News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

March 31, 2008

Overall Table of Contents

To receive this news via email, See Below
To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)


Rev Harold Wood, Methodist Minister from N Ireland (Part 1)
Rev Harold Wood, Methodist Minister from N Ireland (Part 2)

News Searches & Links to News Sources

Monthly Table of Contents 11/07
Monthly Table of Contents 10/07
Monthly Table of Contents 09/07

Monthly Table of Contents 08/07
Monthly Table of Contents 06/07
Monthly Table of Contents 05/07
Monthly Table of Contents 04/07
Monthly Table of Contents 03/07
Monthly Table of Contents 02/07
Monthly Table of Contents 01/07
Monthly Table of Contents 12/06
Monthly Table of Contents 11/06
Monthly Table of Contents 10/06
Monthly Table of Contents 09/06
Monthly Table of Contents 08/06
Monthly Table of Contents 07/06
Monthly Table of Contents 06/06
Monthly Table of Contents 05/06
Monthly Table of Contents 04/06
Monthly Table of Contents 03/06

Monthly Table of Contents 02/06
Monthly Table of Contents 01/06
Monthly Table of Contents 12/05
Monthly Table of Contents 11/05
Monthly Table of Contents 10/05
Monthly Table of Contents 09/05
Monthly Table of Contents 08/05
Monthly Table of Contents 07/05
Monthly Table of Contents 06/05
Monthly Table of Contents 05/05
Monthly Table of Contents 04/05
Monthly Table of Contents 03/05
Monthly Table of Contents 02/05
Monthly Table of Contents 01/05
Monthly Table of Contents 12/04
Monthly Table of Contents 11/04

News Searches & Links to News Sources

Google Groups
Subscribe to IrishAiresNews

Browse Archives at

Irish Blogs

March 11, 2008

Opin: Truth About Paisley Is Not Pleasant Reading

Opin: The Truth About Paisley Does Not Make Pleasant Reading

Sunday, March 09, 2008 By Tom McGurk Sunday Business Post

I suspect that the proverbial visitor from Mars might be
somewhat confused reading last week’s eulogies to Ian
Paisley’s political career.

The political establishments in Dublin, London and Belfast
fell over themselves not to spoil the farewell party with
their effusive tributes. It’s almost as though some
delicate charade has to be kept up until, finally, the
door slams in May on the retirement home in Carrickfergus
and the key is firmly turned. Until then, the ancient and
dangerous elephant is still grinning at us from the corner
of the room. Some have been seeking refuge in speculating
on how history might judge him, which is something I think
we are required to do now, and not at some point in the

The truth of it is that, over the past 40 years, Ian Kyle
Paisley was - more than any other single individual - a
primary cause and hugely responsible for the bloody and
murderous carnage that dominated life in Ireland.

The fact that, in the end, he led what was left of
unionism into a new and historic power-sharing deal with
nationalism was proof, not of his reformation, but of his
sheer political opportunism. Only one so utterly cynical
could continue to insist that what he had done was somehow
profoundly different to what David Trimble or Brian
Faulkner had done before him.

The 2007 St Andrew’s deal is essentially the 1973
Sunningdale Agreement with a few different bells on it,
but we have all had to keep our mouths shut for months
now. A wrong word in the wrong place, and the Big Man
might bolt again across the land of the dreary spires,
scattering courtiers and civil servants before him. The
truth is that the king (or First Minister) has had no
clothes for a long time now, but it suited us all to say

There is a version of our - and his - history which must
not be forgotten, however sentimental the moment might be.
In the beginning, had he not destroyed Terence O’Neill and
those small progressive forces in unionism, the campaign
for full and equal civil rights within the United Kingdom
might not have turned into a bloody war for a united
Ireland. Had he not continuously and outrageously stoked
the fires of sectarianism, there is a real chance that the
events of August 1969 in West Belfast - which largely
created the Provisional IRA - might never have happened.

Had he not undermined unionism from the outside down all
the years, the Sunningdale Agreement could conceivably
have begun a healing process 34 years ago. Above all, he
publicly identified himself with a degree of naked
sectarianism that poisoned society in the North and went a
long way towards creating the physiological context for
the loyalist murder gangs. He never killed or shot anyone,
he may never have behaved illegally, but without the
climate he created in the 1960s and 1970s, could the
Shankill Butchers have felt justified?

