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August 15, 2006

UUP to Clarify Links with PUP

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 08/15/06 UUP 'To Clarify' Links With PUP
IT 08/16/06 IRA Dissidents Wedded To Use Of Violence
BB 08/15/06 Memorial Call For IRA Bomb Victim
BB 08/15/06 Robbers Target Bank Security Van
PS 08/15/06 Leonard Peltier's Commemorates Irish Hunger Strike
OF 08/15/06 Thousands In Donegal Town For Hibernian's Parade
IT 08/16/06 Opin: Worrying Trends In Leaving Cert
BB 08/15/06 Daniel Selling His Donegal Home
IT 08/16/06 Poor Marks In Science, Maths In Leaving Cert Results
IT 08/16/06 On Radio 1's Dial: Presenters On Their New Programmes


UUP 'To Clarify' Links With PUP

The Ulster Unionist Party is expected to clarify its links
with the Progressive Unionist Party next month.

UUP deputy leader Danny Kennedy said an arrangement to
allow PUP leader David Ervine to join the Ulster Unionist
assembly grouping was "under review".

Some sources suggested a statement may coincide with the
next report by the body monitoring paramilitary activity.

David Ford, Alliance, said the UUP was "backtracking" on a
"grubby deal with representatives of paramilitaries".

The Ulster Unionists came under widespread pressure after
allowing Mr Ervine to join their assembly group earlier
this year.

The move was aimed at giving them an extra ministerial seat
at Sinn Fein's expense if a power-sharing executive is

The BBC has learned that the UUP may clarify its position
early next month, around the time the Independent
Monitoring Commission (IMC) releases a report on security

Most of the September report will deal with police and Army
activity but it will contain a general assessment of the
threat posed by paramilitaries.

Another IMC report, due in October, will deal with
paramilitary activity in more detail.

On Tuesday, Mr Kennedy, a Newry and Mourne assembly member,
condemned a recent reported threat from loyalists to a
newspaper reporter who has worked closely with the father
of UVF murder victim Raymond McCord.

Strong critic

Mr Kennedy said the UUP has a political link with Mr Ervine
"not an arrangement with the UVF".

He said his party opposed any threats or illegal actions.

Mr McCord senior was recently accompanied to a meeting with
the Secretary of State, Peter Hain, by Ulster Unionist Lady
Sylvia Hermon.

She is the UUP's only MP and has been a strong critic of
the PUP link.

The Alliance leader, David Ford, has claimed the "Ulster
Unionists are backtracking on their grubby deal with the
representatives of loyalist paramilitaries."

Mr Ford claimed the Ulster Unionists were "finally
realising that decent people do not want the
representatives of armed and active paramilitaries being
absorbed into their party."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/15 15:57:34 GMT


IRA Dissidents Wedded To Use Of Violence


The Real IRA returned to the headlines in recent weeks,
writes Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Dissident republicans have persisted with their campaign of
violence in the Border areas, especially in the Newry area
of south Down and along the Border and into Co Louth. Other
operations centre on the Derry-Strabane area of the

Resolutely opposed to the Provisional IRA ceasefire,
decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and the political
process, the Real IRA last week claimed responsibility for
the firebomb attacks on stores in Newry.

These destroyed two warehouse-style stores and severely
damaging others. The cost is estimated at millions of

Firebombs destroyed JJB Sports and CarpetRight stores in
the town, while a TK Maxx store and MFI outlet were among
those badly damaged on Wednesday last week.

Dissidents have also continued to disrupt the cross-Border
railway line, largely with hoax bomb warnings. However, the
line from Belfast to Dublin was also closed last week while
police searches were carried out.

These operations followed a warning by the Real IRA in a
statement that there may be unexploded devices on the line.

The Real IRA, like other dissident groupings, was formed in
the aftermath of the reinstatement of the Provisional IRA
ceasefire in 1997. Those joining the new splinter grouping
were former IRA members resolutely opposed to the peace
process in general and the political leadership of Sinn
Féin in particular.

Senior Sinn Féin figures continue to denounce the
dissidents as "micro groups" involved in a counter-
productive campaign of disruption.

Initially the Real IRA was believed to include a former
"quartermaster-general" of the IRA and a former "head of

According to one source, there was speculation over the
following months that many members of the "engineering"
section of the IRA left to join the Real IRA. Membership of
the organisation was initially put at between 100 and 200
people. Most of the support for the group was initially in
the Dundalk and Newry area with some support in Dublin. It
is believed to have political links with the 32-County
Sovereignty Committee and other links to the Continuity

The Real IRA is believed to have access to some of the
equipment that belonged to the IRA.

