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September 12, 2006

Paint Bombs Thrown at Harryville Church

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 09/12/06 Paint Bombs Thrown At Harryville Church
NH 09/12/06 Change Of Opinion For Anti-PSNI Priest (Sean Mc Manus)
TB 09/09/06 Opin: Peelers Give You Trouble
NH 09/12/06 Opin: Injured Officers Deserve Apology
IT 09/12/06 Infamous NI Court May Be Turned Into Hotel
BB 09/12/06 Boyne Battle Plans Get Go-Ahead


Paint Bombs Thrown At Harryville Church

There has been an attack on the Catholic church in the
Harryville area of Ballymena.

Two paint bombs struck the front door of the Church of Our
Lady, where Mass-goers endured weekly loyalist pickets
between 1996 and 1998.

SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan said it would set back
efforts to repair divisions in the town.

A loyalist community group from the area said the attack
was a disgrace and offered to help clean up the paint.

Geoff Calderwood, chairman of Harryville Ulster Scots
Society, was at the church on Tuesday morning to view the

"We are working to make Harryville a better place and we do
not want this sort of thing," he said. "As soon as the
police forensics are finished at the scene we will help
clean up the paint."

Mr O'Loan said there had been several attacks on the church
through the years.

"But it has been largely undisturbed for some time. So it
is very regrettable to hear of this further attack."

Sinn Fein's North Antrim assembly member Philip McGuigan
called the attack "disgusting".

"In the past we have seen petrol bombs, graffiti and
windows smashed.

"It truly sickens me that people would go out and do this
sort of damage purely to fuel their hatred for Catholics,"
he said.

Last year, members of Protestant church congregations in
Ballymena helped to clean paint off the walls of the Church
of Our Lady after attacks.

In April of this year, a loyalist mural near the church was

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/12 10:11:12 GMT


Change Of Opinion For Anti-PSNI Priest

(Marie Louise McCrory, Irish News)

A US-based priest known for his staunch criticism of
policing in Northern Ireland has spoken of how he found
senior police officers to be "fine decent men" during a
recent visit to the Belfast training college.

Fr Sean McManus, a native of Co Fermanagh who is president
of the Irish National Caucus based in Washington, visited
Garnerville PSNI Training Centre last month.

The clergyman said his three-and-a-half-hour visit "was
urged and arranged" by the special envoy for Northern
Ireland Dr Mitchell Reiss.

Fr McManus said he asked "all the tough questions" during
the visit.

"Dr Reiss made the argument to me that, since I have been a
long time critic of Northern Ireland policing, I ought to
hear in person the PSNI point of view," he said.

"Because of the intrinsic merit of his argument and because
of my respect for Dr Reiss and his Office, I consented to
the visit.

"I met with Deputy Chief Constable, Paul Leighton and three
of his male colleagues.

"Deputy Leighton immediately apologised on behalf of Chief
Constable Hugh Orde who could not be present as he was on

Fr McManus said the senior police officers answered his
questions "in an upfront and business-like manner".

"I was impressed by their openness, professionalism and
their evident concern to convey their commitment to a 'new
beginning' to policing in Northern Ireland," he said.

"They struck me as fine decent men. I found myself, I must
confess, wanting to believe that they accurately and
authentically reflect the new approach to policing – both
institutionally and individually.

"I was also given the opportunity to speak privately
[without supervision or recording, I was assured] to about
nine recruits, men and women.

"I was impressed by their calibre and enthusiasm."

Fr McManus added: "We all know that an acceptable police
service – 'effective and efficient, fair and impartial,
free from partisan political control' as envisioned by the
Good Friday Agreement – is absolutely essential if the
peace-process is to succeed," he said.

"It is my hope that the PSNI can prove to the Catholic
community that it can be trusted, that the bad old days are
truly over, that sectarianism and collusion are gone, root
and branch.

"That means that the British government must first come
clean on collusion, something that has now been made harder
by the key role given to MI5 in Northern Ireland and by the
gutting of the Public Inquiry legislation."

Dolores Kelly, SDLP member of the Policing Board, the
influence of Fr Sean McManus in Irish-America "could not be

"They are certainly very welcome and positive comments
coming from someone who has been very critical and
sceptical in the past and I certainly would endorse his
comments," she said.

September 12, 2006

This article appeared first in the September 11, 2006
edition of the Irish News.


Opin: Peelers Give You Trouble

Rebuttal to Danny Morrison

Martin Galvin responds to Danny Morrison's article, "When
One Doesn't Mind Being Called a Provo"

"Respected Republican, and hopefully still friend, Danny
Morrison, in the since defunct Daily Ireland, chose this
moment to ridicule the motives, patriotism, acumen and
verbal skills of any and all Republicans who because of
loyalty to the struggle felt duty bound to walk away from
the strategy. After calling names, he called upon these
Republicans to put aside all name-calling and debate an
alternative. Merely as one who sat with Danny Morrison in
the Andytown PDF and banged the table during the song
"Provie Lullaby" this writer would join in his call for a
serious debate. Such a debate would indeed be timely,
welcomed and needed."

