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 10, 2006

UK Agents Had Role in IRA Bombings

News About Ireland & The Irish

GU 09/10/06 UK Agents 'Did Have Role In IRA Bomb Atrocities'
SM 09/10/06 Other Groups Push For Immigration Reform
TO 09/10/06 Hain Tells DUP 'The Siege Has Been Lifted'
IH 09/09/06 UK:No Chance For Power-Sharing Until 09 If Deadline Missed
GU 09/10/06 Paisley Woos Britain With Labour Conference Speech
TO 09/10/06 Opin: DUP Holds A Strong Hand, But Will It Gamble?
TS 09/10/06 Movie Rev: Wind That Shakes.. Putting Some Cork In It
CT 09/09/06 Acclaimed 'Wind That Shakes The Barley' Hits Toronto


UK Agents 'Did Have Role In IRA Bomb Atrocities'

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday September 10, 2006
The Observer

The controversy over claims that Britain allowed two IRA
informers to organise 'human bomb' attacks intensified this

A human rights watchdog has handed a report to the Police
Service of Northern Ireland, which concludes that two
British agents were central to the bombings of three army
border installations in 1990.

Meanwhile the Police Ombudsman's Office in Belfast
confirmed it is investigating allegations by the family of
one victim that the bomb in Newry on 24 October 1990 could
have been prevented.

The British Irish Rights Watch report will also put the
focus back on the alleged MI6 agent 'J118'. Army
intelligence officer turned whistleblower Martin Ingram has
alleged 'J118' was Sinn Fein's chief negotiator Martin

The Mid Ulster MP strenuously denies Ingram's allegations
and has claimed the speculation is fuelled by the
Democratic Unionist Party.

The 'human bomb' tactic involved forcing civilians to drive
vehicles laden with explosives into army checkpoints and
included deadly sorties near Newry and Coshquin outside
Derry. Six British soldiers and a civilian worker at an
army base died in the simultaneous blasts on either side of
Northern Ireland.

British Irish Rights Watch said: 'This month BIRW sent a
confidential report to the Historical Enquiries Team on the
three incidents that occurred on 24th October 1990... at
least two security force agents were involved in these
bombings, and allegations have been made that the "human
bomb" strategy was the brainchild of British intelligence.

'Questions arise as to whether the RUC, Garda Síochána and
the army's Force Research Unit had prior and/or subsequent
intelligence about the bombings. These questions in turn
lead to concerns about whether these attacks could have
been prevented and why no one has been brought to justice.'

Although British Irish Rights Watch has made no reference
to the identities of the informers they allege were
involved in the 'human bomb' plot, the group's intervention
in the controversy is a significant development.

The group has issued several detailed reports previously
outlining cases of collusion between loyalist terrorists
and the security forces. These include the Pat Finucane
murder and the killing of Raymond McCord Jr by the Ulster
Volunteer Force. In both cases, British Irish Rights Watch
claim many of the loyalists involved in these murders were
agents for the security forces - allegations that were
later substantiated.

Speaking from a secret location in Europe this weekend,
Ingram (not his real name) said that while the latest
report was not decisive proof over his claims about
'J1118', it raised questions about the role of informers in
the 'human bomb' killings.

'This report from a very credible source brings up the
question of informers working at the top tier of the IRA
who were allowed to commit crimes up to murder while
working for the state. 'I stand by what I have said in the
past about "J118" and challenge anyone to debate it with me
in a public forum.'

Ingram, a former NCO with the army's highly secretive Force
Research Unit, said he was prepared to expose his own
identity in public in any such debate.


Other Groups Push For Immigration Reform

Not all illegal immigrants are from Latin America; a number
of them are from Asia, Europe.

By Eunice Moscoso
Washington Bureau
Sunday, September 10, 2006

WASHINGTON — There are certain things you can guarantee at
a Capitol Hill immigration hearing: a forceful speech about
national sovereignty, a partisan debate over the meaning of
amnesty and, without fail, some green-and-white T-shirts
emblazoned with the slogan "Legalize the Irish."

The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, which deploys
members to attend congressional hearings, is one of many
non-Hispanic organizations pushing for legislation to give
illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

Although most of the estimated 12 million illegal
immigrants in the United States are from Mexico and other
Latin American countries, 1.5 million are from Asia,
600,000 are from Europe and Canada, and 400,000 are from
Africa and other nations, according to estimates from the
Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization.

