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October 29, 2006

Martin McGuinness Predicts Peace

News About Ireland & The Irish

CH 10/29/06 Sinn Fein Spokesman Predicts Peace
GU 10/29/06 Hain 'Optimistic' Over Agreement
AP 10/28/06 DUP Say 11/24 Deadline Unlikely To Be Met *
BN 10/29/06 Pope's Visit Could Strain Peace Process: DUP
SB 10/29/06 Pope Visit To Ireland Now Unlikely
SB 10/29/06 Accounting To The Pope
IN 10/29/06 Solicitor Leaves Hamill Inquiry
SL 10/29/06 Ervine Comments Probed
UT 10/29/06 Hain Reacts To County Carlow Bomb Finds *
BB 10/29/06 Irish Police 'Foil Real IRA Plot'
SL 10/29/06 Dissidents Open Fire On Former Top Provo: Warning Shot
BB 10/26/06 IRA 'Must Become Old Boys Group'
TO 10/29/06 Agent Murder Probe Nears End
IN 10/29/06 Son Of ‘Mad Dog’ In Court Accused Of Bomb-Making
IN 10/29/06 Father Behind Dozens Of Troubles Murders
BN 10/28/06 Support For Fianna Fáil Grows In New Opinion Poll
TO 10/29/06 Opin: Paisley Is In No Way A Democrat
BT 10/28/06 Opin: Decision Yet To Be Made On Key Issues
IN 10/28/06 Opin: Dr ‘No’ Paisley Surprises The Faithful With A ‘Yes’
SB 10/29/06 Opin: North Could Become An Unlikely Election Issue
EN 10/29/06 Galway Rich In Charms Of Coastal Ireland
IN 10/28/06 First Catholic British Ambassador To The Vatican
SB 10/29/06 Riverdance Duo’s New Musical Takes $7m In Adv Ticket Sales
SB 10/29/06 1916 Medals Sold For Stg£10,100


Sinn Fein Spokesman Predicts Peace

Northern Ireland’s joint rule promising, says McGuinness

By Sherri Borden Colley Staff Reporter

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator, hopes an
administration with Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian
Paisley as first minister and him as deputy first minister
will lead to success in peace talks planned for November
between Britain and Northern Ireland.

"Ian Paisley has clearly indicated to share power with Sinn
Fein and we in Sinn Fein are very determined to try and
make this process work," Mr. McGuinness said at a dinner
Friday in Halifax to gain support for Sinn Fein and the
Irish peace process.

"Effectively, the plan is that Ian Paisley will be
designated as first minister of the northern executive on
the 24th of next month. (Sinn Fein Leader) Gerry Adams has
seen fit to nominate me as deputy first minister. These
positions are equal positions.

"So, effectively, many people are probably surprised by
this — and nobody more so than myself. I consider myself as
joint prime minister of the North of Ireland."

The Democratic Unionists are the major Protestant party;
Sinn Fein is the major Roman Catholic party.

As part of a Canadian tour, Mr. McGuinness was guest
speaker at the sixth annual Friends of Sinn Fein (Canada)
Inc. dinner at the Holiday Inn. The $100-a-plate dinner was
sponsored by the Irish Association of Nova Scotia.

Mr. McGuinness last spoke in Halifax in 2004. Two years
ago, he told the audience, things were not as hopeful.
After the Good Friday peace accord of 1998, Mr. Paisley was
"very determined to smash that agreement."

Fortunately, he said, that didn’t happen, and the accord
became a template for moving forward.

"Ian Paisley, it appears, has come to accept that the Good
Friday agreement is the only way forward and that he and
his party are going to have to take their place with the
rest of us in building a better future for our children,"
he said. "I’d have to say I’m overjoyed about that."

The accord granted self-government to Northern Ireland for
the first time since 1972 and established a 108-member
assembly. Mr. McGuinness was minister of education until
the assembly was suspended in 2002.

Last September, the Irish Republican Army decommissioned
all its arms, bringing an end to the organization’s
decades-old military violence against the British in
Northern Ireland. At that point, published reports say the
IRA had killed some 1,800 people and maimed thousands more
in hopes of forcing Northern Ireland out of the United

In 2001, at an inquiry into the 1972 Bloody Sunday
shootings, Mr. McGuinness admitted publicly for the first
time that he had been second-in-command of the Derry
Brigade of the IRA.

In an interview Friday after his talk, Mr. McGuinness, as
he has in previous reports, reiterated that he left the IRA
in the mid-1970s.

"I told the Bloody Sunday tribunal that I ended membership
with the IRA at the end of 1974," Mr. McGuinness said. His
past IRA involvement has not in any way "affected my
ability to make political decisions in furtherance of the
peace process."

But as late as last year, the Irish government identified
three of Sinn Fein’s top figures as members of the IRA
command. In February 2005, the Associated Press reported
that the Irish government alleged that Sinn Fein leaders
were involved in the IRA’s alleged multimillion-dollar
robbery of a Belfast bank and in IRA money-laundering.

During a live debate on a national radio station, Justice
Minister Michael McDowell identified Mr. Adams; Mr.
McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s deputy leader; and Martin Ferris as
IRA army council members, the Associated Press reported.

At the time, Mr. McGuinness, who served two prison
sentences for IRA membership in the mid-1970s, rejected
McDowell’s accusations and called them "absolutely false."



Hain 'Optimistic' Over Agreement

Press Association
Sunday October 29, 2006 12:28 PM

A senior Government minister expects the Rev Ian Paisley
and Martin McGuinness to be appointed Northern Ireland's
First and Deputy First Ministers next month.

Following doubts from the Democratic Unionists that the St
Andrews Agreement's November 24 deadline for the
appointment of First and Deputy First Ministers would be
met, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said he was
still optimistic the province was on course for devolution
next March.

As Northern Ireland's political leaders also prepared to
discuss with Chancellor Gordon Brown on Wednesday a multi-
billion package to bolster a new power-sharing executive,
Mr Hain stressed the importance of them presenting a united
front at the meeting in London.

The Northern Ireland Secretary said: "We obviously have a
number of difficult details to work through between now and
November 10 when the parties have to indicate whether they
accept the St Andrews Agreement or not.

"We are all still in the business of trying to meet
deadlines and secure the restoration of devolved government
by March 26.

"I remain optimistic because I think nobody wants the
Assembly to dissolve. Nobody wants us to move to Plan B
because Plan B is going to be 100 miles worse than Plan A.

"I believe the momentum is still there for devolution on
March 26 and I expect the appointment of First and Deputy
First Ministers on November 24.

"There are a number of fixed deadlines in the St Andrews
process. People need to make their minds up because I am
due to present legislation on November 21. I will not
introduce it unless it is clear we have gone a long way

"That means people signing up to the twin pillars of
support for policing and the rule of law and for power
sharing with each other."

The Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein
have in recent days been consulting their members about
whether they should agree to implement the St Andrews
Agreement or not. If they decide by the British and Irish
Government's November 10 deadline to commit themselves to
the deal, Sinn Fein will have to call a special party
conference to change its policy on policing.


Protestants Say Nov. 24 Deadline For Power-Sharing Vote In
N. Ireland Unlikely To Be Met *

By: Shawn Pogatchnik - Associated Press

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- A key deadline for Protestant
and Roman Catholic politicians in Northern Ireland to vote
on power-sharing is unlikely to be met, the deputy leader
of the major Protestant-backed party said Saturday.

