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August 17, 2006

Call for All-Ireland Currency

News About Ireland & The Irish

UT 08/17/06 Call For All-Ireland Currency
BT 08/17/06 Policing Role Still Keeps DUP And SF Far Apart
CB 08/17/06 US Priest (Sean McManus) Visits Garnerville
IN 08/17/06 Museum At Maze Won’t Be Shrine: Sinn Fein
UT 08/17/06 DUP Slammed Over Maze 'Shrine'
IN 08/17/06 Three Questioned Over Michael’s Murder Freed
IC 08/17/06 Fury Over UDR Honour In City
BT 08/17/06 Why It Wasn't Too Late To Talk To Billy
IN 08/17/06 Opin: Dissident Threat Must Be Halted
BT 08/17/06 Irish Were More Likely To Face Firing Squad
BT 08/17/06 Plan To Pardon Soldiers Shot At Dawn Welcomed
BT 08/17/06 Shellshocked Ulster Recruit Was Executed At Age Of 18
BT 08/17/06 One Dead, Another Is Badly Hurt In Cliff Fall
IN 08/17/06 Early Republicanism Opposed By Brits & The Catholic Church
IN 08/17/06 Festival Will Highlight Ulste-Scots 1798 Role


Call For All-Ireland Currency

A single currency throughout Ireland could help overcome
some of the barriers to economic prosperity across the
island, it has been claimed.

By:Press Association

Sinn Fein general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin made the
suggestion after nationalist parties stepped up demands for
greater cross-border economic co-operation following
today`s meeting of the economic sub-group of the Stormont
Preparation for Government committee.

The Foyle Assembly member argued after the meeting there
needed to be a recognition by all sides of the need for an
all-Ireland economy if Northern Ireland was to have any
hope of prospering.

"For example, having two currencies on the island is an
impediment to trade, a cost to consumers and business and
serves only to enrich an already prosperous banking
sector," he said.

"Having control of monetary policy on an island-wide basis
would offer flexibility and an opportunity to business and
the overall economy that is immeasurable.

"We cannot plan an economy that is half in half out of an
all-island structure.

"It increases costs, squanders resources and ultimately
means less jobs, lower wages and higher taxes.

"We can have an island economy that seeks to maximise the
opportunities of east-west economic development and the
surge of Irish investment in the British economy in recent
years shows how quickly investment and development trends
can change."

SDLP deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell MP detected broad
agreement among the parties on the economic challenges and
opportunities facing them and some eagerness to tackle

"This sub-group is working well, exchanging views with a
view to preparing a report for the Assembly in September,"
he observed.

"What we have here is a group of politicians from different
parties who are all deeply frustrated by our collective
inability to influence our economic future.

"Every one of us knows the problems - the fact that our
economy is far too dependent on the public sector, that we
need to attract a better quality of foreign investment,
that we need deep and wide partnership between education
and industry."

The South Belfast MP said his party had also emphasised the
need for much more extensive cross-border co-operation,
with Northern Ireland being able to partake of the
opportunities arising out of the astounding economic growth
of the Irish Republic.

"It is our strong belief that proposals in this direction
are being judged on their merits by all parties," he said.


Policing Role Still Keeps DUP And SF Far Apart

By Chris Thornton
17 August 2006

The warm-up act for the return of devolution tackled
policing yesterday - but the DUP and Sinn Fein remained at
odds over when local politicians would be ready to take
charge of the issue.

In spite of a claim that there was "considerable progress"
in yesterday's meeting of the Preparation for Government
committee, the leading parties accused each other of
obstructing a settlement.

The Assembly committee, which was set up to deal with
issues that might be part of a settlement, has met three
days a week over the summer recess.

Yesterday the committee talked about the circumstances in
which policing and justice would be devolved to a local
Executive - a key Sinn Fein demand.

Sinn Fein policing spokesman Gerry Kelly said the DUP was
standing in the way the power transfer.

"We have reached agreement on the vast majority of issues
that should be transferred," Mr Kelly said.

"The key outstanding matter is the timeframe for the
transfer of these powers and, crucially, the restoration of
the political

institutions to allow this to happen. The only obstacle to
achieving this is the DUP."

