8/31/2005

Bankrupt Unionism

Any moral currency the Unionist family thought they had has surely been washed away in a sea of paint and petrol bombs as the current pogroms against the Catholic people of North Antrim continues.
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Interesting that Unionists and the "cultural" Orange Order could rub shoulders and back slap with Unionist death squads to launch the ridiculous "love Ulster" campaign but when they are asked to sort out the sectarian attacks against Catholics all we hear is a muted condemnation.

The bankruptcy that encapsulates political Unionism has to be expected, their entire outlook is negative, sectarian and outdated. What gets my goat is their delusional moral high ground. Political Unionism has courted death squads for years, be they "legitimate" death squads or illegal ones. They then have the cheek to call themselves democrats!!

Spell bounding

I honestly seek accommodation with Unionists but I fear the siege mentality of "Not an Inch" and "No Surrender" will always be the order of the day.

I wait to see will they grasp the nettle

1916- Who care?

Very interesting article from Tom McGurk in the SBP about how attitudes to the 1916 rising have changed over the decade and how the recent debate over 16 Moore Street could start what he calls a "re-education" process. I thought this was an excellent piece of journalism and I was particularly interested in how he described Michael Collins' actions as the Civil War started. Although the generally accepted version of history is that the pro-Treaty forces had the support of the people, this is disputed and McGurk describes Collins' leadership as a "unaccountable military dictatorship."

8/30/2005

Sinn Féin condemns petrol bomb attack on Catholic school

Sinn Féin has condemned an overnight petrol bomb attack on a Catholic primary school in Ballymena, Co Antrim.
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Sinn Féin claimed it was "ironic" that the attack came on the same day that loyalists launched a campaign to promote their culture and to counter the perceived 'republican-isation' of the North.

This must be how Unionists plan to "love Ulster"

Fair play!

Congratulations to Cavan who have been declared Ireland's cleanest town. To suggest this is because they are too tight to throw anything away would be a vicious slur!

8/29/2005

A City for Everyone - except Taigs

I see a telling editorial from irelandclick.com on Newshound condemning the rampant secterianism inherient in Lisburn City Council. Interestingly they compare the attitude of Nationalist politicans when they weighed in behind the "City for Everyone" campaign to achieve City status with the attitude of Unionist politicans since.

Making them pay their dues.

I saw a very interesting article from the Sunday Business Post about the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. It seems Mr. Chavez is determined not to allow multi-national corporations to plunder this oil rich land and expect to ride roughshod over tax laws and get away with it.

Fair play to Mr. Chavez for putting his people first, for wanting to spend his country's wealth on improving life for the poor. Mr. Chavez was willing to trade some of his countries wealth with Cuba in exchange for doctors to staff 3,000 neighbourhood clinics.

To me, Mr. Chavez represents what democracy should be about. He is willing to stand up for the small guy against those with so much financial muscle that they think the rule of law doesn't apply to them. I have no problem with business but like Mr Chavez, I believe that much that financial wealth should be subject to an equitable tax system. I object to what can be summed up in the phrase "Steal a little they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you jail". In Venezuela under Chavez, this is the attitude that they are fighting back against. Math thú, an fear.

Finally the debate begins

A campaign urging hundreds of thousands of Protestants and unionists to oppose a United Ireland is to be launched today.
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Amid what the organisers are calling a "crisis point" for the Union, the Love Ulster Campaign is being established as frustration continues to grow at the direction the peace process is taking.

Even though you hear Unionist's articulating the view that the issue of the North is an open and shut case you call tell by their every being that they don't believe that.

The siege mentality races through their every vein, they have a disloyal "minority" that will never accept partition and they are surrounded by an "outside" border of people who have the same view as the disloyal minority. Their great British government doesn't want them and view them as nothing but spongers. The people on the "mainland" see them as Irish, simple as that.

This is what Unionists consider the best option?

Instead of sitting down with Nationalism and Republicanism and finding an agreed formula for a United Ireland they prefer an Ostrich approach. Now if you can only get yourself to believe we won't have a United Ireland you will be doing well.

Time to smell the coffee people!

8/28/2005

Sinn Féin Web Police

That is the title of the subsection my mention in the Sunday Tribune is under.
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As the Tribune site is being updated I will reproduce the article here

SINN FEIN WEB POLICE

"Though Portadown News is gone, some parts of the website remain up, including his links with commentaries.

Politics.ie is described as a "comprehensive Southern politics site, now alas completely taken over by the Sinn Féin internet police". It is a phenomenon that worries many bloggers who do not agree with a hardcore republican line. And some suggest there is an organised effort by republicans to bully (or bore) those with opposing views off the pitch, to use a Slugger O'Toole metaphor (sluggerotoole.com), where such efforts are a daily battle.

Reactions to the ongoing Colombian Three saga were sluggish at first among Irish blogs, but the re-entry of Michael McDowell into the fray has, as usual, electrified the debate. "Get back under your rock!" was the screaming riposte from Chris Gaskin (gaskinbalrog.blogspot.com) who cleared the foam from under his mouth long enough to argue that, because American planes refuel at Shannon, Ireland isn't a democracy under the rule of law as McDowell claims.

One suspects the author feels Ireland won't be until Sinn Féin runs it, but that's for another day. Unless you believe the activities of the 'Sinn Féin internet police' are training for the real-world thing."

Pathetic!!

That people actually believe there is a Sinn Féin department that polices websites shows how truly ignorant some people are.

I know it's a big shock for scum like the Tribune to realise but there are Republicans who can use computers with an interest in debate.

Sad really that a rag like the Tribune likes to indulge in this kind of fantasy but not surprising.

Any anti-shinner stuff will do, eh Joe Bloggs?

FF backbenchers revolt threat over Colombia Three

Fianna Fáil backbenchers are threatening a revolt if legal moves are made to extradite the Colombia Three.
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MR sought proof, I give you proof!

Fianna Fáil know how the grass roots feel about this issue and while it may suit the PD and Fine Gael agenda to turn the Colombian Three issue into a party political one, it will not suit Fianna Fáil.

The right-wing establishment may be baying for blood but your ordinary Irishman and woman are not.

