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April 12, 2007

UUP Name Picks for Health Job

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 04/12/07 UUP Pick McGimpsey For Health Job
TH 04/12/07 Rev. Ian Paisley Interview
IM 04/12/07 Emergency Statement From Republican POWs
RT 04/12/07 Pearse 1916 Letter Could Fetch €100k


UUP Pick McGimpsey For Health Job

Michael McGimpsey is the Ulster Unionist Party's choice for
health minister when the Stormont Assembly returns on 8 May.

Party leader Sir Reg Empey is to take the department of
employment and learning portfolio.

The UUP overlooked hotly-tipped Alan McFarland, who came a close
second in its leadership election two years ago.

But Sir Reg said Mr McGimpsey's previous ministerial experience
meant he was not a surprise choice.

"He is one of the few people who has experience of running a
department - this is a colossal undertaking, so having somebody
with experience doing that job doesn't strike me as being a
shock," he said.

"At the end of the day, I've made my choices - we will have to
see how it goes, and I've no doubt he's relishing the role and
looking forward to see if we can improve things."

South Belfast assembly member Michael McGimpsey was minister for
culture, arts and leisure in the last power-sharing executive,
before it was suspended in October 2002.

Sir Reg Empey, an MLA for East Belfast, also has prior cabinet
experience as he was minister for enterprise, trade and
investment from 1999 to 2002.

The power-sharing executive will also have four DUP ministers,
three from Sinn Fein and one from the SDLP.

Earlier this month, the parties picked what departments they
wanted to control under the d'Hondt formula, which uses assembly
seats won by parties to calculate ministerial entitlement.

Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams agreed in a ground-breaking meeting
at Stormont last month to share power in a restored Northern
Ireland Assembly on 8 May.

For Sinn Fein, Conor Murphy will be the new minister for regional
development, while Michelle Gildernew is the new minister for

Caitriona Ruane is following in Martin McGuinness's footsteps as
the new minister for education.

The SDLP named Margaret Ritchie as their choice to head up the
department for social development.

The DUP have not yet revealed who will fill the posts of finance,
economy, environment and culture.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/12 19:18:37 GMT


Rev. Ian Paisley Interview

By Cal Thomas
Thursday, April 12, 2007

(NOTICE: Rev. Ian Paisley is leader of the Democratic Unionist
Party and first minister in the upcoming legislative assembly
scheduled to begin May 8. This 938-word interview took place on
April 11, 2007 via telephone.)

After decades of ruthless sectarian violence in Northern Ireland,
Ian Paisley, the province's most outspoken Protestant leader, and
Gerry Adams, a Catholic and alleged member of the Irish
Republican Army, met to hammer out an historic agreement to form
a new local government in which Protestants and Catholics will
share power. On May 8, the Northern Ireland Assembly will elect a
12-member administration, which Paisley will lead.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley
(L) shakes hands with Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin
April 4, 2007. Hardline Protestant cleric Paisley shook hands in
public with Irish Prime Minister Ahern for the first time on
Wednesday as the men met following a historic power-sharing deal
in Northern Ireland last month. REUTERS/Pool (BRITAIN) CAL
THOMAS: In America, we have a phrase "tipping point." It means
you've gone beyond the point of no return and can't go back. Was
there a tipping point in your negotiations with Sinn Fein when
you realized that a deal was going to be done?

REV. IAN PAISLEY: "Yes. But, unfortunately, this became a time
factor with the British government and they made another fool of
themselves by doing that. If we had more time, I think, we could
have gotten an even better deal than we got. But we have got a
fairly good deal altogether, considering the great changes that
they made to the agreement and considering that no member of the
executive, no matter from what side they come, can do anything on
his own.

And for the first time, the IRA had to swear allegiance to the
police. The old time Republican terrorists had said they would
never give allegiance to the police of the United Kingdom. If we
had gone back on this and not done the deal, we would have been
ruled jointly by the United Kingdom and Dublin. No elected
representative from Northern Ireland would have had any say in
anything that was being done.

CT: Could anything go wrong that might prevent the new joint
government from going forward next month?

