News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

October 13, 2006

Progress Reported on Final Day of Talks

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 10/13/06 Progress Reported On Final Day Of North Talks
BT 10/13/06 January Elections May Be On Cards
BT 10/13/06 Government Backs PSNI's Principles On MI5 Relations
BB 10/13/06 Party Denies Blog Rule-Breaking (see below for link)
SF 10/13/06 DUP Accused Of Insulting Victims
BT 10/13/06 IRA Urged: It's Time For The Truth
BB 10/13/06 UDA Holds Talks With Peacemakers
RT 10/13/06 Pipeline Protestor Released From Hospital
BT 10/13/06 Planning For Protestant Schools Is 'In Disarray'
BB 10/13/06 Europe To Give £40m To Irish Fund
SF 10/13/06 Welcomes Extended International Fund For Ireland Money
NW 10/13/06 Opin: Parades 'Out Of Step'
BT 10/13/06 Opin: 10 Essentials To Ensure A New Deal Will Stick
BB 10/13/06 Classmates Shock At Child's Death In Bessbrook
IM 10/13/06 James Connolly Conference
BT 10/13/06 Antrim Coast Road Among World's Best
BT 10/13/06 Briton Admits Plot To Detonate Series Of 'Dirty Bombs'

(I believe I found the UUP blog at: Jay)


Progress Reported On Final Day Of North Talks

By reporter Last updated: 13-10-06, 12:39

There were signs this afternoon that an agreement on the
future political make-up of Northern Ireland may be closer.

In the final day of discussions in St Andrews, Scotland,
between Northern parties and the two governments, talks
sources said the DUP appeared to be more upbeat.

They said a new sequence of steps towards devolution
appeared to be emerging.

This would involve Sinn Féin summoning a meeting of its ard
comhairle to consider calling an ardfheis on the issue of
policing. Moves would also take place to set up a shadow
First and Deputy First Ministers rather than a shadow

A source said: "There is still some debate over whether
there will be a referendum on this deal or an election
early in the New Year.

"It also appears the November 24th deadline is slipping,
and there will be more negotiation beyond St Andrews and
any paper the two prime ministers put forward today."

Officials from London and Dublin worked throughout the
night on a document.

Sinn Féin sources said negotiations continued well into the
night between them and the two governments. They said
senior DUP negotiators also remained in talks while the
paper was drawn up.

The DUP wants Sinn Féin to state clearly that it will join
with other parties who would form a devolved government in
endorsing the police and urging their community to work
with them.

Without that guarantee, the DUP insisted it could not go
into a power-sharing administration featuring Sinn Féin.

But Gerry Adams's party has insisted that the first move in
the process must come from the DUP.

Republicans want the DUP to commit itself to the setting up
of a power-sharing government at Stormont and to the
transfer of policing and justice powers to a devolved
administration before Sinn Féin will call a special party
conference to discuss a change in its policy on policing in
Northern Ireland.

Additional reporting PA
© 2006

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said he believed agreement
could be reached in the talks, adding that Mr Paisley "has
to decide if this is the time to do a deal".


January Elections May Be On Cards

By Noel McAdam
13 October 2006

Speculation mounted today that the Government wants a
shadow executive formed by the November 24 devolution
deadline with possible new elections in January.

There were unconfirmed reports that the envisaged timetable
would include Sinn Fein joining the Policing Board by

Pressure intensified on the DUP and Sinn Fein in the
closing hours of the St Andrews summit with the return of
locally accountable government at stake.

All the parties were due to reconvene at 8.30am after the
only full day of talking yesterday failed to result even in
a second plenary session.

The key focus remained on Ian Paisley's party and the
republicans. But with both apparently refusing to make the
first move, which could lead to significant progress, the
British and Irish governments were preparing to unveil
their own blueprint.

The timetable of confidence- building measures will still
have to win agreement from the parties, however, which was
unlikely to come today.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan warned the governments against
creating "a sense of failure" by publishing their own "best

"We think what they need to do is to continue in pursuit of
all the issues," he said.

There was no confirmation that the plan could include the
almost simultaneous formation of a power-sharing Executive,
in which Mr Paisley and Martin McGuinness would likely be
First and Deputy First Ministers, and Sinn Fein members
taking their places on the Policing Board.

