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September 11, 2006

UUP-PUP Link Against The Rules

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 09/11/06 UUP-PUP Link 'Against The Rules'
SF 09/11/06 Sinn Féin Comment On PUP/UUP Ruling
SF 09/11/06 Sectarian Campaign Against Catholics Intensifies
BN 09/11/06 Restore Devolution Or Face Irrelevance, Hain Tells Parties
SF 09/11/06 McGuinness: SF Ready And Willing To Enter Exec With DUP
BB 09/11/06 Welsh Leader Praises Devolution
IT 09/11/06 Irish Activist Interrupts Blair Press Conference
SF 09/11/06 McGuinness To Address Meeting At TUC Annual Conference
4N 09/11/06 Stone Throwers Damage Loyalist Memorial
BB 09/11/06 Orange Hall Targeted By Arsonists
IT 09/11/06 Political Friends, Foes Congratulate PD Leader
SF 09/11/06 "SF Will Oppose Right-Wing PD Policies" - Ó Caoláin
TC 09/11/06 PSNI Need More Help From Catholic Community
SF 09/11/06 Qualified Welcome For Castlederg Parade Decision
IM 09/11/06 Adams In Middle East Peace Mission
IM 09/11/06 Interview With Martin McGuinness
IT 09/11/06 Opin: US Five Years On
AP 09/11/06 Opin: Bye-Bye Daily Lies
IM 09/11/06 Launch Of New Book On Bobby Sands
BB 09/11/06 Memorial Unveiled To Ship Victims
IT 09/11/06 Belfast Gets A 'Gaeltacht' Quarter
IM 09/11/06 Anniversary Of The Saint Patrick's Battalion, Mexico.
GU 09/11/06 Sean O'Casey's Lost Play Resurfaces After 80 Years


UUP-PUP Link 'Against The Rules'

Assembly speaker Eileen Bell has ruled the assembly link
between the UUP and the PUP breaks the assembly's rules.

She said the Ulster Unionist Party Assembly Group did not
have the characteristics of a party as laid down in the
legislation governing parties.

However, the Ulster Unionist leader, Sir Reg Empey,
criticised the speaker's ruling.

He said that he would continue to work with loyalists as
they move toward peaceful politics.

"I have no intention of giving up my work and that of my
party in trying to bring about the transformation to
exclusively peaceful means in these areas that I believe is
essential for stability and I will continue with that and I
will redouble my efforts," he said.

Mr Ervine said the ruling "flew in the face of logic".

"You can tell me that I have to have forced coalition, but
that within this building (Stormont) - which is supposed to
be the epitome of democracy for Northern Ireland - we can't
have voluntary coalition," he said.

Mrs Bell told assembly members that she had sought legal
advice ahead of her decision.

She said the UUPAG, which was formed as a result of the
alliance, did not have a headquarters, at least one party
leader and a scheme for financial support.

The Ulster Unionists had came under widespread pressure
after allowing PUP leader David Ervine to join their
assembly group earlier this year.


The PUP is aligned with the loyalist paramilitary group the
Ulster Volunteer Force.

At the weekend, an Ulster Unionist assembly member said he
now believed the party's assembly alliance with the PUP was

Assembly member Esmond Birnie said the section of the
latest IMC report dealing with UVF activity was "grim".

He said it contained so many negatives that the link could
not be maintained.

"I am someone who has said previously that the UUP pact
with the PUP would always have to be conditional and
subject to rigorous evaluation in the light of events.

"The litany of events over the last four months has been
deeply disturbing," Mr Birnie said.

"As it stands at the moment I believe that this report
renders the UUP's pact with the PUP untenable."

The party's only MP, Lady Hermon, had previously called for
the link to be severed.

In June, the former Young Unionist chairman Peter Bowles
left the UUP in protest at the link.

The Ulster Unionist leadership has said the assembly
alliance with the PUP does not represent an arrangement
with the UVF.

The move was aimed at giving them an extra ministerial seat
at Sinn Fein's expense if a power-sharing executive is

Party leader Sir Reg Empey has said the long-term goal of
the link was to end loyalist paramilitarism.

The deputy leader of the DUP, Peter Robinson, said that the
ruling meant that the UUP had been split by the issue, but
would gain no advantage in assembly seats.

"I think this is a nightmare of a ruling for the Ulster
Unionist Party, when Reg thinks things couldn't possibly
get worse they do," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/11 21:16:50 GMT


Sinn Féin Comment On PUP/UUP Ruling

Published: 11 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member Francie Molloy today said that
the decision by the Assembly speaker Eileen Bell to rule
the link between David Ervine and the UUP a breach of
Assembly rules was "not surprising".

Mr Molloy said:

"Aside from the obvious hypocrisy involved in the UUP
linking up with the PUP in such a formal way having for
decades refused to talk to Sinn Féin and subsequently
collapsing the political institutions over alleged IRA
activity it was fairly obvious to anyone involved in
Assembly procedures that the link contravened the existing

"It therefore is not much of a surprise that the speaker
Eileen Bell today ruled that the formal link up between the
UUP and David Ervine, for the purposes of Assembly
arithmetic, was indeed a breach of the rules." ENDS


Sectarian Campaign Against Catholics In Ballymena Intensifies

Published: 11 September, 2006

Sinn Féin assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan
has said it‚s about time the Unionist gangs in Ballymena
who continue to attack Nationalist houses "caught
themselves on" before they seriously injure someone.His
comments come in light of a weekend which saw 4 Catholic
owned homes attacked with petrol bombs and windows smashed
with bricks.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Over the past number of weeks there has been a sustained
campaign of intimidation and terror directed at the
nationalist community that live in Ballymena. These attacks
have been allowed to become the norm because of the
ambivalence of many unionist political representatives.

"Despite the death of young Michael McIlveen in the summer
of this year which affected both communities in the town,
these Loyalist gangs continue to intimidate and attack
Catholics that live in Ballymena.

"It's accepted that Ballymena is a Unionist town with a
Catholic minority, but this does not give the Unionist
community any leverage over their Catholic neighbours. The
Nationalist people of Ballymena deserve the right to live
in peace in their homes as well as anyone else.

"Its unfortunate that the other parties involved in this
situation are intent on burying their heads and portraying
this as a tit-for-tat campaign. Considering that out of 8
attacks this week alone, 7 of them were on Catholic homes
lays to rest this tit-for-tat scenario.

"The motivation for these petrol bombings and destruction
attacks are entirely sectarian. Unionism has nothing to
fear from Nationalists being apart of the community in
Ballymena nor should they fear equality of treatment for
all Ballymena citizens. This is a message that needs to be
heard clearly from elected unionism.

"I want to reiterate my belief that the DUP and others, who
sit on Forums and Commissions with the leaderships of the
UDA and UVF can help bring about an end to these attacks.
As the largest unionist party, they have an obligation to
face down the loyalist thugs intent on fermenting sectarian
division. Words of condemnation are obviously not enough,
radical measures are needed to change the sectarian
attitudes that clearly exist in their community." ENDS


Restore Devolution Or Face Irrelevance, Hain Tells Parties

11/09/2006 - 18:29:24

The North may not get the same level of British government
focus when the next Prime Minister takes over, secretary of
state Peter Hain warned today.

