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21 April 2005 Edition

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Dúirt Siad...

Contrary to Minister Ahern's lame protestations, I have no objection to Government Ministers coming North. For example, Minister Ahern could usefully spend an afternoon in the militarised zone of South Armagh, and when Ardoyne, Short Strand and Garvaghy Road were under siege, the presence of Ministers would have been very welcome.

Gerry Adams responds to media attempts to turn his criticism of 26-County Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern travelling to South Armagh to electioneer on behalf of the SDLP's Eddie McGrady, into Sinn Féin opposition to all visits from Southern politicians. Sunday 17 April.

Both possessed satisfactory records of integrity and business ethics and were responsible.

The US Government defends its awarding of a lucrative army contract in Iraq to former Commanding Officer of the Scots Guards Tim Spicer and his company Aegis Defence Services. Spicer showed little integrity during his time in the British Army, when he supported the soldiers who murdered Catholic teenager Peter McBride and lied in court about the circumstances surrounding his death. The Irish World, Friday 15 April.

What sort of inquiry is it when you aren't allowed to ask questions? Cory got it right.

Belfast solicitor Pádraigín Drinan, one of Rosemary Nelson's closest professional colleagues, comments on the inquiry into her murder, which opened on Tuesday. The inquiry's effectiveness has been severely curtailed after the decision to establish it under the terms of the Police Act 1998, which limits the areas in which questions can be asked and restricts its public nature. Daily Ireland, Friday 15 April.

The Inquiries Act introduces secrecy instead of openness, and removes the most important element of all — control of the proceedings by an impartial judge. Instead, the power to make crucial decisions will be given to ministers... The government has now taken away an essential plank of democracy.

Barrister and journalist Marcel Berlins. The Guardian, Tuesday 19 April.

They have been treated, as they have said themselves, like lepers by successive governments over the years, and it is appaling that they continue to be treated in such a way.

Desmond Doherty, lawyer for the families of those killed during the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. The relatives are suing the Government for refusing to open a full public inquiry into the events. The Sunday Times, 17 April.

His (Michael Howard's) campaigns against Gypsies and asylum seekers, his ghoulish opportunism in hijacking other people's misery, remind us that we do still face a choice in the forthcoming election: between the nasty party and the even nastier one.

The Guardian's John Monbiot eloquently describes the Hobson's choice facing British voters, confronted with a Labour vs Conservative choice. Tuesday 19 April.

The 150,000 votes cast for EHAK (the Communist Party of the Basque Lands) show that radical and leftist Basque nationalism has not gone away just because a Madrid court declared Batasuna — and other associated groups — illegal.

If only the Irish Times editorial staff could look at Six-County politics, and Sinn Féin's ever-growing mandate, with the same objectivity. Tuesday 19 April.

We're not out to screw anybody.

New GAA President Seán Kelly rejects allegations that the body will price the FAI and IRFU out of renting Croke Park facilities, after last weekend's historic decision to temporarily open up the stadium to other sports. The Irish Examiner, Tuesday 19 April.

We will take every action we can to stop it. We are looking at taking injunctions out.

The Croke Park Residents Alliance vents its anger at the GAA's decision and outlines the measures it intends taking to prevent the floodlighting necessary for soccer and rugby games being installed at the stadium. The association wants the Gaelic organisation to put more resources into cleaning, policing, crowd control and preventing disruption. Hogan Stand website, Monday 18 April.

I'll have my doubts until it [Lansdowne Road] opens because I think it's in a very built-up area. I think it would have been better to go to an open space but I couldn't win enough support for that.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern stunned sporting organisations at the weekend when he questioned the viability of Lansdowne Road being redeveloped and brought up the ghost of the Bertie Bowl. Eleven-a-side.com, Monday 18 April.

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