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August 31, 2006

Board Rules Sean O'Cealleagh Can Be Deported

News About Ireland & The Irish

AP 08/31/06 Appeals Board Rules Sean O’Cealleagh Can Be Deported
BB 08/31/06 Officers 'In Fear' Over Testimony
GU 08/31/06 Blair And Ahern In Last Attempt To End Power-Sharing Crisis
BB 08/31/06 UVF Considers Weapons Body Move
EE 08/31/06 Warning Over Real IRA 'Upsurge'
UT 08/31/06 Royal Irish Regiment Leaves Northern Ireland's Streets
EX 08/31/06 McDowell Defends Response To Loyalist Bomb Scare
SF 08/31/06 Sinn Fein Respond To Ard Fheis Bomb Claim
IT 09/01/06 GAA In Tickets Snub To SF Over Rally
IT 09/01/06 'Mistakes' Over Man's Prison Death
SF 08/31/06 Sinn Fein Launches State Wide Voter Registration Drive
CB 08/31/06 PSNI Could Join GAA League
IT 09/01/06 Opin: The Weapons Amnesty
IT 09/01/06 Opin: Our Political Debt To John Redmond Is Largely Unpaid
IT 09/01/06 Ban On Mobile Use By Drivers In Force
IT 09/01/06 Dublin Busker Stabbed As Crowd Looks On
IT 09/01/06 Cliff Buskers May Face Audition
IT 09/01/06 New Bridge Over Canal To Restrict Boat Access From Liffey
SM 09/01/06 Scrummy Murphy
FB 08/31/06 Murphy's Law', Filmed In Ireland, Scores Top`Audience Ratings
EW 08/30/06 `Odd Man Out' - Carol Reed (1946) Re-Issued 2006
BB 08/31/06 Diageo To Keep Pouring Guinness
PW 08/31/06 New York Band Plays Freedom Songs


Appeals Board Rules Man From Northern Ireland Can Be Deported

The Associated Press

The Board of Immigration Appeals has ruled that a man from
Northern Ireland who was convicted of aiding in the 1988
killings of two British soldiers there can be deported,
throwing out a lower court decision allowing him to stay in
America because his crime was "purely political."

The BIA found that while Sean O'Cealleagh's crime took
place in a "political milieu," anger and revenge were the
primary motives.

"We conclude that the respondent's crime was not fabricated
and that it cannot otherwise be considered a 'purely
political offense,'" the board ruled in a decision released
late Wednesday.

The ruling sent O'Cealleagh's case back to the lower
immigration court for new hearings.

When reached at his home in the Orange County community of
Westminster on Thursday, O'Cealleagh, 37, said he hadn't
learned of the decision and declined comment.

O'Cealleagh's attorney, Jim Byrne, said his client would be
victorious in future court hearings.

"As we have said all along, he wasn't guilty the first time
of the offense," said Byrne. "But regardless, the nature of
the conviction was purely political."

O'Cealleagh was arrested in February 2004 at Los Angeles
International Airport when he returned from a visit to
Northern Ireland. He was released a few months later
pending the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's
appeal of the lower immigration court's decision.

In the April 2004 decision, Immigration Judge Rose Peters
ruled O'Cealleagh should not be returned to Northern
Ireland because his crime was "purely political."

Peters also said British prosecutors did not conclusively
prove O'Cealleagh was present when the soldiers were beaten
and that British courts were inconsistent in the way they
treated suspects.

The U.S. government has argued O'Cealleagh, who was granted
permanent residency in the United States in 2001, should
never have been allowed in because of his conviction.

O'Cealleagh (pronounced O'Kelly) spells his name in
traditional Gaelic, but is identified as Sean Kelly in
British legal documents.

O'Cealleagh was one of three men given life sentences in
1990 for their roles in the deaths of the two soldiers, who
were beaten and shot after they were discovered in civilian
clothes at a funeral for a slain Irish Republican Army
member in Northern Ireland.

Convicted of aiding and abetting in the murders,
O'Cealleagh spent 8 1/2 years in prison before being freed
in 1998 under the Good Friday peace accord, which offered
parole to hundreds of paramilitary convicts. O'Cealleagh
has repeatedly denied involvement in the killings.

He emigrated to the United States in 1999. He married an
American woman and has a young son.

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2006 16:42 PDT


Officers 'In Fear' Over Testimony

Police asked to appear at an inquiry into the murder of a
County Armagh man fear their lives are at risk if they are
identified, a court has heard.

The claim was made by a barrister representing 20 ex-
officers called as witnesses at the inquiry into the 1987
killing of Robert Hamill in Portadown.

The officers began a legal challenge after the inquiry
ruled they could not give their evidence anonymously.

The High Court challenge has led to the inquiry being
indefinitely postponed.

The officers have requested to be screened and known only
by an initial while giving their evidence.

Their barrister said to deny his client's this level of
anonymity was a breach of the European Convention of Human

Mr Hamill, a 25-year-old Catholic, died in hospital after
being attacked by a loyalist mob in Portadown in 1997. No-
one has been convicted over his death.

Police have denied eye witness claims that four RUC
officers in a Land Rover saw what was happening and failed
to intervene.

The inquiry into Mr Hamill's death, chaired by retired
judge Sir Edwin Jowitt, was recommended by ex-judge Peter
Cory, who was tasked to probe alleged collusion.

It was set up to determine if police committed any wrongful
act or omission.

Speaking outside the court, solicitor Barra McGrory, who is
representing the Hamill family, said he was "mystified" as
to why the police would want anonymity as none had been
given at the original murder trial.

He was referring to the Crown Court case in 1999 when a man
was acquitted of the murder but convicted of affray and
jailed for four years.

The inquiry had originally been scheduled to begin hearings
in Belfast on 5 September.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/31 12:13:09 GMT


Blair And Ahern In Last Attempt To End Power-Sharing Crisis

:: PMs want assembly deal by November deadline
:: Hain's measures put pressure on Unionists

Patrick Wintour, political editor
Friday September 1, 2006
The Guardian

Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister, are
planning to "lock up" the leading Northern Ireland
political parties to hammer out an agreement to set up a
power-sharing executive and end direct rule from London.

