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4 October 2007 Edition

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Fifth Column

Sunday World Nazi shamrock shocker

‘AER LINGUS NAZI SHOCK’ wasn’t the headline in the Sunday World at the weekend, although it could have been because its “exclusive” two-page feature on a race-hate gang in US prisons had more holes in it than a wind sock at Knock Airport.
Eugene Masterson’s piece reported that the Aryan Brotherhood, the most notorious and murderous of US jail gangs, “has hijacked republican Irish imagery to use in its symbolism”.
According to Masterson, one former gang member, Casper Cowell, “sports a Sinn Féin tattoo across the front of his neck”. More fool Casper the dozy Nazi, who obviously knows less about Sinn Féin than even the Sunday World. He might think he likes Sinn Féin but we can’t be blamed for that. (Would a BNP member having a Princess Diana tattoo result in a ‘Princess Di Nazi shock’ headline in the Sunday World?)
There’s also reference to a falcon logo which is said (totally wrongly) to be symbolic of Sinn Féin but which looks more Germanic or Native American (that should make the Aryan Boneheads even more disturbed).
The rest of the two-page spread is devoted to “the most common symbol belonging to the brotherhood, a shamrock tattoo”. A “large green shamrock”. Ah, yes, the famous Sinn Féin shamrock, waved by millions and millions of Sinn Féin supporters around the world on St Patrick’s Day. Bertie Ahern even gave a bowl of Sinn Féin symbols to President George Dubya Bush but no one noticed. And why hasn’t British Military Intelligence spotted that Queen Elizabeth gives this Sinn Féin symbol to the Irish Guards on St Patrick’s Day? Is Queenie a republican sleeper?
Actually, the shamrock is not an Irish republican symbol, Mr Ace Reporter, it’s an Aer Lingus and Tourism Ireland trade mark, which you couldn’t miss, unless you work for the Sunday World.

What Dr Paisley ordered?

THE name of the fish ‘n’ chip shop on the Albertbridge Road in East Belfast that’s just won fame in the ‘Developing Belfast Top 50 Awards’ for pioneering businesses in the city’s developing areas is a variation on a unionist theme. It’s called ‘For Cod and Ulster.’
How that goes down with UVF, whose official slogan is ‘For God and Ulster’, isn’t clear but it probably hits the spot with some unionist leaders who were a little too faithful to the saying, ‘An army marches on its stomach.’
King Billy’s Family Feast (“only £16.90” - geddit?) may not be to everyone’s taste but they can order up a burger named after Ian Paisley or Gerry Adams.
The graffiti art frontage on the shop’s shutter includes Ian Paisley, his fork in a large meat sausage, proclaiming it the best in the Six Counties, and Gerry Adams gripping a hamburger, saying: “At last we agree on something!”
Owner David Kerr said that the tongue-in-cheek humour is due to the peace process: “When before would you have seen Gerry Adams on a shutter on the Albertbridge Road in East Belfast?”
Someone said it’s definitely a result of ‘The Good Fry-day Agreement.’

Labour’s bad joke

THE shooting of an unarmed traffic Garda on a main bus route into Dublin City Centre last week seems to have given Labour Party Councillor Dermot Lacey something to laugh about.
The snarl-up of buses caused by the Garda follow-up operation led to Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O’Toole being late for a meeting of the Finance Special Policy Committee. He phoned ahead and when he eventually arrived, Larry apologised and explained that there had been a shooting. Former mayor Lacey sniggered that Larry may have been delayed because he was being “questioned” about the Garda being shot.
Larry tore into Smart Alecky Lacey, who wouldn’t accept the comment was in bad taste and a heated row raged until the committee chair stepped in.
Lacey bizarrely later told the Evening Herald: “Sinn Féin do not like engaging in the political process and they do not like any sort of criticism.”

Lacey’s rubbish reign


THIS isn’t the first time Councillor Smart Alecky Lacey has been an embarrassment to the 26-County Labour Party.
While he was Lord Mayor of Dublin, Lacey cast the deciding vote for the 2003 local authority budget, which included raising domestic waste charges, in open defiance of Labour Party policy. If he hadn’t, the council would have been dissolved by the Government - and he would have lost his mayoral perks and plush pad in the Mansion House.
As ‘punishment’, Lord Mayor Lacey was expelled from the Labour group on Dublin City Council (oh, how that must have hurt) but he was allowed to remain a member of the Labour Party all the time while sitting as an Independent councillor! After his spell in the ‘sin bin’, lapping it up like a lord at the Mansion House, when the 2004 local elections came around, Lacey was miraculously and seamlessly welcomed back into the Labour group and Labour’s HQ staff despite his treachery and as if nothing had happened.

Mrs Doyle’s wedding


MEP Avril Doyle has upset parishioners at a Wexford church by asking for the Tricolour to be removed before her daughter’s wedding on 31 August.
The Tricolour - and a Papal flag - have draped the altar at Crossabeg Church since 2003 when the parish celebrated the bicentenary of convict priest Fr James Dixon’s first Mass in Australia. Fr Dixon was a curate at Crossabeg at the end of the 1700s but was arrested and sentenced to death for allegedly commanding a company of rebels at Tubberneering during the 1798 Rising, something he denied all of his days. His brother, Nicholas, though, was active and James’s arrest could have been mistaken identity although it may just have been punitive. Fr James’s death sentence was later commuted to transportation. Crossabeg Church was burned in the aftermath of the 1798 rebellion, on 24 June 1799.
When the tribute to their patriot priest was removed, there was anger amongst local people.
One parishioner told the Wexford Echo: “You have to ask is our MEP ashamed of our flag?”
But the aristocratic Avril Doyle is unrepentant.
“Having got permission,” she said, “we removed both the Tricolour and the Vatican flag from the altar for the wedding ceremony. It was my personal call as I believe there is no place in church for flags of any kind.”
Not even the Tricolour, which seems a curious stance for a leading figure in Fine Gael, which describes itself as “The United Ireland Party.”

TÁL - It hasn’t gone away, you know


TÁL (Tiocfaidh Ár Lá), “the fanzine for republican-minded Celtic supporters”, is back by popular demand after a two-year break.
Articles in the latest issue include:-
• Celtic PLC’s ‘Brave New World’;
• Jungle Memories;
• Frank Ryan and the Connolly Column;
• Interview with the Juventus Ultras;
• Bohemians Prague;
• And much more.
In A5 format, 32 pages, it costs just £2/€3 (inc p&p).
Available from the Sinn Féin Bookshop online or 58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

An Phoblacht Magazine


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