Martin Galvin • 9 September 2006

Little more than ten weeks remain, until the British
imposed November 24th, Stormont deadline. The question of
Sinn Fein ratification of the British constabulary tops the
agenda. Such a concession, long recognized by the British
as the jewel in the crown of their Stormont Deal strategy,
is now being proffered as one more bargaining chip to be
pocketed by Ian Paisley, if he would but deign to preside
over Stormont.

Respected Republican, and hopefully still friend, Danny
Morrison, in the since defunct Daily Ireland, chose this
moment to ridicule the motives, patriotism, acumen and
verbal skills of any and all Republicans who because of
loyalty to the struggle felt duty bound to walk away from
the strategy. After calling names, he called upon these
Republicans to put aside all name-calling and debate an
alternative. Merely as one who sat with Danny Morrison in
the Andytown PDF and banged the table during the song
"Provie Lullaby" this writer would join in his call for a
serious debate. Such a debate would indeed be timely,
welcomed and needed.


For the British, more prized than even the suitably
witnessed destruction of IRA arms, would be the import of a
Sinn Fein endorsement of the crown constabulary. Regardless
of whether a crown will be physically emblazoned on the cap
or sleeve, the British constabulary will be imposing
British laws, hauling Republican political suspects before
British courts and jailing Republican opponents of British
rule in Her Majesty's prisons.

The constabulary may be called by a new name, but is
officered, trained, vetted and commanded by long-serving
veterans of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. It is simply a
re-named and re-uniformed RUC.


No Republican requires any lecture or catalogue about the
injustices inflicted by the British crown constabulary.
Indeed there is a litany of chapters. Shoot-to-kill,
confessions under torture, perjury, plastic bullets fired
at children, are but a start. Collusion and cover-ups in
murders like those of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson and
hundreds more, stain the force. The triumphal glee with
which the constabulary charged a peaceful crowd sitting in
the streets of Belfast on August 12, 1984 and murdered John
Downes will not be forgotten. This is a body whose members
today hide their role in murders like that of Robert
Hamill. This is a constabulary which was proven to have
planted DNA evidence to frame Martin Brogan and Mark
Carroll, and is suspected of fabricating evidence against
Sean Hoey and others yet to face the docks of Diplock


Britain requires an affirmation of their constabulary from
a party pledged to remove crown forces and end British
rule. Britain requires a Sinn Fein call for recruits from
residents of once no-go or at best very slow-go areas like
Ballymurphy or Carrickmore, or South Armagh or the Bogside,
to enter these areas and enforce British law on Republican
opponents of that rule and law, at the behest of a Paisley
headed Stormont administration. Would this not be the
culmination of long-term British objectives of
Ulsterization, normalization, and criminalization? Is this
the way to end British rule, or is a British Stormont Deal
strategy succeeding in prolonging that rule? Is Sinn Fein
considering a step which will inevitably make them party to
and apologist for injustices meted out upon Republicans in
the name of the British crown by the emboldened British


Other topics might be incorporated into such a debate. Were
pious platitudes disclaiming any selfish, political,
strategic, or economic interests in holding onto the six
counties true, or were such claims as patently false as so
many other British pretexts put forth repeatedly to excuse
and justify their rule in Ireland? Is not the Stormont Deal
one more strategy to prolong British rule in Ireland by co-
opting former opponents into their administration and
bottling Irish opposition within a Stormont regime subject
to a loyalist veto wielded by Paisley? Can there be a
parity of esteem under British rule, which upholds a
loyalist veto, denies Irish sovereign rights as mere
aspirations and ultimately rests on preserving and
cementing unionist majority support? Is what is on offer
really a parody of esteem in which money, patronage and
positions are doled out by the British, only in such
measure as will keep former opponents on board? Has the
Stormont Deal been repeatedly sabotaged by securocrats, and
their informer agents, who are able to frustrate and thwart
stated policies, or is there a "myth of securocrats",
wherein the paid servants of the crown retain their posts
only because they are implementing actual British policy,
not defying these policies?

Is British rule still irreformable because of the
injustices and repression needed to sustain the denial of
Ireland's historic and indefeasible right to national
sovereignty? Will those who administer this rule become
party to these injustices? Is there really a new political
dispensation, or have Republicans been lured into
dispensing with core principles for a path that may be
paved with a modern equivalent of what Pearse described as
"land, and good living and the friendship of one's foe,"
but will end at continued British rule?