Mr Blair, and his Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain,
have set a deadline of November 24 for the parties to agree
terms or see the long-standing assembly designed to monitor
the executive shut down. The meeting in Scotland planned
for two or three days in October is designed to take the
parties away from a media hothouse in Northern Ireland and
confront the parties with the consequences of a failure to
reach agreement.The precise location and timing has not
been agreed, but is likely to be from October 8 or October
12, depending on Mr Blair's other commitments.

Mr Blair's office has timed the session to follow a report
from the International Monitoring Commission that is likely
to say that the IRA has given up political violence. It
will be the second such report and will place pressure on
the Democratic Unionists led by Ian Paisley to explain why
they are still opposed to sitting alongside Sinn F‚in in
the executive. Mr Hain has been turning up the heat by
imposing measures under direct rule that the DUP opposes,
such as rate reform, cutting the number of councils, and
proposing the restoration of jury trial.

There is no initial sign that the proposals for talks will
lead to a breakthrough. Nigel Dodds, the DUP MP for North
Belfast, said: "We thought the days of grand tours of
stately homes have come to an end and the ability of Tony
Blair to sell anything is long gone.

"It's more spin. It's a distraction. The forum for judging
and delivering already exists in the assembly which Peter
Hain has so far treated with contempt. November 24 is an
arbitrary date of the government's making. We all know the
issues which have to be dealt with and the work should be
left to the assembly."

Mr Hain has told members of the Northern Ireland assembly
they would lose their salaries and allowances if Sinn F‚in
and the Unionist parties cannot work together.

The assembly, suspended in 2002 but reconvened earlier this
year, is due to restart its discussions next week after the
summer break.


UVF Considers Weapons Body Move

The Ulster Volunteer Force is considering re-engaging with
the de Chastelain arms commission, the BBC has learned.

The move is being discussed as part of the UVF's internal
consultation over its future.

In January 2003, the paramilitary group suspended all
contacts with the decommissioning body.

It is understood it is now considering appointing a
representative to speak to the commission.

Billy Hutchinson of the Progressive Unionist Party, a
former UVF prisoner, formerly fulfilled this role.

When it suspended its talks with the arms commission in
2003, the PUP said the UVF decision was "confirmation of
the degree of dismay within the unionist community".

If it does re-engage with the commission it is unlikely to
lead to immediate decommissioning but will begin a process.

The UVF has been under pressure recently to begin
decommissioning and end all activities.

Among those calling for the moves have been the Ulster
Unionist Party, which has entered into an alliance with the
PUP in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning
Commission was established in 1997 under chairman General
John de Chastelain, of the Canadian army.

In September 2005, General de Chastelain said the IRA had
put all of its weapons beyond use.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/31 17:57:20 GMT


Warning Over Real IRA 'Upsurge'

31/08/2006 - 3:55:34 PM

Strengthening dissident republican terrorists could unleash
another Omagh-style bomb atrocity unless the British
government intervenes urgently, it was claimed today.

A dismayed father of one of those killed in the Real IRA
massacre has sent a scathing letter to Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain expressing alarm at the upsurge in
activity by the outlawed organisation.

Michael Gallagher issued his warning days before south
Armagh electrician Sean Hoey is due to go on trial in
Belfast accused of murdering 29 people in the August 1998
no-warning strike.

The campaigner claimed the British government should be
held to account for allowing the rogue unit to recruit and
develop unchecked.

His fears have been heightened by a fire bombing blitz
which ripped through shops in Newry, Co Down earlier this
month, inflicting millions of pounds worth of damage.

A similar attack destroyed two tyre depots in Dungannon, Co

Belfast to Dublin rail services have also been disrupted by
a series of bomb alerts bomb alerts.

To compound the Omagh families' fears, a meeting to forge
an alliance of dissident republican factions which was to
have been held in Toomebridge, Co Derry this week was
cancelled at the last minute - allegedly after the
Provisional IRA stepped in.

Mr Gallagher, whose son Aiden was among those killed in the
blast, said: "There has been a degree of co-ordination and
expertise that allowed these latest attacks to happen.

"If that's not checked these people will go on to be even
more effective and it seems there's nobody that is capable
of disrupting these activities.

"We are heading towards a situation where they are becoming
as proficient as the Provisional IRA were at their height.

"If they are allowed to continue it's only a matter of time
until we have more town centre car bombs.

"That brings us closer to the position of another Omagh."

In his letter to the Secretary of State he detailed the
Omagh Victims Group concerns at the increase in terrorist
activity by the Real IRA and other organisations.

Mr Gallagher told him: "Sadly both (the British and Irish)
governments failed the families after the Omagh bomb by not
bringing to justice those responsible and putting this
terrorist group out of business.

"We have no difficulty with any group organising
politically. Unfortunately, anti-government violence and
terrorism has been rewarded in this country."

The Northern Ireland Office confirmed Mr Gallagher's letter
had been received.

"The Secretary of State will respond in due course," a
spokesman said.

"Both governments and law enforcement agencies on both
sides of the border are committed to tackling terrorism.

"Those who carry out terrorist acts will be pursued with
vigour and we would urge anyone with any relevant
information to bring it to the attention of the appropriate


Royal Irish Regiment Leaves Northern Ireland's Streets

There are to be no more patrols of the Royal Irish Regiment
on the streets of Northern Ireland.

It is part of a move to phase out the regiment by next

The Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) has served the longest
deployment in the history of the British army.

But after today its members will no longer be seen on the
streets of Northern Ireland.

An army spokesman confirmed the regiment will no longer be
used as routine support to the Police Service of Northern

It is part of the winding-down of the regiment`s three home
service battalions. Last year it was announced they are to
be disbanded in August 2007.

In a statement Sinn Fein, which has campaigned for the
RIR`s disbandment, claimed it has been a source of loyalist
weapons and paramilitaries and added no nationalist will be
sorry to see its demise.

