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January 16, 2007

Holy Cross GIrls School May Close

GAUNTLET OF FEAR: Parents struggle to protect their children
after loyalists threw a blast bomb during the Holy Cross protest
in September 2001. Left, Fr Aidan Troy PICTURE: Brendan Murphy

News About Ireland & The Irish

IN 01/16/07 Holy Cross Girls School May Close
BB 01/15/07 No Move On NI Deadline, Says Hain
RT 01/16/07 NI Deadline Depends On St Andrews Deal: Blair
IN 01/16/07 McGuinness Admits Playing For Big Stakes
DT 01/16/07 Adams In Derry Next Week & Bullets in Post
UT 01/16/07 McGlinchey Slams SF Policing Move
IN 01/16/07 SF Dougan Follows Through On Resignation Threat
IN 01/16/07 DUP Berry To Defend His Seat As Independent
IN 01/16/07 SDLP Row Erupts Over Deselection
BT 01/16/07 Sinister Twist To Dissident Threats
IN 01/16/07 Traffic Wardens Out Of Falls Road After Threats
BT 01/16/07 Opin: A Working Class Hero Is Something To Be
IN 01/16/07 Tributes Paid To Frmr General Secretary Of SDLP
RT 01/16/07 34,000 Civilian Deaths In Iraq In 2006 - UN
IT 01/16/07 Affordable Scheme To Offer Killiney Apartments


Review May Close Holy Cross Where A Torrent Of Hate Failed

By Simon Doyle Education Correspondent

A primary school which was thrust onto the world stage
during a loyalist protest is expected to close, The Irish
News has learned.

The future of Holy Cross Girls’ PS in north Belfast is
being considered as part of the most far-reaching and
ambitious review of primary education ever undertaken in
the north.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) plans to
remove 20,000 empty desks, which it says will inevitably
mean that some primary and nursery schools will “cease to

It is understood that three north Belfast primaries – Holy
Cross Girls’, Holy Cross Boys’ and Mercy PS – will be
amalgamated into a new co-educational school.

Pupil numbers have been falling and it is said there were
plans for an amalgamation prior to the violent loyalist
protest of 2001 that brought the girls’ school to world
media attention.

Children as young as four faced loyalist protesters as they
walked with their parents to school amid a huge security

During the blockade four police officers were injured in a
blast-bomb attack.

Public consultations were held last year on the future of
three primary schools with an ambitious ‘three into one’
amalgamation put forward as a preferred option.

It has been suggested that the three schools would move to
the site of St Gabriel’s College, which has been earmarked
for closure. It is thought the plan has been put on hold
pending further examination in light of recommendations
made in the Bain Report.

Bain said proposals for re-organisation should demonstrate
that options for collaboration and sharing on a cross-
community basis have been considered.

Fr Aidan Troy, chairman of Holy Cross Girls’ board of
governors, said last night that despite parents being
initially informed they were now being “kept in the dark”.

“We had a consultation with parents in June and it was
promised that this would continue in September,” he said.

“As of today we have not heard anything back from CCMS.”

“I think there has been a gap that has not been helpful.

“I would like to see more engagement with parents,
teachers, staff and the wider community – particularly in
the case of Holy Cross Girls’ because it was thrust onto
the world scene during the protest.”

The CCMS last night said its strategic review of primary
education was being initiated across all dioceses.

“The purpose of the review is to examine the long-term
needs of each parish, the appropriateness of current
educational provision and to recommend options for the
future including any opportunities for capital
development,” a spokesman said.

“Schools in north Belfast will be examined as part the
ongoing review.”


No Move On NI Deadline, Says Hain

Northern Ireland's party leaders have been warned the
government intends to stick to its planned 26 March date
for the restoration of power sharing.

A letter from Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said he
will not move the deadline - "the only chance to get
devolution up and running".

His warning came as Sinn Fein prepared to hold a conference
on supporting the police - crucial to the brokered deal.

