Page 1





Sex, Lies, Power And Celebrity Collide As Rugby Rape Trial Ends

Programme Offers Loads Of Big Screen Treats For Irish Eyes

For breaking news visit

AUST RALI A’ S I RI S H N E WS PA P E R April, 2018 | Volume 31 – Number 4

AUS $5.95 (incl GST)

Doubt over slam stars for Oz tour

Pressure on Sexton and Murray to sit out June series. Page 27


Direct routes take flight DIRECT flights between Dublin and China will begin later this year, adding more one-stop options between Ireland and Australia. The first direct flights between Ireland and China will begin in June. Hainan Airlines will operate between Dublin and Beijing while Cathay Pacific will connect Hong Kong with the Irish capital. Eight direct flights will link the countries every week. Both airlines connect to Australia offering expats more options when it comes to booking trips home. Meanwhile, WA-based Irish can now travel one-stop to Ireland via London following the launch last week of Qantas direct flights between Perth and London Heathrow.

It is the first direct air-link between Europe and Australia and the fastest way to travel between the continents. Qantas CEO and Dubliner Alan Joyce, who was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, said it was a major milestone for Australia, as well as global aviation. “This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,” Mr Joyce said. “The response has been amazing.” Mr Joyce said a huge amount of work had gone into improving the experience for customers taking the 17-hour journey. “This is hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has

ever put in the sky. Boeing designed the Dreamliner with features to reduce jet lag, turbulence and noise. “We’ve taken that a step further with our cabin design, giving passengers more space in every class as well as bigger enter tainment screens and more personal storage. “We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jet lag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.” The daily QF9 begins in Melbourne, flying to Perth before travelling nonstop to London. Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from

Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London. Those travelling between Ireland and Australia already have a range of one-stop options including Emirates (via Dubai), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi) and Qatar (via Doha). All three airlines offer slick connections, cutting flying time to almost 20 hours. The chief executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, hailed the addition of extra long-haul direct routes into Dublin. “[The] announcement is excellent news for Irish tourism in 2018 and beyond.” “As an island destination, we know the impor tance of direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated,” Mr Gibbons added.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce checks in for the first direct flight from Perth to London last week.

Irish Echo Australia | | 02 9555 9199 | | (Admin): | PO Box 256, Balmain, NSW 2041 I Print Post No 100007285


April, 2018 I


Find a way to stay!

Lic 2TA00839


There are more than 100 different types of Australian visas. To find out which one best suits you call John McQuaid or Narelle Ballard on 02 9369 2400. We’ll assess your options.

S P E C IA L I S I N G I N VI S A S FO R : — Employer sponsorship and skilled workers — Partners and families — Student visas with work rights CO N TAC T Level 25 / 101 Grafton Street Bondi Junction NSW 2022 T. +61 2 9369 2400 E. MARN . #0324918



(02) 9622 7799


94 Main St Blacktown 2148 - Telephone (02) 9622 7799

MOVING OVERSEAS? Working with the Irish community since 1970! Specialist international mover Door to door service High quality packing Cars & Motorbikes Secure Storage Trust our 40 years experience

Call for an obligation free quote

1300 789 322 info @

April, 2018 I


3 local


IRISH STORIES: (clockwise from above) Stills from films featured as part of this year’s Irish Film Festival. No Stone Unturned is Alex Gibney’s compelling examination of the 1994 Loughisland massacre, in which six men died and for which no-one has ever been charged; Vera Finnegan is one of the expats featured in Coming Home, a documentary about returning emigrants; a stirring image of John Hume from the documentary about the SDLP man’s life and, finally, The Journey offers a fictional account of the real-life relationship between Ian Paisley (played by Timothy Spall) and Martin McGuinness (played by Colm Meaney).

Through Irish eyes: many cinema treats at Irish Film Festival Fiona Brady

FOUR films that shine a spotlight on the Troubles will be screened in Sydney and Melbourne this month as part of the Irish Film Festival. The diverse festival programme also includes a Pat Shortt comedy, a documentary about returning emigrants and a Gothic horror. Festival director Enda Murray said it was a pretty strong line-up with the best of contemporary Irish cinema. “I’m delighted with the festival programme this year,” he said. “The Nor ther n Ireland focus seemed appropriate as this year marks the 20th anniversar y of the Good Friday Agreement and there were a number of great new films about the north of Ireland.” Dr Murray said one of the festival highlights is No Stone Unturned by Oscar-winning American filmmaker Alex Gibney. The documentar y examines the murder in 1994 of six Catholics in a pub in Loughinisland, Co Down.  The men were shot while they watched Ireland play Italy in the World Cup. No charges have ever been laid. “It’s a remarkable film … a film that will change things,” Dr Murray said. The film’s producer, Trevor Birney, will attend the screenings in Sydney and Melbourne. Dr Murray said there has also been

Irish Film festival director, Louthman Enda Murray, is delighted with the programme.

incredible interest in the opening night film, Maze, about the 1983 mass breakout from the Maze prison, which was also known as Long Kesh. It stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, (Nidge) of Love/Hate fame. A documentary about the former SDLP leader John Hume and a quirky fictional film based on the relationship between the DUP’s Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness complete the Northern Ireland focus. One film that is certain to resonate with expats is Coming Home, a documentar y that  follows five Irish

emigrants around the world who decide to move back to Ireland, including a woman from Sydney. For fans of comedy Dr Murray recommends the Pat Shortt film, The Flag.  Shortt’s character discovers his grandfather had raised the Tricolour above the GPO in 1916 but it is now in the officers’ mess in a British Army barracks in London.  He embarks on a mission to retrieve it. “He’s a very funny guy. He can give a look and it will just reduce you to tears,” Dr Murray said. Also on the programme is the Irish entry in the Foreign Language categor y of the Oscars, Song of Granite, about the life of Connemara sean-nós singer Joe Heaney. And for fans of the supernatural, there’s The Lodgers, a chilling Gothic horror set in an Anglo-Irish home in the 1920s. In a festival first, this year’s programme also includes a short film competition for young filmmakers from Ireland and Australia. “We are really happy to start cultivating an Irish-Australian platform for creative young people,” Dr Murray said. The Irish Film Festival is showing in Penrith and Sydney from 18-22 April and in Melbourne from 26-28 April. For the full programme and tickets go


April, 2018 I



From The Rúin, Dervla’s success David Hennessy

DERVLA McTiernan’s debut novel The Rúin has earned the first-time author high praise and gone straight to the top of the book charts for fiction and crime. McTiernan, who was born in Cork before her family settled in Galway, has been in Australia since 2008 and lives in Perth. The author’s success comes after a serious health scare. The mother-of-two said she will never forget a particular day in 2016 because it wasn’t only the day she got a positive response from a literar y agent but also the day she found out she had a brain tumour. Although it was mercifully benign, it was also invasive and carried risks of blindness, pituitary failure and a much-shortened life. “It all came at exactly the same time, literally the same day,” she told the Irish Echo. “I got my first email from a literary agent in New York within 20 minutes of being told I had the brain tumour. I was still in the car park outside the GP’s office. It all came hand in hand after that. I had the surgery three weeks after diagnosis. “All the doctors said the tumour had to come out because otherwise it would ultimately kill me. It might take time, might take a few years, but it would eventually and I would certainly lose my sight in the interim. “Those three weeks were insane and of course the kids were very young. It was a scary time and I just distracted myself perfectly by saying: ‘Right, I’m going to spend the next three weeks sending the book off to literary agents’ and that’s what I did.” Fortunately, she made a complete recovery. Writing, she said, has helped. “Because it’s such a slow recovery, it doesn’t always feel like you’re going to get there but for me having the book going on at the same time was just amazing because I got to feel and think about how lucky I was instead of thinking about how hard things were, you know? And I think mindset makes such a difference. While it was a very weird, bizarre year, I think the timing was brilliant actually.

“I’m still here to write another day.” The narrative of The Rúin (secret in Irish) centres around Cormac O’Reilly, a garda who returns to Galway to be confronted by an old case that has always haunted him, the apparent drug-related death of a parent that he encountered as a trainee garda. When one of the two children that the mother left behind is believed to have committed suicide, Cormac looks into both deaths to find out if either were as they seemed. The stor y is initially set in 1993, giving a flavour of the Celtic Tiger and the church’s privileged position in Ireland, but also the abuse of that power and the fall of them both. “I think for me it was such a pivotal time, I think Ireland changed so much. It [the Celtic Tiger] exploded. I really had a front row seat for all of that. And at the same time while all that was going on, all the dark secrets of our past were coming out. I think Ireland was hit by so many shockwaves over such a short period of time.” Revelations of child abuse within the Cathloic Church and subsequent efforts to protect paedophiles turned many peopel against the church. “Even the older generation, people who would have gone to Mass every single Sunday without fail, just can’t feel the same way about it anymore.

VISA-BILITY Your visa questions answered

Co Antrim native and registered migration agent John McQuaid provides a uniquely Irish perspective on immigration issues. Hi John, I work for a hair salon that has been an approved sponsor for two years. They are looking at sponsoring me as a hairdresser but not sure if they can since the new visa laws came in. They think they will have big levies to pay. Is this correct? Can they still sponsor me? Have the fees changed? Thanks for any help. Georgina

Hi Georgina, The old 457 visa system was replaced with the new 482 visa system on March 18, 2018. Employers who held sponsorship approvals prior to that date can still sponsor employees under the 482 temporary skill shortage (TSS) visa programme. There are some new rules already in place but the employer training levies have not yet come into law. At the time of writing the proposed laws to bring in the levies,

“They’re hearing about times when they would have had enormous respect for their parish priest and then finding out what was really going on has been horrific,” she said. “As all of these reports come out, particularly say with regards to the industrial schools, people say, ‘I didn’t know’. The Irish papers were full of people saying ‘nobody knew what was going on’. When I was growing up, if kids misbehaved, the direct words would be: ‘If you don’t behave yourself, you’ll be sent to the Christian Brothers’. It was the thing that people waved over their head. It was the bogeymen in a way so there was obviously some awareness that it was not a good place for children to be. I couldn’t reconcile how people that I know to be extremely good people just let that stuff happen. The Rúin may be an Irish story but McT ier nan believes that leaving Ireland gave her the space to write it. “I was a lawyer in Ireland. I was working long hours. I wasn’t enjoying it but I kind of felt like it was what I was supposed to do. Kenny [her husband] and I had both played by all the rules: We did the responsible degrees and took the responsible jobs and it really didn’t work out. “We left Ireland because the global financial crisis kind of decimated our situation at home. We had to make a fresh start and so when we came to Australia, we said: ‘Right, we’re doing it our way this time. We’re going to make choices that we really want to make, we’re going to live the life we really want to live’. For me, that was always writing. I don’t think the book would have ever come had I stayed in Ireland. There would always have been an excuse not to write.” Dervla’s second book The Scholar is already written and she is contracted to write one more after that. There is likely to be interest in bringing the series to the screen. “I would love to [see it as a film]. Watch this space. There are a few things going on in the background that I can’t mention at the moment but it would be amazing.” The Rúin is published by Harper Collins Australia.

the Skilling Australians Fund Bill), was still being debated in Parliament. The Senate does not sit again until May 21. As such, the new levy rules won’t be in until sometime after this date. So it seems that if you apply soon your employer could miss out on any training levy payment. If or when the levies do come into law, the government is proposing to charge employers with a business turnover of less than $10 million $1,200 per year for each new person they sponsor. The occupation of hairdresser is on the short-term occupation list (STOL) so you can only get a two-year sponsored visa. Therefore an employer would pay a $2,400 levy when they make the nomination application. The 482 visa for a STOL occupation can be renewed for a further two years. New application and levy fees would apply. Some major changes that have been introduced include the provision that employers must have advertised the role for at least 21 days in the 12 months before lodging their nomination application to sponsor you. There are also specific rules about how the advertising has to appear and what needs to be in the advertising, including the actual salary offered.

Dervla McTiernan’s debut novel The Rúin is set in Galway. Typically many employers don’t advertise actual salary amounts so new advertising may be needed. ( visa-1/482) To be eligible to apply for the 482 visa you must have a minimum of two years’ full-time work experience in the occupation or a closely related field. This new requirement is a separate to the existing skills requirements for sponsorship visas. As an example, hairdressers need a trade qualification or at least three years full-time experience. Immigration’s policy is saying the work experience must be recent, i.e. n the past five years. Their policy on what can count as two years’ work experience is lengthy and convoluted. If you are relying on part-time work experience and/or work experience while training, it would be best to ask a registered migration agent for help with assessment of your eligibility. ( The 482 visa application fees for occupations on the STOL list are $1,150. This for a two-year visa. The fee for occupations on the MLTSSL list are $2,400 but one can get a four-year visa. The employer’s application fees have not changed and $420 for a sponsorship application and $330 for the nomination application.


Telephone: +61 2 9555 9199 Facsimile: +61 2 9555 9186 Postal Address: PO Box 256, Balmain, NSW 2041, Australia E-mail (Admin): E-mail (Editorial): Web: The Irish Echo is a national publication published monthly by The Irish Exile P/L Printed by Spot Press Distributed by Wrapaway


IMMIGRATION LAWYER Tel: 02 9389 2290

rience e p x e l s lega 25 year RATE, S S E C UC HIGH S ABLE FEES. N REASO


April, 2018 I


Andrew Hackworthy BComm LLB (UNSW) Solicitor and Attorney MARN: 9790738 Eastern Suburbs Sydney An agent, not an agency – for personal & professional service.

enda o callaghan (llb)(ba)(dip) registered migration agent

Work, Study & Travel Visas


suite 2201, level 22, tower 2 westfield, 101 grafton st, bondi junction, nsw 2022, australia. (02) 8095 6406

marn 1383553

an d A new t g even excitin r a Tessela at the ! Farm Flower

F E S T I VA L O F F L O W E R S MARCH 30 - APRIL 15 Open 10am - 5pm daily.

For a full program of events go to Tesselaar Flower Farm, 357 Monbulk Rd, Silvan Vic 3795.


April, 2018 I



THIRTY YEARS TOGETHER: Altan – (from left) Mark Kelly, Ciarán Curran, Martin Tourish and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh. Absent from the photograph is guitarist Daíthí Sproule.

Legendary Donegal trad outfit set for Oz return

David Hennessy ONE of Ireland’s most prominent traditional bands, Altan have brought the music of Donegal around the world and are about to return to Australia on their 30th anniversary tour. The first trad band to secure major label representation when they joined Virgin in the 1990s, Altan have paved the way for many bands who followed and have played with greats like Dolly Parton, Enya, The Chieftains, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss. Altan will be at the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington, Victoria next month, playing tracks from The Gap of Dreams, their most recent and 12th studio album. “We’ve been talking about going to Australia for a while and now that it’s all coming together, we’re delighted and it will be great to be part of the

festival,” lead vocalist and fiddle player Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh told The Irish Echo from Ireland. Last year marked three decades for the band, which was formed in 1987. “I think all of us were kind of shocked. It just kind of flew by and now we’re 30 years on the road and enjoying the music still.” There has been heartbreak along the way as Mairéad lost her husband as well as the band’s flute and tin whistle player Frankie Kennedy to cancer in 1994. “I think of him all the time. We frequently mention him in funny stories on the road. We are always laughing at the memories, it’s always fun times that we think about and times when everything comes together musically. And where there’s a huge response to the band, we always think of him as well. He’s mentioned a lot.”

The album’s title comes from its other worldly inspiration as the songs explore mythical elements like mermaids and banshees. “Well it’s an idea that all the older musicians used to talk about: Getting the tune from the other world, let it be the fairies or it came on the wind or something like that. The door is always open between this world and the other world. That’s exactly what the old fiddlers used to say, that there wasn’t a big difference between this world and the other world when the music came from the other world,” she said. “We decided to use that phrase. All these kind of other worldly ideas came to our head, we decided to go with that.” The album also features the next generation of Irish music with Mairéad’s daughter Nia, who is only 14, making a contribution. Bandmate Mark

Kelly’s son Sam also plays on it making this album a family affair. “My daughter and Mark’s son Sam came in and they were the only guests we had really on the album and they were delighted, hopefully they’ll play more,” she said.

Altan play the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington 8-10 June. Altan will be joined at The National Celtic Festival by Scottish stars The Paul McKenna Band and Irish-Australian troubadours Hat Fitz and Cara. Altan play Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne on 12 June, The Old Museum in Brisbane on 13 June, Lizzottes in Newcastle on 14 June, Factory Theatre in Sydney on 15 June, Fly By Night in Perth on 16 June. For more information and tickets, go to


Public not allowed to see GG’s letters AN HISTORIAN has lost her court bid to force Australian authorities to release secret letters that would reveal what the Queen knew of her representative’s scheme to dismiss the country’s government more than 40 years ago. The National Archives of Australia has categorised the correspondence between the monarch, who is also Australia’s constitutional head of state, and her then Australian representative, governor-general Sir John Kerr, as personal and it might therefore never be made public. The Federal Court agreed that the letters were personal and not state records, dismissing Monash University historian Jenny Hocking’s application to make them public. The letters would disclose what, if anything, the Queen knew of Mr Kerr’s plan to dismiss Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam’s government in 1975. Professor Hocking, who wrote an

The Queen, pictured in 1975, the year Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (right) was sacked by her representative, Sir John Kerr.

acclaimed biography of Mr Whitlam, has not ruled out an appeal. She said the ruling was “a disappointing decision for our history”. In his judgment, Justice John Griffiths acknowledged a legitimate

public interest in the letters “which relate to one of the most controversial and tumultuous events in the modern history of the nation”. The fall of Mr Whitlam’s government is the only time in Australia’s

history a democratically elected federal government was dismissed on the British monarch’s authority. Mr Kerr’s surprise intervention placed unprecedented strain on Australia’s democracy and bolstered calls for the nation to become a republic. Professor Hocking had argued the letters should be released regardless of the Queen’s wishes because Australians have a right to know their own histor y. Without the personal classification, the letters could have become public 30 years after they were written, like other government documents held in the archives. Under an agreement struck months before Mr Kerr resigned in 1978, the letters covering three tumultuous years of Australian politics will remain secret until 2027. In 2027, the private secretaries of both the sovereign and the governorgeneral still could veto their release indefinitely.

