You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2005.

Irelandclick.com

On Halloween Joe Baker travels back in time and recalls some stories from Belfast’s recent past

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I guess it’s that time of the year when we turn our attention to the more sinister and supernatural aspects of life or indeed death.

One of these subjects is going to be ghosts and many stories are going to be told where people meet but sadly most of them are going to be comple nonsense. For example there is a number of tours arranged which bring folk around what’s meant to be Belfast’s haunted spots but sadly they are all the result of someone’s over active imagination. One example being the Belfast hangman who roams the streets looking for victims but the slight historical downfall is that not only have there never been any Belfast hangman but there is no record of any Irish ones either!

In Belfast there are thousands of ghost stories and for people such as myself the hard work is not in gathering them but in trying to figure out which ones are absolute rubbish. People do this in different ways but I do this by exploring the incident on which the ghost stories are based. For example if it’s centred around a man who was tragically killed in a certain place then I try to find out if a man was indeed killed at that place in a tragic way. If not then it’s obviously rubbish.

But there’s really one question which we must ask ourselves when it comes to these and that is what are they? There are many explanations for ghosts ranging from trapped souls through to images caught in time. The latter would actually seem quite sensible given the fact that not all ghosts are ‘human’. For example in London there is a case of a ghostly bus and in several parts of the country there are cases of ghostly trains with one being the infamous ghost train of South Armagh. However, these explanations only focus on sightings but what of other supernatural activities? Poltergeists are infamous paranormal experiences where objects, and sometimes people, are thrown around and if that is not good enough then how do we explain occasions when ghostly feelings, sounds and smells have been experienced?

GHOSTLY SMELL!

The latter would seem to be quite unusual but there are numerous cases of strange smells being sensed in areas where paranormal activity occurs. The human body is made up of five senses if we ignore the alleged sixth sense. There are ghosts which can be seen, ghosts which can be felt, ghosts which can be heard so why not ghosts that can be sensed through smell? The other sense of taste is not ignored, as there are indeed cases of people who have experienced a foul taste in their mouths in places of paranormal activity.

PRISON GHOSTS

In Belfast there are cases of householders being almost overcome with the smell of gas and when the supply was checked it was found to be fine. One such case was on the Crumlin Road and when research was carried out on the history of the house it was discovered that two sisters had actually died in the very room where the smell was detected and that they had been overcome by gas fumes.

Another case also occurred on the Crumlin Road this time at the Belfast Prison. There are numerous ghost stories in this building with one said to have been an American Jew who was hanged in the 1930’s for a murder which he may not have committed. A ghostly figure matching his description had been seen wandering the walkways of the prison wings and most of the sightings were by the warders.

EXECUTION CELL

A few years ago I was one of those who organised several tours of this prison and everyone on it agreed that once they were in the execution cell they were overcome by a sudden coldness and this was before they even knew what the cell was. Another ghost in the prison was said to be that of a young boy who had horrifically took his own life, as he was terrified of being whipped by the prison hangman. For years after this tragedy it was said that the cries of a young boy could be heard in the dead of night which must have been a scary experience for the other prisoners.

TRAGEDY

A few months before the outbreak of the First World War two parents were locked up in the Belfast Prison with their children being looked after by the grandmother in two small rented rooms at 29 Constance Street in the Ballymacarrett area of the city.

The grandmother, Matilda Roberts, worked in the Belfast Ropeworks and when she went to work Mrs Lowry, whom the rooms was rented, looked after the children and gave them their breakfast. On the 28 January 1914, Ms Roberts went to work as normal leaving Mrs Lowry to get the children up and give them their breakfast, which she did. Mrs Lowry lit a small fire in the front room to give them some heat and after leaving the eldest child aged seven in charge left to do some shopping. A short time afterwards Anna Hamilton, who lived next door at number 27, was sitting at home when she heard the screams of children coming from next door.

On rushing in she found George Roberts, who was aged three, in flames and running around. She managed to get him down and put out the flames using a shawl. She then ripped off the burning clothes and sent the children to get help. Medical help arrived and the young child was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Templemore Avenue and placed in one of the emergency beds.

Back in the Belfast Prison the parents were told nothing of this occurrence, as there was no way of communicating with them. In these days the prison was extremely strict and was divided into separate sections for men, women and children.

CRYING SOUND

There was never any talking allowed between prisoners and visits were only arranged under exceptional circumstances. That evening the prisoners were locked in their cells at the usual time of around six and Mrs Roberts, like the rest of the prison, settled down to sleep as they were usually awakened around 5am the following morning.

However, this night Mrs Roberts was to get no sleep whatsoever. Later in the night she was awakened by the sound of gentle crying. Instantly she recognised this crying as that of her youngest child George. This crying stopped but the second it did Mrs Roberts later stated that the room was filled with the most disgusting burning smell, which lingered for a few moments and then completely disappeared. Mrs Roberts went into hysterics, as she knew something was seriously wrong. She banged and banged at the strong wooden door until a warder came along but he simply told her to shut up and get back to her bed. This had no effect and poor Mrs Roberts continued banging and clawing at the door in tears until she fell down with exhaustion.

The warder had placed her on report and the time of the incident was noted as 2.35am. Back at the Ulster Hospital the young boy died as a result of his horrific injuries. The time of death – 2.30am!