If an election does not occur, Stormont will be dissolved

The choice is set in statute, either restoration and
executive ministers in place on 26 March or indefinite

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain

The transitional assembly at Stormont will dissolve on 30
January in anticipation of an election on 7 March.

In his letter to unionist, nationalist and cross-community
party leaders, Mr Hain wrote: "There is only one chance to
get devolution up and running and that is 26 March.

"Everyone involved needs to understand that.

"The choice is set in statute, either restoration and
executive ministers in place on 26 March or indefinite

"On that date, the parties are required to form an
executive and if that does not happen, the assembly is
dissolved indefinitely the next day.

"These provisions and their consequences cannot be changed
except by further primary legislation which would have to
be agreed by Parliament before 30 January. There is no
parliamentary time to do so."

'Repeal changes'

He also said there was no "possibility whatsoever of
further emergency legislation in time to either postpone
the 26 March restoration date or preserve the institutional
changes provided by the Act".

If an election fails to take place, Stormont will close
down and the current 108 Assembly members' salaries and
allowances will be immediately withdrawn.

The government will also implement the ban on academic
selection as well as repeal changes introduced under the St
Andrews Act relating to the Ministerial Code, the pledge of
office and the arrangement for appointing first and deputy
first ministers will also be automatically repealed.

Sinn Fein's national executive approved plans on Saturday
for the conference in Dublin on 28 January, during which
2,000 members are expected to consider giving their support
for the police service in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein's reluctance to declare support for the Police
Service of Northern Ireland has been a major stumbling
block to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern's plan to revive power sharing.

Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has stated it
will not form a power sharing administration involving Sinn
Fein without it backing the police and courts with "full
delivery on the ground".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/16 04:27:12 GMT


NI Deadline Depends On St Andrews Deal: Blair

16 January 2007 12:40

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has said that
provided there is a clear delivery of the commitments made
under the St Andrews Agreement, then there is no reason why
power-sharing cannot be devolved back to Northern Ireland
by the 26 March deadline.

Speaking at a news conference in Downing Street, Mr Blair
said Sinn Féin's plans to hold a special Ard Fheis was

Yesterday, the DUP leader, Ian Paisley, said that if
devolution was not restored by then, Stormont would shut
down indefinitely.


McGuinness Admits Sinn Fein Is Playing For ‘Big Stakes’ On

By William Graham Political Correspondent

As the policing debate develops within republicanism Sinn
Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said yesterday they
were playing for “big stakes”.

At a press briefing in Stormont Mr McGuinness, pictured,
said that an overwhelming majority of the people on this
island continue to support a successful outcome of the
peace process.

Sinn Fein is embarking on a series of public meetings in
town halls and other venues across the north on the
policing issue prior to the special Ard Fheis on January

Mid-Ulster MP Mr McGuinness said: “People understand that
this is about us taking the control of our own affairs.

“Yes, there is emotionalism in it. This is difficult and
people will be exercised and challenged by all of this and
some people in the course of the last while have talked
about what does this mean for the republican dead.

“I mean, I could have been one of the republican dead in
the past.

“Many of my friends are the republican dead... but I don’t
call them to support my case.

“The case I put is a very clear case. As Gerry Adams has
said this is the right thing to do [sign up to policing]
this is the right time to do it.

“The thing about our leadership is when we decide to do
something – we go for it.’’

DUP leader Ian Paisley said the Sinn Fein decision to call
their special conference to take a decision on policing was
a step forward.

Mr Paisley, however, said it only amounts to movement where
there is full delivery on the ground.

“Any analysis of the motion allows for several different,
if not contradictory, interpretations,” he said.

“Of course Sinn Fein would not be in membership of the
Police Board until after devolution. Legally they cannot.
Of course they wouldn’t be taking a ministerial pledge
before then.

“The question is do they intend to proceed with offering
support to the police and the court’s and encouraging their
supporters to do so as soon as the motion is passed.

“The DUP will not be moving until there is full delivery on
the ground and the DUP will not be found wanting if there

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said that decisive political
progress demands that both Sinn Fein and the DUP need to
stop playing tactics and to finally do the right things for
the right reasons.

