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February 18, 2007

Paisley Says DUP Will Back His Decision

News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 02/19/07 Paisley Says DUP Will Back His Decisions
IT 02/19/07 Political Hardmen Likely To Top Poll
MD 02/18/07 Hillary’s Detractors
IN 02/17/07 Opin: Paisley Will Win But A Pyrrhic Victory
IT 02/19/07 Taoiseach Dismisses Nuclear Power Solution
CL 02/19/07 Grand Marshals Ready To Lead St. Pat’s Parade


Paisley Says DUP Will Back His Decisions

Margaret Canning
Mon, Feb 19, 2007

Democratic Unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley has said
supporters are "happy to be guided" by the party's
leadership in the run-up to next month's Assembly election.

He said supporters told him they trusted the party. "They
have said: 'We trust you and we know that if you do
something we don't understand we are not going to condemn
you, we are going to back you'."

Dr Paisley told RT Radio 1's This Week that there was a
"craving for peace" but that people wanted a lasting

"Those who want to see peace also want a peace that will
last, not a stop-go/go-stop situation. There will be
obstacles and difficulties but we are going to see this one

Dr Paisley said the need for lasting peace was the reason
why he took what he described as a "strong line" on "Sinn

"We must say to the IRA/Sinn F‚in, 'Look, we must be
persuaded absolutely and we must see tokens encouraging us
to believe that you as a party have ceased and are not
going to return to any paramilitarism'."

Dr Paisley also claimed Sinn F‚in's endorsement of policing
had fallen short and referred to a remark by Sinn F‚in
president Gerry Adams that the party would "put manners" on
the PSNI.

"There are too many ifs and buts and teaching people
manners and all that sort of thing and I don't think that
is helpful."

He suggested Sinn F‚in did not deserve any credit for
encouraging people to assist police investigating the
murder of Newry man Stiofan Loughran, who was stabbed in
Derrybeg in the city on February 8th.

"It was one of their own, wasn't it [ he]", Dr Paisley

To protests from RT correspondent Tommie Gorman at the
remark, he said: "It may not be likeable but I have to be
honest with these things because the future of the country
lies in the right decision to be taken at this moment."

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has accused
the DUP of naivety over power-sharing and the peace

The DUP is believed to think that not committing to power-
sharing will give it greater bargaining power over an
eventual devolution financial deal.

He called for a united front from the parties on any peace
dividend. "The chancellor [ of the exchequer Gordon Brown]
is not going to do a deal for one party but he may do a
deal for all of us and I think that's the difference
between the DUP's approach and ours," he said.

"We both share the same objective, if the objective is to
get a deal to go into government. But we dare not risk
losing that all-party consensus which is the key strength."

The party's Assembly candidate for South Antrim David
Burnside has said the union of the United Kingdom is under
threat from inside and outside Northern Ireland.

He spoke as the Scottish Nationalist Party launched a
campaign to become the largest party at Holyrood, the
Scottish parliament.

"An Assembly at Stormont which brings government closer to
the people and halts the blackmailing tactics of Peter Hain
and the Northern Ireland Office is a worthy aim for the
Ulster Unionist Party," he said.

"A legislative Stormont which is inherently unstable and
undemocratic, however, might be used by English MPs as an
excuse to weaken the union and could be a dangerous Trojan
horse for unionism."

Mr Burnside said that if the SNP became the largest party
in Scotland, it could trigger a referendum calling for an
end to the union, with Scotland withdrawing. "If that
sequence of events unfolds, many English MPs will move
further away from supporting the union," he warned.

The UUP candidate also criticised the DUP, which he said
had failed to negotiate a better deal at the talks in St
Andrews last year. He said the DUP had left the political
institutions at Stormont undemocratic and unstable.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Political Hardmen Likely To Top Poll In Sectarian Hotspot

Carissa Casey
Mon, Feb 19, 2007

Constituency profile: North Belfast:North Belfast is home
to two of the North's best-known political hardmen - local
MP, DUP stalwart and barrister Nigel Dodds and Sinn F‚in
policing spokesman and former Maze escapee, Gerry Kelly.

It is the constituency which had the highest number of
deaths during the Troubles and which today boasts the
greatest number of so-called peace walls - a mish-mash of
loyalists, republicans, severe deprivation, relative
affluence and a smattering of conspicuous wealth.

Across the political divide, proximity has bought little
sense of affinity with near- constant sectarian tensions.

Dodds's office, close to town, nestles between modest
Victorian villas, some primly neat, others dilapidated, a
few abandoned. Demographically the unionist areas are in
decline with a growing elderly population, while the
Catholic areas complain of overcrowding.

