The front company used by the dictator, SRC Composites, was nailed during the build-up to the 1991 Gulf War, after which it emerged that the UK was hosting a whole series of Iraqi front companies that were involved in procurement of military hardware.
As much as $2.5 million was to be paid to the company before then Northern Ireland Minister Richard Needham withheld the money.
The factory was located at the former Lear Fan aircraft plant at Mallusk, Co. Antrim. Two Iraqis were involved in the failed deal as well as a Canadian called Michael Bull.
WEXFORD: WAR NO MORE
Eoin Dubsky, a 22-year-old student from Gorey, Co. Wexford, was recently charged at Gort District Court for causing criminal damage to a U.S. Hercules military airplane.
Dubsky, an anti-war protestor, said that he would launch a countersuit against the government, calling its participation in the War against Terror “unconstitutional.”
“I had terrible trouble with the fluorescent red spray-paint. Most of it came out it blobs,” Dubsky told the Gorey Echo newspaper. “Still I did get to write ‘No War’ and draw two large peace symbols on the U.S. Air Force ‘Hercules’ KC-130, which is a mid-air refueling plane which can be used though for troop/cargo transport or dropping daisy-cutter bombs even. Some people are really very committed in the United States, United Kingdom and in Ireland to go out and kill many people to protect their interest in oil.”
FERMANAGH: NEVER FORGOTTEN
Canadian victims of a World War II airplane crash were commemorated in Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh recently, after local historians Breege McCusker and Joe O’Loughlin researched the crash and found that the Canadian victims were buried without a gravestone. The youngest, flying officer Fred Dawson, was 19. He left behind his pregnant wife.
Donegal singer Marion Fitzgerald sang the Canada’s national anthem, “O Canada.” After a ceremony at the gravesite in Fermanagh, the group traveled to the crash site over the border in Donegal, where an Irish Army guard of honor and flags representing Ireland, Canada, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force stood.
DOWN: LASH OF THE ASH
The Irish pop group Ash is at the center of a row after the lead singer belittled the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in his native Downpatrick.
Tim Wheeler, interviewed in Hot Press magazine, said that the parade in Downpatrick was “rubbish.”
Instead, he said, the New York City St Patrick’s Day parade was much better.
“One of the best things I ever saw was in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York,” he said. “We come from Downpatrick where Saint Patrick is buried, but we have the most rubbish little parade ever.”
Responded Sharon O’Connor, who helps organize the annual parade in Downpatrick, “The remark is very hurtful to the people of the town itself, and to Ash’s legion of loyal fans here.”
Other local councilors attacked the group, but one slyly suggested that Wheeler and company could use their tremendous talents to make the annual Downpatrick parade “even better.”
WATERFORD: CASHING IN
In Dunmore, Co. Waterford, locals are excited that Ulster Bank has opened the town’s first ATM. Now they will no longer have to travel to Tramore or Waterford City.
Tourists and local residents have used the machine extensively since it was put in place. John Fitzgerald said the cash-dispensing machine was an “absolute necessity” for Dunmore East.
LONGFORD: QUALITY QUAFF
Legendary Longford Pub P.V. Fallon’s has won the 2002 Black & White Pub of the Year for County Longford and hopes to win the national championship in October.
P.V.’s was selected as the best pub in the county from a large number of entries received for what is the 26th year of the Black and White Pub of the Year Awards.
The award was presented to P.V.’s on the basis of the high standards of hygiene, staff efficiency and friendliness, inviting appearance and a well-served range of drinks — vital criteria to any award-winning establishment, the organizers noted.
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CAVAN: 9/11 REMEMBERED
Cavan firefighters who had visited Ground Zero in New York last year held a Sept. 11 memorial service.
Mass was celebrated in the Fire Station by Fr. Fagan, administrator of the Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Felim, and was attended by firefighters from each of the brigades in the county as well as retired members of the service and senior management of Cavan County Council.
The New York Fire Department flag, which was presented to Cavan County Fire Service by Deputy Chief Edward J. Dennehy earlier in the year, was flown from the building alongside the national and county flags.
Cavan Town’s Fire Brigade, having organized the event, had to attend to a fire in Kilnaleck and missed the ceremonies at their own station. However, they observed the minute’s silence on the street, along with colleagues from Ballyjamesduff Fire Brigade, who were also at the incident.
Last year, firemen from the county collected money on the streets of all the towns in the country and six men representing Cavan County Fire Service presented a cheque for $35,545 to the president of the New York Uniformed Fire Officers Association.