A plan unveiled by the prime ministers of Britain and
Ireland this month calls for the Northern Ireland Assembly
to elect the top two figures in a Catholic-Protestant
administration by Nov. 24. Otherwise, both leaders said,
the 108-member assembly will be shut down.

Power-sharing is the central goal of the 1998 peace accord
for this British territory, and there was no immediate
comment from Britain or Ireland about the comment from
Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party.

The new plan calls on Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army-
linked party that represents most Catholics, to accept the
legitimacy of Northern Ireland's police force as part of
the deal.

But it doesn't say precisely what Sinn Fein leaders must do
before Nov. 24, when Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian
Paisley and Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness are
supposed to be elected as joint leaders of the future

That has left Northern Ireland's 13-year-old peace process
once again deadlocked in an argument over which side must
move first.

The Protestants of the Democratic Unionists say they will
not vote for revived power-sharing until Sinn Fein pledges
to support the forces of law and order in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein insists it won't convene a special party
conference to drop its anti-police policy until weeks or
months after the Nov. 24 vote.

Because of this, Robinson said Saturday, he doubted the
vote would happen by Nov. 24.

"I would be very surprised because there seems to be every
indication that Sinn Fein will not be ready," said
Robinson, who demanded that McGuinness pledge unconditional
support to the police as part of his oath of office.

Police and politicians also worry that IRA dissidents
opposed to the peace process could stage an attack before
Nov. 24 in hopes of derailing a Democratic Unionist-Sinn
Fein deal.

Underscoring the threat, soldiers in Ireland safely
dismantled a bomb Saturday in an isolated farmhouse in that
nation's southeast. The Irish Defense Forces said the bomb
consisted of powdered explosives from shotgun pellets mixed
with gasoline inside a natural-gas cylinder.

Police said they made no arrests, but suspected dissidents
from the Real IRA faction had been test-firing new bomb
designs in the area.

Robinson said his party would not repeat the negotiating
mistakes of Northern Ireland's once-dominant Ulster
Unionist Party, which lost Protestant support by deciding
to share power with Sinn Fein before any IRA disarmament.

Robinson said the primary lesson of the previous failed
power-sharing coalition was that Sinn Fein must be tied
down in negotiations and given no room to maneuver. If that
meant missing the Nov. 24 deadline, so be it, he said.

"As far as we're concerned, there will be no jumping first
by the Democratic Unionist Party," he said.

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Pope's Visit Could Strain Peace Process: DUP

29/10/2006 - 09:20:19

The DUP said a visit by the Pope to the North next year
could put strain on the party's recent policy of more
openness to the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Sean Brady revealed yesterday that he has
invited Pope Benedict to visit Ireland - and there is
speculation that it could take place in April shortly after
the final deadline for devolution.

However DUP sources said it would create a very difficult
situation for Ian Paisley if he was asked to meet the Pope
soon after becoming first minister.


Pope Visit To Ireland Now Unlikely

29 October 2006 By Kieron Wood

Pope Benedict is likely to turn down the Catholic bishops’
invitation to visit Ireland, following an unprecedented
breach of protocol by an Irish bishop in Rome.

Pope Benedict is likely to turn down the Catholic bishops’
invitation to visit Ireland, following an unprecedented
breach of protocol by an Irish bishop in Rome. Ireland’s
Catholic bishops have been in Rome for two weeks to report
to Pope Benedict on the state of the Irish Catholic Church.

Following a private meeting last Thursday between the Pope
and Bishop Denis Brennan, the newly-appointed Bishop of
Ferns, the bishop issued a statement through his press
office in Wexford about the Pope’s remarks.

Traditionally, bishops do not disclose the details of
private conversations with the Pope.

Yesterday, the Pope again referred to ‘‘heart-rending cases
of sexual abuse of minors’’, and said these were all the
more tragic when the abuser was a cleric.

‘‘The wounds caused by such acts run deep, and it is an
urgent task to rebuild confidence and trust where these
have been damaged’’ and to ensure healing of those

Referring to the statement issued by the diocese of Ferns,
one senior Vatican source said that he had never heard of
such a breach of protocol in more than 30 years in Rome.

‘‘This is just never, never done," he said. ‘‘It has caused
immense annoyance and was a very stupid thing to do. Pope
Benedict may not have wished to refer to Ferns publicly in
his speech to the bishops yesterday, or he may have wished
to approach the matter in a different way.

‘‘The press release issued by the diocese of Ferns has
painted the Pope into a corner and the Pope does not like
to be painted into a corner. I think that, following that
incident, it is very unlikely that the Pope will now accept
any invitation from the bishops to visit Ireland."

The former apostolic administrator of Ferns diocese, Bishop
Eamonn Walsh, who met Pope Benedict last Thursday, also
revealed details of his discussions with the Pope on the
issue of clerical sex abuse. He said that, in his
experience, the Vatican had been cooperative and helpful.


Accounting To The Pope

29 October 2006 By Kieron Wood

The Irish Catholic bishops have ended their two-week ad
limina visit to Rome to report to Pope Benedict on the
state of the Irish Church.

The Irish Catholic bishops have ended their two-week ad
limina visit to Rome to report to Pope Benedict on the
state of the Irish Church. The pilgrimage concluded with a
meeting in the Vatican yesterday between the Pope and all
the bishops, at which Benedict delivered a speech setting
out his concerns about the Irish Church, based on reports
from Vatican officials and his discussions with individual

Bishops are supposed to meet the Pope every five years to
deliver a report on their dioceses, but the Irish bishops
have not been to Rome for seven years, partly due to the
poor health of Pope John Paul II. During that period, the
Irish Church has been hit by a series of scandals and has
seen Mass attendance plummet, vocations collapse and
religious practice dwindle.

Altogether, 32 diocesan and auxiliary bishops, representing
the country’s 26 dioceses, made the pilgrimage, as well as
Cardinal Desmond Connell. Bishop Fiachra O Ceallaigh, a
Dublin auxiliary bishop who is recovering from surgery, w
as the only bishop not to go to Rome.

Several months ago, each bishop sent a ‘quinquennial
report’ to the Vatican setting out the statistical
situation of the Church in his diocese.

During the visit, the bishops discussed the situation of
the Church in Ireland with officials in nine Vatican
Congregations, which are responsible for issues such as
liturgy, Catholic education and vocations.

They also had talks with the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith (CDF), which was formerly run by Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope. The CDF is responsible for
dealing with reports of clerical sex abuse and with
complaints about abuse of the sacraments.

The bishops also met senior staff in the offices of eight
pontifical councils, including those dealing with the
family, ecumenicism, lay people, migrants and justice and

The bishops of the southern and northern provinces met the
Pope during the first week, while the bishops of the west
and east were with him last week.

Church spokesman Martin Long said that Cardinal Connell was
in Rome on a private visit and would not be taking part in
the ad limina, but the retired Archbishop of Dublin spent
time with the Pope last Thursday and also took part in all
the public ceremonies of the ad limina.

Each bishop spent time alone with the Pope. Traditionally
these meetings are private and the bishops do not reveal
details of the private conversations, but - in a unique
breach of precedent - the new Bishop of Ferns, Bishop Denis
Brennan, is sued a statement through his diocesan press
office in Wexford setting out details of the Pope’s
remarks. Vatican officials were stunned by this breach of

The four archbishops - of Armagh, Dublin, Tuam and Cashel -
also presided at Masses in Rome’s major basilicas: St
Peter’s, St Mary Major, St John Lateran and St Paul’s.

