News in Brief

By Frank Shouldice, Contributor
June / July 2006

GARDAI (Irish police) say they have no leads on the murder of Denis Donaldson, former Sinn Féin activist. Donaldson was outed as a British spy and he immediately left Belfast for Donegal. Within months he was gunned down at the cottage near Glenties where he lived. Nobody claimed responsibility for the murder but republican sources expressed little surprise that it took place … DUBLIN City councillors voted to ban large trucks from the capital within two months of the opening of the new Dublin port tunnel. Traffic congestion chokes the city centre and one of the key objectives of the €700 million port tunnel is to take a daily volume of 8,000 heavy goods traffic off the city streets to the M50 ring road. “The citizens of this city are fed up to the teeth with port traffic running through residential areas on its way to Dublin Port,” commented Fine Gael councillor Naoise Ó Muirí. However, truckers have reacted angrily to being forced into what is a toll system. “We can’t have a situation that a bunch of part-time politicians, which is what the councillors are, dictate policy that will interfere with the import and export business of the country,” countered Jimmy Quinn, spokesman for the Irish Road Haulage Association. The IRHA will consider legal action against the city council decision … GALWAY City’s Eyre Square was finally reopened after a revamping job that ran over budget and caused commuting chaos in the City of the Tribes for over two years. The new limestone plaza cost an estimated €11 million in an effort to give a modern look to the city center … A NEW report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) concluded that 320,000 people — eight percent of the total population in Ireland — now live in poverty. Minister for Social Affairs Seamus Brennan queried the ESRI’s application of ‘relative poverty’ as a measure of wealth. “If Bill Gates moved to Ireland the relative poverty index would have to be moved up,” he said. “We are all poor relative to someone else,” added the Minister, conceding that between 80,000 and 220,000 Irish people are living in poverty. Single parents on welfare support, numbering about 80,000 people, feature highly among all poverty indices … RELATIVES of the 48 victims who died in the Stardust disco fire in Dublin 25 years ago have agreed to call off their protest at the controversial venue. The Stardust Victims Committee expressed anger that the pub’s new licence-holder Jason Gamble attempted to relaunch the premises on St. Valentine’s Day, the very anniversary of the tragedy that decimated the north Dublin suburb of Artane. After negotiations, Gamble, who leases the premises from the Butterley family, agreed to erect a memorial to the 48 victims as well as change the name of the pub in respect to local sensitivities.

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