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November 19, 2006

More Scrutiny of MI5's Role in Ulster Needed

News About Ireland & The Irish

GU 11/19/06 Call For More Scrutiny Of MI5's Role In Ulster
TO 11/19/06 Election Timing Angers DUP
II 11/18/06 Ian Won't Shake Gerry's Hand
SB 11/19/06 Object To Catholic Murder Ended Officer's Army Career
TO 11/19/06 Police Winning Over Republican Heartland
TO 11/19/06 Gallagher: Adams Death Threat Is Bogus
II 11/18/06 Corrupt Company's Link To SF $375,000 Fundraiser
LP 11/18/06 McCabe: If Only 1 Copy Is Sold-Here Is Factual Record
BB 11/18/06 Film Exposes Ireland's 'Dark Underbelly'
RE 11/17/06 British Director Takes Irish Tiger By The Tail
YO 11/18/06 Cillian Murphy Reveals Versatile Self
ST 11/17/06 Flatly 'Inundated' With Support
NJ 11/18/06 Irish-American Group Honors County Residents


Call For More Scrutiny Of MI5's Role In Ulster

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday November 19, 2006
The Observer

Some of MI5's activities could be placed under the
independent scrutiny of Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman
under a move to be made at Westminster on Tuesday.

The SDLP are tabling an amendment to the Northern Ireland
Bill, which will bring the St Andrews Agreement into law.
It will give the Ombudsman powers to investigate security
operations that jointly involve MI5 and the Police Service
of Northern Ireland.

At present under the St Andrews deal, MI5, which now has
supreme control of all counter-terrorist intelligence in
the North of Ireland, is not subject to any independent
outside control.

Mark Durkan, the SDLP leader, confirmed last night that the
party intended to attempt to amend the Agreement in order
to make the security services' actions amenable to the
Ombudsman. Under the Patten reforms, the PSNI is obliged in
law to open all its files to the Ombudsman in any

'If we don't act on this then MI5's role will undermine the
whole point of Patten, which was to grant some democratic
control and scrutiny over security policies,' Durkan said.

'If the status quo remains, any future Minister of Justice
or Policing will have no access, let alone control of, a
crucial part of security policy. In the event of a
terrorist outrage taking place here, a Minister of Justice
would be standing up in the Assembly unable to give the
full intelligence picture as he or she wouldn't have any
access to that intelligence,' the Foyle MP said.

Policing has become the key to unlocking the door to
restored devolution in Northern Ireland. A crucial element
to the Northern Ireland Bill is a pledge by future First
and Deputy First Ministers to support the PSNI and the rule
of law. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are encountering
grassroots opposition to Sinn Fein signing up to support
what they see as a British police force.

The Adams-McGuinness leadership have tried to sell the St
Andrews deal by pointing to the possibility of a Sinn Fein
Minister of Policing or Justice when those powers are
devolved. However, the transfer of terrorist intelligence
from the police to MI5 means at present that any such
minister would have no effective control over counter-
terrorrist operations in Northern Ireland.

Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson said the party was
happy with the ministerial pledge contained within the 71-
page bill. 'If Sinn Fein sign up then they are in reality
pledging support for a British police force,' he said.

Donaldson said the DUP was also content that all counter-
terrorist intelligence in the North of Ireland was in the
hands of MI5. 'Terrorist intelligence and counter-terrorist
operations have effectively been boxed off. No local
minister can get their hands on or ever abuse that
information or policies,' he added.

It is now highly likely that the government's 24 November
deadline will pass without the parties forming a devolved
administration. Irish government sources admitted that
Peter Hain's threat to roll up the Stormont Assembly and
make its members redundant on Friday will not now be
carried out.

'The real deadline is 26 March after the elections on the
2nd,' one Dublin source told The Observer. 'It gives
everybody time to sell the deal to their respective

Meanwhile the centrist Alliance Party warned last night
that the St Andrews Agreement is threatening to become a
'division of power rather than a power sharing

Alliance leader David Ford said the exclusion of his party
from tomorrow's Programme for Government Committee at
Stormont indicated that Sinn Fein and the DUP, are 'more
interested in a sectarian carve up rather than inclusion'.


