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 14, 2006

NI Catholics Still Facing Inequality

News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 09/14/06 NI Catholics Still Facing Inequality In Jobs & Housing
BN 09/14/06 Poorest 'Worse Off Despite Peace Process'
IN 09/14/06 Sectarian Attacks Hit Police Operation
BB 09/14/06 Catholic Home Attacks Were Self-Inflicted - DUP
IN 09/14/06 Anger As Paisley Says Attacks ‘Self-Inflicted’
IN 09/14/06 Difficult To Know Whether Dissidents Attacked Church
IN 09/14/06 Revelations Over Files ‘No Surprise’
BN 09/14/06 Ahern And Blair To Meet For Talks On North Stalemate
IN 09/14/06 DUP Says Deal Not On As Provos ‘Will Not Divvy Up’
IN 09/14/06 Row As Ratepayers’ Money Used For Loyal Order Buses
IN 09/14/06 Mural Paints A Brighter Picture
IN 09/14/06 Opin: Missed Deadline Need Not Be End
IN 09/14/06 Opin: Vision Needed For Ireland’s Mother Tongue
IN 09/14/06 Opin: Going From Bad...
IN 09/14/06 Opin: To Worse
BB 09/14/06 NI Has No Available Sperm Donors
BN 09/14/06 Economist Reiterates Concerns About Construction Reliance
IM 09/14/06 A Country Town In Modern Ireland
IT 09/14/06 Visits To Ireland Have Risen 17%, CSO Reports
RT 09/14/06 Death Of Seán Ó Tuama At 80


NI Catholics Still Facing Inequality In Jobs And Housing

14/09/2006 - 09:07:56

Catholics in the North still face inequality in employment
and housing, according to a report due to be published
today by a leading human rights watchdog.

The report from the Committee on the Administration of
Justice (CAJ) says Catholics are still less likely to be
employed and have to wait longer for council housing.

It also says the poorest members of society in the North,
both Catholic and Protestant, are worse off than they were
a decade ago.

The CAJ has concluded that British government policies are
actually tailored towards saving money rather than
genuinely addressing inequality and poverty.


Poorest 'Worse Off Despite Peace Process'

14/09/2006 - 07:24:35

The poorest members of society in the North, both Catholic
and Protestant, are worse off than they were a decade ago
despite British government rhetoric to the contrary, it was
claimed today.

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) said
British government polices were ignoring serious community
differentials and on occasion exacerbating problems of
disadvantage and communal division.

Urgent action is needed, it said.

The day after ministers hailed another drop in unemployment
and rise in employment to record levels, the CAJ said in a
major report there was a difference between the rhetoric
and reality of economic inequalities in the North.

Tim Cunningham, the CAJ’s equality officer, said: “Despite
the government rhetoric to the contrary, the reality is
that the poorest members of our society, both Catholic and
Protestant, are relatively worse off than they were 10
years ago.

“Northern Ireland has the highest economic inactivity rate
in the UK, so the idea that Northern Ireland as a whole is
benefiting from increased prosperity and economic growth in

The situation of the ‘hidden unemployed’ was getting worse,
he said.

Moreover, the British government’s own research showed that
programmes such as the New Deal benefit least those who are
in most need of employment, he said.

In a damning indictment of policy Mr Cunningham said:
“Rather than genuinely tackling poverty in both Catholic
and Protestant working-class communities, government
appears to be sectarianising the debate.

“It has disregarded major differences in labour market
trends between the two communities, failed to target
investment effectively at those in most need and has
pursued measures such as Shared Future and the Taskforce on
Protestant Working Class Communities that at best ignore
and at worst exacerbate community differences.”

The report was issued on the 30th anniversary of the fair
employment legislation of 1976 , when religious and
political discrimination in the workplace was explicitly
outlawed in the North.

However, it said there were important sectors of employment
and types of work that were still predominately occupied by
members of one or other community.

“This finding suggests that the legacy of the past still
has an important and potentially destabilising impact on
today’s workforce,” it said.

Statistics of registered unemployed had dramatically
improved, the report accepted, but it said they did not
give the full picture.

“Statistics hide the large number of people who want to
work but who cannot find employment.

“An economy which grows at the expense of those in most
need is not built on solid foundations and will create
longer-term societal problems,” it added.

It also said that major funding tools such as inward
investment and public procurement policies offered the
potential for challenging some of the legacy of
disadvantage, but early signs regarding the strategic
direction of such tools were worrying.

Great efforts were made in the negotiation of the Good
Friday Agreement, said the report, to ensure the tragedies
of the past would never again be experienced.

However the CAJ said: “This report concludes that
government is ignoring measures that have proved effective
in undermining communal divisions.”

It concluded: “Government is in fact introducing measures
which, instead of reducing community divisions, can only
exacerbate them and marginalise further the most
disenfranchised in our society, both Catholic and


Sectarian Attacks Hit Police Operation

By Maeve Connolly

POLICE in Ballymena have been forced to abandon the agreed
‘policing plan’ after a surge in sectarian petrol-bomb
attacks, the town’s most senior policeman said.

In the last four weeks there have been seven such attacks
on Catholic and Protestant homes in the Co Antrim town
where tension has been heightened since the murder of
Catholic teenager Michael McIlveen in May.

Ballymena District Commander Superintendent Terry Shevlin
said he has “suspended for the near future” the area’s 12-
month policing plan to divert all resources to stopping
attacks and prosecuting those responsible.

The sudden increase in sectarian attacks means officers
have had to be diverted from reducing domestic burglaries
and tackling race hate crimes, domestic violence and the
drugs trade.

“I have taken police off other priority areas in my
policing plan which has been suspended for the near
future,” Mr Shevlin said.

“I have earmarked investigative time and resources to this
inquiry and I am determined to do all we can to bring this
to a halt.

“I would assure people that my crime manager is personally
leading on this investigation and we are doing a thorough
job in terms of forensic strategy.”

A policing plan is drawn up in consultation with the
district policing partnership and sets out the district
command’s “objectives, indicators and targets”.

Ballymena’s 2006/2007 policing plan has a number of
targets, including a reduction in burglaries and an
increase in the clearance rates for sectarian and race
crimes and domestic violence.

The plan also states that police hope to “increase the
number of persons charged or summonsed for supply offences
as a proportion of those arrested for all drugs offences”.

SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan supported Mr Shevlin’s
decision but urged Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde to provide
extra resources to Ballymena’s police to ensure issues such
as burglaries and the supply of drugs were not “diminished
in importance”.

“I support the diversion of district command resources into

the prevention of further incidents and the detection of
those who have been involved,” Mr O’Loan said.

“But given that this diversion has gone on for a
considerable period of time and looks like it will continue
for some time I would call for the chief constable to
provide extra resources to the district command to ensure
the local priorities are continuing to be worked up.

“We can’t afford to have important issues like burglaries
and the supply of drugs being diminished in importance.”

Meanwhile, Ian Paisley jnr has claimed attacks on Catholic
homes in the area were “self-inflicted”.


Home Attacks Self-Inflicted - DUP

A senior DUP member has said some attacks on Catholic homes
in north Antrim have been "self-inflicted".

Ian Paisley Junior, an assembly member in the area, said he
stood by his remarks despite criticism from nationalist

In a statement to the BBC, he said "a considerable amount
of the attacks" in Ballymena were "self-inflicted by

The area's policing plan has been suspended to deal with
the attacks.

There have been several sectarian petrol bomb attacks in
Ballymena in recent weeks.

'Judged on fact'

In a statement, Mr Paisley Jnr, said a recent paint bomb
attack on Harryville Catholic Church in Ballymena "appears
to be the work of republicans".

"This self-imposed attack is evidence that a considerable
amount of the attacks recently carried out in north Antrim
are not only self-inflicted by republicans but are part of
an orchestrated effort by republicans to stir up sectarian
activity to discredit the local unionist community."

He said Sinn Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan was "in a
state of self-denial".

"He claims that in north Antrim the local Roman Catholic
community is 'always under attack'. This is nonsense and it
is now evident that the attacks are in fact carried out by
republicans on Roman Catholics."

Speaking to the Belfast-based Irish News, Mr McGuigan said
Mr Paisley would "be much better making his public comments
judged on fact".

Local SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan said Mr Paisley Jnr was
"making these judgements without any evidence and I don't
think he's correct".

Ballymena district commander, Superintendent Terry Shevlin,
said Mr Paisley Jnr's remarks were "not how I would
particularly see it".

He told the paper: "I wouldn't say for one moment that
those people targeted are perpetrators."

The area's 12-month policing plan had been "suspended for
the near future", he said.

"I have earmarked investigative time and resources to this
inquiry and I am determined to do all we can to bring this
all to a halt."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/14 10:02:06 GMT


Anger As Paisley Says Attacks On Catholic Homes ‘Self-Inflicted’

By Maeve Connolly

NATIONALISTS have hit out after Ian Paisley jnr claimed a
wave of attacks on Catholic homes in the greater Ballymena
area were “self- inflicted”.

Loyalists have been blamed for four petrol-bomb attacks on
Catholic families in Ballymena and attacking the home of a
Catholic family in Ahoghill. But the North Antrim DUP
assembly member said it had all been the work of

The attacks were intended, he said, to “damage the
credibility of the unionist community” and were the result
of “internal wranglings and fall outs”.

The timeline of attacks is as follows:

•August 13 – Catholic family’s home in Ballyloughlan Park
petrol bombed

•August 26 – Petrol bomb thrown at a house in Parklands

•August 27 – Windows broken in Catholic family’s Ahoghill

•August 29 – Catholic family targeted with two petrol bombs
in Dunfane Park

•August 30 – Petrol bomb thrown at a house in Dunvale where
a Catholic family live

•September 1 – Protestant family attacked with two petrol
bombs in Millfield

•September 9 – Petrol bomb thrown at Catholic family’s
Rathmore Heights home.

A police spokesman said all seven attacks were being
treated as sectarian.

Sinn Fein has also said windows were broken at the homes of
two Catholic families last weekend.

SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan said he was in “no doubt”
that Ian Paisley jnr was “making these judgments without
any evidence and I don’t think he’s correct”.

He said prosecutions would “prove the matter absolutely”
and that he “would be very keen” to see this happen.

“I do not think the comments should have been made because
a lot of false rumours have been circulated in Ballymena in
recent months and they do contribute to an atmosphere of
distrust,” he said.

Sinn Fein North Antrim assembly member Philip McGuigan said
the comments were “typical of the kind of nonsense that
people have had to listen to from Ian Paisley jnr over
recent years”.

“Ian Paisley jnr would be much better making his public
comments judged on fact,” Mr McGuigan said.

“Ian Paisley jnr should stand shoulder to shoulder with
others in trying to bring about an end to sectarianism but
it’s obvious from these comments and from other DUP
councillors that they aren’t too concerned about sectarian
attacks against their Catholic neighbours.”

Speaking after a Catholic and a Protestant family were
attacked within 24 hours of each other last month,
Superintendent Terry Shevlin said it appeared “a sectarian
cycle” had been set up.

Mr McGuigan has said it is wrong to portray it as “tit for

Mr O’Loan said he did not believe all nationalists were
being targeted although the volume of attacks had caused
“some general fear”.

“It appears that particular people are being targeted in a
way that puts the lives of them and their whole families at
risk,” he said.


Difficult To Know Whether Dissidents Attacked Catholic Church Police Say

By Maeve Connolly

THE police district commander for Ballymena has said it
would be “difficult to specify” whether dissident
republicans were responsible for paint bombing a Catholic
church in Harryville.

The Harryville Ulster Scots Society blamed the Real IRA for
the attack and said the paint matched that used to write
graffiti in support of the Real IRA written in the north of
the town.

Superintendent Terry Shevlin said the paint was “a line of
inquiry” but “it may be difficult to say that two paint
types are exactly the same. I’m not sure forensically if
that’s possible”.

“We are alert to all these dynamics that can inform the
situation. I am not ruling it out and I am not ruling it
in,” he said.

Mr Shevlin praised members of the Ulster Scots group who
helped clean up on Tuesday morning and said he hoped “the
deeds of a few in the community” would not deter bridge
building which he said was “the long-term solution” to

Asked whether the assertion by the DUP’s Ian Paisley jnr
that a spate of petrol-bomb attacks on Catholic homes had
been “self-inflicted”, Mr Shevlin said: “That’s not how I
would particularly see it.

“We are trying to keep an open mind in terms of motive.

“It is a small group of people in both parts of the
community who carry out these things and it sucks the whole
community into that.”

The district commander said commentators should remember
that such attacks devastate victims.

