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19 February 2004 Edition

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The 5th Column

On yer bike

PREVENTED by Daddy Paisley's Free Presbyterian Church from indulging in such lustful pleasures as line dancing, thrill-seeking Ian Paisley Junior likes nothing more when he's away from the DUP than to feel the throbbing sensation of a mean machine between his leather-clad thighs.

The motor-mouth is a motorbike nut.

Junior has just pumped £1,000 into the Joey Dunlop Injured Riders' Fund in an auction at Irish Racing Magazine's gala charity dinner. In return for his grand gesture, the boy racer gets a day with racing star Jeremy McWilliams. The DUP MLA later posed astride a Union Jack liveried bike to feign bashfulness about his charity work.

"Everyone knows I made a fairly substantial donation at the dinner but it is a private matter," he said.

So private that the coy poseur did it at a public gala dinner, told the media that he'd done it and then paraded in his leathers for a pic in the Sunday Life to make sure everyone knew about it.

So full throttle for Junior, as he snatches a lead in the race for the DUP Euro nomination ahead of Paul 'Scooter' Berry and Willie 'Robin Reliant' McCrea.

Fountain of trouble

THE UNIONIST population of Derry's Fountain Estate will be playing host to English and Scottish UDA-supporting boneheads and soccer hooligans at the end of this month.

Organised under the respectable-sounding title of the British Ulster Association, the lager swilling boneheads will be trying to whip up tension in loyalist interface areas over the weekend of 27 February. Then they descend on Derry "to witness life in British communities adjacent to republican strongholds and who face the constant threat of violence from the IRA and its supporters".

The BUA has flagged its provocative intervention as 'Interface Action'. It follows a BUA booze cruise around Belfast on the Twelfth of July, including Glenbryn, Rathcoole and Sandy Row. On Eleventh Night, the BUA took part in a UPRG/UDA wreath-laying ceremony "to remember fallen loyalist comrades from Scotland".

They probably meant "fallen down drunk" loyalist comrades.

Bouncing McDowell

JUSTICE MINISTER and Progressive Democrats President Michael McDowell was either the victim of an assassination bid by waves of student radicals at University College Dublin on Monday night (tabloid version) or a little shaken but not stirred after a little argy-bargy (the students' and the steely-eyed Mac's versions).

Hundreds of anti-racist students, angry at McD's deportation of students and other non-nationals seeking refuge in Ireland, laid siege to the Arts Block where he was to talk to the Young Progressive Democrats (all four of them).

The topic? Private security and bouncers.

Ouch.

Don't mention the war

MEATH PEACE GROUP campaigner Julitta Clancy was awarded a piece of the British Empire this week in person from a colonel-in-chief of the British Army.

The affable Julitta was made a Member of the British Empire by Queenie Windsor, head of the British Army, the SAS, RIR/UDR, Paras, et al. On Tuesday, Queenie's daughter, Princess Anne (colonel-in-chief of the 14/20 Hussars, Royal Scots, Royal Logistics Corps, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, Blues and Royals, etc, etc), bestowed the bauble upon our grateful Julitta.

Julitta had originally turned the MBE down, not because she had any problem with the decadent British Establishment, she explained, but because she doesn't believe in getting awards for doing the right thing. And, to be fair, her group has been active and has acknowledged that all sides, including republicans, have suffered in the conflict.

Pressure by Julitta's pals made her finally relent and she was quite chirpy about getting the MBE this week.

But from the godmother of British Army regiments who have waged war on the people of Iraq, whose family wholeheartedly supported the Anglo-US onslaught on the people of Iraq and in defiance of the United Nations, never mind the Bloody Sunday massacre and keeping the Scots Guards murderers of Peter McBride in Her Majesty's Crown Forces?

Some mistake, surely?

Sorry show

PRO-PRINCESS callers to Joe Duffy's RTÉ radio show on Tuesday were big on getting republicans to (again) say sorry for the hurt and suffering they have caused in the conflict. But none of them or ex-radical student Joe dared venture that the brother of Princess Precious, Charles Windsor, was strutting around in his Parachute Regiment colonel-in-chief's uniform in Iraq only last week and has yet to say sorry for the Para massacre of civil rights marchers on Bloody Sunday.

The challenge laid down in these pages many, many years ago for the first RTÉ journalist to show how really intrepid they are by even daring to ask Chas about Bloody Sunday still stands.

We'll hold a news page for the historic event.

Till fiddler

WHILE Fianna Fáil sweats over what other side-splitting scams the tribunals uncover among its tax-dodging TDs, they should spare some sympathy for a Bonnie and Clyde couple of Inland Revenue officials just jailed in Merseyside for ripping off their bosses and the public.

The 42-year-old tax officer at the Inland Revenue's Bootle office was jailed for four years for a scam involving the setting up and authorisation of false tax rebates and sending out cheques to people whom he met in pubs and through friends.

He defrauded the Inland Revenue out of £250,000 during a five-year period. The court heard that Fiddler used some of the money to send his children to private schools. As part of the sophisticated fraud, he covered his tracks by creating false documents to back up the tax refunds.

A female colleague was recruited to access the secure computer system to check the status of payments made by the tax office. She was jailed for ten months.

The names of the pen-pushing Bonnie and Clyde?

Marie Till and John Fiddler.

An Phoblacht Magazine

AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:

  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

Buy An Phoblacht magazine here

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