Senior DUP negotiator Nigel Dodds said: "I have not heard
anything like that coming forward. It sounds like a return
to the old 'jump first' or 'now you jump' politics."

Mr McGuinness said part of the difficulty was that Mr Dodds
and his party still refused to talk directly with Sinn


Government Backs PSNI's Principles On MI5 Relations

By Brian Rowan
13 October 2006

The Government is backing the PSNI's five "non-negotiable"
principles on future working relations with MI5 in Northern
Ireland - a position made clear in a document given to the
political parties at St Andrews.

That four-page paper was circulated yesterday, and the
Belfast Telegraph is aware of its key detail.

The talks document is headed Future National Security
Arrangements in Northern Ireland - Paper by the British
Government. It details the five principles written by the
Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan and supported by
the most senior police officer here, Sir Hugh Orde:

÷ All Security Service (MI5) intelligence relating to
terrorism in Northern Ireland will be visible to the PSNI.

÷ PSNI will be informed of all Security Service counter
terrorism investigations and operations relating to
Northern Ireland.

÷ Security Service intelligence will be disseminated within
PSNI according to the current PSNI dissemination policy and
using police procedures.

÷ The great majority of national security CHIS (covert
human intelligence sources) in Northern Ireland will
continue to be run by PSNI officers under existing police
handling protocols.

÷ There will be no diminution of the PSNI's ability to
comply with HRA (Human Rights Act) or the Policing Board's
ability to monitor said compliance.

The document confirms what this newspaper reported on
Monday; that the police will continue to run their own
informers within current "handling protocols" - even after
MI5 takes responsibility for national security matters
here, including the international terrorist and republican
dissident threats.

The St Andrews document confirms that this will happen in
"late 2007".

A section of the paper reads: "The Government confirms that
it accepts and will ensure that effect is given to the five
key principles which the chief constable has identified as
crucial to the effective operation of the new

The document further reads: "The Government believes that
the Policing Board's human rights advisers should have a
role in human rights proofing the relevant protocols and
also in confirming that satisfactory arrangements are in
place to implement the principles."

Earlier this week, Peter Sheridan - the officer who heads
Crime Operations Branch, including Special Branch -
described the five principles as the police bottom line.
The Security Service is building a new headquarters at
Palace Barracks in Holywood, but will not be bringing any
additional officers to Northern Ireland when it takes on
its new role next year.

In the build-up to St Andrews the SDLP was pushing for
"independent oversight" of the new arrangements and a
"proper" complaints system. Commenting on the new
information obtained by this newspaper, the party's
policing spokesman Alex Attwood said: "The British paper
begins to smoke out their intentions around MI5."


Party Denies Blog Rule-Breaking

(I believe I found this blog at: Jay)

One of the Northern Ireland parties involved in top level
political talks in Scotland has had its wrists slapped -
for blogging.

The Ulster Unionists have been logging their web account
from inside the talks venue at St Andrews.

The government says the move goes against the spirit of
confidentiality of the talks.

But the party says it is simply a hi-tech way of keeping
voters informed.

Party spokesman Alex Benjamin denied it was breaching any
confidentiality rules, but offered web users a "chink of
light" as to what the talks are actually about.

"These summits cost taxpayers, and this one in particular
up to about £500,000," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"We thought it was time that people should have a chance to
see what is actually happening inside.

"We haven't actually broken any confidentiality in terms of
posting the real political goings on, or private
conversations between politicians or parties, but we wanted
to give people a flavour of what actually happens at these
things, give people a sense of what's happening minute by

The blog is written and signed by Ulster Unionist leader
Sir Reg Empey, for what the party says is a new internet

Mr Benjamin explained that they wanted to demystify the
"air of unreality" often associated with such talks.

He outlined an incident during one of the sessions of
intense negotiations at Castle Buildings, Stormont.

"I remember walking past a News 24 journalist who was doing
a piece to camera, saying the UUP and Sinn Fein were locked
in intense negotiations. I walked back into the room and
our guys were all sitting round a TV watching Wimbledon,"
he said.

