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August 21, 2006

Sectarian Bigots Tried To Murder Our Baby

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 08/21/06 Sectarian Bigots Tried To Murder Our Baby
SF 08/21/06 Collins Separatist Or Monetarist Monarchist?
BN 08/21/06 NI: New Drive To Register Voters
BB 08/21/06 Hope Over Missing Brother Mystery
RT 08/21/06 Quinn Joins New Historical Western
BB 08/21/06 NI Rider Is Killed During Event
UT 08/21/06 Big Day For Leaving Certificate Students


Sectarian Bigots Tried To Murder Our Baby

By Stephen Breen
21 August 2006

The shocked father of a three-month-old baby last night
told how his family was lucky to be alive after an arson
attack on their home.

Michael Magennis (28), from Old Throne Park, off the
Whitewell Road, in north Belfast, hit out at the arsonists
who set fire to his oil tank in the early hours of Sunday
morning in an apparent sectarian incident.

Mr Magennis, who was working at the time of the incident,
also had his garden set ablaze.

Police confirmed loyalists were behind the arson attack.

The security controller's partner, Juanita Brennan (24),
and 12-week-old daughter, Mollie, were both asleep when the
thugs struck.

But Ms Brennan woke up when a brick was hurled through her
bedroom window and when fleeing the property, the oil tank
exploded, shattering upstairs and downstairs windows.

The blaze caused extensive damage to the house, which the
young family have been living in since February.

The man believes the incident could have claimed his
family's lives if they had remained in the bedroom.

Residents claim loyalists threatened to target homes in the
area last month.

He said: "There is no doubt about it - if my partner and
daughter had stayed in the bedroom they would not be alive
today because there was glass everywhere.

"We are totally devastated and I don't know why anyone
would attempt to kill a three-month old baby.

"I work night shifts but I may have to give these up
because my partner will not stay in the house on her own at
night anymore.

"We were very happy here but we don't know what we are
going to do now.

The house is in an awful mess and it's hard to believe
people could do this to an innocent family."

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds described the attack as

He added: "I absolutely condemn this attack and incidents
of this nature are a complete disgrace which no right-
thinking person can agree with."

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly called on Unionist politicians to
do more to prevent such attacks.: "The people of this
community have suffered intimidation for a long time and it
must stop now."

Anyone with information on the attack has been asked to
contact police on 0845 600 8000.


Ó Snodaigh Pays Tribute To Micky Devine As Commemorations Marking The Deaths Of The Hunger Strikers Come To An End

Published: 21 August, 2006

Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has paid tribute
Micky Devine, the last of the ten hunger strikers to give
his life in 1981, and to all of the ten men who died during
that period defending the republican cause from the
criminalisation policy of Margaret Thatcher. Dublin Sinn
Féin will hold a vigil this evening at 5pm at the GPO
honour Micky Devine and his nine comrades as the
commemorations to mark the deaths of each of the ten men
come to an end.

Speaking before the vigil Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Micky
Devine was a typical Derry lad whose family suffered all of
the ills of sectarian and class discrimination inflicted
upon the Catholic working-class of that city: poor housing,
unemployment and lack of opportunity. He joined the
official IRA after witnessing first hand the events of
Bloody Sunday and ended up in the H-Blocks in June 1977.
After spending four years on the blanket he went on hunger
strike and became the tenth and last man to die on the
protest on the twentieth of August 1981.

"As the commemorations to mark the deaths of each of the
ten men come to an end we remember with pride Micky Devine
along with his nine comrades who collectively and so
courageously defended the republican movement from the
criminalisation policies of Margaret Thatcher.

"This evening's vigil comes on the back of the tremendous
event in Casement Park where some 30,000 people from
throughout the thirty-two counties of Ireland came out in
support and remembrance of the hunger strikers and the
cause for which they died.

"It is important that republicans continue to come out in
support of the hunger strikers for it is only by
remembering our past with pride that we can move forward to
the future with confidence." ENDS


Ferris: Collins The Separatist Or Collins The Monetarist Monarchist?

Published: 21 August, 2006

The Sinn Féin for Kerry North, Martin Ferris TD, has asked
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny to explain which Michael
Collins is the one who his party upholds as a role model.
Deputy Ferris posed the question following yesterday's
speeches by Mr. Kenny at the Michael Collins commemoration
at Beal na Bláth and by Dublin FG TD and MEP Gay Mitchell
at a ceremony for Collins and Arthur Griffith at Glasnevin.
The Kerry North TD claimed that remarks by both indicate
considerable confusion within Fine Gael regarding the
objectives of the men whom it claims as it founders,
despite the fact that neither were ever a member of their
party, and whose principles the party claims continue to
guide them.

