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September 01, 2006

Stormont Parties To Move Forward

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 09/01/06 Stormont Parties To 'Move Forward'
SF 09/01/06 SF To Decide On Future Participation In The Hain Assembly
BB 09/01/06 GAA Tickets Refusal Is 'Childish'
CB 09/01/06 PSNI Sanction Use Of Child Informers
AN 09/01/06 Man Faces Deportation For Killing 2 British Soldiers
DT 09/01/06 Derry's Views Sought On 'Troubles' Museum
IT 09/02/06 Intel Set To Cut Jobs Globally By At Least 10,000
IT 09/02/06 If UVF Bomb Had Gone Off It Might Have Altered History
BB 09/01/06 Opin: Empey May Accentuate The Positive
SN 09/01/06 Deejay Brings Love Of Irish Music To WTBQ
IT 09/02/06 Sunniest And Driest Summer In 11 Years, Says Met Eireann
IT 09/02/06 Musicians Protest At Expulsions


Stormont Parties To 'Move Forward'

By Noel McAdam
01 September 2006

The political parties at Stormont have agreed to
"collectively move forward" over the major issue of a
Department for Policing and Justice.

However, the latest meeting of the Preparation for
Government committee yesterday ended in acrimony on the key
controversies of decommissioning and paramilitary

"There was a lot more deadlock than progress," SDLP
Assembly man Alex Attwood said today, "but it was
significant and useful that there was a consensus to
collectively move forward and define the actual shape of a
Ministry (for policing and justice)".

As reported in the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week, the
all-party committee had reached agreement on a single
department but the timescale for the devolution of justice
remains 'parked'.

"There was some surprising agreement and whether it means
some further committee meetings, other talks or the so-
called 'hot-house' week in Scotland the parties have said
they want to collectively move forward," Mr Attwood added.

After an all-day session on the crunch policing and justice
issue, DUP members and Sinn Fein had supported the rhetoric
of opposition to criminality but were not prepared to back
steps to eradicate it.

A joint statement from East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and
Assembly members Ian Paisley jnr and Peter Weir said Sinn
Fein had rejected the idea of "naming and shaming"
individuals and organisations involved in drug-dealing and
a demand for an inventory of material decommissioned by the

"Once again this demonstrates that Sinn Fein have still
some distance to travel before they can be considered fit
for government," the DUP statement said.

But Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey said outstanding matters such
as policing could only be resolved in the context of
functioning political institutions.

"The only party opposed to the restoration of the political
institutions is the DUP. That needs to be the focus of the
two governments in the run-up to their November 24
deadline," he said.


SF To Meet On Sat To Decide On Future Participation In The Hain Assembly

Published: 1 September, 2006

Sinn F‚in Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP speaking
following a meeting of the party's negotiations team in
Belfast this morning announced that the review initiated by
Gerry Adams of Sinn F‚in's participation in the Hain
Assembly had concluded. He said that the Sinn F‚in Ard
Chomhairle will receive a report from the negotiations team
tomorrow and decide on the party's future participation in
the Hain Assembly.

Mr. McGuinness said:

"Last May Sinn F‚in made clear that the sole purpose of our
participation in the Hain Assembly set up by the British
government was the urgent restoration of the political
institutions. Since that time we have done all that we can
to bring this about. This included the nomination of Ian
Paisley for the position of First Minister and the ongoing
participation in the Preparation for Government Committee
by senior Sinn F‚in representatives.

"The discussions in the Preparation for Government
committee over the past four months can only be judged
meaningful if we see the early restoration of the Assembly
and the power sharing executive. The refusal of the DUP to
engage in the political institutions has resulted in many
poor decisions by unelected Direct Rule Ministers.

"Over the last two months Sinn F‚in has held a series of
special meetings involving our Ard Chomhairle, Assembly
members, D il team and at regional level to discuss the
party's future participation in the Hain Assembly. We have
reviewed the outworkings of the Hain Assembly, the
positions of the other parties and the stated intent of the
two governments that November 24th is the absolute deadline
for the restoration of the institutions.

