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July 30, 2006

FAIR Plans Garvaghy Road March

News About Ireland & The Irish

SL 07/30/06
Frazer (FAIR) Plans Garvaghy Road March
SL 07/30/06 Petition Push For Probe Into RIR Hero's Murder
UT 07/30/06 Loyalists Stage Rally In Belfast
BB 07/30/06 UDA In Talks On Internal Dispute
SL 07/30/06 Mavericks: Don't Underestimate Us
SL 07/30/06 Kidnap Bid On New 'Brigadier' Aborted
SL 07/30/06 Men Bringing UDA In From The Cold
SL 07/30/06 Expulsions Are Two-Fingers To Mainstream UDA
SL 07/30/06 Still Causing A Racket Despite Hain's Words...
TO 07/30/06 Orange Order Is Beating The Drum For Religious Tolerance
SL 07/30/06 Cleared Cop To Lift Lid On Omagh Tip-Off Row
SL 07/30/06 Opin: Minds Concentrate When Pockets Are Threatened
BB 07/30/06 Opin: IRA Cease Fire - Baby Steps Follow 'Giant Stride'
SL 07/30/06 Opin: Things HAVE Changed... Changed Utterly
TO 07/30/06 Opin: There Are Too Many TDs In There Already
TO 07/30/06 Opin: Nazi Hunters Must Move On, The Hunt Museum Is Clean
BN 07/30/06 Rpt Shows Dublin Has Highest Lung Cancer Rate In Ireland
HC 07/30/06 The Price Paid By Irish Nanny For Learning American
ND 07/30/06 Thomas Manton: 'Better At The Game'


Frazer (FAIR) Plans Garvaghy Road March

By Sinead McCavana
30 July 2006

Willie Frazer says he's organising a march down Portadown's
Garvaghy Road.

He claims FAIR is planning to walk the contentious route
accompanied by loyalist bandsmen.

Said Mr Frazer: "We haven't applied to the Parades
Commission yet, but we intend to.

"What we're saying is, what about victims walking down the
Garvaghy Road? Does that prove a problem too? Is it the
truth then that nationalists really don't want a Protestant
about the place?"

FAIR is part of the umbrella Love Ulster movement that
organised a parade in Dublin in February.

But the loyalist marchers were forced to abandon the plan
when serious rioting broke out, injuring dozens including

"We hope to hold the (FAIR) parade within a few months," he
added. Love Ulster rallies are also planned for Ballymena,
Coleraine and Portadown.


Petition Push For Probe Into RIR Hero's Murder

By Stephen Breen
30 July 2006

Pals of a hero Ulster soldier last night urged the
Government to probe claims he was allowed to die to protect
the identity of a Provo spy.

A petition has been launched in Carrickfergus by comrades
of human bomb victim Cyril Smith QGM, after we revealed how
a former Army officer said RUC Special Branch was aware of
plans for the attack that claimed his life.

Although Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan is investigating the
claims, the soldier's friends want everyone in Carrick to
back their campaign.

It's been organised by John McKnight (pictured), who has
known the Smith family for more than 20 years.

Said Mr McKnight: "A few of the boys were talking in the
bar after the story about Cyril came out and we decided to
do something.

"This sort of thing is new to us, but we thought that some
kind of petition might be a good way for us to let the
Government know they must not ignore these claims.

"We intend to distribute (the petition) throughout the area
and we are sure that everyone - including all our
politicians - will show support for the family."

He added: "I knew Cyril from when he was a child and he was
a very popular lad in Carrickfergus. We have never
forgotten about him. The more names we have, the better.

"We were a bit surprised at the former Army officer's
claims, but, then again, this sort of thing has been going
on for quite some time."

The petition has been welcomed by the RIR man's parents,
Cyril and Bernie.

Said Mrs Smith: There is a lot of anger in Carrick about
these claims and a lot of people have offered us their

"I'm very pleased with the petition and I hope it puts
pressure on the Government to tell us the truth regarding
my son's murder."

Cyril (21) died after an IRA bomb ripped through the
permanent border vehicle checkpoint at Killeen, outside
Newry, in October 1990.

He had just rescued James McAvoy (68), who was threatened
that his sons would be shot if he did not drive the bomb to
the checkpoint.

Cyril was running back to warn his comrades about the
device when it exploded, killing him instantly.

He was awarded the Queen's Medal for Gallantry.

No one has been charged with his murder and the case is
currently being reviewed by the PSNI's historical inquiries


Loyalists Stage Rally In Belfast

Up to 800 loyalists have staged a rally in Belfast as new
paramilitary tensions deepen.

By:Press Association

The demonstration followed a weapons seizure linked to
fresh trouble between rival factions in the Ulster Defence
Association (UDA).

Guns, ammunition and petrol bombs were seized by police
during searches aimed at defusing the situation in the
north of the city.

Two men were arrested and one later charged by detectives
involved in the operations which were centred on the
Tynedale district.

Police also spent the day investigating claims that shots
were fired in the area.

The trouble has been blamed on a developing stand-off
between separate elements of the UDA.

With the outlawed organisation announcing on Friday a new
leadership had replaced ousted north Belfast UDA chiefs,
fears have been growing that the move may ignite new

As the stand-off continued, the UDA`s inner council
mobilised a big gathering in the Shankill Road area of the

A statement was read out declaring that the organisation
would not allow any criminals to deter it from achieving
its goal of a lasting peace for its community.

