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August 18, 2006

Paramilitary Stand Down is Urged

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 08/18/06 Paramilitary Stand Down Is Urged
UT 08/18/06 MEPs Clash Over Immigration
BB 08/18/06 Shape Of NI 'Super Councils' Emerging
TO 08/18/06 Galvin Hosts Irish Consul For Briefing On Irish Affairs
VG 08/18/06 Celtic Comeback: Carroll, Doyle In Toe-Tapping Revival
BN 08/18/06 Irish Stew: Buffalo Irish Festival
BN 08/18/06 Hibernian Highlights: Buffalo Irish Festival
BB 08/18/06 King Billy Painting A 'Mixed Blessing'
IT 08/19/06 Theatre World Mourns Death Of Rupert Murray
IT 08/19/06 Expanded Cable Car Service In Cork Sought
IT 08/19/06 Two Brothers Rescued From Waterford Cliff
IA 08/19/06 Bogside Artists - The People’s Gallery


Paramilitary Stand Down Is Urged

All five parties on the Preparation for Government
Committee have approved a motion calling for the standing
down of all paramilitary organisations.

The DUP has welcomed Sinn Fein's support for the motion and
called for action on IRA disbandment.

However, republicans said unionists should do more to end
the influence of paramilitaries in their own community.

The motion on the immediate standing down of paramilitaries
was proposed by the DUP.

Five parties are currently represented on the committee.

Welcoming Sinn Fein's backing, the DUP said that if taken
forward and delivered upon the agreement could mark the
beginning of some progress.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said:
"But the DUP wants actions to follow the words, including
the disbandment of the IRA and other paramilitary
organisations in the weeks and months ahead.

"However, Sinn Fein sources say republicans worked hard to
achieve last summer's breakthrough by the IRA, when it
ordered an end to its campaign.

"They say it's a bit rich of unionists to demand more
movement from the IRA when - in the opinion of republicans
- they have not used their influence to end the influence
of loyalist paramilitaries within their own community."

On 15 May, Northern Ireland's politicians took their seats
in the Stormont assembly for the first time since October

While there is no immediate prospect of a power-sharing
executive being formed, the government hopes recalling the
politicians will help to pave the way towards a deal in the
autumn, by its deadline of 24 November.

Devolved government was suspended over allegations of a
republican spy ring. The court case that followed

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and
has been in place since.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/18 18:05:17 GMT


MEPs Clash Over Immigration

A Northern Ireland MEP was today accused of being insular
and mean spirited after arguing against an 'open-door'
policy on immigration.

By:Press Association

Democratic Unionist Jim Allister warned there would be a
fresh flood of immigrants when Bulgaria and Romania join
the European Union next year because of the open door
policy the government operates towards citizens of other EU

However his comments were branded unacceptable by Sinn
Fein`s Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald.

Following reports that secret British Government estimates
predicted between 60,000 and 140,000 Bulgarians and
Romanians would arrive in the UK, Mr Allister warned
housing, healthcare and communities could suffer unless
there was a u-turn by Tony Blair`s Government.

"The Government got it badly wrong in 2004," he argued.

"The pace of immigration has been more than any country can
sustainably bear. If the same `open door` policy is applied
to Bulgaria and Romania, then we can expect a fresh flood
of immigration, extending to people originating from beyond
the two candidate countries.

"I say that, because official Bulgarian figures confirm
that almost 25,000 people have been granted Bulgarian
citizenship in the last five years, coming largely from
Moldova and Macedonia, and at least 55,000 more are on the
waiting list.

"Most are motivated by the prospect of tapping into the EU
job market.

"The screening procedures for granting citizenship in
Romania and Bulgaria are far from satisfactory and once
free access throughout the EU is granted, then we all are
subject to those failings, which could also have a security

The Irish Republic and Sweden also granted free access to
workers from other member states in 2004.

Both the British and Irish economies are believed to have
benefited from the arrival of immigrants from eastern
Europe, with many working in the agri-food sector and in

In January it was reported around 150,000 people have
arrived in the Republic from Eastern Europe.

