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October 23, 2004

News 10/23/04 - DUP Man's Link With Terror Alleged

News about Ireland & the Irish

GU 10/24/04 DUP Man's Link With Terror Alleged
LT 10/24/04 Robinson: Gap Between DUP And Sinn Fein Has Narrowed
IO 10/23/04 Call For N Ireland Prison Chief To Resign
LT 10/23/04 Provos Look For An Exit With Honour
LT 10/23/04 Comment: Principles That Are Past Their Sell-By Date
GU 10/23/04 Adams In Power Is No Fantasy - The End Of The IRA Is
ND 10/23/04 Peter King: Lording Over A Political Realm
LT 10/23/04 Reagan Hid Irish Roots For Election


DUP Man's Link With Terror Alleged

Henry McDonald
Sunday October 24, 2004
The Observer

A Democratic Unionist Party member is to be accused in the House of
Commons of supplying confidential information to terrorists about
the loyalist-turned-journalist Davy Adams.

Harry Barnes, the left-wing Labour MP, is to the name the DUP man
in a Parliamentary Early Day Motion condemning an 18-month campaign
of intimidation by the Ulster Defence Association against Adams.

Barnes will use parliamentary privilege to claim that the DUP
member handed over personal details of Adams' application to join a
policing partnership board to a UDA commander.

The Labour MP will accuse what he calls 'extremist elements' in the
DUP of collusion with the UDA.

Barnes says that he is 'deeply concerned about the supplying of
confidential information to the local UDA regarding Mr Adams, his
decision to join the board and the progression of his application.'

The Labour MP stressed that he is certain that the majority of DUP
members would be horrified by these accusations. Barnes said he was
confident that the party opposed these kind of actions.

The Observer has also obtained a letter from the former a Police
Chief Superintendent, responding to suggestions from another DUP
politician that the UDA threats against Adams were not real.

It has to be stressed that the DUP man in question is not the party
member Harry Barnes intends to name in parliament.

In a letter, the Chief Superintendant states: 'On March 2004
Councillor ****, in his role as chairman of the Dis trict Police
Partnership, asked me to confirm that the threats against David
Adams were not real and were simply a figment of Mr Adams'
imagination and ongoing dissatisfaction with the UDA.

'I advised the Councillor that I would not be commenting to him or
any other person on the personal security or threats against Mr

Ten years ago Davy Adams shared a platform with leading figures in
the UDA and Ulster Volunteer Force announcing their cease-fire. But
his ongoing support for the Good Friday Agreement, his opposition
to drug dealing and his decision to pursue a career in the media
has led to a falling out with the UDA.

Over the past 18 months Adams' home has been repeatedly attacked
and offensive graffiti scrawled on the walls of the family's house.

His pet dog Oscar was taken away and beaten to death with baseball
bats. The most serious assault on the house involved a gang
climbing on to the roof in the middle of the night and block ing
the chimney.

Adams also believes that his decision to join the police
partnership also outraged UDA commanders.

The former UDP councillor claims that a member of the UDP obtained
details of his confidential application through Northern Ireland's
Policing Board and then passed these on to the UDA boss. He was
incensed to find out that one of the Policing Board members who
championed Adams' application was Alex Attwood of the nationalist


Robinson: Gap Between DUP And Sinn Fein Has Narrowed

Liam Clarke

THE gap between the Democratic Unionist party and Sinn Fein in the
talks about a new peace deal for Northern Ireland has narrowed,
according to Peter Robinson.

"Undoubtedly we have made advances since Leeds Castle, and the
process isn't blocked or stymied in any way," the DUP deputy leader
said yesterday.

"While there is still a gap it is now simply a case of working
through all of the issues and getting them resolved in a way that
everyone is comfortable with. It is better to get it right than get
it quickly."

There are still stark differences between the parties, however.
Robinson is demanding "a visual aspect to the decommissioning of
IRA weaponry", meaning a photographic record of decommissioned

Yesterday Mitchel McLaughlin of Sinn Fein accused the DUP of
"moving the goalposts" by asking for "Steven Spielberg-type
coverage of IRA initiatives". He told the BBC: "Those kind of
things are designed to be provocative and counter-effective."