"So, there is an element amongst the media of building
these things up as well. Because they don't have anything
else to really go on, there's a sense of 'we have to to
create something' and create this hothouse environment.

"In reality, it's very rarely a hothouse environment.
There's a lot of time spent sitting around, a lot of time
spent having coffee or watching television, so it's not
quite the perception that people think it is."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/13 07:54:21 GMT


DUP Accused Of Insulting Victims

Published: 13 October, 2006

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane has accused the
DUP of insulting the relatives of people murdered by
Loyalists and as a result of collusion after two DUP MP's
used foul and abusive language towards victims' campaigners
in St Andrews today.

Speaking from Scotland Ms Ruane said:

"The behaviour of two senior DUP representatives, Sammy
Wilson and Jeffery Donaldson, towards the relatives of
those murdered by Loyalists and as a result of collusion
was an insult. They used foul and abusive language towards
a group who were trying to ensure that the voice of victims
was heard during the talks.

"Earlier in the day Sinn Féin met victims campaigners from
across the community. The leadership of the DUP need to
publicly reprimand these two individuals because their
behaviour was totally out of order.

"Sinn Féin fully support the rights of all victims and
believe that as politicians we need to engage with victims
groups as an essential part of the conflict resolution
process." ENDS


IRA Urged: It's Time For The Truth

Ex-hunger striker advocates South African-style commission
for Ulster

By Chris Thornton
13 October 2006

A surviving hunger striker has called for the IRA to reveal
the truth behind the Troubles.

Jackie McMullan, a former Provo lifer, argues that
republicans should engage in a truth process "because it is
right thing to do".

His makes the call in an article in this week's edition of
An Phoblacht, the official republican newspaper, advocating
that their movement should acknowledge their
"responsibilities towards the victims of the conflict".

He wrote the article in the wake of a Sinn Fein conference
about whether the party should engage in a truth process.

The appeal comes from a clearly influential voice in the
republican movement - Jackie McMullan spent 48 days on the
1981 hunger strike, ending his fast when the strike was
called off.

He spent 16 years in prison after being sentenced to life
for the attempted murder of police officers in 1976.

Acknowledging that the IRA has issued a general apology to
non-combatants and specific apologies to some victims, he
argued that they should now go further and make the
"biggest and boldest steps" towards truth.

Mr McMullan noted that many republicans are concerned that
revelations could be end up being used by Sinn Fein's
opponents, like the Republic's Justice Minister Michael

But he said acknowledgement of victims should be separated
from politics.

"When we hear the name Jean McConville, for example, we
should think less about Michael McDowell and more about
Michael McConville, one of her ten children whose lives
have been blighted by the horrific manner of her killing,"
he wrote.

"If our opponents want to make political capital out of it
then let's deal with that as a separate issue.

"It's too easy to lash out at others when we need to be
taking a hard look at ourselves."

The former hunger striker quoted Sinn Fein president Gerry
Adams saying in 1999 that the IRA, among others, had done
"terrible things" during the conflict, and those actions
"have to be addressed in an honest and forthright fashion".

"When are we going to address them?" asked Mr McMullan. "Do
we have the courage to do what the ANC (African National
Congress) did when they acknowledged that even just causes
can lead to abuses of power? I believe that we do and that
we should."

He said there may or may not be healing benefits from
giving victims the truth, but ultimately it was right.

"It might also help build bridges between the unionist
community and ourselves."

UDA Holds Talks With Peacemakers

The Ulster Defence Association has been meeting this week
for secret talks with international peacemakers.

It is an attempt to draw up plans for the loyalist
paramilitary group to abandon criminality and violence.

Last week, the UDA said it was keen to stand down and
needed help to achieve this move.

Frankie Gallagher of Ulster Political Research Group, which
gives advice to the UDA, said both communities should let
the peacemakers prove their intent.

"They can safely say the UDA has changed," he said.

"What we are doing now is trying to consolidate that
change, create structures where it continues to change, and
where that change can be pre-determined."

He said the 'change' would "turn into something that is
going to be of benefit for people, our communities, where
we reduce fear, where we don't have intimidation".

'Community body'

It is understood the move has been endorsed by a Catholic
community worker who has been working behind the scenes to
persuade them to follow a political path.

