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April 03, 2007

1974 Bombing Report To Be Published

News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 04/03/07 1974 Bombings Report To Be Published
BT 04/03/07 Leaders At Stormont To Thrash Out Committee Roles
BT 04/03/07 Schools Crisis Fear As SF Takes Control
BT 04/03/07 Paisley Smiles At McGuinness Joke, But No Laugh
IT 04/03/07 Poster Ban On 3 Dublin Streets


1974 Bombings Report To Be Published

Tue, Apr 03, 2007

A long-awaited report into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings
is expected to be published tomorrow.

The Cabinet is due to discuss the findings at its weekly meeting
today and make a decision to approve publication.

The report, which was compiled by barrister Patrick MacEntee, was
received by the Government three weeks ago. However, legal
consideration of its contents by the Attorney General has held up
its publication until now.

A total of 33 people died and 300 were injured when four car
bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17th, 1974. No
organisation claimed responsibility but loyalist paramilitaries
were blamed for the attacks.

The report is expected to be officially published at about 5pm
tomorrow. The Justice for the Forgotten Group will then hold a
news conference to respond to its findings.

The Taoiseach had promised to publish the findings before Easter.

The Commission of Investigation into the bombings was established
in April 2005 under new legislation to fast-track inquiries.

The terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation were to
undertake a thorough investigation and make a report on specific
matters considered by the Government, including why the Garda
investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings was wound
down in 1974 and why the garda¬° did not follow up a number of

Mr MacEntee and his officials are believed to have travelled
outside the Republic to interview individuals with crucial

c 2007


Leaders Back At Stormont To Thrash Out Committee Roles

[Published: Tuesday 3, April 2007 - 11:10]
By Noel McAdam

The power carve-up continued today as leaders of the four main
parties met to decide who will head up the Stormont scrutiny

There was speculation that the DUP, which has first choice, will
want to chair the education committee to keep an eye on the Sinn
Fein Minister - possibly Conor Murphy or Caitriona Ruane.

And Sinn Fein, which has second choice, could go for the
committee overseeing the 'purse strings' department of finance to
monitor the likely DUP Minister Peter Robinson.

Chairpersons and vice-chairs for a total of 11 departmental
committees have to be worked out as well as other standing groups
such as the Public Accounts Committee.

And it has also emerged that the Assembly group which examines
the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister - the committee
of the centre - is to become a statutory committee.

Ulster Unionists are thought likely to want to take control of
the committee of the centre, which became one of the more
important although under-rated teams in the last power-sharing

DUP leader Ian Paisley, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, Ulster
Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey and SDLP leader Mark Durkan were
all due to take part in the decisions on committees, under the
d'Hondt system at Stormont this afternoon.

And while it appears the Alliance Party could be in line for a
scrutiny committee chair, it was not immediately clear whether
the party would be attending the meeting.

The four main parties yesterday entered into a 'gentleman's
agreement' over the main government departments.

While there were a number of adjournments, the share-out of the
ten government departments took just under an hour.

A senior source said: "It was initially almost light-hearted, but
there is no doubt that the DUP was rocked when Sinn Fein went for
education rather than trade and industry, and the final picture
was considerably different from what all the parties had expected
at the outset."

The behind-closed-doors selection, which should allow the new
ministers to 'bed in' to their departments over the next five
weeks, was in contrast to the tussles which marked the long set-
up period of the last administration.

Today's meeting, with a whole series of careful checks and
balances likely to be drawn in, could take considerably longer.

c Belfast Telegraph


Schools Crisis Fear As SF Takes Control

[Published: Tuesday 3, April 2007 - 11:09]
By Kathryn Torney

Sinn Fein heading up the Department of Education has the
potential to rocket the new Executive into a crisis within weeks,
it was claimed today.

UUP education spokesman David McNarry said that Sinn Fein taking
the education portfolio will test the stability of the new

However, DUP education spokesman Sammy Wilson argued today that
safeguards are in place to prevent any "damaging legislation"
from being brought forward by a Sinn Fein Minister.

Speaking after the republican party picked education as its first
ministerial choice yesterday, Mr McNarry said: "Republicans are
poles apart from the unionists in three areas - academic
selection, support for the Bain Report and Irish-language

"How consensus can be reached in the weeks ahead is the key
question in terms of what sacrifices parties, including Sinn
Fein, are prepared to make to accommodate a policy allowing for
an alternative to the 11-plus to be put in place. If there is a
DUP chairperson of the education committee, this will just
emphasise the deadlock between a republican minister and unionist

However, Sammy Wilson painted a more positive picture of the

He said there will be many battles ahead with Sinn Fein but added
that the DUP had made sure that all Ministers would be fully
accountable to the Executive and Assembly.

He said: "In the last Assembly it was an unaccountable Sinn Fein
Minister who was able to single-handedly abolish the 11-plus and
effectively do away with academic selection, without the consent
of the Assembly, the education committee, the Executive or the
overwhelming majority of public opinion.

"Difficult decisions lie ahead in terms of the 11-plus,
rationalisation of schools, the impact of the Bain Report, the
entitlement curriculum, school financing and the impact of RPA on
the administration of schooling.

"On many of these issues unionism and nationalism will have
radically different ideas, but at least with the legislation that
we secured in St Andrews the battle over such issues will be
conducted on a level playing field and the Education Minister
will not be able to make unaccountable and reckless decisions on
their own."

c Belfast Telegraph


Paisley Smiles At McGuinness Joke... But Stops Short Of Laughing

[Published: Tuesday 3, April 2007 - 08:37]
By Noel McAdam

They may not be sharing power yet but Ian Paisley and Martin
McGuinness have at least - and at last - shared a joke.

The quip came as the future First and Deputy First Ministers had
their first meeting ahead of going into government together.

It came as they signed their first joint letter, urging Secretary
of State Peter Hain and his Direct Rule team to depart their
Stormont Castle offices.

Mr McGuinness said to his former arch rival: "Is this the start
of the DUP's 'Brits out' strategy?"

As the Mr McGuinness tells it, the DUP leader smiled, but stopped
short of his famous laugh.

The duo have yet to prove their double-act credentials, but Mr
McGuinness yesterday described the meeting as "first class". The
DUP stayed silent.

Nevertheless, it emerged the party's deputy leader Peter Robinson
and senior aides from both the DUP and Sinn Fein were present for
the behind-closed-doors opening session. The meeting took place
last Thursday and lasted around 90 minutes, it was confirmed

Mr McGuinness said Mr Paisley's attitude and approach at the
meeting - as it had been the previous Monday when the parties
announced their intention to go into government - "could not have
been better".

As Sinn Fein revealed it is retaining the education department,
of which Mr McGuinness was the former Minister, Mr Adams said:
"These are potentially very, very good days."

c Belfast Telegraph


Poster Ban On 3 Dublin Streets

Tue, Apr 03, 2007

Posters advertising rallies or political meetings are to be
banned from three Dublin streets under new regulations adopted by
the city council last night.

Under the rules the posters will be banned from O'Connell Street,
Grafton Street and Henry Street.

Election posters are subject to different rules.

The council also adopted new planning regulations to prevent the
proliferation of fast-food outlets, estate agent offices and
other named businesses on Grafton Street.

In the future, planning permission will be required for
newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets, off-licences and
pharmacies. Some businesses, including phone shops and fast-food
outlets, are be deemed "not permissible".

Under the previous scheme, shop owners could change the use of
all or part of their premises without reference to the council.

c 2007

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