In brief (April/May edition)

New job for RUC chief

NEWS THAT retiring six-county police chief Ronnie Flanagan has been appointed as one of two new police-force inspectors in the UK has been greeted with disquiet by human-rights and civil-liberty campaigners throughout Britain..

Flanagan is not expected to take up his post as HM Inspector of Constabulary for the eastern region, which includes the Metropolitan and City of London forces, before the summer.

In a move which has angered nationalists and republicans, the new six-county police board agreed towards the end of February to extend Flanagan's tenure as PSNI police chief beyond his original retirement date.

In recent months Flanagan has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with six-county police ombudsman Nuala O'Loan whose report on the Omagh bombing investigation was severely critical of Flanagan's leadership role.

The publication of a further damning ombudsman report into the RUC's investigation into the killing of solicitor Rosemary Nelson is believed to be imminent.

Compensation offer rejected

THE FAMILY of murdered Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane has rejected a £10,000 "friendly" compensation offer from the British government.

The offer follows a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights of 12 men, including ten members of the IRA, had been breached. All of the men were shot in controversial circumstances.The government was ordered to pay £10,000 compensation in each case.

The judges delivered their ruling after deciding that the relevant authorities had failed to carry out proper investigations into the men's deaths.

Speaking on behalf of the solicitor's family, his brother, Martin Finucane, described the government's offer as "cynical and insulting". The Finucane family's 1995 application to the European Court of Human Rights was not about seeking compensation, he insisted: "We want the truth surrounding Pat's murder and to see the establishment of a fully-independent judicial inquiry."

Charles Windsor alludes to Irish suffering

CHARLES WINDSOR, the Prince of Wales, caused a minor stir during a recent visit to the twenty-six counties with an off-the-cuff remark acknowledging “the long history of suffering” endured by the Irish people “not just in recent decades but over the course of its history”.

His unscripted comments were made at the opening of a new headquarters for the Glencree peace and reconciliation project in Co. Wicklow.

However, the Prince stopped short of apologising for, or acknowledging, Britain’s responsibility for much of this suffering. Praising the work of the centre he said: “We need to remember that the underlying meaning of peace is not just the absence of conflict. It is equally a climate in which understanding of others goes beyond caricature and where frozen images of hatred and negativity yield to a new vision of shared value and goodness.”

Synge event raises £800 for cottage restoration project

A RECENT one-day event to raise money for the restoration of J M Synge’s cottage on the Gaeltacht island of Inis Meáin raised nearly £800 thanks to the efforts of Irish language activists and their supporters.

The successful bi-lingual event, Lá Fhéile Inis Meáin, took place at Camden Irish centre on 2 March and was organised by members of the Connolly Association.

Actor Stephen Rea, historian and Irish Democrat columnist Peter Berresford Ellis, writers Pat McCabe and Tim O’Grady, Irish Post editor Frank Murphy and Connemara artist Linda Kearns were among those who took part.

“The Inis Meáin day is proof of what can be organised and that the Irish language can draw people to cultural events,” said event organiser Christy Evans.

Fan club for 'Sister Fidelma'

IRISH DEMOCRAT columnist Peter Berresford Ellis has set something of a record for the paper by becoming its first ever contributor to have his very own fan club.

Writing under the name Peter Tremayne, Peter Berresford Ellis has attracted critical acclaim and a growing international fan base dedicated to the detective work of 7th century Irish nun Sister Fidelma. The 12th in the Sister Fidelma series will be published by Headline later this year.

The driving force behind the society is Arkansas businessman David Roberts Wooten, who runs the official Fidelma website at

<< | Up | >>

This document was last modified by David Granville on 2002-03-29 15:15:38.
Connolly Association, c/o RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD
Copyright © 2001 Connolly Publications Ltd