"There is a limited amount of time to make progress. All
options need to be examined to ensure the best possible
opportunity for progress.

"Tomorrow the Sinn F‚in Ard Chomhairle will receive a
report from the negotiations team and decide on the party's
future participation in the Hain Assembly." ENDS

The Sinn F‚in Ard Chomhairle will meet in Dublin tomorrow,
Saturday 2nd September. Martin McGuinness will be available
to speak to the media at the Sinn F‚in bookshop, 58 Parnell
Square, Dublin 1 at 12.30pm


GAA Tickets Refusal Is 'Childish'

Sinn Fein has accused the GAA of acting "childishly" in
refusing them tickets for the All-Ireland football finals.

The sporting body took the decision following Sinn Fein's
decision to go ahead with a hunger strike rally at the
Casement Park GAA ground in Belfast.

It was held in defiance of a ruling by GAA authorities in

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said he intended to be at the
football final and had been inundated by offers of tickets
from clubs all over Ireland.

The All-Ireland senior football final between Mayo and
Kerry will take place at Croke Park in Dublin on 17

Mr McGuinness, who called the refusal of tickets
"childish", said: "I'm going to be at the game and I think
it's important to put it on the record the fact that Sinn
Fein doesn't apply for these tickets.

"Individual Sinn Fein elected representatives apply for
these tickets and I'm sure that many of them who were
denied tickets from GAA headquarters will be very, very

"But already, this morning, I have been inundated by offers
from GAA clubs all over the island of Ireland with offers
of tickets for the final.

"You can be sure that the Sinn Fein leadership and the Sinn
Fein organisation... will be well represented at that

Last month, hundreds of former republican prisoners and
supporters gathered at a rally in the Casement Park ground,
off the Andersonstown Road, to mark the 25th anniversary of
the republican hunger strikes.

Ten IRA and INLA inmates died in the protest over political
status at the Maze prison in County Antrim.

Relatives of the hunger strikers were among the platform

Leading figures from the republican movement were also
among those at the rally.

There had been some criticism of the GAA in County Antrim
for allowing the event to take place at one of its sports

Casement Park comes under the jurisdiction of the GAA's
Antrim County Board and it is understood it did not object
to the rally.

However, the GAA's Central Council in Dublin had discussed
the matter and agreed that the Casement Park rally would
break the organisation's rules about staging political

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/01 17:00:19 GMT


PSNI Sanction Use Of Child Informers

Published on 02/09/2006

Police in Northern Ireland have sanctioned the use of child
informers, it was revealed yesterday.

The sensitive step came despite the force's fears that
children may be reckless with their own safety and that
paying them for information could encourage drug addiction
or prompt more crime.

Youths can be used to inform on their own family in
exceptional circumstances but not their parents.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland policy, Children as
Covert Human Intelligence Sources' was approved by
Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie in February 2005
as part of its child protection policy.

It stated: "With juveniles the principle issue is the
maturity of the individual.

"In general, the more a controller is satisfied that the
juvenile understands their position, understands the risks
which they run and demonstrates self-reliance and some
control over their life, the safer it is to use them as a

Authority for using a juvenile source must be granted by an
Assistant Chief Constable and authorisations last for one

The PSNI's confidential child intelligence report said
police must comply with guidelines from the Association of
Chief Police Officers.

It outlined a series of ethical issues including the risk

:: A juvenile source may become dependent on their handler.

:: Any financial arrangement could contribute to a drug or
alcohol addiction.

:: Agents may commit more crime than they help clear up.

:: Many juveniles give little thought to their own safety
beyond the immediate future and this requires constant

Colluding with the authorities by paramilitaries has been
at the centre of a series of judicial probes into murders
in Northern Ireland.

Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory conducted an
investigation into allegations implicating the security
forces in terrorist killings and his findings were
published in April 2004.

He recommended public inquiries in cases including:

:: The Ulster Defence Association's murder of Belfast
solicitor Pat Finucane, 39, in his north Belfast home in
February 1989. He was shot 14 times in front of his family
and a number of people involved were named as security
force agents including Army double-agent Brian Nelson.

