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August 22, 2007

CIvil Service Caught Up in Web Scandal

News About Ireland & The Irish

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


Civil Service Caught Up In Web Scandal

[Published: Tuesday 21, August 2007 - 10:38]
By Chris Thornton

Northern Ireland Civil Service computers have been used to make
sectarian, malicious and lewd comments on Wikipedia, according to
a new website that exposes anonymous contributors to the online

They include the use of the phrase "evil Irish", as well as slurs
against a well known Northern Ireland television personality that
were made using the Department of Health's computer network.

Northern Ireland civil servants may have also used taxpayer-
funded computer systems for setting up links to allegedly
pornographic images of a celebrity singer and websites that sell
the sex drug Viagra.

The misuse of Government computers was exposed by the same
internet tool that revealed a Vatican computer had been used to
remove allegations Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was involved
in murder.

The website, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, has
created an international sensation by tracing the computers
networks used to make changes to Wikipedia - many of them
embarrassing examples of bias, attempts to whitewash incidents or
put corporate and political rivals in a bad light.

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, allows anyone to edit entries.
That policy has left the website exposed to people making false
or misleading entries for their own benefit or amusement.

Major corporations, the BBC, and the Republican Party in America
are among the organisations around the world whose computers were
used to make embarrassing edits.

According to the website, the civil service network in Northern
Ireland has been used to make more than 1,500 alterations to the
online encyclopedia.

The vast majority of the changes were innocent, straightforward
and within Civil Service guidelines for personal use of

But in July last year, a computer on the general civil service
network was used to edit the Wikipedia entry on evil.

A sentence beginning "The definition of what is considered "evil"
otherwise may differ . . ." was altered to "The definition of
what is considered "evil Irish" . . .".

Last December, Department of Health computers were used to make
malicious comments about a local television celebrity.

The extreme nature of the comments, which have been removed by
Wikipedia, means the Belfast Telegraph cannot identify the

A Department of Agriculture computer was used to make allegations
of " psychological torture" at a grammar school.

Lewd comments about the Playboy model Victoria Silvstedt and
about actress Katie Holmes going topless were made from the
general Civil Service network.

An Executive spokesman said any civil servant found "to be using
official facilities inappropriately may be subject to
disciplinary action".

"Under the Northern Ireland Civil Service Internet and E-Mail
Usage policy, set out in the NICS Staff Handbook, Northern
Ireland civil servants are permitted to use official computer
facilities for personal use," the spokesman said.

"Use of official facilities by staff for personal use is
restricted to an individual's own time during non-working hours
at lunch or before and after work.

"Any member of staff found to be in breach of this policy or to
be using official facilities inappropriately may be subject to
disciplinary action under the NICS Disciplinary Procedure."

c Belfast Telegraph


Identity Of Sinn Fein 'Spy' Revealed On Blogs

By Staff reporter

THE Sinn Fein man at the centre of the allegations that he became
a spy inside the IRA to avoid charges related to the killing of a
former RUC man has now been named on several websites.

The identity of the senior party member at the centre of the
allegations is now an open secret after he was named on several
internet blog sites.

Upper Bann DUP MP David Simpson has also threatened to name him
under legal privilege in the House of Commons.

The Sinn Fein man is accused of being involved in the murder of
former RUC reservist Frederick `Eric' Lutton near Moy in Co
Armagh in 1979.

Mr Lutton's son Nigel has made an official complaint to the
Police Ombudsman and said he has information from former RUC
officers about a cover-up of the killing.

The former police officers have been asked by the Police
Ombudsman's office not to speak to the media for fear or
prejudicing any investigation.

It's thought the Ombudsman plans to move rapidly to investigate
the claims the Sinn Fein member was allowed to escape justice
because he agreed to spy on the IRA for the security forces.

Sinn Fein yesterday hit out at the claims, labelling them
"baseless" and accusing Mr Simpson of hiding behind parliamentary

The latest claims come after the Denis Donaldson affair, which
brought down the last Executive.

The senior Sinn Fein official was exposed as a long-term British
agent and later shot dead at an isolated cottage in Co Donegal.

Willie Frazer of victims' pressure group FAIR says it time for
republicans to face up to their involvement in collusion.

"Now the harsh reality for republicans is that for years key
members of their organisation were in the employ of the British

"The question is no longer if the Provos were infiltrated but for
how long, by how many and what were the results."

He says it's time victims were given answers about the level of
security force collusion with the IRA.