The largest single group is from Poland, but many have also
come from the Baltic states - Estonia, Lithuania and

While Ms McDonald said she was not surprised by the
Northern Ireland MEP`s stance, the use of phrases like
`fresh flood of immigration` was unacceptable.

Sinn Fein`s chairperson insisted: "We must embrace those
who come to Ireland in the same way and at the same time
work to combat exploitation and discrimination against
migrant workers.

"The twin problems of exploitation of migrant workers and
the displacement of Irish workers are ones which
government, policy makers and the trade unions must
effectively deal with.

"It is unacceptable that all across Europe worker is pitted
against fellow worker based upon how little they are
prepared to work for or the health and safety standards
they are prepared to accept.

"Jim Allister`s insular and mean spirited views on the
issue of immigration are consistent with his party`s
inability to share power with nationalists and republicans
in the six counties.

"The Irish experience of immigration has been
overwhelmingly positive with migrant workers contributing
to society and enriching the cultural fabric of the nation.

"Mr Allister should recognise this and support the free
movement of workers across the EU whether they are Irish,
British or Romanian."


Shape Of NI 'Super Councils' Emerging

By Mark Devenport

Political editor, BBC Northern Ireland

They are sometimes called the government's Plan B should
the Stormont Assembly fail to get off the ground. Now more
details are emerging about what the planned seven new super
councils might look like.

Voters will be asked to go to the polls in two years' time
to elect so-called shadow councils.

In 2009, the new bodies will take over from the existing 26

Over the summer, the Department of Environment's Local
Government Reform Task Force has been considering in detail
how the new councils should operate.

Sub-committees have reported on areas like governance,
relations between local government and central government
and questions raised about the kind of headquarters the new
councils will need, and what should be done with property
already in council portfolios.

A key issue tackled by the governance sub-committee is what
kind of protection there should be for the nationalist or
unionist minorities within the new council areas.

'Current deadlock'

A committee, which includes representatives from the five
main parties, has suggested the answer could be weighted
majority voting, by which three quarters or more of the new
councillors will have to agree contentious matters.

That is a change from the system negotiated during the Good
Friday Agreement for use at the Stormont assembly.


26 councils reduced to seven super councils
Maximum of 50 councillors per council
Planning responsibility returns to councils
Assembly members not allowed to sit on councils
Councils to devise community plan for delivery of local needs

At Stormont, politicians have to designate themselves as
unionists or nationalists. Difficult issues require
parallel consent - meaning that both communities can veto a
proposal they do not like.

The system was designed as a guarantee against the majority
community freezing the other side out of power. But critics
say it has contributed to the current deadlock at the

Instead, the latest blueprint for the new councils suggests
weighted majority voting. If 20% of councillors do not like
a proposal, they can "call it in" - basically demanding it
is given special consideration.

Only if 75% of councillors approve, can the policy proceed.
Looking at the planned seven new councils, unionists will
be in the majority east of the River Bann, while
nationalists will be in a majority to the west.

The weighted majority system would appear to guarantee
minority interests in six of the seven proposed new

For example, in the North West council area, where
unionists are likely to be around 28%, they would be able
to stop a proposal they oppose.

However, in the proposed greater Antrim council,
nationalists could have a problem, as they may constitute a
minority of only 15%.

That is not enough to trigger the "call in" nor enough to
block a 75% vote. For that reason, nationalists indicate
they may agree to the system in principle but still want to
argue about the precise threshold.

Besides the idea for weighted majority voting, it is
proposed that council jobs should be allocated in
proportion to party strengths.

It is recommended a new Commissioner for Local Government
should keep an eye on the conduct of individual

There is also a suggestion for a new Communities Minister,
within the Office of First and Deputy First Minister, whose
job would be to act as a champion for local government.

A Partnership Panel would bring together representatives of
central government and the councils.

The details of all of this are yet to be agreed, as are the
precise boundaries of the new councils and where their
headquarters will be.

