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August 31, 2007

Table of Contents - 08/07

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No News Posted in July, 2007
Table of Contents 05/07
Table of Contents 04/07

08/28/07 – Dispelling Irish Language Myths
SF 08/28/07 Dispelling Irish Language Myths - Brolly MLA
IT 08/29/07 DUP Criticises 'Hierarchy Of Victims'
RT 08/28/07 Six E. Coli Cases Investigated In Co Sligo
AN 08/28/07 Opin: Bands Hit Sour Note
DJ 08/28/07 World Class Derry Men In New TV Series
BN 08/28/07 WW II Mine Safely Detonated Off Cork Coast

08/28/07 – UDA Accused of Tar & Feather Attack
BB 08/28/07 Man In 'Tar And Feather' Attack
DJ 08/28/07 SF Meet Police Over Boys' Parade
BB 08/28/07 Fresh Light On Sectarian Murder
BT 08/28/07 Opin: Mob Rule Indefensible

08/27/07 – Govt Accused Over Murder Probe Funding
UT 08/27/07 Government Accused Over Murder Probe Funding
IT 08/27/07 SF Calls For Crackdown On Drug Crime

08/26/07 – Reynolds To Chair Drumcree Talks
UT 08/26/07 Former Taoiseach To Chair Talks
SL 08/26/07 MP's Anger Over Garda 'Collusion' Tribunal Dithering
SB 08/26/07 Informer Claim Can Hurt Sinn Fein
SL 08/26/07 Rival UDA Factions Clash Inside Jail
SL 08/26/07 Hospital Leak Linked To Witness In LVF Case
SL 08/26/07 Adair's Son Back Behind Bars After High-Speed Chase
II 08/26/07 Opin: SF Is Back Playing 'Wind Up The Prods'
AN 08/25/07 Largest Mural Yet
TD 08/26/07 Celtic Tradition Alive On City's Waterfront

08/24/07 - Troubles Group Will Meet Public
BB 08/24/07 Troubles Group Will Meet Public
DJ 08/24/07 Shotgun Blast Through Bradley's Front Door
BT 08/24/07 Unity 'Not Unthinkable'
BT 08/24/07 £1.5 Billion: Price Paid For Sectarianism In Ulster
SF 08/24/07 UUP Have Nothing To Fear From Irish Language
SF 08/24/07 Parade Needs To Ensure No Repeat Of Breaches
IT 08/24/07 Pat Rabbitte: Career At A Glance (Timeline)
IM 08/24/07 Opin: Michael Collins - The Truth
IT 08/24/07 RTÉ Radio Is Holding Its Own
DN 08/24/07 A Dark Tale Of Crucifixtion In Ramelton Church
BN 08/24/07 'Time To Look After Donegal's B&B Sector'

08/24/07 – Pat Rabitte Resigns as Labour Party Leader
EX 08/24/07 Rabbitte’s Exit Leaves Leadership Race Wide Open
SF 08/24/07 Ó Caoláin Responds To Rabbitte’s Resignation
GU 08/24/07 Adams: Panic At Passport Control
SF 08/24/07 Govt Responsible For Water Crisis In Galway
BN 08/23/07 Ireland Among Most Indebted Societies In Europe

08/21/07 – Fresh Moves on 26 Killings
BT 08/21/07 Fresh Moves On 26 Controversial Troubles Killings
BB 08/21/07 NIO Has No Record Of Legal Bills
SF 08/21/07 NIO Judicial Reviews
SF 08/21/07 Tara Decision A Blow To National Heritage
BB 08/21/07 Denmark 0-4 Republic Of Ireland
BT 08/21/07 3,000 Birds' Eggs Stolen From Island
BT 08/21/07 New Ulster Movies At Major Film Festival
TD 08/21/07 Celtic Culture

08/22/07 – McAliskey Was in NI During Bomb
BB 08/22/07 McAliskey 'Was In NI During Bomb'
SF 08/22/07 SF Calls For McAliskey Extradition ToBe Dropped
FH 08/22/07 Hunger Strike Commemoration
ND 08/22/07 Loyalist Presence Is Blasted
TE 08/22/07 Michael Collins Was A Peace Icon, Says Puttnam
IN 08/22/07 Opin: Michael Collins Was A Cold-Blooded Killer
IT 08/22/07 Teen (16) Held In NI Murders Inquiry
BT 08/22/07 Robinson Challenges Coalition Critics
BT 08/22/07 Opin: Peter Robinson: Our Brave New World

08/22/07 – Civil Service Caught Up In Web Scandal
BT 08/21/07 Civil Service Caught Up In Web Scandal
NL 08/21/07 Identity Of Sinn Fein 'Spy' Revealed On Blogs
DJ 08/20/07 Canadian Student Told Derry 'Didn't Exist'
UT 08/21/07 Assets Recovery Agency Boss Bowing Out
BT 08/22/07 Terrorist Videos On YouTube
GU 08/22/07 Opin: Roisin McAliskey A Decade Of Injustice
BT 08/22/07 Opin: Get It Right, You Tubes!
BT 08/22/07 Opin: Now Gerry's On A Collusion Course ...
NL 08/21/07 Opin: The War's Over – But Who Won?
TU 08/21/07 Rev. Greg Brennan: Dedicated Priest, Troy Native Dies

08/19/07 – Nelson Report Critical of RUC Over Threats
SL 08/19/07 Nelson Report Critical Of RUC Over Threats
SF 08/19/07 Catholic Move Out As Loyalists Take Over Rasharkin
BB 08/18/07 UDA Guns Ultimatum 'Not Debated'
IT 08/19/07 DUP MP To Name Sinn Féin 'Spy'
II 08/19/07 Opin: Silent As The Grave While Killers Escape
BB 08/19/07 Aer Lingus Intervention Ruled Out
BN 08/19/07 Government Split On Shannon-Heathrow Decision
RT 08/19/07 Puttnam Delivers Collins Oration

08/16/07 – Death Threats For Sinn Féin Councillor
EE 08/16/07 Death Threats For Sinn Féin Councillor
SF 08/16/07 Threat Caller Traumatises Council Official
AP 08/16/07 Paisley Position On Irish Language Slammed
IV 08/16/07 UDA Money On The Brink
BN 08/16/07 Academics To Discuss Easter Rising Legacy
BB 08/16/07 PSNI Officers 'Lack Forensic Basics'
BT 08/16/07 Irish-Speaking School Closure Is Backed By Ruane
IT 08/16/07 RTÉ Confirms Beverley Flynn Payment
BT 08/16/07 Trimble Has 'No Regrets' Over Assembly Absence
BB 08/16/07 NI 'Now More Popular Destination'
BN 08/16/07 Viking Ship To Be Hoisted Out Of Liffey
IT 08/16/07 Sea Eagle Reintroduced After 100 Years

08/15/07 – PSNI Plans To Decimate Vehicle Fleet
IT 08/15/07 PSNI Plans To Decimate Vehicle Fleet
BB 08/15/07 Wikipedia 'Shows CIA Page Edits'
DJ 08/15/07 Firefighters Endure Further Attacks By Youths
SF 08/15/07 Attacks On Fire Service Have To Stop
RT 08/15/07 E. Coli Contaminates Swords Water
BN 08/15/07 Leaving Cert Grades Down In Irish And Maths
IT 08/16/07 Oaks Planted In Glendalough Renew Irish-Viking Links

08/15/07 – Paisley To Block Irish Language Act
IT 08/15/07 Paisley To Block Irish Language Act
SF 08/15/07 Paisley' Views At Odds With New Political Arena
SM 08/12/07 Diplock Courts Ended July 31st
UT 08/15/07 Government Marks Its First 100 Days In Office
DJ 08/15/07 Half Paisley's Posse Approve Of McGuinness
BT 08/15/07 Football Row 'Shows Need To Tackle Yobs'
BT 08/15/07 Control US Marine Visits Call After City Sex Assaults
IC 08/14/07 Thousands Unite In Call For Truth
EE 08/05/07 Victims Relatives Vilified: Rosemary Nelson's Brother
TO 08/14/07 KPFT’s Close Call: Drive-by Shooting
TO 08/05/07 Opin: Sinn Fein Has Hijacked The History Of Ulster
TA 08/15/07 Diggers' Bloody Role In Irish Uprising
BN 08/14/07 Danes Say Sorry For 9th Century Viking Invasion
LS 08/14/07 Irish Spirits Stirred By The Lonely Stag
IW 08/05/07 Film: “The Lonely Stag” Starring Role
BB 08/08/07 Pensioner Rescued From Mountain
BB 08/08/07 Teams Rescue Man From Cliff Face
SL 08/12/07 Leonardo The Provo!

08/05/07 – McCord: New Revelations Must Spark Inquiry
SL 08/05/07 Explosive Revelations Must Spark Inquiry: McCord
SL 08/05/07 Agents Given 'Free Reign To Murder'
GU 08/05/07 UDA Should Disarm And 'Get Lost', Says Mad Dog
SL 08/05/07 UDA Leader: We've Shot Ourselves In The Foot
BT 08/03/07 Just Who Is In Control Of UDA?
SL 08/05/07 Ex-LVF Chief Blames UVF For Depot Blaze
II 08/04/07 Deputy Sings Out Praises For Leader Paisley
SL 08/05/07 Hardline Loyalist Planning Anti-DUP Protest
SL 08/05/07 Parents Demand Face-To-Face With Spymaster
BN 08/04/07 Protestant Homes Damaged In Sectarian Attack
BT 08/04/07 Opin: Police Protecting The Peace For Us All
IT 08/04/07 Opin: Bard Of Armagh
RO 08/04/07 Remembering Tommy Makem
TE 08/03/07 Tommy Makem
IT 08/04/07 US Musicians Pay Tribute To Makem
IT 08/03/07 A Musical Bridge Linking Tradition And Modernity
NY 08/03/07 Tommy Makem, 74, Hero Of Irish Folk Music, Dies
CP 08/04/07 Speaking In Irish Tongues

08/03/07 – Hamill Inquiry to Proceed at Earliest Opportunity
UT 08/01/07 Hamill Inquiry To Proceed 'At Earliest Opportunity'
DJ 08/03/07 Priests On Patrol 'A Stunt': Fr. Canny
CO 08/02/07 Priest: Irish Catholics Relieved Brits Military Left
AF 07/31/07 Timeline: British Army Role In N.Ireland
BT 08/03/07 Opin: What Will Become of UDA in Peace Process
BT 08/03/07 Opin: Just Who Is In Control Of UDA?
EX 08/03/07 Clancy Leads Tributes To Legend Makem