The British and Irish governments are hoping both sides will accept
a compromise: that General John de Chastelain, head of the
Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, will give
a detailed inventory of the weapons decommissioned. De Chastelain
returns to Northern Ireland today at the start of a two-week push
to close the gap between Sinn Fein and the DUP.

If they fail the matter is likely to be left over until next June.

Later this week the International Monitoring Commission (IMC),
which scrutinises paramilitary activity, will report to the British
and Irish governments. It is expected to find that IRA members have
been involved in robberies and punishment attacks but no other
paramilitary activity.

A complex formula was negotiated last month stretching the return
to power sharing to six months, after an initial act of
decommissioning and a statement from the IRA.

If the "six-month clock" starts after the first week in November,
the DUP's move into government would not come until after the
expected British general election. If a deal can be hammered out in
the coming fortnight the IRA will make the first move with an act
of transparent decommissioning and a detailed statement of intent.

The British and Irish governments would then be expected to
announce the details of the sequence leading to the re-
establishment of power sharing. This includes a series of moves by
the governments including reductions in troop levels, the
dismantlement of British bases an agreement that on-the-run
terrorists can return home without fear of imprisonment, and the
release of Garda Jerry McCabe's killers.

The DUP, for its part, would announce its willingness to sit in
government with Sinn Fein after it has received two reports from
the IMC showing that paramilitary activity is at an end and after
de Chastelain has certified that all IRA weapons are decompression.

If the sequence runs in time for May, DUP sources believe that
Paisley could get a seat in the House of Lords in the dissolution

A Sinn Fein source said: "The Brits will not let it fall through
this side of May. It is not in Tony Blair's interests to have it
lying in bits during the general election campaign."

The process has already produced unlikely allies in Bertie Ahern,
the Irish taoiseach, and Ian Paisley, who met for the first time

An Irish source said: "If you saw the kind of comfort and trust
there you would be amazed. It is very important that a figure like
Paisley is leading the DUP to a place where everyone wants them to


Call For Prison Chief To Resign

23/10/2004 - 22:21:35

Northern Ireland's prison chief faced demands for his resignation
today over alleged abuse of loyalists held in a high security jail.

The Prisoners Human Rights Watch (PHRW) urged Peter Russell to
quit, and called for a public inquiry into the treatment of men
held in a separated regime at the Maghaberry complex near Lisburn,
Co Antrim.

Inmates are being kept in their cells for up to 23 hours a day and
denied proper education, the body claimed.

They are also being manipulated by warders locked in a bitter row
with management, it was alleged.

PHRW spokesman Stanley Fletcher said: "They are using the prisoners
as an industrial pawn in their ongoing fight with the Northern
Ireland Prison Service.

"Prisoners on the separated regime are being denied the rights of
other prisoners, in the hope of a backlash."

Even though loyalists and republicans were split into separate cell
blocks amid deepening security fears, tensions inside Maghaberry
remain high.

The authorities stress all prisoners who agree to be kept apart
have to sign an agreement explaining possible restrictions in the
new regime.

But the PHRW, which speaks for loyalists but insists it will
represent all inmates, claims the limitations are intolerable.

The body's anger was fuelled by a damning new Northern Ireland
Human Rights Condition report into the conditions endured by some
women prisoners at Maghaberry.

"We want equality for everyone in the prison system," said Ken
Wilkinson, another PHRW representative.

"But what's happening to separated prisoners goes much deeper than
the women's issue.

"We are calling for the resignation of (Prison Service Director
General) Peter Russell and the number one governor at Maghaberry.

"We also want a full public inquiry into all aspects of human
rights treatment in Northern Ireland prisons, and Maghaberry in

Claims that only classes with little educational benefit, such as
yoga, were offered to separated prisoners were emphatically
rejected by the Prison Service.

An impressive range of courses, including English and Irish
Studies, has been offered, it was stressed.

A spokesman also hit back at the wider allegations of how the
prisoners were treated.

He said: "Anyone who has any evidence of human rights abuses should
bring it to the attention of the relevant authorities.

"Separated loyalist prisoners have brought several legal challenges
against the separated regime operating in Maghaberry which have


Provos Look For An Exit With Honour

Liam Clarke

AFTER more than three decades of violence in which it has murdered
some 1,700 people, the Provisional IRA is preparing to wind itself
up, end its "armed struggle" against British rule and decommission
its remaining weapons.