With unionists and republicans under pressure to strike a
power-sharing deal by the November 24 deadline, Mr Hain
claimed no successor could match Tony Blair’s level of

He also predicted that a lasting settlement could banish
terrorism from Ireland forever.

As the Ulster Unionists’ controversial alliance at the
Stormont Assembly with a party linked to loyalist
paramilitaries was declared a breach of the rules, all
sides in Belfast were told to restore devolution – or face
political irrelevance.

Mr Hain issued his challenge after holding talks with Irish
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern in Dundalk, Co Louth.

If a political settlement is rejected by November 24 it
will represent a major lost opportunity, Mr Hain stressed.

With Mr Blair confirming he will quit within the next 12
months, the Ulster Secretary claimed there may not be
another Prime Minister as committed and informed on the
issues in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hain said: “He and the Taoiseach are twin architects of
the whole dramatic change in Northern Ireland for the past
10 years. They are the best people to take it forward.

“There is nobody else – no successor who can do the type of
job that the Taoiseach has done and the Prime Minister has

“They know the people, they know the issues inside out.
They have the strategic brilliance to be able to conclude
all of these. It’s absolutely crucial that all the parties
take advantage of their detailed knowledge and attention.

“I’m not sure you will get a British Prime Minister who
will give this kind of forensic, detailed attention to
solving these problems because the world will move on after
November 24.”

Mr Hain became the first northern Ireland secretary to make
an official visit to Dundalk, a border town used by on-the-
run IRA men as violence raged in the North.

As the rest of the world marked the fifth anniversary of
the 9/11 terror strikes, he also focused on the rogue
republicans attempting to wreck the political process
through a new bombing campaign.

“If we can get in place an agreement for power-sharing and
self-government in Northern Ireland by November 24, it
would send out an absolutely crystal-clear message to
dissident terrorists on this important day that they have
no place in the future of Northern Ireland or elsewhere on
the island of Ireland,” Mr Hain said.

“It is the best guarantee against them if we get democracy
up and running by November 24.

“It’s a very important date. It has taken generations to
get here and if we miss this opportunity, then it will
condemn future generations of young people to an existence
which is far from ideal.

“Life will move on from the elected politicians of Northern
Ireland. The MLAs will forfeit their role to be politically
significant in Northern Ireland and to represent their

As he issued his challenge, the merger in the Assembly’s
current shadow form between the Ulster Unionists (UUP) and
the Progressive Unionists (PUP) – a party aligned to the
loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was
declared a breach of the rules.

Eileen Bell, Speaker at the Assembly, revealed after legal
discussions that the UUP’s grouping did not have proper
party characteristics.

Her ruling came as Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey
endured growing internal dissent over his decision to
bolster the ranks by bringing in PUP chief David Ervine.

Mr Ervine was astonished that Mrs Bell was able to take
such a decision.

He said: “Here’s a Speaker who can’t call a meeting of the
Northern Ireland Assembly and yet a Speaker who can make
this type of judgment.

“I find it incredible.”

Sinn Fein claimed the decision was not surprising, given
that it contravened existing regulations.

However, Naomi Long, deputy leader of the cross-community
Alliance Party, claimed the UUP had been given a get-out

She said: “Some leading members of the Ulster Unionists
broke rank and expressed their disgust at this grubby link
but clearly, the Ulster Unionists did not have the strength
of character or morals to break this deal.

“Their blushes have only been spared by the decision of the
Speaker to stop their disgusting deal.”

Raymond McCord, an outspoken critic of Mr Ervine and the
father of a UVF murder victim, was delighted by the ruling.

“Reg Empey was prepared to forsake principles, bringing in
people from a party with a military wing.

“It’s great news for me and a lot of other victims,” he


McGuinness - Sinn Féin Ready And Willing To Enter Executive With DUP

Published: 11 September, 2006

Speaking after meeting with the Welsh First Minister Rhodri
Morgan in Stormont, Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin
McGuinness said that the DUP needed to start indicating
that they were up for a serious engagement if the planned
talks in Scotland next month were to have a chance of

Mr McGuinness said:

"This is the last chance for the Assembly and Executive.
The two governments have stated clearly that November 24th
is the deadline to get the political institutions back up
and running. People can be sure that we will be doing
everything in our power to see that happen.

"However the success or otherwise of the forthcoming period
will be dictated by the attitude adopted by the two
governments - whether they are prepared to stand by the
Agreement or not.

"Sinn Féin are ready and willing to enter an Executive in
the morning. We are ready and willing to take our places in
a fully functioning Assembly. There is no doubt about that.
We have already demonstrated a willingness to take part in
any other business which is about bringing back the
institutions. That remains our position. We have spent the
summer months locked into the Preparation for Government
Committee, as have the other parties, including the DUP.
But the logical outcome of preparing for government is
establishing an Executive.

"The talks planned for Scotland in early October can become
a central part of an overall timetabled plan to see the
institutions put back in place. If the two governments
stand up and defend the Agreement and make it very clear
that the process is not going to be allowed to stand still
then progress can undoubtedly be made. It would also
greatly help if the DUP indicated now whether or not they
were up for a serious engagement.

"So we will come at the next period positively, but
realistically given the approach adopted by the DUP up
until now. But the parties don't hold the key to unlocking
the current stalemate. The two governments must now drive
forward this process. They must take the lead." ENDS


Welsh Leader Praises Devolution

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan has praised the effects
of devolution to NI assembly members.

In a visit to Stormont to talk about what has been achieved
since the Welsh assembly's inception in 1999 he cited a
fall in unemployment

He also said shortening hospital waiting lists have been
one aspect of an improving health service.

"It has increased our national self-confidence and has
developed a greater trust," he said.

He rejected suggestions that he could guide Northern
Ireland assembly members on how to do their jobs.

"I'm not here to give advice to the politicians," he said.

"That is entirely a matter for those elected by the people
of Northern Ireland."

Despite the successes, he refused to back any calls for
tax-raising powers to be granted to his assembly.


"I think it would be a betrayal of those people who voted
for the Welsh Assembly in the referendum almost exactly
nine years ago," he said.

"We promised them this was not going to be a tax-raising

Mr Morgan's visit follows an earlier trip to Stormont by
Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell in May.

Mr McConnell told MLAs that although he did not want to
tell them how to conduct politics, devolution in Scotland
had boosted confidence and helped tackle long-standing

Devolved government in Northern Ireland has been suspended
since October 2002.

The British government has set the local parties a deadline
of 24 November to restore it.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/11 17:40:29 GMT


Irish Activist Interrupts Blair Press Conference

Last updated: 11-09-06, 15:59

Irish peace activist Caoimhe Butterly interrupted a press
conference in the Lebanese captial Beirut today by accusing
British Prime Minister Tony Blair of complicity Israel's
bombardment of the country.

Ms Butterly paraded in front of Mr Blair and Lebanese
Premier Fuad Siniora as they staged a joint press
conference, waving a banner and shouting: "This is an
insult to the families of thousands of Lebanese who have
died. Shame on you, shame on you, Mr Blair."

As security guards bundled her away, both Mr Blair and Mr
Siniora gesticulated and appealed for calm.

