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November 04, 2006

Ruling On Anonymity For Police Criticised

News About Ireland & The Irish

IN 11/04/06 Ruling On Anonymity For Police Criticised
BB 11/04/06 DUP Is Facing Difficult Decisions
IN 11/04/06 Durkan Urges Governments To Put DUP Under Pressure
BB 11/04/06 DUP Members 'Contact UK Unionist McCartney'
IN 11/04/06 Stadium At Maze `A White Elephant'
BB 11/04/06 Ombudsman Probes Lorry Shooting
IT 11/04/06 Fianna Fail Opens 70th Annual Ardfheis In Dublin
CB 11/04/06 Youth Survives Jammed Gun Attack
IN 11/04/06 War Is Over Says UDA - But No Decommissioning
IN 11/04/06 1969 - A Tortured City Burns With Sectarian Hatred
IN 11/04/06 Big Social Upheaval Took Many By Surprise
IN 11/04/06 Loved Ones Mark 90th Anniversary Of Disaster
IN 11/04/06 Department Spent Œ165,000 On Irish Translation
IN 11/04/06 Bid To Turn Twelfth Into Festival Gaining Ground
IN 11/04/06 Pitcairn Sex Offenders To Start Jail Terms
IN 11/04/06 Hallowed Ground Spawns A Fascinating History
IC 11/04/06 Griffith's Banned Films To Be Shown In Cardiff
JH 11/04/06 Blog: Kilroy Was Here - The Birth Of A Legend


Ruling On Anonymity For Police Criticised

By Staff Reporter

A High Court decision paving the way for police witnesses
at the Robert Hamill Inquiry to give evidence anonymously
was welcomed by their representative body last night but
criticised by nationalists.

Mr Justice Morgan held that the inquiry's approach to
Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights - the
right to life - was flawed.

He upheld a judicial review application brought by a former
RUC officer on behalf

of about 20 retired and serving colleagues who have claimed
their lives would be at risk if their identities are made

They had asked to be screened and known only by an initial
but their request was turned down by the inquiry panel
headed by retired judge Sir Edwin Jowitt.

However, Mr Justice Morgan's ruling means the officers will
now be able to make their own individual claims for
anonymity at the inquiry before giving their evidence.

Mr Hamill, a 25-year-old Catholic, was beaten and kicked to
death by a loyalist mob in Portadown in 1997.

Police have denied claims that four RUC officers in a Land
Rover saw what was happening but failed to act.

Solicitor for the Hamill family, Bara McGrory, said the
family were disappointed at yesterday's decision.

"The family would be of the view that really what concerns
these applications is not the risk to their lives... but
their concern that they might be publicly criticised," Mr
McGrory said.

The inquiry was established to determine if there was any
wrongful act or omission by police which facilitated Mr
Hamill's death or obstruction of the investigation into it.

A lawyer for the inquiry said they would study the reserv-
ed judgement and were considering an appeal.

The inquiry had been due to start hearing evidence in
September but the court case led to an indefinite
postponement. An appeal would further delay the opening.

"Nothing should detract from the determination of serving
and former officers to give evidence before the inquiry,"
Stephen McCann, treasurer of the Police Federation, last
night said.

"However, if they are to be compelled to give evidence they
must be protected from attack by members of our society who
have no interest in hearing the truth."

However, Sinn Fein assembly member John O'Dowd criticised
the ruling and said nationalists and republicans in
Portadown "will not accept another RUC whitewash''.


DUP Is Facing Difficult Decisions

By Gareth Gordon
BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent

Former DUP councillor Walter Millar who rounded on his
former party over the St Andrews Agreement may have neatly
summed up - without realising it - how far the party has
moved - and why there's probably no going back.

Saying he found it "beyond belief" that Ian Paisley would
agree to coalition government with Sinn Fein, he had a
special pop at recent arrivals from the Ulster Unionists
like Jeffrey Donaldson and Arlene Foster.

The "DUP of old" wouldn't have accepted them, he said.

That would be the DUP of old which finished a distant
second to the Ulster Unionists election after election, not
the DUP of today which saw off its rivals in the last
general election by nine seats to one.

That would be the DUP which now regards itself as occupying
the "middle ground of unionism", attracting votes from
thousands of people who wouldn't have gone near the party
with a barge pole in Walter Millar's day.

But electoral success, of course, brings its own problems.
How do you keep your new voters on board without alienating
the Walter Millars of this world; the odd Ballymena
councillor or even a William McCrea or Jim Allister or two?

The Ulster Unionists before them found that the "broad
church" approach can only be so elastic before something

And one thing the DUP is highly unlikely to do is make the
same mistake.

Splits are likely to be avoided at all costs, which might
be one reason why Nigel Dodds - a figure who attracts
widespread support right across the party - came out so
strongly this week.

Saying that the devolution of policing and justice wouldn't
happen in a "political lifetime" - not even Ian Paisley
went that far - will go well in Ballymena's Council chamber
- or in Larne, where the veteran DUP former mayor Jack
McKee made clear he would not accept St Andrews, or Sinn
Fein in government.

He's one of the few who have so far come out publicly, but
the political bush telegraph has been fairly crackling,
with reports of DUP internal strife in the past week or

Four consultation meetings were held behind closed doors -
in Ballymena, Lurgan, Newtownstewart and Belfast.

It is claimed there were "robust" - a mild description in
some cases - exchanges at some of them.

Official sources deny all of this of course and say the
opposition has been less than might have been expected.

We may only really know if and when the party actually
signs up to St Andrews and goes in to bat for it in an

The UK Unionist leader Robert McCartney claims he has
received "numerous" calls from "authenticated" members of
the DUP urging him to run candidates in all 18
constituencies in that event.

He told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme: "I
haven't solicited those contacts. I have simply said to
people 'If you feel strongly enough then you organise
candidates. You let me have their CVs and the UKUP is a
political party with a skeleton crew; if you wish to put a
full crew on it then I won't stop you'.