Dodds admits his constituents are more concerned with
bread- and-butter issues than the potential jam that might
some day bind his party and Sinn F‚in in a power-sharing

In common with every other politician in the area, proposed
new water charges are the biggest complaint he hears on the
doorstep. "If the Assembly is back, that's the issue we'll
have to deal with as our number one priority."

A recent report showed that literacy levels among school
leavers, particularly in loyalist areas in this
constituency, were appallingly low.

"There's a whole generation of young people coming out, one
after another, and you worry what's going to happen in 20,
30 years time," he says.

Is that not reason enough to get back into government and
take action on the issue?

"Absolutely, that's key," agrees Dodds. "What we've got to
ensure is that if we get devolution we don't end up in
another six months with it all crashing down. If we can get
it right so devolution returns, so it's stable, durable, it
lasts - that will be a tremendous achievement."

Fred Cobain, the sole Ulster Unionist in the constituency,
is something of a maverick, representing a working-class
unionist area outside the comfortable commuter belt
traditionally seen as the party's heartland.

Cobain's office lies a short distance past republican
Ardoyne and loyalist Glenbryn, scene of the Holy Cross
protest in 2001.

An old man stands in the reception area and complains that
Belfast council is trying to charge an elderly female
neighbour œ40 for a new wheelie bin.

"She hasn't got that kind of money and I already get her
papers for her in the morning, I'm not taking the rubbish
out too," he explains to the receptionist, several times

With calm grace, she deals with him and answers two phone
calls. "This is nothing," she says. "The other day I had 13
people queuing out the door. Three of them were eastern
European and could hardly speak English."

Cobain works hard for his constituents. For all the high-
profile TV appearances, nobody gets elected in North
Belfast unless they can talk wheelie bins.

A short distance away through the leafy upper Antrim Road,
a traditional middle-class Catholic stronghold, sitting
SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness is in ebullient form.
His is a safe seat but he is confident he can strip another
from Sinn F‚in.

His running mate Pat Convery, Belfast councillor and deputy
lord mayor, is a genial man who agrees with Maginness that
SDLP voters are re-engaged, re-enthused and eager to make
their mark in this election.

The prospect of water charges and the lack of political
progress will mean they turn out in droves.

Away from the tree-lined, middle-class crescents, in the
tiny terraced streets of nationalist enclaves, Sinn F‚in's
recent endorsement of policing has certainly not been met
with universal approval.

Gerry Kelly's running mate, Caral N¡ Chuil¡n, is a soft-
spoken, youthful-looking grandmother and the only woman
running in the constituency.

Both nationalist parties agree that housing is a priority
on the nationalist side. Between 75-84 per cent of people
on waiting lists for housing in North Belfast are Catholic
nationalists, says N¡ Chuil¡n. "They're saying this is what
it was like for us in the early 60s, late 70s," she says.

She is hoping that her first experience of Stormont will be
as part of a working Assembly.

"Even among the big political issues, the orange and the
green, there's all the other stuff people are hoping to get
at," she says. "I'm busting to get at the other stuff."

dismisses the SDLP's chances of taking a seat from
republicans as overconfidence. A Belfast city councillor
for three years, this is N¡ Chuil¡n's first time to stand
in the Assembly elections.

The previous incumbent, Sinn F‚in's Kathy Stanton, stepped
down and rumours abound she refused to endorse the party's
policy on policing. In areas like Ardoyne, the policing
policy is particularly unpopular and some Sinn F‚in voters
are likely to stay away from the polls. It is nigh on
impossible to imagine that the SDLP will pick up many
disaffected Sinn F‚in votes. Instead, it is hoping that a
softening of Sinn F‚in's poll coupled with a good turnout
by SDLP voters will be enough to take the extra seat.
However, Sinn F‚in's policing issue is likely to play well
with traditional SDLP voters, which may reverse the effect.

UNIONIST BATTLEGROUND:Dodds talks of reclaiming the glory
days of pre-1998 when unionists held four of the six North
Belfast seats but the demographics suggest otherwise.
United Kingdom Unionist Party leader Bob McCartney is on
the ballot sheet here, as well as several other
constituencies, in an attempt to rattle DUP cages. There is
sure to be a percentage of disgruntled DUP-ers happy to
switch allegiance in an effort to stop any chance of power-
sharing. This is an area where "on the ground" work between
elections pays dividends on poll day, so few rate McCartney
as a serious contender. His inclusion may, however, scupper
DUP's chances of taking a seat from Fred Cobain, the sole
UUP assemblyman in the constituency. The UUP party machine
is watching the seat and admits Cobain has a fight on his
hands. A ground war is how the Cobain camp describes it.
DUP voters are disciplined about voting down the party
ticket, they admit.