Alliance leader David Ford called on Mr Paisley and Mr
Adams to sit down face to face to resolve outstanding
issues “instead of conducting megaphone diplomacy’’.


Adams In Derry Next Week;
Reports Of Bullets In Post In Tyrone

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams will take part in a meeting
on policing in Derry on Thursday week in the run-up to the
crucial Ard Fheis vote on Sunday, January 28th.

The meeting at the 1,000-seat Millennium Forum is part of a
series of 'town hall style' consulations as the party
leadership seeks to counter anti-policing sentiment among
republican grassroots.

The policing debate moved up a several gears yesterday with
a number of separate developments.

* It was confirmed that Derry woman Peggy O'Hara, mother of
1981 Long Kesh hunger striker, Patsy, is to stand on an
anti-PSNI election ticket in the Foyle constituency.

* Sinn Fein were staying tight-lipped last night on reports
that a number of Sinn Fein councillors in the Strabane and
Omagh areas had received bullets in the post.

* And the family of an IRA man gunned down by the SAS in
the city 26 years ago accused the Sinn Fein leadership of
being "systematically dishonest" with grassroots
republicans on policing.

Strategy discussion

This evening, at a city centre hotel, republicans opposed
to moves to embrace policing will gather to discuss Sinn
Fein's strategy. The meeting - which will include speakers
from the IRSP, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (the
political wing of the Real IRA) and independent republicans
- will begin at 7.00 p.m. at the Tower Hotel.

A spokesman for the organisers said he was "hopeful" that
Sinn Fein would send along a representative.

"Very against"

Peggy O'Hara has told the 'Journal' that she is running as
an abstentionist candidate in memory of her son who died
after 61 days on hunger strike in May 1981. Mrs O'Hara said
that her son would have been "very against" Sinn Fein's
policing strategy and that her standing in any election
this year would honour his memory.

Sources have also suggested that Strabane community
activist, Paul Gallagher, is also to contest the planned
Assembly election. He is expected to contest the poll in
the West Tyrone constituency.

A Sinn Fein spokesman told the "Journal" last night: "We
have no problem with republicans holding a different view
to that being currently advocated by the Sinn Fein
leadership and articulating that view publicly. That is
what debate and discussion is all about.

"But at the end of this process, republicans will have a
collective decision to make. It will be taken in a
democratic vote of the party membership. Whatever that
decision is it is important that we maintain our focus and
our unity as we move forward towards achieving our ultimate
objectives of Irish unity and independence."


McGlinchey Slams SF Policing Move

A former Sinn Fein member has accused the party of copper
fastening what he called the six county state within the UK
following the party's decision to hold an Ard Fheis later
this month on policing.


Paul McGlinchey, who is to stand against Martin McGuiness
in Mid-Ulster in the coming election, is the brother of
former INLA Leader Dominic "Mad Dog" McGlinchey.

Speaking to UTV today, Paul McGlinchey said: "When I was in
the IRA I was told I was fighting for Irish freedom.

"When I was arrested and went through the police system and
the courts I was told by the IRA not to recognise the

"Now 30 years on I am told to recognise that same British
police service and British court system.

"It is a total contradiction of my life and at the end of
the day a principle is a principle.

"Ten men went on hungerstrike for a principle and gave
their lives for that principle and I was part of that

"And I will never ever in my lifetime allow those men to
die in vain."


Dougan Follows Through On Resignation Threat

By Bimpe Fatogun

A SINN Fein assembly member has resigned from the party
over its moves towards accepting policing.

Mid Ulster representative Geraldine Dougan had already
announced she would not be putting her name forward for
selection for the forthcoming assembly elections.

This Irish News learned last night that she has now
tendered her resignation to the party – a move she
threatened if the ard fheis supported moves towards
accepting policing.