"I believe there are 21,000 votes, at least, out there of
disappointed and despairing Ulster Unionists and DUP people
who do not want Sinn Fein in government or with guaranteed
places in government."

In the last assembly elections the UKUP fielded just six
candidates winning 4,794 votes - or 0.7%. The DUP need not
be shaking in its boots just yet.

And it is ironic that even after the bloodletting of the
Trimble years, the only unionist MLA or MP who has so far
said they cannot support St Andrews is the Ulster Unionist
MLA David Burnside.

But clearly the DUP has a big decision to make.

Either, continue to push for changes to St Andrews right
down to the wire and then take the big political gamble of
going into government with Sinn Fein and hope that there
won't be too many Jack McKees.

Or sit tight, hold their nerve and gamble that the
government's 26 March deadline will be just as flexible as
all the others.

One authoritative DUP source says the party's attitude to
St Andrews at present is "much good done - much still to

Ian Paisley is said to be "relaxed". But his position
remains crucial. The great truth is that any DUP member,
senior or otherwise, prepared to take him on would be
committing political suicide.

There is undoubtedly an undercurrent though some - but not
all - of this talk of "internal strife" could ultimately be
wishful thinking or mischief-making.

The DUP as a whole - and some party members as individuals
- have much thinking to do.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/04 09:53:15 GMT


Durkan Urges Governments To Put DUP Under Pressure

By William Graham Political Correspondent

As concern increases about possible slippage in political
deadlines after the St Andrews talks the SDLP leader Mark
Durkan suggested yesterday that the way to get the DUP to
move was to put them under pressure.

Mr Durkan underlined the importance for example of giving
the DUP a firm deadline and a tough bottom line.

He also said that to hold a referendum would put it up to
the DUP to yes while holding an election would only invite
"further trouble'' from the party.

Mr Durkan complained that since St Andrews the governments
have given the DUP the impression that it was back in

The Foyle MP said: "So, it's no surprise that the DUP now
believes that it can push further and get more.

"That's why the DUP is saying there can be no devolution of
justice for a political lifetime. It's why it is pushing
for inclusion to be scrapped in the next few years. It's
why it is taking a run at the Parades Commission and the equality agenda.

"Calling an election at this time will only invite further
trouble from the DUP," Mr Durkan said.

"They will only put all these dangerous demands into their

"Then after the elections it will demand that everybody
else respects it -

as if its mandate counts for more than anybody else's.

"An election allows the DUP to say `yes but' to St Andrews.
It allows them to pretend to be up for the deal while still
demanding changes to the agreement that dash our chances of
moving forward.

"And imagine the confusion for voters. Is a vote in an
election for a hardline DUP candidate a yes or a no?''


DUP Members 'Contact UK Unionist McCartney'

UK Unionist leader Robert McCartney claims he has been
contacted by numerous disaffected members of the DUP
unhappy with the St Andrews Agreement.

He said they asked him to help run candidates opposing any
deal in any election which would be held to endorse the

Speaking on Radio Ulster's Inside Politics Mr McCartney
said his party could attract considerable support.

"I haven't solicited these contacts," Mr McCartney said.

"I have simply said to people: 'If you feel strongly
enough, then you organise candidates. You let me have their
CVs and the UKUP is a political party with a skeleton crew;
if you wish to put a full crew on it, then I won't stop

"I believe there are 21,000 votes at least out there of
disappointed and despairing Ulster Unionists and DUP people
who do not want Sinn Fein in government or with guaranteed
places in government," Mr McCartney said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/04 09:22:52 GMT


Stadium At Maze `A White Elephant'

By John Manley Business Unit

Sinn Fein's appointee on the panel set up to examine the
future development of the Maze prison has said the site is
unsuitable for a stadium.

Mairtin O Muilleoir, former Belfast Sinn Fein councillor
and publisher of The Andersonstown News, said the stadium
should be built in a city centre - in either Belfast, Derry
or Newry.

His position is at odds with Sinn Fein which supports a
multi-sports stadium at the Maze site and the retention of
the former prison hospital where Bobby Sands and the other
hunger strikers died.

Mr O Muilleoir made the comments on his web blog, From the

His comments will be seen as a further blow to the
government's plan to build a 42,500-seater stadium at the

Mr O Muilleoir was a member of the cross-party Maze
Consultation Panel, which first looked at alternative uses
for the sprawling former prison site.

The Maze stadium proposal has received provisional backing
from the Irish Football Association, Irish Rugby Football
Union and Gaelic Games Association.

However, opposition to the plan has been growing over the
past 12 months and Belfast City Council is looking at
proposals to build a rival, privately-funded, stadium in
the city.

In his blog, Mr O Muilleoir said the Maze - or Long Kesh -
was the "last place a stadium should go".

"All round the world, it's understood that stadiums are
great tools of urban regeneration," he wrote.

"The stadium therefore should be in Belfast."

Speaking yesterday, Mr O Muilleoir reiterated his comments.

"Like I said on the blog, the one place the stadium
shouldn't be built is in the wilderness of the Long Kesh
prison site, if you want to make any impact on urban and
economic regeneration - a stadium there would be a white
elephant," he said.

"All round the world stadiums are used as tools of economic
regeneration and this would have zero benefit in that

Mr O Muilleoir said that Newry and Derry should also be
considered as a location for the stadium.

"This has always been my opinion but it was the only way to
get a deal to get the peace centre at Long Kesh - these are
the things you do for love."

A spokesman for Sinn Fein, however, said the party's policy
on the multisports stadium plan had not changed.

Mr O Muilleoir's controversial comments came as Belfast
City Council said it would be in a position to select a
preferred developer for the city stadium by May next year.

The council has received three separate proposals from
Durnien.Com, Sheridan Millennium and Kajima Urban

The stadium will have a minimum seating capacity of 25,000
and will be capable of accommodating rugby, association
football and GAA sports.