About 2,000 Lebanese protested at the British prime
minister's talks with the Lebanese government, accusing him
of backing Israel's 34-day war with Hizbullah, and several
cabinet ministers refused to meet him.

Demonstrators were infuriated by Mr Blair's refusal to call
for an immediate ceasefire from Israel in the bloody
conflict which raged in July.

"He was a party in the war," Health Minister Mohammad
Khalifeh, of the Shia Muslim Amal movement, said. "He
supported the US position and did not call for a ceasefire
. . . it is natural that we do not receive him."

The conflict killed nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly
civilians, and 157 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Two Hizbullah ministers also declined to attend Mr Blair's
talks with the Lebanese government, even though a spokesman
for Mr Blair said the British leader had been ready to meet

Mr Blair had also been due to meet Parliament Speaker Nabih
Berri, who is the leader of Amal and a Hizbullah ally, but
an aide to Mr Berri said he had left on a private visit

In 2004 Ms Butterly (27) staged a two-week hunger strike
outside the Dublin offices of Cement Roadstone Holdings.
She was seeking to focus attention on the role she claimed
the firm is playing in supplying building materials for the
construction of the wall Israel is building along the
occupied West Bank.

In 2002, the Cork woman was shot in the leg by an Israeli
soldier during the Israeli army's assault on the Jenin
refugee camp in Palestine.


Martin McGuinness To Address Fringe Meeting At TUC Annual Conference

Published: 11 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness will tomorrow
travel to the annual TUC conference in Brighton. Mr
McGuinness will address a fringe meeting at the conference
organised by the Communication Workers Union. Also
appearing at the meeting will be representatives from the

Speaking before departing for Brighton Mr McGuinness said:

"This meeting will provide an opportunity to engage
directly with the Trade Union movement in Britain. It also
comes at a time when efforts are being intensified in the
run up to the November 24th deadline and before the parties
assemble in Scotland early next month for what we are being
told will be an intensive negotiation.

"I have to say that as we sit at the minute the DUP is
alone as the only political party unwilling to enter the
power sharing institutions demanded by the Good Friday
Agreement. It is crucial if progress is to be made in the
coming weeks that the two governments make it clear that
they are prepared to stand by the Agreement and prepared to
make it clear that the time for stalling and excuses has
long since past." ENDS


Stone Throwers Damage Loyalist Memorial

A loyalist memorial garden in east Belfast has been damaged
following disturbances between two gangs in the early hours
of this morning.

The incident happened at around 1.30am on the lower
Newtownards Road, when rival factions threw stones at each

No one was injured, however the memorial garden at Pitt
Place sustained serious damage.

Police arrived at the scene and the crowds dispersed within
a short time.

East Belfast Sinn Féin representative Niall Ó Donnghaile
has today said that last night's interface trouble was an
isolated incident that should not be used to undermine the
good work which was ongoing to resolve interface tensions
in the area.

He also hit out at those responsible for damaging a
loyalist monument on the Newtownards Road.

Mr Ó Donnghaile said: “The type of drink fuelled violence
which was evidenced last night has no place in our society.

“Over the last number of years we have seen great work
being done to try and resolve the tensions around interface
areas in East Belfast. Working to resolve such tensions is
in the interests of everybody on both sides of the

“Unfortunately, there are those politicians who seek to use
such incidents to further there own political agendas.
However, last night's violence was an isolated incident and
I am confident that it will not deter those committed to
working to resolve the interface issue.”

Speaking about the damage done to the memorial garden, Mr Ó
Donnghaile said: “Last night's attack on the monument on
the Newtownards Road is completely reprehensible. We must
all work together, and build upon the ongoing work, to
ensure that there is no repeat of this incident.”


Orange Hall Targeted By Arsonists

An Orange Hall has been damaged in an arson attack in north

Police said the back door of the hall at Whitewell Road,
Greencastle, had been forced open and petrol had been
poured in and set alight.

The fire was discovered at about 2145 BST on Sunday. Smoke
and scorch damage was caused to the door and an area inside
the building.

A motive for the attack is under investigation. A number of
items have been removed for forensic examination.

Orange Order County Master Dawson Bailie condemned the

"Such attempts to intimidate the institution through
threats and violence have failed for 35 years and will
continue to fail," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/11 13:35:53 GMT


Political Friends, Foes Congratulate PD Leader

By Kilian Doyle Last updated: 11-09-06, 15:55

Michael McDowell's accession as leader of the Progressive
Democrats has received mixed reaction from his political

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who is expected to name Mr McDowell
as Tánaiste later this week, welcomed the appointment.

"The Taoiseach looks forward to working closely with Mr
McDowell and will meet him ahead of Wednesday's cabinet
meeting," a spokesman for Mr Ahern said.

Mr McDowell once famously clashed with Mr Ahern over the
Taoiseach's proposals to build a massive sports stadium at
Abbottstown, Co Dublin. The Minister described the "Bertie
Bowl" as "a Ceaucescu-era Olympic project".

The chairman of Fianna Fáil, Seamus Kirk, said Mr
McDowell's election would help bolster the stability of the
Government coalition.

"The Minister for Justice has always proved willing to come
among us and discuss the issues of the day. He has been
ready to listen and debate policy matters with us," Mr Kirk
said. "I have no doubt that this spirit of co-operation
will continue in the future."

Mr McDowell received more barbed compliments from his main
political foes.

Pat Rabbitte, the Labour Party leader, described his
appointment as "no surprise" to those who have observed his
journey in politics. "His accession to the leadership of
the PDs holds out the prospect of a clearer choice between
those of us who believe in the fair society, and those like
Michael McDowell who believe that a measure of inequality
is necessary to drive our economic and political system,"
Mr Rabbitte said.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny offered his congratulations to
the new PD leader

but warned that he was facing a busy period in the run-up
to the election.

"With crime levels rising and crime detection rates
falling, with hundreds of patients on trolleys and
thousands on waiting lists and this Government miles away
from reaching their stated target of having 20 per cent of
workers paying tax at the top level there is a significant
body of work to be done to move past the politics of
promise to those of delivery," Mr Kenny said.

"That, ultimately, is the test of any political leader."

In a statement to the media and party faithful at a press
conference in Dublin today, Mr McDowell claimed Fine Gael
and Labour could only offer the electorate a return to "the
politics of failure, paralysis and underachievement".

© 2006


"Sinn Féin Will Oppose Right-Wing PD Policies" - Ó Caoláin

Published: 11 September, 2006

Commenting on the election of Michael McDowell as leader of
the Progressive Democrats and prospective Tánaiste, Sinn
Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:

“Whoever occupies the leader’s position in the Progressive
Democrats we in Sinn Féin will strongly oppose their right-
wing policies. We will continue to work with all party
leaders in government in the context of the peace process,
including Michael McDowell. However, his accession to the
PD leadership and the post of Tánaiste comes after a career
that has been

characterised by an anti-republican approach which has been
a negative influence in and out of Government.

“Minister McDowell has stated that inequality is a good
thing for the Irish economy and none of his PD colleagues
dissented from that view. Fianna Fáil has been happy to
allow this right-wing agenda to determine the direction of
the Government. The Fianna Fáil/PD administration has
worsened inequality in our country, especially in our
health services under the stewardship of outgoing PD leader
and Tánaiste Mary Harney.

