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December 07, 2006

Loyalist Found Guilty of Murder

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 12/07/06 Loyalist Found Guilty Of Murder
IN 12/07/06 Michael McIlveen’s Family Still Taunted
BB 12/07/06 Threatened Diplomat Back At Work
NW 12/07/06 Suspect Device Traps Children
NW 12/07/06 Condemn Explosives In Newtown & Strabane
IN 12/07/06 Family Ask Adams To ‘Stick To His Word’
IN 12/07/06 Loyalist Vandals Scupper City Parking Crackdown

Click Pic for larger image
IN 12/07/06 Stone’s Painting On eBay With Tag Of £10,000
IN 12/07/06 Opin: DUP Stormont Is A Dead Duck
IN 12/07/06 Opin: Political Policing Has To Go
BB 12/07/06 Profile: General Sir Mike Jackson
BN 12/07/06 Council Farewell To 'Mentor' Mervyn
IT 12/07/06 Beckett Letters Go Up For Auction
BG 12/07/06 Jane McDonough, 60, Social Worker – RIP


Loyalist Found Guilty Of Murder

A leading member of the Loyalist Volunteer Force has been
found guilty of the murder of Portadown grandmother
Elizabeth O'Neill.

William James Fulton, 38, from Queen's Walk in Portadown
faced a total of 62 terrorist-related offences.

Elizabeth O'Neill died in an explosion at her home in the
mainly loyalist Corcrain estate in Portadown.

She picked up a bomb which had been thrown at her house
while she had been watching television in 1999.

Her murder is just one of a catalogue of 48 offences Fulton
was convicted of at Belfast Crown Court - including seven
attempted murders, directing terrorism and membership of
the LVF.

He was also found guilty of possession of the gun which
killed Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick at the
height of the Drumcree dispute in 1996.

The trial of Jim Fulton, and his co-accused 56-year-old
Muriel Gibson with an address at Clos Trevithick in
Cornwall, is the longest-running trial in Northern
Ireland's legal history.

It took six months for the judge to consider nine months of

Gibson was found not guilty of the murder of Catholic
council worker Adrian Lamph in 1998, but guilty of impeding
the apprehension of those who did kill him.

Fulton has been sentenced to life imprisonment. A judge is
now deciding how long he will have to serve.

Gibson was remanded in custody pending sentence.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/07 12:54:54 GMT


Michael McIlveen’s Family Still Taunted

By Allison Morris

The mother of murdered Ballymena schoolboy Michael McIlveen
says seven months after his death her family are still
subjected to sectarian taunts in the deeply divided town.

Gina McIlveen was speaking during the week her son should
have been celebrating his 16th birthday.

Instead family and friends held a vigil at a basketball
court close to the family’s Dunvale home where Michael

His heartbroken mother says it pained her to see how
dilapidated the area where her son once played is and
called for more to be done to help young people in the

“I would have hoped that Michael’s murder would make people
and politicians look at this area of Ballymena and try and
do something to make it better for young people,” she said.

“Instead I stood there on Michael’s birthday with all of
his wee friends and thought how sad it was that this was
all they had.

“Michael loved that basketball court, when he came home
from school he would have just dumped his schoolbag in the
hall and headed straight down there.

“For his birthday this year instead of a party, trainers or
jewellery, the things a 16-year-old would want, all I could
give my son was flowers on a grave.”

And the mother-of-four says that despite Michael’s killing
shining a spotlight on sectarianism in the Co Antrim town
nothing has changed.

The 15-year-old died in hospital a day after being attacked
close to the centre of town in the early hours of Sunday
May 7.

“My children still get sectarian abuse shouted at them
whenever they go into town,” Mrs McIlveen said.

“It was hard to hear all the things that were posted on the
internet about Michael after his death and those taunts are
still happening.

“It hurts, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face and
I can tell you it doesn’t get any easier, for me or for my
three other children.

“His death destroyed his family but it didn’t have any
effect on the bigots in Ballymena.

“The only thing that gives me hope is the amount of love
his friends from both sides of the community had for him.