In an opinion piece written for The Guardian, Professor Hocking said the court’s ruling brought into question Australia’s very independence. “From a purely common-sense perspective, it is difficult to reconcile the court’s view of the palace letters as ‘personal’ and not Commonwealth records with its description of them as addressing ‘topics relating to the official duties and responsibilities of the governor general’, as ‘periodic briefings to the Queen’, and as ‘reports to the Queen’,” she wrote. “The cour t pointed to the longstanding practice in the United Kingdom that such correspondence is considered ‘personal’, and that they are ‘housed in the Royal Archives and access to them is governed by specific agreements’, confirming that the imperial presumption of royal privilege and secrecy still exists in Australia despite our position as an apparently independent constitutional monarchy.”


April, 2018 I



Varadkar raises hopes of deal for Irish illegals Michelle Devane THE Taoiseach has said he wants to do a deal with US President Donald Trump on a solution for Ireland’s “undocumented” citizens living in the US. Leo Varadkar stressed the need for certainty for the tens of thousands of Irish who reside illegally in the United States with the threat of deportation hanging over them. Mr Varadkar used the traditional Shamrock presentation in the White House to offer Mr Trump a reciprocal resolution, though he stopped short of publicly outlining what Ireland would offer in return. “I want to assure you, Mr President, that the Irish government will continue to work with your administration to find a solution to this important issue,” he said in a speech at the White House. “And we are ready to do a deal.” The shamrock presentation marked the last joint engagement for the two leaders in the traditionally packed schedule of St Patrick’s events in the US capital. Earlier in the day, the two men discussed the undocumented

issue in the Oval Office. Mr Varadkar emerged to say the president was keen to find a solution. “It was something that was very much on his mind,” he said. “We have a measure of support and degree of enthusiasm from the administration to work on a solution for thousands of Irish people who are here undocumented but who are hardworking, tax-paying people who are very loyal to America.” Earlier Mr Trump pledged to visit Ireland and said he would go to the border. Ahead of the formal meeting with Mr Varadkar in the Oval Office, the president said the trip could happen next year. Mr Trump was asked by reporters if he would like to visit Ireland soon. “I will. I love it, I love it,” he responded. “I have property there and I might not get to see it again, but I will.” The Taoiseach said a firm date for his visit to Ireland had not yet been set but the president had a “standing invitation”.


A STROLL IN THE BIG APPLE: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and his partner Matt Barrett walk in the St Patrick’s Day parade on 5th Avenue in New York City. Picture: Niall Carson


Tech giant warned in 2011 Staff reporters and PA

AN Irish watchdog told Facebook seven years ago that relying on developers to follow information rules was not good enough two years before a data grab on millions of users is said to have taken place. A 2011 audit by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) said Facebook’s security measures were not considered sufficient to prevent third-party apps from unauthorised use of personal data. In 2013, Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan is alleged to have collected data from 50 million users using a quiz app before passing the information to election consultancy Cambridge Analytica (CA) in 2014. Both Facebook and CA have denied any wrongdoing. Britain’s Sunday Telegraph reported the watchdog’s warnings as Facebook printed full-page apologies by founder Mark Zuckerberg in the UK’s national newspapers. The billionaire said the social net-

Facebook is under fire following the news that a company using a quiz app collected data from 50 million Facebook profiles.

working site had already stopped apps like Dr Kogan’s from accessing so much information and promised to “do better” for users. The December 2011 report by the DPC told executives at Facebook’s

international headquarters in Ireland that the watchdog “[did] not consider that reliance on developer adherence to best practice or stated policy in certain cases is sufficient to ensure security of user data”. Facebook told the regulator that it had “proactive auditing and automated tools” that were designed to not only detect abuse by developers, but to “prevent it in the first place”. However the watchdog said the measures “[were] not considered sufficient by this office to assure users of the security of their data once they have third-party apps enabled”. The company told the Sunday Telegraph that a September 2012 audit by the DPC said the firm had made good progress, while the company changed its platform entirely in 2014. Claims that the data acquired by CA may have been used as part of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign sparked an international backlash against Facebook when they emerged in recent weeks. Mr Zuckerberg said he was really

Tel: (02) 8243 2600 Fax: (02) 8243 2611 Email:

SUITE 502, LEVEL 5, 4 BRIDGE ST, SYDNEY 2000 Licence No. 2TA003945

sorry for the major breach of trust and pledged to work to prevent data from being misused in future. Adverts placed in UK papers on Sunday said: “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.” Meanwhile it was reported last week that Facebook Australia “does not operate” the website in this country. The Sydney Mor ning Herald reported that when NSW man Ken McLeod was defamed in a Facebook comment, he went straight to Facebook Australia to have it removed. Facebook Australia told him it did not have authorisation to access his user records or take action about content on It also claimed to not control or operate the website. Instead of deleting the comment as he had asked, an official letter from Facebook Australia said Mr McLoud did not have a contractual relationship with the company and needed to redirect his quer y to Facebook Ireland.


Brisbane firm buys Belfast’s Camperco A BELFAST motorhome company has been bought by a leading Australian firm in a multimillion-pound deal. Camperco Group has been sold to Apollo Tourism and Leisure for £4.5 million. The family business, headquartered in Belfast, was founded by Keith Charlton and Louise Corken in 2007. They developed the Bunk Campers brand after being inspired by a career break tour of Australia and New Zealand in a campervan. The firm has grown to become the largest independent motorhome rental operator in the UK and Ireland, employing 40 people and with a fleet of 200 motorhomes. “We are delighted to acquire Camperco, a strong and successful motorhome rental business based in the UK and Ireland,” Apollo mananging director and CEO, Luke Trouchet said. “This acquisition will fur ther strengthen our position as a global operator of motorhomes and allow further expansion into Europe.”

AT LAST! ONE HOP WITH ONE STOP - TO IRELAND Call and let us show you how!


April, 2018 I


ireland :: abortion referendum IRELAND TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON ABORTION ON MAY 25

Taoiseach campaigns for ‘yes’ vote David Young

A REFERENDUM on Ireland’s strict constitutional position on abortion will be held on Friday May 25, the Government has confirmed. Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy officially signed the order to set the date of the vote. Polls will open at 7am and close at 10pm. The move came after both Houses of the Oireachtas in Dublin passed the legislation required to hold a referendum on the contentious issue. Citizens will be asked if they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, a provision that makes abortion illegal in all but exceptional circumstances. The total electorate is about 3.2 million. Citizens living abroad are not permitted a say. “Whatever your views are on the proposals in the referendum, can I take

this opportunity to encourage voters to go to their polling station during this 15-hour period on 25 May and have your say in the outcome of the referendum,” Mr Murphy said. Eligible citizens will be asked if they want to replace the Eighth Amendment, which gives the mother and unborn an equal right to life, with wording that hands responsibility for setting the country’s abortion laws to politicians. If the public votes to repeal the constitutional provision, the government intends to table legislation that would permit women to abort within 12 weeks of pregnancy. The proposed laws will also outlaw late-term abor tions, other than in medical emergency situations. Mr Murphy encouraged eligible voters to make sure they are registered. After the date was confirmed, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted: “On May 25th Irish people will have the

chance to make change in our Constitution – to trust women and trust doctors. “A ‘yes’ vote will mean a safe, legal, doctor-led system for the termination of pregnancy will be introduced in Ireland #Together4Yes.” The Taoiseach later rejected as unconstitutional a suggestion by the Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, that future changes to proposed abortion laws would require a twothirds majority. Mr Varadkar said Mr Coveney’s proposal would not be incorporated into legislation if citizens decided to repeal the constitutional prohibition on abortion in the referendum. Mr Coveney had proposed that any future changes to those laws would require a two-thirds majority in the Dáil. Mr Varadkar told the Dáil that such a locked majority would breach the Constitution. “I sought advice from the Attorney

Yes campaigners mimic young women travelling to England for abortions as part of the Repeal The Eighth movement.

General [Seamus Woulfe] on that matter and the Attor ney General advises me it would be contrar y to Ar ticle 15 of the constitution and therefore could not be included in this legislation and therefore will not be,” he said. “So there will not be any require-

ment that any change to primar y legislation would require a two-thirds majority, as doing so would require an amendment to the Constitution itself and it’s not proposed to do that.” The proposed laws will also outlaw late-term abor tions, other than in medical emergencies.


Coveney shifts view on timing David Young

THE Tánaiste has changed his stance on potential new abortion laws for the country by backing terminations up to 12 weeks into pregnancy. While Simon Coveney had backed the call to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the constitution – a provision that makes abortion illegal in all but exceptional circumstances – he had voiced opposition to the government’s proposed alternative, the 12week model. But he has now shifted position. Explaining his decision, he cited concern that if abortion pills were not made available in that time frame, women would continue to access them online and without the advice of a doctor. He said he backed the 12-week proposal if it was accompanied by strict medical protocols. “When it comes to prescribing abortion pills early in pregnancy, I have struggled most with this issue,” he wrote in the Irish Independent. “If we do nothing, we know pills will continue to be purchased online and taken without medical supervision. We cannot knowingly allow this to continue, given the dangers involved.” The proposed legislation will include a pause period within the 12week time frame, so a woman would have to wait at least 48 hours after requesting a pill for it to be prescribed. The proposed laws will also outlaw late term abortions. “I could never support a law that allows for late-term abortions,” Mr Coveney wrote. “The Government will move to close off any suggestion of that happening by stating that a baby who could survive outside the womb will not be aborted in any circumstance.” The Tanaiste also said he was concerned that anti-abortion advocates in Ireland were “being dismissed as dinosaurs or anti-women” in the debate. “Removing the equal right to life of the unborn from our Constitution is not something I easily or immediately supported,” he said. “I say this as a husband and father of three beautiful young girls.”

DIVIDED OPINIONS: A pregnant activist at the launch of the No campaign in Dublin last week.

‘This is a rising of the people against the elites’ Aine Fox ANTI-ABORTIONISTS have cranked up their campaign, framing their arguments in terms of a rebellion against urban elites and using terms such as licence to kill. The No campaign officially launched its Save the 8th campaign at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin last week. Young children and TDs were among a crowd gathered in Dublin at the event where speakers included medical professionals, students and mothers. Citizens will be asked on May 25 if they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, a provision that makes abortion illegal in all but exceptional circumstances. Activists described a ‘yes’ vote in May’s referendum as a “horrible and tragic mistake” and claimed it would be a “licence to kill” the unborn. Caoimhe Lynch, from Killarney in Co Kerry, said her mother fell pregnant as a 23-year-old nursing student.

“It was suggested to her that she should have an abortion. Now imagine. Imagine if she had gone to England for that abortion,” Ms Lynch, 20, told the crowd:. To loud applause, the NUI Galway arts student added: “I wouldn’t be able to experience all the amazing things life has offered me. “The Eighth Amendment is so precious. It protects lives and that is priceless. A life is priceless. “To think next year one in five babies might be aborted is unimaginable but it’s the horrifying reality. “Women need to know no matter how impossible their situation is, abortion is never the answer,” Ms Lynch said. Campaign leader Niamh Ui Bhriain urged people to turn out and vote to reject abortion and the “untrustworthy political class”. “The polls are turning in our favour and as the reality of the repeal slogan becomes more and more evident to voters, more and more voters are

‘No’ campaigner Caoimhe Lynch, from Killarney at the launch. turning against this proposal,” Ms Ui Bhriain said. “This is a rising of the people against the elites, and on May 25th it’s time to join a rebellion, and to reject both abortion on demand and the untrustworthy political class that wants to repeal the right to life of children before birth.” Dr John Monaghan said he had

delivered between 4,000 and 5,000 babies during his career. “Not on one occasion was I prevented from protecting a woman’s life because of the Eighth Amendment”, he said. Dr Monaghan said Ireland is a “remarkably safe place” to be pregnant, adding: “It is a very simple observation that if the Eighth Amendment was dramatically risking the health of women, this would not be the case. The figures don’t add up.” Campaign communications director John McGuirk said it was “undoubtedly a tight race” but said he is confident from feedback on the doorsteps that a ‘no’ vote can prevail. “I think there’s an awful lot of people, particularly outside Dublin, who tell me that the ‘no’ vote is strong, it is growing and we believe we’re going to win.” The No movement has a budget of about €400,000, he said, adding that a “significant” amount of that will be spent on online campaigning.


April, 2018 I



Varadkar’s Doonbeg gag backfires Michael McHugh

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar cameunder fire after revealing that he made inquiries about a wind farm near to Donald Trump’s golf course. Three or four years ago he received a call from the then businessman Mr Trump and contacted the planning authorities. The planning application close to the Doonbeg resort in Co Clare was refused. Mr Varadkar was tourism minister at the time and Mr Trump, a private citizen, had raised concerns the wind farm near Ireland’s Atlantic coast could affect the beauty of the landscape near his course. “For the Taoiseach to be seen to meddle and inter vene on planning processes at Doonbeg is entirely inappropriate,” Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin said. Mr Varadkar revealed details of his intervention in an anecdote during his speech at Speaker Paul Ryan’s traditional St Patrick’s Day lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. He told how he r eceived an unexpected call from Mr Trump saying he had bought the resort but there was a problem. Mr Varadkar recalled Mr Trump saying: “Nearby somebody was trying to build a wind farm and that, of course, could have a real impact on tourism and the beauty of the landscape.” “I endeavoured to do what I could do about it and I rang the county council and inquired about the planning permission, and subsequently the planning permission was declined and the wind farm was never built.

“Thus, the landscape had been preserved and the president has kindly given me credit for that. I do think it probably would have been refused anyway but I am very happy to take credit for it if the President is going to offer it to me,” he said. Doonbeg describes itself as a premier golf resort nestled along the coast. Its af fairs have previously attracted opposition from environmentalists, amid legal wrangling over plans to build a sea wall to stop part of the course being eroded by the Atlantic. “This is a shocking admission from the Taoiseach and it harks back to the very dark days in the Irish planning system where political interference ensured that the rich and powerful got what they wanted,” Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD said. “The fact that the Taoiseach so flippantly admitted his intervention only makes matters worse. “There is no doubt that he exercised undue influence and undermined due process with his intervention. “It was, and is, completely inappropriate. It is a shocking error of judgement. Clare County Council now need to outline who the minister contacted and whether there is a record of what was said,” Mr Ryan said. The Taoiseach subsequently moved to clarify the controversy, admitting that he had not, in fact, contacted Clare County Council. Mr Varadkar said he had actually contacted tourism promotion agency Fáilte Ireland about Mr Tr ump’s concerns about the impact the wind turbines would have on the view from

NOT A WIND FARM IN SIGHT: The Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare, owned by US President Donald Trump.

his Doonbeg course in Co Clare. To support his contention, Mr Varadkar’s officials released a copy of the email he sent in 2014, when he was tourism minister, to the boss of Fáilte asking him if the organisation shared Mr Trump’s concerns about the “impact on landscapes and tourism”. The Taoiseach said he had recalled the episode incorrectly. “I’m happy to clarify that I was telling a humorous anecdote about something that happened four years ago,” he said.

“The humorous part and the joke was, of course, that the president was giving me credit and praise for something that I didn’t actually do. “I didn’t have a clear recollection of it at the time and I have gone back now and checked with my staff and checked the records. I didn’t contact Clare County Council either verbally or in writing. I did, however, contact Fáilte, I did that by email to the CEO of Fáilte. “Fáilte ... were aware of the development already and did make observa-

tions to the council. So, all entirely within procedure and all entirely above board. I’m happy to clarify that.” Mr Varadkar denied he had made a political gaffe and also rejected the suggestion he had been starstruck by the president. “This is politics. I do have political opponents and there are people who will take any remark I make about anything and try to make a controversy out of it, and what I can say is I acted absolutely appropriately,” he said.


Emerald Travel

For the best deals and service when travelling to Ireland and beyond!

TV show starring child with autism snapped up

Seamus and Christina Moloughney at Emerald Travel continuing a family tradition of professional travel service.

We have moved! You can find us at our new location at 339 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne.