Senior members of all Northern Ireland's major parties have
concluded that the terrorist group is ready to take a historic step
that would see it either cease to exist or turn into a kind of "old
comrades" association. A "campaign medal" for members has even been
mooted to put the seal on the end of their terrorist activity.

The end of the Provisionals — which emerged as the main republican
terror group in 1969 — is planned as part of a complex series of
steps to resolve the stalled peace process.

There is still room for slippage. Yesterday, there were bitter
clashes between unionists and republicans over whether IRA
decommissioning should be filmed.

The effective dissolution of the group, which has been observing a
ceasefire since 1996, may be announced in a few weeks, though it
could take six months to put into action.

Under current negotiations, unionist parties would agree to sit
down in a devolved administration with Sinn Fein, the IRA's
political wing.

The British and Irish governments are preparing a major push over
the next two weeks to close negotiations. Today, John de
Chastelain, the Canadian general supervising decommissioning,
returns to the province to hammer out details with the IRA and
loyalist terrorists, who have indicated they will follow any
republican move to disarm.

Later this week, a report by the International Monitoring
Commission, which monitors terrorist activity, is expected to find
that IRA members have been involved in robberies and "punishment"
attacks — but no other paramilitary activity.

It is understood unionists are prepared to accept that the IRA's
move from terrorism to racketeering, drug dealing and other
criminality should not obstruct the peace process.

The current optimism is based on a secret deal between Sinn Fein
and the British and Irish governments last month in talks at Leeds
Castle, Kent, that allows for the disbandment of the IRA and its
reduction to a group dedicated to commemorations and the welfare of
its members. Its functions would make it akin to a terrorist
version of the Royal British Legion.

In some areas members have already been given commemorative fleece
jackets to wear on parade.

Any attempt to make the IRA's demise appear "honourable" is likely
to cause anger in Britain. Its highest-profile atrocities have
included the blowing up of Earl Mountbatten, the Queen's cousin, in

It also came close to killing Margaret Thatcher in a bomb blast in
Brighton in 1984.

The deal under negotiation, which would revive the suspended
Northern Ireland assembly, depends on settling disputes with Ian
Paisley's Democratic Unionist party, the largest in the province.
Paisley, who once personified the unyielding wing of unionism, is
now said to be "fully on board" for a deal.

Last night, Peter Robinson, the DUP's lead negotiator, said: "While
there is still a gap (in the process) it is now simply a case of
working through all of the issues and getting them resolved."

If the sequence is to work immediately, the "six-month clock" must
start ticking within the next fortnight so power-sharing will be
restored before the probable general election next May. Otherwise,
the whole process may be delayed until after the poll.

If a deal is reached, the IRA is expected to make the first move
with plans to decommission its weapons and stand down its military
organisation. The British and Irish governments will respond with
further troop cuts. In addition, terrorists on the run will be
allowed to go home without fear of imprisonment.


Comment: Liam Clarke: Principles That Are Past Their Sell-By Date

Just how do Northern Ireland's four Sinn Fein MPs justify claiming
nearly £440,000 a year in expenses from a Westminster parliament
they not only oppose, but refuse to attend as a matter of
principle? Michelle Gildernew, the Fermanagh South Tyrone MP,
topped the list in the last financial year collecting £115,420.
That included £18,400 a year in additional costs allowance (ACA) to
defray expenses incurred while staying in London on "parliamentary
duties" to a parliament she does not attend. None of the other Sinn
Feiners were far behind, all claiming more than £110,000 a year
including the ACA.

Despite the fact that they never attend any sittings, the Sinn Fein
members claim just about as much as MPs such as Lady Sylvia Hermon
of the Ulster Unionists, who has a 72% attendance record.

Sinn Fein's first line of defence is that most of the money goes
into party coffers to pay for Sinn Fein offices, to subsidise its
election machine and to keep party workers in jobs. That is
undoubtedly true for the £67,000 or so they each claim in staff
costs but it does not extend to ACA figures. These, we must
presume, are there to subsidise trips to London to lobby.

When it comes to staff costs it is worth remembering that it is
Sinn Fein jobs we are talking about. That is jobs in which the
stated purpose is to oppose Westminster rule in Northern Ireland
and to decry parties that take their seats in parliament or
organisations that accept subsidies from the British taxpayer.

