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August 11, 2006

Nationalists To Protest Apprentice Boys' March

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 08/12/06 Nationalists To Protest Apprentice Boys' March
IT 08/12/06 Adams Call For Information On 'Disappeared' Angers DUP
IO 08/11/06 Sellafield Owners Fined For Leak
UT 08/11/06 Real IRA Admits Firebomb Attacks
BN 08/11/06 Paisley Accuses Police Ombudsman Of Publicity Seeking
RG 08/11/06 Opin: Tips For Peace From Northern Ireland
IT 08/12/06 Opin: Tackling Inflation
IT 08/12/06 Opin: Creating A Language Of Hope In A Jagged Place
IO 08/11/06 Fire Damages Trinity College
IO 08/11/06 €60,000 Yacht Stolen From Pier On Aran Islands
IT 08/12/06 Fewer Irish Homeless In London


Nationalists To Protest Apprentice Boys' March

Margaret Canning

About 15,000 Apprentice Boys are expected in Derry today
for the annual Relief of Derry parade. The parade
commemorates the actions of Protestant Apprentice Boys who
shut the city gates against the forces of the Catholic King
James in December 1688.

King James laid siege to the city until August 1689, when
the Protestant forces of King William of Orange relieved
the city.

Nationalists are expected to protest in Castlederg against
two contentious feeder parades by the Apprentice Boys
before and after the main Derry parade.

Residents in Ferguson Crescent will hold a protest this
morning as the parade passes through while residents of
Lurganbuoy Road are to hold a protest as the parade returns
in the evening.

Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty said that the
Apprentice Boys should focus their attention on the Derry
parade "rather than seek to march along contentious routes
in places like Castlederg".

The Ardoyne Parades Dialogue Group and the North and West
Belfast Parades Forum have reached agreement with the
Apprentice Boys in advance of a march in north Belfast

Representatives agreed that the parade would proceed as the
Ardoyne group had withdrawn any formal opposition.

© The Irish Times


Adams Call For Information On 'Disappeared' Angers DUP

Margaret Canning

The DUP has accused Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams of double
standards after he called for information about a Co Armagh
man who disappeared 25 years ago. Charlie Armstrong (55)
disappeared on August 16th, 1981, after leaving his
Crossmaglen home to drive a pensioner to Mass.

It was believed that republicans had abducted and murdered
the father-of-five though the IRA has denied
responsibility. Mr Adams called for anyone with information
about Mr Armstrong or Gerard Evans (24), also from
Crossmaglen, who disappeared in 1979, to come forward.

But DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson accused Mr Adams of "double
standards". "I have to say there is a question of double
standards. The IRA have information about at least five
people who they have killed and buried, and have they given
all that information to the police?"

Mr Adams said he met Mr Armstrong's family before the 25th
anniversary of his disappearance. He says his party is
continuing to work "to secure the return of the remains of
those who were killed and secretly buried by the IRA".

Kathleen Armstrong said she would welcome "anyone's help"
to find her husband's remains. "I never knew who was behind
it and I still don't know. We are looking to everybody for
help," she said. Neither Mr Armstrong nor Mr Evans was
included on the IRA's list of nine disappeared, five of
whose remains have not been found.

Searches for Mr Armstrong's remains in north Monaghan in
2002 and 2003 were unsuccessful.

Mr Adams said the 25 years since Mr Armstrong's
disappearance had been a "long, difficult and emotional
time for his family".

SDLP Assembly member Dominic Bradley called on the IRA to
end the suffering of the families of the disappeared.
"Paramilitaries took their lives, they took their bodies
and now they must not continue to take away the right for
Christian burials," he said.

© The Irish Times


Sellafield Owners Fined For Leak

11/08/2006 - 18:03:17

The company which runs the Sellafield nuclear plant in
England has been fined £2m (€2.97m) following a leak at the
Thorp plant last year.

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority imposed the
penalty for the breach of health and safety standards.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority says it has made its
commitment to the highest standards in health and safety,
and the security and protection of the environment
absolutely clear.

And it expects its contractors to deliver sustained
excellence in these areas.

It says it had to fine the British Nuclear Group for its
failings following the leak at Sellafield.

The Minister for the Environment Dick Roche says the leak
is a damning indictment of the safety management at the

And he says it demonstrates the Government’s justification
for taking international legal actions against the UK.

He is reiterating his pledge to use every diplomatic and
legal route available to close the Thorp facility.


FRIDAY 11/08/2006 18:30:06

Real IRA Admits Firebomb Attacks

The Real IRA says it carried out the firebomb attacks in
Newry, County Down.