WILDCARD:As if! Northern Ireland politics often has a
depressing sense of d‚j… vu and nowhere is this more
evident than in North Belfast. Raymond McCord, whose
campaign to expose his son's killers resulted in the
ground-breaking Police Ombudsman report on collusion, stood
in the 2003 election, but garnered a paltry 340 votes on
the seventh count when he was eliminated. He is standing
again and claims to be getting a good response on the
doorstep from both communities. There is certainly a new-
found respect for McCord's bravery and tenacity, but
without a party machine and being something of a single-
issue candidate (victims' rights), few rate his chances. He
may pick up some preference votes but hardly enough to
bring him home on the day.

PREDICTION:No change. There are bound to be some skirmishes
on the sidelines between Sinn F‚in/SDLP and DUP/UUP, but
they are unlikely to upset the current balance of power.


*Nigel Dodds (DUP) 9276 (29.4%)
*Gerry Kelly (SF) 5524 (17.5%)
*Alban Maginness (SDLP) 3186 (10.1%)
Kathy Stanton (SF) 2990 (9.5%)
*Fred Cobain (UUP) 2961 (9.4%)
Nelson McCausland (DUP) 1500 (4.8%)

*Denotes those also elected in 1998

c 2007 The Irish Times


Hillary's Detractors

By Robert Novak-Inside Report

Washington, D.C. - While Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's
presidential stock is rising among her congressional
colleagues in Washington, prominent liberal Democrats in
her home base of New York City privately express the
opinion that she has unsolved political problems.

These critics note that Clinton's negative national ratings
remain high (around 45 percent). She also generated
similarly low ratings for her Senate re-election bid in New
York last year, but she won in a landslide against token
Republican opposition. Clinton's performance in Iowa last
week received poor reviews from liberals at home, who did
not laugh at her little joke aimed at husband Bill Clinton
when she was asked about her ability to handle "evil, bad

The most likely left-of-center alternative to Clinton, in
New York as elsewhere, appears to be former Sen. John
Edwards of North Carolina.

Diplomat McCain

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has requested Sen. John
McCain contact the Rev. Ian Paisley, the hard-line
Protestant leader in Northern Ireland, to press him to
discuss a power-sharing plan.

McCain, a leading prospect for the 2008 Republican
presidential nomination, has been increasingly active about
Northern Ireland and has had contacts with Paisley. Since
2005, McCain has been actively engaged in promoting power

Paisley has told Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern that his
party "will have nothing whatsoever to do" with a new
special committee in the Irish Parliament to deal with
issues concerning Northern Ireland.

Lobbyists for Rahm

A new, high-grade Democratic lobbying firm in Washington is
sponsoring a top-dollar fund-raising breakfast for Rep.
Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Feb.
13 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.

The principal host is David W. Jones, who ran the extensive
2006 fund-raising campaign by Rep. Charles Rangel of New
York. Jones and the other hosts listed on the invitation
are all Democrats and former congressional staffers now
associated with Capitol Counsel, a newly formed lobbyist
firm unveiled after the 2006 election. They are Zahra Buck,
Shannon Finley, James C. Gould, Daniel Papadopoulos and
John D. Raffaelli.

The invitation to the 8:30 a.m. event appears to have been
sent to names on the mailings by Rangel last year to get
support for a Democratic-controlled House that made him
Ways and Means Committee chairman. Recipients include
Republican lobbyists who work on legislation at Ways and
Means (which includes Emanuel as a member). The cost of
attending: contributions ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for
Friends of Rahm Emanuel.

Bush on Vets

House Democratic leaders seeking to show that George W.
Bush does not care about war veterans discovered that the
president has not mentioned them in his last four State of
the Union speeches, since U.S. troops intervened in Iraq.

The last Bush mention of vets in a State of the Union
Address came in 2002, when he asked Congress "to approve an
historic increase for veterans' health" - a request
followed by applause.

Bush's omissions irritate officials at the Veteran
Administration, who take pride in advancements in veterans'
health care in recent years.

Leaving D.C.

Republican hopes that Gil Gutknecht, who was upset for re-
election in Minnesota last year after six terms in
Congress, would try again were dashed this week when he
quietly put his Capitol Hill condo up for sale at $229,000.

"The congressman is leaving it all, even the Select Comfort
'The Numbers Bed,'" said the Internet sales ad. It offers
garage parking for an additional $30,000, claims the unit
"gets tons of sun" and concludes: "Perfect for a
Politician, Investor or 1st Time Homebuyer!"