“As Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael
McDowell has abused his position to carry out a witch-hunt
against the Centre for Public Inquiry, refused to introduce
rights-based disability legislation and presides over a
grossly unfair immigration and asylum system. He has failed
to live up to his human rights obligations under the Good
Friday Agreement and has reinforced rather than dispensed
with the draconian Offences Against the State Acts.

“As we approach a General Election it is worth remembering
that the main plank in Michael McDowell’s election platform
in 2002 was his anti-Sinn Féin tirade. This was a cynical
exercise designed to win votes from a section of Fine Gael
supporters. We may well see this competition again for a
perceived anti-republican vote but Sinn Féin will be
challenging the PDs on their appalling record in Government
and presenting the real alternative to the right-wing rump
now led by Michael McDowell.”


PSNI Need More Help From Catholic Community

Posted on September 12, 2006

By The Universe: A Catholic priest in Derry has called for
the Police Service of Northern Ireland to be allowed to
properly investigate criminal activity in nationalist areas
of the city.

Fr Aidan Mullan’s plea came after police were prevented
from attending a crime scene by a roadblock staged by
Catholic youths. His views have been supported by the
SDLP's spokesman on policing, Alex Attwood, who said Fr
Mullan’s comments captured "the mood of the nationalist

Formed five years ago, the PSNI replaced the Royal Ulster
Constabulary and plans were put in place to actively
increase the number of Catholic police officers. Although
the number of Catholics has increased from eight per cent
five years ago to 21 per cent in 2006, the force has yet to
be accepted in many nationalist areas.

Fr Mullan, from the Waterside area of Derry, had been
contacted by the PSNI after an incident in which a Catholic
man was seriously injured in an assault. While he was
driving near the family’s home, he saw that several youths
wearing hooded tops had blocked the road, "distracting the
police from pursuing those who perpetrated this," Fr Mullan

The priest drove on to the hospital a different way to
visit the injured man but when he returned several hours
later he found barricades still burning. At Mass that
Sunday, he said he would personally clean up the mess
caused by the youths and received a round of applause.
Around 60 people then joined him the following day in a
community protest at the youths’ behaviour.

"I had to give the PSNI 100 per cent support. Our Catholic
youth were up to no good," he said.

"I would be as critical about the police as the next man,
but you have to praise them when they do well. We do need
policing. There are elderly people in the community who are
living in fear at night. What price do you pay for this
idea of not having police?"

Mr Attwood added: “The number of Catholics joining the
police force shows that the nationalist community is
turning to policing more. There are accountability
structures in place with the PSNI and the leadership also
embraced change which helped to move it forward.”


Qualified Welcome For Castlederg Parade Decision

Published: 11 September, 2006

Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Mc Hugh has given a "qualified
welcome" to a Parades Commission decision to re-route a
major loyalist band parade away from the nationalist
Ferguson Crescent/Killeter Road area of Castlederg this
Saturday night.

Cllr Mc Hugh said:

"I welcome the fact that the Parades Commission has re-
routed this loyalist parade, comprising of 70 bands and
some 2500 participants, away from the nationalist Ferguson
Crescent/Killeter Road area.

"However, I will withhold final judgement until I see
whether the organisers of this loyalist parade attempt to
appeal any aspects of the decision, and if this happens
whether the Parades Commission amend their original
decision due to loyalist pressure, as has happened on a
number of occasions in Castlederg this year.

"Apart from the issue of Parade's Commission u-turns, there
is the fundamental issue of why the organisers (Castlederg
Young Loyalists) want to bring 70 loyalist bands and some
2,700 participants to the majority nationalist town of
Castlederg on a Saturday night in September to parade
around in the dark between the hours of 9pm and 11pm.

"While the marching season is now supposed to be officially
over Castlederg still has to endure parades of this nature,
yet there is still sign of anyone from the loyal orders or
loyalist band fraternity being prepared to engage in face
to face discussions with local nationalist residents about
contentious marching issues in Castlederg." Ends


Adams In Middle East Peace Mission

International Anti-War News Report
Monday September 11, 2006 21:07 by Solas

Speaking to An Phoblacht from Palestine on Wednesday
afternoon, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, on a two-day
peace mission to the Middle East, said that in discussions
with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with
representatives of all the political groups in the
Palestinian Assembly and with Israeli and Palestinian NGOs
he had a clear sense that the Palestinian leadership wants
the political process put back on the rails and for
progress to be made.

'War is not the only option'

Speaking to An Phoblacht from Palestine on Wednesday
afternoon, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, on a two-day
peace mission to the Middle East, said that in discussions
with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with
representatives of all the political groups in the
Palestinian Assembly and with Israeli and Palestinian NGOs
he had a clear sense that the Palestinian leadership wants
the political process put back on the rails and for
progress to be made.

He pointed out that 43 members of the Palestinian Assembly
are in prison, including the Speaker and cabinet ministers
and said the Palestinian peace process was being "bled to

He said the position of the EU, in punishing the
Palestinian people for casting their votes in a certain way
in an election that was supervised and verified by
reputable international bodies and declared to be free and
fair was "absolutely wrong".

Adams, who is in the Middle East at the invitation of the
Palestinian President, said that he told the Palestinians
that Irish people understood partition, occupation and the
dispossession of lands. "The area we are driving through
right now is bisected by a huge wall built by the
Israelis", he pointed out.

The Sinn Féin President held a meeting with the Palestinian
President's staff and advisors on Wednesday afternoon and
he spoke to President Abbas by phone.

Following his meeting at the Negotiations Affairs HQ Adams
toured various sites in Ramallah. He laid a wreath at the
grave of former Palestinian President Arafat and also
visited Ramallah Hospital, a refugee camp and Headquarters
of the Red Crescent.

In Jerusalem on Tuesday evening on his arrival in the
region Adams said the purpose of his visit was to encourage
the search for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.

It had been the Sinn Féin President's intention for some
time to visit Palestine and there was a long standing
invitation from Abu Ammar President Arafat which Adams said
he regretted very much not being able to take up while
Arafat was alive. Various arrangements were cancelled
because of the demands of the process in Ireland or of
priorities in Palestine. Adams said that when President
Arafat died he resolved to wait no longer and it had taken
from then to fulfil that commitment.

He said Irish republicans were very concerned about the
suffering of people in the region. Sinn Féin had no magic
formula to resolve the problems but believed they could be
resolved. "The Anglo-Irish conflict was once labelled as
intractable. Talk of peace and of peace processes was
dismissed as nonsense, as fantasy. But we proved the
pessimists and cynics wrong", he said.

He went on: "Irish republicans are internationalists. We
take a close interest in events outside of Ireland and we
are always willing to learn and to share our experience
with others seeking to build peaceful alternatives to
conflict. Political will and courage in seeking peaceful
alternatives to conflict is essential.

"There is an enormous responsibility on political leaders
and especially on governments to find peaceful
alternatives. Governments have a responsibility to give
leadership which is hope and life giving. That is the big
challenge facing the Israeli government.

"In my view the future security, strategic interests,
freedom and rights of the people of Israel are locked into
an acceptance, respect, recognition and defence by Israel
of the rights, freedom and prospects of the people of
Palestine. War is not the only option.