Deputy Ferris said: "In the fashion of 'new Fine Gael' Enda
Kenny does at least acknowledge that Michael Collins is
chiefly remembered for the fact that he helped to prosecute
a ruthless war which, as Deputy Kenny rightly observes,
brought the British Empire to its knees. Such a public
pronouncement by Liam Cosgrave, Garret Fitzgerald or John
Bruton would have been unthinkable.

"However, Enda Kenny slightly tarnished that by referring
to Collin's "mission" to manage the finances of the
country. This conjures up an image of Collins as a man who
would close down hospitals or cut old age pensions, as Fine
Gael Ministers have not been unknown to do, rather than the
man who in The Path to Freedom spoke of the need to reduce
disparities of wealth, to invest in public welfare and to
ensure the control over Irish resources by Irish people.
Not the things you would immediately associate with Fine
Gael, either historically or at the present time.

"Gay Mitchell, in fairness to him, has upheld the more
recent image of his party by pondering on the role of the
British Monarch in a 32 County Ireland. He contradicts
himself on numerous occasions but not least by referring to
the Republican Movement as "so-called republicans" while he
himself -- presumably as a real republican, advocates the
acceptance of the British monarchy! Something which few
republicans, be they Irish, French, American or indeed
English, have been heard to propose since the good old days
of the 1780s prior to the toppling of monarchs in most of
the civilised world by republican revolutions.

"I draw attention to these remarks as they are indicative
of the continuing contradictions at the heart of the Fine
Gael party. A party that on the one hand claims inheritance
from Irish separatists who were prepared to assert the
right to separation from the British Empire through force,
and on the other has historically argued against the logic
of completing the Irish national revolution, and indeed in
Gay Mitchell's case, for a reversion to a subservience long
ago rejected by the majority of the Irish people.

"Irish republicans have proven themselves only too willing
to accommodate the Unionist community in attempting to form
the basis for a new Ireland. That will be based on the
recognition of the rights and cultures of all, but
certainly not on the recognition of an archaic, reactionary
and sectarian hereditary monarchy."



NI: New Drive To Register Voters

21/08/2006 - 10:57:38

The last annual voter registration drive will today get
under way in the North, with over two million electoral
forms arriving at homes across there.

The campaign will particularly focus on voters who have
disengaged with politics in Northern Ireland, with the
advertising message: “Secure Your Vote or Lose Your Vote.”

The annual electoral registration process is being replaced
by new provisions which will ensure that voters in future
only have to re-register if their personal details change.

Under the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act,
which was passed in July, the North’s new chief electoral
officer Douglas Bain will be given the power to cross-
reference data on the register with information held by
other public bodies to ensure that voter information is up
to date.

The annual registration process was unpopular with
politicians, especially Sinn Féin’s vice president Pat
Doherty who claimed it resulted in confusion among the
electorate and also shredded 100,000 voters from the list.

Mr Bain today urged people to have their forms filled-in
and ready for collection in their homes over the coming

“Northern Ireland is well-ahead of England and Scotland in
having an electoral register that is both comprehensive and
accurate and it’s important that we keep it that way,” he

“Even if individuals don’t intend to exercise their
democratic right to vote, it still remains a legal
obligation to register.

“I would ask everyone to take just a few minutes to
complete the registration form to secure their vote.”

Canvassers will call at homes across the North before the
end of the registration drive on November 13.

If no one is at home when they call, a prepaid envelope
will be left so the forms can be returned by post.

The new register will be published in early December.

Electoral chiefs have also been alarmed at the fall in
voter turn-out in Northern Ireland in recent elections.

Last year’s General Election recorded a drop of almost 12%
on 2001’s figures, with the 12 largest decreases in voter
turn-out in the UK occurring in Northern Ireland

A total of 93,644 fewer people cast their votes in the
election and over 20,000 ballot papers were also spoiled.

A lack of interest in politics was cited in a survey for
the Electoral Commission as the main reason people didn’t

Seamus Magee, the head of the Electoral Commission in
Northern Ireland, said it was essential that under-
represented and disaffected groups such as young people,
members of ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and
the socially disadvantaged, were registered in the current

“Given that a change in the law will make this the last
canvas to be conducted in Northern Ireland for a number of
years it is very important that it is as comprehensive as
possible and we are urging all those eligible, especially
those groups who research the shows are amongst the most
disengaged from the electoral process, to register,” he

A special helpline and dedicated website has also been set
up to guide people through the registration process.