Our new number: (03) 9690 2123 ATAS Accreditation: A10427

Emerald Travel 1a, 339 Ferrars Street SOUTH MELBOURNE VIC 3205 t: (03) 9690 2123

w: e:

TALENTED: Jake Williamson, 11, is the voice of Pablo, a character in a TV show that tells the story of a resourceful five-year-old boy with autism. David Young

A BELFAST-MADE TV show starring a child with autism has been snapped up by a range of international broadcasters and will be screened around the world, including in Australia. Pablo, a live action and 2D animation series written and produced by Paper Owl Films, has been bought by US network Universal Kids and Canada’s public broadcaster CBC. The show, which has already aired on CBeebies and RTÉjr, is also set to debut in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa in 2018, as well as in a host of other places, including Sweden, Finland, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Australia. Series two is already in production, with the first series having drawn impressive audiences and ratings in the UK and Ireland. Pablo tells the story of a resourceful

five-year-old boy with autism who approaches everyday situations in a novel and innovative way. Using magic crayons, he creates an imaginary Art World filled with animal characters who help him turn life’s challenges into adventures. The episodes were inspired by the real-life experiences of children with autism and each one is devised, co-written and voiced by people with autism. “We wanted to create an authentic and compelling children’s TV series to encourage greater understanding and empathy around autism,” Pablo creator, Gráinne McGuiness of Paper Owl Films, said. “We’re delighted that UK and Ireland viewers have so enjoyed the magic of Pablo and very proud that his exciting adventures are now going to be shared with millions of new children and grown-ups across the world.”


April, 2018 I



Russia retaliates, Irish diplomat expelled David Young RUSSIA has retaliated over the expulsion of one of its diplomats from Dublin by expelling an Irish official from Moscow. Confirming the anticipated move by the Kremlin, the government in Dublin branded it unjustified and regrettable. Earlier this week, Ireland ordered a Russian diplomat to leave the country’s embassy in Rathgar, Dublin. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland was showing solidarity with Britain after the chemical attack on a former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. The Tanaiste and foreign affairs minister, Simon Coveney, confirmed Russia had reacted in kind. “There is no justification for this expulsion. Our staff do not engage in activities which are incompatible with their diplomatic status,” A spokesman for Tánaiste Mr Coveney said. “This decision to expel an Irish diplomat is regrettable.” After taking action against Russia, Mr Varadkar insisted he had not undermined Ireland’s neutrality. Some opposition parties in the Dáil, including Sinn Féin, heavily criticised the diplomatic sanction imposed by the Taoiseach. Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, also criticised the expulsion of

one of his country’s diplomats. “This kind of decision is totally unwarranted, uncalled for, senseless and regrettable,” he said. Mr Varadkar rejected claims that the move against Moscow in response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury undermined Ireland’s long-standing military neutrality. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said Mr Varadkar was taking the decision based on an assessment by British intelligence services. “Essentially Taoiseach you are asking us to trust Boris Johnson [British foreign secretary] and, dare I say it,this might not be the wisest course of action,” she told the Taoiseach during exchanges in the Dáil. Mr Varadkar said the expulsion of the Russian diplomat was a show of solidarity with the UK. He insisted Ireland had “no quarrel with the Russian people”. The Taoiseach noted that other neutral countries, such as Sweden and Finland, has also expelled diplomats in response to the Salisbury incident. “Ireland is a neutral country, we do not join military alliances, we will not be joining Nato, we will not be part of a European army,” he said. “However, when it comes to terrorism, assassinations and the use of chemical weapons and cyber terrorism we are not neutral, one bit.” Earlier, Mr Coveney said the

Russia’s ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov at the Russian embassy in Dublin as the government confirmed that a Russian diplomat would be expelled. Russia has responded in kind. Picture: Brian Lawless Salisbury attack was an affront to international law and order. Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain ill in hospital following the March 4 attack, which has been widely blamed on Russia. “The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons, by anyone, anywhere, is particularly shocking and abhorrent,” Mr Coveney said. “The attack in Salisbury was not just


Survivors of abuse mobilise for protest Michael McHugh and Lesley-Anne McKeown

POPE Francis will face protests from survivors of childhood sexual abuse when he visits Ireland this summer, a campaigner has vowed. The Pontiff, 81, will arrive in Dublin on Saturday August 25 and will take par t in the Festival of Families, a faith-based cultural concert, in Croke Park. He will also celebrate Mass in Phoenix Park on Sunday August 26 during the first trip to the country by the head of the Catholic Church for almost 40 years. The Pope has apologised for hurting victims’ feelings in Chile after insisting there was no evidence against a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse. Campaigner Margaret McGuckin was instrumental in establishing a public inquiry into sexual, physical and emotional wrongdoing in Catholic-run residential homes in Northern Ireland. “I am sure people could get quite angry and irate that the Pope is still coming,” she said. “Our groups will be there to protest. There still remains a cover-up; we still know there has not been a proper investigation done into the abuses of the Christian Brothers.” Ta o i s e a c h L e o Va r a d k a r h a s welcomed confirmation of the Pope’s attendance at the World Meeting of Families. “On behalf of the Government I welcome the announcement by Pope Francis of his intention to come to

Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August. It will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II in 1979.

Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families,” the Taoiseach said. “I look forward to meeting him during his visit.” The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference said: “We eagerly await the visit of Pope Francis which no doubt will be an occasion of spiritual renewal for our laity, religious and clergy, as well as a strengthening of Christian family life.” Two years ago the Pope published new guidelines on family life that argued the Church should show more understanding of modern realities. But there is no suggestion of any change from the Church’s long-held position

that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. “We are deeply honoured that Pope Francis will come to our country to participate in this universal church celebration of faith and joy, as well as of the contemporary challenges which face families, the bishops added. “With great anticipation we also look forward to hearing the apostolic guidance of His Holiness during his stay with us.” When Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979, more than a million people turned out for an open air Mass. Then homosexuality and divorce was illegal and the Catholic Church exercised great social control. Since then the Church has been hit by worldwide sex scandals and has struggled with increased secularism across western Europe. It campaigned against legalisation of gay marriage but this was passed by a public referendum. A referendum on abortion will be held in May. The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, is organising what the church billed as a “global celebration” during the Pope’s visit. While it is not a formal State Visit, it will be a major event for Ireland, with a high degree of public participation and a high international profile. Last week in Rome two Irish families presented the official World Meeting of Families 2018 Icon of the Holy Family to Pope Francis during his weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square.

an attack against the United Kingdom, but an affront to the international rulesbased system on which we all depend for our security and well-being. “The secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has subsequently met the Ambassador of the Russian Federation and informed him that the accreditation of a member of his staff to be terminated, in line with the provisions of the Vienna

Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The individual in question is required to leave the jurisdiction.” Russia has 17 accredited diplomats working in the Russian embassy in Rathgar, south Dublin. Reacting to the announcement, Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, said: “This kind of decision is totally unwarranted, uncalled for, senseless and regrettable.”


‘I was abused by pedophile priest’, Murphy reveals David Young

A SENIOR Sinn Féin politician has revealed a notorious paedophile priest physically abused him when he was a boy and tried to sexually groom him. Conor Murphy has recounted how the late Malachy Finnegan dragged him into an office and savagely beat him with a stick before asking a series of explicit questions, including whether he loved him. Mr Murphy, who attended St Colman’s College in Newry between 1975 and 1980, said he was angry that no one in authority had stopped Finnegan’s reign of abuse, despite his sexual interest in young boys being common knowledge within the school. He has demanded a full investigation into the crimes. The high-profile politician is the latest former pupil of St Colman’s to reveal their treatment at the hands of the abusive and sadistic cleric, whom he described as a “violent, volatile, bullying drunkard”. “I think it was just before the end of our third year, I was a 14-year-old, and there was a bit of ruckus going on in the class we were in and Finnegan burst into the room,” the Newry and Armagh Assembly member said. “He singled me out, he dragged me out by the hair, by the crown of your head, dragged me along the corridor, up two flights of stairs into his room and then he beat me with a stick on the hands and about the body. “He was always prone to more violence than was perhaps to do with discipline. And then he suddenly flipped, as I was almost expecting, he sat me down and started asking me personal questions: did I smoke, did I drink? Bear in mind I was 14. Did I go

Sinn Féin man Conor Murphy has revealed abuse at the hands of a notorious paedophile priest.

out with girls? Did I masturbate? Did I love him? This type of conversation. “I can’t remember my responses but I wasn’t shocked by the conversation, because I had been forewarned by other pupils that this was what was likely to happen.” Finnegan worked in the school from 1967 to 1987. He has also been accused of abusing children in later years during his time as a priest for the Clonduff parish in Hilltown, Co Down. He died in 2002. The full extent of his crimes has only emerged in recent months. Mr Murphy said his experience paled into insignificance compared to those men who have come forward to say they were sexually abused by Finnegan. He said he was going public with his stor y to reassure others that they would be believed if they wanted to break their silence. He said the Catholic Church, the school authorities and the wider education authorities all had questions to answer. “They left him to abuse people without any inter ference probably across two generations of boys.”


April, 2018 I



Rape trial an earthquake in Jackson’s stellar life Lesley-Anne McKeown IT is a little more than 10 years since Paddy Jackson experienced his first taste of triumph. As a schoolboy he was hailed for heroic efforts in winning the coveted Ulster School’s Cup on March 17, 2008. Since then, there have been many moments to savour – not least stepping out in green for the first time at Murrayfield in 2013. But the baby-faced fly half, one of rugby’s most promising rising stars, is not likely to have experienced any greater high than the moment he walked from Belfast Crown Court, a free man. Flanked by family and friends who supported him every day of the nine-week trial, Jackson strode with a renewed sense of pride, as if he had just kicked a Rugby World Cup winner. Pundits have previously praised his determination, self preservation and ability to bounce back – qualities that were tested during those long, arduous days in the dock and which will sustain him as he attempts to rebuild his stalled career, and his life. Born David Patrick Lindsay James Jackson in Lisburn, Co Antrim on January 5, 1992, he marked his 26th birthday just weeks before the case opened. He has a younger sister and an older brother. His family lived in Birmingham for a time but returned to Belfast while Paddy was still of primary school age. He played mini rugby for Belfast

Harlequins, a club based in the affluent Malone Road area in the south of the city from the age of eight or nine. But it was at the prestigious Methodist College (Methody) where Jackson’s talent for rugby was really nurtured. And after that stellar Schools Cup performance when he helped Methody trounce their opponents 36-nil, he was invited to join the rugby elite. Having left school at the age of 18 with three A-level grades B, C and D he had plenty of choices but followed his passion and took a place at the Ulster Academy. Recognised as an impressive and quick-thinking player, Jackson made his senior debut for Ulster in 2011, while still a teenager. A year later, aged just 20 and with only a handful of games under his belt, he found himself centre stage at the Heineken Cup final at Twickenham. He now has 25 Ireland caps. Off the pitch Paddy Jackson is also hugely popular. He has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter and a further 57,000 people follow his posts on Instagram. A cursory scroll through his social media highlights the lifestyle he has enjoyed – promoting fancy cars, designer clothes and even, free food. On the night of the alleged rape, June 28, 2016, he had been partying in the VIP section of Ollie’s – a nightclub in the basement of Belfast’s five-star Merchant Hotel. Also present in the exclusive members’ lounge were Northern Ireland footballers, fresh from their success at the European Cham-

Paddy Jackson outside Belfast’s Laganside Courthouse following his acquittal. Picture: Niall Carson pionships. Jackson was in his element socialising with other local sporting heroes. He had been one of the happiest men in Belfast at the time and CCTV footage shows he was comfortable posing for pictures and speaking to those who approached him. Jackson traded on his squeaky clean image – fronting charity campaigns for Mencap and Action Cancer. Yet he has found himself in hot water including when blacked-up images of him wearing a slave costume were posted to his Twitter account.


Jury takes less than four hours to acquit Lesley-Anne McKeown

IRELAND rugby internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been acquitted of rape. They were found not guilty after a nine-week trial at Belfast Crown Court. Speaking afterwards Jackson, who was also acquitted of sexual assault, thanked the judge and jury for giving him a fair trial. In a statement read by his solicitor, team mate Stuart Olding expressed regret about the events of the night in question, even though he had not committed any criminal offence. Both men stated a desire to get back playing rugby for Ireland and Ulster as soon as possible. The high profile trial was one of the longest heard in Belfast and generated an unprecedented level of attention across Ireland. Police and prosecutors have defended their handling of the case in the wake of scathing criticism from Jackson’s legal team who suggested the decision to press ahead was driven by his celebrity status. According to the PSNI the complainant was upset and disappointed with the outcome of the trial but did not regret reporting the matter. The rugby players had consistently denied raping the same woman during an after party at Jackson’s home in the early hours of June 28, 2016. The jur y of eight men and three women returned its unanimous verdict after deliberating for three hours and

Marianne O’Kane from the Public Prosecution Service has defended the decison to charge the men.

45 minutes. Two other men charged in connection with the alleged attack were also found not guilty. Blane McIlroy, 26, was acquitted of exposure while Rory Harrison, 25, was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and withholding information. In brief comments outside the court, Jackson, who was flanked by family and friends, said: “I’d just like to thank the judge and the jury for giving me a fair trial, my parents for being here every day, as well as my brother and sisters.” Jackson also thanked his barristers and solicitors. He declined to comment further. Defence solicitor Joe McVeigh said Jackson was leaving the court as he had entered it almost 10 weeks ago – “an innocent man”. The lawyer said the decision to prosecute had been driven by his status as a famous spor tsman, and that

Jackson’s main priority now is to return to the rugby pitch to represent his province and country. Meanwhile, in a statement read by his solicitor Paul Dougan, Olding said: “I want to acknowledge publicly that though I committed no criminal offence ... I regret deeply the events of that evening. I want to acknowledge that the complainant came to court and gave evidence about her perception of those events. I am sorry for the hurt that was caused to the complainant.” Meanwhile, Jackson’s solicitor Mr M c Ve i g h a l s o r e f e r r e d t o v i l e commentary on social media, which he said “polluted the sphere of public discourse and raised concerns about the integrity of the trial process”. “To that end we want to thank the learned trial Judge Patricia Smyth for her management of this trial in the face of an onslaught of toxic contempt, particularly on Twitter. All the lawyers have been distracted by having to man the barriers against the flood of misinformed ... and malicious content on the internet,” Mr McVeigh said. Marianne O’Kane, assistant director and head of the Public Prosecution Service’s serious crime unit, said it was “ultimately right” that the case had been brought to trial. Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman, head of the public protection branch at the Police Service of Nor thern Ireland (PSNI), said: “While we respect today’s verdict it should not deter victims of serious sexual crime from contacting police.”

The court heard that Jackson cites some of rugby’s biggest names, including Ireland captain Rory Best, as close personal friends. He even babysat Best’s children and was invited to his son’s sixth birthday party. Ulster and Ireland players Craig Gilroy and Iain Henderson are also among his pals. Co-accused Stuart Olding was described as a “very close friend” having clicked with him when they met at the Ulster Academy. He went to school with Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison, who also faced charges. Witnesses, including his brother’s

partner Eimer Murray and another doctor friend Katie Donaldson, gave evidence on his behalf saying he was polite, passive and a gentleman. Throughout the trial Jackson has enjoyed the unwavering support of his parents. Twice a day they walked him through the bank of photographers posted outside the court and sat in the front row of the packed public gallery. Whatever the future holds Jackson knows he can depend on those who matter the most – those family and friends who stood with him through the worst of times.


Jackson sues senator over post-trial social media post David Young and Lesley Anne McKeown

PADDY Jackson has launched a defamation action against an Irish senator for social media comments he posted about the rugby international’s rape acquittal. Jackson’s lawyers, KRW Law, have issued an intention to sue Labour party senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin. The action relates to a tweet Mr Ó Riordáin posted about the trial shortly after Jackson, club and country teammate Stuart Olding and two friends were unanimously acquitted of all charges linked to the case. The tweet was subsequently deleted. The legal action was confirmed on a day that witnessed a number of postverdict developments. It has also emerged that online comments posted by a juror in the rugby rape trial are being investigated by Nor ther n Ireland’s Attorney General. Two other people have been questioned by police in the North in relation to naming the complainant in the case online. Meanwhile, a number of media outlets are challenging repor ting restrictions still placed on the case. Jackson’s lawyers said he had no option other than to resort to the civil courts to seek protective action in response to the senator’s tweet. “I can confirm we have issued pre-action libel correspondence against a named senator in the Republic of Ireland,” Marie Hans, senior associate at KRW Law, said. “The legal action relates to a tweet sent to a number of other persons before it was eventually taken down.” She said the legal team “will not

A march of solidarity with the complainant in the Belfast rape trial was held in Dublin.

hesitate to repeat similar legal action” against other individuals. “We are examining carefully every item of social media commentary which seeks to challenge the integrity of the jury’s full endorsement of our client’s innocence,” Ms Hans said. Earlier, a spokesman for Attorney General John Larkin confirmed that the comments posted by a juror had been referred to his office by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan. Mr Larkin is to investigate whether the comments represent a breach of contempt of court laws. Jurors are not permitted to disclose details of their deliberations in any trial. The jurors’s remarks, written underneath a report on the case on the website Broadsheet. ie, appeared hours after the unanimous not guilty verdicts were delivered. Meanwhile, at least a thousand people rallied in Dublin in solidarity with the woman in the Belfast rape trial. The hashtag #IBelieveHer is trending on social media.


April, 2018 I



Tributes for renowned musician Liam Óg O’Flynn

Liam Og O’Flynn, who has died at the age of 72.