Three of the archbishops - Sean Brady of Armagh, Michael
Neary of Tuam and Dermot Clifford of Cashel - opened their
liturgies in Irish.

Diarmuid Martin of Dublin surprised worshippers by
welcoming them in Italian, perhaps reflecting his long
service in Rome.

On Friday night, the bishops concelebrated Mass at the
Basilica of San Clemente, which is in the care of the Irish
Dominicans. Archbishop Martin did not appear at the Mass.
When asked why the Archbishop of Dublin was not present,
Archbishop Brady said he had no idea. The main celebrant at
the Mass, Bishop Laurence Forristal of Ossory, said the
bishops were now suffering from ‘‘ad limina fatigue’’.

They will return to Ireland this week.

The bishops had many issues to discuss, as we outline below
in an examination of the main issues facing the Church.


Solicitor Leaves Hamill Inquiry

By Bimpe Fatogun

THE Robert Hamill Inquiry team has denied progress has been
held back by the resignation of its lead solicitor.

Patricia Fitzmaurice left the post two months ago – just
six months into the job – although details have only
emerged now.

She has not yet been replaced, although another solicitor
is "acting up" to the role in the interim.

There is no indication when the post will be filled.

The latest setback for the inquiry follows controversy over
its remit and delays due to court proceedings.

Mr Hamill, a 25-year-old Catholic, died after being
attacked by a loyalist mob in Portadown, Co Armagh in 1997.

Armed RUC officers were in a nearby Land Rover at the time
and have been accused of failing to intervene. No-one has
been convicted over the murder.

The inquiry, chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Edwin
Jowitt, was one of four recommended by former Canadian
judge Peter Cory after he investigated a number of cases
involving allegations of collusion.

It was set up to determine if police committed any wrongful
act or omission.

Twenty former police officers asked to appear have mounted
a legal challenge after the inquiry ruled they could not
give their evidence anonymously, leaving a question mark
over the date when public hearings can start.

But the inquiry has insisted that despite the loss of its
lead solicitor, it is "keen for the full hearing to
commence as soon as possible".

When court proceedings and any linked appeals have ended,
all parties entitled to documents will be given a further
three months to prepare before the hearings begin.

The provisional date is the end of March 2007 or early
April 2007 – although this remains subject to court

The inquiry has insisted that the resignation of Ms
Fitzmaurice, an English lawy-er who has worked with the
Inland Revenue, has not adversely affected its work.

"Sir Edwin Jowitt, the Chairman of the inquiry, welcomes
the opportunity to make it clear that he is satisfied that
Judi Kemish, who is the acting solicitor to the inquiry, is
carrying out the functions of the solicitor to the Inquiry
perfectly satisfactorily," it said.

"He is pleased to say that the progress of the inquiry has
not in any way been held back by the departure of the
previous solicitor to the inquiry. The post will officially
be filled in due course."

The inquiry will assess whether or not the RUC "could or
should have done more" to avert Mr Hamill’s death on the
night he was murdered.


Ervine Comments Probed

By Alan Murray
29 October 2006

Police have confirmed they are examining the reported
admission by PUP leader David Ervine that he is still a
member of the outlawed UVF.

Mr Ervine, who served five-and-a-half years in jail after
being caught with a bomb in east Belfast in 1974, admitted
in a recent newspaper interview that he played another role
in the UVF between 1988 and 1991 and that he "never
resigned" from the terror group.

That prompted a demand by north Belfast man Raymond McCord
for police to prosecute the PUP leader for belonging to an
illegal organisation.

Mr McCord's son, Raymond jnr, was savagely murdered by the
UVF's notorious Mount Vernon unit in November 1997.

A clarification from an Assistant Chief Constable to
independent councillor Tommy Kirkham a fortnight ago, that
any admission or credible evidence that someone was a
member of an illegal organisation would have to be pursued,
was welcomed by Raymond McCord yesterday.

He said: "I welcome the indication from the PSNI that
information that someone is a member of a terrorist
organisation has to be followed up and I hope that is
happening in relation to David Ervine's apparent admission
that he is still in the UVF.

"I will be in touch with Assistant Chief Constable Peter
Sheridan's office in the next few days to see whether they
have interviewed David Ervine and the reporter he spoke to.
I won't let this rest. I will be meeting the Police
Ombudsman later in the week and I will be mentioning it to
Mrs O'Loan," he said.

In a brief statement, a police spokesman said the complaint
made by Mr McCord "is presently being examined by the


Hain Reacts To County Carlow Bomb Finds *

Hard-line dissident republican groups will become more
isolated if Northern Ireland's politicians restore power
sharing next March, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State
has claimed.

By:Press Association

As fears mounted in Northern Ireland about a new campaign
to destabilise the restoration of devolution following the
discovery of bombs in the Irish Republic, Peter Hain urged
people not to let extremist republicans succeed.

"I agree with the Police Service of Northern Ireland`s
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde that dissidents are seeking
by terror and criminality to destabilise the restoration of
devolved government and we must not let them," he said.

"These groups are being targeted and they are losing.

"Nevertheless it is important we take every possible step
to clamp down on them and one of the biggest antidotes to
dissident activity would be to restore devolved government
next March.

"Then they would be completely isolated. That is a view I
share with the Chief Constable and the security forces.
They are already small and marginalised but they would be
even more marginalised by that."

Police in the Irish Republic believe they may have foiled a
Real IRA bomb plot following the discovery of a device and
explosives were found near Bunclody in Kilbranish, Mount
Leinster in County Carlow on Friday night.

Gardai called the Army bomb disposal unit to the scene

A spokesman for the Republic`s Defence Forces said due to
the lack of light the area was secured overnight. Members
of the Army EOD team made the devices safe at first light
yesterday morning without a controlled explosion.

The spokesman said the device consisted of a hollowed out
gas cylinder, with improvised explosives.

"There was a tube coming from it which indicated it was
primed for detonation. It indicated it was ready to use in
the near future," he said.

It is believed the Real IRA may have been testing bombs in
the area ahead of the deadline of November 24 when
Democratic Unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley and Sinn
Fein`s Martin McGuinness are due to be appointed Northern
Ireland`s First and Deputy First Ministers at Stormont if
their parties accept the St Andrews Agreement.

Fears have been raised over the past week of a developing
campaign by dissident republicans who have been responsible
for a series of incendiary bomb attacks on DIY stores
across Northern Ireland.

Nationalist SDLP deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said
it was clear the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA were
determined to create as much havoc as possible in the run
up to November 24 and Christmas.

"It is unfortunate these crazy people feel, somehow, in
their warped minds they are furthering the interests of the
Irish people by creating havoc and disruption," the South
Belfast MP said.

"We have had enough havoc over the last 40 years to last
forever. What we have got to do now is move on politically
and economically.

"I would urge the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
and gardai to ruthlessly confront any disruptive activity."

A Sinn Fein spokeswoman said their party`s position
remained the same.

"Our position is clear that people behind any activity such
as this should stop and stop immediately," she said.

Ulster Unionist deputy leader Danny Kennedy welcomed the
bomb find.

The Newry and Armagh Assembly member said: "It points to a
level of threat which appears to be increasing either from
the Real IRA or the Continuity IRA."