Election Timing Angers DUP

THE DUP is unlikely to help a bill implementing the St
Andrews Agreement to pass into law, because of concerns
about its timetable and the method of electing the first
and deputy-first ministers, writes Liam Clarke.

Ian Paisley's party is particularly concerned about a
requirement that the devolved Assembly should "go live" on
March 26, the latest "unbreakable" deadline to be set by
the government. One of the party's MPs said the deadline
"lacked credibility".

The party's MPs will vote in favour of the bill at its
second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday,
indicating that they support its underlying principles. But
they will not vote for it to be enacted on the crucial
third reading, without key changes.

The government will still be able to push the bill through
but if the DUP votes against or abstains, it will inject
further uncertainty into the plans to restore devolution
next year.

Lesser concerns surround clause 16.6 of the bill, which
could allow Sinn Fein to nominate the first minister if it
becomes the largest party in Northern Ireland. The DUP is
concerned that Sinn Fein could overtake it in size, even
though Unionists might retain an overall majority in the

The timetable issue is more pressing. The DUP has still not
spoken directly to Sinn Fein and Peter Hain, the secretary
of state, has had to abandon next Friday's deadline for the
nomination of first and deputy-first ministers.


Ian Won't Shake Gerry's Hand

IAN Paisley won't be shaking hands with Gerry Adams or
Martin McGuinness at Stormont tomorrow.

The DUP leader's son made it clear last night that Dr
Paisley won't be attending the Preparation for Government
Committee scheduled for tomorrow morning despite Sinn
Fein's hopes that the groundbreaking meeting could happen
soon. Ian Paisley Jnr confirmed last night that his father
won't be attending the Committee meeting and wasn't
preparing to greet either of the two Sinn Fein leaders


Objection To Catholic Murder Ended British Officer's Army Career

19 November 2006 By Colm Heatley

A former senior British Army intelligence officer has
claimed that his military career in the North was ended
after he raised objections about the murder of a Catholic
man in Co Armagh, which he believes was carried out in
collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.

A former senior British Army intelligence officer has
claimed that his military career in the North was ended
after he raised objections about the murder of a Catholic
man in Co Armagh, which he believes was carried out in
collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.

Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Wylde, who served in the North
during the early to mid-1970s, told The Sunday Business
Post the murder was carried out after information was
passed from the British Army to a loyalist gang who then
shot dead an innocent Catholic with no political

Wylde, who was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his
bomb disposal work at the start of the Troubles, said that
after ``objecting very strongly'' he was transferred back
to England within a matter of days. He refused to identify
the Catholic man who was murdered.

``It left me very disillusioned with how things were going
on," he said. ``It was a case of an innocent man being shot
dead and there was clearly collusion involved. I objected
extremely strongly to what had happened and I expressed
those objections at an army meeting."

``It was clear from the meeting that my views on the matter
meant further service in Northern Ireland was incompatible.

"I wasn't supported in what I said and very shortly
afterwards, not even weeks but a matter of days, I was
transferred out of Northern Ireland, I have no doubt that
my objections were a cause of that," said Wylde, who is now
retired and living in the south of England.

He said that at the time the Catholic man was killed, a
number of loyalist sectarian murders were taking place
along the border and in Co Armagh.

The former intelligence officer said he left the matter in
the hands of the British military but never received any
follow-up contact. After being transferred out of the
North, Wylde became involved in Cold War spying in the
former East Germany, where he was stationed for a time.

An international panel of legal experts, commissioned by
the Derry-based human rights group, The Pat Finucane
Centre, concluded in a report published earlier this month
that there was evidence of RUC and British army collusion
in 74murders by loyalists that occurred between 1972 and

Wylde, who is an explosives expert, said that after
studying the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974 he was
convinced that the UVF did not have the capability to make
such devices and believes they could only have come from
one of two sources.

``It was either republicans who gave them the bomb or the
British Army. I would imagine the first option is
unlikely," he said.

Wylde said he would consider providing information to
Patrick McEntee SC, one of the country's leading criminal
barristers, who is carrying out an inquiry into the Garda's
handling of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which killed
33 people.

``If Paddy McEntee approached me to give evidence on the
matter, I would give it serious consideration," Wylde said.