Sinn Féin unfurl banner campaign for United Ireland

The vision of a United Ireland must not be limited to Gaelic football matches between teams from north and south, it was claimed today.
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The Sinn Fein Mayor of Kerry, Toireasa Ní Fhearaíosa, said the party wanted to see All Ireland structures developed in every single aspect of daily life in Ireland.

"While it is great to see GAA teams and supporters arriving in Dublin today from as far apart as Kerry and Tyrone for All Ireland matches over the weekend, we must ensure that this doesn`t remain the limit of our vision of Irish unity," she said.

I know we are frantically working away on the South Armagh part of the carnival and it is going to be a fun day for all the family. A chance to get out the "Republican and Proud" T-shirts.

A carnival however is not going to attain a United Ireland.

We are going to see a United Ireland, which is certain as far as I am concerned but we have to decide if we want an inclusive as well as a truly "United" Ireland.

I don't want Unionists to feel the same way that Nationalists and Republicans have for the last 80 years. I don't want it to be a case of, they won, and we lost.

I think when we get devolution back up and running in about a year’s time we should use the next couple of years to show Unionism what this will mean in the practical terms.

Economically, culturally, religiously etc

We need to try and sort out the issue of Parades, once and for all. Unionists need to feel that they have as much right to the name Irishman as nationalists do.

It won't be easy but the alternative is worse.

8/27/2005

SF 'unaffected' by Colombia Three controversy

Sinn Féin Councillor and Mayor of Kerry, Toireasa Ní Fhearaíosa, claimed that the public are supportive of Sinn Féin's stance when it comes to the Colombia Three and are happy the men are home.
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"To be honest, the only negativity coming seems to be coming from the corners of (Justice Minister Michael) McDowell and others and that’s what we’d expect from people like that anyhow,"

That is just the truth of it

I have actually been surprised by the amount of non-Sinn Féin people who are supportive of the Colombian three.

There goes the last of McDowell’s hair

Conference theme attacked as 'provo double speak'

Republicans have been forced to re-examine how to achieve their goal of a united Ireland following the historic IRA statement. Sinn Fein`s Mary Lou McDonald also said unionists would have to learn to work with nationalists in the new political climate. Ms McDonald was speaking after the Coiste na n-Iarchimi summer school in Co Armagh, which focused on whether Irish republicanism can be militant without being militaristic.
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The Ulster Unionists condemned the theme of the conference and said it was nothing more than "Provo Double Speak"

I attended the conference and found it very insightful, there was even women up from the Shankhill road.

Why didn't Danny go and put his opinions forward instead of crying from the sidelines?

Are you serious?

Political irrelevance David Ford has said that some IRA members could end up in the police service in the future.
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"We may have to accept that there will be certain bad apples, some of whom may or may not be politically motivated, appear in the police service," he said.

LOL, we have loads of bad apples at the moment, that's why we need change.

The Alliance party really are showing their true colours, Unionist colours

8/26/2005

Irish Republicanism: Can it be militant without being militaristic?

That is the question up for debate today in the Tí Chulainn centre in Mullaghbawn, South Armagh by Coiste na n-Iarchimí.
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This is part of the two-day debate hosted by Coiste. Martin Ferris TD delivered last night's opening speech and now at 10:30 Mary lou McDonald and MLA Gerry Kelly will address the participants.

To discuss the debate this afternoon will be DCU lecturer, Agnés Maillot, Denis O'Hern, QUB, Mike Ritchie, Director of Coiste na n-Iarchimí, John Gray, curator of the Linen hall library and political historian Margaret Ward.

Martin Ferris delivered his assertion last night when he said "We have no fear that the IRA's decision to end its military campaign will result in the republican movement losing its militancy,"

He said republicans could be militant without being militaristic

What do you think?

8/25/2005

Seven

United Irelander has asked me to do this quiz

Seven things I plan to do before I die.
1) Raise a family
2) Practise law
3) Own a pub
4) Canvass in a 32 county election
5) See the world
6) Learn Russian and home up on my Irish
7) Beat Cancer

Seven things I can do.
1) Argue black is white
2) Pull a great pint of Guinness
3) Drink
4) Annoy any woman to within an inch of her sanity
5) Piss off authority figures
6) Bullshit
7) Hunt

Seven things I can not do.
1) Sing
2) Hold my toungue, even when I know I should
3) Heights, can't stand the fuckers
4) Tapdance
5) Talk to a cop with civility
6) Drive a tractor
7) Listen to a Priest

Seven things that I find really attractive about the opposite sex
1) Strong personality
2) Eyes
3) Sexual confidence
4) Ass
5) Breasts
6) Political awareness
7) Neck

Seven things I say the most.
1) Reprobate
2) Brother
3) Dirtbird
4) and as such
5) Twat
6) Fuck
7) 20 Benson please

Seven books I love.
1) Lord of the Rings, whole series
2) Harry Potter, whole series
3) Angels and Demons
4) The Da Vinci Code
5) The Prince, Nicolò Machiavelli
6) IRA, TP Coogan
7) Waiting for Godot

Seven people I would like to see take this quiz.
1) David Vance, ATW
2) Mick, Slugger
3) MR
4) Paddy, Balrog
5) Jo, Joblog
6) JG, Julius Geezer
7) Chris Stalford

Sectarian "R" DUP

"I have friends who are prison officers, and they told me that their best time in the Maze was when the Provos were on huger strike, because they lived like animals and that is what they were"
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That is the view of DUP bigot Paul Given.

This is nothing new from the DUP especially young turks like Given and indeed it is a comment I am sure rests easy with most of the scum in the DUP.

To speak about the men of 1981 like that, who give their lives in a sacrifice for their basic Human Rights, says more about the mentality of that sectarian bigot that it does the valour of the Hunger Strikers.

I wonder would the likes of Given and the court jester on ATW, who regularly makes jokes about the hunger strikers, have the balls and the conviction to go on a hunger strike for their beliefs?

Somehow I doubt it

Clutching at straws

British government plans to disband three battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment in a major shake up of security in the North could cost the 6 counties economy £60 million every year, it was claimed today.
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DUP Assembly Member Arlene Foster said "while there had been a focus on the implications of the British government move for the safety and security of communities, it was also becoming clear there would would be a high human cost."