“I went to the graveyard on his birthday and there were
flowers, cards and letters from his friends on the grave,
most of them from girls mind you for he was always popular
with the women.

“It gives you a bit of strength knowing that he was so well
loved, not just by his family but by everyone who knew

Seven months after his brutal death, his mother says she
can still feel his presence.

“Sometimes you feel him all around you, just last week a
butterfly came into the house and I was taking to it as if
it was Michael,” she said.

“It flew into his room and then landed on a picture of him,
it was a wee red butterfly, a wee ginger one just like him.

“I can feel him with me all the time, it gives me strength
when things get really hard.”

And the grieving mother says she dreads facing the family’s
first Christmas since her son’s death.

“I can’t celebrate when my heart is broke, usually by now I
would have the tree and lights up but I just don’t have any
interest this year.

“Michael was a great son, he was my oldest boy and was just
full of love and fun, having him taken from you in the way
he was is not something you can ever get over.”


Threatened Diplomat Back At Work

An Irish government official forced to move from Belfast to
Dublin four months ago after a loyalist death threat is
back working in Northern Ireland.

Aine de Baroid was working with Irish President Mary
McAleese's husband, Martin, in his outreach work with
loyalist communities.

She moved in August after being told by the PSNI the threat
was "credible".

The Irish foreign affairs department is currently building
a high security residence for its officials in Belfast.

The threat, widely condemned at the time, was made by a
breakaway faction of the Ulster Defence Association
paramilitary group.

Ms de Baroid - one of an estimated 30 Irish civil servants
based in Belfast and Armagh - works for the British-Irish

The Ulster Political Research Group, which is linked to the
UDA, said in August they had a "fantastic relationship"
with Ms de Baroid.

Spokesman Frankie Gallagher described her as "non-
political" and said he would continue to work with her.

He said he "could not see" anyone from the UDA, UVF or Red
Hand Commando being behind the threat.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/07 09:49:52 GMT


Suspect Device Traps Children

Traffic was stopped on the Gortin road yesterday as the
police sealed off the area for investigation. ktuh40.

By Ronan McSherry

DOZENS of Omagh children were unable to go home yesterday
afternoon after police discovered a suspect device in the
back of a stolen minibus close to their school.

The young ppils of Christ the King Primary School were
unable to walk to their Strathroy homes, with the
alternative route home involving a journey of three miles.

The drama began around 11.15am when the minibus was located
in the car park of Molly Sweeney's pub on the Gortin Road.
It had been stolen overnight from the back of St Patrick's
Hall on Barrack Street, Strabane. Police cordoned off the
Gortin Road as there was a box in the back of the vehicle.

Speaking from the school at 4pm during the security alert,
acting principal Mrs McGuigan said, "The parents of the
children who get out at 2.15pm are here, as well as the
children who get out at 3pm. The parents of the older
children have not been able to get to the school and we are
trying to organise transport to get all the kids home.
Quite a few of the parents are foreign nationals and they
are quite distressed by this situation. These are the
parents who don't have cars to take the alternative longer
route home."

She added, "It is an awful inconvenience and communication
coming into us from the police has been very inconsistent.
We will just have to see can we get a bus organised or
hopefully the road will be cleared soon."

Fortunately the road was cleared shortly after 4pm and,
much to the relief of their parents, the children were all
able to go home.


Condemnation At Spate Of Explosive Devices In Newtown & Strabane

By Mark McKelvey

THE discovery of two viable devices in Strabane and
Newtownstewart on Monday have received complete
condemnation from the police and local elected

The first device that has been confirmed by the police had
the potential to kill or injure, was discovered at the
Coach Inn bar in Cloughcor, four miles from Strabane at
8.45am. The area was closed off for a few hours while an
army disposal team came in to analyse the object and
neutralise the situation before taking it away for

Later that day a telephone warning was received by a
newspaper in Belfast, claiming a device had been left at a
house at Strahulter Road, Newtownstewart.

The area was closed off overnight and a blast bomb was
found in a garden of the house. Police also said this
device had the potential to kill and injure.