:: Lurgan lawyer Rosemary Nelson's death after a car bomb
planted by a loyalist group known as the Red Hand Defenders
exploded outside her home in March 1999. Police are alleged
to have ignored threats to the 40-year-old mother-of-
three's life.

:: The shooting dead of Loyalist Volunteer Force chief
Billy Wright, 37, in the Maze prison in December 1997 by
Irish republican inmates.

Questions surround the ease with which the gunmen cornered
their prey and how they had weapons in a prison.

All inquiries bar Mr Finucane's have opened.

The PSNI blueprint said questions about the child's
treatment should be referred to the head of its
intelligence branch.

It added safeguards included having a parent or
"appropriate adult" present at meetings between juveniles
and their handler.

The document ordered a child's welfare should be paramount
when considering the controversial tactics and required
that any risk had been properly explained to them and a
risk assessment completed.

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood said he would be
quizzing Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde about the system at
a meeting of the watchdog Policing Board next week.

"We have the gravest misgivings about this policy," he

"We will be asking the Chief Constable to outline the true
and full impact of this policy, whether the Children's
Commissioner, the Children's Law Centre and other
children's organisations have been consulted, whether there
has been a proper, deep assessment of the human rights
implications and for his views on the validity of any such
policy of using young people and children as agents."

Mr Attwood said children were not suited for this purpose
because of their age and vulnerability.

He added: "We have also considered the potential undue
influence of the police, in particular when a young person
may be facing charges and the police could exploit the

A PSNI spokesman said child informers were only used in
"exceptional circumstances".

"In line with all other police services across the UK, the
PSNI policy in relation to the issue of covert human
intelligence sources is strictly governed by the Regulation
of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and is fully compliant
with human rights legislation.

"This policy isn't new and has been in place since the
beginning of last year."

By Barr Best


Man Faces Deportation For Killing 2 British Soldiers

By Jim Kouri

(AXcess News) New York - The federal government scored an
important legal victory on Wednesday in its effort to
deport an Orange County, California, man convicted for his
role in the slaying of two British soldiers in Northern
Ireland nearly 20 years ago.

The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled yesterday in Los
Angeles that Sean O'Cealleagh (pronounced O'Kelly) often
referred to in the news media as the "singing Irish
bartender," could be removed from the United States for his

O'Cealleagh, 37, was charged with aiding in the 1988 murder
of two British Army corporals who were dragged from their
vehicle and shot after they attempted to drive around a
funeral procession for a member of the Irish Republican
Army. O'Cealleagh received a life prison sentence for his
role in the murders, but was freed after eight years under
the Good Friday accords.

At O'Cealleagh's immigration hearing, Immigration
Enforcement attorneys introduced a video showing the angry
mob surrounding the soldiers' vehicle, pulling the two
young men out of the car, and dragging them to a park,
where they were shot. O'Cealleagh and two other men were
ultimately convicted of aiding and abetting in the murders.

In its decision, the BIA overruled a local immigration
judge's finding that O'Cealleagh's crime was a "purely
political offense" and not grounds for removal under
immigration law. The "political offense" exception was
designed to ensure that aliens could not be deported for
convictions on trumped-up or politically motivated charges.

However, in its ruling on Wednesday, the BIA found that
while O'Cealleagh's offense took place in a "political
milieu," anger and revenge were the primary motives for the
crime and the charges were not fabricated. The BIA remanded
O'Cealleagh's case back to the local immigration court for
another hearing.

"This is an important legal victory for ICE," said John
Salter, Chief Counsel for ICE in Los Angeles. "ICE is
working closely with its law enforcement counterparts both
here and abroad to ensure that the United States will not
be a refuge for those convicted of crimes in other

O'Cealleagh was arrested by Customs and Border Protection
officers at Los Angeles International Airport in February
2004 after he returned from a visit to Northern Ireland.
O'Cealleagh, who was initially detained by ICE, was
released from federal custody in May 2004 on a $15,000 bond
pending the outcome of ICE's appeal.