Senior commanders in the paramilitary organisation were
among those attending the launch of a document on the
organisation's future last week.

At that time, Mr Gallagher said they believed the "war was

The pamphlet outlining ways of transforming loyalist areas
was published, following a consultation within working
class Protestant areas. It includes the views of UDA

One of the UDA's most notorious units has said it wants to
disband, but wants the government to give it £8.5m to help
the process.

The South East Antrim Brigade of the UDA has been
responsible for dozens of murders throughout the Troubles.

It said it now wanted to become "a community development

Published: 2006/10/13 07:18:07 GMT


Pipeline Protestor Released From Hospital

13 October 2006 12:31

A member of the Shell to Sea group who was treated for a
head injury sustained during a confrontation with gardaí
this morning has been discharged from hospital.

Maura Harrington collapsed during a brief confrontation
with gardaí when protestors tried to break through a
cordon, which was erected to prevent them blocking workers
from gaining access to the site.

Protestors who had been standing beside her said she had
been pushed by a garda.

Ms Harrington was initially treated for concussion by Dr
Jerry Cowley, an Independent TD for Mayo, and then taken to
Mayo General Hospital. She was discharged just before

Willie Corduff, one of five men from the Rossport area who
were jailed last year for 94 days for their protest over
the Corrib gas pipeline, described the incident as
'terrible' and said the garda presence should be withdrawn.

A spokesman for the Garda Press Office told RTÉ News that
any complaint that might be made about the incident would
be fully investigated.


Planning For Protestant Schools Is 'In Disarray'

By Kathryn Torney
13 October 2006

Strategic planning for Protestant schools in Northern
Ireland is in disarray, a teachers' union claimed today.

Mark Langhammer, from the Association of Teachers and
Lecturers, was speaking after the Belfast Telegraph
revealed yesterday that a group set up to plan for the
closure and amalgamation of controlled schools in Belfast
is on the brink of collapse.

All of the political representatives have resigned from
Belfast Education and Library Board's Controlled Sector
Strategic Planning Sub-Committee - including the board's
chairman, the UUP's Jim Rodgers.

However, the BELB - which rejected a recommendation from
the group to disband - says it is still planning the next

The sub-committee was established eight months ago to work
on rationalisation plans within the mainly Protestant
controlled sector as a result of a dramatic decline in the
school-aged population. A declining birth rate has created
thousands of costly empty seats in schools across the

The work of the eight-member working group first hit the
headlines in June when the Belfast Telegraph revealed
details of a secret document drawn up by board officers,
which contained plans to reduce the number of controlled
primary schools in Belfast from 30 to 15.

The DUP's Diane Dodds and Nelson McCausland and UUP members
Mr Rodgers and Fred Cobain have all left the group.

If the crisis is not resolved, crucial decisions on school
closures may be put on hold for some time and could result
in an increase in empty seats in schools across the city.

Mr Rodgers said: "We will not be returning to the group. It
is finished with. It has no future.

"The councillors who served on the group, and others, now
need to look at the best way to handle things."

Mr Cobain said: "I will not be attending the sub-committee
meetings because I don't think there is any point.

"Without the political representatives on board it has no

"The majority of people are now of the mind that it should
be left to the new Single Education Authority to decide on
amalgamations and closures in Belfast."

Mr Langhammer, director of ATL in Northern Ireland, said:
"Compared to the Catholic sector, the strategic planning of
the controlled sector is in disarray.

"Leaving school amalgamations and ever more private finance
solutions to be imposed on schools by the nominees of
Direct Rule Ministers hardly augurs well for improvements."

Mr Langhammer was also very critical of schools being built
through private finance initiatives.

"With falling pupil rolls, ongoing amalgamations, school
closures and maximum uncertainty in the school estate, the
notion of locking schools into 30-year contracts is
economic madness," he said.


Europe To Give £40m To Irish Fund

More European Union cash for the International Fund for
Ireland has been announced.

The IFI - set up by the Irish and UK governments 20 years
ago - has garnered contributions that have delivered 6,000
projects costing more than £580m.

The European Commission has contributed more than one third
of the total since 1989.

It has now said it proposes to contribute another
£40,529,575 between 2007 and 2010.

Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hubner said the funding
was "a clear manifestation of the deep and ongoing
commitment of the Union to the peace and reconciliation
process in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland".

She said the IFI had "produced remarkable results in pacing
the way towards a better and peaceful future" on both sides
of the border.

Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins said he was delighted by the

"I believe the money will contribute to the ongoing peace
and reconciliation efforts on the island of Ireland," he

"The IFI has become a success not only in Ireland but has
also been used as a model in the promotion of
reconciliation in other parts of the world."

The proposed extra EU funding will receive the necessary
formal approval from EU ministers in December.

It is in addition to the £140m that will be allocated from
EU regional policy funds to the programme for Peace and
Reconciliation (PEACE programme), which operates in
Northern Ireland and in the border counties of the Irish

Published: 2006/10/13 06:02:58 GMT


Bairbre De Brún Welcomes Extended International Fund For Ireland Money

Published: 13 October, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning welcomed an
additional funding pledge from the European Union for the
International Fund for Ireland (IFI), after it was
announced that 60 million euros between 2007 – 2010 was
being proposed.

Speaking from St Andrew’s, Scotland Ms de Brún said:

“I want to welcome the pledge from European Commissioner
Danuta Hubner that she was proposing 60 million euros over
the next three years. the International Fund has positively
contributed to a variety of important projects both in the
six counties and the border region.

“Much good work has been undertaken with IFI assistance,
particularly in the areas of reconciliation, peace building
and cross border initiatives. Over this past year I have
personally been involved in lobbying for additional IFI
support and I am pleased that this looks likely to reach

“It is also important that the British Government deliver
on its promise to help cement the peace process through a
substantial peace dividend in the time ahead.” ENDS


Opin: Parades 'Out Of Step'

By Adrian Mullan

A "DEMILITARISATION" parade in Omagh's Strathroy district
at the weekend has raised the spectre – amongst unionist
politicians at least – of a will on the part of young
republicans to return to "armed struggle". Following the
Ógra Shinn Féin parade, in which a colour party was dressed
in paramilitary style uniforms, UUP town Cllr Ross Hussey
expressed concerns that the young republicans were issuing
a veiled threat that they was "ready to go back to war".

"I can't understand the logic of having a de-militarisation
parade to a barracks that Ógra Shinn Féin is aware is
closing in 2007. Peace is supposed to have broken out in
Northern Ireland and here we have Ógra Shinn Féin in
paramilitary uniforms which suggests that maybe they are
willing to return to this type of activity. Is this a
veiled threat? Perhaps the army should stay where they
are!," said Cllr Hussey.

"(Sinn Féin MLA)Francie Molloy was famously quoted as
saying that, if politics didn't work, they could return to
doing what they do best. If we take the incidents which
occurred in the Strabane area this week, which are credited
to dissident republicans, those incidents suggest that
certain elements are prepared to carry out activities that,
at one time, were the preserve of the IRA."

Meanwhile, West Tyrone DUP MLA Tom Buchanan denounced Ógra
Shinn Féin as "black-shirted fascists".

Ógra Shinn Féin spokesman Barry McNally said, "Recent
actions by republicans have shown that the IRA are not
preparing to back to war."

He said that, in putting arms beyond use, the IRA had
clearly signalled that it was not planning any return to
conflict and added that unionists fixate on British
militarism and imperialism and called their denunciation of
the Sinn Féin parade as a case of "the pot calling the
kettle black".

He said the DUP link with the paramilitary Ulster
Resistance is well known "and that group has never disarmed
and would be in a better position to return to war.

"If they are concerned about contentious parades, what
about those loyalist parades taking place in
Newtownstewart, Castlederg and in other parts of Tyrone?
The parade in Strathroy was not contentious and the DUP
should put its own house in order."

As to the black shirts reference, Mr McNally added, "It's
ironic to hear this from the DUP, who only pursue a narrow-
minded agenda and who know only what they are against but
not what they are for. They are trying to deflect away from
their own responsibilities at the minute."


Opin: 10 Essentials To Ensure A New Deal Will Stick

By Eric Waugh
13 October 2006

The concerted effort from London and Dublin to push the
parties into a deal requires a warning word. A deal, even
if available, would only be half the battle. The other half
is finding one that sticks.