“There is some suggestion that some people have been
attacked in the past by others who perceive them as
protagonists but I wouldn’t say for one moment that those
people targeted are perpetrators,” he said.

“Quite clearly none of this is justified no matter what
people think their cause is or intended target.

“And rather than speculate about who has been involved I
would ask people to keep their eyes and ears open and if
they do hear of names of those involved to tell us.”

Mr Shevlin also revealed that he had diverted resources
from crucial areas of policing to curb the sectarian

The PSNI has been criticised for alleged inaction after a
Catholic man who said he was one of two people threatened
by a gang of known loyalists gave police their names.

One of the Catholic men had his home petrol bombed and the
other believes he was the intended target in another attack
which damaged a neighbour’s house and police said was a
case of mistaken identity.

However, Mr Shevlin said police do not “immediately go out
and arrest people”, rather they aim to “match up different
things so we have the best opportunity to bring people to

“It must be frustrating for people because they don’t hear
of someone being arrested but that is not police inaction,”
he said.

“That information might build up a line of inquiry or rule
something out.”


Revelations Over Files ‘No Surprise’

By Barry McCaffrey

Nationalist politicians last night demanded answers over
revelations that up to 1,000 police murder files have gone

On Wednesday The Irish News revealed how the Historical
Enquiries Team (HET) has been unable to locate up to 1,000
RUC files relating to Troubles killings.

The admissions over missing files follow a series of
similar damaging revelations relating to police having
failed to properly retain evidence in murder cases.

Those included former RUC detective Eric Anderson’s
admission that he had held onto murder files after
retirement; the admission that police destroyed the jumper
of UVF murder victim Gavin McShane after it was judged to
be a ‘health hazard’.

Other admissions included the fact that police destroyed
the car used in the UVF gun attack on Loughinisland, Co
Down which left six people dead and that evidence relating
to the SAS shooting of three IRA men in Co Tyrone in 1991
was destroyed after it was claimed to have been
contaminated by asbestos.

“The revelation that the HET cannot even locate over 1,000
case files will come as no surprise to nationalists who are
all to aware of the culture of concealment and cover-up
which exists at the heart of the Special Branch,” Sinn
Fein’s Gerry Kelly said.

“Thousands of missing files is not the work of rogue
individuals it is the outworking of a systematic and
planned effort to cover-up and conceal the involvement of
British state agencies, including the Special Branch, in
the murder of citizens.”

“The police must answer serious questions about the reasons
for over 1,000 RUC files going missing,” SDLP assembly
member Alex Attwood said.

“While a small number will have been lost due to the
bombing of police stations it is impossible to believe that
this is the reason for all of them.

“The police need to give a break- down of the reasons why
different files are missing.”


Ahern And Blair To Meet For Talks On North Stalemate

14/09/2006 - 11:16:38

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony
Blair are to meet tomorrow to discuss their latest push to
restore devolution in the North.

The meeting at Mr Blair's Chequers residence comes amid
ongoing doubt about the prospects for progress before the
November 24 deadline set by the Irish and British

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern is
also due to meet SDLP leader Mark Durkan in Derry today to
discuss the situation.

The two governments have given the Northern parties until
November 24 to reach agreement on forming a power-sharing

However, while all the other parties are willing to
participate, the DUP is still refusing to share power with
Sinn Féin.

The hardline unionist party insists the IRA is still
involved in criminality and paramilitarism, despite the
Independent Monitoring Commission's conclusion that the
republican movement is honouring its commitment to end all
illegal activity.

Dublin and London are planning to arrange a round of
negotiations among the parties before November 24, but DUP
leader Ian Paisley said yesterday that this would be a
waste of time and money.


DUP Says Deal Not On As Provos ‘Will Not Divvy Up’

By William Graham Political Correspondent

The DUP now believes it is “not going to be possible” to
reach a political deal by the governments’ November 24

After meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday,
party leader Ian Paisley indicated he did not think there
would be agreement in time.

DUP sources also signalled the deadline was “not

A report from the Independent Monitoring Commission on
October 4 is again expected to state the IRA is following a
political path.

Hot-house talks are then planned for Scotland involving
Prime Minister Tony Blair, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the

Some of the parties, however, including the DUP, are
pressing for the talks to be held in Belfast and not

The Irish News asked the DUP yesterday if the November 24
deadline to get power-sharing institutions up and running
was achievable.

“I don’t think it is realistic at this stage to expect that
on November 25 you are going to have 10 ministers and a
first and deputy first minister driving into Stormont,” a
source said.

A cross-party committee of assembly members has met over
recent months in a bid to prepare for a return to devolved

“Progress undoubtedly has been made over the last number of
months,” the DUP source said.

“[But] there is a strong view it is not going to be
possible [to have a deal] by November 24 because we don’t
believe on the present basis that the Provos are going to
have divvied up.”


Row As Ratepayers’ Money Used For Loyal Order Buses

By Barry McCaffrey

Lisburn City Council was embroiled in controversy again
last night after it emerged that it provided a fleet of
minibuses free of charge to the Loyal Orders.

SDLP councillor Brian Heading has threatened to call in the
Local Government Auditor to investigate the council after
it emerged that six minibuses were provided to take Royal
Black Preceptory (RBP) members to Black Saturday
demonstrations across Co Down on August 26.

“I am asking why ratepayers money was used to fund a
secret, oath bound organisation which excludes in its
charter one section of the community,” Mr Heading said.

“There is no way that this RBP can be viewed as a community
organisation as it deliberately excludes Catholics from its

In response to Mr Heading’s complaint a council spokesman

“Since the inception of the service over 20 years ago,
there is no hire fee payable by groups and they are simply
asked to return the minibus with a full tank of fuel.

“Every year the drivers of community organisations must
apply for a council permit to drive the minibus, where a
check is made on their driving license and other personal
details including their health status and age.”

Meanwhile, Lisburn Council will tonight decide if it will
abide by an Equality Commission ruling that it is guilty of
breaking its own equality policies over the permanent
flying of the Union flag on council property.

In July the commission ruled that Lisburn should abide by
equality guidelines and only fly the Union flag on 19
designated days.