In the end, age and ambition got him, shrinking him down
to become one half of the unlikeliest political couple
that the world has ever seen. Down the years, when the IRA
seemed to be running out of options, there was always
Paisley to rescue them with his bully-boy political
antics. And ironically, at the end of 30 years of war and
with republicans desperate to deliver some sort of result,
there was Paisley to rescue them yet again by propping up
a localised and devolved regional assembly.

Even now, one cannot see him in the mind’s eye without
speculating on what might have been, and what might not.
Perhaps, down the years, he has succeeded even in blinding
himself to the enormous damage he did to the province that
he claims to have loved so much. And as he forever extols
the pain and loss of those who died around him, does he
ever for a moment consider who made the stones for the

Nor might his ghost be vanquished yet. I suspect that
those who look forward to a flawless succession and power-
sharing business as usual might be in for a few surprises.
I believe that the DUP post Paisley will be an entirely
different political entity with an entirely different
political dynamic - and, sooner or later, that may affect

Jim Allister and his nascent Traditional Unionist Voice
have only Paisley’s example to begin the now-familiar
process of undermining the new unionist establishment
created by the DUP.

They will, of course, copy the master by raising fears and
playing on prejudices and seeking to undermine any
unionist who attempts to treat any nationalist as an
equal. They are opposed to mandatory coalition, which is
merely another way of saying that they are opposed to
powersharing. And they are spouting some guff about
getting rid of the IRA’s Army Council.

Will some class of new Paisley come among us? Allister is
limited enough material to begin with, but he knows all
the old sell-out tunes. He’s dull and stolid, but
apparently he’s already mischief-making on the DUP
backbenches. Papa Doc and Baby Doc made enemies both in
terms of putting Sinn Fein in government and then by not
putting certain people in ministerial posts - and now
these people are circling. For example, the recent inside
information fed to the press about the methods employed by
the Paisley and Robinson families seemingly to employ
relatives on HMG’s payroll came from within the DUP

Now, as the old man limps off into the sunset, he leaves
behind, not a political party with ideological positions
and with tried and tested political structures, but a
political cabal forced together by various events - and
one that, I suspect, only he could ever hold together.

It remains to be seen if Paisleyism can survive without

March 10, 2008

GFA 10th Anniversary: Peace Without Justice

Northern Ireland: Peace Without Justice

It has been 10 years since the Belfast Agreement ended centuries of
armed Nationalist resistance to English rule in Ireland. The British
took their time implementing the demilitarization measures and the
elected Assembly and, in the mean time, loyalist militants would kill
over thirty Catholics. Despite the good intentions of Prime Minister
Blair, the Army and MI-5 have blocked all progress on the Agreement’s
call for independent inquires into security force collusion with
loyalist death squads and the corruption of law in the North.
America weighed in once before to bring about the peace. Will it do
the same now to see that justice is done?

The accord was immediately dubbed the “Good Friday Agreement,” with
its adoption in 1998. Civil rights activist and former Member of
Parliament Bernadette Devlin, who survived one assassination attempt
at the hands of the British Army, panned both the document and the
label by stating “I think they should have waited until Holy
Saturday.” In several respects she was right. The British were
anxious to reduce the violence to manageable levels. The period
leading up to the agreement from 1994 to 1996 included a surge of
loyalist slaughter including the butchering of 16 year old James
Morgan and the murder of dozens of others including Ben Hughes and
John Slane, two fathers who left 11 children behind. By the time the
second IRA cease-fire ended in 1996 with the Canary Wharf bombing,
the British people were weary of the failed Irish policies of the
Thatcher-Major era.

The peace pact was the result of a unique collaboration between,
President Clinton, who took his own counsel on N. I., and Prime
Minister Blair, the first Labor leader in living memory who didn’t
need loyalist votes to govern. Add to their patience and wisdom the
skill of the moderator, former Senator George Mitchell and a new era
was ushered into Irish history. Well almost. The ink was barely dry
when the loyalist and British backsliding began on both the letter
and spirit of the documents. The elected Assembly —without policing
and justice powers---has functioned only since 2005 and troop
withdrawals were regularly delayed. Although violence has subsided,
thirty-one Catholics have been killed since 1998 including Gerald
Lalor, Danny McColgan, Ciaran Cummings and most recently Michael
McIlveen aged 15. To appease militant loyalists two supplemental
understandings were adopted at Weston Park and St Andrew’s. However,
the ‘truth and justice’ sections, as they have come to be called,
have languished with negligible progress.

Just what are these justice issues?

• Unsolved killings—Sinn Fein and others including the Irish
government were apparently under the delusion that Britain would make
some effort to explain the failure to arrest, prosecute or convict in
over 1000 unsolved murders in the North. The victims were mostly
Catholic. The Director of Public Prosecution also failed to indict
even one person from the investigation of British Constable Stevens
who documented murders involving collusion with security forces.

