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August 20, 2006

Loyalist Blamed for Arson Attack

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 08/20/06 Loyalists Blamed For Arson Attack
IN 07/27/06 DUP Must Come Clean On Alleged Paramilitary Links
IT 07/28/06 Councillor Says He Will Not Be Intimidated By Bombing
GU 07/28/06 IE: Land Of Charm, Humour & Delicious Homemade Mayonnaise?


Loyalists Blamed For Arson Attack

Police have said loyalists were behind an arson attack on a
family home in north Belfast.

Three-month-old Molly Magennis and her mother Juanita were
sleeping when the arsonists struck. They were alerted by
neighbours at about 0600 BST on Sunday.

The house in Old Throne Park in the Whitewell area was
badly damaged. Molly's father, Michael McGennis, said he
was relieved no-one was hurt.

"I can't begin to describe how I feel. It was total shock,"
he said.

Firefighters said the flames were 20ft high when they
arrived. Station Commander Mark Beresford said the people
were very fortunate to escape.

"I think they were alerted fairly early on. One of the
neighbours knocked the door and at the same time, the
windows started to smash so the woman and the child were
able to get out fairly quickly," he said.

"They were fairly lucky, if it had of been much longer this
could have been a tragedy."

The fire had spread from a fence to an oil tank and a shed.

Sinn Fein councillor Tierna Cunningham said the family's
lives had been put at risk.

"They are a young couple with a young baby, trying to make
a start in life, and this type of thing, in this day and
age, is not on," she said.

"The grass is completely covered with oil, the windows are
burned out and the house is completely black at the back."

The couple and their baby have gone to stay with relatives.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/20 16:44:10 GMT


DUP Must Come Clean On Alleged Paramilitary Links

Revelations in yesterday's Irish News by senior PUP member
Dawn Purvis regarding alleged DUP associations with
loyalist paramilitaries raise important questions.
Paisley's party delights in criticising the UUP for being
too light with Sinn Féin and for associating with David
Ervine, derides the SDLP for refusing to enter a coalition
without Sinn Féin in breach of the GFA, and of course
reserves its strongest vitriol for Sinn Féin itself. It
would seem, however, that the DUP is far from being whiter
than white itself.

SDLP Chief Whip John Dallat has challenged Ian Paisley to
come clean on the alleged involvement of the UVF as
bodyguards at his home and elsewhere.

Mr Dallat said: "Forty years ago, at the trial of the
Malvern Street murderers, it became clear that Ian Paisley
was an inspiration for loyalist killers.

"While I do not believe Dawn Purvis should be on the
Policing Board, I have always found her to be genuine in
her political comments and I have no reason to believe she
is telling 'porkies' when she claims that UVF was much
closer to the DUP leader than he would now want the world
to believe.

"During a heated debate in the previous assembly the PUP
leader David Ervine revealed to a hushed house that he
could describe the wallpaper on the living rooms of
different unionist politicians and it would be interesting
to know if that included the Ravenhill Road home of Mr

Mr. Dallat stated that he has had experience of DUP/UVF
collusion in his own life going back many years when he and
his family were allocated a house in a Protestant area, but
declined after he learned that a member of the DUP has
approached the UVF to burn him out. This plot was confirmed
to him recently by a former DUP member who has since left
the party.

We all already knew that the DUP had no aversion to many of
the policies of loyalist paramilitaries. As I have said
before, Ian Paisley may not have been directly involved,
but his fiery anti-Catholic rhetoric certainly gave many
loyalists that extra excuse to take up arms.

Such triumphalism exists to this day. A Protestant member
of the SDLP recently informed me that a prominent DUP
councillor had complained to him that Catholics are taking

In the wake of UUP moves to cooperate in a future Assembly
with David Ervine, the DUP castigated them, accusing
Empey's party of being no better than Sinn Féin. However,
this attitude has sparked anger in loyalist ranks, as the
realisation has dawned upon them that they have been used
as cannon fodder to scaremonger unionists into supporting
the DUP, and are now being hung out to dry.

The move by the UUP is a risky one, but DUP hypocrisy over
the issue is breathtaking. They've conveniently forgotten
about Peter 'The Punt' Robinson's expedition into
Clontibret, complete with stylish paramilitary-style beret.

