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March 08, 2007

Voters Rebuff Extremists & Give Hope For Stormont Rule

News about Ireland & the Irish

GU 03/08/07 Voters Rebuff Extremists & Give Hope For Stormont Rule
BB 03/08/07 DUP & Sinn Fein On Top In Poll
IT 03/08/07 NI Election - News By Constituency
BT 03/08/07 North Belfast: How The Polling Went
BT 03/08/07 Election 07 Blog 23:43
IT 03/08/07 Paisley Warns SF Power Sharing
IT 03/08/07 Paisley Steers Clear Of McGuinness
BN 03/08/07 UUP 'Humiliation' In Assembly Poll
BB 03/08/07 Independent Republican Candidate Is Arrested
SF 03/08/07 Arrest Is Political Policing SF Determined To End
SF 03/08/07 Sinn Féin To Host Major Election Rally In Dublin City
SF 03/08/07 Sinn Féin Publish Dáil Motion On Collusion
NL 03/08/07 Holy Cross Not In Line For Merger
BV 03/08/07 Blog: Irish Illegals Are Illegal Aliens Too
BT 03/08/07 Opin: The Victims: A Legacy Of Suffering
TL 03/08/07 St. Pat's Parade Draws Diverse Queens Crowd
GC 03/08/07 Where Diversity Is Tradition
IT 03/08/07 Government Unveils Patrick's Day Exodus Of Ministers


Voters Rebuff Extremists And Give Hope For Stormont Rule

Owen Bowcott, Ireland correspondent
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

Voters in Northern Ireland yesterday rejected extremist
candidates who openly oppose power-sharing, raising hopes that
devolved government may soon be re-established.

The province's two largest parties, the Democratic Unionist party
and Sinn Fein, consolidated their positions in the assembly
elections, while anti-agreement groups on the unionist and
dissident republican extremes attracted little support.

But a combative statement from the DUP leader, Ian Paisley,
sounded a warning his party may not yet be ready to go into
government with Sinn Fein. "I'll not go into government with a
party until its fundamental belief and practice is democracy," he
declared. "The people of Northern Ireland are not going to be
fooled by Mr Blair pulling the wool over their eyes."

The government has set a deadline of March 26 for the parties to
agree to set up an executive at Stormont. The DUP has said
repeatedly it would not agree to power-sharing on an "artificial
date". It insists the political conditions must be right, and has
called on Sinn Fein to deliver on promises to work with the
police and courts.Comments during the election by the Sinn Fein
MP Michelle Gildernew, appearing to suggest she would not contact
the police if she knew of weapons held by dissident republicans,
have alarmed the DUP.

Yesterday was an electoral triumph for the DUP, with 30% of first
preferences. Sinn Fein secured 26%, increasing its lead over its
nationalist rival, the Social Democratic and Labour party, on
just over 15%.

The Ulster Unionist party, for decades the dominant force, won
just under 15%.Its leader, Sir Reg Empey, was outpolled in his
East Belfast constituency by Naomi Long of the cross-community
Alliance party, elected on the first count.

The Alliance showed strongly across the province, polling 5.2%.
Its candidate in south Belfast, Anna Lo, could be the first
politician from an ethnic minority elected to the assembly. Bob
McCartney, leader of the United Kingdom Unionist party, who
repeatedly derided Mr Paisley for contemplating a historic deal
with Sinn Fein, is likely to lose his assembly seat in North
Down. The Green party could win its first assembly seat in the
same constituency. In Derry, dissident republican Peggy O'Hara,
mother of a dead INLA hunger striker, received nearly 1,800
votes. She is likely to be eliminated in later rounds.

Final results are not expected until later today. Under single
transferable vote PR, re-distributing surplus votes in the six-
member constituencies is often protracted. There are 108 assembly


DUP And Sinn Fein On Top In Poll

The DUP and Sinn Fein have taken more than half the first
preference votes between them in the Northern Ireland Assembly

The DUP received 30.1% of first preferences - up 4.4% from 2003 -
while Sinn Fein got 26.2%, up 2.6%.

More than half of the 108 seats have so far been decided, with
counting due to finish on Friday.

The British and Irish governments hope the outcome will lead to
the restoration of devolved government.

In third place, the SDLP received 15.2% of first preferences, the
Ulster Unionists 14.9% and Alliance 5.2%.

Almost 250 candidates were standing in 18 constituencies in the
proportional representation election.

The leaders of the four main parties have all been returned, the
DUP's Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams topping the polls
in North Antrim and West Belfast respectively.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan was elected on the first count at Foyle,
but UUP leader Sir Reg Empey had to wait to the third stage
before being returned in East Belfast.

A power-sharing executive is due to be formed on 26 March.
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain urged the new intake of
assembly members to deliver devolved government.

"It is clear from the early set of results that people in
Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly for power sharing and they
want their politicians to run with it on March 26," he said.

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey said the results, so far, had been
disappointing for his party, but that their aim remained a
"functioning, devolved Stormont".

Gerry Adams said those who voted did so to see Northern Ireland's
institutions working and "those against that have their answer,
it seems, in fairly overwhelming terms".

Ian Paisley said Sinn Fein had to "turn from their evil ways".

Mark Durkan said: "We have held up our vote. Let's wait until the
count is over, we will see how it stacks up."

In South Belfast the first person from an ethnic minority
background was elected to the assembly. Anna Lo, a member of the
Chinese community, won a seat for the Alliance Party.

In West Belfast Sinn Fein took five seats and the SDLP one, with
the DUP's Diane Dodds losing her seat. PUP leader Dawn Purvis
retained her party's only seat in East Belfast.

In East Antrim the area's MP, Sammy Wilson, topped the poll for
the DUP with 6,755 first preference votes.

In South Antrim Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin topped the poll
with 6,313 votes.

Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP was returned in South Belfast and
Naomi Long of Alliance was elected in East Belfast.

In North Belfast the DUP's Nigel Dodds topped the poll with 6,973
votes and Sinn Fein policing spokesman Gerry Kelly was elected in
the second spot with 5,414 votes.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has been suspended since October
2002, amid allegations of an IRA spy ring at Stormont. A
subsequent court case collapsed. Direct rule has been in place
since that date.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/03/09 01:33:15 GMT


NI Election - News By Constituency

Thursday, 8 March 2007 23:00

Here is a summary of the latest headlines. Full results to date
are on our Assembly 2007 site.

North Antrim

The UUP's Robert Coulter has taken the fourth seat.

Ian Paisley Jr was elected on the second count.

DUP leader Ian Paisley was joined by Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay in
being elected on the first count.