Gutknecht, a member of the big Republican class of 1994,
won his southern Minnesota district with over 60 percent of
the vote in 2002 and 2004. He lost by 6 percentage points
in 2006 to Democrat Tim Walz, a high school teacher making
his first campaign for public office.

To find out more about Robert D. Novak and read his past
columns, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at


Opin: Paisley Is Assured A Win But It Will Be A Pyrrhic

By Susan McKay

It is never easy to adapt a political philosophy to changed

When that philosophy consists of two words and those two
words are 'No surrender', it is impossible.

Hence the departure of the faithful from the DUP. Their
master taught them well and he never tried to teach them
any different.

Jack McKee has given Paisley 40 years of faithful service.

When Paisley set up the Ulster Protestant Volunteers to
emulate Carson's UVF of 1912, McKee joined.

He sold The Protestant Telegraph.

He was at Burntollet in 1969 when loyalists ambushed the
civil rights march.

McKee was Paisley's election agent and presented him with a
sword when he stood for Westminster in 1970. He was there
in 1973 when Paisley made the infamous speech declaring
that Protestantism in Northern Ireland had been betrayed
and "we must now be prepared to use the mailed fist".

He was in the Laharna Hotel in his home town of Larne with
Paisley for the first meeting to organise the Ulster
Workers Strike in 1974.

In 1981 McKee was there, brandishing his gun licence with
500 other men, when Paisley called him to an Co Antrim

He led the largest group on Larne council for Paisley. He
was among the 100,000 demonstrators who stood outside the
City Hall in Belfast in 1985.

They heard Paisley claim the Anglo-Irish Agreement would be
"resisted to the death" and that Margaret Thatcher would
"wade knee deep in the blood of loyalists".

When Paisley said the peace process was "the worst crisis
in Ulster's history since the setting up of the state",
McKee agreed. His master saw the Good Friday Agreement in
1998 as a "prelude to genocide" and so McKee was glad the
DUP's policy was to "smash it".

In 2003 McKee was dropped as a DUP candidate. He got
elected as an independent but by 2004 he was back in
Paisley's fold - "back from the wilderness", he said.

The old guard were always confident that no matter what
happened, they could count on the politics of 'No
surrender' and Paisley has always given them that comfort.
He delivered the weary old battle cry last year at the
Twelfth, as usual.

However, the St Andrews Agreement was the end for McKee and
he resigned.

He said last weekend that he would not be voting DUP in the
forthcoming elections.

As Jack McConnell, a stalwart old timer like McKee, said at
the weekend: "We [the DUP] are coming out with stuff that
is totally alien to what we have said all along." McConnell
has also resigned.

It is true. Paisley never said anything other than never
and no.

He would never sit down with Sinn Fein. There would be no

Now he is refusing to deny that he might, by accepting the
post of first minister, make the hated former IRA leader
Martin McGuinness deputy first minister for Northern
Ireland. Totally alien is right.

Of course, Paisley is also driving everyone else mad by
refusing to say for definite that he WILL go into
government with Sinn Fein as previously agreed at St

He is refusing to contradict those in his party who
continue to present the phantom of a vicious IRA ready to
strike again the moment a Protestant drops his guard.

He is allowing the hard men who are his best disciples to
offer more and more Jesuitical reasons as to why Sinn Fein
cannot be allowed to take power.

He is still mumbling, "Here I stand, I can do no other,"
even though nobody can really tell where he stands and who
is standing by him. Paisley taught his people to be
paranoid and now they see signs of betrayal everywhere.

The DUP just doesn't know how to cope with democracy.

It doesn't know how to be peaceful even though the IRA has
gone. Inevitably, there is a nostalgia for the good old
days of militancy against the enemy at the gate. No

The DUP has little to fear from Bob McCartney, whose
history as a leader is laughable.

The McKees and McConnells, the Ballymena Six and the others
are still fundamentally loyal to the Big Man.

Their loss at the polls will be made up for by unionist
voters who will find the DUP more comfortable for the
absence of those they'd regard as dinosaurs.

Paisley will win but the old men and their young inheritors
are right.

If he goes into government with Sinn Fein, he will, in his
own terms, have surrendered.


Taoiseach Dismisses Nuclear Power Solution

Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent
Mon, Feb 19, 2007

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has rejected nuclear power as a
solution to global warming and has promised a
"comprehensive" national climate-change strategy by Easter.