Wylde has previously given evidence to the Baron Tribunal,
which investigated the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. In
December 1998 Wylde was charged with offences under the
British Government's Official Secrets Act.

He was accused of giving a journalist confidential security
documents relating to British Army conduct in Ireland.

However, in November 2000 the case against him collapsed
and all charges were withdrawn.


Police Winning Over Republican Heartland

Liam Clarke

EVEN as Sinn Fein agonises over whether to sign up to
policing as part of the St Andrews agreement, the Police
Service of Northern Ireland seems to be winning its battle
for hearts and minds in the republican heartlands of South

In the Newry and Mourne policing command area, 97 locals
have applied to join the police as part-time officers after
a PSNI open day in August. In January the first 10
successful applicants will go on patrol.

Chief Superintendent Bobby Hunniford said: "We were told we
would never fill the vacancies, but 37 of the applicants
were Catholics and a number of others seemed to be from
nationalist backgrounds though they put down "no religion"
on the application form.

"They came from right across the area, some from Newry.
Unfortunately we only had 42 vacancies so many of them were

The first 10 part-timers can expect co-operation from the
public, even in republican heartlands once designated by
British forces as "bandit country". In the past year police
have had 1,637 calls from Crossmaglen and Forkhill asking
for assistance, or reporting crime. The figures are
particularly startling given that the villages have less
than 2,000 people between them. There were 256 recorded
crimes in the villages last year.

In South Armagh at least 58 RUC officers and 124 British
soldiers were killed during the Troubles.

"The sort of calls we get are a sign of increased
confidence," said Hunniford, who is the district commander
for Newry and Mourne. "They would be about everything from
cows on the road to serious crime. Some require
preventative action rather than arrests, for instance anti-
drink driving operations.

"People are now prepared to contact the police when there
is trouble. For many, it is the first contact they will
have had with the police and it is important we react

The figures have come as a surprise to republicans. Anthony
Flynn, a Sinn Fein councillor from Forkhill, said: "That
seems an awful lot of reported crime. I don't think there
is a greater willingness to go to the police."

Geraldine Donnelly, an SDLP councillor who lives a mile
outside Crossmaglen, detects a lingering fear among some
locals at being associated with the police.

She said in the past there was "fear and apprehension"
about going to the police, but "that attitude is gradually
breaking down because people want normality".

Sinn Fein's attitude to the PSNI is still decidedly
ambiguous. "Everyone recognises that we need a police
force," said Flynn. "We are up for it. But it has to be an
acceptable police force.

"Negotiations are ongoing. It's down to our leadership and
we support them." He believes that the next step will come
when policing powers are devolved to local politicians at

In the meantime he sees a role for the community-watch
groups which have moved into the vacuum left after the
IRA's unofficial policing role fizzled out.

Hunniford says such groups have often arrived at crime
scenes before his officers but fade away once police
arrive. "In legal and practical terms they can't
investigate crime."

However, he sees a possible role for such groups in the
future - as members of them are well-intentioned - working
with young people or victims through restorative justice

Packie McDonald, a Sinn Fein councillor who is involved in
Dromintee Community Watch, said: "I agree with him
(Hunniford) that there is no confrontation. There are 11 of
these groups and they are there to prevent crime not solve
it. No matter how good a police service you have it is not
as good as five or six neighbours turning up to offer
support. No police force can answer every call."

Problems still remain for the PSNI, however. Crossmaglen
and Forkhill are the only parts of the province where the
force still patrols with British Army back-up, though that
can only last until July when the army role in Northern
Ireland ends.


Gallagher: Adams Death Threat Is Bogus

Liam Clarke

A LEADING republican dissident has dismissed claims that
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are under a death threat
as "bogus". The two Sinn Fein leaders had claimed that the
threat against them came from disaffected IRA members and
elements of the INLA.

Willie Gallagher, a former INLA prisoner who has been in
talks with other republican groups, described their claims
as "rubbish". He said: "I believe that someone in Sinn Fein
has concocted this to divert people away from the party's
internal problems with the PSNI. It is designed to get the
troops to rally round the leadership during this `great
time of danger' and stifle political criticism."

Adams and McGuinness aired their fears of a death threat at
a Sinn Fein press conference in Belfast last Monday. Adams
said that the two leaders and Gerry Kelly had stepped up
their personal security as a result.