It said: "There were members who used their position to
achieve personal gain and fortune, especially through drug
trafficking and drug sales.

"This has resulted in those ex-loyalists attempting to
protect their fiefdoms by whatever means available to

The UDA urged the Police Service of Northern Ireland to
stop criminals operating in north Belfast but went on to
claim that a series of attacks in the Ballysillan and
Tigers Bay areas had been carried out.

It added in the statement: "The organisation will not stand
by and allow its community and its members to be attacked
after 35 years of conflict with the Provisional IRA and

"We have fought the IRA, the RUC and our own army. If need
be we will fight drug dealers.

"We believe that it`s the duty of the PSNI to influence law
and order so we can all live in peace and safety."

Frankie Gallagher of the Ulster Political Research Group,
which advises the UDA, said between 600 and 800 loyalists
attended the rally.

He stressed it was a peaceful gathering, adding: "It was to
demonstrate that the UDA is capable and willing to defend
its people and its communities, but at the same time
reluctant to go back."

Police chiefs, meanwhile, vowed there would be no let-up in
their patrols throughout the area.

Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said: "We will continue to
police north Belfast and work to disrupt the activities of
those intent on causing fear and intimidation in

"Those with influence on the local community who want to
see an end to alleged tensions in the area should work to
do so now."


UDA In Talks On Internal Dispute

Representatives of the loyalist paramilitary UDA have met
police and Protestant clergy in north Belfast to discuss a
dispute within its ranks.

The UDA leadership said it wanted a peaceful resolution to
its dispute with a "renegade faction".

Several hundred people in the Shankill Road area attended a
public show of strength by the UDA on Saturday.

It was in response to a stand-off between rival factions
following the appointment of a new leadership.

On Friday, the UDA in north Belfast issued a statement
saying it was replacing those who had remained loyal to
Ihab and Andre Shoukri, who were expelled from the
organisation last month.

Petrol bombs

In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the group's so-
called 'inner council' claimed that a crowd of 80
supporters of the Shoukri faction had attacked a number of

It insisted that the organisation's leadership wanted a
"peaceful end" to the dispute and called on the police to
deal with the situation.

But it said the organisation would respond if there were
further attacks on its members.

On Friday night in north Belfast, police seized a shotgun,
ammunition and petrol bombs following a stand-off between
up to 80 members of rival UDA factions. One man has been

More talks are believed to be planned for Monday.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/07/30 16:32:58 GMT


Mavericks: Don't Underestimate Us

By Alan Murray
30 July 2006

Supporters of the Shoukris last night warned the inner
council not to understimate their determination to resist
imposed leadership changes.

"We don't want trouble but we are not backing down," a
senior figure warned.

"If they touch a hair on one head in this area they touch
all of us, we are all friends and we are absolutely

The warning was made after the inner council faction
circulated a statement on Thursday night claiming the
Shoukris' supporters had been removed from the north
Belfast leadership.

But on Friday in the Westland estate, members of the UDA
loyal to the Shoukris "totally refuted" the claim.

"The Shoukris have the full backing of the leadership of
the North Belfast Brigade Staff of the UDA, we are the
leadership, there is no other leadership," said one.

"The story that some of the Press swallowed was issued by
faceless individuals who are trying to cause strife and
trouble among young lads in the brigade.

"They won't succeed but they are playing a dangerous game."

The smashing of a window in Andre Shoukri's Clare Glen home
last week was the first indication that the dispute within
the UDA would escalate.

On Friday morning two men were detained in the Westland
Road area after police found a gun in a car.

Then a statement was circulated on behalf of the inner
council claiming that it had installed a new leadership and
that the Westland Road and Tigers Bay units had switched
allegiance to it.

But on Friday afternoon the groups of young men on the
streets in the area were supporters of the Shoukri

Said one Shourki supporter: "All the inner council crowd is
doing is getting the backs up of people in this area. We
have done nothing to raise the ante but they have. We're
not looking for trouble but if it comes our way we will
deal with it."


Kidnap Bid On New 'Brigadier' Aborted

By Stephen Breen
30 July 2006

The man appointed by the UDA's ruling 'inner council' to
take control of north Belfast was once blasted in the leg
by supporters of the Shoukris.

And Sunday Life can reveal the new 'brigadier' also escaped
a kidnap attempt by the ousted leadership's henchmen last
Friday night.

A senior source said men loyal to the Shoukris and Alan
McClean attempted to abduct the new leader in a bid to show
the UDA leadership "they were going nowhere".

But the kidnap plot was abandoned after cops flooded the
area following the UDA's announcement a new leadership was
now in place.

We know the identity of the new brigadier, but cannot
publish it for legal reasons.

Said the source: "McClean still thinks he's in control and
sent his men out to abduct the new leader to teach the
inner council a lesson.

"I think they were just going to rough him up and tell him
what would happen to anybody in the area who opposes them.

"They almost succeeded but the police were all over the
area and they couldn't do anything.

"If they had succeeded there could have been serious
trouble because although the mainstream UDA are keen to
avoid violence, they would have sent their men into the

An inner council source told us the UDA would not "stand
by" if opponents of the Shoukris were intimidated in north

Added the source: "McClean is trying to hold his small
group of supporters together after the formation of the new
leadership and the defection of his one-time supporters to
the mainstream.

"But if he thinks he can do this by intimidating UDA
members loyal to the inner council then he is a very
foolish man.