Deborah McAleese TRIBUTES have been paid to a giant of Irish music, Liam O’Flynn, 72, following his death after a long illness. Mr O’Flynn, who played the uilleann pipes, was a member of the group Planxty alongside Christy Moore, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny. The master piper had also performed with Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler and worked with the poet Seamus Heaney and the composer Shaun Davey on The Brendan Voyage. Born in Kill, Co Kildare, his father, also Liam, was a fiddle player from outside Tralee and was a school principal in Kill. His mother, Maisie, from west Clare, was related to renowned fiddle player Junior Crehan. She played piano and church organ, so Liam was steeped in music from birth. He had one brother, Micheál, who predeceased him. He is survived by his wife Jane and sister Maureen. Liam and Jane, an accomplished horsewoman, lived in Ardscull, outside Athy. It was through his connections with Junior Crehan that O’Flynn first encountered the master piper Willie Clancy, and the pair became firm friends. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar offered his condolences on behalf of the government. “I think [O’Flynn] was a genius and great Irish man,” Mr Varadkar said. “In this most Irish of weeks I would like to

express my condolences to his family, the music industry and the arts sector on their loss.” Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said Mr O’Flynn helped to revolutionise traditional Irish music. “His immense legacy can be seen in the vitality of traditional Irish music across the globe today. From Kill, Co

Kildare, to the far corners of the world he has bequeathed a mesmerising tapestry of music,” he added. Musician Phil Coulter was among the first to pay tribute to O’Flynn, a native of Co Kildare. “Devastated to hear that the great Liam Og O Flynn has passed away. He was a king among pipers and a prince


Marriage equality a step closer for NI Jamie Johnson

SAME-sex mar riage in Nor ther n Ireland is a step closer after a bill calling for its legalisation passed the first hurdle in the House of Commons last week. The private member’s bill was raised by Armagh-born Labour MP Conor McGinn, who later joined campaigners in delivering a petition to 10 Downing Street. The letter had 42,000 signatories and was presented by Cara McCann and Amanda McGurk – a same-sex couple from Northern Ireland planning to marry on Valentine’s Day next year. They hope it will be a marriage, rather than a civil partnership. Mr McGinn, in an impassioned speech in the House of Commons, said: “The Nor thern Ireland Assembly being in cold storage shouldn’t mean that Northern Ireland remains a cold house for LGBT people and their rights. “The de facto suspension of the devolved legislature does not mean that equality for same-sex couples can be suspended indefinitely because rights delayed are rights denied.” In 2013, Westminster MPs passed

The campaigers hand in their petition to No 10 Downing Street.

the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, which came into force in England and Wales in March 2014. In Scotland, the move came later in the year, with the first same-sex weddings taking place on December 31. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that does not have legislation for same-sex marriage, but there is widespread public support for the move. In 2016, an Ipsos Mori poll revealed 70 per cent of adults in Nor thern Ireland believe gay couples should be

allowed to marry. “I hope this is the first step on what should be a very short road towards full equality for LGBT people in Northern Ireland,” Mr McGinn said:. In Northern Ireland, the DUP has repeatedly blocked legislation to recognise the marriage of same-sex couples. With power-sharing talks between Sinn Féin and the DUP deadlocked, there has been no executive in Northern Ireland for more than a year. The civil servants who are in charge of the day-to-day running of public services, do not have the authority to pass the law. Mr McGinn said that now is the time for the British government to intervene. “My preference would very clearly be for the Northern Ireland assembly to legislate for this,” he said. “But in the absence of an assembly, we have a duty here in Westminster to ensure that our fellow citizens enjoy the same rights as the rest of us.” Ms McCann, who presented the petition to Downing Street said: “It was such a heartwarming experience. We have already won the hearts and minds of the public, now we need to win the political side.”

among men. A complete musician and a gentle soul”, Mr Coulter tweeted. The Arts Council of Ireland said Mr O’Flynn was a “virtuoso piper of international renown who brought uilleann piping and Irish music to the world stage”. The singer Brian Kennedy tweeted: “I was only thinking about the great Liam

O’Flynn about 30 mins ago when I was driving near Kilcullen. What a gorgeous man and musician. Rest in Pipes! BK x”. Musician and songwriter Eleanor McEvoy, chairwoman of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), said it was a sad day for Irish music. “Dreadfully sad news. Sad day for Irish music. RIP Liam”, she tweeted.


Operator urged to review safety systems after crash David Young

THE operator of an Irish Coastguard helicopter that crashed killing four crew has been told to review its safety management systems. Investigators examining the loss of Rescue 116 off the west coast of Ireland in March last year said they had concerns regarding the “efficacy” of those systems. While Ir eland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) continues to investigate the crash on Blackrock Island off the coast of Co Mayo, it published an interim statement last week. The AAIU said operator CHC Ireland should ensure the “design of its processes and procedural adherence are sufficiently robust to maximise the safety dividend”. The interim statement also recommended that the manufacturer of the helicopter involved should revaluate the per formance of its flight data recording systems. The AAIU said Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation should make the necessar y “updates/modifications” to ensure that latitude and longitude information stored was based on the most accurate position data available. In a third recommendation, investigators said Transport Minister Shane Ross should conduct a “thorough review” of search and rescue opera-

tions in Ireland to “ensure that there are appropriate processes, resources and personnel in place to provide effective, continuous, comprehensive and independent oversight of all aspects of these operations”. Rescue 116 crashed on March 14 2017 with four crew on board after it struck Blackrock Island 12 miles off the Mayo coastline. The bodies of winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith have never been found. Also on board were Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (pictured), the commander of the flight who died after being pulled from the sea in the hours after the crash, and Captain Mark Duffy, the co-pilot whose body was taken from the cockpit 12 days later by Navy divers.

April, 2018 I




Online Voice of Irish Australia

The Irish Echo’s new website is fully responsive, so the pages adapt to any device. Visit on desktop, tablet or mobile. Your one-stop shop for Irish Australian news and information online Check out local news that affects you. We want to continue to be your trusted source of authentic news about our community. Our new website only publishes stories relevant to the expats and the Irish Australian community. Browse our comprehensive what’s on listing The Irish Echo online what’s on is the most complete

listing of Irish events around Australia ever compiled. But now, you can also • Subscribe to the print or the new digital edition • Send us your own Australia and Me story • Submit an item for our what’s on • Sign-up for our free new enewsletter • Got a vacancy? Post a job ad The new website will complement our social media assets. Our Facebook following now stands at 26,500. If you’re interested in digital advertising or sponsorship, please contact



April, 2018 I



Border question ‘cannot be ducked’ any longer David Young A CROSS-PARTY trio of high-profile British Remainers has accused the British Government of ducking the Irish border question after holding talks in Dublin on the crunch Brexit sticking point. Nick Clegg, Michael Heseltine and Andrew Adonis were in the Irish capital on Wednesday at the start of a tour of European cities to gather evidence on the potential impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Labour representatives met several senior politicians, including Tanaiste Simon Coveney. At an event hosted by Fianna Fáil, the prominent Remain supporters spoke with one voice as they warned of dire consequences of Brexit. All were scathing of the British Government’s insistence that a hard border could be avoided in Ireland, even if the UK leaves the customs union and single market. “We remain as perplexed as anyone else does about exactly how they are going to navigate this fundamental conundrum of creating a border but not wanting to police a border,” said Mr

Ireland ‘should quit’ to ease Brexit pain ARCH-Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested the Republic could quit the single market and customs union in favour of UK regulation in order to make Britain’s EU withdrawal smoother. Asked about British Prime Minister Theresa May’s pledge to work closely with the EU to solve Northern Ireland border issues like regulatory alignment, the MP said: “I think the prime minister was being generous to the European Union in that context. “She wants to have friendly relations in the negotiations, but it’s a question of nuance and I think they’re the stick in the muds in this and have come up with a solution that is wholly impossible for the United Kingdom to accept, that we should take Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom. “Why don’t we suggest to them that the Republic of Ireland comes out of the single market and customs union and accepts our regulations? It’s an equally logical suggestion.”

May ‘boxed in’ on Brexit negotiations THE British Prime Minister’s handling of the Irish border question could bring Brexit negotiations “crashing down”, the Government’s former chief negotiator on Northern Ireland has said. In an article in The Independent newspaper, Jonathan Powell said Mrs May had committed “the worst possible sin a negotiator can commit” – having “boxed herself in”. Mr Powell, Tony Blair’s former chief of staff, warned that a return to “huge concrete slabs” and “checkpoints on the main roads” could “force Northern Ireland back into identity politics”. “She [Mrs May] will be faced by the alternative of accepting the current EU draft and losing the support of the 10 DUP MPs who sustain her government. “Alternatively, she would be accepting that the whole of the UK remains in the single market and the customs union, in which case she will lose the support of the 62 backbench Brexit Tories.”

Clegg, a former deputy British prime minister. “Michael, Andrew and I come from different political parties, different political traditions but we are all united in a fervent belief that Brexit is not only being mishandled at the moment but is also strategically a once-in-a-generation mistake of huge proportions for the United Kingdom while also weakening the European Union as well.,” the former Lib Dem leader said. “We will go back to London with a strong message to the Government that they can’t duck this issue any longer. “They can’t avoid confronting the consequence of their own contradictions any longer.” Mr Heseltine, himself a former Conservative deputy PM, joked that the Government’s approach was like a Sherlock Holmes novel – “the case of the missing border”. He warned of the impact on the peace process if security checks returned at the 310-mile frontier between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. “I am extremely worried that the issue of the border is simply kicked down the time zone,” he said.

CROSS-PARTY REMAINERS: Nick Clegg, Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien, Michael Heseltine and Andrew Adonis address the media at Buswells Hotel, Dublin. Picture: David Young


Trade deal key to border fix David Hughes

DAVID Davis has insisted that a solution will be found to the Irish border issue after Brexit and a trade deal with Brussels is now “incredibly probable”. The British Brexit Secretar y said a trade deal – “the most comprehensive one ever” – would make the border problem much easier to solve. Mr Davis said the government was committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement “at all costs”. “There is a risk in trying to focus just on the downsides because the real likely outcome – the overwhelmingly likely outcome – is option A,” he told BBC’s Andrew Marr show. “Option A is that we get a free-trade agreement, we get a customs agreement. All of those make the Northern Ireland issue much, much easier to solve.” The EU withdrawal deal includes a fallback option of Northern Ireland effectively continuing to remain in the customs union, but Mr Davis said either the UK-EU trade deal or new technology could prevent that. When challenged that there were no

other borders of that kind in the world, Mr Davis said: “We have got a whole load of new technology now.” “There are ways to do this. You can’t just say ‘we haven’t done it anywhere else’, we haven’t attempted to do it anywhere else.” Pressed on Labour’s planned amendment to Brexit legislation – which would enshrine the commitment to no hard border in law – Mr Davis said he would have to see what they came up with. But he added: “We will not allow a return to the borders of the past, we will preserve – at all costs – the Belfast Agreement.” Labour has pledged to try and push through changes to Brexit legislation that would make a return to a hard border impossible. The party’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has insisted such a legal commitment is needed to prevent any kind of “checks, controls or physical infrastructure” at the border. The shadow Brexit secretary, who worked in Northern Ireland for five years, said Labour changes to the Bill would seek to ensure there can be no

David Davis, Britain’s Brexit Secretary, believes a trade deal with the EU will solve the border issue.

drop in North-South co-operation in Ireland across the full range of political, economic or security areas. “We do not do this lightly. I know from my time in Northern Ireland that this is not an issue to play party politics on, or to divide the House unnecessarily. This amendment is bor n of necessity, because of the Government’s failure to advance a credible solution in Northern Ireland.”

Meanwhile the Taoiseach has declared that an Irish border deal must be done by October. Other wise a backstop option will mean Northern Ireland would continue to follow EU regulations after Brexit involving the all-island economy and North-South co-operation, he added. Unionists have opposed any solution that would create dif ferences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May is reliant on Democratic Unionist support in key Westminster votes. “Would I like to have it done by June? Yes, absolutely. But I would rather have the right deal in October rather than any deal in June,” Mr Varadkar said. The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, in a clear warning to Britain, said “the European Parliament will not give its consent to a withdrawal agreement that does not incorporate solutions to rule out hard borders between the two parts of the island and which can be implemented immediately. We must heed the principle that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.”


Poll points to British ambivalence about Northern Ireland David Young

MORE voters in Great Britain rate leaving the EU as a priority ahead of maintaining the Union with Northern Ireland, a poll has suggested. More than a third of those polled (36 per cent) said exiting the European Union was a higher priority than keeping Northern Ireland within the UK. Of those surveyed, 29 per cent said retaining Northern Ireland within the UK was more important than Brexit. About 22 per cent said neither was important, while the remainder said they did not know.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by radio station LBC, did not survey voters within Northern Ireland. The online poll sampled 1,630 adults living in Britain and was carried out amid ongoing uncertainty over how the border will be handled in the final Brexit deal. It has emerged as the key sticking block in the negotiations, with the British government and the EU at loggerheads over how a free flowing border can be maintained if the UK leaves the customs union and single market. Democratic Unionist MP Sir Jeffrey

Donaldson told LBC he did not think the survey findings were relevant. “The Good Friday Agreement states very clearly that the principle of consent means that it’s for the people of Nor thern Ireland alone to decide whether we remain part of the United Kingdom,” he said. “Since the UK government, the Irish government and Brussels have all said that any Brexit agreement must fully recognise all of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, I really don’t think this is relevant.” Sinn Féin leader Mar y Lou McDonald said she was “not hugely

surprised” by the poll result. “Ultimately the people who care about Ireland north and south are the people who live on this island and people on our neighbouring island evaluate things in a totally different way and they look to their own future as they understand it,” she said. “If the people of Britain are minded to break the union and say a fond farewell and to facilitate the reunification of our country we would greet that news with delight, to put it mildly.” Half of those polled are pessimistic that the UK will be ready to leave the European Union by March 2019.


April, 2018 I



Gratitude for a famous gift Michelle Devane

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has thanked a Native American tribe for the way their ancestors showed compassion to Irish people who were dying in their hundreds of thousands during Ireland’s Great Famine. Mr Varadkar said that when Irish people were “oppressed, abused, neglected and degraded by our colonial master”, fundraising efforts by the Choctaw Nation highlighted the spirit of its people. The Taoiseach made the comments during a ceremony to commemorate the generosity of the Choctaw tribe. Mr Varadkar said it was an honour to be at the Choctaw Nation on his first St Patrick’s Day trip to the US as Taoiseach. “For me, the story of our two peoples symbolises the spirit of St Patrick better than anything else,” he said. “Back in the 19th century, when the Irish people were oppressed, abused, neglected and degraded by our colonial master, at our lowest, your spirit of generosity was at its highest. “You showed compassion to a starving people, who were dying in their hundreds of thousands, or about to embark on our own ‘Trail of Tears’ across the Atlantic Ocean to seek a new life in Canada or the United States.” Mr Varadkar said the impact of the donation was about more than the lives that were saved. In 1847, the Choctaw tribe raised $170, the equivalent of several


Contentious ‘spin’ unit to be disbanded David Young

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with members of the Chocktaw Nation in Oklahoma. Picture: Niall Carson

thousand dollars in today’s money, for Famine relief in Ireland. The donation was made 16 years after the Trail of Tears, when tribes were relocated from their tribal lands and at a time when the Choctaw people were themselves living in relative poverty. Last year Choctaw chief Gar y Batton marked the ongoing ties between the two communities with a visit to Midleton in Co Cork, to unveil a statue entitled Kindred Spirits that

commemorates the donation. The ceremony in Durant, Oklahoma included traditional songs by both Choctaw and Irish people and native dancing. The Taoiseach also tried his hand at stickball, a native sport. He held bilateral meetings with Mr Batton and Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin during the visit. Mr Varadkar also announced that a new scholarship programme was to be set up with the Choctaw Nation. The

first scholarship will begin in autumn next year. It will mean third-level Choctaw students will be able to study at Irish universities. “This is an opportunity for us to learn from you and from your culture, and you from ours, in a sharing of knowledge that will enrich both our peoples,” Mr Varadkar said. He said that it would add a new dimension to the relationship between the two communities.

THE Taoiseach’s controversial communications unit will be wound down, the Government has confirmed. L e o Va r a d k a r t o l d c a b i n e t colleagues that his department’s €5m Strategic Communications Unit would be disbanded by July, with its functions scaled back and absorbed into the existing Government Information Ser vice. The move comes after Mr Varadkar ordered a review of the unit’s functioning. The Taoiseach previously acknowledged it had become a distraction from the work of government. The unit has been involved in a number of controversies, including a notable furore around a public information campaign on the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure plan. Political rivals claim paid-for stories placed in national and regional papers were not clearly marked as advertorial content. That controversy fuelled persistent opposition claims that the unit is more interested in boosting Fine Gael’s profile than disseminating government information. Mr Varadkar had asked the secretary general of his department to conduct a review of the unit. The review said relevant newspaper editors had confirmed that choice of photos and quotes in their articles was determined by them and was “not subject to any outside influence”.