"Building a political alternative, constructing a peace
process which can deal with the causes of a conflict, and
which can provide stability, justice and democracy, is an
option also and one which would have the support of right
thinking people worldwide.

"Of course the difficulties here are enormous. The conflict
affects every aspect of peoples daily lives in Palestine
and in Israel.

"The hostile reaction of the Israeli government, of the EU
and of the United States to the election results earlier
this year have compounded these difficulties. The
withdrawal of financial support to the Palestinian
government and the increase in violence is entirely

"What is required is inclusive dialogue based on equality
and parity of esteem. It is patently obvious after decades
of conflict that there can be no military solution to what
is essentially a political problem.

"Irish republicans do not assume that what has worked in
Ireland is relevant to every other situation. But we have
learned that there are key principles which are applicable
in any process of conflict resolution. These include
inclusive dialogue,recognising democratic mandates and
upholding human rights.

Adams said it was for people in the region to work out and
agree solutions. He appealed to all political leaders to
make a fresh effort to rebuild the peace process.

"All of us have to have an acceptance and openness toward
other cultures. The notion that western culture or
civilisation is better than any other is bogus. All
cultures can learn from each other and change accordingly,
peacefully and democratically. Suppression is not the way",
Adams said.

"The role of the International Community and United Nations
is crucial in all of this. So too is the role of the US
government. The US, as a strong ally of Israel, has a key
role to play.

"In the Irish Peace Process the US played a positive and
encouraging role, recognising all of the democratic
mandates of the participants, supporting dialogue, and
dealing with everyone on the basis of equality. I would
strongly urge a similar approach in respect of any efforts
to rebuild the peace process here.

"What is clearly required is a comprehensive and inclusive
settlement. Such a settlement must be rooted on the rights
of the people of Palestine and the people of Israel to live
in mutual respect, security and peaceful co-existence and
co-operation. Israelis and Palestinians have more to gain
from peace than continuing conflict", he said.


Things have changed forever

National Miscellaneous Opinion/Analysis Monday
September 11, 2006 21:00 by Sean MacBradaigh - An Phoblacht

Interview With Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness

Things have changed forever

In the first of a two-part interview with An Phoblacht
Editor SEÁN Mac BRÁDAIGH, Sinn Féin's Chief Negotiator and
Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness explains the party's
attitude to the Hain Assembly, his experience of the
Assembly's Preparation for Government Committee, the
prospect of government-sponsored 'hothouse' talks next
month, and the likelihood of the Good Friday institutions
being restored by the November deadline.

Things have changed forever

In the first of a two-part interview with An Phoblacht
Editor SEÁN Mac BRÁDAIGH, Sinn Féin's Chief Negotiator and
Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness explains the party's
attitude to the Hain Assembly, his experience of the
Assembly's Preparation for Government Committee, the
prospect of government-sponsored 'hothouse' talks next
month, and the likelihood of the Good Friday institutions
being restored by the November deadline.

In June, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams announced a Sinn
Féin review into the party's participation in the Hain
Assembly. Last Saturday, Sinn Féin's Ard Chomhairle met in
Dublin to deal with a report from the party's negotiations
committee in relation to that review, and agreed that Sinn
Féin Assembly members would participate in the upcoming
session of the Hain Assembly on the same basis as before
the summer recess - with the sole purpose of restoring the
Good Friday Agreement institutions, and only in work that
genuinely contributes to this objective.

Speaking to Martin McGuinness on the back of the Ard
Chomhairle meeting, I asked him to explain in greater
detail Sinn Féin's position on the Assembly:

"The mood at today's Ard Chomhairle meeting adequately sums
up the party's mood in general. There are serious
misgivings at the approach of the two governments. The
stringing out of the process is something that we think is
detrimental to a successful outcome. But following a
lengthy discussion, the Ard Chomhairle did agree that Sinn
Féin Assembly members participate in the Hain Assembly but
with the sole purpose of restoring the Good Friday
institutions and so we will therefore engage only in work
that genuinely contributes to that objective. We are also
calling for an intensification of peace talks to give the
best chance for progress in the months ahead, very
conscious of the fact that the British Government, in
writing, have given us assurance that the 24 November is an
immovable deadline."

On Sinn Féin's experience of the Preparation for Government
Committee, established by Peter Hain and which has been
meeting for months now without progress, McGuinness said:
"Our experience has been that from the very beginning we
entered that committee with a view to trying to build the
opportunities for dialogue and discussion and for
negotiation among all of the participants. We entered it in
the hope that the DUP would see that as an opportunity to
engage meaningfully with all of the other parties,
including Sinn Féin, and that they would recognise, against
the backdrop of the publicly-declared position of both
governments, that all of this would come to an end by 24
November if a deal isn't done. That they would recognise
the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities as
elected representatives to the people who elected them,
particularly against the backdrop of massive rates hikes by
British direct rule ministers which are impacting on
everybody - loyalist, unionist, nationalist or republican -
and the threat of more increases in terms of water charges.
The whole issue of how we deal with our health services and
education system. We have argued for a long time that we
are the people who are best able to take the decisions
which will benefit our people, as opposed to direct rule
ministers who wouldn't know Comber from Cullybacky.

"In the initial discussion the DUP was represented by Ian
Paisley Jnr, Willie McCrea and Morris Morrow. Eventually
that spread out and Peter Robinson some weeks ago started
to attend the meetings. Some people read positive signals
into that. I think in the absence of any real engagement
between the DUP and Sinn Féin, all we can do is note that
that has happened. Where it leads remains to be seen.

"We have made it absolutely clear that our sole purpose in
being there is only to be involved in work which is about
ensuring the return of these institutions by 24 November
and that we are not going to engage in any sham or charade
just to facilitate the DUP's demands for a shadow assembly.
Many people are of the view that the DUP think they can
burst through the 24 November deadline and string this out
until some time in the future. The Sinn Féin position on
all of this is contingent with ensuring that the
institutions of the Good Friday Agreement are restored and
restored by 24 November. So our engagement in this Assembly
will only be on the basis of work which is designed to
bring that about."

On speculation that the two governments are planning
'hothouse talks' outside of Ireland for October, McGuinness
said he was surprised to see that most of the controversy,
from a unionist perspective, had been about the venue when
in fact people should be more focused on what happens at
the talks than on where they take place:

"As far as Sinn Féin is concerned, we are more interested
in the purpose of the talks and whether or not the talks
contribute to the speedy restoration of the Good Friday
institutions by 24 November. But obviously the media are
being briefed about all of this, which would clearly
suggest that the governments do have plans to bring the
parties together in the immediate aftermath of an IMC
Report. They obviously place more faith in the IMC than we
in Sinn Féin do. This appears to be clearly suggesting that
they are expecting the IMC report to be a positive
contribution towards getting the restoration of the
institutions. Given our reservations about the IMC I think
that most people would understand that we would be very
circumspect about all of that."