By:Press Association & UTV

In a call to UTV`s radio station, U105, they claimed they
left the incendiary devices which destroyed four shops and
damaged five others.

Shops owned by TK Maxx, JJB Sports, MFI and Carpetright
were all destroyed, causing damage worth tens of millions
of pounds.

The Real IRA admission came as council chiefs and business
leaders met in emergency session and pledged to get
businesses up and running again following the attacks in
the early hours of Wednesday.

SDLP mayor Michael Carr said: "The Real IRA should examine
their motives. Their cause is not a blow for Ireland, but a
blow against their own communities."

Mr Carr added: "These businesses will be given every
support, including attempts to have them temporarily re-
located as soon as possible."

The terrorist organisation also claimed they left devices
on the Belfast-Dublin railway line at the same time as the
incendiaries were planted.

They have warned people to stay away from the railway line
at Barcroft Park in Newry as there may be unexploded

The cross-border railway line between Newry, and Dundalk in
County Louth, has been closed.


Paisley Accuses Police Ombudsman Of Publicity Seeking

11/08/2006 - 19:30:53

Police Ombudsman investigators who questioned an ex-
detective as part of a widening inquiry into alleged
security force collusion with loyalist paramilitary killers
wanted publicity without any hard evidence, it was claimed

After retired Sergeant Johnston “Jonty” Brown was released
without charge, Democratic Unionist MLA Ian Paisley Junior
hit out at the decision to detain him as he stepped off a
plane at Belfast International Airport.

Brown was one of three former officers questioned on
Wednesday about alleged attempts to pervert the course of

They were held in the latest phase of a major probe by
ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s team into how the RUC handled the
hunt for the Ulster Volunteer Force murderers of Raymond
McCord Junior.

Mr McCord, 22, a former RAF man, was beaten to death by
members of the outlawed organisation in 1997 and his body
dumped in a quarry outside North Belfast.

Claims that at least one of those responsible for the
killing was shielded because he worked for police special
branch are at the centre of the ombudsman’s investigation.

Her findings are expected to be damning when they are
published next month.

But after Mrs O’Loan’s staff arrested Mr Brown and two
other ex-CID men, only to let them go without charge, Mr
Paisley launched an attack on how the operation was carried

The Northern Ireland Policing Board representative claimed:
“These were stage-managed show arrests of a number of
former police officers.

“In particular, to arrest one as soon as he got off an
aeroplane, and for the media to be at the house of another
officer, was nothing short of scandalous.

“When the police go to arrest prominent republicans,
prominent loyalists and other criminals, no such media
circus is there spectating.

“The fact that no charges have come from the investigation
of these officers demonstrates how little evidence the
ombudsman had at her disposal.

“If the ombudsman wanted to carry out this investigation
and make these arrests, then those former officers should
have been treated like others and invited to a station for


Opin: Tips For Peace From Northern Ireland

Published: Friday, August 11, 2006

BALLYGALLY, Northern Ireland - Hellfire and brimstone may
be raining down on the Middle East, but that other
perennial favorite of apocalyptic summertime headline
writers - Northern Ireland - is slipping blissfully out of
the view of the international media. If ever there were a
question of no news being good news, this is it.

Admittedly, what were euphemistically called the Northern
Ireland "troubles" were without either the large body
counts - only about 100 per year over 30 years here - or
the geopolitical imperatives of the Middle East. But for an
annual visitor such as me, the incremental changes of the
last decade here have been both striking and hopeful.

This is the season when Protestant fraternal lodges
traditionally parade to celebrate 17th century military
victories that gave them ascendancy over Catholics, and
generally their marches were met with stone throwing and
mini-riots from their "Papish" neighbors. But a year after
the Irish Republican Army has largely disarmed, the advice
went out via Sinn Fein, once considered the political voice
of the IRA, but increasingly a political party like any
other: "Let them parade. Some day they'll get over it."

So summer normalcy is increasingly taking the place of rock
throwing as the local media fare. Danger no longer lurks
around the corner, but around the world. The two biggest
recent headlines involve the travails of the families of
two young Northern Irish men, one who died suddenly in
India, and another who was caught in the midst of a
gunfight among drug gangs in the Spanish resort of Ibiza.