April, 2018 I



Tears as striking likeness of McGuinness is revealed David Young MARTIN McGuinness’s successor urged politicians across Northern Ireland to choose hope over fear as she unveiled a portrait of the former deputy First Minister. As Mr McGuinness’s widow Bernie and her four children looked on, Michelle O’Neill urged the region’s leaders to collectively turn a corner away from their recent political difficulties and create a new era. The portrait by Belfast artist Tony Bell was unveiled in Parliament Buildings in Belfast just over a year since the former IRA commander turned Stormont leader died. It will now hang in the same corridors as a painting of the late Ian Paisley – the man with whom Mr McGuinness struck an unlikely friendship as they led Northern Ireland together. Mr Paisley’s successor as DUP leader and first minister Peter Robinson attended the unveiling, as did current leader Arlene Foster. In a ceremony that was emotional at times, Mrs McGuiness wept as she saw her husband’s painting for the first time. She then reached out a hand to

touch the striking likeness of her late husband. Earlier, their granddaughter Cara had sung a haunting version of the Christy Moore song the Voyage. The couple’s four children Emmet, Fiachra, Grainne and Fionnuala attended the unveiling, as did members of the wider family. Afterwards, Mr Robinson said it was “entirely proper and fitting” that a painting of a man he also came to regard as a friend should hang at Stormont. He said the basis of their political partnership was trust. “I don’t think either of us doubted the determination of the other to make the process work,” he said. “I never had any doubt about Martin’s commitment to Stormont, to the Assembly, to the Executive. That’s a good starting point.” Bell said he wanted his work to reflect the pride Mrs McGuinness had in her husband. “It was clear how devoted they were as a couple and as a family,” he said. “It was important to me that Martin should be seen as a statesman and the leader he was. There is only one other symbol I felt had to be included – one we could all recognise – that was his wedding ring.”

PROUD SON: Emmet McGuinness, son of the late Martin McGuinness, and his wife Katie with their baby son Mairtín Rua McGuinness, at the unveiling of his father’s portrait at Stormont. Picture: Brian Lawless


Back off Taoiseach, DUP leader warns Michelle Devane and David Young

DEMOCRATIC Unionist leader Arlene Foster has warned the Taoiseach that it is not appropriate for him to chart the future of negotiations to restore Stormont powersharing. Mrs Foster insisted that role lay firmly with the Westminster government. She was reacting to a suggestion by Leo Varadkar that the UK and Irish governments might table their own joint proposals as a way to break the political deadlock in Belfast. While she chided Mr Varadkar for his comments in relation to Stormont, Mrs Foster welcomed other remarks made by the Taoiseach in which he acknowledged his government’s stance on Brexit may have angered unionists. Mr Varadkar, who in a speech in Washington DC called for redoubling of ef for ts to restore devolution after Easter, suggested such an intervention could be a means to forge a deal between the DUP and Sinn Féin. Fourteen months after powersharing collapsed, the two parties remain

at loggerheads on a range of cultural, social and legacy disputes. Mrs Foster said it was not for the leader of the Republic to suggest the next steps in ef for ts to restore powersharing. “In keeping with the principle of consent and the three-stranded approach [the framework of the Good Friday Agreement] it is not appropriate for the Irish Prime Minister to outline future political steps relating to Northern Ireland and a resumption of talks,” she said. “Whilst we will work with the Irish government on appropriate issues, the political process is an internal matter and should be taken forward by Her Majesty’s Government.” Later, Mr Varadkar elaborated on his suggestion, saying: “What I intend to do after Easter once this intense phase of Brexit passes with the EU summit at the end of the month, is to propose a new engagement with the British government for us to try once again after Easter to secure an agreement between the major parties and also all the parties in Northern Ireland.”

“Perhaps one of the best ways we can do this is through joint proposals, a joint paper from the two governments.” Sinn Fein president Mar y Lou McDonald said any renewed process had to have a real prospect of success. “We need to be sure that delivery is possible,” she said. “The Taoiseach hasn’t put any specifics on the table. We wait to see what he has in mind, and we will seek to meet with him.” In a wide-ranging speech at an event on Capitol Hill during St Patrick’s week, the Taoiseach moved to reassure unionists who have been angered by his government’s approach to Brexit. He acknowledged some comments might have been viewed as unwelcome or intrusive. “If that is the case, I want to make it clear that it certainly was not our intention … we have no hidden agenda.” The Irish government’s efforts to maintain a soft border has angered unionists who fear it is veiled attempt to push a united Ireland agenda.


Clinton to receive ‘freedom of Belfast’ David Young

FORMER US president Bill Clinton will travel to Northern Ireland next week to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement. Mr Clinton will also visit the Republic as part of a series of events to celebrate the historic peace accord of April 1998. Mr Clinton and the former US senator George Mitchell, the US diplomat who brokered the deal, will both receive the Freedom of Belfast on April 10.

“The contribution made by both president Bill Clinton and senator George J Mitchell to our peace process cannot be underestimated,” Lord Mayor of Belfast, councillor Nuala McAllister, said. “Both have earned their place in our history as peacemakers, and both can be very proud of what they helped us to achieve.” On the same day the politicians will attend a peace-building event at Queen’s University, along with other major protagonists in the negotiations that largely ended three decades of

sectarian conflict. “We are honoured and delighted to welcome [former] President Clinton to Queen’s University to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/ Good Friday Agreement,” Queen’s University’s acting vicechancellor, James McElnay, said. “His role and influence on the peace process in Nor ther n Ireland was pivotal to ensuring all parties reached agreement in April 1998. “To have him back in Nor thern Ireland for this significant anniversary is a privilege.”


‘Hooded Men’ vow to fight on after Euro legal blow Lesley-Anne McKeown

THE so-called Hooded Men are dismayed after a European cour t rejected an Irish request to find the men had suffered torture, but they have vowed to continue their fight for justice. They also said the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights was a “missed opportunity”. “We are far, far, from giving up,” one of the men, Francie McGuigan, said: The Hooded Men are 14 Catholics men interned (detained indefinitely without trial) in 1971 who said they were subjected to a number of torture methods. These included hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and water, along with beatings and death threats. The men were hooded and flown by helicopter to a secret location, later revealed as a British Army camp at Ballykelly, outside Derry. “While any one of us have breath left in our bodies we will fight it and we will keep on fighting it,” Mr McGuigan added. “I don’t see a weakness in our determination yet.” He said the onus was now on the Irish Government to appeal. “At this stage the European Court has missed a great opportunity to try to stamp out torture, be it here in Ireland or any corner of the world. “Torture must be stopped, no matter where or by whom. It must be stopped thr oughout the world, and the European Court have the responsibility of doing that. I think there is a strong onus on the Irish Government to take this appeal and push it for all it’s worth,” Mr McGuigan said. Another of the Hooded Men, Liam Shannon said: “The European Court had an opportunity to outlaw torture all over the world and they have missed the opportunity. What a disgrace of a thing to happen.” Joe Clarke, who suffers from flashbacks, said: “We are dismayed as to

Liam Shannon, one of the 14 Hooded Men who were allegedly tortured during the Troubles.

how they came to this decision but, we just have to keep fighting on. I am the youngest and I will cer tainly keep going until we eventually get justice ... not just for ourselves but for everyone around the world.” A solicitor at KRW Law who has been representing the Hooded Men, Daragh Mackin, said: “In circumstances where the Belfast High Court, the London Supreme Court has ruled that these techniques are torture, it is dif ficult to comprehend how the [European] Cour t has missed this opportunity. “It is deeply regretful that we are left with only the consideration that it is procedural gymnastics that have allowed for this ruling to continue and for this grave injustice that the Hooded Men suffer and continue to suffer.” Amnesty International also said the ruling was disappointing. “The Hooded Men have been denied justice for too long. This case underscores the need for a comprehensive means of dealing with historic human rights violations and abuses in Northern Ireland.”


April, 2018 I


Mal Rogers scans Ireland’s regional media for what’s making news in your county LIMERICK

Teachers left unpaid as language school in Limerick closes TEACHERS have been left without wages owed to them following the closure of an English language school in Limerick, the trade union Unite has said. The Limerick Leader reports that 10 teachers have been left without wages owed to them following the closure of LanLearn after a Department of Justice inspection resulted in withdrawal of accreditation. The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) is working with the 150 international students who have been affected by the school’s closure, ICOS programme officer Brian Hearne said. “Students who are currently studying or are here in Ireland and have paid for courses in LISC will be relocated,” he said. The ICOS is currently working with the school’s insurance company and the Irish immigration services, he added. Teachers at the school who have been assisting students following the school’s closure have been left unpaid since February, according to Unite regional organiser Roy Hassey. KERRY

DPP lashed by Tralee trial judge over fatal car crash A JUDGE has issued a stinging rebuke to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over how it handled the case of a Listowel woman found guilty of dangerous driving causing serious harm. The Kerryman reports that at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court Aine Stack, 23, of Listowel received an 18-month suspended sentence for dangerous driving causing serious harm, arising from a road accident at Clogherbrien, Tralee. An American tourist, John Lenahan, 67, was seriously injured in the collision and died 10 days later. Ms Stack was charged with dangerous driving causing death, even though the post mortem could not definitively state that the man had died as a direct result of the accident. The post mortem report and another medical report on Mr Lenahan – which showed his condition had improved while in hospital after the accident – were only provided to the defence team on the second day of the trial. It also emerged that in November 2014 State Pathologist Margot Bolster had written to gardaí stating that it could not be said “to the criminal standard of proof this collision caused the death of Mr Lenahan”. This written communication also wasn’t seen by the defence until the case was under way.

Subsequently, in a move trial Judge Tom O’Donnell said was highly unusual, the DPP asked that the charge be amended to a lesser count mid-trial. Judge O’Donnell said that as a result the defence could justifiably, and “with a considerable chance of success”, have sought a new trial. This was only avoided by the fact that the accused had agreed to allow her trial proceed on the new, lesser, charge. Judge O’Donnell expressed grave concerns about how the DPP had managed the case, describing the delays in providing the medical and post mortem documents and the request to amend the charge midway through the trial as “an extraordinary turn of events”. Judge O’Donnell said the defendant was a young woman of “excellent character” who had no previous convictions “not even a parking ticket”. He added that speed or alcohol had not been a factor in the crash and that the accident seemed to be the result “of a momentary error with a tragic outcome”. He imposed an 18-month suspended sentence and banned Ms Stack from driving for four years. BELFAST

Foster says antiSemitism has no place in Northern Ireland following library attack DUP leader Arlene Foster has called for the leaders of the North’s political parties to unite in opposition to anti-Semitism. She said the party leaders needed to demonstrate clear opposition to anti-Semitism locally. Her comments come as questions have been raised about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party and the need to tackle such attitudes within political life. This month staff at Belfast’s Linen Hall Library received a number of threatening phone calls following an event planned to mark the birth of Belfast-born former Israeli President Chaim Herzog. A blue plaque marking Chaim Herzog’s birthplace in north Belfast’s Cliftonpark Avenue was removed in 2014 following vandalism. In August 2016 a gang of youths smashed headstones in Belfast City Cemetery’s Jewish plot in what police described as a hate crime. “The debate on anti-Semitism is not remote from Northern Ireland. Too often there have been incidents here where intolerance or hatred of the Jewish community has been in evidence,” Mrs Foster said. Mrs Foster said recent incident provided an opportunity to send a clear message that anti-Semitism would not be tolerated. “Just as there is a focus on this issue nationally, all parties locally must demonstrate that anti-Semitism has no place here in Northern Ireland. “That demonstration should be

BRAVING THE CHILL: A spectator at the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire both through words and actions,” the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said. “When there are examples of clear anti-Semitism, however, we do not always see parties stepping forward to offer clear and unequivocal condemnation. Unfortunately, there are occasions where attempts to hide behind ‘criticism of Israel’ allows hated to be expressed towards the Jewish community in a way that no other racism would be tolerated. “The current focus on this issue can provide an opportunity to take a clear and united stance on this from all sections of our society.” GALWAY

Man charged with €5,000 theft from island pub AN Inis Mór resident has been charged with possession of stolen property after a pub on the island was burgled and vandalised, reports Galway FM. Almost €5,000 worth of damage was caused to Joe Watty’s Pub in Kilronan following a robbery on the morning of St Patrick’s Day. Some €5000 in cash and cigarettes was taken in the raid, during which the pub was badly damaged. Following a search among the population, whch only numbers 900, items were found linking the accused to the burglary. Colm O’Goill, 24, with an address in Kilmurvey was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. He appeared before Galway District Court, and was remanded on bail to appear before Kilronan district court on June 7. BELFAST

Policewoman breaks down in tears after being acquitted of stealing £3k from evidence A POLICEWOMAN wept in the dock of Belfast Crown Court after being acquitted of stealing money from evidential exhibits. The Belfast Telegraph reports that Yvonne Forte, was also cleared of two counts of misconduct in a public office. Ms Forte denied all the charges. During the course of the prosecution

case, a Crown barrister asked that the court rise to review an issue. The jury of seven men and five women were called back into court on the next working day, and were told by Crown barrister Robin Steer that following a review of the case against Ms Forte, 41, “the prosecution will be offering no further evidence in this case in respect of all charges”. Ms Forte had been charged with four counts of theft and was accused of stealing a total of £3,254 from evidential exhibits, while a serving police constable. After Mr Steer addressed the court, Judge David McFarland told the jury the four theft charges, and the other two levelled against Ms Forte, were no longer being proceeded with. The judge told the foreman of the jury that “in these circumstances, I am going to direct you to acquit her and find her not guilty”. Judge McFarland then spoke to Ms Forte. As she wept, the Judge told her: “Ms Forte, you can leave the dock because you have just been acquitted by the jury. You are free to go.” She replied: “Thank you, your honour.” DUBLIN

Ireland is to get its first official nudist beach. PUBLIC notices are set to go up at Hawk Cliff in Dalkey in Co Dublin next month announcing a section of the beach as nudist, but there has been a mixed reaction to the news. The Irish Examiner reports that some of the concerns include the suitability for children and that it may attract anti-social behaviour. Pat Gallagher from the Irish Naturist Society says they do not intend to cause offence or harm to anybody. “That area has been used for many years, not only with the nudists but also with bathing suit persons, so it has worked very well over the years between the two communities and there has never been any problems,” Mr Gallagher said. “It just indicates to anyone who wouldn’t know approaching the area that might be offended by the sight of nude bodies that they may encounter nude bathers when they go into the area. That’s all.” It will still be open to people who don’t wish to go naked, the signs will tell others not to be alarmed if they do see nudists.

“So for someone reading that, if for any reason they are in fear or distress, at least they will have notification that there may be nude bathers. We have always used the term ‘clothing optional’. “We simply want to go there, lie in the sun, get in the water, have a swim…  but we don’t want to wear anything, that’s all.” DONEGAL

Father of Buncrana tragedy victim has called for backlash against Stephanie Knox to end THE father of one of the victims of the Buncrana pier drowning tragedy has called for an end to a backlash against a woman who helped the family. The Donegal Democrat reports that Noel McGrotty, 86, the father of Sean McGrotty, said he was concerned by the public backlash directed at Stephanie Knox. “I do not know the wee girl but the only thing I’m afraid of now is that the public opinion might be damaging her,” he said. Ms Knox said she has received a number of abusive messages after reports emerged of her lodging a damages claim over the tragedy in March 20016 which claimed the lives of five members of the one family. She said she lodged a claim because she had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the tragedy. Sean McGrotty, 48; his sons Mark, 12, and Evan, eight; their maternal grandmother Ruth Daniels, 58, and aunt Jodie-Lee Daniels, 14, died when their car slid into Lough Swilly from Buncrana pier on March 20, 2016. An inquest found they died by misadventure. Knox and her then partner Davitt Walsh came on the scene of the tragedy. Mr Walsh swam out to the submerged car and rescued Sean’s baby daughter Rionaghac-Ann. Noel McGrotty said he received notification of the claim against his son’s estate last week. He said his family does not want Ms Knox to suffer as a result of coverage of the claim. Ms Knox is suing for “loss of earnings and other matters”. She said she knew the claim would be issued against Donegal County Council and the insurance company, but didn’t realise the estate of the deceased family would be included in proceedings.


time out

April, 2018 I

Finnish first

Brian Conlon, owner of Slattery’s Bar on Capel Street in Dublin.

Good Friday? It’s great, for pubs YOU’D swear they never had a drink in their lives. Queues formed outside pubs in Ireland as a 90-year ban on serving alcohol on Good Friday was lifted. Some punters eager to experience the novelty of ordering a pint on the holy day were lined up outside early opening bars from 7am. In what was set to be a long and productive day for hostelry owners, many pubs were buzzing throughout Friday morning as revellers reaped the benefits of the law change. Publican Brian Conlon, of Slattery’s Bar on Capel Street in Dublin city centre, was one of the first to pull a legal Good Friday pint at 7am on Friday morning. “It was busier than usual this morning, when I opened up at 7am there were queues at the front door,” he said.“I think people were more coming in for the novelty factor that it was the first time in 90-odd years that you could legally have a drink.” He said many of the punters were tourists from places such as England, Spain and Germany who arrived in Dublin and needed to wait until lunch to check-in to hotels. “They are all in having pints, they are all having breakfast. That option wouldn’t have been there last year, so I think it’s a great thing,” he said. “Some bars I’ve heard don’t want to open, but it’s a choice. You don’t have to go drink on Good Friday, but if you want to go drink we are open; we are serving drink and we’ll be here all day.” The Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2017,

which was voted through the Dáil in January, overturned a ban on Good Friday drinking that had existed since 1927. The move came after years of campaigning from a hospitality industry infuriated at the annual lost revenue opportunity at the start of the Easter bank holiday weekend. The Intoxicating Liquor Act of 1927 also banned drinking on St Patrick’s Day in Ireland – March 17. But that ban was lifted in the early 1960s. But just like the old ruse that you can drink on St Patrick’s Day even if you had given up the grog for Lent, there were some dodgy exceptions of the Good Friday booze ban. Alcohol could be served to hotel residents; those travelling by air, rail or sea; or people attending a theatre show or a sporting event such as greyhound racing. In 2010, pub owners in Limerick were granted special dispensation to open when the city hosted a high-profile rugby match between Munster and Leinster. After that, the writing was on the pub wall. Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, was understandably cheerful about the development. “The removal of this the ban puts Ireland on par with the rest of our European neighbours. This change is good news, not only for Dublin pubs but also for our wider hospitality and tourism sectors, as people flock to the capital over the Easter weekend expecting the best of Irish hospitality.”