The longer the DUP refuses to enter government with Sinn
Féin because of its links with the IRA, and the more it
criticises the Ulster Unionists for working with the PUP,
the greater the likelihood that further skeletons from the
DUP cupboard will reveal themselves.


Louth Councillor Says He Will Not Be Intimidated By Petrol Bombing

Elaine Keogh

A Co Louth councillor whose car was targeted with a petrol
bomb over the weekend has said he will not be intimidated
into leaving his home or being silenced.

It is the 13th attack on either his home or his car, Jim
Ryan, an Independent member of both Louth County Council
and Dundalk Town Council, said the incidents began three
years ago after he spoke against anti-social behaviour.

"However, I do not think what happened to me and my family
this time was anti-social behaviour; it was pure
criminality," he said yesterday.

He said although he was not afraid of the people behind the
incidents, his wife, Ann, was too frightened to leave home.

The latest incident occurred on Friday night as their
teenage son was watching television in the front room of
the family home in Father Murray Park, Dundalk.

"He looked out the window and said he thought the road was
on fire," said Mr Ryan. "There was a sheet of flame across
the road from where the petrol bomb had landed on a ramp on
the road and it extended to within one foot from my car."

He said if it had been a few inches closer the car would
also have been in flames.

He believes a gang of up to 40 people between the ages of
16 and 23 is responsible for the incidents. He feels the
violence has increased in recent months.

The Ryans believe their decision not to publicise an
attempt to hurl a lump of concrete through the front window
of their house earlier in the summer led to a recent
incident when a gallon of white paint was hurled over their
front porch, door and windows.

Mrs Ryan recalled: "I saw a young fellow walk towards the
house and thought he must be delivering fast food, although
we hadn't ordered any.

"He came up the path and actually opened the door and threw
the tin of paint in at us. It hit the interior glass door
and it made such a noise I thought it was a bomb he'd
thrown but it was the noise of the gallon of paint hitting
the door.

"He had no fear, did not have his face covered, and even
though my daughter shouted at him that the gardaí were on
the way, he just continued pouring paint around my porch as
if he was watering the plants there."

One youth was questioned by gardaí, and according to a
Garda spokesman, a file will be sent shortly to the DPP.

Mr Ryan is aware it is his role as an outspoken public
representative that has led to him being targeted but also
believes there are many other silent victims.

"I am not intimidated and I will not leave my home, but I
do know the people involved are dangerous."

A Garda spokesman said an investigation was under way into
the petrol bombing incident.

© The Irish Times


Ireland: Land Of Charm, Humour, Breathtaking Vistas ... And
Delicious Homemade Mayonnaise?

Maureen Lipman
Monday August 21, 2006
The Guardian

The gentleman who picks me up at Cork airport is small,
gnomelike and wearing a baseball cap. He has a long grey
beard. He is holding up a sign on which is written the name
of the people with whom I'm staying. Their name is Beard.
Even thinking of this, back home, brown as a berry, makes
me splutter with laughter. Welcome to Ireland.

My friend and hostess, Irène, has a touch of motor neurone
disease. I say a touch because she is defying the disease
with all the power of her positive mind, climbing steps,
running three charities and making precise arrangements for
her friends' daily sorties. It's just part of her therapy.
We sail, we swim, we eat, we shop, we perch on the end of
her bed and laugh.

One day she followed me and my book into the garden and
gave me a demonstration on how to make mayonnaise. I, who
thought it grew in a jar marked Hellmann's, had no idea it
was so technical and required so much stamina. She whisked
the mustard with one yolk for a few minutes, then started
dribbling in the oil. As soon as any separation appeared
she whisked even faster and continued whisking and oiling
for long enough to make my wrist hurt, let alone hers. It
was riveting, like watching an old master mixing his ochres
with his burnt siennas. The whole process took about half
an hour and was strangely satisfying to watch, and the
result was a humdinger to eat with your hake.

We were a small house party in a Victorian villa perched on
the edge of a loch - or, if you're Irish, a lough -
surrounded by hills draped in firs and pines. The lough
narrows into rapids over which you can skim a boat, or a
wetsuited body, out to sea. On the day the party did that,
I had some important neck-moisturising to do and was unable
to share the experience. I'll do it in my next incarnation.
As a hake.