Groups representing many regions — from the large nations
of India and China to the small island states of the
Caribbean — are pressuring Congress to change immigration

Niall O'Dowd, chairman of the Irish Lobby for Immigration
Reform, said his group was formed last year in response to
the growing struggles of Irish illegal immigrants in the
United States, which he estimates number 50,000 to 60,000.

O'Dowd said that many Irish came to the United States
illegally and can no longer travel home because of security
measures imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks, often missing funerals and family emergencies.

In addition, he said, many have not been able to renew
their driver's licenses, leading to situations in which
parents cannot drive their kids to school.

"We want to impress on all these congressmen that this is a
human issue," O'Dowd said.

The Irish group endorses a bipartisan measure that passed
the Senate this year which establishes a large guest worker
program and a path to citizenship for current illegal

Under the measure, illegal immigrants who have been in the
United States five years or longer could stay and
eventually apply for U.S. citizenship if they have no
criminal record, pay more than $3,000 in fines and back
taxes and meet English requirements.

The House passed a significantly different immigration bill
in December. The House bill makes an illegal presence in
the United States a felony and does not include a temporary
worker program or a path to legalization for illegal

Traci Hong, deputy director for policy at the Asian
American Justice Center, a Washington-based advocacy group,
said that rewriting immigration law is a pivotal issue for
Asians in the United States.

Hong's group opposes the House bill for several reasons,
including that it does not address the backlogs in the
family immigration system, a major issue for Asian

A parent who is a U.S. citizen petitioning for his or her
son or daughter from the Philippines must wait about 14
years before he or she can legally immigrate to the United
States, Hong said.

Norman Eng, a spokesman for the New York Immigrant
Coalition, said that the group works with immigrants from
many nations, including Haiti and Korea, who are all
pushing for Congress to act on immigration.

"It is, unfortunately, something that gets lost in the
debate, that it's not just a Mexican and Latino issue," he


Hain Tells DUP 'The Siege Has Been Lifted'

Liam Clarke

PETER HAIN, the Northern Ireland secretary of state, has
said the tradition of physical force in mainstream
republicanism is at an end.

The speech, which was made to the British-Irish Association
in Oxford, marks the beginning of a push by the British and
Irish governments to restore power-sharing in Northern

Hain’s principal target was the Democratic Unionist party,
which he is trying to persuade to enter government with
Sinn Fein by the November 24 deadline set by the two

Hain warned that if this date was missed, “it won’t come
around again . . . I won’t be chasing after the parties on
November 25 and in the days and weeks afterwards saying,
‘Please come and see me, and let’s see how we can find a
way forward’. We will just get on with it and do it our

Addressing an audience of politicians, academics and
commentators, the secretary of state said the unionists had
had a siege mentality since 1641, when a rising against the
plantation of Ulster resulted in the deaths of planters.
This attitude, he said, had no remaining justification.

“Whatever the unionist reservations about the Good Friday
agreement, the removal of articles two and three of the
Irish Constitution was hugely significant,” he said. “So is
the principle of consent . . . the constitutional issue can
only ever be revisited through peaceful and democratic

Unionists traditionally demanded actions rather than words
from the IRA, Hain said, and they now had decommissioning
of weapons and the ending of violence, as verified by
General John de Chastelain.

“The reality is that the physical-force tradition in
mainstream republicanism has, belatedly, come to an end,”
he said. “The siege has been lifted.”

He warned of danger ahead if unionists did not meet the
deadline. “We can all point to parts of the world that have
failed to grasp the opportunity and to capitalise on the
political moment. This autumn I genuinely believe we are at
such a moment in Northern Ireland. There is an opportunity
that has to be taken now because I do not believe this
opportunity can be delayed further and certainly not beyond
November 24.”

At the same conference Gregory Campbell of the DUP shrugged
off the deadline and suggested that his party required
further movement from the government and the IRA.

“We will not shirk from taking difficult decisions but the
difference between the comments of those who lecture us
from either Dublin or London is that long after their
elections are over, whether they are returned or rejected,
we have to live with the legacy of decisions we take now,”
Campbell said.