The UDR/RIR has already been a high human cost, to Catholics. They are a sectarian militia and if it costs 100 million so be it. The days of Unionism calling the shots are long gone.

Equality, its new strung and shall be heard!

Men more intelligent than women, it's official

It seems there is proof that men are more intelligent than women.
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Was their ever any doubt?

Alliance party tries anything

Tries anything to get publicity that is, that has to be the reason after hearing the ridiculous claims of Alliance councillor Marie Hendron.
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The Alliance Party has accused Sinn Fein of manufacturing claims that there was trouble at an east Belfast interface for political ends.

However, Sinn Fein said the allegation that it had 'made up' the trouble at Short Strand/Cluan Place on Monday night was "ridiculous"

And UUP MLA Michael Copeland has confirmed Sinn Fein claims that they met that night to defuse tensions.

Someone please explain to me why the Alliance party would do something as stupid as this?

Are they that desperate for coverage?

Amateur, incompetent and totally out of the loop

8/24/2005

Sinn Féin take the lead on interface attacks

Sinn Féin Councillor for Ardoyne, Margaret McClenaghan has called for an immediate end to interface attacks.
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"All these attacks are based purely on sectarianism. They are wrong and have no justification whatsoever whatever side of the community they emanate from.

"The residents from the homes that were attacked this morning had actually stood at the front of their homes last night to ensure that young people could not pass by and cause trouble at the interface.

"This is a positive move in order to attempt to restore calm to the interface areas, however it is not enough on its own. We need to see a long term interface strategy developed and implemented by all relevant parties in order to resolve the long running issues of interface tensions."


Well said, I agree 100%

DPP meeting farce

Members of the DPP sub group were forced to pull the plug on a meeting in the loyalist Sandy Row area after only two members turned up. The cancellation prompted Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey to claim the sub group in the south of the city had descended into farce.
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"Reports of such meetings across the six counties indicate that they are normally only attended by a mixture of PSNI members and local political appointments," the South Belfast MLA said.

They are a farce and will always be while the policing structure remains the way it is.

They tried to hold a DPP meeting in Forkhill, for purely political means of course.

The residents objected and went around every house in Forkhill with a petition demanding that the DPP stay away from Forkhill. Now that village, for anyone who knows it, is hardly a bastion of Republicanism.

97% of people signed the petition

The RUC/PSNI are an unacceptable police force, period!

Get back under your rock!

I see the slimy serpent of the underworld Mickey Mc Dowell has ventured into the Colombian three debate.
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"The Irish state is based on democratic principles and the rule of law, and will not become a haven for people who are perceived internationally to have breached the rule of law and endangered the lives of others,"

Tell me then Michael, why do you allow America to use Shannon?

There is no perception there, they have blown the shit out of Iraq and killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. Perhaps it is because allowing America to use Shannon suits your politics.

"I think that I and most sensible people in Ireland reject as out of hand that those people were in Colombia to discuss the peace process."

What you or anyone else rejects out of hand is neither here nor there; we both know these boys are not going anywhere. That is what really pisses him off and he knows there is no legal avenue open to him to send these men back to Colombia.

It is enjoying watching the most anti-republican, right-wing politician in the country squirm with absolute hate and frustration.

Attention all Balrog readers

Brice Dickson, the real one, has contacted me and asked me to publicise the fact that the messages left the other day from a person claiming to be "Brice Dickson" on this site are not from him.

If the person who posted before does so again under Brice's name I will be forced to delete the comments and ban that person from this site.

All Balrog readers should show care and attention when choosing handles to post under. If anyone uses similar handles or tries to impersonate someone in a similar vain I will be forced to take similar action.

8/23/2005

Enough!

Violence has escalated in the North, after more riots broke out in East Belfast last night, sparking fears of a repeat of the violence in the city in 2002.
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Right now, enough is enough!

"children as young as six are now taking part"

Now someone please tell me what the fuck are their parents doing while their six year olds are out rioting?

Grab a hold of the wee shits and march them back to their beds and a few slaps wouldn't go a miss either. I don't particularly blame the children as they have seen everyone else doing it and then presume it must be ok.

Somebody, anybody has to take leadership on this issue and sort this out. I don't care who started it first. Community reps and political leaders in the area need to sort this out and sort it out fast because you can be damned sure the RUC/PSNI aren't going to do anything about it.

Pass the bucket

I see with ghastly horror that the cringe worthy Rose Of Tralee is back to haunt the Irish public.
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How anyone can find this even remotely entertaining is beyond me.

I have no time for so-called "beauty" pageants or their equivalent, "scholarship" programmes.

You would have thought the intelligence of the country had progressed somewhat but after sitting here last night and watching my mother and brother watching the show I am not so sure.

Come on people, catch a grip!

8/22/2005

Cult classics: Cartoons

It is always nice to reminisce about ones childhood and my childhood, my early one anyway, was dominated by one program, He-man.
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I was obsessed!!

There is no other way to put it.

I had all of the figures, except Orko; who couldn't be got in this country. My cousins Ma brought him one back from Spain and boy was I jealous. I had castle grayshull and everything. My dad used to have to make up stories of He-man for me to go to sleep; He-man goes to the beach, the circus etc.

I am not joking.

It got to the stage where I got paranoid. I was about 6 years old and my Dad and I were walking back from the grave yard and I was convinced that Eternia was just on the other side of Slieve Gullion. I had a tantrum and refused to go home until he took me to Eternia. I look back now with fond memories and think of the moral lessons that the program contained. Then you look at the Cartoons my own younger brother watches.

Sad that Cartoons have gone down hill so much.

You can't beat the 80's

Real IRA issues threat

"The situation in north Antrim has not gone unnoticed. Although we are reluctant to go down that road, we are not ruling out that there will be action taken"
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Dissidents have threatened to target loyalists involved in the ongoing sectarian pogroms against Catholics in North Antrim.

These Muppets haven't got the strength or support to let off a firework. Riddled with touts and nothing more than a rag tag bunch of washed up wasters and never was wasters.

They have nothing to offer the Irish people and should just return to their barstools, the beer is getting warm.

Benedict attacks ‘consumer’ religion

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday criticised an “explosion” in religious consumerism and those profiting from it.
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"Yet, if it is pushed too far, religion becomes almost a consumer product. People choose what they like, and some are even able to make a profit from it."