On whether he thought it was more probable or possible that
the political institutions of the Agreement would be
restored by the 24 November deadline, McGuinness said:

"I think it's no more than a possibility. But even if it's
only a remote possibility, we in Sinn Féin believe that we
have a duty and a responsibility to the people who elect us
and who support us all over the island of Ireland, given
that the overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland
voted for the Good Friday Agreement, to ensure that we bend
all of our efforts to making what may be possible a
reality. And so we're going to sweat blood, bust a gut, in
the time ahead to ensure that we see the Agreement
implemented. I know that many republicans are now debating
the merits of 'Plan A' and 'Plan B', and I hate those
terms, but I say to republicans everywhere that the best
plan for the people of Ireland, for Sinn Féin, is to
support the full and faithful implementation of the Good
Friday Agreement. As far as I am concerned there is only
one plan; it's Plan A and it's the Good Friday Agreement.
It's the Democratic Unionist Party, the Ulster Unionist
Party, signing up to power-sharing and signing up to taking
their places on an All-Ireland Ministerial Council, two
administrations which are the foundation stones of the
Agreement and which we as Irish republicans can lead over
time to the reunification of our country.

Now, given that Ian Paisley has not given any indication
whatsoever that he's prepared to take the decision to enter
the institutions by 24 November, we can only conclude that
it's more a possibility than a probability but we have to
work at making the possibility a reality and that's what we
are trying to do."

Asked whether he thought the British Government would stick
by their publicly-held position of bringing down the
Assembly if the 24 November deadline was not met,
McGuinness said that if both governments failed to keep
their word about implementing all other aspects of the
Agreement in the event of a failure by the DUP to sign up
for the institutions by 24 November, they would be "shamed
before the world", as the DUP would effectively claim a
huge victory over the two governments.

"They would claim that they had destroyed the Good Friday
Agreement. Under no circumstances could we in Sinn Féin
live with a situation whereby the political leadership of
the DUP were able to proclaim the Good Friday Agreement
dead. It is not in the interests of both governments to
allow the DUP that victory."

On how the current obstacles to success could be overcome
and, in the event of a failure to re-establish the
institutions by the November deadline, how he envisaged the
wider process moving forward, McGuinness said that he
approached the whole situation in a very philosophical way.

"In spite of all the problems, difficulties, angst and
concerns about the situation, one thing is absolutely clear
- things in the North of Ireland have changed and they have
changed forever. The republican/nationalist community are
very confident, assertive - in a non-hostile way. In
relation to the political changes that have taken place,
there is tremendous confidence. Many people put that down
to the type of leadership that's being given by Sinn Féin
and the work of Sinn Féin elected representatives in the
North in terms of the councils, the Assembly, MPs and also
the increasing support for Sinn Féin in the South. People
have a real sense that Sinn Féin is a party on the move,
that Sinn Féin strikes a chord with everything that they
believe in in terms of freedom and unity and a more fair,
just and equal society. The fact that there is a huge focus
now on whether or not the DUP are going to do the business
clearly shows that republicans and nationalists, whatever
the concerns about the ability of unionists to block
progress, are of a view that if the unionists are not
prepared to do the business before 24 November, there is
then a mighty responsibility on both governments to take
this process forward in a very decisive way.

"So people are intrigued by comments coming from both
governments that in the aftermath of any failure by the DUP
to do the business, they are going to bring forward new
partnership arrangements. Now, given the arguments that
have been made, I actually believe that the governments
have no other choice but to press on with the full
implementation of all other aspects of the Good Friday
Agreement that the unionists have no control over. To do
anything less is to give a victory to rejectionist unionism
over the will of the people of Ireland who voted for this
Agreement in overwhelming numbers in 1998.

"It was a leading unionist insider who said to me, prior to
the summer, that this really only gets serious in
September. Well, this is September. We've been serious in
the summer. We were serious in the spring. We are even more
serious now about ensuring that the Good Friday Agreement
is implemented and implemented before 24 November. Any
failure to implement that Agreement by the two governments
by 24 November I think will be seen in a very, very dim
light, not just by republicans but by the overwhelming
majority of the people of Ireland who expect both
governments to grab this process by the scruff of the neck
and to press it on.

"We await with interest the decisions of the two
governments vis-à-vis the new partnership arrangements and
how they intend to take this forward. But anything other
than the full and faithful implementation of the Good
Friday Agreement would be a defeat for the whole process
and a huge defeat for both the Taoiseach and the British
Prime Minister."

NEXT WEEK: Martin McGuinness on the legacy of the 1981
Hunger Strike, the prospect of republicans holding
ministerial responsibility for policing North and South,
the intentions of unionist paramilitaries, sharing
experiences of conflict resolution with other countries,
Sinn Féin and the 26 County general election and more.


Opin: US Five Years On


Five years on, the 9/11 attacks on the United States retain
their enormously destructive power and potent symbolism of
vulnerability. President Bush insists that since then the
US has been made safer at home by a huge effort to bolster
security, executive power and intelligence.

But in many countries throughout the world attitudes
towards the US have hardened into suspicion and fear,
compared to the surge of solidarity which immediately
followed the attacks. The war in Iraq, Guantánamo and Abu
Ghraib have come to represent a unilateral assertion of
American power which is increasingly resented and opposed.

This is a very mixed picture, and far from a positive one.
The "war on terror" proclaimed by the Bush administration
since the 9/11 attacks has divided US allies. Many believe
that the efforts involved are more dangerous than the
problems they are directed against. A striking example of
this sensibility is the finding in the Irish Times/TNS mrbi
poll that people over 50 in this State say the way the US
and its allies are conducting the war against terrorism is
of most concern to them - ahead of issues such as crime and
personal security, day-to-day living expenses, the threat
of such terrorism and the state of the health services.

Such a state of affairs should worry the US government much
more than it actually appears to do. The international
goodwill built up over many years, and reinforced in the
months following the 9/11 attacks, has been systematically
eroded. The Middle East region, far from having been
democratised following the invasion of Iraq, now looks more
dangerous than ever after the recent war in Lebanon and the
looming conflict between the US and Iran. The one hopeful
sign has been the willingness of European states to become
involved militarily and politically as a counter-balance to
unilateral US power. Pursuing a political strategy of
effective multilateralism in which the Israeli-Palestinian
issue can be resolved holds out more promise of rolling
back terrorism than does a confrontation with Iran.

At home, greater security for US citizens has also come at
a steep price. Congress passed a highly permissive law
authorising the use of military force by the president
shortly after 9/11, which has been used to develop
executive power. Only recently has it been questioned
legally, politically and in the media, coinciding with a
growing disenchantment among US voters about the direction
of the war in Iraq and wider foreign policy. These issues
are at the centre of this year's congressional elections,
the results of which will tell a tale about them.

© The Irish Times


Opin: Bye-Bye Daily Lies

Geraldine Adams • 10 September 2006

It's not often the closure of a newspaper is a victory for
the freedom of the press but that's exactly what the end of
Daily Ireland represents. Truth and honesty were never to
be found in its pages during its publishing lifetime and,
even on its death-bed, it kept on doing what it does best —
lies, spin, and more lies.

The big bad Brits were blamed for refusing to provide a
start-up grant and advertising. That's a bit like the IRA
saying: "We lost the war because the British wouldn't buy
us weapons or train and pay our volunteers, the bastards!"

What sort of self-respecting, radical outlet would be
running to the Brits for money anyway? Wouldn't it want to
stand on its own two feet? Wouldn't its independence be
paramount? We've recently heard a lot from Sinn Fein about
how it's following in the footsteps of Che Guevara. Now,
imagine Che filling in the forms for the authorities to
fund a revolutionary newspaper?