Later this week Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair will meet to
review the British and Irish plan aimed at restoring
devolution. The two prime ministers are likely to hold
separate talks with Ian Paisley, the DUP leader, and Gerry
Adams, the Sinn Fein president.


Britain: No New Chance For Northern Ireland Power-Sharing Until 2009 If Deadline Missed

The Associated Press
Published: September 9, 2006

DUBLIN, Ireland Northern Ireland's divided politicians will
not get another chance to negotiate a power-sharing deal
until at least 2009 if they miss the current deadline of
Nov. 24, Britain's secretary of state for the province
warned in a statement issued Saturday.

Peter Hain said the British and Irish governments, which
have jointly overseen efforts to make a success of Northern
Ireland's 1998 peace accord, said general elections
expected in the Republic of Ireland in mid-2007 and the
United Kingdom in mid-2009 meant no more negotiations were
likely until after both events.

Hain issued his statement before the reconvening on Monday
of the 108-member Northern Ireland Assembly, which has the
power to elect — or block — a Catholic-Protestant
administration as the 1998 pact proposed. The assembly,
which has no other power, was scheduled to debate "the
economic challenges" facing Northern Ireland.

Hain said Britain would dissolve the assembly on Nov. 24 if
rival British Protestant and Irish Catholic blocs did not
both vote to form the proposed 12-member administration. It
would be led jointly by Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist
Party and Gerry Adams' Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican
Army-linked party.

"November 24 is the defining moment for Northern Ireland.
If power sharing is not restored this autumn, there are
very strong reasons for believing the two governments are
unlikely to be in a position to make another attempt to
bring the parties together until after the next Irish and
then British general election," Hain said in a statement
headlined: "Failure in November could put devolution beyond

"Northern Ireland will slip further behind in the global
economic race, and community relations will stagnate or
deteriorate as each side blames the other for the lost
opportunity," Hain warned. "The dissolution of the assembly
would see a political class melt away in failure. Worse,
another generation of young people would equate economic
dynamism and opportunity with life outside Northern

Britain has spent months pressing the Democratic Unionists,
the most popular party in Northern Ireland, to sit down in
the same Cabinet alongside Sinn Fein, which represents most
of the province's Catholic minority. A previous
administration collapsed in 2002 amid chronic tensions
between moderate Protestants and Sinn Fein.

But Paisley — an 80-year-old evangelist who has spent four
decades railing against compromise with Catholics — insists
his party isn't concerned by the threat to kill the
assembly. He says his party will accept Sinn Fein only when
the IRA disbands and Sinn Fein accepts the authority of the
Northern Ireland police force, steps the Sinn Fein-IRA
movement has refused to take.

The IRA called a cease-fire in 1997 after killing about
1,775 people during a failed 27-year campaign to force
Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom. Last year, the
outlawed group declared it had renounced violence for
political purposes and handed over its hidden weapons
bunkers to disarmament officials.

The British and Irish governments have lauded the IRA's
peacemaking moves as historic. They expect to publish an
experts' report next month confirming that IRA leaders are
encouraging their members to work for Sinn Fein and end
involvement in crime. But the Democratic Unionists say IRA
disarmament was too secretive, and cite police reports that
the IRA has retained some firearms.

On the Net:

Democratic Unionists,
Sinn Fein,
Northern Ireland Assembly,


Paisley Woos Britain With Labour Conference Speech

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday September 10, 2006
The Observer

Ian Paisley will make history this month when he addresses
the British Labour Party conference in Manchester. For more
than 40 years the founder of the Democratic Unionist Party
and the Free Presbyterian Church has spurned invitations to
debates at Labour's annual gathering.

But in a bid to woo the 80-year-old North Antrim MP as the
talks deadline looms on 24 November, Labour's high command
has persuaded him to speak at what will be a make-or-break
conference over power-sharing in Ireland. Sources close to
Paisley confirmed this weekend that he would accept the
invitation. 'Blair has invited Dr Paisley to let delegates
hear his side of the story,' they said.

The invitation is an indication of how desperate Downing
Street and New Labour are to secure a deal between Sinn
Fein and the DUP before 24 November. Peter Hain, the
Northern Ireland Secretary, has warned that if the deadline
is missed the pay and expenses of assembly members will be

It is expected that Paisley and his DUP delegation will
arrive at the conference on 24 September. 'It is time he
got Ulster's message over to Labour Party members,' the DUP
said yesterday.