IP: No, I think it is a certainty that will go. But there will be
a lot of hiccups along the way, a lot of tough negotiations and
bitterness. We are asked to do something no other part of the
United Kingdom has been asked to do and that is to go into
government with a party (Sinn Fein) that has basically sprung
from a terrorist organization (The Irish Republican Army).

CT. You mentioned bitterness. For the last 30 years there has
been a lot of that. More than 3,500 people have been killed. How
long do you think it will take to heal the wounds? Can it occur
quickly, or will it take many years?

IP: Oh, I think it will take many years because of the brave ones
amongst us, and the shame of how the British government treated
us by not dealing with terrorism the way they should have. There
is a lot of bitterness. But what progress could we make by just
sitting on the devastation and this sea of tears and just moaning
and bemoaning our position? I think if we can get the people to
move toward faith that will enable them to overcome (bitterness).
It could be shorter, or it could be longer, depending on how
things work out at the end of the day.

CT. People in America when they pay attention to Northern Ireland
see it as a religious conflict, something like the Middle East.
Is it more than that?

IP: Oh, yes. All Roman Catholics are not Irish Republicans and
all Protestants are not unionists. It is the political element.
Should we be part and parcel of the United Kingdom, or should we
be separated from the United Kingdom and be governed by the
majority of the people in the South of Ireland? That is the real
issue. Because of history, mostly Roman Catholics were
Republicans and Nationalists and most Protestants were Unionists.
It's only after you've lived here that you can understand it.
It's a strange thing.

CT. Sinn Fein says its objective remains a united Ireland. Do you
think Ireland ultimately will be united?

IP: No, I don't. I think that's wishful thinking on their part.
They have to say that to try to keep their followers happy.
Everybody knows the very heart of the united Ireland policy was
never to give any credence to British rule and especially
Republicans always saw the police as representatives of a foreign
power that was keeping them in subjection and out of union. Now
that they are prepared to take office in a government that is
part and parcel of the United Kingdom and also to take the oath
of allegiance to the police, I think they have foresworn general
Republican thinking.

CT. Looking ahead, what do you see for Northern Ireland in the
next 25 to 30 years?

IP: I think we have passed a very sad and dark arena in regard to
this matter. Among the young people, I think there is a desire to
have a better country and I think there is a will in them to do
everything possible, rather than surrender their allegiance to
Britain. They are going to be prepared to make this country their
country in which they will have a say in what is being done. The
people have felt they have been left out of the equation
altogether. We have given our lives in defense of Britain and
Britain has betrayed us. The time has come now when there is a
strong streak of independence, not independence from Britain, but
independence to govern ourselves.

CT: Looking back over the last 30 years and the more than 3,500
people who have been killed in "The Troubles," do you have any
regrets about anything you have said or done?

IP: I may have said and done things that if I had to say and do
them again I might have said and done them differently. But I
have no real regrets that the line I took was the right line. I
think that has now been vindicated by what has happened. We have
got a deal we were told we couldn't get. It is quite clear to
everybody there is going to be no united Ireland for 100 years,
at least.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist
and co-author of Blinded by Might.


Emergency Statement From Republican Pows

Easter clash at Maghaberry prison

International Rights And Freedoms News Report
D‚ Luain Aibre n 09, 2007 19:02
by IFC POW Dept - Irish Freedom Committee

Irish Freedom Committee ACTION REQUEST

Monday April 10, 2007

In an emergency message from Maghaberry prison this morning the
Irish Freedom Committee has learned there was a clash with screws
on wings Easter morning Maghaberry prison and fifteen republican
POWs are now charged with wearing Easter lilies.

The message stated that the republican prisoners were forced to
run a gauntlet of over twenty prison staff standing. The staff
wouldn't allow the men out for food, Easter visits or exercise as
they were wearing Easter lilies.