Lagan Valley

The DUP took a second seat when David Jonathan Craig was elected
on the eighth count. The final seat is between two more DUP

Trevor Lunn of the Alliance Party and the UUP's Basil McCrea were
elected on count seven.

Paul Butler was elected on the sixth count, a Sinn Fein gain.

UUP MLA Billy Bell was eliminated on the sixth count. Sitting
SDLP MLA Marietta Farrell had been eliminated on the fifth count.

Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP was elected on the first count,
having polled almost two full quotas.

Mid Ulster

Patsy McGlone of the SDLP has taken the fifth seat.

Sinn Fein won three seats, their biggest single constituency seat
win so far in this election.

The party's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, topped the poll
with a total of 8065 first preference votes. He was followed by
the DUP's Ian McCrea on 7608 votes. Sinn Fein's Francis Molloy
was also elected with 6597 votes and he was joined by Michelle
O'Neill on 6432 votes.

Newry & Armagh: COMPLETED

The SDLP's Dominic Bradley has taken the final seat, deemed
elected without reaching the quota.

The UUP's Danny Kennedy and the DUP's William Irwin had been
elected on the fifth count.

Sinn Fein's Mickey Brady took the third seat on the fourth count.

Party colleagues Conor Murphy topped the poll with 7,437 votes,
closely followed by Cathal Boylan on 7,105.

Outgoing MLA Davy Hyland, elected for SF but standing as an
independent, lost his seat.


The count has adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd topped the poll with 7,733 votes.

Also elected was the DUP's David Simpson who secured 6,828 votes.

The voting pattern indicates that Sinn Fein are in line to take a
second seat here at the expense of the UUP in David Trimble's old
constituency. This would be a SF gain.

South Down

Sitting MLAs Margaret Ritchie, of the SDLP and Willie Clarke of
Sinn Fein have been elected.

Catriona Ruane of Sinn Fein topped the poll with 6,334 votes but
was not elected until the 7th count.

Outgoing MLA Davy Hyland, a former Sinn Fein MLA who was de-
selected, was eliminated.

Strangford: ADJOURNED

The count has adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

The DUP's Iris Robinson was elected on the first count: she
polled 5,917 votes.

Sitting Alliance party MLA Kieran McCarthy got an impressive
4,085 votes.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone: ADJOURNED

The count has adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

Tom Elliott of the UUP was elected on the second count.

The DUP's Arlene Foster topped the poll with 7,138 votes. Also
elected was Sinn Fein's Michelle Gilldernew on 7,026 votes.

West Tyrone: ADJOURNED

The count has adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

Sinn Fein have won three seats. Claire McGill was elected on the
third count.

SF's Barry McElduff and Pat Doherty were elected on the first
count, Mr McElduff with 6,971 votes and Mr Doherty on 6,709.


The count has adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

SDLP leader Mark Durcan and the DUP's William Hay were both
elected on the first count.

East Londonderry: ADJOURNED

The count has adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

So far only the DUP's Gregory Campbell has been elected, taking
the first seat, and the DUP appears on target to take a seat from
the OUP.

Sinn Fein may take a first-ever nationalist seat .

Belfast West

Solid indications suggest that Sinn Fein may get five seats at
the expense of the DUP's Diane Dodds, who won her seat by a
narrow margin at the last election.

Gerry Adams topped the poll on 6029 votes and was elected on the
first count, followed by party colleague Sue Ramsey on the

The other SF candidates in the constituency are Paul Maskey who
currently needs 54 votes to reach the quota of 4828. Jennifer
McCann needs 162 votes and Fra McCann is 483 short.

South Antrim

Sinn Fein's Mitchell McLaughlin topped the poll with 6,313 votes.
He was closely followed by the DUP's Rev Willie McCrea who got
6,023. The quota was 5,454 and both were elected on the first

David Ford, leader of the Alliance Party, is not far from the
quota on 5,007 votes.

The UUP's David Burnside polled strongly with 4,507 votes
followed by the DUP's Trevor Clarke on 4,302 votes.

Belfast East

Ulster Unionist Party leader Reg Empey has passed the quota to be
elected in the third count.

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson topped the poll and was elected
on the first count.

Alliance deputy leader Naomi Long polled well and was also

But the Ulster Unionist vote in this area has dropped and Dawn
Purvis may be able to hold a seat for the PUP.

North Antrim

The DUP's Ian Paisley jnr was elected on the second count.

DUP leader Ian Paisley was joined by Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay in
being elected on the first count.

Belfast North

Sinn Fein has won another seat after Car l N¡ Chuil¡n was elected
after the third count.

The DUP's Nigel Dodds and Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly were elected on
the first count.

East Antrim

Sammy Wilson polled strongly to head the list and was elected on
the first count.

It seems that Sean Neeson's Alliance Party seat is likely to be

North Down

Alexander Easton of the DUP was elected with 4,946 of the first
preference votes.

Belfast South

Jimmy Spratt of the DUP and Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP were
both elected on the first count.

John Esmond Birnie, the incumbent UUP MLA, has seen his vote
collapse to 1,804 first preference votes.

Anna Lo of the Alliance Party polled very strongly with 3,829.


North Belfast: How The Polling Went

[Published: Thursday 8, March 2007 - 08:32]
By Maureen Coleman

The party of canvassers standing side by side outside a north
Belfast primary school yesterday reflected the growing diversity
of Northern Ireland's society.

An Indian man, who moved to the province a year ago, handed out
leaflets for the SDLP while a young Dubliner encouraged voters to
opt for Sinn Fein.

The SDLP's canvasser said he became involved in politics because
he wanted to see a brighter future for the province.

Where once north Belfast was a patchwork quilt of orange and
green, many voters going to the polls last night were more
interested in bread-and-butter issues than the sectarianism of
the past.

At Carrs Glen primary school in the Oldpark area, Chinese man
Kenny Chung said he was voting for the DUP's Nigel Dodds.

"He helped me move to a council house and I think he'll do a good
job for people like me," he said.

In nationalist parts of north Belfast, voting got off to a
brisker start than in loyalist areas, with a heavy Sinn Fein
presence at many polling stations.

At Edmund Rice Primary School off the Antrim Road, party
canvassers reported a steady turnout, with many voters choosing
to come early in the day to ensure they didn't miss last night's
European Championship clash between Celtic and AC Milan.

Local man Francis McNally said: "It's important to vote. We need
things sorted out round here, like better housing."

At Seaview Presbyterian Church, Norman Murray from Skegoniell
said he was voting for a better future.

