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August 25, 2006

SF Protesting Lisburn UDR Momument

News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 08/25/06 SF Protesting Against UDR Monument Planned For Lisburn
UT 08/25/06 UUP Attacked Over PUP Link In The Wake Of McCord Threats
VV 08/25/06 St. Brigid's Gets 2nd Reprieve

Sinn Féin Protesting Against UDR Monument Planned For Lisburn

25/08/2006 - 15:13:45

In the North, Sinn Féin is protesting against a decision by
a local council to build a memorial to the Ulster Defence

The party said nationalists feared and hated the UDR and
its members were suspected of colluding in murder.

The UDR was seen by many nationalists as a modern day
equivalent to the Black and Tans.

For unionists, the regiment was a bulwark against IRA

Lisburn Council, already under fire for flying the union
flag at its offices 365 days a year, is planning a monument
to honour UDR men murdered in the Troubles.

The mayor of Lisburn has now agreed to meet the family of
Michael Power, a daily communicant, who was threatened by
UDR members before being murdered on his way to chapel.

Police questioned members of the UDR but they were never
charged although the family claim there was collusion.

UUP Attacked Over PUP Link In The Wake Of McCord Threats

The Ulster Unionists are facing fresh demands for them to
sever their ties with a loyalist party after the father of
a murder victim claimed he had received death threats.

By:David Ervine

Cross community Alliance Party deputy leader Naomi Long
urged Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader Sir Reg Empey to
end his party`s association with the Progressive Unionists
in the Assembly after Raymond McCord said he had been
warned twice in 24 hours his life was in danger from an
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang.

In May, the UUP admitted Progressive Unionist leader David
Ervine, whose party is the political wing of the UVF, into
its Assembly Group.

Ms Long, an Assembly member for East Belfast, said: "It is
absolutely disgusting that Raymond McCord has been issued
with death threats.

"He is rightly seeking justice over the UVF`s murder of his
son and it is despicable that the UVF has issued these
threats because they cannot abide the fact that someone is
standing up to them.

"The UVF organisation should be disbanding, not making
threats to innocent people seeking justice over the UVF`s
heinous murders.

"This yet again illustrates the need for the Ulster
Unionists to break their deal with the PUP, because it is
totally unacceptable to absorb the representatives of armed
and active paramilitaries into a political party like they
have done."

Police warned Raymond McCord twice this week of an alleged
imminent attack by a UVF gang.

Mr McCord, whose son was murdered in 1997, said the
terrorists had targeted him because of his involvement with
Police Ombudsman Nuala O`Loan`s major investigation into
the killing.

With the Ombudsman`s report due to be published next month,
police went to Mr McCord`s home in Belfast on Wednesday and
again today.

Both times they alerted him to threats from the UVF`s Mount
Vernon gang in north Belfast who beat his son to death and
dumped his body in a quarry.

One warning said: "Raymond McCord is going to be silenced.

"He`s going to be shot or attacked within the next couple
of days. This relates to the Ombudsman`s report and the
damage he has done."

Mr McCord, who has defied previous threats during his nine-
year justice campaign, insisted he would not be silenced.

"I`m concerned but not frightened," he said.

"The UVF leader in Mount Vernon hasn`t the guts to come
after me himself."

Mr McCord also said the first threat came an hour after he
drove past a carload of the UVF men he believes are intent
on killing him.

His home has already been fitted with thousands of pounds`
worth of security after he was put on a key person`s
protection scheme.

Bullet-proof windows, reinforced doors and alarm systems
have all been installed.

But the latest danger is expected to see those arrangements
further strengthened.

"The Northern Ireland Office is reviewing the security
measures at my house because of this," Mr McCord confirmed.

"But I`m not frightened of these men, particularly their

Both the police and Northern Ireland Office refused to
comment on an individual`s security.

Earlier this month, Ulster Unionist deputy leader Danny
Kennedy confirmed his party would review in September its
decision to admit Mr Ervine into its Assembly Group.

Sir Reg Empey said the move was part of an initiative to
encourage the UVF to ending its involvement in
paramilitarism and criminality.