Derry's Views Sought On 'Troubles' Museum

THE VIEWS of Derry people are to be sought on how best to
commemorate victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Cross-community group Healing Through Remembering - set up
to help people affected by the conflict - wants to
establish a Living Memorial Museum (LLM) but is appealing
for ideas on what form the project should take.

The organisation has revealed that, as part of the
proposals, a workshop will take place in Derry at The
Junction, Bishop Street, on September 16.

Singer Brian Kennedy formally launched the appeal for ideas
at Healing Through Remembering's offices in Belfast this

He said: "Few people in Northern Ireland have not been
affected in some way by the conflict. Hurt and heartbreak
were felt by many families over many years.

"I strongly support the work of Healing Through Remembering
in trying to ensure that something positive emerges from
the past.

"A living memorial museum would not only help us remember
those affected by the conflict, but would reinforce the
message that it must never happen again."

Group spokesman Alan McBride, whose wife and father-in-law
were among nine people killed in the IRA bombing of a
Shankill Road shop in 1993, says the Derry event is part of
seven special public workshops being held across Northern
Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain.

The LMM sub group is keen to obtain a range of imaginative
ideas and wants to hear from adults and children alike.

A variety of options are being considered, such as whether
or not the museum should be in a new building or an
existing one, or if it should be a mobile museum that
visits different places.

Submissions to the workshop in Derry can be written, a
photograph, drawing or painting and multi-media submissions
such as DVDs or CD-Roms are also welcome.

The public workshop will include information about Healing
Through Remembering and its work, and artists will attend
to help people create their vision of the museum.

The event in Derry will take place at The Junction on
September 16 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Spaces are limited and early booking is advised. Places can
be reserved by e-mailing
or telephone 028 9023 8844.

01 September 2006


Intel Set To Cut Jobs Globally By At Least 10,000


Intel, one of the State's largest employers with over 5,500
permanent and contract staff, is expected to announce
worldwide job cuts of at least 10,000 employees - or a
tenth of its staff - on Tuesday. Karlin Lillington and Mark
Brennock report.
Many financial analysts predict that widespread job cuts,
the largest since swingeing job losses in the 1980s, will
be announced when chief executive Paul Otellini briefs
staff on Tuesday about the results of an internal report
commissioned last spring, after Intel disclosed its largest
profit drop in four years.

In the company's second quarter financial results in April,
Mr Otellini predicted Intel's first sales drop in five
years and management said the company was unlikely to meet
its 2006 sales forecasts.

Reports last night suggested anything between 10,000 and
20,000 jobs could be cut, but there was no information
available about what part of the company 's operations
would suffer. Ironically the company's share price was up
last night in the US by 1.8 per cent.

A spokeswoman for Intel Ireland declined to indicate
whether any Irish jobs would be affected. She said: "The
stories that are running are pure speculation. We have no

A spokesman for the Taoiseach and a spokeswoman for the
Minister for Enterprise and Employment said last night that
the Government had not been informed of any planned job
cuts by Intel in Ireland.

Intel has been on a hiring spree in recent years with some
20,000 positions added since 2003, as the company branched
into new market areas in a bid to increase demand for its

But indications are that the company will slash jobs and
return to its core chipmaking business after watching its
losses deepen and an erosion of market share to arch rival
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), said analysts.

AMD, long in Intel's shadow, has signed supply contracts
with all four leading server manufacturers and now controls
20 per cent of the global chip market and just over 26 per
cent of the server market.

Mr Otellini already cut 1,000 worldwide management jobs in
July and sold off two communications units that employ
another 2,000 people.

Reports on leading technology news website said
insiders believed most job cuts would come from the
company's marketing division, saying the internal report
indicated it was overstaffed in comparison with rivals.

Intel Ireland does not have a marketing division, employing
just one sales and marketing manager.

Ireland has felt little impact during previous Intel
rationalisations. The company shed 5,000 employees in 2001,
but only 170 - all voluntary - came from Ireland.