NEXT WEEK – The Ghost of the Belfast Workhouse

Irelandclick.com

by Victoria McMahon

In an attempt to turn the tide on the growing number of violent racist attacks in South Belfast a new race relations post has been created – understood to be the first of its kind in the North.
South Belfast currently holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of attacks against ethnic minorities in the city, with a new high of 108 racist attacks being recorded during April 2004 to March this year. In response the Northern Ireland Office [NIO] has created for the first time the post of a Race Relations Co-ordinator for South Belfast. The new race chief, June Spindler, previously worked as a community manager in South Belfast and she beat off stiff competition to be appointed to the position.
Funding from the NIO and the South Belfast Partnership Board has been secured for the community post for the next two and a half years – until March 2008.
In her first interview since her appointment June Spindler told the South Belfast News: “I am looking forward to promoting the good race relations work that is already being done in various community projects throughout South Belfast.
“Recently I visited Morton Community Centre on the Lisburn Road and they are doing some great work there. There is a lot of positive work on the ground that I will being trying to build on,” she said.
Following the damning revelation that South Belfast tops the poll in the number of racist attacks, the district has been labelled and perceived as an unwelcoming part of the city for those from different ethnic backgrounds wishing to settle here.
It is a label the newly-appointed Race Relations Co-ordinator will be trying to remove.

Ms Spindler said she would be doing this through “grass roots community work and educating people who have lived in these areas all their lives that there is nothing to fear from culturally diverse neighbours.

“It is about changing this negative perception. I will be working with community leaders in their own areas to identify what resources are needed in these areas and then decide how we can go about attracting funding for projects that will bring the whole community together,” said Ms Spindler.

Journalist:: Victoria McMahon

Irelandclick.com

by Roisin McManus

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has paid tribute to local party veteran Marie Moore who is set to be honoured by the party at a gala event this Saturday.

Marie is due to receive recognition for her lifelong commitment to the republican struggle at an event organised by the Céad Bliain Committee to commemorate the party’s 100th anniversary.

It is expected that around 1,000 quests will attend the event at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel. The night will include a four course meal and music by the Irish Sopranos and the James Peake Experience.

Other party members to be honoured on the night include Eileen Shiels (Leinster), Brendan Mohan (Connaught/Uladh), Eddie Collins (Munster), Lucilita Bhreachnach (Dublin) and John Gawned (Australia).

Councillor Moore has served 13 years on Belfast City Council. A life long republican, Marie was the first Sinn Féin Deputy Mayor of Belfast and served from 1999-2000. She has been involved in local politics since 1969.

During her political career Marie has been involved in tackling a range of issues including housing, women’s health, anti-social behaviour, child welfare and equality.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said that Marie Moore has played a significant role in the development of Sinn Féin both locally and nationally for over three decades.

“During the difficult days of the prison protests Marie was the head of the PoW Department,” said the Sinn Féin President.

“This honour is a reflection on the high esteem in which Marie is held by republicans across the island and is a recognition of the pivotal role she has played over such a long period. From the day as a young girl when she witnessed the arrest of Tom Williams, through lean times for republicans and into the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s and through to the point we are at today, Marie Moore has been there providing leadership and offering assistance.”

Mr Adams said that the award is also a recognition for Marie’s family who have also had to endure much hardship over the years for their commitment to the republican struggle.

“I am looking forward to the evening in Dublin when republicans the length and breadth of Ireland and beyond will gather to pay a unique tribute to Marie and the other nominees,” he added.

Journalist:: Roisin McManus

Irelandclick.com

On Halloween Joe Baker travels back in time and recalls some stories from Belfast’s recent past

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I guess it’s that time of the year when we turn our attention to the more sinister and supernatural aspects of life or indeed death.

One of these subjects is going to be ghosts and many stories are going to be told where people meet but sadly most of them are going to be comple nonsense. For example there is a number of tours arranged which bring folk around what’s meant to be Belfast’s haunted spots but sadly they are all the result of someone’s over active imagination. One example being the Belfast hangman who roams the streets looking for victims but the slight historical downfall is that not only have there never been any Belfast hangman but there is no record of any Irish ones either!

In Belfast there are thousands of ghost stories and for people such as myself the hard work is not in gathering them but in trying to figure out which ones are absolute rubbish. People do this in different ways but I do this by exploring the incident on which the ghost stories are based. For example if it’s centred around a man who was tragically killed in a certain place then I try to find out if a man was indeed killed at that place in a tragic way. If not then it’s obviously rubbish.

But there’s really one question which we must ask ourselves when it comes to these and that is what are they? There are many explanations for ghosts ranging from trapped souls through to images caught in time. The latter would actually seem quite sensible given the fact that not all ghosts are ‘human’. For example in London there is a case of a ghostly bus and in several parts of the country there are cases of ghostly trains with one being the infamous ghost train of South Armagh. However, these explanations only focus on sightings but what of other supernatural activities? Poltergeists are infamous paranormal experiences where objects, and sometimes people, are thrown around and if that is not good enough then how do we explain occasions when ghostly feelings, sounds and smells have been experienced?

GHOSTLY SMELL!

The latter would seem to be quite unusual but there are numerous cases of strange smells being sensed in areas where paranormal activity occurs. The human body is made up of five senses if we ignore the alleged sixth sense. There are ghosts which can be seen, ghosts which can be felt, ghosts which can be heard so why not ghosts that can be sensed through smell? The other sense of taste is not ignored, as there are indeed cases of people who have experienced a foul taste in their mouths in places of paranormal activity.

PRISON GHOSTS

In Belfast there are cases of householders being almost overcome with the smell of gas and when the supply was checked it was found to be fine. One such case was on the Crumlin Road and when research was carried out on the history of the house it was discovered that two sisters had actually died in the very room where the smell was detected and that they had been overcome by gas fumes.

Another case also occurred on the Crumlin Road this time at the Belfast Prison. There are numerous ghost stories in this building with one said to have been an American Jew who was hanged in the 1930’s for a murder which he may not have committed. A ghostly figure matching his description had been seen wandering the walkways of the prison wings and most of the sightings were by the warders.

