The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

A Unionist newspaper published daily in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Articles cover current events, politics, and sports from around Northern Ireland and the UK.

Articles from April 12, 2002

Accused Doctor: It's All Nonsense
A GP has denied calling a receptionist a "bucket of s***" and throwing a chair at her. At the General Medical Council yesterday, Dr Ciaran Wasson, 47, said the case against him was "nonsense in its entirety". He has been accused of making a racist...
Agenda 2002: Explosive Start to the Blame Game
Byline: ROSS McKEE A BLAZING row erupted between Ulster contestants within ten minutes of them arriving for a 'Big Brother' version of ITV's Tonight programme. Four Protestants and four Catholics from the Province were whisked away to the Isle...
All-Ireland Autism Centre Gets Green Light
Byline: JOY ROLSTON THE first all-Ireland centre of excellence for the education of children and young people with autism is to be established in the south Armagh village of Middletown. The campus will be located at the former St Joseph's adolescent...
Ballymena Accepts Muslim Gift
BALLYMENA Borough Council has finally agreed to accept a gift from the town's Muslim community. DUP councillors had caused controversy when they cold-shouldered an Islamic brass replica which was presented at a committee meeting last month. Councillor...
Book That Shows a Problem Shared Is a Problem Halved; "The New Book Is Full of Stories of Groups and Individuals Who Have Been at the Share Centre, Down through the Years. It's about People, Whether They Are Staff, or Volunteers, Who Have Come Here and Built This Place Up, over the Past 21 Years"
Byline: ANNE PALME FERMANAGH'S Share Centre is a landmark known to families in every county of Northern Ireland. Over the years its name has become synonymous with fun and adventure, support and activities. When Belfast woman Margaret Cameron...
Bowls: McCloy Moves Up the World Rankings
Byline: INDOOR BOWLS By ALEX MILLS GARY McCloy has nudged his way into the top 21 in the latest World Bowls Tour ranking list. The Provincial Towns player's excellent display in this season's World Indoor Singles Championship at Potters Leisure...
Boxing: Harrison Looks to Tame Man Mountain
Byline: BOXING By BILL SMITH AUDLEY Harrison insists he has no regrets about the controversy over his choice of opponent for his fourth professional fight at Wembley next week. Harrison will now meet 7ft 2in Detroit club fighter Julius Long on...
Coming Soon: The Great Wall of Belfast: The Great Wall Hike; GEOFF HILL Encounters Tourist Board Chiefs, Hot Water Bottles, Wolf Dung, Lonely Goat Herders and Lost Norwegian Dog Sledders on His Second Day on the Wall
Byline: GEOFF HILL Dawn broke to reveal the rugged mountains stretching all the way to the horizon and a queue stretching all the way to breakfast. At the end of it was Roy Bailie, the chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, who had joined...
Cornerstone: Flag Flying Dispute
Byline: Billy Kennedy The Church of Ireland select vestry of Shankill parish in Lurgan town centre has decided to abandon the long-held tradition of flying the Union Flag there for 14 days in July, which took in the Twelfth. Instead, the national...
Crisis Looms Unless Stormont Voting System Changes - Ford
THE peace process could be plunged into crisis unless Stormont voting procedures are radically changed before the next Assembly elections, it was claimed yesterday. Alliance leader David Ford issued the warning ahead of his party's annual conference...
CYCLING: Jeffries Top of the Class; CYCLING
Byline: JIM GORE BELFAST'S Owen Jeffries, competing for Queen's University, was the overall winner in the men's event at this week's Inter-Varsity event in Galway. Louise Mariarty (TCD) took the women's overall. Jeffries won the road race ahead...
Film Has Juliet Having a Ball
Byline: EILEEN CONDON Actress Juliet Stevenson is one of Britain's most revered thespians so you can't quite imagine her playing a common-as-muck mum. But that's exactly what she does in her new movie, Bend It Like Beckham, and she gleefully...
Football: Derry Lose out in Penalty Shootout; Derry City 1 Limerick 0 (Aggreg 2-2, Limerick Won 3-2 on Penalties)
Byline: ARTHUR DUFFY LOWLY Limerick caused a sensation at the Brandywell last night when defeating Derry City in a penalty shoot-out to win this season's League Cup. The southern side failed to create a single goalscoring chance throughout the...
Football: England Boss Eriksson Awaits Beckham Boost
Byline: MARK BRADLEY SVEN-GORAN Eriksson was last night left to ''wait and hope" that David Beckham will recover in time for the World Cup as he prepared to give his injured captain every possible chance of sealing his place in the final squad....