"Now is the time for truth and justice and as victims we demand

"In areas like south Armagh we demand the truth about the
involvement of British agents with the PIRA and the passing of
information on local security force members who were subsequently

Last Updated: 20 August 2007 9:10 PM


'Derry' Row Tourist Vows To Return - Canadian Student Told Derry
'Didn't Exist'

By Kyle White

A Canadian tourist who was told by a Translink employee that
Derry "didn't exist" when she enquired about a bus to the city
says the incident didn't spoil her trip to Northern Ireland.

Mika Schurer, a graduate student from eastern Ontario, told the
'Journal' yesterday that although she was "irritated" by the
attitude of the Translink staff member, she enjoyed her time in
Derry and is planning on returning to the city soon.

She had travelled to Belfast from Dublin on August 4, but her
onward journey to Derry was held up when she enquired about bus
times to the city, only to be told at the information desk of the
Europa Bus Centre in Belfast that Derry "didn't exist."

"It was very confusing to me and the man at the information desk
just said there were no buses to that place and directed me to
the train," she said. "I didn't understand what had happened
until later when I met up with family I was visiting here.

"It irritated me and I hope that this does not happen to anyone
visiting in the future. I do not think it is a good advertisement
for the country, but it didn't stop me enjoying myself and I had
a really fantastic time.

"Derry is a great city and the people were amazing. They made me
feel really welcome and I will come back very soon."

Miss Churer - who was visiting friends in Limavady - says she
hopes that the Translink employee responsible would not face
severe disciplinary action over the matter.

"I would not like to see him suspended or lose his job. I do not
want to cause trouble and I would just say that this was an
unfortunate incident."

Translink yesterday apologised to Miss Churer, adding that the
employee involved had been identified and that "appropriate
action" had been taken.

"Translink provide a service for the whole community and indeed
use a mixture of both names, Derry and Londonderry and in some
cases dual names across all bus and rail services and in
timetables and other communications material.

"We invest heavily in customer care training for staff as it is a
fundamental part of the service. We expect them to deal with all
passengers in a friendly, helpful and professional manner at all

"Unfortunately, this was not the case on this occasion and we
would apologise for the inconvenience caused. We have carried out
an internal investigation into this matter and appropriate action
has been taken," said the spokesperson.

The issue was brought to light by East Derry SDLP MLA, John
Dallat, who will meet with Translink this week to discuss the

"I was told that Translink has no policy which rejects the use of
the name 'Derry' and I believe this to be true given that their
website accepts the term, but unfortunately this does not appear
to be working in the brains of a small number of employees who
need upgraded in their geographical terminology.

"There have been several other cases of foreign travellers,
mostly students who have had similar experiences and the time has
come to sort out this petty bigoted practice once and for all.

"If there are still people working in Translink who want buses
and trains going to 'Londonderry' they can go on believing that,
but they must not impose it on other people, particularly
tourists, who simply don't understand the nonsense that still
prevails when people want to go to the North West."

Derry Sinn F‚in Councillor, Kevin Campbell, welcomed the apology
from Translink and called for the implementation of measures to
ensure such an incident did not occur again.

"I welcome the fact that Translink has issued a statement
apologising to a Canadian tourist for any inconvenience caused
after she was told that Derry did not exist," he said.

"Translink need to put in measures so that such a situation never
arises again because no passengers should be treated in such a
shocking way. This brings into sharp focus the reason why Sinn
F‚in in Derry has been to the forefront in trying to bring the
long-running saga over the city's official name to a conclusion.

"How many other similar stories are out there that we don't know
about? Sinn F‚in is determined to have the contentious issue of
the name change resolved for the betterment of not only all the
people of this city, but those trying to market it and those
visiting it from across the world."


Following a judicial review earlier this year, a judge ruled that
the name of the city should remain Londonderry after Derry City
Council brought a case before the High Court.

Mr. Justice Weatherup ruled that although the city council had
changed its name to Derry, this did not mean the name of the city
as specified in the 17th century had changed. He added that only
legislation or Royal prerogative could bring about a change to
the city's name.

Last Updated: 20 August 2007 4:19 PM


Assets Recovery Agency Boss Bowing Out

Northern Ireland's top crime buster is expected to quit his post.

With his Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) due to to merge with the
Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) next year, Alan McQuillan
is planning to leave.

Its understood he will not be replaced in Belfast - raising fears
for the future direction of the intiative to seize assets and
cash from suspected criminals and racketeers.