Amid some speculation that Intel would abandon Irish
expansion plans, the company put the construction of its
$2.2 billion, second Leixlip microchip fabrication plant
(or "fab") on ice following the post-2001 economic crash,
but once market conditions improved, the "fab" was

Ireland was unaffected by a further 4,000 job cuts in 2002.

In June, Intel opened its third Irish fab, a 52,000ft ?1.6
billion extension to its Leixlip plant, called Fab 24-2.

The plant manufacturers high-end chips for notebook and
desktop computers using Intel's advanced 65 nanometer (nm)
manufacturing process.

Intel had to fund the new plant itself after the EU
challenged Ireland's allocation of ?170 million in grant
aid, stating it did not believe the monies would be used
for innovation. To date Intel has invested ?5.5 billion in
the State.

Analysts have been demanding that the firm cut its costs
and return to its core business of chip making.

Some analysts last night suggested that its job cuts plan
would fall in the upper end of the 10,000 to 20,000 range.

c The Irish Times


If UVF Bomb Had Gone Off It Might Have Altered History


An explosion in 1981 in the Mansion House would have wiped
out key republicans, writes Gerry Moriarty

In Northern Ireland, 1981 was one of the most pivotal years
of the Troubles.

It was the year of the H-Block hunger strikes, a year when
almost 120 people died in the conflict, a year when the
then so-called "young Turks" of Gerry Adams and Martin
McGuinness were beginning to wrest control of republicanism
from the old guard of Ruair¡ O Br daigh and Daith¡ O
Conaill. It was also the year of the Armalite and the
ballot box.

If the bomb which the UVF said it planted in the Mansion
House in Dublin 25 years ago had exploded then key
republican players such as Adams, McGuinness, Morrison and
others - who, however belatedly in the late 1980s and early
1990s, began engaging with a real peace process - could
have been erased from recent history.

Mr McGuinness, at a press conference in west Belfast
yesterday, said he did not know whether or not a bomb was
planted in the Mansion House. He wasn't perturbed about the
matter either way.

"To be quite honest, 20-odd years on I am not going to be
fixated on any of that," he said.

Curiously Mr McGuinness didn't figure in The Irish Times
reporting of the weekend Sinn F‚in ardfheis at the end of
October that ran into Sunday, November 1st, 1981.

Perhaps that was because he was more viewed as being on the
paramilitary side of republican affairs at that period. The
political lead at the conference was taken by the likes of
the then president of Provisional Sinn F‚in Mr O Br daigh,
vice-president Mr Adams and one of his key strategists,
Danny Morrison, the then director of publicity for the

The divisions between the two camps, the northern perceived
hardliners and many of the southern delegates, were quite
apparent even then.

These divisions were to culminate at the ardfheis five
years later with Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness taking over
control of the organisation from Mr O Br daigh and Mr O
Conaill, who left to form Republican Sinn F‚in. The united
focus at the time remained the crude policy of Brits Out
but Mr Adams and his supporters ensured that whatever about
the misgivings of some delegates, Sinn F‚in was going to
build on the electoral success already achieved as a result
of the hunger strikes.

Under the northerners' influence, Mr O Br daigh's long-
advocated federal Ireland policy was to all intents and
purposes swept aside. There was also opposition to calls to
contest local elections on the strength of the support
generated by the strikes. It was through the actions of the
IRA not Sinn F‚in politicians that republican ambitions
would be achieved, some traditionalists argued.

But Mr Morrison helped ensure the motion to compete in
local elections in the North was easily carried with his
promotion of a dual strategy.

"Who here really believes we can win the war through the
ballot box?" he asked delegates, then following up this
line with a famous or infamous quote, "But will anyone here
object if, with a ballot paper in this hand, and an
Armalite in this hand, we take power in Ireland?"

The 1981 ardfheis marked the beginning of the long, slow
republican shift from paramilitarism to politics.