Attempting to replicate what happened last time may be a
mistake. The spin we have been fed suggests that that is
just what the Prime Minister, abetted by Bertie Ahern, has
been seeking to do.

But the last deal leaked like a colander. It produced a
pantomime administration, an unproductive Assembly so short
of business that it often met only once a week and an
Executive which met even less.

Attitudes were largely to blame; but the over-elaborate
machinery did - does - not help. In the Assembly, 85% of
those elected were members of parties who were in

The difficulty here was not merely that there were too many
cooks, though that did foul things up: it was that there
was no organised Opposition, a critical essential in any

For a new deal to stick, I see 10 essentials:

• All parties must want a settlement, rather than a process
serviced by a divided Government, marooned on some kind of
platform moving towards constitutional change. That will
guarantee continued conflict.

• All parties participating in Government, while they are
part of it, must abstain from open rejection of the state,
regardless of any legitimate long-term aspiration they may
have to vote it out of existence. This would end the
absurdity of having Ministers in Government unwilling to
recognise the sovereignty of the state, a section of which
they administer.

• Government must have an Opposition. This could be
reconciled with the cross-community requirement by
stipulating that the governing coalition must itself be
cross-community. This would dispose of the affront to
democracy created by Ministers unaccountable to each other
and to the Assembly. Well-organised Oppositions have a
uniting effect on Governments.

• The administration must also be more directly accountable
to the people, which it would be, were the coalition to
lose enough support to be defeated in the Assembly and
obliged to call an election.

• Fluidity of voting in the Assembly should be encouraged,
not discouraged - as it is by the existing, heinous
obligation of each member to declare themselves Orange or
Green. It should be scrapped.

• The voting system in elections should be changed from the
Single Transferable Vote (used at present) to the
Alternative Vote. Under the STV, MLAs can be elected on the
votes of a minority. Under the AV they would have to
command a majority to be elected, i.e., they would have to
appeal beyond their own tribe, encouraging both
conciliation and tactical voting.

• The electorate do not understand the complexity of the
d'Hondt system for electing Ministers, which is not used
anywhere else (I wonder why) and should be scrapped.
Ministers should be elected by a free vote of the Assembly,
with MLAs using the same Alternative Vote system which
would have elected themselves. This means Ministers would
have to command a majority of MLAs (70%) to be elected and
deal-making would be encouraged.

• The Executive should aim to command the respect of the
electorate by seeking to keep its squabbles quiet, except
those endangering the Government. As a result the Executive
would grow in stature and become a Cabinet, willing to take
collective responsibility for Ministerial decisions,
because those decisions would have been thoroughly debated
previously among trusted colleagues.

• Ministers who lose the confidence of their colleagues
would - as in true democracies - resign.

• All parties must recognise that the people want peace and
reputable Government first and must be willing, on
Government occasions, to subordinate the beating of the
party drum to the common good.

A great Irish Whig, an Anglican married to a Catholic, once
admitted that party divisions were inseparable from free
government. But he also said that a Parliament was not a
congress of ambassadors defending their own hostile

On the contrary, a Parliament was an assembly of one
nation, with one interest, that of the whole; its guide the
general good, not local prejudice. Edmund Burke. Too lofty
an aspiration for the Assembly? If so, forget it.


Classmates Shock At Child's Death In Bessbrook

A nine-year-old girl killed in an accident after getting
off a schoolbus in County Armagh has been named locally as
Jessica Lennon.

The child was struck by the bus just yards from her home in
Bessbrook on Thursday afternoon.

Jessica's pregnant mother was at her side within minutes to
comfort her as she died.

Classmates at St Joseph's Primary who were with her when
she stepped off the vehicle have been left traumatised.

One of her neighbours, Stephen McAleenan, said she had been
a popular girl. "Everyone knew her, everyone liked her," he

The bus involved in the accident remained at the scene
until police had completed their investigations.

A Translink spokesperson extended "our sincere thoughts and
prayers to the young girl's family and friends".

They added: "Translink will be working in conjunction with
the PSNI to conduct a full and thorough investigation into
this tragic accident."