Mr McQuillan, 52, the former acting deputy RUC chief constable,
was unavailable for comment but sources told the Press
Association he will stand down as the agency`s œ100,000-a-year
director for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Soca will be run from London after the merger next April and
although it is believed there are no plans at this stage to
downsize the Northern Ireland staff, Mr McQuillan`s departure
will be seen as a major setback.


Terrorist Videos On YouTube

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
By Connla Young

Internet website YouTube has told the Belfast Telegraph it is
reviewing its material after it faced demands to remove dozens of
video clips glorifying republican and loyalist paramilitary

The call from Alliance Party leader David Ford came after it
emerged that dozens of propaganda images of masked and armed men
have been posted on the popular video site.

The dramatic footage includes clips of suspected UDA gunmen
opening fire on police during the fierce rioting that swept
through loyalist areas after the contentious Whiterock parade in
Belfast in 2005.

The site also includes images of republicans trying to shoot down
an Army helicopter in south Armagh in the early 1990s.

One video, filmed at an IRA training camp, shows a dummy IRA
mortar bomb being fired while a group of armed men look on.

Dozens of other videos depicting armed shows of strength have
been posted on the site.

Now YouTube, which takes millions of hits across the globe each
day, is coming under increasing pressure to clamp down on
paramilitary images on its site.

Alliance Party leader and South Antrim MLA David Ford slammed the

He added: "There have been problems in the past with the YouTube

"It is absolutely outrageous that videos promoting the activities
of illegal organisations should be on the website.

"I call on YouTube to remove any such offensive material."

In the past YouTube has faced calls to remove controversial and
offensive material from its website.

Earlier this year the internet giants were criticised after a
Belfast Telegraph investigation revealed that teenagers regularly
post footage of staged street fights on the site.

The site has also been criticised in recent months for allowing
footage of joyriders wrecklessly racing through west Belfast
streets to be broadcast to a world-wide audience.

A spokesman for YouTube said the material was being reviewed.

He added: "The Internet gives everyone the opportunity to speak
and be heard.

"But by making it easier for people to express themselves the web
also raises cultural and political concerns in certain countries.

"That's why we make it easy for users to flag content they
believe violates our terms and conditions ? and where it does, we
remove it.

"We also work with the relevant local legal authorities when it
comes to content that may break local laws.

"We think this approach strikes the right balance between freedom
of expression and respect for local law."


Opin: Roisin McAliskey A Decade Of Injustice

Roisin McAliskey is facing a renewed extradition threat, but
Stormont remains silent

Jeremy Hardy
Wednesday August 22, 2007
The Guardian

In May 1997 R¢is¡n McAliskey was released from Holloway prison
just in time to give birth to her daughter. A few days after the
birth, still on bail, she was confined to a psychiatric hospital.
Some readers might remember that a German prosecutor was seeking
her extradition in connection with a failed mortar attack on the
British army barracks at Osnabruck, and that a large number of
people, me included, were adamant that the then home secretary,
Jack Straw, should refuse the application. After many months, he
did. Now, when we seem to be commemorating the anniversaries of
all years that end in seven, it seems unbelievable that McAliskey
is back in court today, facing the same threat she was facing 10
years ago.

Despite the fact that the evidence presented by the Germans was
feeble in the extreme, Straw insisted that his decision was based
purely on medical reports, and that no criticism of the
application was intended. Subsequently, however, the Crown
Prosecution Service examined the case with a view to prosecuting
McAliskey in the UK, and found that there was no prospect of a

I have always thought the fact that all the credible evidence
points to her innocence did play a part in Straw's decision to
stop the extradition. Then again, he also refused to extradite
Augusto Pinochet to Spain, and there were plenty of witnesses to
identify him as the man who ran Chile between 1973 and 1990. By
contrast, McAliskey was clearly not the woman she was alleged to
be, and she was genuinely very ill. As I recall, Pinochet was
well enough to stomach whole afternoons spent with Margaret
Thatcher. McAliskey's condition, on the other hand, was extremely

There were those who chose to believe that, because of pressure
from Sinn F‚in, the British government sexed up a bit of
postnatal depression to get out of an embarrassing predicament.
Aside from the fact that postnatal depression can be very
serious, McAliskey's trauma went way beyond it. This was a woman
who had been arrested when three months pregnant and taken to
Castlereagh interrogation centre. After a week there, she was
flown to London and jailed for the remainder of her pregnancy.
She was strip-searched more than 70 times.