The group is thought to be responsible for a series of
explosions after the IRA resumed its ceasefire in towns
across Northern Ireland in the run-up to the signing of the
Belfast Agreement in April 1998. These attacks included
large car bombs and incendiary attacks on commercial
property. Its most lethal attack was in Omagh on August
15th, 1998, when 29 people, including a mother pregnant
with twins, were killed in a bomb explosion in the town
centre. Hundreds more were injured.

A ceasefire of sorts was later announced but paramilitary
activity has since resumed, although lately many of the
Real IRA's planned attacks have been safely scuppered by

Membership is probably no more than a few dozen, with some
former Real IRA figures reported to have left for the
Continuity IRA following Omagh.

Dissident republican groups still figure prominently in the
reports of the British and Irish governments' ceasefire
watchdog, the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

In its tenth report earlier this year, the IMC said:
"Dissident republicans remain determinedly committed to
terrorism and deeply engaged in other crime, but they are
not always capable of fulfilling their paramilitary
ambitions and have recently been foiled by successful
police operations."

The IMC believes the Real IRA, like the Continuity IRA, is
involved in bombing attempts, shootings, recruitment,
targeting and intelligence gathering.

"RIRA remains involved in serious crime," the IMC reported,
warning also that some members carry out attacks or
robberies on a "freelance" basis.

In the same IMC report, the watchdog reported: "RIRA
continues to recruit and train members. It has a continuing
aspiration to arm and equip itself. Overall, we believe
that, although the RIRA's level of activity is not very
high, it is still engaged in efforts to maintain its
position as a paramilitary organisation."

© The Irish Times


Memorial Call For IRA Bomb Victim

The mother of a soldier killed by an IRA bomb is
campaigning for his name to be included on a war memorial
which is being updated in his home village.

Mark Jones, from Mumbles, near Swansea, died aged 27 in
1989 in an attack on Royal Marine barracks in Deal, Kent.

The community council is to update the existing memorial to
name every soldier from Mumbles killed in both World Wars.

Mr Jones' mother, Mary Adams, has called for the monument
to name every local soldier killed in all conflicts.

Mumbles Community Council has said the existing monument
was a memorial specifically to members of the armed
services killed in both World Wars and it was considering a
separate commemoration for those from the village who died
in subsequent conflicts.

Mr Jones was one of 11 Royal Marine musicians who died when
the bomb exploded at the barracks in Kent on the morning of
22 September 1989.

Mrs Adams said there had been other cases in the UK where
soldiers killed by the IRA had been remembered on war
memorials in their home towns.

She said: "If you have given your life for your country,
you have given your life.

"There are no degrees of death - you can't make a bigger

"I feel that it should be a memorial for victims of all

"I hope that common sense will prevail. We are not looking
for glory for Mark, we want it for everyone.

"If it's a case of finance, we have offered to fund-raise
to help the council."

She added Mr Jones' ashes were scattered in the sea off
Deal so there is no permanent reminder of him at home apart
from an annual scholarship in his name awarded through the
West Glamorgan Youth Orchestra.

'Separate commemoration'

In a statement Mumbles Community Council said a great deal
of effort had gone in to ensuring that the updated memorial
did not omit the names of any local soldier who died in
either World War.

"Mumbles War Memorial was originally erected to commemorate
those from Mumbles who gave their lives in the Great War
and following the end of the Second World War altered to
also commemorate the fallen of that war," it said.

"It has always been, and still is, a matter under
consideration that a separate commemoration be made to
those from Mumbles who have given their lives in subsequent
conflicts and those who regrettably may do so in the

"Mumbles Community Council regrets that, in attempting to
rectify the anomaly of omission of named service personnel
from the cenotaph, distress should have been caused to Mrs
Adams or indeed anyone else."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/15 05:51:02 GMT


Robbers Target Bank Security Van

Robbers have targeted a security van outside a bank in
south Belfast.

Two people are believed to have been involved in the raid
at the Ulster Bank on Ormeau Road at about 1100 BST.

A police spokeswoman said it was understood that a security
guard had been taken to hospital with an arm injury
following the robbery.

Local MP Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP said the robbery
would do "serious damage... to the image of Belfast, and
the Ormeau Road in particular".

Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey said it was "very
disturbing that in broad daylight on the front of the
Ormeau Road, these people feel confident enough to carry
out such an attack".

DUP councillor Jimmy Spratt said: "This was an extremely
vicious robbery and our thoughts are with the injured
security guard."

The Alliance Party's Allan Leonard described it as

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/15 11:57:29 GMT


Leonard Peltier's Statement To Commemorate The 1981 Irish Hunger Strike

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
By: Leonard Peltier

From the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

On Sunday, Aug. 13, more than 20,000 people in Belfast,
Northern Ireland commemorated the 25th anniversary of 1981
Hunger Strike in which 10 Irish revolutionaries being held
by British occupation forces struck to win status as
political prisoners. The prisoners’ five basic demands
were: the right not to wear prison uniforms; the right not
to do prison work; the right to associate freely with other
political prisoners; the right to organize their own
organizational and recreational pursuits; the right to a
weekly visit letter and parcel.

The Hunger Strike created widespread support for the cause
of national and social liberation both within Ireland and
around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people attended
the hunger strikers’ funerals. The following statement to
commemorate the Hunger Strike is by Leonard Peltier, Native
American political prisoner incarcerated unjustly in U.S.
federal prisons since 1976.

I have to acknowledge that another year has passed since my
illegal imprisonment; thirty years have gone by while I
Leonard Peltier remain illegally incarcerated.

It seems that this year is one for reflection. Relatives
from struggles around the world are stopping to reflect on
the lives of friends, comrades and loved ones who are now
gone. During the past thirty years I have seen many people
leave my life and journey to the spirit world. I have
learned from the many people that have come into my life
the true meaning of friendship and solidarity. With that, I
must salute and address my friends, brothers and comrades
in Ireland. I especially want to express my condolences to
the families of the Hunger Strikers from a quarter-century
ago. I want to send my warmest greetings to my friend Gerry
Adams. I also want to salute each of my friends throughout
Ireland that have supported me for so many years. I pray
that you will continue to lend me your support and consider
me your friend.

At this time, my friends and relatives in Ireland are
suffering loss, but also celebrating the memories of those
from their communities who have now gone to the spirit
world. Twenty five years ago you lost ten young men in the
prime of their lives. Men who would have been starting
families or graduating from university if they'd been born
into a more just society suffered in the most inhumane way
possible. When Bobby Sands died on May 5, 1981, millions of
people from around the world joined their voices together
to condemn the British government that allowed him to
parish. I joined my voice to theirs. I fasted in solidarity
with the Hunger Strikers for forty days during that
dreadful year.

Fasting is something that I have done many times, when I
was a free man, while participating in our sacred Sun
Dance. The sufferings of our relations in Ireland are pains
that we as Indian people know all too well. Our suffering,
our fasting and our struggling links us together with a
common bond. That is why I say to you, there in Ireland,
you are my relatives. As your relative, let me join my
thoughts, tears, and prayers with yours as you commemorate
your fallen, especially those who died on Hunger Strike in
1981. My family and your families, my pain and your pains,
my peoples struggle and the struggles of your people are
all connected. We truly are all related.

Thirty-one years ago the Lakota elders asked for help and
protection from the GOON squad that was terrorizing the
Funeral procession for Irish hunger striker Martin Hurson,
July 15, 1981.

Lakota Nation. I, along with many others, responded to that
call. I simply responded to a call to help others protect
our lands, culture and traditions. I ask that you not loose
focus on the real issue, which is that people suffering
extreme hardships need not be. Even today we see children,
women and elders being murdered in Pine Ridge and Belfast,
on Big Mountain in Navajo country and in Basque country in
Spain. And all in the name of justice.

From Chiapas to El Salvador and all around this Mother
Earth lands are being taken, cultures are being robbed of
their languages, and the extermination of traditions are
occurring on a daily basis.

I must share with you that, as the years have passed, every
day I hear routinely the sounds of my cell door opening in
the morning and closing at night. Yet, I have not forgotten
what I was asked to do when I was asked to respond to the
call our Elders sent—a cry for help. Now I once again must
call on you for your help. I ask you to join your voices
and efforts with mine.

A young Cheyenne man by the name of Dave Bailey is our
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee representative for
Ireland and England. I ask that you help him in his efforts
to highlight my case, and search for solutions in that part
of the world that will eventually mean I never again have
to hear the sounds of cell doors opening and closing. I ask
you to do all you can to support his efforts, my efforts,
and the efforts of all Indian people. I humbly thank you
for the warmth, hospitality, and support that you have
shown our people over the years when they have come into
your community. As you commemorate your fallen and your
dead, remember that our suffering is linked to yours. We
mourn with you and pray for you as relatives.

