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April 11, 2007

Paisley Says North-South Mutual Respect Is Key

News about Ireland & the Irish

IE 04/11/07 Paisley Says North-South 'Mutual Respect' Is Key
DT 04/11/07 DUP Backs £60k Lifeline For Museum Of Free Derry
ND 04/11/07 ‘Slain By State’
NL 04/11/07 Priest's Article Is 'Offensive' – MLA
IE 04/11/07 Bush Aims For Immigration Reform Push
IT 04/12/07 UUP To Announce Ministerial Appointments Today
WP 04/11/07 Sale Of Ashford Castle Is Denied


Paisley Says North-South 'Mutual Respect' Is Key

By Irish Echo Staff

The Rev. Ian Paisley who vigorously protested the meeting of the
Northern Ireland prime minister and his Southern counterpart 42
years ago has warmly shaken hands with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at
Government Buildings in Dublin.

Although the two men have long developed a rapport in private,
this very public and official display dramatically announced a
new era in North-South relations. It follows Paisley's agreement
to sit with Sinn Fein in the new power-sharing Executive
beginning on May 8.

Said the 81-year-old DUP leader, who is soon to be installed as
First Minister of Northern Ireland: "I am proud to be an
Ulsterman, but I am also proud of my Irish roots. My father's
birth certificate was lodged at the Four Courts in Dublin and,
like many of his generation he fought to see Ireland remain
within the union.

"That, of course, as our history demonstrates, was not to be the
case. As the leader of the unionist people, with Northern
Ireland's place in the union secured, I believe it is important
to engage with our closest neighbor from a position of mutual
respect and with assured confidence."

As a 38-year-old radical preacher, Paisley very publicly opposed
the first meeting in January 1965 between Northern Ireland's
Terence O'Neill and Ahern's predecessor as taoiseach and Fianna
Fail leader Sean Lemass.

Paisley's attitude towards the Republic has softened in recent
years. Family members reported last October that he was visibly
moved when receiving a 50th wedding anniversary gift sent by

This story appeared in the issue of April 11 - 17, 2007


DUP Backs œ60k Lifeline For Museum Of Free Derry

The DUP has given its blessing to a œ60,000 lifeline for the
Museum of Free Derry, which charts the Troubles from the
perspective of the nationalist Bogside community.

And the DUP Deputy Mayor, Drew Thompson, also said he believed
that, if the inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday finds that
soldiers committed murder, they should be treated like other
murderers and brought to account.

In a landmark move, the DUP voted with the SDLP and Sinn Fein to
award the cash to the museum, which was opened earlier this year
by former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Moazzam Begg on the 35th
anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

The money for the museum was agreed as it emerged at yesterday's
development committee meeting that the Glenfada Park museum faced
closure within weeks due to a œ47,000 shortfall.

The council is also set to award financial aid to two other
projects, at the Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall and St Columb's
Cathedral, as part of the Walled City Signature Project.

Mr. Thompson said today that the museum was an important feature
in the wider tourism package being developed in Derry.

The deputy mayor, who is also involved in an Irish history
project which included a recent trip to the General Post Office
in Dublin to examine the Easter Rising, said: "Tourists are
coming to the city and are going to these places, this museum and
the Memorial Hall. It is part of our history whether we like it
or lump it."

Mr. Thompson said he has not yet been to the museum, which tells
the story in words, pictures, films and artefacts relating to the
civil rights movement, the Battle of the Bogside, internment and
Bloody Sunday.

Adrian Kerr, curator at the Museum of Free Derry, today welcomed
the cross-party support for the financial aid and told the
'Journal': "We are obviously very grateful for all the help we've
received from Councillors and Council Officers.

We welcome the fact that Thursday's vote shows that everyone in
the city recognises the importance of the story of the Museum of
Free Derry as part of Derry's history.

"This money guarantees that not only will the museum be able to
stay open and develop further, but that we can start looking at
our more ambitious plans for the site too," Mr. Kerr said.