Chief Inspector Phil Marks condemned the "recklessness" of
those behind the bomb attack.

He said, "Both these incidents were totally reckless and
caused a great deal of inconvenience and upset in the area.
Those behind these incidents have nothing to offer their
own community.

"If anybody comes across anything suspicious in the days
ahead, please do not touch it and contact the police

West Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty says that there is
absolutely no support for those responsible for leaving
these explosive devices.

The local MP said, "There is no support in the community
for those responsible for these futile actions.

"Devoid of either support, strategy or a vision for the
future, the only thing that those responsible have achieved
is to have caused widespread disruption to members of the
local community attempting to go about their everyday

The Chairman of Strabane District Council, Thomas Kerrigan,
has praised the good work of the police and security forces
that has saved lives.

"I believe this is a really worrying concern for everybody
in the district council area, and certainly I feel that
only for the work by the PSNI and security forces, lives
could have been lost," said Cllr Kerrigan.

"Terrorists must be very active in this particular area,
and it is extremely fortunate that no-one was killed in
either of these incidents and condemn this action outright.

He concluded, "Security must be stepped up in the whole
province as similar incidents are also occurring elsewhere.
This has heightened tensions in the area again, showing
that these terrorist thugs have not gone away. There is no
excuse or justification for attempting to take peoples

SDLP Cllr Eugene McMenamin MLA has expressed concern at the
recent spate of devices.

"I would like to ask those responsible what are they trying
to achieve? Are they trying to maim or kill an innocent
man, woman or child who could pick these devices up?".

"After 35 years of conflict the people are calling on these
misguided people to stop. Those responsible for carrying
out these attacks need to realise that they will never
achieve their goal by these cowardly actions. The only goal
they are achieving is disruption to the general public who
are sick sore and tired of these incidents."

Mr Mc Menamin concluded "The current political vacuum
certainly does not help and it is always when there is
political uncertainty regarding the Assembly that these
groups come to the fore. The onus is on Sinn Fein and DUP
to move forward. I believe Sinn Fein are ready to sign up
to policing, law & order and the DUP need to get their act
together big time and come on board to an all inclusive
government for the men women and our children who have been
messed about for to long. I believe that when we have an
Assembly running working for local people these groups will
be long consigned to the dustbin where they rightly


Family Ask Adams To ‘Stick To His Word’

By Marie Louise McCrory

THE family of one of the IRA ‘Disappeared’ has met Sinn
Fein President Gerry Adams and said they hope he “sticks to
his word”.

Armagh father-of-five Charlie Armstrong vanished on his way
to Mass in 1981 and his body has never been found.

Mr Adams has met the Crossmaglen man’s family and last
night called on anyone with information on his murder to
“bring it forward to me, to the family or to any other
agency they have confidence in’’.

The Sinn Fein leader said his party was “continuing with
our efforts to bring closure for those families whose loved
ones were killed and their bodies secretly buried by the
IRA in the 1970s’’.

Mr Armstrong was 57-years-old when he disappeared and
despite searches near Cullaville, Co Monaghan, his body has
never been found.

Although he was not included on the IRA Disappeared list it
is widely believed he was abducted and killed by the IRA
after witnessing paramilitary activity.

Senior republicans have denied IRA involvement.

Speaking last night Mr Armstrong’s widow, Kathleen said: “I
hope he [Adams] sticks to his word.’’


Loyalist Vandals Scupper City Parking Crackdown

By Allison Morris

Ongoing Problem: Vandalised Coin-Operated Parking Meters
On Sandy Row, South Belfast

THE crackdown on illegal parking does not apply to a
loyalist area of Belfast where officials have admitted to
being unable to enforce the law.

Motorists parking in Sandy Row, close to the city’s busy
Golden Mile, are supposed to pay at kerbside meters, with
restrictions on how long cars can park in marked bays.

However, red coin meters forcibly removed with a mechanical
cutting device have yet to be replaced.

They were vandalised in what Department of Regional
Development (DRD) officials have admitted has been an
“ongoing” problem in the area for almost a decade.