Funny, that sounds very like a church I know

I am not a hypocrite, I have not attended mass in over 5 years and that includes weddings and funerals. I believe in god and I pray but I have issues with some of the Church and the bibles teachings.

I believe in sex before marriage, I believe in contraception, I do not believe homosexuals are evil etc

I could never be one of those Catholics who go to mass on a Sunday and pretend to be holier than thou, knowing full well what they had done the night before.

I am also a firm believer in liberation theology.

I have always despised the conservatism of the Catholic Church and the way in which the Church treated the poor with contempt, yet it is the poor who keep the church alive.

Cuba and Venezuela ask for solidarity

The presidents of Cuba and Venezuela have called for solidarity in the face of the United States as they met to strengthen their special relationship that has the US government increasingly suspicious.
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Castro urged Latin American countries to unite to facilitate their development and improve the well-being of their citizens.

This seems like a sensible suggestion from Fidel. I have always had huge admiration for Chavez and thought the documentary that RTÉ showed of the coup d'état was fantastic.

Yet more international co-operation that America won't like.

8/21/2005

Ireland needs action - Class Actions

I see the possibility of Irish people suing the pharmaceutical company Merck over its drug 'Vioxx' has increased with a successful case in America where the company was found liable for the death of one of the people who had used it for pain relief.

However, as reported on RTE News this evening, one of the main stumbling blocks is that any Irish person would have to take a possibly very costly case by themselves. Ireland has no 'class action' system where one case can cover hundreds of plantiffs as in America, even though the Irish Law Commission has recommended that such a system be initiated. I think that class actions are a good thing and should be permitted in any good legal system. To do otherwise is to place the levers of justice high above the heads of those who cannot afford costly and lengthy court actions.

Fianna Fail could 'lose 15 seats'

I see that new constituency polls are showing that Fianna Fail could lose up to 15 seats in the next general election.
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I am also hearing that Sinn Féin councilor Gerry Murray is looking good in Mayo.

I can't see this government lasting its full term and I expect to see a breakdown in relations between Fianna Fáil and the PD's in early spring.

It is going to be enjoyable.

Begrudgers Fail!

I see the non- annual discussion has developed on slugger on the subject of whether A Level exams are getting easier. To me, this entire arguement smacks of begrudgery. Yes, there are more people passing, but I think this has a lot more to do with the modular system of As and A2 Levels which allow a student more opportunity to fulfill his or her potential. While the pass rate may seem exceptionally high, we must remember that well an E grade is officially a pass, in reality it is worth next to nothing. As the grades go up, so do the requirements for the Univeristy courses. This is the true measure of passing or failing and there are no more people than before getting into the most prestigious courses. For example, the grades required to do Law at Queens have become higher and higher in recent years. To me the arguemnt about higher grades has become something of a red herring. 3 Es may be a 100% pass rate but its very unlikely to get a student into univeristy which is what the vast majority of people did A Levels for. The quote about "Lies, damned lies and statistic" springs to mind. In any case, fair play to all those who did well on Thursday and don't let anything spoil your success!

8/20/2005

Armagh by one point

Just to let you all know that I am heading to the match in a few hours time and I will not be blogging but enjoying a few pints of Bulmers in Dublin.
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I think Armagh will do it but it will be tough, so I am going for Armagh by one.

I might post when I get back, before I go to work.

Until Then

Ard Mhacha Abú

Pope warns of rise in anti-Semitism

Pope Benedict XVI warned yesterday of rising anti-Semitism and hostility to foreigners, winning a standing ovation from members of Germany’s oldest Jewish community during a visit to a rebuilt synagogue that had been destroyed by the Nazis.
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There is no place in this world for religious intolerance. Pope John Paul II described it best when he said all religions have a path to god.

"Benedict's visit appeared to have helped smooth over a dispute between the Vatican and Israel that arose after the Israeli Government faulted Benedict for not mentioning attacks on Israelis in a recent condemnation of terrorism."

Hold on, I am not anti-Semitic but I am anti-Zionist. The Pope was totally justified in what he did. The Israeli's send in missiles to crowded shanty towns and butcher women and children. They have become what they detest the most. I have always supported the Palestinians and will continue to do so against any form of Israeli aggression. The Israeli attempt for Moral superiority is nothing short of disgusting.

"The Vatican responded with a terse statement asking the Israelis not to tell the Pope what to say."

Good to hear it, until the issue of Palestine is sorted there can be no peace between East and West.

8/19/2005

Extradition is the order of the day

No it's not another post on the Colombian three it's about Dundalk Republican Leonard Hardy. He is to fight an extradition warrant to Germany.
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Hardy was arrested on an international warrant at a hotel in Costa del Sol on Wednesday.

He is accused of being involved in the Osnabruck bombing in 1987.

He is being held in a maximum security jail just outside Madrid.

Jesus Christ, I seem to be saying extradition in my sleep these day's. I would like to wish Leonard all the best and I hope it isn't long until he is home with his family

Priorities all wrong.

In a summer during which Republicans have taken unprecendented moves to secure a peaceful Ireland and to remove the gun and all violence from Irish politics, Loyalist paramilitaries continue to be unable to embrace any new era of peace. Sinn Féin have compiled a dossier of all Loyalist paramilitary attacks since June. It makes chilling reading. yet of course, Unionist politicians do their best to begrudgingly condemn and then forget as they believe that moaning about what they see as concessions to Republicans is more important. Shame on them, they should read this dossier. Not one of these disgusting attacks got nearly the attention that the long overdue disbandment of the RIR was given

JUNE 2005

2nd June - Blast bombs thrown at two homes in Ahorey, Richill in a racist attack on Eastern European workers.

3rd June - Loyalist feud erupts in violence inside the Belfast court complex.

4th June - Two catholic owned cars set on fire and sectarian slogans daubed in East Belfast

4th June - 7 catholic homes in Coleraine attacked.

5th June - Names of Sinn Féin election workers posted on walls in Coleraine.

5th June - Pipe Bombs thrown at the homes of migrant workers in racist attack in Loughgall.

6th June - 27 year old attacked by masked gang wielding baseball bats in his Ballyclare home.