But for those who served in the regiment, today brings
mixed emotions.

The army is at pains to stress the regiment remains
available for service in Northern Ireland if required. But
it is clear today`s development marks the beginning of the


McDowell Defends Response To Loyalist Bomb Scare

By Cormac O'Keeffe

THE Government yesterday insisted there was no delay in its
response to a bomb scare at Dublin's Mansion House.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the Government knew
of the bomb threat two days previously, but that it only
evacuated the Lord Mayor's residence yesterday morning when
specific information became available.

The drama unfolded after a loyalist paramilitary
organisation claimed it planted the explosive in the
building 25 years ago in a bid to "wipe out" the leadership
of Sinn F‚in, which held its Ard Fheis there in 1981.

"The direct information, and the specific information, has
only come to light in the last 48 hours and it is only
today that very specific information has come available to
me and I have passed it on to the authorities," said Mr

He said the Government was not slow in responding to the
bomb threat.

"It's there for 20 years. The question is what kind of
steps could now be taken. You can't operate on the basis of
vague information, you have to operate on specific
information. It was taken seriously immediately and steps
to find out exactly what the information amounted to were
taken immediately and now specific information has been
handed by me to An Garda S¡och na and they are now in the
position to act on foot of it."

He added: "There has been no delay, no delay in acting on
foot of this information."

In an interview in yesterday's Belfast Telegraph,
representatives of the Ulster Volunteer Force said they had
placed explosives in an extinguisher and hidden it in a
ceiling in the Mansion House in 1981.

They said there was a "remote" possibility it could still
go off, even though they said both the timer and the power
pack would have run out.

Garda¡ are believed to have evacuated the Lord Mayor
Vincent Jackson, as well as his wife and staff early
yesterday morning.

Shortly before 8am, a joint garda-army team descended on
the Mansion House. The immediate area around the building,
as well as adjoining buildings, were sealed off.

Detailed searches were carried out and just before 4pm an
army bomb disposal team arrived. They examined a fire
extinguisher, which turned out not to contain any

A Garda spokesman last night said the search concluded at
7.30pm. "Nothing of a suspicious nature was found," he


Sinn Fein Respond To Ard Fheis Bomb Claim

Published: 31 August, 2006

Responding to claims by the UVF that they left a bomb in
the Mansion House during the 1981 Sinn F‚in Ard Fheis,
Dublin City Sinn F‚in Councillor Christy Burke said:

"Firstly we have no way of establishing at this stage
whether or not this claim is true. However during the
course of the past thirty years there have been instances
where the UVF working closely with British Intelligence
agencies carried out attacks in Dublin. We had the
devastating bombs in 1972 and 1974 and more recently Martin
Doherty was murdered at the Widow Scallans bar.

"Obviously the first thing which needs to happen is for a
thorough search to take place in the Mansion House to
ensure that the building is safe. However this claim does
raise very serious questions which require answers. We need
to establish if any other buildings had similar devices
planted in them and the Irish government need to demand
answers from the British government about their involvement
with the UVF at this time.

"The culture of concealment and cover-up at the heart of
the British government policy of collusion needs to be
ended. Very few people believe that the UVF acting alone
were capable of carrying out these types of attacks in
Dublin. If this story is proven then it will become another
page in the collusion story which still needs to be
exposed." ENDS


GAA In Tickets Snub To SF Over Rally

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

The GAA will not make tickets available to Sinn F‚in for
the All-Ireland finals this year in response to the use of
Casement Park in Belfast for a hunger-strike rally last
month in defiance of an order from Croke Park.

The GAA traditionally allows Oireachtas members an
opportunity to buy tickets for matches when their counties
are involved.

The offer is also made to members of the nationalist
parties in Northern Ireland from the counties involved.
This offer has been made in the past to unionist
politicians interested in attending.

However, it emerged yesterday that the organisation will
not offer any tickets to Sinn F‚in, arising from that
party's use of its grounds despite the GAA's refusal to
give permission.

There was no official comment yesterday from the GAA.
However, a Croke Park official said: "Tickets are issued
generally to county boards and clubs. The small allocation
of discretionary tickets is issued on the principle of
mutual respect."

The implication that "mutual respect" does not now exist
between the GAA and Sinn F‚in follows the rally two weeks
ago to commemorate the 1981 H-Block hunger-strikes. Some
20,000 people attended the event at Casement Park, despite
the prior decision of the GAA's central council that the
rally should not take place.

The central council ordered that the rally should not be
held there because it was in breach of regulations that the
organisation must not be seen to endorse party political

In spite of this, the local Antrim County Board allowed the
ground to be used, although there were different views on
the issue within that body.

The event was not officially organised by Sinn F‚in, but
was dominated by speeches from Sinn F‚in figures. Members
of the hunger-strikers' families also played a role.

This is not the first time the GAA has withheld tickets
from parties as a result of political events.

Back in the mid-1980s it withheld tickets from members of
the Fine Gael/Labour coalition in an unsuccessful protest
against VAT on the sale of hurleys.

While the tickets offered to Oireachtas members are not
free, the offer allows politicians to obtain tickets for
games which would be sold out. Free Ard Comhairle tickets
are given only to the President, the Taoiseach and Cabinet

Sinn F‚in Kerry North TD Martin Ferris, whose county will
play in this year's All-Ireland football final, said
yesterday that he had not heard of the GAA decision. He
said he had bought tickets offered by the GAA for the All-
Ireland finals of 2002, 2004 and 2005, in which Kerry was

While the GAA is not offering Sinn F‚in the usual courtesy
this year, it is open to party members to obtain tickets
through GAA clubs in the same way as members of the public,
although this is exceptionally difficult for All-Ireland
finals due to demand.

c The Irish Times


'Mistakes' Over Man's Prison Death

Martin Wall

The Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has said that all
the indications were that "very serious mistakes were made"
in relation to the circumstances of the killing of 21-year-
old Gary Douch, who was beaten to death by another inmate
in a cell at Mountjoy Prison last month.