One-third of national electricity consumption is to be
generated from alternative energy by 2020 and new measures
will include mandatory use of bio-fuel mix in transport
fuels and other energy efficiencies in the State sector, Mr
Ahern told the Ogra Fianna F il national youth conference
in Galway at the weekend.

However, Ogra Fianna F il chair Barry Andrews TD says he is
"not sure that it is realistic" to "rule out" the nuclear
energy option, given the pace of international events. "It
doesn't mean we have to build nuclear power stations, but
it can be bought in for the national grid."

The Government's stance was also challenged at the Ogra
conference by a keynote speaker, Prof Philip Walton, a
retired professor of applied physics at NUI, Galway.

Prof Walton, spokesman for new lobby group Better
Environment for Nuclear Energy, said there was a
"resurgence of interest" in nuclear power internationally,
due to the impact of global warming on climate change.

Ireland's dependence on imported fossil fuels, which were
becoming scarce and more expensive, and the difficulties
associated with alternative sources like wind energy were
cited by Prof Walton as compelling reasons to reconsider
the State's approach.

The 30 per cent target for renewables by 2020, set by
Minister for Natural Resources Noel Dempsey in the upcoming
White Paper on energy, were "very ambitious", he said, and
"I hope he's right".

Prof Walton told the conference that it would take 1,000
wind generators to provide the energy generated by one
nuclear power plant. France derived 78 per cent of its
energy from nuclear power and Sweden derived 50 per cent,
he said.

The world had "12,000 reactor years" of experience, with
two major accidents at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986 and
Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, in 1979, Prof Walton said.
The casualties were "minuscule" compared to other
industries, he claimed.

The high level of waste from reactors was a problem, he
noted, but the US was resolving it by building a central
repository in Nevada. Asked by one delegate to estimate the
number of nuclear power plants Ireland would require, Prof
Walton said he would replace the ESB coal-burning station
at Moneypoint with a nuclear power plant of 600 megawatts,
and several more plants of 300-400 megawatts.

No minister was present during Prof Walton's address, but
Mr Dempsey joined the workshop later and welcomed Ogra
Fianna F il's decision to discuss the issue. A statutory
ban on generating electricity by nuclear means had been in
existence for the best part of 30 years and there was "no
proposal before Government or contemplated by Government to
change that", he said.

In his address to the conference, the Taoiseach promised a
"green energy revolution" which ensured that Ireland met
its obligations in full to tackle climate change. A climate
change strategy was being prepared for Easter by a
ministerial taskforce.

New measures announced by Mr Ahern include:

Instruction to Dublin Bus and Bus ireann to move all their
existing fleet to a 5 per cent bio-fuel blend, with a
target 30 per cent bio-fuel blend in all new buses.

A mandatory programme of efficiency measures within the
public sector, including sole use of energy-efficient
lighting in offices, schools and hospitals.

All street lighting and traffic lighting systems to be
energy efficient.

Mandatory use of bio-fuel mix in transport fuels and
establishment of a national bio-fuel distribution network.

Changes in planning law to facilitate installation of new
energy technologies such as domestic wind turbines, solar
panels, bio-mass burners and heat pumps.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Grand Marshals Ready To Lead St. Pat's Parade


As Brooklyn prepares to morph into an emerald empire next
month for St. Patrick's Day, a local planning committee got
busy placing the finishing touches on the jubilant jaunt.

The Irish American Brooklyn Parade Committee held an
installation dance at St. Patrick's Hall, 4th Avenue and
97th Street, to formally induct the grand marshal and
aides, who will lead merrymakers along the 32nd annual trek
through historic Park Slope, March 18.

Selected as grand marshal was Rev. Dennis J. Farrell,
pastor of Holy Name Parish, 245 Prospect Park West.

Joining him are aides: Bridie Gregory, Gaelic Sports/NY
Young Irelands Camogie Club; Kevin McGovern,
Business/McGovern Florists; Mary Bozzone, Public School
256; Kathryn Killen, Ladies Ancient Order of
Hibernians/Kings County Board; Thomas Crockett, Ancient
Order of Hibernians/Kings County Board; Joseph Clark, New
York City Correction Department Pipe Band; and Robert
Gibson, Grand Council/United Emerald Societies.

This year's parade is dedicated to the memories of: Edward
J. Cush, labor leader and former president and business
manager of Iron Workers Local 361; the Irish Korean War
Veterans; Ann S. Healion, 1988 parade grand marshal and
former State board president of Ladies Ancient Order of
Hibernians; and James P. Moriarty, 1984 parade grand
marshal and Irish business leader.

For more information about the time and location of the
parade call 718-499-9482.

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