Mrs Dougan is a sister-in-law of former INLA chief Dominic
McGlinchey, whose brother Paul is to stand as an
independent republican candidate in the forthcoming

Anti-policing republicans plan to put forward candidates in
at least 13 constituencies.

Meanwhile, mayor of London Ken Livingstone has entered the
debate to welcome Sinn Fein’s decision to call a special

“This a generous move, which meets the latest stated
concerns of Unionist parties regarding sharing power with
the nationalist community,” he said.

“Democratic accountability of the police service to elected
representatives will be essential to make the service truly
representative of all communities in Northern Ireland.

However, opposition in some republican quarters remains,
with the 32 County Sovereignty Movement – political wing of
the Real IRA releasing a statement of opposition.

“From the outset we urge those [Irish political]
representatives to reject utterly British policing in
Ireland and to join with us and other progressive
republicans in seeking an end to the core cause of the
conflict,” it said.


Berry To Defend His Seat As Independent

By William Graham

Former DUP politician Paul Berry confirmed yesterday that
he is to defend his Newry and Armagh seat at the next
assembly election as an independent.

The independent unionist assembly member was forced to quit
the DUP following allegations abut his private life.

Mr Berry has topped the poll in two previous elections and
said he had consulted his wife, family and close friends
about running. He left the DUP after being suspended by the
party following allegations that he met a male masseur at a
Belfast hotel.

“I have represented this constituency for nine years. I
stand on my record and I feel given the state of unionism
at this time I must fight the election,’’ Mr Berry said.

In terms of the battle for the unionist vote Mr Berry will
be up against Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy and it is
expected the DUP will select a candidate later this week.

Regarding the broader political situation and possible
powersharing Mr Berry told The Irish News he thought
unionism was in a complete and utter mess.

“Unionism in general is going to have sit back and form
some sort of policy and some sort of unity, to get together
to represent the union in a more positive way,” he said.

“People are saying to me on the ground that the UUP have
let them down, the DUP have let them down.

“People may just be filled with apathy they may not even go
out to vote. Unionism will have to reassess the situation.

“I still think it is far too early to accept Sinn Fein into
government, and there needs to be a longer testing


Row Erupts Over Deselection

By Seamus McKinney

A ROW has broken out within the SDLP in Derry over the
deselection of a sitting assembly member.

Mary Bradley lost her place on the party’s Foyle ticket to
Derry mayor Helen Quigley at a selection on Sunday.

However, her election agent Robert Quinn has claimed the
votes of a number of people who took part should have been
ruled ineligible.

Under SDLP rules, members voting in a selection convention
must be resident in the same constituency.

Mr Quinn, who did not say which candidate the alleged
ineligible votes were cast for, claimed they belonged to
people living in Co Donegal but using proxy addresses in

He said he raised the issue with convention chairman Sean
Farren but was “overruled”.

Mrs Bradley has refused to comment on the issue.

However, the allegations were denied by Mr Farren, who said
candidates were given a list of eligible voters a week
before the convention.

“During the week headquarters did receive some allegations
that some names were not eligible,” he said.

“Headquarters investigated this and I was fully appraised
as acting chair of those allegations. The allegations
turned out not to be substantiated.

“Before the selection convention on Sunday I met with all
of the candidates together and, in their presence, went
through all of the agenda of the meeting.

“I mentioned that there were some questions raised about
the eligibility of some people and that was all cleared up
and I had the assurance from all of the candidates that
they were satisfied with the list.”


Sinister Twist To Dissident Threats

[Published: Tuesday 16, January 2007 - 12:14]
By Clare Weir and Brendan McDaid

Dissident republican threats against elected Sinn Fein
members today took a sinister twist in west Tyrone when a
package containing bullets and pictures of elected
representatives was left in a graveyard.

The dramatic development comes as the political battle over
policing was today hotting up, as both Sinn Fein and
dissident republicans prepare to hold meetings in

The North West Telegraph understands that several
republicans in the Strabane area are among those who
received threats.

A Sinn Fein source said that they were contained in a
package, left in a cemetery, that included live bullets.