Had the Ulster Volunteer Force achieved what it claimed it
set out to do 25 years ago - "wipe out" the Sinn F‚in
leadership - not only would there have been widespread
carnage in Dublin's Mansion House, but the course of modern
Irish history could also have been radically altered.

c The Irish Times


Opin: Empey May Accentuate The Positive

By Mark Devenport
Political editor, BBC Northern Ireland

When the Ulster Unionist assembly team assembles next week
to discuss the future of their link with the Progressive
Unionists they will need to take a pair of kitchen scales
into the room.

On one side of the scales they can stack the positive moves
from the UVF in recent weeks.

The loyalist paramilitary group has been credited with
playing a constructive role during the marching season.

Then came the publication of a list of its members killed
during the Troubles.

The inclusion of the firebrand former DUP councillor George
Seawright raised eyebrows, but the PUP's David Ervine
argued that the list should be seen as an indication that
the UVF felt its campaign had reached its conclusion.

As the month closed came the bizarre revelation that the
UVF had tipped the Irish authorities off about a bomb it
claims to have planted at the Sinn Fein annual conference
in 1981.

Irish army experts moved in to the conference venue,
Dublin's Mansion House, to look for the device, which the
loyalists said had failed to explode.

However, a suspect object examined by the Irish army did
not contain explosives.

The evening of the Mansion House security operation, the
BBC learned that the UVF was considering re-engaging with
General de Chastelain's Disarmament Commission.

The former MLA Billy Hutchinson could be re-appointed as
the UVF's link man with the commission.

UUP sources indicate their leader Sir Reg Empey might have
fixed on the end of August as a point at which to re-
evaluate his party's assembly alliance with the PUP leader
David Ervine.

31 August is the cut off date for the Independent
Monitoring Commission as it collects evidence for its
October report on paramilitary activity.

So the late rush of positive UVF gestures gives Sir Reg
something to ponder on, although loyalist sources say the
moves are more to do with preparing the UVF's own
grassroots than impressing the UUP leader.

On the other side of the kitchen scales, Sir Reg knows his
only MP, Lady Sylvia Hermon, remains profoundly unimpressed
by his decision to become political bedfellows with David

With few expecting a power-sharing executive to be formed
anytime soon, critics argue that the Ulster Unionists have
suffered sustained negative publicity over their PUP
alliance without securing any benefit in terms of an extra
ministerial place at Stormont.

The IMC report due in the first week of October will cover
incidents like the shooting of the alleged informer Mark
Haddock and, potentially, the murder of the Scottish man
Ronald Mackie in Tobermore.

Some worry that the IMC could not only criticise the UVF
but might consider fining both the Progressive Unionists
and their allies in the UUP.

The doubters see the October IMC report as an oncoming

They want the UUP to get off the tracks during September.

But if the Ulster Unionists bail out now they will get
little credit should the UVF transform themselves into an
organisation wedded to peaceful means.

Interviewed on Inside Politics, Sir Reg Empey said he
wanted to see that transformation completed "the quicker
the better".

He will look closely at the IMC's findings as he doesn't
want to "live a lie" when it comes to peace or violence.

Despite reports that the UVF may make their position clear
in late September, senior loyalist sources reckon the
organisation remains trapped by a public statement it made
in April indicating it did not intend to move before the 24
November devolution deadline.

If that is the case, Sir Reg could face a difficult job
balancing up both sides of the kitchen scales in the months

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/01 19:53:36 GMT


Deejay Brings Love Of Irish Music To WTBQ

Florida - Those in the area who are descendants of the
Emerald Isle and love Irish music have something to look
forward to: "A Drop of the Irish" radio show on WTBQ is
moving to afternoons beginning sometime in September.

Paul Byrne has been hosting the show for a couple of
months, but the time slot isn't giving him much exposure.

"We're on at 6 a.m.," he said, "not a great time to listen
to music."

But that is about to change. Byrne said the show will
switch to afternoons before the month is over. And he is
looking forward to that.

"There are a lot of people of Irish descent around here,"
said Byrne. "We have some great guests and we incorporate
news from Ireland and Irish America."