08/03/07 – UDA Should Take Responsibility For Riot
BB 08/02/07 McGuinness: UDA Should Take Responsibility For Riot
BN 08/03/07 Paisley: No Concessions For Paramilitaries
BB 08/02/07 Orde Hits Out At UDA Over Rioting
BN 08/02/07 Police Under Pressure In North

08/03/07 – Obituaries of Tommy Makem
FO 08/02/07 Music Icon Tommy Makem Dies
EX 08/03/07 Folk Hero Beloved Home And Abroad
BT 08/03/07 Obituary: Tommy Makem: A Musician With Many Guises
IT 08/03/07 Folk Music Legend Tommy Makem Dies In US
BB 08/02/07 Veteran Folk Singer Makem Dies

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August 28, 2007

Dispelling Irish Language Myths

News about Ireland and the Irish

SF 08/28/07 Dispelling Irish Language Myths - Brolly MLA
IT 08/29/07 DUP Criticises 'Hierarchy Of Victims'
RT 08/28/07 Six E. Coli Cases Investigated In Co Sligo
AN 08/28/07 Opin: Bands Hit Sour Note
DJ 08/28/07 World Class Derry Men In New TV Series
BN 08/28/07 WW II Mine Safely Detonated Off Cork Coast


Lets Dispel The Myths And Open Up A Real Debate On Irish
Language"- Brolly MLA

Published: 28 August, 2007

He said,

"Unfortunately the straightforward issue of language
rights, a non-controversial issue in Wales, Scotland, the
South of Ireland and throughout Europe, an issue which
should be judged in the same light as any other expression
of human rights, has been hijacked by the outworkings of
unionist rivalry,"

"DUP politicians are talking up their determination to
block any recognition of the Irish language in a rather
misguided attempt at demonstrating their status within
unionist hegemony,"

"It is as if the status of unionism is being inextricably
linked to the ferocity of its anti-Irish stance. Whenever
the DUP start talking up St Andrews and the UUP the
'Belfast Agreement' it's a sure sign the two rival parties
are engaging in rhetorical fisticuffs,"

"I'm not sure who the DUP and UUP hope to impress but the
issue of language rights is really a paper tiger. Unionists
have nothing to fear from Irish language legislation and
any suggestion otherwise is not only misleading but also
appeals to lowest of sectarian instincts,"

"According to the latest census 75,000 people within the
Six Counties "speak, read, write and understand Irish" with
a further 167,000 people who said they had "some knowledge
of Irish". It is also a growing language. Between 1991 and
2001 (the date of the last census) Irish speakers increased
by 18%. The increasing demand for Irish medium education is
an indication of the value attached to the language by many
families in the North."

"These are the plain facts as opposed to many of the myths
anti-Irish campaigners are currently circulating. One of
the most worrying distortions is the claim that, "more
people speak Chinese than Irish".

"This is a cynical ploy designed to obstruct the rights of
Irish speakers rather than motivated by any genuine concern
for the Chinese speaking community of which there are
around 8,000 in the North. The rights of the Chinese
community are not dependent upon the denial of rights to
the Irish speaking community. To suggest otherwise is to
create an illusion of division where none exists,"

"All languages deserve respect and all language communities
should have access to services. But the Irish language has
a very particular relationship with the island of Ireland.
It is an indigenous language with an unbroken historical
line of being spoken here for over 2,000 years."

"It is part of a common culture and language that has been
shared with Gaelic Scotland for 1,500 years. The names of
the majority of our mountains, rivers, towns and streets
are rooted in the Irish language. The issue of the Irish
language is not just a nationalist issue. The Irish
language is part of the cultural heritage of all of us,"

"There has been a deliberate attempt to inflate the likely
cost of affording language rights to Irish speakers while
measures to address the historical exclusion of Irish
speakers has been presented as an unnecessary burden on the
ordinary taxpayer. But like many of the arguments deployed
by anti Irish campaigners this is also spurious,"

"For example, it has been suggested that bilingual signage
would be very expensive but signage is routinely replaced
and a simple undertaking to introduce bilingual signage,
where there was a demand for Irish, during the normal
course of replacement would not incur any additional cost."

"But where extra costs are incurred, the bottom line has to
be that Irish speakers are also taxpayers and have been
paying towards their own exclusion for decades. All the
Irish speaking community is asking is to be treated equally
in terms of resources with the Welsh language community,"

"Another spurious argument encouraged by anti-Irish
campaigners is the notion that Irish is divisive and
exclusive. Unlike the Orange Order, which has a specific
anti Catholic qualification, there is nothing divisive or
exclusive inherent in the Irish language. The Irish
language is not confined exclusively to any religious,
ethnic or racial group. It is not religion, race or
ethnicity that defines the community of Irish speakers but

He continued,

"Not everyone wants to speak Irish or learn to speak Irish
anymore than every A level student wants to study physics.
But surely it would be strange if by exercising that
choice, a physics student was deemed divisive and
exclusive. Irish speakers aren't asking for special
treatment just parity of treatment in an environment which
respects the fact that people exercise different choices."

"The notion of 'consensus' is also being deployed as a
means of undermining the rights of Irish speakers. Attempts
to force the Irish speaking community to seek the
permission of anti-Irish campaigners is as sensible as
insisting asylum seekers win the approval of the British
National Front. Human rights, and the exercise of human
rights, transcends consensus.

"Unionists have nothing to fear from the Irish language,
Irish speakers or the Irish language community. A former
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau described language
rights as basically two things, the right to speak and the
right to learn. This encapsulates what Irish speakers are
seeking in the North. There's nothing scary about that."

"The British government has already given a commitment to
ensure language rights and there is a mechanism to go back
to the British if this is thwarted. But we'd rather not. If
unionists have concerns about Irish language rights they
need to come forward and engage with us so that we can all
work towards finding ways to resolving those concerns.
Let's dispel the myths and open up a real debate,"



DUP Criticises 'Hierarchy Of Victims'

Dan Keenan
Wed, Aug 29, 2007

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson has accused the British
government of creating a "hierarchy of victims" in Northern
Ireland over its funding of investigations of unsolved
killings during the Troubles.

The SDLP has also criticised the government, calling for
the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), which is investigating
more than 2,500 "cold cases" since 1969, to receive its
full cash allocation of £34 million (€50 million) upfront.

Mr Donaldson, the Lagan Valley MP, accused the government
of failing to provide adequate funds for the HET, forcing
it to draw on some £4 million from the general policing

"It is totally unacceptable that the government should fail
to honour a commitment to properly fund the HET and it is
also unreasonable that money allocated had to be taken from
the chief constable's budget," he said.

"The government must give the issue priority. With over
3,000 unsolved murders it is totally unacceptable that the
funding of these inquiries should have to come from the
policing budget.

Comparing the HET allocation of £32 million over six years
to the £150 million spent on the Bloody Sunday inquiry, Mr
Donaldson added: "You are looking at a hierarchy of
victimhood where some victims are given priority over

The SDLP's Dolores Kelly, a member of the Assembly and the
Policing Board, said the manner of the HET's funding was

"The chief constable should not have to choose between
combating crime and investigating the past," she said.

"HET should have got the £34 million it needed upfront. The
British government promised victims truth and justice and
offered the HET as an alternative to public inquiries. It
has now crippled the public inquiry system in the name of
political expediency, and it cannot be allowed to strangle
the HET on the same grounds," she said.

The HET, established in 2005, comprises more than 100
police officers from a range of police forces. Some 693
murder files have been reopened.

© 2007 The Irish Times


Six E. Coli Cases Investigated In Co Sligo

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 19:24

Six cases of E. coli are being investigated in Co Sligo by
the Health Services Executive.

The Departments of Public Health and Environmental Health
are working to identify the source of the infection.

There are concerns about a possible association between the
infections and people who had been in Enniscrone, Co Sligo
between 20 July and 20 August, 2007.

The HSE states that the investigation is in
the early stages and no conclusive findings have yet been

As a precautionary measure, the HSE would like to identify
anyone who visited, stayed in, or ate food in Enniscrone,
Co Sligo between 20 July and 20 August and who subsequently
became ill with diarrhoea or vomiting or abdominal pain.

All of these people are requested to contact the HSE
helpline at 1890 200 548. The helpline will be open from
4pm to 8pm today and 9am to 6pm everyday until Friday 31

According to the HSE, E. coli is a cause of gastroenteritis
that may lead to vomiting and diarrhoea and sometimes
severe abdominal pain.


Opin: Bands Hit Sour Note

With depressing inevitability, loyalist bandsmen passing
the Short Strand on Saturday gave a two-fingered salute to
the Parades Commission by blatantly flaunting that body’s
ruling that the only sound that they could make when
passing the East Belfast nationalist enclave was a single

It’s hugely disappointing as we try to leave our dark past
behind us and move together into a shared future that
certain people remain unwilling or unable to show the kind
of compromise and goodwill that is required to make

This is not the first time that this Apprentice Boys parade
has thumbed its nose at the Parades Commission. Last year
the same restrictions were placed on the bands and what
music they could play, and last year they were ignored as
well. As far as we can make out, the penalty that they paid
for last year’s behaviour was zero, and there’s no reason
to suppose that they will be punished this time either,
even though the Parades Commission acknowledged the breach
yesterday, saying it had monitors in situ who witnessed the
bands ignoring their determination.

There’s no reason that the march should happen in the first
place, as the bandsmen get off a bus on the way to
somewhere else just so they can swagger past the Strand.
Given that fact, the people of the area have shown great
forbearance in maintaining their dignity and calm. But if
the march must take place, the nationalist people who put
up with it must be assured that some control is being
exercised over it by the relevant authorities, otherwise
chaos will soon prevail. In this case the Parades
Commission has been seen to have no control whatsoever, and
that is an unfortunate state of affairs. The Parades
Commission must act now to censure the organisers of this
march in some meaningful way, otherwise they are storing up
endless trouble for the future.



'World Class' Derry Men In New TV Series

By Staff reporter

Two Derry men are to feature in a new television series
focusing on "world-class achievers".

Patrick Johnston, who is leading the world in cancer
research, and lawyer Des Doherty, who advised Saddam
Hussein's defence team, will come under the spotlight in
‘Thinking Big’, a new series from BBC Northern Ireland.

The first of the three-part series (Monday, September 3,
10.35 pm) looks at Professor Patrick Johnston, one of the
world’s top oncologists who is transforming the way in
which cancer is treated.

Born in Donegal, his family moved to Derry where he spent
his formative years. Johnston is now the Dean of Medicine
at Queen’s University and was the driving force behind the
new Northern Ireland Clinical Cancer Centre.

In the programme, Professor Johnston returns to America
where he spent 10 years studying oncology at the world
renowned National Cancer Institute in Washington DC. He
also visits Singapore, where the local administration has
enlisted his help in improving cancer care there.

In ten years he has transformed Northern Ireland to become
a true world leader in treatment and research.