But DUP Policing Board member Arlene Foster said: "The DUP
has consistently argued that it is the total acceptance of
the rule of law that is necessary rather than any cosmetic
gesture or the mere taking of seats on any specific body.

"Furthermore, there must be a willingness to encourage all
members and supporters to report all crime and the police."

She criticised Secretary of State Peter Hain for refusing
to appear before the committee to discuss his views on

Last month, Mr Hain suggested Sinn Fein could provide
practical support for policing without accepting the
constitutional basis for it.

"It is regrettable that as the parties meet over the summer
to elucidate issues, the Secretary of State cannot find the
time to attend once, despite being given flexibility over
dates," she said.

Mr Hain has agreed in principle to allow Ministers to
appear before the committee. But officials say he made it
clear that the committee exists to sort out problems
between the parties - not to question the Government about


US Priest (Sean McManus) Visits Garnerville

Published on 18/08/2006

A prominent Irish American Catholic priest has paid a visit
to Northern Ireland's policing college.

In what was being interpreted as a significant move, Father
Sean McManus of the Washington-based Irish National Caucus,
which has been critical of anti-Catholic discrimination,
visited training officers of the Police Service of Northern
Ireland at Garneville training college in East Belfast.

He also met the Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton.

The PSNI confirmed: "Father Sean McManus visited Garneville
Police Training College today as a guest of the police

"He toured the facilities and met a number of officers
including the Deputy Chief Constable and student officers."

Father McManus has been critical of US President George W
Bush's special envoy on Northern Ireland, Ambassador
Mitchell Reiss, for not being more critical and cautious in
his support for the PSNI. In 2002 a statement from the
Caucus labelled the PSNI as the armed wing of unionism and
claimed it did not represent a new beginning to policing.

His visit is being interpreted as significant because
policing will play a key role in any deal to re-establish
power sharing at Stormont before November 24.

Sinn Fein is the only one of the four parties who would
qualify for ministerial posts in a devolved government to
refuse to recognise the PSNI as the legitimate agency of
law and order and it has also refused to take its seats on
the Northern Ireland Policing Board and District Policing

The Reverend Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists, Northern
Ireland's largest party, have said Sinn Fein must commit
itself to supporting policing if it is to credibly serve in
a power sharing government and if policing and justice
powers are to be transferred to a future administration in
Northern Ireland.

by David Gordon


Museum At Maze Won’t Be Shrine: Sinn Fein

By Staff Reporter

Republicans are calling for a £10 million museum and
conflict resolution centre to be built on the site of the
former Maze prison, with ex-prisoners acting as guides to
paying visitors.

Sinn Fein denied that the 4,000 sq m facility would be a
shrine to the IRA after handing its submission to the
government yesterday.

It wants to see some prison walls, watchtowers and H-blocks
preserved along with the prison hospital where 10 hunger
strikers died in 1981.

Northern Ireland Office minister David Hanson is deciding
what to do with the 360-acre site near Lisburn.

“We repeatedly are on record as saying it should not be a
shrine to any of the hunger strikers or any individual,”
Lisburn Sinn Fein councillor Paul Butler said.

“The history of republicanism has to be told, their
history, the history of imprisonment. But nowhere in this
document is it proposed that it is going to be a shrine to

Mr Butler said the experiences of loyalist inmates and
prison officers should also be preserved.

Mr Butler, who sits on the Maze/Long Kesh monitoring group,
said he wanted to create an international conflict
transformation centre which would help bring the two
communities together.

He wanted to see guided tours carried out by ex-prisoners
from both sides and prison officials as well as former
British soldiers.

Mr Butler aid there had been a political compromise between
Sinn Fein and unionists, who are opposed to preserving some
parts of the prison compound, and said Sinn Fein had backed
plans for a 42,000-seater multi-sports stadium on the
understanding that part of the Maze would be preserved.

Mr Hanson yesterday said Deloitte Touche would undertake a
business plan for the International Centre for Conflict


DUP Slammed Over Maze 'Shrine'

A museum commemorating paramilitaries who were jailed in
Northern Ireland's infamous H-Blocks is the price the
Democratic Unionists have paid for the redevelopment of the
Maze Prison, it has been claimed.