It is understood Adams had raised the same issue in recent
weeks in meetings with Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland
secretary, with the Irish government and with Sir Hugh
Orde, the PSNI chief constable.

Adams claimed the threat emanated from "a handful of
disaffected IRA people" who may have linked up with
"members of republican micro groups and some members of the
INLA". He continued: "I would say to republicans out there
who have concerns about the present political situation
that they should not allow themselves to be manipulated or
to have their concerns exploited by those who have very,
very narrow cul-de-sac agendas."

Later McGuinness said the threats had "become more serious,
as a debate within Sinn Fein has opened up on the issue of
ending political policing".

The PSNI has not warned the Sinn Fein leadership of any
threat and Michael McDowell, the Irish justice minister,
said he is not aware of one either.

Gallagher believes that Adams and McGuinness are referring
to a programme of meetings which had involved Real IRA
supporters, members of Sinn Fein and members of the IRSP,
the political wing of the INLA. He said that a larger and
more public meeting was planned to be held before

The former INLA prisoner accused the Sinn Fein leaders of
trying to "negate and stifle any type of debate by
vilifying us as collaborators and assassins so that nobody
will have anything to do with us".

Gallagher added: "I have attended every meeting and there
has been no discussion of any kind of military actions or
campaign. What we have discussed is the political
capitulation of Sinn Fein.

"There is not a chance in the world of the INLA ceasefire
being broken. I do not see any role for armed struggle at
the present time and we are absolutely opposed to anyone
from Sinn Fein being killed."


Corrupt Company's Link To Sinn Fein $375,000 Fundraiser

Jody Corcoran

AN EX-PAT founder of a corrupt US building firm has emerged
as the main organiser of a fundraising event in New York
two weeks ago which raised $375,000 for Sinn Fein, the
Sunday Independent can reveal.

The fundraising dinner, hosted by Friends of Sinn Fein, was
the first such event attended by Gerry Adams since a ban on
him raising money in the US was lifted.

The ban was imposed after the IRA murder of Robert
McCartney last January and the œ26m Northern Bank raid in
December 2005, also carried out by the IRA.

The murderers of Mr McCartney remain at large and the
Northern Bank raid, while under active investigation, is
still unsolved.

Notwithstanding this, about 750 people, paying $500 a
plate, attended the Sinn Fein fundraising event at the
Sheraton Hotel on November 9, raising about $375,000 for
the party.

In Ireland, where many of the major US technology companies
are based, Sinn Fein wants to return Capital Gains Tax of
40 per cent from the present level of 12.5 per cent, a move
which economic experts warn would do long-term damage to
the economy. It also wants to return employer's PRSI to 12
per cent. At present it ranges from 8.5 per cent to 10.75
per cent.

One of the main organisers of the Sinn Fein fundraising
event in Manhattan was Pat Donaghy, the founder of New
York's third-largest construction firm, Structure Tone,
which has revenues of close to ?2bn.

"A lot of those attending were there at his invitation," a
well-placed source told the Sunday Independent.

Mr Donaghy, originally from Co Tyrone, who emigrated to New
York in the late Fifties, is a major financial backer of
Sinn Fein. He sold tables for this month's event to many of
the companies which do business with his firm. His niece,
Pauline Quinn, an IRA member, served time in Maghaberry
prison in the North.

Structure Tone formed a central part of a five-year
corruption investigation by the Manhattan District

The District Attorney found that consultants, brokers,
architects and contractors conspired throughout the
Nineties to rig bidding for work carried out at some of New
York's best-known companies, such as the Sony Corporation,
Credit Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley, Bertelsmann AG
and Gleacher & Company.

In 1998, in a plea bargain, Structure Tone pleaded guilty
to paying a bribe to obtain a $500m contract at the Sony
Building at Madison Avenue and 56th Street, according to an
article published in the New York Times in 1998.

According to investigators, Structure Tone paid about $2.3m
in kickbacks while it worked at the Sony building in the
early Nineties. It was one of five construction companies
that admitted they participated in a scheme to rig bidding
on $2bn worth of renovation work.