Voters can seek advice by logging onto where they can download a copy of the
registration form.


Hope Over Missing Brother Mystery

The brother of a man who disappeared 27 years ago has said
he hopes Sinn Fein can help to find his body.

Gerry Evans, 24, from Crossmaglen in south Armagh, went
missing in March 1979. No-one has ever claimed
responsibility for his disappearance.

Noel Evans said the family is now hopeful of a

"What you're hoping for is because it's been pushed to the
forefront now and the publicity, it might prick someone's
conscience," Mr Evans said.

"People aren't interested in recriminations anymore, what
they want to do is to have the bodies returned and to be
able to give them a Christian burial."

Gerry Evans had been hitching a lift from Castleblayney in
County Monagahan at about 2330 BST on a Sunday night. Since
then the family has not heard anything about him.

"We've come to the conclusion that he's not with us
anymore, what happened to him we have no idea," Noel Evans


A neighbour of the Evans family, Charlie Armstrong, went
missing in 1981 and is believed to have been abducted and
murdered by the IRA.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said he will try and do
all he can to try and have the bodies of the two men

"We feel now that with Gerry Adams's backing, if you want
to term it that way, that people might feel more at ease to
some forward with information, regardless of what sector
they're from," Mr Evans said on Monday.

"We have the backing of all the political parties, we have
the support of the community and we think with that, it
will drive it forward, that we hopefully will get some news
of what happened pretty soon."

In 1999, the IRA admitted it abducted and murdered nine of
the "disappeared" who went missing in the 1970s and early

The bodies of four of those people have since been

However, no-one has ever admitted killing a number of other
missing men, including Mr Evans and Mr Armstrong.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/21 08:13:21 GMT


Quinn Joins New Historical Western

Irish-American actor Aidan Quinn is to star in a new film
from HBO which chronicles the displacement of American
Indians in the latter half of the 19th Century.

The Hollywood Reporter says that 'Bury My Heart at Wounded
Knee' is based on the best-selling Dee Brown novel of the
same name.

Quinn will play Henry Dawes, the Massachusetts senator who
was responsible for introducing the legislation that
allowed American Indian families land allotments,
citizenship and full political rights.

The film will shoot in Canada.


NI Rider Is Killed During Event

One of Northern Ireland's leading equestrian riders has
been killed in a cross-country event.

Sherelle Duke, who was 28 and from Portadown, died when her
horse toppled on her at Brockenhurst Park, near
Southampton, on Sunday.

She is a former World Young Rider Champion.

Sherelle's sister Sonia said the family's faith was helping
them cope with the tragedy, but said her sister was

"It's just the small things that come into your mind, it's
not a major thing, you know we all live the major things
that happen in our life, it's the small things that happen
in our lives that you remember the most.

"I don't think they'll replace her, not the dedication she
gives to the sport - trying to lift it you know to a new
level," Sonia said.

'Super fit'

Equestrian journalist Ruth Loney, who knew Ms Duke, said
she was a "super fit athlete", who was "bubbly but totally

"This tragic accident has cast a real cloud over the
equestrian world and everyone who knew her," Ms Loney said.

She said that the cross-country section of three-day
eventing was a dangerous sport.

"It is solid timber fences, so when a horse hits them it
comes down straight away and the rider doesn't have as much
chance to be thrown clear.

"Whereas in national hunt racing when a jockey is thrown
they're going at speed over smaller fences and the jockey
will be thrown clear," she said.

She said two other Irish riders had been killed in similar
circumstances in recent years.

Sherelle Duke's family are well known in the Portadown area
and in the business world after setting-up the Dukes
Transport Company.

For years Sherelle rode in the company's colours of red and

Ms Duke was a member of the Irish team in the 2003 European

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/21 11:10:43 GMT


Big Day For Leaving Certificate Students

Leaving Certificate students in the Irish Republic are
discovering whether they have gained a place on the third-
level course of their choice.

The entry bar has been lowered for applications to a
variety of faculties, however the points needed for courses
in medicine remain high.

The points requirement for arts, science, nursing and
primary school teaching courses has dropped.

It is understood this is largely due to the reduction in
students sitting the Leaving Certificate.

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