The council will issue stage two development requirements
to each of the developers next month, specifying that any
successful plan must include a new leisure centre for south


Ombudsman Probes Lorry Shooting

A Police Ombudsman investigation into a police shooting in
west Belfast is set to continue.

The shots were fired after the vehicle failed to stop and
collided with a car and a police vehicle in the St James
Park area off the Falls Road.

One man has been arrested. Local politicians have expressed
concern and are calling for an explanation into why live
shots were fired.

HM Revenue and Customs officers are investigating the
lorry's contents.

An amount of fuel is being tested.

A representative of the Ombudsman, which investigates all
police shootings, attended the scene of the incident on

Chris Mahaffey of the Ombudsman's office said he understood
police had tried to stop the lorry on the M1 motorway.

"There followed a short pursuit.

"During that I believe that one of the officers got out of
the police vehicle he was in and attempted to confront the
driver, during which I'm aware a police officer discharged
his firearm," he said.

"It will be a thorough investigation - we'll be looking to
establish the justification and the reasons why the officer
discharged his firearm at the vehicle and this could take
some considerable period of time."

The SDLP's Alex Attwood said the police would have to give
a "sufficient explanation" as to why shots were fired.

Sinn Fein have expressed concern at the shooting. West
Belfast councillor Marie Moore said she had heard that the
van was forced off the motorway into a residential area.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/04 09:32:56 GMT


Fianna Fail Opens 70th Annual Ardfheis In Dublin

More than 5,000 members of Fianna Fail are gathering at
Citywest in Dublin today for the party's 70th Ardfheis.

A wide range of issues will be debated, including
Government policy on health and taxation. Delegates will
also be told by the party leadership that they must now
begin canvassing every community in the State in a bid to
win a third term in office for the party at next year's
general election.

Motions will include calls for a reduction in VAT rates on
everyday essential items and an increase in tax bands in
line with inflation.

Many of the motions will congratulate Ministers for various
policy initiatives, but they will also face criticism on
issues such as energy price rises and rural housing.

No major policy announcements are expected during the
event, which Opposition parties have criticised as a
publicity stunt to consolidate recent opinion poll

The Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, is currently
addressing delegates and has defended his tax policy and
said thousands of people had been taken out of the tax net
since Fianna Fail came into Government in 1997.

"Workers, most obviously the lowest paid, are being allowed
to enjoy the fruits of their labour," he said.

Mr Cowen said the Government would keep taxes low so that
people who worked hard could retain their earnings.

Delegates at the Citywest complex in west Dublin also heard
a debate on education this morning, during which they were
addressed by Minister for Education Mary Hanafin.

Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader Bertie Ahern will address
delegates in a televised speech at 8.30pm.

In his message in the Ardfheis programme, Mr Ahern said the
event comes at a time of "historic challenge for our party
ond of historic opportunity for our country".

"At the end of a decade of unprecedented achievement, the
Irish people now look ahead to the possibility of lasting
peace and prosperity. The key to the progress of the last
decade has been our partnership with the people and, at the
heart of Ireland's success, lies the hard work of Irish
people themselves," Mr Ahern wrote.

He said Fianna Fail's challenge is to move with changing
times and to adapt new strategies to old values.

"Over the coming weeks, through our work with the British
Government and the parties in Northern Ireland, we will
seek to complete the process set out in the Good Friday
Agreement and at St Andrews.

"In a single decade we have come close to bringing closure
to sectarian strife that has endured for a lifetime. Ending
violence and building fair and strong political
institutions herald a new beginning and is not just an end
in themselves. For Fianna Fail, our aim is to create an
island where real opportunity is a reality for every

Mr Ahern also highlighted other policy initiatives, such as
Transport 21. He said the National Development Plan 2007-
2013 will provide the framework and the resources "to build
the economic and community infrastructure needed to protect
our prosperity and achieve the fairer, stronger Ireland the
people are working so hard for".

The Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader told delegates in his
message that their task as political activists is to leave
the Ardfheis with a "renewed sense of purpose".

"Over the weeks and months ahead, our job is to work for
and with our candidates to persuade the Irish people of our

Referring to the forthcoming 2007 general election, in
which Fianna Fail will seek to win a historic third
successive term in office, Mr Ahern told delegates "every
single Irish person must be met and persuaded".

"We have to canvass in every community and on every
doorstep. The coming election is much more than a political
contest. It is about a fundamental choice for Ireland's

Fianna Fsil general secretary Sean Dorgan said: "The Ard
Fheis is a major event for party supporters in the
organisation's calendar."

A total of 94 candidates have been selected for the party
so far, of which 20 per cent are in their 30s.

Fianna Fail claims its Ogra youth wing also increased its
membership by over 70 per cent to 4,500 during 2006.

Minister for Education Mary Hanafin has said it is a major
disappointment to her that more women are not among her
party's Dail hopefuls.

Fianna Fail has a long term strategy to attract more women
into the party beginning with the 2009 local elections.

The theme of the Ardfheis is A Fairer, Stronger Ireland.

c The Irish Times/


Youth Survives Jammed Gun Attack

Published on 04/11/2006

A youth survived a gun attack when the weapon jammed,
police said today.

The gunman - his face covered by a scarf - approached a
group of youths in the Somerset Drive area of Coleraine, Co
Londonderry last night, pointed a handgun at one of the
youths and pulled the trigger.

The gun is thought to have either jammed or misfired.
Police said the gunman pointed the weapon at a number of
the other youths before running off.

A sectarian motive for the incident is being investigated
by police.

Sinn Fein local councillor Billy Leonard said he had no
doubt that the incident was sectarian and the work of

He said: "Some of the people ran immediately but one of the
group froze just momentarily and as the gunman took aim at
this person the gun jammed.

"It is likely we were this close to injury or indeed death.

"We are taking this as a very serious incident, one which
is more than a scare tactic and local people would be very
confident it was the work of loyalist paramilitaries.