6th June - Car set on fire in racist attack in Loughgall.

7th June - Catholic homes and a car petrol bombed in Coleraine.

10th June - 56 year old woman attacked in her Ballymoney home and given 24 hours to leave.

16th June - 28 year old shot in Greenland Park, Lurgan.

16th June - Four masked men attack a man at his home in Ballyree Drive, Bangor.

17th June - Elderly catholic woman left hospitalised after attack on her Kerrera Street home in Ardoyne.

19th June - Two nationalists assaulted by loyalist mob in Ballymena

20th June - Three Catholic homes at Old Throne Park, North Belfast destroyed after sectarian arson attack. Eight children including a small baby lucky to escape alive.

22nd June - Ballymena man jailed after UVF gun running plot exposed.

23rd June - Arson attack on St. John's Catholic Church in Portadown.

28th June - 20 year old shot in the legs in Bangor.

28th June - Loyalist flags erected outside PSNI barracks in mixed Dunmurray village.

29th June - Loyalist flags erected in mixed Lisburn Road area.

29th June - Petrol bomb attack the home of a 19 year old woman, Braeside Grove, Castlereagh.

29th June - 17 year old shot, Carrickmannin Gardens, Bangor.

JULY 2005

1st July - Loyalist mob led by PUP member Billy McCaughey disrupt DPP meeting in Clough, Co.Antrim. SDLP Councillor force to be escorted from the meeting by the PSNI.

1st July - Jameson Lockhart shot dead by UVF, Newtownards Road, East Belfast.

5th July - Catholic homes on Mountpottinger Road Attacked by loyalist gang.

6th July - 30 year old shot, Carlingford Street, Creaggh Road.

9th July - Catholic home on the Crumlin Road firebombed.

10th July - Gun attack linked to the LVF on a home in the Silverstream Road area of North Belfast.

11th July - Craig McCausland shot dead by the UVF, Dhu Varren, North Belfast.

11th July - Man forced to flee home in Woodvale Pass as masked and armed gang burst in.

11th July Man shot and seriously injured on the Crumlin Road in an attacked linked to the LVF.

11th July - Catholic woman forced to flee her Ahoghill home after 50 years due to attacks.

11th July - Catholic taxi driver and passengers attacked in Blacks Road area of West Belfast.

11th July - PSNI patrol attacked in East Belfast and weapon stolen.

11th July - Business premises on Creaggh Road burned down in arson attack.

11th July - UVF firing party appear at Belfast City Council backed bonfire on the Newtownards Road.

11th July - UDA firing party appear at bonfire in the Westlands area.

11th July - Harryville Church in Ballymena daubed with sectarian slogans.

11th July - Attempt to abduct nationalist in Portstewart.

12th July - UVF and UDA figures join Orange Parade through Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales in North Belfast.

12th July - Loyalist protest outside St. Matthews Catholic Church, East Belfast.

12th Nationalist residents in Lower Ormeau attacked by stone throwing loyalists taking part in

12th parade.

13th July - Catholic homes in Clandeboye Gardens in the Short Strand area attacked.

15th July - Sinn Féin member in Coleraine told of threat to his life.

15th July - Four nationalists in Coleraine told of unionist paramilitary threat to their lives

16th July - Petrol Bomb attack on the Diamond Bar, Ahoghill, Co. Antrim

16th July - Blast bomb explodes inside Catholic woman‚s home, Mountainview Gardens.

16th July - Catholic homes in the Short Strand once again come under attack.

17th July - Blast bomb thrown into a house at Schomberg Court, Carrickfergus.

17th July - Three nationalist homes in Coleraine attacked

18th July - UVF carry out gun attack on house at Victoria Road, East Belfast.

20th July - Shots fired at house in Avonorr Drive, East Belfast.

20th July - Woman in Coleraine has home petrol bombed

21st July - Petrol Bomb attack on Half Way House bar in Broughshane, Co.Antrim

23rd July - Sectarian slogans daubed on Catholic properties in Garvagh, Co.Derry.

23rd July - Several nationalists in Dunloy Co. Antrim visited by the PSNI and warned that they are under threat from unionist paramilitaries.

23rd July - Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne petrol bombed.

23rd July - Device left on Dublin rail line to disrupt travel to the GAA Ulster Final in Dublin.

24th July - Man in his 40s shot in the Shankill Road area.

25th July - Hundreds of UVF members invade Garnerville estate in the East Belfast and force LVF linked families to flee in full view of the PSNI and British Army.

25th July - Taxi Depot in the Ballysillan area destroyed in arson attack linked to loyalist feud.

25th July - Leading republican Martin Meehan advised by the PSNI that his life is under threat from unionist paramilitaries.

25th July - Another paint bomb attack on Harryville Church in Ballymena.

25th July - Two men shot in Tynedale Grove in North Belfast.

26th July - Two Catholic churches in Ballymena attacked.

26th July - Catholic owned bar in Martinstown, Co. Antrim firebombed.

26th July - Catholic owned bar in Rasharkin, Co. Antrim firebombed.

26th July - 10 shots fired at a house in Station Road, Newtownabby.

26th July - A woman and two children escape after petrol bomb attack on their home in Silverstream Gardens.

27th July - Nationalist home in Coleraine has windows broken

30th July - Stephen Paul shot dead by the UVF Wheatfield Crescent, North Belfast.

31st July - UDA linked to the shooting of a 38 year old in the Westland area.

AUGUST 2005

1st August - PSNI Attacked by loyalist gang Palmer Street in the Woodvale area.

1st August - Bomb left outside home in Knockeen Crescent, Ballymena.

1st August - Shots fired into a house in Randalstown, Co. Antrim.

1st August - Petrol bomb attack on Catholic home in Laurel Park, Ahoghill.

2nd August - Petrol Bomb attack on home at Redwood, Dunmurry.

4th August - Loyalist paramilitaries orchestrate riot on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.

5th August - Further rioting on the Crumlin Road.

6th August - Catholic man attacked in Coleraine shop

7th August - Man shot seriously injured Glenside Park. Victim believed to be leading LVF figure.