The second programme looks at Des Doherty. Until now, the
Derry lawyer has refused to speak publicly about his most
famous client - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Doherty became involved in the trial of the century after
forging an international reputation as a first-rate lawyer.

Born in Derry’s Creggan Estate, he failed his eleven plus
but never allowed this setback to hold him back. Apart from
the Saddam case, he has represented victims of the Dublin-
Monaghan bombings and the Omagh atrocity.

However, it was his work at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that
brought him to the attention of some of London’s finest

The BBC publicity surrounding the new series says of Mr.
Doherty: “This is a man who defies convention. Viewers will
see him as he wrestles with his role in defending a despot
and the moral dilemmas he faced in taking on the legal
world’s most difficult client.”

Trevor Birney, producer, said: “Northern Ireland has been
short of role models but each of these men are truly
inspirational. They have faced and overcome huge challenges
in their careers and have not allowed Northern Ireland’s
troubled history or geographic location to prevent them
from building global reputations and businesses.

“The series crosses all spectrums of age, religion and
social class and demonstrates that ordinary people in
Northern Ireland can be successful on the world stage
without leaving home.”

Last Updated: 27 August 2007 2:53 PM


World War II Mine Safely Detonated Off Cork Coast

28/08/2007 - 15:56:28

A World War II sea mine which was found off the coast of
West Cork today has been safely detonated.

The live device, which was designed to take out submarines,
was discovered this morning by a local fishing vessel.

Navy divers and the army bomb disposal unit have now
carried out a controlled explosion of the mine, which was
packed with up to 360 pounds of explosives.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces said it was a
dangerous operation.

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UDA Accused of Tar & Feather Attack

News about Ireland and the Irish

The attack is believed to have been carried out by two men

BB 08/28/07 Man In 'Tar And Feather' Attack
DJ 08/28/07 SF Meet Police Over Boys' Parade
BB 08/28/07 Fresh Light On Sectarian Murder
BT 08/28/07 Opin: Mob Rule Indefensible


Man In 'Tar And Feather' Attack

A man was subjected to a so-called 'tarring and feathering'
attack in south Belfast on Sunday.

It is thought the attack was carried out by two men wearing
balaclavas as a crowd including women and children looked

The victim was made to wear a placard reading 'I'm a drug
dealing scum bag'.

Frankie Gallagher of the UPRG, the political wing of the
UDA, said the paramilitary grouping was not involved in the

Mr Gallagher said that "local people had gone to the UDA to
ask them to sort it out", but that it told them to go to
the police.

He claims that the police then failed to act on information
passed on and that people in the area decided to take the
matter into their own hands.

However, Alliance leader David Ford said: "Despite denials
from the UPRG, most people will find it very hard to
believe that the UDA was not involved in this despicable

Northern Ireland's Social Development Margaret Ritchie said
that this type of incident had "no place in a civilised

"If the UDA is involved it is a stark demonstration of the
thuggery and violence which I made clear has to end if the
funding to the CTI (Conflict Transformation Initiative)
project is to continue," she continued.

Ms Ritchie's direct rule predecessor initiated the £1.2m
scheme which aimed to encourage redevelopment in loyalist
communities through the UDA aligned UPRG.

On 10 August, Ms Ritchie said she would withdraw support
from the project unless there was clear evidence of
decommissioning and reduced criminality.

No trace

Although the police were made aware of the incident, by the
time officers arrived in the loyalist estate, neither the
victim nor his attackers could be found.

"A report of an incident in Finwood Park, Taughmonagh, was
received shortly after 10.10pm on Sunday evening," a
spokesman said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/08/28 09:38:42 GMT


SF Meet Police Over Boys' Parade

By Staff reporter

Sinn Fein have met police in Derry to raise "key concerns"
over the recent Apprentice Boys' Parade in the city.

The meeting was a follow-up to the republican party’s
historic first meeting with police in Derry on August 7 to
discuss the August 12 parades in Derry.

The Sinn Fein delegation included Raymond McCartney MLA and
Waterside Councillor Lynn Fleming while the police team was
led by Area Commander Richard Russell.

Mr. McCartney said the meeting focussed primarily on
“accessibility and movement of citizens” in the city on the
day of the Apprentice Boys’ parade.

“We also raised issues about the behaviour of several bands
and supporters, on street drinking and incidents which took
place around the Memorial Hall on the night prior to the

“These engagements are part of a process to ensure that the
rights of everyone in this city are protected.

“Sinn Fein's focus in all of our engagements with the PSNI
- indeed with all of the policing structures - will be to
ensure that it carries out its duties and responsibilities
in a fair and impartial way, as a civic police service,
which is democratically accountable to the public.”

Mr. Russell described the meeting as “highly positive”.

“The debriefing process is useful in that it allows us to
look at areas where we have been successful and equally
highlights any concerns or issues that can be improved upon
for next year,” he said.

Last Updated: 27 August 2007 4:43 PM


Fresh Light On Sectarian Murder

The son of a man murdered in the early Troubles has said a
fresh investigation has helped his family understand more
about their father's death.

Benny Moane, a Catholic father of six, was a sales
representative for the Irish Bonding Company.

In May 1972, he was abducted by three men from the loyalist
Shankill area and taken to the Knockagh Monument, a war
memorial in County Antrim.

His captors sat and drank whiskey and beer samples from his
car at the scene.

They warned visitors to the monument to stay away because
they said Mr Moane was an IRA man, an allegation
subsequently refuted by the police.

During his abduction, Mr Moane pleaded with his captors to
save his life as he was an innocent person with a wife and
six young children. But he was shot dead.

His son, also called Bernard, who was 15 when his father
was murdered, said: "Daddy was a great family man and he
worked long hours.

"There are six of us - I'm the oldest, I've a brother and
four sisters - and we were leading a normal family life.

"Then suddenly, our father was taken away from my mother
and us and our family life was destroyed forever. We still
miss him so much."

When the Historical Enquiries Team - a police investigative
unit set up to re-examine murders from Northern Ireland's
Troubles - contacted the family last October to say they
were re-examining the murder, Bernard said his family had
no hesitation about getting involved.

"It was a matter of presenting questions to the HET that
would be penetrative enough so they could find the answers
to the questions which had been on our minds over the
years," Mr Moane said.

He said his father had been in a bar just days after a
Protestant teenager from the Shankill was murdered.

The family got more from the re-investigation than any
publication or any newspaper article ever could have
because it went into a deeper process

Bernard Moane

It is believed the perpetrators overheard a conversation
between Benny and the owner saying he should leave as he
was a Catholic and did not want to cause any offence to
mourners from the boy's funeral in the bar.

"The perpetrators obviously overheard their conversation
and decided they were going to do something. Unfortunately
and with deep regret they decided to murder my father.

"In a sense we received some answers to our questions from
the HET and the family got more from the re-investigation
than any publication or any newspaper article ever could
have because it went into a deeper process.

"They investigated all avenues in the case and were able to
obtain copy transcript reports, interview notes from the
officers who interviewed the murderers and spoke to
detectives (now retired) who investigated the case," he

"The final resolution report provided us with a greater
understanding of why my father was killed on a particular
day. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

However, Mr Moane said only the perpetrators know all the
facts and his family will never have all the information
unless two of the three - one is now dead - confess on
their death beds.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/08/28 05:46:22 GMT


Opin: Mob Rule Indefensible

[Published: Tuesday 28, August 2007 - 10:48]

Shocking, disgusting and completely indefensible. That will
be the reaction to the return of so-called tarring and
feathering to the streets of Belfast.

Now a practice that all rational people had thought
consigned to the dustbin of history has suddenly reared its
ugly head again.

Once common in the 1970s, it resurfaced briefly in 2003
when two teenagers were attacked in Ardoyne by republicans
and again a year later in attacks by loyalists.

The UPRG, which lends 'political advice' to the UDA, has
said that the weekend attack was not carried out by the
paramilitary organisation. Nevertheless, it is clear from
comments made to the media that the UPRG supports
'community action' of this kind.

The only principle that the URPG should be supporting is
the principle of the rule of law. If an accusation is made
against any person, it should be investigated by the police
and, if evidence exists, he or she should be brought before
the courts.

The man attacked at the weekend is innocent until proven
guilty, whether members of the local community accept that
or not.

'Community action' is a completely misleading phrase.
Tarring and feathering is simply the rule of the mob - and
that is unacceptable in any society.

© Belfast Telegraph

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August 27, 2007

Govt Accused Over Murder Probe Funding

News about Ireland and the Irish

UT 08/27/07 Government Accused Over Murder Probe Funding
IT 08/27/07 SF Calls For Crackdown On Drug Crime


Government Accused Over Murder Probe Funding

The British government was accused today of failing to
deliver on a pledge to fund an investigative unit re-
examining murders from Northern Ireland's Troubles.

Dave Cox, head of the Historical Enquiries Team, revealed
that last year`s funding, worth £4 million, had to come out
of Sir Hugh Orde`s policing budget for Northern Ireland,
even though the government promised two years ago that it
would provide £32 million for the work over six years.

But as Northern Ireland Office officials prepared a stock-
take of the HET, Mr Cox vowed the review of 3,268 murders
between 1969 and 1998 would go on even if it had to be
funded from the existing Police Service of Northern Ireland

"There`s been a lot of publicity about a stock-taking of
the HET process and that`s fine," Mr Cox said.

"We`re up for being audited and we`re up for justifying
what we do because we believe it is a very valuable

"But the message this sends out to families is: `Are you
going to pull the process then? Is it going to stop? I am
on the chronological list and they are not going to get to
me for another couple of years. Does that mean they are
going to change their mind and after all these promises
they won`t come?`

"The chief (Sir Hugh) has been very upfront about all this
and I will as well. We will get around to all the families
because the chief has told me if the NIO do not fund us, he

"The point is we are almost back to square one as far as
the PSNI budget is concerned. You have the demands of
current policing on the chief`s day-to-day budget, which is
why the (NIO-backed) project fund was set up for HET.

"If the money the chief has for current policing is
diverted to policing the past, then that has a big impact
on his planning."

In March 2005, then Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy
earmarked more than £24 million for the unit, which was the
brainchild of Sir Hugh, and almost #8 million for forensic
scientists assisting its work.

A team of 100 investigators have so far worked on 700 cases
and completed 262, working closely with the families of
those killed.

However, with former Church of Ireland Primate Lord Eames
and ex-Northern Ireland Policing Board vice chairman Denis
Bradley heading up a review into how the province can best
address the past, concerns are mounting among some families
that the Government may be preparing to wind down the HET.

Bernard Moane, whose father, Benny, was abducted in Belfast
and murdered by loyalists at a war monument outside
Carrickfergus in May 1972, today backed calls for the
Government to honour its original funding pledge.