Quiz 1. Who are the only two Irish players in rugby history to win two Grand Slam titles? 2. The Titanic was built in Belfast but where was she registered? 3. Which book includes the singing of an anthem which begins: “Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland . . .”? 4. Schmidt, Ferrari (or Ferraro), LeBrun, MacGowan? 5. Who became leader of the Home Rule Party after Isaac Butt in 1879? 6. What links Ireland, Ivory Coast and Niger? 7. The title of Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country For Old Men is from a WB Yeats poem. The title of his book Cities of the Plain is from the Bible — which are the two most famous Cities of the Plain? 8. Which Irish city is known as The City of the Tribes? 9. What is celebrated on June 16 every year? 10. Which Irish jockey won the English Derby on Grundy, Golden Fleece and Quest for Fame?

FINLAND is the happiest place to live apparently. The World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries by happiness levels, based on factors such as life expectancy, social support and corruption (or the lack of it). Unlike past years, the annual report published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network also evaluated 117 countries by the happiness and well-being of their immigrants. Europe’s Nordic nations, none particularly diverse, have dominated the index since it was first produced in 2012. In reaching number one, Finland nudged neighbouring Norway into second place. Rounding out the top 10 are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia (yay!). Ireland came in 14th ahead of the US (18th) and UK (19th).

No more tears FOR those who wouldn’t know a googly from a silly mid off, the current cricket scandal is bemusing. When the images of Cameron Bancroft putting his hand down the front of his pants emerged, the Hurler was unsure which ball he might have been accused of tampering with. As one wag in the South African crowd shouted: “Heh Bancroft, scratch your own balls!” Anyway, from all the relentless weeping and apologising that has been seen on national TV in recent days, it’s clearly a big deal. But can we move on please? Can’t we get back to the good old days where cricketers just verbally abused each other about their wives and families? Who can forget James Ormond’s great sledge of Australia’s Mark Waugh, twin brother of the even more talented Steve Waugh. Waugh to Ormond: “What are you even doing out here? There’s no way you’re not good enough to play for England?” Ormond: “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best cricketer in my family.”

They said it... “I’d just like to thank the judge and the jury for giving me a fair trial, my parents for being here every day, as well as my brother and sisters.” Paddy Jackson, the Ireland rugby star, on being found not guilty of all rape charges. “This has been a difficult time for all those involved in this trial. We have faith and trust in the legal system and respect the verdict. I would like to pay tribute to the young woman who had the resolve and confidence to come forward and put her faith in police and the criminal justice process.” Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman, head of the public protection branch at the Police Service of Northern Ireland. “I, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim March 17, 2018 in the city of New York as ‘Gerry Adams Day’.” A proclamation by New York’s Mayor on St Patrick’s Day. “I think it’s disgraceful that this man (Mr Adams) has been honoured by the Mayor of New York. I feel very strongly about this. This is a man who refused to condemn the people who murdered my lovely husband. A Gerry Adams Day; how disgusting is that?” Anne McCabe, wife of Detective Garda Jerry Gerry McCabe, who was murdered by the IRA. “He [Mayor de Blasio] should remember the ruthless organisation which the Provisional Movement was. They murdered almost 2,000 people and maimed tens of thousands of others through physical and mental scars.” Kenny Donaldson, spokesman for the Innocent Victims United group, said he has questions to answer. “Everyone takes the view that we will have to have the withdrawal treaty agreed by October because it will have to be ratified by the British parliament and the European parliament, and potentially by some national parliaments. So October is the deadline. Would I like to have it done by June? Yes, absolutely. But I would rather have the right deal in October rather than any deal in June.” Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Brexit. “The onus is now on the British Government to propose such a solution. But I want to make it clear once again that the European Parliament will not give its consent to a withdrawal agreement that does not incorporate solutions to rule out hard borders between the two parts of the island and which can be implemented immediately.” President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani. “I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused. [There are] no excuses and I shouldn’t have said what I did. I’m very sorry.” England coach Eddie Jones apologising for offensive remarks.

Crossword Clues across: 1. Dog ate cleric (6) 4. Such as George Best, John Lennon or Kingsford Smith display a fit of temper in review (8) 9. Estate needs cultivating round self (7) 10. Man in Connemara mountains (3) 11. County Down town missing introduction to a yarn (6) 12. Mug finding military vehicle on County Down peninsula (7) 13. Fun in Ireland is initially mostly cramped but followed in a tick (5) 14. Mick sings at an acoustic Irish shindig at six in Rome north (6) 15. Remove southern end of beef cut to reveal wood (4) 19. A sound comeback (4) 20. Sporting event held in Westmeath town mostly (10) 22. Irish instrument acquired from dodgy Alpine line-up (8,5) 27. Bird recorded in Moymucklemurry (3) 28. Children of myth spotted in Inishlirroo (3) 29 & 30 across: Money and companionship found among screen bushrangers (4,3,7)

Clues down: 1. Trainee for Air China upsets Irish priest (5) 2. Oddly, almost a chronic collection of religious adherents (5,9) 3. Island articulated Soviet news agency obsession (8) 5. A genome I tackled to find Celtic woman (7) 6. Deception to hold up father as saint (7) 7. A silken trio arranged into Celtic symbol (10) 8. Armagh town found in IKEA dyes (5) 14. Queer arrangement round article missing in fancy radio waveband (9) 16. Top musical instrument found in dramatic production (5) 17. Debbie, Burt or Albert (8) 18. Irish ghost spotted in Glasheencoombaun (4) 21. Remove from family, or part of French tribe of an Irish saint (6) 23. French songwriter can simper cynically to hide himself (5) 24. Mopes about verses (5) 25. Danes broke wheel-less form of transport (5) 26. In places like Dublin, Belfast or Wexford, reportedly they turn in locks where vessels are unloaded (5)








8 9

10 11

12 13 14



17 19


20 21




25 27

28 29


LAST EDITION’S ANSWERS: Clues across: 1. Get it off pat. 6. Ode. 9. Liam Neeson. 10. Pave. 11. Statute. 12. Ashtray. 13. Rib. 14. Iciness. 17. Bailie. 19. Havered. 20. First. 21 & 32 across: Ash Wednesday. 23. Ferments. 25. O’Flynn. 27. Tie. 28. Abednego. 29. Desist. 31. See. 32. see 21 across Clues down: 1. Goldsmith. 2. Tiara. 3. Tonsure. 4. Feelers. 5. Agnes. 7. Deviate. 8. Spitalfields. 12. Abbess. 15. Inverness. 16. Stern. 18. Eton. 21. Astore. 22. Hoed. 23. Flann. 24. Ernie. 26. Nessa. 30. Eve.


8. Galway; 9. Bloomsday; 10. Pat Eddery green, white and orange; 7. Sodom and Gomorrah; ‘smith; 5. Parnell; 6. They all have flags which are 2. Liverpool; 3. Animal Farm; 4. They all mean Answers: 1. Rob Kearney and Rory Best;

April, 2018 I

time out



time out

Friday, 6 April

Tuesday, 10 April

SYDNEY, NSW Great Irish Famine Commemoration Fundraiser with Evelyn Conlon

SALE, VIC The Celtic Tenors

Irish novelist, Evelyn Conlon, will talk about her novel Not the Same Sky which she based on the experiences of a Famine workhouse emigrant girl. Finger food and drinks will be served throughout the evening and we will be selling raffle tickets and the winners of our Grand Draw prizes will be announced. The event is the 2nd fundraiser for a Famine Refugee Scholarship to support a student who arrived in Australia as a refugee. 6 – 8.30 pm at History House, Macquarie St.

Friday, 6 April HORSHAM, VIC The Celtic Tenors

Kicking off their 2018 Australian tour at the Horsham Town Hall, The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, The Dutchman, Caledonia, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites.

Friday, 6 April – Sunday, 21 April KINGS CROSS, NSW A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

Brevity Theatre is proud to present the Australian premiere of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. The award-winning novel written by Irish novelist Eimear McBride is an intense interior monologue, and has been transposed with rigour for the stage by Annie Ryan. After hugely successful seasons in the UK and US it is the perfect time to tell this story and have this discussion here in Australia. Directed by Erin Taylor and brought to the stage by a fiercely all-female team. 7.30pm (Tues - Sat), 5pm (Sun)

Saturday, 7 April NARRE WARREN, VIC The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, The Dutchman, Caledonia, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – Binjal Place.

Sunday, 8 April MELBOURNE, VIC 48th Annual Irish Day

The Irish National Day will be held at Gaelic Park on the 8th April. There will be games, Irish music, Irish food & plenty of activities for the kids. Gates open at $10 entry.

Sunday, 8 April BENDIGO, VIC The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, Danny Boy and many more favourites. Venue – The Capital Bendigo.

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – The Wedge Performing Arts Centre.

Wednesday, 11 April MELBOURNE, VIC The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – Melbourne Recital Centre.

Thursday, 12 April MELBOURNE, VIC Faculty of Arts Dean’s Lecture: ‘No Petty People’: The Making of Literary Ireland

Professor Ronan McDonald delivers will deliver this lecture at the University of Melbourne. For a small country, Ireland has an immense literary heritage and international reputation. This lecture considers some political, social and cultural reasons why this is so. It reflects on the anomalous conditions in which Ireland grappled with modernity in the aftermath of the Great Famine. It assesses the cultural nationalism that led to the extraordinary flowering of the Irish Literary Revival, led by W.B. Yeats, not only in national terms but also enmeshed within wider European intellectual and cultural agendas. Free entry. Contact: Brittany Wilkins, 03 9035 5092

Friday, 13 April THIRROUL, NSW The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – Anita’s Theatre.

Saturday, 14 April SHOALHAVEN, NSW The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, The Dutchman, Caledonia, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre.

Sunday, 15 April BERRIMA, NSW The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – The Loch.

April, 2018 I

Tuesday, 17 April – Wednesday, 18 April



QUENBEYAN, NSW The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, The Dutchman, Caledonia, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – The Q, Quenbeyan Performing Arts Centre.

Saturday, May 5 SYDNEY, NSW Sydney Rose of Tralee Selection Ball The Sydney Rose of Tralee Selection Ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Tickets are $190 pp all inclusive of drinks package, canapes and a four-course meal. Musical guests are Bacon & Cabbage. Raffles prizes include two return flights to Ireland. Formal dress; from 6pm until- late. To book call or text Tom O’Keeffe on 0411 695 248.

Wednesday, 18 April PENRITH, NSW Irish Film Festival at Penrith Gaels

The Festival screens The Maze direct from Ireland. Thrilling drama based on the IRA mass breakout from the Maze prison in 1983.

Thursday, 19 April – Sunday 22 April SYDNEY, NSW Irish Film Festival at the Chauvel Cinema

The Festival screens the latest film releases direct from Ireland. Its mission is to bring contemporary Irish screen culture and entertainment to Australian audiences. See website for full program.

Friday, 20 April SYDNEY, NSW The 2018 Brigid Awards Gala Dinner Celebrating the achievements of Irish Australian women from politics, business, sport, arts and the community. Hosted by Irish Friends of Labour at Harbour 220, Macquarie Street from 6.30pm. Tickets $110 per person. Email: Tel: 0414 629 559

Friday, 20 April DAVENPORT, TAS The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, Danny Boy, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – Davenport Entertainment Centre.

Saturday, 21 April HOBART, TAS The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Danny Boy, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – Theatre Royal.

Sunday, 22 April TRARALGON, VIC The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy, The Dutchman, Caledonia, you Raise Me Up and many more favourites. Venue – La Trobe Performing Arts Centre.

what’s on

Des Bishop (left) and Jason Byrne (Right) performing at the Sydney and Perth Comedy Festivals in April/May. See dates and booking details below. Tuesday, April 24 – Sunday, April 29

Friday, April 27

SYDNEY, NSW Des Bishop – Egorithm at the Sydney Comedy Festival Performing at the Sydney Comedy Store, Des Bishop returns with a brand-new show, Egorithm. In yet another open and honest, fast paced hour of stand-up. Des will delve into his thoughts on a myriad of matters: Male defensiveness around feminism; Islamophobia; his time in China; men; sexual harassment… and as always, a few dirty bits.

Tuesday, 24 April FRANKSTON, VIC The Celtic Tenors The Celtic Tenors will perform The Irish Songbook with such classics as Finnegan’s Wake, In The Gloaming, Song For Ireland, Danny Boy and many more favourites. Venue – Frankston Arts Centre.

Friday, 27 April – Sunday, 29 April KOROIT, VIC Koroit Irish Festival A three-day community celebration of the historical Irish village of Koroit and its Celtic roots. Damien Leith will open the Festival on Friday and the weekend includes and Irish dance spectacular, live music on five indoor and outdoor stages, Australian Danny Boy Championship, spud picking and peeling championships, street procession, talent competition, kids area, market stalls, food court and bar, an Irish cook-off and more.

Thursday, 26 April – Sunday 28 April MELBOURNE, VIC Irish Film Festival at the Kino Cinema The Festival screens the latest film releases direct from Ireland. Its mission is to bring contemporary Irish screen culture and entertainment to Australian audiences. See website for full program.

SYDNEY, NSW Jason Byrne at the Sydney Comedy Festival Performing at the Enmore Theatre, The Man With Three Brains is a brand new show from the highly acclaimed and extremely funny, Jason Byrne. Jason has three brains which kick into action when he hits the stage. His left brain scans the audience, looking for improv moments. His right brain collates stand-up material and stunts, poised to dish out the funnies at speed. His centre brain is Jason’s coach, pushing him to the limit.

Saturday, April 28 – Sunday, April 29 PERTH, WA Jason Byrne at the Perth Comedy Festival Performing at the Regal Theatre, The Man With Three Brains is a brand new show from the highly acclaimed and extremely funny, Jason Byrne. Jason has three brains which kick into action when he hits the stage. His left brain scans the audience, looking for improv moments. His right brain collates stand-up material and stunts, poised to dish out the funnies at speed. His centre brain is Jason’s coach, pushing him to the limit.

Friday, May 4 – Saturday, May 5 PERTH, WA Des Bishop – Egorithm at the Perth Comedy Festival Performing at the Regal Theatre, Des Bishop returns with a brandnew show, Egorithm. In yet another open and honest, fast paced hour of stand-up. Des will delve into his thoughts on a myriad of matters: Male defensiveness around feminism; Islamophobia; his time in China; men; sexual harassment… and as always, a few dirty bits.

Saturday, May 12 MELBOURNE, VIC Melbourne Rose of Tralee Selection Ball Tickets on sale now for an amazing night in an amazing venue. Doors open at 7pm at the Plaza Ballroom of the Regent Theatre. Tickets $170 per person includes canapés, three course meal, beer, wine and soft drink, live band - The Fitzgerald Brothers, raffle and auction. Bookings: tickets@

Saturday, May 19 BRISBANE, QLD Queensland Rose of Tralee Selection Ball In 2018 we will celebrate our 30th birthday. This is a special celebration for all involved. We would love to see you all there to help the Queensland Rose raise a glass to a wonderful festival and celebration of Irish women all around the world. Bookings: qldroseoftralee

Saturday, June 2 ADELAIDE, SA South Australian Rose of Tralee Grand Selection Ball The 2018 Rose Selection Ball will be held at the Sebel Playford Hotel on North Terrace Adelaide and hosted by channel 7’s Tim Noonan. Ticket price $150 includes canapés, three course meal, drinks package and live entertainment. Bookings essential. Contact

Saturday, June 2 PERTH, WA Perth Rose of Tralee Selection Ball Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Perth Rose of Tralee Selection Ball being held at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Book now to avoid disappointment. Tickets $175 per person include: welcome reception, three course meal, drinks package, music by Grand Remedy, Irish dancing by Keady Upton School and spot prizes and raffle draw. Bookings:

stay up to date with what’s on at :: (02) 9555 9199

April, 2018 I

 Irish Language Winter School 8-11 June 2018 Applications are open for Sydney’s only live-in Irish language school on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. The school is open to adults from across Australia, including: -

complete newcomers to the Irish language


those who want to improve their Irish, for example those who learnt it at school


fluent people who want to meet to converse in Irish and to help others learn.

There are classes at five levels to suit the skills of the participants. Other Irish activities provide a break in a convivial environment. These include the official opening, table quiz, guest speakers, concert and optional classes in singing, Old Irish, yoga or dance. Informal music sessions continue into the wee small hours. Daytime classes and craic at night. Come and join the fun. Venue: Chevalier Resource Centre, Kensington, Sydney. For more information see: or contact: Éilis

0424 718 538

The Scoil Gheimhridh is generously supported by the Emigrant Support Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland, and Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.



The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

time out



time out

April, 2018 I

Irish Julia Baar Julia, 25, was born and raised in Sydney. She is a successful competitive Irish Dancer, holding two National titles. Her Irish heritage is from County Tipperary.

Rachel Gallagher Rachel, 24, is a masters student from the Northern Beaches. Her family hails from Co Clare. She is an avid Irish dancer and regularly competes and performs. She also plays the bodhrán.

Caroline McKenna Caroline, 26, was born and raised in Co Down. She teaches at St Vincent’s All-Girls Catholic College and is certified youth mental health aider. Caroline is a fitness fanatic in crossfit and boxing.