By:Press Association

Senior Ulster Unionist Assembly member Michael McGimpsey
rounded on the DUP after the British Government announced
yesterday Deloitte Touche will prepare a business plan for
an international centre for conflict transformation on the
360-acre site near Lisburn.

The announcement coincided with Sinn Fein releasing a paper
calling for a £10 million museum at the Maze which would
retain some of the infamous prison`s walls, watchtowers and
H-blocks along with the hospital where 10 republican hunger
strikers died in 1981.

The party also suggested former loyalist and republican
inmates, prison guards and soldiers stationed at the Maze
should provide guided tours of the site.

Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson criticised their
proposal and insisted republicans should not be allowed to
turn the Maze Prison into an IRA shrine.

However in an attack on Mr Donaldson`s party, former
Stormont Culture Minister Michael McGimpsey said the plans
for the Maze already guaranteed a centre which republicans
would turn into an IRA shrine.

"The cat`s out of the bag," the South Belfast Assembly
member said.

"All my predictions have come true and the DUP can`t say
they haven`t been warned.

"The DUP says a republican shrine is not on at the Maze.
They say they will not allow Sinn Fein to build a shrine.
It`s too late. It`s already there.

"There`s no point in anyone saying that this will not be a
shrine. Republicans are treating it as such. They`ve
already had one commemoration on it, so what`s to stop them
doing it again?"

The government has set out plans for a 42,000-seater sports
stadium on the site which would stage Northern Ireland
soccer internationals, top rugby games, Gaelic Games and
rock concerts.

The plans have been criticised by some Northern Ireland
football supporters opposed to the moving of international
games from Belfast.

They believe a new stadium should be built instead in the

Mr McGimpsey accused the DUP of lacking consistency, noting
the party had criticised the staging on Sunday of a
republican hunger strike commemoration in Northern
Ireland`s premier Gaelic Games stadium, Casement Park in

He accused the DUP of lacking consistency, claiming the
party had moved from saying there would be no shrine to
republican prisoners to accepting there would be a museum.

The Ulster Unionist MLA asked: "Are they really going to
hide behind semantics and argue the difference between
shrine, transformation centre, and museum?

"What republicans did at Casement last weekend has
profoundly embarrassed the Gaelic Athletic Association.

"They hijacked an important cultural and sporting venue for
their own ends. If anyone really thinks that they won`t do
this at the Maze, they`ll need their head examined."


Three Questioned Over Michael’s Murder Freed

By Sharon O’Neill Chief Reporter

DETECTIVES investigating the murder of Catholic teenager
Michael McIlveen last night released a teenage boy and two
adults questioned over the killing.

The three were arrested following fresh police swoops in
Ballymena yesterday morning.

The man and woman were quizzed over allegedly assisting an
offender, while the teenage boy, whose exact age is not
known, was questioned over conspiracy to pervert the course
of justice.

All were released pending reports to the Public Prosecution

So far five teenagers have been charged with the sectarian
murder, and two other teenagers with affray.

Michael McIlveen (15) was beaten in Ballymena on May 7 but
died in hospital the next day.

In a bid to avert any further loss of life through
sectarian hatred Mr McIlveen’s family allowed a picture of
the teenager to be taken moments after he passed away.

Since the killing tensions have remained high in the town
and in the early hours of Sunday a Catholic family were
targeted by petrol bombers.

Last night SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan, whose son was
seriously injured in a

sectarian attack near his north Belfast home in June,
welcomed the latest arrests.

“I am glad police are actively continuing to investigate Mr
McIlveen’s death,” he said.

On the wider issues of sectarian tensions in the town, he
insisted community representatives had worked tirelessly to
avoid any trouble.

“People were making a conscious effort on the issue,” he

“The republican parade and bonfire passed over peacefully.”


Fury Over UDR Honour In City

By Roisin McManus

The erection of a UDR monument in Lisburn city centre has
been slammed by the father of a local man who believes that
the regiment colluded in his son’s murder.

