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April 19, 2007

PMs At Stormont On Devolution Day

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 04/19/07 PMs At Stormont On Devolution Day
BB 04/19/07 Republican Appointed To Parade Commission Is Helpful
BT 04/19/07 DUP & SF Unhappy With Members Of Parades Review Team
BB 04/19/07 Search For New Ombudsman Begins
BB 04/19/07 Guards Honoured For Stone Bravery
BT 04/19/07 SF Were Dragged Into Accepting N Ireland Legitimacy
IT 04/20/07 DUP Man Shown Coat Collins Died In
AP 04/19/07 Sinn Féin To Stand 42 Candidates In General Election
IN 04/19/07 Biography Of Irishman Wins Historian Award


PMs At Stormont On Devolution Day

The British and Irish prime ministers are to travel to Stormont
for the restoration of power-sharing on 8 May.

Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern will witness the creation of a new
executive, almost five years after the previous institutions were

Devolved government is to return to Northern Ireland after the
DUP and Sinn Fein agreed last month to share power.

DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness will
become first and deputy first ministers respectively.

It emerged that Mr Paisley had issued an invitation to Mr Blair
to visit Stormont next month.

He told the House of Commons it was Mr Blair's "duty" as he had
worked so hard to create the new executive.

When the executive meets, Sinn Fein will assume the education
ministry - for the second time - along with regional development
and agriculture.

The DUP are taking finance, economy, environment and culture.

The Ulster Unionists take health and employment and learning,
while the SDLP take social development.

The power-sharing institutions were suspended in October 2002
amid allegations of intelligence gathering at Stormont. Direct
rule has been in place since that date.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/19 10:34:35 GMT


Parades Appointment Is 'Helpful'

A republican appointed to a body reviewing parades in Northern
Ireland has said he believes his role will improve community

Sean Murray of the Springfield Residents Action Group was
responding after the DUP criticised his role on the body as
"potentially disastrous".

Nigel Dodds and Nelson McCausland issued a joint statement after
the make-up of the body was revealed.

But Mr Murray said: "For the review to work all perspectives need

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown is to head the
Strategic Review of Parading, which begins work in May.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain revealed the composition of
the new group.

However, Mr Dodds, MP, and Mr McCausland, an assembly member,
said: "This appointment is neither appropriate, helpful or
conducive to progress.


Sammy Douglas - Belfast Interface Group
Mervyn Gibson - Orange Order Chaplain Lodge of Ireland
Sean Murray - Springfield Residents' Group
Geraldine McAteer- West Belfast Partnership
Garvan O'Doherty - Londonderry businessman
Mervyn Rankin, former chief executive of Ballymena council

"The decision by Peter Hain to appoint Sean Murray has the
potential to seriously undermine the review process in this
crucial area. It shows a lack of sensitivity."

Mr McCausland added that both he and Mr Dodds had been "amazed
and appalled by the appointment".

Mr McCausland also said it could have "damaging" implications for
the Orange Order's contentious Whiterock parade in Belfast every

However, Mr Murray said he could not see the "legitimacy" of
their problems.

He said his appointment was a "recognition of the work that goes
on at grass roots level".

"For the review panel to work, all perspectives need to be aired,
all stakeholders need to be involved," he said.

"I see my role as articulating the position of the residents'
groups. There are people on that panel who are quite capable of
articulating the viewpoints and perspectives of the Orange

The government promised an independent review of parading in the
St Andrews Agreement last October.

Lord Ashdown and his review team will aim to report to the
government in 2008.

The remit of the review team is to make recommendations on how
parading can be taken forward in a way "consistent with the
shared future objectives of respect, tolerance, responsible
citizenship and promoting equality of opportunity and human

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/19 09:00:52 GMT


DUP And SF Unhappy With Members Of Parades Review Team

[Published: Thursday 19, April 2007 - 10:56]

The DUP and Sinn Fein have both expressed opposition to some of
the British Government's appointees to a new review team
examining the issue of loyalist parades.

The DUP is demanding that a former IRA prisoner be removed from
the six-strong team.

It says the inclusion of Sean Murray shows insensitivity and
could undermine confidence in the review process.

Sinn Fein, meanwhile, is unhappy with the appointment of Paddy
Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats in Britain.

Up until January 2006, Mr Ashdown was the UN representative in
charge of overseeing the implementation of the Dayton peace
agreement in Bosnia.

However, Sinn Fein says he is an inappropriate choice as he grew
up in Protestant north Down and served as a British soldier at
the start of the Troubles.

c Belfast Telegraph


Search For New Ombudsman Begins

The search has begun to find a successor to the Northern Ireland
Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan.

Her term of office comes to an end in November and adverts will
run in both the local and national press from Thursday to appoint
her replacement.

Mrs O'Loan will continue in the job until a successor is

Announcing the competition for the post, Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain paid tribute to the work which Mrs O'Loan
has carried out.