Sinn Fein has always been vociferous in criticising groups, like
the former victims' support organisation Families against
Intimidation and Terror for being "Brit sponsored" and therefore
suspect. Now Sinn Fein party workers can while away their
Westminister-subsidised hours trying to square that circle.

It appears that their principles extend to refusing to sign in for
their £57,000-a-year salaries or actually taking part in debates,
but run out when it comes to the much larger sums in expenses.

There are two ways for nationalists to look at the Westminster
parliament. The purist view is that Westminster has no right to
rule any part of Ireland and anybody who gets involved with it is
tainted. It is permissible to run in elections but only to prevent
others taking seats and to demonstrate republican opposition to
British rule. The other view, traditionally taken by the SDLP, is
that Westminster rule is not desirable but it is a reality and it
is worth having a voice in the decision-making process.

Both views are defensible, one because it adheres rigidly to
principle and the other because it recognises that politics is the
art of the possible.

Sinn Fein attempts to ride both horses, claiming high principle but
taking most of the money and indeed campaigning for subsidised
offices in Westminster from which to influence government thinking.
It is also eager to take its seats in Stormont, an assembly with
powers devolved from the Westminster parliament it pretends to hold
in disdain. It also negotiates with the British prime minister on
the contents of bills on which it refuses to vote.

It looks like hypocrisy but in 20 years it will seem little more
than an historical oddity, part of the party's uneasy transition
from the politics of protest to becoming part of the Establishment.
Even in the short term, it is accepted that it is better for them
to pocket British subsidies with their fingers crossed behind their
backs than to be subsidised by IRA racketeers.

However, it does illustrate the larger problem of parties taking
moral stances to which they are not entitled. A big fuss has been
made about the enormity of giving up weapons at a time when both
Sinn Fein and the IRA both say they are committed to a peaceful way
forward and Sinn Fein is making dramatic progress as a democratic

If the party's members are sincere, and they almost certainly are,
then the weapons have no value to them except as a bargaining chip.
Yet we have the elaborate charade of the IRA acting as if it is
still an underground revolutionary army at war with the state and
wrestling with its principles when it comes to weapons. Acts of
decommissioning are shrouded in mystery — General John de
Chastelain is bundled across the country and not told where he is
going before being bound to secrecy on what was destroyed.

It is childish and, last October, it denied the IRA and Sinn Fein
the considerable political gains they would have made from a fully
transparent act of decommissioning. Despite destroying what was, by
de Chastelain's account, a considerable quantity of weaponry, they
did not get the political payback because no proof was available.
Instead of creating the trust necessary to achieve their
objectives, they built up a well of distrust that has kept Sinn
Fein out of government ever since.

They also toppled David Trimble and the Ulster Unionist party from
its leading position in the Protestant community. This sent a
message to other unionist politicians that nothing could be taken
on trust from republicans — you were likely to be short-changed at
the last minute and then rejected by the voters.

Republicans are now dealing with that legacy of distrust in the
shape of Ian Paisley and British and Irish governments which are
less understanding of their sensitivities than before. Now not only
the DUP, but also the two governments, are seeking transparent
decommissioning and the disbandment of the IRA before Sinn Fein is
again admitted to government, either in the north or south.

That was the hidden barb in Dermot Ahern's statement that Sinn Fein
would eventually be in coalition with Fianna Fail. His conditions
were identical to the DUP's. Ahern specified that it could only
happen after the IRA had gone away and its weapons been destroyed.
Last year, Trimble was only asking for a single transparent act of
decommissioning and an IRA statement that the process would be
completed when power-sharing was revived.

Republicans do not have a monopoly on holding onto principles that
are not only past their sell-by date but which have already been
sold. The DUP does it too. It used to sound alarms when Sinn Fein
members spoke in Belfast city council and refused to go into
television studios with members of the party. It stymied attempts
to share power with the SDLP on the grounds that the party was
disloyal. It now sees the SDLP as a spent force and must do a deal
with Sinn Fein or be denied power.

The DUP's position is pragmatic: it wants a deal, or at least most
of its leadership do. It sits across the table from Sinn Fein in
television studios and councils, and Ian Paisley chaired an
assembly committee that contained Sinn Fein members. The party is
openly in negotiations with the republican party through British
officials yet it maintains the fiction that it won't talk to Sinn
Fein. The policy is becoming the DUP's equivalent of Sinn Fein's
position at Westminster. It is only a token and makes the party
look hypocritical. The sooner it gets rid of it, the sooner it will
realise its full political potential.