Structure Tone pleaded guilty to commercial bribery and
agreed to pay $10m in lieu of fines and forfeiture of
assets. Hours after pleading guilty, the company issued a
statement saying it was a "victim" of the bid-rigging
scheme and had merely paid "legitimate sales commissions",
a claim that incensed the prosecutors.

Political parties here, particularly Fianna Fail, will
seize on today's disclosure should Sinn Fein attempt to
make further capital out the main government party's links
to property developers in advance of the general election.

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams spoke at this month's
dinner in the Sheraton Hotel. Last year he was forced to
address it via a satellite link from Dublin.

It is thought Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to
Northern Ireland, recommended the ban be lifted despite
Sinn Fein's refusal to back the Police Service of Northern
Ireland. The lifting of the ban came as Sinn Fein gave
conditional support to the timetable for devolution laid
out by the Irish and British governments in the St Andrews

Last year President Bush delivered a humiliating rebuff to
Gerry Adams by inviting the victims of IRA violence to the
White House for St Patrick's Day.

The Sinn Fein leader had been hoping for a face-to-face
meeting with Mr Bush. Instead, Mr Bush asked the family of
Robert McCartney to an intimate gathering where they met
the President, Peter Hain, the Northern Secretary, and the
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. This year he invited the McCartneys
and the family of Joseph Rafferty.


Sun, 19/11/06

McCabe: It Doesn't Matter If Only One Copy Is Sold-Here Is
A Factual Record

John O'Shaughnessy

"HE was a decent man, cruelly gunned down by people wanting
to carry on a war of terror in this country. Now the real
story has finally been told".

So said Progressive Democrats founder Dessie O'Malley, who
performed the official launch of To The Honour of Jerry
McCabe, before 450 invited guests, at the South Court
Hotel, on Monday last.

In accusing the media of having bought the Sinn Fein party
line, Mr O'Malley said that the book launch was not just a
Limerick occasion, but one in which the people of Ireland
had once more the opportunity to share the loss that Ann
McCabe and her family suffered 10 years ago.

"Jerry McCabe's death was not an accident-he was gunned
down", said the speaker, whose 15 minute address was given
a standing ovation.

Ann McCabe, who fully co-operated with local journalist
Dermot Walsh in the writing of the book, said it mattered
not if only one copy was sold.

"What we now have is a factual record of the Adare
shooting, and it will be placed in public libraries for
future reference".

The last 10 years of her life, she continued, had changed
dramatically as a result of happenings in Adare.

"I was thrown into the threadmill of the media and court
cases. I have become a public figure and have drawn courage
from the support of Limerick people and those throughout
the country".

Dermot Walsh, in thanking the McCabe family for agreeing to
an authorised version of events, said that things had now
been put on public record, and that people could see what
happened, how it happened and what happened afterwards. He
claimed that obstructions were put in his way when he
started to write the book.

Mr Walsh, former Irish Press correspondent in Limerick,
thanked the Irish Examiner library department for having
allowed him full access to their files. In describing Ann
McCabe as a woman of enormous spirit, grit and steel of
character, he paid special tribute to Pat Kearney for his
support in the venture. John O'Connor of publishers
Blackwater Press, referred to To The Honour of Jerry McCabe
as a very special book, while Pat O'Sullivan, Principal,
Rockwell College, spoke of the late Jerry McCabe's years at
the college.

Many of Jerry McCabe's former colleagues were in
attendance, including fellow Kerryman Jerry O'Sullivan, who
served as a detective at both William Street and Henry

Ben O'Sullivan, who was also shot in Adare, was seen in the
company of ex colleagues Pat Silke, Pat and Mary Coleman
and Cllr Cormac Hurley.

Inspector Frank O'Brien from Roxboro' Garda Station, was
spotted in the company of Pat Kearney.

Public representatives included Cllrs Kieran O'Donnell, who
told me he had not seen such a gathering since the Fine
Gael convention, Brigid Teefy, Noreen Ryan, Diarmuid
Scully, Kieran O'Hanlon, Niall Collins, MEP Gerry Collins,
TD's Tim O'Malley and Michael Noonan,state solicitor,
Michael Murray, as well as Cameron and Una Heaton,
auctioneer John Stapleton, Eddie McCarthy, Michael
O'Malley, Jackie Ormston,Tadgh Kearney, Marie McCabe, Mr
and Mrs Frank Lynch, Clareview, Paddy O'Sullivan, Corbally,
Batsy Hartnett, Mr and Mrs Jack O'Sullivan, Monaleen,
journalist Arthur Quinlan, and Eileen Kearney, sister of
Jerry McCabe, and family members, Gordon, Peter and Lisa,
from Annacotty.