It will also ensure that in any future executive, one of
the devolved ministries which would have gone to Sinn Fein
will go to the UUP instead.

Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon, however, has
expressed unease about the move.

St. Brigid's Gets 2nd Reprieve

By Sarah Ferguson August 24, 2006

Supporters of St. Brigid's church won a second reprieve
Thursday when a judge extended the temporary restraining
order barring the Archdiocese from continuing its
demolition of the embattled East Village cathedral.

(See a slideshow of the initial destruction here.),30brigids,74009,30.html&pic=13&total=13&auto=1

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick extended
the order to allow both sides to submit further arguments
in writing. She said she would rule on the fate of so-
called Famine Church "shortly after" Labor Day.

"Thank the Lord!" exclaimed Edwin Torres, who is one of 73
former parishioners now suing the Archdiocese to block the
demolition. "We can rejoice, but only for a little while,"
he told a crowd of ecstatic local residents,
preservationists, and Irish Americans gathered outside the

"Today gives us hope," added East Village Council rep Rosie
Mendez, one of several area politicians who praised the
158-year-old church as a crucible of Lower East Side
immigrant history. "It gives us another day to fight, and
for people to see that this struggle is just and correct."

Although Judge Kapnick rejected a previous lawsuit
challenging the Archdiocese's right to raze the church, at
issue now is the validity of the demolition permit itself.
Former parishioners maintain there was never a vote by a
properly convened board of trustees at the time the
Archdiocese applied for the permit a year ago.

Instead, the Archdiocese convened a board after the fact,
which unanimously approved the demolition on July 18.

Parishioners also question whether the five-member board,
which includes two lay trustees appointed by the
Archdiocese, was ever presented with alternatives to
demolitionâ€"namely that a "secret angel" has offered to
buy the church at market value in order to preserve it.

On Tuesday, the Ancient Order of Hibernians seconded that
by offering to pony up "millions" to convert the now
partially gutted church into an Irish-American museum.

In court, Harry Kresky, an attorney for the Committee to
Save St. Brigid's, further claimed that the parish trustees
had "violated their duties" by failing to consult with and
represent the wishes of the church's members--a role he
claimed is spelled out in the New York law governing
religious corporations.

Archdiocese lawyer John Callagy dismissed that argument as
a legal "shell game."

"The Roman Catholic Church is a hierarchical church,"
Callagy maintained. "There is no consultation required of
the parishioners. They have never had a vote in the
organization and functions of the Archdiocese . . . and
they certainly don't have a vote in the disposition of its

Callagy said if the court were to block the demolition, it
would violate the First Amendment's separation of church
and state.

He also warned that continuing to postpone the wrecking
crew was "playing with fire."

"This is not just a nice legal issue. We're dealing with a
situation that could be a catastrophic failure," he said,
referring to the church's buttressed back wall, which began
separating from the building several years ago, causing
large cracks to open in the facade.

But Kresky denied the wall was in any imminent danger of
collapse. He noted that even after the demolition crew
punched an eight-foot hole in it, the wall had not buckled.
Earlier this week, he said, a former chief engineer for the
city's Buildings department estimated the cost to repair
the wall at $323,00--a far cry from the $7 million price
tag that the Archdiocese is claiming.

"Nowadays everything has a price, but nobody knows the
value of anything," groused Steve Lindsey, a cabbie from
New Hampshire who drove five hours to attend Thursday's
hearing. "This is an attack on our heritage," complained
Lindsay, who is in fact Scottish and Jewish. "The symbolism
of the smashed windows really offended me," he said.

The mushrooming campaign to save St. Brigid's has even
managed to bring together organizers of the gay-inclusive
St. Patrick's Day march in Queens with the anti-gay Ancient
Order of Hibernians, who briefly shook hands for the
cameras on Thursday, as a lone bagpiper piped in the

Supporters say they hope overturning the demolition permit
will force the city's Landmarks commission to step in and
preserve the building.

"In Europe, no one would dream of knocking down a church
like this," noted Pete Nekola, a history teacher at Pratt
Institute who sends his students on field trips to study
church architecture--which seems like an endangered species
these days in Manhattan. "I'm really afraid of this loss of

Posted in In the Streets

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