But the progress made so far in the latest blueprint
appears in stark contrast to the continuing deadlock at

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/18 16:38:25 GMT



Galvin Hosts Irish Consul General For Briefing On Irish Affairs

Friday, August 18, 2006

State Rep. William C. Galvin recently joined colleagues in
the Massachusetts House of Representatives as host to the
Irish consulate general, the Honorable David Barry. The
visit focused mainly on Irish-American relations, and the
overall economic and political development of Ireland.

"This was a great opportunity to learn more about
Ireland's political landscape, their booming economy and
most importantly, the state of Irish-American relations,"
said Galvin. "Consulate General Barry was gracious,
engaging and very informative. His overall expertise of the
Irish-American relationship was quite extensive, and it
really helped shed some light on issues pertaining to both
the United States and Ireland."

Barry said, "It is my hope that, as a result, it will
serve to enhance our contacts with the elected
representatives in Massachusetts, particularly those who
already have links with Ireland or have an interest in
Irish affairs."


Celtic Comeback: Liz Carroll, John Doyle At Forefront Of Toe-Tapping Revival

By Alan Lewis Special to the Vermont Guardian

Posted August 18, 2006

The fiddle was the main folk instrument of early America,
and New England has had its share of players, notably
including French-Canadian and old-school Yankee fiddlers.
But vintage tunes and traditional musicians have since been
pushed far into the background by a technologically enabled
mass pop culture.

“We had the same thing happen here in Chicago,” said Irish-
American fiddle star Liz Carroll. “Musicians played tunes
for a few numbers at dances and then played more popular
fare for the dancers. Those same musicians did still get
together in their houses, though, and enjoyed the music
they liked the most. I guess there’s an ebb and flow to
this music and its popularity, like any other music.”

Acclaimed guitarist and singer John Doyle credits Planxty
and The Bothy Band for influencing a revival in traditional
Celtic dance music. Doyle was a founding member of Solas, a
later group that many say is the best of them all. Findlay
Napier of the Scottish band Back of the Moon said the debut
Solas album “pretty much changed the face of traditional

“I think when we recorded the first Solas album we had many
different ideas bubbling to the surface as a band,”
recalled Doyle. “We were working a lot, rehearsing and
intensely looking at how we could make the music a little
different with arrangements and the like. We eventually
rushed into the recording as I remember, and there is an
intensity to it that I think is still palpable. ... Johnny
Cunningham as the producer left us pretty much alone apart
from a little steering here and there. It was probably the
best thing he could have done.”

Solas shot a hot DVD, Reunion, from its 10th anniversary
concerts. And Vermonters who have seen it are likely to be
at the head of the line for the upcoming in-state Liz
Carroll and John Doyle concerts. On Reunion, Doyle is a
marvel of motion. How did his kinetic style come about?

“When I’m teaching,” he said, “I always ask the student to
start moving with the music, feel the beat, and sense where
the music is going. I mainly play dance music after all
with Liz. If you feel the music in your body, your response
will be better, tighter. I can’t imagine not moving to
music you are moved by.”

Carroll takes a broad view of the genre. “There’s always
been a strong instrumental side to Irish music, I think.
Yes, there are sentimental songs, and a lot of people like
listening to them alone. There are rambunctious rebel songs
and ballads, too. But people like to listen to and play
dance music as well.”

Mainstream media has not always noticed. Decades ago, Joe
Derrane was a star player out of Boston’s sizeable Irish
community. But a search of The Boston Globe and New York
Times archives turned up no hits on his name until 1995,
after his career was revived. Said Doyle, “Irish music can
go underground quite easily.”

“Joe made some wonderful recordings when he was young,”
said Carroll. “His recordings would have come out in the
50s. He told me that he played mostly keyboard with a
wedding-style band when playing traditional tunes was not
in vogue.”

“Of course,” said Doyle, “we cannot forget Michael Coleman
and James Morrison, two great Sligo fiddle players that
recorded in the 20s until the 40s. It changed the face of
Irish music not only in the States, but in Ireland too.

“There always needs to be a changing of format for the
music to be relevant to a new audience of young people,”
continued Doyle. “It’s like a reintroduction. It keeps
traditional music alive, I think. Reinventing, recreating,
rewriting — all of it sparks interest.”