Only a tame, mainstream media organisation would be
interested in government funding in the first place. And
that's exactly what Daily Ireland was. How did it change
the mainstream media agenda? What revolutionary campaigns
did it fight? What stories did it ever break that rocked
the establishment North or South? "Why playing Gaelic with
the PSNI/RUC on the Malone Road is so-oh radical by Joe
Brolly"? "Man eats mouse", was the final cutting-edge front
page offering. Now, if Daily Ireland had survived another
day, would the mouse eater have been unmasked as a
Republican Sinn Fein or an SDLP member?

Daily Ireland portrayed itself as some powerless,
victimised body. O'Muilleoir is a multi-millionaire and it
was Daily Ireland practising McCarthyism, not suffering it.
Time after time, the Provos' opponents — both of the
constitutional nationalist and republican variety — were
set up in stories. Never once did a Daily Ireland article
challenge the Provo agenda. Even pre-1994 when the Irish
News was truly a censorious SDLP rag, the odd story which
presented the party in an unfavourable light would make it
into print. But then the Provos have proved to be far
better censors than their old enemies.

The columnists, to a man and woman, were 100% on-message
too. Some were, membership-wise, outside the Sinn Fein
stable. But they all were in absolute harmony with that
party's agenda. There was not one dissenting voice, not one
who wrote that just perhaps Gerry wasn't God. Shame on

The journalists who were hired were all B-team players with
not one name of quality or substance among them. But that
suited management. Anyone who has ever worked with
O'Muilleoir knows he's a control freak and that his level
of editorial intervention in run-of-the-mill stories is
colossal. Independent-mindedness or strength of character
wasn't a requirement. He wanted malleable journalists.

And, in the end, they weren't treated very well. One would
expect that when a business, which prides itself on its
left-wing, principled credentials, is closing, the process
would be handled with sensitivity and adequate consultation
and notice. Not a bit of it. Staff were given no warning.
The announcement of job losses was brutal. The Sun, the
Star, the News of the World or any right-wing rag couldn't
have done it better. While staff might be heading for the
dole queue, O'Muilleoir will still be driving his new top-
of-the-range Audi. Christy Moore could sing 'Ordinary Man'
in Teach Basil any day.

Daily Ireland didn't close because of a British plot. It
would have received state advertisements had it secured the
readership. It failed because nobody bought it and its
management don't have the integrity to admit that. It was
dull, tedious, unimaginative, and woefully laid-out. It
didn't sell anything near 10,000 copies. It's not just the
unionists and the Brits who can massage figures. Talk to
the newsagents in West Belfast, look at the real
circulation figures, and you'll see Daily Ireland's true
sales were 2,000-3,000.

The Anderstonstown News' Group have shown their
limitations. They can produce (with the help of substantial
British government funding) a local bi-weekly paper full of
advertisements, pictures of Granny Gormley's 80th and
Eimear's 18th, and local tittle-tattle. But that's the
height of it. It was their own delusions that they were
more talented, more innovative, better writers, and had
sharper business minds, that led them into the folly of
Daily Ireland. They over-reached themselves.

Danny Morrison would love to be sitting on BBC Newsnight's
couch on a Friday night discussing the arts with the
literati but he's not up to it. He's written a few poorly
selling-novels and a barely noticed play but he's going
nowhere fast. He's not even Martin Lynch.

The Provos have long yearned for literary and journalistic
success but it constantly evades them. The nearest them
came to it was Frank Connolly but then he sort of blew it
when he was filmed at Bogota airport with a false passport.

Anne Cadwallader has been a stalwart - remember how she
shook Freddie Scap's hand at that sham 'press conference'
when Provo propagandists needed to portray him as innocent
and uncontaminated? But Anne hasn't managed to grace the
pages of a quality national newspaper for almost 20 years

There hasn't been much for those who remain republicans to
smile about in recent years. But Daily Ireland's closure
offers a glimmer of light. It shows the Provos aren't
infallible. Their finger isn't always on the pulse. They
can read situations totally wrong.

They have thrived politically because they've had huge help
from the British — through Blair and the intelligent
services — and because the SDLP was so incompetent. Anti-
Agreement republicans, with their disorganisation and
bickering, have also greatly contributed to Provisional
success. But Daily Ireland's failure shows the first chink
in the armour.

In what turned out to be his last Daily Ireland column,
Danny Morrison ridicules 'dissident' republicans. "I
understand why dissident republicans bristle at being
called 'dissidents'", he writes. "After all, it inescapably
defines and anchors them as being dissident relative to a
much larger successful republican organisation with which
they disagree."

There is nothing dissident about 'dissident' republicans.
All they do is remain true to traditional republican
principles. But neither is there anything shameful in the
term 'dissident' if it means that you are not a propaganda-
parroting, spineless apparatchik, that you have spirit and
back-bone and are capable of independent thought.

Danny Morrison makes much unjustified and some justified
criticism of 'dissident' republicans. He derides them for
not being able to "sustain a propaganda newspaper or
magazine". Very true, Danny. Now, welcome to the club. And
at least dissidents had the self-respect not to go running
to the British government with a begging bowl.


Launch Of New Book On Bobby Sands

Antrim History And Heritage Event Notice Monday
September 11, 2006 17:57 by C

D'éirigh mé ar maidin

Earlier this year Denis O’Hearn launched his biography of
Bobby Sands, Nothing but an Unfinished Song, published by
Nation Books (New York) and Pluto Press (London). Even
before the book was published, however, Denis and former
hunger striker and writer, Laurence McKeown, were working
on an adaptation of the biography for younger readers. The
result was I arose this morning, published last month by
Beyond the Pale Publications and the Irish language
version, D’éirigh mé ar maidin, translated from the
original by Rath na Gaeilge and edited by Seán Mac
Aindreasa is published this week by Coiscéim. The book also
contains illustrations by Thomas ‘Dixie’ Elliot, a former
blanket man from Derry who shared a cell with Bobby Sands
for a time.

This coming Saturday, September 16th, a simultaneous launch
of both the English and Irish language versions will take
place in An Culturlann, Falls Road, at one o’clock, hosted
by An Ceathrú Póilí. Jake Jackson, former prisoner,
blanketman and friend of Bobby Sands will officially launch
the book.

Laurence McKeown described the book as another important
contribution to this year’s 25th anniversary events
commemorating the hunger strike. “The hunger strike period
is now being discussed in schools as part of the curriculum
so Denis and I thought it would be good to have a book
specially written for younger readers and in particular to
have it in Irish given that events in the H Blocks
contributed significantly to the revival of the language.
Many former prisoners are today Irish language teachers and
indeed, principals of Irish language schools, which is
testament to the role they have played upon release.”

Denis O’Hearn is equally delighted that his biography of
Bobby Sands will now reach a wider audience. “The original
biography asked how people like Bobby Sands become
activists and then strengthen their beliefs to the degree
that they willingly make tremendous sacrifices and do
extraordinary things. Writing for young people adds a new
dimension to this question because we directly addressed
the ethical dilemmas that Bobby and others faced in joining
the IRA and then doing things that were quite
controversial. Young people face hard choices nearly every
day and we hope this book will encourage them to think
about the consequences of the choices they make, even if
they are less dramatic than those that Bobby Sands faced.”