"The UDA leadership will not stand by while its members are
intimidated and members from all over Northern Ireland are
ready to show their support for their comrades in north

"The UDA does not want to go down the road of violence and
it is up to the police to stamp out this intimidation.

"Mainstream UDA members will not be leaving their homes in
north Belfast and will stand up to this intimidation."

The new brigadier was only allowed to return home last year
after agreeing to be kneecapped.

He was exiled because of his links to Jim 'the Bacardai
Brigadier' Simpson, who was an opponent of the Shoukris.

Tension still remains high in the Westland and Ballysillan
areas and police are bracing themselves for attacks between
rival factions.


Men Bringing UDA In From The Cold

By Stephen Breen
30 July 2006

A group of loyalist politicos are currently involved in
talks with both the British and Irish governments while
also trying to steer the UDA away from crime and violence.

Frankie Gallagher, the Ulster Political Research Group's
negotiator, believes the UDA is ready to move forward,
following the removal of notorious crimelords from
leadership positions.

He was joined in Dublin earlier this month by UPRG
colleagues Davy Nicholl, Billy McQuiston and Colin

Gallagher believes political stability in Northern Ireland
will help the UDA move away from violence.

All four men have been providing political analysis to the
UDA for the last 20 years.

Said Mr Gallagher: "The UPRG has been talking to the
governments for the last three or four years but things
have steadily moved on in last year or so.

"The basis of the talks has always been to seek a way
forward and how we can all work in a peace process, and
also in a political process.

"The problem in the past was that people like the Shoukris
and the Grays, who held leadership positions in the UDA,
were not interested in ideology.

"The only thing they were interested in was making money
and defending their own position.

"But these barriers have now been removed and we can now
focus on achieving a peaceful society.

"This aim is apparent, especially because of the position
the UDA has taken in relation to the expulsions of the
Shoukris from the north Belfast leadership.

"We have been telling the governments that if we can
achieve political stability in this society, then I think
we can achieve an end to all paramilitarism and deliver

Londonderry based Mr Nicholl also confirmed the recent
talks would lead to the UPRG meeting with the Independent
Monitoring Commission (IMC) over the coming weeks.

Added Mr Nicholl: "There has already been a sequence of
meetings and more will be held in the future, including
talks with IMC to discuss the activities of the UDA.

"We are trying to move beyond conflict.

"I would also like people to know that no demands have been
made by the UDA for money.

"We are trying to move loyalism away from conflict and to
leave the past behind."

Although the men who provide analysis to UDA leaders have
so far failed to persuade the terror group to hand over its
weapons, hopes are now rising of a positive outcome to the
ongoing talks.

Many believe it is the senior members of the Ulster
Political Research Group who will eventually persuade the
UDA's ruling inner council to abandon violence.

The Government will be watching to see how the UDA can deal
with the expelled north Belfast leadership.

And with notorious terrorists such as Johnny 'Mad Dog'
Adair exiled and Jim 'Doris Day' Gray dead, the UPRG feels
it can now complete the work of its predecessors in the
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP).

But failure to oust the Shoukri faction bloodlessly in
north Belfast would be a major setback.


Expulsions Are Two-Fingers To Mainstream UDA

By Alan Murphy
30 July 2006

Over a dozen supporters of the UDA's 'inner council'
faction were routed from north Belfast on Friday night.

Some of the men suffered vicious beatings when the pro-
Shoukri north Belfast 'brigade' descended on the
Ballysillan area around 8pm and battered key figures who
they say are linked to the east Belfast UDA 'brigade'.

An approach from the UDA's west Belfast 'brigadier' Matt
Kincaid late on Friday through the south east Antrim
'brigade' to allow some of the men to return to Ballysillan
was turned down flat.

Sources in the leadership of north Belfast said the dozen
or more men driven from Ballysillan were identified as
supporters of the inner council, who they claimed smashed a
window in Andre Shoukri's home last week and who claimed
were the new 'leadership' of the UDA in the area.

"They began the trouble earlier this week but they won't be
doing it next week because they've been put out of the
whole area," one source said.

"We were letting them be until they began the messing last
week and now they're out, and if they come back in they'll
get more than a sore head."

Local minister, the Rev Brian Madden, confirmed
developments yesterday and said he hoped there would be no
more trouble in the area.

"I don't agree with any of the violence but we as churchmen
are limited in what we can do. The people in the area don't
want to see any more trouble this week," he said.

The UDA's north Belfast leadership said hand-to-hand
fighting took place on Friday night in Ballysillan when
they approached a number of men they claimed caused unrest
in the area last week.

"They were putting themselves forward as some sort of
alternative leadership, now they've been sent packing," one
of the brigade's leaders said yesterday.

"Matt Kincaid rang to see if they would be allowed back but
he was told their departure was non-negotiable.

"We have no beef with Matt and the west Belfast 'brigade'
but these people have been sent into the area by the south
and east Belfast 'brigades' to cause trouble and they won't
be allowed back.

"If they do come back they can take what is coming to them.
They are drug dealers, dope heads and criminals, and most
of that has been stopped in the area.

"The sooner the inner council people realise that this is
not going to be solved through violence the sooner we will
have peace.

"At the moment there is no dialogue, so we will deal with
whatever other way the message comes and if it comes
through the crowd we put out on Friday night or their
friends, then we'll deal with them in a way they will


Still Causing A Racket Despite Hain's Words...

By Alan Murray
30 July 2006

The PSNI is conducting major probe into IRA racketeering -
despite Peter Hain's suggestion the Provos are no longer
centrally involved in crime.

