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August 27, 2006

Unionists: SF Should Lose Parliamentary Allowances

News About Ireland & The Irish

EE 08/27/06 SF Should Lose Parliamentary Allowances, Says Unionist
IT 08/28/06 Loyalists Badly Treated, Says Ervine
IT 08/28/06 Meaning Of 1916 Hidden, School Told
IT 08/28/06 Man Dies After Being Struck By Amusement Park Ride


SF Should Lose Parliamentary Allowances, Says Unionist

27/08/2006 - 4:39:22 PM

Sinn F‚in MPs should be stripped of their parliamentary
allowances if the British government cancels the salaries and
allowances of Assembly members in the absence of the restoration
of devolution in November, it was claimed today.

Political parties in the North have been given until November 24
to strike a deal for the return of the power-sharing Assembly at
Stormont. If they fail to do so Tony Blair says he will wind up
the Assembly and stop all payments.

East Belfast Ulster Unionist MLA Michael Copeland said following
the premise that Assembly members get no money for not performing
their elected functions, Sinn F‚in should lose their Westminster
allowances as well because of their abstentionist policy.

Mr Copeland said: "Sinn F‚in MPs currently do not sit in the
chamber in the Houses of Parliament. Subsequently they do not
vote, sit in committees, nor take part in any vestige of
parliamentary activity apart from constituency work - yet they
are still in receipt of substantial allowances.

"The Government must be consistent and even-handed on November
24. If MLAs salaries and office cost allowances are to be cut
based on the (British) government rationale that MLAs cannot be
paid for not exercising their elected legislative duties, then
surely common sense dictates that Sinn F‚in MPs, who unlike MLAs
find themselves in a similar situation through 'principled'
choice, must have their allowances cut too."

A whole tier of political representation was about to be lost in
the North if no agreement was made by November 24, he said, and
the government had to be fair.

"It would be hypocritical and inconsistent for government to
punish one group of democratically elected politicians for not
performing legislative functions while actively funding another
party whose members steadfastly refuse to participate in basic
parliamentary activity," said Mr Copeland.

A renewed drive to reach a political agreement by the November
deadline will be launched in September but there has been scant
indication so far that it will be successful.

Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party continues to refuse
entering government with Sinn F‚in until it is satisfied the
republican movement has totally turned its back on paramilitarism

Loyalists Badly Treated, Says Ervine

Michael O'Regan

Glencree summer school: Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) leader
David Ervine claimed yesterday that loyalists in the North were
the victims of virtual racism. "I am accusing people in Northern
Ireland of being virtually racist in their treatment of the
loyalist community.

"We leave school with almost no qualifications. There is
empirical evidence to suggest that our children of four years of
age in Northern Ireland are imbued with the concept of
difference," he said.

"Thankfully, the eleven plus has been abandoned. The national
average pass rate was 27 per cent. The working class Catholic
pass rate was 12 per cent, and this was not good enough. The
working class Protestant pass rate was 3 per cent.

"Fewer than 2 per cent of the children of Protestant working
class communities will go on to further higher education."

Addressing the the Glencree summer school on a "security solution
to a security problem", Mr Ervine said that such children were
leaving school with little hope, barely able to read and write.

They were observing the "role model wearing the gold bracelet,
driving the fast car, and earning œ250 for doing nothing except
selling drugs at the street corner, rather than thinking about
getting a job even if there was anybody who would employ them".

He said that the simplicity relating to "bad behaviour and
loyalism" was unfair.

"Where are our children going to be, because they are not going
to be in the police?

"They are certainly not going to be in the police in the numbers
that we have in terms of the population."

Mr Ervine said he feared that the concept of violence might well
be linked to the failure of earlier peaceful activism.

"We as a society have a responsibility to recognise that
arguments for freedom and equality are delivered on.

"If we push people further down and down, there may well be only
one way out for them. And that is the use of violence."

PSNI deputy chief constable Paul Leighton said it was necessary
to accept that, in the perception of some, "we were part of the
problem and that some badly-planned and executed security
operations and policies either exacerbated, or perhaps caused
minor parts of the problem". But they were not the major cause of
what happened, he added.