"As far as I am concerned all the indications are that very
serious mistakes were made in the manner in which it was
dealt with and I am determined that the truth be
established and that this never happens again," Mr McDowell
said. He added that very dramatic changes had been
introduced at Mountjoy to ensure that "that particular set
of circumstances can never re-occur".

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said that the
independent investigation into the circumstances
surrounding the killing of Mr Douch, which is being headed
by a former deputy secretary of the department, was on-

The Minister said yesterday that Mr Douch's mother was
entitled as a dependant to take a legal action if there was
any breach of his constitutional or personal rights or of
the State's duty in relation to him.

c The Irish Times


Sinn Fein Launches State Wide Voter Registration Drive

Published: 31 August, 2006

Sinn F‚in MEP and General Election Candidate Mary Lou
McDonald has launched a state wide Sinn F‚in campaign aimed
at maximising the number of people registered to vote ahead
of the completion of the overhaul of the electoral
register. Joined at a press conference in Dublin this
morning by Wexford candidate Cllr John Dwyer and Donegal
South-West candidate Pearse Doherty, Ms. McDonald said it
is crucially important that people make every effort to
ensure they are on the electoral register ahead of next
year's general election.

Launching an eye-catching poster and leaflet campaign Ms.
McDonald said: "Sinn F‚in welcomes the overhaul of the
electoral register as it has been proven that there are
serious inaccuracies with it as it currently stands.
However we do have some very serious reservations about the
manner with which the overhaul is taking place. Basically,
each local authority has been left to its own devices and
there has been little or no direction coming centrally from
the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local

"This has led to inconsistency throughout the state and
there are concerns that many people may accidentally be
omitted from the register. It is for this reason that Sinn
F‚in is launching this state wide voter registration drive.
Our aim is to make people aware that this overhaul is going
on, and to encourage them not only to ensure they are
registered, but also to come out and vote in the next
election. We will be placing a special emphasis on
encouraging young people and new voters to get themselves
onto the register.

"It is crucially important that people make every effort to
ensure they are on the electoral register ahead of next
year's general election. Traditionally it is young people
and those from low income families and backgrounds that
either don't register to vote, or simply don't come out on
the day. Election turnouts generally range between fifty
and sixty percent of the electorate and it is these people
who make up the vast majority of those who do not turn out.
Our campaign aims to wake this sleeping giant as it is
these very people that get left behind or ignored when
important decisions are being made by elected

"So our message is simple -- make your voice heard,
register to vote, and of course vote Sinn F‚in." ENDS


PSNI Could Join GAA League

Published on 01/09/2006

The Police Service of Northern Ireland could enter a team
in the Gaelic Athletic Association's club league as early
as next season.

Superintendent Gerry Murray was speaking as the police team
played its first match tonight against a GAA club.

A Sinn Fein representative's son, Joe Brolly, was among the
St Brigid's team to face the police.

Mr Murray said: "We are interested in asking the GAA how we
can advance and we are hoping to play in one of the Belfast
club leagues next season," he said.

"Today is a small but significant step from the point of
view that it's an historic event which builds on the
abandonment of Rule 21."

The GAA abolished its bar on the security forces
participating in this sport, Rule 21, in 2001.

The step was seen as controversial by many nationalists and
followed radical reforms of the police force heralded under
the Patten Review.

The PSNI team has been playing for the past four years,
mainly against police teams from the Irish Republic and
private companies.

They have yet to play a competitive match but boast a panel
of 30-35 players.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton attended tonight's
game at a rugby ground in South Belfast.

Mr Brolly's father Francie is a Sinn Fein Assembly man. The
party has been critical of the PSNI but is being urged to
engage in policing ahead of November's deadline for the
restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

There remains opposition to accepting a police team within
the GAA but Mr Murray said the service had moved on and it
was up to others to do the same.

"We know there are some people who disapprove of the police
being involved in the GAA but we have moved on, we are into
21st century policing and we, like any other individuals,
should be allowed to participate."

St Brigid's play in the third club division. Manager Conor
MacSherry said it was just another game.

"We have 30 players on the panel tonight and we rarely
would have as big a number," he said.

"This is just another game for us."

St Brigid's captain Stephen Morrissey shook hands with the
PSNI captain Peadar Heffron before the game started.

Several hundred people, including many families, attended
the challenge match, which was a friendly.

The police service played in red and black.

Republican pressure group An Fhirinne have spoken out
against the fixture. "This game should never have been
played. For us it is not just a match," Robert McClenaghan
said. "It is a matter of refusing to accept the legitimacy
of the PSNI until they have admitted their involvement in
the conflict here over the past 37 years."

St Brigid's won the game, scoring 4 goals and 17 points to
the police's 1 goal and 8 points, equivalent to a 29-12
points victory.

Mr Brolly said his opponents were a little out of their
depth but praised their hard effort.

"This is just a sports game and if the PSNI are game enough
to play GAA and put resources in we are happy to play
them," he said.

"In the past this game could not have happened but we are
in a very different situation now."

by David Gordon


Opin: The Weapons Amnesty


Anything that helps to reduce the incidence of violent
crime in our society is to be welcomed. In that regard, a
two-month firearms and offensive weapons amnesty, which
starts today under the terms of the Criminal Justice Act of
2006, can only contribute to a more law-abiding society. It
will not, however, address the core security problem of the
armed criminal gangs and paramilitary organisations which
are heavily involved in drug-dealing and violent crime.

On the basis of experience in Britain and Northern Ireland,
the amnesty is likely to turn up old, unlicensed guns that
have been kept for years in attics and sheds, along with
knives and other offensive weapons. The exercise is
designed to encourage people to clear their homes of these
weapons before new laws relating to firearms offences take
effect at the end of next month. From then on, the
possession of unlicensed guns will attract automatic prison
sentences in certain circumstances.