Female instrumentalists have not always been prominent. “I
always owe this to women being mothers,” said Carroll. “My
own mom is one of 13 children [born in Limerick] and my dad
is also one of 13 [from County Offaly]. Definitely, the
moms had their hands full in the old days with kids. ...
One hears rumors about women musicians and how good they
were and how they passed the tunes on to their children.

“The times have changed now, and large families are rare.
There is a living to be made from playing Irish music — and
there are loads of girls out there doing just that, or
aspiring to play music.”

Recent times have seen the closing of big, famed
international recording studios, while small suburban and
rural studios have been bursting at the seams.

“The fact that there’s so much recording going on now is
creating a very high standard,” observed Carroll. “The
novice listener can hear Irish music performed by large
groups supported by guitar[s], bass, drums, let’s say — a
far cry from hearing one lone flute player playing a tune
one hasn’t heard before. The initial introduction can be a
well-oiled machine with quality of sound and innovation as
good as if this were popular music.”

On the duo CD, In Play, the arrangements of Carroll and
Doyle get the fiddle and guitar playing with and off each
other, producing delightful results. These players
sympathetically weave together to form a top-notch two-
piece string band. Doyle is as great at keeping the beat as
his admiring notices say, while Carroll navigates rhythm
changes with skill and fearlessly throws herself into the
toughest passages.

If your toes could use a good tapping, think about a trip
to Higher Ground or the Middle Earth.

Who: Liz Carroll and John Doyle

Where and When: Higher Ground, South Burlington, Monday,
Aug. 28; Middle Earth Music Hall, Bradford, Tuesday, Aug.

For more information:,,,


Irish Stew: Buffalo Irish Festival

Festival still offers a hearty mix of music, dancing and
culture in its 25th year

Special to The News

WHAT: 25th annual Buffalo Irish Festival
WHERE: The Grove at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5600 McKinley
Parkway, Hamburg
WHEN: 5 to 11 p.m. next Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 26;
noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 27
TICKETS: $9; children (4 to 12) and seniors, $6. Free on-
site parking.
INFO: or 743-9348

Twenty-five years ago, three Irish-American guys sitting
around over a pint decided that what Buffalo needed was a
summertime Celtic celebration. Yes, thought Kevin Townsell
and his two buddies from Dublin, who can really enjoy St.
Patrick's Day, coming as it does during the misery of

Well, 25 years in, and considering the long-standing
tradition of the Buffalo Irish Festival, it appears they
did indeed have a good idea.

Despite two location moves, the festival, with its strong
cultural focus, has become bigger and stronger each year.
Among many other delights, local and imported musical
entertainment will be presented from next Friday evening
through Aug. 27.

Organizer and producer Townsell, owner of the Shannon Pub
in Tonawanda, says that while everyone can enjoy themselves
at the event, there is a particular appeal for those of
Irish heritage.

"We are pretty serious about providing a genuine Irish
culture experience," Townsell said. "It's especially neat
for people who don't get back to Ireland. Those ties are
revived through the dance, song and food."

Another aspect of the experience that entices Townsell's
target audience and the general crowd, he feels, is the

"One of the best parts of the festival is that we only
allow Irish vendors and exhibitors," he said. There will be
at least 20 vendors, featuring festival favorites including
clothing, like T-shirts, sweaters and kilts. Books and
music on CD will also be available, as well as handmade art
and craft items like paintings, photography, jewelry,
ceramics and glassware.

A sort of homecoming

The music is all Irish, all the time, Townsell adds, and
for many participants and audience members, it's like
coming home.

