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October 20, 2006

SF Consultation Process Gets Underway

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 10/20/06 Sinn Féin Consultation Process Gets Underway
BB 10/20/06 DUP 'Not Signed Up To Agreement'
BN 10/20/06 Paisley: SF Must 'Support Rule Of Law'
SF 10/20/06 European Union Can Help Bring About Irish Unity
SF 10/20/06 SF MLA Questions Irish Meps Commitment To Irish Unity
SF 10/20/06 SF To Host Major All-Ireland Integration Conference
NH 10/20/06 Opin: Remember, Remember The 24th Of November…
BT 10/20/06 Opin: Good Deal Ensures Politics Remains Art Of The Cynic
BN 10/20/06 Residents Vote To Keep Dingle Name
SP 10/20/06 Former Mayor Carey Honored At Funeral


Sinn Féin Consultation Process Gets Underway

Published: 20 October, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy today said
that the party consultation into the governments St.
Andrews proposals would be 'exhaustive'. Mr Murphy who has
being appointed along with Mary Lou McDonald and Martin
Ferris to oversee the consultation was speaking to the
media in Belfast.

Mr Murphy said:

"The Ard Chomhairle yesterday appointed Mary Lou McDonald,
Martin Ferris and myself to oversee our consultation into
the proposals put to the parties by the governments last
week at St. Andrews.

"Next week party activists will come together in Newry for
a major all-Ireland conference. Contributions will be made
by academics and other outside bodies.

"Gerry Adams will in an address to the conference deal with
ongoing political developments.

"We are determined that while the consultation process will
be exhaustive it will not drag on. We are obviously
conscious of the timeframe set out last week.

"This consultation is not simply about policing as has been
reported. It is to establish whether or not the package
agreed by the two governments last week has the potential
to see the political institutions reformed and the other
outstanding matters resolved.

"There are clearly challenges ahead for all of the parties,
but as we said last week at St. Andrews none of these are
obstacles which cannot be overcome if the necessary
political will is displayed." ENDS


DUP 'Not Signed Up To Agreement'

The DUP will consult with its members and the wider
unionist community before signing up to the St Andrews
Agreement, party leader Ian Paisley has said.

In a statement, Mr Paisley said he was making no final
judgement on the deal and stressed the agreement belonged
to the British and Irish governments.

He said that while the agreement contained considerable
advances for unionism, it was far from a done deal.

"The DUP will not be satisfied with second best," he said.

"Important aspects of the St Andrews Agreement such as the
institutions and structures of evolved government, a
financial package and equality and fairness measures for
the unionist people, require more effort," he said.

"I and my colleagues have been working on these issues all
week and will continue to do so in the days ahead."

The Northern Ireland parties have been given until 10
November to respond to what the governments are calling the
St Andrews Agreement.

It was published after intensive three-day talks between
the parties at St Andrews in Scotland.

If all goes to plan, a first and deputy first minister will
be nominated on 24 November and the devolved institutions
will be up and running by 26 March.

Published: 2006/10/20 19:46:11 GMT


Paisley: SF Must 'Support Rule Of Law'

20/10/2006 - 19:44:03

Ian Paisley told Sinn Féin leaders tonight to ask the
British government for more time if they were having
difficulties getting their members to support the police in
the North.

The Democratic Unionist Party leader has made backing for
the Police Service the key condition on them going into a
power-sharing administration with the republicans.

Sinn Féin has launched a consultation exercise within its
ranks but policing spokesman Gerry Kelly MLA has warned the
party had not yet got to the point where it can go to a
special party conference and recommend support.

However, by November 10 the party needs to be in a position
for its nominee as deputy first minister to be able to take
an oath supporting police.

Mr Paisley told them: "If Sinn Féin is having difficulties
in getting their people to support the police then they
should go to the Government and ask for more time, because
there is no question of the DUP accepting anything less
than their full support for the rule of law.''

He added: "The importance of the issue of policing should
not be underestimated. Nothing can be done until there is
delivery on policing.

"Sinn Féin must demonstrate its support for the police
before anything happens."