EXECUTION CELL

A few years ago I was one of those who organised several tours of this prison and everyone on it agreed that once they were in the execution cell they were overcome by a sudden coldness and this was before they even knew what the cell was. Another ghost in the prison was said to be that of a young boy who had horrifically took his own life, as he was terrified of being whipped by the prison hangman. For years after this tragedy it was said that the cries of a young boy could be heard in the dead of night which must have been a scary experience for the other prisoners.

TRAGEDY

A few months before the outbreak of the First World War two parents were locked up in the Belfast Prison with their children being looked after by the grandmother in two small rented rooms at 29 Constance Street in the Ballymacarrett area of the city.

The grandmother, Matilda Roberts, worked in the Belfast Ropeworks and when she went to work Mrs Lowry, whom the rooms was rented, looked after the children and gave them their breakfast. On the 28 January 1914, Ms Roberts went to work as normal leaving Mrs Lowry to get the children up and give them their breakfast, which she did. Mrs Lowry lit a small fire in the front room to give them some heat and after leaving the eldest child aged seven in charge left to do some shopping. A short time afterwards Anna Hamilton, who lived next door at number 27, was sitting at home when she heard the screams of children coming from next door.

On rushing in she found George Roberts, who was aged three, in flames and running around. She managed to get him down and put out the flames using a shawl. She then ripped off the burning clothes and sent the children to get help. Medical help arrived and the young child was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Templemore Avenue and placed in one of the emergency beds.

Back in the Belfast Prison the parents were told nothing of this occurrence, as there was no way of communicating with them. In these days the prison was extremely strict and was divided into separate sections for men, women and children.

CRYING SOUND

There was never any talking allowed between prisoners and visits were only arranged under exceptional circumstances. That evening the prisoners were locked in their cells at the usual time of around six and Mrs Roberts, like the rest of the prison, settled down to sleep as they were usually awakened around 5am the following morning.

However, this night Mrs Roberts was to get no sleep whatsoever. Later in the night she was awakened by the sound of gentle crying. Instantly she recognised this crying as that of her youngest child George. This crying stopped but the second it did Mrs Roberts later stated that the room was filled with the most disgusting burning smell, which lingered for a few moments and then completely disappeared. Mrs Roberts went into hysterics, as she knew something was seriously wrong. She banged and banged at the strong wooden door until a warder came along but he simply told her to shut up and get back to her bed. This had no effect and poor Mrs Roberts continued banging and clawing at the door in tears until she fell down with exhaustion.

The warder had placed her on report and the time of the incident was noted as 2.35am. Back at the Ulster Hospital the young boy died as a result of his horrific injuries. The time of death – 2.30am!

NEXT WEEK – The Ghost of the Belfast Workhouse

Irelandclick.com

by Francesca Ryan

A Belfast man is currently fighting deportation from the US where he has been living since he fled Ireland in 1988.

Malachy McAllister and his family, from the Lower Ormeau, left Belfast in the late 1980s in the wake of an assassination attack on their home by a loyalist death squad.

Having made it to the US, Malachy’s wife Bernadette and their four children were initially granted political asylum by an immigration court in New Jersey, the federal Judge having found that they had suffered “severe past persecution” because of their political beliefs.

Malachy’s request for asylum, however, was denied as a result of past convictions in Belfast during the conflict.

In a controversial decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Bernadette and her children were soon stripped of their asylum status.

The BIA, flying in the face of the facts and expert testimony as exhaustively outlined in the Immigration Judge’s decision, ruled not only that the McAllisters had failed to demonstrate that they had suffered “severe past persecution” but that they had suffered no persecution at all. The McAllister family’s case has received notoriety in the US where senior Washington officials, including Senator Hillary Clinton, have come out in support of their campaign to stay in the US.

Sadly, the family’s plight was made worse when Bernadette died suddenly in May of 2004 leaving Malachy, now a single parent, to fight for his family’s right to stay in the US and work to keep the remaining two children that still live at home.

“Basically I could be deported at any minute,” Malachy told the Andersonstown News. “I was actually on Capitol Hill lobbying members of Congress when I got a phone call to tell me my house was being raided and that officers of Homeland Security were going to deport me. Fortunately, we managed to challenge that decision and have it put on hold.”

This is how Malachy now lives, with the threat of deportation hanging over him and his family on a daily basis and despite claims that the situation in the North has settled down, Malachy is still the subject of death threats.

Just last year, Irish America’s largest newspaper, The Irish Echo, received an email from the Red Hand Commandos threatening “next time we won’t miss” should the McAllisters be deported. With the help of his solicitor, Eamonn Dornan, an Irish immigrant, Malachy is fighting the threat of deportation which, he believes, would result in his death at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries. The case has gone as far as the Court of Appeals Third Circuit but as of yet, no decision has been handed down.

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

Irelandclick.com

Republican volunteers and victims of the conflict from greater Ballymurphy are set to be remembered with the opening next month of a commemorative garden.

The garden is currently under construction near the junction of the Springfield Road and Divismore Crescent after years of tireless fundraising by republicans and ex-prisoners from Greater Ballymurphy.

The garden is intended to commemorate and pay homage to the many people who lost their lives throughout the conflict in the local area. It is anticipated that there will be over 100 people commemorated in this innovative garden project.

The coordinator of the Commemoration Garden Committee, Seany Adams, commended the efforts of those who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the garden becomes a reality.

“This project has taken a long time to come to fruition, because all concerned felt that to do justice to the memory of the people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice the garden should be a fitting tribute. Therefore all the stops were pulled out to make it symbolic of the people it was meant to honour and commemorate.