"The weekend becomes kind of a reunion," he said. "Lots of
people come back to town that weekend; very often, people
see each other only once a year, and it's at the Irish

The 15-plus bands on the slate offer a range of traditional
and blended Celtic styles. They include the McKrells - from
Saratoga Springs - and local favorites such as the Dustmen,
Leftovers, Emerald Isle and the Dady Brothers. Canadian
imports include festival regular Jimmy Carton. Coming from
further afield are "Ireland's balladeer" Danny Doyle, and
first timer, the fantastically popular Tom Sweeney, who in
1998 was personally invited by the Clintons to perform his
classic peace song "Anthem for the Children" at the White

Members of the Leftovers - a local band thus dubbed because
it was formed to fuflfill a last-minute demand for some St.
Patrick's Day entertainment, after all the other bands had
been called - are always excited to play the festival, said
member Jerry Shea.

"This is the third year we've played the Irish Festival,
and even though we were kind of formed on a whim, and never
expected such success, we have just cut our third studio
album," Shea said.

Shea said at this year's festival the group will perform
original songs that refer to the history of Buffalo as well
as Irish rebellion songs.

While the Leftovers are veterans of the Buffalo festival,
Greenwich Meantime is playing the festival for the first
time. Shelley Downing, the fiddler for the Eastern Ontario
outfit made up of young and enthusiastic players, said she
is always excited about playing at festivals.

"We really, really love to play music," Downing said of the
group, which was formed in November. "We are all under 30,
and just starting out fresh as a band. We each come from
different musical backgrounds, so we have a lot of new
ideas going around."

Folk atmosphere

Townsell holds that, since the festival focuses on
traditional music, there is not much "carnival atmosphere."

"It's more like a folk festival," he said. In keeping with
this attitude, the festival Web site offers a list of
things you will NOT find at the Irish Festival, including
"rides; games of chance; unfriendly people; cotton candy;
high prices."

The festival's three stages - named Dublin, Galway and
Killarney - will be going pretty well continuously for the
opening hours of the festival.

Dance performers will include local and Canadian-taught
children from Rince na Tiarna, O'Sullivan-Finn School, the
Woodgate School, and the Rochez Dancers.

At the festival, independent Irish organizations have also
been invited to set up booths. With the built-in audience,
they may be able to encourage membership, and to raise
money for their own organizations, says Townsell.

Townsell says that in the past, as many as 3,000 people per
day attend the festival. While most are local, many come
from as far as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario.

"There's something about Irish music that almost everybody
likes," Townsell said with enthusiasm. "First of all, it's
mostly in English, which helps. It is participatory and
inclusive - you can't help clapping and singing along. Once
you come to this festival, you are going to get addicted."


Hibernian Highlights: Buffalo Irish Festival


A few of the notable moments planned during the Buffalo
Irish Festival:

• Not on the schedule but apparently a regular occurrence
is an opening-night jam session, where whichever of the
musicians and bands that are around, along with
appreciative festivalgoers, gather and "throw down."

• Aside from the scheduled dance performances, there will
also be a participatory ceili, or set-dance, hosted by the
Buffalo Irish Arts Society's Innisfree Dancers, accompanied
by the Comhaltas Musicians. It will begin around 7 p.m.;
there will be a performance/demonstration at 7:30. To
follow at 8 will be audience participation/dance
instruction, led by Brendan and Glenda Brown. Dancers of
all age and experience will be welcomed.

• A Western New York Irish Famine Commemoration Mass is
planned for 10 a.m. Saturday at Erie Basin Marina's
Waterfront Memorial. Western New York Irish and Irish-
American organizations, as well as friends of all cultures
and creeds, are invited to bring their organization banners
and stands on which to mount them, as well as their own
chairs. It will be followed by a breakfast at the festival
site. A separate charge of $15 for the breakfast will
include festival admission. For breakfast reservations,
call 743-9348.


King Billy Painting A 'Mixed Blessing'

By Mark Devenport
Political editor, BBC Northern Ireland

It sits in a side room at the back of the disused Senate
Chamber inside Stormont's Parliament Buildings.

A monumental canvas apparently depicting the arrival of
King William III in Ireland in the 1690s, it was purchased
by the old Northern Ireland government back in March 1933.

But the controversial work of art was vandalised soon
afterwards and has not been on public display for more than
20 years.