Sinn Fein councillor Pat McGinn said it was "a terrible
blow for the family of the young child killed and the
community who are close knit".

SDLP councillor John Feehan, who lives close to the
accident scene, said the bus driver was in a "terrible

Published: 2006/10/13 07:42:39 GMT


James Connolly Conference

National History And Heritage Event Notice Friday
October 13, 2006 12:40 by John Cunningham - Galway Labour
History Group
at Liberty Hall

Irish Labour History Society Annual Conference 2006

20th - 21st OCTOBER 2006, Liberty Hall, Dublin

Session 1 - Friday 20th October, 7.30 p.m.
Professor John Horne, Trinity College Dublin
"James Connolly and the Great Divide: Ireland, Europe and
the First World War"

Session 2 - Saturday 21st October, 10.30 a.m.
Professor Emmet O´Connor, University of Ulster
"Labour & republicanism the unimportance of James Connolly"
Dr John Newsinger, Bath Spa University
"James Connolly & 1916"
Dr Colin Whitston, , Keele University
"James Connolly & Trade Unionism: The Struggle for an
Independent Working Class Politics"

Session 3 - Saturday 21st October, 2.30 p.m.
Chair - Francis Devine, Education Dept. SIPTU
Manus O´Riordan, Senior Research Officer, SIPTU
"WWI - Why Connolly wanted a German victory"
Sinead McCoole, Jackie Clarke Library, Ballina,
"James Connolly & Labour women of 1916"

Full Conference Admission (including Clé Club Social, Sat.
night) EUR10
Individual Sessions EUR5


Antrim Coast Road Among World's Best

By Lesley-Anne Henry
13 October 2006

The Antrim Coast Road has been ranked among the world's top

The unique 50-mile route which runs from Larne to
Ballycastle has been shortlisted by the British Guild of
Travel Writers in a poll to find the world's most inspiring

Winding its way through the Glens of Antrim and taking in
the villages of Ballygalley, Waterfoot and Cushendun it has
long been regarded as one of Britain's most scenic drives.

The road, which was built between 1832 and 1842, has some
of the most breathtaking scenery in the world and has often
been compared with Australia's Great Ocean Road.

However this latest internet poll, sponsored by Jacobs
Creek, goes a step further - comparing the Antrim Coast
Road with sights such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and
Opera House, the view of Table Mountain, Cape Town, the
Great Wall of China and Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de

Other shortlisted 'inspiring' views include the Namib
desert in Namibia, the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru,
Moscow's Red Square and the temple gardens at Kyoto.

United Kingdom entries include the Buachailee Etive Mor
near Glencoe, and Rhosili beach in Gower, Wales.

The poll is asking the public to vote on their favourite.

Launching the search, lifestyle expert Carl Honore said:
"This is more than a prize draw; it is also about
emphasising the importance to people of taking time to
enjoy the simple things in life."

To register your vote and have the Antrim Coast Road top
the poll log on to

Every vote registered online will be entered into a prize
draw to win a trip for two to the top view of their choice.

A further 25 runners up will receive a bottle of Jacobs
Creek wine and a copy of The Australian Winemaker's Inside
Track to Enjoying Australian Wine, by Phil Laffer.


Briton Admits Plot To Detonate Series Of 'Dirty Bombs'

13 October 2006

A British man has admitted he plotted to use a radioactive
"dirty" bomb and other explosive devices to carry out
terrorist attacks in Britain and the United States.

Dhiren Barot, 34, a Muslim convert from Willesden, north
London, has become the first person in the United Kingdom
to be convicted of conspiracy to murder in relation to a
terrorist offence.

In one plan, called the "Dirty Bomb Project", Barot plotted
with others to blow up radioactive material in a series of
synchronised explosions, Woolwich Crown Court in London
heard yesterday.

Another plan - known as the "Gas Limos Project" - involved
filling three limousines with gas cylinders and explosives
and detonating them in underground car parks in the UK.

The Limos Project was planned over a four-year period by
Barot to form the "main cornerstone" of a series of attacks
in the UK, the court was told.

While no specific targets were identified in Britain he had
planned to bomb the International Monetary Fund and World
Bank buildings in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange
and Citigroup buildings in New York and the Prudential
skyscraper in Newark.