10 April 2007


'Slain By State'

THE family of a Newry man shot dead by the IRA on Easter Sunday
17 years ago says the organisation's apology for the murder
confirms their suspicions that he was killed by "British agents".

Eoin Morley died on April 16, 1990, when gunmen shot him twice in
the back after dragging him from his girlfriend's house in the
Derrybeg estate. In recent years, the controversial killing has
been frequently linked to the one time Newry based double agent
known as Kevin Fulton, who described his alleged involvement in
his book "Unsung Hero".

In November, Fulton was arrested at his home in south-east
England and returned to Northern Ireland to be questioned in
relation to Mr Morley's murder. However, he was eventually
released without charge.

At the time of the shooting, the IRA claimed that Mr Morley, a
former member of its organisation, had been killed because he
passed on confidential details to another group, thought to be
the IPLO. However, this was later retracted by the Provisionals.

Now, in a statement signed by P O'Neill and carried in this
week's edition of An Phoblacht, the IRA has admitted that Mr
Morley's murder was wrong.

The apology comes after the organisation conducted what it
describes as an in-depth inquiry into the circumstances
surrounding the shooting.

The IRA concedes that no order was issued for Mr Morley's murder,
while it also refers to the 1992 withdrawal of allegations that
he had been an informer.

The organisation goes on to say: "The killing of Eoin Morley was
wrong. The IRA leadership offers its apologies to the Morley
family for the grief and pain they have suffered as a result of
our actions and the subsequent false allegations levelled against
Eoin Morley."

In a statement supplied to the Democrat in the light of the IRA
apology, the Morley family welcomed the move and said it confirms
what they had always suspected about the murder.

"We understand that it would have been easier for the Provisional
movement to continue with the charade that were the ever changing
reasons given to try to justify Eoin's murder," the family said.

"For the PIRA to take the unprecedented step of fully retracting
the explanation given at the time and in subsequent statements
and to apologise for what happened is a bold move and we, Eoin's
family, welcome it.

"We have always known that the PIRA did not sanction Eoin's
murder. Privately many members of the Provisional movement
confirmed this and expressed their disgust at what happened. From
the outset we suspected that Eoin died at the hands of British

The family claim that the only people to benefit from Mr Morley's
murder were "the enemies of republicanism" and insist that
collusion was involved, with his killers being shielded and
protected from prosecution.

In a report on the murder published by the Police Ombudsman two
years ago, it was concluded that the police investigation had
significant shortcomings, including the failure to arrest
suspects who were linked to the crime through strong


Priest's Article Is 'Offensive' - MLA

Comments by an American priest and academic likening Ulster
Protestants to white supremacists in the US deep south have been
described as "offensive and ignorant".

In a column published in papers in New York and Chicago last
week, Father Andrew Greeley, a sociology professor at the
University of Arizona, described Protestants living in Ireland as
the descendants of "genocidal colonisers".

He also alleged they still believe Catholics are "racially
inferior" to them.

DUP Assembly member Robin Newton said Fr Greeley's "biased and
bigoted reporting" should be treated with contempt.

In articles in the Chicago Sun Times and New York-based Times
Union on the landmark political developments of last month, Fr
Greeley claimed Protestants would now try and find an excuse to
delay power-sharing with Catholics.

"The descendants of the Protestant genocidal col- onisers believe
as self-evident that they are morally, intellectually and humanly
superior to the descendants of the Catholics who were not quite
eliminated," he wrote. "Hence, it is difficult for them to accept
any agreement that constrains them to share power with Catholics
- just as whites in Mississippi found it so difficult to share
power with blacks.

"Paisley is very sensitive to the emotions of his hardline
constituents. He knows that he must humiliate the Catholics by
cooking up new requirements (added to the substance of the Good
Friday Agreement) to prove their good faith."

Fr Greeley also offered his own brief historical overview of

"It would be wise for Americans to understand the history of the
rump state of Northern Ireland as racial, with religion a symbol
of race," he said.

