News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

September 03, 2006

Adams Embarks On Mid-East Peace Mission

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 09/03/06 Gerry Adams To Embark On Peace Mission To Middle East
CB 09/04/06 UDA Denies Disbandment Claims
SL 09/03/06 AK47s To P45s?
SL 09/03/06 Sun, Sea, Sand And Sectarian Abuse
SL 09/03/06 Dealing With The Horror
SL 09/03/06 Loyalist Beating Victim Defies 'Beast'
PT 09/03/06 Bartender Taken Into Custody
SF 09/03/06 Ballymena Parade Ends With Sectarian Chanting Outside Chapel
CT 09/03/06 Opin: Mr. Blair, It's OK To Disagree With Bush
SL 09/03/06 Legal Fight Left Nothing In Playwright's Pockets
HC 09/03/06 Labor Day: An Irish Toast
PL 09/03/06 Teacher Helped Preserve Local Irish Dancing


Gerry Adams To Embark On Peace Mission To Middle East

Published: 3 September, 2006

Sinn F‚in President Gerry Adams MP is travelling to the
Middle East on Tuesday 5th September on a peace mission to
encourage efforts in the search for a resolution to the
Israeli - Palestinian conflict. Mr. Adams is travelling to
the region at the invitation of Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas.

During his visit Mr. Adams will meet with President Mahmoud
Abbas and members of the Palestine Legislative Council
including Hamas. He will also make a presentation to the
Palestinian-Israeli Peace Forum at the Peres Peace Centre.

Mr. Adams will fly into Tel Aviv on Tuesday 5th September.
He will hold a press conference in the American Colony
Hotel in Jerusalem at 7.30pm that evening.

Speaking in advance of the trip Mr. Adams said:

"In recent years the Sinn F‚in leadership has shared our
experience of the Irish Peace Process with those seeking
peaceful alternatives to conflict both in the Basque
Country and Sri Lanka. Later this week I will travel to the
Middle East at the invitation of Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas tomeet with parliamentarians and peace groups
in Palestine and Israel.

"It is imperative that genuine negotiation and dialogue
between the representatives of the Palestinian and Israeli
people commences as quickly as possible. While no two
conflicts are identical there are key conflict resolution
principles which can be applied in any situation. These
include inclusive dialogue, respect for electoral mandates
and respect for human rights and international law. This is
the message I will be bringing to the Middle East this

Editors Note: Mr Adams will be available to speak to the
media at 12.30pm tomorrow Monday 4th September at the party
offices on Sevastopol Street.


UDA Denies Disbandment Claims

Published on 04/09/2006

Ulster Defence Association chiefs have declared no end was
planned for the terrorist organisation's ruthless killing

Senior sources issued an emphatic denial to reports that
the Ulster Freedom Fighters, the UDA's military wing
responsible for decades of sectarian murders, was on the
brink of disbandment.

"There is absolutely no truth in this. No discussions about
this have taken place," a loyalist close to the leadership

It had been claimed that the UFF - whose membership
included infamous terrorists Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair and
Michael Stone, the bomber who murdered three IRA mourners
at Milltown Cemetery, west Belfast in March 1988 - was to
be stood down in November.

South Belfast UDA boss Jackie McDonald secured an agreement
to call off the unit at a meeting of paramilitary leaders
on Thursday because they believed in return the Government
would pay out œ30 million to regenerate deprived loyalist
communities, it was reported.

But as Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain and Irish
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern prepare to meet next
Monday to prepare a final push to restore the Stormont
power-sharing regime in Belfast, senior loyalists stressed
they were in no position to consider such a move.

Nothing can be done until after the November 24 deadline
set for the political parties to revive devolution, one
authoritative figure said.

"Anything other than that is just nonsense," he added.

"We will not even be thinking about what to do until we see
how the talks pan out.

"And to say this meeting took place is just wrong."

By Barr Best


AK47s To P45s?

By Alan Murray
03 September 2006

The UVF leadership is proposing to decimate its 'battalion'
structure - reducing each area to just 10 members before
the end of the year.

The downsizing proposal has sparked major debate within the
terror group and its sister organisation, the Red Hand

Unionist politicians have been urging the UVF to prepare
for disbandment and decommissioning.

But both the UVF and UDA have major concerns the political
process could falter in November.

The UVF leadership has warned that any move to develop a
greater Irish government involvement in Northern Ireland
after the November 24 devolution deadline would colour
their thinking.

However, discussions about disbandment are continuing.