Jobs for the Boys

Gerry Adams In Power Is No Longer Fantasy - The End Of The IRA Is

Henry McDonald
Sunday October 24, 2004
The Observer

You have just had a taxing day at work, the bills you lifted from
the hall this morning remain unopened and you have spent an hour
persuading the kids to go to sleep. To relax you slip into a warm
bath and turn on the radio; the hassles of the past 12 hours melt
away as you are soothed towards sleep by the dulcet tones of ...
Gerry Adams reading from his autobiography.

Cynics might quip that listening to the Sinn Fein President's
personal account of a life-never-lived-in-the-IRA would be enough
to send anyone off to dreamland; the self-righteous tone and folksy
sentiment of his latest book contain enough soporific elements to
cure the most acute forms of insomnia. This was what listeners to
RTE's Book at Bedtime were offered in the first week of September
as part of the station's 'commemoration' of the 10th anniversary of
the Provos' ceasefire.

We will never know if these instalments of Adams' personal story
induced mass narcolepsy in the Irish nation but one thing we can be
sure about is that his presence on the programme provides further
evidence of the 'Big Lad's' superstar status in the Republic. He
has certainly come a long way from cage 11, Long Kesh and may end
up in Phoenix Park - and I'm not talking Garda headquarters but the
Irish Presidency.

The idea of President Adams is no longer a fantasy. Given that he
is currently the most popular politician in a Republic where he
holds no office, there is every chance the Sinn Fein chief could
succeed Mary McAleese. And the notion that Adams becomes Chief of
Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, while his party colleagues as
cabinet ministers control the lives of millions of Irish citizens,
is no longer beyond the realms of possibility either. The latter
scenario is far more realisable than the former, especially given
Fianna Fail's dance-of-the-seven-veils seduction of Sinn Fein.

Following Dermot Ahern's suggestion that Sinn Fein could be in
coalition with his party there was an attempt at row back. The
Taoiseach and a host of Fianna Fail backbenchers qualified the
Foreign Minister's remarks by pointing out that this can come about
only if the IRA goes out of existence. Willie O'Dea, the Defence
Minister, even used the D-word last - the IRA has to disband.

These riders however will mean nothing when the numbers stack up
after the next general election. For does anyone with a basic grasp
of Irish realpolitik really believe that if Sinn Fein has the
parliamentary muscle to prop up another Fianna Fail administration,
the Soldiers of Destiny and the very real, armed and still
dangerous soldiers in Ourselves Alone won't concoct a deal?

When the electoral witching hour arrives, will this signal the end
of the IRA and its mutation into an old boys/ex-comrades
association? This is what Fianna Fail and the Department of Foreign
Affairs will try to sell to the Irish people after the votes are
counted. 'The Provos are no more. The Boys have retired. They have
gone away you know.'

The trouble however for Fianna Fail, the peace process in the north
and ultimately Irish democracy itself is that the IRA won't be
exiting the stage entirely. It is highly likely the organisation
will go into cold storage, robberies and rackets may decrease, and
so-called punishment beatings in areas under the IRA's con trol
will be few and far between.

Well, that's the theory anyway. In practice, the IRA will be
retained for a number of important reasons.

1. Internal political discipline. The IRA is and will remain a
means by which Adams and the leadership can control Sinn Fein. IRA
activists can be wheeled out at every annual party conference to
ensure 'unreliable elements' and 'trendies' don't push for
embarrassing policies such as abortion rights. A show of hands from
the 'lads' who take their orders from the local commanding officers
will put a stop to that nonsense.

2. Social control. The IRA fears relinquishing control of its
working class redoubts. Its continued presence and the threat of
retribution for anyone who transgresses, either politically or
through common crime, ensures that dominance.

3. Purse strings. The IRA ensures that the millions earned both
through illegal and legal means remains in the hands of the
movement, or at least that a sizeable proportion of the fortunes
from smuggling and counterfeiting is kept for the cause.

4. Sectarian strife. Parts of Northern Ireland remain fractured and
unstable. The IRA structure will stay in place to offer
nationalists communal defence against loyalist attacks and is there
to wind up the unionists over marching issues, interface trouble
and political crises.