"She has done an excellent job in difficult circumstances,
especially on controversial issues when feelings have been
understandably running high," Mr Hain said.

"The post of police ombudsman for Northern Ireland is without
doubt one of the most challenging positions within the public

"The post plays a key role in developing and maintaining public
confidence in policing and it is crucial that this competition
attracts the highest calibre of candidates."

Mrs O'Loan was appointed police ombudsman in October 1999 and
started work in the job the following summer.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/19 05:50:09 GMT


Guards Honoured For Stone Bravery

Security staff who stopped loyalist killer Michael Stone as he
tried to break into Stormont last year have been honoured for
their bravery.

Susan Porter and Peter Lachaundis disarmed Stone on 24 November
as he tried to enter the building.

Stone, 51, was later charged with trying to murder five people
including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

In a ceremony at Stormont, the speaker commended the staff's
"exceptional courage" and gave them a citation.

Eileen Bell said the transitional assembly "acknowledges the
dedication, professionalism and performance" of the door keeping
staff on 24 November and "commends them for their outstanding

She added: "In doing so, the assembly recognised the exceptional
courage and bravery shown by the individual members on November
24 last year and their tremendous professionalism and commitment
to the safety and protection of members, staff and the general

At a bail hearing, Stone said his planned incursion had been
"performance art" and he had not intended to kill anyone.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/19 13:17:48 GMT


SF Were Dragged Into Accepting Northern Ireland Legitimacy -
Paisley Jnr

[Published: Thursday 19, April 2007 - 16:33]

Sinn Fein has been dragged into accepting the legitimacy of the
Northern Ireland state, it was claimed today.

Ian Paisley Jnr said during a rare visit to Dublin that mutual
respect between the people of both parts of the island would lead
to further positive co-operation.

The DUP politician was in the capital to speak at the
Reconciliation Networking Forum and he later toured an exhibition
on Irish war soldiers with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot

Mr Paisley said during a visit to the Museum of Ireland at
Collins Barracks: ``One of the things that we are seeing on a
day-to-day basis is that people who once hated the police, who
fought the police, who murdered the police, now recognise that
they must embrace the police.

``They must accept the legitimacy of the state and move forward
if they want to be partners in representing all of the people.''

The junior minister-designate in the new power-sharing Assembly
added: ``For us to have been able to drag Sinn Fein to that
position, I think that has been significant and is major

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Ahern admitted that the weeks
following the establishment of the new Assembly on May 8 will be
difficult. Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are expected to
attend the inaugural ceremony in Belfast.

``We're under no illusions on that. There will be pressures,''
the minister said.

``But the Irish Government is ready and willing to assist in
every way we can and we look forward to a good relationship with
the Northern Ireland Assembly.''

Mr Paisley also said that unionists were happy and confident in
the leadership being given to them.

``They trust that leadership and they are looking forward to
moving forward on a confident footing.''

c Belfast Telegraph


DUP Man Shown Coat Collins Died In

Alison Healy
Fri, Apr 20, 2007

Ian Paisley jnr leaned forward and looked at the coat Michael
Collins was wearing when he was killed in 1922. "There's still
mud on it. He was wearing it when he was shot?" he asked in an
interested fashion.

Now there's a paragraph you never thought you'd read. The Big
Fella's coat and the Big Fella's son came face-to-face at Collins
Barracks in Dublin yesterday as Mr Paisley visited the Soldiers
and Chiefs exhibition.

The Democratic Unionist Party MLA was accompanied by Minister for
Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, who had earlier introduced him at
the Reconciliation Networking Forum in nearby Kilmainham.

The museum exhibition details the role of the Irish at war, at
home and abroad, since 1550.

Afterwards, BBC reporter Diarmuid Fleming asked Mr Paisley how he
felt about visiting a barracks "named after perhaps the most
prolific IRA man of all times, Michael Collins".

Mr Paisley said it was a "very historic place" and "magnificent
facility" which, because of our shared past, told the story of
both Irish and British history.

But what was his opinion of Michael Collins? "It's not for me to
pass judgment on people of the past. But he wouldn't be one of my
heroes. I'm sure you'll appreciate that," Mr Paisley said.

He made appreciative noises as he walked around the exhibition,
followed by a crowd of photographers jostling to get the best

However, he didn't linger at a large poster about the Easter 1916
Rising and his guides veered away from a red and white "Stop,
army checkpoint" sign, bringing him to a less controversial
display of tanks instead.

Mr Paisley was in a relaxed mood at the Reconciliation Networking
Forum earlier, after hearing Dermot Ahern talk about the
Government's willingness to invest money in Northern Ireland. Mr
Ahern said the State had awarded more than ?21 million to
reconciliation projects since 1999.

"The National Development Plan, for the first time ever, is
absolutely peppered with references to cross-Border initiatives,"
he said.

"It makes no sense that this small island should be working
separately, if there are issues that we can work on together,
particularly in the economic sphere."