"I want to see the Assembly up and running again," he said. "It's
long overdue."

c Belfast Telegraph


Election 07 Blog 23:43

Thursday, March 08, 2007

On the election trail
with our political correspondents
Chris Thornton & Noel McAdam

8 Mar 07, 23:43
Sammy Wilson is getting credit for the best joke of the day,
claiming the signs of DUP success were clear for all to see.
First 25,000 people singing the National Anthem at Croke Park in
Dublin. Second, with last weekend's eclipse, the moon turned
Orange. And then Celtic lost their European Champions Cup match.
Later on, however, the DUP motorbiker MP was waxing more
philosophical and perhaps proving prophetic. "There is a certain
inevitability about power-sharing," he said. "Sinn Fein have now
crossed the Rubicon as far as policing is concerned." NMcA

8 Mar 07, 19:58
Robert McCartney has still not turned up at the North Down
counting centre in Newtownards. Inquiries earlier about the
whereabouts of the United Kingdom Unionist leader had brought the
response from one of his supporters: "he's walking the dog". One
wag (apologies) suggested perhaps he is going to one of the other
five constituencies he is standing in. Every dog must have his
day. NMcA

8 Mar 07, 19:09
Another DUP dynasty: the Paisleys can no longer claim to be
Stormont's only father-son duo. Make way for the McCreas - Willie
in South Antrim is joined by his son, another Ian, in Mid Ulster.
How many namesakes will Ian Paisley the elder have in the
Assembly? CT

8 Mar 07, 18:20
Talk about a generation gap: North Antrim has elected the oldest
and youngest MLAs at a stroke. There's 25-year-old Daithi McKay,
Sinn Fein's new boy, and Ian Paisley, who will be 81 next month.
You can't see Paisley taking the new boy under his wing. CT

8 Mar 07, 16:30
Five Sinn Fein seats in West Belfast seemed like a long shot
before the first count. The odds have shortened considerably.
They could end up using this one as a lesson at Vote Management
School. Depending on how Gerry Adams' vote transfers, they could
be home with five before the SDLP and DUP fight it out for the
sixth. In that scenario, Diane Dodds would probably be out. A
loss for the DUP would be going against the trend. CT

8 Mar 07, 15:47
Tracking trends: Signs that the UUP vote is withering in some
places is much as was expected. What's interesting is the
corresponding strength of Alliance candidates Naomi Long and Anna
Lo - it seems like a section of voters got fed up with the UUP
but were still turned off by the DUP. If that's a trend, it's one
that will help Alliance leader David Ford. CT

8 Mar 07, 15:41
So much for reports from party aides that Gerry Adams is
exhausted. Just a few hours after the counting centres are
expected to close tomorrow, Mr Adams is launching a whole new
election campaign - for the Irish Republic.

Tomorrow night the Sinn Fein President will be back in Dublin
speaking at a public meeting at the Royal Dublin Hotel (7.30)
which will mark the beginning of the party's battle for the
Republic. If it's Friday it must be Dublin for Mr Adams just now.
He was there last Friday night too for the party's ordinary ard
fheis. NMcA

8 Mar 07, 15:36
North Belfast: The DUP look set for two, Sinn Fein likewise. The
SDLP haven't got a quota, but look like they should manage to
squeeze in with transfers. The most impressive result is
independent Raymond McCord's 1,320. The collusion campaigner
won't get elected, but he got four times Robert McCartney's vote.
In 2003, McCord got just over 200 votes. CT

8 Mar 07, 15:35
Early doors still but Bob McCartney looks like he may be in
danger of losing his North Down seat, according to some at the
Newtownards counting centre. And in North Belfast - one of the
five other constituencies he is standing in - the United Kingdom
Unionist Leader could even lose his deposit, after polling 360
votes. The veteran maverick unionist could still put off a last-
minute surprise, however. NMcA

8 Mar 07, 15:11
East Belfast turns up a few surprises. Naomi Long keeping her
seat for Alliance isn't a surprise, but the strength of her vote
is. A long time Alliance devotee marvelled that they managed to
get someone in on the first count. And frankly I'm surprised at
Dawn Purvis' performance - I thought she'd struggle to get in,
but she actually improved David Ervine's vote slightly for the


Paisley Warns SF Power Sharing

Patrick Logue
Thu, Mar 08, 2007

DUP leader Ian Paisley has warned against being forced into
government with "people who have not foresworn their terrorism".

Speaking after being elected in North Antrim, Mr Paisley said
:"The people have spoken and now the British government must
listen to those that are pledged to democracy and righteousness".

Asked if Northern Ireland power sharing would be abandoned if the
March 26th deadline is not met Mr Paisley said: "No, all I can
say I am meeting the Secretary of State tomorrow. If he says
that, I'll announce it to the world that the Secretary of State
has rejected the democratic vote of the majority of people of
this province, and if he wants to bring that down on his head he

Dublin and London have warned the parties that if agreement on a
power sharing is not reached by March 26th, the Assembly and its
functions will be abandoned in favour of direct rule and more
involvement from the Republic.

But Mr Paisley told the BBC: "This is an election in which Sinn
Fein/IRA have been defeated, roundly defeated. This is an
election where those who would sit with them have been defeated
as well. Look at the state of the SDLP tonight, look at the state
of the Official Unionist Party tonight.

"If you call the type of executive that you want me to serve in
as a real executive then I'm sorry you've gone so far down the
road of political ruin.

"I believe in democracy, I believe that the people of Northern
Ireland have no right to be told by you or anyone else that they
must join up with people who have not foresworn their terrorism.

"I will not be surrendering the inalienable rights of this people
as part of the United Kingdom to have democracy, pure democracy".

c 2007


Paisley Steers Clear Of McGuinness

Thu, Mar 08, 2007

They may once have shared an unlikely smile, but today the Rev
Ian Paisley refused point blank to offer any greeting to Martin

The two men who must find a way to work together at the head of
any new power sharing executive established in Northern Ireland
found themselves thrust together at the same Assembly election
count centre.

Mr Paisley, the Democratic Unionist Party leader, arrived at the
Seven Towers leisure centre in Ballymena, Co Antrim, and
immediately turned in a Biblical tour de force, with the Sinn
Fein chief negotiator his number one target.

Accompanied by his loyal wife Eileen and dressed in a full-length
black coat and wide-brimmed hat, the preacher's rhetoric
delighted a hardy knot of stalwart supporters gathered to greet
him. "He needs to be converted to democracy," was his assessment
of the man who could be appointed Deputy First Minister of the
Stormont administration the firebrand DUP leader may one day

Hardened by the cheers of encouragement, Mr Paisley warmed to his
theme by issuing instructions to Sinn Fein. "They need to repent
and turn from their evil ways," he said.