“The preparation for the garden took place over many late nights, due to work commitments of many of the people involved in the planning, fundraising and construction of the garden,” said Seany Adams.

“This will be a very sad occasion for many. It is our belief that everyone from the Greater Ballymurphy area has been affected by the deaths of so many from this tight-knit community. Gerry Adams MP will give a short oration at the unveiling and many groups will be represented at this momentous event.

We urge all who have an affiliation with the people from this area, or indeed the area itself, to please turn out and support the families of those who have lost loved ones and friends.”

A special Mass will be held for the families who have lost loved ones on the morning of the unveiling, Sunday, November 27 at 11.30am in Corpus Christi church. The commemoration procession will depart from Teach Mona (Trinity Lodge) at 2pm sharp, making its way to the new garden.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Irelandclick.com

Despite nationalist areas of Lisburn still ranking as the most deprived in the city, the Department of Social Development [DSD] is set to invest vast sums of cash in exclusively unionist areas, it has been revealed.

The Community Convention and Development Company established by the DSD is currently inviting applications from Protestant/unionist/loyalist areas within Lisburn that would benefit from a cash injection from the agency, despite a British government report confirming that nationalist areas of Lisburn top the poll as the most deprived and are severely lacking in services and investment.

The DSD decision has so incensed a local councillor that he’s branded it a “form of economic apartheid”.

Councillor Paul Butler is outraged by the news and has called the DSD move “outrageously discriminatory.”

Cllr Butler said, “What is so galling is that the British government’s own research into deprivation, published earlier this year, once again confirmed that nationalists are to the top in the rankings of those characterised as being the most deprived across the North.

“Yet, in spite of this, the British government have concocted a ruse in the form of these Community Conventions to siphon public expenditure disproportionately into unionist areas in direct response to the bigoted demands of some unionist politicians,” he said.

The Community Convention and Development Company claims its main objective is to “Develop, empower and transform disadvantaged Protestant/unionist/loyalist communities.”

Cllr Butler said tackling deprivation and empowering communities should not be restricted to unionist areas alone.

“This is a scandalous situation which requires immediate attention by the British government. This form of economic apartheid must end.”

A spokesperson for the DSD said, “The purpose of the Community Convention and Development Company is the development, at a local level, of skills and leadership to help local communities become more confident and to recognise the many opportunities open to them in making a practical difference and improvements in their communities.

“This pilot programme is about assisting communities to function more effectively; it is not about allocating additional resources to communities and no commitment has been given towards any additional financial investment. It began as an initiative in response to a proposal from elected community leaders in Protestant working class communities and reflected the positive community impact of the Shankill Community Convention held in May 2003.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

News Letter

Monday 31st October 2005

Former UDA leader Johnny Adair has fled Bolton after a court conviction on Friday for assaulting his wife. It was claimed yesterday that the 42-year-old has moved his family and friends to Scotland, with Glasgow believed to be their intended destination.
Adair, formerly of Chorley New Road, Horwich, was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order at Bolton Magistrates Court. The court heard that he attacked his wife Gina in a park in the town on September 26, hours after being released from prison. Adair was seen kneeling on his wife and “punching her repeatedly with both arms”.

He walked free from jail, but was ordered to pay her £250 compensation. Gina Adair suffered bruising to her face and cuts but did not require hospital treatment. The couple have been married for 23 years and have four children.
Adair originally moved to Bolton, Greater Manchester, after an internal feud in the UDA. He had been released from jail on the day of the attack after serving 39 days for harassment. A group of children and their parents reported the incident to police after they saw him drag his wife by the hair as she tried to run away.

Irelandclick.com

by Victoria McMahon

In an attempt to turn the tide on the growing number of violent racist attacks in South Belfast a new race relations post has been created – understood to be the first of its kind in the North.

South Belfast currently holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of attacks against ethnic minorities in the city, with a new high of 108 racist attacks being recorded during April 2004 to March this year. In response the Northern Ireland Office [NIO] has created for the first time the post of a Race Relations Co-ordinator for South Belfast. The new race chief, June Spindler, previously worked as a community manager in South Belfast and she beat off stiff competition to be appointed to the position.

Funding from the NIO and the South Belfast Partnership Board has been secured for the community post for the next two and a half years – until March 2008.

In her first interview since her appointment June Spindler told the South Belfast News: “I am looking forward to promoting the good race relations work that is already being done in various community projects throughout South Belfast.

“Recently I visited Morton Community Centre on the Lisburn Road and they are doing some great work there. There is a lot of positive work on the ground that I will being trying to build on,” she said.

Following the damning revelation that South Belfast tops the poll in the number of racist attacks, the district has been labelled and perceived as an unwelcoming part of the city for those from different ethnic backgrounds wishing to settle here.

It is a label the newly-appointed Race Relations Co-ordinator will be trying to remove.

Ms Spindler said she would be doing this through “grass roots community work and educating people who have lived in these areas all their lives that there is nothing to fear from culturally diverse neighbours.

“It is about changing this negative perception. I will be working with community leaders in their own areas to identify what resources are needed in these areas and then decide how we can go about attracting funding for projects that will bring the whole community together,” said Ms Spindler.

Journalist:: Victoria McMahon

Irelandclick.com

by Roisin McManus

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Click to view – Marie Moore

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has paid tribute to local party veteran Marie Moore who is set to be honoured by the party at a gala event this Saturday.

Marie is due to receive recognition for her lifelong commitment to the republican struggle at an event organised by the Céad Bliain Committee to commemorate the party’s 100th anniversary.

It is expected that around 1,000 quests will attend the event at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel. The night will include a four course meal and music by the Irish Sopranos and the James Peake Experience.