Now some say the time has come to hang it somewhere more

Buying the picture, thought to be the work of William of
Orange's court artist Pieter van der Muelen, cost the old
Stormont government £209 and four shillings.

Unionist MPs cheered when they heard of its acquisition.
But those cheers gave way to bewilderment when the canvas
was unveiled.

There in the foreground is a figure which looks like King
Billy on his white charger.

But floating above him on a cloud is someone who appears to
be Pope Innocent XI, apparently blessing his ally as he
makes his way towards the Battle of the Boyne.

For those who celebrate the victory of the Protestant King
William over the Catholic King James this may be an
inconvenient reminder of the facts of 17th century great
power politics.

But the Ulster Museum's Keeper of History, Trevor Parkhill,
explains that "there is a well documented record that the
Pope had a 'Te Deum' sung in the Vatican on hearing the
outcome of the Battle of the Boyne".

"As Stalin would have said, they were objective allies in
the 1690s against the Sun King Louis XIV who was at that
time the most dominant authority in power in Europe," he

Back in the 1930s some couldn't stomach that kind of talk.

In May 1933 a group of visitors from the Scottish
Protestant League were touring Parliament Buildings when
they came face to face with King Billy and the Pope.

Art attack

An enraged Glasgow councillor, Charles Forester, threw red
paint over Innocent XI.

His companion Mary Ratcliffe slashed the canvas with a
knife. Both were arrested and fined £65 when they appeared
in court in Downpatrick.

The painting was restored for a cost of £32 and 10

The authorities at Stormont decided it would be a wise move
to shift it to a less exposed spot.

Its precise whereabouts inside Parliament Buildings were
unknown from 1936 until 1975 when the picture was moved to
the Belfast Public Record Office.

It went on public display there until 1983 when it was
returned to the speaker's office at Stormont.

Art experts dispute whether the painting is the work of
Pieter van der Meulen and whether the subject really is
King William of Orange.

Public display

But the attack on the canvas has made it part of Stormont

Damian McCarney, who writes for Daily Ireland and the
Andersonstown News recently had a private viewing.

In his opinion, "a reproduction of it doesn't do it

"Whenever you first encounter the painting you are awe
struck by the size of this epic tale unfolding in front of
you," he said.

"So in a visual sense it deserves to be displayed.

"But I believe the story behind it will capture the
imagination of a lot of people as well.

"Here's a painting which attracted controversy and was
attacked for no justifiable reason.

"I think a lot of people can respond to that. It has echoes
of the sectarian past and now we're coming to a more
tolerant period in history now is the time for it to be
restored to its rightful place in the southern corridors of
the Stormont assembly."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/18 11:53:50 GMT


Theatre World Mourns Death Of Rupert Murray

Christine Newman

Tributes were paid yesterday to one of Ireland's leading
theatre and event designers, Rupert Murray, who has died
aged 55.

The award-winning freelance lighting designer and producer
had over 150 design credits to his name around the world.
His work is currently featured in shows running in Ireland,
Japan and the US.

Among his major projects have been Riverdance, the St
Patrick's Festival in Dublin and the Special Olympics
opening ceremony in Croke Park in 2003.

Born in England, Mr Murray started his career in the
Project Arts Centre, Dublin where he was involved in over
40 productions. Since then his work has been seen in all of
Ireland's major theatres as well as internationally.

As a producer, he co-ordinated the 1991 Beckett Festival in
Dublin and produced a series of independent theatre
productions between 1992 and 1996.

From 1996 to 2000, he was festival director of the St
Patrick's Festival in Dublin.

In June 2003, he was creative director of the opening
ceremony for the Special Olympics. He had been appointed
creative director of the events and ceremonies associated
with Ireland's hosting of the Ryder Cup next month.

One of his closest friends was Michael Colgan, director of
the Gate Theatre in Dublin where Mr Murray had been
involved since 1984 with over 130 productions.

Yesterday Mr Colgan said: "Rupert didn't always get the
credit he deserved for his great work. He was very self-
effacing, especially over the Special Olympics."

