1 June 2006 Edition

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In Brief

Rossport Solidarity Camp

Rossport Solidarity Camp in Couty Mayo is to host a major gathering on the June Bank Holiday Weekend, 2 to 5 may, marking the camp's first birthday. The camp is a centre for people not from the immediate area to come and join the residents' pickets which have shut down the Shell operation since last summer.

An important feature of the gathering will be a forum on the privatisation of natural resources including speakers from Bolivia where this issue has been an important part of the major social struggles there since 2000. There will also be talks on the history of Erris and on women's struggle in Venezuela.

Tours will be given by campers and by local Shell-to-Sea activists.

Graves desecrated in sectarian rampage

Loyalists desecrated almost 30 graves at Carnmoney Cemetery on the outskirts of North Belfast on Sunday 20 May. Among the graves targeted was that of postal worker Daniel McColgan, murdered by the UDA in Rathcoole in 2002.

Eamonn Corbett, whose wife Loraine is buried at carnmoney rubbished the PSNI's refusal to attribute a sectarian motive to the attack.

Sinn Féin's Newtownabbey councillor Briege Meehan described the desecration as an attempt to stir up sectarian trouble in the run up to Cemetery Sunday and the loyalist marching season. She has received numerous calls from families worried that loyalists would continue to target Catholic graves as Newtownabbey Council will not put measures in place to secure the cemetery.

Last year around 200 loyalists gathered outside Carnmoney Cemetery and disrupted the blessing of the graves. They also threatened to dig up the graves of Catholics in the cemetery while in 2003, a group calling itself the Loyalist Action Force, a cover name used by the UVF, issued a death threat against local priest Fr White.

PSNI harassment in Cushendall

North Antrim Sinn Féin activist Donal Reilly has accused the PSNI of a campaign of harassment against him after two PSNI members harassed him and a companion in Cushendall on 24 May. Reilly has already won a harassment case against the two PSNI members. "It has got to the stage now where they are not just harassing me. They have taken to following and harassing my partner and child", he said.

Reilly has logged the times and dates of the harassment and is asking the Police Ombudsman's Office to investigate.

Iraq suspect serving in North

A British soldier cleared of shooting dead an Iraqi civilian in 2003 is currently based in Lisanelly barracks in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Lance Corporal Barry Singleton was on duty in the southern Iraqi city of Basra with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers when an Iraqi civilian was shot dead at a British army checkpoint.

Singleton escaped murder or manslaughter charges last year after British attorney general Peter Goldsmith claimed there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Jean McBride the mother of eighteen year old Peter McBride, who was gunned down by two British soldiers in North Belfast in 1992 has criticised the decision to transfer Singleton to Ireland.

Carroll and Ó Ceannabháin for Galway West

• Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD with Sinn Féin Galway West candidates Ann Marie Carroll and Colm Ó Ceannabháin

Ann Marie Carroll and Colm Ó Ceannabháin have been selected as the Sinn Féin candidates to contest the constituency of Galway West in the forthcoming 26 General Election. Carroll and Ó Ceannabháin were selected at a packed convcention, chaired by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD in Galway City on Sunday 28 May.

Racist attacks

A Polish family was forced to abandon its home in Derry's Waterside on Sunday, 21 May, following a vicious attack.

Describing it as, "one of the worst racist attacks on the non national community", Sinn Féin Mayor of Derry Lynn Fleming said three masked men armed with iron bars and a hatchet threatened the family before smashing up the house in an attack lasting up to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile an African family have asked to be rehoused because of sustained racial attacks and abuse since they moved into the loyalist Ballyduff estate in Newtownabbey last year. Esnati Mandebuvu's house has been attacked a number of times and her nine year old son has been threatened at knifepoint in the street by loyalist teenagers.

Ireland - Basque Solidarity

Galway's first ever Basque Week saw young republicans and Basque ex-pats discuss ETA's recent ceasefire, and the Basque Left-Abertzale's peace initiative at a meeting on 27 may. Topics such as political prisoner's issues and the prevalence of political policing were also discssued.

Ógra Shinn Féin, Gaillimh thanked the Galway-Basque community for their help, support and insight.

Councillor slams CS gas attack

Sinn Féin North Belfast councillor Caral Ní Chuilín is contacting the Police Ombudsman after the PSNI assaulted an 18-year-old boy with CS Spray on the New Lodge Road last Monday. Officers approached the youth walking his dog and challenged him on papers verifying the animal's legality. Ní Chuilín, who was at the scene of the incident, said the PSNI sprayed the young boy in the face with CS and when she challenged them she was verbally abused. "This young man was in obvious discomfort and kept saying he could not breathe", she said, adding that the PSNI bundled the youth into the back of their vehicle and refused to say where they were taking him.

"As they withdrew from the area they threatened local people with batons. The conduct of the PSNI was highly aggressive and they have again shown contempt for local people of this area, said Ní Chuilín.


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