Mr Paisley laughed off the possibility of a confrontation with Mr
McGuinness during the count by saying: "Unfortunately I have to
pass him continuously at the House of Commons." But behind the
smile the message was clear. "I will not be greeting him," he

And with that he swept inside, seeking confirmation that all four
DUP candidates in North Antrim had claimed seats. Minutes earlier
an equally relaxed Mr McGuinness had come to the heartland of
unionism to learn of his performance in the Mid Ulster contest.
He even shared a story of a past encounter to show that the
antagonism perhaps does not always boil over. "I met him once in
the corridors at Stormont," Mr McGuinness recalled.

"He was standing on his own, I said 'how are you doing anyway'
and he gave me a big smile." The Sinn Fein chief was also quick
to offer assurances that there would be no clashes between the
pair. He added: "I'm not going to do anything to embarrass him.
I'm here to be sensible."

Once inside, however, the two political icons took to their
respective corners of the hall like heavyweight boxers waiting
for the bell. Only time will tell if any new Stormont regime will
see a fight a day as the DUP has grimly predicted.


c 2007


UUP 'Humiliation' In Assembly Poll

08/03/2007 - 20:54:39

The Ulster Unionist Party has paid the price for its arrogant
treatment of former members in the North's Assembly Election, it
was claimed tonight.

Sir Reg Empey's Ulster Unionists were arguably the biggest loser
of the Assembly election as the Reverend Ian Paisley's party
surged ahead in the race to become the biggest party at Stormont.

With all 18 constituencies declaring their first round of
results, the UUP's percentage share of the vote meant it had
fallen behind the SDLP and was now the fourth largest party.

It was also facing pressure in a number of constituencies to hold
on to Assembly seats.

Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who quit the Ulster
Unionists after the last Assembly Election, told PA: "It's been a
good day for the DUP.

"Our results right across the country have been a strong

"We have also seen a further reversal of the Ulster Unionists
position where they have now dipped to an all-time low.

"For Reg Empey, their party leader, to scrape in without reaching
the quota in East Belfast on the first count is a personal
humiliation and a marker of his failure to provide the leadership
that the unionist community is demanding.

"The UUP were given good advice over a number of years, but would
not listen and they are now paying the price for their arrogance
and their failure to heed those warnings."

In 1998, the Ulster Unionists had 21.25% of the vote, five years
later they had 22.7%.

But after the 2003 elections under David Trimble's leadership,
the party suffered the defection of three Assembly members
including Mr Donaldson and Arlene Foster.

The Westminster elections two years ago saw the party vote
plummet to 17.7%, but they remained ahead of the SDLP.

When the first preference votes were counted today, the Ulster
Unionists stood at 14.9% compared to the SDLP's 15.2%.

By way of contrast, the DUP saw its vote increase from 25.6% in
2003 to 30%.

Sinn Fein has also seen a growth in its votes from 23.5% in 2003
to 24.3% in the 2005 Westminster elections to 26.1% this time.

The DUP was on course to make crucial gains in East Belfast, East
Derry, Upper Bann, North Antrim and Strangford.

The one minor disappointment was the likelihood that Dianne Dodds
looked set to lose her West Belfast seat to Sinn Fein in the

In an impressive piece of vote management, Gerry Adams and his
running mates in West Belfast looked like they would all capture
five seats.

The most stunning success for Sinn Fein was in the unionist
heartland of South Antrim where they parachuted senior member
Mitchel McLaughlin, who topped the poll.

Paul Butler was on course to capture Sinn Fein's first-ever
Assembly seat in the unionist dominated constituency of Lagan

The party was also hopeful of capturing a third seat.

Following Sinn Fein's historic move to endorse the police in the
North, the challenge from dissident republicans failed to make
any dent electorally.

Mark Durkan's SDLP suffered a number of disappointments in key
target constituencies and was struggling to hold on to seats in
Lagan Valley and South Antrim.

The party was particularly disappointed that one of its up and
coming councillors Sharon Haughey failed to regain a seat in
Newry and Armagh while Joe Boyle was also struggling to capture
the first-ever nationalist seat in Strangford.

The cross community Alliance Party appeared to have a sensational
Assembly Election, increasing its percentage vote across the
North by 1.5%.

There was a strong possibility Alliance would return with one
more seat to Stormont, with Hong Kong-born Anna Lo favourite to
make a gain in South Belfast and become the first ever Chinese-
born member of a devolved Assembly in the UK.


Republican Candidate Is Arrested

Independent republican candidate Gerry McGeough has been arrested
over "serious terrorist crime".

Mr McGeough, 46, a candidate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, was
arrested after leaving the count centre in Omagh on Thursday.

It is understood he is being questioned about the attempted
murder of a UDR member in 1981.

The husband of a Sinn Fein councillor in Monaghan was arrested in
Aughnacloy. Police said both arrests were linked.

The second man arrested was Vincie McAnespie, 44, whose brother
Aiden was shot dead by the army in Aughnacloy in 1988.

His wife, Brenda McAnespie, said the arrest of her husband had
traumatised her children.

"This is the sort of policing we need to stop," she said.

Police said both men were being questioned about serious
terrorist crime dating back several years.

Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew called for Mr McGeough's release,
describing the arrest as "political policing".

The party's president Gerry Adams also said Mr McGeough should be
set free.

"He was campaigning openly and attended one of our meetings. He
should be released," he said.

However, the police have said they took a number of factors into
consideration before making the arrest.

"Police became aware that this individual had re-entered the
jurisdiction some time ago but it was not possible to effect an
arrest immediately because of the complexity of the investigation
and the need to recover and re-examine evidence dating back many

"Police acted as soon as the required operational processes had
been completed and the appropriate resources were in place.

"The rationale for the arrest and its timing was based on the
police obligation to investigate serious crime," a PSNI statement

Mr McGeough, who received 814 first preference votes on an anti-
PSNI ticket, is being held at Antrim PSNI station.

It is believed he is being questioned about an incident in 1981
in which an off-duty UDR man was shot at while he was in a van.

He was able to return fire with his personal protection weapon
and injured one of his IRA attackers.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/03/08 22:54:40 GMT


McGeough Arrest Typical Of Political Policing Sinn Fein
Determined To End

Published: 8 March, 2007

Sinn Fein Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has
branded the arrest of Assembly election candidate Gerry McGeough
as outrageous and said that it is an example of the type of
political policing that Sinn Fein is determined to end.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Gerry lives openly in the area so there can only be one
interpretation put on the decision to arrest him in this way.