Other party members to be honoured on the night include Eileen Shiels (Leinster), Brendan Mohan (Connaught/Uladh), Eddie Collins (Munster), Lucilita Bhreachnach (Dublin) and John Gawned (Australia).

Councillor Moore has served 13 years on Belfast City Council. A life long republican, Marie was the first Sinn Féin Deputy Mayor of Belfast and served from 1999-2000. She has been involved in local politics since 1969.

During her political career Marie has been involved in tackling a range of issues including housing, women’s health, anti-social behaviour, child welfare and equality.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said that Marie Moore has played a significant role in the development of Sinn Féin both locally and nationally for over three decades.

“During the difficult days of the prison protests Marie was the head of the PoW Department,” said the Sinn Féin President.

“This honour is a reflection on the high esteem in which Marie is held by republicans across the island and is a recognition of the pivotal role she has played over such a long period. From the day as a young girl when she witnessed the arrest of Tom Williams, through lean times for republicans and into the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s and through to the point we are at today, Marie Moore has been there providing leadership and offering assistance.”

Mr Adams said that the award is also a recognition for Marie’s family who have also had to endure much hardship over the years for their commitment to the republican struggle.

“I am looking forward to the evening in Dublin when republicans the length and breadth of Ireland and beyond will gather to pay a unique tribute to Marie and the other nominees,” he added.



Journalist:: Roisin McManus

Irelandclick.com

by Francesca Ryan

A Belfast man is currently fighting deportation from the US where he has been living since he fled Ireland in 1988.

Malachy McAllister and his family, from the Lower Ormeau, left Belfast in the late 1980s in the wake of an assassination attack on their home by a loyalist death squad.

Having made it to the US, Malachy’s wife Bernadette and their four children were initially granted political asylum by an immigration court in New Jersey, the federal Judge having found that they had suffered “severe past persecution” because of their political beliefs.

Malachy’s request for asylum, however, was denied as a result of past convictions in Belfast during the conflict.

In a controversial decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Bernadette and her children were soon stripped of their asylum status.

The BIA, flying in the face of the facts and expert testimony as exhaustively outlined in the Immigration Judge’s decision, ruled not only that the McAllisters had failed to demonstrate that they had suffered “severe past persecution” but that they had suffered no persecution at all. The McAllister family’s case has received notoriety in the US where senior Washington officials, including Senator Hillary Clinton, have come out in support of their campaign to stay in the US.

Sadly, the family’s plight was made worse when Bernadette died suddenly in May of 2004 leaving Malachy, now a single parent, to fight for his family’s right to stay in the US and work to keep the remaining two children that still live at home.

“Basically I could be deported at any minute,” Malachy told the Andersonstown News. “I was actually on Capitol Hill lobbying members of Congress when I got a phone call to tell me my house was being raided and that officers of Homeland Security were going to deport me. Fortunately, we managed to challenge that decision and have it put on hold.”

This is how Malachy now lives, with the threat of deportation hanging over him and his family on a daily basis and despite claims that the situation in the North has settled down, Malachy is still the subject of death threats.

Just last year, Irish America’s largest newspaper, The Irish Echo, received an email from the Red Hand Commandos threatening “next time we won’t miss” should the McAllisters be deported. With the help of his solicitor, Eamonn Dornan, an Irish immigrant, Malachy is fighting the threat of deportation which, he believes, would result in his death at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries. The case has gone as far as the Court of Appeals Third Circuit but as of yet, no decision has been handed down.

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

Irelandclick.com

Republican volunteers and victims of the conflict from greater Ballymurphy are set to be remembered with the opening next month of a commemorative garden.

The garden is currently under construction near the junction of the Springfield Road and Divismore Crescent after years of tireless fundraising by republicans and ex-prisoners from Greater Ballymurphy.

The garden is intended to commemorate and pay homage to the many people who lost their lives throughout the conflict in the local area. It is anticipated that there will be over 100 people commemorated in this innovative garden project.

The coordinator of the Commemoration Garden Committee, Seany Adams, commended the efforts of those who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the garden becomes a reality.

“This project has taken a long time to come to fruition, because all concerned felt that to do justice to the memory of the people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice the garden should be a fitting tribute. Therefore all the stops were pulled out to make it symbolic of the people it was meant to honour and commemorate.

“The preparation for the garden took place over many late nights, due to work commitments of many of the people involved in the planning, fundraising and construction of the garden,” said Seany Adams.

“This will be a very sad occasion for many. It is our belief that everyone from the Greater Ballymurphy area has been affected by the deaths of so many from this tight-knit community. Gerry Adams MP will give a short oration at the unveiling and many groups will be represented at this momentous event.

We urge all who have an affiliation with the people from this area, or indeed the area itself, to please turn out and support the families of those who have lost loved ones and friends.”

A special Mass will be held for the families who have lost loved ones on the morning of the unveiling, Sunday, November 27 at 11.30am in Corpus Christi church. The commemoration procession will depart from Teach Mona (Trinity Lodge) at 2pm sharp, making its way to the new garden.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Irelandclick.com

Despite nationalist areas of Lisburn still ranking as the most deprived in the city, the Department of Social Development [DSD] is set to invest vast sums of cash in exclusively unionist areas, it has been revealed.

The Community Convention and Development Company established by the DSD is currently inviting applications from Protestant/unionist/loyalist areas within Lisburn that would benefit from a cash injection from the agency, despite a British government report confirming that nationalist areas of Lisburn top the poll as the most deprived and are severely lacking in services and investment.

The DSD decision has so incensed a local councillor that he’s branded it a “form of economic apartheid”.

Councillor Paul Butler is outraged by the news and has called the DSD move “outrageously discriminatory.”