Said one loyalist source: "Boys in the UVF and the Red Hand
are being told to think along the lines of just 10 of them
being left in each area, max.

"That would mean not so much in rural areas, but in big
membership areas like east Belfast and the Shankill, it
would mean a lot of P45s being issued."

Plans to downsize the UDA have been delayed by the dispute
between the north Belfast 'brigade' and the 'inner council'
element and the departure of the south east Antrim
'brigade' from the council.


Sun, Sea, Sand And Sectarian Abuse

By Stephen Breen
03 September 2006

A Catholic man who survived a UDA murder bid was subjected
to sectarian abuse from exiled terror boss Alan McClean and
his cronies while on a sunshine holiday.

The Ardoyne man - who was shot in the legs and groin by the
terror gang - thought he was getting away from it all when
he flew off a fortnight ago to the Golden Sands resort in

But the 31-year-old has told of his shock at coming face-
to-face with gangster McClean and his cohorts who were
staying in the same apartment block!

The people with McClean recognised him, too, and greeted
him with shouts of "Fenian b******".

But the north Belfast man refused to be intimidated from
his accommodation by the tattooed loyalist mob.

He told Sunday Life: "I was having a swim and when my head
came above the water I saw McClean and his mates sitting by
the pool.

"As soon as I saw them I fell back into the water, I
couldn't believe it.

"It was just my luck to have very dangerous loyalists from
north Belfast staying in the same resort as me.

"When I got out of the pool one of them recognised me and
shouted sectarian abuse at me, but I just laughed at them
and walked on.

"I was there to enjoy myself and I was not going to be
intimidated by a gang of loyalists who are nothing but

"It was people very close to McClean who tried to kill me
in 2002 and who murdered young Gerard Lawlor. So, it was a
bit of a shock to be located so close to them."

Among the group spotted enjoying the Bulgarian sunshine
with McClean last week was Yuk Shoukri, brother of deposed
UDA bosses Andre and Ihab Shoukri.

He was one of a number of people who fled north Belfast
after the UDA 'inner council' faction flooded the area with
supporters and forced McClean out.

The Catholic man told how the exiled loyalists had been
enjoying the high life during their stay in Bulgaria.

He added: "From what people were saying, they were in all
the casinos blowing loads of money. They didn't seem too
worried about events back home.

"They were also seen removing an Irish flag from the
swimming pool area at the apartment.

"I was just glad to stay well clear of them so I could
enjoy my own holiday."

McClean is believed to have trousered more than œ300,000
from the north Belfast UDA's various extortion rackets and
drug dealing.

The Catholic man survived a loyalist murder bid in 2002.

He had been chatting to a friend at the corner of Rosapenna
Street, off the Oldpark Road, when the gunmen opened fire.

The same UFF gang murdered Catholic teenager Gerard Lawlor
just 10 minutes later.


Dealing With The Horror

By Alan McBride
03 September 2006

The controversial issue of a 'Troubles' museum was raised
again last week with 'An Open Call for Ideas' on the
subject, by the cross-community group Healing Through
Remembering (HTR).

The museum, or to be more exact, Living Memorial Museum, is
one of five initiatives being explored by HTR to help
Northern Ireland come to terms with its past.

At the outset I have to declare my own interest - I have
been a HTR member since 2001, and presently chair the sub-
group tasked with the challenge of coming up with a
blueprint for how a museum might look.

I am probably the least qualified of the sub-group members
to hold that position, but nevertheless bring my own strong
conviction that we needs a museum to tell the story of the
conflict in all its various dimensions.

The title 'Living Memorial Museum', while being quite a
mouthful, is also deliberate, as it best sums up what is
envisaged - something that allows us to explore history,
while at the same time serving as a memorial to all those
who lost their lives.

The importance of housing together these twin concepts came
home to me a couple of years ago during a trip to
Washington DC.

I was there as part of an HTR delegation looking at a
variety of memorials and museums, two of which included a
planned memorial to the American dead of World War II and
the Holocaust Museum.

Both were impressive and in many ways inspired my current
involvement with this initiative - albeit for very
different reasons.

To my mind the World War II memorial was everything a
memorial shouldn't be.

For a start it was going to be big and in-your-face and had
a triumphalist feel to it - there was nothing about the
horror of war or any attempt at putting anything in

They explained what some of the symbols (oak and wheat
wreaths) to be carved in the stone meant - but they also
said that none of this would be explained to people viewing
or visiting it.

