A Months Mind Mass will be held in memory of murdered Lurgan attorney Rosemary Nelson on Thursday, April 15, at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Mulberry Street (corner of Mott) in Manhattan. The Mass is at 6 p.m. and will be followed by an ecumenical gathering at the Youth Center, 268 Mulberry. The Mass coincides with others set for Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix and several other U.S. cities. Masses will also take place in Lurgan, where Nelson was killed by a loyalist bomb, Dublin, Derry, London, Capetown and Melbourne. For details, call (212) 571-7100.
California MacBride advance
California may be the next state to adopt the MacBride Principles on fair employment in Northern Ireland.
A MacBride bill, introduced by longtime MacBride supporter State Senator John Burton, was passed recently by the legislature’s public employment and retirement committee. The vote was 3-0.
The bill will now go to the floor of the full senate for a vote.
Despite previous disappointments in California, MacBride advocate Fr. Seán McManus, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Irish National Caucus, is now optimistic that the Principles will soon become law in the Golden State.
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"It is my hope that this time we will succeed," McManus said. "Past governors of California vetoed the MacBride bill, but the new governor, Gray Davis, is expected to sign MacBride."
Passage of MacBride in California would be significant. It would require the state’s retirement systems, which have huge amounts of money invested in companies that do business in Northern Ireland, to annually investigate if these companies are in compliance with the MacBride Principles.
"The California constitution allows the legislature to stop such investments if it so decides," McManus said.
Ross extradition expected
The Cork-born former financier Finbarr Ross is due to be extradited this month from an Oklahoma jail cell to Northern Ireland, where he will faces fraud charges related to an alleged multi-million-dollar bank swindle.
The 53-year-old former executive of International Investment Limited has exhausted his appeals.
Attorneys for Ross had argued that the five-year statute of limitations for such an offense had expired. They also said the move to extradite Ross was politically motivated, and that as a Catholic, Ross would not receive a fair hearing in Northern Ireland.
No visa for Sands
Bernadette Sands McKevitt, vice-chair of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, has been denied entry to the U.S. for the second time in recent months. Sands McKevitt was hoping to attend a debate on the Good Friday accord sponsored by the Brooklyn Law School Irish Society.
"The State Department is clearly reverting to the failed policy of censorship by visa denial which Irish Americans hoped had been ended," attorney Martin Galvin said.