A commission decision to publicise its findings angered
council chief executive Norman Davidson. In a letter to
Equality Commission chief executive Bob Collins, he wrote:

“At best this is discourteous to council while at worst it
amounts to outrageous treatment of council through blatant
disregard for all the elected members and for the
implications for making such information public in this

Mr Collins replied: “From the outset the council was made
aware of the complaint which had been made and, at each
stage, of the progress of the commission’s dealing with the

“The draft investigation report was made available to the
council and the council’s responses were carefully
considered before the final report was approved by the

“Nothing in the handling or outcome of the process could
have taken the council by surprise.”

Sinn Fein councillor Paul Butler, who made the original
complaint to the Equality Commission, said that
nationalists would not accept any attempt by the council to
defy the commission ruling.


Mural Paints A Brighter Picture

By Catherine Morrison

WORK has begun on a major new mural portraying a loyalist
history of the last century.

The picture book-style illustrations recently appeared on a
wall in north Belfast formerly covered by loyalist graffiti
and a paramilitary mural.

At 100-feet long and still unfinished, the mural on
Ballysillan Road is one of the most ambitious undertakings
in recent years.

Starting in 1900, it depicts some of the key moments of
loyalism over the past 100 years, including gun running in

Colourful depictions of the early part of the 20th century,
including the signing of the Ulster Covenant and Ulster Day
in September 1912, give way to sombre black and white for
the two World Wars.

The First and Second World Wars feature heavily, paying
tribute to the thousands of soldiers from the north of
Ireland who died.

The last three scenes tell the story of the first few years
of the Troubles: the Ulster Workers’ strike of 1974, the
Sunningdale Agreement and Parliament Buildings, al-though a
date has yet to be added to that scene.

Professor Bill Rolston of the University of Ulster, who has
written about the north’s murals, believes loyalist mur-als
have been steadily moving away from the image of a hooded

“There has been a great deal of pressure on loyalists to
clean up their act and their image,” he said.

“That pressure has come from outside and inside too.”

In July the NIO announced it was providing more than £3
million to have loyalist paramilitary murals painted over.

The SDLP and Sinn Fein criticised the decision, saying it
was an attempt to portray un-ionist areas as more disadvan-
taged than nationalist ones.


Opin: Missed Deadline Need Not Be End

By Newton Emerson

The DUP, as our front page report today makes clear, is
effectively ruling out any prospect of a political deal
being completed by the British government’s deadline of
November 24.

Many observers will regret this stance but it should always
be remembered that politics is the art of the possible.

Progress has already been made and there is every prospect
that further significant movement will take place over the
next two months.

It would be extremely foolish to wipe the slate clean if
every detail has not been finalised by November 24.

No-one knows if a consensus will eventually be reached but,
if the forthcoming deadline is missed, aiming for a
breakthrough in the new year is the next best alternative.

If this involves negotiating with Gordon Brown rather than
Tony Blair, then so be it.

Regardless of the timescale, all the parties, including in
particular the DUP, will face the same basic challenges.

The talks process cannot be allowed to continue
indefinitely but an adjournment must be better than an


Opin: Vision Needed For Ireland’s Mother Tongue

By Jim Gibney

September – it is that time of the year again when adults
all over this country are wrestling with the decision
whether to attend one of the many Irish language night
classes available.

For many students of the language night classes are viewed
as complementary to a summer trip to the Gaeltacht to a
course run by Gael Linn.

Gael Linn was established in 1953 with the aim of promoting
the Irish language and heritage throughout the country.

Their summer colleges are in three of the major Gaeltacht
areas, Donegal, West Cork and north Mayo.

When I started to learn Irish more than 30 years ago in the
internee’s cages of Long Kesh the language was nowhere near
as healthy as it

is today.

A census taken in 2002 showed that 1.52 million people in
the 26 counties can speak Irish and 10.4 per cent of the
population of the six counties have knowledge of Irish.

An Irish speaker can conduct official business with Irish
government services.

Irish is now recognised within the European Parliament.

Irish language media is also a success story. TG4 has
reawakened interest among many people since it began
broadcasting in 1996. Its youthful image and award winning
programmes give the language vitality.

Raidio na Gaeltachta continues to make a significant
contribution to the growing strength of the language.

Dublin’s Raidio na Life is soon to be joined by Belfast’s
Raidio Failte, managed by the irrepressible language
advocate Fergus O’Hare.

Both the Irish language daily newspaper La and the weekly
Foinse have established readerships.

The Irish News features the language daily and the Irish
Times does weekly.

Irish is available to learn on the internet for those not
able to attend a class.

Irish language programmes on the BBC fall well short of
what they should be compared with the BBC’s coverage of
Welsh and Scottish; although their programme SRL is one of
the best in its field.

Since the first city Gaeltacht was established on Belfast’s
Shaws Road Irish has steadily grown in Dublin and Derry.

There are many young adults, particularly in Belfast, who
have been educated through Irish at primary, secondary and
third level.

A young woman whose family I know from Belfast’s Short
Strand went through all three stages of education and is
now back at her primary school teaching Irish to children.

Over the last five years I have watched my friend’s infant
daughter Riona develop language fluency under her parents
and teachers’ guidance. It is a wonder to behold, a child
effortlessly move between Irish and English. She will
follow the path, set by her parents for her two older
sisters, educated through Irish, one of whom is now at
university in Galway.

In July I spent a valuable week in Pobal Scoil Ghaoth
Dobhar learning Irish. The average age of the 60 or so
people on the course was 50.

They came from all over Ireland. In my class there were
teachers, a trade union official, a bishop, a farmer, full-
time mothers and grandmothers, a shop manager, a plumber
and electrician.

Among the people of this country there is tremendous good
will and love for Irish.

The language is at a stage of development where it could
take a quantum leap forward. For this to happen a planned,
systematic, sustained and highly resourced nationwide
campaign is needed.

The Irish government should lead this national language
revival. They should begin by appointing a minister for

Realistic target dates should be set for every government
minister and TD to be fluent in Irish.

If a billion euros is needed to Gaelicise this prosperous
nation it will be money well spent.

Sinn Fein has set a 10-year deadline to Gaelicise its

They are also lobbying the British government for an Irish
Language Act, a language commissioner, support for Irish
education from pre-school to third-level and support for an
Irish academy to teach adults.

In a 10-year period Basque language activists increased
from 10 per cent to 30 per cent the number of people who
used Basque in their every day lives.

This remarkable language story proves what can be done.

The leaders of this nation need a vision for the Irish


Opin: Going From Bad...


By Councillor Tom Campbell Alliance Party Newtownabbey
Borough Council

THE Ulster Unionists had been given a ‘get out of jail
free’ card because of the decision by the Speaker of the
Northern Ireland Assembly to disallow the UUP-PUP link.