European Union Can Help Bring About Irish Unity- Bairbre De

Published: 20 October, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has participated in a major
one day conference at the European Parliament to discuss
how the EU can assist in ending partition and assist in the
process of Irish unity.

The conference brought together academics, MEPs and an all
Ireland delegation of Sinn Féin activists and elected
representatives from local councils, the Assembly, Udarás
na Gaeltachta and Leinster House to discuss the politics of

Speaking from Brussels:

"The conference brought together a wide range of people
from various backgrounds to discuss how the EU can assist
in the process of Irish reunification in the time ahead and
to look at some lessons from other countries in Europe. We
had contributions from German academics and Cypriot MEPs on
their experiences of unification and prospects for unity

"From an Irish perspective it is clear that the partition
of Ireland has been a complete and abject failure and we
are still living with the negative impact of partition:
institutional discrimination and inequality, disadvantage
and economic stagnation in the North of Ireland. As a
demonstration of its stated objectives of peace,
reconciliation and the removal of borders, the EU has a
responsibility to assist the process of Irish

"The single greatest impediment to coherent economic
development in Ireland is partition. EU programmes and
policies should encourage all-Ireland development. The
Community Support Framework, the National Reform Programme
and the Common Agricultural Policy, should be among the
fields in which divided (and sometimes contradictory)
policies and strategies are replaced by a coherent all-
Ireland approach.

"Peace III provides communities at home with a significant
opportunity to continue important work across a wide range
of areas including tackling discrimination, promoting
social inclusion, addressing the legacy of discrimination,
building good community relations and promoting national
reconciliation. It also provides important opportunities
for community empowerment, promotion of Irish language
development, assistance for victims and survivors of the
conflict and reintegration of former political prisoners
into family and community life.

"In addition, structural funds provide many opportunities
for genuine, cross border, all Ireland development to
tackle the infrastructural deficit which continues to exist
along Ireland's 12 border counties. Equally, if used
properly by the Irish and British governments, they could
go some way to addressing the negative social and economic
legacy of partition.

"There are a number of other steps which the EU can take in
order to encourage greater integration and to ensure the
successful conclusion of the Peace Process, including:

As the peace process moves forward, exempting state aid to
support reunification from EU competition regulations (as
was the case with German unification).

Recognising the Cross-border Corridor Groups as a good
model of partnership and encouraging the British and Irish
governments to give such partnerships a more strategic role
in the allocation and distribution of funds.

Supporting the development of all-Ireland public sector and
civil society institutions.


Sinn Féin MLA Questions Irish Meps Commitment To Irish Unity

Published: 20 October, 2006

Sinn Féin MLA for West Tyrone Barry McElduff has today
challenged Ireland's MEPs to demonstrate their support for
Irish unity after their failure to turn up to an EU
conference on Irish unity in Brussels.

Mr McElduff was part of a Sinn Féin delegation which
travelled to the European Parliament in Brussels on
Wednesday (18.10.06) to attend a conference calling on the
EU to assist in the reunification of Ireland. A number of
additional meetings were held with European MEPs and
European Commission officials to discuss cross-border co-
operation initiatives and regional development.

Speaking today Mr McElduff said:

"Wednesday's conference and the subsequent meetings
regarding Europe's role in assisting the end of partition
and supporting Irish reunification provided the delegation
with the opportunity to engage with academics, MEPs and EU
officials at the European Parliament.

"Sinn Féin is committed to engaging with a wide range of
people to discuss how we can bring about Irish unity and
the form this new Ireland will take. It was therefore
disappointing that aside from Sinn Féin, no other Irish MEP
could attend the 'EU and Reunification' conference nor meet
with the Sinn Féin delegation on our comprehensive
proposals for the practical steps which the EU could take
in the time ahead.

"Given that all of the political parties in the 26 counties
profess to be in favour of Irish unity, particularly Fianna
Fail - 'The Republican Party', Fine Gael - 'The United
Ireland Party' and the Irish Labour Party, it is of concern
that MEPs could not spare the time to listen to how the
European Union could assist in the project of Irish

"I hope to write to all Irish MEPs in the near future to
seek their practical support for Sinn Féin's document 'EU
Support for Irish Reunification'." ENDS


Sinn Féin To Host Major All-Ireland Integration Conference

Published: 20 October, 2006

Sinn Féin today released details of a major all-Ireland
conference being hosted by the party on Tuesday 24th
October in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry. Sinn Féin MEP
Bairbre de Brún said that the event would provide an
opportunity for presentations and discussions around issues
of all-Ireland integration and would include contributions
from a variety of outside bodies and agencies.