Copies of the book will be available on the day to be
signed by the authors and other former prisoners. Everyone
is welcome.

‘D’éirigh mé ar maidin…’
Beathaisnéis Roibeaird Uí Sheachnasaigh do Léitheoirí Níos
Curtha in oiriúint ag Denis O’Hearn agus Laurence McKeown
Léaráidí le Tomás “Dixie” Elliot

Saturday 16th September, 1pm
An Chultúrlann
Falls Road, Belfast


Memorial Unveiled To Ship Victims

A memorial has been unveiled ahead of the 90th anniversary
of a shipping disaster in Carlingford Lough which claimed
the lives of 97 people.

Passenger ship the Connemara crashed into a coal
transporter and sank at the mouth of the lough on 3
November 1916.

The memorial was unveiled on Sunday during a wreath-laying
and prayer service at Greenore, County Louth.

It was attended by descendents of victims and officials
from Holyhead, where the ship had been sailing to.

The coal ship, the Retriever, was on its way to Newry when
it sank.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/11 05:52:27 GMT


Belfast Gets A 'Gaeltacht' Quarter

Margaret Canning

Part of republican west Belfast has been designated a
Gaeltacht area in a drive to promote the city during the
centenary of its city hall.

It is hoped the Gaeltacht branding of the Falls Road will
bring more visitors to the district.

Belfast City Council has published a bilingual map of the
city - which includes trails through its "Cathedral",
"Queen's University", "Titanic" and now "Gaeltacht"
quarters - as part of the Celebrate Belfast festival.

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Maskey said the designation would
improve the area's image and attract tourists.

"Places like San Francisco have Little Italy and Chinatown,
so what's to stop Belfast having its Gaeltacht quarter?
Tourists coming to any country will expect to hear the
native language being spoken and in this respect the Falls
Road is no different from Donegal."

But DUP councillor Christopher Stalford warned the city
could soon boast "more quarters than make a whole".

However, Mr Stalford insisted he was not hostile to the
idea. "I just think we should have parity of esteem in
terms of the money which is spent on the Ulster-Scots

"In 1995 there were two Ulster Scots bodies but now there
are around 200. Anywhere else but Northern Ireland that
would be classed as a cultural revival, but instead we have
a huge funding gap between what is spent on Irish and what
is spent on Ulster Scots."

© The Irish Times


Anniversary Of The Saint Patrick's Battalion, Mexico.

International History And Heritage News Report
Tuesday September 12, 2006 03:44 by Fiachra Ó Luain

The Plaza de San Jacinto in San Angel is a must see for any
Irish traveller in Mexico. San Angel is one of the more
attractive part of the city with its cobbled streets and
colonial architecture. The best day to visit is Saturday
when there is an open market in around the edges of the
municipal garden. When you arrive go to the top of the
Plaza and look for the plaque. Today (September 12th) at
10am there will be an official cermony. The Irish Republic
will be represented by an embassy official and other Irish
people living in Mexico.

(This is just a quick notice and I don't pretend to be an
expert and the internet cafe is closing soon so please
excuse a lack of details.)

On the 12th September 1847 the US Army arrived at the Plaza
de San Jacinto en San Angel, Mexico in the what was then a
town to the south of Mexico City. They executed over a
hundred of members of the Saint Patrick's Battalion. Today,
as every year on this date Mexicans and Irish will join to
celebrate their memory in an offical ceremony.

An historian in my literature class recently claimed that
the legend of Catholic Irishmen changing sides from being
Yankee Bluecoats to Mexican Patriots when they saw how the
local Catholics were being treated might be flawed and the
reason for their changing sides was that the conditions
they were fighting in plus the Anti-Irish racism in the
ranks of the US Army of the time. She claimed that the
legend wasn't as romantic for Catholic Ireland as is made
out as there were people of all religious backgrounds who

Upon looking at the plaque you can make out many Catholic
and Protestant names, and even one name that is definitely
Jewish or Quaker (Heziakh something or other). In fact m
many of the people who switched sides with Captain John
O'Reilly weren't even Irish at all. There also figure many
German names so we can't claim a monopoly on the Battalion
either. The leader O'Reilly certainly was Irish though and
supposedly some of the Irish survivors of the various
battles ended up staying in Mexico.

Those who did die on the 12th of September 1847 were
staying in the house in San Jacinto that was given to them
by the Mexican Government. I can make out (or imagine)
bullet marks in the stonework that remind me of my first
visit to the GPO in Dublin.

The idea that thousands of miles away from Ireland Irish
people of different religious background found common
political purpose is inspiring for anybody who thinks of
Irishness as being beyond religious identity and for me the
Battalion is even more romantic. David Rovics' song reminds
us that it was just 50 years after Wolfe Tone and that
surely must have something to do with the spirit of the

Let me once again apologise for this rough pice of
information, I'm rushing. If anybody fings themselve in
Mexico city pleas email me and I'll show them around as I
live 5 minutes form the Plaza.

Fiachra Ó Luain


Sean O'Casey's Lost Play Resurfaces After 80 Years

Paul Arendt
Tuesday September 12, 2006
The Guardian

A lost play by the Irish dramatist Sean O'Casey has been
rediscovered more than 80 years after it disappeared. The
typewritten manuscript, complete with author's notes, of
The Cooing of Doves is the centrepiece of a huge collection
of Irish drama and memorabilia amassed by Leonard Milberg,
a 73-year-old financier and collector.

Milberg is donating the catalogue - said to be worth a six-
figure sum - to his alma mater, Princeton University in New
Jersey. "I'm very interested in scholarship," he says. "I
wasn't a very good student at college."

The collection includes more than 1,000 plays, photographs,
playbills and other works documenting the past 160 years of
Irish theatre. Among the highlights are an original
playbill for the 1956 production of The Quare Fellow by
Brendan Behan, and a French first edition of Samuel
Beckett's Waiting for Godot. However, the item that has
caused the most excitement among scholars of Irish drama is
O'Casey's unpublished, unstaged one-act play.

According to Milberg, O'Casey submitted The Cooing of Doves
to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1923, but it was never
performed, much to his disappointment. Parts of the work
were incorporated into The Plough and the Stars, which
premiered at the Abbey in 1926, but the original manuscript
disappeared, and even the author believed it was lost.

It finally reappeared in a sale at the Irish auction house
Mealy's, where it was bought by Howard Woolmer, a book
dealer acting for Milberg. The play's history is sketchy,
but it appears to have been owned for a period by an actor
called Eric Gorman, a member of the Abbey company and a
friend of O'Casey.

Princeton is celebrating the donation with a three-day
symposium dedicated to Irish drama next month. The event
will feature new productions of Synge's The Playboy of the
Western World and Brian Friel's Translations. Irish stars
Stephen Rea, Gabriel Byrne and Fiona Shaw are among those
expected to attend.

"There's nothing quite like this in Ireland itself," says
Princeton professor Paul Muldoon. "It's an extraordinary
resource for our local scholars, who are more and more
interested in Irish theatre. It turns out that anyone
interested in what's happening on Broadway, for example, is
by definition interested in Irish theatre."

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