Paisley's move is part of a strategy by modernisers in his
party to soften its hardline image in Britain. DUP MPs at
Westminster have been holding private talks with Labour's
Brownite faction to improve relations in case the
Chancellor becomes Prime Minister.

However, the same DUP sources that confirmed Paisley's
conference visit also ruled out any chance of a
breakthrough by the deadline. They said it was 'premature'
to accept that the IRA had ended all criminality.

· Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are expected to
meet the North's parties next month following publication
of the next International Monitoring Commission report due
out on 3 October.


Opin: Liam Clarke: The DUP Holds A Strong Hand, But Is It Prepared To Gamble?

There is a growing feeling that, as we enter the latest
talks season in Northern Ireland, the DUP is under pressure
to make concessions. Sinn Fein, on the other hand, flushed
in the afterglow of IRA decommissioning and two favourable
reports from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC),
is the party with choices and options.

In fact, the opposite is the case. The DUP has an extremely
strong hand and it is Sinn Fein that is under pressure to
deliver. There is no imperative for a deal to be done by
November 24, the deadline imposed by the British and Irish
governments. The DUP can afford to stretch it into next
year and let the pressure mount on Sinn Fein. And Ian
Paisley’s party can expect to extract billions in public
spending promises from the British government as Tony Blair
struggles to secure his legacy.

The problem for the DUP is that as it gets more of what it
wants, the obstacles it has raised to entering government
with Sinn Fein are gradually cleared away. Getting what you
want is a good result, but, once that has been achieved,
does the DUP have the courage to do anything but say no?

The signs suggest that if the DUP enters government with
Sinn Fein, regardless of the circumstances, it will suffer
internal strain. But if it fails to cut a deal after its
demands are met, the entire unionist project could crash
and burn. Northern Ireland would drift towards joint
British/Irish management and the nationalist super-councils
would take control of large areas along the border.

That risks stimulating a revival of loyalist
paramilitarism. The UVF has already made it clear it is not
decommissioning its weapons or making any final decision on
its future until it sees whether a deal is cut. If it takes
action to oppose what it sees as undemocratic cross-border
rule, that will provide the perfect jumping-off ground for
republican dissidents who languish without support because
of the lack of something to rally against.

In the past, the DUP and previous Paisley-led movements
have played their part in plunging Northern Ireland into
chaos as they rejected every proposed accommodation with
nationalism. They applied the pressure that led to the
failure of Terence O’Neill’s reform package. Without them
Stormont might never have been prorogued and they put the
clampers on the Sunningdale settlement. The list could go

The merits of each vetoed settlement could be debated, but
the outcome was clear on each occasion — there was a period
of political stasis, republican arguments that Northern
Ireland was a failed entity gained ground, and when
unionists next came to the table, the deal on offer was
worse than the previous one.

But the tactic has served the DUP and Paisley well in terms
of their own narrow political interests. The history of the
Troubles can be seen as the history of the growth of the
DUP to its present position as the largest party in the

In the past when a settlement failed, the DUP has been able
to blame “mainstream” unionism, saying it would have done
better in negotiations and arguing that Paisley had
prevented a disastrous sell-out. This argument has, by and
large, gone down well with unionist voters, who now trust
Paisley and the DUP to deliver a stable future for them.
But in 2006 it is the DUP that is “mainstream” unionism.
There is nobody left to blame if things go pear-shaped.

At the end of 2004, the DUP came close to doing a deal with
Sinn Fein in the so-called Comprehensive Agreement. As the
SDLP pointed out, if implemented it would have meant
sweeping amendments to the Good Friday agreement that would
have limited the powers of power-sharing ministers and
increased the importance of votes on the floor of the
assembly. Cross-border bodies would also have been made
more accountable to the assembly, where unionism has a

As soon as it was reached, Paisley said the IRA would wear
“sackcloth and ashes” and repent. Was he setting a new
precondition? Was he setting out to wreck the deal? Or was
he simply attempting to sell the compromise to his
supporters by dressing it up as complete victory? We shall
never know because the IRA promptly robbed the Northern
Bank, undermining the basis for any accommodation. But the
Comprehensive Agreement hasn’t gone away and its main
features can be expected in any new deal.