"Ireland is the only country in Western Europe with a foreign
colony imposed on it, a colony with gerrymandered boundaries that
permit a minority in the whole island to impose its will on the
part of the majority group that lives within its artificial

Mr Newton said it was alarming that republican sympathisers in
America still held such a skewed view of Northern Ireland.

"These articles are without doubt examples of prejudiced thinking
and deserve to be treated with contempt but cannot be ignored,"
he said.

"His description of Northern Ireland as a rump state and racial,
with religion as the symbol of race is offensive. His comments
about Ireland as the only country in Western Europe with a
foreign colony imposed on it ignores the wishes of the majority
population and signed international agreements.

"If Andrew Greeley would remove his heavily green-tinted glasses,
he might just remember the Catholic IRA's very recent genocide
campaign against their Protestant neighbours."

Fr Greeley's comments follow last Friday's remarks by US
Congressman Richie Neal claiming that recent political progress
had all but created a united Ireland.

Last Updated: 10 April 2007


UUP Expected To Announce Ministerial Appointments Today

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor
Thu, Apr 12, 2007

The Ulster Unionists are expected to announce today which
departments Sir Reg Empey and another senior colleague will
choose, a spokesman has said.

The party has already opted for the department of health and the
department of employment and learning, but there has been no
announcement yet about which of these departments the party
leader will take.

It had been anticipated that Alan McFarland would be the other
ministerial nominee, but a party source has suggested that deputy
leader Danny Kennedy could also be named.

Sinn F‚in and the SDLP have already made clear which of their
nominees will take over at the departments of their choice.

The delay by the Ulster Unionists has prompted rumours of
internal dissent within the party and a suggestion that a
leadership challenge could emerge as the party's annual general
meeting looms later this month. These have been strongly denied.

Under the Ulster Unionist constitution, the party leader has to
submit himself for re-election each year. Following the
resignation of David Trimble as party leader, Sir Reg defeated Mr
McFarland, who is a North Down Assembly member and party chief

It is thought that Sir Reg, who was minister at the department of
enterprise, trade and investment under the last executive, would
opt for the high-profile department of health. However a reliable
party source told The Irish Times last night that he could yet be
persuaded to opt for the lower profile job to enable him to spend
more time on party affairs.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Bush Aims For Reform Push

By Ray O'Hanlon

A "laser-focused" President Bush turned his eyes to immigration
reform this week with a visit to the border with Mexico and an
appeal to Congress to come up with an agreed reform bill by
year's end.

The presidential stopover at a new border control post in Yuma,
Arizona, was being seen as a curtain raiser to a revived White
House effort aimed at encouraging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to
come up with an agreed reform formula - this even as the issue is
becoming more obviously nettlesome as the 2008 presidential race
seemingly gathers pace months earlier than it has done in recent

"We're working closely with Republicans and Democrats to find a
practical answer that lies between granting automatic citizenship
to every illegal immigrant and deporting every illegal
immigrant," the president said.

"I think the atmosphere up there is good right now," Bush said in
reference to Capitol Hill. "I think people genuinely want to come
together and put a good bill together."

The leading Democrat in the reform effort is Senator Edward

"There is a lot of common ground, especially in the need to
strengthen our borders and enforce our laws, though important
differences remain to be resolved," the Boston Globe reported
Kennedy as saying in reaction to the president's latest words.

Before the border visit, USA Today reported a presidential
spokesman as saying that Bush was "laser-focused" on the reform

Congress, by contrast, is lately showing signs of being more
blurred. Senator John McCain, a partner with Kennedy on a
successful Senate reform bill last year, has stepped back from
taking a leading role while a number of reports have indicated
that even if a bill acceptable to President Bush emerges from
both the House and Senate it will be no giveaway and, in fact,
may not even include a path to ultimate citizenship for the
undocumented and illegal.

Meanwhile, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform is this week
moving its campaign to Dublin where a rally is being planned in a
top city hotel.

The event is set for Saturday in Jury's of Ballsbridge and is
intended to raise the profile of the group's campaign in the U.S.
while highlighting for an Irish audience just what the
undocumented Irish in America are having to face as part of their
daily lives.