In a three-year period to 2004, some 1,330 firearms were
stolen in this State. And while many of those would have
been properly licensed, others were not. The great majority
of the thefts involved shotguns. And a percentage of these
would have found their way into the possession of criminal
gangs. By tightening up the licensing and control of these
weapons, in addition to the provision of an amnesty, the
authorities would hope to choke off this particular supply

It is only right that the terms of the amnesty will not
offer immunity from prosecution. All the guns handed in
will be examined as a matter of course by ballistics
experts. And if a weapon is found to have been used in the
commission of a crime, then the person who surrenders it to
the Garda S¡och na will face questioning and possible

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors initially
questioned the usefulness of this amnesty. But it now
accepts that it can make a contribution. However, the
public relations exercise involved should not distract
attention - or remove financial resources - from Operation
Anvil, the most extensive Garda surveillance exercise in
recent years tasked with targeting criminal gangs. Since it
was established last year, it has led to the seizure of
about 700 firearms, caused a reduction in the number of
armed robberies and broken up two major drug gangs. The
Garda know the identity of many of these criminals. But it
sometimes takes intensive surveillance over many months to
disrupt their operations and provide the evidence needed to
put them in jail. That is where the focus of policing must

c The Irish Times


Opin: Our Political Debt To John Redmond Is Largely Unpaid


Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of John
Redmond, a leader of Irish nationalism unjustly airbrushed
from history, writes Charles Lysaght

Delivering the graveside oration for John Redmond, the
long-time leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, in
Wexford in March 1918, his successor John Dillon said of
him that he had bent all his energies to the reconciliation
of his own countrymen of all sections and also the
reconciliation between the people of this country and the
people of Great Britain. Dillon also claimed for Redmond
that he had struck down all the obstacles to Irish freedom
across the water and had left the whole of England friendly
to his country's freedom so that now there remained but one

That obstacle was unionist Ulster to whose permanent
partition from the rest of Ireland Redmond had never been
able to agree. Violent nationalists who had upbraided
Redmond for his weakness on the issue were forced
eventually to accept partition as the price of
independence. Partition, as it developed, remained a poison
besetting our own politics and British-Irish relations for
the rest of the 20th century.

As we inch our way towards reconciliation in the aftermath
of the Belfast Agreement, it is fitting that we should
focus on Redmond, the 150th anniversary of whose birth
occurs today. He was the elected leader of the Irish
majority from 1900 to 1918, a longer period than any
national leader except O'Connell and de Valera. On
Redmond's watch the land question was solved and Ireland
became a nation of landowners. A National University was
created that educated the professional class of an
independent Ireland. In 1914 the Home Rule Act was put on
the statute book.

This was a culmination of a life's work converting British
public opinion. After he had carried a motion in favour of
home rule at the Oxford Union in 1907, a local newspaper
remarked: "It is doubtful if the Union has ever heard or
will ever hear again a speech that will have such influence
on its hearers." As an effective ambassador for Irish
nationalism in England, John Redmond's performance
surpassed that of any other Irish leader.

It is to his credit that there was no real will in any
party in Britain to resist self-government for most of
Ireland after 1914. Indeed, it was British public opinion,
moulded over the years by Redmond, that forced Lloyd
George's government to call off the Black and Tans and
negotiate with the Sinn F‚in leaders in 1921. It was a debt
ungenerously never acknowledged by its political

Instead, they preferred to upbraid Redmond as an
imperialist and blame him for having sent so many Irish to
fight in the Great War. Yet, what else could he have done?
If nationalist Ireland was not prepared to support Britain
in its time of peril, how could it expect any support from
them in dealing with the Ulster unionists? How far the
British would have gone in imposing home rule on Ulster if
the Redmondite strategy had not been negated by the 1916
rebellion and the emergence of Sinn F‚in as the voice of
nationalist Ireland, we shall never know.

But what is certain is that those events caused successive
British governments to give the Ulster unionists the most
favourable deal possible for most of the rest of the 20th
century. The result was a more complete Protestant
ascendancy in Ulster than had existed previously. Those who
paid the price were the Ulster Catholics. This engendered
more violence, which drew its inspiration from the violent
nationalism of the 1916-23 period.

Only the tragic events in Northern Ireland since 1969 have
caused people to question whether Redmond's way, rather
than the path of violence and more immediate separation set
in train by the 1916 rebellion, would have served us
better, and to reassess him as an historical figure.

Redmond's own vision, it must be said, fell short of a
totally independent Ireland. In his introduction to Tom
Kettle's Open Secret of Ireland (1911) he looked forward to
"that brighter day when the grant of full self-government
would reveal to Britain the open secret of making Ireland
her friend and helpmate, the brightest jewel in her crown
of Empire". Redmond valued the Empire for the links with
Irish communities in countries such as Australia, where he
had found his first wife, the mother of his children.

This Empire nationalism was of his time and, perhaps, of
his class of Irish Catholic. It did offer a basis for an
accommodation with Irish unionists by maintaining the
British link as a guarantee for them. No better
accommodation was subsequently found. The British statesmen
of the day showed a lamentable lack of vision in allowing a
fellow-feeling with unionists to divert them from an
outcome that would have served Britain's long-term

Much of Redmond's world view is no longer relevant. But in
the conviction that persuasion and compromise, rather than
violence and confrontation, is the way forward and that
close friendly relations with Britain offer the best hope
of containing the excesses of unionism, there was an
enduring wisdom that has taken Irish leaders a long time to

Of Redmond it was said that he spoke like a Greek orator
and looked like a Roman emperor. He was honourable to a
fault. But such was his reserve that it is difficult to
form a more intimate picture. From 1900 he lived quietly in
London with his second wife, always declining invitations
from political hostesses. When Parliament rose, he
retreated to the solitude of Aughavanagh in Wicklow, the
former shooting lodge of his old leader Parnell to whom he
had remained loyal to the end.

While Redmond would have been counted as of the gentry, the
few people outside his family who were admitted to his
friendship were old Parnellites, who were not counted as
such. He was so venerated by his constituents in Waterford
(including the legendary pig-dealers of Ballybricken) that
they went on returning members of the Redmond family to the
D il into the second half of the 20th century.

In the last year of his life, making his way to conciliate
the unionists at the Irish Convention, Redmond was
assaulted by Sinn F‚in activists (including Todd Andrews)
and had to take refuge in the Irish Times building.