Mr Moane, whose father`s murder was reviewed by the team
between last October and June, told PA: "There have been
certain rumours going around about whether the HET should
continue or not or whether there is enough money to enable
it to continue or not.

"In my view if the Government can afford to spend well over
#100 million on the Bloody Sunday inquiry, then I do not
see why they cannot find additional money or enough money,
sufficient resources for the HET to deliver on what they
were asked to do in their initial brief."

As he prepared to meet NIO officials, Mr Cox said a lot
could be learned by the Eames and Bradley review from the

"Our experience to date has been that it`s the people who
suffered and lost in the Troubles are the people who should
first be consulted," he said.

"We devised our process tailored around our interaction
with the families, asking them `What is it you want to

"Any process devised by Bradley and Eames or whoever, if it
doesn`t start by asking the families what they want out of
this and end up by delivering what they need, then in my
view that will be a waste of money because you have got to
go to the people who are suffering.

"We have started work in 700 cases and that means we have
got at least a prospect that within a relatively defined
period of time they will have some answers about what
happened to their loved ones.

"It is not like these massive public inquiries which sit
months and months taking evidence and then their
considerations take years after that. We are a much more
refined process than that.

"We looked at our set disciplines and try and answer the
families` questions. In many cases they are not actually
about who pulled the trigger but are much more personal

A Northern Ireland Office spokesman insisted the PSNI had
not lost out on any funding, even though the HET money had
come out of its budget.

"The total budget for the entire HET project is £34
million," he revealed.

"At the end of the financial year 06/07 the total spend for
the project was £9.5 million, of which the PSNI spend was
£8.13 million.

"During the 06/07 financial year the PSNI spend was £4.18
million, which was met from the overall PSNI budget and has
been deducted from the £34 million allocated to the HET


SF Calls For Crackdown On Drug Crime

Last Updated: 27/08/2007 16:58

Sinn Féin has called for serious drug and gun crime to be
made a priority in the Garda Policing Plan 2008.

Speaking at the launch of the party's submission to the
policing plan, the party's justice spokesman Aengus Ó
Snodaigh said gardaí must crackdown on serious drug and gun

He said the Special Branch should be disbanded, re-trained
and re-deployed to focus on organised crime.

Mr Ó'Snodaigh also called for a higher garda profile in
areas suffering public drug dealing problems.

"One of our key demands for 2008 is to see more gardaí on
foot and on bicycles patrolling anti-social behaviour
hotspots and residential areas with greater frequency and
particularly during the hours when problematic and criminal
behaviour occurs", he said.

The party said it also wanted to see all future policing
plans work towards the establishment of an all-Ireland
policing service.

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August 26, 2007

Reynolds To Chair Drumcree Talks

News about Ireland and the Irish

UT 08/26/07 Former Taoiseach To Chair Talks
SL 08/26/07 MP's Anger Over Garda 'Collusion' Tribunal Dithering
SB 08/26/07 Informer Claim Can Hurt Sinn Fein
SL 08/26/07 Rival UDA Factions Clash Inside Jail
SL 08/26/07 Hospital Leak Linked To Witness In LVF Case
SL 08/26/07 Adair's Son Back Behind Bars After High-Speed Chase
II 08/26/07 Opin: SF Is Back Playing 'Wind Up The Prods'
AN 08/25/07 Largest Mural Yet
TD 08/26/07 Celtic Tradition Alive On City's Waterfront


Former Taoiseach To Chair Talks

SUNDAY 26/08/2007 12:35:08

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds is said to be involved in
secret talks aimed at resolving the Drumcree dispute.

Also involved in the process are Sinn Fein`s Martin
McGuinness, Drumcree rector John Pickering and district
manager of the Portadown Orange Order, Darryl Hewitt.

Reynolds is tipped to chair formal talks between the Orange
Order and nationalists.

The Parades Commission is to propose that Reynolds be
appointed as mediator when they meet with the Garvaghy Road
Residents Coalition on Wednesday.


MP's Anger Over Garda 'Collusion' Tribunal Dithering

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 09:36]
By Alan Murray

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson has expressed concern over delays
to the tribunal probing alleged Garda collusion in the IRA
murders of top RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in

The pair were ambushed on the border as they returned from
a meeting with Garda counterparts in Dundalk.

The Smithwick Inquiry was set up by the Dublin Government
two years ago but has yet to hold any public sessions.

Mr Donaldson said it was essential the way was cleared for
former Army agent 'Kevin Fulton' - who penetrated the
Provos in Newry - to give a full account to the tribunal.

The Lagan Valley MP said: "I am very concerned about the
delay which appears to have arisen because of concerns on
the part of Kevin Fulton that he may be compromised if he
makes full disclosure of what he knows and the
circumstances in which he came to know that detail as an
Army agent.

"Kevin Fulton's evidence is crucial to the success of the
inquiry in obtaining first-hand accounts of potential
collusion between a member or members of the Garda and the
IRA in the murder of these two officers.

"It is essential that British Government agencies clear the
way for Fulton to give a full account to the inquiry
otherwise many will question the sincerity of the
Government's commitment to get at the truth in this
important case."

Meanwhile, the tribunal has disowned reports that the
inquiry was being delayed because of Fulton's refusal to
give evidence. Stories emanating from Dublin suggested
Fulton's attitude was the main reason the tribunal had
failed to hold any evidence sessions to date.

The tribunal still hasn't replied to correspondence from
Fulton seeking clarification on legal immunity provisions
in the Republic for him.

Fulton has been warned that any evidence he gives in Dublin
relating to IRA activity he had knowledge of in Northern
Ireland could be used as evidence to prosecute him in
British courts.

He has so far refused to agree to testify on his knowledge
of the IRA's links to Garda in the Dundalk area until he
receives assurances that he will not face prosecution in
either the Republic or Northern Ireland.

The tribunal refused to comment on reports blaming Kevin
Fulton for the delay, but it's reliably understood that an
official working for the tribunal contacted Fulton's
solicitor and denied it was pointing the finger of blame at

A lawyer acting for Army agent Freddie Scappaticci has
already asked the tribunal for paid legal services, while a
senior Sinn Fein man alleged to be one of the gunmen in the
Breen/Buchanan attack is also understood to have made
contact seeking similar facilities.

© Belfast Telegraph


Informer Claim Can Hurt Sinn Fein

26 August 2007

Allegations that a Sinn Fein Assembly member was a British
agent highlight the delicacy of the political situation,
writes Colm Heatley in Belfast.

When a Democratic Unionist Party power-sharing sceptic
alleged that a Sinn Fein figure was a British agent, his
intention was almost certainly to cause difficulties for
Sinn Fein.

David Simpson, a gospel-singing hardline unionist, claimed
a well-known Sinn Fein man had been acting as an informer
to the British since the early 1980s. Simpson claimed the
alleged informer had played a role in the murder of
Frederick Lutton, a cousin of Simpson.

Lutton, who was killed in May 1979,was an RUC reservist
from a well-known unionist family in Moy, Co Tyrone.

Whatever the truth of the claim - and, so far, Simpson has
not provided any evidence - the allegation highlights how
the North’s past still affects its current political

Republicans have accused Simpson of attempting to derail
the progress made at the Stormont assembly by making the

They say sceptics such as Simpson, allied with remnants of
the Special Branch, are attempting to halt the Sinn Fein
political project.

Since Freddie Scappaticci, a former senior figure in the
IRA’s internal security unit, was outed as a British agent
in 2003, the Sinn Fein leadership has been vulnerable to
accusations that informers still operate at senior levels
within the republican movement.

That feeling was heightened in December 2005 when Denis
Donaldson, a senior and well-regarded Sinn Fein member,
confessed he had been working as a long-term British agent.
Donaldson was found shot dead at a remote house in Donegal
in April 2006.

In the wake of the Donaldson affair, more than a dozen
republicans, mainly based in Belfast, were named in the
media as informers.

However, as in the case of Simpson’s allegations, no proof
was presented - and many of those named still play an
active role within republicanism.

Simpson claims the Sinn Fein figure was recruited as an
informer after being found in a compromising sexual

Some dissident republicans claim this related to an
incident in a caravan the party was using as an election
vehicle in Coal island, Co Tyrone, shortly after the 1981
hunger strikes.

However, no proof has been offered and, unsurprisingly,
Sinn Fein has made little comment on the claims.
Republicans in the North were last week asking where the
evidence was, and the man who Simpson is believed to be
referring to said he was taking legal advice about the

What is known is that over the past two years, republicans
have conducted their own inquiries into informers within
their ranks across Ireland.

A fortnight ago, the Fox family from Co Tyrone, whose
elderly mother and father were killed by loyalists in 1994,
called on Sinn Fein to ‘‘come clean’’ on the role of
informers within republican ranks.

Past experience of people such as Donaldson and
Scappaticci, has taught republicans that nothing can be
ruled out but, in the meantime, they are treating the
informer claims with some caution.

The wave of hysteria that surrounded Donaldson’s outing -
and what were perceived as attempts to destabilise
republicanism in early 2006 - have bred caution within
republican circles about such stories.

Republican leaders have made no official comment on the
latest claims. Simpson has refused to comment further on
his claims, despite saying that he may name the Sinn Fein
member under parliamentary privilege when Westminster re-
opens in October.

Sources say Simpson is convinced of the accuracy of his
story and is confident that a number of policemen will come
forward to support him.

If his allegations are proven, it would be a blow to Sinn
Fein, especially in east Tyrone, which was one of the most
militant republican areas during the Troubles.

However, the DUP has something of a chequered history when
it comes to naming republicans, or those it suspects of
being republicans, under parliamentary privilege.

In 1999, DUP leader Ian Paisley named Eugene Reavey as one
of the organisers of the 1976Kingsmill massacre, when ten
Protestant workmen were killed by republicans.

Reavey’s three brothers had been killed by a UVF gang at
their south Armagh home in the same year.

Earlier this year, the Historical Enquiries Team, which was
set up to look at unsolved murders, said that Reavey had no
connection with Kingsmill, or with republicanism in any
form. Reavey asked Paisley to apologise, but the DUP leader
has yet to do so.

More recently, Peter Robinson, the DUP deputy leader,
alleged under parliamentary privilege that one of the most
successful businessmen in the North, Peter Curistan, had
links to republicanism.

That allegation was also hotly disputed, and Curistan has
taken legal action in the courts to rebut Robinson’s

Some sources have pointed to the location of the Lutton
murder as a reason why the Sinn Fein member has been
implicated, rather than any hard intelligence.

Lutton was killed just a hundred yards from where the Sinn
Fein man lived, and he became a prime suspect for the RUC
in the follow-up investigation.