By Barr Best


War Is Over Says UDA - But No Decommissioning

By Allison Morris

The loyalist leader who has taken over control of the north
Belfast UDA has ruled out any chance of decommissioning in
the near future. Speaking to The Irish News, the
organisation's new so-called brigadier talked of a "new
dawn" but ruled out cooperation with General John de
Chastelain's decommissioning body.

An interim leadership put in place in north Belfast after
the UDA expelled brothers Andre and Ihab Shoukri earlier
this year has recently been replaced with the new leader
from the Westland area.

Speaking yesterday, the new `brigadier' said:
"Decommissioning is not going to happen any time soon - the
UDA's war is over but handing over weapons is not something
we are willing to consider at this time.

"There is still a perceived threat from dissident
republicans. People see them fire-bombing property and they
are asking if loyalists are going to be targeted next.''

The loyalist leader claimed there would be a "new dawn'' in
relation to the UDA's activities.

"I'm not going to sit here and say there are no drug
dealers in north Belfast, but what I can say is that there
is a zero tolerance policy within the UDA,'' he said.

"It's not going to happen overnight - there are people with
drug habits and people who have made a good living
supplying them.

"I'm not trying to make the right noises to make myself
popular. This isn't a popular policy - hit people in their
pockets and they are going to kick back.

"I could be putting my life at risk but I'm willing to take
that chance."

Political representatives of the loyalist group have held a
series of meetings recently with the British and Irish

Funding for a number of prisoners' projects has been lost
after it was revealed that more than œ1 million was
embezzled by former north Belfast UDA boss Andre Shoukri.

This included money raised by Martin McAleese, husband of
President Mary McAleese, for a youth project in north

Sammy Duddy, Ulster Political Research Group representative
for north Belfast, said funders have been "frightened off"
by the actions of the Shoukris and the community had

"After the damage caused by the Shoukri brothers there is a
lot of mistrust and people need convincing that we have put
all this behind us," he said.

"The UDA's war is over but the transition to peace is going
to take time.

"What I can say is that the Shoukri brothers and their
dirty dozen have had their day and that is now over.

"We don't want to be electing another brigadier in a year
from now - as far as we're concerned this is the future and
this leadership is here to stay."


1969 - A Tortured City Burns With Sectarian Hatred

News Feature
By Bill Tweed

Where the hell dae ya think you're gan wae this lot?"
barked the `B' Special sergeant of the RUC.

He had just stepped into the middle of the road with a
familiar hand signal to stop. I had recognised the uniform.
As soon as I stopped and poked my head out of the window,
he engaged me. The officer was 15 feet away.

I was leading a convoy of buses, normally used for the
transport of the disabled, and a few small lorries packed
with beds and blankets. Our destination was Andersonstown
on the edge of west Belfast.

This was County Antrim Welfare Committee's first response
in support of the `refugees' fleeing the Falls Road and
other life-threatening scenarios in the city to the
relative safety of Andersonstown.

The circuitous route we were taking was to avoid the very
dangerous route through the city. We were climbing the
slopes below Cave Hill, the peak overlooking the topography
of Belfast, then dropping down into Andersonstown.

Climbing out of the car to remonstrate with the sergeant, I
could see for the first time the enormity of the

It was a summer's evening on August 15 1969. The dusky
evening was warm with clear skies - except for linen-like
whiffs painted deep, pinky orange across the entire western

The sky reflected the truth about the devastation. There
appeared to be hundreds of fires to the west of the
tortured city.

Moving towards the sergeant, I noticed a small platoon with
three constables on either side of the road. They were
crouched in the verges, each holding a small rifle or Bren

Where they squatted, the `scutch' grass had a spattering of
poisonous hemlock. On one side was an untrimmed hawthorn
hedge. On the other fuscia was still in bloom.

By the time I faced the sergeant my remonstration mood had
subdued. I explained the convoy's purpose.

"Dae ya think them boys would pay any attention tae that?"
he said as he pointed towards the makeshift red cross
painted on a sheet of linen attached to the bonnet of my

Several cracks rang out.

"Dae ya hear that?" he uttered, gesturing to the west.

I couldn't make out whether it was gunfire or the crackle
of the infernos below. I had no time to answer - the lead
bus driver, Hugh, from north Antrim, had joined us.

"Bill," he began, "Wae respect, I tell ya the men and I have seen
and heard enough comin' frae oer there." He nodded towards
the colourful horizon.

The feelings I had of rescue and liberation of people in
such a plight, which initially pumped adrenalin to proceed
that evening, now simmered to a calm realisation that we
would live to fight another day - tomorrow.

I ordered Hugh to tell the men to turn our wagons for home.
I further instructed him that we would rendezvous in
Glengormley village at 11am. Hugh exchanged a few
pleasantries about these terrible times with the sergeant
and we were off.

As I drove home to our latest abode, a bungalow in
Knockmore Park, Lisburn, I couldn't help feeling that
sparks to light something horrendous had occurred.

The sociological dynamics of the past few years, which
conspired to drive a tsunami across the province and beyond
to our neighbours, were simply not appreciated or
understood at every level of government.

A few months earlier I had just been promoted to the post
of divisional welfare officer in charge of the Lisburn
division of County Antrim Welfare Department - moving from
a sub-divisional post in Carrickfergus. I was responsible
for en-suring that `refugees' entering And-ersonstown
received appropriate care to secure basic needs.

Earlier that day I had received a phone call from Meryl
Townsend, principal social worker at the Welfare Department
headquarters in Alexander Gardens, Belfast. She was
deputising for the newly appointed county welfare officer,
Pat Armstrong (now Sir Pat), who was on annual leave.

"Bill, there are very serious indicators from reliable
government sour-ces at Stormont that we can expect a major
exodus of the population from the Catholic enclaves of west
Belfast," she said.

"The feeling here, Bill, is that they will stream into
Andersonstown - part of your division."

Meryl, supported by her deputy Joan Guy, assured me that
they would provide any resources I re-quired and would be
available around the clock.