"It is an outrageous example of the type of political policing
that Sinn Fein are determined to end.

"Gerry should be released immediately and serious questions will
be asked about those who directed this operation today." ENDS


Sinn Fein To Host Major Election Rally In Dublin City

Published: 8 March, 2007

Sinn Fein will formally launch its campaign for the general
election in the 26 Counties with a major election rally in Dublin
City Centre tomorrow Friday 9th March.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and party's candidate for the
position of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will address
the rally. A number of the party's newly elected MLAs in the Six
Counties will also be in attendance.

They will be joined by the Sinn Fein's 13 candidates for Dublin
City and County.

The election rally will take place at 7.30pm tomorrow, Friday 9th
in the Royal Dublin Hotel on O'Connell Street in Dublin City.


Sinn Fein Publish Dail Motion On Collusion

Published: 8 March, 2007

Sinn Fein Justice Spokesperson Aengus O Snodaigh TD has published
a Dail motion calling on the Government to demand an inter-
governmental summit with the British Government dealing
specifically with the issue of collusion and truth recovery. The
motion, which was drafted in consultation with groups such as The
Pat Finucane Centre, The Justice for Eddie Fullerton Campaign,
Justice for the Forgotten and Relatives for Justice, will be
placed on the Dail order paper today and Sinn Fein is calling on
the Government to provide time for it to be debated and for all
parties to support the motion.

Speaking today Deputy O Snodaigh said, "Next week Paddy McEntee
is due to report on his investigation into the Dublin Monaghan
bombings. The Government has promised to provide time for a
debate on collusion after the report is published and Sinn Fein
has argued that that debate should be motion focussed to ensure
follow up actions take place. Therefore we are publishing this
motion which has been drafted in consultation with campaigners
for victims of collusion and we are calling on the Government to
provide time for it to be debated and for all party support for

"This motion comes on the back of a very successful and well
attended conference on collusion organised by Sinn Fein Atha
Cliath and held here in the city last month. It was at that
conference that the decision was taken to produce a Dail motion
to put on the order paper. Our fear is that the Government may
renege on their commitment to hold a debate or could guillotine
the debate before any meaningful outcome is achieved.

"Our motion recognises the failure of the Government to establish
full, independent, public judicial inquiries into all those
killings in this state where collusion is reasonably suspected,
recognises that the Tribunals of Inquiry Bill 2005, like the
British Inquiries Act 2005, may serve to limit the potential of
future tribunals to uncover the truth and therefore calls on the
government to withdraw this Bill and amend it accordingly, and
our motion also calls on the Government to demand an inter-
governmental summit with the British Government dealing
specifically with the issue of collusion and truth recovery.

"The British Government, through its surrogates in Ireland, has
been responsible for the murder of citizens in this state. There
is an onus on this Dail to have a full and open debate on this
issue and for the Taoiseach to demand cooperation from the
British Prime Minister in collusion inquiries." ENDS

Text of motion follows:

That the Dail:

Remembering the brutal killings of approximately 50 people in
this State, and all those who suffered grave injuries, resulting
from the policy of British state collusion with loyalist death

Sympathising with the pain and loss suffered by their families
compounded down the years by the refusal of those in authority to
uncover the truth surrounding the events leading to the death of
their loved ones and the subsequent investigations;

Commending all those families who have suffered as a result of
collusion for their courageous and enduring efforts to uncover
the truth;

Recognising that the findings of a variety of Reports justify the
demand for full, independent, public judicial inquiries

- the Barron Report which concluded in relation to the Dublin-
Monaghan bombings that a cover-up involving British forces,
Garda¡ and the Irish Government could not be ruled out;

- The Cory Report into the Murder of Pat Finucane and the
involvement of at least five agents of the British State in that
one particular killing;

- the Report of the Independent International Panel on Collusion
in Sectarian Killings which concluded that in 24 of the 25 cases
examined, including the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, there is
"significant and credible evidence of involvement of police and
military agents of the United Kingdom, both directly and in
collusion with loyalist extremists";

- The Oireachtas Committee Report on the Report of the
Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay's
Tavern Dundalk;

- The Police Ombudsman Nuala O Loan's Investigative Report into
the circumstances surrounding the death of Raymond McCord Jnr and
related matters which exposed the systemic reality and extent of
collusion including collusion in attacks undertaken by loyalist
paramilitaries in the 26 counties;

Recalling the All-Party Dail motion of 8th March 2006 which calls
for the immediate establishment of a full, independent, public
judicial inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane;

Deeply regrets the Government's failure to establish full,
independent, public judicial inquiries into all those killings in
this state where collusion is reasonably suspected;

Recognises that the Tribunals of Inquiry Bill 2005, like the
British Inquiries Act 2005, may serve to limit the potential of
future tribunals to uncover the truth and therefore calls on the
government to withdraw this Bill and amend it accordingly;

And calls on the Government to demand an inter-governmental
summit with the British Government dealing specifically with the
issue of collusion and truth recovery.


Holy Cross Not In Line For Merger

THE principal of a Catholic girls' primary school at the centre
of a loyalist protest five years ago has denied the school is in
line for amalgamation.

Betty Quinn, head of Holy Cross in Ardoyne in north Belfast, said
she was annoyed at media reports the school is to be merged.

She said the school had a healthy intake over the past two years,
following a dip for the four years following the protest.

Ms Quinn said: "The numbers entering P1 did drop for a number of
years, but last year our intake for P1 doubled and that's shaping
up to be the same for this year.

"We started a consultation process last May, where amalgamation
was raised, but that process was put on hold following the Bain

"The whole of the education system throughout Northern Ireland is
in a state of change and amalgamations will be talked about in
many schools."

Wheatfield Primary, a state-controlled school which almost
directly faces Holy Cross, has also suffered from a drop in pupil
numbers, prompting fears that it may face amalgamation or even

Ms Quinn said Holy Cross had "really moved on" since the events
of 2001 and at present there was no question of the school
amalgamating or disappearing when enrolments were currently so

She said: "Reports in the media that the school is to amalgamate
are old news, and completely wrong, and I was angry that pictures
of the children during the protest were used again, when we have
really moved on."

During the protest in 2001, children were escorted to school by
police and military along the Glenbryn section of the Ardoyne

08 March 2007


8 March 2007

Blog: Deport the Irish

Brenda Walker @ 7:05 am (

Of all the arrogant ethnic groups who believe that their history
(or IQ or geography) makes them too special to obey US
immigration law, the Irish deserve unique condemnation. There are
around 50,000 illegal Irish squatting in this country - a low
number considering there may be 20 - 30 million foreigners
unlawfully residing here.