Football: Jeffrey Calls Up Youngster
Byline: DENIS O'HARA YOUNGSTER Jonathan Harkness is in line for a second first team outing with Linfield in tomorrow's Premiership game against Crusaders at Windsor Park. Manager David Jeffrey gave the 16 year old from Belfast a chance at left...
Football: Larkin Back for Glenavon
LANKY centre back Conor Larkin is expected back from Maine Road in time to resume with Glenavon in tomorrow's Premiership game against Omagh Town at St Julian's Road. The 16 year old from Newry has been on a one-week trial with Manchester City,...
Football: Riches Gives Glens Boost for Big Game; Local Soccer
Byline: DENIS O'HARA GLENTORAN's new defender Nevin Riches expects to be passed fit and remain in the squad and be available for tomorrow's showdown with Portadown at the Oval. The 27 year old damaged a hamstring in the last team outing, a crucial...
Golf: Harrington Turns Up the Heat on Leader; All the Action from the US Masters Golf Championship
Byline: IVAN McMICHAEL IRELAND'S Padraig Harrington was in dreamland yesterday as he played the first 12 holes of the Masters at Augusta - the new, mean, nasty Augusta - in six under par and led by three. Harrington, playing in the tournament...
Golf: Hoey Makes Mark in US Masters; US MASTERS GOLF
Byline: IVAN McMICHAEL IN AUGUSTA MICHAEL Hoey's tap-in birdie putt on the final hole in the US Masters at Augusta yesterday put the seal on a magnificent back nine which left the young Belfastman in good shape to make today's half-way cut. The...
Governors Explain Closure Decision; Numbers Just Not There Says Archdeacon
Byline: IAN STARRETT ARCHDEACON Donald McLean, a member of the Templemore Board of Governors, admitted yesterday that he was one of the school board members who had recommended the closure, in 2003, of the last state-owned school on the mainly nationalist...
Hit-and-Run Girl, 3, Just Wants to Go Home; Trust Fund Started to Help Pay for Paralysed Child's Care
Byline: LESLEY WALSH AYEAR after a hit-and-run accident in Spain left a three- year-old girl paralysed and clinging for life, the brave little tot has told her parents she wants to go home to ''see the sea''. Little Phoebe Lyle from Bangor, who...
Hockey: 'Garvey Celebrate in Style
LISNAGARVEY'S Centenary Dinner took place last Saturday in the palatial surroundings of the Island Civic Centre. It was a wonderful evening, magnificently organised with a great camaraderie and fellowship among club members and guests in a convivial...
Hockey: Inst Face Final Battle
Byline: s by GLEN LOUGH ALL roads lead to Dublin tomorrow when Instonians will try to shake off this season's runner-up tag when they take on Leinster kingpins Pembroke in the final of the Irish Senior Cup at Belfield, 2.30pm. Inst, winners of...
If This Is a Victory I Would Hate to See a Defeat; St Clair McAlister Topical Views on Politics
Byline: St Clair McAlister Even ardent republicans must surely have been impressed by the organisation and splendour of the Queen Mother's funeral, in London earlier this week. At a time when there is much criticism of the Royal Family, the last...
KARTING: McCarte's the Main Man
Byline: JOHN BELSHAW TOMORROW sees packed kart racing grids at Nutts Corner Motorsports centre for the M Sport of Ballymoney sponsored second round of the Ulster Cup series. In the fastest non gearbox class for the 125cc Rotax Max machines, Ballymena's...
Law Won't Nail Mobile Firms to the Mast; Bans for Health Reasons Restricted to Narrow Range NEW Regulations Will Force the Mobile Phone Industry to Take More Notice of What People Say about the Siting of Masts but, as PAUL McKILLION Reports, Worries over Health Will Not Be Completely Addressed
Byline: PAUL McKILLION THE toughest planning control in the UK is on the verge of taking effect in Northern Ireland. Environment Minister Dermot Nesbitt announced yesterday that all applications for masts, no matter what their size, will need...
Looking Down on Life; at a Fraction over 6' 7", GEOFF HILL Is Ulster's Tallest Journalist. His Lofty View of Life Appears on Alternate Week Days
Byline: GEOFF HILL Sometimes adversity can make you think the world is a terrible place, but at other times it can make you realise that it is entirely fine and dandy. Take last Sunday, for example. We woke early and flung back the curtains of...
Lottery Bids to Sell Itself More; Need to Make Grant Claims Easier
Byline: ADRIENNE McGILL A GALAXY of com- munity projects and good causes toasted the National Lottery last night at an event in Belfast to celebrate their lottery windfalls. Around 4,000 projects across the Province covering charity, sport, arts,...
Man's Vital Heart Op Delayed Four Times; Family of 75-Year-Old Angry at Nine-Month Wait for Bed
Byline: NICOLA MATHERS FEARS are growing that time may be running out for a 75-year-old man whose triple heart bypass operation has been delayed four times in the past nine months. The plight of Newtownards pensioner Thomas Stitt is proving to...
