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25 March 2004 Edition

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The Fifth Column

SF Euro hopeful in News of the World shock

DAVID CULLINANE, Sinn Féin's European election challenger in Munster, was exposed by the News of the World last Sunday for being... republican!

Our David made the front page and a two-page inside spread of the Irish edition of the News of the World for daring to criticise the visit of the self-styled Prince of Wales, Charles Windsor, Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, for drinkie poos at a birthday bash for the Duke of Devonshire's son at their stately home, Lismore Castle in Waterford.

The News of the World editor was outraged by the Sinn Féin man's criticism of the aristocratic beanfeast, talk of a visit by Chas's mum, Mrs Windsor and the Duke of Devonshire's prosecution of local people for fishing HIS rivers. So outraged that they skipped their Page 3 shocker ("I'm overpaid and underlaid" - Tara Palmer-Tomkinson's amazing confession, by Lewis Panther) to devote the lead editorial column to attacking David Cullinane and Gerry Adams.

"Sinn Féin talk about the Prince and the royal family [note, not the 'British royal family'] as 'throwbacks in history'. Sinn Féin fails to look in the mirror and see it is also a prisoner of the past."

Not like the 'Irish' News of the World, of course — an 'Irish' newspaper that defends the robber barons of history, the landed aristocracy and the dregs of the anti-democratic, feudal caste system that is the British ruling class and the British royal family.

Murky waters

WATERFORD'S Dungaravan Observer reported a court case earlier this month that highlighted the dubious nature of the Duke of Devonshire's 'rights' to own Irish natural resources and part of our environment.

The grand old Duke of Devonshire's claim to the River Blackwater was challenged in Cappoquin District Court, where one fisherman faced charges of illegal fishing on a particular part of the river.

Reporter Paul Mooney said that Michael 'Milo' O'Shea, from Dungarvan, a member of the Deise Salmon and Sea Trout Club (DSSTC), appeared in court to face the illegal fishing charge on the River Blackwater on 5 July 2003 at Kilbree West, Cappoquin. The case was brought by the Cappoquin Salmon and Trout Anglers' Association (CSTAA).

The stretch of river in dispute was said in court to be on lease to the CSTAA from Lismore Estates, a property company of the Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish.

Solicitor Paddy Gordon, defending O'Shea, launched a challenge against the ownership of the particular part of the river in question, stating to District Judge James McNulty that "all matters were an issue in this case". Gordon said that he was calling into question the ownership of the stretch of river by the duke.

"Not only is matter of alleged illegal fishing an issue, but so is the title deeds of the duke and the public's right to fish on tidal waters," said Gordon.

"This decision of title refers to the House of Lords in the 1800s, that was nullified after the 1920s," said Gordon. "There is no way a decision made in the House of Lords in the 1800s could govern the right of this Court to challenge the ownership of the title here in 2004. I am fully questioning the ownership of the title."

Judge McNulty adjourned the case for four months, to 11 June — electon day! — to allow Lavan to get in touch with the Lismore estate solicitors to produce evidence that the 6km stretch of river from Lismore to Cappoquin is owned by the Duke of Devonshire.

Prince swept in

WATERFORD COUNTY COUNCIL workers were filmed by RTÉ News filling in potholes and sweeping the roads, an exercise made all the more curious as the millionaire prince was flying in for Lord Hartington's birthday beano.

And hopefully the irony will not be lost on Waterford voters that this public money was being spent for the English prince's benefit (not theirs!) And on the same day that Waterford Trades Council led a march of 7,000 people for a radiotherapy unit for cancer sufferers in the southeast.

Smoked salmon baron?

HOB-NOBBING with the Waterford birthday boy, Lord Hartington, was the Mayor of Waterford, Councillor Mark Khan of the Labour Party.

Given the raging controversy over the aristocracy's claim to Irish rivers, the phrase "smoked salmon socialists" seems very apt for Councillor Khan and the lords of Labour.

An Phoblacht Magazine


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