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23 November 2006 Edition

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Fifth Column

Paul Williams invites An Phoblacht to crime summit

Sunday Worst hack Paul Williams has invited An Phoblacht to listen to him lecture people about his criminal specialities.

The colourful crime writer is presenter of next Tuesday's "major conference" at a Dublin hotel entitled 'Organised Crime and Irish Business'.

Special guest speaker will be Felix J McKenna, former head sleuth at the Garda Criminal Assets Bureau.

A personalised invite to our esteemed editor offers a special reference number so we can get a 10 per cent discount on the hefty €478 fee for the half-day lecture (talk about daylight robbery!).

For our hefty wedge, conference organiser Pauline McKeever tells us: "Award-winning author and Sunday World Crime Editor Paul Williams will host a conference on how criminal activity is undermining Irish businesses." And we'll learn all about "scams" and "rackets", she adds.

Of course, the Sunday World thrives on sex scandals and prostitution as owner Sir Anthony O'Reilly and Paul Williams trouser bundles of cash from premium-rate phone sex lines advertised in their back pages aimed at exciting perverts' hormones with titles such as, "I'm in my undies, and waiting for your call," "Filthy girls will do anything 4 u," and many, many more.

I wonder if anyone will be quizzing Williams from the floor about the phone porn that helps to pay his wages. Or maybe he'll be offering delegates a 10 per cent discount on ads like "Let me talk you off!" too.

Now DUP Dessie really needs a postal vote

So the DUP former mayor of Coleraine has been jailed for four months for stealing votes from sickly and elderly people in a nursing home.

Dessie Stewart pleaded guilty to electoral fraud during last year's Westminster and local elections.

Antrim Crown Court heard last Friday that DUP Dessie had arrived at the Tieve Tara Nursing Home in Portrush five days before the election and bullied the staff into giving him residents' postal ballot papers, which they did because of who he was.

The DUP man's brief pleaded that his client's vote thieving was "a spontaneous and absolute moment of madness".

But dodgy Dessie drove to the nursing home, coerced staff into handing over the ballots, put them in his car, drove off to a DUP office or somewhere else, took them out and impersonated no fewer than 15 postal voters by filling in all 15 ballot papers in the same writing!

Madness? Yes. Spontaneous? Can a DUP boss be spontaneous 15 times?

Grand Master's flash

One of Dessie's erstwhile DUP Assembly colleagues nearly spontaneously combusted at the suggestion by Elton John that organised religions should be banned because most of them foster hate crimes against gay people.

George Dawson, who's also Grand Master of the Independent Orange Order, told the Ballymena Congregational Church that "the homosexual agenda strikes at the heart of society" before adding:

"Can you imagine the outcry there would be if a religious leader demanded a ban on homosexual practice?"

I think one Reverend Ian Paisley MP, MEP, and DUP leader, just might have demanded such a thing every now and again as the big kahuna of the Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign.

Oh, that Seán South

Fianna Fáil's gaffe-prone defence minister, Willie 'Kamikaze' O'Dea, retreated in disarray from his native Limerick last weekend and launched a biography of the 1950s IRA legend, Seán South of Garryowen.

Trying to defend his about-face, O'Dea said:

"I did not realise it was about Seán South until the other day and I did not think it would be appropriate for the Minister for Defence to launch a book about Seán South.

"I thought the book I was to launch was about somebody else."

Really? Wasn't there enough of a clue in the title of Des Fogerty's book: Seán South of Garryowen?

Does Willie O'Dea have any military intelligence?

All legs, no arms

Miss Israel no longer has to carry her assault rifle during her two-year military service in the Zionist army because she complains it bruises her legs.

Beauty queen Yael Nezri (18) has just completed basic training but she says the marks she gets from her rifle butt are making it hard for her to get modelling jobs where people are more interested in her legs than her arms.

Palestinians who are marked by Israeli Army rifle butts (and rifle barrels) are, however, not being let off by the beauty queen's commanders in Tel Aviv.

Flying picket

The 350 Irish construction volunteers working on a solidarity project in South Africa to build 50 houses for shanty dwellers in Mfuleni, outside Cape Town, by the end of this week had a staggered start at Dublin Airport on Friday when their plane was stuck on the runway for two hours.

Building site humour pronounced that it was all the fault of the contingent from Mayo.

"They won't let them refuel the plane with Shell."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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