With his policy of reconciliation in shreds, he died, in
his own words, a heart-broken man, having given Ireland a
lifetime of political service that seems to have been
largely unpaid. He left less than œ2,000.

If there have been more spectacular Irish leaders there has
been none more worthy.

Charles Lysaght is a barrister and writer

c The Irish Times


Ban On Mobile Use By Drivers In Force

Mary Carolan

Drivers who hold mobile phones while driving will be liable
to a maximum fine of ?2,000 and up to four penalty points
for each offence from today.

The only defence for the use of a hand-held mobile phone in
vehicles will be where a driver must contact the emergency
services, using the numbers 999 or 112 for the Garda, fire
service or ambulance, coast guard and mountain rescue

The ban on use of mobile phones does not apply to hands-
free phones in vehicles.

Minister for Transport Martin Cullen has provided for the
extension of penalty points for hand use of mobiles in the
Road Traffic Act 2006.

A driver who is detected committing a mobile phone offence
will have the option to pay a fixed charge of ?60 within 28
days from the date of issue by garda¡ of the fixed charge
notice, or ?90 if paid within the next 28-day period.

Two penalty points will also be incurred in those

A driver who is convicted in court of a mobile phone
offence will have four penalty points endorsed on their
driving licence.

They will also be liable to a fine of up to ?2,000.

"Road safety is paramount and the holding of mobile phones
while driving is a feature that I want to stamp out," Mr
Cullen said.

A recent US study found that holding a mobile phone while
driving has the same adverse impact on driving capacity as
drinking a vodka.

c The Irish Times


Dublin Busker Stabbed As Crowd Looks On

Ali Bracken

A street performer was stabbed last night in Dublin's
Temple Bar Square. Garda¡, who were nearby at the time,
said yesterday the man's condition was not life-threatening
and that he was being treated at St James's Hospital.

Eyewitnesses to the incident at about 7.30pm saw a small
man suddenly run from the crowd and grapple a man to the
ground before stabbing him.

"A guy just ran out of the crowd and attacked a big
coloured guy. He tackled him to the ground, punched him a
couple of times and then they knocked a couple of tables
over in a cafe beside them. That's when I noticed a knife,
a big knife," said Paul Wood, a tourist from the UK.

Eyewitnesses said the injured man was one of two who
regularly busked together at that spot.

"After he was stabbed, the guy ran back out into the square
with blood all over his T-shirt. Then he just lay on the
ground and a crowd gathered around him. I thought it was
part of the act until I saw the knife," Mr Wood said.

A garda at the scene said they had been walking past Temple
Bar Square and heard the commotion. A member of the public
had begun to apprehend the man with the knife just before
they arrived. A man in his 30s was arrested at the scene
and was last night being questioned at Pearce Street Garda
station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, the
Garda press office said. The man can be held for up to 12

A large crowd had gathered to watch the performance.

"There was music as well as the show. Everyone was just
standing around listening and watching the two of them. It
was a really nice atmosphere. They had kids up with them
too and were making them part of the show," said Pam
Naughton-Doe, also a tourist from the UK.

c The Irish Times


Cliff Buskers May Face Audition


Clare County Council may invite buskers to audition in
order to secure a licence to operate regularly near the
Cliffs of Moher.

The council is inviting prospective buskers to submit
expressions of interest to busk at the site of the new
Cliffs of Moher visitor centre project in north Clare.

Earlier this year, the local authority sought circuit court
injunctions against 16 traders and buskers operating at the

But following an investigation into best practice
approaches on how to deal with busking, the local authority
has revised its position. "All buskers at London
underground stations must pass auditions before being
permitted to busk. Depending on the level of applications
received, auditions may be required as part of the overall
process for formal licensing at the Cliffs of Moher,"
according to Ger Dollard of Clare County Council.

"No judging panel has yet been formed ahead of any possible
auditions but the council intends to adequately represent
traditional music as well as ensuring that the visitor
perspective and the spon-taneity of the activity is
reflected in the assessment. These auditions, if required,
will take place locally by the end of the year," Mr Dollard

c The Irish Times


New Bridge Over Canal To Restrict Boat Access From Liffey

Tim O'Brien

Dublin City Council is to replace a lifting bridge over the
Grand Canal in a move which will permanently restrict the
passage of some boats between the canal and the Liffey.

The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, which has
campaigned from the 1950s for the preservation of the Grand
Canal, has expressed regret at the move but said it
accepted that traffic volumes on Pearse Street had made it

The Grand Canal runs from the Liffey through 44 locks to
join the Shannon at Shannon Harbour in Co Offaly, some
132km (82miles) from Dublin.

It was once a major route for the transportation of goods
between Dublin and the provinces, notably barrels of
Guinness, which were transported on barges owned by the

At present, boats of any height can navigate from the
Liffey to the Ringsend basin at the start of the canal, but
MacMahon's bridge at Bolands Mills must be opened for
taller boats to continue as far as the inner basin. The
headroom under the bridge is just 2.48m (8 ft 3in). Boats
requiring additional headroom must notify Waterways Ireland
to have the bridge raised.

Dublin City Council says that it wants to replace the
current bridge - it says it is susceptible to fatigue -
with a fixed bridge which will take four lanes of traffic
instead of the current two.

The council applied for Part V111 planning permission in
July 2005 and a public consultation period elicited no
submissions. The council is currently demolishing a nearby
house containing the bridge-lifting mechanism.

While the imposition of a fixed bridge will permanently
restrict access to the inner basin from the Liffey, the
Inland Waterways Association says that this will make
little difference in practice, as the bridge is seldom

A spokesman said that tall boats could not go beyond the
inner basin and continue along the Grand Canal as a second
road bridge and a railway bridge both had restrictive

Given the volumes of traffic across the bridge and leading
into Pearse Street, it was a situation the association
"couldn't win".

The spokesman added that the Dublin Boat Rally would still
congregate in the Ringsend basin.