In fact Straw was not satisfied with the psychiatric reports of
those who were caring for her after the birth and commissioned
his own. But it went further than the existing reports. The
psychiatrist who examined her wrote that sending her to Germany
would lead to irrecoverable damage. Straw duly did the decent
thing - out of character, perhaps, but credit where it's due.

So McAliskey was able to go home and try to get her life back on
track. When the CPS found no case to answer, that should have
been that, logically, morally and legally. But on May 21 this
year her road was sealed off by armed police and she was arrested
again. It transpired that, last October, Germany had dusted off
its old arrest warrant following new Euro legislation whereby a
member state can demand an extradition and the defendant can be
despatched by a magistrate without any consideration of the

The old extradition law had one safeguard: the home secretary was
obliged to consider whether surrendering the defendant was unjust
or oppressive. The new law means our government offers us no
protection at all. We can be sent to another jurisdiction and
tried there. In Germany that means no right to a jury, and in a
case like McAliskey's a trial of a year or two without bail. She
has two children; I don't know what provision Germany has made
for them.

But if the British government can't do anything, what can the
spanking new Northern Ireland executive do? Well, roughly the
same, but you might have thought Sinn F‚in would be vocalising in
some way. Policing was, after all, a sticking point for them.
Interestingly, the Serious Organised Crime Agency received the
resubmitted German warrant last November. But its officers didn't
turn up at McAliskey's until May, two weeks after Sinn F‚in was
safely tucked up in Stormont.

Irish republicans have shown a reluctance to criticise anything
about Germany since the Kaiser sent them rifles; I have no such
qualms. Its prosecution service deserves opprobrium in this
matter. However, I am afraid that we in perfidious Albion also
need to buck our ideas up. Our leaders contrive ever more
elaborate ways to get us into prison, and outsourcing seems to be
one of them. Perhaps Eurosceptics should stop raging about the
Human Rights Act and focus on the European arrest warrant.

Jeremy Hardy begins a national stand-up tour on September 15


Opin: Get It Right, You Tubes!

[Published: Wednesday 22, August 2007 - 11:05]

Once again, internet website You Tube has been asked to clean up
its act, after the publication of more controversial images.

This time dramatic footage includes clips of masked IRA and UDA
terrorists, as well as rioters in Belfast attacking police.

Some of the images show IRA men preparing to shoot down an Army
helicopter, in the early 1990s.

You Tube takes millions of hits world-wide every day, so the
people who run this website must realise the harm they are doing
to the image of this country.

Quite apart from the fact that much of this controversial footage
is years out of date.

Northern Ireland is slowly emerging from decades of conflict, but
this type of offensive material can only harm that process and
prolong the time it takes for this community to heal its wounds.

Alliance leader, David Ford is pressing You Tube to remove what
he rightly describes as 'offensive' material.

The internet is one of the wonders of the modern age, but with
the awesome power to influence attitudes world-wide comes

This is a classic case where that responsibility should be
exercised -- immediately.

c Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Now Gerry's On A Collusion Course ...

[Published: Wednesday 22, August 2007 - 11:40]
By Lindy McDowell

Be Careful What You Wish For ... Part 268. When Gerry Adams
launched his Campaign for Truth About Collusion a couple of weeks
back, I pointed out, as indeed did a number of other
commentators, that this one had the potential to bite back at
Sinn Fein.

And it has.

One of the big stories rumbling around this week has been reports
about how a senior Sinn Fein figure (another one) was a police
informer who conspired in the murder of a part-time policeman in
Co Down.

The DUP's David Simpson (he is a cousin of the murder victim and,
thus, unlikely to let the matter drop) says he will name the man
involved under parliamentary privilege when Westminster sits
again in October. Who is the man at the centre of the
allegations? Frankly, that is not the only intriguing aspect of
the case ? Will Gerry be demanding answers about this potential

Of course not.

That's not the sort of 'truth' the Truth campaign hopes to

But there's another much greater truth that the campaign would
prefer to gloss over too. The crimes and murders of the IRA in

In the course of the Troubles this terrorist organisation killed
hundreds more people (including Catholics) than any other group.
Many of the bombings and the shootings which wiped out almost
2,000 human lives were claimed at the time in gloating statements
by the IRA 'army council'.

But you wouldn't think so today.

Today, it's almost impossible to find a single IRA member who
will admit to actually doing anything during the Troubles. Oh, of
course they were all 'activists'. But when it comes to citing
individual examples of activity, suddenly they're all coy about
'claiming responsibility'.