Michael Power Senior spoke to the Andersonstown News just
days before the anniversary of his eldest son, Michael’s

On August 23, 1987, Michael Power (30) was gunned down on
Dunmurry Lane by the UDA on his way to Mass.

Several days before his murder he was stopped by a UDR
patrol and threatened that he would be killed.

On the morning of Michael’s murder the UDR had maintained a
checkpoint for a number of hours just several hundred yards
from where he was killed.

Ten minutes before loyalists shot Michael in front of his
eight-year-old daughter, the UDR checkpoint was lifted.

A monument is set to be erected by the Regimental
Association of the UDR in Lisburn city centre on council
land, to commemorate those in the regiment who lost their
lives during the conflict. The monument recently received
the backing of Lisburn City Council despite protestations
from Sinn Féin.

Michael Power Snr said he is disgusted that Lisburn City
Council has supported the erection of the memorial.

“The UDR were implicated in my son’s murder,” said Michael.

“I find it appalling that Lisburn City Council, who claim
to be acting on behalf of all the citizens of the Lisburn
area, would consider giving public land over to a sectarian
force whose members have colluded with loyalist death
squads in the murder of Catholics.”

The UDR was formed in 1970 to replace the notorious B
Specials. They were disbanded in 1992 and succeeded by the
Royal Irish Regiment. Michael Power’s views are echoed by
Robert McClenaghan, spokesman for campaign group An

“If Lisburn is to be seen as a city for everyone and seen
to promote good relations between both communities then
nationalist concerns over this memorial must be listened
to,” said Robert.

DUP Lisburn Councillor Paul Givan, who supported the
erection of the UDR memorial, speaking to the Andersonstown
News said: “An Equality Impact Assessment was carried out
by the officers of the council on this issue.

“I don’t accept that the UDR was a colluding force, it was
a properly constituted security force who carried out an
important role to protect us.”

A vigil will be held next Wednesday at the spot on Dunmurry
Lane where Michael was killed.

The vigil will take place at 5pm.

Journalist:: Roisin McManus


Why It Wasn't Too Late To Talk To Billy

Why did leading members of Sinn Fein attend the funeral of
a former UVF man? And how did a man who served time for
loyalist crime come to earn the respect and friendship of
prominent republicans? Roy Garland explains the
extraordinary legacy of Billy Mitchell.

17 August 2006

The congregation at the funeral of loyalist Billy Mitchell
was certainly a mixed one. Dawn Purvis, chair of the PUP,
Liam Maskey, brother of Alex Maskey MLA, and pastors of the
Church of the Nazarene, all took time to speak movingly
about his life.

And at the end of the service, which took place three weeks
ago, crowds poured on to the street, joining hundreds
waiting outside to pay their last respects.

A piper led the cortege and, as we slowly followed the
hearse, I became aware of Sinn Fein members, official
republicans, rank and file and also leading UVF men,
churchmen, priests and people from the north and south
silently walking alongside.

And I couldn't help but think what a fitting tribute this
was to a man who devoted his life to creating a better
future for all.

My interest in Billy Mitchell goes back to the early 70s,
when he was one of a number of UVF men struggling to find a
better way forward.

He would talk fearlessly about nationalists and republicans
having every right to be such, and to express their
aspirations openly.

He also rejected the fears being whipped up by demigods,
making what seemed an astonishing statement: "We have
nothing to fear from a united Ireland."

Of course, many actions of the UVF seemed to belie such
ideas, but they lived and moved in a sea of sectarianism.

And, by the early 90s, I discovered that I shared a lot in
common with Billy.

Both of us came from working class evangelical homes but
had been caught up in a religious fundamentalism that saw
Protestant Ulster as a sacred cause demanding sacrifice and

Billy struggled with this and ultimately realised that
genuine faith is to be expressed in love of one's neighbour
- and even of one's enemy.

Billy Mitchell's dad had died in the 1940s and his mother
reared him and his brother in a rickety hut on the Hightown
Road in Glengormley on the outskirts of Belfast.

The toilet was, he told me, made of "corrugated tin" in
which "you s**t in a bucket over a wooden plank".