Whatever the truth of Simpson’s claims, they are sure to
poison the political atmosphere when Stormont re-opens in a
few weeks’ time.

Some observers have suggested that that was Simpson’s
motive in the whole affair, claiming that he wanted to
cause difficulties for the power-sharing government, rather
than get to the truth of collusion.

In such a scenario, allegations may be made, even on the
flimsiest of evidence. Certainly, Simpson has never fully
embraced the reality of power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

Earlier this year, he was seen as a key opponent to the
idea of sitting in government with republicans.

While other DUP members, notably Robinson, are keen for
power-sharing to run smoothly and want to get down to the
business of government, Simpson has been, at best, lukewarm
about the new political arrangements.

It is also claimed that Simpson has a close relationship
with former members of the security forces, many of whom
are opposed to Sinn Fein being in government.

If Simpson’s claims prove to be unfounded - as with
Paisley’s allegations against Reavey - the whole episode
may say more about the internal state of the DUP, and the
opposition to power-sharing within sections of the party,
than it does about Sinn Fein. In a wider sense, the
allegations are proof that the ‘‘dirty war’’ waged in the
North is not yet over.

Many people believe British collusion with loyalists was
widespread and systematic. For many nationalists,
especially the families directly affected by alleged state
collusion, getting to the truth of the matter is a top

At a rally in Belfast a fortnight ago, Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams said the state’s role in collusion must be
brought into the open and admitted some republicans acted
as agents for the state.

There is a growing feeling among nationalists that getting
to the truth of the matter may involve washing some of the
republican movement’s dirty linen in public.


Rival UDA Factions Clash Inside Jail

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 10:22]
By Alan Murray

Rival UDA factions have clashed inside Maghaberry Prison.

The behind-bars bust-up between members of the breakaway
south east Antrim UDA faction and mainstream UDA figures
erupted on Friday night.

Snooker cues and balls inside socks were used as weapons
during the fighting, which led to the entire prison being
closed down.

One prisoner was taken to hospital with a facial injury
following the clashes. Prison sources say the trouble began
when a group from south east Antrim defied a warning not to
enter the dining area of Bush House.

" It was a pitched battle and the inner council prisoners
seem to have come off worst," one prison source said.

"The whole jail was locked down after the alarm was sounded
and an ambulance was called and took one man away to an
outside hospital."

A Prison Service spokes-man said: "There was an incident in
the recreation area on Friday evening involving prisoners
from the loyalist separation wing in Bush House. As a
result, landings one and two were closed down."

© Belfast Telegraph


Hospital Leak Linked To Witness In LVF Case

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 10:03]
By Ciaran McGuigan and Mick Browne

Cops probing suspected leaks of medical records at a top
Ulster hospital believe they may be linked to the
intimidation of witnesses in a loyalist terror case.

It's understood that an investigation into suspected
breaches of confidentially at the Craigavon Area Hospital
is directly linked to a series of threatening emails
received by people who have given evidence against a
notorious LVF gang.

Sunday Life understands that information contained in a
number of emails received by a victim of intimidation
included material that could only have been discovered by
someone with access to her medical files.

The victim is believed to have given evidence to police in
relation to a serious assault in Lurgan last December.

When the victim received the intimidating emails she
alerted cops, who are now investigating the source of the

It's understood that the home of an employee of the
hospital was raided by cops last month and a computer

Police and hospital authorities are now trying to establish
if an employee has accessed private records and passed on

Sources close to the probe believe that as many as TEN
patient files may have been illegally accessed at the
hospital. And a number of people in the Lurgan area have
been warned that their details may have fallen into the
hands of the gang.

In relation to the raid, a police spokesman said: "Police
carried out a search in the Lurgan area as part of an
ongoing investigation. A number of items were seized for
further examination. "

A spokeswoman for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust
said: "We have been notified of these allegations that
medical records were accessed.

"We take any breach of patient confidentiality very
seriously and we are investigating it at this time."

SDLP MLA Delores Kelly called on police to ensure that the
investigation into alleged intimidation of witnesses was
completed quickly.

"I am very concerned that people brave enough to take a
stand against known members of loyalist terror gangs should
be given support and that when that support is forthcoming,
it will encourage other people to take a stand against
these parasites in our community," she said.

© Belfast Telegraph


Adair's Son Back Behind Bars After High-Speed Chase

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 10:00]
By Ciaran McGuigan

The convicted crack-cocaine dealing son of Johnny 'Mad Dog'
Adair has been caged again.

This time Jonathan 'Mad Pup' Adair has been banged up for
seven months following a high-speed police chase in

Ayr Sheriff's Court was told last week how cops spotted the
dopey drug dealer - who has never had a licence - driving
through the streets of the Scottish town.

When they tried to arrest him he sped off and police lost

The motor had been abandoned when cops eventually found it
and Adair was arrested nearby.

Prosecutors said that when Adair was searched, police found
a metal tube containing traces of cocaine.

Lawyers acting for the young loyalist, who has previous
form for dealing heroin and crack as well as a string of
other offences, played down his criminal past by comparing
his record to that of his terrorist dad!

Solicitor Glenn Davis told the court: "My client has had a
difficult upbringing, living in Belfast and Bolton before
moving to this area.

"His father has expressed anger at his continued offending
and is determined his son will keep on the right side of
the law and that he will not emulate the criminal record
held by his father.

"His record, in relative terms, is minor."

Adair, who has been living in Troon, pleaded guilty to
driving without due care, speeding, driving while
disqualified and driving with no insurance. He was jailed
for seven months.

He was already banned from driving, even though he has
never had a licence.

He was "admonished" on a drugs possession charge.

Adair made similar promises to stay out of trouble when he
was released from a young offenders centre after being
jailed for supplying drugs in Bolton.

He served just 13 months of a four-year sentence after
being caught running a 'dial-a-drug' heroin and crack-
cocaine operation with Shankill brothers William and Ian

Cops believed the gang was trying to take over lucrative
drugs trade in the Lancashire town.

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: SF Is Back Playing 'Wind Up The Prods'

Gerry Adams's recent activities are upsetting republicans
as well as unionists, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Sunday August 26 2007

What is Gerry Adams up to? In theory, he should be striving
to consolidate the power-sharing deal at Stormont. Are
republicans not supposed to be delighted that Ian Paisley
and Martin McGuinness seem to be getting on so well that
they've been nicknamed the 'The Chuckle Brothers'? Yet
Adams's recent activities are so undermining the delicate
relationship between the DUP and Sinn Fein as to have the
potential to blow it apart.

There are plenty of contentious issues that the Executive
can resolve only with the utmost goodwill. The two parties
are fundamentally at loggerheads over, for instance, an
Irish Language Act, the Sinn Fein demand for a national
stadium on the Maze site with a hunger strikers' cosy
corner and the choice of a new victims' commissioner. Even
more important is the chasm between the parties about the
devolution of justice and policing to Stormont: SF want it
to happen next May; the DUP want a guarantee first that
their colleagues in power are truly wedded to upholding law
and order and the State that pays them.

So you might think that Sinn Fein would wish to reassure
unionists of their peaceable and honourable intentions. Was
that not the purpose of setting up Unionist Outreach almost
two years ago -- even if they rather spoiled it by
appointing a convicted terrorist, Martina Anderson, to be
its frontperson?

Why is Gerry Adams not uttering soothing words about peace
and harmony rather than -- as he's been doing for weeks --
playing with increasing aggression the time-honoured
republican game known as 'winding up the Prods'.

One of the sorest spots for unionists (and, indeed,
constitutional nationalists) is that by screaming collusion
at every turn, republicans are trying to market the fiction
that they didn't murder anyone.

Unionists know the statistics: republican paramilitaries
killed 2,160 or so and lost fewer than 400; loyalists
killed 1,000 and lost just over 170; the British army
killed 301 and lost 503; local defence forces (UDR and RIR)
killed 8 and lost 206 and the RUC killed 50 and lost 303.
So by any reckoning, republicans killed more than all the
other participants put together, paramilitaries of all
persuasions got off very lightly and the security forces
suffered disproportionately.

Those truths of course don't suit the republican
revisionists. The present Adams-led initiative seeks not
just to airbrush out the nastier bits of their three
decades of hideous and pointless violence: they're trying
to change their image completely. Think of replacing
Stalin's photograph with Gandhi and you've got the general

Republicans used to demand that there be no hierarchy of
victims. Unionists feel these days that there is a
hierarchy, and republicans are at the top.

They're already upset that all public inquiries in Northern
Ireland are focusing on victims dear to republicans (except
Billy Wright, whom most unionists despise) and all other
investigations seem never to touch on paramilitary wrong-

For a long time, the SF mantra has been that the British
government directed and colluded in all murders committed
by loyalists. Now we are being asked to believe that the
British government and its agents were behind all the
deaths of the Troubles. (

That Lord Eames -- the former Archbishop of Armagh -- and
Denis Bradley, who have been given the job of coming up
with ideas on how to address the legacy of the Troubles,
should have headed off to London to discuss collusion with
Lord Stevens does not reassure unionists.)

Adams's recent activities climaxed in the 'March for Truth'
he led a fortnight ago. Outside Belfast City Hall, wearing
a black armband to symbolise solidarity with victims, the
Sinn Fein president told around 2,000 followers that there
would be no let-up in the search for truth until "the
British state acknowledges its administrative and
institutional use of state violence and collusion".

Coming from someone who led the IRA and denies even being a
member, this didn't go down too well. Nor did the fact that
participants carried replica weapons and IRA insignia,
although the Parades Commission prohibits paramilitary

The outrage from the grassroots expressed in radio phone-
ins and the letters pages of the unionist Newsletter was
deeply alarming for the DUP: even the mild-mannered Jeffrey
Donaldson is calling for prosecutions.

So it is hardly surprising that the MP David Simpson went
on the offensive by announcing his intention of naming
under parliamentary privilege a prominent SF politician as
the man who had planned his [Simpson's] cousin's murder in
1979 and who had then become a police informer.

So the primary result of Adams's most recent activities has
been to stir up the DUP heartlands and cause consternation
in republican ranks.

Is it possible that his humiliation in the Irish election
has unhinged him?


Largest Mural Yet

By Ciarán Barnes

Work on what is expected to be Belfast’s biggest mural
started in earnest this week.

A 48-feet stretch of wall that runs along Beechmount Avenue
will soon be transformed into what locals are terming ‘The
Collusion Wall’.

The mural, which will be a mixture of paintings and perspex
images, will tell the story of collusion between the
British security services and loyalist paramilitaries.

Central to the piece will be images of more than 100 murder
victims who died as a result of collusion.

The Mid-Falls Commemoration Committee (MFCC), which is
behind the Collusion Wall idea, said the mural would get
bigger with time.