There are many reasons why calm in Ulster has come about,
even though political power-sharing talks are still blocked
by the ever-intransigent Rev. Ian "Over My Dead Body"
Paisley, leader of hard-core Protestants. But this summer,
Paisley found himself rebuked by another Protestant
clergyman, who warned that such rhetoric may still play to
some crowds, but will not stop increasing cross-border
development with the (overwhelmingly Catholic) Irish

Indeed, that has been one of the keys to better inter-
communal relations here. The Bank of Ireland released a
study last month in which it claimed that the Irish
Republic is now the second richest country in the world in
terms of per capita wealth, after Japan. This is largely
due to an explosion of property value, but also to years of
5 percent economic growth and a 4 percent unemployment
rate, some of which has spilled over into once-richer

While parallels between Northern Ireland and the Middle
East are necessarily tenuous, there are nevertheless
lessons to be learned from the Irish experience. One is
that peace will not come unless you negotiate with your
enemies, whether you call them terrorists or not, and
regardless of how disagreeably shrill their rhetoric may
be. A strictly military solution was not viable in Northern
Ireland because the IRA had the support of far too many
local Catholics, just as a strictly military solution in
Lebanon is unworkable, as Hezbollah has the support of a
Shia Muslim community that comprises perhaps 40 percent of
Lebanon's population.

The role of the United States, particularly the
administration of Bill Clinton, was also important here, as
it was trusted by both the British and Irish Republic
governments, the former because of the long history of
Anglo-American amity, and the latter because of the
influence of the large Irish-American community. The
difficulty in the Middle East is that America's constant
and unreserved support of Israel has left it without
credibility among Arab states, as much as it may desire to
play the role of honest broker.

Another necessity for peace is prosperity, or at least the
promise of it. The poverty of the Palestinians in the
occupied territories, and a Lebanon now reduced to ruins
with 1 million refugees, is a recipe for chaos and mayhem
for years to come. The Western world and Israel would do
far better to encourage enterprise zones in these areas,
where Palestinians and Lebanese could furnish the
industrial West with agricultural produce and perhaps
textiles without tariffs.

Alas, the death and destruction in the Middle East over the
past month mean that positions have become brittle, with
the only winners being Iran and Syria, who have used the
war to break out of their international pariah status,
though sooner or later, Western nations will have to hold
their collective nose and talk to those unsavory regimes,
as well.

All of this is mercifully far away now, as I walk down to
the sea from the green hills of Antrim, with the clear sky
punctuated only by the occasional bleating of sheep. At a
village pub called Mattie Moore's, sandwiched between two
churches offering two different brands of Presbyterianism,
a local says of the Middle East, doubtless without irony,
"Terrible - all that killing - too bad they can't find a
better way. ...''

Eugene native Kevin Capé is a teacher and writer living in


Opin: Tackling Inflation


Inflation is now running at its highest level in more than
three years, doubling in 13 months to 4.2 per cent.
Predicted increases in interest rates and the price of oil
make it possible that the rate will top 5.5 per cent by the
end of the year or early in 2007. Average inflation for
this year is expected to be about 4 per cent.

In simple terms this means that the typical household will
find itself paying something in excess of €300 a month more
this December in mortgage interest, energy bills and other
expenses than it did last December.

It is a significant sum and the Government's response to
the problem to date is far from satisfactory. The Minister
for Finance and his colleagues appear only too willing to
let themselves be cast in the role of hand-wringing,
hapless victims of the external forces driving much of the
inflation: European Central Bank rate rises and the price
of oil.

This is not only something of a cop-out, it is also
disingenuous. As analysts pointed out this week, a
significant element of inflation is attributable to factors
other than higher interest rates and energy bills. When the
impact of energy prices and interest rates is stripped out
of the data, underlying inflation has still doubled since
July 2005. The main driver of what is termed "core
inflation" has been the price of food, package holidays,
accommodation and a number of other items such as
insurance, particularly health insurance.

It is clear that a significant amount of inflation is
domestically generated and thus the Government does have
some, albeit limited, tools at its disposal to combat it.
What it most certainly does not have is either an excuse or
a reason to sit on its hands and hope that the problem will
resolve itself. Sustained high inflation will further erode
the competitiveness of Irish exports and undermine the
nascent national agreement, Towards 2016, which assumes
much lower rates of inflation than those prevailing now.

A number of responses have been suggested in recent days,
including the re-establishment of an anti- inflationary
group involving the social partners to address the issue.
But the most significant weapon in the Government's armoury
is its own spending power which can significantly affect
demand. The Minister for Finance would be well advised to
heed the chorus of warnings coming from reputable bodies
including the Economic and Social Research Institute and
the International Monetary Fund to avoid a reckless pre-
election spending spree and, in particular, an
unnecessarily generous budget in December.