He said the trouble from dissidents appeared to be
gathering some kind of momentum.

"It is very important gardai and the PSNI are on alert in
the run up to November 24 and the Christmas period," he


Irish Police 'Foil Real IRA Plot'

Irish police believe they have disrupted a bomb plot aimed
at hurting the Northern Ireland political process.

The Republic's national broadcaster, RTE, reported the plot
was aimed at disrupting the 24 November deadline for a deal
on power sharing.

A large amount of explosives were found in Kilbranish,
Mount Leinster, County Carlow on Friday night and made safe
by Irish Defence Forces on Saturday.

It is believed the Real IRA were testing bombs in the area,
RTE said.

A Defence Forces spokesman said the devices consisted of a
gas cylinder packed with powdered explosives from shotgun
pellets mixed with petrol.

Earlier this week it was reported that dissident
republicans were preparing to launch a major gun or bomb
attack in a bid to derail political talks.

Additional resources have been deployed to a number of
areas across Northern Ireland by the Police Service of
Northern Ireland to counter the threat.

A number of individuals have also been warned that they
could be under threat.

Successive reports by the Independent Monitoring Commission
have said that both the Real and Continuity IRA are
recruiting members, trying to acquire weapons and
identifying possible targets, including police officers and
loyalist paramilitaries.

Earlier this year, the police intercepted a 250lb bomb in
Lurgan, and also foiled a plot to import a large quantity
of weapons, which included machine guns and ground to air

In recent months, there has been a series of firebomb
attacks on commercial targets, a number of so-called
punishment attacks and death threats have been issued.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/28 14:08:29 GMT


Warning Shot

By Joe Oliver
29 October 2006

A former top Provo was forced to turn the other cheek when
dissident republicans opened fire on his home.

The shotgun blast was the launch pad for gunmen to begin
working their way through a list of teenagers and young men
accused of anti-social behaviour.

To date four have been shot in north and west Belfast by
Continuity IRA enforcers, while a number of others under
threat have fled the province.

The attack on the ex-IRA man's home, which has not
previously been reported, happened in the heart of the
Ardoyne area of the city last month.

The blast shattered windows at the front of his house, and
although no one was injured, one source told us: "It was a
warning to a younger relative, but they were also putting
down a marker.

"If such an incident had happened even 18 months ago the
perpetrators would have been signing their own death
warrants. This guy is a very senior member of the
republican movement - the fact there was no response shows
the Provos are no longer in business."

Another republican source explained: "People in nationalist
areas are plagued by anti-social elements running riot.

"When they go to the IRA or Sinn Fein they're told there's
nothing they can do.

"Nobody wants the dissidents but they're the only people
willing to deal with these young hoods who are involved in
break-ins, joyriding and selling drugs to young kids.

"After disarmament there was a vacuum in nationalist areas
that really should have been filled by the PSNI. But the
cops will do nothing to deal with these gangs, whereas the
dissidents have stepped in and are even advertising their
services in statements."

Senior police officers believe the Continuity IRA is using
'punishment' attacks in a bid to get a firm foothold in
nationalist and republican communities.

Conor Weldon (18) lost his right leg after being blasted
with a shotgun on the Falls Road last month and a 17-year-
old victim from Ardoyne was last week treated in hospital
for serious injuries.

He was hit in the head, back and leg from a shotgun
discharged at close range.


IRA 'Must Become Old Boys Group'

Conservative leader David Cameron said he wants the IRA to
become an "old boys association".

Mr Cameron, speaking during a visit to Northern Ireland,
said he would prefer if "the IRA went away".

However, he said it "would be acceptable if they eventually
became an old boys organisation".

During the Troubles, the IRA killed several Tory
politicians and came close to killing Conservative leader
Margaret Thatcher in Brighton in 1984.

Mr Cameron, on his second trip to Northern Ireland within a
year, was speaking during a visit to the PSNI training

He went on to warn that Sinn Fein must not only join the
Northern Ireland Policing Board but "must work fully with
the PSNI".

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde and Mr Cameron held talks
during which they discussed the row over the government's
refusal to fully fund a new college outside Cookstown.

Asked afterwards if a Conservative government would provide
the money, he said he could not make promises ahead of
budgets and spending rounds.

Mr Cameron has also met the Institute of Directors and the
sisters of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney who are
continuing a fight for justice.

He also met members of the Ulster Farmers Union which was
highlighting its 'Cut it out' campaign.

UFA Chief Executive Clarke Black said: "We spoke to Mr
Cameron about our campaign and the ridiculous level of
bureaucracy which is weighing down farmers across Northern

"During his speech, Mr Cameron highlighted the need to
reduce government bureaucracy and as such we are delighted
that he was in tune with our own feelings."

Mr Cameron's last visit to Northern Ireland was in
December, a few days after he was elected leader when he
pledged to promote the peace process.

BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent Gareth Gordon
said: "Since then, the Northern Ireland Conservatives have
had a renaissance of a kind with some defections from the
Ulster Unionists.

"They say their membership here now stands at 350."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/26 16:27:16 GMT


Agent Murder Probe Nears End

Liam Clarke

POLICE in Northern Ireland investigating the possible
involvement of a British agent in two murders told a
victim’s family they are near the end of their inquiries.

Last Thursday PSNI detectives interviewed residents in the
Derrybeg estate in Newry to gather evidence on the murder
of Eoin Morley, a member of the Irish People’s Liberation
Organisation shot dead by the IRA in April 1990. Officers
also visited the Killeen border checkpoint in Armagh where
Ranger Cyril Smith died in a proxy or "human bomb" attack
that year.

The killings were described in Unsung Hero, a book by Kevin
Fulton, the pseudonym of the agent who infiltrated the IRA
on behalf of RUC Special Branch and British Military

Fulton is living in a safe house in England. The house was
raided last July by police and manuscripts were removed.
Detectives also visited the London offices of John Blake,
his publisher, and Jim Nally, who helped him with the book.

Fulton describes Morley’s murder in the book and says that
he helped to kidnap a civilian who was forced to drive a
bomb to the place where Smith died.

Ivan Morley, Eoin’s brother, said: "Police told us the
investigation is in its final stages."


Son Of ‘Mad Dog’ In Court Accused Of Bomb-Making

By Staff Reporter

The son of a murdered top republican paramilitary appeared
in court yesterday charged with bomb-making offences.

Declan McGlinchey (30) stood accused of constructing and
possessing improvised explosives discovered at a garage
yard in Bellaghy, Co Derry, in July with intent to endanger

A detective told Derry Magis-trates Court Mr McGlinchey’s
DNA was found on the device.

The accused, whose father Dom-inic ‘Mad Dog’ McGlinchey was
in charge of the INLA until his murder in 1994, denies both

As friends and family packed into the courtroom, Mr McGlin-
chey, a labourer from Gulladuff Road, Bellaghy, spoke to
confirm his name and that he understood the charges against

Wearing a dark sweatshirt with a Celtic FC badge, he
listened as a detective constable told the court he had
replied "no" when both offences were put to him at Antrim
police station.

During cross-examination the officer confirmed to a defence
solicitor that Mr McGlinchey had made a statement denying
the allegations.

Challenged to reveal the evidence against the defendant, he
said DNA forensic evidence had been found on the device.
But he agreed with the solicitor that this had been
discovered on a piece of tape connected to the explosives.