7th August - Device left at Brookfield Mill, North Belfast

8th August - Three houses in Cloughmills, Co.Antrim attacked with pipe bombs

9th August - Fire Blankets issues to Catholic families in Ahoghill, Co. Antrim

9th August - The Banbridge Home of Sinn Féin Councillor Dessie Ward petrol bombed.

9th August - Harryville Catholic Church in Ballymena paint bombed.

9th August - Catholic home in Ballymena has windows smashed.

9th August - Masked loyalist protesters are joined by DUP politicians for illegal protest in Ballymena.

10th August - St. Patrick‚s Catholic Church in Lisburn daubed with sectarian slogans

10th August - 15 year old Thomas Devlin murdered in North Belfast attack, attributed in the media to the UVF.

12th August - Catholic homes in the Waterside area of Derry attacked.

12th August - Leading LVF figure Gordon Hutchinson shot and seriously injured in Lurgan.

12th August - Two flats in Rathcoole come under pipe bomb attack

12 August - Pipe bomb left outside republican home in Beechmount Ave, West Belfast

13th August - 30 year old shot in the legs in Newtownabby

14th August - Newsagents shop on the Antrim Road in Belfast set fire in arson attack.

14th August - 15 year old tied to a lamp post and covered in paint on the Donegal Road

15th August - Catholic home in Kilrea attacked

15th August - Catholic home in Ahoghill, Co.Antrim paint bombed

15th August - Michael Greene an LVF associate shot dead in the Sandy Row area of South Belfast

16th August - St. Josephs Catholic Primary School, Ahoghill paint bombed

16th August - St. Mary's Catholic Church, Ahoghill paint bombed

16th August - Pipe bomb left outside home, Windslow, Carrickfergus

US don't care

Glad to see the release of the Colombia Three and I hope the men are left in peace to rebuild their lives. Its interesting to see that despite the furore of the anti-Republican media about dire consequences from the White House if the men were not extradited, the reality is that the issue was in fact a non-story in America. Certain people need to get their facts right before they go spouting their propaganda

Spoilt Children need to be sent to bed without supper

The disbandment of the home battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment could affect the DUP's approach to reviving devolution, the party has said
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According to Peter "the punt" Robinson

"In the aftermath of the announcement to disband the home battalions, we have been working closely with those across all ranks in the Royal Irish to develop a number of options for the future of those affected."

"Many members of the regiment have asked us, as their elected representatives, to take up that mantle."

Now why doesn't that surprise me, a sectarian militia asks the DUP to help them out.

Sorry Pete but they are gone for good and if you go down the road of trying to stall the return of devolved powers over the UDR/RIR then you are going to get burnt politically. Let's not forget that as well as Joint Sovereignty you have to fear the review of public administration.

If the decision is for 7 councils that could leave you in a very unhappy place Pete.

Think about it.

Colombia Three released

All of the Colombia Three, who were interviewed by detectives in Dublin after the trio secretly returned to Ireland, have been freed.
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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for the Colombia Three to be allowed time and space to get over the trauma of the last four years.

It seems Niall was the last to be released after he was questioned over alleged use of a false Irish passport.

It is about time this issue was put to bed and the men allowed to get on with their lives.

Mo Mowlam RIP

I was saddened to hear the news that Mo Mowlam has died.
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Even though I don't believe there should ever be a British SOS for "Northern Ireland" Mo Mowlam wasn't a bad egg. She stretched herself for peace. She was different from previous SOS's as she stood up to Unionism.

The dignified way in which she battled her brain tumour is a credit to her unyielding character.

I feel for her family and loved ones

Rest in Peace

8/18/2005

RUC/PSNI turn a blind eye to Sectarian Pogroms currently sweeping Co Antrim

Paul Johnston, who was in the home of a nationalist family when it was attacked by loyalists in March, has criticised the PSNI for failing to fully investigate the current round of anti-Catholic attacks.
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A spokesman for the RUC/PSNI said they were "unable to establish" if Mr Johnston’s statement was taken.

Yesterday the RUC/PSNI’s Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton sparked a furious response from nationalist representatives by claiming that the attacks in Ahoghill were not "purely sectarian"

Ballymena Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney criticised the senior policeman’s remarks.
"He must be the only man in Ireland that doesn’t believe these incidents are purely sectarian. The kerb stones in Ahoghill are painted the same colour as the paint thrown at houses. These attacks are sectarian and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous."

The response to these attacks by the RUC/PSNI and elected Unionism has been typical, whataboutery and excuses.

How can Nationalism be expected to take the RUC/PSNI seriously?

Are we expected to believe that they are a competent, effective and neutral police service when we hear this sort of crap from Leighton?

The SDLP really have to step back and look at their position regarding policing. The people in places like Ahoghill are being left defenceless to the sectarian rampage of loyalist scumbags.

Who is going to protect them?

It's certainly not the RUC/PSNI

What do you expect?

Smokers are responsible for almost half of all litter on Irish streets, according to the latest annual report from the Government's litter-monitoring body.
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The body said cigarette-related rubbish accounted for just over 48% of all litter last year, with the smoking ban leading to a significant increase in discarded butts outside bars and restaurants.

What do people expect?

We have been banished to the streets and in most places there are no bins outside pubs to put the fag butts. What do people want, our blood?

Russia & China begin war games

Russian and Chinese armed forces have started their first joint military exercise. The eight days of war games involve air, sea and ground units from the two countries, including long-range Russian bombers.
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10,000 troops will take part in the exercises, which officials say will focus on the ability of Russian and Chinese forces to fight terrorism, while strengthening mutual trust between two countries.

I wonder how will Americans like this?

8/17/2005

A-Level Results!