Yet they have lacked the judgment to act on this decision
and break this disgraceful link.

The Ulster Unionists also still have links to the
representatives of armed and active loyalist paramilitaries
within Belfast City Council, through their connection with
the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG).

This matter must also be addressed immediately by the

The misjudgment of the Ulster Unionist leadership is so
fundamental that they even failed to check whether the UUP-
PUP pact would legally stand up to scrutiny.


Opin: To Worse


By Puzzled Gaeilgeoir, Derry

ON A recent visit to a police station – to ask about car
tyres – I noticed a poster on the wall with the heading

Below this was the same word in different languages.

I thought this was a nice gesture to show that the Police
Service of Northern Ireland is, as they claim to be, all-

As an Irish speaker myself, I naturally looked for the word
‘Failte’ – it wasn’t there.

I counted 34 languages on that poster plus English.

So, when the PSNI say

they are a police service ‘for all’, does that mean
everybody except the Irish?


NI Has No Available Sperm Donors

NI couples seeking fertility treatment through sperm
donation are being forced to go to Spain to find donors
because of an acute shortage.

Part of the problem has been a change in legislation
allowing the names of donors to be revealed.

A BBC survey found almost 70% of UK clinics said they had
no sperm at all. There is now only one donor in Scotland
and none in Northern Ireland.

A leading Belfast fertility expert said the anonymity loss
"put donors off".

Dr Tony Traub, a senior consultant at the regional
fertility centre in Belfast, said over the last two years,
the number of donors available had gone down so
dramatically "that we don't have any donors at the current

"The number of couples who actually require donor sperm now
is actually a very small percentage of our work.

"But, nevertheless, it is devastating for them that we are
not able to offer this service anymore.

"Some couples have donor sperm treatment by insemination
and others using test tube baby treatment.

"Both of those treatments are not really offered by us at
the minute."

However, Dr Traub said the regional fertility centre would
still treat couples who brought a known donor.

Similar legislation

Differing legislation in countries throughout Europe meant
people were travelling elsewhere for treatment, he said.

"At present, there are quite a few of our couples are
travelling to Spain to make use of donor sperm there," said
Dr Traub.

"There is virtually no waiting list. But, of course, then
there is the cost issue of having to travel."

He said the loss of anonymity "had put donors off".

Similar legislation in Scandinavia had led to a major
shortage of donor sperm, said Dr Traub.

"We knew this was going to happen, but we hadn't really
worked out a way of countering it.

"Recruiting a donor, I suspect, will be what will happen
for lots of couples."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/14 08:34:00 GMT


Economist Reiterates Concerns About Construction Reliance

14/09/2006 - 11:52:23

Leading economist Jim Power has reiterated his concern
about Ireland's over-reliance on the construction sector.

Speaking at Fine Gael's policy meeting in Sligo today, Mr
Power repeated the concerns of many of his colleagues by
saying the Irish economy is too dependent on housing.

He said exchequer revenues could drop significantly and
thousands of jobs could be lost if the Government does not
focus on developing other areas of the economy.

"If the construction boom ended, you'd see a significant
fall-off in the tax take. You'd see a significant fall-off
in direct and indirect employment," he said.

"The consequence of that would be that the Government
finances would start to deteriorate and pressure would
start to come for increased taxes or reductions in


A Country Town In Modern Ireland

Cork Miscellaneous News Report
Thursday September 14, 2006 07:56
By Miriam Cotton

“In the name of greed we are in danger of losing everything
that is good about our town”. So said SF town councillor
Paul Hayes at a public meeting held in Clonakilty, West
Cork on Monday 4th September and it might have been a good
thing if every parent, politician, publican and young adult
in Ireland had been present. Certain events in Clonakilty
in recent years have the familiar ingredients of many a
story that could be told up and down the country: petty
politics; worries about garda presence, indifferent
parents; grasping business interests and so forth. But an
analysis of the situation is instructive because, if we are
looking to apportion blame, none of us come out of it
looking good.

There appears to be general agreement nowadays that the
country is rapidly losing its soul, whatever that is or
was. We acknowledge the benefits of increased prosperity
but are as rabbits frozen in headlights about what to do
with its negative consequences, which are increasingly
difficult either to ignore or to avoid. Some folk snarl at
talk like this, terrified both of its impact on profit –
pursuit of which is the new compulsory religion – and that
we might all end up back where we were 30 years ago. Well,
it is at least arguable that nothing will guarantee that we
end up on the scrap heap more than shoving our heads in the
sand about what we are making of our country right now. The
trouble with the ostrich perspective is that you are left
with limited faculties for thinking and communicating, if
you see what I mean.

We moved to Clonakilty three years ago. Between us we had
lived in Columbo (Sri Lanka), Delhi and Orissa (India),
Hertfordshire, London, Sheffield, Oxford, The Cotswolds,
Dublin, Cork and Macroom. There are good and great things
to be said about all of those places but we both think that
Clonakilty is by far the nicest place either of us has
lived. We regularly meet newcomers here who feel the same
way. Clon is an elegant and attractively kept town with
great facilities for adults and children alike. It’s by the
sea, within easy reach of magnificent beaches and
coastline, close to the airport, a 45 minute journey to
Cork, a nice city. It has great music, a cinema, a swimming
pool and leisure clubs – good restaurants and cafes and
lots of activity and interest groups to choose from. And of
course it is situated in West Cork which is still, despite
the best efforts of ostentatious bungalow and holiday home
builders, one of the most beautiful places in the country
and which can now also be proud of its art, writing, music,
theatre and food festivals. Although Clonakilty is an
affluent town, it has a solidly representative cross-
section of Irish society, making it a friendly and
welcoming place for blow-ins and natives alike. There is
something for everybody here. However, I’m not writing this
to do the work of the town’s auctioneers. I’m saying these
things to emphasise an important point. Let no one reading
this delude themselves that anything said below is unique
to Clonakilty. Along with many other country towns and
cities in Ireland, Clonakilty has been seemingly powerless,
despite all of its advantages, to prevent the town from
morphing most weekends into a nightmare of drunkenness and
quite frequently, vandalism and violence. None of it has
anything to do with poverty. If anything, the opposite is
the case.