Although there were few details this morning on who
received the threats left in the package, a Sinn Fein
spokesman said that a statement would be released later

The sinister development comes just over a week before Sinn
Fein stages a major meeting in the Millennium Forum on
January 25, amid moves by opponents to fight the Assembly
election on an anti-policing platform.

Republicans opposed to support for the PSNI will meet in
the city tomorrow night.

It also emerged today that Peggy O'Hara, the mother of INLA
hunger striker, Patsy O'Hara, will contest the forthcoming
Assembly election in Foyle.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is expected to attend next
Thursday's meeting at the Millennium Forum, which will
precede Sinn Fein's crucial ard fheis on the policing issue
at the end of the month.

But tomorrow evening, republicans opposed to policing -
including speakers from the INLA-linked IRSP and 32 County
Sovereignty Movement, aligned to the Real IRA - will meet
at the Tower Hotel.

Willie Gallagher, of the IRSP, said today that organisers
are expecting a large turnout.

He also backed Peggy O'Hara's move to stand as an anti-PSNI
candidate at the Assembly elections.

Mrs O'Hara (76), who was backed by an IRSP Ard Comhairle at
the weekend, has said that her son, who died in 1981, would
be angered by any Sinn Fein decision to accept policing in
its current form.

Willie Gallagher said today: "We are basically bringing
this policing debate to the wider community and we are
expecting a big turnout.

"I would most definitely be supporting Peggy O'Hara in her
decision to stand as she is very angry with the way she has
been treated.

"Many families of the deceased say they have not been
consulted by Sinn Fein.

"We want that party to come along, explain themselves and
tell the bereaved what their intentions are," he said.

"Sinn Fein should not be kowtowing to the DUP any longer,
but it looks as if they will be jumping through even more
hoops if past history is anything to go by."

A spokesperson for Sinn Fein today welcomed all forms of
dialogue on the very contentious issue.

He added that everyone is welcome to attend the party's
forthcoming meeting which is being held at the Millennium
Forum on January 25.

"We hope that the public, anyone with an interest, can come
to this meeting, which is part of a series across the north
explaining Sinn Fein's strategy," he said.

While he would not confirm whether Sinn Fein would attend
the meeting of disaffected republicans tomorrow, the
spokesman added: "We have engaged in a process of
discussion and consultation both outside and within the
party, and it is obvious that we haven't reached

© Belfast Telegraph


Traffic Wardens Forced Out Of Falls Road After Threats

By Marie Louise McCrory West Belfast Correspondent

Traffic wardens have been withdrawn from one of the busiest
areas of west Belfast because of “concerns” for their

NCP (National Car Parks) – the company responsible for
traffic attendants – took the decision to withdraw staff
from the Falls Road area after an incident during which a
piece of metal was thrown at a traffic attendant.

The company last night said the latest incident had
followed other verbal attacks against staff.

NCP is in discussions with community groups and the traffic
wardens union, NIPSA, in a bid to resolve the issue.

James Pritchard, communications manager for NCP, said it
was “a small minority” who were responsible for the

“We are carrying out meetings with various community groups
to discuss how the matter can be resolved,” he said.

“Broadly speaking, there is support in the area for what we
do. It is a small minority who have taken it into their
hands to come and cause problems.

“We have to be thoughtful and considerate of the safety of
our employees. We are talking to community groups to see
how we can resolve this matter.”

Paddy Mackel, assistant secretary of NIPSA, said: “The
traffic attendants should be free to carry out their duty
on behalf of the public.

“We are calling on community and political leaders to come
out in defence of traffic attendants.”

Paul Maskey, Sinn Fein councillor, condemned threats made
against traffic wardens.

“The new traffic attendants are low paid workers attempting
to provide a public service for the community,” he said.

“They should not be subject to threats, intimidation or
attack in the course of their work.”

Tim Attwood, SDLP councillor, said he would be raising the
matter with NCP.

