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May 17, 2007

Anniversary of Dublin/Monaghan Bombs

The city was immediately declared a disaster area

News about Ireland & the Irish

BN 05/17/07 Relatives Mark Anniversary Of Dublin/Monaghan Bombs
BB 05/17/07 On This Day In 1974: Dublin & Monaghan Bomb Kills 33
BT 05/17/07 SF Promise To Draw Up Plans For Unified Ireland
BN 05/17/07 Paisley Not Opposed To Civic Forum
SF 05/16/07 SF Is The Only Real Alternative In The Election
BT 05/16/07 Mum Killed Daughter (7), Then Herself
BT 05/16/07 Bobby Sands' Last Weeks Subject Of Feature Film


Relatives Mark 33rd Anniversary Of Dublin/Monaghan Bombs

17/05/2007 - 08:34:17

Survivors and relatives of the victims are today marking the 33rd
anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Thirty-three people were killed when loyalist paramilitaries
detonated three car bombs in Dublin and a fourth in Monaghan on
May 17, 1974.

The relatives have long been campaigning for a public inquiry in
Britain to examine suspicions that the British security forces
helped those behind the atrocities.

They have criticised the Taoiseach for lavishing praise on
outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair while his government
is refusing to release critical intelligence documents necessary
for any meaningful inquiry.


On This Day In 1974: Dublin And Monaghan Bomb Kills 23

Three car bombs have exploded in Dublin, killing 23 people
(eventually death toll was 33) and injuring more than 100 others
during rush hour.

Five more people died and another 20 were hurt in a blast which
hit the border town of Monaghan an hour later.

Up to 15 of the dead are believed to be women and two are thought
to be baby boys.

Irish Prime Minister Liam Cosgrave condemned the bombings and
said on TV: "I do not know which evil men did this but everyone
who has practised violence or preached violence or condoned
violence must bear his share of responsiblility.

"It will bring home to us what the people of Northern Ireland
have been suffering for five long years."

The drama unfolded at around 1725 when two of the bombs tore
through Talbot and Parnell Street before a third blast rocked
South Leinster Street near Trinity College.

A fourth explosion struck a public house in Monaghan shortly

The city was immediately declared a disaster area.

A police spokesman said: "There were no warnings. These were acts
of outright war. People had no chance.

"We are detaining everyone we think can help with inquiries. We
believe the people behind this come from Northern Ireland."

Talbot Street, which was even more crowded than usual because of
a corporation bus strike, was the worst hit area.

Several bodies lay in the road for half an hour as ambulances
struggled to get through traffic jams.

Witness John Casey, who was walking into a Talbot Street hotel
when the bomb went off, said: "Hundreds of people were in the
street. They were running and screaming aimlessly.

"A newspaper stand was blown into the air past me and the newsboy
next to it just disappeared in front of my eyes."

Immediately after the bombings the Ulster Defence Association in
Belfast denied planting the bombs as did the Provisional IRA.

But police later discovered that all four cars had Ulster
registration plates and two of them had been hijacked in
Protestant areas in Belfast.

In Context

The final death toll in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which
included a pregnant woman and a stillborn child, stood at 33.

The loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force eventually admitted carrying
out the bombings in 1994.

But relatives of the dead and wounded still believed many
questions were left unanswered and they formed the Justice For
The Forgotten organisation in 1996.

The group has continued to press the Irish government for a
public inquiry into the truth behind the bombings ever since.

Many believe the UVF were helped by British intelligence.

Eventually a private inquiry into the bombings was set up in 2003
by retired Judge Henry Barron.

But the British authorities were unwilling to co-operate and to
provide the necessary files and information.

As a result his findings were inconclusive.

In July 2004 the Irish government agreed to set up a commission
of inquiry into the bombings.

Nobody has ever been convicted of the atrocities.


Sinn Fein Promise To Draw Up Plans For Unified Ireland

[Published: Thursday 17, May 2007 - 11:25]
By Noel McAdam

Sinn Fein would draw up a plan leading towards Irish unity within
a year of being in government in the Republic, the party has

With just a week before polling day in the Irish election, Sinn
Fein President Gerry Adams said Irish reunification remains one
of the party's three main priorities.

And its manifesto, unveiled yesterday, also confirmed there would
be a referendum on a united Ireland "to be held simultaneously,
north and south."

A period of intensive horse-trading, most likely leading to
another coalition government, will follow the election and
continue for some weeks.

At a press conference launching the manifesto yesterday, Mr Adams
reiterated his line that the party is now in government in the
North "and we're ready for government in the south.

"We are seeking a mandate for government here (but) we are not
interested in being in government for the sake of it. Our
priorities are a strong and vibrant economy, strong public
services and Irish re-unification," he said.

In government the manifesto said the party would complete a Green
Paper on Irish Unity within one year, identifying steps and
measures to promote and assist a successful transition to a
United Ireland.

Invoking the vision of the 1916 Easter Proclamation, Mr Adams
said Sinn Fein was committed to A United Ireland where all the
people of our island look forward to a shared and peaceful future
and an Ireland of equals where everyone's rights are guaranteed.