Speaking today in Belfast Ms deBrún said:

"Sinn Féin is hosting an All Ireland conference, on the
theme of 'Building an Integrated future for the Border
Region', on Tuesday October 24th 2006, in the Canal Court
Hotel, Newry beginning at 10am.

"The event will act as a forum for presentations and
discussions around the important issue of cross border
integration in Ireland. It will involve an audience of
individuals and groups involved in delivering cross-border
projects, as well as policy makers from departmental and
local government level, both north and south.

"The morning session will involve presentations and
discussion, on the importance, benefits and need for
increased cross-border integration, from a panel of
speakers including Kate Burns (CEO, ICBAN), Michelle
Gildernew MP and Dr. Patricia Clarke (Centre for Cross
Border Studies).

"Following lunch, Gerry Adams MP, will open the afternoon
session, and this will be followed by presentations from
cross-border projects operating in the fields of health
(CAWT), tourism (Green Box) and the environment (Stem).

"Mr Mike Smith, Senior Lecturer with Economics at the
University of Ulster will speak on the topic of economic
regeneration in the border region.

"The final session of the conference will place the
discussions around integration in Ireland's border region
into a wider European context, with speakers including Jens
Gabbe (Secretary General, Association of European Border
Regions),Shaun Henry (SEUPB) and a speaker from EU Regional
Policy Directorate." ENDS


Opin: Remember, Remember The 24th Of November…

(Quintin Oliver, Business Eye)

This commentator is not risk averse. However, I might be
risking a lot more of my reputation by suggesting that the
24 November deadline for the return of devolution can be
met. Here's why…

On the Monday before the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement
was settled in 1998 (interestingly, it was never 'signed'
as such, because the parties never actually met together,
remember? It was a bit like the DUP and Sinn Féin now,
between Trimble's UUP and SF), 85% of us believed that no
deal was possible. 'What, our politicians, who have been
arguing for centuries and in talks for two years, with
boycotts, suspensions and walkouts, reach an historic deal
by Friday of this week? No chance' we thought.

And they did. Again in December 1998, they went into an
all-nighter to agree the ten departments, Seamus Mallon
went to hospital for a gall-bladder removal and Eddie
McGrady stumbled out into the Great Hall of Stormont at
4.00 a.m. to announce agreement. Again, remember Leeds
Castle? The DUP had triumphed in the November 2003 Assembly
elections and the return to the stately home circuit was
widely derided as unnecessary and unproductive. And yet,
Paisley, who had undergone his near-death experience that
summer entered the Talks with rigour and very nearly
settled the deal in December 2004, but for the 'grubby
Polaroid' as Reg Empey memorably described it. Then the
Northern Bank was relieved of £26 million, and Robert
McCartney was murdered.

I recount these spectacular surprises and tantalising near
misses to remind us all of the huge progress we have made,
and of the unhealthy scepticism we all share. That often
becomes self-fulfilling. Readers remember the failures, and
forget the successes – we expect them. Commentators remind
us of their successful predictions and overlook their poor

Let me list the reasons why we may have hope:

The DUP needs to be in power; it has enjoyed a huge mandate
since November 2003 and has not yet been able to deliver
anything of substance to its supporters

DUP voters, while disciplined in their acceptance of their
leadership and its advice, will not stay docile for ever.
Just as Adams has had to massage and tack to his republican
constituency at times, so the DUP knows that their voters
will 'flip' at some future stage – the question is 'when'?

Paisley wants to say 'Yes'! Having built his eight decades
on 'No' he wants, even momentarily, to be able to say 'I
withstood the pressures, until the time was right. Follow
me. Trust me. Support my final effort'

Paisley's rhetoric over the recent past has softened in
certain key respects and prepared new ground. His Somme
speeches this summer recognised the sacrifices made,
praised the men's bravery, recalled their iron discipline
and ended with the recollection that when people went over
the top, we must all go with them, as comrades. Could that
presage a new 'going over the top'?