One of the central attractions in West Cork is ‘The Boiler
Room’ in Clon, a discotheque for 14-18 year olds and a
magnet for young people throughout the area. Every three
weeks, they are bussed in from Skibbereen, Bandon, Macroom
and elsewhere, thereby trebling or even quadrupling the
town’s own quota of reckless young drinkers. And boy, do
some of them mean to drink. Vodka and Red Bull. Beers with
shots. Hi-energy alcopops. The intention is, basically, to
get as much alcohol into their systems as fast as possible.
Lots of profit to be had out of that. No matter that they
are under age or that they are not allowed to consume
alcohol at the disco itself, many of them arrive in the
town already drunk and/or high on drugs. Once in
Clonakilty, they will mingle with a crowd of equally
dedicated older drinkers aged between about 18 and 35,
which often includes hen and stag parties down for the

The situation in Clonakilty has been brought to a head
because of the growing level of public disorder and damage
to property over the last 18 months or so, culminating in a
night of extraordinary violence, on Saturday 26th August,
which saw a queue of young people with head and other
injuries outside the emergency doctors’ surgery: cuts,
bruises and stab wounds. As has already been briefly
reported in the Southern Star, approximately one hundred
and fifty people attended the public meeting at O’
Donovan’s hotel in the centre of the town on Monday 4th,
which was organised by local Sinn Fein town councillor, Mr
Cionnaith O’ Suilleabhain in response to these events. Two
people were hospitalised, one of whom was in a near coma
and had to be accompanied by the doctor on duty in an
ambulance to A&E in Cork City. A second doctor had then to
come on duty to treat the waiting queue of injured. All of
the normal medical emergencies were hampered by these
events. Dr Yvonne Hayes, a local GP told the meeting that
she had been called on three other occasions to attend
serious emergencies involving young people at The Boiler
Room. She described finding a 13-year old girl in an
alcoholic coma there. On the second occasion, Dr Hayes was
called to attend a 14-year old boy who had collapsed in a
coma on his way to The Boiler Room. He had no
identification on him so there was no way of contacting his
parents to let them know what was happening. The third
incident involved a 19-year old boy who had taken several
ecstasy tablets so as not to be discovered with any of them
at the disco. When Dr Hayes got to the boy he was in an
extremely dangerous state, capable of any kind of
behaviour, and seriously at risk himself. All three of
these children could easily have died, Dr Hayes said. She
stressed that hers were just the experiences of one doctor.
Others had had similar experiences. Another doctor present,
Dr Fiona O’ Reilly, expressed the distress and upset of all
the doctors at having to deal with the results of the
violence, particularly when it involved the innocent
children of neighbours and friends.

It was discovered that the children coming from other towns
had no parental or adult supervision on the buses and that
they were responsible for organising the bus transport
themselves. Some of the boys routinely brought hurley
sticks and golf clubs with them. The buses generally drop
the children into Clonakilty hours before the disco is due
to start so there is ample opportunity to buy alcohol
beforehand. One of the staff at the Boiler Room said there
was little they could do when some children were bringing
drugs into the disco ‘in their bodies’ so that searches
would sometimes be ineffective unless they were to conduct
full strip searches. 12-year-old children were occasionally
showing up and had to be brought inside, it was claimed,
because there was nobody at home to mind them. The
suggestion was made to organisers of The Boiler Room
present at the meeting that they might move their disco to
another night, possibly Fridays which seem to be quieter,
but the response was given that these discos are helping to
finance the town’s show grounds to whom the disco hall
belongs, and that the profits from them were contributing
to the important amenities provided by the show ground. It
was also suggested that The Boiler Room organisers were
being a bit mean by charging the children for bottled water
when most would be happy to drink tap water. Soft drinks
are available to them at E1.20 a can – a healthy mark up
there. No question, really, but that the young people are a
lucrative source of money. The organisers were asked why
they would not open the show ground fields (several acres
of grass land beside the disco) so that coach and car
parking would not cause a disturbance to nearby residential
estates. The Boiler Room organisers wanted us all to
understand that they were providing an important social
meeting point for our children.

But the Boiler Room is by no means the only source of
difficulty in Clonakilty. For starters, it only runs one
weekend in three. Residents in the town took the
opportunity to describe how they are routinely kept awake
until 4 and 5 o’ clock at the weekends, how their cars and
other property are vandalised and how they are often told
to ‘fuck off’ when they ask people to move out of their
gardens – those who feel brave enough to confront them -
which many elderly and people living alone do not. Among
the things to be seen on looking out of their windows are
young teenagers having sex in their gardens. One man opened
his door to find a girl attempting to urinate on his porch.
The meeting was told that gardens and public places are all
routinely used as toilets and for sexual activity. I have
witnessed a man of about 30, defecating in the doorway of a
house in the middle of the town’s main street at 9.45 on a
late summer evening and it was clear others had had similar

So who is responsible? Well, while it was acknowledged that
the Gardai were aware of these problems and that a certain
amount was being done, they nevertheless came in for their
fair share of criticism from the meeting. Nobody could
recall seeing any Garda patrolling the town on foot on
weekend nights even though there were supposed to be two
Gardai detailed for that duty. Others described great
difficulty getting an answer from the Gardai on the phone.
There was an infrequent Garda presence at The Boiler Room
on disco nights, so that children at least as young as 14
were wandering noisily into nearby estates after 1 o’ clock
in the morning. Little or no attempt was made to control
parking there, as much a matter for the organisers as for
the Gardai, which was forced out onto the roads and estates
nearby, resulting in a lot of noise pollution to the

Cllr O’ Suilleabhain described how earlier in the year he
had proposed the council call a public meeting to try and
set up a co-operative approach to the issue, involving all
sections of the community. The town councillors all arrived
at the council meeting at which the motion was to be
discussed and voted on, to find that a senior Garda,
Superintendent Maher, had been invited, without their
knowledge, to address the meeting before it began about the
subject of crime in the town. The Superintendent painted a
positive picture, describing the town as peaceful and
relatively crime free. He quoted from court statistics,
which showed only 5 convictions for assaults during the
period January to June 2005 as an example. After he had
spoken, Mr O’ Suilleabhain was invited by the then Mayor,
Ms Phil O’ Regan (FG) to agree that in view of the
Superintendent’s reassuring report, there was no need to
debate the motion, after all. Mr O’ Suilleabhain disagreed
and so the discussion went ahead. The motion was voted down
by six to three votes. The two SF councillors and an
Independent voted in favour. All of the FF and FG
councillors voted against the need for a public meeting.
The reasons given were that it would create alarm and be
bad for business in the town. It is of course absolutely
true that for the rest of the week Clonakilty is a pleasant
and peaceful town. But that doesn’t alter the truth of what
is happening at weekends and about which there has been
public alarm for some time, whatever our councillors might
like to tell themselves. Given events since that council
meeting it might be logical to assume that the same
councillors would have reflected on the wisdom of their
decision, but sadly that does not seem to be the case.