Parking offences in Northern Ireland have been
decriminalised and from October 30 responsibility for
enforcing parking laws was handed over to a private

However, the company, National Car Parks (NCP), has not
been patrolling the predominantly loyalist area,

leaving motorists free to park without fear of receiving
the £60 fines given elsewhere for illegal parking .

To date no parking tickets have been issued in Sandy Row
and vandalised coin meters have still not been replaced.

Loyalists are being blamed for the vandalism and the DRD is
thought to be considering a number of options to better
control parking in the area.

Coin-operated parking meters have been replaced a number of
times in the Sandy Row area but have been vandalised on
each occasion.

“Parking bays have been sus-pended for nearly a decade now
because of ongoing vandalism of equipment,” a spokesman for
the department said.


Stone’s Painting In Online Auction With Tag Of £10,000

By Catherine Morrison

A PAINTING by loyalist killer Michael Stone – now back
behind bars – has been put up for sale on online auction
site ebay with a price tag of nearly £10,000.

The abstract oil painting of a ‘Kneeling Nude on a Red
Background’ is being auctioned off by a seller based in
Lisburn, Co Antrim.

The original work is signed by the Milltown murderer and is
described on ebay as a “masterpiece” from “Michael Stone’s

It comes with a photograph of Stone standing beside the
artwork and it is dated 2006.

The item carries a “buy it now” price of £9,995 – which
means it can be yours for that sum without entering into a
bidding war with others – and there have been four offers,
although it is not known for how much.

Stone’s paintings are described as “vivid and not so much
political as topical” as well as calling them “masterpieces
of history”.

“This is part of Northern Ireland history for sale,” the
vendor writes.

Stone began painting in the Maze prison, where inmates
would “commission” various works for the cost of the paint.

However, in the past five years, he has received critical
acclaim for this work.

Stone is believed to have made thousands of pounds from his
art and has featured in exhibitions in art galleries around
the world.

The seller appears to be have timed his sale well, as Stone
is again in the news headlines with his assault on Stormont
last month.

After storming the first day of the transitional assembly
at Parliament Buildings on November 24 and disrupting talks
on power-sharing, he was arrested with an imitation pistol,
a knife and viable pipe bomb-type devices.

Secretary of state Peter Hain has revoked his early release

(Link to ebay auction site for Stone Pic:


Opin: DUP Stormont Is A Dead Duck

By Maurice Fitzgerald Ringaskiddy, Co Cork

The only purpose the DUP seem to have in Stormont is to
pass judgment on Sinn Fein.

Every time Stormont has become active it has been used as a
platform to show contempt for other elected members.

Policing is by no means the only pivotal issue outstanding
and certainly not the most important. There's obviously a
deep underlying mistrust and contempt by unionists for
their opponents.

It's become crystal clear that St Andrews was a half baked
piece of bread in hope rather than expectation – serious
matters were not solved by both governments.

Whether the DUP like it or not, Sinn Fein have an electoral
mandate which is acknowledged by both governments.

The DUP have formed the opinion that government with their
old adversary will have a dangerously open agenda and
things may get out of hand.

From what we know, there are controls such as reserved
matters and majority decision-making, but the need for more
safeguards is very necessary to reassure the DUP.

The unionist veto doesn't seem to be enough to provide the
sure footing that the DUP so desperately want with Sinn

Both governments need to look at these issues again and
deal with the great uncertainty brewing in the minds of
some. Should this be left untreated, the festering of
ridicule will continue unabated by the DUP who are
reluctant to engage with elected republican members and
will use any excuse to withdraw.

The DUP may not be happy with the scenery in Stormont but
they will have to accept what they see as democratically

This means dealing with their rivals at all levels of

If Paisley & Co believe that the only reason why they were
elected was to pass judgment on Sinn Fein, reciting
negative events of the past with suspicions for the future,
then the prospects for progress are grim indeed.


Opin: Political Policing Has To Go

By Sean Doherty, Derry

As an Irish republican born and bred in the occupied six
counties of Ireland the ongoing debate over policing in the
six counties causes me great concern.