He said Mr Murray was the kindest of men. "You always felt
better when you met him, he was the best of fun. He was a
terrific, wonderful human being. He was the consummate
professional. We all feel bereft."

Director of the Abbey Theatre Fiach MacConghail said:
"Rupert was a personal friend and a valuable colleague and
I will miss him greatly.

"His considerable contribution as a lighting designer and
producer of Irish culture impacted across Ireland, Europe
and America.

"Rupert had a 20-year association with the Abbey Theatre
and in that time both staff and theatre designers all
benefited from his talent as an artist. The Abbey Theatre
is a lonely space today."

Minister for the Arts John O'Donoghue said: "Rupert Murray
has been one Ireland's leading and prominent theatre
artists over the last 30 years. His creativity in lighting
design has been seen by thousands of people across Ireland,
across Europe and on Broadway. Irish theatre will be poorer
for his passing."

Mr Murray has given his body to TCD for medical research.
Next Wednesday there will be a spiritual farewell ceremony
in TCD, in accordance with his wishes.

He is survived by his wife Shelagh Power and daughter
Rachel, who is in her 20s.

© The Irish Times


Expanded Cable Car Service In Cork Sought

Barry Roche Southern Correspondent

An expansion of the country's only cable car service is
urgently required to meet the growing demand by tourists
wishing to visit an island off the west Cork coast, public
representatives and local people said this week.

According to Adrigole-based Fianna Fáil Cllr Danny Crowley,
tourism on the Beara peninsula has expanded dramatically
over the past few years to the point that the cable car
service to Dursey Island can no longer cater for those
wishing to visit the place.

"It's the only cable car in the country and it's become a
tourist attraction in its own right for people visiting the
area," he said. "The cable car can carry six passengers at
a time but with up to 300 people wanting to visit the
island some days, the service just can't cope."

The service is operated by Cork County Council, which
currently employs one cable car operator, and runs seven
days a week throughout the year, except in force eight
weather conditions when it is too dangerous to run the
cable car.

The 200-metre-long trip in the cable car takes about 10

It is also used to transport livestock and provisions to
the island, travelling some 25 metres above the water of
Dursey Sound between Ballaghboy on the mainland and the

The electric cable car service was officially opened on
December 5th, 1969, by then taoiseach Jack Lynch to ensure
that the island would not become cut off during the winter
months, as frequently happened when Dursey Sound became too
treacherous to cross by boat.

Cllr Crowley said: "The cable car operator is doing his
best but he's having to work seven days a week to provide
this service.

"What we need is a second operator to help out and allow
for the expansion of the hours of service during the summer
months," he said.

There are currently eight people living on the island,
compared to 200 or so people in the 1920s.

During the summer months the 6.5km x 1.5km island proves a
popular destination for tourists, in particular bird-
watchers, because of the many rare birds who visit there.

A Cork County Council spokesman said that a motion calling
for the extension of the hours of service during the summer
months had recently been discussed by councillors and the
matter is currently under consideration by council

© The Irish Times


Two Brothers Rescued From Waterford Cliff

Ciaran Murphy

Two brothers had to be rescued by emergency services late
on Thursday after getting into difficulty on a cliff at
Annestown, Co Waterford.

Martin Connolly (26), who received leg, stomach and torso
injuries, had been lying at the bottom of the cliff for
about 36 hours.

His younger brother, whose name has not been released, got
into difficulties when he attempted to rescue him.

Mr Connolly had been unable to summon help in the sparsely
populated area because the battery in his mobile phone had
run out.

Mr Connolly, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, but living in
Waterford, was reported missing to gardaí in Waterford on
Thursday morning after failing to turn up for work.

Tramore gardaí were contacted at around 9.30pm on Thursday
and immediately initiated a rescue effort.

The Coast Guard at Bonmahon and Tramore, the Tramore RNLI
lifeboat, the Order of Malta and HSE ambulances and the
Tramore cliff rescue team responded to the incident.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter arrived at the scene but
it was not required.

It is understood that Mr Connolly's family in Castlebar
became concerned when they had no contact from him.

His 23-year-old brother travelled to Waterford with a
friend on Thursday to establish his whereabouts.