Tomorrow is D-Day for A-Level students and no matter what the results there is something they must do, drink!!
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Picture this

You couldn't sleep the night before so you went up to a mate’s house and drunk until 6 in the morning. You slept for a few hours and were awoken by a younger brother screaming, "Your results are here". You open the envelope an after 10 minutes you realise you have the grades for Law in Queens

Euphoria hits

Time for drink and it's still only 10:30 am. Head up to a mate, he has the same results as you. You look at his beer fridge, which has been stocked full for over a week, and start on your journey to comatose. You play darts outside and drink Coors until 5 in the afternoon when it is time to get more drink. You head to the off-license. Go home, get showered, changed and a bite to eat. At 6 you head on the pre-pub carry out. By this stage you have abandoned the beer and are hitting the brandy. Head into town at 8 o clock for the session. Meet up will all the school chums you would never normally drink with and attempt to get paraletic. At 11 you head to the disco. After further drinking, courting and dancing you fall asleep on the sofas of the disco. A friend takes pictures that end up in the papers the following week. You wake up and realise you are still in the disco and very drunk. You see a cunt you have never liked in School and go over to give him a piece of your mind, an argument ensues and you end up decking him. The bouncer runs and tries to deck you but you hit him first. Then 10 bouncers violently remove you. You stagger for a taxi aware that you are that drunk you can't see. You arrive at the house and sit at the table and grab that bottle of Whiskey you hid. You wake up the next morning on the kitchen floor covered in Whiskey with your mother and two aunts calling you a drunk and saying that you are as bad as their father.

That was my own A-Level results day, best of luck to all those getting results.

Research reveals 16-year-olds' diet of drugs, sex, booze and cigs

The annual Northern Ireland-wide survey of 16-year-olds is undertaken by ARK - a joint project between Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster (Ulster Polytechnic)
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I will give my reactions to the findings

"Sixteen per cent of 16-year-old boys in the North have taken illegal drugs"

I have never and would never take any kind of illegal drug; they are a scourge of society. That said having worked in nightclubs from the age of 14 I am surprised the figure is so low.

"Almost 70% of the youths surveyed as part of the Young Life and Times (YLT) Survey had drunk alcohol a few or many times."

I started drinking at 15 so I can't really say much.

"Twenty per cent of the boys and 15% of the girls said they had had sex."

I lost my virginity at 16 so according to this I was the exception, funny how all of the boys pretend they are having sex when they are not, peer pressure I suspect.

"Nearly 40% of the girls and over 30% of the boys have smoked cigarettes"

I was smoking from the age of 14 but not heavy until my parents separated at 16. It's weird, I found once I was allowed to smoke in the house I smoked a lot more.

Gone are the days when a 20 deck would last me from Monday to Friday.

Combat 18 threaten SDLP assembly member

Neo-Nazis have threatened to burn down the home of John Dallat, SDLP MLA for East Derry. John Dallat said the Combat 18 grouping also warned they were plotting to set fire to his offices.
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These people are scum and should have swastikas branded to their foreheads!

Racists have no place in Ireland

Typical DUP response

The Unionist response to the Loyalist attacks against Catholics in Ahoghill, Cloughmills, Martinstown and Ballymena as well as the ongoing Loyalist feud has been shameful but not surprising.
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This Unionist response by Smithers, a member of the DUP, shows the typical DUP reaction. "Let's be honest protestants and catholics have been burning each other out of each others homes since the late sixties"

Spell bounding!!

If any Republican was doing what Unionist death squads were doing I would be the first one shouting from the rooftops. I applaud the Protestant clergy and the ordinary protestant people who want no truck with this naked sectarianism. Unionist elected reps are however pathetic. In Ian Paisleys own banana republic of North Antrim, where these attacks are taking place, what exactly are the DUP doing?

Mainstream Unionist political parties have courted with Unionist death squads for all of their political lives but when the shit hits the fan they try and rub their hands clean and pretend to be democrats?

They don't know the meaning of the word!

I will not be lectured on democracy by a rabble of bigots who don't have the balls the help kill the beast they fed for the last 30 years.

Calls to ban Irish fur farms

Animal rights campaigners are calling for fur farms to be outlawed in Ireland.
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I myself agree and see no need for these disgusting farms. It is mainly rich snobs who wear these animals’ skins. It has and will always be a class symbol. There is no reason why fake fur can't be worn.

That said my views on hunting are somewhat different.

My family have always hunted and there have always been guns in the house (Legal ones, so Unionists please keep your knickers on). Hunting however was not just for the fun of it. You cook and eat what you hunt. Be it rabbit, pheasant etc. I enjoy hunting.

I have no time for these hunting sprees the English lavish themselves with, it is pathetic.

What are everyone else’s views?

8/16/2005

Male students urged to consider teaching career

More male students must be encouraged to enter the teaching profession to avoid a gender imbalance at primary schools across the country, a senior Irish government minister urged yesterday.
Education Minister Mary Hanafin raised concerns as two out of every five primary schools in the country have no male teachers and many others have just one male teacher.
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Teaching never appealed to me personally as I would not have the patience and I have always had a very strained relationship with the teaching profession. I have quite a few mates who are training to be teachers but all of them are going into secondary education.

My younger brother wants to be a PE teacher, a bloody PE teacher!!

They are the embodiment of evil, he most have been a postman job ;)

Anyway, I don't believe men have the patience to teach primary school children. I was never taught by a male teacher in primary school. I don't see a big problem with the majority of primary school teachers being female.

What does everyone else think?

Riots in Basque capital

Riot police opened fire with rubber pellets on Basque separatist protesters who set rubbish bins ablaze yesterday, after a banned rally in the Basque capital of San Sebastian.
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Batasuna leader Arnaldo Otegi said the goal of the rally was to push for Batasuna’s inclusion in proposed all-party talks on the future of the Basque region.

If there is to be any chance for peace in the Basque country then Batasuna must be included. Spain's facist tendency at outlawing a political party goes against everything democracy should be about.

The prospect of peace should not be thrown away.

Not a mission!

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday backed the display of crucifixes in public buildings, saying God should be present in public life.
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"It is important that God is present in public life, with the sign of the cross, in homes and public buildings," the pontiff said

Am I the only one who thinks this should not happen?

Church and State should be kept totally seperate. If a person wishes to hang a crucifix in their home or place of worship that is fine but not in public buildings.

My own mother wouldn't have a crucifix in the house as she believes "If you wear a cross you bear a cross". She was even relecutant to buy me a Celtic cross for around my neck.

We need a secular state not a state that sympathises with one form of religion.

Amhán Na bhFiann

I was just thinking about the national anthem and what will happen to it post-unification.
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I understand that a lot of Unionists have problems with the national anthem. I would be in favour of doing what Russia did after the fall of the USSR by keeping the tune but changing the words.