Before I go on, I support Sinn Fein and their leadership of
the struggle over the past 35 years and the peace process
since the mid 1980s.

The peace process has brought gains to republicans once
thought to be well out of our reach in the dark days of the
war when our volunteers were risking life and liberty on a
daily basis and it seemed the whole world was against us.

Sinn Fein devised a political strategy that has brought us
from political wilderness and military stalemate to centre
of all things political on this island.

In the six counties Sinn Fein have overtaken the irrelevant
SDLP and in the 26 counties the party is in a strong
position to become the kingmakers after the next general

Over the past 10 years Sinn Fein have delivered on numerous
issues and concerns of the nationalist people in the six

The UDR and the RUC reserve have been disbanded.

These two organisations were the military wing of the
Protestant state that oppressed nationalists for decades.

Sinn Fein have ensured that blatant political and religious
discrimination in the six counties is a thing of the past.

British withdrawal and a united Ireland are on the agenda
of every political party on this island for the first time

Sinn Fein is not a post-nationalist party but very clearly
a united Ireland party. Sinn Fein ended the 11-plus,
authorised the multi-million pound extension to
Altnagelvin, opposed water charges, campaigned for the RPA
and much more.

It is with this in mind that I approach the policing

I am sure Sinn Fein will deliver what they say they will on
this one too.

The party has demanded transfer of policing and justice
powers from England to the assembly within an agreed
timeframe and the make-up and workings of the department.

Mark Durkan argues that Sinn Fein should get on board now
and help deal with the scourge of anti-social behaviour
that blights our communities.

If Sinn Fein joined the PSNI tomorrow en masse the scourge
of anti-social behaviour would not be eradicated.

Anti social behaviour is a societal problem that we all
have a responsibility for dealing with.

It is not just a policing or political issue that will be
dealt with overnight by Sinn Fein or any other body backing
the police. Anti social behaviour and crime is as much a
problem in Irish Street as it is in the Bogside and for
that matter it’s probably a bigger problem in parts of
London or Dublin than in west Belfast.

So the argument that Sinn Fein is endorsing policing is a
non-starter when it comes to anti-social behaviour and

Sinn Fein demands go a lot further than the SDLP or others
ever thought possible. After Weston Park they told
republicans to get on board and change from within. Sinn
Fein rightly argued that the structures in place at that
time were inadequate to ensure that political policing was
a thing of the past.

We only have to look round us to see that the PSNI and
their agents were responsible for the collapse of the
Northern Ireland Assembly in 2002 and the ‘service’
continually attempts to recruit nationalist and republicans
who find themselves in trouble for minor motoring offences
or the like.

Political policing is still part and parcel of the PSNI.

If Sinn Fein is successful in the negotiations – and
manages to ensure that the balance of power rests in the
assembly and not in Whitehall – republicans should come at
this issue with a very broad outlook.

Sinn Fein are trying to ensure there will be no more
Diplock courts, no more supergrasses, no more plastic
bullets and no more collusion or cover-ups.

All this will only be possible when the power and the
accountability over policing is in the hands of Irish
people and not faceless Brits in Whitehall.

Republicans can come at this from an ideological position
of never recognising British rule in Ireland or we can come
at it from the realisation that the Brits are here and how
do we ensure that their influence is weakened as every day

The current Sinn Fein position if successful weakens the
British grip on Ireland.

It’s not about making friends or even reconciling enemies –
it’s about holding this state to account while we struggle
to tear it apart.


Profile: General Sir Mike Jackson

The former head of the Army, General Sir Mike Jackson,
attacks the way the Ministry of Defence is run. What sort
of man is Sir Mike?

Reportedly nicknamed Darth Vader and The Prince of Darkness
by his men, General Sir Michael Jackson commanded an
instant respect among his troops.

Renowned for his ferocious pursuit of perfection on
military exercises and dubbed "Macho Jacko" by the
tabloids, he was seen as a hard but fair commander.

Sir Mike, now 62, began his army career learning Russian in
the Intelligence Corps at the height of the Cold War.