Mitakuye Oyasin. (We are all related.)

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier


Thousands In Donegal Town For Hibernian's Parade

Aug 15, 5:47 pm

Thousands of visitors have arrived in Donegal Town this
afternoon as the annual parade of the Ancient Order of
Hibernians took place.

This was the first time the march has taken place in
Donegal Town since 2002. The parade began at the St. John
Bosco Centre before marching to the Diamond.

Hibernians from Scotland and the USA are in Donegal Town
with 15 marching bands having entertained the crowd which
lined the streets.

County Donegal President of the Ancient Order, John Byrne
from Glencolmcille said the organisation is still involved
in charity work which is why it was founded in 1541.


Opin: Worrying Trends In Leaving Cert


Continuing high failure rates in ordinary level maths and
in science subjects at ordinary level are the most striking
features of the Leaving Certificate results published
today. In all, more than 4,500 students failed maths,
making them ineligible for admission to many third-level

In another worrying trend, some 15 per cent of students
failed ordinary level chemistry with the failure rate also
high in biology (13 per cent) and physics (9 per cent).

The poor performance of so many students in maths and the
sciences, and the relatively small number taking these
subjects at higher level, is disappointing for Government,
industry and many teachers. It is a pattern which sits
uneasily with lofty talk of the Republic as a leading
"knowledge economy". The Government and business leaders
have tried to cajole more students into opting for maths
and science but to little avail.

It may be that something more is needed. There has been
some talk - but no more - about some kind of new incentive,
such as bonus points for maths and science. Certainly,
dramatic action is needed to arrest the fall-off in student
interest in these key subjects. At present, students tend
to cast around for the subjects that maximise their CAO
points for the minimum of effort. As a result higher-level
maths and science subjects are often excluded. Only 9,000
students (less than 20 per cent of the total) took higher
level maths in this year's Leaving Cert exam.

That said, there are hugely encouraging trends in the
Leaving Cert results. The introduction of project work in
history and geography has helped to raise standards and
reduce failure rates in both subjects. Foreign national
students taking a range of languages in the exam including
Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian are securing very
good grades; some 75 per cent of those taking Russian at
higher level secured an A1.

The good news for students receiving their results today is
that the so called "points race" has eased considerably in
the past decade. Competition will continue to be intense
for courses such as law and medicine, but three-quarters of
students will secure one of their top three CAO choices.
With the numbers taking the Leaving Cert (51,000) at a
historically low level, the pressure on CAO points could
ease for many courses. In a reversal of the pattern of the
1980s, it is now the colleges which are under pressure,
rather than the students. Many third-level institutions
will struggle this year to fill available places.

For students, the situation could hardly be more positive.
Against a strong economic backdrop, there is now a
staggering array of options available across the third-
level system. And fewer students are chasing more places.
It is no exaggeration to say that the class of 2006 will
have more employment, educational and career opportunities
than any previous Leaving Cert group.

© The Irish Times


Daniel Selling His Donegal Home

For Daniel O'Donnell fans, it is the ultimate fantasy - a
chance to purchase his luxury home in Donegal.

The Irish crooner and his wife Majella are selling their
eight-bedroomed Donegal Shore House on Cruit Island.

With a price tag of 3m euro, the house is said to have
spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean with extensive
gardens and terraces to entertain.

But if you are not a genuine buyer and just want to see
around the lavish pad, you may not get in through the door.

The firm selling the house has steps in place to vet
prospective viewers so that time-wasters can be eliminated.

Pat O'Hagan from HOK Country, who along with Knight Frank's
London-based Country Department have been instructed in the
sale, said there were ways of managing would-be viewers.

"We deal with the high end of the market and we are well
used to people wanting to have a look around houses," he
told the Belfast Telegraph newspaper.

"Despite our methods somebody might get through the loop
but we can quickly find out if they are a nosey parker or

"We are instructed to screen people as best we can and in
this case it will be easy enough to tell if someone has 3m
euro or more to spend on this house."

The house is located near Kincasslagh, six miles from
Donegal airport and six miles from the town of Dungloe.

Among the features of the house are "panoramic views",
terraced lawns and a summer house.