"The sole evidence in this case is that there is DNA found
on a piece of tape," the lawyer said.

He said his client had made a statement that he worked in
the construction industry where he would come into contact
with various equipment on building sites.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear before
Magherafelt Magistrates Court on November 14.


Father Behind Dozens Of Troubles Murders

By Staff Reporter

Dominic McGlinchey was one of the most notorious killers of
the Troubles and is believed to have ordered or been in-
volved in dozens of murders.

Born in 1954 to a Co Derry family with a strong republican
background, he was in-terned as a 17-year-old and spent 10
months in Ballykelly and Long Kesh prison camps.

In 1973 McGlinchey, called ‘Mad Dog’ by the press, joined
an active ‘independent republican’ paramilitary gang in
south Derry after serving time for arms offences.

He was to be imprisoned again in 1977, this time in the
Republic, after being found guilty of hijacking a Garda car
in Co Monaghan.

During his four-and-a-half-year sentence he switched all-
egiance from the Provisional IRA to the INLA after a
dispute with the IRA leadership.

Joining the INLA in 1982 as ‘operations officer’ for south
Derry, McGlinchey rose to ‘chief of staff’ within six

During his tenure the INLA killed 17 people in the Drop-
pin’ Well pub in Ballykelly .

McGlinchey was arrested on St Patrick’s Day 1984 in Co
Clare and extradited to the north where he was found guilty
of murder and given a life sentence.

The conviction was overturned by the court of appeal in
October 1984 and McGlin-chey was returned to the Republic
to serve 10 years, again for firearm offences.

His wife Mary, with whom he had three children, was
murdered during an INLA feud in 1987.

She was also an influential figure within the INLA and is
thought to have been in-volved in a number of killings.

She was shot dead as she bathed her two children, in-
cluding her son Declan, who was yesterday charged with
explosives offences, in their Dundalk home

McGlinchey was released from prison in 1993.

In February 1994 he was shot dead – also, it is understood,
during an INLA feud – while making a call from a phone box
in Drogheda.


Support For Fianna Fáil Grows In New Opinion Poll

28/10/2006 - 20:16:12

According to figures due to be published tomorrow morning,
support for Fianna Fáil has jumped a massive six percentage
points to rest at 39%.

The PDs have dropped one to three per cent, however support
from Fine Gael is down two and support for Labour is down
four to rest at 23 and 10% respectively.

Sinn Féin and the Greens have gained two and one percent

Political Correspondent with the Sunday Business Post, Pat
Leahy said the six percent gain for Fianna Fáil is a big

"That's a huge swing in the space of just a month. It
coincides with the so-called Bertiegate revelations of the
Taoiseach's finances in 1993 and 1994," he said.

"It seems there has been a public backlash, not against the
Taoiseach or against Fianna Fáil but against the main
opposition parties."

Opin: Paisley Is In No Way A Democrat

IT is either out of ignorance of the facts, or with tongue
firmly rooted in cheek, that Dick Keane lauds Ian Paisley’s
democratic credentials (Letters, last week). Not much
evidence of Paisley’s democratic pedigree when he thwarted
the British and Irish governments in 1974 and 1985 in their
attempts to bring peace with the Sunningdale and Anglo
Irish Agreements, not to mention his refusal to accept the
Good Friday agreement, which was electorally endorsed by
the vast majority of the people.

As for his "steadfast refusal to engage with terrorists",
that Paisley worked alongside loyalist terrorists since the
mid- 1960s is common knowledge, as is his pivotal role in
the formation of what later became two paramilitary forces,
the Third Force and Ulster Resistance. That his anti-
Catholic rhetoric has inspired murder is also beyond
dispute, as perpetrators have indicated. It is patently
obvious that Paisley’s transition to democracy will be
equally as momentous as that of Sinn Fein, and like Sinn
Fein’s, Paisley’s transition is still incomplete.

Tony Fearon
Portadown, Co Armagh

NO THANKS: Keane says "all democrats . . . should be
profoundly grateful to Ian Paisley" Why? Is it because of
his silence in the wake of the conviction of the former DUP
Coleraine mayor Dessie Stewart for vote fraud? Is it
because he collaborated with loyalist paramilitaries in
1974 in the so-called Ulster Workers’ Council? Is it
because he helped establish Ulster Resistance, which later
imported weapons that killed elected representatives north
and south of the border? Or is it because he supported the
actions of the RUC in killing the first victims of the
Troubles in 1969?

Cllr Dessie Ellis
Finglas, Dublin 11


Opin: Decision Yet To Be Made On Key Issues

28 October 2006

It is no surprise that the DUP are hardening up their
attitude to the St Andrews Agreement in the days before
their formal response is due on November 10. Much of the
detail was lacking from what was clearly an agreement
between the two governments, rather than anything accepted
by the political parties, so everyone is exerting the
maximum pressure to get the best deal to recommend to their

At this stage there is no certainty that the DUP will be
ready to endorse the Agreement, as Peter Robinson was
warning in a Belfast Telegraph interview yesterday. In his
words, it is still "work in progress", requiring more
clarity from the government, as well as unambiguous
delivery on matters like policing and support for the rule
of law from Sinn Fein.

For their part, the republicans need to be sure that the
DUP are serious about power-sharing, and are not using the
policing issue to postpone the day when Ian Paisley and
Martin McGuinness should be nominated as First and Deputy
First Minister - November 24. The parties have to give
their responses by next Friday, to allow time for the
necessary legislation to be passed at Westminster, to give
effect to the St Andrews Agreement and any changes made to

So everything is up for negotiation, as the parties head
into the final weeks, and so many issues are undecided -
including the size of Gordon Brown's peace dividend - that
a lengthier consultation period may be necessary. As far as
the DUP are concerned, the question is not whether they are
ready to share power now - they are not - but whether the
"Sinn Fein of tomorrow" will have changed enough, and
delivered enough, to be trusted with places in a Northern
Ireland executive.

The one determination of Peter Robinson, and presumably of
his colleagues, is that terrorism does not win. If he
judges that democracy has won, and that Sinn Fein have
passed the test, he admits he will "have to swallow hard".
It would be a difficult day - just as he recognises that
there would be no street parties in the Bogside because Ian
Paisley was First Minister.

There must be serious doubts that the credibility gaps,
between parties which are not even on speaking terms, can
be closed within the next few weeks. Yet there is a
readiness to debate and to argue that was absent before the
progress at St Andrews. Sinn Fein may prevaricate on the
timing of its police initiative and the DUP may hesitate
over the transfer of policing and justice powers, but both
know the penalties for disagreement - and the boost that it
would provide for republican dissidents.


Opin: Dr ‘No’ Paisley Surprises The Faithful With A ‘Yes’

By James Kelly

The clock is ticking away minute by minute to the midnight
political time bomb due to go off in a fortnight. Dr ‘No’
Paisley hurrying to the crossroads under fire from the big
guns at St Andrews, has suddenly decided to say "yes" to
the new agreement, which his critics sneer is the Good
Friday Agreement for slow learners.

During the past few days down in the bunker with his
kitchen cabinet of Ian junior and her ladyship, back home
from the House of Lords, he has penned an extraordinary
apologia to be served up to his party’s grass roots,
warning them that the crisis has come.