A investigation is being conducted by the PSNI's Economic
Crime Bureau with particular emphasis on the acquisition of
property from illegal proceeds.

Detectives are working with their counterparts in the Garda
to establish the origin of funds used to buy properties
across the province.

The probe is separate from the ongoing inquiry into the
£26.5m Northern Bank raid in December 2004.

At least £10m in untraceable Bank of England notes and £4m
in notes from other banks remains unaccounted for.

Secretary of State Peter Hain's remarks are being treated
with scepticism in security circles. He suggested the IRA
was no longer centrally involved in directing crime, and
that senior Provos may be directing criminal gangs in a
personal capacity.

Said one senior security source: "If that's the case, then
why are there such big investigations being conducted on
both sides of the border.

"The Criminal Assets Bureau, the Assets Recovery Bureau,
the PSNI and the Garda are all co-operating in separate
major investigations directly related to the IRA's assets.

"The probes are not about one individual, they're about
several individuals who've borrowed money up here through a
network controlled by the IRA. Does anyone seriously think
that having loaned the money that the IRA will say to them:
'we're out of crime now, forget about that loan'."

The PSNI probe is extremely sensitive and involves not just
a possible trail to the Republic, but to a 'Mr Big', a
figure unknown to the public but whose name continues to
crop up.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said it was "unbelievable" for
Mr Hain to suggest the IRA was no longer involved in crime

"It appears Peter Hain is suggesting we accept that the IRA
illegally obtained all these funds, created all these
businesses, but we should now let them get on with managing
them and reinvesting the profits. It's absolute nonsense.

"There are current PSNI and Garda inquiries into their
ongoing crime activities and neither the DUP nor the public
believes the IRA now having seemingly legitimate assets is


Orange Order Is Beating The Drum For Religious Tolerance

Mark Macaskill

THE Orange Order in Scotland is to hold religious tolerance
classes for children under plans to combat sectarianism.

Youngsters will be invited to attend anti-bigotry workshops
where they will learn about Islam and the Catholic faith
and meet religious leaders.

Visits to Roman Catholic churches and mosques will also be
organised to encourage young members to befriend people
their own age and develop respect and understanding for
other people’s beliefs.

The radical scheme, to be launched later this year, has
been drawn up by senior Orangemen who are concerned that
the movement has become synonymous with sectarianism in the
west of Scotland.

They want their organisation to be seen as more inclusive
by “throwing open” its doors to other faiths and grooming a
new generation of more tolerant members.

Senior sources within the order say they have met Scottish
executive officials who have welcomed the proposals and are
prepared to fund a pilot scheme later this year for 20
youngsters aged eight to 16.

If the trial is a success, they intend to launch the scheme
in the Order’s 80 junior lodges.

The Order, which comprises about 700 lodges based mainly in
west Scotland, has about 2,500 youth members.

“I am keen to open doors on what some people see as a
rather quaint, dated and bizarre organisation,” said Ian
Wilson, the grandmaster of the Orange Order in Scotland.

“It’s part of our evolutionary process, we want to give our
young people a much healthier outlook. Some people believe
the Orange Order is a contributing factor to the sectarian
problem and if there is a problem then we have to confront
it ourselves.

“We need to reassess how we express ourselves in a changing
multi-cultural society. Religion can no longer be defined
in simple terms and the order has got to redefine itself.
One of the hallmarks of democracy is to tolerate others’
beliefs. Tolerance comes from understanding and anything we
can do to increase that is a good thing.”

The move follows mounting pressure to wipe out sectarianism
which Jack McConnell, the first minister, has described as
“Scotland’s shame”.

The problem is particularly acute in the west, where most
of the Orange Order’s 50,000 members are based.

Historically, the marching season, when hundreds of Orange
parades take place throughout Scotland, has been a trigger
for sectarian violence.

Last year one of the largest Orange marches in Glasgow was
overshadowed by 85 arrests for drunkenness and sectarian-
related offences.

Sectarianism is also rife at Old Firm football matches.
Both Rangers and Celtic face stiff fines this year from the
Scottish Premier League if fans persist with discriminatory

Last year a sectarian summit organised by the first
minister was attended by representatives from the Old Firm,
the Catholic church, the Church of Scotland and the Orange

While liberal leaders of the Orange Order are keen to
foster closer links with other faiths, the introduction of
religious tolerance classes will antagonise grassroots

One, from Lanarkshire, who wished to remain anonymous,
said: “For us to do this is to admit that in the past we
were guilty of religious intolerance. This will not go down
well with many members.”

However, Jim Slaven, national organiser for Cairde na
hEireann, the Irish republican organisation which is based
in Scotland, and who took part in last year’s sectarian
summit, described the initiative as a significant step

“The Orange Order has previously denied being guilty of
religious intolerance but this is a recognition by them
that there’s a problem within their support base. We
welcome the idea, we need to have creative solutions and we
need to target hard to reach people.”

David Alexander, vice- convener of the Kirk’s church and
society council, said: “I am pleased to hear that the
Orange Order is taking the issue of religious tolerance

The Catholic church in Scotland said: “This is a welcome
step forward by the Orange Order towards creating a more
understanding society.

“Any chance to build bridges with people of goodwill must
be seized.”


