27 October 2005 Edition
News in Brief
Sectarian graffiti daubed on a window of a vacant Housing Executive house in Rasharkin has been slammed by Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí McKay, who said it disgusted and saddened him. McKay said the threatening message was an act of intimidation to stop nationalists moving into the town and had to be condemned by all locally elected representatives.
Campaign on violence against women
The 16 Days Global Campaign opposing violence against women will take place from 25 November to 10 December 2005. This year Women's Aid will hold a public action outside the Dáil to highlight the state's responsibility to end violence against women and children, which has been on the increase in recent years.
Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Felix Gallagher has called for the ESB to put power lines close to residential properties underground. A recent study has shown that high-voltage power lines can cause life-threatening illnesses such as leukemia and cancer. Gallagher said his area in Dublin West had many such pylons and that the ESB has refused to acknowledge the problem, putting the cost of moving the power lines above people's health.
Kerry Mayor calls for Sexual Assault Unit
The Mayor of Kerry, Sinn Féin Cllr Toiréasa Ferris has called on the county's six TDs to raise the need for a dedicated Sexual Assault Unit at Kerry General Hospital in the Dáil. She made her call following the recent spate of sexual attacks on the streets of Tralee. Ferris said the victims of the attacks had been forced to travel to Cork to receive treatment, extending their ordeal.
Racism on the rise
Campaigners in the Six Counties have warned that the North faces a 'racism crisis' as the number of attacks on people from ethnic minorities continues to rise.
A high-profile conference in Belfast, organised by the Anti-Racism Network (ARN), heard that racial incidents have almost trebled from 226 in 2002/'03 to 813 for 2004/'05.
Barbara Muldoon of the ARN laid much of the blame at the door of politicians in Britain.
Holy Cross review
A second judicial review into the Holy Cross blockade in 2001 began on Monday 17 October.
The original proceedings were brought by a child's mother at the height of the blockade. In her affidavit the parent accused then RUC boss Ronnie Flanagan and British Security Minister John Reid of failing to identify, arrest or prosecute those protestors breaking the law in public view. The court found in favour of Flanagan and Reid.
Homes petrol bombed in Ballymena
A 54-year-old Catholic woman escaped serious injury after unionist paramilitaries threw a petrol bomb through the window of her Ballymena home on Tuesday 18 October.
Although uninjured the woman was left badly shaken after the device was thrown at her Cushendall Road home.
In a separate sectarian attack a home in the Deramore area of Ballymena was targeted on the same night.
• Last week Gardaí targeted over 50 people and their children in dawn raids across the 26 Counties for deportation to Nigeria. It was the third mass roundup of the year. At a subsequent protest by Residents Against Racism two people were arrested while at least one was injured
Irish language community ignored
The Director of Fobairt Feirste, the Irish language development agency, Jake Mac Siacais has accused the British Government of lacking the political will to establish a Gaeltacht Quarter in West Belfast.
Mac Siacais was speaking after the British Government announced development plans allocating over a billion pounds to develop Belfast's Titanic Quarter and the setting up of a task force to tackle social problems in the Shankill Road.
Reports from the West Belfast Task Force in 2002 recognised a unique opportunity existed to develop the Gaelic heritage and cluster Irish language projects, naturally growing on the Falls Road into a designated Gaeltacht Quarter. The report also recognised that a powerful Gaeltacht Quarter board could boost regeneration.
Summonsed over rally in Derry
Sinn Féin Mayor of Derry Lynn Fleming is one of more that 20 republicans who have been summonsed by the PSNI after taking part in an anti-criminalisation rally at the height of the anti-republican media campaign, earlier this year.
Organisers of the rally had contacted the PSNI and informed them that due to an oversight permission had not been filed for.
Sinn Féin Assembly member Raymond McCartney, who also received a summons, said the PSNI action stands in stark contrast to its approach to unionist road blocks in Belfast.