Cllr Butler said, “What is so galling is that the British government’s own research into deprivation, published earlier this year, once again confirmed that nationalists are to the top in the rankings of those characterised as being the most deprived across the North.

“Yet, in spite of this, the British government have concocted a ruse in the form of these Community Conventions to siphon public expenditure disproportionately into unionist areas in direct response to the bigoted demands of some unionist politicians,” he said.

The Community Convention and Development Company claims its main objective is to “Develop, empower and transform disadvantaged Protestant/unionist/loyalist communities.”

Cllr Butler said tackling deprivation and empowering communities should not be restricted to unionist areas alone.

“This is a scandalous situation which requires immediate attention by the British government. This form of economic apartheid must end.”

A spokesperson for the DSD said, “The purpose of the Community Convention and Development Company is the development, at a local level, of skills and leadership to help local communities become more confident and to recognise the many opportunities open to them in making a practical difference and improvements in their communities.

“This pilot programme is about assisting communities to function more effectively; it is not about allocating additional resources to communities and no commitment has been given towards any additional financial investment. It began as an initiative in response to a proposal from elected community leaders in Protestant working class communities and reflected the positive community impact of the Shankill Community Convention held in May 2003.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

News Letter

Monday 31st October 2005

Former UDA leader Johnny Adair has fled Bolton after a court conviction on Friday for assaulting his wife. It was claimed yesterday that the 42-year-old has moved his family and friends to Scotland, with Glasgow believed to be their intended destination.

Adair, formerly of Chorley New Road, Horwich, was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order at Bolton Magistrates Court. The court heard that he attacked his wife Gina in a park in the town on September 26, hours after being released from prison. Adair was seen kneeling on his wife and “punching her repeatedly with both arms”.

He walked free from jail, but was ordered to pay her £250 compensation. Gina Adair suffered bruising to her face and cuts but did not require hospital treatment. The couple have been married for 23 years and have four children.

Adair originally moved to Bolton, Greater Manchester, after an internal feud in the UDA. He had been released from jail on the day of the attack after serving 39 days for harassment. A group of children and their parents reported the incident to police after they saw him drag his wife by the hair as she tried to run away.

Belfast Telegraph

By Noel McAdam
31 October 2005

The Alliance Party today called for all newly-built schools to be integrated and future housing estates to be mixed.

In a series of proposals for consideration under the Governments’ ‘Shared Future’ framework, the party also said fair employment rules should be changed so people are not labelled either ‘Protestant’ or ‘Catholic’ against their will.

Party leader David Ford said: “The promotion of good relations must now be mainstreamed. All Government departments and agencies have a role, and must be held accountable for any failure to deliver.”

Its response to the framework document released last March – committing the Government to start publishing proposals every three years – also demanded

a review of how agencies deal with paramilitaries “masquerading as community representatives”, a follow-through on the Government’s own audit of the costs of segregation, and strict enforcement of legislation against displays of paramilitary flags.

Alliance said the promotion and maintenance of mixed housing should become an explicit objective of the Housing Executive – with action to protect existing examples of integrated housing.

All new-build schools should be integrated with the criteria for the creation and maintenance of integrated schools “reformed and relaxed”, giving recognition to those children of mixed, other or no religious background.

Mr Ford added: “Departments, agencies and funders must stop treating integration as if it is some form of social engineering. There is nothing artificial about integration. What is artificial is the provision of segregated facilities and grant schemes which merely promote division.

“The financial and economic incentives for change are unanswerable. The Secretary of State himself has estimated that around £1bn is spent annually – equivalent to our entire education budget – on the provision of segregated facilities and managing the resultant divisions.

“Effectively, we are paying regional rate hikes, tuition fees and extra water charges just so Government can carry on its sectarian carve-up. This is truly nonsensical.”

Belfast Telegraph

By Noel McAdam
31 October 2005

The Alliance Party today called for all newly-built schools to be integrated and future housing estates to be mixed.

In a series of proposals for consideration under the Governments’ ‘Shared Future’ framework, the party also said fair employment rules should be changed so people are not labelled either ‘Protestant’ or ‘Catholic’ against their will.

Party leader David Ford said: “The promotion of good relations must now be mainstreamed. All Government departments and agencies have a role, and must be held accountable for any failure to deliver.”

Its response to the framework document released last March – committing the Government to start publishing proposals every three years – also demanded

a review of how agencies deal with paramilitaries “masquerading as community representatives”, a follow-through on the Government’s own audit of the costs of segregation, and strict enforcement of legislation against displays of paramilitary flags.

Alliance said the promotion and maintenance of mixed housing should become an explicit objective of the Housing Executive – with action to protect existing examples of integrated housing.

All new-build schools should be integrated with the criteria for the creation and maintenance of integrated schools “reformed and relaxed”, giving recognition to those children of mixed, other or no religious background.

Mr Ford added: “Departments, agencies and funders must stop treating integration as if it is some form of social engineering. There is nothing artificial about integration. What is artificial is the provision of segregated facilities and grant schemes which merely promote division.

“The financial and economic incentives for change are unanswerable. The Secretary of State himself has estimated that around £1bn is spent annually – equivalent to our entire education budget – on the provision of segregated facilities and managing the resultant divisions.

“Effectively, we are paying regional rate hikes, tuition fees and extra water charges just so Government can carry on its sectarian carve-up. This is truly nonsensical.”

BreakingNews.ie

31/10/2005 – 12:49:20

Loyalist paramilitary groups are being urged to follow the Loyalist Volunteer Force and order their military units to stand down.

The group ceased its operations at midnight in a response to the IRA’s decision to decommission its weapons arsenal, and after a formal end to the feud between the LVF and rival UVF was announced.