Alongside his hard man image he was seen as intelligent and
able and it has been said he could have succeeded equally
well in a civilian - even political - career.

Born into a military family, he joined the Army at the age
of 19 before graduating from Birmingham University in 1967.

He transferred to the Parachute Regiment in 1970 after
completing his time with the Intelligence Corps.

Distinguished leadership

Sir Mike, whose military hero is the Duke of Wellington,
rose to command the First Battalion of the Parachute
Regiment between 1984 and 1986.

He also commanded 3 (UK) Division, spent two years at the
Ministry of Defence and served in Berlin and Northern

He was commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Bosnia
between 1995 and 1996.

He went on to command Nato's ACE Rapid Reaction Corps from
1997 to 2000.

In 1999 he took charge of the Kosovo Force - known as K-For
- in the successful operation to end the ethnic cleansing
of Albanians in the former Yugoslav republic.

During the Kosovo campaign he won the Distinguished Service
Order for the leadership he showed.

During the mission his strong character famously resulted
in a clash with his American commander General Wesley

When ordered to intercept Russian forces which entered
Kosovo without the alliance's agreement he refused.

"I'm not going to start the Third World War for you," he is
reported to have told General Clark.

As head of K-For Sir Mike not only won the respect of his
soldiers but also that of aid workers and diplomats who met

"Generals are generals because you defer to them and he is
a particularly strong proponent of the art," one British
officer said at the time.

He stepped down as head of the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps in
February 2000.

Bloody Sunday

After leaving his post he was promoted to full general and
made operational head of the British army.

He took up the role just a month before the Iraq war,
replacing General Sir Michael Walker.

A month into the war in Iraq, he was called away from his
duties to give evidence to the Bloody Sunday inquiry.

He was adjutant to the 1st Battalion of the Parachute
Regiment in January 1972, when paratroopers killed 13
Catholic men on an illegal civil rights march in

Sir Mike married his wife Sarah in 1985. He has two sons
and a daughter. His son, Mark, followed him into the
military and has served as a paratrooper in the Gulf.

High profile

His Who's Who entry lists his interests as travel, music,
skiing and tennis. He also penchant for whisky and cigars.

As head of the army - a role which he retired from in
August - Sir Mike became one of the most widely known
British generals since World War II.

He had to deal with claims of Iraqi prisoner abuse at the
hands of UK troops and growing discontent about the role of
coalition troops in the Middle Eastern country.

He launched a probe into the abuse allegations, admitting
they had damaged the army but insisting the situation would
be worse if there had been a cover-up

His high media profile made him wince but it did not stop
him speaking his mind when he thought it necessary.

His willingness to give his views, however controversial,
has continued into his retirement.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/07 11:46:37 GMT


Council Farewell To 'Mentor' Mervyn

Tributes paid to retiring Chief Executive

THE man at the centre of some of Ballymena Council's most
ferocious arguments and debates has decided to call it a
day, or rather a night.

The Council's Chief Executive Mervyn Rankin was described
as a 'fountain of knowledge', a 'calming influence' with
'endless patience' and likened to Solomon by Ballymena
Councillors as they paid tribute to him on his last Monthly
Meeting on Monday night.

For once, Mervyn was not needed to step in and referee a
clash between the Councillors, as they joined together to
share their memories and wish him well for his retirement.

The Mayor, Ald James Alexander led the tributes saying: "We
have worked together for over 16 years and it has been an
absolute pleasure. There is some people you meet in life
who make an impression and you are one of those people. You
have tried to keep some of us on the narrow gauge railway."
Cllr. Hubert Nicholl added similar sentiments: "Sometimes
when we got into tight corners, we got good advice from
you. We owe a great debt to you. I wish you well in your

Ulster Unionist Representative, James Currie said: "Mr
Rankin had some kind of calming influence. He has kept this
Council on the straight and narrow. It is a sad time.
Ballymena has done well over the last number of years, and
that is down to Mr Rankin and his Council officers. You can
always come in and listen and enjoy it."

SDLP Councillor Declan O'Loan said: "I speak on my own
behalf, on behalf of my colleague Alderman McAvoy who very
much regrets that he cannot be here on this occasion, on
behalf of the SDLP Branch in Ballymena.