On other days, we picnicked on the top of Priest's Leap, a
heather-covered mountaintop bearing a cross where a martyr
took flight rather than renounce his faith. Well, listen,
he didn't harm anybody else. The view down into the valley
through which the river snakes is a timeless watercolour.
There is so much green that the sky seems turquoise and,
lying on your back in the heather, the clouds and the sheep
take on a mysterious similarity.

On the way back down, we took a diversion to see Jeremy
Irons' terracotta castle, perched on the edge of a tiny
peninsula. I'd read much on my last trip about the local
objections to his renovations, particularly the choice of
colour. The colours of the houses in Ireland are nothing
short of primal. Sure, you'll find a pint of Murphy's in a
purple pub, right next to a turquoise house and a yellow
cottage nestling by a Germolene-pink supermarket. Honestly,
anything goes. It's part of the charm. Some of the newer
bungalow homes on the outer rims of the towns, frankly,
will never feature in World of Interiors, but I wager no
one's thought to complain about them.

My love affair with south-west Ireland began many years
ago. My maternal uncle, Louis, named me Maureen after his
favourite movie star, Maureen O'Hara, and I grew up to have
as much resemblance to her as has Margaret Beckett to
Pamela Anderson. I played an Irish-American, Jenny Malone,
in Neil Simon's Chapter Two. Milton Shulman, then drama
critic of the Evening Standard, wrote: "Maureen Lipman
playing an Irish Catholic is like Barbra Streisand playing
Mother Teresa." I threw plates at Brian Murphy's Old Mother
Riley as his mean Irish wife Kitty Macshane and, in 1971,
played the tiny part of Kathleen, an Irish maid in the
National Theatre's production of O'Neill's Long Day's
Journey into Night, starring Sir Laurence Olivier. (This
week, sorting through old files, I found a letter from the
great man, thanking me for a book I'd given him at
Christmastime, when the play was running at the Old Vic.
The letter, to a junior member of the company, began with
an apology for not writing sooner to say thank you and
ended, four handwritten pages later, with the words, "Sorry
to be so brief." I'll marvel at it again in another 25

About that long ago, I was asked by the Irish tourist board
to front a poster campaign. "Maureen Lipman's Ireland,"
said the strapline, below a merry shot of me, sporting a
fedora, running through a field, with a castle in the
background, my kids running adorably behind me in matching
dungarees. At the time I'd never been to Ireland in my life
and I reckon the only person for whom the advert really
worked was me, because I've hardly missed a year since and
the road rises up to meet me every time.

On this trip we took an old wooden boat at night across to
Heir Island, to revisit a unique restaurant hiding there in
a farmhouse. Twenty-four diners all took their places at
the same time for the moment when the menu was announced:
"Tonight chef will be serving risotto of wild mushrooms,
breast of duck with a sweet-sour sauce, rosemary roasted
potatoes and a Cointreau souffle." And he did! To all of
us. At the same time. Out of one small oven the same size
as mine. I could more easily make 24 ovens than I could
make one souffle. We sailed home, at midnight, heavy but
happy, under a charcoal sky, lit by the fullest moon ever
seen outside of an old John Huston filum.

The airport chaos caused the usual mix of heartache and
heart-searching. Because I'd only taken hand luggage, I
drove in to Skibbereen to buy a hard suitcase and a clear
plastic folder for my wallet. The only case on offer was
two cases. To buy one you had to buy both, which I did. Of
course, when I got to Cork airport there were no
restrictions so I waited 40 minutes for two cases to
collapse on to the carousel after the obligatory couple of
hours' delay. Seeing the news of 10,000 lost bags on my
return made me realise how lucky I'd been. Exploding hand
cream, bottles of unusual liquids, suitcase in High Wycombe
undergrowth - you couldn't make it up. Could you?

My first thought was that the 23 detainees had been set up
for the suicide mission by al-Qaida and then betrayed. What
better way to bring a country or two to a standstill
without shedding a drop of blood? "Look what we are capable
of" being the warning message. "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

We can't beat this kind of terrorism. I realise it's an
unpopular thing to say, but it's what Ireland lived with
for decades and what Israeli civilians have been living
with daily, in their streets and cafes and airports, for
almost 60 years. Only without the warnings.

· This week Maureen read A Short History of Tractors in
Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka: "Very good characters, but I
can't quite see what has made it such a runaway hit."
Maureen saw The Voysey Inheritance at the National Theatre:
"Peter Gill's production is outstanding and the acting
soars but it is finally a play about a financial cover-up."

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