We agreed that the first priority would be beds and
blankets, since we believed schools or other community
buildings would be used to accommodate the `refugees'. I
knew exactly where the largest consignment of beds and
blankets were located in Co Antrim - the civil de-fence
stores at the former Balna-more Linen Mill near Ballymoney.

It was ironic that the mill had its birth associated with
another per-iod of `troubles' in Ireland. The Presbyterian
Caldwell family had a corn mill and linen bleach green
there but had to flee Ireland because their son was a
leader in the United Irishmen's rebellion of 1798.

I rang Jack Mooney, my opposite number in the Ballymoney
division. He readily agreed to identify as many buses and
lorries as he could and go with all haste to the mill.

A few hours later Jack rang me
back. He had secured five vehicles but was refused entry by
an over-zealous caretaker at the mill declaring: "We are
not at war with the Russians yet. I have no orders."

I told him to break in if he had to and I would accept
responsibility. I
I added: "If we have to wait on so-called orders from the
Ministry of Defence it would be like waiting for Iceland to
declare war on Ireland."

If the RUC became involved he was to direct them to me. I
informed my colleague Meryl. She concurred.

By late afternoon the loaded convoy left Balnamore for
Belfast. Un-fortunately night was closing in by the time we
began our steep climb up the Hightown Road. The next
morning we met in Glengormley.

At the top of the Hightown Road we swung west, entering
Andersons-town at the Glen Road/Kennedy Way roundabout. Two
hundred yards from that junction we turned right into St
Teresa's Primary School. The large school was a typical
1960s/1970s glass-architectured building.

There were groups of people mill-ing around in the
schoolyard. They stopped and stared as I signalled the
convoy to halt in the middle of the playground. As they
caught sight of our waves they ran towards us, cheering and
shouting "Beds, beds!"

Witnessing post-traumatic stress disorder as a social
worker was a frequent experience. Such human suffering as
child abuse, disablement through injury or illness in the
field of mental health had taught me the signs of that

For the first time I was witnessing a traumatised crowd.
Their demean-our exemplified their state - sleepless eyes,
shaking gait and stuttering voices. To borrow from poetry:
dull would he be of soul who could pass by a sight so
touching in its utter indignity.

The stock disappeared in a few minutes. The several hundred
ad-ults and children melted away into orifices around the
school. The 11 of us, drivers, their assistants and my-
self, stood staring at one another.

At a guess, all the transport staff were Protestant. Willy,
obviously the oldest of the men, turned to Hugh and asked
in his deep north Antrim accent: "What the hell are we
dayin' tae aer wee country?"

Nobody answered.

As they climbed back into their vehicles there were some
with a few tears and others choking back their emotions.

Over the next few days there seemed to be no end to the
systematic burning out of Catholics in the Falls area.
Other schools were commandeered - the Christian Brothers,
also on the Glen Road, and La Salle in Ramoan Gardens -
warranting a steady convoy of beds and blankets.

I was by now ordering foodstuffs by the hundreds to make
provision for the men, women and children living in the
schools. I was inundated with gifts of groceries of every
des-cription - donated from all over Ireland but
particularly from the south.

The scale of the provisions was becoming uncontrollable and
really somewhat embarrassing.

Subsequently the community were encouraged to use the
provisions. After all, many of them were providing free
accommodation for hundreds of displaced people.

During the days and weeks that followed I heard a simple
statement repeated over and over again by the men in those
schools: "This will never, ever happen again."

The Provisional IRA was created a few months later.


Big Social Upheaval Took Many By Surprise

By Claire Simpson

Sectarian rioting in Belfast in August 1969 caused huge
social upheaval, with hundreds of thousands of people
forced to leave their homes.

The disturbances followed the `Battle of the Bogside' in
Derry when Catholic residents were involved in a three-day
confrontation with the RUC.

On August 15 hundreds of Catholic families tried to escape
the violence in Belfast.

Many of the `refugees' fled from streets around the Falls
Road into Andersonstown and Ballymurphy, with only a few
belongings, after having been burnt out of their houses.

The job of looking after the displaced people fell to the
north's welfare departments, forerunners of today's health
and social services trusts.

But they had no experience of tackling such a large

Bill Tweed was in charge of the Co Antrim department's
Lisburn division when he had to deal with thousands of
refugees streaming into Andersonstown.

He set up temporary housing and helped dispossessed
families find permanent homes. Many lived in schools for

Mr Tweed, who now lives in Portstewart, Co Derry, and
retired four years ago as chief executive of the Causeway
Health and Social Services Trust, said he was appalled by
the consequences of the riots.

"It was something that left a great impression with me
coming face-to-face with people who had been traumatised,"
he said.

"No-one was bluffing - people were coming into
Andersonstown with nothing but a rucksack."

Political historian Dr Eamon Phoenix said the upheaval took
many people by surprise.

"It was totally unprecedented. They did not see this
coming," he said.

"It was almost a war situation." Dr Phoenix said the
welfare departments "would have been front-line troops" and
that in some cases, staff had to consult with
paramilitaries before they were able to continue the relief

"They were involved in negotiations in Horn Drive in west
Belfast when the UDA was involved in confrontations with
Catholic residents who had been moved in," he said.

Dr Phoenix said that despite the workers' best efforts, the
help the refugees got was often a "sticking plaster


Loved Ones Mark 90th Anniversary Of Disaster

By Suzanne McGonagle

On November 3 1916 two steamers - the

SS Connemara and the SS Retriever - collided and sank at
the mouth of Carlingford Lough with the loss of 97 lives.

Only one man survived - James Boyle, a fireman on the
Retriever and a non-swimmer.

Until the sinking of the Princess Victoria in 1953, when
128 people died, it was the worst tragedy to hit the Co
Down coast.

The SS Connemara had left Greenore Port on Carlingford
peninsula bound for Holyhead in north Wales with 55
passengers and 31 crew on board.

The passengers came from Sligo, Dundalk, Ballycastle,
Crossmaglen and Cullyhanna. Many were on the first steps of
emigration to America. Others were due to visit relations
in Britain.