Nationalist parties in the North are giving a cautious welcome to the ceasefire and say it will take time to ascertain if the group has ceased to exist.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said that there have been such statements from Unionist paramilitaries in the past that have been found to be “less than honest”.

He said they will have to wait and see, but added that the LVF was only a small component of Unionist paramilitary groupings and that there is major work ahead for the DUP.

Meanwhile, the DUP MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds paid tribute to the LVF whom he said had worked hard to end the feud with the UVF.

The Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey welcomed it as a positive development, but SDLP former deputy leader, Brid Rodgers said that the disbanding had come too late for families of LVF victims who’s lives had been devastated forever by their loss.

The LVF was founded in 1996 by Billy Wright and the group’s first victim was Portadown taxi-driver Michael McGoldrick.

The group was also responsible for the murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson.

An Phoblacht

BY SHANE Mac THOMÁIS

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

On 21 January 1919, 86 years ago, the first freely elected 32-County Irish assembly met as the first Dáil in the Mansion House in Dublin.

Following the end of World War One, the British Prime Minister Lloyd George, decided to hold a General Election in December 1918. Republicans, many of whom had returned from English jails after the 1916 uprising, were determined to take full advantage of the opportunity provided.

Sinn Féin ran its campaign in an atmosphere of massive intimidation, including the arrest and jailing of over 100 prominent Sinn Féin candidates and activists, the confiscation of election material and the suppression of republican papers. The election result showed that when the Irish people were asked, for the first time in history, to choose between an Irish Republic as expressed in the Sinn Féin manifesto or to support the policies of the Irish Parliamentary Party, which in effect meant the continuing domination of Ireland by Britain, they overwhelmingly and unequivocally demanded an independent 32-County Republic.

They expressed this demand by electing 73 republicans out of a total of 105 seats. Although Sinn Féin won 73 seats, they only had 69 members elected, due to the fact that Eamon de Valera, Liam Mellows, Arthur Griffith, and Eoin MacNeill were each elected to represent two constituencies. The rest of the 105 seats were held by 26 Unionists, all but three in the Six Counties, and by six members of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

The election was the last occasion on which the entire island of Ireland voted in a single election held on a single day, and the landslide victory for Sinn Féin was an overwhelming endorsement of the principle of a United Ireland.

Dáil Éireann assembled for the first time in the Round Room of the Mansion House on Tuesday 21 January 1919. Thirty out of a possible 105 attended. The Unionists and Parliamentary Party members were invited but refused to attend and 34 Sinn Féin elected representatives were held in jail by the British. Michael Collins and Harry Boland were recorded present to conceal the fact that they were in England getting ready to spring de Valera from Lincoln Jail.

The proceedings of the First Dáil were conducted in Irish, French and English. The Dáil elected Cathal Brugha as its Ceann Comhairle. A number of documents were then adopted. The first was the Dáil Constitution and then the Declaration of Independence.

When Cathal Brugha, who read the Declaration of Independence, had finished, he declared to the Hall: “Delegates, you understand from what is asserted in this declaration that we are now done with England. Let the world know it and those who are concerned bear it in mind.”

Brugha continued: “Caithfear briseadh do dhéanamh ar an gceangal seo idir an dúiche seo is Sasana. Mura ndéantar sin ní bheidh aon tsíocháin ann.” (The connection between this jurisdiction and England must be broken. If it is not there will be no peace).

After the reading of the Declaration, the Message to the Free Nations of the World was read out in Irish by Brugha, in French by Gavan Duffy and in English by Eamon Duggan.

The last document ratified was the Democratic Programme, drafted by the Labour leader Thomas Johnston. The principles of the final document were clearly influenced by James Connolly and have defined Sinn Féin’s policies to the present day.

While reiterating the sentiments expressed in the 1916 Proclamation, the Democratic Programme committed Dáil Éireann to “make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens of a Free and Gaelic Ireland”.

It agreed to replace the Poor Law system with “a sympathetic native scheme for the care of the Nation’s aged and infirm, who shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the Nation’s gratitude and consideration”. It would also be the duty of the Dáil to “safeguard the health of the people and ensure the physical as well as the moral well-being of the Nation”.

The Programme stated that Dáil Éireann would be responsible for the promotion and development of “the Nation’s resources” and the “recreation and invigoration of our industries” in the “interests and for the benefit of the Irish people”. The Dáil would be obligated to “prevent the shipment from Ireland of food and other necessaries until the wants of the Irish people are fully satisfied and fully provided for”.

Its final provision was for the development of “a standard of Social and Industrial Legislation with a view to a general and lasting improvements in the conditions under which the working classes live and labour”.

When Dáil Éireann had risen from its first sitting after two hours, it was greeted outside the Mansion House in Dawson Street by tumultuous cheers from thousands of supporters. The First Dáil had shown that Ireland would no longer accept the rule of Westminster.

And as the crowds cheered the newly-formed government leaving the Mansion House, three IRA men almost echoing the words of Cathal Brugha were returning from a small quarry in Tipperary, they had just taken part in the first action of the Tan War.