The attacks in the US were "designed to kill as many
innocent people as possible", and the UK radioactive "dirty
bomb" plot was intended to cause "injury, fear, terror and
chaos", the court heard. Barot believed the "dirty bomb" -
a mixture of explosives and radioactive material - could
affect 500 people.

But according to expert evidence, if the radiation project
had been carried out, it would have been unlikely to have
killed anyone, but it would have caused panic, fear and
disruption. There was also no evidence to suggest Barot had
obtained funding or bomb making equipment to carry out his
terror plans, the court was told.

Plans for the attacks were found by the police on a
computer after arrests in August 2004.

Barot pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge that between 1
January 2000 and 4 August 2004 he conspired together with
other persons unknown to murder other persons.

On being asked "Do you plead guilty or not guilty?" to the
charges, Barot said without emotion: "I plead guilty." He
is due to be sentenced at a later date.

Seven other men are due to stand trial in connection with
the plot in April next year. They deny conspiracy to murder
and commit public nuisance with radioactive materials,
toxic gases, chemicals or explosives.

Barot, who converted to Islam after he left Kingsbury High
School, north London, comes from an Indian family who are
thought to have moved at the age of one from Kenya to
Britain in the early 1970s. Considered an average pupil at
school at one time he was interested in a career in hotel
management. He is thought to have been raised a Hindu by
his parents, from whom in later years he became estranged.

Edmund Lawson QC, for the Crown, gave details of his terror
plans to the court yesterday. Mr Lawson said the Gas Limos
Project was supposed to form the "main cornerstone" of a
series of attacks in the UK.

He said: "The Gas Limos Project was supplemented by three
other projects which were presented for consideration. The
first being, as it was described, the Rough Presentation
for radiation or Dirty Bomb Project."

He added that this plot was designed to achieve "a number
of further and collateral objectives such as to cause
injury, fear, terror and chaos".

Mr Lawson said the three additional projects, including the
Dirty Bomb Project, were designed to be executed in a
"synchronised, concurrent and back-to-back" way with the
main Gas Limos Project.

The barrister continued: "The defendant's expressed
preference in respect of the radiation project was that 'it
deserved to be an independent project in its own right'."

But according to expert evidence, if the radiation project
had been carried out, it would have been "unlikely by
itself to cause death, as opposed to causing considerable
fear, panic and social disruption".

Mr Lawson added: "The radiation project was designed, among
other things, to affect some 500 people."

He said the Crown had no evidence to contradict a defence
argument that the intention of the "dirty bomb" project was
not to kill.

He said neither did it have any evidence to contradict the
contention that no funding had been received for the
projects, nor any vehicles or bomb-making materials
acquired "in furtherance of executing the conspiracy".

On the plans to attack the US, the barrister said that they
were "for attacks on the International Monetary Fund and
World Bank buildings in Washington, the New York Stock
Exchange and Citigroup buildings in New York and the
Prudential buildings in Newark".

"These being plans... to carry out explosions at those
premises with no warning, they were basically designed to
kill as many innocent people as possible."

Barot had also faced 12 other charges, but the judge
ordered them to lie on file following his guilty plea to
conspiracy to murder.


"Dirty Bomb Project"

A plot to set off a so-called "dirty bomb" - a mixture of
conventional explosives and radioactive material - that was
intended to cause injury, terror and chaos. Although
experts believed the planned device, which is supposed to
scatter radioactive material over a wide area, was unlikely
to be fatal, it would cause mass panic.

The attack on the US

The plan was to target skyscrapers and financial
institutions in New York and Washington. These including
the World Bank and IMF headquarters in Washington and the
New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup building in
Manhattan. The Prudential skyscraper in Newark, New Jersey,
was also on the list.

"Gas Limos Project"

This was a plan to fill three limousines with gas cylinders
and explosives and detonate them in underground car parks
in the UK. This plot was considered to be the "main
cornerstone" of a series of attacks in the Britain,
although there was no evidence of specific targets, or that
any bomb making equipment had been purchased.

To Subscribe to Irish Aires Google News List, click Here.
To Unsub from Irish Aires Google News List, click Here
For options visit:

Or join our Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here

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

To October Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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