• Bloody Sunday, Dublin/Monaghan & Omagh—Thirty-six years after that
fateful day in Derry Britain will not indicate when its report into
the Bloody Sunday massacre will be released.

The single largest atrocity of the conflict, the Dublin/Monaghan
bombings were carried out by a loyalist death squad and the British
Army. An investigation into that act of war, which for Ireland was on
the scale of a “9/11” attack, has been stonewalled by the British
Ministry of Defense.

Likewise the Omagh bombing will not be independently looked at because too many secrets of the security forces would be revealed.

• Pat Finucane & Rosemary Nelson---These two lawyers were assassinated
for their work challenging the corrupt justice apparatus Britain
established to prop up garrison rule. Security force involvement in
the assassination is certain. Britain is not cooperating with
investigators fearing disclosures will destroy the spin and expose the
deceit of their ‘upholding the rule of law.’

Can American leadership again be expected to bring some urgency to
getting answers to the justice issues? The chemistry of Clinton and
Blair is not likely to be repeated unless Senator Clinton were to
become President. The Department of State remains blinded by a World
War II ‘special relationship’ psyche. Their diplomacy with the U. K
is based on deals not justice. Britain’s delay and cover up on these
matters is understandable. Slowly a picture has emerged in Northern
Ireland of a violent 40 year criminal conspiracy by the governments
against the Catholic Nationalists. If America and Americans don’t
demand Britain live up to the justice issues of the Belfast Agreement,
there will be no accountability, no justice for the victims of their lawlessness and a history of the era built on lies.

Michael J. Cummings, Member
National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference
and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and former National
Executive member of the Irish Northern Aid Committee
12 Marion Ave
Albany, New York 12203-1814
518-482-0349, 518-447-4802

March 09, 2008

Paisley: I Smashed Sinn Fein

(Poster’s Note: What kind of LOYALIST/UNIONIST is Paisley? He agreed
to participate in ALL-IRELAND governmental bodies; he agreed to the
Good Friday Agreement which has the mechanism to UNITED the 32
counties into ONE country. His references to not shaking hands are
similar to Pontius Pilot who thought he could cleanse his soul by
washing his hands. Ian, you can’t make deals with “Sinn Fein/IRA” and

claim to be an innocent just because you don’t shake hands. These
comments show how UGLY his TWO faces are!! Jay)


Northern Ireland's outgoing First Minister Ian Paisley today
provocatively asserted that Sinn Féin were no longer "true
republicans" because they had 'accepted' Britain's right to
govern in Northern Ireland.

Mr Paisley (81) who will retire as First Minister in May,
said he had achieved his aim and "smashed" Sinn Féin because
they were now involved in the political process.

"I did smash them, because I took away their main plank.
Their main plank was that the would not recognise the
British Government. Now they are in part of the British

He added: "They can't be true republicans when they now
accept the right of Britain to govern this country and to
take part in that government."

He also dismissed suggestions he had been forced out by an
internal Democratic Unionist Party coup. He said the reason
he stepped down was because it was time for a "new
generation" to shape the country's future.

"There's a new thinking in Ulster today, not only that there
is a new generation. There are people now coming out of
their teens, they didn't know the troubles. They were never
there - that's the sort of country they want to live in.
They should be given the opportunity to help to mould that
country and how they feel it should be run."

There has been speculation that Mr Paisley was forced to
quit after coming under pressure from his party over the
activities of his son, Ian Paisley Jnr.

But Mr Paisley said: "There's always people in every party
who, for reasons best known to themselves, will take
different attitudes. But that's politics and I think people
know that I wouldn't budge very easily if I didn't want to."

On his relationship with Mr McGuiness, Mr Paisley said
despite their good working relationship the pair had never
shaken hands as to do so would be a "farce".

Mr Paisley, who will remain as the MP and Assembly member
for North Antrim, described himself as a "sinner saved by
the grace of God".

He continued: "I have my faults, which are many, which I
lament. I want to do the best for my country and I want to
say that I believed that when I helped to get a settlement
of the Northern Ireland situation - and I was only a helper,
I don't deserve all the praise."

The Irish American Information Service is a non-profit organization
providing up-to-the-minute political news from Ireland to the world.
The IAIS is funded entirely by your contributions. Please send your
tax-deductible contributions to IAIS at 505 S East St, Culpeper VA

You can visit us on the Web at

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?