Daily Ireland

Damien Kiberd

When Dáil Éireann assembled for the first time in 1919, there were, understandably, a lot of people absent.
Lieutenant Colonel McCalmont, Major H O’Neill, Major P Kerr Smiley and JR Lonsdale — all of whom represented Co Antrim — were marked in as being “as láthair” (absent). So too was E Carson (representative of Duncairn in Belfast). As was Joseph Devlin (Falls).
Art Ó Gríobhtha (Arthur Griffith) — the representative of Tyrone Northwest — was pencilled in as “faoi glas ag Gallaibh” (locked up by the Brits). He was separately recorded as being “faoi glas ag Gallaibh” in his capacity as Teachta Dála for Cavan North.
A man called Eoin Mac Néill — who represented Doire Cholmcille (Derry city) — was listed as being “i láthair”, which means present. A close associate and another Belfast republican, Earnán de Blaghad, who represented Monaghan North, was listed as “faoi glas ag Gallaibh”, locked up by the Brits.
In Co Down, the situation was no better. DD Reid, Colonel Sir J Craig, TW Browne, Jeremiah McVeigh, and DM Wilson were all “as láthair”.
Some men and women did make it to the Dáil. Having rejected English rule in Ireland as having always been based on “force and fraud” and “maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people”, the assembly went on to declare that “foreign government in Ireland is an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate”.
The founding documents of the Republic were published first in Irish, thereafter in French.
Those documents declared: “We desire our country to be ruled in accordance with the principles of liberty, equality and justice for all”
By the time the second session assembled on April 1, 1919, there was a fuller attendance. Micheál Ó Coileáin (Michael Collins) turned up from South Cork, as did a certain É de Valera from Clare East. Constance Markievicz represented the St Patrick’s ward in Dublin, while Cathal Brugha bizarrely represented the area of Waterford.
Now these fine people had no problem at all with the idea that people from all over Ireland should be allowed to speak and to represent their people in a national parliament.
But it would appear that the notion of people from Antrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh, Derry and Down sending people to Dublin to speak on their behalf is anathema to many Southerners.
Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, wrote to all of the main parties last week suggesting that Northern public representatives should be given speaking rights at Oireachtas committee meetings that pertain to Northern or cross-Border affairs.
With the exception of Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, the response was totally negative. The Labour Party — which enjoys support from an all-Ireland trade union movement, the Northern part of which helps determine pay scales in the Republic — does not want speakers from the Six Counties to address Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann.
The mould-breaking Progressive Democrats agree. So too does Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael, which in November will convene a gala dinner to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Sinn Féin. Kenny has recently been fronting for an organisation called Collins 22.
The Sunday Independent newspaper, which apparently is in touch with the public mood and which published four grovelling apologies on Sunday, asked yesterday if readers would “trust Bertie as far as you’d throw him”. This was in relation to the whole idea of allowing Nordies to visit the Southern parliament.
A front-page opinion piece suggested as follows: “Whatever your worst suspicions about politicians, double them and add one.”
Why is the partitionist mentality so ingrained? Why do people like the employees of Independent News and Media become so agitated when it is suggested that Northerners might have speaking rights in the Southern parliament?
Northerners play in GAA matches, hurling and football, on a 32-county basis. They play rugby for Ulster and Ireland. They occupy key positions in financial services and industry. Mrs McAleese has been a good and honest president. Even Michael McDowell’s relative — the aforementioned Mac Néill — performed some service to the state before resigning over his botched role in the Boundary Commission. After he tried — nine times — to cancel the Easter Rising, that is.
The idea of politicians crossing frontiers in order to address assemblies elsewhere is not new. Lots of people — including Bill Clinton (Oklahoma) — have been asked to address the joint houses of the Oireachtas. Lots of Irish politicians have been to Brussels and to the general assembly of the United Nations to make speeches. The sky has not fallen in.
Why do people in Dublin become so agitated when it is suggested to them that somebody who lives 70 miles away from Dublin and who is a democratically elected public representative should be allowed to speak in Dáil Éireann or at an Oireachtas committee? Since the critics of this idea apparently love unionists, the problem can only be with republicans. Do they not want a republican about the place?
This whole issue is not going to go away. Republicans may not make any huge advance in the next Southern general election but it is likely that they will increase their representation in Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann and the European parliament. In each case, they will have automatic speaking rights. And the sky will not fall in.
A lot of lip service has been paid to Northern nationalists over the years. This was codified in the 1937 constitution, which delineated the national territory quite specifically until 1998. Nationalists all over the 26 Counties voted to delete the “territorial claim” in the hope that a more friendly and co-operative climate might be created between North and South. Bizarrely, it would appear that elements in the South are now the primary opponents of any such enhanced co-operation.

Damien Kiberd is a writer and broadcaster. A presenter for NewsTalk 106 in Dublin, he was previously editor of The Sunday Business Post.

BreakingNews.ie

31/10/2005 – 12:49:20

Loyalist paramilitary groups are being urged to follow the Loyalist Volunteer Force and order their military units to stand down.

The group ceased its operations at midnight in a response to the IRA’s decision to decommission its weapons arsenal, and after a formal end to the feud between the LVF and rival UVF was announced.

Nationalist parties in the North are giving a cautious welcome to the ceasefire and say it will take time to ascertain if the group has ceased to exist.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said that there have been such statements from Unionist paramilitaries in the past that have been found to be “less than honest”.

He said they will have to wait and see, but added that the LVF was only a small component of Unionist paramilitary groupings and that there is major work ahead for the DUP.

Meanwhile, the DUP MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds paid tribute to the LVF whom he said had worked hard to end the feud with the UVF.

The Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey welcomed it as a positive development, but SDLP former deputy leader, Brid Rodgers said that the disbanding had come too late for families of LVF victims who’s lives had been devastated forever by their loss.

The LVF was founded in 1996 by Billy Wright and the group’s first victim was Portadown taxi-driver Michael McGoldrick.

The group was also responsible for the murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson.

Bobby Sands mural photo
Ní neart go cur le chéile

Calendar

October 2005
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

A note about Archives

For March-Sept. 2007 click here:

March - Sept 2007

All other months and years are below.

'So venceremos, beidh bua againn eigin lá eigin. Sealadaigh abú.' --Bobby Sands