© The Irish Times


Opin: Creating A Language Of Hope In A Jagged Place

Susan McKay

Too bad Sean Kelly turned up at "The Future Together"
conference in north Belfast last weekend. Too bad the DUP
did not. It was still an inspiring event, but one that
showed all too clearly how fraught is the project of
"creating a language of hope" in a place cut into jagged
jigsaw pieces by a peaceline which has, this summer, been
built even higher.

The conference was part of the New Lodge festival and the
republican organisers had invited their loyalist neighbours
to join them at Belfast Castle to celebrate relationships
which have been quietly built through years of hard and
brave work.

Kelly showed up at the invitation-only gala dinner at the
end of the event. Known to Sinn Féin as a "hero of the
peace process" and to many others as "the Shankill bomber",
he survived the 1993 IRA atrocity.

Nine Shankill people died, along with the other bomber,
Thomas Begley. When he was briefly returned to prison last
summer, the graffiti in republican walls said "Free Sean
Kelly". The graffiti on loyalist walls said "F***k Sean

Begley had been reading Martin Dillon's The Shankill
Butchers. The mostly Catholic victims of the notorious
1970s loyalist gang came mainly from North and West

As it happens, the most interesting speaker at the weekend
conference, and the one who most inspired the feeling that
the North might be heading for a better political future,
was Robert Bates. His grandfather, Robert "Basher" Bates,
was one of the Shankill Butchers.

Robert Bates doesn't want to talk about the past. He says
the future is what matters. Only 16, he has a passionate
commitment to his people and to ending sectarianism and
conflict. He said he was a loyalist, meaning "loyal to your
community and helping it in its hour of need". It was not
"about men in balaclavas running about giving young people
drugs and burning cars and causing mayhem".

He said he grew up hating Catholics. "I knew my community
had suffered a lot at the hands of republicans. What I
didn't see was the bigger picture. My people had caused a
lot of suffering too."

He is now chairman of Belfast City Council's youth council
and a member of the UK youth parliament. He has become a
close friend of a Catholic teenager from Ardoyne. "I never
had a chance to meet a person like that before," he said.
Young people in the Shankill needed to learn that there was
"more to history than burning green, white and gold flags".

Bates said Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley weren't the ones who
would make the streets of Belfast safe so that he and his
friend could visit each other without fear. "We are."

Bates met Adams during a coffee break. Adams said he had a
headache. Bates searched his pockets for a painkiller.
Bates said he'd been trying to get the DUP to get the
streets of the Shankill cleaned up and when they hadn't,
he'd phoned Adams's constituency office on the Falls Road.
Next day, the Department of the Environment had sent
workers out to do the job.

Adams said more and more people from loyalist areas were
seeking his help as their MP. "Will you vote for me next
time?" he asked Bates. "No," the young man replied. Both of
them laughed.

In fact, Bates regards the late Gerry Fitt of the SDLP as a
local political inspiration. Martin Luther King is his
hero. He thinks the Progressive Unionist Party has worked
hard for peace but says he won't join a party with a
paramilitary background. He has no time for the DUP. It was
"disgraceful" that the party for which a majority of
loyalist people vote refused to take part in dialogue about
a shared future. (The UUP, Alliance, PUP, Sinn Féin and
SDLP all participated.)

Adams spoke at the conference - about denial. Unionists
refused to accept any responsibility for the conflict, he
said. In its immediate aftermath Adams said the Shankill
bomb was wrong, but republicans insist the IRA intended to
kill UDA leaders who, it believed, were meeting upstairs,
allowing time for those in the fish shop downstairs to

In a tribute to Begley in the book Ardoyne, the Untold
Truth, Kelly says all he and Begley talked about on their
way to plant the bomb (in a shop at the busiest time on a
Saturday afternoon) was "hope to God we get the right
people . . . hope to God there are no innocent lives lost".
The bomb went off prematurely - "there was nothing we could
have done about it". It is nonsense.

There is no way their plan could have worked. It is denial.
A couple of Shankill people walked out when Kelly appeared.
Bates felt the organisers should have told people he had
been invited, but stayed, and stands by them. "Everyone
makes mistakes - but this was a really inclusive
conference, the best I've ever been at," he said. "Don't
forget there were loyalist 'lifers' there too. We have to
move on and focus on the positive."