As Fianna Fail quietly prepares the ground for a coalition with
Sinn Fein, ministers, civil servants, spin masters and their allies
in the southern Irish media will assure you that none of the above
applies, that the gun is being taken out of Irish politics for
good. But those sentiments are as sugary, ephemeral and tendentious
as the many purple passages in Adams' autobiography.


Lording Over A Political Realm

U.S. Rep. Peter King

By J. Jioni Palmer
Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is the privileged son of
the once mighty Nassau County Republican Party. He wouldn't be in
Congress if not for machine politics and party bosses. He knows it,
and he says he isn't ashamed to admit it.

"I believe in strong political organizations," King said recently
in an interview in his office on Capitol Hill. "I think it was
better back in the days when we had strong clubhouses, instead of
reformers. I've never been a reformer."

King's fondness for clubhouse politics and party loyalty -- his
favorite book is Edwin O'Connor's "Last Hurrah," the tale of a
tough-fisted Irish-American big-city political boss -- doesn't mean
that Republican leaders in Washington or on Long Island are immune
from his sharp tongue.

"Maybe this is part of my schizophrenia," he said, jokingly
recalling various fratricidal spats in his career, including an
unsuccessful attempt to topple former House Speaker Newt Gingrich,
who he once called "roadkill on the highway of American politics."

King, 60, is a blunt-talking six-term incumbent who says what's on
his mind -- even if it ruffles a few feathers. Still, he says his
willingness to scrap with his party's leaders hasn't impeded his
rise through the GOP ranks from an assistant Nassau County party
committeeman to a member of Congress.

"A lot of politicians are scared to take on someone who isn't
afraid to roll the dice," said King, who frequently mixes it up on
television talk shows and is a regular on the rowdiest of them all,
CNN's "Crossfire."

Constituents drawn in

For most of King's tenure in the House, the 3rd District was wholly
inside Nassau and took up about half the county. But during the
redrawing of congressional boundary lines by state lawmakers two
years ago, King's district crossed into Suffolk for the first time,
stretching mostly south of Sunrise Highway all the way to East

Republican Party enrollment in the overwhelmingly white-collar
district outnumbers Democrats -- 191,006 to 122,415 -- helping
provide King with a comfortable margin of victory that typically
increases every two years.

King can effortlessly dish about the nuances of local issues such
as the need for Long Island rail access to Manhattan's East Side --
King fought to secure $75 million last year for the project -- or
legislation to prevent elder abuse at nursing homes, but he is more
interested in discussing politics of the world stage -- even more
so after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

He's been consumed, some might say obsessed, with foreign affairs
and national security issues, which would seem appropriate given
the tumult of our troubled times. But even as Nassau County's
comptroller during the 1980s he was quick to expound on topics
ranging from the former Yugoslavia to Northern Ireland.

King, the author of three novels that draw heavily from his own
experience, attributes his interest in world affairs to growing up
during the Cold War when "we were fighting for survival."

King vigorously defends President George W. Bush's decision to go
to war with Iraq, which he voted in favor of authorizing because,
he says, Saddam Hussein was "a source of instability in a volatile

He concedes that the U.S. military effort has encountered tough
resistance from Iraqi insurgents, but maintains that life for the
Iraqis is better than under Hussein "and has the potential to get
much better."

And despite almost daily car bombings, mounting U.S. casualties and
civilian beheadings, King said of a recent trip to the country, "I
remember being in downtown Baghdad and thinking that I felt like I
was in downtown Manhattan."

Blair Mathies, a Democrat running against King, said King's rosy
assessment of the situation in Iraq is dishonest and deliberately
misleads the American people. "These are unethical sales
practices," said Mathies, of Babylon, a regulator for an investment
banking firm. "Pete King sort of epitomizes this routine. Some
people may call it politics, but where I come from we call it

King's global vision

Since Sept. 11, King, on the Homeland Security committee, says his
main emphasis has been the war on terrorism. While he doesn't agree
with Bush that the war with Iraq is an extension of the war on
terror, he says it is related because "Hussein was a supporter of

King supported legislation allowing commercial pilots to carry
firearms. But despite his zeal to win the fight against terrorists,
King voted against creating the independent September 11th
commission, which is widely credited with finding several
deficiencies in the nation's intelligence services. His spokesman
said King believed Congress should have completed its own inquiry
before another body reviewed the topic.