Sir Reg Empey, the Ulster Unionist leader, once quoted from
The Gambler, a country & western classic, to illustrate the
similarity of political negotiations to poker:

You got to know when to hold ’em;
know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away;
know when to run.

Now ev’ry gambler knows the secret to survivin’.
Is knowin’ what to throw away, knowin’ what to keep.

There is no doubt the DUP knows when to hold and when to
walk away, but does it know when to fold and what to throw
away? Has it the nerve to play the strong hand it now
holds? The strength of its position is clear. Blair, who
may resign his leadership next May, is panting for a deal
to sweeten his legacy. If the DUP can find common cause
with Sinn Fein, the two parties can extract billions from
the prime minister and smooth the transition to devolved
government, thus reducing the prospect of huge rises in
rates and water charges. Any poker player would want to
take Blair for all he’s got.

Sinn Fein is similarly eager to deal. Republicans have
given up their weapons in a gesture that will look like
surrender unless they can get into government, or fix the
blame for failure to form an administration firmly on the
DUP. Either outcome is favourable from a Sinn Fein point of
view, but both require it to give considerable ground on
issues such as policing in the coming months.

The pot that others must put on the table in order to see
the DUP’s hand is quite high. So what will Paisley’s party
do? There are straws in the wind indicating that the DUP
will not do a deal this year. Whatever happens, the party
seems likely to bust the November 24 deadline.

The British government will use the recent IMC report,
which gave the IRA leadership an almost completely clean
bill of health, and the next one on October 4 to push the
DUP to accept the IRA’s and Sinn Fein’s good intentions,
but the party will take more time.

Peter Robinson, the DUP’s deputy leader and leading
pragmatist, recently delivered a broad hint that this was
the case. Welcoming last week’s IMC report, Robinson looked
forward to “the forthcoming October IMC reports and
subsequent IMC reports that will provide a more detailed
analysis”. The message is that he plans to wait until at
least next year before finalising anything. If the IMC
follows its normal timetable, its next report will be in
March 2007.

This sort of delay is risky but not impossible and,
whatever they say, it has been factored in by the British
and Irish governments. Although the current assembly (set
up for negotiation purposes by Peter Hain) and the salaries
paid to its members ceases on November 25, the assembly
elected in November 2003 will continue until May 2007. Its
members won’t be paid, but it constitutes an opportunity
that could coincide with Blair’s last days in office.

Any deal would be followed by an election in which the DUP
could secure a new mandate. Both it and Sinn Fein could
translate the gains they made in last year’s Westminster
election into assembly seats, wiping the floor with the
Ulster Unionists and SDLP.

It’s a tempting theory, but if it is to be credible, we
will need to see something from the DUP in response to
movement from other parties over the coming months. For
instance, if there is a positive IMC report on October 4
and if Sinn Fein is making the right noises on policing,
the DUP will be expected to engage directly with Sinn Fein
when intensive negotiations start in Scotland on October 9.

A failure to do so will damage its credibility. The DUP
holds the strongest hand of any unionist party in decades.
For one thing, it doesn’t have Paisley snapping at its
heels. But the next few months will determine its skill at
playing poker. As Johnny Cash crooned:

Ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.


Putting Some Cork In It

Cillian Murphy returned to his roots to play a rebel in Ken
Loach's provocative telling of the 1918 infancy of the IRA.
Those desperate times divide Irish households still, the
actor tells Geoff Pevere

Sep. 10, 2006. 01:00 AM
Geoff Pevere

There's a scene in The Wind That Shakes the Barley,
director Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winning film about the
founding of the Irish Republican Army, in which Cillian
Murphy, playing a rebel, is required to execute a teenage
boy accused of treason against the cause. Murphy's
intensity during the scene is palpable, almost painful, and
it's a pivotal point in his character's personal and
political development.

It also hit close to home. Literally. Loach, the veteran
socialist director from Britain, made the film in the
Republic of Ireland's County Cork, where Murphy, an
ascending star known to most for his roles in movies like
28 Days Later and Batman Begins, was born and raised.

In Toronto to attend the North American premiere of the
movie, the 30-year-old actor sat down with the Star to
discuss the experience of making a political film on his
home ground.

I understand the film has done extremely well in Ireland as
well as Britain — but that it's also been pretty savagely
attacked by the right-wing press in both countries. Were
you surprised by this?