At the public meeting, the activities of known drug dealers
in the town were discussed. They routinely conduct
transactions in various well-known locations and the
question arose why they were able to continue to do this
with apparent impunity. A nun at the local convent hospital
complained that their grounds were regularly used for
drinking and drug taking but that while Gardai were aware
of the problem, it nevertheless continued. She also said
that staff and patients were frightened at times.

Some of the local publicans were known to have held 18th
birthday parties for children who were considered good
customers and some were regularly holding discos on their
premises without applying for licences as is required by
law. One audience member complained that some publicans
would continue to serve people no matter how visibly drunk
they were and then push the problem out onto the town at
closing time. He gave as one example the spectacle of a man
he had seen in a pub having difficulty standing up and
getting to the bar where he barely managed to order a pint
of beer. When the pint was served, he had picked it up and
being unable to hold it, immediately dropped it onto the
floor. He then ordered, and was served, another pint.

A senior British police officer present at the meeting
expressed his frustration with the lack of accountability
of the Gardai and what he saw as their failure to engage
with the community in a meaningful way. He had been coming
to West Cork for 35 years and now lives here. He had worked
in a Warwickshire town with greater difficulties and been
involved in the effort that had restored it to order. He
was astounded by the way the Irish Gardai functioned and
particularly by their failures of management at senior
levels. This police officer told how he had been directly
involved in drafting the UK’s Crime and Public Order
legislation and had wide experience of these matters. He
described how everyone in the community had been involved
in addressing the issue in Warwickshire. He suggested that
Clonakilty people keep logs of anything they observed so
that they would be in a position to check the crime
statistics that were being quoted. Another audience member
said he realised that, according to the statistics quoted
by Superintendent Maher, he had apparently personally been
very privileged to have witnessed, in the space of ten
minutes, four of the five recorded assaults during the
period of time covered by the report.

The role of parents, too, was criticised. But while the
meeting agreed there was a lack of parental supervision,
others complained that ‘there was nothing for the children
to do’. Bullshit. Clonakilty is one of the best-served
communities in the country. It also has fantastic natural
amenities. Young people can choose from sea or pool
swimming, sailing, surfing, rugby, GAA sports, soccer,
tennis and cinema. There are lots of opportunities for
voluntary work and if none of the special interest groups
like chess, dancing, drama and music are of interest, there
are great facilities for starting groups of their own.
There are several halls, including a nicely refurbished
Parish Hall available for the purpose. There are beautiful
walks and easy cycling country. What is the matter with
parents that they are unable to direct their children
towards these sorts of activities? And why do they think it
is up to the rest of the community to do something else if
they turn their noses up at everything that has been made
available for them? Why can children not meet in smaller
groups in their own homes so that they can have time for
personal socialising? What’s wrong with playing cards,
listening to music or cooking together? Young people may
complain they want more freedom, but if that ‘freedom’
comes at the risk of being exposed to or participating in
drunken sex and violence, what is the problem with weighing
the situation up and simply saying ‘no, this is one thing,
as a responsible and considerate parent, I will not allow
you to do’? What is wrong with organising social evenings
for smaller, local groups in the local parish hall, with
food and good lighting where the organisers know who is
invited and how they are getting to and from the event, and
where profit is not a part of the equation? These are
children we are talking about, after all. And if they
object, is it not up to us to us to firmly and supportively
maintain the necessary supervision until they are mature
enough to understand that we were strong enough to protect
them properly. It’s as if to say ‘no’ to a teenager were an
unthinkable option for many of us. If we don’t do it, why
the hell should anyone else do it for us? It is a bit much
to blame town councillors or the Gardai (who, whatever true
failings they may be guilty of, and despite being under-
resourced, nevertheless seem to be expected to be
everywhere at once on weekend nights), if we are the ones
allowing the opportunities for misbehaviour ourselves. To
send a child up to 30 or 40 miles away at night, on an
unsupervised bus to another town, with up to four hours to
spare before the event they are attending begins, is surely
to take a risk with their welfare.

And if we want our young adults to treat us with respect,
why do we not involve them more closely in running their
own communities? They are seldom, if ever, given any
meaningful opportunity to contribute their views about the
way things are done, let alone have those wishes acted
upon. They have no say on, for example, developmental
impacts on their environment, which can see some children
herded into very small green spaces for open air play, for
instance. One exception to this trend is a local Garda
initiative. We are lucky in West Cork to have among us
Junior Liaison Officer, Garda James O’ Mahoney, based in
Bandon, who is the instigator of the annual Youth Awards
scheme. This programme awards young adults for outstanding
achievements in sport or voluntary and other community
activity. The scheme has been so successful it is to be
taken up nationwide. Having attended the awards ceremony in
October last year, it was clear that Garda O’Mahony and his
colleagues were determined to acknowledge the fantastic and
often unseen contribution made to the community by young
people and to stamp out the tendency to think of them in a
negative way. During his speech that night (which was the
10th annual awards ceremony) he told how his greatest
problem was in choosing from among so many amazing young
people. The assumption that young people are irresponsible
and uninterested is insulting to most. And given that they
are greedily targeted for economic exploitation, it’s clear
that many respond to these attitudes by living down to the
cynical expectations that the adult community is imposing
on them, or more often failing to protect them from. In
many ways, they are positively prevented from being
responsible for themselves. The so-called ‘youth culture’
which they are encouraged, literally, to buy into is a
monumental and manipulative lie – from idiotic television
programmes, viciously stupid teenage magazines and
relentless advertising, to the even more idiotic
‘celebrity’ gossip, rife with materialistic and other
excesses – and all of which they are immersed in from the
moment they are capable of switching on the box, or are
able to read. Again, it is us parents who are failing to
reject or control the poison directed at our children. We
complain about it but, essentially, do little to stop it.
We are not helped by the fact that responsible parenting is
routinely depicted as boring and stupid – even on what are
regarded as family television programmes. Frequently what
is shown is an inversion of the proper roles, whereby the
clued-up, streetwise – and generally insufferable teenager,
has patiently to manage dimwit, old fogey parents who talk
about stuff like (yawn)self-respect, responsible behaviour
and helping out at home. Parents are really up against it
with that stuff.