This couldn't have been more different from the Holocaust
Museum. The difference was you couldn't actually view the
memorial until you first taken a history tour through the

On arrival at the museum you are given an ID card
containing information and a photograph of a concentration
camp inmate.

You then have to take the lift to the top gallery and
eventually wind your way through various exhibits showing
artefacts and TV footage.

At each stage you turn the page on the identity card and
read relevant information about an individual whose ID you
are carrying.

Only on the last page do you learn if the person survived
or died and what happened to their family members.

Finally, you come to the last gallery housing the memorial.

I believe that it is only then that you have any sense of
the human suffering being commemorated and it certainly
alters the way the memorial is viewed.

Those that lost their lives in the 'Troubles' (or the
40,000 who were injured), ought to be commemorated in a
national memorial of that sort, if for no other reason than
it sends out a message that this carnage should never be

I know this will not be easy in a Northern Irish context -
at least with the Holocaust, there is an agreed version of

I would like to leave you with what some would argue is a
ridiculous idea.

During the initial HTR consultatio, one submission putting
forward the notion of a 'Troubles' Museum, suggested having
two routes through it, a green one and an orange one, so
that you wouldn't have to be offended by someone else's

It is my bet that while many would initially choose to stay
safe, looking only at their own history, as time moved on
curiosity alone would make you want to take a peek at the
history of the other.

Perhaps then would be the beginning of mutual understanding
and the birth of a new people - whatever flag you pledge
allegiance too - but then again we only but dream.


Loyalist Beating Victim Defies 'Beast'

By Ciaran McGuigan
03 September 2006

The victim of a vicious UVF beating last week came face-to-
face with the loyalist thug who ordered the savage attack.

The man defied a death threat from members of the loyalist
terror gang to pay his respects following a funeral in
Rathcoole last Saturday.

Loyalist sources say people attending a function following
the funeral feared more bloodletting as the young man came
face-to-face with the UVF brigadier dubbed 'The Beast'.

Said one loyalist source: "The young fella didn't even
blink going into the social club, even though he knew the
UVF brigadier was there.

"He received a nasty beating just last month, but is
clearly refusing to let these people push him around and is
not going to back away from them."

Last month, Sunday Life revealed how the same man was the
victim of a broad daylight attack in Rathcoole shortly
after being threatened at knifepoint by the UVF brigadier.

He was hospitalised when a gang battered him with hammers
following his refusal to attend a meeting in a nearby
social club.

Loyalist sources say that if the man had gone along to the
meeting "he would have been the next Trevor Gowdy".

Former doorman Gowdy was attacked with hatchets and was
lucky to survive after he was set upon when he went along
to the same social club for a meeting with UVF hardmen.

UVF double-agent Mark Haddock is currently awaiting the
outcome of his trial for the attempted murder of Mr Gowdy.


Bartender Taken Into Custody

By David Rogers, Staff writer

A Seal Beach bartender was taken into custody by federal
immigration officials after an appeals board ruled that he
could be deported for his alleged role in the 1988 killings
of two soldiers in the Northern Ireland city of Belfast, an
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said

Sean O'Cealleagh (pronounced O'Kelly) was taken into
custody Friday morning and was being held at the ICE
detention facility at Terminal Island in San Pedro, said
spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

On Wednesday, the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned a
2004 decision by an immigration judge that O'Cealleagh's
conviction in Northern Ireland was "purely political." The
case was returned to Judge Rose Peters, Kice said.

"We will press ahead with our efforts to obtain order of
removal (of O'Cealleagh)," said Kice. She declined to say
how long that might take, noting that O'Cealleagh could
still appeal the ruling.

O'Cealleagh, who has maintained his innocence in the
killings, was jailed for eight years before he was freed as
a political prisoner as part of the Good Friday Accords.

He was never acquitted or exonerated. He immigrated to the
United States in 1999 and became a permanent legal resident
in 2001 He is married and has a son.

But on Feb. 25, 2004, O'Cealleagh was taken into custody at
Los Angeles International Airport after attending a
nephew's christening in Northern Ireland. He was detained
at Terminal Island until he was released on bond after a
deportation hearing in April of that year.

O'Cealleagh testified that he was coming home from
babysitting and literally stumbled into a large funeral
procession where undercover British Cpls. Derek Wood and
David Howes became ensnared.

David Rogers can be reached or (562) 499-1246.