Cleared Cop To Lift Lid On Omagh Tip-Off Row

By Alan Murray
30 July 2006

A Garda Special Branch detective acquitted of criminal
charges on Thursday says he may write an explosive book
about his career - including his claims Irish police failed
to act on a tip-off that could have prevented the Omagh
bomb massacre.

Detective Sergeant John White's acquittal on a weapons
possession charge at Letterkenny Circuit Court was greeted
with joy by the relatives of the victims of the Omagh

A jury took less than an hour to acquit the highly
respected detective of planting a rusty shotgun at a
travellers' camp near Burnfoot in May 1998.

The 51-year-old officer repeated his claim during the four-
week trial that he passed a warning to a senior Garda
officer in Dublin that the Real IRA was planning to explode
a bomb in Northern Ireland in the fortnight before the
Omagh attack.

He claims that the warning was not passed on to the RUC
because the senior officer decided that the bomb had to be
allowed to go through unimpeded to protect car thief and
Garda informant Paddy Dixon.

White said yesterday that he is seriously considering
writing a book about his career and detailing his work with
informer Dixon, who is now living in England.

He said: "A book is something that I am considering, but it
will be a while before I work out exactly what I will do."


Opin: Straight Talking: Minds Become Concentrated When Pockets Are Threatened

By Lynda Gilby
30 July 2006

Excuse me if I lie down in a darkened room with a cold
compress for a while, I'm quite overcome.

No, it's not the heatwave, but the startling news that the
Preparation for Government Committee at Stormont, after
playing silly beggars for months, have finally begun
talking to each other.

More than that, they have actually agreed a month-long
agenda of discussions on such thorny topics as policing and
justice and the structuring of political institutions.

Amazing what the threat of having salaries withdrawn and
becoming totally irrelevant under 'Plan B' can do, isn't

However, mark the words of UUP committee member David
McNarry: "We could go through a month of talking and come
out the other side still deadlocked in the same positions."

Another sign apparently signalling hope is that Sinn Fein
has now agreed to attend the Assembly to participate in
debates in September, provided the powerless 'talking shop'
is discussing matters pertaining to political negotiations
and restored devolution.

Personally, I reckon the DUP's right wing will find some
sticking point to prevent it sharing power with Sinn Fein.

I also reckon that Sinn Fein won't be that fussed one way
or the other. If devolution is restored, it gets to
exercise power. And if it isn't, it gets to see the
strengthening of cross-border bodies and the institution of
'joint authority' under Plan B.

It's a 'win-win' situation and the DUP has its back against
the wall.

And if, by some miracle, the Assembly gets up and running
again, I'd be surprised if it lasts that long.

So don't hold your breath...


Opin: IRA Cease Fire - Baby Steps Follow 'Giant Stride'

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

There were no cavalcades and no rallies in west Belfast to
mark the first anniversary of the day the IRA decided to
call off its campaign.

Instead, as the humid weather alternated between sunshine
and showers, a couple of rather damp-looking foreign
tourists stood on one side of the Falls Road, their thumbs
out, holding a sign asking hopefully for a lift to the
Giant's Causeway.

If last year's move was a giant stride for the IRA, then
the politicians seem to have been taking baby steps ever

Some IRA members might be forgiven for asking what payback
has been achieved, both for the stand-down and the
subsequent decommissioning of the organisation's weapons in

True, the British Army was quick to dismantle more border

But if last year's initiatives were intended to unlock the
doors of the Stormont Executive, then so far they have

If the IRA had ended its campaign when David Trimble's
Ulster Unionists were still in the ascendancy, they might
have shored up power-sharing for a considerable time

If the IRA had ended its campaign when David Trimble's
Ulster Unionists were still in the ascendancy, they might
have shored up power-sharing for a considerable time.

But they did it when Ian Paisley was in the driving seat
and he is in no hurry to be convinced.

If the progress achieved to date is less than Gerry Adams
might have hoped for, then he's not letting on.

The loyalist paramilitaries have yet to respond in kind,
but Mr Adams insists the IRA move has had a deep and
lasting impact on unionism and loyalism, the ripples of
which are still being felt.

He won't write off the chances of a deal by 24 November.

The Sinn Fein president won't say whether he believes the
DUP leader must leave the stage before there is a chance of
a deal.

He does say, however, that he believes the DUP has conceded
the principle of both power-sharing and dialogue with

'Playing for time'

What we are seeing right now, in the Adams analysis, is
just the DUP playing for time.

Questioned on Inside Politics over whether Sinn Fein may -
if there's no deal - give up on Stormont and concentrate on
the Dail, Gerry Adams says it's not a question of

However, he adds that his party will work to secure more
advances on the north-south axis and if the DUP waits until
2010 to do a deal, then they could find Ireland is a
changed place.

What will be more significant than this week's low-key
anniversary will be the verdict of the Independent
Monitoring Commission on the IRA stand-down.

That is due to be delivered in October.

Not for the first time, we got a little dress rehearsal of
the likely debate around that report when both Peter Hain
and the Irish Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, emerged
from talks at Hillsborough Castle to say that the IRA is
sticking 100% to its promises.

One presumes that for an avowed sceptic like Michael
McDowell to talk like this, the intelligence picture must
be fairly clear.

However, the DUP is having none of it, accusing Peter Hain
of living in a fantasy world.

Some politicians wonder why British and Irish ministers
bother "spinning" the IRA's inactivity, given that
unionists will always discount their comments.

Within hours of the ministers' statements, the police
visited the home of the sister of the IRA informant Martin
McGartland, who is now in hiding in England.