Avril O‘Connor Avril, 26, from Kerry, works as a financial analyst for one of the big four banks. She has been living in Sydney since 2017. She has worked as a professional Irish dancer across the world.


Jess Carruthers Jess, 23, is an early educator who lives in the Blue Mountains. She has been Irish dancing since 1999 with the Penrith Gaels Maher School and has competed on local, state, national, and world levels.

Daniella Hall Daniella, 27, is a Sydneysider with an Irish mother and an English father. A psychology graduate, she is a passionate advocate for mental health and women’s rights. She is a classically trained singer.

Bernadette Meney Bernadette, 21, is a final year student at Macquarie University. Her ancestors hail from counties Clare, Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. She enjoys sport and playing Irish music with her family.

Hayleydaisy Paton Hayleydaisy, 18, is from Kildare and migrated to Australia in 2011 with her family. She works in construction and is studying for a career in the industry.

Ciara Daly Ciara, 27, hails from Galway but now regards Coogee as home. She has lived abroad since she was 19, teaching and playing music. In 2016, Ciara participated in the Irish Fight Night.

Bernadette Kirwan Bernadette, 26, is a high school teacher in Sydney. Her mother is Palestinian-Australian and her father is from Co Kildare. She loves both music and writing.

Angela Moran Angela, who grew up in a horseracing family in NSW, is a legal executive at the Children’s Cancer Institute. She has travelled widely, and loves hiking and running.

Debbie Sugrue Debbie, 25, was born in Tralee. She has been a young entrepreneur and brand ambassador for several big companies around the world, inlcuding a Google partner.

Danielle Dennehy Danielle, 26, is a primary teacher from Kerry who’s been living in Sydney for three years. She hopes to become a permanent resident this year. She enjoys camping and hiking in national parks.

Caitlin Macinante Caitlin, 26, lives and studies in Newcastle. She is passionate about inclusive education and equity among learners. Her mother, Senator Deborah O’Neill, was the Sydney Rose in 1980.

Rachel Mulryan Rachel, 26, is from Galway and moved to Australia two years ago. She works in Sydney as a registered nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital. She loves playing tag rugby and walking Sydney’s beautiful coastline.

Annmarie Townsend Annmarie, 25,is a social worker from Dublin. She loves running and yoga, is a fluent Irish speaker and hopes to make the empowerment of women and other marginalised groups her life’s work.

April, 2018 I

time out



PENRITH GAELS - Glebe Pl & Phillip St, Kingswood NSW (02)4722 8180 MAZE - WED 18TH APRIL 8PM


Thrilling drama based on the IRA mass breakout from the Maze prison in 1983.


45 Collins St, Melbourne VIC (03)9650 2100

Thrilling drama based on the IRA mass breakout from the Maze prison in 1983.


Cnr Oxford & Oatley St, Paddington NSW (02)9361 5398

Riveting documentary about the architect of the Northern Ireland Peace Process.



Thrilling drama based on the IRA mass breakout from the Maze prison in 1983.

The biopic charts the rise of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney.



Riveting documentary about the architect of the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Hilarious comedy where the legendary Pat Shortt gets one over on the poms!



Hilarious comedy where the legendary Pat Shortt gets one over on the poms!

Blockbuster documentary about 1994 Northern Ireland murders from Oscar winning director Alex Gibney.


The biopic charts the rise of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, and how the songs of his west of Ireland childhood helped shape his complex character.


Documentary follows five Irish migrants as they follow their dream to retire to live in Ireland.


Blockbuster documentary about 1994 Northern Ireland murders from Oscar winning director Alex Gibney.


Scary horror film about supernatural Irish twins set in the 1920’s.


Fictionalised Drama about the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ - Paisley and McGuinness and the Northern Ireland Peace Process.





April, 2018 I

Two men’s lives, worlds apart THE subtitle of this unusual book by Jim McDowell, former editor of the Northern Ireland Sunday world is From Bullets to Bylines – 45 Years Face-to-Face with Terror. It is a set of loosely connected real-life stories about earning a living working in what was, at one time, among the most dangerous workplaces on the planet. It helps to know that The Sunday World is a paper which, from its inception, challenged the prim and proper broadsheets. It was a tabloid with a reputation for sensational and lurid content, in the style of the English Sun or News of the World. In the South, you might pick it up on your way from Mass, but would probably hide it in the larger Sunday Independent or (pre-1996) Sunday Press. But the World quickly earned a reputation for digging into the murky world of dodgy dealings and political chicanery. In the North it daringly took on the paramilitaries, first when the killing was about ancient tribalism and later when those groups enriched themselves from the drug trade. It appears that the organised groups on the Unionist side of the Troubles – UDA, UVF, UFF, LVF, Red Hand – took to the drug business more quickly and more enthusiastically than those on the nationalist side. In fact, the IRA was fiercely against drugs and indeed, if the book has a soiled hero it is DAAD, Direct Action Against Drugs, a cover name for the ‘social work’ of the Provisionals. A number of leading figures in the drug business that was run from one of the loyalist organisations met their bloody end at the hands of either their own colleagues or of DAAD. These were often named in the World, at considerable peril

to those working there and in the case of 51-year old journalist Martin O’Hagan, at the cost of his life. One of the chapters deals with O’Hagan’s murder and explains that no one has ever been charged with that crime. [There must be families in Dublin today wishing that an organisation like DAAD, malign and destructive as it might be, existed in their city to deal with the Kinahan and Hutch gangsters and their imitators.] The Sunday World put the names of two of his killers, members of the LVF, on their front page. Although convicted of other criminal charges as well, they were never imprisoned. McDowell believes that it was because they were touts, part of a large number of paramilitaries, particularly from the UVF, who were passing information to some one of the intelligence organisations. That they did not face the courts was not because of gratitude on the part of RUC or MI5 or their ilk, but because they knew too much to be put before a public trial. McDowell is one of a number of Northern Ireland writers who are of one opinion about the role of secretive branches of the security services in murder and extra-judicial killings. If there is such a thing as Sunday World house style, probably based around dictums like ‘no word with more than eight letters’ or ‘no long sentences’, the writing in this book could be given as an example. The result is wonderfully refreshing, a reminder of a life writing stories to a deadline. The author sees himself and his colleagues as serving a value to their society. “We were

BOOKS THE GOOD FIGHT Jim McDowell Gill Books 353 pp 16.99 euro

CCCC DANIEL O’DONNELL. LIVING THE DREAM With Eddie Rowley O’Brien Press 255 pp 19.99 euro

“There must be families

in Dublin today wishing that an organisation like DAAD, malign and destructive as it might be, existed in their city to deal with the Kinahan and Hutch gangsters and their imitators.

CC Frank O’Shea part of the community we reported on and were committed to it,” he writes. The problem of course is that you feel you are being told only half the story, that in the background there is a legal eagle with a busy red pen. And even that half is lightly glossed with verbal shine to keep you from asking too many questions or looking too deeply. But for all that, the result is a perfect read, told with a light touch and a lot of self-deprecation. The writer does not take himself too seriously, but takes his work very seriously indeed. DANIEL O’Donnell is the poster boy for clean-living, Catholic wholesomeness in the world of Irish and international music. A non-smoker and non-drinker, in this book he tells us that during a world cruise in 2016 he attended Mass every morning. The Foreword to his book is written – with little pretence to literary quality, it has to be said – by the original Fr

Trendy, the Passionist Brian D’Arcy. In fact, although the main writer is a Sunday World showbusiness editor with a number of biographies of Irish entertainers to his credit, there is not much to enthuse about the writing in the body of the text either. However, the book succeeds because what it is telling is the story of a young man who has achieved success because he is good at what he does rather than by some accident of serendipity or some piece of manufactured notoriety. Daniel O’Donnell was born in 1961 in the small town of Kincasslagh on the Wild Atlantic Way in the far north of Donegal. His sister Margaret (Margo) was already successful when Daniel started out and though he toured with her for a few years, he was very much a support act. There does not seem to be any single event which led to his later success, though he speaks a great deal about his determination to succeed. His initial songs were Irish – Green Glens of Antrim, My Donegal Shores, Blue Hills of Breffni, Any

Tipperary Town – and he made them popular again, no mean feat in a time when such songs were regarded as corny and associated with people like Sidney McEwan and Joe Lynch. He reminded the world – and later the Irish – of the treasures in this music, that there was much more to the songs than the sentimentality of When Irish Eyes are Smiling or the table thumping of Come Out, Ye Black and Tans. In time, his repertoire would go on to include original compositions and c/w favorites, but his popularity is rightly associated with Irish songs. At the end of this book are 16 closely-packed pages of his discography. The book is of course for the converted, but there is enough here to convince even the cynics that with Daniel O’Connell, what you see is what you get – a clean-living, popular singer who is a genuine nice guy with few notions about himself. If the book sends you to You Tube to listen to his clear, mellifluous voice, it will have done you a favour.

“... the poster boy for

clean-living, Catholic wholesomeness...


Letters to My Daughters



Letters to My Daughters

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 Elena Favilli/Francesca Cavallo


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Elena Favilli/Francesca Cavall

Sinead Moriarty


5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food

Cathy Kelly


The Secret

Heather Morris



Jojo Moyes




Oh My God What a Complete Aisling Sarah Breen/Emer McLysaght


Lose Weight for Good


Force of Nature


Atlas of the Irish Revolution


The Woman in the Window


Amost Love


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman


Our Secrets and Lies


Brain Freeze

Tom Fletcher


The Year That Changed Everything


Baby Brother From Outer Space!

Pamela Butchart


The Tattooist of Auschwitz


The Bolds’ Great Adventure

Julian Clary


Still Me


The Woman in the Window

A. J. Finn


Rugby Roar:Spooks, Crooks and Lions Cubs on Tour Gerard Siggins


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine


What Happened That Night


Orange Blossom Days


The Heart’s Invisible Furies


The Couple Next Door


The Girl Before


Jane Harper

10 Thirteen

Steve Cavanagh


10 Brian McDermott’s Donegal Table


The Cow Book. Life on an Irish Family Farm

Sheila O’Flanagan


Karl Henry’s Healthy Living Handbook

Patricia Scanlan


Tony 10

John Boyne



Shari Lapena


Fire and Fury

J.P. Delaney


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

A Game of Ghosts

John Connolly


The Great Hunger

Patrick Kavanagh


My Book about Me by Mr Silly


Camino Island

John Grisham


Brief History of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes Steven Hawking


Marvel Avengers The Greatest Heroes


The Dry


Prisoners of Geography


Oi Goat!

10 Call Me By Your Name

Andre Aciman

10 Lost and Found

Jamie Oliver Rhonda Byrne Kate O’Brien Mary Berry Tom Kerridge Cork Press Brian McDermott


Gail Honeyman

Jane Harper

Jordan B. Peterson


Clare Balding


12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

A. J. Finn

Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog

Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories Michael Bond

Louise O’Neill


Louise O’Neill

2 3

10 Almost Love


John Connell


Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog

Karl Henry


Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories Michael Bond

Declan Lynch and Tony O’Reilly


Brain Freeze

Tara Westover


Baby Brother From Outer Space!

Michael Wolff


The Bolds’ Great Adventure

Yuval Noah Harari

Tim Marshall Dr Jules Montague

Clare Balding Tom Fletcher Pamela Butchar Julian Clary

6 Rugby Roar:Spooks, Crooks and Lions Cubs on Tour Gerard Siggins

10 Terry’s Dumb Dot Story:A Treehouse Tale

Egmont Books Alastair Dougall Kes Gray Andy Griffiths


April, 2018 I



Coleman back but new Ireland era yet to fire Damian Spellman

West Ham teenager Declan Rice was the sole bright spot as Ireland trudged to a onenil loss against Turkey.

SEAMUS Coleman has admitted his frustration at watching the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup dream slip away as he sat helplessly by. The 29-year-old Ireland captain returned to the international stage in last week’s 1-0 friendly defeat in Turkey a day short of a year since he last pulled on the green jersey in what was to prove a fateful qualifier against Wales. That night, Coleman’s leg was shattered in a challenge by Neil Taylor which ended his participation in a qualifying campaign which ultimately drew to a hear tbreaking conclusion against Denmark in the play-offs. Speaking after playing for more than an hour in Antalya, Coleman said: “That

was the hardest part of the whole injury, to not be able to play a part and help get the lads over the line. “If I was fit, you never know what could have happened, but it wasn’t to be. But that’s gone now and we started tonight to build for the next campaign. “It was brilliant, a brilliant feeling to get the shirt back on. “Obviously it was disappointing not to get a result, but I was delighted to get the shirt back on.” Martin O’Neill’s squad will reconvene in May for friendlies against France and the United States ahead of their inaugural UEFA Nations League campaign and then the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Coleman could be forgiven for wishing the time away before hostilities resume in earnest, but he insists there will be no

extra edge as the countdown approaches. “I don’t know, I have always been quite hungry and determined. Obviously, you don’t want to miss football, but my attitude has always been very good. I’m very committed to the Ireland jersey.” Coleman was one of only a handful of senior players to start against Turkey as O’Neill handed debuts to West Ham teenager Declan Rice and Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan and experimented with a 3-5-2 formation with mixed results. The Republic did not see enough of the ball to pose a sustained threat to their hosts – one notable first-half chance for Hogan apart – until late in the game, and were made to pay when Mehmet Topal volleyed the Turks to victor y seven

minutes after the break. “We’re disappointed with the goal we conceded, especially from a set-piece. Some of us, we could have been a bit more comfortable on the ball and we weren’t,” Coleman said. If there was a bright spot for Ireland, it was the performance of 19-year-old Rice, who shone in both defensive and midfield roles on the night. “He was fantastic,” Coleman said. “He’s a great lad first and foremost, all week in training, he really stood out and I was delighted to see him play so well.” Rice is also eligible to play for England but in a recent interview, he appeared to be focused only on Ireland. “I’m fully focused on playing for Ireland,” he asser ted. “There’s no decision to be made.”


Irish footy stars set to shine David Hennessy

ANOTHER Premiership season has kicked of f with 11 Irish players vying for game-time at their respective clubs. T wo Irish recr uits, Cian Hanley (Brisbane) and Ciaran Sheehan (Carlton), have been delisted since the last season’s conclusion but Geelong Cats have added an Irishman to their leadership group in Zach Tuohy who had a successful first season with the club last year. There is only one new addition to the ranks with Galway’s Cillian McDaid joining Carlton as a rookie. Tuohy, who goes into the season as Ireland’s most experienced player with 145 AFL games, has been added to a seven-man leadership team at Geelong that does not include Gary Ablett in his first season back at the club. Tuohy played in both international rules Tests in November contributing scores to the contest Ireland eventually lost. Pearce Hanley goes into his second season with Gold Coast Suns hoping to shake the injury problems that ruined his first year at the club he joined from Brisbane Lions. A shoulder injury will keep him out of the start of the season, perhaps up to six weeks. Last year was a tough one for Hanley as he returned home to spend time with terminally ill brother Tommy, who later died. On the pitch it was a frustrating for Hanley as he produced solid performances but injur y disr upted his rhythm. Hanley turned out for Ireland in the November international rules contest but a broken hand in the first test ended his series. Ciaran Byrne spent much of 2017 in rehab after tearing an ACL but has retur ned for Carlton with an encouraging pre-season. Byrne made an impressive debut in 2015 before becoming a regular in 2016. Unfortunately, he was ruled out of the rest of that year but the Blues showed faith in him by promoting him to the senior list and the 23-year-old signed a two-year contract extension last year. Byrne is joined by another Irishman at Carlton with Cillian

McDaid joining the fold. This comes after the exits of Tuohy in 2016 and the delisted Ciaran Sheehan last year. The 20-year-old arrives at Ikon Park on a two-year deal. His loss will be a blow to the Tribesmen as McDaid impressed in their Under- 21 All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin, scoring 1-1. He also featured in two senior championship matches. Conor McKenna, who sat out the international rules series through injur y, is looking to improve on a breakout season with Essendon that secured him a four-year deal that keeps him at the club until the end of 2021. McKenna has 10 goals in 33 games with Essendon and played 19 senior games in the last campaign. The Tyrone man could have left The Bombers with interest coming from several other AFL clubs, including Brisbane Lions who offered a lucrative contract. McKenna earned attention for using some GAA skills in a JLT Series game against Richmond, soloing the ball twice to evade opponents. Also at Geelong with the long established Tuohy is the speedy Mark O’Connor who has been a revelation, being upgraded to the senior list for this season as a replacement for the injured Quinton Narkle. The Kerr yman made two appearances last year after making this debut against Essendon. The 2015 All-Ireland minor winning captain has impressed for the Cats during their 2018 pre-season games and will be hoping to add to his two senior appearances. Conor Glass impressed when he came into Hawthorn’s side for the last six games last season, not putting a foot wrong causing many to remark he could make a real mark in the AFL. Speedy and strong, he should feature much for Hawthorn this year because of his ability to break the lines and his remarkable foot skills. The Hawks’ other Irishman, Meathman Conor Nash, had his 2017 season hampered by hamstring trouble before he returned for the second half of the season, playing ten games for Box Hill, the club’s VFL-


Part-time AFL role for Marty Clarke

BRIGHTER FUTURE: Pearce Hanley goes into his second season with Gold Coast Suns hoping to shake the injury problems that ruined his first year at the club.

af filiate, where he averaged eight disposals, three marks and two tackles. If he stays clear of injury, he could also make that breakthrough in 2018. Tadhg Kennelly, now a coach at Sydney Swans, will be hoping Tipperar y’s Colin O’Riordan make his senior breakthrough in 2018. O’Riordan has been upgraded to senior playing status from a rookie last November after he signed a new two-year contract which will keep him at

the club until end of the 2019 campaign. O’Riordan joined the Sydney Swans as a teenager in 2015 but was sidelined for the start of 2017 after he suffered a punctured lung and broken bone in his back in a reserve game. He played in last year’s NEAFL final Sydney Swans lost to Brisbane Lions, scoring a gutsy goal that failed to turn things around. Embarking on their second

season with St Kilda, Kilkenny’s Darragh Joyce and Westmeath’s Ray Connellan look for their senior debuts. The pair played the majority of their football with Sandringham Zebras last year. Joyce’s assets include athleticism and str ength while Connellan possesses explosive pace that saw him almost getting a chance last year when Saints missed that pace in the forward half.