Mr Paisley told the gathering that it was always good to come to
Dublin if money was promised. "That's twice we've done that. We
may be back," he said.

He said there was nothing wrong with reflecting on the past as
long as people had a forward-looking vision. "We must use the
lessons of the past to build and secure a sustainable and lasting
peace," he said.

But his jovial mood did not extend to Sinn Fein and the IRA when
asked afterwards if he was happy that the war was over. "The
struggles which started occurred really under a premier called [
Terence] O'Neill. The struggles that have ended, will end
whenever the other O'Neill, P O'Neill, disappears as well."

He said the DUP had "dragged" Sinn Fein to a position of
accepting the legitimacy of the Northern Ireland state.

"One of the things that we are seeing on a day-by-day basis is
that people who once hated the police, who fought the police, who
murdered the police, now recognise that they must embrace the

c 2007 The Irish Times


Sinn Fein To Stand 42 Candidates In General Election

Sinn Fein will be standing 42 candidates in 41 constituencies in
the forthcoming General Election. The Head of Sinn Fein's
Election Department and party vice-President Pat Doherty MP,
speaking at a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin on
14 April, said that in the coming weeks "we will be putting a
strong republican platform before the electorate setting out our
plans to build an Ireland of equals. We are preparing to be in
government, north and south".

Describing this as "a huge election for Sinn Fein" Doherty said
that the Ard Chomhairle had completed the party's candidate list
and agreed key priorities for its manifesto. He stated:

"We expect to substantially increase our representation in
constituencies right across the country. In the north our five
government ministers are already working with the DUP and the
other parties for the return to government on 8 May. And we are
just as ready for government in the south.

"Our priority in government will be to end the crisis in the
health service, build social and affordable housing, advance the
peace process and build a strong, all-Ireland economy that
delivers for all. We want to build Irish unity and bring
together the experience of nationalists and unionists across the

"In the last few weeks we have seen the Fine Gael and the Labour
Party alliance coming apart at the seams on key issues relating
to the economy, rural Ireland and international affairs. We have
seen a lot of desperate auction politics. This is appallingly
reckless given the depth of the crisis in our public services.

"Sinn Fein has been canvassing extensively and one thing is
certain, after the debacle of the last election people are
looking for answers. They are looking for an alternative
government and we are confident that Sinn Fein is up for the
challenge of being at the centre of a new administration."

Sinn Fein candidates - General Election 2007

Dublin Central...Mary Lou McDonald MEP
Dublin North...Matt McCormack
Dublin North Central...Peter Lawlor
Dublin North East...Larry O'Toole
Dublin North West...Dessie Ellis
Dublin Mid West...Joanne Spain
Dublin South...Shaun Tracey
...Sorcha Nic Cormaic
Dublin South Central...Aengus O Snodaigh TD
Dublin South East...Daith¡ Doolan
Dublin South West...Se n Crowe TD
Dublin West...Felix Gallagher
Dun Laoghaire...Eoin O Broin

Cavan Monaghan...Caoimhgh¡n O Caol in TD
Donegal North East...P draig MacLochlainn
Donegal South West...Pearse Doherty
Galway West...Ann Marie Carroll
Galway East...Jason Devlin
Mayo...Gerry Murray
Roscommon/Sth Leitrim...Martin Kenny
Sligo/North Leitrim...Se n Mac Manus

Clare...Anna Prior
Cork East...Sandra McLellan
Cork North Central...Jonathan O'Brien
Cork South Central...Henry Cremin
Cork South West...Cionnaith O Suilleabhain
Kerry North...Martin Ferris TD
Kerry South Lynn N¡ Bhaoigheall in
Limerick East...Maurice Quinlivan
Tipperary North...Seamus Morris
Tipperary South...Liam Browne
Waterford...David Cullinane

Carlow Kilkenny...Kathleen Funchion
Kildare North...Crist¡n McCauley
Kildare South...Teresa Bennit
Laois Offaly...Brian Stanley
Longford Westmeath...Paul Hogan
Louth...Arthur Morgan TD
Meath East...Joanne Finnegan
Meath West...Joe Reilly
Wexford...John Dwyer
Wicklow...John Brady


Biography Of Irishman Wins Historian Award

By Staff Reporter

A biography of a maverick Irishman who was at the centre of
British military affairs for 20 years has won a Queen's
University Belfast historian a major award.

Prof Keith Jeffery, has won the Templer Medal from

the Society for Army Historical Research for his book Field
Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: A Political Soldier.

Sir Henry became Chief of the Imperial General Staff -
professional head of the British army - during the last year of
the First World War.

After retiring in February 1922 the Co Longford-born soldier
became MP for North Down but four months later was assassinated
on his London doorstep by two IRA men.

"I started working on this 20 years ago," Prof Jeffery said.

"He's a wonderful subject for biography because he kept a diary
for 40 years.

"For a historian it was like a terrific seam of gold.

"People love him or hate," he added.

"He was an intriguing personality and an Irishman who went to
England and made it big."

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