"Ireland has changed greatly over the past decade. The peace
process driven by Sinn Fein has delivered changes many never
thought possible," he said.

"The all-Ireland agenda has progressed dramatically in recent
years. As a consequence, Ireland is now more peaceful and
economically prosperous than ever before. But we still live in a
divided Ireland."

c Belfast Telegraph


Paisley Not Opposed To Civic Forum

17/05/2007 - 12:10:58

Stormont First Minister Ian Paisley today insisted he was not
opposed to the idea of a Civic Forum.

However the Democratic Unionist leader said there would need to
be a review of how members of the consultative body would be set

During a visit to the Balmoral Show, the North's main
agricultural showpiece event in Belfast, the First Minister did
not rule out a return of the Forum which has not sat since the
last power-sharing executive collapsed in 2002.

"If the Civic Forum returned it must be made up of people who
feel they are not represented," he said.

"There's a broad representation in the present Assembly, so their
voices can be heard.

"I would not be against it per se but I am against the way it was
brought into existence before."

At yesterday's meeting of the Committee of the Centre in the
Assembly, Democratic Unionist Assembly member Jim Wells raised
concerns about the Civic Forum being resurrected.

The South Down MLA said the Civic Forum had not sat for four
years and was not missed.

The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Nigel Hamilton,
however, said the Forum could return but that was a matter for Mr
Paisley and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The Forum was set up when former Ulster Unionist leader David
Trimble and ex-SDLP Deputy Leader Seamus Mallon were First and
Deputy First Ministers.

It drew it's membership from the community and voluntary,
business, trade union sectors and religious denominations.

Under the chairmanship of Chris Gibson, it's role was to debate
issues effecting devolution.

However some parties denounced it as a waste of taxpayers' money.


Sinn Fein Is The Only Real Alternative In The General Election

Published: 16 May, 2007

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speaking at the launch of the
party's manifesto in Dublin this morning said there is one only
real alternative in this General Election - Sinn Fein. He said
"Sinn Fein is ready for government after this election and our
priorities are a strong and vibrant economy, strong public
services and Irish re-unification.'

Mr. Adams said:

"Ireland has changed greatly over the past decade. The Peace
Process driven by Sinn Fein has delivered changes many never
thought possible. The hard work of people the length and breadth
of this state has reversed economic decline, reduced unemployment
dramatically, ended emigration and encouraged immigration. The
all-Ireland agenda has progressed dramatically in recent years.
As a consequence, Ireland is now more peaceful and economically
prosperous than ever before.

"But we still live in a divided Ireland. The gap has widened
between those with massive wealth and those who must work long
hours to house, clothe and feed themselves and their families.
People in poverty and on the margins of society don't share in
the new prosperity. Minorities suffer discrimination.

"There is only one real alternative in this general election:
Sinn Fein. We are ready for Government, north and south. We have
a vision and a plan for a prosperous country in which wealth is
shared and where the promise of equal rights and equal
opportunities is fulfilled for each and every person who lives on
our island.

We are the only party with a genuine commitment and a strategy to
achieve a new republic that honours the vision of the 1916
Proclamation by pursuing 'the prosperity of the whole nation and
all of its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation
equally'. In government Sinn Fein is committed to:

ú A United Ireland where all the people of our island look
forward to a shared and peaceful future.

ú An Ireland of Equals where everyone's rights are guaranteed.

A healthcare service providing equal access for everyone based on
need alone.

Housing as a right for all.

An education system that allows Ireland to reach its full

A properly planned Ireland with improved quality of life

An Ireland that opposes war and global exploitation and through a
policy of positive neutrality, works for international peace and

A strong economy that serves and protects our society - that
offers more prosperity and more equality.

"This is the type of Ireland we are committed to build and this
is the platform that we are looking for people to endorse on May

Sinn Fein top 20 priorities in Government

Complete a Green Paper on Irish Unity within one year,
identifying steps and measures to promote and assist a successful
transition to a United Ireland.

Invest all health funding in the public system and immediately
end tax breaks for private hospitals and the land gift scheme.

Provide full medical cards for all under the poverty line and all

Construct 70,000 new units by 2012 to accommodate social housing

Amend the Planning and Development Act (2002) to require that all
new developments must allocate 30% to social and affordable
housing, with at least 10% social and at least 10% affordable

Introduce a universal pre-school session of 3.5 hours per day,
five days a week for all children aged 3-5 years.

ú Immediately reduce all class sizes for children under 9 to a
maximum of 20 pupils and end the use of prefab buildings within
the lifetime of the next D il.

ú Improve support for start-up businesses including provision of
increased business advice, guidance and training plus dedicated
management development.

Establish a Department of Labour with a full Minister.

Keep those on or below the minimum wage out of the tax net, and
set the minimum wage at, at least of 60% of average industrial

Close all remaining legal loopholes that have allowed
millionaires to pay no tax whatsoever and introduce legislation
to end tax exile status

Negotiate for tax harmonisation across the island.