“At the moment we have set aside a 48-feet long space for
the mural, but we expect that to grow over time with more
families wanting to add images of their loved ones,” said
MFCC chairman Paul Murphy.

“We’ve had families from as far away as South Armagh who
have got in touch wanting pictures of their murdered
relatives to form part of the mural. This isn’t just a
local thing, we want it to encompass the whole of Ireland.”

Taking up a large section of the mural will be Police
Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s hard-hitting probe into collusion
between the Special Branch and the Mount Vernon UVF.

Ms O’Loan found collusion had occurred and that police paid
UVF double agent Mark Haddock £80,000 of public cash over a
10-year period, despite the loyalist being involved in 16
murders. Paul said images of the report would form a key
part of the Collusion Wall.

He added: “We want tourists, or anyone else for that matter
who looks at the wall, to see the full story of collusion.

“As well as the photos of the victims we want them to
understand that collusion was a reality, and that it’s not
just the families of murder victims saying that but the
Police Ombudsman.”

The MFCC is currently raising funds to pay for a plastic
guard to ensure the mural is protected.

They need to raise £1,500 and have appealed to local
businesses for donations.

“Any help would be very welcome.

“If anyone does want to help they should contact the Mid-
Falls Commemoration Committee,” said Paul.



Celtic Tradition Alive On City's Waterfront

By Karen Florin , Published on 8/26/2007

New London — “My brother was a boat builder in Ireland ...”
“There was a woman from Winnersh Island ...” “I'm half
Irish, half Scottish ...”

Tales began in this fashion all day Saturday as New London
Main Street put on its second annual Celts & Currachs
festival on the city's waterfront.

The brother of the boat builder from Ireland was 70-year-
old John Joyce, from South Boston by way of Connemara. He
was one of the guys you were told to talk to if you wanted
to know about the currach boats that were racing from the
Custom House pier. The modern version of the traditional
Celtic fishing and racing boats are 25 feet long, built of
wood, tar and canvas and piloted by four-person teams using
long, wooden, “paint stick” oars.

“I was more or less born in one of these type of boats,”
said Joyce, his blue eyes a-twinkle in his pink face as he
began his story. “I lived on an island, and the only way to
go to the store, church or anywhere was by the boats.”

After immigrating to “Southie” in 1955, Joyce and his
brother built their own currachs and tried to keep the
tradition of racing them alive.

“I wanted to see it done like it was done in Ireland,” he
said. “It was a very big sport.”

The sport appeared to be thriving Saturday in New London,
where 14 teams, made up of teens to seniors — signed up to
race a half-mile course. In the end, two teams from
Hanafin's Irish Pub faced off for the championship, and the
winning team, with pub owner Diarmuid Hanafin — native of
Dublin — pulling his own in the third seat, took a victory

On City Pier, keeping the music of Celtic people and their
traditional languages alive was the objective. Judith Gill,
who has a World Music show on WCNI radio, was in her glory.
Gill, who said she is half Irish and half Scottish, told
one person it did not matter whether they had any Celtic
ancestry at all.

“That's what the whole Celtic movement is about,” she said.
“It's like a big family.”

Musicians worked their fifes, fiddles, guitars and voices
all day, giving the crowd a taste of the merry and the
mournful. There was not an electric guitar in sight, though
a group resembling Irish rock's U2 was to perform at
Hanafin's late last night.

“It's all traditional music,” Gill said. “This whole
festival is about teaching young people and those who don't
know about the culture.”

Performers sang the stories of people who lived before,
tales of fishing and moonshine, weddings and funerals.

Balladeer Danny O'Flaherty filled the bleachers for his
afternoon performance. A native of western Ireland, he was
operating a pub in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina

Some New Londoners organized a fund-raiser here for
O'Flaherty and his family, and he said he would never
forget “what the people of Connecticut have done for me.”

His personal mission, O'Flaherty said, is to ensure that
people continue to learn and speak the Gaelic language,
which is spoken by only 8,000 people in Ireland.

He salted his stories and songs with Gaelic, including one
song, “from back in my parish,” about a woman from the
Island of Winnersh.

The day's events were to culminate in the area of Hanafin's
on upper State Street, where the street was set to close,
several musicians were to perform and more than a few pints
of Guinness were probably poured.

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August 24, 2007

Troubles Group Will Meet Public

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 08/24/07 Troubles Group Will Meet Public
DJ 08/24/07 Shotgun Blast Through Bradley's Front Door
BT 08/24/07 Unity 'Not Unthinkable'
BT 08/24/07 £1.5 Billion: Price Paid For Sectarianism In Ulster
SF 08/24/07 UUP Have Nothing To Fear From Irish Language
SF 08/24/07 Parade Needs To Ensure No Repeat Of Breaches
IT 08/24/07 Pat Rabbitte: Career At A Glance (Timeline)
IM 08/24/07 Opin: Michael Collins - The Truth
IT 08/24/07 RTÉ Radio Is Holding Its Own
DN 08/24/07 A Dark Tale Of Crucifixtion In Ramelton Church
BN 08/24/07 'Time To Look After Donegal's B&B Sector'


Troubles Group Will Meet Public

The body set up to deal with the legacy of Northern
Ireland's Troubles has announced the start of its
engagement with the public.

Co-chairs Lord Robin Eames and Denis Bradley are meeting
the police Historical Enquiries Team in Armagh.

Mr Bradley said they wanted everyone to share their

"We have met with a number of organisations who have
already carried out some very commendable work in this
sensitive area," he said.

The Consultative Group on the Past has already met the
Stevens Inquiry Team, Healing Through Remembering and the
PSNI's Public Enquiries Branch.

They will also meet the Northern Ireland Human Rights

The Armagh meeting saw the group joined by former Finnish
president and arms inspector Martti Ahtisaari and former
Drumcree mediator Brian Currin.

"They bring with them not only an international
perspective, but a wealth of valuable expertise in
mediation, peace work and human rights issues," Lord Eames

The consultative group is working towards reporting to the
Secretary of State in summer 2008 on a community consensus
on the best way to deal with the legacy of the past.

The group will be placing press adverts encouraging
individuals and groups with views on dealing with the past
to contact them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/08/24 06:57:33 GMT


Shotgun Blast Through Bradley's Front Door

By Staff reporter

The Real IRA have claimed responsibility for yesterday's
gun attack on the home of a former Deputy Mayor of Derry
whose son is a serving PSNI officer.

The home of former Derry City Irish Independence Party
Councillor Liam Bradley was targeted shortly before 1 am. A
shotgun blast was discharged through the front door of the
house on Lone Moor Road while attempts were also made to
set the family's car alight. Mr. Bradley was in the house
with his wife Marie at the time but they escaped injury.

In call to the `Journal' using a recognised code word last
night, a spokesperson for Oglaigh Na hEireann read the
following statement, which warned of possible further

"Oglaigh Na hEireann claims responsibility for the attack
on the family home of a serving RUC man. This attack was in
direct response to ongoing attacks on the families of
republicans. If the Crown Forces continue with this course
of action they must realise that they and their families
that support them will have a price to pay."

Speaking to the `Journal' yesterday, Mr Bradley said he and
his family were "too upset" to talk about the incident.

"The family is very shocked and I must worry about them at
the minute. We're all very upset," he said.

Mr Bradley has been threatened in the past because his son
is a member of the PSNI. Derogatory graffiti referring to
the PSNI has also appeared on walls near the Bradley family
home in recent times.

Mr and Mrs Bradley suffered the tragic death of another son
in an accident two years ago. Liam junior died in January
2005 after a tragic fall.

`Very sinister'

Condemnation of the shooting was last night led by the
Bishop of Derry, Most Reverend Seamus Hegarty, who said his
prayers were with the Bradley family.

"This attack must be condemned by all right-thinking
people. The Bradley family are no strangers to intimidation
but this is a very sinister and frightening development.
The family have shown great courage in the past and can be
assured of the overwhelming support of all in the

"This attack is not only an attack on the Bradley family
but also an attack on democracy and the newly formed

SDLP Leader Mark Durkan said he utterly condemned the
attack, adding that those behind it have absolutely no
support from the people of Derry.

"This was a despicable attack on a solid, strong and well-
respected family and it is rejected by the entire community
here in Derry. We had all hoped that the dark days of
attacks on people's homes had been consigned to history. It
is important not only that the family knows that the whole
community stands behind them, but that those responsible
for this attack know that they do not have support from the

The Foyle MP added that the people of Derry wanted to move
on and prosper, adding that those responsible had nothing
to offer society. He said: "They prove nothing by using
this violence other than the fact that they do not have
strong arguments to persuade anyone.

Last Updated: 23 August 2007 6:15 PM


Unity 'Not Unthinkable'

[Published: Friday 24, August 2007 - 12:00]
By Noel McAdam

A former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service has
said some form of Irish unity is not unthinkable in

Sir Kenneth Bloomfield added, however, the idea of closer
association would also have to be mutually acceptable in

He told the 40th anniversary Merriman summer school in
county Clare: "Please do not suppose that if, in some
future poll, 50.1 per cent of the electorate were to vote
for Irish unity, the outvoted 49.9 per cent would tramp
into the new jurisdiction like a defeated army."

Sir Kenneth, who earlier this year published a book called
A Tragedy of Errors: The Government and Misgovernment of
Northern Ireland, said successive Stormont governments had
been too slow to acknowledge the Irishness felt by an
"extensive minority" in Northern Ireland.

The former Victims Commissioner, currently involved with
the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims'
Remains, said Irish unity should be thought of as a
possible or potential contract between distinct groups of
people "with all the cards on the table."

It would not be a single step but a process with a "modest
beginning and no predetermined end," he told the gathering
on its 40th anniversary.

"So it is that I do not find the idea of some form of Irish
unity or closer association - almost certainly after my
time - in any way unthinkable in principle," Sir Kenneth,
who was secretary to the 1974 Sunningdale power-sharing
government, said.

"But what is conceivably acceptable in principle would have
to be mutually acceptable in practice."

Stressing he was offering a personal perspective, he added:
"As I grow older, I care less which flag is flown and which
anthem is played where I live."

Sir Kenneth, who was targetted by the IRA in a bomb attack
on his Co Down home in 1988, said he accepted the presence
in government of Sinn Fein.

He said he would find it difficult to bear "with any sense
of self respect" any relapse into a period of " that parody
of democratic government, direct rule".

"Far sighted politicians, economists and academics will
have to think long and hard about the true nature, cost,
ethos and dynamics of a new orientation of affairs," he

c Belfast Telegraph


£1.5 Billion: The Ridiculous Price We Pay For Sectarianism
In Ulster

[Published: Friday 24, August 2007 - 08:51]
By David Gordon

Northern Ireland's sectarian problems inflate the policing
bill here by as much as œ500m a year, an official report
has found.