No more backsliding and excuses; the governments in London
and Dublin are demanding an answer:

"get-on-or-get-off" the chariot of fire. Devolution at
Stormont or political suicide. The document, thrown to the
wilder elements like a bone to the dog, will shock them
profoundly in the loyalist regions of Tyrone, Fermanagh and

Some of them, deeply suspicious since the proceedings at St
Andrews, have been giving voice to their fears at party
meetings and in letters to the press. They ask has the boss
lost his marbles or has he been influenced by the Ulster
Unionist traitors and turncoats who have rushed in to join
the DUP since Trimble fled the House of Lords?

To all such waverers, including some leading party
spokesmen like the extremist parson, the Rev William
McCrea, who has been burbling on about the "agreement" and
laying down new conditions, Paisley is now issuing a
warning that this is a vital time in their history.

"This is not the time to withdraw" he says, "this is the
time to withstand".

If they reject the agreement a number of consequences would
follow, including a greater role for the government of the
Republic in the affairs of Northern Ireland.

In order to make their flesh creep he follows this with the
outlandish prophesy that while Sinn Fein would not be in
government in Northern Ireland they may have a role in the
Republic’s government while devolution is unlikely to
return here for a number of years. Other consequences would
include no local control of education. And issues like
water charging or reform of the rating system and allow
Sinn Fein "off the hook" on law and order.

What is his solution to all this if he still funks power
sharing with Sinn Fein?

Nothing but a weak-kneed, "At this vital time in our
history true unionists must prevail and give leadership to
our province." Wow!

In the end we are told the party wants a response to this
document which might go down in history as the last will
and testament of a party whose leader led them to the
crossroads where the road ahead is marked "no entry". The
address for a response is given – by November 8 to 91
Dundela Avenue, Belfast, BT4 3BU, by fax on 028 9065 2480
or email

Finally unionist sources who tried to trap Conservative
leader David Cameron into the Ulster political jungle
during this week’s visit to Belfast to address the
Institute of Directors were sorely disappointed. Asked
where he stood on the constitutional question of the Union,
Cameron pointed out tartly that the issue was settled by
the Belfast Agreement in 1998 and the principle of consent
meant that all sides accept the constitutional status of
Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom unless and
until the people of Northern Ireland freely and
democratically decide otherwise.

He said that nationalists and republicans were entitled to
"take pride in their Irish identity and campaign for Irish

Loyalist: Ain’t you sorry you asked a silly question?


Opin: North Could Become An Unlikely Election Issue

29 October 2006

The North has always been one of those issues that everyone
in politics knows is important but few believe is
influential on general political allegiance.

The North has always been one of those issues that everyone
in politics knows is important but few believe is
influential on general political allegiance.

John Bruton’s famous ‘‘The fucking peace process’’ was less
of a gaff than a reflection of a general belief that policy
on the North and elections do not go together. It’s all so
worthy - sure aren’t nearly all of us on the same side?
Who’s against peace, reconciliation and general niceness
among the parties that compete seriously at elections?

The accepted political wisdom is that the only time in
recent decades that the North has had any electoral
implications was in 1981, when Fianna Fail lost a handful
of seats to hunger strikers. As with much accepted wisdom
in Irish politics, this may be due a bit of revision.

First of all, it misses the fact that there have always
been significant differences on the ‘national question’
between the core voters of the major parties.

It also misses the fact that the North may have been a key
part of Bruton’s failure to return to government in 1997.

Some have suggested that losing that election to Fianna
Fail, with all of the revelations about Charles Haughey and
the circumstances of the fall of the coalition with Labour,
was like being the world’s number one golfer and driving
into a lake on the first tee.

The economy was chugging along nicely and they made no
genuinely major mess-ups. It was nowhere near as good a
government as Fine Gael revisionists would have it, but it
wasn’t that bad either.

However, their stewardship of the peace process was viewed
positively by very few outside the John Redmond-ite wing of
Fine Gael and the headquarters of the Ulster Unionist
Party. It’s not just that Bruton seemed tone deaf to the
deep-seated and non-violent nationalism of the majority of
his electorate, the breakdown of the IRA ceasefire, and an
air of aimlessness undermined their standing with many

The great hope of 1994 seemed about to disappear and the
public didn’t see clear leadership showing the way forward.

Should you have time on your hands and a suitable pub near
by, a good test of this reading of political history would
be to ask the patrons holding up the bar if they can
remember anything from Bruton’s rainbow government - and,
by the way, since when did blue, red and redder make a
rainbow? If you’re lucky enough to get any response, it’s
likely it will involve calling Bruton a unionist and
referring to his skin-crawlingly awful welcome for the heir
to the British throne.

Fine Gael had a good election in 1997, but it wasn’t nearly
good enough, and this failure to read or represent the
national mood must have played some role in this. Why this
is all important at the moment is speculation about the
holding of a referendum on the St Andrew’s Agreement in the
months before next year’s general election.

The reflex reaction of most people to this is that it’s
basically irrelevant. The issue isn’t that significant and
it’ll be well out of the way before the real combat begins.
However, this becomes difficult to sustain when you see the
reaction of Fine Gael to the idea. Within 24 hours of the
agreement, Enda Kenny had staked out a clear position of
trying to avoid having any referendum. This has been
supported by his new best friend Pat Rabbitte.

This can only be because they feel that such a referendum
would deliver electoral benefits for their opponents.

They might be right in this.

Certainly, Bertie Ahern is far more likely to speak to the
national mood than they are - a fact revealed by their
contributions to Dail discussions on the issue. It is also
unlikely to help Fine Gael achieve its primary strategic
aim of the moment - to improve Enda Kenny’s stature and
make him look like a taoiseach.

There’s no iconic photo available for this campaign, such
as the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, but the public
will see Ahern taking the lead on an issue that goes beyond
everyday politics.

At a time when Fine Gael and Labour hope to run a campaign
based on how everything in the country is banjaxed, they
don’t want people to be reminded about peace in the North.

They will also be worried that their tactic of tarring
Fianna Fail with a potential coalition with Sinn Fein will
be taken from them. At the moment they have kept to the
line ‘‘we don’t care what you say, you’ll go in with
them’’. They’ve obviously done a lot of polling to tell
them this line works and it also helps them with a certain
large newspaper group.

But can this really be maintained if the Executive is re-

Can they still scare people with the idea of Sinn Fein in
government if that noted republican Ian Paisley is willing
to share power with them in the North?

They’re stuck in the deeply uncomfortable position of
hoping that there is a stalemate and nothing changes, which
is exactly the opposite of what the public wants.

At this point it is not clear if there will be a
referendum, though various men with deep voices and a natty
line in 17th century headwear suggest that the Constitution
requires one for any change to the 1998 settlement.

It could well be that it is simply another day out for a
national consensus that has no electoral importance. On the
other hand, the obvious discomfort of Fine Gael and Labour,
and their eagerness to find away to stop any vote, suggests
that the North may, in fact, make a rare outing in
influencing the composition of the next Dail.


Archbishop Brady invites Pope to make a visit to Ireland

IRISH primate Archbishop Sean Brady yesterday invited Pope
Benedict to visit Ireland - but warned the Pontiff that
Ireland is "a country of warm welcome but also of change".

The Archbishop of Armagh issued his invitation at the
closing of the Irish bishops' five-yearly pilgrimage to
Rome, a two-week Vatican visit which comes to an end

Said Archbishop Brady: " "Our country has become known for
its rapid success, which has brought many benefits but also
many social, moral and spiritual challenges."