DUP MLAs backbenchers and many staffers are desperate to do
a deal; they are tired defending 'waiting for Provo' and
most have never had full-time jobs in politics before; they
aren't overly keen to return to shops, offices and farms,
but are keen, on the other hand, to 'do good' as they see
it, for their voters, to deliver change, to wield the
levers of power

Hain's threats are working. The DUP ritually complains
about the artificiality of the November deadline and the
crass attempts to bribe and cajole (on the 11+, water
charges, increased domestic rates, the outworkings of the
RPA, industrial de-rating and slashing those departmental
numbers that McGrady negotiated that night in 1998, for
example), but they are working. Voters aren't best pleased
when they perceive their interests being denied for a point
of principle, especially when that principle can seem
arcane and theoretical. MLAs are frustrated

The argument about their (the DUP) power-sharing already on
local councils is really hitting home; it is illogical and
untenable to talk to SF locally, to argue with SF on joint
media platforms and to be active in the Preparation for
Government Committee at Stormont but not to cut a deal
(with lots of guarantees)

And SF wants in too; their election strategy for the Dáil
next year depends on being 'inside the gates' rather than
picketing outside them; other republican current weaknesses
(economic policy, internal security, dissidents in the
ranks, alleged criminality and lack of internal coherence
can all be exploited during coming negotiations. No talk of
'On the Runs' now

Sadly, the positions of the other key (elected) players,
SDLP, UUP and Alliance, feature little here in this
discussion (nor in many at Stormont, I guess, either). This
is all about DUP and SF – 'ourselves alone' as it were

And finally, for the DUP, the 'what if not…?' argument is
also persuasive; 'Dublin rule' as it will be portrayed, is
the exact opposite of what their quarter million voters
were promised. No politician worth their salt wants to
stumble backwards into the future…

So, watch out for serious work, behind-the-scenes arm-
twisting and apparently unconnected announcements – the
choreography begins in September. Let dancing commence!

October 20, 2006

This article appeared in the September 2006 edition of the
Business Eye.


Opin: Eric Waugh: Good Deal Ensures Politics Remains Art Of The Cynic

20 October 2006

Everyone wants a deal. But not this way, surely? The
objective is stainless in its probity, but the means - well
- so sordid. First there is the bribery. The rates cap is
one bribe.

If it was unacceptable in September, why is it found so
instantly acceptable in October? We have never been told
why, if it is held desirable and expedient in England and
Wales, it was expressly excluded in Northern Ireland.

We all know. Of course we do. The curry which is spicing
the current haggling over a devolution deal has been a long
time in the cooking inside Number 10 and the NIO. If the
horses were to be driven to the water, it was going to be
necessary to bribe them to drink.

If academic selection was unacceptable in September, why so
suddenly acceptable in October? We all know. Of course we

Politics may be the art of the possible, but John Kenneth
Galbraith augmented Bismarck by declaring that it consists
in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
Again we all know what he meant. In reality, politics is
the art of the cynic.

The demand for a financial sweetener of £1bn to accompany
the conclusion of a new deal is quite in keeping. No doubt
civil servants in numerous offices in both London and
Belfast are at this moment immersed in the serpentine
exercise of re-mobilising Northern Ireland funds already in
the pipeline, and which can now be suitably re-badged as
part of the "peace dividend".

Good luck to them. I do not blame them; for the very notion
that citizens should have to be bribed to behave sensibly
in a democracy is quite outrageous.

I am vastly entertained by the proposal that the Ahern
Government in Dublin should be invited to participate in
the peace dividend. How much is it worth to them to buy off
Paisley and to see Sinn Fein safely diverted into pastures
new at Stormont and kept too busy to cast much of an eye
across the border?

Financially, Ahern's Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen,
could well afford it. He expects to have a tax surplus of
£1.8bn to give away in his December Budget.