FORMER DOWN footballer Marty Clarke has been recruited in a part-time role by the AFL to mentor young Gaelic footballers who have been identified as Aussie Rules prospects. The announcement of the new role comes as the AFL have also announced plans to prioritise Ireland in their search for international talent with their draft combine in the USA put on hold for 2018. Instead of heading to the States, the AFL plans to increase the focus on Ireland with more scouting and development programmes. Clarke has been involved in recent Irish Combines in Dublin, including last December’s event at UCD. Following on from that he travelled with four young Gaelic footballers – Dublin duo Peadar Ó Cofaigh-Byrne (Cuala) and James Madden (Ballyboden St-Enda’s), Derry’s Anton Tohill (Swatragh) and Cork’s Mark Keane (Mitchelstown) – to Florida in January for the AFL Academy camp. “The position will be an expansion of my role here of developing players who have been identified as potential AFL players,” Clarke told the official AFL website. “It will be up to me to meet the boys, maintain a relationship with them, conduct a couple of training sessions and watch game footage with them.” Clarke, who played 73 games for Collingwood during his two spells with the club from 2007-09 and 2012-14, was part of the Down side that contested the 2010 All-Ireland senior final and won an All-Star.

26 sports :: rugby

April, 2018 I



Thomond thunder too loud for Toulon Simon Lovell ANDREW Conway took on the mantle of matchwinner for Munster as his stunning 74th-minute try saw them pip Toulon 20-19 in a titanic European Champions Cup quarter-final at Thomond Park. Winger Conway’s decisive score from a kick return, which saw him beat four defenders from near halfway, sent the Irish province through to a record 13th European semi-final. Replacement Francois Trinh-Duc almost inspired a famous Limerick victory for Toulon, kicking two penalties and having a key involvement in Chris Ashton’s converted try as the three-time champions began the final quarter with 13 points in little over seven minutes. However, Munster – who led 10-6 at half-time thanks to an opportunist Conor Murray try near the half hour mark – used all of their cup nous to pull off a gritty comeback triumph thanks to Conway’s dazzling effort and Ian Keatley’s all-important conversion. Toulon’s threat was obvious right from the first minute, fortune favouring Munster as Simon Zebo did just enough to prevent Ashton from scoring off Eric Escande’s dangerous kick. Not for the first time, the hosts rode their luck in avoiding a possible penalty try. Peter O’Mahony’s lineout steal, coupled with Conway’s vital tackle on Josua Tuisova on the opposite wing,

Munster20 Toulon19 kept the visitors scoreless until Anthony Belleau, a late inclusion at fly-half for Trinh-Duc, fired over a well-struck 10thminute penalty. Raphael Lakafia’s hoovering up of Billy Holland’s lineout steal allowed the beefy Toulon pack to get within range for Belleau to score an 18th-minute drop goal for a 6-0 lead. The injury-enforced withdrawal of Zebo robbed Munster of one of their key attackers but a couple of frenzied kick chases, allied to a strong carry from Jack O’Donoghue, led to Murray’s momentum-changing 27th-minute score. Toulon thought they had covered the danger, only for France captain Guilhem Guirado to knock on at a ruck close to his own line and Murray pounced to ground the ball. A prolonged deliberation between referee Nigel Owens and TMO Jonathan Mason went Munster’s way, and Keatley converted and then tagged on a 31stminute penalty. Murray was short and wide with a penalty attempt just inside the Toulon half, before the French powerhouses got no reward again from a Dave Attwood break and a threatening late attack that saw Sam Arnold bump Ma’a Nonu into touch. Defences were on top in the early stages of the second period, Munster

Munster’s Andrew Conway celebrates his winning try during the Champions Cup quarter final against Toulon at Thomond Park. Picture: Niall Carson getting on the front foot with O’Mahony continuing to cause problems for the Toulon lineout. The excellent Arnold hauled down Tuisova as he threatened from deep, while the consistently wellpositioned Ashton covered Sweetnam’s chip-and-chase effort. Munster’s front row reserves came up trumps in winning a scrum penalty which Keatley turned into three points, but Toulon’s own bench proved hugely influential entering the final quarter. Radradra just lost control of the ball

as he stretched for the line, under pressure from Alex Wootton, before TrinhDuc punished Jean Kleyn’s side entry at a maul to cut the gap to 13-9. It got even better for the travelling support when Trinh-Duc’s offload near halfway was adjudged to be flat, releasing Bastareaud who charged through and put Ashton diving in under the posts. Suddenly, Toulon had a grip on proceedings as Trinh-Duc’s pinpoint 48-metre penalty, won by Tuisova, gave them a 19-13 advantage.

It was all hands to the pump for Johann van Graan’s injury-hit side, replacement Niall Scannell being held up by Bastareaud before Munster’s decision to go wide was foiled by the Toulon rearguard. Conway came to Munster’s rescue, brilliantly keeping a Trinh-Duc clearance in play and, with Tuisova having run infield, the Ireland international expertly slalomed his way through the cover to cross close to the posts. Keatley added the extras and Munster’s defence did the rest.


Leinster oust champs in fine style Duncan Bech

OH, WHAT A FEELING: Leinster’s James Lowe celebrates with team-mates after scoring a try during the quarter final of the European Champions Cup match at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Lorraine O’Sullivan

LEINSTER added another chapter to Irish rugby’s purple patch by ousting defending Champions Cup champions Saracens with a high-quality performance at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Leinster head coach Leo Cullen insisted the Irish province – and particularly their rampaging openside Leavy – benefited from what he felt was a deliberate tactic by Saracens to target Johnny Sexton. “There was definitely space on some of the short sides. Saracens defended very hard on Johnny [Sexton], particularly in the first half,” Cullen said. “They were playing him ... which is the best way to describe it. They were going aggressively at him, so there was going to be space for somebody else.” Leinster extinguished English interest in the Champions Cup and will now face the Scarlets in the semi-finals at the same ground – most likely on Saturday, April 21. Ireland openside Dan Leavy was outstanding to pick up where he left off in the Grand Slam-clinching win at Twickenham a fortnight ago, crowning his performance with a terrific 47thminute try that ultimately swept the match beyond Saracens’ reach. Garr y Ringrose and James Lowe also touched down to confir m Leinster’s dominance and it was a fully deserved victory for the team whose senior coach is former England head coach Lancaster. Leinster played the better attacking rugby from start to finish. Saracens’ doggedness ensured they were never put to the sword and trailing 13-12 at half time they had hope of continuing their quest for a record-equalling third successive European crown deeper

Leinster30 Saracens19

into the knock-out phase. A try for Blair Cowan in the 64th minute revived Saracens spirits after Leinster built a commanding lead, but the wall of blue shirts refused to crack again even though it was the visitors from across the Irish Sea who were ascendant throughout the final quarter. Mako Vunipola, who saw his brother Billy ruled out by a broken arm, was magnificent but he was swimming against the tide as the only Aviva Premiership club in the quarter-finals bowed out. Saracens had only themselves to blame when their line cracked as early as the fourth minute, Liam Williams and Jackson Wray falling off Lowe before Isa Nacewa tore down the left touchline and fed Ringrose the scoring pass. Despite the early setback, the defending champions dominated possession with Vunipola shouldering the bulk of the carrying workload, but they struggled to make any decisive headway against a resolute home defence. Three penalties from Owen Farrell, who passed a fitness test on a thigh injury to start at fly-half, left Saracens trailing 10-9 at the half-hour mark as a scrappy match weaved an uncertain path. The tension mounted as Johnny Sexton rifled over three points only to then interfere with the ensuing restart by kicking the ball away, enabling Marcelo Bosch to hit the mark from the halfway line. Alex Goode’s elusive running was causing problems from full-back and one run swept Saracens deep into opposition territory only for Leinster to defend a close-range line-out.

The Irish province raced out of the blocks in the second half and in eight minutes they had amassed 10 points underpinned by a brilliantly worked try for Leavy, who combined with James Ryan close to the ruck to open up a hole that he galloped through. Leinster’s onslaught continued with Sexton attacking down the left wing before the wall eventually found Lowe, who was carried over the line by his team-mates. A line-out drive produced Saracens’ first try of the afternoon with Cowan touching down, but despite the fallen champions’ best efforts they could make no further inroads.

Dan Leavy’s try proved decisive in Leinster’s inspiring win over Saracens in Dublin.


April, 2018 I



‘Insane’ Sexton hailed as Ireland’s hero Nick Purewal

JOHNNY Sexton’s “insanity” to play through any level of pain propelled Ireland to just their third Grand Slam in history, according to Joe Schmidt. Talisman fly-half Sexton’s overtime drop-goal capped a stunning 41-phase move that rescued Ireland a 15-13 victory over France in Paris on the NatWest 6 Nations’ opening weekend. Sexton then suffered a gluteal muscle injury in Ireland’s 37-27 win over Wales in round two, and struggled to kick cleanly at goal and perform unimpeded for the remainder of the tournament. The 32-year-old gritted his teeth and carried on regardless, however, staying the course long enough to drive Ireland to their clean sweep with Saturday’s 24-15 victory over England. Sexton passed a head injury assessment (HIA) in Ireland’s triumph despite copping a bloody nose, leaving Schmidt to hail his midfield general once again. “Johnny attracts a fair bit of attention, and he’s perfectly happy with that. Some of the attention he brings on himself, trying to smash people back when he’s standing on the tryline, making sure they don’t get over it. That’s how he bloodied his nose in the first place,” Schmidt said. “Then he was fine, he was totally coherent, but he was starting to fatigue, for sure, just because of the workload, his confrontational tackle ability, his commitment and general insanity. “He’s such a fantastic contributor to the group. And his intellect, he runs such a sharp game. His high kick was pinpoint at the very edge of Rob Kear-

Ireland’s skipper Rory Best lifts the Six Nations Trophy at Twickenham. Ireland have now won three Six Nations titles in five years. Picture: Gareth Fuller ney’s reach to lead to the first try, and he’s just such a good decision-maker.” Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale all crossed for tries as Schmidt’s side dug deep at Twickenham to extend their Irish record winning streak to 12 matches. Ireland became just the second team in history to complete a Grand Slam at Twickenham, emulating the feat last achieved by France in 1981. Stockdale set a Six Nations-era record with a seventh try in a single championship as Ireland toasted a St Patrick’s Day with a difference. Their second try came courtesy of a set play where tighthead prop Tadhg

Furlong popped up in the centres to send Bundee Aki hurtling through the line. Munster back-rower Stander capped the move by driving against the base of the post to register the try, leaving Schmidt confirming the move as a play specially designed to carve England open. “We played the identical move against England three years ago in Dublin, and Robbie Henshaw went through and fell over,” said Schmidt, referring back to Ireland’s 19-9 Six Nations win over England in 2015. “They are the only two times we’ve played it. The way they come up defensively we thought it would work again.”


Sexton ‘keen’ for Oz THE next challenge facing Ireland’s Grand Slam heroes will be in Australia as they take on the Wallabies in a mouth-watering three-Test series. Joe Schmidt’s team have soared to number two in the world rankings, after clocking up 12 consecutive victories. They have not tasted defeat in more than a year. With one eye on next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, there is increasing pressure on the team’s biggest stars to sit out the Australian tour. Gordon D’Arcy, the former Ireland and Lions centre, claimed Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray could do with a rest, but the Leinster outhalf has declared his desire to travel. “We’re well looked after so the amount of minutes they want you to play in a season is calculated,” Sexton said. “Our whole game minutes are planned so we can go to Australia, so we can play for Ireland in the summer tours and we’re still fit and ready to do it. I would like to go, yeah.” “Leading into a World Cup it is important to tick boxes along the way and beating Australia away from home would definitely be one of those so I would be mad keen on going.”

COUNT ME IN: Johnny Sexton says he is mad keen to come to Australia in June as part of the Irish tour.

Ireland’s record in Australia is poor and they will have to reverse a losing trend to continue their unbeaten run. The Wallabies have hosted Ireland 10 times since 1987, winning all 10 Tests. To find the last Irish victory on Australian soil, you need to go back to

1979 when Ollie Campbell kicked Ireland to victory in a tryless encounter at the Sydney Cricket Ground. That win, and a 27-12 victory a week earlier in Brisbane, gave the tourists a clean sweep on that tour. Can Irish head coach Joe Schmidt conjure a rare win on Australian soil? Ireland famously fell one-point short against the Wallabies in the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Melbourne but that’s as close as the Irish have come to a win here over the past 30 years. The Irish have, however, won three out of four of the most recent clashes including a famous win over the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011. Australia has str uggled against northern hemisphere opposition in recent years, losing all three Tests against England in 2016 and going down to Scotland last year. Irish rugby fans in Australia will now be hoping that Joe Schmidt’s team arrive with all their Grand Slam stars. Ireland will kick off their historic tour of Australia in Brisbane on June 9, followed by a second Test in Melbourne on June 16 and a third at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on June 23.

Meanwhile, Rory Best has declared captaining Ireland to just their third-ever Grand Slam as a dream come true. Best and Rob Kearney now stand alone as Ireland’s only double Grand Slam winners in history, and the 35-year-old admitted he could never have imagined skippering such a triumph. Asked to compare his two Grand Slam successes, Best replied: “This feels more special. “Every kid grows up dreaming of playing for Ireland, but to win something while captaining in that special green jersey is the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s the biggest highlight of my career.”

Meanwhile, Warren Gatland has acknowledged that Ireland is the best northern hemisphere team. “The thing with Ireland is that they’ve got a very structured approach to the way that they play,” former Ireland boss Gatland said. “They are tough to get the ball off, they will play two or three short passes off (number) nine one way, come back to the short side, and if they get a dent in the line they might play off the backs. They are a tough team to get the ball off, and it’s hard to break down at the moment,” he added. “They have done exceptionally well and congratulations to Joe and the team for winning the Grand Slam.”


Winger breaks try record IRELAND wing Jacob Stockdale has reflected on “a truly memorable few weeks” after being named NatWest 6 Nations player of the championship. The 21-year-old Ulster player scored a Six Nations record seven tries as Ireland secured their first Grand Slam since 2009. Tournament organisers announced that Stockdale took 32 per cent of the public vote, well clear of his team-mate Conor Murray in second, while fellow Ireland players Johnny Sexton and Keith Earls finished third and fourth, respectively. “It has been a truly memorable few weeks, making my first NatWest 6 Nations appearance, winning the championship and then going on to complete the Grand Slam against England,” Stockdale said, in a statement released by the Six Nations. “Breaking the tr y-scoring record was the cherry on top! “It’s an absolute honour to win the NatWest player of the championship, especially when you look at the amazing calibre of those short-listed.” The previous record of six tries in one Six Nations campaign was jointly held by Shane Williams, Chris Ashton and Will Greenwood. More than 78,000 votes were cast on a six-player shortlist, with Italy full-back Matteo Minozzi

Jacob Stockdale broke the Six Nations record with seven tries in Ireland’s five matches.

taking fifth and France captain Guilhem Guirado sixth. Stockdale, who only made his Test debut last summer, claimed try doubles in Ireland’s victories over Italy, Wales and Scotland, then added another touchdown during the Grand Slam-clinching triumph against England at Twickenham. Stockdale joins previous Irish winners Brian O’Driscoll, who won it a record three times, Paul O’Connell, Tommy Bowe and Gordon D’Arcy. Prior to Stockdale, the award was won for two years in succession by Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg.


April, 2018 I



“This ensemble is world-class” – DE GELDERLANDER, NETHERLANDS

Friday 6 April – 8pm Horsham Town Hall Saturday 7 April – 8pm Bunjil Place, Narre Warren Sunday 8 April – 3pm The Capital, Bendigo Tuesday 10 April – 8pm The Wedge, Sale Wednesday 11 April – 7.30pm Melbourne Recital Centre

Friday 13 April – 8pm Anitas Theatre, Thirroul Saturday 14 April – 8pm Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre Sunday 15 April – 12pm The Loch, Berrima Tuesday 17 April – 7.30pm Wednesday 18 April – 7.30pm The Q — Queanbeyan


Friday 20 April – 7.30pm Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre Saturday 21 April – 7.30pm Theatre Royal, Hobart Sunday 22 April – 4pm Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon Tuesday 24 April – 7.30pm Frankston Arts Centre DUETPRESENTS

Irish Echo April 2018  

Irish Echo - Australia's Irish Newspaper Digital Edition Vol 31, No4 - Apr 2018

Irish Echo April 2018  

Irish Echo - Australia's Irish Newspaper Digital Edition Vol 31, No4 - Apr 2018