Archive for February, 2006

From Doubt to Defiance

“The guy who makes coffee for me I every morning in my local coffee shop in Brooklyn congratulated me when I won the Pulitzer,” recounts John Patrick Shanley with a big grin. “Then, when I won the Tony, the guy says, `This cuppa coffee’s on me.’” Shanley, the Irish-American playwright and screenwriter, lets out aRead more..

Mortas Cine

Is there anything better than cuddling up with a good book? I was fortunate enough to have been brought up without television. Not because my parents were worried about it being a distraction from homework, but because Ireland was a bit behind the times. When we did get the box — I was 12 atRead more..

George Best Laid to Rest

Belfast was brought to a standstill when the remains of soccer legend George Best were returned to Roselawn Cemetery outside the city. Best, aged 59, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest ever soccer players, died from multiple organ failure. The ex-footballer had a liver transplant three years ago in an effort to copeRead more..

Irish President Meets
Queen Elizabeth

Irish President Mary McAleese and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth held a low-key “private meeting” at Hillsborough Castle, Co. Down. It was the fourth occasion that the two public figures had met but the first time such an encounter took place on Irish soil. “We both found ourselves in Northern Ireland on the same day coming upRead more..

Minister Targets
Watchdog Body

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell alleged that journalist Frank Connolly traveled on a bogus passport to visit Colombian FARC rebels four years ago. Referring to garda (Irish police) intelligence, the minister spoke under Dáil (parliamentary) privilege, thereby making his assertion without fear of being sued by Connolly. The journalist, whose brother Niall was one ofRead more..

Hain’s Reform Plans Draw Fire

Northern Secretary Peter Hain drew heavy criticism when he announced wide-ranging plans to shake up local government and public services in Northern Ireland. Referring to a 5,400-square-mile territory populated by 1.7 million people, he declared the North to be “both over-governed and over-administered” with an official system in need of complete overhaul. The first targetRead more..

Spy Revelations Rock Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin was reeling from revelations that party official Denis Donaldson worked as a British spy for the past twenty years. Donaldson, a senior figure in party president Gerry Adams’ staff, issued a statement admitting to being a secret agent, causing major embarrassment to the republican leadership. Donaldson’s admission came just one week after theRead more..

Amnesty Wants CIA
Planes Inspected

Amnesty International has demanded that the garda siochána (Irish police force) inspect Shannon-bound planes chartered by the CIA. The human rights organization responded to reports that CIA planes may be transporting terrorist suspects to destinations across Europe for detention and torture. A number of CIA aircraft that frequently stop at Shannon have been sighted inRead more..

Decentralization Plan “Botched”

Government plans to decentralize civil service employees from Dublin have met with stiff resistance within staff. Only one in nine employees have said they are prepared to relocate with their job. Most government departments are situated in the capital, but the decentralization program aims to move 7,400 workers to a variety of locations around theRead more..

Bono and the Gateses are TIME’s Persons of the Year

“For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow,” Time magazine named Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates as its 2005 Persons of the Year. Editor-at-large Nancy Gibbs making the case for Time’s selection called theRead more..