“Traffic wardens should be free to work in every area of
Belfast,” he said


Opin: A Working Class Hero Is Something To Be

[Published: Tuesday 16, January 2007 - 12:09]
By Barry White

In death, maybe Davy Ervine can become the working class
hero everyone here needs so badly, as they face an
uncertain future.

That is my hope, as I think of the enormously mixed bag of
mourners, making the pilgrimage to the East Belfast
Mission, and as I search out a tape recording I made long
before the Good Friday Agreement.

What I heard from him in 1993 took me straight back to the
Sixties, when the Northern Ireland Labour Party was at its
height. Yes, for the benefit of anyone under 55, there was
such a thing - a party which, despite supporting the
British link and being represented at Stormont mainly by
Bible-carrying Protestants, tried to form some working
class unity with Catholics.

It failed, not just because the unionists campaigned
fiercely against it, fearing that its four-seat foothold in
Belfast would grow, but because it couldn't stop some of
its MPs opposing the unlocking of swings on Sundays. When
the civil rights marches began, the NILP dithered, fearing
the sectarian consequences, and rapidly disappeared from
the political scene.

That was 30 years in the past, when I knocked on Davy
Ervine's door, but all the regrets I had about the demise
of the NILP - including the two Boyds, Tom and Billy, and
David Bleakley - came flooding back. His replies, never
seen before, to my questions are as sensible as they were
then, or now. . .

Could loyalists live with a return to Stormont and
nationalists in positions of power, with north-south and
British links?

We would have government in a goldfish bowl. The corruption
of governments would not happen here. You would maybe see
government as it should be. There would be a great
opportunity to achieve a better standard of living and a
better way of life. People on all sides are crying out for
an end to violence. A temporary ceasefire is no good.

In political terms, what are loyalists prepared to give to
republicans - a fair crack of the whip?

That should be guaranteed. But you can't have my

Joint authority, a halfway house?

It wouldn't work.

Some say the only way forward is a reconstituted police
force, different on the Falls and the Shankill?

I don't think that would be realistic. What we should do is
try to ameliorate the politics of division. The only way to
do that is to educate our children together.

Do you send yours to an integrated school?

I can't afford it. But if we're going to take our place in
the modern world it will have to happen. Honesty and
integrity are going to have to be the order of the day.
Skulduggery will achieve no institutions of trust.

Total cessation of violence and all guns returned to HQs?

In an ideal world that would be great but both sides will
probably want their insurance policies for a long time to
come. How do you know when you've got them all? The people
of this society want peace. The nuts and bolts of that
peace should not be a barrier.

If the Government, before a total cessation, were to enter
into dialogue with Sinn Fein, what would be the reaction?

Provided Sinn Fein and IRA had proven that violence was no
longer a recourse for them, people wouldn't like it,
talking with murderers, but one would have to acknowledge
that they have a mandate.

If the IRA are thinking of 'one more push'?

Then it will be seen as political manipulation, not only by
us but by the British, Irish and American governments,
Europe and the media.

And how would the loyalists react?

I have no idea but I presume that the politics of violence
would rear its ugly head again.

What is the motivation for the killings? Revenge or to make
it too hot for the IRA to continue?

I am not privy to that and I never wish to be privy to

Are you going to get involved in politics?

If the opportunity arose, I would. My desire is for this
society to solve its problems, which are mammoth, in an
atmosphere where violence is not the order of the day.

Would you stand for election, where small parties haven't
done well?

One would have to weigh up one's chances. The peripheral
parties have always given credibility to those with the
mandate. In an atmosphere of siege the community is going
to run to the party with the loudest voice.

So loyalists are not a beaten community?

Not at all. People on the Falls should take a look at the
Shankill and realise that if they are a wounded people, we
are too.

Are you an optimist about the future?

Unfortunately it is going to take great bravery, on all
sides. I'm not sure that we have enough brave people. Most
unionists would tell you we lack leaders. I would
essentially be a socialist. I'm not enamoured by a unionist
party which tolerates in many ways a right-wing
Conservative government. I'm not necessarily delighted by
fundamentalist Protestantism. My views are liberal and I
believe unionism itself can be liberal. You only have to go
back to the pre-Trouble period when unionists voted in NI
Labour party candidates regularly.