His granddad "buried it in a big pit and covered it with
ashes" and a solid cover lest anyone fall in.

In the house there were books on Protestant reformers, the
Siege of Derry, Foxes Book of Martyrs and Bible prophesies,
but as a teenager Billy danced the night away to Elvis
Presley, Cliff Richard and the Beatles.

Schooling ended when he was 14, but his teacher commended
his use of English. His first job was with the Belfast
Telegraph as a "copy boy".

Billy's mates suggested they go to hear "Big Paisley" and
they began attending the church and Ulster Hall rallies.

He went mostly for, "political reasons" but the preaching
led him to read the books back home.

Billy then joined a loyalist band and an Orange lodge and
helped organise Paisley's Ulster Protestant Volunteers with
Noel Docherty.

But after Noel was imprisoned Billy moved on to become a
senior UVF officer and a regular scribe for study groups
questioning the direction they were going in.

UVF leaders also engaged in discussion with Northern
Ireland Labour Party politicians - reportedly the only ones
prepared to help the UVF move in a new direction.

During the winter of 1973/4 Billy Mitchell issued an appeal
on behalf of the UVF calling on "all Ulstermen to pause, to
stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to
forgive and forget, and to join in making for the province
they love a new era of peace, contentment and goodwill".

A Council of Ulster under a neutral chair was also
envisaged with representations to be made to it by all
sides of the community.

This dramatic gesture was generally ignored ... but not by

Right wing unionists issued vicious condemnations
suggesting the UVF had gone Communist.

Even elements within the intelligence services depicted the
'new thinking' in as negative a light as possible. The
result was a coup d'etat by hardliners.

A vicious feud followed and it involved terrible killings.
Billy was arrested and a "supergrass" trial followed.

It ended with heavy sentences meted out to him and most of
the UVF in south east Antrim.

Billy found this painful and would not talk about it.

It seems he did not pull the trigger but shared the guilt.

While in jail, however, he read extensively in theology and
politics and became particularly fond of Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, the German theologian hanged by the Nazis for
plotting against Hitler.

Billy had become an accomplished, if unacknowledged,
scholar who would not be easily manipulated.

In 1990 when Billy was released, loyalists again urged
politicians to make peace but the appeals fell on deaf

Billy joined the PUP and with the support of his church,
devoted his life to transforming loyalist organisations and

Being highly respected he could address the UVF directly
and became central to the two-years-old East Antrim
Conflict Transformation initiative - a PUP/UVF leadership
attempt to deal with the legacy of the conflict and channel
youthful energies into constructive areas.

The legacy was defined by Billy to include the existence of
armed groups, the culture of violence, interface
difficulties, criminals masquerading as loyalists and whole
communities marginalised, demonised, stereotyped and
blighted by sectarianism.

Billy said armed loyalists were simultaneously engaging in
an internal consultation process and needed time and space
to succeed.

A focus group complimented this by seeking to transform
communities by enriching the quality of people's lives and
address their many issues.

"Critical friends" from across the community monitored and
constructively criticised the work and also tried to
address concerns about loyalism in the wider society.

A forum meets quarterly receiving reports from local
groups, for whom it provides a safe space.

Billy chaired the last meeting when over 120 participants
represented seven different areas.

Observers included PSNI, local government officers,
political observers, Church people and others.

Trevor Ringland, of the One Small Step Campaign,
accompanied me to the last meeting on June 6, 2006 and we
were deeply impressed and moved as young and older people,
many who had never spoken publicly, delivered reports.

Issues being addressed included a Young Citizens Forum,
flags, sectarianism, murals and bonfires.

Others ranged from hockey, soccer coaching and fitness
training to community safety, senior citizens, anti-social
behaviour, heritage, cultural and historical interests,
outdoor pursuits with police, projects to tidy and enhance
areas, youth painting projects, drugs awareness, employment
skills, child protection, women's groups, first aid, food
hygiene, home safety, cancer awareness, beauty treatment,
neighbourhood mediation, cross border relationships,
mediation and leadership training, team building,
information sessions with the police ombudsman, human
rights, a community garden, citizens' advice, healthy
living, fuel poverty, codes of conduct for bands and much
more besides.