The figure is contained in a study for Government that
gives an estimate of up to œ1.5bn for the annual total cost
of the province's divisions.

The report was commissioned by the Office of the First
Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) prior to the
restoration of devolution.

It examines the drain on the public purse that violence,
segregation and duplication of services for the two
communities causes.

Entitled 'Research into the financial cost of the Northern
Ireland divide', the document was compiled by consultants
at Deloitte, with input by senior Government officials and
the PSNI.

It found that in one year alone, œ478,000 was spent on
policing in Northern Ireland for every 1,000 people in the
province. The figure for England and Wales was œ183,000.

Based on these figures, the report concluded that the
"maximum additional cost of policing due to the sectarian
divide is potentially œ504m per annum".

The Deloitte researchers also spelt out the impact that
decades of violence and negative publicity has had on
Northern Ireland's economy.

This included the loss of 27,600 jobs in the period 1983 to
2000, costing the economy on average œ12.5m a year.

Spending on industrial development per head of the
population here was almost three times the level of that
the UK as a whole in one year recently.

In addition, Government has given support to "high-risk"
investment projects like the ill-fated DeLorean car
factory, the study noted.

The consultants also concluded that some œ49m has been lost
annually in tourism revenue on average, with potential
visitors being confronted with " images of civil unrest,
terrorist outrages and periodic sectarian strife" in the
world's media.

The cost of the divide in the public housing arena was
given as œ24m a year, of which œ21m is attributed to
inefficiencies resulting from segregation and sectarian

Civil unrest has blighted districts, leading to houses
lying empty and, in some cases, being demolished. In other
areas, meanwhile, waiting lists are growing while new homes
are being built.

The report also stated: " The marking of territories
according to tradition has led to inefficiencies in meeting
housing need. In particular, there are a significant number
of additional social housing units developed through the
social housing development programme whilst other social
housing lies vacant for reasons related to societal

In education, a œ10m estimate was given for the cost of the

On top of this, the Deloitte consultants outlined details
of 165 additional school bus runs per day which need not
occur in the rest of the UK. They found that this required
45 extra buses, costing some œ2.45m.

The study also quoted œ13m as the annual sum spent on
community relations, and œ7m on support for victims.

In conclusion, the report stressed that the examination of
the costs of division was "particularly complex" and
quantifying the figures had "proved difficult".

It further stated that the œ1.5bn overall total "could be
considered to be the upper limit".

c Belfast Telegraph


UUP Have Nothing To Fear From Irish Language

Published: 24 August, 2007

Responding to media reports claiming that the UUP MLA team
believe that the proposed Irish language legislation is a
"republican cultural weapon in their ongoing struggle
against unionism" and should not be supported, Sinn Fein
spokesperson on the Irish language Francie Brolly MLA has
said that the UUP have missed the point.

Mr Brolly said:

"The UUP claim that any Irish language legislation is a
negative move. Nothing could be further from the truth. The
Irish language is a threat to no-one and it is not
compulsory. What do the UUP have to fear from multi-

"What does Unionism have to fear from safeguarding Irish
language rights? The language belongs to everyone;
catholic, protestant and dissenter. What was agreed in the
St Andrews Agreement protects the rights of those 4000
Irish speaking children which the UUP and the new Assembly
now represent. The legislation enshrines the Irish language
within a multicultural and multilingual society. Can the
UUP tell me what is wrong with this?

"Ireland is changing into a positive, vibrant and welcoming
entity which provides for all and the language has a part
to play in uniting everyone. I urge the UUP to be long-
sighted in this matter." Cr¡och


Black Perceptory Parade Needs To Ensure No Repeat Of Last
Years' Breaches

Published: 24 August, 2007

Sinn Fein East Belfast representative Niall O'Donnghaile
has called on the Black Perceptory to ensure that, as a
Christian organisation, there is no repeat of the
disgraceful scenes during its parade last year when the
'sash' was played outside St Matthews Church in the Short

Mr O'Donnghaile said:

"There was frustration locally that despite numerous
breaches of the Parades Commission determination last year
that there was not a much stronger ruling on this year's

"There is a responsibility on the Black Perceptory, as a
Christian organisation, to ensure that there is no repeat
of the disgraceful scenes during its parade last year when
the 'sash' was played outside St Matthews Church in the
Short Strand.

"We all need to recognise that marching within areas where
there is deep animosity does little to encourage good
community relations. This is an interface area where much
good work has gone on in recent months. This should not be
undone by anyone wanting to inflame tensions." ENDS


Pat Rabbitte: Career At A Glance (Timeline)

1970/71: Appointed president of the UCG Students' Union. He
later becomes president of the Union of Students of Ireland
between 1972 and 1974.

1974: Appointed national secretary of the Irish Transport
and General Workers' Union.

1985: Wins a seat on Dublin County Council in the local
elections of 1985 with Sinn Fein the Workers' Party.

1989: First elected to the D il as a Workers' Party TD. He
later joins Democratic Left when six of the Workers'
Party's TDs leave to form DL.

1992: He accepts a œ2,000 cash donation from PR executive
Frank Dunlop. The money is later sent back after a
discussion with local DL party members.

1994: He is appointed as minister of state in the rainbow
government with special responsibility for commerce,
science, technology and consumer affairs. He serves until
the government loses office in 1997.

1999: Labour and Democratic Left merge. He is one of the
chief proponents of the move. He was previously a member of
the Labour Party, quitting in 1976 because of its alliance
with Fine Gael.

2002: He is elected leader of the Labour Party, taking over
from Ruair¡ Quinn after a disappointing general election.

2004: The party performs well in the local elections,
breaking the threshold of 100 county councillors.

2007: The party fails to make an impact in the general
election, returning with the same number of seats it won in

c 2007 The Irish Times


Opin: Michael Collins - The Truth

National History And Heritage News Report
Friday August 24, 2007 12:09 By Rooster

At this time of year we're used to an entire gallery of
ludicrously fictional Michael Collins being mellifluously
wafted out of the Bael na mBlath clay by some Irish voice
or other, so I suppose there's no reason why some tame
Englishman like Lord David Puttnam shouldn't have been
invited to add to the heap of poppycock about the most
fictionalised man in Irish history.

And naturally, he didn't disappoint, labelling Michael
Collins "an icon for peace and reconciliation" and an
example of " how people ought to behave in the service of
their country".

Well, as it happens, at the time of his death, this "icon
of peace and reconciliation" had already started a war
against the Northern state, which, in the Treaty of the
previous year, he had already agreed should come into

And with what did he equip the IRA units he unleashed on
the North?

Why, the very guns supplied by the British for the self-
defence of the new Free State Army, which he had given his
word of honour would not be allowed to be used against the
Northern state. To " refresh" your memories - which
probably have been misinformed by a criminally delinquent
educational system, and by a general social consensus which
prefers the annual farrago of falsehoods of the flowery
meadow to the truth of the school of hard fact - let me
remind you of the truth about Michael Collins.

It was he who, with his murders of the men of the G
Division of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, introduced the
concept of a campaign of assassination in support of a
political cause: in doing so, he injected a toxin into
Irish life that has never left it.

Bad as this was in southern Ireland, it had perfectly
catastrophic consequences in the North.

After he organised the murder of DI Swanzy in Lisburn,
massive rioting followed there and in Belfast, in which 22
people were killed, and almost all Catholic businesses in
Lisburn destroyed.

The murderous chaos moved the Northern authorities to enrol
a special constabulary, the Ulster Special Constabulary
(USC), to restore order.

Contrary to republican myth ever since, this was not
intended to be all-Protestant.

Some Catholics joined, but after one of their number,
Special Constable McCullough was shot by the IRA, most

Collins's attitude to Northern unionists was perhaps best
exemplified by events in February 1922, when he authorised
the kidnap of 100 Northern Protestants by cross-border IRA

The raiders actually managed to abduct just 42 men from
their homes, and these men were kept as hostages in IRA
hide-outs in the Free State, incredibly, with the assent of
Michael Collins, the leader of the Provisional Government.

Collins then authorised an intensified assault on the USC.

A train containing mostly unarmed special constables en
route for Enniskillen was ambushed at Clones and four
constables killed, with a dozen others captured.

The consequences were entirely predictable: riots in
Belfast in which over 30 people, most of them Catholic,
were killed.

That, however, did not slake Collins's appetite for blood,
for he then ordered a further systematic assault on USC

Between March 10 and June 1922, and on Collins's general
orders, 38 Northern police officers were killed.

Some of them - such Samuel Laird and George Chittick of
Trillick, Co Tyrone - were assassinated in their homes. Two
others, Sergeant Patrick Joseph Early, a Catholic from
Roscommon, and his colleague, Special Constable James
Harper, were calculatedly lured to their deaths in south
Armagh by IRA men wearing uniforms taken from the Clones

In Garrison, Co Fermanagh, Special Constable James Plumb
was killed in an ambush and his body seized.

What followed had nothing to do with Collins's orders, but
it is a salutary reminder of the consequences of a
generalised authorisation to commit murder. Kiltyclogher
IRA men lined up to beat the body into an unrecognisable
pulp with rifle butts.

The return of Constable Plumb's shattered cadaver to his
home off the Albertbridge Road in Belfast must have done
wonders for community relations.

Now admittedly, Collins was now no longer in control of the
Northern IRA, but he had equipped and formally unleashed
it, with catastrophic consequences for all concerned.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, the cult of murder, which Collins had
done so much to promote, was now reaching its diseased

In Galway, two middle-aged RIC sergeants, Tobias Gibbons,
from Mayo, and John Gilmartin, from Leitrim, who were
gravely ill patients in St Brigid's Hospital, were shot
dead in their sick-beds by the IRA.

The campaign against the Northern Ireland security forces
was ended, not by Collins's orders, but effectively by the
Civil War, which divided the Northern IRA.

So to call Collins an "icon for peace and reconciliation"
is not just idiotic, but is to indulge in the depraved
rhetoric of Irish republicanism.

This invariably sees "who" as "whom": perpetrators are
victims, and unrepentant, jovial killers like Collins are
peacemakers: thus the annual Bael na mBlath blather.


RTE Radio Is Holding Its Own

Paul Cullen

Radio Listenership Figures: Click thumbnail for full

Joe Duffy, Ryan Tubridy, Gerry Ryan and Pat Kenny all
recorded increases in listenership, with only the News at
One among its leading programmes showing a slight fall.

The trend follows several years of gradual decline in the
national broadcaster's figures as measured by the JNLR
TNS/mrbi survey.

Increased competition from the commercial sector had been
eating into RTE's audience.

The latest survey covers the period from July 2006 to June

In the fiercely contested evening slot, RTE Radio One's
Drivetime , presented by Mary Wilson, Des Cahill and Dave
Fanning, leapfrogged above Today FM's The Last Word ,
presented by Matt Cooper.