History is being rewritten so that it seems as if every
imprisoned IRA man or woman was behind bars for a crime he or she
did not commit.

What fascinates me is why this should be.

That the IRA collectively should own up to its crimes - but that
individually the 'activists' seem to be, well, ashamed of their

Could it be that they've finally copped that out here in the real
world even the cordite groupies who might seem impressed by vague
talk of how you played an active role during the 'struggle',
would find it difficult to deal with the specifics of that role?

That actually they would edge away, a look of genuine horror and
repulsion in their eyes, if you were to spell out that it
entailed shooting an unarmed man in the back, planting a bomb in
a street crowded with shoppers, murdering innocent men, women and
children ... The republican movement has been particularly clever
at moving the emphasis away from the scale of the misery it
inflicted on the people of this land. One of its key weapons in
switching the spotlight elsewhere has been its highly successful
collusion campaign.

Aided by a largely poodle northern media (it's different in the
south) it has been able to promote the notion that the only
murders we should be concerned about are murders where collusion
is alleged. Unfortunately for Gerry (who is on record as saying
that he was never himself an IRA member) the collusion thing has
again veered off course with this latest claim that a party
colleague (yet another party colleague) was a police tout.

That's the danger with collusion campaigns, you see.

Sometimes they come to the wrong collusion.


Opin: The War's Over - But Who Won?

By Alex Kane

If, as tradition has it, history is fashioned and written by the
victor, then who will write the official history of the Troubles?
Or, putting that question in a blunter form, who won?

Well, it clearly wasn't the IRA. An analysis of military
operations in Northern Ireland since 1969 - prepared under the
direction of the Chief of the General Staff and published a few
weeks ago - claimed that the organisation "will probably be seen
as one of the most effective terrorist organisations in history.
Professional, dedicated, highly skilled and resilient.". Praise

Yet for all that professionalism and dedication, the IRA signed
up to a deal which didn't actually advance their ultimate goal by
a geographical, constitutional or philosophical inch. Thirty-five
years of a supposedly "highly skilled" terrorist campaign hasn't
ended the British presence in Ireland; but it has ensured that
Conor Murphy can spend lots of money putting new tarmac on
Northern Ireland's roads, so Michelle Gildernew can stop diseased
cattle from wandering backwards and forwards across the border,
and that Caitriona Ruane can give all the Patricks and
Bernadettes a really good education before they head off to jobs
in other parts of the United Kingdom.

If the IRA didn't achieve its goals and if its strength from the
1980s onwards was "fairly stable, with a hard core of about 30
leaders plus 200 to 300 active terrorists", then why wasn't it
finished off by the vastly superior forces of the regular Army,
RUC and UDR/RIR? The Army's own analysis of Operation Banner does
say that the "British

Government's main military objective in the 1980s was the
destruction of PIRA, rather than resolving the conflict", but it
also hints that the measures required for total suppression would
have been enormously difficult to enforce, as well as being
potentially counter-productive.

I'm not convinced by that analysis.

My own suspicion is that the policy pursued by successive British
administrations has been one of neutralising the IRA (along with
any other manifestation of armed republicanism) while, at the
same time, creating a political environment which persuaded
republicans and nationalists in general that unionism had been
emasculated and no longer posed any threat to them. In other
words, beating the IRA in military terms alone was never going to
be enough, for it would simply ensure that the torch would
eventually be passed on to another generation of armed

If (as I wrote in December, 1979) the "Irish Question" or "Ulster
Problem" was to be finally resolved, then the solution had to be
one which convinced the IRA that they weren't going to be allowed
to win; that took unionists to the very ledge of the Union
without throwing them off; and which persuaded the
republican/nationalist community that an internal settlement was
a pretty good option.

It had to be a solution in which all sides believed they had won
enough to sell to their own supporters and it had to be a
solution which could be endorsed and promoted jointly by British,
Irish and American administrations.

And that's why Sunningdale failed in 1974. Margaret Ritchie and
her SDLP colleagues have been telling us, yet again, how wise
they were back then and how grateful they are that everyone else
has finally caught up with the brilliance of their strategy. What
she and Seamus Mallon conveniently forget to tell us is that it
was the SDLP's insistence on a Council of Ireland, and their
refusal to cut Brian Faulkner any slack at the end of 1973, which
played straight into the hands of

anti-Sunningdale unionism.