A crew of eight, mainly from the Mournes area, were on the
Retriever travelling towards the port of Newry.

The captains of both ships were experienced seamen but the
vessels collided close to Carlingford.

The accident was attributed to atrocious weather conditions
on the night.

All passengers and crew were lost except Mr Boyle, who
clung on to an upturned lifeboat. He died in 1967.

Today relatives of those who perished are due to gather at
Victoria Locks in Newry where an ecumenical service will be

Newry man John McArdle, whose grandfather John Henry
Tomelty died in the disaster, will be among those

Last night he described the fateful day his grandfather
missed the Retriever's departure from the Albert basin in
Newry and, rather than lose his steady job in Gar-ston near
Liverpool, cycled three miles to get on board.

Mr Tomelty, from High Street in Newry, was married with two
children and his wife Jane was expecting their third.

"He missed the outward journey and got on his bike and was

able to catch the Retriever," Mr McArdle said.

"Fate played its part and he was lost at sea."

The family were distraught.

"My granny was a very proud woman and at those times things
were very tough but she battled on for her family," Mr
McArdle said.

"She herself died at just 55. She was devastated at his
death. they were all devastated.

"It's marvellous it's being re-membered. It's always in our

Events to mark the tragedy have been held regularly over
the past 90 years.

In 1981 the pupils of Kilkeel High School erected a stone
memorial in Kilkeel graveyard. On the 80th anniversary a
steel plaque was placed at Victoria Lock.

The disaster also inspired a 16-year-old schoolboy from
Dublin, CA McWilliam, to write a poem entitled The
Collision of the Connemara and Retriever.

Historian Sean Patterson has had a strong interest in the
disaster since he was a young boy.

Mr Patterson, a school teacher from Newry, said the people
who drowned came from a range of backgrounds.

"Those on the Retriever were crewmen from Newry and
Kilkeel. On the Connemara there were some young girls on
board going to Canada," he said.

"There were people returning from a wedding in Wigan too
and soldiers too. It saw people from right across the
social spectrum."

Mr Patterson said he grew up beside Newry shipping canal.

"As a young boy I watched the ships go by and always loved
maritime history,'' he said.

"I've had a keen interest in the Connemara and Retriever
story for a long time and to a certain extent it has been
forgotten by many.

"This area has always had a strong shipping tradition. From
1940 to 1942 18 ships from Newry were lost in the Irish Sea
- four without a trace. Newry seamen had a hard time of


Department Spent Œ165,000 On Irish Translation

By Claire Simpson

The Department of Health has spent more than œ165,000
translating and publishing documents in Irish in the last
five years, new figures reveal.

Around œ130,000 was spent on translation services with more
than œ37,000 spent on publishing, according to figures
released in response to a parliamentary question by Ulster
Unionist MP Lady Hermon.

More than 70 per cent of the money was spent between 2001
and 2003 when fluent Irish speaker Bairbre de Brun was
health minister.

Although the department still translates press releases and
job adverts into Irish, it is understood ministerial
speeches have not been translated since the introduction of
direct rule.

"The Department of Health, Social Services and Public
Safety's policy is to make key documents available in large
print, Braille, audio cassette, Irish and Chinese and to
consider requests for translations into other minority
ethnic languages and Ulster Scots," a spokeswoman said.

"The secretary of state has decid-ed that these
arrangements which were introduced during devolution should
be retained for the time being and consequently there are
no plans to change the present time."

The drop in Irish language translations is also reflected
in the Department of Education.

When Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness was education minister
all the department's press releases were translated into
Irish but yesterday a department spokesman confirmed
documents are now only translated on request.

Janet Muller, chief executive of Irish language umbrella
organisation Pobal, said the decrease in translations
proved an Irish Language Act was desperately needed.


Bid To Turn Twelfth Into Festival Gaining Ground

By Maeve Connolly

THE Orange Order's mission to turn the Twelfth into a
family-friendly, inclusive festival is gaining momentum
with the advertisement of the position of Orangefest
development officer.

The three-year contract offers an annual salary of œ22,000
which will be funded by a œ104,000 government grant awarded
to the Orange Order earlier this year.

According to the job advertisement the successful candidate
will work to "promote, coordinate and develop Belfast

with the responsibility of the day-to-day management of the

He or she will also strive "to empower and encourage
individuals and groups to become actively involved".

Belfast Orangefest is an initiative of the County Grand
Orange Lodge of Belfast and the post "is supported by DSD".

NIO minister David Hanson announced the grant in June,
claiming that the government was

disappointed that Belfast city centre was deserted during
the Twelfth by people who did not feel welcome.

The money is to be paid over three years and at the time of
the announcement the author of the Lonely Planet Tourist
Guide to Ireland, Fionn Davenport, said turning the Twelfth
into a festival popular with tourists would not be an

easy task.

"It's not very inviting or inclusive and I think that's the
general impression," he said.

"Rightly or wrongly, it's seen as a militaristic expression
with none of the criteria of a happy, friendly carnival day


Pitcairn Sex Offenders To Start Jail Terms

By Staff Reporter

Two men convicted of sexually assaulting underage girls on
remote Pitcairn Island will begin prison terms there this
weekend, a British official said yesterday.

The two Pitcairn men, the first of six defendants to begin
sentences in the high-profile case, were among a group
convicted in October 2004 for assaults on girls as young as
seven over a period of decades.

The remote Pacific island is known as the sanctuary of
fugitives from the 1789 mutiny aboard the British ship HMS
Bounty. With fewer than 50 inhabitants, most of them
descendants of the original mutineers, Pitcairn is a
British overseas territory.

Four of the six men face prison terms ranging from three to
six years.

Two others have been sentenced to community work.

Britain's highest appellate court, the Privy Council,
upheld the convictions this week.

Randall Christian and Stevens Christian will begin their
sentences of three years and five years respectively today
in a specially built prison on Pitcairn, the island's
deputy governor, British diplomat Matthew Forbes, said.