Yet the Irish are enthusiastically engaged in lobbying for an
illegal alien amnesty for tens of millions which, if enacted,
will exacerbate the destruction of traditional American culture
and will end any hope of curtailing the invasion of adversaries
from Mexico to Iran. A wholesale amnesty with rubberstamp
admittance procedures will certainly admit future terrorists, as
has happened in previous amnesties. But the Irish apparently
don't regard these threats to America's national security and
cultural values as important when measured against the
convenience of a relative handful of Irish illegals.

Some illegal Irish say they love America. But they have a funny
way of showing it, namely by aligning themselves with the open-
borders agenda of our worst enemies. They say they want to join
the American community but regard pro-sovereignty patriots as

Memo to Paddy: the majority of citizens want immigration to be
legal, controlled and reduced.

No surprise that Irish ethnic publishing has a cheerful view of
shredding American's borders:

The rebirth of the McCain/Kennedy immigration reform bill on
Capitol Hill looks this week as if it will coincide with St.
Patrick's festivities in Washington next week.

And the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform is rallying in
Washington today in an effort to spur legislators into action on
an issue seen as central to the future of the Irish community in
the United States.

[McCain/Kennedy bill may get St. Patrick's unveiling, The Irish
Echo March 7-13, 2007]

For genuine immigration reform to occur, the would-be legal
immigrant patiently waiting his turn in his home country must be
given a better deal than the noisy millions of illegals demanding
amnesty. That means deportation, not reward, for lawbreakers.

All illegal aliens must go to the end of the line in order to
enter America. And that line must start in the home country.

Deport the illegal Irish.


Opin: The Victims: A Legacy Of Suffering

[Published: Thursday 8, March 2007 - 12:30]

Victims of the Troubles feel hurt, angry and frustrated - both by
what happened to them, and how they've been treated subsequently,
says Bertha McDougall, the former Interim Commissioner for
Victims and Survivors.

The road back to normality will take a long time for us all, she
says, but where need arises out of the conflict, it has to be
met, no matter who it comes from

When I undertook the post as Interim Commissioner for Victims and
Survivors, it was to look at the provision currently in place and
to make recommendations to co-ordinate future provision and the
associated resources required.

I have always stated that my report should provide a basis for
taking forward issues for victims and survivors, but that it
would not provide the answers to over 30 years of conflict.

I have felt enormously privileged and humbled in the last year in
the way that people have been prepared to share their individual
experiences with me, and I am taking this opportunity to
reiterate some aspects of the report of which I believe the whole
community needs to be aware.

Many individuals, both from the statutory sector and groups in
the voluntary and community sector, have provided emotional and
practical support for victims and survivors over the years, and
that support has been invaluable in helping people on their
journey as they cope with their loss.

People who have suffered as a result of the conflict in Northern
Ireland are attempting to address a legacy of almost 40 years.
Realistically, it must be accepted that the road back to
normality will take a long time for us all, but particularly for
the many victims.


Many people I met right across the community were consistent in
their feeling of being discarded and treated as a constant
reminder of what we want to forget. Many were frustrated and
angry, not just with what had happened to them, but at how they
have been treated subsequently.

Many in society can forget that lives have been irretrievably
broken and damaged. That many of those injured still live in
constant pain. That others have to depend on family members who
lovingly and consistently provide them with practical support and
care, without complaint or regard to personal cost and the
loneliness of caring.

These are the silent victims who have been impacted directly by
the Troubles, but who are not reflected in the government
statistics of those who died or were injured.

Many would consider the cost in purely financial terms, but the
real cost needs to be considered within the context of human
suffering, meaning the physical, emotional and psychological
trauma inflicted on individuals and society as a whole.

The articles in the Belfast Telegraph last week give some insight
into this.


There is a definition of a victim in the Victims and Survivors
(Northern Ireland) Order 2006, but I have found that there is no
consensus on the definition within the community. Therefore, my
emphasis throughout my year as Interim Commissioner for Victims
and Survivors was to concentrate on individuals and on their
needs, and my goal was to make recommendations that should have a
positive impact on their quality of life. For me, that means that
where an individual has a need arising out of the conflict, be
that a need for counselling, befriending or practical help, that
need must be met, regardless of who it comes from. I believe that
unless this happens, the individual continues to suffer and the
immediate family and the wider community also suffer the

It is vital that there is open communication with all, as there
are many sensitivities in this area, and while at times these may
be individual perceptions, they must be addressed. For example,
there was concern expressed after my report was published that
some individuals had early access to the report. This was never
the case, as only the media and the political parties were given
advance copies, but such perceptions can cause hurt.

The following summarises the main recommendations for services
and funding:

All aspects of Trauma service arrangements are taken forward
through the recommendations of the Bamford Review;

The Memorial Fund is phased out in conjunction with the
development of a new fund;

A flexible funding structure is established to deal with the
evolving and complex needs of victims and survivors and those who
care for them;

The new fund makes an annual payment of œ2,000, subject to
financial profiling, to spouses bereaved prior to 1988.

There is a review of the funding provided to victims' and
survivors' groups to take account of longer term planning and

I believe that if the recommendations are implemented they

Improve the practical provision;

Enable sustained financial provision for those with the greatest

Co-ordinate the delivery of health-related services;

Provide continued support through the ongoing work of groups;

Acknowledge and recognise individual experiences through setting
up a forum to address practical issues and ways of dealing with
the past;

Continue to promote the needs of young people through the
Commissioner for Victims and Survivors in conjunction with the
Commissioner for Children and Young People.

In considering the need for a Victims and Survivors Forum, it
became apparent to me that as a society we have not even begun to
deal with the issues of the past.

There are many frequent comments about "dealing with the past",
but there is little agreement as to how this may be undertaken.

Dealing with the past is a very complex and sensitive issue and
it is something that needs to be addressed not just by victims
and survivors, but by society as a whole.


When the term 'drawing a line under the past' is used, many
victims and survivors feel hurt and angry, as they perceive this
to be saying " forget the past". We cannot forget the past, nor
should we, but we need to find a way to deal with the past that
will also allow victims and survivors to look to the future,
particularly for the young in society.

To deal with the past is likely to require an 'agreed approach'
and an acknowledgement that the hurt in our society comes from
many different circumstances and that there is no one way

However, when dealing with the past the 'agreed approach' will
need to apply to all incidents and cannot be applied selectively.

