independence struggle in the years since.

Sinn Fein’s involvement in elections was accelerated by the
1981 hunger strike. The roots of Sinn Fein’s electoral
strategy lie in the election victories of Bobby Sands,
Kieran Doherty, Paddy Agnew and Owen Carron.

The hunger strike of 1981 was this generation’s 1916 Rising
in terms of the heroism of those who died.

The IRA’s decision to end the armed campaign has now
created a context for Irish politics which has never before

Hitherto the issue of national independence and how it was
to be achieved was largely dominated by the physical force
tradition and the reaction of those opposed to that

With the IRA’s armed campaign at an end Irish politics and
politicians are being challenged by contradictions of
partition and a British-imposed and maintained border which
is rejected by the four-fifths of the Irish population.

Those in the southern political establishment, satisfied
with the limited state freedom bestowed on them by the 1921
Treaty, are being forced to redefine themselves as

The legacy of British colonialism is being confronted by an
articulate argument from Sinn Fein politicians which
challenges the borders of the Free State ‘nation’ to expand
beyond the 26 counties to include the people of the six

In recognition of the changing times the Irish government
reinstated, after a 30-year lapse, a state ceremony marking
the 1916 Rising.

Time and effort will be required to overcome the
partitionist mentality. Last year’s IRA statement is a
catalyst for that process. Those in the political
establishment in Dublin and Belfast comfortable with
partition and the status quo are already opposing the
emergence of this ‘one nation’ politic.

This can be seen in the niggardly approach of the Irish
government to opening the doors of Leinster House to
politicians from the six counties.

It can also be seen in the political and media campaign
against Sinn Fein in advance of next year’s Dail election.

This fear of Sinn Fein’s electoral appeal has led the Irish
government to default on its commitments to the peace

They have sided with the British government in their
appeasement policy to the DUP while unionists remain
obsessed with an IRA in peaceful mode, ignoring on-going
loyalist violence.

One year on the unionists and their allies are still
refusing to open their minds to the place the peace process
can take us.

But history teaches us with patience and effort we’ll get


Viewpoint: Criminality And Justice Left Spinning

27 July 2006

While it was encouraging to hear claims that the IRA is
honouring its pledge to shut down all terrorism and crime,
the way that the British and Irish governments stage-
managed the occasion, almost a year after the IRA's
announcement, means that doubts will persist. Only a few
weeks ago, Westminster's Northern Ireland select committee
was much less convinced, quoting Sir Hugh Orde saying it
was "very hard to judge" what is committed by
paramilitaries for their own, not the organisation's, gain.

The two governments are determined to put the best gloss on
the evidence, though they would be more credible if they
could be more open about their sources. Peter Hain accepted
that there probably was some "localised individual
criminality", but confidently asserted that "organised,
from the centre, criminality" had gone.

He was fully backed up by the usually critical Irish
Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, who noted that leading
Provisionals had called on police to investigate a recent
vodka robbery in the Republic. If only northern-based
republicans would appeal for co-operation with the PSNI.

Apart from marking the IRA's progress, the Hillsborough
event must have been intended to pile pressure on the DUP,
still unconvinced that the IRA has put criminality, as well
as terrorism, behind it. Unless they accept the
Government's interpretation - and they will be far more
interested in the International Monitoring Commission's
next report in October - there is little likelihood of a
devolution deal by November 24.

Again, Mr Hain warns that if the MLAs fail to agree to
power-sharing, they will lose their chance to alter the new
legislation that he has planned. It is a crude tactic, but
one that the DUP, in particular, will have to consider
carefully in the light of changing circumstances, right up
to the deadline.

Meanwhile, the Government has gone some way to meet
concerns about the proposed rules for publicly-funded
community restorative justice schemes. Anyone guilty of a
"serious arrestable offence" since 1998 will be
disqualified, and a "suitability panel" will vet others on
a case-by-case basis - implying, but not stating, that
active paramilitaries will be debarred.

Most importantly, Security Minister David Hanson insisted
that the new protocol requires that schemes "engage, and
have a direct relationship, with police" on all matters.
This central role is "non-negotiable", he said, allaying
fears that CRJ could lead to a two-tier system of justice -
one for the areas where it operated and another for the

The dangers of allowing present and former paramilitaries
to take up positions in government and the justice system
are obvious. Far more detail needs to be given to the
public before wise and difficult decisions can be taken.


US Family Bequeaths Killarney Land To State


The last remaining lands in Killarney owned by an American
business and philanthropic family have been handed over to
the State, writes Anne Lucey in Killarney

The 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of woodland at Reen, Ross Road,
have been bequeathed to the State by the late Mary
Horstmann McShain, the widow of John McShain, who was once
one of America's biggest building contractors. Mrs McShain
died in 1998.

Her executors recently contacted the National Parks and
Wildlife Service with news "of this generous bequest", the
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government, Dick Roche, said yesterday.

The Government had approved the acceptance of the bequest
and the lands will now form part of the 10,000-hectare
(25,000-acre) Killarney National Park, he said.

Much of the Killarney National Park already comprises lands
that once belonged to the McShain family and includes such
landmarks as Ross Castle and Inisfallen Island, presented
to the State in 1973.

In 1979, the McShains sold some 8,000 acres of woodland,
mountain and lake to the State for far less than their
market value, on condition they formed part of the national
park in perpetuity.

Mr Roche yesterday praised the generosity and loyalty of
the McShain family to Killarney.

"In bequeathing this significant tract of land to the Irish
nation the late Mrs Horstmann McShain was faithful to the
loyalty and dedication which the McShain family has always
demonstrated to the town of Killarney and to Ireland.

"It gives me great pleasure to warmly acknowledge her
generosity and to accept this very generous bequest on
behalf of the Irish people.

"It is an act of civic benevolence that will be appreciated
and remembered particularly by the people of Killarney and
Co Kerry for many years to come."

In recent years an adjoining five acres at Ross Road had
been the subject of much controversy when the McShain
estate sought a rezoning from amenity to residential.

Town councillors were deeply divided on the issue but a
majority voted in favour of the proposal. The five acres
were afterwards sold and are now the subject of a planning

© The Irish Times

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