Waterways Ireland is currently restoring the Royal Canal
navigation with the intention of reopening it all the way
to the Shannon. The canal is currently navigable as far as
Abbeyshrule, Co Longford, but it is expected to be open as
far as Richmond Harbour, a junction with the Shannon,
inside two years.

c The Irish Times


Scrummy Murphy

Helen Barlow
September 1, 2006

With blue translucent eyes that dazzle the camera like few
others, Cillian Murphy can portray a brooding sensitivity
yet be romantic, loveable and downright horrible. He's the
hottest acting talent to come out of Ireland since Colin
Farrell and he has a lot more range.

The 30-year-old actor, who made his mark as the Scarecrow
in Batman Begins and as the passenger from hell in Red Eye,
plays a transvestite in Crying Game director Neil Jordan's
recently released Breakfast on Pluto. He also stars in Ken
Loach's coming Cannes winner, The Wind That Shakes The

Loach normally avoids working with stars, yet he cast
Murphy because he comes from Cork. Murphy returns to his
roots to play Damien, a medical student who becomes an IRA
volunteer during the Irish war of independence.

"The fallout from the war of independence and the civil war
still resonates today and you realise what side your family
was on," Murphy says.

"When my grandfather was playing music with a lot of his
buddies underneath a tree and then the Black and Tans
[British troops] came along and shot at them randomly, the
bullet went into the tree. If he'd been a better marksman I
might have not been here. I had a cousin who was killed.
Cork was the most militarised area of the country and the
rebellion was strongest there."

Breakfast on Pluto is also set against Ireland's "Troubles"
but in the 1970s. Murphy wears outrageous women's clothes
to play Patrick "Kitten" Brady, the bastard son of a priest
(Liam Neeson). Rather than resort to violence, the troubled
youth disappears behind a veil of femininity.

"All [Kitten] wants is to be loved and to look pretty, and
those needs are quite simple," Murphy says.

Did he try on his wife's underwear to get into the

"No," he says. "You couldn't model it on your wife; that
would be weird.

I preferred to look at other women, just women in the Tube
around London.

"I also hung out with transvestites and I met with one guy
for a number of weeks. We went to clubs and he introduced
me to his friends. I think it's important to do that, no
matter how little you use it. It's important out of respect
to that community because you're a representative in a
certain way and you need to experience how they live."

The film has been likened to Transamerica in its more
humane twist on gender-bending, but Murphy says it all
comes down to the story.

"A lot of the recent gay-themed movies, like Capote and
Brokeback Mountain, were inspired by novels and I think
that says a lot," he says. "It's very healthy that in
America these themes are being embraced."

During our interview, Murphy squeaks a rubber duck given to
him as a present for his baby son. He is hung over, having
brought over a gaggle of his mates from Dublin to the
Berlin Film Festival. They had rung up quite a bill at his
swanky hotel - to the dismay of the Hollywood honchos, who
are trying to get him to talk to the press.

Murphy's next big movie is the sci-fi epic Sunshine, in
which he is sent to reignite the dying sun. He co-stars
with Australia's Rose Byrne. Is there any hanky-panky going

"I'm not gonna tell you, but she's brilliant, though. I
love Rose. She's a fantastic actress."

The Wind That Shakes The Barley
Director Ken Loach
Stars Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham
Opens September 21.

Breakfast on Pluto (MA15+) is screening now.


Murphy's Law', Filmed On Location In Ireland, Scores Top`Audience Ratings


Three episodes of the hit TV series MURPHY'S LAW, which
shot on location in Ireland earlier this year, hit the
number 1 spot in the ratings when it was broadcast on
television in Ireland and the UK this week.

The series was broadcast on BBC1 in the prime time position
at 9pm last Sunday Monday and Tuesday, over the Bank
Holiday weekend in the UK. The series pulled in a
consistent audience of over 5 million viewers each nights,
taking almost 25%* of the audience watching television at
that time.

MURPHY'S LAW shot for seven weeks in April and May this
year in and around the Dublin area, Shankhill and Wicklow.
Particular locations that were used for the hit series
include the Clancy Barracks, North Circular Road,
Portobello, and the Bray Head Hotel, with St. King Street
doubled as an Asian market in Leicester.

MURPHY'S LAW stars Belfast actor Jimmy Nesbit and was
directed by Irish director Colm McCarthy (Footballers
Wives, Dream Team) with a budget of approximately ?4.5
million. The series was produced by Tiger Aspect and co-
produced by Irish company Element Films for the BBC, with
finance from the Irish Film Board and section 481, the
Irish tax incentive for film and television. Element Films'

Further Information

Louise Ryan
Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator
Tel: +353 91 561 398


`Odd Man Out' - Carol Reed (1946) Re-Issued 2006

By: Nia Gibbons on 8/30/2006

`Odd Man Out' re-issued on its 60th anniversary and in
celebration of Carol Reed centenary, is a film to be
marvelled at. Reed and his army of films don't scare from
social political affairs. Indeed, he went on to direct and
produce many a tale of conflict whether it be in Ireland,
Vienna, Berlin or Havana; involving man's battle against
the state of the many and the state of the mind. This story
is based on a book by F.L.Green who adapted it to
screenplay with R.C.Sheriff, and is widely thought to exist
in the high point of Reed's career. His two following films
`The Fallen Idol' (1958) and `The Third Man' (1949) both
based on Graham Greene's `imagination' (he was in the
Secret Service we know) were also considered to be a part
of this apex.

`Odd Man Out' is the story of a man and his motivation, at
first for his fellow man and then for his life. Johnny
McQueen (James Mason) has escaped from prison to pursue his
fight for `The Organisation' and during a hold up to raise
funds he accidentally shoots and kills a policeman. Johnny
too, is as shot as the plans he and his company once held
in their efforts to fight for a just cause. Based around,
not on (so stated at the start) the IRA conflict, 'Odd Man
Out' certainly encapsulates the issues Northern Ireland was
dealing with.