ILIR executive director Kelly Fincham said that the group was
hoping to attract a thousand people to the rally.

The ILIR event comes just days after a conference in Dublin
Castle intended as a launch pad for a national debate on the
Irish diaspora.

During the conference, attended by a congressional delegation led
by Friends of Ireland chairman, Rep. Richard Neal of
Massachusetts, Irish foreign minister Dermot Ahern said that a
major priority of his government was that part of the diaspora
made up of undocumented Irish in the U.S.

"We are aware that some undocumented Irish people resident in the
U.S. are unable to travel home to visit their families, and we
understand the difficulty and stress that this causes for them
and their families. We take every opportunity to convey to U.S.
political leaders the urgent need to address the issues
involved," Ahern said.

Ahern welcomed the recent unveiling of the Gutierrez/Flake
immigration reform bill in the House of Representatives.

"Although the legislative situation is fluid and the final
outcome uncertain, the introduction of the bipartisan bill in the
House marks a significant advance in the debate. In the weeks
ahead, I will be attaching the highest priority to our efforts on
behalf of the undocumented Irish," Ahern said.


Sale Of Ashford Castle Is Denied

By: Cr¢na Esler

Management at Ashford Castle in Cong have categorically denied
reports that the world-famous hotel has been sold to Galway
property developer, Gerry Barrett, for ?70 million.

Speculation has been rife in the South Mayo/North Galway area for
some time that the magnificent thirteenth-century castle has been
put on the market by its Board of Directors. However, the hotel's
General Manager, Niall Rochford, is adamant that this is not

Speaking exclusively to the Western People, Mr Rochford explained
that for a hotel of the calibre of Ashford Castle, it is no
surprise that there is a constant flow of bids from interested
buyers. But, the manager was quick to note that the Board have
not made a decision to sell the lavish hotel and surrounding 360-
acre estate.

"There are 45 different people involved in the ownership of
Ashford Castle and, to be honest, I wouldn't blame people for
wanting to submit an offer on such a trophy property. There is
always speculation about the castle being for sale and being sold
but I can categorically deny these reports and state that the
hotel is certain-ly not sold," commented Mr Rochford.

Ashford Castle has long been regarded as one of the top venues in
the world, and in a recent poll carried out by the Trip Adviser
website, Ashford was named the No.1 Castle Hotel in Europe. With
this in mind, reports that the hotel has been sold to Mr Barrett
for 70 million are surely unrealistic, with Galway property
analysts feeling that the castle and lands would fetch well in
excess of 150m.

Ashford was founded in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family
following their defeat of the native O'Connors of Connacht and
remained the principal stronghold of the de Burgos until 1589.
Since then, the castle has been owned by numerous families,
including the Oran-more and Brownes, who added a fabulous French-
style chateau to the architectural splendour of the castle in

Two centuries later, Ashford was retained by the Iveagh trust on
behalf of the Guinness family and then bought by Noel Huggard in
1939, who established the castle as a first class hotel. In 1970,
Ashford Castle was bought by John A Mulcahy, who oversaw its
complete restoration and expansion, doubling its size, building
the golf course and developing the grounds and gardens.

The current owners of the 83-bedroom hotel castle and the 360-
acre estate are a group of Irish American investors who purchased
the property in 1985. Of the 45 owners, six members sit on the
Board and, according to Mr Rochford, when an offer is made on the
property, the Board feel that they have a responsibility to bring
the offer to the table for discussion.

Mr Rochford said the staff at Ashford Castle had nothing to worry
about and assured the Western People that nobody within the hotel
is concerned about the increased speculation.

But one staff member, who did not wish to be named, told the
Western People that the staff were concerned at the increased
rumours of a sale.

"Several names of prospective buyers are being mentioned among
the staff and there is a lot of talk about the sale of the
property, with most people feeling that the sale of the hotel is
about to be signed. There's definitely something going on but the
staff haven't been briefed on the situation."

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