But perhaps most insidiously of all, how many of us can put
our hands up and say we are not ourselves primarily
responsible for the culture of drunkenness that our
children are now embracing with such eagerness? It has been
said a million times, it’s not new, I know, but we drink in
our homes, in the pub and on every conceivable occasion
that we get together. And we drink to get drunk, to the
point of stupefaction, even. Nothing can be done
collectively without laying on booze to facilitate the
occasion. Our parents’ generation did it before us, we
indulged the practice even more eagerly and now we are
handing the torch onto our children who are descending to
even more seriously addictive behaviour at an alarmingly
early age. We are storing up a national deficit of
depression, addiction, health problems, impaired judgment,
relationship and social breakdown and ultimately a
seriously malfunctioning society unless we get a grip on
this situation. The cracks in our psychological, moral and
social infrastructure from alcohol abuse are already
clearly visible. I put my hands up and admit I have played
my part. We are all perpetrators or victims of this
culture, sometimes both, one way or another. It is our
national emblem, the drunken Paddy. And if their violence
on each other is not enough to persuade us to stop, what
lunatic fire are we playing with when teenage girls are
able to go out in short skirts, without underwear, for
sexual encounters with boys, often complete strangers, who
in turn expect to be gratified with oral and other sex – in
gardens, in public toilets, in any space they can find for
the purpose – all fuelled by alcohol and drugs.

The postscript to our public meeting in Clonakilty is that,
two nights later at another Town Council meeting of the
same group of nine councillors, Cllr Cionnaith O’
Suilleabhain was roundly criticised for having called the
public meeting on the problem of public disorder.
Dismissing the fact that 150 people had attended, he was
accused of bringing bad publicity to the town and of
exaggerating its difficulties. It was argued that any
problems the town had were under control. No concession,
apparently, was made to the fact that so many people had
expressed an opposite experience, of the serious concern
felt for our young people or of the lessons that clearly
needed to be learned from the recent upsurge of violence.
Whether or not Cllr O’ Suilleabhain is making local
political capital out of a problem which we all know is a
country-wide phenomenon, he has undeniably taken a welcome
and overdue step toward addressing the problem of our
drinking culture as it is affecting young people in West
Cork. Not a single representative of the Gardai (the
Superintendent being the only one to send his apologies),
the Vintners Association, (aside from Mr Tom O’ Donovan in
whose hotel the meeting was held), or the Clonakilty
Business Association attended the public meeting even
though all were notified about it. Are we talking to


Visits To Ireland Have Risen 17%, CSO Reports

By Kilian Doyle Last updated: 14-09-06, 12:10

The number of people visiting Ireland is continuing to
increase as figures released today showed a 17 per cent
rise in foreign trips between April and June this year over
the same period in 2005.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), there
were 2,112,000 overseas visits to Ireland in the second
quarter of the year, compared with 1,803,000 in the
corresponding timeframe last year.

In total, around 3.5 million visitors came to Ireland in
the first half of the year.

Visitors spent €1,230 million during the second quarter, a
9.4 per increase over the same period in 2005. Despite the
fact that visitor numbers have increased, however, the
average amount spent by each visitor while in Ireland has

This is attributed to the fact the increase in visitor
numbers is largely due to the growth of people visiting
family and friends and a falloff in the average length of
stay by visitors from North America.

Visits by British residents were up by 14 per cent, while
number of trips to Ireland by residents of other EU
countries rose by 26 per cent. The number of visitors from
the United States and Canada rose by 15 per cent, while
there was an 8 per cent jump in those coming from other

Of the trips by non-residents to Ireland, 1,145,000 were
for holidays, 566,000 were to visit family and friends,
251,000 were business trips and the remainder were

Irish people are also making more foreign trips, with
1,826,000 trips abroad reported in the second quarter, a
rise of 12 per cent over 2005. Irish people spent €1,311
million during these foreign trips.

Minister for Tourism John O'Donoghue welcomed the figures,
saying they showed Ireland was on course to meet targets
set by the tourism industry to increase overseas visitor

He said it was crucial to ensure US tourists kept coming to

"The North American market remains a critical market for
the Irish tourism industry due to the nature of the
holidays taken by visitors from this area, who
traditionally spend more, stay longer and travel more
widely than the average," he said.

He said Tourism Ireland had completed a detailed review of
the market and the results of this and a strategy to
develop the potential of key US visitors would be published
in the coming weeks.

"It is most encouraging to see these positive results,
particularly coming in the week before the Ryder Cup, which
affords us a unique opportunity to further showcase our
country. During the Ryder Cup, the eyes of the world will
be upon us," he said.

"We will have an unprecedented opportunity to promote
Ireland as a compelling tourism destination. Everybody has
a role to play, and I would appeal to all sectors of the
community to play their part in providing the warmest Irish
welcome to all our visitors," the Minister added.

© 2006


Death Of Seán Ó Tuama At 80

14 September 2006 12:34

Seán Ó Tuama, writer and former professor of Irish
Literature in University College Cork, has died. He was 80.

A poet, dramatist and critic, he was perhaps was best known
for his 1981 work 'An Duanaire - Poems of the
Dispossessed', in collaboration with Thomas Kinsella.

Seán Ó Tuama grew up in Gurranebraher, and attended the
renowned 'North Mon' before going to UCC where he was
influenced by Prof Daniel Corkery.

He came to prominence with the first significant post-war
anthology of modern Irish language poetry, 'Nuabhéarsaíocht
1939-1949' (1950), which introduced among others Seán Ó
Ríordáin to a wider public.

A scholarly examination of the influence of continental
European traditions on Irish popular song, 'An Grá in
Amhráin na nDaoine' (1960), helped to broaden the horizons
of a new generation of writers, including the so-called
'Innti generation' which began with Michael Davitt, Liam Ó
Muirthile and Gabriel Rosenstock, all students in the

His own writing, including a poetic drama set in the
seventeenth centrury, 'Gunna Cam agus Slabhra Óir', tended
to be overshadowed by his critical work.

He had been a visiting Professor in Harvard, Oxford and in
the University of Toronto, and was a former chairman of
Bord na Gaeilge.

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