I also find it discouraging that a lot of people don't know the words to the national anthem. I sometimes sing the words and sometimes stand quitetly, it depends on the venue. If I am at a function I will normally stand quietly but if I am at a Football match I will normally sing it. I remember Peter Canavn saying how when they won the All Ireland they spent a lot of time with some of the players teaching them the words in Irish. He said how it was used to build a bond between the players.

What does everyone else think about the National anthem post-unification. Change the words, keep it the same or a new one all together?

I will however not tolerate some shite like "Ireland's Call"

Will the real Ian Paisley please stand up!!

The sectarian campaign by Loyalists continues unabated and niether the RUC/PSNI or any Unionist elected representative seems willing to stand up and try and stop these cowardly attacks.
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Sectarian paint bombers have launched new attacks on a Catholic chapel and school in an under-siege village in Paisley's constituency.

What has Paisley done?

Nothing!

What has the PSNI/RUC done?

Nothing!

Sinn Fein`s North Antrim Assembly member Philip McGuigan claimed loyalists were trying to drive all Catholics and nationalists from Ahoghill.

He said: "Over recent weeks and months the small Catholic population in Ahoghill has come under a sustained and violent unionist paramilitary campaign.

"It is motivated by a desire to ethnically cleanse Catholics and nationalists from the village."

It was quite interesting that during the Northern bank episode you couldn't shut the DUP and UUP up by now during a Loyalist feud and when Loyalists in Paisley's own constiuency are trying to force every catholic out of Ahoghill you hear nothing.

What hypocrites Unionists are!

8/15/2005

Children urged to take up yoga

Children are being urged to get involved in yoga as part of a health initiative due to be launched today.
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The organisers say it is a good way for children to improve their fitness and posture, as well as to tackle stress.

Ok, the fitness benefits I can understand but what level of stress does a nine year old have?

My younger brother, aged eight, took up a Yoga course in the local community centre very similar to this case.

Children should be allowed to be children and should not have any stress in their lives.

It won't be long until we are proscribing anti-depressants to nine year olds

Tenious grip on reality

According to the leader of the Blue shirts the Irish government must force Sinn Fein to become a true democratic party and not tolerate its deception any longer
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In a blistering attack, Enda Kenny accused Sinn Fein`s leader Gerry Adams of holding Irish premier Bertie Ahern to ransom on several issues.

I do feel for Enda, he can't even stand on his own two feet. He needs the Labour party to help him raid the Departement of the Taoiseach.

The election season is now upon us and I can't see this government lasting a full term. All of the parties will try and attack Sinn Féin as it hides their own inadequacies. Fine Gael fears Sinn Féin holding the balance of power as that will upseat any plans Kenny has for being Taoiseach.

The one party that can't afford to attack Sinn Féin is Fianna Fáil. It saw what happened at the last election when the poddle was let off the chain. McDowell ended up costing them seats.

We are entering interesting times.

8/14/2005

Rip-Off-Republic critised by RTÉ

A member of the RTÉ Authority has written to RTÉ management to complain about Rip Off Republic, the consumer advocacy television programme fronted by Eddie Hobbs.
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Stephen O'Byrnes, a former general secretary of the Progressive Democrats (PDs) who was recently reappointed to the RTE Authority by the government, wrote to RTE complaining about the programe.

Eddie Hobbs is 100% correct, this country is a rip-off!

Try feeding a family and clothing them and you will see just how much of a rip-off it is.

I am not surprised that a PD finds this hard to stomach as they have been doing their best to convince people that Rip-Off-Ireland is a myth.

Harney digs a deep hole for McDowell

That was the headline of Vincent Browne's article in today's SBP. Vincent is from a legal background and his outline of the case is very good. McDowell is also from a legal background. It will be interesting to see will his political mind or his legal mind take precedence in this case, I suspet the former.
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"McDowell's already low estimation of Harney's political skills will not have been improved by her performance over this."


Tom McGurks headline is "Harney made fiasco worse"

Tom makes some very good points and is worth a read as someone who doesn't welcome their, "were about as welcome home to the post-IRA peace process as a kneecapping" , return.

I find the lack of legal knowledge by members of the Irish government amazing!

8/13/2005

Chatting to the Government.

Every fancy telling your TD what you really think of the job he's doing? Well soon you may be able to do just that as the government has announced that members of the public will soon be able to give their opinions on legislation to Dáil committees through online chat-rooms. This initiative has been taken as part of a government drive to encourage the electorate to believe they are part of the legislative process. Personally I think that any attempt to make the government more accountable to their voters is to be welcomed and in this age of technology hopefully moves like this will help shake off the apathy about politics which has enveloped so many young people. My only fear is that the system could be abused by cranks aabusing the anonymity provided by online conversation. Certainly rigorous preparation and thought must go into this scheme but I certainly feel that it is a step in the right direction

8/12/2005

Huge cache of IRA ammo dumped in Kerry

Thousands of rounds of assault rifle ammunition, discovered earlier this week in north Kerry, are believed to have been dumped by the IRA in the area.

The haul was left close to a river walk near Tralee, prompting speculation the IRA wanted the ammunition to be found.
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It is believed the cache included ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles. The ammunition was thought to have been dumped in a field on Monday night.

Gardaí went straight to the field where they found the ammunition.

"There is no question the ammunition was for use in assault rifles. The only possible explanation is that they were left there by the IRA," said a local source.

I am sure that everyone will agree that this is a positive development towards removing the use of guns from Irish politics. I hope Loyalists follow suit.

It's good to see

Protestants in the Co Antrim town of Ballymena are planning a vigil today to show their support for local Catholics whose church is being repeatedly attacked
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Our Lady's Church has been paint-bombed and daubed with sectarian graffiti on four occasions in the last month.

Protestants at a nearby Presbyterian church have helped clean up the mess in the past, saying they wanted to show loyalists that they did not support the sectarian campaign.

They are now being joined by Protestants from throughout Ballymena who are planning to meet and pray at Our Lady's Church tonight.

The local parish priest said the gesture was deeply appreciated by his congregation.

Can I be the first to say, fair play!

Even if the Unionist elected reps of Ballymena can't be counted on to sort out the problem it's good to see the decent Protestant people of Ballymena can.

Attacks on places of worship have no place in any society.