Ballymena Parade Ends With Sectarian Chanting Outside Chapel

Published: 3 September, 2006

North Antrim Sinn F‚in MLA Philip McGuigan has said that
last night's Ballymena Protestant Boys parade through the
north end of Ballymena was yet another example of the
unacceptable behaviour of loyalists in that part of the
town. The Ballymena Protestant Boys Band has carried UDA,
UFF and UYM flags on numerous occasions and carries a
bannerette referring to 'South East Antrim', the local UDA
batallion area.

Mr McGuigan said:

"It was quite clear last night that this parade remains a
sectarian coat-trailing exercise and this shows no signs of
changing. There were numerous breaches of the Parades
Commission determination including the playing of music at
the Chapel roundabout and the display of loyalist
paramilitary flags.

"There were also a number of bands that paraded which the
Parades Commission were not notified of which is an
extremely serious breach of the determination. The parade
supporters gathered across from the chapel chanting 'U-D-A'
all evening showed everyone what this parade is really
about and it remains totally unacceptable.

"Sinn F‚in workers are now in the process of putting
together a report into the Parades Commission breaches at
this parade and the loyalist paramilitary paraphenalia that
was on display."

Ballymena Sinn F‚in Councillor Monica Digney continued:

"It was interesting to note that the DUP Band turned down
the invitation to participate in tonight's parade. They
have paraded alongside loyalist paramilitary bands in
Ballymena in the past, and I would hope that they will now
discontinue their links with loyalist paramilitary bands
and parades in this area as many nationalists interpret
this as an endorsement of the UDA and UVF bands

N.B. The following is a link to the host band's website
which shows clearly how the band's official logo is the UFF
logo and motto with the band's name at the top of it:


An Ally Is Not A Lapdog
Opin: Mr. Blair, It's OK To Disagree With Bush

By Ray Moseley
Published September 3, 2006

LONDON -- On Sept. 28, Prime Minister Tony Blair will
appear before Labor Party members at their annual
conference and, in effect, plead for his political life.

This will not be the same fresh-faced young politician who
led Labor to three unprecedented electoral triumphs, or the
ever-smiling, highly articulate Churchillian figure the
American right especially lionized for his unswerving
support after Sept. 11. It will be an older and deeply
scarred Blair, a man who has wrecked his prime ministership
with his close embrace of President Bush.

Most of all, Blair's undoing was to follow Bush into a
disastrous Iraq war against the wishes of a majority of his
people. More recently, he has incurred opprobrium among his
voters and party members by going along with Bush's refusal
to demand an immediate cease-fire just after the outbreak
of the recent Israel-Hezbollah conflict. British sympathies
were overwhelmingly with the Lebanese people.

Just as that conflict began, Blair practically asked Bush's
permission to undertake a mission to the Middle East.
Blair's words were spoken at the Group of Eight summit in
Moscow into a microphone that neither leader realized had
been left open. For many Britons, that could not have been
a more embarrassing spectacle--the leader of their
sovereign nation confirming his reputation as "Bush's

Blair has refused to say when he will step down, even as
his aides hint that it will be next year. But with his
approval rating here even lower than Bush's in the U.S.,
the pressure on him to go as soon as possible is mounting.

No student of history, Blair might earlier have learned
from the example of some of his predecessors that, while
Britain's relationship with the U.S. is paramount, that
relationship is and always will be strong enough to survive
disagreements between the two countries' leaders--even
disputes that have raged before the public gaze.

The world has an image of Winston Churchill and Franklin D.
Roosevelt working together in total harmony to defeat their
enemies in World War II. In fact, they were often bitterly
at odds over policy.

In 1956, the worst breach in U.S.-British relations since
the War of 1812 occurred when Prime Minister Anthony Eden
colluded with Israel and France behind President Dwight
Eisenhower's back to attack Egypt. An enraged Eisenhower
forced Eden to withdraw his troops, and Eden left office in

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan saw himself as a kind of
avuncular adviser to the young President John F. Kennedy,
but on one occasion in 1962 the two engaged in what
Macmillan later described as "fierce and sometimes painful"
arguments over a question involving the sale of U.S.
missiles to Britain.

In the late 1960s, Prime Minister Harold Wilson and
President Lyndon Johnson were often at sword's point over
Wilson's refusal to send troops to back the American war in
Vietnam. At one point Johnson aide Walt Rostow told a
British official: "We don't give a goddamn about Wilson."

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher engaged in a kind of
political love affair with her conservative soul mate,
President Ronald Reagan. But in 1983, when the U.S. invaded
Grenada, a British Commonwealth country, without notice to
Britain, Thatcher was incandescent with rage and phoned
Reagan to give him a dressing-down that left him fumbling
for words of apology. To her aides, Thatcher declared that
Anglo-American relations would never again be the same.