A few weeks ago Tommy Tiernan was on the show. Tiernan is a
well-known comedian in Ireland. Coming up are the Dublin
City Ramblers and the Wolfetones, also very popular bands
in Ireland, as well as Andy Cooper.

Local Irish groups come on as well. The Ancient Order of
Hibernians and the Three Pipers from Monroe come in and do
bagpipe lessons. There are giveaways and call-ins are

Byrne calls himself an aspiring musician, playing guitar
and the bodhran, an Irish drum. He's been into music for
many years but won't call himself a musician just yet. This
is his first foray into radio.

"I love it," he said. "I've been into music forever. It's a
dream for me to do something like this."

Byrne himself came from Dublin about four years ago. "I
came for a change of scenery," he said. What he got was
much more than that. Eight days after coming here, he met a
special woman who is now his wife. Together, they have a
two-year-old son, Evan Michael, and live on the Sullivan-
Orange County border.

Keep listening, Byrne said, for the announcement of when
the show is moving. He promises it will lots of fun. And,
he said, if you are not near a radio, you can listen to all
WTBQ programs live online at


Sunniest And Driest Summer In 11 Years, Says Met Eireann

Mary Carolan

Summer 2006 was officially the warmest, driest and sunniest
summer in 11 years, with record-breaking temperatures in
some places and rainfall levels well below normal

Not since the record-breaking summer of 1995 had we
experienced such high temperatures, Met ireann said

At Malin Head in Co Donegal, the warmest summer since
temperature records began there in 1885 was recorded.

Mean air temperatures for the months June, July and August
were more than one degree higher than normal for the years
1961 to 1990 everywhere and were close to two degrees above
normal in some places.

It was also the driest summer since 1995 at most weather
stations and the driest on record at Shannon airport since
records began there in 1945. The average number of wet days
was between 20 to 30 for the season, compared to 30 to 40

The hottest days were on July 18th and July 19th, except in
the Cork area, which measured its highest values on August

Belmullet in Co Mayo and Casement Aerodrome recorded their
highest temperatures in over 40 years on July 19th.

August was relatively dull but warm. Despite a dry start,
the weather became more unsettled with rain on many days
and generally cloudy conditions.

Much of last month's rain was in the form of showers,
however. Temperatures ranged from a high of 27.9 degrees at
Kilkenny on August 5th down to 4.5 degrees at Mullingar on
August 8th.

c The Irish Times


Musicians Protest At Expulsions

Gordon Deegan

A letter signed by 43 performers of traditional Irish music
has expressed concern at Clare County Council's plans to
expel buskers from the Cliffs of Moher and then hold
auditions for musicians to play at the site next year when
a visitors' centre opens.

Performers including Christy Moore, Mary Black, Donal Lunny
and Martin Hayes say they are concerned "at the intentions
of the Clare County Council in relation to the performance
of traditional music at the cliffs, and urge the council to
establish dialogue with the musicians".

Some 19 musicians and traders at the cliff are facing
injunction proceedings next month in the Circuit Court.

Under the name of Fil¡ Amhr naithe Ceolt¢ir¡ na hireann
(FACE) or Musicians, Singers and Poets of the Irish
Tradition, the performers say the proposed injunction
against buskers "has serious implications for present and
future members of our organisation".

"The council will not communicate with the musicians
involved. Communication with the musicians is vital to
establish a coherent agreement. They are best placed to
advise the council how to manage music at the cliffs in the
most appropriate way."

One of those musicians to sign the letter is PJ Curtis. The
Co Clare man said yesterday: "In holding these auditions
the council is setting itself up as the arbitrator of who
can and cannot make a living."

The council's project leader Ger Dollard said yesterday:
"Visitors have said that they have been bombarded with
music and some of the musicians can't play very well and
the presentation of some of the so-called musicians leaves
a lot to be desired.

"The only way of dealing with it is a court injunction
which will establish the fact that people do not have
rights to go to the Cliffs of Moher [ to busk]. Once we can
get that injunction we are quite happy to deal with
traditional musicians and people who are genuine quality
buskers and that is what the expressions of interest
process is all about."

c The Irish Times

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