For many victims and survivors 'recognition', and
'acknowledgement' are at the centre of their concerns,
particularly that their suffering and hardship would not be
ignored and forgotten.

In all my consultations, a forum was considered to be a necessary
vehicle for victims and survivors to have their voices heard on
relevant issues. Whatever form the forum might take, it had to be
independent, inclusive, accountable, effective and productive -
but most of all, it should be practical.


It should also be acknowledged that this process will be slow and
is likely to begin with story telling. The whole process must
take account of what victims and survivors want, and key to that
process will be the management of expectations as to what a forum
may be able to provide for victims and survivors and, equally
important, what it will not be able to deliver.

It will not be easy - it will be very painful. But if it can
assist in ensuring that never again will so many have to pay such
a personal cost, then I believe it will be worthwhile.

I have recommended that, taking account of the state of readiness
of victims and survivors, the forum should initially be
facilitated through the Office of the Commissioner for Victims
and Survivors and should lead to an independent round table

When I am asked about this past year, I tell people that while it
is a strange term to use, I have enjoyed my year as Interim
Commissioner as it has been very worthwhile meeting so many
people who were prepared to be very open with me about their

On behalf of victims and survivors, I have often felt angry,
frustrated, sad and hopeful. Angry and frustrated at the way
individuals had been treated as they tried to access what they
needed, sad at the continual emotional pain so many live with,
yet hopeful because of the dignity and compassion expre ssed by
so many.

I cannot change the past for people, but I hope that my report
and the recommendations, if implemented, will provide a sound
basis to take forward a co-ordinated strategic approach to
address the many ongoing issues for victims and survivors.

Bertha McDougall took up the appointment as Interim Commissioner
for Victims and Survivors in December 2005, to carry out a review
of the current support for victims and survivors of the Troubles
and to consider how to set up a Victims & Survivors Forum. In a
Judgement delivered on January 15, 2007, Lord Justice Girvan held
that the post of Interim Victims' Commissioner came to an end on
December 5 by operation of Contract. Bertha McDougall presented
her report in a personal capacity in January

c Belfast Telegraph



St. Pat's Parade Draws Diverse Queens Crowd

By John Tozzi

Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg
exchange a smirk at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Sunnyside.

A few flurries of snow did not chill the spirit streaming down
Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside Sunday during the eighth annual St.
Pat's for All parade.

If the crowds lining the streets of Sunnyside and Woodside were
sparser than in previous years, perhaps it was the cold air or
the ongoing weekend closures of the No. 7 subway that kept them
away. But for the many who did attend, the St. Pat's parade that
organizers boast is as diverse as the borough of Queens did not

"You don't have to be Irish to enjoy the parade," said Karim
Simmons, a Bayside resident who wore Irish flags of green, orange
and white makeup on his cheeks and shamrocks made of green pipe
cleaners on his head. "Everybody from all walks of life can enjoy
the parade," he said.

St. Pat's for All began in 2000 when organizers wanted a
celebration in which gay groups barred from the Manhattan parade
on Fifth Avenue could march. It has since become an institution
in the Irish heart of Queens, winding from 43rd Street and
Skillman Avenue to 61st Street and Woodside Avenue.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended, as he does each year, along
with a host of other electeds: U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-
Jackson Heights), Comptroller William Thompson, Public Advocate
Betsy Gotbaum, Assembly members Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights)
and Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), and Council members Eric Gioia
(D-Sunnyside), Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights), David Weprin (D-
Hollis), James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) and Melinda Katz (D-
Forest Hills).

Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), the first openly
gay person to lead the Council, told the crowd she would boycott
the March 17 parade in Manhattan, which still bars gay groups.
Instead, Quinn said, she accepted an invitation to another St.
Patrick's Day parade - in Dublin.

Young dancers from PS 59 in the Bronx were the stars of the show,
and they epitomized the parade's spirit of diversity. The
students step dancing from the parade's grand marshal, Dublin
native Caroline Duggan. The troupe is going to perform in Ireland
in May.

"They really reflect our theme, our message and the spirit of the
parade," said parade founder Brendan Fay. "There's these New York
kids, you know, African-American and Latino, who just love Irish
music and Irish dance."

For some along the route, the pipers and drummers and Irish
dancers were a welcome surprise.

"It's beautiful. I really love it," said Faiza Qureshi, who
popped out of a Laundromat on Skillman to see what the fuss was
about. She did not expect a St. Patrick's celebration so early,
she said, because the festivities normally coincide with her
birthday on March 17.

Qureshi, who moved to Sunnyside from India 11 years ago, said the
inclusive spirit of the parade - with not just Irish but
immigrants from everywhere - appealed to her.

"New York is a city of immigrants from all over the world," she

The parade is a clearinghouse for political causes local and
national, from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform to
Sunnyside Gardens locals opposed to the plan to make the
neighborhood a historic district.

The event is not without detractors.

A pair of protesters stood silently on the corner of Skillman and
47th Street, holding a giant black banner that read in orange
letters: "Sacrilege."

But the grim sign did not faze the marchers. A pair in full
leprechaun garb jumped in front of the banner as the procession
passed, smiling broadly, green balloons in hand, and stood for

"I came out because there are gay people in New York who aren't
allowed to march" in the Manhattan parade, said Scott Williams, a
Sunnyside resident watching the procession. "I live in Queens,"
he said. "I believe in diversity."

Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at or by
phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 174.

cTimes Ledger 2007


Where Diversity Is Tradition

By: Winnie McCroy

As cold winter winds whipped, snow fell, and the sun attempted to
break through clouds, activists, politicians, and revelers
gathered on Sunday, March 4 for the Eighth Annual St. Pats for
All Parade in Sunnyside, Queens.

As cold winter winds whipped, snow fell, and the sun attempted to
break through clouds, activists, politicians, and revelers
gathered on Sunday, March 4 for the Eighth Annual St. Pats for
All Parade in Sunnyside, Queens. This year attendance at the
city's only inclusive St. Patrick's Day parade was bigger than
ever, giving many hope that this gathering will soon reach its
goal of fundamentally integrating LGBT people into New York's
vast Irish-American community.

Parade organizer Brendan Fay enthusiastically noted, "We've got
young and old from all over the city, Mexican community groups,
the boys and girls from P.S. 59 in the Bronx, the Keltic Dreamers
and their teacher who we're honoring, we've got LGBT community
groups... and lots of others who simply don't feel welcome in
other parades or Fifth Avenue."

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, organizers of the massive St.
Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan, have for more than a decade
refused to allow a contingent of openly gay Irish-Americans.