Film Exposes Ireland's 'Dark Underbelly'

The "dark underbelly" of Ireland's successful Celtic Tiger
economy is set to come to the big screen in a new film.

Renowned director John Boorman said he aimed to highlight a
society "cut adrift from morality and overdosing on

The phrase "Celtic Tiger" refers to the remarkable growth
of the Irish economy over the past decade.

The central character of The Tiger's Tale is a corrupt
property developer, which Boorman says represents the worst
of "gold rush" Ireland.

"These guys are the new emperors - they bestride the
universe and they leave their huge carbon footprints all
over the place," says Boorman.

'Duelling Banjos'

Boorman's films include Deliverance, Point Blank, Hope and
Glory and The General, which starred Brendan Gleeson, who
plays the main character in The Tiger's Tale.

Deliverance contains a famous scene in which one of the
canoe party is drawn into a "musical duel" with a banjo-
plucking mountain boy.

The track, "Duelling Banjos", became a huge hit and was the
inspiration for The General, about notorious Irish criminal
Martin Cahill who was murdered by the IRA in 1994.

Boorman, who lives near Dublin, says: "Cahill burgled my
house many years ago - he stole the gold disc for Duelling

The Tiger's Tale is due for release in 2007.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/18 09:56:49 GMT


INTERVIEW - British Director Takes Irish Tiger By The Tail

Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:15 PM IST
By Kevin Smith

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Its "Celtic Tiger" boom may have made
Ireland one of the richest nations in Europe but British
film maker John Boorman has chosen to portray what he calls
the dark underbelly of that success in his latest movie.

"The Tiger's Tale" is a twisted allegory about fate and
identity set against the backdrop of modern Ireland and
paints a grim picture of a society cut adrift from morality
and overdosing on excess.

"People feel it's too bleak a view but I'm not purporting
to show everything that's going on," Boorman, who has lived
in a Georgian mansion near Dublin for 36 years, told

"It's about a man and his family over a period of several
days ... and in a sense it's a journey through a sort of
hell that this man goes through -- I'm getting at the dark
underbelly of Ireland."

The film's main character -- played by prominent Irish
actor Brendan Gleeson -- is a corrupt property developer, a
breed that represents for Boorman the worst of "gold rush"

"These guys are the new emperors -- they bestride the
universe and they leave their huge carbon footprints all
over the place," said Boorman, whose films -- 1985's "The
Emerald Forest" in particular -- often highlight
environmental concerns.

"They feel they're beyond the law and the hubris of these
men is extraordinary. But it's particularly visible in
Ireland because of the contrast with the Ireland that went

In "The Tiger's Tale" -- which has its UK release in
January -- the main character finds himself squeezed to the
side of his own life by the arrival of his long-lost, and
much less successful, twin and indeed, the idea of
displacement and the outsider are recurrent themes in 73-
year-old Boorman's work.


In "Point Blank", the ground-breaking Hollywood thriller
that put Boorman on the map in 1967, Lee Marvin plays a
vengeful loner, while in 1972's "Deliverance -- perhaps his
best-known film -- things go badly wrong for four suburban
men on a canoe trip in the wilderness of the Appalachian

"Deliverance", which garnered three Oscar nominations,
remains a landmark for the director, whose other award-
winning works include "Hell in the Pacific" and "Hope and

"Technically, I think Deliverance is my most complete film
in the sense that I look at it now and there's nothing I
would change really," Boorman said.

"I think it has that kind of unity and structure that is
very strong and complete."

The film, which starred Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds,
contains a famous scene in which one of the canoe party is
drawn into a "musical duel" with a banjo-plucking mountain

The track, a bluegrass classic entitled "Duelling Banjos",
became a huge cross-over hit and years later became an
ironic inspiration for Boorman's highly acclaimed 1998
movie "The General", about notorious Irish criminal Martin

"Cahill burgled my house many years ago -- he stole the
gold disc for "Duelling Banjos"," Boorman said.