Carlisle Young and Len Brown will begin their sentences
later, while Len Brown and Dennis Christian were likely to
begin community service sentences in the next few weeks -
after it is decided what work they would do, Mr Forbes

Trials of four other islanders on sex charges were likely
to resume in the Pitcairn court sitting in Auckland, New
Zealand, this month, Mr Forbes said.

Pitcairn has long fascinated the world for its connection
with the historically famous Bounty mutiny. After the
mutineers commandeered the ship, they sailed to Tahiti
before settling on mischarted Pitcairn, where they hoped to
hide from pursuing British ships.


Hallowed Ground Spawns A Fascinating History

By Jim Gibney

I have always associated searching for historical
information with libraries, museums, universities -
traditional repositories of knowledge.

The last place I would have thought about visiting is a

For most people graveyards are sad places. A visit there
can often instil a painful memory of a lost relative or
remind us of our own mortality. Generally speaking, places
to be avoided.

Unless of course you are Belfast Sinn Fein councillor Tom
Hartley, who last week launched a remarkable book, Written
In Stone, about the history of the people buried in
Belfast's City Cemetery. And what fascinating history it

The book, 10 years in the making, came out of Tom's
republican experience.

In 1973 when Belfast's Falls Road was the centre of a war
zone, with others he opened the first republican press

For visiting journalists he was one of the first public
faces of Sinn Fein.

Their inquisitiveness led to Tom taking them on tours of
British military barracks across west Belfast and the
republican plot in Milltown cemetery where IRA volunteers
are buried.

An engagement on Sinn Fein's behalf with the unionist and
Protestant people opened Tom's mind to unionist history.

This led him to explore Belfast's City Cemetery.

In the book's introduction, Tom tellingly comments:
"Growing up as a nationalist/Catholic, I felt no attachment
to the City Cemetery, which by its location on the Falls
Road was literally on my doorstep."

This observation is hardly surprising given the history of
many of those who rest there.

In this hallowed ground lie the rich and powerful - the
movers and shakers of Victorian Belfast who pushed the city
to the height of its industrial power; the people who held
Ireland and Belfast for the British Empire before and after

It is the resting place for politicians and businessmen,
inventors and industrialists, Jews, Irish-speaking
Orangemen and republicans, British soldiers and IRA
volunteers, pioneering women, educationalists,
philanthropists, the privileged, prostitutes and paupers.
Catholics and Protestants, separated in life, the
authorities tried to separate them in death with a sunken
wall in the graveyard.

This book is more than a history of Protestant and unionist

It is about their place and impact on the politics of
Ireland and many parts of the world.

The book provides a glimpse into the conditions in
Ireland's class-ridden society in the 19th and 20th

The city's intellectual and liberal class educated at
`Inst' are well represented as is their legacy in Belfast's
Natural History and Philosophical Society.

The poor, especially children who died in their thousands
from diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox, mumps, measles,
diphtheria and whooping cough, lie in unmarked graves.

Childhood vulnerability is highlighted in the graves of the
McCutcheon family where eight children aged between six
months and seven years lie and the Cairns family where four
children aged one to nine are buried.

Between July and August 1892, 370 Belfast children were
buried in the cemetery.

Belfast, a wealthy city, did not look after its poor

The unionist and industrial elite, Sinclair and Kane, the
people who armed and financed the revolt which led to

Cunningham and Crawford, are there.

Also there are Margaret Byres, educationalist and
suffragette; Margaret Pirrie who raised funds to build the
RVH hospital and her husband Willie, who was responsible
for building the Titanic; the parents of CS Lewis; Robert
Lynd, socialist, writer, friend of James Connolly; the
parents of James Craig, the first prime minister of the six
counties. The father of Chaim Herzog, sixth president of
Israel, is buried in the Jewish graveyard.

William Bridgett's grave reminds us of the First World War
horror. He died accidentally with 10,000 German soldiers
who were killed deliberately with British land mines.

The first blanketman, Kieran Nugent and Pat Finucane also
rest there.

Tom attributes his interest in history to his "mother's
capacity for detail" and his "father's talent in

The detail in this book is microscopic.

The storytelling is cleverly revealed in the personalities
whose graves are recorded.

It is a book version of an internet search engine with
links that leap frog you to many places of interest.

Quite an achievement for a self-educated, Harrogate Street
boy who left school at 15.

Written In Stone (The History of Belfast City Cemetery) by
Tom Hartley. Brehon Press, œ14.99 H-B


Griffith's Banned Films To Be Shown In Cardiff

Nov 4 2006
Alan Edmunds, Western Mail

TWO of the most fiercely radical and long-banned TV
documentaries ever made about Irish politics will be
screened at the Cardiff Film Festival this month - as a
tribute to the courageous Welsh actor who wrote and
presented them.

The films are Hang Up Your Brightest Colours, a bruisingly
partisan but honest homage to IRA hero and icon Michael
Collins (1973), and the 1982 Curious Journey, which has
interviews with Republican survivors of the Troubles. Both
bear the strong stamp of the programmes' presenter Kenneth

The programmes, fiercely critical of the British
Government's actions in the 1916-22 period, will both be
shown in the Cardiff Film Festival in a 10-event
retrospective tribute (November 10-17) to the actor who
died earlier this year aged 84.

He is still best known to many as an amusingly hangdog
comedy foil in Peter Sellers' films such as I'm All Right
Jack (1959) and the Swansea-set Only Two Can Play (1962) -
but the festival screenings will also show the much more
serious and contentious side to his character.

Tenby-born Griffith was proud to be described as a maverick
and gadfly - a bane of the British establishment and Hang
Up Your Brightest Colours is probably his angriest personal
film, empathising with Collins and berating British
politicians (including then Prime Minister David Lloyd
George) and the military for their conduct in Ireland and
their role in partition.