Reform the current exploration licensing and taxation regime and
renegotiate oil and gas contracts.

Immediately commission an All-Ireland Rural White Paper.

Establish a separate Ministry for the Marine and Natural
Resources with a full Minister.

Immediately implement an all-Ireland road safety strategy.

Make adequate resources to Local Drugs Task Forces and Rural
Drugs Task Forces.

Agree a 10 year All-Ireland Irish Language Development Plan
focusing on the preservation and advancement of the language.

Enshrine neutrality in the Constitution

Incrementally increase Overseas Development Assistance to 1% of
GNP by 2010, ring-fence the ODA budget and keep all such aid un-


Mum Killed Daughter (7), Then Herself

[Published: Thursday 17, May 2007 - 12:24]

The Donegal mother who strangled her young daughter before
hanging herself was given keys to a new home on Friday.

Caitriona Innes (26) and her seven-year-old daughter Caitlin were
looking forward to a new beginning in a newly-built housing
estate in Letterkenny.

It emerged yesterday that four of Caitriona's uncles died in
tragic circumstances - two within a two-week period recently -
one of them a suicide.

It is believed that little Caitlin was smothered by her mother
before Caitriona hanged herself from the stairs at some time over
the last three days.

Her employer, William McNutt, described how happy Caitriona was
when she completed her work shift last Friday and was on her way
to collect the keys.

Single mum Caitriona and Caitlin were due to move to the newly-
built council estate of Cashel Park in Letterkenny - just a
couple of miles from where she was currently living in Whitethorn

William McNutt, owner of Baird McNutt in Downings where Caitriona
Innes worked as a secretary since last August, said: "Caitriona
was popular and well-liked by all the staff.

"When she left here on Friday, she appeared to be really happy
going to collect the keys of her new house and we are all
devastated and totally shocked at the news we received."

Ms Innes did not report to work on Monday or Tuesday and did not
contact the company in her absence, Mr McNutt confirmed.

The Health Service Executive confirmed that that the family were
not in receipt of any social services and were not on their "at
risk" register.

The HSE has since offered counselling services to second-class
pupil Caitlin's devastated classmates in Scoil Mhuire in the

Tragically, the deaths come after Caitlin made her First Holy
Communion last Saturday.

Shortly after Easter Caitriona's uncle Timmy Heraty, a soldier
based in Finner Camp, died suddenly from a heart condition.

Tragically, two weeks later, his older brother John took his own
life in England.

"It has been very hard on the family. This is just another
tragedy for them. Her poor mother is not great," said a family

Gardai are not treating their deaths as suspicious.

Psychologists were struggling to explain the increase in the
number of parents who have taken their children's lives.

Professor Patricia Casey, of the Mater Hospital, said: "In
general when a parent takes their life and the life of their
child it is due to severe psychiatric illness and depression.

"They might think it is best because they have a distorted view
of reality."

The mother and daughter moved to Letterkenny after Caitriona
broke up with the father of her daughter, with whom she had been
living in Bundoran.

One former neighbour in Bundoran, who did not wish to be named,
described Caitriona as "very pleasant and very hardworking".

"She would never have been under the radar in terms of social
services or anything like that. She worked hard.

"She was very quiet and very pleasant."

Meanwhile, the family of the tragic mother and daughter were
preparing for the bodies of their loved ones to be returned to

Funeral plans have yet to be made.

c Belfast Telegraph


Hunger Striker Bobby Sands' Last Weeks To Be Subject Of Feature
Film For Channel 4

[Published: Thursday 17, May 2007 - 09:02]
By Emily Moulton

The last few weeks of the life of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands
are to be made into a film.

The full-length feature, which is to due to be broadcast on
Channel 4 next year, is to be written and directed by Turner
Prize- winning artist Steve McQueen.

Republican hero Sands (27) died in the Maze Prison in May 1981,
shortly after being elected as a Westminster MP.

He had refused food for 66 days in a protest over political
status for republican prisoners and was the first of 10 men to
die in the hunger strikes.

The production - called Hunger - is due to start filming in
Northern Ireland in September and is scheduled to be broadcast in
2008, with worldwide rights being sold at this year's Cannes Film
Festival. The film, which is being co-written by McQueen and
award- winning Irish screenwriter and playwright Enda Walsh
(Disco Pigs), concentrates on the last six weeks of Sands' life.

Michael Fassbender, who recently starred in the Hollywood
blockbuster 300 and is also in Francois Ozon's Angel, is set to
portray Sands in the political drama.

McQueen explained Hunger would be a film with international
contemporary resonance.

"The body as site of political warfare is becoming a more
familiar phenomenon," he said.

"It is the final act of desperation, your own body is your last
resource for protest. One uses what one has, rightly or wrongly.

"What I want to convey is something you can't find in books or
archive: the ordinariness and extraordinariness of life in this
prison. Yet, also, the film is an abstraction in a certain way, a
meditation on what it is like to die for a cause."

McQueen won the Turner Prize in 1999 with a video inspired by
Buster Keaton.

c Belfast Telegraph

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