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26 November 1998 Edition

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Editor's desk

Two Glasgow' peelers bit off a wee bit more than they could chew last weekend when they attempted to arrest an An Phoblacht seller outside Celtic Park before the Celts game with Rangers.

Not only did the `Gers players and fans end up as blue as their jerseys (after conceding five Celtic goals) but the peelers did as well for the guy they targeted for harassment knew a bit about the law.

The peelers asserted that our man was in breach of the peace; not so, he answered and asked the boys in blue to get their commanding officer - which they are required to do by law - but they refused.

So says our man, ``what's your names?''.

Again, according to Scottish law, the peelers must identify themselves, but again they refused so our man stood his ground.

And before you could say 5 - 1, 5- 1 the queue of eager readers looking for their copy of Ireland's biggest selling political weekly had grown so long that the `Glesga Polis' took off.

Unfortunately their hasty retreat from the scene of the crime meant that our man didn't get the chance to thank them for their support and a quicker turnover than usual.


What has happened to the Orange Volunteer Force? Never heard of them? They surfaced in an advert in the official programme for the Belfast Orange Order march on 12 July.

The group's stated objects and policies make interesting reading. Their objects include ``to oppose and resist all attempts to assimilate or merge Northern Ireland (British Ulster) with the Irish Republic; to defend, support and protect the loyalist people of Northern Ireland; [and] to carry out such actions as may be necessary...''

Ominous stuff.

They say it is their policy to act within the law. ``However, in a situation where the British Government (or others) would find it expedient to allow Northern Ireland (British Ulster) and its people to be absorbed into an Irish Republic the Orange Volunteers will work and fight without tie or bond with the help of Almighty God to maintain Northern Ireland's position as an integral part of the United Kingdom.''

``Fight without tie or bond''? Does that mean killing nationalists? I hope Tony Blair clarified that when he met the leaders of the Orange Order on Monday.


Last Friday David Trimble met some of the 26 Counties big noises for a bit of goodwill building and getting-to-know-you. But he was less than successful.

He was asked to describe how he saw the relationship between the North and South of Ireland and when he began by saying it was like the relationship between Germany and Austria, RTE presenter and academic Brian Farrell went ballistic.

An unholy row ensued, at the end of which Farrell told Trimble he'd be ``more foreign to the English than you would be to people down here''.


The 26 County Government held a ceremony to remember the United Irishmen at Dublin's Croppies Acre last Sunday. But the ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity weren't much in evidence.

Bertie Ahern and Seamus Brennan and other Fiann Fáil and Free State Army dignatories kept aloof from the lowly invited plebs. They had their own separate entrance and dined separately from the other guests.

Time for an equality agenda for the 26 Counties?

An Phoblacht
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