Prime Minister John Major similarly was enraged when
President Bill Clinton gave a U.S. visa to Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams, whom Major regarded as a terrorist, in 1994.

Even Blair had sharp differences with Clinton over Serbian
aggression in Kosovo and finally played a key role in
persuading Clinton to bomb Serbia into submission.

Blair has had his differences with Bush, notably over the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But such differences have
been submerged and ultimately are irrelevant because on the
big issues of Iraq and Lebanon, the prime minister has
defied his voters and his party and is about to pay a heavy

Blair's advisers have always maintained that his public
support for Bush has given him influence in private, but
there is little evidence to support this. Some critics
argue that the real reason for Blair's seemingly
extraordinary deference is that he shares Bush's view of
the world. "One should hesitate to call the prime minister
a neocon, but in foreign affairs, how else can one
concisely define him?" one British political leader
recently wrote.

The lessons of the past demonstrate that, while Britain and
the U.S. share common values, their national interests are
not always identical, and disagreements can be borne. David
Clark, a former adviser to Blair, observed recently that in
a post-Blair Britain, this will require "an end to
deference and a willingness to be firm when America has got
it wrong."

Ray Moseley is a former chief European correspondent for
the Tribune.


Legal Fight Left Nothing In Playwright's Pockets

By John McGurk
03 September 2006

Stones In His Pockets author, Marie Jones has revealed how
a controversial copyright court case left her seriously out
of pocket.

According to the acclaimed Ulster playwright, virtually all
of her earnings in recent years have been sucked up by
legal fees - a legacy of a costly court battle with former
friend - theatre director, Pam Brighton.

Jones and Brighton, who had once formed a theatre company
together, went head to head in a two-year legal battle over
the copyright of the comedy smash hit play.

Brighton, who directed an early version of Stones in His
Pockets, had claimed that she should be recognised as joint
author of the work- which has famous fans including
Madonna, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Prince Charles.

But, after a tense five-day hearing at London's Old Bailey
in May 2004, Mr Justice Park ruled that Marie Jones had
been the sole author of the play.

In a 60-page judgment, Mr Park said that Ms Brighton had
made a contribution to an early version of the play - but
decided that no compensation be paid.

Ms Brighton was ordered to pay her own costs and 70pc of
Marie Jones' legal bill.

More than two years on though, Marie Jones has claimed that
SHE has "ended up paying the majority of the bills" - in
the fall-out, following the landmark copyright court case.

She told The Sunday Times Money section: "Being sued was a
financial nightmare. I had to pay horrendous lawyers'

"Even though Pam was ordered to pay me a few hundred
thousand euro, she had no money. So I ended up paying the
majority of the bills."

And the east Belfast-born playwright admitted: "For about
two years, all of my earnings went towards those fees.

"I learnt a lesson - make sure your children become

Meanwhile, Stones In His Pockets is returning to Jones'
native city for a run at the Grand Opera House from October
23-28 - as well as the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin from
September 11-30.


Sept. 2, 2006, 10:04PM
Labor Day: An Irish Toast

By Rick Casey

About 25 years ago, on my first trip to Ireland, I stayed
at a bed-and-breakfast in Doolin, a tiny town on the west
coast where O'Connor's Pub is something of a mecca for
traditional Irish music.

One evening at the pub I fell into a Guinness-guided
conversation with the man of the house in which I was

We talked a little politics, a little music, a little
culture. Then he made an observation about Americans.

"The problem with you Americans is that you work too hard,"
he told me.

For reasons I didn't entirely understand, I became a bit

Well, I said, I've noticed that your wife runs the bed-and-
breakfast, that the two of you run 30 head of dairy cattle
in your field, and that you run a youth hostel down the
road and a bicycle rental and repair shop.

'But we know how to live'

What's more, I said, your wife was telling me that in order
to keep your children from having to emigrate to America
for jobs you are thinking of setting up a travel agency.

And you tell me we Americans work too hard.

He wasn't defensive. He simply smiled and said, "Sure, but
we know how to live."

I thought of that conversation last week when Census
figures came out indicating that the median household
income in the United States increased for the first time in
six years.

But the New York Times quoted census officials as saying it
wasn't because of better pay. It was because families were
working more jobs.

(I was also reminded of a cartoon I once saw in which a
politician speaking at a dinner was boasting how many
thousands of new jobs his administration had produced. A
bubble over the head of a waiter nearby said, "I know. I
hold three of them.")