I was astounded.

I had never before witnessed anything so constructive and
visionary undertaken by any political party on such a scale
and there in the centre sat Billy Mitchell.

He had defied the inertia, pessimism, sectarianism and
class division that for so long have bedevilled this

Sadly within a few weeks of the meeting Billy Mitchell died
suddenly. His funeral took place on July 25.

He now seems irreplaceable, but his work continues. As
early as the late 70s he came to realise that the Ulster
question was not religious in the conventional sense, but
rather a "question of humanity".

This insight remains central to Billy Mitchell's own, and
hopefully lasting, legacy.


Opin: Dissident Threat Must Be Halted

By Newton Emerson

It seems abundantly clear that dissident republicans are
determined to escalate a campaign of violence in the border

Last week’s appalling incendiary attacks on stores in Newry
not only endangered jobs but seriously damaged the image of
a city which had successfully transformed itself over
recent years.

Then there were devices planted on the cross-border railway
line, causing massive disruption both to train services and
the main Belfast to Dublin road link.

On Tuesday an equally evil attempt was made to blow up a
house being built by the leading industrialist Edward
Haughey in Co Louth.

Up to 70 lbs of explosives were packed into a gas cylinder
but the bomb failed to detonate at the Hackballscross site.

Mr Haughey is not only a prominent business figure but
also, using the title Lord Ballyedmond, sits as an Ulster
Unionist peer in the House of Lords.

There will be obvious fears that, through some twisted
logic, dissident republicans may view him as, in their
terms, a political and economic target.

Mr Haughey has created hundreds of jobs in the Newry
region, which previously had a serious unemployment
problem, through his successful firm, Norbrook

He is perfectly entitled to have a home in his native Co
Louth and, as a basic human right, must be able to support
any political party he chooses.

The idea that an effort should be made to intimidate him
out of a district, and to put his property and even his
life at risk has to be repugnant to all democrats.

It sends out a shameful message to the wider unionist
community and will also undermine hopes that much-needed
new economic investment could be attracted to the border

Dissident republicans should accept that their activities
are morally wrong and have been decisively rejected by the
vast majority of ordinary nationalists in both the north
and south of Ireland.

If the perpetrators of the latest campaign do not desist,
it is essential that they are brought to justice before
they cause further destruction and, quite probably, death.

In this respect, all sections of society have a
responsibility to fully assist the Garda and the PSNI in
their investigations.

After more than three decades of upheaval, the Good Friday
Agreement has given us the opportunity in which to develop
structures which at long last can provide political
stability and economic prosperity.

Those who wish to turn the clock back to the days of murder
and misery cannot be allowed to succeed.


Irish Were More Likely To Face Firing Squad

By Senan Molony
17 August 2006

Irish enlisted men were far more likely to be shot ‘pour
encourager les autres’ than New Zealand, Australian,
Canadian or South African soldiers in the khaki line.

Apart from Private Patrick Joseph Downey, there were 25
other Irish cases including

Private Albert Smythe — Irish Guardsman, from Ulster.

Took rest at a farm, having got separated from his
comrades. He was shot on January 28, 1915.

Ben O’Connell, Irish Guards, executed August 8, 1918.

Noted absent from battalion, having gone to nearby village.
Could not read and therefore unaware of orders to go into

Private George Hanna, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Belfast.
Refused permission to go home to see a sister who was
gravely ill, Hanna, who had lost three brothers in the war,
left the line to go home anyway. He was executed for
desertion on November 16, 1917.


Plan To Pardon Soldiers Shot At Dawn Welcomed

By Debra Douglas
17 August 2006

An Ulster councillor who spearheaded a province-wide
campaign to get soldiers who were shot for military
offences during the First World War pardoned last night
welcomed the Government's decision to approve the move.

Ards councillor Ronnie Ferguson, who started the Shot At
Dawn petition in the early 90s to highlight the case of the
local soldiers, said it was an important move for their

"I've spoken to some of the families involved and they are
really pleased," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"They have stayed quiet and want it to remain that way but
they have welcomed the move.