Recently, O'Donnell, who has a legion of fans world-wide,
told the BBC he was planning to sell the house as the
couple wanted something smaller.

However, the 44-year-old dispelled rumours that he was
leaving Ireland for a home in the sun.

O'Donnell, who has an MBE for his services to music,
stressed that his heart remained in the west coast of
Ireland. He has a second home in Tenerife.

O'Donnell has made no secret of his deep affection for his
native home in songs such as Home to Donegal and My Donegal

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/15 17:54:01 GMT


Poor Marks In Science, Maths In Leaving Cert Results


High failure rates in maths and in the science subjects at
ordinary level are the most striking feature of the Leaving
Cert results published this morning. Some 12 per cent of
ordinary level maths students failed the paper, while more
than 4,600 students failed maths overall. Seán Flynn,
Education Editor, reports

Results were also disappointing in science subjects, where
16 per cent failed ordinary level chemistry, 13 per cent
failed biology and 9 per cent failed physics. The failure
rate at higher level across the three science subjects
averaged 7 per cent.

These results - and the relatively small number of students
taking maths and science at higher level - will dismay
Government and business leaders who have been working to
increase the popularity of these subjects as they seek to
meet demand in the hi-tech sector.

What is seen in education circles as the "crisis" facing
maths and science has prompted the Royal Irish Academy
(RIA) to demand the return of bonus CAO points for maths
and a similar incentive for science subjects. The RIA, a
group of venerable academics, says urgent action is needed
to increase the supply of quality graduates in these

The grades in higher level maths this year were broadly in
line with previous years, despite complaints in June from
students and teachers that Paper 2 was grossly unfair.

One student in the State secured nine A1 grades and six
received eight A1 grades.

The number receiving their results this morning - just
under 51,000 - is at historically low levels. Career
experts say prospects are bright for the class of 2006.

Brian Mooney, former president of the Institute of Guidance
Counsellors, said that, given the low number of students,
CAO points levels will be down for many courses -
particularly at ordinary degree and certificate level.

The CAO will publish its points requirements at 6am on
Monday morning. It is estimated that more than 75 per cent
of students will secure a place on one of their top three
CAO courses.

This year, fewer than 2,000 students repeated the Leaving
Cert, compared with almost four times that number a decade

Mr Mooney said even students with disappointing results can
progress successfully through the system using the post-
Leaving Cert (PLC), certificate and ordinary degree route,
without having to repeat the Leaving Cert exam.

CAO points are expected to be very high for medical and
paramedical courses given the 7 per cent increase in the
demand for places this year. Last year, students needed 570
points to have any chance of gaining a place in medicine.

But the Minister for Education Mary Hanafin is hoping the
introduction of new graduate entry programmes, which begin
next year, will help to lower the pressure on points.
Yesterday, the Minister reminded Leaving Cert students that
the new postgraduate medicine option will be available for
them when they graduate in three or four years' time.

This year, the introduction of new curriculums in both
history and geography helped to cut failure rates at higher

At higher level, the failure rate in history is down from 8
per cent to 4.6 per cent, and in geography it is down from
4.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Candidates taking Russian,
Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish secured some very good
results, with 75 per cent of those taking Russian at higher
level securing an A1.

© The Irish Times


On Radio 1's Dial: Presenters On Their New Programmes


DEREK MOONEY Presenter of Mooney, weekdays between 3pm and

"We will be covering everything, it will be a real mixed
bag but not a replacement for Rattlebag. I do think
Rattlebag listeners are going to enjoy our show, and we
will be liaising with the people who produce arts-based
material. I see the front man as very much the gear changer
. . . Guests will very much be a part of the programme . .
. we have a very broad brief."

DAVE FANNING Presenter of Drivetime with Dave Fanning,
weekdays 7pm to 8pm

"It will be music and movie-based ... but I'll also be
recommending things that are going to be on television that
night. On average in an hour I'd imagine I'll play only 4-5
tracks. I'll be doing it very much in the same way as my
programme on 2fm. I'm not looking to beat Liveline or Today
with Pat Kenny. I suppose you could call it popular

MARY WILSON Anchor of Drivetime, weekdays from 5pm to

"What I want to do on this is bring people up to date with
what has been happening - not just informing but perhaps
entertaining as well. By its very nature, news and current
affairs are very serious ... I like to think I have shown
empathy with people (in my past work), and I would hope to
bring some of that to the programme. A programme like
Drivetime has access to the whole RTÉ newsroom."

© The Irish Times

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