"We welcome Protestants as well as Catholics as well as Jewish
Irish, and as opposed to other parades, we really celebrate all
of the Irish diaspora," said Fay's husband Tom Moulton. He noted
that Mexican dancers from the group Cinco de Mayo celebrating San
Patricio and members of the NAACP representing Frederick
Douglass's trip to Ireland were on hand.

As Grand Marshal Caroline Duggan lined up her troupe of Keltic
Dreamers dancers in anticipation of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's
arrival, she noted her pride not only at being honored, but also
in being able to share her Irish culture with her students,
African-American and Latino children from a low-income area of
the Bronx.

Queens elected officials appeared just as pleased with the
outcome of this year's event, with City Councilman Eric Gioia
saying, "What makes this neighborhood great is that for 100
years, people have come from all around the world just to be who
they are - to celebrate God the way they choose, to be who God
made them, and I'm proud to march with my neighbors, my gay and
lesbian friends, and all my friends in this parade. Every parade
in New York City should be as free and open as this parade."

Queens Democratic District Leader Daniel Dromm, also a parade
organizer, agreed, saying, "I'm Irish, and I don't have a parade
that I can march in as an openly gay man. This is the parade that
I can march in and be openly gay and a teacher and a district
leader and be proud of all the things that I do in the

Dromm's students from P.S. 199 supported him by marching in the

Openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told Gay City
News, "I think this parade is a terrific day in New York. It's
the only inclusive St. Patrick's Day parade in New York, and that
really sends a message about how we want all of the parades to
be, and I just applaud Brendan and Danny and everyone who keeps
us going every year."

When elected officials mounted the dais, Queens Congressman
Joseph Crowley took an opportunity to share his views on the
inclusive event.

"I think St. Patrick's Day's for everyone, and it's an
opportunity for the Irish -not only here in New York, but
everywhere - to look back on their roots," he said.

Shortly after a Native American blessing from a Choctaw Indian
chief, Bloomberg arrived to share his comments, as he does every

"This is a great day, and another chance for the city to pull
together, show its diversity ... and I'm just honored Brendan
that you've invited me each year," he said. "I've got a few years
as mayor, and after that, if you invite me, I'll still come! Erin
go bragh!"

Quinn followed, expressing her pleasure that this year, she would
have the opportunity to march in not one inclusive St. Patrick's
Day Parade, but two, having been invited by the Irish government
to march in the parade in Dublin.

"And for those who don't know, the Dublin St. Patrick's Day
Parade has always been inclusive and open to everyone who wants
to march," she told the crowd. "I want to thank them for their
role and say how excited we are to have two great opportunities
to celebrate all the members of the Irish community, including
openly LGBT Irish people."

Comptroller William Thompson also praised the prevailing
diversity of the day, saying, "I do think that the inclusive
nature is what makes it special. It gives everyone an opportunity
to participate, to march under their banner, to say who they are,
and I think that's great."

Among the many groups marching this year were Stonewall Democrats
NYC, Marriage Equality New York, the All City High Marching Band,
the Irish American Unity Conference, the Rude Mechanical
Orchestra, Metropolitan Community Church of New York, Dignity New
York and Brooklyn, and the Quetzcoat Dancers in festive costumes.
Riding on a flatbed truck with the band Djembe was Carmen
Machado, a New Jersey leader of the marriage equality movement.
According to Fay, she and her longtime partner will celebrate
their civil union later this week.

"You know, it's cold this morning, we've marched in rain, snow
and sleet-already this morning I think we've had a bit of
everything," Fay said. "The Mayor comes, and this parade grows
every year, but I look forward to the day when there will be no
[separate] parade, and all of us will be welcome."

The parade marched through Sunnyside to Woodside and culminated
in a celebration at the Irish pub Saints and Sinners, an annual

cGayCityNews 2007


Government Unveils Patrick's Day Exodus Of Ministers

Patrick Logue
Fri, Mar 09, 2007

The Government has released details of the annual overseas exodus
of ministers and junior ministers for St Patrick's Day.

A total of nine ministers, including the Taoiseach and T naiste,
and one junior minister will travel to the United States to
attend events marking the country's national day, while other
members of the Government will attend events in far flung parts
of the world including Argentina, Vietnam and China.

In a statement last night, the Government said ministers would
highlight the global threat of climate change and promote

"In deciding on Ministerial travel commitments for St Patrick's
Day, the Government has sought to maximise opportunities for
showcasing Ireland as a world class economy and tourism
destination," the statement said.

"Ministers will also focus on the progress in the Northern
Ireland peace process," it added.

Bertie Ahern and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern will
travel to Washington, where they will meet President George W
Bush and Congressional leaders.

Before travelling to Washington, the Taoiseach will travel to New
York, where he will meet the recently appointed Secretary General
of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. He will also meet with the
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, leaders in the financial
services community and visit the Twin Towers Memorial Centre.

Other ministers travelling to the US on March 17th are T naiste
and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell (Savannah); Minister
for Agriculture Mary Coughlan (New York), Minister for Finance
Brian Cowen (Chicago), Minister for Transport Martin Cullen (San
Francisco), Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey (Dallas and
Houston), Minster for Education Mary Hanafin (Boston), Minister
for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs amon O Cu¡v
(Phoenix), and Minister or State Patthe Cope Gallagher (Atlanta
and Philadelphia). Minister for the Environment Dick Roche will
visit Toronto, Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism John
O'Donoghue will travel to London. Other Government members
travelling to Britain include Minister of State Brendan Smith
(Manchester), Minister of State Se n Power (Birmingham), Minister
of State Conor Lenihan (Edinburgh).

Minister of State Mary Wallace will represent the Government in
the Austrian capital Vienna, Minister of State Brian Lenihan will
visit Paris.

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Seamus Brennan will visit
Italy and the Holy See, while Minister for Health Mary Harney
will visit Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Government Chief Whip Tom
Kitt will be in Warsaw, while Minister of State Noel Ahern visit
Bucharest, and Minister of State Se n Haughey will represent the
Government in Moscow.

Minister of State John Browne will visit Hong Kong, Shenyang,
Shanghai and Beijing over the St Patrick's Day period, Minister
of State Tim O'Malley will represent the Government in Tokyo and
Osaka, while Minister of State Frank Fahey will visit India.

Other Ministers of State travelling abroad for St Patrick's Day
include Michael Ahern (Kuala Lumpur and Singapore), Batt O'Keeffe
(Vietnam) and Tom Parlon (South Africa). Attorney General Rory
Brady will be in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ministers Miche l Martin and Willie O'Dea will stay at home on
March 17th.

c 2007

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