I knew that it would make an impact in Ireland, that a lot
of people would feel strongly about it, but I didn't expect
it to be taken on board so much. It became a very important
film for everyone to see in Ireland.

It's a highly political film. It's not easy watching. You
have to apply yourself to it. For it to become the success
that it has in Ireland is, I think, a very encouraging
sign. Given that it's only two generations ago that this
took place, and it runs very deep back home still.

The sort of knee-jerk reaction in Britain's right-wing
press was inevitable; I wouldn't expect anything but that
from those publications. They're always histrionic ...

Also, a lot of the people who spoke about the film in the
British press hadn't actually seen it. A lot of them are
just Loach naysayers. But the interesting thing was, nobody
contested the factual events portrayed in the film. Nobody
contested whether the British Black and Tan regiments or
the auxiliaries carried out atrocities.

And there's an easy retort to all the claims laid at its
feet. The film is obviously not anti-British. It's anti-
the policies of the British administration of the time.
It's also not pro-IRA because it's showing how every
democratic road that the rebels had gone down had been
crushed by the British. That's what happens to people when
their parliament is banned, when speaking about parliament
is banned, when speaking their language is banned, when
playing their own native games is banned. People resort to

So I was pleased. A bit of controversy is good. Anything
that gets people exercised is good. History is there to be
learned from, surely.

The film is based on events that took place in 1918 in
Cork, where you're from. It was also made there. Are people
there still aware of these events?

We learned about them in school, very much so about 1916
(when the Easter Rising led to the brief occupation of the
Dublin Post Office building).

The War of Independence (1919-21) was sort of glossed over
in school, because it's more painful, I think. I don't come
from a politicized family but it had touched my family. My
grandfather was shot at by the Black and Tans when he was
playing the fiddle, and I had a distant cousin who was
killed. He was a rebel in a Flying Column (IRA active
service unit).

Everyone (in Cork) has connections to that period. It split
families down the middle. There are people to this day who
won't speak about it. A lot of legend and mythology has
grown up about the civil war that is not quite reliable.
And people still have very opposing points of view on its

But it's a pivotal point in our shared history. Both of the
Irish main political parties trace their roots back to this
fracture. It caused the creation of Northern Ireland and
caused the creation of the IRA, so it was a very important
time. And in Europe at the time, revolution was in the air,
such as in Russia. People forget that. They were very
radical times.

What was most appealing about the project? The script? The
subject? The setting? Or working with Ken Loach?

I think working with Ken was the primary thing. The way he
works, you don't get a script to begin with. All I knew was
that it was a film set in Cork about the war of
independence, and that it followed the story of two
brothers. I knew Ken's politics and that it would probably
be controversial, but I was up for that.

I was living at home during the shoot. Staying in the
bedroom that I grew up in. Shooting around areas that I'd
run around as a kid. It was very special.

Tell me about shooting the scene where you execute the
teenage traitor on the hill. You seem genuinely distressed.

To think there are people who say that scene glorifies the
IRA! How in the hell does that glorify the IRA? Shooting a
16-year-old kid in cold blood?

Ken's method is to shoot everything chronologically. And
prior to the scene, we had spent a lot of time, like a
week, in this sort of boot camp environment. I look back on
it and see he had very subtly put myself and the kid
playing that part together — and we got along very well.

And I didn't know walking up that hill that day that (the
scene) was actually going to happen. It was just really
hard. There wasn't much acting involved. The atmosphere up
on the hill was distressing.

That's a very unusual way of directing. How does Loach
compare with other filmmakers you've worked with?

He's out on his own in the way he works. It's very, very
unique. And it's obviously been born out of a process of
elimination. In the very beginning, he may have made films
the way people normally do, which is set around this kind
of hierarchical system. It's all about compartmentalizing.
It's all about the talent and the crew.

Ken, I think, little by little got rid of that, managed to
pare it down. There are no marks. No lights. He doesn't say
"Action!" or "Cut!" There are no (location) trailers. The
camera is inevitably 20 feet away, shooting with a long

Everything is to facilitate the performance. With Ken, it's
like a private moment. He will have the crew turn around.
Sometimes he won't even look at you, just trust what he's
hearing. It's just blissful as an actor. In terms of his
notes and how he directs you, it's a very gentle
manoeuvring towards something through discussion. A lot of
finding it through (multiple) takes, as well. I wish every
film could be shot like that.