He added that "dramatic and disorienting" changes are
taking place within the church. The Pope - who last week
said he was "horrified" by details of clerical sexual abuse
in Ferns - told the Irish bishops they face an urgent task
to rebuild confidence and trust in the wake of such


Galway Rich In Charms Of Coastal Ireland

By Marilyn Bauer Enquirer Staff Writer

For my first trip to Ireland, I decided to forgo the big
cities and head to the westernside of the Emerald Isle to
inhale the beauty and drama of the coastal counties. My
starting point was the 500-year-old city of Galway, a
colorful seaside port shrouded in both mist and history.

This charming fishing village combines quaint old streets
with an impressive square with fashionable shops and
restaurants. Strolling down the cobble-stoned byways what
you will notice most are the two-story buildings painted in
purple, yellow, ocher and wine. Restaurants are filled with
partying patrons who spill out onto the streets.

Famous for its arts and oyster festivals, Galway is also
home to the new, five-star G hotel created by Philip
Treacy, the designer responsible for the golden corona of
leaves worn by Lady Camilla Parker Bowles when she married
Prince Charles.

When you arrive at this fantasy of edgy design and
incomparable hospitality, you are greeted by a butler happy
to relieve you of your car keys. You move through other-
worldly environments led by a red carpet.

Three lounges - one bubblegum pink with a '60s inspired
spiral rug, another bleach- white with 400 mirror balls
suspended form the ceiling and the other a soothing mixture
of brown and blue - lead to the main dining room where you
will find very good food.

The rooms are spacious and comfortably luxurious with
myriad references to the sea. Nautilus-shaped pillows grace
the beds, contortions of fan coral feather out on the glass
top coffee tables, and art work and fabrics are studies in
shades of oyster, mother-of-pearl and soft gray.

From this unlikely perch on the western end of Galway Bay,
I made my plan to travel by car, taking in an idiosyncratic
mix of castles and farms, seashores and mountain ridges.


I was curious to find out how authentic "Ireland's most
successful tourist attraction" might be. Rathbaun Farm was
a lovely stop-in for tea in a 200-year-old thatched roof
farmhouse and a look-around at sheep shearing, sheep dogs
and, of course, the sheep. Not much has changed on this 80-
acre working farm since the Connolly family began working
the land more than 200 years ago.

I found it peaceful to walk the country lanes watching the
horses, stopping at the corrals to pet a newborn burro and
to see the baby lambs.

It was just respite enough for my next stop - the climb up
the Cliffs of Moher that overlook the Atlantic Ocean on the
coast of West County Clare.

Burren National Park is a must-see. This prehistoric
outcropping with its unexpected clumps of flowers and other
greenery seems a limestone sea riddled with caves, passages
and megalithic tombs older than Egypt's pyramids.

There are above-ground pathways, too, the most impressive
of which will take you the 665 feet up the Cliffs of Moher.

Buffeted by wind and ocean spray driven almost mad by the
cry of gulls and screams of other sea birds, the landscape
begs for a camera. At the end of the trail at its highest
point, you can visit O'Brien's Tower, a Victorian wall fort
where vistas range for more than 100 miles.

This experience left me breathless for even more romance,
hence a visit to Monk's Bar for a fisherman's platter and
what soon become the ever-present pint.


That was pretty much a day's worth for me, so back to the G
for some rest and more planning. I decided to start the
next day with a visit to Coole Park, once the home of Lady
Augusta Gregory, dramatist, folklorist and co-founder of
the Abbey Theater.

Any literature or theater buff will love this visit. The
beautiful grounds of the estate with the famed autograph
tree are simply beautiful. While I was there, I found
families picnicking on the great lawns, as well as solo
walkers enjoying the stone paths that meander throughout
the estate.

The visit inside Lady Gregory's home is fascinating,
enhanced by an audiovisual presentation of this famed
patroness of the arts with her friends Edward Martyn of
Tullira Castle and Nobel prize-winning poet William Butler

Coole Park in the early 20th century was the center of the
Irish Literary Revival. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, John
Millington Synge and Sean O'Casey all came to stay.

Now the estate is a nature reserve. The Seven Woods
celebrated by Yeats are part of the trail taking in woods,
rivers, turlough, bare limestone and Coole Lake. The wild
swans still return each autumn.


Romance became my byword as I continued on. I had been
taking my time motoring the mostly empty roads, stopping
here and there as the spirit moved me, watching out for the
mysterious stone circles found throughout the countryside
and making my way to my last two stops: the 13th century
Ashford Castle - and on the other end of the spectrum, Dan
O'Hara's farm.

The first stone of Ashford Castle was laid in 1228 and
perhaps its most recent addition was high-speed Internet
now available throughout the property. A unique combination
of ancient history and modern five-star hospitality, the
350 acres of gardens and secluded woodlands sit on the
northern shore of Lough Corrib.

The antithesis of the G, where I started my journey, the
Ashford seeps with its aristocratic past. Burnished wood
paneling surround guests in a formidable dining room and a
baby grand is played to perfection by local talent. The 83
rooms have just the right amount of chintz and antique
furnishings with lead-glass paned windows looking out onto
the sumptuous grounds. It's easy to see why actor Pierce
Brosnan chose Ashford Castle for his wedding.

I was tempted to just sit amid the splendor and watch the
world go by, but that would have been a mistake. Ashford
Castle has a long menu of activities for every member of
the family, including an excellent falconry school, the
first in Ireland.

I loved the walk in the woods with the birds tailing behind
my small group of five, coming in to land whenever a tidbit
of chicken was offered

There's also an equestrian center, sport clay shooting,
archery, tennis and a nine-hole golf course designed by
architect Eddie Hackett. If you're a golfer, you will be
thrilled to know that six of the top courses in Ireland are
within a 45-minute radius of the cstle.

I was sad to leave; One night was definitely not enough,
but I wanted to see Dan O'Hara's in Connemara before
leaving for home.


Nestling into the hillside beneath the Twelve Bens is the
restored cottage of Dan O'Hara, a man famous for his 1845
eviction and tortuous trip to the New World. The homestead
remains much the same as it was then - a working farm of
Kodak-moment beauty with livestock and horses dotting the

Partially covered by Ireland's largest peat bog, it gives a
taste of what farming in the 19th century must have been
like. Direct descendant Dan O'Hara will take you around,
sing a few songs, offer a little hooch and tell tales that
will leave you begging for more.

I made some sort of circuitous route back to the Shannon
airport for the flight home. I passed by the nearby
Kylemore Abbey but was too late to go inside. So I took a
few photos and added the Abbey to my long list of where to
go on my next trip. E-mail


First Catholic British Ambassador To The Vatican

A Unique Job

By Staff Reporter

WITH one foot in Rome and the other in London, Mr Campbell
says he has something of a unique job in the Diplomatic

"It is a quasi-domestic and foreign post. Around 12 per
cent of the British population is identified as Catholic
and the Anglican Church also has close ties to this post,
so there is a high level of domestic interest in this
post," he explains.

"The British government is interested in the input of the
Holy See on questions of education reform and inter-faith
or ecumenical initiatives, for example, and they have been
very supportive of our development agenda."

On a day-to-day basis, Mr Campbell deals with the Vatican’s
Secretariat of State – more or less equivalent to the
British government’s Cabinet Office and FCO – as well as
officials from the Church’s other ‘departments’ on subjects
such as human rights, justice, inter-religious dialogue and

"The Catholic Church has a very highly developed network
and is probably the oldest and most extensive organisation
in the world," he says.

