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Inside File O’Leary’s GOP pals

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

When it comes to politics, Stella O’Leary of the Irish American Democrats doesn’t have too much time for Republicans. But some are better than others and you don’t always mix the political with the personal. O’Leary told "IF" that Republicans were indeed welcome to attend her group’s recent gathering in Washington, D.C., during which leading Dems talked up Ireland. Frank Duggan of the Irish American Republicans was present and welcome, as was Peter king, not present but equally welcome.

But O’Leary was not so welcoming to the shock troops of Irish for Bush-Cheney 2000, who let loose at the gathering a release calling the IAD event "a major political embarrassment." Suffice it to say, members of the Irish for Bush brigade will not be getting Christmas cards from O’Leary this year. The Bush-Cheney group took particular issue with the IAD event being called a "forum" when it only included speakers from one party. They also lashed out at Al Gore, for "falsely painting" the Irish peace process as an entirely Democratic affair while ignoring the work of GOP legislators in Congress. At the same time, they took a dig at the lackluster Democratic platform statement on Ireland, which, of course, took virtually no credit at all.

Steely Stella was not impressed. But she was intrigued by one thing. She could account for all the donations at the door given in the form of checks. But she could not put faces on who forked over about $100 in cash. Could this be Republican money used to infiltrate the forum without leaving a trail? It might well be, particularly if it came in $5 bills or a combination of fives and a 50. Both denominations feature Republican presidents, Lincoln and Grant. Either way, the cash goes into a Dem coffer. O’Leary gets the last laugh.

The Sun sets ­ again

And speaking of Stella. The powers-that-be at the Sun newspaper in London are in fine form these days. Take this from a recent edition of the soaraway daily: "Former MI5 chief Stella Rimington is set to tone down her memoirs after the Sun revealed how the book could threaten national security.

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"Dame Stella, 64, has been locked in negotiations with security chiefs since we handed over a leaked copy to Downing Street … "

Eh, play it again, Sam. We handed over a leaked copy to Downing Street? A newspaper actor not just a censor but handing over a whopping exclusive to a government?

Bejaysus, yer man Deep Throat was lucky that Woodward and Bernstein weren’t working for the Wapping Sun or an organ of its ilk. Had that been the case, the luckless tipster might have been dragged naked into the Oval Office and dumped atop Richard Nixon’s desk by the dynamic hacks of Watergate fame. Even "Gotcha" was better than this.

Meanwhile, the Sun reported that Dame Stella has agreed to ditch some sensitive revelations contained in her book. Some of these juicy bits apparently concerned the Provos. That won’t do sales in South Armagh much good.

King’s deliverance

Rep. Pete King got quite a scare last week when a combination of flu-like symptoms and medication made him feel, well, a little out of touch with the world. He checked into Nassau County Medical Center and such was his poorly state that he was immediately admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. King was thus in good hands, medically speaking. The problem was, he thought he was heading fast for God’s hands.

"I was completely out of it," King said. "I was stretched out on the bed when a priest walked into the room."

Apparently the priest, who was Irish American, was just doing his normal rounds but he had recognized King and wanted to say hello.

King next remembers hearing the word "peace" uttered by the priest, who had put his hand on the congressman’s forehead. It was a blessin,g but King thought it was a little more serious.

"I thought he was saying rest in peace. I thought, oh, this is it. Bad timing all around."

Bad timing indeed when you’re running for reelection to Congress. But all was well enough for King. The priest had in fact invoked God’s blessing on King as a result of all the work he had done to bring "peace" to Ireland.

King was out of hospital after a couple of days and is back on the campaign trail. One thing he did miss with all the running around and his health scare was the vote in the House of Representatives calling for full implementation of the Patten recommendations for the RUC.

"It was all a British plot to keep me from voting," was the once more alert King’s verdict.

Partition?

"IF" hears that the Northern Ireland Bureau, presently operating out of the British Embassy in Washington, is looking for its own digs. Word has it that the NIB team is looking at a place close to Dupont Circle. That would mean placing the Irish Embassy between themselves and her majesty’s many remaining servants in the British Embassy farther along Massachusetts Avenue. Either the Republic’s diplomatic team at Sheridan Circle is being surrounded in a pincer movement or there is a whiff of Northern independence about this separation of bureau and state.

They said

"I was mildly unpopular in Great Britain for a day or two. And there are all kinds of crazy theories about it. And finally, I told the British prime minister, who I actually like very much — Mr. Major, who was Mr. Blair’s predecessor — I said, you know, this is going to be good for you because you just can’t have this thing going on forever." President Clinton about giving Gerry Adams a visa during a recent fund-raiser for Rep. Richard Neal.

€ "We’re not entirely there yet. They’re having a few minor arguments about the details of the Patten report." Clinton at the same fund-raiser.

€ Our alternative to the Stormont agreement is quite simply to restate our total commitment to our fundamental republican principles and beliefs and affirm our view that so-called republican participation in the current political process in the North will inevitably lead to a massive corrosion of the remnants of the republican beliefs of the Provisionals. We may be accused of being zealots. We never can be accused of political opportunism or treachery." Marion Price speaking to the recent 32 County Sovereignty Movement AGM.

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