Markets Nosedive as Telecoms Ring Off
THE FTSE 100 Index dived to its lowest close for six weeks yesterday as investors deserted the telecoms sector in droves. Mobile phone giant Vodafone plunged 7 per cent while rival mmO2 crumbled 11 per cent as fears about future earnings growth...
Mideast Deal Not 'Mission Impossible' Powell in Jerusalem to Broker Peace Talks
US peace seeker Colin Powell headed for Jerusalem last night denying he was on a Mission Impossible but Israel continued its deadly onslaught on the Palestinians and revealed it had taken more than 4,000 prisoners. Mr Powell, the US Secretary of...
Morning View: Belated but Genuine Move to Take Account of a Legacy of Trauma
VICTIMS of the Troubles in Northern Ireland have not, until recently, been treated by official agencies with the consideration that they deserve and it is only through public pressure from concerned groups that the needs of those most visibly affected...
MOTORCYCLING: Leader McCullough and Lyons Go Head to Head; by DERMOT JAMES
CHAMPIONSHIP leader Philip McCullough and Adam Lyons are due to renew their rivalry for the 125cc Ulster Motocross title tomorrow at Tandragee. This is the third round of the championship which has developed into a two horse race - McCullough on...
MOTORSPORT: Woodside Looks Good; by IAN LYNAS
KIRKISTOWN circuit hosts round two of the S W Adair Northern Ireland Sprint championship tomorrow and high speed action is promised as the battle for top honours continues. This sprint circuit is the fastest on the local championship calendar and...
Neighbours Save Woman from Blaze
THE daughter of an east Belfast woman said her mother was lucky to be alive yesterday after neighbours had to break into her home to save her from a fire. Eileen Peet from Tamery Pass in Willowfield was asleep in her living room when smoke coming...
N.I. Guide: Best TV Films; Must-See Movies on the Small Screen
Catch-22 (Saturday, April 13, BBC2, 11.35pm) Brilliant adaptation of Joseph Heller's acclaimed anti-war novel, directed by Mike Nichols, fresh from his success with The Graduate. The movie also reunited him with Buck Henry, who wrote the screenplays...
N.I. Guide: Film Roundup; Movies Still on General Release
Kate & Leopold (12, 118 mins) In this weak cocktail of science fiction hocus pocus and fish out of water comedy, hapless scientist Stuart Besser (Liev Schreiber) discovers a rip in the fabric of time and returns to late 19th century New York....
N.I. Guide: Football Flick Is Fun with a Kick
Bend it like BeckhamComedy, 12, 112 minsStarring: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan, Archie Panjabi, Juliet Stevenson, Frank HarperWith the World Cup looming large, there is another reason to celebrate...
N.I. Guide: Frankie Knows It's Good to Talk Interview
Byline: Jeff Magill Tonight kicks off a three-week run of Tom Murphy's acclaimed play Conversations On A Homecoming, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. The play brings together some of Ulster's finest actors, including Adrian Dunbar, Frankie McCafferty...
N.I. Guide: Hell Bent on Seeing Snazzy, Jazzy Kent; off the Wall
Byline: Ian Starrett Of the cavalcade of stars that organisers Derry City Council have lined up for Londonderry's first ever major Jazz and Big Band Festival one that is already causing a real, flurry of excitement is Stacey Kent. The young New...
N.I. Guide: Hot Break for Cold Feet Star; Whispers
Byline: Paul Martin James Nesbitt must be auditioning for a part in Warm Feet if my picture is anything to go by. I caught the Cold Feet star having a kip in the sunshine, as he took a break in Mauritius. The actor didn't appear to have a...
N.I. Guide: Meet the Real Angels of Harlem; Interview
Byline: Jeff Magill Sometimes, when you look at the things a person has achieved in their life, it is enough to put you to shame. Allen Bailey, founder member of The Harlem Gospel Choir, is one such person. But for a man who has worked in the...
N.I. Guide: Music Does, Indeed, Make the People Come Together; Etc Etc
Byline: Robin Greer There is just no getting away from the musicals this month; they are everywhere, whole and in parts. The Waterfront Hall will be offering a double dose of greatest hits compilations with The Magic of the Musicals on Thursday,...
N.I. Guide: Smoke Gets in Your Ears at Larry's; Different Strokes
Byline: Geoff Harden The splendid Tremolo Smoke Club is back in action this evening in Larry's Piano Bar on Bedford Street, Belfast. As usual, they feature a songwriter based selection of performers but this time, they also have Francie McPeake...