Officers told the woman her details were in the hands of
republican paramilitaries.

The former Special Branch agent blames the Provisionals,
but both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness say they don't
believe there is any threat from that quarter to Martin
McGartland's family.

That said, the IMC has been informed and the incident has
been picked up by a number of DUP politicians.

Some politicians wonder why British and Irish ministers
bother "spinning" the IRA's inactivity, given that
unionists will always discount their comments.

After all, wasn't this why the IMC was created in the first
place - to provide a more "neutral" voice on the vexed
question of ceasefire breaches?

The truth is that ministers are politicians, not trappist
monks, and given the combination of intelligence
information, political motivation, reporters hungry for a
story and microphones switched on, this kind of comment
will always happen.

Whether it achieves anything, come November, is another

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/07/29 08:48:02 GMT


Opin: Things HAVE Changed... Changed Utterly

By Brian Rowan
30 July 2006

It was the day in the peace process that began to change
everything - a day which may yet help deliver that
political something that, not very long ago, was just
unthinkable in our world of politics and war.

On July 28 last year, in a small sitting room on the Falls
Road, I was one of a number of journalists briefed by the
IRA's 'P O'Neill'.

I left the house with a two-page statement and a DVD - the
pictures and words in an IRA initiative ending the armed
campaign and setting the stage for the most significant
acts of decommissioning so far.

This was the IRA doing things its way, and not as demanded
by Ian Paisley and the DUP.

It would be decommissioning without photos, and while there
would be church witnesses, there would not be the observer
that Paisley had asked for.

I don't believe every gun and every bullet was put beyond
use. I don't believe the IRA has disappeared. But I do
believe that it has left the stage of war.

And it is this that's transformed the once politically
unthinkable into the politically possible.

Ian Paisley could still say no, but what has developed out
of the IRA statement of last July and the decommissioning
that followed means he has to at least begin to think about
saying yes.

That is the difference a year has made.

Twelve months ago, the significance of the IRA initiative
was lost in what I have described as a kind of political
earthquake inside the unionist community.

The peace process moves in a two-way street. What the IRA
was doing had to be matched by the "Brits".

Hours before P O'Neill spoke, the Shankill bomber, Sean
Kelly, was released from jail, and just days after the IRA
statement and before decommissioning, the Army announced a
two-year plan to end Operation Banner - its decades-long
support role to the police in Northern Ireland.

The bases and watchtowers would come down, troops would be
withdrawn and the Royal Irish Regiment, which grew out of
the UDR, would be disbanded.

This was a further clearing of the war stage. It was the
Army saying in its actions that it believed the IRA.

These were the natural next steps in a battle that was
ending, but it looked like "Brits Out" - military Brits
that is - and through unionist eyes, it looked like the
"Provos" were winning.

It all blew up in the madness of street violence during the
re-routed Whiterock parade of last September.

But then look again at the difference a year has made and
look at the new IRA of 2006 - not the IRA of war, but the
changing IRA in a developing peace.

The marching at Whiterock and Ardoyne was made possible and
made peaceful by the presence of republicans on one side
and loyalists on the other.

So, are we looking at, in what we have seen in recent
weeks, the beginnings of some process in which two of the
sides of this war - the IRA and the loyalists - are
working, yes still at a distance from each other, but
working together to protect the peace.

It is just possible that we are, and it's a further
significant difference which has developed in these past 12

We have come through a "war" in which there were no
winners, and we now have the potential in our politics to
make a peace that is something worth having.

There might always be an IRA - an organisation that is
there in name - but we are not hearing its bombs or its

Has something changed? Yes it has...


Comment: John Burns

Opin: There Are Too Many TDs In There Already

One of the sillier clauses in the Irish constitution
stipulates that there has to be one TD for every 30,000
people. Why 30,000? Presumably because it struck Eamon de
Valera as a nice round figure back in 1937. But as
Ireland’s population expands towards 4.5m and beyond, that
constitutional clause will become increasingly
constrictive. It will eventually mean an extension of the
Dail beyond 166 TDs.

Ireland already has a grossly engorged national parliament.
Australia, with a population of almost 20m, has two houses
— a senate of 76 and a House of Representatives of 150. The
combined total for the continent is 226, less than the 236
(not forgetting our 70 senators) required to run the
republic. The Netherlands, with a population of 16.5m, has
75 in one parliamentary house and 150 in the other.

Now preliminary figures from the census indicate that one
Dail constituency exceeds the magic number — there are
30,933 people per TD in Dublin West. The government has
asked the attorney general for his advice. Do the
constituencies need to be redrawn before next May’s general
election so the people of Dublin West do not suffer a
democratic deficit? But even if Rory Brady decides not, you
can be sure that some political wannabe will ask a judge to
overrule him.

The result could be an extra TD in the Dail. They don’t
come cheap, you know. There’s the annual salary of €96,650,
the generous travel expenses, and a hefty pension to which
they need contribute only 6% of salary. While I don’t want
the Dail to sit through the summer — the less legislation
the better — a TDs’ working year of less than 100 days is a

Instead of redrawing the constituencies, the TD-to-people
quota should be increased, like one for every 50,000
people. There’d be no problem getting a high turnout for
that referendum.

But turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and the Oireachtas
isn’t going to allow this meal ticket to be snatched away.

Having more parliamentarians doesn’t make you a better
democracy, and it is particularly unfair that there is no
provision in our constitution to allow a group of citizens
outside the Dail to begin a referendum process. So we will
have to watch as one of the world’s most pampered
parliamentary clubs increases its membership.