But there is a general election looming in the Republic and
there are no votes here so Ahern will be expecting Cowen to
have his eye on dividends much nearer home altogether - on
the punitive stamp duty on the Republic's house-buyers, for
example, which, with inexorably rising prices, now averages
£16,000 for the first-time buyer.

We are a big turn-off down south. When the said election
campaign gets going, cast an eye down the issues listed by
the pollsters.

Mostly 'the North' will not even get a mention; if it does,
it will be bottom of the pile. Would you blame them? I
certainly would not. If I still lived down there, would I
want to know? No way.

Perhaps the greatest contribution to the stability of a new
devolved Government at Stormont would be garnered were
there some magic potion which would infuse Sinn Fein with
the truth that the unity of the island, for the great
majority in the Republic, is now a matter of lip-service

Oh, yes: they will march and wave their tricolours, and
growl with anger when Orangemen misbehave. They imbibe with
their mothers' milk a chauvinistic resentment of the Old
Enemy across the water.

They still, even now, do not feel it quite the thing to fly
the Union flag, along with the banners of those well-known
sources of tourist hordes, Luxembourg and Belgium, outside
their hotels.

But in their hearts they know they live off trading with
the Brits and it is not in their nature to be nasty to
visitors. So they would rather be left alone, thank you,
when our squabbles arise. To be blunt, we are bad for

Then there is the great unanswered question: how could they
afford to keep us in the manner to which we have insisted
on becoming accustomed? The additional cost, at a rough
guess, would involve the doubling of all their existing tax

To nationalists who would disdain this defeatist talk, I
would recommend a brief sally into the political archives.

They confirm that Harold Wilson, seriously alarmed at the
disorder in Ulster in 1968-69, directed his secretariat,
long before the suspension of Stormont, to prepare a
doomsday scenario for a British withdrawal from Northern

Dublin soon got wind of it. The reaction of the Lynch
Government was eloquent. Diplomatic wires to London grew
hot with anxious pleas that there should be no precipitate
action. Would the reaction of Bertie Ahern be any different
if the existence of a similar exercise by Blair were to be
leaked now?

The moral of all this is simply put. It is that Northern
Ireland is what it is. For reasons well known, it is
unlikely to undergo constitutional change in the lifetimes
of anyone now living. So it is only to waste opportunities
to behave as if it is. In the meantime there is a
successful devolved Government waiting to be run.


Residents Vote To Keep Dingle Name

20/10/2006 - 16:17:10

An overwhelming number of those polled in the Dingle - An
Daingean place-name plebiscite have voted in favour of
retaining the name Dingle.

Results just announced show that 1,005 people voted for
Dingle and 70 voted against.

The ballot drew a response of 89.6% from more than twelve
hundred residents deemed eligible to vote.

The official name of the west Kerry town was changed from
Dingle to An Daingean in 2005 under legislation governing
placenames in Gaeltacht areas.


Former Mayor Carey Honored At Funeral

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE — Former Mayor James Patrick Carey was honored
during his funeral this morning as a man of inclusion,
vision and openness.

Van Smith, close friend and Muncie industrialist, likened
Carey to the great Irish American heroes like Al Smith, Jim
Farley and other early 20th century politicians.

“Jim brought us a message of public civility that we could
all benefit from remembering and emulating,” Smith said
during Carey’s funeral.

More than 200 people joined in the Catholic Mass at Saint
Mary’s Catholic Church Friday to praise and bless Carey,
who died Monday following a fight with Alzheimer’s and
declining health.

His wife, Marilyn, son, Michael, and other family members
walked with the casket after having greeted hundreds of
friends, and acquaintances the day before during calling at
Meeks Mortuary.

Delaware County Sheriff George Sheridan Jr. had sheriff’s
deputies stand at attention at the Delaware County Jail as
Carey’s body traveled from the mortuary. And a military
honor guard, recognizing Carey’s U.S. Navy service, stood
over him at his final resting place at Elm Ridge Cemetery.

Carey, 79, former mayor, county sheriff and police chief,
had a public career than spanned more than 50 years. His
lasting legacy included building the new Muncie City Hall,
and beginning the redevelopment of downtown Muncie.

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