The prisoners told the IFC:

"We stated quite clearly that under the Flags and Emblems Act and
under Equality issue we are allowed to wear our Easter lilies to
remember our patriot dead, just like they (staff and loyalist
prisoners) are allowed to wear their poppies. They said 'There's
no rules in here, we call the shots.' The screws were very
aggressive and looking for confrontation. There's fifteen
prisoners now charged with wearing an Easter lily This is total
disgrace. This is 2007, not 1977; that's what we told them."

"They are refusing us out to yards, they've given us no food, no
grub, they refused to let us out of the cells because we're
wearing an Easter lily."

The prisoners decried the deteriorating conditions at Maghaberry.

"The provocation, intimidation, and victimization of republicans
in this day and age is a total disgrace. You have Gerry Adams
allowed to wear an Easter lily in a government building to meet
Ian Paisley. Yet Republicans are not allowed to wear an Easter
lily to commemorate our dead."


We ask that our supporters immediately contact the NIO and Prison
governor at Maghaberry and protest the unwarranted aggression
against Republican prisoners. There is a Sample Letter below, use
as is or modify in your own words.

1. Enter the following email addresses in your email "TO" bar:, Subject:
"Maghaberry prison Easter aggression"
2. Copy and paste the suggested text below into your email body
3. Add your name and location to the text.

---------------- SAMPLE LETTER COPY & PASTE ---------------------


Mr. Alan Longwell - Governor
Upper Ballinderry Road
Lisburn, Co. Antrim
BT28 2PT

Mr. Peter Hain - Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Block B
Castle Buildings
Belfast BT4 3STGTN

Mr. Robin Masefield - Director General
Room 321
Prison Service Headquarters
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SU

Dear sir,

We are writing to protest the aggressive treatment of the
republican prisoners at Roe house yesterday morning, Easter
Sunday. We have learned that the republican prisoners were forced
to run a gauntlet of over twenty guards yesterday and have been
denied food, visits and exercise because they wore Easter lilies.

It is unacceptable that prison guards and loyalist inmates can
openly wear enormous poppies for Remembrance day in November, yet
the republican prisoners are annually treated to abuse and
punishment for wearing small Easter lilies to commemorate their
patriot dead.

We remain concerned over the deteriorating conditions at
Maghaberry prison. We will continue to closely monitor this



The Irish Freedom Committee will continue to monitor events at
Maghaberry and will post more news here shortly. Please contact
Saoirse@irishfreedomcommittee for more information.

##### ENDS

The Irish Freedom Committeer is a Nation-wide, Registered Not-
for-Profit, wholly U.S.- based organization with no Foreign
Principal. We are dedicated to education on the true root causes
of the 850-years war against British occupation, and to the
humanitarian and charitable support of the dependents of anti-
Treaty Irish Republican Political Prisoners.


Join the Irish Freedom Committeer

The Irish Freedom Committee has not ever supported the 1998
Stormont Treaty with Britain-- disingenuously titled the "Good
Friday Agreement" or "Peace Process"-- as it is a British-imposed
document which has nothing to do with peace, but is designed only
to to shore up Partition and to strengthen British rule in
Ireland. While the 1998 Treaty was presented to the people of
Ireland as the prerequisite to peace, peace has not indeed been
the outcome; and instead the result has been the total surrender
of Ireland's constitutional claim to the Six Counties, the return
of the hated Stormont seat of puppet British government with its
built-in loyalist veto, and the re-strengthening of the illegal
partition of Ireland.


Pearse 1916 Letter Could Fetch ?100k

Thursday, 12 April 2007 22:16

A letter by Padraig Pearse outlining his final instructions
before he was executed is expected to fetch around ?100,000 when
it is auctioned next week.

It is one of 600 historical artefacts from Ireland's struggle for
independence, which will be auctioned at Adams and Mealy in
Dublin on Tuesday.

A series of letters about Michael Collins' love interests and a
Citizen's Army mobilization order handwritten by James Connolly
are among the other significant items that will go under the

An original blueshirts uniform, a rare 1916
Proclamation and numerous newspapers, medals, posters, pictures
and other military memorabilia from that era are also among the

The 'Independence' sale is the second to be held by the

The first, which took place in last April, saw almost 500 items
from the period sold for ?3.5m.

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