"One value of having diplomatic relations with the Holy See
is that it has vision into parts of the world that we

Mr Campbell says he did not set out to become a diplomat,
much less a British ambassador.

"When we look back on our lives, we sometimes put unity
where there was none," he said.

"I had no masterplan – in fact, a lot of my plans did not
come to fruition."

Seminary was, he says, the "most formative period of my

"I don’t regret doing it but afterwards I wanted to do
something else and take some time out, so I went to
London," he says.

His Catholicism is clearly important: "Faith is a thing
that’s constant and when you go away, it is something
that’s familiar that you can feed into, wherever you are."

Between the ages of 16 and 22, Mr Campbell was an SDLP
supporter, describing himself as an "activist and member".

The ambassador still refers to Northern Ireland as "home",
checking news reports several times a day, though he
admits: "I tend to go back less than I once would have."

London also figures large in Mr Campbell’s life - he has
family there and was a regular visitor from the age of 16.

He has kept his house in London – partly in fear of not
being able to get back onto the property ladder – which he
uses during his frequent work-related visits to the city.
He says he enjoys this because, unlike his official
residence, he is "not on public display".

Another reason he likes London, he confides, is "because
you don’t have to drive".

"I didn’t get my licence until about three years ago," he
admits rather sheepishly, adding quickly: "I knew all the
theory but the practical part was a bit harder.

"I’m not going to tell you how many lessons it took. At one
stage I feared the driving instructor was going to make a
documentary about how dreadful the student was."

Britain’s diplomatic relations with the Holy See have been
rather delicate since the Reformation, with formal ties
only re-established in 1914.

At first, the embassy was so controversial that Parliament
negotiated its grant on a year-by-year basis and instead of
appointing an ambassador, the government sent a lower-
ranking minister, Sir Henry Howard, a Catholic.

A Foreign Office memo from the time warned that Sir Henry’s
successor "should not be filled with an unreasoning awe of
the Pope".

"Some in parliament thought it was wrong a Catholic had
been appointed so there was an informal agreement that the
post would be reserved for non-Catholics," Mr Campbell said.

"It became an issue for the Catholic Church in Britain,
which argued it implied that a Catholic could do the job."

For its part, the Vatican simply expects an ambassador to
be in good standing with their particular faith community.

The post was raised again to ambassador status in 1982, to
coincide with Pope John Paul II’s visit to Britain.

If resuming diplomatic links with the Holy See was
controversial, so too was the manner of Mr Campbell’s
appointment, having secured the job through a newspaper

"It comes down to a fundamental point of diplomacy," he

"You respect the norms of the receiving state but you are
also a representative of your home state, and for us
transparency in public appointments is very important.
There is something healthy about it and you are also saying
something about contemporary British society."

Asked where he sees himself moving after the Holy See post,
and Mr Campbell bursts into laughter.

"If you stick to the Foreign Office model, I would do four
years here and then move to a new diplomatic posting, but
right now I have a vision of about three days ahead of my

More seriously, he finds the interaction between religion
and politics that his current job requires "academically
interesting and fascinating".

"Part of that comes from my home background in Northern
Ireland," he says.

"What we are seeing now in public life, in Britain and
other countries, is religion as a key driving force in
politics and international relations."

Responding to Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about Islam, made
in Germany in September, was a "tough, tough challenge".

"As a diplomat, in terms of reporting and analysis and
feeding into government, I never thought I would have to
call on what I had studied 20 years ago," says Mr Campbell.

"Taking something from the realm of theology, at the best
of times, and putting it into secular political terms in a
political context – that’s tough."

His phone rings and Mr Campbell apologises for having to
end the meeting – he has another appointment and his
chauffeur is waiting to whisk him away.

The lift is still not working, so we have to walk down the
five flights of stairs. The life of an ambassador is not
all glitz and glamour.


Riverdance Duo’s New Musical Takes $7m In Advance Ticket Sales

29 October 2006 By Tom Lyons

The Pirate Queen, the new musical being produced by Moya
Doherty and John McColgan, has already sold $7 million
worth of advance tickets ahead of its New York debut in
March 2007.

The Pirate Queen, the new musical being produced by Moya
Doherty and John McColgan, has already sold $7 million
worth of advance tickets ahead of its New York debut in
March 2007.

The show, based on the life of pirate leader Grace
O’Malley, opens in Chicago this weekend after a $10
million-plus investment by the creators of Riverdance. More
than 250,000 people have logged on to the new show’s
website, which is updated daily with webcasts by cast

Doherty said the Pirate Queen project was ‘‘high-risk’’,
but she was confident the show would do well because of the
team behind it. It includes composers Alain Boubil and
Claude-Michel Schonberg, who were behind global box office
smashes Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.

Doherty described the new show as ‘‘a fully-fledged
theatrical musical’’ that combined a strong storyline with
music and dance. ‘‘It was a story that had always attracted
us in terms of Grace O’Malley surviving at a time when
women didn’t really lead in a man’s world," she said.

Doherty said that she and McColgan had learned a lot of
lessons from Riverdance, which started out as a Eurovision
interval act less than seven minutes in length.

‘‘Riverdance did teach us that you have to follow your
vision in terms of excellence and strive to do the best you
can," she said.

‘‘It also introduced us to an international marketplace
that we befriended and became very familiar with on a
business footing, so that we knew where and how to pitch
the Pirate Queen when we came up with the idea."

Doherty and McColgan are also working on their next
project. ‘‘We are developing another show at the moment
with Wes Craven, who is the well-known American horror film
director of A Nightmare On Elm Street," Doherty said.
‘‘John and he are developing a major show for Las Vegas
with an Irish magician called Joe Daly."

‘‘Our primary interest is in the whole area of
communication, be it radio, television with Tyrone
Productions, film development and theatrical work. We tend
to invest in people, rather than in ideas. If we know the
people and they have a good track record, vision and
enthusiasm, then we go on the journey."

Tom Lyons is Business Editor with Newstalk.


1916 Medals Sold For Stg£10,100

29 October 2006 By Emmanuel Kehoe

An Irish bidder on internet auction site eBay last week
paid stg£10,100 (€15,053) for medals belonging to a 1916
veteran and his wife.

An Irish bidder on internet auction site eBay last week
paid stg£10,100 (€15,053) for medals belonging to a 1916
veteran and his wife.

The medals were those issued to H Bates of the 3rd
Battalion, commemorating his role in the 1916 Rising and
the War of Independence. His wife’s medal was for Red Cross
service during the Emergency and would be less valuable.

The lot included two Fianna Fail Wolfe Tone commemoration
badges and a 1916 armband.

They were sold by an unidentified eBay member in Chester,
England, on the instructions of the veteran’s widow.

The size of the bid indicates an increasing interest in the
small pool of Irish military medals from the period. In
April, a larger collection of medals and documents
belonging to Thomas Fulham, also of the 3rd Battalion, sold
for €15,000.

As well as his 1916 and War of Independence medals, the lot
included Fulham’s Emergency Service medal and 1966 Rising
and 1971 Jubilee medals.

It had an estimate of €5,000 to €7,000.

The 3rd Battalion was commanded by Eamon de Valera in 1916
and garrisoned at Boland’s Mills in Dublin.
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