They searched the cliff at Annestown as the missing man had
been known to walk there regularly.

The younger brother got into difficulty himself some 20-
metres down the 70-metre cliff face as he made a rescue

Both men were rescued and taken to Boatstrand,
approximately 5km away, by lifeboat. They were then taken
to Waterford Regional Hospital shortly before midnight on

The men were yesterday said to be in a stable condition.

RNLI Tramore lifeboat operations manager Derek Musgrave
said a "moonless sky" meant the rescue occurred in "pitch-
black conditions".

Meanwhile a teenage girl who fell from cliff steps at Malin
Head, Co Donegal, earlier this week remains critically ill
in a Belfast hospital.

Amanda Kaye, from Coventry, England, survived the accident
that claimed the life of her friend Brian Glackin (18),
from Bree, Malin Head.

The two were attempting a steep descent of steps to get to
a beach party at Sandport beach, Ballygorman, sometime
between 1am and 1.30am on Wednesday.

It is believed they lost their footing in the dark where
the handrail ended and fell to the concrete below.

Ms Kaye, who was visiting the area for a family wedding,
underwent emergency surgery at Altnagelvin Hospital before
being transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

© The Irish Times


Bogside Artists - The People’s Gallery

Final mural: A work in progress

By Deanna Turner, Director of Communications
Irish American Unity Conference

July, 2006 Derry, Ireland – Artists Tom Kelly along with
brother William Kelly and lifelong friend, Kevin Hasson
have dedicated a large portion of their lives creating “The
People’s Gallery” in the Bogside of Derry, Ireland since
1994. As their website describes, “The artists have
painted a series of large-scale murals depicting the key
events in the Northern Irish 'Troubles' that began in
October 1968 and, to some extent, still continue today.
The ten famous wall-paintings span the entire length of
Rossville Street in the heart of The Bogside and constitute
an official tourist site that is unique. It presents a
window into the politics, people and history of Northern
Ireland. Thousands of visitors from all over the world
flock to The Bogside each year. Close by is The Bogside
Artists' Studio, a popular venue for tourists and locals
alike. One last mural will complete the gallery. With only
one more mural left to paint the suite of large-scale
paintings is nearing completion. The Derry City Council has
pledged to illuminate them with high power beam lighting
for the fall of 2006. The Bogside Artists are one of the
very few art groups in the city to have won unanimous
cross-party support for their work.”

I met with the artists at their gallery in Derry to discuss
their work on the last mural in the collection and to find
out what their plans were for the future. The photos
featured in this article were taken on July 14, 2006 as the
artists were working on their final mural which will
feature two children, in particular from Derry, who died
during the struggle. The mural will be dedicated to Manus
Deery who was murdered by the British Army on May 19, 1972
at the age of 15 years old and a young volunteer, Brian
Coyle was killed on active service on June 30, 1976 when a
bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely.

The people in the Derry community built a new memorial
commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Hunger strike
which is featured prominently in the city centre on the
infamous “Free Derry Corner” which is surrounded by the
gallery of murals created by the Bogside Artists.

The IAUC has obtained a few SIGNED copies of the Bogside
Artists original book, MURALS, which first was published in
2001. This book has been sold out for over a year so
please if you would like a special opportunity to get your
copy don’t delay. First come, first serve. Mail a check
for $30 to: Irish American Unity Conference Attn: Bogside
Artists Book 47-01 Greenpoint Avenue #103 Sunnyside, NY

The Bogside Artists have expressed an interest in returning
to the United States for another tour to promote their work
and educate people on the history of the struggle in Derry
and how art has influenced a positive change in community
relations on both sides of the divide. If you are
interested in helping try to sponsor and promote this tour
in anyway please contact us ASAP. Universities and
organizations are requested to provide an honorarium to
help defray the travel costs associated with this tour. If
you have any suggestions or ideas or are willing to help
coordinate a presentation by the artists in your area,
contact Deanna Turner at #1-800-947-4282 or email:

For further information on the Bogside Artists visit:

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