Is there an alternative Republican political strategy? One
of the political strategies most often articulated is the
very same political strategy developed and espoused by Sinn
Fein, before its diversion into the Stormont cul de sac.
That strategy aimed to render British rule unworkable by
denying support and showing that there was no alternative
to a re-united Ireland. Injustices of that rule such as
collusion, repression, sectarianism, etc were exposed and
highlighted. Campaigns were built around such injustices,
which were shown to be inherently tied to the nature of
British rule. Those like the SDLP who were part of the
structure of British administration were publicly shown to
be party to these injustices and eventually apologists for
the British state.


Any Irish political party which endorses and becomes
identified with the re-named RUC will become hostage to all
injustices and repression inevitably committed by the crown
constabulary. Such an Irish political party risks being
tied to criminalization, and any measures an emboldened
crown employs in order to impose criminalization on
Republican prisoners. Stormont cannot stand without Sinn
Fein participation, and the party could not remain in
Stormont should the Republican grassroots one day come to
demand withdrawal because of crown injustices heralded by
the DUP headed regime.

Clearly there are other political strategies being cogently
and coherently articulated by Republicans in Ireland.
Certainly such strategies can and should be the subject of
the called- for debate. Once being an Irish Republican
included the freedom to challenge, debate, argue, and even
scoff policies and strategies.

The ranks of Stormont Deal opponents include Republicans,
who have fought, suffered imprisonment, dedicated their
lives and risked their lives for Ireland no less than those
like Danny, who have come to back the Stormont Deal. One
may sincerely and honestly disagree with their political
analysis and conclusions However to dismiss their motives,
patriotism, or sincerity or to deny that any such credible
Republican alternative strategy exists, would either be
dishonest or delusional.


Opin: Injured Officers Deserve Apology

(Editorial, Irish News)

While this year's loyalist marching season was among the
quietest in living memory, the consequences of last
summer's violence are still being felt.

It has emerged that seven of the police officers
hospitalised in the rioting following the Orange Order's
Whiterock parade in Belfast 12 months ago have still been
unable to return to work.

The refusal of Orange officials to condemn the violence –
which led to a total of more than 100 police injuries – was
among the most shameful chapters in the organisation's

Attacks on police officers as they go about their duties,
whether loyalists or republicans are responsible, are
completely unacceptable.

Everyone has the right to engage in peaceful protest but
the events surrounding last September's demonstration
certainly did not fall into that category.

Even at this late stage, an apology from the Orange Order
to the injured officers would be fully justified.

September 12, 2006

This article appeared first in the September 6, 2006
edition of the Irish News.


Infamous NI Court May Be Turned Into Hotel

Last updated: 12-09-06, 07:03

Northern Ireland's most infamous courthouse could be
reopened as a luxury hotel.

Planning permission is being sought to transform the
Crumlin Road courthouse in Belfast, which closed eight
years ago, in a £25 million project that could create more
than 200 jobs.

With an estimated six million visitors last year, the city
badly needs more hotel accommodation, according to Barry
Gilligan, the developer heading the scheme. The proposed
new hotel would have 161 beds and an application has been
submitted for Government funding.

Conservation architect Dawson Stelfox, who once climbed
Everest, has been hired to carry out the design work.

The huge entrance hall, the two main courtrooms where
hundreds of IRA men and loyalist paramilitaries were
jailed, as well as an underground tunnel that links one of
the docks to a former jail on the opposite side of the road
would be among the historical features to be retained as
part of the massive refurbishment.

Mr Gilligan, who has been given the backing of several
local groups, claimed: "I am confident that this proposal
can kick-start further regeneration in the area."

The feared loyalist Shankill Butchers, the Milltown
Cemetery killer Michael Stone and dozens of IRA men jailed
on the word of former associates turned informers, were
among hundreds sentenced in the courthouse, once by a judge
wearing a bullet-proof vest and protected by police
officers armed with high velocity rifles who stood guard on
either side of him.

It closed in June 1998, just weeks after the signing of the
Belfast agreement, but the new building would retain much
of its character if the scheme is given approval.

© 2006


Boyne Battle Plans Get Go-Ahead

A new visitor and exhibition centre at the site of the
Battle of the Boyne has been granted planning permission.

The Irish government is to develop the site at Oldbridge
House near Drogheda in County Meath.

When finished, the centre is expected to draw 100,000
visitors on an annual basis.

The battle was fought between William of Orange and
Catholic King James II in 1690. The Protestant Orange Order
celebrate William's victory on 12 July.

The Irish government has already spent 15m euro on the

Last year, it announced that it would spend a further 15m
euro to fund a museum and interpretive centre.

A small visitors' centre is operating at the site and
attracted 25,000 visitors last year.

Plans for the future include an extended centre with maps,
models and graphics depicting the battle.

There will also be a display of replica 17th Century
artillery and a series of audio-visual displays.

Tea rooms, toilet facilities, car and bus parking, access
and landscaping will also be included.

Planning permission was granted to the Office of Public
Works by Meath County Council.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/12 12:01:28 GMT

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