The drama-documentary was commissioned by Lew Grade at ATV
but vetoed and deemed to be potentially offensive to the TV
hierarchy and the UK Government - and Grade was asked by
the Independent Broadcasting Authority not to offer it to
any of their channels. Griffith took legal action, received
an out-of-court settlement and built his home - Michael
Collins House - in Islington on the proceeds.

The programme was banned for 20 years, frozen out of
schedules until 1993, when a BBC executive producer,
Welshman Roy Davies, succeeded in showing it.

The programme, which contained long tirades from the actor
playing different roles, was made long before Irish
director Neil Jordan's acclaimed Michael Collins cinema
feature (1996) garnered wider attention.

"I chose Michael Collins because he was the finest of the
outraged people I could think of," Griffith said in his
1994 autobiography The Fool's Pardon.

"(He was) an Irishman of tremendous courage a man of the
highest principles the perfect personification of Ireland's
700- year-old dream of complete independence from the
physical and spiritual brutality of England."

Hang Up Your Brightest Colours (Chapter Arts Centre,
November 12, 6pm) will be accompanied by a panel
discussion, featuring Michel Pearce, director of many of
the Welshman's drama-docs, editor Chris Lawrence, TV
director (and former head of BBC Wales TV drama) John Hefin
and documentary film-maker Colin Thomas.

Curious Journey has an even more curious history.
Commissioned by HTV and made in 1976, it was handed back to
Griffith by the channel for just œ1, on condition that the
company's credits were never used with it. The programme
interviewed seven men and two women - Republicans and Free
Staters - and it later inspired a book co-written by
Griffith with a young journalist Timothy O'Grady.

It was never shown publicly until a screening at the London
Film Festival in 1980 and has rarely been seen anywhere

Many of Griffith's highly individual drama-docs, in which
he invariably played almost all the acting roles, were
bitterly critical of supposed colonialists, and sympathetic
to those he perceived to be underdogs, notably the Boers,
Zulus and IRA.

Griffith, always outspoken, made no secret of his stance on
Ireland and his support for the IRA and even greeted the
award of a Bafta Cymru Life Achievement in Cardiff in 1994
with a speech calling on Plaid Cymru to join forces with
the Republicans.

"Ken Griffith was a brave, complex man of strong
independent views - and he valued his personal TV work even
more than the films which initially established him in the
industry," says film historian Dave Berry, curator of the
festival's Griffith retrospective strand at Chapter Arts

"He was one of the most distinguished makers of
documentaries and drama-docs to emerge from Wales. In the
year of Ken's death it seemed only appropriate to allow
people to see the programmes which were banned for years
and allow them to make up their own minds."

The event also includes another Griffith Irish film, Roger
Casement: Heart of Darkness, a BBC Timewatch programme from
1993 on the British statesman, an Irish Protestant, who was
executed for gun-running for the IRA.

"Ken was a wonderful champion of Welsh film-makers and
Welsh film, and we hope this retrospective of his TV and
film work, including his role in the Sellers's comedy
Heavens Above! will be welcomed," Berry said.


Blog: Kilroy Was Here - The Birth Of A Legend

November 4th, 2006 by wm

It requires just the right circumstances, occurring in just
the right order, for a legend to be born. Take the legend
of Kilroy, for instance.

To those of us who were around during World War II, and
even as late as the 1970s, the name Kilroy is as familiar
as MacArthur, Truman, and Lyndon Johnson. During those
years, the words "Kilroy Was Here" were penciled on rest
room walls, carved on picnic tables, painted on bridges -
you name it.

Everyone knew his name, but no one seemed to know who
Kilroy really was or if he really was. No one, that is,
except the workers at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy,
Massachusetts. They knew he was James J. Kilroy, born on
September 26, 1902, in Boston's South End. He attended
Commerce High School, he served as state representative and
Boston city councilor from Roxbury, and, when the war
started for us in 1941, he became a rate setter or
"checker" at the shipyard, working on the battleship
Massachusetts (now berthed at Fall River), the heavy
cruiser Baltimore, and dozens of troop carriers.

"It was Jim's job to go around and count the number of
holes a riveter had filled," explained his widow, Mrs.
Margaret Kilroy to YANKEE writer Robert W. Cubie, whom we
sent to Quincy in 1970 to find out how this American legend
came to be. "The riveters were on piecework and got paid so
much for each rivet. After Jim had counted the rivets put
in by a certain worker, he'd put a checkmark next to them
so that they wouldn't be counted twice. "A few dishonest
men, " Mrs. Kilroy continued, "would know when Jim was
going off duty, and they would sometimes erase his
checkmark. The checkers on the next shift would come
through and count the rivets again, which meant those
riveters would get paid twice."

"One day, Jim heard his foreman ask one of these dishonest
riveters if Kilroy had been there. When the man said no, my
husband was furious, because he knew he'd already checked
that man's rivets. So he took his chalk and wrote `Kilroy
Was Here' in letters too large and tool bold to erase."

So far so good. But two more things had to happen. The
first was Kilroy's decision to write "Kilroy Was Here" next
to ALL his check marks from that time forward. The second,
equally important, was a higher-up decision, made in the
interest of speed, not to put the usual second coat of
paint on the ships' hulls, which, of course, would have
eventually covered up Kilroy's chalk markings.

As a result, "Kilroy Was Here" miraculously appeared over
sailors' hammocks, along ships' corridors, on flight decks,
and in heads. And when these ships were later stripped for
repairs or damaged in battle, puzzled workmen found the
same chalked message inside boilers and bulkheads.

Yes, to be sure, there are those around today who claim
"Kilroy" originated with an Irish-American RAF pilot shot
down over France, who left his Kilroy calling card along
his escape route. Some believe the story of an Albany, New
York, steeplejack, also a James Kilroy, who claimed he was
the originator. And a few years ago, the United Sates Army
officially labeled Kilroy "a mythical character."

But we New Englanders have no doubt whatsoever who Kilroy
really was.

("Mythical character," indeed!)

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