And he's been at it for over 40 years.

He's 70 years of age this year, and the energy with which
he controls the whole thing is unbelievable. People would
do anything for him. Superlatives — they don't serve the
purpose they're designed for with Ken.

You've worked with your fellow Irishman Neil Jordan
(Breakfast on Pluto) and now this film about Irish history.
How important is it for you to make movies that reflect
your own culture?

I'm Irish and it's important to me. But Liam Neeson said to
me once, "You should be not an Irish actor. You're an actor
who's Irish. Actor first and Irish second."

I think that's important, too. You can go and make the
American studio pictures, but still come home and make good

I'll only do an Irish film the way I'll only do an American
film — if I think it's worthwhile.


Acclaimed 'Wind That Shakes The Barley' Hits T.O.

Updated Sat. Sep. 9 2006 11:07 AM ET
Canadian Press

TORONTO -- When Cillian Murphy signed on to star in "The
Wind that Shakes the Barley,'' he literally had no clue how
it would turn out.

"I had never read a script before we started shooting,''
the Irish actor said in an interview just hours before the
movie had its North American premiere this week at the
Toronto International Film Festival.

Such is the modus operandi of acclaimed British director
Ken Loach, known for his gritty portrayals of working-class
life in films like "Bread and Roses'' and "Ladybird,

In "The Wind That Shakes the Barley,'' Loach casts his
unrelenting lens on Ireland's blood-drenched battle for
independence in the early 1920s.

Shot chronologically, the actors were mostly in the dark
about what was in store for their characters, often
receiving only a few pages of script each day.

Murphy went into the film knowing only that he would play
one of two brothers.

"The way Ken shoots his films is extraordinary,'' said the
actor, his icy blue eyes lighting up.

"I mean, it's not like make-believe, it's like real life.
It's like nothing I've ever experienced before. In my
opinion every film should be shot like this.''

"It's completely honest. There's no intellectualization of
your part .... It feels like you're watching real people.''

The film is already a sensation, winning the prestigious
Palme d'or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year
and earning huge box-office returns in Ireland.

It has also incited controversy, with some critics dubbing
it "anti-British.''

But Murphy, who lives in London, dismisses that suggestion.

"It's anti the policies of the British administration of
that time ... Obviously Britain doesn't want to look at
this period in history.''

"It's not meant to be inflammatory it's just meant to get
people thinking and talking.''

Murphy, whose previous screen credits include "Red Eye,''
"Cold Mountain'' and "Batman Begins,'' is the emotional
core of the film as Damien, a young doctor who gives up a
promising job at a London hospital to fight for

"The Wind That Shakes the Barley'' was also a personal
journey for the actor, who grew up in County Cork, where
the film is set. He lost a distant cousin at the hands of
the Black and Tan squads sent in from Britain during the

"It's only two generations ago that this story takes place
in a small little county. Almost everyone has a story about
this struggle,'' he said.

"It was a civil war and divided people very viciously. And
it's not that long ago.''

Loach, who could not attend the Toronto fest, was just the
man to bring the past into focus, added Murphy.

"I think any actor in the world worth their salt would want
to work with Ken Loach,'' said the actor. "He's a master.''

To Subscribe to Irish Aires News List, click HERE.
To Unsub from Irish Aires News List, click Here
No Message is necessary.

Or get full news from Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here
Or get full news from IrishAiresNews Google Group, Click here

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)

To September Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Martin Ingram aka Ian Hurst is a liar.

The person who calls himself Martin ingram but is in fact ex Int Corps SSgt Ian Hurst (known as rocky) is a liar of the highest order. His book STEAKNIFE is almost complete fiction, as are his assertions that Martin McGUINNESS was an agent of the state. He is dementedly lying completely about his past service in FRU. He only ever served in sleepy backwaters of the Province and never came face to face with anyone except low level eyes and ears agents. He never ran STEAKNIFE or even met him. In short, his book is a complete fabrication based on god knows what. He endangers the lives of serving and former soldiers as well as civillians with his ridiculous fairy tales. Hopefull he will appear in court at some of the current inquiries and investigations so he can be shown to be the liar he really is.
This story is from
And this message is from
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?