However, the growth in the show's audience from 180,000 in
the previous survey to 204,000 is largely explained by a
move to a 4.30pm starting time, from 5pm, in August 2006.

Once again, RTE broadcast nine of the 10 most popular
programmes in the State, led by Morning Ireland with a
listenership of 435,000, up 11,000 on the previous survey.
The only non-RTE programme in the top 10 is Today FM's Ray
D'Arcy in ninth position; his listenership dropped 2,000,
to 246,000.

Commercial rivals suggested RTE's improved figures could be
linked to its general election coverage, but this hardly
explains the strong performance by 2FM's Gerry Ryan, who
added 24,000 listeners to reach an audience of 325,000.

Joe Duffy added 13,000 listeners to Liveline , Ryan Tubridy
gained another 4,000 listeners and Pat Kenny's audience
grew by 10,000.

Another strong performance came from Marion Finucane, whose
Saturday-morning show gained another 13,000 listeners. Her
Sunday show has 237,000 listeners, compared to 102,000 for
Today FM's Sunday Supplement.

RTE radio managing director Adrian Moynes said the figures
showed that schedule changes were paying off.

"I've always said we're in this for the long haul. RTE
radio made strategic changes last year on RTE Radio One and
RTE Lyric FM, and earlier this year on RTE 2FM.

"The initial signs are that listeners are welcoming those
changes. We are determined that this pattern will

Overall, Today FM was steady, with its two rush-hour
presenters, Ian Dempsey and Matt Cooper, recording their
highest listenerships yet. Dempsey was up 6,000 to 233,000,
while Cooper's audience grew from 187,000 to 193,000.

Chief executive Willy O'Reilly expressed satisfaction at
the station's performance in the face of increased

For Newstalk FM, these were the second set of figures since
it started broadcasting nationally in September 2006.
George Hook's drivetime programme added another 5,000
listeners, but the station has yet to make as strong an
impact outside Dublin as it does in the capital.

Some 85 per cent of the population listen daily to the
radio, the figures show.

Among national stations, RTE Radio One has a audience share
of 20.9 per cent, while 2FM has 13 per cent. Today FM is on
12.4 per cent, Newstalk has 3.2 per cent and RTE's
classical station, Lyric FM, has dropped slightly to 1.7
per cent.

In Dublin, 2FM gained ground on its commercial music rivals
but its 11.5 per cent share remains behind the 12.7 per
cent enjoyed by both 98FM and FM104. New entrant Phantom
has a 1.2 per cent share.

As usual, the most listened-to local radio station was
Highland Radio in Co Donegal, with a 64.2 per cent share of
its audience.

Mid West Radio and Radio Kerry also recorded audience
shares of more than 50 per cent.

c 2007 The Irish Times


A Dark Tale Of Crucifixtion In Ramelton Church

By Catriona Gallen

GARDAI in Donegal are investigating a murder in a church in
Ramelton. The Second Ancestoral Church is the scene of a
gruesome crucifixtion in the town. The victim has been
named as master carpenter James Moore from Downings.

Murder, suspense, affairs and intrigue are rarely
associated with the Ramelton town, resting on the banks of
the River Lennon, but for crime writer, Paul Charles, the
Donegal town has provided inspiration for his new book,
"The Dust of Death".

Local landmarks, like the Bridge bar, Letterkenny General
Hospital, the Silver Tassie, Downings and many more venues
take centre stage in Charles' first crime novel set in
Donegal. "The Dust of Death" is the first in a trilogy of
crime novels the Irish author hopes will put Ramelton on
the literary map.

Speaking to the Donegal News on Wednesday while on holidays
in the US, it became clear that the Magherafelt man has a
long standing association with the county, beginnning long
before he married Letterkenny woman, Catherine McGinley in

"Catherine's from Glencar, so I should know Donegal well,
but I'd been coming to Donegal for years. I spent many
months traveling every back road and visiting every outpost
in Donegal with my good friend John McIvor. It's a
beautiful county and quite unspoiled. There are lots of
characters and stories just waiting to be told and written
about," he said.

Paul Charles, an accomplished crime writer, has written
eight Inspector Christy Kennedy novels which are primarily
set in London. This new book is a departure into Donegal
and introduces the reader to the Garda Inspector Starret, a
native of the county.

The plot revolves around the gruesome discovery, in the
very first chapter, of the crucified body of James Moore
hanging in the Second Ancestory Church. Inspector
Starrett's droll observations and keen eye for the ladies
bring the reader on a mission to unravel the mystery of

The ingenuity of Charles' writing lies in his ability to
inject his characters with realism. The Eileen McLaughlin's
of Ramelton and Sergeant Packie Garvey's of the novel seem
almost to be based on someone local we could all know or
relate to. Charles though says his characters are not based
on specific people. "When writing stuff we are all
influenced by the people around us, so maybe that's why
they seem familiar. There is no one character replicated in
the novel; they're all composites of people I've met,"
explained Paul.

For regular Paul Charles readers Garda Inspector Starrett
will be familiar. The central character first appeared in a
Christy Kennedy detective novel, "I've heard the Banshee

"I introduced Inspector Starrett when Christy Kennedy was
solving a crime and returned to his native Portrush. I like
to keep things factually accurate. I'd wouldn't like my
readers to be scoffing at something in the plot saying 'ah
come on that could never have happened,' so when it went
cross border he had to work in conjunction with Inspector
Starrett. It made it much easier to write this first
Donegal detective novel because he came to me already fully
formed," said Charles.

"The Dust of Death" has been meticulously researched and
plotted. The path of intrigue is set in actual locations
througout the county and the writer knows his way round.
The real locations make the novel more atmospheric and is
fascinating for readers, especially in Donegal, to see the
plot unfold on our doorstep. The lead character also makes
some barbed comments about planning legislation and
development in the county. Starrett makes some keen
observations on Donegal developers, remarking to a couple
who have moved to Ramelton: "The klondyke has nothing on
the Letterkenny boyos; but instead ofprosepctors,
Letterkenny is infested wth developers."

Ramelton's peaceful heritage town may have been shattered
by a brutal murder but Letterkenny has been robbed of its

Later Starrett observes: "Letterkenny was being forced to
grow too quickly, robbing it- at least Starrett believed-
of the opportunity ever to become a magnificent or even a
soulful city. Starett believed Letterkenny was a bit like
his young guards in that they both needed to be nurtured
and cared for in order to give them a chance of achieving
their goals. He knew there was a good chance Letterkenny
had missed its opportunity".

The observations though are not a reflection of the
author's own views. "That's the beauty of writing. You can
make your characters say and do things you normally
wouldn't," said the author.

With a background in music, Charles' career as an author
began dismally back in the ealy 1960s.

"I first began to write in the 60s and 70s. I was working
in London and writing music reviews for a Belfast magazine
City week. They had a musical supplement and if Van
Morrison or anybody Irish was in London I'd go along and
write a review. I tried to write my first novel around then
too but I couldn't find a hook. I'd start to write
something and it would turn out as absolute rubbish," he

A passion for crime novels led Paul Charles into writing
crime fiction, and many idle hours travelling as a music
agent meant he had lots of time to create. "I have a huge
collection of books by British crime writers. I travel a
lot and had lots of time in airplanes and nights on my own
in hotel rooms to play around with ideas. Instead of
sitting in a pub on an evening I'd sit in and create
plots," he said.

Paul and his wife Catherine are arriving back in Donegal on
Saturday. The couple have a cottage in Ramelton.

"Ramelton's still has its own charm and much of the
heritage is still intact. The people are nice and
friendly". It will come as no surprise then that Paul
Charles is already working on his second novel based in
Ramelton, called "Family Life" and has the workings of a
third Donegal crime novel already thought out.

"The Dust of Death" is available in all bookshops from
Tuesday September 4th, priced 22.99 hardback.


'Time To Look After Donegal's B&B Sector'

By Catherine Cook

THE Chairperson of Donegal-based Town and Country Homes
Association has highlighted the urgent need for B&Bs and
guesthouses to be properly licensed.

The comments by Chairperson, Kate Burns, come following
research carried out by the 'T&CH' which shows the majority
of overseas visitors into Ireland choose to stay in a B&B
or guesthouse, confirming the importance of the sector in
bringing tourists to Ireland. F ilte Ireland has announced
plans to stop licencing holiday accommodation from next

Speaking with specific reference to Donegal, Ms Burns
commented: "The situation with B&Bs in Donegal is that they
are still the preferred type of accommodation with visitors
into the county. In particular research shows that the
visitors we get from Italy, France, Austria, New Zealand
and Australia are typically higher spenders than those who
stay in hotels."

She added: "While our research shows that the majority of
visitors stay in an B&B the fact of the matter is that
Irish people do not like staying in B&Bs and because of
this we are not given the support that we need by tourism
bodies. At the moment all their efforts are going to
increasing the capacity of hotel rooms."

There are, however, a number of challenges facing B&B
owners in Donegal.

"B&Bs in Donegal are suffering slightly because we are not
getting enough visitors to the North West. Donegal has some
of the best B&Bs in the country but they are not getting
the same trade as Galway and Dublin."

"B&Bs in Donegal experienced a decline in 2001 and 2002,
partly because of the impact of 9/11 on visitors from the
US. Recently there have been more people coming to stay in
the North West and business in 2007 is up 20 per cent on
2006. And the forecast for 2008 is looking promising
despite terrible weather we have experienced this summer."

"We at the 'T&CH' recognise that the B&B sector, like
everything else, needs a bit of innovation or else it goes
stale. This is the reason we will begin rolling out a
marketing programme in the autumn regarding themed B&Bs.
This will enable visitors to chose their accommodation
suited to their needs, for example, there will be training
and network supports put in place for B&Bs to market
themselves on angling, culture and heritage, walking or
gourmet themes."

Ms Burns continued, however: "We strongly feel that the
Irish tourism industry has underestimated the importance of
the B&B tourism product. For the good of the whole sector
it is very damaging not to have a situation where B&Bs and
guesthouses are not licensed or regulated. It is estimated
that over 50 per cent of B&Bs in Ireland have no fire,
insurance or safety cover. And these are the places which
are pulling our product and reputation down."

"Ireland is the only country in Europe not to have B&Bs
licensed or regulated. There is no quality control over the
product. And despite our attempts to have a structure put
in place we keep having barriers put in our way."

The findings of the 'T&CH' survey revealed that over 300
million was spent in the Irish economy by tourists staying
in approved Town & Country Homes or Farmhouses. Ms Burns
said the research also showed that the Central Exchequer
derived a dividend of 144 million from these tourism
overnights in the B&B sector.

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