Comment: John Burns

Opin: Nazi Hunters Must Move On, The Hunt Museum Is Clean

A monstrous injustice has been done to the Hunt Museum in
Limerick. Three years ago Erin Gibbons, an archeologist,
alleged that there was a “long and uncomfortable shadow”
hanging over its collection because of the Hunt family’s
“Nazi associations”.

This claim was repeated by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in
an excitable letter to President Mary McAleese in December

An investigation was set up and, shockingly, neither
Gibbons nor the Wiesenthal centre co-operated with it. But
no sooner did the inquiry clear the Hunt Museum of any Nazi
links, than up popped the Wiesenthal centre and Gibbons’s
husband, Eamonn Kelly of the National Museum, to make the
allegations all over again.

The museum is now tainted, perhaps for ever. How can it
prove a negative? How, despite the absence of a specific
allegation against any single one of its artefacts, can it
refute the Nazi smear? And yet its critics will neither put
up nor shut up. Instead they use the tired old mantra of
the conspiracy theorist, that there are still “questions to
be answered”.

There aren’t. The museum has been cleared, and the public
can visit its collection with a clear conscience. If in the
future a Hunt artefact falls under genuine suspicion, a
process is in place to look into such claims responsibly.


Report Shows Dublin Has Highest Lung Cancer Rate In Ireland

30/07/2006 - 14:04:40

Certain counties in Ireland are more prone to high cancer
levels according to an article in today's Sunday Tribune.

The report shows that Dublin has the highest rate of lung
cancer with over 58 people per 100,000 suffering from the

This compares with just 30 per 100,000 cases in Co Clare.

Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society John McCormack
said today: “In Dublin it's not surprising we have a higher
rate of lung cancer because we have a higher concentration
of lower socio-economic areas.”

Mr McCormack added: “We have been lured into a false sense
of security with the smoking ban and we really need to
increase the price of cigarettes and in so doing we have a
better effect over lower socio-economic areas in terms of
reduction of smoking.”


July 29, 2006, 8:29PM
On Language

The Price Paid By Irish Nanny For Learning American

Not being able to say yes — or no — bears some costs

By Marion McKeone

SOME time ago, my sister spent several months working as an
au pair for a wealthy family in Denver. When introducing
her to their friends and relatives, the family would
pointedly refer to her as "our Irish nanny." My sister
assumed that her nationality was a point of pride; a
genealogy snake-oil salesman had just sold them an Irish
ancestor for the price of a small country.

As it transpired, it was more of a red flag signaling that
verbal roadworks were in progress — she hadn't yet learned
to speak American.

Her first lesson came on Christmas morning. The grandmother
and family matriarch handed her an envelope, observing that
rather than intervene with her own Midwestern fashion
sensibility, it was better to enable my sister's weird
European taste. My sister, who was making the standard $50-
a-week au pair's pittance, opened the envelope and found it
thick with $20 bills. Fifty of them, to be precise. "Oh,
no," she protested. "I can't accept this. No. No, really.
It's far too generous." Grandma looked at her quizzically.
"If you say so," she responded. Without further ado, she
repossessed the envelope, removed a single $20 bill and
handed it to her instead. "Is this about right?" she asked.

Helene swallowed her bile, bit her tongue and nodded mutely
as she uttered silent curses. She had been speaking Irish,
and Grandma had been speaking American. My sister's refusal
of the money was meant to convey her gratitude and
acceptance of the gift. You might think a simple "Thank
you" would have done the job a lot more efficiently. But we
Irish just can't say yes. Or no. It's not in our genes. In
Irish Gaelic, our native tongue, we don't even have a word
for them. The closest is "Is ea," which means "It is so."
And "Ni hea," which means "It is not so." There are,
however, about 50 different approximations that indicate
various degrees of equivocation.

Our genetic inability to call a spade a spade and our
compulsion to say no when we mean yes, and vice versa, are
but surface manifestations of a deeply ingrained reflex to
subvert, invert and pervert the English language at every

In Ireland, the words must fit the rhythm, often at the
expense of logic or clarity. Irish Gaelic has its roots in
the ancient Goidelic of the Celts. English comes from the
Germanic. We may be geographic neighbors, but when it comes
to linguistic traits, we're poles apart.

The great voices of Irish literature possess a unique
ability to adapt to the uncomfortable imposition of the
Queen's English on the Irish rhythm while remaining
faithful to the ancient traditions of narrative and
storytelling. When J.M. Synge was asked about the source
for The Playboy of the Western World, he is said to have
replied, "I never bother whether my plots are typical Irish
or not, but my methods are typical."

This remains true of contemporary Irish writers. Colum
McCann, a New York-based Irish novelist, is a case in
point. His novel Dancer is a fictionalized biography of
Rudolf Nureyev. The plot is one that couldn't have taken
place in an Irish context — an Irishman on a dance floor
resembles nothing so much as an epileptic sack of suet —
but McCann's narrative is firmly rooted in the Irish
storytelling tradition. "The Irish language is convoluted
in its grammar, evasive in statement and relies much more
on sound, rhythm and onomatopoeia than English does," he
says. "It ducks and swerves. The forced marriage of English
to Irish, resulting in what some people call Hiberno-
English, has resulted in a great deal of wonderful
literature but also a lot of head-scratching."