The UUP and UUC endorsed power-sharing in 1973, but a Council of
Ireland was too much, too soon. It took the SDLP until 1998
before they recognised that the Council was a non-runner. Talk
about slow learners


Again, when the original Agreement was signed in 1998, all of the
pieces were still not in place. A substantial minority of the UUP
and the entire DUP were opposed to the deal. And so too, if truth
be known, was the IRA. It was clear from the outset that they
weren't keen on decommissioning at all; and they certainly
weren't going to do very much against a background in which
unionism appeared to be on the brink of rejecting the Agreement
if Trimble fell and the UUP imploded.

The chronology of the Troubles and the progress towards a
solution can be viewed as a series of turning points and tipping
points for all of the key players. The problem, of course, is
deciding where to begin the chronology: 1169; 1315; the
Plantation; the Act of Union; 1920; 1949;

1968. Wherever you begin and whatever interpretation you choose
to put upon events, the reality today is that all sides now
believe that they have enough to sell to their own supporters.
Whether it will amount to a lasting settlement is another
question entirely.

Sinn Fein hasn't abandoned its campaign for a united Ireland and
will continue to maximise its vote and manufacture grievances for
political exploitation. The SDLP may welcome the present internal
accommodation as an affirmation of its own decades-old approach
to the problem, but it still talks of an all-Ireland utopia.

As I see it, nationalists and republicans will now hijack and
adapt the Shared Future strategy to pursue policies which are the
very antithesis of what they supposedly endorsed in the 1998

For all of the DUP's claims to the contrary, they haven't
rectified the mistakes of the original Agreement and built in

Instead, they have made the very serious error of confusing veto
with accountability and have left us with structures which cannot
address, let alone destroy, the sectarian bias which will
continue to divide society and undermine any progress towards
normal politics. A fairer deal, which I had some sympathy for I
must admit, should have embraced total accountability and a
functioning opposition. For entirely selfish reasons the DUP
decided not to go there. They will, and much sooner than they
expect, come to regret that decision.

Anyway, back to my opening question of who won and who writes the
official history? It's much too early to tell at this stage and
not least because of the fact that it's beginning to look as
though the Belfast Agreement is merely a turning point rather
than a final settlement.

Last Updated: 20 August 2007 11:24 AM


Rev. Greg Brennan: Dedicated Priest, Troy Native Dies

Body of Rev. Greg Brennan, 56, found after apparent boat accident

By JIMMY VIELKIND, Staff writer

First published: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SOUTH VALLEY -- Friends and family Tuesday evening recalled the
Rev. Greg Brennan, a Troy native who died in an apparent boating
accident over the weekend, as active in both church and community

The body of Brennan, 56, a Cattaraugus County priest, was found
late Monday after he was reported missing in Allegany State Park.
Brennan was a graduate of Catholic Central High School and Siena
College, said his sister, Jeanne Gibson.

An avid outdoorsman, Brennan spent last weekend as he often did,
at a cabin near the Onoville Marina on Kinzua Dam Reservoir,
which straddles the New York-Pennsylvania line.

His damaged 19-foot motor boat was discovered Saturday evening on
the reservoir's east shore in Pennsylvania, a few miles south of
a marina in South Valley where it was usually moored.

Brennan settled in southwestern New York 28 years ago, Gibson
said. A member of the Franciscan Order since 1974, Brennan served
as the pastor of St. Pacificus Church in Humphrey since 1989 and
had worked in the business office of St. Bonaventure University
in Olean for 21 years.

"Father Greg," as he was known, was an active volunteer
firefighter and department chaplain and was at one point
president of the New York State Firefighter Chaplain's
Association. He was also active in the Ancient Order of
Hibernians and the Boy Scouts of America.

"Our hearts are broken, both personally here at St. Bonaventure
and for all of the people in the Southern Tier whose lives Father
Greg touched, especially his parishioners at St. Pacificus and
all of the fire company members in Olean and Allegany to whom he
dedicated his spirit and energy," Sister Margaret Carney, St.
Bonaventure's president, said.

Brennan is survived by his mother, father, two sisters and two
brothers, all of whom live in the Capital District.

Calling hours will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and from 1 to 9
p.m. Friday at the St. Bonaventure University Chapel. The funeral
Mass will be 9 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary of the Angels Church in
Olean. A memorial service is being planned at St. Joseph's Church
in Troy.

Jimmy Vielkind can be reached at 454-5043 or by e-mail at

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