"When I contacted some of them and told them what was
happening, they could not believe it.

"Many of them have gone to visit the graves of their
relatives and now they can take comfort in the Government's
decision - it has removed the stigma which surrounded their
loved ones deaths."

The Ulster Unionist councillor, who brought the issue to
the spotlight fifteen years ago, said it had been a long,
drawn-out process to get to this stage.

"I first brought it to the attention of Ards Borough
Council and then other councils got involved and we ended
up with 25,000 names on a petition supporting a bill to
have the soldiers pardoned.

"It has been a long battle and I would like to thank
everyone who has shown their support for the campaign over
the years.

"Everybody here has played a part in this U-turn by the
Government, the British public have changed their minds and
now, those soldiers will get the pardon they deserve."

The local soldiers include Private James Crozier, from the
Shankill, Lance Corporal Peter Sands, from the Falls, and
Bernard McGeehan, from Derry.

Welcoming the news yesterday, Bernard's cousin John
McGeehan, a prominent member of the Shot At Dawn campaign,
said: "I have been burning with injustice for the years I
have been involved in the campaign and I am delighted."


Shellshocked Ulster Recruit Was Executed At Age Of 18

By Debra Douglas
17 August 2006

Rifleman James Crozier, from Belfast, was the third
youngest soldier to be executed during World War 1.

The Shankhill Road man was only 18 when he was shot - he
lied about his age when he had signed up two years earlier
with the 9th Royal Irish Rifles in the old Town Hall,

James was executed as an example to "encourage the others"
but evidence shows that far from being a deserter, he had
in fact been injured.

He had been hit by a shell and days later was found
wandering in the French countryside, confused and
incoherent and most likely suffering from shellshock, a
condition not recognised by the British Army at that stage.

But, regarded as a deserter, he was executed by his

At dawn on February, 27, 1916, a firing squad made up of
soldiers the teenager had served with took aim and fire,
felling him for cowardice.

Their markmanship was not good, probably because they had
no heart for the task, and one officer had to finish the
young man off by placing his revolver in his mouth and
blowing the top of his head off.

In the following years, his commanding officer, Percy
Crozier, who had assured the soldier's mother he would take
care of his namesake, wrote a book about what happened.

In the "Brass Hat in No Man's Land", Percy Crozier give his
own gruesome account of the slaughter of the young solider
who was unconscious at the time, having been encouraged to
drink himself into a stupor.

"He has already been bound with ropes", he wrote.

"There are hooks on the post; he is hooked on like dead
meat in a butcher's shop.

"His eyes are bandaged, not that it really matters for he
is already blind. The men of the firing party pick up their
rifles, one of which is unloaded, on a given sign.

"On another sign they've come to present and on the
lowering of a handkerchief by an officer they fire - a
volley rings out - a nervous, ragged volley it is true, yet
a volley.

"There is a pause, I wait. I see the medical officers
examining the victim. He makes a sign, the subaltern
strides forward, a single shot rings out. Life is now

"We march back to breakfast while the men of a certain
company pay the last tribute at all graveside of an
unfortunate comrade. This is war."

Rifleman Crozier, service number 14218, is buried in
Sucrerie Military Cemetary in Colin Camps, Plot 1, Row A,
Grave 5.


One Dead, Another Is Badly Hurt In Cliff Fall

By Brendan McDaid
17 August 2006

A teenage girl was last night in a critical condition
following a horrific cliff fall at Ireland's most northerly

An 18-year-old boy was killed after both he and the girl
fell from steps dropping 80ft to Sandport beach.

Both teenagers were discovered at the bottom of the steps
by a 14-year-old youth at around 1.30am yesterday.

The man, who was pronounced dead at the scene by a local
doctor, was today named locally as Brian Glackin, from
Bree, about two miles inland from the scene of the accident
at the tip of Inishowen.

A spokeswoman for Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday confirmed
that the girl had been transferred to the Royal Hospital in

A spokeswoman for the Royal said she was in a critical
condition in the intensive care unit.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the girl had come from

Dozens of holidaymakers were on the beach at the time of
the accident following the annual August 15 sports day and

Celebrations were brought to a standstill, however, as news
of the death spread among local people and holidaymakers
gathered on the beach.