You probably would have been a Labour man?

Perhaps. There are many social elements that need addressed
that have been lost in the welter of screaming and shouting
about constitutional issues. The bread and butter issues
are going by default. Realities have the only likelihood of
success in this society. We'll have to cut away the crap -
excuse my language - and create a situation where we can
start to trust. Before we can do anything, we have to build
institutions of trust. Fundamentally that is not going to
be achieved with a wounded, frightened and betrayed
unionist population.

Because of Paisley there are elements within the unionist
population looking over their shoulder - what I call the
lowest common denominator. Unionism doesn't have to be like
this. There is diversity in unionism, Catholic unionists,
socialist unionists. They may not like it when Paisley
shouts, but essentially they vote for the union.

Will people not be surprised you're so optimistic?

I'm not sure that I'm optimistic. I'm confident that
unionism has the ability to argue its case. I'm confident
that realities will be the order of the day, that grandiose
ideas won't work and that at some point people must
understand that there are almost a million unionists here
who must be listened to and must be accommodated.

© Belfast Telegraph


Tributes Paid To Former General Secretary Of SDLP

By Staff Reporter

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former general secretary of
the SDLP whose funeral takes place today.

John Duffy, originally from Warrenpoint in Co Down, died on
Saturday in hospital in the Republic. He was in his mid-

Mr Duffy had been living in Lucan, Co Dublin, but remained
in contact with his former SDLP colleagues and attended
party conferences until recently.

He will be buried today following Requiem Mass at St
Patrick’s Church in Lucan.

SDLP assembly member PJ Brad-ley said Mr Duffy was a
supporter of the party in its earliest days.

“John was a member of a highly respected Warrenpoint family
but he lived most of his working life in Dublin,” said Mr

“His input into the early days of the SDLP reflected his
political vision and his own integrity. When he became
general secretary of the SDLP he introduced a very
professional approach to the role and the workings of the
party office which remains to this day.

“I would like to offer my sincere sympathies to John’s
family on behalf of the party at this difficult time.”


34,000 Civilian Deaths In Iraq In 2006 - UN

16 January 2007 11:05

The United Nations has said that more than 34,000 Iraqi
civilians were killed in violence last year.

The figure was announced at a news conference in Baghdad by
the UN's human rights chief in the country, Gianni

Mr Magazzeni said that, according to his figures, more than
36,000 people were wounded in 2006.

He accused the Iraqi government of failing to provide
security and blamed some of the violence on militias
colluding with or working inside the police and army.

The figures are much higher than any statistics issued by
the Iraqi government, which said the UN had 'grossly
exaggerated' the number of deaths.

The report, which is based on data from hospitals compiled
by the Iraqi Health Ministry and from Baghdad morgues, said
6,376 civilians were killed in November and December alone.

That was a rate of 105 killed across Iraq every day,
compared to 120 a day in September and October when 7,054
civilians were killed.

Mr Magazzeni said most of those killed in November and
December died of gunshot wounds, a factor that he said
indicated that they were victims of so-called 'death squad
killings' rather than bombings.


Affordable Scheme To Offer Killiney Apartments

16 January 2007 12:33

Around 100 apartments in the south Co Dublin suburb of
Killiney may be sold at half price under an affordable
housing scheme.

Two-bedroom apartments that would normally cost €600,000
could be sold at a 50% discount as part of a proposal by
the Affordable Housing Partnership.

Any first-time buyer earning under €55,000 a year is
entitled to apply while the yearly limit for couples is
€75,000 per year.

The Killiney scheme is a result of the Affordable Housing
Partnership seeking its own land for rezoning.

It is also recommending that 1,000 affordable homes be
built in Lucan on the edge of the Liffey Valley.

Both schemes have the support of local authorities but have
yet to go through the rezoning process.

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