15 May 2008 Edition
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An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please
Lottery cash for loyalist band
TODAY’S Irish News front page (Monday, 12 May) says that a ‘Blood and Thunder’ band linked to the UVF’s youth wing “is among dozens of loyalist bands to receive funding from the Ulster-Scots Agency and the National Lottery”.
The Pride of Ardoyne band has not only taken part in an annual contentious parade past the Ardoyne shops but carries a banner with the emblem of the UVF’s youth wing and the names of two former band members who were in the UVF killer gang, William Hanna and Sam Rockett.
The Arts Council has given the band £4,600 of National Lottery cash for new instruments, a decision that I’m sure will not be music to the ears of the nationalist people of Ardoyne.
I DON’T always see eye to eye with Nell McCafferty and I’ve never been moved by an RTÉ reality TV show before but Nell’s exit with the Gaelic footballers of Faughanvale, Greysteel, County Derry, from the Celebrity Bainisteoir semi-final at the weekend was emotional.
Nell’s dressing room talk in which she reminded the team that, when they were boys, the roads were lined with coffins after the UFF’s infamous Halloween ‘Trick or Treat’ killings at Greysteel will be, for me, one of the moments of the TV year.
Cobh’s apology to James Connolly
A MOTION to issue a posthumous apology to James Connolly on behalf of the people of Cobh was unanimously adopted by Cobh Town Council this week. The motion by Sinn Féin Councillor Kieran McCarthy was passed on the 92nd anniversary of the execution of the socialist republican leader.
The motion for the apology was for the physical attack made on Connolly when he visited and spoke in the town to get support for the introduction of a free school meals system in March 1911. An official service involving the relatives of Connolly will be made at Cobh Town Hall in the future. The successful motion comes on the back of a recent high profile visit to the County Cork town by the North’s First Minister Ian Paisley.
Refendum Commision’s impartiality questioned
It was my understanding that the Referendum Commission in the 26 Counties was meant to be a neutral body whose role was definitely not one of a protagonist on either side of a referendum debate. What possessed one of its members, Iarflaith O’Neill therefore, to pronounce at a press conference on Tuesday, 13 May that, if passed, the Lisbon Treaty would not alter the position of military neutrality of the 26 Counties?
Predictably O’Neill’s claim was carried on the front Page of the Irish Times today (Wednesday, 14 may) and dominated that paper’s coverage of the Commission’s information campaign launch in the paper.
I believe that this development has seriously undermined the supposed impartiality of the Referendum Commission.
Baile Átha Cliath 3
Ceann Comhairle’s ‘nutter’
SO Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue was punched several times at the Killarney Races by what one tabloid described as a “nutter”.
This informed psychological assessment is apparently derived from what was allegedly said by an unnamed race-goer, no doubt an eminent medical expert keen to preserve his anonymity while having a flutter alongside “nutters”.