For Americans, the shortest distance between two points is
a straight line. The idea is to get the point across, not
fashion it into a pair of earrings. But we Irish are more
interested in the journey than the destination, and every
exchange presents an opportunity to dawdle, double back and

The liberal, and frequently illogical, peppering of
conversations with swear words by Irish writers is more a
method of retaining a rhythmic pattern of speech than an
expression of hostility. Shane MacGowan, founder and front
man of the Pogues and arguably the finest songwriter of his
generation, colors his lyrics blue because it reflects the
Irish way of speaking, of emphasis and underscoring a
point. And besides, he says, "they plug the rhythmic gaps."
Nothing like a volley of expletives to ensure that the beat
goes on. If you need any further illustration of this
point, see The Lieutenant of Inishmore or any other play by
Martin McDonagh.

MacGowan says that this Irish adaptation of English to its
own ends stems as much from an innate rebelliousness as our
inability to shake off the persistent rhythms of Irish
Gaelic. We resisted the usurping of our native language and
its replacement with English by confounding our oppressor
with a form of linguistic jujitsu, he says, citing James
Joyce's Finnegans Wake as an example: "Joyce was simply
taking the inner Irish rhythm to the limit and imposing it
on the English language. There were all these mad English
language rules that don't work anyway. The entire book is
about pointing out the absurdity of the English language."

Having grown up in a culture of ambivalence and allusion, I
was initially astounded by the staccato, rapid-fire
directness of American English. During my first visit to
New York, I underwent the standard crash course in learning
American. For weeks I navigated the potentially treacherous
linguistic minefields. And there were plenty. Hasty
clarifications — like craic, an Irish term for fun, but not
of the variety you buy on a street corner — became less
frequent. I thought I had cracked the American language.

Until I made a routine attempt to jaywalk across Fifth
Avenue. I was frozen into a state of temporary paralysis by
a New York cop who, having blocked my path with a beefy
forearm, bellowed, inches from my face:
"Whassamatterwitchya? Ya wanna be road pizza, ya
(expletive) moron?" Having achieved his laudable aim of
saving my hide, he broke into an enormous grin. "I'm Irish-
American," he said, by way of explanation for the explosive
consequences that occur when Irish riddlespeak collides
head-on with American directness.

McKeone is an Irish journalist based in New York. William
Safire is on vacation.


Thomas Manton: 'Better At The Game'

Queens Democratic party boss remembered by President
Clinton and others, who praise his skill and kindness

By William Murphy
Newsday Staff Writer
July 29, 2006

Thomas Manton was eulogized Friday as a father, patriot,
adviser and mediator, but was remembered mostly as a
political boss who perfected his craft while running the
Queens Democratic party for the past two decades.

"He played the game we love better than anybody else
because he was better at the game," former President Bill
Clinton said at the funeral Mass for Manton, 73, who died
last Saturday of prostate cancer.

In an age when politics is played with big money, high-
priced consultants and massive budgets for television ads,
Manton was remembered as one of the few local bosses who
still managed to wield clout nationally.

Clinton recalled that in December 1991, when he was a
Democratic candidate for president and running fifth or
sixth in public opinion polls, Manton invited him to come
to Queens and talk to party members.

"He knew I was a stranger in a strange land and he was very
kind to me, and I will never forget that," Clinton told a
hushed audience of more than 500 people in St. Sebastian
Church in Woodside.

Manton's son, John, recalled the private life of the public
man, one who loved family dinners - especially the cake and
ice cream afterward. Law partner Gerard Sweeney remembered
Manton's insistence on having other people along to talk to
when he went to lunch - always soup and no dessert. And he
recalled his simple answer to all legal problems - look in
the law books across the hall from his office, and his
solution to all disputes - get the parties in the same

As U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and scores of
other politicians ranging from the known to the lesser
known sat in the shiny wooden pews, Clinton also noted that
Manton was instrumental in getting him involved in the
Irish peace process, persuading him to meet in 1995 with
Gerry Adams, head of the political wing of the Irish
Republican Army.

Reciting Manton's beginnings, from growing up the son of an
immigrant plasterer through his years as a city police
office, a typewriter salesman, a member of the City Council
for 14 years and a seven-term congressman, Clinton said,
"Tom Manton believed in the American dream and he lived

Manton was also a flight navigator in the Marine Corps from
1951 to 1953, and an honor guard of Marines escorted his
flag-draped casket in and out of the church, sliding their
feet and appearing to glide up and down the aisle.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, head of the Diocese of Brooklyn,
which includes Queens as well as Brooklyn, led the Mass of
Christian Burial, which lasted about two hours, speeches
included. Burial was at Calvary Cemetery in Queens.

From former President Bill Clinton:

"Tom always had a way of finding a challenge to see what
you were made of."

On meeting Thomas Manton in New York City in December 1991:

"[I realized] I was not being tested in some phony way by
some person who thought he could build himself up by
pulling me down."

On the invitation to come to New York City:

"It was an act of uncommon kindness. He had no way in the
wide world of knowing that I could ever be nominated, much
less become president ... You know, one word most people
would never apply to New York politics is 'kindness.'"

On the Northern Ireland conflict:

"He was one of the most relentless supporters of America's
involvement in the Irish peace process."

On how voters are targeted by politicians:

"He knew we had to be organized by categories and he was
very clever on categories ... He knew his categories ...
But the reason we're all here today and the reason we all
love him ... is that he dealt with us as human beings
beyond our categories."

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