King's penchant for homeland security is on full display in his
recent book, "Vale of Tears," which features a fictional Long
Island Republican congressman and alternates between the United
States' response in the days following Sept. 11 and future
terrorist attacks.

That book and comments by King that most mosques in the United
States are controlled by "extremist leadership" and that the
average Muslim protects terrorists in their midst drew the ire of
Long Island Muslim leaders, many of whom had been friends and
supporters of his. King is unrepentant about those comments, which
he says are based on information he's collected from anti-terror
and law enforcement officials, and eschews suggestions he's a
hypocrite given his support and friendship with Gerry Adams, head
of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

Ghazi Khankan, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Long Island,
said King unfairly lambasted all Muslims for the actions of a few
so he could sell books.

"When Mr. King's friend Gerry Adams was involved in terrorism we
didn't call him a Christian terrorist," he said.


Reagan Hid Irish Roots For Election

Siobhan Maguire and Lynne Kelleher

RONALD REAGAN hushed up his Irish roots before he was elected to
the Oval Office because he was afraid it would put off key voters.

According to the former Irish ambassador to America, Reagan
insisted his ancestry was English in order to keep Wasp voters on
side during the 1980 election campaign.

The Hollywood actor visited Ballyporeen in 1984, and drank a pint
in the pub of the Tipperary town where Michael Regan, his great-
grandfather, was baptised in 1829. Only four years earlier Reagan
had tried to keep his links to the auld sod a secret.

Sean Donlon, an Irish ambassador to America in the late 1970s and
1980s, said Reagan only discovered the truth about his ancestry in
the run-up to his contest with the incumbent Jimmy Carter. Neil,
his brother, had secured shipping records from the late 19th
century, which traced the Reagan ancestry to Ireland and not

Donlon said: "I spoke to him in October 1980 about the origins of
his name, and I knew for definite that his roots were in Ireland.
He felt it would be a cynical political gesture if he acknowledged
his Irishness at that stage of the election. But he was quite
adamant that this would change if he made it to the White House and
he would publicly embrace his Irish roots."

Reagan insisted his ancestry was English to please Republican
voters. Carter, the Democratic party candidate, was presumed to
have the Irish-American vote already sewn up.

"He didn't want to change his package at the last minute," said
Donlon. "We kept it quiet. As president, he came to the embassy on
St Patrick's Day and we presented him with a detailed family tree.
This was televised and anyone with any kind of Irish ties in the
White House was invited to the party, including Bill Casey, who was
head of the CIA."

Donlon said despite the initial cover-up, Reagan was very proud of
his Irish links.

"Reagan visited Ireland as governor of California but he had no
idea of his Irish ancestry then. When he realised his roots, he was
very proud and would ask us to organise parties for him in the
embassy. He was able to put on Donegal and Kerry accents and he had
a sense of humour about it."

Reagan's 1984 trip to Ireland, a few months before the presidential
election at which he secured a second term, was seen as a cynical
play for Irish-American votes.

Anti-American feelings were widespread in Ireland because of
Reagan's policies in central America. Irish missionaries and aid
workers were bringing home stories of murder and torture by
security forces backed by his administration.

Anti-Reagan demonstrations took place around the country, with the
largest in Galway, where the president received the freedom of the
city and an honorary degree from the university. Garret FitzGerald,
the then taoiseach, says he was wrongly blamed for putting pressure
on the university to award Reagan the degree.

"There was so much trouble over this," said FitzGerald last week.
"I was asked if I would offer him an honorary degree. I didn't want
to, but as a member of the senate (of the university), I couldn't
say no."

FitzGerald was also unhappy with the American president's policies
on central America and surprised that Reagan referred to notes when
they discussed the issue. He later publicly criticised American
policy at a state dinner in Dublin Castle.

FitzGerald has since discovered his ancestors hail from the same
area as Reagan's. His great-grandfather and Reagan's both left
Tipperary in the late 19th century.

"I am convinced that our ancestors knew each other," the former
Fine Gael leader said. "They left at the same time and went to
London where my great-grandfather stayed but Reagan's carried on to

Reagan's strange relationship with Ireland is explored in a TG4
documentary, Failte Mr President, next Saturday.

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