Was the Irishman right? Do we Americans work too hard?

The 'worthless' rich kids

The easy answer is that I don't know. I'd take a survey,
but that would require too much work.

But I think he was on to something - not so much about how
hard we work but whether we know how to live.

Of course there are lazy Americans, but for the most part
we are hard workers.

I know low-income workers who work hard because they need
the money.

I know high-income workers who work hard because that's how
they came to be high-income workers.

And despite the popular American stereotype, I know a lot
of government workers who work hard because they see a lot
of work to be done.

We Americans take our jobs seriously, which is not
necessarily a function of the paycheck.

Unlike my Irish friend and other Europeans, as well as
people in some other parts of the world, we live in a
nation that for centuries has been officially classless.

We had no kings or queens or dukes. Our early mythology
demanded that our presidents be born in log cabins.

So we have no tradition, even residually, of defining our
worth by the titles of our ancestors. In fact, the children
of the rich often are assumed to be worthless until they
prove otherwise.

As a result, more than in most societies we define
ourselves socially by our jobs.

There is, of course, something admirable about this. Hard
work is more clearly related to virtue than is skillfully
choosing one's parents.

Hard work is virtuous whether it be the work of a janitor
or of a surgeon, a corporate chairman or a teacher.

But the danger of hanging so much of our identity on our
jobs is not just that it establishes a different sort of
caste system. It is also that we can devalue other things
of importance, other talents.

In America, for example, it is harder than in Ireland to
consider yourself a poet if you don't make money at it.

Another way of putting it is that in America we spend
insufficient time understanding and enhancing our place in
the world because we tend to think our job defines it for

So this Labor Day I suggest that we make an Irish toast to
our jobs, and then meditate on the rest of our lives.

You can write to Rick Casey at P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX
77210, or e-mail him at


Teacher Helped Preserve Local Irish Dancing

By Jerry Vondas
Sunday, September 3, 2006

Coleen Ambrose's teaching skills and her ability to relate
to the needs of children were utilized as a special
education teacher at the Monsour Child Development Center
in Jeannette, Westmoreland County.

And as an Irish-American who was committed to the
advancement of her heritage, she was admired for her
efforts to preserve Irish dancing in the Pittsburgh
metropolitan area.

Coleen A. Ambrose, 53, of Oakmont, a member of the board of
governors of the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh, died of cancer
on Friday, Sept. 1, 2006, at her home.

Born and raised in Oakmont, Coleen Ambrose was one of four
children in the family of the late Patrick and Kathleen
Smith Ambrose.

Her father, who taught at Franklin Regional High School in
Murrysville, Westmoreland County, also immersed himself in
Irish events.

"We all learned to sing 'Danny Boy' as children," said Ms.
Ambrose's sister, Noreen Ambrose.

"Before we attended a St. Patrick's Day parade, our father
would go into the woods, gather some strong sticks and make
shillelaghs for us to carry to the parade," her sister

In 1971, following graduation from Riverview High School in
Oakmont, Coleen Ambrose enrolled at Slippery Rock
University, where she received her undergraduate degree in

Afterward, Ms. Ambrose taught special education at Monsour
and substituted in the Riverview School District, St.
Joseph School in Verona and St. Irenaeus School in Oakmont.

When her daughters, Nora and Rita Onufer, were old enough
to participate in Irish dancing, Ms. Ambrose became
involved with the Burke County Dancers at the Irish Centre.

"I was 4 years old when I joined the Burke County Dancers,"
said Noreen Onufer, now 21. "Dancing is wonderful
expression of our culture.

"And as you compete at various locations, you make many
friends," Noreen added. "These are the kinds of friendships
that last.

"It is my hope, and the hope of my cousins, who are also
Irish dancers, to some day open our own dance studio."

James Graven, the president of the Irish Centre, who worked
with Ms. Ambrose at Monsour, recalled her as being a
relaxed, laid-back individual who got things done.

"Coleen helped us raise funds to send young dancers who
qualify to the world championships in Ireland," said

Ms. Ambrose is survived by her daughters, Nora and Rita
Onufer, both of Oakmont; sisters, Noreen Ambrose, of San
Francisco and Erin Smith, of Verona; and a brother, Patrick
Ambrose, of Harwick, Springdale.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today
and Monday at the English-Bertucci Funeral Home Inc., 378
Maryland Ave., Oakmont.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m.
Tuesday in St. Joseph Catholic Church, Verona.

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