Superintendant Vincent O'Brien said today: "Sometime
between 1am and 1.30am a number of people left the Seaview
Tavern in Malin Head with the intention of going to a beach

"The deceased, accompanied by a female, took a known path
by steps down to the beach.

"At 1.30am the alarm was raised by a 14-year-old boy who
had found them both lying at the bottom of the path.

"The 18-year-old man was pronounced dead at 1.40am."


Early Irish Republicanism Opposed By The British – And The Catholic Church

By Staff Reporter

THE Society of the United Irishmen was made up of
Protestants, Catholics and Dissenters brought together in
the common causes of democratic reform and Catholic

Set up in Belfast in 1791 by Henry Joy McCracken, Theobald
Wolfe Tone, Thomas Russell and William Drennan, the United
Irishmen were inspired by the French Revolution and the
newly-established democracy of the United States. But their
desire for reform soon evolved into a plan to push for
republican government in a new, autonomous Ireland, aided
by the French revolutionary

government. A botched French invasion in 1796 led the
British authorities to a vicious crackdown on the movement,
which was also opposed by the Catholic Church.

And although its leadership was depleted, the society
mounted a rebellion in May 1798. It was intended that the
rebels would gain control of Dublin but British
intelligence thwarted their plan.

Other counties joined the rebellion, with the rebels
experiencing their biggest success in Wexford. Henry Joy
McCracken led a group of mostly Presbyterian rebels in Co
Antrim where they held most of the county until defeat in
Antrim town. Although rebels in Co Down enjoyed early
success in Saintfield, they were defeated in the longest
battle of the rebellion in Ballynahinch.

The rebels were finally defeated in battles in Co Meath and
Co Dublin on July 14. Between 15,000 and 30,000 had been
killed in three months, the most bloody period

of Irish history.

Although the aim of the 1798 rebellion was to eradicate
English influence from Irish affairs, its medium-term
impact was to prompt England to bring Ireland under even
tighter control with the Act of Union of 1801. However, it
has retained a major significance in Irish history because
its founding fathers were Protestant men whose
revolutionary ideals saw them long of a united Ireland.

Margaret Canning


Festival Will Highlight Ulste-Scots 1798 Role

By Claire Simpson

Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter were encouraged to
“think outside the box” when they united in 1798, according
to organisers of a new event marking the Battle of
Saintfield. Claire Simpson reports

A festival to commemorate the 1798 rebellion aims to shed
some light on the role Ulster-Scots played in the conflict.

The Liberty Days festival in Saintfield, Co Down, which is
launched today, will include music, dance and drama as well
as a re-enactment of the Battle of Saintfield.

Although a prototype reenactment was held last year it will
be the first time the full mock fight has been open to the

Due to run all weekend the festival also boasts the first
performance of a new play on the United Irishmen rebellion.

A procession will walk down the town’s main street on
Saturday culminating in a wreath-laying ceremony on York

Organiser Vivien Hewitt said the idea for the festival had
been mooted many years ago.

“Last year we made a film about the 1798 rebellion and the
festival came out of that,” she said.

“It is very much a cross-community event – we want people
to have fun with history.

“I know the United Irishmen rebellion was not a fun time
but it was wonderful and colourful and exciting for the
people involved.

“It encouraged Irishmen to think outside the box –
something we should do today.”

Ms Hewitt said the play, called Who Dares to Speak, would
be performed in Ulster-Scots and had been extensively

“It is about human stories and human beings and what
happens to them in a civil war,” she said.

“I think we have got past the idea that one side is right
and the other is wrong.

“It is not a history lesson, it is a day in the life.”

Ms Hewitt, who wrote the play, said it aimed to reflect the
mixture of idealism and confusion surrounding the

“Although fictional, the play is heavily based on the facts
and community memories of those few June days in 1798 when
the Ulster-Scots imagination caught fire and believed it
would be possible to transform Ireland into an American-
style republic,” Ms Hewitt said.

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