Johnny-go-sprightly must now get about Belfast to escape
the consequences of this accidental murder. Friends and
collaborators dwindle into circumstance (death and
desertion), and Johnny's health declines as his travels
complicate. Lover and friend Kathleen (Kathleen Ryan) has
the idea of finding the friend of all those who ask, Father
Tom (W.C.Fay). The Father's reputation is as large as
gossip and soon both hunters and hunted prowl around the
chilly church yard by the docks.

The seriousness in the tragic story is deepened by comic
elements that surround it. Almost scarier than those ever
present policemen is the omnipresent Lukey, the man who
wants to paint Johnny. Actor Robert Newton, who was twice
to play Long John Silver (among other pirates) in his
career, is perfect as the liquor heavy brush handler who,
along with his other activities, likes to torture Shell the
sneaky (F.J.McCormick). Lukey sniffs the scent of a man who
surely has death in the eyes at all distances, and makes up
his mind to capture Johnny for the ultimate portraiture.
Shell has found the dying muse after a horse drawn coach
accidentally drove him to the safer side (by this time
police have surrounded the centre) and abandoned him. Great
line: Policeman asks the driver who's in his carriage and
the driver replies, "Johnny McQueen" with a sweetly
ignorant batter of a laugh. Like most others who know of
Johnny's reputation the driver can neither hinder nor help
him, and thus he is left in the cold to be discovered by
Shell. Shell wants money, but is selfish rather than evil,
and searches for the alternative reward that is from
friends (the 'right place') and family rather than the
police. And so the adventure of the anti-hero Johnny
McQueen goes on...

All activity is flooded with danger and black and white
film doesn't get darker than this fact fuelled fantasy.
Tense moments are highlighted in low light and patience in
the eye of the camera transmits to the viewer succinctly.
The rush and urgency is never with Carol's direction, but
soley lies with the main cause for concern, Johnny. Will he
ever get free? We wish it entirely, but as the situation
'Odd Man Out' synopsises, it is entirely beyond the control
of the voyeur.


Diageo To Keep Pouring Guinness

Drinks giant Diageo says it has no plans to sell off its
Guinness brand, despite a drop in sales in the drink's
homeland of the Irish Republic.

It came as the firm revealed annual pre-tax profits of
œ2.1bn in the year to 30 June, up from œ1.9bn a year ago.

The world's biggest alcoholic drinks group also owns
Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker whisky and Baileys liquor.

"We have no plans to sell Guinness. In the UK it is doing
very well," Diageo boss Paul Walsh told the BBC.

Investors disappointed

Mr Walsh said that Guinness retained a high profile in the
UK, thanks to its advertising campaigns and sponsorship of
rugby union.

"Guinness has helped drive market share gains," he added.

But the Diageo results statement said challenges in the
Irish beer market had "adversely impacted" on growth in
Europe, with Guinness sales in Ireland down 3% over the

Shares in Diageo ended down 2.5% after Thursday trading
after market hopes that the group might raise targets for
the current year were not realised.

Diageo said operating profit would increase by "at least"
7% in its current financial year, but investors had been
looking for more.

Total sales increased by 8% to œ9.7bn during the year,
helped by a strong performance in the US and Canada.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/31 19:45:43 GMT


New York Band Plays Freedom Songs

Author: Matt Murtaugh
People's Weekly World Newspaper, 08/31/06 16:24

NEW YORK - It's not too often that a band like Seanchai and
the Unity Squad comes along. Joining revolutionary politics
with a revolutionary sound, the New York-based band, led by
Chris Byrne, a Brooklyn native and former police officer,
has made a name for itself.

The group combines a diverse mix of punk, rock, reggae,
hip-hop and Irish influences with overtly political, in-
your-face lyrics on topics ranging from the fight for
freedom from British colonialism in Ireland to the
commercialization of hip-hop.

"Irish Catholic Boy," the band's newly released sixth
album, is its best yet, bringing together all of these
elements in a flawless composition which is sure to be
considered one of the best albums of the year.

The album opens with the title track, "Irish Catholic Boy,"
a song that uses Irish uilleann pipes and Clash-like guitar
riffs that come together and shoot a powerful opening salvo
at the ruling class, which has "never had it so good since
the Gilded Age/Raising an army/Not the minimum wage." The
speed and strength of the song emphasize the strong sense
of solidarity expressed in the lyrics such as, "Liberation
theology/If one of us suffers/none of us are free."

This message of solidarity is also addressed in the next
two songs on the album, "Gypo" and "Ernesto Guevara Lynch."
"Gypo" tells the story of a traitor who has informed on his
comrades, "another brother who sold out the patriot game."

"Ernesto Guevara Lynch" pays homage to the great Latin
American revolutionary leader who gave his life struggling
for a better world. Drawing attention to Che's Irish
heritage, Byrne sings that while this son of Ireland may be
dead, he continues to inspire and guide the working people
of the world in their fight for justice.

It would be impossible to speak about this album without
mentioning the incredible Rachel Fitzgerald, whose
wonderful voice backs Byrne on the three songs mentioned
above. Fitzgerald also sings solo on three other tracks
throughout the album.

One of those songs is called "We're Gonna Get There," a
beautiful song highlighting the unity of working-class
mothers facing the tremendous difficulties of the world
around them. One of the rich lines says, "their pockets/on
the backs of the poor" and continues with "our young ones .
to go fight their wars." Rather than lamenting such a sad
state of affairs, however, Fitzgerald sings, "We got each
other/and we're gonna get there . Just hold on."

Perhaps the greatest message of hope on the album can be
found in "Bogside Girl," a song alluding to the Irish
Republican neighborhood of Derry in Northern Ireland. As
the chorus goes, "I'm walking forward cause the wind's at
my back/And the sun's shining/Warm upon my face/I'm looking
forward cause the future's in the palm of my hands."

Listening to Seanchai and the Unity Squad's latest album,
we can indeed feel that the future is in the palm of our
hands and that the working class can turn back the tide of
the Republican right and build a new world of peace,
justice and equality.

Seanchai and the Unity Squad play every Friday and Saturday
night at Rocky Sullivan's Bar, on 28th Street and Lexington
Avenue in New York City.

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