"He has given unstintingly of his time and his energy. I
think perhaps the first word that comes to mind when
thinking of Mervyn is integrity. He is a person of
principle. All of us knew when dealing with him knew that
he was not going to make decisions out of expediency or

Sinn Fein Councillor Monica Digney said Mr Rankin had been
'extremely fair'. DUP man Robin Stirling brought some
humour to the tributes. He urged Mr Rankin to refrain from
coming back to Council. "If you feel lonely for the job,
think of the bad days - if you had any bad days. That's a
mechanism that I used", he joked.

Deputy Mayor, Maurice Mills said the Town Clerk was a
'diplomat', 'smooth operator',' politically astute' with a
'retentive mind': "We as members take time to honour and
pay tribute to a professional and a gentleman. Members will
agree that Mervyn excels in both categories."

Cllr. Beth Adger said she saw Mervyn as a 'gentle giant'.
Councillor Tommy Nicholl described Mervyn as a 'rare
breed'. "God has given you earthly wisdom. You are the
nearest thing to Solomon I have met", said Tommy.

Independent Representative James Henry added: "Your advice
and guidance was second to none." Councillors David Tweed,
Paul Frew, Sam Hanna all added their praise.

Moved by the sentiments expressed, Mervyn responded: "I
have really enjoyed my job. I really believe in Ballymena.
Whatever I do in the future I will promote Ballymena.

The Town Clerk signed off with his customary dry wit: "If
you see the letters in the paper from 'concerned ratepayer'
it won't be me'.

07 December 2006


Beckett Letters Go Up For Auction

A number of letters and postcards written by Samuel Beckett
could fetch up to €300,000 at auction later today.

Sotheby's of London is selling the correspondence, which
spans almost 40 years.

Originally sent to Beckett's friends, painters Henri and
Josette Hayden, it features the Dubliner's famous spidery
handwriting and is signed by Sam.

The lot has been described as the most important series of
letters by the eccentric writer ever offered for sale.

Beckett writes frankly in fluent French about his health,
family and work in progress. The envelopes and postcards
are postmarked Paris, Dublin, London, Berlin, Stuttgart,
Ussy-sur-Marne and elsewhere.

Beckett met the Haydens in 1943 while they took refuge from
the Gestapo in the village of Roussillon d'Apt in Vichy
France. Their lifelong friendship began with their common
love of painting.

The sale also features early editions of many of Beckett's
books and plays, including Krapp's Last Tapeand More Pricks
Than Kicks.


Jane McDonough, 60, Social Worker - RIP

December 7, 2006

MELROSE -- Jane Elizabeth (Tiernan) McDonough, of Melrose,
a former teacher and social worker, died Nov. 23 at her
home after an illness. She was 60.

Mrs. McDonough was born and raised in Everett. She
graduated from Matignon High School in Cambridge in 1964.
She went on to study at Regis College in Weston, graduating
in 1968, and later earned her master's degree from the
University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Mrs. McDonough worked as a schoolteacher at Immaculate
Conception in Malden for nine years. She then turned to
social work, and worked with the elderly at St. Stephen's
Towers in Lynn.

She had lived in Melrose since 1975. Mrs. McDonough was a
member of St. Mary Church in Melrose. She belonged to the
North Shore Irish Association, and was a longtime writer
for its newsletter.

In 1964, Mrs. McDonough won an Irish American Association
writing contest with her essay, "What John F. Kennedy meant
to me."

She was married to Michael J. McDonough for 33 years.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. McDonough leaves five
sons, Martin of New York, Michael of Andover, John of
Winchester, Patrick of Stoneham, and Matthew of Melrose ; a
daughter, Anna Marie of Melrose ; two brothers, William
Tiernan of California, and Robert Tiernan of Stoneham ; two
sisters, Catherine Galgon of Pennsylvania, and Ann Tiernan
of North Carolina, and seven grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was said Nov. 29 in St. Mary Church,
Melrose. Burial was at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose.

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