DEMO HITS AHERN TRIP TO GROTTO; Protest as Irish PM goes on pilgrimage to Carfin.
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PROTESTORS disrupted the long-awaited visit by Irish Premier Bertie Ahern to Carfin Grotto Carfin Grotto, a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes was the idea of Father, later Canon, Thomas N. Taylor (d. 1963), parish priest of St. Francis Xavier's Parish in Carfin, two miles east of Motherwell, in the West of Scotland. last night.
The Taoiseach was visiting the Lanarkshire religious shrine to unveil a monument to the victims of Ireland's potato famine Potato Famine
estimated 200,000 Irish died (1846). [Irish Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 705]
See : Hunger in the 19th century.
But noisy Republican sympathisers ruined the visit by wielding banners and shouting demands to free the so-called Catlerea Five.
They are the men who are being held in a Dublin prison despite qualifying for release under the terms of the Good Friday Good Friday, anniversary of Jesus' death on the cross. According to the Gospels, Jesus was put to death on the Friday before Easter Day. Since the early church Good Friday has been observed by fasting and penance. Agreement.
A heavy police presence was in place as last night's ceremony got under way, with the demonstrators yelling in the background: "Free all political prisoners."
Protest organiser Jim Slaven said: "We only want to see Mr Ahern meet his obligations."
The Taoiseach had originally planned to unveil the monument in February.
But his expected visit to Scotland was called off amid a blaze of political fury after Labour's Motherwell and Wishaw Motherwell and Wishaw (wĭsh`ô), town (1991 pop. 30,616), North Lanarkshire, S central Scotland. The two parts of the town were united in 1920. MP Frank Roy Frank Roy (born on August 29, 1958 in Motherwell, Scotland) is a politician in the United Kingdom. He is the Labour member of Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw, and was first elected in 1997. He is currently a Government Whip and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury. intervened.
Roy claimed Celtic fan Ahern's attendance at a crunch Old Firm match the same weekend would spark violence and mar the Carfin ceremony.
The MP later quit as Scots Secretary Helen Liddell's aide after it emerged he had been in the Ancient Order of Hibernians The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) is an Irish-Catholic fraternal organization. Members must be Catholic and either Irish born or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States, where it was founded in New York in 1836. - the Catholic equivalent of the Orange Order.
Ignoring the on-going protest yesterday, Ahern used he speech to pay tribute to the late Cardinal Winning, whose grandfather came from County Donegal.
The Taoiseach said he was an "outstanding example" of the links, qualities and values that Irish people had brought to Scotland, adding: "It was with shock and sadness that I heard of his death on Sunday.
"He was a churchman of international statute and a strong voice for social justice .
"I deeply mourn his passing and I take this opportunity to express my sympathy to the Scottish nation on their great loss."
Protest was never far from Ahern's visit though.
Earlier in the day, veteran Nationalist MSP (1) (Management Service Provider or Managed Service Provider) An organization that manages a customer's computer systems and networks which are either located on the customer's premises or at a third-party datacenter. Winnie Ewing demanded to know why the Union Flag was hoisted next to the Saltire and Tricolour for his visit to the Scottish Parliament.
She claimed its presence was an insult to him as it "represents repression to the people of Ireland".
But Parliament chief executive Paul Grice said it was policy to fly both flags and denied the Irish delegation had taken offence.