He said that when internment was introduced in 1971, it led to
the opposite to what was intended. "Far from crippling the IRA,
as it was intended to do, it increased public sympathy for them
as well as recruitment."

Mr Leighton said there had been a largely peaceful summer in the
North because of dialogue and consultation.

Rite and Reason: page 14
(c) The Irish Times

Meaning Of 1916 Hidden, School Told

Tim O'Brien

Much of the history of 1916 has failed to properly engage with
its anti-imperial dimension and, in the name of "national
security", the British Empire's image has been carefully managed
through sustained propaganda, the Desmond Greaves Summer School
in Dublin heard at the weekend.

Dr Angus Mitchell, of the University of Limerick, told the school
the use of State secrecy and control of archives obstructs a
clearer anti-imperial context of the 1916 rising. He said the
involvement of Roger Casement particularly "alters the parameters
of its meaning from a national outbreak into an anti-colonial

The summer school, held in the Irish Labour History Museum at
Beggars Bush Barracks, also heard criticism of commemorations of
the 1914-1918 war. Manus O'Riordan, Siptu's head of research,
said that as one who had a relative killed at the Somme, he had
no objection to those who wished to commemorate such war dead
without any hidden political agenda.

However, he said what was now being inserted was a celebration of
British imperialism's infamous war. Irish workers had been
offered up in a blood sacrifice by John Redmond through his
support for what Connolly designated Britain's "War upon the
German nation", he said.

(c) The Irish Times

Man Dies After Being Struck By Amusement Park Ride

Ruadh n Mac Cormaic and Ciar n Murphy

A 22-year-old man died on Saturday when he was hit by a small
train in an amusement park in Tramore, Co Waterford.

Gavin Mason from Kilmore Close in Artane, Dublin, died after he
fell and was struck by a ghost train in the Tramore Amusement
Park at about 7.30pm on Saturday.

Mr Mason and a small group of friends had arrived in Tramore on
Friday to celebrate his 22nd birthday. The group had been
watching football on television in a local pub before arriving at
the amusement park on Saturday evening.

Garda¡ said it appeared Mr Mason and some friends had been
standing in the front section of a carriage when he toppled over.
This carriage then rolled over him before being shunted from
behind by another carriage a few seconds later.

The victim suffered injuries to his head and torso. He was
brought to Waterford Regional Hospital, where he died a short
time later. His family travelled to Tramore yesterday morning.

Garda¡ at Tramore are investigating Mr Mason's death, which they
believe was accidental.

Five others died in separate incidents across the country at the
weekend. In Tramore, garda¡ are also investigating a drowning
after the body of a man in his mid-30s was recovered from the sea
close to where he entered the water at about 7am yesterday.

The man got into difficulty and Tramore lifeboat was alerted
shortly afterwards. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter and the
Tramore Sea Rescue service then arrived at the scene.

The rescue helicopter spotted the victim's remains in shallow
water at about 7.45am. The body was brought to Waterford Regional
Hospital for a postmortem.

In Co Clare, Peter McGovern (39) was killed in a single-vehicle
crash yesterday. The incident happened at Decomade, Lissycasey,
at 11.40am, when a car being driven by the victim went off the
road and hit a road sign. He was travelling alone. The man's body
was removed to Ennis General Hospital.

Elsewhere in the county, a woman's body was recovered yesterday
from the canal between Clonlara village and Barry Cross at about
11am. The woman's body was removed to Limerick Regional Hospital
for a postmortem.

Colette Connolly (54) was reported missing from her home in
Kilmore, Broadford, Co Clare, on Saturday afternoon. A marine
rescue helicopter assisted garda¡, Civil Defence and local
volunteers in an extensive search.

Separately, the body of a man in his late 40s was recovered from
a lake at Naughan near Belturbet, Co Cavan at 3pm on Saturday.

In Co Monaghan, a pensioner died in a house fire. The 79-year-old
woman, was at her home on McCurtain Street in Clones when the
fire broke out on Friday night.

Meanwhile, garda¡ have named the victim of a fatal crash in Co
Kildare last Friday morning.

Patrick O'Keeffe (31), of Kildare town, was killed when the car
he was driving hit a parked truck at Monread Road, Naas, at about

(c) The Irish Times

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