N.I. Guide: Yodellin' Slim Still in Fine Form; Keep It Country
Byline: Billy Kennedy Yodellin' legend Slim Whitman is to make a nostalgic appearance at Belfast's Waterfront Hall next October, as part of his farewell British singing tour. Slim, now 78 but reported to be still in fine vocal form, is one of...
Not All 'Victims' Are Equal, Says Former RUC Officer
Byline: KIM HEWITT A FORMER RUC officer who was shot in the back while on duty has given a cautious welcome to a new strategy for victims. Sam Malcolmson, from Banbridge, was shot while investigating a murder in Crossmaglen in 1972, and has suffered...
OLYMPICS: Baxter Appeals Medal Decision
Byline: MARK STANIFORTH ALAIN Baxter appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on yesterday against the decision to strip him of the slalom bronze medal he won at the Winter Olympics. Baxter and the British Ski and Snowboard Federation are...
'Police Harass Protestants' Nightly Protests over Alleged Heavy-Handedness amid Sectarian Strife
Byline: GEMMA MURRAY and LESLEY WALSH WHITE City residents say alleged police heavy- handedness is making their lives impossible. Since last weekend, people in the north Belfast area have been staging nightly protests in a bid to ''regain normal...
Pounds 3m Strategy for Victims Unveiled
Byline: GEMMA MURRAY A pounds 3 million strategy to help victims of the past 30 years of sectarian violence was launched yesterday by Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers. Named Reshape, Rebuild, Achieve - it plans to deliver practical...
Pounds 6.9m Investment Will Create 76 Jobs; Japanese Firm Expands Carrickergus Operation
Byline: HELEN McGURK A pounds 6.9 million investment by Ryobi Aluminium Casting in Carrickfergus will create 76 jobs over the next three years, it was announced yesterday. The Japanese-owned firm is expanding its die-casting and machining capacity...
Powers 3 Spears Britney for Cameo; Showbiz Gossip
BRITNEY SPEARS is to appear in a cameo role in spy spoof Austin Powers 3. The singer, who recently starred in the film Crossroads with KIM CATTRALL, told comedian Richard Blackwood on TV channel Sky One, that she will appear as herself playing the...
Review: Group Show Gives Artists a Chance to Comment; Strictly Personnel @ Engine Room Gallery
Byline: IAN HILL ARTISTS, as we've all learnt from Puccini's La Boheme, Hancock's film comedy, Carey's novel, must starve in a garret or roll in gold. But there's the cushioning of teaching or arts management. Reflecting this, Fully-formed, an...
Row over Rod's Pounds 100k Safety Net; MLAs Furious over Taxpayers' Underwriting of Concert
Byline: STEPHEN DEMPSTER ROD Stewart may have to change the words of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy to Do Ya Think I'm Worth It when he plays at Stormont in July, after a cash row erupted over the show. The prestigious gig in the grounds of Stormont became...
Sail Away at This Year's Gig; Play List
Byline: Jeff Magill & Gary Gilliland Happy days are here again. The excellent David Gray has finally announced that he will play a Belfast gig, at the Odyssey Arena, on November 11. Despite releasing numerous albums throughout the 1990s,...
Strategy Plan Is Revealed; YOUTH
YOUTH Sports Council chiefs have revealed a ten year strategy aimed at preventing an unhealthy society. The "sport for young people'' initiative was released by Review Group chairman Jim McKeever. The last report was in 1993, Mr Mckeever said:...
Survivor Opens Titanic Exhibition; 90-Year-Old Rescued from Titanic as a Baby Commemorates Sinking of Ship
Byline: MARTIN HALFPENNY BRITAIN'S sole survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, Millvina Dean, yesterday opened a revamped exhibition to mark the 90th anniversary of the disaster. Miss Dean, 90, was only nine weeks old when the ship hit an iceberg...
Trimble Slammed over Remarks on Decommissioning
A ROW erupted in the Ulster Unionist Party last night after David Trimble was accused of exacerbating internal divisions in the wake of the second act of IRA decommissioning. UUP president the Rev Martin Smyth, who challenged Mr Trimble for the...
Widow Tells of Robbery Ordeal; Intruder Told 78-Year-Old He Would Shoot Her Son
Byline: LESLEY WALSH A 78-year-old lifelong member of the Salvation Army who was attacked in her east Belfast home on Tuesday was yesterday recovering from her ordeal in the company of trusted friends at her church. Dorothy Wyatt was "absolutely...
Window Leap by Woman, 84; Thieves 'Targeting Elderly Victims'
Byline: NICOLA MATHERS A TERRIFIED 84-year-old woman was forced to jump from her bathroom window while two men ransacked her home. The callous north Belfast robbery was one of three attacks on elderly people in 48 hours. The sequence of robberies...