"I followed his career rather closely after that."

Cahill, who was killed in 1994 by Irish Republican Army
guerrillas, is shown in the film disgustedly snapping the
disc in two when he realises it's not made of solid gold.

For Boorman, Cahill represented a certain type.

"If he was alive today he would probably be a property
developer," he said.


Cillian Murphy Reveals Versatile Self: Filming On Home
Turf, Irish Actor Turns In A Natural Performance

Atsuko Matsumoto / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

Cillian Murphy is a hard actor to describe, especially in
light of the diverse and challenging roles he has played.
But his latest film, The Wind That Shakes the Barley,
offers a great opportunity to be struck by one of his most
raw and straightforward performances.

"The whole experience was totally unique, totally untainted
or untouched by the normal nonsense that's around
filmmaking," Murphy said of his experience working on
British director Ken Loach's film, which won the Palme d'Or
at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

The story takes place in the 1920s in Cork, Ireland's
second largest city. Murphy plays a young man who gives up
becoming a doctor in London to join the Irish Republican
Army and fight for the country's independence.

The Irish actor (whose name is pronounced Killian) is
probably best known for playing the Scarecrow, an unfeeling
villain, in director Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins
(2005) and his leading role in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later
(2002). And most recently and sensationally, he charmed
moviegoers in Tokyo playing an adorable transvestite in
Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto (2005).

Through his well-prepared and meticulous portrayals of
these various characters, Murphy has left a powerful
impression each time, but such chameleonlike talent also
makes it hard for audiences to describe the actor himself.

But playing the main role for this film, Murphy found
himself deeply immersed in instinctual acting--which is "to
strip away all the analyzing and all the intellectualizing
and just serve the script and serve the story."

What made this possible is Loach's unique approach to
filmmaking, in which he gives the actors most of their
lines and explains the scenes on the day of shooting. The
amount of information given varies for each actor.

Although such a method requires the actors to improvise
around the dialogue, Murphy didn't mind it at all.

"I absolutely adore that way of don't spend
hours poring over words and deciding on how you're gonna
say them--it just happens, and that to me is what acting
should be about," he said.

Murphy has appeared in a number of stage plays and films,
but as a man from Cork, where the story is set, taking part
in this film means something special.

"Cork has always been a very strong area of Ireland in
terms of resistance against [the] British, so also a civil
war leaves a scar on a nation and on a people, and I think
that was very much the case in Cork," he said.

His family is not an exception. Murphy had a distant cousin
in a flying column who was shot dead by the Black and Tans,
squads recruited in England to quell the armed movement for
Irish independence.

Living in the era through the character has deepened his
respect for those who fought for freedom.

"I was 29 when I shot the film and I think those men and
women were 20, 21, even younger, and they were hugely
committed...their vision for Ireland was something special,
and many of them died trying to bring that to fruition. And
I only hope this film serves their memory justly," said the

Speaking in a hotel room in Tokyo during a visit to promote
the film, a casually dressed Murphy projected more of a
modern, trendy image, not a bit overlapping with what is
seen in the film, except for his piercing blue eyes.

A massive economic boom in the past decade has made Ireland
a prosperous European country, blurring its image as a
nation haunted by a blighted history. Becoming focused more
on the future, do young Irish, like Murphy, still want to
be reminded of darker times?

"People of my generation in Ireland wouldn't know the finer
details of this time, and I think it's only a healthy thing
that this is happening now, that people are looking at this
movie and beginning to understand where our country comes
from," Murphy said confidently.

Unlike Jordan's Michael Collins (1996), a movie about the
legendary Irish revolutionary leader from the same period,
starring Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts, Loach's film
features ordinary people involved in the struggle at the
grassroots level, such as farmers, laborers and

Being a firm believer that everyone can act, the director
cast some local people who had never acted before--a daring
tactic, but one that added authenticity to the film.

"He [Loach] engages people on a human level and also on a
political this film, it's a very engaging story,
hopefully emotionally, because you invest in these
characters. They're ordinary people--that hopefully the
audience can identify with--that find themselves in
extraordinary situations," he said.