Sinn Féin's new "outreach to unionism" officer, Martina
Anderson, took part in the conference. Rev Brian Kennaway
was invited to launch his book on the Orange Order on the
Falls Road and did so last Saturday. Gary Mitchell's new
play about the UDA has just had its premiere in the West
Belfast Festival. Protestants are breaking Paisley's taboo
on talking and republicans are applauding their courage.

However, another loyalist at the Future Together conference
said: "There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm from
republicans, but they've got to stop acting like they are
missionaries out to convert us."

It was fortunate Alan McBride was not at the conference, as
he might well have been had he not been on holiday.
McBride's wife Sharon was killed in the Shankill bomb. He
has accepted many invitations to speak to and with
republicans and gave this year's Bloody Sunday memorial
lecture in Derry. However, he is not ready to face the man
who murdered his wife. The war isn't long over. Starting a
conversation in a new language is a sensitive business.

© The Irish Times


Fire Damages Trinity College

11/08/2006 - 15:54:43

Fire has paralysed a section of Trinity College in Dublin.

The blaze is believed to have started in a pharmaceutical
laboratory and caused damage to other areas.

The fire in Trinity College's School of Pharmacy appears to
have started in a section of a research laboratory where
dry laboratory stocks and equipment were being stored on

The College says the blaze was confined to a small area,
but heat damage was caused to fittings and equipment.

There was smoke damage to equipment in adjacent
laboratories and water damage to the structure and
equipment in areas underneath.

A forensic examination of the scene to try to determine the
cause of the fire has yet to report its findings.

Trinity College says it is hoped to have the teaching
laboratory back in operation for the coming academic term,
but the research laboratory is likely to be out of action
until the end of the year.


€60,000 Yacht Stolen From Pier On Aran Islands

11/08/2006 - 13:49:19

Gardaí in Co Galway have mounted a major land and sea
search for a €60,000 yacht stolen from the Aran Islands

The Irish-owned Osange was moored at Kilronan Pier on Inis
Mor when it taken sometime between 11pm last night and 2am
this morning.

Gardaí say the vessel had enough fuel to travel some
distance and have warned those who stole it that they may
be putting themselves at danger if they have sailed out to
sea without enough experience.


Fewer Irish Homeless In London

Christine Newman

A homeless woman in a subway station in London.

The number of homeless Irish people sleeping rough in
central London has dropped to a record low, the Simon
Homeless Agency has said.

Philip Burke, social affairs spokesman for Simon in London,
said the number of homeless Irish in the six inner city
boroughs had fallen from 600 in 1999 to about 100 this

He attributed the decrease to the Government's Díon project
which gives funds annually to welfare societies for Irish
emigrants in Britain, among them charities for the
homeless, including Simon. "It's a real turnaround . . .
The number of Irish people on central London streets is at
a record low. We started doing the head counts 20 years
ago," he said.

About six years ago, he said the problem was particularly
bad as there were many older Irish people in their 60s who
were homeless. He said the Irish Embassy was called in to
investigate and additional funds were provided to Simon and
other welfare agencies by the Government.

"We do an independent head-count twice a year and in 1999
over 600 Irish were on the streets of central London,," Mr
Burke said. "Now there are about 100 and most of them are

Many Irish previously on the streets were now among the
10,000 living in the homeless hostels. The hostel in Camden
was the biggest in Europe.

Many of the older generation became institutionalised in
the hostels and could not cope with living alone in a flat
as they would feel lonely and isolated. There were a number
of supported housing projects where about 10 people lived
together and there were voluntary and staff to help. Some
of the Irish were there, Mr Burke said.

"Millions of pounds have gone into supporting the Irish to
get them off the streets of London. It has had a very
positive impact. The Irish Government has done its bit and
the Irish taxpayer has really helped."

The agencies were working closely with the young Irish
people as the longer they stayed on the streets, the more
difficult it was for them to move back into accommodation,
he said.

The Díon grant allocation to the 142 voluntary
organisations was increased from €1,288,784.15 in 2000 to
€2,604,232.80 in 2001.

Last month, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern
announced the Díon grants this year would reach £6 million
(€8.7 million), the highest to date and double the amount
in 2004.

Mr Burke said just as one situation improved another crisis
was spiralling out of control with people from Poland and
other eastern European countries becoming homeless. They
were not entitled to any public funds.

The crisis would worsen at the end of January when Romania
and Bulgaria came into the EU. They expected many would
come to London and become homeless too, he said.

In the Republic, the Homeless Agency has reported a
significant increase in the number of eastern Europeans
availing of its services and the Polish embassy has
estimated that up to 600 of its citizens may be homeless.

© The Irish Times

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