By LAURA FRIEL
DUP MLA Arlene Foster is to make a diplomatic protest to the Dublin Government because a judge in County Monaghan described the Maiden City as "Derry" and said it wasn't "Londonderry".
When the address of a defendant in a motoring case at Monaghan District Court was read out as "Londonderry", Judge Seán McBride is reported to have said that, as far as he was concerned, it was "just Derry with a capital D". He added that he did not want to see "Londonderry" appear on any summons or charge sheets again.
Foster fumed that the judge had "contempt for all things British".
"For a member of the Southern Judiciary to make such an ill-informed and completely inaccurate statement is astounding.
"This is indicative of the way in which authorities within the Republic of Ireland have contempt for anything British.
"I will be writing to the Irish Minister for Justice in relation to this matter."
Justice Minister 'Marshal' Michael McDowell's reply should be interesting.
Indo's dwindling numbers
Sunday Independent stories seldom add up and the report of Saturday's Rally for Irish Unity was no exception.
The Sindo's Caroline Crawford and Shane Hickey started in their front-page attack on the parade with a verbal assault by Marshal McDowell and a ridiculous under-estimation that "some 4,000 people watched" the pageant. But in between following the story onto page 2, Ms Crawford somehow lost a couple of thousand people.
In her piece curiously titled "SF gridlock chokes streets", the Sindo scribe reports that there was a "three thousand-strong crowd" before ending the article by saying the rally was "attended by hundreds".
Next week, the Sunday Indo will probably tell us that there were no republicans there at all really and they were actually people from down the country waiting to get into the Anne Summers shop.
Marshal McDowell's description of Saturday's Rally for Irish Unity as "political necrophilia" has had even frequent shoppers at Anne Summers puzzling about his state of mind.
Necrophilia is defined as "obsessive fascination with death and corpses" or "erotic attraction to or sexual contact with corpses".
Which makes one wonder what Michael McDowell makes of Garda and Defence Forces commemorations, not to mention his much-vaunted grandfather and Irish Volunteers leader Eoin O'Neill and the Irish Government's 1916 events?
Ruth Dudley Edwards, in her weekly Sunday Independent piece attacking republicans (who put the dire in diatribe?) quotes the Belfast Telegraph's Lindy McDowell as describing Direct Ruler Peter Hain as "a Troubles virgin". In contrast to Hain, Dud opines, Tony Blair's right-hand man, Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell, is, in her words, "in Northern Irish terms is no virgin, but rather an experienced old slapper".
We wouldn't dream of describing anyone in those terms, however, experienced they may be, Ruth. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Brits on drugs get marching orders
25 British Army soldiers have been dismissed from the Welsh Guards and Green Howards after failing routine drugs tests. Commanding officer Ben Bathurst said that they "had to go" after they admitted taking drugs.
The Ministry of Defence said action would be taken against all those who tested positive -- 16 for Class A drugs, one for Class B and eight for Class C.
If they'd shot dead Irish civilians in Belfast or elsewhere in the Six Counties, of course they wouldn't "have to go" and would more than likely even be promoted like their comrades, Thain, Clegg, Wright and Fisher!
SAS won't recognise the court
Maybe the dopey Welsh Guards and really Green Howards should simply refuse to recognise the court, just like British Army generals who have two fugitive SAS men in hiding from the law even though they're wanted for killing a police officer.
A judge in Basra has issued an arrest warrant for the pair who are accused of shooting two Iraqi policemen, killing one of them. A police patrol stopped a car whose occupants were acting suspiciously and tried to detain the driver and passenger. But the couple were SAS men who, when challenged, opened fire without warning to avoid arrest by their coalition forces allies. The SAS men were on an undercover mission, dressed as Iraqi civilians and armed to the teeth with guns, grenades and a small arsenal of explosives. The two undercover Brits were taken into police custody. But the British Army broke the two out of jail Dirty Dozen-style by smashing into the police station with armoured vehicles, sparking a riot in Basra.
Now an Iraqi judge wants the two back to face justice but British officers are ignoring the court.