Murphy, who believes the film is accessible to anyone,
doesn't think the audience particularly needs to be versed
in Irish history to understand it.

"If you wish to go further and engage politically, you can
see how a story like this may have resonance in today's
climate and relate to other conflicts that are going on,"
he said.

Indeed, the scenes of brutality by the Black and Tans may
turn some viewers' thoughts to what they've recently read
about Iraq in newspapers.

When asked about the Iraq situation specifically, Murphy
said: "Well, people can draw that parallel if they wish. I
don't think that it's going to be prescriptive, it's going
to be you choosing to what degree you wish to engage with
it on."

The film, however, sparked extremely negative reactions in
Britain. Among those to condemn Loach was columnist Tim
Luckhurst, who wrote in The Times, "He still treats IRA
killers like cuddly hippies, still detests the British
State that educated him and pays for his films."

In the face of such harsh criticism, Murphy countered with
a grin: "Well, I actually enjoy talking about this...if
it's to say that [this film] is glorifying the IRA, I think
that's also short-sighted because there's a scene in the
film where I have to shoot dead a 16-year-old traitor."

"Similarly, the last act of the film is about the civil
war, where the whole nation's split apart, and it's well
documented also that the violence carried out when it was
Irishmen against Irishmen was far more vicious and bloody
than the war of independence."

Was this a scripted defense or a spontaneous one?

Perhaps it doesn't matter because whatever approach this
versatile actor takes on or off the screen, he seems
equally convincing.

(Nov. 18, 2006)


Flatly 'Inundated' With Support

Release Date:17/11/2006

Michael Flatley has been "inundated" with support from fans
and wants to get back on stage, a spokeswoman said.

The Riverdance star was hit with a serious illness and has
been receiving treatment in hospital for almost a
fortnight. He is expected to remain there for several days.

All European tour dates for his latest production, Celtic
Tiger, have been cancelled.

A spokeswoman for the star said: "He has been inundated
with messages of support. Dance is his whole life. He was
really looking forward to the tour. He wants to get better
and get back on stage."

Flatley's new bride, Niamh O'Brien, is said to be with him
at the hospital. The 32-year-old, who is a member of the
Celtic Tiger dance troupe, married Flatley in a lavish
ceremony in Co Cork, Ireland last month, after a whirlwind

The couple first met on the set of Riverdance in 1993, but
only became an item earlier this year.

Father Aidan Troy, who married the couple, said he spoke to
Flatley in hospital two weeks ago.

The parish priest of Holy Cross in North Belfast, who is a
close friend of Flatley, said: "I asked him at the time how
he was and he said, 'Fine, I'll be out in a while'."

He added: "I'm obviously concerned having just been
involved in his wedding. Genuinely I'm shocked. Without
being unkind he's not 18. I thought initially it may be
exhaustion or stress."

Flatley, who split with fiancee Lisa Murphy earlier this
year after almost six years together, has been married

In 1986 he wed Polish beauty Beata Dziaba in a registry
office in Copenhagen. The couple divorced in 1997.


Union County: Irish-American Group Honors County Residents

KENILWORTH - The Joseph Nugent Sr. Association of Union
County will hold its 73rd annual dance on Saturday, Nov.
18, from 8 p.m. until midnight at the Kenilworth Veterans
Center located at 33 South 21st Street in Kenilworth.

The Irish-American organization will honor Linda White of
Roselle and Chuck Sherrick of Elizabeth for their many
years of dedication to the Nugent Association. This year's
recipient of the Greta Sheridan Memorial Community Service
Award is Kevin McGee of Roselle Park.

Elizabeth Police Sergeant Matty Glackin of Clark will
receive the the Jack O'Connor Award.

The Nugent Bravest Award will be presented to Hillside
Deputy Fire Chief Bill Borski of Cranford.

The Willie Lynch Show Band will provide entertainment.
Admission is $25.00 and includes beer, wine, coffee, cake
and tea. There will also be a cash bar. Tickets will also
be available at the door.

Founded by Joseph Nugent Sr. in 1933, the Nugent
Association is the oldest independent Irish-American
organization in the State of New Jersey.

Published in the Nov. 16, 2006 issue of the News
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